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Chapter 28 - What Could Go Wrong[]

11 May 3041
Inner End (Federated Commonwealth)

Adept Collin Wellings, laying on a roof across the broad street from the suspect warehouse, watched the eerie forms of the ROM strike team slowly advance on the large warehouse. He only caught glimpses of them as the suits they wore adjusted to match the surrounding terrain. The 6 members all crouched once inside the surrounding fence, hidden among the bushes the Space Port had long ago planted to help combat some of the noise created there. For 5 minutes they crouched until the roving patrol came too close. Adept Wellings could only see the roving patrol fall to the ground and then get pulled into the bushes, nothing else. So effective were the suits the strike team wore. "Clear, moving in now." he heard over the communication headset he wore.

He could barely see the side door, but he saw one of the exterior guards fall to the ground and then disappear as the body was dragged away. "Entering warehouse." Came the call over the headset. Suddenly there was a crash of gunfire from inside the warehouse, he could hear it very clearly. After 2 minutes the gunfire fell silent. Adept Wellings shifted his position until he could watch in the direction of the smaller warehouse. He could see lights rapidly coming on at the small warehouse. He pushed the button to speak "Hurry, you have company coming your way."

Before any reply could be made, there was a loud explosion from inside the large warehouse. He turned his head to look at the side door, but saw nothing, turning back he could see figures raunning down the street towards the large warehouse. As figures ran past a streetlight he could clearly see that they were all armed. He saw headlights come on from the small warehouse, clearly several of the jeeps he had seen the other day. "Get out, we cannot afford a pitched battle here. You have possibly 5 minutes to clear the area. Vehicles approaching rapidly."

"Survivor blew a grenade on us. Four down, unconscious but alive. Two of us cannot extract four." Came the reply.

Cursing, Adept Wellings watched the first jeep come to a screeching halt not far from the large warehouse, armed personnel came spilling out. Not far behind another jeep slid to a stop and again even more armed people piled out of the jeep. He watched them stack on the door; something was tossed inside. An explosion. And then the armed people rushed thru the door into the warehouse. Seconds later he could hear shouting and a furious volley of gunfire which grew in intensity as more weapons joined the fray inside the warehouse. Several more explosions followed by more gunfire, and then an eerie silence fell over the area.

Down the street, MIIO agent Carlos Zapata cringed when the gunfire echoed across the area, this was followed by an explosion and then silence. "Carlos, what the hell just happened down there? It is like someone kicked a damned anthill over here." This was from Agent Kenneth Barnes who was watching the smaller warehouse.

"Damned if I know. I can see the street clear as a bell, but this damned panel truck was parked where we normally would. I cannot see the side door." Carlos Zapata replied

"Well stay the hell down over there. These folks are pouring out of this warehouse armed to the teeth and pounding your way on foot. Okay, we have some heading for those jeeps. Do not engage, repeat do not engage. It would be suicide to attempt it." Kenneth Barnes said

"I can barely see them in the car mirror. We getting any backup?" Carlos Zapata asked

There was a clear pause before he heard "I was making the call, but we don't have anything to deal with all these folks. Unless they call out the militia." Kenneth Barnes replied

Within 30 minutes Sergeant Major Chester Pullman was trying his best to not lose his temper under the unrelenting questions from the mass of local police. He was already in a very foul mood having 13 dead and 16 wounded. All of his people were disarmed and standing near the warehouse, guarded by a whopping 10 police. A bunch of shouting caused him to turn around and what he saw was his people moving towards the door. The medical team was wheeling one of the assailants from the warehouse.

"Hold it!!!!" A new voice caused everyone to pause briefly. Sergeant Major Pullman looked until he spotted who he assumed had spoken. Using long strides, a quite lovely woman was moving their way followed by 3 men. "Jessica Hammel, MIIO. I am taking over this investigation. Carlos, you make sure that wounded person does not get away. Kenneth, you and Wendel go inside and take over in there." She turned to Sergeant Major Pullman. "Sir, you might as well cool your jets. You and your people are about to have a very long night. You have a bunch of questions to answer."

With an ever-growing police escort, Sergeant Major Pullman and all the others were herded back to the small warehouse. Jessica Hammel took a seat across from the large older man "Name"

"Pullman, Chester. Sergeant Major retired." Came the short fairly hostile answer.

"Okay, Chester, you keep the attitude, and this is going to go very hard for you and your people. Now, are you going to be civilized or do we move to the lock up?" Jessica Hammel said

A deep sigh and then "Ask your questions, I would like to know the status of my wounded." Sergeant Major Pullman replied

"One died on the way to the hospital. All I know right now. Now, who are you guys?" Jessica Hammel asked

"Shit, that's 14 dead. Just a simple treasure hunting group. Still forming up so to speak. Who the hell attacked us? We were the attacked here." Sergeant Major Pullman said

"We are not sure yet, but I have a pretty good idea, but I cannot say. For a group still forming up, your response was that of very well-trained soldiers. Care to explain that?" Jessica Hammel replied

"We all served together on Breed. Most have been together a couple of years. I was retired already for the last war, but my people fought hard when Breed was attacked." Sergeant Major Pullman said

"So, you're a mercenary unit? Registered?" Jessica Hammel asked

"No ma'am. Not mercs, not in the way you mean. We are out to make money, who isn't, but we are all civilians." Sergeant Major Pullman replied

"Very well armed and trained civilians." Jessica Hammel said

"Hey, it can be dangerous out here. Just look down the street. If we had not had what we did, well there would be way more than 14 funerals to attend to. What the hell kind of armor where those guys wearing? I never seen nothing like it. I am told it took grenades to knock them down followed by head shots to take the ones on their feet out." Sergeant Major Pullman replied

"That is a good question. The suits will be taken back to New Avalon for examination. Maybe the survivor will tell us more. Now, back to your status and mission. How about you elaborate more on what all of you are doing." Jessica Hammel said

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