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by Matt Dempster
The explosions shook the night. Through the darkness and the shelling, one could hear the cries for help, and the screams of the wounded and the dying. The scent of cordite filled the air, as the the artillery continued to rain down on the men crouched in their holes.
Wes popped his head out of the foxhole to check the surface situation. One of the men in his platoon was wounded and needed the doc, fast. "Medic!!" he bellowed at the top of his lungs. "Medic!!" A head jerked around, and a figure began moving towards Wes' position. As Wes turned to glance at the wounded man, a bright flash and deafening roar bowled him over and back down to the bottom of the foxhole. Regaining his feet, Wes cautiously looked for the medic. There was nothing left of him and a ten foot square patch of ground buy dust.
Wes sank back to the floor of the foxhole, cursing the officers who had put him and his unit into such a fouled up op. As he began inventive explorations of his superior's family tree, the radioman, Mendoza looked up and yelled, "Sarge!!! We got somethin!"
Wes crawled over and took the mike from Mendoza. He said "This is Sergeant Wesley Hickman. We are in a bad situation here. Heavy shelling. Need reinforcements ASAP. Over."
"Understood." came a static filled voice, "Wait for further instructions."
"The situation is impossible! Request permission for withdrawal" Wes said.
"Negative," came the reply. "Maintain position."
Wes shouted, "We need to move now! We need..."
The voice from the radio cut him off. "Negative, Sergeant. Maintain position. Over and out."
Wes stared at the dead radio in his hand. Unbelievable. They were being left out here to die. Un-fucking-believable. He sat there for a minute, and then rose to his feet. On the platoon net, he said, "Attention boys and girls. This place is too hot for the likes of us!! We are leaving!"
The platoon waited for a lull in the shelling, and then made for a rendezvous point at the base of one of the surrounding hills. As they were making a break for it, with Wes and Mendoza the radioman carrying the wounded man, a distinctive whistle was heard. The night flashed into white fire and the ground disappeared from under Wes' feet. The black earth rose up to meet him.....
And Wes awoke shuddering in his bed, drenched in sweat. He stared about wildly for a moment or two, and then, as the fog of the nightmare lifted, he slowly relaxed. He was fine, he was safe. There was no more war. It was over. But not without leaving a few reminders.
Wes swung out of his bed, and padded over to the bathroom. After downing a glass of water he stared at his reflection in the full length mirror. "Not too bad for the lower side of 40," he murmured. He raised his arms over his head, and stretched.
Stepping out of the bathroom, he glanced at the wall clock, and saw that it was 5:21 AM. "Aw hell it was almost time to get up anyway," he said. Turning to one of the walls of his room, he pushed a couple buttons on a console. A panel lifted to reveal a computer screen, and an oddly shaped terminal.
Extending his right arm towards the terminal, Wes said, "Let's see what's happening today...." A cylindrical object mounted on a thin mechanical arm extended out of the metal housing of Wes' right arm and plugged into the terminal. Wes closed his eyes, and gave a little grin, as the data began to transfer to him....
"10," Wes gasped as he lowered the lever.
"Impressive," came a female voice, "10 tons this morning. Going for a light workout are we?"
Wes looked up to see Brenda Washington, the head of SIRECOM, his boss, standing over him. She smiled and threw him a towel.
"You know me, boss," Wes said with a grin as he caught the towel deftly, "I hate to get totally wasted before breakfast. If I did, then I couldn't shoot down all the dumb ideas the brass seem to have!"
"Well, as you probably already know, today is when we stop talking, and start training you and your team." said Brenda.
"They've been chosen and trained?"
"Yes," replied Brenda, "They're in the training rooms now...why don't you go over and take a look?"
"Sounds like a good plan. Meet you for breakfast, say, at nine?"
"See you then."
Wes turned and headed for the west wing of the SIRECOM complex, where emergant Omegas were trained in the use of their powers. They had had some pretty powerful people come through here. In his jaunts through the complex's net, he had found records of all types of psis, all levels of power. He had even found vague mention of one who reminded him of the character Overman. As he neared the training area, he began to hear shouting. He stepped into the control booth of the training area, which was faced with one way glass for observational purposes. He saw two people standing inthe center of the room, having a heated argument. The tall Hispanic was yelling something about "Slow, clumsy" mutter "fool!!!!" The shorter black man stood there and watched as the other got more and more agitated.
As the Hispanic became more upset, his arms became a blur of motion. Wes accessed the personnel files he had downloaded this morning and scanned through them. Ortiz, Jason came the reponse. Psychokinetic/Telepathic. Ability to move at speeds of 200 mph plus. Metahuman reflexes. Advanced resistance to impact. Ability to detect Omegas, both latent and triggered, at range of 500 yards. Codenamed Trax.
Very nice Wes thought. The perfect scout. Bad attitude. We'll have to break him of that habit. The other man was equally interesting. Riley, Don. Telekinetic, Antipsionic. Antipsi? Wes thought. My this does get more interesting... Ability to drain psi energy out of triggered Omegas. Can fully drain one Omega, or partially drain up to five. Metahuman reflexes. Ability to utilize siphoned energy to amplify reflex speed up to 15 times normal human limits. Codenamed Blockade.
Another useful individual. Seems to keep a level head too. One to watch, for sure. Wes moved out of the control room and down the hall to the next training area. A young Oriental woman was doing some form of dance like exercise. It took a few minutes before Wes realized it was a kata, a martial artist's drill. As he watched, targets began to appear on the walls surrounding the woman. She turned and in a fluid motion drew several metallic spheres from the pouches at her belt. She held them for a moment, and then let fly at the targets. Each one dissolved in a burst of energy and light. Yung, Teresa. Energy manipulation. Ability to convert matter to antimatter. Immune to effects of antimatter. Codenamed Counterpart.
Powerful indeed. Wes thought. That's good. We could use some heavy artillery. He turned around and looked across the way into yet another training center. The woman in the center was holding a metal canister. As he watched, the canister seemed to melt and flow about her body, joining with the skintight metal patches all over her. The metal moved about, flowing and lexing until it covered every square inch of her body. She then walked to the wall, and proceeded to lift up on a lever, similat to the one Wes had worked on before. Subject is exerting pressure in excess of 50 tons. Amazing, thought Wes. and she's not even straining! Thomas, Michelle. Telekinetic. Ability to alter metal to an unknown alloy, then utilize it to form a body suit. Alloy suit channels TK field allowing enhanced strength, reflexes, and resistance to damage by projectiles and light weapons. Codenamed Armor.
Another piece of heavy artillery. Looks better and better.
Wes moved into the final training area. As he l;ooked into the room he saw nothing. Strange. There should be.. A red streak flashed by Wes' vision. It hit the wall, bounced impossibly straight up, and then came down at high velocity. It hit and bounced again. Josephs, Chris. Psychokinetic. Ability to absorb and redirect kinetic impact as a bounce effect. Advanced resistance to impact. Metahuman reflexes and agility, increasing in proportion to amount of KE absorbed. Codenamed Ricochet.
Quite a little team we have for ourselves here. Hope they're up to the job. Could be a fine unit, with the proper training. Have to make sure they get it. Computer, REM: store all personnel data of team members, including myself, plus comments filename Seekers. End REM.
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