© 1999-2001 Imminent Storm of NEWST.
Underground nuclear missle silos. The very thought of such weapons in the hands of another hostile force was terrifying. Immediately, the entire front line was put on alert and informed to prepare for nuclear strikes. Launching pre-emptive strikes against the silos would be near impossible. Our front line forces were stationed along the west bank of the Rhine river. In order to reach the silos, we would have to send forces deep into enemy territory to an area north of Munich. Pre-Collapse nuclear silos were built to be impregnable fortresses; designed to withstand the force of a nuclear explosion and still be able to fire their missiles.
The only ways to neutralize the ICBM threat would be to either infiltrate the base, or attempt to shoot down the missles after they launch. The targetting systems of our Las-Sats, though, were still not accurate enough to target the silo hatches without ground recon, and the only top-side structures at the bases are barracks and non-vital systems bunkers. The new ground-to-space laser system could do the job, but with a 20% kill rate, and a nearly 2-hour recharge time for the energy needed to shoot down an in-flight ICBM, shooting junk was all it was really good for. With no other options open, we were forced to find a way to send a team that far into enemy territory without being detected. The mission would be named "Thunder".
A very crazy and dangerous method was devised to get the team behind enemy lines. A modified Fenrir-class space payload capsule would be used to launch the 6-man team into LEO for one orbit, after which they would re-enter the atmoshpere and land somewhere in the vicinity of the silos. Assuming they survive, they will then proceed to infiltrate and disable the silos.
For the entire month spent preparing the mission, several ground-to-space lasers were on high alert in case Plan 'B' needed to be implemented. Luckily, either the ED decided to not launch the missiles, or they were not ready to, when "Thunder" was redy to launch from pad #2 at the re-built Space Center. These 6 voluteers were about to be the first men to orbit the Earth and return alive in over 30 years. That is, if they return alive.