© 1999-2001 Imminent Storm of NEWST.
The five miles spreading from Team Thunder to the missile base were covered in dense woods and underbrush. What made it worse, was that it was February and a snow-shower had begun late the previous night. Now, there were about 3 to 4 inches of snow covering the ground.
The team was wearing the latest in light combat and covert ops cybernetic power suits. These suits are much smaller than the standard infantry cyborg power suits. They carry no motor systems, so all movement power comes from the soldier inside. The only cybernetic aspects of the suit are the microcomputer system and their full helmet. The microcomputer is built into the back armor and connects to the synaptic link port on the back of the soldier's neck. It is also connected to a full helmet that covers the entire soldier's head and face, and is outfitted with audio and optical sensors that feed information directly back to the brain. This allows the user to switch between multiple fequencies of light and many zoom levels; it also provides increased audio sensitvity. The armor is a 5mm thick superdense composite alloy, capable of stopping most standard ballistic small arms and some low-power gauss weapons, as well as providing thermal protection. The armor covers the entire body except for some inevitable small areas at the joints. The power suit is fitted with several hardpoints where weapons can be attached for storage and tools placed.
They slowly approached the base, and soon came to a large open clearing that occupied a small valley. They stayed at the edge of the clearing in 'active camo' mode. Before them lay the missile base; a huge underground complex that covered at least 20 acres. There were virtually no buildings on the base, apart from the entrance structure and a few supply stores. All around the base were several standard sensor towers, but no defensive structures whatsoever.
"Hmmm... that's odd," Richard was mumbling as he visually scanned the base. "No defenses to speak of, only a few small units down there. Those units are odd, too. They look like light-class units with wheels, but they have the same red coloring as those big tanks. Looks like they have a modified assault gun for weapons. Besides that, there are only a few cyborgs down there."
Jim was doing his own recon about a few hundred yards away from Richard, while the rest of the team held back in the underbrush. He now came over the inter-team intercom, "Man, we could take this place with just a scout force, whats the deal? Hey Rich, check out those 'borgs, they look kinda funny to me."
Richard zoomed in on one of the cyborgs, and sure enough, there was something strange. He watched as a cyborg rotated its head 360 degrees. "Huh? I've never seen a cyborg do THAT before." Then it clicked; "Those aren't cyborgs, they are automated drones. There is nobody in 'em!" He knew that the Project had tried using drones in battle, but they proved far too ineffective. So, the Project usually used them as decoys. But when large numbers of enemies were captured in France, there were surpisingly few actual people. The ED seemed to use drones in large numbers.
"Could this be a decoy?!" came a surpised sounding voice from Chris. "We use drones all the time now, to confuse triple-A on bombing runs."
"No..." Richard countered; "this is no decoy. The ED seems to have some sort of advanced drone system for use. I saw it in France after we captured some of their units, before I was transferred back to HQ. We never could figure it out before the systems self-destructed. The falling snow and the reflections of the sun off the snow should help help mask our thermal traces; we're moving in, and now."
Meanwhile, on the front lines....
It took the Special Ops team a couple of hours to crack the door operating system, due to constant enemy air raids. What was most surprising was that the doors still had power. Soon, the giant doors slid apart to reveal a long dark sloping corridor going down that was as big as the doors themslves. There were flickers of light as some of the still-working lights flickered in the unstable power.
The Special Ops team entered the corridor. After about 200 yards or so they came upon another set of doors with a smaller door--likely made for people--on the right. Entering the door, they found an elevator that was also still working. There was only one button, reading 'main floor' in four languages. The elevator headed down, and when they got out, the ops team was presented with a dark hallway, lined with doors on both sides. The hallway led aroud several bends--all with doors--but none opened. At the end of the hallway was an open room with two stairs, leading up to a catwalk that exited the room to the right and left on a floor higher than they were. Straight ahead, past the stairs and under the catwalk, was a large door labelled 'Assembly Floor'.
It took a while, but they managed to open that door. The air was stale and metallic in taste. The room was massive; it could easily fit at least 20 Dragon units on the floor. At the far end was a set of metal columns, or so it seemed. One soldier noticed a power lever on a nearby wall and pulled it. The room was filled with light, and all jaws dropped as they stared at what was in the room.
What had at first appeared to be metal columns against the far wall were not that at all. Standing before them was a scene out of a science fiction movie. Three 18-meter tall humanoid machines stood there, silent and dead. The head officer broke the silence; "W-W-What is th-th-this?! G-G-Giant cyborgs?!"
The team emerged from the underground facility shaken. "Call HQ--They're gonna flip over this!"