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Central Europe

© 1999-2001 Imminent Storm of NEWST.

Chapter Seven: The Game Is Afoot

After about a half an hour or so, Team Thunder was now about 50 meters underground. Getting in was much easier than expected. The enemy was either careless or stupid for leaving an airshaft uncovered and unguarded. They were now in a large room filled with heavy machinery, obviously used for pumping and filtering the base's air supply.

"Now, we just need to find some vital systems, or anything else to shut this place down." Richard then eyed a small computer terminal attached to a wall. "Hey Lisa, come over here and see what you can find."

Lisa moved over to the terminal, and plugged herself into it via a cable that attached to a port on her left forearm. After about 5 minutes, Lisa disconnected. "It's no good. This is just used to access the airpump system; it's not part of the base's internal network. seems that maintenance drones do checks on the equipment every 2 hours; if we wait, we can slip out the utility entrance. The last round was about an hour and a half ago."

"Very good, we'll just have to wait till then."

The utility entrance was likely big enough for humans to get through, because the base was built before automated drones took over such tasks. The maintenance drones entered and went about their buisiness, as the team silently slipped by into the corridor. The corridor ended into a room that looked like the garage where the drones were stored. They moved through an exit at the back of the room, into another corridor that split left and right, with "T" junctions visible on both branches.

"Damn! We are gonna get lost at this rate, since we don't got a clue where to go!", Harry said as he looked around. "All the halls look the same."

They decided to go to the left "T", then right from there; after another 20 feet, the corridor took a left turn, into a long hall that gently curved to the right. The signs on the wall were in German, but the onboard computers translated them to read "Barracks level G - Secton 1 to 10" All the way around the bend, almost to where they started, was a set of elevators and a stairwell. They took the stairs up one level and entered the door, moving into a large open circular room that sat on top of the circular barracks area donwstairs. There were four other exits besides the one they came in. The sign over the stairwell exit and accompanying elevators read "Core Structure: Levels A - G"; other signs read "Complex 1", "Complex 2", "Complex 3", and "Complex 4".

"Not again...!", Harry was muttering, as the team tried to make out what to do next. Lisa found another computer terminal embedded into the wall, and started working as Chris moved over to assist. "Hmm.... It's too quiet," Richard commented, "...much too quiet".

"I've got it!" Lisa announced; "A full map of the base. I'll transmit it to all of you." Soon, everyone had a map of the base displayed on the visual screen in their helmets. The base was built in several complexes, and they were in the main complex. Apart from the air vents, and the main entrance elevator that connected Level "A" to the surface, it was completely underground. Level "A" was a security checkpoint; Level "B" contained barracks and tunnels that held a mess hall and other personel facillities; Level "C" was a main command center; Level "D" had no description; level "E" looked like a system of labs and other facilities; Level "F"--which Team Thunder was presently on--was connected to the other complexes; and Level "G" was connected to an airshaft, holding maintenance barracks. All levels had a large cylidrical core. The complexes 1 to 4 were the actual missile complexes, connected to the main complex by long tunnels. Each missile complex had 4 silos, for a total of 16 silos...a massive complex indeed.

"Lisa, try to get into their main network. I want to know how many people are here; how many drones; how many missles are active--"

"I know, I know!" Lisa interrupted. "Full details on everything."

The team was silent for a full 20 minutes as Lisa worked at the terminal. The hum of machinery, and the smell and taste of metal pervaded the air. Then suddenly, Lisa yelled, "AH HELL!! This is BAD, VERY BAD!!" In one quick motion, she diconnected the cable between her and the terminal. The room was then bathed in red light as alarms went off all over the base. Richard reached for his automatic gauss rifle; "Damn, this is not my lucky day."

They could hear elevators coming down to their level. Everybody started sprinting to and through the door labeled "Complex 1". Just as the door closed behind them, several hovering disk-like objects emerged from the elevators. They emmitted several green flashes, and sparks began flying off of the now-closed door. There were several large metal container boxes strewn about the tunnel to Missile Complex 1, behind which the team took cover. When the door opened and the drones entered the tunnel, they were greeted with a hail of gauss rifle shots, and were taken down in a couple of seconds.

"Drones again, with mini pulse lasers," Richard observed. "Looks like a system of fans and propellers for hovering. There are likely more comming; lets move." As they moved towards Missile Complex 1, Richard asked Lisa what had happened. "I got in fine...", she said. "In the basic system, where I found the map, there was no security...but no important information either. So when I tried to get onto the network and get into the important information, I found a security lock. Nothing unusual, right? It took me a while to break it, but I did so without getting caught. But when I got in, something was strange. Some sort of sophisticated watchdog program found me, and then it tried to break into my onboard system. That's when I disconnected. But something was wrong; it didn't behave like a normal watchdog program. It felt like there was some intellligence behind it--a lot like the Nexus Intruder Program. I did extensive reaserch on the N.I.P., and this thing's behaviour was very similiar."

"So you are saying that it is impossible for us to shut this place down electronically?", Chris said. "Not impossible, just VERY risky, and highly unlikely."

"Well...." Richard was looking back to see if they were being followed. "We'll just have to move to plan 'B'"