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Central Europe

© 1999-2001 Imminent Storm of NEWST.

Chapter Eight: Thunder Rolls

Team Thunder hid in a maintenance tunnel that housed the various utilities running between the missile complex and the main complex. It was totally dark, but the "night vision" scopes on their helmets allowed them to see easily. Lisa asked the question that was on everyone's mind; "So, what's plan 'B'?"

"Get our asses outta here and blow the place to Hell", Jim answered.

"Easier said than done...", Richard said, as he brought up the base map in his helmet. "Harry, do we have enough explosives to destroy this place?"

Harry answered quickly. "No way in Hell. We never expected this place to be this large. When I saw the recon images, we thought that there was only one complex. What looked like silo doors were not that at all...we had no idea it was this big." Harry disconnected the armored pack attached to his back hardpoint, and opened it. After examining the contents, he said, "We have about enough to demolish this one missile complex, but no more."

"Then we need to find another way to destroy the base...any suggestions?" After about five more minutes, Sarah spoke up. "Detonate the missiles. Its the only way...."

"W-What do you mean 'detonate the missiles'?!?", Chris said in a rather nervous voice.

"Just that--have the warheads on the nukes go off while they are still in the ground. If they are standard blast power, then one or two should do the job. The problem would be getting far enough away before they go off."

"Not to mention actually programming the nukes to blow in the first place...." Lisa added. "It might be possible, but I'm not sure; it depends on how the warheads are connected to the system."

"What we need to do, then, is get to one of those nukes." Richard opened the access hatch they came in and looked out. "All clear for now; it seems the alarms have stopped as well. Stay alert."

It was a long walk to Complex 1. They hacked the lock on the door and entered. Just around the next corner were 3 more hover drones. The whole team dove for cover back behind the corner, but Jim stayed there and emptied his gauss rifle magazine, spraying the hall with rail darts. Soon, the drones were nothing but unrecognizable pieces of mangled metal on the floor. Richard surveyed the wreckage and the hall, filled with bullet holes. "Jim, you are crazy; but good job anyway."

They entered the silo marked on their maps as "ALPHA". The ICBM filled most of the area, and they could see actual people working on the rocket. They made their way to a room with computer terminals and workstations. It was occupied by a lone worker who was easliy taken care of by a pulse from the short range pulse laser on Richard's right forearm. Lisa did not connect herself to the terminals this time, but tried to work the terminal manually.

She was working, then looked up quickly, "Hey, I should have thought of this earlier. This is not a pre-Collapse system they are using. This is pre-Collapse technology, but the software has been completely reconfigured to a new system. This was most likely done to integrate newer and different technologies--like the sensors and drones--into the system with little conflicts. I can use this!"

"What's up, you got something?", Richard said as he guarded the door.

"Yeah. It appears that they centralized and reconfigured the system to make it easier to manage the newer technologies they were using. That would make it easier for us to access the nuke control systems. I brought with me the base software for the N.I.P., along with a copy of most of my personal reaserch database. I should be able to use a reconfigued version of the N.I.P. to quietly invade the system and activate the nukes. I am sure that the watch-dog program I ran into earlier won't see it, because the N.I.P is designed to be undetecable."

"Do it," was all Richard said.

"I think it best that we find a way out of here first. I can infect the system from the sensors ouside as easy as from here, and we will have a head start to get away from the blast," Lisa added. Richard waved his hand and everyone started moving.

After a few more encounters with hover drones, the team (using the base's map) worked their way to another air vent shaft near the surface. Resistance had been surpisingly light, except when they tried to get back to the central complex; they were completely blocked off from there. When they reached the surface, things changed. At about 30 meters from one of the sensors, a shell impacted about 10 feet away from the group. Richard ordered Lisa, Chris, and Sarah to get to the sensor while they engaged their visitors. There were two drone cyborgs comming towards them, both mounting what looked like 40- to 50- mm cannons. Richard, Jim, and Harry opened fire with their gauss rifles on the lead 'borg. It managed to get another shot off before it shut down from damage, but missed. The second 'borg also had an aiming problem, and fell just as easily. "Must be calibrated to target larger objects," Chris said as they worked on the sensor.

Then, one of the small red-bodied units started in their direction. It was about the size of a Viper, but seemed to have the same armor plating of the Wyvern and Dragon. The hand-held gauss rifles were doing little damage, if any. Jim turned to Harry. "Give me some of those explosives."

"What!? Well, ok.... Push the small red button on top for a 10 second fuse. Be careful!"

Jim took two of the small 2" x 2" explosives, and started running a zigg-zagg pattern to the enemy unit. It started firing what looked like a rotary laser weapon that none of them had seen before. Amazingly, Jim made it to the unit, and then it tried to run him over. The rest of the team watched as he jumped up onto the tank, stuck the bombs to the turret and body then took off running again. 10 seconds later, the unit was engulfed in fire as the bombs went off, blowing the turret clean off and detonating the fuel inside for mutiple blasts that tore it apart. Jim rejoined them and said, "not bad, eh?" All the others could do was shake their heads.

Ten minutes later Lisa emerged from the access hatch on the sensor tower. "Mission accomplished; let's get the hell outta here!" Richard and the whole team headed for the forest treeline. "How far away do we have to be, and how much time do we have?"

Sarah replied, "About 10 miles to be safe, and we programmed it to go off 8 hours from now."

"Eight hours huh? This had better work...." Lisa responded this time. "Don't worry, it'll work...."

As predicted, eight hours later the ground shook violently as 4 of the nukes detonated, completely obliterating the missle base. The nuke threat was gone...for now, at least.