Beyond Measure Part 2 of 2

“Stay close,” Damian said and hefted his rifle. Eram made a signal that Marik did not understand and both men entered the building. Marik followed, stepping over a guard that was missing the better half of a head. Bile and breakfast threatened again but he clenched his teeth, ignoring both the sight and the nausea.

The building was lit by glow panels every few meters, casting the corridor into a dull yellow glow. Their footfalls were soft but a metallic shutter echoed with each step, a sound that Marik thought was loud enough to wake the whole city. They moved on, Damian keeping a glancing gaze on him as they did so. Through his comm, Marik heard the subdued voices of the other three troopers outside.

“Ghost One you are clear at entry, bodies removed.”

“No sign of alarm.”

“Moving in, four hundred meters to target,” said Eram, his voice almost inaudible to Marik’s ear, but soft and clear over the comm. Here they stopped, nearing the end of the corridor. Ahead of them were low cubicle walls as far as Marik could see. To avoid being spotted they would have to crouch low.

“Check for a signal,” Eram told him and tapped the computer on Marik’s wrist. He did so and found several, all likely links to the building. None of them would be the one they wanted however. A secure system would have a physical connection, not a wireless one. He was about to tell him so when the commando spoke again. “Let me know if any new ones show.”

Marik nodded and did as he asked, quickly telling the computer to alert him should a new wireless signal appear. His fingers shook as he padded the keys and he forced them to still themselves. Cold sweat beaded on his forehead. No one was here. They would just walk in, steal some data, and get out. Continue reading

Beyond Measure – Part 1 of 2

“Fifteen seconds,” the pilot said as the transport screamed its entry into Balmorra. Marik barely heard him, instead concentrating on keeping down his breakfast. He was an analyst, not a special forces commando like the rest of them and spewing his guts all over the co-pilot’s panel would only make that more apparent.

He was a stranger among this group of brothers and though they treated him well enough since he’d been assigned to this mission, he’d never be one of them. When he’d arrived at the launch pad, huge duffel bag in hand, they had laughed and tossed most of his things. The only things they hadn’t dumped in the trash were his large supply of computer spikes, some clothes, and toiletries. The pilot had sat him up with him, and told him about Go Bags and how to construct one.

“Don’t worry,” he’d said, “You’ll get used to it. I did.”

Balmorra went from gray to black as the cloud cover gave way to torrents of rain. In the distance, Marik saw the twinkle of distant lights. Cadence, he thought, quickly scanning his mental map. As a child, he’d called this place home, but now it was as much a stranger to him as the men he served with. He knew the names but they were simply words on a datapad. The meanings behind those letters had faded to nothing. Continue reading