The bases, theirs and ours, are always the same. Ours are always thrown up in the most defensible spot we can get within striking distance of their lines and facilities. Heavily manned, heavily defended and heavily patrolled. The transit accommodation is always shitty and I’m always in transit accommodation because I’m always visiting, never assigned. It’s been so long since I had somewhere I could call my own for more than a few weeks to go back to at night…
Their bases are always the same too. Same layout, same defences, same manning. Sometimes it feels like they’re all manned and defended by the same people. You’d think that after we’d taken down a few of these things the enemy would change the way they do things, even if word hadn’t gotten back to their commanders of how their bases fell. Taking these things out is what I do and, frankly, it’s gotten to the stage where it feels like something’s wrong with the whole setup.
I’ve said as much in debriefs and been told that I’m obviously in need of leave. They say that but the leave isn’t forthcoming. There’s always one more enemy base that needs my specialist skills.
Which is what got me sent to Harthalong. This base was different, it was bigger. Much bigger. The powers that be didn’t just send me, they sent Han, Murchison, Holmes, Ikawa and Ngana as well. Like I said, this place was bigger.
Naturally the intelligence briefing couldn’t tell us the half of what we wanted to know. To be fair, it wasn’t their fault, they’d thrown all the surveillance kit they had at this place and lost most of it. Their best shots of the interior behind the defensive wall came from an already shot down drone that had, by a fluke, retained camera and transmission until it hit the ground.
We were working out our plan of attack in a small, locked briefing room when we got a call from our base’s CO to come and see something. Something relevant.
It was an enemy commander, under a flag of truce. He smiled when we came into the hall where the meeting was being. “Good,” he said. “You have not underestimated the problem that lies before you. I recognise these as your warriors who have surpassed themselves in the training facilities we provided. Now you face the true enemy and I have brought information which will be useful.” He held out a data chip.