The Six (part II)

January 18, 2009

Read Part 1

The team gathered in the hangar bay in front of a modified black-hawk helicopter. Bits of tubing extruded and wound through various bits of the helicopter and it looked just a little larger then normal. Tesla stood nearby, going through a folder of information and occasionally glancing up to make sure preparations were going along smoothly.

A soldier approached with a locked case and opened it up with a thumb print, and a key. Inside waited an array of weapons. First, he handed Jackson a belt with ammo and two heavy Colt revolvers. Jackson strapped on the belt.

“I still don’t see why you feel the need to keep these locked up all the time,” said Jackson. “Wouldn’t it save time to just let me carry them?”

“No. Because I’d have to replace even more members of the team,” said Tesla. He snapped the folder shut. “Not a lot of information to go off of. Three grown men ripped completely to shreds. No photos. No tracks. A squad was sent in to investigate and went dark on us.”

“And you’re sure there aren’t still Indian problems?” said Hugh, shouldering the offered rifle and clipping the ammo pouch to his belt. Hugh still wore leather clothes, despite attempts to convince him into something more modern and scars from his famous bear mauling were apparent on his head. The heavy hunting knife stayed on his belt, rather then in lock-down.

“Yes, I’m sure,” said Tesla. “And try to remember that. I’d prefer we avoid any major incidents.”

“Perhaps then, you should have chosen a more discreet team?” said Tomoe. She stood to one side, not accepting any weapons, her blades already on her person.

“She has a point,” said Dionysus. “Aren’t we more of a results group then a stealth group?”

“Speak for yourselves,” said Tacey, leaning toward the weapons locker.

Tesla stepped between Tacey and the weapons. “I believe you are already sufficiently armed,” said Tesla.

“Hey, what do you mean? You made me give up all my weapons when I decided to join up with this lot,” Tacey said, pouting and crossing her arms over her chest.

“And since then two standard issue side-arms have been reported missing. One regulation boot knife. An experimental electricity gun. And several vials of acid,” said Tesla. “I think you’ll be just fine.”

“Can’t blame a girl for tryin’,” said Tacey, expression already dancing back to a playful smile.

“Do I at least get something?” said Dionysus.

Tesla frowned, looking at Dionysus, then down at the weapons. After a moment he looked back up to Dionysus. “Are you sure you need a weapon? Can’t you just use your powers or something?”

“Yes, well, I suppose as long as the monster has a low alcohol tolerance I’ll be just fine. It’s not like I was known for throwing lightning bolts or something!” said Dionysus, glaring at Tesla.

Tacey snickered softly in the background. Jackson tapped his foot, already getting impatient with things.

“Well. Fine. Give him one of my modified stun batons. He should be able to handle that without the risk of shooting anyone,” said Tesla.

“Oh sure, they guy who is well known for shooting people gets guns, but the guy who has been alive longer then the lot of you is too irresponsible for one,” said Dionysus, snatching the collapsable baton.

“Precisely,” said Tesla. “The pilot will drop you at the last known co-ordinates of the other team. Mr. Glass should be able to get you moving in the right direction from there.”

Hugh gave a nod and climbed into the helicopter. Tomoe followed him in, with Tacey and Jackson close behind. Dionysus took an extra moment to flip off Tesla, then climbed into helicopter as well.

As the helicopter started up, Tesla leaned in and shouted over the noise. “I’ll activate your communication chips once you arrive and monitor things from here. Good luck!”

With that, Tesla backed away and the helicopter slowly pulled up. High above, two metal plates slid aside and slightly further up then that, two panels folded back. The helicopter pulled out of the base, which from above ground looked like a fenced off, dilapidated runway with a few buildings and a lot of “trespassers will be shot” signs. It was surrounded by desert.

As they pulled away from the base, the pilot flipped a few switches and a soft background whine filled the cabin as Tesla’s modifications came to life, canceling out the noise of the engine and propellers.

“Gentleman and Ladies, I just want to take a moment before we arrive to lay out how this should go. Once we arrive, Mr. Glass will be in charge of tracking the creature and hopefully giving us some insight into what we are up against. Then, he and I will find the beast and take care of it. We’ll be done before you know it,” said Jackson.

“I believe it may be in our best interest to actually try working as a complete team,” said Tomoe.

Jackson snorted. “I fail to see why we would need more then two solid sets of guns to handle one creature.”

“It sounds like this one creature took down an entire team of guns, which means that it is far from ordinary. It will likely take more then brute force to defeat it,” said Tomoe.

“Hmph. Perhaps. You do seem capable enough, for a woman. We’ll keep together at least while we figure out what exactly we’re up against.

“I believe that to be a wise choice,” said Tomoe, bowing her head slightly to Jackson.

Tacey smirked to herself, behind a hand, than lazily stretched out. “Haven’t heard about many proper monsters here in America. Maybe it’s that hairy bloke. Bigfoot?”

“Bigfoot isn’t really well known for ripping people to shreds,” said Dionysus. “Mostly just for teasing people with the possibility of his existence before vanishing again.”

“How would you know if he rips people to shreds?” said Tacey, “Not like shreds generally have much to say.”

“We shared a drink once,” said Dionysus. “He’s actually a bit of a trickster. Likes to keep just enough of a profile to keep people guessing. Really, quite the clever beast.”

Tacey laughed, “You’re pulling my leg, right?”

“Not at all,” said Dionysus. “Haven’t you run into anyone unusual in all your time running around stealing artifacts?”

“Mmm… suppose I have,” said Tacey, getting a far-away look and a tiny smile.

Dionysus raised an eyebrow, leaning forward a bit. “Oh really?”

“Yes. And that’s all you get to know,” said Tacey and leaned back in her seat.

“Oh come on, you tease!” said Dionysus.

Jackson began pointedly cleaning his dueling pistol. “Save the bickering for your own time.”

Dionysus started to open his mouth to say something, then thought better of it and sank back into his seat, producing a flask from somewhere in his rumpled suit and taking a long swig. Hugh reached over and snatched, taking a pull himself before handing it back and giving Dionysus a hearty pat on the shoulder.

“We really need to get you carrying some proper drink,” said Hugh.

“Actually, this is a very nice, well aged wine,” said Dionysus.

“Couldn’t have pointed out the problems better myself,” said Hugh.

Dionysus harumphed and continued nursing his bottle. Hugh just grinned and settled in for the ride.

Read Part III



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