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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ADVENTURE
As Parliament decides to resume the hunt for River Tam and the crew of Serenity, a mysterious stranger seems intent on thwarting their plans. In a time of perilous unrest, Good and Evil will clash – and the fate of humankind will hang in the balance.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 916 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Title: TOC: Operation Perseus
Overall Genre: Action/Adventure; Suspense
Overall Rating: M for reasonable probability of adult themes and definite occurrence of violence.
Overall Pairings: Mal/Inara, Simon/Kaylee, Zoë/Wash’s Memory, possible Jayne/River.
Overall Location on Firefly Universe Timeline: Approximately four months post-BDM.
Overall Spoilers: Reasonable probability of eventual series spoilers (details currently unavailable) and definite occurrence of BDM spoilers.
Summary: As Parliament decides to resume the hunt for River Tam and the crew of Serenity, a mysterious stranger seems intent on thwarting their plans. In a time of perilous unrest, Good and Evil will clash – and the fate of humankind will hang in the balance.
Disclaimer: The people, places, and plentiful paraphernalia you know and love/hate are the property of their respective owners, namely Joss Whedon, his associates, and any groups which control or are controlled by said individuals. No profit is made by the author of this work of fiction from the creation or distribution of said work, nor is any infringement intended. Plagiarism is considered a serious criminal offense, and punishable by law. Please ask before redistributing this work.
Length without header: 5 page(s) at 12-point Times New Roman font; 1,863 words; 11,703 characters including spaces.
Feedback: Some authors don’t care about feedback. I am not one of those authors. Giving feedback tells me that you took the time to read it and cared enough to comment on it. Receiving feedback is a wonderful thing, and every author should experience it.
Notes: The new main character is an original creation of mine, although many of the concepts embodied are not in themselves original. There will be a number of subtle (and not-so-subtle) jokes and references in this story, and not everyone will understand them all; if you have a question, let me know and I’ll do my best to answer it. There is a possibility that future chapters will reference media content located on my website; if they do, directions on the nature and location of the content will be located in this section.
Chapter 1: New Year’s Resolutions
Milky Way galaxy; system Tau-Helion-Xray-1138; planet Osiris; outskirts of Capital City; Venus Prime Corporation storage facility 04-017 – January 1st; 2519; 03:14:33.2295 hours (Londinum New Greenwich Mean Time plus 2 hours)
Somewhere in the industrial sector, far removed from the elegant steel-and-glass high-rise towers of the main city, an unmarked shuttle set down on the rooftop landing pad of a nondescript gray warehouse.
The shuttle hatch opened, and a lean, muscular man in a courier’s uniform exited out into the chilly predawn air. Closing the hatch behind him, the man walked quickly towards the access stairwell door and reached for the keypad with a gloved hand. Upon entering a code, the door opened with a loud click, and the man stepped inside.
Descending several flights of stairs, the man removed a keycard from his right jacket pocket and waved it in front of the sensor by a door marked ‘Maintenance Personnel Only’, from which the dull sounds of machinery could be heard emanating. The door unlocked with a soft ping and he pulled it open, the red light from within briefly illuminating his imposingly chiseled features before the door swung closed behind him and locked again.
The hall beyond was long and straight, with security cameras placed at each end to watch the opposing doors. Mounted in the high ceiling were speakers which broadcast various ambient mechanical and electrical noises, a sophisticated detection grid for picking up concealed recording or tracking devices, and several retracted laser turrets. The man made his way to the featureless metal door at the other end, replacing the keycard in his pocket and removing his right glove. Pressing his palm to a wall-mounted scanner, the door slid open silently and the man entered a darkened room.
As the door sealed itself behind him, the lights gradually flickered to life. The room was rather plain at first glance, its simple layout concealing elaborate security measures which fortified it against all known forms of surveillance. Racks of weapons and equipment covered the right-hand wall, while a large computer terminal occupied the left. The man crossed to the terminal and tapped the center of the main touch-panel.
“Please provide voice confirmation.”, a soft female voice asked.
“Mary was a little girl, whose life was not her own, for everywhere that Mary went, she never was alone.”, the man stated in a rumbling bass.
“Voice confirmation accepted.”, the female voice replied. “Welcome, Parliament Operative Delta-One.”
Delta-One ignored the computer’s formality and tapped a sequence of commands into the terminal, remotely accessing a secure server and pulling up a large directory of files. He tapped the first file, and a synthesized voice began to dictate a pre-recorded audio message, while data in a number of different formats filled the screen.
“Parliament Operative Delta-One, approximately four months ago, the crew of the Firefly-class transport ship Serenity willingly participated in treasonous activities against the Alliance. These activities included aiding and abetting known fugitives River and Simon Tam, resisting and fleeing the previous Parliament Operative Delta-One, breaking safety quarantine on the planet Miranda, destruction of Alliance property, endangerment of Alliance personnel, and circulation of subversive propaganda. Despite a report by the previous Parliament Operative Delta-One that River and Simon Tam were no longer a threat, it has been decided that River Tam is still a viable candidate for certain projects. Your primary objective is to locate and retrieve River Tam, alive and intact, for immediate reprocessing. Your secondary objective is to locate and retrieve Simon Tam and the crew of Serenity if possible for eventual sentencing by criminal trial. If retrieval is deemed impossible or impractical, termination is authorized, with a necessary force limit of category two. The heavy cruiser IAV Fearless has been reassigned to assist you in your mission, and is waiting at the rendezvous coordinates provided. Included with this briefing are all files relating to River and Simon Tam, the crew of Serenity, and the transport ship itself. As always, should you be compromised, captured, or killed, Parliament and the Alliance will disavow any knowledge of you and your actions. This concludes your mission briefing.”
Delta-One closed the file and tapped in another sequence, bouncing back a reply.
Mission briefing received and understood. Will rendezvous with IAV Fearless in two-and-a-half hours.
Reply sent, Delta-One placed a blank data node into a port on the terminal, and began downloading a copy of the file directory for review on route to the Fearless.
Turning to the opposite wall, Delta-One slipped out of his disguise and selected a standard suit of formfitting black full-body armor. Donning the one-piece garment and fastening the hidden seals, he checked his range of motion and found it to be satisfactory. The armor was flexible and lightweight enough not to interfere with close-quarters combat, yet tough enough to stop a direct hit at point-blank range from a Callahan Arms M-44 assault rifle.
In all likelihood though, it would not be necessary. Unlike the previous Operative – whom he had worked with on several occasions – Delta-One disliked the notion of obtaining results through politely menacing conversation. Instead, he opted to terrorize from a distance, slowly working targets into a frenzy, until they ended up running headlong into a carefully-constructed trap.
Slipping his courier uniform back on over the body armor, Delta-One removed a long case from one of the racks, opening it to inspect the item which had been delivered to the safe house a few hours earlier.
Inside was Delta-One’s preferred weapon – a 54-R sniper rifle equipped with a high-precision scope, chambered for 7.62x51 millimeter armor-piercing rounds. At slightly over a meter in length, he could pick the bars off a captain’s epaulettes from 500 meters away.
Satisfied that everything was in order, Delta-One replaced the rifle in its case and turned back to the computer terminal, where the file directory had just finished copying to the data node. Encrypting it with a high-security rotating algorithm, he removed the node from the port, placed it in his left jacket pocket, and set the terminal back on standby.
Picking up his weapon case, Delta-One exited the safe house and headed for the roof.
Unlike the majority of Alliance citizens on Osiris – who were either beginning, engaged in, or winding down from New Years’ revelry – Delta-One cared little for the current state of planetary festivity.
But, like Mary in his perversion of the classic children’s rhyme, Delta-One was not alone.
41.62 kilometers northeast of the warehouse lies the border of Redstone Forest, a 264.35-square kilometer tract of greenery popular with core-bred citizens of the outdoor persuasion. 5.34 kilometers further into the forest is Arklay Mountain, an impressive backdrop against the night sky that reaches a maximum height of 532.69 meters above sea level.
On an isolated bluff 29.37 meters from the summit, a solitary figure clad entirely in black lay prone between two rocky outcroppings. Wearing boots, jeans, a turtleneck sweater, and a long trenchcoat, the figure held in gloved hands a sophisticated-looking five-foot-long sniper rifle, and peered from behind a face-obscuring helmet into the scope.
Finishing a visual sweep of the building and surrounding area, the figure reached up to the controls, cycling from density-penetrating t-wave through standard magnification and back to night vision, then adjusted the zoom, bringing the access stairwell door back into crisp detail. Still watching through the scope, the figure contemplated once again the utter predictability of the situation.
Despite the report filed by the previous Operative, members of Parliament had decided to send yet another one after River Tam, and by extension, her brother Simon and the crew of Serenity. Given the nature of the project Parliament intended her for – had intended her for all along – their determination was understandable, and to their credit, they were making a rather tenacious attempt by most people’s standards.
However, most people did not have the resources to stand against the full might of the Alliance, and the achievement of this particular goal by Parliament simply could not be allowed. Thus, the figure maintained a silent watch over the warehouse, waiting for the target.
Roughly fifty-three seconds later, the wait was over. Delta-One emerged from the access stairwell and onto the rooftop, unaware that also like Mary, his life was no longer his own.
Knowing that even on the weapon’s lowest setting the Operative’s full-body armor would offer no protection, the figure zeroed in on the target and pulled the trigger.
Almost forty-seven kilometers away, Delta-One was dead before the rifle case could fall from his grasp. Adjusting the zoom control slightly, the figure noted with clinical detachment the success of the headshot, then stood up. Brushing off the grit which had collected from lying in the same spot for over three hours, the figure took a moment to review the implications of the action just taken.
In the grand scheme of the mission, terminating the Operative at this early juncture had not really been necessary. It could have been delayed for quite a while, and in truth, about six hours from now Parliament would simply give the job to the next in line. Furthermore, while it was certainly fun to play lethal whack-a-mole with the Alliance’s professional assassins, it was far more advantageous to do so when those who required protection were in plain sight and not four worlds away.
But there was a greater purpose in the Operative’s death: it would rattle Parliament.
Despite all security precautions, a special agent trained to be supremely cunning, lethal, and resilient had been killed – and less than half an hour after receiving an extremely high-priority assignment. Parliament would make the connection, and the possibility of a traitor in their highest echelons of power would send them on a witch-hunt, leaving them paranoid and vulnerable.
Meanwhile, the data node in the Operative’s left jacket pocket was the next priority. Very little scared governments more than having their dirty secrets exposed, and it was easier to show Parliament an object over a communications channel than to convince them of the truth – that their ‘secure’ server had already been accessed and copies of the files obtained.
The figure smiled faintly behind the helmet. There was still a long way to go before the operation was complete, but when it was, the universe would be a safer place.
Two hours later, when Delta-One did not make the rendezvous with the IAV Fearless, a team was dispatched to investigate his last known whereabouts.
Half an hour after the team was dispatched, the corpse of Delta-One was discovered near his shuttle on the warehouse rooftop, rifle case lying as it had fallen. The data node was nowhere to be found.
Two hours after the discovery of Delta-One’s fate, an encrypted report was transmitted to Parliament, detailing the preliminary findings of the team.
An hour and a half after the report was transmitted, another Parliament Operative was designated Delta-One and given a similar mission briefing; identical except for a footnote regarding the circumstances of the late Delta-One’s demise.
Sunday, March 04, 2007 3:11 PM
Sunday, March 04, 2007 3:34 PM
Sunday, March 04, 2007 6:07 PM
Sunday, March 04, 2007 7:07 PM
Monday, March 05, 2007 4:28 PM
Tuesday, March 06, 2007 5:22 PM
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