The helicopter ride to the Underground station had gone without incident, depositing the mercenary team one mile away from its entrance. The distance was for security, since the entrance was heavily guarded by equally heavily armed soldiers. However, they were a mere warm-up for the highly skilled mercenaries that were fast approaching from afar.
A helicopter would pick up the surviving mercenaries if they completed the mission, otherwise they would be stranded in enemy territory until either the mission was completed and the prototype extracted, or the entire mercenary team was killed. Not the best deal, but the company would pay high dividends to the survivors if the mission went as planned.
Leading the five-member team was Phantom, an American who was so hated by his former bosses that they volunteered him to undergo experimental Refractive Armor procedures, quickly returning the favor, he stole said suit of armor and vanished from America.
His price had a great deal of zeroes but when the best assassin offers his services you would be a fool not to take the opportunity. Phantom had signed a contract of perpetuity which bound his services to Jackal, an organized crime syndicate operating in England. He would work for them until either Jackal was no more, or he was dead.
Following closely was Sparks, the medical expert and the practicing license to prove it. Of course, she also has the papers to prove she is a pilot, an attorney-at-law, and a California Highway Patrol officer named Jeff Bukawsky. Having friends in high and low places permitted her to join up with Jackal as a mercenary doctor and lawyer. That didn’t mean that they trusted her, which is why they sent her with Phantom and three others to extract a piece of equipment vital to Jackal’s plans for country-wide terror attacks.
Behind Sparks was a swaggering Nigerian combat engineer called Fletcher. Having grown in Nigeria had taught Fletcher two things, maybe three. Most important was, do not undervalue your services. By making himself seem indispensable to the Jackal recruiter he had met one day in a pub, Fletcher had successfully achieved his dream to fly away from his birth-country and work across the world as an explosives specialist. This mission was his way of proving to Jackal he was worth the exorbitant amount of money he demanded for his services.
Looking around and up to the sky-scrappers littering the sky was Kira, the satellite specialist of the team. Why a satellite specialist? Because the advanced prototype they were going to steal was a remote-controller for a satellite that was flying overhead at that very moment. Once activated, the satellite would shoot down a powerful laser composed of concentrated sun rays. Kira was there to make sure the satellite was in working condition and to test it on the enemy mercenary team. Having a PhD in Cold War frequency-agile aerospace telemetry helps though, so she was the one who would know what to do with the prototype, which made her the one Rhino would defend all the way.
And we reach Rhino, a native Londoner who quit his MBA halfway through researching “The Elasticity of Supply and Demand in the Modern Private Military Sector” after realizing that he could make more in a year as a heavy weapons mercenary than a lifetime as a Chief Financial Officer. The strongest member of the team by far, he also has the weapon to prove it. A cold and calculating mind, Rhino is a stark contrast to the usual image of minigun toting mercenaries, who are a bit dumb and don’t live too long. He is very strong and very, very smart.
Light banter filled the air as they reached the entrance to the Subway station where the train carrying the prototype would pass in ten minutes, which meant they had 5 minutes to subdue the soldiers standing guard before the entrance, 4 minutes to beat the entire enemy team and 1 minute to set up the C4 charges.
Phantom walked up to the corner facing the entrance. Turning to each mercenary he was in charge of caused Phantom to see the fear that each of his team members had deep within their eyes.
It seemed a motivational speech was needed. Sparks was next to Kira and gave her an encouraging nod, Rhino swallowed loudly as he hefted his minigun a little higher and Fletchers leather gloves cracked as he clenched his fists. They all perked up as Phantom cleared his throat and gave them encouragement.
“Some men fight for a higher cause, honor, justice, freedom. Some call these men warriors, heroes. We call them scrubs.” At that all four mercenaries blinked, shocked. Those were good things to fight for, right?
“We are not soldiers. We, all five of us, are hired guns, and there is only thing we care about.” Phantom paused for both dramatic effect and to sucker punch the lone soldier standing guard outside the entrance. Turning back to his teammates, he finished the speech. “Cold. Hard. Cash.”
Sparks, Rhino, Kira and Fletcher looked at each other, then at Phantom, then at the unconscious soldier on the ground. They were ready.
Party 2 should be on in 10 minutes or so.