True to what she said, recruits came from everywhere. Resistance groups who had stayed quiet were now aching to join up. Average citizens were searching out their operatives and getting involved. Riots, bombings of military outposts and facilities had sprung up all over the country. The face of Wolf was now on every street corner. Promises of $100 million were made to anyone who brought her in. But not even the common criminals would dare to try and get that reward. They knew that if they did, they wouldn’t live long enough to collect their pay. All across the country, the occupational military was scared shit-less. They knew that it was only a matter of time before all order in the country collapsed. When that happened, everyone knew – it would be like when the war was happening. Only worse, because now the entire country was getting involved. Nobody was sitting on the sidelines now.
Back at Wolf’s base, she had her lieutenants bring their entire squads. They were doing their first major strike. All of the players were gathered in the conference room.
Wolf turned on the display table, bringing up a layout of the underground base that the military housed the Specials in.
“Alright everyone, we are moving fast, before the Empire has time to regroup. The streets are in chaos, so we have to strike while the iron is hot. We’ve got thousands upon thousands of recruits coming in. But there is one outstanding issue.”
Deadshot looked up. “Actually, more than that, ma’am.” Everyone looked over at him. “We also are getting back-channel commitment from another group as well. In the far north, there are the native villages. More like towns now, they are one of the few places that the Empire doesn’t go. We had a hand’s-off approach to them before, but after the war, the villages became known for having LOTS of soldiers end up dead. I trained with them. They didn’t have all the fancy tech that we use in our rifles. Their weapons were old as dirt. But the natives could shoot a penny flipped into the air at their place. They have skill that we can’t even imagine.”
“He’s right,” Deathstroke concurred. “I trained up there as well. The natives are tough as nails.”
“Exactly! And they are looking to join up! The Elders of the various villages got in touch with my people, let us know that they can bring their best shooters to aid the cause. They said it would be around 1,000.”
Beneath her mask, Wolf smiled. A thousand sharp-shooters. Excellent! “That’s great news. We’ll make sure that their talents aren’t wasted. However, there is another thing that we need.” She pointed at the image being displayed. “This is the underground base that our infiltrator was able to get data on. It’s where the military conducts secret projects, weapons development and the housing of the Specials.” There was a gasp around the room. People were getting nervous. “They also house prisoners here. That’s what we’re going to get.” The image changed. It showed a man who was in his early 40’s. He had a stern face, with lots of scars. “This man is former General Martin Quidel. He was the leader of one of the most successful campaigns by the Canadian military. They have been housing him here, in a maximum-security block. We are going to free him. Tonight!”
The room was buzzing. Deathstroke smiled. A worthy commander indeed!
Ghost sat forward. “Boss, with all due respect, why do we need another commander? I mean, you’re kicking ass and taking names! This guy’s good, but is he worth infiltrating the house of the Specials to get him?”
There was the sound of agreement from around the room.
Wolf sat back down, bringing the image of the underground facility back up. “This isn’t going to be a mission where we stand and fight. The goal of this operation is to strike fast, hard and get the man out. And we need him because his skills in battle are undeniable. Our numbers are growing too fast to have just one commander. We need more. Deathstroke is a capable leader, but he is also my right-hand when it comes to work in battle. I need a man who can act on his own and get the job done. Other commanders from the various resistance groups will be chosen as well, depending on their skill. However, I want someone who can both rally the Canadian recruits, along with lead some of our forces into the fray. Understand?”
The group was nodding. It made sense.
“As for this being the Special’s house, I am not expecting any trouble from them. Currently all of them are being deployed in various places, either fighting uprisings or putting out fires before they become infernos. We will be going in fast and hard. Ghost and his team will be getting the General out, while we hold off their forces. The mission plan is simple – get in, get the General, get out and leave them a package or two to remember us by. Understood?”
That got everyone’s combat-wood back.
“Alright then, we move out in two hours!”
Right as she said that, a vehicle pulled into the hangar. It was the command vehicle that Luthor had give them. The thing looked like a combination of a trailer and a tank. Like a giant RV, but with some armor. What’s more, it was flying the Empire’s colors. Wolf smiled. Able to hide in plain sight! Luthor outdid himself on this one. Riddler got out, walking over.
“It’s everything he said it would be and more! Two levels, a whole bunch of armaments that are perfectly concealed, and the second section is able to fit our entire staff, and then some!”
The group gathered around, marveling at it. Gabby was among them. She ran inside, seeing the console stations. This thing truly was a command vehicle. Just then, she saw something. It was a locked container with something on it. NANO Suit, Model 1. As she approached, it scanned her. Wolf came in behind her, seeing the container open.
“Identity confirmed, Gabrielle Rousseau.” It opened, showing the contents inside.
It was nothing short of awe-inspiring. The suit looked massive! The skin looked durable, like a tight weave. However, as she looked at it, Wolf could see otherwise. This suit was no ordinary armor suit.
“It seems that it was made for you, Gabby. Try it on.” She pointed to a container inside. “Head to one of the bathrooms and change into what is in that case. It’s a specialized skin, made for using this suit.”
The girl seemed confused, but went to do as bidden.
When she came out of the bathroom, Wolf and her lieutenants were a little stunned. Calling it a “skin” was an apt description. It was form-fitting in the extreme. Gabby appeared a little uncomfortable.
“How does it feel?” Wolf asked.
The girl looked sheepish as she thought of Quinn’s eyes on her. Then, her discomfort came back. “It’s a little tight on the chest.”
Wolf nodded. “I will have to have a word with the technician about that. She is coming here in three days.”
The others looked confused.
“In any case, let’s see what this Suit can do for you.” She pointed to the NANO Suit, with its silver skin. As she approached, something happened. The front of the suit seemed to open! It looked so cumbersome as it did. The front opened, along with the arms and legs.
“Step in. There should be a space to lock your front and head into as well.”
Gabby nodded. As she stuck her leg in, she shivered. “Little cold!”
The others laughed at that. She finally got it all the way in, sliding in the other as well. The moment her feet were in the space, there were mechanisms that seemed to clamp down. It was tight, but comfortable. Same with the legs. She slid her arms in as well. There were slots for each of her fingers. It felt so weird as the mechanisms closed down around each of them. She rested her body and head into the front of the mechanism, then something happened. It was changing! The bulky and cumbersome looking armor was forming up around her! Wolf nodded, approvingly. So, its name isn’t just a clever initial. Nano-particles are infused into the suit itself, making it able to shrink down and become stronger.
When the suit was done, Gabby stood up. While feminine, it was in no way tasteless. The armor was silver and black, with a faceplate that glowed red. The feet sculpted around her foot, but the base became like the base of a military boot. The fingers were a little thicker, indicative of a weapon’s matrix. That’s when the best part about the suit came online. On the back, there was a device that was starting to glow. Inside, the suit had a Head’s-Up Display, showing her information about the suit. A Virtual Interface started talking to her.
“Beginning activation sequence of the Mugen Drive.” Lights came on all over the suit. Under the mask, Wolf’s eyes went wide. Of course! That’s it! The secret to making an engine out of the Nova Particles is to shrink it down! The weakness of that airship wasn’t the fuel, it was the size of the reactor. This thing could take massive amounts of punishment and still work! The woman who built this really is amazing!
In that moment, Gabby felt it. She felt like she was invincible! She saw a display of the suit’s various weapons systems’. She looked over at Wolf.
“Ma’am, please let me try this out tonight! I promise, you won’t regret it!”
The others looked to her. She just nodded. “You got it! Though I think we shall need to give you a code-name, won’t we?” She thought to DC comics. As she looked at the suit, and some of the attachments on it, it hit her. “Alright, Firefly. You’ve got a deal!”
While a bit confused, Gabby couldn’t wait to show her what this machine could do! This Suit, it was unlike anything she had ever seen before.
Not far from the base, a series of black-suited figures was getting closer. They had glowing green eyes. They moved like cats, seeming to vanish into the shadows.
“Alright, from the intel we’ve gathered, Winter’s Shadow will be hitting here tonight!” She looked to the others, who just nodded. There were ten of them. “We’ll wait for them to get started before moving in. If we are going to get Wolf’s attention, we’ve gotta think big! You all with me?!”
“Hell yeah!” one responded in their native Portuguese.
“Let’s show them what we’re made of!” The vanished into thin air, heading into the base. It was like they had never been there at all.
The command vehicle came to a stop just outside detection range. Inside, the table was covered in weapons, bullets, grenades and armor. This vehicles also had armor for regular soldiers. It was in the same vein as Deathstroke’s, but not as heavy. His armor needed a special kind of soldier to wield. Wolf came out, in a Suit of her own. It was not like Firefly’s. It was thinner, with what looked like the same kind of cape that she had worn at the ceremony. But something was off about it. It was shimmering in the dim light. The faceplate of the armor was decorated with the same design that her mask had. Deathstroke nodded approvingly. Firefly came up as well, also nodding.
Wolf stepped forward as the group got their weapon’s ready.
“Alright, everyone, you have your orders. The mission begins with Firefly makes the first hit, understood?”
“Yes ma’am!” They all got out. The second section opened with the other members of the team getting out as well. Deadshot and his people went towards a transmission tower in the distance. Ghost and his vanished into thin air, with footprints heading toward the base. The wind was blowing, so the footprints didn’t last for more than a few seconds. Deathstroke and the rest followed Wolf. They hid at the base of a ridge, right beside the base. Now, it’s time to see what Firefly can do!
As she stood there, looking at her target, the machine was already analyzing the base. She couldn’t help but be in awe. This is the war-machine of the future! The readout was clear. She could take any route she wanted with this armor. So, stealth or guns blazing? A dark smile came to her face. As if I need to ask! The armor came to life and she took off! The machine had booster engines in the legs. It was amazing! By using the lower boosters, she could glide over the ground as if she were on skates. The base personnel looked up, only to see the higher leg boosters jet her up. It was only for a second. In a flash, she selected which weapon she wanted to use. It was a sound-weapon, based in the arms.
Like a bolt of lightning, Firefly’s armor came crashing to the ground. The sonic waves worked perfectly. It blasted out everywhere. Vehicles close by burst into flame. Windows and the closest walls were utterly destroyed. The ground beneath her was ripped open. She had had the desired effect. They didn’t have to use the elevator to go down. The way to the underground was wide open! Troops came running out, guns blazing. She switched modes. In a flash, the suit was changing. The skin was become scaled. Large scales covered everything. Armor mode! She fell back as sniper fire was taking out soldiers left and right. They looked around in terror. That was when Wolf made her move. Like a ghost, Deathstroke came out of the smoke. He drew his blade, slashing a female soldier in half. In a snap, he drew his pistol, taking out three more nearby, each with one shot to the head. He vanished into the smoke. The utter destruction was working to Wolf’s advantage. It was chaos everywhere. Fire, smoke and charred remains were all over the place. Through the madness, she made her way exactly where she needed to go. Firefly came up beside her. Its arm changed in front of them. It opened up to reveal two cannons, each with guns inside. She let loose, taking out enemies.
“Make your way in, ma’am! I’ll hold them here!”
Wolf nodded at her. “Alright, but don’t take any chances! The moment that your machine says that the energy is low, you fall back! Understand?!”
Gabby saluted. “Yes ma’am!”
“Alright. Fight well!” They used grapple guns to lower themselves inside.
The Colonel was awakened by the first explosions. He got up fast, running to door.
“What the hell’s going on?!” he shouted. Several of his aides were running over.
“Sir, we’re under attack!” The sound of more explosions, more gunfire.
“What?! Who’s attacking?!”
“It’s Winter’s Shadow, sir! We confirmed that the Wolf is here!”
That got his attention. “She’s made a big mistake! Are any of the Specials here?!”
One of the aides shook his head. “Negative, sir! They’re all deployed right now, trying to help bring the riots and insurgents under control!”
The man nodded, keeping his cool. “Well, it doesn’t matter! How many of the Zero Suits are workable?”
The aides looked stunned. “Sir, we haven’t gotten clearance to use them for actual combat!”
He snarled at them, “well then, I guess that this will be a first. Mobilize them, dammit! If we don’t, then Wolf will kill us all! I want that bitch’s head on my desk!”
The inside of the base was well-fortified. Wolf’s efforts started strong, but they were getting slowed down in here. The enemy was vast and they had defensible positions. They were blocked on all routes that she could see leading them to the prisoner block. Deathstroke was in his element, but he could see the situation as well as she could. They lost ten people already, and for every enemy they killed, three more took their place.
“Ma’am, this isn’t good! We need to fall back!”
She pounded the wall with her fist. “Dammit! We were so fucking close!” Just then, the power went out.
Deathstroke stood up. “All units, switch to night-vision!” They nodded, switching over. What they saw was…strange. A series of glowing eyes, moving fast. They cut down the enemies blocking their path.
“Hey Wolf, your path is clear!” This voice was odd. Giddy and violent.
Standing up, she nodded. “Alright, all units, head to the prison block! Remember, we’re only here for the General!”
Deathstroke took them in, cutting down several soldiers in his path. His blade was glittering under his night-vision. Two blades, each able to carve through flesh like butter. He was loving this. They got to the prison block, which still had power. Suddenly, other glowing eyes appeared. It was a blue glow. Ghost! Nice work! His people made short work of the other guards, opening the door.
“Sorry we’re late. Had to find another way in. Glad to see that you’re still standing. That gunfight looked brutal!”
He nodded. “It was, but we’re all in one piece. New allies.” He could almost feel Ghost skepticism. “We’ll talk to Wolf later. Now, where is the General?”
The man’s cell was already open. A guard who went in to execute him was on the floor, with his neck broken. The man’s tan skin was indeed covered in scars, yet his smile was warm all the same.
“So, it was me that you were looking for. I’ve heard of you. Winter’s Shadow.” He held out his hand.
Deathstroke shook it, motioned toward the door. “Sorry, General, but there’s no time for pleasantries. Wolf is waiting, and we need to move fast. The enemy will be regrouping soon!”
The man nodded. “Indeed. How many did you come with?”
“About 80! It’s all we could muster. Our force is growing, but we don’t have enough battle-ready soldiers! Wolf plays it close to the chest!”
The man nodded as they ran down the hall. Very wise, this Wolf. “Alright then, we need to move! They have over 1,000 men here, along with other weapons that they were testing on!”
Right as he said it, the wall in front of him crumbled. Standing there, with glowing yellow eyes, was a suit of armor much like Firefly’s. It was a lot more bulky, with the weapons being clearly visible, but it was there. The suit had a shoulder cannon that let fly. One of their people are ripped to pieces. The rest took shelter on either side of the wall. The ammo was eating right through it.
The General looked over. “How the hell are we supposed to fight that thing?!”
Deathstroke chanced a glance over. Very quickly, he sized the weapon up. These things were marvels of engineering, but like any suit of armor that accompanied the human body, they had certain weaknesses. In a flash, he was out there.
“What are you DOING?!” The General shouted.
He didn’t answer. As low as he could get to the ground, he moved fast. His blade was out. The shoulder cannon was too slow. The man lifted up his arms, that had guns much the same as Firefly. Deathstroke slid beneath the armor, coming up behind it. The shoulder cannon swung around, but it was too late. His blade found the knee of the suit. It plunged in, right where the kneecap would be. The man inside screamed, dropping to his knee. In a flash, Deathstroke used the armor itself, vaulting onto the back. He swung his second blade up, driving it right into a space where he could see the neck armor was weak. It went right into the pilot’s brain stem. The armor toppled over, as Deathstroke ripped out his swords. The suction effect made it harder, but he got the job done. He wiped the blood off with a swing, sheathing the weapons.
“Sir, that was incredible!”
In that moment, the General knew who he was. “Impressive. So, rumors of your death were somewhere exaggerated.”
Deathstroke chuckled. “At my age, displays like that always let me know that they will be hurting in the morning.”
“Neither one of us is the same boy we were fighting the Empire the first time.” The made their way back to Wolf.
The green-eyed mercenaries and Ghost’s people made short work of the rest of their forces. As both of them came into view, the green-eyed troops seemed unimpressed.
“Wow, look at all that wasteful gear! No wonder it took you so long to get here!”
While he was pissed, Ghost didn’t move. Laugh all you want, bitch. You and your minxes don’t mean shit to me.
Wolf saw the rest coming back. “Excellent! Now, we need to get out of here!” Right as she said it, another armor suit came through the wall.
“You ain’t going nowhere, bitch!” It charged right at her. In that moment, something happened to the cape. It lit up! A massive, unrelenting light that damn-near blinded everyone there. In that moment, Firefly arrived. Her arm changed again. This time, it unleashed a chain. The chain glowed red, ripping the armor suit in half, along with the pilot inside.
“Can we please get the fuck out of here?!”
“You got it! All forces, fall back to the command vehicle! We’ve got what we came for!” They grappled out of the underground. As they went, Ghost and his crew dropped several explosives inside.
“Deadshot, cover our retreat! As we get to the ridge, fall back as well! The care-package that Ghost left will keep them off us from there!”
“You got it!” They let loose. Chest and head-shots echoed through the land as blood and brain matter splattered all over the ground. The moment they got the ridge and over it, Ghost hit the switch. From the hole they went in through, huge plumes of smoke came out.
“All forces, fall back!”
It was a resounding success. Their losses had been severe, but it was worth it. Wolf sat in her room, taking off her helmet. She cued up the General’s information on Oracle’s network. She needed to give him a codename. A smile came to her face as she entered something in –
Until next time, a quote,
“A whole jolly club, with jolly pirate nicknames!” -Eric Draven, The Crow