((Just a quick story I tossed together to coincide with the increase in Rikti hostilities this weekend. Enjoy))
Cherry's coffee cup rattled slightly on the desk as she jumped in her seat looking up at the women standing a few feet from her desk her eyes slightly wide, nostrils flared and the beginnings of an unhappy look on her face. The girl in front of her desk was petite, 5'3" and almost pixy like with her lithe form, fair skin and light blonde hair, her name was Trisha. Trisha was frozen in place, horror in her eyes like a deer caught in the headlights of a mac truck. She was petrified of the Deputy Director.
Shaking her head Cherry forced a smile, past her annoyance at budget paperwork, or the standard personnel items that had once been the domain of Tyler Jankowski, better known as Echo-3. When Trisha had started several months ago some enterprising individual had thought it would be amusing to convince her how scary the Deputy Director was. What hadn't helped was the boys in ops reinforcing the boogeyman persona with their own stories of the rifle toting hard ass boss lady that has a pet monster cat and can make an entire room fall silent with a single word.
Trisha, like most in ops was talented, she was a brillant linguist, there wasn't a language or dialect she didn't know. Completely natural talent, and she was extremely bright, caught on fast. She didn't didn't have the backbone that came with much more then desk work. Cherry's smile seemed only to make her panic more, the color leeching from her face.
"Trisha." Cherry kept her voice even her eyes falling to the folder in her hands, "Did you need something?"
"I... uh.." she stammered, the panic subsiding as her mind tried to switch gears back to work, "Um... yes. I wanted to run something past you, the guys in Ops said you have a lot of past experience with Rikti Communications."
One of Cherry's eyebrows arched in curiousity as she stood up and moved a filing box from one of the chairs in front of her desk. The petite woman sat down cautiously and handed her the folder.
"Well, basically I've been noticing a pattern in some of the communications from locations that have been identified as Restructurist holding points." She leaned forward motioning to a table in the folder Cherry had opened. Her fear now completely gone. "The other guys said I was crazy but really it seems like a pattern. I think they might be preparing for another assault."
"Most of these locations were identified Restructurist, but as far as we could tell they were largely abandoned, "Cherry gave her a critical look for a moment before looking at the data sheets, "Is the pattern increasning?"
"Yes..." Trisha paused, "Well it was, until about a hour ago, thats why I decided to bring it to you..."
Cherry stood suddenly her chair falling behind her and Trisha almost falling over backwards in shock as Cherry stormed past her. The smaller woman struggled to keep up as she made her way towards operations not even hearing her questions and pleas to slow down. Ops went completely silent as Cherry crossed the threshold.
"Yes Deputy Director." The disembodied voice of Delta, the AI originally from the Cyber Knight unit filled the room.
"Alert, Code R, dispatch to all agents. I then want an official noticed of shared intel sent to all Paragon and Vanguard authorities. Route it through Jack before sending." Cherry stepped up onto the platform, the room still silent and watching.
"Request for Alert, Code R received, authorization?"
"Authorization, Deputy Director Rikki Allison Jericho, number 9875215-03CHER."
"Authorization granted, voice imprint for Deputy Director Rikki Allison Jericho accepted."
The monitoring screens that took up most of the wall at one of end of Ops went mostly red, code R had been initiated. Code R was an internal warning that meant simply, a Rikti Invasion was imminent and all agents were to operate at a higher level of precaution. Scorpio would share the intel with the authorities ensuring they had some warning and time to prepare if they didn't already know.
Prior to every attack the same sort of pattern had been seen in communications. However those patterns had never been routed through previously defunct Restructurist bases.
Cherry's eyes fell on the rest of Ops as she turned away from the monitors.
"Took a little girl ta catch what all you big boys missed. Trisha's getting a promotion, she's taking up the 2nd intel spot in here." Cherry's eyes fell on one of the men who stood up to protest, "Not a word. Now get a move on I want more intel on this yesterday. If we have inbound Rikti I want to know where, when and how many and I want that information routed to agents on the street. Now."
The room erupted into motion as Ops went back to what it did best and Cherry looked at Trisha standing a few feet behind her with a different look of shock.
"Don't gimmie that look Ms. Kline, get yer ass onto the floor and help."
Trisha nodded smiling and ran down to her own station getting to work.
Walking away from the noise Cherry flipped open her phone heading towards her office.
"Yeah Jack, I'm sending the intel now..."