Cherry 9/Return of the 5th Column

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Return of the 5th Column

((This post is from an Open RP centered around the return of the 5th Column to the game in i16.))

Snapping the end of her support cabling to the mesh edge of a ventilation shaft Cherry peered down the darkened tube waiting patiently. Many feet below her she watched a patrol pass through a lower tunnel. Unlike many tunnels she'd often found herself crawling through the past several years this one was a least a decent size.

Slipping over the edge one hand on the support cable she slid quietly to the bottom of the shaft. Unhooking the cable and slipping into the side tunnel the voice of DELTA comes over her comm, "Cherry, we've located the pinpoint for the large power signature we recorded several hours ago. Intel has commandered a geological surveillance satellite, I'm uploading the scans to you and a ideal path to the source using those scans."

Once, many many years ago this base had been a thriving 5th Column stronghold, it was one of the few holdings the Council had deemed without logistical merit and had thus been abandoned. However given the recent resurgence in 5th Column activity, the power surge had been a curious oddity. It made it less surprising to come upon the facility teaming with 5th Column soldiers.

The tunnel winded down deeper into the earth before opening up to a massive stone room. Even before slipping into the room Cherry could hear the hum of the portal and the vibrations in the stone walls. It was massive, a portal sized specifically to transport large contingents of soldiers, it was also very bad news.

Well, it was only bad news if she didn't bring enough C4 to blow the whole damned thing to kingdom come.

Starting down the hill she heard the footsteps behind her before the voice shouted out behind her, "Halt!". She heard the sound of bolt readying two guns behind her.

Sighing slightly she raises her hands and turns around, "Right, looks like you boys got me."

Her eyes fell to her left still hidden behind her goggles, the grade on the rock wall wasnt too bad, she could make a dash for it and probably not break a bone. Stepping towards her the two 5th soldiers raised their guns on the orders of the ubermenschen with them.

"Much as I'd love to stay though boys it ain't happening." Hitting her cloak and jumping to the left it took more luck then much else to keep from toppling over as she slide down the rock face, the sound of gunfire reported over her head. This was now at least going to be more interesting, no time to waste getting the explosives on the portal and getting the hell out of dodge before they wised up and found her.

Hitting the bottom of the hill running she winced slightly her legs protesting the sudden jarring stop. Ignoring her extremties she ducked behind a pile of crates and yanked out her kit. Improvised explosive devices, the fun part of any job. The room around her had quickly come alive as the patrol reported the situation back to command. Making a quick estimate in her mind Cherry figured she had 15 minutes before the place was so swarmed she would be stuck.

The cave system was too deep for the traditional grid teleportation system to work. So she'd need to get out on her own two feet and set off the bomb before she got out of radio range.

"We're getting a lot of chatter on radio lines close to you... they're calling in reinforcements." It was DELTA telling her something she already knew, she wouldn't bother responding.

Finishing up the IED, she tacks a radio controlled trigger to it and glanced over the crates to the portal, it was powering up for something. Cursing under her breath she slide out of the hiding place after ensuring the cloak was still up and made a beeline dash for the portal control console near the rear of the device.

In and out in less in 2 minutes the IED was attached but the portal was definitely almost powered up now. Probably the reinforcements.

Touching the side of her headset her voice low, "Delta I need an out, ASAP."

"Working on it..." the line went silent for several seconds and then a route popped up onto her heads up, "That route should work, but it ends in a..."

"No time." She cut off DELTA and began moving towards the specified access point. It was another ventilation shaft. Pulling out her utility tool she popped the edge of the cover off and pulled back enough to give her access pulling it back behind her.

Pulling back through the shaft to an opening she moved eastward before hitting a wall and looking up a sheer stone shaft she couldn't even see the end to.

"Well thats lovely, how exactly am I suppose ta get up that Delta? I can't fly..."

"I tried to warn you..."

"Yeah yeah, well no point complaining now, I need up that shaft, any ideas?"

"You could try manually adjusting the anti-grav settings on her harness."

Wincing slightly inwardly, she glanced down at the harness. She'd never had very good luck with getting the damn thing to work anyways. "Tell me you got another idea..."

"Unfortunately not that would meet the current requirements for timeliness Director Jericho."

"Blast... right"

Grumbling under her breath and pulled up the data for the harness on her heads up eyeing the numbers. Just gotta change it to something mimicking the gravity on the moon, give her jumps a bit of bounce.

Mostly to herself, "Going to put my damn head through the rock at the top of that I can see it now."

Ensuring the settings had taken she activates the harness and glances up and pushes off the ground. Partway up she noticed the sound of a fan and glanced up to see the large metal fan filtering air out of the vent and realized her ascent wasn't slowing. Pinning her arms against the stone walls of the shaft she deactivated the harness. The stop was sudden her legs almost giving as her full weight fell back on them again. Above her the fan churned her hair standing up as it sucked the air from below out.

"Everything alright Cherry?" It was Delta again.

"Oh lovely, almost lost a few inches in height but otherwise peachy god damn keen. You think you can shut down the power to this fan above my head?"

The biting sarcasm was lost on Delta apparently, "I will see."

It was a long painful few minutes before the click above her head signalled the fan powering off and winding down. Once it stopped she grabbed the blades and pulled herself up through it and looked up through the grate to the outside. Pulling the remote for the bomb from her pouch she worked quickly to remove the grate and slipped out as she keyed the remote.

Deep below her she heard the explosion echo through the vents.

"The power surge has disappeared." Delta informed her.

Dropping to the ground outside the grate Cherry caught her breath, "Lets just hope they didn't get that last delivery."

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