As the Evangelions engage yet another Angel heading for Seattle, DCT Third Team is rolled once more into action to assist and evacuate two shelters in the shoreline area that are not responding to evac signals, the NERV personnel inside apparently unwilling – or unable – to retreat to safer areas. One is entirely black, the MAGI unable to reach it at all, and thus it’s the first one the team heads toward.
Sandris: As an after thought, Sandris trots back to the briefing area and grabs a pair of cases, brings them aboard. Opening one, he passes out odd looking batons. “Stun batons. The other case is flashbangs; everyone grab at least one. We’ll be dealing with panicked civilians, and I want us able to respond if it comes to that.”
As the chopper lifts from the hillside hangar, the team gets a good look at the city below them. It’s oddly peaceful — no cars on the highway, no activity on the streets. The sight is as if everyone had just packed up and left in an orderly fashion.
Down in the harbor, the sight of umbilical cables running out into the water can be seen, the Strkyer batallions deploying to prepared positions and the helicopter squadrons hovering on station. The ride to the downtown core takes only a few minutes, the Blackhawk swinging low over the city.
As it descends, the serene image of Seattle is shattered. Cars seem to be left wherever the driver could stop them before bailing out. The streets are abandoned… but the debris of civilization was left behind, dropped bags, garbage, newspapers, and so on strewn across the sidewalks.
Sandris: Then he sees the non-NERV personnel shelters. “Control, this is Actual-3. Report on evacuation of non-NERV shelter occupants.”
“Roger that, Sandris,” the commander replies, “Keep me updated. Civilian shelters in the harbor zone have not been evacuated, but don’t worry about them. Focus on your job.”
The helicopter drops to the deck, hovering over the LZ before touching down.
Sandris: “Shit.” Sandris turns back to the pilot. “Orbit close. I may need you on the deck again shortly.” He spits. “They haven’t told the mundanes.”
Bowman: Her eyes narrow. “Why?”
Guiseppe is up and out in a flash, checking the LZ and takes point, running for the shelter.
Claudia: “Standard OpSec I assume”
As the helicopter lands in the street outside the first office building/NERV shelter they’re investigating, all is silent.
Down the street, the harbor can be seen, and in the middle of it, water seems to be rushing out and away from something lifting out of the Puget Sound…
Sandris “God in heaven. It must be huge…” Sandris shakes it off. “Inside, folks. Let’s get this thing open and get out of here.”
Claudia “…would you look at that…”
Guiseppe: Guiseppe shoves the doors the rest of the way open. “Let’s not, I’d rather be out of here before it decides to come over here.”
Bowman: “We gotta hurry, yeah.”
The tech specialist accesses what systems she can as they enter, and find that the initial estimates are correct: The facility’s dead, entirely powerless, stairwell door wide open and emergency lights dimly glowing.
Bowman: “Everything’s out, sir. MAGI seem to be right.”
Sandris: “Bowman, stow that. Power’s out, anyway.”
Bowman: “Roger, sir.” She folds up the laptop and slips it back into the carry holster, frowning. “We have signals from every other shelter in the area, just not this one.”
Sandris: “Well, the power’s out…in…damn.” Sandris goes for his pistol. “Bowman, Seattle’s been on a smart grid since the Rebuilding, right?”
Bowman: “Yeah. Part of the fancy ‘cities of the future’ shit. I worked on the system down in New Orleans myself.”
Sandris: “So why in the hell is this the only building without power? Weapons up. Safe ‘em, but weapons up. I don’t like this.”
Guiseppe: “System fault maybe, terrorists maybe? Good call.”
Bowman: “Either complete failure of all ingress routes for it, or deliberate disabling of the system, is all I can think of.”
Sandris: “Take it slow. Clear the doors.”
As they reach the hallway down to the bunker proper, the group stacks up. Guiseppe throws a single flash grenade, ready to follow it and take down any foes within. For a second, there’s the sound of the grenade bouncing across the floor, then a flash of light and noise from the doorway. And that’s when the earth shakes. Dust falls from the ceiling as the ground quakes and the sound of explosions can be heard from above.
Claudia: “Guiseppe!” Claudia hisses, “what did you do?”
Bowman: “W-what the hell?!”
Guiseppe’s too busy clearing the next room, knowing if there is something on the other side it’d be incredibly dumb to give it time to recover after stunning it
Sandris: “Move in!” Sandris waves them in; they’d be safer with the shelter’s entrance armor over them. He then follows Brombal.
The chamber on the other side of the door is a concrete-lined corridor, big enough for a couple of men side-by-side. After Guiseppe’s treatment, the emergency lights flicker, their already dim light now becoming unsteady. At the end of the short corridor, a set of stairs leads down, presumably into the bunker. No one can see inside yet, but it’s already obvious: this one won’t have to be breached.
The door is open.
The lights on are inside — whatever cut the power to the building didn’t touch the bunker’s internal systems, it’d seem.
bq. Bowman: Marylou curses under her breath. “Captain, s-shouldn’t we let command know what’s going on?”
Sandris: “No point.” He’s just tried. “Comms are out. AT field interference.”
Guiseppe: Guiseppe continues through the hallway for the bunker. “We’ve got to get anyone here out asap.”
Sandris: “No question this one was opened. Safeties off. Move slow. Check for planted tech. Bowman, any chance you can splice into the interior cameras from out here?”
Bowman: She glares at the panel by the door as she pulls the laptop back out. “I can try. Someone forced this open via the access panel, and did a really unsubtle job of it.” In moments she’s typing, concentration on her face. The laptop connects to the bunker’s internal security systems as her emergency passwords are accepted. And on the screen…
Blood on the walls. Blood on the camera lens. Blood on the ground.
Corpses strewn around. Some in lab coats, some in business clothes. But there’s no one inside the bunker. No one living.
Bowman: She immediately recoils, the rugged laptop falling onto the ground as she covers her mouth and instinctively looks away.
Sandris: Sandris moves over to check on Bowman when he sees her face go white. “What is-?” Sandris picks up the laptop. “Hell.” Sandris sets the laptop down and walks over to Bowman, shaking her shoulders gently. “Bowman? You still with us?”
Guiseppe: “Boss, what’s it?”
Bowman: “No, no, no, I can’t go in there please don’t make me go in there.” Her face is white, eyes closed as she shakes.
Sandris: He catches the last bit of her prayer, and mutters an ending with her. “Amen.” He looks up. “There’s no one left alive in there. It’s OK, Bowman, you don’t need to. You can stay out. Stay here.”
Bowman: She stays quiet, not looking at the laptop, only a slow nod in response to Sandris’ answer.
Claudia: “I’ll handle this, you go on ahead. Let me know… if there’s anything I can do in there.”
Sandris: He had to go in to confirm the loss of the shelter, but no need to traumatize his whole team. “Pyotr, Brombal, plot us a route to the other shelter. We move when I come back. King, with me.” He disconnects the laptop and passes it back to Bowman, clasping her shoulder before rising and taking up his weapon again. “Let’s go.”
Claudia: “Okay” She gets up and dusts herself off reflexively heading to Sandris’ side.
The earth shakes, a constant, low rumble as Sandris and King head for the door to the shelter. In a corner, Brombal and Ivanovich consult a street map.
Pushing the thick metal door to the vault open, the medic and captain step inside. It’s readily apparent to King that there aren’t any surivors in here. Some of the corpses have been torn apart by the initial blasts. The rest have neat little holes drilled in their foreheads.
Claudia: “It’s clear to me that there’s no survivors. I’ll see what I can find out.”
Sandris: “I know, but we had to check. Take a minute and get pictures and samples. This was human-made, and I want whoever did this. I want them dead.” He sees one execution victim and starts looking for expended cases or bullets. After a minute or so, he taps King. “We need to move. Forensics can make a better sweep later with any luck.”
Guiseppe: Guiseppe talks over the radio “HQ needs to know about this. Whoever did it knew where NERV shelters are. That’s all kinds of bad news.”
Sandris: “Agreed. When we get topside I’ll try again.”
Claudia: “They’ve been dead for hours. Probably right after the lines were cut.”
A quick search of the floor turns up a few shell casings. 5.56 NATO rounds.
Sandris: “We have evidence and images. We have one more to check, move out.”
Claudia: “Anyway we can get a preliminary contact with the occupants on this one?”
Sandris: “If comms are up, maybe. We’ll try when we hit topside.” When they re-emerge, Sandris clicks his comms on again. “Actual-3, comm check. You hear me, Control?” Sandris only gets static on the comms. Five AT fields deployed — comms might be dead for the duration. “Comms are still dark. We’re solo.”
As Brombal makes it out of the lobby entrance, the ground shakes as if it was hit by a hammer. Running out into the street, what caused that last quake becomes obvious. One of the Evangelions — the dark blue one — lays against a wall of armor that has sprung up around the harbor. In the middle of the Sound, Taharial is ascendant, and weapons fire flickers all around the Angel’s clockwork body. Missiles scream by overhead. Cannonfire streams out from the shore. NERV-07 is fully engaged.
Sandris: Sandris frowns. “Move, 3rd! If it’s this close and those kids get zealous again, we don’t have hundreds of feet of rock between us and them!”
Bowman: Marylou simply stares, aghast. “H-how the hell does it even?…” She resumes following the route, clutching the laptop to her chest like some sort of blanket.
Guiseppe: “You know I thought those monsters were just a bunch of kaiju but whatever that thing is ain’t even describable.”
As Brombal leads the squad down an alley, one of the Evangelions moves into close combat with the Angel, and as the thing counterfires, stray lances of coherent light burn across the sky, bright as the sun as they lance into the Seattle skyline. Packing light because you’re on home turf has its advantages. For one, it means you can tear ass in a hurry. And as the combat in the harbor rages on, 3rd DCT nears Site 2: Bunker 93-delta-5. The entrance is in a similar building, one of the many NERV facilities that sprung up across Seattle.
Sandris: “It goes without saying, but weapons up, folks.” Sandris raises a fist swiftly and drops into cover. “Cover down, contacts! Bowman, get a line into the shelter and warn them!” Sandris pulls free a flashbang. “I want prisoners, damnit, not corpses! We don’t know a damn thing about them, and there could be more!”
Bowman: As she ducks, she turns the laptop on once more, trying to get into the shelter’s systems. “S-sir, they haven’t breached all the way yet, fifteen people inside!”
Sandris: “If it stands, shoot it! Try to leave something for Section 2!”
A short gun battle ensues with the terrorists, their skills and equipment not a match for one of NERV’s more proven DCT teams equipped with the latest body armor system that the organization’s pumped out. It ends when half the team enters melee, stun batoning one man and taking him alive, if wounded, another one slowly bleeding out from bullet wounds. The fight continues outside, the street flashing bright white for a second as a plasma lance sails overhead!
Sandris: Sandris quickly kicks away the terrorists’ weapons, turns to Bowman. “Get that shelter open! Ivan, pop flares, get our ride in here! Brombal, get that asshole tied up, make sure he’s not going to go all Hydra on us! King, if you can stabilize the wounded, do it fucking fast!”
Bowman: She stares at the man and then the baton in her hand, before shaking and nodding. “Y-yeah.” She rushes into the building proper, heading down to let the trapped scientists out of their not so safe prison.
Claudia: “Roger. Any of us need attention first?”
Sandris: “We can move under our own power, King, they can’t! That lance was too damn close!”
Guiseppe: With every advantage over the guy, Guiseppe knocks a bitch out. “I’m still ambulatory so it can wait for the fucking chopper. Keep that one from bleeding out and we’ll have two prisoners, but if you can’t this one’s just fine.” Guiseppe ties the guy’s hands and feet, takes his rifle and searches him for other weapons.
Claudia: One’s gonna make it… the other, no…"
As King stabilizes one of the attackers, Sandris and Brombal can see that these guys were well-equipped. Body armor, FAMAS rifles, equipment harnesses, the whole nine yards. Bowman leads the freed scientists upstairs to the descending Chinook, the access code working handily after the obstruction the attackers had put in place was removed. Above, Giuseppe and King prepare to carry their wounded prisoners into the chopper as well. And then…
For a moment, King, Brombal, and Bowman taste blood in their mouths. The scientists following Bowman seem to sway for a second, but stay on their feet! Sandris, however…
Sandris sways for a moment.
Then collapses limply to the floor.
Bowman: “What in the fuck?”
Guiseppe: “Shit! Bowman, Ivanovich, grab the boss. Everybody in the chopper!”
Bowman: “S-Sir, y-yes!” She hefts Sandris over her shoulder with Ivanovich, and heads slowly into the chopper, shaking from exertion and the events of today.
Sandris: Sandris is only just conscious, and Bowman can hear him muttering. “Not, no, not going to fire…”
Bowman: “S’okay boss, it’s okay, come on..”
The NERV staff streaming behind the DCT, the crowd boards the Chinook. As the helicopter lofts, the copilot looks back over his shoulder and shouts “Hang on! We’re in for some chop!” The heavy transport helicopter lifts off the ground, rear door sealing as it makes for open air and the safety of the other side of Seattle’s hills.
Through the windows, the battle in the Sound can be seen, energy fire being traded by both sides as two Evangelions fight the angel in close combat. White waves and froth are thrown up from blasts seeming to come from under the water, invisble streams of force striking at the Angel as the combat continues. The Chinook clears the downtown city core as the orange Evangelion, IOT displayed proudly on a shoulder takes aim…
And the fight comes to an apocalyptic crescendo.
A beam of microwave energy shoots out towards Taharial.
For a split second, everything is calm.
And then a new sun dawns on the Seattle coastline. The Chinook lurches wildly. And everything goes white.
(And the Chinook managed to land relatively okay due to crack piloting so everyone got home safely.)