Observation Room, Farpoint Base, Farpoint
Casie found herself in one of Farpoint's many observation rooms, staring out at the vast expanses before her. Most of the Hunter's crew had been given Shore Leave for the annual Rogue Halloween Ball. The tower the room was located in gave her a spectacular view of the cosmos and the terrestrial body she was on. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a bright flash of light and a wave swept through her field of vision, temporarily blinding her. She blinked, and cleared her vision...
...Only to find herself riding a train into what she could only assume was a densely populated city. Judging by the copious amounts of concertina wire strung across the fences, this had to be an important place. The train jarred to a halt, and an announcement made it clear that this was the end of the line. She got off, only to be blinded again by a flash of light. Her vision cleared rather quickly, and she realized that a holocam drone had been responsible for that event. She quickly moved off the platform, and was greeted by a giant forty meter by ten meter holoscreen bearing none other than the image of Admiral Fel. She turned to the person next to her to inquire as to what the Admiral was doing on a holoscreen, for she had never known him to like press conferences very much, only to be greeted by what appeared to be an octagonal pyramid with several projections from its side and conical head.
"Move along." It said in a mechanical voice.
"But I..." She began.
"Move." It said again, with more force behind it than a walking trashcan could ever hope to muster.
"I... of course." She told it. "I'll be going now."
Casie hurried through the station and out onto the street, where she bumped into a woman. A very familiar woman.
"Corry?" She asked. "How did you get here?"
The woman turned on her heel and walked quickly away, always looking directly ahead of her, almost as if she was afraid if she looked to one side or the other someone would get her.
Puzzled, Casie followed her into an alleyway between two rather tall buildings. Without warning, a heavy bag was dropped over her head, and something hard struck her in the back of the head, dropping her into blackness.
* * * * *
Casie awoke to find herself tied to a chair with heavy rope, surrounded by a strange group of humans. Two of them looked familiar, the one she had followed, and a younger male around eighteen, with rather spiky pink hair. She tried to ask them what was going on, but found that a rather foul-tasting gag had been placed in her mouth, preventing any attempt at speech,
"Well, anyone got any ideas about what to do with this... thing?" Pink Hair asked, his voice seething with anger.
"I say we swap it. One of ours for one of theirs." Another said.
Pink Hair lunged at her, whipping a knife out and placing it at her throat. With his other hand, he did something that Casie couldn't see, but made her feel rather uncomfortable.
"It's female." He snarled. "Tell me, spy," He added, pressing in slightly with the knife, and at the same time, forcing her head back. "Why should I let you live? You're obviously working for them."
"Enough, Spiker. Do you really think they'd bother sending a spy in here? If they knew where we were, there'd be a Death Squad barging in and laying waste to anyone and everyone in here." An older male human stepped in from the shadows, commanding respect just by his stature.
"I still say we kill her. She already knows too much." Spiker's voice carried with it a loathing Casie had heard only once before, from her former Master.
A woman off to Casie's left butted in. "If we kill her, we're no better than them."
Spiker turned and snarled a response to the woman. "Shaddap, Gidget. We don't make people suffer like they do. We're better than them."
"Are we? Are we really?" The older man asked.
Off to her left, the woman called Gidget spoke, her voice one of longing and sadness.
"Spiker, you of all people should know what happened to Sven. The cowards put twenty-four bullets into him, and he was just a poor defenseless child. Twenty-four bullets for an eight-year old. And yet you want to murder someone who's bound to a chair, with no chance to fight for her life. How do you even have the balls to tell me that that's not becoming like them?"
Spiker turned towards Gidget, his voice filled with sarcasm. "I know what they did to your brat. He would have had a chance if he hadn't been caught stealing those parts."
"Parts you told him to steal!"
"Enough!" Casie barked, finally forcing free the gag that had been so rudely shoved in her mouth. "This bickering is pointless. You blame him for your son's death, he wants to kill me. You don't want him to kill me because you say that will make him no better than they are, whoever they are. It seems to me that you all need a lesson in manners. If one of you would just kindly untie me, I'll be on my way."
Spiker turned his angry glare towards Casie, before slapping her across the face, with enough force to blacken her eye. "Shut up, you little..."
Spiker never got a chance to finish his sentence, as Casie's foot lashed out, catching him square in the groin, toppling him over. Unfortunately, his knife slipped just a little, gaining Casie a scratch on her throat, not enough to cause her great harm, but enough to cause her to bleed a little.
Quickly, it seemed as if every weapon in the room was brought to bear on her. The old man, however, stepped even more into the light. He looked every inch an older, more battle-scarred version of her captain. When he spoke, his voice carried with it a commanding tone that she knew only came with decades of experience. "Enough. Just because our prisoner lashed out at the man, and I use that term very loosely, who was harassing her is no reason to threaten to kill her. You all know our policies. We do not torture or harass our captives, unlike the Alliance. You two," He added, gesturing to two guards. "Untie her."
As soon as she was untied, the old man grabbed her by her upper arm and proceeded to drag her into what appeared to be a garage office, and shut the door behind them.
"Listen, I don't know who or what you are, but I have one question for you. Can I trust you?" The old man's eyes burned into Casie's as he stared at her, keeping her off-balance.
"I... I," Casie wanted to tell him that he could trust her completely, but somehow she felt that she couldn't honestly say that. "I'm sorry, that is the one question I cannot answer. That assurance is not mine to give."
"Fair enough. The fact that you didn't answer speaks volumes. If you had answered rashly, you'd probably be laying dead right where you stand. My Name is Viappe."
"Vialpelt?" Casie repeated, stumbling over the word.
The Man laughed. "Not Vialpelt, Viappe. Just call me V. And you are?"
Casie started to tell the man, V, her name, but caught herself. "Wait, how do I know I can trust you?" She asked, instantly suspicious of this man who called himself V.
"A good question. To answer it, if you couldn't trust me, you'd have been dead even before you were brought here."
"True." Casie still was suspicious of this man's motives, but decided to play along for now. "My name is Casie."
"That's not your real name, is it?"
"We never use real names. Every member of the Resistance has a codename, we just refer to it as their Name. I suppose I'll have to come up with a Name for you."
"Well, my friends call me Sparkie."
"We already have someone Named Sparkie. How about Aislinn?"
"Sounds good, as long as it doesn't mean anything stupid."
"Nope. It doesn't not mean anything stupid."
"Don't worry about it. Just trust me. What do you have experience in?"
"Well, I am a tech specialist."
"Good. I have a feeling that your skills will come very much in handy."
"Indeed. I can already see that a lot of your systems need upgrades and repair."
"The systems here are not the priority. Defeating the Alliance is."
"Just who or what is this 'Alliance' you keep speaking of?"
"The Alliance? To give it its full and real name, it is the United Alliance of the Grand Order of Pegasus Minor. You could call it that, or you could call it the Alliance."
"That tells me its name, but not its purpose. What does it do and why do some people oppose it?"
"The Alliance first started after the Seven Hour War. Director Fel headed up the negotiation team that convinced the Wraiths and the Daleks to sign a peace treaty with what was then called the New Earth Government. This all happened on Pegasus Minor. Basically, Director Fel was one of the two people behind the research facility known as Black Mesa. Something was found there that both the Wraiths and the Daleks wanted. Director Belfrey, who was the other person behind the Black Mesa project, unfortunately, was killed in the initial fighting. Point is, Director Fel was the one who convinced the Wraiths and the Daleks that using Earth as their battle-ground wasn't the brightest idea. Naturally, both sides resented that statement and tried to kill him. He made an arrangement that ensured that he wouldn't die, and that the human race would continue to exist. The Wraiths got whatever it was that was found at Black Mesa, and the Daleks got Earth."
"What was found at Black Mesa?"
"No one really knows. The Daleks would have gotten the object, and the Wraiths would have gotten the planet, save for one thing. The Wraiths are..."
"Cannibals, I know."
"How did you ..."
"Know that? My people encountered them once. It wasn't a pretty sight."
"Right. Anyway, the reason people are all pissed off about this whole arrangement and the Alliance thing is because humankind has been little better than slaves for the Alliance. We live in constant fear that if we say the wrong thing, a Death Squad will come bursting through the door, and kill us. At first, we tried to demonstrate peacefully, but, as you can imagine, that didn't go over too well. The Daleks opened fire on the protesters, killing them all."
"They pulled a Tarkin."
"A Tarkin. Where I come from, we had an Empire as well. A group of protesters were demonstrating peacefully, and this guy named Tarkin dropped a ship on top of them. Anyone who was lucky enough to escape, well, let's just say they weren't very lucky for long."
The two of them began to talk at length, mostly comparing their two universes. The peace, however, did not last long.
"DEATH SQUAD! EVERYONE RUN!" Someone shouted from the other room.
Several shots rang out, along with a few screams.
"Quickly, follow me!" V shouted, grabbing Aislinn by the arm and half-dragging her to what appeared to be a bookcase. He tugged on one of the books and the case opened to reveal an escape route into what appeared to be, by the smell of things, the sewer system.
"Follow the directions until you reach the countryside. Whatever happens, one of us will find you. Now go. Quickly!"
Aislinn ran as if her life depended on it. It did, actually. Behind her, she could hear the mechanical voices of some things chanting over and over again "Exterminate! Exterminate!"
Eventually, whatever they were stopped following her, or so she thought. She had just stopped to catch a breath when a set of strong arms grabbed her and pulled her into the forest.
"Don't make a sound unless you want it to be your last."
Aislinn recognized the harsh grate of the voice as belonging to Spiker. She practically sighed with relief at being rescued when he pressed a wet rag to her face. Chloroform. Slowly, she fell into darkness and went completely limp in his arms.
"All too easy."
* * * * *
After the darkness overtook her, Casie slowly became aware of a bright light invading her vision. Slowly and carefully, she opened her eyes, to be greeted by the blurry faces of Captains Pierce and Sinclair hovering over her own. As her vision cleared, she realized that Pierce was responsible for the bright light blinding her. A slight groan escaped her lips as she shoved the light away.
"Get away, you torturer." She muttered, trying to stand up.
"She is awake, then. Good." Pierce said, more to Davie than her.
"Yeah, very much so." Casie snapped at the man, before trying to stand up. She was somewhat shocked when a pair of cool hands gently grabbed her arm and helped her into a chair.
"What happened?" Davie asked her, concerned about her possibly having contracted some disease on their last misadventure.
"I don't know. I remember a bright flash, and then a train. And then…we've got to go back!" Casie suddenly shouted urgently. "That's what caused it. We've got to get it before they do!"
"Slow down Casie. Find what before who do?" Davie asked as Pierce not quite subtly slid out the door, presumably to have more of that home-made battery acid of his.
"I don't know what it is, but all I know is that we have to get to it before the Wraith or the Dalek do."
"Who are the Dalek?"
"Really, really bad ju-ju."
"I gathered that. Can you be any more specific?"
Turning slightly, Davie pulled out his comlink and thumbed it on. "Admiral Fel, please report to Conference Room One."
"On my way."
* * * * *
After Admiral Fel and the rest of Command had arrived, Casie outlined what had happened, as much as she actually knew, anyway. She insisted that they had to find the "really big black thing" before the Wraith or the Dalek did. She eventually won.
"So, where is this thing?" Thorn asked.
"On Earth, probably still in the Black Mesa facility." Casie replied.
"Sirs, we still have the coordinates for Black Mesa in the Hunter's Databank." Davie informed them.
"How soon can you leave, Captain?" Admiral Fel asked.
"Within the hour, Sir."
"Good. You have your orders."
"Aye Sir." Davie said, coming to full salute.
With a final salute, Davie left the room to prepare his ship. Admiral Fel narrowed his eyes and looked at Casie. "Chief, are you fit for duty?"
"Aye, Sir." Casie said, also coming to full salute.
"Good. Find those who went with you and Captain Sinclair previously and tell them to get ready for a mission. Inform TAG also. You are to return to The Black Mesa facility and find this whatever it is, before the Wraith or anyone else does."
"Aye, Sir." With a final salute, Casie turned on her heel and exited the room. Her first stop was R&D to pick up Mayina and the rest of TAG. She entered the lab and simply said "Ma'am, we have another mission. Report to the Stargate Room in ten minutes, along with the Colonel, Sergeant Archaeon and Chief Alt Mere."
A few minutes later, Casie found Coop and Andy and told them to get ready. Then, she reported to the Ring Room.
Stargate Room, Farpoint
Davie quickly moved down to the Stargate Room, where the rest of the team had assembled. Moving quickly to the head of the assembled unit, he addressed them.
"Ladies and gentlemen. We have been assigned a rather unusual mission. Further details will be provided later, but in short, we are to go in, retrieve a package before anyone else shows up, and get the hell out. Intel indicates that there are more than likely hostile forces already in the facility in the form of undead spirits inhabiting the bodies of the staff, most of whom were killed last year."
"So we're going up against Zombies. Great. Anything else we should know?" Someone asked.
"Yes, we are going in masquerading as Tau'ri military, so we will be equipped with typical Tau'ri weapons and wearing Tau'ri uniforms, as you already know. We are ready to commence operations."
Cheyenne Mountain, Earth
To say that the welcome the Rogues received from the Stargate Command staff was not normal would be an understatement. The Tau'ri were staring at the more alien members of the Rogues , code-named by Viper as "Motley Crue". Any comments, however, were curtailed by General Hammond, who came forward to greet Captain Sinclair and Colonel Vrecken.
"Captain, Colonel." He said by way of greeting. "I've spoken with Rogue and I have transports waiting. Insertion will be by way of UH-60 and CH-47 helicopters. You will also have Bradley IFV's and Hummers for weapons support and extraction. Any questions?"
"Which way to the transports?" Davie asked for both.
UH-60 Blackhawk 'Wabbit Slayer" - En route to Black Mesa
"Alright, listen up!" Blaine called over the noise of the chopper's blades. "We're going in fast, and we're going in hot. Assume that the LZ is under hostile control. We form a perimeter for TAG and the remaining choppers. As soon as everyone is on the ground, we're on point. Blue Squad will be behind us, followed by TAG and the remainder of Second Platoon. On their heels is the rest of Alpha Company. Once we're in the facility itself, we split into groups. Lieutenant Devaro will be with Blue Squad, Lieutenant Brain will be with Green, Captain Novak will be with Gold, and Chief Connolly will be remaining with us. Any questions?"
"No, Sir!" was the unanimous reply.
"Right. One minute to the LZ! Begin final check!"
All around her, people began the final check of their equipment, swapping last minute jokes, praying to whatever deity they believed in. Casie tightened the grip on her weapon, trying to shake the feeling of impending doom. Blaine must have noticed her movement, because he leaned over and whispered in her ear.
"Nope." She responded. "Just a bad feeling is all."
"Well, I am nervous, and so I hereby authorize you to be nervous also."
"Hun, you do know I outrank you, right?"
"It's true. I made Petty Officer when you made Corporal."
"Ten seconds!" The pilot called. "Get ready!"
"Stand by!" Blaine called. "Go, go, go!"
Casie and Blaine, followed quickly by the rest of Red Squad and TAG, hurriedly jumped out the twin doors of the chopper and hustled into standard containment position. The second the last person was off, both doors slid closed and the chopper swung up and away from the LZ, vanishing into the distance.
Surface Gates, Black Mesa Research Facility, Earth
Red Squad, with TAG and the rest of the group in tow, arrived at the main entrance to the Black Mesa facility, only to find a chained and padlocked gate barring any and all access to the Facility.
"Well, looks like they're all closed up for the season." Kale muttered, not happy about the prospect of having to face Zombies.
"What makes you say that, Soral?" Blaine asked.
"Somebody done put a padlock on the gate." One of the other privates in Red Squad quipped.
As the private laughed at is extremely dumb joke, Casie took aim at the lock and fired a quick burst, utterly destroying it. "What lock?" She asked as several people stared. "Now let's move it, we don't have all day."
"You heard her. You have your assignments, now move out." Corry yelled.
Level Four Hundred, Black Mesa Research Facility, Earth.
It felt like they had been searching for weeks instead of hours. So far, eighteen of the twenty-six possible locations had been checked, and had turned nothing up. If this location didn't turn anything up, Red Squad had one more to check before starting a room by room search of the facility.
Casie was on point, being as she knew the facility better than anyone in Red Squad. I had better know it well, she thought. I spent a good amount of time crawling around it last year. Up ahead, she spotted movement. Signaling to the others, she withdrew into the shadows. Not surprisingly, Blaine slipped in beside her.
"What is it?" He asked.
"Doubtful. None of the other teams are supposed to be down this far."
"More than likely."
"What's that on their head?"
"Your guess is as good as mine. Let's hope that they don't... damnit."
"They're heading this way. Contact" Swinging the barrel of her gun up, Casie stepped out into the hall and opened fire on the approaching Zombies.
"Fall back." Blaine commanded, also opening fire on the undead.
Behind the duo, Red Squad fell back, the more experienced members moving from cover to cover, firing bursts into the horde of undead creatures. The newbies, however, cut and ran, screaming in terror. Casie, Blaine, Lowie, and Kale methodically retreated back up the hallway, eventually reaching a T-Junction. The group split up, Lowie and Kale taking the left fork, while Casie and Blaine took the right fork. Unfortunately, that turned out to be a rather poor decision, as it led directly into a large lab area. One that had been rather conspicuously cleaned out. Behind the now closed doors, the duo could still hear the sounds of impending doom. Distantly, they heard someone scream. Quickly, they barricaded the door.
"Well, looks like we're pretty well fracked." Blaine muttered.
"Not just yet."
"What makes you say that?"
"Feel like a climb?"
"Please tell me you're joking."
"Nope, I'm not."
"Casie, we're at least one and a half kilometers underground. Lab exhaust vents are always a direct path to the surface... There's no way we could get out."
"Two point three kilometers exactly. And you have three choices. Death by Zombie, climb two point three kilometers, or death by Squib. Which one you want?"
Blaine sighed. "I guess I'll take the climb."
"Good, start moving."
The duo had just gotten up on the shaft when the Zombies broke through the barricade. Both hurried to scramble up the shaft, almost literally one step ahead of a horde of Zombies.
Level Two Hundred, Black Mesa Facility, Earth.
Casie and Blaine spilled out onto the cool floor of yet another lab. Both of them heard a noise in front of them. Casie was quicker on her feet and rolled up, already in a firing position. What she saw was Mayina and Crem, trying to force a grating open. With a quick "Here, let me get that", Casie wrenched the grate open and grabbed the line that was dangling in the chute. Off in the distance, the quartet heard ominous sounds. From above, a voice hollered down.
"We can only take you one at a time."
"Right, Mayina, you first, followed by Crem, then Casie. I'll bring up the rear." Blaine said, strapping Mayina into the harness that would be used to pull her to safety.
"Suddenly, I'm not so sure I should do this." Mayina said, talking hurriedly.
"It'll be fine." Casie told her. "Just give this to Corry." She added, pressing a business card into Mayina's hands.
"Ok." Before anyone had time to argue, she was whisked up to safety.
Crem had just been pulled up when both doors to the room were blown open. On one side was the horde of zombies, lead by a now zombified Captain Novak. On the other side, were the Dalek.
"Exterminate! Exterminate!" They chanted.
"Exterminate this!" Casie yelled, heaving a thermal detonator into the mass of Daleks.
The grenade exploded, taking with it the Daleks. Behind her, Blaine was trying to hold off the Zombies. Unfortunately, they kept pressing on, and the pair were driven back.
"What a way to go." Casie said.
"Hey, at least I have some semi-decent company by my side." Blaine retorted.
"I mean, it could be better, but it is better than dying alone."
"Hun, what part of undead do you not get?"
"Hey, I'm just saying..."
Casie's last words before darkness took both of them were: "Blaine, if we get out of this, I'm going to kill you."
Cheyenne Mountain, Earth
"Did anyone else make it out?" Nick asked, his holographic image just slightly distorted.
"No. Initial casualty reports are that we lost all of First Platoon, and most of Second." Captain Sinclair informed his CO. "Also, we lost Coop, Andy, and Casie."
"Damn. Did we locate the item the Squib was talking about?"
"No. We do, however, have a solid lead as to where it may be."
"And that would be?"
"In the hands of a group called 'Torchwood'..."