The Cost of Communication

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This was only about half of my original plan, the other part is called The Battle of Medway. I decided it works better as two different stories that have closely connected plots. So here it is... And I would like to hear what you have to say about it...


Encrypted Albanians Communication: 24/5/17 "Operation Talon has succeeded thus far. We are in possession of Wedworth and moving toward Medway. The intelligence estimate of defense capability was correct, the resistance was small. Our scouts have found a heavier concentration of forces are heading toward Abnores, we should be able to force them out."

I. Orders

The 24th of May started just like most other days; the warning alarm sounded. Somewhere in Zdon, or the surrounding corporations' territory, yet another battle had begun. G-MO was hoping he wouldn't be called to fight this battle, he had just gotten back yesterday from an exhausting surveillance mission. "G-MO, report to General Matthews immediately," the loudspeaker peeled. G-MO rolled out of his cot and started throwing on his uniform as he walked toward the General's office.

"Welcome Grant," said Matthews, who was the leader of Zdon Corporation's special operations group, Yamam, as G-MO entered, "you have been chosen to open communications with Galaxy."

"Galaxy, Sir?" asked G-MO with a look of disbelief.

"Yes, Albania has attacked out coast, we need Galaxy's help to keep them out."

G-MO's look of shock disappeared and was replaced by a look of determined understanding. "OK, what do you need me to do?"

"We need you to speak with the President of Galxy, we need his cooperation to remove the Albanian assault."

"When and where did Albania attack us, and where is the president of Galxy, or do I have to find him on my own?" was G-MO's response.

"The president is located at Galaxy HQ, we have received his daily schedule from a good source. If the source speaks to you the person will use the code USSR. The Albanians, 15 minutes ago, landed their assault vehicles on a beach just south of Wedworth. We are planning to make our stand in Abnores."

"That would mean we cede Medway and all its surrounding resources to their attack, correct?"

"Yes, Grant, that is the situation," the General Matthews replied with a grave look on his face. "As you know we have been weakened in these recent battles. Albania attacked us at our weakest point, our only hope is that Galaxy won't want to play Albania's game."

"I understand the situation now, Sir. Just give me all the information I will need and tell me what to do." G-MO responded.

Thirty minutes later G-MO was donning his tactical gear. He thought of the dreams of his earlier years. He had always wanted to be a warrior, but now that he had seen what it meant he wasn't nearly as enthusiastic as when he first entered the Zdon Corporation's forces. At the time all the Corporation's battles were covert, or at least, disguised. The Government still existed then, it would not have liked it if they had known what Zdon was doing. In his defense he could, truthfully, say that all the corporations were doing the same thing. The drive-bys, the "terrorist" destruction of other corporations' property. Now that he was thinking about it, it wouldn't have mattered if the Government had known what was going on. They were to weak to fight it, if they had started cracking down on one of the companies all the others would have attacked the Government. Not out of concern for the others good, but because they would not want to to be next. "I guess there is no escape from destiny." G-MO finally concluded as he walked out to the helipad.

II. Infiltration

As the muffled sound of the AG-57b helicopter disappeared into the night G-MO quickly double-checked his equipment. The helicopter had dropped him off about 2 miles from the Galaxy Corporations Headquarters, so he had to get moving as soon as possible.

CRASH! Glass shattered as something created a hole in the glass pane at the front of the building. Before anyone could move an extremely loud, and bright, explosion stunned everyone. Before they could recover a shape moved through the door and out of site.

G-MO was almost halfway to the roof before anyone had the sense to sound the alarm. Thankfully they sounded the alarm to all the building, not just the security forces that were, if this building followed the current and prevalent trend, ready to respond to most emergencies.

Grant heard the doors both above and below him start to open as security started to clear the building, he had to work fast. Shouldering his AK-10 he rushed toward the nearest door. He brought the muzzle to bear just as the door opened. BANG! BANG! As the foam rushed toward its target the sound reached the ears of the other security personnel. As the man who was, just one second ago, trying to enter the stairway fell, G-MO pulled a FoamGrenade Z-2 from his LBV and, after pulling the pin, tossed it down to the next platform below him. He then started running upwards as the grenade sent foam flying into the faces of several of his late pursuers.

BANG! BAM! BANGBANGBANG! BAMBAM! BANG! The weapons sounded from both sides of this brief fire fight. G-MO had already caused five men to warp out while stopping two and keeping another pinned behind his cover. After quickly causing both the wounded and trapped enemies to warp out he proceeded up the stairs, ears alert, though numbed. After periodic gunfire he reached the roof. Just as he was preparing to throw a rope to the other building he felt a piece of metal against his head.

"DON'T MOVE!" said the voice in a mean, if slightly frightened, way. He heard more footsteps coming up from behind him, saw guards circling him, they were obviously prepared to open fire if necessary. After a slight pause another security officer stepped up beside the first one and cautiously moved Grant's hands behind his back. The cuffs distinctive "clanking" was the last sound Grant remembered before they slid a gas mask over his face...

III. Interrogation

G-MO awoke in a chair, a mahogany chair. He, though still dazed, started to look around him in an attempt to find out where he was. His eyes rested first on an unfriendly face behind the desk, the desk was also made of mahogany, in front of him. After looking at his cruel, almost contorted, features Grant switched to gazing at the room around him. His eyes rested on massive paintings, probably priceless, although Grant's lack of knowledge about art kept him from being sure. Then he noticed the rich carpet under his feet and the vaulted ceiling high above him. He switched his gaze back to the man and asked where he was.

"You would like to know, wouldn't you?" said the man in a voice that matched his countenance perfectly.

"Yes, I would like to know. You never know when information like that would come in handy." After a brief pause G-MO started to rise, "Well if you won't tell me I'll have to find out for myself." Grant had just gotten out of his chair as his legs gave way, he tumbled to the floor.

As G-MO prepared for what he knew would be a difficult task of getting back in the chair the man walked over. His stubby but powerful looking frame was, at the least, slightly intimidating, even for some one like Grant.

"The gas will keep you from doing anything with your muscles for a while."

"Then it won't do any harm to tell me where I am then will it?" was Grant's reply.

"Ah, there you are mistaken," said the man as he turned his back to G-MO, "It is always a risk to give out unnecessary information, you should know that."

Grant felt the sudden urge to kick the man's legs out form under him, but he remembered his current weakness just in time to keep his intentions from showing.

The man spun around with surprising agility and shoved his hand into G-MO's face. As Grant lost all the positioning he had been able to gain the man started to scream. He screamed so loud, and so much that G-MO looked in amazement as the mans face gradually changed from pink to red due to the sudden burst of energy. As his speech slowed and became quieter G-MO could start to understand it.

"You thought you could come here and fight us all single handed! Did you really think you could kill everyone and still avoid detection! You miserable Zdon scum, you have no right to stay alive! Why if had my way I would happily beat you to death right here! See how red the carpet is that you are laying on, that isn't from some food! You could never have assassinated Mr. Murdiks! You were to stupid, too ignorant, too foolish to even get near him! Mr. Murdiks is too wise, too smart, too wonderful get caught in such a miserable attempt as yours! He started this corporation and by the time he dies he will rule the WORLD! There is nothing you can do against such power!"

As he took a breath G-MO responded, "You thought I was here to kill him, how stupid. That just shows that you are not as wise as your grand and illustrious leader! I was here to ask him a favour. I have had some 'disagreements' with the 'managers' in Zdon and was wondering if he needed any help. All I wanted was the great honour to serve in his forces. Even at the lowest rank I would be surrounded by people who where more honest, wise, strong, courageous, and skilled than what I am surrounded by in Zdon, even in Yamam."

The man was taken aback, he recovered himself and continued speaking, "You think I would fall for that? Come now, surely you don't think I'm that stupid?" The man finished his discourse by roaring, "Take him away!" Five figures suddenly stepped from their hiding places in the shadows and, after re-cuffing him, led G-MO away.

Being in a Galaxy holding cell wasn't so bad, it actually reminded G-MO of his "home" at Zdon. The same lack of any sort decoration or style. He could live here, just as long as they kept feeding him, G-MO thought. Suddenly the magnetic doors started to open. G-MO was faced with a very angry looking guard who held an equally threatening hose.

"Here to beat me up with a hose? How lame." Was all G-MO bothered saying. The door rasped shut and G-MO and the gaurd were left alone. The gaurd pulled a H&K SuperNerf 120 from out of a little pouch that he held at his side. "Here, take this," was all he said. G-MO didn't waste any time getting it in his posesion. As he quickly checked the chamber to see if it was loaded Grant resumed conversation, "So why are you giving this to me?" "I know who you are, G-MO. Most of the people here don't. I also know why you came to Galaxy HQ in the first place." "Would you be so kind as to inform me of my interests?" was Grant's sarcastic reply. "You are here to open communication with Galaxy. Zdon wants help with the Albanians and they have decided to ask Galaxy." G-MO's face remained expressionless as the guard continued, "My name is RTSplayer, I am a Zdon operative inside Galaxy." G-MO interrupted him, "If you are a Zdon operative, why didn't they tell me about you?" "They can't tell you everything, now can they? Anyway, I would not have been of any assistance if you had successfully gotten to your objective. Only if you failed would I be able to help you." "That still doesn't clear up the problems." was G-MO's reply. "The code name for this mission is USSR." was all RTSplayer replied. "OK then, what are we going to do?" G-MO asked. "Simple, we will carry out the mission you started on. I have a plan, listen carefully..."

IV. Breakout

RTSplayer had told Grant that he was on a basement level of the same building he had been caught in. The drug that they had forcibly administered to him only kept you unconscious for a short period of time, to short to move him to Galaxy HQ, but it kept your muscles from operating with good cordination and strength for a much longer period of time. After administering the antidote to help G-MO regain his ability to operate on his own, they prepared to get moving.

"When I open this door we have to be ready for anything. They might be onto me and have a machine gun waiting there, for all I know." That was all that RTSplayer could say as the door started to open after he punched the right code in.

The door opened and they didn't see any threats. G-MO spun out of the room toward the left while RTSplayer made use of his being left handed and covered the right side. BANGBANGBANG! was G-MO's reply to a question a guard had just asked. The sound, reverberating down the white-walled corridor, had the same effect that the smell of death would have on a vulture. G-MO and RTSplayer were instantly engaged from several different points. They knew they couldn't stay were they were, so they rushed toward the first person they had dropped. RTSplayer picked up the guards Scatter Shot 3 and continue moving forward. RTSplayer quickly emptied a stairway of people and screamed to Grant, "I got your back! Get over here NOW!" As Grant ran towards RTSplayer he took the opportunity to reload his gun. G-MO reached RTSplayer and started up the stairs. Clank, a hand grenade dropped right next to him. He grabbed it and threw it towards the platform that he had been trying to reach. "Get down!" was all the warning he could give RTSplayer before the grenade went off. As the smoke cleared it revealed no damage neither RTSplayer nor G-MO, however it did seem to stop the shooting for a couple seconds. RTSplayer lept up the stairs and blasted the lock off a door. "Now!" was all he shouted before he jerked the door open. Grant, who was in position to cover the new opening that RTSplayer had just created, quickly emptied the thirty round magazine that he had just loaded into his gun.As they dashed into the room they found they had just entered the guard's barracks.

G-MO picked up an assault rifle to replace his empty H&K while RTSplayer easily stopped all attempts the guards made to defend the room. "What is the quickest way to the President of Galaxy?" shouted G-MO over the sound of the firing. "We'll have to go up to the main floor, then we can cross the street through the above ground tunnel. That stairway on the right, that should take us there!" was his equally loud reply.

G-MO wasted no time in blasting the door open with one of the Scatter Shots that were lying randomly around the room. "It's open! I've got your back!" screamed Grant as he prepared to cover the rear of their movement. They both rushed up the stairs and into a safer, though still deadly, area.

BAM! The door was open, but instead of charging through, they threw a hand grenade. Almost before the foam stopped moving RTSplayer and G-MO entered the lobby, they were pleased to find that the grenade had stopped five people's attempts to stop the getaway.

"This is the way to the tunnel!" Shouted RTSplayer as he started running towards it.

G-MO took the point and rushed into the tunnel. Before he entered the tunnel his rifle roared out a greeting to those who were already there. Grant shouted "Clear!" as he pushed onward.

V. Galaxy Headquaters

G-MO and RTSplayer easily moved through Galaxy's headquarters since, thanks to RTSplayer's knowledge of the area, they were able to avoid all the most likely places for an ambush. They found the office of the president of Galaxy Enterprises Incorporated, Mr. Murdiks. They eliminated the guard before they noticed another problem. There was a metal grate keeping them out of the office.

Telling RTSplayer to open a hole in the wall using his Scatter Shot 3 was G-MO's solution. RTSplayer took G-MO's advice and started shooting the wall. After a couple minutes he had opened a hole large enough to crawl through. Because G-MO was out of ammo in his rifle he pulled out his pistol, well it was his after he picked it up off the ground, and crawled in.

Grant found himself in a large room with a desk at the far side. "Sir, I have come to open communication with the Galaxy Corporation," was how Grant introduced himself. "Is knocking everyone in your path a good way to start communication on a subject as important as yours?" As Mr. Murdiks spoke RTSplayer, who had now crawled through the opening, prepared to stop any attempts by Galaxy soldiers to follow. "I had no other choice. I would have come without any loss of personnel if that were possible, but I had to accomplish what my leaders told me to do, so I had no other option but to resort to violence." "Do you really expect me to believe such a lie? Anyway, state your cause for being here. Your presence is becoming wearisome." was what Mr. Murdiks replied with a slight change of tone that sounded like it might be a yawn. "The Albanians have attacked us, we need your help in repulsing their invasion." was all Grant could think of saying. "And why should I help you? Why shouldn't I just leave you to the fate which you so rightly deserve?" "You have made a good point," G-MO started his response, "and I plan to explain it to you. How can you tame a lion once it has tasted human blood? How can you tell a serpent to cease striking? Even if you remove the lion's teeth it will try to attack with its claws, just as a serpent will still strike at you, even if it has it's fangs removed. If we don't stop and utterly destroy the Albanians they will never be stopped. You might not mind seeing us die, but remember, your group has the least military capability, thus presenting a good target. If you don't help us kill them now they will end up killing you later."

"I will contact your leader and speak about it. Now be gone!" Was what all that he replied.

G-MO sensed the conversation was over and decided now would be the best time to ask his question, "Sir, may I have your assurance of a safe trip from your headquarters back to ours?"

"No, your performance will be judged. If you meet our specifications we can actually start thinking about an alliance. Now be gone!" As Mr. Murdiks said those last words he turned his chair away.

G-MO quietly stepped back to RTSplayer and whispered, "Whatever you do, don't kill anyone as were heading out." "But," RTSplayer interrupted, "he will be judging us based on our performance and if we don't kill anyone we will be killed!" "We came for a peaceful reason, we was willing to overlook our fighting to get here; but, fighting to get back, after saying that you wanted peace, would not be acceptable. We can knock people around, but I don't want to see any death in our trail. It would be better for what is, now, our mission that both of us should die, than to kill even one of Mr. Murdiks lowliest troopers." RTSplayer nodded in understanding as he prepared to go back through the hole.

VI. Escape

RTSplayer exited the hole and stood next to it waiting for G-MO. As G-MO's head poked out of the hole he was greeted with a sight that didn't fill his mind with confidence over his plan to escape without killing anyone. Around the hole were 10 men from the Galaxy Corporation's special operations group, the Orbiteers. Each had his finger on the trigger of his weapon. "Well, it looks like this is the end of the line, RTS" G-MO said in a calm voice. "One of us might be able to get out if we attack." RTSplayer responded without moving his lips. "OK, but remember, no killing." With astonishing speed both of them jumped in opposite directions, took out the feet of the nearest Orbiteer, and finished there move by smashing their weapons into the back of the head of any Orbiteer within reach.

"GO!" was all the time G-MO could say before his voice was drowned in gunfire.

G-MO ran, he didn't know where he was going, nor did he really care. His view of things at the time was that any movement was better than none. A gun opened fire on his right, he kept going; stairs, he lept up them like a gazelle; ambush, he was past it before it was prepared to fight him. He paused for breath, he knew he couldn't keep this pace, anyway, where was he? He saw a door at the end of a far corridor and thought it looked more promising than the much closer door to his left. He jogged toward the door and put his hand on the knob. He rember, just in time, to open the door carefully and try stealth over speed. He heard noises coming up the large hall he had just left and he knew he had to go through this door, now. He opened it just enough to slide through and then he quietly closed the door. He kept having the feeling that he was going to turn around and face the muzzle of a gun; but when he turned around all he saw was the deep blue sky with a luminous yellow ball near the apex of its travel through the skies and green plants that were fit to hide in. He ducked under some overhanging branches and was about to try to climb a tree with lots of cover in its branches when he heard voices. He crouched on the ground and listened to the obviously female voices, "There was a lot of excitement last night, from what I can tell." "Oh yes," said the second voice, "Somebody was trying to kill Mr. Murdiks, but he didn't succeed!" "Well it is good to know that the miserable beast, some insane people think he might be a man, failed in it's attempt to assassinate our illu...AHHHHHHHH!" the third woman's voice changed to a scream in response to, from what G-MO could hear, somebody running towards them. "Who are you?" asked the first lady as her voice quivered. "Where am I? How do I get out of this complex?" was all the man responded. G-MO understood now; the newcomer was RTSplayer. Apparently he had found his way into this courtyard as well. G-MO stepped form the bushes directly behind the three women. "Excuse me ladies," was all G-MO had a chance to say before they made another ear piercing screech. "Please ladies, think of my ears. I have been hearing a lot of gunfire recently and your screams are not very good on my ears. Now, please answer us. How do we get out of this building?" Since G-MO saw they were full of fear and apprehension he concluded by stating that he meant them no harm, but he had gotten lost during his daily jog and needed help getting outside the fences of the compound. The youngest member of the group, who happened to be the first person he had heard speaking, was the first to speak this time as well, "You are in the house of General Dominus, leader of the Orbiteers. There is no escape from this building, so you might as well turn yourselves in!" Grant smiled as he spoke, "It is nice to know that the women of this area have quicker wits and more courage than most of the men that I have run into thus far. Anyway, I came on a diplomatic mission and I did not cause a single man to warp out that wouldn't have done the same to me, if he had gotten the chance. I have spoken with Mr. Murdiks and am on my way to my own headquarters now. As I said, I mean none of you any harm, and would be more than happy to leave here without any weapons at all, if I could be assured of my safety." The same woman responded, "Well I can tell that you are speaking the truth, but as I said, there is no escape form this building." She ended wistfully, "I have tried before, and failed every time." "well," said Grant in a more meditative attitude than he had had in the past months, "if you can not go out horizontally then you must escape vertically." Then resuming his normal commanding attitude he asked a question, "RTSplayer, are you ready to climb?" "I'm sorry, G-MO, but I am not much good at climbing. You can go, I'll find some other way." Grant turned back to the young woman, "Do know know where I can find some rope?" "You want me to give you rope! Do you know what would happen to me when people find out that I have talked to you at all?" "You said yourself that you have tried to escape, if you help me out of here, I will do my best to help you get to wherever you want to go." "I said I HAD tried, I never said that I was currenlty trying!" that was her best response to such a bold statement. "Although you never said those exact words you did, however, imply them. Now, back to the business at hand, can you get me some rope?" She shot Grant a warning glance as she replied with the simple gesture of waving her hand for him to follow her. She lead him towards a door on the other side of the courtyard and, after waving her hand again, stepped into a dark room.

His trust impressed her, she was not expecting some one who was inside his enemies headquarters to be so calm and deliberate while placing his life in the hands of a person he hadn't known for more than five minutes at the highest estimate. She voiced some of her thoughts in a simple sentence, "Here is your rope. I hope it is enough for you." G-MO looked pleased with the rope she had procured, "Thank you for your assistance, I couldn't have done it without you. Now, will you be coming along, we both know things might not go well for you if you stay." "If what you say is true, and I believe it is, Galaxy will soon be Zdon's allies. If we are allies, then why should I be severely punished for helping you? It is nice to see you care, but I will stay." "OK, goodbye, and thank you." With that G-MO turned and slowly walked out into the dazzling sunlight, leaving the woman to her, now confused, thoughts.

Grant blinked as his eyes were forced to readjust to the light. Once his eyes were better adjusted he stepped forward, but not before he shook his head as if that would help clear his mind of thoughts. Thoughts that he didn't want to face, or at the least, didn't want to face right now.

"She got you the rope, that's great G-MO!" RTSplayer was quite pleased as Grant walked up toward him. "Yes, she got me the rope." said a not nearly as happy G-MO. He turned into a cold, seemingly emotionless being as he started to speak, "Well, lets get this thing going, I'll climb up and fasten the rope to some solid object, then you climb up the rope and we can get away." "OK, G-MO." was all the RTSplayer could say, even though his thoughts went much further.

The plan succeeded and they looked out over the roof of the building, and, for the first time in weeks, Grant felt free. They moved over the roof at a good speed and, after a couple perilous attempts, made it to the next roof in the direction of Zdon HQ. The process was continued and they had made a lot of progress, even though they weren't going anywhere very fast.

Night was falling as G-MO remembered that Zdon was going to send a helicopter to pick him up at the same place they dropped him off, if he was there, of course. They started moving faster, but they knew they couldn't reach the rendezvous at this pace. G-MO guessed that the only way they could reach there destination on time would be using a vehicle, so there wasn't much else to do, except find a car they could steal.

After clambering down a fire escape on the side of the building they walked toward the rode, just as a policecar stopped in front of them. "What are you doing out at night! It is past the curfew, you should know that. Get in the back of the car, you're coming with me!" RTSplayer and G-MO looked at each other and stepped toward the officer, as soon as they got close enough they rushed him and pushed him to the ground. They then took his radio and weapons and, after tying him up with the rope, left him in the alley.

RTSplayer jumped behind the wheel of their new ride as G-MO, literally, sat shotgun. After seeing how RTSplayer drove Grant realized that there was no reason to keep a look out for enemies. If they did shoot the speed of the car was probably faster than their darts and even if it wasn't faster, which he knew to be true, RTSplayer's sporadic, violent twists of the wheel would destroy all chances of an enemy stopping them. G-MO accessed the dashboard computer and used the map to tell RTSplayer when to turn. They quickly found their way to the pickup point. RTSplayer stopped the car and switched one of the radios to the frequency they needed to be on in order to communicate with the helicopter.

Seven agonizing minutes passed before the helicopter hovered over them and, after bringing them aboard, flew away into the crisp night air.