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Author Topic: The Conspiracy  (Read 2620 times)

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Online Lord BaneTopic starter

The Conspiracy
« on: May 05, 2011, 04:31:18 PM »
Tom Drake rubbed sleep from his eyes as he stared at the computer screen again. In three days he had barely got four hours sleep, but for his constant supply of coffee he'd have long since gone to bed. He couldn't risk it though, not considering what had happened. He sighed, there had to be some clue to what was happening among his files, he just had to figure out where. There were a variety of files spread across his desk, most stamped with the word classified, among a multitude of newspapers from all over the country. He went to make himself another cup of coffee to help him try and concentrate.

The rest of the office was a mess, books, files and newspaper cuttings littering the floor as if the whole room was acting like a rubbish bin. Amdist it all was a small photo frame, a picture of the members of Hammerdown taken before the murders had started. It was the last time Tom had seen many of them alive, and he knew it was only a matter of time before someone came after him, if only he knew when.

Offline Trost

Re: The Conspiracy
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2011, 10:40:30 PM »
Alice hated mornings with the deepest passion. She was tired, grumpy, low on energy, and being bombarded to keep up with the busy lifestyle of city life at 7-in-the-friggin-am. If it had not been for her extensive military training, Alice would have never survived the dreaded early morning.

On this particular morning, Alice had hurried herself into a local coffee shop, and immediatly groaned. The line was all the way to the door. Damn! She was going to be late at the office. Sighing in defeat, she still took her spot in line. Ah well... all she would just bring her boss some coffee as a peace offering. As she waited for the line to go down, Alice's mind wandered. The recent deaths of her comrades weighed heavily on her mind and heart. They had grown close in Project Hammerdown and it hurt to know that most had been killed. Furthermore, she had to keep on her guard.

"Miss.... miss!"

"Huh?!" Alice exclaimed and looked around wildly, having just got reacquianted with her surroundings. So much for being on guard.

The cashier raised an eyebrow at her. Apparently the line had moved without her knowing. "How may I help you?" he asked with a slight bit of uncertainty.

"Uhhh...." Alice said dumbly as she tried to regather her thoughts. Her eyes scanned over the menu. "Ahhh... a large hazelnut latte with an extra shot and a choco frappicino with whip, please."

The cashier put in the amount. The sounds of the register rang out as Alice pulled out her wallet. "That'll be $8.65."

As Alice rummaged for the money, she paused as a picture caught her eye. It was a group picture of Hammerdown. A soft smile brushed against her lips as she reminisced that day for a moment.

"...Miss?"

Alice whipped up her head. "Oh! Sorry!" she said and handed her money to the cashier, who still eyed her warily. It was noted that he handed her change back quicker than usual.

"Have a good day." he said apprehensively and handed her the coffee.

"Thank you." Alice said with a smile before taking the cups and hurrying out the door, into the busy city.

Online Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: The Conspiracy
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2011, 03:42:03 AM »
His phone rang, it was Sam, at least he was still alive Tom thought, if he bit the dust then they'd have a whole new set of problems.

"Sam, how's things going?" he asked. "You know my serum supply is full for a few months yet. Think you almost gave me too MUCH of it." He smiled as he heard Sam's infectious laugh from the other end of the phone, even for a man in his fifties Sam still laughed like a little kid.

"This isn't about the serum Tom, I've found something."

"Your CIA contacts again?" Tom asked. "That's where its usually from."

"Some anonymous contact," came the reply. "He...or she...claims they've come across a link between the murders and Hammerdown. Well, beyond the obvious that its Hammerdown members dying I mean. I've emailed you the message I got, I advise you read it as soon as you can."

Tom hung up, walked over to the computer and tracked down the email. They'd had false leads before so he had little or no hope that this would be different but he respected Sam too much to just ignore the message. He opened it just as he was taking a sip of his coffee and nearly coughed it up over the computer screen as he read its contents.

"Oh god..." he said, picking the phone up again and dialling Alice's number. "Alice, I need you back at the office ASAP, I've made a discovery and...its not good."

Offline Trost

Re: The Conspiracy
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2011, 09:15:59 PM »
Alice was nearly to the looming building that held her office when her pocket vibrated violently. The woman cursed and juggled the cups into a position that would allow her access to her cellphone. Once retrieved, she took one look at the caller ID before cursing softly. She flipped it open and pressed it to her ear.

"Hey, Tom! I'm really busy with some paperwork right now." she said cheerfully as she pushed through the entrance doors. "I got some coffee for you to-"

"Alice, I need you back at the office ASAP, I've made a discovery and...its not good."

Alice stopped in her tracks and a deep frown crossed her face. She knew that tone in Tom's voice, and it meant-as he said-things were definitly NOT good. There was a moment's pause before she continued.

"On my way." she said sternly before flipping the phone down and rushing across the threshold of the information desk. Her heels clopped with each furious step as she rushed to a nearby elevator and catching it right as it closed. The trip up to the floor was tedious and long. Alice felt like she was about to explode with anticipation.

Finally, the doors chimed open and Alice bolted out. She passed many offices and cubicles before coming to Tom's. She knocked on the door before peeking her head in.

"Hey..." she greeted. It help some cheer to it, she was always happy to see her friend, though there was an grave undertone for the situation. She walked over to his desk, making sure the door was shut first, and handed him the cup of coffee.

"So what's up?" she asked, worry in her bright, hazel eyes. She tucked a strand of straight, dark brown hair behind her ears.

Online Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: The Conspiracy
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2011, 03:10:36 AM »
"Someone just sent Sam an email," Tom said. "Yeah, I know, not that uncommon. But the problem is what the email says."

He turned the computer screen round so she could see it. The email read:

"Dear Sam,

I have no idea how out of date what I'm about to tell you is so I can only hope this information does not reach you too late. Someone within the CIA has created a second supersoldier programme, not using the Hammerdown serum, using a second serum created by someone else. I fear that this second programme and the Hammerdown murders are linked in some way. I attempted to find out more info but all I could get without being discovered was a name: Project Phoenix. Whatever they're doing is something to do with order J24K. You need to find out what's happening and stop it as soon as possible.

From,
Anon."

"Sam once told me only one thing was strong enough to kill a Hammerdown agent aside from natural causes," Tom said, turning to Alice. "Another supersoldier. I think its safe to say we have a problem."

Offline Trost

Re: The Conspiracy
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2011, 04:04:49 AM »
Alice leaned over the desk and gazed at the computer screen. Her eyes squinted as her iris' were suddenly attacked by the glow. Once having read the email, her frown deepened and she leaned back.

"Easier said than done. So where are we supposed to start looking? At the old HQ? Even with our connectons, there are certain sections blocked off from us now, due to good ol' retirement. And also, if this person is smart enough to make this new serum right under the HQ's nose, they MUST be good! We would be walking in blind to enemy territory without knowing the enemy!"

Despite the annoyance in her voice, Alice's heart was hammering with excitement. Despite living as a cizilian for many years, she had not adapted to it. Her soldier blood yearned for the battlefield, was trained for it. And it was exhilerating to think she had a bigger enemy than the dreaded printer that made breakfast out of her files. It should be dully noted, with much pride from Alice, that said printer had to be carted away in several dismembered pieces.

Online Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: The Conspiracy
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2011, 08:22:37 AM »
He sat thoughtfully for a second, rubbing the stubble on his chin as he tried to think of a good plan.

"We can't just walk into CIA headquarters and get the information. For one thing I doubt whoever's doing this would be stupid enough to leave the information somewhere you could get to it easily. Plus if this is a CIA operation we'd be making the assassin's job even harder. Unless..."

He opened a drawer in his desk and rummaged through it. It seemed to be full of random junk, but at the very bottom of it he found what he'd been looking for: a map with a house that seemed to be in the middle of nowhere marked on it in red ink.

"The old Hammerdown safehouse, as far as I know its still there. They designed the computer in their to be able to get onto the CIA mainframe without anyone else realising it." He gave a wry smile. "Geez, I wonder if the CIA ever found out even half of what we got up to behind their backs."

Offline Trost

Re: The Conspiracy
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2011, 07:40:11 PM »
As Tom presented the map, Alice's brow scrunched before one tweeked up to her hairline as her curiosity spiked.

"That old thing is still up?!" she asked in disbelief. A smirk crooked across her lips as she remembered all the access they had in that main frame, and then the trouble that they caused with it as impish, soldiers fresh out of bootcamp and into another with project Hammerdown.

Alice turned the smirk to Tom. "So does that mean I can switch out these heels for a pair of combat boots? We're leaving now, right?"

Online Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: The Conspiracy
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2011, 03:09:34 AM »
He nodded. "Much as we hopefully won't be disturbed by anyone I don't fancy having to come back here in case we do. We need to pack all the files that are important," he said, pointing to a pile he'd made at the far end of the desk. "Everything about Hammerdown, our colleagues...everything we really need to know is in that pile. The rest is either junk or even if it was found by someone they'd never understand what it meant."

He switched the computer off, standing up and throwing his coat and shoes on. He walked over to the old photo of the team still sat by his desk.

"Poor Dmitri," he said, pointing to the young blonde Russian man at the front. "It was supposed to be his way of proving his loyalty to us and look what reward he got for his hard work." He couldn't stop himself from shaking, Dmitri's death in particular had effected him badly.

Offline Trost

Re: The Conspiracy
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2011, 01:20:55 AM »
It was very rare that Alice gave any kind of condolence. She was a very closed off woman who already saw emotions as weakness, even without her military training. Once boot camp and Hammerdown kicked in, she became a stone wall to strong emotions. So when she saw Tom look so upset over losing Dmitri, her mind drew a blank. She too felt the loss and anger, but when it got to an extreme, her entire mind and body went numb. All she could think of was to press a hand to his shoulder. Her expression blank, she expressed her emotions by merely squeezing the man's shoulder. Any normal person would have whimpered in pain from the force of it.

"We'll get the bastards that did this, Tom." she said quietly. Her hand lingered on his shoulder for a moment before walking over to gather the files.

Online Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: The Conspiracy
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2011, 03:34:09 AM »
"There's something I never told you," he said as he packed the last of the files. "I think Dmitri found out what was happening, that's why the assassin took him out first. He phoned me four months before he was killed claiming he was being followed and had been threatened by...well, he didn't know who at the time. Stupidly I just thought he was paranoid." He clenched his fist tightly. "That coward is going to pay for what he's done."

As he picked up the final file he froze. Tucked just inside it was a piece of paper marked J24K, he had never seen it before even though it'd been sat in his office the whole time. He looked at it and cursed under his breath.

"I think we're dealing with bigger forces than we realised," he said. "Order J24K, the one the contact mentioned? Its a kill-order, but you won't believe who the target was," as he said that he revealed enough of the slip of paper to show the logo of the US President displayed on it.

Offline Trost

Re: The Conspiracy
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2011, 08:24:12 PM »
Alice was stooped over the files, a hunched figure with her back to him as she gathering up the papers. When Tom continued to speak, she froze for a moment. Again, she found herself a loss of words and emotions that she wished she could feel, but couldn't. It was the sound of Tom shuffling through things, picking up objects himself that broke her stillness.

"You shouldn't blame yourself." she mumbled, though she wondered if he heard her.

They carried on until Tom mentioned something about J2AK.

"WHAT?!" Alice snapped, her head jolting to him. She twisted around and stormed over to him, tossing the huge pile of files in her arms onto the desk with a loud THUMP! She then snatched the paper out of his hands and there was a tense moment as she read through the paper, her eyes shifting at an unusual reading speed.

"This is unreal...." she mumbled as she leaned against the desk. "I wonder who gave out this order and what they were trying to achieve..."

After a moment, Alice shook her head and handed the paper back. "Put it away and speak not of it for now. We are too public to converse freely. How are we getting to the establishment? I have a friend in the Air Force who flies helicopters."

Online Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: The Conspiracy
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2011, 02:59:05 AM »
He put the file away with the others and thought for a moment, unsure if the idea was safe.

"I guess that's the best option," he said. "I don't want to contact Sam unless we absolutely have to, we can't risk revealing he's helping us in case whoever's behind this goes after him next. We need to work out where they're gonna pick us up from though, can't risk suggesting somewhere too public."

The last thing he packed was their supplies of the serum, which they still had plenty of for now. He definitely wouldn't risk leaving that anywhere out of his sight.

Offline Trost

Re: The Conspiracy
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2011, 05:54:07 AM »
"Right!" Alice exclaimed as she took her cellphone from her pocket. After a flip and a few stabs of her thumb, the ringing could be heard on the other line. She pressed it to her ear just as the phone was answered and a man's voice was heard.

"Jaz... hey its Alice." she paused for the recognition and continued mid-sentence. "Hey... I need you to do me a favor. A friend of mine and I need a ride. Think you can manage it?"

Another pause and a man's voice was heard.

"I understand that, Jaz, but it is really important. Drop my name to your commanding officer, if you need to."

Another pause. More voices.

"Thanks Jaz. I'll send you the coordina-" Another pause. Alice frowned. "No, Jason." Another pause. "Bye, Jason." Alice clipped the phone shut. She took a moment to type something into her phone before clipping it shut and turning to Tom.

"He should be here in about 10 minutes to pick us up on the roof. We may want to hurry."

Online Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: The Conspiracy
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2011, 06:30:28 AM »
"Well I don't fancy hanging around here any longer than we need to," he said laughing. "Make sure we haven't left anything behind and I'll go and wait on the roof."

He picked up as many of the files as he could and headed upstairs, just about avoiding any awkward questions from the people he passed. When he got to the roof he put the files down, just as his phone started ringing. It was Sam again.

"Tom, do NOT get on that helicopter, its a trap," he said without bothering to wait for Tom to say a word. "Get to the cafe on Main Street, someone will pick you up there, but do NOT get in that helicopter or be anywhere near that building when it gets there, do you understand?"

Tom shut the phone and ran downstairs, flinging the door open to the office.

"Change of plan Alice, I don't have time to explain but we need to be at Joe's Diner on Main Street, forget the helicopter. And if you have anything valuable I advise you bring it with you, I don't think we're coming back here again."

Offline Trost

Re: The Conspiracy
« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2011, 09:30:29 PM »
Alice had given Tom a curt nod as he made his way up to the roof. She grabbed a brief case and began filling all the important files into it. It did not take long and she was on her way out the office when the door slammed open. Alice jumped and her training kicked in immediatly with her surprise. It was the same military training of control that kept her from snapping Tom's neck on the spot.

As his urgent voice demanded her attention, Alice did not question Tom's statement. They were comrades and really the only one she could fully trust in these days. No questions asked, no doubt in her mind, she hopped on the next plan with ease. Although there was one thing...

"Right." she said bluntly. "Head down the to Diner. I'll meet you there." Without waiting for a response, she slid past him and out of the office.

"Don't wait for me! I got it covered." she called back as she stormed over to the stairway. Her office was just a story below his. It was best to keep them seperated in the workplace, so that no one grew suspicious.

Online Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: The Conspiracy
« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2011, 02:47:01 AM »
He nodded, grabbing a few last things from the office. He turned round to her one last time before he left the building.

"Make sure you're out of here when the helicopter arrives, if what I just got told is right its not here to rescue us."

With that he got out of the building as quick as he could, heading for the diner and keeping an eye open for the car that was going to pick them up.

Offline Trost

Re: The Conspiracy
« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2011, 03:47:46 AM »
"Figured..." Alice mumbled as she turned away and disappeared. She clopped down the stairs, the echo of her heels and movement thundering around her as she slammed through the door that lead to the floor of her office. She was greeted by quiet cubicles. Continuing on as if nothing was going on, she beelined for her office, all the while scanning her surroundings under her lashes. She made it to her door without confrontation, quietly closed the door, and then sprung into action.

Her limbs where a windmill of motion as she snatched papers here, items there, and stuffed them into her briefcase. She found herself sprawled across her desk, reaching for a drawer on the opposite side and froze. There it was, the last thing that she needed to grab and the one that hung-irritatingly-over her mind the most. Slowly, she reached for it with a facade of anger. She had no idea why such a tiny thing bore on her mind, yet it still did. She was ashamed that it did, and this as the reason why she did not want Tom to follow her. Despite her training, despite every fiber in her screaming that she should have kept close to her comrade, she still could not face him with such a show of.... weakness.

Alice shook her head and snatched the trinket: a necklace with a solid silver ring hanging from it. She quickly hooked it around her neck, tucked it out of sight under her shirt, snatched the briefcase, and stormed out her office.

Online Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: The Conspiracy
« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2011, 10:04:43 AM »
The car pulled up outside the office just as she got out the building, Tom jumping out.

"Get in," he said. "They were already at the cafe when I got there so I thought I'd save you time."

At that moment he heard the sound of helicopter blades overhead, and grimaced as he saw the logo on the side: Saint-Clare Corporation, a name he recognised instantly.

"Oh crap, Tom wasn't kidding when he said it wasn't here to rescue us." He turned to Alice. "Get in, we don't have time to wait around."

Offline Trost

Re: The Conspiracy
« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2011, 04:34:32 PM »
Alice had just arrived when Tom made the remark about the helicopter. Her eyes watched it fly over head as she ducked down in the car, quickly shutting the door. She tilted her head over so that she could look at the logo.

"Is there something I should know?" she asked Tom as she slowly turned to him.

Online Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: The Conspiracy
« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2011, 04:50:22 PM »
He jumped in, nodding to the girl driving the car who pulled away instantly.

"Damnit, I forgot newer Hammerdown recruits like you didn't know about Saint-Claire," he said, searching through the files he had, before pulling a particularly thick file out. "Leon Saint-Claire, the mastermind of Hammerdown, unofficially anyway. Missing presumed dead after Hammerdown was shutdown." He handed the file to her.

"Yeah, well if Sam's suspicions are correct, Saint-Claire's tactics travelled in the family," the driver said.

"Oh hell," Sam said. "Elle...that's the last thing we need." He paused. "I should probably fill you in on him shouldn't I?" he asked Alice.

Offline Trost

Re: The Conspiracy
« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2011, 03:42:40 AM »
Alice took the file and immediatly began shifting through it with frevor. Her eyes shifted at abnormal speed as she read and absorbed the mountain of information in an instant. She was already highly intelligent even before Hammerdown. Since the training, her intellect and ability to process information had only increased.

She only paused in the reading long enough to look up at Sam when he asked about filling her in.

"Indeed, that would be nice since they're after my ass." she said.

Online Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: The Conspiracy
« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2011, 07:30:32 AM »
"Let's just say without Saint-Claire there wouldn't BE a Hammerdown Project," Sam said. "Not that the CIA would tell you that, they'd have to admit they worked with a right-wing terrorist."

He fell silent staring out of the window with a distant look on his face.

"Elle Saint-Claire, the girl who runs that company," the driver said. "Her and Sam...were a couple, about 15 years ago. He had no idea who she was until after they had split though."

Offline Trost

Re: The Conspiracy
« Reply #23 on: May 25, 2011, 04:29:57 PM »
Alice looked up from her reading, which was almosts complete. Her expression was blank as her eyes landed on Sam, though inside she was really feeling sorry for him. After Hammerdown, people thought they could just move on with their lives as if nothing happened. Even without all the recent killings, that wasn't so. It seemed it had effected everybody.

Though Alice was sympathetic, her training was still kicking in to not show emotion. So she remained apathetic in response.

"I'm sorry to hear that." she said, borderline dully as she closed the folder. "So if they worked for Hammerdown, how are they suddenly our enemy? Do you think they are part of this new group? And how do we deal with them?"

Online Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: The Conspiracy
« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2011, 04:52:10 PM »
"Hammerdown didn't start as a supersoldier programme," Tom said. "The original Hammerdown was a rightwing extremist group, headed by Leon Saint-Claire and made up of some of the nastiest criminals you'd ever come across. For five years they managed to operate on US soil without the CIA, FBI or even the police knowing anything about them...until JFK," he said, smirking.

"You know those rumours there was another gunman at the JFK assassination?" the driver said. "There was, but the second gunman never fired a shot. He was further along the route, Oswald killed Kennedy before the other assassin got a chance. Unfortunately for Saint-Claire the police caught the other gunman and the guy grassed them up to the police. They had a chance to put Saint-Claire somewhere he wouldn't trouble anyone ever again but...the CIA had a change of heart."

"A supersoldier programme already existed by then," Sam said. "Problem is the CIA needed a way to convincingly cover it up if something went wrong. Who better than a crime lord who'd fooled every US law enforcement agency for five years before anyone noticed him. What they didn't know is Saint-Claire only agreed because he had an ulterior motive for helping them, one which...well, you may not like the real reason Project Hammerdown existed. I only know because Sam told me a few years ago when he all but had a complete nervous breakdown trying to hide it from us.