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 Search for Silent - Chpt 15

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PostSubject: Search for Silent - Chpt 15   November 21st 2009, 8:03 am

The Search for Silent
Chapter Fifteen

Part 1

The helicopter rushed away before anyone would spot it. The travel had been fast and low. Not the safest form of travel, but both men who moved away even as the helicopter fled hoped that the ride would be remembered as the most danger they had faced.

Victor stopped as Captain Silent started shedding his camouflage uniform. The first thought was that he was going to put on some lotion to darken his skin as he had seen the lady do in the video. Victor was however surprised to find a regulation dress shirt and pants taken from the captain's backpack. This was the lieutenant's first infiltration, so had to ask about procedure.

"What are you doing?"

"Going undercover."

"A United States Army Officer is undercover?"

A button with a smiley face, some dry spaghetti, and a blue ribbon was put on the shirt where the medals were to go. Captain Silent actually had few, not actually serving for that long, but his National Security Medal was one that normally caught the eyes of most. The medals he now wore would also catch people's eyes, but it would be to reprimand him and not simply to chat.

"What? You think the people of this country go around with guns looking for invading Americans to kill? They understand that they have people who go around doing foolish things, or get caught with a stroke of bad luck during a most embarrassing moment. They also understand humor."

"So that is an effective disguise?"

Captain Silent shrugged while saying, "It is not like the carrier had an invading country disguise store."

"They probably did. It was a pretty big ship."

"Well, I hate to tell you, but you are as out of place here as I am. Everyone here does not look the same however, so there are people that look like me and you. We move about smiling and waving at people. If someone wants to talk, let me do the talking."

It sounded fishy, but Victor was willing to show the captain that he trusted him. "Do you have a uniform for me?"

"Of course not. How many times have you seen a guy in an officer's uniform running about the countryside with another in camouflage?"

"Never."

"Right, it is foolish as hell. No real invaders would be so foolish."

Victor had to admit that if he saw a pair dressed in such a manner he would not take them as serious members of the military, but that also did not make him feel safe. "Oh, and this is going to get us all the way to where the hostages are being kept?"

"No, but I figure that we have two solid days of travel. We move today, tonight as much as possible, depending upon the moon, clouds, etc., then tomorrow. I want to be near our objective by tomorrow afternoon. We rest, then move to our objective. By the third morning, I want us secluded in a good position. We would never make it fighting the terrain, which is probably what everyone intended, but I have a reputation to maintain. We take the road, and this disguise will help us not get shot or arrested doing it."

It sounded like a plan, so Victor decided to play along. He had to agree with hiding his weapons. They had only brought handguns, but there was nothing playful about them. Sticking rocks in the holster seemed silly, but most of what Captain Silent did was designed to make them look playful. With the disguises in place, the two then began to jog towards their destination.

Victor became really scared moving through the first town, but Captain Silent started a cadence. Every time that the lieutenant had his feet match the tempo, it was changed. Attempting to regain the rhythm, the flow of the words changed again. He found those in the town looking at the black man who couldn't keep his feet moving properly laughing. He felt foolish, but had to admit that no one was pointing a gun towards them. Luckily, the community was small, and as they left it behind the captain had his feet match the stride of the lieutenant.

Captain Silent showed that he had recently been through boot in the ease in which he covered distance at a steady pace. Victor had been through such training both during boot and OTS, but had taken up his regular duties thinking such activities were behind him. He was glad for the pauses, although found the rests to only increase the torture of the next set of miles.

It did help that Captain Silent started working with the lieutenant on his language. Learning to say certain phrases did help keep his mind off the pace of the travel. He had taken a course on the language, so quickly managed to understand basic questions. In the next town Silent stopped to speak to a fruit merchant. The man actually produced a handgun when the captain mentioned that the rocks in his holster were to simulate the weight of an actual weapon. The handgun, Victor noted that it was loaded, was agreed to be heavier than the rock. Captain Silent then took some apricots and loaded up his hand until he felt that he had enough apricots to match the weight of the handgun. Mentioning that he would much rather carry apricots than rocks, he paid the merchant for the fruit. Victor appreciated the apricots on their next stop, and the ability to have slightly understood the exchange, so worked some more on the language when the travel again started.

It felt good to gain some rest as the day darkened. The weight of a MRE pack felt better in the stomach than it had in the backpack. While the ground was not as soft as even the bunks back on the carrier, it provided a good place to drop unconscious for a time.

"Okay, Victor, time to get up."

"What time is it, Captain?"

"Getting close to midnight. The moon is good and the clouds are not. Still, we only walk. Don't want to hurt ourselves."

As Victor attempted to shake off his desire to sleep some more, he asked, "Did you sleep any?"

"Enough. Come on. We move until the coming sun starts playing tricks with our eyes. When the day finally lightens, we go back to traveling."

"How many miles do we have left to go?"

"More than one, my friend."

Victor appreciated that Captain Silent kept more to open terrain than along civilized routes. There were soldiers in the towns, and while the antics worked as intended, the lieutenant feared that one would catch on to the charade. He however did recognize that they were covering the miles. More than the change in travel strategy, simply being told to rest as their objective was close was something that Victor appreciated the most.

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PostSubject: Re: Search for Silent - Chpt 15   November 22nd 2009, 3:18 am

TerishD wrote:
"Right, it is foolish as hell. No real invaders would be so foolish."

I felt like I was reading the humor section of this story when reading this exchange.

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PostSubject: Reply   November 22nd 2009, 9:34 am

Yes, but my purpose was to show that the country was not filled with people intent to harm those that were different. While the government and some bureaucracy were antagonistic, the people were regular people attempting to live their regular lives. Where modern media would have threats coming to those infiltrating from all sources, I wanted a more stratified structure where the regular people do not reflect the idiocy of those in charge of their lives (a situation that is reflecting America itself more and more).

Silent has been in the country before, so knows that everyone is not his enemy. I thus have him not treating his movement as being as stressful as others might suspect it to be. Remember when Stacy moved about the land earlier in the story, she also did not consider everyone as serious opposition.

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PostSubject: Re: Search for Silent - Chpt 15   November 23rd 2009, 1:21 am

I know, just the way it went down was funny. in a good way.

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PostSubject: Part 2   November 26th 2009, 8:15 am

The Search for Silent
Chapter Fifteen

Part 2

Stacy turned her head with the rest of those in the mess hall as the general entered the room. He smiled at a number that spoke to him and made a few comments in return. She was glad to see the high ranking officer come down to eat breakfast with the regular soldiers, although was surprised when the general came to sit next to her without getting a plate of food. Still, she understood that too much association was not considered wise, so assumed that her presence designated the table as being for officers. The lady spoke to quickly answer the question she knew would be asked.

"There is no word, General. I am presently glad, as most communications have gone quiet."

"The UN team is in position, Stacy. I believe things are about to get hairy, but sitting around waiting is draining my energy."

"I have a man active watching for a signal. I don't expect to hear anything however."

As Stacy said the last words, a call came for the general. He tried to be polite as the lady finished speaking, but also rose to move to the phone. He had barely had the device to his ear before he set it back down.

"Stacy, get your tray and follow me. You should be interested in this."

The lady had been on the vessel for a number of days, so had become used to the motions of the floor and the methods of moving between decks. She thus displayed no problems in carrying her tray without spilling anything on it. Some of the crewmen looked to her, and Stacy felt that if she had been of lower rank they would have made the offer to carry her breakfast. Her being a colonel however prevented them from approaching. She knew that most considered the high-ranking officers to be slightly odd, and considered that if she did not designate someone to carry the tray that the items had some importance beyond simply being some half-eaten food. Keeping a serious expression on her face, she continued to follow the general.

Stacy set down the tray upon entering a command room. This was not the bridge of the mighty ship, as the action concerning the general did not concern itself with direct movements of planes. What he and Stacy moved to see was a monitor showing a monochrome image from a light enhanced camera.

A voice over a speaker softly said, "A boot is being dropped. I now see a black man wearing camouflage moving to the tower."

The general asked, "Who is that speaking?"

Another voice that did not whisper came over the speaker to say, "Corporal Managon of the UN, Sir. He is speaking of someone in an Army officer dress uniform who climbed to the top of a sentry tower, took out the guard, and it seems is now changing into the uniform of the guard he dropped."

Stacy found the next question directed at her, "What would Silent be up to?"

"Besides getting a strategic point to help the hostages, he might be looking for a contact point to access the computer system."

Just then a call came for Stacy. She reached for the headset, but almost as soon as she set the device to her head to speak she was putting it back down. The general however had turned to look at her waiting for what she had to say.

"My team has just received a signal from Silent. He is transmitting the computer database from the facility."

The voice of another suddenly spoke on the speaker. "Sir, planes have just left the airspace of the country."

The general exclaimed, "Stacy, I need your team to work with the UN team. I am going to have those working with UN to route their conversations to you. Others on this ship are going to be busy with the orchestrating of the other plan. I need to stay in the middle."

Stacy simply turned, grabbed her tray, then left the room to return to the chamber her team used. She rushed through the passages so as not to miss anything important. It had been early when she left for breakfast, but returning to her operations room she was pleased to see that the entire team had already assembled.

Senior Airman Franklin quickly reported to the colonel, "In contact with UN team. It seems that the information Captain Silent is providing has the hostages still safe."

"What about detection?"

"He made the move right after, some say during, guard transfer. He thus should have a few hours of safety. He seems to be handling normal checks without any problem."

Stacy knew enough of the military operations of the other country to say, "He is going to be found out."

"Especially when the country's leader comes to visit."

Stacy made certain to ask her question in a manner that did not imply disbelief. "How did you learn of the coming of the despot?"

Senior Airman Franklin smiled as he replied, "Memo for the day is of an adjusted schedule and warnings about how to act. I suspect Captain Silent was looking for normal schedules to help him with the checks on his station."

"Does the UN team know of that memo?"

"It has been sent to them. Getting a response now that they plan on moving in. It is daylight, but it seems that Captain Silent has not raised any alarms. The UN team thus feels that they can duplicate his trick." Pause. "Message from Captain Silent to UN team. He is proposing that they not fear any alarms, but to take out the prison complex. Main concern is alarming the despot."

An Army soldier spoke with a tone of wanting to brag on his commanding officer. "The UN team has been there a while. Surely they have infiltrated the communication lines."

Senior Airman Franklin coolly replied, "The UN is using satellite feed. Captain Silent brought in his equipment to splice into dedicated lines. While he has access to normal communications, he is now attempting to hack into the main computer system to gain control. The UN team also has such an expert, but our bad guys will surely recognize them as not being Captain Silent."

Stacy spoke to keep the men focused on their work. "Silent is not a computer expert. He is an electric engineer. He can get a connection, but he has to get lucky on using the interface. That is why he steals the enemy’s computer."

One of the Air Force men asked, "How about Lieutenant Chambers?"

"He is a ROTC graduate. How much do you think he knows?"

Chuckles sounded around the room, although one Army regular said, "You got to give the guy credit; he does ask questions."

"And he did volunteer for this mission. By the time he is promoted to Captain, he might be worth a damn."

Senior Airman Franklin returned, "They are in. The UN has somebody worth a damn. They also have somebody going up another tower."

An airman was given a URL, and soon a monitor showed a page of quotes from the Koran along with a box requesting an id and password. The Air Force soldier could not read the page, but Stacy could. She translated the page, then asked Senior Airman Franklin for proper credentials. All hoped that the replies to certain passages had not changed as the UN team was told what to type. Soft cheers sounded as the feed from the UN displayed a page showing various aspects of the prison, prison system, along with the memo concerning the arrival of the country's leader.

One of the Army regulars said, "Colonel Terrell, the general is on the phone."

Stacy moved to take the headset, and as soon as she spoke a voice stridently asked, "Okay, Stacy, what in the hell was your guy doing moving in?"

"I don't know the situation that he saw, General. I however know that Silent does not take risky moves. I have often bitten my lip seeing him do something I thought would get him killed, but he knows his timing. I do know however that the UN team was already present and sitting tight. I would suspect that Silent will report that they had an advantage and were not taking advantage of it."

"You are in contact with him, ask him."

Stacy felt that now was the time for managing the situation, and not cross-examining the thought processes of those in the arena. "Silent will live up to his name. Even at my request he will not give a lengthy reason, General. He will probably say 'magic trick.' The art is in deception. If you can see the deception, the trick looks stupid, and you wonder about the gullibility of the audience. If you don't know the deception, the trick looks like real magic. I believe the UN team was able to see the trick, while the other guards saw one guard where there was once another guard."

"Ask him."

Senior Airman Franklin stated, "UN team has taken another tower."

Stacy responded, "Ask Silent why he risked his life to take a tower."

It did not take as long as she thought it would before the senior airman responded, "He is sending a picture of the UN team.” There was a pause, then the Senior Airman said, “It seems that they were not as hidden as they thought."

"Send that picture to the general."

"Yes, Colonel."

She put the microphone back to her mouth before saying, "General, a picture is coming to you. Silent worked his magic to protect the UN team. He has done the same for me on several occasions."

"Thank you, Stacy. That is all for the moment."

The lady grumbled as she removed the headset, "The general should know better than question the actions of my men. I don't question the actions of my men. I trust my men, and they trust me. It is called a relationship."

Senior Airman Franklin now said, "Colonel, Captain Silent is sending another URL along with a request for footage of various aircraft activities."

An Army soldier had his computer access the new URL. It showed a video stream of the view from a camera on a couple of aircraft. Stacy looked at the site for a time, then spoke to the Senior Airman.

"I know that site, and you should too, Franklin."

He turned to look, then replied, "Yes, Colonel. That is a sub-portal of the regular military site that Captain Silent accesses with his stolen computer."

"Right. He obviously took advantage of the priority of the prison computer system while he could. I believe what we are now seeing is the view from another of Silent's bombers and his rebomber.” Stacy considered the objectives of her team, but also thought of the earlier action of her superior as she asked, “Does the general know of this?"

"Not yet, Colonel."

"Don't tell him. Let him find out from the UN." Some laughter passed around the room, which the lady ended by barking some other commands. "You and you, your computers are presently being used to show me some information. You need to move to another computer and put together the images Silent has requested. When he needs them for whatever purpose he intends, I want him able to easily boilerplate it together."

Senior Airman Franklin shot out, "Gunfire, Colonel!"

"What about Silent?"

"He and the lieutenant are asking each other about their ranking with rifles."

"Neither have rifles."

"There was one on the guard that Silent took out."

Stacy did not reduce the strength of her voice as she said, "If you get a chance to talk to the lieutenant, tell him that Silent is a damn good shot. He intentionally missed to avoid gaining marksman rating."

"There seems to be agreement that the UN team has plenty of ammunition."

Chuckles sounded throughout the room, which was silenced when the Senior Airman barked out a request for Colonel Stacy. She saw that people were accessing the prison site requesting info on the gunfire. The lady took over Franklin’s seat to type out a bold statement of preparing to declare the presence of their great national leader upon his arrival. The message was sent with the authority to be copied into everyone’s mail, so that all who accessed the system would see the memo. All in the room went quiet wondering if it would work.

One of the Army soldiers approached to inform the lady that the general wanted to speak to her. She put on the headset to hear the superior officer declare that the UN team had the perimeter. Stacy then went on a rant of having just finished an attempt to keep their imprecise and noisy activity from bothering those on the inside; especially those who would be watching over the UN hostages. She also spoke about not disrupting the arrival of the despot who would be needed to make certain apologies. While making her statements, Stacy looked about the room and seeing what one Airman had on his screen she considered a way to hopefully put some power behind her statements.

"I am handling my part of this operation, General. You need to handle yours. The bombers are now over the coast of Spain, so time is getting close and decisions need to be slightly better thought out."

The general asked, "Just how much intel do you have, Colonel?"

"Let's just say that I am fully aware of the situation. If the UN wants to brag about their actions or complain about that of my men, they better speak to you, because I will have my own knowledgeable opinion that might not come across as diplomatic as what you might say.”

"This is not an American situation until they turn towards our borders. We are only support, and are not supposed to be taking charge."

Stacy felt herself get angry, and as she had already been speaking strongly to the superior office she blurted out, "Does that mean that Silent can get his bomber, General?"

"What is that supposed to mean?"

"It means that mine and Silent's butts are on the line here. We stole the plane, which has been claimed to be provocation. I left the UN team, even though Ambassador Bullechsky was about to turn my body into a carcass, and that has been claimed to be provocative. Now we are being proven correct, but events are again going to make us appear to be the bad guys. Sorry, General, but Silent and I are agents of America, and that makes us, by the dictionary that I believe both of us use, to be the good guys. If that is not the case, then give Silent his bomber, give me my leave papers, and let us face the international courts alone."

Just then the door to the room opened, and an Air Force captain entered. Those in the room stayed quiet as he came in to look at the monitors. Stacy however started speaking into the headset as soon as she overcame her shock.

"What Captain Mendleson is seeing is a view from the front camera of the bomber and rebomber. He also sees that we are in control of the main database and communication system of the prison."

The captain was handed the headset, and into it he said, "General, you were wondering how the prison was reacting. Colonel Terrell has been fighting that battle for you. Things are relatively calm. As for the bomber, cannot see much but sky. The rebomber is however descending." The captain did not give up the headset, but acted as the middle-man. "The general wants to know if you can control the locks to the prison cells?"

Stacy only had to move behind the Senior Airman, and he went to work with an answer quickly coming. "Captain Siilent asks if you want the power, or if you trust him."

"Tell him that the lack of trust comes from the general."

"He says, 'okay, but answer the question.'"

Stacy only turned to the captain. He swallowed something in his throat, then repeated the question to the general. There was a pause before the answer came.

"He says that full trust is placed in the hand of those on the scene and in control of the situation."

Stacy forcefully said in return. "Now, tell the general that when the doors are opened and the prison is secured with the safety of the UN hostages assured, have the UN team put on appropriate uniforms. If the leader arrives seeing UN personnel manning the towers, he will probably not walk into the trap."

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PostSubject: Re: Search for Silent - Chpt 15   November 28th 2009, 7:02 am

Quote :
"Let's just say that I am fully aware of the situation. If the UN wants to brag about their actions or complain about that of my men, they better speak to you, because I will have my own knowledgeable opinion that might not come across as diplomatic as what you might say.”

Loved this line... makes wonder what they are thinking.

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PostSubject: Reply   November 28th 2009, 12:04 pm

Yes, I like the respect and support that those in the military (speaking in general) give to those that work beneath them. I just wish the same would apply to those that work in the education system.

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