The Search for Silent
The monitor showing the views from the wing cameras on the plane now switched to a busier picture showing the names and ranks of certain personnel along with a view inside a fuselage of figures holding on. Stacy only smiled as Captain Mendleson cursed. She knew that Silent's reputation was now firmly established.
The captain almost shouted into the microphone on the headset that he was wearing, "General, we have active intel and status of the strike team going for the bomb." There was a pause, then he barked to the man working that computer, "You are to send that picture to the general."
Stacy moved over to whisper to the Airman in control of that monitor, "You heard the man. Just the picture. The general better not have any control over what is being seen."
The response was soft, "Yes, Colonel, and Captain Silent is being informed that he is still in control."
A time quickly started where Stacy and those with her felt they were watching two action movies simultaneously. As if coordinated, the UN team moved through the doors into the prison proper as the strike squad in the rebomber landed on the airfield. Most initially watched the strike squad, as them holding on to dear life as the plane they were riding in quickly landed and came to a stop was much more entertaining than seeing a bunch of UN soldiers move through rooms quickly gaining control. There was an enjoyable scene where the prison guards attempted to hold off the UN team by refusing to open the doors of a check point. Cheers went up when the UN leader simply moved to the door and opened it finding it not locked. After that the prison assault became boring and everyone went back to watching the strike team going for the bombs.
Captain Mendleson wisely said nothing to the general about a legal pad that was brought out with its pages flipped to reveal a list of actions. Those in the room had already dissected the steps necessary to gain the bombs with bets taken about appropriate methods to overcome each step. The strike force team mostly used shaped charges to overcome check points, so those preferring demolition were entertained by what they were seeing on screen and by the knowledge that they were going to have money to spend.
The shout of, "WE HAVE BOMBS!" caused Captain Mendleson to ask, "What does that mean?"
Stacy returned, "It means it is time for the general to get the pilots ready to act. Unless he wants the mushroom cloud to go off."
The captain spoke into the headset, then directed some words at those in the room. "The general thanks you for the pictures, and asks that they continue to be sent. He wants everyone in here to know that no mushroom cloud will occur."
Senior Airman Franklin now said, "Captain Mendleson, Captain Silent is asking for a review of a movie that Lieutenant Chambers has put together."
"I haven't seen it either."
Captain Mendleson looked to the lady to hopefully get a nod from her as he said, "Show it."
What they saw was poorly chopped together sections of video showing a wing picture of a fighter ascending, a picture of Silent's bomber in the air, some footage of the Blue Angels flying in formation, a refueling operation, then some more film of Silent's bomber. While most got the idea of what was being attempted, none thought it anywhere near the definition of movie magic. Captain Mendleson however had his own thoughts.
"We have people on board that do video presentations. I assume that Captain Silent wants to splice in this footage to hopefully not let the despot know that we have taken out his bomber."
The tone of Stacy's voice declared her own displeasure with the quality of the video. "Yes, I believe that was the intention."
"How much time do we have? Forget it. I will assure you that you will have it as close to immediately as possible."
Captain Mendleson handed the headset to the colonel as he gave an email address to the Senior Airman. As soon as he noticed that it was being sent, he rushed from the room. Stacy looked at the headset almost thinking to set it on top of a monitor, but went ahead and put it on.
As soon as her presence was noticed, the general said, "Stacy, I will apologize later."
"You damn well better. At the moment however we have a show to wrap up. Any problems on your side?"
"None. That rebomber is a wonderful strike vehicle, whether it can reload a bomber or not. Sorry to say that there won't be a bomber for it to reload. Taking it out almost as we speak."
Stacy smiled upon hearing a confirmation that millions would not die, but then remembered the plan being worked on. "Hold it, General. Need to give time for Silent's film to come back from processing."
"We don't have much time, Stacy. That rebomber is gaining altitude fast."
"We have Lieutenant Chambers' video ready to go, but would like to show something slightly better polished. Give me the signal, but try to give your production boys as many seconds as possible. Oh, and if your life isn't stressed enough, Silent has noticed the caravan with the country's leader in the distance. He is signaling for some UN people to get into uniform and man the walls."
The general's microphone was covered by a time, although some loud sounds were audible before the superior officer could again be clearly heard. "I believe the UN team was ignoring the signals. They are now moving."
"Good." Senior Airman Franklin pointing to his screen had the lady add, "General, just got a package back from your production boys. Do I have time to review it?"
"Barely. I am going to trust you on this one, Stacy. Run the one you like."
"That is not what I call trust. Frankin, send the video to Silent. Let him or Lieutenant Chambers make the decision about which one to run."
Stacy did not ask Silent how he did it, but just as the rebomber was closing on the bomber the video switched back to the view of the strike team who were looking very badly from their ordeal of getting the bombs along with a rather nerve wracking ride inside a plane that was built for speed with no concern for comfort. It seemed that another technician, one probably of the enemy country, worked to correct the video signal. When a view outside the fuselage was seen, it was of a different quality than before. The production boys had used a flight simulator program to mimic the maneuvers of the video they had been sent. While they had the basic patterns of the desired planes in their program, it was not picture quality. They had thus overlaid their video with the video provided to give a very horrible presentation. Still, Stacy felt that it was the better choice of pictures.
She told the senior airman, "Tell Silent that I don't know if it worked."
The man smiled back as he said, "It does not matter, Colonel, as the one who could complain has just stepped out of his vehicle to move inside the prison."
There was a lot more to do, but Stacy removed the headset knowing that she was no longer a part of the action. The mission was a success. The rebomber strategy had been shown to be the one that was going to be attempted, and it was defeated. The UN delegation, save a few members who had been killed earlier, were rescued. There were a number of accusations that needed to be worked out, but Stacy knew that such was not a military matter.
She thanked her team for such excellent work, then told them to stay at their posts until their absent members were safely returning. When she had a couple make a food run, they cheered. A smile beamed on her face as she sat in a chair.
"Franklin, check on Silent."
"He is trying to lay low, Colonel. Remember, he is someone the leader wants."
Stacy shot out of the chair to reclaim the headset, and when a certain person finally spoke on the other end she said, "General, could we get Silent out of there? He has done his job, but he is a wanted man."
"You're damn right he is wanted. That intel made my job a hell of a lot easier, and gave us a much cleaner ending to this fiasco. I want to shake that man's hand. Yes, Stacy, we can get him. Right now infringing on the airspace of that country is slightly not-a-problem."
While the tone had been the usual superior grumble, Stacy realized that the words actually met with her approval, so she said, "Thank you, General."
"I need to lecture you about all of us being on the same side, but you did nothing to infringe on the operation. You were only assuring the proper use of certain pieces of data. While the data helped me, I am certain that the information would have been provided all the same."
The lady was not certain of the meaning of what the superior officer said, so spoke her own words to assure that he understood her appraisal of a certain situation. "I had my people in place, and you made it seem like you did not trust them. That was an insult, General."
A reply shot back, "What do I need to do to apologize?"
"I have been requesting a vacation for some time, General."
"I promise that it won't be denied. Whoever wants to speak to you can wait until your return."
Stacy assured that she could make good on her own promises. "The same goes for Captain Silent."
Well, that is how the story stands at present. I hope you liked it.
Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
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