Colonel Hastings stopped outside the briefing trailer. He
took a second to adjust the gray combat fatigues and black beret
that were the daily uniform for the men of Black Horse Security. He had opted not to wear his
body armor and helmet since his mercenary command had finished
its current contract and he expected no danger. The assembled
officers rose to attention as the colonel entered. "At ease," he
commanded as he moved to the front center of the room. The screen
behind him showed a map of the greater Stratford metroplex.
"Gentlemen, three years ago, a man named Blake convinced the
five largest gangs in Stratford to join forces. Calling
themselves the Alliance, they have become a formidable force of
organized crime. Rather than deal with the major syndicates, they
have moved their base of operations to nearby Crescent City. The local law officers attempted to
stop them at first, but they were out manned and outgunned. The
surviving officers are either too scared to fight or are on the
take. The Alliance runs the town as they see fit. A coalition of
the city fathers, local businesses, and citizens, has put up the
money to hire us to clean them out. In front of you is an intel
report on the gangs and their leaders. Familiarize yourself with
them and have your units ready for operations no later than 1200
hours on 13 APR 2002. Any questions?" He looked around the room.
His officers showed nothing but grim determination. They would
not fail. "Then return to your units." The men rose and saluted
as the colonel exited
Blake stood over the bloodied, nearly unconscious, man. Two
of the members of the Black
Hand gang were keeping the man from falling out of the chair.
Warchylde, the Black Hand leader, stood nearby, blood showing on
the studs of his black gauntlet-style gloves. "What are you
planning," Blake asked quietly.
"N-nothing," the man stammered. A blow from Warchylde
followed close behind the man's answer.
"You have become more bold in your defiance of us. You must
be planning something." Silence was the man's only response. A
nod from Blake and a flurry of blows landed, knocking the man
from the gangers' grasp. The man broke.
"M-mercenaries. B-black Horse Security has been hired to
clean you out." The man smiled before a punch from the gang
leader knocked him unconscious.
"Assemble a war council," Blake ordered. "It seems we have a
situation. And get rid of him."