Marghus Sho approached the Talons to conduct a small and simple mission, “if you can even call it that”: He had a spy at NovaGen (the same guy that sent Nehden Sho the information that led to Lt. Leekon’s ambush) who seemed to have important information about the going-ons at the shadowy corporation. The spy, codename ROOK, proposed to place a parcel into a dead drop at the Quar Memorial. However, he seemed to be nervous and afraid someone might be on to him. The Talons’ job was to retrieve the parcel, but watch out for a trap or ambush.
Tanit tasked Lt. Leekon, who had acquired a taste for cloak and dagger stuff, with the mission. As sergeants Delxen and Chuva were in sick bay, Leekon decided to take new Sgt. Roniac to teach him the ropes. He also took Specialist/CW Jasard Nazzari and his drone to get some situational awareness. Just in case, Fire Team Cyla would be on standby close-at-hand.
When Leekon, Roniac and Nazzari arrived, a couple of people were loitering in the little park surrounding the monument. Leekon had no problems finding a memory chip in a nook of the statue. However, when he turned around, he was approached by a panicked-looking person: “I’m ROOK. I’ve been followed. Help me!” Leekon cursed. So much for an easy mission.
Seconds later, shots rang out and shadowy figures ran towards the park. Leekon turned to ROOK: “Run!” Then he drew his pistol and laid down suppression fire to cover the spy’s escape. ROOK ran across the street, followed by Sgt. Roniac, who also fired wildly at the approaching enemy. Specialist Nazzari tried to hack his way into the enemy’s network, but they seemed to have rather potent security measures in place. After several tries, his deck suddenly overloaded and crashed.
With pedestrians and cars moving around, the situation was pretty chaotic. When one of the goons ran across the street to catch the spy, he was rammed by a vehicle. When he saw this, Sgt. Roniac chuckled. But suddenly another car came around the corner. Brakes screeched, Roniac tried to jump aside but too late – he was also knocked down by a vehicle.
Lt. Reekon had meanwhile sent a signal to Fire Team Cyla. The Quar were running toward the fire fight, but it would take them a couple of minutes to arrive.
The approaching goons completely ignored the Talons and concentrated their fire on ROOK. The panicked spy managed to run another couple of meters before a bullet found him and he went down. Leekon ran over to check him – still alive, but heavily wounded. The goons now shifted their fire to the Talons and another bullet found Leekon.
Nazzari was valiantly shooting back, but fire fights were not the hacker’s forte. Things looked dire when finally the cavalry arrived in form of the Quar Fire Team. One of them had jumped on a moving truck’s bed and was the first to arrive. He immediately gunned down one of the assailants. The others were close behind, panting from their sprint, but as always efficient in their team work.
Another complication arrived in the form of urban security, which charged towards the scene of the action, indiscriminately firing at Talons and goons. Fortunately, the Quar could take out the remaining goons as well as a security person. Then one of them commandeered the hover truck while the others dragged the bodies of ROOK and the Lt. on board. Turning the vehicle around, they picked up Nazzari before the driver hit the pedal.
Back at base, Maj. Tanit was angry. Not at Leekon, but at Marghus Sho for not telling her that his spy was compromised and that NovaGen would deploy such a heavy force to take him out. She was glad, however, that Leekon was only lightly wounded. ROOK was in a worse condition and had to be transferred to an EXO Foundation facility for treatment.
Tanit’s mood further improved when a couple of hours later Sgt. Roniac returned. He had only been knocked out by the car. After coming to, he was questioned by security, which was by then swarming the area. Being in civilian clothes, he played the hapless victim of a traffic accident, so they sent him to an ambulance for a check-up – an opportunity he used to slip away.
In contrast to Tanit, Leekon was in an excellent mood. His wound was only light and he was proud of the Quar, who had reacted quickly and decisive and extracted his team from a tight spot by showing initiative.
Recovering the spy and the memory chip also gave the Talons important information. They now knew that the woman in the red jumpsuit was a special operative called Creena Niss, who oversaw a NovaGen project to harness the alien asteroid’s power to transform living matter.