Disclaimer:Don't own them Don't make any money off of this.
Warnings:Male/male sex, graphic, violence, language
and Soldiers series + Part 17
Worse Case Scenarios
In the early morning light,
Milliardo knocked back yet another pill to keep himself alert and a gulp
of coffee so thick it was almost mud. He ignored the curious looks thrown
his way. These people weren't used to seeing him at less than his best.
They were used to a Milliardo who was well rested, devoid of any personal
life, and always ready for the next mission in tip top shape. He knew
that he had dark circles under his eyes, that he was slumping in his chair,
and that his hair was caught back in a hasty pony tail to keep the bedraggled
mess out of his face as he poured over map after map. He knew that he
looked far from professional.
It was a hostage situation. Dissidents had holed up in a forested area
far from any other inhabitants and taken with them the daughter of a very
important dignitary, a rich dignitary. They threatened to kill her unless
their demands were met. A regular swat team would have, usually, been
dispatched to the scene, but this was different. It seemed that these
desperate men had found the remains of a weapons bunker containing several
mobile suits and the bare bones of a missile launch pad that the suits
had been put there to protect. What their expertise was pertaining to
these weapons, was an unknown factor, but they had threatened to use them.
The specs on the M.S. were interesting. They were newer models, not the
automated kind, but sophisticated enough to give a regular pilot pause.
Milliardo had been correct in his first assumption that Heero and Duo
were both going to be needed to deal with them. Deciding on his next course
of action was more difficult. He didn't want any hint of doubt about his
reasoning for what he wished to do next, so he allowed the people around
him to advise him.
Talk flew back and forth across a wide table as men examined specs and
logistics covering the table top. Fingers jabbed, faces contorted, voices
rose and fell. In the end, there was only one conclusion. "Sir, you are
imminently qualified to deal with this particular situation," an advisor
told Milliardo and the others nodded sagely in agreement. "While I don't
recommend that commanders take to the field, I don't see any other option.
A level head is needed and on site command decisions. Coupled with your
knowledge of M.S, you are the logical choice to accompany Yuy and Maxwell."
Milliardo nodded as if a great weight were being put on his shoulders,
but secretly, down deep where he kept it under tight control, he was thrilled
and eager for a chance to go out into the field. It was difficult to sit
through the rest of the meeting and, when it was over, he found himself
quickly striding to the room where his men were awaiting his orders, eager
to begin the operation.
"And then I said, 'Pepper is a very good sealant.', and he said, 'My ass,
Maxwell!' So I stuck a hole in his radiator and poured the pepper right
in. Stopped it right up!"
"You are so crazy!" A man grumbled.
"That's what HE said!" Duo replied in mock astonishment.
There were chuckles and derisive noises that ceased as soon as Milliardo
walked into the large room. Everyone came to attention then, showing the
same eagerness that he, Milliardo felt. Duo's eyes were fairly glowing
and Heero looked tense and ready for action. They were all dressed in
Preventer one piece suits, the logo emblazoned on the breast and arm,
and they all looked professional and competent. Milliardo felt a wash
of pride as he quickly explained the situation.
"Heero and me, then," Duo surmised at the end of the briefing, rubbing
his hands briskly together in anticipation.
"Yuy?" Milliardo said and Heero looked at him expectantly. "Are you and
Maxwell ready for duty?"
Milliardo knew that Heero would give him a true assessment whereas Duo
might gloss over as much as possible to allow them to take the mission.
Milliardo was well aware that their presence on the mission was crucial,
but he didn't intend to make plans based on false assumptions about their
"Both of us have not slept," Heero reported despite Duo's roll of the
eyes expressing his exasperation, "but we are trained to operate efficiently
despite that. Duo is suffering from minor pains due to s-"
Duo elbowed Heero sharply in the ribs and stepped forward, grinning and
saying jokingly, "Hey, Heero! No kissing and telling! I can do my job,
don't you worry, sir!"
There were snickers, uncomfortable looks, and one or two expressions of
disgust, but Duo had managed to divert Heero from exposing Milliardo and
had taken the embarrassment all on himself. Milliardo felt a wave of gratitude,
but he kept his _expression slightly irritated as he said, "You had better
be right, Maxwell! I'll need you and Yuy with me. We will be infiltrating
the sight and disabling the suits. The rest of the men will deploy on
site and await our signal to advance. You have one hour to gather your
gear and meet me on the tarmac."
"Saddle up!" Duo hooted, already well on his way to an adrenalin rush
as he almost danced away to where the weapons and equipment were stored.
Milliardo watched Duo covertly, marveling at how handsome Duo was when
he was flooded with so much excitement. Mind on the mission, Milliardo
snapped at himself, and he forced himself to look away as he went to make
his own preparations.
Reaching the target, required a hike into a wooded area. Milliardo's team
moved quietly and even Duo managed to keep his joking banter to a minimum.
Heero paced silently beside his partner, eyes ahead, mind perhaps working
over the same variables as Milliardo. Milliardo couldn't help but wonder
how well they would do working together. Milliardo couldn't imagine Heero
allowing personal matters to inter into a mission, but Milliardo was finding
it hard already. In trying to imagine disaster scenarios it kept coming
down to, 'who will save Duo?'. That was a ridiculous thing to think, and
Milliardo knew it, because Duo was more than capable of taking care of
himself, but Milliardo couldn't help an instinctive urge to protect him,
to make certain that nothing happened to him. He had to keep that urge
from turning into action though. He had to maintain discipline no matter
what happened. If he couldn't do that, then he needed to back out of the
mission all together.
Milliardo evaluated himself harshly, even imagined Duo in a life or death
situation. He swallowed hard. It was hard to know, absolutely, what he
would do in such a situation, but Milliardo thought that he could maintain
discipline. A girl was depending on him and so were the people who the
kidnappers would surely threaten next with their M.S.. When Milliardo
thought of that, there wasn't any question in his mind about what he would
do, and that firmed his resolve to continue.
They reached their target point. Milliardo deployed his men around the
perimeter and checked conditions one more time. The weather looked misting
and threatening rain. If it did manage to rain, that would have been to
their advantage, but Milliardo didn't hope for it.
"With me," Milliardo said briskly and made a motion for Heero and Duo
to accompany him. Heero looked even more intense, if that were possible,
and Duo was fairly vibrating, his eyes shinning and his grin at full strength.
These two men had been Milliardo's worst enemies during the war. Remembering
how much damage they had caused to machinery and installations, how many
soldiers they had killed wholesale without hesitation, and how they had
repeatedly risked their lives, Milliardo couldn't help feeling a sudden
chill. They were under his command, as much ultimate weapons as the M.S.
they were about to deal with, and one of the deadly pair was his lover.
Remembering that wiry body, the passionate Duo groaning and moaning beneath
him, Milliardo felt as if he had danced with Shinigami in earnest in the
sheets and not a handsome young man claiming the name.
"Booby traps," Milliardo whispered as they slipped through the thick ferns
and trees. Heero frowned as if irritated that Milliardo had felt the need
to warn him. Duo only nodded, eyes already scanning everything minutely.
Heero and Duo were a team, Milliardo saw, working in perfect tandem. Heero
looked one way and Duo looked another, keeping in a two person formation
ahead of Milliardo. He almost halted them to criticize, but then saw that
he wasn't excluded. They glanced back at him as constantly as they looked
at everything else about them, checking to make certain that they weren't
missing any silent signals from him. He was in command, those actions
said, and Milliardo felt more confident.
They found several traps, Duo's sharp eyes picking them out. They didn't
disarm them, for fear of arousing their targets suspicion. Instead, they
found a way to circumvent each one and pass safely by.
"Proximity alert," Duo whispered and pulled out his gun. "Point?" he asked
and looked for permission from Milliardo.
Milliardo nodded and watched Duo disappear into the forest ahead of them.
Hunkering down with Heero, Milliardo waited. He noticed how tense Heero
was. The man's gun was out and his hand was flexing on it, watching the
spot where Duo had gone as if it was everything that he could do not to
Duo returned, breathing hard and face looking pale. His grin was forced.
"Guard eliminated. Entrance clear."
One guard? Milliardo was suspicious, but they were committed now. The
guard's absence would be noticed eventually. Milliardo made a sign that
asked for the mode that Duo had used to dispatch the guard. When Duo made
a motion across his throat, Milliardo thought that he understood why Duo
was so pale. The guard wouldn't be the one to give away their presence.
Milliardo lamented the loss of life. He had to trust that it had been
Every instinct within Milliardo was warning him as they approached the
solid, metal hanger doors. Through them was a ramp that led underground,
he knew. Though it was some way from the main complex, the M.S. were the
dissidents major defense. Leaving them so shoddily guarded, Milliardo
had to assume one of three things. Either they were very few, they knew
nothing about operating the machines, or, thirdly, they were all inside
and waiting for them.
"Point," Heero whispered and Milliardo nodded. It was better to send one
man in first to spring any traps rather than all of them getting caught.
"Point," Duo argued with a fierce look at Heero. "Experienced."
Milliardo glared at them both, wondering what Duo meant by, 'experienced'.
He began to hotly motion for Yuy to go forward when Duo pointed to his
back. It was a simple gesture, but the pained look in Duo's eyes was enough
to remind Milliardo of the scars there and that Duo had escaped from impossible
odds in a previous ambush. When Milliardo thought about that, about how
disadvantaged Duo had been in that fight, he wondered how Duo had managed
it. He seemed very confident that, if he was ambushed again, he could
handle the situation.
"Go," Milliardo ordered.
Duo grinned even as Heero scowled in disapproval. He didn't hesitate as
he turned and slipped through the hanger doors.
There were several crashes and shouts. Something slammed into the other
side of the hanger door and then Duo came running out, dragging a man
attached to his shirt. The man was hanging on grimly and raising up a
handgun to fire. Duo spun, rammed an elbow into the man's gut and then
kneed him in the face when he doubled over. Freed, Duo sprinted towards
Milliardo and Heero, waving frantically with both hands for them to run
They began running into the underbrush and the thicker trees, but, when
Milliardo glanced over his shoulder, he saw that Duo wasn't going as fast
as he could have and that he had one arm pressed close to his side. Heero
saw it as well and moved as if to help his partner. It was then that a
dozen men came crashing through the brush and the obstructing branches
of the trees after them, weapons nosing for targets.
Milliardo stopped, shouting at Heero as he crouched, "Cover fire!"
Heero turned and used a tree for protection as he aimed his gun, but because
of Duo and the closeness of the forest, he was forced to take slow, careful
shots at their attackers. It wouldn't hold them back long, Milliardo knew,
and pulled out his cell to call for his troops to extract them and move
on the hanger.
"Duo's gone!" Heero exclaimed.
Milliardo dropped his cell into his pocket and scanned the forest anxiously.
"He might be hiding," he suggested and then ducked and scrambled to get
behind Heero as shots hit the trees and the dirt all around them.
"Trying to ambush them most likely," Heero replied and then fired a few
rounds. "They'll rush us when they realize that we don't have much firepower,
"No," Milliardo reasoned. "They'll fall back, to the hanger if they know
how to use the M.S., or to the compound itself if they don't. I'm certain
that they realize that we didn't come alone."
"Do you expect intelligence from men who thought that they could bargain
from an indefensible position?" Heero replied tersely.
"Since we don't have M.S. to stop them should they use theirs, I hardly
see their position as indefensible," Milliardo replied dryly. More bullets
peppered their surroundings. One slapped the sleeve of Milliardo's jacket.
He winced as he took aim and fired his gun at the spot where he thought
the bullet had come from. The missing Duo began to bother Milliardo. When
his men appeared and began firing, he fully expected Duo to make some
move. When he didn't, Milliardo couldn't indulge in worrying about him.
He had to give orders and deploy his men and it was some time before they
could press forward and force the kidnappers to retreat. He could see
Heero at point, eyes searching the brush and the ferns for some sign of
Duo. By the grim, paleness of his face, Milliardo had a feeling that Heero
was looking for Duo's corpse. The thought chilled him to the bone.
"Unit B," Milliardo ordered, "extract the hostage."
Men broke off and disappeared into the trees. They would do what they
could, but, like Duo, Milliardo couldn't be distracted by one life from
a danger that might cause many people to lose their lives. The M.S. had
to be taken out.
"Bodies!" Heero called and he bent to examine them. They were very close
to the hanger again. Milliardo waited with his heart in his throat and
then Heero reported in relief. "They were killed with a razor knife. Duo's
Milliardo frowned. His mind worked on scenarios as they moved forward
and he didn't like the ones that kept ending up with Duo acting without
orders and returning to the hanger. It was logical, Milliardo knew, especially
if the targets had sent most of their men out to repel their attack. Still,
to act without clear orders, not knowing what Milliardo's plans were...
Milliardo felt concern and the slow burn of anger at the same time.
The hanger doors were well guarded. Shots and pressure bombs flew. Milliardo
and his men crouched behind blast shields and returned fire. The shell
of the building was too thick for an aerial bombing, protected by the
rock and a material that was laced with gundanium. The only way in was
through the hanger doors and Milliardo had brought a weapon powerful enough
to take them out. He had thought to take the M.S. by stealth and with
the least amount of bloodshed, but their options had narrowed. Either
they broke through the defenses or he would have to give the order to
take out the inside of the entire complex. There wasn't any telling who
was inside or what damage they might ultimately do. It was a gamble, but
one Milliardo might be forced to take.
Suddenly the shooting stopped. Milliardo called a cease fire and waited.
His men were prepared already for any order he gave them. He only had
to give a hand signal. He could afford to make certain that the men inside
the hanger weren't about to give up. When he saw the girl thrust outside
of the hanger, her hands tied behind her back and a gag in her mouth,
he gasped. The machine gun pressed to her forehead was an obvious threat.
They weren't surrendering.
"Permission to move in and extract the hostage when there is an opportunity?"
Heero requested in a hard voice at Milliardo's elbow.
"Granted," Milliardo returned curtly. "They are buying time for some action,
that's obvious, and I may have to order the target taken out despite the
Heero nodded and moved forward to position himself to best advantage.
There still weren't any demands. The girl was simply held in place, a
shield that they must have hoped would hold Milliardo back. That they
didn't have any plan beyond that was too much to hope for. Milliardo looked
into the frightened girl's eyes and then looked away, gritting his teeth
in frustration. He waited, grasping at the slim hope that some sort of
demand would be made eventually, that the dissidents would want to bargain,
but nothing happened.
"Yuy!" Milliardo called at last, "Stand down." He reluctantly made a motion
towards the men manning their most powerful weapon and then gave the order
for the rest of his men to fall back.
Milliardo knew that his hands were shaking, knew that he was on the thin
edge of wanting to scream against the murder he was about to do, but he
also knew that he had been left without any other choice. A little girl
was about to die and Duo.... if he had gone back into the hanger, was
about to die too.
It was all on Milliardo's head. He had killed in war many times and had
been taken over by the zero system and contemplated worse mayhem than
any man could imagine. His hands were steeped in blood. A few more lives
shouldn't have mattered, yet Milliardo felt a blackness over taking him,
a sickening knowledge that this was different. He couldn't manage the
cold detachment of a general. He couldn't make himself stand by with the
comfort that it was necessary. Milliardo turned, gave a curt order to
his second to take command of the operation, and then took a high powered
machine gun from one of his men. Without saying anything more, he began
walking back towards the hanger. It was a moment before he realized that
Heero was pacing beside him and that he had an air about him that dared
Milliardo to order him back. Milliardo only smiled tightly and nodded,
giving him silent permission. They had five minutes before weapons were
powered up and ready to discharge; five minutes to save a life or commit
suicide in a hail of bullets. Milliardo found that much more acceptable
than doing cold murder behind a blast shield.
[part 16] [part 18] [back
to Kracken's fic]