Read Fox Hunt (Fox Meridian Book 1) Online

Authors: Niall Teasdale

Tags: #Mystery; Thriller & Suspense, #Mystery, #Police Procedurals, #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Hard Science Fiction, #Science Fiction, #cybernetics, #Adventure, #sci-fi, #Action, #fox meridian, #detective, #robot, #Police Procedural

Fox Hunt (Fox Meridian Book 1)

BOOK: Fox Hunt (Fox Meridian Book 1)
3.93Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Fox Hunt

A Fox Meridian Novel

By Niall Teasdale

Copyright 2015 Niall Teasdale

Amazon Kindle Edition




Part One: Earthlight Becomes You
Part Two: Lunar Transit Blues
Part Three: Murder Is My Business
Part Four: Music to Get the Blood Pumping
Part Five: The Anarchy Meme
Part Six: Keep Your Friends Close
Part Seven: Striking Out


Part One: Earthlight Becomes You

Luna City, 5
January 2060.

‘Team A in position at LCC, awaiting breach order.’

Lieutenant Driscoll watched the video displays of the team as they stacked up at a surface exit which they were using for the last cover and concealment point. Their positioning looked good and his attention turned to a second camera’s view where he could see his second assault team moving up. They would, he expected, report good positioning soon. His attention flicked to his tactical display which gave him a schematic of the production complex they were going to enter and the locations of both teams.

‘Team B in position at LCC, awaiting breach order.’

Driscoll nodded to himself and did not hesitate further. ‘Both teams, move up to your designated entry points.’ He watched as the two teams left the areas covered by cameras, switching immediately to views through the helmet cameras of the team leaders as they climbed out onto the lunar surface and set out for a low, grey structure thirty metres away. ‘Watch your spacing. Team B to clear lock for entry on arrival. Team A hold for my signal.’ There was a green light signal from the team leaders on the TacNet to confirm orders and Driscoll smiled; of course, this was just the beginning of the operation and a lot could go wrong, but he was confident.

Team A had a little less distance to cover and arrived at the large, unsealed loading bay entrance before their counterparts on the other side of the structure. Driscoll watched as the second team arrived, visible on a surface camera mounted to keep watch on the rear, emergency airlock. As ordered, there was immediate activity as one of their operatives, Pierce, hooked her suit’s computer up to the door’s outer access point and ran security override software. TacNet indicated progress; Driscoll had to admit that the military-spec tactical suite made things a lot easier than the less functional package the police generally ran, but he still preferred the more immediate viewpoint given to him by visual confirmation.

‘Team A, make ready for breach,’ Driscoll ordered as the progress indicator told him the hack was nearing completion. They would go through the loading bay door with breaching charges. He had no intelligence on the interior because the terrorists who had taken the facility had cut the camera feeds from inside, but he knew that none of the hostages were going to be in the unpressurised bay.

‘Charges set.’

‘Team A, breach, breach, breach.’ Driscoll watched the flares of light and the plumes of debris. There was no sound, of course, but there
be sound within the facility. Inside there would be vibration through the structure and alarms. The terrorists would be rushing to defend their captured territory. His displays showed him the team’s progress into the bay using dynamic entry, swarming in to check all parts of the open area.

‘Clear,’ Belthorpe, their leader, reported. ‘Proceeding to hatch.’

‘Team B, breach, breach, breach.’ Sending in the second team as the first negotiated the airlock from the bay would force the terrorists into splitting their forces, or maybe even make them think that the breach in the bay was a diversion. There was every possibility that when the first team breached the main airlock, they would have confused targets dashing back and forth like idiots!

He watched the camera feed from Hepburn on the B team as they sealed the lock and cycled it. This was the most dangerous part of the entry since that team were all inside a sealed room with a single hatch they had to exit through. Then again, they had been training for room entry for two weeks before Christmas. He thought to check TacNet and noted that the A team override was almost complete. ‘Team A, proceed as soon as you have free movement.’ His attention returned to Hepburn’s display as the hatch levered back and one of the team tossed a stun grenade out into the hallway. The view showed nothing but the metal wall of the lock for a second or two and then Hepburn was moving out, hooking right after his buddy.

‘Team B reporting clear entry, proceeding to primary objective.’ Hepburn’s voice was calm, even a little relieved.

For the first time in the operation, Driscoll had a moment of doubt. He had expected some resistance at that point. Both of the sergeants in charge of the teams had expected to see
resistance when B entered the facility, which was why they had used a grenade. Stun grenades were very effective in the confined environment of a lunar factory facility, but that endangered hostages and there was the possibility of the concussion causing problems to the breach team. You used that kind of weapon sparingly, but this had seemed like a good place to deploy one and there was no one there. Well… Well, the terrorists had obviously not moved as rapidly as expected.

‘Team A,’ Driscoll said, ‘be aware of greater possibility of enemy combatants on exit from the airlock.’

‘Noted, entering lock now,’ Belthorpe replied. The airlock from the bay into the facility was larger and so was the lobby area on the other side of it. If there
people waiting there, they had a much larger area to cover when the team made their entry. Team B had had the harder ingress point so, actually, this was likely to work out for the best.

And then there was the detonation of a flash-bang grenade, the pulse of light, the sound deadened by the transmission medium, the rush of movement as the lock was evacuated and the team took up position to either side of the main hatch and evaluated the room. The room was unoccupied despite the large reception desk at the back which had seemed a clearly advantageous source of cover for those holding the facility when Driscoll had seen it on the briefing photographs.

‘Room clear,’ Belthorpe reported. ‘No contact with enemy, moving to primary target.’

‘Everyone, keep your eyes open,’ Driscoll snapped. ‘I don’t like this. Where are they?’

‘Sir, we have–’

‘Move in,’ Driscoll said, cutting off Pierce and whatever she was going to say. ‘I want that control room secured as soon as possible. Then we can search internal security.’

Team A beat their compatriots to the control room by nine seconds despite having breached the airlocks second. Driscoll made an absent note to talk to Hepburn about speeding up progression on ops, but he was more concerned about what he was seeing through Belthorpe’s camera. The central control room was designed to be able to see the entire manufacturing floor so it had windows all around. Through those he could see two figures in pressure suits and helmets standing guard. From this vantage point there was no way to be sure what they were guarding, but they appeared oblivious to the advancing assault teams. Intelligence indicated that there were four terrorists: they could take out two of them in one strike!

‘Team A,’ Driscoll said, confidence rising in his voice, ‘move in and eliminate the enemy combatants. Team B, hold position as backup.’ There was immediate confirmation from Belthorpe’s TacNet indicator and a slight pause before Hepburn’s flashed an acknowledgement. Driscoll saw Hepburn’s people fan out through the machine shop, taking positions with good visibility of the control room. Driscoll’s attention moved away as Belthorpe’s team hit the door.

They went in using a cross-hook entry form since the main bank of consoles was beside the door on the left of the room. Two went straight in and two hooked right to catch the combatants within a V-formation, but their fire options were immediately limited by the discovery of the four people sitting on the floor in the middle of the room: the combatants were guarding hostages. In the control room, the assault team were taking that in along with Driscoll, determining which target they were interested in and what that target was doing, taking in the rise of the shotguns the terrorists were armed with and deciding upon actions. There was gunfire, staccato bursts from the assault weapons the squads were carrying, and the suited figures went down. All by the book and perfect.

‘Barnes, get on the console and check the internal cameras,’ Belthorpe ordered immediately. ‘Cutter, check the hostages.’

Driscoll was wearing a grim smile of satisfaction as he watched the view through Belthorpe’s camera. Four safely rescued hostages out of seven humans in the facility. Belthorpe was turning to check the screens with Barnes, but Driscoll had made a quick assessment: no one looked like they were harmed and they had all been dressed in the standard light suits the workers there wore. There had been quite an attractive young woman at the front of the group which would probably please Cutter…

And then there was gunfire. Belthorpe’s camera began to turn and then it was skewing wildly as the man fell.

‘Team A is under attack,’ Hepburn reported. His voice was tense, but he was holding onto his calm. ‘Moving forward.’

Driscoll thought to check TacNet and saw the four indicators for the A team turning red. All of them were down? All of them in just a couple of seconds? What was going on?

And that was when the windows on the control room shattered and four micromissiles flew out, each one homing on a heat source, each one loaded with a smart-forged explosive head designed to penetrate the best armour available.

Hepburn had time to say, ‘Oh shit,’ before his camera went dead and his TacNet indicator turned red, and Driscoll had another five seconds to wonder what the Hell had happened to his perfect assault operation before the simulation ended and the entire Emergency Response Unit of Luna City found themselves back in the reality of their training room looking at the woman who had just wiped them out.

‘Who wants to tell me what went wrong?’ Fox Meridian asked as she got to her feet. She was a tall woman and fairly imposing because of it. Her physical charisma was not why she was there, but it did not hurt to push it when she was trying to drum instruction into the ERU members.

‘I was helping that gir– one of the hostages to her feet,’ Cutter said. ‘She had a gun, I think. Shot me and took my rifle? When the simulation cut out on me, I lost track of what was happening.’

‘A good summary of how you ended up dead, but she wasn’t a hostage, Officer Cutter. All four of the “hostages” you rescued there were the terrorists. The two terrorists you shot were hostages strapped into exoskeleton suits being run remotely by two of the real terrorists.’

‘Those terrorists shouldn’t have been able to fire our own weapons at us,’ Belthorpe stated, frowning. ‘That’s cheating.’

‘All they had to do was use your own hands to work the triggers, Sergeant,’ Fox replied. ‘The transponders operate from the power to your implants, and those will remain active for up to thirty minutes after your death. I do admit to cheating a little. I suspected that your team would end up hitting the control room and Cutter there has the medical training so you’d get him to check the supposed hostages. Given that it took him three days to take his eyes off my chest when we started this course, I put a girl with big breasts among the terrorists knowing that he’d be distracted and easier to surprise. But you still haven’t told me what went wrong.’

‘Lack of intelligence,’ Pierce said.

‘Lack of caution,’ Hepburn added.

Fox nodded. ‘Nice work on the machine room, Sergeant Hepburn. Belthorpe, you went through a room which had more than adequate cover with undue haste. I
have had people anywhere on your route in, but you were rushing to get to the control room and didn’t check for it.’

Driscoll saw her look his way and
she knew about his note to call out Hepburn on his tardiness. ‘How were we supposed to gather intelligence when the cameras were out?’ Driscoll asked.


‘Between us we had four cambots, sir,’ Pierce said. ‘If the internal cameras were all down then the terrorists couldn’t see us any more than we could see them. We could have sent the bots in and reconnoitred prior to moving deeper into the facility.’

Driscoll opened his mouth to ask why she had not mentioned this at the time, and then closed it again as he realised she had been going to and he had ignored her. His brow furrowed. ‘So… Okay, so this mostly went wrong because I was overconfident and trying to impress our guest lecturer.’

‘Lieutenant Driscoll,’ Fox said, grinning, ‘you get a merit badge for accelerated acquisition of self-knowledge. There were a few technical errors which we can go through tomorrow morning. I think we’ll call it for today so you can have tonight to see if you can figure out how you could have handled that better.’ She paused, her gaze sweeping the room. ‘That was your first simulated run as a unified group and you did
do that badly. Good work, but you can and will do better. Dismissed.’

BOOK: Fox Hunt (Fox Meridian Book 1)
3.93Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Other books

Dreams to Sell by Anne Douglas
Carson's Conspiracy by Michael Innes
Wanted by the Viking by Joanna Davis
The Ninth Orb by O'Connor Kaitlyn
Still by Mayburn, Ann
Blame by Nicole Trope
Uncertain Glory by Lea Wait
The Seance by Heather Graham
Our New Love by Melissa Foster