-Snowfall Island, Decommissioned Military Base, early afternoon-
Wearing all-white winter camouflage gear with SHG-IV Smart Glasses, Glowstick in her left side cargo pocket, and Saint Sinner Valentine slung on her right shoulder, Diana was riding on a Snowfall Island troop transport chopper while being briefed on her objectives. It had been only a few days since her cruise on board the Gambler's Paradise and Diana was ready to do some "real" work to keep her cover story current and to increase her bank account. The Snowfall Island military had contacted her because they needed the services of a freelance mage who could get things done and did not ask questions. Seeing an opportunity to make some progress towards earning redemption for her life in the shadows, Diana readily agreed to help.
"A little over a year ago there was an... incident involving illegal human experimentation at this base. The scientist behind the incident has since been neutralized, but the by-products of their work remain. We've sent in multiple clean-up teams to an area several kilometers from here, but they've gone silent and we haven't heard from them in a week. We suspect that they've run into trouble. We'd like you to find out what happened to the clean-up teams and eliminate the threat if possible." Major Conway, a major who had served in the Snowfall Island military for over twenty-three years, gave Diana the brief version of her mission. He was a stern-looking man with fading black hair and a clean-shaven face.
The major handed Diana a military-grade iLac to use so that she could keep in contact with him and get updates on mission objectives. Diana turned on the iLac and placed it in her backpack so that it would not get damaged or lost during the mission.
"I see that you have SHG-IV Smart Glasses. That's good. We want you to get video and photographic evidence of the threat if at all possible so that I can send it to High Command." Major Conway requested.
"Yes, Major." Diana replied calmly. The military man then frowned.
"With that being said, we want any footage you get to remain here and remain classified. Any attempts to send the footage to a third party or capture it for later sale to a third party is a violation of the terms of your contract and will result both in forfeiture of pay and a thirty-year prison sentence at the minimum." The major informed her, making sure to emphasize the sentence that spelled out the consequences of any attempt to capture footage for later sale or sending footage to a third party. Such a warning was unnecessary because Diana always held up her end of the contract. To avoid any accidental leaks Diana had left her personal iLac back home and she had left Ami there as well. Diana would miss having an eye in the sky and air support on demand, but that was the price she would pay for progress towards redemption.
"There is no need to worry, Major." Diana replied calmly. The major gave something approximating a smile for a moment and then continued the briefing.
"Before we lost contact with the clean-up teams we received reports of them being attacked by a four-armed creature that stood on two legs. That's the threat you're being sent to find. The moment you spot it let us know so that we can send support your way. We've got armored units, helicopter gunships, and ground attack aircraft on standby." Major Conway gave her a little more information on the threat that the huntress would be facing. Diana blinked when she heard the extent of the support that had been mobilized to assist her in bringing the creature down.
"We'd prefer that you eliminate it yourself if possible, but don't be a hero. If your weapons and magic don't work against it, call for support. We may have received reports that the creature's immune to small arms fire, but the transmission quality was poor and that report was garbled, so we can't tell you for certain. Our technicians are working on translating it as we speak." Major Conway told Diana. Again Diana was not terribly worried about that possibility. She had two types of magic with which to supplement Saint Sinner Valentine. One of them was bound to harm the target of the hunt.
"Understood." Diana replied. She felt the helicopter stop flying straight ahead and start hovering over the site where she was to be dropped off. She hung onto the olive green webbing loop dangling over her head as the helicopter descended. This was only her third time flying on a helicopter and she was not quite used to that way of travel yet. Diana felt it land with a slight jolt and saw the side door being opened by a crewman in olive green flight suit and a flight helmet. The major stood up and handed her a blue armband with a black square in the middle.
"Here, take this armband. It's got an IFF sensor that'll identify you as friendly to our forces so that you aren't subjected to friendly fire. It'll also identify you as friendly to the clean-up crews... if any of them are still alive." Major Conway informed her of its purpose. Diana slipped it onto the upper part of her left arm and secured it. The major then nodded.
"Good luck, Miss Winchester. We're counting on you." He said to her. Diana nodded, then put on her polarized snow goggles and swiftly exited the helicopter. The door was then shut behind her.
-Outside the helicopter, Snowfall Island-
Now that she was out of the transport helicopter, Diana walked about four meters forward with her hands cupped over her ears while she was buffeted by the wind generated by its propellers. Diana walked halfway to the front of the decommissioned base and turned around just in time to see the transport take off and head for their home base. Once it was gone Diana observed her surroundings to get the lay of the land before starting the hunt.
In front of her was a long, winding path that led both left and right. At the end of the left path was a lengthy tunnel that led to another decommissioned base and to the right was a path that gently curved by a frozen lake and led deeper into Snowfall Island. Diana opted to go right and walked forward, walking through the landing zone and crossing the neck of land that served as a bridge to the path. Once she was across she took a right and began walking towards the gently sloping curve that offered a majestic view of the frozen lake and the decommissioned base that had served as her starting point.
[Post Word Count: 1,136]
[Total Word Count: 1,136/11,000]