Checkmate: Operation Outsiders #6 Nov 21, 2010 9:23:41 GMT -5
Post by Rik (capricorn116) on Nov 21, 2010 9:23:41 GMT -5
Checkmate: Operation Outsiders #6
"International Incident - Part One: Reconaissance"
Written by: Scott Morgan Cook
Cover by: Boris Mihajlovic
Edited by: Jay Zirron
Arsenal - Lian Harper, master marksman, Black Queen's Knight and team leader.
Elasti-Girl - Rachel Dibny, the new Stretchable Sleuth.
Tempest - Sarin of Atlantis, super strong son of Aquaman and master of water.
Cyclone - Maxine Hunkel, happy-go-lucky wind witch.
Animal Man - Warren McCabe-Shaw, inheritor of the Tantu-totem and master of the animal kingdom.
Cassandra Cain - The former Batgirl and the world's deadliest martial artist.
Gene Nigma - White Queen's Bishop and manager of the Outsiders.
Natasha Irons - Pilot of Checkmate Jet 206.
Eric Hamilton - Pilot of Checkmate Jet 414.
* * * * * *
Fred Freeman - The World's Mightiest Mortal and Black King of Checkmate.
Tatsu Yamashiro - Former superhero Katana and Black Queen of Checkmate.
White King - ?
Caroline Kelly - One-time vigilante and White Queen of Checkmate.
* * * * * *
“Roll call fellas, sound off like you got a pair. BT?”
“What about you big guy, you still flying this plane?”
“I’m glad you’re here but don’t call me sir. BB?”
“I hate it when you call me that.”
“BB? You still present?”
“Well where else does he have to be?”
“If you were him would you…yeah, I’m here. And could you tell Boomer here not to call me BB?”
“Thanks Zo…be here? What, why are you looking at me like…oh crap, did he freaking possess me?”
“Yep. Also, he says he loves it when you call him BB.”
“F*[% you, Zoey.”
* * * * * *
Checkmate 206 was making its long flight over the Pacific Ocean, the Outsiders aboard were contacted by their manager in the usual way.
“Morning gents.” Gene Nigma said on the screen. Most of the team responded with uncaring groans.
“Did we really have to get up this early?” Warren asked, rubbing his sleepy eyes.
“We’ve got a long flight ahead of us. You’re headed to Bialya.” The bishop answered.
“Here comes the why.” Rachel said. The team had been active for enough time to know the formula for missions.
“As you know,” Gene explained. “Bialya has been under the control of the crime syndicate Intergang for some time. They’ve been under extreme scrutiny by Checkmate. Recently, they’ve been moving criminals from prisons to scientific labs, as well as imported several weapon parts and machinery.”
“And you want us to spy on them.” Lian said.
“And stop them if necessary. Good luck.” His final words were as the screen returned to its normal blackness.
“So what do we do until then?” Tempest asked.
“Do what you want, I’m getting some shut-eye.” Warren said, reclining his chair and closing his eyes.
“I’ve got a deck of cards.” Rachel said, picking up a small plastic case. “You guys know how to play garbage?”
“Yeah, I’ll do that.” Maxine said. “C’mon Sarin, I’ll teach you how to play.” Tempest cautiously got up from his chair and sat down next to the other two.
“What about you, Lian?” Rachel asked as she shuffled the deck.
“No thanks.” Arsenal said. She opened the folder Gene had given her earlier and read over the information about Bialya’s soldier projects.
* * * * * *
“Quick radio check, guys. Anybody see anything?”
“Nothing on my end.”
“You’re a jackass, Owen.”
“Big load of nothing…wait, I see something. A black jet, around a couple-hundred yards away. It’s landing near the clearing and…five people are exiting, all costumes.”
“Oooh, things are getting exciting!”
“Well that can’t be good.”
“Watch them closely, Zo. We’ll converge on your position. Over and out.”
* * * * * *
Despite her usual demeanor, Rachel Dibny was not a negative person. Granted, in conversation she would be the first to make a sarcastic comment, but she was simply a smart person. Rachel thought certain things were obvious that others missed, but she was not an elitist.
She did, however, believe she was above infiltrating the Bialya base via a sewage line.
“I hate you all so much right now.” Elasti-Girl said as she crawled through the foul-smelling pipe.
“Keep communications to a minimum.” Arsenal ordered immediately. She was far outside the compound, standing next to Animal Man. He was kneeling next to a set of tire tracks and had copied the senses of a bloodhound to pick up anything he could.
“I’m smelling diesel.” Warren said. “That’s the main thing. There’s also…sweat. There were definitely people here. And…and there are a whole lot of other things I don’t even know. Sorry, it’s the best I can get.”
“It’ll do.” Lian said, more than a hint of disappointment in her voice.
“I wish Cassandra were here.” Animal Man said. “She knows detective work.”
“I can still hear you.” Rachel said over the communicator.
“Quiet.” Lian whispered harshly. Warren looked at her with a mix of surprise, fear and confusion. She responded matter-of-factly “It’s been a long day.”
“Yeah, it has.” He muttered as he turned to the tire tracks again.
* * * * * *
Elasti-Girl slipped through the slim pipe, her elastic body stretching through the system smoothly. She was disgusted by the sewage around her.
“I can’t believe I got stuck with this crap.” She muttered to herself, trying to provide any distraction from the filth in front of her. “I think I’m going to kill Lian after this. That’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to kill her.”
Eventually, Rachel came to an open area where the sewage pooled from a series of pipes above. She took in a breath, coughed it out, swore, took in another breath and dove up one of the thin pipes.
This is so damn uncomfortable. She thought as she snaked through the pipe. Someone please get me out of here. Just make this ride shorter or something. Anything.
Finally, Rachel saw a light. She struggled up and up until her head emerged from a white porcelain toilet. She gasped for breath, looked at her surroundings and muttered “Oh f*[& me.”
She crawled out and found herself in a surprisingly clean men’s room (although, after what she had just been through anything seemed clean). After shaking herself off, she stretched upwards and squeezed into the air vent above her.
Rachel slithered through the vent, grateful to be in a more open space. As she traveled, she peeked through the grates to see what was happening at the compound, her detective mind carefully cataloging what she saw.
From the looks of this, it’s clearly a chemical lab. All the scientists are Bialyan; no outside help on whatever project or projects this is. There are messages, probably notes on the wall, but I can’t tell what language it is, let alone what it’s supposed to read. I can’t make heads or tails of what they’re working on; it all looks like water and gas. Moving on.
This looks to be a robotics wing; still all Bialyan, still all in Bialyan. This looks promising though, they’re testing out one of the devices. It’s a small, rectangular and silver. I guess it’s not worth painting. They’re pressing a button and there’s a light coming out; green, bright green and…nothing. Guess it doesn’t work yet. What is that? Some kind of beam or force field? Whatever, I don’t know machines. Moving on.
Here we have a prison…dear god, these people look awful. About half of them are really screwed up. Burn marks, missing limbs, chemical infections (possibly gangrene?)…here comes someone; obviously a guard by the uniform, looks kind of pissed off too. He’s grabbing one of the normal prisoners and dragging him out. What are they doing to these people…are they guinea pigs?
I’ve seen enough. I should report back to Lian.
* * * * * *
“You sure you saw costumes?”
“These eyes don’t lie, Boomer. I swear, there were five of them.”
“Well, I’m not…wait, there they are. Kind of a diverse-looking group.”
“Nothing we can’t handle.”
“Who says it’s our job to handle them?”
“Maybe you should call HQ, sir. See what they think.”
“Don’t call me sir. But it’s still a good idea.”
“Quit whining, Zo.”
* * * * * *
“Human experiments, huh?” Arsenal asked.
“That’s what I picked up.” Rachel answered. After escaping the facility and washing off as much of the filth as she could, she reported back to the rest of the Outsiders to explain what happened.
“So we have to bust in there and free them, is that it?” Warren asked.
“It’s not that simple.” Rachel answered. “We are in a foreign country that has closed its ties to the United Nations. We get caught in there, we could cause a serious international incident.”
“So what do we do now?” Maxine asked. Sarin, Warren and Maxine all turned their heads towards Rachel, expecting some kind of answer. And for once in her life, she didn’t have one.
“It’s all up to you.” She said to Lian. “What’s our next move?”
Arsenal thought for a moment before saying “Gene said to stop them if necessary. Now I don’t know about you, but I think this qualifies.”
* * * * * *
“Well, what’s the word boss man?”
“Yeah, what did Carmichael say?”
“Oh, you guys are going to love this.”
“He says these people are messing with Suicide Squad business. In order to ensure the success of the mission, we’ll just have to eliminate them.”
Next Issue, you'll meet the Suicide Squad of Earth-2, and so will the Outsiders! See the explosive collision in part two of International Incident: Competition.
Let us know what you think...