The Few, The Proud

S1E2: Being Useful

Spade Platoon deploys to Ketchikan, Alaska via a V-35 Tarantula to assist with security. Spade Platoon finds out that they will actually be serving as provosts under the operational command of the 82nd Airborne Division to provide security and police services for the refugee camp.

2nd Lieutenants Vreta, Gray, Khostov, and Kobayashi Reika respond to a disturbance call at a temporary housing location after being summoned by a child. The Marines break up the dispute with Kobayashi having to use force to subdue a non-compliant person. The Marines learn that the dispute is over money; specifically, the resident, a man named Howard Marshall, borrowed money from the other party, a man known only as “Richard,” in order to buy food and other supplies on the black market. Marshall could not afford to pay the money back after the terms were unilaterally changed. They also learn that Marshall’s daughter, Melissa Marshall, has gone missing.

The Marines agree to approach Richard under the guise of trying to get a piece of the action. After some work, this is successful. The Marines chip in to come up with the money necessary to satisfy Richard and Khostov sets up a bank transfer to ensure that the money cannot be traced back to them. The family is told that the situation has been resolved and is instructed to tell Richard, if he should ask, that the Marines shook him down for the money.

Vreta puts pressure on Richard and learns that he is involved in human trafficking. Richard arranges to take the Marines along on a delivery to his contact, a Nazzadi named Davra. At the meeting, Davra is immediately suspicious of the Marines. Vreta announces that Richard has turned Davra over to the police and a shoot out ensues. Richard and two of his men are killed. Davra is knocked unconscious by a stun round and four of his men are killed. Two of Richard’s men and one of Davra’s men escape. Vreta harshly interrogates Davra and learns that he sold a girl matching Melissa Marshall’s description. The Marines obtain the bank account number and trace it back to a man named John Billings. Special Agent Faheed ibn-Fahdlan of the Federal Security Bureau arrives and takes custody of Davra as well as the human delivery.

The Marines locate Billings’ residence and search it. Inside they find occult books and a ledger with meticulous records including an entry which appears to be a purchase of a person. Gray searches public records and finds a foreclosed warehouse that Billings appears to be using. The Marines respond to the warehouse. Inside, the Marines locate a basement storage area and observe Melissa Marshall lying naked on a table and Billings standing nearby. The table is surrounded by a chalk circle and various symbols. When Billings picks up a knife, all four Marines take a shot with their rifles, but the rounds miss for some inexplicable reason. Billings does not seem to notice. They rush to ground level, but have trouble getting through the circle. Gray smears the chalk circle and gets his hands burned in the process. Billings, who had been writing symbols on Melissa Marshall with his own blood while the circle was intact, threatens to kill her with a knife. Billings informs the Marines that they do not realize what they have done and tells them that if they leave, he will still have time to get things under control. When it looks as though Billings is going to kill Melissa Marshal, Gray shoots Billings in the head.

Billings does not fall down and in fact continues to talk to the Marines, although his entire demeanor changes. He says something in a language they do not understand and is somehow able to incapacitate Vreta, Gray, and Khostov. Kobayashi is unaffected and begins to shoot Billings with her pistol. Billings turns his attention to Kobayashi and then begins to yell at her in a language that is not understood. Billings seems surprised and, in English, tells Kobayashi that she has no soul. Kobayashi deploys her nano-sword and beheads Billings. Billings’ body drops to the ground and the other Marines are no longer incapacitated.

Marines, led by Special Agent ibn-Fahdlan, storm the warehouse, acting on information provided by the Marines already present. ibn-Fahdlan takes charges of the investigation. It is learned that Billings was the one suspect that escaped a previous raid by the FSB earlier in the week. Vreta, Gray, and Kobayashi are injured during the incident and are taken for treatment. Vreta, Gray, Owen, and Khostov are ruled justified in a cursory and quick investigation by the 82nd Airborne. Vreta pockets a book from the incident scene and does not tell ibn-Fahdlan about it. The Marines are shaken up by their experience and Gray and Kobayashi are especially disturbed. Spade Platoon remains in Ketchikan for another two weeks before returning to the NES Victory.

Comments

Gray ten-ringed Billings, not Vreta.

S1E2: Being Useful
 

Corrected.

S1E2: Being Useful
ComStar

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