The Area-10 Massacre

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114th Annual Field Promotion Ceremony
Day 10 - 11:14:21, January 4th, 1990
Loche Na Sealga, Scottish Highlands, United Kingdom
Mobile Task Force Titan-1

"I would like to call Captain Oliver Stone and Sergeant Riley Dallas to the dais," Major General Schofield spoke into the microphone, his Boston accent booming across the field as a wide grin formed on his face.

Stone and Dallas stood from their white plastic chairs and walked up to the stage. The wall of Protected Area-10 loomed over the dais from which Schofield could look across fields of wildflowers that descend into Loch na Sealga. Stone looked around him at the faces in the crowd. There were several rows of personnel and field officers present at the ceremony. A cool mist enveloped the area, and the sun had just crested the ridge above the ceremony.

The two agents stepped up onto the wooden dais and peered across the field. The Captain felt his stomach flutter with excitement as the Major General inserted a small, worn silver key into a little mahogany box encrusted with a silver lining. Stone's eyes widened as Schofield lifted a gold medal in the shape of a clenched fist strung on a red and blue striped satin ribbon from the chest.

Major General Schofield lifted the ribbon above Stone's head and placed it around his neck. Schofield beamed with pride as he looked Stone in the eyes and firmly shook his hand. The Captain adjusted the hem of his suit and straightened his tie. The suit didn't look particularly special, it was just a navy blue suit with a black tie. Stone had received the tie years earlier in Catalunya, and he bought the suit for Thomas Hark's wedding in London. Stone watched as the Major General placed the same medal around Dallas' neck, and watched as Dallas smiled for the first time in a long while.

Schofield stepped back from the pair and moved back to the podium, "I would like to present Captain Oliver Stone and Sergeant Riley Dallas with the Golden Fist Award, presented to those that convey extreme bravery, going out of their way to protect those around them and putting their fellow soldiers before themselves," He said, his grin growing wider with each word.

Stone looked across the crowd. His entire squad was there; Hurst, Burke, Ray, Hark, and Millar were all seated towards the front of the assemblage. He could even see Albany towards the back of the group. Stone peered at the back of the crowd, where someone caught his eye. It was the Iota-10 agent, Mr. Magenta, wearing an all-white suit, with a magenta tie and magenta boutonnière stuffed neatly in his jacket pocket. The man nodded at him and then tapped his watch forcefully.

What is he doing? Why is he-

Oh right. We have our meeting. Forgot that Magenta mentioned that before the ceremony.

Stone turned his head to look at Dallas. Their eyes met, and Dallas glanced in Magenta's direction and nodded.

Stone's concentration was shattered when Major General Schofield popped in front of him to shake his hand one more time, before showing the pair off of the stage down the main aisle, and two more agents stepped up to the podium to receive their awards.

Stone let out a pleased sigh and patted Dallas on the back, and he saw a smile form at the edges of his mouth. The pair walked halfway through the crowd to where their squad was sitting, and their faces lit up with excitement as they grew closer.

"Good bloody job, Capt'n," Ray said, patting Stone's forearm forcefully.

"I'm so happy for you the both of you," Burke exclaimed happily.

Dallas and Stone waved to them as they moved further down the aisle, making their way to Albany.

"Good to see you here, James," Stone said, shaking Albany's hand firmly.

"Aye, good to see you too. Congrats on the award," Albany said, slightly slouching in his chair.

Stone and Dallas continued down the aisle to meet Agent Magenta at the back of the gathering. He had been leaning on the large entrance gates to Area-10 and stood up straight when they approached.

"G'day you two, follow me, if you will," Magenta said, signaling for them to enter through the looming gates.

Mr. Magenta led the pair away from the ceremony and through the large entrance doors of Area-10, which had been temporarily locked open for the ceremony. The group crossed through countless intersections and corridors until they had reached their destination.

"Just down here, you two," Mr. Magenta said, signalling for the pair to enter the hallway.

On the left side of the corridor, the white tiled floor turned to grey concrete and security personnel could be seen lifting heavy weaponry and crates of ammunition into the Wing-A Armoury. On the right, several doors lined the wall, but Magenta gestured for the pair to enter the hallway at the end of the hall.

Stone and Dallas stood in front of the door and were met with a keycard reader. The Iota-10 agent pushed his way forward and pulled a beaten, old, leather wallet out of his pocket. He unclipped a Level 4 keycard from it and twirled it with his fingers for a moment before slickly inserting it into the reader next to the door.

It hummed and the small light on the reader turned from red to a pale lime colour before the door popped open. The well-dressed agent gestured for the pair to enter, and Stone peered into the room. A bright fluorescent light lit up the empty room, displaying a card table and four fold-out chairs. An expensive-looking brown briefcase sat on the table, both clips shut. Dallas strolled into the room and sat at the table, taking the medal off of his chest and sighed groggily as he waited for Stone to sit down.

Stone pulled out the chair next to Dallas and sat down gingerly, and Magenta remained standing, leaning on the thin wooden table.

"Now, gentlemen. Congratulations on the awards, by the way," Magenta said tiredly.

"Good to see you again, Magenta. Been too long," Stone said, leaning forward to shake Magenta's hand, and Magenta grasped it firmly.

"Glad to see you around," Dallas said, arms crossed.

"The reason I dragged you two away from the ceremony was to tell you a couple of things. First, you're promoted. Congrats, mates. Stone, you're a Major now. And Dallas, you're a Staff Sergeant," Magenta said, waiting for the two to process the new information before barreling ahead.

"Next, you've both qualified for a little something called the Romano Corp. Only elite field officers are considered for it, and you two’ve shown them what 'elite' means. You'll be joining my strike team in the Corp. This also means that your credentials have been upgraded," The Iota-10 agent said, unclipping the briefcase on the table and tossing two Level 3 keycards onto the table.

"Thank you, Magenta," Stone said, excitement getting the better of him for a moment.

Dallas slowly grabbed the keycard and peered at it before tucking it away in his jacket pocket.

Magenta sighed tiredly, "This means, you two now get to know my name," He said, peering at the two sitting before him.

Stone turned to look at Dallas, and Stone could tell that Dallas' interest had peaked as well.

"Colonel Charles Benedict Hollender, good to finally meet ya," Agent Hollender said, stretching out his hand to Stone, and then Dallas.

"I suppose it is good to finally meet you," Dallas said, firmly shaking Hollender's hand.

"Alright you two, one final present. Here's the FOPM1 for your new promotions,” Hollender said, tossing the two manuals onto the table.

Dallas and Stone picked up their copies and began to read.

Mobile Task Force Field Officers Manual

Special Forces Edition №22.4

MTF Titan-1 ("Off the Books")

Major Oliver Louis Stone

Printed at Area-03

Stone put the book down and turned to face Hollender and Dallas. Dallas was a relatively fast reader, so he had finished a couple of moments before him.

"Thanks for giving this to us, can't wait to meet the team," Stone said tossing the manual down on the table.

"Oh yeah, you'll fit right in, we're like our own little family. You two'll love the Mark Three APPO helmets as well, they're simply fantastic compared to the NEWT helmets," Hollender said, fiddling with his orange Level 4 keycard in his left hand.

"You lads want to head to the lounge? My mate Domingo makes an amazing Old Fashioned Gin and Tonic," Hollender said, nonchalantly pointing in the direction of the door.

"I don't drink," Stone said as he thumbed through the manual idly.

"In this line of work-" Hollender began to say but he was cut off by the klaxon as it started to blare across the entire facility.

Their training kicked in as the three agents practically jumped from their seats to the door preternaturally fast, preparing themselves for any kind of situation. Although, Stone remembered, there weren't any anomalies at Area-10, so it was good he could rule that out.

"Alright, I noticed on the way in that the armoury is just across the hall," Stone said, peering through the bulletproof glass window in the door.

"Sounds like a plan, let's get going," Hollender said as he unholstered his pistol and peeked the door open.

Dallas stepped forward, checking both sides of the hallway before the trio departed from the room. They jogged to the Wing-A armoury. The armoury was hidden behind huge blast doors. Before they reached the door, a security lieutenant turned the corner to the armoury and swiftly inserted a Level 3 Keycard into the reader on the door, placing his right hand on a biometric scanner adjacent to the reader. The central light above the doors flashed green and they parted in the middle and slid open into the wall.

Stone heard the sound of heavy boots running down the hallway. He looked in the direction of the noise and saw five soldiers running to him wearing the white body and blue insignia of Area-10 security personnel approaching.

Five MTF personnel attired in black flak jackets and grey plated suits immediately rushed in. They expediently grabbed their helmets with ballistics visors attached to them and flipped them down over their face, one buckling the straps under his stubbled chin while another left it unbuckled and rushed to grab more equipment. They grabbed their rifles, vests, and ammunition and rushed in the direction of the gate entrance.

Stone heard a voice from behind him, "Boss, what's going on?"

Stone turned to see a tall man standing over him, looking at Hollender.

"We don't know, Ding. Grab your gear and let's go," Hollender said, quickly strapping his bulletproof vest over his chest and around his shoulders, grabbing multiple magazines from the shelves and placing them in pockets on his vest.

Stone didn't have time to process his teammate, Domingo. He began to grab ammunition but his new teammate kept distracting him from his task. Domingo wasn't what Stone was expecting him to be. He had a buzz cut with lightly tanned skin and a tall build.

Stone and Dallas finished grabbing their gear and waited outside of the armoury for Hollender. Stone inserted a magazine into his M4A1 carbine as he walked.

"Sir. Lieutenant Mitchell Straub, site security," The Lieutenant said, exiting out of the armoury and saluting the Colonel.

"Good to meet you. Let's gather the security personnel we can and move to the front entrance," Hollender said, pointing in the direction of the entrance with his helmet in hand.

"Copy. These are my best right here, Bell and Sisika," Straub said, stepping aside for two MTF cadets who had been grabbing equipment and ammunition from the shelves of the armoury.

The two stood up and saluted the Colonel.

"Either of you a sharpshooter?" Hollender said, glancing at the two as he inserted a magazine into his rifle and stepped out into the hallway.

"I scored a mark of 944 on the Marksmanship Course," Sisika stated proudly.

"I got 862," Bell said.

"Good, you two head up to the roof and tell me what you've got. Spot for him, Bell," The Colonel stated.

"Copy that, Sir," Bell said, grabbing a pair of binoculars.

The pair ran in the direction of the stairwell in the opposite direction of the entrance.

"Ding, you ready?" Hollender said, waiting at the entrance to the armoury.

"Ready for anything, Sir," Domingo said with a small smile on his face as he appeared out of the armoury.

"As always. Stone, Dallas, meet Domingo. Unfortunately, the pleasantries will have to wait until later, we've got to check out the entrance," Hollender said, gesturing for the group to move to the front gate.

Bell's voice crackled through Stone's radio, "Sir, we've got activity up here."

"Tell me what you've got," Hollender said into his radio as they jogged in a covering formation.

"We've got at least 20 Clear Skies Initiative agents here. They're butchering the people at the ceremony. Arturo and I are in position for when you need us," Bell finished.

"Shite, alright. Wait there and I'll give you the signal," Hollender said, leaning into the radio strapped to his shoulder.

The group reached the entrance of Area-10 and a dozen security personnel and Lieutenant Straub were stacked up on either side of the gates.

"What's the move, Colonel?" Straub whispered to Hollender.

The Colonel and the Major peered around the corner to assess the situation. To the left, Stone saw his squadmates huddled behind a large speaker towards the middle of the chairs. Dozens of bodies littered the ground and dais. Major General Schofield's sputtering body was visible in the centre aisle, pressed against the podium on the grass below. He was sitting in a pool of blood and his chest was palpitating rapidly. Stone's eyes shifted right, and he saw Albany laying on the ground, under a small pile of plastic chairs. Albany looked up at Stone and even from the distance that they were at, Stone could see that Albany was exhausted.

"Alright. Here's what we're gonna do. Any of you got smoke on you?" Hollender said, lowering his voice to a whisper.

Three smoke grenades were produced from the group, "Alright, this can work. We have a sniper team stationed on the roof, we tell 'em to pop the Air Heads, and they'll scatter like rats. That's when we throw the smokes and move in to take them out. I need a team to prioritize on the Titan-1 squad, Domingo will get the Major General, and Major Stone will get the Corporal out there. We good with that?" Hollender said, readying his rifle and pressing his back against the door.

A few murmurs of agreement were heard from the group.

"Alright, you four on the left. You take the Titan-1 squad," Hollender said, pointing to the group of agents on the left side of the gates. The operatives nodded in unison at the Colonel.

"The other four of you, move down the centre and eliminate the hostiles with me," Hollender said, pointing down the centre aisle.

"Copy that, Colonel," One of the officers said, nodding his head strenuously and readying his MP3 submachine gun. The agent was wearing his helmet strapped on tight, and he was wearing a black plate carrier vest with a white collared shirt that had been wrinkled up.

"On my mark, gentlemen," Hollender said, raising his radio to his mouth and standing up, pressing his back against the door.

Agents carrying smoke grenades stood up and leaned towards the edge of the door, holding the canisters in their hands and their fingers gripped around the pins.

"Siska, take the shot," Hollender spoke into the radio.

The blast of a sniper rifle echoed throughout the small valley, and shouts were heard from the Clear Skies agents outside. The agents pulled the pins of the smoke grenades and tossed them out of the doors, swinging their rifles over their shoulders and into their hands.

The team on the left side of the gate rushed out, pushing towards the speaker sets in the middle of the field, using a cover formation as they strode through the rows of plastic chairs and fired their weapons as they appeared out of the haze.

Hollender and the four agents moved outside right after the first team, rushing forward down the centre aisle and past the small piles of chairs and bodies. The Colonel leapt over a plastic chair and fired his rifle at two hostile enemies, appearing through the thick, grey, smoke. Domingo rushed forward through the clouds of smoke to the dais.

"Shit, you'll be alright, Sir," Domingo said reassuringly, wrapping his left arm under the Major General's neck and the other under his legs.

Schofield couldn't respond to the agent, but he weakly nodded to him as he was lifted up by the tall man.

More sniper rifle shots were heard and connected with multiple Clear Skies agents, covering Domingo enough so he could escape back to the entrance as the Clear Skies operatives began to pull back from the ceremony.

Stone vaulted over the refreshments stand and into cover behind the bar wall while Dallas pushed up behind him. Stone peeked around the corner and saw four hostile agents. Raising his rifle, he peeked the barrel of his M4A1 carbine around the wooden bar wall and aimed down the sights of his rifle. Slowing his breath, he squeezed the trigger and a volley of bullets erupted from the rifle, immediately connecting with two of the agents. Stone heard the bang of the sniper rifle, and another agent fell to the ground. The last agent wildly sprayed in the direction of Stone, penetrating parts of the wood next to him. Dallas quickly poked around the corner and shot the last agent in the head twice. His body fell to the ground in the distance and Stone reloaded his rifle.

He wiped the sweat off of his brow and peeked around the corner, checking for enemies before he rushed out of cover to help the Corporal. He looked to the left flank and saw two enemy squads retreating while a squad of Site Security fired at them. Stone ducked out of cover, running up to Albany while Dallas provided cover fire.

“Took you long enough, lad,” Albany said, pushing a plastic chair off of himself.

“You’re lucky I came for you at all,” Stone chuckled, pushing on Albany’s shoulder.

Albany winced in pain, and Stone noticed the holes in the Corporal’s suit. One bullet had grazed his left shoulder while another two bullets had penetrated his left forearm and upper chest, with a small stream of blood dripping down on the grass.

“Shit, James. Hold on,” Stone said, grabbing Albany’s right arm and lifting him up.

Albany groaned as he stood, and together the two shuffled back to the entrance while Dallas slowly moved behind them, watching their backs with his rifle raised.

Sisika’s voice crackled over the radio, “We’ve gottem on the run, Sir.”

Bell added, “They’re heading over the ridge, should we pursue?"

“We’ll have a scout team trail them out of here, we need to clean up this mess,” Hollender said, striding over to Stone and Albany.

Hollender’s outfit had been torn up. He had taken his jacket off which revealed a wrinkled deep blue collared shirt with the sleeves rolled up to the elbows. There was dirt covering Hollender's once-pristine white pants, stretching all the way down to his shoes, which were now caked with mud. Hollender took off his helmet, showing his greying hair that had been ruffled and matted with sweat during the fight. He slung his rifle over his shoulder and approached Stone and Albany.

“Good job out there, Oliver,” The Colonel said, lifting Albany’s left arm over his shoulder, helping Albany shuffle back inside.

Dallas lowered his rifle and moved forward to the other site security personnel in the field away from Stone and Albany.

Six medical officers rushed past Stone while one stayed behind to treat Albany. Stone instantly recognized the medics because of the cream-coloured armour they wore and because his squadmate Hurst wore a similarly styled outfit. The insignia of the SCP Medical Department was printed onto the shoulder plates and helmets worn by the field medics.

The medical officer standing in front of Stone was wearing worn and scratched armour. A small dent was visible in the helmet, right above the forehead. His visor was tinted green, and there were scratches around the edges of the visor. There was a threadbare scarf wrapped around his neck and draping over his shoulders.

"Don't worry mates, I've got 'em, Lieutenant Roland Webb," The Lieutenant said giving a quick salute as he helped Albany onto a stretcher.

"You'll be alright, lad," Webb said to Albany as he began to bandage his chest.

"Just get it over with," Albany said, gripping the side of the stretcher as another medic approached to take Albany inside.

They looked down at Albany before turning to walk through the gates. Hollender and Stone trudged inside, exhaustedly trekking through Area-10, following the green line on the floor as it passed through the hallways and corridors further into the facility.

Hollender and Stone stopped in front of the Wing-D lounge. The Colonel stepped forward and pushed the door open. The pair walked to the back of the room to the large felt brown couch that wrapped around a glass coffee table. Hollender fell down onto the end, laying his jacket down on the coffee table and Stone sat down on the other end, tossing his helmet aside onto the couch. Stone sighed loudly and leaned over to grab a bottle of water from the mini-fridge next to them.

As Stone unscrewed the lid, he peered across the large room. A kitchen sat in the opposite end of the room from the couches, with an oven and several sinks. The countertops were some kind of polished stone, and the cabinets were made from light brown wood.

The door slid open and a tall, thin man stepped in, closing the door behind him. He had tangled red hair that reminded Stone of seaweed and wore a long, draping lab coat that had several tear marks around the edges. He had large red glasses perched on his thin nose. Stone looked down and saw the figure wearing tall black boots that almost went up to his knees.

"Hello Colonel," The man said.

"G'day Doctor Myrun," Hollender said, tipping his head respectfully.

"And you must be Major Stone, pleased to make your acquaintance," Doctor Myrun said, striding towards the pair, stopping in front of the coffee table.

Stone waved at him, "Good to meet you too, Doctor,"

"How would you like to test something back at my lab, Major?" Doctor Myrun said, his wry smile stretching wider on his face.

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