High Threat, High Reward
Backstory for Lee Coppoletta
This mission put Lee on the fast track for his HTRT Team Leader role
"All right, everybody, suit up!" Dollie's voice rang out across the vehicle bay. Graveyard had just started, but with that announcement, every member of the team immediately perked up. Heads-up displays began to glow with operations data as Dollie called out, "We're designation Kilo on this op. Stallion 5, I'm on conn. We've been issued two armed Roto-drones. This is a high-value policyholder, so we're Oscar Mike!"
Lee had only been on Dollie's team, nominally Kilo Team, for a little over a year, but their record was constantly near the top. The team worked graveyard shift along the north end of the Redmond barrens, colloquially referred to as "suicide duty"; even so, Kilo team managed to maintain an 84% mission survival rate (i.e., no casualties on mission). More importantly, they were consistently effective AND profitable.
The call tonight was an armed assault on the 522. A limo containing a high-value insured asset was currently being pursued by (and fired upon) by runners and drones. The team had only minutes to get on-scene to secure, or preferably retrieve, the target. Kilo team scrambled to strap in to Dollie's - "Lt. Huseby," when anyone else was around - Hughes Stallion, and within 60 seconds, Kilo was airborne.
The limo was only a twelve-minute flight down Highway 522 (stretching along the Snohomish-Redmond border). By the time Kilo team arrived, however, the Nightsky had been disabled and had augered in to the guardrail. Two Saab Dynamit 788 sports cars had pulled up alongside; three runners with assault rifles covered the limo as a Doberman patiently cut into the armored rear compartment. One security guard desperately (and unsuccessfully) tried to fire on the Dobie from the mid-seat gun port.
As the chopper swept in, Dollie called the count ("1!") and deployed the rotodrones to suppress the runner team. Lee, as second in command, queued first to take the high-risk cover fire role. The other two officers dropped in line behind him, ready to kick out the side of the chopper as soon as Dollie flashed the green light.
As soon as the Stallion's side door opened, Lee kicked out of the chopper, firing expensive incendiary rounds down onto the Doberman as he dropped onto the trunk of the Nighsky. Clinton and Christian, well-trained officers that they are, were right behind him. Their wild suppressive fire pounded into the hood of one of the Saabs, tearing into the batteries and blowing the hood up as the forward cells exploded. The security guard, noting the disabled Doberman, turned his fire onto the 788s as well.
As soon as the team touched down, Lee flung a smoke grenade toward the attackers and dropped off the trunk to rig the rescue harness. Dollie called "2!" as Christian and Clinton pulled the passenger side limo door open to pull the asset toward the rescue harness. With smoke choking them and clouding their line of sight to the assets, two of the attackers suddenly turned to the suppressing Roto-drones. Incendiary rounds blazed from their AK-97s as they shattered one of the Lone Star drones. Kilo heard Dollie's muffled yelp in their comms as she was forcibly ejected from the destroyed drone. FNG Christian yelped, "Shit! They have incendiaries!" Standard FNG mistake, of course, as his exclamation drew the attention of the third attacker. AP rounds blew through his chest plate as he backed toward the rescue harness, sheltering the asset. The security guard also slipped from the limo; at this point, Lee noted that he had been wounded in the firefight and was having difficulty holding his SMG level. That didn't seem to matter too much, however, as Lee heard the bolt click as the security guard fired the last of his clip high and downrange of the attackers.
Noticing that Christian had been wounded and the count broken, Lee quickly backed away from the limo and strapped the asset into the rescue harness. Clinton quickly climbed onto the rescue harness, covering the asset with his armored body. Christian, still stumbling, tried to lob a flashbang to cover the team's retreat. His strength obviously ebbing, though, the flashbang fell well short, bouncing off the Doberman's tattered shell and under the Nightsky. Noting his stumbling and slowed reflexes, the lead attacker quickly snapped his rifle to Christian's center of mass. A quick three-round burst left Christian flat on his ass behind the limo. For a moment, Lee thought he'd had it. Then Christian drew a gasping breath and started to shudder. The second attacker almost mockingly lobbed his own flashbang at Kilo team. The expert throw left the grenade spinning at Clinton's feet for a split second before it popped, leaving Kilo team dazed even with their compensators active. The third attacker, frustrated at trying to dodge rounds from the remaining Roto-drone, spun out to bring it down with incendiaries just as the autopilot chose to strafe his side of the Saab. The AP rounds pounding him into the ground sent his shots wild, leaving mere scuff marks on the HTRT drone. The security guard, fresh out of ammunition, let his SMG slip from his grasp as he drew his sidearm and slid limpingly alongside the limo toward the waiting harnesses.
Lee's voice seems to kick Dollie from her momentary stupor, and she quickly acknowledges the request to retrieve the first harness. Clinton and the asset quickly spool up toward the waiting chopper as Lee fires wildly above the attackers, trying to drive them down into cover just long enough to allow the extraction, but the disorientation of the flashbang leaves his shots way too high. As Christian tries to struggle to his knees and drag himself toward the second harness, the attackers concentrate their fire on Clinton and Lee. The apparent leader, thinking he has spotted an opportunity to turn the fight, breaks cover and dashes toward the Nightsky. His AK rattles off rounds that graze Clinton's shin and powder the ballistic weave in Lee's shoulder plate. The second attacker hears his AK's bolt rattle; half a second later, he's sprung toward the limo behind the first, monofilament blade in hand. Seeing this, the security guard begins to panic. He dash-stumbles toward the second harness, grabbing Christian by the armor on his way.
Lee, regaining his senses, yells quickly for Christian to get strapped and for Dollie to fire on the oncoming attackers. The unfortunately familiar nauseating burn of a bullet wound seeps into his consciousness. Dollie, swearing, jumps to the remaining drone and swivels it quickly to track the two runners. Christian manages to regain some of his composure as he and the security guard grope for the harness and thumb the manual ascender on. Mirroring her swearing, Clinton manhandles the asset behind as much chopper armor as possible and swings into position onto the manual side-gun. Christian drifts in and out of consciousness as the second harness bolts for the chopper. The security guard, swinging at the base of this rope pendulum, is unable to draw a bead on anyone with his sidearm. Lee whispered a short prayer of thanks as Dollie's drone drilled an obscene number of rounds into the sword-swinging attackers spine. Growling with rage, but just seconds too late, the remaining attacker spun insanely fast and expertly blinded the remaining drone with more incendiary rounds.
With her drones useless, Dollie initiates autorecovery of the remaining flier and jumps into the chopper. Lee covers Christian and the security guard as they ascend to the chopper. Clinton rains fire from the side gun down upon one of the downed attackers as he was preparing to throw a high-explosive grenade as the guard pulls the seizing Christian into the chopper. Seriously pissed now, the remaining attacker pumps a grenade into Clinton's gunner position, disabling the LMG and badly injuring both Clinton and Dollie. As Dollie loses consciousness, the chopper dips almost onto the limo, dumping a nearly-dead Clinton onto the trunk.
As the chopper reverts to save autoflight, Lee sees the last harness reel in. As his adrenaline kicks into high gear, time seems to stand still for Lee. He grabs the retreating harness, shoving it onto Clinton just as the rope goes taut. The remaining attacker empties his clip at the rising harness and rakes his fire across the side of the chopper, causing the chopper to oscillate wildly. Lee's luck also runs out as bullets slam into his left side, blowing his armor and partially seizing all the joints on his left side.
The Chopper autopilot, having recovered stable flight, notes the damage and switches to Return to Base mode. Down an engine and with a damaged rotor, the return to flight seems slow and pained. Lee pulls Clinton to a stable position and secures him as the remaining attacker pulls his sidearm and begins pinging near the tail rotor in a desperate attempt to disable the Stallion. Lee grabs for the controls and manages to wrestle the chopper a few hundred feet up and away. As the Stallion pulls away from the firefight, the attacker dashes toward the operational 788 in a vain attempt to pursue. As the chopper weaves and staggers, Lee pulls Dollie's jack and plugs in to check the damage readouts.
Lee, crossing his fingers, puts the chopper into the quickest Return to Base mode possible. He then jacks out and tethers himself to the safety line, slamming a fresh clip into his Alpha. Looking down into the pursuing car, he notices the attacker is trying to wake another runner lying unconscious in the passenger seat of the Saab. Though badly injured, Lee stumbles toward the side door and begins raking the highway with the last of his incendiary rounds. The 788 swerves, dodging the rifle rounds for a short time. Just as his bolt locks open, Lee sees the quarter panel blow off the Saab as the punctured battery packs go up.
With the last attacker finally disabled, Lee stumbles toward his team, clumsily trying to pop his seized armor off with his blood-covered hands. He quickly assesses the team's injuries as his armor clatters to the deck. Retrieving the medicomp, Lee stabilizes Clinton, then Dollie as Christian drifts in and out of consciousness. While stabilizing Clinton, he orders the security guard to grab the second kit and check on Christian.
Halfway back to base, the chopper's remaining engine misfires as the differential torque starts to strip the transmission. Lee dives for the controls and orders the chopper down, calling in for a second team to pick up the chopper. Once the chopper puts down, Lee sets perimeter until Yankee Team's arrival.
Later investigation shows that attacking team were extremely well financed. Though Lone Star investigators are unable to determine the source of the funding, the investigators believe that a megacorp was attempting a "forced hiring" of the asset in question. Kilo Team's footage of the raid shows enough to clear the team members of incompetence charges. Even better, all members of Kilo Team survive their injuries. Lee's actions during the raid result in him being put up for commendation and fast-tracked for promotion. Relatively soon afterward, Lee is put in charge of Yankee Team on graveyard.
- Field Commander (Kilo 6): Lt. Dollie Huseby (Pilot)
- Kilo 1: Sergeant Lee Coppoletta
- Kilo 2: Officer Clinton Bever
- Kilo 3: Officer Christian Dively (the FNG)
- Kilo 4: Rotodrone armed with Ares Alpha
- Kilo 5: Rotodrone armed with Ares Alpha