Episode 7
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Submitted By Lamp on 12/11/10
CC Fan Fic Project, Lamp, Documents 

   I expected my team to come to difficulties controlling the car, but this was just sad. We have gotten them moving at least, but in any direction but the way we want them to go. It started with 5CKM3 slamming on the reverse and almost killing several people. XD was able to get into the tunnel leading to the surface, but halfway through the car started flying and after hitting the ceiling at full speed his car landed upside down. Nattyfrank was moving, but extremely slowly and occasionally backwards. I was used to my slow tank and floored the car, sending me darting into a wall. The tunnel from the garage to the surface was less than a quarter kilometer long, but it took us fifteen minutes to get the cars through the tunnel to a clearing in the forest outside the base.

   cremyjr then told us to drive to a firing range six kilometers to the south. We at least didn't crash, but that was mostly because we were able to take down most of the tress we drove into. I tried to organize the cars so that they would drive in a single-file but they were so agile that we would occasionally spin out of control we wanted to make a slight turn, leaving the team to often crash into each other. Thankfully these cars were designed for combat and so could take the damage we inflicted on them, and a slight boost upward with the car's flight boosters was able to get us out of several potholes we barreled into. We were getting more familiar with the car, but it still took us a half hour to reach the target range that was set up for us. It wasn't that impressive, just a bunch of crash dummies standing in a field, waiting for us to take aim at them.

   Thank god we didn't have any real ordinance. The minigun only fired rubber balls and so did virtually no damage, but the EMP grenades still had a small concussion explosive that along with the EMP effect caused several of the cars caught in the crossfire to be shut down temporarily. It soon degraded into an EMP fight as we slugged each other rather than the target dummies. Thankfully I was able to keep it from becoming personal, but there were several incidents were two cars would focus just on each other. This training match of sorts was excellent practice for us, and soon we were not only driving several feet without crashing but actually dodging fire and counterattacking.

   Over the comm cremyjr said that General Shields wanted us to do a bit of practice flying before Sunder's team got into position, and so we went back to having virtually no control over our cars. But this time, we were in the air, and we experienced a lot of hard landings when we hit wrong buttons. Although my controls for the car were customized for my background as a tank driver they really didn't know what to do with the controls for flight and so decided to make them as complicated as possible. Boost buttons, hover levers, they all looked so similar and even with cremyjr's  support of reading a overly complicated control manual for us, we never really got down flying. I had to make the order to get everyone to stay on the ground after 5CKM3 flew into a lake and almost killed himself. We would just stick to the ground for this operation.

   cremyjr then said that Sunders's team was about to start the operation. We were told to head to a section of road where the truck would have to drive by if it tried to escape. It wasn't that far from the range, only a few minutes drive with our new car control skills. The road wasn't paved and was narrow enough to allow only single-file traffic. Sadly we lacked any means of blocking the road beside the cars and I didn't like the idea of someone getting taken out by a truck, so I just had everyone wait in the forest's brush on the side of the road.
"All right team, here's the plan," I said over the team comm. "Two cars will go behind the truck, two will go in front. The cars closest to the truck will use the grenades to disable it, while the cars farther from the truck will have the rubber balls ready for when the truck stops. Once the truck stops the cars will surround the truck and prevent anyone from escaping. When the enemy is subdued, I'll exit the car and check the back for the prisoner. XD, you'll be directly in front of the truck, behind 5CKM3. Nattyfrank you'll be behind me, and I'll be directly behind the truck. Don't try anything fancy, we are barely in control of the cars as it is."

   We waited in the brush for a minute before we got the call that Sunder's team had started. We were to expect the truck to come any minute now.
"Creamy, how much longer we have to wait?" I asked over a private comm channel.
"Sunders's saying that the truck has left, it shouldn't be more than...hang on, another line." I could only guess the other line was Sunders' team. "It looks like we might have a small problem," Cremyjr said.
"How small?" I said.
"Sunders just arrived at the turret-bunker thingy. There's no truck there."
"What do you mean there's no truck there?" 
"I mean there's no truck there. It either never arrived or left early." I sweared under my breath.
"Creamy, is there a way you can pull up a map in this cockpit?"
"Sure can. What do you want?"
"Give me a square kilometer around the car. That truck can't go fast, we can find and catch up to them.
"One second, let me pull it up...there, it should be on the lower righthand side of the dashboard." In a small circular screen that was previously blank I saw satellite imagery of the forest around the car. On it there were four blue dots, one for each car.

   "All right everyone," I said into the team comm, "We are scrapping the ambush. Sunders's team found the bunker empty; that means they bailed early and are likely moving in the truck. We pair up and search for the truck, it hopefully is still nearby and if it is we'll be able to catch up to it. Nattyfrank and XD, search to the east, 5CKM3, you come with me and search the west. Cremyjr, can you pull up the map for everyone?"
"Yeah, here you go." I trusted the team got the map.
"Stay close to your partner; I don't want to get lost now. Stay on the ground too. Radio in when you find the truck. Everyone got that?" Yeses and yeahs went through the airwaves.
"Good. Move out." In a private channel, I said to 5CKM3 "Stay close to me, don't go off on your own. We don't have time to debate which route to take, just follow me. You understand?"
"Yeah, I got it," 5CKM3 said. I drove out of the brush and out onto the road, followed by 5CKM3. Nattyfrank and XD drove in the opposite direction.

   I didn't want to risk flying and crashing so I had to drive fast enough to compensate. That ment going top speed through narrow dirt roads, and was almost as risky. Thankfully the car could make some pretty fast turns, so it was just a test of my reactions and the accuracy of the map Cremyjr provided instead of how well I could control the car. 5CKM3 was following me exact, proof of the training we had gone through. We flew past intersections and corners, eye half on the road and half on the map. It took us about a minute to reach the end of the search zone, at which point I circled back through a more northerly route. Thirty seconds later, saw the truck, chugging along slowly right in front.

   "Slow down!" I yelled into the comm, not even bothering to take the time to switch to a private comm. I braked hard and just managed to stop before I hit the truck. 5CKM3 hit my bumper softly.
"We have the truck, come to this position." I said into the team comm. I told 5CKM3 in a private channel to drive behind the truck and wait for my signal to fire, then circled around to the front of the car. Through a rear-view camera I could see one man driving the car. The passenger seat was occupied by another man, with a panicked expression on his face. They were definitely the guards that had brought me in. I matched speed with the truck and slowly started to slow down. The truck sped up but the road was too narrow to pass and my car too heavy to push. The truck started to slow down. It was a police tactic I had learned in my time in the police force. I never had to use it before let alone go on a chase, but I practiced and prepared just in case. If nothing went wrong, we wouldn't even need to fire a shot to stop the truck.

   The man in the passenger seat leaned out the window with a rifle in hand. As I was switching to rubber balls, 5CKM3 let loose with an EMP grenade. The truck went on two wheels for a second, flipping the man with the rifle out of the truck, then slowly fell back on all four wheels now at a stop. The man fell into the grass rolling, and then slammed into a tree. I turned my car ninety degrees and stopped, blocking the road. Before the engine kicked back on I unloaded rubber balls into the tires, popping one. 5CKM3 drove over to the man out of the car. The driver put his hands up.
"Why the hell did you fire?!" I yelled in a private channel to 5CKM3. "We need these guys alive."
"He was going to shoot me up!" 5CKM3 yelled back.
"The cars can take some bullets, you could have waited. Is the man alive?"
"Yeah, but he's bleeding. Wait, someone's coming out the back of the truck, Unarmed, it might be our guy. Nope, another guard. Hold on."
"Rubber balls!"
"Of course I'm using rubber balls, you think I'm an idiot?"
"You aren't a great listener." Into team comm I said "You guys almost here? We need some help, we got injuries."

   "Less than a minute away, hold tight," Nattyfrank said over the comm."
"Cremyjr, send for pickup," I said.
"On it right now. Sunders is making his way to your position." I took a deep breath. We were lucky it wasn't more of a disaster, one wounded enemy soldier wasn't that bad. If this had been a more critical situation though 5CKM3 could have gotten everyone killed. I would bring this up to General Shields and hopefully 5CKM3 would get reprimanded. This couldn't happen again.

   Nattyfrank and XD came in from the front of the truck. With them covering from the cars me and 5CKM3 got out and disarmed the rouge soldiers. Sunders's team then came in a clunker and took the soldiers away, leaving me clear to check the back of the truck for our VIP.

   He wasn't there.

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