Alright, guys! The conclusion of Outbreak! A day late but I hope not a dollar short! I also hope I didn't skimp on the Ilsa x Ethan at the end, there! Be sure to let me know what y'all thought and if you have any ideas for a one-shot that you want to see, feel free to message me!
"This is not a plan, Brandt," shouted Luther as the plane shook violently around him.
The flare that they had just deployed had barely managed to draw the attention of the latest missile fired from the two pursuing predator drones through the heavy rains. Brandt had already dodged one missile as he flew the King Air 200 straight towards the hurricane bearing down on the island that the rest of the IMF team was on. Already, he could see the crack of lightning through the wall of the storm.
"You're just going to have to trust me," Brandt shouted back over the comms, the controls of the plane shaking his entire body.
"Listen, Ethan, this hurricane is going to blind me," said Luther, frantically trying to secure his equipment while triple checking his own harness. "You and Benji are on your own."
"Luther? Luther" whispered Ethan, only managing to catch the first half of Luther's warning before his signal was lost to the hurricane.
The IMF team lead had just finished planting the charges in the last room and was starting to work his way out and back towards his SCUBA gear. He moved silently towards a corner to check the neighboring hallway, not spotting anyone he slipped along his way.
"Ilsa, what's the situation outside?" he asked, keeping his pistol in the ready position.
"Besides the weather getting worse with every passing minute," started Ilsa, sighting the facility's grounds and fenceline. "Increased activity from the guards, but nothing too crazy. They seem to think the plane is the only real threat."
"Alright," said Ethan. "Benji, stay dark, you have five minutes to get out and start heading for extraction."
"Sí," said Benji, not exactly adhering to the directive to stay dark. The scientist was just finishing his description of the wicked ways in which his newest batch of toxin could lay waste to General Santos's enemies, curdling Benji's stomach with each image. The countdown was starting to become a factor. "That will be all doctor, I have a state dinner I must attend back on the mainland and I must leave."
"Oh, of course, General," said the South African. "Here, I'll walk you to the car."
Meanwhile, down on Ethan's floor, the multitude of security cameras lining the hallways suddenly began shaking back to life, Luther's hold over them cut by the hurricane. A security guard several floors up, who had just started to settle back down after he was certain the plane that had stayed on their radar a little too long had been taken care of, nearly spit out his coffee when he saw a man clad in black slinking along the hallway on the storage floor. Moments later the alarm button had been pressed, sending klaxons ringing throughout the facility.
Benji watched as several guards piled into an elevator, heading to exterminate his team leader. He waited for the door to close before racing over to the control panel, pulling out a knife, and popping off the control panel. After a brief second trying to parse which wire would be needed to cut to halt the elevator mid-floor, Benji yanked as many as he could and sliced through the lot of them. He was relieved to hear Afrikaans curses as the elevator jolted to a stop.
"General?" asked the scientist, standing there dumbfounded. He quickly regained his wits before running down the hall shouting, "Wagte!"
"Shit," exclaimed Benji. "Ethan! You're blown! You need to get out of there!"
Several floors below him, bullets ricocheted off the walls as Ethan sprinted down the hall.
"No shit!" exclaimed Ethan, taking a corner and giving himself a little breathing room from his pursuers. "Ilsa, I'm cut off from my primary route."
"Staircases at the Northwest corner and off the main hallway, the dock is on B-1," Ilsa said, drawing a bead on the door panel to the guard's barracks at the end of the facility's grounds. The door had begun to open after she had taken the shot, jamming after her bullet hit the panel. Ilsa smiled briefly to herself. "The sea won't be calm when you get there, Ethan."
"I can handle rough waters," said Ethan, his confidence coming through even over the trailing gunfire. "Remember Casablanca?"
"I remember paddling you back to life," replied Ilsa, the faintest hints of worry accenting her steely voice.
Ethan burst through the door of the staircase, racing upwards, "And I was fine!"
He couldn't see it, but he could imagine the roll of Ilsa's eyes as he said it and smiled, even as he heard the door below him slam open.
Upstairs, Benji was sprinting as well, his own pistol drawn. Guards were already alert to the imposter general in their midst but the confusion was still heavy, giving Benji precious seconds before they started pursuing him.
"Ilsa, I hope you're ready," shouted Benji, dropping two guards down the hall by the main door.
Outside, the guards were busy sporadically firing in Ilsa's general direction. They had responded to Ilsa's fire faster than she had thought they would, but their return fire was ineffective at best, a single shot managing to land 50 meters away, the rest kicking up dirt in the field in front of her or falling into the sea far past her.
"You're clear, Benji," said Ilsa, taking out another guard who had made the mistake of staying out of cover for too long.
A mile away and now in the thick of the hurricane, Brandt plowed ahead, lightning striking out all around the plane.
"Brandt, if we die out here-" started Luther, shaking violently with the plane.
"I know! I know! You'll kill me," shouted Brandt, wrestling the controls through the blare of the alarm from the predator's lock-on. They had just spent their last flare moments before passing through the wall of the storm, he just needed to outsmart this last one and they'd be home free.
The high pitched beeps of the lock-on turned into the long wail of a missile launch and Brandt's already vice-like grip on the controls managed to tighten further. "Hold on!"
He did the math quickly in his head, if he was off by even a second he and Luther would be debris in the storm, and yanked hard to port. He momentarily squeezed his eyes shut, bracing for the explosion and opened wide after the time passed. He saw the faint trail of the missile zooming past from them.
"Come on, come on," he breathed. The trail began arcing back towards them when lightning struck down, leaving nothing but a small explosion in its place.
"Brandt, you son of a bitch!" shouted Luther, barely containing his relief before another lightning strike came down much closer and took out their right engine. "Brandt, you son of a bitch!"
Back on the island, Benji burst through the front entrance to the facility onto a scene of utter mayhem. Guards took cover with debris scattered everywhere, pockmarks on walls marking where Ilsa had deemed fit to keep guards cowering rather than let them peek and meet an untimely death and bodies where the guards had been foolish enough to challenge her anyways. All of this with the increasingly intense hurricane battering the island, what had been a slightly overcast day an hour ago was now dark grey and being drenched in sheets of rain.
As far as distractions go, the sniper on the hill proved to be one of the best that Benji could've hoped for. He had made it to the car and hot-wired it before anyone had noticed and directed their fire in his directions. After the first few landed on his side of the windshield and failed to breach, the IMF agent thanked his lucky stars that the paranoid purveyor of biological superweapons was paranoid enough to splurge on bulletproofing his vehicle.
With little hesitation, Benji gunned the vehicle through the checkpoints back toward the dock.
"Ilsa, they'll be radioing the guards at the dock to intercept you at any second," shouted Benji into his comms. "I'm clear, pullout and meet me at the extraction point!"
"Roger that," said Ilsa cooly, rising from her hideout and moving quickly towards the sea. "I'll see you there."
She began to hustle down the hill when a bullet cracked past her head. She swung towards the direction of the shot, dropping to a firing stance on one knee and took two quick shots, dropping both of her assailants. The dock had apparently responded quicker than they had expected, and had the conditions not been absolutely terrible, she might not have been so lucky. Ilsa notched it up to bad luck and continued on her way. Making it to the shore without further incident. There, she shed her ghillie suit, made sure her rifle was secure and dove into the choppy sea.
A short 50-meter swim later, she found the scooter and rebreather still moored where she had left it several days ago and took it towards the dock. Right on time, a huge splash greeted her off the pier, as the armored car plunged into the ocean. Within moments, she was by the driver's side door as it opened and General Santos emerged, accepting the second rebreather and the two were off to rendezvous with the rest of the team.
Still in the facility, Ethan felt more than heard the four explosions in quick succession as he made his way toward the dock at a sprint. He fired several shots blindly behind him, more to keep his pursuers heads down than to do any actual damage.
"Ethan can you… We're go… Down…" crackled Luther over the comms. "We're bailing… We'll meet you… sub…"
"Luther... Luther!" shouted Ethan, but his friend had already lost comms. He burst through the doors to the docks, managing to sprint even faster despite the driving rain and wind as a plane smoking from both engines belly flopped on the surface. The guards behind reaching the docks just in time to see him swan dive into the sea. He swam through the crashing waves before taking a deep breath and submerging himself, swimming straight down.
There, resting on the sea floor, was the sub waiting to take him to take him back to Venezuela. He reached one of the outside doors and went through the process of opening it, placing his face in front of the sensor and tapping in the codes, both measures meant for someone with SCUBA gear and not free-diving before the door opened up and swimming in. After recycling all of the seawater back into the ocean, Ethan took deep breaths before opening the hatch to the rest of the sub, where he was met by Luther and Brandt, both equally drenched.
"Hah! See, I told you we'd beat him," said a cheerful Brandt, who was busy changing into dry clothes.
Luther walked up to Ethan and threw a towel over him, "Not exactly what I had in mind, Will."
"Glad to see you guys make it," said Ethan, laughing through his shivering.
"Yeah, he did a pretty good job," responded Luther, at a level meant only for Ethan, before raising his voice. "Even though we never agreed on flying through a hurricane!"
"Extenuating circumstances, Luther," replied Brandt with his own laughter as he joined the two, clapping Luther on the back. "Now what's say we go pick up the rest of the team?"
"Agreed," said Ethan, and the three made their way to the controls.
Shortly, the sub shook through with the process of evacuating seawater from the airlock and Ethan went to greet the last two IMF agents. First through the hatch was Benji, smile beaming as he triumphantly brought out the vial.
"That'll be twenty dollars," shouted Benji, Brandt grumbling his assent from the cockpit of the sub.
Ethan smiled, "You did great as always, Benji."
Benji smiled and winked at his team leader before moving off to join Luther by the lockers and a dry pair of clothes that weren't the uniform of a crazed general.
"And same to you, Miss Faust," said Ethan as he reached up to help Ilsa down to the deck.
Still shivering, Ilsa managed a wry smile and a roll of her eyes at the formality of his greeting. Ethan brought her close, as much to feel her against himself as to help bring her body temperature back up.
"I'm not sure you want to get too close to me, Ethan," said Ilsa. "Even with the rain and the sea, I was on that hill for two days and no shower."
"You know the sub has a shower, right," Ethan asked, quirking his eyebrow up. "A hot shower."
Ilsa's eyebrow matched Ethan's, "Well in that case, how can I say no? Lead the way captain."
At the lockers, Luther and Benji exchanged knowing looks. Still at the controls, Brandt shouted back, "You know, technically I'm the captain, right? I'm driving the sub."
His joke fell on deaf ears, though, as the pair made their way to the large shower at the stern of the sub.
Luther, now in dry clothes, walked up behind him chuckling, "They didn't hear a word you just said, Brandt."
"And I guess we'll just have to settle for a lukewarm shower," quipped Benji.
Later, after a globe-spanning adventure, fraught with danger and a timer that was stopped at the last possible second, Ethan found himself at an expansive villa on St. Barths. The storm had long passed and the weather was beautiful, the sun beginning to sink in the horizon.
The shirtless agent held two drinks delicately in his hands as he made his way to the pool, carefully taking the steps into the water and standing by the edge as a dark figure sped towards him underwater.
Ilsa smoothly breached the water right in front of him, trapping him between her arms as she grabbed ahold of the edge of the pool. Ethan held up the drinks, his trademark smile beaming.
"Mission accomplished," said Ethan, as he offered her her glass, which she accepted. "Not exactly a Manhattan at Eleven Madison Park, but I've been told I make a mean mojito."
Ilsa took a sip and purred appreciatively, closing her eyes to savor the flavor briefly before taking Ethan in with her gaze once again. "Don't think you're getting off that easily, Mr. Hunt."
The two agents looked into each other's eyes for a second before Ethan leaned in, the warm kiss mixing with the rum drink. After a few seconds, the two parted hesitantly parted lips and Ilsa maneuvered herself into the crook of Ethan's free arm.
"I wouldn't dream of it," replied Ethan, holding her close as he always did after a mission. The two stood contentedly, watching the sun go down.
"Two Michelin stars at least," said Ilsa, earning her a roar of laughter from her partner.
"If that's the case, I know a great place in Hong Kong," said Ethan. "The Maître D' there owes me."
"Sounds good," replied Ilsa, taking another sip of her drink. He really could make a mean mojito, "When can we go."
Ethan made a show of checking his watch, "Hmmmmm, tomorrow?"
The two agents and partners shared a laugh, certainly the IMF wouldn't need them before then.