Eastern Estonia - February 2015

A dark, unmarked helicopter flew low over the thick forest, headed towards a secluded destination. Three soldiers, each an elite member of British Special Forces, sat across from their General and an out of place young woman. Compared to the soldiers, each of whom wore body armor and face-covering green helmets with tinted visors, the woman wore cargo pants and a light brown jacket over a tank top. A metallic contraption hung on her back, its two prongs extending out from a black grip to form an incomplete semicircle. The General focused his gaze on the soldier to his right. Her helmet projected a dull green, and she carried an assault rifle and a small pistol on her hip.

"Captain Auvcam, you have hereby been given the official honor of being the United Kingdom's legacy against the alien invaders. You, Eskola, and Fong are our most elite, and you now possess the highest level of technology we have been able to develop in these past few months." The General gestured to the woman sitting next to him. "At the request of the United States government, one of their soldiers, Melissa Griffin, will be imbedded with you. Once you land, you will have no further support available to you. Your survival will be in your hands."

"General, approaching LZ!" The pilot's voice rang from the cockpit.

"Amazing! Not only are we the British legacy, but the American one as well?"

The General turned his head towards the soldier on his left. His visor glowed a light yellow, and the LMG on his lap and grenades strapped to his side indicated him as the heavy weapons expert of the team.

"Corporal Fong, I'm glad to see that you are unaffected the gravity of these circumstances."

The middle soldier glanced back and forth at the two from beneath her helmet. Her visor glowed a light blue, and she held a small submachine gun between her legs.

"Surprisingly, I'm with Zhi on this one. I assume that you choose us three because we're a tight-knit team that's proven we can work together. I'm not quite sure I understand the thinking behind adding in a wildcard." The blue visor sat back in her seat, and continued. "Don't get me wrong, the decision has obviously already been made, but I'd still feel better if we were more acquainted with Ms. Griffin."

"General, we've arrived at the LZ! We're on a tight schedule, so no time for chit chat!" The pilot's voice again rang from the cockpit as Zhi pulled open the closest helicopter door. The three soldiers slid out, with Melissa following behind them.


Auvcam turned back towards the helicopter.

"God be with you!" The General gave a short salute before sliding shut the door of the helicopter.

As the helicopter lifted off, Alexandra began barking orders to the others. "Maarika, get your GPS out and find me the three closest settlements! Zhi, maintain watch, but hold your fire unless you're absolutely certain of a hostile. This isn't a combat zone, and we can't go around massacring the civilians we're supposed to be leading." The blue visor nodded, and began to dig into her backpack for her GPS.

"Any orders for me Captain? Believe it or not, I'm a soldier too," Melissa asked.

Alexandra warily turned to Melissa. "First of all, let's make sure you have a gun to fight with. Did you happen to remember one of those, soldier?"

Melissa glared at her, and removed a small pistol from a holster on her side.

"Oh excellent, so you won't be getting mugged in any back alleys," Alexandra chuckled. "So you have no real weapons, absolutely no form of armor, but the United States government decides you're the one person they want to send with us?"

"My weapon," Melissa shot back, "is here." She removed the two-pronged object from her back. "I understand your doubts, but I promise you I will not be a burden once fighting begins."

Maarika grabbed her pack and approached the two.

"Honestly, at this point I can't wait to see what you can do. But keep in mind that if it's anything less than spontaneous combustion of our enemies I'll be severely disappointed," Melissa smiled as Maarika continued. "With that being said, I volunteer you to be the one carrying the supplies pack."

Melissa laughed, and with a nod from Alexandra the four of them set out into the thick forest, their collective uncertainty masked by experience and optimism.