We see Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, around sunset. The Peace Tower is silhouetted against the sky. Inside, the Emergency Cabinet is seated around a conference table. Harbour speaks, “What the hell just happened?”
Kenty responds “Last night, an Edmonton super named ‘Agni’ broke into the Peterborough Pharmaceuticals head office. He went to the black lab in the basement, released the three research subjects, and burned the place to the ground. I dispatched a team, which managed to apprehend Agni. As per protocol, he was tranked, and sent to SOLITAIRE for detention. Shortly after his arrival there, The Calgary super group ‘The Posse,’ broke in and released him and the other inmates.”
“How could they have known? How could they have found it?”
“It must have been a set-up. They sent Agni in to be captured, then tracked him to SOLITAIRE. They also seem to have taken Dr. Tompkins as their prisoner.”
“Tompkins,” Harbour says, “that name rings a bell …”
“He ran operation TWOFER, in northern B.C. along the Alaska Highway. It was overrun by the Posse last year. Tompkins barely escaped with his primary staff. This is his second screw-up, and both involve The Posse. It was his last chance. If he hadn’t been taken, we’d be imposing severe penalties, and he likely knows that. We need to consider the possibility he has been suborned.”
“Alberta has been a thorn in our side from the start, both in our own cabinet as well as at the provincial level. This cannot stand. We need to take action.”
“I suggest operation QUIXOTE,” Kenty says. “That ought clear things up.”
“Yes. I don’t want to take resources away from our other projects, but I think it can’t be helped. We need to hit back, hard and fast. Execute QUIXOTE ASAP. Be sure to terminate Tompkins and that traitor Myiati, and take care of those damned Alberta supers!”
Kenty gets up, opens the door, and calls to his Chief of Staff. “Send a message the the Chief of Defense Staff: ‘Execute QUIXOTE’.”
It is night in Ottawa. An inconspicuous limo (not a stretch) pulls up outside a hotel, and a tall 20-something stunner with long blonde hair gets out, dressed in a smart green pencil skirt, matching jacket, black blouse and black leather gloves. The suit brings out the green of her eyes. She enters the hotel, crosses the lobby, and turns into a private elevator alcove.
“Good evening, Miss Winters,” says ‘Hub’ Harkness, waiting by the elevator. “The minister is expecting you.” He swipes is card-key to open the elevator, then swipes it again inside and selects the Penthouse before exiting the elevator, holding the door for Miss Winters.
“Thank you, Hub,” she says, entering the elevator. The doors close.
On the Penthouse level, “Boom Boom” Jeffries is waiting by the door to the Penthouse Suite, just down the hall from the elevator. He exchanges nods with Miss Winters as he opens the door and announces her. She enters the suite, and he closes the door behind her.
Inside, Jaden Kenty is waiting, nursing a Scotch. Behind him is a picture window with a panoramic view of the Ottawa River and Parliament Hill. “Thank you for coming, Talia,” he says.
“You know I’ll do anything for you, Jaden,” she responds. “You should call more often.”
“I’m a busy man,” he says, coyly.
She cuts off what he was about to say next. “This isn’t JUST a pleasure call, you have a job for me.” She says it as a statement of fact, not a question.
“I do,” he says. “We have … mislaid some things, and want them back.” He gives her a come-and-get-it look.
She stares at him intently for a few seconds. “I see,” she says, grinning. “That ought to be fun. I’ll leave in the morning, you’re not getting out of tonight!” He grins. She takes his drink and sets it down, then takes her gloves off. The grin gets wider.
At CFB Dwyer Hill, three officers are sitting around a conference table when a fourth enters. The three rise, exchanging salutes, and one makes introductions. “Good morning, Colonel White. I’m Major Haas, this is my political officer, Captain Arnold, and my chief-of-staff, Lieutenant Marsh.” Compared to the other officers, Arnold’s uniform is rather plain, with just rank, years of service badges (fewer years even than Lt. Marsh), and the All-Seeing Eye badge of Community Watch, whose identity and meaning is known only to the ranks of CW. Only Colonel White also has the Eye badge. The other three officers have more years of service pips than Arnold, and have combat service badges for peacekeeping missions, Afghanistan, Desert Storm, etc. (Arnold has none).
“I’ve brought your orders from Ottawa,” says White. He opens a locked briefcase, and tosses a folder on the table. “The air assets will be in Petawawa by Monday, JTF-2 and JTF-X must be ready to go by then.”
The Major picks it up. “QUIXOTE, eh?” he says while flipping through it. “Who have they picked to be on top?”
“Me.” The Colonel pulls another folder out of his briefcase. “These are the latest intel reports on The Elementals and The Posse. National Command Authority wants them eliminated, with prejudice.”
“Well, it was bound to happen, the way they’ve been stirring things up,” Major Haas says. Turning to his chief-of-staff, he adds “Distribute operational plans to all unit leaders, Lieutenant. Get them running drills and mock-ups immediately. I want a positive readiness assessment by end of week. We have a tight timeline.”
Captain Arnold flashes an evil grin, “It’s good to be Alberta Bound …”