Mundus Novit: Dark Horizons – Cascade Effect

Continued from Thirty: No Delilah

Thirty-one: Cascade Effect

“Stop coddling me.” Cascade’s eyes narrowed to a sharp point, her anger and her frustration all there for those that could read it.

Scott could. That’s what he did. And he could understand both emotions.

“We’re not even sure what they were pumping into you or if you’ve been altered in any way.” Boyle leaned against the wall opposite to Cascade’s bed, beside the door. He had on his mask. No one would read anything through that, probably not even Cascade.

“And we’re not going to know until I get my hands on the prisoner.” Cascade sat in her bed, legs over the side, still hooked up to all the monitoring equipment Gurung had scammed from every source he knew.

That guy, as much as he came off as cold and efficient, had a heart. He worried about Cascade. Scott had read that in his face. The guy was a pro, but he wasn’t that kind of pro.

“You are not going to interrogate the doctor.” Boyle used his firm tone, his sergeant major’s voice. “You are not going to get close to him.”

“I’m the only one that can get the truth out of him.” Cascade leaned on one arm, the one with the IV drip in it. Scott had no idea what that drip delivered, but Gurung’s secret squirrel doctor had set her up. He didn’t get a chance to examine her fully. Boyle wouldn’t let him.

Scott sat in a folding chair against the wall across from the bed, Boyle and the door along the wall to his right. “I’m getting information out of him. The one thing I can tell you is that he’ll clam up if you are brought into the room. He’s deathly afraid of you.”

Her feet almost touched the ground as Cascade bent forward. “Because of what I’ll find if I question him.”

“Perhaps.” Scott reclined in the chair, lifting the front two legs off the floor. “He claims he has a fail-safe in case of psychic interrogation. He says it’ll kill him.”

Cascade scoffed and shook her head. “He’s lying.”

“I don’t think so,” Scott said. “And you better believe I know when someone is lying to me.”

Cascade paused and her eyes moved to him. The fire in them cooled, if only a modicum. A slight smile touched her lips. “I’m sorry, Mr. Scott, I didn’t mean to diminish your efforts.” She looked away then, didn’t let him see her face straight on. “I’m getting a little frustrated here.”

“I’m not going to say I understand, because there’s no way I could,” Scott said. “I am telling you that we’re breaking this guy. He’s not in the biz. He’s weak sauce, and he’s dripping all over the carpet. We’re going up the ladder, never worry.”

“Who’s with him now?” Cascade asked.

“Willow has her eye on him,” Scott said. “We’re letting him stew.”

The door opened. Rudi stepped in. He nodded to each occupant in turn, and then walked over to look out the window. “It is a beautiful morning.” He glanced at Cascade. “How are you feeling?”

She gave him a coy smile—did Scott see something there? “I’m good. I’m feeling good.”

“I am happy to hear that.” Rudi half-sat on the bed-side table, facing Boyle. “I’ve heard from Mr. Sinclair on the scrambled land line. He is in India. Lt. Park and Lt. Walker have been delivered to the American doctors. They are en route to Rammstein and from there to Landstuhl Medical Center.”

“They’re condition?” Scott asked.

Rudi turned to him, keeping emotion out of his face, though hinted at in his mouth and nostrils. “Neither is particularly good, but they will have excellent care.”

“And what of Mr. Sinclair and Ms. Jeffries?” Boyle asked.

“They have made contact, as ordered, and Mr. Sinclair reported that he expects to have the equipment modified as desired within a day, though he did offer a maximum of two days.”

Boyle rubbed his eyes and forehead. “Two days and we’ve got, what, six people? With Gurung wounded?” Boyle removed his hand and his eyes met Scott’s. “What have you learned? What does the doctor know?”

“He has some names and some areas, but no real addresses” Scott shrugged. “I passed it on to Gurung and he’s made his usual calls. He thinks we can get something solid.”

“If we have something solid, do we move forward?” Rudi crossed his arms. “Do we have the needed manpower for an assault team?”

Running his hand through his hair, Boyle sighed. “We maybe have enough, but given our last mission, I don’t want to chance anything. We surveil the place, we verify what information we can. We wait for Sinclair and Jeffries to get back here. If we have a target, we will hit it, but not while we are undermanned.”

Rudi held up both his hands. “No offence meant to Mr. Sinclair in his absence, but I do not believe he has the proper training to be involved in further assaults.”

“You’re right, but I expect that Sinclair and Jeffries won’t be returning alone,” Boyle said. “I have some hope that we may get some level of support.”

That made Scott wonder. “I thought you said you couldn’t get support, that the Stream worked independent.”

Boyle grimaced. “While true, it is not absolute. In this case, the information that we have uncovered set off the hornet’s nest at a higher level. I have nothing solid, but I know we can expect at least one operator, hopefully more. The Stream could be sending in another full team.”

“To replace us?” Cascade asked.

“Absolutely not.” Boyle’s voice left no doubt as to his sincerity. “I have the team I trust here. We’re going to finish this. All of us. But if we need to get into the line of fire again, I want more shooters on our side.”

“And you expect another assault is in our future?” Scott asked.

Boyle now smirked. “Do you doubt it?”

“I do not.” Rudi sighed through his nose. “But I must tell you, I do not relish the thought of doing it again. We lost two good people last time. This has been a very dangerous excursion.”

“You’re not contracted for this, you aren’t part of it,” Boyle said. “If you need to go, you know you can.”

“And you know I am like the cat.” Rudi chuckled. “And like the cat, my curiosity may get the better of me. I would like to see this through to the end.”

“And I have to admit, I’m glad to have you on board,” Boyle said. “I don’t know what to expect from the Stream, but in my last contact through the scrambled line, there was an indication that one of our top operators is en route. I expect he’ll get here either before or at about the same time as Sinclair and Jeffries.”

“One operator?” Scott scowled. “He better be good.”

“Oh, I think he is,” Boyle said. “You’ve probably heard of him. He’s known as the Bedouin.”

Continued in Thirty-two: En Route

Don’t forget, Mundus Novit: the Changed World is now available at RPG Now and Drive-Thru RPG.

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