Jessica watched as the mug span around the microwave, the digits counting down at an achingly low pace. Tick. 30 seconds left. Tock, 29 seconds left. Down and down it counter, the ceramic being bombarded with invisible rays of pure energy. The future was now, and it was contained in a radiation-resistant metal box used for cooking food. Her chips were slowly getting cold, and the cottage cheese (the closest thing she had to cheese curds here,) was a bit... Well... Not quite right, but she needed something comforting tonight, more than ever. At last, the machine in front of her beeped, and she took the mug out, unceremoniously dumping the entire load of vegetarian gravy onto her meal, then chucking the mug into the sink and sitting down on one of the sofas, fork in hand.
If anything, it seemed more sinister. It had all the elements that she knew from her childhood, but it was just not quite right. Cottage cheese just wasn't good old fashioned Quebecois cheese curds, and vegetarian gravy... Well, she supposed that onions and garlic were only part
of gravy rather than the entire thing for a reason. He heart wrenched at her as she bit down, trying to hold back tears as she stared across from where she sat to the bar, where photos had been propped up of the operators of the past. One of them, in particular.
She knew it as plain as day. It was taken by a news photographer outside of the Presidential Plane incident at London Heathrow. Elias was gesturing at the cameraman to move, whilst in the background her and Emanuelle were figuring out why there was a glitch in her shock drone. You couldn't see either of their faces- her own was obscured by Elias' hand, whilst Emanuelle was wearing her full balaclava, but it still gave her a twinge of memories, causing her aching heart to tear a bit more at something deep inside of her.
"Ici, il y a un petit problème dans le moteur juste là," she had said, her screwdriver pointing to the wonky motor. Speaking in French to other native speakers had easily been the best part of working with the GIGN as a whole, she had to say.
"Oui, je le vois. Je vais resserrer cela et ça devrait bien fonctionner." Twitch had also had her tools out, and had done the required work on it before experimenting with moving it about remotely. When that worked, she had returned to the frontlines, Jessica retreating back into the service tent as Elias moved back up to prep for the assault.
That had gone off flawlessly- why had Vegas not? Instead, she was left with a pit in her stomach as the news reported increasingly awful things happening in Vegas- her only connection being a computer screen that she had been told by Six to not bother with after the mission had been aborted. Finishing the bastard, not-quite-her-childhood poutine, she walked over to the photo, letting a few tears roll down her face as she bit down on the edge of her lip. "Non, rien de rien, non, je ne regrette rien. Ni le bien qu'on m'a fait, ni le mal tout ça m'est bien égal. Non, rien de rien, non, je ne regrette rien c'est payé, balayé, oublié, je me fous du passé."
Her singing voice was shit, but she continued singing the song for Emanuelle. For Seamus. James. Jordan, Jack, Miles, Eliza, Julien and Gustave and all the rest of them that had died. "Avec mes souvenirs j'ai allumé le feu, mes chagrins, mes plaisirs. Je n'ai plus besoin d'eux. Balayé les amours avec leurs trémolos. Balayé pour toujours je reparts à zéro."
She stood there, in the back, trying not to draw attention away from anyone. Most of the new recruits were wearing BDUs or coveralls rather than full combat gear, but a few had a little more specialist uniform. She was especially looking for the new Canadian operator- she wasn't sure she knew him that well. Sure enough, there was a man wearing a Canadian patch. Tall, bearded. A little like Sebastian. A lot like Sebastian, actually, although apparently not in attitude to gear, if that mechanic department staff member wheeling a massive crate marked with PROPERTY OF THE CANADIAN MILITARY: TOP SECRET
was anything to go by. They were hardly their predecessors, with their mechanical gadgets, that much was for sure.
Not to mention the uniform that said Canadian operator was wearing as well. It wasn't at all suited for the weather, although perhaps it had been more appropriate for Canada in Winter- with the arctic print camouflage and the extra padding for heat when you had to crawl fifty metres under barbed wire in sub-twenty degrees because the drill sergeant decided that your bed had one too many wrinkles than was allowed. Or because you had to, and arguing would just raise it to two hundred metres. Not that that was even half of it, but that had been a particularly bad experience, since it had't actually been in JTF2 training.
Mike gave a gruff and no-nonsense speech to the new recruits. A little unfair, these were all trained and experienced operatives, not nine-month wonders fresh from the barracks, but she supposed that nobody was in the mood right now. The impervious atmosphere of death and depression that hung over Rainbow was so thick that you could reach out and pluck it from the air. When her name was called, she gave a smart salute, but didn't bother introducing herself. There would be plenty of time to do that, she was sure. Instead, she watched as they picked up the neatly pressed envelopes with their names embossed on them.
Christ it was warm in here.
Jackson was wearing certified Canadian Special Forces CADPAT, certified up to -30 degrees: the kind of cold that would freeze your lungs with each breath and send daggers into your bloodstream. Here though, it was practically balmy. Five degrees outside, he had heard. So, here he was, sweating his damned balls off whilst a Indian guy with a British accent prattled to him about how he was under-qualified. Joint Task Force had sent him into the middle of fucking... Well, that wasn't exactly known to them, but still. The guy himself had said, the world's elite. Although, he didn't exactly agree with 'peacekeeping.' He wasn't a NATO blue helmet- he was a soldier. If the government wanted him to march to another country and kick a native directly in the balls, he was only going to ask how hard.
Not that he said any of that to the guy, of course. He kept his fucking trap shut, and just nodded as the crew was introduced. A few other French speakers. The main boss. A German, a... alright, he had no idea where a 'Tiania' would come from. Alexandr was a Russian name, he was pretty sure. Tze Long? Fucks sake. Then came names he could recognise. Jessica DuPont. That was the other Canuck- fine fine. Harold... Guy wasn't even paying attention to the rest of them, and a guy called Frankie. Oh, and accommodation on the table. Mayfield. J. CAN. That would be it, he supposed.
Harold was not surprised when a troop of new recruits walked into the G.M.D Department. He had woken up early specifically to get this done before they arrived, but it seemed that time had not been on his side. He quickly picked up the new ballistic glass plate and slotted it in, a magnetic screwdriver tightening everything up. Last training exercise had been with blanks, and they had cracked and chipped the glass in numerous ways, so he was fixing that. Minor tweaks to the place where he slotted his arm through to make sure that it still fit- he had been bulking up in preparation for going on missions once more.
There was a clank and a few of the rookies turned his way as he eased the construct down onto the floor, before bracing it. The straps were perfect; they fit snugly and he could easily rotate his arm around to a degree without feeling it chafe or pinch. The glass could be a better quality, it seemed to have a slight grey tint to it, although maybe this was a deliberate new policy to avoid being blinded by the light like some previous operators had been.
To the recruits, he would have seemed like an anomaly. He wasn't in any specific files as he hadn't been given a callsign under the previous operators, and yet here he was, clearly not a member of the new shipment, wearing combat boots and trousers, a long black top covering up his top and providing a little padding for the feat of lifting up the shield. His shotgun was also on the table and he pulled it up, placing it in position atop his shield, away from the recruits.
He didn't bother responding when his name was called. Let them figure him out when he was in front of them on the battlefield.