EPOCH: Mid-22st Century
LOCATION: Earth, Slipgate Central
Ranger had received the call at 5:30AM. By 7:00 he was storming his way to the head office in Slipgate Central. The colonel seemed surprised when he arrived; he was early. He had a habit of defeating people's expectations.
Now, he sat in a chair, calmly listening to Colonel Williams and his lieutenant describe the situation at hand. Only the rippling muscles and scarred battle armor hinted at the carnage that was hiding under the surface, begging to be unleashed.
"Now, Ranger, Slipgate Central was created as a primary Research and Development base for the UAC. While there's a wide variety of military projects under way here, our largest and most obvious achievement is the slipgate... a personnel transporter that allows us to transport soldiers, weapons, and equipment into battle instantly."
"Great for a sneak attack," Ranger gruffed.
Colonel Williams bit his lip nervously. "Well, actually that's the problem."
The lieutenant spoke up. "You see, Ranger, we've been having problems recently with a renegade known only by his code name, 'Quake.' He's been using our slipgates against us... teleporting waves of soldiers into our bases without any warning."
"Good strategy," Ranger muttered.
"Now," the colonel interrupted, "our tech-heads have been doing their research. They don't think Quake's from earth; they feel he's from another dimension." Williams lowered his voice. "In addition, we're receiving reports from the fringes... reports of strange creatures attacking and destroying our troops. Whatever's out there, Quake's behind it, and we need to strike now."
"Our plan is called Operation CounterStrike. We're opening a slipgate to what we believe is Quake's homeworld. We are going to send a massive strike force in, and hit Quake where it hurts, on his home turf. We need a true soldier to lead our forces into Quake's dimension... and we'd like it to be you."
Ranger paused. The room was filled with a deathly silence for several seconds. Finally, he spoke. "When do I start?"
Colonel Williams was clearly delighted. "Our forces here in Slipgate Central are already ready. You have full authority to requisition anything you need." The colonel was interrupted as the doors to the conference room opened. A soldier stepped boldly through, only to stop dead in her tracks as she stared at Ranger.
"Ah, yes. Ranger, Major Jaeger here will be your second in command." The colonel beamed.
Jaeger glared at Ranger. "Sir, THIS is who you've put in charge of the operation?!?" Jaeger asked.
"Yes, major," the colonel replied. "Ranger, quite simply, is the best soldier the UAC has. He's had extensive training in advanced weaponry, hand-to-hand combat, battle strategies, squad leadership, and hazard avoidance. He's quite simply the only man for the job."
Jaeger guffawed. "Perhaps the best man for the job is a woman."
The colonel glared. "Major, the decision has been made. I'd suggest you return to your post and prepare your troops for the attack."
Jaeger gave Ranger one last killer stare before spinning on her heel and storming out the door.
Ranger looked at the colonel. "That's the kind of soldier that gets people killed," he said.
"Major Jaeger is more than capable at handling her troops... and anything else that gets in her way. You understand my reasons for selecting you, Ranger... don't doubt my reasons for selecting her."
"Yes, sir," Ranger muttered. "Shall I prepare for battle?"
"Go ahead." Ranger lost no time bolting for the door."