Infiltration and Exfiltration.
Getting into and out of a secure location is always the hardest part. Faith and I had talked it over with some experts and a friend of ours who is a complete and total genius and we had come up with a plan.
Stage One was a Vietnamese registered fishing boat in the Yellow Sea That got us 70 miles or so of the coast, which was far enough out that the Democratic Peoples Republic of North Korea wouldn't get too twitchy. Stage Two involved one of the longest Diver Propulsion Vehicle operations I'd ever heard of. The DPVs we would be using were a pair of Stark built custom units. The first one would be Faith and my tug. The second, the mule, hauling our extra air. Tony said that these units could travel 100 nautical miles at 8kn and when Tony said something about a project of his in that tone of voice I knew it would do exactly what he said.
So we were off and cruising at four meters underwater. This was going to be a long trip so the DPVs drove themselves according to a mission profile we had worked out. They had no active sensors but the noses were covered in passive detectors and they were set to dive to 15 meters if something showed up ahead of of. The composites, stealth tech, and sheer tiny-ness comparatively would keep us from being considered more than a pair of dolphins. If the sensors picked up a fishing boat profile they would stop us and then we could steer around the obstacle manually. The threat of drift nets and long lines scared the hell out of me. I am very much a proponent of Slayer-Safe Tuna.
It was a long and boring trip so we took turns sleeping while staying leashed to the DPV. The tank change alert sounded in my ear just as Faith tapped me on the shoulder. We stopped the DPVs and began the procedure we had done a few times already. Swap one tank with a full one and trigger the cutting charge so the empty flooded and sank to the bottom then swap the other. With Slayer muscle and agility it went a lot quicker than you might think especially when we figured out how to use the DPVs as braces. Once we were done I wrote 'Nap time?' on the chalk board and pointed at Faith. She gave me a thumbs up and settled down to try to sleep while I stayed awake as we headed onward.
I woke her as we were almost across Korea Bay and entering the outflow of the Taedong River. We stopped and changed tanks. It was going to be risky to do this maneuver in the river itself. The DPRK has taken paranoia to an artform and they have heavy patrols and sonar in the river. Tony was certain they couldn't pick us and the DPVs up, but the dropped tanks were another story.
We dove the DPVs to the bottom of the shipping channel. The Taedong is the main sea cargo access point to the DPRK at least up to the city of Songrim so they keep it well dredged and really deep for a river. Soon we were entering the relatively busy Songrim harbor. Another factoid about the Taedong, it is toxic. They have made it the runoff point for mine water and industrial waste add to the fact that North Korean sewage treatment in many towns and even cities is slim to non-existent. This made both of us very happy we had opted for dry suits and helmets instead of wetsuits and masks, even discounting the amount of time we would be spending underwater and the temperature issues. The plus side was the amount of crud in the water made visibility basically a non-issue. We were navigating by the head up displays in our helmets and the inertial navigator in the DPV which talked to each other in bursts of ultrasonic sound.
Finally we made it to the anti-sub/diver net at the top of the harbor. Past that net it was twenty of so more miles to Pyongyang. With Faith holding it and me disarming the detection systems we were through in fifteen minutes. There was less boat traffic here. Light cargo mainly and a few missile and gunboats with crap sensors. Still we played it safe when one of those popped up and drifted down by the bottom and eventually we arrived in Pyongyang harbor.
We bottomed out the DPVs in the deepest point and shucked our tank packs before grabbing the sealed gear bags off the mule and heading shoreward on our pony bottles. The sun was starting to go down and there were plenty of shadows to get our skulk on in as we climbed out of the river and ducked behind some crates. Stripping off our drysuits we pulled on our next set of party clothes and now we were dressed as officers in the People's Army of the Republic of Cuba. Stage Three was on.
"Ya look good with black hair and that tan B."
I grinned and slipped my earjack in and powered up the microspeaker on my collar. Faith was bundling up our diving suits and putting them in the gear bag before dropping it in the water. There was a subdued glow visible through the murk as the thermite grenade she had stuffed in there too melted and destroyed them. I pulled on my hat and handcuffed the document case to my wrist. Then we stepped out and went looking for a ride.
Even though it was getting dark there was still a lot of activity at the port and harbor security found us first.
He looked at us in surprise, "Sinbunjeung!"
'Identity papers!' the translator hooked to my earjack whispered.
Faith and I pulled out our document folders. It is a lot easier to break into the Ministry of Security in Havana and find two names on a list of visa and pass requests then copy those visas and passes, than it is to do the same in the DPRK. He called in our names and got the response that yes the passes were legit and Captains Vega and Ramirez were supposed to be in Pyongyang as aides to a Cuban Trade delegation. As Cuba is one of the few countries that actually has real trade with North Korea, the DPRK does not want to piss them off.
"Uliui jihwigwan eun dasi jeonhwa hago chalyang-eul gassda haessda. Eodi uliga taegsileul chaj-eul su issseubnikka?" Faith asked. Her subvocalizations picked up, translated, and broadcast by the speaker on her collar as she fed him the story of needing a cab. He thought for a second and pointed towards an intersection.
'There should be one over there,' my earjack whispered as he spoke.
'Thank you,' I replied and we headed that way.
"Clock is runnin' after he called that in," Faith whispered.
I nodded, "Yeah. No time to dawdle."
When we got in the microbus we gave the driver the address of a satellite office of the Ministry of Trade which by great luck was within five blocks of our real target. When we arrived we looked up at the fifteen story building.
"You know Faith," I whispered, "this is truly insane."
She nodded happily, "Wouldn't miss it for th'world B."
We headed inside and showed our credentials. We made a big show of unlocking the document cases so that they could look inside and see the official looking DPRK and Cuban seals on the inner compartments and they ran handheld metal and explosives detectors over it and me. The shielding in my uniform masked my arm and my skeletal reinforcements with the metal handcuff giving a reason for the blip at my wrist. Our first stop was the women's room on the fifth floor. I shut the door while Faith forced the window then we headed over one window to the emergency stairs and headed up to the roof. After a quick check under the door with a borescope to make sure there were no guards up there, I bypassed the alarm and unlocked it. Once though I shut and relocked the door behind us.
We ducked behind a AC unit and stripped off the uniforms revealing basic dark gray coveralls. I pulled open the document cases and started assembling our gear. I passed the skeletal stocked launcher to Faith who grinned hand took up a position on the edge of the building, "Target in sight," she hissed as she squinted through the scope.
There was a snapping hiss as the linear accelerator fired the the dart, trailing the almost spidersilk thick line, down to the roof five blocks away. The reel under the launcher barrel hummed as the line paid out. "Direct hit!"
"I wouldn't expect any less from you," I moved over and grabbed the fine upper line began paying out the thicker and much stronger payload line while Faith secured the other end to the AC unit with a strap. I felt the click as the snap at the end of the payload line clicked in to the loop at the end of the dart. "Okay we're good."
"Faith pulled out the paperback book sized trolley and snapped the harness fitted into her coveralls to it. She then secured it to the payload line and stepped off into space, sliding down to the roof of Rang Choon-Hee's house. I saw the three flashes from the her penlight signaling she had arrived safely. It was time to extract the latest Slayer.
As Faith was on her way I unrolled the long strip of webbing and and assembled the catch hook. Then it was down to the waiting. I saw the line bounce a little as the powered trolley rolled it's way back up. I unhooked the passenger and sent the trolley back, 'Good evening Mrs. Rang,' I said through the translator, 'I'm Buffy Summers and it is a great honor to meet you.'
'Choon-Hee said you were blonde?'
'Protective coloration for getting in. Please sit here while I fasten this harness.'
By the time I had gotten her set up, Mr. Rang had arrived. I greeted him and sent the trolley back before hooking him in as well. Then Choon-Hee was there. I gave her a hug and she smiled at me, 'This is really happening?'
I nodded, 'And the next part is the crazy bit. Sit here,' I pulled out the transceiver and keyed it twice then once. The light on it blinked three times. I saw the line bouncing as Faith rode the trolley up and grinned at her when she arrived on the roof, "The approach is on. Hook in."
"Got it B!" she slid on the very end and clipped her harness into the strap, 'Everybody put in your mouth-guards!' I went to the top and did the same before picking up the hook and locking it to my right wrist and the harness. My earjack crackled.
"Gimme fuel, give me fire, give me that which I desire!"
Faith and I laughed at our pilot's go phrase and I hit the firing button. The charges built into the DPVs detonated in a massive explosion and torrents of fireworks poured out of the river.
I raised the hook above my head, certain that the entire attention of the city's security forces were concentrated on a point six miles away. Now all that had to happen was that the bastard child of a Fulton Extraction System and a Special Platoon Insertion/Extraction System worked. We couldn't bring in the balloon needed for the Fulton and flying a helo for the SPIE was impossible due to DPRK air defenses. We needed something a little bit different.
My earjack crackled, "10...9...8...7...6.5...5...4...3...2...1!" The roar of the plane came in as it skimmed meters above the rooftops before popping up to crest our building, the heavy loop of cable swinging in the turbulence. Slayer reflexes and speed were the only way I could snag it and the shock was incredible as we were yanked like a string of pearls off the roof. Breakaway gussets on the pull line smoothed out the yank but still...
The high speed winch was running instantly and I found myself hauled inside the Chinese made Primus business jet 'borrowed' from a Shanghai air park two weeks ago and modified and staged at an airfield just outside Vladivostok.
I hauled the rest of the 'pearls inside and started unhooking them and getting them in their seats as Hannibal, cigar in mouth, smiled at me, "Told you it would work."
Murdock slammed the plane down on the deck as we streaked east towards the Pacific.
"You did Colonel."
"Like I always say, 'Give me an hour, I'm good. Give me a day, I'm great. Give me six months, I'm unstoppable...' You gave me eight months. BA! How's the jamming coming?"
"Good enough. As long as the fool in the cockpit don't kill us, the Koreans won't see us. "
I strapped in as well, as Murdock threaded his way through the DPRK air defenses at a ludicrously low altitude. Eventually we were out over the Pacific and heading into Japanese airspace.
I looked at Faith and she looked at me and we both looked at Choon-Hee then all three of us started laughing.
When I got control again I faced Choon-Hee's parents and keyed the translator, 'I am honored to welcome you, and I am very happy we did not all die.'
Mr. Rang looked at me strangely then started laughing too, 'Is this what Slayers do?'
Faith shook her head, 'Only us and only on very special occasions...'BtVS property of Mutant Enemy. A-Team Property Stephen J. Cannell. Tony Property of Disney
I had stuck a Slayer in North Korea, of course I had to write about the extraction...