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"I haven't seen Cube in days," Gauntlet says.

"He's on assignment," Brogan replies without looking up from the datapad.

"Is the file available?"

"It's deep cover. Classified."

"Understood." She turns to leave. "Sir?"




Three days later, Gauntlet and Viking are in the field, sniper training for an upcoming op. Gauntlet in the grass on the trigger of the .50 Cal, a mashup of Futhark runes and Bagua trigrams painted in nail polish along the barrel. Viking laying beside her, spotting, running through the Artemis mantras he will use when the time comes. If there is any surveillance on them it will be visual only, from Hermit.

"He left a note hidden in my bunk," Viking whispers. "I'll show it to you when we get a chance."

"What did it say?"

"That he wouldn't be coming back from the mission, that hopefully it was because he went rogue and not because Brogan's ambush worked. He apologized for not getting a chance to move on Brogan, and for leaving us in a difficult situation. He said that he hoped we would meet again, and that hopefully we'd remember each other if we did..."

"Hm." She adjusts her scope.

"So what's our play? You have to know he's right about Brogan."

"I think Brogan's only a puppet. I think it goes even farther. Maybe the whole MK-Omega project is dirty. So we watch and we listen, maybe look into Cube's first tour with the Cadre, try not to tip our hand, and maybe we can get a glimpse behind the curtain... And then 'To Be Continued'."

"Ha. That's what he wrote on the bottom of the note."