Victoria irritably shuffled through her papers on the lectern, while she waited for her squad to arrive.
She was in a bad mood this morning
The assignment she had been given meant that there was no chance she would be able to get out of this hellhole for even a few short hours, and to make matters worse, she had been saddled with yet another bunch of damned rookies, despite her protestations that it was Ng’s turn
Her mood soured even further when the door opened to admit a frigging skutter of all things, and what looked like one of the old four hundred series pleasure GELF’s, heading up the dozen or so new recruits that filed into the room
Fuck’s sake, she sighed inwardly, and closed her eyes for a moment while she took a deep breath
“Alright,” she snapped as her eyes flicked open “get your fucking arses in here! We haven’t got all day!
“You! Move it!” she shouted at one of the stragglers "Take a seat! Now!"
The new detainees scrambled to comply and before long, they were all seated at the desks in the tatty little briefing room, allowing Victoria survey them with a critical eye
A distinctly average bunch, she concluded. Most would likely be dead within a month
“I am Victoria Williams,” she said loudly "I am your new C.O. and this here," she raised a hand to touch her control collar "means that I, like you, am also a prisoner.
"Note well, the eight marks already lit" she inclined her head for everyone to see the tiny lights glowing on the collar "These mean that you really do not want to fuck with me"
She paused to let these words sink in
“As Canaries, we get all the shitty assignments. We are first in to the hot zones and the last ones last out. We are expendable cannon fodder, and right now, your life expectancy is three weeks.
“Now, you may think you’re some shit hot tough nut in whatever backward, piss poor century you hail from, so let me put you straight: You are nothing
“If you have the mental acuity to follow my orders to the letter, I will do my best to try and keep you alive for as long as physically possible
“If, however, you do not jump when I say jump, I will have no hesitation in cutting you loose and abandoning you, while I concentrate on keeping your more deserving comrades alive
“If you question my orders, I will kill you myself
“Do I make myself clear?”
The recruits responded with a ragged chorus of “Yes Ma’am”, making Victoria’s top lip curl in distaste
“Not good enough!” she barked “Do I make myself clear!?”
“Yes Ma’am” came the bellowed reply
“Good” Victoria paused again to look between each of the assembled faces for signs of anyone not taking what she said seriously, but to her satisfaction, found none
“That was your training,” she continued after a moment “so now that we've got the pleasantries out of the way: On to your first assignment"
"One of our master’s genetic experiments has escaped" the word ‘master’ dripped with venom "As usual, we've been given very little information other than it was last seen somewhere on cargo deck D-98, and that we have to bring the thing in, both alive and in one piece"
“To this end, you will each be issued with a dart pistol. These are inaccurate at long range and from past experience, we’ve found that the tranquiliser dose normally takes a good five minutes to take effect on these creatures, so use your ammunition wisely”
Gathering her papers together, Victoria scowled out at the assembled misfits that comprised her new squad
“Any questions?” she asked
One of the Canaries, a man with a yin-yang tattoo on his neck, raised his hand
“Do we know what the creature looks like, or how dangerous it is Ma’am?”
“No” Victoria replied tersely “Which means that there’s a good chance we’re merely being dispatched so that this things combat effectiveness can be assessed”
“Anyone else?” she waited a moment, but when there were no other questions forthcoming, nodded curtly before continuing
“Before we leave, one final word of warning: After each and every mission, you will be the subject of a full physical scan; so you can forget any ideas you may have of smuggling trophies or any contraband you may find, back into your cells. Violations of this directive will earn everyone five marks
“Additionally, each piece of equipment unaccounted for at the end of a mission earns a mark for everyone. Should ten of you fuckwits all lose your dart pistols, you will all receive a lethal ten marks” she strode across the room haul the door open “Enough chat. Let’s move out and see what you pussies are made of”

Canaries – here’s your first assignment!
I've tagged Jaxx and Evelina since they're mentioned, but if you're in the Canaries, consider yourself tagged too

Take an elevator down to cargo bay D-98 and see if you can capture yourselves an escaped GELF
What does it look like?
How dangerous is it?
What else is down in the cargo bay?
How many of your fellow recruits die?

Williams is in actual fact one of the renegades we tangled with back in 2013, but she doesn’t appear to recognise any of you; as promised she’ll try her damnedest to keep you all alive and will probably prove to be a very useful person to know inside the prison over the coming weeks (i.e. don't go killing her) ;-P


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