It was Bradford’s turn on the night shift, and for the next few hours he was supposed to be the only person on the Bridge. He leaned back in a chair in front of the Hologlobe, his legs resting comfortably on a nearby computer desk, and a mug of hot coffee warming his hands.
His mind has slipped into a state of relaxed concentration, where a part of him was paying constant attention to the Hologlobe, while the other was free to wander, analyzing hypothetical situations or reliving memories of the past.
Looking at the XCOM’s new Hologlobe has always reminded Bradford of the old one in their first underground base that was captured by Alien invasion forces twenty years ago. If not for Jayko…
Familiar footsteps have brought Bradford back to the present. Commander has walked down the stairs from his quarters to the bridge. He nodded to Bradford and approached the Hologlobe, and used the controls to rotate and focus it on the ADVENT facility that was recently raided by XCOM to rescue Pratal Mox.
“That was a clean mission, Commander.” – commented Bradford after a few minutes of silence.
“Yes… Clean.. Suspiciously so, don’t you think?” – said Commander pensively.
“Respectfully, sir, there must be a limit to your mistrust.” – reasoned Bradford.
“There is, and we have not reached it yet.” – Commander was stubborn as ever: “What if Ethereals have regained control over Mox, then allowed us to rescue him, just so he can turn on us at a critical moment?”
“Doctor Tygan gave Mox a thorough examination and did not notice anything suspicious. Just the usual signs of stress and mistreatment.” – said Bradford calmly, sipping his coffee.
“Let’s hope he’s right, for the sake of all of us.” – said Commander, seemingly unconvinced: “Anyway, I have new orders for you.”
Bradford livened up and got on his feet, while Commander has refocused the Hologlobe on ruins of Calgary on the US West Coast.
“I just got off the comm with Volk. According to his intel, ADVENT has abandoned a supply cache in this area.” – Commander pointed towards a location in Saddle Ridge: “For now it is free for the taking.”
“Not counting the Lost that still infest the entirety of the city.” – said Bradford, toggling the map filter to display the Lost signatures gathered during previous Avenger’s scans of Calgary.
“Naturally.” – nodded Commander: “Even without ADVENT in the equation this would not have been an easy op. I want our best operatives on this.”
“Right now our operative roster does not have any particular standouts, but we do have a lot of people to choose from.” – said Bradford, bringing up the list of active personnel on a nearby monitor: “Did Volk say anything about the likelihood of ADVENT returning in force to recover the cache?”
“It’s likely, so we will not take any chances. I want a diverse squad that can operate against any threat in an urban environment.” – ordered Commander.
“In that case, the best people for the job would be Flashfox, Tesla, Kaiser Scheppa and Killerleafstar. All corporals, and most of them have worked with each other before.”
“As you say.” – agreed Commander: “I trust you to handle the details. Extract those supplies.”