Geoff MacInnes awoke from an unexpected slumber in the middle of the afternoon. He had fallen asleep watching a news program about a group of armed hostiles taking over a hospital. Police had been dispatched to the scene and the last thing he remembers is watching a news crew get gunned down on camera. He remembers waiting for the call, and not getting it until the moment he awoke.

Lieutenant Geoffrey MacInnes answered the phone and anticipated the response. His supervisor, Derek Walsh, made the call. "We need you down here. We're going in. Be here in an hour."

"Yes, sir," Lt. MacInnes responded. It would take half an hour to arrive at the station. He needed to pack up quickly. He turned off the TV and headed upstairs to get dressed. He opened his closet and pulled out his uniform. After getting it on, he went out to the garage to get his personal gear. He removed his fifteen-inch combat knife and attached it to a harness on his uniform. His personal sidearm, a Glock 17, hidden on a waist holster. Besides his personal shotgun, a mossberg 500, the rest of his gear was at the station. He loaded up the truck and drove out.

Upon arriving at the station, more than half the station's force was already dispatched to the location. The parking lot and garages were empty. He entered the depot where the Special Weapons and Tactics teams were preparing to engage. He approached Walsh, who was giving a briefing to several SWAT and Police officers.

"The situation is rapidly spiraling out of control. We have lost contact with those inside, and few remain outside to answer our calls. They have no contact inside the building."

A sergeant asks, "What do we expect inside?"

The supervisor answers with a straight look, "You're going inside a hospital. Expect a lot of civilian staff and patients. We have no contact with the armed group, nor we do know what their intentions are. Regardless, I expect and encourage strict trigger discipline. Identify and subdue hostile targets, and detain non-hostiles. Look for any unarmed civilians and neutralize the group. They are dangerously armed and large in numbers, so expect heavy resistance."

MacInnes, who is by now apparent to Walsh, asks, "What's the plan of approach, then?"

The supervisor motions to a map of the building. "There are six entrances to the building. The first, obviously, is the main entrance and lobby. The building has heavy security, so we don't know what to expect on opening the front gate. A good amount of officers were dispatched to the main gate. They reported fire from the building as the first group of officers entered. As more arrived, the fighting got harder until it simply ceased. Only a few officers remain at the main gate. 

The second entrance is the skybridge and fire escape to the left side of the building that connects to the city parking garage. Unfortunately, they were able to use explosive charges to demolish the skybridge, so it's not a possibility. The third entrance is the staff entrance at the back of the building. Fireteam Three moved in this location along with two detectives and several officers. We have not heard from them since.

The fourth entrance was pointed out by Officer Mendez. The underground parking lot of the facility eventually runs parallel to one of the basement floors of the hospital. If we could break through the wall, we would find a hopefully unguarded but non-discreet entrance.

The fifth entrance is the skylight on the roof of the building. We can guess that they have prepared for that, so it would be a matter of going in loud. Flashbangs down, rappel in."

"The sixth entrance?" MacInnes asks.

"The sewers. We noticed the tunnel system runs parallel to the generator room. A service corridor from the sewers leads to the maintenance and generator area. We discovered this on the construction map."

Commissioner Halvez approaches the outside briefing. He wears a brown trench coat and displays a thick black mustache with slicked back hair of the same color. He is tall and rather slender. "So what do we suggest to be the course of action?" he asks.

"Fireteam One will make an aerial entrance on the skylight. We'll put a dozen officers and Fireteam Four at the Staff Entrance. Fireteam Two and a dozen more officers to reinforce the position at the main gate. Fireteam Five will make the breach and clear in the parking lot."

MacInnes asks, "And of my team, sir?"

"Fireteam Six will make a stealth approach through the sewers. Until there is action, no other teams will engage. You will keep in contact and confirm location every ten minutes. If none of your team respond, we'll breach and clear. Now get suited up! Half-hour till approach. Don't get the First Bunch of Idiots involved." 

First Bunch of Idiots was slang for the FBI. Walsh's motto was not getting the FBI involved. Keep the situation contained and controlled so it doesn't become a national issue. It meant "Keep it off CNN." 

Chapter One: Breach & Clear

"Once you're down the manhole, you'll be moving north. The tunnel leads directly to the service entrance. Do not move in until you are cleared. And... Good luck." Walsh explained to the team as they slide down the manhole. The sewer smelled of shit. The water was thick and mucky. The stench was unbearable. Officer burnside coughed out, and MacInnes explained simply to "suffer in silence." 

Officer Burnside, Richards, and Delisle form the team's backbone. Sergeants Jeremy Rico and Cliff Hiddleston are executive leaders. MacInnes lead the team.


Fireteam Six

Team members Burnside, Delisle, and Hiddleston use the standard issue 9mm MP5 "Mac" submachine gun. Their MP5s have reflex sights and tac-lights, and are extremely lightweight. The slang name "Mac" derives from a term for Machine pistols and SMGs. They carry standard issue Glock 17 Sidearms, nicknamed "nines". Hiddleston carries an SPAS-12 shotgun, nicknamed the "boomstick". One of the reasons Hiddleston carried a "Boomstick" was because of the double meaning of large shotgun or large genitalia.

Officer Richards favors the heavier, but more powerful and accurate .45 Caliber UMP submachine gun. He carries his personal sidearm, a .45 caliber USP handgun. Sergeant Rico and Lieutenant MacInnes carry SIG556 5.56mm assault rifles, .45 Caliber USP sidearms, and MacInnes carries his personal Mossberg 550 shotgun. The officers' weapons are suppressed, save the shotguns, which are traditionally reserved for breaches and close quarters environments.

Sergeant Hiddleston took point down the tunnel. With the rest of the team behind him, they all made their way towards the service corridor only a few dozen meters down the tunnel. Their tac-lights brightened up the tunnel and their feet trudged in the shin-deep sewage. Hiddleston motioned to the oncoming stairway that lead to the maintenance access. He stepped up the stairway, coming to a chained door. Officer Richards handed a lockpick gun to pick the padlock. Once it was opened, the six man fireteam moved inside. They heard the mumblings of several voices distant down the hall that they came to, and they disabled their tac-lights. Walsh contacted the team. "Are you inside?"

"Affirmative," MacInnes says quietly. 

"You are clear to move in. Keep it quiet, neutralize threats, and look for signs of civillians. When you make it upstairs, I will give the signal to Fireteam Four. Over and Out."

To their right was the generator and a ladder leading up to a maintenance office. Straight ahead was a hallway with rooms and closets to the left and right of the corridor. MacInnes motioned for Hiddleston to check the Maintenance office. Hiddleston moved up the ladder and entered the alcove, before peaking down and giving the "all clear" signal. MacInnes motioned for the team to move forward. Each member crouched and snuck quietly, peaking to check each room and staying below the windows. Two shadows approached the end of the corridor where it bisected another hallway. Officer Rico and MacInnes aim down the sights of their SIG556 rifles. "Take the one farthest, to the right of the closest one," MacInnes whispers. As the two figures appear, wearing ballistic vests and armed with rifles, the two officers take the shots.

Two .223 caliber rounds launch from each rifle and enter the cerebrum of each target. The SWAT team moved quickly up to identify the targets. Both targets are confirmed dead. They were wearing kevlar ballistic vests, ski-masks, camouflage garments, and armed with AK-47 assault rifles, with High-Cap magazines and EOTECH sights. "These guys have some nice choppers," Rico remarked. The AK-47 was commonly referred to as the "Chopper" for its high power and relative inaccuracy in fully-automatic fire, thus "chopping" an area. In a way, any high-power, rapid-fire, low accuracy assault rifle was called a "chopper," but it was coined with the AK-47.

"Cut the chatter," MacInnes tells him. 

"Just sayin' man." Rico investigated the rifles further, discovering that they had fired shots already. "These clips are half full, lieutenant."

"Probably discharged at the police..." Hiddleston remarked. 

"I said, 'Cut the chatter.'"

MacInnes motioned to check the surrounding rooms before moving up the stairs. He was uneasy about this as they were, but there was no reason to start worrying about how bad the situation was. He clutched his rifle harder and moved up the stairs, turning to face the top. As he sat at the middle of the stairs, rifle aimed upward, he motioned for Hiddleston to move up the stairway and onto the first floor. Hiddleston swept up the stairs and peered over the floor, MP5 at the ready. Several bodies lined the room. "Clear," he told them. 

The team moved up and investigated the waiting room. Walls riddled with bullets, chairs overturned, and bodies of both hospital staff and tangos on the ground. Upon closer inspection of the room, a pool of blood trailed from the middle of the floor to an elevator. Burnside investigated the elevator. "Power's still working. Call it?"

"Hang on a minute," Rico told him.

MacInnes and Hiddleston checked the bodies. "All KIA," Hiddleston confirmed. 

The supervisor cut in. "Confirm, hostiles in which level/room KIA?"

"Confirmed clear, Level One; Primary Waiting Room. Nine hospital staff, KIA. Confirmed seven hostiles KIA," MacInnes responded.

Hiddleston moved to some of the Staff bodies, three of which are piled against the service desk. He noticed that there were no visible gun wounds, rather those of a slash from a blade, and blunt force trauma. "Boss, no gunshot wounds on any of the staff," he reported.

"Confirm, Hiddleston?" the supervisor asks.

MacInnes checked the tattered bodies of the hostile group. There are visible rips in the ballistic vests and drab they wear, but no visible gunshot wounds or bullet penetrations.

"MacInnes Confirms: Neither the hostile offenders or Hospital Staff suffered from gunshot wounds. Wounds appear to be closer to a stab or slash. Some victims suffered blunt force trauma, as if they were slammed into the walls." Amidst the discussion, Burnside and Rico checked the corridors from the waiting room. Delisle checked the stairs. Burnside cut in. "Lieutenant... you might want to check this out."

MacInnes got up from the bodies and stepped towards the first corridor. Burnside was standing in front of the door, blocking the view. MacInnes arrived and looked over Burnside's shoulder. Splatters of blood were dispersed rather distantly along the walls, and he lowered his vision to the floor, caught startled by the sight: disemboweled staff and soldiers, their organs and intestines hanging loosely out of openings in their stomachs. Burnside inspected the bodies. "They were torn apart. I can't imagine what the hell did it..." He mumbled. MacInnes was still taking in the sight.

Hiddleston tapped MacInnes on the shoulder. "There's a stairway at the end of each hall. We head upstairs and take both sides of the building?"

"Yes," the squad leader replied. MacInnes motioned to Burnside and Richards to move with him. Rico, Delisle, and Hiddleston would take the other set of stairs. As they stepped through the puddles of blood and gore, Burnside was cursing, muffled by his balaclava. "Suffer in silence," MacInnes told him. Burnside tries to dodge the blood splatters on the walls, which are fresh enough to drip onto his shoulders. "Jesus," he whispers.

"Yeah, put that on a damn shirt for the squad," he sharply responded. Richards tried to avoid stepping in the guts and on the bodies, but to no avail. He steps inside an exposed stomach cavity of a staff worker, making a splashing noise that sounded close to stepping in a muddy puddle. Intestines got tangled on his boot. Inevitably, his uniform was stained and his boots splashed with internal fluid and blood. He attempted to shake off the intestines, before cutting them off with his knife. MacInnes knew that this was as much a hostile situation as it was a crime scene, and they were tampering with bodies.

It took time, and distracted them, as well. After they cleared the first corridor, MacInnes motions for them to hit the wall. He cornered the intersecting hallway, his rifle aimed down the hall towards the stairwell. he didn't notice the bodies lined against the wall, or the trails of blood leading into the rooms lining the corridor. He was completely focused on the set of stairs. He motioned for the team to move up while he had them covered. They took the left and right sides, opening up doors and scanning the hospital rooms, while he crouched and steadied his aim on the stairwell.

"Nothing but a mess of blood and equipment. Christ," was the first report of Burnside. The reports to follow were not much different. MacInnes didn't want to look. He really didn't want to see what they saw. They moved out of the last rooms and made their way towards the stairs. They stood on both sides of the stairwell entrance, waiting for him to move to the door. He made the "lockpick" hand motion, and they backed up behind him. He began picking the lock, bouncing the tumblers back and forth to get the door opened.

"We... are... done," he says, as he finally unlocks the door. The three of them move in a straight line up the stairs, Burnside on point. The stairwell is close quarters, so Burnside's MP5 gives him an edge in CQB. Richards peeks over with the UMP, and MacInnes covers their rear with the SIG556. They move up the first set of stairs, cornering each stairway carefully. a trail of blood begins from the middle of the stairwell, all the way to the top, and Richards follows it intentively. Once they reach the top of the stairwell, Rico's team reports that they have reached the door and are moving through the east side of the building.

Burnside opened the door, which was surprisingly unlocked. the blood trail continued past the door, but stopped in the middle of the hallway, inexplicably. MacInnes moved up in front, covering the long hallway with his rifle. He advanced on point, while the rest of the team followed him. They examined the doors, exposed and open, but clear. One thing ran through MacInnes' mind as he searched the building, Where the hell are the patients? A genuine concern. They had not encountered even a single body of a patient. although the hospital was less than regularly used in the city, which favored the main hospital in the innermost part of the city, it boasted of a rather large staff, heavy security, and quality medical equipment. He would have expected to see a few patients admitted at the hospital.

He heard some mumbling in the distance. He whispered on the radio, "Rico, are you silent?"

Rico confirmed, "Yes. You hear it too?"

"I assume it's in the lab up ahead, end of the hallway. I'll take the right flank, you take the left. Breach and clear. be mindful of staff, trigger discipline. Dispatch anyone outside."

"Affirmative," Rico responds.

MacInnes and the half of his team move towards the lab at the end of the hall. They covered the other, empty hallways and corridors, not taking time to search them. Once they reached the door, they set a small charge on the hinge. On the first side, Rico flicked his SIG to single shot, so not to endanger civilians with stray fire. He recommends the rest of the squad to do the same. Although the shotgun or a fully automatic weapon would be ideal for room clearing, it would always endanger civilians on the other side and they were always taught against it, unless they were fully aware of the zero-hostage probability. Military might get off easier for hostage situations, but not SWAT in an American Civilian environment. Not when that same American Civilian can sue the city for millions. Once the charges are set, they begin counting down.

"Three... two... one," Rico and Macinnes whisper in unison. 

The charges blow and flashbangs are thrown in the room. MacInnes sweats, gripping his gun tightly, waiting for the bang. It's only two or three seconds after the throw that the flashbangs are set off, but to the squad, the anticipation feels like hours. Immediately after vaulting into the room, both groups of the team immediately identified hostiles. They didn't have time to notice any specific people, only those who were armed and those who weren't. Within five seconds, the "pops" from each suppressed weapon stop, and the smoke clears. 

"Seven... Eight confirmed down. Two unarmed!" Rico called out. Burnside leaped onto an unarmed person, preparing to restrain them, while Richards grabbed the second.

The supervisor cut in. "What the hell happened?"

"Breach. Room clear. Second floor. Laboratory," MacInnes reported.

At that moment, the situation destabilized.

"Boss, some of the armed are wearing scrubs!" Hiddleston called.

"Lieutenant, Docs with guns."

"Geoff, both types were armed. No patients."

"Lieutenant. Confirm," Supervisor Walsh spoke firmly. 

Made a mistake coming here... you stupid idiots... MacInnes was dizzy. Maybe it was the rapid movement of the breach followed by the sudden stop of action. Maybe it was the noise. Maybe it was everybody yelling at once. But he heard those words mumbled, from one of the unarmed, very clearly.

Do you even know what's going on?

He shakes it off and grabs the handcuffed doctor. "What did you just say?" he asks, violently.

The doctor, in teal-colored scrubs, black, slicked hair, clean-shaven, and glasses responds, "How did you get in the building?"

"No! What did you just say?" MacInnes growls.

"Boss... Command...?" Burnside asks, confused.

"MacInnes, we're sending in the team via the staff entrance. Confirm!"

"No, no, no, no, you can't send any more, you can't make any more openings! You gotta seal this place off!" the doctor explains.

"What do you mean?" MacInnes asks.

"CONFIRM, COMMAND. Sergeant Jeremy Rico. We're fine. We have two hostages, we could use help. First floor is clear," Rico fiercely reports.

"The loud shit... it's going to attract them, don't open this place up! There's a reason we sealed it off," the Doctor tells him. 

Hiddleston observes movement from the hallway, followed by yelling. "Boss! Company!"

Several armed mercenaries came from the north corridor and opened fire on the windows of the laboratory. Hiddleston ducked. MacInnes was pulled down by Richards. Burnside was crouched with the second hostage. Rico dodged to the edge of the window, ready to return fire. Delisle was too slow. 7.62mm rounds penetrated the windows, shattering the glass and finding themselves in the ribs, lungs, and throat of Officer Delisle. He dropped to the ground, already dead, although Hiddleston managed to drag him to the corner and attempted to resuscitate him. As this was happening, Rico was blind-firing down the hall with his SIG, MacInnes and Burnside prone on the ground, and Richards trying to aim down his sights to get a clear shot. 

Rico, with his waste of ammunition in automatic firing mode, had managed to eliminate one mercenary, whilst fatally wounding another. Richards had straightened his aim by the time MacInnes had aimed down his sights at the hall. The mercenaries had taken to cover in the rooms, calling out "Left flank!" to one another. While Rico and Richards were concentrated in a steady aim, not listening, MacInnes shifted his view to the right side of the hall, with a door at the end. One mercenary dodged out of the room, attempting to fire his AK-47, but MacInnes dispatched him with a 5.56 burst aimed between the eyes. Before the merc hit the floor, he was already dead. The other two mercenaries had taken the right flanks, to the left of the laboratory windows.

MacInnes had called to Richards and Rico, "Left side!" This time, both squad members aimed to the left, dispatching two mercenaries who had exited out the door quickly.

By this time, the quieter doctor had stood up and ran out of the room, catching the attention of Hiddleston. By this time, Hiddleston had already given up on the dead Delisle, and ran out out the door to catch the second doctor. Burnside, breaking the silence (aside from combat speech) had screamed "Officer Down!" although only thirty seconds after the event, he was a little late. MacInnes, quicker than his previous destabilization, had noticed Hiddleston leaving, and moved to pursue. Burnside kept his eyes on the first doctor, telling him to stay put. Rico and Richards moved to investigate the bodies and rooms for any more mercs. The supervisor, screaming for a sitrep, was met with silence.

Hiddleston, who was already down three halls, had set his sights on the doctor, who had reached the end of the hall before the sergeant yelled, "Stop, or I will fire!" The doctor had turned around to face him at this point.

The doctor, standing straight, wearing a white lab coat, with combed, short blonde hair and a moderate complexion, of no more than thirty years old, began to speak, "You're all fu-" before being cut off by a single shot.

Initially, Hiddleston thought it to be the shot of MacInnes, who had just turned the corner. The problem was that MacInnes' weapon was suppressed. Instead of making the corresponding connection, he was greeted by more hostile fire. MacInnes pulled him around the corner. "What the hell is going on, Boss!?!?!" Hiddleston exclaimed, asking rhetorically. He didn't expect an answer, mostly because MacInnes could not possibly know. Instead, the thoughts of the previous doctor's speech entered his mind:

Made a mistake coming here... Tried to seal off the exits...

Several SWAT officers from Fireteam Four had already entered the building and were arriving up the stairs. Two mercenaries stood at the top, firing upon MacInnes and Hiddleston, and were caught off-guard by the arriving SWAT Fireteam, who quickly dispatched them. It was only then that MacInnes had the slightest clue about the situation. Fireteam Four reported their objective to clear the third floor. Supervisor Walsh finally broke contact with MacInnes.

"You're off for now. Remain in the laboratory with the hostage until we can sweep the place clear. Get your head on straight. Respond, over."

"Affirmative, sir. Reporting," MacInnes responded.

"Boss, you alright?" Hiddleston asked.

MacInnes wondered what exactly was going on. Hospital with no patients, coming to the wrong place... making a mistake coming at all. Mercenaries inside. It didn't make sense. Once he arrived at the laboratory, he watched SWAT teams Four and Five enter the stairwell to the third floor. He sat down with the doctor, who was relatively calm.

He asked the doctor, "Explain to me what's going on."

The doctor sighed, but started. "Look, we have to get out of here."

"Start at the beginning."

"They came here to clean up, but it just went so wrong. We screwed up. You didn't see anybody on your way up?" the doctor inquired.

"No, why?" Rico asked.

"Look, the patients... we did some awful things. We took in people in intensive care and offered meager prices. We took in rehabilitation patients. Anyone to..."

"This is Fireteam Four. Lieutenant Wilson. Encountered civilians. Unarmed, bad shape. Need medical evacuation ASAP.... Shit, what's he doing?" The fireteam four commander cut in.

"Say again, Wilson?" Walsh asks.

Gunfire is heard on the radio. "Wilson! Fireteam Four! Come in!" Walsh demandingly asks. Audible screams on the radio are heard. Some appear to be panicked... others are violent. "Fireteam Five!" The police on floor one cut in. "They ambushed us! Requesting Assist-" before being cut off.

The doctor turned to MacInnes and said, "It's too late now. They're probably already out of the building."

MacInnes responds, "Why were the mercs here?"

"To clean up what went wrong."

Written by Scorch933
Content is available under CC BY-SA

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