Transformers Power Struggle: From the Depths

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Arsenal XA4, Sep 26, 2010.

  1. Waffle House outside of Atlanta, Georgia<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
    2139, US Eastern Time<o:p></o:p>
    2 Years ago...<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    All was quiet in the outskirts of Atlanta, particularly in a Waffle House occupied by a handful of people. The restaurant’s employees, people getting off of second shift, and one or two vagrants.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Two more of which were approaching the establishment, very nervous as they entered. They looked at each other then drew pistols.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    "Alright, this is a stick up! No heroics!" one shouted, some of the patrons screaming. The other went around, holding his hat out and taking whatever money and valuables he could grab. The first hoodlum stopped at a booth where a man sat, still eating his pancakes.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    "Hey, gimme what you got, mother fucker. Hey, I'm talking to you!" he shouted. The man simply finished chewing then took a drink of milk. He wiped his mouth with a napkin then stood up, towering over the hood.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    "Are you tougher than a Decepticon?" he simply asked, looking the hood down.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    "W-what?"<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    "Are you tougher then twelve tons of armor plated Decepticon?" The hood was silent, as was his partner.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    "Motha fucka, we got guns!" the first man finally managed to say. The older man chuckled.<o:p></o:p>
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    "Really? Check your safety, bro." he said with a grin. The hood looked at his gun then had it shoved into his face, breaking his nose. He then found himself in a sleeper hold, the man holding his gun and aiming it at his partner.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    "W-whoa, p-put him down, man..." the other hood started.<o:p></o:p>
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    "My team and I were in a Hammerhead Humvee, a half ton truck with armor designed to stop fifty caliber slugs." the man started. "That Decepticon kicked us fifty yards. Now I ask again... Are you tougher than a Decepticon?" The hood quickly dropped his gun.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    "Face down, hands behind your head." The hood quickly complied, dropping his weapon and lying down. The man pushed the other hood down then disassembled the gun, taking his seat and resuming his meal.<o:p></o:p>
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    "Anyone call the fuzz yet?" he asked, shoveling more syrup soaked pancake into his mouth.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    "I-I did..." one of the waitresses replied.<o:p></o:p>
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    "Good..." he replied, finishing then getting back up and going to the register where he slapped a twenty down." If anyone asks, I wasn't here." The man walked over to the other hood, picked his gun up then disassembled it as well, ejecting each bullet out of the magazine onto the would be criminal's head. He then crouched down and patted the hood's head.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    "Stay in school. It'll lengthen your life." With that the stranger was gone, right into the darkness. The police report would mention a Good Samaritan but none would provide a physical description.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Just a description of the patch on his jacket: a shield with a sword and crossed arrows.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    ---------------------------------<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Present Day<o:p></o:p>
    SOCCENT Qatar<o:p></o:p>
    17AUG2018<o:p></o:p>
    1321, Local Time...<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Major Archibald 'Hangman' Kitsch watched the sun trace its path lazily across the sky. A pair of CV-22s flying overhead disrupted the glare of the sun bringing the Green Beret out of his reverie. He took a deep breath and looked across the flight line where JTF-150s F-23C Conquest IIs shared the tarmac with US Air Force F-22A Raptors and C-17M Globemaster IIs. There was also the occasional P-3C Orion and more than plenty of Black Hawks sitting at the airfield.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    "Hangman, you got something going on?" someone asked the officer from behind. Hangman sat up and looked, seeing a Marine walking up from a Hammerhead.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    "Nothing, as per usual..." he replied, the Marine taking a seat next to him.<o:p></o:p>
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    "Y'know I remember when this place was crawling with SPECWAR grunts in the days before the start of the Second Iraq War." Captain Reginald 'Hard Corps' Stanz started, ground crewmen preparing to receive the two CV-22s. At forty two he was the oldest soldier in JTF-150's G.I. Joe unit. "They were our recon."<o:p></o:p>
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    "I'm not all too surprised you tankers would require an infantry vanguard." Hangman replied.<o:p></o:p>
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    "It really came in handy once we got to Fallujah, believe you me." Hard Corps was a Marine Corps tanker, having clawed his way up the chain of command from a lowly Marine Private to OCS a year after making Sergeant. He received his commission as a Second Lieutenant just in time to go to Iraq. "But against a 'con. That's a different story." What the Marine was talking about was the present doctrine for tanks versus Decepticons. Given the nature of armored warfare to begin with often deals with slugging it out with steel beasts, so more likely than not an infantry vanguard would get slaughtered in the crossfire. The same applied to a 'con/tank encounter.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    'Cons, especially Seekers, are notorious for firing wildly, especially at tanks. The high frontal armor of G.I. Joe's M-1A3/5-70 Mauler II coupled with the non-pyrophoric nature of its composite armor makes it very difficult for the arm lasers so favored by Seekers to do any lasting damage other than scorching the paint off the tank. As such they have been seen to be more prone to firing at both the tank and everything around it, vanguard included.<o:p></o:p>
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    "Speaking of which, how do the Mauler IIs handle?" The Mauler II was the same as any other M-1A2SEP Abrams in the US Army and US Marine Corps inventory with one minor detail.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Instead of an M-256 120mm smoothbore gun the Mauler II was fitted with a much modified M-45 5 inch/70 caliber gun (127mm,) very similar to the deck guns found on the US Navy's destroyers and cruisers. Tests showed the naval sized rounds, especially the armor piercing munitions, to be more than capable of boring through modern tank armor with ease, Explosive Reactive Armor and all. Not many armies consider the possibility of having their tanks stand toe to toe with naval sized cannons.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    "Same as an Abrams with TUSK (Tank Urban Survival Kit.) You lose maybe ten M.P.H. on the road speed but that big ass gun more than makes up for it." the Marine replied, laying back.<o:p></o:p>
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    "Wonder when they'll let the regulars play with them." Hangman mused.<o:p></o:p>
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    "When hell freezes over, the planets align, and Wynona Ryder is out of rehab, completely sober."<o:p></o:p>
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    --------------------------------<o:p></o:p>
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    Tactical Operations Center, SOCCENT Qatar<o:p></o:p>
    17AUG2018<o:p></o:p>
    1718, Local Time...<o:p></o:p>

    "Alright, what's up this time?" Hangman asked as he entered the TOC. Brigadier General Michael 'Gunsight' Rosoft, Hard Corps, and a few captains and lieutenants were present.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    "The Maersk Crossland just slammed up pier side in Dubai." Gunsight said, handing a file over. Inside were pictures of a large tanker ship. "She was supposed to be at Kaaot four hours ago." Kaaot was one of the two major oil platforms in the North Arabian Gulf, under heavy guard by both US Navy and US Coast Guard, British Royal Navy, and elements of the still fledgling Iraqi Navy.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    "So what? Someone on their nav detail go the wrong way?" Hangman asked again. Gunsight turned around, a remote in hand. The main screen in the TOC showed several large gouges in the side of the tanker.<o:p></o:p>
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    "She was attacked by an unknown entity while in the Straits of Hormuz." the general replied as one of the Autobots, Seiger, strode in.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    "What's the sitch, General?" he asked. Initially Seiger had been a Decepticon however decades of fighting led to his decision to defect. He was a weary soldier that had been pushed until broken and then some. He was posted in JTF-150's Area of Operations as team lead of a three 'bot cell, better known as 'Seiger's Savages.' Himself, Sledge Hammer, and Switch Blade made up the 'Savages.'<o:p></o:p>
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    "Seiger, have you ever seen damage like this done to metal?" Gunsight asked, the 'bot peering at the screen.<o:p></o:p>
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    "I'd have to guess Sharkticons did that. Where'd this happen?" the tank asked.<o:p></o:p>
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    "Somewhere in the Straits of Hormuz. The pictures themselves came to us from our boys in Dubai." Gunsight replied.<o:p></o:p>
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    "I'm surprised they didn't rip the entire ship apart. I've seen sharkticons skeletonize 'bots AND 'cons whole and continue with the frames. Nothing like this though." the tank added. "Quintessons love them for executions. If the 'cons are using sharkticons then we've got problems."<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    "I'll take your word for it, Seiger. Now, Hangman you and a team are being sent to Bahrain to meet up with the USS Elrod (FFG-55.)" Gunsight said directly to the Green Beret. "We're working on getting the USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) to leave her present posting at Kaaot. The Burke and the Elrod are planned to meet up by fourteen hundred hours tomorrow. Is that understood?" Hangman sketched a half assed salute to Gunsight.<o:p></o:p>
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    "Lima Charlie, sir. Out of curiosity what Autobot assets am I getting?" Both men looked to Seiger.<o:p></o:p>
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    "I'll ask Switchblade if she's comfortable with swapping her Hellfires out with torps." the tank replied, referring to the token femmebot of the team. "Either way it'll be good to get her out of the hangar."<o:p></o:p>
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    "Alright then, when do I leave?" Hangman asked Gunsight.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    "Wheels up in an hour. Dismissed..."<o:p></o:p>
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    ----------------------------------------------<o:p></o:p>
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    Naval Support Activity Bahrain<o:p></o:p>
    2001, Local Time<o:p></o:p>
    17AUG2018...<o:p></o:p>
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    Hangman had never had attention called for upwards of two hundred men upon arriving anywhere. The Quarterdeck watch rang him on, referring to him as 'Major, United States Army, Arriving' upon his arrival. The rest of his team didn't get the same luxury.<o:p></o:p>
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    "Welcome aboard the USS Elrod, Major. I'm Commander Todd Wallace." the ship's Captain said, exchanging a salute then a handshake with Hangman.<o:p></o:p>
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    "Major Archibald Kitsch. Call me 'Hangman.' Everyone else does." Hangman replied to Commander Wallace. "You get the briefing?"<o:p></o:p>
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    "We did. General Rosoft forwarded us all the details two hours ago. I was told that my ASW bird and our torps are under your control." the Captain said as he led Hangman into the skin of the ship. His men were being led to the helo hangar for familiarization with ship's battle doctrine.<o:p></o:p>
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    "I'm going to be honest. The only thing I know about ASW is what I read in 'The Hunt for Red October' and 'Red Storm Rising.'" Hangman admitted.<o:p></o:p>
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    "I'll give you the cliff notes version then." Wallace replied. "Now get some rest, Major. We set sail at the break of day." Hangman chuckled. Captain Wallace had inadvertently quoted the Navy's song, 'Anchors Aweigh.'<o:p></o:p>
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    ---------------------------------------<o:p></o:p>
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    South Arabian Gulf, near the Straits of Hormuz<o:p></o:p>
    1013, Local Time<o:p></o:p>
    18AUG2018...<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Hangman leaned against the rails on the starboard bridge wings of the Elrod, the wind whipping around the pilothouse. He was watching Switchblade approach Elrod's flight deck, preparing to take on a sonar crew. Her alt mode was that of an MV-22 Osprey gunship.<o:p></o:p>
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    "Green deck." the controller in the helo deck announced as Switchblade touched down on the flight deck. Hangman watched a number of sailors run up to her and climb aboard. She had been given a crash course in launching torpedoes back at Bahrain. She was very skeptical despite the Sea Hawk pilot telling her repeatedly that 'it's a lot like launching Hellfire missiles.'<o:p></o:p>
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    "Hell of a thing ain't it?" one of the Greenshirts confided to Hangman. "They call us Airborne infantry crazy for jumping out of planes when the Navy has their helo pilots land on a helo deck barely big enough for an SUV."<o:p></o:p>
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    "Yeah, tell me about it. But I guess that makes them the better pilots." Hangman replied as Switchblade took off, heading out to drop sonobuoys.<o:p></o:p>
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    "Red Deck." the controller announced over the 1MC. Hangman looked at his watch.<o:p></o:p>
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    "Four hours till we rendezvous with the Arleigh Burke..." he mused as the deck hands rolled the Elrod's Sea Hawk out and began assembling it. By the time chow was called they had two birds in the air: Switchblade and the Elrod's embarked helo. By then Hangman and his XO had gone down to the wardroom for chow, partaking in what the Culinary Specialists had managed to pass off as pork lo mein.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    "Y'know you guys eat better than us lowly grunts do in the field." Hangman commented to one of the ensigns, stirring up his salad. "I don't think I'll ever go back to MREs after this stint." The only people to get the joke were from Hangman's own staff, which was made up of a Captain and two First Lieutenants.<o:p></o:p>
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    "So what are they like? The Autobots, I mean..." one of the junior officers asked.<o:p></o:p>
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    "They're armor plated, house sized masses of 'fuck you' that talk." the Green Beret replied. "Other than that they're decent individuals who are just like us. Only they're housed sized masses of 'fuck you.'" A couple officers chuckled at the statement when the ship listed heavily to port side. Plates, glasses, and food fell off the table, chairs and anything unsecured, including the flat screen TV on the bulkhead, fell and slid to starboard side.<o:p></o:p>
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    "B-BATTLESTATIONS! ALL HANDS MAN BATTLESTATIONS!!!" the Officer of the Deck announced, shaken by something he had seen. The ship continued her port list, gaining speed. Hangman and his staff struggled to get out of the wardroom and up to the pilothouse.<o:p></o:p>
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    "What happened? We under attack?!" the Green Beret shouted at the OOD as the helmsman swung the ship to starboard, trying to dodge something in the water.<o:p></o:p>
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    "Didn't you see it!? That... that thing!" one of the Quatermasters shouted at Hangman. He managed to get out to the starboard bridge wing and looked up in time to see Elrod's Sea Hawk drop a torp in the water. There was a minute of nothing as the Elrod continued her high speed maneuvers when a large plume of water leapt up, the end result of the Mk 46 torpedo striking something beneath the waves. A wailing noise came from the water, almost a mix of a whale's cry and metal being rent by force.<o:p></o:p>
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    "That can't be good..." Hangman mused. That was when he saw what had to be a giant, black arm with long claws lash out of the water toward the frigate.<o:p></o:p>
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    "Evasive! PORT, NOW!!!" the OOD shouted at the helmsman who did the naval version of a power slide with the frigate. The arm missed the ship, slamming back down into the water and sending a spray of salt water up.<o:p></o:p>
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    "Status!" Commander Wallace shouted at the watch team as he made his way up, clawing toward his seat as the helmsman steered to avoid another collision.<o:p></o:p>
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    "Sonar says they've got a big contact, marked as Contact 021." the OOD replied as the claw lashed out again. Hangman saw it coming, almost for him. It broke off suddenly, assisted by a torpedo strike.<o:p></o:p>
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    "Frag it!" Switchblade swore as she tried to line up for another torpedo drop. The Sea Hawk dropped its remaining torpedo, the arm retracting into the water again.<o:p></o:p>
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    "What's the ETA on the 'Burke?" Commander Wallace asked of the QMC.<o:p></o:p>
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    "Twenty minutes till they'll be in range to launch their VLAs (Vertical Launch Anti-Sub Rockets.)" QMC Payne replied.<o:p></o:p>
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    "We won't last that long." Hangman mused as Switchblade ripple fired three of her torps.<o:p></o:p>
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    All three missed. Hangman grabbed the handset for the bridge radio.<o:p></o:p>
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    "Switchblade, think you can get down there and tangle with that thing?" he asked of the Autobot.<o:p></o:p>
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    "First, I can't swim worth a shit... Second, I have an embarked crew. Are you going to clean them out of me after I get through?" she replied. "Right now all I can do is take potshots with my thirty mike mike when that thing pops up." Switchblade's alt mode had an M-197 30mm cannon. Even with tungsten steel or depleted uranium sabots most Decepticons found it to be an annoyance. Her real weapon was her rotor blades, particularly in her robot mode.<o:p></o:p>
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    "Captain, how long can we do these high speed turns?" Hangman asked of Commander Wallace.<o:p></o:p>
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    "As long as we have fuel." Wallace replied, the ship turning to avoid another claw strike. This time the claw caught the starboard side, raking a long gash from the pilothouse to the helo hangar. Within the skin of the ship Damage Control Central's boards went red as watermain lines and all manner of electrical wires and power panels were torn away by the claw strike.<o:p></o:p>
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    "They never tell you about that in the recruiting office." Hangman mused as the General, Collision, and Chemical Attack alarms went off simultaneously. The Boatswains Mate who had been steering the ship had fallen away and was presently trying to scramble back to the wheel.<o:p></o:p>
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    Commander Wallace took the helm, wrestling the ship back into his control.<o:p></o:p>
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    "Captain, the 'Burke is in range. They want us to ping the target with our sonar so they know where to launch their VLAs." one of the junior officers shouted over the alarms.<o:p></o:p>
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    "It's about time... Tell our birds to drop more sonobuoys and tell the 'Burke to launch immediately." Wallace shouted back, steering the ship away from the claw as it reached out again. The sonar team fired up their active sonar and started pinging away while the Elrod's Sea Hawk started dropping sonobouys left and right.<o:p></o:p>
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    "Contact Sonar, got accurate position and reading." STG2 Harrison said to his compatriots as the ship listed yet again.<o:p></o:p>
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    "Sending the data." STGC Morrison replied. The Arleigh Burke received the data and immediately launched their VLAs in rapid succession. Hangman saw the first VLA arrive, the missile breaking up in mid air and the torpedo floating down on a parachute. The chute detached as the second VLA arrived in the area. The cycle repeated itself six times, the third missile arriving as the first torp struck the target. All six torps hit their mark, the contact wailing out. It surfaced momentarily, gouges visible in the black armor of the Decepticon. The purple shield emblem was visible on its chest.<o:p></o:p>
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    "A single 'Con..." Hangman mused as the Decepticon sank to the depths and the Elrod finally slowed to a crawl. The 'Joe staggered to the Captain's chair and picked up the handset. "Switchblade, you seen that one before?"<o:p></o:p>
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    "Negative... He's a new face to me." she replied. The Arleigh Burke arrived to a wounded Elrod. The Destroyer sent a line out and she towed the frigate to Dubai where she would wait for transport back to America.<o:p></o:p>
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    The Pit, Arizona Desert<o:p></o:p>
    0900, US Mountain Time<o:p></o:p>
    22AUG2018...<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Admiral Mullen sat in his office, sifting through reports. There came a knocking at his door.<o:p></o:p>
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    "Enter." he said, not looking up from his papers. A Colonel entered, handing over a folder labeled as priority.<o:p></o:p>
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    "This just came in from Dubai, sir. Joint Task Force One Five Zero." the Colonel said, Admiral Mullen picking up the folder and opening it. He read over the first page then looked up at the officer.<o:p></o:p>
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    "A giant, seafaring Decepticon?"<o:p></o:p>
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    "That's what Major Kitsch said, sir." the Colonel replied. Admiral Mullen looked through the pictures provided, including those of the USS Elrod, the Maersk Crossland, and several of the Decepticon.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    "And what of the Decepticon?"<o:p></o:p>
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    "Divers never found any wreckage. We may have to assume that it's retreated to lick it's wounds, sir." Admiral Mullen leaned back in his chair.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    "If it surfaces I want to know. Pass on to the Navy that they are to have anti-sub weapons ready all times." he finally said, leaning forward.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    "Sir, I have an inquiry from Naval Station Norfolk regarding security detail for your visit to the Hampton Roads area on Veteran's Day."<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    "I don't expect anything to happen but planning for that one in a million chance never hurts." Mullen replied to the officer. "Set up a security detail and get with Vice Admiral Holden so we can coordinate."