Valley lay in his bed, wheezing as he spoke with his head of security over the radio.
"Are my preparations in place?" he gasped, still managing to bring menace into every syllable.
A few seconds passed. A tick-tock came from over the radio. Then, Mr. Tick spoke.
"Yes. It is ready. Sir." He said in that monotone voice of his.
Another few seconds passed. "Now."
"Beta-23, move in."
The six members of Mobile Task Force Beta-23 rushed forward, taking cover positions and looking for viable targets in the small cottage they had been tasked with clearing. They were not yet in there, however, and were still cautious of the enemy firing out of its windows.
Which of course, was the least of their worries. The commander, unnoticed by the rest of his team, gasped in agony as what he thought was the grass of the field injected its paralytic venom into him. He would die last, as Marshall, Carter, and Dark's intruder prevention item was not yet hungry.
The man at the back of the group flicked his eyes back and forth, checking for targets. He stepped on something as he moved slowly forwards. His gaze flicked down to the photograph for only a second, but that was all it needed. He quietly and politely knelt down and cut his own throat.
The others turned around swiftly, having heard their fallen comrades' last gurgles. Two of them aimed their rifles at the absurd image of a stitch moving through the grass like a snake. Two stitches, three stitches. Their bullets did nothing as the stitches moved over them, joining them together, merging lungs and hearts and brains.
One stayed, one ran.
The one who had stayed stepped back, then winced and looked down. A small dart was stuck right in his knee. Shaking, he pulled it out. It was barbed. Was it poisonous? Would he die slowly, in agony?
As he looked down and saw two maggots repairing his wound, he knew he would not die at all.
The one who had ran carried on running, panic carrying him when his own strength failed. Soon, his frantic running was joined by the purposeful slam of four paws on the ground. Paws that were running towards him very quickly. A voice came from behind him, a horrible growl of a voice. He dared not look.
"Sunny in Harare," it said.
He panted. Would he make it to the extraction zone?
"Mild in Miami," it growled.
He was almost at the fence. Come on, almost!
"Rainy in London!" screamed the voice, and the hound pounced.
"All went well," tocked Mr. Tick. Of course, Valley knew this from the multiple television screens in front of his bed, but Mr. Tick was always a redundant sort of fellow.
Valley smiled. He was dying, of course, but that was no reason not to have fun. He had to do it again soon.
"Make another batch," he rasped into the radio. "Make them think they're gocks this time."
The door opened and a man stepped in. If you were asked to describe him afterwards, that was all you could say, he was just a man. The illogical colours of his jacket, the jagged curves of his pupils and the impossible pattern on his badge made sure of that.
"You called me," smiled the man that had walked in. Its eyes flicked from radio to sky, sky to table, table to Valley in a few seconds. "You're dying?" the man asked curiously, his voice a dull monotone.
"Of course I am," Valley said bitterly. "Mr. Carter's parting gift."
"You called me," said the man again. "What is it you wanted?"
Valley shifted uncomfortably in his bed and stared into what he hoped were the man's eyes. "I am a sick old man, friend."
"I am not your friend. Yes, you are. Why do you want to see me?" said the man patiently, its voice quick, as if he was eager to be somewhere else.
Valley leaned forward, his eyes shining with excitement. "I need to expand, but what I have is too limited. The few products I managed to steal before leaving Carter's lovely club are not enough. I need the Station, please. You must help me have it."
One of the man's eyes drifted to the ceiling. The other one circled in its socket. It was in deep concentration.
"I will need four men. Your best four men."
A look of confusion crossed the man's face. "I will not need money. I will need four men. Goodbye, Mr. Valley." It walked out of the door and it shut the door behind him.
A few seconds passed. Valley leaned back, looked at the thin stump that had yesterday been his arm, and cried.