A Second Word With Echo

Hilariously awkward, incorrect, and he's got no idea how bad he's fucking up.

MTF Colonel Emil Richter

Oh man, this is great already.

It was supposed to have been a simple intel raid on a Church of the Broken God compound

Getting better.

But things went horribly wrong. Instead of the roughly dozen or so cultists they were expecting, they instead encountered a force of over a hundred.

Because fuck planning for a worst case scenario in the ass, right. Seriously what kind of commander competent enough to survive a career of infantry service and wind up commanding a special operations light infantry element would ever figure things could be worse than figured?

Out of a team of thirty MTF soldiers, seventeen were dead and the rest were wounded to varying degrees.

A Colonel commanding 30 troops? Special. Usually use something ranging from a Second Lieutenant to a Captain (sometimes even a Major for random shit, if things are on the heavy side of black ops) or so for that sort of thing.

Also, little issue about it taking over thirty people to properly make entry and secure even a single house with a mere half-dozen rooms. A Private can tell you that. Colonels (by any conventional measure) are officers with several decades of service in who are used to command literally thousands of troops (typically somewhere between three and five thousand).

This shouldn’t have happened! If only he got better intel.

If only there was something like… I dunno, something that could perhaps circle unseen and undetectable for dozens of hours at a time from ridiculous heights, maintaining observation of something and counting how many people come in and out! Something that didn't need a person there who would get tired, something that was packed with electronics… almost like… like a DRONE of some sort… that's it, if only something like an unmanned flying drone existed!

If only his troops didn’t panic. If only they did what they told him to. If only…

If only a COLONEL wasn't expected to micromanage troops on the level that Privates First Class and Lance Corporals are expected to manage three-man teams (who are competent enough to take initiative and direct their own actions anyway). If only they'd set up in three discrete elements encompassing assault forces, inner security, and an outer perimeter like they'd learned in boot camp so as to maintain overwatch on all entryways while standing by to deploy additional forces to keep up a high operational tempo and destabilization of the enemy forces inside, or to ensure a method of readily falling back in good order! GAH! Military stuffs are sooooo hard for people who've been doing this their entire lives!

The O5s would want an explanation for this fiasco.

Yes, the mere 13 individuals moving and shaking the entire organization on a global scale are surely concerned with micromanaging some slapnuts commanding 30 guys.

he slowly drew his sidearm

I'm going to assume the weapon's already locked and loaded, because it'll make what happens again and again funnier.

Captain Leeds

I mean, if you're using a regimental Colonel as an understrength platoon's commander, you might as well designate one of his squad leaders as "Captain." I mean, fuck it, whether this stays where it is or gets even nuttier, we're all in this shitstorm together. Commit hard, go hard or go home.

“I have the final casualty report.”

No he doesn't, because PEOPLE ARE STILL FUCKING DYING FROM THEIR WOUNDS. YOU MENTION THIS A SPLIT-SECOND LATER.

The new voice was so hard edged and cold, that Richter and Leeds felt as if they had both been stabbed in the back with an ice cold dagger.

So cold they felt as if they'd bum rushed a speaker that boomed, like their brains had been killed by poisonous mushrooms.

Deadly, when I play a dope melody
Anything less than the best is a felony
Love it or leave it, You better gain way
You better hit bull's eye, The kid don't play
If there was a problem, Yo, I'll solve it
Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it

Ice Ice Baby (too cold, too cold)…

“Colonel Richter will no longer be making any command decisions from this point on.”

“Colonel Richter will no longer from this point on be making any command decisions heretoforthwith at this junction here on out.” So cold and professional, she says it twice the first time so they don't have to ask for it to be repeated.

He then heard a gun cock and realized that his commanding officer had just pulled out his sidearm.

He already drew his sidearm, and it was already charged.

“I’ve heard the rumors, the stories! The purple eyed executioner!"

"I'VE HEARD ABOUT YOU! THE YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER!"

“I’d prefer,” The stranger sighed in an exasperated tone, not even concerned at the weapon pointed at her

Oh man, she's so impossibly cool that my erection is currently at least twice as large as it would normally be.

I mean, yeah, this is how a professional works, and survives, by putting themselves in a position where they'd be sans heart and lungs if someone decided to just, you know, pull the fucking trigger.

“Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!” Richter cried, firing his weapon.

"Villains!" Richter shrieked, "dissemble no more! I admit the deed! — tear up the planks! here, here! — it is the beating of his hideous heart!"

In the space of an eyeblink, Richards had shoved Leeds out of the line of fire and closed the distance between her and Richter

Storyboard: "By the way, Agent Richards is also a Cleric from Equilibrium, plus Trinity from the Matrix and also has purple eyes."

It was a termination order, with the seal of approval from all twelve O5s.

I can't pretend that any of the rest of this has been built up on anything resembling an intelligent pretense, and the reasons listed for the termination, and the failure in the field… it's all a snowballing comedy of errors, and none of it believable in the least, so I'm going to just start up at the next point that's glaringly obvious.

“I’ve read the radio transcripts, Colonel."

"The transmission quality of your inferior gear is sub-par, Hacker."

“I had no choice!” Richter screamed, clearly snapping under the pressure. “They wouldn’t shut up! They kept asking me what to do, where to go, like stupid little kids! I had no choice!”

It's not like combat personnel have operated on this little thing called small unit doctrine for the past 70 years or so, wherein highly-trained personnel are briefed on the how and why of an operation and to act of their own initiative to execute the commander's intent in the event that primary plans fail, or if communication is broken. Nothing like that.

She took Richter’s sidearm, ejected the magazine, and chambered a single round in the weapon.

THE THIRD TIME. This weapon has been cocked three times inside of like, thirty seconds. Also, removing the magazine and racking the slide to "chamber a round" would just eject the last round inside, as there's nothing left to feed it from; the round was already chambered.

She casually picked up Richter’s pistol

She's already holding it.

“Actually, in light of Colonel Richter’s rather recent and sudden retirement,"

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, IT'S SO FUNNY BECAUSE HE DIDN'T ACTUALLY RETIRE, BUT WAS INSTEAD MURDERED!

However, after today’s experience, he now knew what he was scared of the most. The Foundation itself.

AAAAAAAAAAAND the grande finale?

IT TURNS OUT IT'S MAN.