AE-234874

"Why are we here again?" Henry asked.

"Because we're getting paid to," I replied. "If you want to leave, go ahead, but you're not getting paid." I glanced over at Markus. "Why did you bring your dog along?"

"What, he'll be good. Sit!" The German Shepherd sat obediently. "See?"

"If he gets in the way I'm shooting him."

"Fair enough, but I don't think we're going to encounter anything here." We were a group of freelance mercenaries, normally working as private security. Today we were in a dense forest, some obscure company named WASP wanted us here for some reason. They said to radio in if we saw anyone, and only shoot if they attacked us first. Seemed like pretty easy money, so we took it.

"Hey guys, there's something over here," Henry said.

"What's wrong?" I walked over, hefting my assault rifle. I walked over to where he was to see a swirling mass of blue, sitting on the ground, sort of like a puddle but not moving downhill. I crouched lower and saw it was hovering just a few inches off the ground. "Markus, call that company!" I called.

"Sure thing, Wesly." I heard the radio flip on and Markus talking through it. The swirling blue didn't seem to be going anywhere or doing anything, just sitting there. I tossed a small rock at it, and it disappeared with a small pop.

"What is that?" Henry wondered aloud.

"No idea." I stepped forward to get a closer look, unsure of what I was looking at.

"They'll have some people over in a minute!" Markus called.

I poked the circle with my foot, and nothing happened. "Well, I guess-" The swirling mass exploded, throwing Henry and I through the woods. I shook my head to clear the dizziness and looked up. Five women stood in the middle of the fading blue glow where it had been before.

The one in front had wavy pink hair and pale skin, who I instantly dubbed 'Pink'. The one closest to her was a tall Asian woman with her black hair tied back. She carried a sword, and seemed to be the only one in the group with a weapon, so I called her 'Sword'. Behind sword was a short pale woman with brown hair and a short yellow dress I decided to call 'Sun'. The fourth figure was darker, but with red hair which earned her the name 'Red'. The final woman was a bit...different. She was short, but her skin was light grey with long white hair. The most unexpected things, however, were the wolf ears and tail. I decided to keep it simple and just call her 'Wolf'. All of them had some kind of mark on their forehead, but not one I recognized.

Henry was already getting back up, pistol pointed at the intruders. "Who are you? Where did you come from?" The one I called sun twisted her head to look at Henry. A wave of hands and a short muttering later, a pair of trees burst upward in front and behind him, the trunks expanding and crushing him between them.

I did a quick rundown of the odds, two and a dog against five people, at least one of which had some sort of powers. I picked up my assault rifle and stood behind a tree. Then I remembered Henry and dove for a nearby rock.

"Markus!"

"They're here, but it's just some corporate guys!" I peeked over the rock and saw three people in suits racing towards the scene. One slid behind the rock with me, fire spraying overhead, and I knew for a fact there hadn't been a flamethrower involved.

"This is E-164923, we have confirmed faunamancer and pyromancer on site, three undefined." He looked over and surveyed the scene. "One is a shapeshifter. Confirmed AE-328478."

"Who are you supposed to be?" I asked.

He glanced at me but otherwise ignored me. "And two mercs."

"Counter forces are on the way, go ahead and blow cover, clean up crews will take care of it," A voice over the radio said.

"Understood." He ripped off the suit and dress shirt to reveal casual clothing underneath with some weird emblem on the breast pocket. He grabbed a pistol from an ankle holster, but it definitely wasn't a regular gun. "Break cover! Engage with necessary force!" He called out. The other two made the same switch, firing on the group. "You, merc, cover me."

"What?"

"Why did we ever outsource these things." He muttered before leaving the rock and entering the open. I stood up and slung my rifle over the edge, firing at the group. One of the women jumped forward, swinging a sword wildly and somehow deflecting my bullets. The other three weren't having much luck either, bursts of fire or plants negating whatever glowing projectiles their pistols shot.

"How is this even possible?" I mumbled as I switched out my spent magazine.

One of the new guys was tackled by a large wolf, but Markus' Shepherd shoved it off. They began fighting in the leaves, a tangle of fur and growls. I swung my rifle towards the large dog and sprayed a burst over it. As much as I disliked dogs, I'd rather the helpful one be alive rather than the one trying to kill us all. Suddenly Pink was in the way, a faint shimmering wall blocking the bullets.

"What is going on!"

"Counter forces are arriving." I looked down and saw the radio had fallen on the ground.

A moment later I heard people yelling, it sounded like it came from above. I looked up and saw a dozen people falling out of some sort of rectangular flight craft. I knew the forest was too thick for parachutes, so I didn't pay any attention to them. I went back to firing, but all my shots were being deflected and I was running low on bullets.

I felt heat from above me and stumbled back as somebody landed on the rock in front of me, a pair of small rockets on his back keeping him from splatting on the ground.

"Once you run out, use this." He tossed me a pistol like the other three had and grabbed a rifle from his back, charging towards the group. The flight craft began firing with some kind of weapon from the bottom, barely missing the group. Seeing the new angle of attack, they spread out. A large tree sprouted under Sword, propelling her upward. When the tree stopped, she used the momentum to leap up and onto the craft out of sight.

"This is not worth two thousand dollars." As I was distracted, I was punched from the side by Pink, flying back and rolling through the leaves. I quickly got up and pulled the trigger, but the few shots went wide and then the magazine clicked empty. I reached for a new one, but there was nothing there and the nearest one was behind the attacker. I dropped my rifle and drew my knife, charging the woman. I swung when I was close, but she spun around it and hit me in the back, sending my flying yet again.

I landed hard on my back, the wind knocked out of me. As I tried to recover, I saw the flight craft shudder, then the left side exploded and the ship began to fall. Sword jumped off, stabbing the sword into the large tree and sliding down. I got up as one of the soldiers hit the ground next to me, dead. I grabbed his sidearm and fired at the one with the pink hair who was still approaching me. The shots were blocked or dodged, and she didn't even seem fazed. I turned to run but was confronted by Wolf.

I started to raise the pistol, but she shoved it into a tree beside me and I lost my grip. Right after losing the gun she delivered an uppercut. I staggered backwards, but when I looked up there was a large wolf instead. "Oh. Is that what shapeshifter meant?"

A burst of blue light knocked it away from me, and another one threw the other woman away from me as well. A motorcycle burst through the trees, a large gun mounted on each side of it. He drove right past me, tossing a disc onto the two. They fell to the ground as the disk hit them, struggling to get up. I let out a sigh of relief, and somebody grabbed my ankle.

"Holy- Oh shoot, are you alright?" I asked once I got over my surprise. The soldier was barely alive, speaking quietly.

"The vest," He whispered.

"What? I'm not stealing your equipment, you need that."

"Take the stupid vest!" His grip loosened fell limp. I figured it must be important if he was insisting I take it, and I'd left my kevlar at home, so I pulled his vest over his head and pulled it on myself. It felt different than my armor, no steel plates and very light.

"Merc! Get over here and help!" Only four soldiers were left, the motorcycle crashed in a thicket of bushes that wasn't there before. I ran over, picking up one of their rifles on the way over. The last three were putting up quite a fight, Sword, Sun, and Red left. The soldiers surrounded them, but couldn't get too close without being pushed back with fire, and plants were erupting out of the ground all around them. Sword kept blocking the projectiles, protecting the other two. When I was almost there the soldier between me and them was speared by a sapling erupting from the ground, clearing the path to me. As soon as the soldier dropped, the three charged out the opening.

I dropped to a knee and fired at them, hoping for a lucky shot. Foliage sprung up behind them to cover their flank, as well as isolating me from the soldiers. Quite by accident, I managed to shoot Sword in the foot, causing her to fall. The other two I quickly shot before they could adapt, but they managed to attack me anyway. A burst of fire and a vine raced towards me, and I didn't have time to dodge. I tried to get to the side, but didn't make it in time. The fire parted around me just inches away from me, a faint blue outline blocking it. The vine hit the vest, deflecting off of it and keeping me safe.

I thumped to the ground with the others, a soldier quickly tossing disks onto them to keep them detained. With them stuck, the remaining three trained their rifles on me. "Are you RAID?"

"Woah, chill guys." I dropped the rifle and held up my hands, or at least as best I could while laying on my side. "My enemy's enemy is my friend?" I offered.

"Only while there's an enemy. Are you RAID?"

"Eh, good point. But no, I'm not RAID, at least I think so. I've only heard of RAID as in the insect killer."

"Good. We'll let the clean up crew take care of him." The three lowered their weapons. "Call a transport and the clean up crew. It's Day 12 and we're already working double, we need to get back ASAP." The group walked out of sight as I picked myself up. A dozen ships suddenly appeared overhead, lowering and landing nearby. As I picked up the rifle about thirty other people burst out of the forest and surrounded me, all armed.

"How many of you are there?" I dropped the rifle again and put my hands up as a pair approached and handcuffed me, removing the vest I'd taken.

"Wesly, right?" one of them asked.

"Yeah."

"Good. Hold still."

"Huh?" I felt a syringe plunge into my arm and something pumped in. I struggled against it, but whatever was in there was quickly numbing me and I fell down. A moment later, I was unconscious.

Mission Overview:

AE-328478, a mind controlling rune with limited sentience, had infected five AEs from another reality. They broke through using a weak spot in our reality. As the possible weak spot was already known, a lookout was needed. Due to RAID beginning their attempts to get Armageddon AEs, we hired three mercenaries to act as lookouts. The mind controlled AEs broke through and began attacking. Three units were sent in to confirm the siting, then another dozen were sent to reinforce. A nearby light scout vehicle was also dispatched, and the fight ending in a victory for WASP.

Clean Up:

The Clean up crew successfully removed all evidence of a fight. WASP unit remains were recovered, and all are expected to be successfully revived once the queue allows. One mercenary was killed in the attack beyond revival, and a cover story was given to the remaining mercenaries. The other two mercenaries were mind-wiped and memories were replaced with a short escort job and material evidence to back up the memory. No further interference is expected from the mercenaries.

Evaluation:

It could've gone much worse, but it could've been better. Had the lookout been a standard ten WASP units, casualties would've been around four units. The scout unit made a series of decisions that eventually put it out of service and in the revival queue. Had the approach been from four degrees to his right, the battle would have been expected to be over seventeen seconds sooner with two less WASP casualties. Total casualties contain one mercenary, twelve WASP units, and one WASP scout unit. AE-328478 was successfully removed from the victims, who were mind-wiped and returned to their home reality. No further interference is expected.

Chapter credits:

Some characters who appear in this chapter are from Aphrodite's Harem, by Hazywolf294.

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(to use link, copy above text, click fictionpress in top left of page, then paste copied text to the end of the URL)

AN:

Yeah, this is WASP Missions. The name might change later on, but for now, that's what it is. For all intents and purposes, all chapters here are considered non-canon for the WASP universe as well as whatever universe the chapter is from unless otherwise stated.

-So what is WASP Missions, exactly?

Well, this is a series of shorts I've started doing before writing the main story, allowing me to basically flush out my system of what I consider to be my 'bad' writing. As such, I don't expect them to be much longer than a fight scene or have satisfying wrap-ups or recurring characters.

Another use these have is to show a bit of the logistical side of the Program(the main story line never actually 'sees' a clean up crew, they just show up off-camera).

WASP Missions is also an attempt to increase the overall traffic of other stories, and each chapter will feature a different world or set of characters from other stories that have been posted on Fictionpress.

-Cool, can you do my story?

Uh, probably not, sorry. I will be using stories I have followed, and getting a follow doesn't automatically guarantee you'll get an appearance here. But, if you want your story to appear in the WASP universe, you can request it on the WASP submissions page. There's no guarantee there either, but it's better than waiting an undefined amount of time.

-Hey, you're using my stuff, I don't want that.

And that's fine, just PM me requesting the removal and I will remove your chapter. Before posting I will PM you to let you know it's going up. If you for some reason want it removed then change your mind from no to yes later, just know that I might have already deleted the chapter, and probably won't rewrite it.

-I'm fine with you using my stuff, but the way you used it I don't like.

And that's also fine. you can request it removed, but I probably won't rewrite it. In short, this series is a bunch of one-shots I have no intention of revisiting, if there's a problem you can't deal with, the whole chapter will be taken down.