Fukushima, Japan 04Apr 2011 1128 Local Time
“Brigade, give me a sit rep,” Hannibal said into the comlink. Hannibal was in flight over Fukushima, Japan. Below, he could see the crippled nuclear power plant that had been torn apart by an earthquake of magnitude nine on the Richter scale just a few weeks ago. Smoke poured from the reactors almost a month after the initial breach.
“This place is deserted,” Brigade responded. His voice crackled with interference. Hannibal hoped it had to do with interference from being deep in the facility and not the effects of radiation. The radiation was well above what a human could withstand for any length of time, but even Metahumans needed their communications to work.
When Brigade spoke again, it was too garbled for Hannibal to make out. At least Brigade sounded calm. Of course, Brigade always sounded calm. The guy’s not afraid of anything.
“Mindgame,” Hannibal said. “I’m having trouble contacting Brigade. Let’s switch to a mindlink.”
“Roger that,” Mindgame replied. He gave no hint if he dreaded initiating the link. Hannibal knew linking a team’s mind for instantaneous communication was exhausting and difficult for any Psyker. Mindgame did it well, “but it always gave him a serious headache and he might be incapacitated for awhile.
A moment later, however, Hannibal felt the presence of his whole team in his head. It was comforting to feel them this way. He could instantly communicate, but he could also ascertain their location and their status. Mindgame filtered out all the irrelevant stuff, which was a big part of what made the mindlink such a tough trick.
“Brigade,” Hannibal said, “We switched to a mindlink. You’re communications are fubar.”
“Probably because I’m inside a burning nuclear reactor,” Brigade said. “My little radiation badge turned black a long time ago. I hope Dr. Canada is right and that we can withstand this shit. I ain’t afraid to die, but I don’t want to be deformed or anything. And my dick better not fall off.”
“Your dick will be fine, Brigade,” Serenity said through the link.
“Oh yeah?” Brigade asked. “You want to help me test it honey?”
“Stow that shit, Brigade,” Hannibal said. “What’s happening in there?”
“Well, as you know, water is pouring out into the ocean,” Brigade said. “Scanner says that the water is radioactive as hell. The fires are about controlled by the automated fire systems, but these reactors are a total loss. The nuclear material is exposed and pouring our radiation. We have some serious work to contain this.”
“Well, the humans can’t get near it, even in protective gear,” Hannibal said. “Neither can most of the team. Detector is mapping out areas where the radiation is the worst. He’s more sensitive than any scanner. I’m directly above you. It looks pretty bad from up here. The rest of the team in on the ground evacuating people where Detector says they can’t be. Looks like me and Hunter are the only ones who can come help.”
“Your armor has radiation seals,” Serenity said. “Make sure and activate them. It won’t protect you from all of the rads, but it will help. What gets through should be handled easily by your healing factors. The rest of us won’t heal fast enough to get that kind of load.”
“Allright,” Hannibal said. “I’ll pick up Hunter. Our first priority will be to seal up those leaks. We want to protect the ocean. We might get that done in the next couple of days. After that, we need to rebuild four cooling towers. Then we can try and clean up the area around Fukushima.”
“I’m feeling pretty useless here, boss,” said Radiance. “Not much need of a blaster. I can’t even get close enough to help with the welding.”
“Just look pretty for the camera, Rai,” Hannibal said. “Help with the evacs while Serenity tries to figure out how to remove radiation from the sea and soil around Fukushima.”
“Great,” Radiance said. “I’m a glorified EMT on this mission.”
“Maybe someone will get surly and you can blast ‘em,” Brigade offered.
“Maybe I’ll start with your ass, Brigade,” Radiance replied.
“Ooh, you promise?” Brigade said. “Can’t wait!”
“Pig,” Radiance said.