William flew the ship to Earth with Victor in the back as his prisoner. Over the ship's communicator, he spoke to Arthur.
William: "I'm beginning the descent to Earth. Should be arriving at HQ soon."
Arthur: "Make sure you land at headquarters and no where else. The rest of the Imperium is still looking for you. I need Victor to help sort everything out."
William: "I got it. I'll see you soon."
Just as the transmission ended, Victor was beginning to wake up. He blinked quickly as he reoriented himself. He realized he had been restrained when he tried to move his hands. He turned and saw William flying the ship, with the surface of Earth becoming larger in the view screen. As quietly as he could, he tried to free himself from the rope. In his haste, William had not done his best with the knot, something he would now have to pay the price for.
As soon as Victor was free he sprang towards William and put the rope around his neck and pulled. As he was being choked, William realized what was happening. Before he could make much of a struggle, Victor used his free hand to pull his gun out of William's holster and shoot at the ship's console several times.
Victor then let go of the rope and hurried to the escape pod. William began to run after him but then looked at the fried console of the ship. The ship itself shuddered as it was beginning to lose control.
With William occupied attempting to regain control of the ship, Victor hopped into the escape pod and jettisoned away.
William: "Blast it!" William yelled, angrily slamming the already destroyed controls.
He had lost Victor and now he was minutes away from crashing. Once again.
William braced himself as the ship began falling out of the sky. He gripped his seat, trying not to get thrown forward as the craft's front end shattered on the ground. When everything finally stopped moving, he groaned and checked himself. Luckily he had not been hurt in the crash.
He then looked up to see that the navi-computer was still working, although slightly glitchy and with poor image quality. The display showed his current location as the Mojave Desert in Nevada.
William: "Great," he muttered.
He was in the right country but on the complete opposite side of where he needed to be.
In a similar situation, Victor limped out of his escape pod which had crashed down as well. But while William had crashed in an arid desert, Victor found himself in the middle of a small town. Several onlookers looked at him with concern while police sirens could be heard in the distance.
Victor: "Where am I?" he asked the man nearest to him.
Man: "Pinedale, Wyoming. Are you alright, sir?"
But Victor ignored him and walked towards a small brick building. On its side were comm booths. Victor quickly went towards one of them.
Victor: "This is Agent Vardos, access code: 31184, requesting channel to Director Volkov."
Soon a small hologram of Irina Volkov, the Director of Aurelia's Resistance Intelligence Service, appeared.
Irina: "Agent Vardos. We were expecting you some time ago. Where are you?"
Victor: "Earth. Everything went as planned on Qoter and I was on my way to Zarus with Nantucket but he discovered me. Our ship crashed but I managed to escape. I have vital information on Nantucket. You need to get me out of here."
Irina: "I'm afraid I can't do that at the moment."
Victor: "What do you mean?"
Irina: "You have a new assignment on Earth. It is of the utmost importance."
Meanwhile, William walked through the dry and desolate lands for what felt like hours. In his hand was a small digital screen with some sort of compass on it. He continued to follow it as he had been for the last several miles.
Finally he seemed to have reached his destination as the beeping on his device became very loud. In front of him was a small concrete structure with a single door on it. He walked towards it.
Next to the door was a control panel. After entering a code, William was able to open the door and go inside. The inside of the structure was completely empty but in actuality it was a lift that would go down to a much larger underground facility.
And so it did. When the lift platform reached the bottom of the elevator shaft, William stepped out to find himself in a long corridor. The styling of it was very similar to the IIA headquarters' interior. But William couldn't focus on that aspect due to the soldier in front of him pointing a gun right at him.
Soldier: "Agent Nantucket, hands up!"
William raised his hands but then looked behind the soldier to see a familiar man running towards them.
Q: "He's alright, don't shoot him!" yelled Q, the IIA's head of Research and Development.
The soldier still kept his eyes and weapon locked on William.
Soldier: "I don't understand. This man is a double agent."
Q: "It's all complicated matter and a little above your pay grade. So put your gun down."
The soldier hesitantly did as he was told.
William: "I'm glad to see you, Q."
Q: "You were supposed to go to Raleigh."
William: "The ship crashed. I knew we had a facility in Nevada so I came here."
Q: "Come with me," said the scientist after a short pause. He began leading William further into the base.
William: "So what is this place?"
Q: "Hmm? Oh well I have a few facilities like this here and there. There's only so much space in the lab back in HQ. I need room for my toys."
William: "I think I'm gonna need some of those toys. I have to find Victor."
They were now in a room very similar to the lab in the main headquarters. It was filled with various equipment and gadgets in production. William suddenly stopped when he noticed something in the corner. He stared longingly at a very familiar looking black hover-car.
Q: "I thought that might catch your eye."
William: "She's beautiful..."
Q: "Found it in a local scrap yard. We just finished restoring it. Now come along. You need Victor, remember? And time is running out."
Q then showed the agent a large screen with a map of the United States on it.
Q: "He was spotted driving a stolen truck towards Iowa."
William briefly remembered his brother's starship was in Iowa but that probably wasn't important right now.
William: "Why is he still on Earth?"
Q: "Do you know what is significant about Iowa?"
William again thought about Oliver's ship. The Exploratory Corps had a large presence in that state, with a couple maintenance stations among other things. But why would that be important to Victor or Aurelia?
Q could see the confused look on William's face so he began to explain.
Q: "Earth's defense grid is controlled from a station there."
William: "He's going there?"
Q: "That's what Arthur believes. If he manages to infiltrate it, he can shut down many of the weapons strategically placed around the planet and in space. We will be that much more vulnerable to an Aurelian attack."
William: "And I guess it's up to me to stop it? What about my friends? I have to help them too."
Q: "Claire and Dino are safe for now. Arthur was able to convince the Marshal Service to give him custody over them. They were sent to one of our black sites."
William: "I want to see them."
Q: "There's really no time-"
William: "Q," he said sternly making the scientist let out a long sigh.
Q: "Fine," he spoke as he moved to a nearby computer terminal and began pressing a few keys.
Two separate video feeds of Claire and Dino appeared on the screen.
Q: "This is a live feed from inside their cells."
William looked at his friends sitting in their cells, seemingly unharmed. He smiled knowing they were alright.
Q: "They will be freed once we are able to prove Aurelia was behind the bombing on Qoter."
William: "Right. So Iowa."
Q: "You'd better get going."
William: "I will. Just one more favor..."
William rocketed over the desert in the hover-car he had borrowed from Q with a stupid grin over his face. He had forgotten how fun these machines were. He pressed down on the accelerator even more.
Somewhere not too far from the defense grid, a man leaned against a bus stop shelter on the side of a rather remote road. He wore a red hoodie and had a white baseball cap pulled down so it covered part of his face. He looked up when he saw an old and rusty truck slowly approaching him.
Victor stopped the truck next to the man and looked at him.
Victor: "What are you doing here?" he asked after realizing the man was one of his colleagues, Bernd Jager.
Bernd: "Irina wasn't about to let you go alone to the defense grid," the RIS agent said with a sly smile before throwing a suitcase into the back of the truck and then hopping inside the cab.
Victor: "How does she keep sending agents to Earth?" he asked as he began driving again.
Bernd: "Small squads have an easier time getting through. It's an invasion fleet that's hard. But that'll change if we're successful here."
Victor: "What's in the bag?"
Bernd: "Oh I'm sure you'll like it."
At the main entrance of the control station, two guards stood on watch. One of them registered some movement in the corner of his eye but before he could react, he was gunned down by a silenced rifle. As was the other.
Victor and Bernd, equipped with their Aurelian gear opened the doors and went inside.
The Imperial station was quite large with several gangways and raised platforms inside. It contained many rooms with various functions but the only one they were after was the main computer room. In there, they would be able to disable Earth's defense weapons. Standing in their way, however, were several guards on patrol.
Both of them, masters of stealth, were able to silently take down many of the guards. After cutting down everyone that stood in their way, eventually the made it to the main computer room.
Bernd: "Did that seem a little too easy to you?" asked Bernd as they approached the door.
Victor: "I think Imperium security is just poor."
They walked into the main computer room and quickly scanned it. It seemed to be empty.
Victor: "Area secured," he said as they took off their helmets.
William: "Not quite."
The RIS agents turned to the source of the voice. William had been sitting in a chair in the corner of the room, hidden by the shadows. He stepped into the light to reveal himself and instantly the agents aimed their guns at him.
Victor: "So you're still alive."
William: "Oh yeah."
Bernd: "How'd he get here so fast?"
William: "Germans make some damn good cars. You should know, Jager."
Victor: "There was no point in coming alone. After we kill you, we'll take down Earth's defenses."
William: "I guess the RIS was misinformed. Did you really think it was that simple? Obviously this isn't the only station."
Bernd: "Then we'll take the others down too."
Bernd then proceeded to fire off several rounds at William. They all went through him and hit the wall behind him as his image flickered slightly.
It was a hologram.
William: "No you won't," said the hologram before fading away.
The room then began to fill with smoke.
Victor and Bernd desperately looked around in confusion, worried they would be attacked from somewhere else.
Victor: "Scrim! Where is he?"
The agents then moved onto the catwalk outside. They could hear William's voice but there was no sign of him.
William: "I'm really disappointed, Victor."
Victor: "Show yourself!" he yelled as he and Bernd searched for William.
William: "You betrayed us. You betrayed me."
Victor: "I didn't betray anyone. I was never on the Imperium's side! Now enough tricks. Face us!"
Bernd suddenly let out a scream and fell down on catwalk. He clutched his foot in pain. He had been shot.
Victor leaned over the catwalk railing and began firing at where the shot had come from but he soon realized there was nothing there.
William: "Very tricky, us spies," his voice echoed eerily from around the building.
Victor: "Screw this, I'm disabling the systems," Victor spoke as he began to return to the computer room.
He stopped when the door slid shut and locked itself.
William: "I stopped by one of Q's labs and picked up a couple things. I'm sure the RIS has its own Research and Development team. But do you have your own Q?"
Victor: "Are you gonna do this all day?"
Victor then looked down from the catwalk when he felt someone watching him. William had revealed himself. He stood unarmed staring intensely at Victor. The double agent dropped his rifle and swung himself over the catwalk railing. When he hit the ground, he did a forward roll and stood a few feet away from William. The two said nothing just stared at one another for some time.
Bernd, meanwhile, looked at them and figured he wouldn't be much help with his injury. He also had a feeling that the fact that the Imperium's poster boy was here meant they had already failed. Better that Victor was lost than both of them. Bernd slowly picked himself up, wincing from the pain in his foot, and hobbled away making his escape.
On the ground, Victor and William still waited, wondering who would make the first move. In the end, they both lunged at each other at the same time.
Both agents exchanged furious blows at one another, neither letting up. Whatever friendship they had had at one point was now completely replaced by anger and a desire to end the other.
The fight went on for several minutes. Both agents were pretty evenly matched however William had one trick up his sleeve that he had been saving. As the two were growing tired, William knew it would be better to end things quickly. He gave Victor a strong kick to the chest which pushed him back into a wall. William then reached for a small silver tube on his belt and pointed it at his opponent.
Upon pressing a button on the tube, an energy net shot out and pinned Victor to the wall.
The Aurelian squirmed trying to free himself but it was no use. He frowned as William walked closer to him. For a brief moment William held a smug look but then he remembered it wasn't over yet.
William: "Guess your plan was a complete failure. And Earth is still safe."
Victor: "Maybe for now. But Aurelia will have its day."
William: "We'll see."
Afterwards, William managed to deliver Victor to Arthur who was then able to use him to exonerate the rest of delta squad. William waited in the IIA headquarters until Arthur returned with his friends.
William quickly went to Claire and hugged her and put his hand on Dino's shoulder.
William: "I'm so glad you two are alright."
The three then looked at Arthur as he gave an explanation.
Arthur: "Victor's confession of Aurelia's involvement was good enough for the Governor. Your implication has been completely forgotten. And because this matter luckily did not reach the media, William, your poster boy status is untarnished. However I am deeply sorry this happened to you lot. I should have seen through Victor a long time ago... But, uh, take some time off if you like... Again I'm very sorry."
Arthur walked off before any of the others could give a reply. Claire and Dino turned back to William, still holding upset looks on their faces.
Dino: "I can't believe the Imperium was so quick to condemn us. There was no investigation or anything, they just threw us in jail."
Claire: "Yeah after we've done our duty for all these years, they turned their backs on us just like that."
William: "Well at least it's all over now."
Dino: "I thought you would be more upset. This isn't the first time something like this happened to you."
William: "I'm upset at Victor for how he played us."
Claire: "It makes me wonder if there's others like him."
Dino: "It's not easy, trusting spies."
William: "Yeah... But I know I can trust you guys."
I wondered if the car would make a return! haha! And I wonder if those are famous last words (the end of the episode.) Time will tell, I guess. This one did feel a little bit rushed, but still, was good none-the-less. 5 points!
I like it, a lot. The story, well, personally, I found it gripping. ;) and was that a potential test of faith for the agents that you set up there at the end? Maybe you'll be able to follow through on that. Either way, very well done. Can't wait to see where you take this next!