Cats and Dogs Ch. 07byingarlm©
For once I don't have to warn you about the sex, this chapter ended up mainly plot! And I'm sorry about the ending, but it was a good place to end the chapter and the next bit will be up in a couple of days, I promise.
The teams gathered early for their meeting, not wanting to wait any longer knowing the importance of what they needed to do. Sam started to speak, not even having to get their attention first as all were already waiting for what was to be said.
'You've all seen the plan and Mark's suggestions for entry points. Surveillance indicates that there are a few men outside but it isn't heavily guarded, probably because they feel it is a remote enough location not to be discovered and they don't expect any sort of attack. However, there are security cameras covering the exterior and we don't know how carefully they are monitored. Nor do we know what counter-measures will be released if they do see us. Knowing what is going on in there we won't have the element of surprise of them thinking we are just animals.'
'Most of the cameras are on the roof, and we'll need to check it out but it appears that there would be access to the roof from these trees.' he continued, pointing at some of the photographs. 'I suggest that we send a cat in slightly ahead of the main forces, who can disconnect the cables up there so we won't be seen. Although it will alert them to something, we will have the advantage of them not knowing our numbers or where we are. It looks like there is never more than one man at a time on the roof, so if we pick our moment we should be able to take him out before he can alert anyone. A quick run round the top will then disable almost all their view of the exterior.'
'We will split into two teams, mixed dogs and cats, which will be four at each entry point. There are guards on one of those so they will need to be dealt with. Our intention is not to kill anyone unless absolutely necessary. I know that we are all disgusted by what they are doing in there, but we don't need to lower ourselves to that level. We should also remember that the guards may have no idea of what is going on and are just doing their jobs.'
'Once we have cleared the exterior we will enter the building at the two points marked. Inside, the mission is more flexible because we will have to deal with whatever arises. We can be fairly sure of the numbers of personnel because they have been seen coming and going, although there may be some based there permanently. There are also fewer details about the interior of the building, and we are reliant on the building plans with no idea if any modifications have been made. Whatever happens we will not split into smaller groups than two, so there is always someone with you to cover your back.'
'As you know, we have twin objectives inside. We need to gather as much information as we can about what has been going on in there and why. We also need to locate anyone who may currently be held and get them out of there. The plans and what the leopard held there can remember suggest that this area here...' he pointed to the blueprints of the building, 'is most likely to contain any labs due to the space available. One team will head to this area and deal with whatever they find. The other will sweep the building as far as possible for any other information or other areas that are key. The last thing we want to do is to leave anyone behind.' The men nodded gravely.
'Tilly, you will need to be with that second team. You should be able to sense the emotion from any weres held there and that should help us locate them. There will be a problem getting them out. We will need to hope that most of them are strong enough to come with us without assistance, and that there aren't that many in there.'
Tom took over the speech. 'The other matter is getting out. If we cause enough confusion and locate all or at least most of the staff present, there should not be an issue. We have been advised by the Council that part of the reason they have chosen us is that there have been several wolves and panthers taken. This means we will be less use in any research than other species they might not have encountered. However, it is vital that they do not gain knowledge of the strength or organisation of the Council and the member species that they do not already have. It is quite possible that they do already know we have a system of government, but it is unlikely they know much about the teams like ours. Should anyone be captured that information must not be divulged. We don't want to need to, but should we leave anyone behind a larger force will be sent in to rescue and destroy the place. That would put our organisation at greater risk.'
Everyone sat in silence after that, thinking about the possibility of capture by unknown forces for terrible reasons.
Tom continued. 'The first thing to agree is on the members of each team. Sam will lead the second team who will enter at the rear and do the sweep of the building with Tilly. He will have one wolf and one panther with them. I will lead the team entering at the front who will need to deal with the guards before they can get in, and will take the remaining people with me. We just need to decide which cat is doing the roof for us.'
Dill spoke up quickly. 'I'll do it.' The others looked around to him and he carried on. 'It makes sense. I'm the smallest and lightest of the cats apart from Tilly and you need her on the ground. It'll be easiest for me to get across those trees. Once I'm done I can join up with either team outside.'
Sam replied. 'That sounds like the best plan. I suggest you join with my team after, we'll have more ground to cover so could use the extra manpower.'
Dill nodded. Tilly shot him a thought. 'You just love to be the centre of attention, don't you.' It was said with amusement so he didn't take it seriously.
'I could always get everyone's attention by telling them about us if you prefer?'
'I thought you said afterwards? You can tell them when you like, but this may not be the best moment.'
Dill agreed with her. He'd really only wanted her confirmation that they were mates, not to tell everyone else immediately. After the mission would be soon enough, and he didn't think that would be all that long. He just needed to know, before they went into danger, that she felt for him the way he felt for her.
The next few hours were taken up with discussions about the plan, until everyone knew what they would be doing. It was agreed Alex would go with Sam together with Den and Rob, whilst Cal and Finn would join Sam and Tilly. The Alphas felt it best that they each had their own Second with them, although they all knew by now they could work in any combination. The closer connections helped for discussion, but they all knew each other well enough by now that they would be able to communicate with everyone else no matter where in the building they were.
The final thing to be agreed was when. No-one wanted to wait, but they decided that they would set out the next afternoon, giving them an opportunity to scout the property that night and hopefully the operation would be the following one, assuming that nothing unexpected was discovered in their surveillance. They knew that the attack needed to be under cover of darkness, and they would have the advantage since they could all see in the dark with their enhanced eyesight.
* * * * * *
The next day passed slowly until it was time to leave, and everyone was on edge. The atmosphere in the house was tense and Tilly had to get out into the grounds to get away from the feelings of the others which were increasing her own feelings. Finally it came time to leave. Peter and Michael had begged to come on the reconissance and Sam agreed on the condition that one would stay beside him and the other with Tom, and at the first sign of trouble they were to get out of there.
It wasn't a long car journey, and in just over an hour they were about three miles away at the parking for a local beauty spot. It had been the base for the surveillance missions already carried out and judged to be the best location for parking the cars. The teams headed into the woods and quickly changed form to continue on foot. The first couple of miles were done at a run, but as they got closer to the objective they slowed and spread out, intending to form a loose circle around the perimeter and report on what they saw. Each kept their thoughts open so everyone could hear what they saw, and although most of them could tell easily who was talking it was more confusing to Peter and Michael who could not so easily distinguish one person from another.
'I see the main gate. There are two men there in the security box.'
'There is one patrolling at the rear. Check that, two, now crossing over.'
'One on the roof. Trees look good for access though, there's plenty of overhanging branches from the exterior. Some are a bit thin but show leaves so should be strong enough and not dead.'
'Back gates not guarded, only covered by the men patrolling. We'll need to pick our moment when they are out of sight at the sides.'
'Cameras are almost all roof mounted. One by the gate on a pole will be our only problem. Perhaps we can damage that once we are in.'
'I have sight of a man at a first floor window. Not in guard uniform so perhaps other staff. Looks to be an office.'
'The fence isn't electrified. Easy to climb for the cats if we need.'
'Main door at the front looks strong. Keypad at the side for entry. We should check the combination is the same as seen by the surveillance officers.'
'Back door chained. Will be easy enough to break.'
'No access points visible to east end. There's not even any windows.'
'West end has ground floor windows with bars. Two only.'
The conversation went on for some time, verifying details they had already and noting the movements of the staff on guard outside. Knowing their respective entry points they concentrated on the situation there and the best methods of entry and dealing with any guards. Sam spoke up.
'We'll need cable ties and the chloroform pads. Should disable them for at least an hour while we search, and when they wake up it won't be easy to call for help. We'll need to take bags with us. Human form to be avoided unless absolutely necessary, so they don't have descriptions of who to search for.'
Surveillance continued for about four hours, until Sam and Tom thought they had checked all they could in preparation for the actual mission. They returned to the cars, stiff from not moving for hours but happy they had seen with their own eyes what they would be facing the next day, and more confident that this could be achieved. Peter and Michael were mainly in awe of seeing what they had and sad that they weren't going to be able to join the main mission, although aware that compared to the teams they knew next to nothing and they would be a liability in the field at the moment.
* * * * * *
When they finally arrived back at Sam's house everyone was tired. Sam and Tom instructed them all to have a lie in the following morning so they would be well rested for the actual mission. It was hard to sleep with thoughts of the night's work swirling around their brains, but everyone did eventually manage it, and the house was unusually quiet the next morning when there would usually be people bustling about. They started to rise in the early afternoon, and after a good lunch the equipment was organised. It was basic since they did not carry weapons or clothing, but had the means to disable and tie up the staff they found and pick any locks. The Council provided and developed items likely to assist their teams, which included bags that could be carried in both human and animal form.
Sam took Peter and Michael to one side to discuss their role tonight. 'I should be able to get updates to you two, and Peter will need to pass them on to Mark. I suggest you contact him now and let him know we are striking tonight. You two will be back up here, and I need you to make sure that there is food and drink ready as well as first aid supplies. Hopefully none of our people will need that, but it is likely if we find anyone in there they won't be in the best condition.'
Michael nodded to confirm they would deal with this. Peter was already speaking to his father, and after a moment he turned back to Sam. 'Dad wants to wish you good luck. I've told him the basics of the plan and he's also pleased you've agreed with his assessment.' he smiled and Sam laughed.
'As if he didn't already know he had the best plan. He has been doing this for years!'
'I think he likes to be modest!'
Sam laughed even louder. 'So modest he heads up the entire organisation and still keeps his hand in with the individual missions. It's almost as though he doesn't think Tom and I know what we are doing after all this time.'
'I'm sure that's not true. He wouldn't have given this mission to just anyone. From what he told the two of us before we came he has the greatest respect for all the team members here. He couldn't have been more glowing! He did omit the bit about you and Tom though.'
Sam wondered if it was a good moment to press the background mission. 'He didn't know we were together when he decided to send you two, that was a bit of a surprise. I assume he felt you wouldn't be bothered about it.'
Peter seemed to go slightly red, and Michael replied. 'We're not bothered. I'm not sure how Mark would know that though.'
'He's better at reading people than most would give him credit for.' Sam said, deciding when he saw the looks on the boys faces that this was enough for the moment. They were clearly both thinking it over and wondering whether Mark could know their own preferences. Sam left them then to check on the progress of the preparations, and to let them discuss things. He could tell as he glanced at them that they were deep in mental conversation.
'What do you think that meant?' asked Peter.
'Well, you'll probably accuse me of being paranoid again, but I think they, and your father, know about us.' replied Michael, fully expecting to be reassured that he was just worrying again.
'Normally I'd say you were being paranoid, but this time I think you're right. I don't mind if they know but I hate the idea we've been set up here.'
'Your dad didn't know about them being mates though.'
'That may have been an unexpected bonus. How do we find out who knows what?'
'We could ask Sam or Tom? Or your father if you're feeling brave.'
Peter looked surprised. 'Really? You're not worried about me doing that?'
'Well, yes, but I don't think he'll freak. And after what we did yesterday...' Michael blushed as he remembered his coupling with Peter. '...I don't mind so much if people know. If it means we can be together.'
He looked so sweet and shy as he said the last part that Peter couldn't stop himself planting a quick kiss on his lips. He suddenly realised they were in company and looked about, but no-one seemed to be staring at them so he figured it hadn't been seen.
'Sorry about that. You just looked so cute!'
Michael went redder. 'So, you still want to find out, or shall we just leave it at knowing they know?'
'That sounds complicated! If anyone should be told though, it should be my father first.'
Michael sounded a little nervous, but agreed. 'Okay, but if I can listen in that would be good. I want to know what you tell him about me.'
Peter smiled. 'It'll all be good, I promise! I'll do my best to keep you in the loop baby, but it's hard speaking to him over all this distance. I think we should get out of here as well, it'll be easier to concentrate out of all this bustle, and they don't really need us at this point.'
Michael nodded in agreement and the two of them moved into another room, unnoticed by the teams in the midst of their organisation and anticipation. Michael was nervous but meant what he had said. Actually making love with Peter had changed things for him, and he was prepared for the next step.
'Dad, have you got a minute?'
'Of course Peter, what's going on? Have they left yet?'
'No, they're still getting ready. This isn't about the mission, or at least not as far as I know.'
'Okay, go ahead.'
'Why did you send me and Michael here?'
Mark sounded puzzled when he replied. 'I told you, it's experience for my star trainees and lets me have a more direct line of communication to the teams in the field.'
'That's all? Because I'm kind of getting the impression you had some other motives.'
'I'm not sure what you mean. What's happened?'
'Nothing's happened. Michael and I are just thinking we are being set up and you are responsible.'
There was a pause before Mark replied, indicating he was thinking carefully about his next words. 'I'm not getting what you're on about Peter. What do you think I've done?'
Peter knew from his father's tone that he wasn't as innocent as he was making out. They both knew what they were talking about but neither would give way and admit it.
'Why don't you just ask me dad? And don't pretend you don't know what.'
Mark paused again. Michael looked quite scared by now, not being as sure as Peter that this was going well.
'Okay. We'll stop playing games. Are you gay?'
Michael spluttered. Peter just smiled to reassure him. 'Yep!'
'For the record son, you could have just told me. It doesn't make any difference to me, but I was concerned about why you didn't. And before you start asking me more questions, I'll admit I had other motives in sending you both there so you could see I had no problem, and I told Sam and Tom my suspicions in the hope they could make you feel comfortable enough to admit it.'
'Sorry for not trusting you, but it is a bit scary. Now I'm over my fears, do you want to know the rest of it?'
'I'm in love with Michael.' Peter looked into Michael's eyes as he said it, smiling broadly but seeing the shock on Michael's face.
'You love me?'
'Uh, guys.' interrupted Mark. 'This may be time for me to say goodbye. Tell Sam and Tom their backup mission has been successful, and I hope the main event is as well. I'll see you both soon.'
Michael still sat slightly stunned. Peter took his hand and stroked it softly. 'Of course I do. I've never felt anything like I do with you.'
Michael smiled then. 'I love you too. I just thought it was a bit soon to say in case I scared you off.'
'Not a chance!'
They came together in a passionate kiss at that point and stopped talking, just savouring the moment. They were too wrapped up in each other to notice that Sam and Tom had entered the room looking for them until they heard someone clearing their throat to get their attention. They broke apart fast, both looking slightly embarrassed, and noting the amused expressions on the Alpha's faces.
Sam started speaking first. 'Sorry to interrupt. We just wanted to let you know we are leaving and you two are in charge of the place until we get back. We'll be at least four hours, assuming all goes well. I'm sure you can find something to occupy yourselves while we're gone!' His grin suggested a lot.
Peter managed to be cheeky although he was slightly embarrassed. 'I'm sure we will.' he shot a heated glance at Michael that made him go red, and started Tom laughing. 'Dad said to tell you the backup mission has been a success, and he hopes the main one goes well. And we hope so too. Good luck.'