Mouse, the unofficial leader of the group of five, sat still next to the doorway, his body anything but tense. The other members of the crew took solace in his air of calm. They knew Mouse was small, but his lack of size combined with his farm boy upbringing made him relentless. He would rather die with his hands than lose a fight.
“Almost there,” a machine said from the front of the cabin. Without further direction, Mouse stood up and strapped on his gear. The group following his movements. It was okay that nobody came with them, except this machine that ran the plane. These were dangerous times and a drone would not do the work that needed be finished.
Each man and woman in the crew tapped the pink cylinder at the back of the craft as they walked past, as was their ritual. They called it The Tooth Fairy, and it would be their saving grace.
“How long before dinner time?” Horse, a lanky man, asked, showing his buckteeth off. It was also part of the ritual; he always asked the same question.
None of the group laughed, instead approaching the door that would invite them to take a plunge. Mouse went first, of course, sailing through the air, counting in his head, unable to see much in the blanket of darkness. A quick tug and his wings were out–-the Mouse could fly.
When the night air grew thicker, approaching the trees, they could see remnants of small fires on the grounding reminding them they were in hell. Star, one of the girls, navigated down gently with The Tooth Fairy riding piggyback.
They could not just drop the bomb–-it had to be placed at the point of greatest vulnerability. Horse took out his communiqué, and they could see the small silent blips showing them the path to take, up the hill, through the trees, to what would be an underground compound. They went silently.
Within a few yards of the place they had to scramble some detection equipment and then disable a few guards with a quick, noiseless splash of rust. The doorway of the compound was obscured by some camouflage, but they found it just the same.
Deep down, there were four columns that held up the regime, four columns where The Tooth Fairy would do her magic work. The first stop was the elevator controls.
“Seems too easy,” Horse whispered, but no one answered. Those words were not part of the ritual.
With great speed, they descended, watching the rock walls blur past them, then opened up the metal to the doors to find the cavern where the columns should be. Instead of meeting face to empty air, they found a layer of dark yellow dust creeping on the floor, with sudden flashes of brilliant light–-gunfire.
Two of their group dropped quickly, followed by Star, who died saving the bomb. Mouse cried for them to put masks on, and he and Horse did so, quickly sliding out the way and pulling the bomb after them.
Now it was just the pair, the bomb, and the open doors. They crouched, not sure what to do. Horse took out his communiqué, checking the number of signatures. It looked like most of the guards were on this level.
The answer occurred to both of them at the same time. Mouse gestured for Horse to flip the switches on the elevator while he shoved out the bomb. With bullets still pinging on the elevator wall, they had to move quickly.
The Tooth Fairy slid a good ten feet across the compound floor and Horse quickly flipped the switches, shutting the door. This just before the guards tossed their own bomb, which wound up detonating the Fairy, but also damaging the cage of the elevator.
Above the plumage of flame, the small metal box rose, coming to a crash with sparks, and the two survivors leapt free, scrambled up and out of the base, leaving a sinking crater behind them.
“Next time,” Horse muttered, though fighting for air, completing the night raid ritual.