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Region: New World Union

        WÜSTENKATZEN
        DESERT CATS
        JUNE, 2083

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        "Big things have small beginnings."
        — Lawrence of ARABIA

      Taba, EGYPT — Koenig peered up at the blazing hot sun, before looking back at the scolding hot buildings and roads of Taba. Despite being a pureblooded Leithanian, he blended in rather well with his attire, wearing clothes and such of the locals. Regardless, the heat was unbearable and he moved over to the shade of a nearby building whilst waiting for his friend.

      Luzia then stepped out of one of the buildings, covered head-to-toe in garbs and fabric. Close in tow was the local they had come to talk with, a man named Mas'ud. As she walked up to Koenig, she spoke in a hushed tone, speaking in Leithanian. "He said he'll take us over the border for 500 dollars."

      Koenig nodded, "That works, give him the money and tell the others to ready up, we'll leave at sunset." Luzia nodded, digging in her garbs to pull out a small wad of 500 dollars, handing it over to the guide. As she did, she spoke in Arabic to the man to somewhat explain the situation.

      Once they were done conversing, the man went back to his building and Koenig and Luzia began to head back down the sidewalk, watching as the various beat up cars and all traversed the nearby roads. While it was obvious that they were Leithanian, what wasn't obvious to everyone was who exactly they were; Operatives from the Spezielle Aufklärungsgruppe (SAG), or Special Reconnaissance Group. And while Egypt was American territory, they weren't here to spy on some random Egyptians in the middle of nowhere. This was their stepping stone into Jordan, who unknowingly was being quietly observed by the Leithanian government from afar. Koenig's squad of 8 SAG operatives was simply a potential bigger operation in the future.

      Luzia and Koenig then arrived at the apartment that was serving as their temporary hideout. Once inside, they removed the garbs to reveal the SAG desert "dazzle" uniforms underneath, covered in various shades of brown triangles over a tan background. As they went over to the living area, Tiedemann Rot, the squad's autorifleman, stood up. "How'd it go?"

      "Went well, we've got a trip over the border, no questions asked," responded Luzia, again in her rather quiet voice, about on par for the Marksman. "This place is awful." She undid the clips on her ballistic vest, sliding it up and over her head before putting it down by her pack.

      "You sure complain a lot for special operations." Urs Lowe, the squad's SSO (Squad Systems Operator), chimed in with his characteristic rough voice, a byproduct of his smoking habits. "Would've thought they beat that out of you people."

      Luzia gave an insulted look as Koenig also took his kit off whilst speaking, "Lowe, you're SAG too you know. Just because you're an Outlander doesn't mean you're different."

      "Where's Cecyl?" Luzia looked around.

      Lowe pointed his thumb back, "Where do you think? She's on her perch per usual."

      Luzia shedded her jacket, and stepped out onto the balcony. Shortly thereafter Tiedemann looked over at Lowe and the two just bursted out laughing. Lowe spoke in between his laughs, "Can't believe she took me seriously, you saw the look on her face?" Tiedeman nodded as Koenig chuckled.

      After Koenig collected himself, he began to address the elephant in the room, "In all seriousness we have..." He checked his watch, "5 hours starting from now. We'll be leaving at 2000 local and crossing the border. Guide's gonna have to go when we get across."

      Everyone in the room remained silent at the grim realization. Nobody can be allowed to talk about their presence here. Which meant they'd have to take care of and dispose of the guide they had just hired. After a few seconds Tiedemann spoke up, "Do we have to?"

      "I'll do it." Urs spoke up. Being the veteran of the group, along with Koenig, he was probably the least likely to have second thoughts or issues with killing an innocent person. "I've done it too many times to count, it's part of the job."

      "Sir, I understand why but why can't we just trust him? In a few weeks it won't matter anyways."

      "That's not toe point Rot. We have orders. No witnesses." Koenig sat down at the bar area of the apartment, "Besides, last thing we want is the Americans to know we were here. It could cause trouble back at home."

      Luzia and Cecylia Nowak, the squad's Combat Life Saver, stepped in from the balcony. Unlike everyone else, Nowak was a Gerati rather than Leithanian, which wasn't particularly uncommon in Egypt, however still stood out to the dismay of the rest of the squad. Luzia spoke in her usual upbeat tone, "What're we talking about?"

      Tiedemann was about to speak up, however was cut off by Urs, "Just some minor mission details, nothing to worry about."

      Koenig stood up before speaking again, "Everyone get some rest, we'll be going at 2000 hours." He then stepped out, along with Luzia and Cecylia going to their room. Everyone else, including the rest of the squad, who was notified later, went about their day before getting some limited rest for the coming journey...

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