Loki looked attentively at the base entrance; he could see some transports and troops deployed in the field surrounded by the rock formation he was hiding in. The dense jungle vegetation protected him from any unwelcomed eyes. He had been there for a long time; enough to notice that most of the officers were members of Hydra, their arrogant ways betrayed them. Okanjo´s army was composed mostly of young people of not more than 30 years, probably even younger. The discipline with which they followed orders and their almost mechanical movements surprised him; even Asgardian soldiers didn´t showed that level of discipline at such a young age.
Something was wrong; Okanjo should´ve recruited them a very early age to get that kind of result was his first thought; although according to the reports Okanjo hadn´t been in power long enough, he must have cut some corners somehow. Then it occurred him, the only way he could´ve manage to create this kind of army in such a little time was if most if not all of his army was composed of brainwashed super soldiers. It was unlikely that they were all volunteers; he must have forcible recruited them. That could work either in their favor or against them.
Suddenly he remembered the mission directives, no prisoners, no witnesses; he sighed annoyed. If someone had told him over a year ago he would be having second thoughts about killing he would´ve laughed in their faces, but too many things had happened; he wasn´t the same man he once was.
He cursed both Doom and Fury under his breath; if it wasn´t for them he wouldn´t be in such a position. He knew he didn´t had a choice, not if he wanted Fury to fulfill his promises; he would have to do whatever it took to accomplish their mission successfully even if he despised himself for doing it.
“How did this happen?” He questioned himself mentally. “When did I became so soft? I would have had a problem killing them all if I hadn’t met her. Is this really what I want? To be like … Thor? To strive to do the right thing? Is she really worth it?” He immediately answered his own question vehemently. “Yes, she is.”
With that final thought he discarded his reserves about the mission and resumed his surveillance; it was just one mission, the only mission of this sort he would embark on ever again. “What had she said to Doom? Oh, yes, that she would forfeit her soul for our sakes, it seems it´s my turn to make good on her word.” He sighed decided, he couldn´t lose her, he knew the price when he accepted the mission.
He needed to gather more information, walking undetected to the base wasn´t a problem; he could just shapeshift into a soldier and mingle in. What worried him was how to move inside the compound without restrictions and not raise any suspicions. He would have to get a closer look; he needed to understand their enemies better, learn about their ranks, uniforms, rules and procedures if he was going to successfully infiltrate them. Becoming invisible was an attractive option, but although he could hide without a problem of the security cameras; doors opening by themselves would certainly call someone´s attention. No, a simpler solution would be best.
He teleported from his current position to only a few meters from their perimeter where he could observe them closely. After thoroughly learning the uniform differences between ranks and many other useful facts he shifted into a young soldier; he contemplated for a moment his current darker skin and uniform. “This should do just fine.” He thought pleased by the result. “Now let´s find out how far can I go into this rabbit´s hole.” He waited for the perfect opportunity and joined a column of soldiers that were returning to the base after their watch had ended.
Once inside he noticed Fury´s assumptions had been right; the first level was the transports hangar. He could see tanks, trucks, jeeps and even some small airplanes and helicopters lined around. “No sign of the armory yet” He thought as he slyly memorized every detail. “It must be on the next level.”
A couple of hours later he returned to their base.
“Where have you been? And why did you turn your communicator off?” Was Fury´s irritated greeting.
“I went to see if your intel was right.” Loki answered unconcerned.
“I thought we agreed that Chameleon would do that.” Fury scolded him coldly as he crossed his arms.
“I decided I wanted to see the place for myself.” Loki told him with a smirk as he added. “You´ll thanks me when I teleport us safely in.”
“You said you could do that successfully without even knowing the place.” Fury sternly answered while looking him in the eye.
“I could, but why risk it?” Loki just brushed off Fury´s comment as if it wasn’t important.
“What do you mean risk it?” Fury asked a mix of anger and concern in his voice.
Loki frowned annoyed; why was Fury interrogating him? He would make sure they get the mission done; what did it matter if he had gone by himself? No one had noticed him.
“Don´t worry about it, as I just said there´s no risk now. No one suspected anything and either way two pair of eyes are better than one.” Telling him that there was always the risk of teleporting in the middle of a crowded room instead of an isolated hallway didn´t seem like a good idea.
Fury grunted annoyed. “Loki might be right. We need all the information we can get.” He thought to himself. “All right; I´ll let it slide … for now. Tell me what you got.”
It wasn’t long before Chameleon returned to the base too; between his information and Loki´s they had enough information to understand what they were up against.
The compound was 9 levels deep, the first level was the transportation hangar; the armory and the mining equipment was on the next level. The 3rd and 4th levels were living quarters of the army as well as the kitchen and mess hall. The following level was shared by Okanjo and Hydra´s officers; they had learned that the Hydra leader was Deiter Eberstark. Levels 6 and 7 were the shooting and training facilities and probably also the seat of their super-soldier program. Levels eight and nine were the labs; strictly off-limits unless you had a special identification badge which unlocked the elevator and allowed you to descend to those levels. The last level was the entrance to the mine shaft; the mine had its own elevator and could only be reached from the second level.
“Wouldn´t it be better if we created a diversion and get everyone out of the way?” Loki suddenly asked Fury once they were alone; Fury looked up at him surprised by his suggestion. “That way it would be easier to break in.” Loki added quickly.
“You know our orders Loki.” Fury responded sternly.
“You gave the orders; you can change them.” Loki volunteered.
Fury stared at him for a moment. “All right. Let´s say we do that. Then, what am I supposed to do with hundreds of enemy super-soldiers running around? He asked him defiantly. “Wait until something goes wrong?”
“Many of them are barely in … their teens.” Loki elaborated; it didn’t hurt to try to change his mind.
“I already know that Loki!” Fury acknowledged displeased. “It doesn´t matter. Okanjo and Hydra have molded them to serve their twisted purposes; there´s no turning back for them. We simply can´t afford such assets to fall into the wrong hands. I might not like it either but it´s necessary.”
“But …” Loki tried to protest.
“I said no; if you have a problem with that you can go back right now.” Fury menaced him angered.
Loki clenched his jaw angry at Fury´s negative and answered between his teeth. “I don’t. I just think it is a waste.”