|Bait and Switch
by Nate French
|News | Published 16 October 2008|
The following information was retrieved from a classified document, transmitted by an undercover agent to the top-ranking commanders of the Capitol War Machine. The content disseminated herein is considered confidential.
I regret to inform you that my mission has been compromised.
Shortly after my last transmission, I was confronted in my chambers by a suspicious Technomancer, who did not believe that my conversion to the dark side was complete. Sensing the futility in demonstrating anything to this single- and rather dull-minded officer, I requested an audience with Alakhai the Cunning, to let my fate rest in his gnarled hands. As they say, you can only bluff an intelligent opponent…
The audience, which was in essence a trial, went well. Alakhai bought the story about my discontent with the field commanders of the Capitol megacorporation who led my two sons on a suicide expedition against an overwhelming Cybertronic force, and he also bought the story of my feelings of helplessness and depression when my wife was arrested for murdering the general who gave the go ahead on the doomed attack. How could he not believe these tales, true as they were? Failing to mention the source of my hope, that the completion of this dangerous undercover operation will lead to the freedom of my wife, I was able to convince Alakhai that the Capitol megacorporation was dead to me, and that nothing would please me more than watching it crumble beneath the might of the Dark Legion.
Always the opportunist, unfortunately, Alakhai also decided that my intimate knowledge of Capitol tactics could be useful in the ongoing military campaign. Apparently, an elite squad of Capitol Rangers have rolled off a series of impressive victories against the forces of Algeroth, and the embarrassment of these defeats had made its way up the Dark Legion chain of command and landed at Alakhai's feet, transforming itself into a problem he was starting to take personally. With my assistance, the Supreme Commander of Algeroth's forces was looking to put together a little surprise for our squad of, as he called them, "ranger friends."
The next three hours were a nightmare beyond comprehension. I was led, by Alakhai, to a dark interrogation chamber, and there forced to consume a foul brew that would weaken the defenses of my mind, enabling the insidious necro-interrogation of the Supreme Necromagus of the citadel.
Instead of resisting the assault, I was able to focus the contents of my mind on the helpless rage I felt upon the arrest of my wife, thereby cloaking the remainder of my consciousness in shadow. Under such a guise, I made it through the interrogation by answering in the most straightforward and honest manner possible, following our pre-arranged plan for such a circumstance. Any truth could be told, with the intent of later turning it into a lie.
Not surprising, much of the interview focused on the training, practices, and tactics of the Capitol Rangers. It is no secret that the Rangers are all excellent marksmen, spending years perfecting their skills, and that they are arguably, as a regiment, the most accurate shooters in the solar system. It is also no secret that they train for cohesion and synergy, and that much of their success on the battlefield lies in their ability to work together with one another in a way that makes the entire Ranger squad more powerful than the sum of its parts. This is all known, and parting with the knowledge betrayed nothing that could compromise the Capitol Rangers on the field of battle.
The interrogation became serious, however, when it turned to the topic of Ranger tactics. Apparently a certain maneuver, one that is known within the Capitol ranks as the "Bait and Switch," has been crossing up the Algeroth commanders, wasting their army's energy chasing the "bait," and leaving their forces vulnerable to devastating counter-attacks. I was compelled to lay out all the details of this advanced maneuver to Alakhai and his Supreme Necromagus, and I fear that they will now be ready for the tactic on the battlefield.
This was all foreseen. My semi-feigned hatred for the Capitol Commanders, combined with my willingness to debrief the Algeroth commander on the Bait and Switch maneuver that was annihilating his forces (and coach him on counterstrategies that could be employed to defeat the maneuver), has left me in a new position of trust and honor within the inner circle of Alakhai. The espionage carries on.
In the meantime, it is essential that all Capitol units are made aware of the fact that Algeroth's forces are now tuned in to the reality of the Bait and Switch maneuver, and will probably be prepared to meet it with tactics of their own. With this knowledge, we can maintain the upper hand and stay one step ahead, by baiting our enemy with the Bait and Switch, allow them to think that that maneuver is our intent, and then catching them off guard with another tactic… perhaps we should make more use of the command that all of our maverick rangers love to hear: Fire at Will.
Thus, the truth becomes a lie.
Signing off, I must attend to the summons of my new master, Alakhai the Cunning. I hope this report reaches you, and our Elite Ranger units, in a timely matter. I feel that one day my extraction from this hell may rely upon their continued well being. Until then, I remain your faithful informer, Agent Rose.