This is for the fairy tale blogfest, and is loosely based on... well, you'll guess.
Debriefing- Deniable Warfare Assault Recon: Fairytale HQ
The commander drew himself up to his full height and glowered down at the members of the elite unit currently standing at ease in front of him. So elite that even he only knew them by their call-signs, and that their slightly pointed red berets were something to be feared across half the magical kingdoms. They were the best of the best. At least, they were supposed to be.
“What do the seven of you think you’re playing at?” the commander bellowed, loud enough that at least one of them stared at his feet in shame. Of course, Bashful didn’t really count. “It was supposed to be a simple close protection operation. The princess was not supposed to end up in a critical condition.”
“With respect, sir,” the team’s medic put in, “we were able to stabilise the princess’s condition quickly and without risk.”
“Only because Charming happened to be nearby, from what I hear. If he hadn’t given her mouth to mouth, we would have looked like idiots.”
Another of the troops raised a hand. “In these uniforms, sir? We already do.”
The commander turned his attention to the newest of the team, promoted to it when Sgt Dopey had wandered into that minefield. As far as the commander was concerned, Pointed Remarks wasn’t settling in well.
“Let's talk about you for a moment. It’s bad enough having Grumpy whine about every mission, but I can live with that. When you can hit a pixie at a thousand yards with the Barret, you’ll earn a bit of leeway too.”
One of the seven grunted a grumpy acknowledgement.
“For now though, you don’t say things like ‘fairest of them all, pull the other one, love’ to the person you’re supposed to be protecting.”
The commander sighed. “Honestly lads, did anything go right with this mission?”
“Well I think that everything went just swimmingly, sir, and-”
“Not you, Happy. How did someone even get past your defences?”
“Classic apple seller tactic, sir,” the Doc snapped out, looking faintly embarrassed. “Caught us just at the worst moment. Corporal Sleepy had just finished the night shift, and they were able to incapacitate Sneezy here with a bunch of flowers. You know how his allergies are. As for the other lads, well, someone had to keep up the cover identities in the mine.”
The commander looked down at a report, it was all there in black and white. “What I don’t get is why you didn’t test the apple, Doc. You were still there, weren’t you?”
“Yes, sir, and I did. Full chemical analysis before she took a single bite.”
“So what went wrong?”
“Turns out that the opposition had poisoned the other side of the apple, sir.”
The commander paced for a moment in front of his troops. They were the best of the best. He knew that. Most of them could clear a room with an MP5 in less time than it took to blink. Yet sometimes, he despaired of them.
“Lads, I’ll not lie to you. I’m getting pressure from up top over this. I’ve tried to point out that you dealt with a full team of Royal Rangers on the way to the safe house, but that’s not cutting much ice. The fact is, you made a mess of it, and after the thing in Oslo…”
“We got her out before the incendiary went off.”
“Only because she happened to feel it through a dozen mattresses. Relying on Dopey to check for devices was not a good idea, Doc. And the gig to finance the royal coup and get the kids to safety?”
“My fake ID was compromised, sir.”
“How? Even I don’t know your real name.”
“She just… guessed, sir.”
The commander sighed again. “The thing is, boys, it’s happening too often. The lads from Special Marine Urban Recon: Faerie are saying that they could do a better job.”
“What? They’d really send in the White Berets ahead of us?” Grumpy demanded. “Bunch of-” Happy clamped a hand over his mouth just in time. Doc did the same with Pointed Remarks.
“What I don’t get is why things have been going wrong,” the commander said. “It seems that Evil Queen forces are keeping up with us at every turn. How’s it happening, Doc?”
“Been thinking about that, sir,” the specialist said, “and you won’t like the answer. But me and the lads all think the same. We have… a leak.”
Pointedly, seven pairs of eyes swung to the corner of the room where a floor length mirror stood. A nervous cough came from it. “Who? Me?”