Zombies, aliens, robots, terrorists, whatever, everyone sends in a team to investigate the strange goings-on in a remote scientific research facility. Here's a few things to do before going on a mission: Things to know before joining a scientific specops team. I refuse to go into the underground research facility, deep-space research facility, deep-sea research facility, radio-blacked out colony, derelict alien ship, or abandoned ghost ship. If forced into attempting any of the above six missions, I will go AWOL. Prison showers are almost certainly preferable to what awaits. I will carry more than one gun and carry as many as humanly possible. In line with above, I will carry more than one mag per gun. I have a belt, and intend to fill it. If the hallways of the operations area are big enough to allow it, I will bring along a small field artillery piece. No matter what my CO says, if my job is to plant a nuclear device to destroy the facility/ship, it is not necessary for me to endanger my life by traveling to the center of the structure to plant the bomb, I'm sure the entrance will prove just as effective. If my job is to disable the AI system that runs the facility/ship, and this requires me to go to the center of the structure, I will just plant a small nuclear device at the entrance. If the blast doesn't get it, the EMP will. If my body armor proves ineffective against whatever killed everyone in the facility/ship, I will ditch it and use the saved weight to carry more guns. If the body armor is ineffective and so are the guns, I will ditch both and set a new track record on my way out of the ops area. I refuse to wear any helmet that restricts my peripheral vision and does not allow me to see something rising up/dropping down right beside me. I will request a helmet that has a small HUD linked to a camera on the back of my helmet. An additional HUD linked to a upward-pointing top mounted camera would be nice as well. If going into some top secret facility that has lost radio communication with the outside world, I will make damn sure that I am in possession of a high quality, up to date map that will not be rendered unreadable by contact with liquid. If I could not obtain a map, and am lost/trapped in the facility, I will not rely on the unstable, homicidal central AI to provide me with escape routes. If I am inside a facility/ship after the stuff has hit the fan, and find myself without a map, I will head to the nearest computer terminal and consult Yahoo! Maps. The facility was built by a corporation or the government, and they can certainly afford an Internet connection. If there is a self-destruct mechanism or impenetrable blast doors set on a running timer within the building/ship I am ordered to enter, I will guard the entrances until the timer runs out, then leave. The problem will take care of itself eventually, so there is no need to risk myself. If mine is not the first team to be sent into the area, I will take a little time off to wonder why. If the music suddenly gets really creepy, start spinning around with your finger on the trigger. Whoever was guarding your back is probably gone by this point anyway. Before I go on each mission, I will rent Aliens, Resident Evil, Event Horizon, and other similar movies for pointers. I will defer the costs as "training expenses". If there is something dripping from the ceiling up ahead, I won't bother to check if it's just water. I will leave the area immediately by the quickest available route. If I hear odd noises, I will not be foolish enough to investigate it alone. I will take a friend or two with big guns. If ordered to investigate the noise by my CO, I will take everyone else in the squad with me. By the time we return to where the CO was waiting, the problem will probably have solved itself. If forced to walk underneath a hole in the ceiling, I will be cautious and investigate it thoroughly with high explosives. If I hear odd noises coming from the ceiling, I will not lift up a panel and stick my head up to have a look around. I will lift up the panel and shove a grenade up there. Similarly, if forced to pass a hole/grate in the walls or floor, I will throw a grenade in to make sure its clear now, and set proximity mines to make sure it is clear later. Unless it is my last chance for survival, I will never go into any type of ventilation shaft. I know that whatever chased me up there will almost certainly be able to move faster than me in an enclosed space. I will always take some sort of sword with me in addition to a multitude of projectile weapons. That way, when I run out of ammunition, and I will, I won't have to ineffectually slap at an opponent before being killed. Knowingly entering a facility where illegal genetic research is being preformed would be consigning myself to death by stupidity. Therefore, I wouldn't enter, even if this entailed killing the rest of my team to avoid it. I would never enter a dark room. I would throw in a handful of grenades and move on, assured that if anything is still alive in there, it isn't happy. I wont make the mistake of shooting something with my smallest gun first, and then working my way up to larger firearms. I would start with my biggest gun, and if that didn't work, run like hell. If sent off with only one companion, I would make sure it is someone I could outrun. That way, I can get away while whatever was chasing us chews on him. If there are women on the team, I will never sleep with them right before a mission. One or the other of us will almost certainly not make it back, and I don't like 50/50 odds. If a team-member disappears mysteriously for a long period of time and the just as mysteriously reappears, I will shoot them immediately and save myself a lot of trouble. I will periodically look up. The importance of this can never be overstated. If in a genetic research lab and there are lots of cages whose steel doors have been torn out, I will think about how much punishment those doors could take. Then I will think about how much punishment my frail human body can take. Then I will start thinking about where those exits were. No matter how tempted, I will never deactivate the main power in a research facility. I know those doors are magnetically locked and electrified for a reason. I will never deactivate the main computer in a facility. Even though its automated defenses may be slaughtering the rest of the team, they are still holding back whatever killed the original occupants. I will stay away from any elevators. Nothing good ever comes from an elevator in these situations. I will never negotiate with whatever is trying to kill my team. The dialogue will almost certainly be along the lines of "Me hungry, you food". If one of my team-members gets bitten, cut, sprayed with, or otherwise exposed to a bio-agent, I will kill them immediately. They will only turn on me, and the antidote never works anyway. The sexiest female will always make it out, mainly because she is surrounded by men who willingly throw themselves in the path of anything that attempts to harm her. I will stay close to that female, and when I am the last male left, I will throw her in the path of whatever is attempting to harm us. I will make sure that when I finally exit from the ops area, I have conserved a decent amount of ammunition. Something always goes wrong during the escape. If I find only one survivor from among 500 or so people, I will not trust them. They had to do something to survive the carnage that killed 500 people, and I don't think it was just run really fast. I will make sure the team will under no circumstances split up. It never helps. If upon arriving in the ops area I hear a lot of screams from inside or see a lot of obviously mutilated dead bodies, I will leave the ops area and come back later with back up and bigger guns. I will train to keep my cool under pressure well enough to hit a head sized target at a range of 10 feet. I will request that any ops team I am a part of be issued body armor with environmental resistance from things like fire, airborne viruses, and acid. The aforementioned armor will have a reflective mirrored surface, to help with those pesky automated laser defenses. If I see something in the shadows up ahead that at first glance does not appear human, appears vaguely human, or appears human. I will forgo taking the time for a second look and lob a grenade at it instead. Better safe than sorry. If multiple survivors are found during the course of the mission, they will be given a gun and told to make themselves useful. However, if these survivors created or want to study whatever depopulated the facility/ship, they will not be given guns as they cannot be trusted to use them at the crucial moment, due to their conflict of interests. Between missions I will lobby for legislature to require all secret research facilities to have heavily stocked ammo dumps in easily accessible, well marked locations. If my team is required to use motion detectors, they better be able to scan 360 degrees, not merely 90. If the body count is currently over 500, I will politely inform my superiors that an 8 man operations team isn't going to cut it. If any member of the team is prone to claustrophobia, diver's high, space-mania, or panic attacks, I will deliver a request to the CO that they be left behind, instead of just being given a pep talk. If any member of the team proves to be a corporate/government spy, I will shoot them before anyone else can react, saving the trouble of taking them prisoner only so they can escape later and sabotage the mission. I will recommend that any form of transportation we have be parked well away from the trouble spot, that the operator stays in it, and keeps the doors sealed until the team is standing outside and ready to leave. If we have a spare transport I will recommend that we have a spare pilot as well, to save having to remote control fly the transport in if something happens to the first. If any member of the team takes a revolver on the mission, I will take it from them, hand them an automatic, and then slap them silly for being so stupid. I will ensure that all guns have perfectly calibrated laser sights, even if I must pay for them myself, as missing a headshot is inexcusable. If the team gets out of an ops area and find we are missing a man, I will recommend we leave his ass. He should have kept up in the first place. If our mission is to shut down a rogue AI, I will not discuss our plans in any room with a visible camera and/or audio pickup. Screw shoulder-mounted flashlights, I'll carry night vision goggles even if the cost has to come out of my paycheck. The same goes for little pen-lights. I will carry a 3 foot mag-lite with a halogen bulb. That way, not only do I get a huge flashlight range, it can double as a club in tight situations. If low on ammunition, I won't hesitate to roll the bodies of my teammates for ammo. They certainly don't need it anymore. If I learn that the beings we are fighting have acid for blood or that their blood contains some sort of bio-agent, I will make damn sure I am at least 15 feet away from any I shoot. If my team possesses an APC, but it won't fit into the corridors of the ops area, I'll rectify the situation with explosives instead of going in on foot. If my opponents use cloaking devices that short out upon contact with water, I will always carry a small super-soaker pistol with me. If forced to pick a position within a facility to make a last stand, it will not be a room which can easily be breached by going above the ceiling or under the floor. If I hear a low hissing or moaning directly behind me, I will take off running without thinking. Whatever it is, its first bite of me is going to be ass. If anyone in the squad has a flamethrower, I will make sure everyone else is trained to instinctively duck whenever he even begins to turn around. When the team's mission is to plant a bomb I will make sure we have more than one bomb, and more than one person who knows how to plant it. If going into an area in where research in biological warfare was occurring, I will not remove my gas mask before entering the facility. If there is a countdown to an explosion or the sealing off of the facility, I will set my watch timer 10 minutes ahead of that to give myself a margin of safety. If any of the rescued or one of my team members starts to convulse and scream, I'll have the guy with the flamethrower hose them down and then move on. If it is the napalm guy I'll shoot the tank. Whatever made them do it, it wasn't a cramp. If my team has heavy weaponry, I will not wait until there are only a few people left and we are surrounded to use them. I will use them as early and as often as possible. Similarly, if I have a large ship in orbit over the planet, and find out that there are no survivors in a heavily infested area, I will call for an orbital bombardment of the hot zone. If I hear odd noises coming from a grate nearby, I won't stare quizzically at it and shine a weak flashlight beam through the grate, I will immediately empty my current mag into the grate then kick it in and send a grenade into the tunnel. If we have prisoners, and one of them is talking to me steadily in a calm voice while staring behind me, I will immediately dive to the side and roll to hose whatever was about to attack me. The same response if a team-member looks behind me with an expression of horror. If I address a query to the guy that should be behind me, and receive no immediate response, I will immediately break into a dead run, dropping grenades along the way. If I find that rooms marked on my map as dining halls turn out to be full of stasis chambers and odd piping instead, I will immediately leave the ops area and refuse to enter until I get a damn good explanation. If we manage to ambush the enemy and I hear a high pitched beeping and it starts laughing, I will be smart enough to just start running, instead of searching it for the timer. I will never walk through water any deeper than I can see down into. I won't walk in the water period if there is electric cabling nearby. Any transports we bring into the ops area and intend to use to escape will have cameras on the outside to allow us to scan for unwanted guests. Along the same line, the landing bay/pad we return to will have several large turrets to take care of any stowaways we miss. I will point out to my superiors that if the corporation/government has enough money to fund an 8 man team, they have enough damn money to buy us a remote controlled robot with cameras that we can send in to scout the area first. My favored method of advance down a dark corridor will be with a 5 man team, the first man hosing down the corridor in front, the second throwing a grenade, the third hauling a huge cart of ammo and explosives, the fourth throwing a grenade behind us, and the fifth hosing down the corridor behind. Take five steps, repeat. My favored method of advance down a well-lit corridor is the same but take ten steps and repeat. If a cat comes flying out of a vent, scaring the **** out of me, I will unload a clip into the vent. Something scared the cat. I will hold the belief that heavy breathing from the nearby darkness is not to be investigated. It is to be used for target practice. Warning shots are for wusses. Fire is for effect. If the other people with me have all disappeared, I won't bother wandering around the immediate area looking for them and yelling their names, peering into dark rooms. When any member of my squad dies, I will have them hosed down with the flamethrower or plant a proximity mine on them. No use feeding or increasing the numbers of whatever is trying to kill us. If I die on a mission, it will be because I snapped my neck trying to look everywhere at once.