The man closes the door behind him and walks with a self-important stride to the remaining empty chair and sits down. He is well over six-foot, and has a muscular build. His weathered face sports irregular scars and unregulated white whiskers. He has a military-style crew-cut and a mischievous grin.
"Alright boys, here's the deal," the man begins. "No details of this briefing are to leave this room, under any circumstances. This mission is extremely delicate, extremely time-sensitive, and extremely top secret. Understood?"
The men around the table nod or remain silent in acknowledgement.
"Good. I am General Logan Arthur. I served in the Army of the Central Planetary Alliance for twenty-five years. But, I've been retired from it for just as long, so you can just call me by my name. I've been working off-the-books for the CPA since I retired, running covert and black-ops missions across the solar system. This is one of those missions.
"There has been extreme unrest amongst the native Venutian population. There have been numerous guerrilla attacks and violent separatist groups emerging. A rebellion is in the making. The CPA is offering military assistance, but Venus's leaders want to solve the problem peacefully and on their own."
The Central Planetary Alliance--or CPA, as General Arthur calls it-- is the name of the co-operative alliance between Venus, Earth, Mars and Saturn. The alliance was formed long before I was born in response to the Uranian and Neptunian militaries attempting to imperialize Jupiter. Jupiter has always remained relatively neutral in conflicts between the central and outer planets, and so hostile actions towards Jupiter was seen as an act of aggression by the other planets, and so the CPA was formed. Uranus and Neptune pulled out of Jupiter soon afterwards, but both alliances remain intact and at an uneasy peace with each other.
"Unfortunately for Venus, the risk of a powerful anti-CPA stronghold within the central planets is not an option. Venus turning would be just the incentive that Uranus and Neptune would need to ignite all-out war. The CPA is unable to use their own military, because it would further strain relations with Venus. So, we're using you instead. Seven of the most skilled and deadly mercenaries in the solar system. Your mission is to go to Venus and stop the uprising before it turns into war. You will be supplied with transportation, equipment, a crew of technicians and engineers, and a shadow battalion of fifty highly-trained un-documented CPA soldiers. The method that you use, however is your choice.
"So, are you in?"