This was written for the scallywag challenge on b7friday and definitely influenced by the use of that term for an elite Home Guard unit (I couldn't help but think of Dad's Army). About 650 words, set PGP.
"Welcome to the SAS," Avon said, surveying the group of elderly citizens. He paused and smiled a shark-like smile. "The Senior Assassination Squad." His audience stirred and sat up a little straighter. "You may not be eligible for military service against the Federation invaders, but you will also be very unlikely to come under suspicion. Right. All of you will go through walking-stick attack training with Vila here whether you normally use a stick or not--they're easily purchased."
"We need training to whack someone over the head with a stick?" one old woman asked. "How hard is it?"
"Not difficult at all, but you want to inflict injury or preferably death without being arrested so that you can do it again. Vila will be showing you how to place a stick between the legs of Federation troops or officers descending steps that you are going up, steps outside a public building, headquarters, the underground transport system. A fall down stairs, especially concrete ones, is often fatal."
"Don't seem that difficult," an old man grumbled.
"It isn't. The hard part is looking..." Avon hesitated and smiled, "harmless. That's what Vila's an expert in. After that class you will split into specialist groups. Knitters will go with Soolin who will show you how to use a needle to kill."
A woman making what appeared to be an afghan looked interested. "Metal would be best then?" she asked brightly.
"Bamboo can be just as effective," said Soolin, "especially if you need to go through a weapons detector. I'll also be taking you over which poisons work best in sherry and hot soup."
Avon continued, "Those who are able to bend over easily will go with Dayna and Tarrant."
Tarrant waved his sheaf of Federation flyer silhouettes and diagrams.
"You will be trained in transport sabotage. Dayna will describe which of her explosives is best for each job, and Tarrant will show you how to recognise each type of flyer and vehicle and where to place the explosives. Lastly, those of you who have some objection to killing--"
An old gentleman with fluffy white hair raised a tentative and apologetic hand.
"--will be in Vila's sabotage training. I have designed these." Avon hold up two jars filled with boiled sweets.
"Humbugs," said one man appreciatively. "Curiously strong peppermints," said a woman.
"Exactly," said Avon. "They are quite real but each conceals a unit which will emit a powerful electromagnetic pulse capable of frying all computers and electronics in the area."
"All you need to do," Vila said, "is pop one in your mouth so it gets all sticky then go into a Federation HQ or whatever. Take it out and drop it in a rubbish bin or wrap it in a scrap of paper and leave it on the counter while you're making some silly complaint that'll get you chucked out. Then set the thing off when you're away clear." He grinned happily. "Consider it data assassination."
"Right," Avon said briskly. "Then let's begin."
"It's amazing what those old bastards can do," said Tarrant afterwards. "You'd be surprised at how many flyers they've brought down so far."
Avon raised his eyebrows. "You shouldn't be; you trained them."
"The knitting and sherry squads have done well too," Soolin said proudly. "There are a couple I'd hire if I were still in the hit business."
"Makes you wonder though," said Vila. "All those sweet old people."
"Sweet?" Avon looked at him. "Why do you assume that they are merely because they're old?"
"Well, the Federation does," Vila said defensively. "That's why we set up the SAS."
"And they're wrong," said Avon. "All of those people were like us once. Why should they change simply because they're old? I certainly will not."
"Good point," Vila said. "Go on, have a humbug."
Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comments.