The Right Choice

by Kati

Part of the New Agent Series

I suppose you would call my story a Mary Sue story. But there has to be some of them out there right? Please bear with me since this is my first fan fiction. And please give Sidney the benefit of the doubt. Who knows, maybe you will actually like her. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Chris sighed as he sat behind the glass window. In front of him was a large field An obstacle course was set up, but it wasn’t the kind of course most people imagine. Chris and Josiah were here to look at rookies just out of the Academy. Just about every organization was there. The ATF, FBI, CIA, and every other law enforcement organization that started with an acronym had sent some representative.

This was not how Chris Larabee wanted to spend his Saturday afternoon. He would rather have been home taking care of his team. They had just finished a particularly hard and depressing case. Three civilians had been shot during the bust, and many more could have been hurt if Buck hadn’t decoded the bomb in time. The drug dealers and bad guys had been apprehended, but now without taking its toll on the team.

Nathan had suffered a concussion after falling down a flight of stairs. Vin had broken his arm, and JD’s leg was in a cast up to his thigh. Not all the injuries had been physical. Actually most had been emotional. The whole team had to deal with the fact that innocent victims had been killed during a bust that they had screwed up. Three bystanders killed in fifty-three raids and cases was an amazing statistic for any ATF team. A horrible gut-wrenching statistic for Team Seven. The number never should have been raised above zero.

Team Seven was hurting and Chris knew it. Unfortunately he wasn’t the only one. AD Travis had come to office on Wednesday and offered Chris an ultimatum. Either find somebody new for the team or he would place the team on stand-down for as long as he felt was necessary.

Chris knew that would be the worst thing for his team. That is why he was spending his Saturday looking at the new kids. The captain hadn’t wanted somebody from another team. They were too set in their ways and wouldn’t like Team Seven’s way of doing things. If he had to have an agent it would be one that he could train himself.

“Any of these kids stand out to you?” Chris asked Josiah. Josiah had needed a break so Chris had brought his friend with him. Josiah shook his head.

“The usual group of by the book, soft, brainwashed drones that come out every year,” he responded.

“We’ll watch a few more run the course then we’ll leave. I’ll just tell Travis I couldn’t find any. We’re wasting our time here.”

“Sidney Marks,” the officer announced as the next trainee walked onto the field. Many of the other recruiters turned away.

“Old stereotypes die hard, nobody wants a girl on their squad,” Josiah whispered

Chris would never admit that he was about to turn around too, but something about the girl refused to let him do it.

Sidney Marks was short, but she had an athletic build. Her long brown hair was pulled up into a ponytail. She wasn’t movie style gorgeous, but she was naturally attractive. Chris could see that she had a kind of quiet confidence about her. She wasn’t cocky, but she was sure of herself. He liked that. The captain noticed her face fall a little bit, when she saw all the backs to her. Somehow he caught her eye. He smiled trying to give her confidence. Chris couldn’t explain why, but there was something he liked about this kid.

The whistle blew and Sidney started to move around the obstacle course that was set up. The course was designed to show off the trainees’ abilities including marksmanship, surveillance, agility and skill. None of the kids being showcased today had seen the course, but Sidney ran through it like she had practiced it one hundred times. She flew the tests with ease. The last phase of the course tested the athletic ability, and rationality. The scenario included an accused drug dealer who was attempting to escape. So far nobody had been successful in bringing him down. Instead of taking the usual approach of chasing the man, the girl stopped running all together. Mummers of disapproval filled the air.

“Girls can’t do a man’s job, even if she could catch him, there’s no way she could bring him down," a man from the FBI whispered.

Of course the girl couldn’t hear any of this. The drug dealer continued to run. Sidney lifted up her gun calmly and fired above the man’s head. A large pipe swung down knocking the man to the ground. The man went down. He was our cold.

Three of the officials ran up to the fallen actor. There was a look of horror on the girl’s face. That wasn’t what was supposed to happen. Josiah read her lips easily. He translated for Chris

“She just said “Shit, why do I have to do everything wrong?”

Both agents chuckled. Chris marked the sheet in hand. This kid was definitely worth talking too.

There were four other men after Sidney, but none of them attracted Chris’s attention. After the demonstration, the trainees came out and sat in various spots waiting for the recruiters to come and talk to them. Sidney walked into a corner with her head held high, but the agents recognized the dejected look in her eyes.

“Poor kid, what a waste of talent,” a voice behind Chris said Chris whiled around and almost ran into the speaker. He was an older man in a black suit. He was tall and very muscular. Not someone you would want to run into in a dark hallway.

“Well Jeff Newell, long time no see,” Chris laughed, clapping the man on the shoulder

“You’re a sight for sore eyes boy, never expected to see you here.” Jeff smiled. “Agent Sanchez, how are you?”

“I’ve been better Jeff, that’s for sure.”

“Problems in the ATF?” the agent asked

The two younger men proceeded to tell Chris’s old academy teacher about the last case.

“And now we are looking for a kid to fill in for a little while,” Josiah finished.

“That sucks, but what are you going to do about?” Newell stated shrugging his shoulders. He never had been one to dwell on the past. “Any of the boys catch your eye?” he asked.

Chris shook his head. “Nope, not the kinds of agent that I’m looking for, but do you know anything about that Marks girl?”

Newell rarely praised the kids he trained. It just wasn’t it his style. The only ones he ever really talked about had been Chris and Buck, but his eye shined and a smile lit up his face. Surprising, the man’s voice was gruff.

“Why do you want to know?” he asked

“She’s one of the best freaking agents that I have ever seen, and I want her on my team,” Chris answered

:”I don’t think many people agree with you,” Josiah said sadly. Sidney was sitting in a chair fiddling with a gold chain around her neck. Everyone was walking past her. Newell threw the clipboard in his hands down onto the ground.

“This sucks. That kid is one of the best to ever come through this Academy. She’s smart, a good listener and she doesn’t take shit from anybody.

:”I never knew that you were so free with praise,” Chris said.

“She deserves every ounce if it, if not more. She gives one hundred and ten percent plus more in everything she does. Ask any of the boys around here, they all love her. It’s the freaking teachers that have the problem, can’t stand to see a girl kick a man’s ass. One of the guys wouldn’t let her into his class. Claims her grades weren’t up to par, which is the biggest bullshit that I ever heard. She graduated at the top of her class”

“Nobody ever told us that,” Chris looked at the girl with even greater appreciation.

”Of course they wouldn’t, can’t stand the embarrassment of a girl being the best, she would never tell you, too modest for her own good.”

“Mr. Newell, may we have a word with you?" a voice called. Newell walked over. Chris and Josiah walked over to the girl.

“You mind if we have a seat?" he asked.

“No sir,” she answered taking he feet on the chairs in front of her and sitting up straighter.

“That was a pretty interesting display," the older agent told her.

:”Look Mister I can explain that. The guy was too fast for me and that pipe was right above his head. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I won’t do anything stupid like that again.”

“Whoa kid, slow down! I wouldn’t call that stupid, I would say that was using your resources. You got the perp down. Who cares what it looked like”

The girl looked at them in disbelief.

“I’m Captain Chris Larabee and this is my partner and friend Josiah Sanchez. We work for the….”

“Holy shit! I know who you guys are! You are the best ATF team out there. Newell won’t stop talking about you.” She blushed at her outburst.

“Did you know this?" the ATF agent asked with a smile on his face.

“Nope, didn’t know Newell had the power to praise people.” Josiah answered.

“Anyway Ms. Marks,” Chris continued

“It’s Sidney,” she answered. Chris smiled, God, what made this girl so likable? He glanced over at his file, The kid was nineteen years old, the bare minimum to be an agent. JD had been the only one to be accepted at a younger age.

“We would like you to fill a temporary opening on the team.”

“What happened?" she asked terrified.

Josiah was confused, “What do you mean, what happened?

“There is never an opening on the Team Seven, you guys are the best. You wouldn’t need someone unless…”

“I assure you we are all fine Sidney,” Chris interrupted. “A little banged up and shaken though. Even the best, as you claim we are, need help sometimes. I need you to understand that this spot is only temporary, but when you are done, I can make sure you…” This time Sidney interrupted.

“Thank you Captain Larabee, but I have to refuse”

“What? Why?” Chris was dumbfounded

“I heard Newell talking. I can’t take a job when I have to meet those exceptions. I really am not the superhero that my teacher makes me appear to be.”

Josiah took the girl’s hand and looked into her eyes. He realized that she needed acceptance and proof of her ability. He bet that not many people had told her how good she was.

“I have been in law enforcement for a long time sweetheart and you are one, if not the best, rookie I have ever seen. You are going to go a long way, and this is the perfect opportunity to start.” The men let this sink in.

“So Sidney, would you be willing to join Team Seven?”

“Are you kidding me, this is a dream come true!”

“Great!” Chris felt her youthful energy.

“Of course we will have to run this be the AD and the rest of the team of course.” The girl’s face fell.

“Don’t worry about them Sidney. I’m more worried about the fact that you will be running away in terror.”

“Chris are the monsters still at your house?” Josiah asked.

“Unfortunately they are staying for supper,” Chris answered

“Don’t you think it would be appropriate to invite out new agent for supper?”

“No, I couldn’t…” she started to say, but was cut off,

“Sidney, if you are going to work with us, you have to realize that you are about to become part of one of the most unorthodox, dysfunctional families ever.

The girl had no response.

“Probably not a good idea to argue with your new boss, especially when he is the notorious Chris Larabee.” For the second time that day, Newell had come up behind Chris. He held his arms open to the girl. She ran into them.

Chris and Josiah watched in surprise. Newell have never been one to show his emotions, at least not sentimental ones.

“I think we made the right choice,” Josiah whispered. Chris nodded his head in agreement.

“Congratulations girl, but why Larabee? You are always getting yourself into bad situations.” Newell continued. Over the girl’s head, he mouthed “Thank you,” at Chris. The ATF agents just nodded their heads.

Newell let go of the girl; he gruff voice was back. “Right then. I’ll be keeping my eye on the both of you, Never know when I might pop up.”

“We better head back to the ranch, casts and concussions won’t keep hurricanes Dunne and Tanner down for long” Chris stated. Sidney glanced up at the men confused.

“Get used to it, confusion will become a normal part if life for you dear,” Josiah smiled down at her.

“Are you going to follow me out to my place?” Chris asked

Sidney started to blush, “Well my car totaled about three weeks ago. I haven’t had the money to buy another one, so I’ve been walking to school for the last couple of weeks.”

“Where do you live?” Josiah asked

“Just outside the campus,” was the response.

“That’s over five miles away, you walked that far everyday?” Chris asked dumbfounded. The girl nodded her head.

“First thing on the list is to find you a car,” Josiah laughed.

“I guess you will come with us then, and someone will give you a ride home” Chris stated. By this time, the three had reached the Ram.

“Nice truck!” the girl whistled impressed.

“Scratch the car idea, this girl need a pick-up” Joshia said.

“I like you even more, you’ve got good taste.” Chris opened the rear door for her. She had to take a large step with her short legs.

Chris had a much easier time getting in. He started the engine and the radio started to blare. Chris turned it down.

“You don’t have too,” she responded,

“You a Montgomery Gentry fan?” Josiah asked.

“Hell yeah!” She responded.

“Yup definitely picked the right one” Josiah laughed. The rest of the ride home was full of jokes and lots of fun. Chris learned that his new agent was clever with her comebacks.

“A skill you will definitely need to survive this team,” he told her.

7 7 7 7 7 7 7

Chris stretched out his shoulders. It had been a long week. Despite his aching muscles, he couldn’t have been happier. His team’s confidence was slowly improving. The physical wounds were gone, and so were most of the mental ones too, A certain little brunette had a lot to do with that. Sidney had clicked with the team the moment she walked in the door of his ranch that Saturday night. Chris didn’t think it would have been possible to find a better kid. Hell, the girl even had a tragic story in her life, just like the seven men.

He remembered sitting in his living room till two-o clock in the morning listening to her story. She had grown up in a little farming town in Wisconsin, the only child of a street cop and a financial planner. Her mother had run out on her when she was about four years old. So Sidney grew up with just her father. Chris smiled when he heard the girl talk about her relationship with her dad. Her eyes lit up. Chris hoped Adam would have felt the same way about him. Sidney had worked her ass off in high school, and had gotten herself a decent scholarship to Colorado State, where she had plans on becoming a lawyer. Her father had moved to Colorado too, so she didn’t have to be so far away from home. He had arranged a transfer to Bolder.

Two years ago, in the middle of Sidney’s freshman year, Bryan Marks was murdered in cold blood in his bed. The murderer was never found. Sidney changed her career path totally. She swore that someday she would discover who had killed her father and there was only one way to do that.

Chris vowed that someday, he would help the girl find him. He knew what she was feeling. Maybe that’s why he felt so connected to her. God, he was going to hate to see her go. There was no way they would be able to keep her. Rules just wouldn’t allow it. He pushed the unhappy thought from his head. He was content to listen to the conversation outside his door.

“Buck would you quit calling me squirt, I’m really not that short!” Sidney whined, as she spun around in her chair.

“Sorry, but it’s just the way things work around here. JD’s the kid, and you’re the squirt. Besides it’s a very fitting nickname. Your feet don’t even touch the ground. How tall are you anyway?”

“My feet don’t touch the ground because I have by chair as high as it can go, and I’m five two thank you very much!” She shot back.

“That’s sixty-two inches of enough energy to make one’s head spin,” Ezra said from his desk. “I assumed nothing could be worse than Mr. Dunne and Mr. Tanner, but it appears that my hypothesis was wrong.

“You need more excitement in your life Ezra.” Vin said from his desk. Turning his head, he put a straw in his mouth and blew. The girl did the exact same thing at the same time. The two spitballs collided in that air and landed on the undercover agent’s head. Ezra wiped it away. It was obvious to see that he was used to this kind of thing.

“Yes Mr. Tanner. Spitball landing in my hair is exactly my idea of enjoyable entertainment. Do you find amusement in my traumatic ordeal Mr. Jackson?” Ezra asked without taking a breath.

“I’m sorry Ezra. It’s just you are probably the worst person to place in between those too. I would just ignore it, Josiah would get a kick out it and Buck and JD would join right in.

“It feels like I am in charge of the surveillance of two overgrown five-year-olds.”

”You still got those firecrackers Sidney?” JD asked.

“You I was planning on setting them off at Chris’s ranch tomorrow, What do you think Ezra?” Ezra opened his mouth to respond, but he never got the chance. The phones on all the desks started to ring. Vin was the first one to pick his up.

“This is Agent Tanner, can I help you? Sure sir, are you okay? Chris, phone!” He yelled the last part.

“I got it Vin!” came the response. Vin hung up his phone.

“What was that about?” Josiah asked.

“That was Travis. He didn’t tell me, but he sounded desperate. I guess we have to wait for Chris to tell us.”

They didn’t have to wait long. Their leader came out of his office. His face was pale, and his eyes burned with fury.

“What happened Chris?” Nathan asked.

“Team Three was in charge of a bust at the Fowler warehouse tonight. It is a shipment of firearms. What do you know about Eddie Steward?" he asked of no one in particular.

‘He’s an American terrorist who believes in US supremacy. Steward’s on the top ten list of the FBI and is believed to be somewhere in Colorado.” Buck answered. “He’s killed ten people already and he’s one crazy son-of-a bitch.”

“The firearms are assumed to be his, though it’s never been proven. The bust was supposed to go down at ten-o clock tonight. Except every single man in Team three was shot in the back about a half an hour ago. Smith is dead; Roberts and Jones are in critical. Everyone else is okay.” Chris paused. James Smith had been a friend to Chris and a great father of two little girls. He knew his death was going to hit him hard later, but right now he was pumped with adrenaline. There was something he could to do to avenge the death. He gave his agents a few moments to collect their thoughts.

:”Travis wants us out there to take over the bust. Those weapons can’t fall into the wrong hands! Imagine what Steward could do with them. But the decision is up to you guys. Do you think we’re ready to head out there again?”

“Smith didn’t deserve to die like that, somebody needs to teach the bastard that shot him a lesson. I’m going.” Buck said.

“Count me in too boss,” Vin responded.

“Everybody else?” Chris asked. They all nodded their heads yes. He smiled. He knew what their reaction would be, so he hadn’t hesitated to tell the judge they would be there.

“Think you can handle your first bust?” Chris asked Sidney. She nodded her head gravely.

“Alright, we’re supposed to meet somebody two blocks away from the warehouse. We’ll take three vehicles out there and go from there.

Chris, Josiah, and Nathan drove since their vehicles had the sirens. The team reached their meeting spot in record time. A man greeted them as soon as the trucks were parked. He had to be the tallest, scrawniest man Sidney ever saw. His black hair reminded her of Gomez Adams.

“Oh great.” JD sighed, when he saw the man

“What?” Sidney asked.

“Eddie Cross.” JD sneered

“Now JD, you can’t believe all the rumors that you hear. He has never done anything bad to us, right now he’s all the help we’ve got.” Josiah smiled. As he opened the door. The agents piled out. Chris shook hands with the other agent.

“Agent Cross. Travis tells me you have a plan worked out.” Chris didn’t want to spend anymore time with this man then he was forced too. He shared the same feelings as JD, but Josiah was right. The man had never done anything wrong, and had actually helped them during a couple of busts before.

The man nodded his head at the familiar agents. A look of disapproval crossed his eyes when he saw Sidney.

“New agent?" he asked. Chris put a strong arm around the girl’s shoulder. He was trying to protect the male agent. Sidney looked like a cat ready to pounce. Team Seven had learned very early not to mess with the girl. Vin had accidentally scared her, and r had been flipped onto his back, compliments of thirteen years of martial arts training.

“Yup, and she’s the best rookie in the field right now,” Sidney smiled at her boss’s praise and relaxed. “What about the plan?” Chris continued. Eddie Cross pulled a map out of his back seat and spread it out on the hood. It was a clear map of the warehouse.

:”Aright here’s what Team Three’s plan was. The weapons are in this room; they were shipped in last night. We have to hold back until we see who the buyer is. There’s only one problem.”

“What’s that? Buck asked

“There’s only one spot to get in. Agent Black discovered that all the other entrances will be covered.” Cross pointed to a little tunnel on the diagram. “That’s the only way we are going to get in.

“Nobody can fit through that tunnel!” Vin exclaimed. Cross eyed JD.

“He’s small enough to fit in," the agent informed. Chris shook his head violently.

“I’m not sending an agent in there all alone!’

“Chris I’m not a baby I...” JD protested

“I never said you were kid, I wouldn’t send anybody in there alone. There’s enough weapons in there to start another f****ing Civil War.”

“If JD can fit in there I can too,” Sidney answered.

“Sidney no..” Chris started to say,

:”Do you want to catch the bastard who killed that agent or not?" she asked. Chris paused.

“She has a point Chris,” Josiah said. “You have to let her out into the field sometime. She wasn’t hired to do paperwork.” Chris looked like he was thinking. Sidney smiled thankfully at the older man.

“Alright you two are going in,” Chris answered.

“Wait a second, you can’t send her in there!” Cross protested.

“May I ask why not?” Ezra asked, eyes glittering evilly.

“Because she’s a, because she’s umm, What the hell send her in. If she gets in trouble I’m not bailing her out.”

“I don’t expect to get in trouble Agent Cross.” The ice in the girl’s voice was incredible. It looked like fire was gong to shoot out of her eyes at any moment. Cross took a step back.

“You been giving her lessons pard?” Vin asked.

”I have to make a few phone calls, I think you have this situation under control.” Cross didn’t wait for an answer. He got into his truck and drove away.

“Good Riddance,” Nathan snorted.

7 7 7 7 7 7 7

“Ow. JD, you just put your foot in my rib!”

“Sorry Sid,” JD tried to move”

“Now it’s in my stomach. Oh never mind.”

“Remember that we are supposed to head back out into the parking lot when we see some action.”

“I think you kids are about to see some action right now.” A cool voice echoed down the tunnel.” JD and Sidney froze. Each of them slid out their guns.

“There’s no use trying to hide, I know your in there. I haven’t heard your voices, but a little bird told me where you might be hiding.” The voice received no answer.

“I thought you might play hard to get, and since none of us are small enough to crawl through there to get you, I was forced to come up with other means. Don’t say I did not warn you.”

“Go back the other way!” JD whispered.

“But Chris and the others are in the other parking lot.”

“We don’t have any other choice Sid.” Before the young agents could move, smoke started to come through the tunnel. It slowly started to heat up. Both kids started to cough. The voice laughed at the other end.

“I knew you were in there!’ The will to survive took over the agents. They had no choice, but to slide through the end where the voice was waiting. By the time they reached the other end, both of them were body slammed to the ground. Before their eyes cleared enough to look at their assailants, blindfolds were slipped over their heads and their arms were being tied behind their backs. Sidney heard voices.

“We’ll take the boy with us, We still need him. Get rid of the girl. I don’t want her shot.”

“But boss,”

“No, We can’t risk those agents out there hearing a gun!”

“How am I supposed to do it then?”

“Surprise me, be creative for a change.”

“Alright” Sidney felt herself being lifted over a man’s shoulder.

“No JD!” She screamed.

“He can’t hear you sweetheart. He’s gone already.” She was being taken away. She squirmed and squirmed, but the man’s grip was strong. He walked on for what seemed like forever. Finally Sidney’s captor stopped. A car door was opened and she was flung inside. A hand stroked her cheek; she tuned her head away.

:”You are pretty cute girl, to bad we can’t play a little.”

“Untie my hands and I’ll show you how to play” The girl growled.

“Nope, I ain’t got the time. Don’t worry, I like you, so I’m going to make your death pretty painless.” The man reached an arm over the girl and turned on the car. He slammed the door. Sidney heard his footsteps until she they disappeared. The warehouse door slowly closed. .

7 7 7 7 7 7 7

“What the hell is going on? They should be out here by now!” Buck growled. “Why did we not send them with radios again?”

“Somebody stole them out of the truck, when we were talking to Cross,” Vin answered.

“Stupid teenagers,” Buck growled.

“BUCK!” A voice called. Buck turned his head fast. A red car was pulling out of the parking lot. JD’s head was sticking out. “Sid’s still inside!” The driver of the car stepped on the gas and the car sped away.

“What the hell was that?” Vin asked.

“I think that was Steward driving that car, I’ve seen enough pictures to know” Josiah answered. Buck was about to sprint into the truck. Chris put a strong arm around his shoulder.

“No way pard, I’m not letting you get into a high speed chase. Vin, You and Ezra go after them. Josiah call for back-up!” The three men were gone in a matter of seconds.

“Chris I…” Buck started to say.

“Look if they wanted to kill the kid, they would have done it already, They wouldn’t have risked bringing him in the car.”

“Then Sidney...” Buck started to say. He didn’t finish the sentence before he rushed into the building.

7 7 7 7 7 7 7

Sidney was getting weak; her eyes were starting to droop. She would rest for a little while. The girl forced her eyes open, knowing that if she gave in once, it would be the end. How was she going to get herself out of this? She slid over to her the glove compartment, praying something would be there. With her bound hands, she managed to open the compartment. She reached around and found nothing. Desperation started to set in.

“I’m going to die in here!” She thought. No, come on Sidney, Dad would be ashamed of you for thinking like this. She glanced around searching for anything. An old beer bottle, the Holy Grail, caught her eye. She slid into the backseat. . Smashing the bottle proved to be a challenge, but with the help of the window, she was able to get a sharp piece of glass. Ignoring the pain of glass digging into her skin. She began to cut the rope. She thanked God she was not handcuffed. Finally the ropes gave way. She quickly cut the ropes on her ankles and opened the door. She toppled to the hard concrete floor. Getting up was harder than she expected. She managed to get up and tipsily ran towards the door.

Sidney ran through the dark hallways, not knowing where she was going, All she knew was she had to get away. Her head was on fire, and her muscles ached. She fell to the ground with a thud, knees bucking under her. She had the sudden urge to just lay there and die. It wasn’t worth this much pain and suffering. But then an image of JD flashed through her mind. She forced herself up, and ran with a new purpose.

She hit something hard and tumbled to the ground. Big arms reached around her waist. She squirmed desperately trying to break free of her captor. His grip was strong, and her strength was slowly leaving her.

“Calm Down Sidney, it’s me. I’ve got you,”

“Buck?” the girl answered weakly. Sidney slummed in his arms like a rag doll.

The undercover agent was prepared for it, and lifted her up.

“I was hoping for a more romantic way to sweep you of your feet, but I guess this will have to do,” he chuckled.

“JD?" she asked. She couldn’t fight the dark wave that was washing over her.

“We couldn’t get him in time. The son of a bitch got away.” Sidney never heard what he said. The man started to race back through the hallways where he had just come from. It seemed to take forever. Sidney’s breath was becoming labored and her hands were bleeding. Finally, Buck saw light, and felt a cool wave of fresh night air.

Chris was the first one to see him.

“You ever pull something like that again, I swear…”Chris started to say, but one look at his young agent shut him up fast.

“Oh shit, lay her on the ground, Buck.” Nathan appeared by Chris’s side. Slowly Buck laid the girl down on the ground. Nathan lifted up the girl’s wrist. Relief was evident on his face, when he felt a steady pulse.

The girl’s eyes fluttered open. The fresh air was a jolt to her system and she began to cough. Nathan gently patted her back. Buck was relieved to see the girl’s eyes were much more focused than when he found her She was still pale, but color was starting to return to her cheeks. Nathan waited for her to catch her breath. He lifted the girl’s head onto his knee. Chris took of his jacket and laid it over her.

“What happened Sid?” Nathan asked.

“Took JD away…engine on…garage door closed… hands tied…got sick, tired… cut rope with glass…ran out of the door…”

Nathan looked at Chris and Buck, “Carbon Monoxide poisoning,” I don’t think she’s got it too bad, The fresh air should take care of it, but I want a doctor to make sure.”

“Nate, I want you to take her to hospital, Buck and I are going after the others. “

“I’m fine,” came the weak response. “Have to help”

“I am officially going to ban those words form existence. Honey, you did a great job. The best way you can help now is go to the doctor and get healthy so we can nail this bastard.”

He received no argument. Chris and Buck got up to leave.

:”Call me as soon as you know something.” Nathan stated lifting up the girl in his arms, despite mild protest. The captain nodded his head in acknowledgment. To everyone’s surprise he kissed Sidney on the forehead.

“Get better soon. I have a feeling this case is going to get a lot worse, before it gets any better. I want you out here as soon as you are ready.”

“Ten-Four Captain,” she answered. Buck ruffled the girl’s hair.

“Yeah get better soon, shorty,”

“You’re asking for a beating Wilmington”

“I’ll worry about that when you can stand straight, and you will still need a good three feet to reach my nose”

The men separated. Chris and Buck took off in the Ram.

“She’s one hell of a kid,” Buck answered, “Same spirit as JD, God I don’t know what I will do if we loose him Chris.” There was desperation in the agent’s voice.

“We’re not going to loose him Buck, we’ve talked about this before. Steward needs the kid for something.”

“What if we can’t get to him in time?”

“Don’t think like that pard, we’ve gotten each other out of worse situations before. Remember the time I dragged your ass out of that mud pit?”

“We were ten years old and you lost me the cutest girl in the third grade. Geez , she came up with the idea that you were a hero or something.”

The mood in the truck had lightened a little bit, but the tension would never completely go away until the found JD. Chris pulled out his cell phone.

“I better check up on Tanner and the others, they were supposed to call ten minutes ago. Chris hit the buttons.

“Tanner, where the hell are you?”

“Hello daring, I haven’t talked to you in a while.”

“Vin what the hell?”

“I am a little busy here right now sweet pea” Chris realized what Vin was doing.

“Are you okay”

“Of course I’m alright honey, just chatting to some very nice gentleman who are very interested in firearms. So is little Sarah okay? I know how much she hates the doctor.”

It took Chris a moment to realize what his friend was asking. “Yeah Sid’s okay. Anything on JD?

“Sorry to disappoint you dear, but I wasn’t able to find any Salmon. Look I’ve really got to run I’ll meet you for a drink later. I’ll be bring a couple of the boys over too,

“Alright, be careful Vin. We’ve already got one missing agent. I don’t want to have to chase down four.”

Chris hung up the phone.

“What the hell was that about?” Buck asked.

“Vin’s getting some info, we’re supposed to meet him at Inez’s.”

7 7 7 7 7 7 7

“Wake up Mr. Dunne, naptime is over,”

JD had to squint his eyes as the sudden burst of light. Slowly his eyes adjusted. He realized he was in a one-room cabin. A fire was burning in the fireplace and a laptop was sitting on a table. The boxes of guns were piled everywhere. He gasped as he saw his captor.

“You dirty bastard.”

“I’d watch your mouth Dunne, there’s certain people around here who you don’t want to make angry.” Eddie Cross was standing in the doorway with a handgun pointed at JD.

“So you stabbed your own department in the back, wonderful. Nobody would suspect it was you. I sure hope you are getting paid well Cross, you are going to need one hell of a good lawyer to get out of this one.”

“He is getting a very handsome sum, my friend, but I have no doubt that the funds will not be needed to pay off a lawyer.”

JD had to stifle another gasp when the supplier of the voice walked into the doorway, a hatchet in his hands. His face was flushed from cutting firewood, but Roger Steward had a sick grin on his face.

“ I do not believe we have been formally introduced, but I can see by the look on your face that you know who I am. Good, that will move things along considerably. I am planning to plant a bomb and an entire hostile takeover at the World Peace conference. I will use the leaders as hostages until my demands are met.” He paused, receiving no comment, Steward continued

“They will learn that peace is just a pipe dream of the weak. The United States is the supreme power. Everyone will see that after my demonstration.”

“Have you ever heard of Hitler, Steward?” JD asked.

“Well, Well, the computer genius had a clever mind. Hopefully you will use that intelligence to do the job I brought you here for. Mr. Cross has been very helpful. I would never have been able to get my firearms through if it wasn’t for him, but I need to know more. Every last detail of the conference will have to be studied carefully. You are going to get that information for me, my friend.

“Like Hell I will! You already killed one agent”

“Make that two Dunne.” Cross answered.


“I regret to inform you that Ms. Marks is currently sitting in a room for of carbon monoxide.”

It was if somebody had punched JD in the stomach. “You bastard,” JD whispered.

“Now you know how easily we can get to your friends, it you don’t do what we say, one of them will be next.”

JD allowed himself to be led to the laptop.

7 7 7 7 7 7 7

The radio played softly as Sidney sat at her computer. The doctor had told her she was going to be just fine. She was lucky she had gotten out when she did. Another five minutes in the car and she would have been a goner. The doctor had told her she needed to sleep the headache off and the bandages on her hands needed to be changed. . Unable to persuade Nathan to break the doctor’s orders, she had come home. Nathan had insisted that he stay and was currently asleep on the couch, The poor man had been exhausted. He had tried to stay awake, but had finally given in to the dream world.

Sidney had been unable to sleep despite her headache, and was reading through the ATF files, not really knowing what she was looking for. She started to think about what a huge shipment of firearms would be used for.

“There was enough guns to have a freaking terrorist attack.” She said to Riley, her beloved golden retriever. The dog had originally belonged to her father. The two had been through a lot together. A light bulb turned on in the girl’s head.

“Oh my God, the Peace conference!” She yelled. The dog barked in surprise Nathan rolled off the couch.

“Sorry,” she said.

“Sidney, you’re supposed to be in bed.” He said in a groggy voice.

“Couldn’t sleep, I think I might know what the guns are for”

“What’s that?” Nathan was suddenly awake. She worked out the situation aloud,

“The peace conference starts tomorrow night, the guns come tonight. Team Three is the one covering the security, and they are all attacked. Team Three’s got all the information in confidential files on their hard drive. Whoever this bastard is couldn’t get to the files. That’s why he needed JD to hack into them.”

“Sidney you’re a genius! But where does JD fit into all of this? Why not take somebody from team three, all they would need is a password.” She hadn’t thought of that before.

There was a knock on the door

“Who would be looking for you at two in the morning?’ Nathan asked. Sidney shrugged her shoulders. Nathan went over to the table and drew his gun. Sidney drew hers as well. She walked over the door. She was trying to get her breath under control. Not sure if she could handle shooting the person on the other side.

“Who is it?" she asked

“Santa Clause,” came a familiar voice.

“You idiot, he comes down the chimney”

“Well does the Easter Bunny use the front door?”

“Please open the door Ms. Marks, so this constant absurdity can end!”

Sidney and Nathan both laughed as they put away their guns. She opened the door and they all filed in.

“We decided to inquire upon the health of our little Houdini” Ezra asked.

“Well I have a clean bill of health, right doc?” She looked at Nathan.

“Close enough,” he responded.

“Anything on JD?" she asked.

Vin shook his head. “Nothing, but we are going under the assumption that no news is good news,”

“We know who the guns belong too though” Buck said.

“Who?” Nathan and Sidney asked at the same time

“Roger Steward.” Josiah responded. “Vin found a guy who gave a description matching his.

“Nice work Sherlock Holmes, but we could have guessed that” She said as Vin put his arm around her shoulder.

“Sidney, this matches perfectly with the theory you thought up” Nathan exclaimed.

“What’s this theory?” Chris asked. Sidney told them all.

“You are definitely on to something squirt,” Buck responded. “But that doesn’t quite explain how JD fits into all this.”

“That what we couldn’t figure out.” Nathan responded. There was a long silence while everyone was thinking. All of them found a comfortable place to sit. There wasn’t much room in the tiny apartment, so it was a little cramped.

“This is where the mole fits in!” Josiah said after a while. Everyone looked at him. “I think I got a profile of this guy. He would have to be somebody who knows that shipment of guns was coming in. He would know that it was being delivered for Steward. He found Steward and offered to deliver him the weapons for a price. Steward agrees, but he wants more. Steward isn’t dumb. He knows that he can’t storm into that conference with guns firing. It has to be planned, and planning requires information about the set-up. Team Three is the only one with that information and they are in charge of security detail. That’s why they were attacked. The mole realizes that he can’t get to the files because he doesn’t have access to them, but it’s too late, the team has already been attacked. This guy is too dumb to hack into the files, but he knows that JD is the best in the field.” He paused. “Now it’s just a matter of figuring out who this mole is.”

The room once again was quiet. All of a sudden Chris slammed his hand on the table.

:”Cross! It has to be that son of a bitch. He’s back up to Team Three. We worked with him before, so he would know that JD could get into those files. I never did completely trust him.”

“Good thinking boss, so what’s our plan?” Vin asked.

“We need to get into those files, if we are going to catch Steward before he is able to get away with anything.”

“I can get into those files Chris, JD downloaded the Weasel on my computer. I have an idea how we can catch them in their own game at the conference.” Sidney said. Chris nodded his head.

“Weasel?” Josiah asked.

“Computer hacking device that JD designed.

“I would like to see how this program works Ms. Marks” Ezra said.

“Aright. Ezra I want you to stay with her. Vin, Buck, I want you guys to break into Cross’s apartment. I doubt he’s still there, but look for anything about where they might be holding JD.”

“What about a warrant?” Josiah asked.

“Screw the warrant, We’ll make sure Cross doesn’t press charges. That is if he’s still alive by the time we get done with him. Nathan I want you and Josiah to go back to those leftover weapons. I’m sure the crime scene teams and cleaned the whole place out, but see if you can’t find anything. I’m going to call and make sure we are the ones in charge of the security today. Alright boys, and girl” He added with an afterthought, “Let’s nail these bastards, Team Seven style.”

7 7 7 7 7 7 7

JD sat at a computer. His feet were handcuffed to the seat. His hands were shaking slightly. All he had to do was press the ENTER button and Steward would have everything he needed to carry out his murderous plan. All of a sudden, something caught his eye, a small weasel was moving across the bottom of his screen. He couldn’t help, but smile only one other person knew how to use that computer program. But he wondered why the weasel was visible. She wouldn’t be that dumb. That when he noticed the rodent was doing something weird with his paws. It was giving him numbers, a code. JD quickly typed in the code and data sheets popped up. The weasel gave him the thumbs up sign and disappeared.

“I’ve got the information!” JD yelled. “God I hope you know what you are doing Sidney,” he whispered to himself.

7 7 7 7 7 7 7

So what exactly did you do again Sidney?” Nathan asked. The Team was sitting around the table in the Team Seven office. All of them were somber. Tension and fury was radiating from every single one of their bodies, “I changed the data in the files. I gave Steward all the wrong information. The exits and doors that he will use to get his weapons and men through will be occupied by us.”

“I knew we made a good decision when we hired you.” Josiah smiled.

“Be proud of me when Cross and Steward are behind bars and JD is back home,” she answered.

“Sidney’s right. She set us up for success But we’ve sill have to complete the mission.” He pushed a button on the laptop and a map of the conference center appeared

“Alright here’s the plan, Guards will be stationed at every available entrance and exit. The ones that Steward will have men coming through will have two men, The minute they start coming, sound the alarm.”

“What about JD?” Buck asked.

“Alright here’s the plan for that. Ezra, Sidney you will be stationed on the inside. Cross will be there too. He wouldn’t miss this meeting for the world. We are going under the assumption that he doesn’t suspect we are on to him.”

“One problem with that Chris, He thinks he killed me”

“That’s the point. I am hoping that he freaks out once he sees you and runs away. You will follow him. I am sure he will lead you to JD. All right gentlemen you’ve got two hours before I want you at the Conference. Sidney, you’ve got an extra half in hour to find yourself a dress.”

Three hours later the Conference was in full swing. Political leaders, Ambassadors and Diplomats from over the world were in the big hall. Vin had never seen so many jewels and fancy clothes before. He had the perfect opportunity to watch everything from his spot. His gun was lying at his side. His eyes were darting back and forth looking for anything unusual. He couldn’t help but smile when he saw two familiar faces.

Ezra fit in perfectly in his black dinner jacket. His debonair charm and flashy smile made women turn their heads, much to their husbands’ dismay. Ezra wasn’t the only one turning heads. Sidney was gorgeous. She had ran out and bought a simple black dress, but had borrowed some of Maude’s jewelry. Vin reminded himself that he would have to thank Ezra’s mother for storing some of her things at Ezra’s house A little eye makeup and really brought out the girl’s green eyes. She had put it on in the car. Vin had been amazed at all the colors and brushes in a few compacts. Something caught his eye.

“You’ve got movement Buck,” he whispered in his walkie-talkie,

“I see it Vin, it’s one of those rich ladies walking her poodle.”


“No problem. Who knows? Maybe there’s a bomb attached to the poodle.”

The other agents chuckled.

“Ezra, Cross is one your right by the punch table,” Chris’s voice came over the airwave. “Sidney, hang back till I tell you to go.”

The undercover agent walked over the back-stabber. Nathan marveled at the innocent smile that Ezra was able to put on his face.

“Agent Cross how are you?” Cross turned around, there was a look of genuine surprise on his face.

“Ezra what are you doing here?”

“Undercover work, just making sure nothing bad happens. You heard about James I suppose.”

“Yes, tragic isn’t it? I hope Matt pulls through. Loosing two agent would be a deathblow to any team. .”

“Sidney, it’s your turn.” Chris voice sounded.

“Agent Cross, I believe you have met out new agent, Ms, Sidney Marks.”

Sidney stood by Ezra’s side. She couldn’t help, but smile at his reaction. His pale face told him that they had gotten the right guy. It was hard not to smile or punch the bastard in the jaw.

“Please to meet you, Agent Cross.” She said.

“The pleasure is all mine…umm, Ezra I really have to go, you know the drill.”

“Of course Eddie, You haven’t happened to have seen Mr. Dunne lately have you.”

Cross’s eyes bulged out of his head. He turned around and sprinted out of the building. Sidney was about to run after him, but Ezra held her back.

“No, we got to give him a head start. He can’t know we are following him. Did somebody get an ID of where he’s going?" he asked.

“Red Chevy heading North on Water Street,” Nathan answered. “I just saw him pull out of the driveway.”

‘Now can we go?” Sidney asked.

.”Patience is a virtue you should learn my dear, but I’ll teach it to later. Let’s go.” The two agents sprinted out of the dining hall.

“Bring our friend home guys,” Vin’s voice echoed through their ears.

“Just be careful,” Nathan followed

“Same to you,” Sidney said.

“We’ll hold down the fort just fine,” Josiah answered, “You just make sure you come out in one piece.”

“Cause if you don’t there will be hell to pay,” Chris’s voice was gruff, but nobody had trouble identifying the emotion in it.

‘Any words of wisdom, before we get out of range Mr. Wilmington?” Ezra asked.

“Nope, you know what to do. JD couldn’t be in better hands. Just make sure JD…” Sidney and Ezra didn’t get to here the end. They were cut off. Both agents slid into the girl’s black truck that was waiting outside.

“Where’s my jag?” Ezra asked.

“I thought it best that Cross didn’t know that we were following him Everyone knows what kind of car you drive Ezra. Here I’ll even let you drive” She handed him the keys. The sound of bullets started to echo throughout the conference hall. “God I hope their okay in there.”

7 7 7 7 7 7 7

“Chris, what was that?” Vin slipped from his position on top of the stairs.

“ Car bomb, everyone get ready they’ll be in here any minute now.’ All of the agents slowly clicked their safeties off and crouched down low. It took a split second for hell to break loose. The doors slammed open, and guns started to fire. People started to scream. Chris finished shooting the two men who had barged through his door.

“God Damn, Josiah, get in there and calm those people down. Tell them to stay low!” Chris roared.

“Nathan how many you got?”

“Three and I’ve got perfect shots on all of them”


“Don’t worry pard these bastards ate going down. Chris checked up on the other agents. Guns were continuing to fire.

“Vin you okay?" he finally asked. There was a long silence.

“Vin are you there?" the ATF captain asked desperately. There was another long pause and then.

“Oh he’s here Agent Larabee, but probably not in the shape that you would like him to be in.”

All of the agents gasped as they recognized the voice of Roger Steward. They all prayed that what they were hearing wasn’t real. But they realized that their worst nightmare had come true, when Steward showed himself at the top of the steps. Guns were raised at him, but they were lowered instantly when they saw what Steward was dragging. An unconscious Vin was placed at the top step, but that wasn’t the worst part. There was a black device attacked to his stomach. Steward had a sick look of glee on his face. He held up his hand. There was a black remote attached to it.

“You see this Larabee. This little contraption controls the bomb attached to your friend’s stomach. The only way it stays dormant it when it senses my body heat. The second it comes off, the bomb goes off.” The audience gasped.

“I know your hole team minus three agents are here. I want all of you out in the open, and drop your weapons.” He pulled a knife out of his pocket. “Or I will cut the remote off.” The agents slowly walked out of their hiding spots, and dropped their guns in front of them. What was left of Steward’s men came out and started to pick up the guns. Steward whistled appreciably.

“Nice work fellas, I came in here with thirty men and now there’s only seventeen”

“Should I tie them up boss?” One of the men asked.

“No, I think we’ll be okay. Just round everybody else up into the conference room. Leave the agents here with me.” All of the people turned towards Chris.

“Do what he says everyone, don’t worry you’ll be okay.” All of the agents tried to put looks of confidence and security on their faces in a form of comfort. Once the people were gone Nathan asked,

“How do we know the bomb won’t go off when Vin wakes up?”

“Don’t worry Jackson. I hit him hard enough that he won’t be waking up for quite a while. I am not planning on staying here very long. You don’t want to know what I will do if we’re here long enough for Tanner to wake up.”

7 7 7 7 7 7 7

Ezra pulled the black truck into a meadow, about twenty miles outside of town.

“No wonder nobody could find him,” Sidney sighed. “Who would have thought to look way out here?”

Ezra let out an exasperated sigh. He could just make out a small cabin down a gravel path.

“I was hoping the place would be larger. Sneaking in there isn’t going to be a possibility. Not unless we are asking for JD to get shot.”

“Why can’t we just shoot Cross from the window?” Sidney asked.

“Because we need him for questioning. We aren’t the only ones who want to nail that imbecile.”


“Never mind, do you have any ideas Ms. Marks?”

“We need a distraction. Something to draw Cross and anybody else in there out of the cabin. That’s the only way we can get JD out.”

“And how to you propose we create a distraction?" the older agent asked. An evil smile crossed the girl’s face.

“Why do I know that I am not going to like your suggestion?” Ezra asked, shaking his head.

“You remember those firecrackers I found in the storage closet? Well there in the back seat.”

“Oh Lord Sidney. All right here’s the plan. I’ll set of these blasted fireworks at a distance far enough away from the house. That will draw out Cross. As soon as he is a safe distance away, you run into that cabin and free our young friend. We’ll meet back at the truck.”

“What about Cross?" she asked.

“You leave Cross to me.” Ezra smiled.

“Fine, but if you don’t set off those fireworks in ten minutes. I am going to shoot that son of a bitch.

“I see you haven’t been working on patience. We’ll work on it later. Come on let’s go.”

The two got out of the truck and quietly closed their doors.

“Be careful Sidney, the team would never forgive me if something happened to you. I think they are quite sentimentally attached to you

“What about you? Or are you above all these normal relationships.”

“Oh hell Sid, I would be pretty disappointed if I didn’t see you around the office.” There was a long pause. “Now hurry up, before this gets to sentimental.” The girl smiled and sprinted off into the woods.

Sidney crept up to the house. It had taken longer then she had originally thought. The girl was slightly out of breath. She crept to the only door of the house and hid to the right of it. She strained her ears to hear what was happening inside.

“Hurry up Ezra,” she thought to herself. As if on cue, BOOMS and CRACKS started to explode from somewhere in the distance. The door slammed open. Sidney crouched even lower so she wouldn’t be seen. Cross ran down the steps and started towards the noise of the firecrackers.

“God Dam kids!” He yelled Sidney smiled as she thought about t what awaited the double-crosser. As soon as she knew Cross was a safe distance away, she ran up the three steps into the cabin.

“Sidney,” A horse voice yelled. The girl turned. JD was sitting in an uncomfortable position in a decaying lawn chair. His hands were handcuffed behind the chair, and feet were cuffed to the bottom legs.

“What the hell is going on out there?” JD asked. Sidney grabbed her universal key out of her pocket.

“Your rescue party. Ezra’s celebrating the Fourth-of-July a little early”

“I am assuming it was you who sent the weasel and the fake files. That was some quick thinking.”

“I had a good teacher,” she answered, as she took the cuffs off his feet.

“Are you hurt anywhere?" she asked.

“No a couple of bruises from not keeping my mouth shut, but that’s about it…I am being serious!” He added when her saw the girls look. She moved around to unlock his hands.

“God you don’t now how close you pushed it. Cross come here yelling that you hadn’t died and that he had to get away. Of course he couldn’t leave me alive. He was loading the gun when your firecrackers…I’m assuming your firecrackers?” She nodded her head. “went off.” He finished. The girl removed the cuffs. JD sighed and stood up, he toppled over. Sidney kneeled beside him, obviously concerned.

“All right my ass” She snorted.

“Seriously I am, my legs are just asleep." This time he slowly got up and was able to stand. He offered his rescuer an arm up. She took it. A thought came across JD’s mind.

“The peace conference…” He started to say

“Already taken care off. Steward was just starting his attack when we left. We haven’t heard anything since.” She answered.

“Then lets get going!” JD basically yelled. The two young agents headed out of the door. Sidney wasn’t looking forward to the long walk back to the truck. Both were surprised to see a black truck pulling up next to them.

“Need a lift?” Ezra smiled. “Well Mr. Dunne I am very pleased to see you unhurt.”

“Yeah me too. Thank you Ezra.” JD replied

“No thanks is necessary JD, I know that you would do the same for me.”

“Umm Ezra I thought you weren’t going to shoot Cross” Sidney said.

“I didn’t. Look in the back of the truck.” The two agents walked to the bed of the Ranger. Neither of them was unable to contain their laughter. Hog-tied and laying in the back was an extremely pissed off Eddie Cross.

“When you two have finished laughing, I believe that we are needed in Denver. I’m sure a little conference hall needs cleaning up.” Sidney and JD tore themselves away from the scene and jumped into the truck. Ezra backed up down the long gravel path and onto the road. The agent drove eighty-five the entire way back to the city. He made sure to hit every puddle and every bump along the way.

“I hope you are willing to pay for the damages done to my track Ezra.”

“Just file for compensation my dear, it was sustained when transporting a criminal.”

The older agent turned the truck onto the road leading to the conference center. He was forced to step on the brakes hard, when he saw yellow barriers up. A cop walked up to them. He was a short, muscular man with beady brown eyes.

“I’m sorry folks, this is a hostage situation. I can’t let you through.”

“What?” JD yelled.

“I do not have authorization to tell you anymore.” The cop said puffing out his chest, proud of his authority.

“Is this authority enough for you?” Ezra asked basically slamming his badge into the cop’s face.

“Are you all agents?" he asked, specifically eyeing Sidney.

“We are and if you detain us any longer, I will arrest you!” Ezra glared at him.

“You can’t arrest me! I didn’t do anything wrong!” The cop gasped.

“Believe me sir. I will find something.” The hostility in Ezra’s voice made the cop take a step back. The agent used the time to step on the gas and speed to the conference hall. He pulled the truck over when he saw AD Travis motion to him. The three agents quickly got out of the vehicle and went to stand by the judge.

“Nice to see you back JD.” The director smiled, but his mind was elsewhere.

“Good to be back sir, what’s going on in there?” JD asked.

“Nothing good. Steward is holding everyone as hostages including Chris and the others as hostages. As far we can tell, Vin’s unconscious and there’s some kind of body hear activated bomb attached to him.”

“Oh shit!” Sidney said.

“Anybody hurt?” Ezra asked.

“Not yet, Steward even let three hostages go. But he says if we don’t meet his demands in half an hour. He’ll set off the bomb.

“What are his demands?” JD asked.

“Well he wants a free ride out of here with the President, Prime Minister, and the Chancellor from Germany.”

“Is that all?” Ezra asked. Shaking his head.

“Nobody here can think of anything to do. Any ideas?”

“Give us a while. You got a quiet place we can think?” JD asked.

“Take any of the trucks over there,” Travis pointed, “They all have maps of the area and conference hall in there.” The three agents walked to the closest truck.

“Oh, Somebody should probably take care of Agent Cross. He’s in the back of the truck. I wouldn’t untie him if I were you. He’s going to be pretty upset.” Sidney called over her shoulder.

7 7 7 7 7 7 7

Buck sat slummed down on the floor. He hated being in this position, with no weapon and no chance to do anything. He was vulnerable just like everyone else, and that was the worst feeling in the world. He glanced up at Vin who was still laying at the top of the steps. The threatening machine on his stomach just kept ticking away. He saw the same looks of desperation on his comrades’ faces. JD’s voice started to fill his head

“Buck? Buck?”

. God he hoped Ezra and Sidney had gotten to him in time. He had no doubt that he was going to die anytime now. God, he just wished he could really hear JD’s voice one more time.

“Buck, Dam it answer me!” Buck snapped out of it.

“JD?" he whispered not believing what he was hearing.

“Quiet, don’t let Steward know what’s going on. I got through your radio, by using a GPS satellite that’s overhead. I was lucky and got a security camera too, so we can see everything.“ Buck nodded his head.

“Okay, does Steward have more then twenty men in there with him?” Buck shook his head.

“Fifteen?” Buck moved his hand back forth slightly to represent around that number. Josiah saw what he was doing and gave him a questioning look.

“The signals not strong enough for me to get into everyone’s ear piece.” JD said. “Hold on a second. We’ll be back with a plan. If there’s anyway you get in contact with the others do so, but don’t get caught.” The line went dead.

“They’ve got JD,” Buck whispered to Joshia. “He’s okay, and I guess their working out some kind of plan.”

Joshia gave the slightest nod of his head and whispered something in Nathan’s ear. Buck scooted over a couple of steps and updated Chris.

Five minutes later, Chris heard a voice in his ear.

“Chris can you hear me?” The agent trusted his friend, but God it felt good to actually hear the kid’s voice. He nodded his head.

“Good, I didn’t want to tell Buck about our plan, because he’s going to freak out. Are there any of Steward’s men upstairs?” Chris smiled at JD’s comment. He shrugged his shoulders.

“I don’t think so, he said there were only about fifteen men left and I can see them all down here.” The captain whispered.

“ Here’s what were going to do. Really, it’s a simple plan. Ezra’s going to crawl up the side of the wall. And enter through one of the windows. He’s going to creep through the hallways and shoot Steward with a tranquilizer.”

“Easy, but extremely dangerous.” Nathan sighed.

“Nathan, can you hear me?”

“Loud and clear, it’s good to hear your voice kid,” the medic answered,

:”The signal must have gotten clearer. Dam, that means you heard it too, Buck.”

“Yup, it’s a good plan kid, and no I’m not going to freak out. Just tell Ezra to be careful.”

“Just make sure you’re ready to move, when Steward goes down, Buck your going to have to deactivate the bomb as soon as possible. I don’t know what’s going to happen when Steward is out. It won’t go off right away, I know that. I have to go. The signals breaking off. Good Luck guys.”

The agents sighed. There was nothing they could do, but wait. None of them noticed Steward smile as he pulled something from behind Vin ears.

7 7 7 7 7 7 7

“Are you guys ready?” JD asked. The two agents nodded their heads. “Alright go get them.”

“Yes sir” Ezra smiled as he saluted the younger agent. He was proud of JD’ s sudden leadership. He sprinted to the side of the building.

7 7 7 7 7 7 7

“I want all men in the sitting room upstairs now!” Steward yelled. Seven men came running in. Josiah stood up suddenly. Steward turned to him, Vin’s ear piece in his hand.

“It was a good idea, your young friend deserves to be congratulated.” Chris leapt to his feet, murder in his eyes.

“Not a good idea Larabee.” Steward pointed to the band around his watch. The agents looked at each other desperately. There was nothing they could do. They would have to loose Ezra in order to protect all the innocent lives in the building. All of them found themselves saying a little prayer, as they watched the men climb the stair. They waited to hear the gun. A loud BANG echoed throughout the building. Chris slummed against the wall, fighting back the tears that started to well in his eyes. Ezra didn’t have to get involved in this. All of them in the building were going to die; there was no doubt about it. Poor Ezra. Another thought ran through his mind. JD and Sidney would be all alone now. He prayed that he had led them on the right path, that they wouldn’t meet the same end as their mentors. Would Sidney be able to live through her new family being murdered just like her father? The girl’s voice ran through his head. It sounded so real. He opened his eyes. Sidney was standing over him, gun in her hands.

“Wipe that smile off your face Steward, the joke is on you,” she yelled with ice in her voice. She fired the gun, and Steward dropped. He didn’t move.

“Sidney how did you…” Chris didn’t get a chance to finish. Steward’s men were filing into the room guns’ blazing, but the sitting room doors flung open and a brigade of cops ran in.

“Buck, you got to get that bomb of Vin now!” JD’s voice screamed. “His body heats going to drop fast.” Buck sprang into action. Sidney covered him till he got to Vin. The bomb was a classic model. It didn’t take long for the explosive agent to deactivate it. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief when it came off.

Buck felt something hard hit his head. The last thing he saw what the light coming from the grand chandelier.

“Buck, Buck!” A voice was saying. Buck’s eyes fluttered open. Josiah was leaning over him. There was a look of sadness in her eyes.

“Vin?” Buck asked. Surprising he felt okay, only a slight dull pain beat in his head.

“He’s going to be fine. They’re taking him to the hospital to make sure.”

“What happened?” Buck asked, trying to figure out why Josiah had such a depressed look in his eyes.

“One of Steward’s men hit you in the head with the butt of his gun.” A horrible though crossed his mind.

“Ezra?” was all he could ask. The look of sadness in the Josiah’s eyes deepened.

“Didn’t make it. Chris ran up as soon as he could, but he couldn’t find him. There are looking for his body right now.”

Buck couldn’t talk. The pain in his head suddenly deepened. He felt short of breath, and had to lay back down. No, it couldn’t be possible. Ezra couldn’t be dead. The standoffish man who had become an unlikely brother. Ezra who claimed that he didn’t care for human relationships had made the ultimate sacrifice.

“He was on hell of an agent” Josiah answered.

“He was one hell of a brother,” Buck whispered.

Buck closed his eyes. He couldn’t believe the next voice he heard.

“Although it had been very enlightening to learn what people think of me when I am deceased, All this emotion is making me quite uncomfortable.” Buck sat up instantly He noticed Chris and Nathan standing on top of the steps with looks of utter disbelief on their faces.

Ezra Standish was leaning on JD and Sidney ‘s shoulders. His face was gritted in pain, and his right ankle was encompassed in a cast.

“Oh dear, I see that I have surprised you. I would have gotten here sooner, but the Travis insisted I see I a doctor. Would you escort me to a seat please, my human crutches.”

The men filed down the steps. Nathan was going to protest against Buck’s movement, but he appeared to be moving just fine. Besides the medic was anxious to here Ezra’s story as well. When all the men were standing around, Ezra laughed.

“I see JD’s plan had you fooled as well.”

“What are you talking about?” Chris asked.

“You really didn’t think I would be stupid enough to forget that Vin had a radio too, did you?” JD asked. “I thought you guys knew I was smarter than that!” JD groaned.

“Anyway,” Ezra continued, “Mr. Dunne’s plan worked. He drew Steward’s men upstairs. It was my job to run threw the front door, and shoot Steward before he realized our little ruse. Certain unforeseen objects hampered my timely entrance.

“He tripped over the step.” Sidney supplied.

“That just sounded very undignified Ms. Marks. “I stumbled.”

“You fell flat on your face Ezra, if it helps you fell in a very dignified manner.”

“Thank you, the plan would have been ruined if Sidney hadn’t been watching me, she saw that I was down, and rushed inside. You saw the results of that” At the end of his words, the adrenaline that had been pumping through all the agents froze. Exhaustion and the realization of what just happened began to settle in.

AD Travis walked to them and smiled.

:”Vin Tanner is waiting at the hospital for someone to pick him up. The doctor’s insist that you hurry, seems he is creating quite a disturbance wanting to know what happened.” Chris nodded his head.

“Sir?” Chris asked.

“Yes Chris?”

“I never thought I’d be saying this, but I think my team needs to stand down for a few days.”

“Of course.” He took a key ring out of his pocket and pulled off a key. “This is the key to Evie and my cabin. You know where it is. Stay up there as long as you want. I wouldn’t leave to soon though, I know several countries will be wanting to thank you”

7 7 7 7 7 7 7

Chris walked into his office on a Monday morning. He wasn’t planning on staying long. He was heading out to the Travis cabin in the afternoon. He stopped at the newly erected showcase. It was full of medals and plaques. Every country represented at the conference has sent something.

Chris’s hands were sore from all the leader’s hands that he had to shake. Something caught his eye. A letter with his name on it was attached to the bulletin board. He pulled it off, sat down in Vin’s desk, and began to read,

Dear Chris, Buck, Ezra, JD, Nathan, Vin and Josiah. (Listed in no particular order of course),

I am sorry to leave this way, but I was never very good at good-byes. I also hope this letter avoids any uncomfortable situations. You guys are a whole again. Ready to save the world by catching one bad guy at a time. It is time for me to go. The bond that you have formed is something special. Don’t ever break it. I have a million things to thank you for. You saw something special in me that not many did. Through you, I got the chance to prove to myself that I could make in this world. I learned a lot and a had a whole lot of fun in the process. Each of you has helped me in your own special way and I hope you what that is. I tried to think of a way to thank you, but nothing would suffice. I hope the fact that I am in eternal debt to you will help. I realize that it is time for me to go, you don’t need me anymore, that you did in the first place. By the time you read this letter I will be on my to Washington DC. The President of the United States offered my a job as his own personal bodyguard! Imagine that. I will never forget you. I hope that you will think me fondly every now and then. I’ll look for you in the papers.



By the time Chris finished the letter, there were tears in his eyes. He stared at the empty desk next to them. It would have to be moved out soon, there was no reason to have it in her now. Chris slammed his fist on the desk.

“No it belongs here!” He stated. He pulled out his cell phone. There was a lot of work to be done

7 7 7 7 7 7 7

Sidney waited at the Denver airport. Every airport employee was rushing around making sure everything was in working order when Air Force One Landed. The girl noticed none of this. She sat silently stroking Riley’s head. She knew she should be excited. How many nineteen-year old girls does the President of the United States pick up? The plane was slowly landing. Sidney grabbed Riley’s leash and walked out to the landing strip.

President Bartlett stepped off the plane. A few photographers were present, as they started to snap pictures.

“Mr. President,” the girl greeted

“Welcome aboard Agent Marks. I’m glad you decided to take up my offer.”

“It is honor Sir,” she answered. The man smiled.

“Tom, bring the contract over here” The stereotypical secret agent brought over a clipboard.

“Sign here.” He pointed to a spot on the paper.

“Is this all I have to sign? She asked surprised. The President laughed. “God, No! This is just the beginning “

Something was coming across the runway. The agents near the plane jumped into action.

“What the hell is that?” One of them asked.

“I don’t know, get the President inside.” Bartlett was led back into the plane. The vehicles were getting closer. All the agents including Sidney watched with their guns drawn. Sidney gasped as she recognized the lead vehicle.

Nice truck!”

“I like your taste!”

A voice from inside the plane said, “It’s okay, they’re ATF agents and they’ve got the clear signal. The secret service lowered their guns.

Could it really be them? They stopped about ten yards away from the plane. Seven men piled out of the truck and rushed towards the girl.

“What the hell are you doing here?" she asked.

“I should ask you the same thing?” Chris glared at her. “You are under contract to the ATF for another ten years.” His voice was harsh. He flashed a piece of paper in front of her eyes.

“It was for ten months when I signed it!” She yelled.

“Not anymore,” Vin answered, “We called Travis and got it extended, That is if you want it to be,” he added.

“I cant’ I mean you guys are a team, a family, I can’t be a part of that.”

Ezra put his arm around the girl’s shoulder.

“I said the same thing too honey, now look at me, I’m stuff for life. You have become part of this family wither you like it or not. It wouldn’t be same without you”

“Don’t let us change your mind honey, This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. You know what we want, but this is up to you” Buck said.

She looked into all their faces and saw the same longing in all their faces. It was the longing she wanted to see. A huge smile lit her face.

She threw her arms around Ezra, she would have done it to any of them, but he happened to be the closest.

“I love you all, I couldn’t ask for anything better.” She let go of Ezra as a terrible thought crossed her mind.

“I can’t sign the new contract, I just signed one with the President!” A sudden noise made the girl turn around. President Bartlett was tearing apart the contract.

“It was never signed my dear. I can see where you belong!’ He threw the paper in the air.

“Hope nobody saw that, the environmentalists will be all over me.” He turned to Chris. “Actually I just got off the phone with your director. It seems like you have a couple of days off?” Chris nodded his head

“Well his cabin sounds lovely, but I was about to head out to Camp David for a few. Would you be interested in joining me?”

“A week with the President?” JD stated. “You definitely made the right choice Chris.”


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