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 wasnt 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 hadnt 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 JDs 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 wasnt 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 hadnt wanted
somebody from another team. They were too set in their ways and wouldnt
like Team Sevens 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
The usual group of by the book, soft, brainwashed drones that come
out every year, he responded.
Well watch a few more run the course then well leave.
Ill just tell Travis I couldnt find any. Were wasting our
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,
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 wasnt movie style gorgeous, but
she was naturally attractive. Chris could see that she had a kind of quiet
confidence about her. She wasnt 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 couldnt 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 cant do a mans job, even if she could catch him,
theres no way she could bring him down," a man from the FBI whispered.
Of course the girl couldnt hear any of this. The drug dealer continued
to run. Sidney lifted up her gun calmly and fired above the mans 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 girls face. That wasnt 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 Chriss
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
Youre a sight for sore eyes boy, never expected to see you
here. Jeff smiled. Agent Sanchez, how are you?
Ive been better Jeff, thats for sure.
Problems in the ATF? the agent asked
The two younger men proceeded to tell Chriss old academy teacher about
the last case.
And now we are looking for a kid to fill in for a little while,
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 Im looking
for, but do you know anything about that Marks girl?
Newell rarely praised the kids he trained. It just wasnt 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 mans voice
Why do you want to know? he asked
Shes one of the best freaking agents that I have ever seen, and
I want her on my team, Chris answered
:I dont 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.
Shes smart, a good listener and she doesnt 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. Its the freaking teachers that have the problem,
cant stand to see a girl kick a mans ass. One of the guys
wouldnt let her into his class. Claims her grades werent 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
Of course they wouldnt, cant stand the embarrassment of
a girl being the best, she would never tell you, too modest for her own
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
wont do anything stupid like that again.
Whoa kid, slow down! I wouldnt call that stupid, I would say
that was using your resources. You got the perp down. Who cares what it looked
The girl looked at them in disbelief.
Im 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 wont stop talking about you. She blushed at her outburst.
Did you know this?" the ATF agent asked with a smile on his face.
Nope, didnt know Newell had the power to praise people.
Anyway Ms. Marks, Chris continued
Its 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 wouldnt 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
Thank you Captain Larabee, but I have to refuse
What? Why? Chris was dumbfounded
I heard Newell talking. I cant 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 girls 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
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 girls face fell.
Dont worry about them Sidney. Im 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
Dont you think it would be appropriate to invite out new agent
No, I couldnt
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
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
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 girls head, he
mouthed Thank you, at Chris. The ATF agents just nodded their
Newell let go of the girl; he gruff voice was back. Right then. Ill
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 wont
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 havent had the money to buy another one, so Ive been walking
to school for the last couple of weeks.
Where do you live? Josiah asked
Just outside the campus, was the response.
Thats 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, youve 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 dont 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
7 7 7 7 7 7 7
Chris stretched out his shoulders. It had been a long week. Despite his aching
muscles, he couldnt have been happier. His teams 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 didnt 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 didnt have to
be so far away from home. He had arranged a transfer to Bolder.
Two years ago, in the middle of Sidneys 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 thats 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 wouldnt 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, Im really not that
short! Sidney whined, as she spun around in her chair.
Sorry, but its just the way things work around here. JDs
the kid, and youre the squirt. Besides its a very fitting nickname.
Your feet dont even touch the ground. How tall are you anyway?
My feet dont touch the ground because I have by chair as high
as it can go, and Im five two thank you very much! She shot back.
Thats sixty-two inches of enough energy to make ones 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 agents 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.
Im sorry Ezra. Its 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
You still got those firecrackers Sidney? JD asked.
You I was planning on setting them off at Chriss 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 didnt tell me, but he sounded desperate.
I guess we have to wait for Chris to tell us.
They didnt 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.
Hes an American terrorist who believes in US supremacy.
Stewards on the top ten list of the FBI and is believed to be somewhere
in Colorado. Buck answered. Hes killed ten people already
and hes one crazy son-of-a bitch.
The firearms are assumed to be his, though its 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 cant
fall into the wrong hands! Imagine what Steward could do with them. But the
decision is up to you guys. Do you think were ready to head out there
Smith didnt deserve to die like that, somebody needs to teach
the bastard that shot him a lesson. Im 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 hadnt 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, were supposed to meet somebody two blocks away from
the warehouse. Well 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 cant believe all the rumors that you hear. He has
never done anything bad to us, right now hes all the help weve
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
didnt 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
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 girls
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 shes the best rookie in the field right now, Sidney
smiled at her bosss 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 heres what Team Threes 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. Theres only one problem.
Whats that? Buck asked
Theres 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. Thats the only way we are going to get in.
Nobody can fit through that tunnel! Vin exclaimed. Cross eyed
Hes small enough to fit in," the agent informed. Chris shook
his head violently.
Im not sending an agent in there all alone!
Chris Im not a baby I... JD protested
I never said you were kid, I wouldnt send anybody in there alone.
Theres 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 wasnt hired to do paperwork.
Chris looked like he was thinking. Sidney smiled thankfully at the older
Alright you two are going in, Chris answered.
Wait a second, you cant send her in there! Cross protested.
May I ask why not? Ezra asked, eyes glittering evilly.
Because shes a, because shes umm, What the hell send her
in. If she gets in trouble Im not bailing her out.
I dont expect to get in trouble Agent Cross. The ice in
the girls 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 didnt 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 its 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.
Theres no use trying to hide, I know your in there. I havent
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. Dont 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 dont 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.
Well take the boy with us, We still need him. Get rid of the
girl. I dont want her shot.
No, We cant 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 mans shoulder.
No JD! She screamed.
He cant hear you sweetheart. Hes gone already. She
was being taken away. She squirmed and squirmed, but the mans grip
was strong. He walked on for what seemed like forever. Finally Sidneys
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 cant play a little.
Untie my hands and Ill show you how to play The girl growled.
Nope, I aint got the time. Dont worry, I like you, so Im
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,
Stupid teenagers, Buck growled.
BUCK! A voice called. Buck turned his head fast. A red car was
pulling out of the parking lot. JDs head was sticking out.
Sids 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, Ive 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, Im 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.
Buck started to say.
Look if they wanted to kill the kid, they would have done it already,
They wouldnt have risked bringing him in the car.
Then Sidney... Buck started to say. He didnt 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.
Im 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 wasnt 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, its me. Ive 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 couldnt fight the dark wave that was washing
We couldnt 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. Sidneys
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
to say, but one look at his young agent shut him up fast.
Oh shit, lay her on the ground, Buck. Nathan appeared by
Chriss side. Slowly Buck laid the girl down on the ground. Nathan lifted
up the girls wrist. Relief was evident on his face, when he felt a
The girls 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 girls 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 girls head onto his
knee. Chris took of his jacket and laid it over her.
What happened Sid? Nathan asked.
Took JD away
garage door closed
got sick, tired
cut rope with glass
ran out of the
Nathan looked at Chris and Buck, Carbon Monoxide poisoning, I
dont think shes 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
Im 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 everyones 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 girls
Yeah get better soon, shorty,
Youre asking for a beating Wilmington
Ill 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.
Shes one hell of a kid, Buck answered, Same spirit
as JD, God I dont know what I will do if we loose him Chris.
There was desperation in the agents voice.
Were not going to loose him Buck, weve talked about this
before. Steward needs the kid for something.
What if we cant get to him in time?
Dont think like that pard, weve gotten each other out of
worse situations before. Remember the time I dragged your ass out of that
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 havent 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 Im 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
Sids okay. Anything on JD?
Sorry to disappoint you dear, but I wasnt able to find any Salmon.
Look Ive really got to run Ill meet you for a drink later. Ill
be bring a couple of the boys over too,
Alright, be careful Vin. Weve already got one missing agent.
I dont want to have to chase down four.
Chris hung up the phone.
What the hell was that about? Buck asked.
Vins getting some info, were supposed to meet him at
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.
Id watch your mouth Dunne, theres certain people around
here who you dont 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
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 wasnt 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,
Now you know how easily we can get to your friends, it you dont
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
doctors 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 girls head.
Oh my God, the Peace conference! She yelled. The dog barked in
surprise Nathan rolled off the couch.
Sorry, she said.
Sidney, youre supposed to be in bed. He said in a groggy
Couldnt sleep, I think I might know what the guns are for
Whats that? Nathan was suddenly awake. She worked out the
The peace conference starts tomorrow night, the guns come tonight.
Team Three is the one covering the security, and they are all attacked. Team
Threes got all the information in confidential files on their hard
drive. Whoever this bastard is couldnt get to the files. Thats
why he needed JD to hack into them.
Sidney youre 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 hadnt 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
Well I have a clean bill of health, right doc? She looked at
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
Whats this theory? Chris asked. Sidney told them all.
You are definitely on to something squirt, Buck responded. But
that doesnt quite explain how JD fits into all this.
That what we couldnt figure out. Nathan responded. There
was a long silence while everyone was thinking. All of them found a comfortable
place to sit. There wasnt 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
isnt dumb. He knows that he cant 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. Thats why they were attacked. The mole
realizes that he cant get to the files because he doesnt have
access to them, but its 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 its 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
:Cross! It has to be that son of a bitch. Hes 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 whats 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 Crosss apartment. I doubt hes still there, but
look for anything about where they might be holding JD.
What about a warrant? Josiah asked.
Screw the warrant, Well make sure Cross doesnt press charges.
That is if hes still alive by the time we get done with him. Nathan
I want you and Josiah to go back to those leftover weapons. Im sure
the crime scene teams and cleaned the whole place out, but see if you cant
find anything. Im 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, Lets 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 couldnt help, but smile only one other person knew
how to use that computer program. But he wondered why the weasel was visible.
She wouldnt 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.
Ive 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.
Sidneys right. She set us up for success But weve sill
have to complete the mission. He pushed a button on the laptop and
a map of the conference center appeared
Alright heres 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 heres the plan for that. Ezra, Sidney you will be stationed
on the inside. Cross will be there too. He wouldnt miss this meeting
for the world. We are going under the assumption that he doesnt suspect
we are on to him.
One problem with that Chris, He thinks he killed me
Thats 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 youve got two hours before I want you at the
Conference. Sidney, youve got an extra half in hour to find yourself
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
couldnt 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 wasnt the only one turning heads. Sidney was gorgeous. She had
ran out and bought a simple black dress, but had borrowed some of Maudes
jewelry. Vin reminded himself that he would have to thank Ezras mother
for storing some of her things at Ezras house A little eye makeup and
really brought out the girls 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.
Youve got movement Buck, he whispered in his walkie-talkie,
I see it Vin, its one of those rich ladies walking her poodle.
No problem. Who knows? Maybe theres a bomb attached to the
The other agents chuckled.
Ezra, Cross is one your right by the punch table, Chriss
voice came over the airwave. Sidney, hang back till I tell you to
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 isnt it? I hope Matt pulls through. Loosing two agent
would be a deathblow to any team. .
Sidney, its your turn. Chris voice sounded.
Agent Cross, I believe you have met out new agent, Ms, Sidney Marks.
Sidney stood by Ezras side. She couldnt 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
Of course Eddie, You havent happened to have seen Mr. Dunne lately
Crosss 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 cant know we are following
him. Did somebody get an ID of where hes 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 Ill teach
it to later. Lets go. The two agents sprinted out of the dining
Bring our friend home guys, Vins voice echoed through their
Just be careful, Nathan followed
Same to you, Sidney said.
Well hold down the fort just fine, Josiah answered, You
just make sure you come out in one piece.
Cause if you dont there will be hell to pay, Chriss
voice was gruff, but nobody had trouble identifying the emotion in it.
Any words of wisdom, before we get out of range Mr. Wilmington?
Nope, you know what to do. JD couldnt be in better hands. Just
make sure JD
Sidney and Ezra didnt get to here the end.
They were cut off. Both agents slid into the girls black truck that
was waiting outside.
Wheres my jag? Ezra asked.
I thought it best that Cross didnt know that we were following
him Everyone knows what kind of car you drive Ezra. Here Ill 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
Car bomb, everyone get ready theyll 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 Ive got perfect shots on all of them
Dont 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 hes 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 wasnt 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 wasnt 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 friends 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
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 Stewards 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 theres
Should I tie them up boss? One of the men asked.
No, I think well be okay. Just round everybody else up into the
conference room. Leave the agents here with me. All of the people turned
Do what he says everyone, dont worry youll 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 wont go off when Vin wakes up?
Dont worry Jackson. I hit him hard enough that he wont
be waking up for quite a while. I am not planning on staying here very long.
You dont want to know what I will do if were 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
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 isnt
going to be a possibility. Not unless we are asking for JD to get shot.
Why cant we just shoot Cross from the window? Sidney asked.
Because we need him for questioning. We arent 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. Thats 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 girls 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 heres the plan. Ill 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. Well meet back at the truck.
What about Cross?" she asked.
You leave Cross to me. Ezra smiled.
Fine, but if you dont set off those fireworks in ten minutes.
I am going to shoot that son of a bitch.
I see you havent been working on patience. Well work on
it later. Come on lets 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 didnt 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
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 wouldnt 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. Ezras celebrating the Fourth-of-July a little
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
Are you hurt anywhere?" she asked.
No a couple of bruises from not keeping my mouth shut, but thats
I am being serious! He added when her saw the girls look.
She moved around to unlock his hands.
God you dont now how close you pushed it. Cross come here yelling
that you hadnt died and that he had to get away. Of course he
couldnt leave me alive. He was loading the gun when your
Im 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 JDs mind.
The peace conference
He started to say
Already taken care off. Steward was just starting his attack when we
left. We havent heard anything since. She answered.
Then lets get going! JD basically yelled. The two young agents
headed out of the door. Sidney wasnt looking forward to the long walk
back to the truck. Both were surprised to see a black truck pulling up next
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 werent going to shoot Cross Sidney
I didnt. 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
When you two have finished laughing, I believe that we are needed in
Denver. Im 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
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
Im sorry folks, this is a hostage situation. I cant let
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 cops 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 cant arrest me! I didnt do anything wrong! The
Believe me sir. I will find something. The hostility in Ezras
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
Good to be back sir, whats 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, Vins unconscious and
theres 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 dont
meet his demands in half an hour. Hell 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. Hes in
the back of the truck. I wouldnt untie him if I were you. Hes
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. JDs voice started to fill his head
. 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 JDs voice one more time.
Buck, Dam it answer me! Buck snapped out of it.
JD?" he whispered not believing what he was hearing.
Quiet, dont let Steward know whats going on. I got through
your radio, by using a GPS satellite thats overhead. I was lucky and
got a security camera too, so we can see everything. Buck nodded his
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
The signals not strong enough for me to get into everyones ear
piece. JD said. Hold on a second. Well be back with a plan.
If theres anyway you get in contact with the others do so, but dont
get caught. The line went dead.
Theyve got JD, Buck whispered to Joshia. Hes
okay, and I guess their working out some kind of plan.
Joshia gave the slightest nod of his head and whispered something in
Nathans 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 kids voice. He nodded his head.
Good, I didnt want to tell Buck about our plan, because hes
going to freak out. Are there any of Stewards men upstairs? Chris
smiled at JDs comment. He shrugged his shoulders.
I dont think so, he said there were only about fifteen men left
and I can see them all down here. The captain whispered.
Heres what were going to do. Really, its a simple plan.
Ezras going to crawl up the side of the wall. And enter through one
of the windows. Hes 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, its good to hear your voice kid, the medic
:The signal must have gotten clearer. Dam, that means you heard it
Yup, its a good plan kid, and no Im not going to freak
out. Just tell Ezra to be careful.
Just make sure youre ready to move, when Steward goes down, Buck
your going to have to deactivate the bomb as soon as possible. I dont
know whats going to happen when Steward is out. It wont go off
right away, I know that. I have to go. The signals breaking off. Good Luck
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,
Vins 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 didnt 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 wouldnt meet the same end as their mentors. Would
Sidney be able to live through her new family being murdered just like her
father? The girls 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
Sidney how did you
Chris didnt get a chance to finish.
Stewards 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! JDs 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 didnt
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. Bucks 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.
Hes going to be fine. Theyre 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 Stewards 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 Josiahs
Didnt make it. Chris ran up as soon as he could, but he
couldnt find him. There are looking for his body right now.
Buck couldnt talk. The pain in his head suddenly deepened. He felt
short of breath, and had to lay back down. No, it couldnt be possible.
Ezra couldnt be dead. The standoffish man who had become an unlikely
brother. Ezra who claimed that he didnt 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 couldnt 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 Bucks
movement, but he appeared to be moving just fine. Besides the medic was anxious
to here Ezras story as well. When all the men were standing around,
I see JDs plan had you fooled as well.
What are you talking about? Chris asked.
You really didnt 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. Dunnes plan worked. He
drew Stewards 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
Thank you, the plan would have been ruined if Sidney hadnt 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 doctors insist that you hurry, seems he is creating quite a disturbance
wanting to know what happened. Chris nodded his head.
Sir? Chris asked.
I never thought Id 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 wouldnt 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 wasnt 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.
Chriss hands were sore from all the leaders 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 Vins 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.
Dont 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 dont
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. Ill
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 Rileys 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
Rileys 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. Im glad you decided to take up my
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
What the hell is that? One of them asked.
I dont 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
I like your taste!
A voice from inside the plane said, Its okay, theyre ATF
agents and theyve got the clear signal. The secret service lowered
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 cant be
a part of that.
Ezra put his arm around the girls shoulder.
I said the same thing too honey, now look at me, Im stuff for
life. You have become part of this family wither you like it or not. It
wouldnt be same without you
Dont 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 couldnt ask for anything better. She
let go of Ezra as a terrible thought crossed her mind.
I cant 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.