US ARMY 102ND DIVISION
"Captain Chin? Major Davis would like to see you in his quarters."
"Thank you, corporal."
As Chin walks toward the major's tent, he overhears the muttering of his men. Chin sighs, once again Juan Rivera, the current crime boss, has eluded his Black OPs team.
Upon reaching the major's tent, he announces himself and is given permission to enter. Major Davis is sitting behind a make shift desk with papers lying all over it. On an easel, hangs a map of the area. Red pins marked the successfully taken compounds; blue the failures.
"Captain Chin, the reason I requested your presence is to discuss the raids on Juan Rivera's compounds. What started as a successful campaign against Rivera, has turned sour. Do you have any idea as why this has occurred?"
"No Sir, Major Davis."
"I want an investigation to commence immediately; I want every avenue explored, leave no stone unturned. Is that clear, Captain?"
"Yes, Sir. I'll see to it personally."
Back in his tent, Captain Chin gives the following orders to his aide.
"Private Asay, I want you to tell Sergeants McGrath and Louis to report to my quarters."
"Yes sir, Captain."
A short time later, the two men report as ordered.
"Gentlemen, this is top secret; only the three of us are to be aware of what is going on. Do I make myself clear?"
"The Major wants a complete investigation concerning the failed raids. They are to be examined and all aspects compared. If there's a leak, I want it sealed. I also want a list of any men reassigned or transferred in within the last two months."
"Sir, understood, Sir."
"I want a report on my desk by week's end. Is that clear?"
"Yes, Sir Captain," the men respond.
After a week of intense investigating, McGrath and Louis take their findings to Captain Chin.
"Well, gentlemen, what have you in regards to our failed campaigns?" asks Captain Chin.
"Captain, after carefully reviewing each campaign we found that all successful campaigns occurred in the north. As far as we can tell campaign failures occurred in the south after the 21st of August. That is when seven new recruits transferred into Sergeant McGrath and my platoons. From our inquiries, we found that the following men are known to have been a part of failed campaigns with their former platoons; Corporals Wilbur Hanson, Stanley Omar and Henry Johnson. We are not sure if this is the reason why our campaigns are failing or if they are just coincidences." Sergeant Louis replies.
Plans are made. Before a trap can be set, Johnson is discharged. Hanson and Omar disappear.
KANAS CITY 1990's
The sun is shining bright as Nathan drives towards the 4th precinct located in the High Bridge section of Kansas City. It is his first assignment since graduating the Police Academy. He is looking forward to getting back to the action. The sun seems to dim as he is crossing under the trestle separating the river front neighborhood of High Bridge from the rest of the city. The change in the neighborhood is dramatic. Burnt out cars on the street and single family homes give way to apartment buildings and lawns to concrete courtyards strewn with glass.
Nathan will always remember his first impressions of the 4th also known as 'Fort Wilderness'. It stands upon a hill made of cut stone and shines like a castle out of time in the mist of despair with the neighborhood all around it.
As Nathan walks through the heavy, solid wood doors and approaches the desk, he finds himself overwhelmed by the cacophony within the outwardly serene building. He is brought back to reality when the desk sergeant yells, "Hey, kid, does your mother know where you are?"
Snapping to attention he salutes the sergeant and states, "Yes sir! Police officer Nathan Jackson reporting for duty, Sir!"
"Easy son, easy you won't last here if you're too uptight. I'm Sgt. Woods but everybody calls me 'Woodsy'. The rookies are meeting downstairs for orientation with Sergeant Keene, who everybody calls Sgt, Keene Sir! (even his mother) So why don't you just head down there. Hold on. Chin, you and Donnelly done with that collar?"
Nathan sees a familiar face look back at the sergeant from near the holding cells. "Just about Woodsy; you need something?"
The sergeant shouts back, "Yeah, show the kid down to the training room will you?" Then he turns back to Nathan and says, "nice to meet you kid we sure could use a few more military men like you. Good luck."
Finding it hard to believe his eyes, Nathan shakes his head thinking to himself 'can it be... is really him?' With a bit of hesitation, Jackson takes the chance and questions the man approaching, "Captain Chin?"
A smile slowly spreads across Chin's face, "Jackson, how hell are you? It's been what, two years? No more like three, thought you would've pursued something in the medical field?"
"Well life got in the way, you know how it is. Had to put some things on hold, I still hope to pursue it someday."
As they walk, they continue to catch up on old times and as they approach the training room, they make plans to meet for dinner later that night.
The days pass by quickly as Nathan learns the ropes from Chin and their friendship grows.
+ + + + + + +
Monday morning as Chin walks in he hears someone yelling his name.
"Chin, call on line 2."
Chin makes his way to his desk where Nathan is already waiting to start to the day. He nods to Nathan in way of greeting as he picks up the receiver ... "Chin."
He listens to the caller showing no sign of emotion as he takes out his little black notebook and begins to write. Continuing to write he places the phone in the cradle as he turns to go the Captains office, leaving a puzzled Jackson in his wake. Twenty minutes later, Chin reappears, informing Jackson that they are to investigate activity down by the docks.
"What's going on, Sarge?" Jackson asks as they make their way out of the building.
"Got a report of possible drug activity down at the docks; Cap wants us to check it out."
"What about backup?"
"Check it out, then call if needed."
As they approach the docks, they hear gunfire and before heading out they call for back up. Slowly, they approach the area, searching, when suddenly shots rang out in their direction.
"Jackson, radio the backup; tell them to approach silently." Chin instructs him.
Just as Nathan is about to call Chin is shot.
"Officer down! Officer down! Where the hell is that backup?" Jackson yells over the radio.
More shots are fired. Then silence. Hearing movement close by, Nathan prepares himself as he holds Chin's dying body in his arms. To his surprise, a man appears...a man whom he is certain he knows. But from where, he can't remember. Shots rang out and the assailant goes down.
Jackson sits cradling Chin against his chest as backup arrives forming a protective circle around them. Worry for the rookie spreads throughout as Sergeant O'Hare tries to pry Jackson away from sergeant Chin's body.
"Hey sarge, this guy is still alive." An officer calls out then he yells for the paramedics.
Suddenly Nathan gently releases Chin's body and attacks the unconscious assailant.
"Get him. Pull em off..." someone yells.
"What's he think he's doing?" yells another
"My God, he's strong as an ox."
"He's in shock you got em hold tight now don't let him go." Sarge O'Hare says.
As they hold the rookie, a paramedic inserts a needle into Jackson's arm and a short time later, the man collapses. He is then taken to the hospital for observation. Attention returns to the prisoner, who is prepared for transport to the hospital under police guard.
ONE WEEK LATER
Preparation for the prisoner's transport from the hospital to the prison is made. But before it can be executed, the prisoner escapes. A state wide search is put into effect. Wilbur Hanson, also known as Handsome Willy, known for drug smuggling, with connections to drug lord Juan Rivera, is at large.
Internal Affairs interviews Officer Jackson concerning his part in the incident that occurred resulting with the death of Sergeant Michael Chin, as well as the shooting of one Wilbur Hanson also known as Handsome Willy. The name Hanson is mentioned, Nathan remembers the name but nothing more about the man himself.
"Officer Jackson, what was your position when the shooting began?" Inspector Jenkins asks.
"I and sergeant Chin had taken cover behind some crates approximately 100 feet from where the transaction was taking place." Jackson replied.
"Then what happened?"
"Sergeant Chin instructed me to radio for backup." Jackson responded.
"I see. And did you radio for backup?" Jenkins asked.
"No sir, before I could, shots were fired in our direction and the sergeant went down. I radioed for help then checked on my partner. It was while I was checking Sergeant Chin that I heard a sound so I readied myself and as the suspect came around the crates, I fired." Jackson replied.
"All right rookie that will be all. If I have any other questions I'll be in touch." With that said, Jenkins ended the interview.
After reviewing all the facts and the reports concerning the incident, IA's finding deemed it a clean shot thus clearing rookie Nathan Jackson of any wrongdoing; however, the department psychologist recommended a month's leave of absence before returning to duty.
+ + + + + + +
The peaceful tranquility that occupies the house is broken by the constant ringing of the phone. Grumbling, as he gets out of the shower, dripping puddles across the floor, the big bear of a man answers the phone with a roar.
"This better ... "but before he can finish.
"Nathan, is that you?"
"'Siah I know its been a long time... but if that offer to stay with you for awhile is still good, like to take you up on it."
"Of course, brother you know you're always welcome. Nathan... something wrong?"
"No... no just need a place to think is all. I should be there by the end of the week. Just have a few things to take care of first."
"All right Nate. Give me a call when you know your arrival time and I'll meet you at the airport."
"Thanks Josiah. I appreciate it... old friend. But I think I'll be driving... it'll give me more time to think. " And with that they hang up.
Nathan spends the next two days closing up his apartment, having his mail held and getting the all clear from the department psychiatrist to go away for the remainder of his leave. Getting the okay, Nathan packs his car and gases it up, and sets out for Denver.
+ + + + + + +
As the young black man drives, mountains give way to beautiful valleys and his mind wanders back to a time in life when he could feel.
Now his mind and body are numb to all that exist around him. Since the death of his good friend Michael Chin, Nathan's mind has been filled with questions as to the hows and why's things happen. Yet no answers come to him and still he continues on.
Three days later an exhausted Nathan Jackson reaches the outskirts of Denver. He pulls into a diner, parks the car and takes out his cell phone to call Josiah. Not being able to reach him at home he then calls the mission for directions and a voice that sounds like an angel answers.
"Saint Jose's Mission, how can I help you? Rain speaking."
"Oh... um... yes, Josiah Sanchez. Please." Nathan says.
"I'm sorry, he's not here. Can I help you?" the sweet voice asks.
"Do you know how I can reach him?" Jackson replies.
"He did say he'd be stopping by about three o'clock today; you could call again then," says Rain.
"Oh... okay I'm at the Four Corners Diner. How far are you from here?"
"We're on the corner of 10th and Elm, you are about 2 miles away; as you come down Main Street, turn right when you reach the third light.
We'll be on your left. You can't miss us." Rain says.
"All right, thank you." And they hang up.
Before setting out to find the mission, he goes into the diner for a bite to eat and a cup of coffee. As he sits drinking a cup of coffee... his mind drifts back to the sweet voice on the phone.
An hour later he finds himself outside the mission, sitting in his car as a beautiful young woman emerges from the front doors, capturing his eye as he sits... not wanting to move. He watches her get in her car and drive away. It takes him another minute or two before he can move. Then before he realizes it he is inside the mission and shaking Josiah's hand.
"Brother Nathan, it's so good to see you. When did you get in?" Josiah asks.
"Bout an hour ago give or take." Nathan replies.
"Have you eaten... we could grab a bite, then head home." Josiah says.
"Yeah, I stopped at the Diner before coming over." Jackson replies.
"Well then just let me finish up here and we'll head on out."
"That's fine "Siah take your time, no rush. After all I got all the time in world right now."
Two hours later, Nathan finds himself following Josiah to his home. They arrive and Josiah helps Nathan carry in his bags. The house appears small on the outside but once inside Nathan is overwhelmed by all the space. The large living room takes up half of the first floor, decorated with over sized furniture, a bookcase along one wall and a fireplace within another. The large screen TV stands against the third wall. Josiah heads for the staircase leading to the second floor where the bedrooms are as well as a den. Upon reaching the second floor Sanchez enters a door on his right. In the room, sits a king size bed, a dresser and a TV- all the comforts of home.
"Nathan, this here is your room for as long as you need it. While you get settled, I'll go make some coffee and then we catch up on things."
"Thanks Josiah, I appreciate it. I shouldn't be long, be right down."
He's left alone to unpack and soon his mind is drifting to the voice he heard earlier. He wonders for the first time of something, someone other then the shooting of Sergeant Chin. Before he realizes it, all his things are put away and he is on his way to the kitchen.
The rich aroma of coffee leads the way and Nathan has no problem finding the well equipped kitchen and his good friend.
"There you are... was beginning to wonder if you fell asleep or got lost."
"No, sorry just got to thinking and lost track of time. So tell me J'siah what have you been doing since I last saw you?"
"Well now as you could see, the mission has grown and all my spare time is devoted to it. We've got quite a list of volunteers now but we really could use a medical person. No luck so far. As far as work, well I'm with a really great team of men headed by a fellow name of Chris Larabee its ATF and he's picking his own team."
"By the sounds of it, you have a full plate."
"You know me brother- wouldn't have it any other way. The busier, the better as I always say. What about yourself? Anyone new in your life?"
"No, no time for a woman right now... too busy working on getting on the police force."
"What are your plans while you're here, Nate."
"No plans; thought I'd just take it easy... get some rest catch up with an old friend, that sort of thing. I'd really like to take a tour of the mission and if possible, see your office with the ATF."
"Sounds good, say why don't you meet me for lunch tomorrow and I'll show you around?"
"Okay, lunch it is. Jeez it's been a long day; time to hit the hay. See you in the morning, Josiah."
With that, the two men say their goodnights and go off to bed. Next morning, when Nathan rises Josiah is already gone and a note is left on the kitchen table with instructions to the government building housing the ATF. As he reheats the coffee, Jackson notices the bright sunshine beating down and becomes lost in his thoughts. Before he realizes it, the time has flown by and he has to hurry if he's to meet Sanchez for lunch.
ATF BUILDING DOWNTOWN DENVER
Jackson enters the building housing the ATF and approaches the security desk.
"Can I help you sir?" asks the guard.
"I'm here to see Josiah Sanchez. He's expecting me." Jackson replies.
"Just a moment sir." The guard calls up to the office of team seven for the okay. "All set, sir. You can right up; it's the 14th floor."
Nathan enters the elevator, pushes the button and waits as the elevator slowly rises. When the doors open a big bear of a man is standing there waiting for him. They greet each other as if they haven't seen each other in a long time. As they walk to the office of team seven, they talk quietly. They enter the office chuckling. Buck and Vin look up. Josiah stops beside the men's desks and introduces Nathan.
"Buck Wilmington, Vin Tanner this here is my old friend, Nathan Jackson. Nathan Jackson... Buck Wilmington, Vin Tanner two of my team mates."
Everyone responded at once, saying how it is good to meet ya. Then a burst of laughter is heard which brings out an angry Larabee.
"Sorry Chris..." Josiah says. "Chris I'd like you to meet my friend, Nathan Jackson. He's visiting me for a few weeks."
Larabee shakes hands with Nathan than excuses himself as he has work to finish before lunch.
The two men say their good byes and head out for lunch. They eat at the Saloon where Sanchez introduces Nathan to the lovely Inez the owner of the establishment.
While they wait for their food, Josiah tries to get his friend to open up as to what is troubling him.
"Nate, talk to me... brother, what's going on."
"Don't know J'siah can't put my finger on it... just know something hasn't been sitting right with me since my partner died. Been having doubts as to whether police work is where I should be. Do know I want to get the guy who killed him though."
"Why don't you tell me everything that happened... maybe we can work it out together?"
"Don't know J'siah been trying with the department psychologist and haven't been able to get anywhere. You know a little rest and relaxation would do me a world of good right now. Maybe I can help out at the mission while I'm here... that is if you think you can use my help."
"I never turn away honest help, it'll be good to have you there. How 'bout I take you over there tonight after work and show you around?"
"Sounds like a fine idea. I'll see you then." The men finish their lunch say their good byes and as they leave the saloon they go in opposite directions. Nathan sets out to see the city and Josiah back to work.
Back at the ATF office, Larabee is going over the files of possible team members, when he comes across the file of a Nathan Jackson... who served in the Army as a paramedic. As he reads on he discovers the man was a part of the drug campaigns of the late 1980's. Wondering if this is the same man as Josiah's friend... he calls Josiah into his office.
Only to find the man has not returned from lunch yet.
Returning from lunch, Sanchez finds an empty outer office and he proceeds to Larabee's door. Knocking before sticking his head in the open door he says... "Hey, boss just wanted to let you know I'm back."
"Josiah, come on in... pull up a seat."
"Sure Chris, something bothering you?"
"No... nothing's wrong. Was wondering if this is your friend? "
Larabee passes Sanchez a folder.
"What is it? Oh wow. Where did you get this?"
"ADA Travis. Its just one of the candidates for the team he thinks I should consider. I'll take that as a yes... can you tell me what kind of man he is?"
"Sure, Chris. You couldn't ask for a better man to watch your back and he's honest as the day is long I don't get it, Chris. Why would ADA Travis be interested in Nathan joining the team?"
"Don't know J'siah, but before I make any decisions I think a meeting with Travis is in order." Larabee thanks Josiah for his input and as the big man gets up and leaves the office, Chris continues to study the folder in front of him.
Later that day, Larabee calls and makes an appointment with Travis. Travis agrees to meet him in the morning at 9am.
That night after work Josiah takes Nathan for a tour of the mission. As they make their way from room to room of the facility, he is very impressed with the work his friend has accomplished. Hoping to meet the woman whose voice so captured his heart, he is disappointed to find that she is not there.
Before leaving the facility, a time schedule is set up for Nathan and he is introduced to the woman who will show him the ropes.
+ + + + + + +
The following morning Larabee and ADA Travis meet to discuss Nathan Jackson.
"Orrin, I was reviewing the files you sent me in regard to candidates for joining team seven when by chance a friend of Josiah Sanchez's turned up; man by the name of Nathan Jackson. I was wondering what your interest is in him?"
"You say he's a friend of Josiah's... small world. Well, Chris he was a friend of my son, Steven's. As a matter of record, he was with Steven when he died. It is my understanding that Nathan did everything he could for my son, never leaving his side."
"After reading his file I was more then convinced that he belongs on the team but I wanted to hear what you had to say on the matter. Since he's in town visiting Josiah I believe I'll call him in for an interview."
"Glad to hear it Chris... he's a good man, you won't be sorry."
+ + + + + + +
The kitchen table in Nathan's apartment is filled with clutter as he sifts through the mess, he finds a photo of his beautiful Rain. Glancing at the photo, he recalls the day it was taken... the day he asked her to be his wife. The skies were a bright blue, the scent of flowers filled the air at least at the very least that is how he will always remember it.
As he sat, hands slowly made their way around his neck and a kiss is gently placed upon his cheek. A soft voice brings him back to the present.
"Nathan my love, I woke when I didn't feel you beside me. I got worried. Is something wrong?"
"No, nothing's wrong... just couldn't sleep is all."
"What's that in your hand?"
"It's the picture I took of you the day I asked you to marry me."
"Oh Nathan I'll never forget that day... do you remember it?"
"Of course I do. I remember it like it was yesterday. The sun was shining so bright."
"Nathan it rained all day."
"Let's see you wore a pretty yellow dress."
"It was blue."
"We ate out."
"No... honey I cooked."
"I brought roses."
"Yes you did... and I still have one that I crushed in the book of poems you gave me on our wedding day."
"Rain, sweetheart, have I told you lately how much I love you? Better yet come on to bed and let me show you."
It is late afternoon when a black SUV enters the underground garage of The ATF federal building. They park next to the elevator and as the desired time approached, they position themselves in the shadows. They waited; knowing phase one would soon be completed.
Forty- thirty and his two-week vacation has just begun. As he rides the elevator down preoccupied with thoughts of the beautiful woman who would be in his arms tonight, he never notices the men or hears their approach. Suddenly his world goes black.
The driver of the SUV, slight in build, brown hair worn in a single long braid, catches the agent before he falls to the floor while his cohort opens the back of the vehicle. Together they situate the man's body, and proceeded to tie his hands and feet. The blow to the head assured them he wouldn't wake anytime soon. The two men part and as the man with brown hair drives away, his accomplice commanders the agent's vehicle and follows his companion.
They leave Denver, heading for a house six miles outside of Westminster. Arriving just as night falls, the two men carry the ATF agent into the building where they lay him on a bed located on the second floor. Before leaving, they start to tie the unconscious agent to the bed when the driver of the SUV notices he isn't breathing.
"What the hell? He ain't breathin'."
"Henry. Damn, ya killed 'em."
"Look Stan, we all agreed he had to be taken out of commission and that's just what we did."
They return to Denver, abandoning the agent's vehicle near a warehouse on the East Side of town.
Then the men continue on to phase two of the operation.
+ + + + + + +
Stan drops Henry off near the elevator and watches as the doors close and rise to the floor of Team Seven. He waits another ten minutes before continuing on to complete phase two.
Meanwhile, Henry who bears an uncanny likeness to Nathan, emerged from the elevator and heads to the offices of Team Seven. Using the key he took from the dead agent, he enters Team Seven's suite and heads right for Larabee's private office. In no time, he is in the system and has the file he wants on the screen. After carefully viewing said file, Henry removes the name of the police informer and replaces it with Nathan's. The report reads as a who's who of the top names in a drug running business moving into the Denver area. With the help of two paid witnesses identifying Jackson as the man they saw muscling a victim who later turned up dead, Hanson will now have his revenge.
While Henry is busy, Stan returns, driving a cab and waits for his partner in front of the building.
Omar Harris, the security guard on duty, watches as the tall black man exits the elevator; recognizing the man as he approaches. He was about to engage Jackson in conversation, but before any words are spoken the man smiles, nods and is out of the building. A puzzled frown appears on Harris' face and as he watches, the agent jumps into a waiting cab and takes off.
+ + + + + + +
Nathan wouldn't be at the saloon tonight. Rain has found a little bed and breakfast in a beautiful picturesque town just outside of Boulder, while there on business. She looked forward to sharing it with her sweet Nathan, hoping to make it their own secret little hideaway. They will be gone two weeks, and no one knows where the couple will be.
Rain calls the B&B and finds he hasn't checked in yet; she then calls his cell phone, as well as the office and home.
"Nathan, my love, I won't be able to get there until late Saturday night. The Superior office is having trouble implementing the new design I made into their system and is in need of my help. I'm sorry, Love, I hoped to catch you in time; I had hoped we could change our plans. Oh well, call you when I'm finished in Superior. I love you."
The rest of Team Seven is gathered around their usual table, discussing their absent brother as well as what they would do with their long weekend.
"Boy, that lucky dog," Buck said.
"Yes, indeed, I concur, Mr. Wilmington." Ezra replied.
"Yes, brothers, Nathan is that, all right, and no one deserves the time off more." Josiah says of his best friend.
"Well, I don't know about you guys, but I kind of miss him," their youngest said.
"Ok, enough already. I'm sure he's not giving us any thought, so let's toast that our friend has a great two weeks and get down to the business at hand," Larabee says.
"And just what business would that be, oh great leader of ours," Buck laughed.
Chris glares at Buck before he continues. "The ADA has given us the next four days off, he said we deserve the down time for bringing the assignment to a close so quickly. What'd say we all meet back at my place for the weekend? We haven't taken the horses out for a good run in a while. We'll take the camping gear; make the most of it."
Everyone agrees and heads out. The men meet up at Larabee's ranch an hour and a half later, saddle the horses, pack supplies, and head for the foothills behind Chris' ranch. The clock is closing in on seven-thirty when they stop to set up camp. They choose a spot that is one hundred feet from the river that runs through Larabee's property. The men of Team Seven gather wood, erect tents and prepare the area for a weekend of relaxing; having cooking duty for the first night, Ezra starts to prepare supper. By the time everything's set up the meal is ready and he begins serving; the meal consists of only the best fillet mignon, sautéed mushrooms and sweet potato pie.
"Gentlemen, dinner is served."
"Damn Ezra, What'd you do? Stop at that restaurant you always go to?"
"Hey, Ez ya forgot the cloth napkins."
"Mr. Wilmington, Mr. Tanner, just because we are indulging in the great outdoors does not mean we have to be subjected to such deployable food. So please let us end this and begin our repass."
They sit around the campfire drinking beer and listening to Buck go on and on about his latest conquests, every now and then JD would make an attempt to tell one of his favorite jokes. Before long the yawning begins and one by one they bed down for the night.
Chris, Buck, JD and Josiah are up before the sun. Eager to catch a morning meal, the four men take positions long the river. It is Six AM. The fire is primed, fish are frying coffee is brewing as Ezra makes his way out of his tent to join the men.
"Ezra, how nice of you to join us; sure do hope we didn't disturb your beauty sleep." Buck says.
"Sir, is or is this not a form of vacation and during a vacation does one not catch up on one's sleep?"
"So what do you plan to do all weekend? Sleep the days away?" Vin asked
"Now boys we came here to relax, so if sleeping is your choice so be it brother." Josiah says.
The day is filled with hiking, fishing and exploring the surrounding area; as night comes upon them, wood once again is gathered. A fire is built and since the full moon shines brightly Ezra brings out his cards and a hand of poker ensued.
+ + + + + + +
When Nathan wakes sunlight is shining in through a small window allowing him to see and as he looks around he realizes nothing is familiar. He can't remember how he got here because his mind is blank.
As he tries to get up, it feels as if an explosion is going off in his head. He falls back, forcing himself to relax before attempting to sit up; time passes and he tries again. On his second try he manages to place his feet on the floor. He looks around the room and notices that the only items in the room are the bed he sits on and a broken mirror that hangs directly across from the bed. A look of uncertainty appears on his face, as he catches sight of his image; and the following questions come to his mind; ' Who am I? Where am I? How long have I been here?'
Nathan manages to stand and, after getting his balance, he walks to the door. He listens, then slowly opens the door. Finding the hallway empty, he cautiously proceeds to the stairway. Upon reaching the stairs, he again stops and listens before continuing to make his way out of the building. Once outside the building, he finds the surrounding area is filled with trees, and a stone fence separates the road from the grounds. Making his way to the road, he can see two small structures to his left. Cautiously, he heads in that direction, hoping to find something that he recognizes, something that would could tell him who he is.
On the road, he stops and looks up to find the sun shining directly overhead. After taking a deep breath, he straightens his shoulders and resumes walking towards the structures. A short time later, he arrives at the buildings only to find them abandoned, and no phone in sight. His need to find answers gives him the motivation to continue his search.
As Nathan approaches a curve in the road he stops and looks back seeing only the outline of the buildings he'd started from; he continues down the road until his legs grow weak and start to cramp. On his left, he notices a shaded area and slowly limps over to where he could ease himself down. He falls asleep as soon as his body makes contact with the ground and he sleeps for the next five hours.
It is Saturday afternoon and Rain has just finished her assignment in Superior. A cold shiver and a feeling of dread courses through her body. Realizing Nathan has not returned her call, she calls the bed and breakfast; he isn't registered. A cold fear grabs a hold of her heart.
"Larabee. Can't come to the phone right now, leave message if you want," was all she gets from Chris' home phone. The office is no help, either. When she calls, she is automatically transferred to voice mail, instructing her to leave a message. Not knowing who else to turn to, Rain calls Travis and, with a shaky voice, she explains what is happening.
As she speaks, she paces back and forth. "Mr. Travis? This is Rain Jackson, I'm sorry to bother you but I'm worried about Nathan; I can't locate him. He was... Nathan was supposed to meet me at a little place called 'The Dove'. I called him to let him know I'd be late but he never returned my call. I checked with the 'The Dove' and was told he'd never checked in... I've tried our home and his cell phone, he never received my message. Nathan has never failed to return a call before; I'm so worried, I just can't image where he is. I know... I just know something has happened to him. I need to find him, oh God I need to find him."
A confused and distraught Rain begins to cry even as the words... come tumbling out of her mouth.
"Rain, try to remain calm. I'll make a few calls and get right back to you. What's your number?" He scribbles the number down as she rattles it off. "Ok, you stay right there. I promise we'll get to the bottom of this. We'll find him. I'm sure he's fine. Try not to worry." And with that, ADA Travis hangs up.
Not liking the idea that one of his men is missing, Orrin opens his Rolodex and proceeds to call each of the remaining members of Team Seven. After leaving messages, ADA Travis checks to see if any other team is in the Boulder area. He then calls the authorities in all the surrounding towns leading to Denver. With each call, he requests information regarding any John Does that they might have; he also requests that Nathan Jackson's name be added to their missing persons file and if Mr. Jackson is found, he is to be notified at once.
+ + + + + + +
Evening is drawing to a close and the poker game no longer holds their interest; gradually they move around the fire and Vin takes out his harmonica. Ezra decides to check on his messages before it gets too late; he proceeds to pull out his cell phone and the first is an urgent message from ADA Travis that he returns immediately.
"Agent Standish, returning ADA Travis' call."
"Agent Standish, do you know where I can locate Larabee?"
"Yes, sir, he's right here." A perplexed Ezra glances around trying to locate Chris. Sighting the blond returning from checking on the horses, he heads in his direction, calling, "Chris! ADA Travis," and holds up the phone.
Larabee takes the phone saying, "Orrin, what's the problem?"
"Rain Jackson called me when she couldn't get a hold of you... she's all upset. It seems Nathan has disappeared."
"What do you mean, Nathan disappeared?" At the mention of the agent's name, the other men start to gather around their team leader.
"She said that she'd called him about a change in their plans and was unable to reach him. She then left a message; he never returned it."
"Chris, what's going on?" Buck asks.
Larabee waves him off and continues to question Travis.
"When was the last time she spoke to him? Where is she now? Ok, what's the number?"
Ezra writes it down as their leader repeats it. Larabee looks at Ezra as he nods and says, "Ok, got it. All right. I'll call."
He ends the call, saying. "Pack up. We got trouble... Nathan's missing."
As they break camp, he tells them about Rain's call to Travis. They head back to the ranch and as they ride, each man's thoughts center on their missing friend.
Upon their return to the ranch, Larabee, JD and Ezra head into the house where Chris calls Rain. Ezra calls in favors and seeks any information he can from his contacts on the street. Meanwhile, JD logs on and proceeds to do a search consisting of cases Nathan is directly connected to.
While, outside Buck, Vin and Josiah take care of the horses and stow the gear. As he works, Josiah offers up a prayer to God for the fast and safe return of his best friend and brother. From the corner of his eye, he notices Nathan's horse and his mind begins to wander back to the first time they met.
Sanchez has decided to leave the monastery after months of soul searching. At the same time, a confused and angry, young Afro-American shows up looking for answers. His mother has committed suicide and his father has died of a broken heart and the young man is having a hard time dealing with it. Nathan is in his early twenties and alone in the world, trying to decide where his future lies. Josiah helps him to cope with his loss and find a direction to follow. When Nathan joins the Army, it is Josiah who is there, offering advice, and an ear when needed. As the years pass, their friendship has grown.
When all the horses are taken care of, the three men head into the house; and add their expertise to the search for their missing friend. Plans are made. Chris, Vin and Josiah are heading to Boulder while Buck, Ezra and JD return to the office.
+ + + + + + +
After making a few more calls, ADA Travis calls Rain Jackson as he promised. Before he could say anything she tells him of her call from Larabee. Hearing the anxiety in her voice as they speak, he makes a decision and informs her he will be sending someone to escort her home from Superior. Rain starts to protest but he convinces her that she is in no condition to drive. He ends their conversation telling her someone will be there within the hour.
Mary Travis has just put the paper to bed when the phone rings.
"Clarion News, Mary Travis speaking."
"Mary, dear, it's Orrin. Do you have any plans for the evening?"
"No, Orrin. Is something wrong?"
"Rain Jackson was to meet Nathan at a B&B outside of Boulder, but he never showed up. Mary would you be able to stay with her? I'm worried and don't think she should be alone."
"Of course, Orrin I'll go right over."
"And Mary don't worry about Billy. I've called Evie and she's more than happy to keep Billy overnight if need be." With that settled, they end their conversation.
Mary arrives at the Jackson home just as Rain is being dropped off; the two women hug before entering the house.
"Mary, thank you for coming... I'm," she says hesitantly, I... I just don't know what to do." As she speaks Rain twists the ring on her third finger. "Why hasn't he called? Where can he be? Oh, God. What if," she says with a shaky voice, "he's..." tears begin to fall.
Wrapping her arms around her friend, Mary tries to give as much comfort as possible. "They'll find him," she quietly murmurs.
Afraid to close her eyes, Rain paces from room to room. When she comes out of the bedroom, she is wearing Nathan's robe, her arms wrapped tight around her body.
While Mary is preparing tea, Rain curls up on the couch and soon falls into a restless sleep. Upon Mary's return, Rain springs up screaming for Nathan. Unable to calm her friend, Mary watches helplessly as the woman faints. When she can't wake her, she calls 911 and waits for the paramedics to arrive. She thanks the operator and then disconnects the call as the medics arrive and prepare to load Rain into an ambulance.
+ + + + + + +
While Chris, Vin and Josiah set out for Boulder; Buck, Ezra and JD head for the office.
When the men reach the building that housed the offices of the ATF, Buck and Ezra immediately canvass the building seeking any information regarding Nathan. Meanwhile, JD heads for the office to resume his search on the computer. JD was waiting for some feedback when he notices Larabee's open door. Cautiously he approaches the inner office. As he enters, he immediately could sense that something is out of place. Before he can investigate further, the sounds of people approaching catches his attention.
Ezra and Buck walk into the outer office just as JD is coming out of Larabee's office.
"Oh man, (he sighs) it's only you guys." JD says with much relief.
"Kid who else would it be?" Buck asked.
"Indeed, Mr. Dunne. Whom were you expecting?" Ezra adds.
"No one, oh hell, you just spooked me is all."
"Why? What's happened?" Buck asks.
"Not sure if anything has happened, but I found Chris' door open and I was just about to look around when I heard you coming."
Without saying another word, Wilmington and Standish enter their team leader's office. As the three men begin their search they notice that the cleaning people haven't been in yet; while Ezra goes to track down, and question, the cleaning woman, JD goes through the garbage can. Just as Ezra returns from questioning the woman, JD finds a piece of paper with Nathan's name and a file number.
"According to information obtained from the woman, Agent Jackson was here when she entered the outer office. She left, planning to return later. She was certain it was Agent Jackson, however, she doesn't believe he saw her." Ezra reports.
"I know Buck; I'm on it... as soon as I have anything, you'll be the first to know," JD said as he walks out of Larabee's office.
"Ezra, I want you to question everyone again. Start with the security guards."
"I'm on my way, Mr. Wilmington."
"Before Chris calls, lets find out if Nathan was really here."
With that, the men go their separate ways, searching for the facts. Buck calls in a favor and within the hour, Horace Johns is dusting Larabee's office for fingerprints.
On the drive over to Boulder, it is decided that their first stop will be the local PD.
As they enter the building, the men split up, Vin going to missing persons, while Chris and Josiah check the morgue. After showing their Ids, they inquire about any young unidentified black men brought in recently; the clerk shows them to the viewing room. While they wait, each man says a silent prayer that it would not be their friend and brother.
The only sound is the twin sighs of relief as two men realize the body is not that of their friend.
When Sanchez and Larabee exit the elevator, Vin is waiting for them and as they leave the building he informs them of his findings. As they walk to the car, the sharpshooter tells his teammates that Travis had called and requested that Nathan's name be added to their list of missing persons, but thus far no one has reported seeing anyone fitting his description.
+ + + + + + +
The ambulance pulls up outside the emergency room and as soon as the doors open, Rain is whisked into the hospital. Before Mary knows what is happening, her friend disappears from view. While she waits for news, the pretty blond calls her father-in-law, filling him in on what she knows so far, promising to call back when she knows more.
Half an hour later, Dr. Burns enters the waiting room looking for Nathan Jackson. Not seeing him, she asks the register person who is with Mrs. Jackson. Hearing the doctor's inquiry, Mary stands up and approaches the woman.
"Doctor, I came in with Rain Jackson. I was with her when she passed out... Doctor, is there someplace we can talk?"
"Certainly, if you'll follow me, I believe there's an empty room over there."
They enter a small room and as they sit down, Mary introduces herself and begins to explain what has occurred. When Dr. Burns hears everything, she explains that she, by law, could only divulge her patient's condition to immediate family members. After considering the circumstances, the doctor informs the woman of her friend's condition; and that she will be keeping Rain for observation. Dr. Burns then tells Mary it might be comforting to Mrs. Jackson if someone she knew is there when she regains consciousness and then she offers the woman her hand before taking her leave.
While Mary waits for her friend to be transported to her room, she finds a pay phone and calls Orrin.
"Orrin, it's me. I just finished speaking with the doctor... Orrin, the doctor is concerned and has admitted her for observation; she also informed me that Rain is pregnant. I'll be staying here for the night."
"You did say pregnant, right? Did the doctor say how far along she is?"
"She's two, almost three months. I have to go now. They're taking her up to her room. Please call as soon as you know anything."
"I will, dear and try not to worry." That said, they quietly end their conversation.
JD begins entering the information he'd found in Larabee's trash can; while he waited for fed back on concerning an incident involving Nathan; he also requests Nathan's service record before the ATF.
Ezra returns from re-questioning the employees still on duty; Wilmington joins the men when he sees Ezra enter the outer office and asks if either has anything to report.
The undercover agent proceeds to inform his brothers in arm of his findings when the first of the files begins to come through. Ezra continues on with his findings.
"Mr. Wilmington, it appears that Mr. Jackson left the building by way of the main entrance. Mr. Harris, the guard on duty did indeed see him leave; the time of his departure was seven thirty. According to the guard, our Mr. Jackson got into a cab."
"Was he sure it was Nathan and of the time he left?"
"Indeed, he was sure of both; however Mr. Harrison did say he thought Nathan was acting a bit odd. You see, our good Nathan always inquiries as to the health of his family and always took a few minutes to talk with the man, of which he did neither."
As he ends his report, the information JD has first entered was making itself known; however, the information he obtains appears to be of no help. They are still waiting for the feedback from the data he found in Larabee's office when the phone rings.
"Have you heard from Larabee?"
"No. Orrin, I was about to call him. Have you heard anything new?"
"Mary called, Rain Jackson fainted and she was unable to revive her so she called 911; the doctor was worried and admitted her for observation. Their keeping a close eye on her afraid she might lose the baby."
"Excuse me, sir? What did you say? You didn't just say 'BABY' as in having a 'CHILD'? Did you?"
Ezra and JD continue to make calls gathering anything they could regarding their missing friend. Hearing Buck repeating himself, brings them to a complete stand still. As they listen, they can't believe their ears when Buck says 'baby' and Nathan's name in the same sentence.
"Man. Do you think Nate knows?" JD whispers.
Before, Ezra could reply...
"NO, oh sorry ADA I didn't mean to yell. No, I'm sure he doesn't. He would never be able to keep that from the guys. He would have told us."
"I concur with Mr. Wilmington; our Mr. Jackson would have informed us, his fellow agents, of such a wondrous event in his and the lovely Mrs. Jackson's, life."
Buck thanks the ADA for the information and promises to relay it to Larabee; a few minutes later he terminates the call.
It is after midnight when Larabee and his men check into their hotel. When the elevator arrives on the third floor, the three men step off, agreeing to meet in Chris' room in an hour. As he enters room 337, Team Seven leader's phone is already ringing.
"Buck! Something wrong?" The man in black holds his breath waiting for the reply.
"Chris, it's Rain she fainted from exhaustion; when Mary couldn't wake her, she called 911, they took her to Four Corners General."
"Buck, is she going to be alright?"
"All I know is that she's unconscious and Chris... she's pregnant. The doctor is concerned she could lose the baby."
"Oh, God. You think Nathan knows?"
"Pard, you know he'd never keep something like from the guys." After filling each other in on their findings, they end the call.
They haven't eaten since early evening; upon check in Chris has made arrangements for sandwiches to be sent up. Josiah and Vin arrive as room service is leaving Larabee's room.
As they start to eat, the man in black relays the information Buck had called in; he knew he couldn't postpone the enviable and so he tells them about Rain, then asks a question of the team's profiler...
"Josiah, has Nathan ever mention anything about starting a family?"
"Well... oh, God in the Heaven, she's with child, isn't she?"
"Yeah, she is and Nate doesn't know. The doctor as I said has admitted her and they're keeping an eye on her (after a short pause) there's a possibility she could lose the baby."
With this news, the room grows quiet as each man's thoughts take control of their feelings.
When Buck enters the ATF office Horace Johns, finger print expert is waiting. Horace has found a partial print when dusting Larabee's office; and after running the results as well as an extensive search for matching prints, he achieves little success.
"About time you got here, listen Buck I did manage to lift a partial print but when I ran it, an FBI flag came up."
"What the... what would the FBI want with Nathan? Were you at lest able to determine whether or not it belonged to Jackson?"
"Well, all I can say is I'm pretty sure that it's not his."
The two men are so wrapped up in their conversation that neither hears JD and Ezra enter the office. The computer expert listens to the men discussing the problem and when he hears them mention the FBI he quickly and quietly logs on and begins retrieving the necessary information. Fifteen minutes later, JD presents Buck with a printout concerning the fingerprint in question.
"JD, what are you doing here so early; Ezra, that you?
"Apparently we all had difficulty sleeping, I for one will not be able to rest comfortably as long as our fellow teammate is not amongst us. Gentlemen I suggest we get to work and find the person or persons responsible for Mr. Jackson's disappearance."
Horace Johns quietly takes his leave while the men of team seven discuss their missing brother.
"JD! Where... how you'd get this?"
"Mr. Wilmington, what have you got there?"
"Says here that our partial print belongs to a Henry Johnson, undercover agent for the FBI."
"Buck, did you say Johnson, Henry Johnson?"
"That's right Ez, why you know him?"
"Well while I was with the FBI, there was an incident that resulted in the disappearance of several missing files."
"What kind of files?" Buck asks.
"I believe it had something to do with drug trafficking. As I recall I do believe hearing his name come up more than once concerning this matter. However, I don't believe any action was ever taken."
"You ever meet this Johnson feller?" JD asked.
"No, but I did see him in passing once; as I recall... oh my word, now that I recollect, he bears an extreme likeness to our Mr. Jackson. Someone who doesn't know them, would even assume they were one and the same. Mr. Dunne, how were you able to obtain classified material?"
"Well, it helps when you design the program they use."
"Whoa, wait just one minute. YOU? You designed a program for the FBI? You're, kidding."
"No, Buck I'm not kidding. When I was in college, I designed a program so complex that no one was able to break in. It was featured in 'Computer Digest'. The next thing I know the government's knocking on my door, asking me to set up a program specifically for them. After they agreed to pay for my education, which I got in writing, I designed a foolproof program. I did, however put in a back door that only I know about."
He sits there with a big smile spreading across his face as he watches his friends exchange a look of disbelief. Nathan's file starts to come through and his fellow agents are hoping it will explain his disappearance.
As Wilmington, Standish and Dunne review all the data they have collected thus far, one name keeps popping up- Wilbur Hanson aka Handsome Hanson. From what they are able to conclude, the first time Nathan had any contact with the man was his rookie year; Hanson killed Sergeant Chin, his partner of almost one year.
"According to the reports on file, Officers Chin and Jackson were responding to a call down on the docks. They were the first car to arrive and witnessed a drug deal going bad; their call for backup was answered too late, Chin was dead before it arrived."
"JD, does it say how long it took for help to arrive?" Buck asks.
"No times were given... the arriving officers claim there was radio interference and at no time did they receive a distress call."
"Who were the responding officers?"
"Let me see... here it is two cars responded, unit 12 and unit 27; that's strange there's no record of either car radioing dispatch until after they arrived. The names of the officers, Ben Panza, Joe Jamison, Harry Santa and... oh you're not going to believe this... Henry Johnson."
"Henry Johnson? Ya, think it's the same Johnson we're looking for? JD, I want his file; but first, finish the report."
JD resumes relaying the information in front of him.
"Officer Jackson was wounded and Hanson, the only soul survivor of his gang, sat three feet away with a bullet in his arm, handcuffed. Jackson was found holding his partner, rocking the man back and forth as shock began to take control. That's it, Buck. "
Before Buck could say anything, JD begins pulling up Chin, Hanson and Johnson's files; and the waiting game begins again.
+ + + + + + +
Before leaving the hotel to resume their search, Larabee places a call to Four Corners General, needing to know if Rain's condition has changed. The phone is answered on the first ring.
"Mary, it's Chris; how is she? Any news about the baby?"
"Oh Chris, I'm so glad you called. They put her on a monitor. Chris, she's been unconscious since they brought her in; I'm really worried; any news on Nathan?" Before he can answer she rattled on. "I keep hoping she'll come to but then last night... she must've been dreaming because suddenly her heart beat became erratic. She's in a private room; Orrin insisted and he also posted a guard. He said until we know what happened to Nathan, he didn't want her upset by anything or anyone." As if the air left her body, her rambling comes to an abrupt end.
Before she could get her second wind, Chris takes the opportunity to answer her question as well as ask a few of his own.
"No luck so far, we searched Boulder inside and out; we're extending our search to include all the towns heading back to Denver. Mary, are you all right? When was the last time you got some sleep or saw Billy?"
"Oh I'm fine and I saw Billy...'' she stops to think ''when did I see him? Yesterday? Yes, it was at breakfast; and far as sleep, I dozed on and off during the night. Orrin requested that a cot be brought in, so I did get some rest."
"Mary, you call Buck if you need anything... and I'll call as soon as I know more."
"All right, I will and Chris" she hesitates a moment before she speaks again. "Please be careful." Again she pauses before saying, "Find him" and with those words hanging in the air, he hears a soft click signaling the end of their connection.
Before going to meet Josiah and Vin, Larabee calls Buck asking him to check in on Mary and Rain.
+ + + + + + +
The B&B the young couple were to meet at is located in the town of Lafayette; it is this locale that the team starts their search. As they head back to Denver, the three men of Team Seven stop and make inquiries at the local hospitals and PDs concerning their missing family member. Town after town, it was the same... "No sorry we don't have anyone fitting that description; wish you luck and if anything comes in we'll notify you." The closer they get to Denver, the more dread and heartache they feel.
'Where is the missing part of their family?' Was the question on all their minds; needing to find the man who has become the heart and soul of team seven drove them on.
As they approach Denver, Larabee's cell phone goes off, jolting the men back from where their minds tried to escape.
OUTSIDE OF WESTMINSTER
Waking with the morning sun, he carefully stands and wipes the grim from his eyes as he begins to walk.
Thankful that the day is warm, he pushes himself on, wanting to find shelter before nightfall; food and water, a forgotten memory just like his past. As the day begins to wind down, and his vision diminishes, he staggers on, feeling the exhaustion take control of his overwrought body.
As he comes upon connecting roads, the pain in his head finally wins. A scream fills the air just before he collapses and crumples to the ground.
The Westminster Highway Department is finishing the repairs to route 10 when they hear an ear-piercing scream. The air around them suddenly gives off a feeling of dread, sending chills down their backs. Foreman Walter Welcome and two of his men start to investigate; the three men slowly walk down the road looking and watching for anything out of the ordinary. They are approximately fifty feet away from an object lying on the side of the road when Red Jones takes off running, the others following close behind; as they approach they realize it is a body. Vin Vincent kneels down beside the fallen man and feels for a pulse. As he does so, Walter pulls out his cell phone and calls 911, as Red runs back to get the emergency kit and anything else they can use to make the man comfortable.
Ten minutes later a patrol car pulls up and patrolmen Howard and Kozin emerge from the vehicle, after they check his pulse rate, they search the man for identification and find none. They then check on the arrival time of the ambulance. It isn't long before the sirens can be heard.
After taking the statements of the three men with the highway department and getting a number where they can be reached, the officers thank them for their help then turn their attention back to the unknown man.
Kozin and Howard watch as their John Doe is loaded into the ambulance and takes off for St. Anne's Hospital. As they follow the vehicle, Kozin appears agitated; he feels the unconscious man is the cause of it. After checking his notes from roll call he finds the answer; their John Doe he believes is the missing ATF Agent. As they pull up to the emergency room, Kozin radios dispatch the information he has concerning the young black man he believes to be the missing agent.
Within the hour Detective Degroat arrives looking for the officers who had called in the report. As Officer Kozin speaks with the detective, his partner stays with the unconscious man; a short time later Dr. Fagin emerges from examination room seven.
"Sir, I understand that you are here in regards to the young man brought in by Officers Howard and Kozin."
"That's right, Doctor...?"
"Dr. Fagin, and you are?"
"Detective Degroat. Can you please tell me how the young man is?"
"Please, have a seat, detective." he nods at the chairs against the wall. As they sit down, the doctor proceeds to inform the detective of his findings.
"He has sustained a blow to the head, bruised ribs and abrasions to the face. I won't know what effect the injury to the head has caused until he awakens. He is also dehydrated and as a result, is running a fever. I'll know more when the test results comeback, until then he'll be moved to a room in intensive care where we can keep a close eye on him. Do you have any questions, Detective?"
"Yes, doctor," Degroat holds up a photo of Jackson; "Doctor, is this the man you examined?"
After carefully studying the photo, Dr. Fagin says, "it is a possibility."
The detective thanks the doctor then proceeds to instruct Officers Howard and Kozin, to remain with the injured man until his return.
Degroat returns to his office and proceeds to place a call to ADA Travis; as he waits for the call to connect, he reviews his notes.
"Sir, my name is Detective Matthew Degroat of the Westminster Police Department. I believe we just might have Agent Jackson in our hospital."
"What do you mean might have?"
"The man in question meets some of the information we have but his face, due to abrasions, is not recognizable; could you please fax me a copy of his fingerprints so I can confirm his identity?"
"Yes, of course and please call me as soon as you have confirmation either way?"
"Thank you. Sir, you will be the first one I call."
As soon as their connection ends Travis, immediately requests Agent Jackson's file; upon receiving the file he proceeds to fax the requested information to Detective Degroat.
As he waits for the fax to come through, Degroat signs out a finger print kit, arranges for two other officers to assist with guarding John Doe and by the time Jackson's prints come through he is ready to return to the hospital. It is one o'clock when the detective enters the hospital going directly to John Doe's room.
"Officer Littlefield, come with me," Degroat says as he leads the way.
They enter the man's room and Officer Littlefield exchanges places with Howard, while Goodwin takes over for Kozin. Dr. Fagin appears as the exchanges were taking place and requests a word with the Detective.
"Doctor, is something wrong?"
"I just checked on Mr. Doe I'm afraid he's running a high fever; while you were gone his test results came back. We found a trace of a drug that renders you unconscious; it makes it look like your heart has stopped. I'm afraid that the drug combined with the blow to his head is why he hasn't awakened as yet."
"Do you have any idea when he might awaken?"
"That's hard to say; with the fever and being dehydrated, I'm afraid it's a waiting game."
"Doctor, please advise your staff that an Officer will be with him until he is released and no one will be permitted in without authorization. I will also need a list of the staff members who will be tending him. I apologize if this causes you or your staff any inconvenience; it is not only for his safety but for that of your staff's as well."
"All right Detective, I'll see to that right away." Degroat thanks the doctor and then enters Mr. Doe's room.
"Officer Littlefield, I need your help; please hold the ink pad while I get his prints."
When they finish getting the prints, Degroat compares them to the missing agent's fingerprints. While his eyes told him no, his gut tells him yes. Not believing the results he got, the detective returns to the station. Before calling Travis with the results he places the prints he obtained in the computer. Then he calls Travis.
ADA TRAVIS' OFFICE
"That's right, Chris. A Detective Degroat, Matthew Degroat of the Westminster PD; he called regarding a John Doe who was brought in to St. Ann's Hospital. He said the man fits agent Jackson's description and requested a copy of Nathan's fingerprints."
"When do you expect to hear from him?"
"Could call at anytime, Chris I want you to head over to St. Ann's and check this out."
"On our way." The connection ends as Chris made a U-turn and heads back to Westminster.
Two seconds later Travis' phone rings.
"Sir, Degroat here."
"What have you got for me; detective?"
He hesitates before answering the ADA.
"I'm sorry sir, the prints didn't match; I'm checking them with NCIC (National Crime Investigation Center) and the minute they come through I'll call you."
The disappointment could be heard in his voice as Travis informs the detective that Larabee and his men are on their way to St. Ann's. After filling in the Captain of the progress thus far, he asks that someone notify him when the results of the fingerprints come through. Degroat then returns to the hospital to meet Travis' men.
They are using the conference room as a command post and all information that has been obtained is spread out like a puzzle. JD is at the printer waiting as the last file starts to come through; Ezra is just checking in with his contact on the street and Buck is going over the information that has been obtained thus far when the phone rings.
"Buck, it's Chris, we might have a lead on Nathan; call you as soon we know anything. You got anything?
Having already informed Larabee about the personnel they have questioned Buck then proceeds to tell him all the information they have and how there is evidence that someone has been in his office.
"What do you mean, someone was in my office?"
"When Ez and I finally got to the office JD was about to go in; tell ya Chris the kid jumped ten feet when he heard us. Chris I can't remember the kid ever looking so spooked."
"Buck get on with it; who was in my office?"
"We got a partial print off of your computer and when we ran it we found it belonged to a Henry Johnson. Chris you're never going to believe it; he works for the FBI, Ezra knows of him even saw him once and he says he could be Nate's twin."
"OK, so what's the connection?"
"JD found that in Nathan's rookie year, his partner was killed by a guy named Hanson when they came across a drug deal gone bad; Johnson was one of the officers responding. We're waiting on whatever files there are on Chin, Hanson and Johnson."
"Buck, reports coming through."
"Chris, new info just arrived; call you as soon as we finish going through it and good luck." Buck hangs up and heads for the conference room. Ezra and JD are all ready reviewing the files looking for anything that could connect the men in question with Nathan.
"OK, guys, what we've got?"
"Mr. Wilmington, we have found that Chin and Hanson were in the same division of the Army as our team medic. We were just about to see if Mr. Johnson was also one of our military. If you please, the file in question is there in front of you; will you do the honors?"
"No sweat, let's see; says here that Johnson was in the 102nd division and did a tour in South America."
"Buck, that's the same division as Chin, Hanson and if I remember right Nathan was also in that division, as a matter of fact I remember him telling us about a tour he did in the jungles of South America." JD says.
"Gentlemen, it appears that we have our connection."
A red flag goes up. Someone has tried to gain information concerning
Agent Johnson aka NJ Jackson. Agents Roscoe and Downings are assigned to investigate.
ST. ANN'S HOSPITAL
Detective Degroat gets a call requesting his presence back at the station. It seems that his request for information concerning John Doe's fingerprints sent up a red flag drawing the attention of the FBI. Agents Roscoe and Downings are waiting to question him.
Larabee and his men are fast approaching the hospital they believe holds their missing team medic. When they are about ten miles from the hospital, traffic comes to a stand still, locking them in. As they sit in traffic Chris' phone goes off.
"Degroat, Larabee, something strange is going on. The FBI is waiting in my office concerning our John Doe. I'm on my way back to the office now."
"The FBI? It makes no sense; what could they want with Nathan?"
"Don't forget it may not be him; won't know for sure until you make positive ID. How long before you can get to the hospital?"
"I'm not sure. We're stuck in traffic just outside of town on the main strip. We sure could use some help."
"Sit tight; I'll see what I can do." Before heading to the station Degroat calls, requesting a squad car to pick up Larabee and his men.
Ten minutes, later Patrolman Polycrap is making his way to the trapped members of team seven.
Mary stands by the window, watching without seeing, listening without hearing... praying her friend would soon wake up. Suddenly, a soft voice calls out.
"Nathan... Nathan where are you?"
And the next thing Mary knows, Rain is trying to get out of bed. The blond quickly positions herself next to her friend's bed trying to keep her from hurting herself. As Mary struggles with the distraught woman, the fight in Rain suddenly gives way and she passes out. The newspaperwoman is just about to call for help when Dr. Burns enters the room. After examining her patient, Dr. Burns orders a few tests to check on the status of the baby.
DENVER ATF OFFICE
Buck places a call to ADA Travis, filling him in on the progress made.
"ADA Travis. Buck Wilmington."
"Buck, anything new on Nathan?"
"Orrin, we found a connection regarding Nathan with his former partner, Sergeant Michael Chin, also a Wilbur Hanson and Henry Johnson; apparently they all served in the 102nd and were stationed in the jungles of South America."
"Did you say Wilbur Hanson and Henry Johnson?"
"Yes Sir, Hanson and Johnson. Why, have you heard of them?"
"If I remember right there was as incident involving a locally known drug lord by the name of Juan Rivera and the names Hanson and Johnson came up."
"But what has that got to do with Nathan? I guess the only way we'll know anything for sure is when Nathan can tell us."
"Good work, Buck. I'm going to call in a few favors see what I can find out." With that their connection ends.
+ + + + + + +
Just as the man in black's cell phone rings, a patrol car pulls up along side his vehicle.
"Agent Larabee? I'm Patrolman Polycrap, Detective Degroat sent me; I'm to direct to you to the hospital. If you'll just fall in behind me, I'll have you there in no time."
As Larabee pulls out of traffic, he hands his cell phone to Josiah.
"Josiah, its Buck. We found a connection but we need Nathan for confirmation. You have any news?"
"We're on our way to the hospital now, Buck. Chris wants you to check out why the FBI is interested in a John Doe."
"FBI? Will do, boy this sure is mysterious can't imagine what they'd want with Nathan."
"Buck, we're still not sure who Mr. Doe is, don't go jumping the gun.
We'll be in touch."
No sooner do they hang up, then JD is handing Rivera's FBI file to Buck and confirming a connection with Hanson and Johnson.
"JD, sometimes you just plain scare me, boy. Is there anything you can't do on that machine?"
"Buck, I think we've got our connection, look at this." JD says as he turns to page four.
"Please, Mr. Wilmington do hold me in suspense, what has our young genius found?" Ezra implores.
"It says that a Wilbur Hanson was a corporal attached to the 102nd Division same time as Jackson, Chin and Johnson..."
Before he could finish the phone rings.
"Buck. Orrin here, according to my contacts, Johnson was undercover and worked for Special Forces. He was the one who discovered the link between Hanson and Rivera. It was believed that Rivera was instrumental in Hanson's disappearance right about the time he was to be arrested."
"Well, that gives us our connection but what has that got to do with Nathan? Orrin, thanks for the information; I'll pass it along to Chris and as soon as we know more you'll be the first one I'll call." With that said, the call is terminated.
Mary is waiting in Rain's hospital room for her to return from having an ultra sound done to check on the status of the baby. Just as she is straightening and fluffing the pillows a gurney is wheeled into the room. It is as they position her on the bed that Rain awakens again.
"Rain, are you all right; do you know where you are?" Mary inquires.
"Mary, oh Mary have they found Nathan?" The pregnant woman asks with a shaky voice.
"I don't know, they haven't called lately, the last I heard..." before she could say another word the phone rings.
"Hello Mary, it's Buck; how's Rain, she come to yet?"
"Yes Buck, she's awake I'll put her on." Mary hands the phone to Rain.
"Rain, girl, how are you and the baby is it doing ok..."
"Buck, please, Buck is there any news on Nathan?"
"Chris, Vin and Josiah are headed to St. Ann's Hospital in Westminster. There's a John Doe there we're hoping is Nathan. Chris said to tell you he'd call as soon as he knew for sure. Now you just take care of that little one and try not to worry your pretty little head."
"Oh God, thank you Buck please call as soon as you know either way ok."
Rain hands the phone back to Mary but before hanging up she quietly gives Buck the latest information concerning Rain.
"Gentlemen, I believe you wanted to see me? I'm Detective Degroat.
How can I help you?"
"Detective. I'm Agent Roscoe and this is my partner Agent Downings. Is there some place we can go to talk in private?"
"Yes, of course. Right this way." Degroat leads them to his office. Please have a seat. Can I get you coffee or perhaps some water."
"No, no thank you please we need to ask you why you are making inquiries regarding one of our agents."
"If he is one of yours we have a John Doe here in our hospital and the man I'm looking for is a missing ATF Agent from Denver by the name of Nathan J. Jackson."
"If he is ours then it's imperative that we see him right away." Agent Downings responds.
"All right gentlemen would you like to drive over with me or will you be following?"
"We'll just follow you." Agent Roscoe replies.
Twenty minutes after sitting in bumper to bumper traffic, three members of team seven arrive at the hospital. After getting the room number, they head for the elevator and begin what they hope will be the end of their search.
Meanwhile in the lobby Detective Degroat enters followed by the two FBI Agents. As the agents are about to step off the elevator onto Nathan's floor, a commotion is heard coming from outside John Doe's room. Degroat hurriedly leads the way to discover Larabee and his men arguing with the officer guarding the door. Degroat approaches the angry men and introduces himself as well as the FBI Agents then proceeds to enter the room.
Jackson is awake and turns toward the door as he hears it open. A sigh of relief is heard and then the men of team seven are advancing on their missing friend.
"Nathan, thank God, Rain has been worried sick. Are you all right brother? Josiah asks.
Hearing that his patient is now awake Dr. Fagin insists that everyone leave the room while he examines the man. Relieved to see the young black man responding so well and finding his fever gone, Dr. Fagin begins to question him.
"Son, do you know your name?"
"Where do you live?"
"Denver. With my wife Rain. Doctor, what happen to me? Tell me why I'm here."
"Well, we were hoping you would be able to tell us. Just let me get your friends and then I'll explain further."
The doctor goes to the door inviting the agents into the room and then he continues answering Nathan's questions.
"Detective Degroat, please feel free to add anything as I relay to Nathan here how he came to be our guest. I believe it was three days ago that some highway workers found you unconscious on Route 106. You came to once but passed out from a fever and infection. Someone did a hell of a job on you and we were hoping you would be able to tell us who."
"Nathan, what's the last thing you remember?" Larabee asks.
"Well I'm not sure I think I was in the elevator at work yeah, yeah then nothing. Doc, how long before I can get out of here? Josiah, how's Rain? is she ok; she must be worried sick."
"Well, how does tomorrow sound? As long as your fever doesn't return."
While everyone is going over the facts, Tanner quietly leaves the room and calls Buck to give him the good news.
Understanding his patient's need to be on his way as soon as possible, Dr. Fagin makes Nathan Jackson his first stop of the day. With everything checking out, the healer is given his release from the hospital.
Team seven's leader is waiting in the hall with fresh new clothes for Nathan. Soon, they join Tanner and Sanchez on the roof. To Nathan's surprise, a helicopter is waiting to take him home to Rain.
"Chris, what's this all about? I can sit in car with no problem."
"Travis' orders, Nate. He said you were to be delivered to Four Corners General. He sent the chopper because he didn't want you to get lost."
"Why, Four Corners General? I want to get home to Rain."
"We didn't want you to worry but Rain is in the hospital due to exhaustion from worrying about you."
"You guys coming?"
"No, just you and Josiah. Vin and I will be driving back. Now get going, you've got a pretty lady waiting for you."
With that they went their separate ways to meet up once again in Denver.
Early morning sunbeams dance across the roof of St. Anne's Hospital. A helicopter sits waiting. Four men emerge from the building. Jackson and Sanchez climb on board. Slowly the blades gain momentum. It hovers overhead. Larabee and Tanner watch as it turns and then takes off for Denver.
The sounds of the blades are too loud and all the two men can do is sit and contemplate what lies ahead. Nathan tries to recall all that has happened to him as he tries to understand the events of the past few days. Before he realizes, it they are landing on the roof of Four Corners General Hospital.
As the two men disembark from the helicopter, a man dressed in white approaches them.
"Mr. Jackson?" He yells to be heard above the sound of the blades.
"That's me." Nathan yells back.
"Please sir, have a seat." The doctor says as he gestures toward the wheelchair.
"No. Now get out of my way... I've no time for this nonsense. I must see my wife right away."
"Sir, if you don't get in, I'll have to call security."
"Nathan brother, take it easy you know it's just hospital policy and the sooner you oblige the good doctor, the sooner you'll see Rain." Josiah said.
As they get in the elevator, the doctor turns to Nathan and introduces himself.
"Well, Mr. Jackson our first stop is an examination room so I can check you out then on to your wife." Doctor Benson says.
"No doctor, I want to see my wife now. The examination can wait." Nathan says.
"But sir, you appear to be extremely; weak it is best to be cautious at a time like this."
"Take me to my wife or I'll get up and walk. I need to see her now."
The three men head to Rain Jackson's room. Josiah hurries on ahead to make sure she is alone. Upon reaching her room, Josiah lightly knocks on the closed door and slowly opens it to find a sleeping Rain and an empty room. Just as he is backing out of the room, she starts to wake.
"Josiah... Josiah, is that you?"
"Yes, sister Rain, it's me. Tell me truly, how are you feeling child?"
"I'm fine... but I'd be better if Nathan were here. Please? Have they found him?" Before Sanchez can answer her the door swings open and a wheel chair is pushed in.
With tears coming from her warm hazel eyes, Rain stares at her husband as a smile slowly spreads across her face.
"Nathan... oh my God... honey is it really you? I've been so worried. Where have you been, what happen to you... oh Nathan hold me just hold me."
As he goes to her, no one notices the two men leave or the door shutting behind them.
He takes her in his arms and kisses her.
"Darlin' are you alright... I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry." He keeps repeating.
Time passes as they just sit holding each other enjoying the feel of being in each others arms. After a while the medic in Nathan comes to the surfaces and he notices the monitor hooked up to Rain.
"Rain honey... please, tells what's wrong."
Taking his face into her hands, she looks in his eyes, lowers her mouth to his and gently kisses him.
"Nathan my love... I love you so much. I never thought my life could be so wonderful, but every day with you is a treasure. Can you believe it? We've been married two years already. Nathan, do you remember when you asked me to marry you?"
"Rain, sweetheart of course I do."
"The sun was shining so bright."
"Now Rain you know it was raining all day."
"Oh yes. You're right; it was."
"Honey, are you trying to tell me something?"
"Funny how you remember the happiest days of your life, isn't it? Nathan, my love or should I call you daddy."
A stunned Nathan sat as a smile slowly took control of his face and unshed tears glistened in his eyes. Before she knew what was happening. Rain was wrapped up in her husband's warm embrace.