In Your Father's Name

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Epilogue

TITLE In Your Father's Name
Main Character(s) JD, Vin, Buck, Orin Travis
Type of story Gen
Universe ATF
DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. The Magnificent Seven belong to Mirisch, MGM and Trilogy. The ATF universe was created by MOG and she gave permission for others to write in her sandbox. No money is exchanged.

A father, seeking revenge, targets the son of the man he feels is ultimately responsible for his son's death. Unfortunately, Agent JD Dunne is called 'son' at the wrong moment.

“When are people going to realize making this stuff is dangerous?” asked Jerrold Holt, local volunteer fire chief, not expecting anyone to answer. His fellow firefighters stood around the smoldering skeleton of the charred mobile home and adjacent barn. Three hours earlier, the shrill fire alarm awoke him from a sound sleep. Unable to save the structures already engulfed in flames, they kept the fire from spreading to the two other wood framed outbuildings. The draught this summer left the surrounding grass and pasture ground tinder-dry. The clear sky glowed with the coming dawn.

He’d better call the sheriff. The dozen portable LP gas tanks lying in the middle of the scorched timbers of the old barn, surrounded by an assortment of other small ether cans, was enough evidence of methamphetamine manufacturing to call the authorities.

“Chief Holt, you’d better come see this. We’ve got a body. In the trailer. Too burnt to identify,” explained one of the other volunteers. “Already called the coroner. The sheriff is on his way, too.”

“Do we know who lived here?” asked the fire chief. “Do we need to be looking for other victims?”

Out of the corner of Chief Holt’s vision, he caught the glimpse of one of the men dragging a ladder from the truck. The man moved with a purpose.

“Dale, where are you headed?” he asked, his long legs quickly carrying him to the shorter man’s side.

“Heard something earlier,” he faintly mumbled, still walking toward a rusted boxcar. In the fifties and sixty’s, railroads sold outdated boxcars to area ranchers and farmers for storage.

“Let me help you. What did you hear?” The Chief grabbed the dragging end of the ladder and fell in step with his friend.

Dale Taylor may be the shortest man on the Carpenter Volunteer Fire Department and he might not be the brightest member of the small squad but he heard and saw things the other firefighters missed until it was too late.

“Thought I heard a voice over here, little bit ago. Don’t hear it no more.”

The two men set the fiberglass ladder against the rusty, overturned boxcar and Dale nimbly climbed to the top, or actually the side of the boxcar. He released the latch and shoved the heavy sliding door open.

Smoke billowed out of the door opening, hiding the container’s contents.

“Give me a harness,” he yelled at the chief. Several others gathered around the boxcar, curious as to what Dale thought he’d heard.

Within minutes another ladder slid into the sooty darkness and Dale, tethered by a lifeline, descended into the gloomy interior. His powerful searchlight eerily illuminated the walls and a sense of dread descended on the young man’s shoulders. Along with the stench of smoke, his sensitive nose picked up another scent, the smell of the outhouse still used on his uncle’s farm.

Taking one last look around the barren interior, he steeled himself for the inevitable teasing from his fellow firefighters. More than once he’d heard voices or other strange noises that sounded like people screaming during other fires. Several of the other men laughed and accused him of being a ghost buster but he was sure this time he’d heard someone yelling when they first arrived. It took him a while to locate the source of the sounds.

His boot caught on the lower doorframe, sending him sprawling to the floor. He reached out to recover the fallen flashlight; glad no one saw his clumsiness through the dense smoke when his hand brushed against something spongy. He grabbed the light and aimed it at the wall and floor. Huddled close to the former ceiling was a soot-covered body.

“There’s a body!” Dale yelled, forgetting his mask prevented anyone from hearing him. He stripped off the mask and helmet and screamed again. “Lord, have mercy! There’s a body down here!”

+7+7+7+   A week earlier

JD Dunne strolled down the airport corridor, connecting the branch terminal to the main complex. He was glad to be back on Colorado soil, and then he laughed to himself. Somewhere under all the concrete of the Denver International Airport, there must be some dirt.

He’d just disembarked off a flight from Hawaii after attending a weeklong seminar on Computer Security. The first few days were luxiourious but by Thursday, his fair skin stung and was hot to the touch. He’d worn the sunscreen and long sleeved shirts but the lure of the tropical beach setting snuffed out common sense. One afternoon frolicking on the pristine beach was enough to give him first-degree burns over most of his body. His cheeks, nose and shoulders painfully reminded him during the long flight that he’d be peeling sheets of skin by the middle of the week. He’d been offered the opportunity to spend the rest of the weekend on the beach with other computer geeks but declined. Returning pink was one thing; coming home redder than a boiled lobster would not be fun.

The late Saturday afternoon flight arrived in Denver early Sunday morning. The young ATF agent followed the crowd along the concourse toward the luggage carousels, daydreaming of an oatmeal bath. Not wanting to baggage-check his laptop, he adjusted the straps for the fiftieth time since getting off the plane, wishing he’d brought the laptop case on wheels rather than his backpack style bag.

A slight sting broke through the pain of the sunburn and he unconsciously swatted at the unknown, annoying insect. Had the air conditioning suddenly failed? Why was it so hot? JD took a few more steps and stumbled. A nearby passenger grabbed his arm and asked, “You alright, there?”

JD looked at the man’s face, unable to focus on his features. His tongue felt like it was larger than the aircraft he’d just disembarked. He looked for the nearest restroom when his stomach flip-flopped, threatening to loose the breakfast he’d consumed on board. He didn’t realize another person followed him into the men’s room, propelling him towards the larger, handicapped stall.

As JD’s legs turned to rubber, he felt himself gently guided to the floor before liquid ran into his mouth.

“Sleep well, Steven. We’ll let your Daddy know you’re not coming home tonight.”

Ten minutes later, a man, wearing a Denver Bronco’s cap, exited the restroom and joined the latest arriving crowd hurrying to retrieve their luggage and packages. No one paid any attention to the man pulling an oversized, soft-sided Pullman. He slowly made his way past the milling families toward the loading area. As if on cue, a full sized brown van stopped in a marked spot and the driver hopped out of his seat. He opened both rear doors as the man pulling the large case appeared. Like a well-choreographed dance, each man grabbed the side handles and easily lifted the container into the van’s cargo area.

Before the echo of the doors closing subsided, both men were strapped to the front bench seat of the van. Easing carefully into the heavy traffic, they melted into the flow and disappeared, becoming part of the Colorado landscape.

+7+7+7+   Monday morning

Judge Ryan Travis
You and your so-called justice stole my son’s life. I’m keeping your boy. Your son will be treated the same as my boy – LOCKED UP with no sunlight and no fresh air. An eye for an eye! The sins of the father visited to the third and fourth generation.

“Mary, this is Orin. Is Billy with you?”

Mary Travis smiled, hearing her former father-in-law’s voice. “He’s downstairs, playing a video game. I told him he could play while I’m getting ready for work.”

“Call him to the phone, I need to talk to him,” came a harsh reply.

Hearing the tension in his voice, she asked, “Alright. What’s going on, Orin?”

“Mary, get Billy now. Don’t let him out of your sight. Do it now!”

“Hi, Grandpa. Mom said you wanted to talk to me?” The young boy loved to spend time with his grandfather.

“Billy, I need you to do something very important. You must do exactly as your mother says. I’m coming to see you. Don’t be afraid. Stay in your mom’s room. Let me talk to her again.”

Billy turned to his mother; his eyes wide open. He’d never heard his grandfather so stern.

“Orin, you scared my son. What is the matter?” Mary demanded.

“Mary, I’ll explain when I get there. Do what I say and stay away from the windows. Pack a bag for yourself and Billy. You won’t be going to work today. I need to make sure you stay safe. I should be there in five minutes.”

”But, Orin...”

“Not now Mary. Not over the phone. Hurry, there’s not much time. Stay away from the windows!”

The young widow heard the ominous click ending the conversation, looked at her son and quickly completed her father-in-law’s request.

Travis ended the cell call and tried to concentrate on driving through the Monday morning traffic. Ever since discovering the anonymous note in his early morning mail, he’d been trying to control the panic he felt. What did the writer mean by his son? Was young Billy in grave danger?

Mary and Billy needed to disappear until the author of the ominous letter could be identified and captured.


Buck sat at his desk, staring at the telephone, his mind replaying the just completed phone conversation. Why did JD’s luggage arrive a day before he was scheduled to return from Hawaii? If the boy had returned early, why didn’t he pick up the bags himself? The older agent tried to squelch the fear that trouble found his friend but the annoying, nagging voice kept whispering, ‘The kid’s in trouble. The kid’s in trouble!’

Glancing back at his phone he saw the light of Chris’ line turn off. The team leader would accuse him of ‘over reacting’ but his gut told him now was the time to act.

“Chris, did JD contact you all last week? Say anything about coming back early?” Buck asked, leaning against his boss’s doorway. “Thought you gave him some comp time, after the conference. Time to sit on the beach and soak in all the scenery.”

Not looking up from the notepad in front of him,” Chris laughed at the question. “He’s scheduled to return tonight, Buck.” Looking up, Larabee saw his friend’s face. “Told him he could take the extra days, if he wanted to. What’s got you spooked?”

“Airport called. Said John Dunne’s luggage wasn’t claimed yesterday. They wanted to know where to send it.” The stuff arrived on a flight from Hawaii yesterday morning, arrived just before seven. Manifest confirmed JD was on that plane.”

“Doesn’t mean he’s in trouble, Buck. JD’s a grownup. His comin’ and goin’, that’s his business. He said he’d be here, to work, tomorrow, and that’s when he’ll be here. Maybe he met someone over there or on the plane, and spent some time free time with them. You would.”

”This ain’t about me. JD isn’t me. He doesn’t think like I do. Why’d he go off and leave his luggage? Something isn’t right. I can feel it here.” The agent pointed at his stomach and then quietly said, “I can feel it here.” He placed his hand over his heart.

Chris sighed and set down his pen. He knew the gut wrenching feeling and how it would dominate a person’s life. “Travis cancelled this afternoon’s meeting. Go ahead, go look for him, but don’t complain to me when the kid’s mad at you for interrupting whatever he’s up to.”


Flashing his famous grin, Buck carefully set his badge on the counter. The airline security officer looked up and returned the smile. “May I help you,” she said, squinting at the words on the badge, “Agent Wilmington?”

“Yes, ma’am. I sure hope so.” He casually rested his elbow on the counter, exuding charm. “I need to examine some of your security tapes. One of our agents is missing. I know he arrived here on a flight yesterday morning. No one’s seen him since.”

Within a short time Buck sat in front of a monitor with a stack of videotapes beside it. He’d narrowed down the time of his search but that still left hundreds of films to review.

Three hours later, the female security officer returned and found the ATF agent squirming on the hard chair, unable to find a comfortable position.

“No luck?” she asked, coming into the small office.

Buck shook his head as he ejected another tape, adding it to the growing stack of rejected tapes. He grabbed a new one and pushed it into the VCR player.

“I must be mistaken. No sign of him anywhere. He’ll show up, have a logical reason to be missing and I’ll get to be the butt of his jokes.” The tall man sat up and watched the screen. Amid the throng of people exiting the tarmac was a familiar face. JD strolled down the corridor, wearing a gaudy Hawaiian shirt, and trying to adjust his backpack. He walked past the first camera. Buck recorded the time and location and searched for the tape from the next camera. His fingers pushed the fast-forward key and the passengers on screen scurried across the screen.

“Yep, here he comes,” Buck said, pointing at the shorter figure. JD stopped, reached up to his neck and readjusted the straps again. As he got closer to the camera he stumbled into another man before disappearing from the camera’s range.

Buck searched for the next tape, fast-forwarded it to the correct spot and waited for his friend to appear. Buck saw the family carrying a baby. JD had been right behind them on the previous tape. Where was he? Several minutes passed without any JD sightings.

“What’s between the last camera and this one? Any place a fellow could take a different route?”

The officer read the location code and unfolded a detailed airport map in front of the ATF agent. “All that is between the two is a set of restrooms and a news stand. There aren’t any exits except for Gate 117 but it isn’t used by commercial flights. Rarely, charter lines will board passengers. I’ll check on it.”

Buck returned to the first tape, recording descriptions of each passenger. He repeated the process with the second and third tape. By the 4th tape, more people added to the mix and made tracking each member of JD’s flight harder.

His notes revealed several people disappeared just like JD between the second and third tape only to reappear five to ten minutes later than the rest of the passengers. What detained them for so long?

Buck stood up and looked at the wall clock. Five o’clock. His stomach growled. Once again he’d be so absorbed in a case he’d ignored his own bodily needs. He stretched his arms above his head, feeling his spine pop. He stepped into the hallway, and spotted a drinking fountain. The thought of water signaled another need he’d ignored for too long. Food could wait, a trip to the restroom couldn’t.

Washing his hands, Buck mulled the five minutes and longer gap. Not all of the passengers vanished for the short interval but all reappeared, all except his partner.

He glanced at his wristwatch, 5:05. Was Molly or was her name Merry, the security officer, still on duty? Had she found any information about Gate 117? He walked back to the room with the VCR when realization hit.

The restroom, the passengers stopped at the restroom. That’s why it took some of them longer to reappear on the third tape.

He rewatched the tape with more patience. ‘Come on boy. Get the job finished and get your scrawny self out here.’ He watched the crowds come and go. Fast-forwarding, he watched more passengers heading for the gates than what were going toward the baggage pick-up.

“Agent Wilmington.“ A familiar face appeared around the door. “Any luck?”

Buck smiled at the pretty woman and paused the tape. “Yes ma’am. Figured out what happened, what took them folks so long. Pit-stop, folks needed a pit-stop after the flight. Just waiting now for the kid to finish.”

”Oh.” She didn’t look happy. “Do you recognize this?” She held a familiar backpack.

Buck’s face paled. “JD’s. Carries his laptop in it. How did you get it? He never checks it.” The fun loving man choked on the words. He looked at the officer’s face. “He’s wearing it, on the tape. Constantly adjusting the straps. Where did you find the bag?”

“Housekeeping found it, Sunday, about ten. Found it in the family restroom next to Gate 117. Someone rigged the door to lock when they left. This was hanging on the hook inside the door. My supervisor’s on his way here, to help you.”

“I gotta call the team, let them know. The kid would never leave his laptop, never.”

Molly set the bag on the desk. Unable to hide the pain squeezing his heart, Buck tenderly touched the fabric while tears ran down his face. He scrubbed them away. “Thank you,” he whispered.


The sense of smell intensifies with the loss of other senses. As JD struggled to awaken from the effects of the tranquilizer, an overpowering stench reached through his foggy brain receptors. A giant jackhammer pounded in his skull, keeping time like an over-sized pendulum.

His eyes opened, two tiny slits, afraid to see what other horror waited to greet him. Darkness, nothing but darkness. Was he blind? His mind shifted from a hazy, snail pace to overdrive, flashing terrifying images in rapid succession. What was this madness?

JD shifted his weight off of his trapped left wrist and regretted it immediately. Hot white pain exploded up his arm, driving away the drug-induced images.

“Slow down,” he told himself, trying to remember Josiah and Vin’s self control lectures. ‘First get your breathing under control.’ He shut his eyes, letting the relaxing images and beach sounds from Hawaii fill his mind. ‘Once in control, take stock of yourself.’ His wrist or arm was definitely broken. What else? Each foot and leg responded without pain as did his right arm.

He opened his eyes, fearing his loss of sight, but as he slowly moved his head, tiny pinpoints of light created miniature beacons. Gradually the fuzziness receded and his world came into focus. He was in a small room, a room with no doors or windows. Tentatively he felt around the surface below him. The pitted surface snagged his fingertips. A rail crossed the floor. Other pieces of iron intersected the rail. He crawled toward the largest light source. A few blades of grass poked into the small opening but he couldn’t see anything. He stood slowly carefully cradling his broken arm and peeked out another opening halfway up the wall. Looking up he saw blue sky and wisps of white clouds. Looking down he could only see tall grass and a few scattered rocks.

‘Where am I?’ he asked himself, sinking down to the floor. His arms and back itched. His wrist throbbed and his head threatened to split wide open.

The next time he opened his eyes, the tiny pinpricks of light vanished, leaving him in total darkness. He couldn’t hear any sounds beyond his own labored breathing. How did he get here from the airport? Wasn’t he supposed to call Buck when he got back from Hawaii? Was his roommate waiting for him?

Light flooded the room, blinding him. He shielded his eyes from the abrupt intrusion, but was unable to see the source.

“Hey, there, Stevie, boy. Uncle Mo said to give ya some water, when ya woke up. Open wide.” Water splashed and wet his slacks. “Oh, did I miss?” the mystery voice said. “Prisoners get bread and water. Since you didn’t catch the water, ya can try to soak it off the wall with this.” Two slices of dry bread shattered when they hit the floor. “Ya’ll get more tomorrow. He said I was to feed you twice a day, just like Bruce got in prison.” As suddenly as the light appeared, darkness returned.

“Hey, come back here. I’m not this Steve. You got the wrong guy.” JD yelled. “Come back here. Let me out!”

Nothing. He picked up the small pieces of bread and chewed on one. The tough crust cut the inside of his mouth. His stomach growled in anticipation of food but the dry food stuck to his teeth.


“I’m sorry, Mr. Larabee. The judge had a family crisis and didn’t say when he’d be back.” The secretary steeled herself to the lead agent’s penetrating glare.

“Where? Is? He?”

“I told you. Judge Travis is unavailable. Daniel Breckenridge will be covering the Judge’s cases. Take your problem to him.” Michelle Houghton accepted Orin Travis’s offer to be his administrative assistant three years ago, just before his creation of Larabee’s special unit. She hated not telling Larabee the truth but the judge swore her to secrecy. Until he knew who sent the threatening note, he would not leave Mary and Billy alone.

“Ms. Houghton, I don’t care what he told you. I know you could get a hold of him, no matter where he is. You tell him,” Chris paused as the thought of losing of one of his men fueled his anger. “You tell him JD’s missing. The kid’s missing and we’re gonna find him. And until we do, the rest of our cases will just have to wait. You be sure to tell him.” The team leader smiled at the woman, his smirk hiding his real emotion. Some sorry excuse of humanity messed with one of his men and that meant they messed with him!

He turned and reached for the doorknob.

“You find that boy; get him back. I’ll let the Judge know.”

Larabee’s smile disappeared as he turned back into the office. “Ma’am, I didn’t mean to, to…”

“Go, go find him. Don’t waste your time apologizing to me. Please, keep me informed of any changes. Even though I don’t work with your team directly, I hear the Judge talking about all of you. I feel I know each of you and I know how much Agent Dunne means to the entire agency.”

Chris returned to his office. “Heard from any more from Buck?”

Before any of the men could answer, the leader’s phone rang.

Checking the caller-ID, Chris grabbed the receiver. “Agent Larabee.”

Nathan and Ezra gathered around their team lead, curious who would garner his attention over their hunt for their missing colleague.

“No, no contact... Wasn’t even supposed to be back yet. Came in yesterday… Buck, Vin and Josiah are reviewing surveillance tapes at the airport. Buck verified he arrived yesterday… Yes, that’s why I sent the other’s to look for any clues that he might have missed on the tapes…They alright?... Will do.”

Chris returned the phone to its cradle. “Judge Travis got a letter this morning, threatening his son, Steven. He took Mary and Billy to a safe house, until he gets this sorted out.”

“Who would threaten a dead man?” Nathan asked.


Thursday night, the six men gathered at Buck and JD’s apartment. Pizza boxes and take-out containers littered the living room. A week of dead ends and few credible clues created a morgue-like atmosphere in the cluttered space.

“We overlooked something but I can’t for the life of me figure out what facet is waiting to be exposed,” Ezra said, running his hand through his disheveled hair.

Each of the men’s face showed the fatigue of the week’s events. Chris sat beside Buck, ready to protect the simmering volcano waiting to erupt from his long-time friend. The normally jovial man sat glued in front of the television; his hand permanently molded around the remote control. Earlier Josiah removed the well-worn copy of the surveillance videotape.

Vin sat on the floor, his back to the commiserating men. His mind played the airport tape, mentally reviewing the scene of his friend walking through the causeway. What were they missing? The few shots of JD’s face didn’t show a man concerned about his safety. Why was the young agent constantly adjusting his backpack? Testing of the bag only revealed black sand indigenous to Hawaii, no other irritants. He sat up suddenly. “Josiah, put the tape in the TV. I think I know what happened to JD. “He fast-forwarded to the spot where the missing man swatted something. “Look at the man, right behind JD. See he puts something in his mouth. Passengers can’t smoke in the airport, only in the bars. He stays right behind JD, catching him when he stumbles. He even follows JD into the restroom. We’ve got to find him coming out.”

The men gathered around the large screen.

“There, that man wearing the Bronco’s cap, pulling the oversized Pullman,” Ezra pointed at the screen.

Buck looked at the undercover man confused, “But that fellow that wasn’t pulling a case that large in any of the other tapes. Are you sure it’s the same person?”

”No one is pulling that size of luggage. It’s too large to be carry-on, “Josiah added.

“Certainly large enough to hide JD.” Nathan surmised.

“But how did he overcome the boy? You all saw JD, walking off the plane like he didn’t have a care in the world. He might be smaller than any of us but a single stick of dynamite can still do a lot of damage.” Buck’s voice raised in anger.

Vin shuddered at the thought of being stuffed into such a cramped space. “He was drugged.” He rewound the tape. “JD swats something, there on his neck.”

“A blowgun, that man following JD put a miniature blowgun to his mouth. The dart must have been potent; see how fast the boy collapses.” Nathan said.

“We find the man pulling that case from the restroom, we find John. Can we follow him through the airport, see where he goes?” Josiah suggested getting up from a chair, ready to grab another tape.

“We don’t need to review them. Our mystery man bypassed the luggage carousel and exited by door 14. Tape 4773 may reveal clues that may identify him.” Ezra held up his yellow legal pad. “I followed each passenger from Mr. Dunne’s flight until they departed the premises. Our man loaded his cargo into a standard brown cargo van. The driver assisted the careful placement in the vehicle. Not Colorado plates, number unreadable.”

Vin stuffed the tape into the VCR. “Maybe them fellows in the lab can enhance the details, get a read on the plate,” he offered, hopefully.

“Buck, we’ll find him. Won’t leave a stone unturned till we find him.” Chris returned to the seat next to Buck, ready to study more security tapes.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Epilogue

Carol P 2006