UC: Undercover Fan Fiction: por ucferrarisgirl
remember kids, all UC: Undercover Characters are the property of their creators; Chapter two and storyline progression and other characters copyright to me.
Karri's got the first chapter (I think I write faster than she does)
UC Express Episode (for that fast UC fix)
Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four
Chapter Five (to become Chapter Three): Memories of Childhood--Monica
Chapters Six & Seven Posted April 16
Chapter Six: Cody Chapter Seven: Ready, Set, Action!
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Chapter Two Author: ucferrarisgirl
"Beautiful. A perfect take-down," Duncan's voice on the phone replied in response to Eddie.
"He never saw it coming," Eddie told Duncan. "Donovan finally had the tables turned on him."
"Don't let him bleed out. I want Donovan alive. Take him to the private clinic on the island."
"Will do," Eddie said, waving to Jessica to come over to him.
"Just how did you circumvent the geek's security system for the van"? Duncan asked curiously.
Eddie chuckled. Jessica was waiting by his chair for her instructions as to the care (or disposition) of Donovan.
"Used a wireless scrambler. One thing the kid didn't do was rotate his frequencies in his surveillance equipment. I took advantage of that and scrambled the equipment."
Duncan whistled. "Niiiice! I know the kid had a motion detector on the outside of the van..." he started to say but Eddie cut him off.
"I took out the motion detector by throwing balls of mud at the van. It beeped, and one of my men was able to get close enough in between the alarms to detonate the bomb," Eddie told Duncan.
Eddie covered the mouthpiece on the phone and told Jessica, "Don't let Donovan bleed out. He's to be flown to the island off the Bahamas," he told the striking brunette. She nodded and went over to the corner of the room to make her own phone call.
"...some piece of action work there, Eddie," Duncan was saying when Eddie returned his attention to his phone conversation. "Ya know, I've had a grudge against Donovan for the longest while. The things that man has done to me and to our family."
"You've got him in the palm of your hand, Dunk, old boy. Do with him what you will. Make him tell you the truth about his surveillance activities," Eddie told him as he took out a cigar from the humidor.
Biting off the end of the Cuban, Eddie leaned over the desk and flipped a button on the desktop cigarette lighter. He inhaled, and the Cuban's smoky scent filled the room. He sat back in his leather chair and crossed his legs. He looked out at the magnicent Chicago skyline from the huge picture window.
Duncan's voice laughed. "Make Donovan tell the truth! He's a master psychologist. He'll screw with my mind."
"Easy, Dunk. I got a supply of sodium amytal on the island. This stuff will make Donovan tell the truth."
"Truth serum! Now I've got Donovan where I want him!"
"Moving on," Eddie now said. "The other psychologist, the girl. She got shot in the chest. Don't think she'll live from the video feed coming back. The other girl is compressing her chest. And the skinny computer kid is down as well."
"You left the two undercovers, Eddie, my boy."
"They're powerless without Donovan. They stumble around, like fish out of water. The femme is weak since Carlos left without her. The other boy, the orphan, he don't know top from bottom in undercover work unless someone's on his case," Eddie told Duncan. "Without the geek to help them, the two undercovers will never be able to find Donovan," he finished, taking a deep drag on the Cuban.
He slowly let out the smoke as silence met his ear on the phone. "Donovan's right where we want him," Eddie told Duncan.
Then Duncan said, "Like I said before, that's some piece of action work, Eddie. You got a bonus coming," Duncan told Eddie.
At that statement, Eddie smiled and nodded. Jessica had finished her phone conversation and was looking at him. She smiled at him.
"Donovan's stopped bleeding," she mouthed. Eddie nodded.
"Donovan's stopped bleeding," Eddie told Duncan and gave Jessica a thumbs up. She nodded and went out of the office.
"How soon until they reach the island?"
"About five hours. The private plane is well equipped to handle emergency surgery. Top flight surgeons."
"I pay them well to work for me," Duncan said. He was silent and Eddie could hear Duncan dragging on his own Cuban, then exhaling. Eddie was silent as well. He followed Duncan's lead and dragged on his own Cuban.
"I need to be sure Donovan doesn't know about our little pied a tierre on the island, Eddie. How can I be sure Donovan doesn't know about that?"
"Ask him after the truth serum's been administered. He won't be able to resist telling the truth," Eddie advised Duncan.
"Excellent. Like I said, you got a nice bonus coming. Check your Vanatu account in the morning. You might be surprised," Duncan's voice said, then the phone clicked off.
Eddie sat back. He'd done it. He'd taken down Donovan, knocked out the computer kid (Duncan had called the kid a geek, which only showed Duncan's age) and perhaps killed the girl psychologist.
Eddie looked at the screen in front of him. On the screen, the girl undercover was still trying to compress the other girl's chest. The orphan had noticed Donovan missing and the look on his face was something that Eddie was going to want to look at, time and again.
Eddie clicked a button on a computer keyboard. Instantly, a color photo of Jake's face was printing out from the color printer. Eddie picked it up from the tray.
He whistled. "I'm gonna frame this photo. Great shot--the kid finds out Donovan's gone. The computer kid is down and out and the other undercover doesn't know how to get the job done without Donovan," Eddie said to no one in particular.
Eddie typed on the computer keyboard for a minute. On another screen, up popped the financial statement for his account on the small Pacific island of Vanatu. He scrutinized his account. With the bonus he'd gotten for taking down Donovan (and disabling the unit Keller had set up) he'd finally be able to retire, and become a dashing man about town--in another country, of course.
Eddie Taylor didn't take chances. He'd been chased by Donovan before, and narrowly escaped. He'd enjoy grilling Donovan, for with the plastic surgery Donovan's bullet had forced him to undergo, Eddie Taylor was a new man. And Donovan wouldn't be able to recognize him.
He'd planned this take down for years, and now it was done. His meticulous planning had paid off--Donovan captured. Eddie couldn't get those words out of his head. Ahh! The feeling of sweet victory! Those two words--Donovan captured--were sweeter than honey, sweeter than the woman who awaited him at his condo.
So Eddie was going to change his looks once again. And further, with his bonus, he planned to purchase an estate in the small European country of Luxembourg and a country estate in the even smaller country of Andorra. Luxembourg had the tax free advantages and Andorra the beautiful Mediterranean climate just a hop away from the Med.
Eddie sat back in his chair, and daydreamed a bit. He'd buy a yacht, one of those 110 foot babies that sleeps twenty and crews ten. He'd sail the Turquoise Coast off Turkey and have all the women he'd ever want.
He'd even planned to have a new name--Montgomery Richardson. Not that Donovan would ever figure out his new name, but wherever Donovan was concerned, Eddie took no chances.
authored by: ucferrarisgirl
"Wake up, Donovan!" Duncan said. Frank moaned and moved his head back and forth.
"Wake UP Donovan!" Duncan repeated, more forcefully. Frank opened his eyes. He tried to sit up but the restraints on his arms and legs prevented him from doing so. He looked down at himself. He was only covered in a thin sheet around his waist. An IV was running into his right arm. Frank felt a mild thrumming in his head, reduced, no doubt by pain medication running through the IV.
Frank was as alert as the pain medication allowed him. Wisely, he chose not to show that to his adversary.
"Where am I?" Frank asked.
"Someplace where your, how shall we say, 'friends' won't find you," Duncan replied. He was a tall man, thin, not very big boned. His scalp shone where the hair had fallen out and he looked older than his fifty five years.
Frank placed the voice but the face was different. Plastic surgery. He considered telling Duncan that he knew his name. He decided it would be wise not to at this moment. But he also knew Duncan was telling him that some--or all--of his team had sustained injuries in the blast.
"What did you do to my team?" he asked Duncan.
Duncan chuckled. "Frankie, boy! You're team's been taken down. Two down, two to go. Your two undercovers won't be able to find you without their geek," Duncan told Frank as Frank looked up at him, trying to hide the anguish in his face.
Duncan twitched the sheet around Frank's waist. "You do know what's under this, don't you Frankie?"
"I know. And I know why you did that," Frank told him, dryly and with a menacing tone in his voice.
Frank knew very well that in hostage situations the hostages were often placed at a disadvantage. Jake and Alex had been stripped naked when they met with their quarry while hunting for Teddy. Frank's mother, Danita, had regaled him often enough with tales of British spies during World War II. Naturally, Frank's mother had known what she was talking about, for she and her mother, Carmiela, had worked as British spies during the Second World War.
"Frankie, boy! You don't need to use that tone around me," Duncan told Frank. "You and me, we're going to have a nice long chat," he promised Frank. "I'll leave you covered, for now. Don't want the mosquitoes to bite that pretty flesh of yours. While there have been no cases of dengue or dengue hemorraghic fever here, we're a short hop from a dengue infested area, you know," Duncan said, as he placed another sheet over Frank's prone and restrained body to cover him from neck to feet.
"Thank you," Frank said. Frank disliked it when people referred to him as Frankie. He preferred to be called Donovan, or Frank. Even Franklin sounded nice to his ears. But Frankie? Unless it was whispered into his ear by his woman after an evening...
"No, Frankie, thank YOU," Duncan said, interrupting Frank's line of thoughts. Duncan turned and went out the door.
Frank lay in the room. He thought back over Duncan's statements. Dengue hemorraghic fever was prevelant in the Caribbean and South America and South Asia not far behind. Brazil in particular had an escalating case of the mosquito-borne fever--over 230,000 cases. The famed beaches of Rio were now advising their thong-wearing populace to cover up and use mosquito repellent.
Puerto Rico was home to most of the dengue fever cases and dengue hemorraghic fever in the Caribbean. The National Institutes for Health were forever running clinical trials testing vaccines for the prevention of dengue fever.
"...no cases of dengue or dengue hemorraghic fever reported here..." Duncan's words echoed in Frank's mind. His captor's statement narrowed down the places of internment for Frank: St Lucia, Bahamas, Bermuda, Caymans, and the Turks/Caicos. Frank recalled these numbers for recently he'd received an email regarding the dengue outbreaks in the Caribbean. He didn't want to take chances of his lady catching the fever and he'd wanted a profile on the mosquito-borne disease's prevalence on the islands he wished to visit.
He thought about his situation some more. He leveraged himself just enough so he could turn his head an look around the room. Bright tropical colored walls greeted his eyes and even brighter colors greeted his eyes outside the french doors on the far side of the room. He could see a streak of blue--did that mean he was on the ocean? He was in some sort of recovery room--or prison cell. The table he was strapped to was in the far corner. Frank noticed a clock on the wall.
He studied the clock, the cogs in his mind turning as best they could after the minor surgery he'd gone through. Travelling eastward, he'd go through one time zone--from Central to Eastern. Travelling further eastward would bring him to Atlantic time, but Frank thought he wasn't in the Atlantic time zone, based on the time showing on the clock's face and the elapsed time (with adjustments) since the van exploded back in Chicago early that morning.
The clock showed that seven hours had elapsed since the explosion, taking into account the one hour time difference between Central and Eastern time. But the time on the clock announced to Frank's brain that he wasn't in Brazil, a known hideout of Duncan Flandon-- also the source of the dengue hemorraghic fever comment--and too short a plane ride. Likewise, travelling farther south in the Caribbean was also too far to have arrived on the island as determined by the time on the clock's face.
That left just a few places. He could be on a privately owned island in the Caribbean, and Frank knew of several privately owned Caribbean islands; one was near the Bocas del Toro, Panama. Another was Baboon Island near Nicaragua. Both islands were too far south in the Caribbean to match the elapsed time since the explosion. Frank cut those two islands off his short list.
Frank mused he would have to be on private oceanfront property, on an island where the Customs of the country were a little slack. Bringing in an unconscious person to a country was bound to raise the eyebrows of any Customs official in any country.
Puerto Rico was a good choice, but judging from the gaily colored houses which Frank could see outside the french doors in the late afternoon sun, Puerto Rico was off his short list, largely because of Duncan's dengue comments, for Puerto Rico, like Brazil, had an escalating case of dengue fever and the NIH seemed permanently entrenched in San Juan. Further, Puerto Rico was a large island, and Frank surmised that in order for him to be taken to a tropical island, the island would have to be small, or there would have to be a private residence where a hydroplane could be set just offshore.
Frank thought about the islands in the Caribbean. After eliminating those outside the parameters of the flight time from Chicago, and comparing those to his short list of dengue-free islands, he was left with a narrow choice of islands for him to be temporarily interred on: Bahamas or Bermuda.
Probably Bahamas. One of the smaller islands with a private residence. The Bahamas were a mixture of large and small islands, and included Freeport and Nassau, along with Marsh Harbor. The smaller islands making up the Bahamian chain were numerous; some were large enough to be called 'cays' and supported a small population.
The Bahamas lay just about 200 miles east of Miami and five hours flight time from Chicago. With the time difference, the Bahamas would make sense--an excellent telecommunication system was maintained by the Bahamian authorities and that would be needed for any extensive financial transactions maintained by Frank's captors.
The islands were a short plane ride from east Florida, and with a slack enough Customs to facilitate getting human cargo in the country unnoticed via a hydroplane running out towards the Atlantic, turning, then skimming over the water towards the shoreline. Plus the 2,500 or so small cay islands provided the perfect spot for a hydroplane--or a boat--to dock at a private dock, and not pique the interest of Customs.
Yes, he would have been taken to the Bahamas. He hoped his deduction was correct. Frank lay back, the effort of his sitting up had caused him pain and he was sweating.
Frank heard the door open.
"Hello," said a female voice with a Bahamian accent. Score one for Frank but accents were not indicative of his whereabouts.
Frank kept his head down. "I see you've been trying to get up," she said.
Frank looked at his visitor. She was dressed in a turquoise colored dress but she had on rubber gloves. Her dark brown hair was pulled back in a bun. She wore no make up or jewelry.
She carried a tray with a bowl, several sponges and a glass of water with a straw on it. The glass had ice in it and Frank, despite himself, found his mouth filled with saliva.
"Restraints are not good for me," he told her sweetly.
"We'll just take care of you," she said. "Let me introduce myself. I'm Chiquita," she told him as she lowered the sheet to Frank's waist. Taking up the sponge, she dipped the sponge into the bowl, lightly wrung it out and began to gently sponge Frank's chest, wiping at the dried blood from his wound.
Frank did have to admit the sponge bath felt good. He decided to use psychology to get some information.
"Thank you. It's a bit hot here," he told her, watching her face for telltale giveaways.
"The tourists love the weather here," Chiquita replied.
"Where I live, it's cold in the winter. People in the southern climes call us snowbirds when we visit during the winter," Frank told her.
"Snowbirds? I've never heard that term," Chiquita told him, dipping the sponge into the cool water and wiping his chest. She then took a fresh sponge, wet it and began to wash Frank's face. "That feels good?" she asked him.
"Yes it does. Thank you," Frank told her. "You've never seen snow?"
"Never been further than Marsh Harbor," she told him. "My entire life in this island chain. I get paid well; my family's taken care of," she told him.
Frank's mind whirred. Marsh Harbor. Chiquita's statement confirmed he was in the Bahamas. In his younger and more wilder days, Frank had been a regular visitor to the Bahamas and knew the islands well.
He also learned from her response that Chiquita was a prisoner just as much as he was a prisoner. He would use that information.
"Have you ever wanted to go off the island?" he asked her, pitching his voice low and quiet and he half-closed his eyes. Chiquita was still washing his face, her strokes gentle. She would expect him to be feeling good with the sponge bath and his low pitched voice wouldn't unduly alarm her and cause her to be on her guard.
"I don't know. I've never been anywhere but here and Marsh Harbor. I've never even been to Freeport," she told him.
"Where's here?" Frank asked.
"Spanish Cay," she replied easily. So he was in the northern part of the Bahamas, on the eastern side of the Abacos.
"Never heard of it. Nor Freeport. I prefer to go to Key West myself," he told her. "Have you heard of a city where you'd like to go?" Frank next asked her, still keeping his voice low pitched and soft. Chiquita was now washing his arms. She glanced around the room, her eyes darting nervously. Frank watched her through his half-lidded eyes.
--She's nervous. She's either been watched or is being watched--Frank thought and put on a serene expression. Chiquita looked down at Frank's face. She put her sponge down on the tray and took up the glass. Placing the end of the long straw between Frank's lips, she watched him sip the cold water.
Frank sipped long and hard. He couldn't help but swallow his first mouthful. Chiquita was quiet and Frank closed his eyes all the way as he sipped. He made a sound.
"Mmmmm," he sounded and opened his lips just a little. Water dribbled out his mouth and ran down his cheeks. Chiquita, as he'd known she would, took up the sponge in her free hand and dabbed at his cheeks. She turned Frank's face towards her and as she leaned, she whispered,
"New York. I hear so much about that city," her soft tones told Frank. She removed the straw from his lips.
Barely moving his lips, Frank told her, "I can arrange for your parents to be taken care of and you can go to New York," he said and opened his eyes.
Chiquita's soft brown eyes were looking at him. She dabbed the sponge around Frank's mouth. Frank gazed at her eyes.
"They said you'd try to make me your friend," she told him, very softly.
"Your parents are important. Your dreams are important," he told her just as softly. "New York is very pretty this time of year," he finished, his lips barely moving.
"Broadway," her voice was so soft Frank could barely hear her. She straightened up and placed the sponge on the tray.
"Broadway it is," Frank's response was just as soft. Chiquita's eyes lighted up. She smiled at Frank and pulled the sheet over his body. She seemingly adjusted the straps holding down Frank's right wrist.
This was not the response Frank wanted.
"Your stitches," Chiquita reminded. Frank grimaced. He'd had minor surgery. "Pain medication," Chiquita continued. "Later," her soft voice intoned. "Truth serum," she whispered and went out of the door.
Frank bit back his response. Sodium amytal. Truth serum. So Duncan Flandon was going to attempt to get the information Frank carried in his head.
He felt the need to stretch his legs so he flexed his thigh muscles. In doing so, he moved his right arm. His wrist moved loosely in the restraint. He lay on the table, moving his wrist back and forth, loosening the restraint, and listened to the tropical birds outside. Frank formulated an escape plan in his mind.
Frank Donovan did not plan on having truth serum administered to him.
The door opened again. Frank heard footsteps and momentarily Duncan's face was looking down at him.
"Frankie, boy! You enjoy Chiquita giving you a sponge bath?"
"The bath felt good," Frank said, avoiding looking at Duncan.
"Chiquita. She's some piece of woman!" Duncan said, and leaned over Frank. He bent close to Frank's face and whispered, "would you like her, Frank? She could please you something special. Chiquita's got that special touch down there...she knows how to please a man," Duncan said, his breathing a bit heavy as he whispered this statement.
Frank looked at Duncan sharply.
"Frankie! Don't look at me like that," Duncan said. "I'm only trying to help a man in need," he finished. Straightening up, he reached over and undid the straps of Frank's arm restraints.
"Up, Frankie, up," he told Frank.
Frank sat up. His head whirled. The sheet fell down around his waist and Frank felt a light breeze on his skin.
"Your head feeling bad, Frankie? You've got sixty five stitches on the side of your head. You? You bleed like someone cut your head off, Frankie boy. Gave my surgeons a scare," Duncan told him.
So that's why Frank's head hurt and was currently whirling him around the room. Frank sat on the edge of the bed and waited with his head hung down, hoping his head would clear.
"Let's see what we're going to do with you, Frankie. I got some questions for you and I know you won't answer them. So I'm gonna make you answer my questions," Duncan said. His usage of the diminuative Frankie was beginning to get on Frank's nerves. Frank heard Duncan picking up something from a tray beside the bed. He kept his head down.
"Now, Frankie, I'm gonna give you something that's gonna make you talk," Duncan told him, taking a few steps towards Frank. Frank took the opportunity to look up.
"Owww," Frank moaned, then asked, "What are you going to give me?" as Duncan took Frank's left arm and swabbed an alcohol pad on a small patch of skin.
Duncan finished his swabbing and looked at Frank. Frank took the opportunity to take his right hand, the one with the IV needle in place. Using his first two fingers, Frank aimed them at Duncan's throat, and poked Duncan in the throat hard and deep just below Duncan's adam's apple. The IV needle pulled out of Frank's hand but he ignored his own pain.
"Aghhhhhhh!" was all Duncan could manage. Frank knew his strike would cause pain for a short while, enough for him to gain his bearings. Before Duncan could fall to the floor, Frank, with his left hand, delivered a chop to the side of Duncan's neck, buying Frank a little more time.
Duncan fell to the floor, writhing. Frank slid off the edge of the bed and stood up. The sheet slithered down around his ankles and he stepped out of the folds.
He walked over to the small metal table with an assortment of tiny bottles. Looking them over, he chose a sedative. He picked up a syringe. Preparing the syringe, he walked back to where Duncan was writhing on the floor, gasping for breath and clutching his throat.
Frank's head was still spinning but the spin was something he could control now. He knelt beside the writhing Duncan. Duncan put up his hand to stop Frank from giving him the syringe.
Frank merely smiled and said, "I don't give up that easy, Milton Bernard. Sonny Walker would like to have his hands on you," Frank said as he jabbed the syringe into Duncan's thigh and pushed the plunger.
The liquid in the syringe emptied into Duncan's bloodstream and in a few seconds, Duncan's face started to relax. His eyelids dropped over his light grey eyes and soon were closed. Frank smiled at his handiwork.
Standing up, Frank walked over to the small armoir and opened the door. He saw several items of clothing. They looked to be just a bit smaller than he liked but they would do for the time being.
Choosing a pair of white shorts and a white tshirt, Frank slipped these on. His feet would have to be bare for the time being. He saw a small leather waist pouch and took that too. Frank walked back to the small table and again looked over the assortment of vials there.
Choosing the three which said 'sodium amytal', Frank placed these in the leather pouch. He also chose the remaining vials of sedative and the remaining syringes. Frank helped himself to the aspirin and topical anesthesia. He'd need the topical anethesia when the pain medication wore off. Sixty five stitches would become quite painful--soon.
He closed the leather pouch and put it around his waist, making sure it hung in back. He knelt by Duncan, feeling for the cell phone he knew Duncan should have. Yes, there it was.
Turning the cell phone on, Frank dialed a number.
"Yes?" Alex's voice asked.
"It's Donovan," he told her. "Don't squeal," he told her next when he heard her intake breath. He knew she'd be worried about him, but he didn't have time for extensive explanations.
"Thank god you're all right," Alex said instead.
"Where's Monica and Cody?" was Frank's next question.
"In the hospital. Cody has a concussion, a few stitches. Monica will live; she was shot in the chest but the bullet missed her heart by a fraction of an inch. Had she worn the heels you talked her out of wearing, the bullet would have gone into her heart, and, and..." Alex's voice cracked.
"But she listened, and she'll live," Frank told her softly. "Now, I need you to get a plane down to the Bahamas. Go to Freeport. Get a second plane and make sure it's a hydroplane--you'll be landing near a small sandspit northeast of the town of Spanish Cay on the Abaco islands. That's the eastern side of the chain," he told her, knowing that doing something to rescue Frank would lift both Jake and Alex's spirits up.
"Jake, you got that?" Alex's voice asked.
"I'm on it already," came Jake's voice in Frank's ear.
"I also need you to get a call into Sonny Walker," Frank said. "Tell him I have Milton Bernard ready for him."
Frank heard Alex intake her breath. "Will that spoil Sonny's immunity?" she asked Frank.
"What we don't know won't hurt us," Frank said. "I need that plane here within the next ten hours," he told her. "The sandspit is a small crescent shaped white streak just above the water. About five minutes by plane from Spanish Cay. But you're going to have to make haste; the sandspit gets covered over with the tide."
"Roger that," Alex told him. "Out. See you by morning, Frank," she said before hanging up.
Frank shut off the cell phone and put it into Duncan's pocket for easier carrying. He bent down to the sleeping Duncan, bent down and picked Duncan up.
Frank grunted with the effort. Standing up with Milton in his arms, Frank's head spinned. He waited momentarily, and when his head cleared, he walked with Milton over to the french door window, stepped through the open door and out onto the patio, hoping he'd be on the side of the house facing the water.
Once out there, he discovered he was correct. He also saw a small motor boat moored to a small dock about fifty yards from the house.
"Good," Frank whispered as he walked down to the small dock with his captive. The night air was warm; the sky was starry, the moon was bright and big, and the sounds of lovemaking came from another open window, overshadowed by loud music.
Reaching the small motorboat, Frank deposited his human cargo on the bottom. Taking up two, one gallon jugs he saw in the bottom of the 20 foot boat, he went over to a small faucet attached to the dock and filled the jug with water. He was about to put the cap back on when he realized the faucet was on the dock. He dipped his finger in the water and tasted it. Fresh. Frank put the cap on the jug, put it down and filled the second jug.
Carrying both jugs, he went back to the boat, undid the sailor's knot holding the boat to the dock, waded in the water and pushed the boat off. When the water was up to his waist, Frank pulled himself in the boat.
He waited until the music was about to hit a cresendo, then pulled the cord of the motor. As the music hit the crescendo, the motor started and Frank took control of the boat and steered her away from the small cay of the Bahamas.
Looking behind him, Frank saw the lights of a small town--Spanish Cay. Nothing much there, just a few dilapitated buildings and lots of bars. A perfect place to hold hostages.
He looked towards the stars, found the one he wanted and aimed for a small sandspit that he knew of to the northeast of the cay, keeping his chosen star to his left. He motored to the northeast for an hour, looking down into the water for the flooded sandspit. The sandspit was not difficult to find when the tide was low; the spit had a small slope and when out sailing around the more remote parts of the northern Bahamas, the small surf spray would give the small sandspit away.
Soon he saw a ghostly white smudge just under the surface of the water. It was still high tide. Frank would have to wait for a while. He dropped the small anchor overboard and watched it thunk on the pure white sand just three feet below the boat.
Frank opened one of the jugs of water and took a drink. The stitches in his head were demanding the aspirin. Frank opened up the leather pouch and took out the bottle of naproxen. He shook out two pills, then thought better of it and shook out another naproxen pill.
He downed the naproxen painkillers--better than asprin and he thanked whomever at the FDA who had greenlighted the over the counter sale of this painkiller--with a long sip of water. Frank wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, and discovered the surgeons had shaved his beard. His smirk was seen by no one but the stars.
"Easy, Milton. You'll be waking up soon and then you'll be telling me the truth. Or rather, you'll be telling the truth to Sonny Walker," Frank promised the sedated man. He took up the rope and knotted it around Milton's wrists and ankles, bringing the rope up behind Milton's back in a slipknot.
"There. Now if I fall asleep, you won't be able to sedate me!" he told the sleeping man.
He took the cell phone from Milton's pocket and turned it on. He tried dialing, to no avail. Frank sighed. An hour's boat ride northeast of the Abaco islands, to a small sandspit in the Atlantic Ocean, he should have known he wasn't going to be able to use the cell phone--no repeater signals in the middle of the Atlantic. He turned the phone off and put the phone down in the bottom of the boat.
Frank sat in the small boat, and watched the twinkling lights of the small Bahamian towns. He saw the small biplanes coming in from Miami or a few hundred miles to the south from Nassau, their red lights giving their location away.
The boat gently rocked and Frank felt sleepy. He knew Milton's sedative would wear off in six or seven hours, so when his eyes grew heavy, Frank lay back, and allowed himself to drowse.
authored by: ucferrarisgirl
"Wake UP Donovan!" Milton's voice insisted.
Frank opened his eyes. The day was just dawning and the sun was peeking over the horizon. Frank looked around, then sat up. He rubbed his eyes and looked at the owner of the voice.
It was Milton. Frank remembered now. Sleep had cleared his head.
It looked like Milton had tried to get out of his restraints but had failed and now Milton was tangled up. His face was going quite red from the rope around his neck. The rope was cutting off the oxygen to Milton's lungs.
"Sorry, old chap. Let me adjust those for you," Frank said, reaching for the leather pouch. He opened it and took out a syringe. He prepared a syringe of sodium amytal.
Looking at Milton's face, Frank saw that Milton knew what was in the syringe.
"So you turned the tables on me, Frankie boy," Milton's voice was sad.
"You know I always get what I want," Frank told him as he injected the sodium amytal into Milton's thigh.
"Now this is going to help us talk a bit better. At least, it will help Sonny Walker get to know you," Frank said as he loosened the slipknot just enough to allow Milton to breathe a bit easier.
Frank stepped over the side of the small boat, and onto dry sand. The sandspit jutted just a few feet above the water when the tide was low. There was a small beach where the spit sloped downwards and the surf's spray was misting him. Frank estimated the sandspit to be about twenty feet wide and perhaps fifty feet long. Frank took out the two jugs of water and set them down.
He then got back into the boat and undid the knots around Milton's ankles.
"Take a look around, Milton. You'll find you can't run and you can't hide," he told Milton.
Milton stood up. His face blanched as he saw where he was: aside from the sandspit, there was water all around. A smudge on the horizon marked the islands of the Bahamas.
"Where are we?" he demanded of Frank.
"Just a small sandspit off the Bahamas. See there?" Frank pointed to the smudge in the southwest. "There's the Bahamas."
"We're nowhere, Frankie boy. Tide's gonna come in and drown us. I can tell this spit is under water in high tide. You gonna leave me here?"
"Perhaps. Perhaps I'll leave you here and Sonny Walker will come talk to you."
"I need some water," he told Frank.
Frank got the cup he'd drunk from and filled it from one of the jugs. He held it to Milton's lips and Milton drank greedily. "More," he said.
"First, you tell me the name of your accomplice," Frank said as he poured more water.
"Eddie. Eddie Taylor," Milton said, as his eyes grew large looking at the water cup Frank held out.
"Thirsty, aren't you?" Frank asked as he held the cup to Milton's lips. The water sloshed in the cup as Milton drank.
"Where is Eddie now?" as he withdrew the cup from Milton's lips.
Milton smacked his lips. "He wants to buy a home in Luxembourg."
--Truth serum really does work. Or perhaps he's afraid he'll be left here to die--Frank thought.
"Tax haven. How much did you pay him to take me and my team down?" he asked Milton.
"6 million," was the reply.
"You wire it to him?"
"In Vanatu," Milton responded. "To Montgomery Richards." A new alias for Eddie.
"Where did you get the money?"
"Selling the pot. From the farm up in Seattle."
This statement piqued Frank's interest. His eyes narrowed a bit. He turned his head and watched the sun peeking over the horizon, coloring the clouds pink and orange. A rainbow danced momentarily in the spit's surf.
"Up at Hollywood's Treehouse," he said to Milton.
"Hollywood was one of our best suppliers," Milton said. "Your agency shot him dead," he told Frank.
"We tried not to kill him. We would rather have fugitives alive. Hollywood was looking at life on the inside for the robberies he pulled off," Frank told him.
Hollywood aka Scott Scurlock, had been a master bank robber. He'd also grown marijuana and ran a crack lab. Hollywood had been a master chemist and when his cash ran low, he decided to don disguises and rob banks to fund his lavish lifestyle. His disguises were so good the Seattle PD had dubbed him 'Hollywood.'
The treehouse that Scott had built in the Seattle woods had been featured in the newspaper. But it was the marijuana farm which was Hollywood's remaining asset.
Scurlock had lived in Hawaii for a few years, growing marijuana and selling it. When he'd moved to Seattle, he'd started a marijuana farm. In the near decade since Scurlock had been shot to death in a trailer home by Agents, no federal agency, despite their combined efforts, had been able to locate Scurlock's highly productive posthumous marijuana farm. Until now. Frank would correct the DEA's deficiency.
"Where on Hollywood's property is the farm?" he next asked Milton.
"Up in the trees. He camoflaged a walkway he'd put through the tops of the trees. It's on the far northwest corner of his place," Milton now told Frank.
Frank smiled. Ingenius. Instead of planting the weed, Scott had built a series of walkways in the treetops and camoflaged them. Scott had built a similar walkway to get around his treetop home and the surrounding trees and it was those pictures Frank had seen in the newspapers. He remembered being impressed at the quality of the treehouse, which was, in reality, an actual house with a functioning bathroom and kitchen. The workmanship was top notch and Frank had wondered why Scurlock hadn't become an architect with his intelligence.
"Was Eddie responsible for taking down Quito's woman?" Frank suddenly asked. Keisha had been found spreadeagled and handcuffed to the headboard of a motel bed in a small Gulf town--naked, beaten, dehydrated, hungry--and her wrists a bloody mess from trying to get the handcuffs off. She'd been there three days. Frank knew Keisha would have a tingling numbness in her fingers, for in her attempts to get the cuffs off her hands, she'd managed to peel a good part of the skin off the backs of her hands and the cuffs had cut rather deeply into her wrist, severing the nerves. Keisha hadn't been able to recall her attacker.
"I didn't order that. Eddie did that on his own. Wanted to nail him a prime woman and take her money. He had expenses. Keisha was easy. Quito? She thought Quito was dead. So she went with Eddie. She woke up one morning to find herself alone, her hands cuffed to the headboard of a scuzzy motel bed. The money--and Eddie--were gone," Milton said.
This surprised Frank. He had only asked the question to ascertain the effectiveness of the sodium amytal.
"Did you know she was beaten?" Quito knew, and he wasn't happy about it.
"I heard stuff from my crew. Eddie, he likes to use roofies on women. You know a roofie, Frankie?" Milton asked.
Frank nodded. Roofies was street for rohypnol, the date rape drug.
Milton continued. "Then Eddie, he beats and rapes the woman while she's unconscious." He paused, looking Frank in the eyes. "Keisha's pregnant with his baby," Milton said.
Frank raised his eyebrows. He hadn't known that. "How far along?"
"Four months. One of my crew told me he had the word she was shopping for maternity clothes. Eddie's gonna be a daddy."
Frank mulled this statement over. It had been four months since Keisha had been found in the motel room. The timeline jibed.
"Sonny gave her directions to follow," Frank said. Milton nodded.
"Yeah. She followed them. Bought a used car for cash every other day or so. Keisha was going to head off to Mexico City, then off to Havana."
Frank nodded. "Cuba likes our greenbacks. Americans generally go to Havana through Mexico City. Cuban customs doesn't stamp their passports," he said. Then he asked, "Why did you let Eddie take me down?"
"He showed initiative with Quito's woman. Outfitted himself well with the proceeds."
Frank looked at Milton. "You mean he paid off his debts," Frank said, a slight emphasis on 'debt'. Milton looked at him, resignation on his face.
"Yeah. He paid off the hitmen hired to do him in," Milton confirmed.
Frank smirked. "Kid's lucky to be alive. Won't he be surprised when Sonny Walker gets a hold of him."
"One thing about Sonny, he takes care of his women. Heard about what happened to Carly," Milton said. "He take it hard?"
Frank glanced at Milton. "Hard enough to come to me and ask me for my help. Gave me information on Panakta."'
Milton sighed. "Sonny's not gonna like the man who beat and ripped off Quito's lady. Sonny," Milton paused, and gave a small sigh. "Sonny will like talking to Eddie. He know about her pregnancy?"
"Ask him. Sonny will like talking to you," Frank said.
"Can I have some more water?"
Frank nodded and poured another cup of water. Milton drank greedily as he sat on the sandspit. The sun was now over the horizon. Frank heard a small motor and he turned to the southwest and looked up.
A small light flashed at him. Frank shaded his eyes and saw a plane. A light was twinking on an off. No doubt a mirror was being held up to reflect the sun and give him a signal.
The small hydroplane tilted its right wing downward. Frank waved. The pilot had caught sight of the two men on the sandspit and was acknowledging their presence with a salute. The plane landed in the water and motored near the sandspit. Frank helped Milton to his feet and into the boat. Taking up the anchor and pushing off from the sandspit, Frank started the motor and motored over to where the plane was sitting on the water.
"A short trip," came Jake's voice as the plane's door opened.
Alex's head appeared behind Jake. Frank looked at her. "Cody's been released. Monica's still unconscious," Alex said, frowing.
Frank grimaced, his usually full red lips pulled together in a thin white line. His eyes were pained. "Meet Milton Bernard," he told them as he pulled the small boat up near the plane.
He helped Milton to his feet and Jake helped Milton get into the plane. Frank followed suit and pushed the boat back from the plane. Shutting the door of the plane, Frank sat down with a sigh.
"Bad wound. We thought you were more seriously wounded than that," Jake told Frank, concern in his dark eyes.
"Head wounds bleed a lot," Frank replied. "ETA to Miami?"
"Two hours. Be there by breakfast," the pilot told Frank.
Frank looked at the pilot but didn' t know her.
"Inform DEA that Scurlock's marijuana farm is in the far northwest corner. Up in the trees, hidden in a walkway," Frank told Jake.
Jake whistled his appreciation. "Been nearly a decade since the shootout and up until now no one's been able to trace his farm. It's been very productive," Jake said. "Milton tell you that?"
Frank looked at Jake sharply. "Truth serum works wonders. I've got another vial so Sonny can have his way with Milton," Frank said.
"What goes round comes round," Milton said. "I knew the consequences I'd be taking, and the man I was dealing with," he finished sadly. Frank ignored Milton's remarks.
"Have Cody monitor transactions to the Pacific island of Vanatu, and report it to Agent Carmichael," he finished. "Tell Agents Donnan and Cruz that Eddie is heading to Luxembourg. He might have already left the country. If he has, we'll have to wait until he either goes somewhere where we can extradite him, like France, or he comes back to the US. He's got a brother. He might want to see family," Frank said. "For that matter, have Cody monitor Eddie's brother's--Montgomery is the name--phones and email," Frank finished.
He sat back, and closed his eyes. It felt good to be sitting and to sleep. His head was thrumming despite the three naproxen tablets he'd taken earlier.
Jake made the calls while Alex adjusted the restraints on Milton. Milton sat back and he too was alseep. Jake and Alex looked at Frank.
"Those stitches look bad," Alex whispered in Jake's ear. "And they shaved his beard," she added. "I rather like it."
"The plane is small enough so I can hear you," Frank said softly, his eyes still closed. Alex looked guilty. "I plan on growing back the beard," he murmurred and his voice trailed off.
Chapter Five(to become Chapter Three)
Her hands, newly manicured, were sore and bruised from beating on the glass wall. Through the cloudy glass, Monica could see her brother Sean on the other side, wearing the same clothes he been killed in: leather jacket, boots, jeans and a t-shirt.. She'd been trying to get his attention for what seemed to be forever.
"Sean! Sean Cinque Davis!" she yelled as loud as she could. Sean, for his part, merely looked serene as he stood in a white light.
White light. Monica stopped pounding on the glass. Her hand, already halfway to the glass, hung in the air almost as if she were shaking her fist in anger.
White light. The thought now struck Monica that if she were seeing a white light, she must be dead. Those who went to the brink of death--and came back--often spoke of a bright white light.
She looked around her, and saw nothing. She looked behind her. Vaguely, dimly, she saw someone pushing their hands down on something. The someone was straining. Hair swung in the person's face and Monica thought, "Alex?"
She called to Alex: "Alex! I'm here! Don't let me go!" Monica turned and tried to run towards Alex, hoping Alex would look up and see her--and not stop pressing down on the 'something.'
Monica was afraid that the 'something' was her. An even scarier thought was that she might actually die. On the one hand, she'd be able to see Sean again. And their parents. But on the other hand, she felt she had a lot more of life to live in her current life and she wasn't giving up. Especially since she was still working on getting Donovan to lighten up his attitude around the rest of the team. She had chosen to see Donovan as a challenge, and she wasn't going to give up on her quarry so soon.
She felt like something was being pressed on her chest, keeping her from running towards Alex. The weight seemed to crush her chest and constrain her breathing. Monica tried another tactic. She yelled a healthy howl.
"Nooooooooo!" her voice rang out loud and clear in the dim light. Monica heard a sucking sound and she felt herself being pulled downwards from Alex, away from Sean.
She tried to look at Sean again. Turning her head was like trying to turn her head while it was encased in drying concrete. The effort took a lot out of her, and she grunted. She tried to gain purchase on the glass walls, to keep herself from slipping down the tunnel which had opened itself in front of her. Her fingers slipped on the glass and she pressed her face sideways on the glass and tried to get a last look at Sean before the sucking blackness overwhelmed her.
Birds were singing. Children were laughing. "Monica, Monica, one two three! Monica, Monica, come catch me!" rang out Sean's child voice, a high pitched rather reedy tone which had changed dramatically to a resonating tenor once Sean had reached puberty. Monica had tried to persuade Sean to pitch his voice in commercials, but he had refused.
Monica looked down at herself. She was wearing blue jeans, pink tennis shoes and a yellow sweat shirt. Her hands were child sized. She laughed at Sean, and her laughter sounded in her own child voice--a high soprano. She was seven years old. Sean was eight, just eleven months ahead of her in age, although they were both in the same grade. During the first boring week of school in the first grade, her teacher had noticed Monica reading a Nancy Drew mystery. She'd been tested and Monica had been skipped to the second grade by the time Halloween rolled around.
Now, she smiled and ran as fast as she could, chasing Sean. His child laughter rang out as the two children chased each other around the playground, the birdsongs mixing in with their laughter.
Oh, laughter! Sweet, sweet laughter! Childhood was a time when Monica didn't feel sad, when both her parents were still alive; when Sean was alive. That feeling had lasted until both she and Sean were in the sixth grade.
Coming home from school one day, they had seen their father driving the family car--a green and brown Chrysler station wagon--down Hickory Street where they lived in a small but comfortable wooden frame house.
"Daddy!" Monica had squealed, wildly waving her hand. Antoine Giovanni Davis had seen her, honked his horn three times and waved back. He rolled down the window and called out to his children:
"Going for my interview and then I'm picking up pizza for dinner!"
"Waaaaahooooooooo! Hey, thanks dad!" called Sean, giving his father the thumbs up sign. Their mother, Tonelle, rarely allowed her two children to eat pizza, much less pizza for dinner. She was a rules person: pizza was all right for lunch--on occasion. Three squares a day, milk at every meal, and eat your vegetables was Tonelle Davis. Her relaxation of the rules meant a celebration. The celebration in order for tonight was obviously Antoine's interview.
"Sausage and pepperoni, please, dad?" Sean's voice had asked and Monica's voice had joined him. The two kids jumped up and down shouting "please?" so that by the time Antoine drove the station wagon by them on the opposite side of Hickory Street, he was nodding his head yes.
"Yeah!" came the enthusiastic shouts of the two children.
"Love you, kids!" called Antoine as the station wagon pulled past on the opposite side of the street from the two kids. Monica turned her head and watched the station wagon reach the end of the block, and turn right on Maple.
"Why is momma letting us eat pizza?" Sean asked Monica. It had seemed that Monica had always known what people were going to do before they did their actions. All she had to do was observe their behavior for a while.
"Daddy's interview. Momma's gonna have a celebration," she replied, adjusting her backpack on her back.
"Momma is cool," Sean said, adjusting his own backpack. He put his hand on Monica's shoulder and they started walking the half block towards their home.
They were nearly at their house when they heard a deafening crash coming from their left. The bottom dropped out of Monica's stomach and she felt a dark nausea overcome her. "Noooooo!" she instantly cried out, hoping her instincts were wrong.
The two kids turned their heads, but didn't see anything. From the next street over, they heard shouts and Monica felt the blood drain from her face. The next street over was Maple Street--the street their father had turned right on. Monica and Sean looked at each other, then dropped their backpacks, ran across the street and down to the corner of Hickory and Maple. From behind her, Monica heard a door slam shut and the sound of pounding footsteps.
"Noooooooooo!" echoed a female voice--Tonelle's. "Not Antoine! I just know that was Antoine," her mother shouted as she overtook Monica and Sean and passed them. She rounded the corner, her heels pounding on the pavement and her dress flapping around her legs. Monica and Sean ran as fast as they could and shortly they too rounded the corner, and stopped short.
For there, not fifty yards in front of them, lay the family station wagon--laying in two parts, and the lower part wrapped around a tree trunk--a thick oak tree. A second car was crinkled like an accordion. Tonelle was standing a ways from the accident scene, her hands over her mouth, taking a few steps forward and then taking a few steps backward.
"She's scared to go closer," Monica whispered to Sean. She looked up at her brother. His eyes were wide, and tears were slipping down his cheeks. "She sees something. Something she doesn't want us to see."
"Daddy's dead. You know that Monica, don't you?" he whispered back. Monica nodded. The truth was plainly evident to all who saw the scene: the green and brown station wagon torn in two and the second car--a red Dodge--crinkled, with the engine sitting in the driver's seat.
Sean grasped her hand and the two children slowly walked up to their mother. She spun around, and cried,
"My babies! Don't look!" Tonelle instructed them as she grasped them in a fierce embrace. "My babies!" she cried over and over into their hair.
"Momma!" Sean and Monica said at the same time, hugging her back. Sirens echoed in the background as the three surviving family members embraced each other on the street. Onlookers crowded behind the threesome. The wail of sirens got closer for Maple Street was two blocks from the fire and rescue department. The sirens were turned off as the ambulances and fire trucks pulled up to the accident scene.
Monica, through her mother's sobs, heard quite clearly what a fireman said, "Dead at the scene. Both of them. The man in the green shirt was beheaded," and Monica heard a crackle, then, "copy that, over."
Her father had been wearing a green shirt that day.
Suddenly Monica found herself kneeling next to Sean. He was wearing the leather jacket she'd given him as his early birthday present. Sean had been transformed into a man in the space of a few seconds.
Sean had always towered over everyone in their family. At twenty months, he'd stood a whopping thirty nine inches and Tonelle had been fond of telling him he would be six foot five when he grew up.
"Momma, how do you know I'm gonna be six foot five when I grow up?" Sean had asked her, taking a deep breath. "Mmmmmmmm! The cookies smell good!" he commented as he rubbed his stomach and grinned. .
"The doctor said to take how tall you were when you were twenty months old and then double that height. You were thirty nine inches tall when you were twenty months," their mother, named for her father Tony, had told him. She'd taken the batch of chocolate chip cookies out of the oven and placed the baking sheet on a cooling rack.
"Is that tall enough to play basketball?" Sean had asked.
"Yes baby, that's tall enough," Tonelle had told him, giving him a hug and a kiss on top of his head. Monica had listened to this conversation, sitting at the table and drinking her glass of milk. It had been the first day of kindergarten for Sean and....
"Good morning," a deep, accented male voice interrupted.
"Good morning," that familiar accent, that familiar male voice intoned again. A broken record?
Monica was confused--again. "Donovan? What?" she mumbled.
Ahh! Hazily, Monica understood she was hurt, and she was remembering scenes from her life.
Dimly, she heard, "Don't you dare give up on me, Monica!" That voice was familiar. Too familiar but Monica couldn't place it. The voice was female but who did she know that would tell her to not give up?
Everything was jumbled in her mind. She desperately wished she could go back to the pleasant memory of her and Sean running around the playground, laughing and running and chanting their favorite chant at each other. Her mind hurt from the complexities of emotions which now struck her.
She looked down at the ground. She was seeing Sean right after he'd been shot. Blood was splattered across his face in crazy designs. Blood dripped off his chin and onto the new leather jacket she'd bought him for his birthday. Blood soaked the front of his t-shirt and Monica could see holes in Sean's t-shirt.
She looked up. She saw a shadowy figure fluttering in and out at the edge of her vision. One second the shadowy figure was there, the next second the figure was gone.
What was going on? Was she waking up from where ever she'd gone off to? Monica realized she was hurt (unconscious--a voice sounded in her head) but she couldn't figure out why her chest felt heavy. And hot. Her chest was hot. And it hurt. A burning sensation (like heartburn, said the voice) emanated from the middle of her chest. Thoughts and emotions were jumbled together, and she was unable to pull them apart.
She had the urge to let herself go; to go with the flow of emotions and let her memories take her where they will.
Taking a last look at Sean, Monica let go with her mind. She took a last look at the shadowy figure on the periphery of her vision, and dove into the dark tunnel once again.
"From ashes to ashes, from dust to dust, we return to the earth from whence we came," sounded the pastor's voice.
Not exactly the right words, Monica thought as she looked down at the flower-strewn coffin. She blinked. Superimposed over the coffin were the outlines of three other coffins. This confused Monica. What was going on?
She looked around. Her chest still felt heavy--and hot. She saw dozens of people and recognized more than a few. Sean's basketball crew was there. And John Keller's fellow agents. Her mother's friends were there. Her father's friends were there.
Four funerals at the same time? What was going on? Oh, yes. Now Monica remembered: she'd been hurt and she was unconscious. These were her memories. Jumbled, but her memories nonetheless. Monica hoped she'd have happier memories.
"And this was Keller's office," she told Frank Donovan. He'd been dutifully following her around the nest while she gave the tour. Donovan was their new boss. Tall, with smoky dark looks, Donovan reminded Monica of her college roommate's brother. He'd taken her virginity one pleasant summer night along the shores of Lake Michigan.
Joshua kept moving inside her. After the first stab of pain, Monica had felt nothing but pleasure. She'd wanted this to last forever. The mix of pleasure with happiness was electrifying to Monica.
They had finished their lovemaking and Joshua had lain on top of Monica.
"That. That. That was so fine!" he whispered. "I liked what you did."
"Nice" she'd whispered back.
"I know it's your first time, but you've been gossiping in the bathroom," he told her. Monica knew what he meant--he was of the persuasion that women, prior to their losing their virginity--talked about various techniques to use during 'their first time.' Josh's use of the quaint phrase 'first time' endeared him to Monica.
She decided to play along and give him what he wanted. "You caught me. Sally told me about that move," she whispered in his ear and ran her hand down his back (this is what Sally had actually advised her to do--run her hand down his back afterwards "use your nails lightly" she'd advised Monica).
This movement excited Josh...they were young, barely eighteen and Monica found herself going to the plateaus of ecstasy once again as Josh...
"What is this?" Donovan asked.
"That's a storage room."
"It will do for an office," Donovan told her and Monica watched him turn and go over to Cody's computer banks.
Now Monica was mad. If this was where people went when they died, or the place where they went just prior to their death, this place--this place of jumbled, out of context memories--was obviously purgatory. Or possibly hell. How could those above just cut off such a wonderful memory of her losing her virginity with Joshua Goldblum?
Yes, this was hell, Monica decided. Cutting off that wonderful memory of the darkly handsome Joshua and her, on the shores of Lake Michigan on a soft summer's night certainly qualified as hell and when Monica got to where ever it was that she was going towards, she would put in the paperwork for a complaint against the boss of hell.
If the boss of hell was like Donovan, he'd want the paperwork in triplicate. Which would be fine with Monica, for she would write a long time about her complaints against the boss of hell.
"Owwwwwww! Owwwwwwwww! Owwwwwwww!" Something sharp poked her in the neck. Monica looked around herself. Dimly she saw red lights whirring. That dark shadow was leaning over her (and Monica decided she'd put in a complaint to the boss of hell about this shadow--just what in hell was that shadow doing here? Would the damn thing ever go away?)
Once again, she felt that sucking sound, and when she looked down, she again saw the dark tunnel.
"Go away! This is not funny anymore!" she said aloud as the suction pulled her once again down the dark tunnel.
This time, the boss of hell granted her a reprieve, for all Monica saw was blackness...and she swam into that blackness.
CHAPTER SIX: Cody's Take
authored by: ucferrarisgirl
"Caleb Cody Forrester, Age 28, Race: Caucasian. No known reactions to medications but is allergic to dairy," read the paramedic from Cody's medical card that he'd found in Cody's wallet.
"100 over 70 and steady," said the paramedic, reaching over Cody's prone body to adjust the blood pressure monitor.
"Possible concussion. Multiple facial lacerations and bruises. Chest laceration and GSW in left arm—all nonfatal wounds," observed ER Nurse Nancy Whitman. "Get him down to X-Ray. I want a CT for possible spinal cord injuries and brain injuries," she told the orderlies.
"One of his friends said he thought Caleb had been shot in the chest. Looks like the bullet went through his upper arm and grazed his chest before deflecting upwards off the medallion he's wearing," the paramedic said, and held up a thick silver medallion which had a dent in it from the bullet," the paramedic told Nurse Whitman. Nurse Whitman poked her gloved finger through the hole in Cody's shirt.
"I can see how his friend might have thought he'd been shot in the chest," Nurse Whitman told the paramedic. "The deep graze bled a lot."
"Bullets are funny things…I remember a case of where a boy took a bullet to the head and he was sitting in an indoor firing range. But the bullet came from the outdoor firing range. Freak accident. Bullet kept ricocheting off things until it entered the kid's left temple. This is one thing Caleb will have to tell his grandchildren—how a medallion saved his life.
Two soon-to-be first year medical students working as orderlies until they matriculated into medical school came over to the gurney where the unconscious Cody lay. They pushed the gurney down the hall towards X-Ray. Behind them, Nurse Whitman was calling orders to the ER staff:
"Exam Room 3 will need suturing and bandages. Make sure you wash out the lacerations with soap and water. Give him a tetanus shot just in case. Have the supplies ready when the patient is brought back," Nurse Whitman said. She ran an efficient ER and she wanted to ensure patients moved in and out in as fast as possible.
"Caleb Forrester, where have I heard that name before?" she asked no one in particular. She shrugged her shoulders and went into the next exam room where a woman was complaining to an ER staffer about having an 'itch'.
In the darkness, Cody dreamed.
"I've got it, Frank," Cody said as Frank hovered behind him, anxiously watching the video cameras. On screen, Jake and Alex were talking to two drug pushers about becoming distributors. Frank could barely make out what his two undercovers were saying, and he was becoming frustrated.
"Make sure that you do," Frank said and continued to watch the cameras. The sound popped on.
"Remember, this is a test. You do well on this run, you get more," the taller of the two men said.
"We want more now," Jake said, menancingly. He reached over and kissed Alex, fondling her as he did so. Cody saw Alex's ears pull back; she was surprised.
"Must be nice," Cody muttered under his breath.
"It's the job," Frank said. Cody turned to look at Frank but Frank merely glanced at him before turning his full attention to the scene unfolding in front of him.
"You get more when you deliver. Those are the terms. You get a day to think about the terms, then you meet me back here," the tall blond man told Jake.
"Do it, Jake," Frank said softly into his mouthpiece. On screen, Jake narrowed his eyes, his signal to Frank that he'd heard.
Jake took a puff on the Cuban he was smoking. He blew smoke rings: one, two, three. The two men watched him with watery blue eyes. Finally, Jake nodded.
"Yeah, all right. A test. I distributed before, down in Tulsa. I'm not known here, gotta work my way up," Jake said in a husky voice.
The blond man glanced over at the slightly shorter, dark haired man. "The man likes to know who he's dealing with, understand? You just an upstart from the middle of nowhere," he told Jake.
"Middle of nowhere? Tulsa's got the smoothest jazz you've ever listened to. They got the finest ladies," Jake said as Alex, her three inch diamond dangly earrings glinting in the sunlight, kissed his cheek and ran her hand down his thigh.
"Yeah? Why'd ya leave?" the dark haired man said. Jake looked at him sharply.
"Why does anybody leave a good setup? Trick to this business is to outwit the blues, the feebs and the DEA. You stay on the outside, enjoy your profits, get your women their baubles. Your trail gets hot, you leave, start a new life."
"Why'd ya pick here?" the dark haired man inquired. The blond man nudged him and shook his head.
"Heard there was a job opening through the vine," Jake replied then he kissed Alex on the lips. He drew back, then took another drag on the Cuban.
"DEA's been busting all over this month. They're handing out sentences like they were giving candy to children," the blond haired man said. He looked at Jake and nodded.
"Tomorrow, same time," he said as the two men turned and left.
Jake and Alex waited until the two men were out of sight, then Alex turned and slapped Jake. He looked shocked, but started walking towards the van.
"And they've gotten into their Jags," Cody said. "Now it's off to the races. Car on the right is gaining just a little. No! Car on the left has just pulled ahead."
"Cody," Frank said.
Cody stopped his running commentary.
"When was he built?" Cody wondered to himself.
"I heard that," Frank said softly.
Cody started. He hadn't realized he'd spoken aloud. This wasn't the first time Cody had wondered aloud when Frank was built when Frank was near him. The man was a walking bank vault: nothing could get in or out of him unless you had the special access code. Cody suspected Frank was a different man outside the job; maybe he even had a lady on the side, someone who could melt the man of steel.
If that was true--that Frank had a woman in his private life--Cody would give all the gold in Fort Knox to meet her and ask her how to break down the barriers that Frank set up.
In this unit, there were only five people. That left a lot of social time to be filled in while waiting for a new assignment. With Keller, there had been a lot of joking and bar hopping. We were a family, Cody thought to himself.
But then Keller had died protecting Alex. Cody knew the two had had a sexual relationship. With only the five of them, social interactions between any two members of the group was noticed by the other three. It wasn't hard to miss the glow in Alex's face when she and Keller had first had sex; Alex had seem more luminous, relaxed.
She'd gone undercover, then fell in love with Carlos Cortez. Busting him was the hardest thing she'd had to do, and it rent her heart. Keller had understood her pain; he'd stood back and let her grieve until she was ready to start another relationship.
Then, he died, taking the bullets meant for her. And Alex had somehow pulled back. Cody thought he could understand why Alex had slapped Jake: it was too soon after Keller's death and Alex's turning down Carlos's offer to go away with him for Jake to be getting too much into his alias.
Then Frank: the man of steel. His background was as impregnable as Fort Knox itself. Cody had managed to glean a few details about Frank: like the fact he'd had a roommate at the Academy and that he'd risen as fast as he did because while still in training, Frank had negotiated the release of his FBI mentor who had been taken hostage.
An alarm sounded. Cody swiveled in his chair. Frank was right behind him.
"Report," Frank said.
"Seems like somebody's throwing mud at us sir, a bunch of children," Cody pointed to one of the monitors. It showed two children throwing mud balls at the van. Frank grimaced.
"Get us out of here," he said.
Suddenly, the van was rocked by an explosion. Cody heard several loud "pops" and suddenly the world slipped sideways. Hazily, he saw Frank falling, blood running down the side of his head. Cody found himself laying on the van's floor, looking sideways at Frank. Smoke was everywhere, stinging Cody's eyes until they teared.
The van's rear doors had been opened and two burly fellows wearing ski masks had scrambled in. Cody shut his eyes and feigned unconsciousness. It wasn't hard to do, as his head was aching something bad.
One of the men knelt in front of Cody to slip his hands under Frank's shoulders. Cody thought that was odd. Frank was a martial arts expert, in Krav Maga, Cody’s brain told him. Why isn’t he fighting?
Frank must be unconscious, Cody thought else he would fight like a wild cat to get away and disable their adversaries.
"Eddie is going to like this," Cody heard the man mutter to himself.
Eddie? Who was Eddie? Cody aimed to find out, because by now he suspected that Frank was being kidnapped. He couldn't move because his head was spinning around and he'd been stunned, although not too stunned to do some thinking.
"Hurry up!" Cody heard the other man say. "Duncan’s gonna pay us a bonus to Eddie and then we get a bonus so let's move!"
It was a good thing Cody didn't have his eyes open or else he would have seen the man closest to him put Frank's shoulders down, turn around, take his gun out of a leg holster and smash Cody between the eyes.
Then Cody's world went dark and he kept dreaming over and over the events that had caused Frank to be kidnapped.
Cody was getting tired of reliving this dream. He hoped he could get back to some sunlight. When he did, he was going to hug Frank.
Hospital Room, Chicago Memorial
"Owwwwww!" Cody tried to turn his head away from the bright light. Coming awake, he automatically opened his eyes, then just as automatically squinted them. Hadn't he just wished he could get back to the sunlight?
"Relax, you're going to be fine," the nurse shouted at him.
"You're shouting," Cody shouted back.
"No, you have a mild concussion," she said, her voice much softer now.
Cody tried to sit up. He found he could but his head hurt. "How long was I out?"
"About two hours," she told him.
"The others I was with? What happened to them?" he asked the nurse. When he fully sat up, the hospital gown dropped from his shoulders and down into his lap.
Realizing he was nude underneath, Cody's cheeks reddened slightly as he allowed the nurse to assist him in securing the gown around his back.
She finished tying the gown and stepped back. "One of the women was shot in the chest. The other two are ok," she told him. Cody paled.
"The one named Monica Davis."
"Is she ok?" "She's in surgery now," the nurse told him. "Your friends are waiting outside. Shall I let them in?"
Cody nodded. He hadn't had a chance to ask her about Frank. But then he remembered Frank had been kidnapped by Eddie and Duncan. The nurse left the room and Jake and Alex stepped in. Alex had been crying and her eyes were red rimmed. Her clothes were soaked with blood and blood streaked her face.
Jake was pale and there were worry lines around his mouth. Jake put his arm around Alex's shoulders. This time, she didn't pull back.
"Guess you know about Monica," Jake said.
"Yes," Cody said as he fingered the bandage on his head. Exploring his face, he also discovered a thick line of stitches in his left cheek. His chest hurt, and his left arm was swathed in bandages.
"Frank's been kidnapped," Alex blurted.
"By Eddie and Duncan," Cody said.
Jake gaped. "How did you know that?"
"I heard the two kidnappers talking before things went black. Owwww!" Cody said, turning his head. "I might need a neck brace," he said.
"Eddie? Duncan? Never heard of them. Alex?" Jake said, holding Alex.
Alex lifted her head from Jake's shoulder. "Eddie? Duncan? If they took Frank, they must be from Frank's past."
"And his past is classified," Cody remarked. "For someone who was built a few months ago when he joined this unit, he sure has a lot of old enemies popping up."
"Jake, can you get on my computers and start looking for anyone named Duncan or Eddie?"
"Sure thing. It'll give me something to do while we wait for Monica to get out of surgery."
"She will be okay?" Cody asked.
"Bullet looked to be around her heart. But people have been shot in the heart before and lived," Alex said.
A pretty young woman popped her head in the room at that moment. "Are you waiting for information on Monica Davis?" she asked.
The three SOU team members turned towards her and said, "yes!" simultaneously.
The young woman smiled--hugely--and the three teammates sighed audibly.
"The bullet was just a fraction of an inch above her heart. No major organs were damaged but she did lose a lot of blood," the young woman said. "She'll be out of surgery in about an hour and you can go see her in about three hours."
"Thank you. Thank you so much," Jake said. Alex burst into tears and Jake hugged her to him, tightly.
"Thought you'd been shot in the chest. I mean, I saw the hole in your shirt, and blood pouring out..." Jake commented as Cody tried to flex his bicep. Alex's tears quieted and she stood with her head on Jake's shoulders.
"Oww! Nahh. Couldn't get shot in the chest without getting Frank to agree to drinks with all of us. Besides, someone has to rub him the wrong way. Might as well be me!" Cody said energetically as he held his left bicep, hoping that somehow, the pain would go away.
A freshly released Cody made his way back to the nest. He’d had to bicker with the attending physician but he’d gotten himself released after signing a sheaf of papers.
Cody was sporting one hundred thirty two stitches in his face, arm and chest. His chest was emblazoned with a deep graze that looked like a wild cat woman had raked him during a wild evening. Cody was just happy that he'd been wearing that medallion—and just as happy that the bullet had taken a freak upwards turn when it struck the medallion. Otherwise, Cody would have gone six feet under, something Cody wasn't planning on doing for a long time. At least, not until he'd gotten Frank in a bar with all four of them.
Getting his mind back to business, Cody knew Jake had been unable to gather any information on Eddie and Duncan but that didn't surprise Cody--Jake was an undercover. It was Cody's job to ferret out the information the team needed.
His head, his left bicep and his chest were all pulsating like the beat of a bass drum in a parade. Perhaps he'd left the hospital too early, but he knew Frank needed to be found and fast.
Cody had a cab let him off two blocks away from the nest. Like the rest of the team, when he had to use a cab, he had the cab driver drop him off at different locations so as not to create a discernable pattern that their quarries could pick up. One of the possible ways the Special Operations Unit could be tracked was by cab usage; cab drivers were often paid stooges for the crime rings and since the unit’s inception, SOU team members had been instructed, first by Keller then by Frank, that if it was necessary to use a cab, they should rotate their drop off points.
Cody hadn't had a cab drop him off so close to the nest in years, so he felt safe in having the driver let him off in front of a bar close to the nest, Wilma’s.
--Have to get Frank down here one day for a drink--Cody thought to himself as he handed the driver a twenty and shut the door of the cab. He straightened up, turned around and started walking to the bar's door. He'd also been taught that if he had to have a cab drop him off near the nest, to go into one of the businesses and pretend to be a customer.
The big plate glass window acted as a mirror and Cody saw the cab driver pick up a cell phone.
"Si, es el," he heard the cabbie say. Cody tried not to pause. He watched the cab driver start to pull away. Cody took note of the cab driver and the cab. He stepped back and looked at the license plate number: N53NB34.
"N53NB34," Cody said to himself as he turned around and walked into the bar. Cody knew his presence had been detected by the motion detectors and that a light had flashed on in the bar's office.
This time of day, the bar was empty. Joseph Tanner, the owner and bartender, hadn't opened up but he kept the door open for deliveries and such people as Cody who were regulars and sometimes needed a drink at odd hours of the day.
Cody went behind the bar and got himself a glass. Filling it with mineral water, he walked around to the stools and sat down. He was waiting for Joseph to appear. Looking around, he caught a flash of white down at the other end of the bar. He got up from the stoool and walked over to the end of the bar. Picking up the note he read,
I'll be back by the time the bar opens. We just had a baby! It's a boy!--Joseph
Cody smiled, then grimaced. The smile had stretched his stitches. He hunted around for a pen and finding one, he wrote, "congratulations!--Cody."
He put down some money to pay for his mineral water and left the bar.
Glancing around, he ensured he wasn't being followed. Reaching the nest, he went in and went straight to his computer banks, which Jake had left on for him.
He typed the plate numbers of the van into his keyboard. A short time later, he read: N53NB3 registered to the Prime City Cab Company, Lucas Michaels, Owner and Operator."
Cody quickly typed Lucas's name into his database and set the database to prompt him if he got a match.
He now typed in the names of Duncan and Eddie and cross-referenced them to the surname of Donovan.
He sat back and waited--hopefully--for a match.
authored by: ucferrarisgirl
"He what?!" Cody exclaimed when Alex told him where Frank was located. Jake and Alex were waiting for a private plane to be readied for them, and the two were gathering their equipment.
Despite his bruises and stitches, Cody tried to gape. "A sandspit? Frank marooned himself and Milton on a sandspit in the middle of the Atlantic?" Cody tried to whistle but found the stitches in his cheek prevented him.
Jake now asked, "whatever possessed our gallant leader to maroon himself on a sandspit?" Jake and Alex stopped their activity long enough to look at the monitor in Cody's computer banks. Cody had tapped into the hospital video system and had located the video feed showing Monica lying in her bed. She was in the intensive care unit, still unconscious, and the nurses had a video feed from her bed to the nursing desk so someone could monitor her at all times.
"Anyone? Take a guess as to his motives?" Jake asked, glancing over at the computer screen. Monica lay there, a bloody bandage going down the middle of her chest but she was breathing regularly.
The three remaining team members then looked at each other.
"If I was Frank and I was being held on a small cay in the Bahamas about to have sodium amytal administered and I had a chance to escape, it might be better for me to get off the cay as quickly as possible," Alex said.
"But why a sandspit?" this came from Jake, who was sucking his cheek. He put a video camera in his pack.
"Because no one expects it," Cody replied. "Milton's crony bodyguards would have noticed him and Frank missing. They would assume that Frank would try to take the boat to somewhere else in the island chain. There's any number of fishermen who would do anything--like search for someone--for extra cash, preferably in American dollars," Cody explained.
"With the large number of fishermen, it would be easy to round up several and search the smaller cays. Milton would think Frank would lay low on a small cay," Alex continued.
"It would be easy to get a small hydroplane into the Bahamas unnoticed by Bahamian radar," Cody said.
"How so?" Jake asked.
"Head from eastern Florida northwest towards Bermuda, then swing around to the east. Then, swing south and west, and skim the surface of the water. You come in under the radar and with all the small islands in a fifty-four hundred square mile island chain, Bahamian radar would have a very difficult time tracking a hydroplane skimming the surface, even if the plane didn't use radar scrambling" Cody explained.
Jake whistled. "They could also run in supplies to the island to pay the fishermen. Household appliances would be more valued than money because of the high prices on the islands," he said, understanding dawning in his face.
"Almost everything is imported to the Bahamas and that drives up the price. Add on import taxes and home electronics become a luxury for a fisherman and his family. If you were a fisherman and you were offered, say, a complete home entertainment center to troll up and down the cays searching for someone, you'd take the job, and the entertainment center," Alex now said.
"So they got fishermen out looking for Frank in the Abaco cays," Jake said this as a statement.
"And Frank trumped them up and took off to the middle of the Atlantic ocean," Alex said she finished packing her bag with the supplies she knew they would need to keep in contact with Cody.
Cody opened a drawer and pulled out a small mirror that Monica used. "You might want to use this to signal him to let him know it's you and not some other plane," he said as he handed Alex the mirror. She smiled, nodded and put the mirror in the bag.
"Our Frank. How did he know about that sandspit?" Cody asked.
"Must have been there before," Jake said. "We'll ask him about it."
"Good luck getting information from Mister Acerbic," Cody said, as Alex and Jake walked out of his computer banks towards the exit.
"I'll keep on Eddie. Let our leader know that," Cody called after them. He heard the door shut. Reaching over and flipping a switch, Cody turned to another monitor and watched Jake and Alex walk towards Jake's car.
"Mister Acerbic? Frank is dry, not sour and bitter." Alex's voice came over the intercom. Cody smiled. He had a never ending list of nicknames for Frank, which he would continue to use until such time as Frank agreed to go out for a drink with them--even if his presence in the bar consisted of a mere half hour.
"Frank does tend to be rather dry and he did seem bitter about becoming our gallant leader," Jake's voice came back as the two reached Jake's car.
"Yeah, he's dry all right," Cody said to the monitor. "He's like a dry martini."
Cody sat back and thought about that statement. "Wonder if dry martini's is what Frank drinks," he said as he swung his chair around and watched the unconscious Monica. Cody noted her vital signs were steady.
"Come back to us soon, Monica," he said, as he watched her sleep.