Author: Steve711 -Steve Pantovich
E-mail Address: Steve711@concentric.net
Title: The Chronicles of Wanderer - Trial of Frank Scully
Copyrighted : April 2001
Rating: PG-13 to R - Violence, and Foul Language
Spoilers: A few, but who cares?
Keywords: X-Files/Highlander/Buffy the Vampire Slayer Crossover with a few guest stars.
The Following TV Series have been included in the story. Disclaimers appear at the end with the cast list.
Star Trek The Next Generation/Deep Space Nine/Voyager
Xena, Warrior Princess
The Following Book Series have been included in the story. Disclaimers appear at the end with the character list
Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan
Summary: Frank's been found out and some very powerful people move to try him for murder.
All disclaimers appear at the end of the story. Any character whose names and descriptions are used are the property of their original owners, and no copy right infringement is intended or meant. No money can be made from this story. It can be distributed freely so long as it is kept in its entirety, with all notices and copyright information intact.
The characters Wanderer/Steven St. Wolf, Frank Iverson, Brother Aaron, Robert McCallister, The Knights of the Order of the Grail, Randi Jessup, Brian Jessup, The Standing and Cauldwell Families and this story are mine. Anyone wishing to use them, please contact me at my e-mail address: Steve711@concentric.net
The character, Robin Goodfellow is the property of Mike Weyer and used with his permission.
Comments and Criticisms are appreciated, please post to the above referenced E-mail.
Author's Note's: When I started to write this story I decided to change some things concerning the characters.
X-Files Mulder and Scully are married and Immortal - So Non-Relationshippers beware.
Highlander: Richie Ryan shouldn't have died in the end of the fifth season. So here he hasn't.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Buffy is an Immortal and this series splits from the third season show, The Judge.
Casca, the Eternal Mercenary: Various of Casca's friends are Immortal. Including the love of his life, Lida.
I'd like to thank the people who helped me in writing this story. It took the better part of a year to complete, but I think that it was worth it, but they stuck with me, helping and encouraging me to complete it. In no particular order, they are:
Rebekah Sandell, Mark Safransky, Tim Knight, Mike Weyer, Timbo, Hawk, Dalton Spence, and Harvey. Thank you all for your time and input on this story.
In memory: I'd like to dedicate this story in memory of five great writers, whose works have been a constant enjoyment and delight:
J.R.R. Tolkien, Gene Roddenberry, Don Pendelton, Mickey Spillane and Barry Sadler
I'd also like to thank all those great fan fiction writers out there, whose stories I've enjoyed. They showed me that I could let my imagination run. (Where it went I don't want to know :>))
Thanks and here's the Story. Enjoy.
Never Never Land
July 16th, 10:00 am - PST
Office of Commander Craig Donovan - Military Attache
Craig Donovan looks over the investigating report detailing the murder of Lieutenant j.g. Jake Franzetti. He shakes his head and asks his partner. "Frank, all of this is pure circumstantial evidence. The only item tying Scully to the murder is the so-called eye witness account of a Lieutenant j.g. Nashton."
"Nashton? Christopher Nashton?" Frank asks.
"Yeah, him. Why?"
"I wonder if he set up Scully like he did that seaman on the USS Monroe? I think the kid's name was Scott Seaver."
"What are you talking about, Frank?" Donovan asks.
"About two years ago, Nashton was convicted of homicide in the death of Scott Seaver, a seaman on the Monroe. According to the newspaper article I read, Nashton literally locked him in the engine room when the fire suppression system kicked in. The poor bastard literally had the air sucked out of his lungs. Then, Nashton blamed Seaver for the accident that caused his own death. Do you think he could have been responsible for Franzetti's death, if it could have benefited him in some way?"
Donovan thinks back to the weeks before the murder and then hits his head with the palm of his hand. "Franzetti and Nashton were both trying for the same position. The day before Franzetti died, he was notified that he would get the assignment and the promotion."
"What happened after Franzetti died?"
"Nashton got the assignment and the promotion." Donovan then hits the table and curses. "That bastard!!! He murdered Franzetti and ruined Scully's life just so he could get a promotion."
"So what are we going to do about it?"
"The JAG commander is a former SEAL. Admiral Chegwidden will make sure that Scully gets justice." Donovan replies with certainty. "I'm getting a flight out to DC today. You coming?"
"Wouldn't miss it for the world." Frank replies with a lop sided grin.
July 17th - 12:00pm PST
Navy JAG Headquarters
Falls Church, VA
"Enter." Barks the stern voice of Admiral A.J. Chegwidden. Commander Craig Donovan enters and snaps a salute at the Admiral. Frank Parker walks in behind him and nods his head in greeting. "Have a seat, gentlemen." The Admiral tells them. Then he looks over the pair and sarcastically asks when he sees the National Security Agency identification cards. "What can I do for you?"
Donovan relaxes in his chair and pulls out the Frank Scully file. "I want you to reopen the Franzetti murder investigation, Sir."
The Admiral sits back and asks. "Why do you want it reopened?"
"Because I don't think that Frank Scully killed Franzetti, Sir."
"It's been fourteen years since that case was closed and if I remember correctly, the only suspect is dead. Do you have evidence that would warrant such an action?"
"Yes, Sir." Donovan replies. "Recently, myself, Mr. Parker here, and three platoons of SEALS helped stop the vampire cult serial murders in Los Angeles."
The Admiral perks up at this and demands. "Who ordered you and three SEAL platoons to help in a local civilian matter?"
Before Donovan can speak up, Frank tells the Admiral. "It was ordered through the NSA, Admiral."
"And what does the NSA have to do with a cult of serial killers?"
"They had their hands on a very dangerous device which would have killed a lot of people. We called in the SEALs to help contain the situation. A covert operations group code named Section Seven did most of the work. The SEALs were only there for backup."
"What sort of group would use SEALs as backup?" A.J. asks in disbelief.
"Take my word for it, Admiral. You don't want to know." Frank Parker quietly replies.
Chegwidden, seeing the haunted look in both men's eyes doesn't press the matter, but he asks. "So what does this group have to do with the Franzetti case?"
Both men look at each other and quietly nod their heads. Donovan turns back to Chegwidden. "Frank Scully was there, Sir. He was one of the field commanders for the Section Seven troops."
Admiral Chegwidden sits back and steeples his fingers and lowers his head in thought. After a minute, he looks up at Donovan and Parker and asks. "Why do you think he's innocent now and not fourteen years ago?"
"Two things, Sir. First is this record a friend of mine at the CIA gave me. It contains Scully's activities for the last twelve years."
Chegwidden examines the file. "Most impressive." He comments with respect. "This record shows a man dedicated to protecting this country. What's the other evidence that you have."
"If you'll check the records, you'll find that the only witness against Frank Scully was a Lieutenant j.g. Charles Nashton."
Chegwidden leans forward and asks in a low, angry tone. "Commander, don't try and pin the Franzetti murder on him without some concrete evidence."
Donovan nods and begins to point toward some. "Franzetti and Nashton were up for the same duty assignment. The assignment carried with it a fast track to a promotion as well as a transfer to a very prestigious posting. The day before Franzetti was murdered, he was told that the assignment was his. You'll find a copy of the orders in the file. The day after he was murdered, Scully was arrested on Nashton's statement. After Scully was convicted, Nashton got the assignment, the transfer and the promotion. Copies of those orders are also there."
Chegwidden reads through the amassed evidence. After he finishes reading it, he reaches for his intercom and orders. "Tyner, get Rabb, Mackenzie, Roberts and Simms in here on the double."
A few minutes later five people walk in and the Admiral looks up in surprise. "Mister Webb? What are you doing here?"
"I came to see about borrowing the Commander and the Major for a case." Webb replies, but he then notices Frank Iverson's file in front of the Admiral. <What the hell is Frank's file doing here?> "But I see that I'm going to have to ask you where you obtained that file."
The Admiral picks up Frank Scully's file and asks. "I take it you know this man?"
"I know Two-Step both professionally and personally, Admiral. What does the Navy want with him?"
"Two-Step? What kind of code name is that?" Rabb asks.
Admiral Chegwidden snorts. <Fly boys.> "Two-Step is the name of a very dangerous snake found in Asia. If it bites a man, he'd be dead before he'd take two steps. How did Scully get that nickname?"
"By being just as deadly as the snake." Webb replies deadpan.
Admiral Chegwidden nods and continues. "Fourteen years ago, this man, Frank Scully was charged with murder. He was arrested and convicted on those charges. He received a twenty five year sentence in Groton, but escaped. Six months later, a body was positively identified as him and the case was closed. Now I find out that this man is not only alive, but is a commanding officer in covert operations unit called Section Seven. Would you care to tell me what the hell is going on?"
Webb's face goes blank as he asks. "Are you certain about his connection to Section Seven?"
"You mean to tell me, Mr. Webb, that you know nothing about this unit? Or this man's participation in it?" Admiral Chegwidden barks out.
"Yes Admiral, Section Seven is unknown to me. In fact, every intelligence agency in the free world is trying to find out who the hell they are."
"May I ask why?"
"They recently hijacked a Key Hole satellite from the NRO."
Every person in the room is quiet as Admiral Chegwidden barks out. "They did what!?"
Webb winces. "Section Seven was somehow able to crack the access codes and take over a Key Hole satellite. They used it for two days, after which they wiped the logs on the satellite and returned it to the NRO."
"Anything else?" Admiral Chegwidden demands.
"They sent an e-mail apologizing for taking it without permission. The e-mail was sent over the NRO's secure system. Which shouldn't have been possible either, but they did it. Whoever these people are, they are very good. Now you tell me that one of the CIA's top operatives is working with them. That makes me very nervous. May I ask how you came across this information Admiral?"
"Commander Donovan and Mr. Parker here were with Scully in Los Angeles, helping with the vampire cult murders."
Webb turns to the pair and asks. "What did Section Seven have to do with a local police matter?"
"The cultists had a biological weapon which they had planned on using on the population of Los Angeles. Section Seven, with the help of the LAPD and the NSA, stopped them." Frank tells Webb.
"So Section Seven is NSA?" Webb asks.
"No. I don't know who controls them, but it's not NSA."
"Their field commander is a piece of work though." Donovan mutters.
"Why do you say that, Commander?" Rabb asks.
"I've never meet a man cold enough to shoot me down without a thought, but care enough for his people to actually lead the charge. That St. Wolf guy was insane."
<It can't be.> "Describe the man, Commander." Webb asks.
"Caucasian, about 6'2", maybe 6'3", brown hair, attitude to max, but his people were willing to follow him to hell and back. One of the other people there, the commander of another covert operations unit--" Chegwidden looks up, but Donovan holds up his hand. "Don't ask Admiral, this group is beyond even your security clearance." Chegwidden angrily glares at Donovan, but nods in agreement and Donovan continues. "Like I was saying, this other covert operations commander knew him from somewhere before and said that he was one of the best that he ever served with."
"Damn." Webb mutters as he opens his briefcase. He takes out a pack of photos and sorts through them and asks. "Is this the man?"
Donovan looks over the photo and sees Webb, Scully and the leader of Section Seven standing together in suits. "Yeah that's him. That's the guy calling himself St. Wolf. What is he to you?"
"One of the Agency's best independent operatives." Webb replies with a grimace. "If you'll excuse me I have to make a phone call. Can I use your office, Rabb?"
"Who are you going to call, Mr. Webb?" The Admiral asks.
"Jack Ryan. I'm going to have to inform him that two of his chief operatives are moonlighting."
"Will anything happen to them?" Major Mackenzie asks.
"I don't know. Frank and Steve have done some major missions for the Agency and saved quite a few lives. If anyone tries anything, a lot of good people will be standing by them."
Clayton Webb calmly walks into Rabb's office and closes the door. He takes a moment to lock it, walks over to the desk and quickly dials a number known only to a few people. The phone is picked up on the first ring and a cultured voice answers. "Jack Ryan's office. May I help you?"
"Peterson, this is Webb. Put me through to Jack."
"You got it, Webb."
A few seconds later another voice gets on and asks. "What's wrong, Webb?"
"I just found out that Steve St. Wolf and Frank Iverson are working for Section Seven."
"I already knew about Steve being involved with Section Seven, so Frank's involvement doesn't surprise me. How did you find out about their involvement?"
"Admiral Chegwidden has an interesting pair of visitors." Webb replies and gives Jack a run down on the meeting in the Admiral's office.
"Give them whatever help you can, Clay. I want Frank's name cleared."
"So do I, Jack. So do I." Clay replies as he hangs up the phone. He walks out of Rabb's office and goes back to Admiral Chegwidden's office. He quietly walks in and the Admiral asks.
"So what did your superiors have to say?"
"That Frank Scully is too valuable an asset to leave twisting in the wind. They want me to help you clear his name."
"Is this personal or did someone higher up order you to do this?" Admiral Chegwidden asks.
"Jack Ryan asked and I agreed to help. Frank's one of the few people that I can call friend and know that he'll be there for me, if I need him."
"Why Mr. Webb, I do believe that is the first sentimental thing that I've ever heard come out of your mouth." The Admiral replies with a grin.
"Lock it away in your memory then Admiral, because that is the last time you'll ever hear something like that from me." Webb replies with a tight smile.
July 20th - 7:00am PST, 10:00am EST
Groton Naval Base Prison
Prisoner # 2253234, formerly Commander Charles Nashton, XO of the USS Monroe, walks into the grey meeting room, wondering who would be visiting him. <My entire family disowned me because of that bastard Forrester.> He mentally seethes. <If I ever get out of here, I"ll find him and kill him.> As the guard opens the last door to the meeting room Nashton finally sees who's come to visit him. <What the hell does JAG want with me now?>
Harm watches as the former Commander is sat down in a chair and the two marines stand guard just behind him. Harm walks forward and bluntly asks. "How's prison life treating you Nashton?"
"It could be better, Commander. What do you want?"
"The JAG has recently re-opened a murder case and we want to ask you some questions about it."
Nashton blanches, but he holds firm. "What case, Commander?"
"We're investigating the death of Lieutenant j.g. Antonio Franzetti aboard the Missile Cruiser California. We want to hear your eyewitness account as to the events that surrounded his death."
Nashton's face loses all of its color as he demands. "I won't answer any questions without a lawyer being present."
Harm looks back to his two companions. Major Sarah MacKenzie glares back at the man, hatred in her eyes. Clayton Webb shows only the briefest flicker of emotion as he calmly watches Nashton squirm. "Very well then. We'll get you a lawyer and come back in three hours." Harm replies as he and his two companions get up to leave. As Harm exits the door, he leans back in. "Nashton, if we do find out that you framed Scully, I'll personally request a death sentence for you."
Nashton watches as the door closes and he looks down at his feet and begins to shake. One of the marine guards leans down and asks. "Are you all right?"
"NO!! I am not all right. Take me back to my cell." Nashton screams as he gets up. <How can this get any worse? >
Harm catches up with Mac and Webb. As they make their way to the base JAG office, Webb angrily smacks his fist into his hand. "That bastard setup Frank. I'm going to make him wish he were dead."
Harm and Mac, taken aback by Webb's outburst look at each other. "I take it that Frank Scully's a good friend." Harm asks.
"He and his partner have saved my life on at least two occasions. Frank and Steve are two of the rarest people in my business. They actually care. I owe them." Webb admits.
"They sound like good men." Mac replies softly.
"They are." Webb replies simply as they walk down the corridor.
Several minutes later, the three walk into the Groton JAG commander's office. Harm and Mac stand at attention before the JAG commander, Captain Joshua Denton. Denton steeples his fingers before him and quietly asks. "What can I do for you Commander, Major, Mr. Webb."
Harm lays down the folder in front of him and steps back. "Please read this file, Sir."
"Have a seat." Captain Denton replies as he picks up the file and reads it. After a short while, he puts it down and asks. "What are you planning on doing, Commander?"
"I want him to tell us the truth about what happened to Franzetti and if he framed Scully." Harm replies.
"And then what?"
"Then we proceed from there." Harm replies evenly.
"Why all of this effort for a dead man?" Captain Denton asks, pointing to Scully's picture. Harm and Mac look over to Webb and he nods his head. Captain Denton notices the exchange and suddenly understands. "How long has Scully worked for 'The Company'?"
Webb clears his throat and quietly replies. "Long enough for myself and some very powerful people to consider him to be an asset to national security. Here's a copy of his file."
Denton 'Harumphs' and reads the file after a short while he looks up and asks. "I can see why you're trying to exonerate Scully. He's done a lot scary things for you. Are you sure that Scully didn't commit the murder?"
"You read the evidence that we provided to you. Tell me that you couldn't have gotten Scully off with the evidence that the prosecution presented."
Denton looks down at the file and grins. "A blind man who was drunk could have gotten Scully off. I wonder what the defense attorney was doing?"
Harm grins. "Take a look at who was the defense attorney."
Denton reads the file and just shakes his head in disbelief. "Lieutenant Marcus Riley, the worst lawyer in the Navy." Denton stares at the file further and growls lowly. "The prosecutor was Lieutenant Robert 'Win At All Costs' Fitzpatrick." Denton shakes his head. "Who was the moron who chose these two to represent the Navy and Scully?"
"The file doesn't go into specifics, but according to court records, they were chosen completely at random." Major Sarah MacKenzie replies.
"The poor bastard never stood a chance did he?" Denton replies softly. "No wonder he ran when he did. It was his only option. So what are we going to do now?"
"Find someone to represent Nashton and we'll go from there." Harm replies.
"Very well then." Denton replies as he presses his intercom. "Please have Commander Fitzpatrick come in."
Harm looks over to Mac, who shrugs her shoulders in confusion. He turns back to Denton and asks. "Why are you assigning Fitzpatrick to Nashton?"
"Because I don't want Nashton railroaded and your attitude screams 'String Him High', Commander." Denton replies calmly. "And I want Fitzpatrick to make up for what he did to Scully."
Harm grins. "Very good, Sir. When do you think we can interview him?"
"As soon as Fitzpatrick has a chance to talk to him." Denton replies a Commander Fitzpatrick walks into the office and stands at attention. Denton turns to him and gives him a run down on what he was called in for. Fitzpatrick picks up the file and reads through it. After a few minutes he looks up and snidely asks. "Why are we trying to clear a dead man that I convicted of murder?"
Denton steeples his fingers and looks at the Commander. "Because he might be innocent, Commander."
"He's dead. Why worry about it?" Fitzpatrick coldly replies.
"Because Frank Scully is not dead, Commander." Clayton Webb replies just as coldly.
"Why isn't he in custody then? He escaped from Groton and falsified his death." Fitzpatrick demands from Harm.
Clayton Webb calmly gets up and grabs Fitzpatrick by his throat and shoves him against the wall of the office. He forces Fitzpatrick's head around and, in a voice completely devoid of emotion, tells him. "Frank Scully has done more for this country, while he was a criminal than you have, or ever will do, Commander." Webb then let's the Commander go and Fitzpatrick falls to his knees, coughing.
Fitzpatrick looks up and angrily demands. "I want that man arrested for assaulting a Naval officer!!"
Denton looks neutrally at Fitzpatrick and remarks. "I'm sure that Mr. Webb's superior would be more than happy to hear your complaints against him."
"Who is he?" Fitzpatrick demands.
"Assistant Director Jack Ryan." Webb informs a flabbergasted Fitzpatrick.
"The guy who's going to be the next Director of the CIA?" Fitzpatrick mutters aloud, shocked at the implications. "What the hell does Scully have to do with 'The Company'?"
Denton holds up Frank's file. "You have the necessary clearances. Read this."
Fitzpatrick picks up the file and reads through it. He looks over to Webb and asks. "Is this file real?" Webb simply nods his head. "Shit!" Fitzpatrick replies as he finishes reading the file and hands it back to Webb. As he hands over the file, he apologizes. "I'm sorry that I made that remark." He then turns around and asks. "Captain, I formally request to be placed on Commander Rabb's team. Please chose someone else to defend Nashton."
"You had better have a damn good reason for this Fitzpatrick." Captain Denton growls out.
"Sir. The file clearly states that Frank Scully was one of the mercenaries who rescued a large number of children from a group of kidnappers in Libya."
"That is correct. Why are you bringing it up?"
"One of the kids that he rescued in Libya is my daughter." Fitzpatrick replies softly while looking straight ahead.
Denton looks at Rabb. "Commander?"
Rabb grins, holding out his hand. "Welcome aboard, Commander."
"Thanks. This is just a small payback to Scully for what he did for my Laura." Fitzpatrick replies softly. "She once asked me if the men who rescued her were Navy SEALs. I told her that I didn't know. Now I can tell her that one of them was."
"Now who's going to defend Nashton?" Denton asks.
"Cunningham and Kearney are available." Fitzpatrick replies.
Denton sighs and calls out to his assistant. "Beyers, get Cunningham and Kearney in here on the double." Several minutes later, the two Lieutenants walk in and salute. Captain Denton gives them the bad news and both men give Fitzpatrick a glaring look.
"What's going on, Bob? Can't win this one, so you're chickening out?" Cunningham demands.
"Can't defend him because of personal reasons, Mike." Fitzpatrick replies carefully.
"And why is that?" Richard Kearney demands.
"It is beyond your security clearance, Lieutenant." Captain Denton replies.
Both glare again at Fitzpatrick and Kearney asks. "How long do we have with him?"
Denton looks at his watch. "I'll give you two hours, while Commander Rabb and his team buys me lunch at the officer's club."
Nashton curses as he's lead back to the room where he met with the two JAG officers earlier. As he walks through the door, he sees a pair of familiar faces. He glares at them and demands. "What the hell is going on here?"
Kearney pulls out a chair, reverses it and sits down on it. Cunningham also grabs a chair and demands. "You tell us, Nashton. What the hell do you have to do with the Franzetti murder?"
Nashton sits down and calmly tells the two lawyers. "The man who killed Nashton is dead. There is nothing to talk about."
"Commanders Rabb, Fitzpatrick and Major MacKenzie seem to think there is." Cunningham replies.
Nashton tenses up and slowly replies. "I don't know what they want, but Rabb threatened to have me executed."
Cunningham looks at Kearney and both men nod their heads in agreement. Cunningham looks back to Nashton and demands. "We're your lawyers on this case and we have to protect you, but if you continue to stonewall us, we're not going to be able to do shit for you."
Nashton looks into Kearney and Cunningham's faces and realizes that he had no options left open to him. He sits down and quietly begins. "It all started the night that Scully had taken Franzetti out to celebrate his promotion and transfer. Scully and several members of his SEAL team took him drinking and womanizing. I was on OD duty that night and I was angry at not getting the promotion and transfer. Around two hundred hours, Franzetti walks back up the dock and begins to make his way aboard ship. I was on the foredeck and watched him as he fell down several times, drunk. I continued to watch as he tried to walk up the gang plank and he finally fell over the side of the gang plank and drowned."
Kearney and Cunningham look at each other and just shake their heads in disgust. Kearney turns back and demands. "Why didn't you try to save him?"
Nashton looks down and mutters something under his breath.
"What was that?" Cunningham demands.
Nashton glares at them both and slowly, precisely comments. "I thought that if Franzetti died, I would get the promotion." Nashton cringes under the two lawyer's glare.
"Then why blame Scully for the death if it was an accident?" Kearney demands.
"Because I thought that I might not get the promotion if the Captain found out that I let Franzetti die because of his own stupidity. When I heard that Scully and Franzetti had an argument while they were binge drinking, I told the JAG officers that he was a likely suspect."
"You are one fucking piece of work, Nashton." Cunningham replies, barely holding back his anger.
"You're my lawyers. You're supposed to protect me." Nashton barks back.
"And we will. By having you tell the truth." Kearney replies.
"What?!" Nashton yells out. His face turning red in anger. The two marine guards move in and force him back into his seat when he tries to get up. Nashton looks up into the Gunnery Sargent's face and blanches when he sees the smoldering hatred in his eyes. He turns back to the two lawyers and waits for them to continue.
"Listen, Nashton. From what you've told us, the worse thing they could possibly hang on you is negligent homicide. We'll cut a deal with Commander Rabb's team and you'll serve the sentence concurrently with the one that you already have. The only down side to this is that you'll never come up for parole and you'll have to serve the full twenty five years."
Nashton looks down at his hands and tenses them. <Now I'll never find that bastard Forrester. Damn you Scully for haunting me from beyond the grave.> "If I don't agree to do what you propose?"
"Then Rabb is going to try and hang you out to dry, Nashton." Cunningham replies as he leans in. "Rabb is one of the best litigators in the Navy. His partner, MacKenzie, is almost as good. And, they also have 'Win At All Costs' Fitzpatrick on their team. I don't know who the suit is, but I'll bet you that he is someone important."
"He's with 'the Company'." The Gunnery Sergeant Major replies.
Cunningham looks up. "How do you know that, Gunny?"
The Gunny grins. "Back in eighty nine, I was on Embassy duty in Beirut and saw him pass through. The Syrians tried to kill him a few times while he was there."
"Real bad ass?" Kearney asks.
"The Druze and Hizbulah seemed to think so. Every time he went out something went 'BOOM' in the city. A week after he left, a friend of mine at the British embassy told me that the both groups had lost most of their munitions and weapons stockpiles. Some one had blown them up and our friend in the suit and a guy called the Wanderer were the main suspects."
Kearney grins. "I've heard of the Wanderer. He blew up Saddam's main chemical weapons factory during the Gulf War, while rescuing two of our pilots. The guy's supposed to be one crazy motherfucker. If he's involved with this case, then you'd better pucker up Nashton and kiss your ass good bye."
"He wouldn't dare." Nashton replies.
"Hasn't stopped him before." Kearney replies with a grin, turning to Cunningham. "Did you hear about the raid that guy did in Columbia?" Cunningham shakes his head. "A drug gang kidnapped three DEA Agents and their families. They wanted the DEA to free their leader. Only, the DEA wouldn't deal and the father of one of the Agent's wives calls in a favor with this Wanderer guy and asks him to get his daughter and grand kids back."
"What happened?" The Gunny asks with a grin.
"The Cartel had this fortress in the mountains out side of Medelin, Columbia. The operative word is 'had'. When the Wanderer and whoever else was with him got through, the fortress didn't exist anymore. And neither did the hundred and sixteen Cartel soldiers that tried to stop him."
"What about the families?" Cunningham asks.
"Safe and sound. They arrived in Florida the next day aboard a private plane with enough evidence to get the Cartel leader the death penalty." Kearney replies with a grin as he turns back to Nashton. "Still feeling stubborn?"
"I don't believe that this 'Wanderer' has anything to do with Frank Scully." Nashton replies as Rabb and his team walk back in.
"Any progress?" Rabb asks as he glares at Nashton.
"Some. But we still need more time to talk to our client."
"Before you go." Nashton nervously asks. "I want to ask the suit a question."
Webb looks over to Rabb, who nods. "Go ahead." Webb tells Nashton.
"Are you with the CIA?"
Webb grins. "Only on weekdays and weekends, Federal Holidays, not withstanding."
Nashton stares as Webb calmly stands next to Rabb and MacKenzie. He looks to Rabb, who also grins. "Webb is officially an undersecretary with State."
"Who constantly gets us into very strange situations." Major MacKenzie replies with a smile.
"Who is this Wanderer guy and what does he have to do with Scully and Franzetti?"
"How did you find out about the Wanderer?" Webb demands, his voice just a shade above twenty below zero.
"The Gunny mentioned that you and he worked together in the past." Nashton nervously replies as the Gunny glares at him.
Webb's glare snaps up to the Gunnery Sergeant as he demands. "Do we know each other, Marine?"
The Gunny snaps to attention. "No Sir! I just saw you back in eighty nine when I was working Embassy duty in Beirut."
"And how did you associate me with the Wanderer?"
"One of the British Embassy guards told me that you and the Wanderer were putting the screws to the Hizbulah and Druze."
"And how did he find this out?" Webb demands.
"He heard the British Intelligence officer cursing you two out to his superiors."
Webb face turns red at the implications. "That egotistical moron!! I'm going to kill him when I find him."
"Who are you going to kill, Webb?" Rabb asks.
"Reginald Clease. He was the MI6 agent at the British embassy. No wonder we were almost killed in Beirut. If Two-Step hadn't been backing us up, we would have been dead men."
<Two Step? Oh Shit!! That's Scully's SEAL nickname.> Nashton blanches. "Frank Scully is still alive!?" He croaks out, not believing what he'd just said.
Webb grins as he watches Nashton's face lose all of its color. He leans in and quietly tells him. "Alive and working for me, you piece of shit. Either tell us the truth or we're going to tell him where you are."
"You wouldn't!" Nashton mutters, looking into Webb's flat, dead eyes. <Oh God! He would let Scully have me.> He looks around and realizes that no one in that room would stop Scully from killing him. He begins to blubber and begs. "Please. I'll tell you everything, just don't tell Scully where I am."
"Shut up, Nashton." Cunningham orders. Nashton shuts up as Cunningham turns to Rabb. "If my client exonerates Scully, what are you going to do?"
"It depends on what he did." Rabb calmly replies.
"Hypothetically," Cunningham begins. "He didn't do anything to save Franzetti's life, but didn't do anything to hasten his death."
Rabb growls lowly. "Franzetti wasn't murdered? Then why the hell was Scully charged?"
"You'll have to agree to our terms first." Kearney replies.
"What are they?" Webb demands, while glaring at Nashton.
"He serves whatever sentence concurrently with the one that he's serving now." Kearney replies calmly, keeping a close eye on Webb. <Oh brother, this guy is angry. I hope he doesn't try to kill Nashton.>
"He never comes up for parole?" MacKenzie asks.
"No. He does the full twenty five years." Cunningham replies.
Rabb looks over to his two partners, who nod their heads. "Let's hear it."
Nashton hangs his head as he tells them the entire story. When he finishes, everyone looks at him in disgust. Rabb turns to ask Webb a question, but stops when he sees the anger in Webb's eyes. <Oh Damn! I've never seen Webb this angry. I hope he doesn't do something stupid.>
Clayton Webb watches as Nashton admits to his duplicity in setting up a young junior grade Lieutenant for the death of his friend and fellow officer. <I'm going to have this man killed. It's the least that I can do for Frank. This bastard deserves a slow death for the shit that he's pulled.> Webb listens as Nashton finishes his statement and does the only thing he can think of. He calmly walks over and drags Nashton from his chair and slams him against the wall, his hands squeezing his throat. Nashton's eyes become saucers as Webb leans in and harshly tells him. "You ruined a good man's life so you could get a lousy promotion!? I should just kill you now and save Frank the trouble of hunting you down!"
He feels strong arms pulling his hands away. The two Marine guards gently pull him away. Cunningham and Kearney reach down and drag the gasping Nashton back to his chair. Nashton takes a ragged breath and demands. "I want that man arrested for assaulting me."
"Lots of luck of that happening." Fitzpatrick replies sarcastically, remembering what happened to him a few hours ago.
Nashton glares up at him. "What the hell does that mean?"
"It means that I didn't see a thing." Fitzpatrick replies and turns to the Gunny. "Did you see anything, Gunny?"
The Gunny grins. "Not a thing, Sir! Only helping Mr. Webb with a wrinkle on his coat."
Nashton stares in shock. "You can't do this. I have rights!"
"And you'll have the right to keep on living, Nashton." Rabb replies. Nashton stares at him in fear. "If you try to have Webb arrested, then I'm going to try you for Franzetti's murder."
"But, you can't! It was an accident."
"We don't know that." Rabb replies with a satisfied grin. "But when we get you into court the members will have to make that decision. And if they feel that you had something to do with Franzetti's death, then they'll make whatever decision they need to."
Nashton shrinks back into his chair, dejected. "Just take me back to my cell."
"Don't worry, Nashton." Fitzpatrick replies. "You'll be seeing a lot of it for the next twenty-five years."
An hour later, Harmon Rabb looks over his copy of the confession and shakes his head in disgust. He looks over to his partner, Sarah 'Mac' MacKenzie, and mutters. "I can't believe that this man was ever a US Navy officer."
"Believe it, Harm. We can't get all of them."
"But this one is gone." Webb replies gravely and tosses down a sheath of orders.
Rabb picks up the pile of papers from the table and reads them. He looks up, a worried expression on his face. "Are you sure about this, Webb?"
"I'm positive, Rabb." Webb replies evenly.
Harm just shakes his head in disbelief. <Scully must be a close friend for Webb to do this much for him. >
He hands them over to Mac and she reads them over. When she finishes, she looks at Webb, not believing what she'd just read. "You can't send him to Levenworth. We made a deal with him."
"You're deal was that he would stay in jail, not where he served his time." Webb replies softly and evenly, without the slightest trace of anger. "Doing Hard Time in Levenworth is minor compared to what he did to Frank. Actually, he should count himself with the lucky. If I had it my way, I'd just shoot him in the head and toss the corpse in with the garbage."
Harm and Mac shudder, wondering about the man called Scully and how he could have such a hold on Webb. "What do we do now?"
"We go and see Frank and tell him that he's been exonerated."
"What about the charges that he escaped from prison and illegal separation?" Mac asks.
Webb glares at them and softly replies. "If you want me to get a Presidential Pardon, I will, but I'm hoping that after reading his file, that wouldn't be necessary."
"It isn't, but the Admiral has the final say regarding that." Harm replies.
"Don't worry about the Admiral. He'll agree with whatever you recommend."
Harm grins. "Besides, clearing the name of a wrongly accused SEAL always makes him happy."
"What happens now?" Mac asks. "How do we contact Scully?"
"That's not a problem." Webb replies. "I know that he's spending some time at his office. When we get there, you'll probably meet his girlfriend, Cassandra Hastings."
"The fantasy writer?" Mac asks with a grin.
"Are you a fan?" Webb asks.
"I've read every one of her books."
"When you meet her, don't be afraid to ask for an autographed copy. She loves giving them out."
"Oh?" Harm asks with a raised eyebrow. "How many of her books do you own?"
"None. My Mother loves them." Webb replies with a smile. "I got her a complete set of Cassandra's books for her last birthday. Each one had a personal note written on the first page. She loved them."
Harm and Mac look at each other, not believing what they just heard. They both turn as Lt. Commander Fitzpatrick enters the office. "How did it go?" Harm asks.
"Nashton signed the confession. Scully is a free man." Fitzpatrick replies with a smile. "Are you going to see him now?"
"Yes." Webb replies as he grabs up his coat.
"Mr. Webb?" Fitzpatrick asks. Webb cocks his head, waiting for Fitzpatrick's question. "Can I come with you and bring someone with me?"
"My daughter. I called her and told her that I knew where one of the men who rescued her could be found. She wants to go and thank him personally. And I also want to thank him for rescuing her."
Webb looks over to Harm and Mac, both nod their heads in agreement. He turns back to Fitzpatrick. "All right. You and your daughter can come with us. We'll be leaving in about twenty minutes."
"I'll be right back. She's waiting in my office." Fitzpatrick asks as he hurries out.
Webb just shakes his head in disbelief. "I hope that Frank forgives me."
"What for?" Harm asks.
"Frank likes his privacy. Bringing Fitzpatrick and his daughter might piss him off." Webb replies as Fitzpatrick and a young, blond girl walk into the office.
"Commander Rabb, Major MacKenzie, Mr. Webb. This is my daughter, Laura." Fitzpatrick introduces his daughter. The girl shyly smiles and waves her hand in greeting. Mac smiles at her and Rabb grins. "Where are we going?" Fitzpatrick asks.
"I've arranged a helicopter to take us to Frank's place of business. He's there right now."
"Then why is his girlfriend there?" Mac asks.
"She has an office in the building and enjoys writing there." Webb replies as he checks his watch. "If we leave now, we can join them for dinner."
Harm grabs his briefcase. "All right, I hope he knows a good restaurant."
"If he doesn't, Cassandra will." Webb replies with a laugh.
July 20th - 12:30pm PST, 3:30pm EST
Iverson Air Freight Inc., Headquarters
Marine Air Terminal, Jamaica, NY
The Sikorsky Helicopter gently lands in front of a nondescript five story brick building. Webb and his companions exit the helicopter and enter the front of the building. As they enter, Mac notices that everyone had stopped doing what they were doing and were closely observing them. <Damn, it's like walking into an enemy camp.>
Webb grins and opens his trench coat, he reaches in and lays down his gun on the front desk. The young woman, a five foot, two inch, red head, sitting behind it picks up the .380 automatic and sneers. "Clay, how many times have I told you that this pussy gun isn't worth shit?"
Webb doesn't say a word as he walks around the desk, leans in and kisses her. Harm and Mac stare in confusion as the woman wraps her arms around his neck, returning the kiss. Fitzpatrick grins as he looks on. <So the cold bastard isn't as cold as I thought.> Laura giggles when she sees the open shock on the Major and Commander.
Harm clears his throat. "Webb. We're here on business. Remember?"
Webb reluctantly breaks away and smiles at the lovely young woman in his arms. "Heather, is Frank here?"
"Sure is, boyo." Heather replies with a smile, her Irish brogue clearly present. "Him and the Missus is having some practice in the main hall."
"Oh? What are they practicing with?" Webb asks.
"Cassie just gave Frank a three hundred year old hand and half Irish Wolf Sword." Heather replies with a wolfish grin. "They're doing the strip game. If you don't get there quick enough, you'll find them butt naked."
Webb sighs and reluctantly breaks off and walks into the elevator. He turns and looks at his companions. "What are you waiting for?"
"An engraved invitation." Harm replies with a grin.
"Rabb!" Webb snarls out as the three JAG officers and young woman walk into the elevator.
"Touchy, touchy, Webb." Harm replies with a smile as the elevator begins to move up.
"So what is this strip game?" Mac asks with a smile.
"Think of it as Fencing with attitude." Webb replies with a grin as the elevator stops at the third floor and the foursome gets out. Webb watches the JAG officers and Laura as their jaws fall open.
"Oh my God!!" Mac mutters as she watches a bare chested Frank Scully fighting for his life with a dark haired beauty. They watch, in open mouthed amazement, as Frank Scully and the woman feint and slash at each with swords. "My God! It's like they're dancing." Mac softly mutters.
Laura's eyes scrunch up as she recognizes the woman. "Oh God! It's one of the women who was with him when he rescued us."
They watch as the pair quickly trade blows. Mac, Harm, Laura and her Father stare in awe as Frank Scully executes a back flip, landing on his feet, sword extended, catching the woman's slash. Mac grunts in surprise as the woman follows up the slash with a crescent kick aimed at the man's ribs. Scully falls to the ground and does an improvised sweep kick, knocking the woman to the ground. The woman lands heavily and Scully quickly covers her body, knocking her sword away. Scully grins as he ravishes the woman's lips with a kiss. The woman kicks him off and then covers him with her body. Frank looks up at her, grinning. The woman looks down into her paramour's smiling face and wipes the smirk off his face with a deep kiss of her own.
"I should take a hose to the two of you!" Webb yells out with a laugh. Frank and Cassandra quickly separate. Looking around, they spot Webb and his companions. Frank grimaces when he sees the JAG insignia on the Navy and Marine personal's uniforms.
"What's going on, Webb?" Frank demands, sword still in hand.
Webb sighs. "Do you know a Craig Donovan?"
Frank's face turns a bright scarlet. "That stinking bastard!! That low life son of a fucking bitch!! He did it!! He really did it!!"
"Did what Frank?" Cassandra asks.
"Remember that bastard that almost started a fight between our group and those Navy SEALS?" Cassandra nods her head, remembering. "He swore that he would sick JAG on me when it was all over. And the bastard did." Frank angrily grinds out, pointing to the three military officers.
"Frank, honey?" Cassandra quietly tells him as she looks over the group standing by the door. "If they were here to arrest you, then where are the Marines? And why is Clayton trying so hard not to laugh?"
Frank's head snaps up and he glares at his friend, demanding. "What the hell is going on here, Clay?"
Before Clayton Webb can reply, he loses control of his emotions and begins to laugh loudly as Frank stares at him. He quickly regains control and openly grins at Frank. Frank glares at him when Clay tells him. "Gotcha!" Frank continues to glare as two of the officers drop their jaws in shock.
Harmond Rabb turns to Webb, demanding. "Who the hell are you and what have you done with the real Clayton Webb?"
"It's me, Rabb." Clayton tells him with a grin. "I'm getting even with Frank for a prank he pulled on me a few months ago."
Harm, still staring at Webb, calls over to Frank. "Lieutenant Scully, I'm Commander Harmond Rabb, these are my partners, Major Sarah MacKenzie and Commander Robert Fitzpatrick." Harm quickly jumps back as Frank lunges forward with his sword, pinning Fitzpatrick to wall, his blade across Fitzpatrick's throat.
"You bastard!!" Frank angrily hisses out. "You have the unmitigated gall to show up here?"
"I take it that you remember Commander Fitzpatrick?" Harm dryly asks.
Frank glares at him. "Of course I remember the bastard that railroaded me!! I'm going to kick his ass all over the building and then I'm going to kick Webb's ass for bringing you three here."
"Before you do that, read this." Harm replies and looks over to Cassandra as she takes the letter from him.
"Frank, put him down." Cassandra orders. When he doesn't do it immediately, she smacks him across the back of his neck. Frank turns around, glaring at her.
"What?!" He barks out. <Damnit! Cassie's picking shit up from Cordelia.>
"Read this." Cassandra orders. Frank drops Fitzpatrick to the floor and the blond haired girl rushes over to him, helping him up. Frank walks back to Cassandra and reads over the papers she hands over to him. Frank's sword drops out of his hand as he continues to read. When he comes to the last page, he throws the papers to the ground and lets out a scream. "NASHTON!!!! YOU!! MOTHER!! FUCKING!! BASTARD!!"
As Frank's scream dies out, a dozen of his people rush out of the stairway. They stare, their assault rifles and handguns forgotten in their hands, as Frank angrily tears up some papers.
Clay continues to grin as he watches his old friend take out his aggravation on a copy of Nashton's confession. He freezes when he feels a cold barrel pressed against the back of his head. He looks to his side and sees a very angry Heather O'Bannon glaring back at him.
"What did you do to him, Webb!?" Her voice is a low, angry hiss.
Webb smiles at the beautiful woman and softly tells her. "Frank just found out that he was setup by a piece of shit. What he was tearing up was a copy of the piece of shit's confession."
"You don't mean the Franzetti murder?" Heather asks in shock as she puts her gun away. Webb simply nods his head. "Oh God! Frank is royally pissed!" Heather mutters as she watches Frank scream to the Gods above.
Frank reads the four pages that Cassandra hands him and the words don't make sense to him. <Franzetti died because he fell off the gang plank? How?> He continues to read and his rage builds to a seething level. He continues to read the confession until his anger boils over and he screams to the heavens. "NASHTON!!!! YOU!! MOTHER!! FUCKING!! BASTARD!!"
Palace of Artemis
Artemis feels a sudden surge of pure anger and hatred from someone close to her. She quickly walks over to her pool of reflection and checks in on her devotees in Sunnydale and Washington. She doesn't see Dana and quickly searches for her. She finds her in a small city on the African continent and breathes a sigh of relief seeing all of them safe and sound. She feels another flash of anger and quickly locates it in New York City. She wonders who could be calling her there as her pool opens, showing a truly angry Frank Iverson and a worried Cassandra. <Of course. Frank and Cassandra.> She quickly flashes over to Frank's building and stands there, phased out of time. <I'll wait here and make sure that he doesn't do anything stupid to himself or anyone else.>
Frank stares at the torn up papers scattered around the room. Tears begin to form and he openly weeps. <All of the pain, the suffering, that piece of shit Nashton did to me. Uncle Bill wouldn't have disowned me. I wouldn't have lost Claire and she wouldn't have lost our baby.> He looks up and sees one of the main causes of his pain, Fitzpatrick. <Killing him won't bring back Claire or the baby, but it's a good start.> Frank picks up his fallen sword and stalks toward Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick watches Frank closely and can understand the pain that he was going through. <If my life had been taken away by a piece of shit like Nashton, I'd be angry as well.> He hugs his daughter to his chest, preventing her from watching as Frank's anger builds to the boiling point. Fitzpatrick looks down at his daughter for a second. When he looks up, he sees Frank rushing him with sword in hand. He quickly pushes Laura away and tries to block the swing, but realizes that he would be dead in seconds.
Harm watches as Frank picks up his sword and rushes Fitzpatrick. Harm quickly moves to tackle Frank, but he's blocked by Laura, who's been thrown out of the way by her Father. Harm crashes to floor with Laura. Mac also tries to rush Frank, but the tangled heap that is Laura and Harm trips her up. She also falls.
Frank slams Fitzpatrick against the wall and swings the sword back for a decapitating blow. As the sword swings back, its blocked by another blade. Frank looks over, expecting to see Cassandra, but instead sees a strange woman wearing a brown leather blouse and skirt. He grimaces and slides his sword away from her blade and lashes out with a snap kick to her midriff. He angrily curses as his foot sends up shock waves up his leg. "Who the fucking Hell are YOU!?"
Artemis grins openly. "I am Artemis."
"Fuck!!" Frank growls out, realizing who he was facing. "How the hell did Steve know!? He's not a fucking psychic!"
Artemis gives Frank a genuine smile. "I always watch over those who I deem worthy of my gifts and blessings."
"I'm not one of your pet Amazons!" Frank barks out as he tries to swing his sword towards Fitzpatrick again.
Artemis blocks his sword and quietly tells him. "No, but Cassandra worships me and it's for her that I stand here."
Frank straightens himself and looks the Goddess in the eye. Each statement he utters is like the blast of a shotgun. "What I do to myself is none of your fucking business! You didn't live through a trial that was rigged to hang me! You didn't lose the love of the man that I considered a Father! You didn't lose your wife and child!"
Artemis glares at Frank. "And what have you done with your life after this disaster? How many times have you saved the world? How many times have you helped beat back the forces of evil? How many innocent lives have you personally saved? What of the woman that loves you now? Where is she in this blind thirst for vengeance? What will happen to her when you are arrested for murder? What will happen to the people who look to you for leadership?"
Frank is staggered as each sentence is spoken. His anger slowly ebbs away as Cassandra hugs him from behind. He lets his sword fall to the ground, forgotten.
Artemis' glare softens as she tells Frank. "Know this Frank Iverson. The man that you call Father is proud of the life that you made for yourself and all of the good that you have done in the world. He feels proud to have called you his son. Your wife is also proud of the accomplishments that you have made and the love that you have found again."
"I wasn't there for her. I could have saved her. I could have saved our child." Frank softly replies as Cassandra holds him tighter.
Artemis sadly shakes her head. "She knew she was dying, Frank. She made her family swear never to tell you because she knew you would come out of hiding to be by her bedside. She sacrificed her last moments with you, so that you would remain free."
Frank looks into Artemis' eyes and sees the truth in them. He walks over to Fitzpatrick and apologizes. "I'm sorry that I lost it back there."
"It's understandable, Scully. If I had been in the same situation, then I would have done the same thing." Fitzpatrick replies as he holds out his hand. "I came here to apologize to you for what I did."
"You're a better man than I am, Fitzpatrick." Frank mutters as he shakes his hand.
"No I'm not. I should have seen the set up, but I wanted to win. I have to learn to stop doing that." Fitzpatrick replies with a grin. "Or someone will cut my head off one of these days."
"Pardon me." Webb asks politely, but really demands. "But who the Hell is this woman and how the Hell can she appear like that?!"
Frank glances at Artemis who gives him a warm smile. "Go ahead, I can use the laugh."
Frank turns back to Webb, who's now impatiently tapping his foot on the floor. He gives his old friend a devil may care grin. "Clayton Webb, allow me to introduce you to Artemis, the Patron Goddess of the Amazons. Artemis, allow me to introduce you to Clayton Webb of the Central Intelligence Agency."
Webb and the JAG officers just stare in shock as Artemis laughs loudly and disappears. A, "Well done, Iverson." echoes behind her.
Webb angrily turns back to Frank and Cassandra, who are both now laughing. "A jokes a joke, Frank. How did you do that?"
"Sorry, Clay. But the Lady's no joke. That was the REAL Artemis." Frank replies with a grin.
"How?" Webb stammers out.
"Thank Steve for it. She's keeping an eye on some of Steve's people and since we're close to them, she also keeps an eye on Cassie and me."
"What she said about being a Goddess. She can't be." Sarah 'Mac' MacKenzie stutters out, not believing the conversation.
"Oh, but I am." Artemis replies from beside her. Mac quickly turns around and only sees a quick flash and hears a light giggle in the air.
"But getting back to what brought you here." Frank comments, bringing everyone back to the here and now. "What happens to me?"
Fitzpatrick clears his throat and pulls out another sheath of papers. "Your record is being cleared up as we speak and if you want to, you can stay in the Navy with the rank of Commander."
"What about my family?" Frank asks.
"Captain and Commander Scully will be informed of your exoneration and the circumstances of the past 13 years after the hearing that you have to attend. It'll be up to you to contact your Aunt and any other family members." Fitzpatrick replies.
"Who's the girl?" Frank asks, pointing to Laura.
"This is my daughter, Laura. You met her around seven years ago, in Libya." Fitzpatrick softly replies.
"You're one of the kids that we rescued?" Frank asks Laura.
A very shaken Laura walks up to him and touches his face, while she quietly asks. "I'm sorry for what my dad did to you, Mr. Scully. I hope you don't stop doing what you're doing because of it."
Frank takes her hand in his, telling her. "Your Dad was only doing his job, honey. And, no, I'll never stop protecting kids from animals like those that I saved you from."
"Thank you." Laura tells him as she gives Frank a hug. Frank quietly pats her back, reassuring her.
Harm and Mac watch Frank Iverson closely and wonder about the strange woman who just disappeared. As they walk out of the exercise room, Harm leans over, asking. "What do you make of Scully?"
"In two words?" Mac asks, Harm nods his head. "Incredibly weird. Think we should call in those people Bud once mentioned?"
"The FBI's X-Files Division? I think we should. Something like this is right up their alley." Harm replies as he watches Frank walk over and pick up his clothes.
July 21st - 7:00am PST, 10:00am EST
Navy JAG Headquarters
Falls Church, VA
Harm hangs up the phone and shakes his head in disbelief. "What's wrong?" Mac asks.
"The entire X-Files Division is away on a case. A Director Skinner told me that they wouldn't be back for several days."
"Any way to reach them in the field?"
"What could they be working on that we can't get in touch with them?"
"Director Skinner said that it was a matter of national security and he wasn't at liberty to tell us."
"Don't let Bud hear you say that." Mac replies with a grin. "He'll be all over it."
"I'll be all over what?" Bud asks as he walks into the office.
"The entire X-Files Division of the FBI is away on a mission that's been classified top secret." Harm replies with a chuckle as Mac raises her eyebrow at him.
"Wow!" Bud exclaims in surprise. "Want me to find out what they're up to?" Harm shrugs as Mac nods her head. Bud beams and quickly leaves.
Harm looks at Mac with a questioning look. "Do you think he could find out what they're up to?"
"I seriously doubt it." Mac replies with a smile. "But he does like that stuff."
Bud grins as he quickly walks to his office and closes the door behind him. He picks up his cell phone and puts on a scrambler unit. He quickly dials a Washington DC number and a familiar voice answers. "What is it, Bud?"
"Frohike, where are Mulder and Scully?"
"On vacation. What's up?"
"Skinner just told Rabb and MacKenzie that they were on a mission."
"Shit!" Frohike mutters as he picks up another phone. "Hold on a sec, Bud."
Frohike hits the speed dial on his cell phone and asks. "Walt? Where are Mulder and Scully?"
"Helping out St. Wolf and Summers. Something about a mutated form of Ebola that will destroy humanity if it's let loose."
"Do they need any help?" Frohike asks.
"No, St. Wolf called in a few friends. They're helping out."
Frohike shakes his head in awe. "God, Skinner. How many favors can this guy call in?"
"As many as he needs, Frohike. I don't think any one of his 'friends' ever counts the favors St. Wolf calls in as paid in full." Skinner replies as he hangs up the phone.
<A mutated form of Ebola?> Frohike shudders in fear as he picks up Bud again.
Bud waits patiently until Frohike comes back on. "Bud, I can't talk about what they're doing."
"Because it deals with a Covert Ops group that they occasionally work with. And believe me when I say this, these people are on the side of the angels."
"Isn't that an oxymoron?"
"Not with these people." Frohike replies. "Bud, just let it go. What they're doing is saving the world, again."
Bud walks back to Harm's office and sits down. He stares at the desk, his face an open book of confusion. Harm and Mac stare at him as he tells them. "Mulder and Scully are on a classified mission and not even the Lone Gunmen can talk about it."
"That's normal, Bud." Mac replies softly.
Bud shakes his head. "You don't realize something, Major. These guys love blowing the cover off of covert ops groups. When even THEY won't go near a group, you have to wonder who the hell they are."
"Are they scared of this group?" Harm asks.
"That's the strange thing, Sir. Frohike sounded like he respected them. In fact, Frohike said that this group was on the side of the angels."
"Who's on the side of the angels?" Webb asks as he walks in.
"Some covert operations group that the FBI's X-Files Division is working with." Bud replies. "They're supposedly on a classified mission with them now."
"All right," Webb softly mutters. "that makes no sense at all. Let me make a phone call. Is it all right to use your office, Major?" Mac nods her head and Webb leaves Harm's office.
"Hello...this is Webb."
"What do you want, Webb?" A gravely voice demands.
"I'm looking for the X-Files Division. Who are they working with?"
"An old friend of yours."
"Yes and Section Seven."
"What are they working on?"
"Ryan will have a complete report. But let's just say that the fate of the human race rests in their hands."
"When the Wanderer is involved? When isn't it?"
"True. Thanks for the information." Webb replies as he hangs up.
Harm, Mac and Bud watch as Webb walks back into the office and he sits down. All three watch him and wait. Finally, he speaks. "They're trying to save the world. That's all I know."
"Webb, why don't I believe you?" Harm replies.
"Believe me or not. That's all I can tell you." Webb replies as he crosses his legs. "What about Frank? He's the reason that I'm here."
"The Admiral has convened a set of members who are at least Flag level in rank. He feels that they would be the most understanding of Scully's predicament."
"Plus all of them have the proper security clearances to read his files." Mac adds in with a smile. "It certainly is impressive."
"Get ready to get even more impressed." Webb replies as he pulls out three more files. "These are from my counterparts in Britain, France and Russia. They also want Frank cleared." Mac looks on the thick folders in shock but eagerly takes all three. Webb then pulls out two more folders. "These are Frank's files from the DEA and Interpol." Harm takes these and notes their thickness.
"What sort of work was he doing for the DEA?" Harm asks he begins reading.
"Read the reports and they'll speak for themselves." Webb replies softly as he gets up. He looks down at Bud. "Lieutenant, while I like you, you don't have the clearances to be here with these files. So please leave with me." Bud nods his head and follows Webb out. Harm and Mac are too engrossed in the files to notice.
An hour later, Mac looks up from her file and watches Harm's face as he concentrates on the records of the man that he was defending. "Harm?" Harm looks up from his file and blinks several times. "Want some tea?" Mac asks quietly.
"Yeah, tea would be good right now." Harm replies as he sits back in his chair. He continues to look at the file in front of him in wonder.
"Want to talk about it?"
Harm sighs. <She knows me so well.> "Yes, I do." Harm replies as he stretches. "Scully's files are incredible. How was he able to do everything that the files say he did?"
"What's incredible is that he's still alive and in one piece." Mac replies as she picks up a page. "Look at this. He actually landed a Lear Jet in the middle of Tehran! How insane is that?"
"Here's a better one." Harm replies with an pilot's envy. "He stole back an advanced fighter jet for Xanatos/Stark. He actually flew the plane out of a Russian Mafia hideout, blowing up the hideout in the process."
"And all of these 'charity' cases." Mac mutters softly. "Rescuing kidnapped children from foreign countries. Hunting down serial killers across the world. Helping deliver emergency supplies to disaster areas."
"Yeah, that's something that I can't believe. Most CIA types don't do things like this."
"I know. And from the way Webb is helping on this case. Why?"
"I think that this explains it." Harm replies as he picks up a sheet. "According to this, Scully and his partner, St. Wolf pulled Webb out of a Chinese prison. Both were ordered to leave him there, but they went in anyway, against orders."
"And this." Mac adds in as she reads a short passage. "Webb's Mother and a dozen tourists were captured by a Muslim extremist group in Egypt. Scully and St. Wolf got all them out without any losses."
"Take a look at this." Harm mutters in shock. "Scully was arrested and slated for execution in Afghanistan when he got caught rescuing some kids. Webb hired a mercenary named Casey 'El Katil' Romaine to help rescue him."
"Harm? Did you just call that mercenary 'El Katil'?" Mac asks quietly.
"Yes, I did. What does it mean?"
"It's Bedouin. It means 'The Killer'. That's not an easy title to get."
Harm grins. "Looks like Webb has some very interesting friends. I wonder who gives them their nicknames?"
"I wouldn't joke, Harm. The Bedouins take that title very seriously. And I think I may know where to get some information on him." Mac mutters as she turns Harm's phone to her. She quickly dials a memorized number and a voice answers.
"Baghdad Restaurant. May I help you?"
"Is Mr. Rashman in?" Mac asks politely.
"May I ask who's calling?"
"Tell him it's Sarah MacKenzie."
A minute later an aged voice picks up the phone. "Sarah? What can I do for you?"
"Abdullah, I need some information on a man."
"And this man is?"
"A mercenary named Casey Romaine." Mac replies and waits for her old friend to tell her. When the silence stretches. "Abdullah? What's wrong?"
"Why do you want to know about this man?" Abdullah whispers.
"It's concerning a case that I'm working on."
"Come down to the restaurant and I'll tell you what you need to know." Abdullah replies as he hands up.
Mac looks at Harm. "Abdullah wants us to go to his restaurant."
"All right. I could use some wild rice with lamb." Harm replies with a grin.
July 21st - 8:15am PST, 11:15am EST
Baghdad Dreams Restaurant
Falls Church, VA.
Harm and Mac step into the dimly lite room and stare around them. "Not that busy today." Harm asks.
"No, Mondays are usually very slow." Mac replies as she walks forward and sees Abdullah sitting at his usual table. She and Harm sit down opposite the old man and he quietly asks.
"Why are you searching for one who should not be found?"
"And why shouldn't this man be found?" Mac asks. Harm just watches the old man carefully.
"Because he is 'El Katil', 'The Killer'. None who have faced him or his allies have survived."
Mac looks at Harm and he nods his head for her to go forward with the conversation. "Why is he called 'The Killer'?"
"To face him is certain death. No one is powerful enough to stop him. And if they do succeed, then they would face his friends, the Two Step and the Wanderer. Both of whom are just as, if not more dangerous, than The Killer."
"Iverson and St. Wolf sure do get around, don't they?" Harm replies smugly. Abdullah's eyes pierce Harm like a hawk would a sparrow.
"Why do you speak names best left unspoken?"
"Because we have to deal with them." Harm replies.
"Then I pity you. For to deal with those three is to deal with Destiny and dance with the Fates."
"Even if we're clearing Two Step for a crime that he never committed?" Mac asks.
"You seek to do one them a kindness?" Abdullah asks in surprise. Harm and Mac both nod their heads. "Then the kindness will be returned to you a hundred fold. Few, who are not their friends, seek to honor them or care for them. Most seek to destroy them for what they are."
"What are they?" Mac asks in surprise.
"One is One of the Nine, a General who will lead humanity's armies in the coming trying times. Another is the path to the future true Son of God and the last is a common man who follows and fights because it is right and just."
"Who is what?" Harm asks.
"That I cannot tell you. But know this. Humanity's Destiny revolves around those three and their friends like the moon around this Earth."
"Anything else?" Harm asks as he watches the old man closely.
"Yes, screw with these men and I'll kill you both." Abdullah replies to a shocked Mac and Harm. He sees the shock on Mac's fine features. "Sarah, I consider you almost a daughter, but I will defend those three with my life and my family's lives."
Mac nods dumbly and gets up to leave. Harm gets up with her and Abdullah adds in. "Be careful where you walk with these three. Their enemies are legion, but so are their allies and friends. Get caught between them and you may not survive the experience."
Outside, Mac leans against the building, breathing heavily. "Has he ever threatened you like that, Sarah?" Harm asks worriedly.
Mac shakes her head in the negative. After a full minute of soul searching she looks up into Harm's blue eyes. < Oh God, but I love those eyes.> "I think it's time that we went to see Bud's friends at the X-Files."
"I agree." Harm replies as they walk away from the restaurant. "Do you think Bud can find out when they'll be back?"
"I'm sure that he can." Mac replies with a smile. "He just loves doing that weird stuff.
July 23rd - 6:00am PST, 9:00am EST
Navy JAG Headquarters
Falls Church, VA
Frank nervously stares at the Flag level officers who were making up the court of Peers at his Admiral's Mast. He looks over to Harm who only smiles as Judge Owen Sebring calls the case to order. Judge Sebring stares at Harm and requests. "Commander Rabb? Why has this Admiral's Mast been called? And where is the Prosecution?"
Rabb rises and politely tells the Judge. "Your Honor, this is a special case. There is no prosecution. I will present the case as it is to you and the Peers and the Peers will make the decision as to Lieutenant Scully's guilt or not. You will make the decision as to his punishment."
"Lieutenant Scully?" Judge Sebring asks. "You do realize that you are allowed a full trial, don't you?"
"I do, your Honor." Frank replies from his seat. "But I feel that the Navy is doing right by me in this case."
Judge Sebring sighs in disgust, wondering what was going on. "Very well, Lieutenant. I hope you know that I don't sentence lightly."
"I know, your Honor." Frank replies softly as he sits back down.
Judge Sebring sighs again, not liking the informality of the proceeding, but makes a decision. <I'll be damned if I allow this court to become a Kangaroo court.> "Very well, Commander, call your first witness."
"My first witness is former Commander Nashton." Harm calls out as Nashton is lead in wearing his prison clothes and a scared expression as he glances at Frank. Nashton is quickly put under oath and Harm hands over his confession into evidence. "Your Honor, I'm handing in exhibit A, former Commander Nashton's confession as to the events of the night of Lieutenant Franzetti's death. He will confirm the veracity of said statement."
The Peers read the statement and several of them glare at the disgraced former Commander. Judge Sebring calls for Order and glares at Nashton. "What did they give you to sign this?"
Nashton gulps and hoarsely replies. "A combined sentence. I'll have to do the full twenty five years with no hope of parole."
"What was the alternative?" Admiral Boone asks from his seat.
"That I face trial for negligent homicide." Nashton replies in anger, glaring at Rabb. "And Rabb promised to get me sentenced to death if I was found guilty. Rabb's friend from 'the Company' promised to hand me over to Scully or his partner, the Wanderer."
Sebring glares at Rabb who doesn't look at all apologetic. "Why do I have feeling that this was just the opening salvo in this case, Commander?"
Rabb grins evilly. "Because I haven't even brought out the big guns yet, your Honor."
Sebring sighs as the Peers chuckle among themselves. "Then continue, Commander." <Maybe we can finish this today and I can get back to my normal duties.>
"My next witness is Lieutenant Commander Teresa Coulter, Pathologist."
`"Why are you calling her, Commander?" Rear Admiral Terence Decker asks.
"She's reviewed the file on the Franzetti murder and can shed new light onto the cause of death." Harm replies as Commander Coulter takes the stand. She's quickly sworn in and Harm asks. "Commander Coulter, you had a chance to review the files on the Franzetti murder?"
"Yes, I did, Commander Rabb." The thirty eight year old Commander replies as she pulls out her notes.
"Could you please tell us, in your opinion, the cause of death?"
"The initial report reads as if someone beat the man to death, but the presence of various items disproves that."
"The tar that was on the clothes is the same type that was used on naval piers to retard decomposition while the pier is submerged. There is also no evidence of point of impact blows, only a single massive trauma to the body."
"Can you repeat that in English, Commander?" Admiral Boone asks.
"Certainly, Sir." Commander Coulter replies. "What is meant by point of impact injuries is that certain areas of the body would have more damage than the rest. Those would be the areas where the body was struck by a hand, a bat, whatever. What this body has is a single large hit covering the entire chest and back areas."
"Could then Lieutenant Scully have caused these injuries?" Rabb asks.
"Only if he threw him between a ship and a pier piling."
"Any other injuries that could be linked to Lieutenant Scully?"
"No. There isn't."
"Do the Peers have any questions?" Judge Sebring asks. They all shake their heads as Rabb asks.
"Then, at this time, your Honor, I ask that Lieutenant Scully be cleared of the murder charges."
"So noted, Commander Rabb." Sebring responds as he turns to the Peers. "Please take this time and convene among yourselves and render a decision." The Peers nod their heads and Admiral Boone asks the other Admirals.
"A verbal vote good for you?"
"Let's make this quick." Admiral Hall replies as he sits back in his chair.
"All in favor of exonerating Lieutenant Scully?" Boone asks as he raises his hand. The remaining five Admirals also raise their hands. Boone quickly counts off and turns back to Sebring. "We vote in favor of Lieutenant Scully, your Honor."
"Obviously." Judge Sebring dryly replies. "What about the other charges? Desertion, Falsifying his own death and escaping from the Naval Prison at Groton?"
"That's why the Admiral's Mast is being held like it is, your Honor." Harm replies as Webb gets up and hands Harm Frank's files. "All of you have the necessary clearances to review these files. But they can't be entered directly into evidence or leave the sight of Mr. Webb."
"And what are these files?" Judge Sebring asks.
"These classified files detail Frank Scully's life for the last fourteen years. They show what missions he's been on and what he's risked for this country during that period."
"This had better be good, Commander." Admiral Hall replies from his chair. "If you think I'm going to excuse a man who just sat on his ass in Langley. . ."
"Frank Scully hardly sat on his ass anywhere, Admiral Boone. Take my word for it." Harm replies with a knowing grin. He sits back down as the Peers and Judge Sebring read through the files, exchanging them around as they finish them. Harm watches Frank winch several times when a Peer looks at him with a glare. "Don't worry, Frank, your record speaks for itself."
"That's what I'm afraid of. Most senior officers don't like loose canons like me."
"I wouldn't worry about it, Frank." Webb replies with an evil grin. "The fix is in."
"What the hell does that mean!?" Mac demands from her seat between Frank and Harm.
"If Frank gets any jail time, Jack Ryan's going to the President with those files and demanding a full pardon from him, or else."
"Are you going to threaten the President!?" Harm demands, not liking the implications.
"No. But at least twenty percent of the Company is going to quit on the spot. I'm sure that the President will understand the implications of that move. As will the Joints Chiefs of Staff."
Harm and Mac both breathe sighs of relief. "That's your ace in the hole? A work stoppage?"
"Yes, that's exactly it." Webb replies with a knowing smile. "Imagine the morning briefings."
Harm and Mac both stare off into space and begin to smile. "The President would be going insane."
"Jack knows it. And Bartlett is smart enough to know it as well."
Admiral Boone looks over the file that was handed to him by Webb and shakes his head in disbelief at the work that Scully had done for 'the Company'. He looks over to his fellow Admirals and sees Decker grimace. "What's wrong, Terry?"
"Tom, this file can't be real. This man has done so many suicide missions that he can't still be alive. No one is that good."
<Man must be an Immortal like Cassandra.> Admiral Hall thinks to himself as he looks over Frank's photos and the man himself. <Man hasn't aged at all.> He looks over to where Cassandra was sitting. <God, but she still looks great, even after all of these years. I'm glad she finally found someone to love who won't wither away and die on her.> He sees that she's looking at him and gives her a knowing wink. Cassandra smiles back and nods her head.
Cassandra looks over to where Craig Hall was looking at her. She thinks back to when she knew him as a Navy Lieutenant flying Phantom jets into Viet Nam. <Oh Craig, I'm glad that you're still alive. But what will you do, knowing what you know?> She sees Hall wink at her and she nods her head in acknowledgment. <What was that about?>
"This file's too good to be true." Admiral Jackson Thompson replies in shock, his grey head shaking in disbelief. He points to a page and begins to read it. "Frank Iverson, code name Two Step, another agent code named Wanderer and nine unknown individuals, using a captured MI-8 helicopter, raided and retrieved four hundred, thirty seven children. Most of them were under the age of thirteen from an armed compound fifty miles south of Tripoli, Libya.
"In the course of this raid, they terminated two hundred seven known pedophiles, ninety three mercenaries and ninety members of the Libyan Special Forces. They were also instrumental in destroying roughly eighty percent of Libya's known air forces." Admiral Thompson looks at his friends and colleagues. "I find that story a bit hard to fathom."
"It's the truth." Admiral Boone replies. "I was the air commander on the Yorktown when they got away from Libya. The Libyans had sent a dozen fighters after them and I had my squadrons blocking for them. I still remember seeing the faces of those children as they deplaned at Orly."
"Was Scully there?" Thompson asks.
"Yeah, he was. A lot of those kids were clinging to him and his group like they were life lines. The dark haired woman sitting behind Scully was also there." Boone replies as he looks over to Cassandra. "I see that they're still together."
"You do know who that is, don't you?" Terence Decker replies with a smile. The other five shake their heads. "If you have a kid who loves Dungeons and Dragons, then you'd recognize one of the main writers in Science Fiction and Fantasy."
"She's a writer?" Hall asks in wonder. "I thought that she was a Spook like Scully."
"Nope, that's Cassandra Hastings, the writer of the Elven Bard series." Admiral Decker replies with a smile.
"My wife loves those damn books." Hall grouses good naturedly. "She says that Hastings and that Tregarde women are the best writers since Shakespeare."
"I sincerely doubt that." Admiral Thompson replies with a smile. "But I wonder what she did during the raid?"
"Probably helped keep the kids in line." Admiral Jacobs replies for the first time as he looks up from the file that he was reading. The grey haired seventy year old Dean of Students at Annapolis shakes his head in disgust as he lifts up his folder. "Frank Iverson and the agent code named the Wanderer planned and led a series of assaults against the Hezbulah and Druze militias in Lebanon, destroying over twenty tons of weapons and ammunition over a week's period.. Why should I feel that Scully should not be alive after this mission?"
"Probably because the entire mission was a suicide run." Admiral Boone replies softly as he glances over to Scully, dressed in a Naval dress uniform. He looks over to his chest and shakes his head at the commendations and awards present that Frank had earned during his military career. "But what I can't understand is why. Why does he continue to help this country when we treated him like a criminal?"
"Best way to answer a hard question is to ask the person directly." Admiral Decker replies. Boone and the rest nod their heads in agreement and they all turn to Frank and Admiral Decker asks. "Lieutenant Scully." Frank snaps to attention. "I have a question for you. Would you care to answer it?"
"If I can, I will, Sir." Frank replies crisply.
"Very good, Lieutenant." Admiral Decker replies as he sits back in his chair. "The question is Why?"
Frank stares at the Peers and glances to Harm and then Mac. Both are lost as Frank asks. "Why what, Sir?"
"Why are you still serving this country after the Navy screwed you over?"
"The Navy did not screw me over, Sir." Frank replies softly. "Nashton was the one who screwed me over. The Navy did it's best to make sure that I had a fair trial and that I had every opportunity to exonerate myself. But I failed to see my lawyer for what he was. A man who was in above his head and I paid the price. He tried, several times, to get himself taken off the case, but the Judge wouldn't let him. I could have requested a new attorney, but I didn't know that then. Everything that happened to me, happened because I let it happen. Lieutenant Riley was working with several other attorneys to get me retried, but I broke out of prison before they could tell me that they had secured a new trial and that I could be exonerated, then."
"So why do you continue to support this country with your life and fortune? You could have disappeared and no one would be the wiser or really care, Lieutenant." Admiral Boone asks.
"You've never meet, Steven St. Wolf." Frank replies with a fond smile. "He wouldn't let me go quietly into the night."
"Who is this St. Wolf?" Admiral Decker asks.
"He is the Agent code named, the Wanderer." Webb replies from the sidelines. "He and Frank work as a team on a lot of missions."
"A real go getter?" Admiral Boone asks. <A real Agency Asshole no doubt.>
"Actually, he's a mean, sarcastic, son of a bitch who has been known to kill a man just for looking at him funny." Webb replies with a smile. "He's also been responsible for saving the world several times."
"Let me guess." Admiral Boone dryly replies. "Agency born and bred? A graduate of what you people call 'The Academy'?"
"Actually, he's a former Green Beret." Frank replies. "A Medal of Honor nominee who has earned two Silver and three Bronze Stars as well as two Purple Hearts. His men would follow him to hell and back, if he asked them to."
"Most impressive." Admiral Boone replies softly. <Another Hero type. Webb certainly knows how to pick good men for his agents.> "And why does he work for Mr. Webb, then?"
"Steve and I are what are called 'independents', Sir. We work for whom we want to, when we want to. The CIA can't order us on any mission."
"So that's why you have files from the French, British, German and Russian governments?" Admiral Hall angrily asks. "You two are mercenaries looking for the biggest paychecks!?"
"No, Sir!" Frank just as angrily replies. "We have never held back our services because someone couldn't pay us. You can see by the number and type of missions that the both of us have worked on that we don't care for the money, only helping people who need help. Call us Boy Scouts, call us crazy, but we are *NOT* mercenaries out for the biggest buck!"
"And why not?" Captain Sebring asks from the bench.
"Would mercenaries risk their lives to rescue children from a group of pedophiles!? Or fight their way into and out of Libya, with the same children? Would a mercenary face death because a mother asked him to rescue her daughters from a hell hole Muslim country where she would only be a man's property and probably treated worse than his camel?"
"How much were you paid for those missions?" Admiral Hall asks.
"The Libyan mission? Nothing. I never made a penny on that one. Rescuing those girls in Iran? Their families agreed to pay my expenses which they still haven't, nor will I push them. Money doesn't matter to me or Steve. We could care less if we ever got rich doing what we do. It's the mission that counts, Sir!"
The six Admirals look at the man who stood at attention in front of them. They all nodded their heads in agreement. Here stood a man who's body language and attitude screamed 'Hero'. Just because he was wanted for a murder he didn't commit, didn't stop him from doing his best and showing the type of man that the Navy hoped to turn out. The Admirals turn to each other and Boone asks. "Well? What are we going to do?"
Decker looks at Frank and nods his head. "Drop all of the charges. He's more than earned the right to be a free man. Even if he did commit the murder, after reading his files, I'd be hard pressed to convict him."
"I agree." Admiral Hall replies softly. "This man and his partner have done some damn scary things for this country and our allies."
"So, we're all in agreement then?" Admiral Boone replies as the five other Admirals nod their heads in agreement. Boone nods his head and rises from his seat. He looks at Captain Sebring, who overheard the decision and smiles as Boone clears his throat. "Lieutenant, junior grade, Frank Scully." Frank stands at attention. "We've reviewed your files and find that the charges should be dropped." Frank breaths a sigh of relief as Boone continues. "Welcome home, son. I hope that you'll decide to stay in the Navy. We can always use a man with your skills and abilities."
Harm and Mac both jump up and congratulate Frank. Cassandra grabs him up in a bear hug and Frank grins as she kisses him. Harm slaps him on his back in congratulations and Webb walks forward and gives Frank a brotherly hug. Frank hugs Webb back and hoarsely tells him. "Thanks, Clay. For everything."
"Don't thank me, Frank." Webb replies. "Thank Craig Donovan and his partner, Frank Parker for starting the ball rolling. They pulled most of it together and presented it to Admiral Chegwidden."
"How do I get in touch with Craig and his partner?"
"I'll get back to you on that." Webb replies with a knowing smile. "But you'll have to go and see Admiral Chegwidden first."
"Why do I have to see him?" Frank asks.
"Because he wants to talk to you, Lieutenant." Harm replies with a grin. "Don't worry, his bark is a little worse than his bite."
Frank grins as he turns to leave the court room. At the door, the six Admirals and Captain Sebring stand and snap him a salute. Frank, standing at perfect attention, returns it. He stiffly walks up to each man and thanked them for their time and effort on his behalf. "Admiral Boone, I wish to thank you and the other Peers for exonerating me."
"Nothing to thank, Lieutenant." Admiral Decker replies with a smile. "Anyone who could have survived all those missions deserves a second chance. Besides, I think Mr. Webb would have had you out of prison faster than we could put you back in one."
"You have no idea, Admiral." Webb replies with a snicker. "Thank you all for helping Frank. He's a good man and deserves to have his life back."
Boone looks at Webb and nods his head in agreement. "Mr. Webb, your reputation doesn't quite jibe with the way you care for Lieutenant Scully. Why is that?"
"Because we've all been there, Admiral. Frank, Steve and I. We've fought together, bled together and when we've had to, we've killed together." Webb replies seriously. "You can't get closer than that."
"What a band of brothers we make?" Admiral Thompson asks with a smile. <Damn, but they're close. I've seen that in a few military units, but never a group of Spooks.>
As Webb, Frank, Cassandra, Harm and Mac walk away, Harm asks. "What would St. Wolf have done if we sent Frank to prison?"
"Three things." Frank replies, knowing Steve. "First, he'd call in every favor that he could to get me out legally."
"And if that didn't work?" Mac asks.
"He'd try to blackmail the people in power."
"And if that didn't work?" Harm asks.
"There wouldn't be a prison left." Webb replies for Frank. "St. Wolf is one of the most caring men that I know, but he will move heaven and Earth to get Frank free. And prison walls wouldn't stop him from getting Frank out."
"Sounds like a very dangerous man." Harm replies quietly.
"Believe me, Commander. You can't imagine how dangerous Steve can be when he needs to be." Frank replies as they approach Admiral Chegwidden's office.
Tyner looks up from his papers and tells them. "Go right in, Commander, Major, Lieutenant, Miss Hastings, Mr. Webb. The Admiral's expecting you."
"Thank you, Tyner." Major MacKenzie tells Tyner as she passes his desk.
"You're welcome, Ma'am." Tyner replies as he continues to look down at his paperwork as they pass.
The five enter as a group into Admiral Chegwidden's private office and the three Naval officers snap to attention as the Admiral looks up from his paperwork. "I take it that the Admiral's Mast went well?"
"Yes, Sir." Harm replies with an easy grin as the Secretary of the Navy gets up from the chair that he had been sitting in. The Sec Nav glares at the three officers and Webb, but he walks over to Frank and stiffly tells him.
"Admiral Chegwidden has a written apology from the Navy to you, Lieutenant Scully. You will also find your General Discharge papers in that envelope as well." The Sec Nav turns to Admiral Chegwidden. "If that's all, A.J.?"
"Yes, that is all, Mr. Secretary." A.J. replies as the Sec Nav quickly leaves the office.
As the door closes behind him, Frank mutters. "You'd think that he just did something that didn't agree with him."
"He did. He was almost ready to refuse your letter of apology, but I pointed out your rather interesting career and how many times you've pulled the present and previous administration's asses out of the fire. He didn't like being reminded that he owed someone for those 'favors'."
"Politicians are the same everywhere." Frank mutters under his breathe. "Whether it's in the Capital of the United States, a back alley in Moscow or the tent of Bedouin Chieftain. They don't like be reminded that people do things for them."
"That's the truth." Harm replies as Admiral Chegwidden glares at him. Harm quickly shuts up.
"Lieutenant Scully." Admiral Chegwidden begins. "It's a pleasure to finally meet you."
"You as well, Admiral." Frank replies softly as he sees the SEAL symbol on his chest. "You were in the Teams, Sir?"
"Team Two, Viet Nam, Lieutenant." A.J. replies with a smile. "I commanded Team Two on my second tour in country."
Frank smiles as he realizes just how deadly this aged warrior could be. "Always good to see that the Navy has uses for SEALS out of the Teams."
"Is that a crack about what the Navy does with it's SEALS, Lieutenant?"
"Not really. I just hire a lot of them for my air service. Most of them seem to prefer working for me than any other civilian jobs out there."
"And how many SEALS do you have working for you?" Admiral Chegwidden asks.
"About six hundred SEALS, four hundred Force Recon Marines, a thousand Green Berets and even a few former members of GI Joe." Frank replies with a shrug of his shoulders.
"GI Joe?" Harm mutters. "Isn't that unit just a myth?"
"And so it shall remain!" Admiral Chegwidden replies with a full bore glare at Frank. "That unit never existed, nor were there any members of the military who participated in it. Am I clear!?"
"Sir! Yes, Sir!" Frank replies at attention.
"Very good, Lieutenant." The Admiral replies as he hands over two envelopes to Frank. "The top envelope is your apology and discharge. The next envelope is JAG's official dismissal of all of the charges, including the murder charges. You're a free man, Lieutenant. Congratulations." Frank takes Admiral Chegwidden's hand and shakes it. "Now that that's over, what are your plans?"
"I'm going back to my life, Admiral. I still have a lot of work to do." Frank admits. "But it'll be good to see my family again. Where can I find my cousins William and Charlie?"
"Your cousin Charles is in the Pacific, on maneuvers. William is in the Gulf on the Charleston, a missile frigate. I'll make sure that both of them are informed of your return to life."
"Thank you, Sir. I hope it's not too much of a shock to them, especially Bill." Frank replies with a grin.
"Bad blood between you two?" Webb asks.
"When I was arrested and charged for Franzetti's murder, my cousins Dana, Melissa and Charlie came to see me and give their support. Bill was pissed off that my being charged and convicted of murder would ruin his career in the Navy."
"Commander Scully sounds a lot like Nashton." Harm replies.
"Bill is a lot of things, but he's not like Nashton." Frank replies. "He thinks that a man's family makes that man's career in the Navy, so he holds his family to higher standards than he would anyone else." <Like Dana marrying Mulder. Dana said that he's going to be pissed about that one when he finds out.>
"Still, I think that I'll have him quietly checked out by the psychologists. I don't want a repeat of Nashton." The Admiral mutters as he glances at Frank who just shrugs his shoulders as he replies.
"It's your Navy, Admiral. I'm not in a position to argue with you."
"If that's all, Lieutenant, Commander, Major?" All three nod their heads and as Admiral Chegwidden orders. "Very good then. Dismissed!" All five people quickly exit the office and head out.
Frank checks his watch and grunts. "Anyone want lunch? It's on me."
"Sounds good to me." Harm replies with a grin as he looks at his smiling partner. <Damn, but Mac looks good smiling like that.>
"I agree. How about the diner around the corner, they make a great cheese burger deluxe." Everyone hears Harm groan. Frank turns to him.
"What's wrong, Harm?"
"They make lousy salads." Harm mutters. "And their food is very greasy."
"Gods, Flyboys are real pansies when it comes to their stomachs." Frank mutters under his breathe. "If you had to eat what we had to eat to pass survival training, then you'd be happy for a decent greasy spoon."
"No, I wouldn't." Harm mutters as the four leave for lunch.
July 24th - 6:30am PST, 9:30am EST
Frank stands on the sidewalk in front of the house that he grew up in. He pulls at his shirt collar and nervously looks around. He feels a warm arm wrap itself around his waist and he looks down into Cassandra's eyes and smiles. "She's not getting any younger." Cassandra murmurs.
Frank sighs. "I know, but how do you explain to a woman who loved you like a son that you didn't die when she thought you did."
"Frank, if she loved you before, she'll love you now." Cassandra replies as she pulls him forward and Frank stares at the doorbell. He swallows his fear and rings the bell.
A few minutes later, a dark haired woman in her mid to late fifties opens the door and asks. "Yes, can I help you?" She looks at Frank and quickly puts her hand to her face as she quietly utters. "Oh God! Frank? You're alive?!"
Frank grins sheepishly. "I can explain everything, Aunt Maggie."
Margaret Scully's eyes flash as she grabs her nephew by his ear. "You bet your ass, you will, boyo." Maggie growls as she leads Frank into her house. Cassandra follows with a wide smile on her face. As she enters the house, she watches Maggie Scully dress down Frank.
"What the hell is going on in that thick Scully head!? Don't you realize that the Navy will arrest you for showing up here? Why haven't you contacted me sooner? And who is this woman?"
As Frank tries to answer her questions, Maggie Scully turns on Cassandra and demands. "Who are you?"
Cassandra holds out her hand. "I'm Frank's girlfriend, Cassandra."
Maggie glares at her, trying to remember where she saw her before. "Where do I know you from?"
"Cassie. . .urk!" Frank begins and quickly shuts up when Maggie pulls on his ear.
"I didn't ask you, Frank Scully. I asked her." Maggie angrily tells him.
"You may have read some of my books. My full name is Cassandra Hastings." Cassandra replies with a smile.
"The fantasy writer?" Maggie asks as Cassie nods her head with a smile. Maggie turns back to Frank. "At least you still have good taste in women."
"Yes, Aunt Maggie." Frank replies softly, but winces when Maggie twists his ear.
"You should think more with your head, not your pants." Maggie tersely replies. "Now, why the hell are you here!?"
Frank gulps. "I've been cleared. The Navy knows that I didn't kill Franzetti."
Maggie grabs Frank in a hug. "How?"
"An old friend of mine was able to find the real person responsible for Jake's death. The JAG gave me these." Frank replies as he hands over his General Discharge papers and the letter of apology from the Secretary of the Navy. Maggie quickly scans them and then glares at Frank.
"These were dated two days ago. Why the hell didn't you come by sooner!?" Maggie demands.
"I had to straighten out some things, Aunt Maggie. The JAG wanted me to stand trial for breaking out of Groton."
"What happened?" Maggie demands.
Frank grins evilly. "Another friend of mine told the Judge and the peers that I was working for the CIA for the last twelve years and entered my record. The Judge looked through it for an hour and then dropped all of the charges against me."
Maggie smacks him on the back of his head and mutters. "Smart ass." Then she hugs him to her bosom. "But I'm glad to have you back Frank. I can't wait to tell Dana, Bill and Charlie that you're still alive."
"Dana already knows, Aunt Maggie." Frank replies.
Maggie glares at him, demanding. "And how long has my daughter known that you've been alive?"
"Since February." Frank replies softly.
"And why hasn't Dana or Fox arrested you?" Maggie demands.
Frank grins. "Well, Steve and I sorta Shanghaied Dana and Mulder for a mission we were on."
Maggie sighs and shakes her head in disbelief. "And what was this mission?"
"Sorry, Aunt Maggie, that's classified." Frank mutters softly.
Maggie now grins evilly. "Tigger, please come out." Frank stiffens as an orange colored cat saunters into the room, looks at the both of them and yawns.
"Oh Shit! You know?" Frank asks as he recognizes the Guardian.
"I know everything, Frank Scully. So don't bullshit me."
"How did you find out?"
"Some fool tried to attack me in my own house while Tigger was staying here." Maggie giggles. "You should have seen the poor man's face when Tigger changed."
Frank and Cassandra both laugh. "I bet." Frank replies. "But why were you attacked, Aunt Maggie?"
"The fool thought that Fox and Dana left behind some papers that he wanted."
"Did they?" Frank asks.
"Of course not. Fox and Dana wouldn't place me in danger."
Frank relaxes. "And they left Tigger behind to watch over you?"
"They did. Do you know where they are? I haven't heard from Dana in the last three days."
"Last I heard they were in Chad with Steve and Buffy." Frank replies with an evil smile. "Steve was paying a little visit to our old friend Momhamar."
Maggie shakes her head in disbelief. "What are they doing in Chad?"
"Libya actually." Frank replies, but quickly explains when Maggie glares at him. "Steve got some information that some nutcase terrorist was going to kill off humanity with a mutated form of the Ebola virus. He took a team in to take them out and Mulder and Dana went with them."
"And who is this 'Steve'? And how can he just take Fox and Dana into a foreign country?" Maggie demands.
"A pain in the ass boy scout." Cassandra replies with a laugh.
"Boy scout?" Maggie asks. "Why do you call him a boy scout?"
"It would take all day to explain." Cassandra replies with a laugh.
"I'm not doing anything for the rest of today." Maggie replies as she sits down on her couch and points Cassandra to a spot next to Frank.
Cassandra sighs. "How do you explain Steve?"
"Why don't you tell her how he Shanghaied you into that first mission?" Frank replies with a grin. Cassandra glares at him.
"Does she know everything?"
"If you mean about Immortals, yes I do." Maggie replies with a smile. "And that Dana and Fox are both Immortal."
Cassandra nods her head in defeat and grins. "No wonder Dana can control Mulder."
"Taught her everything that I know." Maggie replies with a chuckle.
Cassandra sighs. "All right. Steve found me fighting another Immortal in alleyway in Marseilles, France."
"Was this part of the Game?" Maggie asks.
"Dana told you everything." Cassandra comments as she continues. "We were fighting over something that happened a long time ago. Adam had me on my knees and he was asking me to forgive him what he did to me. He also wanted me to give my word that I would stop hunting him, but I was being stubborn to told him that I wouldn't stop hunting him. Adam had raised his sword to kill me, we both then felt Steve's 'Buzz' and saw him walking out of the other side of the alley towards us with my sword in his hand. He asked us to give him a hand with a problem that he had. Adam told him to get out of there."
"What happened then." Maggie asks.
"Steve shot us both in the heart, killing us." Cassandra tells a shocked Maggie Scully. "When we woke up, we were tied to some chairs, waiting for Steve to come back. Frank walked in carrying another 'volunteer' for the mission that he and Steve were planning."
Maggie looks at her nephew. "What were you two doing, Frank?"
Frank grimaces. "Steve and I were putting together a team to rescue a bunch of kids. The kids were going to be sold to some sick freaks as sexual toys."
Maggie sighs and smiles at her nephew. <William would have been proud to see Frank still care enough to help some children.> "Where was this place?"
"Fifty miles south of Tripoli, Libya." Frank replies with a grimace. "The Libyans never knew what hit them."
"What did the Libyans do?"
"Not much. A company of their special forces tried to stop us, but we took them out as well." Frank replies.
"How many children were you able to save?" Maggie asks in disbelief.
"Four hundred, thirty seven children, almost all of them girls under the age of eleven." Cassandra replies softly. "That's when I decided to never play in the Game again. I saw what seven Immortals were capable of doing."
"And what about the rest of your 'team'?" Maggie asks.
"None of them play the Game, except when they're challenged and they usually offer their opponents mercy when they beat them." Cassandra replies with a grin. "I guess that Steve's been a bad influence on all of us."
Maggie giggles. "You make this man sound like he's a God or something."
"He's close enough." Frank mutters with a grin. "He shanghaied me for our first mission back in 1986. After that, I got hooked up with the craziest bunch of bastards in the world."
"Can you tell me who these people are?" Maggie asks, wondering what her nephew was now doing.
Frank grimaces and looks at Cassandra, who softly tells him. "Tell her, Frank." Frank nods his head in agreement.
"All right, Aunt Maggie, but you may not believe me."
"Just tell me, Frank."
"All right. Right after our first mission, Steve hooks me up with this bunch of what I thought were nutcases."
"Why were they nutcases?"
"Because they claimed to be the descendants of the Knights of the Round Table." Frank replies in a disgusted voice. "But I met their commander, a man called Marc Le Chevalier. The man's body language screamed 'Commander'. When he walked into the room, everyone stood at attention, including me. Steve was leaning against the wall and chewing some bubble gum and having a good laugh. Marc walks up to him and glares at him. That glare would have peeled paint from a battleship, Aunt Maggie. But Steve just grinned and blew a bubble in Le Chevalier's face." Franks shakes his head in disbelief at the memory.
"And this man Steve is what exactly in this organization?"
Frank Grimaces. "He's the personal champion of the man who's the leader of this organization."
"And this man is?" Maggie prompts.
"Merlin of Camelot." Frank tells her in a voice barely above a whisper, waiting for his Aunt to explode.
Maggie sighs and glares at Frank. "Frank Scully, I have found out over the last six months that my daughter is an Immortal, she's married to her partner, who's also an Immortal and that they have a cat that can change into a Saber Tooth Tiger when he needs to. So, please continue. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt."
Frank grins at her and continues. "Well, to make a long story short, Steve gets me into the Order as a full Knight and his partner. After that, the really weird shit started happening."
Maggie shakes her head in amazement. "And what are Dana and Fox doing with this man, now?"
"Dana and Mulder are friends with Steve and his girlfriend, Buffy and they like to hang out at Steve's house in Sunnydale. In fact, if you can ask Tigger, he'll tell you that Steve was responsible for giving him to Dana and Mulder."
Maggie looks over to a semi-sleeping Tigger and asks him. <Is it true Tigger?>
// It's true Maggie. This Steve guy got a bunch of us for his friends. My brothers and sisters protect their families now. //
Maggie turns back to Frank. "Do you have one?"
"No, I don't, Aunt Maggie. I didn't have any family to protect, other than Cassie. But she can protect herself." Frank replies.
Maggie sighs as she walks over to a book case and removes a photo album. "You're going to have to get one, Frank." Maggie replies as she opens the album. Frank looks down and sees a boy and a girl, around thirteen or fourteen years old, both had dark hair like his and their eyes were like Claire's, the same blue green color. Frank looks up, his mouth open, pointing to the picture. Maggie nods her head. "They're yours and Claire's, Frank. She gave birth to a boy and a girl just before she died. Annette named the boy, William and the girl, Heather."
Frank quickly sits down and stares at the picture, not believing what he just heard. "Where are they now?"
"Claire's Mother took them. I only found out about them last year and only saw them once.. This photo was sent to me after their birthday party a year ago. Annette was livid that a friend of theirs found out about our side of the family and William contacted me to ask about you."
"I thought that Claire died before she could give birth and the baby died with her."
"She didn't. Annette had the doctors remove the babies by C-section. And since you were dead, and she was the closest thing they had to a relative, the doctors gave them to her."
"Damn." Frank mutters as he looks up from the picture. "Do you think Annette will let me see them?"
"She had better!" Maggie replies harshly. "That woman has absolutely no reason to keep them from you."
"She never liked me." Frank replies.
"I know that, Frank." Maggie replies as she takes out her phone book and quickly dials a number. Frank and Cassandra watch as Maggie quickly talks on the phone and puts it down. Maggie sighs. "Annette will bring the children tomorrow. You can meet them then."
"Thanks, Aunt Maggie." Frank whispers as Cassandra hugs him. "What do we do now?"
Maggie looks at the clock and smiles. "Cassandra and I will fix dinner and you'll tell me everything that you've been doing for the last twelve years. After that, you can go to bed. I'll give you, your old room, Frank. You and Cassandra can share it."
Frank grins. "God, Aunt Maggie, you've changed."
Maggie glares at Frank. "Frank, you are an adult and I'm sure that the young lady is older than eighteen. So, I'm sure that you're both consenting adults."
"I'm over two thousand, seven hundred years old." Cassandra replies to a shocked Maggie.
Maggie swallows hard and stares at the young looking woman. "Why Frank?"
"Because he's a good man. I love him and he loves me." Cassandra softly replies.
"What happens when he dies in another thirty, forty years?" Maggie asks.
Frank grimaces. "Aunt Maggie, this may be hard to tell you, but my life expectancy is about three hundred years."
Maggie glares at Frank in disbelief. Frank continues to explain. "Aunt Maggie, I've drunk from the Holy Grail, I've been given an extended life span for my service in the fight against the Darkness. Most Knights, who aren't killed in battle, live to about three hundred, maybe four hundred years."
"You mean that the cup of Christ exists?" Maggie asks in shock as she grasps her crucifix. "This 'Order' has proof that Christ existed and that he was the son of God."
"He existed Aunt Maggie." Frank replies. "One of my friends was there when he was crucified." Maggie stares in disbelief as Frank tells her. "Casey Romaine was there when Christ was crucified. In fact, he was the Roman Legionnaire who stabbed him."
Maggie's eyes glare in pure hatred. "Why are you consorting with that bastard?"
Frank sighs. "Casey never hated Christ, Aunt Maggie. The only reason that he stabbed him was to give him a quick, clean and relatively painless death. Not the long, lingering one that he was given. He felt that Christ was a victim of the religious leaders in Jerusalem and wasn't guilty of anything. Christ probably realized that Casey was being kind to him and cursed him to stay around until his second coming."
Maggie, in shock and disbelief, asks. "And what will this man do when he finds Christ again?"
"Ask him if he can stay around to be with his family." Frank replies quietly. "Casey met and married a woman who's an Immortal. They've been together for the last fifteen hundred years and it doesn't look like they're planning on divorcing anytime soon."
"What has this man done for the last two thousand years?"
"Been what he's always been. A soldier. He's fought in a lot of wars, but he tries to pick the side that will help their people the most. Casey is not evil, Aunt Maggie, just a soldier of his times. And like those times, killing a man quickly was considered a merciful act."
Maggie nods her head in understanding. "And how do you know him?"
Frank grimaces. "One of my first jobs after I escaped was this mission to take out a Columbian drug dealer who had kidnaped a senator's daughter. I was hired to fly Casey's team into and out of the place. Things went to hell on that mission and I risked my life saving Casey's team and the girl. Since then, Casey's been my friend."
Maggie shakes her head in disbelief. "What will you do now?"
"Continue living my life, Aunt Maggie, but I'll be able to visit you now and hopefully my kids."
"Good. You owe me quite a few family dinners. And you start paying them off tonight." Maggie replies with a smile. "You'll be staying for dinner, Cassandra?"
"Of course, Mrs. Scully." Cassandra replies as Maggie gets up.
Maggie grins. "Don't call me Mrs. Scully, Cassandra. You can call me Maggie."
"All right, Maggie." Cassandra replies with a grin. "Can I help fix dinner?"
"Of course you can. And you can tell me what Frank's been up to the last few years." Maggie replies with a grin as Frank groans in mock fear.
July 25th - 7:30am PST, 10:30am EST
William watches his grandmother and sister as they pull up to their Aunt Maggie's house. "Grandma, did Aunt Maggie tell you why she wanted us here today?"
"No, Will. She didn't." Annette Cauldwell replies as she turns off her car. "But it must be important if she asked me to bring you two here this quickly."
"Better be important." Heather grouses. "I was supposed to be with my friends today."
Annette sighs. "Heather, I'm sure your Aunt Maggie is a responsible woman and wouldn't ask for you if there wasn't a pressing need. If she wants to see you and William today, she will." <Bitch threatened to sue for custody of my children if I didn't bring them here today. I wonder what she wants?>
"But Muffy was going to get her nose pierced. I wanted to watch!" Heather whines. <And maybe get it done myself. >
Annette shakes her head and calmly walks up the front steps. When she reaches the door, she calmly rings the bell. A minute later the door opens up and Maggie Scully smiles at Annette as if she was an old friend. "Hello, Annette. I'm glad you could bring the kids on such short notice."
"Not a problem, Maggie. What's the problem?" <Bitch!>
"Come inside and I'll tell you." Maggie replies as she opens the door and lets Annette and the kids in. As they walk in, Annette sees the man standing in the living room and freezes.
"You can't be alive!" Annette hisses in anger and glares back to Maggie. "Why is that bastard here!?"
"To see his children." Maggie replies simply as she crosses her arms and glares at Annette waiting for her to try to leave.
"I'm calling the police." Annette growls as she digs her cell phone out of her purse. No one moves to stop her and Annette watches Frank closely as he doesn't move an inch. She quickly dials '9-1-1' and a police operator answers.
"What is the nature of the emergency?"
"A man wanted for murder is standing right in front of me." Annette replies. "We're at 14 Davenport Street."
"Don't aggravate him. And stay calm. A police cruiser will be there in less than a minute. Is he armed?"
"He's a former Navy SEAL." Annette replies coldly.
Bethesda PD, Emergency Station
Officer Dani Carter stares at her computer and gulps. <Oh Fuck! A SEAL? I hope they make it in time.> "Adam 7-4, this is dispatch. Over."
"Dispatch, this is Adam 7-4. What is it?"
"Be warned, the perp is a former SEAL. I repeat. The perp is a former SEAL."
"You're joking, I hope."
"Caller confirms it. Be careful."
"Roger that. Adam 7-4, out."
"Adam 5-3, backing up Adam 7-4."
"Roger that, Adam 5-3." Adam 7-4 replies as they switch to code 3 and race to Davenport.
William stares in shock at the man standing in front of his Grandmother, not believing what he heard. He turns to her and demands. "Grandma? What are you talking about? This guy can't be our Dad. He died before we were born."
Annette sighs. "He *is* your Father, William. I don't know how he's still alive, but the police will take him away."
"Why are the police going to take him away?" Heather asks in disbelief.
"Because your Father is a murderer!" Annette replies angrily. "He murdered a fellow sailor in a drunken rage! He should not be free!"
Frank sighs and quietly tells Annette. "I was cleared of that murder. And the Navy dropped all of the other charges against me. I came here to see Aunt Maggie and she told me about William and Heather. I wanted to meet them and Aunt Maggie asked you to bring them."
Annette starts at Frank's calm response, not believing it for a minute. "What load of bullshit is this!? How could you be cleared when you were convicted by the Navy!?"
"By having friends that I didn't think I had. They found the evidence to clear me and presented it to the JAG. The JAG re-opened the case and cleared me for the murder."
"Then who killed Franzetti!?" Annette demands.
"Franzetti fell off the boarding plank on his way back to the ship." Frank replies calmly. "The Duty Officer watched him go overboard and did nothing to help him."
"Why didn't the Duty Officer help him?" Annette demands.
"Because the bastard wanted to get the promotion that Jake was celebrating about. He didn't help him because he thought that he would get the promotion instead of Jake, if Jake was dead."
Annette stares at Frank in disbelief. "But why were you convicted of Franzetti's murder?"
"Because that little weasel thought that if he set me up, he was protecting his promotion. He told the JAG that I was arguing with Jake in the bar and the JAG was real gung-ho about scoring points. So I was railroaded."
"Who cleared you?"
Frank shakes his head in disbelief. "Craig Donovan. He was Jake's best friend and a fellow SEAL. We ran into each other a few weeks ago when I was working with a black operations group called Section Seven. He wanted to arrest me on the spot, but Section Seven's field commander put him in his place real fast. After we finished mopping up, Craig left with his SEAL platoon and that was the last I heard of him, until the JAG came to my office and told me that I was cleared of the murder charges."
Annette stares at Frank's face, looking for any hint of a lie, but sees that there isn't any. She shakes her head in resignation and begins to speak. But the sound of knocking from the front door stops her.
Fred Connors parks his squad car in front of 14 Davenport and stares at the house. His partner, Tina McDermott, gets out of the passenger side and waits for her partner's orders. Fred looks over the house and sees a man and a woman standing next to the large picture window, talking. Fred grins and quickly grabs his binoculars. <Mira's lip reading lessons are finally going to pay off.> He focuses on the man's lips and begins to read them. After several minutes, a relieved Fred puts the binoculars down and walks around the car.
"What's the sitch?" Tina asks.
"Guy just told the woman that he had been cleared of the murder of some guy named Franzetti. He just wants to see his kids." Fred replies quietly.
"Do you think that there'll be any trouble with him?" Tina asks.
"Not if we play this right." Fred replies as he knocks on the door. A few minutes later, an older woman with dark hair answers the door. She sees the uniforms and quietly asks.
"May I help you?"
"We received a 911 call about a murderer being in this house. May we come in?" Fred asks politely.
As Maggie begins to tell the officers, 'no'. A dozen more squad cars pull up and the officers quickly get out. "My nephew was cleared of the murder that you were called about. If you try to hurt him or abuse him, I'll have your badges." Maggie quietly warns Fred and Tina.
"Yes, Ma'am." Fred calmly replies. "I understand what you're saying, but I have to talk to him and get this matter cleared up."
Maggie sighs in understanding as she backs away from the door. "Of course you do, Officer."
Fred walks in with his gun in his holster and calmly walks into the living room. He sees Frank standing a few feet away from Annette and politely asks. "Sir, if you would step away from the woman, I would like to ask you some questions, please."
Frank nods his head and, with hands raised, calmly steps back from Annette. Fred nods his head and asks. "Who called in the 911 call?"
"I did." Annette replies coldly.
"Who is the murderer that you were calling about?"
"He is." Annette replies as she glares at Frank. "He just told me that the Navy cleared him of the charges."
Fred relaxes a bit and asks Frank. "Are you armed, Sir?"
"I'm licensed to carry firearms."
<Oh Shit!> "Are you armed at this time?"
"I am." Frank replies as Fred's hand goes to his holstered gun.
"Could you please remove the weapon, Sir?" <If he does disarm himself, then he's probably telling the truth. >
"I'm opening my coat to show you my holster. I'll raise the coat and you can remove the gun yourself."
Fred nods his head. "Very good, Sir. Tina, please cover me." Fred orders as he watches Frank raise his coat and turns around. Fred sees the gun and quickly removes it from Frank's holster and just as quickly steps back. When he's beyond Frank's reach, Fred looks down and whistles lowly. <A H&K Spec Ops 45? Who the hell is this guy?> He quickly looks up and sees Frank's grin. "Could you please remove your jacket, Sir?" Frank nods his head and let's the jacket slip to the floor. Fred watches him cautiously and silently thanks God. <Okay. Now I'm beginning to believe that guy is innocent.> He then turns to Annette. "Is everyone in the house present?" Annette nods her head and Fred turns back to Frank. "Sir, do you have any proof that the charges were dropped?"
"I do." Frank replies coldly.
"Where is it, Sir?"
"In my briefcase."
"Where is the briefcase?" Fred asks.
"In my old bedroom, upstairs."
"Tina, call in some backup." Fred orders as he watches everyone closely.
"This is Adam 7-4, we need some backup. Code 1. Please respond. Over."
"This is Adam 5-3 and 4-9. We are outside at present and are now moving in. Over."
"Confirmed Adams 5-3 and 4-9. The front door is open and everyone is covered."
"Roger that." Rich Michaels replies as he gently opens the door. He quickly moves in with three more officers and they cover everyone. "What do you need, Fred?"
"Does anyone but you know what your briefcase looks like?" Fred asks Frank.
"Cassandra and my Aunt Maggie both know what it looks like."
Fred turns to Cassandra and Maggie. "Ma'am?" He looks at the older, dark haired woman. "I take that you're his Aunt?" Maggie nods her head. "Two of the officers will escort you upstairs, please retrieve the case without opening it."
A few minutes later, Maggie walks downstairs with one of the Officers carrying Frank's briefcase. Fred takes the briefcase and opens it. He quickly finds the General Discharge paperwork and the letter of apology. Fred sighs in relief and turns to Frank. "Mr. Scully, I need to see your permit for that handgun."
"My ID's in my back pocket." Frank replies without moving.
"Please retrieve it, slowly."
Frank nods his head and slowly removes his wallet from his pocket. He opens it and pulls out an identification card and hands it to Fred. Fred looks down at the card and curses silently. <Oh Fuck! He's a spook!> "W hy does this card have the name Frank Iverson on it? All of the papers from the Navy have the name Frank Scully."
Frank grimaces. "Iverson is the name that I've been using for the last fifteen years. If I used Scully, I would have been arrested."
Fred nods his head in agreement and pulls out his cell phone. "This is Officer Fred Connors. Badge number 3-7-1-8. I need to verify a federal carry permit for one Frank Iverson."
"Permit is verified." The operator replies quickly. "Subject is confirmed as an employee of the CIA. What happened?"
"Just clearing up some things." Fred replies and quickly hangs up. He dials another number and requests. "This is Officer Fred Connors, Badge number 3-7-1-8. I need to verify that a federal warrant has been vacated on one Lieutenant Frank Scully, United States Navy."
A few minutes later the operator gets back on and confirms that Frank had been cleared of the murder. Fred breathes a sigh of relief and quickly hangs up the phone. He turns back to Frank and hands him his gun. "Sorry for doing this, but I had to be sure."
Frank, clearly not angry at the officer, nods his head in thanks. "You were just doing your job. I have no problem with it."
Fred turns to Annette. "Ma'am, do you want us to escort you out of here?"
Annette shakes her head. "No. I need to talk to him. Thank you for being so efficient, Officer."
"Not a problem, Ma'am. Glad that this could resolved without any problems." Fred replies as he nods to his fellow officers and they calmly walk out of the house. Maggie closes the door and glares at Annette.
"Annette!" She growls. Annette stiffly turns to face Maggie. "What the hell were you thinking?"
"That Frank was still wanted for murder." Annette replies as she glares at Frank. "But if you think I'm going to apologize for doing this, think again."
Before Maggie can speak a word, Frank interrupts. "Aunt Maggie, she's right. She had to know." Maggie stiffly nods and steps back next to Cassandra.
"You've finally become an adult, I see." Annette stiffly replies, not giving an inch.
"I've been an adult for a long time." Frank replies as he remembers some of the missions that he had completed for the Order and the CIA.
"Who's the woman?" Annette demands, glaring at Cassandra, not liking her youth and beauty.
"My girlfriend, Cassandra Hastings." Frank replies quietly, watching Will and Heather's reactions. He relaxes when he doesn't see any anger or resentment in either one.
"And how long have you two been dating?" Annette demands.
"Five years." Cassandra replies as she steps forward to defend Frank. "And if you're wondering, we're living together."
"What's wrong, honey? Can't keep down a job?" Annette snidely replies. "Or is Frank your only 'job'?"
Cassandra growls and is about to hit Annette when she feels Maggie's hand on her arm. "Don't do it, Cassie. She's baiting you." Annette glares at Maggie as Cassandra tosses her hair behind her shoulders and steps forward into Annette's face.
"Bitch. You may be these kid's Grandmother, but that won't prevent me from beating you to a pulp."
"Listen, whore! You may be Frank's hussy. But that doesn't give you any right to speak to me." Annette angrily replies. Cassandra freezes for a second to check her anger and Annette adds in, noticing Cassandra's jeans and work shirt. "You probably don't have a penny of your own money."
Cassandra grins evilly. "Maggie, how does Annette support herself?"
"Her family has a company that manufactures coffee makers for the military." Maggie replies.
"That's all?" Cassandra asks. Maggie nods her head in acknowledgment. "Piss me off any more and I'll close down your company." Cassandra quietly tells Annette.
"And how will a low born prostitute do that?" Annette snidely replies.
"Let's see." Cassandra mockingly replies. "I'll have one of my companies underbid everyone of your contracts for the next five years. If that doesn't do it, then I'll corner the market on vital supplies."
Annette laughs. "And how are you going to do that? Sleep with a rich man?"
"Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot to properly introduce myself. I'm Cassandra Hastings, fantasy writer and a major stock holder in Xanatos Enterprises, Stark Enterprises and McDuff Holdings Corp. I'm sure that David, Tony and Lennox will do me a favor and ruin you for insulting me like this."
Will stares in shock at the dark haired woman and whispers to Heather. "That's Cassandra Hastings? Damn, I thought she was some old woman like Anne McCarthy."
Heather giggles as she thinks of her brother's two best friends. "Dan and Mitch are going to be soooo pissed that you got to meet her."
"That's their tough luck." Will replies with a grin as Cassandra faces off against their grandmother. "And that's one tough lady."
"Yeah, I guess our Father likes them tough. But I wonder if she has any decent clothes? Blue jeans and a work shirt? Ugh!"
Annette stares in shock as the dark haired woman mentions three names spoken with dread and fear in the business world. "Bitch! I don't think you know any of those men and I personally don't care who you are or think you are. But you and that degenerate will not see my children ever again!"
"I don't think so, Mother!" A stern voice replies from behind Annette. Annette turns with a harsh reply on her lips, but it's frozen when she sees who the voice belongs to.
"Oh my God! Claire? How?" Annette utters seeing the woman dressed in white. Her dark hair braided in a single braid like she wore in life, so long ago. Heather and Will look on in shock as the woman turns to them and gives them a warm smile. Both look at each other and gulp, recognizing her from family pictures.
"Mom?" Will asks in shock as Heather stands next to him.
Claire looks back to her Mother and softly replies. "You can thank two of Frank's friends for me coming here, now."
"What sort of friends could this loser have?" Annette growls out.
"You can count me in that number, woman." A stern voice replies from nearby and Annette turns and sees a woman, dark brown hair, wearing a brown leather skirt and blouse. A long sword was strapped to her left side.
"What the hell are you!?" Annette demands, not liking the strange woman's clothing. <Whore!>
Artemis raises one of her eyebrows and waves her hand. <Whore am I?> Annette suddenly finds herself lifted and against a wall. Artemis walks over and levitates herself until she's eye to eye with Annette. "Allow me to introduce myself. I am Artemis, the Goddess of the Hunt and Patron Goddess to the Amazon Nation."
"Oh God!" Annette mutters in fear and begins to pray. "Yea, I walk through the Valley of Death, fearing no evil because the Lord is at my side."
"Mother." Claire replies with a small smile on her face. "God won't help you with Artemis. He feels that she's within her rights to protect Frank and Cassandra."
"What!?" Annette demands as she tries to free herself from the wall.
"It is very simple, woman." Artemis hisses. "Frank and his children are related to one of my Amazons. It is through her that I have the right to interfere."
"And who is this lesbian whore?" Annette demands angrily.
"Dana Scully." Artemis replies calmly. "And I doubt that her husband finds her to be a lesbian."
Annette laughs. "Dana is married? To whom?"
"Fox Mulder." Maggie replies with a smile. "You briefly met him last year when you came to tell me not to interfere in Will and Heather's lives."
<The Jew!> "But, he's a Jew! How could you let your daughter marry that murderer?"
"What are you talking about Annette!?" Maggie demands.
"My Mother hates anyone who isn't a member of her church." Claire replies sadly. "Preacher Tuttle is a bigot of the worst type. He thinks he's doing God's work, but he's only spreading hatred."
"Brother Harry knows the truth! The Jews are the reason that this country and this region is in such dire economic times!" Annette angrily replies as she angrily turns to Frank. "I don't know how you're doing this, but I will never let you get my children."
"No one is out to 'get' William and Heather." Claire replies calmly. "They both have the right to say whether or not they want to see their Father."
Annette glares at Claire and cries out. "Get thee gone, Hellspawn!"
Claire shakes her head in amusement and walks up to her Mother. "I'm no Hellspawn, Mother. If I were, you wouldn't live long enough to speak a single prayer."
"The Power and Word of God cannot be defeated!!" Annette cries out.
"God doesn't interfere in the mortal realm." Claire replies. "He leaves that for his mortal Champions. One of whom is standing in front of you, right now."
Annette does a double take and glares at her daughter. "Him?! Frank Scully? A champion of God? Hah!"
"Frank has more than earned that title, Mother!" Claire snaps back. "He's fought for the sake of humanity on many occasions. He's stood with other Champions of Humanity when all has seemed lost and won against great odds."
"Name me some of these fell hell beasts that Frank has succeeded in destroying?" Annette replies with a smirk.
"Less than a month ago, he aided in the destruction of a demon of the first circle of Hell. He also accounted for the destruction of over twenty vampires and four lesser demons by himself during those two days of battle." Claire tells her shocked Mother. Annette stares open mouthed at the man that she hated with all of her heart. She looks over to her grandson and granddaughter and watches as they stand in muted awe of their Father. "Over the last twelve years, Frank has fought and defeated thirty seven demons of Hell, fifteen Black Mages, destroyed over a thousand tons of illegal drugs, helped to prevent three nuclear wars and saved the world a total of eight times."
"But, but that's impossible?!" Annette mutters. "God wouldn't have a low born cur like Frank fighting for him. He would choose one of his most faithful. A man like Brother Tuttle."
"Brother Tuttle is a con man." Claire replies. "The only reason you haven't been thrown out of his church is because he wants all of your money. He also wants Heather for himself."
"Like Hell he's going to get her!" William angrily replies as he stands in front of his sister. "Only over my dead body is that perv getting near her!"
Claire nods her head in agreement as Frank growls out. "You'll have to stand in line, son. If this man thinks he's going to harm my daughter, he's not going to live very long."
William looks into Frank's eyes as Frank calls him 'son' and refers to Heather as his 'daughter' and realizes that this man was really their Father. He steps forward and gives Frank a hug. Frank wraps his arms around him and holds him like he was going to vanish. Another pair of young hands join in the hug and Frank smiles as Heather also accepts him. His smile broadens as Claire escorts Cassandra into the group hug and smiles her acceptance at her children and steps back, smiling serenely. The scene lasts for a long time.
Annette, finally sick of the heart warming scene screams out. "Get away from my children, you bastard!"
Frank looks up from his children and calmly tells Annette. "I will not abandon my children, now that I know that they exist. If you have a problem with this, get a lawyer and we'll go to court. But until then, I'm spending some time with them."
"Like Hell you will!" Annette screams out and tries to drag Will and Heather away.
She finds herself being lifted, one handed, by Artemis. Artemis glares in Annette's face and quietly tells her, with a voice promising a slow and very painful death. "Try to hurt them and I shall teach you what real pain is." Artemis tells Annette. Annette gulps in fear as she's dropped to ground. "I will be back." Artemis then disappears in front of everyone and Annette slides down to the ground in open fear of the Moon Goddess.
Frank looks over to his son and daughter and sees only awe and disbelief in their faces. "Sorry, kids. Artemis can be like that sometimes." Frank tells them sheepishly.
"Cousin Dana is a real Amazon?" Heather asks in disbelief.
"Yeah." Frank replies with a grin.
"Cool!" Heather exclaims. "This is a lot better than the Mall."
"You can't tell anyone what just happened here." Frank tells his children.
"But why?" Will asks.
"Because people will think you are insane." Claire replies with a smile. "After all, Angels don't really exist."
"Are you really our Mom?" Heather asks in a quiet voice.
"I am." Claire replies softly as she gives Heather a hug. "I'm watching over you from Heaven."
Heather looks at Frank. "Is he really our Dad?"
"He is. He's a good man and wants to get to know you. If you let him." Claire replies as she lets Heather go. "I have to go back now. My time here is done. But don't worry, I'll continue to watch over you."
"But Mom." Will asks. "We've never had a chance to talk to you. Why can't you stay for a while longer?"
"Because I came down to make sure that you know that Frank is your real Father. I can't stay any longer." Claire replies as another woman appears next to her. Will and Heather stare at the beautiful, dark hair woman in wonder. Claire turns to her and asks. "Just a few more minutes, Katherine."
Katherine smiles. "I'm not here to take you back, Claire. I'm here to tell you that you've been given two more hours to spend with your family. I'll be back then." Katherine then turns to Frank and smiles. "Hello Frank, it's a pleasure to finally meet you."
Frank smiles, realizing who the woman was. "Hello Katherine. I take it that Steve, Buffy and the rest are safe?"
"They are, Frank." Catherine replies as she begins to disappear. "They'll be back in a few days."
"Thank the Gods." Frank mutters in relief. "Anything interesting happen?"
"Only Khaddafi lifted the bounty on your's and Carson's heads." Catherine replies with a laugh.
"Remember that Djinn that Carson freed?" Frank nods his head. "He felt honor bound to inform Khaddafi what would happen if anyone collected on those bounties."
"Damn straight!" Frank utters in anger. "Merlin and Marc would have taken out Khaddafi within the hour."
"No, they would have wiped out the entire leadership of Libya." Catherine replies. "The country, as it existed, would be gone and a new regime put into place."
"How?" Frank whispers dryly.
"You think that Artemis is the only Eternal who respects Carson? Ares would do his best to destroy anyone involved in Carson's death. Hercules would help as would the Dragons and some of Oberon's children." Frank gulps as he remembers all of the strange people he's met while knowing Steve. "And don't forget all of his 'normal' friends. Nils Barabbas and his warriors. Casey Romaine's mercenary group, the Golden Dragon and Silver Tiger Ninja Clans? And do not forget about the Lin Kieu, they would feel honor bound to avenge him."
"Ahh, Dad?" William asks in shock as he hears Katherine list off Steve St. Wolf's friends and allies.
"Who is this guy that you're calling Steve and the lady is calling Carson?"
"Your future God Father." Frank replies with a grin as Will gulps in disbelief.
"You're joking? Right?"
"I'm afraid not, Will. Steve has a lot of friends who will come when he calls."
"What is this guy? Captain America?"
"Afraid not, Will. Just a guy who does his job, no matter the cost to himself personally."
"What about the cost to his friends and allies?" Margaret asks, worried about her daughter and son in law.
"Aunt Maggie, Steve will risk himself first, before he'd risk his friends and comrades."
"And what about his friends and comrades? What are they doing?"
"Following his lead." Cassandra replies with a far away look. "Steve leads by example, not by command. That is why his friends give him such loyalty. If he was alive as little as four hundred years ago, he'd be a king."
"Another fool!" Annette barks out from her spot on the floor. "I don't know what you're planning Frank Scully, but you will NOT include my children!"
Frank turns to Annette and quietly tells her. "The only thing that I'm planning on doing for the next two hours is spending time with my family. And that includes Cassandra."
Realizing that she couldn't do anything, Annette quickly forms a plan. "I can't stop you now, Frank!! But I will have the courts stop you from ever seeing my children again!" Annette replies as she backs away from Frank. She looks over to William and Heather, telling them. "I will be back with my lawyer and an injunction against your Father in several hours." She then turns to Maggie. "And you, Maggie, I'm going to ruin you for doing this to me!" With that, Annette quickly exits the house and roars off in her car.
Frank turns to Heather and William after he watches Annette leave. "I'm sorry that this happened. Your Grandmother and I never really got along."
"We figured that." Will replies softly. "There are no pictures of you anywhere in our house. Not even any wedding pictures."
Claire sighs from nearby. "Mother never could understand that I fell in love with your Father because he was the only man I had ever met who treated me like a normal person, not one of the 'Cauldwells'."
"Yeah, we can believe it." Will replies. "Grandmother wants us to act like stuck up morons and doesn't approve of our friends either."
"I'll prepare lunch while you all talk." Maggie replies as she gets up and goes to the kitchen.
"I'll help her." Cassandra replies as she gets up. Claire stops her.
"Don't go Cassandra. I want you to stay and get to know the children."
Cassandra smiles beautifully. "No, Claire, you, Frank, Will and Heather should have some time together. You have to leave in a few hours, but I'll be here after that. They can get to know me later."
"Very well, Cassandra." Claire replies softly as she looks at her children, whom she hadn't even touched until that day. "Thank you." Cassandra nods her head in understanding and walks into the kitchen where Maggie and Tigger were waiting for her. Maggie gives the ancient Immortal a Motherly hug and quietly tells her.
"You did the right thing, Cassandra. Let them have their time alone."
"I know, Maggie. I'm happy that Frank has found his children. I just wish." Cassandra wistfully replies.
"That you could also give him a child?" Maggie knowingly replies as Cassandra stares back at the living room through the kitchen wall.
"Frank's the only man that I would willingly give up my Immortality to live and die with and have a family." Cassandra replies softly. "But we know that won't happen because of what I am and what he is."
"And what are you?" Maggie asks.
"A two thousand, seven hundred year old Immortal witch, who is a protector of the human race, who loves a mortal man who's a Knight of the Grail."
"In other words, a woman who loves a man." Maggie replies with a smile.
"Finding out about Will and Heather is going to make a lot of changes in his life. And you'll have to be there for him and them." Maggie tells Cassandra.
"Thanks, Maggie." Cassandra replies as she gives the older looking woman a hug. "I just hope that that 'woman' doesn't do anything stupid."
Annette takes her cell phone and quickly hits one of her speed dials. A smooth voice with a Southern accent answers. "This is Reverend Tuttle."
"Sister Annette?" Harry Tuttle asks. <What does the dumb cow want now?>
"I have a problem." Annette replies quickly as the car zooms along the highway towards her Virginia home. "It's a very big problem."
"What is it, Sister?" A suddenly very concerned Harry Tuttle asks. <Good! Another payday from this cow! The Lexus needs new Perrelli Wide Tracks.>
"Frank Scully has come back from the dead!" Annette barks out in anger. "That bastard is going to try to take my children away from me! I may need help getting them back!"
"How is he back from the dead?" <Damn! I wanted to take that Heather girl with me when I left! She'd have been fun for a little while before I killed her.>
"He faked his death."
"What about the Navy? Don't they want him?" Harry asks as he checks his computer read out on Annette and her history. <Damn!! He's a fucking Navy SEAL! No way am I going to get near this guy without Jans and the boys! >
"No! He managed to get himself cleared of all the charges! The police refused to arrest him even when they found him carrying a gun!"
<He's packing!? Oh shit!> "Did they say why they didn't arrest him?"
"He had a permit for the weapon."
<Okay, that's not too bad. Nothing much to worry about. A lot of people have concealed carry permits these days. > "What are you planning on doing now?" Brother Harry asks.
"I'm going to my lawyer and he's going to get me an injunction against the bastard! And then I'm going to ruin his aunt Margaret, his girlfriend and him!"
<What a fucking Bitch!> Brother Harry muses. <But she's my Bitch and I don't want her spending all of her money on the fucking lawyers when I need it more.> "Annette, dear, our Lord and Creator has always said to turn your cheek when it is struck. Why not give this man a chance, maybe he's changed after all of these years?"
"I will not have that low born bastard ruining my children!!" Annette angrily hisses out. "And I should think that you would support me after all of the 'help' I've given your 'Church'!"
"Of course, Sister Annette!" Harry hurriedly replies. <Man, she's in Uber Bitch mode! This guy must really push all of her buttons. I wonder what he did to her?> "What do you need from me and the other faithful?"
"I'm going to take my children back and I may need to stay with you at the compound until that bastard is forced to leave me alone."
<Great! I'll get that tight little piece sooner than I expected!> "You and your children are always welcome in our home." <And you won't be leaving here alive.>
"I'll contact you as soon as I have my children back." Annette replies as she hangs up. Harry Tuttle smiles evilly as he contemplates the fun that he was going to have with Heather. He picks up his phone and calls in his Captain of the Holy Guard of the Chosen. Jans Wilhelm walks in and nods to his employer.
"We'll be having guests soon, Jans. Prepare three rooms for them in the 'special' wing.
Jans grins as he thinks of the fun that he and his men were going to have soon. "Anyone special?"
"Annette Cauldwell and her two grand kids." Jans licks his lips in anticipation. Tuttle glares at him as he orders. "The girl, Heather, is mine until I say otherwise, you and your men can have the Grandmother and the boy."
"Takon is still around. Want to make a new set of snuff films?"
Harry Tuttle grins evilly as he thinks of seeing the high and mighty Annette Cauldwell being raped and beaten to death. "Yeah, that might be nice. Which will bring the most? The boy or the old woman?"
"Probably the boy being gang raped by my mercenaries. God knows that the pedophile market has been starved since the Slaughter seven years ago."
Both men shiver at the memories of how many of their mutual friends died that horrible night and day. They both hoped never to meet the people responsible for that mass killing.
Offices of Baker, Johnson and Horowitz
Annette grimaces as she walks into the offices of her lawyer and sees his Jewish partner talking with him. She angrily clears her throat and Claude Baker looks over to her. He gives her a disarming smile and excuses himself and approaches her.
Rachel Horowitz watches as her long time lover and partner excuses herself and walks to Annette Cauldwell and treats her like a delicate flower. <I wonder what the Bitch wants now? I hope that she doesn't make Claude miss Ben's play tonight. Our son needs his Father to be there.>
"Annette? Why are you here today? Did I forget an appointment?" Claude asks as he walks forward, holding out his hand.
Annette glares at him and angrily whispers. "I need to speak with you in private. Now!"
"Certainly, Annette." Claude replies as he leads her to his private office. Once the door closes, Annette lets loose.
"He's back from the dead! I don't know how the bastard did it, but he's still alive!!"
"Frank Scully! The bastard is still alive!" Annette barks out.
Remembering Annette's former son in law, Claude nods his head in understanding. "What about the murder charges?"
"He's been cleared!!" Annette shrieks out to the heavens. "That bastard has the unmitigated gall to stand in front of me and demand to see my children! I want him stopped from seeing them!"
"That may be hard to do, Annette." Claude calmly replies. "After all, he is the biological Father. No Judge is going to issue a restraining order when they find out that you hid the fact that the children existed from everyone but yourself and your husband."
"Judge Haines owes me a favor, he'll issue the restraining order." Annette replies snidely. "HE remembers who helped him get elected and re-elected every term for the last twenty years!"
"All well and good. But can this Frank Scully fight back?" Claude asks.
"He's a hot head who doesn't care who he hurts to get what he wants!" Annette snidely replies. "He'll do something stupid and the law will have to take him to jail."
"Very good. Where are the children now?"
"I left them with Frank and his Aunt Margaret until I get the restraining order and can come back with the police."
<Well, at least she's still got some common sense left.> "How quickly can you get Judge Haines to issue the restraining order?"
"Let me have the phone." Annette orders. Claude turns his set around and places it within reach of Annette. She quickly dials a number. A male voice answers. "Hello?"
"Reginald?" Annette asks.
"Annette! How are you? Haven't heard from you since our last dance at the Country Club."
"I need a favor, Reginald." Annette replies and quickly explains about Frank coming back from the dead. The phone is silent for a full minute until Reginald replies.
"Have Baker draw up the papers and I'll issue the restraining order. It'll have to be a temporary one until he comes before a court, but I'll do my damnedest to make sure that it becomes permanent."
"Thank you, Reginald. My love to Deanna." Annette replies as she primly hangs up the speaker phone. She looks at Claude and smiles serenely. "You heard the Judge, please get the paperwork together and he'll issue the restraining order immediately."
Claude nods his head and calls his secretary. "Brenda, please come in, I have some work for you." His secretary walks in and Claude begins to outline the papers needed for the restraining order.
July 25th - 12:45pm PST, 3:45pm EST
Chambers of District Court Judge Reginald Haines
Judge Haines, wearing a golf shirt and a pair of casual slacks, gets off his seat as Annette enters his private chambers. Following her is her lawyer, Claude Baker, who quietly stands behind her. Judge Haines gives Baker a nod and looks back to Annette, who's now fidgeting in her chair. "Everything appears to be in order, Mr. Baker. I'll sign off on the restraining order right now. Annette, are the children with you?"
"No, I left them at the Scully house. I'll pick them up when you give me the restraining order. Then, I can tell that low life scum to stay out of my life and theirs." Annette replies acidly.
Judge Haines nods his head in agreement. "Good, if you tried to take them away immediately, your son in law could have made a very good case against you."
"Thank you, Reginald." Annette replies sweetly. "Where am I to meet the police escort you promised me?"
"They'll be here in a few minutes, Annette." Judge Haines replies as his door opens and four rather large deputies walk into the office. The leader, a huge bruiser standing six and a half feet tall nods to the Judge in greeting.
"Hello, Judge. Sheriff said you had some work for us." Deputy Sargent Digger Rascal asks.
"Yes, I do, Digger." Judge Haines replies as he gets up with Annette. He encircles Annette's shoulders as he explains. "This is an old friend of mine and my wife's. Her name is Annette Cauldwell. You may be familiar with the family name."
"I sure am, Sir, Ma'am." Digger replies. "A lot of my family has worked for you and Mr. Cauldwell over the years, Ma'am. You're husband helped my nephew get into Harvard two years ago."
"How is your nephew doing, Deputy?" Annette asks. <One of Carter's 'charity' gifts. God, how I hate those. >
"He's made the Dean's list the last two years. His last letter said that he'll be accepted at Johns Hopkins to begin his medical training next year. He'll make a fine doctor, Ma'am."
"That is most excellent news, Deputy." A very surprised Annette replies. <One of these hicks made it to Johns Hopkins as a medical student? God, the world has really been going down hill these last few years.>
"What's the job, Judge?" Digger asks.
"I've issued a restraining order against a man named Frank Scully." Judge Haines replies as he outlines the situation. The deputies nod their heads in understanding as Annette adds in.
"Don't think this will be easy, Deputies. Frank Scully is a former Navy SEAL and I don't know what he's been doing for the last thirteen years, but he looks tougher than when he was in the Navy."
The four Deputies share a common smile. This was old news to them. Military personal, especially the Navy, out for a good time often found out that the deputies of Shiloh county wouldn't take shit from them.
"We can handle him, Mrs. Cauldwell." Digger replies with certainty.
"Just make sure that I get my children out of there without them being hurt is all that I want. If something happens to Frank Scully after we leave, I won't care." All four deputies begin to smile at the implications of Annette's words.
Home of Maggie Scully
Maggie smiles as she puts down the roast pan on the table and tells Frank. "You cut the roast, Frank." Frank grins and cuts up the roast, handing out plates to everyone. Will and Heather sit on his right as Maggie and Cassandra sit on his left. Tigger yowls from the floor demanding some of the good stuff for himself.
// Hey Maggie! Give me some of that! Mulder and Dana never feed me the good stuff. //
<Of course, Tigger.> Maggie mentally replies as she hands Frank a small plate for him. "For Tigger. He likes the ends." Frank grins down at the small cat and cuts off a big end piece for him. Tigger practically jumps the table to reach his dinner.
Heather giggles as she watches Tigger's antics. "Aunt Maggie that is one funny cat. Where did you get him from?"
"He belongs to your cousins Dana and Fox. They leave him with me when they're on long trips. I don't mind the company."
"Where did they go?" Will asks. "I want to meet them."
Maggie looks at Frank who nods his head. "Your Father can tell you." Heather and Will turn to Frank as he explains.
"Last I heard they were in Loc Yura Chad, visiting with the Commanding Officer of the French Foreign Legion unit stationed there."
"They're FBI, right?" Will asks. Frank, Cassie and Maggie nod their heads in agreement. "So, why are they in Chad?"
"Stopping some mad man from destroying the world." Frank replies. The two teenagers look at their Father, waiting for more information. Frank sighs and tells them everything that Steve had told him.
"Do things like this happen a lot with you guys?" Heather asks as the information sinks in and she realizes how close the world came to ending.
"They tend to happen a lot more to Steve and his bunch than me and Cassie." Frank replies in relief. "We tend to be more support than anything else."
"How?" Will asks.
"Steve often uses my company's planes to get around in. My employees also provide him support and equipment, when he needs it."
"God, he sounds a lot like James Bond." Heather replies wistfully. "When can I meet him?"
"Sorry, Heather, he's already in love with a young woman named Buffy." Frank replies with a grin.
Will makes a face. "Ugh! Probably some air head like Muffy Van Duren."
"Only if the air head you're talking about has several black belts, is as strong as any five men. Knows how to use almost every hand weapon created and carries the code name, Slayer." Cassandra replies with a quirky grin.
"Oh shit!" Will mutters in shock. "Anything else?"
"Yes, her real name is Elizabeth Anne. Buffy is just a nick name she likes to be called. Although, Steve has several other nicknames for her."
"What are they?" Heather asks with a grin.
"The ones that we've heard are, Milady, Sweet Heart and my Chief Pain in the Ass." Frank replies with a grin.
"For anything else, you'll have to ask Steve yourselves." Cassandra adds in with a smile. "But do it privately, if Buffy hears them, she'll cut him off."
"She'll hurt him?" Heather asks in surprise.
"No, she'll kick him out of their bed." Frank replies with a smile. "Steve and Buffy are a nice, normal couple when you get to know them."
"And those people who don't know them?" Will asks.
"They look and act weird." Cassandra replies as she changes the subject. "Will, you were asking me about my next book earlier?"
"Yes, I did, Miss Hastings. Are you going to continue the story you started in Elven Blade Master?"
"Yes, I am. And, please call me Cassandra." Cassandra replies with a smile. "I'm planning on expanding Hokan's role and creating a side story to Timor's band."
"That's great!" Will gushes. "I really liked Hokan. And Timor's band was a real surprise in the book."
"I just bet that he's going to be on the phone to his two buddies tonight." Heather replies with a snicker. "Dan and Mitch both love your books, Miss Hastings. Almost as much as Will."
"Oh?" Cassandra pleasantly asks. "Are you a fan, Will?"
"Sort of." Will mumbles as he looks down at his food, embarrassed at the admission. "I've read all of your books since you started writing them six years ago. They've helped me through some tough times. Especially after grandpa died."
"I'm glad to hear that. Praise like that makes me happy that I wrote the books."
"Is it true that you're friends with Diane Tregarde?" Heather asks quickly. Cassie smiles at her and nods her head. "Oh cool! Could you introduce me to her? I always wanted to meet her."
"If you come and visit in New York, I'll take you on one of my writers' brunches. Di will be there, she never could refuse a free meal. You also may meet Mercedes Lackey, and anyone else who's in town at that time."
"Oh wow!" Heather breathlessly replies at the prestige that it would give her in school with the popular crowd. "Do you think Grandmother would let us visit you in New York?"
"I hope she does." Frank replies truthfully. "But I may have to take her to court to get visitation rights with you two. I hope that it doesn't come to that."
"Why not?" Will asks.
"Because I have done some very dark things in the past, Will. And your Grandmother may bring them out."
"Could you go to jail for doing those things?" Heather asks.
"No. They were done at the request of the CIA and it concerned National Security. But no Judge would feel safe letting me have you because of them."
"May I. . . ., We know what these things were?" Will nervously asks.
"I'm sorry, son. But I can't tell you anything but that what I did saved a lot of innocent lives."
"Have you ever had to kill someone?" Heather softly asks.
"I've killed a lot of people, Heather." Frank replies truthfully. "I've never kept count, nor do I care to keep count of the people I've killed. Only the innocent people that I've saved. And my concern for them far out weighs my concern for the people who were trying to murder them."
"Wow." Will whispers to himself. <This guy is the real thing. A hero. Why didn't Grandmother let us know about him?>
"How did you and Dad meet, Cassandra?" Heather asks, seeing her brother's face. <Will's in hero worship mode. God! I hate it when he gets like that.>
Cassandra smiles and looks at Frank. "Shall I tell her, Frank?"
"Yeah, go ahead." Frank rumbles as he stares at Will's wide open gaze. <Poor kid. I hope this talk isn't too much for him.>
Cassandra clears her throat and begins. "Well, Heather. Your Father and I meet when he and his partner, Steve St. Wolf, were putting together a group to rescue a large group of children from a group of child molester located in the country of Libya."
Heather stares in shock as the woman that she thought was only a writer speaks so calmly of helping to kill almost two hundred people. <Oh God! Dad got himself a fighter! No wonder her fights are so detailed in her books. I wonder if she's an Amazon like cousin Dana?> "Are you an Amazon?"
"No, I'm not." Cassandra replies. <But that may change. I hope that Frank doesn't mind.>
Cassandra shivers as she feels a warmth cover her entire body. She senses the love and trust as a voice mentally tells her. // He will still love you, Cassandra. //
<Artemis?> Cassandra mentally sends back.
// Of course, daughter to be. // Artemis replies with a light tone in her voice. // I have always hoped that you would join your sisters and become one of my Amazons. But the final decision is yours as to when that happens. //
<When? Not if?> Cassandra sends back, a smile beginning to form on her perfect lips.
// Even a Goddess can hope, Cassandra. // Artemis replies with a mental giggle as she leaves Cassandra's mind. Cassandra sighs as she feels a warmth that wasn't there before.
As the dinner progresses to dessert, Will and Heather begin to bond with their new extended family. As the apple pie a la mode is being served, Will asks. "Dad? Why are you running an air freight company?"
Frank smiles. "I always liked flying, Will. When I joined the Navy, I wanted to be a pilot, but my two best friends opted for the SEAL program and I followed them in. Your Great Uncle William didn't like that decision, but he understood about loyalty to friends who grew up with you."
"So you became a SEAL because your two best friends were SEALS?" Will asks in wonder. "Did they make it through the training?"
Frank begins to laugh then. "No, they washed out six weeks into the training. Before they left, they sat me down and told me to finish the training and become a SEAL. They went on to other duties in the Navy."
"Are they still in the Navy?"
"No. Both of them left after their third tour of duty. <Right after I was convicted.> They now run a local construction company as partners."
"Have you seen them?"
"No, I haven't. But I plan to." Frank replies with a lopsided grin. "I can't wait to see their faces when I walk into their offices, still alive." Everyone has a good laugh. As the laughter dies down, a harsh knocking is heard at the door. Margaret angrily gets up and walks to the door, preparing to give the person a piece of her mind.
When she opens the door, she sees Annette standing there with a smug look on her face. The man standing at her side just screamed lawyer and the four men surrounding them had word 'Thugs' tattooed to their foreheads. "What do you want, Annette!?"
"Please give her the papers, Claude." Annette royally replies. The man clears his throat and tells Margaret as he hands her a blue colored legal document.
"Mrs. Scully, I have an injunction against yourself, your nephew, and his paramour, one Cassandra Hastings, from seeing, talking to or communicating in any way with William and Heather Cauldwell. This injunction is now served on you and if you or either Mr. Scully or Miss Hastings make any attempt to prevent Mrs. Cauldwell from retrieving the children, you will be arrested."
Margaret looks at the document and stiffly informs Claude. "This document isn't legal here, it's from Virginia and this is Maryland."
"That doesn't matter, Margaret!" Annette snaps out as the four men quickly move into the house, gently moving Maggie to the side.
Frank, walking towards the front door, to see what was taking his aunt so long, sees the four large men force their way into the house. He moves towards his gun, but doesn't find it. He mentally smacks himself. <Damn! Left it up stairs.> He watches as the four men approach him. <Looks like we're doing this the old fashioned way.> He starts as he hears a low growl from near him. He sees Tigger on the stairs glaring at the men, ready to fight to defend his home and the women that his companions both loved. "Not now, Tigger!" Frank orders. The cat quiets down as the former Navy SEAL moves in to fight the men. "I hope you four bastards have a damn good medical plan." Frank growls out.
Digger looks into Frank's eyes and sees something that he'd only seen in one place before. A serial killer that he had been guarding while waiting for the FBI's Violent Crimes Task Force to get their extradition paperwork together. <Oh Damn! But this guys going to go down hard!> "Move aside, Mister. We only want the kids. Mrs. Cauldwell wants us to escort them out of here."
"Then you shouldn't have shoved my aunt around like that." Frank replies as he relaxes into one of the deadlier forms of martial arts that the Order taught all of it's Knights. Seeing no weapons in Frank's hands, the four deputies pull out collapsible batons and flick them open. As they approach Frank, they move to encircle him. Before the deputies can complete their little maneuver, Frank leashes out with a snap kick into Digger's jaw. Digger's head snaps back as he goes down into a heap as the three deputies move in to attack Frank. Frank changes the downward momentum of the snap kick into a sweep kick which shatters the kneecap of the nearest deputy. The two still standing gulp as they hear their friend cry out.
"My knee!! Oh God Fucking Damn it!!! He broke my knee!!!" Frank's momentum swings him back to a standing position as the two deputies rush forward, hoping their weight would take this man down. Frank waits for them to move and then ducks down, punching forward. Both men run into his hard fists and are thrown back into the wall. Their landing knocks a few of Margaret's pictures off the wall, causing them to break on the floor.
At the door, Annette watches in shock as Frank deals with the four huge deputies who had accompanied her. She gulps when she hears the knee shatter on one of them. She turns to her lawyer and whispers. "What did I tell you!? He's only a brute savage! I don't want my children anywhere near him!"
Claude just stares as the man rises with the grace of a jungle cat and approaches his aunt, who was on the floor. Claude has many doubts about Annette's description as he watches Frank gently help his aunt to a nearby chair and check her for injuries. <Damn, but he cares for his aunt. I would hate to see his reaction when we take the kids from him.>
In the kitchen, Cassandra hears the fighting and immediately pulls out her sword from her coat sheath. Will and Heather stare in shock as the blade appears in her hands. "Where are you going?" Heather asks.
"To make sure that your Father and Aunt are all right." Cassandra replies as she exists the dinning room. She walks out to see the four deputies in their various stages of defeat and grins. <Frank's Order training certainly does the job.> She walks up to the largest man, who's waking up and reaching for a baton. "Put it down, or I'll make sure that you never get up." Cassandra hisses into his ear as her sword touches the deputy's neck. Digger freezes at the large size of the blade and drops the baton on the ground. Cassandra smiles as she slams her hilt into the back of his head, sending him back to sleep. She gets up and checks the man with the damaged knee and he just shivers when he looks into her eyes, not daring to reach for any weapon. She walks past him and checks the last two and nods her head when she sees that neither would be getting up anytime soon. Finally, she goes over and stands near Frank as he checks out his Aunt Margaret. "Will she be all right?" Cassandra asks.
"Yes, I will be!" Margaret angrily replies as she gets up and glares at Annette. "What the hell is going on here, Annette!? How dare you try to strong arm your way into my home!"
Annette stalks forward. "I will dare anything to get my children back!!"
"Assaulting my Aunt is not the way!" Frank growls out as he glares at Annette.
Annette sniffs the air in distaste. "She stood in the way of my legal order! She deserves what she got!"
"What legal order?" Frank demands. Claude nervously hands over the injunction order. Frank reads it and looks at Annette. "This isn't enforceable in the State of Maryland! You have to have the kids in Virginia for this to take effect."
Annette glares at Frank as he reacts differently from what she expected. Claude clears his throat and asks. "Will you allow Mrs. Cauldwell to take William and Heather home with her?"
"Of course I would have!" Frank growls out. "But I'm going to sue for custody after this fiasco."
"How dare you!!" Annette hisses out. "You haven't done a thing for those children for the fast fourteen years!! How can you just come in and demand custody!?"
"Why!?" Frank demands as he rises from his Aunt's side. "Because I'm their Father! I have a right to see them. To be a part of their lives now that I know that they exist. That's why!"
"You will never see them again, Frank Scully! I will make sure of that!"
"Why, Grandmother?" Will asks from where he and Heather are standing by the staircase.
Annette turns and sees Will and Heather standing there. Annette straightens herself and calmly tells her Grandchildren. "Because he's nothing more than a low born Irish mongrel who's family immigrated to this country in the last century. He has no breeding, no social skills, and his family full of deviates and social outcasts. We, Cauldwells and Ardens, are breed from the first families of Jamestown and are better than him or anyone else!"
"Wasn't Jamestown originally a prison colony?" Cassandra asks from the side. "Where everyone there was exiled from England for various crimes? In fact, Moll Flanders and her husband, James Seavers were both multiple murderers who became nobles when they moved to Jamestown."
"How dare you, you bitch!!" Annette hisses out at Cassandra for speaking out of turn.
"Just speaking the truth." Cassandra replies with a smirk. "If you can't take it, too bad."
Annette seethes as her attorney steps forward. "What now, Mr. Scully?"
Frank turns to Will and Heather, asking their opinion. "What do you two want to do?"
"We'll go back with Grandmother." Will replies as he and Heather quickly talk. "But we want to know. Will you try to visit us?"
"Of course I will. But I'll first have to beat this injunction." Frank replies as he turns back to Claude. "Mr. ?"
"Baker. My name is Claude Baker." Claude replies as he hands over his card. "Please have your attorney contact me and we'll go over court dates, Mr. Scully."
Frank takes Claude's card and gives him one. "This is my attorney, Mr. Baker. I hope you survive the experience of facing him."
Claude smirks. <Yeah, right. Who does this man have on retainer? F. Lee Bailey.> Claude looks down at the card and sees a name that sends shivers down his spine.
Meyers, Meyers & Randall
1 Empire State Building
New York, NY 10038
Sidney Meyers, Senior Partner
Claude looks at Frank and gulps. "How? They don't take just anyone."
"My partner and I rescued Sidney's daughter from a serial killer." Frank replies as Claude again gulps. "We needed an attorney to clear up a few things and Sidney volunteered his time to us. We've been friends ever since."
"Sweet Jesus." Claude whispers in shock, realizing that this case was going to be the toughest of his life.
"What is it, Claude?" Annette demands.
"I'll explain it in the car, Annette." Claude replies as Digger gets up from his second nap. "What about the deputies? Will you press charges against them?"
Frank looks down at Margaret who shakes her head, realizing that the deputies didn't know what was going on. "No, we'll let them go. But if I see them within a mile of my Aunt's house, I'll take them out, permanently." Frank replies as he glares at Digger, who nods his head weakly in understanding.
"I just bet you would murder these men!" Annette growls out.
"Murder has nothing to do with it." Frank replies coldly. His voice sends shivers down the four deputies and the attorney. "If they come near my Aunt again, they die!"
"You are a cold blooded murderer!" Annette angrily replies.
"No, I'm a cold blooded killer, when I have to be." Frank calmly replies as Will and Heather walk up to him and both give him hugs. Frank hugs them back. "Will, Heather, I will be seeing you both again. As soon as my lawyers clear up the mess that your Grandmother started."
"Only when Hell freezes over!" Annette screams out as she grabs Will and Heather's hands, pulling them away from their Father.
Frank turns to Cassandra and dryly asks. "Should I tell her that parts of Hell are frozen waste lands?" Claude gulps in shock when he hears that. Cassandra smiles serenely.
"No, let her find out when she gets there." Claude looks at the pair and silently prays as he backs up from the front door.
<Please God. Don't let these two ever become pissed at me.>
Frank and Cassandra turn back to the four deputies and Frank asks them. "Do you need an ambulance for your wounded friend?"
"No, Sir." Digger replies as the other two deputies help their friend up. He grimaces in pain. "We'll get him home and the local doctors will take real good care of him there."
"All right." Frank replies as he holds the door open for them. Digger holds back while his three deputies leave first. He looks Frank up and down and tells him quietly.
"I don't know who you are, Sir. But Mrs. Cauldwell ain't going to like you interfering with how she's raising those kids of hers."
"Annette never liked me, deputy. She always felt that it was my fault that Claire died."
"Annette's only child. She was on her way to see me in the Brig when her car was rammed by a drunk driver. They told me that she never woke up from the coma that she fell into. So I thought the baby died with her." Frank replies.
"Oh damn." Digger replies as he remembers the news of Old Mr. Cauldwell's daughter's death. "Poor Mr. Cauldwell broke down and began crying when he heard what happened to her. My pa told me that the entire plant closed down for a week when that happened."
"I know." Frank replies softly as he escorts the four deputies to the door. "Good night, deputy. I'll probably see you in court."
"One thing." Digger asks. Frank nods his head. "What form of martial arts did you use on me and my men?"
Frank sighs. "I'm sorry, deputy. But that martial art is restricted only to a covert operations group that I belong to. I can't train you in it or tell you of anyone else who knows it."
Digger gulps, realizing that Mrs. Cauldwell had just opened a major can of worms with this man. "Understood, Sir. I'll be leaving now." Frank, Cassandra and Margaret watch Digger as he gets into his car with this three deputies and leaves.
"Why are you so mean to our Dad, Grandmother!?" Heather demands as they pull away from the Scully house.
Annette turns as quick as a striking rattle snake and glares at her Granddaughter. "Never, ever speak of that, that man again, Heather! You and your brother will forget that he exists because I will make sure that he never sees either of you again!!"
"I wouldn't bet on it, Annette." Claude replies from the driver's seat.
Annette turns to him, demanding. "What the hell are you talking about, Mr. Baker!?"
"The attorney's card that Mr. Scully gave me is for Meyers, Meyers and Randall, one of the best law firms in the country. In fact, the card was from the senior partner, Sidney Meyers himself. If that man is involved, then get ready for a major fight on your hands, Annette."
Annette glares out the front windshield as it begins to sink in. "He's not the lumbering ox anymore is he?"
"No. You're dealing with a man who's learned when and where to fight. And that scares me. I wonder what he's been up to for the last fourteen years."
"He's been working for the CIA." Heather tells Claude just before Will shushes her.
Claude looks back and asks. "Is that true, Will? He told you that he's been working for the CIA?"
Will glares at his sister for spilling the beans. "Yes, it's true, Mr. Baker."
Claude just shakes his head in disgust. "It just gets better and better. What do you think a Judge is going to say about you hiding a man's children for fourteen years while he's been risking his life for this country?"
"Nothing! Once he sees how low born that man is." Annette snaps out.
"Annette, this class conscious crap of yours will get you into trouble in court." Claude warns. "No Judge wants to hear that kind of talk in public."
"Why not!? After all most of the Judges in Virginia are from the best of families and those families have held their seats for generations. They will see what they need to see, Judge Haines and I will see to it."
"Annette, as your attorney, I'm only trying to protect you. When this comes before a court, please don't talk like this."
Annette 'harumphs', but sits back silently as Claude asks the kids.
"How was your visit with your Father?"
"Good." Will replies, not liking the way his Grandmother was treating his Dad. "Dad was telling us how he met his girlfriend."
"How did they meet? That was Cassandra Hastings, the fantasy writer wasn't she?" Claude asks as remembers her photo from one of his books.
"Yes she is." Heather replies as Annette glares at Claude.
"You know that whore?"
"Know her, no. But I've read all of her books. She's one of the top fantasy writers in the country."
Annette sniffs distastefully. "She's not anyone important then."
Claude's eyebrows raise up as he wonders about Annette's sanity. "She's a multi-millionaire, Annette. She's probably richer than you are."
"That low born hussy!? Hah! I think not."
Claude shakes his head in disgust and asks. "So how did your Dad meet Miss Hastings?"
"Dad's partner kidnapped her and several other people to help him and Dad on a mission to Libya." Heather replies with a giggle as she watches Claude's eyes widen in shock.
"He did what!?" Annette asks in shock. Will then tells her and Claude about the raid into Libya led by Frank his partner Steve.
"Sweet Jesus! All that murder and mayhem! How could a court let him have my children if they find out about that?" Annette wonders.
"Very easily, Annette." Claude replies. "If what the kids just told us is true, no Judge would hold what he did against him. In fact, a lot of Judges and DA's lost a lot of the evidence from that day."
"What the hell are you talking about, Claude?" Annette demands. Claude sighs and explains about the day in November 1991 when a huge number of child molesters and the people who sold them children were killed off. Will and Heather look at each other and agree.
"We are definitely seeing our Father again!" Will replies with emphasis.
"He's a murdering dog!" Annette angrily replies. "Why do want to see him?"
"Because he told us the truth." Will replies calmly. "When we asked him, Aunt Margaret or Cassandra anything, they told us the truth. They didn't treat us like we were their property."
"He's turned you two against me! I'll destroy him for this!" Annette mutters darkly. "And those two bitches as well!!"
"Annette? What are you planning?" Claude asks.
"When you get back to your office tomorrow, I want you to find out who holds the mortgage on Margaret Scully's house. I want you to buy the mortgage and foreclose on it!"
"That's evil, Annette." Claude replies in shock.
"And then I want you find out everything you can about that Hussy and Frank's finances and I want them destroyed as well!"
"All right, Annette. I'll do it. But you may not like the backlash from this." Claude replies as he watches the deputy's car pass them. "Looks like the deputies got out."
"Cowards! All for of them." Annette bites out, easily forgetting that Frank had crippled one of the men. "The four of them couldn't fight a single man. I'll have Judge Haines fire the lot of them!"
"Annette, I watched that fight. Those men were hopelessly outclassed by Mr. Scully and should not be blamed for losing to him! If anything, you should be thankful to them for trying to help you get back your Grandchildren."
July 27th - 6:15am PST, 9:15am EST
First Maryland Bank & Trust
Henry Archer look on in contempt as his co-worker, Reggie Van Dobson accepts the check from the lawyer. He glares disdain at his boss, Michael Johnson, who had just sold out a long time client without a second thought. He quietly picks up the phone and dials a local number. "Mrs. Scully?"
"Mr. Archer? Is there a problem at the bank?" Maggie asks as she recognizes the voice of the man who had helped her and her family with the house mortgage and her daughter's college loans.
"Someone just bought your mortgage from the bank and they paid more than they should for it on the grounds that no one tells you that mortgage was bought."
"Thank you, Mr. Archer. I know who's doing this. And I'll have the proper response for her when she shows up to gloat."
"May I ask what's going on, Mrs. Scully?"
Margaret sighs. "It's a family matter, Mr. Archer, let's just leave it at that."
"Very good, Mrs. Scully. I hope that I helped you."
"You did, Mr. Archer. Thank you." Margaret replies as she looks over to Frank who grimly nods his head.
July 27th - 6:25am PST, 9:25am EST
Falls Church, VA
"Rabb! MacKenzie! In my office!" Admiral Chegwidden yells out.
Both officers quickly walk into the Admiral's office and salute. They both stand at attention as the Admiral tells them. "I just found out that the Bethesda Police Department has run checks on Lieutenant Scully's discharge and release from the Navy. I want you both to go and see him and find out what the hell is going on."
"Aye, aye, Sir!" Both officers reply as they snap out salutes and the Admiral dismisses them.
As Harm gets his coat, he dials, Frank's cell phone and a woman answers. "Frank Scully's line. Can I help you?"
"Cassandra?" Harm asks as he recognizes the voice.
"Who is this?" Cassandra asks as she doesn't recognize Harm's voice.
"This is Harmond Rabb."
"Oh, Harm." Cassandra replies as she recognizes the name. "Why are you calling Frank?"
"The Admiral found out that the Bethesda Police Department ran checks against him yesterday. He wants to know what's going on." Harm replies as Sarah walks into the office, her coat in hand. She sits down and waits for Harm to finish his phone call.
Cassandra sighs. "It's long and complicated, Harm. If you want a full explanation, Frank and I are at his Aunt Maggie's home in Bethesda for the next few days. I'm sure he'll tell you and Mac everything when you get here."
"We'll be over in about two hours, Cassandra." Harm replies as he hangs up the phone. He turns to Mac and tells her. "We're going to Bethesda. Is your day clear?"
"Yes, it is." Sarah replies. "I'll tell Bud where we're going and that we'll be gone the rest of the day."
Offices of Baker, Johnson and Horowitz
Claude Baker stares at the files in front of him and shudders. <God! These two, combined, are richer than anyone in this State!> He shuffles Cassandra's file and grimly reads her stock portfolio and various newspaper clippings. <Major holdings in Stark, McDuff, Renard and Xanatos. And she obviously knows all of them. Annette is in some deep trouble!>
He looks up and sees his wife and grimaces in distaste as she tosses down a file on the table in front of him. "Mrs. Scully's mortgage was just bought up." Rachel replies, not liking the work that her family's firm was doing. "What the hell is going on, Claude?"
`"Annette wants to destroy three people. But I think she's chewed off more than she realizes."
"Why do you say that?"
"Look at these files." Claude replies as he hands them over to Rachel. Rachel reads through them quickly begins to shake her head in disbelief.
"Annette is insane going after this pair!" Rachel mutters under her breath. "Why?"
"The man is her ex-son-in-law, Frank Scully. He's been working under the name Iverson for the last fourteen years."
"Is this right? He works for the CIA?" Rachel asks in shock.
"It's right and there's more that I found out from Will and Heather."
"Remember the slaughter of the pedophiles from seven years ago?" Rachel nods her head, remembering how her aunt's daughters were returned by the mysterious people who killed the man responsible for taking them. "Well, Frank Scully, his girl friend and his partner raided a major pedophile group in Libya."
"You have got to be kidding me!?" Rachel replies in shock as she stares at her husband. "Is Annette nuts taking on this guy? My God!! I'd be proud as hell having him for a relative! My Grandfather was in tears when my Aunt described their armor. He actually broke down and cried that God hasn't abandoned humanity. If this guy worked with that group, Grandpa would have welcomed him into our home like the hero that he was."
"Annette doesn't seem to realize that." Claude replies softly as he looks at the foreclosure notice on Maggie Scully's home. "I wonder what their reply to this will be?"
"Probably just write a check." Rachel replies.
"I'm going to hate to see what his attorney will do." Claude replies as he looks down at Sidney Meyer's card.
"Who's his attorney?" Rachel asks.
"Sidney Meyers of Meyers, Meyers, and Randall." Claude tells a now completely shocked Rachel.
"You're going up against THE SIDNEY MEYERS!?" Rachel asks in shock. "How!? He hasn't taken on any cases in the last ten years?"
"Scully and his partner, a man called St. Wolf, rescued Meyers' daughter from a serial killer. It appears that they are his only clients and he handles all of their work personally."
"Claude," Rachel begins softly when she sees the doubt in her husband's eyes. "This is going to be a major case for this firm. We're taking on Sidney Meyers himself. We have to be focused."
"I know that, honey." Claude replies angrily. "But, to tell you the truth, I would rather be on Scully's side in all of this. Annette is wrong trying to take away his children from him. But I've been her attorney since father died and I have to do my job, whether I like it or not."
Before Rachel can reply, someone knocks on his door. Claude sighs and calls out. "Come in, please." A slight, balding man with dark hair, wearing a sports jacket and dress slacks walks in and smiles in greeting to Rachel and Claude.
"Hello, Ms. Horowitz, Mr. Baker. How can I help you?"
"Hello, Mr. D'Argo. I need you to find out what you can about a man, his girlfriend and possibly that man's partner. Their base of operations is in New York City and Sunnydale, California. Do you have a problem with this project?"
"Who are the two men?" Chester D'Argo asks. "I have associates in both areas who can speed things up.
"Frank Scully, a.k.a. Frank Iverson and Steven St. Wolf, no other aliases." Claude replies as Chester's face goes pale. "I take it that you have heard of the both of them?"
"Hell yeah!!" Chester replies loudly. He then sees Rachel standing there and apologizes. "Sorry about the language, Ms. Horowitz."
"It's understandable, Chester. What can you tell us about these two men?" Rachel asks.
"A lot. But you're not going to like what you're going to hear." Chester replies as he begins to sweat a little. He also begins to play with the silver ring on his right middle finger, the one with the shape of a golden cup set in onyx.. "Want to ask your secretary to bring in some coffee? This will take a while." <And I like you two. I don't want either of you hurt by screwing with Two Step and the Wanderer.> Claude orders the coffee as Chester begins to tell him and Rachel what he knew about Frank Iverson. Claude and Rachel listen in shock as tells them of the rescues of American children in foreign countries and the return of them to their rightful parents. The hunting down and return of several serial murders and the rescue of their last victims. After an hour and two cups of coffee, Chester finishes with. "Now, you want to find out about his partner, St. Wolf?"
Claude looks at Rachel who shakes her head in disbelief. "No thank you, Chester. May I ask how you know all this about Frank Iverson?"
"The man hasn't been living in a void, Mr. Baker. He's had a long, hard life, but for all of that, he's shown one thing. That's he's more man than many men who claim to be men. He's shown that he can be trusted with the most difficult cases and succeed where lesser men would fail. Word on that kind of success does get around, Mr. Baker. Do you still want me to look into them?"
"What can you tell me about Cassandra Hastings?" Claude asks quietly.
"For one thing, the Lady's a damn fine writer, I've read all of her books. She's also rich and knows the four richest men on the planet on a first name basis, as does Mr. Iverson. But the rumor mill has her helping out on a lot of the charity cases that Iverson and St. Wolf take on."
"She admitted to Will and Heather that she helped kill off a bunch of pedophiles in Libya, seven years ago." Claude quietly adds in.
"I heard the same rumor." Chester replies as he looks at the young lawyers in front of him. "Still want me to look into them?"
"No, Chester. Thank you for telling us this so quickly. Stop by May's desk and tell her to pay you for two days of service." Claude replies.
"I'll tell her to make it for a single day, Mr. Baker. After all, we honest PI's don't get rich doing what we do." Chester replies with a smile as he gets up from his chair. <I hope the two of you survive whatever shit storm is coming. I would hate to have to kill you both to protect Lieutenant Iverson.>
Claude and Rachel watch as the slight man leaves their office and both turn to look at each other. "What do you think of what Chester just told us?" Rachel asks quietly.
"That we're going to have a major problem with this man and his friends. I just hope that Annette can settle this without a court fight." Rachel replies as May cracks open the door. "What is it, May?"
"Mrs. Cauldwell called and said that Mr. Baker should call her immediately. Something about Judge Haines making sure that she gets her way."
"Oh God!" Claude replies as he shakes his head in grief. "What the hell did that woman do now!?"
"Call her and find out." Rachel replies smugly.
Claude nods his head and dials the phone. Annette quickly answers her cell phone with. "It took you long enough to get back to me, Claude!"
"Sorry, I was in a meeting getting more information on your son-in-law." Claude explains. Annette sniffs distastefully.
"I'll let it go for now. What did you find out?"
"A lot of things and they are not good news for you."
"Damn him to Hell!!" Annette screeches on the phone. "He's even bought you!"
"Annette, no one bought us. We're only gathering the information for the forthcoming injunction hearing. Mr. Scully is bringing in one of the toughest lawyers in the country to represent him and I want to be ready for anything and everything."
Annette laughs evilly. "As for his fancy New York City lawyers. Don't worry about them. They won't be able to represent him."
"How?" Claude asks in disbelief.
"Judge Higgins has retained the case and made it clear to every law firm in the area that he will crucify the lawyer who vouches for that Jew lawyer or any of his cronies. And his fellow Judges will make sure that none of the law firms in their areas can help him either."
"Annette, that's illegal."
"It's whatever Judge Haines says it is. He has every right to run his court room as he sees fit. And his cousin on the State Appeals Court will make sure that the case never sees the light of day."
"Annette, if this ever comes out, I'll be disbarred. As will Judge Haines." Claude replies.
"I'm sure that your Jewish wife will make the both of you enough money to live on comfortably." Annette snidely replies as she hangs up.
Rachel glares at Claude and angrily hisses out. "That Bitch!! Claude, either this is the last fucking case we work for her or I'm leaving!!"
"I agree. She may have been my Father's main client, but she's not mine. Her husband, Carter, was a proper gentleman and a man I would be willing to work for, but Annette's gone around the deep end."
July 27th - 8:45am PST, 11:45am EST
Harm and Mac see that Frank's dark blue Porsche Carrerra was in the drive as they pull up. Mac grins as Harm looks at the sweet lines of the Italian racing car. "Nice car, Harm?"
"I still like my Corvette." Harm replies with a small smile as he parks his car. "But I wouldn't mind putting her through her paces at least once."
"Fly boys!" Mac mutters under her breathe. Her lips form a perfect smile as she returns Harm's glance towards her.
"Never forget it, Major."
"I wonder what's going on?" Mac asks as she sees several cars including a very familiar sedan with Federal government plates on it. "And why is Webb here as well?"
"We're about to find out." Harm replies as the door opens and an older woman with dark hair and blue eyes looks them over.
"You must be the Navy lawyers." Margaret Scully replies with a smile.
"Did Cassandra tell you we were coming?" Harm asks.
"Yes she did." Maggie replies with a warm smile. "I'm happy to meet you, Lieutenant Commander Rabb, Major MacKenzie. Thank you for clearing Frank of those murder charges."
"Always happy to get an innocent man free." Harm replies with a warm smile as he and Mac walk into the house.
"Everyone is in the living room, talking." Maggie replies as she leads the two JAG officers to the living.
In the living room, they find Frank Scully, his six foot, four inch frame tense as an older man in a dark blue, three thousand dollar Seville Row suit was explaining.
"My entire office has been calling every lawyer in the State of Virginia and no one will vouch for us! Whoever is pulling the damn strings is starting to royally piss me off!!"
"What are our options, Sidney?" Cassandra asks.
"Unless we can get at least one lawyer to vouch for me, I can't represent Frank in court regarding his children. So, unless you know someone who's licensed in the State of Virginia, isn't scared of that Hick Judge and his Hick cronies, then I suggest we go to Federal Court for this."
"When could we get a date in Federal Court?" Frank asks.
Sidney sighs. "It doesn't look good. But maybe in four to six months."
"Can't we get there faster?" Frank asks.
"No, we can't." Sidney replies. "The Federal Courts are backed up enough as it is and if we try to fast track this, then we'll have to call in a lot of favors that I don't want to. We'll need them for the case as it is.."
Harm and Mac look at each and share evil grins. Webb sees the pair smile evilly and smiles evilly as well. < Looks like the Navy and Marine Corps come to the rescue.> "Mr. Meyers if you turn around, you'll meet Lieutenant Commander Rabb and Major MacKenzie. From the way that they're smiling, I think that you'll have your, vic. . uhm, volunteers."
Sidney Meyers turns and looks at the pair of lawyers standing behind him. He looks Harm and Mac up and down and smiles serenely. He shakes his head and glares at Cassandra. "Been doing the Voodoo again, Cassandra?"
"Only sent up a couple of prayers, Sidney." <Thank you, Artemis.>
//You're welcome, Cassandra.// Artemis replies as she sends a warm feeling through the ancient Immortal. Cassandra feels a tear crawl down her cheek at the safe feeling that she was feeling.
Sidney smiles. "Prayer always helps." <Especially when you know that God is there and you are helping his sworn champions.> "So, you two aren't scared that this Judge Haines will make your lives miserable if you ever practice in Virginia?"
"Mr. Meyers. We're JAG officers. We are licensed to practice law nationally, in any military court. The both of us are also licensed in Virginia and Maryland. Of course we'll help."
"You do realize that you'll have to be in court everyday with me?" Sidney asks. "Will your superior officer allow this?"
"Before we answer that, what is the case?" Mac asks before Harm can open his mouth.
"Take a seat, it's a long story." Frank replies as he explains the situation to them. After he finishes, Harm nods grimly.
"I'm in." Harm replies with conviction. "I'll burn up any leave time I have left for the next two years, but I'll do it." <I grew up without my Dad. I won't let Frank's son suffer the way I did.>
"I'll make it up to you, Commander." Frank replies with conviction and Harm can hear the gratitude in his voice.
"Now we only have to get Admiral Chegwidden to approve my leave time." Harm replies.
"Already on it." Webb replies as his cell phone comes to his ear. "Tyner, this is Webb, put me through to Admiral Chegwidden." The phone clicks over as Admiral Chegwidden picks up his phone.
"What do you want, Webb?"
"I want to borrow Rabb and MacKenzie for a while."
"You what!?" Chegwidden demands. Webb quickly explains. "What do you have up your sleeve, Webb?" The Admiral demands.
"Let's just say that I can do a few things to help them do their jobs." Webb replies with an evil grin plastered on his face.
"You had better." The Admiral replies with conviction. "Put Rabb on." Webb hands his phone over to Harm who puts it to his ear. "Rabb, I'm letting you and MacKenzie help Scully."
"May I ask why, Sir?"
"Because it's the right thing to do, Rabb. Also, I know this asshole, Haines. He's screwed with a lot of military people who have passed through his county. I want him to see that we take care of our own. I just wish that I could be there to watch him squirm as Meyers walks into his courtroom and makes mincemeat out of the opposing council."
"Understood, Sir." Harm replies with conviction as he hangs up the phone. He hands it back to Webb as he turns to face Sidney. "You have the both of us for as long as you need us, Mr. Meyers."
Sidney smiles as he hugs the two officers. "Please, call me Sidney from now on. What do I call you, two?"
"Everyone calls me Mac." Mac replies.
"Mac? That's a man's name. What's your real first name, bubbalah?" Sidney asks.
"Sarah." Mac replies softly as Sidney claps his hands in joy.
"Now that's a beautiful name for a beautiful young woman!" Sidney replies with a wide smile as Mac blushes. He turns to Harm and asks. "How about you? David by any chance?"
"Sorry, Sidney. My full name is Harmond Rabb, Junior. Most of my friends call me Harm."
Sidney looks upward. "You had to throw in a curve ball didn't you?" Then begins to laugh at himself. Both Harm and Mac look at the scrappy New York City lawyer as he explains. "If you can't laugh at yourself, then you should not be a lawyer." Everyone has a good laugh as Sidney easily gets down to business.
"I want to find out as much as I can about this Judge in the next two days as I can. I don't want to walk into that court and not be ready for begins to lay out his plans to get Frank his children.
July 29th - 5:45am PST, 8:45am EST
Court of Judge Reginald Haines
Shiloh County Courthouse
Reginald Haines sits back in his spacious office as he prepares for this particular day. He looks over to his assistant and asks. "Joseph, has Frank Scully shown up yet?"
"I'll go check." The young intern replies as he gets up and exits the judge's chambers. Several minutes later, Joseph returns, his face was pale.
"What's wrong, Joseph?"
The young intern gulps loudly. "He, he. . . he's out there."
Reginald Haines blanches as he realizes what his intern was telling him. "Who would dare!?"
"I don't know, Sir. But there is a pair of lawyers with him. I got a look at their bar cards as they checked in."
"Who are they?" Haines hisses out angrily. He seethes in anger as Joseph reads off two names from a note. "A Harmond Rabb and a Sarah MacKenzie."
"I want them checked out!" Haines orders. "If there is one discrepancy in their files, I want to know about it!"
"Yes, Sir!" Joseph replies as he quickly gets on the phone.
Harm and Mac look around them as they enter court with Sidney Meyers, a living legend, in the legal community. "Looks like Mrs. Cauldwell is trying to drum up local support for herself." Harm remarks as several people scream at them to go home.
"I wouldn't worry about it." Sidney replies with a confident smile. "If this goes badly, we have so many openings that we'll win in the end. But it'll take a lot of time that I think Frank wants to spend with his children."
"I'm glad you're so confident about it." Mac replies as a tall, dark skinned man of about forty years steps forward and blocks their path.
"Mr. Meyers?" Sidney nods his head. "My name is Carlton Winfield, Junior. I'm the state legal representative for the NAACP. Your office called me late last night and asked me to vouch for you. They explained the case to me and I hope that I'm not too late to help you."
Sidney smiles at the younger man. "My apologies, Mr. Winfield. I was able to secure the help of Mr. Rabb and Miss MacKenzie late yesterday. I hope I didn't cause you any difficulties."
"Of course not, Mr. Meyers. My office is always happy to help an old friend of Doctor King's family. You risked your career and your life to defend the rights of my people during the Civil Rights Movement. We can do no less for you, Sir."
"As I could do no less then, Mr. Winfield." Sidney replies softly as Winfield joins them entering the court house. "Was your Father also an attorney, Mr. Winfield?"
"Yes, he was, Mr. Meyers. He worked with you on several cases and often talked about your skills as an attorney and orator. Those stories were one of the main reasons that I became an attorney specializing in Civil Rights Law."
"Very good, Mr. Winfield. How well do you know this Judge Haines?"
"Well enough." Carlton replies as he looks at Harm and Mac. "Why did you pick these two attorneys?"
"We're with the Falls Church JAG office." Harm replies. "Frank Scully is Navy and we don't leave our own out to hang."
Winfield smiles. "And I take it that skin color doesn't matter to either of you?" He sees their eyes glare at the accusation. "No, it doesn't with you two." Winfield concludes with a smile. "I'm glad that Mr. Meyers was able to secure your help."
"Hey Rabb, Mac." Webb tells them as he joins in the group. Winfield looks at the young man with raised eyebrows. Sidney smiles serenely as Webb glares at Winfield. "Who's he?"
"Carlton Winfield. NAACP legal representative for the State of Virginia. And you are?"
"Clayton Webb, Under Secretary of State." Webb replies with his formal title.
"He works for the CIA." Harm tells a confused Winfield.
"What does the CIA have to do with a custody hearing?"
"Frank's a friend. Enough said." Webb replies with a glare that scares Winfield.
<This man is willing to kill for this Frank Scully. I wonder why?> Carlton wonders as they enter to court room and find Frank, Cassandra and Maggie waiting for them.
"I'm a nervous wreck, Sid." Frank mutters.
"We'll get through this, Frank. Believe me when I say that this woman doesn't have a legal leg to stand on."
"That won't matter to Judge Haines." Carlton replies as he looks at Frank. <Where have I seen this man before? > "He does as he wants in his court room. He'll try to railroad you as quickly and as dirtily as possible."
"I wouldn't worry about that." Webb replies with an evil smile that makes Carlton shiver.
<This man is scary.> Carlton decides as he asks. "And what have you done to insure that Judge Haines plays fair?"
Webb turns around and looks at the gallery. "One State Senator from the Judiciary Disciplinary Committee, one Assistant Director from the FBI, courtesy of Frank's cousin, Dana, two of the main attorney's from the ACLU, Richmond, Virginia office and to make things really interesting. A Court TV reporter and her camera man."
"You're an evil man, Webb." Harm replies with a smile as Carlton begins to laugh softly.
"Oh God! You're going to make him jump through hoops showing how fair he is." <Poor bastard. He picked the wrong man to screw with.>
"That's the plan." Sidney replies with a knowing smile. "Want to stay around and watch?"
"Only if I can have a seat near your table, Mr. Meyers." Carlton replies.
"You can sit at our table, Mr. Winfield. I'm sure that you would have a lot of constructive information to help our case."
"I hope that I do." Winfield replies as a Bailiff brings him a chair. Frank sits between Sarah and Carlton as Sidney takes the first seat, Harm the second.
The Bailiff shakes his head in disbelief as he walks away at the number of lawyers helping Frank. <Looks like Digger was right. This Scully man is playing with a full deck. Mrs. Cauldwell will never know what's going to hit her. > He turns back and sees Claude Baker shake his head in resignation. <But Mr. Baker does. Poor bastard, he's going to get it when this is all over.> The Bailiff's train of thought is cut off as the door to Judge Haines' private office opens and the Bailiff calls out in his booming voice. "All rise! The Court of Shiloh County, the Honorable Judge Reginald Haines the Fifth presiding, is now in session."
Everyone rises as the Judge approaches his bench. When he sits down, he glares at Sidney and quickly opens the war of the legalities. "I don't recognize you, Sir. Who are you?"
Sidney rises from his chair, quickly followed by Harm, Mac and Clayton. "My name is Sidney Meyers. I am the senior partner of the law firm, Meyers, Meyers and Randall of New York City. My two colleagues, Mr. Rabb and Miss MacKenzie will vouch for my knowledge of the laws of the State of Virginia."
"Well that is all and good, in anyone else's court, but not mine." Judge Haines replies with a small smile on his face. "But these two 'attorneys' are specialists in military and maritime law. They don't have the skills or the experience to be in this court, helping you with this case."
Sidney's face begins to turn red as Harm walks forward. "Your Honor, Major Mackenzie and I are both specialists in family law as our case histories will bear out. If you attempt to disqualify us because we are JAG lawyers, then we'll pull this case out of your court and appeal to the State Judiciary Disciplinary Board to have you sanctioned."
"And, pray tell, Mr. Rabb. How will you do that?" Judge Haines demands loudly. Rabb turns back to watch as Senator Stiles stands up and glares at Judge Haines. Haines glares back and demands. "Who is that!?"
"Senator Stiles from the State Judiciary Disciplinary committee. I'm sure you know who he is. If not by sight, then by reputation." Mac replies with a smile.
Judge Haines takes a deep breathe and orders. "Council to my bench, now!!" All six attorneys move forward and Judge Haines orders. "Janey, please stop taking down the proceedings. The young woman nods her head and stops taking down the proceedings. "Please step away, Janey." Judge Haines orders and Janey walks away. After the stenographer is out of earshot, Haines harshly whispers to Sidney. "How dare you!! Upstaging me in my own court!? I will have your bar card for this!!"
Sidney smiles serenely. "And I will have your career, Judge Haines. Either we play this by the book or you will find out exactly how much trouble you can get into."
"And how will you do that, Mr. Meyers?" Judge Haines demands.
"Sitting behind my table are the following people. Senator Stiles you already know, But I would also like to introduce you to Mr. Carlton Winfield, from the NAACP's legal defense unit. In addition to Mr. Winfield and Senator Stiles, I have two lawyers from the Richmond ACLU, an Assistant Director from the FBI and a reporter and cameraman from Court TV. Care to try something else now?"
Judge Haines sits back in shock as he looks out at the Gallery and notices the strangers sitting there. He breathes deeply and orders. "Court's in recess for the next thirty minutes!!" He quickly gets up and disappears into his office.
Judge Haines sits back in his chair and pours himself a very stiff drink. As he sips his bourbon, Annette stalks into his office. He looks at her as she glares at him.
"What happened out there, Reginald!?" Annette demands.
"Every legal maneuver I had planned out to help you has been countered."
"You heard what I said, Annette. Your son-in-law's lawyer has managed to counter me at every turn. I'm going to have to run the fairest, most even handed trial of my career."
"So, I have no chance of preventing that bastard from taking my children?" Annette asks.
"No, not really. I'll have to give him visitation rights. He is, after all, their father and both of the children want to see him."
"I'll have to. There is no legal reason for me to prevent him from visiting the children or them visiting him for the summers or long holidays."
"But. . ." Annette begins as Judge Haines holds up his hand.
"Unless you can tell me something about Frank Scully that is so horrific that I can justify not letting him see his children, then I'm sorry, Annette."
Annette perks up at this. "He helped murder over three hundred people, seven years ago."
Judge Haines stares at her. "Why did he kill these people?"
"They were selling children to child molesters. Frank, his hussy and several other low lifes attacked them, killed all the adults present and took the children back with them. I suppose that they gave the children back to their parents."
Haines looks at Annette in pure disbelief. "You mean to tell me that Frank Scully took part in the slaughter of those degenerate animals!? And you want me to use it against him!?" Judge Haines asks as he looks down at a picture of his now dead sister and her two still living daughters that he and his wife were raising as their own.
"Forget it!" Judge Haines replies, emotion choking his voice. "My sister's children were saved by those people! I will run this hearing the right way, damn it! God help me, but I have to now."
Annette looks heavenward and wails. "What have I done, God!? To deserve this *MAN* interfering in my life again!?"
"I don't know Annette, but be ready to see a lot more of him." Judge Haines replies as he gets up. "Now, you should be out front with your lawyers. So, please go."
Annette quietly leaves the office and begins to let her anger build. <I will never let him ruin my plans for those children. Heather will marry into the Seaver family like I planned. So what if their boy is a little off. Heather can control him. And Will will marry the Jefferson girl. So what if he detests her. She's good family and will make him a good wife. So what if the stories about her are true? Will will love her in time. And my place in Society will be assured!>
Judge Haines walks back into court and glares at Frank Scully in pure hatred. He calls the attorneys forward and asks. "Has either side made any recommendations towards visitation?"
"No, your Honor." Claude replies as Annette stands next to him. "My client demands that Frank Scully not be allowed to visit the children at all and wants the temporary injunction made permanent."
"And Mr. Scully?"
"My client is more than amicable in the matter of visitation, Your Honor." Sidney replies carefully. <What the hell happened? Why is he being so professional now?>
"And what does he request?"
"Summers and alternating holidays to start, Your Honor. Of course, Mr. Scully will pay support for the children. Retroactive to the day that they were born."
"That sounds reasonable to this court." Judge Haines replies as he turns to Claude and asks. "How does your client feel about this arrangement?"
"I refuse it!!" Annette barks out as she glares at Frank. "Frank Scully I don't know what you've done to do all this, but it won't work!! I will never let you see MY children again!!"
"Annette," Frank pleads. "Have some decency. I'm their Father and I want to get to know them."
Judge Haines just shakes his head as he realizes. <God help me, but he does care for his children. They're not just tools he wants to use against Annette.>
Skinner looks on from his seat in the gallery and sees the Judge's face as he watches the Grandmother scream out at Frank. <Dana was right in asking me to come here today. Her cousin needs all the support that he can get with this woman.>
Sidney watches Annette begin to lose control of her temper. He then looks at the Judge and sees the disgusted look on his face. <Oh my! But this is going to be a lot faster and easier than I thought it would be.>
Harm watches Judge Haines carefully and whispers to Mac. "I wonder what the hell happened in his office? He's completely changed from half an hour ago."
"I don't know, Harm, but I think that he's on Frank's side now."
"I know. And it scares me how well things are going for Frank. I wonder what's going to happen to screw it all up."
"Harm, stop jinxing the proceedings!" Mac whispers in his ear. Harm silently gets a thrill as he feels her breathe in his ear. <God! But that feels good!>
Carlton Winfield watches Judge Haines do the right thing and wonders. <Was it the threats or something that got said to him? I wonder what it was?>
Judge Haines looks at Annette and quietly asks. "Mrs. Cauldwell, Mr. Scully has asked for a reasonable settlement. Will you agree to it or are we going to proceed with the hearing?"
"That BASTARD will never see my children again!!" Annette screams out. "He cost me my daughter. Claire should have married a man of means, not that low born Irish mutt!! My children will marry well and they won't have anything to do with him or his whore!!"
Judge Haines bangs his gavel, demanding. "Order I say!! Order in this court!! Mr. Baker, if you can't control your client, I'll have her removed!!"
Claude tries to quiet down Annette, but it's no use. She turns and glares at everyone in the court room. "You're all against me!! I can see it. He's bought you all!! Well, I'll have the last word on all of this!!" And with that, Annette storms off, out of the courtroom. Claude turns back to the Judge and asks. "May we have a continuance, Your Honor?"
"No, you may not, Mr. Baker. Are you ready to present your case to this court why Mr. Scully should not have any visitation rights to see his children?"
"No, Your Honor, we are not." Claude replies hoarsely.
"We are ready, Your Honor." Sidney replies with conviction.
Judge Haines sighs in resignation. "Mr. Baker, if you are not able to proceed, then I will be forced to rule in favor of the Plaintiff and award him custody of the children for the summer."
Claude shakes his head in resignation. "I'm sorry, Your Honor, but Mrs. Cauldwell was our main witness against Mr. Scully and she just left."
"Then I have no course but to rule in favor of the Plaintiff." Judge Haines replies as he bangs his gavel down. "Mr. Scully, I'll have orders issued so that you can take your son and daughter for Thanksgiving vacation and Christmas. I'm sorry, but I can't release them to you for the entire summer, but I can let you have them for the next three weeks, but you will have them the entire summer next year."
"And the back child support?" Sidney asks.
"Have Mr. Scully put it into a college fund for William and Heather. That's the best use I can see for that money." Judge Haines replies as he bangs his gavel. "Court is dismissed." And everyone prepares to leave. Judge Haines turns to back and calls out. "Mr. Scully?" Frank looks over to Judge Haines. "A moment of your time. Mr. Meyers can come with you."
Frank and Sidney both walk forward and Judge Haines asks. "Annette told me something earlier and I was curious. Were you part of the mass killings of the pedophiles seven years ago?"
"Mr. Scully was in Libya while those killings were taking place." Sidney quickly replies. "He has over four hundred witnesses who will vouch for his location on that day."
"And how old were those witnesses then?" Judge Haines asks with a small smile. "I'm sure that none of them were over eighteen years old."
"No, not at that time they were not." Sidney replies carefully. "Where is this going, Your Honor?"
"My sister had her daughters returned to her by some unknown men and women seven years ago. The man who hurt them was dead at the scene."
"And you feel that Mr. Scully knows what?"
"I just want a message given, if it's possible, to the people who saved my nieces."
"And this message is?"
"Thank you." Judge Haines replies hoarsely. "I just wanted to say thank you to them because my sister can't."
"I'm sorry for your loss, Your Honor." Frank replies.
"Thank you, Mr. Scully, but her last years were her happiest. She had her daughters back and she could watch them grow up to become beautiful, caring young women. Her only regret was that she couldn't thank the people who gave her back her greatest joys in life. I think that you can get a message to them and I'd be grateful if you did me that courtesy."
"I'll see what I can do, Your Honor." Frank replies softly, seeing that Judge Haines really cared for his nieces.
"That's all I can ask for. But may I ask how you were able to rescue all those children?"
"Imagine nine of the deadliest fighters on the planet, armed to the teeth and ready to die to get those children out."
"My God." Haines whispers quietly. "And who put this group together?"
"My partner, the boy scout." Frank replies with a weak grin. "He has this bad tendency to grab up everyone he can reach when a mission like that comes across his desk."
"How often do mission like that cross his desk?" Judge Haines asks, curious.
"Too often." Frank replies with a sad smile. "He's one of the few people who tries to help as much as he can."
Judge Haines smiles weakly as Sidney adds in. "Frank and Steve hunted down the serial killer that kidnapped my daughter nine years ago. They brought her back to me and brought the animal to justice."
"Damn." Haines mutters softly. "And why do you both do this?"
"Because it's the right thing to do." Frank replies simply as Judge Haines takes his hand.
"Thank you for being there, Mr. Scully. I'm sorry that you couldn't meet your children sooner."
"So am I, Your Honor, so am I." Frank replies as they separate and leave.
"What happened to the Judge?" Harm asks as they all exit the courthouse.
"He found out something about Frank that changed his mind about helping Annette." Sidney replies.
"And that was?" Mac asks.
"The raid into Libya, seven years ago." Frank replies as Clayton Winfield stops dead in his tracks. As the four feel him drop behind, they stop and turn. Sidney asks.
"Mr. Winfield? Is there a problem?"
Clayton stares at Frank, his face now familiar and he just shakes his head in disbelief. He walks forward and gives Frank a hug. "Thank you." He hoarsely whispers. "Your people, whoever they were, brought back my son to me. I never thought that I would meet one of you, but thank you."
"Frank sure does get around." Harm replies with a smile.
"Wait until you meet his partner, now there's a man who'd I follow to Hell and back." Sidney replies with conviction. "There are very few men like him and Frank left in the world, today." He looks to the sky, a very bright blue as he quotes.
"Knights, true and brave.
Chivalry, their code and shield.
Their swords, just and swift.
Standing in the Shadows, fighting the Darkness.
Defending the Innocent.
Their Valor never questioned.
But their song is never sung.
Their Tales are never told."
"That's beautiful, Mr. Meyers. Who's it about?" Mac asks softly as she feels the raw emotion behind the words.
"Legends, people who are ghosts that walk through history. History never speaks of them, but they are a major force that has changed history. My family was rescued by them during World War Two. Mr. Clayton's son was rescued by them seven years ago."
"Who are they?" Harm asks in wonder.
"No one knows, Harm. Let's just say that chivalry didn't die with Camelot and that these men and women are shining examples of it. I'm surprised that Frank and Steve aren't with them." Sidney cheekily replies as Frank coughs suddenly. Sidney smiles. <Ah, so they ARE Knights of the Order. Why am I not surprised at this?>
Harm and Mac both exchange grins as Clayton asks. "You're talking about the Order of the Grail, aren't you?"
"How do you know about the Order, Mr. Winfield?" Frank asks.
"One of my hobbies is the History of the Underground Railroad. Many of the operators told stories of men and women, many of them who were probably high in Southern Society protecting escaping slaves from the slave catchers. Both before and during the Civil War. Harriet Tubman once described a man who she thought was a slave holder giving aid and comfort to her charges during one of her many trips on the Railroad. He got them to the border with the North and helped them across."
"Did she ever see this man again?" Harm asks.
"No. She never did. But she found out that he refused to take part in the Civil War and was branded a coward for his stand against the Civil War." Clayton replies. "His family name was scratched out of her journals, preventing anyone from ever finding out who they were."
Frank sighs. "She probably wanted to protect them from repercussions after the Civil War. Many people would have strung him up if they found out what he did to help the slaves."
"That's also true, even today." Clayton replies softly as they walk down the courthouse steps. As they reach the street, Digger walks forward from his patrol car, followed by over a dozen deputies. "Oh Shit! What now?"
"Mr. Scully?" Digger politely asks.
"Yes, Deputy." Frank replies calmly.
"The Sheriff, he wants to see you."
"For what, Deputy?" Sidney asks.
Digger looks at Sidney. "Mr. Meyers, this doesn't concern you."
"And why shouldn't it?" Sidney demands.
"Because the Sheriff wants to talk with Mr. Scully about the Deputy who's knee he broke a few days ago. Before you get uppity, Mr. Meyers, the Sheriff only wants to talk, not fight."
"That's good, because if he tries anything, he won't survive the day." Skinner replies as he walks over to the group to stand with Frank.
"Sir, this is none of your business." Digger replies as several of his deputies move forward to remove Skinner.
"This makes it my business." Skinner replies as shows Digger his FBI identification. Digger reads the I.D. and curses softly under his breathe.
"Why are you here, Director Skinner?" Digger asks, not liking having an FBI Assistant Director in his county.
"Lets just say that Mr. Scully has friends in very high places." Skinner replies as he glares at the dozen deputies standing with Digger. "And they'll land like a five ton load of bricks on anyone who screws with him."
<Damn, but this guy is connected!> Digger muses as he promises. "I promise nothing will happen to Mr. Scully, Sir. The Sheriff just wants to talk to him. That's all."
Skinner turns to Frank. "Mr. Scully, I don't trust them. You should have someone with you. Several someones."
"I agree, Mr. Skinner." Frank replies as he looks at Sidney, Webb, Harm, and Mac. "Want to come?"
"Without a doubt." Webb replies softly as he glares at the deputies, several of whom cringe back as they realize that Webb was really dangerous.
"Mr. Skinner?" Frank asks as he looks at his Aunt Maggie. "Can you make sure that my Aunt makes it home all right?"
"Of course." Walter replies calmly. "But I will check in with her to make sure that nothing happened to you." Skinner then looks directly at Digger who gulps. "I'm sure that the three SWAT Teams that I have access to won't mind a little practice."
"And Admiral Chegwidden has access to a full platoon of SEALS." Harm adds in as he and Mac stand next to Frank.
Digger sighs, realizing that Frank wasn't going with him alone. "All right, Mr. Scully. If you'll follow me in your car?"
"Lead the way, Deputy." Frank replies as he, Webb, Sidney and Cassandra climb into Sidney's rental.
Digger just shakes his head in defeat and walks over to his patrol car. <Sheriff Campbell isn't going to like this.>
Judge Haines' Chambers
Reginald Haines sits back in his chair, sipping a glass of twenty year old brandy, as the Bailiff opens the door to his office and asks. "You don't look too pissed about being upstaged, Reggie."
"No, Red. I'm not." Judge Haines replies to his oldest and best friend. "Have a seat and pour yourself one, Red." The bailiff sits down pours himself a drink as Judge Haines raises his glass up. "To a world that hasn't lost all of it's heroes."
"What happened in court, Reg?" Red asks as he sips his brandy.
"I learned that this world isn't as hopeless as it sometimes seems, Red. Frank Scully deserves to see his children and I wasn't going to stand in the way."
"What did you find out?"
"That Frank Scully was one the people who took part in the slaughter of those sick bastards, seven years ago. And Annette Cauldwell wanted me to use it against him."
Red shakes his head in disbelief. "That woman is stupid, Reg. I don't know why you tried to help her out."
"Her husband was a good friend of mine, Red. You knew Carter Cauldwell as well as I did. Hell, we three grew up together. He was a damn good man who gave a damn about this county. When Annette came to me with this case, I believed her when she said that her son-in-law was a wanted murderer and an escaped convict."
"So, why isn't he in jail? Those two Navy lawyers looked like they would fight to the end for him."
"He somehow cleared himself. Annette told me that he bought his way out of trouble. Wouldn't be the first time something like that happened in the world. But I doubt that those two Navy lawyers would be so determined to help him if he did that."
"That Annette Arden is just a flake. I never knew what Carter ever saw in her." Red replies.
Reginald sighs. "It was Annette's Mother, Julia, who set them up."
"Yeah, I remember the mess that was." Red replies. "They had to get married because Annette was pregnant with their daughter, Claire. Julie Arden was happy as hell, her daughter had landed the last of the Cauldwells."
"A step up for them, socially." Judge Haines confirmed. "I wonder what her plans for the children really are?"
"Probably do the same thing that she did. Get them to raise the family status in the social circles."
"Oh God, I hope not." Judge Haines replies in disgust. "Now I'm really glad that their Father is now involved in William and Heather's lives. He'll make sure that Annette doesn't do what she's thinking of doing."
"God. Can you imagine the dogs that those poor children would have to deal with? The Jefferson's children are all borderline sociopaths. And the Seaver family is almost insane from the inbreeding." Judge Haines' only reply is to shiver uncontrollably.
July 29th - 9:25am PST, 12:25pm EST
Shiloh County Sheriff's office
Sheriff Joseph Campbell looks across his desk and outside his window. He grins when he sees Digger getting out of his car. <Looks like he got that Scully guy to come with him.> He then sees Frank walk out of a nondescript car with three additional strangers. <What the Hell!? I told Digger to bring him here alone! If that boy disobeyed me, I'll beat that boy's ass from now until Sunday!>
Digger grunts as he walks into the Sheriff's office ahead of Frank. He turns to Frank and his companions and tells them. "Please wait out here for a minute, Mr. Scully."
Sheriff Campbell glares at his chief deputy. "What the hell is going on, Digger?"
"Scully came here with his lawyer, his woman and another guy who works with him, Sheriff."
"Why the hell didn't you just drag his ass here!?"
"Because if I did that, then there'd be a bunch of FBI SWAT teams and Navy SEALS in here within the fucking hour, Sheriff."
"What the hell you talking about, Boy!?"
Digger points to the door. "That man is so well connected, Sheriff, that it's fucking scary. He had a State Senator at the Court House with him. Poor Judge Haines couldn't do a damn thing to him."
"I'm not scared of some lousy politician." Sheriff Campbell snidely replies.
"I'm sure that the Assistant Director from the FBI and the Navy Admiral would agree with you, Sheriff. Those two I AM scared of." Digger replies as the Sheriff stares at him.
"Tell me everything." The Sheriff demands as Digger quickly goes over what happened at the court house. After he finishes, the Sheriff whistles lowly and mutters.
"Oh Damn! But he is a dangerous one. Any advice?"
"Just talk to him and let him go, Sir. He's a lot more trouble than we can safely handle quietly."
"What about Zeke? He's basically crippled for life without that operation. I don't want him feeling that we're abandoning him and letting the guy who crippled him go free without any form of punishment."
"Why don't you ask him? Maybe he'll help if he knows that our insurance or Mrs. Cauldwell won't pay for the surgery that Zeke'll need to recover."
"Won't hurt." The Sheriff replies with a nod of his head. <He can't be as big of an ass as that Cauldwell woman. > "All right, bring them in. I don't want to hold them up more than I need to."
Digger nods his head and moves to the door. "Please come in, Mr. Scully. The Sheriff will see you now."
Sheriff Campbell watches the man who walks into his office closely. He notes the easy way the man walks and also notices how he scans the entire room as he enters it. The Sheriff's thirty years in law enforcement tell him. < Digger was right, this one is dangerous.> The Sheriff rises to his full six foot, two inch height and points to the chair in front of his desk. "Please be seated, Mr. Scully. I want to ask you what happened last week in your Aunt's home in Bethesda."
Frank sits back and explains what happened and why. After Frank finishes, Sheriff Campbell just shakes his head in disbelief. "Why am I not surprised? Mrs. Cauldwell can be very domineering when she wants something."
"I know the feeling." Frank replies as he remembers all of the things that Annette pulled while he was married to Claire. "How's the deputy who got hurt?"
"Mrs. Cauldwell refuses to pay for the operation that would repair his knee and our insurance won't cover it because it happened while he was on his own time, helping Mrs. Cauldwell."
Frank sighs and pulls out a business card and adds a message to the back. "Send the bill to my office in New York with this card and it'll be taken care of it. Good men shouldn't be thrown away like that." With that, Frank gets up and leaves Sheriff Campbell's office. Outside, he gathers up Cassandra, who's signing several books, Sidney and Webb and they all leave.
Digger walks back in and asks. "What happened, Sir?"
Sheriff Campbell stares at the seat the Frank had just vacated. He looks up at Digger. "You're right, Digger. Scully is a scary bastard. But he's more man than most. He reminds me of old Mr. Cauldwell, a true gentleman. I can see why Claire fell in love with him."
"What about Zeke?"
"Tell him that the operation is a go. Scully said he'd pay for it."
"Judge Haines just sent over an order that allows Mr. Scully to pick up his kids."
"Catch up with Scully and take him over to the Cauldwell estate. Make sure that he gets those kids like the Judge wants."
"What if Mrs. Cauldwell tries to stop us?"
"Tell her to see me and I'll think about anything she has to say." <I hope that the kids become like their Father. There are never enough good men and women in the world.>
July 29th - 9:05am PST, 12:05pm EST
Annette rushes into her home and screams. "Bufford!!!" The elderly butler quickly walks from his office and asks.
"Madam? What's wrong?" Bufford asks as he stands at attention.
"We're going on a trip." Annette quickly lies. "Have William and Heather's bags prepared for a week's stay."
"Very good, Madam." Bufford replies as he turns to one of the maids and has her begin packing the bags. "Will there be anything else?"
"Not right now. I have to make a quick phone call." Annette rushes off to her office and quickly dials Brother Harry. Harry picks up the phone as he reads the caller I.D. and asks.
"Did the court case go well?"
"No, it didn't!" Annette hisses out. "That bastard bought out everyone! I don't know where he got the money, but he managed to get custody of my children."
"What do you need, Sister Annette?"
"Can you have some of the Brothers come by and help me get my children to the compound?"
"I'll have a group there in about fifteen minutes." Harry replies with an evil smile plastered to his face. He turns to Jans and orders. "Have Terry take a team to the Cauldwell estate and help Annette bring her kids here to keep them safe." Jans also smiles as he issues the orders. After he finishes, he turns back to Harry.
"So what are your plans for them?"
"I'll just say that they never came here." Harry replies with a lecherous smile plastered on his face. "We'll do Annette first. I'm sure a lot of people would like to see a bitch like her snuffed out. Then the boy. And if the girl is a problem, then her as well."
"They should make us a bit of cash and a lot of fun." Jans replies as he leaves to prepare the rooms that Annette would share with her children.
July 29th - 9:40am PST, 12:40pm EST
Shiloh County Sheriff's Office
As Frank, Cassandra, Webb and Sidney prepare to leave, Digger catches up to them. "Mr. Scully."
"What is it now, Deputy?" Frank asks.
"We just got the paperwork from Judge Haines. The Sheriff wants me and a couple of Deputies to escort you to the estate and pickup your kids."
"Great!" Sidney replies as Frank and Cassandra both smile openly for the first time today. "Let's get the kids and have a proper family dinner tonight!"
"Sounds like a good idea." Webb replies with a smile of his own. <Maybe my Heather will finally say yes when I ask her this time. Mother wants to meet her.>
July 29th - 9:15am PST, 12:15pm EST
Annette growls lowly as her grandchildren argue with her. "What happened in court, Grandma?" Will asks.
"None of your business, young man!" Annette snaps back. "We'll be leaving in a short while for an extended stay with some friends of mine."
"Dad won, didn't he?" Will demands.
"What happened is none of your concern, William!" Annette shouts back. "I KNOW what good for you! No one else does! Don't you understand that?"
"No, we don't!" Heather replies as she throws down her suitcase. "We want to see our Father and we want to see him NOW!"
"Willful child!!" <Just like Claire was at her age! Well, she doesn't have Carter to take her side now!> Annette barks out as she smacks Heather across the face. "You two WILL never talk back to me! I will not allow it!!"
Will stares at his grandmothers wide eyes and the spittle that was flying from her mouth. <Oh God! She's gone completely nuts!> He grabs Heather and begins to escort her out the front.
"Will, what the hell are you doing!?" Heather whispers.
"Once we're outside, we run. She'll never catch up with us. When we get to a pay phone, I'll call one of Dad's local offices and they'll pick us up." Will whispers back as he bends down to grab up Heather's bag with his own.
"What are you two talking about!?" Annette demands as a dozen men walk into the house. Annette beams as she sees one of Harry Tuttle's disciples. "Brother Jasper. I see you made it in good time."
"That we did, Sister Annette. Anything we can help you with?" Jasper Richards asks as he ogles Will and Heather both. He notices Heather and Will's tight jeans and t-shirts and the firm bodies underneath. <Oh Yes!! These two will definitely be fun to rape!> He then looks at Annette in her doughty dress and grins. <And snuffing this bitch out will also be fun!>
"Yes, please escort Will and Heather to the car and have several of your men keep an eye on them."
"Done." Jasper replies as he details two men. "Tyrol, Jimmy, go with the kids and make sure that they don't get lost."
"You got it, Jasper." Jimmy replies as he stares at Heather's butt, nervously licking his lips. He stops when he hears Jasper growl.
"Touch her and Brother Harry will let Sister Lynn have you." Jimmy quickly loses his nervous licking problem as his face turns a pasty white. Jimmy starts as Tyrol smacks him on his back.
"Keep your mind on business, bro. We got a job to do."
"Yeah." Jimmy replies as he follows Tyrol out.
Will watches as the pair of goons follows him and Heather out of the house. As they walk towards their Grandmother's car, Will gauges the distance that the two goons were following and quietly tells Heather. "When we get near the tree, we run." Heather nods her head in agreement as they draw nearer to the tree.
"Don't you kids make us chase you." Tyrol barks out from twenty feet away. "Your Grandma wants you to be with her at our holy retreat. And you don't want to disappoint her, do you?"
When Will and Heather reach the tree, they both drop their bags and begin to run into the woods that surround the house. Jimmy and Tyrol stare at each other and begin to curse loudly as the pair run. "Stop the Fuck up!!" Jimmy screams out as he begins to pickup speed. He looks at Tyrol who's got his radio out and is calling it.
"Jasper, this is Tyrol. The kids are running. I repeat the kids are running."
Jasper listens as Tyrol calls in his message. He glares at his men and orders. "Ted, Mike, Jonesy, you three head out the back of the house and try to cut them off to the north. Pat, Doug, Ed, you three head south. The rest are with me. We'll fan out and box them in."
"Don't hurt them!!" Annette orders.
"Of course not, Sister Annette." Jasper replies with a smile. <At least not until we have you at the compound and in front of the cameras.>
Will and Heather rush off into the woods that they've played in since they were six years old. "Will, will we get out of here?" Heather asks quietly as they stop for a minute and catch their breaths.
"We'll head north to the Stop and Shop. They have a payphone in the parking lot and we can call the local Iverson Air Company."
"What can they do!?" Heather asks as they begin to walk north.
"They work for Dad." Will replies. "I think that we can both agree that Dad is not exactly a normal business man."
"Yeah, you're right." Heather agrees as they begin to pickup the pace.
Jimmy runs through the woods, searching for the two kids. <Where the fuckin' hell are they!> He turns around, listening for any noise that could be them. <If I lose them, Brother Harry is going to skin me alive for one of his snuff films!> He looks at the path in front of him and sees fresh tracks and eagerly begins to follow them. <Maybe I'll catch them and Brother Harry won't do anything to me. Maybe.>
Pat looks at the woods around him and curses softly. "Fuck! Why us? What the hell are those kids trying to do to us?"
"Trying to get away from a crazy old bat." Ed replies with a blank expression on his face. "My Grandpa was the same way. These kids are smart enough to see it and try to get away."
"But if they get away, we'll all pay the damn piper and Brother Harry will give us all to Sister Lynn." Pat replies in disgust. <That bitch is crazier than her insane brother.>
Ted Barney looks down and curses softly. "Looks like they pasted this way already."
"Nah that could be from before. I think these kids spend a lot of time walking these woods. I would too. If I had that bitch for a parent." Mike Simmons replies as he straightens his six foot, three inch height from the tracks he was examining.
"So we can't track them?" Jonesy asks from where he was looking at a broken branch.
"Not easily." Mike replies as Jimmy breaks through near them. All three immediately point their weapons at him. Jimmy stops dead in tracks and raises his hands.
"Whoa there, guys! It's me, Jimmy." Jimmy replies as the three put down their handguns.
"Where are the kids?" Ted asks.
"They were in front of me a few minutes ago." Jimmy replies as he catches his breath.
"Then that means that they've got past us. Where would they go?"
"The Stop and Shop out on the Highway is the closest. Think they'd head for that?"
"Probably. Who would they call?" Ted asks.
"One of their friends? A friend they trusted?" Mike easily replies
"That sounds good to me." Jimmy replies as he grabs his radio. "Jasper, this is Jimmy. They got past Ted and we think they're headed to the Stop and Shop to call one of their friends."
Jasper glares at his radio as Annette screeches and throws up her hands. "Those children!! They're taking after their damn fool mother!!" Several of the guards shake their heads in sympathy.
<I would too, if I had this hag for a parent.> Leo thinks to himself as he stands guard by the front door.
"Well, Sister Annette?" Jasper asks.
"Don't just stand there like lumps on a log! We'll get them, now!!" Annette barks out as she walks out of the house. Jasper and his men follow her. "Pat, Doug, Ed. Head back and grab whatever vehicle is left behind. Ted, you and your group keep heading north and grab those kids before they can call for help!"
Will and Heather run along a hidden path that both knew well. They had taken this path enough times meet with their friends at the local Stop and Shop. "Think they'll know about the Stop and Shop?" Heather asks.
"Grandma probably told them already." Will replies as he scans the woods around them. "So we may not be able to use the phone there."
"What if we see one of our friends?"
"I hope not. Those jerks look like they wouldn't care about hurting them to get to us."
"Oh God!" Heather replies as she hears someone behind them. "It's them!"
"Speed up!" Will orders as they come out near the back of the Stop and Shop. Both breath a little easier as they get to the pay phone. Will grabs the yellow pages and quickly dials a local number.
July 29th - 9:55am PST, 12:55pm EST
Iverson Air Hanger, Richmond Airport
"Iverson Air. May I help you?" Deanna Cummins asks as she answers the phone.
"I need to get in touch with my Dad, Frank Iverson!!" A young voice demands over the phone.
"Who the hell is this!?" Deanna asks, remembering that Frank didn't have any kids.
"Listen. My name is William Cauldwell. My sister, Heather, and I are Frank Iverson's kids. Our Grandmother is trying to take us to some freak religious compound run by a perv named Harry Tuttle. We need help!" Before Will could continue a harsh voice barks out.
"Get away from that damn phone!" And the line goes dead.
Deanna listens to the stress in the boy's voice and believes him. She quickly makes a decision and calls in the manager. As she waits for him to show up, she traces the call and locates where it originated. When her manager comes in, she reports. "Mr. Knight?" The tall, lanky ex-Detroiter looks at her and waits for her report. "Some kid just called and said that he was the big boss's kid. Is it possible?"
"Yeah, it could be." Tim replies as he scratches his head. "What did he have to say?"
"That their grandmother was forcing them to go to some religious camp run by a guy named Harry Tuttle."
"Shit!" Tim replies as he orders. "I want a helicopter to these coordinates ASAP!!" Deanna rushes to order the nearest helicopter to the scene.
"I have a helicopter in Shiloh County right now." Deanna reports from her situation board.
"Who is it?" Deanna reads the flight manifest and looks up with a pale face. Tim sees her face and also pales. "Not those three."
"They're the closest."
"I'm getting too fucking old for this shit." Tim mutters as he reaches for the radio. "Wild Bill, this is Richmond Base. I need to talk to you. Over."
"This is Wild Bill, Buckaroos. What's the situation? Over."
Tim quickly explains and Wild Bill replies. "Those are Frank's kids alright. What do you want us to do? Over."
"Rescue and Retrieve. I take it that you and your fellow nutcases are armed? Over."
"Since we were born. Out." Will Bill replies with a laugh as he turns back to his two partners.
July 29th - 9:58am PST, 12:58pm EST
Somewhere over Shiloh County
Wild Bill and his two cronies from his military days are enjoying a leisurely flight back from Washington DC as the radio squawks and their boss calls them.
"What does he want now?" Will Bill grouses with a trace of humor in his voice. <Tim may be some tenderfoot Yankee, but he's an all right boss.>
"Pickup the microphone and find out, Wild Bill." Misha replies in a Russian accented voice. The bespeckled former Spetnatz soldier looks out the window and sighs. "How beautiful this country is."
"Yeah, but it don't beat Motown on a Friday night." Stalker replies from his seat next to Misha. The well built, dark skinned former Ranger looks at the passing wood lands. "But it sure does come in a close second." He's knocked out of his thoughts as Wild Bill jerks the helicopter directly south. "What the hell, Bill!?
"You remember hearing that Frank found out that he had a couple of kids?" Both men nod their heads, remembering the rumors running around the office.
"Yes, Jennifer told me a couple of days ago." Misha replies quietly as he thinks of the young, blond secretary who he was dating.
"Well, they're in trouble." Bill replies while he redlines the Bell Jet Ranger. "God, the apple sure don't fall far from the trees with that family." No more words are spoken as the two soldiers pull out a pair of MP5s and check their ammunition loads.
Tim rubs his face as stares at the radio in his hand. "Oh God! But those three are completely nuts."
"They're ex-GI Joe." Deanna replies with a grin. "You had to be three shades of nuts to be a part of that unit."
"I know. Thank God they never asked me to join up." Tim replies as he leaves the office.
"Because, at that age, I was the same three shades of nuts." Tim replies with a dry chuckle as he walks into his office and picks up the phone. "Frank? It's Tim Knight in Richmond. You may have a problem."
July 29th - 10:01am PST, 13:01pm EST
Frank's phone rings as he glares at the aged butler. "Who is this?" Frank's body relaxes for a second as his employee reports in. After he finishes, Frank looks at Digger.
"What's going on, Mr. Scully?"
"The kids ran and Annette went after them with some religious goons helping her." Frank spits out. "Ever heard about a guy named Harry Tuttle?"
Digger growls under his breath. "Yeah. Don't like him none. Too many people disappear around him. Especially the old and people who don't have families."
"If anything happens to my son and daughter, that bastard won't be able to hide in hell from me." Frank promises as he waits for Tim to call him back.
Digger looks into Frank's eyes and quietly thanks God. <Thank God he's not angry at me. This man would go to hell and back for those kids. That's what makes a real Father.> Digger walks away, giving Frank and Cassandra some privacy. He wanders over to the main door where his deputies were gathered.
"What happened, Digger?" One of them asks.
"Looks like Harry Tuttle's now involved in this mess."
The deputy looks back at Frank and gulps. "What happens if Tuttle and his goons don't co-operate?"
"Get the body bags ready, boys. That's all I can say." Digger replies as he waits to see what happens next.
July 29th - 9:55am PST, 12:55pm EST
Stop and Shop Parking Lot
Will and Heather reach the pay phone located on the side of the of the Stop and Shop grocery store. Will pulls out a quarter as he checks the phone book and finds the number he was looking for. He quickly dials it and begins to talk to the woman on the other line. "I need to get in touch with my Dad, Frank Iverson!!"
"Who the hell is this!?" A woman asks.
"Listen. My name is William Cauldwell. My sister, Heather, and I are Frank Iverson's kids. Our Grandmother is trying to take us to some freak religious compound run by a perv named Harry Tuttle. We need help!" Will tells the woman as a harsh hand grabs his shoulder and jerks him away from the payphone.
"Get away from that damn phone!" Jimmy growls out as he grabs Will around his arm and Ted grabs Heather by her arms, forcing her to stand still. Mike quickly and silently hangs up the phone. "Who the hell did you call, boy!?"
"No one." Will grinds out as Jimmy tightens his grip on Will's arm.
"Don't lie to me, boy! I heard you talking to someone! Who was it!"
"One of Will's friends! We wanted him to get his dad to pick us up." Heather quickly replies as Jimmy breathes a sigh of relief.
"All right. Let's get out of here." Ted replies softly as he looks over the parking lot and spots one of their Hummers. He waves it over and they all climb inside. Ted quickly reports in. "Jasper, this is Ted. We got 'em."
"Sit tight and wait for us." Jasper orders.
"Don't need to. I just flagged down one of our cars. We'll meet you back at the compound."
"Good." Jasper replies as Jimmy and Ted force them into the back of the Hummer.
July 29th - 10:03am PST, 13:03pm EST
Frank silently seethes as he, Cassandra, Sidney, Webb and the Deputies leave the house. "Where's this Stop and Shop at?"
"Out on County Route 12." Digger replies as he orders. "Al, Bud! You two stay here and keep an eye on the place. Mrs. Cauldwell or the kids come back, call it in!"
"You got it, Digger." Al Henderson replies as he takes a chair near the door. The butler glares at the two men who were sitting on the antique chairs reserved for Mrs. Cauldwell's 'respectable' friends.
July 29th - 10:10am PST, 13:10pm EST
North of Stop and Shop, Route 12
Wild Bill watches as the Hummer quickly moves up Route 12. He grins when he sees a boy elbow a man and get up and waves at him. "Boys, I do believe that we've found Frank's kids."
"Boy has spirit." Misha replies in admiration as the boy continues to fight the men. "Much like his Father this one is."
"Damn straight!!" Stalker replies angrily as Will is knocked down by several punches to his face. "Wild Bill, pull up in front of them and we'll take out the engine and the radiator."
"You got it, Stalker." Wild Bill replies as he twists the helicopter one hundred, eighty degrees and over flies the Hummer.
North of Stop and Shop, Route 12
Will watches as the helicopter passes them slowly. As the thug holding him looks at the helicopter, Will jabs his elbow into the man's side. He then stands up and waves at the helicopter and the man in the cowboy hat piloting it, nods his head in recognition. <All right!! Their Dad's men!> He feels several hands grabbing for him, but Will begins to fight them off as the helicopter swings back and catches up with the Hummer.
"Drag his ass back into the fuckin' seat!!!" Ted screams out as the helicopter passes them and then blocks the north bound road. Every man in the Hummer gulps as the side doors open and a pair of men aim their machine guns at the car and begin firing.
Stalker grunts as he hoses the radiator of the Hummer with nine millimeter hydro-shock bullets. Misha does the same to the engine block. The Hummer is quickly disabled by the double dose of hyper velocity hollow points. The men in the Hummer quickly move and draw weapons.
Wild Bill pulls back, not wanting to endanger the two kids with them. The goons begin to fire at the Bell Jet Ranger and several lucky shots manage to hit the manifold and engine, causing the helicopter to auto gyro down. Bill quickly lands the helicopter and all three men quickly exit it.
Ted looks at the stricken helicopter and quickly reports in. "Jasper, this is Ted. We've taken fire and are stranded on Route 12 North."
"What happened!?" Jasper demands.
"Some nutcases in a helicopter tried to stop us. They took out our car, but we took out their helicopter. They're on the ground, armed and using the helicopter as a shield. What do you want us to do?"
"Take those fucks out!" Jasper orders. "No one fucks with us. No ONE!!"
"You got it." Ted replies, then orders several of his men forward. "Jimmy, Tyrol, Mike. Go and see if you can get those bastards who shot up our ride!"
"You sure about that, Ted?" Jimmy asks as he nervously licks his lips. "They got machine guns and stuff."
Ted glares at Jimmy for a full three seconds before Jimmy moves forward. "Jonesy, you and Zeke move out behind them fools, give them cover fire."
"What will you be doing, Ted?" Zeke asks.
"Holding onto these two." Ted replies as he points a gun at Heather's head. "They're out insurance with whoever these guys are."
"Think Frank will take the Ranger out of our paychecks?" Wild Bill asks as he racks the slide back on his 45 Colt Automatic, loading a bullet into the chamber.
"Nope. He'll be more pissed if we let these yahoos take his kids away." Stalker replies from a few feet away.
"Then it is decided, no?" Misha asks as the five men move towards them. "We kill the men coming at us and rescue the boy and the girl?"
"Yep." Stalker replies as he, Wild Bill and Misha open up on the five goons coming at them so stupidly. Using single shot mode, all five are taken down with single bullets.
Ted stares as his five men are methodically gunned down. "Sweet Jesus" He whispers in shock. "Who the hell are these guys?"
Will grins to himself. <Dad's guys are no joke!>
<Oh God! I'm gonna be sick!> Heather thinks to herself as she watches the five men die in front of her. She glances over to Ted, who's got a worried expression on his face. <What's he going to do?>
Ted reaches for his radio and screams out. "Jasper, where the hell are you, man!?"
"About one minute out with twenty of the Brothers. What's wrong?"
"They killed them all, Jasper. Those guys in the helicopter killed them all." Ted chokes out in disbelief.
"You still got the kids?" Jasper demands.
"Yeah. But I won't be able to hold them long if these guys come after them."
"Use the damn girl as a shield and a hostage until we get there!" Jasper orders.
Jasper grunts as the Hummer that he's in takes a bump in the road. He relaxes as he sees that he's only a mile away from the Stop and Shop where the kids had been caught. He glances at Annette, who's primly sitting next to him in the rear. His radio squawks and picks up his. "What is it now, Ted?"
Jasper listens and asks reports. "About one minute out with twenty of the Brothers. What's wrong?" When Ted reports in, Jasper begins to curse under his breath. After a few seconds, he asks. "You still got the kids?"
"Use the damn girl as a shield and a hostage until we get there!" Jasper orders as Annette gasps.
"What are you doing, Brother Jasper!?"
"Making sure that my man is alive and still has your children under his control, Sister Annette."
"Who are these men who attacked the Brothers?"
"I don't know, but we'll find out when we get there. By God we will!" Jasper pledges.
Wild Bill sees that the last man standing had Heather in front of him like a shield. Will was standing nearby, not wanting to leave his sister. <Damn coward!!> "Hey there, boy. Why don't you let the little filly go and we can talk like men." <And you can die like the snake that you are.>
"And you shot me down like you did my friends? Don't think so, asshole!" Ted replies.
"Aw shucks. We got the smart one." Wild Bill grouses, drawing Ted's attention as Stalker and Misha begin to flank the goon. "Tell you what, boy. How's about you let me take the little lady's place?"
"You think I'm a fuckin' idiot!?" Ted retorts angrily as he begins to nervously look around him. He points his gun under Heather's chin. "Where are the other two!?"
"What other two, boy?" Bill calmly asks as Stalker moves into a parallel position to Ted.
"Your partners!! Where the hell are they!?" Ted demands as half dozen Hummers pull up behind him and twenty more goons get out of them. Before they could move far from their cars, Stalker and Misha begin to fire into the goons, six quickly fall before the rest can return fire. As the goons' fire rate increases, Wild Bill and his team fade into the woods away from the shooting.
Jasper gets up from where he's lying down and looks at the six bodies and curses softly. "Who the fucking hell are these guys!?"
"I don't know, Jasper, but they're good!" Ted replies from where he's holding Heather.
Jasper grabs Will by the back of his neck, demanding. "Who the hell were they, boy!?"
"I don't know. I waved to them that I was in trouble and they came back to help." Will replies.
Jasper glares at Ted. "Is that true?"
"Yeah, it is." Ted tiredly replies as he looks at the dozen bodies spread around his Hummer. "Why they shot us up, I don't know."
"Get the kids into my Hummer." Jasper orders. "I want this mess cleaned up!"
"Shit!" One of the other brothers grouse. "Why do we always get the cleanup detail?"
"Because you're still alive after the fighting's done!" Jasper replies harshly as he turns back to his Hummer. He looks in and watches as Annette admonishes the two children.
"Nothing good ever comes out of knowing such a low born man like your Father!!" Annette screams at Will and Heather. "He will be the death of the both of you like he was the death of your Mother! When we get to Brother Harry's he'll show you the proper way to respect your elders! I can promise you that!"
Jasper nods his head in agreement. <Yep, he sure will, you bitch!> He looks back and sees that the bodies were picked up and placed in the cars and the damaged car was hooked up to another car. <Good men, leave nothing for the cops to find.>
Wild Bill watches the goons clean up after themselves and shakes his head in disgust. "One more minute and we would have had those kids back."
"Life's a bitch, Bill." Stalker replies as he watches the kids being put into a different Hummer. "Better report in to Tim and tell him that they got away with the kids."
Wild Bill shudders, remembering a raid into Libya seven years ago. "I'm worried what Frank will do. And if St. Wolf gets involved you know that there'll be a lot of bodies."
"Frank will do what he needs to do." Misha replies. "That's why we work for him. Because he's one of us. We know and trust that he will do the right thing by us and for his kids."
Frank watches as the road zooms past his eyes. The deputy sheriff's car in front of him clears the traffic and gives them a safe passage through some heavy traffic. "Why is there traffic on this road?"
"Don't know, Frank." Cassandra replies as they come up to a group of police cars. Frank pulls over as one of the deputies waves him forward. As he pulls up, Frank sees one of his new Bell Jet Rangers. <Who the hell?>
"I don't think the bullet holes were part of the options package, Frank." Webb cracks as he sees the deputies looking around, not doing anything.
"Yes, Frank." Webb asks.
"Shut the hell up!" Frank orders as three men approach him. He recognizes all three and realizes what happened. "Did they take the kids?"
"Couldn't help it, Frank." Wild Bill replies, his hat in his hands. "We could have shot it out with them, but the kids would have been hurt."
Frank nods his head in agreement. "You did good, Bill. How many did you take out?"
"Eleven. They took the bodies with them." Stalker replies. "We going after them?"
"Yeah, we are." Frank replies as Digger walks up to them.
"What happened here, Mr. Scully?" Digger asks politely.
"Three of my men located my children and tried to get them back for me. They were able to take out the five men holding them, but the last man used Heather as a shield until he could get reinforcements in. When the reinforcements got here, they took out another six men before they were forced back by superior firepower. The bodies of the dead were taken away by their friends."
Digger just stares at Frank and his three men in shock. He turns back to Frank. "Mr. Scully, what the hell are you?"
"A very angry Father, Deputy." Frank replies as he gets on his phone. "Tim, this is Frank. I need a copter at the following location. State Route 12 near County Road 41."
"What happened to the helicopter that Wild Bill had?"
"It's out of action. Have a repair crew come out and fix it." Frank orders as he hangs up. He dials another number and it's answered by his superior.
"What is it, Frank?"
"I need some help, Marc." Frank replies and explains what's happened.
Marc sighs. "Of course, Frank. I'll have a platoon of Knights at your location in about fifteen minutes. Anything else?"
"No. And thanks for the help, Marc."
"You're welcome, old friend. And good luck."
Cassandra sends up a silent prayer. <Oh Goddess. But Frank needs your help.> And she feels a warmth that wasn't there before.
Mount Olympus, Palace of Artemis
Artemis feels Cassandra call to her and quickly passes her hand across a pool of water. She sees a worried Cassandra and an angry Frank Iverson. <He's not angry at Cassandra, but because his children were taken from him.> Artemis nods her head in agreement. <As he should be.>
Artemis thinks back to all of her Amazons still worshiping her and goes to visit one of her more 'interesting' worshipers. <I'm sure that she'll help.>
July 29th - 10:35am PST, 13:35pm EST
Iverson Air, Richmond Office
Tim Knight takes the call from his boss and he sighs in exasperation. Deanna looks at him as he tells her. "Wild Bill got the new Bell Jet Ranger shot up."
"Oh damn. What did the boss say?"
"He didn't care. His kids are more important than some piece of machinery."
"He wants another helicopter there ASAP."
"We're don't have any. Where are you supposed to get one?" Deanna asks as Tim looks out over to the next hanger. Deanna also looks and shudders. "Oh God! Not them, Tim. Please don't call THEM in!"
"They owe us, Deanna, and I'm calling in some of my markers." Tim replies as he walks towards the door. "And see if we have any volunteers who want to help out."
"That'll empty out the hanger!" Deanna complains.
"Probably will." Tim replies as he leaves.
July 29th - 10:40am PST, 13:40pm EST
Standing Estate, Curtis County
Felicia Standing sighs as she looks down at the huge amount of paperwork that her estate and businesses generated on a daily basis. <I wish that Thomas was still alive, he could do this garbage a lot faster than I ever could.> She looks over to the picture of her dead husband and sighs again. <Fifty seven years of marriage and love, Thomas. I hope that I can see you when I pass on.>
"I'm sure that you will see your man again, Felicia." A husky voice replies from the opposite side of the room. Felicia presses a small button under her desk and turns to face the person who had invaded her privacy. When she sees the woman, Felicia's jaw drops in pure shock. "You can't be!" She croaks out as her office doors slam open and Felicia's granddaughter, Melinda rushes in with her security team closely following her.
"Hold it! Assume the position, Bitch!" Melinda orders as the woman turns to Felicia and gives her an amused smile.
"They have good reflexes, Felicia." The woman tells Felicia.
Melinda looks over to her Grandmother and asks. "Who is this woman?"
Felicia gulps and gets up from her desk. She walks in front of her security people and bows before the woman. Melinda, waves her team back as Felicia begins to talk. "Lady Artemis?" The strange woman nods her head. Felicia licks her lips. "What do you want, Lady Artemis?"
Melinda looks on in shock as her Grandmother bows before the strange woman. She looks at the woman's face and realizes that she'd seen her before. Melinda looks around and sees the statue of the Goddess Artemis and she sees the resemblance. <Oh Shit!!> Melinda thinks to herself.
Artemis smiles as she looks over Felicia's grandchildren. <Good, solid Amazon stock. Both the women and the men. > "I need you to help a fellow Amazon."
"Oh? And why should I help this woman?" Felicia demands. "Most of the other Matriarchs consider me a traitor to our traditions because I consider my male children to be the equals of my females."
Artemis sighs in exasperation. "Some things don't ever change." Felicia glares at her. "But I've changed and find your attitude towards the males of your family to be the correct one."
Taken aback by Artemis' admission, Felicia demands. "And what have you done about the old traditions?"
"I've informed all of the Matriarchs, personally, that all males are to be trained as warriors for the Nation." Artemis replies. "And they are to be considered the equals of the women, if they decide to stay in the Nation. I take it that none of the other Matriarchs bothered to tell you this?"
Felicia smiles sadly. "I'm afraid that they don't like talking to me very much. They may find it hard hearing me say 'I told you so'. So, how many men have left the Nation?"
"Surprisingly few." Artemis replies in wonder. "In fact, many of them are sending me prayers, giving me more power on this plane of reality."
"And you use this power for?"
"To help humanity." Artemis replies softly to a shocked Felicia. Felicia glares as Artemis explains. "I've Chosen Champions to represent me on this plane. And the woman that needs your help is one of my Chosen and your sister in spirit."
"She's what!!!?" Felicia roars out in disbelief. Before Artemis can reply, Felicia demands. "What, in the names of the Gods, makes this woman worthy of being one of your Chosen!?"
"By being a powerful warrior witch who has helped save the world several times."
"And this warrior witch has met a situation that she can't handle?" Artemis nods her head. "And how are we supposed to handle this situation?"
"By being the Amazons, both male and female, that I hope you are."
"You are serious about the men, aren't you? What changed your mind, if I may ask."
"Time changes many things." Artemis replies. "I now see how certain men are worthy of my daughters. And how a stable families will make a Nation grow."
"So you finally see that your old ways caused our nation's downfall?"
"When the new Amazon Nation is reborn, all will be equal. The men will have as much voice as the women." Artemis replies softly.
"And this 'Chosen Champion', what of her? Does she have a man."
"Her man is a Knight of the Grail. He holds the rank of Knight Lieutenant with the Order."
Felicia shakes her head in amazement. "And why do they need our help? A Knight Lieutenant can call a hundred Knights and three hundred Squires to himself. Why should we get involved?"
"Because he is going to fight against Brother Harry Tuttle." Artemis replies calmly. "And I would think that you would like to claim his carcass and those of his henchmen for the women and children that he's victimized, abused and murdered."
Felicia Standing stares at Artemis and nods her head in understanding. <At last!! I have the bastard!!> She turns to Melinda and orders. "Get the family together, Melinda! We're going to war!"
July 29th - 10:40am PST, 13:40pm EST
Tim walks over to the next hanger and finds the operations manager. "Hey Mikhal! I need to talk to you!"
"Hey Tim," Mikhal Garozski replies from the engine that he's looking at. "What's up?"
"I need to borrow a helicopter, maybe two for a few days. Can you spare them?"
"Got a problem with that, Tim." Mikhal nervously replies.
"Mikhal, I've helped you in the past and now I'm asking for the help." Tim angrily replies.
"It's not me, Tim." Mikhal replies as an older, short, oriental man walks around the engine. Tim recognizes the man immediately. <Oh Shit!>
"Oh damn! What's he doing here?"
"Periodic inspection." Mikhal replies sheepishly as he looks at his boss.
"Hello, Knight. What brings you to our little hanger?" Fred Chang, the CEO of Black Hawk Air asks as he cleans his hands.
Tim quickly explains what was going on and Fred nods his head. "Of course we'll help. Do you need any extra people?"
"Mr. Chang, thank you." Tim replies as a dozen employees walk forward to lend a hand.
"Frank Iverson may be my main competition, but he's a gentleman who has my respect. If my grand kids were in the same situation, he'd be the first to want to help."
"You couldn't stop him." Tim replies with a grin.
Fred also smiles. "That's why we get along."
July 29th - 11:05am PST, 14:05pm EST
County Route 12, Shiloh County
Digger stares as close to twenty armored HUMVEEs, pull into the field around the downed helicopter. He looks at the hard men and women who were driving the military vehicles and shudders. <All right. This has just gone too far to be real.> Digger turns back to Frank and demands. "Who the hell are all these people!?"
"Some friends I called in to help me. Nothing personal deputy, but I'm not having another Jonestown or Waco happen with my kids in the middle of it." Frank replies as a woman, her dark hair in a long braid running down her back. Her face, slightly round with an olive complexion. Her dark armor makes no noise as she walks up to Frank.
"Hello, Mr. Iverson. The General said that we were to help you with a problem that you were having."
"Thanks for getting here so quickly, Lieutenant?" Frank replies.
"Lieutenant Saundra Whitman, Sir." The woman replies professionally. "The HUMVEEs are armed with a combination of fifty caliber machine guns, TOW missiles and recoilless rifles. We can also call in more serious weapons, if we need them." Saundra sees Bill and his two friends. "And how are you, Sir Bill?"
"Tired, angry and wanting some blood from those bastards, Lieutenant." Bill replies as Stalker and Misha both salute the young looking woman.
Digger stares at the beautiful woman and shudders. <Oh God!! What the hell have we walked into?> He looks at his deputies, all nine of them and realizes that they were seriously outnumbered and outgunned by the new people. >
Sidney stares around him and a lump forms in his throat. <God in heaven, there must be over fifty of them here! How could Frank get them here so quickly?> "Frank?" Sidney asks, getting Frank's attention.
"What is it, Sidney?"
"Frank, where in the name of God, did you get these people from?"
"Made a phone call, Sid. That's all."
"Who did you call? The Pope?"
"No. The Knight General of the Order." Frank replies as several of the Knights begin to laugh softly, especially Bill, Stalker and Misha.
"Frank, I've been your lawyer for almost nine years. Please tell me why they came."
"I'm a Knight Lieutenant in the Order."
"He's a Knight Lieutenant and the Order's Patron's personal champion."
Sidney shakes his head in disbelief. "Oi Vey!! Why am I not surprised at this?"
"Frank, who the hell are these people!?" Clayton Webb demands.
"Friends of mine and Steve's." Frank replies calmly.
"And why are they packing so much firepower!?"
"You know Steve's attitude. 'Always have more firepower than you need and then triple it.'"
Clayton just glares at Frank as Sheriff Campbell drives up and looks around. He walks over to Frank and asks. "Who the hell are these people!?"
"Friends of mine." Frank replies as a Knight walks up to him and salutes him.
"Sir, we have three helicopters approaching at high speed. Their IFFs identify them as Black Hawk Air. Do you want them warned off?"
"No. My operations manager probably borrowed them from Black Hawk. Nothing to worry about." <But why three helicopters?>
July 29th - 11:30 am PST, 14:30 pm EST
County Route 12, Near Brother Harry's Compound
Felicia Standing stares at the road ahead of her and turns to her eldest daughter. "Melissa, we have to get to that compound before those bastards can disappear."
"Because they'll kill everyone they'll leave behind. Especially the women and children."
"Fuck!" David Standing replies from behind his Mother. "What about the local cops?"
"If no one talks, then the local Sheriff can't do anything." Felicia replies as she tightens the strap on her Uzi submachine gun. "And by the time that he finds anything out, it'll be too late for a lot of innocent people."
"And exactly why are we doing this?" Melissa asks.
"Artemis asked for our help. And who are we to argue with her?"
"Mother, are you sure it was Artemis?" David asks.
"Yes, your Mother is sure that I'm Artemis." Artemis replies from the seat next to David. David quickly points his gun at the woman, but keeps his finger off the trigger. "You taught him well, Felicia."
"Thank you, Lady Artemis. Anything new happen?"
"Yes. Some of Frank Iverson's men have tried to rescue the children. They were able to kill eleven of Brother Tuttle's mercenaries before they were forced back."
"How many men did he lose?" Melinda asks from next to Artemis.
"Okay." A shocked Melinda mutters. "Who the hell were they? Grail Knights?"
"Worse." Artemis replies with a quirky smile.
"What could be worse than Grail Knights?" David asks.
"Two former members of GI Joe and a former member of their Russian counterpart, the October Guard who are now Grail Knights."
"Oh fuck! Those guys are certifiable!" David mutters in disbelief. "Where the hell did Iverson get them from?"
"He has a bad tendency to hire former Special Operations people for his air freight service. In fact, ninety five percent of his people would fit into that category. As would the people who work for his main competitor, Black Hawk Air."
"Why are you giving us all this information?" Felicia asks.
"Because Frank had to borrow a few helicopters from Black Hawk Air. When the people working there found out what was going on, a dozen of them volunteered to help Frank, including the CEO of their company."
"And why does this man deserve such loyalty from so many people?" Felicia asks.
"The list is long, Felicia." Artemis replies. "But let us just say that Frank Iverson has helped to save the world a dozen times and he's always been a faithful friend to all he has called friend. One good example would be what happened in November of 1991."
"What happened then?" Felicia asks.
"Frank, along with his partner, Steve St. Wolf, planned, led and executed a raid that caused the deaths of almost three hundred pedophiles and a hundred Libyan Special Forces. They were also able to rescued four hundred, thirty seven children."
"What else is there?" Felicia asks.
"Frank serves two of the Nine, Felicia. You know what that means, don't you?"
"The bearers of Demon and Vampire Slayer." Artemis replies. "You should also know, the future Queen of the Amazon Nation also serves with them."
"As what?" Felicia demands, not liking hearing the words Amazon Queen and serve in the same sentence.
"As a friend and confidant. She's also teaching my other Chosen the old fighting styles."
"How many 'Chosen' have you created?" Melinda asks.
"At this time, including Cassandra, seven. But I'm also looking at a few more women whom I wish to Chose."
"Why are you 'Choosing' these women?" Felicia asks.
"Because of what they do. Very few women or men want to do what they do on a regular basis."
"What do they do?"
"They all fight vampires and demons on a regular basis." Artemis replies softly. "I saw what they were doing with very little training and normal strength. I watched one of them stand and fight a dozen vampires to rescue an innocent. She would have died that night if I hadn't rescued her. I saw in her what I wanted in all of my Amazons. Courage, a willingness to help the innocent and most of all, a fierce and strong Will that no one could subvert. I saw all this in the first of my new Chosen and wanted to help them in their fight."
"Gods help us all. You Chose a group of women to fight vampires? Are you nuts?" David demands. "Those things are killers! I've fought one once and it cost me five good men and women!"
Artemis snickers. Felicia shakes her head. "Just how strong are they?"
"As strong as any three men. They've also been trained by one of the deadliest warriors in the world."
"And this warrior is?" Melinda asks.
"Steve St. Wolf. But you may know his other name. The Wanderer." Artemis replies as Melissa loses control of the SUV for a second. David and Melinda also stare at the Goddess in shock.
"I see that my son, daughter and granddaughter all recognize the name. Who is this Wanderer?" <And why wasn't I told of him!?>
"A nutcase!" David mutters angrily. "He does the most insane missions for the CIA, MI6. and the French Secret Service. One of my sources in Paris told me that he and the Black Widow once killed a hundred men and women to recover four nukes. And you have this man teaching your Chosen? Are you nuts, Lady Artemis?"
"No, I'm not insane. I find him to be one of the kindest, most caring men that I have ever known. He treats my Chosen as his equals and considers them to be a part of his extended family. And, I'm happy to say this, the men who serve him take after him. My Chosen have taken them for their mates and I find them to be good consorts for them."
"Kind and caring are not the words that I would use to describe the Wanderer."
"He once had another name, David. One that you are very familiar with." Artemis softly replies. "But he buried that name with the loved one that he lost."
"Who was he?" David asks.
"Does the name Carson Jamieson bring back any memories?" Artemis asks as David's face turns white as he remembers a man who he respected and followed during his military career.
"He can't be alive! I saw his death certificate and pictures of the body! He was dead!" David rasps out. "I attended the funeral that Cordell Walker held for him."
"He's an Immortal, isn't he?" Felicia asks.
"That death in Detroit was his first death. His teacher is known to you, Felicia."
"Who is it?"
"Duncan MacLeod. Another man of honor and courage who tries to live by the codes of Chivalry."
"My antiques dealer is also an Immortal? It figures." Felicia replies with a dry chuckle. "What sort of man is he?"
"Steve, as he's called now, is a good man. All of his friends complain about his 'Boy Scout' tendencies." Artemis begins to laugh softly.
"Carson hasn't changed has he?" David asks softly as the feelings that he had for the man who led him on forty six missions.
"No he hasn't." Artemis replies. "Women and men will still follow where he leads, David. Now he's one of the Nine and teaches the woman that he loves the ways of command."
"And this woman that he loves? Is she one of your Chosen?" Felicia asks.
"No. She's an Immortal who now carries Vampire Slayer."
"How many more of the Nine has come back?" Felicia asks.
"Three." Artemis replies. "Excalibur, Justice and Seeker have been found."
"And the rest?" David asks.
"They will appear as they are destined to appear. I can not say more." Artemis replies as the SUV reaches the outskirts of Brother Harry Tuttle's Holy Land Compound.
"We're here. Are you going to stay? We may not be able to hold them if they attack in force." Felicia asks.
"I can not interfere directly in mortal affairs. But don't worry, your help is on it's way." Artemis replies as she disappears.
"I just bet it is." David wryly replies as he gets out of the car and begins to order the Standing family warriors to their positions.
Jasper shakes his head as one of his lookouts informs him. "Jasper, I'm telling you, man that someone called in the freaking army!! About twenty HUMVEES are at the site where you had that shot out and I don't think that these people will be playing nice with you when they get to the compound."
"What about the three who shot us up? Did they show up?"
"Yeah, they reported to the same guy who the Army guys reported to. Whoever he is, even Sheriff Campbell is staying cool around him."
"Describe the man." Jasper orders.
"About six three, maybe four about as tall as Digger Rascal. He's wearing an expensive black suit that looks like one of those things that a Yankee lawyer or mafia guy from New York would wear. He's got some woman with him. Dark hair, deep tan, also well dressed in a dark blue pants suit. And let me tell you, Jasper, even Digger is staying clear of this guy. And you know that crazy hillbilly ain't scared of anything!"
"Damn. What the hell do they want with us?" Jasper wonders as Annette keeps quiet and doesn't say a word as she wonders.
<Frank has called in the Army? Who hasn't that bastard paid off!?>
Will and Heather exchange smiles as they hear of what their Father was doing. "Looks like Mom was right. Dad is one scary guy when he has to be." Will whispers to his sister.
"Yeah." A very scared Heather replies as the Hummer pulls into the compound owned by Brother Tuttle's Missionary of the Blessed Light Church.
July 29th - 11:55 am PST, 14:55 pm EST
Shiloh County, VA
Jasper's Hummer pulls to a stop in front of a white suited man who looked like Colonel Sanders. The man was cooling himself with his white hat as he spoke to a large, blond man dressed in fatigues like Jasper. Annette smiles in relief as Brother Harry opens the door for her and helps her down out of the car. "Ahh, Sister Annette. It is so good of you to come and visit with us."
"Thank you for having us, Brother Harry." Annette replies with a smile as she stands next to him. "You remember my grandchildren? William and Heather?"
Harry watches as Heather climbs out of the Hummer and his breath catches in his throat. He feels his penis harden as he imagines the things he was going to do with Heather in the very near future. <Oh yes!! I am definitely going to have some fun with this one!>
"Sister Annette, I'm going to have you put into our 'special' visitors' wing. I hope that the accommodations meet with your approval." <I'm sure that you won't be feeling much pain when we start.>
"Of course, Brother Harry." Annette replies with a genuine smile as she's lead away by one of Brother Harry's assistants. When Annette's out of ear shot, Harry asks.
"What the hell happened back there!?"
"Don't know, Sir." Jasper replies. "But I would suggest getting ready to move out if what Truman told me is right."
"Damn it all to hell!" Brother Harry curses softly after Jasper finishes his report. "Who the hell are these people?"
"Don't know, Sir. But I would make plans to quickly get out of here."
"What do you think, Jans?" Harry asks the tall, blonde mercenary standing next to him.
"I think that Jasper may be right. Let's get everything that we can carry easily into the trucks and get out of here. We can take the good looking women, girls, and boys and kill the rest when we leave and burn the buildings."
"Seems like a waste. But I think that you're both right." Harry replies as a gate guard screams out as he runs up to the small group.
"What is it, Eddie?" Jans asks as the guard comes to a running stop.
"Cars, lots of cars surrounding us!" Eddie reports. "People with a lot of guns are standing behind them!"
Jans looks at Jasper. "Could it be them?"
"Nah, it's too quick. I figured we had at least thirty minutes before they got here." Jasper replies as he, Jans and Brother Harry walk towards the gate. Jasper sees the large number of SUVs and notes. "Those people had military HUMVEES, not Ford Explorers and Chevy Trail Blazers. Who the hell are they?"
"Well, one way to find out." Jans replies as he grips the pistol grip of his MP5. He walks forward and demands. "You people are on private property. You are ordered to leave immediately!"
July 29th - 12:20 pm PST, 15:20 pm EST
Shiloh County, VA
Felicia watches as Jans walks forward and likes his physique. "Damn but he looks like good breeding stock." Felicia mutters. "But I can do without his choice of friends." She listens as the man orders them to leave. Felicia turns to Melinda and orders. "Put a shot between his legs."
"On it." Melinda replies as she lifts her H&K G3 battle rifle to her shoulder and fires off a three round burst.
Jans watches in horror as a woman, about six feet tall, dark brown hair tied to ponytail, lifts a G3 rifle and fires it. He looks down and sees three little puffs of dust between his legs and he gulps. <Okay. These people are not leaving.> Jans then sees that six of the SUVs were blocking the road preventing anyone from leaving the compound. <And it looks like we aren't either.> Jans slowly walks backwards until he's at the gate and then quickly turns around, putting some concrete between himself and the heavily armed men and women.
"What happened out there, Jans?" Harry asks.
"We're stuck here." Jans reports. "They're not letting us out of here."
"Who the hell are they?" Harry asks.
"I don't know. Want to go out there and ask them?" Jans replies as he begins to order his men to prepare for a siege. "Jasper, get the men together and issue everyone weapons and extra ammo. Also lock down all of the people who we can't trust. Looks like we're going to be stuck here until we can get out."
"Yes, Sir!" Jasper replies as he snaps to attention and then breaks and runs to the guards' barracks.
"Harry, I suggest you get everything together and get ready to destroy it, if you need to. Also transfer all of the accounts to the off shore accounts."
"All right, Jans." Harry replies as he prepares to destroy his 'collection' and save as much of his money as he can. He looks over the people surrounding his compound and he feels an urge in his loins when he spots all of the beautiful women aiming guns at him. <Damn, but they're all babes! Too bad we can't capture them and use them all for a massive rape video.>
July 29th - 12:15 am PST, 15:15 pm EST
Empty Field, Route 12
Shiloh County, VA
Frank watches as the three black and blue colored Bell Jet Rangers land in a cleared spot near the HUMVEES. Frank grins as two dozen heavily armed men climb out of the helicopters. He walks forward and gathers up an older, oriental man with a mustache in a hug. "Thanks for helping, Fred." Frank tells his main competitor, good friend and golf partner.
"You couldn't keep me away, Frank." Fred Chang replies with a nervous glance around him. "Okay, Pilgrim. Who the hell are the people in the armor?"
"Ever heard of the Knights of the Order of the Grail?" Franks asks with a small smile.
"Of course, but they don't exist." Fred replies as he sees the Grail symbol openly displayed on the armor of the woman standing next to Frank. He shakes his head and sighs. "Okay. They exist. So, why the hell are they here?"
"I called in a few favors that the Knight General owed me." Frank replies. "I want my children back and I will do anything to get them back safe and sound."
"I would have done the same thing." Fred replies softly. "Family is important and one's children should always be treasured and loved."
Tim walks up to Frank and stands at attention. Frank notices him and nods his head. "Report."
"Yes, Sir." Tim replies as he counts off the assets that he's brought. "We have fourteen Iverson Air and twelve Black Hawk Air Operatives on site and ready, Sir. All are armed with personally preferred weapons and each has an average of fifteen years service in various Special Operations units."
"Very good, Tim." Frank replies as he turns back to Lieutenant Whitman. "Saundra, I'll detail a few of my people and the Black Hawks to go with you on the ground."
"Not a problem, Sir." Saundra replies as she looks over the two groups. <Damn! And I thought the Order had some mean bastards working for them.>
Frank nods his head and yells out. "Let's mount up and move out! We've got a bunch of people to save!"
Frank grimaces when Wild exclaims. "Yeeeeaaa Haaaa!! That's telling them, Frank!"
"I am definitely hanging out too much with Steve." Frank mutters as Cassandra escorts him to a helicopter.
"True." Cassandra replies. "But you love every minute that you spend with him."
"Well he is the closest thing I have to a brother." Frank replies. "And Dana and Mulder are pretty close to me as well."
"How close?" Cassandra asks.
"She's like a sister and I like her husband a lot. He's not like Charles and Bill who did their best to distance themselves from me. If he was with Dana when I was being charged, he would have stood by me like she and Melissa did." Frank replies with a warm smile as he realizes something. "Gods, I actually have a family."
"And it's a big one." Sidney replies with a smile as he walks with Frank and Cassandra. As one, they turn and look at Webb who's looking around him, seemingly lost, but not.
"Hey, Webb! You coming or what?" Frank yells out.
"Yeah." Webb replies absentmindedly but quickly walks over to the Bell Jet Ranger with Frank and the rest.
As they sit down in the helicopter, Webb asks. "Frank, can I ask one question?"
"Those people in the armor. Who are they?"
"Imagine a covert operations group that has existed for fifteen hundred years." Frank replies. "People know it exists, but they don't talk about it."
Webb thinks about it for a second, and nods his head in understanding. "Okay. I can except that. But why are they here?"
"They owe me a few favors." Frank replies easily.
"I'm not going to ask." Webb replies as he sits back. "What about the local, State and Federal authorities.
"They'll be taken care of." Frank replies softly. "Believe me."
"Frank, you are too well connected, you do realize that." Webb replies carefully.
"I'll do what I need to do to get my children back." Frank replies as Webb nods his head in agreement.
"And I'll make sure that I can pull as many strings as I can."
"That's a given, Clayton." Cassandra replies with a warm smile. <I'm definitely having a talk with Heather when I get back to New York. Webb deserves to have a life like Frank and I have.>
July 29th - 12:45 am PST, 15:45 pm EST
Shiloh County, VA
Felicia looks up as the three helicopters buzz the compound. She watches as the Blue and Black Bell Jet Rangers land near her road block and a group of men and a woman exit the lead helicopter. Felicia watches the sole woman walk up to her with the lithe grace of a hunting cat. <That must Artemis' Chosen one. I can see why she Chose this one. I hope that the rest are a lot like her.>
"Oh Goddess! That's Cassandra Hastings!" Melinda mutters under her breath. "What the hell is she doing here?"
"That's the woman that Artemis Chose."
"But she's a fantasy writer." David replies quietly. "A damn good one, but still, what the hell is Artemis thinking?"
"She's a fighter." Felicia tells her two eldest. "And that man next to her is also a deadly warrior." <I wonder what sort of children they'll have? Probably deadly fighters all. I wonder if I'll live long enough to steer a few of my great grandchildren to them?>
Both David and Melinda watch the pair closely and see the tell tale signs and both nod their heads in agreement. These two were proven fighters.
Frank looks out over the countryside and sees that someone had already surrounded the compound that was holding his children. "Who the hell!?"
Cassandra feels a tickle in her mind as Artemis tells her. // Those are your brothers and sisters, Cassandra. They're lead by Felicia Standing, the Matriarch of one of the largest Amazon clans in the United States. //
"They're here for me, Frank." Cassandra tells him. Frank looks at her and points up. Cassandra nods her head. Frank sighs as he orders.
"Put the helicopter down behind the roadblock. Those people are friends."
"Shall I inform the convoy?" Wild Bill asks as he glides the helicopter down.
"Do it." Frank orders as the helicopter lands. He gets out with Cassandra, closely followed by Fred Chang, Webb and Sidney. "Damn, but there are a lot of them. How many?"
// Two hundred and four men and women. // Artemis tells Cassandra.
"Two hundred and four, Frank." Cassandra tells Frank as they walk up to an older woman. "Felicia Standing?" Cassandra asks as the older woman nods her head.
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Miss Hastings. Your reputation proceeds you."
"As does yours, Miss Standing. And it's Cassandra, by the way. Our mutual friend speaks highly of you and your family."
"That's good to hear, Cassandra." Felicia replies with a smile. <Artemis speaks directly to her?> "And, please call me Felicia. I take it that this little situation is being led by your man here?"
"It is." Cassandra replies. "Please allow me to introduce you to Frank Iverson. He's in command of our combined group."
Felicia looks Frank up and down and likes what she sees. "I have no problems with Frank being in command, so long as we have a confirmed chain of command."
"The command chain is as follows," Frank informs Felicia. "I'm in command, Cassandra is my second, you command your people and you're fourth in the command line."
"Who's third in command?" Felicia asks with a glare.
"Knight Lieutenant Saundra Whitman. I hope you don't have a problem with her being third and commanding the fifty Grail Knights with her?"
"No. I don't." Felicia replies, understanding Frank's choices. <He has no prejudice against women fighters!? I can see why Artemis respects him.> "When are the Grail Knights going to show up?"
Frank looks at Wild Bill who reports. "About ten minutes, Ma'am. They're speeding up Route 12 and should make it without any problems. The Sheriff's deputies are doing point and drag, escorting them up here."
"Good." Frank mutters as he looks around the compound. He sees the three rows of electrified fencing topped with razor wire and grimaces. He looks over the layout and nods his head in understanding.
"What is it, Frank?"
"This place was made to withstand a siege." Frank replies. "But they only planned on local and Federal cops."
"In other words, they only planned for the kind of people who don't know what the hell they're doing. The FBI and the local police forces being controlled by the Agent-in-Charge." Felicia replies, knowing how the Federal authorities operated.
"Pretty much." Frank replies as he looks at the guard towers and smiles evilly. "Cinder blocks? Cheap and stupid idiots."
"We could cut through them at an angle with an M-60." David replies with a smile. "That would cause them to collapse in on themselves."
Frank looks closely at David. "Did you ever serve with a nutcase boy scout? That's one of his signature moves."
"I served with Cherokee." David confirms. "Is he really still alive?"
"Yeah, he's still alive. A lot of bad people don't like that fact, but then he doesn't care much about them."
"Is he going to be here?"
"No, he's busy on a mission. He won't be back for a few days."
"What sort of mission is this man on?" Felicia asks.
Frank looks at Cassandra who nods her head. "He went to stop a madman from releasing a mutated form of the Ebola virus."
"Dear Goddess." Felicia mutters in disbelief. "Were they successful?"
"They were." Frank replies sadly. "But now Steve's burying a man who died helping him."
"Who?" Melinda asks.
"A Grail Knight who was a close friend to the both of us. Steve's burying him next to his wife of thirty five years."
Felicia nods her head in understanding. "A good leader. I can see why David followed that man to hell and back."
"How many terrorists did they manage to kill?" David asks.
"According to Steve told me a few days ago," Frank begins. "He and his team took out the Swords of Allah terrorist group, about two hundred members. As they were leaving, they were attacked by the Libyan Third Border Guards. They took out over nine hundred of them as they were leaving Libya."
"Dear Goddess." Melinda whispers. "Who the hell was with him? The entire Marine Corps?"
"Two hundred Grail Knights and twenty members of his Section Seven core team."
"And only one man died?" David asks in shock, remembering his missions with Carson 'Cherokee' Jamieson.
"Pretty much that's about it." Frank replies. "But the French Foreign Legion did lend a helping hand at the end."
"And how did he get them to help?" Felicia asks wondering. <If this man is one of the Nine, then we're off to a good start.>
"Just asked politely." Frank replies with a smile as Felicia shakes her head in disbelief.
Felicia looks at her son and quietly tells him. "David, I want a full report on this man when we get back home."
"Of course, Mother." David replies softly. "But you wouldn't believe half of what I'm going to tell you."
"I think that I might." Felicia replies as a large convoy of military vehicles enters the road leading up to the religious compound. "Looks like our reinforcements made it in."
"And they're loaded for some heavy fighting." David mutters as he sees the TOW launchers and recoilless rifles mounted on the HUMVEEs. "Think they brought enough weapons?"
"You know the policy." Frank replies.
"Always carry more firepower than the enemy." David mutters under his breath. Melinda just shakes her head in disbelief.
"Who the hell came up with that one?" Felicia asks.
"United States Special Forces. It's the first line in their training manual." Frank replies as Knight Lieutenant Whitman walks up to him.
"What are our positions, Sir?" She asks politely, looking over Felicia and her family, liking what she saw. <I hope a few of them join up. We could always use more women fighters in the Order.>
"Move into position with Miss Standing's people, Lieutenant." Frank orders.
"What's the chain of command, Sir." Saundra asks as turns back to Frank.
"I'm in overall command, Lieutenant, then my Lady, then you and then Miss Standing."
"What about local law enforcement?" Saundra asks as Sheriff Campbell walks up.
July 29th - 13:05 am PST, 16:05 pm EST
Shiloh County, VA
Sheriff Campbell watches as the HUMVEEs took up positions along side what he thought of as civilian vehicles. < Okay, who the hell are THESE people now!?> He walks up to Frank and calmly asks. "Mr. Scully, I can't have you do this! There are legal procedures that we have to follow."
Digger looks around himself and quietly thanks God. <Dear God in Heaven, I'm glad that you didn't let me piss off this Scully guy.>
"Hey Digger." One of the deputies whispers to him. Digger glares at the grinning man who points out. "Man. What a load of babes." Digger looks around and finally notices one of the women who was with the new group.
"Oh damn!" Digger mutters in disbelief as he recognizes one of the women. <Barbara Standing!? What the hell is the debutante queen of Curtis county doing here and carrying a damn assault rifle!?>
Frank turns as Sheriff Campbell walks up to him.
"Mr. Scully, I can't have you do this! There are legal procedures that we have to follow."
"Sheriff, I want my children back and from what I see, your department can't handle the situation here. And if you're thinking of calling the Federal authorities, then you'll have an even worse situation here."
"Mr. Scully. I can't let you do this." Sheriff Campbell repeats himself as he reaches for his sidearm. He freezes when he sees that he's covered by twenty assault rifles. "What are you going to do, Mr. Scully?"
"Nothing to hurt you or your deputies, Sheriff. I could never hurt innocent people who were only trying to do their duty." Frank replies as he hand signals that the rifles be put down. "But get in my way and I'll have you and your deputies tied up and put someplace safe for the duration."
Sheriff Campbell nods his head in understanding as Webb walks up to him and shows him his identification. Campbell reads the card and begins to shake as he looks around himself. "You're CIA!?" He demands as his deputies all swallow hard.
"Yes, we are." Webb replies.
"Frank's part of our family, Sheriff. Do I need to explain it any better?"
"No, you don't." The Sheriff replies softly. He looks over to his deputies and sees that they also understood. Family was family. Hurt one and you have the rest come after you. Police officers thought the same way when one of theirs was threatened, hurt or killed. "We'll keep the media out and make sure that you and yours have a chance to do what you need to do. But fuck up and I'll have your balls!"
"We won't." Frank replies with conviction. "But don't expect Brother Tuttle or any of his goons to survive."
"What did they do?"
Frank sighs as Felicia Standing steps forward. "Harry Tuttle and his goons are criminals and murderers of the worst sort! I have evidence that they make most of their money from child pornography and snuff films. When he sets up shop in a community, he gets the gullible and foolish to become part of his 'church'. Over the course of his stay, he abuses them and, when he's finally through with them, he films their deaths and sells the movies to other sick perverts."
"And where is this evidence?"
"I'll have copies brought out here. But understand this Sheriff, none of this evidence was gathered legally. None of it would be allowed into court and that piece of shit would walk!"
"I can live with you killing that puke and his goons. Just show me the evidence and me and my men will back you all the way."
"Very good, Sheriff." Felicia replies as she turns to Frank. "May one of my people have use of a helicopter?" Frank nods his head as Felicia turns to one of her grand daughters. "Diana." The young woman in question steps forward. "Go to the house and get the Sheriff his evidence." The young woman nods her head as Frank orders.
"Wild Bill! You're her pilot!" Wild Bill nods his head and quickly jogs to the lead helicopter.
Everyone watches as they take off and Frank turns back to Sheriff Campbell. "Any more questions, Sheriff?"
"For now, no." Sheriff Campbell softly replies as he watches the helicopter take off. <If what they're saying is true, then a lot of people around here won't be coming home.>
Wild Bill looks over at the young woman sitting next to him in his helicopter. He grins as he asks. "Been doing this for a while?"
"It's a family tradition, going back a long way." Diana replies quietly. "How about you?"
"Always wanted to be one of the good guys. My father, granddad and great granddads were Texas Rangers, but I didn't want to become a cop. I wanted to fly." Wild Bill replies with a smile as he remembers his first flight in a crop duster. "That's why I joined the Army and when they wouldn't let me fly anymore, I joined Frank. Been doing good most of my life."
Diana looks over to the cowboy hatted pilot and smiles slightly. <He's a bit old, but I think that Grandma would let me have him.> "What did you do in the Army?"
"A bit of this, a bit of that. Nothing really special." Wild Bill replies with a cocky grin.
"A bit of this, a bit of that. Nothing really special?" Diana repeats with a smile. "My uncle David always said that when I asked what he did in the Army. And he was Special Forces."
Wild Bill just grins like a fool as Diana smiles at him. <Dang! But this little filly may actually like my old carcass.> "So, what are your plans after we finish this little brouhaha?"
"Finding out if a certain pilot in a cowboy hat is as cute in real life as he is trying to save a bunch of innocent people." Diana replies with a sly smile. "So, what's your name, cowboy?"
"William S. Brady. But most people just call me Wild Bill." Wild Bill replies with a grin. "So, what's yours, little Lady?"
"Diana Standing." Diana replies. "But you're going to have to learn some ground rules if you're going to date me."
"And those are?"
"First, never refer to me as little lady, the little missus or anything cutesy like that."
"Not a problem. I've worked with woman fighters before. Scarlet, Lady Jaye, Cover Girl and Jinx never went in for that stuff either from their boyfriends. Unless it was an undercover mission. Otherwise, they'd deck the poor slob." Bill replies with a grin.
Diana giggles as she replies. "Rule two. You don't own me, I don't own you. But I do expect you to be truthful to me."
"And rule three?" Bill asks, liking the woman sitting next to him. <No bullshitting with this one. She lays it all on the table.>
"If I get pregnant, the child is mine, but you can have visitation rights."
The helicopter suddenly jerks as Wild Bill goes. "What the hell!?"
Diana grins mischievously. "That got your attention, flyboy?"
"Damn straight it did!" Bill growls out as he levels out the helicopter.
"Good! Now you know that I can shock you." Diana replies with a giggle. "And yes, Standing women don't bullshit their men. And we expect the same from our men."
Wild Bill nods his head as he asks. "What about my age? I'm easily twenty years older than you are."
"Won't matter. My family is very open about relationships. And you being older shouldn't bother anyone, least of all my Grandmother."
"What do they care about?"
"Breeding. Whether you're a good fighter and a good man. Our family wants to grow and remain strong and the only way we can do that is by finding such men and women and having children with them."
"Why do you do this?" Bill asks, uncomfortable with the conversation.
"We're Amazons, Bill. You should know this before we start dating. And, if we do have any children together, they'll be raised as Amazons. Both the boys and the girls. The Standing family believes in equality."
"Like the ones on Xena?" Bill asks in surprise.
"Yes, a lot like them." Diana replies as she tells Bill about the history of the Amazons in hiding. After she finishes, she sees her home coming up. "That's the Standing Estate, Bill. Just land in front where you have room. I'll only be a few minutes."
Bill quickly lands the helicopter and watches as the young woman leaves his helicopter. He breathes a sigh of relief as the five guards, two women, three men, lowered their assault rifles as Diana passed them. He silently sits in the cockpit of the helicopter, thinking about what he had just learned. <Oh God! But this is incredible! That girl's family is descended from one of the last five hundred real Amazons.> He looks around and smiles as he looks at the estate. <At least they made themselves a decent living here.> He then looks at the five guards and sees a definite family resemblance between them all and wonders. <I wonder if Scarlett, Lady Jay, Cover Girl or Jinx are related to any of the other Amazons?> Bill's train of thought is interrupted as Diana and several others bring out several large cases. He watches as they put them into the helicopter. When they finish, Diana and another woman get in and Bill quickly powers up.
As they're flying away, Bill asks. "What's in the cases, Diana?"
"The evidence that that Sheriff needs to see." Diana explains. "My Aunt Cynthia gathered most of it and she wants to be there to take that bastard down personally, if she can."
"Yes, that bad." Cynthia replies over the headphones. "And when I have that bastard, I'll kill him slowly for what he did to my lover."
Bill sighs and shakes his head. "I hope you don't do something stupid that'll make me shoot you, Ma'am. Because if you do anything to threaten my boss's kids, I won't hesitate to take you out."
"Is that a threat, Cowboy?" Cynthia demands as Diana looks on, worried.
"No, Ma'am, it's a fact of life. My boss's kids are in there and we *WILL* get them and any other innocent people out of there before we even think about doing shit like that. And if you want my opinion, just shoot the damn piece of shit between the eyes and get on with your life. Crap like Tuttle doesn't deserve the satisfaction of dragging us down to their sick level."
Diana moves her head between her aunt and the man that she was interested in, hoping that neither would kill the other. She looks back at her aunt as the older woman's lips begin to form the first real smile that Diana had seen in a long time. Cynthia looks at Diana and tells her softly. "You have a good man here, Diana. He has his priorities straight. Snag him now before your sisters and cousins have a chance at him."
"Are all the women in your family like this?" Bill asks Diana.
"They are." Diana replies smugly. "Scared yet?"
"Ye I walk in the valley of the shadows, fearing no evil." Bill quotes with a lopsided grin as Diana smacks his shoulder. Bill grins back at her as Diana begins to giggle at Bill's joke.
"You two will definitely be a good couple." Cynthia replies softly, so that neither can hear her. "It's always good to see the family grow."
"Did you bring Cassandra and my extra armor, Lieutenant?" Frank asks Lieutenant Whitman.
"Of course, Sir. It's in my vehicle."
"Very good. I'll change into mine first, then Cassandra." Frank replies as a man walks forward under a white flag. "Let him through." Frank orders. The man walks forward and tells them.
"Brother Harry wishes to speak with the man in charge of you people."
"That would be me." Frank replies.
"Who are you?"
Frank bristles at the improper way the man was talking to him. "My name is Frank Scully. He'll know the name."
"Brother Harry will speak with you then." The man replies as he looks at all of the armed people around him.
"He should have come forward himself then." Frank comments.
"He don't trust you people." The man replies.
"And we should trust him!?" Frank asks in disbelief. <This bastard is full of himself.>
"Brother Harry is a man of God and his word is sacred!" The man replies in distaste. "He would never harm anyone."
"That's why he's got a small army of goons for." Felicia Standing replies acidly. The man stares at her, not liking her attitude.
"Women should know their places and keep quiet until they are spoken to." The man snidely tells Felicia. He quickly shuts up when every weapon in sight, from the women and the men, points at him. He gulps and looks around himself, scared. He looks at Frank who tells him. "We're not going to harm you. But I suggest you quickly walk back to your boss and tell him that I'll give him my terms in about five minutes."
"Yes, Sir." The man replies as he quickly walks back to the compound.
Once there, Tuttle demands. "Well, Cletus? What did they say?
"Their leader, a man named Frank Scully, will come out in five minutes and speak with you, Brother Harry." Cletus happily replies. "Did I do good, Brother Harry?"
"You did good, Cletus. Now go and have some rest in your room." Brother Harry orders as Jans joins him.
"Can I have some fun, Brother Harry?" Cletus as softly. "There was a hell bitch with them and she made me angry. Can I teach one of the bitches here a lesson?"
"Not right now, Cletus." Harry replies as Jans glares at Cletus. Cletus quickly scrambles back to his room, getting far away from the mercenary leader. When Cletus is gone, Harry quietly explodes. "That damn bitch! That's her freakin' son in law! Why didn't she warn me about this guy!?" Brother Harry seethes. "Should we kill Scully when he comes out?"
"Wait and see, Harry." Jans replies as he watches the lines surrounding the compound. "Think we can talk our way out of this?"
"Don't know. I wonder who the hell these people with Scully are. I don't see a single Agency or Bureau jacket among them."
"Well we'll find out in about three minutes." Jans replies as he watches the silent group looking back at him.
Sidney watches, a tear in his eye, as Frank puts on his Grail armor. <Oh God in Heaven, my Father is definitely smiling down at this sight. Me, Sidney Meyers, lawyer to the Gentiles, now helping one of the men that he would proud to call friend and savior.> When Frank finishes, Sidney asks. "What now, Frank?"
"I go and talk with the piece of slime holding my children." Frank replies as he steps out from behind the HUMVEE. The people manning the walls of the compound see Frank walk forward. One of them calls out. "Brother Harry! Jans! He's coming!
Joey Mitchell stares out at the field that surrounds the compound and shivers in his flak jacket. <I can't believe that this job went to shit so fucking fast! Who the hell did we piss off?> He looks through his telescope that his station had and looks at the man who just stepped out. <Guy's wearing some sort of armor. Bet it's fuckin' bullet proof.> He moves the scope to the man's face and his blood runs cold. <Oh Fuck! It can't be him! Not him!> Joey looks around and spots Brother Harry and Jans and runs to where they're standing.
Jans looks over the field in front of the compound and shudders in disbelief as the man approaches the entrance to the compound. Jans stares as the man literally carried an air of command with him. Jans subconsciously straightens himself out. "Who the fucking hell is this guy? How the hell did he call in all this support in less than an hour?"
Harry also looks over the jeep mounted machine guns, TOW missiles and recoilless rifles, all manned by men and women who made his mercenaries look like weak armed wimps. "I don't know, Jans. But it looks like we're going to find out." Harry replies as a man in dark armor walks forward towards their guard tower. No white flag is present but both know that if they shot at him, their lives would be quickly forfeit. Harry's eyes squinch as they look at the familiar pattern of the armor. "Jans!?" Harry hisses out as he recognizes the pattern of the armor.
"What is it, Harry?"
"The armor! He's one of the THEM!!" Harry replies as Jans' eyes open in shock as he remembers the drawing that a friend showed him just before he disappeared.
"The old bitch told me he was dead. Maybe he joined up with them after he 'died'. Wouldn't be the first dead bastard in covert ops." Harry mutters in shock as he looks over the field again with a new slant on the situation. "I'll bet that he's one of their fucking commanders from the way those people are reacting to him." Both men turn as one of the mercenaries rushes over.
"What is it, Joey?" Jans asks
"Do you know who the hell that guy is?" Joey asks, breathless from the run.
"A guy named Frank Scully." Harry replies neutrally.
"That's not his name!" Joey replies in open fear. Both of his leaders glare at him in anger and the mercenary continues in a low voice. "I ran into him about ten years ago. That's Frank 'Two Step' Iverson!"
Jans jerks and stares down at Frank. Now, real fear showed on his face as he looked at Harry. "Who is this guy, Jans?" Harry asks quietly.
"Death, Harry. Death. This guy's a fucking killing machine that nothing can stop. And, if we do stop him somehow, his friends will come looking for us and they're just as fucking deadly." Jans replies slowly, his voice slightly quivering.
"Steve St. Wolf, also known as 'The Wanderer'. And he's not the fucking merry kind of Wanderer. Casey Romaine. The rag heads call him El Katil, it means 'The Killer'. And they don't give that nickname lightly. There's also Nils Barabbus and others who'll come and hunt us down."
"I think we're in deep shit." Harry mutters under his breath as the dark armored man walks forward and demands.
"I want my children back!! I want their Grandmother and any other innocents you're holding here as well! If any of them are hurt, this entire place will be burned to the ground and you bastards will be buried in the fucking ashes!!"
"Can we talk about this?" Harry yells out.
"Those are the conditions! You have fifteen minutes!" Frank replies as he walks away, turning his back to the mercenaries manning the walls, gates and watch towers.
Jans turns to Harry and asks. "Well?"
"We can't!" Harry replies as he puts down his binoculars. "The minute we give up our hostages, that's when they have us. And I don't think that we'll be walking away from this one, Jans."
"What do you want to do?"
"Use the hostages and try to force our way out of here." Harry replies as he tries to think of any other alternative. "Unless you can think of something else?"
"No, not really." Jans replies as he looks over the lines of vehicles present. "I sure don't want to face those TOW launchers, recoilless rifles or fifty caliber machine guns."
"Then we go ahead with the plan as it stands?"
"We'll do it." Jans replies as he calls out. "Jasper!" Jasper rushes forward and snaps to attention. Jans then orders. "Put in the FBI plan into action, Jasper. We're leaving here."
"What about Scully's kids and their Grandmother?" Jasper asks.
"Put the kids on the hood of the lead Hummer." Brother Harry orders. "The Grandmother on the rear of the last Hummer."
"I'll call Truman and have the plane made ready. By the time that they can get anything flying, we'll be out of US air space." Brother Harry replies. <And I'm taking Scully's children with me! He can have the rest and that Cauldwell bitch!>
Annette glares at her two grandchildren and berates them. "All of this is your faults!! How could you side with that murdering maniac is beyond me! Haven't I raised you to be good and obedient children!! Oh God!! How could this all go so wrong, so quickly!!" Annette screams out.
She then looks out the window and sees Frank standing at the gate and ordering Brother Harry around. "It's all his fault!! That low born, half breed demon spawn of a Scully!! Oh I'll have my revenge on him!!! He will know that I am not a woman to be trifled with!!" Annette cries out as she stalks to the door and tries to open it. She quickly finds out that it's locked from the outside. "Why is this door locked!!??" Annette screams out. A panel by the door opens and a guard tells them.
"Because we can't let you out while we have the forces of the Anti-Christ surrounding the compound."
"What the hell are you talking about!?" Annette demands. "That's Frank Scully out there! He's a low born son of an Irish bitch, but he's not the Anti-Christ!"
"Them the orders that Brother Harry gave. Live with them, lady." The guard replies with a gleam in his eye as he spots Heather. <Damn! But that's a nice piece of ass. I hope she lives long enough for me to fuck her!>
"How dare you!! Do you know who I am!!?" Annette screams out.
"Some rich old bitch that Harry conned?" The man replies with a laugh. "I hope you enjoy pain, bitch. Because you will have a lot of it, soon."
Annette stares at the panel as it slides in place. She seethes in righteous indignation as she turns to Will and Heather and tells them in a low voice filled with venom. "HE did this! That bastard that you call Father did all this to ME!!"
"Did what, Grandmother." Will asks in confusion. <What is it with Grandma? She's acting nuts.>
"All of this!! Your Father is to blame for everything!!" Annette screams out as she sits down on one of the nearby chairs. She looks at her Grandchildren and mutters softly. "And you two are taking after him already! I should let him have you and be done with you!"
"You should!" Will replies. "He is our Father and we want to be with him."
"Oh I just bet you would!!" Annette barks out as she gets up from her chair and stalks forward, her hand raised to hit Will. Will stands his ground and Annette looks into his eyes and sees an image from sixteen years ago. Frank Scully staring her down when he and Claire came back from their honeymoon. Annette just shakes her head, realizing that Will was his Father's son and it would never change, no matter how hard she tried. <Rotten half breed bastard!> Annette thinks to herself as she stares at the wall in frustration. <How am I to raise myself socially if what I have to work with is only low born scum? No decent family will want to have anything to do with them, especially allow them to marry into their families.>
Sheriff Campbell finishes looking at the video that the Standing family provided to him. He growls as he slams his fist into the hood of his patrol car, denting it. He glares daggers at the compound and turns back to Frank. "I want them all dead!! Fuck procedure!! Just line those bastards up and I'll head shot the lot of them!!"
"Sheriff!?" Digger asks in surprise. <Sheriff Campbell never wanted anyone dead. Tuned up, yes, but never dead or crippled.>
"Digger," Sheriff Campbell replies softly. "The tape I just watched had Debra Jo on it."
"My niece!?" Digger replies in shock as he moves forward to look at the tape. The Sheriff stops him.
"Digger, you don't want to see what's on that tape. Believe me, boy."
"What happened, Sheriff?" Digger asks softly as he looks into the Sheriff's eyes and sees that whatever was on the tape would hurt him deeply. "I have to know, Sheriff. I promised Ginger Ann that I would look for her."
"All right, Digger." The Sheriff softly replies as he moves out of the way. Digger rewinds the portable tape player and watches the tape from the beginning. He watches as his fifteen year old niece is brutally gang raped by eight men in masks. Digger's muscles begin to bunch up as he grips the fender of the car that the portable tape player was playing. The sounds of metal being bent is clearly heard as Digger begins to cry openly. Before anyone can say or do anything, the large deputy lets out a primal scream as he watches the girl that he used to bounce on his knee and read stories to about princes and castles, die. Digger's face becomes eerily calm as the tape dies away with Debra Jo's body being eaten by a pack of dogs. He looks at the compound and the men guarding it.
Everyone watches as Digger staggers, his muscles barely under his control from the anger building up, over to a HUMVEE and pulls off, with his bare hands, one of the M-60s mounted on the side of the vehicle. The entire field is quiet as Digger takes a five hundred round box of ammunition and begins to load the M-60. Before he can complete the loading, a hand smashes into the back of his head. Digger falls to the ground, unconscious. Everyone looks at Frank who rubs his hand. "I'm not about to let him destroy himself and possibly any innocents that are in there. The poor bastard would never forgive himself, if he survived the fighting."
Sheriff Campbell nods his head in total agreement as he stares at Digger's unconscious form. He looks over to Frank and realizes. <He's a damn good commander. Men will follow this guy to hell and back.> "What happens now?"
"Their fifteen minutes were up as of ten minutes ago." Frank replies as he orders. "Lieutenant Whitman."
"Sir?" Saundra replies crisply.
"Do you have a Mage with you?"
<Mage? What the hell is he talking about?> Sheriff Campbell wonders as two young men and three young women walk forward.
"We're ready my Lord, my Lady. What do you want done?" A blond haired young woman asks.
"I want multiple gates into the compound. Can you do it?"
The five nod their heads as a small, green haired woman replies. "Four Gates at the same time, my Lord. Where do you want them?"
Frank quickly draws an outline of the compound and crosses out four locations. "I want a Gate on the roof of the main building. One by the west side, another on the east side and the fourth right here." Frank points his finger at the spot where Brother Harry and Jans were standing, over seeing the siege. "How long?"
"Ten minutes, my Lord." The other Mage, this one red headed, replies. "After we do the four Gates, we can do two more within about three minutes. Any more Gates will have to wait for about fifteen minutes after that and we can only do one more then."
"That should be enough." Frank replies as he looks at Felicia. "I want some of your people to work with us. Do you have a problem with me ordering them around?"
"No." Felicia replies as several of her 'children' stiffen at attention. "We're here to help. And part of that is taking your orders, Mr. Iverson."
"It's always nice dealing with professionals." Frank replies with a smile as he orders. "I want six assault teams. Each will be made up of eight Knights and twelve Amazons. Any questions?"
"No, Sir!" Both Felicia and Saundra reply. Frank nods his head and both quickly begin to call in various people and the six assault teams are quickly formed. Before the Mages could start the gate spells, a sentry yells out. "They're coming out!!" Everyone turns to see a column of Hummers coming towards the main gate and the guards rushing to them, abandoning their posts. Frank squints and then sees something on the lead vehicle and he shakes his head in disbelief.
"I can't believe that that animal could do something like this!"
"Believe it." Cynthia replies. "Harry Tuttle is a cold and very ruthless man. He doesn't care who he hurts getting what he wants. This is just a small example of his cruelty."
Harry watches as the innocent residents of this compound were being hustled towards the Hummers. He grins evilly as the youngest children were being tied down to the hoods and driver's sides of the Hummers. The older people were being tied to the other parts of the car, creating a living armor.
"I won't stand for this treatment!!" Harry hears Annette Cauldwell scream out as she's tied to the back of the rearmost Hummer. Harry walks back and watches as three of his guards brutally force Annette into position by hitting her in the head. She spots Harry and spits out. "How dare you treat me like this, Tuttle!! I helped you and this is how you treat me!!?"
Harry smiles serenely as he walks forward and smacks Annette on her face. Annette's head slams into the rear window of the Hummer and she sags against her bonds. Harry leans in and roughly feels her up as she regains consciousness. Annette tries to shrink away from his hands, but her bonds don't let her. She glares up at Harry, but doesn't say a word as Harry evilly tells her. "Be very happy that you're not as good looking as your granddaughter, Annette. Because I'm going to take her and Will with me while I leave you behind. And the things that I'm going to do to them." Harry giggles evilly at the scenes running through his head.
Annette's eyes don't register any anger as she tells Harry. "You can keep the mongrels for all I care! They're of no use to me."
Harry steps back in shock as hears Annette's words. He watches her closely, looking for any lies but realizes that she wasn't lying. <Cold fucking Bitch! No wonder her grand kids hate her. Oh well, I can have a lot of fun with the girl after we've left here.> "I'm sure that your son-in-law feels the same way about you."
Annette laughs harshly. "That bastard turned everyone against me. Even my lawyers! Jew loving bastard actually had the balls to tell me to take my business elsewhere!"
Harry laughs loudly as he walks away. He's joined by Jans who asks. "What's so funny?"
"That Cauldwell bitch had her ass handed to her by Iverson. Poor bitch doesn't realize who the hell she was fucking with." Harry replies as he walks over to the lead vehicle. He looks over Heather, who's tied down spread eagle over the hood and her brother Will, who's tied down across the front of the radiator. "You two comfortable?"
"My Dad's going to kill you!" Will promises. Harry just smacks him across the face as he squats down.
"I'm going to let you watch me rape your sister, boy." Harry promises. "Then she'll watch my men rape you to death." Will spits into Harry's face as Jans watches. Jans winches as Harry wipes the spittle off his face and brutally hits Will in the face. Harry leans in again. "That's just a taste of what you're going to get boy. Your death will be long and hard." Harry then gets up and caresses Heather's groin and her breasts. Will glares again at Harry as Heather cries out.
"My Dad is going to kill your sorry ass for that!" Will calmly promises. "And if he doesn't, then I will!"
Harry and Jans look back at Will and the calm way that he was promising Harry's death. Both men shake their heads as they walk away. "We should kill him as soon as possible." Jans tells Harry.
"Because I've seen that look in other men's eyes before. He's going to do it. And I don't think you'll be able to stop him. Especially if the Two Step is his Father."
Harry laughs. "He's just a boy."
"That boy is a fighter. Give him a few years and you'll see him become a lot like his Father."
"Damn, but that's a scary thought." Harry mutters softly, but then quickly brightens up. "Good thing that we're going to kill him when we get away. I'm sure that you'll have your turn on him."
"Oh yes, I'm going to pop his butt cherry. Always liked them tight." Jans replies with a snicker as he opens the door for Harry. Harry climbs in and Jans follows him, sticking out his rifle so that the head of a teenage girl is just a squeeze away. "Let's move it out, people! We'll pickup the rest as we move out!"
"Damn it all to Hell!!" Sheriff Campbell screams out as he sees how the Hummers were covered. "How the hell can we stop them!?"
"Put the assault teams into a warded circle!!" Cassandra orders as the five Mages look at her in shock.
"Why Lady?" One of the Mages asks as he begins to draw the circle.
"Because I'm going to cast a temporal interruption spell!" Cassandra yells out.
"That'll kill you!!" A Mage yells out.
Cassandra laughs as she prepares herself. "Live and learn boys and girls. Because I'm baddest Witch you'll ever see!!" <Short of Niume, that is.>
The Mages quickly draw the containment circle and everyone watches in horror as the Hummers approach near Cassandra.
Harry looks over to where a large group of the strangers were standing in a tight circle as five people were running around them. Harry notices Cassandra standing away from everyone and wonders. "What the hell is going on over there, Jans?"
Jans looks over and shakes his head. "Don't know, Harry. But what is that woman doing there?"
"Weird." Harry mutters as the Hummers approach the lone woman.
Felicia Standing stares as she stands in the warded circle. "What the Hades is going on!?" Felicia demands from Frank.
"Cassandra is casing a spell that freezes time." Frank explains as the Mages complete the warded circle. "Everyone outside the circle will be frozen in time. When that happens we'll leave the circle and get the people off those damn trucks!!"
"How long will this 'spell' last?" Melinda Standing asks as she prepares to move out on Frank's orders.
"About three minutes." One of the Mages replies as Frank orders.
"We don't have a lot of time people! So every minute counts!" His assault groups nod their heads in understanding and tighten the grips on their weapons. Knives are loosened from their sheaths and edges tested. Frank looks at two of the Mages. "When we leave the circle, you go and see to Cassandra. Make sure that she's all right." The two female Mages nod their heads in understanding.
<Oh Goddess, please help me with this spell.> Cassandra silently prays as her voice sings out the words to the spell that she's casting. As the spell begins to form, Cassandra feels a strength she hadn't felt in centuries. And a warm caress as a voice tells her. <I am here for you now and forever, daughter of my heart.> Cassandra's eyes tear up at the feeling of love coming from Artemis. She has a serene smile on her face as the world around her spins and then goes dark. Cassandra slowly collapses to the ground, her body pushed beyond its limits by the drain of her life force to power the spell.
Sheriff Campbell listens to Frank's explanation and shakes his head in awe. <His lady is a Witch? What the hell have we gotten ourselves involved in!?> Suddenly there's a bright flash and Sheriff Campbell doesn't believe his eyes as he spots a bird frozen in mid flight. <Oh God!!! She is a real Witch!!> He feels the people around him moving out, several of his deputies included. He watches the groups hustle toward the twenty Hummers with drawn knives. Barely ten seconds have passed when the first of the human shields was being cut loose and removed from the lead vehicle.
Harry watches the tall, dark haired woman make motions with her hands. He grins and turns to Jans. "What's she trying to do? Scare us with her 'magic'?"
"Don't know, Harry. Want me to have her run over?"
"Nah," Harry dismisses the strange woman as the world suddenly goes dark.
Felicia Standing stares in disbelief as the human shields are stripped from the Hummers by her children, the Knights of the Grail and the deputies. She breathes a sigh of relief when Frank Iverson personally frees his children from the lead Hummer. <A damn good Father that man is.> Felicia thinks to herself as he has them and the other innocents carried away from the mercenaries and Harry Tuttle.
"What about the mercenaries and Tuttle?" Felicia hears Cynthia call out.
"We'll strip them last." Frank replies as the last innocent is removed. He checks his watch and orders. "Pull those bastards out!! Strip their weapons from them! And please, people, don't forget to put the cars into Park!!"
"You got it, Sir!!" One of the deputies yells out in joy as he grabs a merc and pulls him out bodily, the deputy quickly strips his weapons from him and grins evilly, waiting for the mercenary to 'wake' up and see the drawn gun in his face. That mercenary is quickly followed by the rest and Harry Tuttle.
Will and Heather wake up next to a sleeping Cassandra. Both jump as they realize that neither was tied down anymore. They look around and spot their Father giving orders to strip the mercenaries of their weapons. The man that was watching them quietly asks. "You two all right?"
Will and Heather turn back and finally notice the dark skinned man with a thin mustache. The both notice that the man was as tall as their father and was well muscled. Both recognize him at the same time as one of the men from the helicopter who had tried to rescue them.
"We're okay." Will replies as Heather nods her head in agreement. "What happened?"
The dark skinned man smiles, his white teeth flash as he grins. "Your step mom cast a spell that froze time."
"Okay, now I know that we're dreaming." Will mutters softly. "No way does magic work."
"Don't ask me, kid, I didn't believe in the mojo myself. But if you talk to anyone here, they'll all say that they saw her freeze everyone and everything for a good three hundred yards." The dark skinned man replies. "By the way, my name is Lonzo Wilkinson, but most people call me Stalker."
"You work for our Dad?" Heather asks, nervous at the sight of so many guns and the people carrying those guns.
"Yeah, I work for Frank." Stalker replies. "You two able to walk?"
"Yes, we can." Will replies as he stands up. He feels slightly wobbly, but Stalker's hand steadies him. "Thanks." Will replies as his Father walked up.
"You two all right?"
"We're find, Dad." Will replies as he watches the mercenaries being lined up. "What's going to happen to them?"
"They've hurt a lot of innocent people, son." Frank begins.
"You're going to kill them all?" Heather asks in shock as she watches people begin to point guns at the heads of the mercenaries..
Frank sighs and explains. "They deserve it. I've seen evidence that they've done a lot of sick things to people who couldn't protect themselves."
"They threatened to rape me to death." Will replies softly, realizing that the threat was very real. "And Brother Harry felt up Heather." Frank looks at Heather as she nods weakly, embarrassed.
"No reason to be ashamed, Heather." Frank tells her. "He forced himself on you."
"I know, Father, but it felt so icky!!" Heather replies as she makes a disgusted face. Frank smiles in understanding.
"Well, I'm going to talk to Harry for a minute. Do you two want to come?"
"No." Will angrily replies. "I never want to see that bastard again!"
"Oh God." Heather mutters when she hears Will curse. She waits for Frank to explode like their Grandmother did when one of them cursed, but she's surprised when he simply nods his head in understanding and squeezes Will's shoulder in sympathy.
"I understand. And you never will see him again." Frank replies as he walks over to where Harry Tuttle was staring down the barrel of Cynthia Standing's handgun.
Harry Tuttle wakes feeling the hard ground under him. He looks around in confusion as he realizes that he was outside of his personal Hummer. "How the hell!!?" He demands as he sees a gun pointed at his face. He gulps audibly and looks past the barrel at the woman holding the gun at him. He recognizes her and voids his bowels.
The woman sniffs the air and sarcastically asks. "So Harry, are you going to Heaven?"
Harry begins to sweat as the gun doesn't waver and the man that Annette called Frank Scully walks forward and looks down at Harry.
"My son tells me that you planned on having him raped until he died. Is that true?" Frank demands, his voice a low growl.
"It was all Jans' idea!!" Harry tells Frank, hoping to cast the blame on his mercenary commander. Jans glares at Harry from where he's lying, but doesn't say a thing.
"I just bet it was." Cynthia Standing replies sarcastically. Harry looks past her and sees Sheriff Campbell standing there. Harry hopes that the Sheriff would arrest him. When the Sheriff doesn't make a move, Harry calls out. "Aren't you going to arrest me, Sheriff?"
Sheriff Campbell smiles a death's head smile at Harry. "No. I'm not. You're all going to die trying to fight your way out of the compound."
"You can't!!" Harry begins as he hears the hammer on Cynthia's gun click as it creeps back. He looks at her and sees a serene look in her eyes as her finger tightens on the trigger. Then Harry only sees the flash as the back of his head is blown off.
Cynthia puts the gun down and begins to cry. Diana and Wild Bill walk over and escort her away. Cynthia looks at Wild Bill as he helps her away. "You were right, Bill."
"About what, Ma'am?"
"Just blow the bastard's head off and walk away." Cynthia replies with a small smile. "I think that Olivia would have agreed with you."
When they put Cynthia in one of the Trail Blazers to rest, Bill asks Diana. "Who's Olivia?"
"Aunt Cynthia's lover. They were together for over fifteen years until she disappeared. The family tracked her down to one of Harry Tuttle's tent shows. Several weeks later, we found out that she was dead. Tuttle and his mercenaries killed her because she was trying to save one of her nieces from him and his sick friends."
Bill looks back at Cynthia as she makes herself comfortable in the back of the Trail Blazer. "Think she's put her ghost behind her?"
Diana glances back as Cynthia's head slips to the side and she falls asleep. "Yes, I think so."
In the Trail Blazer, a tired Cynthia Standing begins to fall into the first peaceful sleep that she has had in the last four years. She watches Bill and Diana walk away and smiles. "He's a good man, Diana. You chose well." Cynthia then watches as the last of the mercenaries falls, a bullet to his head. As sleep finally takes her, she feels a warmth that she hadn't felt in the last three years surround her. She smells a familiar perfume and quietly lets the world fade away into her first peaceful dream since Olivia was murdered. Her final thought is of the other people present. <I wonder how many marriages Felicia will get out of this bunch? Goddess knows, all of the men are prime husband material.>
Frank, Will, Heather, and the recently awakened Cassandra watch as the last of the mercenaries were killed. They watch as the bodies are piled up and several cans of gasoline are brought forward and the bodies were doused. Felicia Standing walks up to Frank and asks. "Do you want to light the pyre?"
"No." Frank replies as Felicia takes the Molotov Cocktail from her granddaughter, Melinda. Her son, David lights it and Felicia throws it on the bodies. As one, everyone turns their backs on the dead men and they walk away.
"Can you come to my home? I'd like to talk to you and Cassandra."
"All right." Frank replies as Clay and Sidney walk up to them. Wild Bill and Diana approach from the parked cars.
"Where to Frank?" Bill asks.
"Take us to the Standing estate." Felicia replies as she adds in. "Lieutenant Whitman, I'd also like to see you and your Knights at my estate."
Saundra looks at Frank who nods his head in agreement. "Clay, Sidney?"
"Yes, Frank?" Clay asks.
"I'll have one of my people borrow a HUMVEE and drop you two off at your office and hotel respectively."
"That would be good, Frank. I'll also inform your Aunt Margaret that you got your kids back." Clay replies.
Frank nods his head. "Stalker!"
"Sir?" Stalker replies as he and Misha walk up to stand next to Wild Bill and Diana.
"You and Misha take a HUMVEE and drop off Clay and Sidney."
"Not a problem, Sir." Stalker replies with a grin. "I loved driving those things when I was in the Army."
"Just don't dent the fenders." Frank replies with a grin. Frank then turns to Sheriff Campbell as he walks up to the group. "Sheriff?"
"Yes, Mr. Scully?"
"Will you be able to take care of the people here when we leave?"
"Yes, we can." Campbell replies easily as his nine deputies were already seeing to some of the wounded. "I take it that you and your friends were never here?"
Frank smiles. "You got it in one, Sheriff. My apologies for all of the upheaval to your life and your people's lives."
"Mr. Scully, those bastards caused the problems. As far as me and my deputies are concerned, you were only doing the right thing. And, if I may add in, you did it in style, Sir."
Frank smiles for the first time that day. "Thank you Sheriff. If you ever need my help, just call the number on that card I gave you earlier."
Sheriff Campbell looks around him at the heavily armed fighters and vehicles. "Be sure that I will."
Frank nods his head as he turns away. Gathering up his son, daughter and lover, he escorts them to the waiting helicopter. At the helicopter, Fred Chang is waiting.
"Thanks for the help, Fred."
Fred grimaces. "We didn't help that much, Frank."
"But you were here. That's what counts."
Fred nods his head. "If you ever need us, give me a yell, Frank."
"Same goes for me, Fred." Frank replies as he helps Heather into the helicopter. "I'll have Bill return the helicopter in a few hours."
"Keep it for however long you need it, Frank." Fred replies with a grin. As Will sticks his head out the side door. "Now go and be with your children."
"Good advice, Fred. I think I'll take it." Frank replies with a smile.
Fred and his men watch as Frank's helicopter lifts away. One of his men quietly asks. "Say boss, got a question?"
"What is it, Mike?"
"Does this mean that we don't beat the hell out of the Iverson team at the next softball game?"
Fred snickers in disbelief. "Hell no! We whoop their asses like we always do." Then Fred climbs into the other helicopter as his men all have a good laugh. "Let's get home, people. We still have a business to run."
July 29th - 14:55 am PST, 17:55 pm EST
Shiloh County, VA
Will and Heather watch as the huge estate quickly comes up in the windows of the helicopter. Will turns to Frank and asks. "Why are we here, Dad?"
"You're here because I asked your Father to come here." Felicia replies. "Your Father, Miss Hastings and I need to talk and that field wasn't the right place for this talk."
"What do you need to talk to Dad about?" Will asks.
"Something that Lady Artemis told me. I want more information and I think that your Father can help me."
"You do understand that I can't tell you everything that I know?"
"Of course, Mr. Scully. But I think that you can answer most of my questions since they deal only with Amazon matters."
"You could always ask Artemis." Frank replies.
"Artemis has more important things to do than answer my questions." Felicia replies as the helicopter lands. "And I think that she would agree with me when I say that."
"You don't know Artemis, then." Frank replies with a chuckle. "The Sunnydale bunch constantly talks with her."
"How the fighting's going. What sorts of monsters they've killed. Mostly that sort of stuff, but they also talk about more normal things with her. Their love lives, how their men are treating them."
"She has changed. Hasn't she." Felicia replies softly as the implications hit her. "I hope that we can have that good of a relationship."
"You probably will." Cassandra replies as she walks forward with Frank and the kids. "She's learned that her role will be more hands on than before and she deeply regrets what happened to the last Amazon Nations."
"I believe that." Felicia replies. "But what changed her mind about men?"
"When she started her new Chosen, she initially chose four woman who were hunting vampires with the Slayer."
"I know that." Felicia replies. "But where do the men come into this?"
"Three of the women have male lovers and the fourth is still looking." Cassandra replies with a warm smile. "But she wants a man like the other three, not just some pretty boy. Artemis sees that the men make their lovers more complete and more effective as warriors."
"And these three men are warriors?" David asks.
"Well, one of them has the abilities of a Green Beret, another is a Scholar and a Mage, and the third is a werewolf."
"A werewolf!!?" Felicia asks in surprise. "How?"
"He got bit by another werewolf." Frank replies with a smile. "But he does play a mean bass guitar."
<A werewolf that plays a guitar? Goddess help me but I find that very strange.> "And these three convinced Artemis that the Amazons needed men to make them complete? How?" Felicia asks in disbelief.
"By loving their women, even when they became Amazons." Cassandra replies. "They didn't care that their women were Amazons, only that they didn't change from the women that they fell in love with. Artemis also saw that giving her daughters free choice as to who their lovers were made them more complete and less dependant on her, but it brought them closer to her as well. They are willing to talk with her as their Goddess, their friend and as a mother figure."
"Damn." Felicia replies with conviction. "But why is Artemis now interacting with us now? She's not been seen for over two thousand years."
"You can thank Cordelia for that." Frank replies and then tells her how she caught Artemis' eye. And her respect. Felicia, Melinda and David digest this information as a maid brings them a pitcher of iced tea. Felicia pours for her guests, her children and then for herself. As she sips her iced tea, Felicia wonders.
"And what happens now? Why does she want the men to be trained as warriors as well as the women?"
Frank sighs in resignation. "Because, according to Merlin, the Darkness has been increasing its attacks on humanity for the last one hundred years. And it's only going to get worse."
"And the world will need every warrior it can get to protect the innocent and hold back the Darkness." David replies softly, fully understanding the implications of what Frank was telling them. He turns to his Mother. "Well, Mom. Looks like you and Dad were right. The shit storm's coming down and we Standings are going to be in the middle of it all."
"We were hoping that we were wrong." Felicia replies. "I don't want to lead the clan to war. I don't want to lose my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren."
"If we don't fight, then we're dead anyway, Mother." David replies knowingly. "The things that will be coming won't care that we chose not to fight, they'll just want to kill us."
"So we just kill them first." Melinda replies with conviction.
Frank and Cassandra watch as Felicia smiles in pride at her children. "Now you see why I train my men to fight as well as my women, because they're all Amazons. And they make me proud to be their Mother and an Amazon."
"We can see that." Cassandra replies. "What will you need from us?"
"More powerful weapons." David replies. "I've never been able to get a stable source for weapons like the ones your friends had today. Assault rifles I can get, but not TOW missiles."
"That's because most of the illegal arms dealers serve the Darkness." Frank replies with a smile. "And they don't want to arm the people who will be taking out their allies."
"Thought it had to be something like that." David replies sourly. "What do I have to do to get those weapons?"
"I'll make all the arrangements." Frank replies. "But please, don't get caught with them by the Feds."
"Don't worry about the Law in Curtis County, Mr. Scully." Felicia replies. "The Sheriff is one of my nephews."
"Always good to have family." Frank replies as Will and Heather walk into the room. They stand by the doorway, waiting to be called. Frank smiles at them and they both come forward. Felicia waves them into a couch and both quietly sit. "Will, Heather, we'll be here for a while. Do you want to go and rest?"
"No, Dad." Will replies as he feels his stomach rumble. "But we could use some food."
Felicia smiles as she rings a bell for her maid. The woman quietly enters and Felicia tells her. "Maureen, please see that the children get some food."
"Of course, Miss Standing." Maureen replies as she smiles at Will and Heather. "Miss Standing?"
"There are a large number of cars approaching. Shall I have the kitchen prepare food for them as well?"
"Yes, please do, Maureen." Felicia replies. "The children are coming back and bringing some friends with them."
"Yes, Madame." Maureen replies with a warm smile as she takes Will and Heather with her. "Please come with me, young Sir and Lady." As the children leave, Frank asks.
"Why did you want the Knights to come here?"
"I thought that my children should get to know the people that they'll be fighting beside in the future. Now seems as good a time as any." Felicia replies with a small smile.
Frank glares at her and turns to Cassandra. "Cassie, does she or doesn't she remind you of Cordelia when she's trying to set up someone?"
"Of course she is." David Standing replies from his chair. "She sees a bunch of potential husbands and wives in the Grail Knights and your men, Mr. Scully. Just be glad that you've already paired with Miss Hastings or Mother would have Melinda all over you."
"Oh damn." Frank mutters as he begins to laugh openly. He's quickly joined by everyone else. As the laughter dies, Frank asks. "So, what's your plan to Shanghai my men and women?"
"I'll let Nature take it's course." Felicia replies with a warm smile. "If your men and women are anything like you, then my children will be lucky to have them."
Frank sighs. "I wonder if Cordelia will be this underhanded when she's Felicia's age?"
"Of course she will." Cassandra replies with a giggle. "You do remember the six plans she had outlined to get Buffy and Steve together?"
"Yeah, everything from simply locking them up in Steve's bedroom to a night in the Bridal Suite of the Beverly Hills Hotel. And I thought Sun Tzu was an evil genius." Frank replies with an evil smile plastered on his face. "I almost felt sorry for the both of them. Almost."
"I have to meet this young woman." Felicia replies with a warm smile. <If only to compare notes on matchmaking. >
Annette wakes with a start as she feels the hard ground under her. She looks around and sees that all of the people had been taken off the cars and moved away from them. <How!?> Annette wonders as she watches Frank walk up to Brother Harry and speak with him. She watches in horror as, at Frank's order, Harry Tuttle and everyone of his bodyguards were shot in the head. <That animal!! How dare he do this!?> She continues to watch as Sheriff Campbell and his deputies also participate in the slaughter. <How has he managed to buy all of these people!? >
Annette watches as the bodies are piled up and burned. <How disgusting!!> She thinks to herself as she watches Frank walk away with his children and the whore. Annette silently seethes as the helicopter lifts off and they disappear into the sky. <Those traitors!!>
After a few minutes, Annette begins to get up. "Are you all right, Miss?" A concerned voice replies from near Annette. Annette turns and sees a young man dressed as a paramedic.
"I'm fine." Annette replies as she stands up. She feels a little wobbly but she keeps herself steady. <I'm an Arden!! We're made of sterner stuff than these peons!!> "What happened?"
"Harry Tuttle and his goons tried to fight their way out and Sheriff Campbell and his men killed them all." The paramedic replies, repeating the story that a deputy had told him just a few minutes ago.
Annette snorts in derisive laughter, not believing what the young man had said. <Fool!!> She walks over to a deputy and demands. "Deputy, I need a ride home."
The Deputy, Digger Rascal, turns around and sees Annette standing there. He glares down at her and Annette steps back in shock at the vehemence of his open hatred of her. "You!" He hisses out as his hands clench into fists.
Annette quickly quells the fear in her stomach as she stares down the deputy. "Yes, it's me, Deputy. Is there a problem?"
"You fucking, Bitch! It's because of people like you that that bastard was able to do what he did!!"
"And what did he do?" Annette demands.
"He raped and murdered my niece!" Digger angrily replies as Sheriff Campbell walks up them when he hears Digger raise his voice in anger.
"Digger!! What's the damn probl. . . . ." The Sheriff demands as he spots Annette. "Mrs. Cauldwell!?" He angrily spits out the name, realizing why Digger was so angry.
"Yes, Sheriff Campbell?
"I see that you're son in law didn't bother to find you." <And take you away.>
Annette sniffs in disdain. "That man is no relation of mine!"
"And I'm sure that he's glad about that." Digger sarcastically replies.
"What do you want Mrs. Cauldwell?"
"A ride to my home. I have a lot of things to do." Annette replies acidly. <Like bankrupting this county! >
"I'll have a deputy take you home right away." Sheriff Campbell replies, realizing that it was for the best.
"Thank you, Sheriff." Annette replies as she begins to walk towards the patrol cars.
Digger glares daggers at the old woman's back. "Why, in the name of Gawd, are you being nice to her!?"
"Because if I don't get rid of her, she'll raise a stink and we don't need that. And neither does Mr. Scully or Miss Hastings."
"You're right, Sheriff." Digger replies as he rubs the back of his neck. "Mr. Scully deserves our respect, but that bitch doesn't."
"Nah. I'm just glad that he took me out before I did something really stupid." Digger replies truthfully. "Seeing those bastards being burned really helped. I hope that Ginger Ann and Jerry understand."
"They will, Digger." Sheriff Campbell replies as a patrol car leaves with Annette sitting in the back. "Especially when you tell them that all of the bastards responsible are dead."
"There is that." Digger replies. "But Jerry will still be pissed."
"Jerry will understand. But what scares me is Scully."
Digger snorts in laughter. "That bastard was scaring me from the minute that we met. What do you think of him and his friends?"
"Man has juice. I'll say that." Sheriff Campbell replies. "But I don't think that those people were CIA. What they were, I can't tell you."
"I don't know if this helps, Sheriff, but I recognized a few of the people who were here waiting for us."
"You did? Who are they?"
"Barbara, Diana and Cheryl Standing." Digger tells a completely surprised Sheriff Campbell. "The old lady talking with Scully was Felicia Standing herself. I recognized all of them from the society pages, Sir."
"What the hell was one of the leading families of Virginia doing here?"
"Don't know, Sir. But they were here and ready to fight for Scully and his woman. Just like those guys in the armor. I wonder who the hell they are?"
"That Jew lawyer of Scully's was about ready to start crying when he saw them."
"I wonder if old Isaac could tell us." Digger replies.
"I'm sure that he will. You saved his son from those hillbillies who wanted to kill him for wearing that skull cap of his."
Digger grins. "Yeah, I remember that. Those bastards actually thought that Bubbah Ray, Mickey and me would join in on beating on a defenseless kid. God, but the look on their faces when we started to beat on them!" Sheriff Campbell also smiles contentedly at the memory.
"Yeah, those five Nazi prigs all got ten years on the farm for trying that shit. No one does that kind of shit in my county and gets away with it! Especially on a kid who was mentally retarded and only wanted to go to church like any good kid should."
"And Joshua never hurt a fly or said a bad word to anyone, Sheriff." Digger replies softly. "I remember when he started high school. Everyone treated him like their kid brother. Anyone who messed with him, messed with the entire school."
"I know." Sheriff Campbell replies. "That's why I choose most of my deputies from your graduating class, Digger. You were all good kids and I knew that you'd all make good deputies. <And Digger will make a damn good Sheriff when I retire.>
Annette glares out the window of the patrol car as it takes her home. <I will first disown those two traitors! Then I'll close down the factory and sell it to those men who want to move it to Mexico. That'll teach those peons who's in charge! Then I'll ruin the Scully's and continue to ruin them for the rest of their lives. That's what I'll do to them all!!> When the patrol car pulls up to her house, Annette seethes as the deputy lets her out like a common criminal. She doesn't bother to thank him as she stalks up the stairs to her home. At the door, her butler is waiting for her.
"Where are the children, Mrs. Cauldwell?" Bufford asks politely, worried about Will and Heather.
"Never again mention those two traitors in this house!" Annette hisses out to him. Bufford stares at Annette, thoroughly shocked by the anger in her voice.
"They betrayed me! That's what happened! They sided with that misbegotten Irish mongrel of a Father of theirs and I want nothing to do with them, ever again!!"
"You can't be serious, Mrs. Cauldwell!" Bufford replies in shock. "You and Mr. Cauldwell raised William and Heather from when they were newborn babes."
Annette turns on the Cauldwell family's oldest living employee and orders. "Never again mention those names in this house, Bufford!! As far as I am concerned, they're dead to me!"
Bufford shakes his head in sadness and leaves Annette. Annette stalks into her office and begins to make phone calls.
July 29th - 16:45 am PST, 19:45 pm EST
Curtis County, VA
Frank walks through the backyard of the Standing estate as a large meal is quickly prepared for his people and the Standing family Amazons. Felicia walks beside him and Cassandra as she introduces her children to them. Frank spots Will and Heather sitting with a group of children their own age and smiles. "I guess Will and Heather are busy making new friends."
"Don't worry about them, Frank." Cassandra replies as she watches a dark haired, blue eyed girl about Will and Heather's age talking with them and sitting especially close to Will. "I see that he has his Father's charms for the ladies." Frank looks over to where Cassandra was talking and just shakes his head. Felicia smiles as her great granddaughter begins to make friends with the young man.
"Looks like Page likes your son."
"One of your granddaughters?" Frank asks.
"Yes. Her Father decided not to get married until he was older." Felicia replies as she glares at David. "She's just begun her Amazon training in the last year."
"How many kids do you train at any one time?" Frank asks.
"This year we have a beginning class of forty girls and boys." Felicia replies with pride.
"Who trains them?" Cassandra asks.
"Older family members. Mostly my sons and daughters. We basically home school them until they're ready to begin high school. At that time, we send all of the children to the local high school so that they can interact with other children."
"Any problems with the other children?"
"No, not really. But there's always some fools who thinks that he can bully our children around because he's bigger than they are."
"And then they get laid out?" Frank asks with a wry smile.
"Of course. Usually the smallest of the group does the honors." Felicia replies with a laugh as they pass Frank's Richmond Operations Manager following around a petite, dark haired brunette with pale skin.
"Oh damn, but Tim looks like a drooling dog following that girl around." Frank mutters in disbelief.
Cassandra looks over to the man in question and smiles as the large ex-marine was trying to talk to a petite curly haired brunette with a pale complexion and slightly oriental features.. "Frank, she doesn't look over nineteen years old. Isn't Tim a bit old for her?"
"Now, he's not. Tawnie is twenty four years old." Felicia replies with a smile as Tawnie quickly wraps Tim around her little finger. Tim, being an ex-marine, doesn't see it as he begins to think with his other head. Felicia smiles as Tawnie begins the dance that often leads to a new family member.
"How many marriages am I going to have to attend here?" Frank mutters in disbelief as he watches Wild Bill and Diana talking quietly in one corner. <Looks like I'm going to be spending a fortune on wedding presents this year.> Frank quickly spots several Knights and the rest of his Richmond staff talking and having fun with various lovely women and men. He also spots Saundra Whitman talking with a handsome young man who was obviously very interested in her. "Shit! Even Saundra found someone!"
"Is that a problem?" Felicia asks, suddenly worried about her nephew.
"No, it isn't." Frank replies softly, saddened by the memory of an old friend's death. "It's just that she's been very standoffish since her husband was killed seven years ago."
"How did he die?" David asks.
"He took a chest full of bullets to save a group of kids who were going to be murdered by the sick bastard who abused them." Frank replies softly. "His armor failed and he died."
"What kind of bullets did the bastard use?"
"Five point five six millimeter, armor piercing. Usually they only feel like a hard rain to the person in the armor, but Donald had faced down and killed a sixth circle demon earlier and the demon probably damaged the armor in the fight. And that sick bastard using a mini-gun on it finished the job."
"Why didn't he replace the armor?" Felicia asks.
"His next raid was less than five minutes away. If he took the time to change the armor, he would have missed his opportunity and lost the fifty kids he managed to save."
"Damn!" Melinda mutters in awe. "How many Knights did you lose that day?"
Frank sighs at the memory. "We lost fourteen Knights and ninety seven Squires. All good men and women."
"How many did you gain?" Felicia asks.
"Over a thousand people begged to join the Order after that night. Many of them were the uncles or aunts of the children who were rescued, but a few were police officers who helped us. Our Patron was really shocked beyond belief at some of the people who helped us that night."
"Who were they?" David asks.
"The Shadow, the Ghost Who Walks, Oberon, Robin Goodfellow, a bunch of Leprechauns, the Golden Dragon and Silver Tiger Ninja clans, and a lot of other people. And some not so human. Most of them were friends of Steve's."
"Goddess, but I'm going to hate asking this, but what?" David asks in a dry whisper.
"A few Dragons were also helping. One of our auxiliary groups had a cursed group of vampire Knights helping them. I saw a report that had an alien helping one of our assault groups." Frank replies with a smile as David's jaw drops.
"And how long did it take you to plan this out?" Felicia asks.
Frank grimaces, sure that they wouldn't believe him. "Thirty six hours from the initial raid to the multiple raids starting. After their first raid, the groups found more targets and the initial groups started to break apart and follow other leads."
"Domino effect." Melinda replies softly awed by the magnitude of the assault. "You took down one of the big guys and then you started following the trails to even more of those animals!"
"That's it in a nutshell." Frank replies as he remembers the other reports he read. "But we didn't make it in time in a lot of cases."
"We can't be perfect, Frank." Felicia replies as they walk. "May I ask who planned the assaults?"
"Steve and I did the initial planning for France and Libya. Individual Knights handled their own areas."
Felicia looks over to her son and he nods his head in understanding. <Yes, I'll dig up everything that I have on Carson and give it to you, Mother.>
The group walks over to where Will and Heather were sitting with Page and a few other Standing children. "How do you children like the party?" Felicia asks to change the discussion.
"It's great!" Heather gushes as a slightly older boy quickly makes a bit of space between them. Page does the same with Will when they see Felicia, David, Frank and Cassandra standing over them. Felicia smiles at her children as Frank scowls at the boy near Heather. The boy gulps and adds a few more inches of space between them. Cassandra promptly smacks him on the back of his head and Frank growls at her.
"Frank! Don't be so over protective!" Cassandra tells her lover with a giggle. Frank scowls at her, but then he relents.
"Excuse me. But this is the first time that I'm a Father, Cassie." Frank sarcastically replies as Felicia smiles at Frank's predicament.
"So!? You'll have to learn that Heather doesn't need you to be her bodyguard. She needs you to be her Father. Believe me, she can protect herself."
"All right. She can protect herself. But that doesn't excuse me for being a protective Father. Especially after what happened today, Cassie."
Cassie sighs in defeat, but doesn't give up. "You're right, Frank. But that doesn't excuse you for scaring this poor boy."
Frank smiles. "You never met my Uncle Bill. Whenever a boy called for either Dana or Melissa, he would look them over and glare at them like he was reading their minds. He also read them his eight rules of dating. Dana and Missy hated it when he did that. And when Charlie, Bill Jr. and I started dating, the fathers of the girls would do that to us, I also learned to hate it, until now."
"And what changed now?" Felicia asked with a light laugh.
"I'm now the Father." Frank replies with a laugh. "And I can see where the Fathers of the girls I was dating were coming from."
Felicia, Cassandra and David all laugh as Heather glares at her Father. But she also begins to laugh as she realizes something. Her Father wasn't angry with her for liking that boy. He was only being protective of her and making sure that she was safe. <Dad is nothing like Grandmother. She would be beating poor Terrence away with a belt.> She looks over to where Will was talking with Terrence's cousin Page and smiles as the girl sits a little closer to Will. But she quickly moves back as Felicia clears her throat.
Cassandra glares at Felicia as Felicia chuckles. "I have a Grandmother's prerogative." Cassandra just shakes her head in disgust and takes Frank out onto the dance floor for slow dance.
"How long will it take for you to get the information together about your old friend?" Felicia asks David as soon as Cassandra has Frank on the dance floor.
"About a week, Mother." David asks. "I can say one thing. He hasn't changed much from what Mr. Scully was saying."
"Hasn't changed much!?" Felicia asks in surprise.
"Yes, Mother. He's still got the same ability to drag everyone he knows into helping him."
"David, why do suddenly feel like regretting the fact that I met Mr. Scully?"
David grins. "Suffer, Mother, suffer."
July 30th - 4:55 am PST, 7:55 am EST
Curtis County, VA
Frank sighs as he sits down to eat a hearty breakfast in the Standing dining room. Cassandra, Will and Heather were with him as Felicia Standing joins them. "Is everything to your satisfaction, Frank?"
"The food's great." Frank replies between mouthfuls of Eggs Benedict.
"That's good, but we need to talk about William and Heather. What are your plans for them?" Felicia asks.
"They'll live with me and Cassandra." Frank replies easily as Will and Heather both look down at their food, their appetite lost. Frank notices this and asks. "What's wrong?"
"Grandmother told us that she didn't want to see us anymore." Will replies sadly. Frank looks at Heather, who's now crying. "She said some mean things to us while were in that room."
"You don't have to tell me. I can imagine Annette's hatred of me." Frank replies softly. "Do you want to move in with me and Cassandra permanently?"
"What about our friends?" Heather tearfully asks. "I'll miss all of them badly."
"Heather and her friends Muffy and Tammy have been together since first grade, Dad. And I have my friends as well."
Frank sighs. "All right then. I'll move down here so you can finish out the next school year, but after that, we'll all move back up to New York."
"You won't have to move here, Frank." Felicia comments from nearby. "I'll take William and Heather in and foster them for a year."
"What about their school?" Frank asks.
"I'll have my driver drop them off and pick them up everyday." Felicia replies. "Plus they can also begin basic training in our Amazon ways."
"Why do you want to train them as Amazons?" Frank asks.
"Cassandra is going to become their mother, so they should begin training as soon as possible." Felicia replies as Will and Heather both nod their heads in agreement.
"You don't have to take this training." Frank tells his children. "You're old enough to make your own decisions on things like this."
"We want it." Will replies. "We want to be able to defend ourselves from freaks like Tuttle and his goons."
"Is that the only reason?" Frank asks with a smile as Will nervously looks back at him.
"Well, we do like the kids here and we both would like see more of them." Heather replies with a blush.
<I just bet you both do.> Frank thinks to himself as he looks at his son and daughter. He looks back at Cassandra who nods her head.
"Artemis is guaranteeing their safety, Frank." Cassandra tells Frank.
Frank sighs in resignation. "Well, you really can't do much better than having Artemis guarantee my kids' safety with your family."
Felicia smiles in agreement. "I agree and I am surprised by her promise, but I'm also happy to see that she's taking a more hands on role with us."
"Good then. We'll go pickup your stuff from Annette's house in hour." Frank replies as he looks at Will and Heather's worn clothing.
"Thanks, Dad." Will replies as he looks at Heather who nods her head. "Can we take all of our stuff from there? Because I don't think that we'll be going back anytime soon."
"I'll have a staff of my servants go with you to help you two pack." Felicia replies softly, liking Will and Heather as they make some very hard adult decisions.
"Thank you, Mrs. Standing." Will replies softly as Felicia smiles at him and Heather.
"You're both welcome." Felicia replies as Maureen walks over to her. "Maureen, please get together six of the staff to help William and Heather pack their things."
"Will the young gentleman and lady be staying with us for a long period of time?" Maureen asks politely.
"For at least a year." Felicia replies.
"Will they keep their present rooms or would something else be needed?"
Felicia looks at Will and Heather who both gush. "That room's twice the size of mine at home." Heather replies softly. "I'd love to keep it."
"Then you shall keep it, Heather." Felicia tells a very happy Heather. She then turns to Will. "Well, William? Do you want to keep your room?"
"Yes, Ma'am." Will replies happily.
"Well, that's settled then." Felicia replies as Wild Bill and Diana walk into the dining room. One of the staff puts a plate in front of Bill and everyone watches as the cowboy literally sucks the eggs into himself. Diana quickly follows suit as a plate is put in front of her.
Frank turns to Cassandra and quietly tells her. "Well, we now know what kind of woman interests Will Bill."
"Yes, the kind that can match him, forkfull to forkfull." Cassandra replies as Bill glares at her.
"That's not very kind, Miss Hastings." Bill grouses as Diana pours herself and him cups of coffee. Everyone watches as they pour in the milk and sugar in sync. Felicia stares at her granddaughter in disbelief.
"Please tell me that this is some sick and twisted joke that the two of you are playing on us." David mutters from where he's standing and staring in disbelief.
Diana and Bill look at each other and both shrug at the same time. Diana turns to David. "Sorry Uncle Dave, but no."
"Is it too late for me to rejoin the Army?" David asks the world at large.
"Over my dead body, David!" Felicia angrily replies. "If I have to suffer through this, then so do you."
David shakes his head and sits down to drink his coffee. "Now I know how Tex Ritter felt whenever Carson pulled some practical joke."
"Steve still likes his jokes." Cassandra replies as she puts down her coffee. "Especially associating with Fox Mulder."
"Who is this Mulder person?" Felicia asks.
"He's married to my cousin Dana." Frank replies. "She's also one of Artemis' Chosen Amazons. Man has a very warped sense of humor."
"How warped?" Melinda asks. Frank grins and tells the Standing family about the joke he played on one of his best friends, Melvin Frohike. After the laughter dies down, Felicia shakes her head in awe.
"And Artemis allows this man to be married to one of her Chosen? Why?"
"She likes his sense of humor. Says it reminds her of an old friend of hers." Frank replies with a smile.
"Who?" David asks.
"Don't know and to tell you the truth, I don't want to know." Frank replies as Maureen leads in six of the household staff. Four women, two men.
"Are you ready to leave?" Felicia asks Will and Heather. Both nod their heads.
Frank and Cassandra finish their coffees and sigh. "So much for a peaceful day."
"You think Grandmother will try something?" Will asks.
"Knowing Annette, yes." Frank replies.
"Then I'm going with you." Felicia replies. "I want to meet this woman who thinks that children are pawns in her games."
July 30th - 7:35 am PST, 10:35 am EST
Shiloh County, VA
Bufford rushes to the doors as he spots the half dozen large SUVs come up the driveway. <Will and Heather!> He thinks to himself as he opens the door and sees the two children that he helped raise. He quickly scoops them up in his arms. "Will! Heather! I've been worried sick about you two. Where have you been!?"
"With our Dad." Will replies as he hugs the old butler.
Bufford glares at Frank. "Sir, I know that you're their Father. But I must know what happened to them and Mrs. Cauldwell."
Frank grimaces. But before he can explain, Annette storms out of her office. "What the hell are you bastards doing here!?"
"We came to pickup Will and Heather's things." Frank replies calmly.
"You can't have them!!" Annette angrily replies.
"May I ask why?" Frank replies, keeping his cool. He hears Cassandra and the Standings next to him growl lowly.
"Because I disowned those two bastards!" Annette replies imperially. "They are not worthy of the Cauldwell family name, nor association with my Arden family! They're only low born scum like you!!"
"You fucking Bitch!!" Frank angrily replies as Will and Heather both begin to cry.
Frank moves forward to hit Annette, but Felicia holds her hand to his chest. "Do not do it, Frank." Felicia orders angrily. She turns back to Annette who's now smirking in obvious superiority at Frank. Felicia smiles sweetly as she turns back to Annette and slaps her with a backhand. "Please let me teach this cow a lesson on how a Mother treats her children and grandchildren."
"How dare you!! Do you know who I am!!?" Annette angrily screams out.
"A low born bitch pretending to be something that she's not." Felicia replies with a barking laugh. "I know the Ardens. Thieves and Con Artists, all of them! How a little bitch like you married into a respectable family like the Cauldwells is beyond me."
Annette begins to breath heavily as her anger quickly builds. "And who are you to call me low born, you whore!"
Felicia stalks forward and gets directly into Annette's face and with a low, hard voice. "Please allow me to introduce myself. I am Felicia Standing of the Standing family of Virginia."
"You can't be!!" Annette replies in shock as she recognizes the family name. "No person of class like a Standing would associate with low born mongrels like Frank and his children!!"
Felicia again backhands Annette. "You demented cow!! How dare you speak so of a good man who's only crime is knowing an ignorant bitch like you!! If Frank wasn't already seeing Cassandra, I'd have him married to one of my younger daughters or a granddaughter so fast he wouldn't know what happened to him!"
"That proves it!" Annette replies with a hiss. "No good family would accept him or his mongrel children!!"
Felicia shakes her head in disgust and just clinches her fist and lets Annette have a right cross to her jaw. Annette falls to the ground, unconscious. "I was getting tired of her mouth." Felicia replies as she shakes her hand.
"You hurt?" Frank asks.
"No. Just pissed that that bitch made me hit her so many times." Felicia replies in disgust. She looks at Will and Heather. "I'm sorry that I did that. But no one speaks ill of children in front of me."
"Is what you said true?" Heather asks. "Is Grandmother's family really like that?"
"They are." Felicia replies. "Several of them tried to trick their way into my family, but we stopped them."
"What did they try?"
"The usual. The women would fake pregnancies. The men would force themselves on the younger women, making them pregnant and then marrying into the family."
"And people let them get away with this?" Cassandra asks in shock.
"Many families have their reputations to uphold and they often just absorb the person and make sure that they don't get any power or money." David replies. "One of them made the mistake of trying to force himself on Melinda."
"What happened?" Frank asks.
"She put him in the hospital for a year." Felicia replies with a smile. "Bastard tried to sue us for pain and suffering."
"Did he collect anything?"
"No." Felicia replies with an evil smile. "The judge ordered his lawyer to pay our legal expenses. The Weasel went bankrupt from that case."
"Damn, but you're a mean one." Frank replies with a smile.
"Only way to do business." Felicia replies as Annette wakes up.
Annette glares at the people around her and screams out. "Bufford!!"
"Yes, Mrs. Cauldwell?" Bufford asks from where he's standing next to Will and Heather.
"Call the Sheriff! I want this. . . this hussy arrested!!" Annette orders as she gets up. She glares at Felicia but turns her attention to Frank, Will and Heather. "You will not get my family's fortune, you mongrel apes! I guarantee it!" Annette hisses out in triumph as she straightens her clothes.
"Sheriff Campbell?" The dispatcher calls out as the Sheriff and Digger were having an early lunch in a local diner off State Route 12.
"What is it, Cindy?"
"The Cauldwell butler just called. He said that Frank Scully was at the estate and he and Annette were arguing."
"How bad does it sound?" The Sheriff replies with a tired sigh.
"He told me to have one of the deputies pick up Judge Haines at the courthouse. He's also called in the family lawyer as well."
"Damn! What can it be now?" Sheriff Campbell replies as he puts a ten down on the table. Digger quietly gets up and follows the Sheriff out.
Claude Baker looks at the caller ID on his phone and groans. "Damn that woman! Can't she leave me alone!?"
"Pick it up, Claude." A feminine voice orders from behind his chair. Her warm and strong hands leave his neck and the attorney rubs the spot that they were massaging a few minutes before.
"Yes, Dear." Claude replies as he hears a voice that he hadn't heard in a long time.
"Hello, Mr. Baker. This is Bufford."
"Mr. Bufford? Why are you calling me? You're not a client of this firm."
"There is a dark brown manila envelope in your firm's safe. I need it delivered to the estate as quickly as you can. On the front of it is following sentence. 'The soil of Shiloh County holds the bones of twenty generations of Cauldwells.'"
Claude gulps as he remembers the envelope that his father hold told him never to open. "How do you know this, Mr. Bufford."
"Because that envelope was placed there for a very specific reason, Mr. Baker. And I need it now."
"All right, I'll bring it to the estate." Claude replies as he hangs up the telephone. He turns to his wife and asks. "Will you come with me, Rachel?"
"Of course." Rachel replies as she puts on her shoes. "Do you know what's in the envelope? I've always wondered."
"No, I don't. But it looks like we'll find out today."
Bufford walks back out as Annette begins another tirade against Will and Heather.
"How dare you two come back here!! Don't you know when you're not wanted!!"
"We only want our clothes and stuff." Will replies politely.
"You can't have them!" Annette barks back at Will. "Nor can you have any of the other things that are my property!" Heather begins to cry again as Annette continues to hammer them. Cassandra hugs her to her bosom and glares daggers at Annette. Annette sniffs in arrogance as Felicia, tired of the noise that Annette's mouth was making, promptly backhands her, again. Annette stops talking and glares at the Matriarch of the Standing Clan in open fear as Felicia tells her.
"I have hated few people in my life and wished them harm, woman! But, if you open your mouth once more, I will shut it permanently!"
Annette gulps when she hears the open venom in Felicia's voice. Her fear quickly turns back to anger as she spots Sheriff Campbell and his chief deputy walking into the house. "Now you'll get yours, Bitch!" Annette replies in glee as Sheriff Campbell asks.
"What's happening here?" Annette begins to open her mouth and Sheriff Campbell glares at her. "I didn't ask you, Mrs. Cauldwell. I was asking Mr. Scully."
"How dare you!!?" Annette barks out, but quickly quiets down as Digger growls at her. She looks into the deputy's eyes and doesn't see any respect in them, only disgust.
"Well, Mr. Scully?" Sheriff Campbell prompts.
"We came here to pickup Will and Heather's things. Annette refuses to let them go into their rooms and take their things out."
"Mrs. Cauldwell?" Sheriff Campbell asks.
"I want these low born mongrels out of my house!!" Annette barks out.
Sheriff Campbell sighs in disgust as he turns back to Frank. "Take what the kids want, Mr. Scully." Annette begins to complain, but an icy glare from Sheriff Campbell stops her. "The children have a right to their belongings, Mrs. Cauldwell. You can't take them away."
"I'll have your badge for this, you traitorous bastard!"
"And how will you do that, Mrs. Cauldwell?"
Annette laughs evilly. "I just sold the factory to a company in Mexico and they'll move all of the jobs there. And, before I leave this backward place, I'll tell everyone that it was your fault that I closed down the factory!"
"That'll bankrupt the county!" Digger angrily replies. "All of those families who work there will lose their jobs!"
"I don't care!! I will sell everything and move away to a more civilized place and make it my life to ruin all of you!"
"What about the people who gave their lives to the Cauldwell family? They spent their lives working for you! What about them?" Digger demands.
"Low born scum!! I don't care what happens to them or this backward county. I'm leaving and taking all of my money with me!!" Annette announces.
"I'm afraid not, Mrs. Cauldwell." Bufford replies. His voice strong and clear as he stares down Annette.
"How dare you speak like that to me!! You're nothing but a servant!!"
Bufford doesn't bother to reply as Judge Haines walks in with Claude Baker and his wife Rachel closely following. "Mr. Baker, do you have the envelope?"
"I do, Mr. Bufford."
"Please open it now. You'll find five envelopes in there. One each for Judge Haines, Sheriff Campbell or his successor, and your Father. William and Heather also each have an envelope in there." The manila envelope is opened and Claude hands out the envelopes to everyone, keeping the one with his father's name on it.
Sheriff Campbell and Judge Haines both open theirs immediately and both begin to smile as they look up from them. Claude reads his with Rachel looking over his shoulder. They both look over to Will and Heather who are still holding their envelopes in their hands.
"What the Hell is going on here!?" Annette demands as Bufford steps forward.
"Prior to his death, Carter had rewritten his will to cover various contingencies. As his oldest friend and confidant, I was charged to set into motion certain things if a situation arose that would require my intervention."
"What the Hell are you talking about!?" Annette demands loudly.
Bufford turns to Annette and politely tells her. "Your attempt to disown William and Heather has forced my hand. The letter that Judge Haines is reading is a codicil to Carter's last will and testament. It authorizes me to take over as executor of Carter's estate and protect it for William and Heather until they reach their age of majority."
"It's a forgery!!" Annette screams out. "I'll fight it all the way to the Supreme Court!"
Bufford sighs as he continues. "The letter that Sheriff Campbell is reading is an order that prevents anyone from selling any of the family assets." Annette goes pale. "The letter that Mr. Baker is reading is an order for his firm to take over all of the financial dealings concerning the estate and hold it in trust for William and Heather. Annette is to receive a stipend that will cover her expenses but will not allow her to deplete the family accounts. Nor will she be allowed to make any more contracts in the family name."
Annette stares in pure anger at Bufford. "How dare you do this, Bufford!! Haven't I treated you well with respect for your station?"
"My loyalties are to the Cauldwell family. Not you." Bufford replies coldly. "William and Heather are the only Cauldwells in this house."
"How dare you!!" Annette barks out.
"I have watched your attempts to climb the social ladder for the last four years since Carter died and I will not allow you to use William and Heather as your pawns!"
"You have no right!!"
"But I do. Part of the codicil is that I, or a person of my choice, will continue to run the household until William and Heather relieve either of us at their majority. You will not have any rights to hire or fire staff here from now on." Bufford replies calmly as Judge Haines claps a hand on his shoulder in support.
"The intent of this codicil is quite clear, Annette. It's been properly witnessed and executed by Carter. You don't have a leg to stand on." Judge Haines explains.
"I will fight it!! I will win!! I am an Arden and we always win!!"
"No, you will not." Bufford replies. "Attempt to fight this and you will be left penniless."
"My family will stand behind me!!"
"The Ardens!?" Felicia asks in disbelief. "They'll just leave you on the street like they do all of their fail lures!"
"My family will stand behind me." Annette growls out angrily.
"She's nuts." Melinda replies. "When I put Thaddeus into the hospital, none of his family even bothered to visit him or call him. Almost made me feel sorry for him. Almost."
"What's in our letters, Bufford?" Will asks, breaking the tension in the room.
"Personal letters from your Grandfather. I never read them because they're for you and Heather, William." Bufford softly replies. "Your Grandfather loved you both very much, Will. Before he died, he had me swear, on my honor, that I would stay here and watch over you two and stop any plans that your Grandmother hatched."
"Honor!!? You don't know the meaning of the word!!" Annette harshly barks out.
"Mrs. Cauldwell, I served the Cauldwell family for forty of my sixty five years. My father served this family for forty eight years. My Grandfather served for fifty one years. His father, thirty seven years. My family has served this family, as freemen, since seventeen twenty. I, like all of my ancestors going back almost three hundred years, grew up with a member of the Cauldwell family as my best friend. The Cauldwells treated my family as a part of their own and I will not allow you to spit upon the graves of all those good and caring people whose history my family shares."
"You Nigger!!" Annette hisses out. "You fucking Nigger!! How dare you to treat me like this!? Haven't I treated you like you deserved?"
"Mrs. Cauldwell, you have treated me like I was a part of the furniture." Bufford replies calmly. "You have insulted and forced out my son who was to take over my position when I retired. He will not return until you are gone and I think that he is right."
Annette glares at everyone and begins to scream at the top of her lungs as she points to Frank. "You!!!!! You caused all of this!!! You are responsible for everyone turning against me!!! I will see you dead if I have to see my soul to Lucifer to do it!!"
"I think you'll be seeing him sooner than you think." Frank replies as he walks past Annette, leading his son and daughter. "Go get your stuff. Maureen and the rest will help you pack up your things."
"Mr. Scully?" Bufford asks. "Can the children stay here? I know that you have no reason to believe me, but they will be safe and well cared for by myself and the rest of the staff."
"Mrs. Standing is fostering my children for the next school year, Mr. Bufford." Frank replies as Felicia nods her head. "They'll continue to go to the same school this year, but they'll be living at the Standing estate. Away from Annette and her schemes."
"And you may visit whenever you wish, Mr. Bufford." Felicia informs him. "We will see to the next phase in their education and care."
"And this next phase is?" Bufford asks.
"Mrs. Standing's family has a long tradition of military service and they train all of their children to be competent fighters from the age of twelve." Frank replies.
"And you would want William and Heather to partake of this training!?" Bufford angrily demands.
"Mr. Bufford." Frank calmly begins. "Will and Heather almost lost their lives yesterday because of Annette's stupidity." Bufford glances over to the Sheriff and Digger who both nod their heads. He then glares at Annette.
"How did this happen, Mr. Scully?"
"Annette tried to hide at a place run by a perverted bastard with his own private army." Frank replies. "He planned to take Will and Heather away with him when he tried to escape."
"I see that he failed in his escape attempt." Bufford replies softly seeing the well developed Standing family. "May I ask how you prevented him from escaping?"
"Just used some of that old white magic." Cassandra replies with a mischievous smile.
Bufford looks over to Sheriff Campbell and sees that his face was very pale. <I wonder why the Sheriff is so fearful all of a sudden? I better ask him what happened when we're alone.> "And what happened to the man?"
"He won't be causing anyone anymore trouble." Frank replies neutrally. Bufford looks into Frank's eyes and sees a man willing to do anything to protect his children. He then looks into Cassandra's eyes and sees the same protective look. He sighs in resignation, realizing that Frank and Cassandra would be a real Father and Mother to Will and Heather.
"When may I visit the children?"
"We'll take Will and Heather with us for the next three weeks." Frank replies. "When we get back, they'll go straight to preparing themselves for their final year in Junior High School."
"And after that?"
"They'll move up to New York with me or I'll have them move out to my friends in California and stay with their God Father."
"They don't have a God Father." Bufford replies.
"They do now." Frank replies with a smile. "My partner and best friend will be their God Father."
"And this man is?"
"Steven St. Wolf." Frank replies.
"What sort of man is he?" Bufford asks.
"Did you serve in the military, Bufford?" Frank asks.
"Yes, I did. Four years in the Army."
"You would agree that a man is measured by the respect that he's gained from his peers and superiors?"
"There is a lot of truth in that statement." Bufford agrees.
"What sort of man do you think has earned two silver stars, three bronze stars, a purple heart and the Medal of Honor?"
Sheriff Campbell, Judge Haines and Digger all stare at Frank in awe. "A man worthy of my respect, Mr. Scully." Bufford admits quietly in awe. "Few men like that leave the military whole."
"Steve did." Frank replies as Cassandra clears her throat. "What is it, Cass?"
"You forgot to mention that he also won the Victoria Cross." Cassandra replies with a smile.
"What's that?" Digger asks.
"The British version of the Medal of Honor. My God! No one living has ever earned TWO such awards." Judge Haines replies in awe. "Mr. Scully, I must say that you have the most interesting friends."
"Thank you, your Honor." Frank replies with a grin as Annette stares at him in pure hatred. Frank leans over to her as Will and Heather get out of earshot. "Annette, I know that you hate me, but know this. Hurt my children again like this and you will never be seen again!!"
"You DARE to threaten me in my own home!!?" Annette hisses out.
"This is not your home, Mrs. Cauldwell." Bufford reminds her. "This is Will and Heather's home. You may stay here on sufferance, but that is all." Annette glares at him as she storms off. Bufford turns to Frank and asks. "What now, Mr. Scully? You are obviously William and Heather's guardian now. What do you want to do with the Cauldwell family holdings?"
"I'll have my business manager come down and look over the books. If the company is making money, then we'll continue running it as is. But she may want to do some expansion if it's possible. If it is, I'll do an inter company loan for whatever money is needed. I want Heather and Will to have the inheritance that Carter left them. And then some."
"What about the people?" Digger asks worried about his friends and family who worked at the plant.
"No one will get fired." Frank promises. "If there's no work for them here, I'll have them transferred to one of my air freight companies locally. Heather will also see about setting up an independent retirement fund for the workers. One that no one can touch like Annette planned to."
Judge Haines just shakes his head in admiration. "Mr. Scully would you, Miss Hastings and the children join my family at the Shiloh Country Club tonight? I think that the leading families of the county would like to meet you."
"It's well appreciated, your Honor, but I can't at this time. When we get back from New York City, then we can socialize, but right now, with the things that happened recently, I just want to be with my children and my Lady."
"That's understandable." Judge Haines replies as Will and Heather walk out of their room, followed by Maureen and the rest of the Standing servants carrying a large number of bags and boxes.
"We're finished." Will softly replies as Heather stands next to him, softly crying. Before Frank can make any comforting motions, Bufford hugs the both of them and promises.
"Will, Heather?" Both look at his kindly eyes. "You're rooms will be waiting for you when you come back, I'll be here and my son Joshua will be coming back as well. We'll make sure that your home is here for you."
"What about Grandmother?" Heather asks.
"She has a place to stay here, for as long as she lives. But your Father and I have made sure that she can't harm you or what your Grandfather left for you." Bufford explains. Will and Heather look at Frank who nods his head quietly. Both understand that they would still have their childhood home, but now they were leaving it for a while.
"Where are we going now?" Will asks.
"To see your Aunt Maggie." Frank replies with a smile. "She wants to see her nephew and niece again."
"Okay." Will replies with a smile. "She has the funniest cat."
"Yeah, I thought that it understood every word we said." Heather replies with a smile.
Frank leans over to Cassandra. "Should we tell them?"
"No. Let it be a surprise." Cassandra replies with a light chuckle.
July 30th - 8:15 am PST, 11:15 am EST
Shiloh County, VA
Bufford watches as the grandchildren of his best friend leave with their Father. He sighs softly as Sheriff Campbell, Judge Haines, Claude Baker, his wife and Deputy Digger Rascal all join in and wave goodbye to Will and Heather Cauldwell as they begin the next stage in their lives. As the children of Frank Scully and Cassandra Hastings.
"I think that they'll be happy with their Father, Bufford." Claude Baker replies softly as he holds Rachel close to him.
"I know, Mr. Baker, but there are so many questions I have about the man that I'll probably worry constantly about the children. At least they'll be staying nearby at the Standing Estate. I can be grateful for that."
"I wonder about his 'friends'." Sheriff Campbell replies softly as they walk back into the house.
"What friends, Joe? The ones at the courthouse?" Judge Haines asks.
"Not those, Reg. The ones with the heavy weapons and military vehicles that he called in when Harry Tuttle took his kids."
"Who?" Judge Haines asks as Sheriff Campbell hands him a drawing. When he sees it, tears begin to form and he quietly puts down the image. Everyone waits for him to regain control.
Rachel looks down on the image and stiffens in recognition. "Oh God! He knows THEM!!?"
Everyone looks at her and she quietly shakes her head in disbelief when Digger tells her. "He doesn't know them, Miz Horowitz, he commanded them."
"Annette was a fool to fight this man." Rachel softly replies. "Did you hear anything, Deputy?"
"Only that Scully said he was a Knight Lieutenant, whatever that is." Digger replies with a shrug of his shoulders.
"Sweet God in Heaven." Rachel mutters as she shakes her head in awe. "Grandfather is never going to believe this."
"Believe what, Miss Horowitz?" Bufford asks.
"Frank Scully is a Knight Lieutenant in the Order of the Grail." Rachel replies softly, her voice twinged in awe. "An actual Knight of the Order."
"And these Knights are what?" Bufford asks.
"Legend says that after the fall of Camelot, the surviving Knights of the Round Table formed a new secret order of knights to protect humanity from the dark forces that destroyed Camelot."
"And this 'Order' as you put it still exists to today?" Bufford asks in shock.
"My Grandfather was rescued from the death trains by them. The Nazis called them Uber Devils, Mr. Bufford." Rachel replies.
"And my two nieces were rescued by them seven years ago. They were responsible for the killing of almost thirty thousand pedophiles and the rescue of almost one hundred thousand children, world wide." Judge Haines adds in. "And before you ask, Bufford. Frank Scully, Miss Hastings and Mr. St. Wolf were raiding a slave auction in Libya, rescuing over four hundred children."
Bufford stares down at the floor in pure disbelief. He shakes his head and quietly mutters. "My God! What this man has accomplished! Does anyone else know?"
"Only his closest friends, I think." Sheriff Campbell replies. "He's not the type to advertise what he's done. Very few men like that left in the world. I think that's why Carter liked him so much and didn't fight Claire's marriage to him like Annette did."
"A man truly worthy of Claire." Bufford replies softly. "What about the Standing family? Why were they involved?"
"I don't know." Sheriff Campbell replies. "But I counted almost two hundred of them there. All armed with assault rifles and pistols. How they got to Harry Tuttle's compound before we did, I'll never know."
"Just be glad that they got there." Digger growls lowly. "Because I think that they were planning on running before we got there. Peters and Thompkins found one of their goons preparing their plane yesterday for a quick getaway."
Bufford just shakes his head in awe. "Mr. Scully appears to enjoy the favor of the Fates, and I for one would not like to face such a man in battle."
"I wouldn't like to face his woman in battle either." Sheriff Campbell replies.
"May I ask why? Miss Hastings appears to be a lady of some breeding. Surely she's not the type to as dangerous as a former Navy SEAL."
"Oh she's dangerous, all right. I watched her cast a spell that froze time for a full three minutes."
"She froze time? How?" Claude asks in shock.
"She's a witch." Sheriff Campbell replies with a touch of fear. "When she said, 'just a touch of that old white magic', I almost pissed my pants."
"Sheriff Campbell, while I'm the first to admit that there are strange things out there," Bufford replies as he remembers a certain night when he fought and defeated a real vampire. "But one of the most popular fantasy writers being a real witch is a bit hard to believe."
"Well, you weren't there, Bufford." Sheriff Campbell replies. "But a dozen of my Deputies saw her cast the spell and they helped free the hostages from that sick bastard's plan."
"Dear God. What sort of man have we involved ourselves with?" Judge Haines replies.
"The Devil! That's what!" Annette barks out from where she's standing, listening. "Frank Scully made a deal with the Devil to get what he has and that witch whore of his is part of the package!!" Everyone looks at her in shock, but Annette continues. "We have to destroy them! All of them! The Scullys, the Standings, all of them!!"
"You will do no such thing, Annette!!" A very familiar voice barks out from behind Bufford. Bufford turns and sees something that he thought he'd never see again. His oldest friend, Carter Cauldwell. Everyone turns and sees an image of a man four years dead. The grey hair was gone, replaced by the light brown of his youth. His stance was straight and showed his full six foot, three inch height. Instead of the dark blue suits that he favored in later years, he wore a cream colored sports jacket over a white turtle neck sweater and dress pants.
"Oh God! Not again!" Annette cries out as the ghostly image of Carter Cauldwell stalks over to her and demands.
"You know as well as I do, Annette. Frank is not in league with the Devil!"
"Then who is he in league with?" Bufford asks.
Carter smiles at his old friend and points up. Everyone quickly gets the message and they watch as Carter walks over to his favorite chair and sits down. "Everyone get comfortable, this may take a while." Annette starts to move away, but Carter's glare stops her. "You stay as well, Annette. Or would you care to face Lady Artemis again?"
"No, I don't." Annette replies weakly as she sits down.
"Very good." Carter replies as he looks at Claude and Rachel. "You two have started foreclosure proceedings against Margaret Scully on Annette's orders. I want them stopped and the mortgage sent to her home marked paid in full."
"Of course, Mr. Cauldwell." Claude replies. "Uhm, can I ask a question?"
"How are you here? Why are you here?"
"That's two questions, Claude." Carter replies with a soft laugh. "But the how is easy. God can do whatever He wants. The why? Frank Scully has done a lot for this world and God felt that I should come down and clear up a few things for him."
"What is Mr. Scully?" Sheriff Campbell asks.
"A man who has spent the last fourteen years saving the world at least a dozen times. He and Mr. St. Wolf are two of the deadliest warriors in the Army of the Light."
The assembled group looks at Carter in awe. "And Miss Hastings?" Bufford asks.
"A very powerful warrior witch who has spent the last seven years fighting beside Frank as his shield mate and lover. She has helped to save the world four times beside him."
"Will they make good parents for William and Heather?" Bufford asks.
"Yes they will." Carter replies with a warm smile. "I would have preferred that Claire and Frank raised them here, but things didn't turn out that way as you know."
"What about the Standings?" Judge Haines asks.
"They will protect and care for Will and Heather like they're members of the Standing family." <Which they may become if Felicia Standing's plans bear fruit.>
"What about me?" Annette asks softly.
Carter looks at his wife of thirty five years. "Annette, our marriage may have been set up by your Mother, but I grew to love you. You have to get away from this path that you're on or you won't be joining me in heaven." Annette begins to cry. Carter sighs as Annette asks.
"Is it too late for me now?"
"No, it isn't. If you spend the rest of your life doing good and caring for the people of this county, you'll be allowed into heaven." <And maybe you'll have more than five people at your funeral.>
Annette swallows and nods her head in understanding. "All right. I'll start helping. But I don't know how."
"That's easily done." Judge Haines replies. "My wife always need volunteers for the various charities she heads. I'm sure that she'll take your help."
"What about the business? Your son-in-law is sending down one of his people to examine the books." Claude asks.
"Miss O'Bannon is a professional in the truest sense of the word. But her professionalism is tempered by a loving and caring heart that will not allow her to willingly destroy anyone's livelihood just for a minor increase in profits."
"That's a relief." Digger replies. "Is she single?"
"Miss O'Bannon's heart is for one man, but she's afraid that her past will hurt him."
"Who's the guy?" Digger asks.
"Remember Mr. Webb?" Carter replies with a smile as Digger gulps. "Good. I see that you do. He loves her as well and is waiting for her to accept his advances. A good man for what he does."
"Now." Carter begins. "I have to go. But know this. I will be watching you, Annette. And the children of course." Everyone watches as Carter disappears from the chair.
Judge Haines looks at everyone in the room and softly says. "Bufford, the house is under your control. Annette, my wife will be expecting you at the first Baptist's soup kitchen tomorrow morning. You'll help prepare lunch and dinner. Claude, you and your wife will be gathering up the books for Miss O'Bannon's review. And the Sheriff and I will stop the sale of the factory immediately. Any questions?"
"Do you want the phone number to the man who I sold it to?" Annette softly asks.
"Yes, that would help." Judge Haines replies as he gets up. "Please get it and I'll take care of him." And with that, the group breaks up, each going their own way.
September 1st - 7:00 am PST, 10:00 am EST
J. Edgar Hoover Federal Building
Harm holds the door for Mac as they walk into the J. Edgar Hoover Building. They both look at the list of offices and scratch their heads. A guard notices their confusion and walks over.
"May I help you, Commander, Major?" An older man dressed as a guard asks Harm and Mac as he reads their rank insignia.
"Can you tell us where the X-Files Division is?" Mac asks. No sooner are the words out of her mouth than everyone in the general area stops their conversations and begins to listen.
The guard looks around and grins. <Spooky and the Ice Queen are still scaring them.> "The X-Files are in the basement of the building. Please walk this way and I'll escort you to the elevator that opens directly across from their office."
"Can I ask why the X-Files are in the basement?" Harm wonders.
"Because no one wants to be near them."
"Why?" Mac asks.
"Have you ever met Agents Mulder and Scully?" The guard asks as they walk up to an elevator.
"No." Harm replies. "We only know them by their reputations."
"Enjoy the experience." The guard mutters as he walks away and the elevator doors close on his back.
Harm and Mac look at each other as the elevator descends to the basement level. "Who the hell are these two?" Mac mutters as the elevator doors open.
"From the way the other Agents were staring at us, probably a pair of stuck up prima donnas." Harm replies as he opens the door with the two Agents' names on it. When both he and Mac look in and stare in shock as they watch a man and a woman passionately kissing each other. Both Harm and Mac watch as the male agent sensuously stroked his hand between the female's thighs. They watch as the man's hand lovingly climbs up the woman's thigh and goes under her skirt. The woman moans in appreciation as the man's fingers dance under her skirt. "The desk, Mulder. The desk!" The female moans sensuously.
"I think that I can see why no one wants them around." Mac replies with a snicker as the two Agents break apart.
"Who the hell are you two!?" Fox Mulder demands as he turns, gun in hand. Dana does the same as she steps away, her face flushed and her eyes blazing at the interruption.
"Whoa!" Harm yells out as he finds the business end of a pair of Sig Sauer 228s pointed at him and Mac. He looks at Mac and sees her raising her hands and quickly follows her example. Mulder and Scully look over the pair and Scully sarcastically asks.
"Mulder! Did you try to break into Area 51 again without telling me?"
"Steal another Alien corpse?"
"Nope." Mulder replies as Harm and Mac look at each other in disbelief.
"Try to kill off another Alien bounty hunter?"
"Nope. Like they're going to come near me anymore." Mulder replies with a snicker. "Offed the last needle sticking bastard in less than eight seconds."
"Blow up another Grey Star Ship?"
"Nope." Mulder replies as a silly grin gets plastered to his face. "Why are you here, Major, Commander?"
Harm and Mac look at each other and nod their heads in agreement. <These two are nuts.> "Could we put down our hands down first?" Harm asks.
"Oh yeah." Mulder mumbles as he and Dana put away their Sig Sauers. "So what can we do for the Navy and Marine Corps?"
Harm and Mac look at each other once more and both shrug. They turn back around and Mac begins. "We had a strange encounter a few days ago. We would like to talk about it with you."
"Sure. Pull up some floor and we'll talk." Mulder replies casually as he and Dana lean against his desk.
Harm quickly grabs Dana's chair and pulls it out for Mac. Mac smiles at him and Mulder and Dana both snicker. // Do you think they know? // Dana asks.
// Doesn't look like it. // Mulder replies. // I wonder if they'll wait as long as we did? //
// Who knows? Maybe they'll be smart and just do it. //
"I don't know how to begin?" Mac replies as Dana and Mulder watch her.
"Try from the beginning." Mulder offers.
"All right." Mac replies and she tells them about the meeting with Donovan and the interview with Nashton, leading to Frank's exoneration. Mulder glances to Dana.
// Why didn't Frank call us? //
// We were in Paris. //
// Good point. // Mulder replies as he turns back to listen to Mac.
"So, we find Frank Scully in his office fencing with his girlfriend. We tell Scully about Nashton and he goes ballistic. One of the people with us was the attorney who first prosecuted him. Scully went after him with a sword."
"Cassandra didn't try to stop him?" Dana asks.
"She didn't have the time, Scully moved too quickly." Mac replies as she catches it. "How do you know about Cassandra Hastings."
Dana smiles sweetly. "Frank's my cousin."
"And you knew that he was still alive and you didn't tell anyone?" Harm demands, not liking what he just heard.
"I never believed that Frank murdered that man." Dana replies primly. "And you just proved it."
"But you're Federal Agents! You should have arrested him the minute you found out that he was still alive." Mac counters.
"Sorry, but we're not your normal FBI Agents." Mulder replies with a lop sided smile.
"And what are you two then?"
"The FBI's most unwanted." Dana tells them.
"The what!?" Mac asks in shock.
"We're the two most unwanted Agents in the FBI." Mulder repeats. "We're the Agents that no one in the Bureau wants to work with." // Except the Bureau 13 teams. // Mulder mentally adds in.
"Plus they think we're insane." Dana adds in with a snicker. // And don't forget Steve and Buffy's group. //
Harm and Mac look at each other and shake their heads in disbelief. "Oh God! What the hell did we just step into?" Mac mutters in disbelief.
"The X-Files zone." Mulder replies with a chuckle as he begins to hum the theme from the Twilight Zone.
"And Bud thinks these two are the hope of humanity?" Harm replies in shock, not believing that two adults could act like Mulder and Scully were.
"So what strange thing happened?" Mulder asks.
Harm stares at the two Agents and sighs in frustration. <If either of them laugh, then I'm leaving.> "A woman dressed like some Greek Amazon appeared from thin air."
"And did this 'woman' give a name?" Mulder asks with a grin.
"Artemis." Mac replies. "And the strange thing was that she was looking at me like I was a prize bull or something."
"You're kidding?" Dana seriously asks. Mac just shakes her head. "Damn!" Dana mutters. <I'll have to ask Artemis about this woman.> Mulder quickly loses his cocky grin and begins to ask questions.
"What did she say, exactly."
Mac looks at Harm who nods his head. Mac turns back to Mulder and Scully. "She didn't say anything, but she had this look in her eyes."
"What sort of look?" Dana asks.
"A sort of possessive look. Like I was her property or something."
"Damn." Mulder replies as he looks at Dana. // You think she's been chosen? //
// I do. Artemis likes women like the Major. She'll fit right in. //
// What do we tell her? //
// That it's not the first such case and give her the usual run around. //
// That'll work. For now. I can't wait to see her face later on though. // Mulder adds in with a mental snicker.
They both turn back to Harm and Mac, who are watching them closely. "You're not the first case we've heard about."
"Sarah's not the first case!?" Harm angrily asks. "What is this woman's problem?"
<Forgive me Artemis for what I'm about to say. But I have to protect my sisters.> "She's delusional, but it's harmless." Dana replies as she gets a thought sent back to her.
// You are forgiven, Daughter. // Artemis sends with a feeling of deep love. Dana smiles as the love envelopes her and she feels closer to her Goddess.
"And if we see her, again?" Harm asks.
"Just give us a call. We'll round her up and send her back home." Mulder replies with a smile. "If she's harmed, her Family will try to punish the people responsible." <In fact, they'll strike them dead.>
"They're very protective of her?"
"Her brothers are in a league all by themselves." Dana replies with a smile as she remembers watching Kevin Sorbo play himself on his television series.
"Real hardcases?" Mac asks.
"Very hard." Dana purrs remembering the previous weekend's episode where Hercules was shirtless.
"Okay, now this has just gone too far!" Mac angrily mutters as she glares at the two FBI Agents. "What the hell are you two going to do about this woman and her family?"
"Nothing until something illegal happens. Her looking at you like a prize cow isn't against the law." Mulder calmly replies as he takes in the Major's long legs. Mac unconsciously tucks her legs back from Mulder's smoldering glare. "In fact, Major. If you weren't wearing that uniform, most of the men and a few of the women in this building would be trying to pick you up."
"Same goes for the Commander." Dana snickers. "Every woman in this building and a few of the men won't mind having Commander Rabb fly them to heaven." Harm angrily growls and steps forward. Mulder looks at him and nonchalantly leans back, waiting for the him to take a swing. Harm steps forward, but Mac gets up and walks toward the door.
"Harm, we're leaving!" Mac growls out. "These two may like being treated like weirdos, but I don't. If I see that woman again, I'll do what I need to do." Harm follows her out and slams the door behind them.
Both Mulder and Scully wince when they hear the door slam, but both quickly begin to laugh. A third voice joins them and both agents turn and see Artemis standing near their desk. Both stop laughing and Dana bows deeply to her. Artemis, smiling hugs her and then hugs Mulder. "You both did well." She softly tells them.
"Just one question." Mulder asks with a chuckle. Artemis nods her head. "Will they ever get together?"
"Oh, but you are a man after my heart." A soft voice replies from near Artemis. Both Mulder and Scully watch as a scantily clad blonde appeared near Artemis. She walks over to Mulder and caresses his cheek with her finger tip. "Stud Muffin, I like the way you and your lady think."
"He's private property, lady!" Dana growls out as the woman invades Mulder's personal space. Both the woman and Artemis laugh as Dana glares at her significant other who's staring at the blonde's well developed cleavage.
"By Zeus! She's a fiery one!" The blond laughs.
Dana growls dangerously. "Lady Artemis? Who is this 'woman'?"
Artemis gives her newest Amazon a serene smile. "My sister, Aphrodite. I'm sure that you've heard of her." Dana gulps nervously and looks at Mulder side wise.
Aphrodite giggles merrily as she looks at them. "Don't worry, kiddies. I'd never break up a pair like you two."
"Thank goodness." Dana mutters in relief as she turns to Artemis. "Have you chosen Major MacKenzie?"
"Not yet, Dana." Artemis replies as she sits down.
"I want to be there when you make your offer." Mulder snickers. "I want to see her face when she realizes that you're a real Goddess."
Artemis smiles as she looks at her Amazon and her lover. "I'll make sure that you're present."
"Thanks, Artemis." Mulder replies as both Goddesses leave. He turns back to Dana and puts his hand on her thigh. "Now where were we?"
Dana smiles impishly and begins to chant. "The Desk, Mulder! The Desk!!" Mulder grins evilly and does as his lovely wife asks.
Outside of the Hoover Building Sarah and Harm look at each other and shake their heads in disbelief. "I wonder what their superiors would do if they found out that those two were having sex with each other?" Harm wonders with an evil grin.
Sarah stops dead in her tracks and glares at Harm. "Harmond Rabb Jr.! Don't you dare turn them in for that!"
"Why not?" Harm asks.
"Because I would turn them in for gross incompetence, but they were both right." Sarah replies.
"They were right!? About what for God's sake?"
"That a lot of people find the two of us attractive. The reason that we were so angry is because no one was ever that honestly blunt with us before."
"Do you like hearing a woman or man say that a lot of men AND women would like to sleep with you?"
Harm looks at the ground, embarrassed. "A little. But they shouldn't have said that!" Harm angrily replies as a woman whistles lowly as they walk past her. They both turn and glare at the dark haired, well built, attractive woman and watch, in shock, as she wiggles her bottom at the both of them. "Oh God!" Harm mutters in disbelief. "Is she doing what I think she's doing?"
"Yes, she is. She's flirting with the both of us." Mac replies in disgust. "I just hate it when people like Mulder and Scully are fucking right!"
"So do I, Mac. So do I." Harm replies as they both walk away from the woman.
Dr. Bambi Berenbaum watches the two military officers walk away and she sighs in disgust. "Why can't a handsome pair like that be fun?" She shakes her head in resignation and walks away towards her offices in the Department of Agriculture.
Harry Tuttle stares around him at the expanse of white and smiles. "I made it! I'm in Heaven!!"
"Oh come now." A soft voice replies from nearby. Harry turns and sees a tall man with an angular face leaning up against the wall. The man wore a white suit like Harry used to when he was working the Bible Belt as a preacher.
"Saint Peter?" Harry asks in glee as the man smiles down at him.
"Not even close, Harry."
"Michael?" The man shakes his head, his smile broadening.
"God?" Harry rasps out in awe.
"Oh please!!" The being replies as it snaps it's fingers and a short, bow legged demon appears nearby. "Metrous?"
"Yes, Master?" The little demon with a very nasty pitchfork replies respectfully.
"Would you care to introduce me to Mr. Harry Tuttle?"
"Oh course, Master!!" Metrous replies in glee. "Do you wish the introduction to be formal, semi formal, down and dirty, or the whole encilada?"
The man thinks for a minute, a small smile tugging at his lips. "Let's do it down and dirty, Metrous."
Before Harry can reply, the little demon rushes forward and begins to stab Harry repeatedly with the pitchfork. Harry screams like the damned as the pitch fork's electricity begins to fry him. "Oh God!! NO!! The pain!!! The pain!!!"
The man stands back and grins in appreciation. "Oh my, but you have gotten good with that."
The small demon bows and smiles at the man. "Anything to please you, Master. After all, practice makes perfect. Much practice." The man smiles at the demon like a proud Father.
"Who? Who are you?" Harry croaks out as the man looks down on him again. The man nods his head and Metrous steps forward and uses his pitchfork again. Harry continues to scream as the little demon begins to ride him and uses the pitchfork on his groin. Finally, the man again nods his head and Metrous stops and awaits further orders.
The strange man stares at the nearly comatose man and gives the little demon a smile. "Good job, he didn't loose consciousness even once."
"Of course, Master." Metrous bows down and picks up Harry's head by his hair. Metrous looks back at the man and asks. "Now, Master?"
Harry looks at the man as the little bow legged demon hoarsely tells him. "Welcome to Hell, pervert and murderer!! The Lord Lucifer bids you welcome to his domain for eternity!" Harry looks up in shock as the floor under him disappears and he drops a hundred feet into a lake of lava. Lucifer and Metrous, floating above the lake, watch as Harry screams in pain as the lava licks at his cuts and broken bones. Lucifer looks at Metrous and orders.
"Please be a dear, Metrous, and make sure that his pain is a hundred times worse than any he has given to his victims."
Metrous bows formally. "Anything to please you, Milord. Any other instructions?
"Only that he get the same treatments that all of them get."
"With pleasure, Master!" Metrous replies as he salutes his lord and disappears.
Lucifer watches as the little demon appears above Harry Tuttle and the pitchfork begins to fall, again and again. "My, but he is trying to please me. I wonder what he wants?" Lucifer wonders but quickly shrugs his shoulders as he turns and leaves the room. "Oh well, I'll find out later. I'm sure that it's not much."
Someplace Even Warmer
Jans screams as his body is burned. He feels the heat build up until he screams out and his lungs begin to burn. His body burns from the entry and hopes that the pain would end soon. He suddenly stops, floating above a rock and a large fiery being looks him over. "Tell me mortal. Do you hate anyone?"
"I hate that bastard who killed me!! I want to rip his family to shreds while he watches! Then I'll kill him even more slowly!" Jans screams out.
The fiery being chuckles softly. "Yes, you'll do. I have an offer, if you're interested."
"What offer?" Jans growls out.
"A chance to gain your vengeance, on the man and humanity."
"I'm in." Jans replies without reservation. The fiery being laughs softly as it raises it's hands and Jans begins to scream the screams of the truly damned.