See part one of Storm Surge for all the legal yada, yada.
Alex led her team across the river in a small inflatable dinghy. When they reached the other side, Richard Blake pulled a stiletto from his boot, and in one quick motion, sliced a long slit down the side of the craft. Conner took a long, slow breath as she watched as their only means of escape via the river, deflate before her eyes. She glanced at Alex and saw that she too was watching, before snapping her head to the side, silently ordering them to move out.
The four stealthily moved through the darkness, entering the warehouse property through a narrow opening created by the first team. Silently, they moved closer to the warehouse using hand signals and experience to guide their progress.
Everyone felt the meeting would be held in the original warehouse location with the container building being used as a decoy to throw them off. Regardless of this, they had decided earlier in the day that they could not risk missing Hernandez, and placed the first and third group close to the Container building just in case.
Alex couldnt force away the uneasy feeling that kept creeping into her stomach. Things had gone extremely well so far, almost too well. As she knelt behind an old, rusted oil drum to watch the warehouse for any signs of movement, Alex decided she had to make a committed decision about Olivia. She knew she was only endangering the rest of the team with her uncertainty. Either Olivia was part of the team or part of the organization, but which?
A movement caught Alexs eye, and she watched as a tall figure moved from the building and out onto the concrete drive, stopping within the amber circle created by a halogen flood light on the side of the building. The figure pulled a pack of cigarettes from their left breast pocket and Alex watched on, as the small flame created by the lighter, illuminated Olivias face.
Olivia took a long drag of her cigarette, then blew out a stream of smoke, before running her left hand through her long dark mane. She then stretched her arm above her head, fist clenched in a tight ball. At the peak of the stretch, she opened and closed her hand four times, letting her fingers spread apart in the dim light. Well, Ill be damned, Alex thought as she read the silent hand signal from her ex-partner, she is one of the good guys.
Years before, Alex and Olivia had worked out many silent signals, and this particular one was formed to say that everything was a go and that twenty individuals were in the warehouse for them to deal with. Anyone in the Hernandez organization witnessing the movement would only think their Chief of security was out for a smoke and a stretch.
Alex smiled and turned to give a thumbs-up to her team. She could hear Conners sigh of relief in the darkness and quickly glanced over and gave a quick nod of her head. Alex knew she had only one transmission to Donald before the frequency would be silenced. She motioned to DeTomasso, giving the go ahead, and listened as he spoke through the tiny microphone taped to his collar.
"Got this one set, boss. Lets have a beer."
Alex turned and watched as the dark figure on the boat moved into the cabin, then the running lights were shut off, and all was dark except for the dim lights peeking through the portholes. She turned back towards the warehouse, and saw that Olivia was now talking with another person, this one a large male, with what appears to be an Uzi slung over his shoulder.
Olivia pointed towards the Container building and the man began walking away. Alex hoped Olivia was dispersing the armed men in an attempt to ease the teams forward movement. Alex looked around, and motioned the team to move out. They dispersed quietly, each member going in a different direction, to allow a wider coverage area. All was quiet for a few minutes, and then Alex heard a muffled thud, followed by a click in her ear.
The click was Blake keying his microphone, indicating a take down. The unique communications signal was agreed upon earlier in the day, and as Alex watched the warehouse, she saw Olivia turn her head in Blakes direction. Olivia was apparently listening to their signals through her earpiece, and as she turned back to the door, she looked up towards the roof. Alex interpreted this as a signal the there were men on the roof, and headed towards a shadow on the left side of the building.
Conner lay in the grass and watched Olivia as her head angled up towards the roof. She then made her way towards the rear of the warehouse, and using her strong hands and legs, she shimmied up a drainage pipe, stopping just short of clearing the parapet wall of the roof. She listened for any movement then eased a small mirror over the edge. Swiveling it, she could see three men on the roof, one on the opposite side from Alex, and two kneeling behind the parapet towards the front. There was a large exhaust fan sitting approximately ten feet in front of her, and she eased herself over the wall and moved quietly until she was securely crouched behind it.
Conner looked towards the side of the building where Alex had headed, but didnt see any indication that she had cleared the roof. Picking up a small pebble, Conner threw it several feet away, near an air conditioning unit, and watched as the guard near the side wall jerked his head around. As he made his way towards the sound, Conner used the time to move from her temporary hiding place behind the fan, to the opposite side of the unit, where she again waited.
She heard the guard approach and eased the stun gun from her belt, as she slipped her weapon into the holster under her right arm. She watched the shadow, cast by the street lamps, as it came closer, and took a quick glance around the other side of the unit to see the other two guards still standing quietly at the front wall. Just as the guard rounded the A/C unit, Conner pressed the stun gun against the guards neck, sending 500,000 volts of electricity through his body. The muscular guard fell limp into Conners arms.
She quickly stuffed a gag in his mouth, and using flex cuffs, she bound his hands and legs behind his body and rolled him onto his stomach. She pulled the limp appendages together and further strapped his hands to his feet. By the time she had completed the task, she looked around to see Alex on the other side of the building, hiding behind another exhaust fan.
Alex gave Conner a thumbs-up, and then heard the quick click in her ear, indicating the takedown. Alex pulled the Taser gun from the holster on her hip and held it up to Conner. Getting a quick nod in return, the two women eased their way into striking distance. Once they were positioned, Conner glanced over towards Alex. Alex held up three fingers and silently counted down. When her fingers formed a fist, they both pulled the triggers on the Tasers, and watched as the Electro-Muscular Disruption (EMD) darts carrying 50,000 volts imbedded themselves into the guards thighs. The men fell hard onto the gravel rooftop, and the two women sat silently for a few seconds listening for any sounds that would indicate their cover had been blown. Hearing none, Alex and Conner quickly bound the two guards, lifted the heavy dead weight and carried the guards into a dark shadow in the corner. Conner quickly keyed her mic twice as Alex quickly calculated the results. With the three guards down on the roof, the one Blake had taken out and six others she had heard, there were now ten remaining guards.
Alex signaled Conner to head for the access door and covered her as she made her way across the roof, before following. Once they were beside the door, Alex checked the doorknob and found it was unlocked. Conner stepped beside the door and raised her Sig, as Alex snatched the door open.
Moving through the door, they saw a dim light coming from the bottom of the stairs, and quietly made there way down, stopping every few steps to listen. Once at the bottom, they peered around the corner and Alex held up two fingers. They reloaded the Taser guns, and eased out into the hallway, "Hey guys," Alex whispered.
The two burly guards brought their weapons up, quickly turning towards the sound, but didnt have a chance to fire as darts hit each man center chest. Alex and Conner moved quickly, catching the men before their dead weight hit the ground, causing any noise. Pulling them into a side room, they quickly bound and gagged the two, and headed back out the door, clicking the mic twice on the way.
Olivia listened from the other end of the hallway as Alex and Conner made their way in her direction, impressed with her ex-partner. The team had managed to take out 12 of her guards without any trouble, leaving only eight more. Olivia knew all but one of the remaining guards were posted within the cavernous area of the warehouse, and silently headed through the door that would lead her back to Hernandez.
Malcolm watched Olivia closely as she walked towards two guards and spoke to them in a low voice, before turning and strolling back to where he was sitting.
"Where did you just send my two best guards, Captain?" Malcolm always addressed Olivia with the military rank he had given her when they were around others. However, they resumed a more relaxed nature when speaking in private, especially when they were in bed.
Olivia met his cold glare, "I couldnt raise Saul out in the field, so I sent them out to have a look," she shrugged her shoulders, "Probably nothing, but I dont want to take any chances. Wheres Thomas?"
A thin line formed across Malcolms face as he smiled, "Oh hes around somewhere."
From the corner of the room, Alex and Conner listened to the exchange. Alex could feel the cold sweat that suddenly covered her body when she first eyed Hernandez, slowly trickle down her back. Her eyes bore holes in the man as she struggled to control her breathing. Her first gut instinct was to raise her Sig and take him out right then and there, I have waited so long for this moment Malcolm, she thought to herself. Alex jerked as Conner placed a gentle hand on her arm. As she looked into Conners eyes, she could see the concern they held. Nodding her head, she quietly inhaled a deep breath, forcing her body to relax and focus, OK Montgomery, stick with the plan.
One moment of hesitation was all it took to give the dark figure his opportunity. While the two women were distracted with each other, he eased forward, smiling Their bodies stiffened on hearing the hammer of his gun cock, "Good evening ladies, so glad you could join our little party."
The two women slowly turned and Conners mind reeled as she looked into the face of the man before her, "Seth!"
Seths mouth widened in a slow malicious grin, "Hey Conner. You know, I never did get a chance to thank you for keeping Magnum while I was away on umm vacation."
Conner lunged towards Seth, but was pulled back by Alex, "You sorry son-of-a-bitch."
"Now, now Conner. You know, it really doesnt become you to speak such foul words, my dear." Seth pointed the gun at Alex knowing Conner wouldnt attempt anything daring as long as the gun was aimed at the Agent. "Now, why dont you hand me your weapons, very carefully, and then well go join the guest of honor?"
Olivia watched silently as Seth marched the two agents into the center of the warehouse, "What do we have here Thomas?" Olivia took a long drag off her cigarette and watched as Seth pushed the women closer.
"Just a couple of rodents I found in the hall, Liv. This beauty here is Alex Montgomery, The Shadow is what they call her," Seth heard a low chuckle from Malcolm who was sitting at the desk in a dimly lit corner, enjoying the introductions, "and this little spitfire is Conner Harris, my esteemed partner against crime."
Seth gave Olivia an amused look, "What Liv? Did I finally get a little information before you? Im disappointed you know, I thought you would have done your homework. Hard to believe youre not familiar with these two."
Olivia rose and walked closer to the two women stopping directly in front of Conner, "Nope, not this one. Ill have to make sure I get familiar though, shes very cute, Seth." Olivia raked her eyes over Conners body before reaching out to grip her chin in her hand, "Very cute indeed."
Conner jerked her head away and glared at Olivia, "Fuck off."
Olivia raised a brow and cocking her head sideways smiled, "Umm, and such a little fighter."
Alex heard Seths snorting laugh behind her, "Yes Liv, my dear, and just your type too. I know for a fact she likes tall, dark, sexy women."
Olivias eyes became hooded, as she moved closer, "Hmmm, well now, we just might have to get better acquainted a little later."
Conner remained silent and glared back at the woman. She refused to give Olivia the satisfaction of humiliating her. Conner could see Alexs muscles flex as Olivia grabbed the front of her shirt, pulling her roughly against her chest, and growled, "Youd better be nice blondie. Ill be the closest thing you have to a friend before the nights over." Olivia then leaned down and planted a rough, hard kiss on Conners lips, taking the women completely by surprise.
It took Conner only a second to regain her composure and she quickly bit down hard on the intruding lip. Olivia jerked away, and brought her hand up to her face, wiping away the blood that Conners bite had drawn, "You bitch."
Conners head snapped to the side as the back of Olivias hand struck her face, but she quickly faced the glaring woman once again, "Thats what you get for not asking politely."
Olivia glared at Seth as he roared in laughter, "My, my Conner, I would have never guessed you were such a live one. He looked at Olivia, "Youre going to have some fun with this one, Liv."
"Yes, I certainly intend to have a grand time," she turned and faced Alex, "Take her to the office and tie her up. I have a few more pressing matters to take care of right now."
Conner felt the gun pressed against her spine, and as Seth pushed her forward she heard Olivia call back over her shoulder, "Seth, be nice and dont hurt the poor girl. I certainly dont want you to ruin all the pleasure Im going to have later tonight. Its been a long while since Ive had a chance to saddle break one like her." Conner could hear the roaring laughter from Olivia as she was shoved through the doorway of the office.
Seth shoved Conner across the room as they cleared the wall making her lose her footing. "When this is over, youll pay for this Seth, I promise."
Leaning against a metal desk in the center of the room, Seth glared at his partner, "Im sure you would like to try, but unfortunately when this is over, youll be leaving in a body bag. I dont think I have anything to worry about."
Conner had eased herself into a sitting position against the far wall. Looking around the room, she searched for something within range to use as a weapon, "Why?"
Seth raised his arms in exasperation and shook his head as he gave Conner a glaring stare, "Come now Conner, think about it. Not everyone has the privilege of coming from a rich family like you, " he snarled.
Conners eyes widened in shock, "If you needed money, Seth, all you had to do was ask me. God Seth, youve been like a brother to me, I would have helped you."
Snarling, Seth walked closer to Conner and knelt in front of her, "Yeah right, little sister. You mean to tell me, if I had come to you and confessed that I had gambled away my life saving, and owed my bookie 200 grand, you would have bailed me out? I dont think so," Seth leaned in until Conner could feel his breathe on her cheek, "Not the great, noble Conner Harris. Im sure you would have run straight to Cappy."
"I would have helped you, Seth." Tears stung Conners eyes as she learned what her friend and partner believed about her. "So how did that lead to all of this? You telling me you trust Hernandez more than you trust your own partner?"
Seth stood and walked back towards the desk, "Its not about trust Conner, dont you see? Its about survival." Seth raked a hand through his hair and Conner could see the stress in his face, "Hernandez came to me and offered to pay my way out, if I would do him one little favor keep and eye on you. After Montgomerys girlfriend got killed and you decided to play the white knight, you started getting too close for Malcolms comfort."
Conner was trying to understand Seths desperation, "So, how did that get you here tonight?"
Seths malevolent smile sent chills up Conners spine, "Money, my dear Conner, something you dont have many concerns with. Malcolm made me an offer I couldnt refuse, making more money in a month than I could make a year on the force. He gave me wealth freedom. All I had to do was keep an eye on you, anyone else that got in his way, and deal with them appropriately."
"You mean murder them, right?" Conner could no longer keep the venom from her voice. This man, Seth, her brother, her partner, her friend, had fallen prey to the dark side of evil, betraying all that was right and good, "Youre pathetic, Seth."
Seth lunged off the desk. Before Conner could react, he had one hand around her neck and the other held a gun pointed against her temple, "Dont preach to me, Harris. I may be pathetic, but tomorrow Ill still be alive and well, sorry, I cant say as much for you." He reached behind his body and pulled a set of cuffs from his pocket, "This discussion is over, Harris. Dont move or Ill blow you righteous brains out, right here."
Conner seethed with anger as she stared her partner down, "You dont have the fucking guts." Conner felt the explosion in her head. She could feel the darkness begin to envelope her, and fought to remain conscious as the pain ripped through her body. She knew the blow Seth had delivered across the side of her face with the butt of his gun, had shattered her cheekbone. She felt her body begin to sag as the darkness wrapped itself around her mind.
When Conner regained consciousness, she felt her left arm wrenched behind her back, then her right, as Seth snapped on the handcuffs. He rolled her over and moved on to her feet. When he took his eyes off her for a split second, reaching for a length of rope, Conner reacted. Her foot snapped Seths head back as it made solid contact, and he fell back onto the floor, howling in pain, as blood gushed out of his nose.
"You fucking bitch," He turned onto his side, slowly regaining his balance, when another stabbing pain hit him in the ribs, sending him back to the floor writhing in agony. He quickly crawled out of Conners reach, retrieved the gun that had fallen from his hands and pointed it at Conner, "I should kill you right here." He took a labored breath, as the pain in his side increased, "However, I am going to enjoy seeing what Olivia has in store for you later. She is a real rough bitch, Harris, and I cant wait to see her break you." He stood and pulled the straight chair from behind the desk. Still aiming the gun at his partner, he walked closer, "On your stomach, NOW."
Conner rolled over onto her stomach and felt the legs of the chair straddle her legs. Seth was using an old trick she had taught him, "Glad you learned something from me."
"Shut the fuck up." Seth quickly tied Conners feet together and stood, "You make one move, and youre dead." He turned and walked towards the door, jerking it open. Taking a deep breath, he turned back to his partner and friend, and with a small hint of remorse spoke softly, "Im sorry it had to end this way Conner." Seth quietly closed the door and made his way up the stairs, to the roof, to release the guards Alex and Conner had earlier subdued.
Alex glared at Olivia as Conner was shoved towards the office door. A wave of guilt surged through her body as she realized the she had let her emotions persuade her to trust Olivia, even when all the evidence pointed towards her involvement in the Hernandez organization. Now they were in a tough situation, one Alex didnt know if she would be able to get them out of. Her head snapped to the left as she heard Malcolms dark, smooth voice from a few feet away.
"Please Alex, come and join me, wont you."
Olivias hand pushed her towards the desk in the dimly lit corner of the warehouse, and she felt a hand on her shoulder, as she was pushed down into the chair facing him. "Hello Malcolm. Long time no see." A thin smile crossed her lips, "Hows the leg?" Alex knew the only chance she and Conner had of escaping this situation was by unbalancing Malcolms focus.
Malcolm sat forward in the chair, placed his elbows on the desk before him and glared at his nemesis, "Yes Alex, it has been a long time." Completely ignoring the cutting question, he smiled and continued, "May I offer you a glass of wine?"
"No. Thank you."
He leaned back in the chair, took a sip of his wine, and regarded Alex with probing eyes, "Well, since you wont allow me to be a good host, maybe we should just get down to business then."
Alex glared back at the man who had torn her life apart, "Yes. Lets."
Hernandez reached into his breast pocket for one of his imported cigars and took his time lighting the small, brown roll of cured tobacco, as he considered his options. After sucking in a long draw, he blew out a stream of pungent smoke above his head. Leaning forward Malcolm smiled, "You have become quite a nagging problem for me, Alex. What will it take to make you go away?"
Alex regarded Malcolm Hernandez with flat, dark eyes. This man had almost destroyed her life, and now the only salvation she had been able to find was being held captive in the office, out of her reach. She also knew that if Olivia had turned rogue, neither would live to see tomorrow. Alex had worked with Olivia long enough to know she could be a brutal adversary, and if her suspicions were correct, the plans Olivia had for Conner would be merciless and deadly. She held Malcolms eyes as she spoke, "Seeing you taken out in a body bag, would be the only thing that can make me go away Malcolm.
Alex heard footsteps behind her, turning to see the five guards they had taken down earlier, enter the room, followed by Seth. Alex noticed that they spread out, essentially covering all areas of the warehouse, and knew the Special Ops team outside was in no position to assist them. She mentally calculated the numbers. Now that the five guards were back on their feet, there were a total of thirteen guards, Olivia, and Malcolm to contend with. Looking back at Hernandez, Alex knew she had to buy some time, "What is it that you want?"
Malcolm smiled, knowing he had the Agent right where he wanted her, "Call off your team outside. I want them all to walk up to the building, lay down their weapons, and walk out the far gate. I have a very important meeting in a little over an hour, and I dont want any unnecessary distractions."
Alex smirked, her eyes showing her amusement, "Sorry Malcolm, thats not going to happen. You might as well admit defeat. Youre trapped in here. If you think the FBI is going to let you walk away simply because you happen to have two of their agents held captive, youre more stupid that I thought."
A small thin smile crept across Alexs face, "Listen, Ill even give them the instructions myself. Alex lifted her hand pressing the tiny mic clipped under her shirt. Dipping her head, she spoke in a strong, clear voice, "Garrett, youre in charge. No way are you to, under any circumstances, surrender youre weapons to this piece of -."
Malcolm was out of his chair and in front of Alex before she finished giving her orders to the Special Ops team. He grabbed Alexs shirt and ripped it down the front, exposing the small microphone attached to her chest. Ripping the device from her skin, threw it on the floor and crushed it beneath his foot. Before Alex could pull her head back, Malcolms heavily jeweled hand struck her face, tearing a long gash down her cheek. He glared at Olivia over Alexs head, "Check the other one."
Seth moved towards the office and was stopped by Malcolms raging words to Olivia, "This is your mistake Captain. You clean it up."
Olivia glared at Malcolm then turned and walked towards the office. She hesitated for a moment to look back over her shoulder at Malcolm, and saw he was watching her movements closely. She opened the door and stepped into the darkened room.
Flipping the light switch on, she found Conner slumped in the corner, her right eye swollen shut from the brutal blow Seth had delivered earlier. She walked over and knelt down in front of Conner. Grasping cloth in both hands, she tore open the front of Conners shirt sending the buttons flying across the room. Olivia refused to make eye contact with Conner as she ripped the microphone from her chest, and crushed it beneath her booted foot. She roughly turned Conner over and uncuffed her hands, sliding the vest from her shoulders thus eliminating the tracking device imbedded in the outer covering. She then recuffed Conners hand and rolled her once again onto her back. Conner groaned in pain as the rough movements made her head spin. Only when Conner whispered her name, did the guilt run through her soul.
"Why, Olivia?" Conner could barely form the words through the pain, but she had to know why Alexs friend and ex-partner had turned against them.
"Be quiet," Olivias voice was flat and emotionless.
"She loved you, trusted you. Why?" Conner pressed.
Olivia made the mistake of looking into Conners eyes and saw the torment the younger woman suffered. Tearing her eyes from Conners, she practically ran to the door but stopped short of opening it. Olivia tore a hand through her hair, took a ragged breath, then turned once again towards Conner, "You love her, dont you?"
Olivias face was blurry, as Conner tried to see the womans face through only her good eye. She nodded her head and smiled, "Yes, Olivia, I love Alex more than life itself."
Olivia stood in the silence and looked into Conners eyes. Even through the pain, the womans eyes lit up as she spoke Alexs name. Olivia slowly walked back towards Conner and knelt down close to her crumpled body, reaching out to touch the smooth skin of Conners neck.
Conner felt something cold pressed against her skin, just at the vee where her clavicles joined the sternum, then watched as Olivia slowly walked to the desk in the dark corner, opened a drawer and placed something Conner couldnt discern inside. Conner jumped as the desk drawer was slammed shut and Olivia stomped from the room.
Donald and Jack sat in the cabin of the boat listening as the confrontation in the warehouse played out, and watched the tiny dots representing the other members of the team blink on the screen as they moved closer to the warehouse.
"Fucking asshole. If I ever get my hands on the piece of shit, Ill kill him." Jack had been stunned when Seths voice came through the speakers. Never had he dreamed that the rouge would be Seth. Then where does Bivins come into the picture? Jack thought to himself.
"OK. We have to think here. If Seth is the rogue, then what is Frank Bivins role in all of this, Donald?" Jack was pacing the narrow center lane of the cabin,
Donald took a haggard breath and watched his comrade closely, "Bivins was a set up, Jack." Before he could react, he felt his body being pulled out of the chair and slammed against the wall of the cabin.
Jacks eyes bore into Donalds, "A plant? Youre telling me you knew about this all along."
Donald held Jacks eyes, "It was classified information, Jack. I couldnt tell you."
Jack pulled Donald away from the wall and slammed him back again, "Ill give you a little classified information, you son-of-a-bitch. If anything happens to Alex or Conner in there, Ill kill you myself."
Donalds eyes held Jacks in a hard stare, "Sit down Jack, and Ill fill you in."
Continue to Part Twenty-Five of Storm Surge
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