Recovery of a Hero Ch. 18byRoadbug©
A Hero Prepares
Special thanks to Desert Pirate for his kind assistance.
When we went to the liquor store after buying the watches, Sally helped me out of the car and pushed me up to the door. I went inside and asked the cashier about champagne and she showed me the various types.
I selected a bottle of one of the better French brands and bought it.
When I got back out the door I didn't see Sally. I looked around but she wasn't in site but I heard voices from the alley next to the store so I went to see if she was there talking to somebody.
When I got the the entrance, I saw the man threatening her with the knife.
Feeling a sudden chill, I stood up as the man was saying that her whole family was a problem and that she was going to regret not drowning in the pool.
At that point, I said, "I would recommend you reconsider. I don't think you'll like what will happen if you don't."
We did the threat counter threat routine with the apparent leader pulling out a gun and threatening me with it. I laughed at him and said that there was a cop car just down the block.
I'm not sure, but I think that's when the other three charged me. They weren't any good, but since it was Sally in danger I didn't play. I broke the first one's neck and hit the second one in the chest as hard as I could. I felt his breast bone break and collapse inward dropping him too. The third got his throat crushed when I hit him there."
Three down now. I looked at the fourth as he pointed the gun at me and fired. Glad I had a vest on, I thought, as I collapsed to my knees. He looked at Sally then, so I grabbed a knife off the ground and threw it at him. I didn't expect to hit him but got lucky. He took it in the throat and dropped.
I spat on the ground to see if there was any blood. Luckily there wasn't. By the pain, I suspected two or three broken ribs but no punctured lung.
I remember saying, "Idiots." Things went black for a bit after that. Pain does that to you sometimes when you have a hard time breathing.
I woke up to Sally turning me over, so I figured I hadn't been out more than a few seconds. I let her roll me and opened my eyes. She was crying which would be expected, I guess.
I told her to call George right away and tell him what happened. She did this. When she was done, I said, "Phone."
She held it to where I could talk and I warned George as best as I could that Erica and Janice were in danger too.
I don't remember much after that but I do recall Erica and Reach showing up. I think I warned him that the girls needed to be protected, but I'm not sure.
My next clear memory was being in an x ray room with Reach. I told him to call the boss. I had an idea, but I new that the girls wouldn't like it. I had to fake my death. If I was dead, nobody would be watching for me.
We got that cleared with Reach's people and the doctor did the x rays. He told me that I had a bad bruise but no broken bones. That would be a big help for what was coming.
Reach got the doctor into the plan and when they took me back to the treatment room, he gave me a shot. He told me that I would look like I was dead but the effect wouldn't last more than a few minutes at most.
I had him give me the shot and tell the girls that I was dying. That was the hardest thing I have ever done. When they came into the room I greeted them then passed out.
I woke up with Janny standing there. She looked mad enough to eat nails and spit bullets, but she didn't say any thing.
I whispered to her, "I don't like it either, but the punks that went after Sally said that they were after all of you. If I'm dead they won't watch for me."
She said, "I hope it's worth it. There are four heart broken girls in that waiting room crying their eyes out because they think their Uncle Dar is dead. I don't care what your reason is for this but I won't tell. Just be right or I'll never forgive you for what you did to my sisters or your daughters."
"I intend to get the person behind the death of your parents and the tries on Sally. I never new your folks, but for what they tried to do to Sally, I will get them."
She just nodded her head then hugged me. After that, she left the room.
Reach came in and saw I was awake. He walked over to me and said, "I hope you know what your doing. Janice knows, but the rest believed it so it looks like it worked for now."
I nodded and asked, "Did you get the word to the rest of my old team?"
"The office is handling it," he said. "I need to know what your going to want and we need to set up some kind of communication."
"I'll get my own gear," I said. "Plausible deniability that way."
Reach agreed and I asked him to look after the girls for me.
He said, "Already taken care of. They'll have round the clock surveillance from both my people and the FBI."
"Make sure of that," I said. "I won't be very understanding of any accidents or foul ups with their safety."
"Don't worry," he said. I'll make sure that the guards know that they don't want to make a mistake."
"Make sure they understand that if the girls get hurt, they better be dead," I said. "If they aren't, they will be. I will get the ones responsible for the attacks on Sally and her parents. If they get hurt, I won't care much about me so remember. NO SLIPS OR FOUL UPS."
Reach stared at me for a moment and then said, "I read your files. I was given the whole thing, I think and I guarantee that I'll do my best. If nothing else, I like to sleep at times and I like to wake up after."
I nodded at him and told him that they had to get me out of here now before any one else figured out that I was less dead than they thought. This wouldn't work if the girls knew I was alive.
Reach left and came back with Janice again and the doctor.
I told her to look in the pocket of the jacket I'd been wearing. She checked it and found the box with the watches in it and I told her that it was from Erica, Sally, and me. I also told her that I loved them all and was sorry for what I was doing but that it was necessary to give me the chance to get the ones who were after her family.
She looked at me and said, "I understand. Just make sure that you don't die for real because we all love you. I know how hard this is for you, but I don't think the girls would be able to go through this twice."
I said, "I wouldn't be putting them through this if I knew a better way. Remember something, though. I ain't easy to stop and I have friends coming that will help me. We're all professionals, and the jokers who started this will find out what it means to have the three survivors of Scratch Team Delta after them."
"What's that?" she asked.
I looked at Reach and said, "We were a mixed group put together in an emergency situation. We were all specialists of one type or another although we hadn't worked together before. After that first mission, we were kept busy for almost ten years. Now there's three of us left and we're all a bit old for this. But we're still mean and ornery."
Reach glared at me while I told Janice that, but I thought that she deserved to know. She was going to cover for me even if she didn't like it, so she had the right.
Janice walked over to me and gave me a hug. It hurt where I had that bruise from getting shot but I didn't say anything about it as I hugged her back.
She didn't say another word as she walked out of the room. The doctor and Reach helped me get into a body bag and then I was pushed out to the ambulance. When they had me loaded, someone opened it again so that I could breath.
Reach said, "We're sending you to the lab where my teams coroner works. He's expecting you and knows what we're doing. I had to do that since he's the one who signs the death certificate, but he'll be there alone so don't worry. He'll also have the clippers to give you a shave and there's some clothes waiting for you. I got shoes too."
"I hope you got the right size," I said.
"Yup, 9 EEE for you," he said. "Steel toed boots like you had in Iraq. I also got you a revolver that's untraceable."
I thanked him and he shut the door. After that, we went to the building where they zipped my back up and wheeled me into an elevator. I could feel it go down but I didn't know how far.
When it stopped, the door opened and they wheeled me out. I heard a voice tell the ambulance crew to leave me there and head on back.
I heard the elevator again, and then someone unzipped the bag.
I saw a large, slightly balding man who held out his hand and helped me sit up.
He said, "My name is Frank. I have your clothes and weapon on my desk, and I have the electric razor for your beard."
I thanked him and slowly got off the gurney. He led me over to a desk with a pile of clothing and a large caliber revolver were piled.
I got dressed and checked the weapon. It was a Ruger .357 magnum with 5 rounds in it. I put the empty cylinder under the hammer and carefully released it.
Frank handed me a shoulder holster for the gun and a box of ammo for it.
Putting the ammo back on the desk with the now holstered gun, I picked up the electric trimmer and asked where I could shave.
He led me to a small restroom with a toilet, sink and mirror.
I shaved off my beard for the first time in three years and walked back out to the desk and put on the shoulder holster.
After I had put on the jacket to hide the gun, Frank handed me a wallet and said, "You have a gas card and two credit cards. Your name will be Jerry Winston. You have two hundred in cash, and since this has been approved, the cards will be paid by our department as a legitimate expense."
"I won't need them after tonight," I said. "I have access to plenty of funds that I had set up for emergencies just in case I had to disappear like this. You won't be able to trace me but I will be able to contact Reach if I need to. He'll be my only contact while I get my team set up and we start digging. Tell him not to try to find me cause that'll be bad."
Frank laughed and said, "I think we know that. He showed me your file after he read it and we both know that whatever happens, we don't want to be in the way of you nut cases."
I laughed too and said, "Well thats smart. Just make sure the rest of your people know not to get too close if they find something. I'll pass along anything I find to you and I want the same back. Just remember, though, we do the closing statement in this case. They went after someone who means the world to me and now it's their turn."
"You intend to take them out?" he asked.
"Yes," I said. "I promised a woman who gave me a home when I came back from Iraq pretty badly messed up. Her little sister was the first target, but they want all three of them. I take it real personal that someone attacked a little girl who helped me as much as the sister did. I take it even more personal that they want the other two."
"OK," Frank said. "I won't argue that after what I heard happened today. I have the entire file from the murders of the parents up to today. We don't have a report on the fight you had yet, but everything from before that is in the file. I also have a lap top for you with wireless capability."
"Is it clean?" I asked.
"Yes," Frank said. "I just got it today and it isn't even registered yet."
"Make sure you don't have the serial number or anything else," I said. "I'll trust you for now, but I don't want any attempts to trace me until I tell you to."
"The boss already said that," Frank said. "You have a free hand. I'll make sure that you have whatever we find out from the four you took down today when I find out anything. Set up an email and I'll send you the records."
"Send them through the boss," I said. "I still have a password that will work."
"OK," he said. "I'll pass it through his office Eyes Only."
"Good," I said. "Now all I need is a way out of here so I can get started."
Frank took me to the elevator and and we rode it to the garage. When we got there, he led me to an older model Toyota four by four pickup.
He said, "Reach got this from an auction for a surveillance vehicle a few weeks ago. It has civilian licensing and the title is made out to your new identity. He said to tell you that you could use it as long as you needed it and then dispose of it as necessary. Don't worry about bringing it back if you can't."
I said, "I don't like Toyota's much, but having a four by pickup could be useful. All right, I need the keys and then we need to talk."
"About?" he asked.
"I need access to a doctor who can handle anything up to minor surgery. If necessary, he should be able to set broken bones and remove bullets in the field. Know anybody like that?"
Frank laughed and said, "I might. I did two tours in Nam when I was a bit younger. I'll need a field surgical kit though. I can get one but it'll take a couple of days. After that, all I need is a victim or two."
"Well I hope you won't ever need it but I'm glad to know that you can. Here's hoping."
"One more thing," Frank said. He handed me a cell phone and said, "The account on this is under the same name as your ID. It has emergency numbers already programed so you can contact Reach, The Sec. Navs office or me. Reach is one, the boss is two, and I'm 3. Just use the speed dialer and you'll get one of us."
"Is it secure?" I asked.
"Yes." He said. "It has some goodies built in by the tech squad and when you dial the first three numbers it'll scramble automatically. It will also scramble incoming calls from those three and any you might set up later."
I nodded and said, "I'll need two more in the next day or two. I'll set up a pickup with you or Reach. Nobody else is in from this end. I don't want any extra complications in this."
"OK, I'll tell Reach when he gets back from the base," Frank said.
I held out my hand to Frank and said, "Thanks. Tell Reach I'll be in touch as soon as I go get some things. I just hope he included a permit for the pea shooter."
Frank took my hand and said, "In the wallet. Concealed weapons class three from the Feds. I hope thats good enough."
"Well I Federal Marshals badge might be nice," I laughed.
"I don't think we can do that, but you do have a DOD ID," (Department of Defense) said Frank.
"Good," I said. I let go of his hand and he handed me the keys to the truck. "See you soon, Frank."
"Take care chief," he said.
I got into the truck and started it. It sounded like it had a good sized engine. I hoped it had some power too.
I drove out of the garage and headed to the interstate. I had a long drive ahead of me and I wanted to get as far south as I could before I had to stop.
Although I was tired, I wanted to get away from an area where there were a lot of people who had known me before I grew the beard. I had quite a bit of family around here from my fathers side, so there was a real risk of being recognized.
It was early afternoon when I left, but it took me over three hours to get through the traffic of Seattle. I got off the freeway in Federal way and went to the old truck stop there and got some dinner. This place had been here for years and I'd come here when I was living in Auburn as a kid.
After eating, I went to the truckers motel to get a room with a wake up at 3:00 A.M. The desk clerk didn't bat an eye as he was used to truckers with weird delivery schedules. I signed the registration with my new name and took the key.
I went to my room and went in. I could see that it had been recently cleaned and the bathroom was clean too.
I went back out and locked it then went and got into my truck. I drove out of the parking lot and headed north to go to the mall that was about a mile away. I needed some clothes and that was a quick place to get them.
I got a few changes of clothes and another pair of boots and went back to the motel. Taking in one change of clothes, I went into my room and locked the door. I put a chair under the handle and made sure it would take some work to get through it for safety. That done, I got undressed and took a shower then got some sleep.
Right on time, the phone rang at three. I answered and a female voice said, "Good morning sir This is you requested wakeup call. Have a nice day."
I said thanks and hung up. I got up and put on my new clothes and put the old ones in the shopping bag. I went out and locked the room, throwing the old clothes in the trash.
After checking out, I went back to the restaurant and had breakfast before heading south again.
When I got to the Madigan exit at Fort Lewis, I took it and went to an old restaurant that had been there for over fifty years. I had some time to kill before I went to the post and stirred up some hornets.
My chest was feeling a bit better this morning, but I was still tender so I was taking it easy on the trip. I needed a few things from the Army anyway, so this was a good place for a break.
I sat there drinking coffee until 6:00 A.M. and paid my tab. I went back out to my truck and got in. Starting it, I headed back to the freeway where I saw a young girl about Sally's age hitch hiking. I know it was stupid, but I couldn't help myself. I stopped and she climbed in.
I told her I was going to the post for a couple hours, but if she wanted a ride I could get her as far as Olympia before I headed west.
She said, "Oh I'm not going far. How bout a date for fifty?"
I looked at her and asked, "How old are you?"
She looked scared and said, "I'm fifteen. I need the money though cause my father's out of work and mom don't make enough."
"OK, how bout this?" I asked. "I'll take you to get something to eat after I do my business at the post and then I'll take you home. You don't have to do anything, just wait in the truck for me while I'm at the post. When we get you home, I'll give you some money to help. You don't have to do anything at all. I have two girls your age."
She started crying then and said, "I'm sorry I lied to you. My dad left us when I was three and my mother is in the hospital. They tried to put me in to a foster home but I ran away. Please don't make me go back."
I pulled out my cell and checked it. It had a camera feature that Sally had shown me how to use with her phone, so I took a picture of the kid.
After that, I hit the speed dial for Reach. He answered it on the first ring. I told him about the kid and then asked her for ID. She gave me a high school ID and I read it off to Reach and asked him to check on it. He said he would and I hung up.
I looked at the girl and said, "If your telling me the truth, I'll help you. If your lying to me I'll take you to the cops. The person I called will tell me in a few minutes if your telling the truth, so make sure that's the story you want."
"I told you the truth, mister," she said.
"Good," I said. "Here's what I'm going to do then. I have some friends up north that can help you. If you want, you won't have to go into the foster home system. My friend can get you with some very good people that will take care of you until your mother is out of the hospital. The problem is that it'll take a couple of days before that."
She looked at me and asked, "Why are you doing this?"
I said, "I told you I had two girls your age. I can't see them but I love them and you reminded me of them. I'd want someone to help them if they were in trouble so I'm helping you."
She said, "Thank you mister. I'll do whatever you want if you don't send me to CPS. They tried to keep me from going home the last time mom was sick."
"That won't happen this time," I told her. "By the way, my name is Henry." I held out my hand to her.
She took my hand and said, "I'm Amanda."
"Glad to meet you Amanda," I said. "I hope you can stand being around an old fart for a few days, but I'll take you to some friends when I finish my business. I have to go to the coast and get some things I have stored there, then I'll take you to my friends."