Title: Missions of the team
Description: finding another girl and another team
River Tam - December 29, 2007 11:43 PM (GMT)
Ryland, Lily, Ian, Marta, Kaden, Iris (Flame)--with Raoul (Gator), Nico, and Dahlia
"Try harder!" A voice bellowed at her. The six year old girl sat, clutching her head in the center of the room. She glowered at the man observing her through the glass recording his findings. She had heard the pleas of the other girls, her sisters, that were manipulated and now it was her turn again. She despised this man.
"Calla!" She snapped her head up, her anger growing with the throbbing pain that was shredding her skull. "TRY again!!"
She was on the brink of tears but still she shook her head. She was exhausted after spending 12 hours trying to "perfect" her newly acquired abilities. She just wanted to find Lily, her anchor, and sleep. Lily would protect her. That much she was sure of. After all, Calla was the youngest.
"Again or we will do this all night," Peter Whitney told her. "If you do as you are told, Calla, you can go back to the others... to Lily."
Calla's anger and despair bubbled over and the room seemed to shake as wave upon wave of the jamming energy she created bounced off the reinforced walls. Calla watched as Whitney began speaking to report her actions and she grew more angry. Her head felt as if if were being sent through a meat grinder and she could feel the trickle of blood begin to flow from her nose and ears. She wanted to stand up to him, to tell him to stop but she couldn't form the words in her head.
"NOOOO!" Her vision blurred and she screamed. She released the pent up energy, causing the equipment in the observation room and the office where Whitney sat to explode into a flash of sparks. She collapsed on the ground in the spasms of a seizure. Her body hit the carpeted floor, her head colliding with one of the crates used in her training...
"You see what this girl, Calla, is capable of. She is a jammer," Lily started when she paused the video. "She can send out a wave of electronic interference that can disable electrical equipment, such as cameras, computers, radars, etc."
Ryland's ears perked up. "So she is capable of the same thing Kaden is?" he asked.
"Yes, and you can see she is out of control," Lily answered, looking at Kaden.
Kaden narrowed his eyes. "And she's what, six years old? She was in pain and you say her outburst was out of control?"
"There are other tapes, so she may have been like Dahlia," Lily replied, glancing at the woman with Nicholas Trevane. "As she got older she may have also gained more control, but the pain was still there."
Ian knew the set look in his teammate's face and interjected. "So, do we have any idea what she's been up to?"
"We think we have an idea about her last mission," Lily answered. "She was tracking a gun runner in the jungle, Alejandro Muniz."
Flame leaned back against her husband for a moment. "From the way it looks, she received a satellite call shortly after the mission succeeded. She was told that they had another mission lined up for her," she explained. "And from the medical report, she was in bad shape when she came in. We don't know who her next target is."
"Do we know who she's working for?" Marta asked.
Flame shook her head. "Unfortunately, no. I can get a lead on that. It looks like her entire mission file has been encrypted. I haven't been able to break it yet."
Kaden shifted uneasily. "Lily, is there a chance that it's your father?"
"It's a possibility, Kaden," Lily answered. "A tumor was discovered in her brain, which Whitney believed hindered her abilities. When he couldn't enhance her abilities any more, he sent her away, 'adopted her out'."
Ryland knew what his wife meant when she said that in an angry tone. Calla wasn't perfect, so Whitney tossed her away, hiding her to deal with her problems herself. He had done it so many times, it was sick what the man had done.
Marta looked puzzled. "I believe she is working for him. Most of the files from Dr. Whitney you have decoded. Why the extra encryption?"
Ian glanced over at Marta, feeling the familiar tightness in his chest. "I agree with Marta. If she was working for the government on our side we would know about it. Right?"
"And what do we know about the tumor?" Kaden interjected. He was concerned with her well-being. They had the same abilities and Kaden knew how exhausting they could be, even without the added tumor.
"The only thing I can find is the medical reports of her reporting massive headaches, blackouts..." Flame interjected.
"Still, she's one of our sisters, we have to bring her here," Lily said. "We have to see if we can help her."
"So, we see if we can find her, bring her here," Ryland said. "Any volunteers?" He looked at Kaden.
Kaden sighed. "And if she doesn't want to come?"
"I'll go," Marta volunteered. She was still reluctant to be there, even with her feelings toward Ian. "I can try and relate to her if she is hesitant."
"No," Kaden said forcefully. "If she doesn't want to go, I don't want anyone else in harms way."
Marta backed off, but Ryland gave Kaden a stern look. "You can't go alone, Kaden," he said. "Take Ian, he can call in the rest of us if you need backup."
Ian sighed. "I guess I'm your backup," he said, clapping Kaden on the shoulder.
Kaden stiffened and nodded. "How do we find her?"
"We can go to the location of her last assignment, try to find her from there," Lily said. She paused for a moment, then added, "Please bring her back, Kaden, Ian."
Ryland took his wife's hand, "They'll be fine, they'll bring her back," he assured her.
Kaden looked at the image of the small girl on the screen and his heart ached for her. She was so small and frail with her tears streaking down his face. He wanted to take her in his arms and tell her she would be okay, that he would protect her. He shook himself, angry at Whitney for everything that he had done to the girls.
He glanced over at Lily and Ryland. "So, where are we headed?"
Lily looked at Flame, "We know only that she was in South America, we're not sure where--"
Kaden was about to answer when Flame's computer alarmed. Her head snapped to the screen and she quickly slid into seat. "What the hell?" She started typing profusely and swore. "We got a problem. Listen to this."
"Base, this is Calla. Come in dammit!" a female voice called over the line.
"This is Base, what's your situation?" another voice came over the line.
"Mission has failed. I repeat, mission failed. They got me before I could get to him. He's after me. I took a hit. I don't know how much longer I can keep going. I need help," she urgently responded.
"We'll send an extraction team, what's your location?"
"If I knew that I wouldn't be calling now, would I? Son of a bitch, they're here. Trace the call. I need extrac--"
Ryland looked at Flame, "Can you trace it?" He then looked at Kaden and Ian, "We'll all go in, be the extraction team she asked for."
Flame was still typing vigorously. "I have a trace. Looks like she's in the Sierras. I will have an exact location for you in a bit."
Kaden nodded at Flame and turned to Ryland. "I don't know if that's a good idea. If she is injured, having us all there is going to be like cornering an injured animal."
Marta listened to the call and the exchange between Kaden and Ryland. "Something about this isn't right," she said. "Kaden needs more than just Ian."
Ryland listened to Kaden and Marta. "You're right, both of you, but I'm going with Kaden here." He looked at Kaden. "Find her and bring her back. You have a problem, you call us."
Ian looked at the set look on Kaden's face, a look he had seen often and took a deep breath. "How long do you need, Flame?"
"About an hour. Maybe less. It's hard to tell," she ran her hands through her hair. "I will work as fast as I can."
"Let me know when you get a fix, Flame," Kaden told the girl gently. "We will need doctors standing by. It sounded like she needs medical attention."
to be continued...
River Tam - December 30, 2007 12:30 AM (GMT)
Kaden, Ian, Flame, Calla
"Let me know when you get a fix, Flame," Kaden told the girl gently. "We will need doctors standing by. It sounded like she needs medical attention."
Kaden adjusted the headset as the chopper continued its flight. He could hear the dull thud of the blades rotating overhead as he glanced out the side window. They were still waiting for a final call from Flame before Kaden and Ian touched down.
The headset sparked to life and a familiar voice came through. "Nico, it's Flame. I have a final position. I got a close idea."
"Roger, Flame. Thanks," Nico replied to her. When he recieved the coordinates, Nico looked back at his two teammates. "We are right over the site. Watch your backs."
"We will," Kaden said, nodding to Nico. He looked at Ian and asked, "Ready to go?"
Ian flashed Kaden a smile. "Always," he replied. "Let's do this."
Kaden jumped out from the chopper, waving Nico off when Ian came out. He looked around, reaching out with his mind, "Calla? We're here to help you. Where are you?"
Calla's head jerked up as she leaned against the tree. "Identify yourself. Are you my extraction team?"
"Yeah, we're here to take you back to base," Kaden answered.
"You have to hurry. Please," Calla pleaded over the link.
"Tell us where you are," Kaden answered. He then turned to Ian, "Go and contact Nico, we need him here so we can get her to the doctors as soon as possible."
Ian shook his head. He knew Kaden was thinking quickly but he wasn't thinking it through. "I am with you until we find her... I will get Nico then."
"All right, let's hope we find her soon," he said. "Calla?" he called out, hoping the woman was close by.
Calla slid down the trunk of the tree in exhaustion. Sure, she was bleeding, but she wanted to sleep not patch herself up. She could hear a voice calling out to her. 'Thank God,' she thought to herself. "I'm over here. Can you hear me?"
Kaden followed the voice to a tree not far from where Nico had dropped them off. There he found a athletic blonde-haired woman. His chest, his entire body tightened at the sight of her. He fought it off and knelt next to her. "Calla? Where are you hurt?"
She opened her eyes and caught her breath. The man she was staring at was beautiful. She caught a faint smile on his lips for a brief second before he spoke to her. "It's my shoulder," she told him. "It's a through and through. I should be fine. I twisted my ankle."
Ian glanced around noticing the sudden lack of birds chirping. "Kaden," he warned. "We need to move."
Kaden looked at Ian, paying attention to his teammate. Ian always seemed to know when trouble was coming. "We need to move, can you stand up?"
Calla glanced up at him again, forcing her eyes to remain open. She could sense the others surrounding them. She closed her eyes briefly and nodded, "I can try."
She closed her link between the two men in front of her and channeled all her energy to the men surrounding them. "I need to get the other one away from us," she told them. "Do something."
Kaden put his arm around her, helping her stand up, "Brace yourself against me, Calla." Then he looked at Ian, "GhostWalkers...coming after her."
Calla allowed him to help her to her feet and placed her weight against him. Knowing what was coming next, she carefully threw out a jamming wave to stop the two men from contacting outside their general area. She stepped down on her ankle and whimpered, her leg giving out.
She sucked in her breath and looked up at Kaden. "Sorry," she told him. Truth was she was beginning to regret commands decision to send other soldiers in with her. She could feelt the stabbing pains beginning in her head. They were trained but not enough to hide their thoughts from her and it was starting to take its toll.
"It's okay, I've got you," Kaden replied. He pushed back the tightening in his chest, focusing on Calla's injuries. "Get on the radio, contact Nico to meet us where he dropped us off," he said to Ian.
Ian clicked his radio several times before turning to Kaden. "Something's wrong, my radio won't work. It's dead. I will run back to the rendezvous point and flag him. He gave me a flare for emergencies."
As Ian sprinted off into the distance, Calla let out a deep breath. She jumped as one of the men jumped out gun leveled at her. She closed her eyes and waited for him to act before she moved.
Calla pulled back from Kaden's grasp and pointed. "Look out! It's him," she told Kaden, her voice shaking.
Kaden didn't like not being without Ian, but he didn't have a choice. He needed to get her out. Then another man came out with a gun, and he drew his own, pointing it at the stranger. "Make a false move and I'll take you down," he threatened.
The man smirked, then came toward Kaden. "Wrong move," he shook his head as he delivered a quick spin-kick, then tripped him with his leg, pinning him to the ground. He then knocked him out with the butt of his gun. He stood up and faced Calla. "Ready to go now?" he asked.
Calla fought her inner demons as she watched him take out the soldier. She drew her own pistol and held it loosely until her decision was made. As he turned, her gun was leveled at his head. "Put down your weapon, Kaden," she told him forcefully. Her arm hurt like a son of a bitch but she still knew she could stand her own against him. "Please."
"What the--" Kaden stared at Calla. He tried to call out to Ian, tell him it was a setup, but he was being blocked.
He had to fight back, and he moved in a flash, moving so his own gun was pointed at her. "Your move," he said calmly.
"Dammit, don't be stupid," she threatened. Knowing that he would be trying to concentrate on his partner, Calla slipped into his mind, slowly slipping between his thoughts until she found was she was looking for. "I won't say it again, Bishop. Drop your weapon."
Kaden felt Calla enter his mind, probing him, and threw up a strong shield. "You really want me?' he asked, chambering a round in his weapon. "Go for it."
Without blinking, Calla slammed him with his worst fear. Even with his mental barrier up, it was all she needed. In the split second of disorientation, she aimed mid-thigh, away from all possible vitals, and fired.
Kaden's barrier came down for a split second, then he heard the shot. "You bitch!" he shouted, clutching his thigh. He tried to fight her, but she was firmly in his mind, immobilizing him. He looked at her with anger flashing in his eyes. "Go to Hell!" he spat at her through gritted teeth.
"You couldn't make this easy could you, dammit," Calla said, jumping up to grab her pack out of the tree. She ripped open the sleeve of her shirt, revealing her own bullet wound. She stepped over to the fallen guard and kicked him in the chest. "Bastard. Never was there anything in your orders about shooting me."
She stepped back to her pack, ignoring the blood trickle from her own wound and pulled out a first aid kit. She knelt down beside Kaden and took a deep breath. She felt the bile rising and tried to fight it. When that failed she retched on the ground facing away from him. When she was done, she wiped her mouth on the back of her sleeve. "I didn't want to shoot you, damn you. Why didn't you just do as I asked?"
Kaden could tell she was hurting, near the end of her endurance. But he was still angry. "Did you think I was going to come quietly? You set me up! Why? Why would you set me up?" he shot back.
"I don't have a choice," she glared back. "It's my job."
"No reason to set me up," he answered. "My partner is probably calling the others in my team right now. They're not going to leave me behind."
"Then we have to hurry," Calla told him. "Let me patch you up. No doubt they sent a squad to take you out if I didn't. I am sorry it had to be this way. You have to let me patch your leg."
"Take me out? Wait a minute! You were going to take me no matter what!" Kaden had been calm for a moment, now he was angry again. He tried to run, but his leg hurt too much and he swore. "All I came for was to help you, take you to Lily, and you want me as a damn hostage!"
She could feel her heart thudding faster. "Lily?" She gulped. "Lily Whitney? I would never go back to her. She's with him." She raised her pistol once more. "Now, are you going to cooperate or not?"
Kaden looked at her, saw the anger and hurt of a small child, the determination in her eyes, and he knew he couldn't resist. He nodded, "I'll cooperate," and finally dropped his weapon.
"Thank you," she told him gently. She swayed on her feet slightly, exhaustion setting in. She was weakening and with someone as dangerous as Kaden, she was going to need to be alert. From behind her she could hear the soldier's radio spark to life and with great pain, sent out another wave of heavy interference.
She closed her eyes trying to center herself. "I need to stop your bleeding," she told him. Then she looked at her own shoulder. "And possibly mine."
"Give me a bandage, we'll fix each other up," Kaden held out his hand for the first aid kit.
She pulled back from him. "Please don't," she asked meekly. She pulled gauze from the kit and pressed it to his wound, ignoring his own. "I need to stop your bleeding," she repeated.
"Let me help you, Calla," Kaden said. "I know you can't last much longer. I'm an anchor, and I can fix your shoulder when you fix my leg." He noticed the look in her eyes. "Stop being a hero and let me help you."
She took a deep breath seeing the set look in his face. She didn't know why, but she felt her heart flutter at his tone. An anchor? It had been a long time since she had been around an anchor. Hell it had been a long time since she had been around anyone. That must be why she could still focus her thoughts around him.
She set up her mental blocks to prevent him from making a run on her and nodded. "Okay. But we have to hurry. I'm not worried about your partner. But they will send soldiers for the pick up if we don't make rendezvous."
"Fine." He took the first aid kit and got out what he needed, then pushed it to her. As he worked, he said, "You'd be surprised if you saw Lily, she helped us escape Whitney and is trying to find the other girls so she can help them."
"And you would be surprised to know what she let him do to me," she told him. "I am going to give you a light pain killer while I do this. Don't look at me like that. You're like me, the drugs should go through your system fast."
He nodded, wincing when the needle went in, then went back to work. He wrapped her shoulder, then said, "Take one for yourself too. I should be good for a while, long enough for you to take me wherever you were going." His eyes flashed with anger again.
She shook her head. Sure she was being stubborn but she needed a clear head. "I'm fine. I've had worse." She caught his angry glare and turned her head away, trying not to let her guilt show. She was a soldier. This shouldn't bother her. So why did this man bring out these feelings?
River Tam - December 30, 2007 12:35 AM (GMT)
Ian and Nico
Ian sprinted back to the landing site and clicked his radio. To his surprise it sprang to life. Suddenly, Ian's uneasy feeling increased as he contacted Nico. Instead of using the radio, he decided to use their telepathic link so he could hear everything in his surroundings.
"Nico, we need immediate extraction. She's took a shot to the shoulder and her ankle might be broken. She doesn't look good. I think sh-"
He cut off his conversion as soon as he heard the shot. "Son of a bitch!" he shouted. "Shots fired! I repeat, there's shots fired. I am going in after them," Ian told them.
He sprinted off, slinging his rifle over to his hands from his shoulder. He stopped when he spotted blood on a nearby tree. It wasn't where they found her and it was fresh blood. He called out to Kaden and got nothing. Suddenly he thought back to their briefing about Calla's abilities.
"You see what this girl, Calla, is capable of. She is a jammer. She can send out a wave of electronic interference that can disable electrical equipment, such as cameras, computers, radars, etc."
"Frack me," Ian cursed. He opened the channel to Nico once again. "Nico, call in the team. This was a set-up. I think she has Kaden," Ian told the pilot. "I am going to keep looking. And Nico, she's hurt. Bring medical supplies."
River Tam - December 30, 2007 12:44 AM (GMT)
Calla and Kaden
Calla winced as she slid the synringe of morphine into Kaden's arm. She knew he didn't trust her, but she wasn't going to be able to function with his pain screaming in her head. She wasn't sure how she felt so close to him, but it was unnerving.
She injected the serum into his veins and quickly withdrew the needle. "I'm sorry. But I need to get this cleaned so we can get moving. It's a light dose. You're still going to feel something." She thought about giving herself one but she was having a hard enough time... 'God he smells good,' she thought to herself.
"Dammit," she whispered, realizing what she had done.
Kaden felt a tightening in his chest, which overpowered the light dose of morphine, the moment Calla touched him. He inhaled her scent, mixed with the smells of the forest, and immediately felt it all over his body. He knew what that meant, but he pushed it away. He had to be focused, and he couldn't feel the way he did about the woman holding him hostage.
She went to work, quickly and efficiently. She pulled the knife out of her boot and placed it near his leg. She felt him tense and smiled gently, letting it reach her eyes despite her pain. "Relax. I'll be quick," she said, leaning him against her pack. "Don't worry about me. My shoulder will be fine."
He winced when she started her work. She told him she would be fine, but he still took some things from the kit and started work on her shoulder. "It'll keep me occupied," he replied quietly as he worked.
"Thank you," she told him. "The bullet went through, so it's just a matter of staunching the bleeding. I wouldn't chance stitching you up in this environment. If it were me, it wouldn't be a big deal."
She sucked in her breath as he cleaned her wound. "Great, another scar to join the ranks," she told herself. She closed her eyes, her hands pausing over his wound, and sent out another burst of the electronic jamming signal. She wavered a bit. Her head was splitting in two and she had so much work to do. When she opened her eyes, she was determined as ever to fight the coming slumber. "Sorry, but I can't have your teammate getting a trace on us."
Kaden glared at her for a moment, then went back to his work. He had to admire her though, and his body was wound tight. He knew she was close to collapse, but she was still focused enough to keep him from his team. "Let it go, you're her damn prisoner!" he admonished himself. "Don't need to be thinking with your dick, it's just a mission, a mission to bring her back."
She smiled, pleased with herself as she noticed the bleeding had stopped. Her arm on the other hand felt trapped. She rested her hand on his. "One sec," she told him. She pulled her longsleeve tee-shirt revealing her black tanktop underneath. She nodded to him and started ripping the shirt into strips.
"Do you think you can walk? Or would you prefer I splint you? Dammit, I shouldn't have shot you," she narrowed her eyes. "Why couldn't you just cooperate?"
"Cause you're stubborn...and I'm just as stubborn. I wasn't trained to just roll over, and you weren't either," Kaden replied. She pulled off her shirt to reveal white arms underneath, and his body was wound even tighter. "Damn, she looks good," he muttered to himself. He added to her, "And no, I think I can walk."
"Good," Calla replied. She lifted his thigh with both of her hands and rested it on her knee. Her touch was gentle as she did, not wanting to start the bleeding again. She tightly tied a strip of the cotton tee around his leg and tied it in a knot. "All done," she told him.
Kaden tied off the bandage around Calla's shoulder. "Same here." He had to get away from her before he exploded, he wanted her that bad. He turned his thoughts to Ian, how he looked at Marta. He smirked at his Scottish teammate and here he was doing the same damn thing. Peter Whitney was a bastard, and there would be a reckoning when they finally saw him again.
"Help me up," he said, trying to stand up on his own. He looked at the bandage, not noticing any more bleeding. "You did a good job."
"I have been trained well in emergency medicine," she told him as she helped him stand. She found a strong stick he could use to balance himself and picked up both their firearms. She slipped hers in the shoulder holster she was wearing. She emptied the chamber of his and ejected the clip, slipping it into her pocket. "Surely you understand that there is no way in hell you are getting your weapon back, right?"
"Yeah, figured that," he answered, bracing himself on the stick. Of course he had more than that on him, but he wouldn't go for them. He had given his word he would cooperate now, he had that much respect for the woman who had set him up. "Let's just go."
He perked up when he took a few steps, looking around. "You got a team on the ground?" he asked.
She looked back at the unconscious man as she slipped on her pack. He had it coming. "No, I work alone. He was never supposed to be here. It's a shame you didn't kill him," she said, her voice dripping with venom.
"I don't make it a habit of killing people unless they deserve it." He continued to look around, sensing more than just them in the woods. "Someone's out there." He tried to call and see if it was his own team, but he got nothing. "Damn!" he swore under his breath.
"Come on," Calla said, suddenly nervous. "We have a lot of ground to cover before nightfall."
River Tam - December 30, 2007 12:49 AM (GMT)
Calla and Kaden
She helped him walk, avoiding any obstacles that could trip him up. After several hours, sweat beaded her forehead as they walked and she focused most of her abilities on the forest. She knew that come nightfall she would probably lose him. She wasn't going to be able to watch him all night. If she lost him...
'If you lose him, you're dead,' she reminded herself.
Kaden didn't know how much longer he could go on. The morphine was beginning to wear off, and her pain was spilling over to him. Now he knew what was going on, and he had to fight it off to get out of the forest. There was someone tracking them, and it wasn't his team.
He knew his team was coming though, he knew Ian got through to Nico. He didn't know how he was going to get to them, but he had to find a way. He was suddenly filled with sadness, he had to leave her to get back to his team.
Calla stopped him and sighed. "We need to stop. You're in pain. We will camp here. I can shield us. As long as we are shielded we're good," she told him. After helping him sit, she knelt down in front of him. "By the time you're team gets here, we are going to be long gone."
"I'm not going anywhere," he said to her. He stared at her for a moment, then looked away. A moment was all he could stand right now, the pain and the tightness in his chest getting too much to bear. "Just let it go, I'm not going anywhere," he said, lying down.
She pulled another dose of the morphine out of the kit and sighed. "I am going to give you another dose. It's a big one so you should be able to sleep good. I will be up to watch for trouble," she told him.
He caught her hand before she gave him the large dose. "Just give me a normal dose, I'll help you keep watch. You need to rest too, Calla."
Her eyes snapped to his hand and she felt her body temperature raise. She blushed unexpectedly and met his gaze. "You need to sleep, Kaden. This isn't the first time I have been in this situation. I'll be okay."
"Still, just give me a normal dose," Kaden said, releasing her hand, but not before stroking her wrist with his thumb, trying to calm her. "And try to rest yourself."
She did as he asked and administerd the medication. As she put the bottle back in the kit, her hand started shaking. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She pulled out a bottle of pills and quickly took two. She carefully put the perscription back in her bag and sat down next to him. Which she soon realized was a big mistake, she felt her body start to relax. She was still shaking, feeling the small tremors that usually precede her tremors. She didn't realized that as she started to drift asleep she slid closer to him.
Kaden swallowed hard when he felt Calla relax and lie down. She slid closer to him, he could feel her trembling slightly and reached out for her. Without thinking he put his arm around her and fell asleep.
River Tam - December 30, 2007 12:55 AM (GMT)
Kaden and Calla
Kaden didn't know how tired he was or how much in pain he was until he was on the ground. The second dose was hitting him like a ton of bricks, and he fell asleep straight away. His arm was around Calla, and she felt so right in his arms.
He felt warm, relaxed, and he snuggled closer to her. He inhaled her scent again and mumbled, "Yeah, baby, you're so wonderful..."
Calla was still exhausted, on the brink of a psychic overload. But lying next to him, Calla felt the world fade away and for the first time she could remember she had had restful sleep. She could feel his heat radiating off of him and his smell was... amazing, despite the sweat and blood covering them both. It was intoxicating.
However, she was instantly awake when he started speaking in his sleep. She lay for a moment trying to ignore the disgusting dream he was obviously having. Finally she couldn't stand it anymore and elbowed him. "Kaden," she hissed.
Kaden's eyes opened into little slits, drowsily looking at her. He was struck at her beauty, not caring about the dirt and blood on her clothes. "You look wonderful..." he mumbled before going back to sleep.
She let out her breath of annoyance before fully pulling out of his grasp. She knelt next to him and checked his temperature before trying to wake him again. "Bishop. Wake the hell up," she growled. "You're supposed to be--"
Kaden merely moved closer to her, groaning in pain. "I'm fine, Calla, you just look so beautiful..."
She put her hands on both sides of his face and came in close. She sighed, her urgency growing. Another team was coming. She could feel the buzzing in her head and the panic was causing her breath to hitch. "Kaden. Open your eyes, dammit," she snapped. "We aren't alone. I need you to wake up."
Kaden slowly opened his eyes, lifting his head and looking around. "Damn, and I wanted to tell you how I saw you in some sexy lingerie," he answered drowsily.
He soon perked up, painfully sitting up. "You're right, we're not alone, but who is it?"
She closed her eyes, searching through the forest to locate the team. She suddenly stood, her mind working a thousand miles a second. She knew who they were instantly. "Son of a bitch. Listen to me, Kaden. Look at me," she ordered. She knew what she needed to do. The outcome wouldn't be pretty, but he was in no condition.
She reached into her pack and grabbed his pistol and slapped in the magazine. She was all business now. She knew he wasn't helpless, but she wasn't about to risk his life. She didn't know why but she knew she didn't want to see him in pain.
"Whoa, you're going to shoot me with my own weapon?" Kaden asked, holding his hands up. He still wasn't all there, but he knew the gun was his and she had it loaded now. He tried to call out, wondering if Ian had gotten out and called his own team in.
"He can't hear you, Kaden, and please stop trying. You're giving me a headache," she told him. "The soldiers out there are not yours. They are looking for me. Listen to me, I am going to lead them away. They will follow me if I keep trying to communicate telepathically. Don't answer, no matter what happens. Take this. I am trusting you aren't going to shoot me."
She held the pistol out to him. "As soon as I am gone, the jamming signal will come down, then it should be safe for you to contact your team," Calla told him. With her other hand she pulled a single syringe from her bag and slipped it into her pocket. She could feel the blood seeping through the wound in her shoulder again and she shuddered.
Kaden nodded, touching her arm, feeling the heat and the tightness rising again. "Don't go," he said. He knew she would leave him, but he still had to say it. He tried to clear his head, figure out why Calla had taken him hostage then decide to lead her team away from him. It was all so confusing.
"They aren't my team," she said in disgust. "They were sent to track me. They know I am after Daisy. And the bastard isn't going to let her go."
"Daisy, who the--" Kaden couldn't think straight. He stared at her, confused, then said, "Go then, go find this Daisy..."
She looked at him, taking in his features. She knew she would never see him again so telling him the truth wouldn't hurt. "Daisy is only five years old. And they are using her. The boss's next generation I was told. I can't let them make her like me. A killer. I promised I would protect her and I will."
She let out an exasperated sigh before making her decision. She leaned in and took his mouth in a deep kiss. It was several seconds before she pulled back. "Be safe." With that, she stood and sprinted off through the thick forest.
Kaden's body responded to Calla's sudden kiss, tightening painfully, and he responded, returning her kiss. He wanted to hold her, keep her with him, but he couldn't. He watched her leave and leaned back, groaning in pain--and over losing her.
Calla sprinted a distance from him and was slammed with everything around her. The other team communicating was gnawing on her nerves. She felt the pain of being seperated from an anchor once again but knew there was something more there.
She shook herself, focusing on her task. She pulled the syringe out of her pocket and injected in her system. Zenith had never let her down before and it wouldn't now. She chambered a round, "Come and get me," she taunted the other team, trying to lead them away from Kaden.
Kaden closed his eyes, feeling Calla drawing them away from him, feeling her pain. He left her alone as she asked, not that he would be much help anyway. He was confused, wound too tight, and hurting all at the same time. He just lay back and waited for Ian and Nico to come back.
Calla fought to catch her breath. She didn't have much left in her and the soldiers were coming hard and fast. They wanted her back and that disturbed her. So she ran until she collapse on the ground. She chambered a round. As the first soldier appeared from the trees, she squeezed the trigger. If she was going to go down, it would be fighting. After all, she knew what the penalty was if she didn't bring Kaden in.
"Don't push yourself..." Kaden whispered. Her pain was weighing down on him, combining with his own. "Where the hell are you?" he mumbled, searching for his own team.
Calla popped off another round before she started to feel the strain come to a peak. She felt the sharp pain in her head begin and knew she had over exerted herself. She was dangerously close to a seizure. She heard a soldier coming up behind her and instantly started her onslaught of fear as the pain in her head began to ground and her hands shook.
"I'm sorry..." she sent out before she fell into nothingness.
"Calla, no..." He felt her pain spike, then nothing. "Damn it," he swore, lying back in frustration and confusion. He closed his eyes. "Where are you?" asking for Calla and his team.
Ian could feel the buzzing of other Ghostwalkers around him and swung his rifle around to his hands. He heard a faint mumbling nearby and veered in the direction. As he approached, he could make out the words. He entered the small clearing and spotted Kaden. He sprinted to his side and let out a creative string of curses.
"Kaden," Ian said, kneeling. He spotted the wound in Kaden's leg and the shirt laying next to him with blood seeping down the chest. "Where is Calla? What the hell happened to you?"
"She let me go," Kaden answered. "She shot me and she let me go. Just get me out of here." He tried to get up and cursed under his breath. "Help me up." He noticed her pack with his gear, pulling it close to him.
Ian helped Kaden steady himself. He noticed the way Kaden craddled the pack and wondered what Kaden was thinking. "Why did she shoot you?" Ian asked in a dangerous tone. "And what to you mean she let you go? There are other Ghostwalkers in the area. Nico is on the way with the team."
"It was a setup, she was going to take me back, but she--she let me go. I don't know how to explain it, she just let me go. They're looking for her, just let's get out of here. I'll explain when we get back."
Ian glanced in the direction of Kaden's glance, his jaw set. Why was the other Ghostwalker team looking for her if she was one of them? It didn't make any sense. He glanced around sensing someone coming. He heard Ryland's voice in his head, "Ian, Kaden, we are almost to you."
Kaden heard Ryland's voice through the confusion in his mind, and he tried to answer. "I'm hurt, she's hurt too. Leave her alone, she'll take care of herself."
Ryland's reply was sharp. "What? What the hell do you mean 'leave her alone'? I thought you were going to bring her in," he asked his friend and teammate.
"I--changed my mind, I'll talk to Lily when we get back," Kaden answered. "When we get back I'll explain."
Ryland, Nico and Gator stepped in through the trees. Ryland eyed the small camp before looking at Kaden. He stepped over to the shirt and picked it up. "She's injured," Ryland said aloud. He noticed Kaden's set jaw. "You look like hell. Let's get you to the chopper. Eric is waiting to work on you. We brought him along for Calla, but looks like you are going to need it more."
Kaden managed a smile. "Thanks, Ryland. I feel like hell." He held Calla's bag close as he was helped to the chopper. When Ian sat next to him, he leaned over and said, "Don't let her go, Ian, don't let her go."
River Tam - December 30, 2007 01:11 AM (GMT)
Marta, Lily, and Ryland
Marta didn't leave when the briefing broke up, and Lily lagged a little behind also. Ryland was the last to get up, staying close to his wife. But the raven-haired woman was concerned with Marta. "Is there something wrong?" she asked.
The blonde-haired German looked at Lily with sad, concerned eyes. "Ian will be fine, Marta," Lily assured her.
"I know, but it's more, deeper than merely hoping he's fine," Marta answered. "I can't stop thinking about him, almost like an obsession."
Ryland looked at his wife, then motioned for the women to sit. Then he said, "There are a few things we found out while you were hiding in Rome. How were you when you were there?"
"Better than I was in the compound," Marta replied. "I was poked and prodded there, and I was given so many injections. My cycles were so screwed up, so many mood swings, but everything returned to normal when I settled in Rome."
Lily stared at Marta for a moment, exhaling slowly. Her hands were on her rounded belly, but her focus was on the blonde. Marta had gone her own way, finding sanctuary in her own way. But now she knew nothing about the extent of Peter Whitney's experiments.
Marta deserved to know, so Lily explained about the orphan girls, the experiments to enhance their psychic abilities. "When the experiments didn't work, he 'adopted them out.'"
"And you're trying to find them, your sisters, so to speak?" Marta asked.
"We've found four of them," Ryland answered, holding Lily's hand.
"If the experiments didn't work, why do the same experiment twice?"
"Because he wasn't satisfied." Ryland's eyes flashed with anger, but Lily's quiet touch calmed him. "Because he wanted children. So he decided to experiment on men. His purpose was to create a match for each of the girls with each of us."
"But I was part of your team," Marta was puzzled. "Why did he accept me?"
Lily's eyes turned sad. "One of the girls, Hosta, died when her mind overloaded. He found out about you and set on bringing you here. Did you ever meet Dr. Whitney?"
Marta thought for a moment, then answered, "Once, Herr Spielmann brought him to Georgetown to meet me. But it was strange, he probed my mind and I had felt it before."
"When you were six and when you were fifteen," Lily said. When Marta gave her a surprised look, she added, "Dr. Whitney found out about your abilities and went to talk to your parents, but he only went when your mother and father died. I assume he talked to General Spielmann also."
Marta nodded, "He probably did, but why?"
"Two reasons," Ryland answered. "Do you remember the men who came after you on our last training mission before we were separated?" Marta nodded, and Ryland's eyes clouded with anger and guilt. "They were enhanced to connect with you so they could--"
"I understand," Marta said, anger filling her green eyes. She was finally realizing the real reason behind her being brought into the twisted world of Peter Whitney.
Ryland watched her expression, knowing the reason for her anger. She was a devout Catholic, her faith being one of the barriers that kept her calm. Peter Whitney didn't care about her faith, more than willing to strip her of that barrier for his own twisted purpose.
"But it's worse," Lily added. "It just wasn't so you could connect iwth those men who came after her. You were supposed to go to another compound, to his breeding program."
Marta jumped up, her eyes flashing with anger and hurt. She waved her hand and one of the chairs crashed against the wall. She stared at the chair and flopped back into her chair. "I'm sorry, Lily, Ryland," she said, tears now filling her eyes. "It's just that--"
"I understand, Marta," Lily took her hand. "The Catholic Church is one of your anchors, it wasn't right what happened to you."
She stared at Lily for a moment, tears streaming down her face, then she asked, "What about Ian? Will he--I mean I--"
"You are Ian's match, Marta," Lily answered. "He will never hurt you, he will always protect you."
Ryland looked at Marta, seeing the same look in her eyes he had seen long ago, when he first met Marta Heidemann. "You love him, don't you? You loved him the moment you met him."
She stared at him, then nodded, "I can't stop thinking about him." She didn't mention the other thoughts she had, the thoughts she confessed to a priest every week.
He looked over at his wife, put his hands on her belly, and smiled. "You'll be fine, Marta, he'll take care of you."
Gator came in and said, "Nico's on the radio, Ian said it was a setup."
Marta's eyes brightened, her head perked up. "Is he alright? What about Kaden?"
"Don' you worry 'bout Ian and Kaden, cher," Gator answered, stroking Marta's blonde hair. "We'll go bring 'em back."
River Tam - December 30, 2007 01:18 AM (GMT)
Calla, Kaden, Marta, Ian, Lily and Ryland
Ryland stood in the doorway as Eric patched up Kaden's wound. When the doctor left, he approached his second-in-command. "What in the hell happened? You were supposed to bring her in."
"She took me hostage, and she shot me when I tried to get away. Then for some reason she let me go," Kaden replied. He winced in pain when he slowly got up. "The rest I want to talk with Lily about."
Ryland led Kaden to the briefing room, where Lily was still sitting. "We have a problem," Kaden told them.
Lily looked up from the file she was reviewing on Calla with a frown. Her pregnant stomach peeked up from beneath the table. She leaned back and removed her glasses. "So it seems," she said, rubbing her temples. "Ian tells me that Calla shot you."
Ian's sour expression didn't changed. "She's not one of the good guy's evidently."
"I don't think she's one of the bad guys either, Ian," Kaden answered. "She was going to take me back in exchange for a little girl, her sister."
Lily perked up and started flipping through the file once more. "My father's file says nothing about having a sister. The only sisters we have seen him that he's taken were Briony and Marigold Norton."
Kaden nodded. "I thought that also, Lily, but it's not a biological sister." He stared at her for a moment, then added, his voice serious. "It's a little girl, Whitney's back at it with girls."
"What!?!" Lily asked incredulously, her stress levels rising. "We saw nothing... I mean, why would he do that? How do you know that?"
"She told me about her!" Kaden answered, his voice rising with Lily's. "We all know how twisted this bastard is, and he's not getting your baby anytime soon. He wants his supersoldiers, Lily!"
Marta had been standing back from the group, but now she ran, not able to hear any more. The magnitude of Whitney's madness was still new to her, and she could feel the anger rising.
"I think we all know that he's a sick bastard," Ian said glancing to Marta. "So, the question is: why is Calla going back for this girl? And has she been in contact with Whitney? From the sound of the gunshot off in the distance, she didn't go quiet."
"She wouldn't go quiet, no more than you or I would. But she wanted to go back and get this girl, Daisy. She said she swore to protect her, so she went back for her."
Kaden paused for a moment, then he added, "I felt a connection the moment I touched her to patch up her shoulder. It was like--" He bowed his head for a moment, then concluded, "I think she's my match."
Lily's eyes snapped to Ryland's for a moment before returning to Kaden. "Then why do you sound frustrated by that?" Lily asked him. "Wait, Calla was hurt? What happened?"
"I don't really know. She was injured before I got to her. There was another soldier who found us, I took care of her. That was when she took me hostage--and she shot me."
He paused, looking around for Calla's pack, finding it next to the bed. He brought it back and opened it up. His hand brought medication from the pack. "What's all this? Do you know what this is, Lily?" he gave it to the woman.
Lily took the bottle from his hand, watching his expression. Kaden Bishop was one of the few men among the Ghost Walkers who rarely showed emotion. For him to to be in this situation, it was surely new to him. She looked at the label for a moment and frowned, her forehead crinkling.
"I need to check something," she stood and, in her very pregnant state, waddled her way to the library. When she returned she was holding one of the medical books that were in Whitney's study. When she returned her frown turned to a look of concern. "Dammit. Here it is. Levetiracetam. Used to treat seizures in the brain. She's on a very high dose. What did he do to her?"
"Could it be the tumor?" Kaden asked, his eyes filling with sadness. He always kept his emotions to himself, but he couldn't now, not when it concerned Calla. He looked at Ryland and Ian, looking for support.
"It's hard to tell. I don't know much about the tumor and in the medical reports, there was no mention of tumors," Lily told him, noticing the look in Kaden's eyes. "It could be tied to her abilities. We need to get her back and away from him."
Ian looked at Kaden. "So we find her, kill the bastard and bring her here. Get her the help she needs."
Ryland had been silent through the conversation among the three, mostly supporting his wife. He looked at Kaden and noticed the same look he had when he met Lily. He looked at his wife now and asked, "We can find her, can't we? And when we get her back, can we help her?"
"Honestly, I don't know," she told them. "The only thing we do know is that it isn't cancer. But that doesn't mean that it isn't dangerous."
"She still needs our help though, her and the girl." Kaden stood up. "I'm going to rest, this leg still hurts like hell."
"You're right," Lily stated. "You do need rest. We will try and locate her."
Kaden went out, going past the library and finding Marta there. "You doing okay?" he asked. "I'll get Ian."
Marta was about to protest, but Kaden was already limping back. "I think Marta needs to talk, Ian," he said to his teammates. "And thanks for coming for me."
Ian stood up and nodded to Kaden. "Get some sleep. We'll find her," he told him. He walked the short distance from to the library. "Hey lass. How are you feeling?"
Marta looked at Ian, feeling the flutter in her heart when he looked at her. She was silent for a few moments, trying to form the words, then she simply blurted them out, "I can't stay here. I knew it was a mistake to come here, I--" She stopped, tears falling down her face now.
"Hey, slow down, Marta. What are you talking about?" Ian asked gently. "Of course you should have come here. I am glad you came here."
Without thinking she stood up and hugged him, clinging to him for dear life. "No, Lily and Ryland told me why the men came after me that day," she choked through her tears. "He didn't care that I was Catholic, he was going to--"
She couldn't even finish, she was so upset and confused. She cried for a moment, then she choked, "I don't know if I can--I'm your match, Ian, some of it is manufactured--"
"Sssh," he soothed. "That's not important. The important thing is that we are together. I would like to think that it has nothing to do with that bastard."
"I know, I know..." Marta held onto Ian for dear life. She pushed away the thoughts racing through her mind, concentrating on how good it felt to be in his arms.
Ian kissed the top of her head. It was hard for him to stand there and see her in tears. It frustrated him more than he would admit, made him feel helpless. "So, do you want to tell me what this is all really about, lass?"
Marta pulled herself away from his chest, looking up at him. She shook her head, "It's just what Lily and Ryland told me. I'm scared, Ian, scared of everything I'm feeling. I've never felt this way before. It's more than just loving you, I want you so bad, but my faith--I hurt terribly and I want you--"
"You want me to what?" he asked, his eyes twinkling. "To do this?"
Ian leaned in close to her and breathed in her scent. She smelled incredible to him. He took her face in his hands and wiped her tears away with his thumb before bending and taking her mouth with his.
Marta felt warm the moment Ian took her face in his hands, and sparks flew when he kissed her. She returned the kiss, her hands roaming as she felt her passion rise. Her mind filled with thoughts of soft sheets and bare skin...
She suddenly broke off the kiss, backing away from the embrace. "I'm sorry, Ian, I can't stay," she said, rushing to run out the door.
"Well, hell," Ian cursed. He ran a hand through his hiar. "Marta, wait!"
Marta ignored Ian's shouting, heading for the door and her black Opel. She started it up and drove away, tears in her eyes as she drove away.
Ian sighed and watch her car drive away. He thought for a moment about how she felt held against him. With a frustrated sigh, he walked back down the hallway and rejoined the group.
River Tam - December 30, 2007 01:22 AM (GMT)
Marta and Jürgen
Marta slammed the door of her Opel and ran up the stairs to her large airy studio apartment. She slammed the door with a wave of her hand and flopped on the couch. Her head buried in her hands, the tears flowed freely.
"Marta?" a calm male voice sopke to her. "Marta, was ist los?"
The small woman looked up and recognized the tall man with salt and pepper hair and dark eyes. "Herr Spielmann, I'm sorry, I feel--it's like an obsession--" she rambled, reaching out to him and hugging him tightly.
"Marta, I don't understand," Jürgen answered, stroking her hair. He said he didn't understand, but he believed he did. It had something to do with the man who had come with Ryland and Lily. He had seen the look in her eyes, the sparkle behind the anger, seeing the same look in his best friend's eyes the moment he described his love.
His thoughts were confirmed when she choked, "Ian, Herr Spielmann--I-I-I should have never come back. Why did I come back?"
"It's alright, Marta," he hushed her. He felt he had an obligation to protect her, and he had almost been like a father to her even when her father had been alive. His protection extended to his decision to bring her to the German government--and Peter Whitney--and when the experiment failed and she escaped.
Now he comforted her when she was hurting, confused about the feelings she had for a man--Ian Mackenzie. "It's alright, you are strong, strong like your mother," he said quietly.
Marta looked at Jürgen, her eyes still filled with tears. "I-I love him, but it's not--it's like an obsession, it-it's--" She didn't want to tell him about the feelings that had been enhanced by Peter Whitney, making her feelings filled with lustful passion rather than mere romantic love.
"Marta," Jürgen answered, holding her face in his hands. "You love this man, and I can see those feelings are very strong. But your faith has always been stronger."
Jürgen gave her a kiss on the forehead and looked into her green eyes. "You will never forget your faith, Marta. It's in your heart, as Ian is."
River Tam - December 30, 2007 01:33 AM (GMT)
Calla and Daisy
Calla's head was spinning as she awoke. She could hear the faint beeping of the heart monitor in the background. The room was dark, windowless and scarsely decorated. She groan, knowing where she was and what had happened.
"Calla?" a male voice questioned. She could hear a chair sliding forward toward the bed as he sat down.
"Hayden?" Calla asked, jerking upright. She winced slightly as the electrodes on her head tugged at her scalp. "Where's Daisy?"
"Easy. You cut this one too close. They thought you were going to slip into a coma for a few hours," Hayden explained. "Daisy is fine."
She started pulling the electrodes from her forehead and scalp. "I need to get out of this medical facility."
"You aren't going anywhere. Unless it's a cell," a voice from the hall said. The man stepped into the room. "Get her dressed and bring her to cell 10."
"Yes, Dr. Frye," Hayden answered in his normal military tone. "Get dressed."
Calla's eyes narrowed slightly as she stood. "What the hell was that?"
"Get dressed, Calla," he told her. "You need to do as they say."
"You son-of-a-bitch," Calla spat at him. "They got to you didn't they. They tell you I betrayed the team?"
He took her by the shoulders and shook her. "Do as you're told, soldier."
He turned his back to her and she started to dress in the plain black clothing that was sitting folded in the table next to the bed. She wanted to strangle him and Frye both. It would make her life easier, she decided. But instead, she dressed and turned around, her head pounding despite Hayden being an anchor. As she was zipping up the black fleece vest, she started thinking about Kaden. She wondered if he'd made it out okay.
She was still shaken about her reaction to the man she'd shot, kidnapped and then left dazed in the woods. He was incredibly sexy, his eyes were a shade of deep blue. That was was she was smitten with first. And his lips...
"Dammit," she muttered. She looked up at Hayden. Saying nothing, she stepped out the door toward the cell.
* * *
Calla glanced down at the small girl in her arms. Daisy. Her sister. Of course, Calla was an orphan and didn't have sisters. But there was something between Daisy and Calla that made Calla protective of her. Before her last mission, Calla had made the preparations for a family in the mountains to take Daisy in.
"Cal?" the small girl asked. "I was scared you weren't coming back."
"Are you kidding?" Calla said incredulously. "I would never leave you munchkin."
When are we? Daisy asked her telepathically.
Soon, baby, Calla told her. I promise.
A buzz alerted them to the approaching guard. "Time's up."
"I'll see you tomorrow," Calla said, waving good-bye to the small red-headed girl.
Now all she had to do was wait. Tomorrow could not come soon enough for her. She was going to have a very busy day tomorrow.
River Tam - December 30, 2007 01:38 AM (GMT)
Calla and Daisy
Calla laid silently on the bed and let her mind wander to her last job and Kaden. She mentally cursed herself for kissing him then letting him go. Why had she done that? Why did she feel that she had to protect him when the soldiers came to take her back? She had been stupid. That's all there was to it.
She sat upright when she heard the glass door to her room slide open. She glared at Hayden who stood menacingly in the doorway.
'Right on time,' she told herself. She concentrated her thoughts on him and stood. "What do you want?"
"You are wanted in the lab," the soldier told her. He waved her forward. "Come on, Calla."
She narrowed her eyes before stepping towards him, her shoulders square as she passed him. He stepped in behind her and places his hand on the small of her back. She held her breath for a moment as he stepped in closer to her. She tried not to cringe as he inhaled at the nape of her neck. When he came in too close, she slammed her elbow into his diaphram. His breath left his lungs with a "Ooof!" and she put space between them. She reached her hand up around his neck and found the pressure point buried there. With her enhanced strength, she dug her fingers in and was satisfied when his body hit the floor.
"You're not my type," she spat at him. "Bastard."
She slid into the computer chair in the small room, and quickly went to work on the security system. She knew that she and Daisy were the only two held at this facility so the escape would be easy. She set the alarm to go off ten minutes later and she grabbed the white smock from the hook. In the front pocket was a set of glasses. Calla slipped the glasses on, pulled her hair back, then grabbed a pen and her file.
She walked, uninterupted down the hallway and checked her watch. She had four minutes before the alarm would sound that there was a massive fire in the generator room of the facility. That would be when they would get out. She stepped into Daisy's room and slid Hayden's security badge. The glass door slid open with a hiss and Daisy remained sound asleep in the bed. Calla walked to the bed and knelt down.
"Hey, sleepy head," Calla said quietly. "It's time, Daisy."
The small redhead's eyes fluttered open and instant she was awake. "Mmmm-kay," she said, rubbing her eyes.
"Come on. Up up," Calla said, hoisting the girl out of bed. Suddenly the alarm started blaring around them, Calla peeked out of the door and she and Daisy slipped out in to the choatic hallway.
They had almost made it to the exit when they were spotted. The guard drew his weapon and Calla froze. She was unarmed and protecting a six-year old supersoldier. With a frustrated sigh, Calla efficiently wrestled his gun from his hand and had him out in moments. She grabbed his radio and returned to Daisy.
She ushered Daisy along and whispered, "Shield yourself. I know it's hard, but you are going to need to if we are going to make it out of here."
"This is Dr. Frye. Calla and the girl have escaped. Find them! NOW!" the radio sounded.
"Frack me," Calla said through clenched teeth. As she and Daisy slipped into the woods surrounding the compound.
* * *
Several hours later...
Seattle, Washington Time: 0300
Calla and Daisy were both exhausted. Still, it didn't stop Daisy from throwing herself into Calla's arms. She was regretting her rendezvous point as the thoughts of the surrounding city invaded her head.
"Hey," Calla said, setting the young girl away from her. "We will see each other again. I promise. After all, you're my sister."
"Daisy," Lilith Stevens said. Lilith was a woman that Calla trusted with her life. She was in her mid-40's and the kind of person that could never lie.
Calla sniffled slightly, "Now, remember. Everything you need has been taken care of. Just please, take care of my girl."
"I will," Lilith said, sitting a hand on Calla's shoulder.
Calla watched as the two got into the SUV that was purchased for them and waved as Daisy drove away. She sighed as the rain began to come down around her. She needed to find a place to stay or it was going to be a long night.
River Tam - December 30, 2007 01:43 AM (GMT)
Calla, Kaden, Ian, Ryland, Flame
Ian slowly rejoined the group, not wanting to talk about Marta driving away, scared of being with him. Ryland noticed the sad look and said, "She'll be back, Ian, you know that."
He shook his head, "No, she won't. I have to talk to her."
"Go after you tell me what happened," Ryland said, his eyes serious.
He sat down in front of the group. "She jammed the radio and shielded us," he answered. "It was a setup, Ryland, a setup from the start."
Ryland stared at his teammate for a moment, then sighed. "Who is she working for?"
"Herself," a voice came from the doorway. They turned and found Kaden there. "Sorry, couldn't sleep. She was working for herself, and she works on her own."
Ian's scowl hardened as he listened to Kaden. "Yeah, it looked like she was working on her own. She shot you, Kaden. How can you say she was working alone when that forest was crawling with Ghostwalker teams?"
Kaden's head turned to Ian, glaring at him. "Did you think she was being chased by those guys? And she let me go."
"Both of you!" Lily glared at the two men. "We still need to find her and bring her back."
"No offense, Lily, Ry," Ian stated apologetically. "I think that's a fracking bad idea."
"And you're not going to go after Marta, are you?" Kaden asked, seeing the look in his teammate's eyes. Then he turned to Flame, "Is there any way to find her?"
Flame looked up from the secure laptop. "I am working on it. If you want to try, more power to you. If not, give me a few minutes. I am trying to access these files. There was some recent activity..."
Lily came closer to Flame. "It's okay, Flame, take your time."
Flame sighed and leaned forward, her fingers moving faster on the keyboard. "I've got something," she said. She read farther and her gaze met Kaden's. "Was she taking those pills in the forest that you can remember?"
"I didn't see her taking them," Kaden answered. "I know I felt pain after she left, then came the shot, then nothing."
"She had a seizure in the forest. They rushed her to the nearest facility," she explained to him. "She was there for less than 4 hours before she beat the hell out of two guards and made it out the door with a girl."
"There is an email here for someone named Dr. David Frye. It's the frequency to her tracking device," she told the group. "You should be able to track her with it. They already have teams dispatched to find her."
"She got Daisy out," Kaden said. "She probably took her someplace, so she's alone."
Ryland said, "Alright, all of us go in." He looked at Kaden. "Except for you, Kaden, you're staying here."
"I'll stay with Nico in the chopper," Kaden answered, his jaw set. "I screwed this up, I'm going to make it right."
Ian nodded to Ryland. "I'm going to get armed. We are going to need it."
Kaden glared at Ian. "We might need Marta too," he said, smirking.
Ian spun around, his expression softening. "No. She needs time," he said simply before walking out the door.
Ryland looked at Lily, smiling at her. He knew what was wrong with both of them. "Let's get suited up," he said.
River Tam - December 30, 2007 01:51 AM (GMT)
Calla, Kaden, Ian, Ryland, Nico, and Gator
Calla pulled the thin jacket closer around her neck as she shook in the corner of the building still under construction. Shielding her patched arm from the rain, she closed her eyes. She couldn't sleep in the city. In fact, she was constantly ill. She figured that if she went as high as she could, things would get better. Nothing helped.
The rain poured down the plastic covered windows. Her stomach rolled and her head pounded. She felt herself wandering to sleep and welcomed it. She had been there for hours. Suddenly, she felt a dull buzzing in her head. Her eyes snapped open.
"Please no," she whispered, slipping off her lab coat. She stood and moved out of the plastic into the rain. It would be harder for them to find her.
"I'm going to have to touch down soon," Nicholas said to the team in the back. They had been in the air for hours, first in the plane to Seattle and now in the chopper flying over the city. The rain was relentless, but still manageable for an expert pilot like Nico.
"We don't leave without her," Kaden answered, his jaw set. Then he fell silent, closing his eyes. He reached out with his mind, trying to find some sign of her.
Ryland dismissed the sudden snapping from his second-in-command, waiting for when they finally got Calla and back to the house. For now he asked, "How are we on fuel?"
"Almost a quarter tank," Nico answered. "We need to fill up if we're going to keep going."
Ryland was about to say something when Kaden raised his hand. "A construction site not far from here," he said quietly. "And we're going to have company."
Calla adjusted the kevlar vest she had before slipping on the tight gloves. She had stashed all the supplies she would need with the paperwork she'd gotten for Lilith and Daisy. She knew she was going to need it. She checked the clips at her belt. The buzzing was getting stronger. There were two teams coming in, she knew. One from the air and the other was driving up the street, she guessed.
She took a deep breath as a bus passed on the street below. She could feel their thoughts invading her mind and she shuddered. Without warning, she doubled over as the bile rose in her throat.
Kaden winced slightly in the chopper. "She's close," he said, "and she's not good." Then he called out to Calla, hoping he could reach her, "Relax, baby, I'm coming, don't pass out on me now."
Calla wiped her mouth with the back of her arm. She hated being sick. It was never a good time. She heard a voice in her head and concentrated on it as she stepped to the ledge. The bus was 23 floors underneath her at a red light. It took her a moment to realize who she was hearing.
"Bishop," she replied. She tried to keep her voice level but the truth was she was relieved his was near. "I need to concentrate. Please leave me alone. And I am not going to pass out. Just... get... sick."
Nico found the site, an unfinished building, and found somewhere to touch down. "I have to fuel up, then I'll be back," he said before he took off again.
Ryland led the team down a few blocks to the site. He swore when he felt the other team hitting the same place at the same time. "We don't come out without her," he said before heading inside.
Kaden didn't want to stay where the chopper had touched down, but he knew he would slow the team. He still kept in contact with the team and with Calla, almost feeling sick from her rising pain. "I won't leave you alone, Calla, you know that. We're coming, but you got another team coming for you too. Can you help us?"
Calla watched the black chopper drop off a few buildings over from her. She knew that she didn't have much time. She drew her pistol and stepped closer to the door. There was only one place they could come at her. The elevator was out of service so that left the elevator.
"I don't plan on leaving without a fight. I don't know if I can trust- Tell your men to fall back from the stairs!" She stopped as the bells she'd set up on the stairs as a warning. Suddenly, the wired grenade she'd set as a trap exploded. "Too late."
"Fall back, Ryland!" Kaden warned, but he had a feeling he was too late. "Thanks, Calla. You can trust the men with me, we'll help you hold off the other team."
Ryland swore again when he barely heard Kaden's warning before the trap went off. "Fall back!" he ordered his team, then got into position to defend Calla and the team.
Ian crouched down at the foot of the stairs as the explosion echoed loudly down the stairs. "What the frack was that?"
"Just Calla's welcome card," Kaden answered, smiling. "She's probably got a few other surprises too."
"Her welcome card took out two," Ryland said. Then he saw--and felt--the rest of them. He shook his head before engaging, "They never learn..."
Calla was overwhelmed with the pain of the men she'd injured and those she killed. The aftermath of violence always did that to her. She was used to it, spent most of her life without an anchor. She stepped back behind a pillar as the footsteps started on the stairs again. She could sensed their hesitation now that she's warned them but it didn't deter them from coming.
It wasn't long before they stopped and she knew they were right outside the door. She took a deep breath as the door flew off the hinges and three soldiers stormed in the room. "Keep you're men out of here. I can take care of this myself," she told Kaden. Then she cut off the communication as she peered around the pillar and fired, hitting her mark in the neck.
"Damn her!" Kaden swore under his breath. Then he called out to Ryland, "Calla has company, but she's handling them. Keep the others from coming in."
"We can do that," Ryland answered, then went back to taking care of the rest of the other team coming up the stairs.
River Tam - December 30, 2007 01:55 AM (GMT)
The girl was small, curled into a ball, shivering in the alley. Upon closer observation, the girl was shaking, tears of pain streaming down her dirty face. "Won't go back, won't go back..." she mumbled, trying to make the pain go away.
Then the voice came through the shredding pain in her head, "I am the only one who can help you, Rose. Come back to me and I will help you with the pain..."
"I won't go back!" the little girl shouted, jumping up. She stood in the middle of the alley, seeing the men coming from both sides. Her hands were balled into fists, and her dark eyes were flashing with fury. "Leave me alone!" she cried, pushing out with her balled fists.
The men slammed into the wall, but the men behind her grabbed her, picking her up from the ground. "Let me go!" she cried, struggling for her life...
Marta sat bolt upright, her eyes flew open. Her body was covered with sweat and her head was pounding with pain. "Damn!" she swore under her breath, letting the tears come.
Jürgen Spielmann always seemed to sense when something was wrong with Marta, and he got up and went to her room. "Marta?" he said, noticing the frightened look in her eyes.
"Herr Spielmann, I saw a girl, and they were coming after her," Marta answered, her face pained.
"A girl? I don't understand."
Marta got up and went to her bathroom. "I need to see Lily."
"I'll go with you," Jürgen said.
"No, the less you know about what I was part of, the better," Marta answered from the bathroom.
"And you forget I was the one who brought you into the program, the one who spoke with General Ranier. I am going."
River Tam - December 30, 2007 02:04 AM (GMT)
Calla, Kaden, Ian, Ryland, Nico, and Gator
Calla glanced from around the pillar and watched the four men hesitate seeing their fallen comrade. She could feel her head pounding and her breathing hitching. Being in the city was draining her. She knew she wasn't going to be able to take the four soldiers. She took a deep breath. She had never counted on anyone before, never depended on anyone. But she couldn't survive right now with out it.
She opened the channel with Kaden again. Her body beginning to shake as she shielded herself from them, making sure that her jamming kept steady. "Kaden," she called out. "As much as it pains me to say this, I need your help."
Kaden knew it was coming, feeling her pain spill over into his head. "Relax, Calla, I'm here," he said, his voice calm and soothing. He then called out to Ryland, "Calla's slipping, Ryland. I can help her for a while, but I don't know for how long."
Ryland nodded, firing at one of the other GhostWalkers from around another pillar. Then he ordered, "Get up the stairs and get her down here!"
Against Ian's better judgement, he nodded curtly to Ryland. He raced up the stairs, trusting that Ryland and Gator would have his back. He watched for trip wires as he sprinted the stairs two-by-two. There was no telling what she had set up if she knew they would be coming for her. Still, he could help but think that bringing Calla in was a bad idea.
He approached the top floor and spotted four soldiers. "We got four outside, Rye. Looks like she has them pinned down."
"Can you get her out?" Ryland asked. Then to Kaden, "Can you shield her enough to get her out with Ian?"
"I think so," he replied, then spoke to Calla, "Ian's coming up for you, baby, let him get you out."
Calla felt the caress in his words as he spoke to her. She hated the way she reacted to just the slightest change in his voice. And she loved it just the same. What the hell was wrong with her?
"I am not your baby," Calla told her through clenched teeth. She tried to control her thoughts, her emotions. "Why are you all trying to help me?"
"Because we like challenges..." Kaden shot back, smiling. His body was tightening again, and he fought for control. "Just go with Ian, he'll get you out."
Calla let her laugh slide through her voice. She was trying to convince herself that she would be better off without him, but her body was telling her otherwise. "You haven't seen how much of a challenge I can be, Bishop," she told him.
She stepped out into the rain, looking over to the direction where the chopper had landed. She thought it would be easier to hide from the soldiers, knowing her shield was going to come down. "How do you know you can trust me not to shoot him? Or you?"
"I don't," Kaden answered, "[/i]but I trust you to at least give me a chance. I won't do the same thing you did to me.[/i]" He looked up and noticed the chopper coming back. "Our ride's here, Rye," he said to Ryland.
Ryland nodded, "Pull back!" To Ian, "Get her down here now!"
Calla lifted her face to the rain and let it cool her before stepping back into the building. "I am trusting you, Kaden," she said aloud. She took a deep breath and dropped her shield, letting the cloud in their minds that protected her disappear. Instantly, the soldiers spotted her. "Now's your chance," she told them, hoping that Kaden's team was nearby.
"Shield's down, Ryland," Kaden said, strengthening his to cover his team.
"Go, go, go!" Ryland called out to his team, sending a few up the stairs to help Ian and the others to cover their exit.
"Let's go," Kaden said to Nico when five came and got on the chopper. "We'll get the rest off the roof."
A minute later Nico was over the unfinished building. Kaden got off, his hands holding a rifle. "Get in!" he shouted to the others and Calla.
Calla had Ian standing at her side, his rifle still pointed at her back for his own protection. He had reluctantly helped her to the chopper. She knew that he had been forced to help her, she could sense it. She saw Kaden and relief flooded her body. She was happy to see him.
She felt uncomfortable around his team and she knew he could sense her rising alarm. She was so used to being alone that being around others made her doubt that she could trust. Add on top of that that she had shot Kaden...
Ryland was the last one on the chopper, then banged on the side. "We're on!" he shouted to Nico, and they were off.
Kaden looked at Calla, smiling, sensing her uneasiness. "We don't bite, Calla," he said, trying to ease her nervousness. "Everyone needs backup every now and then."
Calla winced as she leaned back next to him. Her shoulder hurt more than she would care to admit. She was still shaking but being close to him she could feel some of the pain receding. She rubbed her temples, refusing to close her eyes. "Not me," she told him. "I never have before. It's just this damn city. There's too much going on."
Kaden reached out and began rubbing her temples over her hands. "You may not like where we're going, but it'll be better for you. Lily can help you," he said.
Ian observed Kaden and Calla intently. He didn't trust her at least not yet. He could see a change in Kaden. Almost as if he needed to protect Calla, to help her. It still didn't change the fact that she had shot him and set them up.
Calla didn't pull away when Kaden tried to help her relax. She tensed when he mentioned Lily. "I should have known," she said. Still, she was too drained to fight him. "Why did I think I could trust you. You're working for him, aren't you?"
"Why do you think we're working for him?" Ryland asked, staring at her. "You're the one who shot my teammate and was going to trade him for a girl." He didn't mention the obvious, that Kaden was starting to fall for Calla; before long he would think twice--and think with his dick.
"Do you really think I was going to trade him for Daisy?" Calla's temper flared. "I was going to get Daisy out without him. I was contracted to go for him. He had nothing to do with Daisy. And why else would you take me to Lily Whitney? She is his daughter."
"She's no more his daughter than you are, sweetheart," Kaden answered, his eyes cold now. "And she helped us get away from that bastard, but you didn't think about that, did you?"
"I didn't know about that," she whispered to him. She leaned against him, resting her head on his shoulder. She dropped her hands and let him ease her pain. She kept her hand resting on the pistol that was strapped to her side as she snuggled closer to his warm embrace.
Kaden closed his eyes, focusing on easing Calla's pain, fighting the tightness in his body--and in his cargo pants--from being so close to her. "Lily will help you, Calla, if you let her," he said quietly. "She will be happy to see you."
Calla let his voice wash over her. She inhaled his intoxicating scent and sighed. She felt the stirring in her stomach. Even in her exhausted state, she could still taste him on her lips. "Let's hope so."
River Tam - December 30, 2007 02:06 AM (GMT)
Calla, Ian, Ryland, and Gator
Calla rested quietly against Kaden's side. She was close to sleep but she wanted to hear what they were saying. She needed to know what she was up against if it turned out that Kaden was her enemy.
"Are you sure this is a good idea, Rye?" Ian asked over the racket of the chopper.
"We don't have a choice, Ian, and you know it," came the reply. "She isn't well. You heard Flame. Her seizures are getting worse and Lily is concerned that there is more going on."
"'Sides," another voice spoke up. "Flame would kick m' Cajun ass if we didn't bring her back. They haven't seen 'er in over 20 years."
She knew Kaden could sense she was awake and perhaps that gave her the strength to lay there silently. She wanted to choke them all. If she was a threat, why would they bother with her.
"It was stupid of you to come for me," she spoke telepathically, her voice tinged with anger.
River Tam - December 30, 2007 02:09 AM (GMT)
Kaden sat silently and listened to the others talk about Calla. He knew she was awake and listening, and he also knew she was close to overload.
"It was stupid of you to come for me," she spoke telepathically, her voice tinged with anger.
"I didn't think it was stupid, so stop thinking that," Kaden answered her, his anger matching hers. "I wanted to come for you, bring you back to people who could help you."
Then he turned to the others, "We had to come for her. She's one of Lily's 'sisters.' You know she would've sent us out for her once she found her, Rye. Besides, are we sure she's working for him? Hell, she may not even know she's working for him. And if she is, who better to ask for information on what he's working on now?"
They touched down near the house, then went to the house in darkened SUVs. Once inside the secluded compound and in the house, Kaden leaned over to Calla. "Let me carry you inside, baby," he said quietly, fighting the tightening heat coursing through his body when he picked her up.
"You found her," Lily said when she noticed the men returning. "Take her to one of the bedrooms and let her rest." Then she turned to Ian, "Marta's back, and she has the general with her. I think he wants to talk to you."
River Tam - December 30, 2007 02:15 AM (GMT)
"It was still foolish," she commented. "I could have taken care of myself"
Calla allowed him to carry her into the house. She refused to look at the woman who ran up to them. She could only assume it was Lily. She wasn't prepared to deal with the drama just yet. Nor she want to talk about her medical condition.
Instead, she snuggled against Kaden and buried her face in his chest. She wanted to plan a way to get away from them but she just couldn't think. She just wanted to be with Kaden even if it was short lived. She could still feel the way his mouth moved against hers when she had kissed him in the forest. True, he had been drugged, but he knew what he was doing. He had lit a fire in Calla that she couldn't extinguish.
"You found her," Lily said when she noticed the men returning. "Take her to one of the bedrooms and let her rest." Then she turned to Ian, "Marta's back, and she has the general with her. I think he wants to talk to you."
Calla felt Kaden nod and felt him limp as he carried her down the hallway. He carefully laid her down in the bed and she watched him pull the covers over her. As he sat on the edge of the bed next to her, she caught the look in his eye as he brushed a piece of hair off her face. She wondered just what he was thinking as she quickly began to descend into the land of dreams.
"Thank you," she whispered, half asleep. And she fully intended to sleep until he stood to leave. Suddenly and without provocation, she felt small and alone in the large bed. She was alone in the house of the devil, the house that she still had nightmares about. She had been mentally tortured in this house, those memories coming back to her in a flash.
She suddenly grabbed his wrist in a panic. She needed him to be with her. She didn't know why but he made her feel safe. "Kaden. Stay," she said, swallowing hard. She could feel the color draining from her already pale skin. She didn't want to be in this place alone. "Please."
<tag Kaden, Lily, Ryland, Nico, Gator>
OCC: Gotta love Kaden torture. Too fun.
Ian kept his eye on the woman in Kaden's arms. She was quiet for the entire chopper ride back from Seattle. He could see her right hand still poised over the pistol at her waist. He still cursed himself for not taking the weapon for her. She was dangerous. A trained killer, a mercenary.
When Kaden began to carry her away, Ian noticed the limp in Kaden's step. His anger flared again and he fought the urge to argue his case to Lily. This was a bad idea. He was so lost in his thoughts that he didn't hear Lily speak to them until he heard Marta's name.
"...Marta's back, and she has the general with her. I think he wants to talk to you," Lily told him.
He looked around and ran his hand through his hair. "Frack," he blurted. He knew already that his conversation with Marta was going to be complicated and a bit touchy, but now to meet General Spielmann that was going to make things just that much worse.
He fought the urge to beat the smiles of both Ryland and Gator's faces as he entered the house. He unloaded his weapons before heading down to the conference room. As he entered, his breath hitched. She had changed her clothes but her blonde hair was gleaming through the light of the early morning sunrise.
"Marta, I..." he said stepping into the room. He fully intended to tell her he was glad she was back before seeing the man standing in the back of the room. Straightening his stature, he walked squarely over to Spielmann. He extended his hand and spoke. "General Spielmann, it's a pleasure to see you, sir."
River Tam - December 30, 2007 02:15 AM (GMT)
Kaden's leg regretted carrying Calla to the bedroom, the pain shooting through his body, mixing with the aching heat coursing through it from being so close to her.
He fought the chaos of emotions in his mind as he gently laid her down on the large bed and covered her up, but he didn't leave right away. He sat down next to her, staring at her small body, smiling when she thanked him. "It wasn't stupid to come for you, Calla," he replied. "We did it for Lily..." That was a half-truth, they came for him too, and he was fighting to stay in control, to stop the aching fire her mere presence had ignited in him.
Kaden stood up, wanting to get out of there before he lost control. Then Calla's fears slammed into his mind--before she took his wrist. His body clenched, the fire threatening to rage out of control. He hesitated for a moment, staring into her panicked face, her terrorized eyes.
Then he did something he knew was wrong, but he didn't care. He should have thought of her as a threat, a potential enemy, but he saw her--felt her--as a woman, a scared woman. And he found himself lying next to her, bringing her closer to him. "You're safe with me, baby," he whispered. "You're safe with me..."
River Tam - December 30, 2007 02:24 AM (GMT)
Jürgen and Ian--with a little Marta
Marta smiled when Ian entered the room, her green eyes sparkling. She began to walk to him when the man behind her cleared his throat. She stopped and said, "So you're back."
The looks the couple gave each other weren't lost on Jürgen Spielmann. He was familiar with some aspects of the GhostWalkers, being the one who had brought Marta into the project and being the Bundeswehr liaison. He retired when she escaped and he found out what Peter Whitney really did to her.
What he wasn't prepared for was the intensity of the looks Ian and Marta gave each other. Now he realized what was scaring Marta so much, and he could see her control was wavering. This is why his eyes turned serious, even sterner than before.
"Marta, wir sprechen später," Jürgen said quietly to Marta, then stood to face the man coming to him. She noticed the look in the older man's eyes and knew what it meant.
He frowned when Marta gave Ian's hand a squeeze before leaving. Then he turned to Ian and shook his hand, "And you must be Ian Mackenzie." His eyes turned cold and his voice stern when he added, "Now, Herr Mackenzie, state your intentions..."
Ian's eyes grew in confusion as he waded through his thought process. He stepped back slightly and tried not to let his uncomfortableness show. "I... er... intentions, sir?"
"Your intentions for Marta," Jürgen answered. "She is like a daughter to me, Herr Mackenzie, I made a promise to her father when he died I would take care of her. I brought her into this project with the intention of helping her, but she became worse. I see the looks you give her, how she acts toward you, so I ask you again to state your intentions."
Ian took a deep breath. This was a first for him. Truth was, he wasn't sure what Marta felt for him. He knew that they had been close and since she returned to them he had been drawn to her. He didn't know why.
"Well, sir," the Scotsman said taking a deep breath. "I care for Marta. More than anyone else in my life. I think I have since the day I met her," Ian explained as the general narrowed his eyes. "There is something about her... I want to protect her, make sure that no one harms her. But she makes it damn difficult."
Jürgen's eyes softened, and he actually laughed a bit. Yes, Marta was like Martin, he thought to himself, and she could be "difficult" at times.
Then his eyes turned cold and stern again when he replied, "I have protected her all her life, even when her father was alive, and, if my memory serves me right, the Catholic Church has done a good job of that in recent years. Why do you believe you can do better?"
"Because I have something the Catholic Church does not," Ian replied, his eyes just as cold as his. "I have love that the Church could never give her. We have a family here that knows what she is going through. We can protect her. I can protect her better than any Church can."
Jürgen's answer came quickly. "Do you intend to marry her, Herr Mackenzie? I ask because the 'Church' you dismiss so easily was her strongest barrier, the barrier Dr. Whitney destroyed when he brought her here, and it is where she ran to when she escaped."
He paused for a moment, then added, "And it is that 'Church' that will keep her out of your bed until she is married. So, do you intend to marry her?"
"With all due respect, General," Ian snapped, his brown eyes appearing black. "I think it's obvious I have feelings for Marta. And until I know what her feelings are for me...I don't feel comfortable discussing that with you at this point in time."
The retired general blinked for a second, then answered, "And I can tell you she has feelings for you, Herr Mackenzie. I ask you, what did she tell you last night before she left?" He asked the question in spite of the fact he believed he knew the answer.
Ian held his breath for a moment and then released. He brought his hand up and placed it on the back of his neck. "That she didn't belong. She thinks coming back here was a mistake."
"Because she loves you, mein Herr," Jürgen answered. "Because she is afraid of betraying the Church if she gives in to her feelings." He sighed quietly, then continued, "I know some aspects of the project, but this is new to me--and to Marta. The way you feel about her, she feels the same way. You're like an obsession to her."
Ian placed his palms on the conference table and leaned forward. "Then you understand how I feel. Hell, how we all feel when we meet our match. I just watched a friend of mine take a woman who is our enemy into his arms and cradle her as if he was afraid to let her go. Seeing that, I realized that's how I feel when I am with Marta."
Jürgen's eyes turned serious again. "Which brings me to my original question, Herr Mackenzie, because her obsession with you is conflicting with her faith in the Church, and that, mein Herr, is all she really has left."
He stood across from Ian and leaned in, his own hands on the table. "Protect her, Ian," he said, using the man's first name. "Protect her, but remember who she is. Remember not to dismiss her faith."
He then turned to leave, but stopped and turned back to face Ian, "Another thing, Herr Mackenzie, Marta is a virgin, part of her faith she takes very seriously--as do I."
"You have nothing to worry about, sir," Ian told him. "I have no desire to interfere with her beliefs."
"Good," Jürgen said, finally smiling. "Now, I believe you should talk with Marta...but first, I need coffee. Come with me?"
Still uncomfortable, Ian nodded as he stepped in next the general. "Yes sir," he quipped.
Jürgen went with Ian to the kitchen, where Marta was with Lily, making sure she ate. She looked at both men, questions in her eyes. "I trust you made your positions clear?" Marta asked.
"Yes, I did," Jürgen answered, looking at Ian.
Ian looked at Marta then at Jürgen. "Something like that."
River Tam - December 30, 2007 02:27 AM (GMT)
Calla and Kaden
Calla didn't know why she had asked him to stay. Well, that was a lie. She did know. She wasn't ready for the storm of emotions that came crashing in on her when she realized where they had brought her. She felt like a fool. She was a soldier not a little girl. When he slid down next to her she could feel how tense he was as he rubbed her back.
"You're safe with me, baby," he whispered. "You're safe with me..."
She laid her head against his shoulder and let her arm rest on his chest. She could feel the heat growing low in her stomach as she slide her thumb over his hard chest. She realized what she was doing, the tensing of his body, and tried to pull away from him.
"I'm sorry," she said, sending a mental caress as she apologized. It was an unconscious action and she ignored the confusion nipping at the back of her head.
Kaden tensed when Calla slid her thumb on his chest, wondering if she knew what his reaction would be. Then came her apology, the sexy undertone, and he fought hard to stay in control. "For what?" he asked.
"For being weak. It's just this place. I don't want to be here, Bishop," she told him. She still tried to pull free of his hold but he held firm. "I am a fighter, not a the girl I was when I was here. But it still - I still feel like he's watching me. I don't like this place."
Kaden didn't know why, but he didn't want to let her go. He was confused, his mind a chaotic mix of emotions. Part of him wanted to push her away and never see her again, but part of him wanted to rip his clothes off. He fought off both parts, saying, "He's not here, baby, he can't hurt you here. I'll keep you safe."
He hesitated for a moment, then added, "Please don't go, Calla."
Calla closed her eyes, hearing the true pleading in his tone. He wasn't asking her to stay for her. He was asking her to stay for him, she knew. His mind was an open book to her and his emotions were running just as hard as hers. She didn't want to look at him as her own images of them naked together in the large bed flooded her mind. She wanted to feel him, to taste him, to love him.
"Kaden," she said, her voice barely a whisper as she made up her mind to stay, for the moment.
"Calla, baby, I--" Kaden's voice was shaky, not confident as usual. He turned over to face her, looking into her eyes. "I-I want--" Without thinking he brought her close and kissed her.
Calla didn't protest or pull back as his mouth descended on hers. Her body was aching with need. She wanted this and more than that, she wanted him. She moaned as his mouth captured hers and her body melted against his warmth. "I need you, Kaden," she murmurred telepathically in her head.
And it was the truth, she did.
River Tam - December 30, 2007 04:11 AM (GMT)
Kaden, Calla, Ian, and Marta
OOC: This post contains some content that may not be suitable for younger members...
Calla didn't protest or pull back as his mouth descended on hers. Her body was aching with need. She wanted this and more than that, she wanted him. She moaned as his mouth captured hers and her body melted against his warmth. "I need you, Kaden," she murmurred telepathically in her head.
"I need you too, Calla," Kaden answered her, still kissing her, slowly giving in to the intense fire that had been consuming him since he met Calla Fabray. His kisses became more intense, his hands roaming over her body, feeling the sparks travel through his fingertips and stoking the fire.
She moved against him as he spoke to her. She felt his need flow through his words, his mental caress stoking the fire that was already threatening to consume her. She brought her hands around his neck and felt her muscles dance under his touch.
She moaned against his mouth as she struggled to unbutton his BDU tunic, needing to feel his bare flesh against hers. She felt her control slipping as she pulled the thick material down his arms. "We shouldn't be doing this, Kaden," she commented, giving him a chance to change his mind.
Kaden sat up a bit, helping her as she removed his shirt. "Yeah, but I can't stop myself," he answered breathlessly. He could feel her control slipping too, and he started removing her clothes also. "It's just that--" he stopped, his lips crushing hers again.
The pain in her shoulder seemed non-existant when he reclaimed her mouth. She shuddered and gave into her desire. She was drawn to him and she wanted him more than any one she had ever wanted. Arching against him she broke the kiss as she pulled her own shirt over her head to reveal the pale pink of her bra. She quickly went about removing his shirt as she kissed his neck.
"It's just that what?" she whispered against his lips, nipping him playfully on the side of the neck.
He wriggled out of his shirt and broke away from her long enough to quickly remove the black T-shirt underneath. "Never mind," he answered, helping her out of her bra and starting to remove her pants.
She ran her hands down his flat, tanned stomach. She pressed her naked flesh against him, feeling his warmth flow through her. She trailed her fingers down and began unzipping his pants. She kissed his shoulder and suddenly paused. "Your leg," she said, placing her hand over the wound she'd delivered him. Her remorse over powered her senses and she looked up at him. "I don't want to chance making it worse."
"Let me take them off," Kaden replied, gently taking her hand and moving it. He then sat up and removed his pants, wincing in pain when he moved, but only for a moment. The passionate fire was flaring inside him, consuming him, taking over everything now.
He lay back down, then brought her on top of him. "Just be careful..." he whispered, caressing her bare skin.
Calla gazed down at him through passion-glazed eyes as she ran her hands over the muscles of his chest. She touched the tattoo of the Ghostwalker crest that was carefully placed on his chest. She glanced down at her own that had been tattooed on the side of her left hip. They were the same, he and her. Both soldiers of a monster's making, who felt the pull of that same monster's intervention in their lives.
In the back of her mind, Calla knew that part of what she was feeling was Peter Whitney's doing. They wouldn't be the first couple that he had set up. She knew the Norton twins and Marigold had been setup but never dreamed that she would discover that she was destined to be with him like this. Still, she couldn't resist as she raised her hips and let herself slide down over him. She kept her gaze on his face as she began to move around him.
Kaden closed his eyes for a moment, nodding. He knew part of him was reacting to her because of what Peter Whitney did to him and the others, but part of him still saw Calla as a woman, a dangerous woman but a woman nonetheless.
"It's not all his doing, Calla," he said, taking her into his arms and guiding her movements as he kissed her passionately.
"Does it matter?" she breathlessly asked. "I found you anyway."
"Yeah, you did..." Kaden answered, moving his hips to meet hers...
Downstairs Marta was drinking coffee when she looked around. "Kaden must have gone to rest after puting Calla down," she commented.
Ian smirked and took a seat at the table next to Marta. He lowered his voice so only Marta could hear and said, "I can tell you he's probably not resting. At least not with her here."
"I suppose..." Marta answered, looking at Jürgen. He nodded and looked at Lily, taking her out of the kitchen. "Now, I suppose you wanted to talk to me?"
Ian ran a hand through his hair and turned to look at her. "Yeah. Marta, look-" he started. "I-I want you to stay. I need you to stay with me."
Marta stared at him, tears starting to fill her eyes. "I-I can't stay here, Ian," she replied, her voice shaky. "I-I--" She didn't know what to say, fighting the fire that was threatening to consume her the longer she was close to him.
"I just found you again. Do you really expect for me to let you simply walk out of my life again? Especially when you know that I have feelings that go well beyond 'friends'?" he asked her.
Marta quickly stood up, her eyes flashing with frustration. "But I can't be in the same place as you, Ian!" she cried. "I can't live in the same apartment as you when I love you so much you-you're an--obsession!"
She fell silent, sitting back down, tears falling down her face. "I can't feel like this, I can't--" she mumbled to herself.
"Then I will move back to the mansion with Lily and the team," he said, resting his hand on her knee. "It's an easy fix, Marta."
He watched her tears slide down her pale cheek and his heart twisted. 'I'm an asshole,' he thought to himself. He wanted to comfort her but he was afraid she would reject him so he simply begged. "Please stop crying. I can't stand it when you cry," he pleaded.
"No, don't go," Marta looked at Ian, trying to stop her tears. "I can't live without you. I tried, I really tried, but I couldn't." She paused for a moment, then asked, "H-Herr Spielmann told you about my devotion to the Church, and do you respect that devotion?"
He nodded, trying to swallow the lump in his throat. "I never had the intention of breaking or even interfering with that devotion, Marta," he said tenderly. "You can't believe that I ever would."
Marta shook her head, wiping her face. "You wouldn't, Ian, but the part that is obsessed with me, the same part of me that is obsessed with you--I just don't know." She took his hand, blinking to push away the fire flicking through her body when she touched him. "I know we can fight it though, together. You don't have to leave the apartment, we can stay together and take it slow--slower than Calla and Kaden."
"Are you sure?" Ian asked, his eyes on her hand touching his. "I just don't want to have to deal with you leaving my life again. Last time was hard enough. I'm not going to let you go this time."
"I won't leave you, Ian," Marta assured him. "I can't leave you again." Then a sharp pain slammed into her head, forcing her eyes closed. The nightmare was back, the girl in the alley, shaking as the men came toward her...
She opened her eyes and looked at Ian. "I have to talk to Calla," she said. "There is another girl..."
I don't think that this is the time, Marta. If I know Kaden, they are both a little... indecent right now," Ian told Marta. His eyes turned cold as he spoke his next words. "And I don't want you talking to her, lass, not until I know that she can be trusted."
"You're probably right," Marta answered, getting some more coffee. She dismissed it for Ian, but it was still lingering in her mind. She would talk to Calla later.
"Promise me that you will stay with me, Marta. I need to hear the words from you," Ian said, stepping in behind her to wrap his arms around her slender waist.
Marta closed her eyes, letting the warmth of Ian's body behind her fill her body, sink into her soul. "Of course, Ian, I promise," she answered, but her mind was still on the girl in her nightmares.
River Tam - December 30, 2007 04:18 AM (GMT)
Kaden, Calla, Ian, Marta
Kaden opened his eyes to find Calla's side of the bed was empty. He noticed her at the door and asked, "Where are you going?"
"I just need to walk around a bit," she said gently. She padded back to the bed and leaned down. She kissed him with the same ferocity that he had kissed her earlier. "I'll be back in a bit, I promise."
He felt the heat rising inside his body as he returned her kiss. "I'm holding you to that," he replied.
"Mmmm. You better," she said, her eyes twinkling. She was quickly finding herself falling for him. And for once, she wasn't concerned in the least. She stood and wincing, cradling her arm. "I'll be back when I find something for my shoulder. It's killing me."
"Try and find something for my leg too," Kaden added, "since you're looking..."
"I will," Calla told him. "Get some rest."
Kaden gave her a mischievous smile. "I don't know if I can rest without you near me..."
Calla laughed. "I am sure you can make do."
"Then you better go before I drag you back to bed..."
She could tell he was half-asleep. She smiled and stuck her hand on the door knob. "I'll be back."
"Okay, baby," Kaden replied, then lay back down and closed his eyes.
Calla opened the door and stepped out into the hallway. She shuddered, remembering how large the place had been when she was a child. It memories still haunted her even as an adult. Sometimes she wished she could forget.
She strolled down the hallway, finding the kitchen at the end. She spotted Ian standing with his arms around a small blonde. Calla stepped into the room and cleared her throat.
Marta jumped a bit at the sound behind her, turning her head. "You must be Calla," she said. She noticed there was a glow around the woman, but she didn't ask where it came from.
Calla eyed Ian uneasily as she stepped forward and extended her hand to the woman. She knew Ian still did not trust her or like her for that matter. And she couldn't blame him.
"That's me," Calla said quietly. "And you are?"
Marta didn't take Calla's hand, merely introducing herself, "Marta Heidemann." She glared at Ian, then turned back to Calla. She blinked for a moment, a further glimpse of her nightmare, but quickly recovered, "I am happy to meet you."
"Likewise," she said, dropping her head. She tried not to show her pain as she began cradling her arm again. "By any chance do you know where I can find something for pain?"
"Lily probably has something," Marta answered. She turned to Ian and asked, "Could you get Lily, and will you tell Herr Spielmann I would like to speak with him?"
Ian froze, his eyes snapping to Marta's. He didn't care if Marta was upset with him over it. "I don't think..." he caught her exasperated expression and sighed. "Yeah. I will be right back with Lily."
"I am capable of taking care of myself, my dear," Marta spoke angrily into Ian's mind. Then she turned back to Calla, "I wanted to ask you something in private. Daisy, do you know if she was the only girl there?"
"That's what I am afraid of, sweetheart," Ian answered her.
Calla fought back her shock at the mention of Daisy. How did she know about the young girl? "Yes. Daisy was the only one in the program period. I checked myself."
Marta read the woman's shock and explained, "I am a GhostWalker like you, and Kaden told us you were protecting her. But I have--'seen'--another girl, one named Rose."
"That can't be possible," Calla repeated softly. "I mean, I checked the system. I even hacked the system there was no record of another girl in that program."
"I may be wrong, but my 'visions'--my nightmares--they are rarely wrong. I have seen a girl in an alley, and she is being chased by other GhostWalkers, not this team--my team. She is telekinetic, as I am, and they found her again to take her back wherever she had been. Could there be a possibility the records were wrong?"
"It's possible. If she was a recent addition to the program or if he was hiding her from me. He kept moving Daisy around, trying to keep her away from me," Calla swore. "If that's true, I need to find her. I can't let her get put through the things that Daisy did. Hell, I wouldn't want her to be put through what I had to endure."
"Let me help you, please," Marta said, her eyes starting to fill with sadness. "I don't want her to endure what I went through either. I can arrange a hiding place for her, we just need to get her out."
River Tam - December 30, 2007 04:23 AM (GMT)
Calla, Kaden, Marta and Jürgen
"Let me help you, please," Marta said, her eyes starting to fill with sadness. "I don't want her to endure what I went through either. I can arrange a hiding place for her, we just need to get her out."
Calla considered Marta's plea for a moment before shaking her head. "No offense, but I am not exactly your boyfriend's good side. Not to mention, Kaden," she said, her voice trailing off. "If you're team is after her then the sooner the better. I can't let another girl fall victim to him."
Marta shook her head. "You don't understand, Calla," she answered. "This team--Kaden, Ryland, Ian--they are my team. I trained with them, and I am cursed with the same effects they are. They stayed with Lily when I ran to my own sanctuary.
"They don't understand, Calla, and they never will. I had to find my own sanctuary, a place I could be silent. It is a place I will take this girl when I find her. Please let me help you, Calla, let me find her and take her out of there."
Calla gritted her teeth and nodded. "Fine. But we do this my way and we leave now. I need to get my things from Kaden's room and perhaps some weapons. Then we go, understand?"
"I understand," Marta nodded. "Let me change and talk with Herr Spielmann, then I'll be ready."
On her way to her room, she ran into Jürgen, who gave her a puzzled look. "Something is wrong," he said.
"I'm fine," Marta assured him. Then she added, "Could you get ready to go back to Germany? Contact Cardinal Decenti and ask him about the cloister near Munich."
The man gave her a confused look, but he learned not to question her when she had the determined look in her face--like she had now. When Marta was satisfied he would do as she asked, she went to change into her "working clothes."
Calla made her way back down the hallway, finding Kaden's room easily. She slipped inside and leaned against the door for a second. He was beautiful. The hard lines of his face, his eyes the color of midnight, his musclar lean body. She shuddered in pleasure as she remembered the looks he'd given her as they lay in bed exhausted. She fought for control of her hormones and shook herself.
There was something going on inside her, something that went well beyond physical attraction and mind-blowing sex. She didn't want to think about what that new emotion was as she grabbed her holster, the four knives she had hidden on her person and boots off the floor of his room. She leaned over the bed and kissed his forehead. "I'll be back," she whispered gently. "Please don't be mad at me."
She stood and headed for the door. As she took a step out she glanced back at the glorious man laying asleep in the bed. "Dammit, Kaden Bishop," she scolded telpathically. "I think I love you, you bastard." With that, she stepped out the door, strapping her holster over her shoulders as she walked looking for the armory where her weapons were being held.
Kaden stirred, moaning when her scent reached his nose. "Be careful, baby," he mumbled, then turned over and fell asleep again. "I love you too, baby..." he added.
Marta met Calla in the hallway and led her to the armory. "I can handle a pistol, I'm a fair shot," she remarked.
Calla threw her the duffel bag that she had brought with her from the warehouse. "Okay, grab what you need and we'll put it there. Weapons, ammo. Now, I can arrange transportation and money. But getting us undetected out of here is your call."
Marta took the duffel bag and put a few pistols and clips inside. As she did, she thought about how she was going to get them out of here. She knew a little about Arly's heavy security around the entire estate, so she knew it wouldn't be easy.
As if reading her thoughts, Calla looked at her. "I can jam the security systems and shield us. But once we get out in the open without anchors around, it's going to be more difficult."
Then she had an idea. "My car is here, we can take it to my apartment. They won't think twice about me going there."
"And Ian?" Calla asked, her eyebrow raised. "What is he going to think? You sent him after medicine and Lily."
"I can take care of myself," Marta answered, her green eyes flashing with defiance. "I took care of myself for more than a year without him and the team, I can deal with him when we come back."
"Good," Calla said with a smile. "Just checking. Now, any pointers on how I am going to deal with the ever hateful Kaden?"
"I wouldn't change a thing, Calla. You keep him alert," Marta smiled back. Then she turned serious. "Let's go."
"Alert is one way to put it," she mumbled underbreath, thinking of the hours she'd spent with him earlier. She felt the blush creep up her face and nodded to Marta. "Right. You take point, I'm jamming... now."
Marta nodded, heading out toward her car. She acted as if she was heading back to her apartment--without Ian. She was used to being point, the position she and Ian usually took when they had trained together with the others. She looked around for a moment, sensing nothing, then said quietly, "It's clear to my car."
River Tam - December 30, 2007 04:30 AM (GMT)
Calla, Ian, Marta, Kaden, Jürgen, and Lily
Ian found Lily sitting in the conference room, buried deep in her research. She didn't look up as he approached and he noticed that the materials she was looking at had to do with Calla. He sighed then cleared his throat. "Lily?" he prodded. "Calla is asking for some medicine for her shoulder and possibly Kaden as well."
Lily finally looked up after a few moments, then answered, "There's some in the medicine cabinet." Then she went back to her research. She was trying to find out more about Calla and how she could help her.
Ian blinked for a second and strolled down the hall to the medicine cabinet. He found a bottle of Percocet and snatched it. He walked wearily down the hallway, the night's events starting to take their toll on him. He stepped into the kitchen and said, "Here's your--"
He stopped dead. Marta and Calla were gone. Panic struck him as he checked the rooms that led off the kitchen. His panic rising, he jogged through the house. They were nowhere. Worried, he stopped at Kaden's door. He knocked quietly, just in case Kaden and Calla were in a compromised position. He got no answer and turned the knob. He stuck his head in to see Kaden fast asleep on the left side of the bed. The other half was empty.
"Kaden," Ian called from door. "Wake up. We have a problem."
Kaden turned his head and looked at his teammate with drowsy eyes. "What's wrong? Calla went to find some meds for her shoulder--and my leg."
"Marta asked me to find Lily. She said she needed to talk to Calla. When I got back, both of them were gone. I checked the whole house."
That brought Kaden out of his sex-induced sleep. He sat up and stared at Ian. "So where are they?"
"Marta's car is gone. Calla cleaned out her weapons from the armory. And I mean all of them. Damn it, she took Marta, Kaden," Ian said through clenched teeth.
"Son of a bitch!" Kaden got up and pulled on his pants. "She used me! And I--she fracking USED me!" He didn't know why Calla would take Marta, but he was furious at being played. He stopped for a moment, realizing what they had said to each other. She had told him she loved him--and he had told her he loved her. He still loved her, but--everything confused him now.
Ian saw the remorse on Kaden's face. He actually felt bad for his friend. Kaden had genuinely had feelings for the mercenary. And it looked as if Calla had had feelings for him. "I tried to call Marta, she's not answering her cell," Ian said quietly. "I'm sorry man but that bitch is one hell of an actress."
Kaden stormed to his room, where he changed his clothes, banging the drawers open and closed. He was more than remorseful, he was pissed. He stormed out fo the room when he stopped. "Wait a minute, you said Marta's not answering her cell?" he asked. "Marta would answer her cell, especially if it was us trying to call her."
He stared at Ian, sadness that was mixed with the fury in his dark eyes. "She is one hell of an actress, she played all of us, and she got Marta as a hostage now."
"We need to find them. If she has Marta--" Ian said. Suddenly something struck him. "Did Calla have a tracking device?"
"Lily would probably know." He went downstairs to see Lily. As he went down, he told Ian, "Go talk to the general. If she didn't tell you anything, maybe she told him."
It irked Ian that she would tell the general and not him. It just seemed wrong to him. He nodded and separated from Kaden at the bottom of the stairs. He found the general strolling through the small garden on the east side of the mansion. Ian approached, still seething in anger, and stood next to Jürgen. "General, we have a problem," he said simply.
Jürgen gave Ian a puzzled look. "A problem? What is wrong?"
"Marta is missing, as is the contract mercenary we went to Seattle to rescue. We think Calla Fabray took her," Ian explained.
Jürgen swore under his breath in German, bowing his head. When he lifted his head, only his eyes showed how angry he was. "Do you have a reason why this Calla would take her?"
"She kills for contracts, for money. Who knows," Ian told him. "She seduced one of our men. Told Kaden that she loved him. She's elite, I will give her that."
All of you are elite, mein Herr, and I can't explain why. And because of that, I can't believe Marta went without a fight. Why else would she ask me to make arrangements to return to Germany and to contact Cardinal Decenti about a secluded cloister outside Munich?"
Ian's head snapped over to Jürgen. "Wait. Why would she do that? She promised me she would stay with me. I mean, here."
"I don't know, Herr Mackenzie," Jürgen replied. "I am only telling you what she told me to do." He paused for a moment, then added, "Somehow I don't believe the arrangements were for her."
"Then who?" Ian asked no one in particular. "Any idea where she would have gone if she needed to get away?"
"I don't know, she was very secretive with me."
"Son of a bitch," Ian said quietly, his concern raging out of control. "I need to find her. Thank you for your help, General."
Jürgen nodded. "I'm not sure how much help I was, but you're welcome."
Kaden came up to Ian and said, "Lily looked in Calla's file and found she had no tracking device implanted in her." He shook his head, "This is getting worse all the time."
"Why the hell doesn't one of his original girls have a tracking device? Dammit all to hell, what the frack is going on here?"
"Ian, get it together!" Kaden ordered sternly, glaring at his teammate. "I'm pissed too, VERY pissed, and Calla and me are going to have a talk when she gets back. But now we need to find them, and we need to bring them back here."
He ran a hand through his thick dark brown hair. "We have to tell the others, then go after those two."
Ian eyed his comrade for a moment. "Do you think Calla took her, Kaden?"
"It looks that way, Ian, I just can't figure out why. But we need to find them, that I do know."
"They could be anywhere. How are we going to find them?" Ian asked as they stepped into the house.
"They have to use the credit cards or the ATM somewhere along the line," Kaden answered, leading the way back to Lily. Lily and Flame could find Marta's and Calla's accounts and put a trace on them whenever they were used.
"If Calla took Marta, she would use her accounts. But there's no telling how many accounts the bitch has," Ian said as they stepped down the three stairs, heading through the kitchen.
"And I'm sure you know how many accounts Marta has," Kaden shot back. They were in the kitchen, trying to find Ryland.
"Heh, yeah. One," Ian smirked as if to tell Kaden 'so there'. "Kaden, if she hurts Marta... there will be nothing, no one who will stop me from killing her."
Kaden stood facing Ian, his dark eyes stone cold. "Do you really want to cross me, Ian? Cause if it comes to that, I'll not hesitate to take care of you." He stared silently with his stone cold eyes for a moment, then added, "Let's find Ryland and tell him what happened."
Calla looked up from her crouched position and glanced over at the small blonde. "You know, they are going to think I took you. Kaden and Ian, I mean. You do know that right?"
"I know," Marta answered quietly, continuing to stare in front of her. "We're both in trouble when we get back." She paused for a moment, then added, "But this girl is in trouble right now, and we need to save her first."
"I agree. So where are we going?" Calla asked, sitting up. She was still shielding them, trying to prevent the outside world from invading her mind.
Marta thought for a moment, then answered, "There were two compounds near here. One was where we were taken after the 'accidents' began happening. We'll go to the second one."
“Well, as long as you know where we are headed, its fine with me. Just promise you will leave most of the fighting to me,” Calla said, relaxing as well as she could against the car seat. She adjusted herself as well as she could. Her shoulder throbbed as she closed her eyes briefly to think of Kaden.
"I can do that," Marta replied, heading out of town. She was better at recon anyway, taking point to find what was coming ahead of them.
River Tam - December 30, 2007 08:38 PM (GMT)
Kaden, Ian, Ryland, Flame, Lily
Kaden stood facing Ian, his dark eyes stone cold. "Do you really want to cross me, Ian? Cause if it comes to that, I won't hesitate to take care of you." He stared silently with his stone cold eyes for a moment, then added, "Let's find Ryland and tell him what happened."
He led the way to the office, where Ryland and Lily were sitting. "Calla and Marta are gone, and it looks like Calla took Marta."
Ryland's grey eyes clouded over in anger, but Lily asked, "Why would Calla do that? And is that why you asked if she had a tracking device?"
"Yeah, and I don't know why she would take her. All we know is that they're gone and not even General Spielmann knows where they went."
Ian's voice was still shaking in rage as he spoke. "We were hoping Flame could track Calla's accounts to see where they were going," he told the couple.
Ryland stood up before his wife, gently touching her shoulder to let her know to stay down. Then he said to his teammates, "Let's go find Flame."
Ian nodded to Lily before casting his cold gaze to Kaden. He wasn't pissed at Kaden, he was pissed at himself for bringing her to the house and for leaving her alone with Marta. She would pay dearly if she hurt Marta. "Right behind you," Ian said, stepping in behind their leader.
The three men found Flame in the bedroom she shared with Gator. She was resting, her disease taking a toll on her even in remission. "Sorry to wake you up, but we need you to track a bank account," Ryland said quietly.
Ian's expression softened slightly as he watched Flame slowly slide from the bed. "I'm sorry, Flame," he apologized. "But this is important."
"It's alright, Rye, Ian," she said gently. "Whose account am I tracking?"
"Calla Fabray," Ryland answered. He paused for a moment, then looked at Ian when he added, "And Marta Heidemann."
"Calla? But, I haven't seen her in years! Why didn't anyone tell me you found her?" Flame asked as she slipped a sweat shirt over her head. "Why do you need me to track Marta's accounts? She was just here."
"Calla played us for idiots," Kaden replied, his dark eyes cold and angry. "She took Marta and went off with her."
Lily came in, giving Ryland a "I know I should be resting, but you forgot something" look. "I thought you would have asked Arly about the cameras, so I asked for you. There was nothing to see, which means Calla was shielding them from the cameras."
"But..." Flame spotted the angered look on Kaden's face and continued. "Alright. Give me about five minutes to see what I can come up with. No promises."
"I figured Calla would have shielded her," Ian said after letting out a stream of curses.
"Don't even start, Ian," Kaden said through gritted teeth. He knew Ian was more upset with himself than with Kaden, but the anger directed at him was beginning to grind on him.
"Let it go, both of you," Ryland ordered sternly. "Marta's a member of our team, and we take care of our own. We'll get her back."
Ian nodded curtly as he waited patiently for Flame's results. It wasn't until he saw Flame's smile that he eased up. "What have you found?"
"It looks like Calla made a stop at Alexander Bank and Trust about 60 miles from here. The security log says she took out just a two thousand dollars and somethings from her safety deposit box," Flame told them, reading directly from the computer screen. "And that was about 3 minutes ago.
Ryland looked at Lily. "Could Whitney have another compound in the area?" he asked. He remembered one compound, the one where they trained--and caged when the "accidents" started.
"It's totally possible," Lily answered. "Flame and I will check."
"Send it to us on the road," Ryland said to her. Then he turned to the men, "Let's suit up and head out."
Ian nodded and headed to the to armory to begin suiting up, having never change out of his BDUs. He strapped on his kevlar vest before reaching for his pistol and rifle.
Kaden went to his room first, then went to the armory to suit up. He didn't say anything to Ian, too upset with everyone, including himself, to talk without almost yelling at them.
Ryland came in after them, telling them the others were coming in too. Then he asked, "Am I going to have a problem with you two?"
"No, I think Kaden and I have covered our bases. I said what I needed to and he said what he needed to," Ian said, slapping a clip into his rifle. "Just as long as she doesn't hurt Marta, we're kosher."
"No, no problem," Kaden answered abruptly. "We're fine, just fine." He loaded his pistol and put in the holster, all the while staring at Ian with cold eyes.
River Tam - December 30, 2007 08:49 PM (GMT)
Calla, Marta, Rose
Calla sent out another wave to strengthen the shield and glanced over at Marta. She didn't know how involved Marta was with the team, but she did know that the woman didn't belong in a fight. It was nothing against her, it was just a soldier's intuition.
Calla opened her eyes and looked over at Marta. "How much further?"
"Not much further," Marta answered, keeping her eyes on the road. She could tell Calla thought her incapable of holding her own in a fight, but she was trained in self defense before she was even in the project, and she was taught to shoot.
It was just that her pre-cognitive abilities made her better at recon than in actual fighting. That was what she did best, and that was what was guiding her now. She drove a few more miles, then she pulled over to the side of the road. "This is where we start walking," she said. "We go through the forest on the west side, there is a blind spot there where we can get through the fence."
Calla nodded. "I will do my best to keep us shielded and take care of the security systems. But in the event that I can't hold it," she said to Marta. "Get out and I will meet you."
Marta nodded. "Stay with me, Calla. If you stay with me, I will get you out. I won't leave you unless I have to."
"Yeah, well," Calla said with a smile. "Let's hope so. Are you ready?"
"I'm ready," she answered, getting out of the car. She was happy for her Opel being black, the car blending in with the shadows where she parked it. "Let's go."
Calla slipped silently out of the car and followed Marta, making sure to keep her steps light and the shield firmly around them. She sent out the jamming signal, trying to block anything that could possible detect them. "We should be clear. Everything is being jammed and the shield is in place," Calla told her telepathically.
"The guards are patrolling around the perimeter, they'll be around the blind spot in about fifteen minutes," Marta replied, sensing where the guards were.
"Then we better hurry," Calla said, crouching low as she walked. "How many guards?"
Marta walked at a low profile ahead of Calla, closing her eyes for a split second. Then she answered, "I can only sense five outside."
"Don't suppose you can sense the inside, can you?" Calla asked, making a mental list in her head.
"When we get a little closer I can," Marta said. She could feel the pain starting in her head, and she wondered how long she could hold it off.
Calla noted Marta's pain was starting to match her own and she took the moment to strengthen her shield, trying to keep the outside world from bleeding through to them. "I will try to keep the shield strong enough to keep most of the outside noise out," Calla told her.
"Don't overwhelm yourself too early, Calla." Marta was trying to relax, following her own advice, reciting the rosary in her mind as she reached out to see what was ahead of them.
"I'm fine," Calla told her. "But not a strong telepath."
"And I am a very strong one...a curse," Marta replied. She sighed quietly, then went back to her recon. "We're almost there, the closest guard is about fifty meters away."
Calla nodded and gestured ahead of them. "You want this one?"
"I can take this one." She moved ahead closer to the fence, reaching out toward the guard. She looked around for something to distract the guard and found a rock nearby. With her telekinesis, she moved the rock away from them to a place further down the fence, then slammed it into the fence. The guard went to check out the noise, turning back from the women. "Let's go," she said.
Calla came in close behind Marta, placing her back against Marta. She pulled her pistol from its holster as she spun. She walked at Marta's back so she could watch the direction the guard had gone. When they got to the fence she smiled at Marta. "Up and over. I will watch your back," she whispered aloud, trying to calm the throbbing in her head.
Marta went up and over the fence in a shot, part of her physical enhancements. Then she ran for a shadow and whispered, "Your turn, I'll cover for you."
With the stealth of her training and the enhancements, Calla cleared the fence with ease. "Which way?"
Marta closed her eyes for a moment, fighting back the increasing pain as she reached out for a way inside. She opened her eyes and answered, "Toward the left, there are five to seven guards inside too, walking the corridors. Rose is in the middle of the building, like a courtyard."
Calla nodded to her. "I'll take care of the guards. You get Rose and get the hell out, understand?"
"I can help you with the guards, Calla," Marta protested.
"No," Calla told her. Her eyes were cold and the color of ice and the determination was clear despite the knives that were shredding her brain to pieces. Calla could feel the throbbing deep in her head and shuddered. "Rose is more important. Believe me, I will be fine."
Marta stared at Calla, feeling her pain as well as her own. "Alright, I will go for Rose, but remember I won't leave without you."
"Yes you will. You need to get her to safety," Calla agreed. "If I don't make it out, get to Kaden. He'll find me, I hope."
"I will, Calla," Marta replied. She then went to a window and went in, hiding behind a desk while the guard went by. When he walked by, she waved to Calla.
Calla worked methodically, slipping behind the guard and with her enhanced strength, applying pressure to the pressure point on his neck. Within seconds, the guard was out. Calla drug him behind the desk and used her foot to shove him under the desk.
Without an anchor, Calla wasn't able to stand violence and it would most likely send her over the edge. "Let's go," she whispered.
Marta frowned at Calla's taking care of the guard, but she went ahead, reaching out to find her way to the small girl from her dreams. She knew she was near the end of her endurance, as was Calla, so she had to hurry.
She made her way to the middle of the building and found the room the small girl was. The small form was in the middle of a bed, curled in a ball under a blanket. "Rose?" she whispered.
The girl opened her eyes and noticed the blonde woman. "No more..." she said, sitting up, her hands balling into fists. "I don't wanna go back to the gym..."
"I'm taking you out of here," Marta replied. "I know you don't want to be here, so I'm taking you someplace safe."
Rose stared at Marta for a moment, then stood up and went to the door. "Let me help you."
"Marta," Calla urged. "We're running out of time. Get her out of there."
Marta turned to Rose. "We need to hurry, let's go for a race." The girl smiled and went off running, Marta following her. "Follow me, Calla, we'll get out together."
As Calla opened her mouth to speak, five guards rounded the corner. Calla glanced back, her eyes swimming with the onslaught of the incoming guards. "Go!" she ordered.
Marta whirled around, lashing out with her hands and pushing back two of the five guards. Then she went back to Rose and said, "Race for the outside." The girl raced off, taking the way Marta and Calla had taken.
"Dammit, Marta," Calla cursed, trying to shield Rose as she ran. "Go. I can't shield both. She's too weak to make it out on her own and you know it. Find Kaden and Ian."
Marta frowned, fighting the pain like shards of glass shredding in her mind, realizing she had to leave Calla. She pushed back one more before whirling around and going after the girl.
Rose was at the fence when Marta ran out of the building. "Let me help you up," she said, boosting her up and over. She then noticed three guards heading for them and pushed them back before going over herself.
"We're out, get out, Calla!" Marta shouted to Calla in their minds. She didn't know if she could make it back to her car, and she knew Calla was close to overload herself. But she would stay if she could help her get out.
Calla didn't hear Marta's call over the throbbing in her head. She kicked out, her foot colliding with the neck of one of the guards. At that moment one of the guards struck her from behind. Without hesitating, Calla drew her pistol and fired. She watched in utter horror as blood splattered the wall behind him.
A wave of pain flowed over Calla, the after effect of the violence. With a moan, Calla hit the ground convulsing as pain shot through her skull.
Marta swore in German as the pain shredded hard through her head. She called out to Calla again, only to be met with more pain along with silence. She ran when she noticed more guards headed for the blind spot where they had penetrated the perimeter.
Rose found her way to the road, finding the car. Marta came stumbling behind her, barely managing to unlock it and get them inside. She felt the team heading toward them and called out, "On the side of the road, find my car..." Then she passed out in the driver's seat.
River Tam - December 30, 2007 08:53 PM (GMT)
Calla, Ian, Marta, Kaden, and Ryland
"On the side of the road, find my car..." Ryland heard Marta's weak voice in his head and frowned.
"Where in the hell is her damn car?" he asked himself quietly. Then he noticed a glint of metal on the side of the road. "Stop, there's something there. Ian, call out to Marta," he said.
"Marta?" Ian called out telepathically. "Can you hear me?"
"Lady?" Rose shook the blonde woman in the driver's seat. "You Marta? Somebody's talking in my head for you."
"Hmmm?" Marta looked at Rose with drowsy eyes. Ian's voice came into her mind, but the pain was too intense for her to reply. "Lead him here..." she said feebly. Rose nodded, getting out of the car and going to the side of the road.
Ian spotted a small girl running towards them. "Stop the car," he ordered. "NOW!"
The car rolled to a stop and Ian jumped out, running for the girl. He dropped to his knees and went over her with his hands. "Are you okay?"
"A lady, she and another one got me out, she's sick," Rose answered, tears running down her face.
"It's okay, sweetheart," Ian soothed. He took her in a hug. "Where are they, sweetheart. I need to know."
Rose took Ian to the car, "She's sick." Marta's eyes were fluttering, her face white as a sheet. Her head felt like it was going to explode.
Kaden followed Ian, asking, "Where is Calla?"
Ian's jerked the car door open and glanced back at Kaden. His face was a mask of fear and pure fury. "I warned you," Ian snapped at his friend. He then turned to Marta. "Marta? Sweetheart? Can you hear me?"
Marta's head lolled over toward the men, looking at them with drowsy eyes. "Herr Spielmann--Rose--" she mumbled. She then looked at Kaden, "C-Calla, sh-she helped--" She couldn't say any more, surrendering to the overwhelming pain and the overload.
Kaden wanted more information from Marta, wanting to know where Calla was now, but he knew she wouldn't say anything else now. But he returned the angry stare Ian was giving him. "Let it go, Ian, she helped Marta get that girl out of there. And I'm going for Calla."
Ryland watched the two men, then said, "We'll talk about it later. I'll go with Kaden and look for Calla. Ian, you take the girl and Marta back to the house. Let the general take care of the girl."
Ian nodded to Ryland despite his anger. Marta was his top priority now. He lifted her from the seat, blocking as much of her pain as he could. He still knew she was in pain and exhausted. And for a brief moment, he worried about Calla and why she wasn't with Marta. He shrugged it off and placed Marta in the seat of the SUV. He tucked Rose into the back seat with the blanket from the emergency kit before running back to Ryland.
"I'll come back once I get them safe," Ian told them.
"I think it would be better if you stayed with Marta right now, Ian," Ryland answered. "I'll help Kaden find Calla. We'll straighten this out when we get back with Calla."
Ian nodded curtly. He would strangle Calla later. He ran back to the car and slid behind the driver's seat. "Be careful. I have a bad feeling something's wrong," Ian said as he put the truck into drive.
"We'll be careful, Ian," Ryland answered. He had talked to Rose and found out the path they had taken to the compound. He came to Kaden and said, "Let's go get Calla."
River Tam - December 30, 2007 09:02 PM (GMT)
Calla, Kaden, and Ryland
Kaden spoke to Ryland through their mental link, "We're going to have to go in fighting, they're going to be all over."
"Can you shield us enough to get us into the building?" Ryland asked.
"Yeah, can you distract the men outside?" Kaden replied. "Once we get inside the compound, I'm going to try and find Calla."
"Just be careful. If she is overloaded by violence, we need to keep it down. Have you tried to call out to her?" the team leader asked.
"Not yet," he answered. He then tried to call out to Calla, "Calla, baby, come on, where are you?"
"Kaden... please," Calla's reply was a pain filled whisper in their minds. Her pain overloading her body. She was phasing in and out of consciousness, her breathing labored as she was dragged down the hallway.
Kaden closed his eyes for a moment, feeling some of Calla's intense pain. He opened them again and answered, "Okay, baby, I'm coming."
They were over the fence now, the guards "distracted" long enough for them to get over. "We're in, baby, just stay calm and we'll get to you," he said.
"I can't," Calla whimpered. "They're taking me to the cells. I don't know how long I can stay conscious. I'm sorry I left. But we had to get to Rose."
"Rose is fine, don't worry about her. She's with Marta," Kaden said, his voice calm in her mind. "Just hold on, baby, I'll take care of you."
He noticed Ryland next to him and whispered, "We have to find the cells. She isn't going to last much longer."
"I know," Miller said as they stepped through the door. Kaden's shield was preventing them from being seen so it was easy for them to slip inside. "We split up. You go left. If you find her call out to me and we will get transportation out of here."
Kaden nodded, taking the corridor to the left. "Come on, baby, hold on..." he whispered to himself as he searched for the cells.
Ryland headed down the right corridor, as if he belonged. He was no longer under Kaden's shield so he needed to be careful. As he rounded the corner he found that there it ended in a door. He approached the door and almost to perfectly it lead to the armory. He spotted a darkened SUV much like the ones they used and he rubbed his hands together.
"Transportation is taken care of. Find Calla," Ryland told him.
Kaden nodded, trying to find where Calla had been taken. He went down another corridor and stopped, closing his eyes. Calla was fading, but he could still feel her. Barely, but he still felt her.
Another turn and he went downstairs. There he closed his eyes again, calling out one last time, "I'm close, Calla, just hold on baby."
Calla's body was shaking and sweat beaded her forehead as she was dragged down a long set of stairs and down a long corridor. "Down the stairs, to the right," Calla told him before falling into blackness.
Kaden stood still for a moment, fighting back the pain that was shredding in his head. Then he headed in the direction Calla directed him. He hid in the shadows, trying to call out to her again, to warn her of the violence that was about to happen, but he was got nothing.
"Nothing to hurt her..." he whispered as he came out of the shadows. He made short work of the two guards that had dragged her into the cell, then knelt beside her. "I'm here, baby, I'm here for you..." he whispered, stroking her hair before taking her into his arms.
Calla's eyes fluttered open and she felt sick. Her head hurt and she felt as if she was about to be sick. She shuddered before letting her eyes focus. She let out a sigh of relief. "Kaden?"
"Yeah, baby, I'm here." He hugged her tightly, then picked her up. "I'm coming, Ryland," he called out to Ryland.
Ryland quickly tied the wires together and smiled as the truck started. "I'm ready and waiting. Take the right corridor it leads right to me."
Calla rested in his arms, her breathing still heavy. She was still shaking and her body was weak. It was hard for her to open her eyes and look at him. She sent up her shield around them, helping take the pressure from him. She groaned and looked at him. When she spoke, it was quiet and labored.
"I know you're mad at me. I'm sorry. I knew you wouldn't understand. We had to get her out. I tried to control it. But I couldn't," Calla apologized.
"It's okay, baby, we're taking you to the house, you can see her there," Kaden said quietly, stroking her hair as they sat in the back seat of the SUV. He smiled a bit and added, "But this will teach you to leave without me."
Despite her pain, Calla laughed. "I guess it will."
River Tam - December 30, 2007 09:08 PM (GMT)
Marta, Jürgen, and Rose
Ian brought Marta into the house, the calming effect of the house washing over him almost immediately. But Marta only felt a little better, still floating in and out of consciousness. Still she fought to stay awake long enough to speak with Jürgen.
Jürgen noticed the small girl off to the side, her eyes wide with fear, his mind going back to when Marta was small. It was when Therese died, and Martin ignored her. Then he remembered Marta's request before she took off and knelt before the girl. "Do you know Marta?" he asked.
The girl nodded. "I'm Rose," she replied. "She got sick coming for me. Will she be okay?"
"Yes, Lily will take care of her," he said to her. "And I believe I am supposed to take care of you."
Rose shook her head. "Don't wanna leave Marta."
Marta turned her head, her fluttering eyes looking at the small girl. Jürgen noticed her eyes open and said in German, "Cardinal Decenti will meet us in Munich."
She nodded weakly, still looking at Rose. Then she said quietly, "I can't take care of you, Rose. The bad men will find you here. Herr Spielmann will take care of you."
"Will he take me where the bad men won't find me?" the girl asked.
"Far away, Rose." She then looked at Jürgen. "Thank you."
The retired general stroked Marta's blonde hair. "It's for you, Marta." He paused for a moment, then added, "Now please do something for me."
Marta slowly nodded, fighting to stay awake. Then he said, "Let Herr Mackenzie take care of you. He loves you so much, Marta."
"I love him, Herr Spielmann," she admitted, her voice trailing off as she began to lose the battle to stay awake.
"I know, Marta, I know you do." He drew the blanket over her. "Now rest, Marta." He kissed her on the forehead before he stood up. Rose hugged her tightly before Jürgen took her hand and led her away.
Marta's hand fell, her eyes beginning to close as she started to surrender to the pain and overload to her mind. Still she fought to stay conscious. "Ian?" she said weakly.
River Tam - December 30, 2007 09:10 PM (GMT)
Ian and Marta
Marta's hand fell, her eyes beginning to close as she started to surrender to the pain and overload to her mind. Still she fought to stay conscious. "Ian?" she said weakly.
"I'm here," Ian soothed. "You're safe."
She forced her eyes open again, and she reached out for him. There were tears in her eyes, tears of pain and of apology. "I'm sorry, Ian, I'm so sorry," she whispered. "Please don't be angry, I couldn't let it happen again."
"Don't be angry? Do you realize that I threatened Kaden that if Calla had done anything to you that I would kill her? I thought she took you. We all did," Ian told her.
Marta didn't have the strength to argue with Ian, barely able to stay awake. "I told her about Rose, she helped me. I shouldn't have left, please don't--"
Ian let out a frustrated sigh. He was glad she was back, glad she was safe. He decided that he should be thankful for that much. "Ssssh," he told her. "It's alright. We'll talk about that later. You need rest, Marta."
She nodded, her eyes fluttering. "Rest, yes, rest." She reached for him, her hand beginning to shake. "Stay with me, please. Please don't go, don't go."
"I need to check on Ryland and Kaden's progress then I will be back," Ian told her. "I'll be here when you wake up."
"No, please don't go--" Marta pleaded. "Let it go, Ian, please, and stay with me--" Her voice trailed off, unable to stay awake any longer.
Ian nodded and pulled a chair over next to the bed. With a sigh he plopped down in the large comfortable chair. What the hell was he going to do with her?
Marta smiled, her shaking hand reaching out until she touched Ian's arm then fell on his lap. "I love you, Ian," she whispered before her eyes closed and she finally surrendered to unconsciousness.
River Tam - December 30, 2007 09:11 PM (GMT)
Ian, Kaden, and Marta
Ian was still in Marta's room when Lily came to him. "They're back," he told Ian.
He looked at the woman, then at the still form in the middle of the large bed. "I need to talk with Kaden," he said. He gently removed Marta's hand from his lap and stood up, kissing her forehead before he left.
Marta mumbled before he left, "Let it go, Ian, please. It's not worth it..."
"I'm sorry love, I must," Ian replied, reaching to stroke her cheek. Then he went to find Kaden and Ryland.
He found Kaden coming from his bedroom, where he had placed Calla. He followed his teammate to the room they used for briefings and slammed him against the wall. "I told you what will happen if anything happened to Marta," he hissed at Kaden.
"And Marta is totally wihout blame, I bet," Kaden shot back. "You wanna go a few rounds with me, Ian?"
"Knock it off, both of you!" Ryland ordered both of them. Ian reluctantly let Kaden go, but his eyes were still full of fury. Once the men were separate, he said, "Let Marta and Calla rest, then ask them what happened."
Ryland's own eyes were stern when he said, "Until then, you two stay away from each other!"