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Part I
Matt's Office
Silver Star Hotel
Hermosa Beach, CA

"Boss, you can live without me for two week," Benny Ray grumbles. "I need some time off." "You know what I'm talking about, no bullets, no bad guys, just me and my fishing pole."

Looking closely, Matt could definitely see the tiredness in his eyes. Maybe two weeks off wasn't such a bad thing after all. The last couple months had taken their toll on the sniper. Being kidnapped and shot would be hard on anyone. He had recovered quickly physically but he also new Benny Ray needed some time alone to sort out some things.

"Where will you go," Matt asks?

"Friend of mine offered me his cabin up in the mountains. It's only a couple hours from here. I'll even take a cell if it will make you happy."

Laughing, Matt replies, "It's not me I'm worried about Benny Ray. You have a tendency to attract trouble and I would fell much better if you took one with you and left directions to the cabin."

Sending a scathing look at his boss, Benny Ray then grins sheepishly. "It's not my fault boss, what could happen I'm going fishing and hiking in the mountains." "Beside half a mile from the cabin is a Girl Scout Camp." Shuddering he says, "Sorry Major but I am not into dealing with a bunch of adolescent girls, I'm going to stay as far away from the giggling as I can!"

Sierra Nevada Mountains

Sitting if front of the cabin on his bike, Benny Rays jaw dropped a little. He had expected a one-room rundown little cabin. Mike had told him he would have to rough it. Looking at the "little cabin" he was surprised by the size and the luxuries it contained a full kitchen with a fridge, even a TV and VCR, all run by a diesel generator out back, off the side were two bedrooms and a screened in porch.

Laughing, he thought about Mike, the old man had forgotten a lot since leaving the marines, if this is what he meant by roughing it.

Stowing his gear, Benny Ray wanders out to the porch. Sitting in the old rocker he stares out across the valley. He could see a small herd of deer grazing and the peace and quiet began to wash away the aches in his tired body.

Five days later

His favorite spot each evening was sitting in the rocking chair on the porch, listening to the birds and watching the squirrels dart from tree to tree. Looking at the huge pile of wood out by the tree he had to smile, he'd split enough wood to last a year, it didn't matter it had felt good. With his left hand he reached down to massage the kinks out of his thigh. The hike that morning had been longer than he intended but well worth it. The little canyon he'd found had been very peaceful. The spring fed pond had provided lunch. Fresh catfish cooked over an open fire reminded him of days long gone.

On his way back he had spotted a couple of the girl scouts perched on the hillside watching him and giggling when he waved. Three days in a row now, they'd sat on the hillside, the first day he'd ignored them, yesterday he looked up and they had run. Today they had stood their ground but hadn't waved back.

Grinning to himself he thought he'd sneak up on them tomorrow and see what kind of a reaction he got out of them.

Next Day 1530 hrs

Standing on the hillside hidden behind some trees Benny Ray watched and listened as the two girls, probably no more than twelve or thirteen conversed gazing down the trail through a pair of binoculars.

"Wish I was about ten years older, that man is a hunk," the brunette sighs.

"Chris, the little blonde giggles, "what would you do!"

"I'd… staring off for a minute she says "I don't know," turning to her friend and sticking out her tongue, she says "but I'd figure it out."

"He's really late today, do you think maybe he got lost," the little blonde asks?"

"Him get lost, I don't think so, and my mom says his type never gets lost."

Both girls jump and scream as a voice behind them asks, "Do you spy on everyone that walks down the trail?"

Stumbling backwards both girls plop down to the ground. Looking up into the smiling face of Benny Ray. His arms crossed over his chest, he stands over them casually leaning against a tree.

Scrambling to their feet both girls take off at a dead run into the woods. As they disappear a disembodied voice reaches him, "No only you," one of them laughingly answers.

Laughing, Benny Ray watches as they disappear.

The next day Benny Ray is not surprised when he passes the hill and the girls are not there. He enjoyed being alone, but it had been close to a week since he talked with a single soul. He just hoped he hadn't scare them too badly, he'd really only wanted to say hello.

Walking slowly down the trail a sudden scream rents the air.

Running down the trail Benny Ray can hear panicky voices from a little way off the trail near the gorge. A woman and a little girl, the blonde from the hillside are standing beneath a large tree looking up into the branches.

"Don't move, Chris," the woman yells, "I'm coming up, Ok"

A scared little voice from up inside the tree whimpers, "Ok"

"Don't move," the woman repeats.

Stopping beside the tree, Benny Ray looks up putting his hand on the woman's shoulder. The little brunette, her backpack caught on a broken branch is swinging dangerously over the gorge.

Beside him the little blonde girl and the woman are surprised when he starts pulling his pack off, getting into his climbing harness he takes out a rope.

Turning to the woman, Benny Ray says, "keep her as calm and still as you can, I'm going up after her.

"Be careful," the woman whispers, "that branch she's caught on is ready to come down."

"Thanks," he whispers back. Throwing the rope over his shoulder he swing up to the first branch. As quickly as he can he moves to a branch a little below but within arms reach of the girl. Looking up at the broken branch holding the little girl he hopes it holds long enough to get her free. Throwing the rope over the branch above him, Benny Ray ties it off and hooks it to his harness. Leaning back he tests the knot, seeing it will hold he turns reaching out. Gathering the girl into his right arm he uses his left to try and free the backpack, but the strap is twisted and won't come free. Pulling the knife from his belt Benny Ray reaches out once more and cuts the strap, gathering the little girl into the safety of his arms.

Relieved of the child's weight the branch springs up and away. Hearing an ominous cracking from behind him Benny Ray turn away. Bouncing downward the weight of the huge branch is enough to sever its last bond with the tree. From below him Benny Ray can hear muffled screams as the branch breaks.

Twisting down and inward the branch falls toward Benny Ray. With his left arm around the girl Benny Ray reaches for the tree trunk with his right arm wrapping it around the tree trunk, only to be hit from behind as the branch gives way. Slammed forward Benny Ray bangs his head hard against the tree trunk scraping his cheek. Agony slices through his left shoulder as the tree makes it's final pass, crashing down several hundred feet to the gorge below.

"Hold on," he murmurs to the little girls as his left arm and shoulder go numb. Dizzy, his head spinning Benny Ray leans against the tree fighting the darkness hovering around him.

Thoughts of Matt laughing about this little bit of trouble drove the darkness away.

Several minutes later he finally answers the frantic questions from below.

"We're ok, he say, his voice wavering slightly, "We're on our way down."

With his back against the tree trunk he unties the rope letting one end drop to the ground saying, "If you can, hold on to the rope, then let some out a little at a time as we work our way down, Ok."

From below him he hears two voices chime yes!

Two minutes late he's standing on the ground leaning against the trunk of the tree. The little girl now encircled in the woman's arms, mumbling "if you ever do anything like that again I'll kill you myself."

Hugging the girl tight the woman looks up, thank you on the tip of her tongue. Seeing the bloody scrape on Benny Rays cheek and the lump forming on his forehead she puts the girl down. Grabbing the front of his shirt she utters one word, "Sit!"

"Yes Ma'am," he says a wavering grin on his face. Slowly he sinks to the ground closing his eyes and wincing as he bumps his shoulder.

Pulling a canteen and a towel out of her pack she wets the small towel. Talking and thanking him all the while, "I'm Cassie, this is Chris, and Tara."

Opening his eyes he mumbles, "Hi, I'm Benny Ray." Tilting Benny Ray's head to the left she begins to clean the nasty scrape on the right side of his face running from temple to cheek. Holding the cool rag over the bump once it's clean. Looking down she can see the bright red stain forming on his left shoulder. Pulling him forward she gently pulls the torn short away from the shoulder.

"This I think is going to need a couple stitches," she says.

Grabbing a second towel she places it over the ragged cut pressing it tight, trying to stop the bleeding.

Hissing breath escapes Benny Ray as the pressure is applied.

"Do you think you can you can walk," she asks anxiously as he opens his eyes?

"Yes, Ma'am."

Helping him to his feet she starts leading him back to the trail and up toward the Girl Scout camp. Stopping, he says, "My place is just a little way down the trail."

"I know, Cassie says, but that shoulder really does need some stitches and the camp is closer."

Hating to be fussed over Benny Ray says, "I'll just clean it up, it'll be ok."

"How typical," Cassie says, releasing him, only to quickly grab him again as he sways sideways.

"You are coming with me, you saved my daughters life and came very close to buying it up there and I'm not going to let you bleed to death down in that cabin, do you hear me."

Relenting, he whispers "Yes, Ma'am" after she tugs on his arm.

Sighing, he slowly moves up the trail, his head ached, his shoulder was numb and useless and all he wanted to do was sit down and let the darkness claim him.

Part II
Girl Scout Camp

The trip up to the camp took a little more than ten minutes. The camp was quiet when they arrived, the rest of the girls were down by the lake learning to swim and canoe. Looking around Benny Ray sees a row of neatly kept cabins lining the perimeter of the camp. A large, screened in building dominated one corner, and several smaller building were sprinkled to the north and west of the camp.

Still holding him by the arm Cassie leads him toward a cabin on the north side of the camp, "First Aid" written in large red letters adorn the door. Inside Cassie settles him on one of the beds. The two girls stand around watching as she gently helps him remove his shirt. Turning Cassie catches site of them, laughing she says, "I really don't think we need an audience for this ladies, do you. I'm sure you can find something to do, like stacking firewood.

"Aw Mom," one of the girls mumbles, as she turns heading for the door.

"Chris, before you go, could you get me an ice-pack out of the freezer please!"

Putting his right leg up on the bed he bends his knee, leaning forward, Benny Ray rests his head on his knee allowing Cassie clear access to this shoulder.

Taking the cold pack, Cassie gently lays it against the lump on Benny Ray head. Reaching up with his right hand he holds it in place, closing his eyes as she moves to survey the damage to his shoulder. Clicking her tongue a couple times Cassie says, "Doesn't look like anything is broken, but the shoulder may be slightly separated and the muscles are pretty badly bruised."

Going to the fridge, Cassie pulls out a small bottle and a syringe from the cabinet draw. Filling the syringe she goes back to the bed. Beside her Benny Ray asks, "Are you a doctor?"

"No, she answers, I'm a Registered Nurse, the camp nurse actually. My daughter, Chris and I spend our summers up here." "Gets us out of the rat race that they call Los Angeles."

Looking up she sees him eyeing the needle. More informational than question she says, "It's a local anesthetic, you've got a couple of splinters stuck in there and I usually use it when I suture cuts up, is that ok?"

Nodding he closes his eyes, flinching slightly as she slides the needle beneath the skin in several places around the cut, injecting the anesthetic.

"Why was Chris in the tree," he asks quietly?"

Snorting in disgust, Cassie replies. "They found a baby bird and of all things were trying to return it to its nest." "It was a silly, stupid thing to do and … she could have died."

Benny Ray could hear the tears and distress in her voice saying, "she didn't and that's what mattered."

Wiping tears from her eyes, Cassie looks up, "She didn't die because of you and I will be eternally grateful."

"I didn't mean…"

"I know but if you hadn't shown up I don't know what would have happened, we probably both would have ended up at the bottom of the gorge, smeared all over the rocks," Cassie says through a watery laugh.

Twenty minutes later splinters removed, the cut sewed and bandaged, Benny Ray leans back releasing a heavy sigh. Taking the cold pack out of his hand, Cassie is glad to see that the swelling is almost gone and the scrape is not as bad as she had first thought now that it was all cleaned up.

"Whoa, where do you think your going," she says as Benny Ray starts to get up.

Ignoring the question, Benny Ray reaches for his backpack. Snatching it before he can, Cassie waits for him to answer her question.

When no answer is forthcoming, she says, "Benny Ray you might make it back to your cabin, but I doubt it and I sure as hell don't want to have to truck down there every couple of hours to check on you."

"You don't have to," he replies, "I'll be fine!"

Snorting in disgust, she stares at him hard before saying, "you probably have a concussion, that arm and shoulder are going to be useless for a couple of days and it won't hurt to stay here tonight so I can keep an eye on you." "There's a couple of rooms in the back just for that purpose, their comfortable and quiet and I promise you can go back to your place tomorrow."

"Please" she whispers, "Your risked your life to save Chris and got hurt because of it, I would like to make sure your really ok, before you leave."

Well, his head did ache, and he knew he'd probably fall on his face if he tried to make the trip down to the cabin, he reluctantly nods his head.

"You don't talk very much do you," Cassie asked.

"Enough," he replies.

Benny Ray scowls down at her when she puts a sling around his arm. Laughing she says, "You'll be much more comfortable if the arm is supported." "Come on, let's get you settled, Ok," Cassie whispers taking his arm making sure he's steady on his feet before leading him through to the back of the building. Opening the first door Cassie makes sure he is sitting on the bed before releasing him.

"I can send Chris down to your cabin if you need anything?"

"Thanks," Benny Ray says, "but I have everything I need in my pack."

"Try and get some rest, if you need anything holler, Ok."

"Yes, Ma'am," he murmurs, watching as she leaves the room, closing the door behind her.

Undoing the laces and removing his boots Benny Ray sheds the rest of his clothes except for his shorts, before sliding beneath the crisp white sheets. After a few twists and turns he finally finds a comfortable position. Closing his eyes he grins to himself, yes, Matt was going to laugh himself silly about this little bit of trouble. Especially after the cracks he'd made about staying as far away from the girl scouts as possible.

The next morning he woke up slowly, moving cautiously his body ached badly, feeling like he'd been trampled beneath a herd of wild horses. He'd remembered Cassie coming in to check on him a couple of time but had fallen back to sleep as soon as she'd left. Looking at the clock he was surprised to see how late it was, usually an early riser the clock said almost nine. Sliding out of bed he reaches for his pack, pulling a clean, though wrinkles set of clothes out. The pants were hard enough one handed but buttoning the shirt proved more difficult than he'd imagined. Yanking the bottom button off in frustration. Hearing a knock at the door he yells, "Come".

Cassie chuckles as she sees the frustration on his face and the mess he'd made of his shirt. "I'd like to get a look at that shoulder and change the bandage before you go, Ok?"

She can hear him grumbling beneath his breath as he mumbles, "Ok."

"Sit please," she says. "Undoing the buttons she gently removes his left arm from the sleeve saying, "Your awfully grouchy in the morning."

Turning his head slowly, Benny Ray gives her a long look, before grinning sheepishly saying "Sorry."

With the new bandage in place, Cassie helps him button his shirt, settling his arm in the sling again before saying, "Are you hungry, breakfast is ready?"

"Yes, Ma'am."

Chris and Tara are sitting quietly at the little table, their orders, although Benny Ray didn't know it was to keep an eye on him, keep him quiet and occupied.

Several hours later, the three sat quietly on the shore to the lake fishing. Tara had already caught two catfish, was even now reeling in a third to Chris's one and zero for Benny Ray.

Benny Ray was finding the girls were good company, and kept him laughing with their antics.

Back at camp that afternoon, Benny Ray was cajoled into eating dinner with them. Cassie grilled the catfish - only after Benny Ray was talked into cleaning them. Staying afterward to play a couple hands of cards, it was almost ten o'clock, before he realized it. Without much resistance Benny Ray was persuaded to stay the night.

The next two days passed in much the same manner, fishing, playing cards hiking, even a little softball. His shoulder ached but was healing nicely and after the first day he no longer had any headaches.

Day 10

Sitting on the porch of his cabin Benny Ray waited, he knew one or both of the girls would be coming down in a little while. He'd promised to show them the little canyon he found.

It was almost 10 minutes before he heard running feet coming down the trail. Tara coming in to view was flushed and crying.

Stumbling over her words, Tara tries to explain but each word is more confusing than the last.

Sitting her down Benny Ray wipes the tears from her face saying, "Tara, I need you to stop crying and calm down. I can't understand a word you're saying."

Kneeling in front of her, Benny Ray waits as she finally takes a deep breath and shudders saying, "Some men came into camp and they have guns. They threatened to shoot everyone if we didn't do exactly as he said."

"How many men Tara," Benny Ray asks?

"I don't know a lot," she answers.

"You have to try and remember Tara, it's very important, close your eyes and picture what you saw in you head."

Several seconds later Tara opens her eyes surprised she says, "There were at least ten men, maybe a few more."

"Good girl" he says, can you tell me exactly what happened?

"We were just finishing breakfast, all the girls were still in the dining hall waiting to go down to the river - today is canoeing. The men came in all at once. One of them had Martha - the cook by the hair and a gun. There were lots of men at the doors, so no one could get out."

"What happened next, what did the men do?"

"The man in charge said no one would be hurt if we did what we were told."

"He wanted to know who was in charge of the First Aid building." "Chris's mom stood up and one of the men grabbed her by the arm." "That's when Chris got mad and punched the man, and I grabbed her."

Seeing the tears forming in her eyes, Benny Ray says. "Everything will be ok, what happed to Chris's mom.

Wiping the tears away Tara continues. "They dragged her out and the man told them to take us too." "We were taken to Chris's mom cabin. There were a lot of men inside some had blood all over them." "The man said as soon as she fixed them up they would be on their way and no one would get hurt."

"How did you get out Tara."

"When the men took us I fell and scraped my knee, Chris's mom took me into the back and cleaned my knee then she helped me out through a window when the men weren't looking. She told me to run down here and to have you go for help."

Taking her head in his hands Benny Ray says, "Your safe now Tara, and I want you to stay put while I call for help ok?"

Pulling out his cell phone Benny Ray dials Matt's number. It rings several times, muttering a few choice words, Benny Ray listens as the sweet voice tells him he is out of service area does he wish to leave a voice mail. Punching the buttons that will allow him to leave a voice message he begins to speak. "Trouble Major, could use your help. Girl Scout camp taken over by ten possible more Tangos. Intent unknown! Camp is approximately half mile North east of cabin. Heading there now to assess the situation. Benny Ray out."

Handing the phone to Tara he says, "If this rings answer it, tell him who you are and what's happened, Ok."

"Yes Sir," she says.

"Tara, I want you to stay put, promise me you'll stay here until the police or I come."

When she doesn't answer him, Benny Ray takes her by the shoulders and looking her in the eye saying, "Promise me you'll stay here, Tara!"

Pouting Tara says, "I promise."

"Try not to worry, I'll do everything I can to make sure their ok."

Reaching out she hugs him tight.

A few minutes later, shotgun in hand and a Glock firmly tucked in place, he throws his pack over his shoulder heading out the door.

0830 hrs Silver Star Hotel
Hermosa Beach, CA

Sitting in the ops room, Matt looked around. The last week had been quiet, too quiet maybe, Trout hadn't called so they had all been able to take a much needed rest.

Finding a comfortable spot in front of the television he turns the volume up on what looks to be an interesting news story. Listening as the reporter tells her tale.

"The FBI and local law enforcement officials are searching this morning for a group of men who robbed an army convoy. At least five men were killed and several more critically injured. The military has not yet released a list of what was on the trucks, but information gathered on site reportedly states that several cases of Stinger missiles and plastic explosives are missing."

"Eyewitnesses have described the men as heavily armed, military in bearing and wearing military battle dress uniform. These men were last seen heading into the Sierra Nevada mountains."

Matt is startled as the phone hanging on his belt beeps. Reaching down he sees that a voice mail is waiting. Activating the phone he punches several keys to access the mail. Hearing Benny Ray's voice asking for help. Swearing loudly, he dials the number hoping to catch Benny Ray. Matt is slightly surprised when a small female voice answers.

"Are you Matt," she asks.

"Yes," he answers, "is Benny Ray there?"

"No he left a few minutes ago."

"Do you know where he was going, and what happened?"

After listening for several minutes, Matt thanks the little girl again telling her to stay put, before ending the call. Immediately dialing Deke, Margo, Nick and Rico, telling them about the situation and they have thirty minutes or less to get their gear and get to the chopper. He knew it would take a couple hours flying time to get out there, he hoped Benny Ray could stay out of trouble long enough for them to get there, but he knew in his heart that wasn't going to happen.

Matt grins as he's loading his gear into the bag, "the Girl Scouts" he says laughing. "Benny Ray tangling with the girl scouts."

Part III
0915 hrs Girl Scout Camp
Sierra Nevada Mountains

From the hillside overlooking the camp Benny Ray watched as the girls and counselors are divided up and separated into two building on opposite sides of the camp one on the East Side and one to the north. He counted twelve men total, all heavily armed and non-too gentle with the hostages. One counselor he recognized as the Canoeing instructor decides to take matters into his own hands, attacking several of the guards. Ruthlessly one man pulls out his sidearm and fires one shot into the counselors' chest. Shocked several of the girls scream and begin to cry as the terrorists continue to move them into the building. Looking close Benny Ray gets the feeling the shooter is familiar but can't recall where he's seen him before.

Across the camp several men are standing beside the first aid station guarding a stack of boxes, they begin shouting as the counselor falls slowly to the ground.

The door to the first aid building opens, Benny Ray can see the barely checked rage driving the tall dark haired man walking across the camp. Looking down at the dead man, he releases a punishing blow to the guard's face sending him crashing to the ground. The dark haired man angrily spits out several words to the man lying on the ground, before walking away.

Not knowing what the tango's agenda is, Benny Ray is certain of one thing, at least one of these men didn't care who lived or died and these girls didn't deserve to die.

Choosing the East Side first, Benny Ray moves silently down toward the camp. Waiting as the roving guard moved out of site around the corner of the building.

Moving swiftly Benny Ray catches the second guard unaware, with the butt of his Glock he sends the guard deep into unconsciousness. Waiting as the first guard comes around the corner, Benny Ray grabs the man around the neck pressing hard cutting off his air supply until this guard too dives deep into the darkness.

Dragging both men into the woods, using tape and rope he ties them to a tree. Moving back to the cabin he quietly opens the back door, motioning the girls to be silent he waves them out the door and into the woods, telling the counselors to head for the ranger station as quickly as they can and report what's happening.

Making sure they are out of sight and weren't seen Benny Ray moves on to his next target.

Skirting the camp Benny Ray moves north watching as the two guards follow the same routine as the others. As the roving guard moves off around the building Benny Ray moves in. The guard sensing something turns as Benny Ray steps up behind him. On guard he raises his weapon striking out. Dropping down Benny Ray spins with his left leg out sweeping the guards' feet out from beneath him. Hitting the ground hard the guard is stunned, with a quick punch to the jaw Benny Ray sends another down into oblivion. The second guard hearing a commotion comes hurrying around the corner. Launching himself upward Benny Ray grabs the guard weapon, throwing his right elbow hard against the guards head, snapping it backwards. Falling backward, Benny Ray is dragged down on top of him. Recovering quickly the guard punches outward, his weapon catching Benny Ray hard on his injured left shoulder. Recoiling away from the blow, Benny Ray falls to the right lashing out with his left leg catching the guard in the chest, sending him reeling backwards into the side of the building, his rifle falling from limp hands. Sweeping up the rifle in his right hand Benny Ray swings it hard, catching the guard in the jaw. Benny Ray waves of pain lancing through his shoulder, a dark spot blossoming on his shirt watches as the guards eyes roll back into his head as he falls slowly to the ground.

Opening the cabin door, Benny Ray again motions for the girls and counselors to remain silent and move quickly.

Gritting his teeth against the agony in his shoulder Benny Ray drags the second pair of guards into the woods, tying them securely.

Flexing the fingers of his left hand Benny Ray tries to rotate his left shoulder, catching his breath as the fiery flashes of pain course through him.

Behind him the camp is alight with shouting and running soldiers as they discover the empty cabins and missing guards. Grabbing one of the guard's weapons he tucks his Glock into his belt. If he had to he could shoot left-handed from waist level. Moving back to his original vantagepoint above the camp he waits. Seconds later several of the men enter the First Aid cabin, only to re-emerge a few minutes later. Behind them the tall dark haired man comes striding out of the building, Cassie and Chris behind him their hair wrapped in his hands as he drags them into the center of the clearing. Slowly he turns full circle, looking around the camp and into the woods, Chris and Cassie following suit.

The camp becomes deathly quiet as the tall man waits, looking for some sign. Several minutes later he begins to speak, raising his voice.

"I don't know who you are or how you did it but if you don't show yourself I will kill her," he says pulling Chris forward."

"Do not mistake me, I will kill her." Releasing Cassie into another man's grip he pulls a weapon from its holster at his hip, firing one shot into the ground at Chris's feet beside him. Dancing out of the way Chris rushes at him kicking out only to be dragged backward as the men around her begin laughing. Yanking and twisting her hair, the man drives Chris to her knees placing the gun to her head. Cassie too begins to struggle but the man holding her is too strong. Crying out she continues to struggle.

Ignoring her cries, the dark haired man yells out once more, "You have one minute to show yourself or she dies.

Silent and unseen, Benny Ray moves down toward the camp.

"You have fifteen seconds," the terrorist yells.

Unwilling to take the chance Benny Rays hears Cassie's muffled screams as he steps out of the brush into the clearing, the weapon in his right hand held over his head.

Several of the guards rush to his side, relieving him of the weapon and pulling the Glock from his waist. With a gun in his back he is shoved forward.

Coming to a stop in front of the dark haired man Benny Ray looks at Cassie, seeing a dark bruise across her left cheek, anger wells up inside him.

Looking closely the dark haired man sees a soldier standing in front of him, one well versed in the art of war. "You're a very smart man, clever too, to have bested four of my guards and released the hostages." "I should kill you," he says watching for a reaction, when none is forthcoming he flashes a smile saying, "but I won't, at least not right now.

"I'd like to know who you are, but I don't suppose your going to tell me are you?"

Again he waits for an answer, and again Benny Ray remains silent.

Stepping out the man who shot the counselor says, "I know who he is Major Kinkade, his name is Benny Ray Riddle, ex-marine sniper."

Eyes narrowed Benny Ray looks at the man, finally recognizing him he smiles, saying "Caufield!"

Hatred coursing through his veins the man steps forward, only to be stopped by the dark haired leader who laughingly turns saying, "I can see that you two have a history, this should be interesting.

Turning away hatred dripping from every word the man identified as Caufield says, "You'll pay Riddle, I'll make sure of it."

Turning back the Kinkade says, "Are my men dead?" When he again gets no answer frustration sets in putting his gun to Benny Ray's head. Without even a flicker Benny Ray stands tall staring into the Kinkade's eyes.

Laughing, Kinkade backs down, yelling to his men, "Search the area, if their still alive find them and bring them back here."

Turning back toward the First Aid cabin he says, "Bring them!"

Inside the cabin Cassie goes back to work on the injured men.

Roughly pushed into a chair Benny Ray hisses in pain as his arms are pulled behind him his hands taped together.

Looking across the room Kinkade notes the whiteness around his mouth and the way he his holding himself that Benny Ray is hurting. Walking across the room he lifts Benny Ray head. Seeing the dark patch spreading across his shoulder he reaches out with his other hand squeezing Benny Rays left shoulder, feeling him flinch beneath the touch but not dropping his eyes. A cruel smiles crosses his lips as he squeezes harder, watching as Benny Ray closes his eyes his face pale beneath his tan, a low groan escaping him.

Crossing the room Chris punches Kinkade in the side. "Leave him alone, she yells punching him again!"

Laughing, he scoops Chris up by the front of her shirt, dropping her down beside Benny Ray before walking away. Standing beside him Chris asks tearfully, "Are you Ok?"

"I'm ok Bluebird," he says breathing heavily, using the nickname he and Tara had dreamed up since the incident in the tree.

Stopping beside Cassie, Kinkade watches her work before asking, "So Doc, how much longer?

Walking away from her patients Kinkade following she says, "The first man is gut shot, unless he gets proper medical attention soon he's not going to make it. There's nothing more I can do for him, he's got internal injuries and has lost too much blood. I've made him as comfortable as possible but… he's going to die!"

Wiping tears from her eyes she says, "The other two have lost a lot of blood I've removed the bullets and patched them up the best I can."

Cassie watches as Kinkade moves to the injured men, talking to each and offering words of encouragement. As he reaches the third man he sighs, feeling for a pulse. Finding none he unfold the sheet raising it to cover the dead man. Turning away Kinkade says, "All right men, let's get a move on, pack it up we're moving out."

Moving over to where Benny Ray sits, Cassie starts to take a look at his shoulder, when she is pulled roughly away by Kinkade and asked, "What are you doing?"

"He's hurt and bleeding can't you see that," she says defiantly.

"Yes," Kinkade replies, "and he's going to stay that way." "Now get a med. kit together your coming with us."

"No," Cassie shouts!"

Grabbing her by the arm, his voice low and threatening Kinkade says, "That wasn't a request Doc!"

Behind them Benny Ray jumps to his feet, only to be roughly pushed back into the chair by the two guard standing behind him.

"Why are you doing this," Cassie cries."

"Because I have to," Kinkade answers, "Have you watched the news lately, our government is falling apart, Back Stabbing, Cry Babies are running for the greatest office in this country. I personally will not subject myself to that. I'm doing what I have to, to protect myself, my men and my way of life."

Behind him Benny Ray's quietly says. "By killing innocent people."

Turning Kinkade sighs heavily saying, "That was a mistake!"

"Enough," Kinkade yells turning back to Cassie!" "Get your kit together we leaving."

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