Mission 4/5: Prologue - Getting to New York
- Who: Ripley, Whetu, Kendall (Auto'd w/ permission)
Where: Somewhere over International waters
Location: Enroute to NYC
Time: 10 am
Four Hours later...
"So it's as we feared," Ripley said with a sigh as she stood up from
the table. Kendall had just given her a thorough debriefing. "I
thought so when Tad gave us the broken arrow alert, but I was hoping
that I was wrong."
"I'm sorry, Ripley, but there can be no doubt," Kendall said looking
up at the blonde. "The Consortium has a nuclear warhead and are
brokering a deal to get the uranium they will need to complete the bomb."
Ripley ran a hand through her blonde hair. "Thank you, Kendall, you
did some excellent work," she said with a nod. She glanced at the
time. "You are probably tired as hell. Why don't you go bunk down? And
take some of those sedatives the military gave you."
"No thanks," Kendall said shaking her head as she stood up on her
twisted ankle. "The pain killers yes, but I don't want to be groggy
when we get to New York. We're going to need our wits about us."
"You're probably right," Ripley said then watched as Kendall limped
out slightly. It was a good thing her ankle wasn't broken or sprained.
The military doctors had said she had a bad twist, but once the
swelling went down and the muscle tendons healed she would be back in
fighting form, maybe 2 or 3 days at the most.
Ripley was counting on that. Kendall had an important part to play in
all that was going on. Turning her attention back to her laptop,
Ripley began looking up information on possible places to get uranium
on the black market. Kendall's report was thorough and detailed, and
Ripley wanted her to give the breakdown when they were in New York, so
everyone knew what was at stake.
As she was searching through her databases, a soft knock on the door
distracted her. "Yes?" Ripley said slipping off her reading computer
The door creaked opened partly, and a sleepy-eyed Jake squeezed
through. "Hey, if you ain't gonna sleep I thought you might like some
coffee?" he offered.
Ripley smiled. "The answers to my prayers, as usual," she said leaning
back in her chair and blanking the screen on her laptop.
Jake was carrying two mugs, one was blacker than night and the other
was laced with cream and sugar. The pilot put the lighter one next to
Wilma, and dragged a chair up to sit next to her.
Ripley wrapped her fingers around the coffee mug and just took a
moment to inhale deeply. It was like welcoming back an old lover.
Since they had been in Iran, she was deprived of one of her most
"Oh Baby," she said as she took that first sip - cream and two sugars.
Pefect. She looked at him and then frowned. Glancing at her watch, she
asked, "Why are you out of bed? You've had less than 4 hours of sleep."
Whetu rubbed grit from the corner of his eyes, "Couldn't sleep on that
bed any longer, too comfortable...Too quiet." Old habits died hard,
but Jake was use to long hours and little sleep.
Wilma nodded. She wouldn't be getting very much sleep in the next few
weeks either. Silently she sipped the coffee.
His brow furrowed in concern, "It's bad, ain't it?" He nodded his head
in the direction of the laptop, and then flicked his gaze toward the
closed door. Not that their boss ever gave them a report with good news.
"Yeah," Ripley said looking back down at her laptop. "Real bad."
He took a long drink of the strong coffee in his mug, almost draining
it in one shot. The caffiene wasn't doing a thing for him, and he
leaned back in his seat seemingly content just to sit in the same room
"Yah allowed to give me the details 'fore we git tah Nude York or we
still playing by tha department rules?" Jake smiled half heartedly,
and ran the end of his fingers along her arm before his hand simply
came to rest near her elbow.
Why the two of them catered to the upper level yobs <that would be
Kiwi for jerks>, while Tad and Sara went at it like a pair of
teenagers was beyond him.
Fer Christ's sakes they were adults, they could be professional about
a relationship. The big wigs weren't even giving them a chance. Seemed
a might bit unfair, but what else was new?
Although Ripley didn't know about Sarah and Tad, she did know about
her and Jake. It was unfair. They were risking their lives, with every
mission, to keep the world safe, weren't they allowed a little happiness?
Ripley placed her coffee mug down by her laptop. She turned to face
Jake, taking his free hand in hers. She stroked the back of his hand
with her thumb, watching the way their hands fit together.
"I've been thinking about that," she said licking her lips as she
turned their hands over together. "And I don't care anymore. I think
we've more than proven that we can do our jobs, even with sexual
tension riding us. And with what's coming up next...I really don't
care if they disapprove. Let them. Right Jake? Jake?"
Ripley looked up and saw Jake had fallen asleep again in the chair.
Wilma squeezed Jake's hand and then released them. She turned back to
her coffee and to her laptop and began working again.
- Who: Kathi & Omar Guerrido
Where: Cut Bank, Montana
Location: 654 Dinsmore Lane
Time: 7:39 pm (MTZ)
"I'm telling you, I heard something."
"And I am telling you, you didn't," Omar told her as they tromped
through the alley behind their two-story town house. Suddenly he
stopped. "This is insane. What are we doing?"
Kathi sighed and looked across at Omar, her husband of less than a
year. She was holding a large halogen flashlight, while Omar was
argued with a mini-bat he had gotten at Wrigley Field on their
honeymoon trip to Chicago.
At first Kathi had been okay with the idea of going to Chicago for
their honeymoon. Her poor Costa Rican husband had loved baseball his
whole life, especially the Chicago Cubs, so how could she deny him a
chance to see them play live. But of course, that was before she
realized that all he wanted to do on their honeymoon, well outside of
the hotel anyway, was see the Cubs.
He ignored her attempts to get him to take her to the Steppenwolf
Theatre or the House of Blues, or even just out to Navy Pier. For her,
their whole honeymoon had been a bust, and the marriage hadn't turned
out much better either.
"Listen, I'm telling you, I heard something," Kathi insisted. She
turned and started out into the single-lane alley behind their row of
townhomes. It was big enough to drive a car down, but it ended in a
dead end, so you would get your car stuck if you tried.
Kathi shone her light up and down the opening of the alley that led to
the street to see what she could see. She had been getting ready for
bed, Omar was dead asleep, when she heard a light popping and then a
thud, as if someone dropped a carpet out of a window, and then a
But after a few moments of hassling Omar out of bed, donning her robe
and slippers, and actually walking across their tiny backyard, she too
was having her doubts.
"Maybe you're right, maybe we..." Kathi had been turning, her light
swinging as she did, when she spotted something leaking out from
behind one of the dumpsters. "Ah man, I think Jonesy has been...no,
Kathi moved cautiously over towards the dumpster. The leaking material
seemed to be red, at least in the light of her halogen it appeared to
be red. "Oh, God, Omar! Come quick!"
Sprinting to his wife's side, he stopped dead. He brought his eyes to
her face and handed her the bat. Taking the flashlight, he crawled to
the top of the dumpster and threw open the top.
"Oh god," he said, his stomach rolling. "Kathi! Call 9-1-1!"
As an EMT, Omar Kathi was used to seeing blood, so the sight of an
attractive black woman with a bullet hole dead center of her forehead
didn't upset him as much as it should have. In fact, he would be upset
later; right now he was paramedic Guerrido, and he had a job to do.
"Go inside and call the cops," Omar repeated as he leapt down into the
dumpster. He got down on his hands and knees in the refuse to lean
over and check the woman's pulse. Nothing. Breathing. Nothing. "Hurry
As Kathi ran inside, Omar began doing compressions on the woman's
chest. It was hopeless, but someone had to try.