|Hot Landing Zone
Author: hjb2006 PM
Edward Cullen blames scientist Isabella Swan for getting them stranded on a remote island. But hell, Edward can improvise, adapt, and overcome...as long as Bella stops driving him wild...Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Hurt/Comfort - Bella & Edward - Chapters: 8 - Words: 25,661 - Reviews: 829 - Favs: 2,124 - Follows: 423 - Published: 11-25-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4676283
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Not mine
Hot landing zone
Natuna Besat Islands
East China Sea
Under the cover of a moonless night, Gunnery Sergeant Edward Cullen signaled to cut the engines. The two black Zodiak boats drifted on the rolling waves to the shore and when they were close enough, six Marines rolled over the side into the water, pulled the rubber boats onto the beach the hurried silently along the shore towards the target. A few yards up shore, a small ship rocked wildly at the end of a floating dock. Over his head, the sky flashed with lightning, threatening to unleash one hell of a storm.
Edward knelt behind a palm tree, and sighted through night vision goggles to mach the satellite photos to the stronghold. That didn't look like much of a terrorist compound. Instantly, he corrected that. Bin Laden lived in caves and Hussein in a hole in the dirt. Why couldn't James live in something left over from Blackbeard?
The elements had eroded an ancient stone wall to a pile of stinking rocks circling the north side towards the water and docks. Beyond it, a jumble of thatched and tin buildings made from castoffs were scattered enough to offer cover, yet backed by rocky cliffs.
Easy in, easy out. All they had to do was locate the package.
He scanned the area, noting the guards, weapons, and the barrels grouped in the distance. Likely fuel or something just as explosive in there. They'd kidnapped a scientist. Reason said they were forcing Dr. Isabella Swan to create something no one wanted out in the open.
His job was to get her out, and destroy any WMDs. Emmett was already under the docks setting charges. Edward planned to blow them back to the dark ages. Not that they weren't far from it now. Yet his concern was the center structure: cinder block, fairly new, and flanked by guards trying to keep dry.
She should be in there. If Intel was right.
But then, Edward never trusted analysts. They were guessing. Edward wanted to be sure.
He looked to his left to see if Spooner was done and saw the man slither out of the water onto the beach. He hurried to his teammates, spread out and under cover of sunburned vegetation. Outstanding.
Edward knew they were impatient to assault. "Stand fast. We have to control this situation. Don't let this fort fool you. These guys aren't lazy of stupid. They got her this far without detection."
Which meant they would kill anyone in their way.
"No one move without my signal." Edward glanced at his counter checking the time remaining. "We have one hour to make it off this island." And hightail it to the pickup before unfriendlies found them. Or the storm hit.
A bone-jarring scream scratched across the night like a knife driving into solid metal.
Edwards's eyes flared, stark against black, tiger-striped painted features. He swore and focused the night vision goggles. The cry was definitely female. Christ. They had no reason to hurt her. She was useless to them dead.
Guards turned to stare at the cinder building.
"West end, at the corner," Edward said, then noticed the men near the barrels walk, stop, then turn. Each paused at a precise spot, never getting close. "Jasper and Carlisle take out the guards on the forward perimeter of the main building. Quil and Embrey, when the guards are down, you cut the generator. Emmett, get to those barrels, find out what's in there, then set a timed charge. We'll blow it when I have the package."
"Roger that, Number one."
"Make it a big one." His tone was low, a growling promise of revenge.
Moments moved like water in the sand as Edward waited for Jasper and Carlisle to approach the compound from the land side, making a wide sweep to avoid detection. None of them wanted to tangle balls and all hell breaks lose. It was the cover and distraction Edward needed to locate and retrieve Swan.
He hoped she was ready for this.
Edward signaled, and crept forward.
Wind churned trash and island debris, the rain stinging his neck. Waves foamed and angrily slapped the shore. Hell of a night for a rescue, he thought, but it would cover noise. Not that he planned on making much.
Crouched low, Edward raced into the open towards the north wall. He flattened back against the stone, listening for the sentries' footsteps on the other side of the wall, waiting for distance. Once the guards were out of commission, he had a straight shot to the only door he could see.
He heard grunts through the ear mike.
"Two guards down," men reported.
"Tree and four down," another said.
"Path is clear, Number one," Emmett said. "I'm circling to the barrels."
"Roger that. Quil, Embrey, wait for Emmett before cutting the power." Edward snapped a look around the edge of the stone wall, then jerked back. Shit.
"Be advised. Land side, beyond the buildings, about fifty men under cabanas and armed. Let's not invite them. Watch your six," Edward said, moving forward. Someone would notice they were minus a couple of guards any minute. And they there was James to deal with.
Bella stumbled back, falling to the nearest chair.
Her ears rang. Pain simmered through her jaw and up to her eyes, making them water. She rubbed her face and worked her mouth, surprised she wasn't bleeding. She lifted her gaze to James, a short, narrow man with gorilla features and empty eyes.
"I told you-"
James pointed the gun to her forehead. "Soon is not good enough, woman."
Bella closed her eyes, the cold metal reminding her that the reason didn't work with this man.
"Mr. James, these chemicals," she gestured to the canisters, "are unrefined, and rushing the process of separation will create a catalyst of insurmountable-"
He nudged her head with the gun. "You have one day." He held up a finger just in case she forgot how much that really was. "One day to complete the formula…or you die."
Terror bled up her spine, seizing her breathing. He meant it. He'd already shot one of his own men for falling asleep on post. If she didn't do what he wanted, she was a useless tool. Expandable. Then he'd find another way to get what he wanted.
If she gave him a formula, she was still a liability, a threat to his organization.
Anyway she looked at this, Bella knew she'd die.
Stalling was the only thing keeping her alive, and she didn't know what she was waiting for, no one knew she'd been kidnapped out of her cab on her way to the Hong Kong airport. The instant she'd been snatched at the stoplight, she'd been blindfolded, drugged, and tossed in a van. She's never seen the outside of this building. Was she still in China? All she knew was sand, salt air, and a lab that was more like a high school that the research labs she was accustomed to having at her disposal.
It was a trade. Her life for a volatile chemical weapon created with easily purchased supplies that made it virtually untraceable. And she was running out of time.
James was still waiting for her answer, and she nodded. She wasn't going to say she'd try- she'd have to do it.
James smile was oily as he holstered his gun and left her.
The guards near the door smirked. Other than the two of them, James, and occasionally a Malaysian chemist who popped in to check her work, she had no idea how many people were here. She didn't doubt they were all armed- even the chemist wore a pistol. Yet the burns on his hands said he wasn't very good at his career choice. Nor could he tell if her formula would actually work. Her notes were real, bur complicated enough to satisfy her captors. Till now.
Her hands shook as she rubbed her face, then pushed out of the chair and went back to the table. She picked up a pen and clipboard, studying the computer screen showing her latest test experiment. Rain beat the tin roof, loud inside the lab. Wind shuddering through the gaps in the door.
In some infinitesimal way, she was actually flattered that they'd kidnapped her.
Considering the grand scope of movers and shakers in the science community they could have stolen, she was very small potatoes. No …minuscule. Not even enough for hash browns.
Honestly, she thought, disgusted with her latest brain binge, the mind is defiantly the first to go. And she supposed the never-ending hours locked away from light, and no sleep made her a touch philosophical. Or perhaps it was just the lack of hope? She'd clung to the notion that someone would come busting trough the door any second, but lofty laurels had a way of giving out from under you when you least expected it.
No one knew she was trapped in James personal war with the rest of humanity.
The two guards watched her, each leaning against the wall cradling poorly treated machine guns, the door between them. One stared intently anywhere except her face, and when he approached, she snatched a vial of blue liquid and threatened to throw it. Chuckling, he backed away, taking his position by the door with his partner, a fat, big-eyed man with disgusting eating habits who emitted bodily noises at regular intervals.
A knock rattled the door, she heard Arabic, and the guard eyed her for a second before he opened it.
A split second later there was soft double thump. A hole bloomed in his forehead, then his chest. The second guard stared as his friend fell to the floor, shouted a warning and swung around the doorjamb to point his rifle out the door.
Then the guard stumbled back, clutching his throat. Blood fountained between his fingers. Bella froze as he tottered, tripped, then fell to the floor. He hit the lab table. Chemicals spilled, caught the burner. Flames rushed across the table towards the computer.
Then the power went out.
But Bella couldn't take her eyes off the door. First she saw a muzzle of a rifle, then a big man in black slipped around the jamb. He wore bug-eyed goggles, his head moving with the swing of his rifle, a beam of light with it. Then he pointed the barrel at her. Bella backed away. He pushed up the goggles, then pulled up a Velcro strip on his shoulder, showing the U.S. flag.
"U.S. Marines, ma'am. We've come to take you home."
Bella's legs nearly folded.
He held out his hand. "Come on."
She rushed to him.
Edward looked out the door. A guard ran toward his position and he fired, then spoke, the throat mike relaying to his team. "Jasper, Carlisle, gets to the boats and lay down cover fire. Quil, we're coming out. Emmett, get the hell away from those barrels." Edward turned to look at her, but she was moving back into the room. "Doctor Swan! We have to go now!"
"But I need my notes."
He stepped in, grabbed her arm. "Leave them!"
"No I can't." She broke free. "You don't understand-"
A door to the rear burst open. She ducked under a table and Edward sprayed the wall and door with bullets. Two men fell out the door, facedown.
Swan just stared at the dead men, their faces a foot from hers under the table.
"Now!" Edward shouted, and she flinched, banging her head, then grabbing up her notes and stuffing them in a leather satchel. "Emmett, get into the water. We'll pick you up. Wait for my signal to blow charges."
She crawled out, throwing the long strap over her head and under her arm as she came to him. Edward glared down at her. "You trying to get us killed?"
"Of course not."
"Then follow my orders and we'll get out of this, you got that?"
"Yes." Her voice trembled
Edward ignored her fear and said, "Stay behind me and keep up." He stepped out, then pushed her ahead of him, turning constantly and firing his assault rifle at anyone close. Men raced from inside the walled compound, firing blindly, killing some of there own. Edward ran, pulling Swan with him. "We're out. Emmett, now, now!"
"Fire in the hole," came through the earpiece.
Edward threw her to the ground as the explosions ripped across the darkness, several rapid blasts in deafening roars. Barrels shot up into the air like rockets. Half the building went with it. Edward rolled off her and pulled her from the sand. "Go down the beach. There's a boat. Get in and stay low." Edward moved backward. "She's heading to you, Quil. Emmett?
"In the drink. Come get me." Edward glanced to see Swan jump into the boat.
The entire area lit like a carnival with chemical fire, and Edward laid down cove fire till the boat engines roared to life, sending up a curl of water as they banked. His men shouted for him, and Edward rushed into the sea, dining into the zodiak, then repositioning to fire at the shore.
James was there, shouting and motioning to the ship as he ran towards it.
"Blow the ship, blow the ship!" Edward ordered.
It went up in seconds. Wood shattered into the sky, yellow fire spreading up the dock. Fuel ignited. James shrieked wildly, kicking sand and shouting orders even as debris rained down on him.
Jasper steered the other Zodiak away to pick up Emmett.
Bella's heart was in her throat, and she struggled to catch her breath as seawater washed over her. Slopping her hand in the water, she swiped her face and peered at the land, glad to see it growing smaller. Her rescuer was on his knees, sighting down the rifle and firing.
"Marine," she said in a timid voice.
"Not now, Doc, stay down." James was in his sights.
"But aren't those rockets?"
His gaze jerked to hers. She pointed.
The walls of a thatched hut has fallen away, a missile launcher beneath.
"Incoming! RPGs! Increase speed, increase speed! Now! Now! Now!
Fletcher gunned the engine and swells of water fountained, giving away their position.
Edward heard the blast a second before he saw it. Ho looked in time to see Emmett being dragged into the boat. "Split up, split up!"
They steered apart. But it was too late. The missile hit near the Zodiak, the spiral of water tossing their craft and sending Quil over the side. Edward lunged for him, but the current swept him away.
"Jasper! Quils in, Quils in!" Edward moved to take control of the craft.
"We're on it, Ginny." The other boat doubles back, and Edward pushed theirs farther west when he saw Quil grab the towline and sweep himself into the rubber boat.
Edward threw the throttle forward, trying to outdistance the rockets. James wasn't going down quietly. The sky turned white with smoke, the rain beating it down and filling the Zodiak.
Too much water.
They were low and slow.
Another rocket fired.
Time froze for a moment. Edward watched the rocket shoot straight across the water towards them. He zigzagged the craft to avoid the strike.
Then he knew he couldn't.
He shouted for Swan to jump. But she was frozen in terror, her gaze on the incoming rocket, and Edward dove for her, pushing a life vest to her chest. Then he wrapped his arms around her as he rolled over the side into the water.
The rocket hit.
The vibration ripped through the water, tearing them apart and churning massive waves. The break hurled them farther from his team. Then there was no sound except the rushing bubble of water, the violent crack of lightning.
Edward broke the surface, searched the black water for Swan, saw a flash of white and struggle to reach her. She was facedown, her arm caught in the life vest. Edward treaded water furiously, turning her over. She choked and coughed, then a wave hit them and she went under.
Edwards pack was bringing them down and he released the straps, then struggled to get her arms in the vest. She came up in wild panic, clawing for him. Securing the straps of the vest, he held her till she got her bearings, her head above water enough to breath.
She looked him right in the eye, and Edward could almost taste her fear. "I'm not gonna let you die, Doc!" ho shouted above the storm.
She nodded shakily just as a huge wave curled behind her and crashed over them. Edward held onto the live vest straps as they went under, then burst through the surface, and towing her, he swam father out to avoid the big waves.
It was their only choice.
The tropical storm had turned into a nasty little typhoon. And there was no rescue ship in sight.
Where the hell was the Navy when you needed them?
Ok so this is my first fanfic. Please review and let me know what ya'll think!