Friday May 11, 1987 Peppertree Mall
Arlington, VA 2:30pm
"Lee is going to stop dead in his tracks when he sees you in that dress you picked out, Amanda."
"Mother!" Amanda drawled out as she gave her mother a small smile and kind of shrugged.
"Amanda, I don't know why you wouldn't want him too. Actually I don't think it would matter what you wore, Lee only has eyes for you!" An expressive Dotty started and took a deep breath getting ready for her tirade to begin; as Dotty did this Amanda rolled her eyes.
"The man is absolutely smitten with you and why shouldn't he be? I ask you! I see nothing but adoration in either of your eyes; and he is at the house whenever he has a free moment. You can't tell me that all those over nighters are all in the editing room either; and before you can "Mother" me, I'll tell you Missy that I have been around the block a few times and can tell when two people are in love! You have found your soul mate, Amanda. It is clear that Lee cares for the boys and the boys adore him. Even Jamie can't talk about much else but Lee! He is a perfect gentleman to me also. He makes you happy, the boys happy, and in return you make him happy. That's all a mother wants is for her daughter to be happy. So, why not get married? On a scale from 1 to 10 he's a…."
"Eleven!" Both Dottie and Amanda said together and then laughed.
"It's complicated!" Amanda said with a sigh. She had to admit that all this sneaking around even though they were married was taking a toll on her and Lee. They kept toying with the idea of coming clean with at least the marriage if not with their career choices too.
"I don't know what is so complicated about two people in love! A man that is not thinking about permanently becoming part of a ready-made family doesn't take the time to go to teacher/parent conferences, Amanda. Do you know he told me that he has something special planned for the end of the school year celebration? He also looked proud as a peacock when Philip made MVP in baseball, and Jamie won that blue ribbon for his picture. Plus all those doctor appointments he's went with you to," Dotty rattled off before taking a breath.
Amanda chuckled and said, "He's definitely enjoyed all the things you have mentioned. He thinks of us as family and he is very loyal to family!"
While busy juggling the shopping bags from her mall purchases, Amanda was trying to fish her car keys out of her purse at the same time. Struggling to keep everything from tumbling from her hands and half listening to her mother list off all the positive attributes of Lee (which she herself already new too well); Amanda felt the cold end of a revolver against the back of her head and heard a click as the hammer was being pulled back.
"Now Mrs. King put your purchases in your car and lock it back. Slowly turn around with your hands in sight," Amanda heard a hard, cold, and slightly accented voice say.
Doing exactly as she was told, Amanda turned catching a wide eyed Dotty in her peripheral vision. She needed to think fast to keep her mother out of harm's way. "I'll cooperate without any trouble if you just let my mother go. It's me you want. She has nothing to do with this and knows nothing!" Amanda said with more calm in her voice than she felt.
"I don't think so Mrs. King. We don't need her running to the police with any information," the man said with a malice smile on his face. "Now ladies quietly make your way over to this car and get in," the man was saying as he nodded his head toward the car all the while keeping the gun trained on the woman.
Amanda saw no way of escape so she motioned for her mother to follow her to the limo. For now Amanda decided she needed to keep her cool and wait for the right moment to try to escape because she had her mother's safety to think about too!
Friday May 11, 1987 Arlington Middle School
Arlington, VA 4:15 pm
"They were supposed to have been here an hour ago. Mom is never late picking us up!" A concerned Jamie said.
"Who are you kidding, Mom, hardly ever picks us up anymore; but Grandma is always here!" A slightly annoyed Philip countered. "We should just walk home," he continued.
"Maybe something happened to the car and that's why they are late."
"No, they would have called the school."
"Maybe they can't get to a phone to call."
"Nice try, but Lee made mom get one of those fancy car phones remember," pointed out a practical Philip. "Let's just walk home," he said quickly.
Just then the principal, Mrs. Denise walked up to the boys and asked, "Are you still waiting on your ride?"
"Yes, ma'am," they both said in unison.
"Would you like to use the phone to call your mom?" She said with a smile.
"That would be appreciated," a polite Jamie King replied.
As they made their way back into the school the principal took notice of their conversation. "Okay first we try mom's car, then the house, and then we call dad."
"Dad? Why Dad? What good is he going to do?" replied Jamie.
"Why who do you suggest the police?" huffed Philip.
"No, someone better, Lee!" smiled Jamie.
Philip rolled his eyes. Jamie acted like Lee could do everything since they had found common ground with that stupid camera Lee had given him. It was like Lee was some kind of super hero.
"Here you go boys. Help yourself to the phone."
"Thank you, Mrs. Denise," both boys said.
After a few unsuccessful tries Jamie said, "Okay we've tried that car phone, the house, I guess now we call Lee."
"At home or work?"
"It's only 4:45 pm he's probably still at work," commented Jamie.
Once more Jamie picked up the phone, but this time he dialed the number to IFF, where Lee and his mother worked.
Friday May 11, 1987 The Agency
Georgetown, MD 4:30 pm
"I don't like it, Billy!" A frustrated Lee Stetson told his boss. "There's too much we don't know. Plus why not send Anderson?"
"Because European Intelligence asked for you specifically. It seems that you worked undercover with the Gingin group for about a year."
Lee running an aggravated hand through his hair sighed and said, "That was at least ten years ago. It could take weeks, months, even years to get where they would trust me. I've got to much to stay here…." Lee quickly trailed off and gave Billy a nervous glance to see if he had noticed.
Billy gave a broad grin and replied, "I am seeing that, but this comes from high up."
"Really, Billy, Smyth doesn't know what he's doing here!"
"It doesn't come from Smyth, but the White House, and when the President says jump we say…"
"How high!" They both said together.
"Well, I still think that…"
Before Lee could start his debate again a curt knock interrupted him. The doorknob turned and the door quickly opened to reveal Francine Desmond on the other side. With a snide tone to her voice she looked at Lee and said, "One of Amanda's boys is on the IFF line asking for you."
Without saying a word, but with a concerned look on his face he quickly pushed by Francine and picked up the phone. As the tape that recorded everything through that line rolled Lee said, "This is Lee."
"Lee mom never picked us up from school this afternoon, and you know how adamant she was that we be waiting for her and Grandma right after school. She wanted us to have plenty of time to do our homework and get ready for dinner at that fancy restaurant you are taking us to so we can celebrate Mother's Day."
While this was being explained Billy gave Francine a pleased smile to which she gave a half smirk and rolled her eyes.
"Okay, Sport, calm down! Maybe your mom lost track of time and is on her way now."
"We thought maybe they broke down; so we tried the car phone that you insisted on mom getting, but there was no answer, "Jamie continued.
"Where are you at now?"
"We are in the school office. Philip wanted to walk home or call Dad, but I figured you would know what to do instead!"
"You did the right thing. Stay in the office and I'll be right there."
"Okay Lee I knew you would know what to do," Jamie said with relief in his voice.
Lee hung up the phone. He knew that this phone call revealed more about his and Amanda's relationship than he was ready to divulge, but after a brief moment to collect his thoughts he turned toward Billy and Francine.
"Do you know what Amanda's plans were for the day?" Billy asked quickly before Francine could get a barb in.
"Women stuff. She and her mom were going shopping, doing lunch, and getting their hair done."
"Do you know in which order? Where do they like to shop?"
"Okay, let me think…they were going to those outdoor outlets in Arlington, then they were going to lunch…let's see…um…Dotty was really wanting to try that new Tea Room on Williamsburg Boulevard. I bet that is where they went. It would have been close to those outlets. I know they were getting their hair done at Emilo's at 1 o'clock. I'm pretty sure they ended at Peppertree mall because Amanda saw a dress there that she wanted for tonight which had matching shoes."
"Francine, get agents to those locations looking for Amanda and her mother. Get an APB out on the make and model of her vehicle."
"Scarecrow, go take care of Amanda's boys and I'll call you with what we find."
Lee ran a hand through his hair not sure that he wanted to leave, but knew that he needed to get his step sons also.
"Lee, go on there's nothing else that can be done right now and those boys need you. On a good note we haven't gotten any clatter from anyone bragging about having one of our agents."
"Okay, but you call me as soon as you know anything." And with that Lee rushed out of the bullpen and to the elevator for the Georgetown exit.
Friday May 11, 1987 Back of Limo
Virginia Countryside 3:30 pm
It felt like an eternity to Dotty that they had been in the back of the Limo. "Kidnapped, we have been kidnapped!? How will anybody find us?" Dotty wondered. She glanced over at Amanda, who was still knocked out. It was all very surreal.
Once the kidnappers had gotten them over to the limo another man was waiting there. He got out and handcuffed Amanda behind her back. He then hit her in the head with the butt of his gun and stuffed her in the car. Dotty remembered wanting to scream, but couldn't because she was so scared. The first man that confronted Amanda took Dotty and handcuffed her wrists in front of her and then told her to get in. After she had climbed into the Limo she had tried the best she could to situate Amanda into a more comfortable position, but it was really hard with her hands cuffed.
They had been driving for a while when she decided to see if she could tell where they were headed by the road signs. Watching out the window she noticed that the trees were getting thicker. "We must be heading to the mountains," she thought. "Come on let me see a road sign!" Dotty muttered just under her breath. "What good would it do anyways if I saw one," she thought with despair. That's when she noticed one coming up. She looked intently and recognized that they were on US 211 West. We're still in Virginia, she thought.
While she was thinking about where they were headed she heard Amanda moan. Quickly looking at her daughter, Dotty saw that Amanda was trying to move her head. Dotty noticed that Amanda gave a grimace and then went still. "I bet your head really hurts," Dotty whispered while leaning into her daughter. She figured she probably didn't have to whisper with the glass separating them from the front seat. That window was one thing that she had been thankful for because it separated them from the kidnappers. She knew that the kidnappers had control of the locks because she had tried to open the door.
Reaching up to touch Amanda's head she felt dried blood in the top back of her hair. Drawing her hand back, Dotty just sat there in silence wondering for the hundredth time since they had been abducted, Why! It just doesn't make sense! Why did they knock Amanda out and not me?
Amanda started stirring again and this time Dotty reached out and touched her daughter's face. "Try not to move because you were hit in the head," Dotty spoke quietly.
"Lee!?" Amanda moaned.
"Amanda, it's me your mother," a concerned Dotty said.
Amanda's eyes fluttered open and then closed against the light. A minute later Amanda slowly opened her eyes again trying to let them adjust to the light. She leaned back in her seat as much as her handcuffed hands would allow. She hoped that this would keep the throbbing abated by not allowing her head to move. She tried to remember what had happened to get her into this predicament. Thinking back over the day she remembered that her mother and her had been shopping when they were abducted. "Her mother! What happened to her mother?" Amanda frantically tried to remember. "Mother!?" Amanda desperately called and quickly opened her eyes again.
"Amanda, I'm right here and I'm fine!" Dotty reached out and touched Amanda to try and calm her daughter.
Amanda looked at her mother with relief and then asked, "Do you know how long we have been driving and in what direction?"
Looking at her watch Dotty replied, "an hour. The road signs are for US 211 West, so I think that we are in the Shenandoah National Forest." Dotty stated and then turned back to look out the window.
The throbbing in Amanda's head seemed to make her mind foggy, which in turn made thinking hard. Drawing upon her agency training, Amanda slowly started to get control of her senses. Slowly moving forward on her seat she tried to maneuver her numb fingers to locate her half rake pick, which was concealed in the cuff of her shirt. "Good thing we practiced where to insert that pick with handcuffs on," Amanda muttered.
"Did you say something dear?" Dotty asked as she turned back to her daughter. Noticing Amanda struggling with her hands Dotty asked, "Are your hands bothering you?"
"I think I've almost got it. Yeah, don't drop it Amanda. Okay, now to get it in the key hole. There got it. Now…steady…I can feel the tumblers lining up." Amanda was softly coaching herself. "Ah, ha!" she said triumphantly as she moved her arms to the front of her; and she started rubbing her hands vigorously to get the circulation moving in them.
"Amanda! How in the world!?" an astonished Dotty exclaimed.
Giving no response Amanda only started to calmly pick her mother's handcuffs. Quickly she was able to get her mother's hands free. "That has got to feel better."
No sooner was her mother extradited from the handcuffs, but Amanda was searching the limo for anything to help get the doors open. Then she remembered Lee using the bottle opener that time they were caught in a limo. Finding a bottle opener Amanda held it up and smiled, "Well, hope this works again and that I remember what I saw."
"What do you plan on doing with that bottle opener?"
"Hopefully get us out of here!"
Dotty watched as Amanda started to pull the plastic from the door. Then she silently stared as her daughter started jimmying the lock. Finally hearing the click of the lock Amanda looked at her mother and said with a smile, "Okay, I've got the door unlocked; when we start to feel the car slow I'm going to open the door, we are going to jump out, and make a run for it!"
"Are you crazy? We could break something!"
"Listen mother we have to try and they should not be expecting us to make a run for it. Now, I need you to do exactly as I tell you! You have to trust me."
Dotty looked long and hard at her daughter. Really looking at her and realizing that she honestly didn't know her anymore. Knowing that if they got out of this alive, no, she wasn't going to think like that; when they got out of this alive her and her daughter needed to have a long talk. She might not have known exactly what her daughter had been up too these last few years, but she did trust her.
"Okay, I'll jump when you say too!" Dotty said soberly.
It seemed like forever until the limo started to decelerate. Amanda looked at her mother, opened the door, and at the same moment nodded her head for them to jump. She gingerly jumped out and Dotty followed. They quickly ran around the car and into the woods, only to hear a man's voice say at the same moment she heard the click of a gun, "Not so fast Mrs. King and turn around!" Amanda sighed and obeyed. As she turned the man with the gun smiled.
"We were told to expect you to escape. After all you have been trained by the best. I am very impressed that you were able to get out of your handcuffs and get the limo door open. I told them that I didn't see how you would be able to do it, but you proved me wrong!"
Amanda didn't give the man the satisfaction of a reply, so she just stood there silently.
After a minute of the two just staring at each other the man spoke, "Now you two walk in front of me with your arms up and to the side. No funny business. I want you to walk straight ahead to that cabin, and Mrs. King; you will be reunited with a colleague of yours."
Once again Amanda obeyed her captor and hoped that Lee would be able to find them in time.
Friday May 11, 1987 Lee's Apartment
Georgetown, MD 5:30pm
"You fella's feel like eating? I could order a pizza if you want." Lee said trying to sound cheery for his stepsons' sake.
"I don't really feel like eating anything at the moment," a dejected Philip answered.
Lee just stood and looked at the two sad faces of his stepsons. Never in his wildest dreams could he have imagined being their stepfather; but here he loved these two as if they were his own flesh and blood. Lee couldn't imagine his life without Amanda, but what about these two who depended on her for everything? Not to mention their grandmother missing too! Lee shook his head, now was not the time to reflect about how much this family really meant to him. He had responsibilities to take care of.
Sitting down between his two stepsons he put a hand on each of their knees and said more calmly than he felt, "They are going to turn up. You just wait and see! Once the police locate what shopping center they are at we will probably see that they just lost track of time."
Philip and Jamie slowly looked up at the man that they admired and were coming to care about. Jamie patted Lee on the arm and said, "Nice try Lee, but we know mom and she wouldn't have lost track of time today!"
Lee let out a long sigh and ran his left hand through his hair. Quickly getting up he started to pace the living room as his stepsons just silently watched him. Finally needing to vent his frustrations and anger he picked up a vase and threw it against the wall and watched it shatter into a hundred pieces. Philip and Jamie just starred with their mouths wide open. Lee reluctantly turned around and sheepishly said, "That felt pretty good and besides I never really cared for that vase anyways!"
"Lee, are they really going to find mom and grandma?"
Lee knelt in front of his stepsons, looked them in their eyes, and told them with every ounce of conviction that he had, "I promise you two that your mom and grandma are going to be found!"
"Alive!?" Jamie asked in a small voice.
Lee took him by the chin and said with love in his voice, "Yes. Alive!"
All three jumped when they heard the phone ring. Lee leaped up and reached over his stepsons to answer the phone, "Stetson!"
"Where? How long ago? They could be anywhere! I know. Okay, thanks." In frustration Lee slammed down the phone. Sitting down in a chair he put his head in his hands to collect his thoughts. "What was he going to tell his stepsons?" he thought.
Finally he heard a faint "Lee! Lee!" Looking up he saw the white and concerned faces of his stepsons. "Did they find mom and grandma?"
Opening his mouth to speak, but with no sound coming out he closed it again. Then with emotion he replied, "They found your mom's car at Peppertree Mall. Her shopping bags where in the backseat."
"What about mom and grandma?"
All he could do was stare at two of the people that meant the entire world to him; and he knew what he needed to do. He needed to be looking for Amanda and Dotty!
"Listen fellas I know you won't understand, but I need you to trust me. I need you two to stay with your dad for a few days."
"Lee, if he is even in town."
"Let me give him a call and see."
Lee got up, went back to the phone, and picked it up. While he dialed Joe's home number, he watched the questioning looks cross his stepsons' faces. He listened to the phone ring, on the sixth ring Joe answered and said, "hello."
"Huh, Joe this is Lee. I have something I need to ask you to do!"
Friday May 11, 1987 Joe's house
Capitol Heights, MD 7:00 pm
Lee stood on the front porch with Philip and Jamie on either side of him. They had not been too happy when he had asked Joe to watch them, but he really needed to be out there looking for their mother. He knew that Amanda would have wanted Joe to be the one to have the care of her sons if Lee himself couldn't. Joe finally opened the door and stepped aside to allow their admittance.
Joe noticed the sobriety of the group and quickly gave his sons a hug. "Why don't you two find something to drink and eat, while Lee and I talk?"
Not really wanting either, but knowing that their dad wanted privacy the two boys made their way to the kitchen.
"Okay what's going on, Stetson?" Joe said with hardness to his voice.
"Amanda and Dotty are missing."
"That much you told me on the phone. What is it you haven't told me?" Joe said coldly.
Philip and Jamie had the feeling that Lee hadn't told them everything, so wanting to hear the two men's conversation they quietly stood on either side of the kitchen door and listened intently. They strained to hear any information that might be shared about their mom and grandma.
"There's really not anything else to tell you, but I need to be out there looking for them. Amanda's going to be counting on me to find her."
"So you are telling me this is not work related?" Joe said with sarcasm in his voice.
"We are not sure right now. We have no evidence to say that it is anything other than a normal kidnapping."
"A normal kidnapping? What is a normal kidnapping, may I ask?" Joe said with heat to his voice.
"We have not gotten any offers for trades or information." Lee returned sharply.
"I told Amanda to stay away from you. That you were nothing but trouble and danger. Now I see that I am right again."
"Again!?" Lee said with an incredulous sigh.
"California! You're the reason she was shot and almost died."
Joe saw some unexplainable expression cross Lee's face and it brought fear to his stomach. There just was something about this man that scared him, but Joe couldn't put his finger on it.
"Listen Joe, I don't have time to get into this. I need to get going. I'll call as soon as I know anything. I told Philip and Jamie that you would take them to the house for anything they needed." Lee said with authority and a dismissing tone.
"Philip, Jamie! I'm leaving." The boys heard Lee yell.
Coming out of the kitchen the two moved quickly to embrace the big man. Lee not wanting to leave these two, who in different ways reminded him of their mother; let go and said in a rush, "I'll call as soon as I can," and with that he was out the door.
May 11, 1987 A remote Cabin
Shenandoah National Forest 6:00pm
Amanda and her mother slowly walked across the clearing and up the front steps. A sentry named Bob, who was stationed outside opened the door for their entrance. Once inside the cabin Amanda was greeted by a voice that she thought she recognized. Turning towards the sound Amanda now knew who the voice belonged to. It was Baron Von Eiger, who tried to murder the Goodwill Ambassador to Germany back in 1984. Trying to remember what he could possibly want, Amanda could only guess it was revenge on her part of putting him behind bars.
"Out so soon Baron Von Eiger," Amanda said coldly.
Dotty stood in shock. She had never heard Amanda use that tone of voice before, she seemed so cool, and she knew who this man was! How does she know this man? Dotty wondered.
"Now is that anyway to greet an old friend, Amanda?" Von Eiger said as he came over and picked a piece of lint off her shirt and then rested his hand on her face. "I do recall telling you how nice of a cheekbone structure you had."
Amanda quickly removed his hand from her face and gave him a cold stare.
"Addi Birol, who I believe is an old friend of yours, and I have been talking about how lovely you are. I do say I'm jealous though. It seems he had more fun with you than I did." Von Eiger said with a sneer.
Amanda turned white and could only utter the strained sound of, "Birol?"
Von Eiger turned to the other men in the room and said, "Show our guest to their room and make sure they are made comfortable," and with that he gave a mincing laugh.
Amanda and her mother was forcibly ushered to one of the two side rooms. The side rooms were just off of the one main room that doubled as a sitting room and a kitchen. The door was opened and the two women were pushed inside. Amanda noticed a bed, a dresser, and two chairs in the room.
Amanda was forced to lie on the bed and then was strapped down to it with restraints. Dotty at the same time was forced to sit in a chair as her arms and legs were tied to the arms and legs of the chair. Amanda was relieved that even though her mom would be in discomfort she wouldn't be in as much pain as if her arms were tied behind her. Amanda was fearful of what her mother would be forced to endure.
Von Eiger came to inspect his "guests". "Yes, I think that these accommodations will be very comfortable. Soon you will be re-united with a colleague of yours, Mrs. King," and with that he turned and left the room, shutting the door behind him.
For some minutes the two women were silently lost in their own thoughts. Dotty was trying to figure out what exactly was going on. Obviously the one in charge had met Amanda before. Boy does she seem so calm! Dotty thought. Amanda figured that they were going to try and get some information out of her, so she started to silently practice her mantra. Lee had insisted that she come up with one and practice it over and over, just for an occasion like this. She chuckled remembering Lee's expletive when she chose the Raven by Edgar Allen Poe. But, she had insisted that it didn't matter what she learned only that she learned to use it. Besides it had been one of her favorite poems since she had learned it in the ninth grade.
"Glad that you can find this situation funny, but personally I am not seeing the humor in this," a scared Dotty said.
"I was just reminiscing…I'm really sorry Mother that you're here, it's entirely my fault!" Now Amanda knew why Lee felt responsible all those years.
"Amanda what is going on here? Do you know these men?"
Before Amanda could respond the door was opened and another man was pushed into the room. Von Eiger came into the room with a smile, "Oh, I just love a good reunion."
"Amanda!...Doctor Kelford!" both Amanda and Doc. Kelford said together.
Dotty just sat watching with wide eyes.
"Now we will start the treatments. Doctor here is your chair and supplies," Von Eiger said as he pointed to them.
"You won't get away with this!"
"Please Doctor don't start this type of dialogue it is so blasé, now get to work!"
"Sorry Amanda…" Amanda didn't say anything, but just laid still.
"What are you doing to my daughter? She doesn't know anything!" a frightened Dotty spoke up.
For the first time since entering the room the men took notice of the other woman. "Mother, please!" Amanda calmly said.
Von Eiger said to Dotty, "Just get ready for the show it should be very entertaining. Now Doctor we have waited long enough!"
Doc Kelford sat down and picked up the truth serum and a syringe. Measuring out 10 mls he placed it down on the tray. He then picked up Amanda's arm and tied a rubber strip to the upper part to make her veins visible. He then rested her arm back down beside her. He picked up the syringe and found the right spot to inject it.
"Move this along Doctor," an impatient Von Eiger said.
"You do want your information. If I kill her by not doing this right, you won't get it now will you?" a sober Doc. Kelford said.
Dotty felt like she wanted to faint, but knew that she needed to be strong for Amanda's sake.
"Is she ready yet?" an eager Von Eiger said.
"I believe that it has taken effect."
"Can I ask her or do I need to go through you?"
"You may do the asking," Doc. Kelford said dejectedly. Never in his wildest dreams did he ever think he would use his skills on his own people. But, ever since being abducted two days ago he wasn't sure what these men wanted from him. They only kept laughing that it would be ironic what they had planned. That he would help undermind the very government and country that he loved and served. He needed to play this right so that Amanda would not lose her life. Actually, he would rather lose his own life than face the wrath of Scarecrow if something happened to his partner.
"Now Mrs. King, I want you to tell me about Scarecrow's dealings with the Habib brothers. Has he found out where they are now located?" Von Eiger eagerly asked. This was not what he was really interested in, but he would start out nice and slow.
Amanda started in a monotone voice, "Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary, over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore."
Dotty noticed a small smile form on the doctor's face and heard him give a soft sigh.
May 11, 1987 Billy's office, the Agency
Georgetown, MD 9:00 pm
"Okay we know that Amanda and Dotty was abducted at Peppertree Mall sometime after 2:30pm, when they were last seen on the surveillance tape exiting the main doors."
"Their purchases didn't look anything out of the normal and seemed to have been carefully placed in her car," Francine added.
"They had their hair done at Emilo's and had lunch at that Tea Room Dotty wanted to try," Lee quickly interjected
"Ernie didn't see anything unusual on any of the surveillance film; but of course there aren't any cameras for the parking lot," Billy said and then let out a sigh.
"So basically we have nothing to go on." A frustrated Lee Stetson said as he threw the file down. "Has her car been thoroughly searched?"
"Yes, Scarecrow, it has been went over with a fine tooth comb. I was there when it was!" An indigent Francine explained.
"If only we could just get a break in which direction to search. Are we sure that we haven't gotten any demands for a trade?"
"Not even a whisper!" Going over and putting his hand on the younger man's shoulder, Billy continued, "Lee why don't you go back to Philip and Jamie and let us handle this?"
"They're with their father. He can comfort them better than I can. No I need to be looking for Amanda. She's my li…" Lee caught himself and looked quickly at Billy and then Francine as he lamely finished, "responsibility."
"You can't be feeling that way anymore. She's a full agent now. She's passed all her courses with flying colors. Plus, she knows the risks and I have a paper with her signature on it stating that!"
"Something has got to turn up! Maybe I'll try to get in touch with my contacts," and as Lee was saying this a knock sounded on Billy's door and in walked Dr. Smyth.
"Hello, kiddies. I see all is not well in Oz today. Maybe Mother Hubbard got tired of being here and went back to Kansas," he said with a smile while puffing on his cigarette.
All three just silently stood looking at the director, but not really being surprised by his admission. Lee stood clenching and unclenching his fists at his sides while working the muscle in his jaw. It was taking all of his restraint not to flatten Smyth right here and now, but he knew that he needed to keep his cool because getting suspended would not help him find his wife and mother in law.
"I have some new and interesting info to share with little boy blue," gloated Dr. Smyth as he took another puff on his cigarette and turned to look at Billy.
Lee moved to grab the scrawny man by his coat front, but Billy moved himself between the two so that he could push Lee back. As he did this he said through clenched teeth, "Scarecrow, watch your temper! I don't think you want to get suspended!"
Lee backed down and with more calm than he felt stated flatly, "Are you going to be of help or just going to quote nursery rhymes?"
"Our Scarecrow does have brains after all and I see he is trying to control his temper," Smyth said with a snide smile and then continued, "It seems that our Doc. Kelford hasn't shown up for work the last two days. The first day his tech just thought that he was out in the field, but when he hadn't checked in by the end of the second day the tech decided to let his superior know. His supervisor contacted the police to check Doc. Kelford's house and it seems that he was abducted from there. Looks like our good doctor put up a struggle."
"The police! Why did they call the police? Wouldn't you let your own people know?" Francine asked in disbelief.
"Maybe his could be the break we need," Billy replied and then continued in a commanding tone, "Okay Scarecrow, you and Francine get over to Doc. Kelford's place and see what you can find out!"
Friday May 11, 1987 Joe's House
Capitol Heights, MD 10:00 pm
Philip and Jamie had retired to their room under the pretense of sleep, but sleep would be hard to come by tonight. "I love dad, but all evening he kept talking about how dangerous Lee is and how this is all his fault," Philip sighed. He then said softly, "I had hoped that Lee would have called by now!"
"Finding kidnapped people doesn't happen in a few hours, Philip." Jamie said with annoyance.
"Oh so you are the expert because you watch detective shows," Philip quickly countered.
"No, but I figure these things take time. Lee has to find out who took them and where."
"Lee, you think that a film director is going to be able to solve crimes?" Philip said with a laugh.
"That's just it…Lee…isn't a film director," Jamie said softly.
"Okay, what is he then, if he isn't a film director?"
"I think he works for the government."
"No duh, we know that IFF is part of the government and that the government has secrets."
"Yeah and I think that Lee works with those secrets."
"Oh come on Jamie, what are you trying to say, that Lee is a spy!" Philip said raising his voice.
"Not so loud, Philip, do you want dad to hear you?" Jamie said sharply. Then in a softer voice he continued, "Listen you know how everyone thought that I was jealous of Lee when he first started coming around, but that wasn't the real reason I didn't like him. I didn't like him because I didn't trust him. I was pretty sure that Lee wasn't what mom and he wanted us to believe. See it started a few years ago when I heard a man's voice below our bedroom window talking to mom one night. At first it started out being every now and then and most of the time they would end up arguing, and then the man would get mad and leave."
"That's no evidence that it is Lee."
"Let me finish will you," and then Jamie continued, "One night I heard mom call Lee's name and then I heard them talking. It sounded like he was there to protect us for some reason. After they talked for a while mom sounded more relieved and went back inside."
"You heard mom call the man Lee?"
"Yes, and I'm telling you it was the same voice."
"Do you remember when some single man rented that house down the street?"
"Yeah…" Philip was starting to wonder if Jamie had something.
"One morning Grandma and I went for a jog and the man came out to get the paper. I'm telling you Philip that man looked just like Lee does!"
"So how come Grandma has never said anything about this?"
"You know how she believes that everybody has their doppelganger out there, so she probably just thinks that guy is Lee's." A matter of fact Jamie said.
"I don't know," Now Philip was starting to let skepticism creep back in.
"I know for sure that Lee saved us that day in the gym when that goon was after dad."
"Maybe…" Philip said thoughtfully and then quickly added, "but that man really had some moves."
"Remember when we came home early from that trip for the science fair and there was a silver sports car sitting out front. That was Lee's car!" an adamant Jamie said.
"There are tons of those cars around."
"With the same license plate?" Jamie pointedly questioned.
"Boy it's like you've been playing detective or spy too," Philip said in wonder of his younger brother. Maybe Jamie did have something there.
"Remember that stupid play that mom was an understudy for?"
"Yeah, that was the most boring play that I have ever seen. I still can't believe that Grandma dragged us to that thing!"
"Remember when mom came out and yelled, "Stop that man he's Gestapo!"
Philip laughed and said, "I'm pretty sure that was not an actual line in the play."
"Remember after mom said that, this guy came out with a gun and front kicked the guy mom was pointing too. That guy with the gun was Lee!" Jamie said with assurance in his voice.
"Whether that was Lee or not it was definitely the best part of that play!"
"My final evidence is from last fall. Remember when mom ran away with a strange man for about a week? That man was Lee!"
"NO WAY!" an adamant Philip said loudly.
"Keep it down!" Jamie hissed hotly.
A knock could be heard at the door, and their dad stuck his head in before moving fully into the room. He asked with a concerned tone, "You guys doing okay?"
"Yeah, dad, we are just remembering things about mom and grandma that's all!" Philip said quickly with a sad sounding voice
"You've had a long night and tomorrow will seem long too. You had better try to get some sleep.
"Okay. Goodnight." They both said as they started to climb in bed.
Joe started to leave, but then stopped to watch his boys. Should he go hug them goodnight or just turn and leave. Amanda would know what to do. She is so much better at this," Joe thought as he said a final goodnight, turned around, and shut the door.
"Listen you were not home that day mom ran. She told Grandma and me that a friend she worked with, Mr. Stetson, was in trouble and that some government men would probably be coming to the house. A few minutes later the doorbell rang and I heard the trellis coming loose. I saw mom with Lee as they ran from the yard."
"Maybe you are just letting your imagination run away with you!"
"I know what I saw. It was Lee. I also know that somehow Mom got a note to us without anybody seeing her, and they cleared her and Lee's names. Plus it got mom a full time job."
"That sounds farfetched to me!" Philip said with a yawn.
"Nope, I heard them that night she came back. Lee came by to check on everyone and he told mom that someone was impressed with what she did to help and wanted to give her a full time job. Mom asked if it meant working with him and Lee said he thought that could happen."
"I just don't know, Jamie!" Philip said incredulously.
"I know! And if Lee can do all that then he can find mom and grandma and bring them home!" Jamie said with a lot of faith in his tone. He then rolled over and fell asleep.
Philip started doing some thinking as he was trying to fall asleep. If Lee is a spy, and Mom works with Lee, then does that mean that Mom is a spy? Lee was pretty cool and could possibly be one, but mom? No way! Mom didn't like guns and would never use one let alone carry one! Philip then remembered that once Lee did have a gun on. Philip had felt it when Lee gave him a hug. When Philip had asked him about it, Lee had explained that they were doing a documentary on gun owners and he wanted to experience what it was like to wear one. Could that have been Lee's gun? Maybe Jamie did have a point, Philip thought. "What about Mom?" Philip said in a loud whisper, but his only answer was a soft snore.
Saturday May 12, 1987 A Remote Cabin
Shenandoah National Forest 1:00 am
Dotty knew that she had nodded off for a few hours by the crick in her neck. She started moving her neck around trying to stretch it out. While doing this she was trying to remember why she was having trouble moving her arms and legs. Then she remembered. She was tied up and Amanda was being tortured! "Amanda!" Dotty screamed and her eyes flew open.
"She's doing great!" the soothing voice of Doc. Kelford said.
All Dotty could do was stare at the doctor. Doing great. Did that mean Amanda had finally cracked and given them the information? Dotty wondered. The last thing she remembered was Amanda starting to quote the Raven for the third time. The doctor had said it was her mantra or something like that, and it would be hard if not impossible to break through. Each time Von whatever his name was told the doctor to increase the amount of truth serum. By the second increase the Von guy was getting really angry and started accusing the doctor of not giving her enough to get results. The doctor tried to explain that you had to go slow and that it could be a tedious process. It was sometime through the third quoting that Dotty had been lulled to sleep.
"It's good that you have been able to get some rest even if it wasn't comfortable," the kind doctor said.
Dotty was trying to see her watch, but couldn't make out the numbers from this distance. "It's 1 am," the doctor told her.
"How long have you been here?" Dotty croaked. She was thirsty and she wondered if they would give her any water, but she wasn't sure that she wanted to ask. Maybe staying silent would make them forget about her.
"Three days now. They should be looking for us by now." Dr. Kelford said reassuringly.
"Who will be looking…how will they know…where to start…who did it?" she said hoarsely.
"Oh, they have their ways!" Doc. Kelford said with a faint smile. "I can guarantee you that Scarecrow is working this." Doc. Kelford look fondly at Amanda after saying this.
"Your daughter is handling the truth serum well, but then she has been trained by the best. I'm just making sure that her vitals stay normal," Dr. Kelford explained in a caring tone.
"Who is this Scarecrow? Those brothers, what are their names? Who is that guy that made my daughter turn white and why did his name scare her?" a nervous Dotty asked.
Before Dr. Kelford could answer Dotty's rapid fire questions the door flew open and Von Eiger stepped in. "I want to do the full dosage and now!"
"Full dosage at one time is too dangerous!"
I have waited long enough. I really need to find out what Scarecrow knows about Karbala," an irate Von Eiger said.
"She needs at least twelve more hours before she can be injected with a full dose."
"Then I'll do it myself and since I won't need you anymore, I might as well kill you now."
"If you give her the full dose now you won't get your information anyway," the good doctor interjected.
"You mean the full dose will only make her recite that stupid poem again. I think that if I have to hear that inferior American junk again I will just go ahead and shoot her."
"If she was given the full dose now so close to the other doses it would probably cause her to go into repression."
"She would repress any knowledge or dealings with Scarecrow. It will be her way of protecting him, but if you wait the twelve hours then the full dose may break through her mantra."
"Humph…" the Baron snorted. After a moment of thought he continued, "Okay, we will wait; but no more playing tomorrow afternoon. I want my information!" with that Von Eiger stalked out of the room, but before leaving he motioned with his head for his two helpers to grab the doctor. The two came over and at the same time grabbed him under the arms and the three exited the room.
Dotty was left alone with Amanda again and she wasn't sure that she liked it. Having the doctor in here was kind of reassuring, Dotty thought. She betted Amanda didn't really need twelve hours before the next dosage. "I bet he is trying to buy time for whoever this Scarecrow is to get here," Dotty said out loud.
"Leeeee…" Amanda croaked.
"Amanda it's your mother!" Dotty said quickly and added, "You're going to be okay!"
"Leeee….where are we?" Amanda said again.
Dotty sighed, She only wants Lee what am I going to tell her. What about Lee? What would he think about this? Dotty wondered to herself.
Amanda went quiet again and Dotty called her daughter's name several times, but gave up after a while. By now it had to be about three in the morning, but Dotty didn't seem tired. She wished Amanda would wake up and answer her questions. As if Amanda could read her mother's thoughts she softly called, "Mother?"
"I'm right here Amanda and I'm fine!" a relieved Dotty croaked out.
"What time is it? Where are we?"
"It's about 3 am and we are in the Shenandoah National Forest."
"Listen Mother, you can't let Lee blame himself for this. I knew the risks. If something should happen to me…"
"Don't talk like that Amanda….nothing's going to…"
"I need you to listen please, Mother, and don't interrupt. If….If something should happen, I want you to know that you are the best mother that I could ever had asked for. You helped me a lot when Joe left. I couldn't have raised Philip and Jamie without your help. Tell Philip and Jamie that I love them very, very much and they are turning into fine young men. Now, Mother, you can't let Lee blame himself…love him like a son…don't let him push you away…he likes to hide inside himself…he needs you, Philip, and Jamie; and you guys will need him," with that Amanda was spent and closed her eyes.
Dotty thought that she had passed, but after a minute she heard Amanda whisper, "Don't worry, Lee, will come…he always does!" and with that she fell asleep.
"Oh, My!" is all that Dotty could utter.
Saturday May 12, 1987 Doctor Kelford's Apartment
Alexandria, VA 12:30 am
When they first arrived at Doc. Kelford's apartment the place was in great dishevel. "It sure does look like he put up a struggle," Lee said as he set a chair upright. "Let's get to work and see what we can find," Lee spoke to his team. After about half an hour Lee heard Agent Duffy report, "Haven't found any one else's finger prints, Scarecrow."
"Okay you and Fielder go look around the perimeter for anything suspicious."
"It looks like he had finished his supper, but hadn't cleaned up his kitchen…in a few days!" Francine said while making a face and holding up a moldy plate of something unrecognizable. "I thought doctors were concerned about germs and all," she added as she dropped the plate into the sink.
"His bedroom looks fine. Nothing looks out of the ordinary. It's not like he went on a trip," Scarecrow called from the bedroom.
"Yeah, his suitcase is still in the hall closet," Francine called back.
As she turned from the hall closet something on the end table caught her attention. Walking over to the table she saw a swatch of hair and noticed blood. "Scarecrow, we might have something here!"
Lee hurried into the room, "What is it?" he asked anxiously.
Francine pointed to the table and said, "I'll bag this evidence and get it over to the lab." Francine walked into the dining room to retrieve two bags and made her way back to the table to bag the evidence.
While she was doing this, Duffy and Fielder returned with a bag that held close to ten cigarette butts in it. "Looks like someone was casing his place," Duffy said as Fielder held up the bag.
"Okay let's get this stuff back to the lab and see if they can tell us who these belong too!"
Saturday May 12, 1987 Agency Lab
Georgetown, MD 2:00 am
"The hair is not a match to Doc. Kelford, but the blood is his. Boy did he put up a good fight to pull a hunk of hair out by the roots!" a very impressed lab technician named, Amy said.
"Do, we know who the hair belongs too?"
"I have to run the results through the computer and see if it matches anyone in our database."
"And if it doesn't match?"
"I can submit it to our agencies in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles."
"What about the cigarette butts?" an anxious Lee asked.
"One thing at a time, Scarecrow, but you have never been a patient one." Amy said with a laugh.
An exhausted Lee sat down in a chair and put his head in his hands. This is how he was sitting when Billy walked into the room. Billy walked over, put his hand on Lee's shoulder, and said, "Why don't you go home and get some rest?"
"I can't until we find Amanda!" Lee said looking up at his friend.
"Then at least go up to the Q-Bureau and lie down for a while. If you are exhausted you won't be any help when we get a lead.
"You're right, Billy. Maybe I'll lie down for a few," Lee said as he stood and turned to leave the lab. "Call me up in the Q-Bureau, Amy, when you find anything."
"Will do, Scarecrow," she said and waved good-bye.
As Lee and Billy were walking down the hall a thought popped into Lee's head and he asked, "Where is the evidence from Amanda's car?"
"Francine has it in conference room 1."
Lee hurried his pace to the conference room. Stepping inside he looked at Amanda and Dotty's purchases lying on the table. Fingering the red dress that Amanda had bought for last night made a lump form in his throat. She would look great in that dress, and even better out of it. There was a new baseball glove for Philip's birthday. Lee picked it up, put it on his hand, and while hitting his fist into it he was thinking about throwing ball with his stepson. He took it off and laid it back on the table. He slowly started sifting through the contents of Amanda's car. There was the registration, owner's manual, a blanket, his tie tack (a faint smile formed when he remembered how that had become miss placed), but no blue button down shirt! "Is this everything?" Lee asked with hope in his voice.
"I'm pretty sure it is."
"I'm going to take another look at her car," Lee made a beeline for the door and to the impound lot.
Spotting her car he pulled out his key ring and found the door key for the Wagoneer. Opening the back door Lee started looking around. Finding nothing he moved to the front seat. Again finding nothing there; he opened the trunk and that too was bare. For the first time since yesterday afternoon, Lee felt real hope that they were going to find his wife and mother in law.
"That's my girl!" Lee said with pride.
Turning to Billy, Lee started to explain, "We had Leatherneck put a tracking device in a button on Amanda's shirt. She keeps it in her car, but I didn't see it in any of the things brought in," Lee said excitedly.
"How does it work?" Billy returned with equal excitement.
"We need Leatherneck. He's the one that knows how to run the tracking device."
"I'll call and get him in here," Billy said as he went for the nearest telephone. A few minutes later Billy returned. "Leatherneck's on his way. Let's meet him in his lab."
The two men made their way over to Leatherneck's lab. "Does Amanda have to turn anything on for us to track her?" Billy asked with curiosity.
"No she doesn't. Leatherneck has the tracker and knows how to run it. It can track up to 100 miles from here."
"That's quite a distance that it can track."
"I think he is working on further distances," Lee said as he opened the door to Leatherneck's lab and allowed Billy to enter in before him.
"How did Amanda come by this?" Billy asked as he turned on the light and found a chair to sit down in.
"You know how most everybody has a soft spot for Amanda, so Leatherneck likes to use her to test out his new inventions." Lee said with a smile.
"I'm sure that you had nothing to do with this," Billy said with a grin.
"You know how Amanda seems to have a knack for getting into trouble, so I figured any extra safety devices couldn't hurt," Lee said while stifling a yawn and sitting down next to Billy.
"We'll find them, Lee!" Billy said reassuringly.
Leatherneck came rushing into his lab and wasn't surprised to see Lee and Billy waiting for him. "Well, Ace let's see if we can find what area Mrs. King is in," Leatherneck was saying as he started pulling out the tracker to plug it in.
As Leatherneck turned the tracker on and started turning the dial, Lee and Billy, moved over to the table to get a better look. A faint beeping sound could be heard. As he turned the dial the beeping sound became a little louder and a faint dot could be seen on the electronic map. "She's still in Virginia," Leatherneck declared.
"Can you tell where?" an elated Lee said.
"West of here is all I can tell yet."
Leatherneck turned the dial more to see if he could get the signal any better. The light on the electronic map became brighter. "It looks like she is in the Shenandoah National Forest area."
Lee turned to go, but Billy grabbed him by the arm. "We don't even know where at in that area yet, Scarecrow. You go running head long into there and start snooping around, they could be tipped off," Lee slumped his shoulders and leaned back on the counter.
"That light on the electronic map is bright now. I would bet the Shendoah National Forest is where she is. It looks like on the lower part of the Skyline Drive," Leatherneck said with pride in his voice.
"I'll get the Park Rangers to check around and see if anything looks suspicious," Billy said as he left to go to his office.
"Can we get more of an accurate location from this map?" Lee asked as he made his way back over to the electronic map.
"Let's get the Viginia map since it has more detail, and see if we can pinpoint the location."
Leatherneck went over to a cabnet and pulled out the stack of maps. After sorting through them he found the Virginia map. Taking it over to his desk he unfolded the map and laid it on the desktop. Finding the Shenandoah National Forest area he refolded the map until that was all that showed. With the paper map in hand he walked back over to the electronic map. Taking note of the red dot he tried matching it up to the paper map. At this time Lee came over to join in the search.
"Looks like it could be in the Loft Mountain area," Lee said excitedly. "I think there is a campground with cabins around there."
"I think you're right. It difinitely looks close to that area," Leatherneck excitedly replied and looked at the Virginia map, "There is a camping area in the Loft Mountain region."
"Thanks Leatherneck, I owe you one!" Lee said with the first smile he'd had in the last twelve hours. He slapped Leatherneck on the back and ran out of the room. He ran all the way to the outside elevator and pushed the button. Waiting seemed like an eternity. Once the doors opened he pushed the coats aside and climbed in. Once he reached the foyer he took his badge off and threw it on Mrs. Marston's desk. He opened the front door and hurried down the steps to his car. He started the car and began to head in the direction of the Shenandoah National Forest and the Loft Mountain area.
While Lee was leaving the building Billy was making his way back to Leatherneck's, "I got in touch with the Park Rangers. They will start a search through the park looking for anything suspicious," he was saying as he came into the room. He stopped and took note that Lee was missing, "Where's Scarecrow?"
"We pinpointed the location of his partner and he took off out of here. I thought he went to find you."
"No! And I just hope that he doesn't do anything rash. I still need you here, Leatherneck. I'm going to get Francine back in here," and with that Billy left slaming the door behind him.
Saturday May 12, 1987 Virginia Countryside
Near Loft Mt., Shenandoah National Forest 5:00 am
Lee had just turned on to the Skyline Drive at the Lydia, Virginia exit and headed south. He wasn't too far from the Loft Mountain Campground. He planned on parking his car at the enterance and walking in. He wasn't quite sure how he was going to figure out which cabin they were in, but hopefully there wouldn't be too many people camping this early in May because it could still get pretty cold at night. He faintly smiled about the weekend that he wanted to spend with Amanda in a cabin, but of course it fell through. "We are going to make sure we get a family vacation sometime very soon. You, the boys, your mother, and a beach somewhere warm sounds good," Lee muttered to the empty car and then slapped his hand on the steering wheel in frustration.
Seeing the enterance to Loft Mountain Campground, Lee pulled the Corvette over onto the grassy area. He wasn't sure how long it was to the ranger station, but he set off at a steady jog. After about a half an hour of jogging up the winding mountain road Lee saw the ranger's station just ahead. Slowing to catch his breath he pulled his Federal ID out of his pocket and made his way to the building.
Opening the door Lee went inside and while showing his ID to the ranger on duty he said, "Federal Agent, Lee Stetson, I have reason to believe that one of our Agents is being held in this campground, and I need to see your cabins."
"We got a message telling us to make rounds and report anything suspicious looking," the nervous park ranger replied.
"Did you then?"
"My assistant is out making the rounds of our campground. He hasn't came back yet."
"How long ago did he start?"
"Maybe a half an hour ago, but it can take close to an hour to do the whole area."
"Is your campground full?"
"We have noone camping in tents or RVs. The nights are still a little chilly for that. We had a young couple that came in on Wednesday and left this morning. We also have a couple of guys that came in on Thursday and they are still here. They are in cabin five. It's the one furtherest back."
"How long they here for?"
"They have paid up until Wednesday."
"Anything they've done look suspicious?"
"Not really. Other than they do have a limo parked out front of their cabin."
"See anybody else come or go to their cabin?"
"No, just that limo has come and gone a few times in the last couple of days, but no other activity."
"Okay thanks. I'm going to look around the area myself," and with that Lee left the office. As he started towards the first cabin he removed his gun from its holster. This should be pretty easy since there is noone else here, Lee thought to himself.
"Okay there's cabin two,"Lee muttered. Then he heard some faint mumbling. Lee took his flashlight out of his pocket and shined it in the direction that he heard the noise. It was then that he saw a Park Ranger tied to a tree with duck tape over his mouth. Lee moved over and removed the tape and then started to untie the ranger.
"Thank you, those guys in cabin five did this!"
Showing the ranger his badge, Lee said, "You get back to your office and then I want you to call in this code: 4 Delta Charlie Red Grovo 33, tell them this location, and then stay there!"
Lee was stealthly making his way to cabin five by moving from tree to tree when he heard the sentry named Bob say, "stop right there! Put your hands up where I can see them. Okay now drop the gun." Lee obeyed. "Now make your way up the steps and into the cabin."
Lee walked into the cabin and saw Baron Von Eiger sitting with two other men. Von Eiger rose from his chair, came over to Lee, and while picking a piece of a leaf off his coat said, "I see we meet again Herr Stetson."
Lee clinched and unclinched his jaws and finally bit out, "What have you done with Amanda?"
"Oh, don't worry she is being very well taken care of," Von Eiger said with a smile.
Even though the gun was still trained on him, Lee moved to grab Von Eiger by his coat; but he was suddenly apprehended by the two men, who had been casually sitting on the couch.
"Move him into the room with Mrs. King and tie him up."
Lee was forcefully moved to the room that held Amanda and her mother. One of the men opened the door and pushed Lee in. He immediately saw Amanda lying on the bed looking like death. "Amanda!" was all an angushed Lee could say. He tried to pull away from his captors to get to Amanda, but the men tried to hold him tighter. Lee full of anger twisted his body and was able to get a good kick in that knocked the gun out of one of the men's hands. The man started swearing and this commotion brought Von Eiger to the room. The two men were able to get Lee back under control and the other man was able to retrieve his gun.
"I see Scarecrow has been affected by the sight of his pretty partner. I think we can use this for our benefit. Maybe he will give us the information we want when we start back with Mrs. King," Von Eiger said with a smile and an evil laugh.
"If you have done anything to hurt her…"
"You will do what? Doesn't look like you are in any position to do anything."
The two men took Lee to a chair and tied his hands behind his back. Von Eiger took a gun from one of his minions, and with the butt of it hit Lee in the head. He then said minancingly, "sweet dreams, Scarecrow!" The three men left the room leaving Dotty alone now with two unconscious people.
Slowly starting to regain concisousness, Lee, moaned softly, "Amanda!"
"I bet your head really hurts, son, try not to move it," Dotty said in a motherly tone.
"Amanda, you sound like your mother," Lee said droggly.
Dotty chuckled for the first time in the last twelve or so hours and said, "I sound like her because I am her."
Lee tried to get a bearing of where he was and what was going on. Opening his eyes he took in his surroundings. First, he saw Amanda lying on the bed still unconcisous, "Hang on Amanda, I'm going to get you out of here," Lee said outloud and with determination.
"So, you are this Scarecrow that they keep asking her about?"
"Dotty! How long have you been in here?" a surprised Lee asked after accuately noticing her for the first time.
"Since they brought us here."
Lee closed his eyes tight and swallowed the bile that rose in his throat after imagining what his mother in law had to endure seeing her daughter interrogated like this. Lee knew he had to come up with a plan so he scooted his chair forward and started to work on untying his hands. Looking at Dotty he asked while he worked, "What happened?"
"We were kidnapped at the mall. They brought us here and they have been giving Amanda truth serum to find out what you know about some group that I can't remember the name of, but Amanda only keeps repeating the Raven over and over which has made Mr. Von who ever mad."
It was Lee's turn to chuckle and say with pride, "that's my Amanda!"
"Do you know what their plan is…?" Lee just nodded his head in Amanda's direction because he really didn't want to finish that thought.
"They wanted to give her the full dosage of serum, but the doctor told them that she couldn't have a full dosage before twelve hours were up. I'm not sure if that is true because I think he was just buying time until you got here," Dotty said in awe.
"How long has it been since the last dose?"
"Maybe five to six hours ago," Dotty said while shrugging her shoulders.
Lee gave a final tug on the ropes and they fell free to the floor. He then quickly moved over to Dotty and untied her arms and legs.
"Listen, Dotty, I've got a plan; but I need your help."
"I'm not sure that I can."
Lee looked into her eyes and said seriously, "Our lives depend on your help! Just trust me and do what I tell you."
There was that word again, trust. This man was turning out to be who she didn't think he was and he was telling her to trust him. It seemed that Amanda trusted him enough to know that he would come for her. For that matter so did the doctor. So after a long minute she said slowly with conviction, "I trust you!"
Lee smiled and it showed off his dimples in each of his cheeks. "Okay, good. This is what we are going to do," and then Lee preceeded to tell Dotty the plan.
"I want some water! I'm thirsty! I need water!" Dotty was yelling over and over as loud as she could, while Lee was stationed near the door.
When the door was opened and one of the men walked through, Lee brought his arm down with a chopping motion and knocked the gun out of the man's hand. He then half turned to give the man a side kick to his gut. As the man doubled over Lee put his two fists together and gave a full power blow to the back of the man's head. Once his fists made impact with the man's head he fell to the floor unconscious. He quickly moved the guy out of the way and shut the door.
"Go see what is going on in there," Von Eiger told the other guy that was in the room with him. Bob was still outside keeping watch.
Lee was back in position again and as the door came flying open he proceeded to knock the gun out of the guy's hand and double him over, but this time it was Dotty that had found a metal tray and knocked the guy on the head. The man fell unconscious to the floor. Lee gave Dotty a pleased smile and quickly moved the guy further into the room and shut the door. Picking up both guns he handed one to Dotty.
I don't know how to use this," she said incrediously as she dangled the gun between two fingers.
"They don't know that, and it doesn't matter just aim at the wall, floor, or ceiling. We just need to get their attention." Lee said matter of factly.
Realizing that the prisoners now had two guns Von Eiger told his minion, Bob, who was outside to start a fire under the cabin and to retrieve the get away car that was hidden in the bushes. Von Eiger moved to the kitchen table and picked up a syringe and loaded it with memory erasering serum. He then proceeded to the room that held Doc. Kelford. Going into the room he went over to the doctor and jammed the needle into his arm and pushed down on the syringe to release the serum. "In a half an hour you won't remember that any of this happened." As Von Eiger left the room he started to smell smoke and heard a car starting up. He quickly ran to the car and could hear the faint sound of a helicopter. Jumping in he yelled, "GO! GO! GO!" as the car speed off for the exit of the campground.
"Are they gone?" Dotty asked.
"Shhh…" Lee replied and held up a hand. "I think I hear a helicopter. They've found us!"
"They?!" Dotty sounded puzzled.
Lee moved over to Amanda and started to unstrap her. He gently lifted her off of the bed like a rag doll and carefully craddled her to him.
"Come on I heard a car leave so they are probably gone." Lee said as he picked up his gun in his left hand. At that time smoke started to seep through the crack at the bottom of the door. "Cover your mouth and nose, Dotty, and stay low. It looks like they started a fire before they left."
Dotty opened the door and Lee motioned for her to go first. I don't need her not making her way out. Amanda would kill me if something happened to her mother! Lee thought to himself. The room was thick with smoke and it was hard to see. Staying low the three of them finally made their way to the front door. Dotty opened the door and both her and Lee rushed through gasping for clean air.
Moving a safe distance away from the cabin Lee laid Amanda on the ground and helped Dotty to sit down. All the while the sound of the helicopter was getting closer. Both Lee and Dotty, as they were coughing looked to the sky, but they couldn't see anything yet.
"The Doctor! The Doctor is still in there!" Dotty said frantically.
Lee sat down on the ground coughing and said flatly, "He gets what he deserves!"
"No! He was good! One of you! Saved Amanda's life!" Dotty said between coughs.
"One of us?" Lee asked with a questioning look on his face.
"Yeah, his name was Kel something!"
"Doc. Kelford?" Lee asked quickly.
"Yeah, Yeah that sounds right Kelford."
Lee lept to his feet and started running as fast as he could back to the cabin. He took the steps two at a time and pushed through the door. Covering his nose and mouth with his sleeve he tried to feel his way to the other room. Opening the door he saw Doc. Kelford passed out and tied to a chair. I don't have time to untie him, Lee thought. So he started dragging the chair out of the room and to the front door. As he was doing this Lee touched his arm against some hot metal and burnt a nice hole through his sleeve. "Oweee," he said and also swore as he quickly moved his arm away. "We're almost there!" Lee said to an unconcisous Kelford. Making it to the front door Lee pulled Doc. Kelford through and down the steps. With the little bit of strength he had left, Lee pulled Doc. Kelford another hundred feet and then colasped to the ground next to him.
Lee sat up when he started to feel the wind from the helicopter. Even though it only felt like seconds for him to catch his breath; he rushed over to Dotty and Amanda at a half crouched run. He picked up Amanda and motioned for Dotty to follow him. After waiting for the helicopter to land they made their way over to it. Leatherneck jumped out to open the door for him. "Billy and Francine are on their way. I was told to get who ever needed it to the hospital," he yelled over the whirl of the helicopter's motor.
"Amanda has been unconcisous with what ever truth serum they have given her. I think her mother is probably dehydrated. Doc. Kelford is knocked out with something too and they all have smoke inhilation," Lee was saying while he loaded Amanda into a seat and strapped her in. He then helped Dotty in and buckled her too.
"Kelford!? He's been here all along?" Leatherneck asked in dismay.
"Yeah, looks like they used him to try to get Amanda to talk. We won't know anything for sure until they regain concisousness and are debriefed," Lee shouted above the motor.
Leatherneck helped Lee untie and carry Doc. Kelford to the helicopter to get him loaded in. "Climb in Ace and we will be on our way!"
"No, I'll stay here and wait for Billy and Francine."
"They'll be fine. I'm not leaving with out you, Scarecrow and I know you'll want to know how your partner is doing!" Leatherneck yelled as he motioned in Amanda's direction. "It also looks like that arm could use some doctoring. Besides if Mrs. King finds out that I didn't make you come with us; she probably won't make me anymore cookies," Leatherneck shouted with a smile on his face.
Lee rolled his eyes, shook his head, and climbed in the helicopter while shouting, "Okay, Leatherneck get us out of here!"
Saturday May 12, 1987 Galilee General Hospital
Bethesda, MD 1:00 pm
Lee hated hospitals, but he sat in the tv lounge waiting on news about his wife, who was still unconcisous. The N.E.S.T doctors didn't know what truth serum that had been used or any of the side effects either. Thankfully his mother in law had only been dehydrated and was at this time in a room hooked up with an IV, but she was going to be fine. Doc. Kelford was in a similar condition as Amanda. He himself had refused to let them look at his arm. He didn't want to be tied up if anything with Amanda changed.
While he started to doze off he heard his name being called, "Scarecrow how is everyone?" Billy Melrose was asking. Lee opened his eyes and just stared at his section chief.
"Dotty's getting an IV for dehydration and will be fine. I'm still waiting to hear about Amanda and Doc. Kelford," an exhausted Lee said.
"Do you think Dotty could be debriefed?"
"Give her some time Billy. She's been through a lot and she is only a civilian."
"How did Doc. Kelford get mixed up in this?"
"I'm not totally sure, but the little bit that I gathered from Dotty is he saved Amanda's life."
"Did you catch Von Eiger?" Lee asked hopefully.
"Seems that he got away for now, but we have red flags out at the major airports, so if he tries to leave the country we will know. The two left in the cabin didn't make it."
A frustrated Lee ran his good hand through his hair and said angerly, "He wanted information about what I knew about some group, but Dotty can't remember the name of it." Lee hit his other hand on his knee and then grimanced as the pain shot up through it.
"That looks like a nasty burn. You'd better have it looked at," a concerned Billy said.
"After I find out about Amanda and I get to see her."
A doctor approached the two of them and said, "Mr. Stetson your mother in law is doing great and should be able to go home soon. Your wife is stable and you can see her for a few minutes," the doctor then turned and left the two men alone.
Lee looked at Billy, shrugged, and said, "I just told the hospital that so I could receive information and get to see them."
Billy's grin told Lee that he wasn't totally buying his excuse, but he just said, "Bring Dotty down to the Agency when you can for debriefing. Get that arm looked at Scarecrow, and that's an order!" Billy then turned and made his way down the corridor and out the door.
Lee made his way to Amanda's room and slowly opened the door. This was bringing back some painful memories of their honeymoon. At least this time she looked like she was sleeping, even almost peacefully. He made his way over to her bed, sat down in a chair, and picked up her hand. He started to lightly stroke the back of her hand with his thrumb. "Amanda, you're going to be okay," Lee spoke softly while looking at his feet.
"I knew you would come and rescue us," was a faint reply.
"Amanda!" Lee quickly looked up into his wife's face. He didn't think she could have looked more lovelier. "Hi," he said softly with a faint smile on his face.
"Hi," she returned back. "How long have I been in here?"
"Only a few hours. It's Saturday afternoon."
"Where's my mother?"
"She's in a room. She's fine, just dehydrated," Lee explained quickly in a soothing tone, so that his wife would relax.
"Philip, Jamie?" Amanda said in a sleepy tone and started to fade out.
"I'm going to go see them when I can."
With a faint smile on her lips she whispered, "Good," then more sternly she added, "Stetson, get that arm looked at!" Then she fell asleep.
"Yes, ma'am!" Lee said in mock submission. He then leaned over and gave her a soft kiss on her lips and left to see Dotty.
Dotty was sleeping when Lee went into her room. He walked over to her bed and sat down in a chair beside her bed. Over the last few months he was beginning to come to love this woman as if she was his own mother. It was probably from watching her and Amanda together all these years, he thought.
Dotty slowly opened her eyes and smiled at Lee, "How's Amanda?"
"She's going to be okay. She asked about you, Philip, Jamie, and told me to get my arm looked at," Lee chuckled. Dotty smiled back at this man that she was beginning to think of as her own son.
"When can I go home?"
"You probably have another hour here and then I need to take you down to the Agency to be debriefed," Lee explained.
Dotty looked at Lee long and hard. She finally said in a serious tone, "Amanda, you, and I have a lot to talk about."
Lee cleared his throat, "Yeah, we do! Look Dotty I'm really sorry…," Lee started and then trailed off.
Dotty reached over, touched his hand, and said in a loving tone, "Amanda asked me not to let you blame yourself. She said that she knew the risks."
"It put you at risk though and the boys…"
"So, you teach us what to look for and what to do!"
"It's not that simple," Lee said quickly and then looked away.
"So, this is what Amanda means when she tells me it's complicated! You two love each other and that's all that matters. Everything else will fall into place. She told me that you would come and you did. Don't run away. We all need you and are happier with you around." Dotty said in a motherly tone. She then continued,"I think I'll take a little nap. Now go get that arm looked at!" she then laid her head back and closed her eyes.
Lee chuckled as he shook his head. He then leaned down and kissed his mother in law on the cheek. This caused a small smile to form on Dotty's lips. Lee got up to leave and turned back at the door to say, "I'll be back in a little while."
Lee went and got his arm bandaged up. It was only a second degree burn and nothing that the agency doctors couldn't handle from here out. He checked on Doc. Kelford, who still hadn't regained consciousness. He then looked in on Amanda, who was sleeping, so he didn't bother her. Instead, he went and found her doctor to see about her condition. The doctor said she would be fine, but didn't want to release her until tomorrow morning at the earliest and no debriefing until she was released.
Lee made his way back to Dotty's room. He knocked on the door and waited to hear, "come in," before he entered. Dotty was changed and ready to go. Hopefully with her debriefing they could start getting some answers.
Saturday May 12, 1987 The Agency
Georgetown, MD 4:00 pm
Lee opened the door to the Agency and allowed Dotty to enter before him. He walked over to Mrs. Martson's desk; where he gave the password for admittance and she handed him his badge.
"This is Amanda's mother, Mrs. West. We will be up in the Q-Bureau," Lee explained to a stern faced woman.
"How do you do?" Dotty said to her as she extended her hand. Mrs. Martson not saying a word just looked at Dotty and handed her a guest pass. Dotty slowly took the badge, clipped it to her blouse, and brought her hand back to her side.
Lee went over and put his arm around Dotty and guided her up the stairs to the Q-Bureau. He unlocked the door and motioned for her to go in.
"You can have a seat on the couch if you like. I need to let them know we are here."
Dotty went to the couch, sat down, and looked around at the office. She noticed that although it looked backwards from her direction the glass in the door said Film Library on it. I wonder what Q-Bureau means and why that's not on the door. Dotty thought to herself. She saw that directly in front of her but at least ten feet away sat Lee's desk, which she noticed that he was still on the phone. Near his desk and to her left was a huge bank like vault, which made her wonder what was in there. She also noticed a small fridge with paper plates, napkins, styrofoam cups, and plasticware on top. There were various book shelves with plants sitting on them.
Dotty got up when she noticed a certificate with Amanda's name on it hanging on the wall. She walked over to read what it said. She was surprised it was from the President honoring Amanda for her service to her country back in 1985. As she made her way back to the couch she looked at Amanda's desk. She noticed a picture of her, Philip, and Jamie; there was also wilted flowers in a vase and Amanda's sweater hanging on the back of her chair. She could still hear Lee talking on the phone and then heard him making coffee. She was pretty sure he was giving her space to take this all in. Turning around to look in Lee's direction, Dotty saw him looking out the window. Clearing her throat she said, "This looks like a quaint office that you and Amanda share."
"Yeah, a lot of memories in this room," Lee said looking around at Dotty.
"Billy will be up here in a few minutes to start the debriefing."
"Billy as in Billy Melrose, mister personality, himself?" Dotty asked with skepticism in her voice.
"Billy is a good friend of mine and Amanda's. He is nice once you get to know him," Lee chuckled. "He has been Amanda's advocate since day one," Lee added with a smile.
"So how did you get the name, Scarecrow?" an amused Dotty asked.
"It's a long story, I'll tell you later," Lee said with a dismissing tone.
There was a knock on the door and then Billy Melrose entered. He looked tired. Lee handed him and Dotty a cup of coffee. Lee guided Dotty to the couch and helped her to sit down, then he sat next to her with his arm protectively around her shoulders. Billy got the chair from Amanda's desk and sat in front of them. Pulling out the tape recorder, Billy turned it on and said, "Mrs. West can you tell us what happened from yesterday afternoon to now?"
Dotty told how they were abducted at gun point and that Amanda was knocked out. She told with awe in her voice how Amanda got out of the handcuffs and jimmied the limo locks with a cork screw openner. She told how they escaped, but that the men where waiting because they knew she would try to escape. She told how they gave Amanda truth serum, but that all she would do was repeat the Raven over and over. She explained her theory that their Doctor saved Amanda's life; by telling them she would have to wait twelve hours before a full dose of the serum could be used. She also added that she thought he told them this in hopes that Lee would come. She told with excitement how Lee came and had her help with the escape; and that once they were out of the cabin she remembered that the doctor was still in there. Then in a motherly tone and while looking at Lee; she told how he had foolishly ran back into the burning cabin to rescue the doctor.
"What questions did they ask Amanda?"
"Something about what Scarecrow knew about two brothers? What did he know about Car something?" I'm sorry I really can't remember the names.
"That's okay you did fine," Billy reassured her.
Turning to Lee, Billy had a huge grin on his face, and said, "Amanda handled herself very well, Scarecrow. Looks like she's a fine agent!"
"It's comforting to know that she can handle herself," Lee half heartedly replied, because he would be more than relieved if she just stayed out of harms way.
"I have a question," Dotty stated.
"Okay," Billy replied.
"How did you find us?"
"There was a tracking device in a button on Amanda's shirt and we were able to use that to get the location of where you were."
"That's very slick!" An impressed Dotty said. Then she continued, "Are we finished? Can I go home?"
"Yes, we are finished here," Billy said as he got up and turned the recorder off.
"Scarecrow, when can we debrief Amanda?"
"Her doctor said not until at least tomorrow, if then."
"Okay let me know when. Maybe she remembers some of the things they were asking. Hopefully Doc. Kelford will remember too for that matter."
As Billy was leaving the room he added, "I'm going home and I suggest you do the samething!" And then he shut the door.
"Come on Dotty let me take you home," Lee said as he opened the door and they headed down the hall.
Saturday May 12, 1987 Joe's house
Capitol Heights, MD 7:00 pm
Lee waited on Joe's front porch for someone to answer the doorbell. The door quickly flew open and Jamie came flying into him. As he did Jamie knocked the burn on Lee's arm and he naturally winced in pain. Jamie looked at the big man and asked in a caring tone, "You okay, Lee?" Then he quickly fired, "Did you find Mom and Grandma? Are they okay? When can we see them?" Lee could only pull Jamie closer to him, while thinking he was so much like his mother.
"It's only a little burn. Where's your brother and dad? We will all talk together."
Jamie lead Lee into the house and out to the back yard where Joe and Philip were working on a model plane. Looking up Philip asked, "Any news on mom and grandma?"
"Your Grandma's at home resting. Your mom is in the hospital. She should be able to get out in a couple of days."
"We thought you would have called before now with some news, Lee!" Joe King said with an angry tone.
"Things move fast Joe. I'm not always able to get to a phone. I'm here now!" An irate Lee said trying to keep his temper in check.
"You boys want to get your stuff and I'll take you to see your mother and then home to your grandma?"
"Yeah, we'll be right back!" They both said in unionson as they ran into the house.
That left Lee and Joe alone in the back yard. Since it was a little awkward Lee turned to go inside to wait for the boys. "Is Amanda going to be okay?" Joe asked with emotion in his voice.
"Yeah, she's a really tough woman," Lee said with pride in his voice.
"I probably don't want to know what happened or how many times she's been kidnapped over the years," Joe added almost accussingly.
"For staters all of that is classified information," Lee said flatly.
Jamie had made his was back down the stairs, but when he heard his dad and Lee talking he stopped to listen.
"Listen Joe, I never wanted Amanda to get mixed up in this business. Trust me in the beginning I made it really hard on her, but she kept coming back. It was definitely something she wanted to do, and you know what? she's good at it. She can look at a situation like noone else can and figure out what we are missing. People trust her and will confide in her when noone else can get the person to open up. I asked her once why she did it and she told me that she had this idea of making the world a safer place for Philip and Jamie." Lee then heard a noise and turned to see Philip and Jamie walk outside.
"You fellas ready to go see your mom?"
"Bye dad," the boys said as they made their way over to give their dad a hug.
Joe watched as Lee put both arms around his boys and lead them out the front door.
Saturday May 12, 1987 Galilee General Hospital
Bethseda, MD 8:00 pm
As Lee and the boys quietly entered Amanda's room, he was relieved to see that she was sitting up and sipping on a Sprite.
"Mom!" both boys said as they rushed to their mother.
"Fellas!" she replied with a smile and held out her arms as best she could with being hooked up to an IV.
"Boy you look awful!" Philip exclaimed.
"Thanks you very much, Philip!" Amanda said wryly and then chuckled.
Jamie just looked at his mom. She did look rough. His thoughts started going rampant, What had she gone through? He really hadn't seriously thought about his mom being a spy too, but now he was pretty sure she was. When he came to this reality it put a sudden fear in him. What if something happened to his mom?
While Jamie was watching her, Amanda was watching her youngest wishing that she could know what was going through his mind. "You okay, Jamie?" Amanda asked with concern.
"I should be asking you that," Jamie said hesitantly.
Lee cleared his throat, "I'm going to go see if I can track down a doctor," and with that he left the three alone.
Amanda hated to see her husband leave, but understood that the boys needed them to be alone. "Honestly, I've felt better; but I should be back to normal in a couple of days," she said with a smile.
"What happened mom?" Philip asked with curosity.
"Your Grandmother and I were kidnapped from the mall parking lot."
"Why?" Jamie asked, but with a challenge in his voice.
"Who really ever knows why. Hey, I'm just glad the authorities found us." Amanda said trying to reassure her boys.
Jamie didn't want to push his mom, but he really had some questions. He decided he would wait, because now wasn't the time to demand answers. The way he figured it she just wanting to protect him and Philip from the horrors of real life because that's the way his mom was!
Lee had made his way back into the room after finding the doctor. He found out that Doc. Kelford had woken for a few minutes, but was currently unconscious again. The doctor told him that Amanda was doing great and expected her to be able to go home tomorrow afternoon.
Amanda looked up and gave Lee a small soft smile. He made his way over and gave her a tiny kiss, "The doctor said you should be able to leave tomorrow afternoon."
"Oh, good. I'm really ready to get out of here! How's your arm?"
"Fine just a little burned, " Lee said in embarressment.
"How'd you burn your arm, Lee?" Philip asked with curosity.
"You know guys we should probably let your mom rest. Why don't you two wait for me in the hall?" Lee waited for the boys to leave before he continued, "I'll pick you up tomorrow and take you to the Agency for your debriefing."
"She's going to be fine she's at home resting. We debriefed her in the Q-Bureau." Amand just shook her head okay at this information.
"Did they catch Baron Von Eiger?"
"No, there's red flags out at the airports; but nothing has showed up yet."
"What about Birol?" Amanda asked in a small somewhat scared voice.
"Birol?" Lee asked in a questioning tone.
"I'm not sure, but I remember something about Birol."
Lee let out a long sigh. Then with anquishness in his voice he said, "I'll look into it and make sure where he is. I'll be back later tonight."
"No, Lee you're exhausted. Go home and get some rest. I'll be fine!" She said in a caring tone. Then with authority she added, "I don't want to see you back in here tonight! Now get the boys and yourself home!"
Lee just smiled lovingly and kissed her good-bye.
Sunday May 13, 1987 4247 Maplewood Ave.
Arlington, VA 9:00 am
Philip heard the doorbell and figuring it was Lee went to answer the door. "Hey Lee, come on in."
"I brought some dounuts," Lee said as he offered the box to Philip.
"Thanks, Lee. Jamie there's dounuts!" Philip yelled as he ran to the kitchen.
Lee trailed his stepson to the kitchen and saw Dotty sitting in the family room on the couch. He walked over and handed her a coffee from the dounut shop, while kissing her on the cheek. "Feeling better?" he asked.
"Quite a bit better, thank you," she said as she patted him on the hand.
"Would you like a dounut?"
"Not right now, thanks."
Lee went and sat down on the opposite end of the couch and leaned his head back. He was exhausted and had a major headache. After he had dropped off the boys he had went back to the Agency to check on if they had located Von Eiger, which turned up nothing. He had also found out that Birol was still in a maxium security prison, and that there had been no activity from Karbala. He figured Amanda was probably blurring the two incidences. He had then went back to the hospital and tried to sleep in the waiting room; but this morning he made sure he'd left early enough to go home to shower and change. Besides, he didn't want Amanda to find out that he that he had been there all night. He let out a long sigh.
"A rough few days, son!" Dotty said with out any question in her voice. As she said this she reached out and touched his arm, not realizing it was the burnt one. Lee winced. "I'm sorry! How bad is it?" she said as she quickly pulled her hand away.
Lee looked at her and smiled. It was really nice having a family that cared about him, "It's okay! It's only a second degree burn. Maybe I'll go see Amanda and hopefully they will let her leave early."
"What happens now?" Dotty asked soberly.
Lee assumed she was talking about how to cope with what she had been through and also what she was to do with the information about their jobs. Lee patted Dotty on the hand and replied, "If you need to talk to a professional the Agency has a pyschologist that can help. As for a discussion with Amanda and me, how about we talk about this in a few days," Lee suggested.
Rising from the couch Lee headed out the back door to tell the boys bye. After telling Philip and Jamie that he would be bringing their mother home later that day; he made his way back through the living room. Lee told Dotty bye and that he would call if it was going to be late bringing Amanda home.
Sunday May 13, 1987 Billy's office, the Agency
Georgetown, MD 2:00 pm
Billy, Francine, Lee, and Dr. Quidd were in Billy's office having a conference while Amanda was up in the Q-Bureau lying down.
"I'm very impressed that all Amanda gave was her mantra over and over!" Francine said with awe in her voice.
"I'm estatic that they didn't get any information," Billy said with pride in his voice.
"It's too bad that Doc. Kelford doesn't remember anything that happened since his supper Wednesday night." Doc. Quidd said with a sigh. "They gave him some memory eraesing serum."
"That's just great! So do we think they will try kidnapping Amanda again?" Lee asked with concern.
"Let's hope they saw it was useless going through her," Francine added.
"I'm interested in her bring up the incident with Birol and Karbala," Doc. Quidd said with concern in his voice.
"What did you find out about them, Scarecrow?" Billy asked looking at Lee with a worried look on his face.
"Birol is still in a maxium security prison. There has been no activity from anyone in the Karbala group since his arrest. Plus there is no connection between Von Eiger and Addi Birol."
"She will have to be cleared by Pfaff before she goes back in the field. I'll make a note in her file for him to address her concern of Birol." Doctor Quidd started writing in his file.
"It's like Von Eiger just disappeared into thin air," Billy said with frustration as he threw the file on his desk. "All we can do for now is to have a watch out waiting for any activity," Billy added.
"How's Amanda's mom?" Billy asked Lee.
"Pretty good, but I think I'll set up an appointment with Dr. Pfaff for her."
"Probably not a bad idea," Quidd said as he rose to leave. He said his good-byes before leaving Billy's office. Francine picked up some files and headed out behind him.
Billy stood up and Lee followed suit. "I'll walk up to the Q-Bureau with you so I can talk to Amanda."
The two men walked out of the bullpen and to the elevator. They waited for it to arrive and when it did they got on. They got off at the Georgetown foyer, nodded to Mrs. Martson, and headed up the stairs. Neither man had spoken a word since exiting the bullpen, but both moved in companionable silence. Both were equally concerned about the well being of a woman that had made a place in each of their hearts.
Lee unlocked the door to the Q-Bureau and allowed Billy to enter before him. Lee saw Amanda sleeping on the couch and had to smile, what a remarkable woman she was! He walked over and gently shook her, "Amanda, honey, wake up," Lee said softly.
Amanda opened her eyes and slowly started sitting up. Blinking she covered a yawn and said, "Sorry, I must have dozed off."
"Amanda take the next week off. I want you to schedule a couple of appointments with Dr. Pfaff for next week. Also make one for your mother. You did a great job! You can be very proud of yourself. I know I'm proud of you!" Billy said. He then reached out, touched her shoulder, and left the room.
"Come on let's get those appointments made and then get you home."
"Sounds good to me!" Amanda said as she got up and let Lee lead her from the room.
Tuesday May 15, 1987 4247 Maplewood Ave.
Arlington, VA 3:00 pm
Dotty was thinking about her and Amanda's meetings with Dr. Pfaff that morning. "What an odd man," Dotty muttered outloud, while thinking about the doctor offering her ice cream and when she declined he ate it himself, while he had laid on the couch listening to her talk.
While Dotty was meeting with him, Amanda told her she was going to visit friends. Dotty tried to invision what Amanda's friends were like in this spy world of hers. Then while Amanda was meeting with Dr. Pfaff, Lee had taken her out to lunch so she didn't have to sit around the waiting room. She really figured that Lee was afraid she would do some snooping around where they worked. She had seen a room that said Documentation filming in progress. She would have to make a mental note to ask about that and about why their office said Film Library on the door, when it was called the Q-Bureau.
She then started remembering her and Lee's conversation after they had gotten back to the Agency. Amanda was still meeting with Dr. Pfaff and she remembered asking worriedly, "Is that normal for her to be taking that long?"
"She has more to deal with and she has to make sure that everything is dealt with properly to be able to go fully back to work," Lee had explained.
"You mean she could be out of a job?"
"No, just stuck behind a desk."
"And that's a bad thing?" she remembered asking pointedly.
"Probably not…but I don't think she would be very happy with it," Lee had said with a chuckle.
After another half an hour Amanda finally came out and she heard the doctor tell Amanda that he wanted to see her again Thursday morning. He had then raised his hand and called out, "Scarecrow, I don't think I've seen you in awhile. Why don't you make an appointment too?" To which Amanda laughed, but Lee just scrowled and mumbled something about tutti fruttie under his breath. She was learning a lot about this man that had become a big part of their lives.
Now they were back home , where she was sitting on the couch in the family room reading and Amanda was upstairs cleaning. They were waiting for Lee to get there so that they could talk. Joe was taking the boys out to eat and to a movie, so that they could have time to talk without little ears.
Dotty heard the doorbell ringing and Amanda opening the door. She could hear her daughter greet Lee and give him a kiss, and that made her smile. Amanda walked into the room carrying flowers and Lee followed carrying another bouquet. He walked over and handed them to Dotty with a smile.
"Thank you, Lee, they are beautiful," Dotty said as she rose from the couch, kissed Lee on the cheek, and went to put the flowers in a vase with water.
As she went back to the living room Amanda was on the couch and Lee was in a chair waiting for her. They both looked nervous. Dotty thought, good they should be nervous! She also smiled to herself and sat down on the opposite end of the couch from Amanda.
Dotty started by asking, "When, where, and how did you meet?"
Lee started by explaining that they had met at the train station where he was in desperate need of help. He added that Amanda had reluctantly offered to help, but because of circumstances couldn't fulfill her obligation.
Amanda took up from there and explained emphatically that under no fault of her own she couldn't accomplish what Lee had asked her to do, so he came looking for her.
Lee took back over and explained that in the end Amanda had figured out that his life was in danger and that she had saved him. His boss, Billy Melrose, was so impressed that he offered her a job.
Amanda explained that Lee wasn't thrilled and had made it hard for her and accuately wanted her to quit, but that Mr. Melrose had kept putting them together. At first she had done a lot of little jobs like typing and reports for Lee.
Lee interjected that Amanda had first become a Civilian Auxilary. Then as time went on she was given informal training, and finally was offered a full time job with formal training.
Amanda told her mother excitedly that she had just finished her agent candiate classes. That she had passed, and with a huge smile explained that she was now a full time agent.
Amazingly Dotty just sat and listened. It was almost too hard to believe what she was hearing. She also figured they were glossing over the finer details. Then she remembered when Amanda told her that she was a spy and she wouldn't believe her daughter. With regret in her voice she blurted out, "Amanda, I'm so sorry, you tried telling me and I didn't believe you."
"It's okay, mother. It was probably for the best anyways."
"A lot of things are starting to make sense now," Dotty said chuckling a little. "To think that I blamed the Ferginson's dog for tearing up my flower bed, it has been looking a lot better since you have been using the door, Lee." Dotty said while looking in his direction and giving him a wink. Then she spoke one word in a strangled voice, "California?"
"Mother I was really just in the wrong place at the wrong time," Amanda said as she moved over to give her mother a hug and Dotty returned it.
"Listen, Dotty, this is very important. You can't tell anyone what we do for a living. It could be very dangerous for all of us!" Lee said very sternly.
"You don't have to worry. I saw first hand how dangerous it is," Dotty said with a shrudder.
"We will try to answer as many questions as we can, but a lot of things are classified," Amanda added. "We will try to inform you about what we are doing or going as much as we are allowed," she continued.
Dotty just sat for a minute or two. It sure was a lot to take in. It was very surreal. Finally, she got up and said, "I think I'm going to take a long bath and then read a book in bed." Then she added, "Are you going to tell the boys about your jobs?"
"Not right now," both Lee and Amanda said together.
Dotty just nodded her head while she made her way over to the steps where she stopped at the bottom. She turned back around and cautiously asked, "Amanda, when you say you couldn't call because you were tied up; do you mean that you were literally tied up?"
Amanda looked at Lee and then back at her mother, she arched one eyebrow, and nervously chuckled.
"That's what I thought!" Dotty said soberly and walked up the stairs.
June 14, 1987 Virginia Beach, VA
1 month later
"This has been the best week that I can remember ever having," Lee said as he rolled over on his back and pulled Amanda over with him.
"Better than some exotic vacation spot," Amanda asked with a chuckle.
"Hawaii would have been great, but someone had to enform me that normal people just don't wisk their families away on a moments whim to a place like that," Lee replied with a mischievous smile and a wink.
"Hey, Lee, come with me out into the water," Philip called from the ocean.
"In a minute, Chief," Lee called back.
"Hey, Mom, Lee, look up and smile." Jamie said as he snapped their picture. It looked like it was going to be a great one. He knew what he was going to do with it once Lee took care of what he had talked to Philip and him about.
"Too bad your mother wouldn't come," Lee said with disappointment. "It sure would have been nice to have the whole family here."
"I think she is hoping that we will see how nice it would be if we were a family," Amanda replied with a chuckle.
"Then we better not disappoint her."
"What do you mean?" Amanda breathlessly whispered.
Lee pulled Amanda to a sitting position and then he himself got up on one knee and spoke tenderly, "Amanda would you do me the honor of marrying me again, but this time in front of our family and friends?" and then he took her engagement ring out of his pocket.
"Yes, but let's not wait long. This fall at the latest," she replied and gave him a long kiss. Lee then slipped the ring on her finger and added with a wink, "and we can try another
"I hear normal people do go to Hawaii on their honeymoons," Amanda added with a mischievous grin and then gave a harty laugh.
"Why you!" Lee said playfully and then tackled her to the blanket for another kiss.
"Looks like he asked," Philip stated.
"Looks like she said yes," Jamie said with a smile.
"Oh yeah, I've been meaning to talk to you about what we were discussing at dad's," Philip said.
"You mean about Lee and mom being spies?" Jamie replied as they made their way down the beach to give their mother and Lee some privacy.