As their C130 plane flew over the Pacific Ocean, Porter and Stonebridge stood at the operations table in their make-shift 'Crib' alongside Col. Grant, Maj. Sinclair, Sgt. Richmond and US Gen. Danvers.

"Thanks to General Danvers, we not only know where Marcus Houser has taken Frank Arlington but we are also on our way there." The Colonel stated while gesturing to the American who stood across from her, making him nod back in return.

"Considering the head start Arlington and Trojan have, I reckoned it was best to move as quickly as possible."

"Which is why you quickly picked us up at the local airport with no fuss whatsoever." John replied, gaining an impressed look from Michael.

"Yeah, you basically picked us up while staying on the runway for as short a time as possible, with us driving in on the lowered ramp back there, before taking off immediately afterwards." The younger man added.

"Well, as a General in the US Military, I can pretty much do whatever I want..." Danvers started to say back, before noting the knowing looks the others gave him in response.

"...but naturally, within reason. But you should be glad that I came along or else you would still be in the States right now and Arlington would be in the wind."

"Of course, General. The British Government appreciates all the assistance you can and have offered us." Eleanor thanked, gaining a knowing smirk from the older man.

"I wouldn't be so quick to thank me yet, Colonel. Because even though I've given access to our satellites, allowing you to track Arlington's plane, as well access to this plane so that you can follow him. I hope you're not assuming that there wouldn't be a catch to all this?" He replied in a friendly tone, though there was a firmness underlining his words.

"I never make assumptions, General. So, what are your terms?" Grant then said back, while the others remained quiet and watched.

"The Administration will allow you to take Mr. Arlington into custody and try him in the UK for his crimes against your Section and your Country, but he 'will' serve his sentence back in the States. Plus, this will be a joint mission to capture Arlington alive, with a Delta Force team that is already on it's way to join us in Dubai from the nearest US base. None of this is negotiable." Danvers stated with that arrogant tone so easily recognised from US Military Commanders.

But this did not phase the Colonel as she kept eye contact with her American superior, keeping her expression steady and stoic in the process.

"None of that sounds unfair, General Danvers, and I am certain that my superiors will agree. But there is one part of this that I want changed."

"And what is that, Colonel Grant?" He asked back curiously, making her gesture to Porter and Stonebridge in return.

"I want my team to go in first...alone. Your DF squad can hold the perimeter to ensure that our target does not get away, but only comes in if my men require assistance. Does that sound fair to you?"

The General just looked back at the Section-20 leader for a moment, before nodding back in return.

"That is fair, Colonel."

"Very good. So, back to the matter at hand. Richmond, where are Howser and Arlington right now?" Eleanor then said, making the Sergeant activate the main screen with her laptop.

"Using the American's satellite, we are currently tracking their plane over North Africa. Their flight path has been extrapolated and we believe their destination is Dubai." She explained while everyone's attention was on the satellite footage on the big screen.

"Let's be certain of that, shall we..." the Colonel then said as she joined Julia's side and looked at her screen.

"Check to see if there are any connections with Trojan Inc. within the city, like Hotel reservations." she added, gaining a nod from the Sergeant in return.

"You may continue to cross-reference any findings with the CIA database alongside your MI6 one as well." Danvers then chimed in.

A moment of key typing on her laptop's keyboard later and Richmond smirked as she brought up her findings on the main screen.

"Found one. There is a reservation under the name 'Travis' at the 'Burg Al Arab Hotel'."

This earned a confused look from Stonebridge in return, making him look at his colleague.

"You seem sure of yourself, Richmond. What makes you think that?"

This made her smirk and open another window on the main screen, one that had a lot of information about Howser and Trojan Inc.

"Because according to CIA records, Travis is one of the aliases of Marcus Howser and he uses it specifically when operating within the UAE."

"And there is no one else that does that particular practise on file." Grant acknowledged as she pointed at the data.

"Exactly, Ma'am."

"So, Howser has a passion for the Alamo then?" The former SBS soldier reasoned, gaining a smile from Porter in response.

"I did say that his facility looked like that place when we were approaching it, the older man replied to his friend.

"Yeah, I remember..." Michael added, before looking at the Intel on the screen.

"... so anyway, it looks like Howser has booked out the top three floors of the building, including the bar there, meaning it will likely be heavy defended."

"That is correct, Son. According to the records we confiscated from the San Antonio facility, Howser sent an order to his one in the UAE for two squads of soldiers to meet with him and his personal team at their destination."

Okay, so the plan is this..." Eleanor then said, gaining everyone's attention around the table.

"Once we land at Dubai, the Navy Seal team and ourselves will, subtly and without making ourselves known, make a perimeter around the hotel. Then Porter and Stonebridge will enter the building and head for the top 3 floors. The Seals meanwhile, will only engage if called upon by my team. That is still acceptable, General?" she asked, turning her attention to the older American.

"Yes, Colonel. The Administration has agreed to the terms of this joint operation." he replied, making the Section-20 Commander turn her gaze to both John and Michael.

"Sergeants, you will go under the guise of tourists, with only silenced M9s as your concealed weapons. Make your way to Howser and Arlington's location on the top floor, which is the most likely place that Trojan will be holding our target. You are to capture, not kill. Is that understood?" she explained, before giving the pair a very 'matter-of-fact' look.

"Understood, Colonel." both men replied in unison, earning a nod back from Grant.

"Very good."

"Colonel, I think we may have a limited time-frame for this operation." Richmond then said as she looked at the floor plans of the hotel on the laptop.

"What do you mean, Sergeant?" the older woman asked with a curious tone, while looking back at the main-screen in return.

"With their reservation of the hotel's top 3 floors, they also have access to it's helipad." Julia replied, gaining a thoughtful look from Stonebridge.

"So, they will be expecting an extraction via helicopter."

"Then we have no more time to lose, since we do not know when Arlington's ride will be arriving..." the Colonel added, before looking back to Richmond.

"...but we should keep an eye on the airspace around the area for when a helicopter starts approaching the building." she added, earning a nod back from the younger woman.

"Alright, People, we have a job to do." Eleanor then said, before everyone left the table to perform their duties.



A few hours later, Howser walked out of the elevator and into the hotel's 'Sky-view' restaurant, which was being guarded by two of his men who were dressed in grey suits and armed with sub-machine guns.

"Any problems, Boys?" he asked in a casual tone, making both men shake their heads in return.

"No, Boss, no problems at all. In fact, Mr. Arlington has been rather quiet to us and the others." one of the pair answered, earning a nod back in return.

"Alright, carry on and stay sharp." the head-merc replied, making both men acknowledge him with a casual salute before he left them and walked further into the restaurant.

Marcus then walked through the length of the room, acknowledging the other members of his personal team, casually dressed as well, as he walked past them, before coming up to the former US Liaison to the UK himself, who had not touched any of the food that was laid out on his table, preferring to look out of the nearby window at the view of the city as the sun was setting in the distance.

"I guess there is no sign of a helicopter approaching us yet?" Arlington asked while not even bothering to look over his shoulder at the Trojan Founder, who stopped just behind him and picked up a saltstick from the selection on the table.

"No, Frank. My other teams have secured the two floors below us and are keeping an eye out, but nothing so far..." he started to reply before taking a bite out of his snack.

"...but you are certain that Sharq's associates are coming? I mean, you did not even get a reply from the message you sent them three hours ago." the older man continued as he pointed over to the laptop lying on the same table, which made the fugitive American shake his head in response.

"Zahir assured me that I was important to both his and his associates plans and that if I ever needed their help, then they would come to my aid. And also, not to expect a reply message. This line of communication was only to be used once..." he explained, while still keeping his attention away from Howser.

", do not worry, Marcus, my ride will come. Just keep your eyes peeled for 20, since I have no doubt they will try something."

This brought a confident lopsided grin to the Merc's face as he stepped to his employer's side, looking over to him in response.

"I have a team on the floor below us and a team on the floor below that, not to mention my own personal team in this very room with us. And I also have a guy down in the Lobby keeping an eye out, so let them come. We're ready for them."

This finally made the former Politician snap as he glared at the Mercenary, who simply stared back casually.

"Well, if you had wiped your records back in San Antonio before we left, then neither Section 20 or my former employers would know where we are now, would they?!" he spat, which made the other mercs look back as Howser simply chuckled to himself calmly before placing a hand on Arlington's shoulder.

"Do I tell you how to do your job, Frank?" he asked with a firm yet friendly tone, which drained the anger from the other American like water in a sink, making him shake his head in return.


"Good, then don't tell me how to do mine." Marcus then coldly said back, narrowing his eyes as he stared daggers at his now fearful looking employer.

"There was nothing back home that could directly point to us coming here, only to some place in the UAE. And even if we too are now on unfriendly terms with the good ol US of A, then so be it. Because Trojan has enough work and resources outside of the Union, as well as being outside of it's jurisdiction..." he then explained before motioning for Arlington to sit down.

"'Now, relax. Everything is as I have already planned..." he continued before turning around and heading away, while the now nervous American fugitive sat down at his table and looked at the food.

"...and eat something. No one should waste this quality food."

Then one of the other mercs raised an arm as he smiled back at his boss, gaining the other's attention.

"Hey, Boss. If he doesn't want any of that, then can we eat it?"

"Only when the job is done, Mays, and not before. Stay focused." Howser said back firmly as he then walked back to the elevator, while the other mercs returned to their duties.

Meanwhile, Porter and Stonebridge arrived at the Hotel's main entrance dressed in civilian attire as they climbed out of a Dubain taxi.

"Zero, we have arrived at the Burg Al Arab." the latter said as both men took note of their surroundings.

"Roger that, Bravo-One. Everyone is in position on our end. You have a go." Sinclair replied over the com, which made the younger man nod to his comrade as they started for the main doors.

"Everything looks perfectly normal out here." Porter observed as they then entered the building, letting the doormen open the door for them as the two soldiers found themselves in the lobby, surrounded by other guests and hotel workers going about their business.

"And so does everything in here, though this place is a little too extravagant for my tastes." Michael said, earning a knowing smirk back from John-

"I hear that. Anyway, I bet Howser will have someone down here to…" he began to reply, only to have his friend tap his arm to gain his attention.

"Found him. At our 12 o'clock, the guy in a grey sweatshirt sitting on the red couch." Stonebridge replied, making the older soldier notice a guy in a grey sweatshirt reading a newspaper directly ahead.

"He hasn't spotted us..." Stonebridge started to say, only to be cut off as the Trojan merc looked up from the newspaper and laid eyes on the pair.

"...yet." the younger soldier added with a now disappointed tone before the enemy then looked round with a unsure stare at their surroundings, earning a knowing smirk from Porter in return.

"Hi there." he said back, which made the merc reach up for his ear piece.

"I don't think so." John added as he opened his jacket enough to show his sidearm to the other guy, making him stop as he looked between the new arrivals and everyone else in the lobby nervously before standing up and walking in the direction of the toilets.

"Come on. We've got to stop him before he alerts the others." Porter then said as the pair quickly but subtly followed the Merc lookout away from the lobby.

As soon as the young man entered the toilets, which were thankfully empty for now, he reached up for his ear piece once again. But he was quickly stopped as Porter stormed in and grabbed his arm.

The Merc quickly pulled out his own gun, only for Stonebridge to appear and snatch it out of his hand as his older friend twisted his arm behind his back and pushed him up against the wall.

"Easy, kid. Don't make this harder..." the former then began to say, before being silenced by the Trojan man as he flicked his head back and caught John in his face, making him let go and stagger back as Michael quickly stepped up while the enemy turned around to fight him.

Stonebridge threw a punch at the Merc which the latter quickly blocked and countered as he kicked the former in the chest, sending him into a hand dryer behind him.

"...than it needs to be." Porter finished as he quickly recovered and rushed at the enemy, tackling him him into the nearby water basins, breaking the tap of one of them as water sprayed up into the air and showered them.

The merc replied by grabbing the broken tap and smacking the older soldier in the face with it, knocking him away once again.

"Boss..." the young man then started to say into his com-link, only to be cut off as Stonebridge then grabbed him from behind and ripped the ear-piece and it's connected radio away.

"That's enough of that." he remarked before punching the merc in the face, knocking him out as the latter fell onto his back.

Michael quickly turned his attention to John and helped him back to his feet, with the older man picking up the handgun lying on the floor nearby as he got up.

"Sorry, John, I think he might have just outed us." Stonebridge said with some regret in his voice, only for Porter to look back at him with a stoic and ready expression.

"Then we better get moving. Don't want to keep them..." the older soldier started to say, before being cut off as a knife flew between both men's faces and stuck into the door. This made the pair both look back to see the merc sitting up near the basins with blood dripping from his nose, looking rather dazed and pissed at them.

"we don't have time for this." Porter then exclaimed, his words underlined with an aggressive streak as he yanked the blade from the door and threw it back at it's owner, hitting him square in the chest.

This made the young man gasp for air before his eyes rolled back into his head and he fell back onto the soaked ground as the broken tap continued to spray out water.

"Let's go." Stonebridge then replied as the pair then left the room, leaving the body where it lay.

Meanwhile, back in the Sky-view Bar. Howser had his hand up to his own ear-piece as he looked over at the Arlington, who was busy eating the lunch that had been prepared for him. The Trojan Inc. owner had a rather concerned look on his face as he turned around and looked to his own men and tapped the device.

"Okay, Boys. We have company, so get ready." he then said, before another voice spoke up over the com.

"Boss, just picked up a chopper on the radar. It's approaching the city limits from the north."

This made Marcus nod back in return as he brought his attention back to their asset.

"Alright. Time for plan B."


A moment later, Porter and Stonebridge stood in an elevator as it slowly moved up the Burg Al Arab. Both men had equipped their pistols and stood ready as they looked at the floor counter, which changed every 5 seconds as a cheerful tune played in the background.

"I have to admit, that is a nice tune." Porter then said with a content smirk, earning a surprised but similar look from Stonebridge in return.

"Yeah...?" he began to reply before bringing his gaze back to the elevator's floor counter, which now read '8... 9... 10...'.

"...but I've heard better."

"Anyway, lift music choices aside. We'll get off at floor 25 and make our way up via the stairwells, since they will have seen this lift heading their way and will be waiting for us." John then said, bringing the atmosphere back down to business as Michael nodded back.

"Right. And we should send the lift back down when we get out, since it might lull them into a false sense of security."

"Good idea. But we will have to take care of the mercs on all three floors to ensure that no one gets in our way to Arlington..." he started to say back, only to be cut off by Richmond's voice over their comms.

"Bravo, we have detected a helicopter on approach to your location. ETA nine minutes." Richmond reported, earning a nod from Porter in response.

"Roger that, Zero." he said before noting the number that just passed on the floor counter.

"23. Okay, get ready." he then stated, gaining a nod back from Stonebridge as both slipped their hands behind the backs and flicked the safeties of the guns to off.

On the 26th floor, a group of Howser's men aimed their guns at the elevator doors as the floor counter above it read '25'.

"It's stopped. Could be a false alarm?" one of them said with a tinge of hope in voice, gaining an uncertain expression from their squad leader.

"Could be..." he began to say, only for the counter to start going backwards as the elevator began it's descent.

"...but let's be sure. Wilkins, head to the nearest stairwell and check it out. Since we lost contact with our guy on the ground floor, we should stay alert."

Wilkins nodded back and started down the corridor to his right, reaching the stairwell door several meters from the others but still in view of them.

The young man then took a breath before opening the door and walking through, leaving the others to wait for an answer from him.

Several seconds passed as the squad leader kept his eyes focused on that door, while the others waited for orders.

"Wilkins, come in. Wilkins...Damn it..." he then spat while readying his weapon and glancing at the others.

"Get ready..." he ordered before tapping his ear-piece.

"Boss, they are..." he started to report, only to be cut off by the sight of a flashbang being thrown into view as it landed just a few meters from them by whoever was in the stairwell.

"Cover your eyes!" the guy then shouted, before the device exploded and enveloped them in bright flash of white light, making the group shield their faces. But as the effect of the flashbang started to diminish and the mercs slowly recovered, both Porter and Stonebridge stormed into the corridor and killed all of them in a quick and efficient manner with their silenced pistols.

"Nice. One floor down. It was lucky that guy had a flashbang on his person for us." the younger soldier remarked with a satisfied smirk, only to have his attention brought back to the matter at hand as John tapped him on the shoulder.

"Yeah, that was easier than expected, but upstairs will be more of a challenge now." John then observed as he picked up one of the dead mercs automatic weapons, holstering his pistol in return.

"Because Howser's personal team will be up there?" Stonebridge asked with a knowing tone, earning a nod from his older friend.

"Exactly. And they will be holed up in that bar pretty good…" he started to reply, before noticing a floorplan map on the wall nearby. Stonebridge joined his side and noticed a slight smirk appearing on Porter's face.

"Porter…?" he asked, his voice tinged with a hint of confusion, only for the dark-haired man to turn and give him a wide confident smile.

"I have an idea."


Meanwhile, back in the 'Sky-View' Bar. Trojan's mercenaries and Howser's personal team had set themselves up into a defensive formation around the room, surrounding the former American Politician who was cowering behind an up-turned table.

The soldiers stayed behind their improvised cover and trained all of their weapons on the double doors that made up the main entrance to the room, with the soft sobs of their objective being the only sounds to be heard.

"Any sign of them yet?" Howser then asked over the comms, making the lead soldier shake his head, while never taking his attention off the elevator doors in front of them.

"No, Boss. It's quiet." He replied, earning a cocky smirk from the comrade to his right.

"Yeah, too quiet." He joked, earning groans from the others around the room.

"Secure that shit, Mays. Stay alert!" Marcus replied in an aggressive tone, which made the merc in question simply smile and roll his eyes before turning off his radio.

"Come on. It's just two guys against all of us. They don't stand a…." he began to say to the others, only to be cut off as the sound of a rising elevator could be heard behind the doors.

"Shut it, Mays. Everyone, safeties off and get ready for a fight." The squad leader then shouted to the others, just as the elevator arrived and the doors began to open.

Every one of the mercs then looked down the iron-sights of their weapons and breathed out a little as they prepared to fire at who they thought would appear inside of the elevator.

But as soon the doors fully opened, the group all shared the same confused expression as the elevator looked completely empty.

"What the hell?!" Mays was the first to say, before suddenly the glimpse of someone standing at the far left of the elevator interior could be seen.

"Contact!" another mercs shouted as he went to fire on what he saw, but before that could happen, a gunshot echoed through the room and the man fell to the ground with a bleeding bullet hole in the back of his head.

"Behind us!" the squad leader then exclaimed in a panicked tone as they turned to fire on Stonebridge, who was standing behind the bar.

"Kill the bastard!" one of them shouted as they opened fire, with their bullets shattering the bottles of alcohol stationed on the shelves behind the Brit, who narrowly managed to evade the barrage as he dived behind the bar for cover as glass and liquid showered over him.

"Where's the other…?" one of the mercs then began to say, before a look of realisation came over his face, making him turn to see Porter step out from cover and fire on the group.

His fire ripped through three of the mercs, spraying blood over the furniture behind them, while the remaining men returned their attention to him and sprayed bullets in his direction.

But John was quick enough to get behind one of the upturned tables for cover while the bullets flew over-head and impacted the walls behind him, which Michael took as his sign to come out of cover once again, shooting one man in the head and another through the chest.

"Boss, we're…!" the squad leader then exclaimed into his com-link with a panicky tone as his men were being gunned down from both directions, only to be cut off as he was hit in the shoulder, with the force knocking him down to the ground.

"…arrrgh! Fuck!" he grimaced as he was hit by white hot pain while covering the wound with his hand, which was now covered in blood as it erupted out.

But then as the sounds of bullets flying over head stopped, he caught a glimpse of a person directly to his left, which made his instincts kick in and he quickly grabbed his side-arm and aimed it in that direction.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you." Porter strongly suggested as he found the gun aimed directly at him as he stood over the injured merc, with his own weapon pointed back at his enemy's face.

"It's clear, everyone's down." Stonebridge then stated as he came out from behind the bar and looked around the room with weapon ready, earning a nod from his older comrade while maintaining eye contact with the bloodied soldier on the floor,

"Okay, Michael, secure Arlington and let's get out of here." John replied, which made a switch flip in the merc, who simply screamed as he started to pull the trigger.

"NOOOO!" he cried out, only for the former SAS man to fire first and put one directly between the other's eyes, before looking up a Stonebridge.

"Michael, what's wrong?" John asked, having noticed the confused and questioning expression on his young colleague's face as he looked between the cowering Politician and the dozen bodies lying dead around them.

"Something's wrong…" Stonebridge started to say while cautiously approaching their target, keeping his weapon ready as he did so.

"All of Trojan's remaining mercs were in here guarding 'this man', including Howser's own team. But where is he? There's no way he would not be by this guy's side when all this went down." He added, earning a cautious look from John in return as the latter raised his own weapon up at their objective.

"Careful, Michael."

"Yeah…" the former SBS soldier responded before grabbing the whimpering suited man by the shoulder and pulling him up on to his knees.

"Come on, get up….!?" He began to say, only for his and Porter's eyes to widen in unison as they saw that firstly, the man was not Arlington, but was the Hotel's barman. And secondly, he had an improvised bomb strapped to his chest and it's timer read five seconds and counting.

"Fucking move!" Porter exclaimed as he and Stonebridge both instinctively rushed for the bar, with them diving over it just before the bomb exploded, killing the innocent man and destroying the room as it's windows shattered and rained down glass on the ground far below.


After what felt like an eternity had passed in the blackness of oblivion, John opened his eyes to find himself curled up on the ground between the bar and it's liquor shelf covered in dust and bits of debris.

The deafening sound of the explosion still ringing in his ears as he slowly got up and patted the dust and small debris off himself.

"Michael! You all right?" he asked, barely hearing his own voice, noticing the younger man doing the same as he used the bar to get himself onto his feet.

"…Yeah, absolutely fantastic, Mate." Stonebridge replied as both men looked around the room to see the utter destruction that one explosive device had done, complete with cold wind blowing into the now windowless room.

"Bravo! Bravo, come in!" Richmond's voice suddenly spoke up on their comms, making Porter tap his ear-piece in return.

"Zero, Bravo One and Two standing by." He said back, earning a sigh of relief from the female Sergeant.

"They're alive, Colonel." Julia could be heard saying, before Grant then spoke up in response.

"Porter, Stonebridge, are you both alright?" she replied with a tinge of care in her otherwise professional and stoic tone, gaining a nod from the older man as he looked over to Michael, who grimaced a little as he picked up his sub-machine gun from the floor.

"We're a little banged up, Ma'am. But we're good to go." John answered with a heavy breath, before his friend passed him his weapon.

"Good, because we're running low on time. The gunfire and that explosion has resulted in the hotel being evacuated and the local authorities being called." Eleanor explained.

"Also, Sergeants, that Chopper is only 2 minutes out." Sinclair then jumped in, earning a perceptive expression from the former SBS soldier.

"There's only one place Arlington and Howser will be." Stonebridge then said, gaining a knowing look from Porter in response.

"Exactly." He replied, which brought the Colonel back onto the Comm line.

"Well, you both know what needs to be done, Gentlemen." She said in no uncertain terms, making both men nod back stoically as they readied their weapons.

"Yes, Ma'am." They answered in unison, before they both shook off the aches and pains and left the scorched and destroyed Sky-view bar behind, heading for the top floor and the helipad.

Meanwhile, Arlington stood in the center of the helipad, feeling the wind on his face as he looked out at the sunset on the horizon.

Standing there in that place felt like being on the top of the world, far away from the problems that had been plaguing him over the past week.

'It's nearly over.' He thought as a relieved smile started to grow on his face, because in the distance he could see the approaching helicopter and his salvation closing in on his position.

"Arlington, stay where you are!" a very British voice suddenly called out, making the American look over his shoulder to see Stonebridge exiting the doorway with weapon ready.

But before anything else could be said or done, Howser, who had been hiding at side of the doorway, simultaneously disarmed the Brit and knocked him down the ground with a punch to the face.

"Michael!" Porter then exclaimed as he charged out a split second later, only for the Trojan Founder to grab his weapon and slam it into the former's face, making him fall back against the wall.

"It's alright, Frank. I've got this." Marcus said back in a calm and confident tone as he threw Porter's weapon aside and equipped his sidearm, quickly returning his attention to the British soldiers as they recovered.

"I would say that it's a pleasure to finally meet you boys, but you've been a colossal pain in my ass for this entire job." He then said, letting some of his distaste creep out in his tone, which brought smirks to Porter and Stonebridge's faces as they glanced over at each other.

"I can't say I feel bad about that. Michael, what about you?" the former then said, making the latter spit out a bit of blood and wipe his mouth.

"Nah, Mate. Don't feel bad about it either." He replied, bringing a grin to Howser's face as he pointed down at them.

"You know, despite your killing of all my men here, you both are two of the finest soldiers I have ever seen and I can't help but like you..." he started to say, keeping his weapon aimed at the pair as they looked at him with disbelieving expressions.

" why not cross over and join my team? My work pays better than anything you get with Queen and Country."

"You're kidding, right?" Michael replied, earning a surprised but still earnest stare from the Trojan founder.

"Not at all. With the two of you on my team, we would make a killing. Why wouldn't you want to do this? Did I mention the money?"

"Yeah, heard that. But you're wasting your breath, because we were never in this line of work for the money..." Porter then began to reply, bringing the American's confused look to him.

"Then for what? Honor? Duty? Please, spare me that shit. I was in your line of work longer than you two and can tell you that it is all meaningless. No matter what government you work for, they will use you up and shit you out of their ass with little to no thought of what you bled for them to remain in power. My way is only one that keeps people like us prominent and relevant to the world without sacrificing ourselves for pointless agendas that change on a whim. Why would you say no to that?" Howser spat back as both to their feet.

"Like you said, we're soldiers. We have a job to do." John said with a determined expression, one shared by Michael.

"And you're standing in our way." The younger man added, earning a chuckle from Marcus in response as he stared back undeterred.

"I can see that. But I've got news for you both. You're not getting past me and my employer will be picked up and going God knows where any minute now. I can hear that helicopter getting even closer..." he began to say, still keeping his side-arm pointed in their direction.

"...but I want to see what you've got, so throw away those side-arms you've got tucked away and fight me."

Both Porter and Stonebridge glanced at each other with knowing looks, nodded back before taking out their weapons and tossing them aside.

"Very good..." the Trojan Founder started to reply as he too threw his handgun away and readied himself for a fight, clenching his fists and smirking confidently.

", bring it!" He dared, which made both Porter and Stonebridge charge at him in unison.

Meanwhile, just several meters away. Arlington was still waiting on the helipad as he kept splitting his attention between the approaching helicopter and Howser's efforts to keep Section 20 at bay.

'That's good, Howser. Just keep them back for another minute longer...' the former Politician thought as he watched the three fight, with the American Merc keeping the two Brits busy, as a quiet confident smirk befell his face.

But not a split second after he returned his attention to his approaching salvation, Michael then managed to hit Howser with a left hook, knocking the American back just enough to give the Section-20 agents a little breathing room.

"Nice hit..." Marcus replied with a complimentary tone as he felt his jaw, though his confidence with the two of them was unshaken.

"...but you're still not getting past me."

John looked past their obstacle and saw the chopper closing in on their location, making him glance over to his comrade with a knowing expression.

With Arlington's imminent escape looking ever so more set in stone to happen, both soldiers knew what they had to do. They knew that this was going to be their last chance, and no words were need to be said as the pair nodded back to each other before returning their gaze back to Howser.

"Come on!" The older American snarled at them, gesturing with his hands at them.

"Arrrgh!" Porter cried out as he then charged at Marcus, tackling the Merc leader as he grabbed him low around his waist tightly.

Howser though simply replied by elbowing the former SAS soldier in the back, making him let go with a grimace as he started to keel over.

But just as the Trojan founder was about to knee him in the face, Stonebridge hit him square in the face once more.

"Gagh!" The former spat as he took a step back and tried to quickly recover.

Porter though, feigned injury and swiftly jumped back to his feet and delivered a perfect front kick directly into Howser's chest, winding him as he fell back onto his ass.

Michael was just as quick as he picked up one of the trio's handguns and kicked over the other in his friend's direction.

", you...don't..." Marcus gasped as he tried to intercept the pistol as it slid towards Porter, but the older Brit answered by stamping on the other's hand, making him cry out in pain.

"Shut it and stay down!" He replied while picking up the gun, while Stonebridge covered the beaten American with his weapon.

"John, Go!" The latter Brit then said in an urgent tone, making Porter turn his attention to the helipad, where the black helicopter had arrived and was hovering just low enough for Arlington to climb in as the former politician rushed over to it.

"ARLINGTON...!" John shouted while he ran after their target, aiming his weapon as he did so.

But Frank ignored his warning as he stepped up to the chopper, whose door opened up to reveal a dark-skinned man wearing shades and holding an assault rifle, who suddenly pointed it at the American fugitive.

"What in the...?!" He started to exclaim, only to be cut off as the unknown man then turned the weapon in Porter's direction and shot him threw his left thigh.

"Arraagh!" The older Brit grimaced as he lost his balance and fell to the floor, blood quickly staining his trousers as it seeped out of the wound.

But even though he now had a pain like a white-hot poker surging through his body from his leg, John fought through it and continued to aim at Alrington with his pistol.

"ARLINGTON!" the American heard as he sighed and turned back to the mysterious shooter, only for his and Porter's eyes to widen in surprise, as the unknown arrival turned his weapon on the former and opened fire.

"NO!" John exclaimed as both he, Stonebridge and Howser could only look on in shock as blood sprayed out through the gunshot wounds on his back as he fell to the ground in a heap.

The wounded Brit then looked back to the unknown man, who merely saluted him in response with a satisfied smirk.

"Damn you!" Porter muttered angrily as he then fired his handgun at the chopper, but the door was quickly closed in response, only for his shots to hit elsewhere on the vehicle as it then turned away and left the building.

"Bravo, report!" Grant could be heard saying over the pair's comms, making Stonebridge tap his earpiece in response as looked between his prisoner and Porter's situation while keeping his gun aimed at the Trojan Inc. Founder.

"Zero, this is Bravo-One. We have Howser, but our target is dead. I repeat, Arlington is dead." He replied with a disappointed and regretful tone, resulting in a couple of seconds of silence passing by before Major Sinclair spoke up instead.

"We read you, Bravo-One. We need to extract you before the local Authorities get there. Can you get to the fire escape on the Hotel's east side?" he asked in his usual all business tone, which made John slowly get to his feet as Michael gently shook his head.

"Both Howser and I are good to go, but Porter has been injured…" the younger soldier answered, which made his colleague tap his ear-piece as he stood up and winced, having just put some pressure on his injured leg.

"I'll be fine. We're on the move. Over." He said back in a pained tone while aiming his own sidearm at their prisoner, while gaining a resigned and reluctant expression from Stonebridge who then pulled the American merc to his feet.

"Come on, We've got to go." He said before all three of them started for the stairs, only for Porter to take one last look back at the Arlington's lifeless body which remained there on the helipad behind them.

"John, you coming?" his younger friend then asked, earning a nod back from the former SAS soldier as he returned his attention to the others and joined them.

"Yeah, Mate. Let's get out of here."


"So, Arlington is dead?" General Danvers asked as he stood with Colonel Grant at the Operations table in the center of the Crib, which was currently located in an abandoned hanger at a Dubai airport.

Eleanor nodded back in confirmation as she sighed in return.

"Unfortunately, that is true, General. My men both confirmed in their debriefing that an individual they could not identify, riding in the helicopter that was supposed to aid in Arlington's escape, instead shot the American dead. Even Marcus Howser was surprised at that turn of events, he said as much in our interrogation of him." She replied, bringing a disappointed yet understanding look from the older officer.

"That is unfortunate, Colonel. But this wasn't all for nothing, since you and your section have helped the Administration and I stop an illegal operation by one of our own people and an American PMC."

This brought a half disguised questioning look to Grant's face as she looked back at him.

"I am curious, General. If Arlington had been successful in his plan with the Taliban, whatever it may have ended up being, would your superiors have declared it illegal or have given him a pat on the back?" she asked, which made Danvers smirk in return.

"I guess we will never know, Colonel. But I can speak for myself when I say, that I would never deal under the table with enemies of the United States of America. Anyone who does is a traitor in my view and would be treated as such."

The Section-20 commander smiled warmly back before noticing Sinclair walking up to them with Howser, making her gesture to the American to turn his attention that way.

"I'm glad to hear that, General, and I would like to turn over this man to your Administration, as I am sure he has much to answer for." She then said, making the American nod back in agreement as he looked back at the former soldier turned Merc with a distasteful gaze.

"And you would be correct in that assessment, thank you…" he started to answer, which made Howser look away in sombre disgust, turning his attention down to his bound hands.

"…you know, he used to be a great soldier. What a disappointment he has become." The General added before returning his eyes back to Grant.

"You should know that my people are dealing with any fallout from events that took place at the Burj Al Arab. Consider it an 'apology' for what one of own did to your people." He then concluded, with those last words underlined with a regretful tone.

"Thank you, General." The Colonel replied, earning a nod back from Danvers before he then grabbed Howser's arm and escorted the merc out, leaving Grant and Sinclair there in the center of the Crib.

"How is Porter?" Eleanor then said as she looked between her second and the Infirmary, seeing the soldier in question having his legged looked at by one of the Section's medics as Stonebridge stood with him.

"His leg wound is superficial. The Sergeant will be fine. How are you, Colonel?" the Major asked in his usual no nonsense tone, which brought the older woman's full attention to him as a thoughtful but annoyed expression befell her face.

"We were this close to catching that pathetic weasel and finding out what this was all about." She then snapped as her disappointment and irritation came out, which made Oliver smirk in return.

"Well, that is a very colourful description of Arlington, Ma'am, and it is not without merit, considering that he was a politician." He replied, which made the Colonel chuckle to herself before sighing.

"Very funny, Major…" she said before her expression became stoic and professional once again.

"…when we get back home, will you please continue the interrogation of Zahir Sharq? Because whatever this how thing was ultimately about…I am certain that this was only the beginning."

"Of course, Ma'am. I'll see to it." The Major answered before taking his leave, while Grant walked the other way to her office.

But she stopped for one moment and looked over to the Infirmary once more, noticing Richmond walking towards it with a bottle in hand, making the Section Commander smile a little before she then carried on her way.

"So, Doctor, is he going to live?" Stonebridge asked in a teasing tone, which made John sigh and shake his head in disbelief.

"Very funny, Mate." He replied, feigning annoyance as the medic smirked in response.

"As I told Major Sinclair, the Sergeant here will be fine. He just needs to rest the leg for a few days, that's all. Now if you will both excuse me." He replied before packing up the medical kit and leaving the two there.

"Well, I'm just glad that 'guy' wasn't that good of a shot." Michael added, earning a thoughtful expression from Porter in return.

"No, Michael. Whoever that was, he is a very good shot. He didn't want me dead, just that I couldn't reach Arlington."

"And I guess, that Arlington was too much of a security risk to take with them. I mean, they had more than enough time to get him on that helicopter." The younger soldier added, gaining a nod back from the former SAS operative.

"Yeah, the whole thing stinks…" he started to say, making the other Sergeant stare back at him with a concerned expression.

"How do you feel about how this turned out, John?"

This brought John's eyes to meet his own, before the former started to look into the distance as he answered.

"If I'm honest, Michael, I am glad that Arlington is dead, since he was responsible for the deaths of my friends. But…this whole thing has left me feeling like a glass half full. And I don't like that, not one bit."

"But you must be feeling better for no longer being a fugitive?" Richmond then said, gaining both men's attention as she joined them.

"Yes, I will admit that does feel good." John answered with an honest and relieved smile, while Michael noticed that the female Sergeant was carrying something.

"What's that you have there, Richmond?" he asked, making her show off the bottle of scotch and three shot glasses.

"I know that we are technically still on duty, but I thought we should drink a toast to our fallen comrades." She said with an unsure smile, which made Porter smile back warmly in return.

"I think that's a good idea." He said back, making her mirror his expression before handing both men a glass and filling it with the alcoholic beverage.

John then raised his glass and gave the pair a sad smile as he remembered those he lost.

"To Gerald, to Hugh, to Layla…" he said, with a picture of each one appearing in his mind as he said their names, before one more face came up and her beautiful smile made him stop as he remembered her warmth and how she made him feel.

" Danni." He then said, with his voice wobbling just a little on the last name, which made both Michael and Julia nod back and raise their own glasses in response.

"To them." They said in unison before the three then downed the drinks in one go.

"Thank you." The older man then said in an appreciative tone, having kept himself under control.

The trio were then approached by Colonel Grant, which caused the three of them to straighten up, much to their leader's dismay.

"At ease." She replied before looking at both Stonebridge and Richmond.

"Sergeants, I would like to speak with Porter alone, so if you could…"

"Of course, Ma'am." Michael quickly replied with his female colleague nodding back also, before the pair then left the area.

Eleanor then moved to position herself in front of John, who remained where he was, sitting on the gurney.

"John, I want you to know that you did a really good job out there with Michael, despite the mission not having the result that we would have wanted, and will once more offer you a chance to rejoin Section 20." she then said, which made the former SAS soldier sigh as he looked down at the ground.

"Eleanor, still as persistent as I remember..." he replied with a knowing smirk, before looking up at her with a tired but content expression.

"...I know you would like an answer now. But the only thing I want to focus on right now, is seeing my daughter. I hope you can understand that?"

This gained a similar smile from Grant in return as she nodded back in agreement.

"I understand perfectly, John. I'll make sure you see Alexandra as soon as we touch down back home..." she started to say, before placing a hand on his shoulder.

"In the meantime, rest up. It will be another couple of hours before the Crib has been completely dismantled and we're ready to leave."

"Is that an order, Eleanor?" He teased with a lopsided grin, which earned a similar expression from her.

"Do I need to make it one?"

This earned a slight grimace from the soldier as he lifted his hurt leg hack onto the gurney, lying down as he did so.

"No. I'm good here. Thanks." He answered, before the Colonel smiled and walked away.


The next day, in the tidy and pleasant living-room in the home of the late Hugh Collinson. A teenage blond-haired girl sat on the couch and was reading a book, when the door bell was suddenly rung.

Jenny, the deceased Section 20 Commander's widow, walked down the stairs and into the foyer,

"Don't worry, Alex, I'll get it.'" She called while approaching the front door, with which she could see there was someone standing on the other side through it's window, but it was blurry due to it's stained glass design.

"Hello. Who is i…." the lady began to say as she opened the door, only to stop as her eyes widened in surprise.

"…John?!" she finished in a disbelieving tone, which made him smile back sadly.

"Hi, Jenny…" he said while his expression became one of regret as he saw her own face begin to change, with ambivalence taking over.

"…I'm so sorry about Hugh."

This made her eyes start to water as her lip began to shake, which Porter noticed and took a step toward her as she stepped back.

"No, I should be apologising to you. I know what he did…to your friends and to you." She replied in an ashamed tone, only for the soldier to embrace her and rest her head on his shoulder as she started to cry softly.

"Hugh made one mistake in Iraq and his fear over the consequences stopped him from coming clean…" John then began to explain as he held her in his arms.

"…it was a decision that haunted him over these last seven years. But in the end, when it mattered most. Hugh helped me escape the Taliban, sacrificing himself so that I could come home…" he continued, before the pair separated and looked into each other's eyes.

"Hugh died a hero, Jenny. That's how I choose to remember him….and you should to."

The widow wiped her tears away and nodded back, before looking at the older man and smiling gently at him.

"Hugh didn't deserve you as a friend, John. But if you could forgive him for what happened, then perhaps I can too. After all, it all makes sense now. Hugh never was really the same after Iraq…" she then started to say with a thoughtful look, while Porter listened.

"…like he was carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. I guess, he thought that looking out for you during the last seven years would help redeem his mistake…for what that did to your life. But if he died saving you, then I hope he now knows some semblance of peace."

John nodded back in return.

"As do I, Jenny. As do I."

But then as the two looked at each other, another voice caught the soldier's attention, making him look past the widow into the living room behind her.

"Jenny, who is…." A younger voice spoke before stopping as the teenager stepped around the corner, her own eyes widening in surprise as she found herself staring at her father.


This made Porter's expression soften more as a loving smile graced his face, locking his eyes on her own.

"Hello, Lexie." He said with a warm and affectionate tone, which made Jenny smile as she stepped aside, leaving nothing between the man and his daughter.

"Dad?" she muttered under her breath, not sure if she could believe what she was looking at, but he simply maintained his smile and held out his hands to her.

"It's me."

The look on Alex's face then changed from bewildered to elated as she then ran to her father and leapt into his arms, with the two embracing as they hugged each other tightly.

"I've missed you, Sweetheart. So very much." He confessed, as she started to cry happily, making his eyes begin to water as well.

"I thought you might have been…." She then started to sob, only for him to put his hand to the back of her head and keep it on his chest.

"I will always come back to you, Lexie. Always."

The next day

London, MI6 Headquarters

Colonel Grant sat at her desk in her office with Sinclair standing on her right and Stonebridge opposite her, with the latter two listening as she was talking. But this was stopped as there was a knock at the door, which made them stop and look back, which made the youngest of the three smirk in response.

"Hello, Porter. What can we do for you today?" Eleanor asked, both the Major and Sergeant remained quiet.

"Well, I'm here to accept your offer, Colonel." The former SAS soldier replied, gaining a knowing look from the superior as she waited to hear his next words.

"Sergeant John Porter, reporting for duty." He added with a smile, which she reciprocated as she gestured to the chair next to Stonebridge.

"Then please join us, Sergeant."

John then sat down, which made Michael lean over to him in turn.

"Couldn't keep away, could you, Mate?" he asked with a smirk, gaining one back from Porter before the pair returned their attention to the Colonel.

"Now, as I was saying. I had the Major here continue our interrogation of Zahir Sharq, hoping to get any new information out of him about what Arlington had been planning and who his associates were." She explained, which made Porter look back with a curious expression.

"And did we, Colonel?"

"Major?" Grant then said, gesturing to Sinclair to take the floor.

"Sergeants, our guest has been very reluctant to share any new information with us as of this time, but he did give me two names that may be linked to our investigation." He explained, making everyone there look at him with interested expressions.

"And they were?" Stonebridge queried.

"A person called Latif and something known only as 'Dawn'."

The End

Porter and Stonebridge will return

A/N: I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have writing it. Please, feel free to let me know what you thought of this chapter and the story as a whole. And thank you for reading my story, it is much appreciated.