Camping Trip XI: Confrontation

I think I just realized how short these parts have been getting. Well, as you may have noticed, this is an exception. Of course, if I hadn't gone and hurt my friggen' finger it wouldn't be late. Good news is it isn't broken, but I'm still typing semi-one-handed so it slows things down.

Camping Trip XI: Confrontation

Ryo held his gun at his shoulder as he crept along the factory wall, scanning the cluttered room for a sign of Kaitlin's passing. But the dim light seeping through the boards of the windows only helped to aid whatever cover she'd taken. Hearing something to his right he turned, and saw her pointing a handgun at him. He dodged behind a rusting piece of machinery as she fired a round. They obviously had a stock of weapons in the factory. Ryo jumped out to fire a shot, but Kaitlin had already taken cover. He dodged behind a support beam, trying to listen for her again. "You're never going to escape, Selm! You might as well hand yourself in." He called out to her.
"I might not get out of here uncaught, but as long as I take you out, McClane, I don't care! You, your boyfriend, and whoever you have out their backing you up! Ethan's dead because of you"
Ryo dodged for the next cover, firing a shot in the direction of her voice. He heard the shot clunk dully against metal and cursed silently. He had to keep her talking until Drake and their back-up arrived.
"And Javis too! The traitor! He had to have seen your back-up"
Ryo froze. That meant there was someone else out there. Was that why JJ hadn't been able to fire a second shot? But why hadn't this third party warned Kaitlin and Ethan about JJ? He had to have been out there already when they arrived. He had to have seen Drake leave - know where he was going...shit! Dee was still out there - and tied up at that! "Who's Javis?"
"The third bird that flew the coop. We worked together to get out of prison. Javis had been there the longest. Over ten years, I understand. Knew how everything ran like clockwork. Only reason we bothered to involve him. Useless otherwise, paralyzed from the waist down. But he wasn't always so helpless. Murdered a handful of people - some cops included, it seems. Got shot in his arrest, I suppose. Never talked about it"
Ryo tried to put a case to the info Kaitlin was shelling out, but his mind drew a blank. Surely something like that would have made the newspapers...A scuffle to his left alerted him to Kaitlin's presence and he dodged a new round of bullets, diving under a new cover. "Sounds like you three worked well why would he betray you"
"He was a whiner, not like Ethan. Ethan never complained...Damn you, McClane!" Another round hit above him, and clanked into the metal barrels he'd dived behind. It was a useless act, and Kaitlin knew it. She'd fired it to vent her rage. Tears blurred her vision and she shook them away. "I'm going to kill you, you know...It's just a matter of time. Shouldn't have come inside. This is our hideout, and I know my way around." Slipping off her boots she climbed up a nearby ladder. "Peek-a-boo, I see you"
Ryo's head shot up, spotting her on the ladder before she fired.

Drake paced the gravel grounds of the park's head office. Though a part of him wanted to head back to factory, he'd been ordered to atleast get the park's security to back him up before going back. The problem was the park security had been out and was taking forever to get back to the office! At this rate he was beginning to think his police back-up would arrive first. It wasn't like he'd never had to leave friends and coworkers in dangerous situations before. It was part of the job, and he knew JJ and Ryo were both capable officers. But they still didn't know all the details of the situation, and that bothered him. They could just be squaring off against the two criminls that had a vendetta for Ryo, or there could be a dozen convicts hiding out in the factory. But it wasn't as simple as that, really. Something just had him on edge, and he didn't like it. Was he worried that Ryo would be too centered on Dee to maintain his professionalism? No, Ryo might have been going off half-cocked before they'd caught up with him, but he'd calmed down enough for the cop to come through. It was something else. Blue Sense perhaps. Something telling him time was running out. Giving up on orders, he climbed back into the van and started for the factory.

Dee had managed to pull himself to a sitting position alongside Ethan. His hands were still behind him as he searched the dead man's coat for a pocket knife he knew he'd seen him with earlier. Finally as he searched the suit jacket's inside pocket his hands closed on the cold metal handle of the knife. Pulling it out, he flicked it open, positioning it so the blade was against the ropes holding his wrists and forearms tightly together and began to saw at them. The knife was sharp, but the rope was thick, and they'd gone three-quarters up his forearms. It would take some time to get loose.
He glanced out at the silent woods, wondering why JJ hadn't come to back Ryo up. He knew some guy called Javis was out there, but he also knew he'd lied about who was there to Ethan when he'd asked. Unless JJ had caught sight of him and given chase as he tried to escape. But, no, the younger cop knew Ryo was counting on him to back him up, and though there were times he hated to admit it the kid was always a professional when it came to that. So he could be in trouble, but judging from the shots that rang occassionally fom the factory, so was Ryo. Torn between who to help, he just kept sawing, hoping Drake and their back-up would arrive soon enough to spare him the decision.

"Hello, Jamie. Surprised to see me?" Javis asked, a thick branch still held in both hands.
JJ could only stare for a minute, one hand holding his broken wrist. "Javis..." He finally got out. "You"
"I'm supposed to be in high security prison for parole. I remember. Just like I remember how I got there...just like I remember why I can't walk anymore..." The red-head's eyes narrowed, and he tightened the grip on the branch.
"Trust me, Javis. I remember too." Blue eyes were warring between a professional calm, and other emotions. Rage, sorrow; fear. He took a deep breath, reminding himself silently that back-up was on the way. That he had to keep control.
"Oh? I guess you've come to terms with it all then, too, huh? Seeing as Ethan's dead out there, and you don't seem the least bit remorseful"
JJ's jaw clenched, his good hand squeezing the broken wrist tightly, the pain keeping him focused. "I did what I had to"
"Now are we talking about Ethan or me"
"I'm surprised you're so calm. But I forgot, you're a cop now. Or do you think that I can't hurt you because I can't walk over there?" Javis asked him, watching him.
"I know better than to underestimate you. You found and shot your way through a police safe house." JJ replied, wondering if he could reach his rifle. It was useless to him with his broken wrist, but it wasn't useless to Javis, and he could reach it with ease.
"And got taken down by the sixteen year old punk I was there to take out." Javis hissed. "So, why haven't you pulled your handgun yet? Oh, right, you gave it to your friend McClane, didn't you"
JJ's eyes widened a fraction, registering that he knew he'd given Ryo the gun and knowing he couldn't have seen that and not Drake. That meant he knew back up was on the way. So why stall?
He dived for the gun just as Javis reached for it. Bringing up the arm with the broken wrist and allowing it to take the painful hit of the branch that he'd expected. He managed to yank the rifle out of his grip - sending it crashing into the underbrush, only for Javis' branch to slam into his head. He rolled away, vision swimming and head pounding as he forced himself to sit up. "You'll never get out of here. Should have run when you had the chance." JJ told him, blinking to clear his vision. He could hear Javis moving, but where to?
"And pass up my chance at revenge? Don't you know me better? Isn't that why I killed Alan? Maybe I should stick around and take out your blonde friend when he returns"
Wincing from the pain he cleared his vision enough to open his eyes to see, only to have his legs knocked out from under him. He vaguely registered which way the branch had come from and rolled the other. But that had been Javis' plan, and he rolled right to him. As he tried to back away, his broken wrist was captured in the red-head's strong grasp. He kicked Javis in the side, sending him to the dirt, but his grip remained tight. He yanked him down, his other hand taking a firm grip on his other arm, pinning him to the ground. He brought up bent both legs, trying to get an aim at Javis' stomach, but the other man used his grip on his arms to slam his head into the ground. For the second time his vision swam. He felt himself sinking toward unconsciousness.
No! His mind sceamed. He couldn't let himself die like this! Not by Javis. Not when he'd just threatened to kill Drake. All he'd have to do was retrieve the rifle and wait for him to come back. He could see it in his mind's eye, the blonde making his way down the cliff. The rapport of the rifle - his own rifle - and the arc of blood as he fell. He fought back to consciousness, trying to clear his vision.

Ryo turned rather than dodged, letting the bullet hit his nongun arm. He fired at Kaitlin, who was an open target on the ladder. Seeing his plan, knowing she couldn't get up in time, Kaitlin let go of the ladder's metal rungs, falling to the floor nearly ten feet below. Ryo saw her half-land - then collapse. Her ankle had probably broken in the fall. He started to make his way toward her, but she managed to rise on her good leg, taking aim with her gun. As he dodged for cover she let off a barrage of bullets, and one hit his gun, sending it skittering across the floor.
Kaitlin gave a triumphant cry. "Who's finished now, McClane?" She demanded, limping as she tried to circle around to lineup a shot around his cover.
"You still, you just don't know it yet." Ryo told her, his hand slipping inside his suit jacket to where JJ's handgun was hidden. He dodged to a different cover before she could line up a shot, trying to get a clear view of her. He needed to unarm her again. She was injured from the fall and not thinking in terms of needing the weapons hidden in the factory where she'd gotten the new gun and extra bullets for it. She'd gone through several rounds, he knew that.
"Nobody's coming to back you up, not soon enough. You weren't out there long enough to have untied your boyfriend. As for your sniper, it's pretty obvious he's not coming. Javis probably took him out and ran for it. It's just you and me now"
Ryo bit his lip. JJ was either unconscious or dead, otherwise he would have followed him inside by now. Judging by what Kaitlin had said about the third party in her group, it didn't seem likely he'd go through the effort to knock him out. His free hand clenched, causing pain to spasm through it from where Kaitlin's bullet had lodged in his arm. If JJ was dead.
Kaitlin seemed to sense his silence. "What's the matter, McClane? Upset you're going to die, or that you let one of your friend's die because you wanted to play hero and save your lover"
Ryo gritted his teeth, but didn't reply. Was she right? Had he let his desire to save Dee get in the way of duty? He pulled out JJ's gun, trying to line up a shot.
"That gives me an idea. Why don't we raise the stakes in our game of cat and mouse, shall we"
"What are you talking about, Selm?" Ryo asked. He heard her moving off, away from him. Then he realized she was heading back toward the front of the warehouse. She was going after Dee. He peered out, and had to dodge a shot, before diving for new cover, closer to her. Looking up at the barrels he'd hidden behind, he debated for a moment before pushing the tower over.
It toppled with an ear-splitting crash and metallic ringing that continued as the empty barrels scattered across the warehouse floor. Kaitlin, almost to the door, whirled, an open target herself as she spotted him before her un was shot from her hand. With a curse she dived to the floor, rolling behind cover briefly. As Ryo ran forward, she struggled to her feet, disappearing out the front door. Dodging around the chaos he'd caused in the factory, Ryo followed.

Dee pulled the last of the ropes from his arms, rubbing to bring life back into them when he heard the crash, and the bullet that followed. His head snapped up, and he rose to his feet, looking for a weapon as an eerie silence followed it. Then Kaitlin limped out the front door. Spotting him free she gave a cry of rage, using her bad leg to kick him in the side, sending him sprawling. Falling to her knees besides Ethan she grabbed up his fallen gun, pointing it at Dee, who rolled away as she fired a shot.

Up a distance in the woods, Javis was distracted enough by the crash for JJ to kick him away. His vision was still murky, and his mind fogged, but he was aware of Kaitlin's shout of rage as he tried to get out of Javis' reach. "Great, she's gone crackers." Javis muttered. "I guess you and I will have to finish this another time, Jamie"
The branch connected with his head one final time before the world went blank.

Drake left the van open, engine running as he parked as close to the factory as the vehicle could take him. The woods had invaded the roads that had once led away from it. He heard the crash as he emerged, and took off. What the hell was going on?

Ryo reached the door, only to be tripped by Kaitlin who was still kneeling by Ethan's body. He hit the dirt on his good side, using his bad arm to grab Kaitlin's gunarm. She let out an inhuman screech, raising her arm to hit him, only to have it captured by Dee, who hit the gun out of her hand, before pulling them both behind her back. Ryo managed to rise to his feet, pulling out handcuffs and wearily putting them on her, but letting Dee keep control of her.
"You okay?" Dee asked him, and Ryo nodded, holding his wounded arm. "There's another guy-" He began, only to have Ryo raise a hand to cut him off.
"I know. I'll look, but, did you see or hear anything"
When Dee shook his head, Ryo closed his eyes for a moment before turning to head to the woods where he'd left JJ. The rapport of a rifle greeted him, and he collapsed, clenching his side and leg. "Ryo!" Dee screamed, trying to spot where the bullets had come from, but he hadn't been watching the woods.
Ryo looked up, trying to judge as well, but it was futile. He tried to rise, but sunk back down with a curse. "We'll never catch him now."

Back in his wheelchair, Javis shouldered the rifle, watching the scene down below with a smug smile. He'd made it to an old paved path that had been recently cleared. Turning his wheelchair around he started up it, obviously knowing exactly where he was going. It was the path he, Ethan and Kaitlin had used to get to the factory and would lead him back to the vehicles they had arrived by. One was one he'd stolen with handpedals. By the time back-up arrived, he'd be long gone from the park. He paused briefly to pick up a wallet in his lap, opening it to look at JJ's ID again. His address was printed on it. Pocketing it with a smirk, he continued on his way.

"Dee! Ryo!" Drake emerged from the woods, spotting the other two cops instantly. He felt his chest tighten when he didn't see JJ immediately. "What's going on"
Ryo had risen painfully to his feet, still holding the bleeding bullet wounds in his side and leg, and Dee was still keeping ahold of the screeching Kaitlin. "Drake! One's still out there!" Dee told him.
"Where's JJ?" Drake demanded, and when the other two did not reply or meet his gaze, he took off into the woods to where he'd left him and Ryo earlier. I didn't take him long to find him, lying without moving on the forest floor. Seeing how beaten up he was, he froze for a moment, but spotted the tale-tell rising and falling of his chest with relief. Picking him up with ease, he headed back to Dee and Ryo. "Where'd the last one go?" He demanded, lying JJ down in front of Ryo, who sunk down to check his wounds when he saw he was alive.
"We didn't see"
"Back-up's on the way." Drake told him, reaching out to brush JJ's cheek with his fingers. "Watch him for me." Taking out his gun he headed up into the woods, looking for any signs. He found the drag marksand followed them to the path. Seeing no one he sped up his careful pace, gun ready. The paved path emerged onto a road through the park, where a van was parked. He threw open the back of the van, pointing his gun inside, only to find it empty. Looking up and down the stretch of barren road he cursed outloud before heading back the way he'd come.

A Few Days Later...

"This is about as botched up a job as you can get without any of our people ending up in the morg!" The shouts from the chief's office could be heard distinctly from any part of the office in the vicinity. Inside, bandaged up and looking worse for wear than they had last time they'd been inside Taicho's office together, Ryo, Dee, JJ, and Drake simply waited for him to finish. "Both our top sharp-shooters are out of commission for weeks if not months, we've got one escaped convict under sedation at the criminal hospital, one in the morg, and one on the loose! What the hell happened out there? Were you lot asleep on your feet!" When there was no reply he glared at the gathered group. "Well"
"They caught us off guard after the storm. It could have happened to anyone." Dee told him nonchalantly, arms crossed and looking far from guilty. Beside him Ryo looked concerned, and Drake was watching their head officer nervously. In sharp contrast to the group, or to his normal behavior, JJ remained stiff and silent beside his partner and lover, nursing his broken wrist while his eyes remained glued on the floor.
"So how come this sort of thing always happens to OUR division!" Taicho demanded.
"We did solve the case, even if one got away." Drake brought up cautiously. "And given we weren't even informed of the possiblility of their being escaped convicts in the area I think we did pretty good"
"Letting Javis Clarks escape is not pretty good." A new voice interrupted. The group turned to find Berkely Ross had entered the room.
"Who is he exactly? Kaitlin was saying things about him, but I couldn't place a case." Ryo was curious.
"Not surprising, since it happened so many years ago, and cross-country at that." Berkely drawled. "Either way, it doesn't matter. Our section of the case is officially closed. It's been handed over to the FBI. We've been ordered out of it"
"You're kidding." Dee scowled.
"Far from. I just got the orders phoned in"
"I don't suppose at the moment most of us would be any use in tracking him down." Ryo adjusted the crutch he had under his arm, glancing between Berkely and Taicho.
"At the moment the lot of you aren't good for much." Was the sharp reply from the chief.
"I think Drake and I are in good enough shape for duty." Dee objected.
"Than you two can file the paperwork." Taicho replied. Drake shot Dee a glare that spoke volumes. "McClane, you're on paid leave. Go home"
"Yes sir." Ryo said weakly.
"That goes double for you, Adams." Taicho began but was cut off.
"Actually, Detective Adams has an appointment with the FBI Agent in charge of the case now. He has to answer a few questions about his encounter with Javis Clarks"
"Shouldn't that be our job?" Drake asked, frowning.
"The FBI will supply you two with the info they deem neccessary." Berkeley replied, causing a confused glance between Dee, Ryo, and Drake. "Detective Adams, follow me"
"Yes, sir." JJ started forward, glancing over at his companions with a half-hearted smile. "See you later"
After the two had disappeared, Taicho dismissed them and they exited, frowning. "What was all that about?" Dee demanded of none imparticular. "What did the crackpot in the criminal hospital say about Javis, Ryo"
"He was a murderer, and apparently got shot in his arrest - which left him paralyzed from the waist down. She said something about him killing some cops too - but no real details." Ryo told him.
"So what does that have to do with the FBI stepping in like this? It's our job to interview JJ - not theirs"
"Do you think he was involved with the case?" Drake asked suddenly.
"I don't think so. Berkely said it happened years ago, and Kaitlin said something about Javis being in jail over a decade. JJ wouldn't even have been a cop back then - he'd still be in the Academy at most. Why do you ask?" Ryo turned to him.
"He's been awful silent about this whole thing - he won't talk about it." Drake replied. "I figured if he was involved with the case, maybe that's what was bothering him"
"Probably just got his ego bruised by having the guy take him down." Dee waved it off.
"Could say the same about you." Ryo crossed his arms.
Dee winged. "Did you have to"
Drake ignored them, glancing away with a frown.

"Your IDs are being replaced, and a new badge will be sent to you." Berkely told JJ as they stopped in front of an interrogation room. Inside they could see Diana waiting for him.
"Thank-you sir"
"Though, of course, we're hoping to find Javis - and your wallet - before they arrive." JJ nodded, and went to go inside, when Berkely stopped him. "Adams, I'm only going to give you one warning - so you better listen. Whatever grudges you have against Javis Clarks, I suggest you forget about them. Because if you go after him on your own, I promise you - I'll have your badge taken away in an instant. Clear"
"Crystal." JJ replied, and Berkely stepped aside so he could enter the interrogation room.


For now. lol Because this is heading into a whole other story now, so that's what it'll be. Not sure if the first part will be up this month. Maybe next? We'll see. Gotta draft it out so things go quicker. Well, hopefully this makes up for how short the last few chapters have been and everyone likes the end. I intended to end on a bit lighter note, but it didn't happen. And there wasn't any good oppurtunities for romantic moments of yumminess. Next story, they'll be plenty. Trust me- Thank-you all who reviewd this story! I've never had a story go over 100 reviews, and I'm really proud of it! Please let me know what you think of the ending! Reviews are great inspiration!

Id-chan: That was a shameless plug.

Be quiet and explain the italicised slang I used midstory.

Id-chan: I can't be quiet and explain at the same time.

phbbt Fine, I'll explain:

Blue Sense - A cop term. Sort of a sixth sense/gut instinct that they say you pick up after a few years. Heard it on Unsolved Mysteries. lol