Virginia

Yesterday

Cole Cash placed his hand on the green security screen to secure his identity and the fight simulator's door shot open.

"You coming?" Cole winked at his physical therapist.

The two entered the high tech tunnel that was a shooting range and combat simulator all in one. At the far end were targets, stationary and mobile, and at this end were chairs and even a protective wall for observers and trainers. Down the length of the corridor were weapons and other types of fighting gear anchored in metal clips from floor to ceiling.

Cole pulled two pistols off the wall, 9mm were not his favorite but he couldn't afford to be picky. Checking the weapon he pulled four clips, sat three clips and one of the pistols on the counter, slapped a clip into the but of the first pistol, loaded the second, and picked them both up aimed down the shooting range.

"Am I supposed to write this up as a dexterity exercise Mr. Cash?"

"You might want to step back." Cole stated.

Carin Mathers took a seat behind the shooting range wall and covered her ears. In a flash Cole unloaded all of their bullets at two paper targets that traveled up the range at him at a moderate speed. When they reached the shooting wall Carin could see that Cole used the bullets to chew perfect circles in the center of each the targets "chest". Wounds Mathers had bared witnessed to in person since she'd joined the medical staff here in Langley.

Virginia

Yesterday

Marc Slayton unlocked his new office and walked into over a dozen large brown boxes. He couldn't remember collecting so many files over the years, after all he was a field agent not a desk jockey.

Shoving boxes aside he made his way to the turn of the century empty steel desk. Taking a seat he put down the files in his arms and tried to decide which box to start with. What was it that people said, if you haven't opened a box in six months throw it out? Not in the government.

"Haven't you heard of Micro Fiche?"

Slayton looked up to see Deputy Director Colbey standing in the door way to his office.

"You know I don't believe in anything I can't shoot, throw, or blow up Colbey."

"Hoo Ahh."

Slayton stood up and shook the other mans hand.

"Come to rescue me from drowning in files?"

"No, I've come to put you back in the field Marc. Walk with me."

The two men took off down the halls evading any serious onlookers in the large complex.

"I've been assigned to Bendis over on Skywatch. I report in ten days."

"What I've got for you will only take two." Colbey handed Slayton another file folder, this one thin at least.

Slayton flipped through the pages in the folder that covered the career of a CIA operative named Santini, Ben.

"Is Santini the target?"

"Yes, but not for Wetworks. I want you to convince him to come to work for us here at I.O. Marc."

"It shouldn't be hard, he sounds burnt out of undercover work." Slayton closed the file and handed it back to Colbey.

The two men stopped at the east elevator bank, Colbey called for the car to their floor.

"Take your unit to Mexico, dig him out from what ever rock the CIA has him under and bring him to me so I can make him an offer he can't refuse."

"My unit?" Slayton was a bit perplexed. Team7 didn't exactly come back from Caballito Island intact.

"You and Cash."

Colbey stepped back onto the elevator as the doors opened. "I want him fresh as a daisy and ready to work Monday morning." Colbey smiled as the doors closed between him and Slayton.

It was Thursday 18:00 hours, Slayton wondered what Cash was doing and how fast he could suit up.

Mexico

Today

Slayton stowed his reports and traveled to the back end of the plane. Cash was jamming out, his ears buzzing with the I Pods head phone "buds". Another step forward and Cash's eyes opened crystal clear like an iceberg.

"I can hear you." He stated.

"The sun's coming up earlier than I expected. We won't be able to free-glide into the compound after all." Slayton took the seat opposite Cash.

"Any ideas?"

Cash clicked off his IPOD and pulled out the ear buds.

"We're both wearing civies, we can ride into town on the bus like everyone else."

"A bus will take all day, we're due back at Langley 08:00 Monday." Slayton checked the horizon as the plane began its slow decent.

"When we touch down I want you to secure transportation for two Lieutenant."

"Excuse me sir, when was the last time you've been to this area of Mexico?"

Slayton stood in the isle to go back to his seat, he turned around to face Cash again. Skywatch, a million miles from the planets surface was looking better and better.

"Just spill it Cash." Slayton snorted

"Where ever we land Colonel, the bus that's there to take everyone else on this plane to town will be the only thing worth "securing"." Cash clicked his IPOD back on and inserted the ear buds again.

--

Cash was right, they landed on a dirt strip that stretched out before a squat cinder block building that doubled as an airport and coyote lounge. As he shouldered his gear, Slayton wondered how many people were packed into a truck at this very location on their way to a better life only to wind up right back here once they are deported later.

"Mexico's version of a revolving door judicial system." Cash stated as the two men climbed down the ladder, proving that even after all they've been through their minds where in sync.

As dirt rose up in a large cloud off in the distance Cash and Slayton could see the "Bus" wobble into view. For others, like the family hitching up their gear and making their way toward the small mountain in the distance, this wasn't their destination but their starting point.

Slayton touched Cash's shoulder and pointed out the family in the distance.

"Don't stray too far, you might miss the bus."
"Even if you did, it wouldn't be hard to catch it on foot." Cash smiled, pulling out a cigarette while he waited.

--

Thirty minutes later the two boarded the buss and each took a seat on either of side of the isle with their gear next to them occupying the window seat. There was room on the roof of the bus for the gear, but there were also plenty of empty seats.

Three woman in the back of the buss, each holding a goat, chattered back and forth about the same man who they all had been married to at one time or another. Four other passengers, scattered about the buss either read their book or listened to music like Cash.

Slayton had sized each of the other occupants up three times over and had come to the conclusion each time that their were no threats on the bus other than Cash. It was going to be a long ride.

--

The tall dark completed gringo pulled the dirty white Mustang 5.0 up to the ledge of the canyon and parked next to long black stretch limousine. Shutting off the engine he stepped out. Three people from the limo step out to join him.

"Your late Mr. Santini." Stated the oily man with the cigar from the limo.

"The bus is late Mr. Lynx."

"I don't like to be kept waiting in the heat of the day." Lynx exhaled a plume of blue smoke.

"Again, the bus." Santini swung his arm out over the canyon directing everyone's attention to the dust train coming down the mountain.

"Where will your enhanced soldiers be coming from?"
"It won't matter Mr. Lynx, you won't see them coming anyhow." Santini handed over his goggles for his perspective client to take in the show.

"I better not, with what I'm paying for theseā€¦things they'd better destroy the bus and disappear into the sun."

"Something like that." Santini clicked the transmitter in his front pocket and pointed out a dark spot in the sky.

"Just like grade school Mr. Lynx, don't take your eyes off the ball."

--

It started in the back of the bus, Cash could see the three ladies reacting and turned the IPOD down. The chatter went from ex-husbands to strange things in the sky. Slayton could feel it as well, he sat up in his seat, noticing that the bus driver stopped paying attention to the road and floored the gas pedal. He wanted to get out of the canyon as fast as they could.

Looking over at Cash Slayton saw his lieutenant pull two pistols from his bag.

"Jesus, you've got to be kidding me." Slayton sneered.

"Afraid not boss, were about to be high jacked."