Hi guys, happy New Year! First update of 2012... not really sure where my break went lmao ugh, time flies don't it. Anyway, back with another chapter! Let's see how things are progressing for everyone.
Disclaimer: not mine. too bad.
Big thanks to all my reviewers and readers for sticking with this story, and also thanks to my fellow CMSB writers for still writing so we have something new even though CBS is scrub.
Mick Rawson was genuinely not sure this plan would work. And he hated committing to a high-risk operation where so many civilian lives where jeopardized. If the terrorist refused to take anything from them, they would be immediately shot, and who knows how many stray bullets would take out the other passengers. On the other hand, the jet's rapid speed meant New York City was quickly approaching, and once they got too close, the plane would be shot down, killing everyone regardless.
High-risk, high-reward, zero-survival alternative. Unless the terrorist was lying, the trio had no plans of landing the plane and negotiating. Even then, it was a terrible ploy to lie to your captives and give them the worse outcome. That kind of tactic only gave poor results for those who used it.
If, and that was a big if, he and Gina could get close enough to the lone terrorist in the cabin that the sniper could subdue him, they'd be able to shoot the two in the cockpit. That, of course, was a horribly testy outcome which could easily go wrong. If one of the profilers was shot, it was almost assured they would bleed to death on the plane before help could arrive.
However, as Mick continued to mull the blonde's plan over, he reminded himself there was one alternative – get shot down. If something went wrong with the defending Air Force fighters, they might successfully hit their target, or get rammed by another plane in midair.
Certain death or variable-ridden risk. In the end, it wasn't much of a split decision. They had one shot at retaking the plane, and if he was going to die, he'd rather be killed trying to do something that sitting around waiting for the final moment.
Gina nudged him, dragging him out of his analysis. Her eyes were fixed out the crack they left in the window shade.
Far off in the distance, Mick could see two approaching dark shapes. The Air Force's heavily-armed jets were on the way. They were approaching the safety zone, then, and the terrorists would only have a few more minutes to negotiate, stand down, or land the plane in water before the military used force to end things. The time to deliberate had run out. If they couldn't reach the radio fast enough, whatever efforts they made were pointless, as the plane would be blasted out of the sky regardless.
It wouldn't be the Air Force's fault. Mick knew they had very strict rules on hijacked planes, which was why the plan had to go into action right then and there. He nodded to the blonde that he approved, and she moved to stand up, gaze still locked on the fighters racing to intercept the passenger plane.
"What do you mean the Air Force wants to strike early? The flight hasn't crossed the safety line yet, give my daughter more time!" General LaSalle roared furiously across the table, his hand smashing down on it to emphasize his demand with a poignant thump.
"There has been no sign the hijackers are going to lose control and they have refused radio contact since redirection. Without opening a channel to negotiate, we have no reason to assume there are any friendlies on the plane left at all. If they wanted hostages, they would reply to our hails and give us terms. You can't even be sure the agents are alive," a cold suit snapped, on the opposite side of the room, standing at the front of his hoard of continually-negative officials.
The whole time, that group had been jumping at the gun to blast the plane out of the sky. Their tolerance for the situation was wearing thin, and Fickler was getting concerned his status as Director of the FBI was about to lose its sway on extending the timeframe before the triggers were pulled. Other, previously-neutral parties, seemed to be starting to agree with the suits on the far side, who outnumbered the three stalwarts of letting Mick and Gina have the entire safety zone boundary to make an attempt.
"You have to understand, sirs, that profilers are looking for clues and analyzing at all times. They must regard the situation from all relevant points of view before taking action. It may be that the time it took to profile the terrorists and formulate a plan was greater than you would like…" Fickler began in his patronizingly calm voice, trying to ease tensions, but a scruffy-looking suit cut him off brashly:
"Expecting us to take your nonsense profiler mumbo-jumbo as the new law again, eh old bat?"
Fickler bristled. He'd never even seen this guy at any relevant party, meeting or gathering for all the key government players, and he was insulting Fickler's trade. Narrowing his eyes and standing up straight, he very slowly worded his reply, emotionless as possible, "Look, Mister Unknown, if you have problems with the way the FBI hunts serial killers and rapists to stop them from devolving into their final endgames, you may take it up with my secretary. As for now, my agents need our full support for as long as it is safe to give them such, rather than your disbelief in methods with high success rates."
Cooper was behind his friends, staying out of the political battle. This was why he ran a Red Cell team – the warring superegos and alpha males made it impossible to actually accomplish anything with good results in a timely manner, and operating outside such triviality suited him much better, as well as his team. Their personalities were all adept at functioning with minimal regulations but still maintaining sharp boundaries, something these gentlemen clearly lacked.
"I'm just saying, they should have moved by now. They're probably dead, or the terrorists are having some fun with the blonde-" the dark-skinned suit from before huffed, smirking at his fellows as they glanced at Gina's file, namely the picture.
LaSalle's trumpeting, profanity-laced shout for them to shut up drowned him out, and the suit was startled into silence, blinking across at the fuming general, who was standing as tall as he could, towering over most of the men next to him.
"You will not talk about my team that way, it's disrespectful and I will get you removed from your position if you try it again," Cooper cut in, before the raging father could really go off on a rampage. Even if his opinion of Gina was that her looks were her best asset, he still wanted no part of considering what terrorists might be doing to her, and especially not from fellow military and government officials who should have been focusing on resolving the situation.
Fickler merely nodded his agreement, and an uneasy silence settled into the room. A sheepish tech, manning the radios with a headset on, turned around from his chair to address the group in their momentary lull, "Uh, sirs, sorry but, the Air Force reports all planes are in place to escort the jet. They're ready when the orders come in."
With everyone's attention back onto the situation, they rushed over to look at the radar showing the passenger aircraft surrounded by four army fighters. It wasn't looking promising for Mick and Gina's chances as the boundary drew ever closer, and their plane kept losing altitude. Whoever was in control couldn't keep it level, and it was possible the jet would nosedive before it came close enough to harm anyone.
The head of the Air Force gave his order: "One warning shot, no damage to the target. Hold all other fire until the safety zone is breached."
As Gina lifted herself from the seat, a thundering noise ripped across the right side of the plane, and it shuddered from the air displacement, lurching sharply down before wobbling back into a somewhat steady descent.
"They took a warning shot, to show the terrorists those are armed planes out there ready to strike us down," Mick whispered to her, grabbing her arms to support her before staggering out of their row himself.
They stumbled up the aisle, passing curious and frightened passengers, some of whom hissed queries as to their actions while they walked. The profilers had no time to answer questions or explain anything, instead making their agonizingly slow way up to the front, where the terrorist stood. The man was distracted, propping his weight up against the doorway and using his gun to stop from throttling forward if the plane jolted again. He didn't notice them approaching until they were near enough to him they could start talking.
Gina moaned, clutching at her stomach. The Arab was startled and furiously turned to face them, whipping his gun around only to awkwardly sidestep in an effort to regain his balance. His disorientation was clear, and this was the perfect time to strike.
"What you want?" the man yelled, waving the gun in their direction.
"That last lurch made my pregnant wife sick, you don't want her throwing up in here, do you? Let her into the bathroom, she's pregnant!" Mick snapped, shoving Gina towards the bathroom door. She listlessly hit the wall, convincingly looking entirely ill and unhappy, clutching at the plane's sides and whining.
"No, absolutely not!" scowled the terrorist, shoving the gun into Mick's chest, but they were far enough apart the muzzle barely touched him.
"Look man, do you want her getting sick all over the place, and right by you? Let her in!" the Brit tried again, waving his hands madly, which indeed worked to throw the terrorist off. Gina kept groaning, and finally he shouted for her to be quick about it.
She flung the door open, hitting the Arab on the head. He whirled the gun towards her, but was flung back from the surprise of the act, and Mick rushed forward, wrapping his hands around the other man's skull.
With a quick twist, the terrorist collapsed to the ground, his neck snapped. He gave no further protests as Mick hurried to grab the gun and take aim at the cockpit.
"We have about three seconds to take both of them out from when you open the door and when they'll react. I have to shoot to kill without missing and puncturing the plane, and then we have to rush in and take control of the steering before it nosedives with nobody holding on. This is all about timing, efficiency, and speed. One is down, but we cannot screw up eliminating these last two," Mick listed, taking a moment to focus the blonde's attention now that one terrorist was down.
Having not been in a war or on covert operations, she wasn't quite as familiar with such situations as he was and didn't always feel the same sense of urgency and necessity for precision. It was vital that everything be executed as carefully and rapidly as possible to prevent civilian casualty, loss of control, and terrorist resurgence.
"I understand," she shrugged, eyes wide, and for the first time since the terrorists' first motions he really stared into them and noticed how frightened she looked. They were one-third of the way through retaking the plane, but she still feared failure, almost assuredly due to herself. The blonde was short on self-belief and it was showing. There wasn't time to give her the long pep talk she needed so she'd trust in herself, but any doubt on her part could wreck the whole plan.
"Love, I know you think you can't do it, but we have one dead on the ground. We can get these other two. All you need to do is pull the door open as quickly as possible and stand to the side so I can have a clear shot. You will do fine, alright darling?"
She nodded, biting her lower lip. He leaned over to kiss her briefly before pulling back to get into position. Glancing at her once again, she was smiling, albeit a small, weak one, and seemed to want to say something. A quick shake of his head prompted her to spit it out, and the blonde turned her head away, reaching up to fiddle with her necklace before finally saying:
"If we don't survive, I want you to die knowing I really do love you. More than anyone."
Penelope was mournfully draped over the side of one of Rossi's numerous leather couches, half-listening to Morgan whispering encouraging words to her. There had been no word on Mick and Gina's plane and it was driving her absolutely insane to not know what was happening to them. Worst of all, the tech was completely helpless in the situation, and surrounded by people who similarly didn't handle the inability to influence things well.
She glanced at Beth and Prophet, who were equally irritated at the world and splitting a bottle of champagne, downing it at what the hacker was sure was an unsafe rate. Rossi and Hotch were strategically discussing the situation in the corner, analyzing the odds a retaking of the plane would succeed in various scenarios.
On another couch sat Reid, JJ and Emily, talking uneasily about anything but fellow agents on a hijacked jet. They wanted a distraction from where their minds could go considering everything that might happen. The trio tossed sympathetic smiles at Penelope, who really just wanted to be doing something.
Garcia hoped news would break soon, one way or another. Not knowing was worse than having things resolved.
Mick blinked. He hadn't been expecting that to come out of the blonde's mouth, and certainly not at a time like this. Nor had he considered she really felt that strongly. She had turned to grab the door by the time he snapped out of his stupor and could think of a reply.
Nothing really seemed to fit the situation, though. This was essentially a last-words effort to give some conclusion, in the relatively good odds they died. Frankly he was touched she would think to tell him how she felt in such a tense situation. Gina glanced back at him, waiting for the signal to breach the cockpit, but he sat there, waiting.
"I… love you too, darling. But this isn't the end. You and I are going to kill these last two and land this bloody plane, and that's that," he nodded firmly, crouching into position to fire.
She smiled, hand wrapping around the handle.
Will Gina's plan work? Most likely but STAY TUNED ANYWAY! It was originally supposed to be Mick's plan, but I decided to let her come up with it. More of Fickler, Cooper and Gina's dad arguing with the antagonistic officials over things is included as well. Let's see if the plane can stay not-shot for long enough that our favorite couple can succeed.
I start winter quarter tomorrow BUT I get out super early like every day, versus last quarter, so I should hopefully have a lot more time to write. Reviews are loved, and thanks for reading as always (: