Author's Note: Well, it took much longer than I had planned to get some new content up. I ended up picking up a lot of extra hours at work when I wasn't expecting them and some other stuff in life got in the way. Each time I tried to sit down and work on chapter 19 (I stopped as the others were going to Ace's room) I kept getting drawn away from it. Then, just a couple nights ago I had a chance to sit down after work and just write. I ignored the world for about four hours and ended up getting chapters 19 - 22 finished up and ready to post. So, here they all are to hopefully appease my loyal-and quite patient-readers.


Chapter Twenty Two

Location: Springfield, USA.

Stalker looked up in time to see two Vipers enter the hall. He elbowed Snake to get the man's attention. They came around the corner, flanking a young child between them. His hands were cuffed and his chin high in the air. Stalker could only assume the kid was out causing trouble and Bludd was having him arrested because of it. The Vipers stopped outside the cell and opened it long enough to shove the boy inside before locking it back in place.

"I want my mother you bastards!" the kid shouted. The Vipers paid him no mind and left the hall.

"Hey kid, what'd they get you for?" Stalker asked, making light conversation.

"Stabbing the Major," he said. "He kidnapped my mother and is holding her against her will. He tried to hurt me, but I got to him first. That eye wasn't doing him much good anyway..."

Snake looked the kid over and then waved his hand in a kind-of-sorta fashion for Stalker to see. It was a signal, telling the Sergeant to be cautious what to say around the boy. Neither man had any doubt that the boy would stand up to Bludd, or that the man would throw a child in prison. However, after what Snake had seen in the arena who was to say that brainwashing a kid into a spy was below the likes of Bludd.

"Maybe we can be friends, we don't like him that much either." Stalker said.

"A lot of good you'd do me, you guys got show down before you even made it into the city." Stalker wanted to punch the kid for that. It was the truth, sure, but he didn't have to sound so snobbish about it.

"We were caught by surprise," Scarlett said. "As I'm sure you were, when he first came to town."

"Yeah, maybe." the kid looked Scarlett up and down. "He came in, guns blazing. Shot my mom's boss, though that guy was a creep anyway. He probably deserved it."

"What's your name?" she asked. "I can't keep calling you kid all night, can I?"

"The name's Billy, though I don't think it'd do either of us much good. Mom's still being held, and now we're all in a cell. Not much we can do for that, I think these guys have seen ever prison break scene in the book."

"Well Billy, what can you tell us about this place?" Scarlett asked. "Maybe we can figure something out that will help us all at once. We may even be able to do something about your mom."

"You promise?"

Scarlett looked back to Stalker who nodded. She hadn't known the man long, but from what she did know of him he wasn't going to let Billy down if he promised. "Yeah, we promise."

"You gave me your promise mate that I'd not have any trouble out of you," Bludd said. He leaned forward, folding his hands together on his desk. Shipwreck was standing before him, Zartan's flunkies on all sides of him. The man didn't look broken anymore. When the Dreadnocks first dragged the washed up sailor before him, he'd been a lost soul far from the type to cause trouble. Ever since those prisoners arrived however, he'd been caught out in the streets after dark supposedly fishing.

"Yeah, I remember. What kind of trouble you suspect I'm causing by fishing?" Shipwreck asked. "If you're starting a catch and release policy, I'll be glad to sign on the line that I'll throw'm back in. Scout's honor."

Bludd slammed his fist down onto the desk. "You're not funny, mate."

"Funny, I remember a bunch of other guys saying that before cutting me loose a couple years back. I'll bet that those guys could have used some good humor after that, ice cream or otherwise. The team never did have a sense of humor..."

"Get him out of here," Bludd snarled. "Just throw him in with the other prisoners. If he starts something, shot the lot of them. I think they've about out lived their usefulness now."

"Hey now, don't you think that this is a bit overboard even for fishing without a license?" Shipwreck fired back. "I have half a mind to report you bucko." One of the Dreadnocks punched the sailor in his stomach and he slumped over, thankfully quiet.

Roadblock pushed the manhole open overhead and slid it aside. He poked his head out and glanced around. They were just where Shipwreck had told them they'd be. Over to his left several large metal shutter doors were deployed with semi-trailers parked before them. He climbed out of the manhole and assisted Cover Girl as she pulled herself to the surface. Breaker was next and Beachhead brought up the rear of the pack.

"Now what?" Roadblock asked, looking around at the trailers and doors. Beside each of the metal doors was a small keypad and digital monitor. Breaker clapped his hands and started rubbing them together like an excited child.

"I've got this," Breaker said. "I'll have the door cracked in a matter of moments and we'll get inside that way, though I'm not sure how we'll find the others once we get in."

"You just get us in soldier, we'll do the rest." Beachhead responded.

Breaker ran over to the platform and hoisted himself off of the ground. He checked to ensure that no one else was coming and moved up to the door. From his pocket he pulled out a small PDA device, which he connected to an odd looking computer cable that he also connected to the door panel. While he typed a series of keys the others found a loading ramp and easily walked up to meet him. On the PDA screen number after number flashed by in a countdown until ultimately a five digit locking code was revealed. Breaker keyed the numbers in, and the metal door retracted upwards to grant them access.

"Allons-y!" Breaker said, moving inside with the others following right behind.