by Jenn

Author's Note: This story is a combination of two ideas. I wanted to use my military experience as a Marine to write a story using Chris past as a Navy SEAL. Yes, I have a thing for Chris past coming back to haunt them. A friend suggested that I use an accident I was in as material for a story. Thanks to everyone for the kind feedback on my other stories. Major thanks to Lacey for the idea and her help; also to Tammy.

Things look quiet as the members of Team 7 prepare to leave on their escort mission, but they all know appearances can be deceptive. They don’t know the details of what it is they’re protecting and that makes them nervous, especially their black clad leader.

"Let’s be careful guys; this has the signs of an operation that’s being done under the radar."

"What’s that mean, Chris?" Asked the team’s youngest member.

"It means this is so important that instead of using all the guards it would usually need they’re only sending a few people so it looks like a normal shipment instead of an important one. It’s a good tactic, but if it backfires we won’t have the back up that what ever we’re moving should have protecting it."

Nathan asked Vin to let him take shotgun in the lead vehicle, usually Vin’s position. Vin agreed and took shotgun in the last vehicle with Chris driving; he figured that way he could keep an eye on the entire convoy. Ezra and Josiah took the car behind Nathan. The security people with the shipment were next; followed by the car carrying Buck and JD. Things went fine until they reached the outskirts of Denver.

Vin was the first to notice something was wrong as they drove through the warehouse district. "Chris, I think we’ve got a tail."

"Damn. With this convoy there’s not much we can do to shake him." He picked up the radio to warn the others.

As Nathan reached for his radio to reply he felt the car jolt to the side as the driver lost control. Each of the following cars tried to break and avoid a mass collision.

The members of Team 7 and the security team got out of the cars and took aim at the 20 men approaching them. Team 7 started firing, trying more to hold the attackers off than kill them.

Two blocks away the sniper who shot the tire of Nathan’s car took aim on his new targets. He started shooting the tires of the other cars so they couldn’t be driven away.

Vin quickly recognized the work of a sniper and started looking for his location through the high power scope on his rifle. As he was closing on the location he noticed Ezra about to make a run for the lead car. "EZRA! STAY DOWN! SNIPER!"

Ezra ducked back into place and looked for a new way to the lead car. "WHERE?"

Vin lowered one hand out of sight and pointed in the general direction he’d narrowed it down to. Ezra nodded and started forward on a path that would give him some cover from that side.

Josiah kept up cover fire to protect Ezra and, as much as he could the lead car, from the men on the ground.

Further back Buck and JD both ducked behind the car to reload. "Don’t worry JD. I have a plan," announced Buck.

"What’s the plan?" JD wanted to know.

"Shoot anyone who gets to close." Buck informed him with a dangerous grin.

JD returned the grin. "Good plan."

Chris was busy holding off the guys coming from behind them. He made sure to cover Vin, knowing that his young "brother" was looking up at the surrounding buildings; this made him vulnerable to the closer men on the ground. He also began to notice something about the men they were fighting. Their actions and movements looked all-to-familiar. It soon gave him an advantage in knowing what they were going to do next, even before they did. He had the feeling he knew their play book even better than most of them did.

Seeing his men in the rear having trouble the attacker’s leader moved to join them. His action drew Chris attention and for a moment their eyes locked.

"Reaper," said the masked leader in a near whisper of shock and something like fear.

Chris couldn’t hear the word, but he had been trained to read lips, and his old call sign was almost laughably easy for him to "read", given all the times he’d done so in the SEAL’s.

The attacker’s leader quickly snapped out of it. "FALL BACK! WITHDRAW!"

This time Chris could easily hear the voice, and thought that it sounded familiar.

As the attackers began to leave JD moved to stand and run to Nathan in the front car. Buck quickly pulled him back down. "Wait. This could be a trap to draw us out."

JD gave his "big brother" an unhappy, pleading look. "But. . .Nathan. . . "

"I know, JD. I’m worried too. But getting yourself shot ‘cause you moved to soon will not help Nate."

Once they were sure the attackers had really left the members of Team 7 moved from their cover and raced toward the first car and their injured teammate.

Josiah began to check Nathan’s injuries and administer first aid. Off in the distance they heard the sirens of ambulances and police cars. JD went to meet the ambulance and direct them to Nathan. Chris moved to deal with the police.

7 7 7 7 7 7 7

As they sat together waiting outside the Emergency Room Buck could tell something was on his best friends mind. "What’s bothering you, Pard?"

"Those men. They way they were organized. The equipment they had. The way they talked and moved."

"They we’re very good," agreed Ezra.

"It was more than that. They we’re trained and disciplined. They acted more like a team of Special Forces than a group of robbers. And the call to "fall back, withdraw"; those are terms we used in the SEAL’s, not things petty, or even not so petty, criminals say."

"You think we’re dealing with SEAL’s?" Asked JD.

"SEAL’s, Marine Force Recon, Delta Force, Rangers, a mix of all the above. No way to tell from what we saw."

Ezra was not so sure. "I don’t think we’d still be alive if they were Spec Ops."

"You think they’re that militia group we heard about?" JD wondered aloud.

"I’m thinking it’s somewhere in the middle. The militia may have brought in some Operators to help train them, or just for this one job. The group we saw looked like a few Special Forces guys running a group of militia types."

"What aren’t you telling us, Pard?" Buck wanted to know.

Chris directed a mock glare at his best friend before answering his question. "The guy who seemed to be in charge. When he saw me, I’m sure he recognized me, and he used my old SEAL Team call sign. Right after that was when he called them off. I don’t think he would have done that if he’d had a full team of Spec Ops. That’s why I think it’s a mix."

Vin tried to lighten the mood. "Does it say somewhere in the handbook that you always have to be right?"

"Chapter 17." Was Chris deadpan reply.

The men all chucked softly then fell silent.

Thinking about what Chris had said Josiah realized something Chris hadn’t said. "You never did mention what your call sign was."

"No. I didn’t," Chris agreed in a flat and dangerous tone.

Josiah ignored the tone, knowing he was one of only six men in the world who could safely do so. "Which is why we’re still waiting, and will continue waiting until you do mention it."

Seeing the curious looks on every face Chris realized this was a battle he had no chance of winning, so he answered. "Reaper."

There are some words that end conversations. Some words to which there is no reply. The rest of Team 7 considered Chris’ answer to be one of those words.

As the silence stretched their thoughts turned to their injured friend. None of the men were sure what to do in this situation. Nathan was always the one patching them up when they were hurt; that they were used to. Nathan being hurt and needing someone to patch him up was a new and extremely unpleasant twist. Not one of the six friends liked it.

7 7 7 7 7 7 7

"You wanna explain why you told us to retreat when we were close to getting the goods," demanded Tom in frustration.

"You see the blond haired, black dressed man in charge?"

"Yeah, what about him?"

"He’s Commander Chris Larabee. He was my Team Leader when I was a SEAL. He’s the best there is. He’s also capable of almost anything, which means he isn’t someone you want for an enemy."

Rebel broke into the conversation. "That was Larabee’s team? Fuck. Think we have enough of a head start if we go now?"

Slick spoke up next. "Why?"

"We hurt one of them. And there is NO faster way to get Larabee mad than to hurt one of his guys, and you do NOT want to see him mad. . . ‘cause it’s usually ends up being the last thing you ever see."

Chief answered Rebel’s previous question. "Running won’t do any good. If he really wants us he’d find us and we’d just be looking over our shoulders 'til he did. We might be able to hide from the Feds, but there’s NO hiding from the Reaper."

"You sound like you’re scared of this guy," accused Gary.

"That’s only because I’m sane. Anyone who was anyone in the Spec Ops community knows better than to purposely go up against Larabee. You know why we called him Reaper? The all-to-serious joke was that by the time you said The Grim Reaper you’d already be dead."

Gary turned to Rebel "Does Larabee scare you?"

"Kid, he could scare the devil."

Hawk, the group’s sniper, spoke up. "And he ain’t our only problem. That long-haired guy with him; I’m pretty sure that’s Vin Tanner. He’s a former ranger and a legend in the sniper community. Only guy I know who can out-shoot the Marine Corps snipers. To do that it isn’t training, you don’t get better sniper training than the Marines, it has to be a gift, a talent. He deserves his reputation as the best shot there is. He about had me back there, only reason he didn’t is that he stopped to warn his friend."

"That’s great, just great." Chief turned to look at the rest of the militia group. "So any of you other ya-hoos got any more stupid questions?"

They wisely stayed silent.

Later, when they’d had a chance to cool off, Tom, Slick and Gary approached Rebel. Gary took the lead. "Uh, earlier, when you talked about this Larabee. It sounded like you respected him, even if you’re scared of him. But Chief. . . ."

"Don’t get Chief wrong. We all respect Larabee; he’s earned that. Like Chief said, he’s the best. If Larabee’s on your side, there’s no reason to be scared of him, you trust him. But right now he’s not on our side. What we’re scared of is having him as an enemy, of making him mad, which we already did. It’s why you can trust him, if you’re on his team. You don’t hurt one of his men and get away with it. That's a lesson you want to learn the easy way, 'cause you may not survive the hard way.

I wasn’t ever on his Team, but my Team and his worked together sometimes. We’d all snuck onto one of our training areas over a weekend, with our paintball guns. Just a friendly challenge. Our Luie "hit" one of Larabee’s guys, who’d gotten the girl the officer had wanted a few weeks before. He surrendered and stood up, but the Luie was still mad about the girl and wanted pay back. He shot the guy in the head, with a paintball, at point blank range, giving him a concussion. You should have seen Reaper go off on the Luie. He never even raised his voice, didn’t need to. He said that if he ever did something like that again he’d put a real bullet in his head at point blank range. And he’d have done it. The Luie transferred to a desk job the next week. He sited health reasons."

"So Hawk’s the one in danger then. He’s the one who shot the car."

"No. We’re all in danger. We’re all involved and we’ll all go down, if we’re caught." Seeing Chief motion for him Rebel left the three to think about what he said.

7 7 7 7 7 7 7

The men stood and gathered in a loose circle as the Doctor came out. This might have unnerved some doctors but the ER doctors were by now used to the Seven, who were all- to-frequent visitors to the ER.

"How is he, Doc?"

"He’ll be fine. He’s got 3 broken ribs, but thankfully none of them punctured his lungs or any other vital organ. Some lacerations, uh, cuts, from the windshield glass. There’s also extensive bruising. He’ll be laid up for a while. We can’t risk him moving one of those broken ribs out of place and damaging an internal organ."

"Can we see him?"

"One or two at a time, once he’s moved to his room. Has anyone notified his wife?"

The doctor saw his answer in the slightly guilty looks exchanged between the men.

Buck spoke up. "I’ll go get her. She’d do better to hear it in person, and then I can drive her here."

"I’ll go see how they’re doing on Dr. Jackson’s room and let you know when you can see him." With a final nod the doctor turned and left.

"Josiah, you and JD be OK here by yourselves later?"

"Sure, Chris. Why?"

"Once we’ve seen Nathan I need to go look up some . . . old friends, see if I can find out who those guys were. And Ezra, I’m going to need you to see if you can find the leak. Someone told those guys about the shipment and I want to know who."

"Of course," agreed Ezra. As they waited to see Nathan he started to plan how he’d get inside the security company. His well-honed instincts told him that’s where the leak was.

7 7 7 7 7 7 7

As Josiah watched his friend he could tell something was on his mind, and that it wasn’t pleasant. "So you want to talk about it?"

"I guess since I can’t quit thinking about it I might as well talk about it. We were driving along and then I heard this noise and the car jolts to the side and starts to swerve. Next thing I know the car is buried in the cement barrier at the edge of the highway."

Nathan stopped and took a deep, calming breath.

"I could hear the driver was having trouble breathing and when I looked over I could see him bleeding. But I couldn’t do anything. As soon as I tried to move, the pain was. . .blinding. I couldn’t help him."

"You were hurt, Nathan."

"I’m a doctor. I’m supposed to help people."

"You are also stubborn. Why don’t you tell me what happened next?"

"Ezra got up to us. He told me to quit trying to move, and that he’d check on the driver. The EMT’s showed up. They told me not to move and that since the doors were bent out of shape they were bringing in the jaws of life to get us out. You saw the sheet they put over us, to protect us from the glass as they cut the windshield?"

Josiah nodded.

"I can’t tell you what it’s like having a sheet pulled over you like that when you’re still alive. It really got me thinking about how close I came to dying. I’d been so worried about trying to help. . .that I hadn’t thought about it ‘til that moment. Then lying under that sheet. Listening to the scream of the glass and metal being cut and ripped back. . ." Nathan went quiet, unable to continue at the moment.

"It’s OK. Stop for a minute and get your breath. You’re alive. You made it through."

"This time, but it was close."

"You’ve had some close calls before. We all have." The older man pointed out.

"I know, and maybe that’s it. I’m used to fixing you guys up, to you being the ones who are hurt. I’m beginning to understand why you all hate being patients so much."

"Does that mean you’ll let us go earlier next time we’re patients of yours?" asked Josiah, unable to keep the slightly hopeful note out of his voice.

Nathan grinned up at him. "Not on your life. I’ll just understand why you wish I would."

"How did I know you were going to feel that way about it?" Quipped Josiah in an exaggeratedly sorrowful voice. Since it earned him another smile from Nathan he was pleased.

"As they lifted me out on the body board I really started wishing for some pain killers. They tried to be gentle, but. . . They got me in the ambulance. I could hear them calling it in. Listing my injuries. I’m not sure which is worse, you guys not knowing what they mean by the medical terms and wondering, or me knowing exactly what they mean and how bad the injuries are."

"It’s probably not better or worse, just hard in different ways. And you are pretty good about telling us what’s wrong in English."

"I’m not sure if that was a compliment or not, Josiah."

"It was. . . a thank you. You know us. We prefer to get it straight, know what we’re dealing with. Now back to the original subject. . . ."

"When we got to the hospital they finally gave me some morphine, which helped. Then they took a bunch of X rays and CT Scans. Told me I had 3 broken ribs. I got a few stitches here and there. Getting the cuts cleaned hurt, but it needed to be done. When they moved me I saw the pillow. Blood, slivers of glass everywhere. I’ve seen a lot worse, but, this time it was me. My pillow. My blood. I’m sure there’s still glass all over me, but I can’t shower and get it off."

"We’ll see what we can do about that," promised the older man.


The quiet conversation was interrupted by the arrival of Raine and Buck. Raine immediately rushed to Nathan’s side. Buck gave Nathan a smile over her head before following Josiah out the door to give the two some time.

7 7 7 7 7 7 7

Josiah’s wide smile was noticed by the others as he walked in a little later than normal. "I stopped by the hospital. If there aren’t any problems Nate should get released tomorrow."

The other’s faces quickly grew smiles to rival Josiah’s.

Chris cell phone rang and he stepped away from the others to answer it. "Yes."

"Long time no see, Sir."

The rest of the Team couldn’t hear what the caller was saying to Chris, but they could see his reaction. The smile dropped from his face as if it had never existed. His eyes became diamond hard and his tone got so cold it seemed to chill the entire room.

"Wish I could say it’s good to see you again, Chief, but you’d know I was lying."

"Yeah, I would," acknowledged the other man. "How’s your man doing?"

"He’ll live."

"That mean we get to live?" Chief asked, trying to hide the hope in his voice.

"As long as you don’t do anything else stupid."

"Like finishing my job?"

"You missed your chance. It’s heavily guarded now. Give it up."

Chief answered in a mocking tone. "Sir! Yes! Sir!"

"Just ‘cause you get to live, doesn’t mean you aren’t going to prison." Chris informed him.

"Since when did you become a Boy Scout? Reaper"

"Since never. You know me better than that. But I did put on a badge and swear an oath. You remember what that’s like? The oath you swore?"

"Do you remember what it was like? Watching friends die on missions we couldn’t admit to. Looking the families in the eye and lying about what the guy was doing. All the "training" missions, and accidents. Yeah, TRAINING, riiiight. Those guys deserved better, and so do the families. Ok, yeah, I want some of this money, I earned it. But I’m also giving some of it to the families of our dead friends, they also earned it."

"Don’t pretend to play Robin Hood, Chief, it doesn’t suit you."

"You aren’t saying I’m wrong."

"’Cause we both know you’re right. Those families deserve more than they got. But those friends died doing what they believed in, what you and I believed in. It was their choice, just like it was ours. You’re dishonoring them. They wouldn’t want their families getting stolen money, blood money. Good initiative, bad judgement. And ya ain’t doing this all for the families. You’re a hired mercenary, training the local militia, so that after you leave they can do more damage. Then you’ll go somewhere else and do it again. The money to the families is just an excuse, a band-aid on your conscience so you can sleep at night."

"You think I sleep at night after what I’ve seen, and done? Do you sleep at night, Reaper?"

With that parting shot Chief hung up, angry that Larabee had seen through to his true motives and reasons. He’d been hoping that he could get him to be sympathetic and let them go. He supposed he should have known better.


Chris didn’t bother answering aloud. Just looked over to meet the concerned blue eyes.

I’m OK


Chris almost laughed. Only Vin could be sarcastic without speaking.

Yes, really.

That the "bad guys"

Knowing the whole Team needed to hear this Chris finally spoke. "Yes that was them."

Ezra's quick mind and familiarity with Vin and Chris silent conversations allowing him to realize who Chris referred to. He chose to begin with the name they'd heard. "Who, pray-tell, is Chief?"

"OK. Their leader is "Chief", short for Chief Petty Officer, a Navy rank. He was on my SEAL Team. He’s good, was one of my best. Unfortunately for us, his strong points were strategy and planning. I’m guessing he planned the ambush. My friends tell me he is likely working with a guy known as "Hawk", he was probably the sniper at the ambush. He’s supposed to be good."

"He is. Very good. And not just with a rifle, with any gun. I shot against him at a competition when I was a Ranger," supplied Vin.

Chris continued, "The third guy is probably Rebel. He wasn’t on my Team, but I worked and trained with him a few times. He's also very good. His specialty is demolitions. I think what we were transporting was some sort of new explosive, that’s why Chief would have wanted him along. He would have known how to handle it, and what groups would be interested in it. He could also show them how to use it."

Seeing that Chris was done speaking, Ezra filled them in on his progress. "I think I found the leak at the security company. I will try to get proof when I go in again later today. One of the people who handles the companies contracts is a close friend or relative of at least one of the militia boys. I saw a photo of him with at least one of our militia "friends" and heard some talk yesterday. I should find out the exact relationship today."

None of them asked for details on his cover, knowing he didn’t like to go into details unless it was necessary. Besides, from what he had said it wasn’t hard to guess that he was posing as a prospective customer.

JD then took his turn. "In the last couple days all our records have all been accessed. Someone in that militia group knows someone. I’ve made our records pretty secure. Travis wouldn’t let me do as much as I wanted to, but maybe after this he will. Anyway, like I said, the records are pretty secure; they had to have gotten a real good hacker to get in like they did."

Having seen the worried look that flickered across Ezra's face JD turned to him. "Ezra, I’d already done the extra stuff to yours and removed the photo, and everything else that could identify you, your cover is still safe."

"Thank you Mr. Dunne. Most thoughtful."

The meeting then broke up as they returned to their jobs.

7 7 7 7 7 7 7

Raine went to open the door, having helped Nathan into his street clothes. Josiah wheeled in the wheelchair. Nathan scowled at it, but said nothing. After all, it would be pointless to blame the chair for his needing it. Josiah helped him move from the bed into the chair and deftly turned it out the door. The other 5 men stood waiting in the hall.

"Don’t you guys have a case to solve or something?"

"Nothing as important as making sure your OK." JD informed him with a happy grin.

"The Police are going to try and move the stuff again day after tomorrow. We think that’s when they’ll go after it again. If not it will be tomorrow night at the earliest before they do anything. So we have time."

Nathan nodded; pleased that they are willing to talk about the case with him, even if he couldn’t be part of it. He knew that would make his coming recovery time easier. The Team was always careful to at least keep anyone injured to badly to actively do things in the loop as far as information.

Part of the healer wanted to personally pay back the sniper who had killed the man next to him and almost killed him, but he knew the others would take care of it. Besides, even if he was hurt some time with Raine would be nice. He’d been so busy lately that their relationship was beginning to feel the strain. He knew it was cliched, but coming close to dying had helped him remember what mattered most in his life. And Raine was definitely at the top of that list, along with his teammates, who he had come to consider brothers.

7 7 7 7 7 7 7

Chief looked over the group to make sure everyone was present before beginning. "A friend of Hawk’s has gotten some more information on Team 7 so I'm going to let him start before we go over the plan. Hawk."

Hawk stepped in front and began. "You already heard about their leader. Chris Larabee. Anyone got more questions about him?"

Seeing negative shakes of the head he continued, "Like I told ya before, Vin Tanner is the team sniper and the best there is. He was a Ranger, so he has all that extra training as well. He's soft spoken, unassuming, and not a big guy. That tends to make people underestimate him. They don't always live to regret it.

Next we have Buck Wilmington. He and Chris go way back. He used to be a cop. His specialty is surveillance; but since he's known to be almost unbeatable in a fight he's another one you don't want to underestimate. I'm sure you all see the trend.

The Team medic is Nathan Jackson. He's the one who got injured in our last fight with these guys and is still down. It's doubtful they took a replacement so they don't have a medic and, more importantly, are a man short. That might give us an edge.

They have a guy named Ezra Standish. All we could get on him was that he does most of the undercover work. No photo's, no descriptions, nothing. They've been very careful to protect his identity. He had to have been at the last fight but he's known to be an expert at changing his appearance if needed so that doesn't help.

Josiah Sanchez is their profiler. He was an Army Sargent in Vietnam, and survived. That should tell you most of what you need to know about him. He's older than the others, but still someone to be reckoned with; considered something of a force of nature."

JD Dunne is the youngest. Because he's young we don't have a lot on him, but to make this team at his age he must be very, very good. Word is he's a computer whiz with a real high IQ. He's also ambidextrous and can shoot with either hand, or both at once. With Tanner there to teach him he's likely a good aim, same for the rest of ‘em."

Scanning the group he asked, "Any questions?" When no one spoke up he sat down and Chief resumed his place.

"Everyone knows things are least secure during transport. That's why we tried to get it when they moved it. We aren't going to do a repeat. Especially since it will now have a large police escort. We'll grab it from the storage warehouse tonight. Hopefully they'll be expecting us to try again when they move it tomorrow and not be real alert tonight.

That's the cops. Larabee and his team are a different matter. Larabee will know that I wouldn't want to go after it in transport a second time. But he also knows that I know he knows that, and might try it just to throw him off. So it becomes a mind game. Larabee's only choice is to guard it tonight and then also tomorrow during transport. That will spread the team to thin.

He'll want his sniper watching the building tonight. He'll have their computer guy on the buildings security system tonight too. I'm betting he'll also be there tonight. For the transport he'll have Buck in charge with Sanchez; and their undercover guy disguised as one of the other "players"; a driver, a regular policeman, whatever.

Rebel and a few of you others will create a distraction. Hawk will be positioned to take out the security guys and cops when they come check it out. The rest of us will go into the building and get the stuff."

He then pulled out a blueprint of the building he'd gotten from their mole in the security company and started giving exact assignments.

7 7 7 7 7 7 7

Team 7 took their seats around the table in the conference room. Chris began the meeting. "Everyone knows things are least secure during transport. That's why they tried to get the stuff while we where moving it. But Chief won't want to go after it in transport a second time. But he also knows that I know knows that, and know he might try it just to throw me off. So it could become a mind game. Our only choice would be to guard it tonight and then also tomorrow during transport, which would spread us to thin to be effective.

Thanks to Ezra our job is a lot simpler. He found out that the mole in the security company got a copy of the blueprints to the building the explosives are being stored in."

"Which they wouldn't need if they were going to go after it in transport tomorrow," commented Buck.

"Exactly. That gives us a big advantage. Chief will think I'm splitting the Team. He knows I'd be there tonight and that I'd want Vin on a nearby building keeping watch. He'll expect me to have JD in the buildings security control room monitoring things.

Then tomorrow I'd have Buck in charge with Josiah, and Ezra would be "hiding" as one of the "regular" members of the transport."

"So where are we all really going to be?" asked JD, seeing Chris plan to have everyone somewhere other than where Chief would expect them.

"You will be working with a radio jammer making sure they can't talk to each other. It will mean we can't use radios either, but that will be harder on them than us. Vin, you'll be inside the building, or on the roof, so you can deal with Hawk."

Vin nodded. "This building isn't where he'll expect me to be, so it's the best place."

"Ezra, I want you in the security control room, disguised as one of the regular security guys. You'll be watching to be sure none of them sneak off and get away.

Buck, you and Josiah will be with me in the building next door. I'm pretty sure Rebel and a few of the militia will start things with some sort of distraction. We'll deal with them. But Hawk is going to be watching and waiting for us so we have to stay in that building and shoot from there until Vin takes him out of play.

JD, as soon as the distraction goes you'll start jamming the radio's.

We're going to let the main group in and let them get to the storage area. Instead of the explosive, which is currently being moved, they will be greeted by a group of policemen waiting to arrest them."

"My, won't they be disappointed," drawled Ezra with a rather evil grin.

"Chris, I have a question."

"What is it, JD?"

"Why would we be splitting up at all? Why wouldn't we all guard the building tonight and then go with the transport tomorrow?"

"If we could spend today sleeping that's exactly what we would have done. But we can't spend today sleeping. That means that by the time the transport left we'd have been awake for more than 24 hours. And by the time we got it delivered, at least 36. Now, I know we could do it. But we'd be tired and more likely to miss the details we need to watch for. We wouldn't be at our best, and with this group we need to be at our best."

"Being that tired can also mess up your aim. Your eyes are tired and the eye strain makes it hard to focus."

"Like when your real tired you feel like rubbing your eyes because they feel like sand paper?"

"Yeah. You'll have to ask Nate more about that. He's the Doc."

"Let's get back to planning tonight," suggested Chris as Ezra laid out the copy of the building blueprints that he'd gotten.

7 7 7 7 7 7 7

Raine smiled as she greeted the men and showed them into the front room where Nathan was sitting.

"So, you all made it through the night in one piece," he joked, but the others could here the relief in his voice.

"Yes, Nathan, we did." Josiah assured him as they sat down.

"So, I'm waiting. Tell me what happened."

Raine broke in before any of them answered. "First, tell me what you guys would like to drink."

Knowing that on strong pain killers Nathan couldn't have alcohol the others requested soda's or juice. Vin went to help her carry them.

"While we wait for Raine and Vin why don't you tell us how you are," requested Buck.

"I'm better. I know I'm healing up fast, but it seems like it's going so slowly. The pain is getting a bit less. I'm glad for the pain killers right now, but looking forward to getting off them."

A few minutes later Vin and Raine returned. Once everyone had their drink the men began telling the story.

JD started the tale. "First off Ezra found out they'd stolen the blueprints for the storage building so we knew they were going to attack there, not while the stuff was being moved. Then Chris knew where Chief was expecting us to be and what he expected us to do. So Chris changed things just enough to throw them off and let us surprise them.

A few of them pretended to start fighting and firing their guns off outside the building to create a distraction. I was hidden in the building with a radio jammer and started it so they couldn't talk to each other."

When JD stopped to take a drink Buck picked up the story. "Josiah, Chris and I were in the building next door where they expected Vin to be, but he wasn't. As soon as they started their distraction we started firing at them. Just enough to get their attention, and Hawks. Sure enough he started trying to shoot at us which gave Vin his position. Like I said, he thought Vin would be higher up or on the roof of the building we were in. He chose a place that would make it almost impossible to get him from that building. But Vin was in the storage warehouse itself and could see him just fine. After about a minute we didn't have to worry about the sniper anymore and could come out of the building and really get into the fight. They only had six guys there so it didn't last long."

Ezra continued the tale. "I was in the buildings security system control room. I saw Chief and a dozen other men enter the side door of the building. A couple came toward the room I was in and the others went for the explosive, which was no longer there. I had the buildings regular security man with me as well and we quickly dealt with the two who had come for us. We then got to sit back and watch the others walk into the trap. Instead of the explosive they found a dozen or so police officers. I have the footage of the looks on there faces, it was truely priceless. I would have brought it but figured that much laughter might hinder your healing ribs so you will have to wait and view it when you are recovered."

"You should have heard some of the names Rebel and Chief where calling Chris. I won't repeat them in the presence of a lady." Josiah commented with a smile at Raine.

"That's OK. I think I have a pretty good idea of what some of those names where." Nathan assured his friend.

"And Hawk didn't seem to happy with Vin either. I think that was because Vin had shot his shoulder and the EMT's were saying there was a lot of nerve damage. They said he wouldn't lose the arm but he would definitely lose some of the fine muscle control." Josiah paused and then in a mock sorrowful voice added, "Such sad news. Heart breaking really."

The comment earned him a few amused chuckles.

"So no more sniper shooting for him. You should have seen the shot, Nathan. I was perfect. He never knew what hit him."

"Well, JD. I think he probably did know it was a bullet that hit him," Vin noted in a deadpan voice that was at odds with the mischievous gleam in his eye.

"Ha Ha. You're so funny Vin," retorted JD.

Chris and Buck looked at each other and shared a grin at their "younger brothers" banter.

Nathan looked at their leader. "You haven't said anything, Chris."

"Not much to say. I think these guys covered it pretty well. I did make a few calls to ensure that they won't just disappear and try this type of thing again when they eventually get out of jail."

That drew curious looks from all the men.

"How's that?"

"Well, when people want to hire guys like that they aren't going to do it with out checking their records to make sure they're legitimate. My friend is going to classify they're records to such high security access that they as good a disappear. So when a potential employer checks they won't find any record. . ."

"And our boys come off as liars and frauds. Nice work." Complimented Josiah.

"I thought so," Chris replied with a half smile.

The six men didn't stay long, knowing that Nathan still needed his rest. As they left he made them promise to be careful and not get themselves hurt until he was healed enough to take care of them. They all agreed. As he watched them leave he hoped they would be able to keep that promise, but knew that given their history it wasn't very likely.


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