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Chris wasnt certain what had prompted him to allow JD Dunne a second hearing. It was infrequent that he allowed anyone a second hearing at all, but here he was making time for this boy who was too damn young for this. His eyes fell on the silver Easter lilies that Dorrie had left behind.
What had she said? A wise man is one who doesnt judge on appearances. Or something like that. JD Dunne was certainly competent, but Chris wanted him to have a long life, not take his chance with Team Seven.
Although Chris knew that it was not common for an Agent to die in the line of duty, he knew that RMETF Seven would be pushing it every single day. The cold cases that they were receiving were some of the most dangerous out there, so much so that all of the RMETF groups were receiving high danger pay and benefits. There had already been two deaths on RMETF Four and theyd only been fully active a month. His team wasnt even complete. He didnt want that for them.
Chris had made sure each of his men knew what they were getting into and hed picked men with integrity, determination, and unintentionally men with problems in their immediate situation. Hed done well so far, but he just couldnt handle putting the boy in harms way.
JD entered the office and made his case. Chris listened with one ear, but his mind was busy noting the changes in JDs status since theyd last met. The boy was even paler if that was possible, and the suit hung off of him like an older brothers cast offs that hed been given to grow into. It didnt look like the boy was eating well and Chris kicked himself mentally.
JD had come from New York to Denver just after the death of his mother. Larabee remembered how much money it had cost to bury his beloved wife and child, and he was well-off because hed had an inheritance from his grandparents. Dunne, if he remembered correctly, had grown up under the poverty line. Damn. The boy probably was running out of money to support himself. Larabees gut clenched at the thought that the boy was starving himself to get by until he convinced Chris to give him the job he so desired.
Stubborn boy, stupid stubborn kid! Larabee raged internally. Weve got to find you something to support you, something safe.
JD frowned, Agent Larabee seemed distracted and unhappy. This apparently was not a good time for an interview. He was surprised when Chris asked him to wait outside of the office for a moment.
The men in the bullpen watched him with unconcealed interest. The African-American man in the corner was curious, he could tell, but was choosing the high road and making it look like he was ignoring JD, but JD could barely keep his laughter in check as he caught the surreptitious looks the man was giving him.
The other two were completely unconcerned by what he thought about them watching him. One was an older man sitting right next to the uncurious African-American. He almost looked too old to be an agent, but he was big and JD didnt want to think about taking him on in a fight, there was a powerful strength to him, even if he was old.
The other man was the one who hed caught watching him last time, a tall man with dark hair and the most curious blue eyes that JD had ever seen. He wasnt laughing this time. JD pegged him for a joker, but one with a dangerous air. This must be Buck Wilmington, Agent Larabees close friend. None of the files that hed hacked into had pictures in them, but hed guess that this was the famous Buck Wilmington. He gave the man a slight smile and wondered how hed survived the sexual harassment claim against him.
Larabee startled him by opening the door to his office quickly. Before JD could say anything the SAC said.
Theres a job in the mail room. Youre taking it. I will not have you out on the streets because you ran out of money chasing a pipe dream. If I have an opening in a couple of years, you will be on the list. Give yourself some time to grow up, Dunne.
I appreciate the you arraigning the job for me, but
You will be taking it. I told you. You arent starving on my watch. Got it? Larabee glared at JD. When the boy offered no resistance he added. Good. Ill take you down to Shaun in the mailroom. You start today.
No arguments. Im impressed with your tenacity, but you need to learn not to put the cart before the horse. One day, when youre older youll find a place you belong. Youll prove it to me and to everyone else.
Agent Larabee, Ill prove to you that I belong here. With this team. I will show you. Ill prove it! JD declared. The other men were watching with unconcealed interest, but only Chris saw those hazel eyes narrow with intense resolution. Larabee mentally stepped back wondering what hed unleashed now.
The mailroom found JD fascinating. There was endless speculation as to why the high and mighty Chris Larabee would go all out and insist on this kid getting a job that day. Shaun OConnell, the mailroom boss, sat serenely amoung the chaos that was his command. JD found him a great deal more aware than his relaxed position would have suggested.
Over the next several days, the irritation in the mailroom became less about Chris Larabee getting him a job and more about the fact that all the women seemed to find JD irresistible, they wanted to mother him or to date him. JD wanted them to leave him alone.
He paid careful attention to every thing that he was told to do, even reading the manual. Although JD didnt intend to stay in the mailroom for long, he didnt want a reputation for screwing up because he wanted to be on another job to follow him around.
JD quickly found himself one of Shaun OConnells favorites, primarily because he didnt shirk any job that he was assigned. Doing everything to the best of his ability was just the way JD was, and OConnell recognized it.
Occasionally the old man would give him a wink as if he knew that JD wasnt going to be here for long.
OConnell might have been less happy with him had he known what else JD was up to. Everyday after work, JD would go to the local Library and hack into the Federal Buildings Security mainframe. He would then unleash his bag of tricks.
JD was careful to not leave a trail back to the library. He would have used an Internet café, but hed overheard that there was a Federal sting operation going on and didnt want to disturb it. This was just between himself and Chris Larabee.
Team Sevens leader did not know what hed unleashed.
Chris frowned. There it was again. A computer thingamajig in the corner of his screen. It had taken him a little while to notice it. The machine was so stubborn that hed like to shoot it, but he couldnt do that as much as he wanted to. Government property was hard to get in the first place and damn hard to replace once you screwed up with it.
There it was again. It was a jackrabbit with deer antlers. Jackalope? Debbit? What the hell were they called? The thing rocketed around his computer screen with all the finesse of a demented bat. It would pause for a second and finally Chris clicked on it. A message popped up.
If your candidates for the job can get rid of this, fine but if they cant Im the man for the job.
He had to grin at the boys audacity. He had grit, Chris had to admit.
JD stepped up his campaign, but made sure that he isolated it to Larabees own computer. He didnt want the viruses spreading all over the network. Tomorrow it would be even worse.
Chris Larabee had to admit that he was impressed. Dunne was really gifted. He was hacking into the system with a skill level that was unmatched by any of the other applicants for the job. If he wasnt so damn young
JDs crusade went up again a few days later. Chris computer began doing all sorts of weird and interesting things. It never interrupted the work that he was doing but it kept very active. Larabee was amused by the strange pinkish shade that the desktop screen turned all on its own. The plague of frogs had been entertaining. Hed been hard pressed to keep from laughing himself sick as his computer read all emails aloud in voices clipped from the Simpsons.
JD entered the RMETF Seven bullpen with some trepidation. His actions couldnt have gone unnoticed, but Larabee hadnt said anything. He was really tired. The paycheck was good but didnt stretch quite enough to keep going on. It was only a provisional job since Larabee had hired him without the formal background check. Although it was only in the mailroom, it was still a Federal job, so he had to wait for the rest of the money he was owed for at least another month.
Bureaucrats, he cursed to himself.
Soon hed have to move out of the Motel 6. The manager was really unhappy that he was living there and had tried to get him to pay more for a monthly stay. At least he had enough to eat.
Ray and Gabe had called him, how they tracked him down was anybodys guess. Both had been upbeat. The Bitch Queen hadnt gotten them yet. JD was worried about Ray who still sounded a little stressed. Maybe when he settled a bit hed have the two of them come stay for a little while. They really needed a break. He hoped their boss, whoever she was, would let them go to this ocean side place that Gabe had mentioned, just for a while.
He couldnt imagine being undercover for twenty years on one single case. Ray had it rough but at least he had Gabe. JD told himself that he had to get used to the idea. The RMETF probably had similar things to do, but twenty years! Ouch!
Buck Wilmington told himself not to get involved. The kid was a good one, he could tell. It was obvious in the way that he was harassing Chris. Nothing malicious, but all in fun. His old friend was smiling more than he had since the deaths of his family, and trying to keep it hidden. Dunne was good for his friend. Even if he was too young for the RMETF, Buck was happy that he was here.
JD Dunne was back with the afternoon mail. Four large manila envelopes for Josiah, A box for Nathan from his sister, a letter from the secretary to the head of Plant Operations for him and a whole stack of files for Chris. What a mess. More candidates for the team. Oh joy.
The stack of files needed to be signed for so JD sat down on a chair outside Larabees office. The door was closed and the Senior Agent could be heard giving someone a stout piece of his mind. Ouch! JD hadnt heard that expression before, it sounded very painful. Could you do that to a human body?
Buck made a big show of sniffing his letter as if it were drenched in perfume. He traded some banter with Josiah. Nathan didnt participate, the Medic was too straightlaced right now, but Buck would loosen him up before long.
Not really thinking about it, Buck drew the kid into the conversation. JD was a little shy at first, but began to hold his own as the three men teased each other. They were soon laughing fit to bust a gut. The kid was a pistol, that was for sure.
Before he could stop to think Buck asked. Where are you staying, Kid?
Why? JD was immediately suspicious. And Im not a Kid.
Okay whatever, Buck said amused at the bruised dignity. I was just wondering.
The Motel 6 on Colfax, JD said. Im still on deferment pay until the background check is complete. Why? He was still suspicious but was unbending.
Its just that Ive got a problem, Buck said, wondering where this was coming from. I just lost my roommate and Ive got to get another one to keep the place.
Josiah looked up from his files at Buck and raised an eyebrow. Bucks last roommate had left more than a year ago. He knew this because the agent had generously let himself and Nathan room at his condo until they found their own places a couple of weeks ago. The man was generous enough not to allow them to pay for their stay, commenting on friends not needing to pay each other for favors. What was he up to? A searching look at Buck indicated that the man didnt know himself.
You need a roommate? JD asked suspicion warring with need.
Yeah. It isnt a big rent, but its two-fifty more than I can afford. I dont want to lose my place. Do you know anyone in the mailroom who might be interested?
Two-fifty? Isnt that a small amount for the rent? JD was more suspicious now, what was it the man wanted?
Well, now. When I set up the lease I thought Brandy would be staying for a while. She was a waitress, didnt make all that much. She helped in other ways, Buck said, letting it be assumed in what other ways Brandy had been a help. He didnt share that Brandy had been a fully-fledged lesbian and hated men, even him on occasion. She was great with remodeling though.
Chris Larabee found the latest addition to his computer very useful. The plague of frogs had been followed by a plague of locusts. However the kid had set it up as a target shooting game and hed let off steam by blowing a couple thousand bugs to kingdom come. Other changes were not as amusing, having his computer ask him if it could be of service every time he swore was very annoying.
He had to laugh when the boy unleashed the plague of lice though. Images of the people currently annoying him appeared in the corner of his screen, the faces cut from official photos but with cartoon bodies and covered with sores that made the figures dance and itch. It wouldnt do for this to get out but oh did it give him a stress relief, especially when he got phone calls from Harry Inuzu trying to get him to take that idiot Baker as the teams undercover agent.
Buck had convinced JD that he was in serious need of a roommate, and not for amatory purposes. Josiah had been impressed, it had been a masterful performance. Nathan was busy ignoring them as the Medic devoured the tons of Federal paperwork that would allow him to keep his EMT status. Hed have to work hard to get the EMT-P rating and Josiah wondered if his friend could manage it. Buck raised an eyebrow at Josiah and the older man shrugged in response. Wilmington continued to work on the kid until hed agreed to at least look at the Condo.
Chris Larabee carefully hid his smile as he heard Buck and the boy wrangling over the amount of rent that Dunne would pay to stay at the Condo. It looked like his old friend was taking in another stray. The Condo had been paid for as soon as Buck decided on it, there wasnt any rent, just a maintenance fee and utilities. And Larabee had his suspicions about Brandy. Hed never met her, but Buck didnt talk that way about any woman hed been intimate with. Knowing the mans protective nature, Brandy was probably another of his strays.
He made sure that his face was a mask, giving none of his amusement away. The boy could not do better than be taken under Bucks wing, in spite of Wilmingtons reputation as a ladies man. Chris nodded absently to JD as if hed just noticed him and then signed for the mail. Larabee said nothing about his computer.
Across the room the Major hid his laughter, this was going to be interesting. Agent Larabee had just made his charge more determined than ever.
The condo had one very large great room with a kitchen and dining area. There was stairway leading up to the master bedroom and a smaller room, probably meant for an office tucked under the stairs. It had no separate bathroom, which was why Buck didnt feel that he could charge full rent for it. It was more than acceptable to JD, it was comfortable and somehow felt like home.
Somehow JD knew his mother would have liked and approved of Buck. He could tell that the tall gregarious agent was just naturally kind and liked helping people. JD just felt grateful.
Wilmington insisted that they check JD out of the Motel 6 that night. He hadnt made any comments about the denim saddlebags, but JD explained about the Bitch Queen and his bike. Soon he found himself telling Buck all about his ride from New York, the people hed met, and the strange situations hed found himself in. He didnt tell him about the Boarder Patrol of the Canadian consulate or about Monson and Tusswell.
Bucks eyebrows were near his hairline as JD described all of the problems the Kid had had just getting to Denver. He found himself concerned about what JD wasnt telling him. Wilmington was no fool, and although he lacked other qualification to do a great deal of undercover work, he read people very well. JD impressed him. The Kid had obviously given his word not to tell some of it, and no probing would get him to reveal it.
It was hard not to smile as JD filled the bookshelf with dime novels and stuffed cowboy dolls. Buck knew instinctively not to push him about the stuffed toys. They suggested a womans hand and the only one hed heard of was the boys dead mother. Not an issue to be teasing about. JD called Mrs. Leviwitcz from the Condos phone at Bucks insistence. The old woman was such a comfort. She told him more about the problems the Tofflers were having without Rachel there to save them. The other servants were fine, perhaps a bit jealous, but fine. Mr. Dalley was worried about the evil Feds ruining their boy. Others sent their regards.
Ben Slatterly had been seen around the mansion and had asked every one of the servants about JD but none had told the man anything. Slatterlys behavior was becoming even more incomprehensible to JD. It just wasnt like the old partner he knew.
Buck ordered Chinese food from a place called Shens and while they ate it, JD told Buck the whole story of his life. It should have worried him that he was talking so freely to a stranger, but somehow Buck felt like a brother that hed just found again and the place just felt like home.
Eventually, JD drifted over to the computer Buck had in the main room. Feel free to use it until you get your own, Kid, Buck said. I dont spend a lot of time online.
JD nodded rather than replied. He wasnt sure that he trusted himself to speak. The Computer was only a couple of months old and full of programs hed been dying to try. Hed take Buck at his word. After all the library was further away from here.
Monday, Chris Larabee found his office completely dark except for the computer screen. The lights would come on when anyone else entered the office, but immediately went dark when Chris was alone. The Frogs had become a screensaver that enhanced itself, adding more and more frogs to the situation until the screen was completely full. The computer generated voices alternated with the lice-struck cartoons and the locust game popped up whenever he was angry. He found that he liked it and caught himself wondering what JD would come up with next.
JD spent a quiet day in the mailroom trying to avoid one of the secretaries. She had somehow found out that his mother was dead and was trying to mother him relentlessly. As she was thicker than molasses and about as brainy, JD wanted to stay away from her.
A few calls on the condo phone had informed Ray and Gabe, as well as Renfield Turnbull, about the change in his living arraignments. He didnt dare call Mrs. Leviwitcz about it, lest it get back to Ben. Slatterlys behavior was too worrisome for JD to deal with right now. JD was happy, this was somehow home. He dreamed about his mother being pleased every night.
On Tuesday, the computer dripped blood all over his screen. The frogs were back and the lights still only came on if someone else entered the office. Team Seven was asking him interesting questions, and Nathan had examined him for migraine or concussion, because they couldnt understand why he wanted it so dark in his office.
JD smirked slightly as he delivered the mail, but Larabee wasnt going to give him the satisfaction. Team Sevens leader was strongly revising his opinion of the boy upward. The latest batch of applicants were even worse making JD shine the brighter.
If only he wasnt so young.
On Wednesday, the computer had turned the air-conditioning on. The office was freezing. On the screen the Frogs alternated with sheets of pounding hail. Chris couldnt help but laugh at the situation. In the bullpen, Nathan wondered if his new boss was really well.
Buck was great. JD was so thankful. His room was comfortable. He felt a little guilty at being so happy since his mother was only just gone, but somehow he knew that Rachel wouldnt have wanted him to grieve forever. Somewhere inside of him, he knew that he needed to find some time to do so, but he still had a promise to keep.
There were three openings on Team Seven and one of them was his!
On Thursday, Chris wore a sweater into the office. His men stared at him as if he were nuts, but JDs tricks made the office so cold that water froze in his thermos. He wasnt sure what Deborah Rinaldi made of the situation, but he could see her suppressing a grin every time she came into the office. Chris noticed that she was also wearing a sweater. William Burke from IS came to visit Larabee. Hed detected that Larabees computer had its own network, isolating it from the rest of the system. Burke was sharp and Chris appreciated his keeping an eye on the RMETF despite his boss own hatred of Larabee.
Chris regaled him with tales about how the boy was hexing his computer. Burke did whatever arcane things that techs did to computers, but still couldnt undo what JD had wrought. Declaring himself awed, Burke warned Larabee about not letting the boy transfer to IS. As long as Burkes superior, Senior Special Agent in Charge Appley, was there JD would be put through hell.
But Burke was impressed, especially when the locust game was joined by a kill the critters game.
On Friday, JD upped the ante. The computer grew boils onscreen, blood dripped, frogs scampered, but Larabee got all the information that he was searching for at a very rapid rate. Frowning, JD knew hed have to adjust that. It didnt help Larabee to be overwhelmed with information and the system was running way too fast.
Chris watched in astonishment as the information he was seeking flashed by on his screen with a speed that would have done the Concorde proud. More of JDs handiwork. The boy was definitely out to get him.
The situation worsened when Judge Travis, the RMETF advisor and Chris boss came to see him. Larabee could tell that he was very curious about the low temperature in the office and the boils on the flashing computer.
Not wanting the boy to get into trouble, Chris told the Judge that it was just a system glitch. He showed Travis a report from Burke, just to verify it to the man. Travis narrowed his eyes in speculation and Larabee just knew that the Judge would be watching him to make sure that he wasnt drinking again or some such.
With a sigh Chris went back to his paperwork. He had a strange feeling that this wouldnt be the last time he bent the truth for the energetic young man.
Monday was always an especially busy day in the mailroom. JD was kept hopping from one place to another. OConnell gave him the strangest winks making JD feel that his campaign to get Larabee to hire him for Team Seven was not going unnoticed.
Hey Dunne! Shaun OConnell roared to be heard over the chaos that the staff was creating.
Sir? JD came to meet his boss across a floor covered in tall stacks of mail and the daily report forms. The Federal Government was a great believer in the power of paper.
Randy, the boss in Allocations. He made a bit of a goof. Theres an office up on the eleventh floor assigned to the RCMP.
Mounties? In Denver? JD was astonished.
Its something about NORAD. Im not sure what. Anyway, Dunne. Randy forgot to assign anyone to meet and greet the new arrivals. You said something about the Canadians helping you out in Chicago. Think you can speak enough Canuck?
Sure! JD agreed, glad for the chance to get out of the stifling stacks of forms and mail. He was thrilled about seeing more Mounties. The ones in Chicago had been really nice to him.
Chriss office resounded to Richard Wagners Ride of the Valkryies. His screen was full of flies that were being eaten by cheerful looking frogs as they piled up and filled the monitor. Blood dripped, the computer spoke in seven different languages, and the speed of files was still faster than normal, but at least he could now read it. His office was still freezing and dark. The Locust and animal shoot games came up every time he raised his voice.
Larabee had to admit Dunne was the best that hed ever seen. However, he had five applicants to go through today. Everyone had to have a decent chance so there were no recriminations later.
Patience, Chris told himself, stifling his laughter as he blew away a dozen or more locusts.
JD was a little disappointed. The two Mounties were very different from Chicago. They didnt seem to be on the same page at all. Runson, the more senior spent his time hobnobbing with the more senior Agents around the building as JD took them on their tour.
Most of the people that Runson found important enough to speak to were folks that JD had pretty much figured were lost causes. Most of the Agents in question were there to pick up a paycheck until they retired. There was a deep strand of incompetency that hed noticed. Did the Government promote idiots to get them out of the field? It certainly had surprised him.
The junior Mountie, Mouret, seemed about as annoyed with the Agents his senior was courting as JD was. After a long silence he spoke to JD. I am given to understand that you visited our Consulate in Chicago.
Yes, they helped me out when I got stranded there.
So Constable Turnbull said. Mouret gave the young man a measuring glance.
JD felt uncomfortable. He didnt know who Mouret was and he didnt want to give away anything that hed learned at the Consulate.
Hey Kid, came a soft whisper from behind JDs back. He turned and found himself face to face with Philip Monson and Charles Tusswell. The two agents were grinning and slipped over to join them as they waited for Runson to finish talking with the Senior Special Agent in charge of IS, Martin Appley.
Its good to see you JD, Charles added with a laugh. We thought wed come see how you were doings since we were going to be here to get Mouret set up. Hes good at doing the dream thing. Tusswell winked, letting JD know that Mouret was part of the Cross-border patrol and was safe to talk to. JD felt himself breathe a sigh of relief. He didnt want to be spilling peoples secrets. Runson is a big bag of hot air, all of the time, Tusswell added as Monson snorted in agreement. Mouret hid his grin, but his eyes sparkled.
If you need anything, anything at all, you just tell Mouret. Hell get the word to us. Charles and I end up in Denver all the time, so dont you start worrying about putting us out, Philip said, fixing JD with a glare. I dont want to hear about you not eating again.
Im eating, if I even look like Im not, Papa Wilmington has something to say about it.
Wilmington? Buck Wilmington? Charles asked.
Yes, why is there a problem? JD asked wondering if the current situation was all too good to be true.
Bucks a great guy, Charles said. No problem there, none at all. I just wasnt expecting that.
Good Job with Larabee, though, Philip said changing the subject before Charles could reveal too much about their interest in Buck. A little bird told me about the plagues. And how hes taking it. Youve really done an amazing job, he laughed. Larabee must like you. Normally he has the patience of a stepped on rattler.
Yeah, JD said. I just hope he decides to hire me soon. I dont want to unleash the last of the plagues.
Why? Nothing that youve done has been damaging. Its all been in fun and hes been enjoying it as much as you have, Charles asked in concern. Locusts, blood, frogs, flies, the works!
The last plague, JD answered unhappily.
The plague on the first born? Mouret asked, rather confused by the exchange.
Oh, Charles replied.
Thats a hard one Kid, Philip said. Turning to the confused Mountie, he explained. Larabees wife and son were killed by a car bomb, a couple of years ago. Hes still grieving for both of them. This could raise some bad memories.
Sitting on the Xerox machine behind JD, the Major agreed. He needed to break the stand off but hed been enjoying it as much as JD had.
Chris shivered as he typed on the keyboard. The office was freezing and none of the candidates could even come close to fixing it. Besides, Buck was giving him the puppy dog look. Theyd already had one argument over JD. The boy was too young.
The Major grinned, half the battle was won. The others seemed ready to take JD on, especially Buck. Once Wilmington was on his side, it wouldnt be long before Chris would have to add JD as a member of the team. The rest hed take care of.
JD endured the superior attitude from the Senior Mountie, Runson. Exchanging commiserating glances with the Junior Mountie, Mouret, as Runson continued to drag the tour out into a long meet and greet. They waited for Runson in the corridor just outside RMETF Sevens offices.
Hey! a man in a long grey coat yelled at JD as he and the Mountie stood there waiting for Runson. JD turned at the shout. Did you drop this? The man held out JDs mothers wedding ring. Hed looked everywhere for it and had been very upset that hed lost it. When hed found the jewel box empty, it had just about killed him. He could have lost it anywhere on the road. It must have been in his pocket this whole time.
Thanks, Ive been looking for this. Its my moms ring, JD exclaimed. Thank you. Thank you so much.
As he thanked the man, Buck came barreling out of the RMETF offices.
JD? Kid I thought I heard your voice. Could you come in here? Please. The Computers are going wild!
Excuse me, JD said to both Mouret and the man in grey. Putting Rachels ring onto the chain around his neck, so he wouldnt lose it, JD followed Buck into Team Sevens offices. He smiled at Deborah Rinaldi who was desperately rebooting her computer. In the bullpen all of the systems were down.
Mouret followed the men curiously. Hed run into many American acronyms but had never run in to a RMETF. He watched in amazement as the man in the grey coat walked quickly past him and into the bullpen. The Major smiled at the young Mountie and walked through Nathans desk and its computer. He winked.
Hey! Nathan exclaimed. My systems got it too! Unseen by the members of Team Seven, the Major walked though every computer. As soon as IS tech corrected a problem, the Major walked through the system again, scrambling it.
As all of the computers in his Teams offices went haywire again, Chris Larabee looked at the Tech.
Fix it! he demanded, glaring at the Tech.
This shouldnt be happening, the Tech moaned. He was terrified. Everybody knew how Dangerous SAC Larabee was. He was a former SEAL, and SEALs killed people. Now he was stuck under the Larabee glare. All day hed been hearing about the Candidates for the Tech position and what had happened to them. Laura had told him that Larabee cussed for an hour after the last one couldnt fix the system meltdown. Hed drawn the short straw and been forced to answer Larabees summons.
The man was even scarier in person and hadnt raised his voice yet. The problems with the system were like nothing that hed ever seen and he couldnt fix it. Larabee glared at him and he almost wet himself in terror. Annoyed at the Techs incompetency, Chris turned to JD.
Dunne! he snapped, garnering the boys full attention. Once he had it, as well as everyone elses attention, he bit out. If you can fix this Youre IN.
JDs eyes got wide and he quickly moved to Bucks computer. Soon he had the system up and running. Mouret watched in both amazement and amusement as the Major stopped his campaign.
It took a little while, fighting the stubborn systems, but JD got them back on track.
You need some better firewalls. This new virus is hard to clean out, JD said, and explained what he thought had happened to the system. After the first couple of sentences, the rest of the Teams eyes glazed over. Chris shook himself. Well you did it. Everyone looked at the somber man in black. So, this means that you are a member of this team. I guess you belong here. Welcome to Team Seven, JD Dunne.
Mouret watched in quiet awe as the Major grinned. He passed Mouret and Runson as the latter came into the corridor. They saw him walk to the glassed in stairway. Runson huffed and the Major turned to look at both Mounties. He tipped his hat in salute and walked onto the stair landing and out the glass on the eleventh floor.
They let these people wear anything, Runson huffed. Mouret turned to his superior in surprise. What did the nineteenth century clothing matter? Hadnt he seen the man walk out the eleventh floor stairwell window?
The incident made JD a bit of a hero. Chris let the others get him settled in and then pulled JD to the side.
Fix the dark and the cold, Chris said, hiding his grin.
Just the dark and cold? JD asked in confusion. Hed have thought that Larabee would have wanted all of the stuff removed.
Yes, Chris said, surprising him. I dont mind the plagues. They suit the situation. They suit me. He gave the startled JD a very out of character grin and went to his office.
JD raced across to Bucks computer and immediately stopped the dark and cold in Larabees office. Somehow the Man in Black was scarier when he grinned than when he glared.
Joining Team Seven lifted JD out of the mailroom. He went down and said his good-byes. OConnell laughed and told him to get back to work in his proper office. Buck helped him move his gear.
By the time he got back to his new desk, JD found his new teammates had piled it high with malfunctioning computer gear. Oh well, this was the job he wanted, now he had it. Sorting through it, JD found a box of bandages, a packet of Ridix, a tube of special ointment, some fly repellant, a can of locust spray, a flip-book of animals, an umbrella, a flashlight, and a recipe for frogs legs. He looked up to find Chris laughing at him, silently. JD nodded with a grin. Hed found his place, now he had to work to keep it.
After a long shift getting oriented to RMETF Sevens operations, and being prepared to go out to Shackelton for his advanced training, JD made a long distance phone call.
Hey Ren. I made it. Im on my team!
Continues in The Connection
Crossover Justification Degrees
Second degreeCold Case - Katheryn Morris (Lilly Rush) (All)** Katheryn Morris (Charlotte Richmond)
Due South - Laurie Holden (Jill Kennedy)- (Letting Go)** Laurie Holden (Mary Travis)
Father Dowling- Jennifer Edwards (The fake Mrs. Jerico) (Missing Body Mystery)** Jennifer Edwards (Hannah Sanchez)
Stingray - Robert Vaughn (Nameless Master Villain) -(Abnormal Psych )** Robert Vaugh (Judge Orrin Travis)
Third DegreeEarly Edition Kyle Chandler (Gary Hobson)^^^Lyon's Den- Kyle Chandler (Grant Rashton) -Rick Worthy (Trick or Treat) **Rick Worthy (Nathan Jackson)