Tuesday, September 13, 2011

S2: Chapter 02: Life After Death

“No…no, no, no, no, NO!” Brett yelled. “FUCK!” The room fell silent. The intercom started again and they could hear the sounds of the fire as the flames flickered and ran throughout the location consuming the evidence and everything else in its wake.

Brett dropped his gun on the table and hit his head against the wall before lowering it in defeat. The transmission ended with the sounds of the building collapsing to the ground. “She’s gone…”


Scott walked into the unit room and dropped a manila folder onto Dustin’s workstation. “New assignment boys, right up your alley; apparently there have been security cracks in both the FBI and CIA and a lot of information has leaked on open and pending cases.  This will require your skills Kimura, find out who caused the break and you boys work on bringing them in. Get it closed quickly.”
He looked at Brett resting on the sofa and sighed. “Knight, she...she's in a better place.”
“Souls don't rest without justice, but if that's what you believe.”
“I do. I think...”
“You know what? Piss off! You didn't try and help her when you could, I don't want to hear anything you have to say now.”
He turned and exited the room and Dustin cleared his throat as he pulled the file closer so he could read it better. “Interesting, this security breach happened right around the time Yve was killed.”
“So? What good is that information? It didn’t save her life.”
“Brett, let me repeat what I said. There was a security leak around Yve's death. When she, Vic and I worked for the CIA on assignments for kill missions, this type of security leak…”
“Only happened with in-house kills,” Murph finished his sentence. “It was how the squad could claim plausible deniability about agents deaths...murders. Remove a firewall, release some useless information so it looked as though someone from the outside gained access to the network in order to take one of ours out and deflect guilt from the team. This could have been accessed by the person that set her up for Newell’s death?”
“I’m going to find out,” Dustin said pulling up the information from Langley.
Brett stood and walked closer. “What does this mean? CIA hit their own guy and set her up for it?”
“Either that or the disbanded operation is back up and running and covering their tracks. Newell and David Peterson, former SWAT lead for the CIA, started that division and dealt a lot of dirt. After a few of their indiscretions came to light, they were shut down by the former presidency and many of us were disavowed and left to hang. It would make sense to go after both Newell and Yve, they blamed her for a lot of what happened leading up to the break up.”
“If they did this…caused her death, I want them,” Brett said.
“Let me see what I can dig up.”
Dustin worked on the information in the folder for nearly 45 minutes before finding a recognizable piece. “I don’t believe this.”
“What? Find something?” Murph asked stepping closer.
“Yeah, a list of the safe houses we used with the CIA. If they really did contract someone for Yve’s hit, you can believe they would have holed up at one of these places until the heat died down.”
“Well let’s have it,” Brett said reaching for the list.
“Not so fast, Brett. We can’t go out there! If this was handed down by the CIA they'd expect our next move would be to hit these places and most likely have already moved whomever was there. Besides, there’s no telling if we might find anything and I can't authorize your exploration right now since we are on a different case.”
“Correction, you’re on a different case, I'm on in-house suspension: look but don't touch so I'm only eavesdropping,” he said looking at Murph. “I want the fuckers that did this and I don’t care who I have to go through to get them!”
“It's too dangerous. We can't tip our hand with this investigation. Victor sighed and watched the intensity in Brett’s face and the unchanged expression. “You’re not going to let this go until you get satisfaction are you?”
“What do you think?”
“You're not the only one that misses her, Brett. We all do.”
“Yeah everyone except Scott,” Ryan chimed in.
“You have no idea what Scott is feeling. Maybe it helps him to stay buried in work like it is for some of the rest of us. The only sleep I get lately is knowing we can at least fulfill the last thing she asked us to and find out who's really responsible for what happened.”
“And that's why I'm going out there Vic! I'm not just going to sit back and let them get away with this. She deserves justice and you can bet your ass she'd do it if it were one of us!”
“Fine,” he said walking to the other side of the desk. “I’ll cover for you for one hour Brett, one. Keep a walkie with you and check in with me. I want to know what’s going on out there. Be careful and if you find anything notify me right away. We have to play this one close to the vest. We can’t risk anything about what you’re doing getting back to Langley. You understand?”
“I got you, Vic. I'm not going to do anything to undermine your authority, I just want to take a look.”
“One of the places I’d suggest you check first is here,” he said circling a location on the map before handing it to him. “And these three here weren't used as often and may be empty still but they may consider the fact that they are lesser known. Be careful going out there. These are used as safe houses for agents in the field, or were. No telling what’s out there; booby traps included.”
“I’ll call you if I find something.”
“Top of the hour; if we don’t hear from you by then, we’re gonna come looking,” Murph said watching Brett exit the room.
Brett reached the third location Murphy suggested and walked around. Tired and frustrated his search rendered no hits he gave this place a quick once over expecting the same results. The outside appearance of the building was shabby and rundown. It was a shack that could easily be mistaken for a bum’s haven which is most likely the draw to it; the fact that there were no overt signs that this was a CIA safe house.
He could see a pipe for fresh running water and a nearby shed that housed a small generator for lights if necessary. As he closed in to the front door he could smell a foul odor of decay and mold as it rotted the wooden planks covering the walls and floors.
The paint was peeling from the walls and the hinges on every window was rusted shut; definitely a safety precaution if the old place ever caught fire he noted as he made his way around the side.
He continued searching around the area coming across a back stairwell that led into the basement. He backed away and looked for something to free the boards and chains from the door not wanting to just shoot them off and alert whomever of his presence.
The nails holding the boards in place were rusty and they squeaked as he pulled at them to loosen and remove them. He released the breath he was holding as the first board dropped from the door.
"This isn't fast enough," he said aloud removing the grip he had on the second board.
He walked back towards the front of the building to his truck to check the bed for anything useful. He opened the small toolkit and grabbed a crowbar. As he started for the gate and peered up towards the second story something moved from the shadows in the room on the right and he held his breath. “No fucking way,” he said catching a glimpse of someone in the window.
He hurried back towards the chain unconcerned with making a quiet entrance and shot the lock from the door. He took the stairs three at a time and made it up to the second floor. Cautiously he made his way to the room at the end of the hall, checking in the others as he passed them.
He placed his weapon back into its holster, slowly opened the door and approached the window he saw the figure. He gazed outside and saw his truck parked beyond the gate. He noticed the dust on the sill was recently disturbed but looking around he found nothing of significance.
There were boxes of canned goods stacked along the back wall, a sleeping bag rolled tight and resting against a pile of old newspapers, personal hygiene products sitting in a box and a few scattered and broken chairs. To the right of the room there was a mattress resting on a few cinderblocks, a couple of old crates used as tables and a small weapons cache locked behind a safe wall.
He sighed not finding anyone and turned back towards the door. The distinct sound of a hammer locking into place froze him in his tracks. “Don’t move,” a familiar voice growled from behind him.
“Yvette? Yve? Babe it’s me!” Brett said with his hands steady at his side and a hint of excitement laced in his voice.
“I know,” she said leaning over. “Why do you always tell me that like I can’t see?”
“Because you really seem to enjoy holding a weapon to my head, I just want to make sure you don’t ever pull the trigger.”
“Well whether I pull the trigger today all depends on your answer to the following question: Are you here to arrest me?”
“What?! No! Of course not!”
“Were you approached by the CIA to do so?”
“Yeah, they came to us, some guy named Harrison. They said you killed the Deputy Director.”
“And you believed them?”
“Hell no! I know you better than that! If I believed them Yve, I wouldn’t have walked in here with my weapon holstered. Now can you please lower the gun?”
“Who else is with you?”
“It’s just me, Babe.”
She looked him over and sighed. “How did you know where to find me if you aren't working with the CIA? Were you followed?”
“I don’t think so. Dustin...”
“You ‘don’t think so’?” she moved towards a window and peered out. “You could have led them right to me, you know that?”
“Why would I be tailed? Everyone believes you’re dead!”
“And I need it to remain that way a little longer.”
He peeked over his shoulder and watched as she gathered up a bag. “What are you doing?”
“Taking precautions.”
“Yvette...I want to help you.”
“Yeah? What makes you think I need help?”
“Well, you’re on the run; you need a lifeline I’m sure.” She placed her gun on the bed beside the bag and he turned to face her with a smile. “You look good.”
“Brett!” she sighed breathlessly diving into his arms. He held her close taking in her scent as she clung to his neck. His eyes closed and remained shut as he breathed in the delicate fragrance of her perfume and the soft feel of her warm body pressed against his.
He ran a hand through her hair and pulled her head back closing his lips to hers and pressing them down in a hard kiss. “Mmm, I missed this,” she smiled against his mouth and wrapped her arms around him again hugging him tight.
The sudden closeness was all he needed to forget the anxiety he was feeling over the last few weeks. “I thought you were…”
“I know,” she said still squeezed in his arms.
“How did you get away? We heard the firefight; the agent confirmed your death,” he said finally pulling away to look at her.
“The agent reported what I told him to before I put one in the back of his head and burned down the place like Harrison ordered.”
“I missed you, Yvette. It's been so hard, I thought I...I can’t believe this,” he smiled staring at her, taking in the features of her face again. “You’re crazy.”
She laughed and tackled him to the ground. “Tell me something I don't know," she smiled. "I love you!”
“I love you too Yvette! Why didn't you try and make contact? Let me know at least that you were still breathing?”
"It was too risky. I didn't want anything to happen to you."
“A lot of things happened to me. You were dead Yve! That kind of thing has a way of fucking with someone who cared for you.”
“I’m sorry; it was just safer to stay away.”
She sat straddling his lap neither saying a word. Her laptop chimed alerting her of a message and she pulled up from the floor to check it.
“We were looking for you after Newell died. Dustin with all his gadgets couldn't pinpoint your location until it was too late and...we just knew you were gone.”
“I told you, I’m very well trained,” she smiled quickly responding to the message before stepping away from the computer. "You know there is a secret entrance to this building. The boards were in place to keep others out."
"I didn't know. Besides, I was in a rush when I thought I saw you watching me. I've seen you in a few places but it always turned out to be my imagination or some waking dream. But seeing you in that window...I knew it had to be real."
"Maybe the other times were as well. I told you I would look after you guys. That wouldn't stop because I died," she giggled.
He pulled her into another kiss and held her as he thought back to the flood of emotions he'd drowned in over the past two weeks. “I’m so glad you’re safe. You have no idea what I went through thinking you were gone.”
Feeling her arms around his neck only confirmed his original beliefs that everything Harrison said was a lie. Still the thing he said about Tasker burned into his mind. “Gabe disappeared around the same time as you.”
“I know,” she sighed. “I told him to get out because I knew whatever this thing was would lead to his front door. That's who I was just emailing, we've been working behind the scenes trying to get to the bottom of what's going on. Whatever it is, whoever is pulling the strings, is trying to ensure everyone I’ve had contact with in the last year suffers for helping me. Three other agents have already turned up dead. Brett…”
“Don’t say it. I’m well trained too Yve, I can handle myself. Besides I just found you there’s no way I’m losing you again and I’m not leaving you out here alone.”
She smiled again. “It's very dangerous. These aren't the kind of people that tread lightly and failure is never an option to them. You need to let me go. They'll take any and everything you own if it means getting what they want.”
“They did that once. I lost you, I lost everything, I'm not going to let it happen twice. Whatever you need, I'm ready.”
“You know you’re throwing any chances of being a Director out the window by aiding and abetting?”
“Maybe; maybe not.”
She buried her head in his neck and listened to the slow rhythm of his heart for a while. “Does anyone know you’re here?”
“Just the team. Victor is covering for me until I get back. He made me promise to check in with him while scouting these hideouts and let him know if I found anything. I have two more on the list.”
“When do you check in with them?”
“Top of the hour. Yve, what was your relationship with Tasker?”
She drew back and met his eyes. “What do you mean?”
He cleared his throat and rubbed a hand across his chin before asking. “Well I...I mean were you and he lovers?”
“No, Brett of course not! I told you before you’re the only agent I ever crossed that line with. You think I lied to you?”
“No, sorry of course I don't think that.”
“He and I are friends ONLY have been for 11 years. Why would you ask that?”
“It was just something in the report from Harrison.” He caught the hurt expression on her face. “I’m sorry, Yve. I shouldn’t have asked that, I knew better.” He reached for her and she pulled away.
“It doesn’t matter,” she said moving her gun to the table and dropping down onto the makeshift bed.
“How long have you been here?” he asked rubbing his neck and trying to quickly change the subject as he gave himself a mental kick.
“Two days. I’m staying mobile. I can’t stay in any one place for too long. I'm surprised you were actually able to catch up to me. How did you know about this place again?”
“We were hunting one of your killers. Dustin’s really good. His Intel and computer skills, he practically owns every network and every camera in the city,” he said joining her on the cot. “Not to mention he’s worked with the same people we’re hunting and can somewhat predict their behavior. Scott came in with a case and he used the information in it and found the list of safehouses used by the CIA. Honestly, I'm not supposed to be here but...”
“But you were determined to capture the people you thought killed me and possibly get yourself hurt in the process? I hate that you guys are doing this. I am perfectly capable of handling this situation myself. I don’t like you sticking your necks out it’s why I left that note. Anything could happen to any one of you at any time! And if they find out that I’m alive…”
“They won’t, not from any of us. The guys feel the same way I do. We believed in your innocence. There is no way you could have done the things they accused you of.”
“How can you be so sure? I’ve killed more people than I can count, Brett. For the longest time I worked as a Cleaner. I hunted people, stalked them, preyed on their weaknesses and even tortured them through their loved ones. I led a team of agents through some of the most vicious acts of violence you could imagine, Victor and Dustin included. It’s not something I’m proud of but it’s a part of who I am.”
He rubbed her back as he listened to her recall the action in her past. He could hear the remorse in her voice and he wished there was some way for him to dull the pain. “That’s not you anymore. You’ve saved more I’m sure. Hell millions alone can breathe easy after that whole thing with the nuclear weapon.”
“We lost that one, Brett. The bad guys stole the weapon.”
“But it’s useless without the other piece which we successfully prevented the theft of.” She sighed heavy and he frowned. “Yve, don’t blame yourself for this. We did what we set out to do. But that’s not the problem right now. Right now we have to figure out who’s behind this thing with Newell. Do you have a plan?”
“For now it's all E&E, evade and escape until I can meet with a friendly. He should have some information for me as well as the 20 on Gabe who I’m hoping I warned in enough time to grab the evidence he’d uncovered. His emails haven't been clear.”
He heard the static on the walkie talkie and remembered his promise to Vic. "Shit!" he mumbled under his breath. He knew they were out looking for him by now and the truck was still parked out front.
"You'd better check in. I don't want them coming here! They can't know about me."
He grabbed the walkie and gave Victor a quick update about what he'd found, leaving out the part about Yvette and turned the walkie off.
"Thank you," she smiled. "The last thing I want is more company. I have to figure out my next move and I don't need the distraction or to put them at risk as well."
“Fine. And until then,” he pulled her into his arms until her head rested on his chest. “Get some sleep. I know you haven’t since you fled. I’ll watch over you, Baby.”
She smiled and tucked herself further into his shoulder. “I was trained to not need much. Besides, there's no rest for the wicked. I have to stay on my game.”
“And sleep goes a long way for that so try and get some anyway. Now stop arguing and close your eyes.”
“Yes sir,” she giggled and did as he instructed. He gingerly kissed her forehead and caressed her back until he heard her soft moans and knew she was out.
She whimpered a little after she’d passed out. Brett moved closer and held her. He watched over her as he promised and for nearly three hours she slept soundly in his arms. He smiled, it took her running before he could sleep with her but he was happy to have it either way.
Suddenly Yve began thrashing wildly and screaming, throwing Brett away from her and knocking over a few other items in the process. She woke with a start, her chest heaving heavily, sweat pouring from her forehead and tears streaming from her eyes. “NO!” she yelled before drawing her legs into her chest and crying into her arms.
“I’m sorry,” she wept noticing Brett standing back with a look of confusion across his face. She fell back on the cot and he immediately rushed to her side. “Shh, hey, Yve it’s ok Baby,” he grabbed her into his arms. “I got you.” He tried calming her nerves and settling her down.
“Did I hurt you?”
“Nothing I can’t live with,” he smiled looking at the scratches on his arm.
“I’m sorry Brett.”
“Stop apologizing. Hey, look at me,” he said pulling her face to his. “What was that?”
“That was the reason I can’t spend the night with you.”
“Does that happen every night?”
“No,” she sniffed. “Some nights I can sleep right through. Some I wake up fighting. And there are others where I wake up shooting. I had to stop sleeping with my gun so close,” she cried.
He ran a gentle hand along her cheek, brushing the stray hair from her face and drying her tears. “Tell me about it.”
“No. No!” she said shaking her head. “I can’t! There’s no way you could handle even half of what I’ve done and I wouldn’t want you to see me for the monster I am. I don’t want to lose you.”
“Yvette.” He moved onto the cot behind her and held her close to him, rocking her back and forth as he whispered into her ear. “I’m not going anywhere Baby. You’ll never lose me.” He kissed her shoulder and continued soothing her.
“I know, because I won’t let it come to that."
"But you made me a promise," he reminded her.
"Someday," she smiled and wiped a hand across her face wiping away the remaining tears. "What time is it?”
“A little after 7,” he answered somewhat surprised by her change in demeanor.
“We have to move,” she said standing.
“Yes. I can’t…we can’t stay here for much longer. We need to find new shelter.”
“It’s 7 at night, Yve.”
“It’s perfect,” she said wiping her face again. “Cover of darkness should work in our favor.”
“Hey,” he said grabbing her arm and turning her to face him. “Are you alright?”
“I’m fine, Brett; really. I can’t dwell long on the nightmares, they never go away and right now there are more urgent things to take care of.”

“Like what?” he stepped towards the chart she’d put together.
“I’ve decided to take the fight to them and show the Company why it’s best to do a kill confirmation in person. They wanted it this way and I’m going to show them the monster they created.”
“Ok fine, where do we start?” he asked turning to face her.
“‘We’? Brett like I said, I’m not bringing you or anyone else into this. You have no idea what you’re getting into and I won’t let you throw your life away like that.”
“Throw my life away? Yvette, you ARE my life. Do you really think that I’m just going to go back and forget that you’re out here? Forget that you’re risking your life trying to find answers for a problem this big? You and I both know you need help whether you want to admit to it or not. You’re talking about taking on the fucking CIA and a supposedly defunct underground government operation that has no rules!”
“I know what’s involved which is why I’m not asking I’m telling you to back off. Brett they won’t just come after you, they’ll come after everyone and everything you love and it won’t stop until they’ve destroyed you! I can’t let you do that! I won’t!”
“And I won’t let you do it alone,” he said getting the last word and silencing her with a kiss.

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