Since no-one has ever gotten into the lives of certain Spectrum agents that much I’ve done a bit of creative thinking with parts of the time lines to create this story. Many of the characters are based on the basic Spectrum time line, but several have been altered to give new twists such the Metcalfe family being a bit more expanded than it really is. Not knowing the original background, I’ve made a few changes, some with names after reading the fan fic on Chris Bishops page. The only characters completely mine are Cijay, Terry and their extended family. Although this story freely uses some ideas taken from the fan fic pages of Chris Bishop and other authors, it does not necessary follow the general direction and plotlines of those stories. If I’ve stepped on anyone’s toes doing this I apologize, it wasn’t intentional.
“Colonel White, Spectrum Vancouver reports the SPJ is overdue,” Lieutenant Green reported to his superior.
Colonel White looked at the young man and nodded.
“Has there been a signal from the jet itself?” he inquired.
“No Sir, nothing,” Lieutenant Green inquired.
The Colonel thought for a minute and turned to his aide.
“Get Major Metcalfe here as quickly as you can,” he instructed.
Lieutenant Green turned to his consol and got in touch with Spectrum Security
In London, Terry Metcalfe had just been informed that he was wanted on Cloudbase. He requisitioned a jet and was on his way. During the flight up, he wondered what had happened that he was called for specifically. Normally procedure was for the available agent to go. No, what ever had happened needed quiet and needed to be very hush, hush. What ever it was was something very important.
“Boomer quit that. This is a helicopter not a jet!” snapped the pilot.
“Aw come on. I know I can do it,” replied ‘Boomer’.
“Just hold this bird steady while I look those ridges over. We need to place these charges tonight,” she remarked.
“I know, I know. If we don’t place them then there’s too good a chance that there can be an avalanche and we don’t need it this close to the resort,” he replied.
“Right. Now take the stick and hold us steady!”
“Copter One from Base, do you read?” came a voice over the radio.
“Copter One here. What’s up Allan?”
“Cij, can you get back here, you have a visitor,” came Allan’s voice.
“Sure. What kind of visitor?” she asked.
Cijay looked at the radio in surprise.
“How did you know it was a guy? Okay, British, armed forces, dark hair, mustache,” said Allan. “Oh and Daffers says blue eyes.”
“I’m twenty minutes away. Someone put on the coffee for me? Its cold up here seeing as Boomer hasn’t gotten the heater fixed. Oh and tell Daffers to leave him alone he’s taken,” she said, grinning.
The helicopter banked easily and headed back to the station so they could land. Cijay looked at Boomer and raised an eyebrow.
“We might need the bird prepared can you do it?” she asked.
“No problem. Who is this guy?”
“If I told you I’d have to kill you,” She grinned.
“One of them huh? Okay, I’ll get on it.”
Craning her neck a bit she could see the entrance to the valley where the station was and saw the large landing area, nicely cleared for their use. She eased back on the stick and began descending, carefully observing that the area remained clear. They touched down and Cijay cut the engines to the copter. Watching outside of the copter, for the blades to slow down, she waited a moment then got out. She quickly zipped her jacket up and walked across to the office.
Entering the door, she stomped her feet to get some stray snow off them then looked around. Allan sat at his desk near the radio. He looked and grinned, then handed her a coffee. She looked at him, then the cup.
“Who made it?” she asked.
“Your friend in your office. Said he knew exactly how you like it.” Allan replied. “Daffers is still drooling over him.”
“She better stop. This guys wife could make her life a living hell,” Cijay said, taking a sip of the coffee, and then nodding. “He’s getting better.”
“I think he’s getting impatient,” Allan said.
They looked at the window between inner and outer office. He was standing there, looking at her.
“Okay. Allan, I’m not here okay?” she said as she went to the office door.
Entering she looked at him and grinned.
“Well, well. What brings you back to this, deep freeze, I think you called it once?” she asked.
“Something serious,” he said sitting down across from her.
“It would have to be for you to be here. How can I help?” she asked.
“One of our jets was on a flight to Vancouver last night and it didn’t make it. We have two people on that plane and tracing their transponder, we found they’re around here someplace. The Colonel would like you to go have a look for them.”
Taking another sip of her coffee, Cijay nodded and looked at Terry.
“Okay, what’s so important about the bird or the crew?” she asked.
“The jet is a prototype that we’re thinking of adding to the fleet and they were testing it. The crew are top men.”
“How long have they been out of contact?”
“Almost 14 hours now. Quite frankly kiddo, you’re the most qualified person for the job.”
“Lovely. Okay Dad, lay out the bad news,” she remarked.
“Okay. We think they might be in an avalanche area. As such…”
“As such, that makes me the only one to be able to get in and out with any serious chance of getting them out too, right?”
“Cijay, the Colonel didn’t want to bring you in, but it’s safer this way,” said Terry.
“What aren’t you telling me?” Cijay said.
“One of the crew is family.”
Cijay nodded her head and pursed her lips.
“Well it’s not Mom or you would have sent someone else. It’s not Uncle Charles, or granddad, nor the twins. Its Paul isn’t it?”
“You should have been a cop. Yup. Think you can do it?”
“I’ve had Boomer prepping the copter for another flight, I’ll have to do a bit of climbing I suppose. I think I can handle it,” she said.
“Cij, the less people that go along the better okay? I brought some things for you to take with you,” he said.
“What kinds of things?”
“Some different clothing for them both, two MIPs, and a headset with a direct link to me.” He put the small pack on her desk.
Cijay looked at her step dad, very curious now.
“Why a change of clothing?”
“There are extenuating circumstances.”
“The Colonel never makes it easy, does he,” she chuckled. “I hope you have something that I can track the transponder with.”
“I did,” he replied. He produced a small hand held unit.
Cijay pulled off her sweater and walked over to another door. She entered the next room and Terry could see she was getting some things off shelves. She reentered the room and began dumping supplies on the desk. Then she went back in the room and closed the door.
“Tell me something,” she said loud enough to be heard through the door.
“What?” he replied.
“Why the MIPs? I thought they were still being tested,” she remarked.
“They are, but in this case we think it would be a good test situation. We want to be able to monitor these guys bio functions so Dr. Fawn can make an assessment.”
“Well if they are ready, okay,” she replied.
“Besides, you know how they work.”
Cijay reentered the room, pulling on a polar fleece vest and nodding slightly.
“I know better than to ask,” she grinned.
“Which is why you got the job,” he replied.
“What co-ordinates did you get from the transponder?”
“Looks like somewhere in the Kootenays,” said Terry.
“And they’re high risk right now. This is not good,” said Cijay.
At the copter, Boomer had finished fueling it when Cijay came out with her visitor. She had her pack in one hand, and her climbing equipment in the other hand. Looking over at him, she motioned with her hand that he stay where he was. He nodded and double-checked the instruments. Everything was a go for whatever it was.
Major Metcalfe was looking over the copter.
“Very nice. Bell isn’t it?” he asked.
“Yup. She’s a good one. Handles all our needs.”
“Cijay, this is important. Be careful okay?” he said.
She grinned at him and nodded.
“Always,” she replied.
“More like never you mean,” he stated.
“But Dad, that makes life more interesting,” she replied.
She climbed into the copter, secured her harness, and pulled on her headset and sunglasses. Boomer climbed into the back seat with the gear, and secured himself. He would be using the tracker to help guide her as she flew. Flipping switches the helicopter roared to life. Terry got further away from them as the snow was getting kicked up and was a bit painful, as it was hitting his face. Cijay increased their power and slowly lifted up off the ground, the nose slightly down. As she gained more elevation, she eased back and the copter leveled off. Pausing only a moment, they then headed out over the trees and kept gaining altitude.
“You okay back there?” she asked Boomer.
“Yeah but you know my ears plug up,” he grumbled.
“Then just yawn a couple of times. Have you got some gum?” she suggested.
“No. I can’t chew it remember?” he said.
“Oh yeah. I keep forgetting about the bridgework,” she chuckled.
“Can you tell me what we’re looking for?” he inquired.
“A plane,” she said distractedly.
“Okay, where did it go down?”
“Right in the middle of a disaster. Someplace in the Kootenays.”
“Ducky… just ducky,” Boomer replied.
“Could be worse.”
“Could already be covered by snow.”
Boomer made a face behind her back and looked at his instruments.
“I saw that. Just following the readings and guide me. When we get there we can determine the next step,” she said.
“I have a hunch your next step is gonna be a long drop outta here,” said Boomer.
“Only if the situation calls for it. If it doesn’t, we land.”
“I bet it’s a jump situation,” said Boomer.
“You’ve got no faith in my ability do you?” Cijay cracked.
“No, it’s not that. I’m just looking at the worse case scenario, and the weather reports,” Boomer responded sarcastically.
They were moving among the mountain valleys when Boomer began to get a strong reading.
“Keep your eyes pealed. We’re getting close,” he told her.
Cijay began looking around the area and saw several areas that were unstable. Snow was coming down the mountains, making it hard for her to get to close to the sides to check in the plane was in the area.
“Anything?” Boomer asked.
“Nothing. There’s been some slides though. Might have been caused by a plane going down. I need more altitude,” she commented. “The noise is making it worse.”
“Use the binoculars.”
“Boomer, I have to keep us level. You use them and see if you can see anything,” she said, half turning to face him as she gave more power to the engines.
“Okay, okay. Hang on a sec will you?” he asked reaching to grab the case.
He moved close to the door and began scanning the slopes. He could see more snow falling because of the helicopter noise.
“Doesn’t look like anything…. Hang on. Do you know what color the bird was?” he asked.
“Nope. What can you see?” she asked.
“Something long, big and blue at 9 o’clock.”
Cijay looked out her window and saw a flash of light.
“That could be it. Hang on I need to check something,” she said.
Reaching into a pocket, she pulled out the headset and took off her flight set, then slipped on the set she had been given by Terry.
“Westlake to Metcalfe, copy?”
“What color was that bird, do you know?” she asked.
“Blue and silver,” came the reply.
“I think we have a winner,” she said.
“What does the area look like?” came a new voice.
“Not very good. Snow is still sliding all around. It’s going to be tricky to say the least.”
“What’s the chance for an extraction?” asked the voice.
“I can’t tell yet. The area is unstable, might be from the bird going down, but I can’t say for certain.”
“Great, “ she heard someone grumble.
Abruptly she felt a slap on her shoulder, and turned to see Boomer with his hand by his ear. She pulled on her original headset and looked at him.
“Its gonna get dark soon. What we going to do?” he asked.
“Jump I guess. Get up here,” she replied.
“Told you. Have you got enough to keep warm?” he asked.
“I’m like a boy scout, always prepared,” she chuckled.
“Hmm, then can you explain that broken wrist you got?” he asked.
“Oh come on, that was you flying remember?” she said.
“Oh yeah, right.” Boomer went a bit red.
“We need more altitude when I jump, hurry up,” she said.
Boomer maneuvered into the front copilots seat and took over the controls. Cijay moved to get her pack and climbing gear into place. She pulled on her parachute and double-checked her gear.
“Okay we’re high enough,” Boomer commented finally. “You ready?”
“Yup. Go back to the base and come back in the morning as soon as you thaw out the huey. I think we might be able to get them out,” she instructed. “We’ll have to double check the conditions in the morning.”
Boomer watched her secure her gear and open the hatch, then slip out. Once she was on the skid, she closed the door and did a sideways roll off the helicopter. As she fell, she pulled her chute cord and the chute deployed quietly. Pulling on the guide cords, she landed near the plane and quickly pulled the chute off. Looking upward, she waved and watched as Boomer left the area.
Stowing her chute, she moved to the plane and looked for bodies. There were none around outside, so she entered the plane carefully, but only after making sure, it was securely positioned on the mountain. Entering the plane, she found the two men huddled together for warmth and felt for pulses. To her relief, both were strong. Looking at her cousin, she pulled out a MIP and attached it to his upper arm and then repeated the process with the other unit. The cabin was cold, but not unduly so. She pulled on the small headset again and moved to the cockpit.
“Westlake to Metcalfe, they’re alive. MIPs are in place and functioning,” she reported.
“Good going Cij. We’re getting telemetry from the MIPs. They have some minor injuries but nothing serious. Paul has a broken wrist, right hand. The other gentleman has a hairline fracture of his shoulder blade,” came the report.
“Any head neck or spinal injuries?” she asked.
“That’s a relief.”
Being careful, she immobilized Svenson’s shoulder and placed Paul’s wrist in a tensor bandage for the time being.
She went back into the cabin and set up some portable heaters, then pulled out some sleeping bags and began to get them warm with mitt warmers.
“Cij, get the clothes done okay.”
She pulled the clothing that he had given her out of the bag and looked it over. Black flight coveralls with their names on them, well one at least. It said Metcalfe, the other said Svenson. Working quickly, she pulled them on the unconscious men one at a time, thanking her dad’s foresight for the flight suits that he had sent, then wrapped the sleeping bags around them and zipped them closed. Then she sat back to wait.
It didn’t take long til she head a faint groan and Paul opened his eyes. He saw her and licked his dry lips.
“I must be dreaming.”
“If you were dreaming your wrist wouldn’t hurt I bet,” she chuckled and moved to his side.
“Cijay? Is it really you?” he asked, blinking wearily, moving to try and sit up.
“Yup, now just relax, we’re gonna be here overnight at least. You thirsty?” she asked.
“Yeah,” he replied, his voice raspy.
“Can you tell me what happened?” she asked. She held a drinking bottle with a straw up to his mouth and he took a couple of sips.
“We just seemed to lose altitude,” he said his eyes a bit glazed. “How’s Adam?”
“Recovering slower than you. He’s got a nice shoulder. And he better pray real hard he can throw overhand when it heals.”
“That’s all I need. Ohhh, I feel like hell,” came a new voice.
Cijay looked at him and grinned. Paul rolled over slightly and looked at his friend.
“Awake huh? Any excuse to sleep in.” Paul joked.
“Uh huh, right. What is going on and how long were we out?” asked Adam.
“That I might be able to answer. It’s been almost 17 hours since they last heard from you.” Cijay reported after glancing at her watch.
“Who are you?” Adam asked, looking at her warily.
“Oh just a local climber that was sent to find you,” she said glancing at Paul. He nodded slightly.
“Thank goodness for small miracles. You’re our guardian angel then,” he remarked.
“Well not quite, your angels can’t come near here or the sound of their jet engines could bring half the mountain down on us,” she said.
“What do you know about my angels?” Adam asked, very defensive now.
“Relax Adam she’s on our side,” Paul told him.
“Metcalfe to Westlake, copy?” she heard in her ear.
“Go Metcalfe. What’s up?” she asked.
“Meteorology says there’s a storm heading in your way. Are you under cover?” asked her dad.
“Yes. How bad?” she asked.
Both Paul and Adam were watching her closely.
“Could get really bad.”
“Where is it coming from?” she asked.
“North, where else.”
“Hang on, I have to check something,” she said.
Going outside she looked around and was able to see some clouds heading her way. The sky was darkening and the sun had descended over the horizon so they were going to be cold. The valley was already in shadow.
“It’s coming in on an angle. We might be able to avoid the worst part of it.”
“Good,” was the response.
“Do you want me to bring the recorder when we leave?” she asked suddenly.
“Yes. Better get it ready. I’ll be in touch okay?”
“Okay, nite Dad.”
She reentered the plane and closed the cabin door. Both men looked at her.
“Well?” asked Paul.
“ There’s a storm coming in. We’re here for the night at least. And we better start hoping it will be clear enough to get out of here tomorrow,” she commented.
“And if not?” asked Adam.
“Then we’re here till it is.”
“Who are you communicating with?” asked Adam.
“Major Metcalfe, Spectrum security,” she told him.
Adam looked at Paul, who nodded slightly.
“You’re not Spectrum though,” Adam commented.
“No, I don’t think it would be allowed. Then there would be five of us,” she chuckled.
Adam looked at Paul, baffled.
“Terry is my cousin, his wife is in R&D, and their oldest boy is a courier, plus me so far. Cijay here, is their daughter,” he chuckled.
“I wonder what the Colonel must think,” said Adam.
Cijay grinned at Paul and he looked at Adam.
“You don’t want to know what he thinks about it, trust me,” said Paul.
“Let me check your MIPs guys.” Cijay said, changing the subject.
She opened the zippers of the sleeping bags slightly, took the readings off the units, and then covered both men back up.
“Well you’re okay so far but tonight it might get really cold,” she said.
“What about food?” Paul asked.
“Its almost ready. Let’s just hope you survive my cooking,” Cijay chuckled.
“I’ve tasted it before and I’m still here,” Paul laughed back.
“Yes, but you have a cast iron stomach,” Cijay replied. “Besides you’re well known for eating anything.”
“Yes. Well, does lizard count?” He replied.
Adam looked at them.
“Relax Adam. She knows how to cook. What did you bring us?” Paul asked.
“Carbs and more carbs,” she said.
“As long as it’s hot,” said Adam, moving about a bit to loosen up.
On Cloudbase, Colonel White and Dr. Fawn was conferring with Terry on the situation.
“So medically, they’re okay, only minor injuries, nothing Cij can’t take care of. Getting them out with a storm blowing in could be the problem though. Boomer reported the area looked somewhat secure, and the plane is on a large enough area that they shouldn’t have to worry. Cij instructed Boomer to return tomorrow, but that was before the info on the storm,” said Terry.
“What kind of time frame would we be looking at if the storm hits them?” asked Colonel White.
“Hard to tell, it could bypass them or it could hang there for days. Knowing Cij, she has at least a week of food for them; medical supplies, water, and she can survive no problem. I know she has some small heaters and fuel as well. She’ll be laughing,” said Terry.
“If the injuries aren’t tended to quickly they might cause some problems in healing,” said Dr. Fawn.
“She would have gotten them immobilized and bandaged Dr. Fawn, that would have been her first priority,” said Terry.
“I want to know why that plane went down,” commented Colonel White.
“Cijay asked me if we wanted the recorder so we can assume she’s going to bring it out with her,” said Terry.
“Sounds like she’s one up on us,” said Dr. Fawn.
“In her job she has to be,” Terry remarked. He caught Colonel White’s slight nod.
“Keep me informed on the storm please Major,” said Colonel White.
“Aye sir,” Terry replied.
Dr. Fawn left the meeting room and returned to Sickbay.
Cijay could hear the wind picking up outside the plane and looked out a window. Snow was falling and being blown around in the dark. Cij turned and looked at both sleeping men and glanced at the candle lanterns in the cabin. They glowed gently but gave off a fair amount of light in the cabin. She pulled her sleeping bag around her and closed her eyes. She could hear the regular breathing of both Paul and Adam. Both men were tired and weakened with the crash and she knew she had to make sure no infections set in or it could get worse for them.
Cijay dozed most of the night and woke up quickly to see the sun out. She could hear the wind still blowing but there was no snow. Looking out the window, she saw it was clear and began to look around for options. She checked both men and found them resting comfortably.
Going into the cockpit she took out a set of tools and a schematic from the leg of her coveralls. She looked around the cabin and found where the recorder was secured and began to remove it. She was so intent on her task she didn’t hear anyone approach. The cocking of the pistol drew her attention.
“Don’t move,” came an angry voice. “What the hell are you doing?”
“Take it easy Mr. Svenson, I’m removing the flight recorder. The Colonel wants to know what happened, and why the plane went down,” she explained, keeping her hands where he could see them.
“How do you know about the Colonel?” he asked suspiciously.
She stepped back from the unit, to keep him passive.
“Why shouldn’t I know about the Colonel? He’s who sent me in here,” she said.
Adam considered her words. He readjusted his grip on his pistol and looked at her once more.
“Why would he send you in?” asked Adam.
“To keep a low profile. That much I can guess. Whatever else is going on is none of my concern. My job is to get you both out alive, and to recover this recorder,” she told him.
“Adam, relax. I told you she’s on our side,” came Paul’s voice from behind him.
Adam looked at his friend. Paul put his hand on Adams arm and he lowered the gun.
“I think you’re right about the low profile Cij. It would make sense too. Think about it Adam, Spectrum is just getting started, any bad press….?” said Paul.
“You’re right. I’m sorry Cij… is it?” he replied.
“Its actually Cijay but that’s okay. You’re forgiven. How are you two feeling?” she asked.
“A mite cold but fine. My wrist is a bit achy though,” said Paul.
“My shoulder is achy as well but seems okay,” said Adam.
“Better let me check your MIPs,” she said.
“What are these things anyway?” Adam asked, as she looked over the readings.
“Metabolic analyzers I guess would be the best description. They take your bio functions and analyze for injury. Any adverse symptoms they can give an early warning. Mostly they just monitor though,” she explained.
“Who developed them?” Paul asked.
“Drs Gray-Metcalfe and Fawn,” Cijay replied.
“Never heard of the first one,” Adam remarked.
“Well she’s a rather quiet person. Let her research and develop and she’s happiest,” Cijay said, struggling to keep a straight face.
“She does have a talent for it alright,” said Paul.
“Oh that she does. Only one thing can distract her from it all,” Cijay chuckled.
“What’s the one thing?” asked Adam.
“Her husband,” said Paul, grinning.
“I don’t want to know,” said Adam.
Cijay and Paul laughed for a few moments and Cijay then excused herself and went outside to check on the conditions. There was a crisp wind and some snow had stayed around the plane. Everything looked secure. Cijay pulled out her binoculars and began to check the snow above them. It too seemed stable but looks could be deceiving. She went back to the plane and closed the hatch after she was inside.
“What does it look like?” asked Adam.
“Chancy. The snow might hold and it might not. We won’t really know until Boomer comes back,” she said.
“Boomer?” asked Adam.
“My copilot. Pretty fair rescue pilot as well,” Cijay explained.
“How did he get that kind of a nickname?” asked Adam.
“Purely by accident. He was testing a jet and he hit the sound barrier. Didn’t know he was going that fast.”
“How can you not know you are going that fast?” asked Adam.
“Exactly what we asked him later and he still has no idea,” said Cijay. “My personal opinion is that he was drunk. He denies it though.”
Cijay heard a faint sound and went to check and see what it was. She looked around and then went outside. She could hear what sounded like a copter. She heard a low rumble behind her and dove for the plane. She ran to her pack and pulled out her headset.
“Boomer that you?” she asked.
“Yeppers. Just coming up the valley now. Everything okay there?” came his voice.
“Sort of. The sounds are making the snow unstable.”
“Well you did think the earlier mini avalanches had been because of the plane going down. What do we do now?” he asked.
“Not sure. Give me a couple on minutes to look around here,” she said. “Pull back a bit and wait.”
“What’s wrong?” asked Adam.
“Boomers coming and the snow isn’t stable enough to let him land. We need to think of an alternate way to get you out of here,” she explained.
“Well climbing is out. Neither one of us could make it,” said Paul, looking at Adam.
“Give me a couple of minutes to consider what we can do,” Cijay said and went back outside once more.
Paul wondered how they would be getting out of there safely. If the copter could not come too close to land, they didn’t have much hope of getting out til spring thaw. That thought did not please him too much.
“What a way to spend your retirement,” he muttered to himself.
“You didn’t have to retire you know,” Cijay said entering the plane, grinning.
“How?” he asked.
Cijay just grinned and went over to her pack. Opening it she brought out three climbing harnesses.
“Here, help Adam get into this okay?” she instructed, handing him a harness.
“Yes Ma’am,” Paul replied.
He helped Adam into the harness and made sure it was secure, then put on the one that she handed him for himself. Cijay put hers on quickly and then checked all three. She adjusted a few of the straps to make them more secure.
“What are you going to do?” asked Adam.
“Just wait,” she said, and then she went outside.
Looking up at the copter, she frowned.
“Boomer have you got enough cable?” she asked.
“Sure but it won’t hold three. It’s only set for 500 pounds,” he told her.
“We have to try. This area is none to stable,” she told him. “Start lowering the cable.”
“I’m gonna regret this,” she heard him mutter.
Cijay went back into the plane and got the equipment she had brought with her stowed into her pack. She grabbed Paul and Adams helmets and gave them to them.
“Cijay, what are you planning?” asked Paul.
“To get you out of here,” she said, securing the pack.” Lets go.”
They left the warm interior and went outside. Looking up, both men could see the copter high above them and the cable coming down. Paul looked at Cijay.
“Oh, you can’t be serious,” he said.
“Its either that or wait for spring thaw,” she said, raising an eyebrow. “Take your pick.”
The cable reached them and Cijay began securing them to the cable. She made them wrap their uninjured arms around the cable for balance. Once everything was secured, she looked up.
“Okay Boomer haul away,” she said.
“I don’t like this Cij,” Boomer reported.
“As you lift just get us away from the mountain face and we’ll be okay. Just get me some elevation, just in case.”
“Yeah,” he grumbled.
They felt the cable tighten and it began to lift them upward. Boomer swung out over the valley and the trio found themselves rising upward. They could feel the cold air coming downward and Cijay felt a slight lurch.
“Cijay, this won’t hold,” Boomer complained.
“Want me to get off then?” she asked.
“Someone needs to. Might as well be you, don’t you think?”
Cijay worked fast and rigged up her headset on Paul. He looked at her and watched her pull the knife from nowhere. He tried to grab her wrist to stop her and she shook her head and the cable gave. Seeing Cijay falling, Paul and Adam both cried out and were startled to see the chute deploy. They looked at each other.
“Boomer, she dropped.” Paul said into the mike.
“Okay. Once you two are on board, we’ll get her. Watch where she goes down will you?” Boomer asked.
“Okay. Tell me, does she do that a lot?” asked Paul.
“No, only if there’s no other choice. Hang on you’re close to the copter now. I brought a bit of help with me.”
“A British officer. He’s okay,” Boomer said.
They were closing in on the copter and Paul looked upward to see the face of his cousin grinning out at him. He grinned back and they were soon on board. Paul grabbed the copter headset and put it on.
“Boomer she should be right beneath us,” he reported.
“Okay hang on. I can see her chute. You all secure back there?” Boomer asked.
“Yup. Lets go get her.”
The helicopter descended slightly and Boomer kept a lookout for Cijay. When he saw her, he lowered the cable once more and waited for her signal. When she gave it, he activated the cable winch and lifted up higher as well. They saw part of the mountain fall away, the snow covering everything in its path.
“Geez. That’s Mother Nature on a bad day,” Adam said.
“I wonder if the jet is covered,” Paul said, looking down.
They could see Cijay getting closer to the copter and Terry now leaned out to help her into it. He grinned and closed the door. Boomer banked the copter and headed back to their base. Cijay, shrugged off her harness and nodded. She put her chute down to one side.
“That was fun,” she commented.
“Fun?” Boomer exclaimed.
Terry just looked at her, as did Paul. Adam was shaking his head in disbelief.
“Major what kinds of things have you been teaching Cijay that qualifies this as FUN?” Boomer asked.
“Certainly not this,” replied Terry.
Terry looked at his cousin.
“All right Paul?” he asked.
“Could be better, could be worse,” replied his cousin.
“Let me see those MIPs,” Cijay remarked.
She looked at the readings and pursed her lips.
“Well your wrist is still going to need a cast,” she told Paul.
Examining Adams, she shook her head.
“Sorry Adam, we made the fracture a bit worse hoisting you up here,” she said.
“No problem. I’m just glad to be where it’s warm,” he commented.
“Sure doesn’t seem warmer,” Paul said.
“Probably isn’t. Boomer, didn’t the part for the heater arrive?” she asked.
“Oh it got there, it’ll just take three days to install it,” Boomer replied.
“Why three days?” Cijay asked.
“Do you know how cold it really is?” Boomer complained.
“Too cold,” Terry replied.
“Terry, who’s going to meet us at the base?” Paul asked.
“Noone. I brought the magnacopter so you can relax in comfort,” said Terry.
“Major, I’m going with you to Cloudbase,” Cijay remarked.
“I don’t think that would be a good idea,” Said Terry.
“I do. I think Dr Fawn will want a report on the MIPs functions, don’t you?” she grinned. “Besides, I’m supposed to be there tomorrow anyway.”
“She’s got you there,” said Adam.
“Okay, I better not argue. I might wind up getting court-martialed,” said Terry. “Or worse.”
“We’re five minutes from base,” Boomer reported. “Oh shoot.”
“I’ll let you guess, but you don’t really need to,” Boomer said.
“That tells the story. Its Ben isn’t it?”
“What’s going on?” asked Paul.
“The local pest has arrived,” She commented. “better let me land this thing. Dad, get ready to run to your bird.”
“What’s going on?” asked Adam.
“The not so favorite local reporter. He is my least favorite person,” Cijay explained.
“Why?” asked Adam.
“This is supposed to be low profile. Hmmm, I just might have an idea,” she muttered.
Boomer and Terry both looked at her and shook their heads. Paul and Adam were curious as to what was happening.
“Dad, you and Boomer get out and I’ll meet you up at Sulfur Mountain. Boomer can guide you there. Its closed right now so he can’t get there, plus there’s no way up unless you climb.”
“Ohhh you’re nasty,” Boomer said.
“Practice Boom, plenty of practice,” she commented.
As Terry and Boomer fired up the magnacopter, they saw the reporter trying to get close, but the updraft of snow was keeping him back. They lifted off and headed directly to Sulfur Mountain.
“Boomer, any sign?” he asked.
“Nope. She’s gonna really get him peeved I just know it,” said Boomer.
“Why are you so worried about him?” Terry asked.
“He’s been asking her to go out with him for a while. She keeps turning him down. She’s used Allan, me or any guy that works in our department to discourage him. I don’t think it’s working,” said Boomer.
“He’s that persistent?” asked Terry.
“Too right he is. Like a bull dog that just won’t let go.”
“Maybe if she were reassigned?” Terry suggested.
“Ohh thank you, make our lives a living hell with him wondering where she got to? No way,” said Boomer. “He even checks at the base to see when she’s around.”
“Nosy isn’t he?” said Terry.
“Now that’s putting it mildly. There she is coming up the valley,” he said, pointing.
Terry looked in the direction Boomer was pointing and saw the sleek helicopter. He smiled slightly and watched as she brought it in for a landing on the landing pad. They touched down nearby and Cijay got both men to the magnacopter. She had a bag with her.
“You got it I see,” said Boomer looking at the bag.
“Yup. Thanks. You take this baby to base and I’ll get a lift when I need to get back.” She told him.
“How long do you think you’ll be?”
“Not sure. That depends on the Colonel,” she told him.
Boomer watched as she climbed into the magnacopter and it lifted off. He climbed into their chopper and headed back to work. He wondered what she had in store for her.
By now, Terry had sent word that both Paul and Adam were safe and that they were returning. He also had the chance to inform the Colonel that Cijay was with him. A slight change in the Colonel’s voice made it evident that Colonel White was not happy over the development.
In the passenger section, Cijay had excused herself and taken her bag to a bathroom. When she came back she wore her WAAF uniform and Paul nodded, smiling slightly.
“That will soften him up a bit. He won’t be happy, but a uniform just might help,” he commented.
“You don’t believe that any more than I do,” she chuckled.
“Who is going to be upset?” Adam asked.
“The Colonel. Cijay should have just messaged him with the information,” said Paul.
“Maybe so but I think he won’t be as angry as you make him out to be, especially if you’re right about this being low profile,” said Adam.
“Point well taken,” commented Paul.
Cijay went forward to talk with Terry for a bit. Adam looked at Paul.
“She knows a bit about our routine Paul, that’s not good,” said Adam.
“She knows a bit, true, but she’s close to the Colonel. He’s her godfather. Her grandfather is his best friend,” Paul said.
“So that doesn’t mean she should be able to wander around Cloudbase as if she owns it,” said Adam.
“Its not intentional. Remember some of her family is Spectrum. She might wind up somewhere in Spectrum as well one day,” Paul said.
“Maybe sooner than you think Paul,” came Terry’s voice.
“And why is that?” he inquired.
“Well she’s going up there for detached duty tomorrow. Or should be anyway. I guess she figures today is just as good,” said Terry.
“What kind of detached duty?” asked Adam?
“Security work, and helping Dr. Fawn.”
“I don’t like the sound of that,” said Paul.
Terry only grinned at him and returned to the controls.
“I don’t like it either,” said Adam softly.
They reached the secure airspace surrounding Cloudbase and were given clearance to land. Cijay sat by her stepfather as they landed. Terry shut down systems and the copter was lowered into the hanger. Once they were in position, the ceiling shut behind them and the deck began to pressurize. As soon as the deck was pressurized, Paul and Adam were escorted to Sickbay and Terry took Cijay to see the Colonel. As they entered his office, Lieutenant Green looked up and waved them through. Cijay balked slightly, and Terry had to grab her arm.
“Come on he doesn’t bite,” he commented.
“No, not hard anyway,” she heard from across the room.
They walked over to the desk and both saluted.
“A day early. Should I consider that a desire to work hard up here, or plain eagerness?” Colonel White inquired, looking at her.
“Um, both?” she asked, her voice fairly soft.
“We’ll see. Now seeing as you are here a day early, what do I do with you?” asked Colonel White.
“Shoot her back ground side sir,” Terry said, grinning.
“Good idea Major, but I think I have an better one. Escort her to Sickbay. Dr. Fawn would like to talk with her in regards to the MIPs as she surmised. Then take her to where security bunks and get her stowed,” instructed the Colonel.
“Yes Sir,” Terry said and saluted once more.
“Ohhh he’s angry,” she groaned.
“What did you expect? Terry asked.
“Well not the look he gave me Major, but then the uniform is not one he likes,” she replied as they walked down the corridors to Sickbay.
“That part is obvious. Lets see, he’s been an old salt since day one and had expected his favorite godchild to become navy as well. I think going army is a big disappointment for him,” said Terry.
“Blame my dad for that. How can someone who loves the sea and swimming like me be seasick on any kind of boat?” she said in frustration.
“His oxygen mixture must have been too thin,” cracked Terry.
Cijay stopped for a moment in the corridor.
“What would he do if I were World Police?”
“You really have a death wish don’t you,” replied Terry. “Why them?”
“Something I’ve been toying with for a while,” she said.
They reached Sickbay and entered. Dr. Fawn looked up from his desk and grinned brightly when he saw them.
“About time you got here. Now tell me everything,” he instructed Cijay.
He motioned she sit down across from him and they began discussing the MIPs. Terry went and put her bag in a room nearby. When he returned they were looking at the MIPs and Cijay was making a minor adjustment.
“Dr. Fawn you don’t have to rebuild it right now you know. She’s going to be here for a couple of weeks,” he told him.
“This is wonderful. Major, where is she stationed?” asked the Doctor a huge smile on his face.
“For now with security. Why?” asked Terry.
“I can use her here. We can work on improving the MIPs functions,” said Dr. Fawn. I better talk with the Colonel.”
Cijay looked at Terry and shrugged.
“If you weren’t so darn smart….” Terry told her.
“I get that from my mother, remember?” she cracked.
“I know, just don’t challenge too many people to chess while you’re here? Not all of them know how to play well,” said Terry.
“I won’t. There was only one person I liked playing chess with and he died three years ago,” she said.
“Still miss him?” Terry asked, knowing whom she meant.
“Yeah,” she said, her voice quiet.
“Cijay, you go get settled we can talk later tonight about the MIPs okay?” suggested Dr. Fawn.
“Okay Doc. See you around,” she replied.
Terry showed her to her room and she got her things stowed away.
“I don’t know if you should wear that uniform to the mess. Switch into something else okay? I’ll wait outside,” Terry said.
He left the room and she switched clothing from the uniform to a one-piece coverall, of a charcoal color. Grabbing dark boots, she pulled them on, found the beret in her bag, and put it on. As she exited the room, her step dad looked her over.
“Better,” he commented. “Now come on, I’m starved.”
He showed her around and led her to the mess. There they got some dinner and sat down at a table in the corner. They saw Paul enter and he joined them.
“How’s the wrist?” Terry asked.
“Better. So, how’s the getting settled in going?” asked Paul. He showed them his cast.
“All done. Dr. Fawn wants me in the Sickbay for a bit to work on the MIPs and lord only knows what else,” said Cijay.
“I thought you were going to be security,” Paul remarked.
“No, she’s only bunked there. This is detached duty remember? She’s gonna float.”
“Too smart for your own good Brat,” Paul said, grinning.
“You think I’m smart, what about my brothers,” she chuckled.
“Don’t remind me,” groaned Terry, grimacing.
The three laughed and then left the mess. Terry showed her around more and she got acquainted with the immense floating carrier. He showed her to the Promenade Deck and she looked around. Off in one section she saw a rose bush.
“Ah ha. So this is where he keeps these beauties,” Cijay commented.
“Careful, we can look but not touch,” said Terry.
“I always wondered where he got them. Each bloom is perfect,” she commented, looking at him.
“Thank you. It takes a lot of care to get them perfect.” came a soft chuckle. “Well demon child, how are things?”
“Fine so far Colonel. This place is huge,” she commented.
“Promise me you won’t get into any trouble okay?” requested Colonel White.
“Uh…..” she started to say.
Colonel White raised an eyebrow and grinned.
“Colonel White, there’s an priority message. Lieutenant Green sent me to find you,” came a voice from behind them.
“Thank you Captain Magenta. If you will excuse me,” said Colonel White.
“Business takes precedent. Good evening Colonel,” said Terry. “I better get going too. I have some rounds to make. Captain, could I impose upon you to take the Lieutenant back to her quarters?”
“Certainly. If you please Lieutenant,” said Captain Magenta.
Cijay nodded and she and Captain Magenta left the Promenade Deck.
“So how long are you going to be with us Lieutenant?” asked Captain Magenta.
“Two weeks, then I return to Canada,” she said.
“What do you do there?” he asked.
“I’m stationed at one of the military bases there. Colonel Jason Pendergast is my C.O.”
“Didn’t he used to lead the Snowbirds?” asked Captain Magenta.
“That he did. Now he helps develop new jets,” she told him.
“But you don’t fly jets I hear. You like copters.”
“I do like jets, but only as models. A friend of mine is helping me build one right now,” she said.
“From what the Major tells me, your talents lie elsewhere,” said Magenta.
“That they do. I’m afraid I’m rather a disappointment. My maternal grandfather is navy and my paternal grandfather is airforce. I went armed forces,” she said.
“I bet that caused a fuss.”
“It still does. Every time I visit I have to hide my uniform so my grandfathers don’t see it.”
“Well I think they will relent in a while. My oldest brother is going airforce and his twin is going navy, I hope,” she said. “Captain, I’m aware there’s a gym here, is there any way I can use it while I’m here?”
“Talk to the Colonel. I think he’ll let you use it,” said Captain Magenta. “I believe these are your quarters.”
Cijay looked and nodded.
“That they are. Thank you Captain.”
“Good evening Lieutenant,” he said and inclined his head.
Cijay entered her quarters and looked around. She put her clothes away and hung up her uniforms. Looking around the room, she realized she wasn’t tired.
“Arg. I don’t want to sleep,” she said quietly. “Dad, if you’re listening, can I use the gym?”
She sat down at her computer and checked her access. A message came through to her.
“Yes you can use the gym. Two levels down and all the way north.”
“Don’t you just love instant communication?”
She began to change into her workout clothing and saw the flashing light of a message that had been delivered. She opened it.
“Yes. Don’t stay up too late, and have fun.”
She laughed and left her quarters, then followed the instructions to the gym. As she entered, she looked around. She had brought her tape deck and several cassettes to listen to as she worked out. Putting down her bag, she pulled her towel and a water bottle out of the bag. She put her tape player on her belt, then adjusted her earphones. Turning it on, she began to listen to her music and began to loosen up a bit. After about five minutes, she moved into a kata, and worked through the positions slowly. Her music began to get more energetic and she went back to her bag. Opening it further, she pulled out a pair of inline skates and put them on. Once on her feet she began skating around the room, warming up.
In the observation deck above her, she didn’t see the two men watching her.
“Can’t sleep can she?”
“No sir she can’t. It’s her favorite way to unwind. It’s a good thing she has her own tape player or she would blare the music,” said Major Metcalfe.
“I don’t think we need that,” said Colonel White.
“Give her a few days to adjust and she’ll be fine.”
“I hope so,” the Colonel replied.
Cijay let the music take her and she began some fancy footwork. A quick movement and she was skating backwards. She added more fancy footwork and Terry nodded, impressed at her skill. The Colonel grinned.
“What potential,” he said, quietly.
“For a figure skater?” asked Terry.
“No, an agent.”
“She doesn’t want that sir,” said Terry.
“I know, I know,” said Colonel White.
Cijay was bending over as she slowed down. Both men could see she was breathing deeply. She went to her bag and took a sip of water from the water bottle. Looking around, she saw the two in the observation room and waved. Terry waved back. Cijay started to skate again, doing a cross step around the room. Another move and she was in a pirouette.
“Too bad we never sent her for dance lessons,” said Terry.
“She wouldn’t have liked it,” said the Colonel.
Terry left the room and headed to do some rounds before he changed shifts with one of his team. He glanced back at the Colonel and left.
Cijay was becoming winded so she decided to take off her skates and do some stretching exercises to cool down. She paused in doing the routine and shook her head. Colonel White wondered what she was thinking. She finished the routine and went to her bag, then grabbed her towel. Sitting down, she leaned back and listened to soft soothing music, so she could relax with. As the tape finished, she stopped it and put it in her bag, then gathered her things together.
Walking back to her quarters, she felt on edge, more than relaxed. She knew something was going to happen, but could not put her finger on what it was going to be. Reaching her quarters, she had a quick shower and went to sleep.
When she woke up in the morning, she dressed and went to the mess for breakfast. Several security personnel nodded at her as she entered. Looking around she saw her father at a table talking with one of his people. She grabbed a coffee and a bagel, then went over to join him.
“Morning Major. May I invade your space?” she asked.
“Sure, but I thought you did that years ago,” he chuckled, as he motioned she sit down. “You can handle that, can’t you Mitch?”
“No problem Major,” said Mitch and he left.
“So, was there a reason why you couldn’t sleep last night?” he asked after Mitch left.
“No, not really. Just on edge for a while,” she replied taking a sip of her coffee. “Yuk! Who made this?” she asked.
“Wasn’t me. I know that,” he replied. “I might have an idea though.”
“Well whoever did it needs lessons badly,” she commented.
“Why don’t you show them how it’s made then. They might learn quicker.”
“Bachelor right?” she teased.
“Must be. We’ve got seven of them.”
“And not a one of them knows how to make a proper cup of coffee? That’s bad.”
She took another sip and made a face. Putting her cup down, she walked over to talk with the chef and looking into the machine. She began making some adjustments and returned to where her father sat.
“Needs to be cleaned for starters. I told the chef I’d drop by later and make a fresh pot.” she chuckled.
“Be careful, they might want the recipe.”
“Then they better talk with Granddad.”
“Your grandfather would never give up his secret recipe. He’s had that since he was a chief.”
Cijay looked confused for a minute.
“Dad, something’s wrong. Something’s gonna happen.”
“You know what?” he asked coming alert.
“A car. Something about a car.”
“How close to the family?” he asked quickly.
“Very,” she gasped.
Terry reached over to grab her and held onto her. She went pale and passed out. Terry picked her up and carried her to Sickbay, then gently laid her on a bed there. Dr. Fawn came over to see what had happened.
“What was she doing?” he asked.
“Would you believe having some kind of premonition,” said Terry.
“Has she had them before?”
“Too many times to count. She’s never been wrong either. Can you let her rest. I need to see the Colonel.”
He went to the Colonels office and Lieutenant Green passed him through. Colonel White looked up as he entered.
“She had another one. Someone close she said,” Terry told him.
“She thinks so.”
“Find out where everyone is,” said Colonel White.
He left the office and hurried to his own office and called the house. Everyone was okay there. Phoning Cee’s work, he found she had had one as well, same indications, but she was okay. She hadn’t lost consciousness. He sat back at his desk and frowned. Who was going to be hurt?
“Major, Dr Fawn wants to see you in Sickbay.”
“Thanks Lieutenant Green,” he replied.
He hurried down to Sickbay and when he entered, Dr. Fawn looked concerned.
“What happened?” he asked.
“She came around for a minute, called out what sounded like a name, and collapsed again. That’s not all though. Look,” Dr. Fawn said, pointing.
Cijay lay unconscious on the bed, her hair gone almost all white.
“What the….? What was the name?”
“It sounded like Ricco. Who is that?” asked Dr. Fawn.
“Her boyfriend. Damn.”
Terry looked through the window and frowned. Ricco, he knew, lived in the states someplace. Cijay had never said where, She knew he traveled quite a bit. Their chess games had brought cards and many e-mails from all over the world so far. He looked at his daughter and shook his head.
“This is not good,” he said. “I think the Colonel might want to see this.”
Dr. Fawn went to his communication link and asked Lieutenant Green to have the Colonel join them. After a wait, the Colonel walked in.
“Look,” said Terry and pointed.
Colonel White looked and saw her laying on the bed and gasped as the color of her hair registered.
“What caused that?”
“Ricco. He’s dead. Cee even reacted to it.”
“Should I take her home?” Terry asked.
“No. I think she should stay here. She’s going to need us, you most of all Terry,” said the Colonel.
“All right. I’ll phone Jason and let him know she might be back a bit late.”
“Good man,” the Colonel commented.
Colonel White left Sickbay and found a message on his desk from the WGPC. One of their men had been assassinated. As the Colonel read the name, he frowned. Some things were now starting to make sense.
“Major, she should sleep for a while. Let her rest and I’ll call you when she wakes up all right?” said Dr. Fawn.
“Thanks Doc. She’s had one hell of a shock.”
“Does this run in the family?” Dr. Fawn inquired.
“Only on my wife’s side of the family. I don’t have that kind of a problem,” he said, grinning slightly.
“Thank goodness for small wonders. We don’t need everyone falling down like this,” said Dr. Fawn.
“Well I think it won’t happen again for some time,” commented Terry. “At least I’m hoping that it won’t.”
He went into her room and sat down beside her. She opened her eyes slowly.
“Dad?” she asked.
“Right here kiddo. You okay?” he asked.
“No,” she said, her eyes filling with tears.
Terry took her in his arms and held her while she cried. He knew she needed to get it out of her system.
“Hey, tell me something if you can,” he asked quietly, looking into her eyes.
“What,” she asked, gasping as she cried.
“Was it fast?”
“Yes. No-one could have warned him,” she cried harder now.
“Look at me.” she looked at him miserably. “It means he didn’t know what happened. He wouldn’t have felt a thing. No pain,” he said quietly.
Cijay bowed her head and began crying harder.
“You felt it too didn’t you,” he whispered.
“Where was he?”
“Um, Chicago I think,” she said wiping her runny nose. “I felt him for a second. Surprise then nothing.”
“Cry Cij, you’re gonna need to,” he whispered.
She hugged her father and cried for some time. Dr. Fawn looked in on them every so often, but left as he saw Terry consoling her. After some time, Terry felt her relax and he found she had cried herself to sleep. He gently laid her back on the bed and sat down in the chair beside her. Colonel White entered Sickbay and looked in on her. When he saw her asleep, he motioned Terry to come talk to him.
“How is she taking it?” asked the Colonel.
“Not very well I’m afraid. Are you certain you want her to stay here?” he asked.
“Read this,” said Colonel White, handing him the document.
He swiftly read the paper and looked back at the Colonel.
“Do you think she knew that?” asked Colonel White.
“Hard to say, but she did know exactly what happened. This fits perfectly,” he said, glancing at the paper. He handed the paper back to the Colonel.
“Now read this,” he said giving him another piece of paper.
Reading quickly, Terry looked at the Colonel, in surprise.
“What do we do?” he asked.
“Nothing for now. She won’t find out,” said the Colonel.
“When can we expect him?” asked Terry.
“Three weeks from now. She’ll be back in Canada by then. Neither one of them will ever find out,” said Colonel White.
“Colonel, Major do either of you know anything about this ring?” asked Dr. Fawn.
He showed them a large diamond ring in white gold on a silver chain.
“Oh that’s just great!” said Terry. “That explains the intensity of the episode.”
“Talk about ruddy poor timing!”
“Once she finds out she probably going to want to go to the funeral,” said Terry.
“Damn rights I’m going!” they heard from the door.
“Chicago. There’s no way I would miss it,” she said. Her face looked cold and her eyes angry.
She reached for the diamond and placed it back around her neck, then left to go to her room. Terry was about to follow when Colonel White grabbed his arm.
“Make sure they don’t see each other.”
“I’ll do my best,” he whispered in reply then followed her.
He caught up with her as she entered her room.
“So when were you going to tell us?” he asked.
“When he got his leave next week,” she said, angrily, tears ready to burst forth.
“What did you know about him?” asked Terry.
“That he was WGPC, he was up for supreme commander, and he didn’t want it. Dad, he’s the kid from the flight 173. Remember?”
Terry remembered everything about that flight, even though he didn’t want to. Between Cij and Ricco, they had subdued the terrorists and got control back in the hands of the crew before arriving in London. The press had gone nuts over the two of them and Ricco had gone into WGPC, as a competent officer, his future virtually assured. Even then, Ricco had had a light beard.
“I remember. I wouldn’t call him a kid though. He was 18. The both of you were damn lucky,” he replied. “If you go there’s going to be a press field day again.”
“I owe him that Dad,” she said.
“No uniform. Leave military connections out of this,” he instructed.
“Can’t you just say it’s a last request. Dress in something you would have worn just for him. That’s more fitting,” said Terry.
“I’ll have to go home then,” she said.
“That can be arranged. Honey, I know you’re hurting and this is painful for you. Are you sure you want to go though?”
he asked quietly.
“Yes,” she said, simply.
“You know the Colonel has been contacted about it I guess,” he said.
“I would have been surprised if they hadn’t. I know who he was, and I loved him Dad. Just as much as you love Mom.”
Terry looked at her and could only nod.
“Okay, Brat. Get some sleep. If you want, I’ll ferry you down in the morning,” he said.
“Better you than these guys,” she said.” Or the Colonel for that matter.”
They hugged and she went into her room to get some sleep. Terry looked at her closed door and went to his office to see what arrangements needed to be made. When he reached his office, he had a few reports of the Chicago incident on his desk. He read them quickly and nodded. He sent a message through his computer and told Cee what had happened and to whom, so she would know what was going on.
Cijay slept fitfully and occasionally had some odd dreams. At one point, she dreamed of Ricco being on board a plane and felt something different about him. She woke up in a cold sweat, quickly turning on her room lites. Trying once more to get some sleep, she dreamt of his emotional state and felt some kind of guilt from him and depression. She opened her eyes to the dim light of sunrise and decided to take a shower, to see if that would refresh her.
Standing in the shower, she tried to calm down her mind, but she kept thinking of things she needed to do if she was going to Chicago. She climbed out and began to dry herself off. Going back into her room she found a note that had been slipped under her door. She opened it and read.
“Get some breakfast and I’ll take you to the house in about three hours. That’s the first chance I have to get you ground side. T”
She nodded and quickly dressed in her uniform once more. Packing the rest of her things took no time at all and she went to the mess. She ran into Paul as he got his breakfast.
“Morning Cijay. You’re leaving us I hear,” he said as they sat down together.
“Yup. Going to Chicago,” she said.
“That’s a bad situation that. Not good to have one of their best men done in like that,” he commented.
“He was one of a kind Paul,” she said softly.
“So are you coming back after the funeral?”
“No. I’m heading back to Cold Lake. Seems something’s come up there as well.”
“Nothing serious I hope,” he questioned.
“No, just the same old routine,” she responded.
Cijay toyed with her food and finally gave up. She had no appetite whatsoever. Paul tried to get her to talk about it but was unable to draw her out at all. Soon Terry joined them in the mess. He had her bag.
“Lets go,” he said quietly.
Neither one spoke as they walked to the hanger and entered to find a sleek jet ready for them. Terry glanced over to her and motioned only that she follow him to the jet. They boarded and the hatch was closed. Both sat down in seats and secured themselves in.
As the hanger began to depressurize, Cijay closed her eyes. She felt them going upwards onto the flight deck and heard the engines come to life as her father got them ready to launch. Lieutenant Green gave them clearance and they were quickly on their way. Once away from Cloudbase, Terry turned the jet onto a new heading, one that would take him to Chicago instead of London. Cijay opened her eyes and looked over at him.
“Where are you headed?” she asked.
“Chicago. I figured, get you there and you can get something special to wear for the funeral. We have a room booked for you already,” he told her.
“I’ve got a friend that lives in Chicago. I was going to stay there,” Cijay told him.
“You should have told me sooner,” he commented.
“Dad, why are you going to Chicago?” she asked.
“Something the Colonel asked me to look into. That’s all,” Terry replied, looking at her.
“He wants me to talk with Fraser’s boss,” said Terry.
“Because I’m most senior on Cloudbase,” he said. “ At least in Security.”
She looked at him and something bothered her about what he had said. She nodded and closed her eyes.
Terry was concerned for her. She was not taking this well at all. He knew she might do something but had no idea what. He didn’t even know if he should leave her alone.
“Dad, quite thinking so hard. You’ll give yourself a headache.” She commented finally.
He looked over and saw her with her eyes still closed.
“Very funny. We’re half an hour out,” he replied. “Here’s the address of the hotel in case you need to stay there okay?”
He handed her the slip of paper and she put it in her jacket pocket. She watched as they came in on final approach and landed near the security section. Terry rolled them to a stop near a set of buildings and shut down the on board systems. They both unbuckled their belts and Cijay grabbed her bag. Getting onto the tarmac, Terry turned to her.
“If you need anything at all call me okay? He said.
“I will. I’ll call sometime next week to check in okay?” she replied.
“Okay Brat. You take care,” he said.
“See you around Dad.”
They hugged and Cijay walked through the building until it joined into the main terminal. She passed through the security doors, showing her id, and heading out of the main building. Walking to the taxi stand, she got in and gave the driver an address. Sitting back, she looked at the passing scenery and it wasn’t long before she stood in front of a high-rise. Paying the driver, she got out and pulled some keys from her pocket. She entered the building and was soon outside an apartment on the 15th floor. She put her keys in the lock, turned them, and opened the door. Entering she closed the door behind her and dropped her bag.
Walking slowly into the apartment further, she began looking around at the models of airplanes strung from the ceiling. Planes of all types and sizes were there. She lightly touched a model of a spitfire and grinned. Then she turned to the chessboard that was near a window and her composure cracked. She slumped into a chair and started to cry once more.
Looking at a bookshelf, she saw a picture noone else would see, a picture of her and Ricco together, both grinning and waving at the person who had taken the picture. She looked around the apartment and found some things she had left with him. Packing them into her bag, she then went to the closet and opened it.
Inside were some other clothes that she had left with him, so as not to alert her parents that she was seeing more him more than they realized. She took out the black bodysuit and the boots and looked them over. Glancing at another picture in the room she grinned. It was a copy of her favorite picture of him.
“You’d love it if I wore this wouldn’t you?” she said to the picture. “Ah, but what else to wear?”
Continuing her examination, she found his baseball hat with the WGPC crest on it, and his sunglasses. She hung up her jacket and saw his khaki green jacket. Pulling it out, she looked it over. It had a WGPC crest on it as well and his nametag.
“Perfect,” she muttered.
Pulling it on, she found it fit quite nicely and she grinned. Looking back into the closet, she saw one more item and nodded. It would be good to have, just in case. She put all the garments back and sat down to observe what was happening in Chicago on the news. Most of the stories were on Commander Detective Fraser and his assassination. Cijay tried not to pay attention to them but it was difficult. She called one of the people in his office and found out where and when the funeral was being held. The girl remembered her dropping by the office one time while he was busy and they had spoken for a while til he was free.
He had been overjoyed that she had dropped by and they had gone out for dinner that night to one of his favorite spots. She remembered that meal quite well. It had been the best dinner she had ever had. Cijay made herself a meal and sat down to look at the game that they now would never have a chance to finish. She was four moves away from checkmating him and she wondered if he would have caught it. Looking over the board, she found his last move and nodded. He had caught his problem and was trying a new strategy to keep from getting beat.
“Nice move. Too bad we’ll never know if you would have won,” she commented.
For lack of nothing better to do, she made another move on the board and grinned. He was still in the same fix.
Cleaning up the dishes, she put things away and went into the bedroom. She switched into a top and sweats and crawled into bed. Turning the light off, she fell asleep quickly.
Still having trouble sleeping she found herself having a dream that made no sense to her. This time instead of him being on an airplane, he was in a vehicle by himself. She cried out in her dream and for some reason he stopped driving in her dream. There was some kind of fear now. It was like she was seeing things from his point of view. Wishing she could be beside him in her dream, she automatically was and all she could see around her was desert. He looked at her, his mouth open in surprise. He tried to talk to her but she couldn’t hear a word he said. It was like a hissing wind. For a moment, he looked frustrated and then he put his hand to his chest, his fingers in an unusual position.
With that, she woke up, crying out. Her face felt wet and she looked out into the night, wiping tears off her face. It was raining outside so she went into the kitchen and made herself some tea. When it was ready, she sat down on the couch and drank it slowly. She looked at the clock and thought about making a phone call but it was too early yet. A nagging doubt was eating at her and she wondered what it meant. She grabbed the phone and placed the call anyway. It rang once and was picked up.
“What’s up Cijay?” came a groggy voice.
“How’s your American sign language?”
“Not too shabby. Why?”
“What does the thumb, index and pinky finger extended mean?” she asked.
“Any other fingers up?” Josh asked.
“Well someone is flirting with you then. It means ‘I love you’. Who have you been flirting with?”
“No-one Josh, I swear. Thanks a lot. Apologize to Missy for me.”
“Why? She can’t hear the phone, you know that.”
“Okay then say hi to her in the morning for me,” she chuckled.
“Cijay, are you okay?” he asked.
“Yup. Nite Josh,” she said and hung up.
Sitting back she raised an eyebrow and wondered what that dream had meant. Then again, had it been a dream? She closed her eyes and dozed on the couch. Finally, she got up, and began to get ready for the funeral. Putting on the bodysuit, she made sure it fit well and there were no wrinkles any place, then she pulled on her boots. Walking to the closet, she pulled out the jacket and the vest, putting the vest on first, then putting the jacket on over top. She tied back her hair into a ponytail and put on the hat. She had a quick coffee and prepared to leave. Doing up the jacket she found it was a good thing she had the vest on underneath, as it was fairly cool. She stopped at a flower shop and picked up a single red rose, then she hailed a cab and went to the cemetery. When she arrived, she found quite a few people there, coworkers, lawyers, and people he had helped, plus several from the flight they both had been on. She saw a couple of TV cameras out of the corner of her eye, but with the sunglasses on, she didn’t have to acknowledge them.
Several people recognized her from the flight and Ricco’s secretary was there. She came over to her and looked her over, then nodded approval. They spoke briefly and Cijay went to put her flower on the casket. Several other people saw her as she placed it on the casket and she smiled slightly. Turning to look at the picture of him at the side, she could only think of one thing to do. Tilting her head slightly, she made the same sign that he had made in her dream to her. She then stayed to listen to several of the speeches being made about him. Finally, she turned and walked away. The path she took rose into a small hillock, so she walked up it. Stopping at the top, she paused and looked back down at the funeral for a moment, then left the cemetery.
One of the reporters had a camera with him and became interested when he heard someone whisper the flight number of the plane, and look at her. He watched her carefully and observed what she was doing. As she left, he kept recording and watched her pause on the hill. That was where he stopped taping.
Hours later in a remote area of the outback, a man watched the video that the reporter had shot, his eyes opening wide in disbelief at the sign she made, he quickly looked at her clothing and gasped. He recognized the jacket and the hat as well as the sunglasses. What surprised him was the silhouette that appeared beside her silhouette on the hill. It looked like him. He touched the screen gently and smiled.
“Somehow I’ll get to you,” he whispered.
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