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WARNING: This story contains graphic content such as sex, violence, death, and derogatory slang.  

Imprisoned - 10. The Plan

After our talk I felt better about the situation between Ryan and I. I couldn't erase the fact that I had hurt him, but I could make up for it in any way possible. Now that everything was out in the open I could finally do that.

I sent a mass text out to the team, telling them to meet in Alex's shop so we could discuss what our next step would be to try and thwart the terrorist plot on LA.

Who would have thought that this would be my life? Ruined cities, secret rebel armies, and thwarting plans to kill millions of people. I sure as hell didn't.

"We need to stop off at the clinic so I can pick up a Banana Bag." I informed Ryan as we drove towards Alex's shop.

"What do you need that for?" He asked, his brows furrowed.

"You'll see." I grumbled.

A Banana Bag, which is what we in the medical community call them, is an IV bag chock-full of vitamins and minerals that we usually use to treat chemical imbalances in the body. Soldiers mainly get them after they spend one hell of a night partying and drinking too much. They have a yellowish tint to them, hence the name Banana Bag.

Ryan pulled up to Medical and I hopped out of his truck.

"I won't be long." I said as I closed the door. I walked briskly towards the Medical building and pushed open the door to the main sick bay where we usually wheeled critical patients into.

"Welcome back Doctor Pierce!" Julie called from the desk. I gave her a slight wave and a smile as I made my way to the supply closet. I didn't want to get stuck here by some managerial task, I just needed to get the supplies and get out.

I grabbed an IV kit and a Banana Bag and walked back out into the sick bay.

"Doctor Pierce?" It was Julie again. I didn't want to be rude and dismissive so I turned my attention to her.

"Yes Julie, what can I do for you?" I plastered on my best smile as she approached me with a tablet.

"The man in bed three is complaining of abdominal pain, after my assessment I concluded that it might be a small bowel obstruction. Would you just look over the notes and order an NG Tube?" She handed over the tablet and I took it from her. I read through her notes and concurred that was indeed what it was. I signed the orders for an NG Tube and handed the tablet back to her.

"You know, you really should become a Doctor Julie. I usually just end up signing whatever orders you put in front of me." I smiled at her, this one genuine. I really liked Julie, she was probably one of my best Nurses.

"Then who would take care of all the patients." She gave me a facetious grin and walked towards the supply closet.

"I'll remember that the next time I get you for Secret Santa come Christmas." I teased back at her. She laughed and pushed the door open, disappearing into the closet.

I hustled out of the sick bay and back into the crisp morning air. Ryan was waiting patiently for me in the truck, rocking his head back and forth to music that I couldn't hear.

"What a dork." I smiled.

"Doctor Pierce!" A gruff voice called out to me.

"Jesus, what no-General Dreyfus!" I quickly changed tone mid sentence as I turned around and noticed the General coming towards me.

He was flanked by two guards, a scowl on his face telling me that he wasn't happy. No, that was just his normal face.

"I expect a report of this mission's failure on my desk no later than tomorrow." He barked.

"Yes sir."

"And what of Sergeant Torres? Why didn't he come back with the rest of your team?"

I froze at that question, hiding the panic from my face. I hadn’t even decided what I was going to say to him about Gray.

"MIA sir. We got separated, couldn't find him in all the chaos after we lost Doctor Grimm." It was the first thing to come out of my mouth, and my answer must have worked because his face softened, something that was a rare sight to see.

"That's too bad. Sergeant Torres was a damn good soldier, our best explosives expert too."

"I'll have the report on your desk by tomorrow morning sir." I reassured, wanting to wrap up this conversation quickly, so I could meet up with the team.

"See to it Pierce, I'm looking forward to hearing your explanation as to why you weren't able to deliver Doctor Grimm to Los Angeles." He eyed me suspiciously.

"I'm sure you are." I thought, biting my tongue. I wanted to lay into him about the lack of intel, but that wouldn't bode well for me in this particular situation.

"I will be thorough sir." I said instead, biting back my urge to throw some attitude in there.

General Dreyfus gave me a curt nod and continued on his path towards the armory.

I wondered if he even cared about Gray being "MIA", he was so quick to make it sound like he would never be found, and that they might as well just slap a KIA on him instead. I was gonna get to the bottom of my suspicions about him, one way or another.

"What was that about?" Ryan asked as I hoped in the truck and closed the door.

"He wants the report on the mission by tomorrow morning."

"Did he ask about Gray?" Ryan’s eyes went wide.

"Yeah, he did."

"What did you say?"

"I told him he was MIA, that we got separated in the chaos when we lost Doctor Grimm. I didn't know what else to say, I didn’t want the General to think he was a Deserter."

Ryan nodded and threw the truck in drive, heading in the direction of Alex's shop.

"No, that's good. I'm sure the team would agree." Ryan reassured me.

"Thanks. He seemed to buy it anyway, wasn't even too concerned over it. Just said that Gray was "a damn good soldier, and our best explosives expert"," I mimicked the General's voice. "He might as well have just said he was dead."

"That was a good impersonation, can you bring that out in the bedroom sometime?" Ryan teased, giving me a grin to match.

"Oh you like that huh? Just wait till you hear my Gilbert Godfrey impersonation." I gave him a flirtatious look.

"Oh baby! You know exactly what turns me on."

We both laughed as we pulled into a vacant space outside of Alex's shop. I could see Cody's Jeep parked outside, but I didn’t see Riley's car as we hopped out of the truck. That didn't surprise me, Riley probably had a late night of drinking last night.

"Where's Riley?" Ryan asked.

"Oh you'll see." I grumbled, walking towards the open bay door to Alex's shop.

Cody was perched on an overturned bucket, cell phone in hand with a scowl on his face. Alex had a welders shield on as she worked on some sort of metallic structure on her work bench. I approached her and she didn't budge, too much in her zone. I waited for a second, but she didn't acknowledge my presence.

"What are you working on!" I shouted, which made her gasp and jump.

"Godammit Elliott! You scared me!" She shut the spot welder off and flipped her helmet up, giving me a scowl.

I chuckled as she pulled her gloves and helmet off, her red hair falling gracefully to her shoulders.

"And if you must know, it's a new prototype I'm working on." She grabbed her coffee and took a drink, the scowl never leaving her face.

"What does it do?" Ryan stepped in for a closer look.

"Hey Ryan." She beamed at him, giving him a hug.

"Where's my hug?" I gave her a hurt expression.

She flipped me off which made me chuckle. "There's your hug," She then slapped me on the shoulder with her gloves. "That's for scaring me."

"Worth it." I grinned as she turned her gaze to Ryan.

"It's going to replace bomb sniffing dogs. It runs completely off electricity and is charged by solar panels during the day, so it'll save on energy consumption." She took another swig of coffee.

Ryan nodded his head, a look of approval on his face. "Impressive."

"My girl's gonna be the next Elon Musk." Cody said pridefully from his bucket.

Alex scoffed. "Please, that wrinkly old bastard wishes he was me." She eyed the Banana Bag and IV kit in my hand.

"For Riley?"

"Yeah… Have you guys heard from him yet?" I set the supplies down on her workbench.

"No," She sighed, taking a seat on a stool. "But I wouldn't be surprised if he shuffles in here totally hungover."

"Damnit!" Cody exclaimed. We all turned to face him, his eyes still glued to his phone.

"What are you doing?" I asked with an annoyed tone.

"It's his Medical Boards. He's been hitting the refresh on his email ever since we got back." Alex grumbled, looking over at Cody with a worried expression.

I walked over to Cody and snatched the phone out of his hands, he gave me an incredulous look.

"Hey! I'm gonna get the email any minute!"

"Then you can look at it when you get it. You're gonna drive yourself crazy obsessing over it." I gave him a stern look and Cody pouted, knowing he had been defeated.

I stuffed his phone in my back pocket and pulled out my own phone, checking to see if there were any messages from Riley. I wasn't surprised to find that there were none.

"Goddamn that Riley Monroe, if I have to go over there and break his damn door down again-"

"'M here." Riley shuffled in cutting me off. He was completely disheveled, wearing a Philadelphia Flyers hat, dark sunglasses, a tank top and a pair of shorts.

"God, you look like a pile of shit." Alex pulled out another stool for him to sit on.

"Mmm yeah, love you too." He replied snarkily, taking a seat on the stool.

I went over to him and grabbed the IV kit and the Banana Bag, waiting expectantly.

"C'mon, you know the drill." I said impatiently.

Riley held out his arm and I wrapped a tourniquet around it, exposing many veins that were suitable options. I probably didn't even need a tourniquet, Riley had extremely veiny arms. But I figured if I was going to do it, might as well do it right.

I stuck the IV in his arm and he sat there, not even a flinch. I released the tourniquet and taped down the IV, testing its placement by pushing Normal Saline through it, then drawing it back to see if I got any return flow. Once I was satisfied with my work, I hooked the Banana Bag up to him and hung it from an overhang over Alex's work bench, letting gravity do its job.

"Thanks Doc." Riley gave me a mock solute with his two fingers.

I grunted at him, letting him know I aknowledged him, but I didn’t necessarily approve of his behavior.

Far be it for me to judge Riley for turning to alcohol as a vice during emotional times, we all have our vices in life. But after that last time, when I had to pump his stomach out and he spent three days in Medical recovering from near death, I couldn't bring myself to condone it. But I could help him not kill himself in any way possible.

"Exactly how much did you have to drink last night?" Alex asked in a stern tone.

"'Nough." Riley replied, that word slurring slightly.

I rolled my eyes. "Damnit Riley, I needed you at one hundred percent for this meeting." It was my turn to use the stern voice on him.

"And you'll get it. Just need to sober up a bit." He replied slowly, concentrating on each sentence as if he were trying to pass a literacy test.

"I love you like you're my own brother, but you gotta get your shit together. I already have the General breathing down my neck, I don’t need this on top of it."

"You saw the General?" Alex's eyes went wide.

"Yeah," I sighed. "He wants a report, and he asked why Gray didn't come back with us."

"What did ya tell 'im?" Riley asked, thrusting his shades off and squinting at the bright light pouring in through the bay door.

"That Gray was MIA, I couldn't say he stayed behind or he might be pegged as a Deserter."

"Did he buy it?" Alex had a hint of panic in her voice.

"Yeah he did, thankfully." I looked over at Riley who was glancing at the floor, eyes somber. "If we're gonna stop the rebels and expose the secrets about San Francisco, then we all need to be at our best. Or else Gray staying behind, our mission failure all of it, will be for nothing."

Riley wiped his eyes with the back of his arm, giving a sniff and nodding in agreement.

"Good," I gave a stiff nod and crossed my arms. "First things first, our mission intel. I don't think I need to say that we weren't told everything before we went in."

"Obviously. Those satellite images were doctored," Alex pulled her laptop out of her bag and set it on the workbench. She flipped it open and began typing away on the keyboard.

"I cross referenced the satellite images we were given for the mission, with those from NASA-"

"You hacked NASA?" I cut her off, Alex never ceased to amaze me with her technology prowess.

She cocked an eyebrow at me, a mischievous glint reaching her eyes. "You're seriously surprised by that?"

"Impressed actually." I admitted.

She continued clicking and typing on her laptop, pulling up a satellite image taken during the night.

"This one," she pointed at the screen. "Is the image we got from Intel, and this," she hit a couple keys on the keyboard pulling up a different image. "Was taken last night. Notice anything different?"

I leaned in closer to observe the image on the screen. You could make out the city and it's edges, but there were two separate light sources coming from the city. One was obviously The Colony and to the south of it was another, larger light source, no doubt from the rebels.

"And this one," she pulled up another image. "Was taken this morning."

In the image I could make out The Colony, it’s clearly defined edges spreading over a twenty-three block radius. To the south was another large swath of land that was bordered off, clearly rebel territory.

"Son of a bitch." I said under my breath.

“My thoughts exactly.” Alex began typing away on her computer again.

Everything that I had suspected about the mission was coming to light. The idea that someone was working against us from the beginning frustrated me to no end. Why would they want to keep something like The Colony and The Order a secret?

“So what does this mean?” Cody asked nervously.

“It means that someone on the inside is working for the rebels. The only question is, who?” Alex gave me a puzzled expression.

I knew who it was, who it had to be. But the idea of it was so crazy, that even to take action against it would mean Court Martial for sure, maybe even Treason.

“Alex, can you hack into a computer located on base.”

“Well, sure,” She bit her bottom lip as she spoke, a thing she did when she was concentrating.”The only problem is that I can’t hack it remotely. The firewalls are tough to crack, it would take me days, I would need to be at the computer itself.”

“Wait, what are we talking about here?” Riley spoke up. His color was already starting to return to normal, the contents of the Banana Bag clearly working it’s magic.

“Well we need answers. I think we all know the one person who has them.” I crossed my arms, a serious expression set on my face.

“The General?” Alex laughed but then cut herself short when she didn’t see me laughing with her. “Oh, you're serious.” Her eyes went wide.

“Wait,” Cody held up a hand, a look of bewilderment on his face. “We’re talking about a man here that controls the base. Who could literally lock you up and throw away the key just for even thinking about doing what you’re thinking about doing. You wanna break into his office and hack his computer to hopefully find some answers?”

I thought about it for a second and then gave him a nod. “Yeah, pretty much.”

“Oh okay, just making sure we're on the same page.” Cody replied sarcastically and I rolled my eyes at him.

“No way, what if you guys get caught?” Ryan gave me a concerned look.

“We won’t.” I let out a huff of air, even though my mind went to a similar scenario, I couldn’t concentrate on that. I had to think about a positive outcome.

“Look, I know this plan is crazy-”

“Really crazy.” Riley scoffed. I narrowed my eyes at him before continuing.

“We’ve done crazier shit than this in the past. We can totally pull this off.” I put as much optimism behind my voice as possible. They were all silent, obviously thinking through the plan themselves.

“I can hack the building’s security,” Alex spoke up. “Camera’s, motion detectors, all of it can be hacked remotely from here so we can get in and get out without even being caught.” Alex had a cocky tone to her voice. Something that reassured even the deepest of doubts I was having.

I gave her an encouraging nod. “Do it.”

She turned back around to face her computer and began typing away, getting completely in her zone.

“I don’t like this, we can come up with a better plan.” Ryan argued, hands on his hips and shaking his head.

“The General knows something, and the only way we’re gonna be able to find out what it is, is if we do this.” I tried to reassure him.

“Then I’m coming with you. You’ll need all the help you can get.” His tone was serious, like his facial expression.

“No. I need you on the outside in case something goes sideways.”

“You mean in case you get caught?” He gave me a sideways look, his lips pursed together.

"That's not gonna happen." I denied his statement, I had to if we were going to pull this off. The last thing I needed was to be wary.

He blew out a huff of air shaking his head.

“If we’re gonna pull this off, we all need to have a positive outlook or else we’re gonna fail.”

He gave a curt nod, I knew he didn't like the plan, hell even I wish there was an alternative. But if we were gonna get to the bottom of this, we needed to know what General Dreyfus was hiding, and the only way I knew how to do that was with this plan.

"Alex, how long do you think it will take for you to hack the security systems?"

She was typing away on her computer, clearly already one step ahead of me.

"Not long."

"What can I do?" Riley stood up, and then immediately fell back down on the stool from loss of balance.

"Sober up."

"Aye." He replied, giving me another mock solute.

I held up Cody's phone and locked eyes with him, he had a look of relief, like it was salvation wrapped in glass and metal.

"This stays here, I don't even wanna see you look at it." I set the phone next to Riley on the workbench.

I could see the temptation in Cody's eyes as he tried to look at it, but wouldn't. I gave him a stern look and he rolled his eyes.

"Fine, I'll find something to do." He stood up and walked over to Riley, checking his IV and drip rate.

I understood Cody and his anxiety over his Medical Boards. I remember when I took my boards, I stayed up all night hitting that damn refresh button on my email, waiting for the message determining if the three years of training was sufficient enough for me to be a Doctor in Emergency Medicine. True you can retake the test, after about a year, but no one wants to be the guy that had to retake the test.

I looked over at Ryan who was in conversation with Riley and Cody, he met my gaze and gave me a wink that sent a warm feeling straight to my heart. I was gonna have to get used to those feelings someday, but something told me that I never would and if I was being honest, I didn’t want them to, I liked them.

"I'm in!" Alex broke me from my thoughts.

"That was fast." I sounded a little too surprised, which garnered an offended look from Alex.

"You sorely underestimate my abilities."

"I wouldn't want to get on your bad side." Ryan settled in next to me.

Alex gave a lighthearted laugh and shook her head. "No, you wouldn't."

I watched as Alex hooked her tablet up to her computer and a loading bar appeared.

"We're almost set. This is gonna take a little bit to upload to my tablet, but it should be done by the time we're ready" Alex explained, she had a cocky grin set to her face clearly pleased with her work.

"Perfect,” I turned my gaze to the rest of the team. “Okay guys listen up, here's what we’re gonna do.” They all turned to face me, Alex swiveled around in her chair with the slyness of a nineties villain.

"At twenty-three hundred hours Alex and I will sneak into the General's office, it's late enough that everyone should be gone."

"I can get on patrol in that sector, try and get them to stay away." Ryan suggested. His face had a seriousness to it that I usually saw when we discussed strategy.

"Actually, I have a plan for that." I replied, turning my gaze to Riley.

"What?" He gave me a confused look. His eyes went wide when he saw the mischievous gleam in my eye.

"Ohhh no, no." He replied waving his hand dismissively.

"Heeey, now there's an idea." Ryan grinned mischievously, picking up on my plan for Riley.

"No." He said again flatly.

Cody meanwhile was looking between the three of us, a look of utter confusion on his face.

"Someone wanna clue me in here?" He gave a nervous laugh.

"They wanna use me as bait." Riley responded, giving us a dour expression.

"That's… Actually not a bad idea."

"Not you too!" Riley gave him a shocked expression.

"We don't wanna use you as bait, more like… A diversion." I grinned at the last word.

"All I'm hearing is that I'm gonna get tossed in a cell for the night."

Ryan spoke up next, he had a flat look on his face, arms crossed and his muscles rippling under the tattoos that covered them. He was using his "cop" persona, something I've seen him do to recruits to help them fall in line.

I had to admit, it was pretty hot seeing him like that. I shook the thoughts away of him using this persona on me in the bedroom. It was not the time for that, but my dick suggested otherwise.

"Just cause a ruckus, enough to draw our attention away from the area for like ten-fifteen minutes, then haul ass outta there."

Riley thought for a moment, the gears in his head clearly turning as he thought of a plan.

"Fine, but you guys owe me big for this." He had a stern look as he pointed to Ryan and I.

I held my hands up. "Whatever you want buddy."

"Whatever?" He flashed me a roguish smile.

"Within reason." I added.

"You're no fun." He pouted, crossing his arms.

"Cody, I need you to cover Medical for me tonight."

"By myself?" He asked with a look of horror.

"There will be other Doctors and Nurses there, you'll be fine."

Cody looked like he was gonna hurl at the thought of working without me, but he nodded his head in a nervous manner nonetheless. I had faith in him, hell I trained him, and I didn’t get to CMO based on my good looks.

Ryan adjusted his hat nervously, a frown set on his face. “I still feel like there could be another way to do this, one that doesn’t put both you and Alex on the chopping block.”

I gave him a warm smile. “Everything will be fine. Don’t worry so much, you’ll get wrinkles.”

Ryan grumbled and flipped his hat backward. I noticed that whenever he was stressed or nervous he fidgeted with his hat, it was just one more thing I adored about him.

My stomach rumbled, signaling that it was around lunch time. I looked at the clock and it was twelve, the mess hall should be open for lunch now.

"Well, now that that's settled, who wants to get lunch?" Everyone gave an agreeable sound and we all began making our way towards the bay door, Cody snatched his phone from the workbench and began flicking through it, no doubt checking his emails.

The plan was solid, and we all had our jobs. I just hoped that it didn't all go to hell. You could have an air-tight plan, but then something could happen, the most miniscule thing that could completely derail it. I had faith in us though, a faith that could only be formed by being in the stickiest of situations. But we always figured a way out when we needed to.

"You need to eat something." Ryan stated as we sat in the mess hall.

I was staring at my chicken caesar wrap, my appetite not really there even though my stomach rumbled in opposition.

Truth be told I was nervous about our operation, if it went sideways that would mean bad news for Alex and I. I could already see the two of us locked in a cell, being Court Martialed, and probably a fat Treason sticker slapped on us. Not to mention the cuts on my chest throbbed in pain every now and then, which made me have to bury the emotions that came with it until a later time.

“How’s the chest healing up?” Cody asked, and everybody gave him a glowering look. “What?” He added through a bite of food in his mouth.

“It’s fine.” I gave him a reassuring smile.

There was an awkward cloud settling over the table, I could tell the team knew something was up. They all tip-toed around me, not wanting to bring up the obvious, hell even I didn't want to come to the conclusion that I already knew. I saw several soldiers battle it, even doctors back before the war when they made a mistake and accidentally killed someone. The words alone made me want to shutter, run from them, and bury them deep down in a place where no one could find them or psychoanalyze them.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

“Seriously guys… I’m fine.” I added, trying to dissipate the cloud of awkwardness. They all looked at me with sympathetic eyes, looks that made my skin crawl. I didn’t want to be seen as damaged, something that needed to be fixed and coddled.

I forced myself to take a bite of the wrap, but it tasted bland and not very appetizing. But it wasn't the wrap, it was me. Ever since we came back everything seemed bland. The way the birds chirped in the trees irritated me, where as before it would be music to my ears. The blue skies and sunshine of the California desert seemed less bright and vibrant, and instead made me miss the gloom of the Pacific Northwest during a torrential downpour.

The only thing that seemed to keep me grounded and sane was Ryan. The way he gave me one of those lopsided grins, the way he said "y'all" in that southern drawl of his. The way his sandy blonde hair curled upward on the sides, sticking just slightly out from underneath his baseball cap. Not to mention those piercing blue eyes that always looked at me with warmth and caring. Ryan got me and understood me like no one else did, and that alone was enough to keep me going and not give in to the despair.

“I’m gonna head over to Medical and make sure everything is in order for tonight.” I closed the container for my food and stood up from the table. I wanted to get away for a little bit, away from the sympathetic looks and the tip-toeing around subjects.

“Do you want me to come with you? It’s on my way to the station.” Ryan asked, giving me a mild expression.

“Nah, you stay here and eat.” I gave him a small smile and placed a reassuring hand on his shoulder.

He smiled back at me and nodded in confirmation. I could see in his eyes that he knew I wanted to be alone. I let my hand slowly fall from his shoulder as I walked away from the table and out of the mess hall.

I was greeted by the summer heat as I stepped outside and began making my way across the courtyard towards medical, my boots beating against the hot pavement. I needed a distraction until tonight, and I was hoping I would find that at Medical.

I rounded a corner and came face to face with none other than Jon.

"Fuck." Was the only word I could think of.

Jon was the last person I wanted to see right now, and now that Ryan and I were starting to smooth things over I really didn’t need his advances right now.

"Hey there stranger." He leered at me.

"Hey Jon." I grumbled.

"I heard about Gray. How are you feeling?" He reached out and put a hand on my arm.

The funny thing was that before, his touch would have sent shivers up and down my spine. But now that touch didn’t do anything for me, it just seemed bland, just like everything else.

"I appreciate the concern, but I'm fine." I said in a kind tone, and gently pulled my arm away, thankful for the lack of contact.

"Oh okay." Jon replied, he looked a little put off as he folded his arms.

"You and Tex huh?" He gave me a devilish grin.

"What?" I asked, fear starting to creep in.

I didn't want Jon to know about Ryan and I, it could spell disaster for the both us. To everyone else, except for the team, we were just teammates and nothing more. If the higher ups caught wind that we were seeing each other they would reassign one of us, me being the obvious choice because as Chief I should have known better.

"Don’t play coy." Jon gave me a lopsided grin.

I shook my head and gave him a vacant expression. "I don't know what you're talking about."

Jon just shook his head and chuckled. He looked around the two of us to see if anyone was around. We were completely alone, a situation that didn't bode well with me, and my feelings were correct as Jon reached out and began tracing his fingers along my bicep, inching closer to me.

"What are you doing?" I said in a low growl, taking a step backward until I felt the cool brick of the building behind me.

"What I usually do after one of us comes back from a mission." He replied with a smirk.

My muscles tensed at that statement. I didn't want this, not with Jon. His touch felt cold and unwelcome, like something more out of a nightmare then a fantasy.

“No.” I said shortly, the growl never leaving my voice.

Jon was still moving in closer though, his breath hitting my neck. His hands landed on my chest, one of them resting right over the cuts which twinged. My pulse quickened, and I saw Diaz’s face instead of Jon’s for a split second and I instinctively pushed back against him with all my might. He stumbled backward and a wild eyed expression crossed his face, as he righted himself.

“I said, no!” I shouted, my voice echoing off the buildings with a deep boom. Jon just stood there, blinking at me, clearly in shock about what had just happened.

“What the fuck is wrong with you!”

I growled and waved my hand dismissively. I didn’t owe him an explanation, and like hell was I going to tell him about what happened.

“Just… Leave me alone.” I demanded.

I turned and headed in the direction of Medical, leaving him stunned and with a confused expression set on his face. I didn’t feel sorry for what I did, I told him no, and he should have respected that. I was relieved that he didn’t follow after me, if he were to lay a hand on me again I didn’t know what I would do, and that scared me. I was always in control of my emotions, but that outburst proved that what had happened to me on our mission had royally fucked me up psychologically.

I pushed the doors open to medical and plastered the best fake smile I could muster.

“Back so soon?” Julie cocked an eyebrow at me.

“Yeah you know me, workaholic.” I gave a slight chuckle. Julie gave me a suspicious look and placed her hands on her hips.

“What’s the matter?”

“Nothing!” My voice went up an octave. “Does something have to be wrong for me to want to come into work when I’m supposed to be off?” I picked up a tablet and began flipping through it, trying to find anything to change the subject.

“Doctor Pierce,” Julie pulled the tablet from my hands and placed it on the desk in front of her. “I’ve been working alongside you for long enough to know when something is bothering you.”

Fuck, why does everyone want to talk about what is bothering me. Can’t people just ignore my problems for ten minutes?

“It’s nothing, don’t worry about me Julie.” I gave her a reassuring smile and swiped the tablet from the desk, she shook her head and sighed in defeat.

“I could actually use a consult in bed two.” She jerked her head in the general direction of the bed. The curtains were drawn, so I couldn’t see the patient. I nodded my head and walked towards bed two, thankful for any kind of distraction.

I pulled back the curtain to reveal a soldier, probably no older than twenty. He had his head tipped back and a handful of gauze in his hand which was stained with blood.

"Let's see the damage." I sighed, sitting on a rolling stool.

He removed the gauze and tipped his head down so I could see his face. His nose was black and blue, the bridge distorted slightly, it was definitely broken.

"Yep," I pulled a pair of gloves on. "That's gonna need to be reset."

"Shit." His tone was somber.

It didn't take long for me to reset his nose. I numbed him with a local anesthetic to reduce the pain slightly, but he still jumped and flinched as I set the delicate nasal bones back to where they belonged.

“God, I’m so embarrassed.” He stated, as I was shoving gauze in his nostrils.

“It’s okay, your secret is safe with me.” I gave him a wink, which made him flush a bright shade of red.

"Next time, hold the gun a little tighter." I gave him a couple of slaps on the shoulder and pulled the curtain back.

He gave me a nervous look, his voice shaking. "H-how did you know?"

"You think this is the first time I've seen an injury like this from a rook?" I chuckled and gestured towards the nurses station.

"Julie will give you discharge instructions."

He nodded his head and made his way towards the nurses station where Julie was waiting to hand him his paperwork.

The day seemed to go by like nothing, a broken arm from a guy who was playing football with his buddies, head sutures for a guy who tripped and hit his head on a rock while out on a drill run, and a man and a woman who rolled their jeep during a training mission.

Before I knew it, it was six and Ryan was walking through the doors carrying two take out containers in his hands. My stomach grumbled in approval as he approached me at the nurses station with a sly grin.

“Thank god I’m starving.” I smiled.

“I figured.” The grin never left his face.

I opened the take out container to snoop out it’s contents, it was a pastrami and swiss sandwich, one of my favorites.

“You wanna eat outside?” I suggested.

“Sounds good.” He turned around and headed for the doors. I made eye contact with Julie who smiled and gave me a knowing look. I had mentioned Ryan a few times to her over the past week or so, and she definitely approved.

We stepped outside and walked over to a picnic table around the corner from the doors, just out of sight from where they wheeled patients in. I sat down next to Ryan and opened my container, I was just about to take a bite when he leaned over and gave me a kiss on the cheek. It’s warmth radiated over my face and made me blush, causing a sheepish grin to split across my face.

“What was that for?” I asked.

Ryan shrugged his shoulders and gave me a lopsided smile. “Just because.”

I bumped shoulders with him playfully as I took a bite of my sandwich. I could get used to this routine, it was nice having something normal and stable right now. Especially with everything I was going through.

“You nervous about tonight?” He asked.

I nodded, swallowing a bite of my sandwich. “A little, yeah.”

“No one is gonna blame you if you back out.” He responded a little too hopefully for my liking.

“Fuck not you too.”

“It’ll be fine.” I gritted through my teeth.

I didn’t want to blow up on Ryan, but at the same time I didn’t need him coddling me like the others did. I thought that he was gonna treat me normal.

“Please don’t.” I said somberly.

He gave me a puzzled expression. “Don’t what?”

I sighed and sat my sandwich down, no longer hungry.

“Don’t treat me like I’m gonna break at any second.”

His eyes went wide and he shook his head. “No-no, that’s not what I mean at all.”

I gave him a confused expression. What did he mean then? Because from what I was hearing he was trying to get me to back out because he didn’t think I could handle it with what I was going through.

“Then what do you mean?”

He took my hand, intertwining our fingers together, and gave me a gentle smile. His hands were still that rough and soft texture that I loved.

“I’m not worried about your ability, I’m worried that you're gonna get caught.”

“Oh…” I blinked at him, not really sure what to say next. I felt like an ass for assuming that he was going to start treating me like the rest of the team, like some cracked egg that needed protecting.

“I know that you're not gonna break Elliott. You're tough and resilient, it’s one of the many qualities I admire about you.”

He admired me? I don’t think anybody had ever said that to me before. I expected it to feel awkward, but it felt surprisingly good instead.

“Don’t worry about me,” I gave him a confident smile. “I’ll be fine.”

He bit his bottom lip and I seized the opportunity to lean forward and plant a kiss on his lips. He groaned as I felt him relax into the kiss, accepting it, and I hoped, letting the worry slide off of him. I parted my lips and he slid his tongue into my accepting mouth which made my breath hitch slightly.

“Someone… Could see…” I whispered between kisses.

“I don’t care.” Ryan whispered back in a gruff tone.

I turned to face him, straddling the bench we were sitting on and Ryan did the same. I placed my hands on his knees and looked him in the eyes. There was a glint behind them, that showed me that he more than just cared about me. Was he-

“I’m falling for you Elliott.” He whispered, pretty much answering the question I was thinking. I didn’t have any words, I just stared at him, but my heart was thumping so hard in my chest from the joy of those words.

His eyes went wide and he began to try and backpedal. “I mean… If you aren’t… Not saying that you should…” He growled out of frustration as he stammered with the right words to say. I just smiled at him, and how adorable he was when he was nervous.

“Ryan,” I chuckled and gave his knee a reassuring squeeze. “I am too.”

He blushed and rubbed the back of his neck. “You are?”

“Yes.” I beamed at him, leaning in for another kiss. It was nice to finally get the words out there, and although we had only known each other a short time, it felt right.

Ryan’s phone began to buzz and he groaned as he fished it out of his pocket and looked at the screen.

“It’s the station,” He swiped his thumb across the screen and held the phone up to his ear. “This is Riggs.” His tone switched to a more professional and gruff one as he spoke.

I turned my attention to my sandwich and began packing everything back up into my container. I had a feeling by the tone in Ryan’s voice that our dinner was going to be cut short.

My intuition was right as Ryan sighed and slid his phone back into his pocket. He gave me a sad expression, telling me that he felt bad for cutting our meeting short.

“There’s a situation, I gotta go.” He grumbled.

“It’s okay, go, be safe.” I gave him a reassuring smile.

“I’m sorry, I’ll make it up to you.” He gave me a quick kiss and began piling his leftovers into his container.

“Ohhh, you will, will you?” A wolfish grin flashed across my face as I spoke. Ryan licked his lips and flashed me a coy smile.

“I’ll see you tonight.” He growled in a playful tone which went straight to my dick, a more primal side of me wanting to come out and play. He gave me another quick kiss, this one with a little passion thrown behind it, and then he turned and headed towards his truck.

I stood up from the picnic table and headed back into the sick bay with a little bit of pep in my step, which Julie caught on to.

“Someone’s in a good mood.”

“Nobody likes a snoop.” I gave her a grin as I approached the nurses station.

“Not snooping, just being… Observant.” She flashed me a smile.

“Mmhmm.” I grabbed the tablet to see if there was another consult that needed to be done. But as I flipped through the beds all of them had already been seen and didn’t need a consultation. I handed the tablet back to Julie with a sad expression.

"Awe, don't look so grumpy. There will be more emergencies later I'm sure." She teased.

I rolled my eyes and removed my scrub jacket, tying it around my waist.

"Y'know. Most doctors where a lab coat."

She knew I hated wearing my lab coat, I didn't like the big "I'm a Doctor" symbol it wrapped me up in. Plus it was uncomfortable and didn't fit my shoulders correctly, so I always opted for a scrub jacket instead.

"I'm CMO, I'll wear whatever I want." I replied with a defiant tilt to my chin.

She clicked her tongue and shook her head, a thing she normally did when she disapproved of something I did or said.

"Just saying. It wouldn't kill you to look the part sometimes."

She did have a point there. If anyone were to look at me they wouldn't guess I was a Doctor, let alone Chief Medical Officer of a joint base Emergency Room. I had tattoos, and there was beard scruff dusting my face. About the only thing about me that was regulation was the crew cut that I had. But as defiant as I was, I styled it into a short faux hawk.

Growing up I was always a little rebellious at heart, and these things were like my little acts of rebellion, all while maintaining a certain level of professionalism that kept the higher ups happy.

"I think he looks fine." Candace, a fellow doctor, approached the nurses station and handed her tablet over to Julie, who frowned at the lack of support.

"Thank you Candace!" I gave Julie a smirk before turning around and heading towards my office.

“I’m still not giving up on it!” Julie called after me as I closed my office door. I smiled at her remark and crossed over to my cot, collapsing on it. I wasn’t really tired, but I felt exhausted after all the work I had done.

I stared at the clock and it was almost seven. A few more hours and we would be meeting up to put our plan into action.

I stared up at the ceiling tiles thinking about what we may discover. A part of me was hoping we would come up empty handed, then I could just toss my feelings aside as being paranoid and leave it at that. But I had this nagging feeling in my gut that the General was hiding something, and by now I've learned to trust my instincts.

"Ell, wake up." I opened my eyes to see Alex standing over me. I looked at the clock, my sleepy eyes adjusting to the light.


Holy shit, I slept almost four hours. I rubbed my face and stood up, giving a large stretch which made me groan.

"You ready?" She asked, a look of concern washing over her face.

"Yep." I ignored her concern and crossed over to my desk, pulling a fresh t-shirt out. I pulled my shirt off and tossed it in the hamper in the corner.

Alex's eyes landed on the bandages covering my chest, when I noticed her staring she looked down at her feet, a look of shame covering her face.

"Stop." I said thrusting the shirt over my head and pulling it down to my waist.

She gave me a wide eyed expression. "What?"

"I'm still the same person, stop staring at me like I'm broken."

"I'm not-" She cut herself off and let out a huff of breath. "We're allowed to be concerned about you. We're your family."

"Then stop dancing around the topic and ask me what you really want to ask me." I walked past her and out of the office.

Cody was standing at the nurses station, looking through charts on a tablet. He straightened his posture when I got close and tucked the tablet under his arm. A nervousness washed over his features when he saw the irritated look on my face.

"You got this tonight?" I asked, locking eyes with him.

Cody nodded briskly. "Yes."

I gave him a curt nod as I strode past him towards the doors, pushing them open and stepping out into the cool desert air. Alex trotted behind me, trying to keep up.

"Look, I know you're irritated but can you slow down? I'm a little shorter than you ya know."

I slowed my pace slightly and she settled in next to me, matching my strides.

We walked in silence the entire way with Alex stealing glances at me every now and then. I know she wanted to say something, but was apprehensive because of my mood.

"What?" I finally asked with a hint of annoyance as we reached the building where the General's office was.

"Nothing." Her reply was short and decisive as she fished a tablet out of her messenger bag. I knew she was lying and I didn’t blame her. Maybe the reason everyone was tip toeing around me was because I wasn’t giving them any answers?

She tapped around on her tablet, the screen was full of code, something I didn't understand.

“Look, I’m sorry.” My voice cut through the silence between us. She looked up at me from her tablet giving me a blinking expression.

“For what?”

“For acting like an asshole back at my office, for not opening up to you guys."

"You don't have to apologize Ell… What happened to you," She let out a long exhale, like she was trying to find the right words to say. "No one should have to go through that."

I nodded slightly, my sinuses starting to burn.

"I just feel fucked up and angry now, and I’m trying to keep it together for everyone.”

Alex shook her head and grabbed my shoulders, there was a stern look on her face as she spoke.

“You get to be fucked up, you get to be angry, and you have the right to fall apart. But don’t shut us out, let us be there for you.”

I nodded my head and Alex’s expression softened. She released my shoulders from her grip and turned her attention back to her tablet. I felt a little better knowing that the team didn’t think less of me because of what had happened to me.

There was a beep and then a click as the door unlocked, signaling that she was in the building's security. We stepped through the door and into the dark narrow hallway that led to the General’s office. Alex pulled two headsets out of her bag and handed one to me, placing the other one over her ear.

"Testing, testing."

I gave her a thumbs up that I could hear her.

"Go to channel two." She informed me, switching her own headset over.

I switched channels and I could hear her trying to contact Riley, who immediately responded.

"Go for Nighthawk." He said with a confident tone.

"Nighthawk? Really?" You could practically hear the eye roll in Alex’s tone.

"That's my codename dude! I'm Nighthawk, Ell’s is Chief, and yours is Pepper."

"Pepper?" Alex scrunched her face in disgust.

"Yeah, you know, because you're so fiery." Riley came back with an amused tone.

"I'll show you fiery." Alex growled.

"Riley, are you in position?" I asked, trying to shift the conversation to the task at hand.

"I'm sorry, who?" Riley replied.

"Riileeey." I growled into the mic.

"Fine, fine. You're no fun." There was a pause on his end and I was about to ask again but then he was back. "Ready to go whenever you are."

"Okay… 3… 2… 1… Go."

A few moments later there was a loud boom that made Alex and I jump.

"Riley, what the fuck was that?" I commanded.

"You said to create a distraction."

Alex and I began walking hurriedly down the hallway towards the general’s office. The whole base would probably be converging on the area where the explosion took place soon.

"Yeah but not an explosion."

"It was just a small stick of dynamite." Riley responded.

I ignored him and began picking the lock on the office door. It didn't take me long as the door was old and the lock was easy to manipulate. I pushed the door open after hearing the satisfying click as it unlocked.

Alex and I hurried inside and I closed the door behind us. I eyed a filing cabinet against the far wall and began opening the drawers, digging through its contents. Alex immediately began working on the computer, plugging her tablet in and typing away on the keyboard.

My heart was pounding, adrenaline coursing through my veins as I flicked through the files. I was looking for anything that could point towards our mission, or towards the terrorist plot. But the only things I was finding was personnel files.

"Anything yet?" I looked over at Alex with a hopeful expression.

"No not yet, I'm looking through his emails right now."

I closed the filing cabinet with a disappointed groan and crossed over to the desk, opening the drawers and looking through their contents.


I went to pull open another drawer but it was locked. I examined it and noticed that it was a simple lock, something that could be opened if I had something thin enough to slide into the crack and release the locking mechanism. I pulled out my tactical knife and carefully slid it into the crack between the top of the drawer and the frame, jiggling it slightly until I heard the lock release. I sighed with relief and pulled the drawer open.

There was a file sitting on top so I grabbed it and set it on the desk. I flipped it open and the first thing I was met with was a picture of myself, paper clipped to some sheets of paper. I began flipping through the pages but all they contained was my rap sheet, successes and failures, my background and backgrounds on my parents. I got to the last page and there was a red rectangular stamp across the page. The word Eliminate was emblazoned in red ink inside the rectangular box.

"Eliminate? What the fuck?"

I flipped to the next page and this time it was Riley. I flipped to the last page and the same word, Eliminate was stamped across it. My pulse quickened as I flipped to the next page to reveal Alex. Eliminate was also stamped across the last page.

I kept flipping, each time my heart dropping, Ryan, Eliminate, Cody, Eliminate. Once I got to the last page I was met with a picture of Gray, except across his picture there was a different stamp, this one read Eliminated.

"Oh my god."

"What?" Alex asked, not looking away from the computer screen.

I set the file down in front of her, breaking her attention away from the monitor. She flipped through the file, her brow furrowing as she went.

"What the hell is this?"

"I don't know. But look at Gray's file."

She flipped until she got to Gray's picture and her jaw dropped slightly.

"Oh my god."

I pulled out my phone and took the file from her, snapping pictures of everything that I could to show the team later.

"Do you think he knows we're on to him?" Alex gave me a slack jawed look as she spoke.

"I don't know what else it could mean." I responded, and I honestly didn't. It sounded to me like since we failed the mission, and we “lost” Dr. Grimm, that the General had a suspicion that maybe we knew more than we were letting on, and because of that we needed to be silenced.

I looked over at the computer monitor, General Dreyfus's emails were still displayed, one in particular catching my eye. I looked at the subject line "Attention Dr. Jekyll".

"Did you look at this email?" I pointed a finger at it and Alex gave me a confused look.

"No, there are a bunch of them though. I just dismissed it as nothing.”

I gave her an awestruck look, which she returned with a further confused expression.

"Have you never heard of Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde?"

She shook her head slowly, as if to question the significance of it, and we didn't have time for me to explain it to her.

"Click on it. See what it says."

She tapped the monitor and the email opened, revealing a relatively short message.

Dr. Jekyll,

Operation White Rider is ago. Prepare for extraction.

-Mr. Utterson

"I don't get it." Alex's tone was confused.

I had an idea, but we would have to look at them later. We were running out of time and the patrol would be back soon, not even Ryan could get them to stay away.

"Copy every email that mentions Doctor Jekyll, Mister Utterson and Operation White Rider."

She gave me a puzzled expression, signifying that she didn't understand.

"Just do it, I’ll explain later.”

She nodded and immediately set to work, typing fervently away on the keyboard. I turned around to look through another filing cabinet behind the desk, but it was locked. I observed the lock and was disappointed to see that my tactical knife would not be able to get me into this one.

“I wonder.”

I began feeling around the filing cabinet, running my hands over the back until I felt my fingers graze over what felt like a key taped to the back. I gave a little cheer internally as I removed the key from the back and thrust it into the keyhole. I pulled the drawer open and to my delight there was only one file in there.

“Could it really be that easy?”

I flipped the file open and there, in dark bold letters, read:

Top Secret: Operation White Rider

“Wow, that’s convenient.”

“What’s convenient?”

I jumped as I didn’t realize that I had actually said that out loud. I turned around to face Alex and held the file up so she could see the title.

“Here lemme see.” She gestured with her hand.

I handed the file over and she pulled a small device out of her bag. It was slender and emitted a UV light. She began slowly moving it over the pages of the file, looking at her tablet every now and then and nodding to herself.

“What is that?” I eyeballed the device in her hand as she finished up the last page.

“It’s a scanner, it’s uploading directly to my tablet.” I peered over her shoulder and watched as the scanned files appeared one by one on her tablet.

“Cool.” I whispered in awe.

“C’mon, it’s me. I have every cool ass gadget you could think of.” She grinned and put the scanner back in her bag. She closed the file and handed it to me, as I was turning around to place it back in the drawer Alex’s tablet began to beep.

“Shit!” She began tapping away on her tablet.

“What is it?” A fear began to rise in my gut.

“We triggered a silent alarm.”

Just then the lights came on and an alarm started sounding. I threw the folder back in the drawer and locked the cabinet, making sure to tape the key back where it was. Alex was frantically putting her equipment back in her bag, except for her tablet which she was still swiping and tapping at.

“Uhhh guys…” Riley came through the comms.

“We know Riley!” I hissed back at him.

"I think it was delayed because I disabled the main security system, it must draw its power from there." I had a feeling she wasn't talking directly at me and instead was just thinking out loud because she was still concentrating on her tablet.

“Well you better hurry because Fort Bakersfield’s finest is converging on your location as we speak.”

My heart felt like it was going to explode out of my chest as the minutes slowed down to mere seconds, everything feeling like it was going in slow motion.

I moved towards the office door and was just about to open it, when I heard footsteps barreling down the hallway coming in our direction.


I locked the door and looked wildly around the room and laid eyes on the window next to the desk. I bolted over to it, turned the latch and opened it. My heart sank even further as the window only opened slightly, giving enough room for a small person to fit through. Only one person was getting out of this room, and it wasnt me.

“I can’t disable the alarm!” Alex sounded panicked as she thrust the tablet back into her bag.

“It’s fine, go out the window!” I ushered her towards the opening. She eyed the window suspiciously and then gave me a wide eyed look as she soon realized what was going to happen.

"No, no I'm not leaving you behind." She had a flat tone.

I jerked my earpiece out and grabbed my phone out of my pocket, shoving them in her bag. I took her bag off her shoulder and dropped it out the opening, now she didn't have a choice.

"You have to." I commanded.

"They'll throw you in a cell, or even worse." She pleaded with me.

The door handle to the office rattled, signaling that someone was at the door. We had about ten seconds before they kicked it in.

I grabbed her by the shoulders and began pushing her towards the window. She reluctantly climbed up on the window sill and began sliding through the narrow gap. I grabbed her arms to help lower her down to the ground and released her once I knew she was low enough to brace her fall.

"I'm sorry." She stared up at me, her voice breaking slightly.

"I know." I nodded my head in acknowledgement.

"Kick it in." I heard someone order from the other side of the door.

"Go!" I ordered at Alex. She picked her bag up and turned, running away from the building and disappearing into the darkness.

There was a crash as someone kicked the door in, a knot formed quickly in my stomach at the realization that I was in deep shit.

I calmly raised my hands and turned around to face four soldiers, all of whom had their weapons drawn on me.

"Doctor Pierce?" One of them exclaimed, slightly lowering her weapon.

"Did I say you could lower your weapon soldier?" A gruff voice barked.

General Dreyfus stepped in front of the soldiers so he could lay eyes on me. There was a pleased look in his eye, something that I couldn't quite put my finger on. What was he so pleased about? That he caught me? Something told me that wasn't what it was.

"Well well, what have we got here?" He spoke slowly. There was a slight joy to his voice that sent shivers up my spine. My mind flashed to the personnel files, and the red Eliminate word stamped across my page.

I gave him a defiant look as he stepped closer to me, his lip curling upward into a snarl, and his eyes giving off a glint of joy. It was almost evil, which made me want to shutter, but I kept my composure.

"Take him away." He growled.

Two soldiers stepped forward, one of them grabbing my wrists one at a time and pulling them behind my back. I felt the cold plastic of zip ties wrapping around my wrists, locking them together. They then led me out of the office and down the narrow hallway towards the exit, which seemed never ending in comparison to earlier.

Would the General torture me to see if I had found out his big secret? Maybe they would just take me out into the desert and put a bullet in my head, silence me so I couldn't spill his big secret.

I began to take some deep breaths, calming my nerves, and as I did Images of Ryan began flooding in. God, what was Ryan going to do when he found out that I had been captured, that his fears had come true. I felt guilty knowing how helpless he would feel, knowing he couldn't do anything or else he would jeopardize everything he worked so hard for.

I was loaded into the back of a Humvee and two soldiers slid in next to me on either side, both of them looking straight ahead avoiding eye contact with me.

As the Humvee pulled out of the parking lot and we began driving down the road, I couldn't help but think about the information we had found in the General's office. I hoped that Alex could get the information to the rest of the team, and then at least they could stop whatever was going on. They had to, because there was no way I was getting out of this situation.

Copyright © 2020 zanoGreen; All Rights Reserved.

Thank you for reading! Please comment below and let me know where you would like to see the story go or what your favorite parts are so far. Please note that this story does not revolve around a killer virus, that's just what sets up the events that lead to the story.

If you enjoyed what you have read, please leave a reaction and/or comment for the author!

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Well, dammit, that is going to take some heavy duty talking to get him out of this.  I never thought about the General; but I guess he was someone that would be able to manipulate everything that needed to be done.

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OMG! Nothing like a major increase in the action and anticipation of what's next! I am excited! Thanks. 

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