Episode 9: Surprise, Surprise
by Toni Walker
by Toni Walker
|Ethan Fairchild and Octavia Kassoff in|
Ten Little Spies
Alison Corday wasn't sure how she'd gotten herself into this mess or exactly what was happening. All she had done was try and seduce her twin sister's partner. That wasn't so bad, was it?
How she had come to be here, she wasn't sure. She only had one man's word on that. The man named Mackenzie Gray had told her she'd been kidnapped from the Legacy's infirmary. But that didn't make sense. Her last memory before coming awake was lying on Jared's bed awaiting his return from the bathroom.
She wasn't completely sure she could trust this Mackenzie character. As far as she could remember, he was a vague figure from her past, a very vague figure. Of course, he was cute and therefore she remembered him, but whether he was a good guy or a bad guy remained to be seen.
Alison needed more information if she was going to deal with this on any level. Maybe what she needed right now was an old-fashioned seduction. Mac was handsome enough, so it wouldn't completely turn her stomach to extract information out of him.
The only problem was -- when would they ever be alone?
Looking for answers, Bobbie Sullivan stumbled over the body of Gia Doyle -- literally. "Oh, my God!" he whispered. "What are you doing here?"
If Gia had been discovered by any other operative, she would have been dead or worse.
There weren't many people he could trust in the Legacy ranks, but he knew of one he could count on. Bobbie paged the man's number.
"I'm in Section 3B. You have to help me. It's Gia. There's something wrong with her. Give me a minute and I'll have Jeffrey loop the security cameras so your identity is safe."
A fifteen minutes later, Dr. Mitch Grayson appeared to assist Bobbie.
"What happened to her? he asked.
"I don't know," Bobbie admitted. "I just found her like that."
Mitch was beyond paranoid. He had learned to be that way since becoming a doctor at the Legacy infirmary. He began removing Gia's clothes and giving them one by one to Bobbie.
"What are you doing?" Bobbie asked somewhat embarrassed by Gia's state of undress.
"You know as well as I do that they could put a tracer on anything. I'm just playing it safe. I want all of us to be alive in the morning." After removing her clothes, he slipped a hospital gown over her head. "Get rid of the clothes. I don't care how. Just do it."
Bobbie and Mitch went their separate ways. Mitch carried Gia a short way. She was so pale. He'd never seen her look like death before. He was more upset than he could express. He and Gia had and on again, off again relationship. He had enjoyed it for years. Seeing her like this was killing him.
"I'm very sorry about this, Gia," he whispered, as he placed her inside his car and sped away leaving Bobbie alone on the mountain.
Bobbie ran after Mitch's car. "Wait! Wait!"
What in the hell was going on? Bobbie suddenly had a terrifying feeling that Mitch may have just kidnapped Gia. No, he thought, trying to convince himself. Mitch was his friend. But he had gotten to the mountain awfully fast, almost as if he had been expecting his call.
Before Bobbie could contemplate on the situation any longer, someone came up behind him. It was Ethan and a girl he had never seen before. Ethan elbowed Bobbie in the face and he fell to the snow-covered ground.
"That should take care of him," Ethan said.
The room where he found himself was unfamiliar, but that didn't seem to matter much considering he felt like five kinds of hell. He wanted to speak, but couldn't find his voice.
What happened to me, he wondered.
"Welcome back to the land of the living," a voice said with too much enthusiasm. "What's it like on the other side?"
Jared Quinn held his head in his hands. "Other side?" What was this person talking about? And who in the heck was this person?
"Officially, you were clinically dead for just under three minutes. And I'm sure glad you're back cause Mac would have been so PO-ed if you'd croaked."
Jared didn't recognize the voice and didn't know if he wanted to. The man sounded looney tunes. "Okay, spill. White light? Long tunnel? Loved ones meeting you? What? What did you see?" Echo asked, curiously.
"Wha...? Nothing. What are you talking about?" Jared finally opened his eyes wide enough to take in the entire room. "Where am I?
Echo stared down at Jared in concern. He wasn't aware that his appearance made him look extremely suspicious. His black hair with bright yellow streaks seemed more appropriate for a drug dealer or maybe a comic book animator.
"It's a safe house. Mac brought you in, you know, to be... safe."
Jared closed his eyes to stave off the ache that was building inside his head. "Who's Mac?" He didn't realize he'd said the words aloud until the punk-haired kid answered him.
"He's one of the good guys."
Jared sighed. He didn't think he was going to get a straight answer anytime soon, so he attempted to get up. Big mistake. Every ache in his body sprang to attention.
"Whoa there, partner," Echo cautioned. "We're not exactly sure what drug you were given, but until we find out, I think lying down is a good option."
Jared refused to give into the pain. Every muscle fought him but he knew he was more than his body. He was more than the pain.
He was halfway across the room before Echo made an attempt to stop him. "Hey! Where do you think you're going?"
"Get out of my way, kid!" Even in his present state of agony, Jared was able to knock the boy across the room with the swipe of one hand.
Echo fell to his hands and knees. Damn, he hated it when the operatives became troublesome. He licked the trickle of blood at the corner of his mouth then reached for the cell phone in his pocket. This was definitely a job for Mackenzie Gray Super Spy, because he had had enough.
Now was the time.
The kid had disappeared somewhere in the safe house. She and Mackenzie were alone. It was time to put her plan into action, but how? This place wasn't exactly conducive to a seduction scene. Thread-bare sofas, dripping faucets and frigid temperatures were all she had to work with.
"God, it's freezing in here," Alison muttered. "When are you going to get me those clothes you promised me?"
The man across the room probably didn't know the meaning of the word clod. Men like him were born furnaces. Mackenzie glanced up from the make-shift tactical area he and Echo had arranged.
"There's a blizzard coming. We'll have to make due with whatever is in the house."
Alison sniffed in indignation.
"A gentleman would lend me something of his own to wear."
Mac's eyes thinned to slits. "I never said I was a gentleman. This was not working at all. She had no clue how to even approach this man, much less seduce him. Maybe her idea wouldn't work after all, considering what a chicken she was.
"Mac, we've got a problem." Alison could hear Echo on Mac's wireless headset. It was so quiet in the room, his voice seemed to resonate.
"What is it?" Mac said gruffly, never taking his eyes off the computer screen.
"What do you want first? The bad news or the even worse news?"
"What's wrong, Echo?"
There was a brief silence then Echo's voice returned. "Jared's gone. He practically gave me a concussion getting away. But that's nothing compared to what's coming."
"Just spit it out, Kain." Mac's eyes trailed to Alison's slight frame sitting on the sofa.
"You know how this safe house is at the bottom of a mountain? We'll the authorities have scheduled a controlled avalanche this evening. One problem... well, make that two. According to their stats, this cabin is abandoned and since the land it's on belongs to the county..."
"They're going to flatten it?"
"You got it." Echo sighed. "The other problem is that Gia is still up there on that mountain trailing our friend Mr. Fairchild. We've got to warn her."
Mac raced from the room leaving Alison completely alone. Now she was never going to seduce that info out of him.
Octavia watched as the moonlight glinted off the silver firearm.
"Vhat do you vant," Octavia asked, her Russian accent becoming thicker due to the late hour and the previous actions she and Steven Webb had been involved in before Irish Quinn thrust a gun in her face. She was very tired of having to watch her back 24/7. When did a girl get time off for herself?
"Isn't it obvious?" Irish's eyes glittered with not only evilness but pain. "I've come to invite you to be my personal guests to a dinner party."
Octavia and Steven rose slowly from the bed where only minutes before they had been lost in each other's arms.
"What's this all about?" Steven asked, his hulking form an almost even match to Quinn's.
"My employer would like to invite you to his get together. If you had been a good little spy and died when that candle exploded, we wouldn't be needing a personal meet and greet." Irish waved his gun toward their clothes. "Now get dressed. We have a little trip to make."
Octavia didn't know about Steven, but she wasn't going to hang around and let a wise ass lead her to some sort of personal slaughterhouse. She didn't reach for her clothes or a gun. She knew she was trained better than he was by both the KGB and the Legacy's elite force. He didn't know who he was dealing with.
She stood perfectly still as Irish waved the gun at her again. Her stance slightly tilted and like a cobra attacking its prey, Octavia struck Irish with a kick to the throat.
He staggered backward, his eyes watering. Steven reached for his gun, but even in his discombobbled state, he still knew to keep a hold of his weapon. Irish pointed the silver Glock at Steven.
"You do that again, and loverboy here, buys it."
Octavia didn't know the meaning of the word stop. And she hoped Steven didn't either. She thrust a few jabs at his gut while Steven reached for a lamp and smashed it over Irish's head. The man toppled to the floor. Even before he hit the carpet, Steven had his gun.
"Ve have to get out of here," Octavia said. "They know where I am."
"They? Who are they? And who are you, come to think of it?" Steven dressed quickly as did Octavia, but she didn't feel the need to answer his questions.
Before they grabbed supplies and set foot outside Steven's hidden abode, he reached for her. "Aren't you going to tell me what's going on?"
"No." Her one word answer held all the venom she had for whomever had sent their attack dogs after her. "We leave, now."
Octavia reached for the curtain to check her exit route when Steven opened the door. "Vait!" she cried.
A gun sounded and Steven toppled to the floor. He had a tranq dart in his leg. She should have warned him that they needed to be cautious, because whomever they were dealing with were strictly professional.
She had her Beretta in hand ready for her attacker, but the person who walked into the room, wasn't whom she was expecting. "Marian?"
"Hello, Octavia. Surprised to see me?"
Octavia had to admit she was definitely surprised. Octavia would have never suspected that mousey Marian would even have the courage to hold a gun much less shoot one.
"Vhat are you doing here?"
Marian Noble had dust and dirt on her clothes, and a bloody smear on her cheek but she was alive. She had apparently survived the helicopter explosion.
"I nearly died because of you today." Marian spat. "It was supposed to be so easy. Just get you to the estate. That was all I had to do, but your damn candle went off early."
Candle? What was she talking about?
"I'm sorry it had to be this way. Nothing personal." Marian aimed her gun at Octavia and shot. The dart entered her shoulder just as Octavia got off a wild shot as she went down. The bullet ricocheted off the ceiling and through a window.
As Octavia slumped to the ground, Irish exited the bedroom looking like he'd been through the ringer.
"You idiot. All you had to do was shoot them. Not talk to them." Marian said as she slipped the gun into its holster under her arm pit. "Now help me get them to the Range Rover."
It took a few minutes for Marian and Irish to haul the bodies into the dark SUV. After they were finished, Marian dialed a familiar number on her cell phone. "We have them." she said cryptically. "We're on our way to the mansion."
It had been quite a while since Mac raced from the room.
In her slight panic, she had searched the house and found it empty. "Great," she thought. "Abandoned and alone." That was why she was outside in the freezing cold, with a very ventilated outfit on looking for anyone who would answer her.
She shouldn't be frightened. It was just routine. Things like this happened in the Legacy every day, didn't they? Why couldn't she get used to the whole espionage thing? She was just a cypher person. Someone they came to for code cracking and what not. And in reality, she wasn't even the greatest at that.
Alison threw a quick and slightly frightened glance over her shoulder. Her heart was hammering in sync with her pounding feet. She stumbled, cursed and steadied herself.
"Echo?" she screamed. "Mac?" Where were they? Why weren't they answering?
Her footsteps hammered harder on the grassy incline outside the safe house. Alison had only needed to clear her head, but something was spooking her. She stepped up her pace. A tree root in the path caused her to stumble and sent her flying forward. She fell to her hands and knees. The sight at the bottom of her fall chilled her to the bone.
Mackenzie and Echo were lying in a heap near the base of a large oak tree. It was obvious they had been dragged there and placed under this particular tree for a purpose -- a nefarious purpose.
She had to get out of there. She had to leave before the man or whomever it was tried to kill again. She had almost died once by one of his candles in Jared's apartment. She didn't want to make a habit out of it.
Alison usually wasn't so skittish, but people around her didn't often fall prey to killers bent on revenge.
"What do you want?" she screamed. "Why are you doing this to us? What did we ever do to you?"
Alison could hear twigs snapping and leaves crunching. The man was nearby. Or was it a woman? Whomever it was, they were much too close for her comfort.
"Who's there?" she spun on her heel, whirling around. The sky was as dark as midnight and without a moon to guide her back to the safe house, she knew she was pretty much a sitting duck where she was.
"Quite a performance," Jazz Demarco said sardonically holding a small pistol on Ethan. "I felt like clapping."
"What's going on?" He refused to hold up his hands in surrender. He couldn't believe Jazz of all people would turn on him. He had known her since he was a kid, back in the days when he was a confused juvenile delinquent. "What are you talking about?"
"I'm talking about that attempt you just made to keep blondie-boy over there out of harms way. Oh, you made it seem like you were the big and bad Ian, the messed up psycho twin, but you didn't pull it off." She motioned him to move with a wave of her gun. "We're gonna take a little walk and see a few friends of mine. It's not far now. And don't worry about him. My friends will make sure he meets us there."
The sound Ethan made could only be called a growl.
Jazz didn't flinch at the noise.
Jazz kept Ethan at a far enough pace ahead of her that he couldn't attempt to disarm her. If she was anything, she wasn't stupid. He tripped when his eye sight went wiggy once again. She only shoved him harder forward. "Don't play pretender with me, Ethan. I know that whole eye sight thing is a put on. According to your doctors, there is nothing wrong with your vision. So, get a move on."
When they came upon a large estate, something itched in Ethan's mind. It was familiar. Almost as if he had been here before.
"Inside," Jazz yelled.
The estate was huge and the mansion was massive, almost castle-like. Some of my ancestors would be very comfortable here, Ethan thought.
He was led to the drawing room, just off the main foyer. Inside were people he knew. Gia, Octavia and Bobbie. There was something familiar about the other man, but Ethan couldn't put his finger on what.
Jazz pushed Ethan into the drawing room and closed and locked the door behind him.
Bobbie rubbed his head and winced at the pain. "Thanks for the shiner."
"I was trying to keep you out of this mess."
"Okay, but next time, don't sock me in the face."
Ethan's lips thinned. "Next time I'll just shoot you. How about that?"
A voice from the side of the room stopped them short. "Shut up, the lot of you! I have a headache the size of a mac truck and I don't need it getting any larger." Gia's tone was sharp and curt.
"What in the hell is going on here?" Steven introduced himself to both Bobbie and Ethan.
"Did you neanderthals not hear me?" Gia started to tell them all off, but Steven marched over to her before she could.
"Listen lady, either take a pill or I'm going to shove it up your..." Ethan held Steven off from what he was sure would be a just punishment for Gia, but they needed to stick together and form a team if they ever wanted to get out of the mansion alive.
Gia snarled at Ethan. "Like I need you to step and and start playing hero."
"It's not a role I particularly enjoy, but someone needs to." He shook his head trying to expel their petty differences out of his mind. "We need to find out who has us here and why."
"I think I may be able to answer that. Before I left headquarters, I found two possible suspects. One is Ezekiel Zeller. There is major bad blood between him and your father, Ethan. From what I was able to dig up, key Legacy operatives from twenty-five years ago were responsible for kidnapping his daughter."
"And who's the other suspect?" Octavia asked, finally throwing herself into the game.
"The other suspect is... I don't know how to say this but..." Bobbie stalled for time.
"Just spit it out, kid," Gia said with venom. "Today would be good. Before my head explodes."
"It's your father, Ethan," Bobbie said. "I found evidence that Franklin was involved in nefarious activities that involved many of the Legacy's operatives, maybe even all of them."
The shock registered on Ethan's face, but for a man who was told his father could be the devil, he didn't seem completely surprised.