Disclaimer: See Chapter Thirteen.
IMPORTANT!: READ THE CHAPTER NOTE DOWN THE BOTTOM.
Chapter Soundtrack: Peacemaker (Greenday)
When Trent kicked the door in, five lithe, black clad figures with green, laser-like eyes, rose out from among the crates, and let loose with a god-almighty storm of sustained machine-gun fire, which narrowly missed Trent, although a stray bullet clipped him in the shoulder, but the wound was minor, and of little consequence.
Trent hit the deck, and made for the cover of the closest crate.
Sam leaned around the door, to get a better look and narrowly avoided having a third hole put through his nose.
Sam drew back and glued his back too the door, before sticking his gun over his head, through the shattered window, and strafed the room with blind fire.
Although he couldn't see it, his spray of bullets scythed down all five robots at waist height.
Sam sprayed until the gun clicked empty.
'Holy fuck Sam, where did you learn to shoot like that?' Exclaimed Trent as he looked up to see why the robots had stopped shooting, and saw them sprawled across the roofs of crates.
Sam peered through the shattered window. 'Lucky shot Cap', I was just trying to get them to duck.' Replied Sam neutrally.
'We've been set up, if we had've gone in all guns blazing, we'd be dead right now.' Said Kensi.
'Who'd-?' Callen broke off as his phone rang.
He flicked it open. 'Yeah?' Asked Callen, he listened for a few moments.
'Shit, is everyone all right!' Asked Callen in alarm.
'That's good…-compromised! How!' Asked Callen in shock.
'Oh…shit, what do we do now?' Asked Callen in a voice that sounded to Sam like he'd just realised he was standing on a landmine.
'Thank you director, we'll even the playing field on this end, don't you worry.' Now Callen sounded majorly pissed off.
Callen snapped the phone shut.
'What was that about?' Asked Kensi, as they entered the observation lab.
'Itex just blew NCIS headquarters in DC to hell, luckily, everyone got out alive, but it seems that Itex micro-chipped someone with a device that allows them to eavesdrop and spy on that persons vicinity; someone who's in on this investigation.' Said Callen ominously.
'So we were set up?' Asked Trent as he climbed too his feet.
Callen shook his head. 'Nope, we got made, this whole goddamn lab is probably a death-trap.' Said Callen bitterly.
'Who you lookin' for?' Asked the girl in the crate.
Callen and the others looked at each other, they'd assumed the girl couldn't understand what was going on.
Callen unlatched her crate, and opened the door, before squatting down to the girl's level.
The girl all but glued herself too the back of the crate, with a look of fear on her face.
'Easy, I'm not going to hurt you.' Said Callen gently, backing up a bit.
The girl didn't move.
'We're looking for a boy by the name of Kevin, you haven't seen or heard anything have you?' Asked Kensi, equally as gently, from beside Callen as she came down beside him.
The girl remained mute.
Oddly, it was Sam,-who could've passed for the African-American version of Superman,- who solved the problem.
'G, come on, you're scarin' the kid, we'll start freein' people after we've got Kevin, and gotten him clear of this Frankenstein-freak-fest.' Said Sam, looking around for more targets, and even checking the ceiling to be safe.
Callen backed off, taking Sam's advice, and following Sam's lead, looking around for any other hostiles.
Kensi backed off as well, as Sam came down to the girl's level.
He was the most physically intimidating of the group: A solid slab of muscle, in full blacked out combat gear, with a M16 in hand, various devices, most of them probably grenades, in his combat webbing, and hard eyes.
The girl locked eyes with Sam when he came down to her level, and his eyes softened slightly.
'C'mon outta there kid, G won't bite, besides, kids like you don't belong in cages.' Said Sam in a gruff, friendly voice, extending a hand, which the girl accepted hesitantly as she climbed out.
''Attagirl,' said Sam gently as the girl stood up.
The girl noticed Trent scanning the doors and took an involuntary step backwards.
'Easy kid, Captain Trent won't hurt you either, you haven't seen a blonde haired boy brought through here have you?' Asked Sam gently.
'Yeah, they put him in a observation room through the next room on the left.' Said the girl holding out her left arm.
Sam nodded. 'Thank you for that-I didn't catch your name?.' Said Sam leaning forward slightly.
'Wren! What are you doing-?' The whitecoat's question became a strangled cry as Callen shot him.
Callen walked over as the whitecoat coughed up a globule of blood.
'Where are you keeping the Sinovirus cure?' Asked Callen kneeling next too the whitecoat.
The whitecoat hacked up another blood globule.
'Through…through the next room, then the first…first observation room on the left.' Gasped the whitecoat, then his breathing failed.
Callen walked away from the corpse.
'That's confirmed. Go get the boy Sam, I'm going hunting.' Said Callen pulling the slide on his gun and striding towards the west wall where a computer lab was visible through the glass.
The group split up.
Sam stayed behind to wire the lab with Thermite-Amatol demolition charges.
They had been planning to just use C4 on the Sinovirus supply, but after hearing about the attack on the Navy Yard, Sam decided to deliver some poetic justice.
Trent, Kensi, and the young girl Wren,-who confirmed she had wings, and even showed them the beautiful glossy-black feathered, pinions, with their sky-blue primaries.
Callen, when asked over the radio what he was after, had said he was hunting for hard-copied files.
When he was done wiring the last charge to a remote detonator, he keyed his ear-piece.
'Hawk? How ya doin' on the rescue?' Sam asked.
+'Just fuckin' grand Sea-Lion, we've got a goddamn wolf guarding the kid-he's armed- watching the door.'+ Said Trent annoyed. +'If we go charging in there, fang-face'll probably kill the kid, and I'm not sure if there are any more of those ninja-things around.'+
'What's this I hear 'bout someone needing a hand?' Enquired a youthful voice from behind Sam.
Sam whipped around, gun up.
'Down here, let me out and I'll lend ya a hand.' Said the voice from the crate nearest Sam.
Sam looked down and beheld a boy with wild, thick grey hair, golden eyes, and extended canines.
'An Eraser?' Asked Sam in confusion. 'I thought you guys were the enemy?'
The Eraser shrugged.
'I'm a couple-a steps up from Frank and the rest of the Erasers, but seeings as I've got some empathy to me, the genetics dropouts decided to cage me.' Explained the young Eraser calmly, with a shrug.
Sam hesitated for a second, then popped the lock on the Eraser's crate.
The Eraser crawled out and stood up. He was as tall as Sam but wasn't nearly as bulky.
'Where's your trouble?' 'I'll deal with it, then be on my way.' Said the Eraser.
'The first room past the next room through those doors,'-Sam indicated the doors,- 'on the left, get in, deal with the guard, then open the door.' Sam said as they walked to an air vent.
'Gimme a boost would ya?' Asked the Eraser as Sam stood on the roof of a crate that contained a dead mutant with it's intestines on the outside of it's body.
Sam ignored it and focused on ripping the vent cover out of the ceiling, which he did with one economical yank.
Sam cupped his hands, and the Eraser jumped onto them, and Sam boosted the Eraser into the vent, which sagged slightly but held.
'Thanks for that.' Said the Eraser cheerily, then set off for the observation room where Kevin was being held.
+'Hawk, we've got a mutinying Eraser about to do a number on the guard and get you through the door, stand-by.'+ Said Sam over the radio.
'Roger Sea-Lion.' Replied Trent, and he edged towards the door, tightening his finger on the trigger.
A crash sounded from the other side of the door, followed by an agonised scream, which became a horrified gurgle.
Trent couldn't help himself.
He used his periscope to peek through the glass-
And beheld a horrific scene: The young Eraser was twitching in agony, blood pouring from his mouth.
He struggled to his feet, then tried-vainly-to attack the Eraser grinning maliciously at him.
The young Eraser made a weak strike at the older Eraser's throat with a taloned paw, but the older Eraser simply side-stepped the pathetic blow, and let the younger Eraser topple too the floor.
The older Eraser kicked the younger one onto his back, then drew a skorpion machine pistol, sighted briefly, and shot the younger Eraser in the head.
Trent quickly ducked back down.
'Fuck me sideways…' Swore Trent horrified.
He'd seen some horrific things on the battlefield, sat through Hollywood horror films without so much as twitching; But that incident took the cake.
Trent switched his radio to the general frequency they were all using. +'Heads-up, they're storing Kevin and the Sinovirus together in the same room, I repeat the room where these bastards are holding Kevin is the same one as where they're storing the Sinovirus.'+ Said Trent into his radio in frustration.
Callen stalked the halls with his gun at the ready.
He encountered little resistance, aside from the odd Eraser.
Any problem that Callen encountered was dealt with by an efficient and fluid head-shot.
Callen was hunting for the installation's files room.
He came to a closed door, with voices talking casually behind it.
Callen put his foot through it, and slammed it into the wall, then shot one of the two whitecoats inside, before turning his gun on an Eraser that tried to rush him from the side.
The second whitecoat tried to jab Callen with a syringe, but Callen grabbed the man's arm, and broke his wrist, before catching the syringe, and throwing it into the corner.
'Where's your file room?' Asked Callen neutrally of the whitecoat who's wrist he'd broken.
The man cradled his broken wrist mutely.
'Tell me!' Demanded Callen threateningly levelling his gun at the whitecoat.
'End of the hall, on your right!' Squeaked the whitecoat in fear.
Callen punched him in the head, knocking the man out cold.
He paused, then fixed a cup of coffee from the pot on the counter in the break room,-after some of the things he'd seen in the lab, he needed it to steady his nerves.
'Jesus, Mary and Joseph…' Breathed Sam as he heard what Trent had told them over the radio.
'Put your breathing gear on, and cover all your skin; Looks like we'll have to storm the bastard.' Ordered Sam at last.
+'Copy that Sea-Lion.'+ Came Trent's reply as Sam went too join them.
Callen quietly opened the door to the file room and slipped inside.
A careful sweep of the room revealed no-one else in the room.
Callen jammed a chair under the door handle, then radioed the others.
'I'm in the file room, I'm going to see if I can't dig up anything useful, you'll have to bust Kevin out yourselves, call me when you're done.' Said Callen.
Not waiting for a reply, Callen pulled up a chair facing the door, and called Eric.
'Callen? What do you need?' Asked the technical wizard from his computer back at the ops centre.
'Eric, has your virus spread too the filing room?' Asked Callen calmly.
There was a tapping of keys for a few moments. 'No, the file room is on a separate network, why?' Asked Eric curiously.
Callen plugged his phone into one of the computers. 'Jack me in Eric, then let's steal everything that's nailed down on their files, we might be able to locate some other Sinovirus stores through this.' Said Callen.
A couple of minutes passed, filled with keys tapping, and a mouse clicking; Finally: 'I'm in, and downloading everything that isn't nailed down.'
Callen sat in his seat, alert for any sound, when Eric spoke again. 'Shit, some of these photos…'said Eric in disgusted horror.
'What?' Asked Callen in confusion.
'I'm getting a lot of photo content, and some of these things…there's kids with organs outside their bodies, horrid injuries, and some of these images could be classed as child pornography…if I keep watching this stuff, I'm gonna be sick.' Said Eric in a queasy voice.
A tone sounded on Callen's phone. 'We're done.' Said Callen quickly, as he disconnected his phone after planting Eric's super-virus on the computer.
'Thank god,' breathed Eric 'some of this stuff is just inhumane, if you get a chance, shoot every one of these monsters you can Callen, just shoot them, they deserve anything and everything that happens to them.' Said Eric in a disgusted tone.
Callen went over to the door and listened intently for a second, then put a bullet through the door.
A heavy thud, sounded immediately afterward, and Callen ripped the door open, and beheld a dead Eraser on the floor.
'Sea-Lion, Hawk, Status?' Asked Callen calmly.
There was a moments silence. Then: +'We got the kid G, it wasn't easy, but we got him.'+ Confirmed Trent, sounding slightly breathless.
'Good, then let's save everyone we can, then blow this, fucked-to-buggery, house of horrors too the blackest depths of hell.' Said Callen with some heat.
+'Hoo-ah!'+ Said an unfamiliar voice over the radio.
+'That's the spirit Kev'.' Said Trent, and you could just hear a grin in Trent's voice.
Sam pulled on his gloves, then his full-face breath-mask, and joined Hawk just outside the door.
'Kensi, you better take Wren back into that last lab, if the Sinovirus spills out, and there's no reason why it shouldn't, you'll both probably die.' Stated Sam flatly.
Kensi nodded. 'Come on Wren, after they've gotten Kevin, we'll free everyone else, then we'll get out of here, ok?' Said Kensi, as she Shepparded the young winged girl through the doors they'd come through a few minutes before.
When the door shut again, Sam drew a flash-grenade from his combat webbing, and Trent put a wad of C2 low explosive on the lock and hinges.
Sam signalled ready, and Trent detonated the explosive, blowing the door off it's hinges.
Before the dust settled, Sam threw the flash grenade in the room.
As the fallout faded, Sam and Trent charged in.
Trent put a burst through the first Eraser's head, decorating the wall behind him with blood and brains.
But he didn't see the second Eraser hiding below the window line, until it tackled him off his feet.
A third Eraser tried the same trick with Sam, and copped a knee under the chin for the effort, followed by a swift crack to the back of the neck from the butt of Sam's M16.
Sam put a bullet through the Eraser's head, finishing it off, before he turned to see how Trent was doing.
Trent was on his back, grappling the Eraser clawing at his throat.
Suddenly, the Eraser was yanked off of him by it's shirt collar, and hurled against the opposite wall, where it left a spider-web of cracks from it's impact.
Trent emptied his clip into the Eraser, riddling it with scores of holes.
When his gun finally clicked empty, the Eraser was an almost unrecognisable hunk of perforated, bleeding flesh, bone and gristle.
+'Sea-Lion, Hawk; Status?'+ Asked Callen over the radio.
Trent took a moment to catch his breath as Sam cut Kevin's bonds.
'We got the kid G, it wasn't easy, but we got him.' Replied Trent, with a breathless grin.
Trent didn't hear Callen's reply, because he'd given Kevin his headset to thank Callen.'
'Hoo-ah!' Said the boy happily in response to whatever Callen had said.
Trent's grin broadened as he took the headset back. 'That's the spirit Kev'.' Said Trent, as he slapped a fresh magazine into his gun, and Sam watched the hall.
Fifteen minutes later, three United States Marine Corp Super Stallion troop transport helicopters touched down on the lawn surrounding the complex, unchecked, and greeted by a crowd of nervous, and in many cases terrified juvenile recombinants.
Callen, Trent, Sam and Kensi, guided by Wren, had spent ten minutes moving through the various observation labs throughout the facility, freeing recombinants that weren't too far gone, or who were capable of surviving the outside world, and, euthanizing those who were too badly injured, or disfigured to survive.
The transports were escorted by a pair of state-of-the-art, Apache attack-helicopters:
Anything that wanted Kevin would be facing down not only two heavily armed decoys, but two of the most lethal gun-ships in the world.
The doors on the transports slid open, and several armed escorts Shepparded the crowd of recombinants into the helicopters,-chaperoned by their rescuers.
Kevin stuck close too Sam and Trent.
Within two minutes, they were clear.
'Hey Kev'!' Shouted Trent over the roar of the rotor blades.
Kevin looked at Trent with his innocent blue eyes, as Trent handed him a remote detonator.
Kevin grinned with savage pleasure as he remembered the block of C4 that Trent had left in the Sinovirus chamber.
Sam passed Wren a similar device, which was connected too the Thermite-Amatol charges he'd layed earlier.
Wren and Kevin looked at each other.
'Three,' said Wren.
'Two,' replied Kevin.
'One,' said Wren.'
'Go!' They both shouted together, and thumbed the detonators simultaneously.
A catastrophic explosion ripped through the Los Angeles Itex facility, and a gigantic fireball shot a hundred feet through the roof, while the shockwave destroyed the walls,-buckling the outer ones, and lighting up the night sky bright as the noon-day sun.
They weren't to know that it was eerily similar too the blast that had destroyed NCIS headquarters only an hour previously.
'That's for kidnapping me you bastards!' Said Kevin angrily.
'Language,' warned Sam with a grin.
'That was for everything you put me through,' said Wren, she looked like she wanted to say more, but didn't know how to say it.
+'A job well done people, I'm sending the footage to director Vance now.'+ Said Callen over the radio as they flew off.
Whew, that chapter took FOREVER to get right.
Also, thankyou to Hideoutwriter and AgentNerd for reviewing, you two are the ones who got this chapter posted.
To everyone else: thankyou for reading, but reviews are going to be what keeps the chapters coming.
Remember: TWENTY before I move on with what I did in chapter twenty, and I think THIRTY before I go further.
So, if you haven't already: Review, and I'll see you in:
Chapter Twenty-Two: Countdown