Thank you so much for the wonderful response.

Somewhere in the Aphgan desert

She was cold and tired and as she lay in the shallow ditch. She wondered if it was all worth it. Fighting to keep her eyes open and her mind off of the fact that she hasn't eaten in days, she raised the night vision glasses to see what activity was happening in that bunker that had held her attention for two days. She tracked the guards and how they changed shifts. She counted the number of children that were dragged in and the number of body bags that were dragged out. She was convinced that Najib was in there. She thought she spotted him but she couldn't be too sure.

Her dilemma was how to get him out alive. She was alone and had no back up. She acknowledged to herself that she was losing hope. Catherine lowered her head in defeat; she was outnumbered and too weak physically to complete the mission. She needed a new plan.

Carefully, she slithered out of the ditch as she kept close to the ground to avoid being detected. She needed a safer place to lay low for a while and regain her strength. She needed to find food and water. Making her way to the dead shrubs that concealed her motor bike, she reached to pull it out of its hiding spot. Suddenly her head spun and everything went black as she hit the ground with a thud.

Later that evening

Opening her eyes, she felt the room spin. A room, I'm in an actual room, she thought to herself. It was dusty and dark. A lantern lit the room just enough to produce a shadowy effect on the stone walls. Suddenly a wave of fear washed over her.

"Hey, hey, calm down, Catherine, your safe" A familiar voice whispered to her.

She turned to see who was holding her hand and trying to comfort her. She thought she was hallucinating, so she blinked her eyes tightly. "Doris?"

"Hey, how are you feeling sleepy head?" Doris rubbed her hand as she continued to hold it.

"Dizzy. I don't understand, what happened? "She was feeling disoriented as she observed her surroundings.

"I found you passed out near the canyon" A male voice responded

She turned her head in the direction of the voice "Commander White?" She asked

"How are you feeling dear?" He came closer and knelt down beside her bunk

"Ok, I guess. Can someone please tell me what is going on?" She sat up leaning her back against the wall "Did Steve send you? He promised not to"

"Easy there, you'll pull out your IV "Doris adjusted the line that fed the nutrients into her arm

Catherine looked at the needle in her arm and nodded "Thank you"

Joe glanced at Doris as he responded "I was out scouting the area. Imagine my surprise, when I found you lying there on the ground completely unconscious and alone"

"I must have passed out, where's my bike, my supplies?" she began to panic

"Hey, relax, I've got everything. I have everything, see right there." He pointed to the corner of the room

"OKay" she whispered

"Why are you here Catherine?" Doris asked "why are you here alone?"

She swallowed hard and paused. Reluctantly she answered "I'm doing a favor for a friend, I'm looking for this boy" She reached into her bra and retrieved a crumpled photo of the boy

Doris and Joe exchanged looks

"Who is this boy?" Joe asked

"He's the son of a friend. I need to find him. I know he is being held in that bunker just over the ridge. I had eyes on him" Catherine tried to continue when Joe interrupted

"That's a Taliban training camp" Joe confirmed

"Yeh, That's what I thought. I need a way to get him out of there" She pulled the IV out of her arm and tried to get up.

Doris pushed her back into the bunk "You are not going anywhere"

Catherine bowed her head looking at the photo "I have to save Najib."

"Right now you have to take care of yourself. I can't believe Steven let you do this alone" Doris questioned

"It was my decision to make. I need to return Najib to his family. Steve understands that" Catherine tried to convince herself

"I don't like it. Chasing terrorists across the desert is dangerous Catherine" Doris' tone grew stern

"I have to do this!" Catherine insisted as she attempted to stand

"Ok! Ok! I think I can help" Joe interrupted. "Give me that photo"

Catherine handed it to Joe

"If I get this boy out of there, will you go home? Do we have a deal?" Joe asked

Catherine did not verbally respond, but nodded in agreement. Honestly, she wasn't sure she could go home again

"Good. Get some rest and I'll be back soon" he hugged her and approached Doris.

Joe nodded his head signaling Doris to step away from her for a moment. "That's the group we were looking for. I'll call in back up and take them down. I'll be back" He whispered in her ear

"I should go too" Doris looked at Catherine lying in the bunk.

"No, you stay here and make sure she doesn't try to go after him. Sedate her if you have to. I will try to get the boy out safe. It's obvious he's important to her, but there is a strong chance that he will become collateral damage" Joe had doubts but was sincere in his effort to try

"Try" Doris grabbed Joe's arm as he exited "Try" she repeated

"Doris" Catherine grabbed the woman's attention

Doris secured the door behind Joe and returned to Catherine's bedside

"Why are you here?" Catherine asked

Doris paused and with a playful smirk responded "If I tell you, I'll have to kill you"

TBC