Justice or Vengeance -chp13


Justice or Vengeance

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An old enemy has returned from the grave to shack the Marshals to their core. The mole has been found but at the cost of a friends life. The Deputies have always known the cost of being an Officer of the Law. But when one of their own has been targeted for assassination the gloves come off.

by Snowfall and Jessie Wolf.

Dedicated to the men and women of the US Marshal Service.

Edited by my husband Paul, Honeysuckle, and djkuffman.

~o~O~o~

This is a work of fiction an any persons in this work are purely fictional.


Chapter 13

Somewhere over Ram's Rock Island;

The drone of the C-130's turbo prop engines was comforting to everyone in the cargo hold except Annette and Sam. It might have been the fact that were both about to exit the back end at almost ten thousand feet strapped to tactical gliders. The fact that this was their first ever airborne drop might have something to do with it. Bobby started lining the stick up starting at back with Tiffany and Pete. As he walked the line he doubled checked each harness. Even Lyssa had to admire Bobby's professionalism. His eyes never missed the finest detail. Of them all, Bobby had the most experience with the Tactical Gliders, with Hunter close behind him. This was something a little foreign to the longtime members of the O.I.C.A. team.

When he got to Hunter and Annette he doubled checked her harness while Hunter was going over Sam's. The two LRSD troopers were taking no chances with their partners. They had seen one too many failed harnesses in their time. Unlike with a parachute, the gliders had no fallback reserve chute to bail your ass out of trouble. And while the gliders had more maneuverability and longer glide time, one wrong move and you were dead.

"Alright everybody, two things to remember. First, tandem flyers your job is to man the M-249s. Whatever happens; keep your hands off the control bar. Gliders are unforgiving and one wrong move on your part can send your ass into an unrecoverable spin. Pilots; you got one job and one job only, get down in one piece. The moment we leave the ramp, keep your eyes on the glider in front of you. If they falter, wobble, or anything else; swing wide. These gliders will get you killed if you don't respect them, am I clear?" The moment Bobby started talking the military personnel of the OICA all heard the voice of a Master Glider Pilot and Jump Master.

"HOO-AAH!" Lyssa and Tiffany called out.

"HOO-RAH!" Pete called followed by Rodrick. "HOO-YAH!"

With affirmatives from them all, Bobby began to harness into his glider. He stood there with Sam in front of him waiting for the cargo ramp to lower. Five minutes later the drop lights began to flash. He, like the others, pulled on their respirators.

"Prepare to depressurize." Lone Star warned over their Comms. "Depressurizing. Standby to drop." Carl stood at the door and held up his hand and showed one finger.

When the red light turned solid the cargo ramp started to lower. Sam started to feel the first trickles of adrenaline. For some unknown reason she was starting to like the idea of freefall. One glider back in the stick Annette had yet to see more than the changing light. Like Sam though the thought of falling from over thirty five hundred feet was starting to fill her with adrenaline. Not sense her first Parkour run had she felt anything like this. When the ramp reached its drop position the second light a green one started to flash then went solid.

"Deploy." Lone Star ordered.

Carl waved them out and yelled through his mask. "GO! GO! GO!"

Bobby started to push Sam down the ramp only to find himself running to keep up with her. As they fell free of the cargo plane Bobby heard a scream escape Sam. Thankfully she didn't have her mike keyed. At first Bobby thought that it was a scream of fear. Then he felt something strange through their tandem harness. Then he saw Sam hold her arms out as if she was flying. It took him a minute before it finally dawned on him that Sam was having the time of her life.

Bobby laughed. "I take it that you're having a rush love?"

Sam just nodded her head. Behind them, by about two hundred feet, Hunter was having the same problem as Bobby. His gunner was having a massive adrenalin rush. Shortly after settling into a solid glide path Hunter keyed his mike.

"Stalking Horse, you got the same problem I do? Over." Hunter asked.

Bobby answered. "That's a great big fat Roger, Rum Runner. Over."

"Do you think they can handle their weapons Stalking Horse? Over." Hunter had no sooner gotten the words out of his mouth then both Annette and Sam swung their M-249s into an on guard position.

They slowly began to sweep a firing arc across their flight path. Hunter decided to see how good Annette really was. With a few subtle movements he slipped their glider down alongside Bobby and Sam's. As they pulled alongside Sam automatically refused her left hand side. Annette seeing this only covered their left and refused their right.

Bobby took note. "I think that answers your question Rum Runner."

Even from where she was in the glide path Lyssa could tell that the two women knew their stuff. "Now get your head in the game. Time on target; minus ten. Out."

Just behind Hunter came Rodrick with Shawna on tandem, in the stick. Lyssa with Warlock next. Tiffany with Pete pulling tail end Charlie. The five gliders fell into a two, two, one formation as they dropped faster than they would doing a HAHO but just barely slower than a HALO. Even at this height they were moving at amazing speeds. From the time they left the C-130 to now was under five minutes.

Even in broad daylight those down on the beach were having trouble following the TNSGs. They may be black, but for some reason they faded into the sky. Maria, Kasey, Kristine, Paul, Kimberly, and Mindy stood watching the first practice drop. Paul had passed out field glasses for everyone to watch them come in. When Bobby and Hunter peeled off wide and pulled up behind the others Paul thought something was wrong until he saw them drop from two hundred feet to fifty in parallel fight paths. Sam and Annette swung their M-249’s to point in a cross fire. One that could be used to strafe the deck of a ship.

"I'll be damned! How the hell did those four think up that little maneuver?" Maria looked over at Paul with questioning eyes.

"What those four deputies just pulled off was a simulated strafing run against a ground or moving target. If they can pull that maneuver off during the assault it will make things a hell of a lot easier. Now comes the hard. Never mind." Paul never got to finish his sentence

The two gliders pulled up hard. Hard enough to gain four hundred feet before swinging around to drop down behind the rest of the team. Both gliders piloted by the Deputies hit dead center of the target zone. Then with the speed of long remembered reflexes the two men disengaged their harnesses and those of their gunners. Within thirty seconds they both had their gliders broken down, while Sam and Annette had taken up cover positions.

Maria and the girls were impressed by the drop and then deployment of the team. Paul though was not only impressed but surprised by the Deputies. They may not all be military trained, but their team work and cover formation were not only text book, they were by the numbers. Even Annette moved to cover her pilot as Hunter broke down the glider.

"Okay you two, when were you going to tell us about that little strafing maneuver of yours?" Tiffany asked.

"That, Tiffany, was a pure LRSD tactic." Rodrick, Tiffany, Shawna, and Pete all looked over at Lyssa. "Remember something here, Long Range Search and Destroy pioneered the use of these gliders. They know more about these gliders than anyone." Looking over at Bobby she asked. "So how long after the basic course before you guys started learning tactics, Staff Sergeant?"

"We didn't start learning those until we hit our Permanent Party Duty station. Even then, we had another two weeks of training before they turned us loose on the drop zones. The two-by strafe run is a standard maneuver for LRSD teams." Bobby explained then nodded at Hunter. "If you want to know more about tactics with gliders, talk to Hunter."

"Aren't you a Master Glider Pilot?" asked Tiffany. "You sure acted like it while prepping the team for drop."

"Oh I am a MGP, but not on the Strike Gliders. For tactics, you need to talk to one of the best. And that ladies and gentlemen is Hunter Taugh." Bobby pointed out to them all.

Hunter cleared his throat. "The first tactic we learn is the strafe run. The primary use for it is to clear a hot LZ. Understand something though; it is not something we do unless we absolutely have to. The only reason Bobby and me did it this time was to showcase the maneuverability of the gliders. Until you all have more time with them, I suggest that you leave the high speed maneuvers to us. It takes more than just guts to pull off those kinds of maneuvers. It takes a shit-ton of practice. Anyhow, the TNSG-115s are far more agile than the 104s or 107s. So whatever else happens, the pilots need to keep their heads in the game and on a swivel."

"So that whole thing, was you two clowns showboating?" growled Paul. "If you're going to pull that shit, I'll ground your asses."

"No Sir; it wasn't showboating or grandstanding. That was a demonstration of what can be done with the gliders. As for the how the girls acted, we had already discussed what we were going to do beforehand. Sure, we know it was over the top, but we figured the best way to get the girls over their fear of the drop we would kind of push them just a little." Bobby answered.

"So you two decided to pull a training jump motivational kick in the ass. Did either of you think to use another method? Like, oh I don't know; BLINDFOLDS, maybe?!" Maria was well and truly pissed off. "Understand THIS boys; if you get my girls hurt, or dead, with your games. I'll personally remove your MANHOOD!"

"Relax mama, I don't know about Sam, but that was an absolute rush! If riding tandem has that kind of effect on me; I can't wait to get trained to pilot." Annette was almost giddy with excitement from her first drop. The fact that she needed to go change her panties was not brought up.

"OH MAN! Mama you have got to try this, at least once. I never felt so alive in my life before. It really is the closest thing to having wings." Sam's very enthusiastic description of the drop was not lost on the others.

They had all seen this type of reaction in the past, but for some reason it was funny seeing it in someone for the first time. Even the teens and Mindy were having a hard time keeping in the giggle-fits.

"MARON! They have gone crazy on adrenaline." Maria said just before she gave up her fight and started to laugh at her daughters. Looking over at Kasey and Kristine she could already see their desire to fly with their parents. "As for you two; I am afraid that you're going to have to wait a little longer before trying that." The collective 'awes' brought another round of laughter from the adults.

"Remember our little talk a few nights ago girls? You got time to be kids." Lyssa said when they looked over at her.

"Trust us girls. When the time is right, I am sure your Uncle Hunter and father will get you trained in airborne and glider operations. But right now, that is a ways off." Rodrick smiled to take the sting out of his words.

"Twenty minutes before you go up for your next drop people." Paul called out.

"Sir; yes, Sir!" The two teams called out as one.

As the teams got ready for their next drop, Kasey and Kristine watched every move they made. They wanted to be ready for when their time came. They had already taken to heart the lessons their parents and the other adults had been teaching them.

"Girls, let's go. Time for diner. And you two still have homework to get done." Maria called from where she stood with Paul.

The two teens wanted to argue but remembered their promise to Lyssa and their grandmother. Once the teens were gone and it was only the drop team Rodrick looked over at Hunter.

"What do you put our chances at having solid landings?" The SEAL asked.

Hunter replied. "Better than ninety-five percent. I won't sugar-coat it. This assault is going to have enough problems without any fancy attack maneuvers. We need to hit that LZ and get our gliders broke down, FAST. I figure we have between two to three minutes before the shit hits the fan. That is more than enough time to break them down and get ready for company."

"Question. If we can pull that strafing run across the weather deck; could we land there?" Annette asked.

Hunter shook his head. "Bad idea. Sure, we would have a larger area to land. That's the upside, now for the downside. We would announce our presence to the whole damned world. If we were in a heavy wooded or jungle area, using the strafing run would be no problem. This however is a moving ship at night on the high seas. The sound would carry for miles drawing unwanted attention."

Rodrick and Lyssa nodded in agreement to Hunter's answer and explanation. From the way Hunter talked and discuss tactics they could tell that he really did know how to use their new equipment. Not even Bobby contradicted Hunter.

Tiffany asked. "So why did you guys pull the stunt out there on the first drop?"

"Look Tiffany; we know that you, Rodrick, and Lyssa are glider qualified. However, you are all primary HALO and HAHO specialists. Bobby and I have spent the majority of our time working with gliders. I don't know about Lyssa, but like Rod said earlier, SEALs don't use gliders that often, but in LRSD these are all we use. So while your average trooper can get qualified in their use, it takes months and continued use to master them." Hunter looked out at the runway. "There is only one man that I know of that is a true master of gliders. Then again to most of us in LRSD the guy was a legend close to mythical."

"Damn he sounds like a monster with these things." Shawna said. "Know his name?"

"That is the kicker, Shawna. No one knows the guy's name. He just disappeared after his last drop. Like I said, he is a myth." Hunter stated.

Paul didn't say a word and neither did Lone Star. They both knew who Hunter was talking about. Even to them the man was a mystery. All anyone knew about that glider pilot was he designed the first TNGs and that he never let one leave the factory without being the first to fly it.

Once everyone was ready for their second training drop, it was just after sunset. Unlike the first drop; Krystel joined them. This drop would be a practice drop for the assault on the ship. This time when they left the C-130; the whole team kept their professionalism. Down on the LZ target, they all hit their mark dead on. Within sixty seconds all five gliders were broke down and folded into their tactical storage positions.

Rodrick looked down at his watch. From drop to landing total time just over fifteen minutes and no broken bones. What was even better they had been able to drop Krystel directly over the LZ and the team ten miles away. Lyssa just gave him a smirk and packed up her glider.

Bobby smiled. "I told you earlier, gliders give you more options; distance and speed are just two of them."

"If that is just two of the options, I want full training on these bad boys." Pete laughed.

"When we get back. First we need to take care of this op." Lyssa looked at the rest of the team. "We'll spend time with Hunter and Bobby when we get back. They're experts."

"I have a question." Sam spoke up then asked. "If these are so great, why haven't you all been using them before?"

All members of the O.I.C.A team made the universal hand sign and said flatly. "Money."

Hunter patted Sam on the shoulder. "Chutes are disposable compared to these. A new, military-grade, chute for them runs five to seven grand. A civilian model is around three. These gliders run four hundred grand each. A chute can be left behind or destroyed in seconds. If one of these gets left behind, intact, there's hell to pay. We're the only nation to use them. Everybody uses parachutes."

"It’s all about being untraceable?" Annette asked.

Lyssa shook her head. "It’s about being deniable. Without proof, even though motive is beyond doubt, the U.S. did not take action." Sam and Annette looked to Bobby and Hunter, who simply nodded.

"That's why they've been using CAR-15s. Those are all over the black market instead of M-4s. They can be acquired and thrown away easy." Bobby told his wives. "Non-issue pistols with custom work and ammo. It all says private, which means total deniability."

"The world where much is not what it seems." Krystel remarked.

The four deputies just smiled and headed for the DeMarco house. Once there they each took a shower, the guys dug out their black SWAT tactical uniforms. For Sam and Annette, it would be the first time they wore the boots, gloves, weapons harness and form-fitted battle suits that the other women wore. At first Sam and Annette found the battle suits a little disconcerting. After a few minutes though, the battle suits felt like a unitard or a pair of tights and leotard. As they walked out to join the guys Annette and Sam both women fell back on their earlier childhood training. Their walks became as hypnotic as if they were dancing across the stage. Bobby and Hunter both look up at the two women.

"Oh man; if they don't kill the Tangos first with their firearms, they'll give them heart attacks!" Hunter commented.

"You know something partner. This is one time you made an understatement of EPIC proportions." When Bobby said this all the adults started to laugh. It was just what they needed to break the tension that was starting to rise. "Okay ladies time for your make-up lesson."

Sam stretched and ran her hands over the uniform. "You know; this doesn't seem so bad. I think I could like wearing this."

Both women sat down at the kitchen table with the two men. "Now remember, this isn't like stage makeup or what you two normally wear out in public. The idea is to obscure or breakup your features while blending them into the background. Now there are five standard styles. The first is what all basic trainees learn, the breakup." Bobby had pulled up a series of pictures on the net to show them the deferent patterns. "Next in line is the block, followed by blotch and lastly blackout. The last two are used in urban or night-time warfare. Now the last one is used for specialized tactics."

"Okay what is the difference between it and the other four?" asked Annette. "I mean sure, they look different, but I can't see what the big deal is?"

"Annette those first four styles are used by your everyday soldiers. The last one is used by people like Special Forces, Delta teams, SEALS, SAS, SBS, and just about every other type of special operations group there is. There is one thing though about all of these styles. Over time individuals develop their own unique pattern. You'll see what we're talking about when we get to the hanger." Bobby stood up and the others joined him.

"Say, where are mama and the girls?" Sam asked.

"They left for the hangar already. Something about getting the last of the Intel ready for final brief." Hunter answered.

"Okay before we leave I want a full weapons check by everyone." Bobby ordered.

Sam and Annette checked their two automatic 45s and made sure that their family knives were in their sheaths. Hunter and Bobby were both caught off guard when they saw the silencers on the girls 45s. When Sam saw that neither of the boys had silencers on their weapons she walked over to her gun locker.

After opening it up she pulled out four 45 caliber silencers. "Here. You can use these until I have time to make some for you."

"Wait, you know gunsmithing?" Hunter asked of Sam.

"Something I learned as a kid Hunter, now please leave it alone?" was all Sam answered with as she handed them two silencers.

All four deputies left the house and headed for the hangar. As they walked into the hanger they found the rest of the team gathered around an equipment table.

"Hunter; do me a favor and help the ladies with their face camo. I'll be back in a few minutes." Bobby didn't give the other three a chance to ask questions as he pulled four camo sticks out of his cargo pocket. As he walked out on to the tarmac for the runway Bobby started to chant.

Only Hunter knew what Bobby was doing and he had no problem with it. "Come on ladies, I'll help you the first time."

"Hunter can you tell us what Bobby is doing?" Annette asked.

Hunter shook his head. "Not my place Annette. However, I will say this much, it has to do with his heritage."

Everyone in the hangar heard the sound of Bobby's chanting. Lyssa and Rodrick both stopped what they were doing and looked out at where Bobby stood singing his war song and nodded to each other. They could barely make out his movements as he painted his face.

When Hunter, Sam, and Annette joined the others at the equipment table Pete looked over at them. "What's up with Bobby guys?"

"Hunter knows, but he's not talking. So your guess is as good as any Pete." Sam said straight out.

"He's singing his war song and painting his death face." Rodrick told them. When Sam and Annette looked over Rodrick in shock he could tell that they didn't understand. "Bobby is a Dakota. He is out there following his heritage while getting ready for war."

Sam looked over at Rodrick. "How did you know? And I thought he was Wyoming Sioux."

"No he is Dakota, Sioux was the Mohican word for enemy. As for how I know it’s the song. Heard it before, from a former team member." Rodrick didn't explain more and the girls left it alone.

Annette looked over at Lyssa and asked. “Is that like calling a Sicilian and Italian?” Lyssa just nodded her head. The other team members left the unasked questions alone as Maria, Kimberly, and the teens all came up from the TOC.

Hunter just looked at Sam and Annette. "Come on ladies. Let's get painted for the op."

Neither Sam nor Annette said another word as Hunter helped them apply their face camo. When Maria, Kimberly, Paul and the girls joined them, Lyssa was just getting ready to paint her face. Kristine watched as Lyssa reached into a cabinet and took out a small can and opened it then a sponge. Slowly streaks became lines. Lines formed intricate swirls. The pattern distorted her features.

"Does it look like she's done that so many times, she doesn't even think about it anymore?" Kristine asked Kasey.

Kasey nodded. "Uh-huh. Didn't even use a mirror to do it either."

"Lyssa has been using that pattern for years." Dannigan said behind them. Both girls looked back in surprise at the big spook. Dannigan nodded to Lyssa. "Thousands of times she's put that pattern on her face. She's had it since before she went into Special Operations."

"Did she take some kind of special class?" Kristine asked.

"All soldiers are taught camouflage in boot camp. The higher they go up, the more they learn. Those basic lessons are expanded. As for the specific pattern. That is developed by the person. Each is unique to the individual. The more it's done, the more refined it becomes and is remembered not just by that person, but each member of the unit. So specific that even in the dark and without voices they can identify each other by the pattern itself." Dannigan explained.

Kasey found that surprising. "Seriously?"

Dannigan nodded. "Zebras."

Both teens blinked in confusion. "HUH?"

"Zebras." Dannigan repeated then continued. "Every zebra's stripe pattern is unique to it. When a young one is born, the mother keeps it separate from the herd. She blocks its view of the herd with her own body. The reason is so that the baby learns its mother's pattern before seeing any other. Now think about the military, they go to boot camp. During or after that, the soldiers begin to develop a pattern. They join a Team and during training they learn each other's pattern. When they go out on mission, they know each other at a glance. Even body posture and movement. Hell, they can even tell each other apart just by boot prints."

Now they watched as Lyssa put on her weapons' rig then armed herself. The final item was the wicked looking knife she slid into a sheath at the back of her thigh.

"Major. Can I ask you about that knife Prima Lyssa uses? We've seen and even started to train with knives before. None like that. It looks; evil." Kristine said.

Dannigan looked over before answering. "It's called a Marauder. The design came out in the eighties. That particular one though is different. It's longer and not made from the same metal. Lyssa forged that herself and it's made from a Titanium-Tungsten Carbide alloy. Every ounce of anger and hatred she had, went into each hammer stroke. Each and every slide across a stone to hone the edge. That knife has never known noble or honorable intent. Just rage. It knows only pain and death."

The girls had gone silent watching Lyssa finish gearing up.

"That Marauder is almost the embodiment of her. She forged herself in that same anger, hatred and pain. In the studios, the classrooms, the offices she became what you see now. Beauty, elegance, charm. Underneath that; dedication, conviction, sheer will." Dannigan said softly. "The Immortal."

Kasey looked over at him. "Immortal?"

"Yeah. It got hung on her back in the old days. The Before days." Dannigan said. "Iraq. The A-team was on patrol and came under insurgent fire. One of the shooters got off a lucky shot; or maybe it was a ricochet, that grazed her neck. That's when everything changed. Or maybe that's when the truth was seen for the first time."

Dannigan walked over to the coffeemaker and poured a cup. "That young green beret, fresh out of Bragg, strode down that street as if stepping between each bullet's flight path. Put two rounds into each shooter without even looking and at the end, casually tossed a grenade over a low wall fifteen feet away. Took out four with that grenade. The last one died being held by the hair to look into that soldier's eyes. From then on, the Immortal stomped across that country. A one hundred and fifty thousand dollar bounty that men died for a year trying to earn."

"That's intense." Kristine remarked.

Dannigan nodded. "They wouldn't kill her when she wanted to die. She refused to die when they finally figured out they should try. None of them survived. Members of her own team were executed in front of her to make her talk. She spent a week in Hell. They never broke her."

"Why?" Kasey asked.

"They didn't know who was really who on the team. The team leader had the medical pack. They killed him first. She was the most heavily armed, so they thought she was the leader. One by one she watched them murdered in front of her. She held onto that. For YEARS she held onto that. She got her revenge. She was already deadly. To get her revenge; Lyssa became the most lethal woman on Earth." Dannigan stated flatly.

The two teens looked over to Tiffany. She was also moving with the same confident movements. Shawna and Krystel were as well. They now saw their mothers wearing the same one-piece, form-fitted black uniform and knee high boots.

"You might earn one of those outfits yourselves. One day." Dannigan remarked then admitted. "I'll be honest and tell you that I hope you don't."

Kristine looked at him confused. "You don't? Why?"

Dannigan looked at them both firmly. "To wear one means that you are prepared to give up your life. You have to accept the fact that you may die on an operation. All of them understand it. Accept it. Fully prepared to, know they may not come back. Or worse; come back alone. Lyssa was the only one to come back once. She wouldn't wish it on anyone."

Kimberly came up and handed Lyssa a page. Lyssa looked at it then nodded.

"Fall in." Lyssa called out.

Everyone gathered around.

"Mark this face." Lyssa instructed and held up a picture. "Mark it well."

"So who is he?" Annette asked.

Lyssa's expression was unreadable due to the facial paint. "Blain Holland. Deserter, U.S. Army. He's belongs to me. If you see him, do NOT approach."

Hunter nodded at the picture. "What's his deal?"

"Highly trained Special Forces. He's an Operator." Lyssa stated. "Out of your league."

Bobby looked closer at the picture. "He was Delta? I don't remember him."

"Not a Delta." Dannigan remarked. "He's all yours Lyssa."

Hunter was about to protest but saw Maria shake her head and kept quiet.

Kimberly spoke up. "Fifteen minutes to launch. Bodycams in five. If you need to do something, now is the time."

The group broke up slightly. Maria waved over her team.

"What's the deal? That guy's out of OUR league?" Hunter asked with heavy sarcasm.

Maria looked at him crossly. "Hunter. Is it not OBVIOUS?"

Hunter looked back confused. "What?"

Bobby nodded. "I get it now. Lyssa knows him. He's one of THEM."

"Them?" Samantha asked.

Maria nodded. "That rumored unit. The one Lyssa must have been in, long ago. Half died."

"Those ghosts Hunter. I'm pretty sure Lyssa was one of them. That guy probably was too." Bobby said.

"Indeed. You have your own affair Robert. Ensure that your Mister Simmons meets with SEVERE misfortune." Maria instructed.

Bobby nodded. "Oh, I intend to. With Pleasure!"

"Anybody know what Kimberly meant by Bodycams?" Samantha asked.

Maria chuckled. "You will all be equipped with special cameras that work in regular and infra-red light. We'll be able to see everything you do and because of your radios, we'll hear as well! It should be quite interesting to watch all this, as it happens, instead of simply hearing about it afterward."

"I thought everything was going to be jammed?" Annette asked.

"She's not going to set up some broadband signal jammer. More likely, she'll clip onto the lines and pull the signals into a device that absorbs them. Like a bypass, but it stops them instead." Bobby explained.

Hunter nodded. "It’s sneakier that way. If they get broadband jammed, they'll know as soon as it starts. This way, nothing goes out and only crap comes in."

"Oh." Annette said, understanding now.

Kimberly called out. "Final check!" Everyone gathered. The cameras and radios were attached and checked. Warlock's vest was also checked.

Bobby gave his team a final check then called out. "Good to go!"

"Good to go!" Rodrick echoed.

Carl yelled from the hangar door. "GOOD TO GO!"

Dannigan nodded to both teams. "Go to WAR!"

"LOAD UP AND LAUNCH!" Rodrick yelled.

Both teams spun around and ran for the C-130. Moments later it roared down the runway, lifting off into the night sky and turned north. Maria and the teens stood there watching until the big plane disappeared into the night.

As Maria crossed herself the two teens quickly followed suit. "Saint Alecia, lend a watchful eye over those who go into battle this night. Give onto them what protection you can and see them home safe and sound. Deliver up the demons of Bobby and Lyssa so that they may final find some peace in their souls. Amen."

"This is one time that prayer will do no good Ria." Paul said from behind her and the girls.

"For you maybe Paul, but I shall always pray for our family's safety and success. Until the day they are no longer needed, I shall send my prayers with them. We fight not some supernatural being, but the evil of men. For once I can truly say that we stand with the angels by all that's holy I will not let my daughters return to that way of life." There was a conviction in Maria's voice that Paul had never heard before.

"Send your prayers not for our teams Ria, but for the poor bastards that shall face their wrath. I have the feeling that when those ten shadows hit that ship; nothing is going to stand in the way of justice or vengeance." Of those still on the island only Paul knew the meaning behind the Deputies' war paint.

Sam and Annette had seen the way Bobby had done his face camo and copied it to some extent. Oh it was a long way off from being exact, but it was close enough. Tonight it was a family that went to war against the evil of man.

M/V Styx, Thirty miles off the coast of South Carolina;

As Felicity walked the halls of the big boat she was amazed at how well she was treated here. None of the men wanted her for sex with the exception of the captain, but he was gentle with her. The second mate kept the rat catchers and Ship's Crew away from her and the other slaves onboard. All she and the other five salves that were part of the 'crew' had to do was make sure the quarters were clean and the crew was fed.

She may be a slave still, but she wasn't being raped on a daily basis. There were even days that she was allowed to go out on the big deck. And sometimes the captain allowed her and the other maids help train the new girls. There were only three people that Felicity didn't like on the boat.

The first preson was the head Rat catcher; he was a mean man by the name of Holland. He also scared Felicity and the other slaves. He had killed one of the original slaves when they were brought aboard the big boat. She could still remember his words to them all.

"Your owners have no use for you anymore. That is why you are here. You belong to this ship. You try to run, or help any new prisoner to run, you are dead." To prove his point he slowly snapped the neck of the girl standing next Felicity.

They all understood the very blunt lesson. If they wanted to live, they had to be loyal to the ship. The next man on her do not like list was the Chief Engineer. The man had sick and twisted ideas about his sex partners. Thankfully, none to the slave maids fit into his demented little world. Alex would have had no problems being the Chief’s sexual partner if all he wanted was a sub for BDSM games. No, the Chief liked to kill his sexual partners as he finished with them.

The last man on the list was the night watch commander for the rat catchers. He was scary like Holland in that he would kill a slave without a second thought, but there was something different about him. He enjoyed torturing the new slaves. The man sent chills back Felicity's spine when he would smile at her. Thankfully the captain made sure that she and the other five were left alone by all of the crew and that include the rat catchers. Felicity and the other slaves would have giggled at the name they had given the security crewmen, if they could.

As it was they could only pass the occasional note when in private. Like all slaves and prisoners, they had learned how to communicate between each other. With everything from hand gestures to written notes on toilet paper. They would never be caught off guard again by their owners. They heard and saw everything. Nothing happened on the ship that the six maids didn't know about.

They had over the past months slowly broken free sort of from their mental conditioning. Unlike the new slaves they had all come from the Farm so their conditioning was nowhere near as intense or complete. Thankfully those that completed their training were never aboard the boat long enough to learn the secrets of the crews' maids.

Looking up at one of the ship clocks Felicity saw that it was almost time to take the bridge crew their coffee and midnight lunch. She quickly headed for the main galley. As she entered she was greeted with the now usual wolf-whistles. There were always four or five crewmen in the galley at this time of the time. Felicity didn't mind working the third shift as it kept her away from the twin head rat catchers.

After fixing eight sandwiches, two thermoses of coffee, one thermos of tea for the third shift weatherman; Felicity placed everything on a serving tray and headed for the bridge. As she left the warmth of the interior cabins and passage ways Felicity shivered in the cold night air. Even off the southern coast of the United States, the Atlantic Ocean can get cool at night.

At exactly one in the morning Felicity entered the bridge. She smiled at the night watch crew as she had been trained to do. After placing the tray on the nearest empty workstation she turned and curtsied to third watch Helmsman. She waited until he recognized her.

"You can go Felicity. Take a thermos of coffee and something to eat down for the weather deck security crew. Be back in two hours to pick up the tray." He ordered.

Felicity curtsied again and left. The man may not find the she-male slave sexual attractive but then to him none of the she-freaks were. Oh they were pleasing to the eye and quite pretty, but he preferred pounding a real snatch verses a bunghole.

"Damn! Now that is one fine piece of ass boss. Can someone please tell me why we have to leave it and the other five alone?" asked the weatherman.

"Captain's orders Neil. Those six slaves are part of the crew. As such, they are not on the menu. Besides, we get to break in all that new pussy and ass that comes in once a month. Why would we want a worn out ass-pussy like they have?" The Helmsman asked flatly.

"No joke Steve! I swear Neil, when I had to help the Docs check those sissies when they first arrived I almost tossed my cookies. The docs had to push their fist into the asses of most of them before they felt anything. I mean if they didn't have those massive butt plugs in, they would be dripping shit all over the deck." The night shift navigator commented from his station. "By the way Steve, we need to come fifteen degrees to port for about ten minutes. After that, you can swing back to our original heading."

"Why? What's up, Dale?" asked Steve.

Dale tapped his screen. "We're coming up on those cruise line routes. You know the rules are about being seen by civilians."

"Damn! I forgot all about those fucking cruise ships. By the way, where do you put us right now?" Steve looked over at his friend and navigator. "I got us just off Myrtle Beach."

"You're not even close Steve. We're between on Pawley's Island and the Inter-Coastal Waterway. In fact, we're going to need to make that course change for twenty degrees. We got those pain in the ass National Wildlife Reserves coming up. Don't want the local tree hugger convention screaming about us upsetting the seagulls. I swear; if they dump any more regulations on us, we won't be able to sail from one port to the next without staying in international waters." Everyone on the bridge just chuckled at the navigator's complaint.

They all knew what a hassle it was to port hop along the coast. In fact, it had become such a hassle that most captains just sailed out into international waters and stayed there. They would only turn in and head for their next port of call when they were twenty miles away. For the crew and captain of the Styx this practice played into their mission. To the man, they all knew what went on in the lower six cargo decks. Only the two upper most cargo decks held real prisoners. Even then there were only twenty between the two decks, ten on each one. While Dale was busy complaining Steve made the needed course correction. Once the new course was set, he reached over and engaged the autopilot.

"So who has the deck boys? I'm feeling lucky tonight." Steve smiled over at his two friends.

Dale just shook his head as Neil held up a deck of Bicycle playing cards.

"Bridge or Cribbage old man?"

Steve thought for a moment then looked over at Dale. "You want in?" Dale just shook his head no. "Break out the Cribbage board Neil. We got fifteen minutes before our next course correction and the skies are clear as the eye can see."

Out on the weather deck Felicity was following the last orders she had received from the Helmsman. It had taken her close to the two hours to make sure all of the weather deck rat squad had gotten their coffee. She kept having to go back to the galley to get more coffee and clean cups. She was just heading up to pick up the mess in the bridge when she heard the drone of a heavy aircraft high overhead. She looked, but couldn't tell the airplane from the stars.

Back in her old life she would spend hours laying on her back watching the airplanes fly over her old home. She would often dream of flying one of the many airplanes that passed over her families. With a heavy sigh she turned her eyes back to the stairway leading to the bridge. She knew that even if she were ever to be rescued, there was no way anyone would ever let a freak like her fly an airplane now.

Little did Felicity know that a flight of avenging angels would soon be winging their way to the Styx. If she had stayed outside for another three minutes she might have seen the first of those dark angels gliding down on silken wings of Black Death. This angel would lead the wings of vengeance that would soon liberate Felicity and the others while dealing out a vengeful wrath upon their capturers.

----- To be continued -----



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