Justice or Vengeance
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.
DeMarco Home, Ram's Rock Island 11:30;
Kasey and Kristine were wakened by the sounds of their parents' voices. Both teens found that they needed to get dressed before heading down stairs.
"Damn Kris, did we really crash that hard?" Kasey asked of her younger sister.
Kristine took a moment then nodded. "I think so Kasey. The last thing I remember is crashing the Vassago network, then leaning back in my chair. What about you?"
"Same here, but I think I did wake up for few seconds. I think I said something that got me into trouble with Nonnina though." Kasey blushed at this admission.
"What could you have said to get into trouble? It's not like you were in control. She can't blame you for something you said half awake. Now hurry up! Papa and mamas just got to have some really juicy details." Kristine had already pulled on a pair of shorts and a tank top while all Kasey had on were her shorts. At the urging of her kid sister Kasey finished dressing.
As the two teens entered the kitchen they were surprised to find all four of the adult Deputies and their grandmother. The two girls split naturally towards their individual mother. Kasey to Annette and Kristine to Samantha. The two women wrapped their adopted daughters in welcoming hugs.
"Well, it looks like the stars of the show have finally decided to make an appearance." Hunter chuckled from his place at the table. "By the way girls. Great job with destroying Vassago."
"Um; all we did was open the door and walk in. I mean, it's not like we had to pick the lock or something. Miss Krystel gave us the keys and everything. She did the hard part for us." Kasey told the adults.
"Yeah; that main frame had absolutely no type of security or anti-viral programing at all. Why, a bunch of script kids could have taken out that mess." Kristine said backing up her sister.
The fact that both teens were trying to down-play what they had done had the adults laughing. The deputies had gotten a full report on what the girls had done from Kimberly. Sam and Annette passed the girls off to Hunter and Bobby. Once the welcome hugs were out of the way the deputies got down to business; the cleaning of their weapons.
Hunter and Bobby worked on the M-249s while Sam and Annette took care of the SABERs. Seeing their parents and uncle cleaning their main weapons the teens started breaking down the team's 45s. They placed each barrel with the individual weapon.
Something felt 'off' about the barrels to Kasey, turning to Sam. "Mama Sam, I know that you all used suppressors on this last operation. Is that why you all have the extended barrels?"
"What? Oh, those. Yes Kasey, whenever you use a suppressor with an automatic you have to compensate for the slide. To do this you need to use an extended barrel. We switched them out." Sam answered her.
"Um, so does that mean we need to replace these with the regular barrels?" asked Kristine.
"Yes. If you run upstairs to our bedroom, you'll find four bags laying on my dresser. Each bag has two barrels in it." Annette answered for Sam. "Each bag has the name of the owner for those barrels. Be sure to put the correct barrels with the correct weapons."
"About that, why did you keep those barrels?" Kasey asked.
"The ballistics for each barrel is on record with the Federal Ballistic Database. Every weapon belonging to an Officer of the Law, especially Federal, has a complete ballistic report on the automated ballistic identification systems or ABIS. This is backed up by a file on the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network or NIBIN. If we have to use our weapons, as deputies in public, we need them to match up. So please make sure you get the right barrels with the right weapons." Annette explained then laughed. "I just learned all that recently myself."
Kristine returned with the barrels and the two teens got to work cleaning their parents' weapons. Two hours later, all eight 45s were cleaned and reassembled. As the deputies cleaned their weapons Anna made sure to keep them in coffee and sandwiches. The family maid just smiled as her charges went about their chosen profession. In Anna's eyes there were three generations of DeMarcos at her table, and all was right with the world.
Offices for U.S. Marshals, Savannah, Georgia, 1130;
Between the TV News Stations, Newspapers, and News Bloggers, there was no way for the Government to keep a lid on things. Deputy Inspector William 'Billy' Chandler was not a happy man. His new boss, the U.S. Marshal Dorothy Rose, had sent him down here on the first thing moving fast. So far, the whole operation had been one of total confusion. Looking over at one of the two Deputies that came down with him, Billy started giving orders.
"Martin. Find me the knuckle-head who is supposed to be in charge of this cluster-fuck. Jimmy, see if you can figure out which one of these vultures is running the press circus and bring them here. We need to get a handle on this gentlemen. And we need to get on it now!"
"You got it Boss!" The two young men called out before taking off to carry out their orders.
Chandler nodded his head in approval at the two Deputies Dorothy assigned him. Both were straight out of the Academy and were real go getters. Looking around; Chandler knew that whoever had pulled this off, REALLY knew what they were doing. Nothing had been left to chance and when it did go sideways, they were ready for it. The team that took this ship down were better than the two SEAL Teams that took down the other two slave ships.
The report from NSWC, United States Naval Special Warfare Command (NAVSPECWARCOM), had floored Billy and Dorothy. The two SEAL Teams had been tasked individually for the ship captures with orders that had effectively bypassed SOCOM and J.S.O.C. The amazing part was, the top Brass had been pissed off about being bypassed for only two minutes. Now they were reading the civilian side a full scale riot act over such deep rooted corruption.
Thankfully nobody other than the Marshals, D.O.D. top Brass and the Attorney General knew about those other ships. His biggest problem right now was getting the ex-slaves way from the vultures. It didn't take long before his two deputies returned with the people he'd sent them after.
The first was the section chief for the FBI, Bob Rosie. The other was the Director for WNN David B. Cooper.
Billy wasted no time and put years of military authority in his voice and glare. "Gentlemen, and I use that term LOOSELY, first; I would like to thank you for joining me. Now that that is out of the way, I'll get down to business. Cooper, you have TWO minutes to pull that pack of bloodsucking vampires you call reporters back behind the thirty-eighth parallel. If they are still near just one of the victims after that, the whole lot of you WILL be going to Fort Leavenworth."
"Look asshole! You can't walk in here and start telling the press what we're going to!" David Cooper never thought looking down the barrel of an automatic pistol would be so influential. "ON second thought; I am sure that we can come to an agreement. Surely we can interview the regular prisoners?"
"Let me explain what the thirty-eighth parallel means Mr. Cooper. You cross the line and you get shot. Now get those fucking bloodsuckers away from MY crime scene and away from MY victims. This is the first, last and ONLY warning. Stay away from that ship and the people from it. Now get out of my sight." To drive his point home Bill thumbed the hammer back on his pistol.
Cooper showed an uncommonly large amount of common sense for a reporter; he left to gather the other reporters. Whoever that Marshal was, he didn't care one damned bit about Freedom of Press. The fact that he and the other reporters were able to get here first for once was more than compensation. They had been lucky to get more than three hours of unrestricted access to the victims aboard the ship and then another two hours of somewhat controlled access to them. The fact that they had gotten as much out of those Maids as they did would keep the masses hounding them for more.
"You know something Inspector, I LIKE the way you handle the press. By the way, where did you learn your effective method of dealing with the worms?" Bob Rosie asked of the Deputy.
"I took Public Relations at the University of Pineland. Professor Robin Sage." Billy put his pistol away.
All three men gave him a look of confusion. None caught the reference. Pineland was a fictional third-world country within 15 counties of the Carolinas. Robin Sage was the name for the acid test for all who undertook the Army's Special Warfare School at Fort Bragg.
The former NEMESIS, now Deputy Inspector, turned to look at the FBI agent. "Now what can you tell me about the transportation arrangements for the victims?"
"We've been using everything from ambulances to patrol cars. Even then, we got our hands full. On the top two decks we found twenty cells. Each cell held one prisoner. Inspector, I know that this is none of my business, but there were eleven of the world's most wanted on those two decks, now being held in armored trucks we borrowed from Wells Fargo. As for the others." The FBI agent shivered and looked over at the ship. "Inspector, I have worked some of the worst serial Killer cases in the US. None of that even compares to what I've seen on the lower decks of that ship. There are places in Hell that have nothing on those four decks!"
"That's why when we get all those kids off that thing, it'll be blown in place. The Coast Guard and the Navy are going to use it for target practice. Now are all of the victims off that piece of shit?" Chandler asked him.
Bob nodded. "Yeah. The last of them was taken off just twenty minutes ago. You want to go aboard or something?"
"Damn straight. I want a full tour of the ship, from weather deck to bilges. I need to see it all. I have a feeling that somewhere on that ship is the rat that I'm looking for. Come on, let's get it over with." As FBI Agent Bob Rosie lead Chandler towards the ship Deputy Martin came walking up. "Martin get the ladies taken care of and arrange for their transportation to the rest home and safe house in Belder, Maryland."
"Um, Boss. There's a guy from D.A.R.P.A here with four MPs from Fort Meade. The MPs are loaded down for an invasion. He says he has orders from DOJ and DOD to take one of the slaves into custody. Before you ask, it's the one the others call Blank."
Billy looked over to see them. "Are you serious?"
"Yes Sir. A Doctor Samuel Forester, of D.A.R.P.A. Sir he has a STACK of paperwork to back him up. Here's a copy of his orders for the one called Blank." Martin handed Chandler the top piece of paper from the stack in his hands.
"Ain't that just a kick in the head. OH SHIT! This is an INDIGO-9! Rosie where is this Blank? NOW!" Chandler asked of the FBI.
"Damned if I know. Wait; there was one that the other slaves keep protecting. The one they called Kendra wouldn't let anyone near, unless she was there. They had to take them both away in the same ambulance." Was all that Rosie could think of at the moment. "What's going on?"
"Martin inform the Doctor of the whereabouts of Blank. Once you have done that have the Doctor sign for full custody of Blank. If D.A.R.P.A. wants to handle the care and recovery for that kid then I am ALL for it. Besides we got more than three hundred other victims to take care of." Chandler said as the younger deputy took off to carry out his orders.
Bob asked again. "Inspector, what's going on?"
"INDIGO-9 is the classification for when we find a hostile tactical weapon." Billy replied then seeing the confusion still, he went on. "A Broken Arrow or Empty Quiver is when we lose or have A NUKE stolen. Everybody knows this. When we find somebody else's there's another name. Bent Spear, security level INDIGO-9. This Blank is rated the same as a Russian or Chinese man-portable nuclear ordinance. A suitcase nuke."
Bob's eyes went wide. "No WAY!"
"This just keeps getting better and better." Billy commented as they rode a lift up to the weatherdeck. "What's next?"
Jimmy was already waiting up there for them. "Boss. Got a guy up here that all the Coast Guard guys are hot-footing around."
"Who? Where?" Billy asked angrily.
"Billy? Billy Chandler? Where the fuck did you come from?" A gruff voice called out.
Chandler turner around and looked. "Mike? Mike Briggs? Fuck; I just HAD to tempt Murphy!"
Both men shook their heads in mock disgust then shook hands.
Billy introduced him to the others. "Lieutenant Commander Micheal Briggs. U.S. Navy SEAL, fuck I forget which Team."
Mike Briggs clapped Billy on the shoulder. "Two, Eight, DEVGRU and Red Cell. Thought you were off the rosters?"
Billy nodded at the reference for his former tasking. "It got lonely out in the cold. What about you? You still giving top squids fits?"
"It doesn't do any good. They won't listen, so I left Cell after some fun a couple of years ago in Hawaii and got a new gig. I do investigations for SOCOM. You?" The ex-SEAL asked.
Billy chuckled. "Chief Inspector for the U.S. Marshal. Still have all my clearances though. I gotta find out what happened here Mike."
"Get ready to take notes. You're going to go nuts. Follow me boys." Mike waved them after him. "Hope you skipped breakfast. None of this is pretty. Especially your two cherries Billy."
Washington D.C. 1400;
Marshal Dorothy Rose was beyond pissed off. The more she heard from Billy the more she wanted to shoot someone. Her Deputies in El Paso, Texas weren’t of much help either, not with the Corporate Headquarters for Vassago International in ashes. Then there were the reports coming in from the overseas Embassy Officers. Almost every InterPol and National Police Force had received at least three to four packets.
So far she had been able to get those agencies to help with the recovery of those slaves. More than a few with the help of InterPol and a few of the other National Police forces. Even now, the fallout from the Vassago meltdown was reaching every corner of the globe and level of society. Not that Dorothy gave a shit. She was just happy that those missing and abused teens were being recovered.
What was really surprising was the number of Ambassadors trying to kiss her ass. Those along with a lot of Senators and Congressmen were going out of their way to get on her good side. She smiled as the PLE Bill crashed and burned within seconds of the Congressional Floor opening. Not even the three most vocal of its supporters were willing to put their name to it. The fact that Kent and Wentworth were nowhere around to rally support for the Privatization of Law Enforcement Bill was a driving force for its downward spiral to oblivion.
The greatest surprise of the day came from Chandler and his team of Deputies. She was a little surprised that he wanted two deputies straight out of the academy, one from cybercrimes, one from organized crime, one from cold case, and two from the SOG. She had been able to pull the academy grads easily enough. Most seasoned deputies didn't want rookies on their team.
She had sent orders out to the SOG teams for the two that were to come out of those teams. William had picked them himself. They wouldn't be in Savannah until later this afternoon. The cold case, cybercrimes, and organized crime guys were the hard ones to get a hold of. Dorothy wasn't too sure how Chandler was going to react to having three women on his team.
Dorothy spun her chair around and looked out her office window. The only thing that made her days go quietly at times, was this view. It had taken her a lot of hard work to reach this office, but she had earned it. There had only been one real black mark on her record. The death of Joey Capizeo. Then again, it was a necessary evil for her and the person that death protected.
"Wherever you are Samantha, I hope you're still fighting the darkness inside you." Dorothy could still remember seeing the violence in the eyes of the teen she had been assigned to protect thirteen almost fourteen years ago. "Stay strong Stephany Capizeo and stay in the light."
Dorothy's thoughts were interrupted by Kelly knocking on her office door. Before Dorothy could tell her to come in Kelly walked in with two cups of coffee. "You're thinking about her again, aren't you Dorothy?"
"I have no idea of what, or who, you're talking about Kelly." Dorothy replied blandly.
"Dorothy I have been your secretary for the better part of four years now. You're sitting there wondering if Sam is keeping that dark side of herself under control. I don't know the whole story between you and Samantha Justice, hell I don't think anyone does with the exception of David Earp." Kelly realized her words too late at the look of hurt on her bosses face. "Sorry Dorothy, but he was the only one who knew the whole story. Care to let me in on the great secret that is Deputy Marshal Samantha Justice?"
Dorothy took a sip of her coffee. She sighed heavily before looking at her long time secretary. "What do you know about Samantha Justice, Kelly?"
"No offense Marshal, but the only person who knows anything about that Deputy is you. Hell, she is the biggest mystery in the Service. Whenever someone goes looking at her service record they hit dead ends and blind alleys. All anybody sees is her awards and cases solved. I have heard her call you sis on more than one occasion. There you go; that is all I, or anybody else, knows about Samantha Justice."
Reaching into the bottom drawer of her desk Dorothy pulled out a bottle of Scotch. After pouring a shot in her cup and then Kelly's Dorothy sat back in her chair. "Let me tell you a story of a very angry and deadly young person, Kelly. A young lady that I came to look on as a kid sister."
Western beach, Ram's Rock Island, 1730;
Bobby, Hunter and Carl had spent the afternoon first digging the pit, then filling it with wood and rocks for the Bar-B-Que. Sam and Annette were working on the rest of the fixings for the dinner. Kasey and Kristine had spent the afternoon snorkeling and spear fishing. Between the two girls; they had managed to spear, bag, or wrangle enough fresh seafood to feed a small army. There was everything from grouper to red snapper, crab to lobster, and fresh oysters.
Pete and Eddie said they would supply the ice, beer and sodas. While Lyssa and Rodrick volunteered to bring the potato salad. Tiffany, Krystel and Shawna prepared vegetables for kabobs and so on. The idea for the beach party had been Maria's as a welcoming home of sorts and farewell at the same time. That and as a way to let of the stress of the operation.
Maria, along with the others in the TOC, had seen the video feed from the strike team's body cams. The sight of the training area would be one that none of them would ever be able to forget. If the crew had not already been dead, Sam and Annette would have been more than willing to castrate the lot of them. As it was, the News organizations were going crazy over what was found on that ship. Sam and Annette were more than willing to let the vultures have their field day.
Kimberly showed up with Mindy ready to party. The eleven year old had helped the two teens with collecting the seafood earlier in the afternoon. Rodrick had shown Mindy how to use a tickle stick to go after spiny lobsters. The young girl had enjoyed the lessons in how to snorkel and now scuba dive under Carl and Rodrick's instruction. Mindy found going after the elusive spiny lobster, the Caribbean bug, to be a true challenge. When Pete saw the four lobsters in her dive bag he called the preteen a real 'bug hunter'.
Paul showed up dressed for the party in Bermuda shorts and Polo shirt. Maria was dressed to match in a light sundress with sandals. The older couple smiled as the party goers gathered for the fish and clam bake. Anna had come along wearing a sundress and sandals of her own. Lyssa, Rodrick, and Warlock showed up with the twins and a playpen. It wasn't long before the whole island’s population was on hand. All save Lone Star. Lone Star was currently in the hangar office manning phones and radio.
About half way through the dinner Bobby overheard Sam and Annette talking about Parkour with Shawna. They were telling Shawna how the two of them first got started in the running game. Bobby noticed that his two teenage daughters were paying attention to their mothers' stories. He could tell that Kasey and Kristine would be wanting to learn sooner rather than later.
Stepping over to Rodrick, Bobby handed the man a beer. "Rodrick can I ask you a question?"
"Sure. What's on your mind Bobby?" Rodrick asked.
"You know that area on the North end of the island? You know, the large open area just off the beach?" Bobby clarified.
Rodrick nodded. "I know the one you're talking about. What about it has your attention so hard?"
"Well I would like to put in a Parkour training area for the wives and probably daughters. If it is a matter of cost, I got that covered. Hell; I've got close to ten months of pay saved up, just sitting in the bank. I figure I got close to thirty grand that I can use for the construction costs." Bobby was more than a little embarrassed by the amount in his bank account.
"That's your official account. You have another that I hear has considerably MORE." Rodrick smirked. "I take it you're not used to having that much in your bank account Bobby? Well don't worry about it partner. Lyssa and I were wondering when you were going to approach us about a Parkour course. As far as we're concerned, it might be a useful skill. Besides, Lyssa knows someone in the Parkour World that owes her a favor. I think his name is David Walton, Worthington, something like that. A Brit."
Bobby groaned. "Do you mean Damien Walters? The current Parkour champion and all round crazy as a shit house rat Traceur?"
"Yeah that's him. Nice guy. I take it you have been watching the YouTube videos?" Rodrick asked.
"Can I take the fifth on that?" Bobby chuckled. "The truth is, the first time I saw Sam chase down a runner, she used some of that training. She must have jumped over eight tables. A couple of fences, scaled the side of a parking garage, and bounced down the side of a fire escape to cut the guy off. After seeing her pull all those crazy assed moves I looked it up on the net. I've been a fan of a few the female Traceurs ever since."
"What are you two up to?" Lyssa asked.
"Oh nothing much. We were just discussing a new Parkour course on the far end of the island. Did you think Damien would be willing to come down and help design one?" Rodrick answered with a smile before taking a drink of his beer.
"Oh I believe I can get Damien to swing down for a few weeks." Lyssa had a smile on her face. "I'm pretty sure that we can get one designed and built in say what two maybe three weeks."
"That should be long enough for you to take your family home to the Reservation for a few weeks of R and R." the look that Rodrick gave Bobby left no doubt that comment was an order not a suggestion. "Check it Bobby, before you go arguing with me understand that those orders came down from Paul. Besides, when was the last time you, and the rest of the Deputies, had any kind of real down time?"
It took Bobby a few minutes to remember the last time he had any time off. "Okay, I get the hint. Hell I can't remember the last time Sam and me had any real downtime. As for Hunter; I don't think he's had a day off in over two years. Annette is the only one I don't know about, but I doubt that in her line of work there are too many places she could go and feel safe."
"Keep your go-bags packed and get on the Lear in the morning. Take Hunter with you. The four of you need some downtime." Shawna said coming up behind him. "Don't worry about the girls. They'll be just fine here. Besides, I doubt you want them tagging along as you deal with your family."
Bobby was all set to object when Maria placed her hand on his arm. "Robert take my daughters home and introduce them to their In-laws. It is past time for them to meet your mother."
"Mother Maria, Sam has already met my mom. I'm not sure about how Annette is going to handle my family though. I mean, I doubt Annette is ready to deal with a bunch of dirt poor Dakotas." The smack cut Bobby off.
"They used to say that about us Robert. At one time, they called all Sicilians nothing more than rock farmers and ignorant backwards donkey breeders. Respectable society and the wealthy landowners went out of their way to degrade the DeMarco and Capizeo families. Now, we own their lands and they are nothing but dust. Trust me; Annette has no problem with living a humble life. Now do what you were ordered." Maria smiled and walked away with Paul right beside her.
"I think that I might have made a mistake." Bobby said with a lopsided grin and rubbed his cheek.
"Bobby, my man, if I were you; I would be going out of my way to keep Madam Maria on your good side." Lyssa just turned and walked away. "Take some time off, go home and make peace with your family, and maybe yourself."
"Take her advice Bobby. She knows what she's talking about." Rodrick turned and followed Lyssa but offered one last thing. "Take the girls with you, I'm sure they could use the experience. Besides, if I'm not mistaken they would be more than a little welcomed by their adoptive family. You're not the only Native American they've encounter, and it was a positive experience I heard."
Bobby looked over at his two adopted daughters. Sure they weren’t born girls physically but they were in the hearts. His people referred to young people like them as Blessed Spirits. "Yeah you're right. In fact, my grandmother would welcome them with open arms and then pound the hell out me for not bringing them home sooner. Hopefully Candice has kept her mouth shut."
"I wouldn't go betting on that if I were you." Rodrick just smiled and walked away. The problem was Bobby knew he was right.
Bobby just shook his head and walked over to join his family. As the night wore on everyone enjoyed the food and music. Just after sunset Kimberly took some of the leftovers and Mindy and headed home, as did Rodrick with Lyssa and the twins. It wasn't long before Pete and Madison headed in as well. Carl and Shawna were the next to head in, followed quickly by Hunter. No one saw when Maria and Dannigan left. Krystel and Tiffany headed back as well
When it was just Bobby, Sam, Annette, and the two teens he told them about taking the trip to his reservation home. The teens were at first worried over the idea of a trip to the outside world. While they had been undergoing the Chrysalis treatments, at lower dosages than the three Operators and Kasey having a good head start over Kristine, they still had a long away to go. It took Bobby explaining to the two of them that to the Native American people like them were special before they calmed down enough to get excited about visiting the reservation. The young family turned in a little before midnight.
Air strip, Ram's Rock Island, 0830;
Shawna and Dannigan had arrived just before dawn. They both had their bags with them. Madison had been waiting for them along with Pete beside one Lear Jet. Eddie was finishing up prepping Shawna's jet. The three of them had to return to Washington D.C. While the break from the day to day grind of the D.C. cess-pool.
While the unfortunate assassination of David Earp had brought a dark cloud over their break, they still did their jobs. It had also given the three of them a chance to get to know the Black Badge Deputies a little better. For Paul, it had been a chance to rekindle the relationship with the only woman he had ever loved.
Paul had already made up his mind. From now on he and Madison were going to take at least three days a month to come down here. He also knew that Maria would be making her every two year trip to check up on her business interests. Maria had already told him that when her family got back from their vacation she was going to take a few weeks to take care of that.
One of her first stops was in the D.C. area. Paul was surprised, along with a few of the others, at some of Maria's more legitimate business. Not only did Maria DeMarco own over sixty percent in a number of Ballet Studios all across the world, she owned four construction companies, three over the road trucking companies, five Computer Networking companies, but the real surprise was the number of private all girls schools that she was part owner. The woman may have been a Criminal Master Mind and Mistress of Assassination, but she was also a retired Prima and Ballet Mistress. It was this little fact that always caught Paul and so many others off guard.
Paul smiled as the Black Badge team arrived. "So you are all finally going to take some downtime I take it?"
"Yes, sir." Kristine answered for them all. "I'm not too sure about leaving the island though. Papa says we'll be fine, but I know how people feel about girls like me and Kasey."
Dannigan patted her back. "I wouldn't worry Kristine, you'll both be safe where you're going. Just enjoy the time off the island and away from school for a while. I am sure that when you get back, Krystel will have a whole new training schedule for you girls."
"Are you sure sir?" Kasey asked.
"Oh yes Kasey. Your father's people have a totally different attitude about the LGBT community. Now go learn about the other half of your adopted heritage. I am sure that your grandmother Morning Star will love you just as much as your Nonnina." The conviction in Paul's voice put the two teens at ease.
"Not that I'm worried, but are our reservations with Delta confirmed?" asked Sam.
"Everything is set for you Deputies. Pete will drop you all in Tampa at the private terminal. You will have a one hour layover there, which is more than enough time to go through the TSA check point and make it to your next flight. Remember to identify yourselves as Deputy Marshals please." Kimberly told them. "Oh, I almost forgot, here is the paperwork to carry your side arms while in flight. Just make sure that you have loaded up with the frangible rounds."
The four deputies smiled and pulled out their weapons. They ejected the magazines to show they had already loaded the required ammunition.
Hunter just chuckled. "We learned that little bit of SOP just traveling between runner cases."
“Kimberly, don't you realize that as officers of the law, we're never really off the clock? We may not be in our normal jurisdiction, but we are still deputies. We always travel armed." Sam pointed out to the Operator.
When Kimberly heard this she started to laugh right along with the Deputies.
"Oh, Bobby. Lyssa and Rod wanted you to know that little project you approached them about. It should be just about done by the time you get back. They said for you guys to take your time and get some needed rest." Before Sam and Annette could ask what Kimberly was talking about, Pete called for everyone to broad the Lear Jet.
"LET'S GET IT. HOO-RAH!" The former Marine called out then gave Madison one last kiss.
Two hours later the jet set down in Tampa. Bobby led his family through the airport and dealt with the TSA. After getting their bags checked they all headed for the terminal to wait for the call to broad. Hunter noticed that they were getting more than a few strange looks. When one gentleman got a little too friendly with Kasey, Hunter had to step in.
Not to actually help Kasey, but to keep her from breaking the fool's arm. Kristine wasn't helping matters by encouraging her older sister to break the man's neck. Sam and Annette just sat back quietly laughing while Bobby just wanted to pound the man. When the airport security showed up, Bobby knew that he would have to show his badge.
When the man tried to talk his way out of being arrested Hunter, Bobby, Samantha and Annette ALL pulled out their US Deputy Marshal Badges and credentials. When the man in question saw that he had basically tried to grope the teenage daughter of a U.S. Deputy Marshal, he pissed his pants. When the security officers questioned Hunter as to why he had stepped in to handle the matter he laughed.
"IF my nieces had been left on their own to handle the matter; that dumbass would be missing body parts, and not just have a broken hand." Hunter gave the man a menacing leer.
The security officer looked at them. "Oh, the young ladies are your nieces? I thought that at least one of them was your daughter the way you reacted."
"OH no, I only got involved to keep the bloodshed down. If I let my partner or his wife handle the matter there would have been bloodshed. On an epic scale." Hunter chuckled.
"Why do you say that?" asked the security officer.
Hunter leaned in close. "Think about it dipshit. The girls have two US Deputy Marshals for parents. We carry guns and chase down murderers, rapists, Gangbangers, drug dealers, and every other type of scum sucking fuck-wad there is. What do you think would happen if two Deputies who just had their daughter molested would do? Then add in her aunt and uncle who are ALSO Deputies into the mix."
The security officer turned white at the mere thought of what would happen. He had heard stories of what happens to people who hurt the families of cops. As they were talking they had run the fingerprints of the man that had tried to molest Kasey. It didn't take long before the man came back as a wanted felon, in Texas. He had skipped bail and was wanted for back child support. When the security officers found that out, they just dragged the man away.
When the gate attendants called their seat locations all six headed for the tunnel. Five hours later and one more transfer they finally touched down at Big Skies International, Cody, Wyoming. As they worked their way down to claim their luggage Bobby was brought up short by four women and three men.
"Shit!" Bobby whispered fiercely. "How the HELL did they know we were coming?"
"Who are they, Bobby?" Annette asked for the others.
It was Sam who answered. "Those are our In-laws sister dear." Sam pointed to the gray haired old woman in the middle. "The one in the middle is Bobby’s grandmother Smoke Rising, the tribe's Spirit Woman. On the right, is his mother Morning Star, followed by his aunts Rain Bird and Mist on Water. The men are his grandfather, Two Stallions; his father, Walking Cloud, and brother Seven Stars. Thank the good Lord above that Candice isn't here."
"Um, Mama Sam, why does Papa look like he just stepped in something smelly?" Kasey asked of Sam.
Sam looked over at her oldest daughter and giggled. The look on Bobby’s face was indeed that of stepping in something unpleasant and rather smelly. "Because my dear daughter, your father has made a very big mistake and now must face the consequences of that mistake."
"OH man why do I have the feeling that we need to disappear sis?" Kristine said from behind them.
"No Kristine, you have nothing to fear. Just because your father has been a dumbass, it is not your fault. He just needs to face his family and get it over with." Annette said with more authority than she felt.
"So what was it that he did that was so F'ed up?" Kasey asked with just a little concern for the man that she has come to see as her only real father.
"He got married and didn't tell his family, my niece." a voice said.
All four turn to see a smiling young Native American woman standing behind them. They recognized her as one of the flight attendants from their flight.
"I knew that you didn't recognize me Sam. It's good to see you again." The young woman wrapped Sam in a hug. "You must be her sister wife Annette." She said just before hugging Annette as well.
It took Sam a minute before the face and voice finally registered. "Little Doe! Oh my God! The last time I saw you, you were still in high school. I thought you were going to Stanford after you graduated?"
"What can I say? Delta had an opening on the Yellow Stone runs and I applied. The next thing I know I get a visit from their Human Resources department. Two days later, I'm off to their training facility to become one of the faces of the friendly skies." Little Doe had stepped back and held out her arms.
"Um; Samantha would YOU care to make introductions?" Annette snarked.
"Of course, please forgive me, sister. Annette, girls, this is Bobby's youngest sister; Jennifer Little Doe Everbrite. She is our sister-in-law, and your aunt girls." Sam explained.
"Speaking of, are you going to introduce them to me?" Little Doe asked sweetly.
Placing her hands on Kasey's shoulders. "First off; this is your oldest niece Kasey Maria, Annette's daughter." Stepping over to place her hands Kristine shoulders. "And this our youngest, Kristine Maria. My daughter."
Little Doe Looked at the two teens long and hard.
"Twin Goddesses dancing in the wind I see before me. Neither of light nor dark, but balanced between the two." Little Doe shook her head and then smiled. "Um, forget what I just said."
"I doubt that will be happening granddaughter. As for your sight, it has improved. I am glad to see you haven't forgotten all your training in the old ways." The voice was ancient and wise, but filled with compassion. As Sam and the others turned they found Bobby's grandmother standing there. She looked over at Hunter with ancient and knowing eyes. "So this is the Sky warrior that travels with my grandson."
Hunter scratched the back of his head. "I guess so ma'am. If you're talking about me being Bobby's partner, sure I travel with him. As for being a sky warrior, I don't know what you're talking about there."
"Hunter I would like for you to meet my grandmother, Smoke Rising, the tribe's Sprit Woman." Bobby said by way of explanation. "And before you go chewing my head off grandmother, for not getting home sooner, can I explain?"
"I saw and know your reasons Spotted Pony." Smoke Rising never took her eyes off Hunter as she answered Bobby. "As for the Sky warrior he knows exactly what I am talking about." Turning, the old woman started walking towards the doors. "Come along; the rest of the family is waiting for us."
Bobby just hung his head. "Let's go. No sense in putting off the inevitable any longer."
"Damn bro, you make it sound like you're walking the Green Mile or something. I mean, just how bad can it be?" Hunter joked.
"You'll find out." Was all Bobby said. As they exited the terminal Hunter and the rest found out what Bobby meant. There before them was what appeared to be half of the local Dakota tribe. Bobby looked at his family. "No that is not half the local tribe. Just my family come to greet us."
"Damn sis. Did you know that Papa had this big of a family?" Kasey whispered to Kristine.
"Nope. Right now though I really wish I at least had my knife on me." Kristine replied.
Hearing their youngest daughter Annette just laughed softly and whispered. "Spoken like a true daughter of the Capizeos."
"Don't lay all the blame at my feet sister dear. She said that with the confidence of a true DeMarco." Sam told Annette with a good deal of mirth. "However, you do have a point, our daughters are true daughters of both our families."
"Sam, I have to ask. What in the world are you and your sister wife talking about?" Little Doe asked from behind them.
"Our daughters are just a little uneasy at the sight of such a large family reception. They would feel a little more comfortable if we had allowed them to carry their family blades." Sam explained to her.
Annette stopped and reached into her carry-on bag. "Here you go girls. You know where to put them."
The two teens quickly took the daggers from their mother and placed them in the back waist band of their skirts hiding them from view.
"Damn, those have to be eight inches long. Can I see one please?" Little Doe asked of Annette.
Sam reached behind her to her waist band and withdrew her family blade. "Here, you can see mine."
Sam had flipped her knife so it was hilt first to Little Doe. Little Doe had seen a good number of knives in her life. None of them though looked anything like the one in her hand now. It was a true work of art as well as a working blade. She could tell that this blade and those carried by Annette and her nieces were meant for one thing. Killing.
Impressed, Little Doe remarked. "This is a beautiful blade Sam. Why haven't any of us seen until now? Wait, that didn't come out right."
Sam held up her hand to stop Little Doe's apology. "I know what you're trying to ask Little Doe. As for why, I have my reasons. Please leave it at that?"
"Sure sis. I'll leave it alone." She quickly handed it back as she saw her mother waving for them to hurry up. "Looks like we get to ride with grandmother. We better hurry up."
----- To be continued -----
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