War Games: Chapter Seven
A FanFic Relay in 10 chapters by five of your favorite fanfic writers in order of appearance: SweetLu, Jericho Steele, Kadiedid, imahistorian, and Phillydi.
by Jericho Steele
A steady throbbing behind his eyes began to pull Deeks from the darkness and it took a moment for him to remember exactly what had transpired before he ended up here, wherever here was. His head felt like a drunken Polka band was coming to the end of a long set and his mouth felt like he had spent the past few hours chewing on a cotton pillow. Taking a moment to gather his wits, the detective ran through a check of his extremities and they all seemed somewhat intact. He could feel his legs and hands, but at the moment, he couldn’t seem to move them.
As he slowly opened his eyes, a blinding light burned his corneas and he quickly closed them again. The brightness sent a rush of apprehension through him at the thought of spending all night in the desert, then the fear of how his team would react from his time out of communication. Callen would be furious and Kensi …
When he was back in his room, he’d planned on calling her back to apologize for being too overprotective with her … again. Now, stuck out here for God-knows-how-long, he didn’t think a simple “Sorry Sunshine, I was being an ass” was going to cut it this time. At least he had an excuse for his poor communication this time.
Easing his eyes open again, he found that the reason he couldn’t move his arms was that they were currently zip-tied out beside him to the front end of a military grade Hummer’s brush guard. He was in a semi-sitting position and his legs were numb from the crude posture, his toes stinging when he tried to wiggle them. When he raised his head slightly, he discovered that the bright light wasn’t the morning sun as he had feared, but the headlights of another Hummer that was parked a few yards away, its headlights bearing directly down on him.
Deeks scanned the area around the vehicles and found that he was alone with two of the camouflaged men from the night before. They were backlit with the headlights but he could still tell that they were armed and with the tactical gear and weapons, each looked as if they just stepped away from a military patrol in Afghanistan. They were standing stone still at parade-rest positions, their features hidden in the darkness of their silhouettes. He couldn’t see their eyes, but he knew that they were locked on him.
Attempting to clear his throat only made it burn more, but Deeks was determined to scope these guys out just a little. “I know I’m new around here, but if tying guys up to vehicles is how this outfit gets off … I think I need to reconsider my membership application.”
Neither of the men gave any indication that they heard him. That only made him ramp it up another notch.
“I know men in uniform do funny things to some people, but you two are really going to have to work on your act, because I’m sorry, I’m just not feeling it, ya know?”
“I think I hear banjos … do you guys hear banjos?”
When they remained impassive, Deeks began to draw his own conclusions: either they were getting really ticked-off and were just biding their time before they came over and beat him to a pulp, or they were highly trained and disciplined … he wasn’t sure which one was the worst option. As he debated which tactic to take next, the sound of an approaching vehicle caught his attention. When his guards snapped to rigid attention, Deeks began to wonder about what they had stumbled into.
As soon as the large, black SUV stopped just outside the light cast by the headlights, a handful of men piled out and slowly scanned the area. After a moment, one of them opened the back passenger door and even though he couldn’t see the man who stepped out, just his posture and bearing spoke of someone with strong military experience. The new stranger stopped beside one of the Hummers for a few seconds, conferring with one of the other men, their voices low enough so Deeks was unable to hear anything.
Deeks was running through several colorful verbal greetings when the man stepped away from his escorts and walked directly over to stop in front of the bright headlights. With a slight nod of his head, the stranger dismissed the two guards who immediately spun around and resumed their posts a few steps away. When the stranger had turned his head, Deeks caught a glimpse of slightly graying hair and a firm jaw line but that was about all and it wasn’t much.
“If you guys are the ‘Welcoming Committee’, your bosses really need to rethink their recruitment practices, because they suck.” Deeks might be trussed up like a turkey, but he was still Deeks.
When the older man in front of him spoke, it was with such power and charisma, the usually unflappable detective was rendered mute. “Mister Satterlee, I am the boss and I will be the judge of how effective our recruitment policies are.”
“And just who the Hell are you anyway?” Deeks knew he was into something bigger than just some hick militia and that he needed to tread carefully, but he still had a cover to maintain. “I mean, first you kidnap me, then you knock me out and tie me to the front of this thing … I’ll have all of your asses in a sling.”
“Really? I don’t think so, son.” The man stayed completely cool.
“I know people. I have connections…”
A chuckle almost as cold as stone cut him off. “If you’re referring to Lieutenant Colonel Jaeger, he doesn’t seem to be one of your biggest fans.”
Deeks had played a card that was immediately trumped.
“Or, perhaps, you’re referring to that lovely Marine sergeant you’ve been spending so much time with.”
That brought all of Deeks’ snarky comebacks to a sudden halt.
“Ahh… everyone has pressure points. You just have to know where to press.” The man took a few steps closer and Deeks felt as if the desert temperature dropped a few more degrees. “Now that I have your attention, you will listen and listen well, do you understand me son?”
It slipped out before he realized the words were in his thoughts. “Yes sir.”
“Thank you. I have given you some slack because you are a civilian and are not used to military customs and courtesies, but my patience has limits … and consequences.” Folding his arms behind his back, the man took on the air of someone about to address his troops before a big battle. “Now, let me introduce myself. I can’t give you my name but I was once a General in the United States Marine Corps who was run out of the military I spent a lifetime serving.”
Deeks nodded. “General, I had no idea … I meant no disrespect.”
“Yes you did, Jimmy.” The General chuckled and there was actually some humor in it. “We’ve checked you out and your record speaks of someone with a true disdain for authority, both civilian and military.”
Thankful that Eric and Nell were the absolute best at what they did, Deeks settled into his Satterlee cover. “So, I guess I checked out okay, huh?”
“Son, if you hadn’t, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.” The cold steel had returned.
Both Deeks and Jimmy swallowed the lump in their throat. “Point taken General, but if I may … why am I here?”
“Because my associates tell me that you may be able to grant us access to certain information and technology that has been, so far, denied to us.” The General rolled his shoulders back, his posture becoming even more intimidating. “All you have to do to join up with us.”
Too simple, and it only made Deeks more nervous. “Join up? You make it sound like I’m about to head off to boot camp and a really bad haircut.”
If the comment irritated the General, he gave no sign. “You are as funny as your friends said you were … but yes, you will be joining something bigger than yourself.”
Deeks hoped that they were finally going to talk about what that something was. “And what exactly am I joining?”
The General’s sigh sounded sad and frustrated. “A new revolution my boy. A chance to take back our country and give it back to the people.”
“I’m sorry but doesn’t it already belong to the people? Democratic Republic, free elections, elected leaders … all that jazz?”
The General let out a soft laugh that sent chills running down the detective’s spine. “You’re kidding yourself son. This country hasn’t belonged to the people in decades and I, for one, am sick of it.”
Even though he couldn’t see the other man’s eyes, Deeks could feel the intensity of them in the darkness.
“Thousands of illegal immigrants cross our southern borders every day, bringing third-world diseases to our doorstep and draining our resources. Our government spies on its own citizens and complains when they don’t follow blindly and give up all of their God-given rights without question. We have a justice department that picks and chooses which parts of the Constitution to uphold and which ones to ignore. We put a dictator in power in some backwater country and the minute he tries to let his own people run their country and be truly free, we turn on them and make them into enemies.”
By the time the General was finished with his rant, he was almost growling in his rage. “No, my dear boy … the time has come for true patriots to rise up and throw off the yoke that has become too heavy to bear.”
“That doesn’t sound like patriotism to me … sounds more like Domestic Terrorism.” Deeks knew he was pushing, but he needed more information to see what he and his team were up against.
“That’s what they said about Washington … Jefferson … Madison … Hamilton … Franklin …” The General turned, gesturing to the other men in the shadows, who all snapped to attention. “If the War of Independence had failed, each one of them would have been executed, drawn and quartered, for insurrection against King George of England.”
“But they prevailed against what at the time was the world’s greatest superpower…” Even though the General was perverting what the Founding Fathers intended, Deeks could see that just his charisma and charm would be enough to bring a sizeable group under his sway. “ … and America became the most powerful nation this world has ever seen. I will not sit idly by and watch a bunch of riffraff sell Her off piece by piece.”
It took a moment for the man to bring his breathing and anger under control, and when he did, he spun slowly to face the bound detective once more. “So, what do you say son? You want to join us … join the next great American Revolution and throw off the people like Lt. Colonel Jaeger who only use their power and authority to torment the people under them. What do you say?”
The power in his words and the conviction in his heart sounded compelling to Jimmy Satterlee, and Deeks knew this was his way in. “I get what you’re saying and what you’re trying to do … but why me? I’m just a photographer, and the way things are going after today, I may not even be that.”
“That’s exactly why we need you … you aren’t conspicuous, no one will notice you, you’re not important. No offense.” The General’s tone changed instantly from intimidating military man to comforting grandfather. “You have access to Colonel Jaeger and where he’ll be and can pass that information on to us.”
“Lt. Colonel Jaeger? What’s he got to do with this?”
“We’ve acquired some rather sophisticated military hardware over the past few weeks but some of them can only be used if you have the up-to-date encryption keys.”
Deeks didn’t like the direction the conversation had taken. “So, what has he got to do with that?”
“According to his dossier, before he was assigned to work under the Secretary of the Navy, Lt. Colonel Richard Jaeger was one of the top encryption specialists in the U.S. military.”
Though it was part of the cover that Nell and Eric built for Callen, it had drawn the hunters in and now his team leader was the prey.
“We have his complete background … including home address, where his wife and two daughters live.”
There was no wife and kids … but if captured, what would Callen have to endure before that fact was discovered. The thought made Deeks’ skin crawl.
“Pressure points my boy … pressure points.” The kindly grandfather disappeared and a cold, hard man stood in his place. “And if you think of breathing one word of this to anyone, we’ll have to bring you and that spit-fire Sergeant Booker, Kacey I believe, back out here. I’m sure my men could come up with some very interesting ways to break her and motivate you to do exactly as … you’re … told.”
“Umm General … please, don’t hurt her … I’ll do whatever you want.” It was Jimmy’s personality that groveled before the General, but the emotion behind his plea was all Deeks. He blinked longer than was necessary, thinking about Kensi getting taken by these guys, and suddenly the General’s voice was right beside his ear.
“You go back to your day job … keep screwing that little spit-fire that drives for him but know where the Colonel is going to be and when. We’ll be in touch.”
Deeks let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding but he stayed in character. “That’s it? I figured with such a secret club, you guys would have a secret handshake or something.”
“Ah … well, I wouldn’t want to disappoint our newest member. The vetting is over, but not the initiation.” The General paused beside the Hummer. “I’m finished with you for now Mr. Satterlee … I didn’t say anything about my men.”
That’s when Deeks noticed that the two guards from earlier were approaching from the side and they looked even more imposing up close.
“Gentlemen, give him a decent beating but nothing too serious, he’s one of us now and he has some work to do.” With one final nod to his security detail, the General turned and headed toward his vehicle. “Dump him so he’s easily found. I wouldn’t want his little girlfriend to worry.
You can find Jericho Steele’s fanfics on: http://www.fanfiction.net/u/4474129/JerichoSteele
Great job Jericho…you kept the tension at a high level all the way through…and even though I’ve read it many times, I still get chills.
Thank you, coming from you … that means a lot. Semper Fi!
the suspense angst & it was fraught with danger throughout the whole story.the intensity was great.
Thank you and I’m glad you liked it! Semper Fi!
Agree! Great job continuing this intense story line! You Rock!
Wow! Thanks! I loved writing this and I’m so proud that it’s somehting the fans are enjoying! Semper Fi!
Another great chapter and my only problem with this story is that you leave me wanting more! I am looking forward to how he survives this and love how this group just got more sinister.
To leave you wanting more was the point! I’m so glad you liked it and if you thought that was good, just wait until the next chapter. Semper Fi!
That was intense and scary and the ending…yikes! Poor Deeks. Really looking forward to the next chapter. Can’t hardly wait!
Don’t worry too much about Deeks … remember, the kid’s got skills! Yeah, just wait until the next chapter is posted … it just gets better! Semper Fi!
And another great chapter. I think this may have been the most challenging chapter so far in that it consisted of a single conversation between two men, with no change of scenery and no action. You wrote it so elegantly. The general was truly frightening- powerful, confident, and nuts. Very menacing. I loved the imagery of the “pressure points.” And just like Kadiedid’s last chapter, the closing left us quite the cliffhanger. At least we know that the general doesn’t intend to kill poor Deeks. Great job!
I didn’t realize that’s what happened until you pointed it out … wow. I’m glad the ‘General’ came across the way I intended; I like to build ‘bad’ characters almost as much as I like the ‘good’ ones.
Everyone has pressure points. You have to find out what they are and … squeeze. It’s a tactic I learned in the Marines and it is VERY effective.
And this is a Deeks fiction … we can bruise him, but we could never break him. Plus, scares are cool.
Thanks again and Semper Fi
Wow! What a great chapter! I’m really glad you have had this idea! This story captivates me! Thanks for your amazing part! I look forward for the next! It’s so amazing! Well done!
Glad you enjoyed it and just hang there … the story only gets better. I had a great group to work with and I hope that there will be more stories like this one on the site.
The tension mounts! Great job! Very hard to convey thoughts and feelings in a dialogue between two characters without it feeling like a tennis match but this was the perfect blend. Looking forward to doing this again with you all!
Wow, scary chapter. Another wonderfully drawn original character and nicely done exposition.