CHAPTER EIGHT

Randy had no idea where he was going. He just knew he had to get away from Sam. Before Sam could do something to him. So he just kept walking. Not running. No, mustn't run. Running draws attention. Didn't want any attention. Just disappear. So walk. Fast. But walk. Stay with the crowd. Blend in. Move with the crowd.

He took several corners, watching his surroundings so he wouldn't end up backtracking. No walking in endless circles for him. No, he was rapidly moving away from the cafe, away from Sam. He didn't even think about it. He put his brain on auto-pilot, let it take him where it would. Like the anger, he didn't know where the instincts were coming from, but he just knew when he should check behind him, how to check without seeming to, knew how to watch for things that didn't seem like they belonged.

How long he walked, he wasn't sure. He knew the sun was setting. And he was walking into the sunset. That was good. Something told him he needed to be going west. Something was out there for him. Something he needed. West. A long way. A very long way. Why, he didn't know. What was waiting for him there, he didn't know. He only knew he had to keep going. West.


*****

Maggie was just closing up the office when she heard a car pull up. Sighing tiredly, she wondered what kind of medical catastrophe was heading for her way this time. Opening the door, she was surprised to find a very business-like blond standing there. Smartly dressed, but definitely all business.

"May I help you?"

"Dr. Maggie Sullivan?"

Something about the way this woman said that put Maggie's back up. "Yes, I'm Dr. Sullivan."

Something resembling a smile flashed across the blonde's face. "My name is Carla. I work for a General Stockwell, and I believe you have something of his that you really shouldn't."

Maggie was not one to panic easily, but she came close at that second. The coroner. He must have reported her request. John didn't trust this Stockwell; after finding out about the autopsy, neither did Maggie. But she needed to find out more, not the least of which was why? Stockwell hadn't sent muscle, just this woman. So maybe he wanted to negotiate at this point. Or maybe just find out what she intended to do. That made two of them.

"I'm not sure I understand what you're talking about, but why don't you come in and we can discuss it further?" She smiled ingenuously.

Carla looked at Maggie. A real cool one. Figures. Hannibal Smith wouldn't have chosen anyone less. She 'smiled' again. This was good. She could talk turkey with this one.


*****

Sam was beside himself. He had never, ever, screwed something up this badly. Well, he'd come close. But he'd managed to salvage those. Alright, with help. But this...how in hell was he going to find Randy by himself? He couldn't call for help; he knew these people too well. They would panic. They would call in the wrong kind of people. They would terminate the experiment, completely. They would get rid of all evidence. That would mean Randy.

Sam would not do that. One way or the other, he had to find him. Thank God Belle Glade was a small town. They could have ended up in Miami. He pulled Randy's picture from his wallet. Started asking people around him if they had seen him. Started walking. Where would Randy go? What would he look for? A place to hide? Or would he just want to get away from Sam? What would Sam do if he was angry, scared, and confused? He'd want to go someplace safe. Away from the danger. Think, Sam. Where would Randy go if he wanted safety above all else?

Sam stopped. Looked around. Yeah. He knew. He knew Randy as well as he knew himself. Randy was acting on instinct now. And Sam knew where instinct would take him. Sam started walking toward the sunset.


*****

Stockwell's contact met them at the private airfield. In a limo, no less. Well, that was in keeping with the plan. Any wandering eyes would see a wealthy, eccentric American and his entourage being met with all due homage to his money and power. On the way to the hotel, Farrington - god, what a name - filled them in on everything they knew about the forgeries and the parties involved. Hannibal saw Murdock kick Frankie surreptitiously so he would pay close attention. The kid kept thinking these briefings were for solely for Hannibal's benefit and that the colonel would just tell him what to do later. God. How could someone be such a genius with special effects and otherwise be so...dumb?

Hannibal sighed. He liked Frankie on the set. He was young, brash, loud, but Hannibal liked him. He was enthusiastic. But if Hannibal was really in charge of this team, Frankie would've been gone in a heartbeat. He was a risk for the team that Hannibal would not have tolerated any other time. Now, he had to babysit. So did BA and Murdock and none of them liked it.

And whose fault is that, Smith? That was the only reason Hannibal kept his temper with the kid. He hadn't done what he should have from the start. He should have gotten Frankie some basic training immediately. He should have decided what role Frankie would play and made sure he was ready for it. The problem was he hadn't been thinking clearly back then. None of them had. Plus he'd had Stockwell to deal with, and the general had immediately started sending them out on missions. Damn.

Well, that would have to change. They would finish this job, and then they would start training. He would tell Stockwell there would be no missions for at least a month. Between the three of them, they could whip Frankie into shape in that time. So he could be a real team player.

And it would give them time to get the facts. The truth. And put Face to rest, once and for all.