CHAPTER THIRTEEN

He woke early in the morning. He hadn't slept well at all, and was hoping his dreams, if one could call them that, hadn't disturbed Randy in the next room. They really hadn't been dreams, just flashes of this and that. Which had made them all the more disquieting. Things were getting mixed up together in a hodgepodge of images. His mother, dancing with Smith at his parents' anniversary party. Murdock giving him that damn bike. His father grinning at him as they dropped from a helicopter into the jungle. It had been like that all night.

He pushed himself out of bed and stood, looking around the bedroom. He smiled, immediately feeling more relaxed. Randy had gotten a two bedroom apartment. No sleeping on the couch until he found his own place. Nobody wondering how long he'd be staying. Randy hadn't asked, Sam hadn't suggested. It just...was.

Just like the money. Sitting on the couch, eating pizza, drinking beer, Randy had given him the account book - with two names on it and ID's to match - and shown him the balance. Then they had discussed what to do with it. What they would need to keep liquid, what they should invest, even 'mad money'. As far as Randy was concerned, it was 'their' money. They had both earned it. Sam knew he would have done the same.

That was something he hadn't felt with the others, that togetherness, that oneness. More often, he'd felt like a tin cup thrown in with the fine china. Whether it was him, or them, he didn't know. Maybe it was just the circumstances. They wanted - no, they demanded - their old teammate back, and he couldn't, or wouldn't, give that to them. And then discovering that they controlled what he should know...he was able to think more calmly about it now. In fact, other than those damn dreams, he'd felt more centered since leaving them than he had in months. No longer wondering what was going on, no longer under a microscope. Now he could think, he could plan, he could execute. He could look forward, not back. Now he was...whole.


*****

Hannibal woke early. He had tossed and turned most of the night, which was unusual for him. He wasn't the kind of man who let problems take over. He was disciplined to sleeping when he had to, and working through problems systematically. Not always practically, but systematically. The problem was, there was no system to work with this time. He had to wait for the other guy to make the next move. And while he would know the target, he had little or no idea where or how the move would be made.

He'd poured over the reports Carla had sent over. The list from Randy - God, he hated the very name - was precise and well-timed. It was obvious he fully intended to bring Stockwell down, and down hard. But then the list shifted. New organizations, new people he'd never heard of. Until he got down a little further, and realized that Dr. Barish's name appeared periodically, listed as either a subordinate to someone else or as an associate. That's when he understood the whole picture. The strength of the motivation. And why Face had acted the way he had.

He hadn't said anything to the others yet, and possibly that was the reason for his poor night's sleep. He was used to discussing the operation with his men, getting their input. But he hadn't this time; he'd wanted time to digest the information himself first. And that was like swallowing bile.

It was bad enough that they had to deal with Randy. Hannibal didn't know him except peripherally, but he knew the type. And from talking to Kurt and Daryl, he knew exactly how dangerous the man could be. From what they had said, Hannibal knew Randy had been heavily involved in covert warfare. He probably knew more ways to kill a man than even Hannibal. And he'd proven on that beach that it didn't bother him one damn bit.

This wasn't going to be just a retrieval, as Stockwell thought. This was blowback, with his lieutenant right in the middle of it. And the hell of it was, that's exactly where Face wanted to be.


*****

Randy heard him moving around the apartment. Not just getting acquainted with it. Getting to know it. He listened for a moment. Yeah, going out the backdoor now. He'd be checking the back hallway, the exit there. Then the layout of the building, every floor, before going to the front. When Sam returned, he'd not only know exactly where every exit was, but which way to turn, where the barriers were, and any possible hazards to a safe and speedy retreat. Randy could have told him, but Sam would have checked them out anyway. Being told something, and seeing it for yourself, were two different things.

Randy was feeling good this morning, even though Sam's dreams had awakened him periodically through the night. He hadn't gone in. That would only have made Sam feel worse. It would take a while before he'd really settle in. Come to terms. God knew it had taken Randy long enough, and he hadn't had all the distractions Sam had. If he kept having problems, then they'd have to work on it. But Randy was confident that soon he'd be back on an even keel. They both would.

He figured they'd stay here in the Cities for a while. They both liked it. Maybe when winter came on, they'd go somewhere else. The Bahamas, maybe. Or overseas. They could live in a nice warm climate, still make a living. Doing what they did best. Yeah, over there they could make a damn good living. Or maybe just retire. Enjoy the good life.

But first, they had business to take care of. He wished Barish was still around. God, he would have liked to get his hands around that bastard's neck. He'd make it so slow...well, he was out of luck there. But Sam would have Stockwell. They'd bring down his organization first, and then... He smiled.

He wondered how long the general would last.


*****

"What's next on the list, Murdock?" Hannibal was staring out the window, cigar smoke circling around his head.

"Just a name - Otto Reich - and a date - three days from now."

"Financial?"

"I'm not sure - just a note - House Foreign Affairs Committee."

"All right. Check with Stockwell's office. Find out who's on the committee, who the chairman is, who has his ear."

Murdock sighed. "Okay, Hannibal." He headed into one bedroom to make the call.

"BA, we'll have to get to D.C. before the deadline."

"No problem, Hannibal. Van's all checked out, ready to go."

"Good. Frankie, get some maps of D.C. We need to know where these guys' offices are and where they meet. All exits. Where the guards are."

"That's gonna take some time, Hannibal."

"Call Carla. Let her earn her salary for a change."

Frankie grinned. He loved dealing with Carla, much to her disgust.

Murdock came back out a few minutes. "Stockwell will have the info to us later this evening. He'll also have rooms set up for us when we get there."

"Okay, Murdock." Hannibal continued staring out of the window.

"Hannibal?"

"Yes?"

"What if Face comes back while we're out East?"

Hannibal turned to look at Murdock. "Where do you think Randy's going to be in three days, Murdock?"

"D.C."

"And do you think Face will know that?"

"Yeah..."

"So where do you think Face will be?"

Murdock sighed heavily. "Okay, Colonel."

"Murdock, if he wants to find us, he will. Otherwise, like Carla said. We find Randy, we find Face. So let's make sure we find Randy."