This week’s scene of Boot Camp sees Frei struggling to find Aeron… Hope you enjoy.
Full Circle Update:
Well I have my hardware and I’ve edited the novel so I’m waiting on Em to do some proof-reading for me, maybe make some tweaks… then I will be working on typesetting. Typesets are for the print version (in case you haven’t heard of them.) It’s hard work because it is ready for a PDF format and it takes some fiddling sometimes to get it right. As I haven’t typeset any work since developing my sight problems, I’m hoping my technology will assist me.
I’ll then be working on making sure the series have covers that work with my theme and look great together in a printed collection… I want to make them look great on my shelf and hopefully you’ll want them to look great on yours too!
Act 4 Scene 5
Frei gripped hold of the seat as the chopper was thrown side to side in the blizzard conditions. She needed to find Aeron but there was a lot of area to cover.
“Ma’am,” the pilot said in a heavy tone. “I need to land. Our fuel is low and it’s… it’s too dangerous.”
Frei gritted her teeth. “Winch me down then return to base.”
“Ma’am?” the pilot’s confused tone wasn’t surprising but it still irritated her.
“Winch me down,” she said without so much as changing the inflections in her voice. “Then you can return to base.”
“Ma’am,” the co-pilot piped up. “Commander Black has given us strict orders not to allow you on the ground in this kind of situation.”
“Commander Black?” she muttered. “I think I outrank her.” She kept her voice bored but the only reason she outranked her was because Renee had never pushed for promotion. She was an action girl… well, before Yannick got to her.
“I know,” the co-pilot said with a grunt. “But, Ma’am, she is the best protection officer CIG has ever seen and if she says you shouldn’t be on the ground in this kind of situation, I trust her expertise.”
“Winch me down or you won’t be in CIG.” Her voice grew curt and she attached the winch to her waist. “Now.”
“Ma’am,” the co-pilot said with a sigh and headed over. “My concern is for your welfare. I’ll note it in my report.”
She glared at him. “I’ve managed to reach my rank without your help so far.” She checked over her official toolkit and tapped her unofficial one inside her jacket pocket. “Get back to base, be ready to airlift Lorelei and the POIs out.”
“I can’t head up in this,” the pilot mumbled as the chopper shook. “We’ll be lucky to get back to base as it is.”
Frei rolled her eyes. “Remind me to give you extra training.”
The pilot grunted against the sharp winds as she hauled open the door and nodded to the co-pilot who winched her down while muttering under his breath. It was strange to see any member of CIG do anything but follow orders—unless you counted Lorelei or Black—Chopper crews rarely spoke at all.
She dropped to the ground and waited for the chopper to disappear into the blizzard before she retrieved her unofficial kit from her pocket and held up an electronic device that whirred as she moved it steadily around her then it beeped. She smiled and let out a breath of relief. Lorelei had switched on her breadcrumb reader which was showing as malfunctioning but that always sent out a distress signal.
She tapped her earpiece. “Marney, status.”
“I followed the flare that Aeron sent up and I have pinpointed the possible location of the POIs. Agent Fitzpatrick has gone in to extract them.”
Frei tensed her jaw and sprinted through the conditions without effort. “He’s an investigator, why is he extracting POIs?”
“I’m not sure, Ma’am… would you like me to patch you through to him?” Marney asked in a worried tone.
“No, you are being effective guiding him to their position. Ensure that he does not near the hostile.” She double-checked her cell phone and brought up the map that Lilia had sent to her. Thankfully Aeron’s mom seem to have a “freaky turn” as she called them.
“Yes, Ma’am,” Marney said. “Agent Fitzpatrick also asked me to inform you that the other POI is with Spokes on a rescue assignment.”
“She what?” Frei spat out her words, leapt over a deep crevice in the snow and sped up. “She is meant to be on base being watched.”
“I could try and find out who Spokes is and tell him, Ma’am?” Marney sounded stressed enough helping Fitzpatrick.
“It is fine. Keep me updated on the POIs.” She cut the line and slowed as she spotted a mound of snow with skis on top. “You really did listen,” she whispered even though she doubted Aeron would hear her.
Frei dodged to her left. A rifle smashed into the snow beside her. She turned, stuck out her hand. Hit the hostile in the nose and sent them staggering backward. Her gut dropped as Yannick laughed and wiped the blood away.
She pulled her pistol. He pulled his.
He dived to his right and she dived to her left as the bullets hit the ground. She raised her gun again. He raised his.
She rolled to her right. He rolled to his left. They both sprang to their feet.
His bullet whizzed by her shoulder. Hers whizzed by his temple.
He dodged to the left. She dodged to the right.
Bam. Bam. Crack. Crack. Bam.
Yannick, dived and dodged as she did the same. The bullets whizzing by but not hitting their target.
He growled at his gun. Turned and sprinted toward the mound Lorelei was inside. She reloaded.
Bam. Bam. Bam. Bam. Bam.
Yannick dodged, weaved, rolled but stayed on course.
She set off after him. Her speed far faster than his. Bam.
He dodged again. Bullet whizzed by Lorelei’s mound of snow. It was too risky to shoot this close. The blizzard gusts were too strong.
He pulled a knife, gaze locked on Lorelei’s position.
Frei threw herself onto his back.
Frei caught his hand and smacked it downward.
She grunted as he caught her forearm. She wrapped her arm around his neck, dropped her weight backward, planted her feet, and flipped him backward.
Yannick gurgled as he hit the ground.
He threw his body into the snow, hurled her up with him over his head and threw her.
She landed on the base of her spine which jarred. The pain stole her breath but she rolled back onto her feet.
Yannick went for his knife on the floor.
She pulled her pistol.
Bullet nicked his shoulder.
Yannick snapped back his hand. Glanced at the mound Lorelei was under then scowled.
Frei raised her pistol. “I should have shot you the first time.”
He pressed his gloved hand to his wound. “Yes, you should have.” He flicked something from his sleeve and threw it to the snow.
Debris flew upward, hit Frei in the face, knocked her backward. She rolled onto her side, grunting through the pain. Forced herself up into a sprint but Yannick was gone.
She leapt over the crack forming in the ice beneath the snow and scrabbled to clear the mound over Lorelei.
“Aeron?” she whispered, scanning for Yannick, straining for any sound showing his location. “Aeron, can you hear me?”
Aeron was pale, cold, not moving, not conscious.
Frei jabbed her finger with a breadcrumb and sent it through to someone she trusted. Someone who knew Lorelei well and pressed her finger to her ear. “Marney, I need an urgent extraction. Sending you my position.”
“Ma’am,” Marney said sounding tearful.
“Status?” she asked as she pulled Lorelei up into her arms, staggering with Lorelei’s sheer bulk as the blizzard knocked her balance.
“Officer down, Ma’am,” Marney sniffed then sniffed again. “Fitzpatrick couldn’t do anything to help.”
“Explain,” Frei staggered northward, body tense, senses heightened. Yannick was after Lorelei. Why did he retreat?
“Hankings was leading them directly toward the hostiles… Fitzpatrick tried to warn them but the ice went underneath them.” She sniffed again. “He managed to pull two of them to safety but when he got to Hankings…” She sobbed. “His heart had given out.”
Frei let out a long sigh. “Have the team take them back to base. Inform his brother.”
“Ma’am,” Marney managed through her sobbing.
Frei cut the line and kept walking.
“I hope this isn’t your status,” a welcome voice said into her ear.
“No, it is Aeron’s.” Frei glanced around trying to see through the heavy snow. “I need your assistance.”
“You need a hyperthermia kit,” the voice said in a worried tone. “And her medication… quickly.”
“I am waiting for my pilots to decide if they are going to distract me or be fired,” she muttered thankful just to hear someone familiar. Someone she trusted.
“They’d better decide to help or I will medicate them very heavily and provide as many side-effects as I can,” the voice snapped then sighed. “Do you have any of the medication I sent to you?”
“No,” she said trying not to stumble as the ice moved beneath her. “She was only meant to be on exercise… we ran into some problems.”
“Now I’m worried, Ursula,” the voice softened further. “And I forget when I’m worried, you know that.”
She smiled at the gentle way her name was said. “I would prefer you worry about providing whiskey.” She stumbled over something in the snow and grunted to right Lorelei in her arms before they both fell.
“I can manage that.” The voice chuckled. “I will send you through the required treatment when you reach a safe location.”
“Thank you,” Frei whispered, not sure why. “Do you have anything more on why she keeps passing out?”
“No, it doesn’t seem to be the medication but I would need her here to run tests…” The voice drifted off and started chattering to someone. “I will help if you bring her here.”
Frei glanced into the blizzard again. “Then I will bring her straight to you.” She lowered her head as the snow picked up further and cut the line. Lorelei would be better off being taken care of there and not at the CIG base. She might have been in charge of CIG but Yannick had escaped prison… somehow… and everywhere CIG showed, he showed up too. Someone must be helping him. She only hoped whoever it was didn’t know Renee was busy rescuing people or where she was.
The blizzard sucked the warmth from her face, her body, turning the sweat expended through carrying Lorelei into slush pockets inside her clothes.
The ice was treacherous under her feet, no sound of a chopper reached her ears, and the feeling Yannick could be close nearby, ready to make sure they plunged into the freezing water below filled her mind.
“Hold on, Lorelei,” she mumbled and gritted her teeth. She shivered more from fear than the cold. She really didn’t like water.