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Chapter Thirty-Seven

Yates crouched behind the fence, nervously fumbling with the unfamiliar weapon in his hands. "Clip full? Yep. Safety off? Yep, it’s off, dummy...for the thousandth time." Yates sighed. Ever since he left the Farm and Cole and Biltmore went off gallivanting around the world doing God knows what, the new agent had been riding a desk, never once going into the field. He just could not believe that the hillbilly he and Biltmore were hazing at Camp Peary had become some legendary field agent that half the Company was whispering about...a mysterious agent that just disappeared off the map with his team and no one knew why.

Now, here he was, the nobody Agent Gary Yates, desk jockey extraordinaire, sitting here with a rifle in his hands ready to kill somebody...based on orders given by that same Cole Hitchens. Definitely not the typical life of an analyst anymore, he surmised...at least not today.

“Huh?” Gary stood upon hearing the gunshots erupt from inside the church across the street. He quickly stepped around the fence just as the doors to the SUV flew open. Evidently, they heard the reports, too. The two Radii guards jumped from the vehicle with machine guns in their hands ready to go. One of the men spotted Yates and raised his weapon.

“Oh shit!” Yates said and fired, spraying the black SUV just as Cole told him to do. The pair of killers stumbled backwards as the windows and windshield of the vehicle exploded in an eruption of glass.

“There’s somebody over here!” a female voice from the rooftop shouted. Yates quickly ducked underneath a tattered green awning that covered the rear entrance to the Mount Silver Thrift Shop.

“Where’d he go?”

Yates noticed the sniper’s shadow on the ground, her head peering over the edge of the building’s rooftop. The CIA agent stepped from his cover and fired skyward, luckily killing the would-be assassin. The woman’s lifeless body fell forward and tumbled over the ledge, slamming to the roof of the SUV with a boom.

“Whoa, that was close!” Gary exclaimed and then paused as he heard a distant noise. The agent searched the sky with a hand shielding his eyes from the sun. He smiled at the familiar sound of a helicopter approaching low and fast. “Yes, reinforcements!” He stumbled into the street just as the black flying machine zoomed overhead, temporarily blotting out the sun. The thumping blades kicked up whirlwinds of dust and newspaper as the aircraft slowed and then hovered in the air above the middle of Mount Silver’s Main Street.

Cars and trucks of varying manufacture and age skidded to a halt, their drivers stepping from their vehicles to witness the odd event.


A woman screamed as Yates’ was yanked backward reacting to a bullet piercing his right shoulder. The impact threw him to the asphalt and sent his rifle clattering to his side. “Dammit!” he exclaimed, reaching up to feel the warm blood leaking from the hole.


Lying on his back, Yates watched the helicopter respond to the rooftop threat and wrench to the left with its minigun roaring to life. The spinning weapon burped, spraying a stream of rounds at the unseen target.

Gary’s eyes narrowed as the helicopter landed and the darkness enveloped him.

“Yates! Hold on, agent, stay with me. You’re gonna be alright...”

“Huh? Fitz?”

“Yeah, I got you, son. You took a hit to the shoulder.”

“Cole...he’s in the church over there. There was gunfire, sir!” Yates said weakly pointing toward a large building across the street before blacking out once more.

“Dammit! He better not be dead!” Fitz said under his breath and stopped moving with the gurney to stand upright. He turned his head to look at the red brick Baptist church and noticed the headlights of a black vehicle activate and its engine roar to life.

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