The search party had been searching for about eight hours and they still hadn't located where Mick was buried. With it being just after eleven o'clock in the middle of the night, the deadline to when Mick runs out of air coming up within an hour from now, and it being cold and wet, the RED CELL team's nerves were shot. They were extremely worried that they wouldn't find their friend in time. Everyone was cold, wet, and miserable.
Finally, the lead officer in charge of gathering his men to join the party walked over to where Sam and his friends stood as they were looking at a map of the area and informed them that he was calling off the search for the night.
Sam stood angrily in front of the man and said, "You can't do that! We haven't found our friend yet and he doesn't have much longer before his air runs out. If we wait to convene again in the morning, we'll be bringing his body back home with us."
The officer replied, "I'm sorry, Agent Cooper, but my men are cold, wet, and tired, and so are the rest of the people with us. We…"
"I don't care if they are uncomfortable!" Sam firmly interrupted. "Our friend is all those things, as well as has been beaten, stabbed, tortured, and running out of air for the last three, almost four days. He's the one you should be worrying about, not yourselves! We will not sacrifice his life, just so that you and your men can go home to be comfortable."
"I am sorry about your man, Agent Cooper," the man responded. "I really am. However, it is my responsibility to take care of my men and these people. We are leaving, end of discussion."
Prophet walked over to his friend and the officer and said, "Our team isn't going anywhere. We're going to find Mick, alive."
Gina and Beth walked over to join Sam and Jon as Gina called out to the men and women who were around saying, "The four of us are going to keep looking for our friend. If it were any one of you in his position, wouldn't you want people to keep looking for you until you were found, despite their discomfort? I know that I would. This man fights every day to protect each of you from monsters like the man responsible for all of this. The least you can do is be uncomfortable for a little longer. We're close, I know it. Do the right thing and keep searching with us, for him."
Sam smiled at Gina as she stepped back and waited for the men and women to make up their minds. They saw some of them leave, but most of them, including the officer in charge, stayed behind to keep on the search. Prophet patted Gina on her back and Beth gave her a hug.
As people started the search up once again, Sam walked over to her and said, "I have never been more proud to have picked you for this team, as I am right now. Thank you!"
Gina nodded and answered, "Let's find Mick."
The four teammates kept close together as they continued walking through the woods. Two officers, a search dog, and a few civilians were searching nearby as well. Though they had flashlights that were enough to see, they were all grateful that the moon was full and bright as it shined clearly in the sky. Even though it was raining gently, the clouds were not blocking the light.
About twenty minutes later, Sam and his team suddenly heard the dog begin to bark wildly and they knew it had found what it was searching for. Sam, Prophet, Beth, and Gina all ran as fast as they could over to the ground where the dog was, but as they arrived, they saw that the ground was disturbed.
Instead of a freshly covered grave, they found dirt, wood chunks and slivers all over the sight. As they shined their flashlights inside, they found that the grave was empty, except for the oxygen tank.
"Mick's gone," Prophet said in surprise. "He freed himself!"
"I can't believe it," Gina replied. "I mean, I've heard stories of people digging themselves out after being buried alive, but to actually see it with my own eyes… It's unbelievable!"
Beth knelt down to pick up one of the wood chunks and shined the light over it as she stated, "He used his fingers to scratch away at the coffin's lid a little at a time and then when enough had fragmented away, he managed to break himself out. There are scratch marks all over this piece and it looks like several of the other pieces too, as well as blood."
Sam looked inside the coffin in the ground and responded, "The question is, where is he now? He's out there alone and God knows what shape he's in. There's blood on the inside of the coffin as well, no doubt from the knife wound. He's losing blood and from the amount here, I'd say he's losing it pretty fast. We've got to find him, right away."
The team followed after the dog as it continued to sniff around, looking for Mick once again. They were happy that Mick was no longer buried under ground because they could only imagine how terrifying it must have been, but they had been so close to finding him. Now who knows where he was and he was running out of time. Even though he was pushing himself to the brink, eventually he is going to fall.
After another hour, the team had received the news that a number of the officers and civilians had decided to leave for the night, now that the deadline was past and they had learned that the agent was no longer inside the site that they had been searching for.
It was then, after hiking another two miles from the grave site, that Sam, Gina, Beth, and Prophet came upon an old barn. As far as they could tell, it was abandoned, but if Mick had managed to get himself this far, they figured he may have gone inside to get out of the cold. It was as good a place as any to look for him.
Prophet walked over to the door and realized that it was barricaded by something on the inside when he tried to pull it open. However, the barricade wasn't strong and so with help from Sam and Gina, together they managed to break in the door. The officers and the dog remained outside to keep a lookout.
As the team shined their flashlights and began to slowly walk around, they saw nothing that gave the indication that Mick had been here. However, as Gina walked a little ahead of the group and shined her flashlight on the ground near a horse stall, she saw three bags that looked like someone's hiking gear.
Gina walked up to them and as she bent down to look inside one of the smaller bags that was open, she saw that it was a video camera. Gina was about to stand to warn her team, when all of a sudden, a man jumped out from inside the stall, pulled her around to face the others, and put a gun to the side of her head.
Sam, Prophet, and Beth quickly pulled out their weapons and aimed them at Gina and the man they now saw was their killer, Lance Bryant. Sam began to walk slowly toward them, but stopped as Lance pushed the gun harder against Gina's temple. The monster smiled, knowing that neither Sam, nor his friends could take a shot without hitting Gina.
"Let her go, Lance," Sam said as he slowly lowered his weapon in order to try to talk their UNSUB down one more time. "If you hurt her, we will kill you. You can be sure of that. Is that what you really want?"
"That's how many of your psychopaths end up," Lance answered. "Am I right? It's how my dad ended up, with a bullet to his chest, fired by the man who claimed to be his friend, probably by this very gun. This used to belong to Mick. I took it from him when he was attacked by the gang thugs. Now that he's dead, he's not going to be needing it anymore."
Gina struggled in Bryant's hold as she shouted, "You Bastard!"
Lance just laughed as he responded, "I guess I am, but your friend needed to pay for killing my father and destroying my family. I will die here today at peace, knowing that I finished what he started and you will end up just one more tragic death among your team."
Sam tried once again to move forward when he knew, without a doubt, that there was nothing he could say or do to stop this man. Gina stiffened as Bryant clicked back the glock of his gun, but just as he was about to fire, another shot from behind where he and Gina stood rang out.