On the Run

Chapter 30

Ops Centre, Los Angeles

“Are you sure that you have everyone on that list and any other possible threats related to these people?” Henrietta Lange stood behind her Technical Operator and Intelligence Analyst.

“Yes.” Nell Jones swivelled her chair around and faced her boss. “Eric and I have gone over each and every person on this list and have created timelines for them since their arrival on U.S. soil as per the intel that Nikita has provided.”

Eric took in a deep breath and slowly released it. After two weeks of being in shutdown from the rest of OSP and the world, the strain of what they were doing was taking a toll on them both. It had been two weeks since he’d played online or surfed. He missed both, but what they were doing was of the highest security. He’d locked them down from any intrusion and he’d changed password protocol and upgraded their firewall three times in the two weeks. But they’d found all forty names on Nikita’s list. They hoped that they were all that were involved, or an all out war between the U.S. and Russia could escalate at any moment.

“Good. Now I want the two of you to head home, get some good sleep then go home and visit family. You’ve been working too hard, but I appreciate all that you’ve done. You are not to mention any of this to anyone and until you hear word from me, you are to stay where you are.”

They both nodded, darting their eyes across to each other. This order placed them in different cities, but an order was an order.

“Now go.” She watched them quickly pack up their bags, sleeping bags, pillows, food and water supplies and head out the door. She chose the best and after what these two had achieved in a matter of only two weeks, she was thankful for their dedication to her and the agency.

She felt a presence behind her and as she turned, a smile formed on her face. “Mr Callen. It’s so good to see you back home again.”

“It’s good to be back, Hetty. How’s the others? Have they been released for field duty yet?” He was tired, the planning and analysis of his plan had taken much of his time while he was in Morro Bay. The reunion of Amy with Mark had been a joyful occasion, but that had been all. The rest of the time had been tense as they plotted and organised his plan. He’d missed Alyssa and Molly, but he knew that they were safe and in good hands with Michelle and Kamran. They’d moved in with the Hannas until he could return to Los Angeles and help them settle into their home. He’d sold his old home, he couldn’t risk being found by the Russians again, even though at the time he’d hoped that they were all dead. But his paranoia had come in good use and from what he discovered two weeks earlier, it was a good thing he didn’t trust well.

Hetty pursed her lips together before nodding. “Your team have been doing well. In fact better than expected. Mr Hanna is waiting to return to work with you. Miss Blye and Mr Deeks however will not be able to work with you on this operation.”

“What’s wrong, Hetty?” He sensed that there was more that she was keeping from him.

“I think it’s best if it comes from them.” She walked out of the tech filled room and headed down the stairs to her office. She sat at her laptop and opened up the top secret file that Nell and Eric had produced and she went over the details once more.

Callen entered the bull pen and nodded over to Sam. “Hey.”

“About time, G. Where have you been?” Sam walked over and hugged him. “It’s been quiet without you. We’ve actually got all our paperwork up to date. Looks like you’re on your own to complete yours.” He looked over at Callen’s large pile of paperwork and he heard his partner sigh.

“I really don’t have time for this. We need to talk.” He nodded over to the armoury, it had always been his preference for quiet talks away from the open work space.

Sam followed, puzzled over what was going on. “Do you know what’s going on with Deeks and Kensi?”

A smile spread across Sam’s lips before he could hide it. “Maybe.”

Curiosity got the better of him and Callen raised his brows. “I take that as a yes.”

“Callen.” The Detective’s voice caught his attention as Deeks and Kensi entered from the gun range.

“Hey, Callen.” He studied them both. They looked happy and then he spotted the engagement ring on Kensi’s finger.

“You asked her?” His face brightened and he hugged them both. “Congrats guys. This is great.” He studied them further, two weeks away had felt like a lifetime with all the work he’d had to do, but coming home to this news made him feel it had been longer. But he was pleased for them both.

“Thanks, Callen.” Kensi grabbed Deeks’ hand and squeezed it gently.

“Hetty mentioned that neither of you are ready for field duty yet, but the two of you look great. What’s going on?” He caught the look between the two and looked over to Sam who merely shrugged his shoulders, but he knew.

“I’m pregnant, Callen.” Callen’s eyes widened and his smile broadened.

“This is fantastic. Congratulations.” He slightly knitted his brow together, “I’m missing something aren’t I?”

Kensi nodded. “We weren’t expecting this. After the accident…”

Deeks wrapped his arms around her. “We were told that we couldn’t have another baby.” Deeks added for her.

Callen furrowed his brow deeper. “What do you mean another baby?” He’d been kept in the dark over the severity of his team’s injuries while he was hiding in Morro Bay, and now he was starting to realise just how much his team had suffered. Guilt began to build inside of him.

“I was pregnant when we had the accident, Callen.” Kensi quickly wiped the tears from her face. She tried to remain strong, she knew that he’d feel guilty, but she’d never blamed him. “With the injuries I sustained, the doctor told me the likelihood of falling pregnant again would be slim. We’re still in shock over this news.”

“Kens, Deeks…I’m so sorry. I had no idea….” He bit onto his lower lip, trying to rein in his own emotions from what had happened to them.

“Callen, please. It’s not your fault. We didn’t tell you because we knew that you’d feel guilty.”

“But it is. You were targeted because you’re my family.”

“None of this is your fault, G.” Sam clamped his hand on his partner’s shoulder. “This is the fault of those who are after your father. They’re dead now, so let it be.”

Callen stepped away from Sam and shook his head. “No, they’re not.”

“What do you mean, G?” Sam furrowed his brow and looked concerned over at the others. “They died in the explosion along with Hetty and Granger’s old team.

“Mark saw someone outside Arkady’s house the day of the explosion. He was coming in to rescue us that day, but he saw someone with a remote detonator. He tried to stop the explosion and ended up being thrown into the pool. He chased them and when he found them, he interrogated them and killed them. He thought we were dead.”

“Mark’s alive?” Sam, Deeks and Kensi all asked, in shock. They knew that something big was going down, but they had no idea that it had anything to do with Nikita. No wonder why Granger took Callen away on their first day back.

“And Arkady. Mark faked his death, it was to keep him safe. His real identity had been burned. Mark’s been following the paper trail and he ended up in Russia, but he was led back here to my father. Arkady’s not been himself since the explosion. He’s forgetful and muddled. He kept muttering about a box, Mark decided to have him return to his old place and see where it led them. By the time Granger and I turned up, Arkady was on his hands and knees digging up an old metal box.” Callen wiped his hand over his face and took a breather. His team had intense looks about them as they waited for him to continue.

“We found coded micro intel and foreign documents that only my Dad could tell us what they mean. I now know why my mother was killed and why my family was torn apart.” He took in a deep breath before he went on.

“My dad found documents that he was never meant to see. Proof that the people he thought he was helping to escape from behind the Iron Curtain were in fact Russian sleeper agents. When he found out, he tried to undo the damage and warn our government. My mother never got the chance to warn our people.”

“Who, G? And how many?”

“Forty men and women. Many of whom have taken on positions of power within our military, government and control of our corporate companies and banks. Russia has control over our water, power, oil, food and money. We’re stuffed if we don’t take these people down. For over forty years, these people have taken on aliases of real American people who were killed and replaced without anyone noticing. People who became head of the CIA, Presidents, CEOs, movie stars, bankers, the works.”

“Your kidding us, right?” Deeks stood in shock over the news. Sam and Kensi weren’t taking it well either.

“I would never kid on this, Deeks. You think about it. The drought conditions that we’ve been experiencing here in California. Do you know how bad things are? You think that it’s because we haven’t had any rain, am I right?”

The others nodded.

“Let me tell you a few facts that will make your skin crawl.” Callen went into the details of just how bad the water crisis was in the state of California. The water deep into the earth was running dry, soon they would be in a worse state than many African countries.

“How come we don’t hear about this in the news?” Deeks had the feeling that what Callen had found out about these Russians had everything to do with it.

“That’s a good question. Someone high up in our media has been putting a lid on this news. War is coming and it will happen right here on our doorstep over our most valuable resource that we need to survive.”

Kensi shuddered. “What can we do to stop this?”

“We have proof that these Russians have been piping our water out of our country, over to Alaska and onto Russia. We’ve been hacked where it hurts us most. And that’s not all. Once we lose water here in California, the north eastern states will lose power come winter, when they need heating to survive. Food won’t be able to be transported in and no one will be able to flee California or the North East because we’ll have no oil.”

Kensi had to sit down. Deeks looked worriedly over to her. “Are you okay, Kens?” Her hand rested on her belly, she was now six weeks pregnant and already the future was bleak.

Callen walked over to her and placed both hands on her shoulders. “Don’t worry, Kens. I’ve come up with a plan to take these Russians down for good. It’s our turn to have our revenge on them.” He told them his plan. Their eyes widened and they nodded in agreement. It was a good solid plan and now they understood why Nell and Eric had been on lockdown.

“I’m sorry I won’t be able to help you on this operation, Callen.” Kensi took control of her breathing, it was essential for her to keep her emotions steady and for her not to get stressed.

“You’ve been through enough already. What I want for you, Kens, is a healthy baby.”

She nodded. “Thanks, Callen.”

“I can’t help you either.” Callen looked over at Deeks and furrowed his brow.

“I haven’t been released for field duty. Man, I want to help you but I can’t.” Deeks’ frustration ran through him.

“Can’t we get Nate to release you for duty? I could really have your help…”

“He can’t, G.” Callen turned and studied his partner.

“What do you mean he can’t?”

“I’ll never be released for field duty again.” Callen turned his attention back to the detective. “The gunshot wound in my skull has made it too vulnerable. I can’t afford to be hit in the head ever again.”

Callen sat on the chair taking in the severity of Deeks’ injuries. Because of him, Deeks would never be an agent or work as a detective again. He shook his head and slumped his shoulders. He looked over at the detective. “I’m sorry, Deeks. I had no idea.”

“Callen, please. Like Kensi said before, we don’t blame you. None of this was your fault. From the sounds of what you’ve told us, this is much bigger than any of us.”

Deeks words triggered a memory in Callen. Eugene Keelson’s words returned to the forefront of his mind. “This is much bigger than any of us. You are asking the wrong questions. Not who, but why.”

“Keelson knew. That bastard, he knew.” Callen licked his lips and he felt satisfied that he’d killed him all those years ago. “He told me that this was much bigger than any of us.” He looked intently at Deeks. “Your words triggered the memory. He said that I was asking the wrong questions. Not who, but why. Everything that we’ve discovered, it makes perfect sense.”

“I’m sorry that we didn’t find out earlier, G. But I’m here, ready to do whatever you need me to do.”

“Thanks, Sam.” He turned to the others. “I know that you both want to help. For now, I would like for the two of you to head north, take Monty with you and cross the border into Canada. I want you away from here until it’s safe to come home. He turned back to Sam. “I’ve asked Michelle to take Alyssa, Molly, Kamran and Joelle north too. We need them far away if this goes south, we need to know that they are safe.”

They all understood where Callen was coming from. The only way that they could focus on the job at hand was for them to know that those they cared about were far away, somewhere safe.

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