Recent Statuses

2 yrs ago
If there are RPs/PM's I need to reply to- I am working on it, I'm a little overladen in life atm. I haven't forgotten about you :)
3 yrs ago
Aaand back.
3 yrs ago
ALERT- I'm going AFK for a week, anyone that sees this on here, I won't be about to respond, this is to both 1x1s/RPs.


I've RP'd for the best part of over five years now here on the Guild, and particularly like military settings, both contemporary, past and near future. I have even dabbled in a little more experimental RPs, as well as created a plethora of 1x1s over my time in the guild. I've spent time in many an RP, and like creating RPs with a distinct flavor.

I'm pretty flexible and try and get back to people on ideas and responses, but sometimes, I may become very busy and it will take some time till I am un-busy- though I always come back!

Most Recent Posts

In order to make their aerial insertion work, Mark and Ellie had figured it out quick, using a simple map of the area. Ellie would use her wingsuit, while he'd drop in, straight down. It worked out better than the earlier plan- after all, she could cover far more distance silently, and the less the plane was overhead, the less chance they had of being detected. It was a surprise after all that they were even coming. And Mark had a score to settle. Kill every bastard he found, and recover whatever it was they stole for himself. That was his job. The rig on his back, goggles on his forehead, and altimeter on his wrist with the R700 at his side partly-disassembled, he felt prepared. Ready, even.

Ellie was confident, calm, collected, that much Mark could tell, as the door opened and the wind rushed in, the sight of darkness outside only illuminated by the moonlight peering through a clear sky, as he looked to her.
"Remember the plan, I've got you on comms!" He yelled, as the engine slowed down, Mark moving to the back of the door, and looking out. He nodded, as Ellie set herself up, and taking a breather, fell out of the plane into the abyss.

Mark's leap out first meant he was watching Ellie fly away from the aircraft in a far more dramatic fashion and into the black oblivion, as he whooped. This Chaotic, strange, but it was fun as hell, and he could only guess that Ellie was far more comfortable right now than he was, as this felt strange and insane to him, an operational need, not a day-to-day.

Deploying in pitch black wasn't too different to the operations he'd been on before, but it made navigation difficult, given how far away the house was, a small light in the distance. He looked on, taking the toggles of his grey parachute, and steering himself down, finding the outline of the rocks below, and steering himself in gently. No need to break bones, he reminded himself, this had to be careful.

Landing quite a far way away from the site, he set himself down in the rocky hillside overlooking the mansion, knowing Ellie was going to be close in, up close and personal with the outer perimeter given the fact that she could fly for miles with her suit. Seeing her parachute above, he knew she was going to be on her target, or at least, as close as she could get. She was accurate, a professional after all, and he was impressed. Mark ditched his own rig and left it, aware of it's expense but the fact was that he needed to save weight and get moving. That was priority now. Setting up the rifle, getting into position, and being ready for what came next.

"Okay, I've got you in visual. You're a hell of a lot closer to the site than me." He said into the radio, as he scarpered down the rockface, the moonlight illuminating her chute, knowing it wasn't without noise, but was near enough silent compared to the crashing waves of the rocky coastline.

Finding a position, Mark set up the R700, optic and all, looking towards the mansion nestled on the cliffs. A silencer sat on the end of the barrel; if he did have to use this thing, he wasn't waking up the locals with it.
"I've got a main guard post at the front, looks well staffed, lots of security. Not many guards around, looks like it's mostly lights out, but there's a few on the roof." He simply said, as he looked over the area a little more, exhaling and taking a breath to ponder what else there was through his scope.
"I've got the rifle ready now, so if you need a shot, let me know. Don't use your pistol unless you absolutely have to, Ellie, let's keep this neat. Can you get a closer look at any security systems, or buildings up close?" Mark asked, aware he couldn't see a lot from his position, apart from outlines and structures, rather than what Ellie may have been able to from her position.


Meanwhile, Ross was following her, and it felt strange, strange indeed to not be leading and following suit. Then again, Athena was a rather confident woman and would be used to leading teams of men in an armed response unit, so it made sense. Stealing an SUV though, that was something new to see. Breaking the law, breaking the law....Ross liked this side of her increasingly, something about a holiday on the other side of the border brought something out of her, perhaps.

The Jeep roared into life, Ross sitting in the passenger seat, bags in the back, as he pulled out one of the M4s, eyeing it up.
"Fuck me." Ross said, shaking his head, the road bumpy as he kept it unloaded, albeit scooping out a couple of mags as he looked to Athena.
"It should be in and out stuff. I think Mark has most of it covered. He hasn't let me down before. Guy's a criminal mastermind." Ross said, aware that small chat like this with an operator working for the police was always going to go one way, and it was better he did it than her, in some strange sense.

The roads got worse and worse, as they drove on, Ross watching the GPS and seeing the fact that each trail was getting smaller and smaller, shittier and shittier.
The aircraft landed with a bump on the tarmac, the Cessna skidding to a halt quickly and turning off the runway, taxiing over.
"Alright. There's benches in the back, no comfy seats for us." Mark said, stating the obvious, as he watched the plane pootle along the tar, and slowly turn to the crew that were waiting by the Range Rover. The plane stopped, but the engine kept running.

The pilot opened the door but stayed in, Zane a man that Mark could trust, a pilot that had been refered to him through one of his contacts in this world. He had no intention of asking what he did with that Cessna Caravan, given he was able to fly between Mexico and the US, but something gave him a feeling it wasn't always legal. An old diplomatic bag sat on the passenger seat, marked "DIPLOMATIC BAG OF BELGIUM, DO NOT TOUCH" in very clear and scary font. He was about 5"8, with long flowing brown hair and tanned skin, with a distinct grin on his face and a pair of aviation headphones on his ears. He gave a thumbs up, indicating they were going straightaway, and they weren't shutting the engine down. Mark nodded, running to the left rear of the aircraft, keeping behind the prop and opening the shutter door, as he piled his bags that he was carrying in. Helping out Ellie, Ross and Athena, they loaded their gear inside,

Clambering into the plane, Mark gave Ellie and Ross a hand, pulling the latter in and shutting the door.
"Okay!" He yelled, as the plane ripped, the brakes off and the propeller now pulling them forwards. Shutting the door, Mark moved past the benches and their luggage, moving up to the front of the aircraft.

"What's the rush?" Mark had to speak up, almost yelling to hear himself talk over the engine's increasing roar.
"We haven't got long in the airspace clear for our run- we're gonna get going now, while we can boss!" Zane replied, as Mark nodded, looking back at the other two, taking a seat on a bench. His accent was strange, it almost sounded Australian from what Mark could tell- he remembered talking to him years ago, but hadn't seen him in years, much like Ross.

"Well, looks like we're going quickly!" Mark called out to the others, as Zane quickly took the Caravan onto the tarmac, and with clearance, hit full throttle again. The engine was clearly not the Caravan's standard, it had a lot more poke to it, and brought the small cargo plane off the ground quickly, albeit far more noisy than any regular aircraft.

Clambering to altitude, Mark had the chance to at least clamber into the front, taking a seat by Zane's diplomatic bag and grab a spare headset. It was possible to talk without it, but for extended periods of time, maybe not.
"Thanks for coming by." Mark said, as Zane nodded, turning on the flight path for south-west, their route to the Baja with only one brief stop.

"No issues. I was taking her south of the border anyway, you're on my way down." Zane replied, looking back for a moment at Ellie, Ross and Athena in the back.
"Who's that lot?"
"Couple of friends of mine. It's just dealing with a bunch of crooked bastards for an old associate. Nothing too big." Mark said, Zane confused as he looked over.
"And you're going to all this effort? Then again, you're partly covering my bill."
"Yeah, don't ask. You alright to hold us at altitude over the west of the town, when we're running in? Me and one of the girls back there are going to drop in. We've got a compound identified that we want to hit and need a...well, unorthodox approach."
"Can do. Just make sure you get the fuck out and your friends shut the door once you're out. This isn't a jump plane. We'll be six hours till we get there." Zane was striaght to the point, as the clouds were close, as they sat at a cruising altitude of 9,000 feet. This was a way to travel, given they didn't have to stay on roads, and Mark knew that what was to come was going to be insanity. Clambering out of the seat, he put the headset down, Ross looking to the other Scots blood that wasn't Ellie.

"This thing is fucking loud!" Ross yelled, as Mark chuckled, looking to Ellie.
"Look at her, she doesn't even seem to give a shit. Totally normal to jump out of one of these, right?" Ross asked Ellie, still a little bemused at the idea that she even did that insane thing she did, knowing Ellie would be used to this sort of aircraft, given it's common application as a airdrop plane.

"It's called not being a pussy, Ross. Try it sometime." Mark cooly replied, chuckling, knowing Ellie might join in.
"We're going guns fucking blazing into a compound full of angry Latino hitmen and gangsters, and you're calling me a pussy?" Ross was a little on edge, no doubt from the crazy shit that had happened in the past few hours, but it was also something else.

"Ross....chill the fuck out.'re not scared of little planes?" Mark replied, as the gears turned in his own head, chuckling as Ross's face turned to complete mush.
", I'm not......okay, yeah, I'm a bit scared of planes." Ross replied, as Mark laughed, shaking his head.
"Shit....well, you need to shut the door after we go. Athena might have to." Mark said, looking across to the other woman in the crew, knowing maybe she would be a bit frightened of this, but probably had more balls than Ross did, he jokingly thought to himself.
And Ross was on the pedal, the Range Rover's V8 roaring into life as they left the bar, the pursuit of vehicles behind them clear to Ross, as he knew he had to drive, and drive like mad. He didn't take the roads they came here on, but opted for even shittier gravel and sand-banked roads, putting every brake horsepower of throttle down to drive, and evade the cars behind. He could hear Athena smash the rear window, and begin spraying, taking shots as he focused only on what was ahead. It was like escaping the cops, only the stakes were higher.

The rough roads were hard and horrid, bumping like hell but Ross was taking it in, hugging each corner as best as he could, the Range actually four-wheel drifting on the loose sand, the noise of rounds flying past reminding him to keep on the throttle.

Mark stuck his upper body out of the car window, putting his M4A1 outside, as he joined Athena in shooting at the people after them, popping off bursts of rounds. He took out the passenger from the one that had replaced the previous chase car, the glass shattering as he swore, the bumps making it hard to shoot. Ross was on it, and putting distance between them, but Mark was aware that they had to get away, and fast- he had to end this here.

Taking a breath, Mark sent a single 5.56 into the driver side, slamming into the man's chest, as the car skidded and tipped over, Mark holding on from his position as Ross turned the corner hard. Mark tightly held onto the side of the pillar as he watched the car behind crash, chuckling as he took the mag out, sliding a new one in, looking back at Athena. They'd ran out of cars it looked like, for now at least.
"Nice shooting. Kept us out of trouble." Mark said to her, as he leaned back into his headrest, looking at Ross.
"Drive us somewhere off the tracks. We have information to extract. Go further away than you think you need to."


Putting the pistol up against Luis's temple, Mark looked in, the middle of nowhere as good a place as any for this, given they had left the road.
"I know you speak English." Mark said, coldly, calmly, utterly remorseless, as he sighed.
"So, I want you to talk to me. Tell me, where is the rest of your gang. And how many." Mark started slow, Luis on the floor, tied at legs and arms, left to the baking sun for a little while before Mark had started the process.

"Shit.....I can't, or I'm dead!" He screamed sheepishly, knowing it was very true, but Mark wasn't taking that for an answer.
"Way I see it, only way I go from here is torturing you. And some of the body bits you might lose during that, might not come back. My friend here knows my reputation." Mark said, tutting, as Ross watched on, Mark looking at Luis, chuckling.

"They call me the Surgeon. Because what I do, is I can do things to your limbs that no other medical professional will do. What I do, is I start first with the nails. Rip a few out. If that doesn't work, I work my way up. Take a toe, take a finger. Then a hand, or a foot. Then a forearm. Do you know how long it takes for you to bleed out?" Mark said, shaking his head, sitting down by the man, legs buried in the sand, chuckling.

"Not long enough, because it'll be tourniqueted, and I'll work on the other parts of you that you don't need to live. I'm thinking you're a really juicy specimen." Mark said, shaking his head, taking Luis's heavily tattooed arm.
"My friend here has seen what my work can do. It's really pretty. And that sleeve of yours must have cost you mucho dollares. Lemme see. I might start with that one first." Mark said, as he shoved the sharp shank into his arm, Luis roaring with pain, drawing it out, as he then yanked his arm tight, the pain searing through Luis's body, smirking.
"Let's see. You clearly don't fucking clean your fingernails. Let's fix that." Taking the toolbox closer, Mark pulled out the pliers, and did his thing.

What happened next nobody wanted to watch, because Mark was unrelenting, it was pure torture, and nothing more, nothing less. Luis was not co-operative, and he was changing his mind, fast. Mark knew that when he broke, it would be everything. A professional would leak slowly, but Luis was prime material for this style. He was perfect.

It took a bit of fear, and only three fingernails to be completely ripped out with pliers to get it working. Luis was sobbing, as Mark looked on into his eyes, burning from tequila and rage.
"Now. I'm going to repeat my question. Where, are, your, friends?"

Luis cried, and if he hadn't shat himself already, he was now.
"It's in Baja, Baja! There's a mansion in the Sud, I swear!"
"Go on. I want GPS co-ordinates. Now, I'm going to free your other hand. I'm going to give you my phone. I want you to type in the GPS co-ordinates. I know you know them. Do that, and I'm going to let you live, and get you far away from here." Mark added, pulling his hand free from the zip-tie, holding his other arm behind his back, the bloody stain pouring down his shirt.

Luis did as he was told, slowly typing numbers in, doing as he was told, a good little boy. The numbers were coming up with a site, and there was a building there. It was the place alright, as Mark nodded, snatching the phone out of his hands.

"How many?"
"All of the gang, I swear. I'm the only other one!"
"Sure? I want to try your other hand."
"I swear! There aren't any more. They have lots of guns, lots of security. Maybe 20, 30. They're going to leave soon!" He said, as Mark nodded.

"Good. You saved us a lot of trouble." Mark said, as Luis looked up, his legs still tight, as he tried to get his legs, Mark kicking him hard in the ribs.

"I'll save you yours." Mark coldly said, drawing the P226 and cleanly shooting him between the eyes, straight through the nose with a gentle piss of blood trickling out as he kicked him over.
"We got what we came for. Cartels, or his crew would have made him a goner. We don't leave loose ends. Not when they seem to be willing to kill a pregnant woman and her husband." Mark said, Ross looking on in horror, as he knew the rest would.

"Seriously, after you said that to him?" Ross exclaimed, looking on in horror, a little taken aback by what Mark had just done, especially after all that had just occurred, the promise he'd just snapped on.

"I won't repeat myself. I told you what this would be. We need to go, now." Mark didn't stutter. He had a point, but knew at that moment, he wasn't going to be anyone's favourite person, least Athena's, given he just summarily executed a man.
"I'm going to come up with a plan. It isn't going to be easy, lads, but we might need to hurry up."


Two Hours Later

Aeropuerto de Nogales, Mexico

Luis's dead body had been left in the desert, buried beneath a tarpaulin off the road, in the midst of nowhere. If someone found him, they'd think it was another Cartel hit, not what was going on. It was as dead as he was right now, and while not a moral decision, it was for the better. They wouldn't have been able to extract him, nor guarantee his safety. It was better they killed him there, then let him live to be shot in the back of the head in America.

It seemed that the place he had described was fortified, a mansion west of Cabo San Lucas, a town at the southermost tip of Baja California, looking out to the Pacific. A modern one, with all the trimmings, for some rich millionaire's vacation home, given a helicopter and numerous cars were parked there, at least in the old satellite photo on Google Maps. It was perched atop a cliff, and a seriously difficult place to hit, given the fortified walls all around it. It was not going to be easy. Remote, desolate, there were rocky mountains with sweet fuck all, and only a crappy dirt track following the coastal cliffs to it, with dry riverbed valleys inland of it. There was going to be a serious security presence, but Mark didn't know exactly what. If he knew where it was, they were going to be able to rip through it, but not unless they knew what they were up against.

In all, Mark knew that it wouldn't work, not unless they did something better. But then it occurred to him, on the car drive down, and at the airport. There was one girl that knew something a bit more extraordinary, and she happened to be with them. After all, they had no idea what they were in for, but Mark took a guess that Ellie, if she wasn't good with a gun, could do something a little more than any of them. They needed someone to do some recon, and getting in was nigh-on impossible from any other angle. Apart from one.


Mark knew she didn't need to do much, but what she was good at, would be infiltration. She was skinny, and no doubt a good athlete, so she would go in good stead to get it done. They needed to fly out to there anyway, and the timings of this had to be like clockwork, or they wouldn't get it. Mark hadn't told the team the plan, but knew that no doubt, he was going to get a lot more weird looks.

"Zane said he'd be here any minute. Flying a Cessna 208 he told me, should have the fuel to carry on to Cabo San Luis. They're going to take their time at customs, but luckily, that man over there was very partial to the idea of us carrying weapons. Turns out he really wanted a Range Rover. See, it has it's use." Mark said, as he stood up, opening the boot of the open Range Rover, and sliding a few cases out of it, two containing rifles, one containing his own kit, and the other containing Ellie's stuff, as per instruction from the last time they'd set out for here.

"Looks like this Mansion, whatever it is, is our last destination for our tour. The entirety of the gang, and any affiliates are there. I might have an idea for how we deal with it." Mark said, as Ross pitched his head over.

"Ramraid and kill everyone we find? Or have you got a better plan? You heard what he said. It's not going to be easy." Ross replied, Mark nodding.

"I think we have an advantage. They don't know we're coming. Or they won't, given we have a plane at our disposal, and some kit I called for coming in." Mark added, Ross looking to the Royal Marine, a bit bemused.

"What are you thinking?"

"I'm thinking Ellie and me drop in from the plane. She happens to be the only one who knows how to use a chute apart from me on this team. We sneak in, and we find out what their weaknesses are, and what supplies they're packing. That's all while you and Athena fly into the airport in town over the course of the evening. You'll need to rent, or just find some off-road motorbikes or rough transport, and get into the isn't far but there's tracks going that way and we'll all meet near the mansion, on a GPS co-ordinate in the valleys. When night comes, we take them from the angle nobody would really give two thoughts about, and take them down knowing where they're weak. We eliminate anyone we come across, take down their files on anyone they were tracking, find transport, and get the fuck back to the plane, and out of country, before any Federales show up and ask why there's lots of dead people." Mark was meticulous, but it sounded completely insane, to whatever observer was listening.

Ross was speechless for just a moment, looking to him.
"Are know, fucking mad?"
"Only a little. But the alternative is a ram-raid, and I don't like the idea of that. 30-40 people is a suicide mission, but with the right planning, we can make it work, but only if we're using speed and aggression, from an angle they won't expect, with a thought process they don't think of." Mark said, as it sunk into the rest of the team, Ross shaking his head.

"You are off your head. And how exactly do you expect you can infiltrate a highly guarded secure compound, without making a single mark?"
"Leave that to me. Ellie's proven herself capable, and we will make that side of it work. Anyway, I don't see you having a better plan. I give it 24 hours before they leave and scatter, then we're fucked, and we won't ever be able to solve your problem. As it stands, we're lucky to have this opportunity."

The noise of the Cessna flying in from the distance could be audibly heard, as Mark sat up from the chair, throwing the Range's keys to the Customs Agent, taking all the bags he could carry and smirking.
"Come on then. We have a job to do. If you have anything to add to the plan, we'll clear it in the plane. I promise you won't have to do much Ellie, but I need your eyes and ears for this one."
Mark pulled his own Sig from his holster, sliding a 9mm mag in, nodding.
"Mine is pretty pish. So that's good to know." Mark replied, sharp as ever as he pulled the shades up onto his forehead, looking to Ross, who pulled in by the front of the bar. The suburbs of Nogales could be seen down below in the valley, and the US border near that. It was a border town alright, and this was not a place anyone had jurisdiction, the Sicarios did their work here and didn't like any Federales coming in their way. A good amount of money kept them out of sight, at least.

"Alright Ross, you know the drill. You know the route. Just be ready. Ellie, just be ready for things to get messy. Ross might need another pair of hands." He said, Mark aware he had control of the situation, well, as best as he could, even in this madhouse.

Stepping out of the car at the front of the bar, a few people looked on, and they couldn't have been more foreign if they tried, as Mark nodded to Athena, leading the way as he looked over his shoulder, Ross putting it into first and pulling away, getting ready to get around the back.
"As I'll ever be. Follow my lead, and make sure you keep on your toes. Shit could get real, any second." Mark said, brimming with confidence that came with being wired to this sort of insane shit. The rag was in his pocket, and he knew exactly how this was going to go.

Walking in, it was quiet, with a few locals, and a few sharper dressed men. Some authentic, no-bullshit Mexican music was playing on the stereo, and Mark almost liked it. It was a fairly large bar, but he'd already seen the exits, the prices on the wall, and who to suspect was going to be dangerous when shit got real. Which, in about a minute, it would.

Walking up to the bar, Mark leaned in, as the barman looked over, and said something in Spanish. Mark could only reply with the best he had to give.
"Tequila, por favor. Dos." The man on the other side of the bar replied, as Mark looked to Athena, then around the bar, aware they stuck out like sore thumbs. Any second now, someone was going to approach them, and tell them to fuck off. They were not tourists, they were federales, out for someone, and they hadn't cottoned on who. The barman poured the Tequila, the tension feeling like it could be cut like a knife, as he brought it over, Mark sliding pesos across the bar, sipping then downing the shot with ease, looking back.

"Mas." More, he asked, as the barman poured another. But he'd seen their man in the corner of his eye. Athena had been eye candy, he'd been keen to drink. But he was ready alright. The bottle still lay on the bar, as Mark turned away with it, the barman away grabbing a shot glass, Luis in a corner with two chums.
"Que pasa, senor..." One man said, as Mark walked away, bottle of Tequila in hand, brushing the man off, walking towards Luis, nodding to Athena, as he walked up to the trio, looking over.

"Luis, I'm going to ask you nicely. Come with us, have some Tequila. Or this will get difficult." The Scotsman was clear, the ginger angry bastard now already processing just how this was going to happen. Somehow, it took a psychopathic tendency to just figure it all out and make this work, if this was going to be relatively bloodless, but brutal. The two men sat by his side at the table, and Mark was already calculating the way out, and how long they would have.

"Que?" The man asked, as Mark shook his head.

"I don't do "QUE" for an answer, dickhead." Mark smirked, as he took a lighter from his pocket, then suddenly, did the unthinkable. He smashed the bottle against the man on the left of Luis's head, and the Tequila smashed into pieces, as he chucked his zippo into it, the spark catching the high alcohol content sprit that had mostly gone over him. The man was fucked, but the fire just threw all shit out of the window for everyone, the man with a bottle smashed over his head and near unconciousness now being lit like he had petrol all over him. The other man rose, taking a gun as Mark moved quick, grabbing his arm and twisting it over to force him to drop it, pushing him towards Athena to sort out, as he stopped Luis from running and taking his pistol out, punching him hard in the gut and putting rag to mouth, stuffing it into his jaw, as he yelled through.

"VAMOS!" Mark yelled, as a couple of men got up, grabbing pistols and one even with an Ingram Mac-10, taking Luis's body by the neck as he left the rag in his mouth, and took his own Sig out.
"Go, go, go!" Mark yelled, as he dragged the man, going slowly and surely into unconciousness, moving out of the stall and away from the other men with guns, who weren't able to comprehend who the fuck to shoot at, or what the fuck was going on. They were clearly his local friends, and didn't want to get him dead, which for Mark, was a convenient part of the plan.

Dragging him, he kicked the fire door open and the loud pounding Mexican music was now muffled, the light coming down hard on this cloudless afternoon, Ross with the window down and the boot open. Mark didn't need to fire a round, but he was ahead, and guessed that Athena may have needed to fire back at them, given he'd moved so quick with Luis in a chokehold and dragged out. Throwing Luis's limping body into the back, he slammed the boot shut, as a couple of men moved out of the front, Mark elegantly using the Rover for cover and popping a couple of blindfire shots, before darting into the passenger's seat, covering Athena's movement back as Ross hit first.

"Fuck, move, move, move!"
Mark looked over, barely flinching. It was like it'd happened to him before in his life, the MP5 pointing at him as they headed in, Ross completely aware of why, unable to even speak before Mark quipped in.

"Information. Nice to meet you, I're rather courteous, but last time police were talking to me, I got a similar treatment. Heckler and Koch type of person, I guess. MP5, Counter-Terrorist variant. You're definitely a cop. Hmm...I'm more Sig Sauer than HK, but that's just me." Mark said, utterly unafraid, utterly giving no fucks, because well, he had really seen worse, chuckling a little, as he looked to Ellie and Athena, Ross stopping him.
"Mark's got intel for us...easy, Athena. Sounds like we have someone we can hunt down if we want to find our gang. The rest goes from there." Ross commented, as Mark nodded, shaking his head.

"Mark's good, Athena. End of the day, you might hate him, but your own sister was the one that brought me into this whole job. She organises the courier runs, and is more blue blooded street racer than I am sometimes. She's a criminal too, by any means of the definition. And sometimes, the law can't sort the problems that the underworld can."

"Aye. It's a rather simple arrangement. Point being, I'm taking just as much of a risk as you are to trust me. We're both opposites, but we need to do this for Ross and Kimberly. We're just different sides of the mirror." Mark said bluntly, Ross nodding.

"We'll need to get going in the morning. We've got a lot of ground to cover. Ellie, this is Mark, by the way. Another Scotsman in the crew, I guess. He's friendly. Feel free to crash here, pal. I need to get rest myself...I feel like a wreck." Ross added, yawning as he grabbed his bottle of water, sipping it down, sitting on the bed as he did. Mark looked to Athena, knowing she definitely didn't like him, and he didn't like her. But it had to be said.

"You know, for a cop, I think we might get along, Athena. Also, nice to meet you, Ellie. I hear you're the mad one."


Part 8: Retribution

Somewhere in the desert outside Nogales, Mexico
Sixteen Hours Later

The afternoon sun was beating down, and the dusty desert on the far side of the border fence was a strange feeling indeed. There wasn't much point in sugarcoating it, Ross was on a healthy amount of painkillers that would make Max Payne look like a recreational user, and sitting behind the wheel of a black 2011 Range Rover Sport felt like the most insane thing he'd ever fucking done. Christ, what the fuck were they thinking....

As it turned out, Mark had a particular eye for cars sometimes, and saw the car in a used car lot, surprisingly cheap. Turns out it was on sale after a local drug dealer had been caught out. Of course, the fact that he fucking drove a black Range Rover Sport, lived in a poor neighborhood and happened to smell of weed, totally didn't give the fact away that he dealt drugs. The point was, the car was cheap, smelled of ganja somehow, and it had a TVR-sourced supercharged V8, which for America, was standard. The other SUVs were crap, worse, or too flimsy for the job. Especially to carry the equipment they needed to bring with them, this Range Rover was an effective use of $20,000. Indeed, it was cheap.

But it was a fucking Range Rover. And Mark couldn't say no. Ross.....was still dealing with that fact.

It was a vehicle that would do the job, given they needed a V8, off-road capability, and something that wasn't going to wreck their insides when they were using that V8 on the bumpy stuff. Maybe it was the inner Marine that Mark still had an affinity with a Land Rover, but right now, it was doing just that, even if not inconspicous. Hardly like they needed to be, given the plan they had put together.

Ross looked in the mirror, the sight of Athena and Ellie in the back, as they followed the bumpy back roads. They were on their way to the outskirts of Nogales, to the Bar Azul Verde, a fine establishment filled with cholos and up and coming drug bandits, cocaine and tequila, coming out of the desert roads and towards a tiny track, with a few houses littered around it.

In the passenger footwell, Mark had two M4A1 CQBRs no less, on top of his Sig Sauer P226 in his holster, and a Browning M1911 for Ross, which Ross conveniently had in the cupholder. In the back, he'd even been able to get a Remington R700 .300 rifle, tooled to Marine standards. This was a serious arsenal, and Ross did not want to ask questions where it had come from. Mark had not replied to Athena's ones, when he arrived with it. All they needed to know was, a friend of a friend came in handy and he'd "found" magazines and rifles. That and kevlar vests for all four of them, just for the fact that they were rolling in bandit country now.

They had a little while to go, so Mark looked back at the two in the back, then at Ross.
"Let's go through the plan one more time. This can work like clockwork, or else we will not get another chance." Mark said, wearing a pair of Oakley shades to cover his jetlagged eyes, his demeanour as serious as ever.

"The target, Luis Alvares is a Hispanic-coloured male, about 5"6, grey-green eyes, black shaven hair. Former arrests by the Mexican, Guatemalan and Peruvian authorities, so he's run drugs throughout the two continents. He isn't imposing, but he will be using a concealed carry, that we do know. We are going to get there, and me and Athena are going to go in, just us two. Ross, Ellie, you keep watch, and you wait by the rear entrance of the bar...Ross, when we come, you are going to have to drive like a bastard." Mark begun, looking to Athena.

"We'll play it cool, we will stick out like nothing so speed is key, sidearms only. Chloroform is the main weapon of choice here, it'll knock our man out for long enough and I'll drag him out. If my contact is correct, he's going to be there for a few more hours before he goes invisible, so we need to make sure we get this right. Ellie, make sure the boot is open, and we'll throw him in the back. Ross, you then floor it, with all five of us secure. We'll give him an interview he won't forget once we're in the middle of nowhere. Don't worry, Athena, it's all above board. We'll try and stick to the Geneva Convention for as long as we can, but if I hear an answer I don't like, he'll find out what the worst of a Resistance to Torture programme looks like very fast." Mark cotninued, taking his Sig and loading a 9mm clip inside, cocking it, looking back to Athena, as Ross turned the corner on the dirt road, the V8 purring as they approached the bar.

"After that, we'll go on what he says. Nice and slowly here. We don't need to raise hell....Athena, what's your Spanish like?" Mark asked, to the point, Ross quiet for now as he drove, doing the thing he did best.
Ross nodded, knowing it was hard for her to say that, but he had to reassure her, and knew that this was something that was going to have no going back.
"Nothing you won't be able to handle. I'll make sure you stay away from the pointy ends. Leave that to me." Ross said, chuckling as he heard her retort, leaning against the trailer before they headed in.
"Shit, I suppose so." Ross said, shaking his head, following Ellie inside, as they made their way into the trailer.

As Ellie headed in, Seb, Athena and the others looked on, the trailer deserted, a couple beds inside, a tiny kitchen area and a few other bits for living here. It was clear that whoever Seb's friend was, he was a similar adrenaline junkie, as a few bits and pieces lay around, but most of it was gone, taken with him on whatever trip he'd gone on, it seemed.
"Well, it's like he said it would be. There really isn't much to it." Seb simply commented, as Ross nodded, looking to Ellie.
"It'll do for now." He stoically said, as he put pressure on the carbon fiber walking pole, pivoting onto one of the beds, taking a seat, his side still hurting a hell of a lot.

"Okay, so as we've said in the car, this isn't the best situation. But I think we've come to something. Thank you for getting me out. You saved mine, and probably Kimberly's life. If you hadn't have come, I don't want to think what would have happened." Ross said, as Seb nodded, looking to Athena.
"She seemed to be the one with an MP5 in her hand, anyway. Probably made them drop back. I guess we just drove you out. There's not much more to be said. Tell me, what do we do now?" Seb asked, as Ross nodded, clearing his throat, knowing this was going to be pretty important to put across.

"My contact is coming from home. He's got a good knowledge of criminal courier networks, and moreso, the gangs that operate within that space. He might have a lead. And if he does, that means that I'm going to need to hunt them down, and find and eliminate whoever wants us dead, so they aren't a threat. That's the only way it ends. Otherwise, we'll be marked our entire lives, and thieves don't ever have friends in high places. That I do know, because that's how any gang like theirs would work, even if they were high level. They think we won't fight back, but that's where I know I might have something to give. No doubt, it will be messy. I haven't used a weapon in a little while, but I am sure I can get back into the flow of things." He knew he'd get a weird look from Athena, and probably from Ellie too.

"Athena, I suppose you're looking at me like a criminal. I suppose that I am, but you know full well that there's always two sides of the law. The one that your sister is in, too. There was a code, I suppose. They broke it. And now, this is where we are." Ross shook his head, knowing he was on a tangent, given he was dehydrated and well, lower on his count of blood than usual.

"Point being, you need to get the hell out, Seb. Get another vehicle, I'll wire you whatever money you need for it, and go."
"Both of us?" Seb asked, as Ross looked to Ellie.
"Not necessarily. For what I have in mind, I might need a particular person with a talent I don't think I'll find anywhere else." Ross said, looking up at Ellie.
"Believe me, in a long line of terrible ideas, I think this might be the worst."


Six Hours Later

Ross hunkered up in the bed, the evening was coming in and the night was falling on Phoenix, in this remote trailer, and he had a lot to think about. The events of the past few hours had been disorienting, but important.

He didn't have the chance to call Kimberly, he couldn't here, he didn't want to use his mobile phone, given they weren't on the move or out of the way. Ross had taken the chance to make sure Athena's was off, given he didn't want it to trace to here, in case they had anything more sophisticated, and he was waiting on Mark. He would be here, soon and surely enough. He'd drunk, eaten, and gotten himself back together. He'd let Seb leave, after he'd talked with Ellie, and it wasn't a fun conversation, when he heard it outside. Nothing relationship ending, but he could tell, they were spending time apart, to think things over. This wasn't for him, and no doubt, he'd have his own shit to do, while this was going down. He was happy Ellie was choosing to stay, but hoped in his head that it was the right choice, to make sure that she wasn't on the line. He knew she could handle herself, but something in his mind just felt like this was a dumb, fucking stupid choice, but an unorthodox one. Strange times called for strange decisions, and he hoped it wasn't his headache talking, as he sipped down some water.

Beyond that, Athena was still here, and while it was a strange thing to convince her, the point was simple- there wasn't really any other way about it. While Ross was organising something, he knew that the other family members would look after Kimberly, and make sure no harm came to her, hell or high water. For now, at least.

OST: Plan B, No More Eatin

Ross heard the knocking, standing up and grabbing the walking pole, standing up, knowing it had to be him, and nobody else, just as agreed.
"I got this. Give us some time." He wanted to talk on his own with him for now, given the conversations they were about to have.

Opening the door, he saw the sight of Mark Torridon. The man that he was waiting to see, but wasn't expecting to
actually ever see again since the last time they'd been on a job. The Royal Marine, 6"4 of ginger-haired, ginger bearded insane bastard. He had a tattoo of a Kraken wrapping around his left arm as a complete artwork, and wearing a grey T-shirt with a metal band on the front of it, you could tell
"Fucking hell, you've seen better." Mark said, as he chuckled, hugging Ross, Ross needing to take the weight as he hugged Mark back, chuckling.
"I fucking missed you, old man." Ross said, laughing as Mark let go, looking at the getaway driver of his crew.
"Old man, get tae fuck." Mark replied as Scotsmanlike as he could, shaking his head, as Ross followed, a table outside of the trailer being right near them, and somewhere Mark immediately took a seat, on the table no less, as Ross sat alongside.

"Can't fucking believe it. I'm sorry if I interrupted anything. And coming out of the blue, an' all. Heat here is fucking mad." Mark said, as Ross shook his head, not feeling that was the case at all.

"I didn't know it, but I guess I need help. Didn't even occur to me. But you're probably my best shot." Ross said, Mark nodding.
"That I am. Because I think on the flight over here, I got something for you. A thread, but something. Let me get down to it." Mark chuckled, as Ross looked, waiting for more, as Mark cleared his throat, still getting used to the heat here.

"It's a Panamanian crew, did nearly the same to a racer in Paris it turns out, same night. He got away. I have no idea who the fuck you were working for, but trust me, if those fuckers don't want revenge against the people that stole the cases as much as you do, I'd be surprised. So, it turns out, they're based, you'll never guess where...."

"What are you trying to say anyway?"

"They might be there, but one of their men is still close. A man by the name of Luis Alvarez, which is probably the most generic fucking Hispanic name I've ever heard. Maybe a pseudonym, or his real, depending on how boring he is. As it happens, he's actually a lot closer than I thought, he's only in Nogales. Over the border. He's the "gringo", who got them into the country, got them the intel that there was an event, and everything. Turns out he's the man for any info in this part of the world, so I think he might talk. Point us in the way we need to go."
"And what then?"
"We find out where they're based, and me, and you, go find them and kill them all. What I do best. And what I'll run you through." There was no doubting that Mark was only a little psychotic. Only a little.

"There might be some people that can help us, Mark. We might be up against some serious stuff here."

"We don't do other people. It's a fucking liability, pal. You know that." He said, Mark harsh in his words, as he looked back at the other Scot, sighing.
"Who are you thinking, anyway? None of the old crew?" Mark added, Ross looking back.
"My sister's got people. And another Scot. She might be good." Ross said, knowing that he was going to put two and two together, any second now.
"Wait....I've heard. You're're fucking mental. That's the worst idea I've heard."
"Every decision I'm making seems pretty stupid right now. I haven't got many I can make, given what just fucking happened."
"So you think it's a smart idea to bring in a fucking cop, or a Navy SEAL? Do know, fucking realise how stupid that is?"
"And Kimberly Hartley seems to be in a hospital right now, and the fuckers that did this are out of the country, beyond US jurisdiction, if what you just told me is true. Where their law ends, ours begins." Ross was straight to the point, and knew that he'd get that, at least.

"Fucking are mental. No, there's no fucking way we can....bollocks, this is your gig. And if you think....alright then, so long as they don't get to know me too well."
"Point taken." Ross said, as Mark sighed, looking on at the dusty horizon, past the trailer park.

"I've got a man who can get us weapons, and past border security, so we have what it takes to make sure we don't get chewed up. I can get you back up to speed with a weapon too. I've got a couple friends back home doing a bit more work for us, but they are not cheap. Like I said, whatever is in these cases, I'd like a split of the profit they just made."
"And piss off the people you just said are equally as bloodthirsty for these cunts?"

"I mean, they've cut their losses, so they just want blood. Just as you say. Chances are, they sold it by now, if it's a hot commodity. They're probably sitting on a nice pile of cash. The cash that you were going to be paid, too."
"This isn't about making money, this is about making sure we're going to be able to live without hitmen after us, you know?"
"And whoever said we can't fuck over the thieves while we're at it. I'll sort that out if it goes wrong."
"That already sounds just as retarded as the shit I just suggested."
"That makes two of us. Trust me on that one. Your pals don't need to worry about it. I'll sort that side out. We need to get you out of harm's way, and that is still the priority. All I'm saying is that there's a good chance they won't stay far from their profits. No reason not to take a share." Mark said, Ross aware that for him this was a bit of business, but he had Ross's best interests in heart nonetheless. There was a reason to this, after all.

Ross stood up, taking the walking pole, looking to the Royal Marine, nodding.
"Fuck it. I'm up for it, but the heat's on you. So, how fast do you want to move? I'm in not that great a state, as you see." Ross said, as Mark nodded, chuckling.
"You look good enough to drive. There was a used car lot I drove past earlier today, and it's got something I think we might be able to use. Something you might like, because we've got 48 hours, tops. You need to keep drinking, keep moving and eating, and you'll be right as rain. Mr Alvares is going to be getting a visit from the craziest ginger in Scotland. It's gonnae be fuckin peak."
"I've fucking missed working with you, pal." Ross chuckled, as they headed back towards the trailer, Ross opening the door for the others, some who were awake, and who wasn't.

"Guys, this is Mark. A friend of mine from back home, and he might have something for us."
Ross exhaled, sighing.
"I don't....fuck, I don't know. I'm glad to hear she's okay. They did what they had to do, we probably saved them a lot of trouble." Ross said, honestly and truthfully, as he sighed.

"It's wonderful." He said, sitting up as he ached a little, Seb nodding.

"It's a lot to take in. That's just for us, let alone you." Seb said, Ross nodding as he took the P226 and dechambered the round, pulling the mag out and passing it forward to Athena, before leaning back in the seat, looking up at the roof.
"You've got that right." He said, before he fell asleep.


Arriving in Arizona was a strange thing to Ross, but it was the way they needed to go, and after a ridiculously long drive, they'd made it to Phoenix.

Ross looked like he'd been better, but given he was able to hobble along, using one of the walking poles that Seb and Ellie had with them on their adventures, it wasn't too bad, as he clambered out of the car, the trailer empty as he expected it to be. His contact was on his way to Phoenix, and would be here in a matter of hours, so that was good to know.

Before they entered, Ellie stopped him, and he knew that he had a lot to say.

Ross sighed, knowing his own fucked up way of doing things had led to this point in time. He wanted to tell Ellie that this was fine, but it wasn't. It was utterly, completely, fucked. What she had to say was true, and it was a very, very long story. Seb and Ellie had probbaly lost a lot of respect for him, and he wished that he could have done it any other way. But it was to protect Kimberly, the very act of escaping had probably dropped the heat on them by a significant margin, and Ross could only guess that while he wished it hadn't happened, it nearly had to if they were all going to walk away from this without someone getting killed.

"You did what you needed to....we shouldn't need help from here. Trust me, last thing I want is you getting caught up in this." Ross simply said, shaking his head, the conflict showing on his usually confident face.

"I didn't want to get you to come, but....if you hadn't have come when you did, they'd have put more resources into the hospital. They were chasing us and if they had gone in there, that's more people that could have killed my wife. They aren't hunting for something, they're clean up squads. My wife would be dead, and me, if it wasn't for you. Look, I'm sorry, but I've got a daughter who I need to look after. And this...this wasn't what I wanted." Ross said, as she leaned against the RV, holding his side.

"The lowdown of it is, you're fine. Kimberly brought me on a job, and these jobs are usually pretty straightforward, simple. We do this because we don't have sponsorship, we have a child and another on the way, and it's what we do best. Nobody but us. Same as you, really. But it looks like we got caught up in something pretty big. We were the fall guys, and it's a miracle we're not both dead. You stopped that from happening."

"The point being, Kimberly is in a critical condition and they know that I'm on the run. What's going to happen in the next 48 hours is that we're going to find the fuckers responsible and probably do some things I don't think you want to be involved in. You're living your lives to the extreme, you're the girl that always pushed it to the limit, Ellie. This isn't that. They messed with the wrong family, and you're someone close to me but...I can't bear the thought of you getting hurt." Ross said, as he sighed, knowing she still wanted an answer.

"You know, Seb is a good guy. Sees this straight for what it is. It's fucked up, but if I didn't have to do it, then I'd do something else. I suppose it's the same reason we race cars and risk it all, like you do." Ross said, knowing it was stupid, but it did need to be said, as he looked to the bullet holes, then back at Ellie.
"I don't know either. But Seb looks like he needs to know. If you want to help me, I know a way you can help, and it doesn't use guns, it doesn't use anything like that. An extra person is always useful. And I think I might know a way....we're going to need someone who's got a talent for the extraordinary. But my honest opinion is that using my head, this isn't a smart idea. It depends what your heart says, Ellie."
Ross looked to Ellie, shaking his head, as he knew this wasn't good at all.
"I'm so sorry.....look, this isn't how I wanted it to happen." Ross said, knowing Ellie was probably angry, scared, confused, anything, knowing that he couldn't, and wasn't able to say anything more, not in the commotion of what was going on.
"Get everyone safe. Remember, I'm going to be a marked man. The rest of you won't. Just make sure you all stay safe, and out of harm's way. Keep Mia away from anything. I can deal with it, like you said Michael."


When the cars arrived, it was clear that shit was going to get real, and he knew what to do. As Athena passed the 9mm, Ross took it in his weakened hand, inspecting it over.

"Sig Sauer P226. Nine mil. A lovely tool." Ross uttered, knowing he'd probably get a bollocking from Ellie right now, as he checked the weapon was loaded. 18 rounds would do for him.
"I really hope you told Seb not to come." Ross looked at Ellie, and her guilty look said it all.
"Fuck, he is here. I really hope he can drive. Just get me to the car, and you won't have to use the gun. I know this is insane. daughter and my wife won't live if I can't help them. I'm sorry...fuck I'm so sorry, Ellie." Ross said, as he knew that Ellie would probably hit him later, or maybe sympathise, but in the heat of the moment, there wasn't much option.

Athena picked him up, as Ross supported as much of his weight, pulling the IV out of his arm with a little pain, stumbling and moving with them, aware that it hurt like hell. They moved through the hospital corridors, through the empty halls and towards the other side, in order to better lose the tail, aware that Seb was downstairs, and parked up. They just had to take a lift down, and they'd beat all the men charging up the stairs or the lift closer to their ward, but it was still inherently risky. With some luck, they hadn't bumped into anyone, but Ross knew that could change in an instant.

They made their way to a lift, making sure it was on the far side of the hospital, away from the GMCs that had parked up, Ross clambering in and leaning against the wall, Athena and Ellie, who were helping him hobble, his colour, vision and his mind still definitely not there yet.
"Shit." Ross could only say, as he felt the lift go down, and the knot in his stomach tighten, knowing that all hell was going to break loose any moment.


Seb sat in the parking garage, behind the wheel of the Ford Ranger, waiting out in a parking bay. He didn't know what was going on, only that Ross and Kimberly were in some serious shit, and Ellie had made sure he was going to stay here, ready to leave as soon as possible. He tapped his fingers against the steering wheel, the way that Ellie had gone, it was like he'd never seen her go to help someone, and the stakes felt higher than ever before. And this was someone prepared to jump off a mountainside with her, literally willing to accept each other's deaths if it came to that. BASE was a deadly sport, and in his heart of hearts, knew that the possibility, despite however safe or careful they were, could occur to either of them to kill the other. And the survivor to that would have to get on with life, move on and accept that it was a part of the game, not some tragic freakshow that happened on the way.

But this felt different. His heart pumped faster, the adrenaline that normalised made his hands a little shakey, as he sat there, watching. The lift doors opened, and he saw the sight of a man in a rough state, Ellie, and a woman he didn't recognise.


Two GMCs skidded into the underground parking lot, parking on the far side, as Ross was carried as quickly as he could be by Athena and Ellie, moving to hte car. Men were getting out and yelling, the noise of stocks being unfolded and prepared, as Ross knew shit was about to get very real indeed, using whatever strength he had to hobble quicker with the two, and get to the cover of the cars.

Throwing him into the back seat, Ross lay across the back, looking to Ellie and Seb, who were now in the front, Athena covering them, as he could only roar at Seb.
"Fuck, just floor it! Get us the fuck out!" Ross yelled, as the noise of gunshots rang out in the garage, hitting the rear of the Ranger, as Seb hit the ignition and slammed it into first, pushing the diesel's gut to the floor, as bullets riddled the car, smashing the driver side window as Seb dodged past, barely managing to slink past a parked pair of cars and into the off ramp, a couple of rounds smashing into the back window, luckily not shattering, or else the round would have gone into the cabin. Keeping his foot down, Seb looked behind, as Ross cocked the pistol, knowing he had to be ready to stop any pursuers.

"What the fuck is going on?!" Seb yelled, as Ross shook his head, knowing Ellie was probably going to cover it.
"Just fucking drive, fuck, you need to get us onto the Freeway and north, just don't stop for anything, cops, anyone!" Ross crawled to the window, seeing one of the GMCs follow out, as he sighed.
"Argh..Ellie, don't use your gun, pass it over here, I'll need it if mine runs dry. Just navigate. I'm...I'll try and stop the company behind us. Don't look in your mirror, just keep going." Ross added, as he couldn't reassure her, but was keeping Ellie out of using that firearm, given she might be more of a risk using it than not. It was pure luck and chance that they hadn't used it in the hospital, and for now, Ross was damn sure keeping it that way, knowing he was not going to do that to his childhood friend, she was too innocent and not some petty crim, like him. He opened the window, and looked out, watching behind. There was a GMC popping out of the garage, and he did not like the look of it.

Seb kept at the wheel, bobbing and weaving through traffic, to the noise of horns and almost zero law enforcement for the moment being, Ross peaking his head out, getting himself together and composed with a little grit, just focused on the here and now, as Ross watched the GMC come closer. He aimed with one hand, trying to keep himself as steady as possible, watching as it came closer and closer. He had to do something right here, right now.

Taking a couple of shots, he managed to put a few past the GMC, before finding his spot. He focused, firing three times in a quick succession, taking shots at the window, the driver clearly panicking and skidding, as the shots cracked his windscreen. He carried on suppressing as best as he could, aware the 9mm was going to do fuck all to a tough 'Murican SUV and this was to just put him off, before he got any ideas of his own. But it had done enough, and the driver had stopped, as Sebastian took a couple of corners, slaloming through the residential neighbourhoods of Las Vegas, and burning their trail behind, giving them time to escape.

"I swear to God, Ross you're gonna tell us what the hell you've dragged us into! You piece of shit,'re a fucking bastard!" Seb yelled, as Ross looked over, Seb shaking his head as Ross leaned back in, the GMC now in the distance as Seb took a turning, aware that only one car had followed for the time being, and Ross's half a clip had done the job to put him into the dust. It was enough for now, as Ross shut the window, sighing as they drove through the suburban streets, coming up to the freeway, following signs for Phoenix, and Lake Havasu City. Southbound, into the desert.

"I'm fucking sorry, alright. There's no other way. I told Ellie not to bring you. This was going to be insane."
"Well, I'm not fucking leaving my girlfriend. I fucking trusted you, and you're a fucking....Jesus, we're going to get fucking killed!"

"Calm yourself, just focus on driving." Ross said, trying to keep as focussed as he could, Seb still on the throttle and doing 90 in a car like this, which felt like doing 130 in anything else, given how unstable it felt and high. But it was holding out, the wind blowing in the smashed window, as Ross breathed out, as did everyone else in the car. He felt weak as hell, but that shot of adrenaline had at least given him the chance to stop their pursuers, and if Seb was able to keep his foot to the floor, the others wouldn't be able to mobilise quick enough, given they were focused on the hospital right now.

"I'd do the same for Ellie, if you wanted to know. I trust you more than anyone." Ross said, as Seb looked over, shaking his head, the scene calmer, but noisy given the smashed window.
"You're fucking crazy. Gangsters, guns, we nearly died for no good reason! Shit, and I thought we're mad." Seb said, generally pissed and angry, but trying to focus on driving nonetheless, Ross inclined to agree.

"Like I said, better you show me your side of things, than I show you mine. Someone fucked up and whoever they are, I'm going to sort it out. I'm going to make sure my wife, and daughter, and daughter to be are going to be safe, but I can't do it like this. I'm going to need a lot more painkillers, if you've got any. I don't care how many I'm going to have to stop so I can make sure my family is safe. I could accept my death once, but I'm a father to a beautiful girl and they just fucked with the wrong dad. Just get me out of the state, Seb. That's all I ask. If you don't trust me, I understand if you want to walk away with Ellie. This isn't your fight, you happened to be the only people that could save us and you stopped me from getting killed. Ditch the car somewhere remote, grab your gear and don't look back."

Seb stared at him for a moment, looking at the state of Ellie's friend in the back seat, and then at Ellie, keeping a good eye on the road, as he kept it in the third lane, foot still to floor for the moment being.

"Ellie.....I don't fucking know what to do. If we get caught up in this, we're could lose everything we've worked for. All the years of our hard work, everything. We've kept clean our entire lives, and shit, I know we've done petty crime, but this is a whole new level. We might end up dead and for no good reason to show for it. This isn't our passion. Ross is right, this is insane. This isn't our fight. Neither of us are going to live at all against assassins and....fucking whatever they are. It's up to you. We can stay with him, but you need to tell me that we're going to be able to carry on a life after this. Me and you agreed we'd accept if the other died. But we didn't agree to this." Seb said, as Ross looked over.

"You agreed to....what?"
"Wingsuit BASE is incredibly dangerous, Ross. There's a reason it's the most deadly extreme sport in the world. If Ellie died, I'd have to deal with the consequences. And the same the other way around, because we chose to work that way. It could be graphic, but life would have to go on, and it's a bond that exists because we live on that edge. It might be that we'll go in together, or none of us will. Ross, I can help you. I trust you, man. But you know what I'm trying to say."
"I know exactly. It's your call. Like I said, I don't need a lot. You two mean more to each other than anything else, and you have all you're looking for. Don't give that up for me. You can walk away, trust me. Anyway, where are we going?"

"There's an old friend of mine who said we're welcome to stay in a trailer in Phoenix while he's out in Europe. Didn't think I'd take him up on the offer, but it'll work for us. Will they be able to trace us, at all?"

"No, so long as you burn this thing to the ground, take your gear with you and never use that car hire company again....well, just say it's insurance. Call it a joyrider who stole your car. Shit, I have a friend good at casing courier systems for cars who could "delete" your records with that car hire company, and make sure that your booking was like a glitch in the system. Worked for me when I had to case difficult to steal cars. He costs a pretty penny, but he owes me one, and it'll be like you never were there. Even if they had your plate, which they probably don't, it'll be like you were never there. I'll call him when we get there." Ross said, as Seb nodded, reassured a little, as Ross was coming a bit better to his senses.

"Sounds fine. You seem like a good man, Ross. You want to take care of her. I understand that. But you know why I'm saying this." He said, rather Germanically and to put the point out across, as Ross nodded in response.
"Just get out. Ellie, if you need to talk, later, let me know. I'm just going to need a lot of painkillers, a bed, some water and the rest I can handle when my contact arrives. I'll tell him to go to Phoenix, and he can meet with me. You won't know him, but he's a Scotsman."

They carried on driving, and with a tail lost, and a window smashed, they had a very long road to Arizona, and into the baking heat even in late winter.
Seb chased, but didn't catch Ellie, mostly to let her go, and to keep up through the illuminated slope, coming to a stop behind her, the resort closed but the sight of a parking lot and snow blowing over, with enormous halogen lights still on for snow blowers and various staff working on any maintenance at this stupid hour of night to do their work.
"Shit, you're on it today Ellie!" Seb said, skiing close to her to give a high-five, as completely camp as it was, he felt the adrenaline surge and felt like it was only appropriate, to Ellie Dorian at least.

He gently moved on his skis, knowing they were close to where they had parked up, skiing down the last little bit, to the snowy and empty parking lot. He chuckled in satisfaction from the run, just echoing in his head as he took his skis off his boots bindings on the ground by the tailgate of a 2015 Ford Ranger, before standing and putting his equipment in it. The pickup was grey, but now was covered in snow and slush and was hardly the showroom model that had come out of the rental parking lot. The covered tail section at least kept the elements inside dry, but cold nonetheless. He slid the skis off his feet and the boots, putting on some more standard Mammut shoes, sliding the skis into the back and within a case, alongside the poles that joined in. He put his helmet in the back, as well as his jacket, revealing a black UnderArmour layer that clung to him, as he took a blue and purple North Face beanie out of his coat, slapping it on his head. Letting Ellie dekit, he was quiet for now, just thinking about it, letting it settle. He had it good. This was just perfect, and they didn't even need to tell the resort staff they were gone. They were just out of there, and they had gone and had their fun. In the back of the truck sat skydiving gear, their rigs and wingsuits, sleeping bags and climbing equipment, it felt like that they had brought their life here. Sometime, he wanted to go back to it not just as a big pickup truck with a , the idea of getting a VW Camper and just saying fuck it. Sometime they would do that again in Europe, or in the Canadian Rockies, just to enjoy it all over again. But summer was coming, and that meant more flying once more.

Finishing up with his mountain equipment, he was back to his casual self, in outdoor trousers and a longsleeve checked shirt, like some lumberjack, with a little bit of a beard growing to fully sell the lumberjack personality to Ellie. Sometimes he knew he was an irritating bastard to her, but she loved it really, much like when she was a little....well, Ellie. Something about it felt good, it felt right, it felt spot on.
"Ready yet? C'mon, we don't have all day, we got friends to see!"


Mia cooed in Ross's hand, as he chuckled, wincing a little as she elbowed him in the rib, but smiling, playing a little with her in the way that he had learned as a dad, trying to pass off that he wasn't seriously hurt after a car crash of an incident. Holding onto Mia, Ross sat up, looking at Michael, hearing what he said in the cornershot of his hearing.
"Crap....he won't make it in time. There is someone else......they might do. They might be an option. Not a he, but a they. Maybe not the best, but good enough to get us our of our creek ." Ross instantly realised what he had to do, as he looked to Sarah, hearing the news.
"I can't....I can't do that right now. That sounds like a miracle....I don't even...I need to think. I'm sorry...I'm not in a good place right now." Ross said, taking a glass of water and slowly sipping it, thinking and thinking, his hurt head trying to process information and figure something out.

"Okay, you need to look after Kimberly and my daughter, as much as you can. I'll fix up and be fine, my contact can get me out. I need you to look after her, and defend this place. You need to get her out, I don't know where to, but just to another hospital once she is stable. If you have to cross states, do that. I need to just take enough painkillers and I'll make it." Ross said, as he sighed, thinking all it over, still a little unstable right now and incoherent.

"Christ, this mess happened because I wasn't fast enough to stop that car." Ross said, sighing as he looked at his legs, wiping his forehead, feeling a headache from all of this, trying to get back to sense.
"I might have someone on the way to come and help, but as I said, he won't make it in time. Someone who might be a black mirror to...well, I have a lot of respect you three, but in this sort of situation with these sorts of criminals, one of them is useful. He happens to be one. Trust me on this one. I know you won't like your brother in law saying that, but believe me, he might be a good lead for us, someone on the other side." Ross said, sighing, looking at Mia, then back at the three Rossi siblings.

"What he told me was that whatever we were involved with, this was way, way more serious. The crew that did it were professionals and found a weak link in a chain of an organisation that wanted something done. He couldn't say, but it's near governmental in scale. I've dealt with Sheikhs, politicians, druglords, Mafia heads, and so has to hear that is frightening, that they went all in. It's probably one person who needs to die. And we will get that bast....person." Ross said, as he looked to the phone. He wasn't well, but given he was only hooked up to an IV at the moment, and most of his transfusions had been done, he could probably be thrown into the back of a car and driven away, though he knew the same wasn't going to be possible for Kimberly. Better he was away, to at least take the heat somewhere else.

"I'll get Ellie on the line. She can come to us, and get me out. Takes you down one less person to protect, I can look after myself if I'm out of state, heal up and come back. I'm still too weak. You just make sure Kimberly gets through, and get her away from here. We'll go our separate ways to keep the heat off us, and when the time is right, I'll need to call you." Ross said, as he picked it up, looking at all three.

"Thank you. I couldn't ask for better family. Kimberly doesn't deserve this. She never did. She took it because she wanted us to have a better life. And those people are going to pay."


Ellie's phone rang, as Ross got through, knowing that they were on their way down from Lake Tahoe, the long drive probably interrupted by his call.

"Ellie, it's Ross. Listen, you and Seb are on your way to Vegas, right? We might have a complication. I don't know how quick you can get here, but just floor it. Get to.....shit, I'll text you the hospital. Something's happened, and I need your help, more than ever. Please."

Ross's British understatement was the most British thing you could probably do, but knew that Ellie would understand most likely the severity in his voice, and respond the way she needed to.
Ellie flew over Seb through the forested section, as he skidded the skis, giving her room as he carved around some trees, keeping serpantine but dodging trees left and right, knowing they were darting around, and it felt like it wasn't going to end.

Coming back into the light of the resort, he chuckled, letting Ellie keep the lead, as he disengaged the stupidly bright light, coming further down towards the base. Both going slower now, he skiied alongside, chuckling.
"You still got it!"


Ross looked to him, coughing a little and covering it with his elbow, covered in cuts and bruises, his ankle hurting a hell of a lot, his legs hurt in general, but he was pretty sure it wasn't broken, despite the painkillers. The Rossi family were a scary bunch. Given Ross had no brothers or sisters to talk of, the fact that Kimberly's family was so widespread and all made up of elite, crazy and hardcore motherfuckers was impressive. They were a nice bunch, but Ross had always made a mental note to never, ever get on their bad side. And he'd always treated her like golddust, kept his past away and followed what she wanted to do, sometimes bringing her into the safer parts of his past.

Michael was a scary man indeed, a frightening character, even for the Scotsman to take in, as he took a moment to think of a response, wanting to start from the beginning.

"Kimberly took a run for an unknown contact and brought me along. High end. We were taking unknown packages for an unknown contractor. We still have no idea who that is, but it's a standard job we do. Pays very, very well. Cops are the biggest problem. We didn't expect what we ran into." Ross said, almost spluttering at times, as he was still quite weak. Whilst they probably all agreed he had gotten off lightly compared to Kimberly, he was still battered, and in no fit state to stand, given how much blood he'd lost. He had several transfusions, and probably had no idea of what had happened after he'd passed out. Numerous scars and stitches existed across his upper ribs and he had taken a serious hit, but he would recover with time, given no serious fractures had occured, and he had mostly had to deal with wounds from smashed glass and blunt impact force.

"She got recruited by a group in Los Angeles, who were sponsoring a street race we were brought into. Whoever they were, they wanted her on board, and I came along, because they needed a second driver. This sort of work doesn't attract much attention, for good reason. Safe to say, that didn't happen." Ross added, shaking his head.
"All I remember, I tried to stop one of the GMCs going into her. I crashed into one, side-on and T-boned my Focus. I passed out and woke up in a smashed up car, crawled out, and tried to call for an ambulance. But not before...well, a couple of suited guys, they kicked me over and knocked me out. Left me to die" Ross said, sharp and distinct in his words with what he saw as he tried to remember.
"One guy had an accent, Hispanic, I can't remember. But they were well dressed. Like not Cartel boys, they were serious motherfuckers." Ross added, sitting up, his ribs hurting as he did, feeling like he was dragging his body more than moving it.

"How is she? I got told she's stable but apart from that...I don't know anything specific."
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