Mission Accomplished
Chapter 2 - Shields

"This is really happening. Isn't it?"

There. That was it. The moment he showed a crack in the Impervious Analyst facade. There had been vulnerability in his strained, "What do we do?" inside the drowning car, but it wasn't until this moment that Ethan saw the man's outer defenses shudder ever so slightly against the barrage of stresses that had been piled upon them in the last fifteen minutes.

Ethan looked at the young agent - his arms were crossed tightly over his chest, in what Ethan knew was not just a reaction to the cold. He felt himself soften just a little, his own barriers against the horror of what he'd seen in the car - his mentor, and friend with a bullet through his head - beginning to weaken. "Yeah," he said softly, looking at the other agent with sympathy and understanding in his eyes. Before either could say anything else, Ethan heard the sound of a train's horn blaring. He looked up sharply. "You know what that sound is?"

"It's our ride outta here!"

Brandt was on the move before the words were fully out of his mouth, and Ethan found himself smiling inwardly. Brandt had been shunted, suddenly and unceremoniously, out of the "office" and into what was certainly turning out to be the worst field mission Ethan had ever experienced. But Brandt was resilient - already back to the business of survival, despite his shock. Good. It seemed like a sign that the analyst would be an asset to Ethan's small team, rather than a burden. And right now, everything they'd ever loved or hated, everything they'd ever fought for or against - EVERYTHING could depend on the actions of one man.

Ethan shoved pain, horror, grief to the back of his mind again. Shields back in place, he hopped down from the flat-bed and ran for the train.

Chapter 1
Chapter 3

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