Well, I sure chose the best day for this didn't I? Valentine's Day. Yippee. Not for me. Sitting in his office at his desk in his chair doing his job has that effect on you. So, I promised a report on what happened to him. Before I begin, there's one thing I want to say: Clarissa, if you know where he can be found, I want to know.
Blue text is Doc. Orange is Carter. Green is me. And everyone else will be labeled.
So, we were running dark trying to find Carter. As per standard operation procedures when a ranking agent is missing. He was always a step ahead of us. Finally, we caught a break: his post. You see, he set it up to appear a day after he typed it. And we saw it. We had a few ideas on where he could be going, but we finally decided on the old Alaskan base. We only had one shot, and we chose right.
It was a quick flight. And very hectic. I had all three teams geared up: Raven, Bear, and Jenkins's people. Hattery managed to make a landing just outside of the hanger on the strip. Raven, Bear, and I moved in. Doc, Jenkins's team, Keith, and the pilots were all guarding the plane. We entered the hanger through a caved-in part of the wall. It looked to have been from the bomb, which apparently had been far more sabotaged than we originally realized. That, or maybe my brother had planned for that before his death. Either way, the majority of the base appeared to be untouched.
The hanger was pretty much empty. There were various pieces of rubble scattered around and we decided to head towards the center of the room. We made it to a decent-sized piece of the rubble when we were ambushed. The firefight lasted quite a while. I ran out of ammo and turned towards Franklin to ask for extra ammo. I saw as the bullet pierced through his body armor at his left lung. He went down. "Man down! Cover me!" Marcus was shouting orders as he and I moved to the ensign. He was still breathing, but was going into shock. Marcus had me put pressure on the wound while he dug in his medic bag. That's when it happened.
"Cease fire! Stop! I said stop!" It was so loud that an unearthly silence filled the hanger. We all turned towards him. Carter was standing at the wall. Wearing one of our arctic survival suits that had gone missing the day before. The hood was up and blocked his face, but I recognized him immediately. One of the servants that had ambushed us spoke up, "And who the fuck do you think you are?"
"I'll be the last thing you'll ever see if touch another of these people. Your boss will be very...displeased with you." He lowered the hood as he said this. A few of the servants whispered to each other. They all started leaving. "Lieutenant! Get Raven squad back to the plane, I'll handle this." I was pretty stressed out, so my old accent reappeared as I said that to O'Conner. The teams pulled out, leaving me alone with Carter. He looked away, towards the door on the far end. "Are you going to talk, Commander?"
He sighed. "Sam. I'm so sorry. I should have been able to stop that from happening." He paused and turned towards me. "I, Carter, the current Commander of the Agency hereby resign my commission. As my final act, I grant a field promotion to Lieutenant Commander Samantha Cartwright to the position I am leaving behind. As part of this act, all of my command codes and authorizations are now invalid." I was about to respond when we heard a sound from the other side of the hanger. A door opened. There was a bright light on the other side. All I could see was a figure in the doorway, but I couldn't see much else to help in identification. Carter spoke up, "I've fulfilled my end of the deal! Fulfill your end!" Two more figures appeared, as they got closer I recognized them. Jack, and S.
She looked to be in a trance-like state. Almost like she wasn't really there. Carter didn't look at her. When they arrived he spoke to Jack, "Does she have to be like this? Can't I say good-bye?" Jack just shook his head as he responded, "You know the deal. She gets released after it's over." Carter sighed. He looked hesitant, then turned towards Jack and held out his hand. "Thank you, old friend. For everything." Jack smiled and they shook hands. He started walking towards the light. Once he passed through the doorway, it slammed shut and S fell over. Jack picked her up. "Let's go. I'll walk with you to your plane."
Jenkins and his men were guarding the entrance to the plane. They looked uneasy when they saw Jack, but I told them to stand at ease and to prepare for take-off. Jack handed S over to me. "I'm terribly sorry, but I'm afraid that I simply cannot tag along with you all. Such a shame. We'll see each other again." He just walked off into the snow before I could respond. I boarded the plane and brought S to the med-bay. Doc and Marcus were busy with Ensign Franklin. The plane lifted off. Doc looked crestfallen. Franklin was gone. He knew he couldn't do anything. Marcus wouldn't stop. "He's gone, Marcus. I'm sorry, but there's nothing we can do." Marcus looked angry, "Nothing we can do! He has a wife and a kid! What do I tell them? Huh?! What?" He stormed out. I just sat there on the chair next to S's bed, who was still unconscious. I started to move to go after Marcus, but I heard O'Conner's voice, "Don't worry 'bout it ma'am. I'll go after him." He walked in the direction Marcus had gone. Doc pulled the sheet over Franklin's face and sat down next to me.
It was quiet for a while, until he broke the silence. "What happened down there, Sam?" I told him. About the firefight, Carter, Jack, all of it. "I'm sorry to hear all of that." I don't think I've ever mentioned much about my past. I never met my parents. My only family had been my brother. When he had joined the Agency, it made life a lot easier for us. But, for some odd reason, I look up to Doc as a father figure. As the father I never met. "Doc, do you have a family?"
He looked surprised, then sad as he answered. "I did. Once. Very long ago. But, they're all gone now."
"I'm sorry, I didn't know."
"It's fine, you were curious. Can I ask you something that you might find a bit...personal?"
"You're my doctor, of course. What is it?"
"Did you ever tell him?"
I realized who and what he was talking about. "How did you know?" He just smiled.
"You don't get to be as old as I am without learning how to catch on to those things. Why didn't you tell him?"
"I just didn't think it would be right." I paused for a bit, "He was my commanding officer, and there was always S. I didn't want to distract him, or for him to treat me any differently." As I finished saying that, I started crying. Eventually, I calmed down enough that Doc asked me what we planning to do next. "We need to drop S off at her home. At least she'll have a normal life after this. Then there's the issue of being two people down on agents. Can you fill a second-in-command role?"
"Of course I can. Can't be that hard, you've coped with it." He was trying to cheer me up. "You want my advice as both the second-in-command and as the chief medical officer?"
"That's why you're here, isn't it? Go ahead."
"We need time. Time to rest. To recover. Especially you. We can't keep running like this, it'll just cause us to get sloppy."
"No, the world won't wait for us. Give Raven squad leave since they've lost a man. Jenkins's team can fill the gap. We still have operations to complete." I stood up to leave for my quarters. I wanted to sleep and put that day far behind me.
"Sam, you can't put it off forever. You'll have to go into that office soon. It is yours now, after all." It was almost as if he had read my mind. I was dreading entering that office.
"I know. Good night, Doc." On the way to my quarters I passed by O'Conner. He gave me a thumbs-up which meant that Marcus was okay for now. As soon as I got to my bed, I just collapsed on it.
I'll continue this in the next post. Be vigilant. -- Com. Sam Cartwright