Zeus and Io - Books 1 and 2
Chapter 2

Copyright 2012,2013 by Harry Carton

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"Okay," said Melody A. "Tell me about the whole encounter with the Gold Target and his rescuer, one last time."

Alpha 1 had already gone through the whole thing three times, in the last few days, but he knew about debriefing. It was always 'tell me the story again.'

"We were both targeting the terrorists, neither of us was aware of the other. We shot and took them down. I didn't see him in the confusion of the aftermath, and he escaped. I followed him to the lake, on a hunch. I got there before him and waited. He was swimming.

"I saw something at distance getting out of the lake. He was staggering, favoring his left side. He went into the undergrowth and disappeared," he started. "So I went around about one-third of the lake and found him face down in the mossy swamp. It was very wet there, and I was afraid he'd drown. I turned him partly over and saw that he had a nasty cut on his leg. Once I ascertained that he was still breathing, I got out the duct tape and began to do an emergency tape job on his wound."

"Tell me about him. Description and what he was wearing," said Melody.

"He had on scuba gear. No tank. He used a rebreather. He was about 6'2" and about 220 pounds. He was about 20-30 pounds overweight. Sandy or dark hair – I didn't look under his wet suit hood, but I think it was sandy. He was not visibly Hispanic.

"I gave him a shot from the dart gun – in his back. I didn't want him waking up while I was trying to save his life.

"I was almost done when I heard the pop of a silenced gun and heard a round hit the tree a few inches above my head. An electronic male voice said it could aim a bit lower, and kill me. I said I was trying to save this man's life, and should I continue? The voice said yes. When I was done, I lifted my hands, and the voice told me to toss my weapons to the side. I lunged to the right, and took a shot, and the person took a shot also. Hit me just below the clavicle, at the top of my vest and nearly busted a rib. Cracked it good, and hampered what I could do from then on. My shot missed because the person had done the same – dodged to the right, behind a tree. I got a quick look and in silhouette it looked like a woman."

"Why do you think it was it a woman?"

"It had a woman's shape. Wider in the hips, narrower waist and shoulders. She was slight of build, about 5'7" to 5'10" I'd guess.

"She took another shot from behind the tree and hit the dirt about a foot in front of my face. I could see only a sliver of face and the gun. I got a face full of dirt. If it had hit something hard and ricocheted, I'd be dead. She said – still through some electronic voice filter – that she didn't give a rat's ass if she killed me or not. She had me shinny up behind a tree – arms and legs around the trunk – and told me to put the plastic ties around my wrists and feet. I hoped that she'd give me another chance at her, so I didn't snug them up tight, and she never checked.

"She popped me in the other shoulder with the dart gun I'd left laying on the ground – again the vest that was under my camo shirt saved me. I acted like I was out. I slumped forward and didn't see much else. She secured my wrists and feet with a single plastic tie, looped through the other ties. That was a bad idea. So I guess she was an amateur.

"Then she was out of sight behind me, but I saw her again when she carried the target out of the area. I waited a beat to be sure she wasn't coming back, and then started working on breaking the plastic tie, using my legs pushing against my good arm. It took me about twenty minutes to break free.

"I recovered my weapons and started after her. The trail ended at the side of the road, so I knew I'd lost them. Then I took to the trees to give the dogs some problems in tracking me.

"I found a parking lot, stole a car and eventually made my way here."

"So," said Melody, "you got beat by an amateur girl."

It was the same thing she'd said every time he told the story.

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