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CAPE SABLE, FLORIDA
      Kitty Barnes looked down to her watch, pushing her black hair back behind her shoulders. 6:04 pm. Behind her, the laser prototype was being lowered slowly from the roof of the small, stately furnished cabin in the Cape Sable Everglades.
      Outside the cabin, the sound of an approaching air boat could be heard, it's humming growing steadily louder.
      Reyden Barnes appeared out of the back study, carrying a briefcase. "I'm off to work," he smiled widely.
      "Be careful, daddy," Kitty called after him. She watched out the window through the dimming swamp as her father hopped onboard the air boat and rode off into the mossy trees.

      7:21 pm. Reyden took a deep breath and stepped proudly through the revolving doors of the Atlanta Dominion Bank. Inside, the bank atmosphere was tense and panicked. A small vanguard of police officers shuffled around frantic customers and bank clerks. One officer broke from the frantic crowds and held out a hand to Reyden as he entered, and stopped him. "Who are you, sir?"
      "I'm Reyden Barnes. I OWN this bank! What in the name of wonder is going on here!!"
      The officer regarded Barnes through narrow eyes. "Haven't you been reading the papers?"
      "Of course I have! But I've been on vacation in the Comoro Islands. Now, kindly get out of my way, I have a lot of work to catch up on!" Reyden pushed past the police man and boarded the staff elevator. He nervously punched in for the 12th floor and leaned back on the hand rail. It seemed like five minutes passed before the doors swished closed and the elevator began to rise.
      "Phew!" he breathed, wiping his brow with his handkerchief. He smiled widely and watched the numbers light up. "Reyden, you're a genius," he complemented himself.
      The elevator slowed to a halt and the doors swung open. Reyden stepped out into the deserted hallway and walked briskly to his office. He dumped his briefcase on the desk and turned around to lock the door. The office was lavishly furnished, a large, cherry desk sitting royally in the center of the corner office. Reyden rounded his desk and positioned himself in his chair and opened his briefcase, taking out his laptop.
      With a modem-hookup, he plugged into the wall outlet and brought up the bank files. "Those idiots ... they only have..." looked down to his watch..." 35 minutes to get my money." The account had only been loaded with about 200 thousand dollars.

WASHINGTON D.C.

      The President of the United States took a deep sigh and turned from the window. Various heads of the Cabinet and Secretaries of Departments stared back at him anxiously.
      The Secretary of Defense sat up straightly and leaned forward. "Mr. President. The White House is being bombarded by all types of mail. The American people are in a panic. After things like the Oklahoma City bombing, the public is on edge."
      "We need to take SOME type of action and track down these mad men!" the Secretary General boomed.
      The President took a deep sigh. "Is there anyway we can collect the money by the dead line?"
      "Not 4 million dollars worth!" The Secretary of State said quickly. We need to find that damn laser!!"

SOMEWHERE OVER LOUISIANA

      Race let out a disgruntled sigh and looked down to his watch, still on Eastern Standard Time. 7:37. "Can't this plane go any faster!!!"
      Benton, sitting awkwardly in the seat beside him squirmed. "We're not going to make it in time. Never the less, we don't know where that prototype is!"
      "Maybe the kids do." He reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out the cellular phone, speed dialing the Compound.

ROCKPORT, MAINE: THE QUEST COMPOUND

      RIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNGGGGGGGG!
      Mrs. Evans reached uneasily for the phone. "Hello?"
      "This is Race, are the kids there?"
      "Oh, Mr. Bannon! I tried to stop them, but ..."
      "Great!! Just great!! Where are they?"
      "I'm not sure! They took the Questcopter and headed south!!"
      "Okay, Mrs. Evans. I want you to listen very carefully. There's a homing device installed in the 'Copter. The tracking system is in the Lighthouse. I want you to take the portable phone and go out and track down the 'Copter for us. I'll guide you through it, step by step."

THE EVERGLADES

      "We should land around here someplace," Jonny said, looking out the window at the darkening swamp under them.
      "Good idea. Only one problem, though. How are we going to get through 2 miles of swamp in..." she looked down to her watch... " in just under half an hour?"
      "What we need is an air boat!" And lo and behold, a rundown shack appeared through the gnarled trees, a shiny new airboat sitting lonely by a dock.
      Jonny smiled widely. "What's that saying Dad uses ... speak of the devil and he shall appear?"
      "I don't think that works in this case." Jessie clumsily piloted the tandem-blade Questcopter through the trees to a sandbar that rose up about 10 or so feet above the swamp line. It touched down smoothly and was quickly quieted as Jessie cut the engines.
      Jonny unbuckled first as Jessie closed down all the flight systems. They searched through the rear compartment of the 'Copter, loading backpacks with supplies and gear.
      Jonny peaked out of the rear of the helicopter. The swamp was deadly silent around them. The usual swamp sounds were gone... the frogs, the crickets, the occasional sound of an alligator slipping into the water. He stepped out cautiously onto the sandbar and looked around. "I don't think there's anyone here, Jess."
      "Well, let's not stick around to find out!"
      The two gingerly began to make their way across the swamp. Fallen tree trunks, emerging roots and occasional grass clumps soon found themselves being used as bridges and stepping stones. Ahead, the airboat came slowly into view under Jessie's flashlight. It stuck out like a sore thumb, glinting in the orange light of the setting sun. It was obviously new and in excellent shape. They climbed aboard.
      "Look at this!" Jessie said. "The key's are still in the ignition."
      "Well, I doubt many people would steal a boat out in the middle of nowhere. I'm not complaining."
      Jonny scooted Jessie out of his way. "I've driven these things before ... it's my turn now."
      "Just don't get us killed, okay?"
      Jonny started up the propeller fan and shoved the airboat into gear. It glided smoothly away from the dock and they headed south through the swamp.
      Mossy trees, alligators and green water flew past them at great speeds. "Just where exactly are we heading, Jess?" Jonny yelled over the hum of the propeller.
      "My guess would be the most southern part of the island... somewhere along the coast of the Gulf ofMexico."
      "That's still alot of ground to cover. Hey! I think I picked up one of my dad's electromagnetic detectors. Out here, the only electrical sources should be that dumb laser"

      Kitty Barnes looked down to her watch again. 7:49. She had a serious case of trigger-finger and turned around and bashed her fist on the oak office desk. The desk shuttered a bit and smiled back at her as if saying 'is that the best you can do?' She cursed at it under her breath.
      A dark shadow of a man appeared in the doorway, the light of the room highlighting the deep scar on his left cheek. "A bit anxious to fry a few hundred-thousand people?"
      Kitty whirled around. "Tom! Don't sneak up on me like that!!" She took a deep breath to try to calm down. "Shouldn't you be with the laser?"
      "Thought I'd check on you, darling."
      "Don't even try to go all mushy on me, now!" She brushed past him and turned out into the hall. "All I want to worry about right now is money!!"
      Tom shrugged and followed her briskly down the hall of the cabin. They entered into a large, spacious room full of computers. In the center of the room, the Takeshi prototype sat primed and ready on its tripod.
      Kitty paused in the center of the room. "Is the first target set?"
      "Sure is, Ms. Barnes," a man answered. "Primed and ready to target Key West. Just waiting for the go-ahead from Mr. Barnes in Atlanta."

      Jessie hopped to her feet, almost toppling off the airboat. "Stop, Jonny!! I'm getting a HUGE electric source over there!" she pointed.
      Jonny cut the engine to a low purr and began through the shallow, murky water slowly. "I see it, Jess! Look, there's a cabin just beyond those trees there!"
      Jessie looked down to her watch. "We've got about 10 minutes. Should we chance driving this thing in?"
      Jonny's answer was obvious when he gunned the engine and popped the airboat over a tree root.

QUEST COMPOUND, MAINE

      "Cape Sable, Florida," Mrs. Evans said into the phone.
      "Great!! Give me the coordinates," Race asked her anxiously over the phone.
      Mrs. Evans began reading off longitude and latitude coordinates and she glanced momentarily at the clock. 7:53.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA

      Reyden Barnes checked the bank account once more. "They'll never get the money ... no sense waiting... " He brought his computer around and logged on, sending out a message: the go-ahead to blow up Key West.

CAPE SABLE, FLORIDA

      The computer beeped. "You have mail," the computer voice said in a monotone. Kitty practically tripped over herself, running across the room. She pushed the computer controller out of her way and grabbed the mouse. Her eyes suddenly sparkled with an evil twinge. "That's the signal!" She turned around. "Prepare to target Key West!"

      Jessie and Jonny hopped of the air boat onto the dock. "We've got about 7 minutes or so," Jonny said, regarding his watch. A whine of hydraulic lifts came from the cabin just across the docks. Jessie and Jonny looked at each other, both with the same fear in their eyes.
      "They're early!!" Jonny yelled.
      "Or your watch is wrong! Come on!!"

      Kitty looked up to the atrium roof as the laser prototype rattled into position. The gears and motors turned it to direct its fury toward Key West. She turned easily. "Fire when ready."

      Jonny grabbed Jessie's arm, reeling her to a halt.
      "What!!!"
      "This place has probably got state-of-the-art security!"
      "In the middle of the Everglades?" Jessie questioned quickly. "We have seconds before that thing goes off!!"
      "Then what? We just barge in?"
      "YES!!!"

      The plane landed at the Tampa Bay airstrip, and the first ones off the plane were Benton Quest and Race Bannon. "Fur on a catfish!! We're never going to make it!!" Race huffed as the two fell into a dead sprint through the airport terminal, dodging travelers, luggage and stray children.
      The Florida government had arranged for transportation down to Cape Sable by helicopter. Extra forces, including some volunteer military personnel and several CIA and FBI agents were already sent down before them.
      Race and Benton broke out into the taxi line to see two men nervously hopping up and down. "Mr. Bannon! Dr. Quest!!" The man gestured to a car. "I'll take you to the heli-pad!"
      Race looked at Benton and raised an eyebrow. "Another car ride?"
      "The last one didn't turn out so bad." he smiled, off-centered.
      "Yeah right!"

      "The laser's on target, Ms. Barnes."
      "Good, good. Fire it then!"       The controllers hand moved across the controls, checking them once more. The red ignition switch stuck out in the middle of the grey keys, and he reached a hand for it, flipped the cover, and...
      ... the lights went down, leaving only the moon shinning though the roof windows.
      "What in the hell!!!" Kitty yelled, stumbling around in the dark. "Get the lights back on!!"
      "We've lost main power! The back up generators should be coming on-line ... "
      A dreary brown light bathed the room as the backups came on.

      The wires sparked and fizzled as Jonny closed the circuit breaker box. He took a large sigh of relief. "I guess that would take care of the security systems."
      "But the back-ups" Jessie gestured to the brown and yellow lights now coming from the cabin. "They can still work the laser, right?"
      "Let's not find out!"
      Jonny ran down the porch and ducked by a window. Jessie snuck down the porch and positioned herself beside Jonny. Together, they peered in through the window.
      White, porcelain tiles and a toilet stared back at them. "It looks like a bathroom," Jessie stated the obvious.
      Jonny reached down and took up a loose foundation brick. Jessie fiddled with the sill and the window slid up. "After you," she smiled.
      "Gee, thanks."

      "Fire the stupid laser!!!!" Kitty yelled.
      "We're trying. We're diverting all power to the laser. It will be a minute."
      "Fine. TOM!"
      "What?" the man with the scar bit back.
      "Do something useful and get the main power back on. Some stupid alligator probably bit through the wires!"
      "Good lord, can't you do ANYTHING for yourself?"
      "Tom! Just DO IT!!!"
      Tom snorted, turning from the room and back into the dim hallways. He left the hysteria of the control room behind him and began down the hall. "Stupid ... good for nothing ... why do I have to ... " He passed the bathroom ... and paused.
      The window sat wide open, letting the cool and musty swamp air into the bathroom. "Now who's the idiot who left the window open?" He stomped into the bathroom and slammed the window shut. "Do I have to do EVERYTHING around here?"
      "NOW JESSIE!!!"
      "What the .... " Jessie and Jonny leaped out of their respective hiding places. Jonny tackled the man to the tile floor while Jessie neatly knocked him unconscious with the porcelain toilet resevior lid.
      "Nice shot, Jess!"
      "I try. Now come on! We gotta shut that laser down!"
      They tucked Tom into the bathtub and the two snuck out into the hall. Frantic sounds were floating up to them from somewhere beyond a corner. Jonny motioned Jessie down to the corner, and they snuck down the hall to peer around the corner.
      The brown light from the control room spilled down the hall beyond, hiding them neatly in the shadows. Beyond, Kitty Barnes nervously paced back and forth, yelling out orders.
      "How are we going to pull this off, Jess?"
      "The same way we usually do ... by the seat of our pants," she whispered back.

      The soldiers slogged quietly though the swamp, the cabin not more than half a mile off in front of them. They gestured around to each other as they marched silently on.
      A military general halted and brought his radio up. "Grandma, this is Grandpa. We're nearing the country club. Shall we play a round of golf? Over."
      "Grandma to Grandpa. That's a negative. There are children in the club. Repeat ... there are children in the club."
      "Good lord," he snarled to himself. He snapped his fingers to his men, ordering them quietly to halt the advance.

      "Take us right into the cabin!" Race demanded as the Apache helicopter hovered over the swamp.
      "But Mr. Bannon. If you and Dr. Quest's kids are in that cabin ... "
      "Jonny and Jessie can take care of themselves!" Dr. Quest preceded to get up from the rear of the helicopter, but was motioned to sit back down by the pilot.
      "I have my orders, Dr. Quest."
      "Looks like we'll have to change them," Race smiled.
      The helicopter pilot gave him a look as the radio went off. "We've found the Quest's private helicopter ... it's on a sand bar about 5 miles from the cabin at the residents of a Mr. Joseph Gegim. He reports his airboat has been stolen."
      "That's the kids alright!" Race leaped into the cockpit. He ripped the headset off the pilot and pulled him out of the seat belt.

      The military general gathered his troops to discuss plans when the Apache helicopter went screaming by overhead. "What in the world is that idiot doing!" He brought the radio up. "Captain Donalds! You are ordered to fall back!"
      "'Fraid Captain Donalds's a little preoccupied at the moment," a hard, southern accent came back.
      "Who is this?"
      "I'm the tooth fairy, sir."
      "BANNON!!"

      Jessie ducked behind a large piece of machinery and pulled out a screwdriver. She reached slowly down and began unscrewing the back circuitry panel to the piece of equipment.
      Jonny had snuck into a crawl space between the main controls and the wall and crawled along quickly, occasionally pulling a stray wire out of the panels.
      The control panel sparked once under the controllers hand. Kitty spun around, temper at the ready. "What now!!"
      "The sudden loss of power could have fried the system. We need to reboot it."
      The large piece of machinery behind him fizzled and fell into silence. "I don't believe this!!!" Kitty screamed.
      "There's a large aircraft coming in fast," someone yelled. "Sounds like a helicopter ... and HUGE helicopter. An Apache, I think."
      "NO! This can not be happening!!"
      Jessie smirked from behind her piece of machinery. 'You've never tangled with the Quest's ' she thought proudly.
      Kitty punched the manual release and the laser began to slowly float back down into the cabin. "We're moving camp to site two! Everyone get packed. We're out in three minutes!"
      Jessie brought her watch up and hit the communications button. "They're leaving, Jonny!!" she whispered shrilly.
      On the other side of the control room, Jonny brought his watch up. "I heard! But what can we do?"
      "Try to contact your dad!"

      Benton smacked Captain Donalds out of his way as he peered out the copilots window. From just beyond his vision, his watch beeped nervously at him.
      Captain Donalds got back up. "You two will be tried for theft and threat to national security if you don't turn this helicopter around RIGHT NOW!!"
      Quest turned and yelled over the chopper noise. "You'll just have to deal with it!"
      "Dr. Quest! I don't care how important you are in your field... whatever field you're in... and what's going on with your watch!!!"
      Benton opened his mouth to counter, but stopped. "My watch?" He looked down to it. It flashed at him time and time again. He pulled the headset link from the helicopter system and crawled over Captain Donalds to the rear. He brought his watch up. "JONNY!!!"

      "Dad!" Jonny whispered. "We're in the cabin."
      A jumble of helicopter noise came back. "Jonny. Hang on you two, we'll be there in a few minutes."
      "Dad! They're leaving with the laser," he whispered harshly.
      Kitty stomped by his hiding place. "Let's move people!" she yelled.
      "We're gonna try to stop them, dad."
      "Jonny, no!! You and Jess just ... "
      Jonny turned the communications off and peaked out. They had all left the control room in a big hurry, leaving the control systems (that still functioned) running.
      Across from him, Jessie stuck her head out. "We've got to stop them!" she said, getting to her feet.
      Jonny crawled out and sprung to his feet, grabbing Jessie's arm, and they ran out of the control room.

      "Come on! Get a move on it! I can see the helicopter coming," someone was saying.
      Kitty nervously paced the deck. "Where's Tom!! That dill-brain should have been here!"
      "We need to get a move on it, Ms. Barnes. If we leave now, we can loose the authorities in the swamp."
      "We're ready to take off," said a man, gesturing to the ski plane.
      "Idiot!. It's his own fault. Let's move!!" She hopped the deck and boarded into one of the two ski boats as it was started. The planes backed away from the docks and began turning toward the takeoff run as Jonny and Jessie ran out onto the docks.
      "We're too late!" Jonny yelled.
      "Maybe not! Take your watch off."
      "Right! The remote trackers!"
      The planes started forward as the teens ran to the edges of the docks. They each launched their watches at the escaping planes, managing to get them caught on the equipment compartments. The ski planes raced down the cleared swamp way and lifted into the air as the Apache helicopter broke through the canopy of trees and began descending.
      Jonny and Jessie took cover as the helicopter churned up everything loose, creating a tornado of moss, leaves and newspapers.
      Race and Benton were the first people out of the helicopter.
      "DAD!" they both yelled, running to their fathers.
      "Woah, you two!" Race said as they both began ranting in one voice.
      "We planted our watches on the planes. They'll lead us right to their next site," Jonny announced proudly.
      "Good work, kids" Benton said. He assumed the posture of the scolding parent and crossed his arms over his chest.
      "Uh oh, here it comes," Jessie whispered.
      "Now Ms. Evans told you two to stay at the Compound."
      "But dad ... if we didn't fly down here ... "
      "And who flew the Questcopter?" Race looked with quizzing eyes down to his daughter. Jessie gave a sheepish smile.
      "Now, if we can just get to the Questcopter," Benton said, "We can track your watches."
      "And when we get back home ... you two are grounded," Race added in.

      "Great! Just great, Kitty!" Reyden Barnes yelled into the phone. "This is NOT what I left you in charge for!" He listened to the phone yell back at him. "Fine! I'll meet you in New Orleans!" and he slammed the phone down.
      He sank his head into his hands, uttering curses under his breath. He reached up, shut down his computer and rose quickly from his desk.
      The policemen still stood watch in the main lobby of the Atlanta Dominion Bank as Reyden Barnes burst out of the elevator and rushed through the lobby.

      Dr. Quest brought the tracking system on the Questcopter to attention as Race finished pre- flight. "According to this, they're both heading up north to Louisiana."
      "Then it looks like we're heading for Louisiana. You two strapped in back there?"
      "Yup," came back Jonny and Jessie.
      The tandem rotors began up with a loud whirl, even through the sound-proof back cabin where Jonny and Jessie had strapped in.
      Outside, the lose moss and foliage of the swamp spun around them, shattering into bits on the rotors. Jessie noticed out of the corner of her eye Jonny, in deep thought over something. She reached over and swated his arm. "Earth to Quest! What's on your mind?"
      "I'll tell you when *I* figure that one out." he smiled, his handsome lopsided smile.
      And the Questcopter began through the skies of the Florida night, followed by three Apache helicopters.
      Dr. Quest tapped the tracker monitor. "If I didn't know any better ... this tracker puts them in New Orleans."
"N'Orlens?" Race came over the headset. His white-haired head leaned over to Benton's tracking display. "Now how could someone possibly hide two planes and a laser prototype there?" Race and Benton exchanged a look, Race reaching down for the radio. "We have them heading to New Orleans! Get your men there on the double!"

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, USA

      The two ski planes sputtered into the docks at Port Orleans. Yellow light played off the churning waters as the pilots hopped out and began unloading cargo from the equipment compartments.
      Down the docks, two heavily tinted cars pulled along side the planes, their trunks popping open, receiving the off-loaded equipment.

      "Okay, they're on their approach!" a man in military fatigues rushed across the wet grass of the Metropolitan Park. "Clear the area! Get those civilians back!!"
      The soldiers had baracaded the central, open region of the park, drawing a substantial crowd in the process.
      The Questcopter and the three Apache's thundered in from the Gulf and set down in mingling tornadoe up-drafts in the cleared park. The soldiers ducked in through the blade-winds to the three helicopters as the blade rotors began to slowly quiet down.
      Dr. Quest leaned out the cabin door and yelled down to one of the soldiers. "We've got a fix on them! They're in the French Quarter!"
      "French Quarter?" Jonny said, more to himself as he unbuckled. Those sparks that had been slowly going off in his mind earlier suddeny all ignighted into a wildfire He reached over his seat and fished out a map of the southern United States.
      "What's up, Jonny?" Jessie asked, unbuckling and moving to lean over his shoulder.
      Jonny traced a finger across the maps a few times, whispering to himself. "They're planning to blow up New Orleans," he said simply.
      "WHAT!! That's outrageous! Why would they fly to New Orleans with that laser just to blow it up ... with them in it!"
      Jonny turned the map around. "Bass Key was only about 20 miles from Cape Sable ... Key West was 26," he pointed out on the map of Florida. He then flipped to a map of Louisiana. "The closest city with enough people to threaten would be in Mississippi... Gulfport or Biloxi, 60 miles away."
      Jessie leaned in and traced her own finger across the maps. "You're right," she breathed.
      Race Bannon's head popped into the back cabin. "You two STAY HERE," he emphasized. "Remember, you're both grounded!"
      "But Race .... "
      "Save it, Jonny. We've got to run. Stay in the 'Copter. Got it?" He gave each Jonny and Jessie a look.
      "Yes dad."

      In a matter of a few minutes, off-duty military personnel from the surrounding region were all notified privately and converged. Special agents from Washington had also met on the spot.
      Dr. Quest regarded the remote tracker and looked up quickly from his position behind a row of bushes.
      Beside him, Captain Donalds peered over his shoulder. "Looks like that laser's in there," he pointed to a large, brick building. He brought up his radio and began talking.
      Race Bannon could be seen, along with two other agents, across from Benton, slowly moving in on the building. He flattened up against the building as an agent fiddled with the door. "Back door, huh?" Race said quietly.
      The agent sprayed a corrosive acid into the lock, and the three men watched as the knob smoked and fell out of the door.
      "After you," one agent said, gesturing to Race.
      "My pleasure." He gripped his gun a little more firmly, tightened his stance and kicked the door in.
      The three men spilled into the area beyond the door, securing every corner via their gun- sights. It was definately an old, rarely used building. Rats scurried under their sudden appearence, disappearing into their respective corners. Mold and about an inch of dirt stirred as they stepped slowly through the dim room. "Pleasant, don't you think?" Race commented quietly, moving toward a door.
      Slowly, Race went on ahead and opened the door and peered around the corner. "All's clear," he called back.

      Dr. Quest listened to the conversations between the three men over his headset, occasionally glancing down to the tracker.

      Kitty barked commands as the laser was being mounted carefully on a hydraulic lift. She huffed and began screaming at each and ever person who passed her. " ... and further more!!! Why can't you people ever .... " Something landed on her shoe, clinking to the linoleum floor. She paused in her ranting and bent down to retrieve the object. She pulled the object up. The metal back of the object winked back, reading "Timex Ironman."
      "A watch?" She turned the watch over. Various buttons adorned the rim of the face, displaying time, temperature, and a blinking red light. About the face of the watch, a 'Q' rimmed it. "What in the world?"
      She turned the watch over a few times and began fidelling with the buttons. She found the function key and began scrolling through the various functions: Timer, chronometer, holographic display, remote tracker. "Remote Tracker?"
      Kitty looked down to the watch face, beside it, it beeped 'active'. Kitty turned her attention to the blinking red light. She began to wonder to herself, turning toward the laser...
      ... and the door to the room burst open, Race Bannon and the two other agents rushing in.
      "FREEZE!!!!" he yelled, whipping his gun around the room.
      Kitty's jaw fell through the floor. "Race Bannon!!" she screamed, hurling the watch at him.
      Race easily caught the watch, keeping his gun on Kitty. "Hands above your head," he ordered.
      A stray shot wripped by Race's shoulder and imbedded itself in the wall behind him. Instinctively he hit the deck, bringing his gun up in defence. The entire room was on the floor, except for one man, posed behind a crate, a magnum pointed directly at Race.
      Race cursed under his breath. He was a sitting duck ... literally. Adjusting his possition on the floor, Race surveyed the man's surroundings. There was a hanging crate directly above the threat, conveniently suspended from a thin rope. Slowly, Race brought the gun up a little. He'd have to do this fast.
      And after a few seconds of mental coaching, Race pulled the trigger. He emptied nearly half his clip, rolling out of the way as his threat began fireing .. and the crate snapped lose and crashed onto the man across from him.

      "Gun shots!!" Captain Donalds yelled. "Send in the back up!!" The back-up, consisting of military and FBI personnel flooded the building ... every rat hole, every corner, untill some of them filed into the main room where they found their goal.
      Race Bannon stood proudly over an unconscious man and a black-haired woman, both handcuffed. Kitty Barnes struggled against the cuffs, yelling curses at Race. Occassionally, Race would smile a 'thank you' or 'I'll bet you say that to all the former CIA agents', only making her madder.
      Captain Donalds pushed through the men and shook his head slightly. "You're a one-man army, Bannon."
      "I had help."

      "Now was that so bad?" Benton Quest laughed to his son.
      "Yes! Do you know how BORING it is to sit in a helicopter for two hours?" Jonny said, throwing his arms everywhere, Benton Quest strapped into the navigators chair, watching as the police vans and military vehicles began to clear out.
      Race Bannon finished pre-flight, revving the tandem motors as everyone strapped in. "Everyone ready to head for home?"
      "You bet, dad," Jessie said over the head set.
      The Questcopter lifted off from the park, leveling grass and ruffling tree tops.

      And Reydon Barnes watched as it flew by overhead. "Damn!"

THE END

Cricket 1997

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