Foster: Tread Carefully

By the time we landed things were pretty miserable. Someone was targeting the unit. I guess I can't really blame Harry anymore for calling Scarecrow and I onto the job. This was some serious sh*t we were in. We weren't discussing this with the team while in transit, we had to get somewhere relatively secure first so I planned to get the info out once we were at wherever we were planning to stay in Michigan. Personally I was hoping for a safehouse or failing that an expensive hotel. It's surprising but a good porter and lots of wealthy guests can really deter undesirables. Unless they were really determined...

The plane touched down without a hitch. Mounting a full scale attack on our plane would be logistically impossible even for the most organised of combat squads. Too much security at airports these days for about anyone to get through looking vaguely suspicious. At least that was the more likely possibility. I checked to see if the team were all set to go. Turns out I wasn't the only one looking down. Scarecrow was moody as ever, Beth was looking so glum she was almost desolate, the other guy whose name I had yet to log into my memory was attempting to give Scarecrow evils which was kinda failing since Scarecrow was about as interested in him as if he was a barnacle or something. The only one who was looking perky was Dani. Had to be first case excitement. She looked thrilled.

As we disembarked I checked my gun. It was custom made. A modified version of the popular Glock range pistols. They were widespread criminal and mercenary weapons so if I happened to get in a firefight I'd probably be able to scrounge some spare bullets. Mine had reworked firing mechanism giving me that extra range just when necessary. It also took tranquilizers if the situation called for a non lethal takedown. It was these I loaded my weapon with now. We might have our own plane but this was still a crowded airport we were headed into. No way we can risk civilian lives. The cool metal and the solid weight of the weapon was comforting in my hand. I stuck the gun into a holster at my right hip. Quickest draw from that position. I noted Scarecrow checking his too. I nodded at him as we entered the terminal.

I kept my awareness only loosely on the newbies. I didn't need to know what they were talking about right now, only where they were. I kept a bead on Scarecrow knowing he'd be my main backup in a firefight but most of my attention was on the masses of civvies around the terminal. Airports are nightmares for safety and recon. There are just too many people and too many variables to be able to control the situation properly. Harry had arranged for us to bypass luggage collection and passport control but we still had the arrivals lobby to get through. That was going to be the most dangerous part.

"Stay close guys."

Scarecrow and I lead the way into the lobby, our reflexes stretched to the thinnest breaking point, scanning for any sign of a threat.
"Check out the two over by the vending machine," Scarecrow's voice came low and mechanical. "Black jackets, thickset, Caucasian. Possible threat."
"Unlikely," I responded. "They're not interested in us. Most probably harmless. Two O'clock by the information desk. White male, black hair, grey hooded jumper. He's watching us."
"I've got him covered," responded Scarecrow.
We were a well oiled machine he and I. We'd done this countless times together back in the old days. The others behind us were virtually oblivious to the situation. Inexperience showing itself yet again. At least they weren't drawing attention to themselves. We kept calm, acted casual and kept walking, Crow and I scouting the crowd for hostiles all the while.
"To the rear, four and seven O'clock, two pairs, males, jeans and jackets, closing fast." I glanced around to check Crow's call. Sure enough there were four following us slowly through the crowd. The newbies wouldn't've noticed. If these guys were tailing us they were professionals.
"Pull off into the shops on the left," I muttered. "We need some cover. It's unlikely to become a gunfight with all these civilians around but we need a close quarters environment if we're going to protect the kids."
Crow led the others off into the shops under the guise of needing a drink. I tagged along slower to cover the rear. The store was mostly empty apart from the attendant. Prices too exorbitant here for most of the normal airport-goers. It would be easy to tell if anyone was trying to follow us in here. Two of the guys behind us had disappeared. The other two were just at the edge of the crowd outside the shop. One said something to the other. I sensed his eyes on Crow and I. I shepherded the group round the corner and out of sight. This corridor was deserted. A 'staff only' area. Perfect for an ambush. Sh*t. Crow gasped as the other two guys came around the corner ahead of us, were they packing weapons? I turned to face the two coming from behind us. The world went into slo-mo. There was no time to go for our guns. We were trapped in a corridor with two hostiles at each end. My mind made these calculations in less than a second. My body reacted less than a second later. 'Hand to hand,' my mind said as one of the hostiles reached into his jacket. He drew out a staff badge. Harmless. Scarecrow and I led the others out of the airport, ever wary. We weren't in the clear yet.

The End

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