"Scarecrow, calm down!" He was out of control, raging and swinging at me wildly. "Scarecrow! Steve!" I pinned him in an arm lock and held him there. "Calm, the F*ck down Steve. You're on the job here. Don't bring personal matters into it. You're a professional. Get a grip!" He stopped struggling and went limp where I held him. "Control yourself. We've got people trying to kill us. We don't need to be fighting amongst ourselves. Cover is a bit dim witted but leave the issues with your sister for the private sector. We can't risk lives. Do you understand me? I said do you understand me?"
"I f*ckin' understand alright. Now let me g-"
"FOSTER, SCARECROW GET HIM!" Cover's voice. We both snapped to attention. It took a moment to register the situation. One of the downed hostiles was drawing a cell out of his jacket pocket. Dani's voice came distant yet sharp and piercing. "GET DOWN!" I grabbed Steve and flung him to the ground then dived for cover myself. I heard the faintest click from our car as the detonator activated. I felt the heat from the explosion on my back, the shockwaves lifting me clear off the ground and tossing me across the street. I hit the floor with a shuddering impact and felt maybe one of my ribs had cracked. The shellshock was pretty intense but I'd handled it before. Scarecrow and I were up before anyone else.
"Is anyone hurt? Are we all still breathing?"
Scarecrow rushed over to his sister, he had to look out for her. Dani was my responsibility here. She was on the floor. I checked her pulse and breathing. Both were steady. A good sign. No sign of trauma to the head or chest. No fatal wounds then. Shrapnel wound to the ankle. No serious bleeding, though walking will be impeded for a short while. I scared myself a little sometimes at how robotic and cold I could be. On this job it's a necessity. If you worry too much about the people who die... It haunts you for the rest of your life. Dani was okay though. I breathed easy. It appeared nobody was hurt.
"Someone get a medic over here to take care of her." The ambulances were already here, shooting through the streets tends to cause a lot of commotion. The medics carried her into the back of one of the ambulances. She never left my sight. I made sure they operated on site. I didn't want her leaving my presence until I was certain the threat was diminished. I pulled Scarecrow aside as the doctors sorted out Beth and Cover.
"Listen. There's no way there should be a bomb on our car. The service provided it. The only explanation is..."
"There's a traitor inside SCIT..." He finished my sentence.
"He might be higher up in the rankings, might be just someone who happened to get access to our car, might even be on our own team. An insider would also explain the surveillance footage they managed to take of the rest of the team. You're the only one I can trust with this. Don't jump to any conclusions but stay alert. This has just gotten a whole lot deeper."
"Sir." A security officer addressed me. "There's one man left alive sir, tranquilized and unconscious. What shall we do with him?"
"Keep him sedated and bring him to our safehouse. We need to squeeze him for some information."
I walked over to Cover as the doctors treated him. He had minor flesh wounds but nothing serious. I sat down next to him and he looked at me with a hint of suspicion. Couldn't blame him. He didn't know me well enough to trust me.
"Listen, Cover isn't it? I don't mean to be rude but try not to rub Scarecrow the wrong way."
"Hey listen I didn't-" I cut him off before he'd even started.
"No, you listen. You don't know what he's been through. And you missed a trick when you didn't realise he was Beth's brother. His name is West isn't it? Show some initiative. You look bright and a competent agent but unless you stay focussed on the mission and hone your perceptive skills you'll never be able to understand a crime or operate with a team." He looked at me grudgingly but he knew what I'd said made sense. "I've got a plan of action for us," I told him. "We've got one enemy captured for interrogation, and a threat on Mr. Heg or whatever his name is. I want you to take Beth and Dani and check up on him. Scarecrow and I will handle the interrogation." He looked like he was about to argue then stopped. I wasn't taking no for an answer. Besides there was no better way to split the team.
"I'm trusting you with the safety of your teammates out there. Don't let Dani or Beth down. They're in your hands. Oh and remember: If a choice has to be made, don't hesitate. You could lose more than you can imagine."
I left him there with his new responsibility. Time to get to work.