adasha stood with her back toward the door.  Beau could see clearly as the light came on over her head.  Everything sounded muffled, but he could clearly see the shadow outlining someone putting a gun to her head.

Before he could even respond, the gun discharged and a large portion of her head came off as the wall in front her was splattered with blood and bits of brain.  He recoiled in horror at the thought of his friend dying so horrendously.  Her body dropped like a stone and Beau could see the wall in front of which she had been standing.

The shooter appeared in view of the window.  It was Aisha - the living one.  She spoke to Beau in a mocking tone saying "now you didn't protect your friend did you?"

Beau sat there in a stupor.  How could he have protected her when the only view he had of the shooter was the hand that held the pistol up to her head.  The light went out behind the door and he could see nothing save the bloodied wall.  Overwhelmed he went immediately into dry heave mode.

Being extremely weak from hunger, he had nothing in his stomach to satisfy the retch.  A light came on in the door behind which the Doctor Duard (wealthy guardian), Nikhul (to make whole), his newfound friend and ally, was standing.  He was not looking at Beau but a point somewhere next to the door.  Whatever was his focal point, could not be seen by Beau.

With his free hand Beau grabbed a magazine and stuck it into his left hand which was fastened to the table.  He held it upright in order to guide his pistol down onto the it, pushing it until it clicked home.  Then, setting the top end of the gun in his left grasping the slide tight, with his right hand he pushed forward on the body of the pistol until it stopped.  Releasing the slide suddenly the gun was loaded and ready to fire.

The pain in his right hand at the point of the severed finger was mind blowing.  Add to that the clumsiness of the bandage and it was all he could do to load it.

Snapping it up into position he fired through the door about where Doctor Nikhul was looking.  He pressed the trigger again and it just snapped.  As fast he could move he racked the pistol again, the bullet bouncing on the table with a dull sound.

He knew instantly that magazine was empty and he grabbed another, and watched as another round was channeled into the receiver and and into battery.

He pulled the trigger and again, it did not fire.  Quickly releasing the mag he replaced it with another from the table, racking it as quickly as he could, swinging the firearm into position and pulled the trigger.  A third time, nothing.

He heard another shot from outside the room and saw the Dr fall back as the slug hit him in the head.  He snapped the pistol up with the new mag pulled the trigger as soon as it got on target.  One shot then nothing as the striker landed on an empty chamber.

The light went off and another door was bathed in light.  He glanced at the mag he'd just released, then lining all the mags together.  Trying to discern if Aisha had lied to him, if there was a mag containing more than one round.

"You messed up again Beau.  I was positive you could handle a firearm better than that.  Insert another magazine quickly Beau.  The light on the outside of the next door was illuminating Amy Rodgers, Gingers daughter.  Beau spanked the mag home on the table and racked it.  He instantly pressed the trigger twice on the area where he thought the shooter would be.

Again, the gun only fired once.  From outside the door came another shot and Amy dropped.  Beau released the mag and fumbled with the next.  But something was wrong with the information he'd been told.  He was told there was only one live round amongst all the mags.  And he'd already fired two.

Realizing he certainly could not rely on the information told him, he looked around wildly for the next light.  He'd answered not one of the questions, yet he'd seen two of his colleagues murdered.  He reloaded the pistol again, and sat ready.

Instead of a light, another question by Hillary.  "Beau, where did the ordinance disappear to when you last raided the Hanoi Hilton?"  Beau hesitated.  A light came on and Doc Wilson stood there, and before he could even bring the pistol to bear, a shot had been fired, Doc Adams had dropped like a rock, the light had gone off and a light came on behind another door to his far left.

The question came again, even louder and more threatening.  He grabbed another mag and spanked it home.  This time it was Old Joe.  Suddenly he realized what was happening.  They'd used this trick on others, but had not learned as of yet that Old Joe had already passed.  So, these could not be real characters who were dying.

The scenario was played once more.  William Travis walked past the door and was shot in the back.  Beau didn't even respond.  Aisha then walked past the door, and he snapped the firearm up and pulled the trigger.  It was one of the dummy rounds.

He instantly realized they were onto him.  That he'd figured out their little charade.  A voice came to him.  Beau, "you've done very poorly.  We're going to end the game but we have one question left for you first."

"Did you or your group kill Royce Harrington?"

"No!!" he shouted loudly and a little to quickly.  He had a little game he was going to play now!

That grating voice of Hillary Clinton, who Ginger hated so very much, came over the speaker.  "Do you know where he is?"

"Yes, I do."

One last door was illuminated, another form, another shot, another body fell.  Sung Wu was no longer standing.

He pulled the gun up for the fifth time and snapped a shot at where he thought the shooter would be standing.  The round was a dummy.

As quickly as possible, he inserted the last mag, racked and sent the round into battery.  The door opened and an unknown assailant walked into the room.  Beau snapped the gun up and when the front sight center mass was drawn he squeezed the trigger and the big pistol spoke.  The high priced, high classed raper of women and goats, killer of his friends was knocked backwards from the impact of the huge forty five as it slammed into his chest.

He looked more closely at the body on the ground and saw the man had been disguised to look like a moslem.  But it was General Sherman Randolph.  Or it looked like him . . .  Was it the general?

Sickened by the sight, he then placed the gun to his head and pulled the trigger.  The last thing he saw was the logo of a Bear on the shirt pocket lying in the floor.  The blow knocked him unconscious.

The Bear

From the shadows of a what seemed to Beau as a foggy night in Old London he heard voices.  Knowing he was dead he knew that he should be standing in front of The Judge Who would question him of every second of his life on earth.  He was familiar with the voices, but could not determine from which direction they emanated.

He arose to his feet realizing he was no longer fastened so securely to the table.  He called out to the voices and it sounded as though his voice went nowhere.  The volume was astounding as it seemed to echo back and forth within the confines of his head.  He felt himself fall to the ground and his last thought was "I have failed my companions,  my friends, my family and my country."

From somewhere in the distance he heard rifle fire, people yelling and screaming, people dying.  That was the last thing he heard.  Life as he knew it, was all over for him.

He recognized Doc Wilsons' voice and lay still just listening.  He attempted to discern this newest situation in which he found himself.  The guilt he felt of betraying his friends was more than he could bear, and he didn't want to look them in the face.  Why couldn't he just die and get out of all this?  Why was he being forced to forgo this embarrassing scene?

A soft hand was laid upon his shoulder and a woman's voice came slowly to him.  It was Ginger.  Amy was there as well.  Williams voice came through as he asked of Doc Wilson "he's been through hell hasn't he?"

"Yes," responded Doc.  "But I've known this man a long time and I've never seen him fail at anything.  One way or another, he would meet his responsibility or obligation and he would beat it.  He has done the same here."

"Will you let me know as soon as he comes round?" William asked.

"Sure thing.  According to Aisha, he's had enough drugs injected into him to be a corpse.  She's never seen anyone survive the hell this man's been through.

"You guys sure make it hard for a man to get some sleep!"  Everyone in the room started laughing, and they all crowded around his bed.  Ginger and Amy both were showering him with wet kisses while stringing tears and snot all over him.  "I'm only going to give you five minutes to stop that!" he said in faux resistance.  Is there any food within flying distance of this place?"

Doc Wilson put his hand on his shoulder and he looked into the face of his friend.  Beau said "Doc, I met a friend of yours, and he gave me a message for you.  He asked me to remind you 'what happens when ducks swim in ice water'."  Doc Wilsons face went blank and Beau could see the statement had a profound effect on him.

Doc Wilson merely said "Your breakfast will be here shortly" and walking out of the room said "I have another patient to whom I must attend."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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Chapter V