oe Orozco slipped through the door almost like a ghost.  He was armed and ready to do battle with anyone who dared put his people, his company or his post in jeopardy.

Within another five minutes Amy, Ginger, Willie and Randal made their way into the hospital to learn of the situation, plan, take control of and neuter the proble.  This wasn't the first time they'd been rallied, and knew it probably wouldn't be the last time.  At least this time they'd had enough time to dress.

Doc and Sung Wu with Ladasha assisting had finished with Beau for the time being.  There was no doubt of a concussion, and after lancing the purple knot on his temple, within five minutes he began to breathe easier.  The X-ray proved Doc right about the crack but decided it was nothing worry to about at this point.

Doc and Sung Wu had joined the table around which the group sat in the little munch shack of the hospital.  The General had brought them all up to speed, reiterating some of what they'd learned during the mission of the Gauntlet.

A plan of action with the least amount of traffic in and out of quarters had been drawn up.  Jesse would apprehend or 'eliminate the threat of Link, the guy standing guard at Beaus' room.  Joe would come in from the other direction and they would approach Link from both directions.

Jesse and Joe moved out at the same time, but Joes' entrance would be just a few seconds delayed because it was a longer route, going the long way around.  Joe was about eighteen years Jesses' senior, but he moved like a cat and was quiet.  He practiced it where ever he went, how he walked, how he did everything, he practiced at being quiet.

When Joe arrived in the hallway where Link was, Link had already turned to face Jesse straight on.  Joe heard Jesses' first words, and saw Link as he stepped away from the door of Beaus' room to stand in the hall and face Jesse.  He slung his rifle around from where it hung from his shoulder by the strap.  He held it with both hands in front of him with the barrel aiming up at a forty five degree angle.

"How's it going soldier?" Jesse called to Link when he was within ten feet of him.

Although Link hadn't acted startled at the interruption from the near silence of the hall, Link had jumped as if he was nervous about something.  Jesse took note of the actions but acted as if he'd not noticed.  Without diverting his eyes he saw Joe step around the corner, outside of the peripheral of Link.

"Everything's quiet around here Sir."

Link stood right in front of the door way and would have to step aside for someone to enter the room.  In an attempt to challenge and perhaps force the issue, Jesse said casually "step aside Link.  I need to enter Beau's room."

"No sir.  No one is to enter the room.  Generals' orders" he responded.

Jesse knew what the general had said, and also knew the password he'd told Link to challenge with.  But Link had not asked for the password.  Jesse was thankful they weren't following military protocol as to recognizing someone and the whole process leading up to that.  But at the same time, he was thankful for some show of professional security.

Jesse said "I've just come from the hospital with orders from the General to pick up some of Beaus' things.  Stand aside soldier."  This time Link pointed the AR at Jesses' chest and said "no one is going into that room.  Period.  No one."  Do you understand?"

Jesse never lost the look of perpetual smile from his face as he said in a lower tone "not even if I have the password?"

"I guess you didn't hear me when I said 'no one.'  You take another step and I'll be forced to shoot you.  Can you comprehend that?"

Link was standing there with a look of determination on his face that confirmed he was ready to fire, and snapped the safety off.  But that look changed real quickly as the color drained from his face.  Joe had come up close enough behind him to lay a razor sharp blade at the base of his neck and said barely loud enough for him to hear.  "Stand down or I'll lay you down."

Links finger flipped up the safety on the AR, and he carefully held the rifle out towards Jesse.  Jesse took the rifle and turned it back on Link, then motioned him back.  With a slight pull of Joe, Link backed up far enough to let Jesse pass.  With that, Joe pressed on a little knockout point at the base of Links chin, and he went down.  Joe quickly cuffed and gagged him.

Jesse reached over and turned the door knob and shoved the door inward, quickly letting go of the knob.  The body of Talbert was lying where he died.  Very little blood was on the floor.  Just one look at him and one could easily see that what kind of blunt force trauma could be delivered by Beau.

Joe retrieved his pig sticker located on his back right behind his neck.  A very nice piece of iron, sharp as a razor, double-edged, hand made.  With it he slit the legs of the mans clothes from the ankles up to the belt.  He did the same thing with the shirt, then they turned Talbert over onto his back to remove them.  After lifting the clothes from the man they began slicing open every pocket and every seam.

What they found was enough to have several men executed.  The information they found on him was directly related to the small hole in Williams lung.  But the mystery would only deepen.  It was now very obvious that Link meant to safeguard the body until another accomplice within the Bunker could remove the evidence.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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Chapter VI