t seemed as if the whole ordeal was months long, but in fact there were only five days involved with this episode in Beaus' life.

Dr Nikhul had given a message to Beau to pass on to Doc Wilson.  It meant nothing to Beau, but to Doc Wilson it spoke volumes.  It had been quite a while since Beau had recuperated and placed back into active duty status.  Sung Wu was working on his hand with some extra potent ointment that burned as well as smelled.

One could barely tell the finger had been nearly severed.  And it worked quite well.  Sung had noticed a marked change in Beaus' temperament and character since his ordeal.  He had been nearly physically destroyed with the amount of drugs pumped into him.  After surviving the incident, he was so close to going over the edge that with the mere power of suggestion he would snap.

He'd fought the battle long and hard; and he'd won.  Sung Wu was seeing a remarkable change in the past month alone.

The people Beau had seen killed in the circular room were mere look alikes for the close friends of his.  Beau had indeed killed one of the shooters and would have killed himself had not the mad scientist doctor, Dr, Aisha Saud knocked him unconscious with the small bat used for torture.  She left him alive but no one had as of yet been able to explain why.

On return of a successful mission Beau had finished, Doc Wilson requested he have lunch with him.  William had dismissed him early from a briefing making ready for yet another mission.  "Meet the Doc.  He needs to speak with you."

"Aye Sir" as Beau saluted before turning to leave.  William shook his head. "Once a Marine, always a Marine.  Semper Fi Marine" he thought to himself.

During lunch Doc Wilson stated, "I feel I owe you an explanation about the phrase you delivered."  He paused for a second to let Beau arrive at the same page and then continued.  "While studying in New York one winter Doctor Nikhul and I had made a trip to Central Park for some fresh air and exercise.  We stopped back by at a little coffee shack by the side of a small pond on which ducks were swimming, diving and cavorting.

The fresh air was so stimulating we stayed out of doors the whole afternoon noticing a sharp drop in the temperature.  It had been almost four hours since our first stop at the cafe.  As we sipped the hot beverage Dr. Nikhul mentioned he'd been approached by the CIA concerning some acquaintances of mine.

Not knowing in which direction the agent was heading, I just played dumb while he lined out the story.  Three of his acquaintances were known to the CIA as being in an information extortion ring.  These three people were named, and they were watching them waiting for the right time to make their move.

They knew there were two others but as of yet had no knowledge of their identity.  Then, for a few minutes he just sat thinking, a wistful, agonizing look on his face.  I asked him why he mentioned that to me.

He said quietly, the ducks frozen in the pond are the ones the ring is after.  I turned and looked, and the ducks were indeed, locked in the ice, but were still alive and moving.  While it didn't seem too much of a problem, I just sat thinking, still wondering about it.

Finally, he said "there is no problem with the exception of the predators.  In America there are five main predators; the Bear, the Wildcat, the Wolf, the Coyote and the Fox."

Doc Wilson sat there for a few seconds while Beau wondered where all this was taking him.  And, why Doc had wanted so urgently to speak with him.  Finally Doc continued.  Dr. Nikhul thought the last two predators might be someone we knew, and he mentioned two names.  One name I knew, the other I did not.

The CIA had deemed them "The Five Predators."  I had no idea at the time of what he spoke.  I just sat there lending a shoulder to bounce his feelings off of.  That was the last time I ever saw him although I'd had a few connections with him over the years.  Recently he sent a message concerning you.  He asked if you'd delivered the message, and did I remember the ordeal.

Doctor Nikhul began to speak about the community in which he'd grown up and then how his family had been made dhimmis after he had gone abroad to study.  He'd kept in contact with them on a monthly basis and was deeply troubled by what his family was experiencing at the hands of the moslems.

Two of his sisters had been married off before the age of twelve, one brother had lost an arm as a dhimmi for losing a sheep belonging to his 'master.'  Then for three months running he had no communication with them whatsoever.  He wanted to return to help them immigrate to America and he pleaded with them to flee the country.

He stated "for them, life was like ducks attempting to swim in icy water.  They had survived the cold water but hearing no news for quite a while . . .  He used the term to describe how hard a life it would be swimming in ice.  It is impossible.  After a while you would be frozen.

An old man was sitting close by and had heard what Dr Nikhul had stated.  He leaned toward the two men and said "a duck can survive in the cold water and are actually able to dive longer because of it.  The problem is when a duck falls asleep or allows himself to sit motionless while the lake freezes around them.  Then they are trapped solid and unable to flee the danger."

The old man who'd invited himself into the conversation stopped for a second while the weight of the warning sank home, the finished his message.  "Most will survive the atmosphere, but few survive the dangers that lurk within the very environment in which they are trapped.  Consider the predators that come along.  The predators are merciless."

After a few seconds Doc Wilson continued.  "Dr. Nikhul later told me his entire family had been decimated by the moslems.  This he learned from his wife who turned out to be the daughter of the man in whose community his family had lived and perished.  He had also established a huge community here in the US.  It had been a few years since he'd last heard anything of Dr. Nikhul, but he was living as a dhimmi doctor with no life of his own."

Your chance encounter with him reminded him of our experience that day in NY.  He'd overheard in a brief and hushed conversation of a Doc Wilson whom they'd attempted to hire, but this Dr fled, but was heard of in a little town near where I'd been seen.  Dr. Nikhul saved your life.  I heard later he'd lost his own doing it.

His wife turned out to be the Wildcat of the predator group.  Her father was the Bear of the group.  A brother was the Wolf, a cousin of hers was the Coyote.

Counter intelligence had informed them of the monikers used by the CIA, and they made sport of it.  Even going so far as to adopt the names and wear logos of that animal somewhere conspicuous on their person at all times.

The logo of a Bear was floating in front of his eyes.  Beau stated "I've seen and met the Bear.  I killed him personally.  I may have seen the Wildcat."  He stopped there while his mind tried to reconcile the vague memories.

Doc finished with his story.  "Hillary had given the OK to dispense of you, but William and the General used the message to locate and rescue you.  His message about the ducks frozen in the ice and the predators let me know the predators were still loose,  They have to be stopped.  I think they have my wife . . ."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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Chapter VI