Black: Day 01 - Chapter 21

in #fiction7 months ago


Los Angeles, California
Tuesday, June 7th, 2016 - 12:00 PM

Outside Noah's Base

Noah and his men are gathering themselves around the flaming van, recovering from the effects of the explosion. A number of the men are dead, but enough remain to continue the hunt.

Noah himself manages to get back on his feet to bark orders at the rest of the team.

"Dean, you cut them off at the Service Road! The rest of you, come up behind him!"

Also stumbling up to his feet, Patrick approaches him, feeling apologetic.


Noah, however, isn't accepting of the attempted apology, and instead drives the butt of his rifle to his stomach.

"How could you let this happen?"

Patrick, holding his stomach, understands that he messed up, so he isn't trying to offer resistance.

"I thought I could handle him! I thought that if..."
"Shut up! I'm not paying you to think, I'm paying you to do a job!"

Noah then picks up his radio to contact the rest of his men not present on the scene.

"We'll cut them off at the Service Road. Black, his wife, and his daughter. And Mark. Make sure they don't double back!"

All the men then regroup and begin the search.

Up ahead, deeper into the forest, Adam and Mark are making a run for it - until spotting one of the men. Adam grabs Mark by the arm and pushes him down as they hide behind a tree. Adam wants Mark to get out of this safely, but he also isn't exactly careful about not hurting him if the situation calls for it.

"Get down!"

Adam follows the man's movements with his gun until he's out of sight. Mark is starting to lose it as his fear is once again getting the best of him. He simply wants to push a giant reset button on everything.

"Just leave me here. Go on without me. I can't go on."
"Shut up. You can and you will."
"I'm slowing you down."
"Yes, you are. So you better start speeding up."
"I'm really sorry about everything. I'm sorry I got Megan into this."
"We'll talk about that later. Right now we gotta keep moving. Come on."

Adam pulls Mark back on his feet, and they continue on.

Even further ahead, Susan and Megan have briefly stopped running at the sound and sight of the van exploding behind them.

Megan is worried about her father, but Susan tries to reason with her to keep going.

"Megan, we gotta move, sweetheart."
"But what if dad-"
"Your father's all right. He's the one man I know who knows how to take care of himself. I promise."

But suddenly, Susan spots a car stopping by the road ahead, and dropping off a group of Noah's men to search the area.

"Megan, get down!"

Susan pulls Megan to the ground for cover. Shen then observes the men who are blocking the way the Service Road.

"They're everywhere. We can't move forward. We can't move back. I think... I think we can catch the road further up where it cuts through the woods."
"Dad told us to follow the creek bed."
"We don't really have a choice here, do we? Come on."

Susan and Megan then take a risk and deviate from the planned escape route.

ATC Headquarters

Mona is on the phone, trying to reach Adam, but there's no answer. Frustrated, she hangs up, and the frustration she radiates around her makes Kevin notice.

"What's up?"
"Adam's still not answering his phone. I just hope he's all right. All three of them. I just... I really think I should have allowed Green into the loop earlier. If anything happens to them-"
"Hey. You let Adam make the call because it was his family on the line. Anyone would have done the same."
"I guess you're right. I just hate not knowing."
"It's Adam. He can handle it. You know that. Plus the tac team should be there in a couple of minutes. It's gonna be fine."

Mona feels a little more reassured about it. If she wasn't so worried, she'd be all caught up by the irony of her worrying so much about Adam's family, namely his wife. But despite their past, Mona is happy she and Adam share the friendship they do. So she simply wants him to come back in one piece.

She also doesn't have a lot of time to ponder about things as Larry steps into the picture.

"As you may already know, Amy Price didn't make it. Her mother is on her way here. I want you two to question her. And if there's anything that she knows that's connected to the hit on Miller, I want to know."

Mona is more than a little confused.

"What makes you think Amy's mother would know anything?"

Larry then drops a file on her desk.

"The $300,000 that was deposited in her bank account over the past four months."

Mona and Kevin open up the file and look through the records.

Outside Noah's Base

Noah and Patrick have separated themselves from the rest of the group, and Noah is making a call to Mr. Ivanonic who is already driving his car, long gone from the base.

"Mr. Ivanonic. I have a progress report."
"Has the compound been cleared?"
"Not yet. There's been a change of plans. Black showed up here."

For the first time the day, there's a tone of delight in Ivanonic's voice.

"You have him?"
"Not yet. But I will."

After the set of disappointments earlier, Ivanovic was not expecting to be pleased by Noah's actions.

"Mr. O'Connor, you surprise me. You may have bought yourself a second chance."
"Mr. Ivanonic, my contract included killing Senator Miller. I want to make good on that."

Ivanovic ponders for a few seconds.

"Bring me Black's body. After that, we can talk about the Senator. Black is the main target. If you give me Black, you'll get one half of the sum we agreed on. If not, you get zero. And we will cancel more than just your contract Are we clear?"
"Yes, sir. I'll call you when I have him."

Noah hangs up. But Patrick is less willing to stick around.

"You're really gonna stay here?"
"I say we cut our losses and get the hell out of here. Adam's people are gonna be here any damn minute now."

But Noah doesn't budge, he has a grim expression on his face.

"There's no getting the hell out with these people. They come after you and keep coming after you until they find you, and then you're dead. Trust me: killing Black is our only chance of staying alive. It's not just about the money."

The two then continue their search for the escapees.

At the Water Tower, Adam and Mark are running towards the spot they were supposed to meet Megan and Susan at.

Adam is making sure the path is clear, Mark follows right behind him. No one is on the watch, and they approach the Water Tower.

But no one is there.

Adam searches through the area, but there is no sign of Susan and Megan anywhere.

"Son of a bitch. They should have been here by now."

Adam pulls Mark with him inside the water tower, and sits him down.

"Sit down."
"What are you gonna do?"
"I'm gonna have to go back and look for them. Are you okay?"

Mark's voice is shaking. He feels the utmost shame and avoids looking Adam in the eye.

"Yeah... yeah, I'm okay."
"Okay, good."

Adam then gives Larry a call.

"Larry, it's me. There's been a complication."
"I'm listening."
"My wife and daughter are not where they're supposed to be. I'm gonna go back to look for them. When ATC gets here, they're gonna find a kid in here. His name is Mark."
"Who is he?"
"Someone who helped us escape. Make sure he gets out of here safely."
"Will do."
"Okay, thanks."

Adam hangs up.

"Look, Adam..."
"I meant what I said earlier. I'm really sorry. Thank you for helping me."
"Yeah. Well, don't thank me, thank my daughter. Make no mistake about it: if it were up to me, I would have left you there."

Mark then makes one more attempt an apology.

"I really didn't know how heavy it was gonna get! Johnny said we were just trying to scare some guys who backed out of a deal! I had no idea."
"Yeah? Well, as soon as you noticed what was going on, you should have done something."
"Johnny was my friend."

The father in Adam then decides to have a heart to heart with Mark.

"Look, kid. Part of growing up - part of being a man - is accepting responsibility for the mess you've made. You did the right thing eventually. But you helped kidnap my daughter and placed her life at risk. That's something you're gonna have to live with. I'll make sure you get out of here, but once you do, you're gonna have to earn that second chance. Do you understand me?"

Mark nods.

"Good. I'm gonna go back and look for Susan and Megan. You stay here."

Adam then heads back out.

In the middle of the woods, Susan and Megan stop to gather their thoughts.

Susan circles around, trying to decide where to go.

"I think we should..."

She's trying not to show it, but she isn't exactly sure where to head next.

Megan picks up on her mom being nervous. No way she could hide it.

"Mom? Where to?"
"I think..."
"We're lost, aren't we?"
"No, sweetie, the Water Tower should be right..."

But she can't decide on a direction.

"I'm... I'm not sure."

Megan begins to panic, Susan tries to keep it together and calm her daughter down - although inside, she's panicking, too.

The Busy Los Angeles Traffic

Senator Miller's motorcade is making its way through the streets of LA, on its way to its next destination.

At the back of his limo, Brue Miller is accompanied by his daughter, as he receives a phone call from Larry Green at ATC.

"Senator Miller. Larry Green, ATC. A pleasure to speak with you."
"I hope you're calling me with good news."
"In fact, I am. Our agent from the breakfast, Adam Black. We've located him. Our team is on its way to pick him up as we speak. We ran into some complications earlier, but he should be here within the hour. You requested to meet with him."
"I did. Thank you for informing me. I wish to have a conversation with Mr. Black."
"I'll make sure to arrange that, Mr. Senator."
"Thank you."

Bruce hangs up, and Maria asks about the call.

"Was it about the shooter?"

Bruce is unaware of any developments in the situation since leaving the breakfast, so he is not aware of the situation being more complicated than Adam Black attempting his assassination.

"Yes. ATC's team is on its way to retrieve Mr. Black. I will have a personal one on one conversation with him."
"Are you sure? This man attempted to kill you, dad."
"I know. That's exactly why I want to confront him. Because I have a feeling I know what this is about."
"You do?"
"Yes. And it's got nothing to do with my candidacy."
"Then what is it?"
"Serbia. Three years ago. To the day, in fact. June 7th. While working for the CIA, Adam Black was the head of a black op in Serbia to hunt down a known terrorist named Alexander Ivanovic. Adam was successful - but he lost his entire team on that mission. Like I told you before, I authorized that mission."

Maria puts together what Bruce is implying.

"So, you're saying he's seeking revenge for the loss of his men?"
"That's exactly right. No one was supposed to know about this operation, but somehow he must have found out I was responsible for authorizing it, and he waited until the anniversary to get revenge on me."

The limo continues to navigate through the endless maze that is the Los Angeles afternoon traffic, heading to the ATC Headquarters.

Outside Noah's Base

Adam is searching through the woods for any sign of Susan and Megan, but comes up short.

He is cursing to himself. They've come so far, he can't stand the thought of losing them now.

As he's running, all the events of the day circle around in his mind. From the threat on Senator Miller's life, to his own family being involved, and the fact that Novak implied it being a personal attack against him.

Adam himself can't piece together a connection he could have with the Senator - other than his late father being friends with him.

But Adam's father never shared much about that part of his life to Adam.

Right now, however, Adam simply wants to save his family.

So he keeps searching.

Meanwhile, Megan and Susan catch a glimmer of hope. Susan notes that the scenery starts to look familiar.


She catches her breath before continuing. They are both extremely exhausted. More exhausted than a human being should ever be.

"I think I know where we are. The Water Tower should be..."

Megan notices a patrol team heading their way, so she pulls her mother down to the ground.


They keep their heads down and avoid detection.

Up ahead, they see an empty shack that they decide to use for hiding and catching their breath.

They think they arrived to safety, but one of the men heard something moving, and slowly walks towards the shack.

Susan and Megan hear the footsteps on the wooden floor, and hide behind a corner, their hearts pounding, hoping for the best.

The man gets closer. And closer.

Until he's interrupted by a radio call.

"It's Noah. Everybody move back to Section 5."

The man exits the shed, and Susan and Megan stop holding their breaths. Susan then regroups.

"Okay, as soon as he's at the back of the shed, we move."

Megan nods, but then catches a glimpse of the man's gun from the other side of the shed, through a crack on the wall.


Just before the man can pull the trigger, bullets from Adam's gun pierce through his body.

"Stay down!"

Adam fires several bullets as the man crashes through the wall of the shed, lifeless.

Susan and Megan cry without even realizing what is happening, everything happened so fast.

Adam then rushes to them.

"Are you okay?"

He gives both of them a hug and holds them tight. Adam refuses to lose them again, not when they're this close.

They embrace, but Adam knows they need to hurry up.

"Okay, we gotta move. ATC is sending a chopper."

Megan notices Mark missing.

"Where's Mark?"
"He's okay. He's waiting for us at the Water Tower. We need to go now!"

But before they leave, Adam hears a voice on the dead man's radio.

"What was the shooting? Do you copy? Whoever was shooting, call in your position now!"

Adam then picks up the radio.

"Son of a bitch. They're gonna be swarming the place. We need to move."

Adam steps outside first to make sure the path is clear.

"Okay, it's clear. We don't have a lot of time."

The three begin to rush their way to the Water Tower.

ATC Headquarters

Amy Price's mother is gathering Amy's belongings while weeping over the loss of her daughter.

Unfortunately for her, she isn't yet given time to grief over her loss as Mona and Kevin step in to question her.

Mona is more hesitant, being sympathetic to her loss, but the more hard-boiled Kevin is prepared to do the hard work.

"Mrs. Price. We're sorry for your loss. But we really need to ask you a few questions."

Mrs. Price is appalled by this behaviour, and isn't exactly willing to cooperate.

"Oh, you do? Well, I have questions, too. How is it possible that an employee of your office can bleed to death, and no one does anything about it?"

Mona and Kevin look at each other, and Mona, without words, tosses the ball to Kevin.

"Like I said. I'm very sorry. But your daughter was a traitor. She confessed before she passed away. If you withhold information, you can be seen as an accomplice. And if that happens, who's gonna take care of your grandson?"

Realizing she has no choice but to cooperate, Mrs. Price agrees to answer any questions they may have.

"So, what do you want to know?"

Mona then shows her the file Larry handed them earlier.

"The IRS records show us you make $65,000 a year. Yet an account in your name shows a series of deposits that add up to $300,000."

Mrs. Price stares at the file placed on the table in front of her.

"It was... from Amy. So that I would have enough to take care of my grandson in case anything happened to her."

The sigh of a woman crying over the death of her daughter is heartbreaking, but Kevin stays professional and keeps pressing.

"Who gave Amy the money?"

Speechless, Mrs. Price doesn't answer. But Kevin still keeps pressing.

"Mrs. Price, your grandson needs you. Don't do anything to jeopardize that. Where did that money come from?"
"She never said."
"And you never asked? All this money in your account and you never once asked where it came from?"

Mrs. Price shakes her head.

"I don't believe you. Please, you're gonna have to work with me here. You're not leaving until you tell us where the money came from."

Outside Noah's Base

Noah is calling in his men on the radio.

"Max and Noel, you're the only two that haven't reported in. Max and Noel, where the hell are you?"

After a while, he gets one response.

"This is Max."
"Where the hell are you? Why haven't you called in?"
"We're crossing the creek bed, trying to cut off Black from the Service Road."

Unbeknownst to them, Adam is listening in to the call as Noah continues.

"Noel is the only one who hasn't called in. What area was he patrolling?"
"Uhh... Northeast side of the creek. He split off on his own."

Adam is checking the satellite of the area on his phone, figuring out a route for them to go. He shows the map to Susan and Megan.

"Okay, they're coming from over there. We can hit the road down a little farther, avoiding them completely. Come on."

The three then make a break for it.

The LA Traffic

To make time pass, Maria has been curious about the mission Bruce told her about earlier. Bruce isn't supposed to really discuss these things, but as her daugher, Maria has special access to certain information.

Being the daughter of a politician has its perks.

So Bruce has decided to tell some of the story.

"So, during my time as the Head of the Special Defense Appropriations Committee in the Senate - which, let's face it, is just a euphemism for black ops - three years ago, CIA brought to my attention the atrocities committed by Alexander Ivanovic in Kosovo; massacres, torture, ethnic cleansing. There seemed to be no end to the evil of this monster. The CIA located him in Belgrade, and put together an operation to put an end to him. Once and for all. Ivanovic also had a history with a close friend of mine - AJ Black."

Maria remembers their conversation from hours earlier.

"Adam's father?"
"Yes. This is why I handpicked the one man I felt I could trust to lead this mission."
"His son."
"Adam was not to know about my involvement in any way."
"But apparently he did find out."
"It appears so. And now he wants my head. It's time we finally meet face to face."

The limo is making progress towards the ATC HQ where Bruce hopes to put an end to this.

Outside Noah's Base

Noah and Patrick arrive at the shed where Adam met up with Susan and Megan.

They notice the dead body of one of their men.

Patrick searches the body and notices the radio is missing.

"There's no radio."
"Black. He's been listening in. To every damn word!"
"It's not that bad. If we play it smart, we can pinpoint where they are. Let's go."

They begin to move to the escapees' assumed location.

ATC Headquarters

Mona and Kevin are making their own headway while eating lunch at their computers.

Kevin finds something while going through Mrs. Price's files.

"Look at this. Mrs. Price received two wire transfers since February. Both from a holding company called NPC Holding, based in Belgrade."

Mona instantly connects some dots.

"Belgrade? Adam was on an assignment there three years ago."
"He was?"
"It's not public knowledge."
"Then how you do know about it?"
"He asked me to declassify his files earlier."
"Did you check for a connection to the hit?"
"These new files may give us a new angle."
"So who do we know in Belgrade who's keyed into the financial community?"

Kevin keeps digging through the files.

Outside Noah's Base

Adam, Susan, and Megan arrive near the Water Tower.

Adam puts his hand up, telling Susan and Megan to stop as they crouch for cover while Adam pulls up his phone to call ATC.

But there's no signal.

"Son of a bitch, there's no signal. The chopper should be here any minute."

Megan is anxious to know about Mark's status.

"What about Mark? Shouldn't he be here?"
"He's waiting for us inside the Water Tower. Once the chopper arrives, he'll come out."
"Well, we should go there to see if he's alright!"
"We'll wait for the chopper, it may not be safe for us to proceed."
"But dad?"
"Don't fight me with, sweetheart, please. I'm gonna keep you both safe now, you understand?"

Megan looks around.

"The men are gone, dad."

Megan then gets up and takes steps towards the Water Tower.

At the same time, Mark steps out.

Their eyes meet, but then Mark sees something up the hill.

A sniper aimed straight at them.

In a desperate attempt, Mark aims the machine gun he grabbed at the direction of the sniper.

"Megan, look out!"

But before he has time to do anything, the sniper takes him out.

Adam, Megan, and Susan watch as Mark's body falls to the ground.


Adam pulls Megan to the ground.

"Get down!"

The sniper's shot barely misses Megan. Adam pulls Megan and Susan behind a rock, out of the sniper's range.

"It's a sniper rifle. We're pinned down, I don't have shot from this distance. Son of a bitch."

Susan begins to panic. They've made it so far. Was it all for nothing?

"Adam, what are we gonna do?"

Adam gets up to a crouching position and looks around.

"You stay here. Don't move for anything, and I mean anything, except the chopper. You understand?"
"What about you?"

Adam then starts to move, attempting to lure the sniper away from Susan and Megan.

"He wants me."
"Stay down!"

Megan lies on the ground, staring at Mark's lifeless body by the Water Tower.

Noah is the man behind the rifle, accompanied by Patrick. Noah then gives Patrick the plan while looking through the scope of the rifle.

"He's trying to draw us away from the women."
"Fine by me. Once he's dead, they'll be easy."
"I'll keep him pinned down. Circle around, try to get a clear shot. He doesn't have a chance from this distance."

Adam runs up the hill in search of them, and Patrick begins to move down towards him.

Noah almost manages to get a shot in, but Adam barely makes it behind a tree.

Noah then contacts Adam through the radio he stole.

"That's right, Black. You don't have a shot from that distance. You're trapped."

Suddenly, the setting is the same as it was several hours ago: Noah in Adam's ear, making the rules.

But this time, Adam fights back. So he answers.

"I beat you at this game once before, you son of a bitch."
"Well, this game isn't over yet, Black. Not until I say so."

Both men wait to make a move, and Noah contacts him again.

"How much longer do we have?"
"Until what?"
"Until your people get here."
"I wouldn't wait around to find out if I were you."
"I don't have a choice. The people I work for made that very clear."

Adam peeks out behind the tree, and Noah takes another shot, just barely missing.

Adam grunts as he dodges. Noah then decides to tease him a little more.

"Just give it up, Black. I'm gonna ask you one last time: how long do we have? I may spare your family if you tell me where and when ATC is sending their men."
"Kiss my ass."

Patrick is closing in on Adam's location, but starts to have second thoughts.

He no longer believes in the operation, and decides he values his life more than the money Noah could offer him if Ivanovic decides to pay him what he promised.

The chopper still hasn't arrived.

So Patrick decides to make a break for it and get out of dodge without Noah noticing.

Adam notices a piece of metal on the ground.

He grabs a stick to pull the metal piece closer to him.

As he gets a hold of it, he uses it to reflect the sun into Noah's location.

Successfully, Adam blinds Noah by directing the sun into his eyes. Noah fires blind shots with the rifle, but can't see as Adam moves in closer and gets a shot in, putting a bullet in his arm.

Adam then tries to get in closer, but Noah recovers enough to fire more bullets his way. Adam gets in hiding again.

At the Water Tower, the ATC chopper arrives.

Susan and Megan yell and wave at them. The ATC tac team jumps out of the chopper.

"Mrs. Black?"
"Do you or your daughter require medical attention?"
"No, but my husband..."
"Where is Agent Black?"

Susan points to the direction Adam went to.

"I don't know, but he's somewhere up there! Please, you've got to help him!"

The tac team then rushes up the hill.

Adam notices a trail of blood on the ground, and calls Noah on the radio.

"You're bleeding. Judging by the amount of blood on the ground, you'll bleed out unless you get medical attention."

Bleeding and sweating, Noah is determined to finish his job.

"Not enough to stop me from killing you."
"Maybe neither one of us has to die. Tell me who you're working for, and I can help you."
"As I said, Black. I don't have the luxury of that choice."
"Maybe you can at least tell me what's going on?"

Adam doesn't get an answer. He keeps following the blood trail on the ground, using the trees for cover. He keeps pressing.

"Before he died, Novak implied this was personal. Why?"
"It's personal against you. You should know."
"Let's say I don't."
"Truth is, neither do I. You know how it is: the less I know, the better I can do my job. They told me what to do and what they'll pay for me to do it. That's all."

Slowly, Adam keeps inching on closer, following the trail.

"Why bring my family into this?"
"That was a mistake. But as you yourself said: they wanted to make it personal."

Noah then hears Adam respond, but this time, it's not through the radio.

Instead, it's right behind him.

"Who's they?"

Noah closes his eyes, knowing he's lost.

"Put down the weapon. We can protect you."
"No, you can't."
"Put down the weapon! Who are you afraid of?"

Noah refuses to comply.

Instead, he makes a last-ditch effort by turning around and taking a shot at Adam.

"Good luck."

Adam is just quick enough to react, falling down as he fires a bullet through Noah's chest, avoiding the shot.

As Noah's body falls to the ground, Adam goes to check if he's still alive to give him information.

But he's gone.

"Son of a bitch."

Adam then hears a voice from behind him.

"Federal agent! Put down the weapon, put your hands behind your head, interlock your fingers!"

The ATC team arrives. Adam does as is asked.

"How's my family?"
"They're safe."
"Take me to them."

The leader of the team notes Noah's body.

"Is that the last of them?"
"Alright. Take Agent Black to his family."

The ATC team walks Adam to Susan and Megan who rush towards them and they once again embrace.

All of them weep. Letting all of their emotions out.

Adam then takes them to the chopper where he hugs both of them and holds on like he has never held on to them before.

"It's over, I promise. And I'm never letting go of you again, you understand? I'm never letting go again. I love you."

Adam kisses both of them on the forehead and lets out a tear.

It's finally over. And they're together. And safe.

He leans his head on Susan's.

"I'm never letting go."

They all hold on as the chopper takes off the ground.

ATC Headquarters

Larry steps out of his office to notify Mona and Kevin of the situation.

"Adam and his family were rescued. They should be here in 10-15 minutes."

Mona gives out a sigh of relief.

"That's good news."

Kevin is also relieved, but he has news of his own.

"That's great. But we need to move fast on something else. A lead from Amy's mom."
"Did you find out where the money came from?"
"An offshore bank account. We traced the funds to Belgrade."
"Before I lay it out, you need to upgrade the threat assessment on Miller."
"You need to give me more than that."
"The same account shows a transfer of funds to an assassin based in Belgrade."
"Isn't that old news? The photographer from the breakfast."

Mona steps in.

"No. Our contact over there says this assassin left Yugoslavia this morning, which means he's probably already here."
"A second hitter?"

Larry realizes the day is far from over.

LAX International Airport

A longhaired man, dressed in all black, wearing a leather jacket and dark sunglasses steps outside the gates of the LAX Airport as he receives a call from Mr. Ivanonic.

"It's me. I'm calling to confirm we're moving ahead with Plan B. I have every reason to believe Mr. O'Connor has failed in delivering his end of the contract."

The man then observes at photos of Adam and Bruce on his phone before replying.

"Understood. I will assure you, Adam Black and Senator Miller will be dead by midnight. This day is not over yet. I will not let you down."

A car is waiting for the man and he steps in, and they drive off.


oh. my. it's perfect. it's a perfect wrap up with the promise of more to come... like great sex.... totally satisfying while still leaving us breathless for the next chapter. BRAVO, SCHATT!! thank you.

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