Major Brady Hanson held out a hand to the man dressed in the PMF's gray uniform beside him.
Brady glanced at it, sweating despite the cool antechamber of their secret communications point.
Each trip up the side of the mountain grew harder as chaos erupted along the East Coast and drove refugees through Brady's area of operation.
Brady's arm of the militia, the Appalachia Branch, stretched from northern Georgia up through Virginia and was one of the largest in the PMF, the only thing good to come of the East-West Civil War.
Brady entered the code from his micro onto the keypad beside the metal door in front of him.
Tim, his government contact and the highest-ranking individual in the PMF, was already on screen when Brady entered the comms center.
They've been infrequent, Brady replied.
And I appreciate the info you're sending us, Brady said.
"Doubt some poor girl would know anything," Brady replied.
Brady wondered, not for the first time, what Tim's relationship was to the girl.
"I'm not ten, Tim," Brady said with a small smile.
"We've been balancing both our demanding masters the past few weeks," Brady said, referring to his PMF militia duties and his official regular military duties.
"Check your micro," Brady said.
"The good thing is recruitment is up," Brady said.
"War isn't pretty," Brady agreed.
"You know I'll do anything you ask," Brady said.
Brady glanced at his best friend, who shook his head.
"I'm sure there's a way," Brady said.
Brady eyed his friend, who tried hard not to smile.
Brady opened his channel.
Brady waited, unusually interested in her answer.
A ladder lowered, and Brady vaulted onto it, followed by Dan.
Brady's focus returned to his mission.
Brady approached the five soldiers in urban gray tactical suits crowded around the small box with a hole still smoking from a hit by a wayward laser bullet.
The world around Brady was eerily quiet after a chaotic battle over the facility.
Brady growled, taking the box.
"All for this thing," Brady agreed.
"Wait one, Brady," Larry responded then bellowed at the crowd of aides-de-camp Brady knew regularly surrounded him.
"Me, too," Brady said and met the gaze of his closest friend since basic training.
"I'm ready," Brady said, trotting up the stairs to the main floor.
Brady complied and closed the connection.
Brady looked from the injured man to the streaks of red in the sky, which were answered by two more streaks to the north.
"Rendezvous threat camp," Brady said.
Brady turned to his team of five, which were gathered around the downed man.
Brady knelt beside the unconscious soldier.
Brady rose, hope flickering through him.
Tim trusted her, but Brady was cautious, suspecting she was unwitting of Tim's activities in the PMF.
As Easterners, Brady and his brothers continued the legacy their father and grandfather had of serving as the military advisors to the politicians that Tim's Western family bred.
Brady motioned for his men to ready themselves as he listened.
Brady started forward, and the others followed, falling into two teams.
Sweating and impatient after the slim escape from the ambush, Brady restrained his urge to thump the fed slowly checking Brady's micro.
Brady glanced over his shoulder at his team, whose chests heaved and guns were still at the ready.
Brady snatched his computer fast enough to surprise the fed in blue and strode towards the gates.
Brady turned in the direction indicated and yanked open the door to a dark room with a glowing red floor.
The medic gave him a worried look as he passed, and Brady's gaze went again to the wounded soldier.
Planey looked from Brady to the soldier before motioning them down another hallway and quickening his step.
They paused a safe distance from Brady's restless team.
Brady stepped aside first, and the others followed his lead.
The four men were clean, neatly dressed, and without the signs of lack of sleep or food that Brady's men displayed.
Brady watched the feds, irritated at the pockets of elite unaffected by the squalid conditions the non-elite were forced to live in.
Brady smiled, amused that Angel remembered his affinity for chocolate.
"A friend," Brady replied.
While he shouldn't have been surprised to find Angel in such a position, Brady was still impressed.
After a quick shower, Brady dressed in a new protective suit.
Brady stretched a muscular arm across the table beside him to tug the box out of his other uniform.
"They can send someone else," Brady replied.
Brady had worked with Dan for fifteen years.
Dan had always been his second-in-command and most importantly, as good a friend as any of Brady's brothers.
Brady rose and snatched his weapons, snapping them into place on his body armor.
Brady asked, concern for his closest friend making his chest tighten.
Brady had conducted many missions in austere conditions in other countries.
On impulse, Brady tapped his implant and breathed her name as he continued to ready himself.
Brady hesitated to respond, feeling as though he should concentrate on supporting her, per Tim's directions, rather than reach out to her when he needed her.
Brady strode from the private room into a common area, where two of his four remaining men waited.
Brady and his men paused after two rigid security inspections and being granted permission to enter.
Brady took his friend's arm.
"Yeah," Brady whispered hoarsely.
"Major Brady, Dan," a gruff voice boomed.
Brady tugged Dan's mask off, gaze roving the compound.
Brady reached into his cargo pocket.
Brady exchanged a look with Dan.
Brady hid a smile.
Brady was as worried about Dan as any of his men.
And far better well armed, Brady added silently.
Imaging of the mountain flashed off and was replaced by a screen full of colors and letters Brady didn't understand.
"Are these the troops?" a blond woman asked, dressed in tactical clothing and sporting advanced weaponry that reminded Brady just how elite the positions in the special protective service were considered.
Brady whipped around at the familiar voice, staring at the petite brunette before him in surprise.
Brady blinked, realizing he was staring at her and everyone was staring at him.
Brady watched Angel carefully place the keypad into a wall with several others, then secure them behind a thick shield of titanium glass.
Brady followed with reluctance, intrigued to meet the woman whose voice had kept him company for several long weeks.
Brady's attention instinctively shifted to their surroundings as he sought threats among the quiet surroundings of the secured compound.
Brady opened his mouth to address her before remembering the best he could manage was a croak.
Both Lana and the general turned icy, less-than-impressed looks on him, and for once, Brady was glad he couldn't speak.
Lana smiled faintly, meeting Brady's gaze again.
Brady looked away, aware she didn't know him from any other man.
Her gaze shifted to the purple ring around Brady's neck before she returned to her microcomputer.
Brady watched her, doubtful the sort of mayhem that occurred on the compound was as dangerous as that they'd encountered on their trip up the mountain.
The sterile scent tickled Brady's nostrils.
Brady straightened and winked at Dan, who rolled his eyes in response.
Brady recognized him—he was another high-ranking politician in the President's cabinet.
Brady stepped from the greencar, not expecting the amount of brass and rank on the secluded mountaintop.
Brady moved forward, reaching for his own weapon as he sought to decipher the scene before him.
He issued a hand command Brady recognized.
Brady asked hoarsely, stopping beside Elise.
Brady slid away until he had a shot not blocked by the brunette.
Brady crept as close as he dared.
Elise rushed them, and Brady followed.
Brady sheathed his weapon and leapt over the boulders, confronting the struggling duo.
Lana's eyes opened, and she stared at Brady, emotions flying through the expressive gaze.
Arnie waved the laser as Brady crept closer.
She fell, and Brady lunged, snatching her belt as the two went over the edge.
The belt slipped, and Brady slung an arm around her, pulling her back hard.
Arnie's weight dropped, and Lana and Brady landed in a heap.
Her fingers opened to reveal a keypad similar to the one Brady delivered.
Brady reached into a cargo pocket and pulled free an emergency bandage wrap.
Brady jostled Lana's still body in his arms as he rose.
Brady placed her on it and gripped the handle, walking towards the road.
"He's the former supreme commander," Brady said.
"We're part of your outfit now," Brady reminded her.
Brady lifted Lana gently off the gurney and entered, following Elise through the waiting area into the bay beyond.
Brady set Lana down on a bed and stepped back.
Elise turned her attention on Brady.
Brady watched him clean the wound.
Brady chewed back a retort about how this particular army-type had been battling insurgents to reach them on the Peak.
No one here understood that they were surrounded by an enemy even Brady couldn't figure out yet.
Major Brady, she remembered.
Lana looked from him to Major Brady, with his darker features and hair.
Brady's voice was a hoarse whisper.
"Thank you, deep-throat," the doc said with a look at Major Brady.
"Drink," Brady's rough voice instructed.
"Thank you, Brady," she said.
She'd never interacted with the army-types before, but she found herself liking them, if they were all like Guardian and Brady.
Brady led her to the door without releasing her hand and opened it for her.
"No more cliff diving," Brady said as she stepped into the night.
Brady returned from surveying the supplies in the well-stocked medical facility.
Brady asked, wondering if the doctor was already high.
Dan rose and joined Brady.
Brady felt both surprise and some relief as the doc qualified his statement about everyone being dead.
"Something's not right here," Brady whispered.
Brady looked at Dan, who rolled his eyes.
Brady began to sort what supplies they needed and handed off a list to another soldier.
Brady froze and straightened from packing supplies, striding into the med center.
Brady moved forward at her words.
Brady signaled his men to ready themselves.
Brady caught her arm.
Brady wore PMF gray.
Beyond concerned, Brady crossed to the trembling woman and squatted.
"She's okay," Brady said, not entirely convinced.
Brady looked at Dan, who shook his head.
Brady pulled her into his lap and set to work on cleaning her up and repairing her wrist.
"She's gonna be a mess," Brady said.
This one … Brady shook his head at the woman in his lap.
When he'd gotten Donovan's blood off her, Brady lifted her and placed her in his bed.
Brady snorted and picked up her micro.
"Gee, thanks," Brady said dryly.
Brady posted two of his most trusted soldiers as guards and geared up for the mission to the Peak.
While the covers smelled like Brady, he was nowhere around.
Memories of almost being raped, of Brady killing someone in front of her … Her chest seized, and she dropped to her knees.
Brady had killed him for it.
Brady, Dan, and another man breezed past her.
From Dan's whiplike body to Brady's feline-like musculature to the stranger's towering frame, there was no mistaking them for normal soldiers.
Brady pulled her micro from his cargo pocket and approached her with a controlled, slow gate, much like that of a stalking lion.
She prayed for Brady to follow.
Brady was more likely to kill Guardian and steal his chocolate than be Guardian.
Maybe the man she thought was her Guardian really was dead, replaced by Brady, the man he truly was.
Brady looked up from the radar imaging on the screen before him.
"That's not our work," Brady said and lifted the metal.
Brady didn't think Dan was far off.
While Brady knew Lana was too afraid to leave his tent even if it wasn't guarded, he'd had to order Elise chained to a tree within view of four guards.
Brady held up the chunk of steel.
"Not my kind of op," Brady said.
"Because if you don't, we'll pop Lana," Brady said.
Brady crossed his arms.
Brady bristled and strode to her, stopping when he was close enough for their bodies to touch in an unmistakable attempt at intimidation.
Brady rested one hand on his laser gun until he was sure she wouldn't try anything.
Brady wondered what the good-natured man had said to piss her off so much.
Dan led them to Brady's tent and pushed the tent flap open.
Brady watched them, sensing the depth of their friendship.
Brady watched her face pale.
"You knew this would happen," Brady said, pointing to the picture on Dan's viewer.
Brady glanced at Dan, his face echoing his own puzzlement.
Brady sat back, as surprised as the others.
Brady leaned back, gazing at Lana.
Brady strode out and motioned to one of the guards.
We'll be a harder target to hit if we're separated, Brady said.
Brady shook his head.
Brady watched him, wishing they were closer to one of their secure facilities so he could make a call to Tim.
Please put it down, Brady.
I'd sleep with you, Brady.
Brady nudged strands of her hair away from her eyes and cupped her face with his other hand.
Brady didn't move away as he planned, instead teasing her mouth open.
Brady felt his control slip a notch.
Brady leaned away only to peel off his undershirt.
Brady kissed her forehead, eyelids, cheeks, and nipped her neck, enjoying the feel of her hands roaming over his chest and back.
Brady had taken care of this woman from a distance.
Sensing he had the upper hand in any case, Brady forced himself away from her.
Maybe he feared his punishment would be worse when she told Mr. Tim what he did, for Mr. Tim would surely crush Brady's PMF militia once he found out his friend was a traitor.
Her gaze settled on the trunk where Brady kept extra equipment.
Brady's voice awoke her from her uneasy doze a few hours later.
Dan's got her chained to a tree, she's so mad, Brady said.
She knew Brady was merciless but hoped her Guardian wouldn't kill her for this.
Brady straightened, the baton in hand.
"Brady, you said one night wasn't enough," she said.
Brady, I don't understand you.
Brady met her gaze again, taking in the array of emotions crossing her features.
Brady's body was hot, his mind racing.
Let's go again, Brady said, swiping the sweat from his face.
Brady straightened from his sparring stance.
Brady gritted his teeth but nodded.
"You're awfully chipper today," Brady said with a grimace.
"One night wouldn't hurt 'em," Brady grunted.
Brady ignored Dan, eyes taking in the progress of their preparations to leave.
Brady pulled a chair beside her.
Brady caught it and pulled out the medical supplies.
Brady shook his head, wanting nothing more than to return to the sparring ring.
Tim was already on the large screen when Brady entered the comms center several hours later.
Brady peeled off the top of his suit, drenched in sweat and splattered with blood.
Brady grunted in response.
Brady was burning up, his blood thrumming.
"It's a little rough back east," Brady said.
Even without their shared history, there had always been something about Tim that Brady liked.
He was ruthless, beyond loyal to the few he trusted, and quick to use his influence to get Brady access to any of the government's supplies, technology, intelligence, and anything else Brady requested it.
"I think someone did figure it out, or it wouldn't have gone up in smoke at all," Brady replied.
Brady assessed him, not sure what to think of the sudden guardedness to Tim's face.
Brady was surprised to see a genuine smile on Tim's face.
"I get that," Brady said dryly.
Brady pulled out his water bottle as he listened.
"I didn't think there was anyone capable of the nukes, if not us," Brady observed.
Brady held up his palm and drew a square around it.
"We're breaking camp and scattering today," Brady confirmed.
"Gently, Brady," he chided.
It's a warzone out here, Brady said.
The grim note in Dan's voice made Brady quicken his movements.
Brady chuckled and strode from the communications center.
Brady's men had dropped her, Elise, and Dan—along with two others—into the forest by helicopter two hours before.
"I'm here," Brady's growl came from the fog.
Brady raised his gun instead, aiming it at the man holding her.
Brady gripped her arm, pulling her quickly through the forest.
"Dan, go," Brady ordered, releasing her.
Brady turned away and started towards the forest.
Brady gazed at her intently.
Brady released her suddenly, and Lana wobbled.
For once, she almost understood Brady's ability to kill without regret.
Brady had piled his weapons on the couch and stripped down to a pair of pants and nothing else.
Brady asked, without looking up.
Brady glanced over his shoulder at her.
It was … ah … anyway, Brady, I feel like I know you already.
Brady paused in front of her, meeting her gaze.
Brady made love to her with passion and tenderness, a combination that made her fall even harder for the side of him that had kept her company for weeks and protected her.
Brady stirred across the room.
Brady's movement paused then resumed.
Will be back in the morning, Brady said and strode to the door.
She'd paid her one night with Brady and still didn't have her micro or the vault.
Her thoughts turned dark as her mind wandered to Brady.
"Brady said to help if you need it," a deep male voice said.
He was bigger than Brady by a head and one and a half times as wide.
Brady surveyed the mess before him, admiring the ability of the bio-elimination field to destroy on touch.
Even so, Brady and his team had arrived too late.
Brady rested his laser gun on his shoulder, taking in the undisturbed minefield and pieces of bodies remaining after several of the intruders tried to cross the bio-elim field before it was disabled.
"The feds always have the best shit," Brady said.
Brady walked the area between the double walls, looking for anything or anyone in a large enough piece to provide clues as to what was going on.
Brady forced his thoughts to his mission.
"I need a box full," Brady said.
"I sent Elise and Benny to teach Lana some self-defense," Brady said as they struck off in comfortable silence.
"She's gotta learn," Brady said firmly.
"I found another of those keypads," Brady said, ignoring Dan's words.
Brady gave him a look.
Brady's scouts reported nothing, and they emerged from the cover of nearby buildings.
Brady got his food as the two talked, seating himself before he looked to Dan again.
"Maybe later," Brady replied grudgingly.
Restless, Brady returned to his suite.
She was tense, and Brady wondered what happened while he was gone.
Leery of the change in her, Brady tucked the two away and crossed to the kitchen.
Brady tapped it open.
"Yeah," Brady agreed, eyes going to Elise's micro.
Brady stared at the door to his bedroom, torn between relief and regret.
Brady wiped his face, preparing himself for a confrontation.
"I did what I had to," Brady replied.
"Lana," Brady said, rising.
Brady bit back what he wanted to say and motioned towards the door.
Brady closed the door behind him, watching.
She'd been trying to reconcile his connection to the PMF since discovering the link between him and Brady earlier that day.
Everything—the net call that brought her to the Peak, the encrypted messages she'd read, Brady's protection—had fallen into place.
Brady hadn't just been lying to her about being the Guardian.
I am third generation PMF, like Brady.
When an attack was imminent, I called Brady and made him swear to take care of you.
Similar to Brady, there was no remorse in his admittance, and her throat tightened.
Brady is one of the best and brightest soldiers the PMF has, as well as a personal friend.
Brady squatted in front of her.
"I am who I am," Brady said.
"For what it's worth, I'm sorry I hurt you," Brady said quietly.
When she said nothing in response, Brady opened the channel.
Mr. Tim appeared, gaze moving from her to Brady.
She saw the considering look he gave Brady before he looked again to her.
I found encrypted correspondence from Greene and your orders to Brady to find me, before the nuke attacks.
Brady prodded at her silence.
I thought something was wrong when Brady's men stumbled across one of the devices and returned it to the mountain.
Brady's gaze was riveted to her.
Mr. Tim was staring at her in surprise, Brady in intense interest.
"Brady, I don't need to tell you how important it is that her vault doesn't fall into anyone's hands," Mr. Tim said.
She knew without a doubt Brady would follow Mr. Tim's orders.
Brady, take care of my girl.
Brady motioned her to follow him.
She looked at the grays, the clothing she'd seen for years on the people she thought were the country's enemies, then back at Brady.
Elise had said to survive, and Lana had no doubt Brady was the only one who could help her.
And Brady would always protect her.
Brady looked her over and drew a laser gun.
Brady motioned her towards the door and hung back, pressing his thumb to a keypad on the wall.
Brady joined her and pulled the door closed behind them.
"You keep those safe, and I'll keep you safe," Brady said.
Brady started down the trail towards the darkness of the forest.
They looked barely able to hold her, let alone Brady!
The helicopter lifted away before Brady had two feet in its belly, and the soldier holding her strapped her securely into a seat in the rear while the two of them stood with nonchalance in the center.
She looked around for Brady, afraid he'd be hurt or dead.
Brady's voice was quiet and even.
"Very slowly," Brady hissed through clenched teeth.
"Secure yours then toss us one of each," Brady directed.
Brady's tranquility steadied her, and she searched through the box.
"She makes a bad grunt," the soldier beside Brady said.
"Civilian-types," Brady grunted in agreement as he tore open the plastic containers.
She looked again at what awaited them and then up at Brady.
Brady unstrapped himself, and she watched uneasily as he inched closer to the center of the cabin, his hands—and concentration—on the ceiling.
"Looks like the handle is damaged," Brady replied.
Brady muttered a curse, reached for his laser weapon, and fired at an angle at the ceiling.
The helo teetered, throwing Brady off his feet.
Brady, please sit down!
Brady, we're going to fall.
"Brady!" she cried as he slammed into the wall of the cabin.
The helicopter righted itself fast, and she saw the parachute Brady had been trying to release by smashing his fist against the control box in the ceiling.
Her heart leapt as Brady was flung out of the helicopter.
She looked around, unable to see Brady or the other soldier.
"Brady!" she cried again.
Brady could've lost it in the river, but she should still pick up some electromagnetic fluctuation, if he was anywhere except the bottom of the river.
Brady hurt her, yet he'd been her only friend and protector.
For Brady, she told herself.
Brady's caution and Mr. Tim's words returned to her as her thoughts cleared with the exercise.
The woman was armed as well as Brady, Lana noted.
She couldn't stop thinking of Brady.
She wanted Brady back.
Brady's world was one of cold and darkness.
Brady relaxed, unable to clear his head or move his body.
Brady sat in silence for a long moment, thinking hard.
Brady struggled to move his body.
Brady released his breath.
Brady's gaze went to the window.
"It might take me awhile to get used to the bald Brady," Tim said.
"The one thing you didn't teach her," Brady pointed out.
Tim cared for Lana—that much Brady could see—but Tim cared as much for his career and getting what he wanted.
Brady was a different kind of man.
Brady's stomach roared at the scent of real food.
"He leaves tomorrow," Tim said before Brady could speak.
Five men, from our unique pool of soldiers, Brady said, exchanging a look of understanding with the Undersecretary.
And you, Major Brady, need to eat all you can if you plan on walking out of here in the morning.
Brady grunted in response and dug into the steak on the plate before him.
Brady ate until he was too stuffed to eat more, his mind racing.
"Before you leave," Tim said, stepping between Brady and his team, "I've briefed your team already.
"We'll be back by then," Brady said.
"You always have my support," Brady said.
I need more than your brawn, Brady.
Brady nodded and stepped around Tim.
Brady didn't care for power, which was why he'd always gotten along with Tim.
His grandfather had an almost subservient relationship to Tim's, but Brady had left the shadows on many occasions to remind Tim of what really mattered when the politician's ego started to get the best of him.
"Dan," Brady greeted his friend warmly and shook his hand.
"I see," Brady said, looking over Lana's blond friend.
"She doesn't have our training," Brady said, pensive.
Elise knows her better than anyone, Brady said with a glance at the blond woman.
"For her sake, I hope so," Brady said.
Brady and Elise exchanged a grim look.
Brady's chest had tightened at Dan's words, and he felt fear for the first time since he was a kid in basic training and had his first brush with his own mortality.
Brady focused on the micro, trying to figure out where Lana might've gone.
She dreamt of what life with Brady might've been like, away from the war and betrayal.
She'd seen what the PMF did to feds; if not for Brady, she'd be raped and dead by now.
And Brady, who had been in both worlds.
Her thoughts went to Brady again.
The eerie hulls of burnt-out cars up the road had been creepy even to Brady.
Brady scanned the surrounding forest again, trying to figure out which way Lana had gone.
And that she holds the keys to the world's survival in her hands, Brady added silently.
Elise needed no other motivation than her friend was in trouble, and Brady hadn't yet digested how such tiny devices could collapse the countries of the world.
"Four deer paths," Brady said.
"You two team up to take the northern route," Brady decided.
Brady started around the crater towards the southern route.
Brady pushed her from his mind, focusing on the deer path leading away from the condo community into the forest.
"No, Tim," Brady said dryly.
"That you did," Brady agreed.
"Brady," Tim said, considering.
I gotta go, Brady said and touched his net to close it.
Brady belonged in the field with his men, and life after they found Lana was not going to get easier.
Brady brooded then dismissed everything to focus on his surroundings.
Brady asked, alarmed by the grimness of Dan's voice.
Brady almost sighed in relief.
"I gave Lana a set before we left the commo site," Brady said.
Brady's attention shifted again to the forest.
"This isn't working," Brady said.
"Let's assume she ran into no trouble and traveled all ten days with four-hour breaks every day," Brady said.
Brady tapped his foot, frustrated they'd wasted half a day without finding any trace of her.
"That's eight hundred square kilometers," Brady said.
Brady waited impatiently as his friend manipulated the data.
Brady looked over the newest results then called for a helo to airlift them.
Brady and his team climbed in and were lifted up.
Brady watched the helo lift off then turned to the abandoned city.
Brady asked, gazing at the empty highway system on one side of them and the city on the other.
Brady identified it long before they arrived.
Something rustled in the back, and Brady drew a knife, entering.
Brady cursed and darted around the shelf, sprinting after the kid.
The youth turned a corner, and Brady followed then stopped.
People have expanded them since then, Brady added.
"A lot of them are," Brady agreed.
"Right," Brady agreed and started down the tunnel.
Brady reached the intersection and saw the tunnel running perpendicular opened into a crowded underground city.
Brady stepped into the bustling world.
Brady stopped and waited for the soldier to approach.
Brady's eyes took in the occupants of the underground world.
He knocked on the door briskly and opened the door, motioning Brady in.
"Things went crazy," Brady said and grunted as the large man squeezed him in a bear hug.
Brady lifted his chin to the rest of their team, and they obediently left the commander's small quarters.
Brady asked, exchanging a look with Dan.
The way Charlie's gaze glowed at the mention of the reward made Brady uneasy.
"It wouldn't surprise me if Tim re-routed them," Brady said.
Brady glanced up at Elise's hard tone, sensing she'd not yet absorbed the fact the government she served had splintered.
I think that's why they stuck you in Arkansas, Brady said.
Charlie's gaze was amused, though he said nothing of Brady's long look at the picture.
Brady began to recall why he never liked Charlie that much in the first place.
It was Charlie's seedy character that disturbed Brady.
The thought of his Angel in Charlie's reach infuriated Brady.
Brady studied the map.
Brady looked at her pointedly, and she crossed her arms.
"Thanks, Charlie," Brady said.
"We'll have to split up," Brady answered.
One north, one south, Brady answered.
A lot of money up for grabs, Brady.
Brady signaled to the two team members going with him then looked to Tony.
Brady couldn't help the feeling that they were still shooting in the dark.
On instinct, Brady opened the channel to Lana's net.
She'd seen Brady thrown from it and no bodies wash up on shore.
Brady's voice held the gravelly note it had since his neck was injured.
There are … Brady went on.
"This looks messy," Brady's quiet voice came across her net.
Brady's comment made her stifle a laugh.
At the first drop of laser missiles, Brady had figured there was one thing that would make the fed jets target the inconsequential town, and it was Lana.
I don't think you called in this strike, Brady answered, looking over the flattened city grimly.
Brady, I don't need to tell you that there are more rats in the fed ranks than I can find.