Part II - Chapter 10 - When Shit Hits the Fan

The group reached the cabin and locked up the now conscious prisoners in the storm cellar, after re-sealing the door that Rachel and James had apparently kicked in earlier. Fiona volunteered to watch over the prisoners which enabled the rest of the group to return to the cabin.

As soon as they pushed open the door to the cabin, tempers flared as accusations were being fired upon Doc. Michael and Brisco pushed a bewildered and silent Doc into a chair. While they had all experienced plans go awry in the past, this time, much of the problems and now a lost Pete, seemed to center around Doc. However, Madeline tried to calm everyone down with offers of beer from the icebox but when it was clear that no one was backing down, she took out a gun and fired it in the air. Everyone looked at her in stunned silence.

“Boys, I think it’s time for you to take a walk,” Madeline stated in a stern voice as she lit her next cigarette. As Michael and Brisco attempted to protest, she held up her hand and gave them each a look that meant she was about to tend to business. When Maddie gave that look, you knew that she would obtain information faster than any Pinkerton, Marshall, or skilled torturer. That woman could draw blood from a stone if needed.

Michael silently took the beers Madeline had offered, nodded his head toward the outside, and a frustrated Brisco followed Michael out of the cabin. However, the two men did not go on a walk. Instead, Michael leaned against the house as Brisco angrily paced.

After several minutes of Brisco stewing, Michael broke the silence, “After all of these years being undercover, I finally have an out. No more of the spy life. Just heading operations and advising bureaucrats.”

“Don’t blame me for your bad decisions,” retorted Brisco sarcastically. At Michael’s surprised look, Brisco gave him an impish smile. “C’mon! The only thing worse than a spy is a political bureaucrat. You’re going to be bored out of your mind.”

“As bored as a Hollywood consultant?” retorted Brisco.

“Touché,” grinned Brisco.

“What do you do in that role, anyway? I have yet to see an accurate ‘Western’ movie.”

“It’s mostly just drinking and watching movies. They rarely actually want the truth.”

“Sounds familiar,” Michael smirked. A moment passed before Michael became serious again, “It really is time to go home. And I owe you Brisco. Truly.”

Brisco sighed as he felt this conversation was becoming more sappy than he was open to feeling right now. “Of all of the times for Doc to go silent! Right when we had James in our grasp and this whole drama so close to an end.”

“Brisco, I need you to hear me,” the urgency as Michael said this interrupted Brisco’s thoughts and he looked into Michael’s face. “You are the best man and the best friend that I have ever had. I need you to know that Brisco. You need to let go of the weight that you are carrying because that guilt is going to distract you and get you killed.”

Brisco knew that Michael was warning him to let go of his mission to save Bowler’s son but that request was out of the question. But instead of opening up another argument, Brisco changed the subject.

“So, we’re in the middle of nowhere. Where was your mom wanting us to walk?”

“What do you have against trees?” inquired Michael as stood up from against the house and began walking around the cabin towards the back of it.

“So, are you taking me out back to show me another secret tunnel or super-secret spy station with the weapons of the future that I was supposed to be selling?”

“Actually, I am about to introduce you to the newest member of your team.”

They turned the corner and behind the cabin were two cars – one that was loaded up with luggage but the other car was nearly empty. Michael led Brisco to the less filled vehicle and continued, “I found her on my way through Dodge City, she was pretty beat up but I was able to restore her as a stress relief during this job. Not only can she handle the miles but she can charge through whatever speed or trouble you throw at her.”

“A restored Dodge Charger, huh? How much do I owe you for her?”

“She’s a gift,” Michael replied. “By the way, I think Fiona packed some guns, ammunition, and a couple sticks of TNT in the back for you.”

Brisco didn’t know what to say. About Michael’s advice, about the car, or about the small armory from Fiona. There was just too much that happened in a short amount of time and his head was spinning.
“He’s finally able to talk,” came a voice. They both turned around and saw that Maddie had joined them, she had clearly worked her magic on Doc. And they had only a short time to talk and plan before U.S. Attorney Brigstone would be coming to pick up the prisoners.

- - - - - - - - -

Doc’s hands were shaking as he slowly sipped from a glass of water. Brisco couldn’t help but notice that while Doc was no longer catatonic, he was still very much shaken. Doc brought the glass down and held it unsteadily in his lap before slowly beginning.

“When the hotel manager and I left the room, I did not get a good look at the long haired guy-“

“Pete,” chimed in Brisco in an attempt to help.

“Yeah. The hotel manager directed us around the room and I stood outside the room. I heard a commotion as I circled the room and found James and the other guy, Pete, knocked out on the floor. I looked up and saw the hotel manager leading Rachel out at gunpoint so I quickly helped James wake up. I had just enough time to let him know that Rachel was in trouble before we decided that it would be best for me to lead James out at gunpoint and surprise the hotel manager or anyone else who might be waiting outside.

“As we walked towards the door, I told James that if any trouble occurred that he needed to simply think ‘home’ and the bracelet would take him home. When he asked me what I meant by “home,” I realized that with the loss of his father, his world had been so shaken that nowhere had felt like home. That at least explained why he’s been moving through time and visiting all of my programmed locations. To help guide him, I told him to focus on the feeling of ‘home’ that his mother provided the next time he felt himself leaving by bracelet.”

Doc took another unsteady breath before continuing, “We walked outside and the man was grilling Rachel. I can’t exactly remember all that was said, I just know that Rachel was shot. It was so fast. I don’t know if it was her shoulder, her heart, or what. There was blood everywhere-“

“It’s ok, Doc,” came Madeline’s soothing voice. “You’re safe now.”

“James picked up Rachel and I shouted directions to James on how to start the bracelet and to think of “home.” Within a few minutes, they were gone. Suddenly, Fiona was crashing through the hotel in the car, there were gunshots and explosions, I ran around the hotel trying to get guests out of the hotel, and then suddenly we were leaving town.”

“How does Pete fit into all of this?” asked Michael.

“I have no idea. You gotta believe me! All I know is that he was the long-haired man that I ran into which launched all of this craziness. I have no clue about how he ended up in my time, but I do know that he is the man that we sent Socrates to look for in San Francisco.”

Brisco took in Doc’s limited explanation before musing aloud, “So, I guess our next question is, how the hell did Pete Hutter land in the future? And where exactly has he been staying in San Francisco?”

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