Disclaimer: See Chapter One.
A/N: Sorry about the delay life came up and kicked me in the butt.
Many thanks for all the reviews and rec's.
Now, its a holiday weekend and a new season of Doctor Who is starting today and I've got some work to do before I can enjoy the greatness that is the Doctor.
The light coming from the windows of the place where Willow had managed to get her a dozen snowmobiles cast a golden yellow glow on the white snow all around them. Not that she paid it all that much attention as she focused her attention on what was going on around her. They'd managed to recruit seven of the local officers who had their own gear for the weather into joining them and now they were all gathered around where Agent Rossi had spread the new version of the map Willow had sent her over the back of one of the snowmobiles.
“We've managed to narrow down possible locations where the UnSub might be holding his victims to twelve of the most likely locations.” Agent Hotchner motioned to the map.
“So one each and someone left to man the radios.” she gave a nod. That would make things go much more quickly.
“No, I want two person teams. One Agent and one officer with one of the officers left to coordinate with medical help once we find where the victims are being held.”
She was cut off by one of the officers, she was pretty sure his name was Deputy Bradley. “He's right ma'am. Going out alone in these mountains even in good weather is a fast way to get yourself dead.”
The urge to grind her teeth was overwhelming but she pushed it down. Fine, two to a team and two locations, it was do-able. “Fine.” she didn't like it though. And rather than do or say something that she might not regret she walked away from the group and let them hash out who was going where.
She reached one of the other snowmobiles and leaned against it, the pack she was wearing feeling odd because she'd never really had to wear any of the gear packs before. Mostly because they had three teams that specialized in extreme survival situations while slaying. They were called the ETripS teams and all the members of the two teams had volunteered to do the stuff that even the most skilled and brave slayers she'd seen trained didn't want to do. Though to be fair everyone had to go though the basic survival training, from Watchers to Witches. And even she and Faith had had to suffer through it for three weeks because Giles had thought that seeing that even the Alpha slayers still had to learn the new requirements was good for morale.
Not that she hadn't spent just about every waking hour when she wasn't setting up new Slayer schools learning something since she and the others had taken over the Council but the survival course had been filmed and shown to the girls as a morale boosting thing by Dawn. Five years later and they still laughed at she and Faith over the thing with the lizard. Or Xander and the leeches but that really had been funny.
Back then she'd been as or possibly more unhappy about it than Faith had been but now she was actually glad Giles had forced her to go with the other senior staff. Otherwise she'd have had no clue what the little flat squares in one of the pouches on her belt were. And what they were were little hand warmers that worked kinda like glow sticks. Though instead of being sticks or glow-y they were like little mini heaters that she spent a minute activating and shoving inside her gloves.
She looked up when she heard the group of Agents and Officers start to move and found Agent Hotchner heading to where she was. “You don't trust me.” simple statement of fact.
“You're personally involved in this case and that means your judgment is clouded no matter what you may believe.” their eyes locked as he reached her and she was suddenly aware that he had almost a foot in height on her without her wearing boots with heels.
“Think whatever you want, Agent Hotchner.” she pushed herself off the side of the snowmobile and held out a hand for his pack so she could strap it to the back of the snowmobile. “We have better things to be doing than playing this game.”
Reid had divided the map into sections, plotting out the most efficient routes for each of the teams to take in order to give them as much time as possible to get any victims to safety if they were found before the worst of the blizzard hit in the afternoon. But even with that advantage it took almost an hour for himself and Summers to reach the first location marked on their map.
“Up on the left.” she had to almost shout to be heard over the sound of the snowmobile's engine and through the thick scarf covering her face. He slowed the snowmobile and turned his head to the side, peering through the goggles he wore until he spotted the almost hidden signs that said that the mine was off limits.
“I see it.” he turned them left and eased closer to the entrance. The mine was in the side of a cliff face and almost a hundred feet above the wall of stone vanished into nothingness. At any other time he'd have thought their surroundings beautiful but now, with the snow falling steadily and hard, all he was truly aware of was that they were racing against a clock before the biggest blizzard in nearly a hundred years hit the Rocky Mountain National Forest.
Once they were within ten feet he stopped the snowmobile and almost instantly he felt Summers get off. The shock of below freezing cold that hit his back once she was no longer pressed into him to hold on was almost staggering for a moment but he shook it off.
By the time he'd managed to get off the snowmobile and get his footing Summers was already at the blocked off entrance of the mine and he wondered how exactly she could manage to move around with such ease in snow that went up past his own knees. “Someone's been here recently.” her voice carried over with the biting wind. “There should be a lock on these gates.” he finally reached her and looked over the thick iron gates that blocked entrance into the mine.
“We need to get these doors open.” he eyed the high snow and realized they were going to have a problem. “We're going to have to dig.”
Summers eyed the snow that came up to mid thigh on her and then looked back at the gates for a moment. “Actually, no we don't.” she pushed herself over a couple of feet to the edge of the gates. “Look at the hinges.” she pointed and he looked up at where she was pointing about half a foot over his head. “All we have to do is pull the pins and the door will come off.”
“Alright.” he considered what would happen once the door no longer had any support. If he gave it a shove inward once the pins were removed then it would fall inward rather than outward and potentially crushing them. “Can you get the lower one?”
She gave a nod and reached down to start digging. He leaned over an began to help, their thick gloves making it a slight challenge along with the wind. It took a few minutes, by which time his fingers had begun to ache from the cold, but they managed to clear the snow away.
He gave a nod and made sure he had a good grip on the pin above his head. “One.”
“Two.” he braced himself and put his other hand on the gate.
“Three.” he pulled the pin with one hand and shoved as hard as he could. Yes there was snow inside the old mine but it was almost a foot less deep on the other side of the gate. The gate moved and he pushed himself backward out of any possible impact with the heavy thing just as Summers did. The sound was odd, loud yet muffled by the snow and wind. He blinked several times and realized his goggles had slipped down his forehead with with sudden movement. Shoving them back into place he managed to get himself back upright and take in the effect of their improvised way of getting into the mine.
The gate had indeed managed to fall inside, burying itself into the snow inside. “Let's go.” Summers started heading inside, leaving him to draw his gun and follow behind.
“Are you armed?” she didn't need to hear Agent Hotchner behind her to know he was there, her senses were high alert.
She didn't bother to reply and instead pulled the blade from her waist. She'd managed to kill an Ubervamp with a piece of wire, a knife against the any possible threat a human could provide was more than enough for her unless there was a tank involved. He gave her a look but she ignored it as he moved ahead of her into the mine, she had other things at hand.
She let her senses go, stopped filtering out all the ambient things she'd had to train herself to ignore in order to stay sane with enhanced senses and started to pay attention. The wind outside the mine was brutal, but thankfully it wasn't blowing in the direction of the entrance so she didn't have as great a problem with it as she might have.
But once she filtered out the sound of the wind she picked up two things. One was the utter silence of the mine. And the second was something she swore sounded like the ticking of a clock. Her eyes widened for a heart beat as realization hit. They'd had to remove all metal from where it would touch skin because of the cold and neither she nor Hotchner were wearing watches because of it.
It only took the blink of an eye for her to react, to put all the slayer speed and strength into the movement as she pushed herself at the Agent in front of her.
And it was almost too late.
*Hides behind rock.* Don't yell, maim or threaten to kill me. The next chapter is already written and ready to go when life allows me the time to post it.
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