Team Knight Rider - Season Two

Chapter Two: The Vasquez Missile Incident

Part Two

Back inside the mine, Kyle and Duke were busy picking at the rock when they heard a small commotion heading towards them. A group of six men, four armed, approached. Kyle and Duke recognized James, and guessed the man with him was Vasquez. Kyle kept an eye on them as they passed, and Duke occasionally stole glances.

As they drew nearer, they could hear James and Vasquez speaking in Spanish. When they were only ten feet away, Vasquez turned and spoke to one of his men. While he was, James looked around idly, scanning the mine. His eyes fell on Kyle. They made eye contact momentarily before Kyle looked away and attacked the rock once again. When he looked back moments later, James' eyes were still on him. As soon as Kyle looked up, James smiled at him and winked, then turned to follow Vasquez.

"What was that about?" Duke asked.

Kyle shook his head.

"He recognized me," Kyle said, "But for some reason he's not letting on."

"But why?"

Kyle replied, "That's one thing I'd like to find out. Let's go."

Kyle and Duke ever so casually slung their pickaxes over their shoulders and followed James and the others at a safe distance. After only going a short distance, the six people came up to a stone wall and stopped. Kyle and Duke ducked behind a corner and watched as Vasquez opened up a hidden panel in the wall and punched in four numbers. Then there was a click, and a hidden door opened up into a secret part of the mine. The six people walked through.

"Let's go!" Kyle whispered urgently.

Kyle and Duke raced towards the slowly closing door and managed to sneak through before it closed. Luckily no one saw them.

On the other side was a very large room the size of half a football field. Smack dab in the middle was the missing missile, pointing up most likely towards a trap door. All around it were miners, hacking at the rocky walls, apparently unconcerned about the huge death-machine sitting only a few feet away.

"Looks like we found the missile," Duke observed.

Kyle put his watch up to his mouth as they continued to follow James and Vasquez.

"Trek," he said, "Let the authorities know that we found the missile in Vasquez' mine. It's behind a hidden door at the very back."

"Gotcha, Kyle," Trek responded, "Do you need any backup?"

"No," Kyle told him, "And tell Jenny and Erica not to try to come in."

"Kyle," Duke spoke up, "They're splitting up."

As they watched they saw James split off from the rest of the group and start down a corridor while Vasquez and his men kept on their course.

"You follow Vasquez," Kyle told him, "I'll stay with James."

Duke nodded, and the two TKR members split up as well.

Vasquez led the way towards another corridor off the main room. This one, however, was protected by two armed guards who stepped in front of Duke as soon as he started to walk through.

"No pasas! Làrguese!" one of the guards told him sternly.

Duke held his hand up.

"Sì, sì," he said, backing off. As he walked away he casually lifted his hand to wipe his brow.

"I lost him, Kyle," he reported, "Some guards blocked my way."

"That's OK, Duke," Kyle told him, "Just wait there until the authorities come and make sure they can get in."

"No problem."

* * *

Fortunately the tunnel James walked down was less guarded, and Kyle had no trouble following him. James seemed calm and cool as he walked, hands in pockets, and even started whistling. The sound carried through the mine tunnel and echoed off the walls. James soon came to a T-section and rounded the corner, and Kyle followed.

Immediately he knew he'd made a minor mistake. Just around the corner was a heavy steel door locked with a keypad. Two armed guards stood on either side. James greeted them in Spanish and punched in the password to the keypad, opening the door and disappearing inside. Kyle decided not to follow him down the hallway, and instead attempted to pass right by the T-section. Unfortunately it didn't work.

"Tŭ! Alto! Alto!"

As soon as Kyle heard the guards calling him, he started running. He could hear them following. Kyle saw that the tunnel made a sharp right turn only twenty feet ahead, and he sped around the corner only to bump into two more guards who were on the alert. One of the guards hit him across the back with his weapon, and Kyle fell to the floor on his hands and knees. The two guards that had been chasing him previously, seeing he was caught, left to return to their posts. The two guards who caught him lifted Kyle off his feet and started dragging him away.

"Can't we talk about this, guys?" he asked them, "Por favor?"

One of the guards shoved him forward roughly in response.

Five minutes later Kyle was led into a small control room with computer equipment and monitors filling the table along the far wall. Kyle recognized Vasquez, who was there with two more of his men.

"Ah," Vasquez said, coming up to Kyle, "You must be from Team Knight Rider. Señor Arthur warned me you people might try something."

"Did he?" Kyle asked, "I'm not surprised. Too bad it won't do any good. I already warned the authorities what you're doing here. They should be arriving anytime."

Vasquez gave him a humorless smile.

"I'm sure they will be," he told him, "Even so, they cannot come in here without knowing the password. I assure you my plans will not be interrupted."

"You sound pretty sure of yourself," Kyle commented.

Vasquez came closer to him and grinned widely.

"That's because I am," he stated.

Vasquez then turned and barked an order to his men in Spanish. They tied Kyle’s hands behind his back and shoved him into an empty wooden chair, then they tied his feet. He watched as one of Vasquez' men entered commands on the computer setup. Kyle frowned and glanced from the monitor to Vasquez.

"You're not actually planning on activating the missile now, are you?" he asked.

Vasquez, without even looking at Kyle, grinned wickedly in response.

Just at that moment, the door opened and a single man walked in. It was James. James and Kyle made eye contact immediately, and James appeared none too surprised to see him.

"I see you caught Señor Stewart," James spoke up.

"Just in time for the fireworks," Vasquez said. He then went over to James, put an arm around him, and faced Kyle.

"It was Señor Arthur here who made this all possible," Vasquez told Kyle proudly, "You see, without the codes he supplied, we would not have been able to activate this wonderful weapon."

"How nice for you," Kyle said sarcastically, "Tell me, just where do you plan on aiming the missile?"

Vasquez moved away from James and walked closer.

"The coordinates for the missile have been set for the capital of Iraq," he informed Kyle, "Our intent is to spark a war between that country and the United States. Since this missile has US markings, the Iraqis will be able to recognize it before it even strikes. They will know exactly who brought this terror on them and who to seek revenge with. The peace treaty will be broken, and war will resume."

"But why?" Kyle asked, "Is all this just to sell off your supply of weaponry to the armies?"

Vasquez smiled and nodded.

"That is part of it, yes," he admitted, "With war comes big profit for people such as myself. But that is not the only reason. There is a third party to this arrangement who is recompensing me quite well for this event."

"Third party?" Kyle asked curiously, "Who?"

Vasquez was just about to reply when alarms started ringing throughout the mines. Red lights flashed on some of the monitors as well. Vasquez hurried over to one of the monitors that revealed security cameras. On one picture they could see Beast advancing on the mine, taking out armed guards. Jenny and Erica were inside, and the Mexican police were right behind them.

"Looks like your amigos have arrived," Vasquez said.

"You think that one little door will stop them from coming in?" Kyle told him, "I can assure you, it won't be long now. Give up while you still can."

Vasquez glared at him, then spoke briefly to James in Spanish. James nodded in reply. Then Vasquez gave James a small key, turned, and left the room with his men, leaving Kyle alone with James.

"What's he doing, running and leaving you here?" Kyle taunted.

James didn't even spare him a glance as he peered at the monitors.

"He's going to take care of your friends," James told him absently.

Suddenly James turned around and walked right over to Kyle. He stepped to the back of the chair, reached down and yanked the wristwatch off Kyle's arm. Then, holding the watch in one hand, he draped his free arm around Kyle and bent down so their heads were side by side.

"Let's give your friends a call, shall we?" he said.

James pressed a button on the watch, opening the com-link frequency. The watch face then revealed Jenny's face.

"Excuse me, Jenny," James said, "but I believe I have someone you want."

"Kyle?" Jenny asked, her miniature face peering at them, "Are you all right?"

"He's fine," James answered for him, "For now, that is. However if you and your little army don't vacate the mine immediately, I can't make any promises about his health in the near future. Adios!"

"Wait, Jenny, don't...!"

Before Kyle could get any more words out, however, James clicked off the communicator and stuffed it into Kyle's shirt pocket.

"No sense in bothering them any further," James told him.

They both looked over at the security monitors. Naturally, Jenny made Beast back off. Kyle sighed in frustration.

"Don't worry, Kyle," James assured him, "You won't have to stay here much longer."

His words were not all that comforting.

"You're nothing but a traitor," Kyle accused, becoming annoyed at the young criminal.

"Your words wound me to the core," James assured him sarcastically.

"So what's in it for you?" Kyle asked, "Money? Power?"

James shrugged.

"I get what I need to survive," was his simple answer.

Just then the walkie-talkie on James' belt crackled and a Spanish-speaking voice came through. James picked it up and he and the man on the other end had a conversation that Kyle managed to barely understand. The main idea was that James had just been ordered to put the plan into motion. That meant setting off the missile.

"You do realize you could be put to death for this," Kyle warned him.

James ignored him and started entering commands into the computer. A minute later the words on the monitor announced in Spanish that the countdown to the missile launch had been activated. A clock in one corner then began the countdown from 00:05:00.

"I think it'll take the police longer than five minutes to find this place," James said aloud.

Kyle glanced at the security monitor at the screen that revealed the hidden door. Seconds later he saw Duke approach the door. James saw this too. Only a moment later the door was opened, thanks to Kyle's teammate. Mexican police poured through.

"Looks like the police didn't pay attention to your warning," Kyle noted.

James just shrugged.

"It's not really that important," he said calmly.

"Then I take it you have an escape plan?" Kyle asked.

James looked at him.

"Of course," he told him.

James then reached into the inside of his jacket and pulled out a sleek black handgun. He aimed it loosely at Kyle, then approached him. Kyle tensed himself, prepared for the worst. But instead of shooting Kyle, James bent down and used his free hand to untie Kyle's bonds at his ankles. Then he grabbed Kyle by the collar and pulled him to his feet.

"Using me as a hostage?" Kyle asked.

"Like I told Erica," James said as he nudged Kyle out the door into the corridor, "I don't use hostages."

"Then why keep me alive?" Kyle asked as he walked at gunpoint down the tunnel.

"Because," James told him, "I thought maybe we could keep each other company for the trip back to the states."

* * *

"The police searched all through the mine," Duke informed Jenny and Erica when he joined them with Beast, "But both James and Vasquez got away with Kyle."

"What about the missile?" Jenny asked.

Duke gave her a look.

"Missing," he said, "Looks like they already set it to go off."

Jenny looked down and shook her head.

"Trek," Erica spoke into her com-link, "You didn't happen to see a missile going off, did you?"

"Actually, I did," Trek replied, "But I don't think there's anything to worry about."

All three of them looked up quickly, puzzled.

"What do you mean?" Jenny asked him.

"Well, somehow the missile missed its target," Trek said, "by about a hundred thousand miles or so. It's headed straight for the sun."

"The sun?" Duke asked.

"Did you do that, Trek?" Jenny asked.

"Wasn't me," Trek admitted, "Someone else must've hacked in and diverted it. But whoever it was had to have the exact codes for the missile in order to change the programming."

"But Shakir had the only file containing the codes," Jenny said, "and you said James erased them all."

"He did."

"Then how could someone else get the codes?"

"I have absolutely no idea," Trek replied helpfully.

Jenny relaxed her shoulders.

"Well, at least it's out of the way," Jenny said, "Now we can just concentrate on capturing Vasquez and James and getting Kyle back."

"I took the liberty of tracing Kyle's communicator," Dante spoke up, "He's in a helicopter heading for the US border."

"We follow him," Jenny decided. She turned to Duke and told him, "Let's go back to SkyOne."

Duke nodded and climbed into Beast.

"Hey, Jenny," Beast spoke up, "Why don't you ride with me. I'm much more comfortable, and you won't get any dust in your face."

"Jenny would much rather ride with me," Domino told him, then added, "Wouldn't you, Jenny?"

Jenny smiled.

"Thanks anyway, Beast," she told him before getting into her own car.

"It was worth a shot," Beast mumbled.

* * *

Kyle winced as he gingerly set himself down on the small cot in the cell located in Vasquez' hidden base, which Kyle figured was somewhere in Arizona. As soon as they'd arrived, Kyle had been taken to the cell and roughed up by three of Vasquez' men. He'd heard while still on the helicopter that the missile hadn't landed in Iraq and had been diverted. Vasquez had been outraged. James hadn't seemed affected by the news very much.

So now Kyle waited in silence. He knew his team would be coming to get him soon since James hadn't thought to keep Kyle's communicator, which also acted as a tracking beacon. It was only a matter of time.

Kyle only had to wait thirty minutes before a guard entered, handcuffed him, and roughly prodded him out of the dark cell. Kyle remained silent and obedient as he was led through the small, broken-down building to a large room with a picture window looking over the front of the hideout. They appeared to be in a tower about six floors above ground. When Kyle glanced out the glass, he could see that beyond the steel fence surrounding the small complex was nothing but rocks and desert.

"You," Vasquez said as soon as he saw Kyle. He was standing by the window, along with James. Some of his men were nearby.

"Looks like your great plan failed," Kyle remarked.

Vasquez' face was a mask of fury.

"I would advise you not to speak that way to me," Vasquez warned, "I killed the man in charge of programming the missile's trajectory. I would not hesitate to have you killed as well."

"Why bother?" Kyle asked impudently, "I mean, you're going to kill me anyway, right?"

Vasquez looked at him a moment, calming down. Then he nodded.

"Yes, I am," he agreed, "And I agree. I may as well kill you now."

Before he could order his men to carry out the deed, however, James spoke up in Spanish. Kyle understood a little. James told Vasquez that Kyle night prove useful later on if TKR tried to come after them. Vasquez looked at James for a moment, then shrugged.

"You want him," he told James, "you can have him. Señor Stewart is your responsibility."

Kyle and James looked at each other. James then gave Kyle a smile. Kyle just glared back at him, wondering what he was up to.

* * *

"Kyle's homing beacon is still strong," Dante announced, "We're only half a mile away."

"OK, Dante," Jenny replied.

It was hours after Vasquez' escape from his mine in Mexico. Now TKR, under Jenny's leadership, was driving through the Arizona desert, following the signal on Kyle's communicator beacon. Jenny and Domino were in the lead, followed by Dante, then Duke and Beast, and finally Erica and Trek in the combo car. Even though he was driverless, Dante had insisted upon joining them to rescue Kyle.

"So what's the plan Jenny?" Erica asked, "You do have a plan, don't you?"

"Of course she has a plan," Trek spoke up, "She's in command."

"I say we just go in, free Kyle, grab Vasquez and James, and leave," Beast suggested.

"Very smooth, Beast," Domino commented, "Tell me, did it take you all day to come up with that plan, or did you just think of it now?"

"Very funny, Domino," Beast said, "I'd like to see you come up with something."

"No need," Jenny intervened, "Sorry, Beast, but I'd rather make this quiet. If we just burst in, we could be putting Kyle in danger."

"No offense, Jenny," Beast said, "but how can we sneak up on them in the desert. They'll see us clearly in about thirty seconds."

"Good point, Beast," Dante said, "Jenny, might I suggest the group of boulders located at the west side of Vasquez' hideout. If we hid behind them on our approach, we could take them by surprise."

"Good idea, Dante," Jenny agreed.

"I thought you'd like it."

* * *

Back in Vasquez' tower, James approached Kyle, the grin still on his face, and put his arm around him.

"Looks like it's you and me," he said.

Kyle jerked out of James' grasp.

"Not for long," Kyle predicted.

James shrugged, uninsulted.

"You're probably right," he agreed lightly, "I'm sure your friends are on their way to save you right now. Let's see, with you gone, that would leave Jenny in command, right? Well, then, hey! You're as good as saved!"

Noting the sarcasm in James' voice, Kyle just glared at him in response. James just chuckled and gazed out the window. Kyle knew very well that with Jenny in command, TKR had a good leader. He also knew that James was right in assuming they would be coming to rescue him. In fact, Kyle expected them anytime now.

"Sir!" one of the guards spoke up, "Our motion sensors on the west side have detected four vehicles approaching the compound."

James turned and winked at Kyle, who ignored him. Kyle squared his shoulders and took an even breath, confidant his teammates would pull through for him.

"Attack," Vasquez ordered. He then glanced at James and said, "To the choppers." James nodded.

Kyle watched as Vasquez gathered his men and left the tower, leaving only himself and James behind.

"Time to go, buddy," James told him.

James pulled a set of small keys out of a pocket and tossed them to Kyle, who caught them deftly. Kyle looked down. They were handcuff keys. Next James pulled his handgun out of its holster and aimed it at Kyle.

"Uncuff yourself, then start walking," he ordered.

Kyle, for now, obeyed.

* * *

"They've detected us," Dante announced suddenly as they came upon the compound, "There are motion sensors placed all around the compound."

"I guess that means we do this my way," Beast spoke up.

"All right, everybody," Jenny said, "No sense trying to stay undercover since they probably already know we're here. We'll split up. Duke, you take the east side. Trek, Erica, you enter here on the west. Dante and I will go in through the front."

"Yes, ma'am," Trek replied.

They split up and converged on the compound. Using their lasers, they each cut through the fence and broke through on three sides. They were immediately met with gunfire from the twenty or so troops stationed all around the compound, both on the ground and on elevated walkways. The bullets ricocheted off of the vehicles' armor exteriors.

Some of the men, noticing that bullets had no effect on the vehicles, brought out heavier artillery such as rocket launchers. The cars then had to work to avoid their mighty blasts. One nearly caught Beast, but the supertruck managed to ease by with only a few scratches.

"OK, that guy's toast," Beast growled.

Seconds later Beast fired his laser at the rocket launcher itself, melting it and causing the man holding it to drop it in haste.

"Now this is what I call fun," Beast said.

"Nice shot, Beast," Jenny approved.

"No sweat, Jenny," Beast said in a tamer voice, "That's nothin'."

"Do you have to egg him on?" Duke asked her.

* * *

Kyle squinted as they came out into the sunlight. A long metal walkway stood between him and the elevator leading down to the ground where he could see his teammates fighting Vasquez' men. Kyle hesitated on the walkway, looking to see how they were doing.

"Hey!" James spoke up from just behind him; "This isn't a sightseeing tour. Let's keep going!"

Kyle, his hands placed on top of his head, gave a quick glance behind him before he continued across the walkway. He could almost feel the cold steel gun pointed right at his back.

* * *

"Jenny," Domino spoke up suddenly, "Look, up on the walkway. It's Kyle."

Jenny turned her head and looked up to see Kyle walking along one of the elevated walkways at gunpoint. She also recognized James holding the gun.

"We have to do something," Jenny said.

"Why don't I use one of my lasers to create a diversion?" Domino suggested.

Jenny hesitated a moment before agreeing.

"OK," she said, "but make sure Kyle doesn't get hurt."

"Of course not," Domino said coyly, "We wouldn't want anything to happen to our handsome leader."

"Just do it, Domino," Jenny told her sternly.

Domino aimed at one of the lamps right behind James and fired.

* * *

As soon as the lamp was struck it created a small explosion of noise and sparks, some of which landed on James' jacket. Kyle, realizing his friends were trying to help him, turned quickly to take advantage. He was surprised, however, that James stood perfectly still, gun still aimed at Kyle, his eyes unflinching. He merely brushed aside the sparks with his free hand and glanced at the fallen lamp disdainfully.

"A rather poor attempt at a distraction, I must say," James commented.

Kyle sighed and let his poised hands fall at his sides. James them shook his head disappointedly and motioned with his gun for Kyle to keep going. Reluctantly, Kyle turned back to the elevator and kept going.

"Who are you, anyway?" Kyle asked him as they approached the elevator, "Who do you work for?"

"Señor Vasquez, of course," James replied.

"No, I mean really," Kyle pressed.

James responded shortly.

"I work for everyone, and for no one," he replied.

"That makes no sense," Kyle said.

"Maybe not to you," James assented, "But to me, it makes perfect sense."

"So you're freelance," Kyle guessed, "You work for whoever can fill your pockets the fastest."

This made James laugh, a truly genuine sound.

"I suppose that's one way you could put it," he said.

They reached the elevator, and James had Kyle press the down button. Seconds later they were in, and after Kyle pressed '1', the elevator doors closed and they started their agonizingly slow descent.

"Funny I never heard of you before," Kyle mused, "You seem to be involved in major crimes, yet this is the first time I've actually seen you involved in anything."

Kyle waited for a response. James, brows furrowed, regarded Kyle speculatively, then responded.

"Do you remember the Quad Missile Bombings a year ago?" James asked him.

Violent memories came flooding back into Kyle's mind as he nodded.

"Yeah," he said, "Some madman sent four nuclear missiles to land at four different densely populated cities in the Mideast. Only three of them hit their target. One somehow missed and landed in the ocean instead. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people were killed. The person behind the whole plot was never identified."

Kyle narrowed his eyes at his young captor.

"What about it?" he asked suspiciously.

James, a strange glint in his eye, shrugged.

"I just happened to have been somewhat involved in that," he answered lightly.

Kyle's face fell immediately into an ugly frown.

"You realize that hundreds of thousands of women and children were killed in those bombings," Kyle told him.

Without meeting Kyle's eyes, James nodded.

"I had realized that," James assured him with no emotion in his voice.

Now Kyle's glare was filled with hatred.

The elevator came to a rest on the ground floor, and the doors opened to the chaos taking place outside. The air was filled with gunfire, yelling, and squealing tires. When Kyle looked to his right, he saw Dante only fifty feet away, aiming to take out a group of men setting up a mini cannon. To his left, Kyle saw a chopper, it's rotors already rotating, ready to ascend. A single pilot was inside. No sign of Vasquez. As he had expected, James motioned Kyle to the helicopter.

"Hold it, Kyle," James stopped him as they reached the coptor.

Kyle turned to face James, his back now to the battle behind him.

"I no longer need you now," James told him, his gun aimed directly at Kyle's heart.

Kyle braced himself, expecting a bullet to pierce his chest any second.

James nodded to the scene behind his prisoner.

"You see your friends over there?" he asked.

Kyle hesitated, then slowly glanced back at his teammates. Dante was now approaching, but kept his distance so as not to provoke James. Kyle then turned back to his captor.

"Join them."

Kyle's face revealed his puzzlement at James' two words.

"What?" he asked.

"You heard me," James said.

Kyle hesitated, wary of a trick.

James kept his eyes on Kyle, his face revealing nothing of his intentions.

"I'm not going to ask you again," James told him more firmly.

Kyle then backed away a few feet. James watched him the whole time. Finally Kyle, after a last glance at James, turned and started walking towards Dante, who was waiting with the driver's side door held open. Eventually Kyle moved faster, half-expecting James to shoot him in the back. But no bullet came for him, and Kyle climbed into Dante seconds later unharmed.

"Are you all right?" Dante asked Kyle with concern.

Kyle nodded.

"I'm OK," he said, glancing out his window to see James inside the already ascending helicopter.

"I thought for sure that James would kill you," Dante said.

"Yeah, me too," Kyle agreed.

"I hate to cut this reunion short," Beast interrupted, "But Vasquez is getting away."

For the first time, Kyle saw the helipad on top of Vasquez' tower. The helicopter on top was just starting to lift off.

"Dante," Kyle said, "Can you bring that down with one of your missiles? Without hurting the people inside?"

"Of course, Kyle," Dante replied haughtily.

Dante aimed and fired at the retreating helicopter. The missile struck its tail, and the now-smoking copter began spiraling down uncontrollably. It finally landed right in front of the front gates. Dante and Beast immediately converged on it. Kyle and Duke hopped out of their vehicles and helped Vasquez, his pilot, and his two bodyguards out of the burning wreckage. They were all coughing as they staggered away to a safe distance.

"Kyle," Dante spoke up once everyone was safe, "What about James?"

Kyle turned away from the four prisoners to look up into the air towards James' retreating copter. Already it was out of range of the vehicles' weapons.

"There's nothing we can do right now," Kyle said resignedly, "We'll have to catch him some other time." It was almost a vow.

As Kyle and Duke were putting Vasquez' three men into Dante's back seat, the other two vehicles pulled up to them.

"Kyle," Jenny said as soon as she climbed out of Domino, "Are you OK?"

Kyle smiled at her and nodded.

"I'm fine," he told her coolly.

"Looks like the rest of Vasquez' men took off after seeing their revered leader caught," Trek observed.

Kyle glanced back at the compound to see that Vasquez' remaining men had vanished.

"Well," Erica spoke up, busily brushing the dust off her leather pants, "This is the last time I go prancing around in the desert."

Kyle turned to Vasquez, who was sitting on the ground with his hands tied, a mask of anger on his blackened face.

"Who hired you to set off that missile?" Kyle demanded him.

Vasquez swore at him in Spanish.

"He doesn't seem to be cooperating," Dante commented.

"He will," Kyle said confidently, "Once the authorities have had a chance to interrogate them."

* * *

"Vasquez proved to be very stubborn under interrogation," Kyle told his team that evening in the SR, "The authorities couldn't get him to reveal the party who hired him to steal the missile and set it off. They have, however, managed to find a lot of Vasquez' secret files located in the hidden part of his mine. The files contain enough evidence to put him away for life."

"What about James?" Jenny asked.

Kyle shook his head, his eyes not meeting any of theirs.

"He got clean away," Kyle told them, "None of Vasquez’ files revealed anything on James' involvement. When the helicopter he got away in was finally caught, James wasn't inside."

"Even if he had been caught," Jenny said, "the only crime we could solidly convict him of is aiding a criminal. Even then, with the money he probably has, he can get the best lawyers in the country to clear him."

"What about breaking and entering and theft of government information?" Erica asked.

"In order to convict him of that," Duke said, "Shakir has to press charges."

"Um, you see, Mr. Judge," Trek piped up, "I stole this nuclear missile from your government and this guy here stole the codes from me after his boss stole the missile. Can you please put him in jail for me?"

Erica glared at him.

"Trek's right," Jenny said, "Shakir won't step forward to report either the theft of the missile or of the codes."

"So James just gets clean away?" Erica asked, "After what he did?"

"Don't worry," Kyle assured them, "Both FLAG and the CIA are starting their own investigations into James. They should start turning things up real soon. Besides..."

Kyle leaned back and crossed his arms before continuing.

"I have a strong feeling we'll be crossing paths with Señor Arthur again." * * *

Up Next: #3 SuperFuel - don’t miss it!

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