Precious Cargo by TalgoM

"I think so." He answered, knowing instinctively what she was asking him. He slowly reached out, giving her every chance to recoil out of respect for her fears. But she stood her ground until his hand came in contact with her shoulder. She couldn't withhold the brief shudder it sent through her. But just as quickly relief over the sensation settled in. He was real, more so then any of the spirits from her past. She never knew why but James had been better then any of them at maintaining a corporal form. It was warm and gentle, so easy to take solace in. She remembered how he would scope her up into those thick arms and let her cry into the fabric of his shirt whenever she felt the world was crashing in on her. How his rough hand would playfully ruffle her hair or how he gave her light kicks in the backside to get her attention. She even remembered the feel of slight stubble that lingered on his jaw line even in death. If she hadn't known better James could have easily convinced her he was still alive, and she admitted to herself that was one of the few things she had ever really prayed for in her life. James and Dorothy, if only they could have been alive everything would have been okay. She wouldn't have had a moment of pain.

She reached up and grabbed his hand, holding onto it as a lifeline to her sanity that wanted to slip away. "That's a girl."

She turned her eyes up to him; weeks worth of memories crashing back onto her. "Your girl?"

"Always my girl." He answered with a smile as she let herself be wrapped into his protective hold.

"Did you really love me James, or was it just because he made you come back?" She needed to know, and James wished he could explain just how deeply her question hurt him. She didn't look at his face as she nestled against his shoulder, so he was spared having to explain the pain on his face. This was what she feared; learning that they were all forced into their role rather then wanting it. He couldn't speak for any of the others, perhaps some did resent what Charles made them do, but he hadn't for a moment.

"Probably more then I ever managed to love my own life." He answered, surprising her with his sincerity.

"I let you down." She spoke weakly against him.

"No you didn't. I'll admit you had me worried for a little while but you proved me right." He reassured her stroking the familiar hair. When he had last held her like this it had still been blonde but he had been witness to every change in her since then.

"I let them…" She began, tears welling in her eyes. James released her from his arms, placing a hand on either of her shoulders and forcing her to look at him as she tried to slink away.

"No and I'm not listening to that crap. They did it, they hurt you, they killed him and there wasn't a damn thing you could have done. I didn't raise a whiner." He said forcibly, making her understand him. "You've fought more battles then I ever did, and you've won them all in the end. Kiddo, you're everything I've ever said."

"I'm not as strong as you wanted me to be." She argued.

"Enough. I never wanted you to be strong, I never wanted you to have to be. I saw it in you. You needed a little help to refine it and I helped you do that, but I didn't put it there. Now you listen to me, I'm not going to say this again. My Tangye, my Spitfire wins battles because she doesn't know how to lose, even when she wants to. I never believed in anyone the way I believe in you, and that says a hell of a lot. Don't make me the superman. I told you God knows how many times not to make me a hero cause you kiddo, you are a hero. I didn't give you anything but lessons in how best to use your strength. I never saved you because you could always save yourself." He glanced over his shoulder into the cave. "Boyle can help too, if you let him. He won't make you anything you aren't, but he can help to make what's inside of you stronger. You were always hard headed, but never stupid, so stop denying what you are."

"I want to believe that but…" She shook her head unable to accept that it wasn't in fact him. He had been the one who gave her the push she needed. Who was there teaching her when to act, when to step up and do what no one else would. It had all begun with the little boy, the one she saw the spirit attack. She hadn't known what to do about it and then James had appeared at her side and simply told her to stop standing around watching like it was a show. He gave her the inspiration to act and never allowed her to look back, reminding her that if she was going to be given a gift she better use it.

"Who said I was asking you to believe me? I'm telling you the facts." He kissed her forehead and then released her from his hold. "Now you called me for a reason, let me meet this little girl." He smiled at her and started towards the mouth of the cave. He knew he had a task to complete and maybe he wanted to say a great deal more to her but he wasn't going to waste the time right now. She smiled at that business like attitude remembering what Kat had said the night before from her dream. Whatever was protecting Kat, Tangye had claimed that the devil himself wouldn't get past it, and with James taking the job she had little cause to doubt such a claim.

"James?" He paused and looked back at her, emotions fighting to overwhelm him. Thoughts and confessions he couldn't speak of. "What I said to Nick, about not trusting anyone in the land of the dead? I'm sorry."

"You're my girl," he said with a wiry grin, "I knew you trusted me."

He disappeared into the darkness of the cave leaving Tangye alone. "I think I forgot to mention though, that I love you too." James was glad that she couldn't see the smile of absolute pleasure her confession brought to his face, knowing he would have no way to explain it to her well enough.


"So you want to just walk down there, tell them we need the car so we can run away from them?" She asked turning to look at Nick. She managed to keep her voice serious despite the joke. They had taken up position behind the house to watch for any sort of movement but had not yet seen any.

"You seem a lot more relaxed." He stated looking at her with a grin.

"I know Kat's safe. It's been too long since I knew anything without even a bit of doubt but right now, I know Kat's safe." She stated with a small smile remembering how easy it was to feel safe in James' shadow, it was just something he instilled in those around him. Something about the way he carried himself or faced the world with such confidence.

"That's what I want to hear." Nick replied. "I say we go down from the back, maybe we can get in the house and take them by surprise." Nick explained the plan he had come up with. He didn't mention to Tangye that it wasn't entirely his own idea. Her friend had pulled him aside while Tangye woke Kat and explained the situation to her. James had quickly reviewed what he knew to be going on at the cabin and given him a bit of tactical advice. He was confident that Nick could handle the situation, which helped for some reason that Nick couldn't quite place. He knew nothing of the man that they had left Kat with but there was something very familiar about him, another thing Nick couldn't name, but whatever it was it made Nick feel instantly at ease with the man. Something about him just made Nick trust him without having a clue as to why.

Tangye nodded at the idea without another word and the pair began to carefully negotiate their way down the steep, slick slope behind the cabin. They landed in the soft pile of snow that had dropped off the cliff and got back up their feet quickly. Tangye went to the nearest window but Nick pulled her along, nodding to the next one over. 'Oddly enough the second window from the right is unlocked. Imagine how foolish they'll feel for that oversight.' James' comment came back to Nick who didn't doubt for a moment that it wasn't something that Raymond had overlooked but a favor from the spirit.

Nick carefully pushed the window open and helped Tangye to climb in then boosted himself into the room. He was impressed to find that under the window was one of the beds, which served to cushion the sounds of their entrance to the house. Whoever James was he knew what he was doing, Nick smiled to himself hoping he got the chance to thank him. He motioned for Tangye to go to the door, knowing that the short hallway still kept them from where Raymond and Claudia were waiting and watching for their return to the truck. If they could get down that without making a sound they would be able to surprise the pair.

That of course was the plan, but as soon as Nick caught sight of the living room he remembered how rarely plans worked out as intended. Claudia was alone in the room from the looks of it, which put Raymond somewhere behind them in the back of the cabin. Before Nick had the chance to let Tangye know that he was going back to look for the man he was hit from behind. He went to his knees stunned by the blow to the base of his neck and despite his reflexes he didn't have time to counter attack before he heard the click of a gun and felt cold metal press to the back of his head.

Tangye turned quickly to the noise behind her to see Nick just as he went down and Raymond leveled the gun on him in surprisingly fluid movements. She heard Claudia jump up behind her and was sure that she was now in the sights of the gun that had been in Claudia's lap. "That went bad really fast." She commented locking eyes with Nick wondering what they were supposed to do.

"Tell me about it and I had inside intel." Nick sighed knowing he couldn't risk making a move to remove the gun from Raymond when it was pressed against his skull so hard. The man was tense; anxious to get his work completed which meant he would have a very quick trigger finger, probably unintentionally. The idea of a bullet to the brain was not something Nick wanted to explore if he wasn't sure any effort would work to remove the gun from Raymond's grip.

"Where's Katherine?" Raymond asked ignoring them both.

"Give you a hint, she's outside, why don't you go search for her till you freeze." Tangye offered which resulted in Raymond pushing the gun harder against Nick.

"Don't play games with me. Where is she?" He demanded.

"You don't want to hurt him Ray." She informed, her eyes turning cold and all humor leaving her voice. She leveled her gaze on him threateningly. "Back off from him, you won't like the consequences if you don't." She warned.

"I'm in charge here in case you didn't notice." Raymond reminded her, looking down at the gun and the helpless man at the end of it.

"Depends on perspective. Which is quicker Ray, the mind or the muscle?" He looked up at her confused by what she might mean but was met only by the hate of her expression. He didn't know what she meant by the words but it didn't matter, as far as he could tell they were both in the weaker position. "C'mon you know the answer to this one. Back away from him or you'll have your mind torn open and you'll be left twitching." It might have been an idle threat that she couldn't pull through on but he didn't know it.

"What are you talking about?" Raymond asked confused but not losing his resolve or position.

"You figure it out. You've got a gun, I've got my mind, guess who'll win." Tangye repeated the threat. Her eyes didn't betray a bit of the lie she spoke that she would or could ever use her talents in such a manner. But she did think she could keep him off balance with enough indications that she might have a power he couldn't combat with a gun. "You've never told her have you? It has never come up in conversation that you love her after all these years? Sure you get annoyed with her but you really love her." Tangye grinned at the insight she had observed only around Angel Island rather then anything she had gleaned from his mind directly. From the expression on his face she had a moments hope for this plan.

Instead their second plan of the evening backfired as well she realized as Claudia hit her from behind. The last thing she saw and felt was the sharp blow and blinding light bursting in front of her eyes.


Every instinct in him told him to run to Tangye the minute he sensed the trouble she was in but he had made her a promise and if he abandoned the child Kat, his girl would never forgive him. The cavalry was on the way and if he could draw them to him first then he could get to Tangye before any real harm befell her. "Hey, kiddo, we need to take a walk." James said turning to the girl. Kat turned her eyes up to the spirit with impressive calm; never having once appeared shocked by the guard her friends left posted. She was obviously a tough little girl, a trait James had always enjoyed.

"I thought they said to wait here." Kat said, yet she did stand ready to follow whatever instruction this man gave her. She had seen the look he gave Tangye when she had left with Nick and she knew that expression well enough. He cared for Tangye deeply and would do anything he could to make her happy. He wouldn't do anything to cause her any pain, which meant Kat was completely safe with him.

"They did but I'm rewriting the rule. Your mom is almost here and I need to get her to you so I can get to Tangye and Nick quicker. You coming." He held out his hand and Kat did hesitate for a moment not sure what to expect. She had met spirits that could be solid and others that if she tried to touch them she would pass right through. She wasn't certain what type he was but again she let herself trust the kindness in his eyes. She let her small hand be engulfed in his and was surprised by the warmth of it. "One of my skills, who knows why. I guess I just had a lot to hold on to." He gave her a crooked grin without further explanation but Kat didn't need him to say anymore, seeing it the moment she touched him. He leaned down in front of her and added seriously. "Our secret, okay?"

Kat nodded without a word and he then scooped her up into his strong arms and carried her off to a nearby clearing that he had found earlier perfect for the helicopter to land in.


"It seemed like a good idea at the time." Tangye said looking over to where Nick was tied up in the snow beside her. She felt lucky for the fact that there was now a large bonfire in front of them fighting off a bit of the chill that was seeping into her every bone. She wished she hadn't left her coat with Kat now, even if at the time she had needed it much more. From the way Claudia and Raymond were eyeing them both she doubted she would have such a concern much longer.

"Sure antagonize them until they give us both concussions, totally logical." Nick quipped back at her. He knew how dire their situation was but couldn't help but pick on her about what she had pushed Claudia into doing. He had watched the woman ram the butt of the gun into Tangye's neck and then felt a blow to his own neck. When they had next woke they were in this position. "At least they don't have Kat. You think James can really…"

"The devil himself, just like Kat said." Tangye answered confidently. Her eyes looked over when she saw movement coming towards them. She pulled back slightly when Raymond kneeled down in front of her. She saw the amulet hanging around his neck and for the first time realized that they had walked into his trap set not only for Kat but for them as well. They needed new forms and there weren't too many others lying around.

"Is it true what you said? Are you capable of such things?" Raymond asked with a low, raspy voice.

"Do you really want to find out?" She asked back coldly. She wasn't going to break no matter what he might threaten her with.

"I'll learn even if you don't tell me. We can enact the transfer with your help or without it. It's the power that I need not your cooperation." Raymond explained. Tangye's face hardened, her jaw tight with her anger over what this man wanted to do to them.

"Good for you." She snarled not having much else to say to him.

"As a precaution I suppose it's best that…" He picked up a loose stone and knocked her upside the head with it. She slumped over to one side causing Nick to struggle against the bonds keeping his hands tied to his feet behind his back.

"You son of a bitch, I swear I'll kill you if you hurt her."

"Actually I'll be killing you, but that will be a mercy to you so you don't have to live with what I have." Raymond turned to Nick, seeing the hate there. "You should thank me for that kindness." Raymond reached out and touched the side of Nick's face, admiring what would soon be his. Claudia and he would be able to start over in these new forms. They would be granted a new lifetime and this time through he intended to use it wisely. For now it was better not to have to worry about being forced to hurt their forms with any permanent damage so he also struck Nick in the temple with the same stone.


"Mom." Kat cried running across the field to where the helicopter had just set down beside the large signal fire James had created to draw their attention to the spot. Rachel climbed hastily from the craft and dropped to her knees to hug her daughter tightly. She then pulled back to look at the face she adored. A bit of color had drained from it and she looked to be very cold but other then that she appeared to be healthy. Rachel kissed her on the cheeks as if to ensure herself that Kat was in fact real and with her.

Derek and Alex also unloaded themselves from the helicopter and took a moment to check on Kat before looking up on the man waiting on them. Derek knew what he was immediately but he wasn't sure why he was there. "Who are you?"

"You can find that out later for now you need to get to them. The bottom of this hill there's a cabin that's where your other two are. I'll meet you there." James vanished without further explanation. Derek turned to Kat who watched the whole scene while comforting her mother by stroking her hair.

"He's Tangye's friend. He watched out for me, kept me warm. They've been gone awhile Derek, they need your help." Derek didn't bother to pry for more information certain that an explanation would be forthcoming in time. Instead he just turned and started running down the hill the man had indicated, with Alex following him close behind.


James couldn't be more relieved for his ability to travel almost instantaneously from one place to another then he was now. He watched from the edge of the trees the scene taking place not willing to risk striking at the wrong moment when Raymond had hostages. It may have been decades since he had received his military training and almost as many since he had used it but those lessons were not easily forgotten. From the looks of it both the young ones were unconscious and Raymond was busy setting the scene while the woman just looked on with doubt.

He had Tangye on the ground lying on her back, hands tied behind her back. Meanwhile he was adjusting the ropes on Nick so his arms were tied in front of him. James wasn't sure what was necessary to complete the man's plans but he didn't intend to find out either. Tangye and Nick had both endured far too much to get this far and only have all their work robbed of them. James wasn't going to see their bodies taken from them when he held so much respect for what they still might be able to accomplish. They deserved better then this and he promised that nothing would harm them, even if he had to damn his own soul that had spent so much time fighting to hold on, to ensure they survived.

James looked behind himself at the sudden noise and saw the Legacy members sliding down the hill in his direction. They had made excellent time, which impressed him. Rayne came up to him and looked around the tree to the direction of the cabin taking in the scene quickly. "So you're one of Tangye's friends."

"Let's just say I took it on myself to make sure she had the tools to survive. These two aren't ruining all my hard work." James' voice came back angrily. Derek took a moment to look at the man and could see all of the concern there hidden behind a mask of his anger. "He has the upper hand no matter what I am but hopefully I can scare the beegezeebs out of him if I appear. I can't do anything though if he decides to shoot. Once the bullet leaves the chamber I can't stop it." He informed in a straight to business way. He had obviously given the situation some thought. "You need to get close enough to at least grab the woman, that'll make him hesitate."

"We need the amulet." Derek said knowing that was the key to all of this.

"Then you'll have it." James nodded. "Move in." Derek didn't argue and Alex remained in quiet awe by the calm this man seemed to possess when someone he cared for was in such danger. They both did as they were told sneaking up behind Claudia along the tree line staying out of sight as best they could. James watched them get into position, Derek surprising him by pulling a gun out from under his coat. He then returned his attention to the other scene. Raymond was again standing over Tangye removing the amulet from around his neck. Nick was right there too; his hands still bound but wrapped around one of Tangye's. Whatever Raymond needed to do it appeared he was ready for it which meant that time had run out. Before Raymond could place the amulet down on Tangye James moved.

"Step back from her. It isn't your life to try to live." Derek stared awestruck as the man appeared his feet seemingly merged with Tangye from where he stood over her. Once again time froze and then Derek's body forced him instinctively into action. He jumped up from his hiding place and swept onto the scene while Alex grabbed Claudia from behind. Luckily for a moment the two did look to be stunned by the sight of the spirit now in front of them and it gave the others the moment of hesitation required to act. Derek got about halfway to Raymond before the man's attention returned to what was happening.

He spun around ignoring the angry spirit and leveled his gun on Derek, one hand still gripping the medallion. Derek also brought up his own weapon resulting in a standoff. "You don't know what you're doing, I won't let you stop me."

"I didn't really ask for your permission." James voice answered the desperate plea. James' ghostly fist shot up and made contact with the man's temple paying him back for the injuries he had delivered to his victims. "Do it now Rayne." He screamed in Derek's direction as the blow to Raymond made him loose his grip on the amulet when he feel back from the force. Derek dove and caught it skillfully in mid-air. He paused a moment to glance at the small piece of poured metal that had brought such trouble into their lives. He then spun and threw it into the fire.

"NO." Raymond's voice screamed into the night air but none of those gathered felt anything for his anguish. He had brought all of this on to himself and they couldn't sympathize for him after what he had planned to do. Even Claudia felt a moment of relief sweep over her that they were stopped. She had come to accept what the fates had given her and doubted that even without the intervention that she could have proceeded forward. She wasn't certain that she would have found the strength in herself to stop Raymond but she would not have taken the girl's body as her own any longer. "Who do you think you are, how can you?" Alex released Claudia having never sensed any resistance in the woman and knowing from their close contact that she was not the problem. Perhaps at one time she had been willing to do anything to survive but that was no longer the case.

"Look who's talking." Alex sneered to Raymond. He was telling them they had no right to sentence him to death yet he believed himself to be in such a position. "They were expendable? What makes you more valuable?" She felt her anger rise in her chest and couldn't keep it out of her voice. She looked over to the man still standing guard over Tangye and saw a small smile grace his lips.

"You tell him." James said with a small laugh impressed by the woman's fire and spirit that came out with her minimum of words. She was definitely someone to contend with. James' eyes then looked over to the broken man still lying in the snow. He studied his face for a moment seeing how frightened he clearly was for what he knew to be coming for him. James understood that fear though he had only been given moments to deal with it before some stupid bullet had torn open his chest in a moment of bravado. He thought for a second about how much he lost that night in the small convenience store. But he doubted he would trade any of it for his life back, not when he knew the price of such a bargain. He couldn't feel much sympathy for the man due to the atrocity he was willing to commit for his own survival. James had lived under a much different code, giving his life willingly to save others but he understood the fear.

"What are you looking at you monster?" Raymond yelled feeling the eyes studying him. James shook his head thinking how easily that curse could be reversed and be more correct.

"Bit of advice from the other side. Learn to accept your death. You might be surprised, it could bring more to you then life every has." James said in a disgusted tone as he looked down at the broken man before turning to where Tangye and Nick both lay. He kneeled down beside her and brushed her frozen hair back away from her face. "That's my girl, you'll be just fine." James glanced at the man behind him, sensing that some idea was beginning to take form in some unattainable corner of his mind. He wasn't sure how long it might take Derek Rayne to stumble upon the conclusions. With a brief thought of the old man who had controlled his actions and words for so long, he decided it was worth a bit of the wrath he'd receive to give Rayne a little push. "She's yours now, remember that." Derek nodded to the words he wasn't sure he had ever fully understood. Then with a wicked grin that felt familiar James added, "but not because he passed her on to you. Because she chose you. She was never his to give. Too independent for any of that." James squeezed her hand once before vanishing into the night to wherever it was that he watched her from.


Rachel entered the Legacy house hesitantly the next afternoon. She wasn't really sure that she wanted to be here but also didn't feel that her apologies should wait too long. She knew that none of them would say that they were necessary but in her heart they were. They had all fought to protect her child when she refused to see that it was necessary. Lives had been risked by each of them to some level and there were new emotional scars to be dealt with due to her lack of trust. She regretted every choice she had made over the past few days but not really the motives. Was it so wrong to want to believe in people? To want to see them as good first before condemning them as evil? She never wanted to become so jaded that her first reaction would be distrust but she did need to consider things more carefully. If she had let them talk to her they would have convinced her of the truth, one she was desperate not to accept.

She found the first of them in the library with a stack of books in front of her. Rachel was glad that this would be the first, sure that if she could handle this she would be able to face them all. "Tangye? Can I interrupt you for a moment?" The young woman looked up knowing exactly why she was being interrupted. She and Rachel had been down almost this exact same lane not long ago, only on other sides of the trust argument.

"Sure." Tangye nodded, leaning back away from her notes, pulling her feet up onto the chair.

"I just wanted to let you know how sorry I am for all of this. For not listening to you, for some of the things that I said. I was wrong and I hope you can…" Rachel began sincerely. She knew that she had gone too far with the comments about trust and the past that she made to Tangye, and that as a doctor she never should have dared such a thing. Yet at the time it had been easy in her anger, but now she was left only her regret for that.

"No need Rachel. I can't blame you for what you did; I may have done the exact same thing. And I said some awful things too. We were both mad, that was natural." Rachel wished Tangye didn't feel the need to be so forgiving, almost wanting her to make her feel bad about the things that she had said and done. She wanted someone else to reconfirm the guilt that she felt. "How are they?" Tangye asked redirecting the conversation.

"Claudia left town. She's going to go tell her daughter and use the little time she has left wisely. Raymond's in the hospital, it doesn't look like he'll be leaving there. He wasted the bit of energy he had left of this little scheme and his body is just breaking down. It was the whole time but now…" Rachel let the words dropped off. She had stopped by the hospital earlier in the day to check on his condition. He might have a few more weeks, maybe even months left, but she doubted he would ever get out of the bed again. The cold of the mountains and the exertion had left him weak. The failure of his plan breaking whatever spirit he might have had to fight. Claudia meanwhile had called Rachel to explain everything and to give the best apology she could. Rachel had accepted it understanding that the woman was desperate but believing her when she said she wouldn't have gone through with it. Either way it would have cost her any relationship with her daughter at least now she had a few months to get the most out of that bond.

"I'm sorry, Rachel. I know they were your friends." Tangye said sympathetically. Rachel smiled briefly at that. They had been but now that was so long ago and Rachel had new people in her life to depend on as she once had Claudia and Raymond.

"Yeah they were, once." Rachel nodded and then decided to ask Tangye about the man that Kat had told her about. The man Kat described as being so kind and protective, who had watched over her in the cave keeping the fire burning and making jokes to distract her from the dire situation. "And your friend? Who was he?" She asked carefully, unsure what the reaction might be but pleased when Tangye smiled.

"James." She said thoughtfully her eyes staring off into nothing, mind running over memories in her mind. "James was my… reluctant hero. The standard I use for myself." She nodded at that. "Just a simple man wanting to do the right thing and willing to go to any measures to see it done."


Derek sat behind his desk with only a dim light on beside him. He stared at the papers in front of him reading the headlines over and over though they revealed nothing new. 'Marine Captain killed in robbery.' 'Modern day hero.' 'Victims remember heroism.' Derek's eyes checked the date on the newspaper clippings again. Twelve years had past since the man's death but Derek doubted that even those who only knew him the brief moments before his death had forgotten him. Derek scanned the article again reabsorbing the details.

'You're sitting in a peaceful diner at noon time enjoying a lunch with some friends, and then your world goes mad. A man with the gun is suddenly at the counter. It is obvious to anyone that he is scared so you sit in frozen silence praying that he doesn't find reason to notice you. You know he's speaking, demanding something of the terrified cashier but you can't hear any of the words. All you can think is that you might die. The sudden cry of a child breaks into your world and the man turns to the disturbance with gun raised. You know someone is about to die for the interruption. What do you do?

'A Marine Captain answered that question yesterday at 12:48. James McAllister did what we would all like to think ourselves capable of but probably aren't. Recognizing the threat to mother and child Capt. McAllister managed to move himself in between the robber and his intended victim. "I don't even know how he knew to react like that. The second the baby cried he was on his feet. He saved that woman's life."

'That woman, a receptionist on maternity leave, knows just what McAllister did for her. "I would be dead right now. My baby would be alone. I don't know anything about him except that he was brave, more so then anyone I've met. He didn't hesitate, he just acted on instinct. I do think he knew what was going to happen to him though, how could he not? I wish I could thank him for that selflessness."

'Witnesses all expressed the same emotions, each believing that in some way they owe Capt. McAllister their lives. They had been held in the diner by the robber for a half an hour after a police man noticed robbery in progress from the street. Police had surrounded the building by the time the situation turned deadly. The man is now in custody, having run out of the diner when he realized that he had killed a man and into the police.

'Doctors at Mercy hospital report that Capt. McAllister died instantly from the bullet to his heart. A military burial will be held on the twelfth. McAllister is survived by his both of his parents, a sister and a child.

'The other victims of the crime have been invited to attend services with the family. Alycen Myers, the intended victim of the robber, plans to be there to pay her last respects to a man who she never knew. She hopes to gain some insight into how a man could do what James McAllister did for her. "It helps to know that there are still real heroes in the world. It makes it easier to raise my son after this. I'd like to thank his parents for the man they raised, they deserve that much after such a tragedy."

Derek sighed taking in the article again. Each one he had managed to turn up expressed the same emotions. Respect and admiration for what James had done, possibly even a bit of awe to learn that such people did still live amongst us in such a selfish society. Derek didn't have much trouble picturing that type of person, he was surrounded by them every day in the Legacy. Everyone in his house was able to wage war for the greater good against evil they couldn't hope to comprehend.

Derek slid back from his desk, going to look out the window onto the bay. He had only managed to meet the man the articles spoke of briefly, just as the other customers in the diner had only seen him for a moment before he was imprinted into their memories. Still Derek had felt he knew him better then he could have. He understood him in a way that was beyond him.

One word from the articles plagued him as he let his mind wander in new directions, testing the possibilities before giving them any credence. No matter what way he thought about the facts though the theories made more sense to him.

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