Chapter 14.5

Steve glanced from Ty to the corpse then back to Ty. He lowered his gun, then pulled a black handled folding knife from its belt pouch and sliced through the zip strip, releasing the deceased’s hands. Picking up the cut pieces, Steve handed them to one of his men. He then gingerly stepped over to Ty and cautiously eased the gun from Ty’s grip. Steve glanced around the room, looking at each of his men, having clearly caught the implications of the kidnapper’s greeting to Ty. Steve simply said, “Looks to me like he was trying escape.” Then looking back at Ty, “Unfortunately, we didn’t find out who was giving the orders. Ralph, search the phone to figure out how the caller was.” Steve’s men followed his lead and lowered their weapons, also.

Staring, with a far away look in his eyes, Ty volunteered, “That won’t be necessary. I recognized the voice on the phone.” Eyes suddenly focusing with crystal clarity and alertness, he looked directly at Steve and snapped out, “How quickly can you get me to Houston?”

Steve shot Ty a worried look, saying, “Not too sure we can do that. This little… uh, ‘rescue’ is not what you might call ‘sanctioned’. We’re not even supposed to be here. As far as anyone else is aware, we’re assumed to be in Virginia Beach for some much needed R & R.”

Ty looked thoughtful for a moment, then with his back now ramrod straight, he faced Steve squarely. “Captain, as you may recall, I am a US Naval Commander. I’ve been on somewhat of an extended medical leave, but, if you’ll follow my orders, I’ll personally sanction this mission and take full responsibility for the consequences. Would you like to see my I.D. card?” Ty asked, reaching for his wallet.

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