CHAPTER 19 Al followed Rosie at a safe distance, he didn't trust her one little bit. She was being unnaturally nice today, totally out of character. Since she had started working here he had never known her to be this pleasant, she was up to something and he was determined to find out. He waited at the corner until Rosie had entered Sam's office then he approached the door. He heard Sam's muffled voice, then silence. All of a sudden he heard a crash, then silence again. He was now outside Sam's door. He heard another fainter crash, Sam cried out, all Al heard was a faint, 'Do something!' Al didn't waste any more time, he burst into Sam's office, despite his pain. Al was aghast when he saw the scene before his eyes. "What the....!" Sam lay between Rosie's legs, she was all over him, his head drooped to one side and his eyes blinked rapidly. Blood was streaming from the reopened cut on his head. He lay limp, his arms dangling. Rosie looked up as Al charged in, her face smeared with Sam's blood. Her hand grasped Sam's throat choking the breath out of him. She screeched, "Come any closer and I'll rip his neck out!" "Don't do it Rosie, you'll not gain anything that way." "Get out!" She screamed. "I'll do it, I mean it." "You don't want to hurt Sam. What has Sam ever done to you?" Al tried to reason with her. "He murdered my sister, for one." She snarled. "No Rosie, you've got it wrong, he never, he wouldn't hurt Jessie." "She's dead aint she? And he's responsible." "No, Sam wouldn't hurt anyone, least of all Jessie, he was fond of her." "He had a funny way of showin' it, he dumped her, left her flat, didn't even...." "They worked together after that, Rosie. They became quite close. He even saved her from the clutches of, erm, Tony Weyland." Rosie's grip slackened, she had heard that name before. Jessie had mentioned him a couple of times, from all accounts, Jessie didn't like him. Weyland was an arrogant, jealous man, he'd never forgiven Jessie for turning him down and taking up with Sam Beckett. She'd heard that he'd died in the tunnels of the complex, that Jessie had betrayed Yen Hsuieh-lung, in favour of Sam, she never believed that Jessie could be a traitor. Was this true after all? Had her sister betrayed the Cause? What was the Cause? She had no idea. She started to believe that Al was telling her the truth. She released her grip on Sam. Thankfully her grip had not been too tight. Sam coughed a little. Al looked anxiously over at Sam, yeah he was going to be all right. Rosie stepped over Sam's legs. It was then that Al noticed Sam's ripped shirt, unbuttoned waistband and open zip, his crumpled shorts. Sam moved, rubbing the circulation back into his neck, his neck was sore and it felt swollen where Rosie had bitten into him. "I'm sorry Al, I didn't mean for this to happen. Something just sorta took hold of me. I was jealous, and Sam's attitude didn't help." Al was trying to be philosophical about this, he didn't want to enrage Rosie any further. "What were you thinking of when you came in here?" "Look at him Al, he's everything I ever dreamed of. I wanted him so bad it hurt." Al looked at Sam's clothes thoughtfully, 'and by the looks of things, you nearly did get what you wanted.' "Al you're here!" Sam voice croaked. "And in the nick of time too." Al stared at a deep purple mark on Sam's neck, "erm, s-sorry I didn't get here sooner, pal." "What happened?" Realisation suddenly dawned on Sam as he looked down, trying discretely to quickly fasten the zip and button, "Oh God, Rosie," he fumbled, pulling his tattered shirt around his exposed chest. "Get her out of here Al, I don't want to see her again." Sam stumbled to his feet, feeling a swimming sensation as the pain in his head throbbed. Sam sat back down. Rosie headed for the door but Al stepped backward, blocking her way Al held up a hand, "Just a minute there pal, I think Rosie owes us all an explanation here." "I've said I'm sorry, what more do you want?" "We want to know about your meeting with your father, Peter Saint-James, about Jessica Olivera and what you know about Yen Hsuieh-lung." Al looked at Rosie, defiant. "How do you know about my father?" "We know just about everything, Rosie," Sam butted in, "you're forgetting about Ziggy, she knows everything that needs to be known, about anything you could possible mention." "Then why are you asking me, er, if you know already?" "'Cos we wanna hear it from you." Al motioned to the chair in front of Sam's desk, She sat down. "Let's start with Jessie, tell us about her." "Okay," Rosie took a deep breath, swallowing, she looked up at Al. "Well, erm, Jessie worked for Senator Judith Dreasney, she was double dealing, she was also working for Yen Hsuieh-lung." She turned and looked at Sam, "How do you think he got a hold of those top secret documents of yours Sam? How do you think I got in touch with my father, in Congress? Yes Jessie did all that, she did all that for me. Looks like our Jessie was a clever lady, she had you all fooled." She threw her head back in defiance. "She wasn't that clever Rosie, it got her killed." Al took a well chewed cigar out of his top pocket. At times like this he needed one to settle his nerves, he twisted it in his fingers, hoping Sam would allow him to light it. "That's why Yen Hsuieh-lung had Jessie killed, yeah sure she passed on information, but it was the wrong information, that's why Yen Hsuieh-lung's plans didn't work." "They weren't Yen Hsuieh-lung's plans, they were my father's." Al nearly crushed the cigar he was holding. "I knew it Sam, I knew it, Saint-James was behind this all along. I knew it would turn out.... erm..... nasty." "Yen Hsuieh-lung worked for Peter Saint-James, when he was arrested and imprisoned, Yen Hsuieh-lung was of no further use to him, he was looking for a replacement then I turned up." She looked anxiously to Sam and Al. "I was willing to do anything for a family, to be loved, and I did." Rosie looked to Al. "My father arranged for me to train with the elite, the Special Forces." Rosie stood up and Al took another step back, towards the door. "Ah, my rE9sumE9, that was all a front, I never worked in any factory, but I am an ammunitions and firearms expert, best in the division. Al, if I wished, I could leave this room, right this minute, neither of you could stop me. Oh and Sam, you've had measures of my strength, care to test them again." "Why are you being like this Rosie?" Sam didn't want to be on the receiving end and test her again. "Loyalty Sam, I believe you know something about that. I know what you are capable of, for love, a weakness of yours I think Dr. Beckett. Oh yes, I want you, correction, wanted you, I was foolish to have lusted after you. Let me leave, and I'll go quietly, otherwise....." "Please do." Al moved away from the door. "You're free to go." Rosie moved towards the door. Sam looked quizzically at Al, he raised an eyebrow at Sam and then winked. Sam didn't say anything but a thought crossed his mind, 'did Al have something planned?' She opened the door and stepped outside, the door closing behind her. "Al, why did you let her go?" "Do you think that either of us are in any physical shape to handle that?" Al pointed to Sam with his rumpled cigar, "Just look at you, you're a mess. Come on pal, let's get you cleaned up, before Bernie sees you. I can't for the hell of me think how you're gonna explain that thing on your neck." "What thing?" Al opened the linking door to Sam's quarters, leading Sam to his bathroom, "That thing," he pointed to the mirror above the washbasin. "That's a real smacker if ever I saw one." Sam looked at his reflection in the mirror, sure enough a large, deep, purple bruise-like haemorrhage graced his neck. Touching it he winced with pain. "And this." Al said as he opened Sam's shirt, revealing the scratches and indentations from Rosie's fingernails all over Sam's upper chest and underarms. "My God! She's ripped me to shreds Al." "She was like an animal feasting when I walked in Sam, dunno what she'd have done to you if I hadn't. I'll go and find Beth, she if she can patch up that cut on your head." Sam couldn't believe what he saw reflected in the mirror, he could hardly recognise his own reflection. He felt nauseous at the sight, walking to his bedroom, he lay on the bed, trying to recall the episode with Rosie. He unfastened the button and zip, and checked his credentials, he sighed with relief, 'at least they were still intact.' * * * * * Al walked as fast as his painful legs would allow, he knocked on Bernie's door entering without waiting for a reply. "I'm sorry for intruding, but Beth, Sam needs your help again. Rosie's attacked him and that cut on his head has opened up again, he's a right mess." "Is he okay Al, I mean is he gonna be all right?" Bernie slammed the lid to her suitcase shut. "Its only superficial, she knocked him out though but I think he'll be okay." "How can a slip of a girl like Rosie get the better of Sam?" Beth looked a trifle confused. "Believe me honey, she's no slip of a girl, you'd never believe what Sam and I heard her tell us." They turned and left Bernie's quarters and headed up the corridor, two men burst in through the entrance doors, two others held Rosie in an arm-lock, another followed. Al recognised two of them, Jack and Dirk, maintenance engineers, he knew them both from his naval days. He'd hired them after the fiasco with Riizliard, years back, he wanted someone on his team he could trust. "How did you get hold of her Jack?" "We had a message from Ziggy, to stop her at all costs." Jack looked baffled, "Really weird it was, she fights like an alley cat. It took the five of us to over power her. What should we do with her Admiral?" Beth and Bernie were astonished. "Five!" they commented in unison. "I knew it, Ziggy came through." Al laughed, then in a more somber tone. "Is store-room two, in the hanger still empty?" "Yes Mr. Calavicci, next shipment is due in next week." Another man said. "Lock her in there, until.... erm, no, yes, erm. Yeah and contact Harry at the landing strip. Tell him to get the police to meet the plane when it lands, looks like Yen Hsuieh-lung's gonna have an inmate for company." "Will do Admiral." Dirk saluted Al, even though neither were in the military any longer. The five men took Rosie away. Al started following them, "I'll be back shortly, I want to check this out, you check Sam out, he's had quite a scare." Beth and Bernie continued to Sam's quarters, Beth stopped by her quarters to pick up the medical bag she'd left there the previous evening. "I can't believe it. Five grown men to handle Rosie." Bernie commented. "She sure fooled me, I can tell yer." As they entered Sam's bedroom, he lay with his eyes closed, a pool of blood drenched the pillow beneath Sam's head. He was pale and ashen, he didn't move as the two women approached the bed. "Sam." Bernie called. Beth shook him but he didn't respond, "Sam! Sam!" Beth shouted. "Go and tell Al, tell him to hurry that plane, Sam's unconscious." Bernie ran out of the room, along the corridors and outside. She saw Al heading for the hanger. "Al!" Bernie shouted after him. "Sam's unconscious, we need to get the plane here as soon as possible." "What! He was fine when I left him, get Sammi she'll can help Beth. Sorry Bernie didn't mean that you couldn't.... erm, you know what I mean. Go on do it, run along. I'll contact Harry." Al raced off, limping but ignoring his pain. He snatched the receiver from Dirk. Is that you there Harry? We've got an emergency here, Sam's been injured and er, he's unconscious we need that plane ASAP and a doctor too. Arrange it Harry, I'm depending on you." Al slammed down the receiver. He picked up the phone as if to throw it, but slammed it back to the bench. Dirk stood in silence, watching Al until he regained some composure, "Admiral, they've locked her up in the store-room. Do you want to see her now?" "Do I want to see her? Hell yes I do want to see her, I want to see her in hell." Al stormed off in the direction of store-room two. Jack and another man stood sentry outside. Jack saw the thunder in Al's face, "You're not going in there till you've calmed down. Sorry Admiral." "Hope you're satisfied now Rosie!" Al shouted through the metal walls, "Oh yeah, consider yourself fired, and don't expect a character reference either." Al stormed outside, he reached into his pocket for the cigar, he broke off a battered bit at the end and lit it. He coughed as he inhaled. The loosened tobacco produced too much strength to inhale, he threw it aside. Searching his pockets for another he cursed, remembering he'd packed them earlier.