Chapter 4

"Where is Sidney Freedman?" Charles snapped. "He's supposed to be here to introduce the guest of honor! Where is he?"

Dr. Babson cringed. "Uh, he called from the airport. There's been a delay and he doesn't think he'll make it on time."

"Then who is going to introduce Pierce?" Charles fumed.

"Uh, yeah, well, I asked Dr. Hunnicutt and Dr. McIntyre and they both said you should do it, sir," Dr. Babson said helpfully.

Charles gave the younger doctor a withering look. "Yes, of course. They would."

Dr. Babson stood his ground, however. "Um, sir, someone needs to make the introduction and get things started." He cleared his throat significantly. "You, uh, remember what happened last year."

"How can I forget? Why do you think I stretched the budget to have beef burgundy?" Charles sighed. "Ohh, very well then. But I want you to know I am doing this under protest!"

Dr. Babson dared to pat Dr. Winchester's shoulder. "That's fine, sir, that's quite all right. Just as long as you do it."

Charles gave his junior a glare that should have felled a tree. "Hummmph!"

He stood up and approached the podium. "Ladies and gentlemen - ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention, please?"

BJ and Trapper stamped and whistled until a look from Margaret quelled them.

"Thank you," Charles said, only slightly sarcastically. "I regret to inform you that Dr. Sidney Freedman is unable to be with us tonight."

"AWWW!" Trapper and BJ chorused.

Charles glowered at them. "I assure you no one misses him more than I, since it is now up to me to make the introduction."

"I trust you, Charles." Hawkeye grinned and winked. "OW! Emily, for cryin' out loud!"

"Oh, did I kick you?" Em asked innocently. "Sorry, Dad."

Hawkeye rubbed his shin under the table. "Did you borrow Aunt Margaret's army boots? That really hurt!"

"Without any further ado," Charles raised his voice, "I give you the Small Town Doctor of the Twentieth Century - Benjamin Franklin Pierce!"

Hawkeye limped up to the podium to a standing ovation. "I really wish my wife could have been here," he told his audience. "She wears softer shoes."

The people in the dining room laughed appreciatively. Even Charles Winchester wiped his brow and relaxed a bit.

"I, uh, I really don't know how to put my feelings into words." Hawkeye continued.

"Don't bother trying!" snarled a steely voice at the back of the room. "And don't anybody move! Get your hands up where I can see them!"

Margaret strained to see the speaker. "That can't be who I think it is!"

"It is," BJ said grimly. "It's ex-Colonel Flagg. And his trusty automatic."

"Oh, nooo! Oh, good God!" Charles groaned. "Not here. Not now."

In the seat next to him, Father Mulcahy was moving his lips in silent prayer.

"Holy cow!" Radar whispered. "It's really him! It's Flagg!"

"Flagg? Who is this creep?" Kim whispered back. "What's with all the black he's wearing?"

Radar grabbed Kim's wrist. "He's crazy! They threw him out of the CIA for shooting five other operatives. He claimed they were subversives because they voted for Ross Perot!"

"I said get your hands up!" To emphasize his point Flagg fired several rounds into the ceiling. Radar jerked his hand up still holding on to Kim's wrist.

"What is it you want, Flagg?" Hawkeye asked bravely.

"You!" Flagg growled menacingly. He brandished his weapon. "You're coming with me, Pierce. That wimp in the White House will listen to me if I've got you as a hostage. You're the sort of bleeding heart he surrounds himself with."

"No!" Margaret stood up slowly, keeping her hands in sight. "No, President Bush doesn't know Pierce exists. Listen to me, Flagg! He knows me! I've been to the White House - I've even had tea and cookies with Laura!" She swallowed hard. "Take me instead!"

"Margaret, sit down!" Charles snapped. He looked at Flagg. "My connections to the President are much stronger. My family has voted Republican since the party was formed! Furthermore, I have been to Kennebunkport! I've petted Millie! For God's sake!"

Flagg swung the rifle to point directly at Charles' chest. "Sit down, Baldy! Otherwise I'll give in to my basic instincts and use you for target practice!"

Charles glanced over at Hawkeye, who shook his head and motioned for Winchester to obey. Reluctantly, Charles sank back in his seat.

Kim tried to squirm out of Radar's iron grip. "Uncle Radar, let go of me! I can sneak up behind the guy and take him, no big."

Radar held firm. "No big? He's got a machine gun! Kimmie, you are staying here!"

"And that goes for every person in here!" Flagg barked. "No more heroism! The next person who moves, dies!"

Radar tightened his grip on Kim's wrist. Trapper reached over, took the hem of Margaret's jacket and slowly pulled her back down in her chair.

Hawkeye moved out from behind the podium with his hands held high. "All right then, Flagg. You want me, you got me. Just don't shoot any innocent people."

"There are no innocent people! Everyone is suspect!" Flagg retorted sharply. "If I thought it would make any difference, I'd shoot all of you!"

"That would be a terrible sin," Father Mulcahy spoke up, quietly yet firmly. "Killing has never solved a single thing. It only creates more problems. Look at Cain and Abel."

Flagg glared at the priest. "More silly superstitious talk! There were no such people!"

"Nevertheless, the moral of the story is true," Father Mulcahy said earnestly. He locked eyes with Flagg and held his gaze. "I beg of you to put down that gun! You don't want to hurt this man. You don't really want to hurt anyone."

There was silence for a moment. Then Flagg snorted, "If you believe that, you're even stupider than you look!" Without warning, he fired. Father Mulcahy fell back in his chair. A patch of dark red began to soak through his shirt.

"You BASTARD!" Charles roared, leaping to his feet to help Father Mulcahy. In the ensuing uproar, Flagg grabbed Hawkeye, twisted his arm behind him and hustled him out the back door. Kim finally broke away from Radar and ran after them as fast as her long skirt would allow.

"Kim!" Radar shouted. "Kim, come back here!" He looked over at the crowd around Father Mulcahy and then at the door Kim had just fled through. After a moment's hesitation, Radar mumbled, "Sorry, Father," and raced after her as fast as he could.

He got outside, breathless and panting, in time to see the helicopter Flagg had stolen lift off the hospital lawn. Kim waited underneath until it was far enough off the ground, then darted forward and snatched the copter's landing gear. Radar's eyes widened as the chopper lurched drunkenly, then rose and took off with Kim Possible clinging to its undercarriage.

"KIM! NO!" Radar screamed. He ran toward the front lawn. "KIM! HOLY COW!"

Henry Blake materialized by his side. "She's gone, Radar."

Radar was almost in tears. "I tried to stop her! She doesn't know what she's getting into! He's got some sort of gun that he loves using. Flagg is kidnapping Hawkeye!"

"Well, then we'd better go after 'em," Henry said flatly.

He passed his arm through Radar and then slowly floated off the ground. Radar's jaw dropped like a stone when he realized he was rising along with Colonel Blake.

"Hang on to your skivvies!" Henry ordered. They took off after the helicopter like a shot. Radar swallowed hard and closed his eyes tight to keep from seeing what was whizzing by below them. He didn't think Blake would stop long enough for him to be sick and he wished with all his heart he had stayed on the farm in Iowa.

"BABSON!" Charles roared. "Babson, get me a clean napkin! And hurry!"

"Use my handkerchief. It's clean." BJ thrust it into Winchester's hand. "How bad is it?" Charles took the folded cloth and pressed it to Father Mulcahy's side. "Just a flesh wound. It looks worse than it is."

"Thank God for that," Trapper put in. He handed over his own hankie. "Either Flagg's losing his touch or someone was looking out for Mulcahy."

"B-both, I hope," Father Mulcahy gasped. "What - what about Hawkeye? Shouldn't someone go after him?"

"Be still, Father!" Charles ordered briskly. "I'm sure someone has called the police by now. You, however, are not going anywhere."

Em Possible looked around sharply. "Where's Kim?"

"She was with Radar," Peg reported. "He had her by the wrist, trying to hold her back."

Trapper scanned the room. "I don't see either of them in here. Wait, I'll check outside."

Dr. Babson hurried over with an armful of napkins and a first aid kit. "I called the Boston police, the state patrol and the airport!" he told Charles breathlessly.

Charles looked up. "Good man! Thank you, Doctor." He relieved Babson of his burden and turned back to Father Mulcahy.

"Thank you, sir. I also notified all the local heliports," Babson continued.

"Heliports? What for?" BJ asked.

"They left in a helicopter - didn't you hear it?" Babson said. "The guy must've stolen it. The state police are sending up their own chopper to look for it."

Trapper came back in with a worried look. "I didn't see Kim or Radar out in the parking lot. They couldn't have left here, though."

Dr. Babson raised an eyebrow. "I - I saw them. The young lady jumped on the landing gear of the helicopter as it took off. The man was yelling for her to stop. I didn't see him after that so he must've gone after her."

Em blanched dead white. "Then - Colonel Flagg has Kimmie and Uncle Radar, too! And Dad -" Her voice broke and Peg quickly put her arms around Em.

"I got the number of the helicopter," Dr. Babson assured them. "I gave it to everyone I talked to and made sure they wrote it down. And General Houlihan is calling Homeland Security. They'll track that copter and have this guy back in a padded call in no time."

"They'd damn sure better! I told Tom Ridge I'd personally kick his butt if he didn't get cracking and find Pierce within twenty-four hours. And then my next call would be to President Bush!" Margaret snapped.

Em shook her head. "Ordinarily, I wouldn't worry, but Kim's never fought anyone like this Flagg before. He's a nut with a gun in his hand! He won't hesitate to shoot her!"

"Kim? What about her?" Margaret demanded. "Where is Kim?"

"She's hanging on the landing gear of Flagg's helicopter," BJ said flatly. "Radar may or may not be with her."

"WHAT?!?" Margaret shrieked. "Why are we all just standing here like a bunch of dummies?! Come on, we've got to go after them!" She wheeled on Dr. Babson. "You! What direction were they headed in?"

"South, toward Quincy," Babson replied promptly. "But, ma'am, they're in a helicopter! There's no way you could possibly -"

"I'm not gonna sit here and not even TRY!" Margaret raged. "Who's coming with me?"

BJ and Trapper exchanged looks. "BJ and I will go." Trapper spoke up.

"We can take my van. The tank is full," BJ added. He turned to his wife. "Peg, you stay here and help Charles and Em. We'll stay in touch."

Peg kissed his cheek. "Be careful, darling. Jay and Marta'll be awfully disappointed if you're not there for the baby."

"Let's move out NOW!" Margaret bellowed. She headed toward the parking lot at a pace that Trapper and BJ were hard pressed to keep up with.

"Too bad Rumsfeld can't see her now," Trapper muttered. BJ didn't bother to answer, but he kept a tight hold on the car keys.

"What the hell is going on here?" a familiar voice demanded. Sidney Freedman fell in step with the two surgeons. "I tried to speak to Margaret and she nearly knocked me down. You haven't started another food fight, have you?"

"We'll explain on the way. Come on, Sidney, hop aboard the rescue express," BJ said. Sidney rolled his eyes. "You people never stop trying to save the world, do you?"

"Only this time it's a lot more important," Trapper informed him. "Flagg's kidnaped Hawkeye. Kim and Radar went along for the ride to try and stop Flagg and save Hawk."

Sidney stopped short, paled and said something short and sibilant in Yiddish. Then he ran ahead to catch up with Margaret. "What's the hold up? Don't you realize Flagg is completely insane? He's sent death threats to Bush, Cheney and all the Democratic candidates! There's no telling what he'll do. We've got to stop him!"

"I've gotta stop this jerk," Kim promised herself as she hung on to the landing gear for dear life. "No one shoots Father Mulcahy, kidnaps Hawkeye and gets away with it!" She looked down at the countryside whizzing by, trying to catch a glimpse of any landmarks. "I sure do wish Harry was here. Or even Ron and Rufus."

"I've gotta stop Flagg before he can get to Kimmie," Hawkeye thought desperately. "If it were just me, I'd find a way to wreck this chopper and rid the world of his sorry carcass once and for all. But I can't do that with Kim on the landing gear. Damn! What if Flagg realizes she's here and shoots her down like he did Mulcahy?" Hawkeye shuddered deeply. "Father, if you're up there, I'm gonna need your help. And if by some miracle you're still alive, I hope you've got a prayer for Kimmie and me."

"We have got to stop this maniac once and for all," Henry Blake told Radar seriously, as they whizzed through the upper stratosphere. "If he goes through with his twisted little plan and kills Kim or Hawkeye, he's gonna destroy the entire universe."

Radar gulped. "The entire universe? Really?"

"Yep! There's no way we can let him win!" Henry said fiercely. "It's up to us, Radar."

Radar cautiously opened one eye and quickly closed it again when Henry swerved recklessly around a tall pine. "W-w-where are we?"

"If my coordinates are right, we should be coming up on Plymouth," Henry replied.

"We're headed southeast, toward Cape Cod. Past that, it's hard to tell."

"We're gonna fly over the Atlantic Ocean? Without a life jacket?!?" Radar screeched.

"Relax, Radar, I've got you! You can't fall," Henry assured him. "I'm a lot more worried about Kim. She's hanging on with nothing but sheer nerve."

"She's got plenty of that," Radar agreed. He shivered in the cold wind surrounding them. "I tried to warn her about Flagg! He's really nuts! He shot Father Mulcahy!"

Henry nodded. "I know, I was there. Don't fret about the good Father, he'll be fine. Winchester and the others will take care of him. Hawkeye and Kim are who we've gotta worry about now."

"Don't worry, I'm worried!" Radar affirmed. He let out a squawk as Henry rocketed too close to a fish hawk flying in the opposite direction. "Hey, watch where we're goin'!"

"Sorry, I'm a little rusty," Blake apologized. "If I knew where we were going, I could just apparate. That's usually how we travel. But we've gotta keep following Flagg. There's no telling where we're gonna end up."

"Nantucket Island," Radar said glumly. "The copter's almost out of gas and that's the nearest land."

"Then that's where we're headed," Henry replied. "Hang on, Radar!"

Kim looked down and saw the Great Point lighthouse below. "Nantucket! We've got to be landing soon. This is it." She hugged the landing gear and tried to think of a plan.

Hawkeye had located a heavy flashlight behind his seat. "The minute we land, I'll use it to brain Flagg. If I work fast enough, I can keep him from getting to Kim."

As the chopper began it's descent, Kim moved toward the back and tucked her arms and legs in, making herself as small as possible. "If he doesn't know I'm here and he's busy with Hawkeye, maybe I can surprise him," she thought.

Hawkeye shifted the flashlight in his hand. "Now's my chance. The minute this thing lands, I've gotta hit him hard enough to knock him out." He tensed as the copter touched down on the sand. "Okay - now!" With a yell like a Comanche, Hawkeye smashed the flashlight down with all his strength on top of Flagg's head.

To his surprise and dismay, the ex-Colonel didn't even flinch. He reached over and tweaked the flashlight out of Hawkeye's hand. "You're wasting your time!" Flagg said with an ugly sneer. "I made them reinforce my skull with titanium plates."

"Making it even thicker than it already was! What a brilliant plan!" Hawkeye retorted.

"Yes, nothing whatsoever gets through my head," Flagg boasted. He brandished the automatic rifle. "Don't make me shoot you before I have to."

"So your head's not vulnerable - what about your eyes?" Kim picked up a handful of beach sand and hurled it right in Flagg's face. "Run, Hawkeye!"

"HALT!" Blinded by dirt and tears. Flagg fired several wild shots into the helicopter's canopy. Most of them went through the plastic bubble and severed one of the rotors.

Hawkeye threw himself out of the chopper and onto the beach. "I'm getting too old for this," he muttered.

Kim ran over to help him up. "Come on, let's get out of here!"

"I said, HALT! Move and I fire!" Flagg swung the weapon in their direction. "So what if I can't aim? The odds that I'll hit you are still in my favor!" He swept the automatic back and forth in a deadly arc. Luckily for Hawkeye and Kim, his finger wasn't on the trigger.

Hawkeye froze. "He's right, Kim. Don't move."

"He's never been right!" Kim snapped. She slipped out of the shelter of her grandfather's arm. "Keep talking to him, Hawkeye! Act like I'm still here."

"What are you saying? Maybe I can't see you, but I can still hear you. Don't make any foolish plans!" Flagg warned. He fumbled for the trigger

"Well, there's nothing else we can do, Kimmie," Hawkeye struggled to keep his voice normal. "Even if we could get away from Flagg - which we can't - where would we go? We're out here all alone on a deserted beach. The chopper's disabled. The ferry won't be running for hours."

Flagg grinned wolfishly through a mask of grit. "Now you're talking sense! Did you think I chose this place at random? I planned everything carefully in advance. Just because I'm disturbed, it doesn't mean I'm unorganized."

Kim crept up behind Flagg as silently as she could. "Did you plan for this?" She kicked him in the rear as hard as she could.

Flagg turned with a roar of rage and lunged at Kim. She dodged and aimed a karate chop at his stomach.

Flagg grabbed her forearm with a immovable grip. "You're about to make me lose my temper, girlie!" he warned in a menacing voice.

"You don't scare me! You're nothing but a big bully!" Kim emphasized her point by grinding her heel into his instep. At the same time, she tried to pull away so she could hit him again. Flagg thrust her to the ground with a twist of his wrist. Hawkeye winced as he heard the bones in Kim's arm snap.

"Next time, I won't be so gentle," Flagg growled. He motioned with the rifle at the beach cottage peeking from behind a clump of bushes. "Get inside! Both of you!"

Hawkeye went over and helped Kim to her feet."Are you crazy? Or are you just trying to get yourself killed before you've been sixteen for a month?"

"Sorry, Hawkeye. I really thought I could take him out," Kim murmured.

"Yeah? How long have you been suicidal?" Hawkeye returned. He put his arm around his granddaughter and assisted her into the cottage.

Flagg directed them toward a threadbare tweed sofa. "Sit down there. Try anything funny and I'll cut you two to ribbons. There won't be enough of you left to bury!"

"Major creep!" Kim stuck her tongue out at Flagg's back.

"You mean colonel creep," Hawkeye pulled Kim down beside him on the sofa. "All right, let's have a look at that arm," he snapped. "Have you completely lost your mind? Grabbing the landing gear of a helicopter like that!"

"How else do you grab the landing gear of a helicopter?" Kim retorted. "Ouch! Hawkeye, that hurts worse than when the creep broke it!"

"Simple fracture of the radius and ulna. We need some splints and a bandage," Hawkeye barked. He stripped off his awful tie. "But I guess this will have to do. How dare he touch my granddaughter! And how dare you be anywhere near him?"

"Okay, so he's pretty tough for an old guy." Kim admitted. She winced as Hawkeye finished bandaging her arm with the hideous tie. "But somebody has to stop him! I mean, he can't just run loose kidnapping and shooting innocent people! That's every bit as bad as al-Qaeda!"

Hawkeye sighed "You really have gone nuts. Kimmie, nice girls do not go after terrorists!"

"Tell that to Osama bin Laden! Who do you think helped nab him?" Kim returned. "Hawkeye, this is what I do."

"What? Get your arms and legs broken?" --Hawkeye growled. "How do you know if won't be your neck next time?"

"I don't. But I'm helping make things better," Kim told him. "I can't just stop because I might get hurt. Other people come first."

Hawkeye stared off into space. "Why does all this sound disturbingly familiar?"

"Because it's all the stuff you've taught me was important," Kim replied. "If I go after the bad guys, I'm just following the example you set."

"So its not enough for me to be worried, now on top of that I get to feel guilty," Hawkeye complained. "Where the hell is Sidney Freedman when you need him?"

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