Dawn was just beginning to break when Harry felt something cold brush his shoulder. "Harry? Son, wake up. We need you, c'mon now."
The voice was American and completely unfamiliar to him. Harry sat up, put his glasses on and stared at the silvery figure floating next to his bed. He'd never seen anyone dressed like that except in some of the old films he'd seen at Mrs. Figg's house.
"Who are you?" Harry asked.
"I was Lieutenant Colonel Henry Blake before my plane went down leaving Korea," the ghost replied. "I was CO of the M*A*S*H unit that Kim Possible's grandfather, Hawkeye Pierce, was in."
Harry quickly got out of bed. "Kim's in some sort of trouble, isn't she?"
Henry Blake nodded. "Hawkeye's been kidnapped. Kim went to try and rescue him."
"What sort of prat would kidnap someone? And why?" Harry asked.
"The guy's a screwball - completely off his rocker," Henry explained. "He was cracked when he was in Army Intelligence and he's really wacko now."
Harry nodded thoughtfully, trying to make sense of what Blake had said. He not only looked like a film character, he had a tendency to talk like one.
"Here's the really truly swell part - he's got a machine gun," Henry put in glumly.
That part Harry understood. "I'll be ready in just a tick."
Henry nodded. "That's what I hoped you'd say, We need to get back pronto. No telling what Flagg'll do. Besides, I left Radar outside and I'm responsible if he gets hurt."
"Where are we going and how do we get there?" Harry asked.
"It's a cottage near the lighthouse on Nantucket Island," Henry replied. "We don't have any time to lose so we're gonna have to try to apparate."
"I don't have an apparating license," Harry objected.
"You're just coming along for the ride. I'm doing all the work," Henry said. "You better leave a note for your folks."
"They won't care where I am as long as I'm not in their way." Nevertheless, Harry took a sheet of parchment and a quill and wrote, "Gone to Nantucket. Back soon." He signed his name and laid the parchment on the unmade bed. "All right, I'm ready."
Henry glided over and passed his arm through Harry. Then he slowly began to fade from view. Harry felt his own body become flimsy and unsubstantial. Then there was a rush of icy cold air. The next thing he knew they were standing on the beach at Great Point.
Henry looked around and called softly, "Radar?"
A stocky little man wearing glasses popped out of the bushes and ran over to meet them. "Oh, oh boy, am I glad to see you!" he gasped. "Flagg - he's really gone crackers!"
Harry tensed. "He hasn't hurt Kim or her grandfather, has he?"
"Nope. But he's making Hawkeye write out a list of demands - things he wants President Bush to do before he lets ' em go," Radar explained. He wiped his brow with the sleeve of his tuxedo. "He's nuts, I tell ya. You should hear what he's askin' for - it's crazy!"
Henry rolled his eyes. "This oughta be good," he remarked to Harry in a sarky tone.
"No! It's really bad - he's telling the President to drop nuclear bombs on the entire Middle East! On our soldiers too!" Radar exclaimed. "A-and the British."
Harry looked over at Henry Blake. "That's completely insane!"
Henry nodded. "That's our Flagg." He didn't seem to be the least bit surprised, which really bothered Harry.
"That's not all!" Radar said unhappily. "He wants to personally lay siege to France, burn it and force all those people to starve to death. He wants the Navy to blockade China and stop them from exporting goods to America. Oh, and he wants all of the Clintons' books burned publicly and the Democratic Party banned from existence."
"Is that all? I was expecting the Spanish Inquisition," Henry quipped. "Y'know, Bush isn't going to buy any of this, not even the part about getting rid of the Democrats!"
"Of course not. This Flagg berk sounds like a complete nutter. He's gone right round the twist," Harry said grimly.
"Uh - um, yeah, I guess," Radar replied uncertainly. He thought about it for a minute. "Uh, y'know I don't know any English. Do you mind sayin' that again in American?"
Harry fought to keep from smiling. "Like you said, he's nuts."
"Oh, oh, yeah, he's always been like that," Radar muttered.
"Yeah, well this time Flagg's gone too far," Henry fumed. "No one's gonna meet any of those conditions, not if he were holding Laura and the twins hostage! Hell, not even if he had George the First and Barbara!"
"But - he's gonna shoot Hawkeye and Kim if the President doesn't do what he says!" Radar cried. "He's calling the White House and if his demands aren't met within forty-eight hours - Geez, what are we gonna do?"
"We have to find a way to stop him," Harry answered gravely.
"I dunno," Radar said with a worried, doubtful look. "He - he's got an automatic rifle and he's not afraid to use it. Just look at that!" He pointed at the wrecked helicopter.
Harry looked at the bullet riddled canopy and the blade hanging crookedly off the prop. "That is totally idiotic. How does he think he's going to get off this island now?"
"He doesn't think that far ahead when he's got a gun in his hand," Radar affirmed. "Like I told ya, he's a lunatic! He shot Father Mulcahy - a priest! How screwy is that?"
"All right, I get the picture," Harry told him. "We're stuck out here with this trigger-happy pillock who's thick enough to destroy his only transport."
"Um, yeah," Radar agreed. He wasn't really sure what Harry had said but it sounded good. Kinda like Cary Grant. "Just so you know, okay?"
"I know he's going to have to shoot me before he shoots Kim," Harry vowed,
"That's perfectly fine with me!" Flagg growled.
Harry and Radar both jumped. Neither of them had heard the terrorist come up behind them. Now he had them covered with the automatic.
"The English are a nation of complete degenerates. Killing you should be a distinct pleasure." Flagg grinned in a most unpleasant way.
"NO! You can't do that!" Radar stepped in front of Harry, trying to shield him with his own body. He was horrified to find himself looking directly into the barrel of the automatic.
"Wrong again, pip-squeak!" Flagg said tauntingly. He sighted down the barrel. "I can do whatever I want to. I'm holding the rifle, remember?"
Radar mumbled, "Aw, holy geez," and closed his eyes. However, he bravely stood his ground. With Radar covering him, Harry was able to reach for his wand without Flagg seeing what he was up to.
Flagg shrugged. "Suit yourself, you little Limey lover. With this baby, I can mow both of you down before you can say Fish and Chips." He patted the rifle fondly.
Harry stepped from behind Radar, pointed his wand and shouted. "Accio rifle!" The gun wrenched itself out of Flagg's hands and flew straight into Radar's.
Radar's eyes opened and widened behind his glasses. "Wow!"
"Now which of us has the weapon?" Harry said to Flagg. "You'd best give it up now."
Radar pointed the rifle at Flagg and hissed, "Yeah, yeah, surrender, you chump," in his best impersonation of Jimmy Cagney.
Flagg narrowed his eyes and tightened his jaw. "You little punk! I don't know how you did that, but I promise you will regret it for as long as you live!" He whipped out a pistol. "And it won't be for very long!"
Radar nearly dropped the rifle. "Look out!" he screamed.
Harry thrust Radar behind him and yelled "Expecto Patronum!" A silvery stream shot out of his wand and took the shape of a stag. Flagg fired several times, but the bullets merely bounced off the animal.
Henry Blake materialized again behind Flagg. "Keep it up, Harry! You're doin' great!" He pointed his finger at a heavy tree branch and sent it crashing down with great force right on top of Flagg's head.
At the sound of Blake's voice, Radar peered around Harry. They both saw the branch land on Flagg, who merely shook it off. "Geez, did ya see that? It didn't even faze him!" Radar said to Harry. "Heck!"
"Radar, if you mean hell, then go ahead and say it!" Henry grumbled. He quickly vanished when Flagg twisted around to see who was speaking.
"I've had more than enough of your little magic tricks!" Flagg warned. Just to be sure, he fired his last round at the space Henry had been occupying. The next time he pulled the trigger, the gun clicked futilely. Flagg scowled at it.
"Ha! Got him now!" Radar said to Harry.
But having expended his bullets on Harry's patronus, Flagg reversed his pistol and hurled it at them. It flew over the stag and slammed into Harry's right hand. The surprise of the attack and the sudden pain caused Harry to fall to the ground. His patronus slowly faded away and his wand went skittering off into the brush.
"Aw, hell!" Radar swore with feeling. He laid the rifle aside and knelt beside Harry.
Harry looked at his hand; there was a long, gory gash right across his knuckles. The flesh around it was beginning to turn a rather nasty puce color. "Bloody hell!"
"Bloody hell," Radar agreed. "Are you all right?"
Harry tried to move his fingers and winced. "I really don't think so."
Radar bit his lip. "Great! Now what the heck do we do? Uh - I mean hell."
"You do nothing!" Flagg was standing over the two of them. "You're both my prisoners! Now get up from there and let's go!"
Radar hesitated for a minute and then snatched up the forgotten rifle. "Oh, yeah? We're not licked yet!" He pointed the gun at Flagg and closed his eyes. "Eat lead, sucker!"
Nothing happened when he pulled the trigger. Flagg threw back his head and chortled.
Radar slowly opened his eyes. "How come he's laughing if I shot him?" he asked.
"You didn't," Harry informed him. He reached over and took the weapon out of Radar's nerveless fingers. "This one must be empty too. Come on now." He helped the trembling little man to his feet.
"You pathetic little fool! Did you really think you could fire that weapon at me?" Flagg jeered nastily. "Why you haven't got the guts to shoot a sick bunny!"
"Well, anyhow I did try." Radar gave Harry a sorrowful look. "I - I guess I didn't do so good, huh?"
"It's all right, Radar," Harry put his arm around his friend to comfort him. "You did the best you could. And you've more guts without a gun than Flagg has with three or four of them to boost his great ego. Besides, he hasn't stopped us yet."
"What do you mean?" Flagg snarled. He stepped closer and glared suspiciously at his captives. "No more of your tricks now!" He reached over awkwardly for his left hip pocket, keeping his eyes fixed on Harry and Radar.
Harry realized that Flagg must have a second pistol. He brought the disabled rifle up and smashed the butt down on Flagg's hand with all his strength. The pistol clattered to the ground. Flagg clutched his wrenched wrist and said some rather crude things.
With his free hand, Harry shoved Radar forward hard. "Run!" he ordered. "As fast as you can - run, Radar, run!"
Radar nearly stumbled, but he caught himself and obeyed. Harry backed off in the opposite direction while Flagg was nursing his fingers. As soon as he'd seen Radar get far enough away, Harry dived into the brush to look for his wand.
Henry Blake was already there, providing a dim silver glow. "Nice going, Harry. Now let's find that wand and finish this before Flagg pulls a gun out of his hat."
"Right! We've got to hurry before he takes a fancy to shoot Radar," Harry gasped.
Harry scrabbled frantically through the brambles trying to find his wand. "Ouch! I can't see anything and I've put my hand on some wicked thorns."
"Use a Summoning Charm!" Henry commanded. "And be quick about it! Flagg's spotted Radar and he's still looking for his other pistol."
"Accio wand!" Harry muttered. "Come on then, Accio!"
"I see you in there!" Flagg bellowed. "Get out here and face me or I'll shoot you both down in cold blood!" He turned and roared at Radar. "Halt or I'll kill this rotten brat now!"
Radar stopped dead in his tracks and turned around "No! Radar, keep on going!" Harry pleaded. "Get yourself out of it!"
Radar shook his head. "I'm sorry, Harry, I can't. I can't let him kill you." He raised his hands and began walking back.
"What a stupid, sentimental sap!" Flagg spat. "This is almost too easy!" He grabbed Radar's arm and then faced the bushes again. "All right - boy! Let's go!"
Harry looked over at Henry. "That's it then. Some rescue party I turned out to be!"
"It's not over yet," Henry counseled him. "Remember what you said to Radar. This is just the first round. You can still beat him."
"How?" Harry said miserably. "I don't have my wand - and I don't think I could hold it properly if I could find it."
"Ahh, now don't give me that!" Henry scoffed. "How many times have you defeated You-Know-Who? You've got too many people believing in you to give up now. Not just me and Radar and Kim - what about Professor Dumbledore? And Mad-Eye Moody?"
"So what do I do?" Harry asked.
"If you're not out by the time I count to five, there'll be a couple of dead heroes on this beach!" Flagg blustered. "One! Two!"
Henry nodded. "Go ahead, Harry. I'll be right beside you. But you don't need me. You can do this." He slowly became invisible, but Harry knew Blake was still there.
"Three!" Flagg cocked the pistol and rammed it into Radar's temple. "Four!"
Harry climbed out of the bushes with his hands raised. "Okay, don't shoot. You got me."
Flagg bared his teeth wolfishly. "That's the first sensible thing you've done!" He covered both his prisoners and herded them up the path to the cottage.