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Aberrant: Stargate Universe - A snake in the garden


Mr Fox

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Olivia Jennings-Izumi walked into her private rooms to find a man sitting in her chair. He stood up at her entrance and smiled. He was the proverbial tall dark and handsome and he was wearing an expensive

tailored suit. Not something anyone in the SGC would wear. "Good evening Doctor Jennings-Izumi. I hope I

didn't startle you with my presence." His smile appeared friendly, but there was a subtle sharpness to it. He

carefully did not move to close the distance between them or offer to shake her hand so as not to make the

threatening nature of his intrusion any more uncomfortable than it already was.

"I hope you don't mind that I let myself in, but I needed to talk with you privately and outside of

the regular channels." He smiled, "Do you mind if I sit?" He didn't wait but settled himself back in the chair

again. He was less threatening seated.

Olivia still tensed, her mind racing over what weapon if any she had. Reaching out with her hearing, she grabbed onto the MPs channel and prepared to broadcast a cry. She relaxed a bit as he sat, but her face was angry. "What are you doing in here? These are my rooms."

"As I was saying, this conversation has to be off book. I am with the IOA, which as I am sure you know, is the oversight committee that governs the SGC. My name is Frank Abagnale, and the IOA has a problem that we hope you can help us with.

Olivia 's eyes narrowed. "Yes, I have heard of the IOA, and none of it good. I think you're wasting our time."

Frank frowned, "I certainly hope not. We are on the same side after all. We both are here to protect Earth. And how could you hear things of the IOA that are not good, we are the ones who fund the SGC and direct it's activities. How can that not be good?"

Olivia drew a breath. "From what I've heard, IOA tends to meddle more then protect. I have read about IOA, and how its agents tend to disrupt missions at critical moments." She spread her hands. "I've read the reports, and that's what they say.

Frank smiled as if he had just been handed the winning lottery ticket. "I've heard that too, and that is a great shame. In fact we are hoping you, Olivia, can help us with that problem. What we need from you is your ability to write reports. We've heard that you are quite adept at writing and would like for you to send us reports of

what you see here in the SGC. We can only direct the SGC as well as the intel we receive, and your intel would

be very valuable to us.

Olivia scowled. "You want me to spy for you," she spat. "No. I won't."

"Spy? Certainly not. We would just like for you to report to us what you see. After all, all

reports come to us anyway no matter who they are written by. We would prefer to get reports directly from you."

"You aren't suggesting that you see things that aren't being reported accurately are you?"

Olivia sighed. "Mr. Abagnale, you're playing word games. You want tme to report what I see, then when I object to being asked to report out of my chain of command, you attempt to insinuate that I'm hiding something." She was, but that wasn't the point. "And I assume that I'm not to tell anyone that I'm reporting to the IOA? That, sir, is a spy."

Frank frowned. "I'm sorry you see it that way. I don't mean to make things uncomfortable for you, but we do need accurate reporting." You get the distinct impression that things could be made uncomfortable if you don't agree.

Olivia swallowed hard, and her voice was tight with fear as she answered, "Try Turbo Tax. I hear they do a fantastic job of accurately reporting."

Frank chuckled and stood up he was definitely more menacing standing... "Very well Doctor. I will bid you a good evening and show myself out. I will give you some time to think about it, perhaps after your next mission you can take some time to get in touch with your feelings and reconsider."

Olivia stepped aside quickly. "Are you going to bother me after every mission? Don't bother. My loyalty is to my

team, and the SGC."

Frank smiled again as he stood in the doorway, "That is very commendable. In fact all we could wish is that you could share that loyalty to the IOA which is after all the overning body that allows the SGC to exist. It's not like we are the enemy."

Olivia shook her head. "You get reports from the SGC, via proper channels. You aren't the enemy, but you are making me uncomfortable. Please go."

Olivia relaxed, then stood straight and left the room...

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Olivia didn't go running for Caine's office. IOA would be watching her now, and her temporary courage she'd drawn in during the encounter with Abagnale was rapidly fading. She needed to be somewhere public, but she also needed to talk to Caine.

She went to the cafeteria and got a coffee, scanning the room. It was off-hours for meals, so none of her team was there. She didn't see Steve or Vinny either. She took her coffee and sank into an empty chair. Thinking, she reached out with her hearing and listened for a familiar voice.

Caine's voice was a welcome relief, even if he was talking to Dr. Fraser about Declan's test reports. There was a crackle of static that was familiar to Caine, and then her voice could be heard. *I'm sorry to interrupt,* Olivia said, breaking into their conversation, speaking over Major Caine so that she didn't hear any of Declan's private medical details.

"What the-? Who is this?" Dr. Fraser asked. "How'd you get on this line?"

*It's Dr. Jenings-Izumi, Dr. Fraser,* she said. *This is a trick of mine. I just needed to ask my CO to meet me in the cafeteria when he's done with you. Major Caine, would you mind?*

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She wouldn't do this if it wasn't important.

*Dr. Fraser, I'll deal with this. Dr. Izumi-Jenings, I'll be there asap. Dr. Fraser, we'll finish this up later, if you don't mind. This must be an emergancy.*

*Oh, okay Major Caine. We need to deal with this ... development ... soon.*

Wether she was talking about something with Declan, or Olivia's ability was left unclear.

For Caine, the only real thing for him to consider was to take his 'emergancy' pistol or not. He elected not too. The major made his way post haste to the cafeteria. He had to control his movements to not raise suspicions.

Caine entered the cafeteria and immediatley spotted Olivia near the center - not the teams regular eating spot. He made his way to her, waved casually when she waved to him and sat down beside her.

"Since I recall you telling O'Neil that you wouldn't do suff like that, I assume this is pretty important. Sitrep."

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"I was just approached by the IOA to report outside my command structure," she said softly, her little smile not matching what she was saying. Her eyes were full of worry, and he realized that the smile was for anyone who might be watching. He didn't remember her being quite to paranoid before, but then she'd just been asked to be a spy for the people who paid her paycheck, indirectly.

"The man who approached me gave his name as Frank Abagnale, and he was in my room." She shivered a little at that; it was unsettling to know that they could get into her private area anytime they wanted. Suddenly, the SGC didn't seem as safe as it just had. Olivia had always seen the StarGate as a source of danger, but generally, you could see the aliens come through. It was another to find the danger coming from other humans. "He didn't threaten me, but there was a definite undercurrent to his voice that said things would be easier for me if I agreed."

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A few really good emotions went through Damien's mind when the news hit. First off, someone had scared the shit out of Olivia and deserved the same - say dangling their asses head over heels down an empty elevator shaft. Next came concern because this was extra interest not only in the SGC, but the Specials. It was too easy for people in power to see them as resources and not people. Caine didn't worry so much about himself, but the rest of his team ... that would go poorly.

The final emotion was happiness. Olivia could have taken this straight to the General, but she chose him. It was the right move too, but it was comforting to have that level of trust once more.

"We'll take this to the General. We can assume they are monitoring everything, so they are going to suspect something right away. We'll go by way of Major Carter. She should have her own instight into the relationship between the IOA and the military that runs this instillation."

"Just in case, I'm going to contact Dec and Gwyn and have them stick to their quarters until this is over. I don't want those two being used to keep us quiet. It's only percautionary."

Caine pulled out his phone and called Declan first. If they moved on the Sergeant first and he 'transitioned' it would be a disaster he couldn't get him out of.

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"Shouldn't they go somewhere safe, if you're worried?" Olivia asked. "Abagnale found me in my room..."

"No, they're safer if they're already there and on their guard," Caine told her, dialing. Olivia saw the number and nodded.

"I'll call Gwyn, um, do you want me to?" she asked. Caine nodded at her as he put the phone to his ear. Olivia quickly dialed and waited for her teammate to pick up.

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Gwyn was on the range rattling off bursts as he ran a comparison between the P90 and the HK MP-7 when he heard his mobile ringing below the sound of the rounds flying down range.

It's times like this that I wish I could do the Doc's trick of hearing radiowaves

Removing his earplugs he answers the phone, "Hi Doc, what can I do for you?"

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What now, was the first thought through his head, followed by a rapidly expanding series of possibilities and sub-branches...

"Ok Doc. I'm on the range at the moment and I doubt I'll have any trouble here, since I'm armed as well as going dense. I'll head directly to the room from here instead of my ususal sequence, and I'll keep myself locked in until I hear from one of you. And Doc, if you need any help just give me a call and I'll be there as fast as I can fly there, Ok?"

As good as his word Gwyn goes to his maximum density during the conversation, it's not fantastic armour like some of the other Specialist have, but it pretty much negates most sidearms. Picking up a Zat to test fire, and to keep to hand, Gwyn checks out who is on the range and then keeps a carful eye on both their actions and anyone else entering the range.

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"Alright," she said softly, her voice concerned. "Take care, and we should be around to see you soon." Hanging up, she waited for Caine to tell her what Declan had said and for them to leave.

Part of her felt a little silly, like she was getting worked up for no reason. But part of her was happy about the extra precautions. Hopefully, they'd be unneeded.

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Dec was in the gym, dressed in shorts and a t-shirt as he went through practice routines with a mocked-up staff weapon. The replica was the same weight and balance as the Jaffa weapon, and at first was a little unwieldy. But for Declan, it was easy enough to get the hang of, and he was currently spinning the heavy staff through a dizzying series of attack and defense routines as his body stepped, leapt and twisted through a dance that was as beautiful to watch as it was terrible in its meaning.

He was enjoying himself, both Dec and Red harmonising in this activity as others in the gym watched with an awe than never seemed to get old. Here, he didn't have issues or problems. He wasn't a basket case two steps away from getting sectioned before he put a bullet in his brain. Here, in this dance of battle, he was a god. It was a comforting feeling.

The beeper went off atop his kitbag and Dec cursed quietly, stopping the forward spin and thrust and setting the practice weapon to one side before walking over to check the number. A minute later, and he'd picked up the phone on the gym wall and dialed his CO.

"Perault here, sir. What? Yes... yessir. Will do. What's this about? Is it the fight in the bar, sir?" He frowned at the answer. "Yes sir." He hung up.

*Something's come up and he wants me to stay in my room? No reasons except to be on my guard and that Gwyn is getting the same orders. What the fuck?*

*I smell trouble.* Red growled like an eager predatory cat. *Someone's fuckin' with us, or the Major thinks they're gonna.*

*Yeah... Let go wait in the room. Caine will explain when he feels its the right time.* Extending his awareness so that he had a 360 degree sense of his surroundings, and keeping alert, Dec grabbed his kitbag and started off towards his room.

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Seeing that Olivia had finished, Caine stood up.

"Everything will be just fine. I'm being paranoid," he said giving a forced grin.

"Now let's go see the General."

They walked out side by side, looking to all the world as if Olivia had done something wrong ... maybe? Caine kept his mouth shut as they made their way to the elevator. He remained silent on the way up, studioulsy and arrogantly ignoring the camera in the box. The walk to O'Neil's desk brought a few glances but nothing more.

"Here to see the General, Major Caine," the secretary - airman said. "What's the nature of your appointment."

"Security breach."

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Olivia flinched a little at the sharp words - was it really a security breach? She considered a second before deciding that someone outside SGC had tried to get to her, so yes, it was a breach. It didn't matter that it was IOA - for all she knew Frank Abagnale was actually NID or worse. That was why you had chains of command - for things like this.

She caught the airman giving her a speculative look and Olivia's expression changed to one of surprise when she realized that the airman was wondering is she was the breach. She wasn't sure if she should be flattered that he believed that she had the ability to cause concern to the SGC or upset that he thought she would. Calm down, she told herself. He doesn't know you, so he doesn't know you'd never do that.

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The airman didn't make any comment he just pressed a button on the desk, "General, Major Caine to see you. Says it's about a security breech sir." The general's annoyed voice came through, "Well, send him in!"

A moment later the two found themselves facing the general in his office. He looked annoyed and concerned both at the same time. "What's this security breach Major?"

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Caine saluted,

"Sir, Frank Abagnale of the IOA approached Specialist Jenings-Izumi IN HER QUARTERS, Sir. Not withstanding we are under the direction of the IOA, I am totally out of the loop on them using members of the SGC as independent agents."

Oh yeah, Damien was angry. He was damn angry. Someone had the temerity to threaten his Olivia? Oh yeah, he was going to get someone's nutsack over this one, come hell or high water, or he wasn't Damien Son of Satan.

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O'Neill frowned. "Slow down Major and give me a full accounting of what happened. You say the IOA approached the Doctor here in her private quarters?"

He sat back with a concerned look on his face that grew darker as the Major brought him up to speed on what had occurred. It was apparent that the General was working hard to keep his face neutral. "Major, Doctor, the IOA has the mandate to review and approve decisions made here. They can investigate pretty much anything they choose. They can approach anyone they see fit. Technically they are within their rights even to enter a soldiers quarters." He help up a hand to forestall any protest.

"However, what they have done is a gross breach of etiquette, if not an outright violation of the rules." The General sat forward and his eyes were very intense, "I will insure there is no repeat of this incident. From now on if one of their representatives enters the base it will be under escort. I can't prevent them from placing people here or trying to recruit 'informants' among our personnel, but like yourselves, I don't believe there are any of our people that would stoop to spying for them. I keep a very close eye on this base and I make a point of knowing our people."

O'Neill leaned a little further over the desk and said in a quieter voice, "The airman out there is on their payroll so to speak. I know it, and he knows I know it, but it is useful to keep him close at hand. They try to place people here in the SGC and we neutralize them. Politically speaking. It's all about politics and maneuvering for position with the members of the IOA. It's a shame we have to deal with them, but it is the only way we are allowed to exist and do our jobs. With the occasional exception of when they try to flex their muscles and take a direct hand in decision making they are mostly harmless. Because of the unusual nature of your abilities, I am sure they would love to recruit one of the new specialists."

Sitting back and speaking earnestly, "As I said I will ensure that their personnel are under escort at all times from now on while on base. Should you receive any further contact from them report it to me immediately. Especially if they do anything inappropriate. Anything further?"

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Olivia stood behind him, letting him talk. When O'Neill glanced at her, she briefly nodded, but remained silent. Once the military men had finished talking to one another, they'd remember to talk to her. She wasn't upset; she'd learned quickly since joining Area 51 that the military had its own rhythm and paces. And this time, she didn't need to do a thing.

"No sir," she said softly, irritated to hear that IOA could get her whenever. "Actually, yes, I had a quick question. There were no threats made... but there was a sense that failing to cooperate would be dangerous for me. What should I and Major Caine do about that?"

Yes, she was scared. She walked amongst the Specialists, but she was as fragile as a non-Specialist. Declan would survive an attack; she wouldn't.

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O'Neill frowned, "I don't think they will doing anything to physically attack you. That's not really their style. I'll keep an eye out to make sure your family doesn't suddenly have their citizenship brought into question or anything like that. Indirect pressure is what they tend to go with, but more often than not it is the threat of being removed from the Stargate program since that is what they actually have the authority to do. In your case that won't fly so they might try something else. I will watch to make sure that your family isn't harassed, but if you hear of anything let me know and I'll do what I can to deal with it."

O'Neill frowned in thought then added quietly, "Doctor, your brother is in a band I believe. You might want to suggest to him that he keep his nose clean for a bit. Not that I'm suggesting that it's isn't clean now, but as a person in that kind of lifestyle... well, you know what I mean."

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The fear was gone, swallowed by a raging inferno of anger at the thought that they might harass her family. "Yes, Waki is actually a rapper," she said, her fists clenching. The petite woman looked almost comical in her anger, but it was sincere and a little frightening to her CO, who'd never seen her quite like this. "And both my father and my brother are naturalized citizens," she added, her voice hot. "My father is probably safe, since he married my mom, but Wakiki... they'd better not mess with my family!"

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"Easy there sold... er specialist. We won't let them get away with it if they try and they are not the NID, they don't kidnap people or anything overt like that. Worse that is likely to happen would be that they might have the cops investigate your brother on suspicion of drugs or something. And I am not saying that 'will' happen only that it is the sort of thing they might try given that they can't threaten your status in the program. You specialists are too valuable to risk losing."

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"Sir, with your permission, I'm going to bring my team up to speed. Should we warn SG-23 and -24? I would think it would be prudent."

He saw Olivia's anger but there was little he could do about it. Not here not now. Get her back within the close confines of the Team and let her cut loose there. Now was not the time. For not the first time he appreciated how fiery beautiful she got when she was truly pissed. Too bad it had to be a cluter-fuck like this.

Caine waited on a response to his questions, and a dismissal.

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General O'Neill nodded, "I think it would be good if you did bring SGs 23 and 24 up to speed after their current missions. Although there will be some shifting of the team personnel on their returns."

He smiled a sad and uncomfortable smile, "But remember. As reprehensible as their actions are at times due to their political maneuverings, they are not the enemy. We need them as much as they need us." He looked at Olivia with understanding eyes. "Don't do anything outside the chain of command. I am here to protect you all. If you ever feel threatened or you feel action is required, come to me, or go to Major Caine who can come to me and I will deal with it. Mr. Abagnale will never step foot on this base again and the IOA will be made to understand in no uncertain terms that no matter their reasons, entering the private quarters of SGC personnel is completely unacceptable. If they ever think to do so again they had better have a mountain of paperwork in hand justifying their actions and go through me and be in the presence of one of the SGC senior staff."

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Olivia held his eyes for a moment, her dark orbs smoldering with anger. Then she nodded. "Yes, General," she said softly, "I will remember the chain of command and respect it." They'd just better remember not to mess with my family.

The news about shifting teams was distressing and Olivia cast a concerned look at Caine. Had he requested some team changes? Was he moving her off the team? Or worse, was he taking Declan away?

She calmed herself. Caine wouldn't do that. She was being paranoid.

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Seeing the sudden concern on Olivia's face, O'Neill added, "There have been some transfers and reassignments, but I don't believe SG21 will be effected." He paused for a moment then continued, "Actually, that's not entirely true. Specialist Jauntsen will be transferred off SG21 and to one of the other teams, but that will be the only effect to your team that is planned."

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Caine was a bit shocked about the team changes as well, but hid it under his iron self control. When the General allayed those fears, he let lose a slow breath. No one better mess with his team. They were like family now. They were closer than family.

"Thank you General O'Niel. I like to think my team is functioning way above expectations in every way. We ARE the BEST ... SG-1 not withstanding."

"Thank you for addressing our concerns. I'll make sure that the rest of my time is made aware of the situation as soon as possible."

Like as soon as we get out of here.

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Caine saluted turned around in one crisp movement, and walked to the door. He held it for Olivia to pass and then followed her out. Damien didn't spare the receptionist a glance, but nor did he say anything until they were on the elvator going down.

"I'll call Gwyn and he can meet us at Declan's."

He pulled out the phone, hit his speed dial and got Gwyn.

"Jones, Caine. Meet us at Declan's room. Don't go in. Wait on us. I'll answer questions there."

Short, sussinct, and brooking no conversation. Only now did he turn to Olivia.

"Opinions and suggestions."

The man was angry, really angry and Olivia could guess it had a good deal to do with someone stepping into one of his people's privaste space (if it had been Declan they might be dead - minor problem - and Declan would be faciing a deep, dark hole - the thing that he had sworn wouldn't happen).

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"The thoughts that come to mind are impractical," Olivia said, "since we can't really team up into pairs twenty-four-seven. We can report to each other constantly, and keep open radios so that I can monitor us all the time.

"I'd like to warn my family, but of what? Government goons might come and bother you, but don't worry, they're just my supervisors." Olivia looked helpless. "I'm not even sure what we'd be allowed to do in our defense from the people who write our checks."

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Caine turned and looked down at Livy, deadly serious.

"We can make those bastards know they'd pay. That's what we can do."

Looking forward once again, he added grimly.

"We don't make it a threat. We make it a promise."

If the IOA wanted to lose a group of Specialists, the were certainly on the right track for it.

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"Ok," Olivia said, some of her tension fading away as she saw her Commander step up and start to take control. "What do we do, then?"

She'd do it, too. Her family was something you didn't mess with, not without dire consequences. And for the first time in a long time, Olivia had the power to hurt someone threatening someone she loved. It was a strange, alien thought to her, and more than a little frightening.

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"First we deal with our team. Then I talk to Omar and Hawke, and see if they will spread the word to their teams. We can at least get all the Specials hostile to this kind of intrusion, we can accomplish something and showing some solidarity will help each of us."

Still not looking at her,

"Do you think any of us would spy for the IOA?"

Caine looked adamant, confident, and strong. There was this intangible quality about him that inspired hope. There was no way Caine would let her down. He had already proved his willingness to sacrifice himself for her, yet remain strong.

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Having taken the second call from Major Caine Gwyn wrapped up his time on the range and headed down to Sgt Perault's room, keeping and eye out for strangers, and wary of armed airmen in the corridors.

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Finally all in Declan's room, Caine leaned up against the wall and seemed lost in thought for a moment.

"First off," he began,"Olivia found some bureaucrat in her room when she got back from practice today. He was with the IOA, our oversight agency, and he asked Olivia to spy on the rest of us for him. We can assume that if they havent' succeeded already, they will try again soon."

The Major let that sink in for a few moments.

"I'm pissed," Caine said in a low voice. "I'm pissed that they broke into someone's quarters. I'm pissed that they asked one of mine to be a rat. I'm pissed that those of us with people on the outside now have to worry about retaliation against said people by these Fucks."

"That is how they operate. If they can't put pressure on you, they put pressure on people you care about. It is not as if we don't already have enough to worry about, now we have to watch each other's back against those people we are theoretically working for."

"Feedback people. What's on your minds?"

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  • 3 weeks later...

Gwyn does not look happy at the news of what has been going on.

"I don't know how far these people's influence is likely to stretch, the only people they could get at for me would be my sister's family back in Wales. There is not a lot I can do to protect them from here other than to inform MI5 and MI6 that a foreign body might try to influence me through them. I don't know if there is a Air Force Intelligence department or Homeland Security or such that you could alert about it. It's not as satifying as personally tracking the guy down and threatening him, which is what I'd like to do, but setting one set of bureaucracy after another might be the best we can do."

He pauses for thought, "Actually may be we could track him down. Olivia has met the guy so I guess he gave a name, but either way we could make up a picture of him and get someone good with computers to identify him and locate him. Then some of us turn up on his doorstep on leave some time and see how he likes the same treatment."

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"Frank Abagnale," Olivia said. "And I saw him, so I have a pretty good description of him. I think that General O'Neill is already moving to have some leashes put on him. He's been restricted from base and I'm sure that his superiors are going to get sweated themselves."

It felt good, to know that her team had her back. She felt better. Nothing bad was going to happen, not with these people at her side.

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