The Ambush (October 1986)

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Post by Conleth on Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:50 am

Isabella woke up to the sound of large hydraulics dropping down the cargo door to the military plane. She had sat next to Alonzo and his team but across from them were men from the Army and Air Force. The heat hit her as a hot wind blew in from the tarmac and a blurred, heat haze fluttered across the barren landscape.

Before anyone disembarked though a very muscular man with the rank of First Sergeant stepped before them. He was tall and broad with a face that looked as if it had been carved from stone. When he crossed his arms over his broad chest his muscles seemed to bulge out on his arms. His legs bulged as well and he likely had very little fat on him. He had no hair at all on his head.

“Ok, your all now in hell. Its 104 degrees in the shade and 35 degrees at night,” he said as he plucked out his canteen from his belt. “Out here, water is life. Drink often and refill often. I can’t make it any plainer than that. Exposed skin is burned skin. Cover up and use sunscreen. Change your socks often if they become damp and use your foot powder often,” he warned. Breakfast is at 8am, lunch at noon, dinner at 4pm. MREs are available in the mess hall, take em if ya need em. “NO ONE goes outside the fence line unless you have orders. If you see anyone near the fence that is not one of us, shoot them,” he said and then unfolded his arms ad he turned and walked down the cargo lift to the tarmac.

The moment Isabella hit the tarmac fluffs of warm sand blew across her face. Already the heat made her want to pour cool water over her face and head and her canteen already perspired with condensation. A HMMVV was waiting for her near the plane to take her to where she’d be staying. A soldier gestured toward her bags and when she nodded he picked them up and set them into the back of the HMMVV. Once everyone was in the vehicle it darted away from the small tarmac toward the cluster of tents and makeshift buildings that made up the bulk of the base.

Isabella had her own tent, there were no other women here but she noticed that there were not a woman’s bathroom or shower on her ride over. Her cot had a rolled up sleeping bag along with white sheets and a green wool blanket. She had a small kerosene heater, a large metal trunk at the foot of her bed, and also a table, chair and table lamp.Stacked neatly on her trunk were 3 sets of desert fatigues, underwear and socks. There was also boots, a scarf and a desert hat. Next to the clothes was an LBE with a compass, a map, a combat knife, 2 bandages and 4 M16 magazines in the cargo pouches. There was also a holster with an M1911 pistol, 4 magazines of pistol ammunition and an M16 assault rifle. The presentation was tomorrow afternoon and soon someone would come to escort her to the command shanty.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Sat Sep 21, 2019 8:06 am

The moment Isabella stepped out into the heat she began to think that she would much rather be back in the plane with Alonzo and his team. She squinted in the sunlight and blinked a few times as her eyes adjusted. She was glad she wasn't going to be here very long and prayed that everything was going to go according to plan.

With her bags collected, she got into the HMMVV with the rest of the team. She could see the cluster of buildings and tents ahead. As they neared the base, Isabella took note that there were no other women here. Because of that fact there were no women's bathroom's or showers. She would have to make the best of this situation. Thankfully, she had been given her own tent and inside she already felt a little cooler. She glanced around at everything that was assembled there. She had a few minutes before someone was going to come and collect her to go to the command tent so she decided to get changed. She changed into a set of the fatigues and put on the boots. She put on the holster and loaded up the pistol. She tucked everything else into the pockets of her fatigues and then waited to be escorted to the command shanty.

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Post by Conleth on Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:29 am

The soldier that came and got her was young, really young. He looked 16 but obviously he was 18 and his cheeks colored when her eyes moved to him. He hastily took off his hat when she bade him to enter. “Uh, Private Zarrelli...M..mmaam,” he stammered. The boy had dark skin and eyes and his close cropped hair was dark as well. He was Italian and extremely handsome by all accounts and very well mannered. “I’m to take you to the command shanty,” he said looking down at the floor. He would not meet her eyes and appeared quite nervous but she did know why. She was a woman, an attractive woman and obviously this boy had never been with a girl or around women much. He probably joined right out of high school. Likely he had lost the draw to be the one that brought her. When she moved he pointed toward her M16. “Uh...everyone goes armed here...uh...ma’am,” he said awkwardly. He waited for her to sling her rifle on her shoulder then took her to the Command Shanty.

The command shanty actually had walls of a sort and room separated by canvas walls. There were lights, tables computers, complex looking radios, a weapons rack, lamps, wall maps and other things that one might see in a Command Tent. Once she moved inside the young soldier stepped away and she lost sight of him as he turned around the building. A black man was there to greet her though he wore a slightly different uniform. An air force officer, his uniform was gray and black camo and he wore a black beret. “Hello Agent Corsetti, Im James Rhodes, we’re waiting for you,” he said and gestured further inside the shanty.

Past one of the canvas walls was a conference room with a large folding table, folding chairs and several high ranking officers either standing or sitting. A huge map was on the wall and several men were looking at it. When she came in they turned toward her. The face she knew was Colonel Alex Jordan. “Ah, Agent Corsetti, I trust your trip was uneventful?” He said. On one of the tables there were large containers of water with spickets, and cups beside them. When he saw her looking at them and how dry her mouth looked he smiled then bent down. To her surprise there was a large, green cooler down their and rummaged through it and brought out a bottle of Coca-Cola. He popped the cap and handed it to her. It was ice cold in her hand and sizzled with effervescence. “Take a seat, so far all of our scouting missions have come up with nothing. We did have an issue yesterday though with a small group that tried to install a device on our air strip. There are always that happening. What was odd to Isabella was that no one besides the CIA, some in the US government and military knew the US even had a base here. Obviously it was a staging area for something but that information had not been told her...yet.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Sat Sep 21, 2019 11:12 am

Isabella followed Private Zarrelli down to the Command Shanty. She could tell the young man was nervous being around her and she did her best to put him at ease. She stepped inside the shanty and took a quick glance around. It looked exactly as she had expected. Before she could walk any further inside she was met by Colonel Rhodes. He had been at the meeting at her office, but they had not been formally introduced. She extended her hand and shook his in greeting. She did not know much about James Rhodes apart from the fact that he was in the Air Force and was a close friend of Mr. Starks.

She followed him further inside and found a conference room of sorts that was set up. There she saw Alex Jordan. She forced herself to hold her tongue but she did not like the man. However, when he offered her a cold Coke she did not refuse. Her mouth was dry and she was very thirsty. She took a refreshing sip and sat down in one of the folding chairs.Her interest was piqued when Jordan mentioned the small group that caused some trouble yesterday. That seemed like something to her. However, there was something else that was bothering her.

“Why doesn’t the CIA know about this base? Is there a reason it’s location is not known?”

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Post by Conleth on Sat Sep 21, 2019 11:27 am

After asking the question her eyes picked up the slight shake of James’s head and his slight wince. “Because it is strictly need to know Agent Corsetti,” another man said as he came and sat down with them. He was dressed in a black suit with a crisp white shirt and a black tie. He had short, brown hair and blue eyes. He leaned over and with his fingertip, he slid a business card across the table. When she read the card it said; ‘SHIELD and it had a kite shield on the front with an S inside of it. On the back it had his name and number. Phil Coulson. Isabella had heard references to SHIELD but she did not know much about the organization. Details about it were difficult to find and reports about their activities were sketchy at best. He had a calm demeanor and he sat and intertwined his fingers as he rested his forearms and hands on the table.

“Agent Corsetti, you do realize that you can not speak about what you see here to anyone, not even to your superiors. You are not authorized to divulge this base or its whereabouts to anyone, even your Fiance, Frank...Romano,” he said. But it was the slight pause in how he said his name that spoke volumes. That and the knowing look in his eye.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:16 pm

Isabella glanced at Major Rhodes and could see him shaking his head at her question. However, it was a man she did not know that answered the question. He slid a business card towards her and she saw the organization name SHIELD on one side with the name 'Phil Coulson' on the back with a phone number. She had heard of SHIELD but did not know much about the organization. However, she was now extremely curious.

She looked at the man who had identified himself as Agent Coulson and put down her Coke bottle. She could hear the pause in his voice when speaking Frank's name and something about that made her believe that he might know the truth. She hoped, if he did, that he would keep that information to himself.

"Yes, I understand that," she replied. "I work for the CIA so I know how to keep secrets."

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Post by Conleth on Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:53 pm

Phil was just getting up to speed with everything. This new weapons Mr. Stark was going to show everyone was of interest to SHIELD just like everyone else. Unknown to most of the world, SHIELD was a big customer of Stark Industries and Phil’s boss, Nick Fury have been watching Mr. Stark for years.

“I will tell you Agent Corsetti, I don’t like all this...cloak and dagger...stuff!” An older man she knew as General Steven Talbert. He had been there at her briefing. “SHIELD, the CIA, our government has one of the greatest militaries in the world. Why do we need ‘civilians’ to manage how we conduct military matters?” he asked to the room. His question was also quite hypocritical considering he was sitting in a base that no one knew about.

“Isabella, may I call you Isabella?” James asked. “With the russians being in Afghanistan for so long, they are leaving soon, a momentous event. Our government will begin sending troops here in a couple of years in hopes that we can scatter the taliban. The major terrorist threat in the region. I don’t know how we are expected to succeed where the russians have not but I don’t make those decisions.

“We will succeed Major,” The General said in a huff. “All I need is a free hand,” he said and spread his arms in gesture. “And I’ll find these Taliban dogs!” He snapped. Isabella would know now that she was dealing with a pack of idiots though she couldn't really lump Phil or James into that.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Sat Sep 21, 2019 1:39 pm

Idiots Isabella thought to herself as she looked at the General and Alex Jordan. Now Agent Coulson and Colonel Rhodes she believed we’re actually intelligent but they could do nothing about this. “I don’t think getting rid of the Taliban will be as easy as you think General. I have a feeling US Troops will be here longer then you are anticipating,” Isabella replied as politely as she could muster. “But I would like to return the conversation to what happened yesterday. You’re certain that group will not pose a threat tomorrow?”

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Post by Conleth on Sat Sep 21, 2019 1:45 pm

Alex looked at her and grinned. “Our snipers took them out. When live targets present themselves so ‘openly’ There are always snipers clamouring to get as many as they can. They are a ‘competitive’ bunch,” he said with a sly grin. James didn’t like Alex and the more he had to sit here and deal with the man, the more he would rather risk his life in a helicopter and be out scouting. Obviously the man didn’t think of the people here as people and that concerned him greatly. If the people here didn’t see them as people, he foresaw US troops having no easier of a time than the Russians who had been here 15 years and still couldn’t stamp them out.

“Excuse me...I need to get some air,” he said and excused himself from the table.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Sat Sep 21, 2019 1:49 pm

Isabella watched as Major Rhodes got up and left. She sat there another minute before she excused herself and got up and followed him outside. She stood next to him for a moment, looking ahead, before she finally spoke.

“So you think they’re a bunch of idiots as well I take it?” she asked with a little smile.

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Post by Conleth on Sat Sep 21, 2019 2:03 pm

James heard her coming up to him and he could also smell her perfume. Tony had told him some about Isabella. Obviously Tony was interested in her but Tony being interested in a woman was nothing new to him. His normal type were small minded trulls who wanted to see if they could tame the ever elusive Tony Stark. But so far he did not see that in Isabella.

“We’ve been here for almost 6 months Agent Corsetti. I’ve lost some good men but no one will ever know how they died because ‘they were never here’,” he said dryly as he looked out into the desert. It was quite hilly in the distance and only sand as far as she could see. James being black and having the rank of Major was a rare thing. It meant that he had done alot and put up with alot to get where he was. He shifted to look at her. “Why are you really here Isabella? I know Tony asked for you personally, but you could have said no. Pardon my frankness, I haven’t looked at your file but you don’t seem like someone that would put her life in danger for someone you hardly know. Is there something going on between you two?” he asked.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:38 pm

Isabella turned to face Major Rhodes and she looked at him. "If you don't think I am the type of person to put my life in danger for someone I barely know then you don't know me very well James. There is nothing going on between Mr. Stark and myself. He asked me to do this and I agreed. I take my job very seriously and I can tell you right now that I am not pleased with the lackadaisical attitude towards Mr. Stark's safety. I believe proper air support is needed. I cannot put my finger on it James, but I feel that something bad is going to happen tomorrow. I know Alex Jordan would say that I'm overreacting, but it's just a feeling I have in my gut. I just hope to God that I'm wrong."

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Post by Conleth on Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:42 pm

He shook his head. “You’re right, I don’t know you and you don’t know me but I’d like to,” he said plainly. “What you don’t understand is that all the intelligence we have doesn’t lean toward a necessity for added measures. Do you know something that we don’t? Something that makes you think someone will make a play for Tony? Why? What happens in the air is under my control here Isabella. Talk to me, tell me what you think. Tony is a friend,” he said.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:53 pm

Isabella liked James. He was respectful towards her and valued her opinion and feelings. She could use a friend and ally like him.

“As I said it’s just a feeling in my gut, nothing more. I have nothing concrete to suggest something is going to happen. I’m probably just being overly cautious.”

She looked back out at the desert and then back at James. “Tony is my friend too and I just want him to be safe.”

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Post by Conleth on Sat Sep 21, 2019 5:08 pm

“Well I tell you what, I’ll be in the chopper, ready to go. I can be there in under 3 minutes. I’ll give you a sat phone. Put it in your LBE. If anything happens, just call me and we’ll come,” he said. Later that afternoon he did give her the phone and they talked for some time about their various difficulties getting to where they were now. James was not married engaged or even really looking. So far his career as an Air Force Officer had him going all over the place with short notice. He expressed congratulations to her for her engagement and they both laughed when she had said that her ring and engagement didn’t really seem to make any difference with Tony.

That night she found that even with her sleeping bag and blanket that she was cold. Very cold. If Frank was laying with her right then, her personal furnace, she wouldn’t be cold. It took her forever to fall asleep.

The bathrooms were...interesting though she was given a soldier to stop people from going in while she was in there. In the shower she found that sand had sifted into everything and everywhere. Even in places she didn’t think sand could get but the cool shower felt good as even this early she could tell it was going to be another really hot day. And Tony was going to be there.

The helicopter sweep, Rhodes had left early had seen nothing but that alarm in her head continued to build. It had something to do with those weapons and it suddenly dawned on her that there was never a police report, at least not one she had seen about any missing weapons. Not until Tony had learned about them anyway. That was decidedly odd she thought as she bounced in her seat as the HMMVV sped along the dirt trail toward the presentation site.

“So you know Tony Stark?” A soldier asked from behind her. When she looked at him he smiled and nodded. “Do you think I could get his autograph?” Another soldier asked. He was behind and to her left. After a few more minutes they arrived. There was a blackhawk helicopter, and two other HMMVVs already there and a team of soldiers were setting up the missiles for launch. Behind one of the HMMVV’s there was a large, rectangular aluminum trunk it looked like and not only were there Generals and officers from the US Army but also men in foreign uniforms from other countries. No one had told her anything about that! Her HMMVV stopped and she saw Tony talking to an officer of Singapore’s Military. He was surrounded by Military personnel and there were only minutes before the demonstration was due to begin.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Sat Sep 21, 2019 6:27 pm

Isabella found it easy to talk to James. They talked for quite a while and laughed. It made her feel better to know that he would be just a sat phone call away if anything should happen...which she was still praying wouldn't be the case. However, she was going to try to be prepared for anything.

That night it was so cold that Isabella actually longed for Frank's body heat. Usually, he was so hot that it made her too hot, but that night there was nothing she could do to really warm up. Somehow though she managed to fall asleep. The following morning she rose to find that a soldier had been assigned to stand outside of the bathroom while she showered to prevent any men from entering. That made her feel more at ease. She tried to wash off all the sand, but every time she felt like she had gotten it all she found more somewhere else. She dressed in a fresh pair of fatigues and gathered her weapons. In the HMMVV on the way to the presentation site she found herself sitting with soldiers. They all seemed rather excited to be going to this presentation and possibly being able to meet Tony. When one soldier asked her if she knew Tony she turned around to look at him and nodded.

"I'm not sure if he will be giving out autographs or not, but I'll see what I can do to get you one."

When they reached the site she got out of the vehicle and saw Tony. She also saw a very large aluminum trunk, which she assumed the weapon was in. However, what alarmed her where the officers from other countries. She had not been told that foreign representation was going to be present. It irritated her that no one took her job seriously enough to tell her any of this stuff.

She saw Tony look over and spot her. Her eyes met his for a long moment before she looked away. She was trying to remain on alert and watchful for any potential danger.

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Post by Conleth on Sun Sep 22, 2019 9:41 pm

So far the initial meet and greet had gone well. Everyone waited with baited breath to see the demonstration. Tony held a drink in his hand, something that had a cherry in it, and ice. He waited for everyone to gather. Tony wore a blue suit with a patterned tie. His hair was getting longer but it was well styled and his goatee was well groomed. He had on gold-rimmed sunglasses.

“Is it better to be feared or respected?” he asked “Is it too much to ask for both?” He asked. “With that in mind, I humbly present the crown jewel of Stark Industries freedom line. Its the first missile system to incorporate our proprietary repulsor technology. They say the best weapon is the weapon you never have to fire. I respectfully disagree. I prefer the weapon you only have to fire once. That’s how dad did it, that’s how America does it, and it’s worked out pretty well so far. Find an excuse to let one of these off the chain and I personally guarantee you the bad guys won’t even want to come out of their caves,” He said then gestured to the launch team.

A Jericho missile fired from the launch pad. In flight it seemed to break up into tiny, smaller missiles. They plummeted toward a tall set of hills in the distance and as they hit the entire range exploded and dust and dirt were flung up into the air as Tony flung his hands outward in grandiose style. A blast of sandy air blew over them and everyone at the demonstration and those in attendance shook their heads obviously impressed with what they’ve seen.

Shortly after he moved back up to the large, aluminum case and lifted its lid. To everyone’s surprise bottles of liquor, glasses and ice lifted up from inside. It was a mini bar. “I’m gunna be throwing one of these in with a purchase of 500 million or more,” he said as he lifted up another full glass. He gestured with it as he stepped away from them. “To peace,” He said and the others in attendance began to talk to one another about the demonstration. Tony stepped up to Isabella.

“So, what did you think?” he asked her.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Sun Sep 22, 2019 9:54 pm

Isabella stood back away from the others as the presentation and demonstration began. She listened as Tony began to speak. He definitely had a way of speaking that drew people's attentions and he knew that. He spoke confidently and commanded the space around him. It was...impressive. She still didn't like that he was demonstrating a missile, but she had no control over that. She wished he would put his genius to work creating technology that could improve people's lives...not destroy it.

She looked at him when he approached her after the demonstration was over. "Well...I loved that dramatic moment at the end you did and I definitely want one of those mini bars...although I don't exactly have 500 million dollars on me at the moment."

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Post by Conleth on Sun Sep 22, 2019 9:58 pm

Tony had wanted to talk to her since he saw her. He knew of a pretty decent resort not far from where they were and a friend fo his had a mansion as well. He gauged how much convincing it would take to get her to go with him.


“Well you certainly got this ‘sexy soldier’ vibe goin for ya right now Miss Corsetti. All in a days work,” he said arrogantly and he looked around then leaned in toward her as if he were about to impart a secret. ‘So did you pack that red bikini I asked you to?” He said with a smile.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:03 pm

Isabella rolled her eyes at that comment, but there was a slight smile on her face. "No, Tony. I did not. I will remind you...yet again that I'm engaged. You really should just give up."

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Post by Conleth on Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:06 pm

Tony leaned back and grinned when she said she didn’t bring one. “Well lucky you, I brought one for you. So, since you’re here to protect me if I decide to, say take a detour to a place I know nearby, you’ll have to come with me I think,” He said. “And I’m thinking you would look nice in the bikini laying next to the pool,” he said. “And if you know anything about me at all, you know I never give up,” he said with a wink.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:11 pm

Isabella knew she shouldn't be flirting with Tony. She felt some guilt about it, but at the same time she didn't stop herself. There was something about having Tony's attention that she liked. It was...strange. Unbeknownst to her something deeper was just playful flirtation was building between them...something that would bind them together in ways they never could have imagined.

Isabella rolled her eyes again and smiled and shook her head. "Get in the vehicle Tony."

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Post by Conleth on Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:19 pm

Tony was about to argue with her but her serious look made him smile and do as she said. The officers and distinguished guests took off in the Blackhawk along with the empty missile launcher that was broken down and put into crates. The three HMMVVs started back out onto the rough road they came in on. Loud music was playing, something that she was familiar with but as she looked back at Tony who was talking to the soldier next to him The HMMVV in front of them suddenly exploded.

The driver of their HMMVV stopped. “Contact left!” He shouted and as soon as he exited the vehicle he was gunned down. Bullets ricochet all over the exterior of the HMMVV and soldiers began to fight back and shots were fired from them and at them. “What’s happening?” Tony asked.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:25 pm

As the HMMVV set off the feeling in her gut that something bad was going to happen continued to grow. She tried to relax and tell herself that it was nothing but suddenly she heard an explosion. She looked over to see that it had been the vehicle in front of them. As the driver of their vehicle got out she could hear him being gunned down. Isabella quickly pulled out the sat phone Rhodes had given her.

"Tony, stay down!" she ordered.

"James! We're being attacked! We need help!"

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Post by Conleth on Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:31 pm

As she talked into the phone something exploded near the HMMVV and shrapnel pierced into the vehicle. One piece of shrapnel struck the phone she held and she knew that if it hadn’t, it would have hit her in the face. “Fuck me! Get out, get the fuck out!” The other soldier shouted and Tony complied even though Isabella told him to stay down. Smoke and shooting was happening all around her and as she opened the door she felt several shots hit her kevlar vest. They knocked the wind out of her as she dropped to the ground. As she struggled to catch her breath a grenade landed not far from her and as it exploded, darkness took her.

There was a bright light in her left eye when consciousness returned to her. As she began to struggle several doctors and soldiers held her down. “Whoa, whoa, Isabella, calm down,” James said and as she looked around she noticed she was in some kind of infirmary.

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