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Duck and Cover

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The CIA promised Michael that, after they flew him out to Thailand, he'd have the support of a Navy SEAL Team--in this case, the team that Sam Axe was a part of--when Michael was set to infiltrate a heroin refinery believed to have ties to the Mong Tai Army.

Instead, because of some directional errors on the CIA's part, most of the SEALs were redirected to another Northern Thailand town. Spies for the Mong Tai Army noticed the SEALs approaching the refinery and led them further astray. A vehicle carrying Sam and some of his teammates did make it closer to the refinery, however. Sam left the rest of his teammates behind so he could provide backup to Michael, who wasn't paired off with another agent when he left the United States. After Sam left his teammates, they were cornered by more Mong Tai Army soliders.

It made it all the more easier for the people monitoring the refinery for the Mong Tai Army to strip Michael and Sam of their weaponry when they walked inside the refinery. And it was very easy for those people to pull guns on a weaponless Michael and Sam in a corner of that refinery, too. All Sam and Michael could do was raise their hands in the air.

Little did one of the men that pulled a gun on Michael know Michael was watching how he held the gun. When the man's hands began to falter, Michael charged at the man and grabbed his gun. "Run, Sam!" Michael yelled as he was tangling with the man he targeted. Sam did as he was told.

Michael wasn't able to take the gun away from the man. He did, however, tackle the man to the ground and confuse the other people in the refinery. They stood, guns drawn, shocked that this foreign man was able to tackle one of their own. It was enough for Michael to run out of the refinery when he was confident the man wasn't going to shoot at him.

The refinery was hidden in the hills of Northern Thailand. It made the refinery hard to spot by any of the refinery's enemies. The tactical disadvantage of having the refinery hidden in the hills is that the enemies, if they happened to reach the refinery, could hide from the people keeping watch inside the refinery. Sam took advantage of that tactical disadvantage and hid in the thickest brush he could find near the refinery.

The next thing he needed to do was signal to Michael where he was hiding. A fire would give away Sam's location to the men in the refinery and the Mong Tai Army, but it was his only shot to attempt to reunite with Michael. The men in the refinery may have taken Sam's weapons, but he still had his compass. Attached to his compass was a magnifying glass. Sam grabbed whatever kindling he could that appeared dry and put it in a pile near his hiding place. He opened up the compass up, pointed the magnifying glass at the kindling, and held his breath.

The magnifying glass was able to catch enough sunlight to start a fire. Sam fed the fire a little and prayed that Michael would be able to find him.

A few minutes later, Sam heard someone approaching the fire. He peeked from his hiding place. To his relief, it was Michael. When Michael arrived by the fire, Sam put out the flame.

"Jesus, Mike," Sam said as he extinguished the flame. "You could've gotten yourself killed out there."

"If I didnt do anything, Sam, we would've both died. Did you see the rest of your SEAL buddies when you fled?"

"No. I think the Mong Tai bastards rounded them all up. Who knows where they are now. I hope they're getting back to that town the Royal Thai Navy dropped us off at now as we speak."

"Speaking of, looks like we'll have to have to get back to that town by foot."

As soon as they were about to leave their hiding spot, gunshots rang out.

"Looks like we'll be leaving right now," Sam said. "And it looks like there's nowhere to hide."

"Maybe there is somewhere to hide. There are caves around the refinery, Sam. My intel says few people in the country know about these caves. So it's likely whoever's shooting at us doesn't know about the caves, either."

"And once we get into one of these caves, the bastards shooting at us will be forced to retreat because they won't be able to see us."

"They couldn't shoot in a cave because of the risk of injuring their own men."

"So where do you think this cave is?"

"I know it's about two miles from the refinery."

"In what direction?"

"Southeast. It should be a corrasional cave, a cave that was formed by a stream. All we need to look for is a fault. That should be where the cave is."

"So we've gotta look down to find this cave. I think we'll have to crouch and run."

"As bad as that sounds, we have no choice."

Sam pulled out his compass. He gave the compass to Michael. "I trust you can find the way there, Mike. Let's hope, at worst, we get shot in our asses."

Michael and Sam crouched and ran as the men kept shooting at them. Their speed aided them as whoever was shooting at them were unable to hit them. Bullets did whizz over Michael and Sam's heads and backs, but the bullets didn't touch them.

Michael felt his foot slip in a crack. He stopped and looked to his left. Sam and Michael were on top of a ravine. Michael saw a stream below him. "Sam, I think I found the cave."

"Well, where is it?"

"I think it's below us."

Sam looked down the ravine. "Oh, great, now we have to go down a ten foot ravine and zig-zag. I'm amazed we still haven't gotten a bullet in our asses yet."

"We've still got time to avoid a bullet in our asses, Sam."

Michael and Sam traveled down the ravine, zig-zag to keep their balance as they were going down. The bullets stopped whizzing, at least for a while. When the men chasing Michael and Sam caught up with them on the ravine, the men struggled to shoot and keep their balance at the same time.

After Michael and Sam reached the bottom of the ravine, they ran straight ahead to their left. Michael saw the entrance to the cave first. He ran into the cave's entrance. Sam followed him. The two hid in a part of the cave that was close to the cave's entrance, but dark enough to shield the two from their pursuers. Sam huddled closer to Michael, putting his left cheek closer to Michael's right cheek.

The men who were after Michael and Sam saw the entrance to the cave. A couple of those men turned on their flashlights and walked into the cave. Those men walked a short distance with their flashlights before turning around when they approached a formation of soda straws.

Michael and Sam didn't speak until they heard the men retreat from the entrance of the cave. When they were sure the men were gone, Sam backed up from Michael. The two stepped closer to the entrance of the cave, where there was some light. Michael held out Sam's compass in his right hand. "I believe this is yours, Sam."

Sam laughed and took the compass. "It is." He folded the compass up and put it back into his utility belt. "You saved my life, buddy."

"I'd do anything for a friend, Sam."

After Michael said that, Sam and Michael looked at each other. They walked towards each other. Michael grabbed Sam's head and kissed him. Sam returned the kiss.

It was hard for them to make out each others' faces in the cave, since where they were standing at in said cave was still dim. But Sam could feel Michael's fingers grasping his cheekbones, as if Michael were hanging on to him for dear life. And Michael could feel Sam's grasp on his back. The smell of their sweat mingled with the crisp cave air.

And as soon as their kiss began, it was over.

"What are we going to do now, Mike?"

"We're going to need to stay here until nightfall. It's our best chance of escaping without the Mong Tai Army noticing us getting back into the town."

"I guess we should sit back down and wait until nightfall."

"I guess."

Michael and Sam went back to the same hiding place they used to hide from the men pursuing them, sitting together shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand.