By James Dator
"GET ON YOUR KNEES! I WONT ASK YOU AGAIN!"
The criminal obliged. He heard the stories. The one thing you never do is make Special Agent Anderson repeat himself. It was supposed to be a simple job. Cross into Vancouver and pick up the Oxy, bring it back to Seattle. Nobody knew where he was, but when he got home the agents were there.
It is the future, 2023 to be precise, and in a post-football world two quarterbacks are the most important men in the FBI. They are quarterback squad. Tasked with finding the nation's most dangerous criminals, and bringing them to serious justice.
The coffee had barely finished brewing in the Oregon field office before a familiar sentence bellowed through the room: "ANDERSON, CLAUSEN... IN MY OFFICE NOW!" Director Peyton Manning liked to joke around a lot, but when it came to Derek and Jim, he barely cracked a smile.
"Can you please tell me why I have a suspect in the hospital with two broken legs?"
This wasn't an unfamiliar question. Derek had been investigating the Green Leafs for the last three years, and he always believed that it took a few broken perp eggs to make a justice omelette. Normally in these situations he'd remain quiet, and Director Manning would give up -- but not today.
Jim fidgeted, and blurted it out "Derek dropped him out of a window!". Clausen was a great agent. Always cautious, and a great guy to have on the ground, but he never showed any awareness of what was going on around him.
"Gosh darn it Derek," Manning was upset, "You can't always play by your own rules. I'd suspend you if we didn't need you so badly, because we're tracked down the Green Leaf's leader to a compound in the cedar forests. The wonderful, pristine, Pacific Northwest cedar forests."
Manning continued to talk about the forests -- a personal interest of his, but Derek wasn't listening. The Green Leafs surfaced in the early 2000's, and quickly emerged as the region's most threatening gang. They controlled drugs throughout the North West, as well as sports' gambling, which Anderson felt was an affront.
"Derek, Jim," Manning continued, "We can't risk sending a full strike force, so it's on you two. In addition, we have reason to believe they're monitoring the roads around the compound, so we have something special for you."
A door slid open to reveal a two-seat BMX bicycle, with chunky off-road tires.
"We call it the 2XBMX. It's the worlds-first tandem off-road bike. This should allow you to sneak around the Green Leafs' den unnoticed -- and it has a basket!"
Derek asked himself why they couldn't simply take two bikes, but knew it was best not to question the director after the morning he'd had. Anderson and Clausen checked their equipment, before setting off into the forest.
The ride wasn't terrible, but there was an awful lot of chafing. Derek felt that he was doing most of the pedaling, and he was right. Jim was listening to his podcasts -- and this normally meant he wasn't paying attention.
A large, ominous, chicken-wire fence was their reward for the long ride. The agents were expecting a large wall to scale, but they were able to quickly cut their way into the compound with a multi-tool. It was quiet, too quiet. Four guards were patrolling the perimeter. Anderson sneaked behind one before cracking his neck, he did this three more times -- piling the corpses against the fence while Clausen clapped with glee, almost seal-like.
Only one door stood between them and the shadowy leader of the Green Leafs. Derek quietly began picking the lock, as a single bead of sweat ran off his brow. Jim took two steps forward before stepping on a rusty nail. He let out an incomparable scream and fell to the ground. Within moments a hail of gunfire erupted through the door, striking Anderson in the thigh.
The door swung open to reveal their nemesis. It was the man himself, Ryan Leaf.
"You boys couldn't leave me alone, could you?" Leaf wasn't your typical criminal overlord. He wore an Adidas sweatsuit... he bought it at T.J. Maxx. "I knew Peyton would send quarterback squad after me. He's so predictable."
Anderson stared at his leg. The wound gushed claret red, and Derek knew he'd be dead soon. "Leaf, you bastard. Just kill us and get it over with. You were a draft bust, and one day this will catch up with you -- you'll be busted!"
Clausen laughed, like he normally did when Derek told a good joke.
"Kill you!? No, my good man... I want you to go back to your handler and tell him what you saw. That Ryan Leaf is alive and well, and that the Green Leafs will continue to rule this land!"
In a flash he left. An unfamiliar whir started in the distance, as Leaf rose from the ground in a single-man helicopter. Derek knew they had one chance -- but he couldn't walk.
"Jim, you need to do this little buddy. Quick, grab a football." Before they'd left Anderson rigged a bag of footballs with C4, just in case. "I know you can do it Jim, get him."
It had been a while since Clausen had thrown a football, but he was ready. He picked up the football, cocked it back, and armed the C4.
"This is for Mel Kiper, bitch."
Jimmy's arm moved forward, but the football didn't. It slid out of the side of his hand and over a nearby stand of trees. There was a loud explosion, and screams -- it was at this time the quarterbacks remembered there was an orphanage next to Leaf's compound.
"Good one, quarterback squad! MUAHAHAHAHAHA!" Leaf continued to ascend, before quickly flying away over the redwoods.
Derek's leg had healed, as had Jim's ego -- but the orphans... they were extremely dead.
Director Manning walked into quarterback squad's office with a dossier.
"I know you guys want to get Leaf, but that will happen in time. Now we have a much larger concern. One of our top east coast agents is off the map, and we need you to track him down. We believe he's working with Leaf."
Derek's eyes widened in disbelief. "You don't mean..."
"Yes Derek, I'm afraid so. Donovan McNabb has gone rogue".
To be continued...