The story so far:
“Right,” Jack said, setting her drink on the coffee table. “Good news and not so good news. Good news is that after hours of work and too much coffee I’ve broken a ton of laws to bring you this,” Jack paused to turn her laptop around. “This is the traffic camera at 51st and Airport at 7:50 am this morning, note the black van. This is the traffic camera at 51st and the highway. We lose the van here but using the reflection off of the car in front of them I was able to pull a license plate number, which belongs to a stolen vehicle.”
“Dead end,” Emily sighed.
“Not yet,” Jack said. “Using some basic reasoning I figured out that they were probably headed to the airport. I then looked up every possible route to the airport from I35 and pulled up this.” Jack clicked and another picture of the van appeared. “Riverside and I35 at 8:05 am. The van follows Riverside until it dead-ends into 183 and then we lose them as they enter the airport space. What’s very interesting about this is that they’re not heading to the commercial gate, they’re heading to the area reserved for cargo planes.”
“They drove the van onto a plane,” Kelly said. “Smart.”
“Bollocks,” Iris sighed. “Why couldn’t they be stupid?”
“Jack, can you get pictures of the van driving on the plane? Or flight plans, maybe?” Kelly asked. Jack squirmed in her seat.
“Yeah, that’s going into Homeland Security territory, I can’t do that,” Jack said.
“Why not?” Emily asked.
“Because if I did there would be a team of thirty men breaking down the door within five minutes and we’d all be thrown in jail for the rest of our lives. Not the best way to save Kate, I assure you,” Jack said.
“I’ll make some calls, see if I can get the information the easy way,” Sam said. Kelly nodded and turned to Iris.
“Iris, have you been able to get into the accounts?”
“No… but I have one card left to play. I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to but the situation has changed,” Iris said, rubbing her eyes. She glanced at her watch. “It’s seven am in London. I’ll give it a shot.” Iris stood and left the room.
“I’ve got nothing, Kelly,” Emily admitted. “My contact at Scotland Yard is keeping tabs on the Connolly home but nothing is amiss. Seamus is acting completely normal.”
“Probably because Seamus doesn’t know that his son is busily torturing an American spy he ****,” Sam said before wincing. “That was harsh, I’m sorry.”
“Yes it was,” Kelly replied, glaring at Sam. “Why don’t you go make that call, Sam?”
“Kelly,” Sam started.
“Leave now,” Kelly warned. Sam nodded once and walked out of the room. Iris brushed past her as she came back into the living room, her phone mashed to her ear.
“Listen to me, you insignificant ****! I am done playing games with you. Give me the account numbers now or so help me I will hang up this phone and tell your wife about the time you **** her brother.”
The others whipped around to stare at Iris.
“Seriously?” Jack whispered. Emily’s mouth hung open, shocked. Iris bent down and scribbled furiously.
“Right. I’m going to check these now, if they’re not right I swear to God I’m calling your wife and then I’m calling her father. Ta!” Iris said, hanging up. She pointed at Jack’s laptop. “Can I use that?”
“Sure,” Jack said, still shocked.
“Would you really out someone for not giving you the information you need?” Emily asked, staring directly at Iris’ face. Iris looked up and met Emily’s gaze.
“Generally? No. I’ve kept his secret for a decade at least. But these aren’t general times and I don’t have time to waste, Em,” Iris said, bringing up the bank’s web page. “I won’t say a word if these work.”
“And if they don’t?” Emily asked. Iris stayed silent for a moment while typing in the access codes.
“Moot point, the codes work,” Iris said. She dialed a number on her phone. “Thank you… No, I will not… Yes, it’s a matter of national security… Have a good day.”
Iris hung up her phone and tossed it on the couch. She typed for a few seconds before stopping abruptly.
“Going for a smoke,” Iris said, walking to the back door quickly. She slammed the door behind her. Jack started to stand but Emily motioned for her to stay. After counting to thirty Emily stood.
“A cigarette sounds divine, actually,” Emily said, walking to the back door. When she reached the back yard she found Iris leaning against the side wall of the house vomiting. Emily backed away and lit a cigarette. Iris walked over, tears streaming down her face.
“I can’t believe I just did that, shite!” Iris muttered, rubbing her eyes clear. Without a word, Emily handed Iris her cigarette and lit another one.
“Kate would do the same thing for you,” Emily said finally.
“It’s slightly different for me to threaten to out someone, Em,” Iris said, looking off into the back yard.
“Perhaps, but I’ll tell you something, Iris; our team leader is out there somewhere being tortured. I don’t care about anyone’s secrets, I want her home,” Emily paused to grab the back of Iris’ head and force her to look at Emily. “We do whatever we have to do and worry about the fallout later, yeah?”
“Yeah,” Iris nodded.
“Good. Now pull your **** together and keep it that way. We’ve got a long night ahead of us.”
“Not as long as Kate’s,” Iris said, tossing her cigarette butt down. Emily and Iris walked back into the house where Jack and Kelly were waiting.
“What’s phase two?” Kelly asked.
“Ah, Kate hates phase two, she says it’s the most trying part of the whole process,” Emily said. Kelly paled. “Phase two is where they introduce a caretaker. They’ll fix her up, bandage her and maybe give her some food and water.”
“That doesn’t sound so bad,” Kelly said.
“Physically, it’s not. But mentally, it’s exhausting. They start feeding you lies. They tell you that if you talk they’ll set you free and that if you don’t they’ll kill you. They’ll tell you that your injuries are bad and you can’t take much more. They make you start to doubt yourself. That’s why Kate came up with rule three,” Emily said.
“What is it again?” Kelly asked.
“Everything they say is a lie,” all three team members answered.
Kate awoke to the feeling of cold water on her face. Her right eye was swollen shut but her left could see the white cloth nearing her face. She shuddered when she saw that it came back covered in blood.
“I’ll say this, you can take a hell of a beating,” Ash said. Kate closed her eye and groaned.
“So you’re the caretaker,” Kate sighed. “Bastard.”
“Bastard who’s cleaning your wounds,” Ash said. “If I untie your hands will you kill me?”
“Probably not,” Kate said.
“If I don’t set your wrist you may not have use of your left hand, and seeing as you drew a knife with it I would suppose that it’s your dominant hand,” Ash said.
“You suppose correct,” Kate said. “You can untie me, I won’t fight you. No point.”
Ash cut the bonds and gently held Kate’s left arm.
“This is going to hurt.”
“No ****,” Kate laughed. Ash straightened out Kate’s arm with a snap, causing Kate to roll on her side and scream with pain. Ash quickly wrapped the wrist in a splint and set it down.
“Your ribs are probably ****, not a lot I can do about that,” Ash said, pulling out a bottle of water and two rolls.
“Let me guess, that’s all the food you could manage to sneak away,” Kate said, eyeing the bread hungrily.
“Yes,” Ash said, handing over the bread. Kate chewed slowly, knowing that it would probably be the last meal she had for awhile, if ever. After she was finished Ash handed her the water which she drank quickly. “Honestly, you should probably just tell the others what they want to know.”
“And what will that get me?” Kate laughed. “You’re not going to free me, I’ve seen too much. If I talk I lose my value, which means I’m either dead or I become a sex object for your boys. No thanks.”
“If you don’t talk then they will make you,” Ash said. “I overheard what they’re planning to do, no one deserves that.”
“No one but the **** who kidnap and torture people for information,” Kate replied. “Thanks for trying but I can take it. I won’t be talking so you can tell your boys to come on back and bring their toys. I’m ready to play.”