The story so far:
Ash sat in the front part of the cargo plane, dialing Pierce’s number. Pierce answered on the second ring.
“I’ve got your girl, you ****,” Ash said.
“Good,” Pierce said.
“I told you to drug her,” Pierce said.
“Yeah, well we couldn’t get her still and when we tried she kicked the syringe away and broke it. You neglected to mention that this chick was an Amazon,” Ash said.
“I neglected to mention? You’re the one who was watching her for weeks!”
“Yeah, but I never saw her do anything but jog or go drinking, if I had known what a massive pain in the **** she’d be I would’ve just shot her and been done with it.”
“Then I’m glad you didn’t know,” Pierce said.
“As long as you’re happy,” Ash snorted. “We’re on the plane but we’ll be landing within the hour. None of the guys want to handle her and I have no clue as to how we’ll get her on the boat.”
“Tell them to suck it up, there’s four of you and one of her and she’s tied up,” Pierce said.
“We’ll have to untie her to get her out of the van and onto the boat,” Ash said.
“Blindfold her and if she tries to run shoot her,” Pierce said.
“Something tells me that that’ll only piss her off more…” Ash crouched down and lowered his voice, “She mentioned your name in front of the boys.”
“****!” Pierce yelled. “How the hell did she know I was behind it?”
“She’s not a dumb blonde, Pierce,” Ash said. “She’s smart, well trained and not at all happy to be tied up in a van.” Pierce groaned.
“Fine, knock her out, blindfold and gag her and drag her **** onto the boat. When you get here there will be a hundred armed men guarding the island, she won’t be able to move five inches without getting shot,” Pierce said.
“And what do I do about the boys? They’re in a lot of pain, Pierce.”
“Tell them we have medical care on the island,” Pierce said.
“Do we?” Ash asked.
“Of course not, Ash. We’ll take care of them when they get here,” Pierce said.
“Take care of?” Ash asked.
“They know too much,” Pierce said.
“Right. Well, we’ll be on the boat in an hour, ETA two hours tops,” Ash said.
“Glad to hear it, look forward to seeing you, Ash,” Pierce said.
“Me too, and Pierce?” Ash asked.
“Sam still has the intel, and my instructions to him haven’t changed,” Ash said.
“Understood, Ash. I’m not going to kill you, you’re my right hand,” Pierce said.
“Right,” Ash scoffed, hanging up.
Kelly entered the study where she found Jack sitting at the desk, typing away on Kate’s laptop.
“What’s up?” Kelly asked.
“A few things. For one, there’s a fuse box safe in the closet that I haven’t opened yet, I figured that would be more your speed.”
Kelly opened the closet door and moved several winter coats to the side. On the back wall of the closet was a metal fuse box. Kelly studied it for a moment and flipped three of the fuses at random and pulled on the handle. The safe opened.
“Okay, how did you do that on the first try?” Jack asked.
“I know how my sister’s brain works,” Kelly said. “And I know who trained her very well.”
“Neil,” Jack nodded, returning to typing.
“Yep,” Kelly muttered. The entire section of wall opened with the metal box. In the safe was a shelf with five pistols on it, along with ammo and magazines. There were two cardboard boxes on the ground and a solid metal case that was set on its end. Kelly grabbed the handle and pulled the silver case out. She set it on the futon and opened it. Inside laid a pristine sniper rifle surrounded by protective foam. “****.”
Jack looked up and turned around.
“Nice rifle,” Jack muttered and turned back to the pc. “For someone who acts like they don’t know a lot about technology Kate sure has a bitch of a firewall on her computer.”
“Would the password make it easier?” Kelly asked.
“A bit,” Jack laughed. “But I’ve looked for it and I have no clue what it is.”
Kelly looked around. Above Kate’s desk was a picture of Guantanamo Bay.
“Try ‘**** gitmo,’ all one word,” Kelly said. Jack shrugged and typed it in.
“Okay, now you’re starting to scare me,” Jack said.
“Yeah, I’m in. How the **** did you know that?” Jack asked.
“Picture of Guantanamo Bay over the desk, Kate says the same thing anytime anyone mentions that place,” Kelly said, pointing. “Kate can’t remember passwords to save her life so she always has reminders near by.”
“That and she’s following rule number two,” Jack said.
“What? I thought rule number two is that people need killing,” Kelly said.
“Those are the main rules, Kate has a separate set for being kidnapped,” Jack said. “The second one is to leave a trail. Kate knew that if she was ever taken that we’d need to get into her stuff so she made it easier for us.”
“What are the other ones?” Kelly asked, sitting on the futon.
“Make noise, leave a trail, everything your captors say is a lie, talk but don’t say anything and never give up,” Jack recited from memory.
“She taught you?” Kelly asked.
“Like I said, Kelly, she taught the class on captivity and torture,” Jack said. “Gibson taught most of the classes but he’s never been captured, lucky Kate has been taken three, now four, times. Gibson had her teach us.”
“I had no idea,” Kelly said. “She mentioned being kidnapped but she never went into details.”
“Wasn’t planning on it,” Kelly said, managing a smile. “Was that all?”
“No, these were on her desk,” Jack said, handing Kelly a sheaf of papers. “Receipts, bank statements, etc. I know we have to go through all that stuff to find a lead but I think Kate would prefer if it was you looking through it.”
“Alright,” Kelly said, taking the papers. She settled back on the futon and began looking through the papers as Jack furiously typed. “What are you doing anyway?”
“Seeing if there’s any taps or traces on her pc before I go digging. I don’t want to be watched,” Jack said. Kelly nodded to herself as she flipped over another piece of paper. A tingle went up her spine as she looked at the paper. She picked up the discarded pile and grabbed a piece of paper out.
“Now we have something,” Kelly said. Jack stopped typing and glanced over at Kelly. “Two cab company receipts. One from April 15th, one from April 22nd; the first one was a fare from 6th street to the airport, the second was a fare from the airport to here.”
“Okay, so she took two cabs, what of it?” Jack asked.
“It’s the same driver,” Kelly said, handing Jack the two papers. Jack glanced down and studied them quickly.
“Holy ****,” Jack muttered. “Do you think this is how they tracked her?”
“I’m not sure,” Kelly said. “But there’s no such thing as a coincidence in our line of work.”
“Rule number eight,” Jack said. “So what do you suggest we do? I mean, so Kate took a cab twice in a week and it was the same guy? What proof do we have that it wasn’t random?”
“None,” Kelly said.
“So what do we do?”
“Talk to the cab driver,” Kelly shrugged. She took the papers back from Jack and pulled out her cell phone. After a moment of dialing, Kelly placed the phone to her ear and waited. “Yeah, I need a cab from Hyde Park to the airport… Could I get driver 154? I had him last time and he was really good… thanks… Um, about seven o’clock... Sure thing, thanks so much.” Kelly hung up.
“Just curious, what exactly do you mean by ‘talk to the cab driver?’” Jack asked.
“Pretty much what it sounds like,” Kelly said, picking the papers back up. “I don’t see anything else of note in these. Let me know if you find anything on her computer.”
“Will do,” Jack said.
Kelly walked to the living room where Sam was sitting, flipping through a manila folder.
“What are you doing?” Kelly asked.
“Research on our victim,” Sam said without looking up. Kelly leaned forward to reach for the folder, Sam pulled it away. “Classified research, Kelly.”
“Oh come on, Sam!” Kelly said “I have black ops clearance.”
“Which is not high enough for the information I have in my hands,” Sam said.
“What is it?”
Sam looked up at Kelly and studied her with pursed lips.
“Detailed reports of Kate’s other involuntary vacations. I’m trying to estimate how much time we have to get something off the ground,” Sam said.
“In other words, how long can Kate hold out?” Kelly asked. Sam nodded.
“Yes. I must say that the more I read the more impressed with Kate I get. Insurgents had her for fifteen hours in Iraq, she was held in Yemen for three days and Uruguay for a week.”
“All due respect, Sam, I don’t care about how much my sister can handle, I want her home now. Start contacting your guys in Special Forces, as soon as we find her location I want to be ready to strike,” Kelly said. Sam glanced up at Kelly again.
“For the record, family members of the victim should not be the ones making decisions in these situations,” Sam said.
“For the record, you’re the one who recruited my sister and I for your team, **** deal with it,” Kelly snapped.