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The Man They Called ' The Plague' - Part 2

Chapter Eight

The rest of the week dragged by without any excitement. I tried to stay strong and look unaffected for Sarah’s sake, but I knew the seriousness of the situation. If what Bryan said was true, it was only a matter of time before we were in a dangerous spotlight. Sarah went to work as usual and avoided Bryan as much as possible, I however, started to prepare for the worst.

The weekend came and things were almost back to normal. That changed when the phone rang Saturday at noon.

“Hello” I answered.

“They’re onto us. We’re not safe. Get out of town fast!”, that was all I heard before the line went dead.

I just stood there trying to figure out what just happened when Sarah came downstairs.

“Who was it John?” she asked.

“it was……uh…..the um………” I panicked, trying to formulate a lie, not wanting to scare her, but I was coming up empty; the truth had to be told, “That was Bryan. He said we were in danger and had to leave town immediately.”

“What the hell? You’re joking right!” she exclaimed starting to panic.

“I wish I was. I think we should go. He sounded pretty scared.”

“Fine but I gotta go down to the office first.”

“Sure but I’m coming with you.”

“No. Stay and pack. I won’t be long.”

Seeing the worried expression on my face she gave me a passionate kiss, grabbed her keys and left. I sprang into action. It was now 12:30, I needed to pack.

Chapter Nine

After years in the Marines, you learn to keep your head on under these conditions. I decided it would be best to travel light so I packed us 4 pairs of underwear and 4 changes of clothes each. Even in this situation, I prayed that I matched her colors correctly, after all, couldn’t risk avoiding death at the hands of whoever was after the flash to be killed by my wife for packing clothes that did not match.

By the time I finished packing it was 12:45. ‘I’ll check on Sarah’ I thought, I rang her phone and she answered promptly. After assuring me that she was okay and not being followed, she pulled up at her workplace and I hung up. I decided to take the bag downstairs and wait, as soon as she returned, we were leaving for Rio. We already had everything we needed, all that was left was to unplug all appliances and turn off light. I decided to watch a game to pass some time. My cell phone went off 5 minutes later.

It was a text from Sarah. She was leaving the office now and would be home in less than 20 minutes. It was only now that I realized how time crawls when it should run. I positioned myself at the window so I could see when she pulled up. 15 minutes without her arrival I told myself that maybe traffic was terrible. Another 20 minutes or so passed and she still had not returned. Okay, maybe traffic was terrible and she had car trouble. However, statistics in my head showed that she always called or texted, even if she would be 5 minutes late. Another 10 minutes passed and still no sign of Sarah. That was it! Something was wrong, I could feel it in my bones. I had to act.

Chapter Ten

I pulled out of our driveway and headed down to her workplace as fast as I could. This meant running stoplights and praying I wouldn’t get pulled over by the cops or headline an accident. I reached her workplace at 14:10. I reached inside only to be told that she left a long time ago. Trying to remain calm, I decided to check the parking lot. As soon as I entered, I spotted her car. I went around to the driver’s side and noticed her documents scattered on the ground. The driver’s door was also open and the key was in the ignition. A cold feeling gripped me as I realized that there was no way my wife left here voluntarily. She was kidnapped. She had to be.

I hurried to the security room where the monitors are. Thank the heavens for security cameras. The guard on duty was reluctant to help me at first, since ‘it is against company policy’. He was more than happy to temporarily forget company policy when I appealed to his wallet with a crisp #100 bill. As we checked the day’s video for the parking lot we saw Sarah park and enter the building. Subsequently, she exited carrying a stack of papers. She entered her car and shut the door. At this point, a black van with tinted windows pulled up behind her, blocking her exit and a burly man emerged.

The man wasted no time. He marched right up to her car, pulled her out and threw her over his shoulder. I watched in horror as she kicked and scratched desperately trying to get free, but the man was unfazed. He just fetched her to the van, tossed her in and they took off. After a little persuasion and a few more words from my Benjamin Franklins, I left with a copy of the video in my possession. After securing her car, I headed home angry, sad and worried for the safety of my precious wife. I finally reached home and popped the video into my laptop. I must’ve watched that video a hundred times trying to figure out what to do, and then it hit me.

Chapter Eleven

I had to call Steve. He had to help me. After a quick chat I left for his office with the flash drive and the video. As I explained the problem, all he did was sigh and nod. As I finished he said, “I tried to warn you. You should’ve given the flash to me that night but you never listen to me.”

“Okay, you’re right and im sorry. Believe me when I say I am. But maybe if you had taken 2 minutes to explain why we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now.”

“You’re right, let’s forget that. How can I help?”

“I need everything you can dig up on a van and a guy” I said as I handed him the video.

The computer keys clacked as the video came up and Steve zoomed in on the van.

“Whoa!” Steve yelled as he paused the video at the scene where the man exited the van, ‘If that is who I think it is, then you and your wife are in a world of trouble.’

“What does that mean?” I asked quizzically, “Who is he?”

“You’ll see.”

I got the feeling that he wasn’t the saintly type, and I was right. Steve zoomed in on his face and scanned their database for his profile. I shuddered as it came up on the screen.

The guy was no other than Harry ‘Crusher’ Kindle, a former world wrestling champion, third degree black belt and ex Special Forces Captain. He was dishonorably discharged after he murdered 20 prisoners in a fit of anger. He now used his 6’9” frame to run the underworld. He was wanted in 10 countries with a ‘kill on sight’ order in 7 of them. He was bad news. I couldn’t help thinking of the million ways this monster could hurt my precious little rose. I couldn’t help wondering if she was okay and thinking of scared she must be.

“Don’t like what you see huh?” Steve’s voice brought me back to reality.

“How can I? Knowing that my wife was in the custody of that monster.”

“You’re right. I don’t envy you or her. That guy is a walking death penalty.”

“Thanks for the words of encouragement and enthusiasm. What can you tell me about the van?”

He played the video again and this time he zoomed in on the license plate of the van. A little more of his magic and he informed that the van was registered to a company that went under years ago. A little more of his magic revealed that they were located about 20 miles from where I lived and they still had an abandoned warehouse there. I wondered if Sarah might be there and started thinking about how to rescue her if she was. Steve must’ve guessed what I was thinking because he asked, “You’re not going to the cops are you?”

“At this point I just might. Im desperate and frustration is building. I feel helpless.”

“This is a delicate situation. One wrong move and you could end up burying your wife. Do you still have that flash drive?”

“I know. Bryan has the flash drive. I returned it to him that same day.” I hated lying to him but I had questions and he wasn’t willing to answer. This made him a suspect.

“Bryan isn’t in the country right now. Do you know where he went?”

“I have no idea. I think I’ll head home and get some rest.”

Chapter Twelve

I reached home around 9pm and just sat in my car in the driveway. I recalled the events of the day as I sorted through the archive of information in my head, beginning to question myself. Why was Steve so interested in the flash drive? And how did he know Bryan wasn’t in the country? I never told him about the last call. Bryan did say persons from the CIA were on the list. Was Steve one of them?

Guilt kicked in and I dismissed the thoughts. After all, he did help me identify the man and ascertain where my wife might be. But then again, this could all be a part of his plan. I exited the car and entered the house. This was the first time I was away from my wife on a Saturday. I grabbed a beer from the fridge and was about to sit when the phone rang. I checked the caller’s ID and saw that it was Shells. We always called her around 7 on Saturdays and I’m guessing she was calling to check on us. I let the phone go to voicemail. I’m not a really good liar, I prefer to stick to the truth. How could I tell her that her baby had been kidnapped and her life was in danger?

The phone rang a few more times until it stopped completely. I’m guessing she finally got tired of trying. I must’ve dozed off after my sixth beer because I don’t remember the power going out. I awoke when the lights came back on. At this point, I would give an arm and a leg to be with my wife.

I finally decided to pull myself together, the time for mourning was over. After all, I am one of the most decorated Marine captains of all time. It was time to revive a part of me that I put to sleep when I married Sarah. The part nicknamed ‘The Plague’. It was do or die time
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