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My Little Mystery Part 10
By
frogprince

My Little Mystery Part 10

The team comes to get the camera. A new member joins the group. Where's Monica

The captured team was bound and placed in individual rooms. They yelled for lawyers and their rights. They failed to realize they had no rights. They broke into this house and the group captured them without firing a shot. Now Stefan took over with the interrogations. He was angry about Monica, but he treated the prisoners well. The first prisoner was a petty thief from the local area. This got Stefan thinking, are all these persons local talent? If they were then we better set back up for the real team. The third prisoner confirmed what Stefan suspected. The team they captured was a decoy. The real team was still out there waiting to come in. Stefan found Eric and Erin and advised them of the decoys. The computers were still on and found nothing moving outside. Suddenly there was movement in three of the cameras as the team split and came rushing the house. The fourth member was nowhere to be seen.

“Here they come!” Yelled Eric. “They are coming at both entrances, be ready.”

“Got it!” Yelled Cal and Cricket.

“Got them!” Yelled Stefan.

“We got them on the side.” Yelled Damon and Natasha.

Erin continued scanning for the fourth member. He was nowhere to be seen. He was invisible to the cameras. Grenades tossed at the windows bounced off. Poly carbonate windows replaced the normal glass in the windows. They were bullet proof and impact resistant. The reinforced walls took the impact of the explosions and debris and never yielded. The house was like a fortress, protecting the occupants. The one thing it did was allow the attackers to focus on the doors. The doors were the only avenue of escape. Two members of the team banged on the front door while a third member crashed through the back door. Shots rang out in the kitchen as a firefight raged. Damon and Natasha held their ground at the onslaught. The fourth member suddenly appeared spraying the room with continuous gunfire. A tear gas grenade was tossed by the team. They had mini-masks covering their eyes and nose. Damon and Natasha started coughing from the acrid smoke. Soon the team captured and tied them up. Damon stayed close to Natasha protecting her as best he could. She was sobbing and coughing. The two team members moved through the house. One got hit by a stray bullet and was down, dead. The other member ducked down as bullets flew everywhere.

Damon got loose from his restraints and freed Natasha. She ran out of the house to the barn for safety. Damon watched to make sure she made it. He turned and joined the fight. He walked from the kitchen into the hallway. The team member, who bound Natasha and him, crouched behind a couch watching the fight. Damon crawled up and subdued her easily. He cuffed her and tied her feet. She looked up at him and instantly recognized him. She and Damon were classmates at the Bard School. She smiled and relaxed. She gave up and lay down to await the outcome. Damon brushed her cheek and she nuzzled him. They were very close friends in school. He moved away toward the fighting. He had forgotten the name of the girl he captured.

Eric and Erin caught the other two intruders in a crossfire. Cal and Cricket crossed into the room and cut off the only avenue of escape. The two team members remaining still fought on not wanting to surrender. Eventually Eric moved into position ad shot one dead. The other fought bravely on, going down fighting. An hour after the fighting started it was over. The team lost three members and one captured. Now there was a massive clean up to be done. Four captured thugs to release. The three dead bodies needed to be handled. The captured retrieval team member was a potential ally and clue for who was behind these incidents. Only Damon knew she was a graduate of the Bard School and an old flame. Stefan moved her to the kitchen and sat her down. The rest of the group joined them shortly. The captive sat there with head hung down staring at the floor. Damon went to get Natasha from the barn. She wasn't there. Damon panicked, where was she? What happened? Was there a fifth member to the team?

Damon ran quickly back to the house, threw open the door and yelled, “She’s gone, Natasha is gone. I sent her to the barn for safety, but now she is gone”

“Calm down Damon. We will find her. She could not have gone far.” Stefan said in a calming voice.

Damon looked at him, then at the captive. He wanted to gang up on her and get the information out of her. There was a fifth member, or there was a lone wolf shadowing the whole affair. This kept getting weirder and weirder. Something was amiss here. Stefan stepped in front of Damon.

"Damon, do you know this young lady?"

"Yes, she was in my class at the Bard school. We were to graduate together until I was sent here. We were also dating through school." Damon replied.

"What is your name young lady?" Stefan asked.

"Natalia is my name. I graduated from the Bard School in the same class as Damon, here. We had been dating contrary to school policy. I thought he was expelled for violating the rules. Instead he got an assignment to a field training location. We heard of these places, but never saw one. This is quite impressive." Natalia replied.

"Do you know where Natasha was taken? You better tell us. We are not cops so all your rights are nonexistent here. Was there a fifth person dispatched with your team?"

"No, you have the whole team here. We flew in this morning, drove here and scoped out the setup. Tonight we hired the earlier team as a decoy, but it did not seem to fool you for long. We decided to attack front and rear to test the defenses. We were not sure how many of you were here. We lost out objective and our team. What are you going to do with me?"

"I am not sure yet." Stefan admitted. "You are a Bard School graduate, so we can't kill you. Maybe you would like to join our merry little band here?"

"That is an interesting proposition." Natalia pensively replied. "Would I have to wear a uniform like this? I hate uniforms. It would be nice to hook up with Damon again. I'll join your band of graduates."

"That is settled then. Now what do you know of the contract on this estate and other places?"

Natalia shook her head, "We were as much in the dark as you on this one. Most assignments are given with only a target and a time frame. That is all we got here. The only difference was we were flown here on the client's personal jet. That was very unusual. As far as I know the jet is still at the local airport. We were going back to Minnesota by car."

"Let’s take a ride to the airport Cal. I want to see this plane and get the numbers off it. Natalia, you better come with us too. The rest of you try to put this place back together."

Cal and Stefan got in the car with Natalia. She rode in back with her hands still cuffed but her legs free. It did not take long to before the airport was in sight. The private portion was around back of the terminal. Cal parked by the fence and Stefan got out with Natalia. The plane sat on the tarmac with lights on and doors open. It looked like a black SUV arrived with the passengers for a flight. Two men got out and carried what appeared to be a bound and unconscious woman. Stefan looked closer. It was Natasha. These men kidnapped her and took her to this plane. He got real angry at that now. They had to get her back before the plane left the area. Stefan walked over to Cal told him what he saw. Cal phoned Cricket to come to the airport with Damon, Eric, Erin and the lab technicians. They needed to rescue Natasha. Stefan passed the plane’s ID number to Erin who typed it into her search software. She hoped to have the owner’s name and address by the time they arrived. They loaded the SUV with their arsenal and left to get to the airport. They drove at the limit. No one wanted to go to jail tonight for carrying illegal firearms.

Unfortunately, by the time the crew arrived at the airport the plane took off. Stefan, Cal and Natalia stood helplessly by as it taxied to the runway and launched into the air. Natasha was gone. Somehow, Stefan needed to get the flight plan and figure out the real destination of this plane. Not two minutes later the SUV with the crew arrived. They bailed out of the vehicle arms at the ready. Stefan walked up shaking his head with tears running down his cheeks. He hugged Damon and whispered in his ear, “We will find her, and whoever took her will pay with their life. This I swear to you my friend.” Damon hugged him tighter and sobbed openly. The woman of his dreams was gone, taken from him by force.

Damon walked over to Natalia and released her hands. She reached up and threw her arms around him. “We will get her back Damon. I will not rest until she is safely back in your arms. This I swear.” She kissed him ever so gently on his cheek causing Damon to wail loudly. She lowered her arms and took Damon’s hand and led him back to Cal and Stefan’s car. Damon and she sat in the back seat cuddling, consoling and hugging each other. Damon needed her right now; no one else was as close to him as she was. He cried with his head on her shoulder. She patted him as the crew looked on sadly.

“Let’s mount up folks. We have work to do. That plane has to land somewhere. When it does we want to know it.” Said Stefan.

Cal and Stefan got in the car with Damon and Natalia. They drove out in a cloud of dirt and dust. The SUV followed but at a much slower pace. In twenty minutes everyone gathered at the dining room table. The Kitchen held the dead bodies and prisoners. There was a lot of chatter around the table. No one seemed to be in charge. Cricket was the boss, but she still suffered from her near death experience. Cal was not a leader or a follower, more of a lone wolf type of guy. It looked like Stefan had to take over. He stood and the table went to a hushed silence with all eyes focused on him. He walked to a wall, turned and faced the assembled group.

“We all know what happened. We still have a long way to go finding the person or persons responsible for this carnage. We want to get Natasha back as soon as we can. But we have pressing matters to resolve here and now. First let me introduce, Natalia. She graduated with Damon in his class at the Bard School. She and Damon dated while he was there. Now you know her. Trust her with everything you do. She won’t let you down.”

Damon stood. “Thank you all for your love and sympathy, but right now we need to focus on the job at hand.”

“Well said Damon. I think our decoys need to be dealt with severely. They could expose us to the local authorities. They might remain silent but I doubt it. We need to dispose of seven bodies tonight. That is a tall order. We need to clean up the interior and exterior of the estate too. Eric and Erin, you need to trace the plane and find its flight plan. We all know flight plans are changed so we need to track the plane too. Cricket you stay with Damon and Natalia. Cal, the technicians and I can take care of the grunt work. We all have our assignments. Let’s get cracking people.”

Everyone got up from the table and went to do their tasks. Stefan stayed behind to talk with Damon and Natalia. “You two need to watch Cricket. She is still hurting from her ‘accident’. Damon you need to be aware of any outside people coming around and handle them. The last things we need are police or firemen nosing into our business. Natalia, you work closely with Damon helping him with Cricket and any Wolf’s Head Oil issues that come up. There should not be any, but we need to be ready. Keep in contact via secure cell phone messages please.” Stefan left the room confident that everything was done.

Cal and Stefan took the captured thieves outside in the hollow behind the barn. They were lined up and assassinated cleanly and quietly. Further into the estate there was an old limestone quarry. A lake had formed there that was very caustic. All seven bodies were disposed of into that lake. They dissolved so quickly with no trace of ever having been alive. Not a nice way to go, but fitting, considering that had they won it would have been the group in there. Cal and Stefan walked back to the house with their heads hanging down. Neither of them liked doing what they just did. Now all that remained to be done was clean up the house and grounds. That waited until sunlight, when it was easier to see. For now everyone but Eric and Erin went to sleep until sunrise.

Erin traced the plane to a leasing company. It was the only plane they owned. It was leased to a dummy corporation in Delaware, another dead end. The leasing company proved to be a better path. It was owned by a commercial holding company that owned several leasing companies. These companies leased cars, trucks, boats and planes. Erin thought, now we are getting somewhere. The parent company was a branch of a large commercial bank. It took a bit of digging but it turned out that this bank branch was not a real bank at all. It was a company using it as a tax shelter to funnel some of its liquid assets away hiding them from the IRS and stockholders. The more Erin dug, the more it resembled a tactic taught at the Bard School for hiding illegal activities and funding teams of people. She called out to Eric to come over and look at what she found. He shook his head. He saw all the diversions and dead ends. It was classic, the Bard School technique; hidden but not disguised. Cricket would figure this out in a few minutes. She slept right now and it could wait until morning.

Erin and Eric went back to tracing the flight of the plane. The plane left Long Island bound for Duluth, Minnesota as the flight plan listed. Over Cleveland, Ohio the plane diverted to Oklahoma City. Over Oklahoma City it changed again to San Antonio, Texas where it landed. Now they knew where the plane was, but what happened to Natasha? She still had not surfaced, but they knew she was alive. There was one aspect of being the Bard School graduate that very few people knew. Every graduate carried a subcutaneous GPS locator chip. Only a small number of people knew about them. Cricket knew this and had the software to track every graduate. Eric and Erin had no idea about this software or hardware. Cricket had a special laptop computer which was double encrypted and very secure. She had not used it in a long time.

Eric and Erin broke into some surveillance cameras in San Antonio’s private airfield. They looked at the archive footage of the plane’s arrival. They saw Natasha led off the plane under her own power. That meant she was alive. Hope flooded the two technician’s hearts. Now they knew where she was and saw her too. It was another positive thing to report at the morning meeting. A lot of solid substantial clues emerged overnight. The footage from the airport was archived locally in Eric’s computer for later detailed examination.

Cal and Damon walked into where Eric and Erin worked. They saw how excited the two technicians were. They went to the kitchen to start preparing the morning meal for the crew. Soon the smells of food drifted through the house. Doors opened, water ran as people stirred. It was time to begin another busy day. Cricket stirred and woke up slowly. A knock broke the silence as Damon entered with Natalia. Cricket sat up and smiled and patted the bed for them to sit by her. When they sat she hugged them to her. She felt like their mother being responsible for their continuing welfare. They were her children.

“I hope we find Natasha today.” Said Damon. Cricket nodded in approval.

“Have no fear; I have every hope that we will locate her no matter where she is in the world.” Cricket assured them. “Come let us go eat a good breakfast and start a new day.” Cricket got out of bed, took each by the hand and led them to the kitchen.

Stefan woke with a start. He realized Monica was still missing. He wondered where she went. What caused her to leave? Was there another spirit in the picture? Had she moved on? He would solve these later. Right now he felt the need to find Natasha and solve the mystery of who was behind all this and why.

Cricket sat at the table and looked at the gathering. They were her friends as well as employees. She loved them all. She still felt there was someone there who was a traitor. All that was left to do was wait.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than storiesspace.com with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © Copyright 2012, 2013 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Cal Erickson, aka frogprince

Posted with permission at storiesspace.com

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