Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ten Little Spies: Episode 3

Episode 3: The Midnight Hour
~ Chapter Three~
by Toni Walker
Dyan Ransom pushed her way into Franklin Fairchild's office. She was not the type of woman who sat back and waited docilely while others ran roughshod over her civil liberties. She rested both hands on the edge of the director's desk, and gave Franklin the evil eye.
"I have the right to see my sister!" Dyan said the words calmly yet firmly. Everyone in the room knew she seethed inside.
Franklin Fairchild, the Director, stood. He rose to a height that made Dyan and Adrian Zeller both look up at him.
"I agree, you do have that right. But we also have a duty here," he said "There is an investigation going on, Mrs. Ransom. Your sister is in our safeguard. Her condition is guarded, but we expect that to change soon bearing no unwanted interruption in her care."
"If she is in no physical danger, I must insist you allow Mrs. Ransom to see her sister," Adrian couldn't help but interject.
"You must insist?" Franklin stared at the billionaire as if he had lost his mind. "Alison Corday works for me and is currently being protected from whomever has harmed her. Think of it as protective custody. Until we know that the danger has past, we will keep her here with us."
Franklin was about to usher Dyan and Adrian from the premises when a loud, piercing squeal sounded, echoing through the building. A short blond woman ran down the hallway, her high heels clipping at a rapid pace. She nearly collided with Franklin as he stepped into the corridor.
"Oh, Mr. Fairchild," Melanie said, nearly out of breath. "We have a security breech in the infirmary."
Franklin shoved the secretary into his office with Dyan and the man dressed in the pin striped suit. "Get them out of here," he whispered "Take them out the back way."
Melanie started to complain about the assignment, "But..."
"I don't care what you do, just get rid of them."
Melanie nodded, her short blond hair moving with the swish of her head. Franklin then closed and bolted the three of them into his office.
"Sorry about that," Melanie said, shrugging her right shoulder. She now appeared much calmer. "There is a problem in Sector 5. Mr. Fairchild apologizes, but asked me to show you out."
Melanie reached under the desk and pushed a hidden button. The fireplace to their left yawned open revealing a secret passageway.
"This is a short cut. I use it all the time. Easy as pie." She walked through the opening then motioned for them to follow.
"What is going on?" Adrian wasn't venturing anywhere near the passageway. He grabbed Melanie by the elbow knocking all the papers and folders from her grasp. They fell to the floor, flying in all directions. "I insist you tell us why we've been locked inside this office."
"Chill," Melanie hissed. Adrian didn't stoop to help her pick up the papers he had knocked from her hands. But considering who he was, she knew he wouldn't.
Adrian's eyes fastened on one paper, an inter office memo. He stepped on it, hiding it from the secretary's view. He wanted to get a better look at it.
"I'm not locking you in this office, although I might like to. Mr. Fairchild asked me to take you to safety, and during a crisis, this is exactly how we get you out. Now please follow me."
Melanie gathered the last paper then shuffled them in her arms walking into the passageway. Dyan followed. Adrian bent to pick up the memo and skimmed its contents, before following.
"Interesting," he quipped. " Very enlightening."
"What is that?" Dyan and Adrian fell back a few steps behind Melanie. "You took that from Fairchild's office. You really don't have any morals at all, do you?"
"Ever heard the notion of finders keepers?"
Dyan rolled her eyes.
"Hello. You up there." Adrian said with a sly smile. "You neglected to pick up this paper and I thought you might need it."
"Thanks. I always seem to drop things when people grab my arm. But thanks for thinking of me." Melanie took the memo from Adrian and stuffed it into the stack.
A warning sensor began to pulse with a more rapid urgency. "We have to leave NOW! Move your butts. They've compromised this sector!" Melanie waited for the two newcomers to pass her before she pressed them to move forward quickly.

Marian Noble glanced over at her employer, Alexi Kassoff. She wanted to impress him, but to know exactly what it was that would turn his head was hard to guestimate.
"I'm leaving tonight to meet the source who claims to have a manuscript stolen from the Vatican." Alexi's accent was Australian but he was born in Russia. His accent was an odd combination of both. He spoke Russian as fluently as he did six other languages.
"Are you sure you don't want me to assist you?" Marian wanted to attend the meeting, but she didn't dare tell Alexi that. She knew he was protective of her and that these meetings could be dangerous.
"No, I'm not quite sure my mystery caller is completely reliable. And you are due for a week off. So, we'll be killing two birds with one stone."
"It was generous of your sister, Octavia, to invite me along on her holiday in the mountains. I do love to rock climb and ski." Marian's accent was British.
"I know she'll enjoy seeing you again. I can't remember the last time she took a day off much less a vacation. It will be good for both of you." Alexi gathered his supplies, waved a final goodbye and dashed out to greet the taxi.
Marian felt an emptiness after he was gone. She wished she could be there when he acquired the manuscript that revealed the location of the Inca idol he had searched many years to acquire.
A helicopter whirled above the estate reminding Marian to hurry and gather the remaining items she wanted to take with her to the lodge. A blonde woman exited the craft. Her hair blowing in all directions.
"Are you ready for the vacation of a lifetime?" Octavia Kassoff yelled, trying to keep her voice above the squeal of the helicopter blades. She was a beautiful woman, even bundled in layers of clothes.
Marian smiled. She'd never actually been on a holiday before. At least, not in the last few years, maybe once when she was ten.
"Maybe next time we could talk Alexi into it. That brother of mine needs to be reminded what fun is." Octavia grabbed one of Marian's suitcases and ushered the British woman toward the helicopter.
"His idea of fun is trying to figure out where a treasure has been hidden by a culture centuries ago." Marian lugged the second suitcase. The pilot helped her load it in the craft. She hesitated a moment before climbing into the helicopter.
"Alexi told me you were afraid of heights. I never realized that." Octavia said, then motioned for the pilot to lift off once they were both safely secured inside.
"I'm not fond of them, no. I've been trying to conquer my fear by rock climbing, but I'm afraid it still unnerves me."
"Don't worry. Irish here is the best pilot in the fleet. If he can't keep you safe, no one can."
Marian didn't know what had happened.
First, they were flying smoothly over the mountains, then they were careening toward the earth at an amazing speed. She looked around to Octavia hoping to hear that this was some sort of bizarre mistake. They weren't about to crash in a fiery ball and die.
"Octavia? Octavia? Where are you?" There was no response. Marian poked her head into the cockpit where Irish Quinn was trying to slow their descent. "What happened?"
"Explosion in the back compartment. Didn't you see it go off?" Irish couldn't focus on Marian and the fear he knew she was experiencing. He had to save them.
"No, I was sleeping. I felt a jolt and when I opened my eyes Octavia was gone and everything was smoking. Smoking is not a good sign, is it?"
"Gone? What do you mean, gone? She's not back there?" Irish's rough face turned ashen. "The explosion must have knocked her out of the helicopter.
The aircraft made a faint scream as they hurtled faster toward a building atop a snow capped mountain. They were going to die!
"People are disappearing under our noses. Doesn't that concern you?" Bobbie Sullivan paced frantically while searching the database for any clues to where the kidnappers might have taken Jared and Alison.
"Sullivan, we have everything under control. Don't concern yourself with this scenario. It would do either of them any good." Franklin Fairchild turned on his heel to check with his secretary that his two visitors had made it out of the building safely.
Bobbie couldn't believe what he was hearing. "Don't concern myself? You've got to be kidding."
"That's an order, Sullivan," Franklin warned. "Proceed any further with this and face major jail time, or worse."
Bobbie watched as Franklin walked away, as if nothing important had taken place. "Sorry, chief," he whispered to himself. "Jared and Alison are my friends, and I can't leave them out there vulnerable and alone." He pushed his chair closer to the computer and searched the security archives a little closer.
Maxie Demarco had been a nurse for a long time, and she'd been concerned about her share of patients. But this patient had a strange hold on her. She couldn't get him out of her mind.
It was funny because before he came to the hospital, she had never once talked to him. In her mind, she had imagined what he would be like. Would he be tough and brash or sweet and kind? Her sister, Jazz was certain he was a stand-up guy. He had saved a group of people from a monastery in Bulgaria He was the real thing, a true hero.
Her hand quivered as she dipped the damp cloth into the water basin. Maxie had washed him many times, knew every inch of his perfect body. But today there was something different, something more intimate about the task.
After she washed him down, she set her mind to shaving the beard that shadowed his face. Her hands glided the green gel across his cheek watching it as it turned into white puffy foam. She took her time shaving him, making his face perfect, but from what she could see, even with the beard, he was beautifully made. Handsome as sin.
Maxie kept wondering what he sounded like. Was his voice gruff and manly; she thought it might be.
With one last swipe across his cheek, she rinsed the razor off and set it on the rolling table Kevin Fairchild had never once used. He'd been in a coma since he was admitted three years earlier.
"Are you ever going to wake up?" she whispered in her husky alto. She wiped the last remains of foam from his cheek, then grabbed the stainless steel bowl filled with dirty water and readied herself to attend to her next patient.
It was in that moment something bizarre happened. Kevin moved. First his leg twitched, then his body convulsed. Maxie jumped up to move away from him and call a doctor, but his fingers closed around her wrist and tugged her closer with muscles that should have atrophied with disuse.
When she was pressed close to his chest, Kevin's eyes popped open and presented her with an intense pointed stare. "Your sister is in danger," he rasped. "You have to call her right now. Do it now!"
It was cold.
He could feel the wind tugging at his hair, swirling his dark mane in the frigid air. But he couldn't figure out how he had come to be outside. As he rose up on one arm, a pain lanced through his shoulder. The pain and the cold were unfamiliar sensations. He could have sworn he had been inside, but now he wasn't so sure.
His dark eyes opened to blue skies and puffy clouds which would have been a grand sight if he hadn't been seeing them through a giant hole in the ceiling. Pushing through the pain, he managed to stand and survey the scene.
"What in the hell?" he muttered. The room was trashed. Bits of the ceiling were scattered all over the floor. Something massive must have crashed through the roof, he reasoned. As he walked around, testing his balance, he found two other people lying on the floor. And they didn't look good.
He didn't recognize either of them. The body closest to him was male. He looked like the boy next door. Plaid shirt, jeans and boots. Like a good-ole-boy had fallen off a turnip truck. Lying not far from the man's left hand was a gun, a Baretta 9mm. It was strange, but the Baretta was the only familiar thing in the room.
He checked the man for a pulse. It was faint, but there. The woman was in worse shape. Her blond hair was matted with blood, whether it was hers or his, he wasn't sure. Her pulse was thready, and she was in severe need of a doctor.
Lights flickered in the room, making him wonder if the power was about to go out. He needed the lights to stay on of he was to help the strangers. A creaking from the ceiling that hadn't been noticeable earlier, suddenly became a yawning moan. There was something on the roof. Something just out of his sight was threatening to collapse the entire roof of the small cabin. He quickly moved both bodies to a more secure location, then ignored the pain in his shoulder and crawled up onto the roof to investigate the noise.
What he found wasn't what he expected. A helicopter teetered near the edge of the hole. But it wasn't the helicopter that garnered his immediate concern. It was the woman moving around inside the cockpit. It seemed she was unaware of her precarious situation until the aircraft shifted unexpectedly and she screamed in horror.
"Oh, God! Oh, God!" he could hear her chanting. "Don't die, mister!" The woman focused her concern on the pilot instead of saving herself. He ran towards the aircraft attempting to get the woman's attention, but she was more concentrated on the pilot.
"Get out of there," he yelled.
She looked up, finally seeing him. "Help me! The pilot's injured."
The helicopter lurched. "Stop moving!" he yelled. "The aircraft is about to fall through the roof of this building."
The woman froze in place, her face horror stricken. "I have to get him out of here. What am I going to do?" Her voice rose a few octaves indicating her fear.
"Come toward me. Stay on this end of the helicopter. First we'll save you, then we'll save him."
"NO! she screamed. "First we save him! I'm not going to leave him here."
The roof shuttered under the helicopter's weight, knocking him off his feet. The woman fell backward into the large compartment at the rear of the craft. She screamed and fell out of the massive side door. Her hands managed to grasp the edge before she fell out, hanging by her fingertips, dangling through the hole in the roof.
"Help me! Help me!" she cried, all thoughts of the pilot's injuries had vanished from her mind. He moved to assist her when a male voice stopped him in his tracks. "Don't come any closer, Fairchild."
The pilot's eyes were red and swollen. He must have been seeing things, because he wasn't Fairchild, was he?
"Fairchild? Who's Fairchild?" A pain in his head throbbed. Was that his name? He didn't know because he couldn't remember. He couldn't remember anything.
"He's a killer, Marian. Don't trust him." The pilot grunted in pain as he reached for his weapon and prepared to fire on the man he called Fairchild.

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