Episode 14: For Your Trouble
by Sabrina Carol
by Sabrina Carol
|Dare Ransom and Kaye Corday in Ten Little Spies.|
Jazz DeMarco shoved a stick of gum into her mouth, and began to chew her nerves away. "Man, when I think of all the places I could be..." She studied the dark and opulent parlor room. Behind the mahogany walls were a succession of wires connected to hidden cameras. They were the lurking eyes of a mad man. And Jazz was his valued servant.
"With the money you're earning you will be able to travel the world over," Dagmar Krause declared as she entered the room.
"That's if I live long enough," she grunted in response. So far Jazz had survived a hail of bullets, and nearly being crushed to death by a helicopter. Boy, she certainly couldn't wait to hear the latest escapade Dagmar had cooked up. Is money really worth all this? For the cool loot she was cashing in, yes. What was pennies to the Zeller clan meant cruising down easy street for the rest of her life, to Jazz.
She watched Dagmar with curious eyes. The old lady was practically glowing. Any other day she looked like a body post-mortem. "What's got you so flipping happy?"
Dagmar gave her a brittle smile. "I just peeked in on our guests," she nearly sang. "It appears the little spies are splitting hairs--- "Oh, what shall we do? What is to become of us?"--- I love it!"
"If I were you I wouldn't rejoice too much," Jazz forewarned with a snap of her gum. "Those little spies have a way of getting themselves out of the impossible."
"Not this time," the elder woman responded coldly. "There is no where to run or to hide. Even the Legacy won't be able to save them. How can it. . . when it won't be able to save itself."
"What are you getting at?" Jazz questioned, though she wasn't sure she wanted to know the answer.
Dagmar walked over to the wall table. Several wonderfully carved white candles stood in a row. "I have a special mission for you my dear. Everything depends on your ability to complete this task."
Jazz gritted her teeth as a stabbing pain assualted her lower back. "I hope this scheme comes with health insurance attached."
Dagmar's wrinkled chin quivered in amusement. "I can afford a little extra for your troubles, I'm sure."
Jazz grinned with smug satisfaction and walked over to the table. She picked up one of the candles, tossed it into the air and caught it with one hand. "So, what is it you want?"
"You should be very careful with the way you handle my brother's candles," Dagmar laughed. "They're infused with weapons of mass destructions." She proudly smoothed a finger down one of the wax columns. "Beautiful, yet so deadly."
"And what do I do with these?" Jazz asked, cautiously replacing the one she held.
"They are bombs," Dagmar revealed. "Each one contains a special chemical. I want you to place them around the Legacy headquarters."
"Fine, but not the hospital," she agreed. "My sister works there, and I can't risk her getting hurt."
"Then makes sure she isn't there because you will do exactly as I instructed, or else."
Jazz bit her tongue to keep from cursing the old bag of wrinkles.
Dagmar smiled in delight. "I knew you would see it my way." She marched to the parlor door. "Now, I must see what that bastard brother of mine is up to. And one important thing. When you light the candle leave quickly, for when the tip of the string burns down the bomb will ignite."
After Dagmar was gone, Jazz took out her cellular phone to call her sister, but the line was dead. Great, she thought, while glaring at the candles. Now all she had to do was decide which was more important: Maxie or Money?
"Sometimes a girl can't catch a break."
"Will you please get into the bloody car." Adrian Zeller begged his hostage. The gun that was suppose to keep everything under control was now stuffed in an inside jacket pocket away from prying eyes.
With a look that warned "Try anything and I'll scream." , Dyan Ransom stood like a stone statue on the bustling sidewalk.
Adrian's long legs moved in agitated strides. What the hell was he suppose to do! He couldn't very well shoot her in front of block full of potential eyewitnesses. His aunt Dagmar would just love that. She would proudly carve Zelia Cheklov's Son into his forehead. So what if his mother wasn't the brightest woman in the world. It was the human spirit that counted. Edith Bunker wasn't winning any smart prizes any time soon, but she didn't deserve to be labeled a ding-bat.
"Damn it! I've got to stop watching Nick-At-Nite." He muttered to himself.
Dyan Ransom watched with hidden pleasure as her tall, blue eyed, blond--- and regretfully handsome captor--- paced himself to a solution. She'd been stalling for ten minutes with her refusal to be voluntarily kidnapped. Despite the circumstances, Dyan had to admit she was enjoying seeing Adrian go from panic to near nervous breakdown.
"You really stink at this, you know," she insulted for the fun of it. "I had a purse mugging I enjoyed better than this. At least that lunatic knew his objective."
Adrian slid to a halt on the sun sparkled concrete. "Will you shut-up!"
"Hey! Watch it buddy. She ain't half bad." A male passerby shouted.
Dyan tossed her length of brunette locks to one shoulder and smiled. "Finally, one man who knows what he wants."
"All right, okay," Adrian held up his hands like they were grasping imaginary white flags. "What will it take to get you to come with me?"
Her mouth fell open in shock and then clenched closed in disgust. "You have the audacity to offer me a deal after what you've done?" she asked between clamped teeth.
He a combed a hand through his hair. "I know you think I'm a monster, Dyan. Please believe me when I say I am trying to right something very wrong."
Her pretty face flared with anger. "Are you insane? Why would I even begin to believe a potential killer?"
"Go ahead and say it louder," Adrian flailed his arms wildly about. "I don't think the people on the next block heard you."
Folding her arms across her chest, Dyan deliberately stepped closer. "If Kaye had been home instead of me, you would have gladly murdered my sister. Excuse me if I don't have sympathy for the devil."
Visibly bothered, he confessed. "I couldn't have killed your her. Just incase you haven't realized I don't have the capacity for bloodshed; certainly not innocent people. I know Kaye is only a pawn in Fairchild's twisted game. He's the one I'm after."
In spite of herself, Dyan couldn't stop from being curious. "You said you were trying to right a wrong. What exactly did Franklin do?"
Adrian paused, considering whether he should say anything. Finally he turned to her with a look of sincerity. "Franklin is the one responsible for my father being institutionalized. Ezekiel was far from crazy --- at least then he was. Franklin wanted to be rid of my father because he knew about the experiments the Legacy was performing on innocent people. He kidnapped my very pregnant mother and did unimaginable things to her. When father finally found Zelia, she was without child. Franklin had stolen my sister."
The words hit too close too home for Dyan, and she struggled to maintain her composure. She knew Adrian spoke the truth. She had known in her own way for years.
Adrian sighed heavily. "Needless to say, my sister is only one of a long line of missing children. Dagmar and I are only two people--- well four if you count the others--- who are trying to bring Franklin down. We've managed to infiltrate the Legacy. But time is running out. Franklin wants Kaye to assassinate me; undoubtedly, he has her thinking I'm the enemy."
"I think I can help you." The words tumbled out of Dyan's mouth faster than she could stop them. She couldn't fathom what she was about to do, but something had to be done. She had kept quiet for too long. Each day she hid her secret, the longer she lived a lie. Tears flooded her eyes. She was filled with many regrets, all of which were harming the people she loved.
Adrian eyed her warily. "Is this a ploy? How do I know you're not going to run and tell Franklin the first chance you get? After all, your husband and sisters both, are loyalist to the Legacy."
"I hate Fairchild more than you will ever know," she uttered as the tears wet her cheeks. "You asked me to believe you. I do. Now I'm asking you to trust me. I know where you can find all the proof you need to destroy Franklin Fairchild." Disgusted, she wiped the tear stains from her face. "Are you with me?"
"Yes, yes I am," Adrian nodded, his resolve sharpening. "But first you have to answer me this: How do you know so much?"
Dyan's violet eyes clouded with darkness. "Because I'm one of the missing children."
"Get in the car. And don't try anything funny."
Though obeying burned her up inside, Kaye Corday did as she was told and slipped into the driver's side of the black Maserati Coupe. Years of training to perfect her operative skills hadn't prepared her for this-- Melanie Peel, Franklin's number one coffee girl, brandishing a little steel handgun as comfortably as she did her nail file. To be honest, Kaye wasn't sure what bothered her more-- being held at gun point, or being kidnapped by a mere secretary. Either way the circumstances reeked.
Kaye's head began to hurt at the thought of where she wanted to be, needed to be; by Dare's side. He was in the Legacy ER dying for all she knew. Fear gripped her stomach, threatening to crush her insides. Maybe he was already dead. Kaye gazed with worried eyes through the windshield at Melanie, who was rounding the car to the passenger side.
. . . Dare is going to get better, so don't worry so much
Kaye had to admit there was a ring of truth to Melanie's obnoxious revelation. But how would Franklin's clerk know something so important? The same way she would know how to fire a gun, Kaye answered her own question. She gave an angry huff, blowing a blond curl from her forehead. She had to do something. Kaye hadn't a clue what Melanie wanted from her, where she was taking her, or planning to do with her.
With each passing second, Kaye could feel the tension growing in her muscles. There was a way out of this mess. She had been taught to expect the unexpected, and to strike when need be. And right now, Kaye needed a quick getaway.
Hearing the snap of the passenger door handle, she firmly made up her mind. Her hazel eyes took precise aim at her intended target. It was now or never.
Melanie Peel wasn't sure what happened. One minute she was gingerly sliding into her Maserati, and the next she was being shoved face first into the dashboard. The sickening sound of crushing bone filled her ears. A furious heat wave coursed through her face and blood flooded her nose. She didn't even have time to feel the pain when she recognized the familiar sound of a gun being cocked.
"Ugh, that nose is going to need a good plastic surgeon. But then again . . . the dead needn't worry about trivial things, such as beauty."
Feeling the cold touch of the gun barrel against her temple, Melanie choked while agonizingly trying to breath. She watched in horror as blood from her nose and mouth splattered her shirt. Desperate, she tried her best to plea for mercy, begging, "Please, please don't do this. I can't die-- not like this!"
If Kaye Corday lacked sympathy for the brutal sight Melanie made, then certainly the well of tears falling from Melanie's eyes meant nothing as well.
A deep and gravely laugh rumbled from Kaye's throat. "Mel, I shouldn't have to explain the victim doesn't get to make requests."
"Then what do you want from me!" she cried out frantically. "I'll say anything. Do anything. Just please don't kill me."
Kaye teasingly stroked the gun barrel down the side of her cheek. "Hmm," she hummed, as if debating. "Okay, let us try it your way. But if I even get the slightest tingle that you're lying to me. . ." Twisting her free hand through Melanie's seductively long locks, she viciously yanked her head back. A quiver of joy went through Kaye when Melanie yelped in pain. "Let's begin, shall we? Why would a rank amateur like yourself even attempt to abduct me?"
Melanie coughed several times before being able to answer. "Dagmar Krause ordered me to. She and her nephew---," before she could finish another spasm of coughs erupted from her chest.
"Her nephew," Kaye repeated impatiently. "Who is he?"
Melanie tried to answer, but she was finding herself awfully nauseous from swallowing her own blood.
"Get it together Mel, I'm running out of patience."
"Adrian Zeller," she managed. "They approached me several months ago with an offer of a million dollars to give them inside information about Franklin."
"Great," Kaye muttered. "The guy's name just keeps coming up like vomit after an all night binge. But that still doesn't answer my question."
"Adrian was suppose to. . . kidnap you, but when he failed to, Dagmar had me do it," Melanie lied. If Dagmar had her way, Kaye should have been dead; but, Melanie felt that little tidbit wouldn't help her plea for life. "They knew Franklin had assigned you to spy on them. That's the only reason why I did it. Honest."
Kaye seem to find this amusing. "Is it safe to assume you were the one who ratted me out?"
Melanie gave her best 'please don't shoot me' look. "A million dollars is a strong influence."
In return, Kaye gave Melanie her best terrorist smile. "Understandable. But that doesn't clear up how you know about Dare's condition. Did Zeller have something to do with Dare being rushed to the ER?"
"No," she swore. "That was-- and don't overreact when I tell you-- it was Franklin. He's been the one behind the candle killings."
Kaye's right eye twitched in aggravation. She pressed a sweaty palm to her forehead as if in pain. After a few calming breaths she finally spoke. "Am I suppose to believe Franklin Fairchild, a man who has dedicated his entire life to the Legacy, who's very son nearly died for the same cause, is murdering his own operatives?"
"But it's true," Melanie said hastily. "Franklin has been doing what he calls 'cleansing' throughout the ranks. He only wants to keep the agents he knows in the end will be loyal to him and not the Legacy. He and several of the Legacy's top chemists have been staging these candle killings, and making it look like the work of Ezekiel Zeller."
"Do you know how insane all of this sounds?" Kaye demanded.
"The U.S. Security Council has been investigating Franklin for a good time now," she continued. She stopped only to remove a tendril of brown hair from a drying bloody clump on her cheek. "The end of his reign is coming quickly. But Franklin is a man who won't give in without a fight. He wants to seize control of the Legacy. I suspect he is looking to align with the Black Council. In order to do that he must make sure he is surrounded by only those he can trust-- or use-- depending on the way you look at it."
Kaye remained quiet, the expression on her face unreadable. Even so, Melanie knew her revelations were sinking in. For the first time since her haphazard attempt at snatching Kaye, she was able to breath easy. "Franklin Fairchild has a strong influence on a legion of people across the globe. He's a threat in more ways than you can possibly imagine, Kaye."
If Kaye had heard a word Melanie said, she didn't act like it. She suddenly switched gears just as quickly as she turned Melanie from subjugator to prisoner. She clawed at the base of her skull with anxious hands. Melanie watched with knowing eyes.
Taken aback by an attack of conscience, Melanie tried to speak up. "Kaye, there's something you need to know. Fra---"
"Where were you taking me?" Kaye commanded.
A look of confusion registered on Melanie's face before remembering her mission to take Kaye to the Zeller mansion in the mountains. "The Zeller's have a mansion in the North Morland mountain region." she disclosed.
Kaye nodded several times. Her lips were constantly moving, but nothing came out. Frustrated, she cranked the engine to the sports car.
"Kaye," Melanie said heavily, in another attempt to clear her conscience. "There's something important you should kn--"
Melanie never got the chance to finish. She didn't hear the bullet explode from the gun; or feel it tear into her skull. Death had come quickly, like a flash of lightening across a storm filled sky. It was the kind she always hoped for. She didn't want to die burdened by regrets, or wondering if heaven or hell awaited her on the other side.
Kaye sat the smoking gun in her lap. She always believed people to be the most fascinating moments after they died. Countless times she found herself scrutinizing the unfortunate ones dead at her hands. It was the way their faces glowed with life that was no longer there. And how their eyes stared endlessly into a day that would never come again.
She reached across and closed Melanie Peel's eyes with the gentle slip of her hand. Kaye couldn't explain why, but she didn't want Melanie waiting for the incoming day. She wanted her to dream and to leave this life far, far behind.
Kaye centered her thoughts on what to do next. Whatever rational voice that managed to break through the noise in her head, was now being drowned out by raging thoughts, and throbs of pain. She stretched an arm over Melanie and carelessly wiped the bloody window with the palm of her hand.
"Buckle up Mel, it looks like you and I are going for a long ride."
THE LEGACY HAS MANY REASONS
TO LEAVE REALITY BEHIND!
TO LEAVE REALITY BEHIND!