“What’s going on?” Marka yelled.
“Blondie escaped,” Rochelle said. “She took out her guards. No clue how. She was supposed to be shackled.”
“Was she still wearing her own clothing?”
“Yeah, I guess.”
“Bitch had a key stashed. Or something she could pick it with.”
“What makes you say that?”
“Cause that’s what I would do, if I was her,” Marka said. That’s what Frank would do. “I have to get out of here, Rochelle.”
“It’s not safe out there.”
“It’s not safe in here. She knows where I am. Frank might figure it out. Do you really want to get caught in the Clash of Titans?”
“What do you mean, honey?”
The alarm stopped suddenly. Marka still felt it in her ears, even though it wasn’t ringing. She yawned, working her jaw to get rid of the sensation.
“I mean, maybe Frank isn’t looking for his journals. Maybe he’s looking for her.”
“Yeah. Where’s the nearest store where I can buy one of these?” She held up one of the journals while she stuffed them back in the bag.”
“There’s a Target. But why?”
“Decoys. Then I need to find Frank. Can you help me?”
“Honey, you aren’t leaving here without me and I’ll clock anyone tries to stop me.” Gun drawn, she led Marka out the door.
The building was in chaos. No one noticed the two women walking purposefully toward the back door which led to an underground garage. A line of official vehicles were parked in a line near the door. Rochelle took keys from her pocket and clicked the door button. The horn honked and lights flashed on a car not far away.
Marka hopped in the passenger side while Rochelle got in the driver’s seat. Both women put on their seat belts.
“Where am I going?”
“Sheltering Oaks. You know where that is?”
“I worked there a few years and my granny lives there.”
“That’s where we’re going. Frank works there. Not only that, we left the journals there in the room I’ve been staying in. If I have Liz figured out like I think I do, that’s where she’s headed. It would be the logical spot to find Frank and give her hundreds of hostages.”
“Oh, no she isn’t!” Rochelle floored the accelerator and hit the lights and siren. It screamed loudly as she flew down the road.
Marka braced herself for the high speed chase. She hoped Liz hadn’t taken an official vehicle, or she could be well ahead of them. With luck, the forces at the federal building would catch her before she got that far. Closing her eyes, she prayed that they would find Frank in time, before he hurt anyone—before anyone hurt him.
Aside from being top speed, their drive went well. They made the 45 minute trip in less than 30. Rochelle cut the siren before they turned up the street for Sheltering Oaks. She didn’t want to alert anyone of their presence, nor did she want to upset the residents of the quiet retirement community. She slowed as she took the turn through the front gate. Marka asked Rochelle to drop her at the blue house. Reluctantly, the federal officer complied. After Marka got out, she called in her position, telling her co-workers to send reinforcements.
“I have no idea what we’re facing,” she told the dispatcher. “It might be nothing, but it might be Armageddon.”
“Already have officers on the way. They’re in pursuit of a brown sedan that was jacked from the parking lot. They aren’t there yet?”
“Honey, I went hell bent for leather. If they actually beat me, I’d be shocked. I can’t leave Dr. Ventimiglia without backup.”
“They’ll let me know when they arrive. Meanwhile, I’ll alert the local police.”
“Thanks. Officer Davis out.”
Parking carelessly on the lawn, she got out of the vehicle and followed Marka to the blue house. She couldn’t see the other woman, but followed cautiously. The house looked deserted. There were no signs of violence or break in, but the back door stood ajar. Assuming that was the way, Marka went in, she took out her weapon. Stopping to check the doorway, she noticed that the frame had sustained damage.
Probably been kicked in. You’d think they’d have a better lock.
She didn’t dare call out, but hoped that Marka was inside and all right. Moving through the building with caution, she checked each room as she went. She found nothing until she got to the living room. Computer components were scattered all over the place. Two people lay on the ground, but there was no sign of Marka. A quick check told her that the man and woman were alive, but obviously in bad shape.
© Dellani Oakes