“I don’t care what you have to do, just DO IT!!” Tracy screamed into the telephone before she slammed it back down. Keeping the gun aimed at Simone’s head and the flashlight on her face, she motioned for Simone to go to the center of the room.
Simone shielded her eyes from the glow of the flashlight as she obeyed Tracy’s silent command.
“Sit,” Tracy said. She kept her eyes on Simone as her free hand searched through the desk drawers. Finding what she wanted, she came around the desk to stand in front of Simone.
“Apparently, your spawn has seen fit to come back for you. He’s also brought reinforcements with him. Pity if none of you make it out of here alive,” Tracy said, cold and void of any emotion.
Simone forced herself to remain calm and silent as she listened to Tracy’s words. She let the knowledge that Tommy was really there sink in. He was smart. He didn’t successfully escape and then return only to be killed here. Life wouldn’t be that cruel. Would it?
“Put your arms on the arm rest,” Tracy ordered. When Simone complied with her demand, Tracy took the rope she found in the drawer and began to tie her to the chair.
Tracy moved away from Simone to sit behind the desk. Leaning back against the soft leather of the chair, she contemplated the situation. Her head of security told her that the tunnels had been infiltrated. She knew from her sources that Simone’s brat had escaped a few days ago. She suspected he would come back, but she never thought he’d bring anyone with him. No one would believe him, she decided, so she never gave him a second thought. Until now. The little bastard not only came back, but he came back with an army. DAMN!!
In the dim glow of the flashlight, Simone tried to gauge the emotions as they flew across Tracy’s face. She knew that Tracy had every intention to kill her. She didn’t doubt that for a second, but she didn’t know if Tracy intended to do harm to her son or if she was only making idle threats. Threats against herself she could handle and she could accept. Threats against her son were out of the question.
Tracy could feel Simone’s eyes on her and she laughed softly to herself. “You’re wondering what I’m planning, aren’t you?”
Simone refused to be bated. Instead, she chose to match Tracy in her own game. “Actually, I’m picturing the look on your face when Tommy finds us. He will, you know, find us. My son is smart. He was able to leave, come back and bring others with him. Your parasitic world is about to come to an end. The day of reckoning for all the horrors you, Juan and the guards have done to us has come.”
Tracy’s eyes narrowed as Simone voiced Tracy’s deepest fears. She’d have to come up with something just in case the guards didn’t come up with a plan. And quick!
“Section Three clear,” Lucky said into the mini-microphone. He, Nikolas, Gina and a bound Wayne were near the entrance of the catacombs which led to the outside world. After a thorough search of their area, they didn’t find anyone else. As instructed by Jason, they were on their way back outside to wait for the others.
“Did you hear that?” Nikolas asked, pressing the ear piece further into his ear.
“That was Tommy, wasn’t it?” Lucky asked, stopping to look at Nikolas.
“Tommy? What about Tommy? Where is he?” Gina asked, her eyes moved from Nikolas to Lucky in search for answers.
“We have to go back and help him,” Nikolas said.
“I was thinking the same thing,” Lucky answered.
“What are you guys talking about? Help him do what? Is he in danger?” Gina asked, anxious at the thought of harm coming to her best friend’s son.
“Help him find his mom. He just said that she’s not there.”
“What do you mean she’s not there? She was just there! I left her in her room before this idiot grabbed me! She HAS to be there!” Gina said.
“He just said she’s not-“ Lucky began.
“Hey, guys. Good job,” came a friendly voice behind them.
With guns drawn, Lucky and Nikolas turned to see who had joined them. They lowered their weapons when they recognized Reynaldo and his partner who were not alone. Their section had been full. Twenty or so dirty and haggard looking women were with them.
“You, too,” Nikolas said.
“Hey, Reynaldo, would you mind doing us a favor?” Lucky asked. He glanced at Nikolas who smiled back at him in understanding of what Lucky was about to do.
“Sure. No problem. What do you need?”
“Would you take these two back for us? She’s okay, but he needs to be handed over to the police,” Lucky said.
“Why can’t you guys do it?” Reynaldo asked suspiciously. Jason had given strict orders about leaving the tunnels when your section was clear. Reynaldo thought the instructions made sense and he didn’t want to see the two teenagers make a dangerous mistake.
“We just heard Tommy. His mother wasn’t there. He will need help to find her and we’re going back to help him,” Nikolas replied.
“Mr. Morgan gave strict orders-“
“We know about Jason’s orders, but we can’t just leave. I promised to help him find his mom and I’m not leaving here until I do,” Nikolas said.
“Same here,” Lucky said.
“Me, too,” Gina replied.
“No!” came both Nikolas and Lucky simultaneously.
“I know these tunnels better than either of you and I’m going with you. I’m not leaving Simone to die in here. I can help you find her,” Gina said with determination. Simone was the best friend she’d ever had. She had no intentions of leaving there without her.
“Gina, we can’t let you go back with us. It’s too dangerous.”
“Lucky’s right. You can’t go with us. The risk is too great. Neither of us would be able to react properly if we’re looking over our shoulders for you,” Nikolas said softly. He understood how she felt, but there was no way either him or Lucky would let her go back with them.
“But-“ Gina began.
“No ‘buts’, Miss Gina. The boys are right. Against my better judgment, I’m going along with them going back, but I can’t let you go, too,” Reynaldo said. Turning to Nikolas and Lucky, he added, “Good luck.”
“Gina, wait,” Lucky said, removing the map from his vest. He opened it and as Nikolas shined the flashlight on it, he asked, “Do you know which route we should take?”
Gina studied the map for a few seconds. Looking at the tunnels on paper, was much different than walking around in them. She closed her eyes and forced her mind to see everything from a different perspective. Confident that she knew the way, she opened her eyes and indicated the path for them on the map.
She went over the route with both of them several times. She also warned them that the guards would be aware of their presence by now and not to be taken in by any of them. The guards were ruthless and evil. Nikolas and Lucky should take nothing for granted and should show them no mercy if they should come in contact with them.
As Gina left with Reynaldo and his group, Nikolas and Lucky made a quick check of their weapons. Certain that they were prepared, they went back into the tunnels. When they rounded the corner, they looked at each other and said, “Boys?”
Shaking their heads in disbelief at Reynaldo’s inaccurate choice of word for them, they continued on in search of Tommy and the others.
Jason! She’s not here! She’s not here!!
“Who is that?” Keesha asked, moving away from Jason’s protective embrace.
“Tommy,” Jason said. He grabbed her hand and led her out of her room into the passageway.
Tommy stood in the passageway, visibly shaken. The disappointment and the pain he felt tore through his body. He had left Simone in the belief that he would come back and take her with him. Now, he stood alone without any idea of where she could be or what to do.
“She wasn’t in there,” Tommy said as Jason and Keesha moved to stand in front of him. He didn’t try to keep the despair from his voice as he said the words which caused his heart to break.
Jason felt Tommy’s pain and didn’t quite know what to say to ease it. The tunnels were nothing more than a maze to him and he didn’t have any idea of where they should look. He hated to think it, but he thought it would be best for them to go back now. Their time of invisibility wouldn’t last much longer. The guards would have to know that they were under siege. Jason knew that most of his men were out of the tunnels. He felt that the time had come for them to do the same.
“Tommy, I’m so sorry, but I think it would be best if we-“ Jason began, but was interrupted.
“Tommy, your mother was just there. Right before the blackout, Gina told me so. She can’t be very far. I know we can find her,” Keesha said, cutting Jason off in mid-sentence. There was a time when she and Jason were as in tune as any two people could be, and as he spoke, she could feel the connection again. She knew he was about to suggest that they leave. She couldn’t let that happen. Simone had taken care of her when she first arrived, and there was no way Keesha would leave her there.
“But Keesha-“ Jason began again.
“Jason, trust me. I haven’t been here for very long, but I know this place. I’ve made myself memorize as much as I can, just in case. I’m not positive, but I’m pretty sure I heard two voices right after the lights were turned off. One of those voices sounded like Simone’s. Someone, one of the guards maybe, took her. There are two places I know how to find. I say we check those places. She has to be in one of them,” Keesha said emphatically. She could sense the overwhelming sadness that came from Tommy. She didn’t want him to feel that. She didn’t want him to lose hope.
“Thanks, Keesha. Tell me how to get there and I’ll go. You two can go back outside and wait,” Tommy said. He could find her on his own. Besides, the longer they stayed in there, the more dangerous their mission became. He didn’t want to put their lives at risk any longer than necessary.
“No, Tommy. We’re not leaving you here alone. Keesha knows the way. I trust her. We’ll follow her lead. We won’t leave here without your mother,” Jason said quietly.
Keesha was moved by Jason’s words. Maybe Jason Quartermaine was back after all. All kinds of questions formed in her mind, but now was not the time for answers. Later, she promised herself. Later Jason…Quartermaine or Morgan…had some explaining to do.
Jason moved to the guard who lay on the ground. He searched his motionless body. He found a flashlight, some rope, and a small .22. He moved back to Keesha and Tommy with his new possessions.
“Keesha, hold out your hand.”
Keesha held out her hand and felt something cold and hard touch her palm. Closing her hand around it, she knew it was a gun.
“That’s insurance. I don’t plan to leave your side, but I want you to hold on to that just in case. It’s a .22. You should be able to handle that if I remember correctly,” Jason said.
“Yeah,” she said quietly. “You remembered correctly.”
Keesha was quiet as Jason took her hand. She was surprised that Jason remembered something from their past as couple. Years ago, when they first started dating, she and Jason went to a target range. She didn’t quite know what to say when he referred to it just now.
“Are you ready?” Jason asked, directing his attention to Tommy.
“Yeah, I’m ready.”
With Tommy on one side and Jason on the other, Keesha led them from the passageway.