The Commission - 7
Chapter 7: Increasing Risk
November 17 4 AM Beverly Hills
Special Agent Molly Malone watched as crime scene technicians from LAPD went over the hotel room. It had been five hours since the kidnapping, and after the FBI was called in, she had talked to the detectives from LAPD who had interviewed the witnesses. Not much had been learned so far though, no one saw the intruders leave or come in, and video surveillance tapes were still being analyzed from the lobby and penthouse floor. The one bright spot was that blood evidence had been found, and a wine bottle had Ms. Hewitt’s prints all over it and had apparently been used as a weapon. With any luck, some useful fibers would be collected. Even better, a dart gun, the kind used in zoos to shoot animals with tranquilizers, had been found. And the dart in it was identical in make to the ones found at the Playboy mansion raid.
The LA field office of the FBI definitely needed a break. Although some fibers had been found at Warner Brothers, the Playboy mansion, and the homes of the missing centerfold models, all that had been learned so far is that the same people had been involved each time. The discouraging part is that some of the fibers had not been a match for anything on any database that the FBI had, and so far, the various research labs and universities consulted hadn’t come up with anything yet either. On the plus side, some of the fibers where from military fatigue style clothing. But, since those kind of clothes were so common, it didn’t narrow the search one bit.
But maybe this time, the blood evidence and the dart gun would lead them somewhere.
Molly swept a long strand of black hair out away from her face, and went to look for her partner, who was downstairs talking to the hotel manager. She yawned, and went to find some coffee. Getting a wake up call at 1 AM was not what she had hoped for this evening. She had really hoped for some sleep.
In the hall, she grabbed a cup and filled it from the urn the hotel management had been kind enough to provide. In a few minutes, she would need to put on some makeup, and arrange her hair. The news media was already hounding everyone for information, and she had the unpleasant task of dealing with them.
Gavin sat on the couch, his left arm in a sling, watching the early morning news as he waited for the potion to kick in. He had screwed up, and he knew it. A simple snatch and run had damn near got Grim killed. Both of them were hurt now, and it would take a couple of days before they were ready to proceed with the mission. Luckily, Cheryl had made them some healing potions before they had left, otherwise, he would have to abort the mission and return to their Earth. Needless to say, visiting a hospital was out of the question, no telling what the local medical community would think when they discovered he wasn’t fully human.
He looked over at Grim, who was sleeping on the couch. Lucky for him, he only had some cracked ribs; taping them up and drinking a potion should have him in his regular fit shape by noon. Gavin knew it would take a couple of days for himself to be ready as the bones in his shoulder and forearm would have to knit together, and that promised to be an unpleasant process. The magic always made him itch like crazy. Pulling out of his pocket the two dolls he had collected with his good arm, he examined them again. Both women, Jennifer Love Hewitt and her bodyguard, Paula (who was the counterpart of Grim’s wife on this world), were now 12 inch plastic statuettes. Looking more like Barbie dolls then people, they were still clearly identifiable.
“I should have used an invisibility spell.” Gavin thought himself. “Guess I underestimated you ladies. Sarah said I shouldn’t do that. I really hate it when she is right.” He grinned painfully, and then placed them on the coffee table in front of him. Time to deal with them after he had healed up.
The news had been interesting this morning, full of the latest kidnapping story. A very attractive woman FBI agent was giving a news conference, and Gavin watched her with interest. She was a pretty brunette, with beautiful blue eyes, and light skin. She reminded him a bit of Michelle back home actually, although she was a bit shorter and was older than Michelle had been when he had acquired her long ago.
The Agent, Molly Malone he learned as he watched the news conference, was talking about the fact that they had a break in the case, some physical evidence that might just be the break they had been looking for.
“Hmm, wonder what they got? Aside from my dartgun anyway? Well, fingerprints and blood samples shouldn’t hurt us too bad. Its not as if we exist on this world.” He thought to himself. He grunted as his shoulder began to itch. “Ok, well it could be problem I guess. Thanks for reminding me” he thought to himself as the throbbing pain in his shoulder began to recede, to be replaced by a most annoying itching sensation. “Alright, I suppose I should contact Hans.”
Los Angeles Federal Building
Molly looked through the reports on her desk. So far she didn’t have much of a case, but something was coming together. She had a police artist description supplied by witnesses from the Playboy mansion and Warner Brothers, some fiber evidence linking the same person to each disappearance that couldn’t be identified, and a blood sample which had the lab scratching their head. It wasn’t human blood, although it was pretty close, but there were several differences that had them baffled. They couldn’t come up with what it was, just what it wasn’t (which seemed to be everything else) and just like the fibers, they were trying to see if some of the universities could help. The other fibers were definitely from fatigues, which would help make the case should they every catch them. If they ever did.
Then there were the prints. Prints had been found that were two different people at each scene. But they weren’t on any database, not even drivers licenses or birth records. Once again, helpful only if they actually caught them.
She sighed in disgust, it looked like the artist rendering was all she really had, along with the dart gun. A search was underway by field offices in cities where such equipment was available, using the artist rendering to see if some kind of ID could be obtained.
Standing and stretching, Molly walked outside for a cigarette. It was a nice day in Los Angeles, but her mind was still elsewhere as she puffed on her smoke.
This morning, the Houston office had sent her some information. It seemed 60 people, mostly women, but some men too, had disappeared there last week. The whole thing was just like the cases working in Bakersfield, Fayetteville and Baltimore. They had some prints though, and even some names from those prints. The prints from Houston matched the identities of three women missing from Bakersfield, as well as another missing in Houston. Those same prints had showed up in Baltimore (first actually), the only problem being, that the owner of those prints, Cheryl Morrison, a nurse from Bakersfield, had been seen and had been at work in Bakersfield during most of the timeframes that the disappearances occurred in Baltimore. Cheryl and some of her family and a boyfriend had disappeared from Bakersfield two days after her prints put her in Baltimore.
Now those prints had been found in Houston.
Then there were the prints for Sarah Hoffman, who not only disappeared in Bakersfield, but her whole family did too. Now those prints where in Houston, and implicated in the disappearance of 60 people, including a police detective. Another set of prints identified a Bakersfield woman named Kim Peterson, who had disappeared, along with some of her family from Bakersfield the same time as Sarah, and her prints had been found in Houston, and disturbingly, in Fayetteville North Carolina, BEFORE she disappeared from Bakersfield.
Another woman, a Michelle Malone, had disappeared from Houston about the same time as the other disappearances began there. Which wouldn’t cause any more comment than the others except her prints and her pictures where found at the modeling studio where several other women had disappeared, and Michelle, who had a job elsewhere, could be accounted for after her portfolio was put together in a time frame that made it impossible for her to be at two places at once. Even more troubling was the fact that Michelle was her distant cousin. Somehow a member of HER family was involved in this, and Molly didn’t like it one bit.
“They have to be connected somehow,” Molly muttered to herself. “How?”
Pacing as she smoked, she went over everything in her mind. Somehow, these four women were involved in the kidnapping of at least 60 people, and probably as many as the 200 linked so far. The circumstances were similar, too similar to be coincidental to the cases here in Los Angeles. Somehow, the four women and the two men here were linked together. Whoever they were.
Of course, it made no rational sense whatever, so it wasn’t as if she could take it to anyone yet.
Then there were cases here. People being kidnapped at all hours of the day and night, with no indications of how the kidnappers got into the buildings were they were or more importantly, got out again with their victims. No signs that the windows were used, and in several instances, there were people (even guards and cops) right outside the door, the ONLY door, when they vanished.
No ransom notes yet, either. That disturbed her even more because that could mean the missing women might not be coming back. Alive, at least.
Stomping on her cigarette after she was done, she walked back inside. She couldn’t account for any of this, and it was beginning to really give her nightmares.
For now, she had the pictures of
Michelle, Sarah, Cheryl and Kim, and the artist sketch of the two men. Maybe
one of them would show up somewhere. Maybe even the media could help.
Hans smiled at the four women, who had done very well. He was extremely pleased with them. They had acquired nearly 250 people, of which 160 where specifically what he wanted (attractive, smart, talented people who were adaptable) and the rest where their own counterparts from this Earth and some family members and friends. Some of these would work well in addition, especially their counterparts.
“Good work Ladies. I have another
job for you though.”
The four women looked at him a little warily. “As well they should,” he thought as he grinned. “I was going to have you help me here, but something more pressing has come up. Gavin and Grim have a mission they are carrying out for me, as you know, but what you don’t know is that some problems have come up. They need your help, although they don’t know it yet, and some more people have been added to their list.”
“Oh?” Sarah asked, speaking for all four women.
Hans explained how Gavin and Grim where snatching women for a very special friend of his, and how important it was that it occur. “My friend has a lot of power back on Shiron, and he is the one who agreed to provide the accommodation I needed with the Auditors that is allowing me to rescue anyone at all here. You could call him a god of a sort, but more like the ones in your Greek Mythology than the Christian God. Even so, we were friends once, and he was the one who agreed to help me.”
“So you are going to help grab the people on this list, and along the way, you can grab as many others as you see fit that match with the requirements I gave you for this group you gave me today.”
“How much time do we have?” Kim asked.
“A few more weeks, but only days before the first events begin to occur. So be sure and consult this report frequently, and memorize it. Gavin will be pissed at me if one of you gets killed.”
“Oh thanks,” Cheryl replied dryly,
while Kim, Sarah and Michelle glared at the tall handsome Elf.
”Ok, so I would feel bad too. I mean this though, be damned careful, it is going to get riskier the closer we get to the end here. Watch your asses. I know I do every chance I get.”
Cheryl poked him playfully, and
then Hans hugged and kissed each of the women, before picking up the two large
trunks and placing them on what looked like a sled. Nodding goodbye, he climbed
up on the sled, and uttered a command word. The women watched as the sled
floated up a few inches, and then noiselessly moved into the center of the standing
megalithic stones on the moor before them. Moments later, he and the sled
disappeared in a yellow flash of light.
“Well, lets see what we have to do.” Sarah finally remarked after they watched the stones for a few minutes. “Where the hell do we need to go first?”
Things never seem to go as planned...