Chapter 20: .the/lair
I woke up to a ghastly smell filling my nostrils and making me gag. My eyes shot open. A horrible pain filled my head as light streamed in trough my pupils. The place I was in was clean, but the smell of putrefying meat made me sick. I sat up and looked around in the room. The walls were light grey and there was parquet on the floors.
Ubel was sitting in front of a big computer. His white tank top as greasy stains but except from that, he looked neat enough.
I got up, surprised to find that I was free to move around. There was a small child on the computer screen. He was sitting in a cage. Document2 was written in large letters over the picture.
“You sick paedophile,” I said with disgust in my voice.
“It is not about the children, it is about the profit. Though, for the customers, it is all about the children.”
“What can I expect from a man that’s in the business of selling people?”
“I am in the business of pleasure and pain. There is nothing wrong with wanting to make a living.” How could he see nothing wrong with what he did?
“You kidnap people!” I shouted.
“You kidnapped me!”
“People have paid good money for your retrieval.”
“What? Who?” Ubel got up from his chair and walked to the next room. I wanted to follow him, but my burning headache led me to lie down again.
He came back with a glass of water. The glass was filthy, but at this moment, I didn’t care.
“Drink. You have a strong concussion,” he said. I downed the water and wasn’t afraid to ask for more. Ubel went back to the kitchen and made some more. I held my head in my hands. It was so damn painful. It was throbbing and pounding like a thousand horses were galloping over it.
“Here you go,” he said and put the glass in front of me. He sat down in front of the computer again, and continued looking through Document2.
“We will need to take some pictures afterwards.”
“Pictures?” I asked worriedly.
“Yes.”534Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡrtPgDJMXAM
“I asked because I wanted and explanation. Why do we need to take pictures?”
“Document10 will launch in a couple of days. The buyers will want as much content as possible.”
“So what’s the deal? Why is the site password protected if people are supposed to look at it?”
“You have to pay to get into the Documents. Document10 will be different. It will be a whole network of people, a gallery if you will.”
“That’s like revenge porn!” I exclaimed.
“It does not matter what you call it. It still exists and it will exist as long as the Internet is around.”
“I hate you!” I cried.
“Many do.” He almost sounded sad. As if he wanted to be loved. But then again, who didn’t want to be loved.
He then sat down in the settee, right next to me. He looked so sad, his eyes glistening with tears. I didn’t think this robotic man had any emotions what so ever.
I tried to continue asking him questions, but he just danced around them.
“Who are Bastyboy and Oxycotton?” I asked.
“What do they want from me?”
“I do not know.”
“How did they find out about me?”
“That is confidential.”
I gave up. If he didn’t want to speak, I would just ask Bastyboy when I was presented to him. Because I expected to meet their leader. I was an important piece of merchandise, I would need to meet him, right?
“Am I free to go?”
“I do not know. I have to wait for my father’s orders.”
“Tell me something worthwhile,” I begged. He turned so he didn’t have to look at me. Then he opened his mouth and uttered the words I had been waiting to hear.
“Do you want to know why John Bashor attacked the petrol station?” he asked.
I nodded enthusiastically.
“Of course I want to know.”
“Sit back, relax. And I will tell you a story of a very disastrous man.” I did as he told me to do. I sat back in the settee and started listening to his tale.
“John Bashor was an alcoholic, knee deep in debt. He had a family to take care of, but he did not really care. This story will, at least for you, put John in a different light, but remember he was a man with very few scruples. Even though he did what he did to protect people, he still raped and killed Amanda Sprague just because he was ordered to do so.” He took a break and looked down on the empty glass of water. “Do you want more?”
“I just want to hear the story,” I said.
“Very well. It was around October time last year John Bashor contacted the ring. Father and Oxy gave him a job. The pay was well. At the time, the ring mostly dealt in drugs. It was before we realised that dealing in people is more profitable than drugs.”
“So the meth labs we found in the basements were from John’s operation?” He nodded.
“John proved to be a very good partner. He set up nine drug labs around town. With one in his own cellar. That year we produced drugs for the equivalent of a million pounds. It was a great year.” He smiled as he looked back on it.
“But as everything does, it had to end. When Derrick, John Bashor’s son, found out about what was going on in the cellar. Afraid that his son would go to the police, he wanted to shut down the production. He still had debt, so we started taking is furniture as a reminder that we still had control over his life.”
“So you were the strange men that entered the house?”
“I was never there personally. I operate in the shadows.”
“What happened then?” Ubel then went on to send me the most beautifully terrifying smile I had ever seen.
“John wanted to quit the whole thing. The operations, the ring, break all contact with Father and Oxy. Father didn’t take the news very well. That’s when I came in. One night we went to his house while Rose and Derrick were out. I had been following them for a while. It was June this year. I had started following you a month earlier.”
“You have followed me since May?” I whimpered. He nodded.
“I showed him the pictures of everyone I had been following. Nine people. Nine Documents. Father showed him the pictures of Rose, his wife. He said that if he quit, he would sell the pictures to a human trafficking ring. Little did he know that we were the ring he was talking about.” Ubel let out a laugh.
“It was around that time John started planning his family’s death.”
“So he had planned it for quite some time?”
“Just let me tell the story, will you.” He took a deep breath. “He didn’t want his family to become victims of the ring. Around that time he received information that a druggie he knew, Thomas Oxford, would kidnap a girl, Onila Kathryn Jenkins.”
I gasped. Was Thomas really going to kidnap me that night? I couldn’t believe it.
“Thomas wasn’t evil. He just really needed the money we provided. He was going to take you the night of the incident.” He laughed again. “Anyway, John Bashor planned his attack around this. He found out where you worked and thought he would kill you as well, sparing you of the life in the ring. As he drove there, he was more and more worried for Derrick. Of course the man didn’t want to kill his only son. When you were out there, talking to them, he decided to spare your life, thinking that you’d take care of his son. He didn’t know Emily A’idah would be there, so in a panic he killed her. In the same panic, he didn’t kill Thomas Oxford. He probably thought he did, seeing the blood seeping out of his lifeless body. Then he killed himself. He died with a smile on his mouth, thinking he’d saved three people from a life of slavery.”
“Why were you there that night?”
“I was there to pick you up after Thomas had done his handiwork. Imagine my surprise when I came to scene.”
It was my turn to let out a triumphant laugh. “We beat you that once.”
“John Bashor died in vain. Don’t you feel sorry for the bastard?”
“He killed my friend and his own wife. I feel nothing for that murderer.” Ubel looked at me like he was impressed. My apathy was strong right now, and that probably stirred him. He looked down on me like I was something to eat. It was so quiet in the room. Uncomfortably so. He stroked my cheek gently and smiled.
“I must not sample the merchandise, but somehow I can’t help myself. You really are a rare flower.”
“If you touch me, I swear, it will be the last thing you do,” I warned. This seemed to work. He pulled himself out of the trance and got up from the settee.
“Just wait here.” Like I had a choice, I thought. When he came back he had rope in his hands. I tied me to the chair in front of the computers.
“I’m not doing it that tight. This is just a safety measure,” he explained. Then he disappeared into another room. I struggled for a while, feeling that the rope slack more and more. He hadn’t been that thorough with his work, and I could easily escape. As I sat there, planning my escape plan, I thought about John Bashor. For the first time, I felt a touch of empathy for the man. He had only done what he thought was right. But then again, he had raped and killed an innocent woman.
Then I felt sick again. Sick for even thinking that he was an innocent part in all this. I needed to focus on getting out of here. That was the only thing that mattered. ns 126.96.36.199da2