Chapter 30: <html></html>
Jen’s car was nowhere to be found, and the place looked pretty desolate except from the big white van that stood in front of the porch. We drew our guns, scared to see what we were going to find.
The farmhouse was empty. So empty I could hear the echo of my feet as they hit the wooden floor. We looked at the furniture, that all had white sheets draped over them. It wasn’t dusty, and we found fresh food in the refrigerator.
“They didn’t leave in a hurry,” I commented. Chrissie nodded.
“How long has this been going on for?” I was outraged. So horribly angry. I hoped that, after all the evidence we saw at Jen’s place, it was still somehow wrong. I hoped that Jen was an innocent part in all this.
In the basement, we found something that still shocks me. They were foreigners. Dozens of them. Starving, and crying in a different language. The cellar smelled of sweat and excrement. They looked so helpless. As I walked through the masses of people, they pointed at the wall. I saw pictures hanging there. Pictures of Jen and some brown haired man. In some they were kissing, in others they were happily holding each other or gazing into each other’s eyes.
“That’s Ubel,” Chrissie said, pointing a finger at the man. I could feel my body tense. That was the man that had terrorised my girl for almost half a year. I would always remember his little smug face.
We started letting the prisoners out of the cellar. Some of them tried forming intelligible sentences in our language, but they were all so choked up that it was impossible to hear what they had to say. There were all kinds of people there, some of them as young as ten and others as old as seventy. I wondered if someone had ordered a fresh deliverance of human beings for their sex slavery rings. I wanted to shout at Chrissie for not understanding that this was going on right under her nose, but I realised it wasn’t that easy. She was knee deep in oxycodone highs. It couldn’t be easy. I had never liked Darren, but I had come to respect him after they confided in me. He did what he had to, just to help his girl. Would I do the same for Oni? If she had a cigarette debt, I would probably help her pay it off. And that was the right thing to do, in order for her to understand that what she did was wrong and harmful. I would never put her in harm’s way for it, but I wouldn’t just let her continue hurting herself.
I smiled as I helped a little girl with long brown hair and eyes in the same dark colour. She tried saying “Thank you,” but it came out as “Tzank wu.” I wanted to have a girl like this with Oni some day, but only if she wanted to of course.
How could that man do this to the little ones? That sick twisted bastard.
We spun around as we heard the sound of a rousing motor. It came from the van. I could see two silhouettes inside.
“Shite, Scott, run take the police car. I’ll finish up here.”518Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡiBswIJemTi
“I can’t leave you here, there might still be people lying in an ambush, waiting for me to go away.”
“Shut up and go after them,” she shouted. I was already running towards the car. The van pulled out parking area. I shut the door to the police car and started the engine. The keys were already in the ignition. I pulled out and sped after them, pushing my car to its absolute limit.
“They are not getting away,” I muttered to myself. The trees on each side of my car became as hazy mist. I was speeding in 170km/t right now. The speed limit in this area was 80. My foot was pressed against the gas pedal. The van in front of me started swinging from side to side. Either the people in the car were fighting over the steering wheel, or they wanted to throw me off. No matter what the answer was, I needed to continue chasing them.
We turned a corner, nearly tipping both our cars, and then another corner. The dirt was like two thick clouds behind us. I wished Chrissie were here to shoot their tyres.
I swore as I pushed the car up to 200, thinking that if I hit something I’d probably die. I saw a curve in the road in front of me. Now was my time. I sped up, just enough that I graced the bumper of the van just as we hit the curve. I had no time to break as we flew off the road. The car rolled around in the air. The white van was a little bit more fortunate. Because of its heavy weight it just flew into the bushes. I turned around once and landed on the wheels. I looked at the clock just before I landed. It went dark for a couple of seconds.
When I woke up, the first thing I did was look at the time. It had only passed a couple of minutes. The airbag had gone off, but I had still gotten a lot of broken glass into my forehead. The windshield was completely smashed, and I didn’t even want to see the state my car was in. I grabbed my radio and pressed the button.
“Scott Winchester,” I moaned in pain as talking hurt. I had seriously hurt my ribs, I thought.
“Scott, what happened at the farmhouse? We found a lot of people in our locations, they were starving and couldn’t speak our language.”
“Traffic accident, dirt road. White van. Going to investigate now,” I gasped for air as I undid my buckles.
“Scott? We’re sending a patrol your way. Do you need paramedics?” I had to catch my breath before attempting to open the car door. It blackened for me a couple of times as I tried to get the door open.
“Yes, paramedics. Over and out.” I pressed the button on my radio and climbed out of the car wreck. I limped to the white van and locked inside the driver’s side window. Ubel sat there with a big, bleeding, wound in his head. Jen was sitting on the passenger’s side. I walked up to the passenger’s side and knocked on the window.
“P-p-police,” I stuttered, holding my ribs. Jen didn’t move.
“Police!” I shouted through the pain. When she didn’t move I walked around the back of the van, to see if Onila was in the boot. I opened the boot of the car to find a black leather jacket. It smelled like her. In the pockets were her scooter keys, a zippo lighter and a packet of cigarettes. There were only two left. I sat down on the hood of my own crushed car, and lit a cigarette. I then put it in my mouth and sucked in the poison. It actually eased the pain I felt in my ribs.
“Fuck,” I heard someone from the van mutter. I shuffled up to it again to see Jen awake. One of her eyes was closed with an intense swelling.
“Where is Onila?” I asked. Jen smiled. Blood covered her gums.
“Probably half-way to Nepal already,” Jen smirked wider. I kicked the car door.
“I’m not joking around, Jen. Where the hell are they?”
“I’m bloody serious,” she said, her grin fading. “You let him get away.”
“Who? Jen, this is important. Don’t faint on me.” Her eyes shut. I screamed as I dropped to my knees. It was a scream of sadness, a scream of agony, a scream of hatred.
Would Onila just be another page in a missing persons report? I hit the ground in anger and frustration. If I only had taken better care of her. If I only had suspected Jennifer Vaughn. All of these things were irrelevant now. Onila was gone, half-way to some third world country.
I blacked out.
I woke up three times. The first time I woke up, I was in the ambulance. Paramedics were all around me; holding my wrist to check my pulse. I was connected to some kind of IV drip.
The second time I woke up, I was being rolled around on a stretcher. I had bandages around half of my face, making me only see with one eye. Chrissie was half-running beside me, sending me smiled as she went.
The third time I woke up, I woke up for good. Chrissie, Darren and my superior, Cameron, were standing by my hospital bed.
“How long was I out for?” was the first thing I asked.
“About two days. You kept crying though,” Chrissie said. There went my manliness.
“Jennifer and Ubel are apprehended. They are being detained in a holding cell, waiting for a prison to have space for them?”518Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡeIWtuGJT8Z
“Bastian Mayer and Onila are both gone…”
“Bastian… Did you find anyone named Bastian?”
“There were plenty of people called Bastian Mayer. No one fit the description. It probably isn’t his real name.” I felt my eyes swell, but I had no tears left.
“I can read you some of the charges,” Darren said. I nodded. “Assault, battery, homicide, murdering, arson, burglary, smuggling, theft, blackmail, home invasion, possessing stolen property, their van was stolen… cruelty to animals, as one of their sites portrayed, hacking, conspiracies…”
“Read me the conspiracies,” I interrupted.
“Conspiracy to trespass, conspiracy to murder, conspiracy to smuggle drugs, conspiracy to kidnap. They were also charged with several counts of terrorism, though those charges might be dropped in court.”
“They’re in for life, Scott,” Chrissie said. I turned around in bed. Nothing mattered.
“She’s gone.” Chrissie opened her mouth to say something. Lies, most likely.
“She is gone. Bastian is gone. They will most likely never be found. Every year, hundreds of these cases are filed. They are too far-gone by now,” Cameron said.
“Get out!” I shouted. “Get out of my room!” I cried my self to sleep that night, and every night after. ns 184.108.40.206da2