Sunday, 27 July 2014

Case: The Kidnapping of the Scotts and Gloria - Ep. 2

The Case: The Kidnapping of the Scotts and Gloria Ep. 2
Graphic Design by: Marilyn Russell / Written by: James M. Russell
Copyright © 2014-James M. Russell, All Rights Reserved

In this dream, Kaseka is sitting on a park bench beside Stephanie. They are both watching a painter, who looks very much like Pablo Picasso, sketch a tree with pencils. Kaseka gasps when Stephanie lays her left hand on his knee. Just then, Picasso turns, looks Kaseka in the eye and says with a smile, Lápiz!

The first ringtone notes of Jingle Bells dragged him into the waking world. The remainder of the tune pushed him in the realm of 'annoyed', and, to make matters worse, his cell wasn't on the right corner of his night table. Or under his pillow. The two usual places. Instead, he found it accidentally when he moved his right foot. How it got way down there he had no idea.

The photo that popped up on the screen was a formal portrait of the two missing grandparents and the kid. The text message that accompanied it read, "meet 830 n hell' - Bridgit's name for John Muir High School guy's shower room.

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Emma, laying on one of the schools weight room benches, raised the bar, adorned with 200lbs of black iron, the final few inches then lowered it slowly to her chest.

Focus Sparling. Focus!Emma said in a whisper then began her second rep. Emma Sparling could press her body weight from the age of three but this was the first time she cracked two hundred. And she could have completed a second rep if the incoming text hadn't broken her concentration.

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The other four members of the Sherlock Holmes Reading Club were either asleep, arguing with their parents or siblings, or in Janet's case - reading while fully immersed in her morning bubble bath when they received Bridgits text.

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There was a reason Bridgit named the guy's shower room 'hell' it was hot - damp - and stank of fear, just as her Uncle Marcello had once described the real thing. A description he likely got from that tattered Old Testament Bible he carried everywhere he went.

Kaseka, Ramu, Keisha, Janet, Heri and Bridgit all sat in silence while either staring at their cells or putting the final touches to last nights homework.

Emma sauntered in and immediately wrinkles her nose and fans the air with her hand.

"You're late,"
"Your Mom is so ugly, when she looks in the mirror her reflection ducks.

Pretty well every meeting of the John Muir High School Sherlock Holmes Club started with Bridgit ragging Emma about being late, and she was always, and Emma retorting with some personal insult about Bridgit's mother, brother, father, or grandmother. None of whom Emma had ever seen or met. After the initial exchange of barbs, Bridgit tapped the club's gavel, a Sherlock Holmes style Meerschaum pipe, in the palm of her hand thrice, the Clubs official signal that their meeting had begun.

Emma turned to Kaseka and whispered, Why arent we meeting in our club room?
Glee Club is practicing for the school concert, he replied.

Emma! Kaseka! Bridgit barked.

Kaseka sat up immediately but Emma simply muttered, whatever! and began inspecting the fingernail she broke two days ago.

"Martha and John Scott and six year old Gloria Winslet, daughter of Helen and Brad were last seen three days ago at the Royal Ontario Museum at approximately 2:35 pm."
"What were they doing there?" Kaseka asked.
"Grandparent stuff with granddaughter? Daaaaa!" Emma replied.
"Guys! People skills!" Ramu said in a conciliatory tone.
"My contact at 52 Division says that they presently have no suspects.Bridgit said.
And no bloody clue, as usualEmma adds matter-of-factly.
"Sooooo.... " Bridgit then paused for dramatic effect, "Heri - I need you to make up another batch of finger print powder. Keisha, Google these people. We need a full workup on the grandparents and the parents of the kid. Janet. Lets find out what the social network is saying about this case. Ramu, you bring Lucille?"

Ramu pointed to the duffle bag on the floor beside him.

Bridgit gave him a nod then said,"We need aerials of the their neighbourhood and the surrounding area. Emma, can you help Ramu launch?

"I'm going to work out some stats on missing persons cases and see if I can up with a list of probabilities and likely out....

Just then a naked male student entered the shower room, came to an abrupt stop when he saw the members, then smiled at Bridgit.

Bridgits jaw dropped and her eyes widened. She stares at the students body for a moment then says in a halting pace, "So.... in chapter...three of the Hound.. of...  the Baskervilles... the underlying theme..."

Kaseka rolled his eyes then proclaimed, "Meeting dismissed!", grabbed Bridgit's arm then pulled her toward the exit.

Bridgit resisted and said quietly to Kaseka,Watson, he arouses my curiosity and hath given me a bit of a turn, but she finally surrendered to Kaseka and he pulled her out into the hall.
Emma opened the fire exit door with difficulty then stepped out onto the school's roof. Ramu, following close behind, hurried to the south edge of the roof, knelt, then unzipped his duffle bag and began assembling Lucille.

In less than a minute the silver-coloured drone was whole. Ramu checks Lucilles flaps and rudder then nods to Emma who wraps her arms around Ramus legs and lifts him straight up. Ramu throws Lucille into the air then whips out his iPhone and begins controlling Lucille's flight.

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Janet glanced at the clock mounted to the wall of the Computer Lab as she entered. She sat at one of the stations then picked up the monitors and keyboards from either side of her station so that she is now working with three keyboards and monitors. She began 'playing' the keys like a virtuoso pianist.

A teacher walked past, noticed the tangle of cables and precariously stacked monitors, opened her mouth to speak, then changed her mind and continued walking.

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Heri, in the Chemistry Lab with a dozen or so other students and Mr. Fullerton, the Chem teacher, was performing the same chemistry experiment as the other students but with the help of Kaseka, they are also cooking up fingerprint powder on the floor beside their feet - unseen by Mr. Fullerton and the other students.

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Bridgit is sitting in the last row of Ms. Chandry's Canadian History class. A flesh-coloured earphone wire runs from the iPhone she is holding under her desk, up under her red silk blouse, and exits from under her collar. She has shifted her shoulder-length blonde hair to cover the wire and the earpiece. She speaks in a whisper.
"Hello, Mr. Barry, this is Bridgit Stein,I realise that you live two doors from the Scott’s but I was wondering if you saw anything suspicious last Thursday night between the hours... Bridgit Stein, I used to baby sit Gloria, we're studying the kidnapping in my high school current affairs class and..."

Ms. Chandry's voice was loud and full of attitude, "Miss Stein, could you please tell the class the name of the first ship that successfully circumnavigated the North West Passage solely by boat."
"Incorrect Miss Stein. The answer is Roald Amundsen, not Richards."

Bridgit ignores Ms. Chandry and continues her phone interview, "Whos Mr. Barry? He lives at #24. Why do you think Mr. Richards..."

"Are you still with us Ms. Stein?"
"Yes Ms. Chandry."
"Good, then perhaps you'll tell us..."

Bridgit continued her conversation with Mr. Barry, "Did Richards and Mr. Scott come to blows?... how long ago was that?... three years?... well if you think of anything else that might help me in my investiga... I mean class work.. Oh! And please feel free to give the Hockley's, who live to your right, my phone number... Oh yes, of course, its Mark and Sharon Brunstone who live next door... anyway, my number is 416-575-4894... thank you."

By then Ms. Chandry had lost what little patience she had so she said, much too loudly, “Miss Stein!. Unless the answer to the outstanding question is somehow contained numerically in your cell phone number I don't think..."

 Bridgit surreptitiously pressed the iPhone to hang up then smiled at Ms. Chandry and replied "Norwegian Roald Amundsen and his crew of six completed their journey in 1906 after sailing for three years give or take a month or two. During their journey, the crew suffered from frostbite, botulism, scurvy, and one member of the crew, a Seaman First Class died of TB.
Ms. Chandry chuckled then said, "and you know that because?"

Bridgit slipped into her masterful Sherlock Holmes accent and replied, "Ah! What a question dear fellow. Well, it's elementary really... as you can see in the photo on page 345 of our text book, the chap, wearing a Seaman hat, on the far right of the group photo is not only thinner than his other crewmates but his eyes are hallow, his cheeks sunken, and his left arm is resting - possibly as a show of companionship but more likely for support - on the shoulder of the fellow beside him indicating that the patient is in an advanced state of disability. You will also notice that he is holding a handkerchief, rag actually, in his left hand, likely saturated with a Stoechiological Inhalant, Hypophoshite of Lime or something similar which was often the treatment in the late 1800s for patients suffering from tuberculosis. And since, in that decade, the statistical probability of a person suffering from TB surviving the disease was less than 10%, he probably succumbed.

Ms. Chandry’s face went red and although she wanted to reply to Bridgit she can’t find the words so instead she flipped to page 345 in the copy of the text book she is holding and stared at the photo.

Ramu was playing Point Guard in a basketball game on one of the school's outside court, dribbling the ball with his right hand while gliding his thumb across his iPhone's screen as he controlled the drone.

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Lucille, flying high and smoothly above an industrial area, approached ABC Recycling.

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Ramu faked out an opposing player then went up for a dunk but another player accidentally knocked the iPhone from Ramu's hand and it slid across the ground.

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Lucille dove abruptly.

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Ramu slid, belly first, to the ground and grabbed his cell.

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Lucille suddenly leveled off and began flying normally.

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Gilles Laze, a middle-aged former biker, who only recently exchanged his leather motorcycle attire for cheap suits and gaudy coloured athletic shoes, stood in the ABC Recycling lot and looked up at Lucille. Gilles's moronic sidekick, Cuppie followed his boss' eyes and also noticed the drone.

"Cops?" as Cuppie in his Ottawa-valley, French accent.

Gilles continued to stare at the drone for a moment more then said, "Go check on the merchandise."

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The screen of Bridgit's iPhone displayed a series of photos taken by the drone. One of those photos is of the ABC Recycling yard. Gilles and Cuppie are clearly visible.

A text message from Ramu flashed on Bridgit's screen, "see anything that's worth another pass?"

Bridgit typed, "no, keep going north."
Stephanie dropped a load of coins into the candy vending machine then made her selection but the machine dispensed nothing. Just as she kicked the machine for a second time, Kaseka walked past.

"I dare say you seem to be in need of assistance Madame."

Stephanie takes a moment to process what Kaseka just said then replied, "Hound of the Baskervilles?"

"The case of the Gloria Scott.


"So can I help?"

"Not unless you've got the key to this stupid machine."

Kaseka reached into his pocket and pulled out a paperclip.

"As a matter-of-fact, I do."

Stephanie began a laugh but before she has finished, Kaseka has bent the paperclip into an odd shape, inserted it into the vending machine's lock and opened it.

"I'm guessing youre a M and M's woman."

Stephanie fell speechless then finally sputtered, "Yes."

Kaseka handed her a package of M and M's from the machine then gave her his best smile.

Stephanie, still puzzled, muttered, "Thanks," then walked off leaving Kaseka staring in awe at her ass.

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A shaft of light fell on Martha and John Scott and Gloria as Cuppie opened a door. Sitting on the dirt floor of a small storage room, the kidnap victim's hands and feet are bound and blindfolds cover their eyes.

end of Episode 2

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