“People disappear all the time. Many without a trace. Those ones didn’t walk out of existence. They were taken!”
I wrote this story in answer to the following prompts:
Taken Without Permission
‘I don’t think you sufficiently appreciate the seriousness of this situation,” Hugh said on the verge of losing his cool. He squeezed the piece of pretty pink-and-silver fabric around his shaking hand.
“Understand, there is little more we can do but continue to investigate. We can’t just force our way into premises on the back of unproven allegations. Now, if you don’t mind. Some of us have more important things to do,” replied Police Sergeant Ellis.
Hugh bit back a retort that would get him arrested, he found the sergeant a supercilious snob. “Fine!” Was all he managed before stalking out of the police headquarters. “I’ll do it myself!” he breathed with another look at the fabric in his hand.
Twenty minutes later, Hugh arrived at a compound surrounded by a military-grade fence. A square white painted facility held the centre of the space. It was marked PetID – Chip Manufacturing Warehouse. And glowed in the floodlights.
Hugh had no authority here, he wasn’t even a good fighter, but somehow, someway he was getting into that building.
“Sir, you can’t be here,” said a man in a security guard uniform approaching him.
“Why? You just make animal ID chips, right?” Hugh faced up to him still gripping the fabric.
“Sure, however, this is a secure area. You must leave or you will be arrested,” the man’s hand slid to a pistol in a holster at his waist,
“Tell me …” Hugh cleared his throat with growing anxiety. “What part of ID chip manufacture requires men to guard it with guns? What —”
“Enough question, Sir. Leave n—”
Hugh felt his teeth grinding with anger, an image of his lounge appeared in his mind. The broken glass table. The fabric amid the blood. The PetID personnel tag. “What part of pet ID tags requires the abduction of women, huh?”
“Sir, we don’t do those thing—”
Hugh’s fist connected with his nose. He felt the man’s nasal septum crack and break beneath his knuckles. Lowering his stance, he drove to guard into the fencepost cracking his skull against the steel. “Liar!” he seethed as the guard slumped unconsciously into the weeds.
Within minutes, Hugh stood wearing the guard’s clothes. He kept the pink fabric in his hand as he pinned the man’s ID to his chest. Feeling as calm as a man stood before a firing squad, he stepped into the compound.
There were more guards here. One with the German Shepperd patrolling the perimeter.
Ignoring them, Hugh tried to look confident as he walked toward the building.
“All right, Gary?” asked one passing by.
“Sure, just need to take a piss,” Hugh replied.
“Ha! Lay off the coffee and you wouldn’t need to go so often.”
“Thanks for the advice,” Hugh tipped his hat and stepped into the building. The well-lit reception smell of pine disinfectant and felt dangerous. It was only now, Hugh realised he had no idea where to go within the building.
At least the reception was devoid of people. The guard’s ID tag got him through the first security door.
“Come on, where are you?” He breathed as he peered into the reception office. There would be no clues in there.
Heading along the white corridor, he passed beneath a flickering fluorescent tube light.
The next door on the left opened into a large warehouse storage area. Instinct said this was not the way to go. Then came the lift with its security lock. It showed three regular floors and then one marked ‘Experimental’
“That’s gotta be it!” he whispered to himself.
The guards’ ID tag failed to change the security lock from red to green — no access.
“Where are you going, guard?”
Hugh spun to find himself face-to-face with a male, clean-shaven scientist draped in a lab coat. It appeared to have one or two spots of blood daubed on the front. “Evening, just checking everything’s alright.”
“Good, man. It should be quiet around here tonight,” said the scientist unlocking the lift with his card. He smiled as he stepped inside.
“That’s a relief,” Hugh stepped into the lift moments before the doors slid shut.
“Hey! You don’t have clearance. Get out of the lift!”
”Tell me, what part of the manufacture of ID chips getting covered in blood?” Hugh said ignoring the request.
“What?” The scientist removed his glasses with an affronted look on his face.
“I wasn’t born yesterday,” Hugh felt a muscle pulsing in his jaw as he pressed the button for the experimental floor. “Where —”
“You have no right to go down there!” The scientist reached for the buttons.
Hugh turned him into the wall with a metallic thunk as the lift dropped into the earth. “And you have no right to abduct people. What heinous things really go on around here. You certainly don’t make tags are puppies and kittens do you?”
“How did you —”
“Let’s just say. It’s a bad idea to leave clues lying around at crime scenes,” Hugh heard the doors slide open. Grabbing the scientist by the scruff he forced him out of the lift. “Where — is — she?”
“Don’t worry, you will join her very —”
Hugh had seen the scientist reveal a taser. He connected with a savage head-butt and seized the shocking device from the man’s hand. “What’s this for, zapping chips to see whether they maintain data after being fried?” he said as he dumped the scientist against the wall.
“Well, we have to maintain order,” replied the scientist wiping blood from his forehead with a daze in his eyes.
“Yeah, I bet. You murderous —”
A hand grabbed his jacket.
Hugh swung beneath a syringe dripping with an unknown but certainly lethal substance. The move put him behind a second scientist. He jabbed him with the taser, shocking him to the ground with little remorse. Tasers usually subdued a person for a few seconds at best. This man was either unconscious or dead now, making Hugh wonder about the voltage he’d just delivered.
“Pick him up and put him in that lab!” Hugh ordered the first scientist.
“Okay!” The man crawled to his feet and unlocked the door with his card. He dragged his colleague into the darkened lab in a state of fear. “Please don’t taze me too!” he begged.
Hugh grabbed him by the collar and slammed him into a steel table, scattering test tubes and conical flasks to the floor. He held him down with the syringe close to his jugular vein. “Where — is — Emily?” he demanded to know.
“No! That’s strychnine you’re no murderer.” The scientist was sweating now.
“I’m usually a placid man. But you took my special lady, so I can learn how to kill if you make me. Hugh released his collar and punched him in the jaw. “Answer the bloody question!”
“Okay – Okay! The holding cells to the south of this floor. Unless she’s been transferred to one of the experimental labs.”
Hugh felt his blood run cold, “What sot of macabre horror show do you run do down here?”
The scientist grinned. “We are creating a race of superhumans for use in the military. We —”
Hugh punched him so hard his head banged off the metal wall before he collapsed unconsciously to the floor.
Grabbing the scientists ID card, he ensured the unconscious men were sealed in the lab then jogged deeper into the facility. More than a dozen laboratories spanned this floor. Fortunately, most of them were devoid of people.
Hugh came upon a corridor marked ‘holding cells’ to gain it he would have to pass a security counter. No guard was stationed here now though. He squeezed the pink and silver fabric against his hand. “I’m coming, Emily.” he breathed as he looked around him. He was then he saw her on a screen.
A security screen above the desk showed feeds for most of the labs. In one, Emily was strapped to a table surrounded by scientists preparing syringes and surgical equipment.
“Bastards!” Hugh checked the lab number and ran.
“Okay, darling. This won’t hurt – well it will but not for me,” said a scientist taking the terrified blonde lady’s arm.
She screamed as something slammed into one of the metal tables.
“Intrud —” Hugh flew over Emily and smashed the needle wielding scientist to the ground. Rising, he sent another crashing through his oxygen tanks with a stiff punch in the mouth.
A third grabbed his arm.
Hugh ducked a punch and crushed his skull with a kidney dish. Hurling him into a trolley of surgical devices he sent them both tumbling to the floor.
It was then another scientist bludgeoned him to the floor.
Hugh found himself looking into an oxygen mask. Flailing, he felt his hand wrap around an object.
“This’ll calm you down and then you can join the ranks!” said the scientist forcing the mask towards him.
“Hell with that!” Hugh swung the scalpel and buried it in his shoulder. A series of punches left the man face down on the floor. Rolling free, he kicked another scientist unconscious and grabbed the electric bone saw.
“Hugh, you came!” Emily said looking so vulnerable in her hospital-like gown.
“I was always coming for you, my precious. Just took a little longer than planned,” he said while sawing through her bindings.
“I’d say you were right on time.” Emily smiled at him.
Hugh smiled back, “Let’s go!”
“Don’t need to tell me twice!” Emily led the way from the lab.
“We’re there anyone else in the holding cells?” Hugh said not wanting to abandon anyone.
“I was when I came in. The place was empty when they took me out a while ago. The man they had could be anywhere now.”
“Then, it’s time to leave.” Hugh took her hand and ran with her back to the lift.
The two scientists in the lab there was still unconscious.
Hugh left them as he re-entered the lift and set it ascending. As it rose he wrapped Emily in his arms and hugged her for all he was worth. “When I came home and saw what happened, I was so scared. So, scared I’d never see you again. Did they hurt you?”
Emily smoothed his chin and kissed him. “I was scared too. I don’t know why they choose me.” She raised her left arm. As her gown dropped towards her shoulder it revealed lengths of bloodied gauze where she’d fallen through the table.
“Bastards!” Hugh gingerly touched the gauze. “I’m …”
Emily had seen the fabric still in his hand. She touched it with her shaking fingers. “Why —”
The lift doors opened revealing four guards with their guns drawn. “I knew you weren’t, Gary,” remarked the closest guard.
“And I knew you didn’t make ID chips, so we’re even.” Hugh flipped him off.
“You’re both going back down to that lab or we’ll kill you where you stand.” The guard removed the safety catch to his pistol drilling home his threat.
“I —” Hugh folded his arms and smiled. “I’m going to watch you all get arrested.”
Emily pointed behind the guards.
“Put down your weapons and get on the floor. Do it now!” yelled an armed response police officer leading his squad into the corridor. The guards quickly surrendered and were led away to custody.
Sergeant Ellis was waiting outside in the compound. “You broke about twelve rules coming here alone, Hugh,” she said.
“Yeah, and you know what. If I hadn’t, they’d have been doing disgusting experiments on my beautiful lady right now. Charge me if you must, but at least I did the right thing and saved her.”
“Yes, you did. I realised you were right after you left the headquarters. I summoned an armed response team a came as soon as I could. We’re going to look the other way and ignore your crimes under the circumstances. Take Emily to the hospital and see that she’s okay, then go home. We’ll handle everything here and get statements from you later.”
“Thank you, sergeant, Ellis.” Hugh shook her hand. Then led Emily from the compound. He was soon driving toward the hospital without realising the fabric was still around his hand.
“Why are you carrying my headscarf like that,” she asked. It was one of those little scarfs she liked to wear like a headband.
“I found it amid the broken glass in the lounge.” Hugh glanced her way with tears in his eyes. “You always look so cute when you wear these with your pigtails. It has your scent and energy within it. I thought that it might become my last reminder if you and so I took and kept hold of it for you. I’m so pleased I was wrong and I still get a hug you every day.” Hugh let her have it as he stopped at the lights.
“Aww, that’s so sweet.” Emily wiped her eyes and lent so she could rest her head against his shoulder. “I’ll always be grateful for saving me from that horror. I’ll wear these scarfs every day for you as a reward.”
“Yeah?” Hugh kissed her before driving on again.
“Thank you, sweetheart. That’ll make me a very lucky man. I vote we never get involved in anything like this ever again!”
Thanks for reading my friends.
Have a great day!