Chapter 10 –Demise
As the sun dips behind the clouds, the sky sends the humidity higher in the early evening. Josh, Owen, and Kyle continue their way to the location selected by Sara.
Once they arrive at the exact point, they call back to confirm she still has them on GPS.
“Alright, Sara, we’ve arrived. You got us from here, right?” Josh questions with his heart rapidly races.
“Yeah, I gotcha. Just let me link up to your earpieces, and I’ll be your guide through the sewers.”
Both men take in a deep breath, but before they remove the manhole cover, Kyle has one more trick up his sleeve.
“Pop, Owen, wait a second. I have something you may need in the back. It’s not much, but it’s a grenade. Use them if you need to, and I’ll be stuck here, I guess. I’ll continue to try to call in favors to get back up as fast as possible.”
“Backup is on the way. Director Cline already got a call into the Air National Guard from Dayton. They’ll be there in time.” Sara relays through the earpieces.
“We can’t afford to wait. Let’s get moving before we miss our chance.” Josh tells Owen as they slowly remove the manhole cover and climb into the sewer.
“Good luck!” Kyle yells, placing the cover back over their heads.
When she realizes she’s the only communication between all three of them, Sara’s nerves tense up more.
“Hey wifey dear, relax, you can do this. I believe in you.” Bryan comments and smirks while he sends another message over the phone.
They’ve arrived, entered the sewer system, be ready for them.
Robert is beyond delighted to know that things have progressed better than planned.
“Alright, our guests have arrived. Head back to the hotel to watch this in the Grande Theatre on the big screen. Techy geek boy, I need you in the announcer’s booth place to handle tech support.” He shouts, ordering everyone to take their place as he has more up his sleeve.
“Yes, sir, you all, let’s move out!” His head thug calls out, waving everyone to head back.
None of them are aware that Linsey has watched from under the crumbling concrete bleachers the entire time, plotting a way to get the girls free.
She’s had a change of heart after seeing her lover’s real side, which has brought back memories of her days on the streets as a hooker addicted to heroin.
The girls begin to feel the effects of dehydration. Their lips have dried out, and their heads hang low as they breathe slow and deep. Listening to them breathe so hard, Robert knows he needs them alive and awake for his plan.
He heads over to retrieve the hose from the maintenance building. He strolls over to the concession stand, kicking in the door to take a plastic cup, and fills it with water gulping down the first cup for himself.
“Ah, that’s more like it.” He says to himself as the humidity continues to take a toll on his scarred body.
Back over to the girls, he kneels and, with one hand, lifts Brooklyn’s head.
“Drink, my dear. You can’t die yet.” He reminds her as she slurps down half the cup.
“Good girl, now relax. I need those healthy lungs later.” He kisses her on the cheek and repeats the same for Emily to become partially rehydrated.
“It’s almost time, my source tells me, your daddy is almost here.”
While things are nearly complete at the field, Sara’s busy tracking systems and transfer manifests to try to get an idea of how crazy the prison city has become with the arrival of its newest and most innocent members.
“Oh, my God!” She gasps when she sees the images pop up on her screen.
Sara continues to monitor things using the power grid system to monitor anything and everything she can. When a bright green dot appears on her screen, she taps into the security cameras nearby to see the football field lit up.
She freezes the image on the computer screen. She updates the rescue team racing down below to the city.
“I have an update. They’re at the old University Heights High School football field. You’re not going to like what I see, guys.” She says into the mic.
“Please tell me they’re alive,” Owen replies as they stop to listen.
“I don’t know, but it’s gruesome for sure. The girls are shackled to a tall fence. It appears Justin is tied to something that goes over the goalpost and is attached to a riding lawnmower. Oh God, he’s going to hang Uncle Justin. Get moving. I’ll inform the Director and get you an update on the Air Guard’s status.”
“You heard her, let’s go!” Josh yells, slushing through the sewage water straight down the way.
They try to wade through the ankle-high water as fast as possible. The overwhelming stench slows them down as they try not to stir it up where they can barely breathe from the mixture of methane fumes.
Sara quickly updates James, who informs her about the status of the team’s backup.
“Listen, they’re giving me a hard time about getting there, stating it’s not a priority regardless of who all is involved. I’ll keep trying, but until then, keep me updated and keep that office locked down.” James demands, slamming his phone down, and follows Josh’s movements as he’s still hacked into Sara’s computer.
“Guys, I hate to say it, but for now, you are on your own. Take the next six blocks straight, then hang a right for another three blocks. After you get there, you’ll be about a quarter-mile from the stadium. It appears that’s the best way to the stadium using the streets.” Sara updates them and refreshes her GPS with directions.
They slush through the water as their boots splash the water everywhere. Josh and Owen breathe hard; the duo moves and ignores the burning sensation in their legs, eyes, and lungs.
“Almost there, Josh, we got this!” Owen calls out.
“I’m going to slaughter that son of a bitch if he’s harmed, my daughters. I swear on my life I will slice him to pieces.” Josh reveals as his anger takes control of his actions.
Justin is finally able to regain some of his senses by the time the sun descends over the city. Squinting his eyes, he calls out to the girls.
“Emily, Brooklyn, are you both alright?”
“Yes, Uncle Justin, we’re okay. What about you? Can you move?” Brooklyn calls out since Emily hasn’t said a word since the hotel.
He tugs a bit, trying to free his hands, but he feels something sharp prod into his skin.
“I wouldn’t advise you to try to loosen that up, or else you’ll sink that barbwire deeper,” Robert reveals, stepping into Justin’s line of sight.
“I also had the opportunity to wrap it a few times around your neck. So, one wrong move and it’ll puncture your arteries.”
Justin lays there with his mouth barely gapped open in disbelief. He recognizes the voice and the accent, but his mind can’t wrap itself around that it’s his cousin. Robert keeps the hoodie over his face to hide from Justin.
“Paralyzed and helpless, I love it, and you’re first in the showcase. How fortunate for you. I can’t wait to see you die!” He informs Justin beginning to crack up in a maniacal laugh.
Back at CBI inside of Sara’s office, another update goes out.
They’re close to coming out of the sewer. They should be there in due time. They are armed and ready for a fight.
“Ah, terrific, your friends are close, and they are unaware of what’s going to happen. Speaking of which, ladies, we need to talk.”
Turned away from Justin, Robert skips over with his arms stretched out, lifting the girls’ faces for their undivided attention.
“When you hear the lawnmower startup keep your eyes on your friend over there. If you look away or shut your eyes, I swear on your lives I will gut you like fish.”
Their eyes grow wide. Both women acknowledge his commands.
“We’re sorry, Uncle Justin!” Brooklyn calls out.
“It’s okay, girls. I don’t blame you at all for this. Remember how much I love you!” He calls out to keep them calm, realizing he’s on the chopping block.
Owen and Josh finally reach the manhole Sara told them about and quickly popped it from the street, climbing out to survey the area to make sure it’s clear.
“Alright, we’re finally topside, which way Sara, hurry, hurry.” Josh radios in, watching the streets and windows of the surrounding buildings.
Before they can get the next set of directions, shots begin to reign from the corner.
“Take cover!” Owen calls out, dragging Josh out of the way into the building where the shots were coming.
“Sidearms, let’s take this guy out!” Josh shouts once they’re inside the two-story moldy and smelly old grocery store.
“Bloody Hell, I’m with ya!”
They clear each corner to work their way over to the final doors. They’re about to kick one door down when bullets spray through the wood. They hit the floor, sending shots into the room.
Silence falls from the room, but they take precautions. Josh stays kneeled and slowly pushes the door open. He’s nearly inside when he hears the click of a gun from behind.
“Drop it, Pig!” He hears a deep tone New Jersey accent voice tell him.
Josh does as he’s told, but Owen rushes into the room, unloading the bullets’ remaining in his clip into the overweight Greek watchman.
“Sorry lad, but we’re not playing games,” Owen mentions helping Josh to his feet.
“No need, good watching out.” He replies as Josh places his sidearm back into its holster.
“C’mon, we have ground to cover. We don’t need reinforcements to keep us pinned down.” Josh admits jogging over the creaky floorboards and exits the room to head back to the street.
“Right!” Owen shouts, following Josh’s lead.
They use the alleys and buildings as cover while Sara continues to give them directions to the football field.
Filled with anticipation, Robert rocks himself back and forth on his feet for minutes. He can’t contain it any longer and radios to the booth.
“Hey Techno Geek, I’m ready to go. Let’s go live!”
“Yes, sir, you’re live as of…” A pause between them causes Robert to shake.
“Right now, I have the camera on the mower already live. Go, sir!” He tells his boss and watches the monitors in the booth.
Excited, Robert runs to the camera and gives everyone a warm and inviting welcome.
“Hello there everyone, yes you’re watching this live. I hope you’re ready for a show, unlike any other you’ve ever seen. Today we’re here to observe the chaos and vigilante justice in its purest form. Buckle up, and parents, send the kids away if you don’t want them scarred for life!”
Robert begins to laugh uncontrollably, watching the blinking red light on the camera.
“Let’s get the show on the road, shall we?”
James sits in his office when he turns his attention to the TV, where the National News Station begins to telecast the live feed.
“What the Hell?” He says, picking up his phone.
“Sara, pull up the National News hurry. Something’s going on. I don’t know if it’s related or not but terminate the signal!”
Sara doesn’t hesitate. She pulls up the live feed with James still on speakerphone.
“Oh my God, that’s the field where Justin, Emily, and Brook are being held.” She informs him, with her hand over her mouth.
Bryan’s attention is locked onto her, and he smiles, looking at the screen.
“Oh wow, what’s going on?” He pretends to play stupid and repositions himself in his seat, prepared to kill his wife when the moment is right.
She can’t form the words in her mind as fear takes its grip throughout her body. The hairs on her arms stand on end. Her heart nearly skips every other beat.
“Sara, hello…” Bryan calls out with one hand, reaching for his gun.
They’re not the only ones seeing the events about to transpire. At the hotel, Audrey and Gwen have their eyes locked on the TV. Lilly can’t watch. She’s scared and hides her face under a pillow.
“I don’t have a good feeling about this.” Gwen musters to tell Audrey as all she can do is shake her head in agreement.
“Josh, Owen, get your asses moving now! Whoever has them is on TV. He looks insanely intent to do something horrible. He’s hidden his face, but please hurry!” Sara relays to them since they’re oblivious.
“Which way now, Sara?” What way do we need to take?” Josh relays back under a sense of urgency.
Sara snaps out of the state of shock and returns to her GPS.
“You’re a block and a half away, take West Scott Street to the corner of George Street, and you’re there!” Josh listens and points at the street sign.
“That way, come on, we’re about to be too late.”
They both take off at full speed, knowing lives hang in the balance. Even at full speed, they’re about to be too late.
“Ladies and gentlemen, coming to you live in ransacked Youngstown, Ohio. I bring to you a sight never before broadcasted on live television. The execution of a man once deemed a hero. Ladies and gentlemen who are watching at home, here he is, the criminal who got lucky, Justin Adamson!”
The camera zooms in to see Justin’s boots. A collective gasp of everyone who’s tuned into the horror show around the nation is struck with suspense as they listen to Robert call out to the girls.
“Emily and Brooklyn, time to watch him go bye-bye!”
In a state of fear, the pair of hostages watch in disgust as Robert takes his place on the riding mower, laughing.
“Three, two, one…” He counts down out loud then releases the brake.
The mower pulls away slow in first gear as it tenses the barbwire from the hitch over the faded yellow goalpost. It tightens around Justin’s neck and pierces the skin as blood begins to leak out and beads down his neck.
The tension vibrates loudly and coils as it picks up Justin’s body. He begins to sway in the air. Soon Justin gargles as the wire sinks in deeper.
The higher he’s lifted into the air with blood now pours from his Jugulars. His body naturally squirms, deprived of oxygen, which sinks the barbs in deeper into his neck. The blood becomes darker and thicker the more the wire lodges into his neck. What blood doesn’t spill from his body begins to seep back into Justin’s lungs, creating a louder gurgling noise.
The lawnmower comes to a stop—the sounds of the wire earsplitting drag halts at last.
Emily and Brooklyn keep their eyes locked on his body, as does everyone watching. Tears stream down their faces; the girls don’t budge at all, forced to see Justin struggle to breathe after his body goes limp and sways midair.
“Oh, dear God, no!” James screams at the TV, jumping out of his seat.
“No…” Sara gasps.
Inside Gwen’s hotel room, she and Audrey sit in silence as they see Justin’s body dangle.
Seconds away, Josh and Owen continue to run for the field. When they see the sight of Justin’s body in the air, they stop dead in their tracks.
“Justin…No…” Owen mutters, frozen in place with fear.
“He’s dead!” Josh roars with his special sunglasses over his eyes, running toward the field to utilize the flashbang grenade.
From the corner of her eye, Emily sees someone rush the field with a weapon aimed at Robert’s back.
“Hands up, you murderous sum a bitch! I’m about to send you to Hell!” Josh orders, ready to unload his weapon.
“About time you got here, but you might want to lower your weapon before you get hurt.”
Unwilling to follow instructions, Josh walks closer to his adversary.
“Turn around now!” He commands, pointing the barrel at Robert’s head.
“If you insist…”
Owen’s attention shifts to the girls and frees them for the first time since they were abducted from the wedding.
“I got ya loves,” Owen says, trying to carry them with an arm around each of them.
Suddenly a single shot rings out. When Owen turns his head, he sees Josh drop his weapon to grip his side.
“Hollowpoint armor-piercing, I love it!” Robert references turning his attention to Owen and the girls to point his gun at them.
Out of nowhere, two distractions occur as their saving grace. Linsey rushes from her spot under the bleachers and tackles her unhinged lover.
“Run!” She screams to Josh.
Two major distractions come from the announcer’s booth and the hotel. Robert lays on the ground laughing uncontrollably.
“Uh, oh! Boom goes the neighborhood!”
Josh turns, forgetting about his gun. He limps as he runs, holding his side as he tries to help the girls flee.
“You able to go, my friend?” Owen questions when Josh takes Emily from his grip.
“Yeah, it’s only a flesh wound. Let’s get back to the sewer!” He lies as the wound burns with blood soaking his vest and shirt.
The four of them slowly begin to make their way from the field, where Robert snaps out of his trance. Putting his hands on Linsey, he shoves her off his body then positions himself over her, followed by a headbutt to her face that blurs her vision.
“I guess you need to pay the penalty before I go after them!” He leans in, kissing her on the cheek with the exact punishment in mind.
He gets back to his feet with Linsey over his shoulder to makes his way for the medical station, where he has an idea of how to handle her disobedience.
“Get ready to say hello to your mother in hell.” He says to her.
He tosses her onto the makeshift pharmacy counter. Then he makes his way to the medicine cabinet, where she can hear him shuffle through leftover items.
By the time he returns, Robert sees Linsey has managed to roll off the counter onto the floor.
“My dear sweet soon to be dead partner. I have the answer to all your grief. I’ll make sure that you’ll never feel another ounce of pain again.
He plants his knee in her chest to hold her down when he exposes a syringe filled with a substance.
“What, what is that?” She stutters to ask, watching him lower the needle to her thigh
“It’s your favorite. I am sending you to sleepy-by-land with Morphine.”
She feels the needle puncture her leg and tries to keep fight. She realizes her number is up.
“I loved you…” She whispers when her body begins to feel the medicine’s effects work through her bloodstream.
“I never loved you. You were just an alright piece of ass.” He whispers back, feeling her heart slow down with each breath until the moment she dies.
“Now, back to the chase at hand.”
Robert leaves her lifeless body on the floor. He drenches the floor and her body with alcohol and sets the building on fire. He strolls away, fixated to finish the job to murder the escapees.