Chapter 7 – Chaos
After giving their statements and cleared by the police, Josh and Owen return to the hotel. Released from the cruiser’s back seat, the two of them rush inside behind the officers to see the carnage still laid out over the banquet floor.
“Gwen! James! Aaron! Where are you?” Josh” shouts, looking at the blood spilled on the ground.
“We’re over here!” Audrey calls out as he sees Gwen wave to him.
“Go find Lucas and make sure he’s alright!” He says to Owen as a look of fear shows in his eyes.
“Right, I pray that everyone is okay,” Owen replies, taking off to search around the room.
Josh makes his way over as Audrey attends to someone, and it takes an immediate toll on his psyche.
“Josh…Josh!” Gwen yells to break his concentration from Nikki on the ground, bleeding from her stomach.
Gwen grabs him by the jaw to break from the state of shock.
“Josh, snap out of it; where are the girls? Where is Justin?” She wonders, locking eyes with him.
“He’s probably at the hospital, a car hit him, and the kidnappers got away. I’m sorry, I failed.” Josh whispers, overwhelmed with grief and anger.
“It’s fine. We’ll get them back; just breathe and relax. We’ll figure out something. I’ve never known you to fail.” Gwen reassures him as she pulls him in for an embrace with fear in her gut.
Sara’s tore up, taking in the view of the room. She is one of the lucky ones who wasn’t hit. Her husband wasn’t so lucky getting shot in the shoulder.
“My God, how, how could this happen?” She mumbles at the sight of paramedics and police officers rushing to save lives throughout the room.
“Miss, are you sure you’re not injured?” An EMT asks her.
“Yeah, I’m fine. I just can’t figure out how this happened…” She musters to say as tears fall from her eyes.
“It’ll be okay. We have the best of the best here.” He tries to ease her worries as an EMT tends to Bryan’s wound.
“Sir, come with me, and we’ll get you squared away.” They depart, Sara sits on the edge of the platform where the wedding party was gathered.
Audrey leaves with Nikki as Josh, Owen, Aaron, Kyle, and Gwen stand there watching as she’s carted out to an ambulance.
“Hey ole boy, we need to gather up what we can and figure out who took our girls and why. They have a one-way ticket to Hell waiting for them.” Owen mentions tightening his fists.
“Right, Kyle, you’re with us! We’ll need your clearance for resources and weapons.” Josh implies after he snaps back to reality.
“I got you, Pop. We need to move now before James strips my access. He fired me a little bit ago.” Kyle reveals, causing Josh and Owen to get curious.
“What? Why?” Owen asks, confused.
“Because I know more than I should. He plans on taking every patent he owns to leave for another startup company.”
“This has everything I’ve collected from my secret contact who’s kept an eye on him.”
Livid beyond control at that moment, Josh looks around and doesn’t see James.
“Fuck, he’s not here. He must be on his way there to keep us from getting inside.”
Sara stumbles her way over to them.
“I can get you inside and get you where you need to go.” She divulges, feeling the fury of responsibility that all this happened.
“Let’s head out, Owen. I’ll have to ride with you or with you, Kyle. The Mustang got totaled.” Josh says and waves to get a move on things.
“I can take us all. I have the Explorer outside. Sara, you know if James finds out you’re the one aiding me, you’re out of a career.” Kyle explains as they walk at a quick pace.
Once they’re out of sight, Gwen goes back to the back area where she left Delilah from seeing the full results of the ambush.
“Lilly sweetie, you can come out now, but mommy’s gonna ask you to keep your eyes closed.”
She’s pale white from the sights and sounds she experienced already, and without arguing, she closes her eyes, extending her hand out to wait for her mother to take her back to their room. She’s unaware of the full carnage that’s occurred.
“Mom, did anyone die?” Lilly questions quivering from the horror.
“I don’t know, honey; I put you back here to keep you safe. Now just hold my hand, and I’ll get you out of here. You can relax in our room.” Gwen reiterates as they make their way out of the room.
Once they’re safely locked in their room, Gwen goes into the bathroom and turns on the shower.
“Get cleaned up; it’ll help you relax, baby girl. Take as long as you need Mommy’s going to be out here.”
Delilah still shakes walking into the bathroom.
“Please don’t leave me, mom…” She says, hugging her mother, trying not to cry in the process.
“Not anytime soon, my sweet girl, not anytime soon at all.”
Meanwhile, back across Akron to Columbus, Sara and others speed over to CBI. James pulls onto the lot, then waits in the parking lot with his entire security team by the doors.
When the team arrives, they see the sea of guards and James.
“If you think you’re getting into my building, think again, you sorry bastards.” He begins while he hides behind the security team.
“You son of a bitch, you best hope these clowns protecting you don’t move. Otherwise, I’m going to snap your neck!” Josh threatens through the security team.
They place their arms out, halting his advance. Kyle calls out an order to the team.
“I may not be your boss anymore, but get out of his way!”
It’s something to see when out of respect for Kyle, they move aside as he’s earned their respect over the years. They move aside as James’ jaw drops.
“You’re dead!” Josh yells, rushing to his brother.
James takes off, but he’s tackled from behind. Josh flips him over, pressing his knee hard into James’ chest.
“You sorry, prick, how could you become another corporate sellout? We grew up together, for God’s sake!”
Spitting in Josh’s face, James gives him a scowling glare of disgust.
“Go fuck yourself, alright…”
Josh hauls off in a quick flurry of strikes before wiping the spit off his face.
“That’s enough, Pop!” Kyle calls out as he motions for his former employees to pull them apart.
“C’mon, Josh, let’s get inside. Uncle James, you’re pathetic.” Sara says, looking at her Uncle’s right eye beginning to swell shut and blood trickle from his nose.
“Sara, don’t…” He pleads, reaching out for her.
“Not this time, Emily and Brooklyn were taken. Time to get back to the protection details and what we used to be best.” She reminds him and scans her badge that allows them to walk into the building.
Escorting the gentlemen inside, they follow her up to her office, where things get intense in a hurry.
“Alright, I’m gonna try to use cameras in the area and anything else. I can try to follow the vans from the hotel.” She breaks down, working her magic on the keyboard.
They sit and watch in horror for almost no time as the guards were taken out after Kyle leaves the hotel.
“Oh my God, these guys are brutal. Uncle Josh, are you sure you can handle them?” Sara wonders out loud, looking over at him.
“I have no choice, and we’ve dealt with punks like this before, right, Owen. Besides, the way they move and the cold demeanor about them seems awfully familiar.” Josh states, staring at the way the assailant’s attack.
Glaring at the screen, it strikes Owen when one of them makes a phone call.
“Wait, go back dearie, can you zoom in on that phone? If you can, then we might have a shot to figure out who he called lovey.”
Sara taps away, pulling up the angle required, and locks the screen to filter through the pixels.
“There, I have the number. I’ll run it through the system and see if anything comes up. I’d wager to say it’s a burner phone, but I’ll give it my best.”
Josh doesn’t waste any time either as he dials the number on his phone.
“No offense, but forget that idea, and I wanna know who has my daughters. That son of a bitch just signed his death certificate. All I need to do is deliver it to his body.” He growls, placing the phone to his ear.
“Well, hello sir, took you long enough to pick up on the bread crumbs.” A profound male voice answers.
“Do you know who this is or who I am, you stupid son of a bitch?” Josh begins before he places it on speakerphone.
At first, the chuckles bring back a sense of déjà vu for Josh and James hearing the laugh.
“Oh yes, I know exactly who you are, sir. You are Joshua Bradshaw. The terror or Huntington, the master of disaster and getting away with crime. The leader of the infamous Troublesome Trio. It’s been a very long time, you dumb ass. Glad to know I finally got your attention.”
“Robert, Robert Adamson, is that you?” Josh asks, looking over to James.
“Yes, sir, it is me. Remember leaving Justin to die in that trailer back in the day? I remember hearing the story right before I got busted by your agents in New York City. As I said, I finally have your attention, and soon I’ll have your girls here. We’re going to have some fun before you watch them die.” He educates as the tone of his voice grows bitter and cold.
“Don’t hurt them. They didn’t do anything to you. I wasn’t the one who turned into a rat who left; you ambushed our old boss with the local cops. I was never told about Justin’s incident in the trailer until after it happened. We left that life behind and turned ourselves around.”
Not wanting to listen to any of it, Robert cuts the conversation short.
“Whatever, I survived after those bounty hunters tracked me down. Then a mob family took me in after your people sent me here. I was tortured for months. Ever since I left home, I swore revenge, and now it’s time to collect the debt I owe you.”
The line goes dead as Josh and James stare at each other. James takes his leave before things get worse for him.
“That would explain the reason why we recognize the way those blokes moved ole boy. They got training from inside the prison.” Owen breaks down as Sara works her magic just in the nick of time.
“I got his location, and Uncle Josh, you’re not going to like this. He’s located inside Youngstown.” She explains, staring at the screen.
“Then we load up and ride. He’s not going to kill Emily and Brooklyn. Owen got one more battle in you old man?” Josh says, expecting the worst to happen.
Nodding and reaching out, Owen doesn’t hesitate to back up his best friend.
“Absolutely lad, let’s go blow them out of the water!”
“Hey, I have everything you’ll need in the lockup downstairs in security. Vests, tactical gear, weapons, new digital GPS trackers, the works, and I’m going with you. A three-man team works better than anything else.” Kyle yells as the rage takes control.
Josh reaches out, placing his hand on his shoulder.
“Just drive and hang back; if the girls need help, you’ll be the man to get them out if we can’t. Must be smart about this; let us go in there. He’ll be expecting that. If we happen to get caught or killed, you’re their only hope.”
“You do realize there’s approximately 30,000 criminals or more living in that prison city alone.” Sara breaks down the information with the statistics from each region.
“Yeah, but they’re all low-level criminals. It’s Youngstown, the minimal risk facility.” Josh reminds her, but he has failed to realize every change that’s occurred in the last few months.
Sara pulls up orders as she sinks in her seat. She exposes all that James reorganized along with a couple of Senators.
“Not anymore, afraid of riots, they changed quite a bit. Josh, there are Terrorist suspects from the Oklahoma City bombings and World Trade Center garage bombings living in there now.”
Josh gives a hard gulp when he looks over the screen.
“Damn it! We’re going to need some serious firepower then. Kyle, son, you’re on the chopping block.”
“I wish I could help, but my access has been restricted, remember.” Kyle reminds them, but within a few strokes of her keyboard, Sara turns his luck around.
“Fixed, you’re back in the system. Just hurry before I get locked out.” Sara says, rushing them out of her office.
Not wasting time, the fellas make their way to the stairwell, down the steps to the bottom floor to the armory.
“I don’t have much anymore since James eliminated a vast majority of the armed security around here. I have a few things left that are still military grade but not much Pop.” Kyle mentions scanning his badge.
Inside the weapons area, Josh and Owen go over and select what they need.
“I got an old mate here, my favorite Lads, the M16,” Owen admits and turns around with the weapon in his hands.
“I got it’s relative, the M4 compact model. Get a couple of sidearms for backup, some extra clips. Let’s ride!” Josh orders trying to stuff as much as he could into his pockets.
“Pop, wait, there are some tactical clothes in the drawers still along with vests and some other items,” Kyle mentions opening several drawers before he pulls out a metal case to place it on the top of the utility drawer.
Finding his sizes, Josh is the first to ask.
“Gotta place I can change?”
Kyle points to the corner to a changing curtain. Josh heads over and quickly ditches his dress attire.
“What be the uses of those? They appear to be normal sunglasses; ya know, Boyo.”
“Oh no way, Owen sir, they’re night vision and heat vision alternating goggles. They can also gauge distance and, as a bonus, built-in mics to listen as far as five hundred yards away.” Kyle instructs with a pair over his eyes.
Owen is shocked by the addition of the equipment. His attention gets shifted when he listens to the curtain rings slide back as Josh appears ready to invade enemy territory.
“Looks badass as you Americans say, Mate. Absolutely brilliant in black, my turn.”
Josh slips into his vest, bouncing lightly on his toes, trying to get readjusted to what seems like was a different life.
“Feels good but weird, I gotta admit. It doesn’t feel like I’ve left all that long ago.”
“Well, Pop, this isn’t the same world you walked away from after you retired. I uh already resigned and took a position with the State Highway Patrol after we get the girls back.” Kyle admits eye to eye with his father-in-law.
Owen quickly sheds his formal attire and intrudes on the conversation.
“Bloody hell, you two, the world may have changed, but we have not. We’re still warriors. Let’s head back and get ready to save the girls.”
Taking their belongings into a backpack, the three of them return to Sara’s office, where she’s prepped a few things for the rescue mission.
“Black, suits you both but enough flattery, time for business. I’ve coded you each with a GPS pin and state of the art earwig two-way communication radios.”
That’s not what they expected. The experienced duo takes the equipment and place where it needs to be before turning their undivided attention to the computer.
“I have your entry point as well since you can’t very well walk right through the front door,” Sara explains.
“Where’s the entry point, doll?” Josh asks, eyes locked on the screen.
“Right here, you’ll have to take the sewers in there. You’ll have to travel about six blocks to keep from being detected by the perimeter detectors. I can guide you through the GPS trackers. I have access to the city’s surveillance cameras. I can track you from there to wherever they have Emily and Brooklyn.”
Looking over to Owen, they give each other a signal.
“Let’s rollout. By the time he gets the girls, we can get the drop on them if we hurry.” Josh orders taking a step back to get a move on
“Right, brilliant plan to get us inside, Sara, you’re still as sweet as candy,” Owen mentions, which causes her to blush.
While they devised a plan, they’re unaware that a little bug was planted in Sara’s office.
“Gotcha, time to check in with the boss.” The rat says, listening in on everything, and calls Robert’s burner phone.
“Report…” He speaks in a harsh tone.
“They are driving as we speak. They’ll be using the sewer system to get inside the city, sir. They’re armed and strapped with the best Sara has to offer.” He states to his boss.
“Good, let them come. I have an idea of how to draw them out into the open. This time the game ends the way I want it to end. Damien did well, but now it’s my turn to end this living nightmare.”
He hangs up as his accomplice quickly clears his expression on his face before he’s caught.
“Hey there, Mr. Ryce, we have your release papers. You’ll be fine, just take it easy on that shoulder and take the pain medication as needed.” The nurse directs as she hands over his release papers and smiles, walking away.
He’s not the only one that eavesdropped on the plan at hand. James in his office also has audio capabilities hidden within every department. Using his knowledge from all his years from being a technical engineer from INSIDE, he hacked into Sara’s computer to see everything she’s doing as well as the equipment information to keep tabs on Josh and Owen as everything begins to unfold.