Chapter Twenty Five
Gabe Treeth had had a bad night. He’d been shot, kidnapped and had to live with the guilt of letting a mass murderer escape.
When it seemed like his day couldn’t get any worse, he’d awoken in a cage in a room filled with animals. The noise was deafening. Every animal had a voice and they wanted to use it. He counted twenty or so animals all trying to be heard and the sound simply did not stop.
When one animal stopped, another one would spark them off again. It was an assault on his senses and combined with the smell and the dim light he wondered if this was the way Tobias dished out torture.
Yet that wasn’t what worried Gabe. Mostly he was worried about The Deck. It was clear they’d be implicated in the failed attempt on Tobias’ life. They’d originally planned to clear all the media footage but there had been no time for that when everyone had made their escape.
The Deck was a young team that had only existed for a handful of years. Everyone in the team was in their early twenties, apart from the boss who funded them and kept them fed whilst they tried to track down Tobias.
It was the age of the team that worried him. None of them had seen proper combat and they’d spent so long planning the kidnapping attempt that there wasn’t much in the way of a contingency plan. The team looked to him for support and although he trusted them, he worried that they’d have to disband without him.
He knew the boss could help but he liked to stay private. Only Gabe knew who the boss really was and they wanted to keep it that way. Even if that meant The Deck would have to end, there’s no way the boss would ever set foot inside the derelict shopping centre they called their base.
Gabe hoped no one was planning to help him escape. He assumed he was being held in a base owned by Tobias and The Deck had already scanned through files and files of research that showed a direct assault on one of his towers would be suicide. Which made it all the more likely that was where he was being held.
He knew The Deck simply were not experienced enough to save him. He accepted his fate and knew that when silence fell in this room and the animals stopped their cries he would probably be killed.
Gabe wasn’t afraid of death but he was afraid of never seeing Grace again. Since the day he’d recruited her, he was taken aback by her headstrong attitude. No woman had ever spoken to him like Grace. She treated him like a school boy and told him what to do and he loved her for it. He’d never asked to be the leader but for most of The Deck that was how they saw him. Grace was different. She treated him as an equal, or possibly worse, and that made Gabe like her even more.
They vowed that when the economy was restored they would visit Europe and go travelling. When Tobias had been punished for his crimes, that’s when they’d explore the world.
They both knew it would never happen. The economy was too far gone and tensions were too high between nations to allow easy travel. Stopping Tobias hadn’t even been possible and Gabe started to wonder how they would achieve their dreams in such a broken world.
When Grace asked to leave midway through their mission he was angry but he knew that anything to do with Emmie came first. That’s what the boss wanted after all. As he sat in his cell thinking about Grace he knew that had been the right thing to do. It meant he knew Grace was safe no matter what.
Then he remembered just how head strong Grace was and that if anyone would be stupid enough to try and rescue him it would be her. “Stay safe Grace. Stay away.”
I’d heard the name Gabe before. Who was I kidding, Grace barely shut up about the guy. He worked with her at the film studio as a director, whom she’d fallen in love with shooting a film called “Zombie Pets Attack!”
It was a great story, almost too good to be true really. The one how they fell in love, not the movie story which surely had to be awful.
Grace had never really liked guys. She saw them as the weaker sex and nothing more than “dumb testosterone fuelled meat sacks,” as she so often put it. I think it must have been all the time they spent together on the movie set but something changed her mind and the next time I saw her she would not stop talking about him.
Grace would never say anything as soppy as the word ‘love’ but if she loved anyone then it was Gabe.
“Gabe? What would they want with a movie director?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” said Grace. “Was he ok?”
“He looked hurt and his clothes were torn.”
A fire started to build in Grace’s eyes as she lightly bit her lip. There was no way we were leaving without him now. We both agreed that there was only one place to go now and we started to descend the ladder into the basement.