A True Rescue?
| Monstrocity--that was the only word that could describe a tiny aspect of the nightmare that followed the entrance of the two people. The woman stood transfixed and purely giddy with evil joy. She watched and listened to the girl as the man took over her body, and hopefully her mind. The hidious laughter flowed from her mouth as the man spoke his first words.
"You can scream all you want to, little girl, because no one will ever hear you. Besides, you won't be screaming for long, so enjoy it before you die!"
Abbie stood outside Autumn's room pondering the bewildering sight before her. Who had posted an isolation sign outside her door? Why would they have done that? Abbie instinctively knew something unspeakable was happening; something was terribly wrong. Should she call Jason or the head of infectious diseases? She decided on the doctor.
"This is melody Jenkins's..." Oh....to heck with it...I'm going to page her! Abbie rushed back to Autumn's room and paged the doctor while she speed-dialed Jason. Jason answered just as the PA system blasted the request. "Melody Jenkins to cancer, code blue..."
"What?" Jason, who had heard the announcement screamed. "What happened?"
"I'm not sure...I went to Autumn's room for vitals and I saw an isolation sign posted on her door. Something is terribly wrong...I don't know what...oh, gotta go; melody is here."
"What happened? This had better be important, as a code blue is reserved for..."
"Who put Autumn in isolation?"
"She's not in isolation. Her condition hasn't changed. I would have been the first to spot infection in her blood."
"So you didn't do this? There wasn't a doctor who ordered it?"
"No..." Melody's voice trailed off, and both women stared at each other in complete confusion. They ran to Autumn's room and reached for the door handle at the same time. When Melody flung it open, Abbie stumbled back with her hand to her mouth. Saline solution flooded the room, Autumn's bed was empty, and the window was open. The monitors and cables were strewn about the room. The heart monitor said she had flat-lined. By this time, Marla came to see what the noise was all about.
"We didn't hear anything at the nurse's station. Perhaps the system malfunctioned." But just as Sariah had spoken, the alert did sound, seeming to prove her wrong. Obviously, this alarm was for another patient, but this was proof that Autumn's monitors had been disabled. Jason ran into the room, almost colliding with Abbie. "What happened?" he practically shouted.
"There are still patients sleeping," Abbie reminded him in a whisper. At that moment, a Korean in housekeeping stopped in the doorway. She had noticed something shiny on the floor.
"Nurse...you...need...this?" she said in stilted English. Abbie rushed to her and snatched the card from her hand. "Thank you," she said a little apologetically in response to the young woman's startled look. The girl left the room and continued on her mission. Abbie glanced at the card and saw just what they needed to trace the story.
"Sariah, I know you're off duty, but I just started..."
"Jason and I will go!" Sariah grabbed Jason's arm and propelled him out the door.
They went to security to look up the name on the card to find the address. They had to play this extremely carefully. They had to get all of the people out safely. An off-duty security guard who was connected to the whole Autumn case went with them for safety purposes.
Jacob Harding wouldn't admit his own fear to the people in the car with him. He had to play this cool so as not to cause any more distress for them. When they reached the house, Jason went in with a radio of sorts. The extension would be with Sariah and Jacob, so they could enter at just the appropriate time.
Jason nonchalantly walked to the door and knocked, but not in an urgent manner. A frazzled Lynn opened the door.
"What are you doing here?" she asked. In a sense, Jason was glad she was drunk. That meant he might be able to pull this off without too much trouble.
"So Lynn," he began casually.
"Yeah?" she said in a slow drawl.
"There was a really important letter that was sent to me. However, it's yours, and it said it was urgent." Jason made sure he was positioned so he could look out the window without Lynn suspecting something. She stared at him, which meant her back was to the same window. Jason saw Sariah slowly crawl along the same wall. She made sure she was below the level of the window as soon as Jason saw her suttle clue to him.
Jacob and Sariah had more radios set to a different frequency, so they were able to converse without interception. Jacob thought there might be a basement, and she was sent to investigate. No one but Jacob knew she carried a gun. If she found Autumn, the girl would willingly go with her, whereas she wouldn't go anywhere with Jacob, because she didn't know him quite as well.
Lynn snatched the envelope from Jason's hand. He had purposely typed some nonsensical characters in a print too small for Lynn could read without her glasses. It would take her forever to make sense of it, even if she wasn't drunk. He knew this only bought him time, but Jacob and Sariah were skilled in this. Jason could see that they already worked together for the rescue operation. As Lynn squinted at the small letters, Jason suruptitiously glanced out the window. He did this just as Jacob made a v-shape with his thumb and forefinger. Autumn was there, and Sariah had found her!
It was time for Jacob to make his move. He walked toward the house, just as casually as Jason had done. When his knock summoned Lynn, he carefully took an appraisal to figure out just what to do next.
"Hello, ma'am," he said in a relaxed manner. "I'm here to see Lance." She paled slightly, and Jacob knew they had found all they needed.
"Lance?" she asked sharply.
"Yeah, I'm Kenny, one of his friends. This is where Lance Armstrong lives, right? I mean, I know he moved recently, but perhaps I wrote the address down incorrectly." He pretended to be thoroughly confused so she would let down her guard.
"Oh, sure." Lynn stepped aside as he entered.
"Hey, Jason, can you read this letter for me? The print is too small. What were they thinking?" By this time, Lance had heard the activity and wanted to find out what it was all about. He shuffled into his kitchen and stopped abruptly.
"Is ou!" he slurred.
"What's wrong?" Lynn wanted to know. "he said he's Ken, and I know you mentioned--"
"No, I seen this boy at the hospital!"
"What is this?" Lynn screamed, charging toward Jason with fists flailing. At the same time, Lance rushed the guard. But Jacob was too quick for him. As Lynn punched Jason in the nose, Jacob, who was distracted with the drunken fool, pulled his gun!
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