Croonford Detectives Case 13: Doggy Business







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Detectives' meeting place
Almost immediately after the last case


"Feeling alright?" Jennifer Thompson asked Lin Ling as they keyed in their code for the digital door lock on their headquarters.


"Uh yeah, just trying to get rid of the rest of the tape gag mark," she pointed to the right side of her cheek.


" I tried this cream, works miracles," Jenn handed her a new moisturiser. To Lin, a science geek, most of the tape gag mark was scrubbed off. "That's wonderful!"


"That was a really embarrassing position you were in last time," Jenn added.


"Yeah, I've joined the bound and gagged in my undies club," Lin laughed and noted she had to catch up as Jenn stated she experienced that twice.  Just then, Michelle Summers appeared and her fellow girl detectives each gave their no-longer-grounded friend a deep hug.


"I don't know how you suddenly appeared right after me," Jenn raised her eyes.  Chelle explained it was pure luck she spotted Jenn far away as she too rented a bicycle after she alighted from the train station. She also received Mark's update on where the carnival trucks were headed but her phone battery died that instant. She was delayed by traffic, nevertheless spotted Jenn jumping onto the first truck and cutting a hole on the tarp. Chelle also managed to jump in just in time to tackle the kidnapper. "You really fought well and used Lin's device to trap him. If not, I thought I would also definitively be another kidnappee," Jenn remarked.


"Well yeah, you went in first," Chelle smiled. "Must be all the gymnastics training I hated as a child."


"Must the ballet classes I was forced to sign up when young," Jenn added.


"Hey, you're using of my fishing net gives me an idea to convert it into device," Lin added and also was thankful they retrieved all other gadgets this time. Mark then entered, nearly banging his head on the door frame. "Hi all, what did I miss?"


"Oh, just some girly talk," Lin lied. "So, what's next?"


"Next is to smoke out Molly Peacock. She for sure was the Cat's henchwoman who nearly got me and Lin killed." Jenn replied.


"I thought you wanted a non-detective and restful summer break," Lin pointed out.


"I do when I get Molly. Here's my idea," she outlined it, noting Mark's muscular build could be of assistance.

Croonford School
Drama Club meeting room
A Day later


The junior drama team meeting ended with the students discussing which plays they would perform when school reopened and there was a series of votes for the junior leadership. Jenn easily was voted as Vice President, Harriet or Hattie Coy got props director with Bethan Morgan as her assistant while Molly Peacock was voted as assistant secretary with the smallest majority.


As the students closed the meeting, Jenn immediately discussed her last few adventures with Hattie and Bethan. "That was a wild time you had in Coventry," Bethan remarked.


"Indeed. But not as scary as being bound and gagged half-naked and the structures around me being demolished."


"Have the coppers found those thugs who nearly killed you?" Hattie asked


"Yeah, they’re closing in. Our detective team also has some strong evidence on one girl who might be part of it," Jenn ensured Molly was in earshot when she said that.


Detectives' meeting place
Just after an hour and half later


The summer sun was naturally blazing down and everything else seemed normal. Just then, a dark-clothed figure with a hood with Cat whiskers painted on the front approached the opening hatch. Just as the figure eyed the keypad, a low pitch came and a net tightly covered the figure, who immediately cried out. Another figure darted and grab the would-be intruder into the converted caravan.


The netted and grabbed person kept crying out but the stronger figure dumped the person on the chair and gaffer tape was wound around the dark-clothed figure's wrists. Torn cloth was wound around the person's ankles.


"Pretty good binding," Chelle remarked, having experience in being trussed up.


"Let me go!" the figure shouted as Mark held her down. The voice gave away the identity and Jenn yanked away the hood.


"Molly! I knew it was you! You're part of the Cat's gang who nearly left me and Lin for dead! Chelle and Lin during Halloween!"


The red-haired girl stared at her childhood friend then burst out crying. "Jenn, I love you but then you became so much smarter and better than me by twelve, look you got voted as VP of the junior drama club and I couldn't stand the jealously..." Molly burst out crying and begged the team to let her go.


"No!" Jenn called. "First, you answer, were you one of those who kept strip me to my underwear, trussed and gagged me and Lin up and nearly got us killed by wrecking balls?!"


"I don't know..." Molly's tears were streaming down her cheeks.


"Who's the Cat girl! Who's the other accomplice! Tell us!" This cry came from Chelle but the red-haired girl fell silent. "I know what will make her talk. Keep her there," Jenn ordered and headed out to the garden. She returned quickly and a spider was soon crawling across Molly’s arm.


"Please, no! Get it off! I don't know, one day I was contacted by a strange number and soon enough the person paid her cash - I never got to see his or her face and the voice was masked. I was provided with this outfit. I had no idea what she was planning to do to you and Lin Ling I just had to follow as ordered. It wasn't me at Halloween! Please, get this spider off! It's going to bite me!!!"


The trio and Mark looked at each other and silently agreed she was telling the truth. Jenn finally pulled the spider off with a tissue, hit it and threw it in the dustbin. "Aw, it's not poisonous, right Lin?" The science geek nodded and Molly’s fear partly subsided.


"What...what are you going to do to me?!" She was wailing now.


"Shut up," Jenn grabbed a nearby cloth and stuffed it in Molly's mouth. "That's far better than the ultra-sticky gag I received! And at least you're clothed!" The young detectives shifted away to privately discuss and decided to let the authorities deal with her. Molly was freed and Jenn and Lin personally brought her to their ally, Detective Inspector Nicola 'Nikki' Heath. "That was pretty a pretty fast move you made after Lin shot out her latest gadget," Michelle patted his back.


"All from my rugby training. Say would you like to grab a cup of coffee and snack? We should talk to get to know more about each other."


"I've to head home now. What about dinner at my home some time?" Chelle wondered then if she could meet the challenge she just made.




Thompson’s residence


Jenn in her room was just about to relax reading a book when her mother called me from the front patio. "Jennifer, could you come down here a moment please?"


Jenn headed down and greeted. "Oh, hello Mrs. Harrow."


Mrs. Martha Harrow was one of the Thompson's neighbours with her competition prize-winning Poodle Maximus Augustus, known affectionately as Max. She was surprisingly actively for a woman of 66 and Jenn often saw her out walking Max.


"Jennifer," Mrs. Harrow started. "I was hoping you might be able to do me a favour."


"What would that be?"


"Well, you see I have to go out of town for around a week. My twin sister Aggie has to go into hospital for a hip operation and she's going to be laid up for a few weeks and her children who were supposed to be looking after have gone overseas for holidays, silly folks, and won't be back till next also in a week. So, I'm going down to stay by her side. The problem is Aggie lives outside Oxford and I can't bring a dog to the hospital or leave him at my sister's home uncared for. You've always been fond of Max."


"Yes of course I'm very fond of Max, He's a wonderful dog." This was the truth.


"So, could you care for darling Max for me while I'm away? Walk him twice a day, feed him every evening, bath him every other night and brush his coat daily. I'll show you how now."


"Please Jennifer, it would mean so much and I'll double your allowance for this month," this came from her mother.


Jenn then guessed it also was a way to keep her busy away from anymore detective work or adventures but agreed to. She headed over and Mrs Harrow called.


"Max! Come here boy! Come and say hello to Jennifer."


Max appeared behind her wagging his tail, he really was the most beautiful black poodle, his coat neatly trimmed but not clipped. Sitting down in front of her he raised his right paw politely and they shook hands.


"I usually take him out for about 20-30 minutes in the morning depending on the weather and at least an hour in the early evening, before it gets dark. I feed him at 7pm in the evenings. He has normal dog food from the bags over there but you'll have to bring him back here for his meals, for some funny reason he won't eat anywhere else but this kitchen.  I'll leave you a spare key."


"That's interesting,” Jenn noted, tickling Max's ear.


"You'll also find a dog bath in the kitchen,” Mrs. Harrow continued." Max has to be bathed every other day it's best to do it when you get back from his evening walk. He's fairly tired after his exercise and less stubborn."


"Has Max had his walk today?"


"Not his main walk, I was waiting for you. I thought you might like to come with us."


"Come on then. Max, walking time!"


Max didn't need to be told twice, he leapt to his feet so quickly it made her jump. Mrs. Harrow handed Jenn a choke chain and I slipped it round the poodle's neck. They took Max out to some open fields and let him off his lead to run free for a while. Mrs. Harrow made very clear to me when it was safe to let Max off its lead. Eventually when Max tired himself out, they headed back.


"Okay, Jennifer," Mrs. Harrow continued. "Why don't you grab the bath and I'll show you how to bathe Max. It's a precise mix of hot and cold, you don't want to scold Max but the water mustn't get cold too quickly either."


Once the water temperature was fine, Mrs. Harrow called Max, he stepped up to the bathtub and climbed in without a fuss, sitting down in the water. The poodle didn't seem bothered in the slightest, in fact if anything he seemed to be enjoying it. Then she scooped up some of the bath water in the pitcher and rinsed him down.


"Why don't you try it now?" She suggested. Jenn did and the elderly neighbour praised her as a natural.


Later on, Jenn received a flurry of WhatsApp messages. 'Did you really have to get poor Molly arrested?' This came from her drama club colleagues. 'Well, if you knew who restrained, gagged you and nearly got you smashed to bits, what would you do?' She typed back. Molly was indeed taken in for a long interrogation but as with the teen detectives, she couldn't reveal any information regarding the Cat. Still, she was suspended from school for at least the next term and booked into a Secure children’s home for re-training her psychologically. 'Congrats on becoming a dog walker for the summer,' this came from Chelle and Lin, the former stating she was allergic to such dog's fur yet fine meeting Jenn with Max. Lin had no such trouble.


Two days later


“Come on boy!” Jenn called to Max, putting on a pair of white trainers. Walk time!” The poodle leapt to attention, waiting patiently while she slipped the choke chain over his head.


“Shall we head in a new direction?” she asked. “The park? The fields?”


As if in answer, Max pulled at his lead and barked twice towards the direction. The park was a great choice as it held a stall that sold ice creams and cold drinks that she loved. As she headed towards it, the stall owner Doug greeted her but waved his hand, stating he didn't want any pets near his stall. Sighing, she found a 'for pets' stand, patted Max and tied his leashed there, hoping he wouldn't make a mess. Jenn bought her favourite, freshly squeezed fruit drink and was sucking the ice cubes from the bottom when she heard a commotion. Turning around, she saw two new pets at the pets stand but no black poodle was anywhere to be seen.


"Max! Max!" She called but there was no familiar bark. Jenn queried the nearest folks but only received 'sorry luv' or 'haven't seen any dog, darling,' in reply. She dropped the remains of her drink in a nearby bin and ran wildly, then spotted four taller boys, with one holding on to Max, now with a muzzle on.


"Hey, that's my dog! Give him back!" It wasn't really her dog but Jenn didn't care to correct herself.


"I see no 'this is my dog, signed shorty,'" the dog handler shouted back.


"It is and doesn't belong to you!" Jenn immediately hated this childish argument yet she wasn't thinking straight this time.


"It will be if you pay more than we're paid. Get shorty away lads!" he yelled and two others ran and pinned her down. Instead of naturally screaming, she reached into her pocket and activated the siren that Lin made a while back.


"Bloody hell, she've an anti-rape alarm!" The boys scattered and Jenn ran after the dog handler but only tripped and scratched her knees. A jogger kindly picked her up and looking around, the dognaper was out of sight. "No..." she wailed out like then she heard a call. "Hey, dear, is this your dog?”


Jenn looked straight a saw a homeless man gesturing with his only army and there was Max, tied to a bench.


“Oh yes, it is, thank you sir,” she said and freed the poodle from the muzzle and re-attached the leash to her wrist. The homeless just said the dognaper let go of Max and he managed to coax the dog toward him. As a sign of gratitude, Jenn gave him a £5.


"Oh, we’ve heard of the lot. We'll increase patrols and get 'em," the Police Constable nodded but didn't bother to take note what Jenn heard - the gang was deliberately paid to kidnap Max. The PC and his colleague left and she caught up with Chelle and Lin, recounting what occurred.


"Aw, who would want to snatch this cute dog," Lin patted Max on his head. The poodle immediately brightened up and licked her hand in reply.


"I don't know how much and he's just an ordinary dog," Jenn replied. The others wondered and Jenn shared what she knew about Max since she saw him as a young girl. Chelle suddenly asked to leave early.


"Where's she headed to?" Jenn wondered.


"Oh, probably to her boyfriend," Lin answered, emphasising on the last word.


That was the truth; Chelle had invited Mark around for dinner at her place but she hadn't planned the menu for the evening! Coincidentally, she found herself in Waitrose but most of the prices were above her allowance even with the awards she received for her detective work. Deep fried and fatty food is out, definitely for a sportsman, too posh an ingredient wouldn't represent her...Chelle turn the aisle and settled on two pieces of organic rump steak. "Cooking for the parents, luv?" She nodded in response to the cashier.


Chelle intentionally picked this evening as her mother brought her sister down to London to see a musical and meet up with her father. There was a warning not to involve herself in risky adventure, well a dinner date hardly would be one, she guessed. All the other ingredients were at home but steak meant she had to cook it just after he arrived. In her room, she had another challenge, what to wear. After much searching and ruffling, she settled on a dark blue knee-length dress, remembering to put an apron on.


"Evening Chelle," Mark arrived exacted at 7pm, handing her a box of assorted biscuits and a deep kiss on her lips.


"Welcome to the Summers home. Hope steak is fine for you, how would you like your steak done?" Hearing 'medium-rare,' Chelle presented one medium-rare and her medium steak along with pan-fried potatoes and long beans. A quick bite show that she failed to rest the steak long enough and Chelle's face immediately showed sorrow. "It's fine and edible," Mark consoled her. As they ate, they chatted about books, films and music. They found commonality in old war films like Where Eagles Dare, some Terry Pratchett novels


Mrs. Harrow's kitchen
The same time


Jenn was clearing up the remains of the dog food when she noticed Max tense up. He raised his head, his ears pointed straight up and let out a low growl.


"What is it boy?" Jenn asked. Then, soft sounds came from back, he let out another low growl and started barking continuously. The bushes rustled again and she heard footsteps running across the concrete path on Mrs. Harrow's back garden.


"Who's there?" Jenn called, switching on all lights and as she peered through the window only to notice dark-clothes figures run into a van which sped off.


Mark and Chelle finished discussing the latest series of Line of Duty when they switched to music and found they both enjoyed the British funk and acid jazz band Jamiroquai. Chelle remarked she had CDs in her room and he offered to clean up. Soon, Jay Kay's vocals filled her room and they held each other tightly as they danced to 'Virtual Insanity' and 'Canned Heat.' Just as they both sang along to another hit, 'Little L,' Chelle's shoulder straps fell. What the couple didn't know was they were being photographed far away.


An eatery
The next morning


"What happened?!" Lin exclaimed to her classmate over English breakfast.


"It was an accidental wardrobe malfunction, ok? It just took some sewing to get the zip fixed."


"Oooh, what colour undies were you in?"




"Chelle and Mark, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G!
First comes love, then comes a fallen dress..."


"Stop, stop!" Chelle looked around then lowered her voice. "It was a normal white pair alright? I pulled and sewed up my zip fast..."


"Yeah, yeah," Lin replied, enjoying what she heard. "Well, want to join Jenn as she walks her threatened dog this afternoon?" Chelle replied she couldn't as she had to help her mother with the gardening. "Excuses, excuses, love bird," Lin replied as the parted, not knowing their conversation was taped.


Jenn recounted the mysterious van to Lin and asked if she examined the dog muzzle placed on Max by the gang. "Only the initials S. T." Lin replied and Jenn raised her eyes, stating those were part licence plate of the van she saw. "Oh, nice dress. Do you always dress up for walks?"


"My name is Bond, Jane Bond," she joked, smoothing down her summer floral dress. Everything appeared normal until they turned a corner and a van sped up. The doors at the back of the van opened and three individuals got out, all dressed in black, including black balaclavas that hid their faces.


Before either girl could react, they were dragged into the van along with Max in a rapid move, the doors slammed shut and the vehicle accelerated away.


"Let go of the dog! Let go!" A female voice yelled at Jenn. She refused and Max barked rapidly and leapt forward but the masked woman had a pole with nooses on the end. This was used for capturing and controlling animals. The thug was too quick for Max and as the dog was trapped, a dart shot out into his neck and Max collapsed unconscious. Meanwhile, Lin had tackled one of the two others who yelled, “Get off me yon silly wee lassie!” he cursed in a thick Glaswegian accent. He yelled to his colleagues to help and a new voice yelled.


“Honestly, I sometimes wonder why I employ you imbecilic cretins, a trio of trained monkeys would give me less trouble. Get her under control!"


With the one who stunned Max holding Jenn with her arms, the other two managed to subdue Lin. The Taekwondo-trained girl still wanted to fight, until a Taser X26 was pointed at her face. Remembering how she was tasered last time by a fake teacher, Lin reluctantly surrendered. Both girls' wrists were bound with coarse twine and although there was no gagging, the threat from X26 kept the quiet. Less than ten minutes later, the van slowed to a halt. With the guy pointing the taser at them, the girls meekly allowed themselves to be carried in a fireman's lift out. The teens immediately smelt the foul odour of pets as they were dropped on the ground. They finally got a clearer look at the captor: the first female who stunned Max was around 175cm, black hair protruding around her balaclava and a firm bust size, around a 34B Lin guessed. The other female was just a little shorter, also black hair and a B cup. The Scottish thug looked around 188cm.


The 'boss' finally came into view with light brown hair sticking out under her balaclava. Jenn thought even with the hood she looked a lot like...


"Don't just leave them, tighten their bonds!" she roared and the shorter henchwoman reached in a nearby drawer pulling out two pairs of police-issue steel handcuffs.


“Lookie here!” she grinned. “Just item for you two!” Jenn noted her accent.


The male captor laughed. “Brilliant.”


Within moments both girl detective’s wrist bonds were exchanged for the cold steel rings.


“Right now, get them into yon cages,” the boss ordered. “Wait best gag ‘em first” She said, “This is a respectable neighbourhood. We don’t want ‘em shouting their ‘eads off.”


The woman who had found the handcuffs grabbed two cloths and used them as makeshift cleave gags.


“Right into the cages.” Cages?! They were animal cages and the captors yanked them inside. Each were about 90cm long by 65cm square and for Lin was uncomfortably cramped. Jenn being slightly smaller had a little more room to manoeuvre but not much.


“How long till the mutt wakes up?” they heard the guy asked


“Another hour,” the boss muttered. “Gives us time to work out ‘ow best to dispose of our two guests ‘ere. The coppers wouldn't mind finding their bodies." No, Jenn wailed silently at the threat.  “You’s two can make yourselves useful an all. Get in the front room an’ start packin’. I don’t wanna leave nothin’ behind when I go.”


Less than a minute later, one of the females called. "Boss, the laxatives are expired!"


The teens heard the boss curse using the F-word. "Go get a bottle of them! Make sure you check the expiry date!" Then there was silence.


Both girls started struggling with Lin slowly managing to slide her cuffed wrists down her buttocks despite the cramp space she was in. With her hands and arms now in front of her, instead of undoing her ankle bonds or gag, she lifted her arms to reach her hair. Extracting what looked like a hair pin, she again slowly twisted her fingers and slowly unlocked each cuff, holding on to the whole set to reduce any noise. Only then did she work to free her ankles and remove the gag. Using the same 'hair pin,' she poked and twisted at the lock and soon freed herself. Jenn, who finally managed to get her cuffed wrists in front of her and remove her bonds and gag, was also freed.


"Skeleton key," she whispered to Jenn who replied, "Where's Max?" Neither girl had brought along Lin's torchlight invention but the room wasn't dark and after a search of the other animal cages of various sizes, which surprisingly were empty, they found the still unconscious dog.


"We should tackle those captors," Lin suggested but Jenn replied she didn't bring any gadgets along and didn't think Lin wanted to face the taser. "Carry the dog," Lin said and through the darkness, they looked and gleefully found the exit. Outside, the surroundings were totally unfamiliar to them and there was invention but no phone signal on their mobiles. "Keep moving; they might have found we've escape," Lin whispered. After running wildly, Jenn suddenly stopped and although there was now some signal on her phone, something else was gone.


"My purse! It must have dropped in the van or that place!" she cried.


"Well, we can't return," Lin replied, dialling for the police. A car took it’s time to arrive and initially the girls wanted to return to their homes, but Lin told the officer to take them to the station, CID branch.


"No one gets there, Miss," the officer replied.


"Just do so!" She retorted. The girls asked for DI Nikki Heath but found that the police detective was away and her protégé, Detective Constable Bluebell Ransom agreed to listen to them. She as before wasn't as amicable and asked similar questions several times. "Do you know where you were held?" she queried and Lin produced two blurred pictures she thoughtfully took before they ran away.


"Ok, that will take time to identify the location," Ransom noted. Jenn also mentioned the van and the partial licence plate, as well as the height and build of the captors which the DC just nodded, as well as noting her missing purse. "Once we locate where you were held, a team will raid along with SOCOs." SOCOs were scenes of crime officers who gathered forensics for the police. "Meanwhile, stay at your homes."


The girls did so, especially Jenn, whose mother was shocked to hear what her daughter went through. Still the girls, along with Mark, initiated a WhatsApp group call. It was a summary of what happened until Jenn noted how the lead female looked had the same height and build as her elderly neighbour. "But why would Mrs. Harrow want to kidnap her own dog?"


"The initials on the muzzle and the van plate. S. T." Lin mentioned. "Does that have any relation to your neighbour."


"No…wait, her maiden name's Taynes...hold on. there's another call coming," Jenn paused the group call and answered.


“Hello Jennifer Thompson,” the captors’ voice sent a chill down her spine. “I believe you have something I want and I've your cute purse here."


"The police are after..."


"Oh please, don't belittle me. Bring that poodle to," the woman listed a junk yard, “and while you might alert the coppers, well just come alone, especially not with that Chinese girl. 10pm sharp. Do so and you'll get your purse intact and not hear from me."


The call ended. Jenn quickly sent a WhatsApp message to the others and dressed up. Her parents' room was far from hers but carefully, she tiptoed down and retrieved Max who was still partly unconscious. Just as she exited her home, later a ten-year-old red Ford Escort pulled up alongside the kerb and Nikki climbed out.


“Get in Jenn,” DI Heath called. "I was away on leave. Ransom only just updated me on what happened to your girls." As Jenn buckled up, Nikki remarked she wouldn't be taking her dog out at such an hour and Jenn explained.


“Of course, you’re not going there alone,” She replied, radioing for backup.


“I’m a trained officer, it’s 25 minutes to the junk yard on the other side of town. Ok here's what you do: Approach slowly, give in the dog and get your purse. I'll then approach and hopefully my people will surround and take them in."


Nikki dropped Jenn round the corner from the junkyard and she made her way to the rendezvous on foot. The iron gates to the junkyard had been left ajar There was a portacabin just inside the gates, the lights from which illuminated the first few metres in front of her. Beyond that it was darkness.


“Hello?” Jenn called out and the lady, balaclava still on appeared out from the darkness.


“Give me the dog,” She growled.


“First I want my...” Jenn replied.


“You’re in no position to make demands,” She pointed out coldly and raising one black-gloved hand in the air she clicked her fingers. Her henchman and women appeared seemingly from nowhere, the women grabbing her arms while the third took Max from her.


“Thank you, Miss Thompson,” the evil leader said as the dog was passed to her.  She turned to the man “Take her inside and tie her up, gag her well.”


"This wasn't..." Jenn's yell was cut off as cloth was stuffed in her open mouth and a longer and thick cleave gag tightly secured it inside. Rope was quickly tied around her wrists and ankles and another longer rope secured them in a hogtie.


“We’ll be back shortly girl,” the Scottish captor remarked following the others out of the door. “Dinnae go anywhere.”


Before Jenn could respond, there was a shout from outside. “Boss we got a problem!”  A moment later Jenn's heart sank as Nikki was pushed into the room, her hands secured behind her back with her own handcuffs.


“We caught yon copper snooping round outside,” George explained. “Reckon she was following the wee lassie there.”


“Jennifer, I’m disappointed in you. I thought you were a girl of your word,” The boss lady added. “Okay secure her as well.”


Nikki growled, “Give yourself up. You really think I came here alone? Any time now this place is going to be swarming with police and you’ll be in jail.”


“You’re bluffing.”


“Am I?”


Turning to people she snapped, “Right, we need to be out of here now. Shut this one up,” She indicated Nikki. “And put the Thompson girl in the van. We need a hostage,” she growled.


“You don’t want to make this worse for yourself,” Nikki responded with surprising calmness. “If you want a hostage, take me; kidnapping a minor is a serious offence.”

After all Nikki was a police officer, trained in handling tense and difficult situations, whereas Jenn was just a schoolgirl amateur.


“I thought I told you lot to shut ‘er up,” she growled at her colleagues.


The male captor pulled out a roll of parcel tape and tore off a strip sealing it across Nikki’s lips before she could protest. He repeated this action four or five times before forcing her down onto the floor. Removing the belt from his jeans, he then used it to tie the police detective’s ankles together, lashing it tightly around her trousers and black shoes.


Jenn was thrown inside the same van and moments later the engine fired up and the van pulled away, leaving the junkyard. Only just after, police cars and a taxi arrived. "You took too long!" Nikki yelled as her gag was removed. "Minor kidnapped! One captor definitely IC1!" IC mean Identity Code based on ethnicity. "Hurry up Ransom!"


The other teen detectives alighted from the taxi. "Don't worry, Jenn will have her ID tracker on her," Lin said, but there were no readings on any of their phones. "Ok, I brought along Eagle with me," she meant her UAV with a video camera. Just as she set it up, the UAV made a whirling sound and died. "Shit! Mark!" She turned to the newest teen detective. "Get back to our HQ! There’re spare batteries in the second drawer! Hurry!" The rugby player only nodded and re-entered the taxi.


Jenn squealed through her gag not just from the hogtie she was in but as the van sped over a bump.


"Aw don't cry little girl," the taller female laughed. "In a few moments, you'll be hidden away."


"Yeah, in the lake in the woods," the other female captor remarked.


"Must ya give the plan away?" the Scottish guy added.


"Oi! Keep it down you lot!" the boss lady called from the driver's seat. Suddenly a bark came. "The dog's awake! " Jenn hoped that would distract the captors.


"Tranquillize it! No, just a small dose!"


As one of them reached over, Jenn kicked the person. "Hey!" The guy turned and smacked her bottom in return. "Don't ya do that girlie!"


Back at the junkyard, Mark arrived and handed over the batteries. The UAV spun and she adjusted it to maximum height. There were several roads and lanes heading out but after several twists she spotted it and rushed over to Nikki and Bluebell.


"What on earth is that?" the junior officer asked.


"Never mind! That's the van!"


"The woods. Units, Charlie India One, subjects are headed into the woods! Get there ASAP!" Nikki entered the nearest vehicle and drove off.


"Here we are," the lead captor announced. "Get the dog out first and the laxatives. Then the girl. Once the chain is out, dump her. Oh, you two," she pointed at the two female colleagues. "Guard the area. The police will be surrounding."  Jenn was dragged out and with the guy grabbing her around her stomach, she watched as the lead captor undid her balaclava and shaking head. It was indeed Mrs. Harrow. Or was she?


Jenn fingered as best as she could and found what she wanted. Just as the new muzzle around Max was removed, she jabbed the disguised penknife Lin invented into the side of the henchman.


"Ow!" He cried but that caused him to release her. "Why you..."


"Why you thug," Lin yelled, dropping a hard kick on his neck and keeping him down on the ground. The henchman reached and yanked out his taser but that was kicked away, this time by Chelle.


"Police! You're surrounded! Girls, get back!" The voice of DI Heath called.


"You get back!" The boss lady yelled, grabbing the still bound and gagged Jenn, pushing a gun at her head. "Get back or you'll have a dead teen all over! Get b..." Something kicked her right leg and a taser shot fired, this from Nikki Heath, an authorised firearms officer.


"Subject is down! You're safe, Jenn, you're safe," Nikki sprang over and undid her restraints and gag. Jenn however and smacked the now handcuffed henchman. "No one ever spanks me again!"


"Evil twin sister," Jenn walked out with the other teen detectives as she rubbed her chaffed wrists. The lead lady was Aggie Sarah Taynes, Mrs. Harrow's twin sister who faked her broken hip and kept Martha Harrow delayed from reaching her outside Oxford. Max had unintentionally swallowed her valuable gold chain and was stuck in his intestines. The other captors were as Jenn and Lin identified, one female criminal Natasha Hanson a British Indian S. Patel and a Scottish paroled criminal George MacKenzie.


"Well, I hope that's all for the summer," Jenn continued. "Hey Chelle, Mark, did you hear me?"


"They are too busy planning to dance the night away," Lin explained.


Michelle, Lin Ling, Jennifer and Mark will return in 'Hostage.'


The End







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