Jack Hawkins is Alice’s father, and is indeed a police detective, so when he came in with two uniformed officers, and saw our unexpected guest on the couch, he rubbed the back of his head and said “You poor dumb stupid... Of all the houses out here, you picked this one?”
“She did,” Angela said as we looked in from the kitchen, “it’s good to see you again, Mister Hawkins.”
“Good to see you girls as well,” he said with a smile as the officers released the girl from the connecting chain, and frog marched her out of the house. “She was doing time for burglary and assault – and now for trying to escape as well. I take it she didn’t hurt either of you?”
“Come on Jack,” Brian said, “these two?”
“Point,” Jack said with a smile as Sarah came in with the twins.
“What did I miss this time?”
“Oh, just an escaped prisoner who thought this would be a good place to hide out and get some things to help her escape.”
“She did? Well, that must have made her day,” Sarah said as the twins came over to join us on the couch. “How about I fix some lunch?”
“No, let me,” Angela said as she stood up.
“I’ll see you guys around,” Jack said as he left the house, and I went to help Angela.
Jack Hawkins looked up from his desk as Brian Holderness-Carter appeared in the doorway of the squad room.
“Hey,” he said as he looked at the tall Australian, “thanks for coming in. How are the girls?”
“Alicia’s recovering today – she’s gone to see Heather. I tell you, there must be something about that group of young ladies...”
“I know what you mean – look, you got some time to spare?”
“Sure – why?”
“Need to show you something first,” Jack said as he stood up, and collected a file from his desk, “let’s go into the interview room.”
As they walked in, Jack said “It’s about the girl who broke into your house on Monday – I wanted to let you have a look at her file, and then I figured you may want to talk to her.”
Brian raised an eyebrow, before he said “why do I get the feeling you have a reason for saying this.”
“I’ve got several reasons actually,” Jack said as he closed the door, “but have a look at the file first.”
Sitting down, Brian opened the file and looked at the photograph of the dark haired girl. “All right – her name’s Tamara Brooke. Sixteen years old, born in North Carolina, orphaned when she was eleven?”
“Yeah – no father around, and her mother was killed in a car crash.”
Nodding, Brian looked back at the file. “Put in an orphanage, but disappeared from there two years later. Next appears three months ago, when she is arrested breaking into the home of a Gerald McCabe, a used car dealer on the outskirts of Boston. Sentenced to three years for burglary and assault, but escaped last Friday...”
“And was found by you on Monday, having broken into your house and taped up the girls,” Jack said. “You disturbed her in Angela’s room, and we brought her here.”
“So why call me?”
“Brian, you have some of the most sophisticated monitoring and electronic alarm equipment I know of at your place, and you were working in the shed on a repair job. What strikes you as funny about this situation?”
Sitting back, Brian rubbed his eyes and said “I must be getting old. Why the hell didn’t the alarms trip?”
“Exactly – how did you know which room she was in?”
“Well, I walked up the stairs, and everything seemed normal – but the only sensors in the house when we’re in residence are the pheromone detectors, and Sarah was out with the twins. Come to think of it – it was the gizmo that suggested Angela’s room.”
“I have an old seismometer – a clockwork one – on the upstairs hallway table. I saw it was moving, and that suggested a footfall in the room next to it. Angela’s room. Both Sarah and I are too light of foot for it to react to us, so I walked in, and paralysed her. But you’re right – how did she manage to bypass all the detectors?”
“Well, this might help,” Jack said as he handed another file over, “I got the records from the orphanage sent over. Have a look.”
As Brian flipped through, he raised an eyebrow and said “where is she now?”
“In a cell downstairs – I was going to ship her back to the prison yesterday, but she freaked out when she was told that.”
“Any chance of seeing that?”
“None – the recording equipment in the room failed. So I said I was going to bring a friend to talk to her – want to?”
“Let me get something from the car first,” Brian said as he stood up, “and then bring her in.”
As Tamara was brought into the room by Jack Hawkins, she looked at the tall man sitting at the desk, and wondered what was going on. She was wearing a grey sweatshirt and jogging pants, and sat on the other side of the desk as the other man looked at her.
“Tamara,” Jack said, “this is Brian, a good friend of mine who you met the other day. He has a few things he wants to ask you.”
“Hey,” Brian said, Tamara recognising the Australian accent, “First things first – how are you feeling?”
“Confused – what did you do to me the other day?”
“I’ll explain that later – maybe,” Brian said with a smile, “Jack has shown me your file, and also the records from the orphanage you ran away from. Must have been tough, losing your mother at that early age.”
“It was – we kept ourselves to ourselves, and never bothered anyone save to get supplies and things. Then there was the crash, and...”
“I understand,” Brian said quietly, “so you went to live in an orphanage, and that was when things started to get interesting. From what I’ve seen in this,” he said as he held up the orphanage records, “you didn’t exactly get on well with some of the other kids.”
“You mean the bullies – they blamed me every time something went wrong with their games machines or iPods, as if I was breaking them.”
Nodding, Brian said “seemed to happen a lot – and you fought back as well. So is that why you ran away – the bullying?”
“Yeah – I reckoned it couldn’t be any worse out there, so I left and struck out on my own.”
“You were only twelve at the time – how did you manage to survive?”
“I got by...”
“Tamara,” Brian said quietly, “how did you manage to survive?”
Looking at Jack, Tamara shifted in her chair and said “Well... I moved from place to place. I eventually realised somehow those fancy cameras and security systems places had stopped working if I was close to them, and – well, I took what I needed.”
“You stole things,” Jack said quietly.
“Only from those who could afford it,” Tamara said as she looked at him. “I used to hang around malls, and identify kids from rich families. I then followed them home, and when there was nobody home I’d walk in the front door. Their alarms and things switched off, and I’d take some food, some clothes, and some money – just what I needed to get by.
“Honest – I never took more than I needed, and they barely even noticed.”
Looking at Jack, Brian said “so what happened that you got arrested?”
“I got careless – I went into that house, thinking it was empty, and was literally drinking some water when that guy McCabe grabbed me. He dragged me into the drawing room, and held me in his arms, looking at me with a look I’d never seen in a man before. He then... He then...”
“Go on,” Jack said as he looked at the young girl.
“He said he was going to have me, and started to kiss – no, roughly suck and bite at my neck as he tried to pull my pants down. Well, I defended myself – I used my knee, then smashed a vase over his head before I ran from there as fast as I could. It was pure dumb luck that cop car was passing as I ran out of the house...”
“So he was going to rape you?”
Tamara looked up and nodded as Brian stared at her. “Okay – so you were convicted of burglary and assault. Did you tell the police your side, tell the courts?”
“I tried, but nobody believed me, and then I was sent to the local prison. That’s when I found out McCabe and the governor, they were in cahoots – treating the place like their own personal whorehouse.”
“How did you find this out?”
“The other inmates told me – and then I was tipped the wink I was going to be the main course last Saturday. No way I was going to allow that to happen, so – I walked out.”
“You just – walked out?”
“Honestly,” Tamara said as she looked at Jack, “I could have walked out of here any time. I almost did last night, but somehow you talked me down when you said I didn’t have to go back.”
Jack looked at Brian, who said “let me guess – it’s got to the stage now where you look at anything that conducts electricity, and you see things?”
Tamara stared back, and said “yeah – I eventually figured out that was why I could open doors, and things turned off.”
“So she’s like you,” Jack said as she looked at Brian.
“Not quite,” Brian said as he picked up a box wrapped in velvet. “In here,” he said as he looked at Tamara, “is a recording device, which has been recording our conversation.” He opened the cloth up and held it in his hand, rewinding and playing what he had just said. He then tossed it to Tamara, who caught it in her hand.
Tamara pressed the rewind and play button – and no noise came out.
“Do you believe me?”
“Actually, I do,” Brian said as he stood up. “Tamara, I know you haven’t had much formal education, but you’ve taught yourself a few things, right?”
“I have,” Tamara said as she held the device and looked at the two men.
“Okay – we live in an electronic age, and there are some people who, for one reason or another, tend to find electronic equipment goes wrong when they’re around them. One example might be they naturally have more static electricity charge than others. You follow me?”
“I think so – you saying I’m one of those people?”
“Yes – and no, Tamara. We’d need to run some tests, but I think you’re a natural damper.”
“I think, at an instinctive level, you somehow have the ability to disrupt electronic systems, or erase electromagnetic recordings. So you act like a damper device, which can prevent the detection of bugs and recording equipment.”
“Are you a spy or something?”
“Or something,” Brian said with a smile. “Ever have trouble watching TV?”
“No – I like TV,” Tamara said, “why?”
“Like I said, instinctive – it only kicks in when you think you need it, like when you broke into houses to steal things. With the device, you wanted to wipe the record, to defend yourself.”
“So when I look at a door handle or something, and know just where to touch...”
Nodding, Brian said “I have a similar gift, but one kink in that is I’m a natural lie detector – I can sense when someone’s lying, and you’re not lying.”
“Oh joy,” Jack said, “so if we sent her back...”
“Exactly – Jack, I need a favour. Can you call Anne, and ask her and Kayla to come down, and then release Tamara here into their authority?”
“Hang on – who are Anne and Kayla?”
“Friends – my wife and I work with them,” Brian said. “Want to make sure those bastards never hurt anyone ever again?”
“Are you sure you need to do this,” Tamara said as she sat in the chair, looking at the blonde woman in the white coat as she checked various instruments.
“I assure you, it’s just to see if we can get a handle on whatever it is you can do,” she said with a smile. “Now, in a moment I’m going to ask you to go through a series of rooms. I’ll be watching you, along with Brian and Anne, and I assure you there is nothing to harm you in any of the rooms. I just want you to follow the instructions that you will find at each place, and then we can talk.”
“You’re not recording this?”
“Not electronically, no – but we will be watching. So, I’m going to leave the room, and then I’ll tell you over the tannoy when to start.”
Tamara nodded as she pulled nervously on the sleeves of her grey v-necked sweater. She had made Kayla and Anne the night before at the precinct house – Kayla smiling in a blue jersey dress, Anne in a black trouser suit and white blouse. They had talked to Brian, and then to her, before bringing her to this building. They’d allowed her to have her first hot bath in what seemed an eternity, and then a hot meal, before she had slept.
When she woke up, she had been given this jumper and jeans, as well as a pair of socks and trainers – and now, after breakfast, she was sitting here, unsure of what exactly was going to happen.
Kayla looked at Anne and Brian before she said “Well, physically she’s as well as someone who has been living the way she has for years would be, but you’re right Brian. Her bloodwork shows unusually high levels of certain electrolytes, and the conductivity test does suggest unusual levels of electrical activity within her.”
“So now we need to see practically how it works.”
“Indeed,” Kayla said as they looked at her through the one way mirror. Pressing a button, she said in the microphone “All right Tamara – I want you to open the door to the right of you, and go into the next room.”
“We’ve used an electronic lock on that door,” Anne said quietly, “so in theory, she needs the pass key to...”
She watched as Tamara walked over, took hold of the handle and then opened the door, walking through with no problem at all.
“Okay – this just got very interesting.”
“Very good Tamara,” Kayla said as the girl looked round the room. “On the table is a box. I would like you to open it, and then take out the item that is inside. You only need to hold it.”
“The box is lead lined,” Brian said, “and inside is a recorder, that has been downloading from the internet a copy of season 5 of The Office. If I am right, I’m about to lose the entire recording.”
Nodding, Tamara lifted the lid of the box, and held the small slim device, looking at it as Kayla said “Press play please.”
“Sorry – nothing.”
“Not a problem – go to the next room please?”
As she approached the second door, Brian walked along and looked in the room, then at the bank of monitors that were recording the inside.
“All functioning normally,” he said quietly, watching as Tamara came in – and one by one, the cameras went blank.
“What do you want me to do in here,” Tamara called out.
“You’ve already done it,” Kayla said as Anne looked at Brian, “go to the next room please.”
“This is the one with the safe?”
“That’s right,” Brian said as she looked at the room through the one way window, “state of the art electronic lock. Even my friend Jay Edwards would struggle to get this open.”
As Tamara walked in, Kayla said “Tamara, in the safe in front of you is a very important document. I want you to take it out by opening the safe.”
Nodding, the trio watched as Tamara walked over, Brian smiling as he put her hands on the front, and then opened the heavy steel door. As she reached in, Tamara was surprised as she took out a large file, and then looked at it.
“This... This is the transcript of my trial. How did you get ahold of it?”
“Tell you in a few minutes,” Kayla said as Brian opened a door, and said “come on in here – I think you’ve convinced my friends.”
“All right, Tamara,” Anne said as they sat round the table, the young girl sipping on a glass of water, “the tests today confirm what Brian suspected – somehow, you have a natural ability to disrupt electronic devices and recorders.”
“So I am a freak?”
“Nope – just gifted,” Kayla said as she looked at Tamara, “but I can understand why you think that. After all, you’re not the first person I have come across with gifts.”
“Nope,” Brian said as he finished his drink, “I told you I had some gifts as well. Question is, what can you do for her Kayla?”
“Well,” Kayla said, “I may be able to come up with something to regulate the electrical activity in her body – at least that way she wouldn’t wipe something like an iPod every time she got too close or picked it up.”
“You can do that?”
“Kayla is good that way,” Anne said with a smile. “But this comes with an offer – one I want you to consider very carefully.”
“And that would be?”
“We’ll get to that,” Brian said, “there are some more immediate things we need to deal with. Starting with the trial.”
“I’m talking to my superiors,” Anne said, “and I think I can convince them to get the record expunged. But they are also concerned at what you told us about the jail you were sent to – so they want us to take care of that problem and ensure those responsible are dealt with.”
“You’re not sending me back,” Tamara said as she looked at them.
“Not as a prisoner,” Brian said, “and not alone. But we will need your help to do this, and you will need to play along. The question is, Tamara, will you help us?”
“If it stops the girls in there been treated as sex slaves? Yeah – what do I get in return?”
“A new life, a new purpose, and a roof over your head – how does that sound?”
“Table that for the moment,” Kayla said, “there’s a reason why it can’t be at Brian and Sarah’s house, which we’ll tell you about. But I have another idea.”
Brian looked at Anne, who nodded before he said “let me tell you a story Tamara...”
“Oh... My... God,” Tamara said quietly as Brian leaned back. “That sounds like a really bad horror movie.”
“I guess it does,” Anne said, “but it is true – and the question we need to ask you is, if we help you, will you help us? Become part of the team that stops the bastards who thinks any life is theirs to play with?”
“Oh yeah – so what’s the plan?”
“Well,” Anne said, “here comes the part you’re not going to like very much...”
The guard came out of the gate house as the black car approached, wondering who was visiting the prison. They had no notice of anyone arriving, or any planned visitors.
“Phone the Governor’s office,” he said to someone on the other side of the door, “tell him we’ve got an unexpected visitor.”
“Got it,” the second man said as the car drew up in front of the barrier, the window going down as the guard looked at the uniformed man sitting behind the wheel.
“Can I help you, son?”
“You can help me,” Anne said as she leaned over, showing her badge. “Agent Anne Duncombe, FBI. Got someone here I think you might have been looking for.”
He looked in the back of the car, grinning as he said “Well, well – and where did she end up?”
“Not important,” Anne said as Tamara stared back at him, her wrists secured in front of her with manacles, a chain running from between them to the manacles around her ankles. She was wearing a denim jacket and jeans, while a second uniformed officer sat with her, this one female. The guard noticed her blouse was tight, and there was something about her that attracted him.
“Open the gate,” the guard said into the gatehouse, Anne watching as the gates rolled back. “You can take her to processing.”
“Negatory,” Anne said, “our instructions are to deliver her directly to the governor. She’s made some serious accusations that I need to address with him.”
“Okay – the admin block is on the left over there. I’ll let him know you are on your way.”
“Thank you,” Anne said as they drove forwards, some of the female prisoners looking on as the car made its way to the large Southern style building that sat by the courtyard.
The male officer got out, opening the door for Anne and then the female officer before Tamara was helped out of the car, standing as the door opened and a slightly overweight, balding man came out, wearing a dark suit and a blue denim shirt.
“Agent Duncombe? I’m Chet Ramsey, the governor of this penitentiary. I see you got our little runaway.”
“We did,” Anne said as he looked at Tamara and the female officer. She could see the thin, cruel smile as he said “how far did she get?”
“That’s classified,” Anne said, “and I cannot discuss it in the open. Miss Brooke has, however, made some accusations which we need to discuss. Perhaps we can talk in your office?”
“Well, we can talk while she goes back to her cell...”
“No,” the female officer said as she spoke for the first time, “she is to remain under police escort until such time as Agent Duncombe agrees her release into your custody.”
“No skin off my nose,” Ramsey said as he scratched the side of his nose as if to emphasise the point, “you’d better come in.”
As they entered the building, the male officer looked round, taking note of the guards and trustees as they looked on.
“Aw damn,” one of the women said, “they got you Tam?”
“Yeah – my bad luck,” Tamara said as they reached the door to the Governor’s office.
“You wait out here,” Anne said as she looked at the male officer, “let me know if you get any messages.”
“M’am,” the officer said in a strange accent, making the women look at him as Anne and the female officer escorted Tamara into the office. As they went in, Anne looked round at the opulent furniture, and the large paintings, including one of Ramsey, looking down as he sat at his desk.
“Now then,” he said as he looked at Anne, “just what exactly had this little criminal made as an accusation?”
Ramsey indicated a leather seat at the other side of the desk, Anne sitting down as the officer stood with Tamara.
“Well, to be blunt Mister Ramsey, Miss Brooke here has accused a number of your guards of sexual harassment and assault. In essence, she has accused them of regarding this as the best little whorehouse in the area, and the prisoners as the ladies.”
“Indeed,” Ramsey said as he raised an eyebrow, “and on what does she base these accusations?”
“When the police found her, she gave a full statement of her experiences here, including the names of the guards who threatened to assault her.” Anne took from her leather case a sheaf of papers, and handed them over the table.
Tamara watched as Ramsey glanced over them, and then said “these are some fairly heavy accusations, young lady. Do you stand by them?”
Tamara simply nodded, but Ramsey stood up and said “In my prison girl, you speak when spoken to, and you address me properly.”
“I stand by them, SIR,” Tamara said sarcastically, and then she yelled as the female guard pulled back on her hair.
“That’s enough out of you,” she said as she took from her belt a leather bit, and put it into Tamara’s mouth, fastening the straps round her head.
“I need to speak with the guards named in this document, Governor Ramsey. With your permission, I will go into the outer office and have them brought here for questioning.”
“I assure you of my full cooperation,” Ramsey said with a smile as Anne stood up. “If you would not mind, I wish to have a word with young Miss Brooke here. Your officer can stay as witness.”
“Of course,” Anne said as she stood up, “I will be just outside if you need help.”
The officer nodded as Anne went out of the office, closing the door behind her. Chet Ramsey stood up and walked to a cabinet, opening it as he said, “Will you take a drink Officer?”
“No sir,” she replied, “not while I am on duty.”
“Pity,” Ramsey said with a smile, “it may have made this a more relaxed experience for you.”
“Made what more pleasurable sir?”
“This,” Ramsey said as he turned round, Tamara’s eyebrows raising as she saw the large tumbler of whiskey in one hand, and the Colt in the other that Ramsey was pointing at both of them.
“Sir, what are you...”
“Hush little lady,” Ramsey said, “or I shoot you now. Take that set of cuffs I see at your belt, and fasten it round your wrists behind you, or I kill both of you now.”
The female officer looked at Ramsey, before she unclipped the cuffs and fastened them round her wrists, securing them together behind her back.
“This is highly irregular sir...”
“Lady,” Ramsey said as he looked at her, “this is my domain, and whatever your high faluting FBI agent outside may say, I am in charge. Now, you’re going to shut up and maybe I’ll give you a special treat afterwards.”
“No,” she said quietly, but before she had a chance to call for help Ramsey had moved behind her, taking a dirty white handkerchief from his pocket and stuffing it into her mouth before he covered it with his large hand.
“Now, I need you to kneel before me, lady,” he whispered into her ear, before he drew his belt from his pants and used it as a cleave gag to keep the cloth in her mouth. Tamara could only watch as the officer dropped to her knees, the green face of her watch glowing as Ramsey went to his desk, and drew out several lengths of thick white rope.
“I just need to keep you here,” he said as he bound the officer’s ankles together, and then her legs above her knees, before with the longest length he bound her arms tightly to her sides, the rope sitting above and below her chest as it forced her breasts out, and made her blouse open at the top three buttons. As he did this, his hands roughly touched her, making her complain as he stood up.
“As for you, little lady,” Ramsey then said as he looked at Tamara, “you cost me and McCabe an evening’s entertainment, so you’re going to entertain me, right here, right now – and then your guard can do so as well, before I’m forced to kill you after you shot her.”
“Hmggddd,” Tamara said as she looked at Ramsey, who drained his glass and then walked towards her. As he did so, Tamara glanced at the guard, whose watch face was still glowing – but the colour was turning darker, shifting from green as she moved round and looked at the governor...
“What’s going on here,” one of the trustees said as the male officer pulled the last of the guards back against the wall, his head to one side and his eyes wide open as Anne watched.
“I need all of you to keep quiet and continue working,” Anne said. “Tamara told us what has happened here.”
“And you left her in there with that bastard?”
“Trust us,” the man said in an accent the trustee realised was Australian. “He’s been dealt with. Right now, you need to give me access to the records...”
Tamara was staring wide eyed at Ramsey, the look on his face one of pure lust as he stood in front of her and stroked her cheek.
“You are a fine young filly,” he said quietly, “I look forward to...”
“Look forward to...”
He slowly turned his head and looked at the guard, who was struggling on the floor, her blouse popping open to reveal a pink lace bra underneath. Licking his lips, he looked back at Tamara and pushed her into the leather chair.
“Maybe I’ll have you for afters,” he said as he looked at the guard, and knelt in front of her, the officer trying to back away n terror as he pulled her blouse open. Tamara had to duck to avoid been hit by one of the buttons, and then watched as he placed his large, pudgy hands on her chest, and roughly squeezed them.
The guard let out a muffled moan, closing her eyes as Ramsey leered over her. “You sure smell nice as well,” he said as he leaned over, kissing her neck as he kept up the rough assault on her chest. The moans became different as Tamara watched the guard wriggle on the floor, before she opened her eyes and nodded while Ramsey was pulling her bra up, revealing her chest.
Tamara used her feet to turn the chair she was sitting in round, and closed her eyes, humming to herself to block out the sounds of the warden sucking on the guard’s chest, and remembering the briefing session...
“I need to go back in?”
“To at least get that governor off his guard,” Brian said as he looked across the table, “Anne is going to go in using her role as a FBI agent, and Sarah and I will be the guards. The idea is to get you and Sarah into his office alone with him.”
“Once that is achieved,” Anne said, “Brian and I will take care of any prison guards in this outer office, while telling any trustees there to carry on as normal. How well known inside the prison is what’s going on?”
“Open secret,” Tamara said, “but who’s going to believe cons?”
“We do,” Sarah said quietly. “If we are alone in his office, what are the odds he’ll want his pound of flesh early?”
“Fairly high, I’d imagine,” Tamara said, and then she paled. “Oh god, you’re not going to...”
“No – I am. Brian’s already told you of my skill set, so look at my watch.”
Tamara looked at the green watch face as Sarah said “when I get to work, this is going to turn to red. You might see that start to happen, but if you do, or when I give the nod, turn your back to me and shut your eyes. We’re going to give you something before we go in – an injection.”
“It’s something we’ve developed, based on a recent incident,” Kayla said. “We believe it will act as an antidote to prevent what Sarah will do affecting you. It is, however, untested, so just in case – whatever you hear, do not look at her.”
“Okay,” Tamara said quietly, “and in the meantime?”
“You are one damn attractive lady,” Ramsey as he pulled Sarah’s skirt off, and ripped her pink lace panties away, before he used his finger on her, Sarah closing her eyes and writhing in an incredibly arousing way as she felt herself get more and more turned on. She closed her eyes, feeling him as he went inside her and moved his finger round, before he untied the ropes and spread her legs wide apart.
“Hmgdddndndntdthss,” she moaned as he pulled his own pants down, Sarah’s eyes widening at the size of his belly, and the cock that sat under the folds of skin. She could feel the fire burning inside her now, as the face of her watch turned red, and she looked at him, daring him to enter her.
As he did, she braced herself, feeling him throb inside as he started to push to and fro. Tamara could hear the screams she was giving, the grunts Ramsey made as he pushed himself further into her, as Sarah found herself gripping his cock, urging him to come to a full climax, and bring her to one as well.
She blocked out the stench of sweat and dirt, the sounds of breathing as if Ramsay was an asthmatic pig, and the way he felt against her – she knew all that was irrelevant compared to what was going to happened after, especially as she closed her eyes and threw her head back, feeling his seed in her as she came to the anticipated orgasm.
“What the hell is he doing in there,” the trustee said as she looked at Brian and Anne.
“If I was you,” Brian said as Anne took out her cell phone, “I’d worry about what’s coming next.”
“Kayla? Time for them to come in.”
Ramsey withdrew himself, Sarah falling onto her back as he stood up and looked at her.
“Now then,” he said as he looked at the back of the chair Tamara was witting in, “about my pie...”
Before he took two steps, however, he heard Sarah say “nddwhrrrugng?”
“Oh,” Ramsey said as he turned round, “are you wanting...”
He stopped as he saw Sarah slowly stand up, and heard the cuffs shatter like glass as she pulled her wrists apart, before tearing the ropes away from her upper body and snapping the belt gag in two. “I said,” she repeated as she spat the cloth out, “and where are you going, little man?”
“Hush,” Sarah said as, in Ramsey’s eyes, he saw her squat down and four thin, hairy spider legs appear from out of her sides, “you have had your fun – now it’s my turn.”
“Oh sweet lord,” he whispered as he walked beside Tamara, the young girl noticing how his face had turned deathly white, “what are you?”
“I’m the woman you just raped,” Sarah said in a quiet voice, “and I’m hungry. You’re a little fatty for my usual tastes but must needs must...”
As Tamara watched, Ramsey shivered, a strange gurgling voice coming from his throat, before he fell to the floor, his lifeless eyes staring out at the young girl.
“Look at me now.”
Tamara opened her eyes and looked at Sarah, standing semi-naked.
“Do you feel anything when you look at me?”
Tamara shook her head, Sarah smiling as she said “right – we know that works now” and snapped the chains around her wrists and ankles as if they were string.
“Walk slowly out of here,” Sarah said as she removed the bit gag, “say nothing, and wait with Anne until Brian comes in here. Understand?”
Tamara nodded as she walked slowly out, not looking at the dead body of Ramsey before she opened the door and walked into the outer office.
“What the... What happened?”
“She wants you to go in,” Tamara said as she looked at Brian, the tall man nodding as she went in and Anne looked at her.
“In one way yes, but...”
“Leave it for later,” Anne said as the telephone rang. “It’s for you,” the trustee said as she handed it to Anne.
“Well, let me put it this way. This prison is now under Federal control, under a court order. You will surrender yourselves to the agents with you, and you will grant access to the rest of that group to the prison, and afford them every – and I mean every – consideration.
“No, you cannot speak to Warden Ramsey – he’s been removed from authority. Put the agent on.
“They are not to have access to any radios, cell phones or other methods of communication with the outside world. Bring them here – and instruct the other agents to bring all remaining prison staff to the cafeteria.”
As she put the phone down, she looked round the room. “Tamara, when she was re-arrested, told us what was going on here. This, ladies, is a rescue of sorts from what has been going on. As of now, this facility is under federal control.”
“And Boss Ramsey?”
“Will never hurt one of you again,” Sarah said as she came out with Brian, adjusting her blouse “He’s dead – these guards will be placed under arrest, the others interviewed and assessed.”
“What about McCabe?”
“He’s next on our list,” Anne said as she looked at the trustee. “Give your full cooperation to the agents when they come in. We want to talk, in confidence, to any girl who was misused in the way.”
“You can trust them,” Tamara said, “I would not have told them what happened, or come back, if I did not.”
The women looked at each other, and all nodded as Kayla came in with Sue and other agents.
“In there,” Brian said as Kayla went into the office. “These are the ones you need to take to the trucks first – I’ll come and wake them up when you have them secured.”
“Okay ladies,” Sue said as the agents started to carry the paralysed guards out, two holding each one up, “a temporary governor will be here soon. In the meantime, please give me your full cooperation...”
“So what happens now?”
“Well, we’ve got the prison in lockdown, so word will not have got out yet about his demise,” Anne said as she looked at Tamara. “Now, it’s time to put your gifts to use.”
“So this is the place?”
“That’s it,” Tamara said as she looked out at the large two storey house. She had changed into a more comfortable outfit – a pair of faded denim jeans and a hooded sweatshirt, with black trainers. “The McCabe home – and the place I got captured in the first place.”
“Well, one should always learn from one’s mistakes,” Brian said quietly. He was now wearing a black jumper and slacks, as he looked out of the car window. “So, when you visited here the first time, how did you get in?”
“I walked up to the front door and opened it – why?”
“I’d put good odds he may have done something to stop that happening – so we’re going to go in the side door instead. How you feeling?”
“Nervous – but I trust you.”
“Good – follow my lead and if I say something, pay attention. Let’s go.”
The two of them got out of the car, Brian leading the way round the side of the building as Tamara followed, before they entered the yard at the rear of the house.
“Okay – the windows are wired, and I can tell the handle of the door is set to an alarm.”
“Yeah – I can sense the current in the handle from here.”
“Well, you may have the honours,” Brian said, watching as Tamara looked at the door handle, held it for a few moments, and then opened the door outwards, enabling them both to enter before she closed the door to.
“Okay,” Brian whispered, “surveillance cameras?”
“Already stopped working,” Tamara said as she glanced up at the small round object in the ceiling, “I can take you to the recorders.”
Brian nodded as Tamara led the way through the kitchen, and out into the hallway, before going into a large office. She walked over to a set of books, and then pressed on the spine of one, Brian nodding as he looked at the recorders.
“Want me to wipe them?”
He nodded and watched as she put her hand on the boxes.
“Okay – now what?”
“Well,” Brian said as he looked at the computer terminal, “do me a favour and stay over there for a...”
They both heard the front door open, and a woman say “did he forget to turn the alarm on again!”
“Glasses on,” Brian said as they both put on a pair of Ray Bans, and he came quickly over to the door, Tamara standing on the other side as they heard heels walking across the floor.
“Gerald, are you at home,” they heard a woman say as the door opened, and she came in, wearing a grey leather jacket and skirt with over the knee grey suede boots. Shaking her head, she turned round – only to be confronted by Brian and Tamara, the glasses covering their eyes.
“What the... SONIA!!!”
“Hush,” Brian said as he covered the woman’s mouth with his hand, and pinched her shoulder, the woman closing her eyes as she slipped to the floor – and the door opened, a girl about Tamara’s age coming in, wearing a white jumper, long skirt and black boots.
“Quiet,” Tamara said as she covered the girl’s mouth with her gloved hand, and looked at Brian, “don’t scream, don’t panic – we’re not going to hurt you.”
“Listen to my friend,” Brian said quietly, “I presume you live her with your mother and father?”
The girl nodded as Brian said “is this your mother?”
She looked at the unconscious woman on the floor, and said “Whhrruuu?”
“Good question – tell you later,” Brian said with a smile, as he pressed on the girl’s shoulder, and she instantly fell asleep.
“You going to tell me how you do that someday,” Tamara said as she lowered the girl to the floor.
“It’s to do with electrical currents in the body,” Brian said quietly, “they’re not going to wake up – come with me. We need to set something up, and then I need to check that computer over...”
“Connie? You and Sonia anywhere around?”
Gerald McCabe closed the door behind himself, looking round and listening, but there was no reply to his call. He wiped his brow and walked towards his office, going in and placing his case on his desk, before he looked out of the window. His ill fitting jacket barely covered the checked shirt, as he then walked out of the office and entered the drawing room.
He stopped as he saw Tamara sitting in one of the armchairs, flipping through a magazine as she uncrossed her legs, and removed her glasses to look at him.
“Well now,” he said as he closed the door, “you must be either braver than I thought, or really, really stupid.”
“It might be a bit of both,” Tamara said with a smile. “What you should be worried about, Mr McCabe, is what I am doing here – the place I was arrested in.”
Looking round, McCabe said “You pull your magic trick again girl, to get in here?”
“Oh yes,” Tamara said with a smile, “your security system is offline. No records been kept of whatever you say, or the fact I am back here.”
“Well, that puts you firmly in the stupid bracket,” McCabe said as he walked over to her, “because you can go right back to Ramsey, and then...”
“And then you’ll have your way with me, like you tried to do when I broke in the first time?”
McCabe laughed, as he said “you have guts, I’ll give you that. You cost me a pleasant night, when you broke out of the prison – Ramsey told me if he ever saw you again, he was going to have you first. Guess he loses out again.”
“Well, from what I heard in that place, you take turns anyway – the word is you like to take one of us up the arse. Wonder what your wife and daughter might have to say about that?”
McCabe looked at the young girl, and then picked up the photo of him with his family. “You noticed it eh? Well, I love them both, but a man sometimes has needs his family cannot satisfy, eh? So what if a few little whores and cows get hurt – they are already in prison, what are they going to do?”
“How about,” Tamara said with a smile, “telling someone who knows you’re telling the truth?”
“And who would that be, little girl?”
McCabe turned round to see Brian standing in the connecting door to the dining room, his arms folded as he smiled and looked at both of them.
“Who the hell are you?”
“Well, that’s not really relevant right now,” Brian said as he looked at McCabe, “save that I am the one who knew this young lady was telling the truth – so I told some friends of mine, who as we speak have taken control of the prison.
“Oh – and before I forget,” he said as he held up a storage stick, “I have downloaded all your secure files onto this device.”
He looked at both of them, before he said “Ramsey will convince them she’s a liar.”
“Ramsey’s dead,” Brian said quietly, “and the only reason you are not is because someone has to face justice for what you did between you.”
“Nobody’s going to believe you,” McCabe said quietly, “the word of a convict against me? I caught her in my house, she assaulted me...”
“To get away from your lust,” Brian said quietly.
“She’s just another two cent whore – just like all women.”
“Including your wife and daughter?”
“No – all other women?”
Brian looked in the door, and said “I trust you heard that?”
McCabe stared as Brian opened the dividing doors fully, and he saw his wife and daughter looking at him. They were both secured to the high backed dining chairs they had been sat in, ropes holding them firmly in place and creaking as they tried to move, wide strips of silver tape covering their mouths.
“You bastard,” McCabe whispered before he ran at Brian – only to fall to the floor as Brian moved out of the way, and applied a nerve pinch.
“I can speak from personal experience,” Tamara said as she stood up and walked over, looking into McCabe’s eyes, “about how much that hurts. Which is, not at all. But you can hear and see everything, so I want you to hear and see this.”
She turned to the two captives, and said “I am sorry that I broke into your house – twice. But understand – when I said this man tried to rape me in this room, I was telling the truth, and I think you knew that, didn’t you?”
Sonia looked at her mother, who let her head drop as she slowly nodded.
“I’m not going to judge you,” Brian said, “not my job.” Taking out his cell phone, he said “Anne? Phase two complete. He’s ready to pick up.”
“Your husband, your father, is going to pay for what he has done,” Tamara said quietly, “but I have no wish or desire to see either of you suffer. When the authorities come, tell them everything. I already know you played no part in this, save to turn a blind eye.”
“Nothing to forgive,” Tamara said as she looked at Connie McCabe, “not on my part anyway.”
“Well, I think that clears things up,” Anne said as she stood outside the McCabe house, watching him being taken into custody. “The inmates, according to Sue, are proving very cooperative.”
“What about them,” Tamara said as she looked at his wife and daughter, watching from the door.
“We’ll provide support for them, but unless I’m very much mistaken, she’ll run his business far more efficiently than I would.”
Nodding, Tamara said “and what about me?”
“Yeah – now that is a much more interesting question,” Anne said as she looked at the teenager, “let’s head back to the lab – I think Kayla may have some things you will find useful.”
“Can we make a stop on the way? I’m famished.”
“Yeah, I guess we can,” Brian said, “no harm in that...”
“Welcome back,” Kayla said as Tamara came in with Brian, “give me a minute – there are a couple of people I want you to meet.”
“Who is she talking about,” Tamara said as she looked at Brian, and then to the door as Sarah came in, accompanied by Chloe.
“So this is the young lady you were talking about,” Chloe said in her French accent as she looked at Tamara. “It is a genuine pleasure to meet you – my name is Chloe Bandelaine.”
“Likewise, I’m Tamara,” she said as they shook hands, “so are you part of this group as well?”
“I am, in my own small way,” Chloe said as they sat round the table, Tamara noticing Chloe’s watch glowed like Sarah’s.
“So what happens now – we start calling each other by code names?”
“Oh no,” Sarah said, “not when we are together at any rate. No, we need to know if you want to be part of this team on a more – permanent basis.”
“You mean work for you?”
“Well, work is a wide ranging term,” Susan said, “but yes, be part of the team. There would be a few requirements, however – first of which is, you need to go back to school.”
“I don’t know if you’ve heard, but my permanent record is somewhat lacking...”
“Well, that is true,” Chloe said, “but I assure you, there are ways of dealing with that.”
“There is another problem – nowhere to live, unless you’re suggesting I stay here permanently.”
“Well, we’re also dealing with that – on which point...”
“I’ll see you all later,” Brian said as he left the room.
“Okay – suppose I say yes, what next?”
“Now – we find a way to help regulate your natural talents,” Kayla said. Tamara watched as she picked up a white box, and put it in front of her. “Are you left or right handed?”
“Right – why?”
“Put that on your right wrist please.”
Opening the box, she looked at the watch which was inside, and then strapped it on her right wrist.
“Why this one? Don’t you normally wear your watch on your other arm?”
“Normally, yes Sarah – but in Tamara’s case, it needs to be the hand she usually uses to pick things up.” Kayla walked over to a desk, and returned with a tablet.
“”Tell me Tamara, what sort of music do you really hate?”
“Honestly? I can’t stand Gangsta rap – but again, why?”
“Tell you in a minute,” Kayla said as she typed on the tablet, before the sound of NWA filled the room.
“OH wonderful,” Tamara said as she shook her head, and Kayla handed her the tablet. To her surprise, however, as she held it in her hand the music continued.
Taking the tablet back, Kayla said “Take your watch off.” She waited until Tamara removed the watch, then handed her the tablet back, the music stopping after a few seconds.
“Good – it looks as if that works,” Kayla said as she showed Tamara the back of the watch. As she looked closely, she saw small metal dots on the plastic.
“The watch has a built in capacitor, which should help regulate the effect your electrolyte balance has on your body, and the way electrical fields work round you.”
“Sorry – put it this way. Wear the watch, and your abilities to wipe electrical recording and disrupt equipment will disappear. Take the watch off, they return.”
“So it acts like a capacitor tuned to Tamara?”
“Exactly Sarah – this will enable you to interact a bit more normally with other people, when you need to.”
“That’s amazing,” Tamara said as she put the watch back on, “but I can’t wear this twenty four seven.”
“Not expecting you to – but we need Brian to take care of the next bit.”
“Brian? How did it go?”
“Situation cleaned up,” Brian said as Jack Hawkins let him come into the house. “So, you the only one home?”
“Nope – they’re in the front room.”
“Have you told them yet?”
“Oh no – that I think needs to come from you,” he said as they walked in, Alice and Margaret looking up as he came in.
“Hey,” Alice said, “Dad says you want to talk to all of us?”
“Yeah,” Brian said as he and Jack sat down, “I need to ask a slightly huge favour of you, and I want you to hear me out before you decide one way or another.”
“Now that sounds intriguing,” Margaret said, “what do you want us to do?”
“Give a girl a home...”
Two weeks later
“Well, this is the place,” Brian said as he pulled up outside the Hawkins house. Tamara looked at the front, and said “Well, I will grant you this – it’s a house.”
“Okay – it is that,” Brian said as he got out, the young woman following him out of the other side. She had had her hair dyed chestnut brown, and cut short, and was now wearing a blue jumper and jeans with short brown boots.
“Why am I so nervous then?”
“I don’t know – first real home you’ve had in five years? Come on – I’ll introduce you.”
He took the young girl’s hand as they walked up to the front door, Margaret opening it as she said “Tamara, I’m so glad you made it – come away in.”
“Thank you,” she said as Brian escorted her into the front room, where Alice was waiting with Jack.
“Hi – I’m Alice,” she said as she hugged Tamara, taking her completely by surprise. “Welcome home.”
“Don’t worry, she’ll talk soon,” Jack said as he sat down. “Have a seat Tamara – so what have you been told?”
“As I understand it,” she said as she sat down, rubbing her arm, “you’re my aunt and uncle, and I’ve come to live with you to finish High School.”
“That’s right,” Margaret said, “and don’t worry – we’ve been told all about you and what you can do.”
“Jack and I have worked together a few times,” Brian said as Margaret handed him a coffee, “and he knows about Sarah and Chloe. Obviously, he also knows about you.”
“But I thought I had to keep it secret?”
“You do,” Brian said, “but not alone. Trust me – having some girls who are about your age to talk to will help, and Alice and her friends fit the bill exactly.”
“I’ll introduce you to all of them over the weekend – you’ll be attending the same high school as me and them, and Chloe works there as a librarian. You might even like to join...”
“Hey, hey,” Jack said, “let her settle in before you start springing other surprises on her, all right? You can take the next few days to settle in, Tamara – we’ll show you the local area, and where to find things.”
“We’ve already put your clothes in your room.”
“You need to have something to wear,” Brian said, “so Sarah and some of the other mothers went shopping. I think you’ll like them – but I’m a bloke, so who knows.”
Tamara laughed at that, as Margaret said “come on – we’ll show you your room.”
“I’ll get your bag from the car,” Brian said as he went outside, Tamara following Margaret up the staircase.
“You’ll be sleeping in here,” Margaret said as she opened the door, Tamara coming in and looking round.
“It’s beautiful,” she said quietly, “I don’t think I deserve this...” Looking at the computer and music centre, she turned round and said “you know what I can do, aren’t you afraid...”
“Don’t worry Tamara,” Brian said as he put her rucksack on the floor, “we did a little re-fitting before the room was decorated. We fitted the room with a special mesh on the inside before we put the paper up – it makes this room the equivalent of what we call a Faraday cage.”
“In English, please?”
“Essentially, it means everything in this room is secure and you cannot disrupt it. The downside is your computer is hardwired to the internet, but so long as you have your watch on, you should be able to use data sticks with no problem.”
Nodding, Tamara turned round and said “thank you – for everything.”
“Sarah and I will be seeing you regularly, and Anne and Kayla are family friends as well, so you’ll see them around.”
“And if you need me?”
“I’ll call – I’m your primary contact in this. I really only have one more thing to say.”
“And that is?”
“Relax – you’re with friends and you have a home again.”
“Where did Tamara go,” Jack said as he came back in from washing the dishes.
“She went up to her room – said something about wanting an early night,” Alice said as she watched the re-run of Buffy. “I like her – I think she’s going to fit right in.”
“Well, so long as you give her time – and please, no games until you have a better idea of how she will feel about them. After all, she’s had a rough few years.”
“Don’t worry Dad – we’ll be good,” Alice said as Margaret shook her head.
Jack said nothing, but went back out of the room, heading up the stairs and tapping quietly on the bedroom door.
“Tamara, I just wondered if...”
Walking into the room, he saw the empty bed, and Tamara lying on the floor in her jeans and t-shirt, her boots to one side, and her head resting on her rucksack. Smiling, he walked over to the bed and pulled the covers back, before he gently lifted her from the floor and laid her on the bed.
“Yeah – it’s going to take a little time,” he said as he gently put the duvet over her, and walked back to the door, looking at her as she smiled. “But you’ll get there in the end...”