Friday, June 10, 2016

The Lost And The Found Part 4: Abducted

While Mila lay in bed with Barris in their tight cabin which put them with the others in their team. They'd purchased their way on board as refugees seeking to make it to North America through Europe and Asia then on to the west coast. Shaela and Nelony were fast asleep in their bunks while Yirfir and Jasmer remained out on deck keeping an eye on the crew. They still needed to sort out the traffickers from the innocent amongst the crew and haulers on board. This required them to keep the whole operation aboard the ship under tight observation and to relay the information back to the Sanctum. From there it was relayed to a secret insider and contact of the Sanctum who'd remained anonymous since working with them. This person in turn would see to it that the correct measures were taken on the Aerth side of things to deal with the traffickers and liberate the cattle.

Yirfir and Jasmer stood near the bow of the ship just past the two main gantry cranes and cargo hold. They each wore a hooded robe for their watch in the briskly cool night air of the Pacific.

"We've never been on a cruise together." Yirfir said to Jasmer as if to hint at one of her secret desires.

"Then this is our first. I guess we'd enjoy it." Jasmer replied feigning ignorance to Yirfir's implication.

"Oh that's now what I mean. I meant that.." she continued as he clasped her hand.

"I know what you meant perfectly well. Perhaps when we aren't so busy..."

At that moment the onboard klaxon erupted breaking up their silent moment as the ship's emergency lights came to life.

"This might be it. They might be making their move. You notify the Sanctum while I check up on situation." Jasmer had already started his way towards the cabin area.

"Wait. Why don't I check on the cabins and you contact the Sanctum? You know how effective I can be in close quarters." She yelled after him.

"I certainly know how effective you are in close quarters... but this isn't going to be that kind of dance..." Jasmer replied as he made his way down onto the top of a ladder.

"You buggar. You always were stubborn." Yirfir said as she moved into the darkest place that she could find to open up a message portal to the Sanctum.

Jasmer slid down the ladder banging his knee as he hit the bottom. He winced in pain but kept going.

"That should keep me on my toes." he mumbled under his breath as the deafening sound of the klaxons roared around him.

He came to one of the doors to the ship's interior. Just as he arrived the door flew open and several armed gunmen emerged.

"Clear on this end!" one of them yelled back into the ship's interior signalling someone inside.

The gunmen then stepped inside and sealed the door. Jasmer leapt at the door only to find it locked. Wasting no time he stood back and worked his hands drawing forth a mist from them over the area of the door. He peered through the mist seeing right through the solid metal of the ship's interior. Inside he could see that the traffickers had exposed themselves and were now collecting their cattle. They were each armed with firearms which appeared to be in very good condition. That he noted would mean they had contacts involved in running munitions as well.

He waved his in front of his face and his eyes glowed for a moment. A small fissure in space opened before Yirfir revealing an image of what Jasmer had seen transpiring in the interior of the ship. She watched in horror as the passengers were being rounded up at gunpoint and directed into the cargo holds. There amongst them she saw Shaela, Nelony, Mila and Barris their hands in the air as they proceed.

Yirfir immediately produced a scroll from within her robes. She concentrated using her knowledge of the weave to create the message for the Sanctum. The scroll glowed as the information of the message was embedded including Jasmer's vision. She then passed the scroll through a minute portal which led directly to the Sanctum where Xenshi and Xushu waited to receive it.

"You be care Jasmer my darling..." Yirfir whispered under her breath.

The klaxons suddenly ceased and there was a deafening silence once again bar the crash of the ocean waves upon the hull of the ship.

Jasmer had managed to get the door open with a bit of help from the weave and was now proceeding into the ship stealthily towards the cargo area. Up ahead many of the passengers were being sectioned off and herded into modified empty cargo containers. One of the gunmen prodded one of the Women a little bit hard drawing a response from her.

{Watch it buster! You do that any harder and I'll turn that gun of yours into a neck jewelry and a matching set of earrings for you!}
"Дивитися це Buster! Ви робите це важче, і я перетворю цей пістолет твого в ювелірні вироби шиї і відповідний набір сережки для Вас!" the lady screamed at him in Ukrainian turning to face her captor.

Jasmer tensed as he leveled the gun at her head. Another one of the captives, a beautiful Oriental lady stepped forward and stood before her placing herself between the gun and the lady she proteced.

"I'm sorry. We don't speak very well English. She afraid! Please leave alone?" the lady said pleading with the gunman.

The gunman lower his weapon and directed them with his hand.

"Mess up and I won't waste a moment blowing any one of you to pieces." the gunman's face turned to a grimace.

Another man stepped from the shadows. He was completely bald, wore a three piece suit and an old styled monocle adorned his right eye.

"Forgive me Madame, but my cohort here needs a lesson in manners. If you'd just follow his instructions everything will be fine. You'll all be taken care of and fed well. You might be a little bit cramped for the rest of the crip but this is necessary for we have to be certain that you understand that we are the ones in charge here. Get used to it because you will have to remember that to earn your citizenship and our legal assistance in helping you to procure it. If you choose not to play our way, we'll send you back right now and I assume that none of you is fit enough for a swim of several hundred miles. You're ours now and will be until you've earned your right to be a citizen as we see fit. That is all." the man stepped back into the shadows a few of the gunmen following him.

The rest of the captives filed into the cargo containers one at a time under the supervision of the gunmen.

"Well honey. I do suspect that we're going to be a tad bit less comfortable." Barris said wearily to Mila who was still half asleep.

"We'll be alright. Trust me." she said wiping her eyes.

"Have you seen Nelony?" Shaela asked Mila and Barris.

"No. I thought that she was with you?" Mila replied.

"I thought that she was with you. I mean she was right behind me with you two just before..." Shaela started then noticing Nelony with her keen eyes hidden in the shadows.

The relative silence was broken when a sudden burst of machine gun fire erupted.

"We found an escapee! Hold it right there. You might outrun me but you can't outrun my gun." the gunman said keeping his firearm directed at the captive.

Jasmer complied holding his hands in the air. He was then directed to one of the cargo containers and locked inside away from Mila, Shaela and Barris.

"I tried." Jasmer said as the gate locked.

"We've got everyone rounded up. Security detail will keep an eye on the cattle cars. Everyone else get back to your crew positions." Carver shouted.

As the remaining gunmen left a small security contingent stayed behind keeping an eye on the cargo containers and the cattle within. Slowly within the cargo containers the sound of talk started to climb which the gunmen did little to curb. In one instance a lady had started banging on the sides of the container causing the guard to hit the container with the butt of his machine gun.

"Enough. Talk is alright but no yelling or screaming. You'll end up dead if you do!" the guard yelled.

Sato walked into the cargo area a carrying a broom over his shoulder and pushing a bucket and mop.

"Just here to keep clean. Very clean. Boss Carver says so. Must do." Sato said bowing before the armed gunmen.

"Alright. If Carves says do it, then do it!" the gunman responded.

Sato began sweeping the large floor of the cargo hold meticulously. After an hour of sweeping he'd finally finished and he began mopping. By that time the guards weren't nearly as attentive as they had been upon his arrival and he used that time to make his way towards the cargo containers looking for the man he'd originally given the wax message.

He proceeded to slip the another message through one of the peek holes in the cargo container. It fell to the floor of the container and was picked up by one of the other passengers. He unfolded the rice paper examining it for something.

"There's nothing here! It's empty!" the man said.

The man with the Miko berries approached holding his hand out in request for the rice paper.

"I am an artist. I use to draw upon. He merely gave it to me so that I would have something to do." the Miko berry man said.

"Alright. Here. You have it. You can entertain us all." the man relinquished the rice paper to the Miko berry man.

The Miko berry man snuck into the corner where he pulled another one of the Miko berries Sato had given him earlier and rubbed it on the rice paper. The rice paper drank up the reddish dye of the Miko berry revealing a message that Sato had sprawled upon it in Japanese.

{The man with white hair is a friend. He will help. Sato.}

As the man read the message he spied Jasmer and his white hair. The man immediately knew whom Sato was talking about and slowly made his way over the Jasmer who sat on the far end of the container rubbing his knee.

"友人?" the Miko berry man asked Jasmer handing him the message.

Jasmer examined it and upon recognizing Sato's family mark he replied.

"You must like Miko berries?" Jasmer asked the man.

"Hai!" the man smiled bowing excitedly.

Jasmer stood to his full height wincing a bit from the pain in his knee.

"I am Jasmer McCavanaugh." he bowed for the Miko berry man.

"I am Pasu. Toho Pasu." the man said introducing himself to Jasmer.

"Now we may know each other." Jasmer said to Pasu.

"Yes. A good dōnyū. A good meeting of two. Your hiza. It is hurting?" Pasu replied.

"My knee? Yes. I injured it on the way here. It's still a little tender." Jasmer replied taking some weight off of it.

"Sit. I fix. For you I fix." Pasu urged Jasmer to take the weight off of his leg and be seated.

When Jasmer had sat himself on the floor again, the man held both of his hands close together much like Jasmer had when casting a spell. The man did this for a few moments concentrating intensely before he put a hand on each side of Jasmer's knee. A moment later Jasmer felt a jolt of energy flowing through his knee and the tender muscle slowly relaxed and the pain eased until it finally disappeared.

"Stay light on foot for day. Maybe two. Then much better." Pasu advised Jasmer.

"My thanks. I am in your debt." Jasmer replied gratefully.

"No debt. Friends." Pasu said showing Jasmer Sato's message.

Jasmer nodded in full appreciation of Pasu's sentiment.

Outside Sato had made his way slowly over to the other cargo container with Mila, Shaela and Barris.

"Mister Wind surfing? Mister Wind surfing? Are you here?" Sato said mockingly through one of the cargo container's peek holes.

"That could only be my favorite thorn in my backside." Barris said getting up and walking over to the peek hole.

"What do you want now or are you just gloating?" Barris asked Sato.

"I just wanted to make sure that you were going to be comfortable tonight." Sato said through the peek hole.

"For all of the verbal sword play that comes from your mouth, it's nice to know that you care so much..." Barris said smiling.

"I wasn't speaking to you. I was speaking to them!" Sato pointed behind Barris.

Barris turned to see Mila and Shaela standing behind him somehow managing to smile. Sato reached to the back of his top and withdrew two small pillows handing them through the peek hole.

"Thank you Sato. Barris can have mine." Mila said to Barris.

"You're so sweet honey but I could never..." Barris started his reply only to see that Mila had begun an incantation.

The others in the cargo container looked on with amazement and perhaps a bit of horror as Mila etched a painting onto the wall of the cargo container. It was a curtain parted and drawn back to reveal a large festive hall with a row of comfortable beds, one for each person in the cramped cargo container and a table with a large feast upon it. Once she'd finished her painting she stepped back and waved her hand across the wall.

The entire painting suddenly became real as if the universe had opened up into a real festive hall, bed, meals and all. She then urged the residents of the cargo container into the magical hall.

"Thank you Mila. I knew I could count on you. I was just getting hungry too." Shaela said as she followed the other captives into the festive hall.

"Alright honey, I'm going to eat and have some rest. You stay out here and you can have this pillow. Or if you'd like you could join me a meal and a nice nap?" Mila suggested to Barris.

"Thanks Sato! It's the thought that counts." Barris said as he stepped into the festive hall tossing the pillows over his shoulder onto the cargo container floor.

"My friend, you forget one important thing. What will they do when they see you gone?" Sato asked as he continued pushing the mop across the floor.

As they entered the festive hall, the curtains were drawn closed and the wall of the container returned to normal though the container itself appeared empty except for the two pillows.

A moment later the pillows opened filling the container with a fog that slowly took the form of each of the captives, chatter, activity and all. Should anyone examine the container they would have no clue that the occupants had disappeared for the night.

Back in the other container the Oriental lady and the Ukrainian lady kept an eye on their surroundings.

"So that's pretty much how they do it." Monique said to Heylyn.

"I'm guessing that those they can't push into the sex trade, they'll keep to work in garment factories or other low paying work to produce those knockoffs of my clothing." Heylyn replied to Monique.

"They collected cellular phones. How are we going to get a message to Alicia now?" Monique asked Heylyn.

"Already taken care of. I kept a hold out phone." Heylyn replied to Monique as she watched Jasmer from a distance.

"Where?" Monique inquired.

"Don't ask. I'm not sure but there's something very strange about him." Heylyn replied.

"Who? The guy with the white hair?" Monique asked Heylyn.

"Exactly. I'm picking up something strange from his Aura. Almost like... when we dealt with Torman's test subjects. The one's who'd been pumped up with the SY349." Heylyn explained to Monique.

"You mean he's superpowered? Like us? Why not ask your dragon friend?" Monique asked Heylyn looking over to Jasmer for any signs of strange abilities.

"Weltherwithsp and I will undoubtedly be meeting when I go to sleep unless Weltherwithsp decides to show up early. Until then we just have to keep an eye on him. That means we sleep in shifts. You sleep first. I'll wake you in about four hours." Heylyn said to Monique.

"Sounds good to me. Sweet dreams if that's possible sleeping on solid steel floors." Monique said as she lay down tucking herself into a corner for warmth and protection.

Heylyn kept her eyes on Jasmer for the night.

Outside on the deck of the ship Nelony looked for a safe place rest despite the chill. As she slowly made her way long the deck she was spotted.

"Nelony! Nelony! Over here!" Yirfir gestured to her from under a tarp that she'd salvaged from another part of the ship.

To be continued...

Brian Joseph Johns
200 Sherbourne Street Apt 701
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M5A 3Z5
Single six years and going. PS: I'm not Eugene. I'm not Chris. I don't work for TCHC.
Copyright © 2016 Brian Joseph Johns

I am Brian Joseph Johns and this is A Lady's Prerogative