Last time on Choose Your Own Adventure: Part I @ WIT!?!?!?
Riley leaned against the kitchen wall and sobbed. All the possible choices she could make raced through her mind. What would she do? She wanted to call the police, but what would happen to Isaiah if she disobeyed the voice on the phone – the thought made her shudder.
She grabbed the phone and dialed 911. Trusting a mad man to return her son by not contacting the authorities did not seem to be a serious option. Perhaps if she called the police quickly, they could track down the black van before anything terrible happened.
“County Emergency Call Center, this is Tonya, please state the nature of your emergency.”
“Hi, someone has been calling and making threats and they took my son and I don’t know what they want.” Riley paused and tried to calm herself. “I’m sorry, this is Riley Turner, I’m at 202 Hummingbird Ave. and someone in a black van has taken my son… please help me.” She closed her eyes and tried not to burst into tears again.
“Everything will be fine, ma’am, I am sending the information to police dispatch right now. You said someone call…” The phone went silent for a second. Riley was about to hang up the receiver and try again when it seemed to spring back to life.
“You don’t listen very well, do you?” It was the same voice that had called earlier. “We were hoping our request could be handled in a reasonable manner, but I see that isn’t going to be the case.”
“This isn’t a game, Mrs. Turner. You’re playing with fire and you’ve just placed your house right in the middle of it.”
Riley started to open her mouth just as a deafening noise went off and the house went up in flames. “Please don’t hurt Isaiah,” she screamed as the fire raced across the room and she collapsed onto the floor.
Harrison County Detective Benjamin Herrick fiddled with his badge as FBI Special Agent Mark Stevenson briefed the department on the case. It had been one very long day, and it looked like it was only going to get longer. The patronizing attitude of the FBI only made it worse – just because he was a local detective didn’t mean he was less capable than Stevenson. He had worked on the Federal level but had resigned his post for a quiet job in a small town after being nearly killed by a bomb planted by the shadowy crime syndicate Variant Alliance.
“Jon Turner’s job at the IAEA gave him access to a lot of technology that many hostile nations would love to get their hands on,” Stevenson declared, while bringing up a PowerPoint of Turner’s job description. “By examining call logs over the last few months, we believe the temptation to sell knowledge of that technology overwhelmed Turner. We found that he had made calls to numerous embassies in Washington and to various foreign nationals scattered around the U.S. and Canada, some of whom we found in our database. We believe he was dealing primarily with Syria, but indirectly through third parties.”
“And you think his ‘clients’ then decided to take him and his family out?” Herrick was a bit skeptical. “If he was providing information to them, wouldn’t they want to keep him around?”
“It seems Mr. Turner started to get cold feet. We were able to crack several encrypted messages that had been caught by our surveillance systems over the past few weeks. Turner had initially insisted on only providing information about countries under IAEA surveillance, but apparently that was not what they really wanted; they wanted the technology.
“When they confronted Turner with their real desire, he started stalling. Apparently he didn’t mind hooking them up with our diplomatic enemies, but he did have some qualms about being directly involved in the transfer of several key schematics of advanced fission devices.
“This morning,” Stevenson continued, waving his hand in the air, “Turner received an e-mail telling him incentive for cooperation would occur today. It was two hours later —”
“When Mrs. Turner called dispatch,” Herrick questioned.
“Exactly. Once the Mid-County Fire Protection crew was able to extinguish the remnants of the house that were still burning, I did some investigation and found a wire tap on the phone line, just a few hundred feet from the house. When they intercepted her call and realized their effort might be found out, they activated a remote explosive device to silence her.”
“So where’s Jon Turner?”
“He’s missing, although we believe he has been kidnapped by the organization he was dealing with. Jon was in New York preparing a briefing at the UN for the secretary general at the time, and a camera outside of a Manhattan coffee shop shows someone with his likeness being charged at by two men in black and carried away.”
“Have you heard anything from Parkway Med’s ER concerning Mrs. Turner’s condition? Maybe she would know something more…” Herrick was interrupted by the secretary’s voice coming in over the intercom.
“There’s a Mr. Adams on the line that wants to talk to you, sir. Line one. He says it is urgent and concerns the Turner case.”
“Thanks, Maria,” Herrick replied. Herrick punched the blinking button on the phone as he glanced over at Stevenson and the agent gave him a knowing look. As soon as any crime like this one hits the media, everyone thinks they have an urgent scoop. “Herrick,” he said into the receiver in an annoyed tone.
“Mr. Herrick. Well, it is finally time for us to talk again. The pleasure, of course, is mine. We have Turner and his son and plan to use whatever means we can to get every bit of information we want from him. I think this is going to be a treat,” the voice that had talked to Riley responded.
“Dakmoore – if only I can see the day I never hear your filthy voice again.”
“Glad to see you still have your exquisite sense of pleasantries, Benny. Let me cut to the point. We want one hundred million dollars by noon tomorrow – no make that euros, you know, with the exchange rate and all.” Dakmoore chuckled for a moment. “Remember the good old Alliance days? Good days, Ben, good days – you almost had us before you resigned from the Bureau, not that you ever would have actually been able to put the remaining pieces together.” Dakmoore sounded amused.
“Get to your point,” Herrick interjected.
“I see you aren’t the reminiscing type, Ben. You need to quit being so rushed all the time. Well, as I was saying, one hundred million Euros by noon tomorrow or we will use the technology we’ve acquired in a big way. No tricks this time, Benjamin; you amuse me, but I won’t spare you if you get in the way.”
“Aren’t you being a little presumptuous in assuming that Turner will speak that soon?”
“Oh, tsk, tsk. You don’t really think we depend on only one contact, do you? I’m hurt that you would underestimate me, detective. We want Turner’s information for future ‘use,’ sure, but we’ve already obtained everything we need. Turner was too dumb to realize that the information he was left out might be filled in by a more cooperative underling.” The phone went dead.
What will you do? Tell Agent Stevenson the whole story and then go with him to fill Washington in about your knowledge of Dakmoore. (3.1) David continues the story with this option. Explain to Stevenson that it was really nothing, because you know that no one knows Dakmoore like you do and you can pursue this much better by yourself. (3.2) Christopher takes the story in this direction.
How to Continue CYOA
The first two people to comment here requesting to do so will get to continue the story on their blogs. Just pick which story direction suits you and run with it. Why not give it a try?
As Christopher explains on his blog entry about this, you will probably want to link backward to the previous part (or perhaps both previous parts) so that someone new can read the whole story. Also, it will be helpful if you title your piece with your option number, and likewise provide numbers to correspond with the options at the end of your segment of the story so that things continue in an easy to follow fashion.
Christopher has given permission for participants to “steal” his CYOA graphic (featured at the beginning of this piece), so you may want to include that in your entry for easy identification. Have fun!