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Chapter 009

Taken Chapter 009

Copyright 2014 - 2017 Banzai Ben and Amazing Anastasia


Present – Ben, Bernie, Liz and Desiree – Meeting Mabel


We pass through the still destroyed front door and begin to walk toward the front gate.


Bernie asks, "Ben, when are you going to get the front door fixed."


I think for a moment and reply, "Bernie, replacing the door isn't going to be a simple matter…"


Looking back at the door I pause for a moment and swear, "Son of a…"


Liz saves me by interrupting, "…Sea Biscuit."


Desiree remarks, "That was a close call Mr. Blaine! You almost owed another quarter to the swearing jar."


I dash back to the door, look at it closely and ask Bernie, "Please have Inga come out here immediately."


Bernie runs inside while Liz asks, "What is it Ben?"


I point to the edge of the door and continue, "I can't believe all the experts missed this. The door is designed to prohibit forced entry by manual means. They used Primacord1to breech the door."


1 Primacord - genericized trademark for any detonating cord. Primacord consists of a continuous core of PETN, RDX or other high explosive, bound by textile yarns and finished with plastic and wax as waterproofing agents.


Inga arrives, I point at the door and ask, "How did you all miss this?"


Inga quickly recognizes it and responds, "Ben, they used and explosive device to breech the door."


I reply, "That's right, and from the looks of it I would say it was primacord. This door was designed to withstand normal entry methods, so they needed to blow it."


Inga continues, "But Primacord requires a blasting cap to detonate it - I don't see the remains of one anywhere."


I concur, "Yes, they probably took that with them."


Inga says, "Let me get our bomb experts to look at this."


Inga leaves and Bernie suggests, "Ben, why don't Liz, Desiree and I continue to go meet Mabel."


I smile at them and reply, "Thanks. I want to stay here and see what the bomb expert says."


They leave and finally Inga returns with the FBI explosives specialist. They begin to examine the door and one of them says, "We would really like to take this door back to Denver for analysis."


I inform him, "You're going to have a hell of a time getting the door out of the house. It's set in concrete."


The agent expresses surprise, "I thought this was a log cabin."


I knock on the wall, it makes a thunk noise and then I reply, "The walls were designed so people think it’s a log wall. In reality, it's faux logs made out of concrete. I can call our contractor and see when he can replace the door."


I take out my phone and call the contractor. I explain the problem to him, declare it's an emergency and he says, "You're lucky I have a replacement door in stock. I can be out in a few hours to replace it. Until we get there, make sure no one fucks with it."


I relay the message to the agent, "He will be here in a few hours to replace the door. He also asked that you don't try to remove it yourself."


The agent says, "Okay, let me know when he shows up." Then he wanders back inside.


Bernie and his entourage arrive. Mabel runs up to me, hugs me and says, "Ben I'm so sorry about what happened."


I smile at her and say, "Don't worry, we will get them back."


Mabel says, "Well, I'm here to cook for you. Now, I heard you haven't had anything since breakfast."


Desiree remarks, "That's right Mr. Blaine - I told her."


I tease Desiree and say, "Hey, I thought we were friends."


Desiree replies, "We are but you need to eat. If you get sick, when Fiona, James and Ms. Blaine get back from vacation, you will be sick and then we can't play."


Mabel emphatically states, "Don't worry Desiree, I will make sure Mr. Blaine eats. Now how many people am I cooking for?"


I shrug my shoulders and answer, "Mabel, I have no idea. Perhaps Inga knows."


Mabel says, "Don't worry, I will find her and figure it out myself."


Mabel, Bernie, Liz and Desiree leave and I'm left staring at the front door. Damn, I really wish Destiny was here because I want to go over the area around the front door again to see what else was missed.


Gretchen announces in my com unit, "Ben, your wolf is returning."


I make a call to the front gate, "Do not shoot the wolf that is coming in."


As she runs up to the front of the house, I reach down, pet her and say, "Destiny, they blasted the front door open and I want to make sure we didn't miss anything."


She stays in her wolf form, begins to search the ground, and growls as she finds something.


I walk over and she's found some pieces of the blasting cap. How the hell did we miss these in the first place? I call Inga on the com, "Inga we found some of the blasting cap pieces."


Inga replies with obvious surprise, "How did we miss those? I will be right there with the FBI agent."


Inga and the agent arrive, he sees Destiny and says, "Is that a real wolf?"


Inga answers, "Don't worry, she's tame."


He warily walks over, keeping an eye on Destiny the whole time. I point to the ground and remark, "She found them right here."


He bends down, looks at them and says, "I can tell you how we missed them, they were stepped on. This might be the first break we've had in the case. If I can recover the ID of the detonator, we can determine where it was purchased."


He carefully removes the pieces using a wooden dowel and places them in an evidence bag.


He turns to me and asks, "Any more news on the removal of the door?"


I shake my head no…


Present – Samantha – Eating Lunch with Stacy


I arrive a little early at the restaurant and Henri takes me to our normal table. It's so nice having the restaurant again so I comment, "Henri, it's good to see you again."


He smiles and answers with his French accent, "Oui, however Miss Mabel left temporarily today to go back to the Blaine's cabin to cook for them. So our menu today is limited."


I remember when Mabel first came to work at the restaurant, Henri and she had huge fights. It was good to see they finally worked things out.


Stacy arrives, waves at me and comes right over. I stand, we hug each other, then we take our chairs as Stacy says, "Ben Blaine would not accept any of my men to help him, however he did accept Mabel to cook for him."


I smile and comment, "That was nice of you to let Mabel go."


Stacy confides in a whisper, "I really didn't have a choice, it was let her go or she was going to quit."


I reply, "And losing her would probably cause a loss of the five star rating this restaurant has."


I forgot to mention that fact. The addition of Mabel and her dishes made the restaurant world class. Hell, it was booked months in advance and people came up from Denver just to eat here and of course to sample some of the beer from the local brewery. The food critics raved about the restaurant. It was a boon to the local economy as many people booked romantic getaway weekends in the local hotels. At first Stacy considered purchasing one of the hotels, but Alexi had dissuaded her.


I finally worked up the nerve to ask Stacy, "So, what do you think about the kidnapping?"


Stacy smiles and says, "First. Samantha I didn't have anything to do with this situation. Second, the people who did perpetrate this were very smart because they wore masks so Jennifer couldn't put a spell on them and third, even though this sounds bad, they did me a favor."


I counter, "Stacy even with Jennifer and the children missing, you still don't have a chance with Ben. In fact I would probably say you have even less of a chance with him now than ever before."


Stacy changes the subject, "I really don't want to talk about this, let's eat."


The waitress comes over with a revised menu. We look at it, order then Stacy remarks, "I forgot to mention, your bodyguard will be here in a few minutes. And I also doubled the security at the castle, other employee's houses and the businesses."


Stacy's mobile phone rings, she looks at it and says, "It's Bill, I need to take this."


She listens and says, "Thanks Bill, that's exactly what we thought would happen. Make sure to get a security team over there and set the rotation schedule you talked about."


She ends the call and remarks, "Irina and Miranda have left Alexi's house and are at Ben's cabin. I needed to make sure we have security covering Alexi’s family."


I question, "How many babies do they currently have?"


Stacy laughs and admits, "I sure as hell don't know. You could always interview him and find out."


I complain, "Stacy, the last time I tried to interview him, I thought he was going to make me another one of his wives."


Stacy laughs and says, "Yeah, he pulled that on me too."


Our meals come and we begin to eat…


Present – Gretchen – Call from her store


My phone rings - I have a surprise when I see it's from the store. When I answer Mike says, "Gretchen, the order is all messed up. They gave us too many of the wrong items and not enough of the right items."


I ask, "Mike, do I need to call the supplier?"


Mike says, "No don't worry about it, I will handle it. I just wanted to keep you in the loop."


I praise him, "Mike you're doing a great job, but please feel free to call me if you need anything."


Mike hem haws around and finally asks, "Gretchen what about the items you pulled from inventory, we need to account for those."


I reply, "Mike you're exactly right and we can't just write those off. I haven't talked to Ben about this but let's open up a credit account for them, I know they will pay for the equipment."


I see someone I haven't seen forever so I end the call, "Mike, I need to talk to someone."


Mabel walks into the control room so I run to her, hug her and say, "I can't believe what happened."


Mabel echoes my feelings, "I thought I was going to have a heart attack when I saw Samantha's report."


I ask, "So you came back to cook?"


Mabel affirms, "Yes I did. Now, if I could just find Inga and determine how many people I’m cooking for."


I smile and say, "I will call her and have her meet you in the kitchen."


Mabel says, "I sure wish I was back under better circumstances. I better get to the kitchen and get started."


I call Inga on the com system and inform her, "Inga, Mabel is back and is waiting in the kitchen to find out how many people she's cooking for."


Inga replies, "I will go to the kitchen immediately."


Present – Inga – Meeting Mabel in the kitchen


Mabel showing up to cook for us again is a Godsend because it keeps me from having to call out for food for everyone. Before I leave the conference room I ask the FBI, how many agents do you currently have here?"


He replies. "Why, I have ten agents."


I inform him, "Our cook has arrived and she would like a headcount. I'm going to meet with her in the kitchen and will be right back."


I reach the kitchen, hug Mabel and say, "Thank you for coming to help, I had no idea how I was going to feed everyone."


Mabel says, "I'm here so everyone else can concentrate on finding Jennifer and the children. So, how many people am I feeding? I begin to enumerate: There are ten FBI agents, four security officers that I brought, Ben, Irina, Miranda and of course Bernie, Liz and Desiree."


Mabel says, "Okay that's twenty, I will cook for twenty five just in case."


I smile at her and express my gratitude, "Thank you Mabel, you’re a lifesaver. Oh, I forgot about Thom - he's supposed to be here later."


Mabel quickly adds, "The way that man eats my cooking I'd better make even more."


We both laugh and I excuse myself, "Sorry Mabel, but I need to get back to things."


Present – Desiree, Liz and Bernie – Talk about some things


Desiree is incredibly intuitive and after a short period of cocking her head she looks at us and asks, "Okay mama and papa, what is really going on here? I know that Ms. Blaine and Fiona and James did not go on a vacation…"


I question, "Desiree, what makes you say that?"


She grins and replies, "The cabin is full of strange people who I think work for the government. They would not be here if they were just on a vacation."


Bernie confesses, "Desiree, you are right. Some bad men came and took Ms. Blaine, Fiona and James. The men here are federal agents who are trying to find them."


Desiree asks, "So is that how the front door was broken?"


I nod my head, "Yes it is. But don't worry; this is a safe place now."


Desiree questions, "How can it be safe with the front door broken?"


I reply, "Because there are many agents here to protect us."


Desiree thinks about it, but I'm not sure she believes we are safe…


Present – Jens – In the back of a van


I hear a car drive up and begin to yell, "Help, help me please!" Then I kick the door even harder.


I hear a man's voice announce, "We're with the Colorado Highway Patrol and are approaching the vehicle. Please stay calm."


I yell, "Calm my derriere, they took my children!"


I hear the back door open, he looks inside and asks, "Are you Jennifer Blaine?"


I reply, "Heck yes I am! Get this damn hood off my head and this tie wrap off my wrists."


He complies and asks, "Where are you children?"


I swear, "They took them, the… the… the bastards took them!"


He replies, "Let me call this in then we need to get some treatment for your wrists."


I look down and notice the tie wrap had cut my wrists and they were bleeding."


He asks, "Can you give us more details about the kidnappers?"


I think for a moment, and reply, "They all wore wolf masks." Then I remember something else but… but… but I don't dare tell them.


Present – Thom – Calls Inga with the good news


My phone rings, I see that it's Thom and answer. Thom practically crows, "Inga, good news! The kidnappers released Jennifer."


I immediately ask, "What about Fiona and James?"


A much subdued Thom replies, "Unfortunately they still have both children. We're arranging for Jennifer to be returned to the cabin. And I should be there later."


I follow with a teasing prompt, "I hope you are not delayed so you don't miss Mabel's dinner."


Thom asks, "Mabel is back and cooking?"


I reply, "She sure is and you do know she's even a better cook now than before."


Thom says with some enthusiasm, "Good, I'm on my way!"


I hold up my hand to get attention and announce, "Jennifer Blaine was released by the kidnappers. Unfortunately they are still holding both children."


Ben immediately asks, "How is my wife?"


I reply, "Thom didn't give me any more information."