The Business of Kidnapping

This is the start of a novel length work…Enjoy

It wasn’t my alarm clock that was ringing, it was my phone. Groggy from just waking up from three hours of sleep, I looked out the small port side window of the boat and picked up the stander issue phone.
“Good morning, this is 9Rom.” I said and rubbed my eye.
The boat rocked under my feet making me feel sick to my stomach.
“Are you on the boat to the station?” It was 2Hil, I could tell my his tense, stressed voice.
“I wouldn’t feel this sick if I were on land.”
I stood up and pressed a hand to the wall so I could stay upright. My legs trembled slightly under each step as I made my way to the door.
2Hil sighed. “Good.”
“Is something wrong?”
I shoved open the door into the tin hall. Grabbing the frame of the door, I looked down the way to see which way the stairs were.
I rolled my eyes. “Well, what is it?”
“Remember how we were going to kidnap the princess?”
The boat suddenly shifted and I tumbled over myself. I grabbed the wall and looked up at the gray ceiling.
“Princess Kyah?” I leaned against the wall and rubbed the back of my head.
“Yeah, well she disappeared.”
I pushed myself up off the ground. “Disappeared? What does that mean?”
“She’s gone. We put her in the central cell unit 7 with twenty-two others and well…” His voice got hushed. “There are still twenty-two girls, but we can’t figure out which one is her.”
“What, are you joking?” I walked down the hall, up the stairs and out onto the deck. “It’s the girl wearing a dress with long red hair and green eyes.”
“They cut her hair and other girls too. They changed clothes and I don’t know, made her look all normal.”
I walked up to the railing of the bow of the PT boat. “Well keep them all away from the rest of the group. I’ll sort it out when I get there.”
I could see a strip of land on the horizon. Smiling, I turned to go inside and see the captain.
“Land ahead,” I said to 2Hil. “I tell him to skip the train and we’ll get to the station ASAP.”
“That’s not good enough.” He said quickly. “I radioed a helicopter to meet you at the dock.”
I furrowed my brow and looked at the gray sky. Wind gushed past me and blew my hair around.
“We’re trying to stay under the radar here,” I said. “Helicopters are supposed to be reserved for kidnappings and emergencies. What is so awful about this situation that you are willing to risk this whole organization?”
There was a long pause from his side of the phone. I looked out at the mainland, my seasickness already melting into distaste. A wave crashed up over the side and water rained over my head. I could hear his steps on the other end of the phone, then he stopped.
“She probably has a tracking device planted on her.” He said.
“We’ve dealt with that before when we kidnapped Prince Mahi.”
“But-” He stopped and then whispered. “She knows.”
“She knows what?”
He shushed me. “Be quiet, this is classified stuff I’m telling you.”
“What does she know?”
“The launch codes.” My heart stopped. “If we let her get one message out… all it takes is the coordinates and everyone on our island will be nuked.”
Then I suddenly heard sirens start wailing on his side of the phone and he hung up. I folded the phone shut and looked up. A white helicopter flew overhead and I waved to it. Then I rushed inside and looked at the captain.
“I need to get on that helipad as soon as possible,” I said.
“Yes, sir.”
The boat kicked into a higher gear and we started bouncing over the waves. I reached to grab the notepad out of my pocket and found I was still in my pajamas. So I rushed downstairs and got ready to go. When we started docking, I ran upstairs with my backpack over one shoulder and hopped over the rail to the Helipad. I grabbed the handle, swung myself up on the helicopter and dropped my bag.
“This is the copter to the station?” I asked.
“That it is.”
I cursed in my head and looked up to see Gek sitting in the pilot’s seat. This was the master of all destruction, the rule breaker, the captain of IOU, too cool for school, 7Gek. He sat in the pilot’s seat and was hitting buttons. The propellers started to spin overhead. As the noise picked up, he turned to me and tossed a pair of headphones my way. I put them on and settled in my seat, holding my backpack close. In my opinion, it would be a miracle if we didn’t crash. But he was trusted with this mission so I didn’t say anything as we lifted up into the air.
“So what’s this super secret mission we’re going on?” His voice rang loudly through the headphones.
“Oh come on.” He looked over at me with a wide grin. “You can tell your pilot.”
I rolled my eyes. “class-i-fied.”
He snickered and leaned back in his seat. “Classified like all that junk you were telling me the last time you were drunk.”
“Oh shut up. Those were special circumstances.” I looked out the window and rested my hand on my fist. “You didn’t repeat any of that did you?”
“Oh, just a little bit.”
I flipped around to look at him. “W-what did you say?”
“Oh, you know.” He was grinning, adjusting a few things. “Like you were telling me about that secret room in the administration building.”
“Oh god. This is why I shouldn’t talk to you.” I covered my eyes.
He laughed. “Come on, we used to be best buds.”
“That is only, only because we were forced to live in the same house.”
“Forced? Awe I liked living with you, you’re a great cook.”
I could see the landing pad. Gek went quiet but was still grinning.
“It’s the princess,” I said quietly. “She’s missing. I need to find her fast before she either escapes or…”
“I see.” He said, finally sobered up from his happiness. “I wish you luck. But please be kind to her, I’m sure she’s scared.”
I looked over at him as he initiated landing. The ground was brown and yellow, dead plants and dirt were the only things around the big white storage building. I could see the helipad below us. As soon as we touched down, I hopped out and made my way towards the building quickly. 2Hil opened a door that would have otherwise been locked and brought me into the station.
“I’m glad you’re here.” He said making his way down the hall as fast as he could while still walking.
“Central Cellblock 7, right?”
“That’s right.” We both walked up to the door.
I didn’t reach to open it. Composing myself, I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. When I opened them again I could see 2Hil with a small grin on his face.
“Work your magic.” He said.
I threw open the door and went in. Twenty-two girls sat in the square room. I flicked on the lights from the outside, sending the dark box into bright fluorescence lights. The girls all flinched, huddled up in the center of the room.
“I’m here for Princess Kyah.” I said while letting out a deep breath. “If someone could please identify her that will make this whole process a lot faster and easier for all of us.” No one moved as I looked around for anyone to say something. “We aren’t going to hurt her… We won’t hurt any of you.”
And still, no one made a move. I looked over my shoulder at 2Hil who was standing in front of the door.
“I’m going to sort them out. The ‘no way’s’ will go on the train put the rest in cell block 2. Get the overseers ready.” I said and he rushed out of the room.
Then I walked up to the closest girl. She pulled away from me into the group.
“Don’t be afraid.” I held out my hand. “Come here, I just need to take a look at you.”
She slowly reached up and took my hand. Her palm was rough as though she had been doing hard work. After I helped her up, I lead her over to the door. She didn’t walk like a princess. As I looked over her I could see she was of a slightly different body build.
I opened the door and looked to the line of fit teens who waited for me. “Train.”
I nudged her out of the room and the first person in line took her hand. Going back to the room I took the few girls who were too large to be the princess out to the overseers. Next, I took the girls who were too tall and those too short. We were down to fifteen. Then I took the girls who had a lot of muscle and I checked each girl’s walk, the roughness of their hands, and the color of their eyes.
There were twelve left. I looked at the rest of the girls who could have been the princess but with shorter hair or a blended eye color. The girl who had worn the dress had already been taken outside. I turned from these girls and went out into the hall. 2Hil stood outside tapping his foot and biting his lip.
“So?” He asked quickly.
“She’s one of those.” I looked over my shoulder at the door. “Well, I think so at least.”
“We need to start loading them onto the train, it was supposed to leave an hour ago.” He looked down at his watch. “I’ll have them tagged and put on board. Go ahead and find your seat, we’re taking the long way this time to confuse the kids on their location so find someplace comfortable.”
“Alright.” I started walking down the hall. “Oh um…” I turned back to him. “You might want to ask a higher up to ask the prince to come down to identify her.”
Then I calmly walked out of the building and started out across the dry field to the station where our old passenger train was sitting. I was alone. Wind brushed over me again. I tried to think of a time when it had been this breezy in September and couple of days came to mind but nothing like today.
“What are you doing?”
I jumped at the sound and looked over my shoulder to see who had spoken. No one was there. So naturally, I turned towards the corner of the building and started walking that way.
“You’re supposed to be on the train.” It was Gek’s voice but it was the words he said that made me walk a little faster and quieter.
“Come on, we have to get you over there before someone finds you off the train. We can’t just leave you here.”
I slowed as I reached the corner. They had stopped talking. I strode around the corner but no one was there. I shook my head slightly and redirected myself back to the train.

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