End of Chapter 9 in AN UNLIKELY HERO
The old man took a beating pretty good, Essid had to admit. He even spit on one of the interrogators, Jamaal, at one point. It wasn’t until Essid opened his laptop and sat it in front of Jericho Crawley, that he saw pain and fear in his eyes.
“Yes, Mr. Crawley, take a good look. It’s a live feed.” Essid waited patiently. Jericho’s half closed eye tried to focus on the screen. “What do you see?”
Jericho batted his eyes for clarity. “No!” he moaned.
Essid smiled as he bent down and looked at the figures moving on the screen. “So you recognize them. Good. I believe that one is Sean Patrick, and oh look! There’s Heather hugging her daddy’s neck. I wonder where Daniel could be. Let’s scan a bit out,” Essid said kindly as he touched a button. “There he is! And with a fetching park ranger, I see.” Essid straightened and folded his arms across his chest. “Honey is not as sweet as her name, I’m afraid.” The screen was pulled away by another captor. “Now, I need to know where you created the super vault that stores the isotopes. It’s not on the schematics. I want those isotopes before I level the lab. So be a good boy and tell me.” He grabbed the computer again and turned it around carefully. The sound of children laughing as they played flashlight tag reduced Jericho Crawley to tears.
“Don’t hurt them. Please.”
“I have no wish to harm children, Mr. Crawley. Just give me the information and I’ll make sure they continue with their vacation.”
The old man had nodded in surrender. It took him only minutes to fill in the missing pieces of information Essid needed to complete his work. Afterwards, Crawley was given food and water before tying him to his cot.
“What now?” Jamaal ask timidly as he handed Essid a cup of hot tea. The interrogation the night before had frightened him. He had blundered the bomb and gotten men killed. Jamaal now walked a thin line of life and death.
Essid turned his now brown eyes on the failure before him. To make matters worse Jamaal managed to end up in Captain Chase Hunter’s possession. If the captain had wanted Jamaal to remain captured there would not have been a successful escape. Experience taught him the captain could be devious. The contempt brewing inside him remained hidden behind a veil of calm. “You have made quite a mess in the last twenty four hours, Jamaal. What have you to say for yourself?”
Jamaal rubbed his hands together nervously. “It wasn’t my fault, Essid! I...”
Essid impatiently held up his hand in protest. “Stop,” he whispered. After picking up Jamaal the day before, it was assumed that he’d been bugged. Taken to a carwash, Jamaal was forced to strip naked and lie on the hood of their rental while he suffered the beating of twenty jets of hot water. Essid was well aware of skin absorbing trackers. Although bruised and burned by the jets of hot water, Jamaal survived to face a much more frightening fate: Essid.
“I have a little job for you.”
“Anything, Essid,” Jamaal said a little too quickly. “How can I make this right?”
“Help Honey when she kills the Scott family.”