Black: Day 01 - Chapter 15

in #fiction9 months ago


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Los Angeles, California
Tuesday, June 7th, 2016 - 07:40 AM

Outside Santa Clarita Power Station

Sometimes, the combined misfortunes of two people come together in unexpected, absurd ways.

This morning happens to be one of those cases as Olivia Lopez, after having spent a sleepless night arguing with her soon to be ex-husband, was heading to a guaranteed to be a hellacious day at work, and had her car unexpectedly stopped by a stranger.

Only this was no ordinary stranger. Not the type to kindly ask for directions. Instead, this handcuffed stranger stopped the car by pointing at it with a gun.

Little does Olivia know, Adam jumped into the car, telling Olivia to step on the gas, while holding her at gunpoint, because he is desperately trying to save his family - while at the same time running away from the Secret Service after being accused of an attempted assassination of a Presidential candidate - this, of course, is not true, but it's pretty irrelevant at this point.

It just hasn't been a very good day for either one so far.

Adam is shouting directions at Olivia who frantically attempting to keep her eyes on the road to prevent any further catastrophes. Not wanting to hurt her, Adam tries to keep Olivia calm enough to accomplish the same.

"Look, I understand you're scared. And I don't want to hurt you, I just need you to take me somewhere and help me out for just a little bit. And then I'll let you go. You're just gonna have to trust me, do you understand?"

Olivia keeps her eyes locked on the road as she nods.

"Good. Just drive the car."

Adam takes a second to observe their surroundings, and to see if they're being followed by the Secret Service.

"Take a left here. And then another left at the lights."

Olivia keeps driving and obeying, but as they arrive at red traffic lights, Olivia stops the car, and uses this pause as an opportunity to pepper spray Adam in the eyes.

Having spent her whole life in the less than luxurious corners of LA, Olivia has learned how to defend herself.

Unfortunately for Olivia, the man pointing his gun at her wasn't your average car thief, but someone willing to endure getting pepper-sprayed in the eyes to get what he wants.

Adam growls as the burning pepper spray enters his eyes, but never lets go of his gun, using it to swipe the bottle out of Olivia's hand.

"Do not do that again, you understand me? Just drive the car and I'm not going to hurt you."


On Route to ATC Headquarters

Only a few blocks from Adam and Olivia, another car is speeding to its destination. This one carrying Mona and Kevin, on their way to the ATC Headquarters.

Kevin and Mona have been attempting to piece together everything that has taken place ever since midnight - since the now-deceased Richard Williams informed the ATC staff of an impending threat on the life of Presidential candidate and Senator Bruce Miller.

Since then, they have had to call Adam in as a suspect for that very assassination - but Mona knows Adam isn't the man after Miller. She has filled Kevin in on what has happened, and as they are approaching ATC Headquarters, Mona tells Kevin to slow down the car.

"Okay, Kev, we can't just march into the office like nothing's happened. Whoever Richard warned Adam of working against us within the agency has to know that Adam was ordered to kill me. And if that person learns that I'm alive, it'll risk Megan and Susan."
"Yeah, you're right. Look, uhh, I'll call Amy and come up with an excuse, and ask who's in the office right now. So we'll know what we're working with."
"Sure."

Kevin pulls up his cell phone and dials Amy.

"Amy, it's me."
"Kevin! Where have you been? I've been trying to reach you. Gregory was asking-"
"I went to look for Mona. Something came up, and uhh, I wasn't sure what was going on."

Amy's tone takes a more serious turn.

"Well, did you find Mona?"
"Uhh, no. No, I didn't. I went by her house, but she wasn't there. I don't know where she is."
"Oh, okay. Yeah. She didn't tell you?"
"Tell me what?"
"She had to leave work. She called me 10 minutes ago to tell me. Some family emergency."

Kevin stops to look at Mona. Mona can't hear the phone call, but the look on Kevin's face tells more than half the story.

"Oh. Well, I'm on my way there."
"I'll let Gregory know, then."
"Sure."

Kevin hangs up and Mona wants to why Kevin looks like he's seen a ghost.

"What is it?"
"Amy told me she spoke with you on the phone 10 minutes ago."

And suddenly, it all makes sense to Mona.

"Oh my God, Kev. She's the one! Richard told Adam he had evidence of people within the agency working for the people planning to assassinate Miller. Amy's their inside person!"
"So what do we do now?"
"Let me think. If Amy's working for them, they must have the whole place rigged. She has access to everything."
"So we gotta catch her without them noticing."
"Yeah. But that's not gonna be easy."


A Construction Site Away from Everything

Olivia and Adam approach a barren construction site, and Adam tells her to park the car.

"Take the parking spot on the left there. And stop the car."

Olivia does as instructed, still frightened by the unrelenting man pointing his weapon at her.

"Okay, I just need to make one phone call. And I'll let you go, okay? Step out of the car."

Adam opens the door and gets out of the car, but Olivia stays inside, scared. Adam then opens the door on her side.

"Please get out of the car."

Olivia then finally steps outside. The two then make their way to an office building. Adam tries to open the door, but it's locked, so he breaks the window with the butt of his gun and opens the lock.

"Get in."

Olivia steps, and Adam then closes the door behind him.

"Do you have your phone with you?"
"Yes."
"Give it to me."

Olivia's shaky hands hand Adam her phone, and he begins to dial a number. It's quite clumsy holding a weapon and dial a number on a cell phone, all the while being handcuffed, but Adam manages it.

He calls Kevin.

"Kevin Reese, who am I speaking to?"
"Kev, it's me."
"Adam! Where the hell are you?"
"I can't tell you. Look, some things have gone down. Do you know where Mona is?"
"Yeah, she's right here."
"Thank God. Can you put her on?"

Kevin hands Mona the phone.

"Adam!"
"Mona! I'm so sorry! I'm so sorry for what happened! I wasn't sure if you'd made it, I had to make it look real, I had to make them think that I had killed you. I'm so sorry, thank God you're alive!"

Olivia is listening to Adam's side of the call, getting even more confused about this man she's now somehow involved with.

"Hey, I'm okay. I'm okay. We found their inside person."
"What?"
"The person they have inside the agency."
"Who is it?"
"It's Amy."
"Amy? Oh my God."

Adam sits down in shock.

"Oh my God. Mona, she had access to everything. Are you sure?"
"We caught her in a lie. I don't see any reason for her to lie."
"Where are you now?"
"We're outside the HQ."
"You can't go inside, they have the whole place bugged."
"Yea, we know."
"Put the phone on speaker so Kev can hear me."

Mona sets the call on speaker and Kevin listens in.

"Look, we need to talk to Amy. But the people she's working for can't know she's been discovered. We can't risk them killing Megan and Susan. They need to still hope to have use for me; they need to still hope to use Megan and Susan to get to me."

Also close to Adam's family, Kevin agrees.

"Yea, don't worry. We'll be careful."
"Thank you."
"So, what are you gonna do now? You're wanted for the attempted assassination of Senator Miller."
"I'm gonna lay low for a while. We need to find out what Amy knows, who she's working for. And when we do, I'm going to find my family. No one inside ATC can know you're in contact with me."
"Right."
"Call this number when you have something."
"You got it."

Adam hangs up the phone and nervously looks out the window, hoping the authorities don't get there too fast.


ATC Parking Lot

Kevin and Mona step out of the car as Kevin has an idea.

"Let's head in from the back. Into the ITS room. Amy shouldn't have access to that area of the building."
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah, I routed the cameras myself. If her job was to keep tabs on Adam, there was no reason for her to have access to ITS anyway."
"Yeah, I guess you're right."

They head to the back of the building, carefully. Kevin opens the door and goes in first.

"We're clear."

Mona follows. They keep an eye on the cameras, making sure they go around the blind spots into the ITS room where they can finally relax.

Kevin then lays out the plan he came up with on the way there.

"So, here's what we're gonna do. I'll go tell Amy we found the key card Adam took earlier, and we're closing in on finding what's on it. Amy will go somewhere private and contact the people she's working for, and we'll grab her. But we gotta be fast, if the place is being monitored, they'll notice things being out of the ordinary."

Mona opens up a laptop and loads up the surveillance footage of the building.

"You go handle her, I'll keep an eye on where she goes - then I'll set the security footage to a loop while you grab her and take her here."
"You think you can do that?"
"Yeah."
"Alright."

Kevin then steps out and heads to the main hall to Amy's workstation.

"Amy!"
"Kevin, you're back."
"Yeah. Good news."
"What's up?"
"We found the key card. The real one. The one that Adam switched for the fake one earlier. The real one was in his office."

Amy gets worried and begins to squirm, but tries not to show it.

"Oh?"
"Yeah, we're making good progress. We should find out what's on it real soon."
"Well, that's... good news."

Mona is following this on the monitor, and she can tell from Amy's body language that they were right: she's the spy. Everything about how she carries herself right now screams guilty.

Kevin notices this, too. He just hopes the plan now works.

"I'm gonna give the hourlies to Gregory now, you can probably handle yourself here, right?"
"Yeah. Sure. Just fine."

Kevin leaves, hoping Amy will contact the people she's working for.


The Construction Site

Adam notices Olivia being frightened. And feels guilty about it, so he sits down behind a table and puts down the gun.

"My name is Adam. What's your name?"

Confused, Olivia decides the best course of action is to reply.

"Olivia."
"Olivia. Sit down. I'm not gonna hurt you."

Olivia decides to sit down, but not at the table with Adam, but a few feet away from on a couch.

"Why are you doing this?"
"I promise you: this won't take long."
"Could you just let me go? You can keep the phone, you can keep the car, it's a piece of shit anyway. Just - could you just let me go?"

Adam looks at what he's causing: this innocent woman is absolutely terrified at being held hostage by an armed stranger. He feels guilt-ridden and horrible, but can't afford to help her out right now.

"I'm sorry, but I need to keep you here for a little longer. In case I was followed-"

Adam again looks through the window next to him.

"I need to make them believe I'm willing to do something really bad."
"You mean, like, kill me?"

God help me, he thinks to himself. This poor woman thinks her life is in danger. She did nothing to deserve it.

"Olivia, I'm not gonna hurt you. And I'm sorry I got you involved in this."

She may not have the formal education to grant her access to a high-level job, but Olivia is quite well self-taught in the area of men.

And she sees she can trust Adam.

"I believe you. But since you're practically holding me hostage - what's going on?"
"I work for a special branch of the government. Just before midnight last night, I was given a very special assignment. And there are people who are really trying to stop me from doing it."
"Well, then why are you running from the police?"
"The people trying to stop me from doing my job decided that the best way to do that was to make it look I was guilty of something."

Olivia pieces it together based on what she heard Adam say during the phone call.

"Are people holding your family?"

Adam feels like he shouldn't say too much, but at the same time, she dragged this innocent woman here at gunpoint. He owes her something.

"Yes. Yes, they are."
"Are they threatening to hurt them?"
"Yes. Right now, I need to find out where they are, and save them. If I'm taken into custody, I stop being useful to the people holding my family, and they will be killed. That's why I need you to keep you here for a little while, okay?"

It's the most absurd story Olivia has ever heard, despite being married to a compulsive liar - but for whatever reason, she trusts Adam.

"Okay. Okay, I'll help you."

It's not exactly a situation where you make friends. And it's not like a friendship was born here, but Adam does appreciate it. He hasn't had the chance to slow down much ever since he was called into work some nine hours ago.

So an act of understanding like this comes at a good time. Adam doesn't feel like he deserves it, but Olivia seems to understand.

"Thank you."


ATC Headquarters

Mona is sitting behind the laptop in the ITS room, monitoring Amy - when she finally makes a move.

Mona then contacts Kevin who is standing by.

"Okay, Kev, she's on the move. Looks like she's heading to the women's restroom."
"Alright, copy that."
"You have... 30 seconds. Starting now."

Amy heads to the ladies' room, makes sure all the stalls are empty, and then enters one of them.

She quickly pulls up her phone to send a message to Noah.

Quietly, Kevin, carrying a gun, enters the ladies' room while Mona distracts the camera feed by looping it, as planned, so that Noah doesn't see Kevin following Amy to the bathroom.

Before Amy can press send on her message, Kevin climbs up on the toilet in the stall next to the one Amy's in, and points his gun at her.

"Put the phone down, and come with me. Now."

Immediately, Amy's world crashes down as she realizes she's been found out. She has no choice but to comply. She opens the door to the stall and allows Kevin to drag her out.

"Come on!"

Just before time runs out on the camera loop, Kevin drags Amy out through the hallway and into the ITS room.

Mona then violently presses her up against the wall.

"Amy, you are gonna start talking, and you're gonna start talking to us now!"


Noah's Hideout

In their room, Megan and Susan are painfully unaware of their fate. Will Adam find them in time? Is he even close? How much time does he have? Is he even trying?

Not long ago, they were down on the ground on their knees, awaiting their execution, but something bought them a little extra time.

However, they have no idea how much.

Megan, specifically, is starting to show her pessimism.

"Mom?"
"Yeah?"
"There's a really good chance they're not gonna find us."

Susan is trying to stay strong. One, for the sake of her daughter. But also for her own sake; at least one of them needs to stay functional, and of course she finds it to be the job of the mother in a situation like this - no matter how crazy it gets.

"You can't think like that, honey."
"They almost killed us, mom. They were willing to do it. That means if they don't have use for us-"
"Don't talk like that."
"Mom! They're not just gonna let us go. They're going to kill us."
"Your father will find us."
"But what if he doesn't?"

Susan doesn't want to think of what to answer.

In his room of operation, Noah is monitoring the camera feeds from the ATC headquarters. There's nothing strange or out of the ordinary on any of the feeds, but he is waiting for a status report from Amy, wondering why he isn't getting one.

He sends her a text message, asking what is taking her so long.


ATC Headquarters

Amy is trying to defend herself in a fierce interrogation session with Mona and Kevin.

"I didn't know anyone was going to get hurt! I swear!"

Kevin isn't taking any of that. Adam is his best friend, and because of Amy's actions, his family is being held hostage.

He slams his hand on the wall next to Amy and then uses his other hand to grab Amy by the throat.

"Oh, yeah? Well, they did. People are dead because of you! And Adam's wife and daughter may end up dead unless you start talking to us right now. Who are you working for?"
"A man named O'Connor. Noah O'Connor. But I'm not saying anything more before I talk to Bryan Mannings."

Mona then attempts to intimidate her further.

"Amy, there is no lawyer. It's just you, and us. And we can keep you here for as long as we want."
"No. You're not getting anything from me until I get an immunity agreement. In writing. Signed by Mannings."

Kevin tries one more time to force the information out of her.

"There's no time for us to get Mannings here, it would take forever for him to go through proceedings to get you an immunity deal. The best way for you to help yourself out right now is to cooperate."
"I already said no. I know how this works. Get me immunity, and I'll talk. That's the deal."

Kevin and Mona are holding Amy's back to the wall, but in reality, they are the ones with their backs to the wall.


The Construction Site

Adam is keeping watch by the window.

The adrenaline is starting to wear off. Finally stopping is taking its toll, and the effects of the day are starting to show; the lack of sleep is catching up with him.

Olivia is finally opening up and keeping Adam company, so he desperately tries to stay in the conversation to keep himself awake.

"Are you married?"
"For the time being, yea. But not for long."
"Oh, I see."
"We were having problems anyway, but ever since my sister got in a bad car accident and moved in with us, my sack of shit of a husband made me choose."
"Between you and your sister?"
"Yup."
"And you chose your sister."
"Yes, I did."
"Any kids?"
"My daughter just turned 19."
"So our daughters are about the same age."

Olivia sees Adam's body language change as he thinks about Megan.

"And you really have no idea where she is? Or your wife?"
"No."

Adam stares out the window, and the lack of sleep finally starts to get the better of him. He simply must rest his head on the wall for a bit and close his eyes.

"You know, I used to work in the military. Fieldwork for the CIA. I've been in some pretty bad places. I've seen some pretty bad things. I don't think I've ever been more scared than I am right now."

As he finishes speaking, Adam's body finally gives up, and he drifts into sleep.

But just as he does, the phone rings. Adam snaps right back up and picks it up.

"Adam, it's Kev. Amy confessed."
"Has she talked?"
"No. She refuses to talk until she's been given immunity. Signed by Mannings. The only thing we've gotten out of her is the name O'Connor. Noah O'Connor. Does that mean anything to you?"
"No. Put her on the phone."

Adam hears some fighting on the other side as Amy doesn't want to be put on the phone, but finally, she speaks.

"What do you want?"
"Amy! Listen to me. Right now, this is between Mona, Kevin, and me. No one else knows about this. You know me. I don't care about protocol, and I'm a man of my word. Right now, all I want is to find my family. Tell me how to find them, and I'll handle Mona and Kev."
"You can't do that."
"Of course I can. Amy, I'll help you. Just let me know how to find my wife and daughter, please."
"No. I already told Mona and Kevin: I won't talk until I have an immunity agreement. Signed by Bryan Mannings. I won't negotiate."

Kevin takes back the phone.

"So, what do you want me to do?"

Adam doesn't know. He feels helpless as it dawns on him that he really doesn't know.

"I don't know. Kev, I just- I don't know. Secret Service is gonna be here soon, I need to get out of here. I need to find Susan and Megan."

He thinks for a second.

"Kev, I need you to send me a car with an ATC comm in it, a box of 9mm ammunition and a locksmith kit. The whole package. At the corner of Temple and Mercer. Try to get anything you can out of Amy. Anything that could be useful."
"Yeah, you got it."
"Thank you."

As Adam hangs up, he looks through the window, and his eyes notice a pair of bolt cutters lying around in the construction site.

"Olivia, come here."
"What is it?"
"You see those bolt cutters?"
"Yeah."
"I'm gonna need you to go out and get them for me. Could you do that?"
"Uhh, yeah, sure."

Olivia heads towards the door, and Adam stops her just before she steps out.

"And Olivia?"
"Yeah?"
"Remember that I need your help."
"Yeah."

Adam watches Olivia through the window as she goes outside to fetch the bolt cutters. Running away does cross her mind. And if it was just Adam, she might do it. We all want to look after ourselves, after all. But the fact that she believes Adam's story about his family being held hostage makes it easier for her to tolerate her own hostage situation.

So she retrieves the bolt cutters and brings them back to Adam.

"Here you go."
"Thank you."

Adam sits down and places his handcuffs on the table.

"I'm gonna need you to-"

Olivia gives a slight smile as she interrupts Adam.

"I know how to use bolt cutters, Adam."

Adam is freed as Olivia cuts through the handcuffs.


ATC Headquarters

Kevin is still having a heart to heart with Amy, trying to make it more personal.

"So, tell me. How could you do this? Betray everyone you work with. Your country. How much are they paying you, huh? A million? Two million?"

Amy looks down at her feet. She can't look at Kevin in the eyes.

"$300,000."
"$300,000? Yea, I could use $300,000. Everyone here could use some extra cash, we live in LA."
"You don't understand! My husband left me and my son with nothing. Nothing! I've worked twice as hard as anyone here, and I make half as much. I had to do something. For me and my son."

The sob story isn't getting through to Kevin.

"And this is what you did?"
"Yes. Like I said, I didn't know anyone was going to get hurt."

Kevin thinks for a minute.

"How old is your son?"
"He's ten years old."
"I wonder what kind of an effect it would have on your son, seeing her mother handcuffed like a criminal."
"What are you talking about?"
"Just imagine the effect it would have on him. The image of you as a criminal would never leave him. Your son would be left scarred for the rest of his life. I can only imagine how he would feel."

Amy understands what Kevin is hinting at.

*"You can't do this! Sean can't see me like this! Kevin, you can't do this!"

Kevin then raises his voice and returns to a more aggressive tone as he gets right in Amy's face.

"Then tell us what we need to know and we don't have to involve your son in this!"
"I can't!"

Kevin steps back.

"Mona. Get Amy's son here."

But Amy insists they don't.

"You can't bring Sean in here! I can't have him see me like this, please!"
"Then tell us what we need to know!"
"Don't do this! My son hasn't done anything wrong!"

Kevin then grabs Amy again by the throat.

"And neither has Adam's daughter, you bitch! And now she's in danger because of you! So start talking!"

All Amy can do is cry.

"I can't. I can't."

Kevin lets go.

"Fine. Then let's see what happens when your son gets here."

Kevin then handcuffs Amy on the table, and he and Mona leave the room, leaving Amy screaming inside.


The Construction Site

Secret Service and a bunch of police cars arrive at the construction site as Adam watches through the window.

"Shit!"

Olivia then steps towards the window to see what is happening.

"What's going on?"
"Secret Service is here. Olivia, I'm gonna need you to do me favour."
"What is it?"
"I need you to go to the back of the building, at the corner of Temple and Mercer, find a white car with ATC logos on it, and bring it here. The keys should be inside. Probably underneath the visor. Can you do that?"

Olivia then looks at all the cop cars outside.

"Man, that is insane! That's crazy. Why didn't the guy who brought the car just bring it closer?"
"The person bringing the car was just following orders. He couldn't know they were from me."
"I'd go in there to the middle of the cops and bring you an escape vehicle?"

Adam knows it sounds crazy. But it is what is he asking.

"Yes."
"Oh, man. Adam, I don't know. I'd be an accomplice, and I just..."

Olivia thinks about it for a second.

"Okay, okay, look. I'm not sure if everything you've told me is true, but... answer me this: are you wife and daughter really in danger?"

Adam looks Olivia straight into the eyes, and tells the truth.

"Yes. Olivia, please."

Adam's eyes tell Olivia what she needed to know: he's telling the truth. At least about the two women being in danger. That's enough for Olivia.

"Oh, alright. I'll do it."
"Thank you."

Olivia heads to the door, takes a deep breath, and steps outside. She walks past the police officers and goes to walk towards the corner where the car is.

But before she can make it there, Adam sees the police officers pointing towards the building, and quickly rushing their way there.

"No, no, no, shit!"

Adam then breaks the window of the opposite side of the building and escapes through a scaffolding set up behind the building.

With an army of police and the Secret Service behind him, Adam runs faster than he has ever run in his life towards the car Kevin sent for him.

Adam is seeing more stars every step he takes due to the lack of sleep and food, but there is never the slightest chance that he gives up. He keeps going. Through it all, he keeps going. He knows he's the only hope Susan and Megan have; he has no choice.

Just in time he gets in, grabs the keys from underneath the visor, and starts the car, making a break for it.


ATC Headquarters

Mona and Kevin are standing outside the ITS room. They are giving Amy some time to stew in hopes of her breaking and decided to give them more information.

Mona is looking at her watch and wonders if they should head back in.

"Maybe we should try talking to her again?"
"Let's give her a little more time."
"What if she still doesn't talk? Are we really going to bring her son in here?"
"Let's hope she does talk."

Mona is seeming extremely tired and out of energy.

"You okay?"
"Yeah, yeah, I'm okay. Just tired. It's been a pretty long day."
"Yeah. I hear you."
"How about you? How are you holding up?"
"I'm fine. I'm not the one who got shot today. Not yet anyway."
"I just hope Megan and Susan are okay."
"Yeah. Me too. Okay, let's try."

Kevin opens the door.

As they step inside, they see Amy on the floor, unconscious, with her handcuffed hand bleeding from the wrist.

Shocked, Kevin dives in to see if she's still alive.

"No! Shit! Get a medic in here now!"

She's still alive, but just barely, and won't be for much longer.

Mona grabs her phone, but before she can make the call, Amy's phone starts to ring.

Mona then quickly realizes who it is: it has to be Noah, the man Amy has been working for.

"It's him. What are we gonna do?"

Kevin is holding the unconscious Amy, bleeding to death, and doesn't have an answer.

"I don't know."

Sort:  

OMG! I figured Olivia was a goner with that pepper spray and now Amy...!!! you are SO. GOOD. at being surprising, it's awesome.

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