Talia Of Animalistic Chapter 28
Chapter 28: Snatched
Update 7 days ago
The alarm clock goes off. It's the next new moon. Time for Talia to go into Megalopolis for work. Eli is settling in well. Cougar is planning on going with Talia and the baby. Richy has work so he's up getting a quick shower before he throws on his uniform.
"Come on Eli," Wildcat nudges his arm, "You can help me and Greywolf whip up some breakfast." And Eli being a naturally cheerful person, accompanies both men down to the kitchen gladly ready to help any way he can.
Richy's mobile phone rings as he's tucking his shirt in. He answers it, not surprised to hear Margie's voice. But what she tells him makes him swear.
"I gotta go," Richy says anxiously. He kisses Talia, "I love you. You both drive safely." And he rushes out of the master suite.
As they head down to the kitchen, Cougar and Talia hear Richy's sheriff's vehicle speed toward Bayberry Falls with the siren howling.
In the kitchen, Wildcat asks, "Was that Mist I heard speeding toward town without breakfast?"
"Yeah," answers Cougar setting Will in his carrier on the table, "He got a call, some emergency."
They sit down and have breakfast together. And as Cougar and Talia get ready to walk out the door to head to her car, Cougar's mobile phone rings. He looks at the caller's name and says, "Oh no." He answers and listens carefully. He finally responds, "I'll be there as quick as I can."
Cougar looks at Talia and sighs. He was looking forward to his alone time with Talia in Megalopolis. He says, "I'm gonna need my other bag… I'll walk you and Will to your car, put him in the backseat for ya, then I'll run back in and get my other bag."
"I can get it for you," volunteers Eli.
"That would save me some time," says Cougar appreciatively, "Thanks Eli. It's an orange and black bag on the shelf up in the closet."
"Okay," acknowledges Eli and he rushes upstairs as Cougar walks Talia out to her car while he totes Will in his carrier. Talia's dog, Big Boy, trots alongside them.
They come up along the driver's side of the car. Cougar sets Will in his carrier on the ground. He puts his hands on her shoulders and asks, "Are you going to be okay driving to Megalopolis by yourself?"
"I'll be fine," Talia assures him. "I've driven there countless times by myself. You're the one that needs to be careful."
Cougar leans over and kisses Talia. There's a whizzing sound. Big Boy yelps. Cougar and Talia both jerk involuntarily. They barely get to register the darts sticking out of them as they collapse unconscious to the ground with the dog as a strange car speeds up into the driveway by them.
As Eli comes around the corner of the house with Cougar's work bag, he pauses to try to comprehend what he's seeing. A man dressed in black from head to toe is placing a limp Talia in the storage compartment at the back of a car and shutting it.
Eli drops the bag as he shouts, "Stop!!!" and runs to try to catch the car, but he's not fast enough. The car speeds away. He runs back to Cougar and finds he's still breathing. Will is still in his carrier sleeping. But Talia's dog is dead. Eli grabs the carrier with the baby and rushes back into the house.
"Wildcat!!! … Greywolf!!! …" Eli calls at the top of his lungs. Both men hear the anxiety and fear in Eli's voice and respond immediately, noting that Eli has the baby.
"Eli," asks Wildcat anxiously, "What's wrong? Where are Talia and Cougar?"
"Cougar's on the ground with a short stubby fat arrow in his shoulder. There's one in the dog too. I wasn't fast enough. A man, all black, put Talia in the back of a car and drove away very fast."
"Take us to Cougar," request Wildcat, then he and Greywolf follow Eli back outside.
"Don't touch it," Wildcat tells Greywolf, "The dart may have finger prints on it." Then he digs Cougar's phone out of his pocket and tells the phone, "Best Friend, Richy…"
"Cougar, I don't have time to talk right now…" says Richy.
"Richy, it's Wildcat. Someone took Talia, Cougar's unconscious and the dog is dead."
"What," asks Richy in disbelief.
"Someone took Talia," repeats Wildcat, "Cougar's unconscious with some kind of dart they use for sedating wild animals sticking out of him."
"I'll radio Margie, find a safe place to U-turn and I'll be right back." Then Richy asks, "The baby? Will? Is he alright?"
"The baby's fine, Richy. Hurry," and Wildcat hangs up.
"Richy," Margie answers, "How far out are you from the accident?"
"Margie, there's a situation back at the estate," Richy informs Margie. "Can you spare Al and another deputy? Have them bring a finger print kit. And Cougar's unconscious, try to get me an ambulance at the estate, ASAP."
"Cougar's unconscious," states Margie wondering what's going on, "I know Molly just called him a few minutes ago. She's expecting him to come help with this mess. What happened, Richy?"
Richy almost breaks down, "Someone… Someone's kidnapped Talia… Someone's got my wife."
"Like some male from another tribe has snatched her or something," asks Margie.
"No," answers Richy, "Wildcat said there's a tranquilizer dart sticking out of Cougar. Free People don't have access to stuff like that. Here, I can turn around here." He pulls off the road and there's a slight sob, "My wife, Margie, my wife. Why would anyone take Tali?"
"It's gonna be alright, Richy," assures Margie, "I'll send Marie with Al. If there's finger prints, she'll find them. I'll let Molly know Cougar's down and I'll get an ambulance to the estate for him. Just stay calm and logical. Margie out."
Richy waits for the traffic to clear. Then with lights flashing and siren blaring, he races back to the estate.
"Have you moved him," asks Richy as he kneels down by Cougar.
"No," answers Wildcat, "Cougar and the dog are as we found them."
"I moved the baby," Eli tells Richy as he clutches the carrier with Will still sleeping in it, "I didn't want to leave him while I got Wildcat and Greywolf."
"That's fine, Eli," Richy assures, "you did right by taking the baby with you. Did you see anything, Eli?"
Eli nods, "A man, all in black, put Talia in the back of a brown car."
"You didn't see his face or hair," asks Richy.
"His black hat covered his face and hair," Eli informs Richy. "I saw his eyes for a moment. I was standing there where I dropped Cougar's work bag. He looked at me when I yelled, 'stop.'"
"Did you see what color they were," asks Richy.
"A green color," Eli recalls, "and his lashes were light colored. And his skin around his eyes was light, lighter even than Wildcat or Cougar's skin."
"That's good, Eli," Richy glad for any and all details he can get, "And you said he put Talia in the backseat of the brown car."
Eli shakes his head, "Not the back sitting area." He steps to the back of Richy's cruiser and puts his hand on the trunk. "He put her in this back area and closed it."
Richy's hands start to shake and he takes a deep breath. "You see how my car and Tali's car have a plate with numbers and letters on them… (Eli nods) Did you see the plate on the back of the brown car?"
Eli shakes his head, "There was no plate with numbers and letters on the back. There was a place for such a plate, but no plate there."
Richy is developing a deep appreciation for Eli. Eli has a sharp eye for detail. Richy looks up as a cruiser with Al and Marie pulls up. "Good job, Eli. Go ahead and go over with Otter and the kids, have a sit down and help her look after Will."
Richy confers with Al and Marie. They take some photos of the scene. Then Marie leans over Cougar.
"He was standing when he was shot," observes Marie, "and judging by the angle of the dart, it came down to him." She stands and approximates how Cougar was standing when he was shot. "… It had to come over that wall. So the shooter had to be up in the rocks on the other side of the highway. A sniper rifle had to have been used. Those things are really loud. Anyone hear weapon's fire?"
They all shake their heads no.
"Silencer," states Al.
Marie kneels back down and opens her finger printing kit. She pulls on latex gloves. Then she removes the dart from Cougar's shoulder and dusts it for prints. "Nothing," she tells Richy disappointed, "clean as a whistle." She repeats the process with the dart from the dog. "Nothing again… Richy this was really well thought out… We've got at least two kidnappers, one sniper who darted them from that general area on the other side of the highway and then the other zipped in here and snatched Talia."
"We'll view the estate's surveillance recordings and see if there's anything helpful," says Richy, "but I doubt we'll get anything more than the make and model of the vehicle. Eli saw the car and the license plate was missing."
"Sounds like they planned carefully," says Al.
"Very carefully," adds Marie, "they were careful to try not to leave anything that we could trace to them. But these tranquilizer darts can't be gotten just anywhere. We should be able to trace them."
Richy notices Cougar twitch and kneels down beside him. As he reaches out to check Cougar's pulse to make sure it's steady, Cougar starts convulsing. Richy holds his head to keep him from beating his head into the concrete.
"Where's that damn ambulance," Richy yells.
"Margie, this is Al," he says into the CB mike on his chest, "Where's the ambulance? Cougar needs it now."
"It's on the way," Margie's voice comes back, "I'll get them to step on it."
A few moments later they hear the sirens of the approaching ambulance.
"Is my boy gonna be alright, Richy," asks Wildcat as tears streak his face.
"I don't know," answers Richy.
The convulsing stops.
"…He's not breathing," states Richy and he starts CPR.
The ambulance screeches to a halt. The EMTs jump out carrying equipment over their shoulders.
"How long have you been doing CPR," ask an EMT.
"Not long," answers Richy, two quick breaths into Cougar's lungs, "Couple of minutes."
"Okay, Richy," says the other EMT, "We'll take over."
Richy's out of their way in a split second. Then he finds himself hugging Wildcat.
"My boy," Wildcat sobs, "My boy… Richy, I can't lose my boy. I've already lost his momma and my other son. I can't lose Cougar too."
All Richy can do is hug Wildcat tightly as they watch the EMTs work on Cougar. They shock Cougar twice with the defibrillator before one of them announces, "We have a pulse…"
One EMT stays with Cougar while the other pulls the gurney out of the back of the ambulance. They put Cougar onto the gurney together, strap him to it and load him into the back of the ambulance.
"Ride with him to the hospital," Richy tells Wildcat. "I have to finish up here. Then I'll catch up with ya."
Wildcat nods and quickly climbs into the ambulance. He takes Cougar's hand into both of his own and kisses his fingers. An EMT shuts the doors and Richy watches the ambulance pull away, sirens blaring, lights flashing and horns honking.
Richy opens his trunk. Then he lifts the dead dog, places him in the trunk and shuts it.
"Are you okay, son," asks Walter.
Richy's startled. He's not sure when his grandfather came outside. He finally answer, "Yeah. I'm gonna take Big Boy to the coroner and have him autopsied, get the darts tested too, try to trace where they were bought. If the darts are black market, we might hit a brick wall. I need to down load the surveillance recordings too… Al!..."
"Yes sir," Al responds without hesitation.
"That's Eli," Richy points him out to Al, "He got a glance at one of our kidnappers. He's got a good eye for detail, but our perp was dressed in black from head to toe. But Eli should still be able to give you an approximate height and build. Get that info from him while I get copies of the surveillance recordings."
"Yes sir," responds Al and he walks over to Eli while Marie starts questioning the others.
"I'll call Bob," Walter informs Richy, "We'll probably get a ransom demand soon. We can call a press conference, show footage of the car. Maybe someone will recognize it… You'll find her son."
"He put her in the trunk like luggage," Richy shares with Walter. "What if she runs out of air before he gets to where ever the hell he's going to with her? What if she's having a bad reaction to the tranquilizer in the dart like Cougar?"
"Try not to think about that," Walter tells Richy. "You'll find her. I know you will."