At 10:00 am the day after the kidnappings, three sets of very worried parents gathered at the local police station. The station itself was in an uproar over the obvious kidnappings of six children in one day and night.
"It's the work of professionals. Any fool can see that."
"Yes, that's evident enough. The poor parents... wonder what they're thinking right now."
"The worst part is that nothing can be done until ransom demands come in."
"The kidnappers obviously knew what they were about. The kids of the three richest families in Tulsa, all taken in less than twenty four hours. Amazing."
Not a single person felt anything but sympathy for the parents, except for one police officer, a police officer who was, at that very moment, on the phone with the kidnappers, talking in whispers in a private office.
"Yeah, everyone's here. Make the call now. Don't forget to use that kid's cell phone, or else it'll be traced."
"Yeah, yeah. Don't worry, I"ll take care of it."
Meanwhile, at an abandoned old warehouse about ten miles out of town, six confused teenagers were slowly waking up groggily, only to find that they had been denied the use of their limbs. All of them had their hands tied behind them. Their legs were tied to the legs of the chairs. Alanna felt a throbbing pain in her forehead, where she had struck it against the pavement.
The first to speak, she groaned, "What the hell just happened?" She looked around her, taking in the surroundings and her companions. Her eyes widened as she struggled against her bonds.
"I don't think that'll do much good." Isaac Hanson remarked dryly, noticing her struggles.
"What's going on?" Taylor asked as he awoke, dazed.
"Well gee, smart guy, we've been kidnapped, duh, unless this is someone's macabre idea of of practical joke." Alanna commented sarcastically, the pain in her head making her irritable.
"I'm not laughing." Rayne commented grimly.
"Ok, now we've established what happened, how 'bout we find out who else is with us! I"m Zac Hanson."
"Good. Now introductions are over." A new, more adult voice broke through the silence that had followed the introductions. The six kidnappers trooped into the centre of the teenagers. One by one they pulled off their masks. To everyone's surprise, two of their mystery assailants were girls. The leader walked over to Zac with a pair of scissors.
"Sorry kid, but your parents might need proof." And with a few quick snips, Zac's hair had been shorn to his shoulders, and the hand held a fistful of long blond hair. Isaac's wristwatch was removed, as was the silver chain that Taylor wore. From Alanna, a delicate gold bracelet was ripped off her hand. Rayne and Thom lost the indentical lockets they wore under their shirts. All this was slipped into a big manila envelope. A beautifully manicured hand went into Thom's shirt pockets, and when it emerged, a cell phone was gripped in it.
A phone rang at the station, its sounds reverberating around the room.
"Tulsa Police Station." A gruff policeman picked up the phone.
"I'd like to be put on speaker phone. I have an announcement to make to the unfortunate parents."
The policeman's eyes widened as he signalled frantically to some men to start a trace. He pressed a button and the man's voice filled the empty room.
"First of all, I"ll make it easy on you. I'm using the kid's cell phone so don't bother trying to trace it. Secondly, since there's no point telling you parents not to go to the police, I'm going to get straight to the important stuff... the money. We want three million american dollars in unmarked bills for each kid. In case any of you have a problem with math, that's 9 million for the Hanson brats, 3 million from Trebond, and 6 million for the Philip's twins. You have a month to get the money together. We'll get in touch with you at the end of that time to tell you where to drop the cash off. No funny stuff or the kids will get it... and when they do, they'll die slow... and their blood will be on your hands."
For a short moment, there was total silence. Then, the captain of the force snapped at the tracers, "Did you finish the trace?"
"Yes, but he was telling the truth. The call was made from Thom Philip's cellular phone, from the corner of Straford Street. That's a garbage dump, and anyway, he'll be long gone by the time we get there."
All this was said by Haley Davids, the best cop in the force. The captain banged his fist on the table in frustration. Then he took a deep breath and ran his hands through his hair.
"All right, they out smarted us this time, but it won't hap..." He trailed off as a messenger came running into the room with a manila envelope. He signed for it, gave the messenger a tip and opened it just as the messenger left. He pulled out a thick lock of blond hair, tied with a string, two silver lockets, a gold bracelet, a wristwatch, and a silver chain, and placed them on the table in confusion. He looked inside the envelope and pulled out a printed note.
Just a little something to remind the parents of their little darlings.
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