Alannah's call about Mendrick's health breaks my reverie over my new decision to stop being a regular guy. It’s not bad timing, considering the call that immediately follows. Apparently I’m popular tonight. It’s King, telling me that I need to be at Lawrence’s house as fast as I can be. We just got the ransom call, and everyone is rushing to the hospital.
Sorry I can’t be there for you, bossman.
I feel kind of excited, I figured a kidnapping would be slow compared to our usual cases but with everything going on right now it seems I was wrong. I drive over to his house quickly, flashing some police lights and the siren a couple times, because I need to get there fast. And I will admit, it is kind of fun. Don’t tell Mendrick I said that.
At the house Lawrence is standing outside biting his nails, pacing and pale as a man can get. I pull up the curb and get out and make my way over quickly. He looks up as I arrive and grabs my jacket and practically yells in my face, “What took you so long!? Where are the others in your group?”
“Mister Lawrence, there has been a . . . problem with my boss. Be assured that I can take care of what needs taken care of while things are worked out with him.” I realize in midsentence that I don’t even know what’s wrong and frustration flutters in my stomach. I quell my uneasiness and enter his house to meet the two police men who had tapped the line, and demand an immediate playback.
The voice is heavily encoded, sounding robotic and hollow. “I have your wife and daughter, Mister Lawrence. This is the first and last time I will contact you, I have set up a remote account that you must wire five million dollars into by the end of the week. When I’m sure the money has been transferred I will give you the location of them and you can get them with no further interference.”
I grimace, five million dollars? What does Lawrence even do, to make people think he can pay a ransom that big? That doesn’t matter. We have five days until Sunday, which gives us very little time to finish this job.
“Keep working on decrypting the voice encryption,” one of the police tech’s tries to speak up but I lift my hand. “I don’t care how good the encryption is, there is a way to break it. Until then . . . ” I’m at a complete loss. I’ve never been the one in charge. What should I be doing? What can I do to make sure that nothing goes wrong.
I have a new respect for Mendrick.