Charlie - Off With a Bang

Never a quiet moment around here, eh? One minute you're being goddamn kidnapped, the next you're confronting the goddamn Incredible Human Doorknob with the news that he's a suspect because some nosy parker used his goddamn phone to make a goddamn ransom call.


Not that he is a suspect. I mean, you don't have to be a goddamn genius to work out it's not his voice making the ransom demands - a jelly fish that's 99% water 0% brains could tell it's not Hart.

So who the heck was it?

Damn, there goes my phone. With that stupid ringtone as well. I haven't managed to change it yet. Jesus.

I pull it out my pocket. Mendrick gets halfway through glaring at before he remembers we've only just made up, so he covers it by glaring at Harrison, who's behind me.


I stick the phone to my ear. 'What?'

'Hello again, Miss Broker.'

Jesus Christ! I know that voice.

'I thought we'd been through all this,' I growl. 'Get lost.'

'Not this time, Charlie. I seem to remember the last time we had a little... chat. And I asked you to do something very particular. Do you remember what it was?'

I glare morosely at nothing in particular. If he thinks I'm answering, he's got another think coming.

'Pity. But I'm sure you remember the friendly warning I gave you.'

'Not sure I'd call it exactly friendly.'

He laughs humourlesly. Jesus, everything about this guy is so goddamn clichéd. Probably calls himself 'Mister X' as well. Jesus.

'Well now, we seem to differ on this point. But whatever adjective you use, you can't escape the fact, Miss Broker, that you disobeyed my orders. And I did warn you about what would happen.'

'What the hell are you talking about?'

'Look out the window, Miss Broker. You have 60 seconds.'

The line goes dead.

'What was that?' Mendrick begins, but I'm ignoring him, looking out the window, down into the parking lot. All I can see are a few lousy cars, and a kid hanging around.

A kid.

Lawrence's kid. Jesus Christ.

And suddenly I get it. The ransom call, the attempted kidnappings, the first kidnap itself - it had nothing to do with ransoms or money or anything. It was all to distract us from what was really going. What is really going on.

We're three floors up. I glance at my watch. 59 seconds. Damn! Not enough time.

'Charlie, what the hell is going on?'

58 seconds.

She's wearing a bomb.

57 seconds.

The End

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