[Edge1.1.15] Rebel Reachout
“Argh!” he yelled.
Art wanted to yell the names of his bodyguards, but suddenly realized he didn’t even know what their names were. He didn’t think Tony had even told him, but if so, he had long forgotten.
“Hey! Help!” he yelled at the men. Then he yelled at the woman. “Stop it! That hurts. What are you doing?”
“What do you want with Carla,” she hissed.
“Johnny told me to find her,” he replied painfully.
She let up on his arm.
“I’m Carla. Stop these men and let’s get out of here.”
The two bodyguards were almost in front of them. They were reaching for the woman. Art was still kneeling. He stood up in front of them and punched the smaller guy, the one that liked to talk a lot, right in the gut.
The spokesman was a big dude, but he wasn’t in very good shape. Art’s fist connected with soft flesh and knocked his breath out. Art pushed him back into the other bodyguard. Then he turned and grabbed Carla’s hand to run. Art needed to find out what she knew.
“My car is over there,” she said pointing to a white van along the sidewalk. It was still running. She ran to open the door and motioned for him to get in. Art saw several men inside with headphones on.
“Get in,” she insisted.
Art shook his head and backed up a step. She turned to the men and ordered them to grab Art. He tried to back up and run, but tripped over the food truck equipment that was behind him. The men grabbed him on each side of the arm and pulled him to his feet. Just as they did, a shot rang out, and the woman fell against the van screaming.
The men let go of Art and turned to help her. They threw her in the van and turned for Art. More shots rang out, and the men jumped in the van as it squealed out of the parking lot.
Art turned to see his bodyguards coming in his direction. The smaller one he had punched came walking slowly with a limp. The other one was walking slowly too, but he looked out of breath.
They grabbed Art to half-push and half-pull him to the door where a small crowd had gathered.
“What happened? What’s going on?” Art overheard Tony saying as he pushed his way through the crowd.
“What are you two morons doing with him down here?” Tony shouted at the spokesman.
The man tried to explain, but Tony had already turned to Art demanding an explanation.
“That woman had a van full of electronic devices for spying and eavesdropping. I think they were listening in to our conversation.
They walked over to the reception desk. Tony had the security guard pull up the video feed and rewind it. As soon as he saw the woman’s face, he froze.
“No! April?” he said under his breath in such a low voice that Art could barely hear him.
“April?” Art asked. “She told me her name is Carla.”
Tony shook his head in shock and sat down on the security guard’s chair.
“April is my ex-wife. And I thought she was dead.”
Art just shook his head and walked over to a bench on the side of the reception area. This day just kept getting crazier and crazier.
He felt something in his pocket and reached for it. It was a small black cell phone. It lit up with a message on the screen.
“We will contact you.”
“This man lies.” Just then the bodyguards came walking over, so Art slipped the phone back in his pocket. He stood up.
“I’m sorry guys. I thought she was someone else. If I had known…”
The bodyguards grabbed his shoulder and started marching him back up the hall behind Tony.
“Wait. I gotta go to the bathroom.” Art said.
“It’ll have to wait till we get upstairs,” the spokesman said with a growl. “The last thing we’re gonna do is let you go in one of these bathrooms and escape out a window. I’ve seen that too many times in a movie. You think we’re stupid or something.”
Art smirked to himself. They were behind him so they couldn’t see him smile. He picked up his pace to get up to the office quicker. He wanted to see what other messages had arrived and send some back.
When they arrived back in the office, there were several lawyers already in the room waiting for him and Tony.
“Have a seat,” Tony ordered.
“Okay, but I need to use the restroom first.” Art replied.
Tony scowled at him but waved him on.
“Don’t let him out of your sight,” Tony commanded the bodyguards.
Art started to protest, but Tony ignored him, and the larger, silent bodyguard pushed him forward.
When they arrived in the bathroom, both men entered the bathroom with him.
“Seriously, guy. Is this necessary?” Art protested. “You’re gonna stand there while I do my thing. I need a little privacy here. We’re several stories up, it’s not like I’m gonna jump out the window or ninjas are climbing the walls to get up here.”
“Fine,” the spokesman said. “We’ll stand right outside, but leave the door ajar.”
Art didn’t argue with them. He didn’t want to waste the time. He pushed the door most of the way shut and pulled out the cell phone. There were no new messages. He sighed. Art had hoped they would have sent more information clarifying things.
“Who is this?” he texted back.
There was a long pause and then some activity. He could see them writing. He waited for the message to arrive and looked around the room. This was a really nice bathroom. Probably one of the most luxurious he had ever seen in his life. There was a jacuzzi bubbling away in the corner, a forty-two-inch screen on the wall with a large Lazyboy throwback chair in the corner, and a large pile of thick, fluffy white towels to the side of it.
“Someone could live in this room,” Art thought. It was almost as big as his entire apartment back in Brazil. He loved the smell of bathrooms here in the United States. They always smelled so fresh and clean. A complete contrast to the bathrooms he was used to in Brazil. Even the ones at his office were dark and dingy while reeking of mothballs.
A new message popped up on the screen.
“We are friends. We want to help you get out of there. It’s not safe.” the text said.
“How do I know I can trust you?” he typed back.
“We know what Tony is planning. He is evil.”
“Come on, Art.” the spokesman said and knocked on the door. “Tony and the lawyers are waiting for you.”
“What is he planning?” Art texted back.
“Not sure. But it can’t be good. He planned to kill his wife. She had to flee. The man is evil.” they said.
“What do you want from me?” Art messaged back.
“Need to meet. But don’t sign the contract,” they replied.
“But my company is going on sale at noon. And that’s bad.” Art texted.
“Better to let someone else have it than to let Tony and LocTech get their hands on it.” the replied.
“Are you the company that’s going to by us out? You’re messing with my head.” Art shot back.
“No. We are former LocTech employees but discovered terrible things. We left. Some were killed. Attempts on our lives. We flee underground to survive.”