Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Chapter 20: What Lies Within

Thanks to Mrs OogieBoogie for some special poses she made and put up for download that are from her story, The Insane Dubois Legacy.

"Dr. McClaren! Gerard!"

I was in my office filling out some paperwork for the surgery I had just finished some ten minutes earlier, when I saw Keith knocking frantically on my door. He opened it and practically ran in, panicking and looking extremely distraught. I didn't really have time to ask him what was wrong because he immediately spoke.

"It's Iliana. She's gone. I put her in Quarantine right when you went into surgery, made sure she was okay, and then left. When I went to check on her about five minutes ago, she had disappeared. Her bed was still there, but she's missing."

My eyes narrowed, and my voice caught in my throat, panic setting in, as beads of sweat started forming on my face. This was the worst piece of news I could have gotten today. Just when I thought things were looking up, they crash back down again. Time seemed to slow down and I felt numb all over, unable to do anything but stare at Keith, completely speechless. I didn't want to get up from my chair, fearing that I would fall to the ground in a pile of tears if I did. How could this happen to me again? I felt like such a failure, that I couldn't even keep my own wife safe when she was in the same fucking building as me. Anger crept up on me and I pounded my fist down on the desk, making my computer monitor shake in place from the vibrations.

I tried to clear my head, but it was extremely difficult. The anger was coursing through me, and I tapped my finger on my desk obsessively. I was glad Keith had told me what was going on, since it was probably better that I knew of this sooner rather than later, so I could maybe this time around, find her and finally bring her home. The thought that I might have a lead to where she was propelled me to pull myself together, to take the chance and ask Keith about the idea I had.

"Keith, do we still have Iliana's clothes that she was wearing when she was admitted to the hospital?"

"Um, yeah I believe so."

"Will you retrieve them for me?"

Keith nodded, and I followed him out of my office, ready to go home after he had given me her clothes. I thanked him for letting me know, and said I was going to go home early because I really needed to. He completely understood and we parted ways. As soon as I arrived home, I put Iliana's clothes on the table, and called Francis. After about ten minutes he was sitting with me in my living room. I caught him up on my predicament, how Iliana had come into the hospital, and I had seen her with my own eyes, held her in my own arms, but how she was taken away again.

"Is there any way you can find evidence on Iliana's clothes, and find out where she was when she was wearing them?"

"Yeah, her shoes would probably be the most helpful, whatever dirt or other particles are stuck in the treads of the soles would give the most information."

"Francis? Thank you so much for helping me."

"You're welcome. This is the best lead we've had to date. We'll get her back."

Francis picked up one of the shoes Iliana had been wearing, and flipped it over to look at the bottom of it. He examined the treads for anything he could find. I looked at him intently, hoping that I wasn't pissing him off by staring at him, but I was just so desperate for him to find something or we'd be back at square one again, and that was not a thought I wanted to entertain. Whoever had Iliana was smart enough to kidnap her straight from the hospital, and I was sure more than ever that time was not on her side.

"Ah-HA! I found something!"

My eyes widened as Francis said those words, the magic words that would make me feel better, the words that would make me feel like there was hope again.

"This, Gerard, is a seed, a seed that is only found in certain parts of this town. Now, it will only narrow our search, but-"

"That's great! That's great. I think narrowing our search will help so much, we've had no idea where to look until now!"

I jumped off the couch and hugged Francis, which I doubt he was expecting, but I didn't care. He was helping me in the kindest way imaginable, getting something back for me that was one of the most important things in my life. Francis got over the shock of me hugging him and raised his right hand, hugging me back as best he could since I was squeezing him so tightly. He continued to let me hug him as he spoke some hard truths.

"Gerard, I think that we should be realistic here. You said that the people who took her are not to be messed with, and my guess is now that they've lost her once, they're probably accelerating whatever plans they have for her. We can only hope that she hasn't been shipped out of the country if she's stuck in some brothel, prostitution ring, or human trafficking, so yes, although it is great that we can narrow down our search, I just want you to be prepared, okay? If we see her in some unpleasant, unsightly manner, I need you to be ready for that. It's probably different than seeing things like traumas in your hospital, this is seeing the one you love being possibly tormented or held captive. It's not going to be easy, but we need to keep our heads together, especially since they sound like dangerous people. If they draw guns on us, we can't be emotional or let our guard down or we will be vulnerable and it will be more difficult to get her out."

I nodded, taking in the honesty and raw details Francis was telling me. He was probably describing some of the things he saw while he was a cop, possibly even busting prostitution rings and things of that nature. I was grateful to him for telling me that, even though it did worry me more than it had before.

"Okay, we should go though, head to that part of town, park in one of those community parking lots and pose as homeless people when we go exploring so the military doesn't arrest us for being out past curfew. Do you have anything kind of old we can wear?"

"Yeah, I'll be right back."

Francis and I changed, then got in his truck, driving down the abandoned streets with the sad buildings, dead trees, wrecked cars, and the terrible empty silence that plagued this town. When we drove down the same street we had that day we asked the homeless people for clues, I was struck with a pang of guilt. What if Iliana had been close by, but we left because we just didn't know? What if I could have saved her earlier? I had to brush those thoughts away, as there was no sense dwelling on them now, especially since we were on our way to saving her, at least theoretically. We arrived at our destination, and Francis put the truck in park. He reached over and got two pistols and some extra clips out of the glove compartment. When I looked at him in shock, he just grinned at me.

"You didn't really expect an ex-cop not to pack heat, did you?"

"Yeah, no, it's not that, I'm just, it's all sinking in now, I guess."

"Are you ready for this?"

"I don't think I really have a choice, do I?"

Francis looked at me with confidence in his eyes and handed me one of the pistols.

"We will be okay. We'll do our best to find her, and everything will be fine. Now, tuck this in the waistband of your pants and let's start looking."

I nodded at Francis and we got out of the truck, making sure to keep an eye out for any Hummers nearby because those were the military jeeps that patrolled the streets warning people about curfew. If they encountered a homeless person, they simply shooed them into an abandoned building and left them alone. Sometimes I wondered if the homeless people had it easier as far as sailing under the radar went. I followed Francis to the area where he had seen the familiar seed that he had found in Iliana's shoe treads. Of course, the seed wasn't able to grow into anything useful, but as we got closer to one of the buildings, I stepped on something. I looked down and noticed there were lots of those same seeds on the ground.

The only buildings around us were a giant concrete facility that looked like it might have been the old prison, and a small lot with two brick buildings on it. We heard noise coming from the brick buildings, that sounded like hooting and hollering. As we came up on the back side of it, we saw a few things piled up next to the building in front of some parking spaces. Walking closer towards the front there were some neon lights, one of which was a silhouette of a woman in a compromising position.

Our plan was to pose as customers and look around for Iliana. I thought about what Francis had said regarding unpleasant situations such as captivity, and I was scared, but I knew that whatever lay beyond the brothel doors was never going to make me stop loving Iliana.


  1. I guess they finally found the right place... I hope that Gerard will be okay

    1. Yeah, they are one step closer to finding Iliana...
      Hehe, he has Francis, he'll be fine. XD

  2. Ughh.. That Keith guy "omg Iliana's gone" YEAH, CAUSE YOU LET HER OUT.. *slaps the shit outta him*
    He plays a good bad guy that acts like a good guy, though. I'll give him that.
    Poor Gerard, JUST getting Iliana back and then poof, she's gone again.. Sigh.. I feel so bad for him, but I'm really glad he has Francis for a friend, and a COP friend, no less. *cuddles Francis*
    I really hope they find her before it's too late T_T

    1. Keith: *falls down unconscious from your beating*
      LOL. Keith is very good at what he does... -__- he knows exactly how to play both sides so no one suspects him.
      I know, right? Gerard just had a really emotional crazy day. Haha, Francis is the perfect friend for him... hopefully their plan works and they don't take too long locating her. O_O

  3. I can only imagine what Gerard feels like! He just found her and then she's gone again; and all because of Keith. I'm beyond repulsed by him. Acting all innocent about her being gone when it's his fault. I just dont' know how anyone could be so cruel. :(

    Thank goodness for Francis!! I was surprised that Keith gave up Iliana's clothes so easily. But at least that worked out in Gerard's favor. I really hoped Gerard listened to Francis' advice about being prepared for what he sees.

    1. Keith is a really good bad guy, able to manipulate both sides so no one suspects him of anything. Sadly, there are people in the world like this, and it is most likely amplified with the apocalyptic society... -__- Honestly, I haven't thought too much into Keith's back story as of yet, I just had him be the 'inside man.' Who knows, maybe I'll give him some reason he started working for Leonardo other than he's just simply a cruel person. LOL. I don't know yet.

      Francis is awesome, isn't he? :) It was perfect that Gerard ran into him one month ago. XD Well... Keith giving up Iliana's clothes, he couldn't say no because Gerard would suspect something, like why the hell not... so that's part of Keith being master manipulator, he knows when he's got to do something to avoid detection. Mm... I hope so too... Gerard trusts Francis a lot, so he probably will, but words are easier heard than followed, especially in the midst of chaos...

  4. Francis is such a great friend to keep around, him being both resourceful and kind... ♥! I'm glad they finally found a clue, and now if only they could be quick enough to prevent any more mischief coming Iliana's way... I'm so worried about her...

    I loved Gerard's last line... He can't deny he's utterly in love with his wife, he's such a dear!

    1. I know, right? Francis truly was one of the good ones on the force, he always had his heart in his police work because he's a good person to his core, wanting people to be reunited with their loved ones and wanting them to stop worrying. This clue was so good for them, they had been stuck for a while. Hehe, Francis' cop instinct will probably be good, we'll just have to hope Gerard takes Francis' advice and doesn't lose it while they're in the brothel or their plan will be jeopardized. O_O
      Aww, thanks haha, I'm glad that came across well. What you described is exactly how I had planned for it to sound. :) ♥

  5. I want to punch Keith right in the face!! Lying through his teeth like that! How dare he look Gerrard in the face!!!!

    I hope Gerrard will be able to face whatever he finds in the brothel. I dread to think about the shape she'll be in when they find her. The enforced heroin and the trauma of the brutal rapes that have been inflicted on her. It's a lot for one person to go through. It doesn't sound like much time has passed though since she was kidnapped again, so that's a relief.

    Gerrard is lucky that he has such a good friend in Francis. I can't think of anyone better to get all three of them through this scenario. he's wasted in that factory, that's for sure.

    1. LOL, Keith would definitely deserve whatever beating you give him. XD He's the ultimate manipulator, playing both sides so no one will find out he's a bad guy.

      Yeah, with the evidence Francis found on Iliana's clothes, they've arrived at the brothel the same day that Iliana was brought back. Who knows though, how many times she's been dosed with heroin, and what those clients who "like rougher stuff" have done to her in that short of a time though... >_< is definitely not a pleasant thought.

      Gerard was very lucky to have run into Francis, literally, LOL, that day he went out jogging. Ugh, I know right? Francis was such a good cop, but the stupid military had to go and rob him of his job... Idiots. LOL, but at least Francis can put his skills to good use to help Gerard.

      Sorry for the late reply, the email notification about your comment somehow got buried in my email. O_O

  6. Ahhhh!! I was absoulutly gutted last chapter thinking that Illiana was lost to him forever now that she was thrown back into the kinky dungeon. This chapter at least gives me some sort of hope that they will be reunited again. :)

    1. LOL, yes they found the kinky dungeon. Haha, she was always meant to be found again, and not stuck forever in captivity. XD

  7. Awww Gerard is going to find Iliana again...lol I hope its permanent this time. Even if he does find her she might not even want to go with him because she's on drugs. Perhaps they can get Piper to help them and help her escape also since Leonardo doesn't like her because she doesn't bring in that much money. Francis is so smart who would've thought to look at her shoes....Actually Gerard is smart too because he was desperate enough to take her clothes as a means of evidence. :)

    1. Yup, now that Gerard knows she's alive, he was even more determined to find her, not that he wasn't before, but they got stuck before. Well, she's on heroin, so her mind's pretty suppressed, she won't really know what's going on anyway. She still loves Gerard, even though she's on drugs, and she doesn't want to be in captivity anymore. Hehe, I had no plans of including Piper in their rescue mission. Francis' cop background helped him because he's always looking for clues and evidence, that's how he thought about looking at her shoes. Gerard's learned a lot from Francis since they've been hanging out trying to find Iliana. :D

  8. Asshole Keith! Whatever happened to "do no harm?" This guy is a disgrace to the medical profession! Thank goodness Gerard has Francis on his side; he seems really sharp and I have no doubt that he'll be useful in tracking Iliana down...AGAIN. On that note, damn you again, Keith!! *shakes fist*

    1. Keith is definitely a giant asshole. Well, he "does no harm" when it comes to his patients that have nothing to do with Leo. *sighs* Leo needed a doctor who wouldn't ask too many questions to work with him, and in turn, Leo pays Keith an ample supply of money. Keith is greedy, so Leo's opportunity seemed appealing to him. His morals are pretty shoddy, so even though he's good at being a doctor, he's an asshole when it comes to doing the right thing.
      Francis' cop instinct never went away, and it was what he loved to do before the police station got shut down. -__- They're at least in the right place now. Whee! Even thought Keith delivered Iliana back to Leo, that won't stop Francis.