Red Crisis: Chapter Seven
Roskoldikov frowned as he scanned up and down the street. Nothing.
She couldn’t have simply vanished, that was impossible. You’re a Soviet agent for the Soviet Union, you were trained for missions like this.
Then why in all crazy things had a thirteen-year-old kid managed to slip away from him?
He was defeated and he knew it. She’d gotten away. Diatchenko will not be pleased.
He did a one eighty and walked in a different direction from the way he’d come. His comrades would be waiting for him, and it was his duty to inform them they had to get out of Florida now by any means. Even if it meant dragging the other kid along as a hostage.
“You’re talking too fast,” the officer told her. “Slow down and start again. What’s your name?”
Cecelia was getting frustrated. This was the third policeman she’d talked to tonight. Each time she tried to tell her story she was directed to another, higher ranking officer. And for all she knew, Lisa could be-- could be…
She didn’t want to think about that. She had to convince these officers to go and find her friend!
“My name is Cecelia Jane Crane,” Cecelia sighed, exasperated. “I’m thirteen years old. My parents are Thomas Crane and Sally Crane. I go to West View junior high. And three of my teachers are KGB agents!”
She hadn’t meant to yell that last part, but she felt she was getting nowhere with these guys.
The officer, who’s name tag proclaimed he was Sergeant Parker, paused and gazed right into her eyes. “KGB agents?” he repeated. “That’s a serious accusation to make, young lady.”
“I know! I know!” She couldn’t help it, she let the tears fall. “That’s what my friend Lisa said! So we decided we’d get evidence first to prove that our teacher, Mr. Dover, was a bad guy. So we snuck into the school and were going to open his desk when he showed up and pulled a gun on us! I thought he was some past criminal, but then he said something weird and Lisa proclaimed he was Russian! And now, and now…” her voice trailed off and she wiped her eyes.
Sergeant Parker stood up from his desk and came to stand next to her. He offered her a chair and had her sit down, then kneeled down to look her in the eye. “Cecelia,” he began, “where is your friend?”
She shook her head and buried her face in her hands. “I don’t know,” she sobbed. “She kicked Mr. Dover in the knee and we took off running, then we ran into the other agent, Mr. Ross. I thought she was right behind me! I thought she ran with me down the hallway and out the door. But when I got to the street she was gone! Oh sir, you have to find her! They may do something awful to her and--”
He held up his hand and studied her face. “Cecelia, do your parents know where you are?”
“No. We knew if we asked they’d say no, we couldn’t investigate. So we decided to go ourselves so we weren’t deliberately disobeying because they wouldn’t know.”
Sergeant Parker looked like he was trying not to smile at this. “I believe you, Cecelia. And if these men really are agents, then we have to find your friend right away. I need to make a couple of phone calls to some important people, I want you to stay here while we organize a search team.”
“Oh, no!” Cecelia leapt out of her chair. “I want to help! This is half my fault, I need to help you find her!”
“No,” Sergeant Parker responded firmly. “I need you to stay here while we contact your parents. You need to help your friend by staying safe. If you get in the middle of this and get caught, then you’ll both be in danger. Do you understand?”
Cecelia sighed and nodded. “Oh, poor Lisa.” She shuddered. “She’s only been here for a week. She’s not even from Florida, she lives in Oregon. She’s got to be doubly scared!”
“We’ll do our best to find her,” Sergeant Parker reassured her. He straightened and called out, “Jen, I need you to stay with Miss Cecelia here and contact her parents. Luke, get me the FBI on the line. We have a hot case for them.”
The minute the FBI were notified, Sergeant Parker told Cecelia that he’d been instructed not to contact her parents just yet. He didn’t seem very happy about the arrangement, but all he did was shrug. “They want to talk to you first before your parents take you home.”
It was now two o’clock in the morning. Cecelia sat in the chair, clasping her hands open and closed over and over again. Two and a half hours, she thought. Lisa’s been kidnapped for two and a half hours.
What had they been thinking, trying to find evidence against Mr. Dover? How were they to have known that they were right, but on an even larger scale? It had all seemed like a fun game at first. Now it had turned into a nightmare.
At two-thirty the FBI arrived. Cecelia had now resorted to drawing frowny faces on a piece of paper while her personal police officer babysitter, Jen, sat at her desk and worked on filing.
Cecelia looked up to where Sergeant Parker stood and caught sight of the dark clad federal agents. They look just like the ones in the movies, she concluded with little amusement. If she’d been told she was to meet real FBI agents four hours ago, she would have leapt for joy. But the situation with Mr. Dover and Lisa had turned her demeanor into one of serious determination. They had to find Lisa before it was too late.
Jen walked her over to where the agents and the Sergeant stood. A medium height, blond haired agent stepped forward and offered his hand. “Miss Cecelia Crane?” he asked.
“I’m agent Lynch,” he said. “I need to talk to you about the KGB agents you met up with. I’ve brought some pictures I’d like you to look at,” he held up a large black suitcase, “and I’d like you to tell me if any of them are the men you met up with.”
“But what about Lisa!” Cecelia exclaimed. “They kidnapped Lisa three hours ago! You’re supposed to rescue her!”
“And we will,” another agent replied. “But we need to know who we’re dealing with. Agent Lynch will work with you on the pictures while we draw up a rescue plan. Your contribution is very important. We want to save your friend as much as you do.”
Cecelia felt helpless. If they really wanted to help they could go to the schoolhouse and search for Lisa there! But she held her tongue and agreed to have agent Lynch question her.
Lynch seemed like a nice enough guy, but Cecelia was getting impatient. They sat down in a secluded corner away from the rescue planning, much to Cecelia’s chagrin.
“I need your full attention on this,” he explained as he opened the suitcase. Inside were hundreds of photos, and Cecelia’s eyes widened. “This is a very hard job and I can’t do it without your help.”
He held up the first picture of a large man in a Russian uniform. “Is this one of the KGB men?”
Another picture. This guy looked like a shrimpy little dork, and he too wore a Soviet uniform. “How about this one?”
On and on it went. Short men, tall men, fat men, men with mustaches, men without hair. All in Soviet uniforms, all KGB agents. Each time Cecelia shook her head no. None of these were the agents she’d seen. Dear God, please let us finish this soon so they can find Lisa! She prayed silently.
“Alright, I know you’re getting tired. We’re almost done.” Lynch pulled out another picture. He hesitated, stared at it a little and then handed it to Cecelia. “It wasn’t this man, was it?”
She glanced at the photo. It was different from the others, this guy wore a suit and had his hands clasped behind his back. His face was emotionless, with a weird, creepy look to it. “Uhh, no, it wasn’t this guy.”
Lynch sighed in relief and took the picture back. “Thank goodness.”
Cecelia cocked her head a little. “Why?”
“Let’s just say if it was him, we’d be in a fix.” Lynch didn’t say any more on the subject and pulled out another photo. “How about this one?”
Five more cards, five more agents. Cecelia had never imagined there were that many KGB agents in the Soviet Union. It was crazy! Why are these guys so intent on destroying our country? She wondered. What did we ever do to them?
“How about this one?”
Cecelia gave a once over the picture-- and stopped. She stared at it, then her eyes widened. “I didn’t see this man tonight, but there’s someone at the school who looks exactly like him!”
Lynch’s eyes brightened and he handed it to her. “Who was it?”
She looked straight at him and replied, “Mr. Lysine, the history teacher.”