Amanda, it would seem, had friends. Stranger still, but true, this friend was a lawyer. He entered the police precinct, and slowly made his way to the proper floor. Who else would he encounter but an immortal?
Captain Banks was starting to get a bit scared here. He barged out to where the immortal was. "I'm Captain Banks. Who, may I ask, are you?" He sounded rough around the edges in tone, but those few who knew him closely would guess that he was just as scared as he was angry. So far, this was the fourth other immortal he encountered today.
To make matters worse, the second immortal had slipped through their fingers. She had looked so ordinary that everyone remembered her, but nothing about her.
The immortal, a smiling man with a pointed nose and a stylish business suit, held out his hand. "Adam Pierson. I'll be representing Amanda in court. May I speak with her?" His accent was English.
Banks shook his head, "Yeah, sure. But between us, I'll be keeping an eye on you too."
Adam shrugged. "As you like. My wish is to see Amanda."
It was a few moments later that Adam and Banks encountered Sandberg and the immortal Inspector in the hallway immediately outside the questioning room. The Inspector looked startled. "I dare say that you look familiar, sir."
Adam bowed his head slightly, "Adam Pierson, at your service, sir. I'm representing Amanda."
The Inspector held up his face stiffly, "In this country, every criminal has right to a lawyer. You are filling your role quite admirably."
Adam looked baffled at that.
Banks opened the questioning door, interrupting whatever conversation that Amanda and Ellison were having. "Amanda's lawyer is here."
Amanda's expression was cool as Adam Pierson, a.k.a. Methos, entered the room with a theatrical bow.
Methos smiled once the doors shut, and Amanda hit the roof. "You? My lawyer? Have you lost your mind?"
He looked hurt. "You have no idea what kind of great historical figures I've defended in court..."
"Yeah, like who?"
"Alcibiades, for instance."
Amanda raised her eyebrows. "All right, and are you familiar with the Twentieth Century legal system?"
"Of course!" he snorted. "For starters, why don't you tell me the whole story?"
She sighed. This was going to be a long few hours.
* * * *
A vent grating popped out of its resting place, and out slithered a thin woman. She was just large enough to slide through the vent system. Within moments, she had exited and replaced the grating.
Moments later, she pulled out a cell phone. "It's time to get ready. When the time is right, move."
* * * *
Captain Banks and Detective Ellison faced off with Pierson. Banks was red with rage, while Ellison was full of disbelief, but also relief.
"The evidence clearly points to someone else as the murderer, even though
Amanda did by her own admission steal the jewels. You can't hold her for charges of murder, and you have to publicly admit that Amanda is not a murderer."
"You can't be serious!"
"I am very serious, Captain. Your own crime lab clears Amanda of the murders, along with the observations of your men. Even Detective Ellison's gut feelings point to her innocence. What else do you need?"
Banks snarled. "A vacation!"
* * * *
It was well after the final touches of sundown when Amanda was escorted out of the police building, flanked by Methos, Ellison, and Inspector Harlowe. Harlowe showed immense restraint in expressing his anger, and said absolutely nothing as they walked along the sidewalk.
"I guess this is where we say, 'You're free to go,'" smiled Ellison.
"Not yet," said the Inspector. "Amanda, I am formally placing you under arrest for multiple counts of theft in the United Kingdom, committed in the last twenty years."
Amanda burst out laughing, "You must be kidding!"
His upper lip was very stiff, "No, madam, I am not kidding. I am very serious. I will make the assumption that you will behave as a civilized lady, but if you do not, then I will be forced to transport you to London in handcuffs."
Methos started snickering at that point. Ellison was baffled by the exchange, not quite understanding the nuances. However, there was one thing that he happened to be the first to catch: the sound of a fast-approaching van. "What's that?" he asked, spinning around.
The black, unmarked van (i.e., no license plates -- Ellison had the reflexes to look) sped up to them quite rapidly, screeching to a halt. Two men immediately jumped out, their machine guns firing as they were in mid-air. It was Ellison, with his advanced warning, who tackled everyone to the ground as the bullets came flying. Though he may have prevented his own, Methos', and Amanda's death, he did not prevent several bullets from hitting the Inspector, who was thrown against a nearby car, clamping off any screams that came. None of them knew at the time that his right thigh was hit, as well as his left shoulder and solar plexus.
The two men were joined by two others armed with stun guns. The four approached the group, separating Amanda with ease (simultaneously stunning her while handcuffing her) from that group. The others were kept at bay with the threat of being blown away by an AK-47 or stabbed with the extended bayonet attached to the rifle.
Amanda was roughly thrown into the van, which immediately sped off once the doors shut. Before it reached thirty feet, a miserable and weary Inspector Harlowe pulled a handgun from the inside of his jacket and fired at the rear tires of the van. He saw one tire blow out, and the van did skid a bit, but the driver must have been competent enough to handle that event. The van recovered and left the area.
By that time, the Captain had reached the area. "What happened?"
Ellison had pulled himself to his feet. "Some masked men took Amanda in that van." He saw the Inspector, leaning against a parked car, blood and grave wounds all over him, and the look of someone on the edge of life. He pulled out his cell phone and dialed emergency. "This is Detective Ellison at the precinct -- we have one Inspector seriously wounded and one armed kidnapping. Send out an APB for an unmarked black van in the vicinity. It left about half a minute ago. Consider them armed and dangerous!"
The calm and unruffled dispatch responded, "Very good, Detective. Please stay on-line."
Ellison handed the phone to Methos. "You hang on!"
Methos called out as Ellison ran for his truck. "Where are you going?"
"After the van!"
* * *
Amanda wasn't quite knocked out by the stun guns. Strange. Even immortals can get knocked out by those. She was merely put through severe pain. Pain that started to fade. When that happened, she knew that she had been blindfolded and gagged to the extent that she could speak intelligibly, but only at a low volume.
"Who are you?" she asked.
"Mercenaries," was the answer. "We were paid quite well to bring you back alive, but quite hurt. Speaking of that..."
He pulled at her handcuffs a little, and the next thing she knew, she was writhing in pain, moaning through her gag. Her lights weren't knocked out, but they were quite dimmed.
* * *
Ellison jumped in his truck and gunned the motor, then waited for a moment. While his first instinct would be to scream that he lost the trail, he knew that Sandberg would be the first to tell him to calm down and breathe. He did that, and thought about the next thing that Sandberg would say...
"Now, Jim, just blank out all the noise you hear and focus on the one thing you need to hear. Let it go...."
He didn't quite hear it at first. It was just a gut instinct. A reflex. Having nothing else to go on, he sped down the main street and cut a sharp turn at the light. That's when he heard a sharp scream cutting through the night. Right ahead of him.
It was the van.
"Number One! We have pursuit."
"That is expected. Execute the emergency backup. Morse code b."
Jim was very surprised to find another truck slamming into the front left side as he'd almost reached the van. His lights went out.
* * *
Amanda woke up, chained to a very comfortable bed in a room lit only by candles. The walls looked like the kind of brick used in underground rooms. For all she knew, it could have been an underground bunker. Marisa was there, dressed in a nightgown. A TV was bolted to the wall so that Amanda would look straight into it without effort.
"You're awake... Good. I thought you might be too tired to watch some TV."
"Oh? Like what?"
Marisa snuggled next to Amanda, smiling at her revulsion and discomfort. Marisa pressed a button, and a TV mounted on the wall showed some of today's news highlights. "You didn't have the chance to see how famous you are."
Amanda watched in horror as she saw Marisa as the newscaster, with a smug expression on her face. A photo of Amanda was superimposed in the corner of the screen, with the words 'Thief and Murderer' set underneath the picture.
"...The Cascade Police arrested the individual responsible for the theft and murders at the Museum. The evidence gathered by the police, as well as the evidence in Amanda's possession, suggests that she acted alone. We also have this exclusive interview."
The next scene was the interrogation room, where Marisa asked, did you steal the jewels?"
A different camera was used on Amanda, "I stole the jewels."
"And did you kill those security guards?"
Marisa, sitting back in the newsroom gloated, "That is all the proof we need that Amanda is guilty." Her smile widened.
The TV turned off, and Amanda stared at the blank screen. "You're insane."
Marisa sat close to Amanda, and the lights seemed to dim. "I think you'll be able to come up with more creative words than that." She whispered in Amanda's ear, "Very, very soon."
Amanda started squirming as Marisa's hand gently touched her thigh and started to creep up...
* * *
Jim slowly opened his eyes and immediately shut them. Someone was shining a flashlight into them.
"Jim!" barked the man with the flashlight. Someone he didn't recognize. "He's back with us!"
The flashlight cut off, and Jim opened his eyes again. He had been pulled out of his truck, and onto the asphalt. Two EMTs knelt next to him, packing up their equipment. The one with the flashlight shook his head, "You're damn lucky... all you got was a bruise on your head, but your truck is totaled!"
* * * *
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