“What’s happened?” Brian asked urgently. “Are the guys okay?”
“Frank and Mikey have disappeared,” Eddie explained with a sigh.
“How?” asked Brian astonished by the reply; he had expected an attempt maybe, but two band members abducted was unthinkable. “Where was their security?”
“That’s just it,” Eddie replied helplessly, “we don’t know what happened. As far as anyone can remember, they had security with them and were never alone.”
“That’s impossible!” Brian argued, angry and upset by the news. “Unless you’ve got an unconscious security guard on your hands, someone left them alone!”
“There is another possibility, well three possibilities.”
“Tell me,” Brian sighed.
“We know Frankie went back to the bus and that he had a guard with him.”
“Which one?” Brian interrupted.
“I don’t know. No one seems to remember. We’ve seen some of these guys before, but it’s the first day, lots of new faces. All we know was he had a Security and All Access pass.”
“Okay,” Brian rubbed his eyes, “tell me the options.”
“Either, someone stole security passes and posed as a guard, someone bribed a guard to get them on their own, or…”
“Or one of the guards is the guy sending the death threats?”
Brian thumped the desk. “This is why he targeted him on the first day! Because no one would know if he was genuine or not and if he were, they’d be unlikely to remember him. Why didn’t I see this coming?”
“It’s not your fault, Brian,” Eddie reassured him.
“I want the names of every guard on the payroll and I want to know if they were on duty at the time they were taken.”
“Sure, I’ve asked the Site Security Manager to do a roll call to find out if anyone’s missing, or even extra.”
“Good, thanks,” Brian thought for a moment. “Where are the rest of the guys now?”
“They’re with me on one of the crew buses.”
“How are they holding up?”
“Not great, they…” Eddie paused as he looked up, wondering how they would feel about him discussing their reaction with Brian. “They haven’t really said much since they found out.”
“We’re fine, Brian!” Gerard called.
“Yeah, don’t worry!” Ray added.
“They’re terrible liars!” Brian almost laughed. “Look Eddie, I’m going to get a doctor to you to give you and the guys something to help you sleep, otherwise, well…”
“I understand,” Eddie replied.
“No, I really don’t think you do. Despite what they’ll tell you, you’ve got three scared and worried guys there, you have to make them rest. Especially Gee, he’s not gonna be able to sit still. Try to keep him off coffee, he’ll be tense enough.”
“Okay, and as soon as I have them, I’ll fax the names to you. What will you do?”
“I’ll have to draft some sort of statement, but I’ve no idea what. How do you placate a psycho?”
A loud crash interrupted the conversation.
“What was that?” Brian asked anxiously.
Eddie turned to see a broken table and Gerard with a pained expression and clenched fists being restrained by Ray and Bob.
“That was Gee smashing the table.”
Brian exhaled noisily. “I better let you get back to them. I’ll call that doctor now. You just stay with them and stop them doing anything stupid. Well, anything else stupid.”
“I’ll try,” replied Eddie with a frown. Hanging up, he turned to deal with the present problems inside the bus.
Frank and Mikey looked up, torn from their conversation as the door at the top of the stairs opened and their abductor began to slowly descend.
“Who are you?” Frank yelled angrily.
“Let’s play a game,” he laughed as he replied, ignoring Frank’s outrage. Reaching the centre of the room, he smiled cruelly at the guitarist. “You search your memory and you tell me who I am.”
“I don’t know!” Frank snapped in frustration.
“That’s a real shame, Frankie, because there’ll be consequences, there always are.”
“What do you mean?” Frank asked hesitantly.
Not replying, the man reached into his pocket and drew out a length of rope and turning quickly reached down and grabbed Mikey’s ankles.
“Let go of me!” he cried in alarm, kicking and struggling against him.
Finally freeing one of his legs, Mikey managed to kick the man’s arm hard, forcing him to let go. Furious, he clenched his fist and swept it viciously across Mikey’s face.
“No!” Frank yelled, his eyes wide in panic, as Mikey slumped back, momentarily subdued.
Taking advantage of the lull in his struggles, he wrapped the rope around the young bassists ankles and pulled it tight, securing it quickly with a double knot.
“Please,” Frank begged, his eyes not moving from Mikey’s pale and drawn expression, already a bruise was forming across his cheek. “Don’t hurt him. It’s me you hate.”
“You got that right, Frankie!” the man laughed harshly. “But you know, I got to thinking that I could hurt you so much more by making your friends suffer than I ever could by doing anything to you.”
Frank tried to form words, any words, something, anything. But nothing he could think of could reach through this man’s obvious hatred for him.
“I’ll tell you what, Frankie,” he sneered. “To help you remember me, you can ask me twenty questions. For each one where the answer is no, little Mikey here will pay. If, after all the questions, you still can’t remember, and if he’s even still alive, I’m gonna blow his head off, right in front of you.”
Frank’s mouth fell open in horror.
“Depends how many I say no to,” he grinned, “could end up being a mercy killing. Over to you, Frankie.”