Read Utopian Day Online

Authors: C.L. Wells

Tags: #thriller, #crime, #action adventure, #fiction action adventure, #fiction thrillers, #crime action adventure, #thriller action and suspense, #fiction crime novel, #thriller action adventure

Utopian Day (9 page)

BOOK: Utopian Day
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Hmmm… let me check.”

Silas could hear Darby typing feverishly on a
keyboard in the background. About a minute or so passed before
Darby spoke next.


Yeah, looks like he has a plane
out at Newark International.”


Any chance you could tell me
where that plane might be at the moment? He may have left town
yesterday afternoon and I need to know where he’s
going.”

More typing could be heard in the background.


Well, I checked the public flight
plan database and it’s not there. Looks like he had his plane put
on the BARR list, which means his flight plans won’t be publicly
accessible in this database. But I have a buddy who’s been working
on a program to pull the audio between the planes and the air
traffic control towers. They run it through this program which
translates the audio file data into text, saves it to a database,
and posts it to this website he set up. You wouldn’t believe it –
there’s this whole sub-culture that records this stuff for all the
major airports and they share it online. He just downloads it
and…”


Darby,” Silas interrupted. “I
just need to know where the plane was headed.”


Yeah, o.k., just a minute,” Darby
replied, slightly disappointed that he hadn’t been able to finish
his monologue on the technical aspects of the process.


O.k., yeah, it looks like he was
headed for the Cayman Islands, Grand Cayman to be
exact.”


Thanks a million, Darby, I owe
you.”


No problem, that’s why we’re
here, to serve and protect,” Darby replied.


Seriously, next time I see you at
the bar, drinks are on me.”

Silas disconnected the call. Everything was falling
into place. Whatever the end-game was, it was going to happen soon
and in the Cayman Islands. He was willing to bet his pension that
it would be at the bank he had been researching and that J.T.
Thornbacker was involved. He reviewed in his mind what he knew so
far:

 

There was a bank account in the Cayman Islands with
a large sum of money in it.

According to the documents he had obtained for Nick
Bartonovich, only J.T. Thornbacker could withdraw or otherwise
transfer funds from that account if the amount was more than twenty
thousand dollars in a month.

J.T. Thornbacker had escaped from prison.

Nick Bartonovich’s private jet had left from Newark
International Airport bound for the Cayman Islands the night
before.

 

Silas had a decision to make. He had used his
position and resources as a police officer to perform work for
Bartonovich, which was illegal. By doing that illegal work, he had
likely (albeit unwittingly) contributed to the escape from prison
of one J.T. Thornbacker. If he didn’t do something to stop this
train wreck, then he was likely helping a convicted felon withdraw
enough money from a foreign bank to disappear forever. That was
aiding and abetting a known criminal, which could get him jail time
in addition to getting him fired.

The knot in his stomach, which had disappeared with
all the activity of the past few hours, was returning with a
vengeance. He couldn’t tip off the FBI, even anonymously, without
risking his own role being discovered. Should he do nothing and
hope J.T. Thornbacker and Nick Bartonovich got away with it, and
his role was never revealed? Should he intervene and try to bring
J.T. Thornbacker back to prison, developing a cover story that
would obscure his own involvement in the affair? He cursed under
his breath as he considered his options – none of which were
appealing. He had the distinct feeling that this was not going to
end well for one Silas McGruder.

Chapter Sixteen

 

The leader of the commandos came in through the
cabin door. The guard, who had been listening to his music, got up
out of the chair he had been sitting in and pulled one earplug out
so that he could hear any instructions that might be given.


Listen up,” said the man as he
looked at his three captives. James, Laura, and J.T. all stared in
his direction, each wondering what was going to happen
next.


We’re going to move you to the
top deck, where you will be transferred to a smaller boat and moved
to another location. We’re going to cut your foot restraints off so
you can move about. Don’t get any ideas about jumping ship and
swimming anywhere. We’re in the middle of the ocean and there’s
nowhere for you to go. If you do decide to try anything, you’ll get
a nasty shock from one of these.” He pulled a Taser from a side
holster that was strapped to his leg, adding emphasis to his
threat. “This little beauty will light you up with 50,000 volts of
electricity, after which you will still be going where I want you
to go. So don’t try anything.”

After the leader’s speech was concluded, both he and
the guard came around and cut the foot restraints of all three
unwilling passengers. They were led out of the cabin and up on
deck, where they were greeted with a bright, sunny day, crystal
blue water, and not a speck of land for as far as the eye could see
in any direction.

James squinted at a small dot off in the distance
and thought he could just make out another boat. The two commandos
who had brought them up to the top deck helped them down into two
awaiting inflatable boats. James and Laura were offloaded into one,
where there were two other commandos waiting. J.T. was placed in
the remaining boat, which the lead commando entered, along with
their guard.

As the two boats sped away from the larger craft,
they headed in the direction of the boat that James had thought he
spotted when they had first come on deck. In a few minutes, they
were approaching a one hundred foot long yacht. The first
inflatable boat pulled up alongside of the boarding ladder and one
of the commandos climbed up, then turned around to help bring J.T.
aboard. Once the first inflatable was secured, the boat that James
and Laura were in similarly unloaded their occupants.

After everyone was on deck, James, Laura, and J.T.
were led to a seating area at the back of the boat where a table
had been set with a lavish lunch. James’ stomach rumbled as he was
reminded that they hadn’t eaten anything since being abducted the
day before. The lead commando headed off into the interior of the
boat, while the remaining three commandos positioned themselves
around the deck and watched the three prisoners.

Moments later, Nick Bartonovich came through the
sliding glass door leading on to the back of the boat, followed by
Mia and the lead commando. Nick smiled devilishly as he saw
J.T.


Well, hello, J.T., it’s been
quite a long time.”


Hello Nick,” J.T. responded
flatly. Turning to Mia, he added, “Hello Mia.”

Mia nodded, with a slight smile. Nick turned to
address the lead commando.


Let’s not leave our guests tied
up; they won’t be able to eat.”

He crossed the deck and sat down at the head of the
table along with Mia. The guards cut the hand restraints and they
all began massaging their hands where the restraints had been
hampering their circulation. Nick motioned to the table.


Please, come sit down and enjoy
some lunch. We have much to discuss.”

Each of them took a seat. As Mia and their host
began to eat, both Laura and James began serving their own plates,
while J.T. looked warily at Nick.


What do you want with us, Nick?”
J.T. asked.


In due time, my friend. Why don’t
you try some of this shark? It’s delicious and fresh. I just caught
it this morning.” He motioned towards a plate in the middle of the
table with his fork as he took another bite.

J.T. could tell Nick was enjoying himself and
thought that there was no reason to deprive himself, considering
the situation, so he began serving his own plate.


I’ve thought about you often
these past several years, J.T. Languishing in that prison all by
your lonesome. I have to say, I appreciate that you didn’t give me
up to the prosecutor during the trial in exchange for a
deal.”

James and Laura eyed each other.


But what I didn’t exactly
appreciate,” Nick continued, “was that you took eighty percent of
our hard-earned profits and stashed them away
somewhere.”

Nick watched J.T. closely for a reaction. He leaned
forward, keeping his gaze fixed on J.T. as he spoke the next
sentence. “I want it back, J.T.” He broke his gaze and focused back
on his plate, cutting another bite of shark and eating it.


I don’t have it,” J.T. replied.
“I had to give the feds something or they would never let me out of
prison. I turned it over to them in exchange for a
deal.”


J.T.,” Nick feigned an offended
expression as he spoke, “I’m hurt. After we spent so many years
building up that little nest egg and leading others astray in the
process, do you really think you can lie to me and I won’t know
it?” He took a sip of wine and sat back in his chair.


Look around, J.T. Can you hazard
a guess as to where we are?”

J.T. continued to look at Nick.


I know you can’t see land from
here, but the climate and the color of the ocean should give you a
clue,” Nick said mockingly. “We’re anchored just off the Cayman
Islands, my friend.”

J.T. sighed heavily and sat back in his chair. Nick
looked over at James and Laura before continuing.


You see, James and Laura,” Nick
continued, “Ole J.T. here thought I wouldn’t find the eighty
million dollars he hid in a bank in the Cayman Islands. He hid it
very well. It has taken me years to track it down. In fact, he may
have gotten away with it altogether if he hadn’t gotten all
soft-hearted. Apparently, J.T. here started feeling guilty about
how we accumulated all of that money, and decided to give some of
it back. About two years ago, he had his lawyer visit him in prison
and start up a sort of social security for all of the people who
lost their jobs or their pensions because of what we had
done.”


Now, I had been watching very
closely and had just about given up on getting any of that money
back until the money started flowing out of the lawyer’s office to
all of those poor creatures. Once that started, all I had to do was
follow the money trail back here, and
voil
à
!”

Nick paused and turned to stare at J.T., watching
delightedly as the reality of the situation sank in for him.


By the way,” Nick continued. “If
you are counting on being rescued, don’t. Those neck braces
effectively blocked the transmission from the tracking devices they
implanted in you. Now they are so far out of range that they are
virtually untrackable.”


O.k., so what’s the plan, Nick?”
J.T. finally responded. “You want me to waltz right in to the bank
and take out the money, or else you are going to hurt these two
people who had nothing to do with it? Is that it? You really think
I’m stupid enough to believe you aren’t going to kill all three of
us once you get what you want?”


I’m not planning on killing
anyone, J.T. That’s really not my style,” Nick replied.


Really?” replied J.T. “Tell that
to Jacob Styles’ widow.”


Now, that was an unfortunate
accident, J.T. As I recall, he died from a massive heart attack –
not my doing.”


Yeah, while he was in the
hospital from injuries he sustained at your direction!” J.T. said
accusingly.


Come now, J.T. You remember the
situation. He was the last vote we needed on the board to sell us
the Jenkins auto-supply factory. We nearly lost the deal when he
died. If I hadn’t been able to bribe his replacement, the whole
thing would have collapsed. Besides, if we had known he had a weak
heart, I would have asked Mia to go easy on him.”

Laura looked at Mia with surprise. Mia returned a
cold stare that sent shivers down her spine.


Look, I don’t want us to get off
on the wrong foot. You should be thanking me. I rescued you from
that desert prison you were in and I’m offering you a chance to be
free when this is all over. If everyone does what they are supposed
to do, I’ll let you keep ten million and let these two have a
million each for their trouble. Then we can all go our separate
ways. Think about it.”

Nick stood up from the table. “Mia will show you to
your accommodations.”

With that, he turned and went back inside the
yacht.

Chapter Seventeen

 

Mia led the way back inside the yacht and below the
first deck. Two of the commandos followed behind James, Laura, and
J.T. to ensure they went where they were told to go. They were
deposited in a cabin at the bow of the yacht. It was a small room
with two bunk beds on either side of the entrance, a small table in
the middle, a closet off to one side of the door, and a
bathroom/shower on the opposite side. Once they were inside, Mia
closed the door and Laura heard the clicking sound of the lock as
it slid into place. She sat down on one of the seats at the far
side of the room and leaned her head back on the cushion.


What just happened?” she wondered
aloud.


I think you and I were just
offered a million dollars apiece to help take some money out of a
bank,” James responded, somewhat bewildered.

Laura lifted up her head and looked at J.T.

BOOK: Utopian Day
4.33Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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