“She didn’t tell me anything, really,” insisted Isabella in a pleading tone. Beads of sweat glistened against her dark skin.
Sid completed his tenth lap around the room, his shoes tapping in the silence. He walked to Isabella, who was sitting, hands in her lap, knees together on the hard metal chair. Sid knelt in front of her and looked at her face. “You have information. You will tell me what you know about this book,” he said menacingly. He had used the same words with Trevor and Dan just hours earlier. Both boys denied any knowledge but had both broken down and cried from Sid’s intense accusations. Isabella, too, started crying. She was obviously scared to death.
“Sid–” Cynthia started, having pity on the girl. “She doesn’t know anything; leave her alone.” Gus turned his head slowly toward Cynthia. His anger seemed to lash at her from his eyes.
“That will be all Cynthia,” he said evenly. “Start talking!” he yelled loudly in Isabella’s face.
“I don’t know! I swear!” Isabella was shaking.
“Come on Sly…” Shelby tried to intervene.
“Silence! Gus, escort the women out,” Sid demanded. Gus instantly stood up and ushered Cynthia and Shelby to the door. The only sound was Isabella’s sniffling, trying to hold back sobs.
“Murphy, activate deceit detector,” Sid spoke to his computer.
“Activated,” Murphy answered seconds later.
“Gus, scan the girl.” Gus roughly pulled Isabella out of her seat and placed her wrist on the scanner. “What have you heard about Alexis Roberts’ writing or book?” he asked Isabella sharply.
“I don’t know,” said the frightened girl, whose 5’10” frame seemed dwarfed by her surroundings. The computer flashed red.
“Murphy doesn’t lie!” Sid informed her. “If you don’t tell me what you know right now, I’ll put you in prison for life!” Sid barked at her heartlessly. Ed and Jerry held their breath, while Gus stood at attention, already relishing the prospect of taking Isabella to his personal kingdom.
“Okay,” sobbed Isabella. Ed whirled around, surprised at the breakthrough. Jerry, Gus, Ed and Sid looked at her intently, waiting.
“Go on,” Jerry urged her.
“I think I remember she said something about meeting a man, years ago.”
“Where!?” Sid interrogated.
“Somewhere in the country, her parents took her, a meeting. Oh, please don’t hurt her,” Isabella pleaded.
“It’s Graybeard!” Gus interjected, excitedly.
“Gotta be,” said Ed.
“Coastline,” Sid said. “Go get him.”
“On it,” Gus answered. He left the room in a flash, intent on his hunt.
“It’s time,” Sid announced to Ed Blitz and Jerry Roberts. “Wipe out the opposition. Let’s sound frequencies worldwide. We need every life under control. We’ve been too relaxed. If there are people out there, let’s get rid of them.”
“Time to step it up a few notches,” said Jerry.
“Let’s do it now,” Ed agreed.