“I can’t believe I’m tagging along with this. I’m cringing as we walk” moaned Millie as she walked with Micky and Sophie. “Like I told you, I don’t trust him at all, but it’s interesting he should warn you about this… it still makes no sense to me why he needed to meet you though” she said with unsurety. “Don’t worry, this is going to be class man” Micky grinned in response. “Just enjoy the Cheesy Chips and of course, keep yer eyes open.”
The group walked headed past the Old Museum to see a park situated behind it. It bordered the building with a freshwater pond and a series of neat grass banks, peppered with blooming red flowers complimented the clear sky above it. The Park was rendered in an old fashioned, yet brimming Victorian design. An elaborate sculpture of a Walrus sat proudly next to the water, whilst carved stone walls spanned the area decorated with lion carvings on top. As they entered, the park was teeming with life. Families and friends sat on the grass talking and eating as children played and run around, with laughter and chatting rippling into the area.
“It’s lovely today mind, and it’s got a great turnout as well.” Sophie commented as she observed the scenes in a watchful day. “But we aren’t really here to enjoy ourselves, we’re here to make sure there’s no trouble gang!” she then said firmly. “Aye aye captain” Micky then scoffed in response. “So, where’s that awful man, is he here yet?” Millie said looking around. “Can’t see him, but hey there’s the Cheesy Chips over the band stand let’s say hello!” Micky then interrupted and barged forwards, moving quickly along the grass towards a rounded green pavilion with a sloping roof, decorated with various patterns. The other two hurried after him.
Around the Bandstand stood three young men in a casual fashion with a clutter of musical instruments and equipment, all had long spiked up hair and were wearing black t-shirts and jeans. One of them, with standout jet black hair, was fumbling with a mic in his hands. Micky rushed up to him eagerly. “Areet there, Jamie Wild isn’t it?” he said enthusiastically. “Aye that’s the one” the man replied in a cool tone which was not too deep. “Areet lads… I’m Micky, thought I’d come and say hello. I’m a big fan of your music” he added as the other two caught up. “Yeah?” Jamie replied with a tint of awkwardness. “Cheers… Well you’re in luck today like because we’re going to be trialling our new song, We Built This City On Ships and Coal… you know a rehash of that Old Starship classic.” He added.
“Jamie man… we’ve got to set up” One of the other band members moaned in the background, who had fiery red hair styled in the same way and freckles laden on his face. “Chill man Jason the Fuzza hasn’t even rocked up yet” Jamie replied. “Who’s your mates then?” he then asked, turning to Sophie and Millie. “Hiya, I’m Sophie Scott and this is my friend Millie” she cheerfully responded. “Sophie Scott? Aren’t you the lass who saved that lad on Foxy?” he asked. Everyone’s been on about it. Tell you what, we’ve got to prepare but here’s me business card. Hit me up after” He smiled handing a small black card to her, causing Micky to glare for a moment. “Alright then, see yas later!” Sophie then ended the discussion and led the group away.
Three walked around the park for a bit before settling down on a smooth grass patch near a cluster of trees. “You know… I think this whole hero thing is kind of fun” Sophie marked to the other two. “We’re going around here, watching people getting on with their lives and genuinely hoping for the best, whilst preparing for the worst. This was just so not me like what, like two weeks ago?” she laughed. “You say that, but try being the sidekick! Attacked by monsters twice and even a ghost. I haven’t even told my parents about any of it” Millie laughed softly. “Why’s that? Will they not believe you either?” Sophie asked. “It’s about expectations really. You’ve known me long enough to know the typical Asian parents, they obligate me to study round the clock and be literally, the very best. And of course, I do… but they would be so angry and worried if they knew about all this. That’s why it’s so new to me” she said thoughtfully. “My dad couldn’t give a shit, yet he still blames me that I messed up at school” Sophie sighed. “Your parents care. That’s what matters.”
“It’s not just a cultural thing man, as the Gadgie’s trippy vision reminded me… me dad wanted me to be a footy player. He used to shout at me for messing up. I didn’t make it, but then yer knar what? One day he collapsed and I saved his life with PCR. Then he realized he’d done wrong. Being grave and doing the right thing, changes people.” Micky replied, inputting into the conversation. “My dad says people never change…” Sophie coldly. “He still holds something over my head. I don’t want to say what it is, but I can never truly do good in his eyes and that’s his excuse for not trying” she reflected, looking up at the sky as she talked. “It’s interesting to see how we’re all reflecting on our obligations to our parents. Perhaps cultures aren’t so different afterall…” Millie then said thoughtfully.
Suddenly, before the conversation could continue, a loud scream bellowed through the park. Sophie’s ears caught onto it like a radar and she sprung up to the ground instantly. The scream was then followed with the crying and pleading of a woman. “Something’s wrong!” Sophie snapped “Follow me!” and she began running urgently across the park towards the noise. She darted across a small stone bridge to find a woman in a state of distress and panic near the gate, with other people gathering at the scene. She rushed up to her “What’s going on, I’m here to help?” she stressed out softly but seriously “My son… he’s been abducted by a big burly man at gunpoint…” the woman wept, unable to catch her breath. “Where did they go?” she asked frantically. “Out of that gate…” the woman pointed.
“Okay, someone call the police, I’m going after him” she snarled confidently, before racing outwards. “Sophie, where are you going?” Millie yelled out as Sophie began to hurl forwards at an increasingly fast pace and shot out of the park. “I’ll catch up with you later! This is what he told me to look out for!” she yelled back, before disappearing out of sight. Out of the gate, she looked left and right before observing an old red car blast off down the road with screeching wheels. She gritted her teeth and without hesitation began to thunder after the car. Pressing herself running harder and harder, Sophie soon discovered she could run at a devastating pace, far beyond that of an average person and was by an extraordinary feat able to keep the mysterious red car firm in her sights, which was by no means going slowly.
Attempting to get away from her, the car dangerously shot through a set of red lights, prompting several vehicles to nearly crash. Sophie paced after it along the pavement. The car swerved around a corner and seemed to be heading towards the sea. It then proceeded to hurl itself dangerously around a roundabout before vanishing from her sight into a litany of large iron plated industrial units. Not feeling tired or out of breath, Sophie kept up the pace before grinding herself to a halt outside the units. She stopped and contemplated, before withdrawing her magic stone from her pocket which was glowing white. Before she could make another move, the stone suddenly morphed into the Cargast sword. She clutched it firmly and then slowly proceeded to walk up the road into the units.
As she walked up amongst the towering iron structures, there was not a person to be seen or heard. It was empty and lifeless, the only sounds being the bickering of nearby seagulls echoing into the air. The sides of the road were filled with rusty iron car parts and tools of various kinds. In contrast to her ecstatic sprint, she now walked step by step forwards, before sneakily peaking round the corner, and there it was, the same red car was parked irregularly in front of the Industrial unit, as if it had been left in a hurry. Perceiving nobody was around, she then slowly approached it and inspected it discreetly. Its interior was empty. There was no boy to be seen, nor any sign of wrongdoing. She continued to examine every angle of the vehicle for several minutes.
Suddenly: “Areet there Pet, what can I do for ya?” a voice grunted and cackled. Sophie turned around in surprise, and much to her shock found a gun up held against her head. The man holding it had beady blue eyes, a distinguishable dimpled chin and a somewhat mischevious yet menacing smirk across his face. The same man that had appeared on Foxy Island during their mission the previous week. “Radcliffe…” Sophie snarled. “Where is he? what have you done with him you scumbag?” she immediately shouted, seemingly unmoved by her situation and focusing on what she’d came from. “This ends now. Your drugs, your grooming of young men into monsters. It all ends!”
“That’s me, but don’t you worry love we’ll be taking good care of him. You however, are keep trying to shit on our little business, and I’m going to have to put a stop to it. Isn’t that right North Star?” he smirked again, in a calm yet unequivocally nasty voice. “You going to kill me you fat shit? Go for it!” Sophie said in a slightly nervous, yet confident voice. “Oh you bet I am my little Disney blonde princess…” he laughed again. But just before could pull the trigger Sophie at the blink of an eye kicked him to the ground with a thud. He then immediately fired at her. Predicting his move, Sophie with lightning-fast reflexes swung Cargast and blocked the shot, leading him to growl.
“Not so hard now, are you?” Sophie laughed. Tony then jumped to his feet and darted inside the open expanse of the Industrial unit, firing two more times to slow her pace, both of which were blocked. Sophie steadily moved in him. Inside sat an enormous vertical stack of thick tires. Aiming to throw her off course, he raced behind them before pushing it downwards in her direction with his hands, causing them to crash on top of Sophie. In the resulting commotion he then dashed back outside and jumped into the car and darted off. Throwing off the tires, Sophie then rushed back outside to give chase again but then hesitated, realizing that the car was in fact seemingly empty and he hadn’t taken the boy with him.
She turned back around and headed back into the industrial unit, which was dark, oily and dreary, filled with various vehicle parts large and small, as well as a number of boxes and crates. Walking past the mess of tires, she then heard a faint mumbling sound in the blackness. She then started hurrying towards it, searching through the contents of the room desperately. The sounds grew louder. Then behind two boxes, she came across a young man, his mouth tied up with cloth, his arms and legs roped up and his eyes brimmed with tears and bulging with desperation. Sophie looked down upon him with devastation. But before she could make another move, she was again confronted from behind.
“STOP RIGHT THERE! DON’T MOVE!” A voice shouted in an extremely authoritative voice. She turned around in confusion to find a number of police standing behind her, surrounding her and all pointing guns in her direction. She did not seem to immediately grasp their intention. “Oh thank god…” she sighed. “I found him, here’s he, but Radcliff escaped” but her face turned to horror as the policemen did not seem to respond the way she expected. “I SAID DON’T MOVE! DROP YOUR WEAPON!” he shouted again, pointing to Cargast. Confused, Sophie placed it on the ground softly. “Sorry… I come to save him, what’s wrong?” she asked, becoming increasingly anxious. “I’ll tell you what’s wrong…” a familiar voice then sternly echoed into the unit through the background. Sophie looked, and there was Chief Inspector David Simm, walking from the flashing aurora of several police cars into the building and budging past the armed officers.
“You Sophie, have been caught in the act” he said coldly. “First up at Gilley Law, now here. How is that you’re always on the scene when these young men are being abducted, going right to them claiming you’re the one saving them. You must think we’re daft, not quite.” He walked up to her, his voice and face emotionless. “What are you talking about?” Sophie shouted back. “It was Tony Radcliff! He was here, I chased him here! The boy’s mother can tell you that!” she bawled, her hands placed up in the air helplessly. “Don’t give us that Tony Radcliff bollocks. You’re here, here’s not. Let me tell you what’s going to happen now.” He stopped for a moment and cleared his throat, Sophie stared at him in disbelief, breathing heavily.
“My name is Chief Inspector David Simm of Northumbria Police, and I am arresting you on suspicion of child kidnapping and suspected murder. You do not have to say anything. But, it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence…. Now get on your knees!” he snapped. Just as Sophie pitifully kneeled onto the ground. Suddenly Micky and Millie burst into the scene. “What’s going on? What are you doing?!” he shouted as the police officers placed handcuffs around her, whilst also proceeding to release the young man who had been held captive.
“That’s not for us to comment on. Please leave the scene.” The officer barked back at him. “You can’t do this! She’s innocent! She was trying to save him!” Micky then shouted desperately as the officers proceeded to push him backwards. Millie was almost speechless, covering her hands in disbelief and shock. “YOU CAN’T DO THIS! YOU CORRUPT TOSSERS! PIGS” Micky screamed as he was pushed out of the scene. Millie then tried to run to her but was also dragged away “Sophie!” she wept “She didn’t do anything! I knew it, I knew you couldn’t trust him…” she sobbed.
“Now Sophie…” Simm turned to her again as she was hauled off from the ground handcuffed. “We’re going to be taking you to the station, charging you and then holding you on remand in custody. If you could please cooperate when coming with us and remain calm.” He said fallaciously. Inside, Sophie felt dead, powerless almost and with no will or energy to try and break free or resist. A tear rolled down her eye as the officers hauled her into a van and slammed the door. As the door closed, the warning which Viviane gave her then rebounded in her head. “You may face the bitter malice of revenge and the cruel wrath of human treachery and deception. He whom smiles and professes he cares is not a friend” and then the reality hit her… Fulton had in fact set her up.
As she stared blankly into the darkness in her own disbelief and crushing sense of failure, Micky and Millie, pushed back to the outside of the facility, could only watch on in horror as the van and police convoy rolled outwards and away, at the curiosity and disbelief of passers-by.
Meanwhile, back at Mowbray Park, the concert and event geared into motion. William Parker Fulton sat smug and content as the crowd around him clapped and roared with excitement at the performance of the band, who sung a song with the lyrics of a well-known and popular John Lennon song:
“There’s room at the top they are telling you still
But first you must learn how to smile as you kill
If you want to be like the folks on the hill
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be”
“You bet it is.” Fulton laughed cynically to Cecil who sat by his side. “Isn’t that right Sophie?” they laughed to each other wickedly…
To be continued…