Ivy and Sylvie sat on the floor in front of The Darius.
"I answered the door and told the Detective I had never heard of a Samantha Watson. He gave me this card."
She handed it to The Darius. He calmly took it and read it, the slightest smile across his lips.
"When he asked your name, what did you say?"
"I told him Claire."
"Sylvie, you did the right thing, so smart. Did he seem convinced?"
"Oh yes, he has no idea about anything."
"Perfect. We wouldn't want anything to get in the way of our Journey to Freedom. The people on the outside do not understand. They just care about the insignificant, the irrelevant. Ivy, you may be fourteen, but you are a wise soul, a soul that needs to be part of The Light."
"Thank you The Darius." I smiled at my protector.
"I will keep this. You did the right thing Sylvie but when Detective Salvino comes back, we will need a better plan. Ivy, get me Miles. We will work out a strategy with him."
I broke eye contact with The Darius and stared down at the floor. "Okay, I will."
"Great. We cannot waste any time. Ivy, do not let this stop your work. We have to continue to get everyone to The Free. I want Freedom House ready in two weeks."
"That's perfect." I said.
Sylvie leaned over and kissed The Darius on his lips. She stood up. I leaned over and kissed him. When my lips moved off of his, I stayed close to his face and said, "I will not disappoint you."
He raised his eyebrow and smiled.
"Detective Salvino, she's never gone undercover. I think it's premature. We can't have another Boulder Creek scene," said Captain Malone.
"Captain, I do understand your concern. These communes feed off men and women but their sweet spot are women. Boulder Creek was unfortunate but we both know they were more than a commune. Their leader lived off of weak souls. By the time we got there, it was too late. We can't be too late with this one. Detective Arc is our only female detective. She's more than competent and I know she has what it takes. We only need a week or two but we need to get her there now."
"Salvino, you do whatever it takes to find those missing girls, but you better find them alive. It's you that will have to live with it."
"Thank you Captain."
Detective Salvino called another strategy meeting. He stood in front of a large whiteboard. Next to the whiteboard was a large cork board. Hanging on the cork board were eight pictures, all young girls smiling for their school pictures.
"Let's talk Boulder Creek. We will need to rehash the facts and this time we can't make the same mistakes."
Detective Salvino pointed to the whiteboard where he had written some bullet points in black pen. "It started out the same. We were dealing with young under aged girls who were disappearing every month. When we found the Boulder Creek commune, we spoke to two women. They said there were no under aged girls and boys there and that they believed in a more unified, shared kind of living. They were not suspicious in any way. All our leads kept pointing us to that cabin out in Boulder Creek but we had nothing on them, until it was too late. I will never forget that call I received on August 5th. There had been a brutal home invasion resulting in bloodshed near the college campus. Five beaten and stabbed to death. The person they went easy on was stabbed 36 times. By the time we got back to Boulder Creek, the entire commune had ingested rat poison. When we arrived, all you could see were bodies laid out everywhere, not one sound. We found nine under aged missing girls and six boys."
Detective Bailey spoke, "So how do we get Detective Arc inside?"
"That is exactly why we're here. We need some ideas and we need them fast."
Detective Arc thought about Charlotte. She saw the purple bike on the curb of the "U-ie," the front wheel spinning solo, the sun setting behind it.
"Detective Arc? You okay?"
"Yes sir." Sophia said.
"Any thoughts on how we get you in there?"
"You said Samantha Watson was last seen at the market on Broadway and 7th. That means some of these commune members are coming into town for water, maybe food. Let's assign someone to go out there to track the house and follow whoever leaves. I can show up at whatever location they end up at and that's where I can work my way in."
"I'll track it." Detective Bailey said.
"That's sounds like a plan. Detective Arc, while Bailey is out there you and I can go over undercover protocol, but we won't have a lot of time. We must work quickly and that means a higher danger risk."
"That's not a problem." said Detective Arc.
"Detective Bailey, get ready please. You will need a bullet proof vest. Use one of our civilian cars. Directions are in my office, on my desk."
Detective Bailey stood up. He looked at Detective Arc, "You got this Detective. Let's bring this one down."
He walked out, head high, and his fists clenched.
"Bailey?" said Detective Salvino.
Detective Bailey turned around with a stern look.
"Don't get caught out there."
Detective Bailey didn't say a word. He nodded his head down once, turned around and walked out.
"Sophia, are you sure you're ready for this?"
"I have been ready for years Detective."
"You need to understand these places always have a leader. You will need to identify that person quickly before they harm anybody."
"How will I communicate with you while I'm there?"
"You'll take a small cell phone and you may need to hide it. Detective Arc, in most undercover cases, it's required for the undercover to be armed unless there is absolute reason that person cannot be. In this case, you will not be armed."
Sophia moved only her eyes up to look at Detective Salvino.
"I can manage that."
"Now, when Bailey calls with their location outside the commune, you'll go to their location, most likely a store, but what's your plan then?"
"I have an idea. Get me a female officer." Detective Arc said.
Sophia's plan was crazy but not as crazy as going undercover into Freedom House. No weapons and little communication. The undercover procedures to be followed made it even more of a challenge to not get caught. If substances were offered, they were to be refused. Audio recording devices were highly recommended. Under no circumstances is the undercover to engage in sexual activity of any kind or to expose any private part. Clear communications were a must and had to be planned out ahead of time. It was Sophia Arc's time to save these young girls, something she couldn’t do for her sister fourteen years ago.
Officer Deanna Morris entered the room, hands on her waist. "Detective Salvino, Detective Arc. The Captain said you needed me."
"Hello Officer Morris, thank you. We have a serious undercover case that Detective Arc will be working on. It's so serious that she won't be armed. That's as much as I can disclose. We have a plan on how to get her into the location." Detective Salvino said.
"What can I do to help?" asked Officer Morris.
"I need you to punch me. Give me a black eye." said Detective Arc.
Officer Morris chuckled, looked at Detective Salvino then at Detective Arc. Her chuckle was interrupted by her own realization, they were serious.
-Written by Sterp
All Rights Reserved
I am Sterp. I write horror fiction and have a very unhealthy obsession with disturbing narratives. I am the author of The Cult Called Freedom House: Sophia Rey Book One. My short story The Lost Tea Cup will be in Issue 26 of The Literary Hatchet in 2020. I am also a painter.
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