Car Pool

Commuting to work is a chore endured by many as a part of their working day. Time consuming and sometimes expensive many of us choose to do it with work colleagues or friends. If we are lucky that long drive into work is one spent enjoying the company of others but sometimes it is not.  For your consideration is presented the case of Yu Han, a man who is about to have a very unusual day.

Biz 7.13am
Hey Yu.

Biz
Still on the freeway?

Yu
Yeah. Traffic is heavy.

Biz
You alone or did you catch the car pool?

Yu
Car pool today. Full house too.

Biz
Yeah? Who's with you.

Yu
Andrew's driving. Hedra's up front.

Biz
You catch a rear seat.

Yu
Yeah. Sharing with John.

Biz
Lucky Yu.

Yu
Funny. Why are you texting? Its not just to check our seating arrangements is it?

Biz
Nothing so important. Chairman's coming in today. In the late PM I think. Just got the head's up from Sandra.

Yu
Today? I thought he wasn't coming our way until Friday at the earliest?

Biz
Changed itinerary. Wants to see the new Eldright book.

Yu
Didn't you tell them a production copy won't be ready until next week?

Biz
Not me. Sandra sent them the publishing deadlines but it doesn't seem to have got through.

Yu
Great. I'll talk to Hedra and see if we can set up a dummy print to show him.

Biz
Cool. When will you be in.

Yu
Got to be at least 25. Traffic's dead slow.

Biz
OK. See what Hedra can do.

Yu 7.20am
Biz. I talked with Hedra. She has a test copy we printed for QA. We'll use that.

Biz
Great. See the news?

Yu
What's up?

Biz
Fuel tanker's rolled a few clicks further up the freeway. Gonna burn they reckon.

Yu
Any estimates on delays?

Biz
Could be up to an hour.

Yu
Damn. Can you call Adelaide and reschedule the Skype with Jonas?

Biz
No problem. Let me know if you have any further delays.

Yu
Sure.

Sandra 7.23am
Heard about the boss?

Yu
Yeah. What's his boggle now?

Sandra
Not sure. I think he's worried about the February sales figures.

Yu
Well. If he's got any issues I'm sure we can work them through.

Sandra
One other thing.

Yu
Yes.

Sandra
Got a call from Accounts.

Yu
About the advertising budget?

Sandra
No. That's not a problem. They say there are funds missing.

Yu
From where?

Sandra
That's the curious thing. Overall balances seem Ok. But they are sure money has been transferred overseas.

Sandra
Somebody's covered their tracks very well.

Yu
I'll have to go and see them. Can you get me a meeting time for this afternoon?

Sandra
Consider it done.

Yu
Thanks for that.

Adelaide 7.27am
Got the message from Biz.

Yu
Any problems?

Adelaide
No. Jonas has reorganised for Tuesday.

Yu
Anything else?

Adelaide
Sure is. Got a visit from the police. A Detective Riley.

Yu
Really?

Adelaide
No, Riley. Said he will be contacting you by text. Said not to say anything to anyone else in the car.

Yu
Why?

Adelaide
Said only that it was important.

Yu
When will he text?

Adelaide
As soon as I tell him you won't say anything.

Yu
He has my word. Where is he now?

Adelaide
Standing right next to me.

Detective Riley 7.27am
Mr. Yu Han?

Yu
That's me.

Riley
I need to tell you something and it is vitally important you say nothing yet to the rest of the people in the car. Understand?

Yu
Yes.

Riley
Good. First thing you must understand is that the car you are riding in is bugged.

Riley
Anything spoken aloud will be heard by a group of people who have taken Andrew's family hostage.

Yu
What?

Riley
Just tell me you understand what I am saying.

Yu
I do. But why would anybody do that? Andrew's a Copy Editor for Christ sake.

Riley
Not important at the moment. Just know that if they think they have been discovered his family will die.

Riley
Currently we are looking for them but until we have found them I need your help.

Yu
What do you need?

Riley
I need you to direct the conversation in the car. Feed information via the bug that will keep the family alive.

Yu
Just tell me what to say.

Riley
OK. First off you need to tell everybody about the delay and why.

Riley
Just say a Fuel tanker's gone over and there may be up to an hour delay.

Yu
No problem.

Yu
Done. Is Andrew aware of what's going on?

Riley
Yes. The group took his family last night. Kept him at his home until this morning.

Riley
Gave him instructions to drive the car and park it in its normal parking spot.

Yu
If that's the case why did he pick the rest of us up?

Riley
Don't know yet. Possibly to give an impression of business as usual.

Yu
Who are these people?

Riley
Homegrown militia group. Got a serious issue with anything government.

Yu
This doesn't make any sense. How could Andrew be involved in something like that?

Riley
He's not. Its where his reserved parking spot is positioned that's important.

Yu
How?

Riley
Not sure yet. We do know that it overlooks the FBI building in downtown.

Riley
What is Andrew doing at the moment?

Yu
Sweating. Traffic's slowed to a crawl.

Riley
Make mention of that.

Yu
Done.

Yu
Shouldn't we be telling the others. They're in this as well.

Riley
Not yet. The less people that know the better.

Yu
So what happens when we get into the carpark?

Riley
A tactical squad will be there to pull you out of the car. Just do everything they say.

Yu
Any sign of the family.

Riley
Not yet, but we're narrowing the possible locations down.

Biz 7.41am
What's going on Yu? A carload of cops are all over your office. Adelaide's looking pretty jittery.

Yu
Don't worry Biz. I'll tell you all about it later. One thing though.

Biz
What?

Yu
Don't say anything to anyone for about an hour OK?

Biz
You got it boss. Lips are sealed.

Yu
Great. Tell you everything when we get in.

Riley 7.45am
Just got an update on the traffic. Tanker's been cleared.

Riley
We're close to locating the family. Keep up a normal conversation.

Yu
Will do.

Riley 8.01am
Yu.

Yu
Yes.

Riley
We've found the family.

Yu
Thank Christ. Can I tell Andrew?

Riley
Not yet. Four of the group are in custody and the family is safe.

Riley
One terrorist still at large though.  Somebody is still listening.

Yu
OK. Looks like traffic's loosening up.

Riley 8.10am
Where are you now?

Yu
In downtown. Maybe five minutes from Lancaster Tunnel.

Riley
Things have changed. Need you to do something for me.

Yu
What is it?

Riley
We've searched a location near where the family was held.

Riley
Found bomb making equipment and remote detonators.

Yu
What does that mean?

Riley
Confirms a suspicion we had. There's every chance that there is a bomb in the car.

Yu
What?

Riley
Say nothing.  How long until Lancaster Tunnel?

Yu
Maybe two minutes.

Riley
Right. When you enter the tunnel any radio reception will be jammed.

Riley
Get Andrew to stop in the tunnel.

Riley
Tell him you're feeling ill and need to stop.

Yu
Why?

Riley
No reception means no remote detonation. Get out of the car and run back towards the south exit.

Yu
What will you be doing?

Riley
We'll block both ends of the tunnel as soon as you enter. We'll get everybody out then send in a bomb squad.

Yu
We have to tell everyone else. We're all going to have to move quickly.

Riley
Already on it. Look at the others. Are they tapping their phones when you look at them?

Yu
Yes.

Riley
Good. Its a signal. They're ready to move.

Yu
What about Andrew?

Riley
Can't do anything yet. Don't say anything until everybody is out of the car.

Yu
He needs to know his family is OK.

Riley
He will. Just not yet. Its your lives that are in jeopardy now. Remember what you have to do.

Yu
Ready.

Riley 8.20am
Yu. Where are you?

Yu
He didn't take the tunnel.

Riley
What?

Yu
Just before Lancaster he turned onto Redford and made west.

Riley
Why?

Yu
I don't know. Looked well spooked. Turned up Redford and pulled out a gun. Why does he have a gun?

Riley
Damn. Does he know you're in contact with the police?

Yu
No. We're all keeping quiet.

Riley
Ask him why he's not taking the tunnel.

Yu 8.22am
He didn't answer. Just put the gun on us.

Riley
How are you still in contact?

Yu
He realised I was using my phone and he wants the connection left open.

Riley
Where are you?

Yu
In Anderson Park. Near the fountains.

Riley
OK. Tell him that the police have his family and that they're safe.

Yu
He want's you to back off. He knows you have his friends and he's prepared to detonate the bomb.

Riley
Tell him we'll keep our distance.

Riley
Ask him what his intentions are.

Yu
He says he wants safe passage out of the city and the return of his men.

Riley
Something's not right. He knows we'll never agree to that.

Riley
Are there any TV crews in the park?

Yu
No.

Yu
Wait. I can see two vans pulling into the carpark.

Riley
Is Hedra sitting in the front passenger seat?

Yu
Yes.

Riley
Do exactly as I say. Tap two of your fingers on your shoulder so that she can see you.

Yu
Done.

Riley
Great. Tell Andrew we will give him everything he wants.

Yu 8.36am
Oh Christ! Hedra just shot Andrew. Straight through the head.

Riley
Are you out of the car?

Yu
Except for Andrew whose DEAD, we're all out.

Yu
WTH Riley?

Riley
Hedra will explain everything. 

Yu
Not good enough. You explain.

Riley
She's been an undercover operative watching Andrew since she joined the company last year.

Riley
We knew he was involved in a terrorist plot and needed someone close just in case.

Yu
Did anyone else know?

Riley
No. He was being followed day and night. Needed someone at his work.

Yu
So you knew all along that Andrew was one of the group?

Riley
Yes. Sorry I couldn't put you fully in the loop.

Yu
OK. I'm totally confused now.

Yu
So you knew where Andrew's family was?

Riley
Yes. But we couldn't get them out until we could take all four of the group at once.

Riley
That just left Andrew.

Yu
Did his wife know?

Riley
Had no idea. She thought he was going to poker nights with his friends.

Yu
I bet he came home with winnings. Didn't he.

Riley
Yes. They weren't winnings though. Money transferred from an overseas account. Funded the group and gave him a cover.

Yu
I have a feeling I know where the cash came from.

Riley
Where?

Yu
You'll have to speak with our Accounts.

Yu
Christ, this is a mess. I've never seen anyone get shot.

Riley
Its unfortunate that you had to. We were hoping he'd take the tunnel but he didn't.

Riley
We were there, waiting. Would have taken him but for the detour.

Yu
And that's where Hedra came in. Did I give her the signal to kill him?

Riley
Yes.

Yu
God. I feel sick.

Riley
Don't. I'll stake my job that he knew the jig was up and was waiting for the TV crews to arrive.

Yu
Why would he want that?

Riley
Once they were set up he would have detonated the bomb, killing you all.

Yu
But why?

Riley
For the cause, whatever that might be. Some of these groups can be damn crazy.

Riley
When you've been checked by medical we'll have to get statements. For now though you'll need to wait with the others.

Riley
If you have any other questions ask Hedra.

Yu 8.55am
Adelaide?

Adelaide
Yes boss.

Yu
I don't think I'll be in the office today. Can you reorganise everything for tomorrow?

Adelaide
No problem. Got a message from Accounts. They say tomorrow morning at 9 will be best for them.

Yu
OK. Tell them they'll be getting a visit from Detective Riley. See you tomorrow.

Yu
And if anybody asks I'll be taking the train from now on.

THE END

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