But before Stacy could concoct a story, Prudence came back into the room. In her brief time at the club, Stacy had really developed a liking for Prudence, who seemed different than the other bikers, like she really didn’t approve of their behavior. Maybe she had a change of heart now and was going to help Stacy escape.
Prudence paused in front of Stacy, examining the immobilized intruder in disbelief that the paralyzing gas actually worked so quickly in an open area. Previously they had just tested the effects on a couple of cats. But it seemed to have acted upon her perfectly, turning the young woman as stiff as a window dummy.
Prudence then moved to Stacy’s side and started to pat her down, reaching at last for her back pocket.
“Oh no,” Stacy thought, “Don’t do it, don’t do that!” Stacy tried hard to stop her, but of course was completely helpless. Prudence took out the leather wallet from Stacy’s back pocket and opened it up. She flinched when she saw the badge.
“Officer Stacy Sheridan, LCPD”, she gasped, looking up into Stacy’s glassy eyes.
Stacy desperately wanted to tell Prudence that she didn’t have to be involved in this gang’s sinister dealings and that Stacy would help her get out of any jail time, but of course, she was unable to. In her present condition, Stacy couldn’t do much of anything.
Prudence turned abruptly and hurried off, taking the wallet with her.
What kind of story could Stacy come up with now? “Today is only Wednesday; Hooker won’t know I’m missing until this coming Monday,” Stacy realized. She also at last noticed what else was in this dungeon; apparatus that didn’t look like Halloween props.
She saw an iron maiden, a human-shaped cabinet used in ancient times to torture or kill a person by piercing the body with sharp objects (such as knives, spikes, or nails), while he or she was forced to remain standing. The condemned bled profusely and weakened slowly, eventually dying because of blood loss, shock, or perhaps asphyxiation.
There was a horizontal rack, where the victim would be bound on an oblong wooden frame with rollers at each end. If the victim refused to answer questions, the rollers were turned ever more tightly until the victim’s joints were pulled out of their sockets.
There also was what appeared to be an electric chair, also seemingly fully functional. Stacy so much wanted to cry; she had to find some way out of here. Then she realized she was getting a little feeling back into her fingers and then her hands. Slowly, the rest of her body became able to move under her will again, but the shackles held her in place. Before she could ponder an escape attempt, she heard noises outside the door, then Fog, Prudence, Spike and the older lady rushed in to the room.
Stacy pulled on the chains and thrust her body forward, but was of course unable to free herself.
“Exotic dancer, my ass,” Spike said with contempt. “Should I use one of these torture devices on her, or should I just have her change into some thigh high cement boots?”
Tears welled up in Stacy’s eyes as she looked at Prudence, hoping for some help. But none came from the beautiful dancer.
“I didn’t realize that the LCPD hired such comely officers these days, sister dear,” Fog said to the older woman.
“Yes Marmaduke, it seems a pity we have to dispose of her now,” the lady said.
“But we have to get her out of the way somehow, so when the Crown Jewels arrive on Monday for their special showing, we can steal them as planned,” Prudence added.
“The Crown Jewels?” Stacy exclaimed. "So that's..."
“She heard you, Prudence!” the woman yelled. “That was very careless. Now we have to silence her, for good.”
“It doesn’t matter, Penelope,” Spike said. “Nobody will ever find her body at the bottom of the Canyon River.”
“Oh!” Prudence yelled, frowning. “I don’t think she deserves that kind of cruel treatment; she was really nice…”
Stacy grunted as she again pulled helplessly on the chains holding her to the archway.
Fog spoke up. “Wait, everybody. I have a much better idea than these crude torture devices or the river bottom. This lovely lady isn’t something to be simply disposed of like yesterday’s rubbish. Of all of the jewels and priceless objects of art I’ve collected...” he paused and then walked up close to Stacy, taking her chin in his hand. “To me, this is the most beautiful of all.”
“She’s a cop, sir,” Spike yelled defiantly. “If we let her live, she’ll be able to talk; tell them everything, she’s seen all our faces! We gotta get rid of her.”
“Not necessarily my good man,” Fog said, smiling devilishly. “Everybody, stand back,” he said, taking something from underneath his cloak.
”What’s that, Daddy?” Prudence asked, her eyes widening.
“My dear, these are Permanent Paralyzing Gas Tablets. Once exposed to their vapors, our dear officer Sheridan here will remain a young and beautiful object of art. Forever!”
Fog laughed villainously as the four retreated. Stacy again tried to pull herself loose but could not. Fog twisted each tablet, then tossed them into the center of the dungeon floor. The group hurried off laughing, closing the door securely behind them.
For a few seconds, nothing happened; Stacy hoped the pellets were defective. Then there was a sizzling sound as the dense green gas rose up from the floor surrounding Stacy.
She could not do anything to shield herself from the sinister effects of the paralyzing gas. She violently struggled until her muscles locked solidly in place, her breathing slowed, and again she exhibited no visible movement.
* * *
After a few hours Fog reappeared, accompanied by Spike and Riley. The bikers removed her wrists from the cuffs and moved her arms to her sides. Stacy could not resist in any way, remaining in whatever position they placed her into. They tilted her rigid body sideways and, picking her up like a piece of furniture held between them, proceeded back up the steps and into the jewel room. Fog followed, watching his latest prize intently.
They carried her over to the darkened edge of the vast room. Just then, a spotlight turned on, throwing light onto the corner of the room. There, resting on a low pedestal, was a six-foot-high glass display case with a base about two feet square. The door to the case was opened and Stacy’s motionless figure was carefully placed inside. Her hands were clasped together behind her back, her booted legs were posed so she could stand unsupported without toppling over, then the door was closed and latched. It dawned on Stacy, “I’m becoming a part of Fog’s collection!”
The men stepped back and Fog, with a heavy sigh of self satisfaction, pointed a remote control device at the case, pushing a couple of buttons. Soon after, the pedestal started to slowly turn and glide, disappearing into a hidden room. Stacy was plunged into darkness. Then the pedestal and case reached its final destination deep in the catacombs of Fog Manor and all was quiet. How am I ever going get out of this one? Stacy wondered.
Would Hooker and the force even be able to figure out it was Fog that had kidnapped her? And if they did, how would they ever find this hidden room inside a hidden room where Officer Stacy Sheridan stood, immobilized by permanent paralyzing gas, locked inside a transparent display case like some lifelike department store mannequin.
Was she doomed to spend the rest of eternity displayed as a lovely work of art?
...to be Continued...