The Commission - 6
Chapter 6: Appointed Tasks
November 15 Newport Beach, California
Gavin was tired. He sat on the couch, looking over the Pacific Ocean watching the sunset. It had been a busy couple of weeks since the raid at the Playboy Mansion. Although they had grabbed seven playboy models that evening, there had still been seven more on the list. Not to mention the time required to prepare each one for their new life. Brande, one of the girls Hefner was living with, had been helpful though, she had provided him with the addresses for the other girls. A busy night a week ago had netted the last of the girls, and yesterday he had finally finished processing the last of them. The media was full of reports of the abduction of Jaime Bergman, Kerissa Fare, Tiffany Taylor, Susie Simpson, Karen McDougal, Kalin Olsen, and Carrie Westcott All had been abducted from their homes or workplaces, yet no suspects had been named. Although the FBI and LAPD did admit that clearly the kidnappings were related, as if that wasn’t obvious already.
Jaime had been the last abducted, grabbed right off the set of the cable series she worked on, and Gavin had finished her yesterday. Like with all of them, Gavin had thoroughly enjoyed the experience, but still, the heavy spell casting had been taxing. Now she, like the other 13 former playmates and playmates of the year were stored away, along with the stars from Friends, on a shelf in the library. Posed in lingerie, or evening wear, now little plastic dolls with a variety of expressions on their faces ranging from brood smiles of joy to lusty looks of passion.
The next group would be harder.
Security services and bodyguards were in huge demand now, and almost certainly
the next abductions would be more dangerous. Tomorrow, it would be time to
grab the next one on the list. A beautiful young star named Jennifer Love
Hewitt, who looked a lot like, and reminded him strongly of Sarah.
November 16 Beverly Hills Los Angeles Noon
Paula watched her client walk through the lobby of the expensive hotel. As usual, she looked beautiful, and she was charming and friendly to everyone who recognized her. If it wasn’t for the fact she had to prepare for her next film and go to the studio tomorrow, Paula would never have allowed her to come to LA though. It was tough work being a bodyguard, but the disappearance of the actresses from Friends, and more recently, the playmates, had made her even more paranoid than her usual professionalism required.
It would have been better if they had stayed in Texas with her parents a bit longer, but her client did have a career after all, and she wanted to keep it. The assignment did have its perks though. Love, as she preferred to be called by her friends, was a charming and sweet woman. She was smart and fun to be with and Paula decided that protecting her was not just professional now. Letting anything happen to this nice young woman would not be possible. Paula had decided she really liked this actress, and felt a big sisterly desire to keep her safe.
A few feet away, sitting in the
lobby, Grim watched their next target walk by with none other than the counterpart
of his wife at home. A bit shocked, Grim barely managed to keep his surprise
off his face when he saw Paula walk by. She was obviously a bodyguard, and
suddenly this mission was becoming more complicated.
November 16 4 PM Newport Beach
Grim and Gavin sat at the kitchen
table, discussing their next move.
“You’re sure it was her?” Gavin
“Well, I guess we shouldn’t be too
surprised, our Paula was originally a private investigator, after all. We
will just have to grab her too.”
Grim smiled. “I wonder if the girls are doing ok back home?”
November 17 Houston
Detective Vanessa Herrera pulled up to the little strip mall and stopped. Several of the people that had been reported missing in the last couple of days had attended Rice University, and she had found a note left by Janell to her roommate telling her that she was getting a free day at a spa. Vanessa had checked every spa in the area, and this was the last one of the list. The strip center had a personnel agency, sports medicine clinic and modeling agency, the very same one that had reported several of its models missing a couple of days ago as a matter of fact. While she was here, she planned to stop by for some followup with them. It was definitely interesting that it was right next to a spa. The connection was suddenly obvious to her.
She just wasn’t sure what that meant yet.
Cheryl was sitting at the front desk, waiting for the last appointment of the day and for that matter, the last one before they skipped town tonight. Michelle and Kim had acquired the counterparts of most of the girls that Wes had stolen away at the strip joint so long ago, including Michelle’s own counterpart (who had left that business and gone to the corporate world) yesterday. Kim had picked up three astronauts a couple of days ago as well, while Kim’s idea for the spa had paid off wonderfully. Nearly 50 people, all smart, attractive, young and (now thanks to the potions) in perfect health and hibernation, were stored away in the chest in the back room. Only one more from the spa, plus the few that Sarah had targeted for pick up tonight at their homes remained. Michelle’s plan had worked out well also. Grabbing three models at the photo shoot, and the photographer, had been easy. Nearly 60 people in all from Houston, and along with the 30 from Bakersfield and 30 each from North Carolina and Maryland had gone a long way toward fulfilling their goal.
She did a double take when Vanessa’s counterpart walked through the front door.
“Hi, can I help you?”
The detective looked around briefly
as she came up to the front desk. The room looked typical of what you would
expect in such a place, although the young woman at the front desk, who looked
about 20, was rather stunning. “Wait until I tell Joe about her. He is going
to kick himself for calling in sick today.”
Vanessa replied, showing her badge.
“Actually, I am not sure. I am investigating the disappearance of a few people
from the area, as well as the disappearance of the models from the agency next
door. I think one of them was planning to visit a spa before she disappeared
and I was hoping you might have seen her.”
“Oh my god, that’s awful. I hope I can help. We have been a bit nervous since the other day. A couple of the models used to come in here all the time.”
Vanessa pulled out the picture of Janell and showed it to the girl. Cheryl, fully expecting it to be one of their abductees, was not the least surprised when she recognized the young woman. Janell Mydland, a beautiful 22 year old medical student at Baylor, at least until a few days ago, before she became a plastic statuette in the back room.
“Hmm, she looks familiar. But we had better ask Sarah. She might have worked on her. Why don’t you come on back with me. Sarah is in the tanning room.”
They walked through a room that
looked like it was used for massages. “Heh, how much do you charge anyway?
Janell was a scholarship student, she couldn’t have afforded too much.”
“Not as much as you might think. We are having a special to attract business. Besides, college students eventually become professionals and they always have money to be spoiled a little.” Cheryl replied with a knowing grin.
“Hmm, well, I wish police detectives did,” Vanessa replied ruefully.
The two women passed into the next
room, where Vanessa was surprised to see another gorgeous girl helping a young
woman dressed in nothing but a bathrobe into the tanning bed. “Now you just
lay here for a couple of minutes and listen to the music while you relax.”
The woman said sweetly.
“Sarah, this is detective, Oh I
am sorry, what was your name again?”
At the mention of the name and hearing the voice, Sarah turned quickly, hiding the shock she felt.
Cheryl, who was standing just behind
the beautiful detective, grinned and nodded.
“Umm, hi detective. How can I help you?” Sarah replied.
Vanessa noticed the surprise and thought she caught something that looked like recognition. Which intrigued her a little. She certainly didn’t remember meeting either Sarah or Cheryl before. Something else caught her attention too. The young woman on the tanning bed had casually taken off her clothes and was staring rather vacantly at nothing in particular as she listened to the headphones from the little CD player next to her. She looked rather stoned actually, and Vanessa couldn’t wait to tease Joe about missing the naked (and really gorgeous) girl on the tanning bed.
Sarah walked up to her and shook
her hand, smiling. “Are you here about the missing models from next door?
I hope you find them ok, they were nice.”
Vanessa turned her attention to Sarah, who coincidentally it seemed was blocking her view somewhat of the girl on the tanning bed. Pulling the picture from her jacket pocket again, she showed it to Sarah.
“Her name is Janell, she disappeared
a couple of days ago, and she left a note saying she was going to a spa.
She lived not far from here, and I was hoping that maybe you had seen her.”
“Hmm, she does look familiar, but
I see so many people. I want to be sure. Let me get my appointment book.
What day was it specifically?”
Cheryl chimed in at this point.
“Detective? Would you like something to drink?”
“Sure.” She replied to Cheryl and
then to Sarah, “it was the day before yesterday. Her name was Janell Mydland.”
Sarah nodded, “Well, let me get Kathryn’s tanning session started real quick.” Sarah walked over to the tanning bed and began lowering the lid. Vanessa noticed that the young woman was still looking rather vacantly into nothing, and her skin looked vaguely artificial now. Which seemed a little odd. Dismissing it as lotion or something, she decided she would question the young woman a bit later if necessary.
Something wasn’t right here though. She couldn’t put her finger on it, but something was giving her a little shiver up her back, like something bad was going down.
Sarah left and Cheryl came back
a moment later with a glass of juice. “Here you go, this is great stuff, I
hope you will like it.”
Vanessa took a sip, and it was very good. It was the best apple cider she had ever tasted as a matter of fact and suddenly she realized she was parched and she drained the entire glass. Cheryl watched the beautiful detective down the potion, smiling inwardly. They had planned to get Vanessa tonight as a matter of fact, on their way out of town. It was nice that she came in and had saved them the effort.
The detective and Cheryl chatted
briefly for a little while as they waited for Sarah to come back. Cheryl told
Vanessa all about the spa special, and asked her if she would like to take part.
Vanessa was feeling very relaxed now. It was apparent that her little voice had been wrong this time. Everything here seemed normal enough. And Janell must have been here, and disappeared after that. Well, it was a lead, not much of one as it only going to tell her about what time the girl disappeared. But it would help. It wouldn’t hurt if she went ahead and did everything Janell did when she was here, it would help with the timeline, she rationalized.
“Why don’t we start with a massage. Then it will be time for a trim, and then another drink and the tanning bed. Don’t you agree?” Cheryl said reasonably, and now completely under the influence of the friendship spell and unaware of the changes already occurring in her body, Vanessa nodded, a relaxed smile on her lips.
An hour later a 12-inch tall doll of Vanessa joined Kathryn in the chest. Coincidently, she was placed right next to Janell. Vanessa had solved her disappearance after all and Joe would indeed never know what he missed.
November 16 Beverly Hills
Gavin looked at the mirror thoughtfully before casting a spell. He was dressed once again in what Grim called their burglar suits. Black spidersilk from home, to protect against such things as bullets and the like, underneath battle dress from this world, fatigues with lots of pockets. Plus the Elven boots to help them reduce the sounds they made, and special glasses, that looked like sunglasses, to enable them to see in the dark or detect other oddities (and see each other when they were invisible). Gavin had his wand tucked in his pocket, along with a dart pistol, while Grim wore a what looked like a backpack, but inside of which, in a magically greatly enlarged space, he had all of the tools of his trade, including a selection of weapons.
The spell went off, and the mirror
began to glow. Focusing his attention, soon he could see Paula (the counterpart
from this world) and expanding the spell a little, located the actress that
was the target tonight.
Paula was dozing on a couch, in one of the bedrooms in the suite they were in, while Jennifer (or Love as she liked to be called) sat in the sitting room of the suite, reading through a script and occasionally stopping to practice bits of dialogue.
She was indeed very charming and looked fetching in her jeans and short blouse.
“Ready?” Gavin looked over at his
friend, who nodded. “Ok, well lets go. When we pop in, you take care of Paula
while I take care of Jennifer. When we have them both knocked out, I will
transform them as usual and then we teleport back.”
“Simple enough. Lets do it.”
Moments later, they grasped hands and vanished from the room.
Seconds later, they popped into the room where the young actress, in the middle of practicing a line from her next movie, was pacing around, script in hand.
For Jennifer, it was a shock to
suddenly see two strange men standing before her. She screamed in her best
horror-movie quaver, dropped the script and ran.
“Well shit.” Gavin mumbled. Grim shook his head, and ran toward the door where Paula was supposed to be.
For Paula, it was a rude awakening.
She heard Love’s scream, and jumping to her feet, she grabbed her handgun from
the nightstand just as the door swung open. It took her only a moment to see
that it was a man, and she was leveling the gun to squeeze off a shot when he
fired what looked like a dart gun at her.
“Fuck, that hurt!” she cursed as the dart took her in the stomach, but struggling she managed to squeeze off a shot.
Paula collapsed in a heap, and Grim struggled to deal with the pain of being shot point blank in the chest by a 9-millimeter bullet. “Good thing I wore my silk today” he thought to himself as he slipped down along the wall. He could tell that he had cracked ribs at the very least, and his ears rang from the loud sound of the gunshot.
Meanwhile, in the other part of the suite, Jennifer Love Hewitt ran for her life. The strange man was right behind as she shut the door just as he got to it. As he pushed against it from the other side, he heard it lock. Just then, he heard the shot, and he dropped his pursuit of the actress for a moment to go see what happened. Walking through the open door, he saw Paula laying on the floor with a dart in her stomach, and Grim slumped against the wall, a thin trickle of blood coming from his mouth and holding his left side.
“Hey, are you hit bad?”
“Well, I have had worse, but I think
you are going to have to handle things quick. That gunshot wasn’t exactly subtle.”
“Ok, I will be back in a couple of minutes, let me collect Ms. Hewitt so we can get the hell out of here.”
Jennifer was on the phone now, calling for help and the desk was promising security would be up shortly, and the cops were going to be called.
She was hoping Paula was alright, she heard the shot, but nothing since then and it had been a couple of minutes now. Grabbing a wine bottle, she waited to see who would come in first. “Shit, this stuff is only supposed to happen in the movies.” She thought to herself. “Ok, well I was in that movie, but still, for gods sake!”
Gavin stood before her door again and cast a quick spell to unlock the door, then another to open it. Rushing inside, he saw the actress just as she took a swing at his head with the bottle. Ducking, he pulled out the dart gun. Jennifer, swinging with desperate strength and surprisingly good aim (apparently those parts in the horror movies had really paid off) hit him this time in the arm, and he dropped the gun as pain shot up his arm.
“Hmm, this isn’t going well.” He muttered as he ducked another swing. “Time for Plan B.”
Pulling a plastic doll from his pocket with his good hand as he dodged another swing, he reached up with his bad arm and blocked yet another swing that would he cracked his head. “Shit” he cursed as the pain of what had to be a broken arm shot through him.
Jennifer, the adrenaline rushing through, decided she might just make it through this. All he had was a plastic doll in his hand now. Stepping inside his reach, she swung again, this time aiming for his shoulder just as the doll touched her bare midriff.
Gavin cursed again as the wine bottle connected against his left shoulder, and the pain of what was probably a cracked shoulder blade shot through him as he uttered the command word for the spell and touched the actress with the doll.
Flinching, as at this point yet another swing from the wine bottle was likely to hurt even more, he was relieved when she froze in mid step, about to swing again.
“What is happening, why can’t I move?” she thought with panic. For suddenly she was paralyzed, and now she was begin to feel rather strange. She couldn’t even blink anymore after a moment, and a warm fuzzy feeling of falling into bed overpowered her.
“Shit, this isn’t what happened to me in that movie!” was her last thought as she slipped into dreamland.
Relieved, Gavin watched her transform. Taking the opportunity to strip off her clothes, he left her only in panties. She did have a wonderful body, and as he well knew, she was very strong and fit.
Shrinking her down, he could already hear security trying to come in the door. In spite of the pain, he walked into the next room, and cast a spell to wizard lock the door. “That should hold them for a few minutes.” Returning, he picked up the now doll sized actress, and walked back into the room where Grim was just now getting to his feet.
“Lets get Paula and get out of here.”
Grim said. He noticed that Gavin was holding his left arm with his free hand,
and looked like he was in pain too. “What happened? Did you get her?”
“Yes, I got her, and she damn near
decked me with a wine bottle.”
“This didn’t exactly go the way
you planned did it?” Grim asked sarcastically.
“You could say that” Gavin replied testily as he touched Paula with the plastic doll and watched her transform into plastic like her client had moments before.
Another spell moments later, and she too was shrunk down to the same size as her charge.
“Ok, lets go before they break down the door.” Gavin said through tight lips.
Indeed, the men outside were pounding hard at the door and it sounded like they had reinforcements.
Moments later, they broke the door down and rushed into the suite. Now empty except for some blood, the smell of cordite, and the signs of a recent struggle.
An unexpected turn of events Increases the Risks...