Everyone had already left the lab except for Liam and I. It was very quiet and I was trying to wrap up some stuff. We worked hard all week cleaning and packing up our lab. Evidence of our research had been erased from all the computers, except for the one in my office. I was almost finished and I just wanted to go home and move forward from this mess. Fuchsia would be here soon and we would grab some food and head back to my place for dinner. I was excited because we would be transferred to an area that had one of the best Track and Field teams. I think Liam will be excited and this might help him adjust easier. I had told Fuchsia and she wanted to be there to see Liam’s reaction. I am thankful for Fuchsia’s presence in Liam’s and my life! She has been a big sister to Liam and she feels like a daughter to me! I have seen her struggle over the years but despite it all she has accomplished so much and she excels in her field of research!
I was lost in thought when I heard footsteps behind me. I turned around to see several armed men. My heart nearly stops as all I can think of is Liam. The men told me they had been sent to retrieve all the research data and prototypes. I knew most of the prototypes had already been collected and sent to the government lab. The only thing that was left was a few final projects that Fuchsia and I had been working on and they were locked up in a separate lab. I hoped they would believe me. One of the men handed me a data storage device. I told them that I would move the data to a storage device and return. But of course they didn’t let me go alone and followed me to the office.
I walked slowly to the office trying to figure out what to do about Liam. We finally reached the door and I held the cold handle in my hand, hesitating to open it. I didn’t know how Liam or the men would react to each other's presence. A sharp nudge from the gun pushed me through the door.
Liam looked at me and then at the men confused.
One of the men stepped forward. The man was tall, well dressed, and his hair was jet black and glistened in the light. He had a well groomed beard but an evil smile adorned his face. The man looked at Jax and with a deep voice he said “Who do we have here?”
Liam looked terrified and I protectively stepped forward and blocked the view of my son. The man motioned with his gun for me to move out of his way and I was afraid I was making the situation worse. The man approached Liam, and asked his name. Liam’s voice shakingly responded “Liam Collins, Sir.”
The man touched Liam’s shoulder and said “There isn’t any reason to worry as long as your father does exactly as I say”. The man’s phone rings and he walks to the other side of the office as he tells me to start the data transfer.
I looked at Liam and asked him to stay quiet and by my side as I transferred the data to a storage device. The men became impatient and started telling me to hurry. Obviously, they had no idea how long something like this takes.
The man who I assume is in charge was still on the phone when the other men started pointing their guns at me and then one at Liam. One of them said that the data transfer was already going and they didn’t even need us. Liam started to panic and moved closer to me. That is when one of them aimed toward Liam and I instinctively jumped in front of him. I could hear the men getting yelled at by their leader who was now off the phone. I gritted my teeth as I felt immense pressure but no pain in my leg. I looked down, blood beginning to bleed through my pants leg. I knew that these men had no intention of letting us go alive. I leaned forward and ejected the storage device. I whispered for him to run through the back door of my office when I distracted them. It led to another lab that had an outside exit. I hoped that with his speed he could escape.
I grabbed the storage device and shoved it into Liam’s hands without them seeing it. Then I stood up straight and placed my hand over where the storage device was supposed to be at. I began to feel a piercing pain in my leg and broke into a cold sweat and dizziness. I swallowed hard as I prepared to speak. I looked at the men and threatened to terminate the transfer and authorize the permanent deletion of the research material. This was a feature that our lab computers had thanks to Fuchsia. My finger hovered over the enter key. I looked at Liam and smiled then I shifted my weight in front of him. He turned around and ran. One of the men realized the storage device was gone and I hit the enter key authorizing the deletion of all material on the computer. I turned around and grabbed the door to close it and block it with my body. I saw Liam turn around as I felt multiple bullets hit my body. I could hear him screaming and crying as he took off running. I slid to the floor, my body unable to move from the pain. I just hoped I had given him time to get away. The men moved my body out of the way and barreled through the door.
I’m not sure how long passed but the panicked cries of Fuchsia made me regain my senses. She grabbed at my shirt and begged me not to die. My entire body hurt and I could feel the blood beneath me. I looked at her as she told me to hold on and she would get help. I grabbed her hand and told her that there was nothing she could do for me. My vision was blurring and I told her to get my phone out of my lab coat. I told her to use my phone to find Liam. I had a tracker activated so I would know where he was, since there were times I couldn’t be with him. I told her to hurry and that he was being chased by several armed men and he had the data from our lab in his hands. It was becoming more difficult to breathe and speak and I told her again there was nothing that she could do for me. She leaned over and hugged me quickly and I told her that I was proud of her and then pushed her with the remaining strength I had and said “GO!”
She paused and then got up and ran.
I closed my eyes and prayed that they would be ok. My last thoughts lingered on Liam, Fuchsia, and my late wife. The pain had started to become distant, and my mind was becoming cloudy. I began to relax as I felt like I was falling asleep.