Lennox – Dale Mayer

LENNOX CUMMERBUND LANDED just outside of Munich, Germany. He was meeting his sister, Carolina, for a couple days, hoping to get that much time with her before he got called on a mission himself, having finished with Keane’s assignment. As Lennox walked out of the airport, his duffel bag over his shoulder, he gazed around, looking to see if she had gotten in before him and was here to pick him up. A couple days ago they’d made arrangements to fly into the same airport, roughly around the same time. He had her flight number on his phone but hadn’t had a confirmation from her that she had managed to catch it. As he walked through one of the lengthy areas of the airport, he saw the computerized flight board above. He quickly checked her flight info. So she should have gotten in about ten minutes before him. He sent a text her way, saying he would wait outside the front doors near her baggage pickup area. They could grab a cab and head to her apartment that she had here. She was a Red Cross doctor and traveled all over the globe. Breaks off together were hard to come by. She was his only sibling, and they liked to touch base, if they could, at least once a year. When Lennox received no responding text, he frowned, wondering if Carolina was still stuck on the tarmac, but, even then, they were allowed to turn on their electronics again. He waited inside now, at the luggage pickup.


Carousels rolled through for her particular flight. She should arrive here at any time, and, indeed, a crowd had showed up. He scanned the faces but found no sight of his sister. His frown deepened, wondering if she couldn’t make it. He sent her yet another text; when that didn’t work, he dialed her phone number, and his call immediately went to voicemail. Shrugging, he sat at the exit, watching as people came and went. Maybe she got in on an earlier flight, or possibly she was still stuck in whatever godforsaken part of the world she had been in last. He thought it was Somalia. And given the connecting flights that she probably had to take, she could have been stranded anywhere. Usually she’d send him a message, if that were the case. He checked his email while he was here, but still he had no word from her. Now he was starting to worry. “Lennox?” His gaze shot up as he studied the tall dark-haired man in front of him. “Gavin?” Gavin reached out a hand, and the two shrugged, shook hands, and half hugged in a typical bro manner. “Damn, it’s good to see you,” Lennox said.

“Odd place, but then, maybe not. I hardly recognized you. You’re not in uniform, so you’re not here on business?” “Oh, I’m here on business,” Gavin said. The smile fell off his face. “And I’m still in the military, just not the same unit.” “Ah. A lot of that going on. I’m here visiting my sister,” Lennox said, holding up his phone. “At least I would be if I could find out what flight she’s on or where she got stuck. Her flight arrived, but she’s not on it.” Gavin nodded, his expression turning serious. “That’s why I’m here.” Lennox felt something inside him still. “Why?” He straightened his duffel bag at his feet as he just outside of Munich, Germany. He was meeting his sister, Carolina, for a couple days, hoping to get that much time with her before he got called on a mission himself, having finished with Keane’s assignment.

As Lennox walked out of the airport, his duffel bag over his shoulder, he gazed around, looking to see if she had gotten in before him and was here to pick him up. A couple days ago they’d made arrangements to fly into the same airport, roughly around the same time. He had her flight number on his phone but hadn’t had a confirmation from her that she had managed to catch it. As he walked through one of the lengthy areas of the airport, he saw the computerized flight board above. He quickly checked her flight info. So she should have gotten in He sent a text her way, saying he would wait outside the front doors near her baggage pickup area. They could grab a cab and head to her apartment that she had here. She was a Red Cross doctor She was his only sibling, and they liked to touch base, if they could, at least once a year. When Lennox received no responding text, he frowned, wondering if Carolina was still stuck on the tarmac, but, even then, they were allowed to turn on their electronics again. He waited inside now, at the luggage pickup. Carousels rolled through for her particular flight. She should arrive here at any time, His frown deepened, wondering if she couldn’t make it. He sent her yet another text; when that didn’t work, he dialed her phone number, and his call immediately went to voicemail. Shrugging, he sat at the exit, watching as people came and went. Maybe she got in on an earlier flight, or possibly she was still stuck in whatever godforsaken part of the world she had been in last.

He thought it was And given the connecting flights that she probably had to take, she could have been stranded anywhere. Usually she’d send him a message, if that were the case. He checked his email while he Gavin reached out a hand, and the two shrugged, shook hands, and half hugged in a typical bro “Damn, it’s good to see you,” Lennox said. “Odd place, but then, maybe not. I hardly recognized “Oh, I’m here on business,” Gavin said. The smile fell off his face. “And I’m still in the military, “Ah. A lot of that going on. I’m here visiting my sister,” Lennox said, holding up his phone. “At least I would be if I could find out what flight she’s on or where she got stuck. Her flight arrived, but Lennox felt something inside him still. “Why?” He straightened his duffel bag at his feet as he glanced around. It seemed everybody suddenly moved slowly, as if only his world had sped up to the point where it all focused entirely on Gavin’s face. “We have reason to believe she’s been kidnapped. Your sister, as far as I know, landed at this Munich airport and was snatched outside the terminal here.

We waited until you landed to inform you and hoped we’d have more details by now. But we’re still digging.” Lennox stared at Gavin in shock. “Seriously?” Gavin nodded. “Come on,” he said. “I’ve got wheels.” “Well, if Carolina’s been kidnapped,” he said, “we should take a look at this airport, where she was snatched.” “We’re hoping to find her trail more effectively and more efficiently via the video feeds.” “We?” “I’m part of the Mavericks team now.” Lennox nodded, then pointed at the airport behind them. “Then we should be heading inside to review their security feeds, awaiting intel before we book our next flight.” Gavin shot him a look. “We are securing a flight, but we’re taking a military transport.” Lennox stared at him. “So I’ve been tagged for this mission to head up, or is this assignment just because it involves my sister?” “Both,” said Gavin.

“In most military and even civilian cases, you wouldn’t be allowed anywhere close to this op. But the Mavericks get to make the rules and have decided you’re probably the best person to track her down.” “You’re damn straight, I am!” Lennox said, swearing fluently. He threw the duffel bag over his shoulder and said, “Lead the way.” Within minutes they were in a nondescript car, heading out of the airport, moving through lanes and lanes of traffic as they navigated toward the main US base on the outskirts of Munich. “Have you ever been on this base?” Gavin asked. “Lots of times,” Lennox said. “Most of the personnel probably still remember me.” “Right, you were stationed here for a while, weren’t you?” “Yes, and I was here for training several months at a time too.” “Good. Hopefully we’ve got some orders when we get there.” “I can do without the orders,” Lennox said. His voice was hard. “I need intel.” “That’s coming too.

” “Who’s running ground crew on this one?” Gavin looked at him. “I have no clue. I’m not even sure I understand how all this system works, honestly. When they tagged me for this mission, basically because I was so nearby, I told them that they needed somebody with more Mavericks experience, and they just said, This is how we roll.” Lennox thought about it, then nodded. “That’s exactly how they roll,” he said. “It wouldn’t have anything to do with my Mavericks experience either. I just ran my first Mavericks mission with Keane,” he said. “And I knew the next one was mine to head up, but I hadn’t expected it to involve my own sister.” “I don’t think the Mavericks expected this either,” Gavin said. “Do we know a reason why?” “Not that I’ve been told.” “Nobody’s seen her since then?” glanced around. It seemed everybody suddenly moved slowly, as if only his world had sped up to the “We have reason to believe she’s been kidnapped. Your sister, as far as I know, landed at this Munich airport and was snatched outside the terminal here. We waited until you landed to inform you “Well, if Carolina’s been kidnapped,” he said, “we should take a look at this airport, where she Lennox nodded, then pointed at the airport behind them.

“Then we should be heading inside to Lennox stared at him. “So I’ve been tagged for this mission to head up, or is this assignment just “Both,” said Gavin. “In most military and even civilian cases, you wouldn’t be allowed anywhere close to this op. But the Mavericks get to make the rules and have decided you’re probably the best “You’re damn straight, I am!” Lennox said, swearing fluently. He threw the duffel bag over his Within minutes they were in a nondescript car, heading out of the airport, moving through lanes Gavin looked at him. “I have no clue. I’m not even sure I understand how all this system works, honestly. When they tagged me for this mission, basically because I was so nearby, I told them that Lennox thought about it, then nodded. “That’s exactly how they roll,” he said. “It wouldn’t have anything to do with my Mavericks experience either. I just ran my first Mavericks mission with Keane,” he said. “And I knew the next one was mine to head up, but I hadn’t expected it to involve my “No, we’re not sure who’s behind this or why they were targeted.” “They?” Lennox pounced. “So it wasn’t just Carolina?” “Four on the same medical team,” Gavin replied. “Your sister, another doctor, and two nurses.

” “Which means Helena as well.” “I don’t know Helena,” he said. “Who’s she?” “My sister’s best friend. They’ve been working as a medical team since forever,” Lennox explained. “Doctor or nurse?” “Doctor.” “So three women and one man are confirmed on the team. The Red Cross is taking this very seriously.” “Of course they do,” Lennox said. “They can’t get doctors and nurses to work for them if they’re being kidnapped randomly. Safety for them is paramount.” Lennox paused for a moment. “How do we know they were kidnapped? Or are we just going on the basis that they didn’t show up for their connecting flights?” “We think your sister’s medical team members were seen being marched into the back of a vehicle. No visual confirmation yet on the captives,” Gavin responded. “The witness got scared when he saw the men were carrying weapons and decided not to report it for at least an hour.” “Did he describe the gunmen?” “Four white men in military fatigues with machine guns.

” Lennox swore at that. “Well, that doesn’t help.” “No, the witness did wonder about the direction they were traveling, as the road led to another part of the airport. So it’s possible they were flying the captives somewhere else.” “Which would be smart on the kidnappers’ part,” he said. “When you think about it, a lot of traffic occurs at a major international airport. That hinders our progress tracking them, as we have to delve through massive amounts of security tapes. Plus the kidnappers and their captives could easily have been flown elsewhere. But where? Why?” “If only our witness had stopped and waited longer to see where they went, … but you know what the airports are like. The traffic comes and goes quickly.” “Cameras?” “Yep,” Gavin said. “The vehicle headed to the section reserved for private planes, but it only shows them taking that turn.” “And do we know anything about those private planes on the ground at the time?” “No, we don’t,” said Gavin. “Outside of the fact that the terminal exists. However, the hangers we’ve contacted so far are not willing to hand over any security cameras.

” “So hack into them,” Lennox said harshly. “In progress as we speak,” Gavin said. “If we don’t know where or why she’s been taken or who took her, how do we know where we’re supposed to go next?” Lennox blew out a frustrated breath. “By going to the US base, we could be going in the wrong direction,” he snapped in frustration. “That’s a complete waste of time, if so.” “It will be, indeed,” Gavin said, “but we’re waiting on intel regardless.” “So, on to the military base, then—hopefully by the time the next naval plane leaves—we can hijack it to our new destination.” “My sister’s best friend. They’ve been working as a medical team since forever,” Lennox “So three women and one man are confirmed on the team. The Red Cross is taking this very “Of course they do,” Lennox said. “They can’t get doctors and nurses to work for them if they’re being kidnapped randomly. Safety for them is paramount.” Lennox paused for a moment. “How do we know they were kidnapped? Or are we just going on the basis that they didn’t show up for their “We think your sister’s medical team members were seen being marched into the back of a vehicle. No visual confirmation yet on the captives,” Gavin responded.

“The witness got scared when “No, the witness did wonder about the direction they were traveling, as the road led to another “Which would be smart on the kidnappers’ part,” he said. “When you think about it, a lot of traffic occurs at a major international airport. That hinders our progress tracking them, as we have to delve through massive amounts of security tapes. Plus the kidnappers and their captives could easily have “If only our witness had stopped and waited longer to see where they went, … but you know what “Yep,” Gavin said. “The vehicle headed to the section reserved for private planes, but it only “No, we don’t,” said Gavin. “Outside of the fact that the terminal exists. However, the hangers “If we don’t know where or why she’s been taken or who took her, how do we know where we’re supposed to go next?” Lennox blew out a frustrated breath. “By going to the US base, we could “So, on to the military base, then—hopefully by the time the next naval plane leaves—we can “That’s the plan.” “Better be,” said Lennox, muttering to himself as he stared at his clenched fists. With just his sister and him left in the family, the two were close, very close. The thought of her suffering sent shudders down his spine. “Is your sister still feisty?” “You mean, arrogant, snappy, domineering, and sometimes aggressive? Yes.” Gavin laughed. “Sounds like she can hold her own.” “She’s had to,” he said.

“She hasn’t had the easiest time climbing the ranks. She’s had several incredibly sexist bosses and coworkers, plus an abusive ex-husband. Now that she’s single and traveling the world again, she’s learned that showing she has a backbone of steel and honesty can do her some good but can also do her some harm.” “True enough. But is she likely to keep her head in a scenario like this?” Lennox thought about all the circumstances in Carolina’s life and what she’d been put through already. “Yes, I think so.” “Good. What about Helena?” “She’d shoot you in the balls just as soon as talk to you,” Lennox said, his voice harder than he expected. He could feel Gavin’s searching gaze, but he refused to rise to the bait. “How long have they been friends?” “From grade school,” Lennox answered. “They determined they would be doctors a hell of a long time ago,” he said, admitting his surprise at that. “I didn’t think they’d make it, figuring their dreams would change as they got older, but they are committed to being doctors.” “Both married?” “Both married guys named Peter. Both divorced. Both were in abusive relationships.

” “Jesus,” Gavin said. “A little too much twinning for me.” “They’ve always been that way. They were apart for a while, both working in distant parts of the country, keeping in contact via social media and Skype and the like. When they both came home around the same time with their respective Peters, they both married quickly, then kinda led separate lives again, neither one copping to their abuse yet in touch all that time, until their divorces happened within about six months of each other too. That had them getting reacquainted again.” “Seriously?” Lennox looked at him. “Yeah, seriously wrong. But it did happen.” “I can’t imagine such a life, but still that sucks.” “Well, they had each other to recover,” Lennox said. “They were always the best of friends, and that didn’t weaken throughout the marriages or the divorces.” “I’m sorry for both of them. Any children?” Lennox sucked in his breath and shook his head. “They were both pregnant.

Both of them lost their baby.” “Jesus!” Gavin said and went silent. Lennox settled into his seat, wishing that he could forget about the trauma his sister had gone through. Or the trauma that Helena had gone through. Both of them had been pregnant early on in their marriages but about a year apart. And neither had known about the other’s loss until they’d come together after the breakups of their marriages. They’d both taken a beating somewhere around the time of the miscarriages. He looked down at “Better be,” said Lennox, muttering to himself as he stared at his clenched fists. With just his sister and him left in the family, the two were close, very close. The thought of her suffering sent “She’s had to,” he said. “She hasn’t had the easiest time climbing the ranks. She’s had several incredibly sexist bosses and coworkers, plus an abusive ex-husband. Now that she’s single and traveling the world again, she’s learned that showing she has a backbone of steel and honesty can do Lennox thought about all the circumstances in Carolina’s life and what she’d been put through “She’d shoot you in the balls just as soon as talk to you,” Lennox said, his voice harder than he “From grade school,” Lennox answered. “They determined they would be doctors a hell of a long time ago,” he said, admitting his surprise at that. “I didn’t think they’d make it, figuring their dreams “They’ve always been that way.

They were apart for a while, both working in distant parts of the country, keeping in contact via social media and Skype and the like. When they both came home around the same time with their respective Peters, they both married quickly, then kinda led separate lives again, neither one copping to their abuse yet in touch all that time, until their divorces happened “Well, they had each other to recover,” Lennox said. “They were always the best of friends, and Lennox sucked in his breath and shook his head. “They were both pregnant. Both of them lost their Lennox settled into his seat, wishing that he could forget about the trauma his sister had gone through. Or the trauma that Helena had gone through. Both of them had been pregnant early on in their marriages but about a year apart. And neither had known about the other’s loss until they’d come They’d both taken a beating somewhere around the time of the miscarriages. He looked down at his still-closed fists, reminding himself of the beat-downs he gave both Peters. To this day he wondered how he had held it together enough not to kill those two sorry excuses for humans. Lennox shook his head even now. He couldn’t believe that his sister, who was so feisty and stood toe-to-toe over every argument, had let some guy beat her up. When he had talked to her about it afterward, she’d stared at him with tears in her eyes and said, “I don’t know how that works. I’ll yell at anybody who’s abusive in a hospital. I’ll protect every patient,” she said, “but somehow I let my husband hit me.

” She’d gone through all kinds of self-defense training afterward, plus assertiveness courses, shrink sessions, and had done everything she could to pull herself back together again. As for Helena, Lennox had no clue how she had dealt with her recovery—other than her close relationship with Carolina. But Helena had been in a very rough foster care system for all her earlier life, so she must have learned how to cope way back then. Afterward, she had gone to med school on full scholarships. She was a brainiac, supersmart. But maybe knowing that she was finally loved— supposedly by Peter—had allowed her to let her defenses down, even when her brain was screaming at her that she was making a horrible mistake. Lennox knew a lifetime could be spent on studying such a field, and still no answers are guaranteed to come up. He didn’t know if Helena had done the same kind of assertiveness training that his sister had done; he hoped so for Helena’s sake. This kidnapping though, it would be a rough go for all of them. “Still amazing that the two are so close and that so much synchronicity existed in their lives.” “I think they would have been quite happy to have skipped out on a lot of it though.” Gavin laughed. “No doubt. At least they both got out of a bad situation.” “Do we know anything about the other two people in the party?” “One’s a male nurse by the name of John Steadman, and the other is a female nurse, called Sasha Kempton.

” “Is there any reason to consider this personal, as an act against the Red Cross, or just a political statement?” “We haven’t heard anything yet. We are doing a full rundown on all four of the kidnap victims.” “Well, I doubt your information will be any more detailed than what I already know about two of them.” “Hence why you’re perfect for this job,” Gavin added. “You know what? If this were a regular military op, you wouldn’t be anywhere close to this.” “Oh, I would be,” he said, his voice low and deep. “They just wouldn’t have liked the way I made it happen.” “Right, still the same old Lennox then.” “Absolutely,” Lennox said. “I’d have quit the navy and gone in myself, if that were my only choice to inject myself into this investigation.” “Well, the good news is, it doesn’t have to happen that way.” Just then they entered the security at the base. By the time they were cleared and moved forward, heading toward the offices, Lennox was already on his phone contacting the Mavericks. Keane was on the other end. “Have an update on where my sister has been taken to?” “We lost sight of them at the airport.

No flight plans were filed on the private planes.” “Do we have a satellite on them?” his still-closed fists, reminding himself of the beat-downs he gave both Peters. To this day he wondered how he had held it together enough not to kill those two sorry excuses for humans. Lennox He couldn’t believe that his sister, who was so feisty and stood toe-to-toe over every argument, had let some guy beat her up. When he had talked to her about it afterward, she’d stared at him with tears in her eyes and said, “I don’t know how that works. I’ll yell at anybody who’s abusive in a She’d gone through all kinds of self-defense training afterward, plus assertiveness courses, shrink As for Helena, Lennox had no clue how she had dealt with her recovery—other than her close relationship with Carolina. But Helena had been in a very rough foster care system for all her earlier life, so she must have learned how to cope way back then. Afterward, she had gone to med school on full scholarships. She was a brainiac, supersmart. But maybe knowing that she was finally loved— supposedly by Peter—had allowed her to let her defenses down, even when her brain was screaming Lennox knew a lifetime could be spent on studying such a field, and still no answers are guaranteed to come up. He didn’t know if Helena had done the same kind of assertiveness training that his sister had done; he hoped so for Helena’s sake. This kidnapping though, it would be a rough “One’s a male nurse by the name of John Steadman, and the other is a female nurse, called Sasha “Is there any reason to consider this personal, as an act against the Red Cross, or just a political “Well, I doubt your information will be any more detailed than what I already know about two of “Hence why you’re perfect for this job,” Gavin added. “You know what? If this were a regular “Oh, I would be,” he said, his voice low and deep. “They just wouldn’t have liked the way I “Absolutely,” Lennox said. “I’d have quit the navy and gone in myself, if that were my only Just then they entered the security at the base.

By the time they were cleared and moved forward, heading toward the offices, Lennox was already on his phone contacting the Mavericks. Keane was “We do, but we haven’t located them yet though.” “How long until we do?” “With any luck, another ten to fifteen minutes.” “Okay,” he said. “We’re just pulling into the military base.” As soon as they parked, he hopped out, his phone in his hand, and tried to call his sister once again. With no answer, he quickly sent a text to Keane with Carolina’s phone number, email address, and a couple other personal details. Find her, he added. Keane answered. We’ve got this. I’ll have an answer for you soon.

.

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Updated: 14 March 2021 — 00:54

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