A five-year old girl, Regina Balfour, is kidnapped in broad daylight from the Eden Shopping Centre, while her mother’s back is momentarily turned. Left behind is her ladybird shaped backpack, which contained supplies for her insulin pump. She needs her medication to live more than a few days, and her condition will rapidly deteriorate without it...
"Thank you, Lindsay," says Jocelyn. "Hello, Regina. You're a very brave girl, and I need you to keep on being brave. We're going to do our best to get you safely out of there. Lindsay, do you have enough food and drinks in there for both of you? Do you need any medical supplies?"
Jocelyn nods. "We recovered her original insulin," she replies. "It's on its way here right now."
Lindsay's voice comes back over the radio, 'You can bring the insulin, but don't send it with the police, I want someone I won't have to shoot.'
A uniformed officer comes up the stairs and hands Bates a glass vial with some needles and syringes.
Kris is trying to be sincere, but it’s difficult to tell if he’s relieved to be able to suggest that someone else approach the door of the desperate shotgun-toting child abductor...
"I could do it too," says Jocelyn. "Neither one of us is technically police, but she would probably recognise my voice from the radio. I wonder if we could conceal a listening device and a camera on the backpack so that we could get eyes and ears inside the room."
"If you're prepared to take the risk, I have no objection," says Jocelyn. "You may have a better chance of getting through to her than I would."
He addresses the radio. "Lindsay? My name is Simon. I'm a Psychologist professor at Middlesex. May I bring you the medicine little Regina requires? I'm hoping to have a chat with you to discuss a positive outcome for all of us involved. I've been leading an investigation into Mr. Balfour and have discovered enough disturbing information to suggest that he is a danger to others, and you can help me with that."
Bates looks very uncomfortable, 'Your call Officer Leigh. No time for listening devices. It'd just be Simon.' She hands the medication to him and then places a radio in his pocket. 'Any sign of trouble you press this, and we'll come running.'
Slowly approaching the door to Lindsay's room, Simon gets a closer look at the damage caused by her shotgun blast. The floor littered with fragments of plaster and a great chunk missing out of the ceiling. The door frame itself splintered. Simon looks a little closer...
"I'm wary too," says Jocelyn, "but if Simon is willing, I think we have to take the chance. He's the one she asked for, and I have confidence in his abilities. He's already made a start of building a rapport with her, and this will help enhance it."
Heading to the door, he clears his throat and makes his presence known. "It's Simon, Lindsay. I have the insulin."
'Hands up, turn around.'
Simon follows her instructions.
The door opens further and he catches sight of the room's occupant, she looks tired and disheveled, but it is unmistakably Lindsay Peale.
She continues to train the shotgun on him, looks up and down the corridor, and then backs into the room. 'Come in. Slowly. Keep your hands where I can see them.'
Inside the room is lit by a desk lamp and the glow of the television screen, which is playing cartoons. There is a double bed on the left side of the room with a chair beside it, a door ajar on the far side with light coming through the gap. There are also curtains on the far wall which have been drawn, presumably covering a window. Simon sees the wooden dresser has been pulled out from the wall and moved in front of the main door, although it has been pulled back to allow him in, there's also a round desk lying on its side nearby.
Lying on the bed, with a blank expression on her face, sort of watching the TV but not clearly taking it in, is a young girl, she looks like Regina Balfour.
Lindsay circles around Simon, the gun still trained on him, her finger on the trigger, and she closes the door and locks it, fastening the chain.
'Show me what you're carrying, empty it on the floor.'
"Of course." He does exactly what Lindsay wants him to, before he lowers his voice to a whisper. "I'm here to help you, Lindsay. Do you see the marks on my neck? The work of Mr. Balfour from earlier today. He also threatened the other two you have spoken with. He's unraveling, and it is being noticed.I've started to investigate his church and affiliations with a foreign terrorist operation known as Red Trumpet and have found disturbing information; and I believe you have your own evidence to add. Together we can bring an end to whatever he is planning."
He glances over at Regina, humane enough to be relieved that the girl seems stable.
With one hand on the shotgun, Lindsay disconnects some kind of tubing snaking out of Regina's top with the other hand. She removes a transparent plastic reservoir from the bulky blue plastic pump clipped to Regina's waistband and hands it to Simon.
'What do you know about Balfour, what do you think you know?.'
Once the hotel room door closes Bates sends the three armed officers to cover the doorway. 'Well I'm going to take a closer look, are you two coming?' she asks Jocelyn and Kris.
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