To start at the beginning, use this link: Link to Chapter 1
Dave called Allen the day after Mindy’s visit.
“We have a plan in place to rescue Marta’s sister now.” He said.
“Great! What are you going to do?”
“I’ll tell you all the details on the way. I would like a few of you to come with us. I think having other merfolk to talk to will help any that we rescue feel more comfortable.”
“I’m sure any one of us would be happy to come.”
“Good. Do any of the mermaids speak Spanish?”
“Yes. Maria, Fernando, and Anna all speak it fluently. Several of the rest of us can speak at least some.”
“That’s what I thought. Marta told me her sister doesn’t speak any English, so it would be good to have some Spanish speakers with us. Why don’t you talk it over with the others and pick two of you to come, with at least one being a Spanish speaker.”
“Okay, I can do that. When are you leaving?”
“Whoa, that’s really fast.”
“The faster we move, the less likely it will be that we tip anyone off. Speaking of which, when you talk to the other merfolk, make sure no-one else can hear. There still may be informants at the aquarium.”
“Of course. I’ll be careful. Where should our volunteers meet you?”
“Just have them come to the lobby about 9:00, and someone from our team will pick them up.”
“You got it.”
Allen hung up, then put his phone back in the cabinet and swam out of his bedroom into the rec area. Katherine, Audra, and Renna were in the room, all working away at their computers. Allen went to Katherine first. After a quick kiss, he asked her to help.
“Dear, I just got some news from Dave. Can you swim to the Arena and get Daphne and any of the full-time merfolk and have them meet in the potty pool next to the rec room?”
“Sure, honey. I’ll go. Is it an emergency?”
“No, just something I want to pass on to everyone in private.”
“All right. We’ll meet you there in a few minutes.”
Next Allen went to Renna and asked her to gather anyone in the cafeteria, then he asked Audra to find anyone in the greenhouse or the practice pool. They all swam off on their errands and Allen went to the potty pool to wait for them. They showed up in ones or twos after a few minutes. Once they were all there, Allen put his back to the entrance and started to tell them the news.
“What did you tell the part-timers?” He asked.
“Fanny and Samantha were in the cafeteria.” Renna said. “I asked them to go to the mermaid swim pool and fill in for Lacy and Fernando.”
“Oh, that’s a good idea. I didn’t think about needing someone to fill in. Did you tell them why Lacy and Fernando needed to be relieved?”
“I told them there were some reporters who wanted an interview.”
“Are there any other part-timers here now?”
“Josephine is in the arena.” Daphne said. “I left her there to watch things while I was gone.”
“Those are the only ones on the schedule for this morning.” Renna said.
“Good. Dave wanted me to be careful in case we have another informant—though I’m pretty sure none of our part-timers would do that.”
“It doesn’t hurt to be safe.” Katherine said. “Someone else might have a sister like Marta did.”
“So what’s this all about?” Anna asked.
“Dave has a plan to rescue Marta’s sister.”
“Great! What is it?” Asked Audra.
“He hasn’t told me the details yet. But he wants a couple of merfolk to come with him, and he’s leaving tonight. At least one of the ones who goes needs to be a Spanish speaker.”
“Did he say who he wanted to come?”
“No, he asked me to get two volunteers. So who wants to go?”
Unsurprisingly, everyone raised their hand. Then Audra spoke up.
“We could draw straws, but I think I have a better idea.” She said.
“I could pull rank on you, since I am your employer, but I need to stay here to run the aquarium and Burns Pharmaceuticals. From the beginning, Allen has been the person most affected by Carlos. He has also been our leader during our escape, despite being handicapped by having his arms bound. So I think he should be one of the two who go. I recommend that Anna be the other person, as she speaks Spanish, and she is in a similar situation to those who will be rescued. The rest of us volunteered to be merfolk, but Anna and Fernando were forced into it. That should help her relate to the people being rescued.”
“Why not me?” Said Fernando. “I was also forced to become a merman.”
“True, but I think we need a woman. The captives are more likely to be comfortable with a female. So, what do you all think about my recommendations?”
Allen looked around the pool. He could tell that all of the others wanted to find a reason why they should be the ones to go. Several tried, but after a short discussion they all agreed to Audra’s plan. They all went their separate ways, but Allen could tell that his wife was unhappy, so he suggested they go back to their sleeping pool to talk.
“Are you unhappy that I’m going with Dave?” He asked her.
“I know it’s logical, and I agree with Audra that you are a good choice to go. But that doesn’t make it feel any better. What if something happens and you are captured again?”
“I’m sure Dave won’t be putting us into danger. He knows what he’s doing. Didn’t he rescue you from North Korea?”
“He did. But I keep seeing myself back there, helpless while General Pak seduced me. I just feel safer when we’re together.”
There wasn’t really much that Allen could say, so he just held his wife and they spent the afternoon in each other’s arms. When 9:00 drew near, Katherine went with him to the lobby. Allen sat in his wheelchair, a small bag with a couple of extra shirts in his lap. Katherine sat beside him holding his hand, and Maria sat next to her, her own bag hung over the handle of her wheelchair. Precisely on time, a large van pulled up to the door and two men dressed in black hopped out. One of the men was Dave, and the other was Craig, one of Dave’s team. The van was equipped with a wheelchair lift, and the two men helped Allen and Maria inside and locked their wheelchairs down to the floor.
“Now can you tell us your plan?” Allen asked him.
“Yes. We’re on our way to the airport, where a plane is waiting for us. One of my operatives managed to penetrate the compound a few days ago, and she has hidden radio-controlled gas bombs throughout the building. I was able to make contact with an old associate of mine. He is now a Colonel in the Guatemalan army, and he is one of the few people I can be sure is not on the take. He’s going to make sure our extraction team can get into and out of the complex without running into any other Guatemalan forces, and then he’ll be the hero who captures the King’s gang leader and brings him to justice.”
“What is our part in all of this?”
“Given your limited mobility on land, you will stay in the airplane and be there to work with the rescued women on the way back.”
“Well, it sounds simple.”
“Plans always seem simple until you try to carry them out, but I have a good team.”