The Garden Of Dreams
Nathan was traumatized, seeing all those dead bodies had changed him.
Life was repeating itself all over. The people he loved and cherished were all taken away from him, once again. Jake was missing, and Tessa had been killed by that monster.
Nathan didn't know who to blame, he didn't understand anything. He needed answers.
He went to the NCPD main branch, and met Detective Rey Jr. and the Captain, Matthew Smith there. They had called him to ask ask some questions regarding the investigation.
"Mr. Nathan Frost, how are you doing today?" Asked Rey.
"I understand that this must be a very difficult time for you, but we'll have to do this regardless. I must start by saying, I'm very very sorry for your loss." Said the Captain.
Nathan didn't say anything.
"Can you tell us something about your friend, Mr Jake Benjamin. What is he like? Does he have any enemies?"
"Jake...umm...He is a kind person, he never does anything that could hurt someone. He is a very good friend, he always helped me whenever I needed him. He is very simple, he doesn't care much about the money. He's not the type of person who could have any enemies."
"I see. And what about the attacker?"
"What about him?"
"What did he look like? Did Jake seem to know who he was?"
"He was a giant man, very tall and very big. He was wearing a mask on his face. He had insane strength, enough to break down the panic room's door. I don't remember much but I guess he was a cyborg, one of his arms was robotic. He was able to throw me away with just one hand. He ruthlessly killed anyone who came his way, he didn't care for anyone's life. He...he...killed Tessa, he killed her." Nathan was lost in his own thoughts, he couldn't resist thinking about Tessa. He paused and started breathing heavily, he saw her dead body in his arms.
"Mr. Nathan, are you okay!?" Asked Rey.
Nathan had zoned out. He suddenly came back to his senses...
"Yeah...yeah, I'm okay." His breath was still heavy.
"Did Jake know who that person was?"
Nathan did some thinking and he remembered that Jake had mentioned something about the guy being from the COUNCIL.
"Yeah, it seemed like he knew. He said something about a council, I don't know what the means though."
Nathan definitely didn't know about the COUNCIL, but the NCPD's suspicion had been confirmed by Nate's statement, the COUNCIL was actually involved in this mess. But the NCPD didn't understand what could they possibly want from Jake. At the least, the NCPD knew that there was a clear connection, first Jake's father was killed by them years ago and now this. They tried to connect the dots using the knowledge they already had about the COUNCIL.
The world government knew that the COUNCIL was after G.O.D but there wasn't anything they could do. They had little knowledge about the G.O.D, they had conducted research years ago but they had to shut it down due to other matters.
The COUNCIL had much more knowledge about the G.O.D than anyone else. They had developed more efficient ways to track it down after sending in subjects. The COUNCIL was much bigger than it seemed, it wasn't a small organization, it operated throughout the whole world, and was involved in various illegal, and sometimes legal, operations. Other organizations didn't even think about crossing their path.
"Do you know anything else about Jake or the attacker?" asked Rey.
"No, I told you whatever I knew." Nathan replied.
"Well then, thank you for your cooperation Mr. Frost. You have been a huge help to us." said the Captain.
"I'm glad I could help. I just hope you find Jake as soon as possible and catch the culprit."
Nathan left and went home. He felt empty, he didn't know how to process his feelings. He was alone again. He pitied himself for his weakness. "I'm so powerless, I could do nothing for Jake and Tessa, I'm useless" he thought while he was sitting on his bed, in his room. He had never felt so useless before.
Aunt Linda came in his room and tried to talk to him...
"Are you okay Nathan? How are you feeling?"
"I can see that you're not. You can talk to me Nathan, I'm here for you."
"It's alright aunt Linda, I'm fine. I'll get through this on my own."
"Okay....If that's what you want. Just know that I'm here if you need anything."
She gave him a smile and left the room.
Nathan did want to talk to someone, he had been going through a lot. But he was having a hard time expressing his feelings.
"Why me? Why does it always have to be me?" He thought to himself.
He was angry, angry at the fact that he did nothing wrong, yet he lost everything, and not just once but twice.
He missed Tessa a lot, she was the only one to whom he could open up about stuff, talking things out with her always made him feel better. But she wasn't there for him anymore, he was all alone, again.
"Who was that man? What did he want with Jake? Why did he kill all those people unnecessarily?" Nate was getting restless, he needed answers as soon as possible. He was growing impatient by the second. He could very well understand that this attack wasn't a personal grudge, it was something big.
He was done, he didn't want to be the weak guy anymore. He didn't want to suffer anymore. He was done being controlled by this world.
He wanted to catch the monster responsible for Tessa's death on his own. The NCPD was taking too much time, and he couldn't just sit idly by. He decided that he'd do something on his own.
But he didn't know where to begin. How could he find that man?
"I'm going out. I'll be back shortly." Nate said to aunt Linda.
"Where are you going dear?"
"Nowhere specific, just stepping out for a bit."
"Okay, take care."
He didn't know where to go, but he knew that he wouldn't get any answers at home.
Nate often drove his dad's old car, which was still in great condition. His dad had promised to give this to him when he would have turned 16, but unfortunately that moment never came. Nate had started driving that car when he was around 18, and considered it one last gift from his late father.
Nate drove to the Xadon bridge. He got out of the car, and started walking along the bridge.
When he was driving to the bridge, he had a feeling that someone was watching him. He couldn't get rid of that feeling. He looked around while driving but he couldn't find anyone.
While walking too, he had the feeling that he was being watched and followed by someone. He was paying deep attention to his surroundings and was constantly looking out for someone who had been following him.
He looked back and suddenly caught a glimpse of eyes staring directly at him. He tried to see the person's face and appearance but he couldn't. The person had blended in the crowd.
Nate's suspicion had been confirmed, he was being followed.
He went back to the car and started driving. He saw a car following him. The person wasn't hiding anymore. Nathan didn't know what to do. Should he confront the person? Or should he just continue driving?
He pulled up the car in a quiet alley and the car following him pulled up behind him. A man got out of the car and started walking towards Nathan's car. Nathan was panicking slightly. "Am I in trouble?" he thought to himself.
The person stopped right behind his car and took out a cigarette, and started smoking. This man wasn't doing anything, he didn't seem harmful.
"Is he the same guy who was following me before?" Nathan thought.
Nathan waited there for a while. The man finished his cigarette and went back to his car, and drove away. Nothing bad happened.
"Hmm...was it just my imagination? Was someone really following me?" Nathan thought.
He started the car and drove away.
"I should see Mrs. Benjamin, see how's she doing." Nate decided to meet Jake's mother and check on her. She had moved out of his neighborhood.
Nathan went to her house. The police had set up some extra security for her, they had reason to believe that she might be in danger too. He talked with her for a while about how she was doing. She was sad, and worried. First her husband, and now her son, she couldn't understand anything. Nathan thought maybe he could get some information about Jake's kidnapping. The NCPD had already asked her the questions but Nate wanted to give it a shot too.
She told him the same thing she told the NCPD. Before his death, Graham had left something very important for Jake. He had told her to give it to Jake when he had grown up. And he had told Jake to keep it very very safe and open it when he had spent his life happily and had nothing to lose. Jake received it from his mother when he turned 25 but he hadn't opened it yet.
"What was it?" Nathan asked.
"I don't know. He told me not to open it. But he said that many people would come looking for it, and that I shouldn't give it up no matter what."
"It may be possible that someone was after that thing. Maybe they wanted that from Jake, and hence they sent someone after him."
"Yes, that's what the NCPD thinks."
"Do you know where is it?"
"No, I have no idea. I never asked Jake about it after I had given it to him. He must have kept it somewhere very safe. Even the NCPD hasn't found it yet."
"I see...thank you for your help Mrs. Benjamin. I should get going now. Take care."
"Yes, you take care too Nathan."
Nathan then decided that he would go and see Emily, Jake's fiancé, who was still in he hospital. She was still in deep shock and was being watched by the NCPD 24/7. Nate could only meet her after getting the permission from the police supervisor present there and Emily herself. Emily allowed him in. They weren't much close but she had known Nathan from quite some time now, and since he was Jake's very good friend, she thought she could trust him.
Nathan went inside.....
"Emily, how've you been doing?"
"How do you think?"
"I get it, I'm sorry. That was a stupid question, of course you're not doing good."
"What about you?"
"You lost your girlfriend, didn't you?"
"Yes, I did."
"Aren't you sad?"
"I am, very much. But I'm more angry than sad. Angry at the person responsible for her death."
"I see. I guess we all have our own different ways of coping up with grief."
"Has the NCPD said anything about Jake? Any clues?"
"None. They don't have any leads."
"I see...What about the-"
Suddenly the phone rand and Nate was interrupted.
The NCPD had been taping all the phone calls. The officer present there told Emily to wait for a second, while NCPD set up their tracking system and then told her to pick up the call.
"Am I speaking to Emily Stone?" Said a man with a deep voice.
"Yes, who is this?"
"Emily? It's me." The voice suddenly changed, it was Jake on the other side of the phone.
"Jake? Is that you?" Emily started crying.
"Yes, it's me."
"Jake where are you? Are you okay?"
"Listen, right now is not the time to talk about that. I need you to listen to me very carefully. Are you listening?"
"Alright, where are you right now?"
"I'm at the hospital."
"Okay, I need you to go to our home, on the island."
"There is something there that I need. In my study, you'll find a safe and in the safe, you'll find a locked box, only I can open that box. Something very very important is kept in that box."
"Okay, I understand..."
"I need that box."
"I get it, but where are you Jake? What happened at the wedding? Who was that man? Are you okay? Are you hurt?" Emily asked all these questions in one go."
"Did you hear him lady? This was proof that he's still alive. If you want him to be that way then bring that box to the abandoned town of Xeron tomorrow, at three in the noon. If you don't come there on time, Jake will be killed." Said the man.
"Where's Jake. Please don't hurt him."
"Just do as I say and he'll be completely fine."
"Okay, I'll do everything."
"I know the NCPD is listening. So I'll be loud and clear. Tomorrow, at the decided time, there shouldn't be more than two people present there, and one of those two people must be Emily, and none should be NCPD officers. If my men sense more than two people in one mile radius, then Jake will be killed right there. Just do as instructed and you'll get Jake back, safe and sound. Do you understand?"
"Yes, we understand." replied the supervisor, who was listening to the conversation.
Nate had heard the conversation too.
"So, what will you do officer?" Nate asked the supervisor.
"We'll do as instructed. We can't risk Jake's life." he replied.
Nate insisted to accompany Emily since no NCPD officers could go. The supervisor didn't agree at first but he later agreed when both Nathan and Emily insisted.
The supervisor sent some officers to go and get the box from the house.
The house was already being guarded by the NCPD day and night because they had suspected that kidnappers might have wanted something from Jake. Hence, the COUNCIL had initiated an exchange since they couldn't possibly send their men to a house guarded by the NCPD.
Emily was thinking about meeting Jake again, she was very happy.
But Nathan was thinking about his revenge, he couldn't wait to get his hands on the bastard that had killed Tessa. He was hoping for that man to be there...
TO BE CONTINUED IN "The Exchange"
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