Outcome of Chapter 2 Plot Hinge: Train 86 was scheduled to arrive in Guelph, Ontario on February 13th at 6:55 am. However, according to the Via Rail website, it did not arrive until 6:58 am. As a result the Man in Charge has beaten the train as well and is catching up with Will, Isabella Medora and poor Tina, who is currently in the trunk of the car.
“I can’t believe we made it!”
“We didn’t,” Isabella said through clenched teeth, her eyes on the rear view mirror.
Will stopped laughing and twisted in his seat to look over his left shoulder. “Oh, come on!” Sure enough, the Man in Charge was still right behind them, having narrowly beaten the train as well. If Will thought Isabella was nuts for her train-dodging stunt, what did that make this guy?
The gap between the two cars quickly disappeared and before they reached the next intersection the Man in Charge had pulled alongside them. And then, with a sharp jerk of the wheel, the Man in Charge slammed into them, driving them off the road.
“Hang on!” Isabella shouted. Easy for you to say, Will thought, with his hands still cuffed behind his back. Time slowed. The car hopped the curb, skidded sideways and smashed into a hydro pole.
And then: darkness…
Will’s head hurt when he woke up. He went to put his hand to it and was confused to find he wasn’t able. It was as if his hands were tied behind his back. Something warm and wet trickled into his eyes and he used his shoulder to wipe them clean.
He looked around. There was glass everywhere. The blinker was on. A light snow was falling in through where the windshield used to be. Will recognized this car. He turned his head to the left and winced at the pain in his neck. A woman lay slumped over the steering wheel.
“Tina!” Will exclaimed. His voice sounded funny. Like he was in a tunnel. “Tina! Are you OK?”
The woman on the steering wheel started mumbling something in Spanish. Or Maybe Portuguese. Will always regretted not learning a second language. But then it occurred to him: Tina didn’t speak Spanish or Portuguese either.
Will’s memories suddenly came flooding back. The goons at his house. That fat, hairy guy on Dan’s couch. The cop. Isabella. The chase. The train…
…The Man in Charge.
Looking past Isabella, Will watched the Man in Charge approach their vehicle. His gun was drawn and pointed at Isabella. He was a tall man. Lean. He had dark, closely cropped hair and reminded Will of the Mediterranean tour guide he and his family had during a vacation in Morocco when he was a kid. Except that guy didn’t wear a suit. Or carry a gun. Or have an unexplained vendetta against Will.
“Afternoon, Medora,” the Man in Charge said, keeping a couple feet away from Isabella’s door. The driver-side window was shattered, giving him a clear shot at her.
Isabella leaned back slowly into her seat, bits of broken glass falling from her hair. She kept her hands on the steering wheel in plain view. “Hello, Donovan.” Isabella stared straight ahead, her voice thick with contempt. “Should we exchange insurance info now? Or wait for the police to get here?”
“What do you say we just leave the police out of this little fender bender?” the Man in Charge–Donovan–said casually. With his gun still pointed at Isabella, he turned his attention to Will. “Hello, Mr. Dalton.” Will’s insides turned to ice. “I’m here for the file.”
Will used his shoulder to once again rub the blood from his eyes. He had no idea what this man was talking about. “What… what file?”
Donovan aimed his weapon at Will’s head. “File 92, Mr. Dalton… Now.” His voice remained eerily calm.
“Relax, Donnie,” Isabella said. The Man in Charge didn’t say anything but a flash of anger crossed his face for the briefest of moments. Clearly he didn’t appreciate being called Donnie. “The file’s in the trunk,” she continued.
Will’s jaw dropped. “Wait – what? No!” he stammered. Tina was in the trunk! How dare she lead him to her!
“William,” Isabella said coolly. “Shut it.” Will closed his mouth, unsure what to do. The concussion he assumed he had wasn’t helping him think clearly either.
Donovan Isaiah studied Isabella for a few moments; those eyes boring into her skull. “Keys, please,” he finally said. Isabella slowly took the keys out of the ignition and handed them to Donovan. Reaching inside his jacket pocket, he pulled out a couple zip ties and bound Isabella’s hands to the steering wheel.
As he did, Isabella started speaking loudly in what sounded like German. The Man in Charge stepped back; the first time Will had seen a crack in his cool composure. He scanned the area, as if expecting an attack. Cocking his head to one side, he turned back to Isabella.
“You bump your head, Medora?”
In fact, Isabella Medora knew precisely what she was doing. It was a long shot. But with Donovan Isaiah pointing a gun at her and with this sad sack next to her with his hands cuffed and his head split open, it was the only card she had left up her sleeve.
William Dalton’s friend wasn’t happy when Isabella had stuffed her in the trunk earlier. But in addition to wild kicks and punches, Isabella remembered the girl screaming German curse words at her at the top of her lungs.
Isabella just hoped that the woman in the trunk’s vocabulary extended beyond German F bombs and that she had heard and understood her message. She had yelled out in German that a man with a gun was coming to open the trunk. And that she—and her tire iron—were their only hope of getting out of there alive.
Of course, if good ol’ Agent Isaiah spoke German too–or if Dalton’s friend was unconscious back there–this was going to be a pretty lame surprise attack.
Isabella shook her head. Too much left to chance. She didn’t like it one bit. But there was no way she was going to lie down and let the Windigo Group get their hands on the contents of File 92. She was not giving up William Dalton without a fight.
Plot Hinge: International Mother Language Day – February 21
International Mother Language Day is on February 21st which is fitting given how big a role language is playing in this week’s chapter. So, to determine how Chapter 4 unfolds, we turn to the topic of language. As a bilingual and multicultural country, language is often a hot issue in Canadian news and politics. Therefore, whether or not language is brought up in discussion during the television program, Power and Politics on CBC on February 21st (5-7 pm EST), will decide the fate of our characters.
- If the issue/topic of language is brought up on Power and Politics on February 21st, then Tina will have heard and understood Isabella’s message in German and will be ready to attack Agent Donovan Isaiah (aka the Man in Charge) when he opens the trunk.
- If the issue/topic of language is not brought up on Power and Politics on February 21st, then Tina will have not understood Isabella’s message and Agent Isaiah will apprehend her as well and take the lot of them back to headquarters for interrogation.
Chapter 4 goes live February 23rd! Don’t miss it. And be sure to subscribe in the top-right in order to receive email notifications whenever a new chapter is posted.
Bonus Content: Just what was Isabella mumbling about in Spanish?
In a recent reader’s poll, you voted for Will to be a really fast runner instead of a linguist who knows several languages. If he had known several languages he would have understood what Isabella was mumbling about after their car crash. Now you’ll have to work for that info! The bonus content is contained on this password-protected page and can also be accessed via the main Bonus Content page. I’ve hidden the password somewhere on the site. You’ll know it when you see it!
Reader’s Poll: Who should be Will’s love interest?
With Valentine’s Day happening earlier this week I thought a romantic poll was in order. Vote on which character you think Will’s love interest should be: Tina, Isabella or his old co-worker, Beth. Voting closes February 23. Click here to cast your vote!
What do you think of the story so far? Leave your comments below!