A groan came from the room’s corner.
“Don’t be moaning, girly,” said George. He spit in that general direction. One of his hands grasped a beer as the other slammed the mini-fridge door. “I’m the nicest kidnapper around.”
“Why are you doing this?” the girl said.
“Note to self,” George muttered, “gag them next time.” He picked up his voice. “The President’s niece ought to fetch a nice ransom, don’t you think?” His teeth were bared in a grin.
“And then you’ll go to jail,” said the girl. “Loser,” she whispered.
“What was that, girly?”
“Lysol. This room stinks.” The girl stuck her tongue out.
“You little…” George trailed. “Definitely gag next time.”
“I’ll bet the FBI will be busting down your door by tomorrow morning.”
“We’ll see about that. It’s been what, three weeks now.” George laughed quite maniacally.
Suddenly, a metal blade pierced through George’s chest. Blood dripped from his mouth.
“Idiot,” came a robotic voice.
Strauss Walked behind the Youth Theatre’s stage. He toted a suitcase in one straw hand. The other held a magnifying glass.
Through the glass, he examined the walls, the floor, the doors, everything that might reveal something important. He stopped.
Strauss opened his suitcase and pulled out a small metal device. A wide blue beam shot out as he pressed down on a button. The machine beeped. Thousands of faces flashed on the small display. Eventually, it stilled. A pudgy man with dark hair and a tattoo just below his neck stayed on the screen. “George Terror,” a metallic voice said.
“Address?” Strauss asked.
“101 Dalmatian Street, District of Columbia.”
“Who are you?” asked the girl.
“I am Flat-Model Robot 57. You can call me FR57.”
“Why did you save me, Mr. Robot?”
“It is FR57. Do not tax my patience, child.”
“You didn’t answer my question.”
FR57 rammed the equivalent of his palm into the equivalent of his face. “I did not save you. You are yet to be ransomed.”
“What use do you have for the money, Tin Can?”
“Why didn’t that imbecile gag you,” FR57 said at a lowered volume. “I want to be a real man.”
“And you figure that with enough money you can buy yourself a body.”
“That is correct.”
“I thought the last guy was bad…”
THE CIA, FBI, MPD, MBL, NAMBLA, YMCA, AND SEVERAL other organizations with acronyms flooded the front yard of George Terror’s house. The jig was up.
Strauss pounded on the door three times. “DC police. We have you surrounded. If you surrender now you may get a chance to see A Rod.”
A deep whirring sound seemed to be coming from behind the door. “Alex Rodriguez?” said FR57.
Strauss spun FR57 around and cuffed the equivalent of his arms. He felt cold. He was cold.
Strauss led him into the back of his vehicle. “Well done,” said FR57. “I have been defeated.”
A classic McKayla Maroney “I am not impressed” look played across Strauss’ face. “I know.”