The Jury spent the day studying the heists of both the Man From Georgia and a Swiss-German Crew who could have easily been college students.
When the abduction occurred he had been walking down a narrow street, on his way back to the hotel. A vehicle had pulled up alongside him, four men had gotten out, and a black bag had been placed over his head. While in the back seat, the .45 pressed into his ribs, he began to realize how much he was perspiring.
“Connard, you’re dripping sweat all over the seats!” said the man with the gun, who had a French accent.
“I can’t help it,” said the Canadian, “and I wouldn’t be screwing up your seats if you hadn’t kidnapped me.”
When the bag was pulled off he was sitting in what seemed to be a subterranean room, surrounded by figures in the shadows. At least it was cool down here.
“This is about the Toronto job. You really think you can get away from us?” He knew right away who these men represented: The Channel, perhaps the most powerful thief syndicate in France.
“I was never payed my final installment. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t work for free,” he told them. It wasn’t true, he had frequently done speculative work. But the job had been difficult, and he had made certain hard choices on the promise of an additional slice of the pie. In their line of work it wasn’t uncommon for someone to refuse a final payment if they weren’t satisfied, or if things had gone horribly south, but he had worked tirelessly for eight months, enduring a ridiculous amount of “oversight” by the Channel — and a promise is a promise. Leaving with the PIN code for the vault had been a matter of honor. He figured this is what they were after. Without the code they couldn’t complete the transfer.
“We spoke to King Noodle, and it was decided that you would be paid,” the tall one told him before leaning in close, “So will you give us the PIN code, or are you going to force us to take it?”
“You’re too kind. Here’s how this is going to go down,” he said, as he watched the tall one’s good-looking henchman wrap his knuckles with a handkerchief, “you’re going to let me go, and once my agent has received the funds I was promised you’ll get your PIN code.”
“We thought you might say that, but we’re in a time sensitive situation and need the code now. You see, we already told the Channel that you were playing along.” The tall one began to work him over, alternating between the face and the solar plexus. Occasionally, for variety, he would cold-cock him in the ear. The Canadian had been worked over before, by the Moroccan From Paris, so he was used to being brutalized. By this point in his life it didn’t hurt him. He had studied Stoicism when behind bars, and he knew that he had no control over anything external to his own consciousness. Philosophy really did have it’s practical applications.
There was a ringing in his ears, and he was listening to that non-existent sound when the door to the cellar burst open. There was a rapid flash of lights, and to the Canadian a distant sound of thunder.
When he lifted his half-swollen-shut eyes he saw The Curator, holding a SIG-Sauer P220, smoke drifting out of its barrel in slow motion. Behind him was The South Korean, holding his Glock — also smoking. From between the two men stepped The Jury Secretary. She stepped over the bodies of the men who had been beating him, which were now laying lifeless on the floor and up to the Canadian, smiling.
“We really don’t have time to play around,” she said with her German-Swiss accent, “we’re on a very tight schedule. Next time, let one of the drivers take you back to the hotel.” She then said something in Italian, and the Drivers came in and untied him.
The tall one was still on the ground, moaning and trying to crawl to the door. Then, without hesitation, the South Korean aimed his Glock at him, and there was one last bang.
There was a party at the Lido, but all things considered the Canadian decided to skip it.