Liam Pace had drifted off to sleep in the back of Pavlov Florensky’s car. A cigarette hung loosely from his mouth, as a long ash hung precariously from its tip.

Suddenly, Liam was jolted awake!

“Wake up, Rock Star!!!” Pavlov sternly said, knocking the cigarette out of Liam’s mouth.

“Wha…what?!” Liam groggily mumbled.

“Mr. Pace,” Charlie Hume said, “the documents have been handed over but Megan is gone!”

Liam immediately jumped up!

“What’d ya mean my daughter’s gone!!” he quickly replied.

“What I mean,” Charlie explained, “is that she handed over the papers to three men, then they all went inside the studio. They didn’t return. We immediately went in, but they had escaped out a side exit and had taken Megan with them!”

“Oh, hell!” Liam cried, as he grabbed Charlie by his jacket lapels, “its all your bloody fault! This was your idiotic idea! Now my girl’s gone! I swear if you don’t get her back, I’ll kill you myself!”

Suddenly, Liam found himself in a headlock, courtesy of Pavlov Florensky.

“Settle down, Comrade!” Pavlov warned, “let go of my friend or I will crush your windpipe! You understand?!”

Liam immediately released his grip on Charlie.

“Mr. Pace,” Charlie continued, “you have said this “mystery man” wanted your brother’s recordings, is that correct?”

“Yeah, that’s right,” Liam replied, “what about it?”

“Well,” Charlie began, “what’s really interesting is that they did open the safe in the studio and took your brother’s tapes but when we checked the ally where they were supposed to have escaped to, we found these!”

Charlie held up a handful of tapes marked CHARLIE PACE: SOLO DEMO TAPES 1-10.

“These tapes had been tossed aside,” Charlie continued, “now, could you explain to us why that was?”

“How the hell would I know?” Liam defensively replied.

“Was there anything else in that safe they might have wanted instead?” Charlie inquired, “something you’re not telling us for some reason?”

“I don’t like what you seem to be implying, you little punk!!” Liam aggressively replied.

“I say he’s holding out on us,” Pavlov stated, “I suggest we break his neck!”

“Now hold on, Mates,” Liam nervously replied, “lets settle down and act like reasonable men here!”

“We’re wasting time!” Charlie replied, as he got into the car and tossed Charlie’s tapes onto the seat next to Liam. Pavlov jumped behind the wheel, as they peeled out in pursuit of Megan’s kidnappers!

“I’ve got a strong signal!” Charlie said, as he checked the tracer receiver tracking the documents, “they’re still heading east. Five miles away!”

“Where we going?” Liam asked.

“To get your daughter!” Charlie angrily replied, as he turned back and glared at Liam, who was now sitting very low in the back seat, “I’m asking you again, Mr. Pace! If they didn’t want those tapes, then what was it they were after?!”

“I don’t know!” Liam replied, “they said they wanted the tapes! If they didn’t take them….then I don’t know why!”

“What else could have been in that safe?!” Charlie was becoming more impatient with Liam by the second, “come on, man! Think!!”

Liam thought.

“I don’t know,” he mumbled, “I don’t remember!”

“He’s lying!” Pavlov called back from the front seat, “he knows something!”

Charlie grabbed Liam by his collar and held him close.

“Mr. Pace,” Charlie explained, “my friend Pavlov has had military training in interrogation techniques. Please, if you do know something tell us now! I don’t want to have to have Pavlov ask you these same questions. He doesn’t play nice like me! Besides, for God’s sake, your own daughter is now directly in danger!”

Liam nervously coughed, “well, now that I think about it, that “man in charge” I spoke to did mention something else but I don’t know why they would want that!”

“Want what??!!” Charlie cried out.

“It was just something this “bird” I knew once gave me,” Liam explained, “she said it was a lucky charm or something. It was some kind of vial on the end of a chain. Told me it would protect me from the end of the world or some other such bullshit! Look, she was, we both were, so stoned then! I don’t know why anybody would want that stupid charm!”

“Well, it seems that somebody does,” Charlie replied, as he let go of Liam’s collar, “and they’re apparently willing to kill to get it!”

Next: Chap. Twenty-Seven “Pop Tops and Handcuffs”

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