Charlene Collins wasn’t comfortable. Although she was back in her very soft bed, Lysergic Oldham had handcuffed Charlene’s right wrist to the bedpost, after she had placed her back in the very small darkened room. As such, Charlene was forced to lie in a very uncomfortable position and she couldn’t sit up at all.

The only fortunate thing that had happened for Charlene since her arrival was that no one had noticed Charlene had reacquired her Zap gun off the table outside the room. Now she had to figure out when and, on whom, to use this defensive device.

The Zap gun had two settings. At full power, it would render a person unconscious but that would fully drain its batteries. At half power, it would disable up to two people temporarily. Besides the creepy guys, who had originally grabbed Charlene outside the University Library, she had only encountered two people so far in her captivity, the weirdo Bakunin and that psycho Lysergic.

But there were other things to consider. Charlene didn’t know where she was. If she did manage to disable both her captors and exit the room, she didn’t know what was beyond. She also had to consider that just because she had only dealt with two captors so far, more than likely there were others about. Others who were probably carrying weapons stronger than her little Zap gun. Of course, the whole idea of escaping was pointless anyway, as long as she remained cuffed to the bed.

Suddenly, the door to her room opened. As the light flooded in, she could see that Mischa Bakunin now stood at the doorway.

“You and your little girlfriend make up after your big fight?” Charlene sarcastically asked.

Bakunin smiled his crooked smile.

“I’ve come with good news,” Bakunin stated.

“Let me guess,” Charlene said, “you’ve come to apologize, release me, and tell me that little psycho bitch of yours has finally been committed to the happy home!”

Bakunin chuckled.

“So where is Ms. personality anyway?” Charlene wondered.

“She has gone to run some errands,” Bakunin answered, “I have come to tell you that your family has contacted my employer and a deal is being worked out. It will soon be all over for you!”

Charlene didn’t like the way Bakunin had worded that.

“So when will I be getting out of here?” she asked with anticipation.

“You will be gone soon,” Bakunin replied.

‘If little miss space case is actually away,’ Charlene thought, ‘then this might be the best chance I’ve got to escape!’

Charlene noticed Bakunin had some keys strapped around his wrist. They looked like cuff keys, at least she hoped they were. She would try to get Bakunin to come closer. She wanted to test out the Zapper.

“Mr. Bakunin,” she began, “could you take off this cuff, or at least loosen it up a bit? Its really cutting into my wrist!”

But Bakunin didn’t bite.

“You’ll be okay,” he replied, “it won’t be much longer, I anticipate.”

Charlene had to think fast!

“Then could you get me something else to eat and drink?”

Bakunin looked at the end table near her bed.

“You haven’t finished your chicken sandwich or even tried your drink!” Bakunin noted.

“That Mr. Cluck’s chicken you brought in was too dry,” Charlene replied, “and didn’t they have any sugar free Hanso Cola?”

Considering her experience with Lysergic and the Apollo bar, Charlene figured more than likely the food and drink had been drugged.

“You’re lucky we provided you with anything,” Bakunin answered.

“Well,” Charlene inquired, “could you at least tell me why I was taken in the first place? I mean what kind of deal did my family make to get me released?”

Just as Bakunin began to answer Charlene’s question, the air was suddenly filled with a howling scream from somewhere outside the room!

“What in the hell was that??!!” Charlene cried out.

Bakunin didn’t reply, as he immediately exited the room and quickly bolted the door.

She knew her first attempt at escape had been temporarily put on hold, however, after hearing that awful scream, she wondered if maybe she was safer just to stay put for now.

After all, what ever made that noise didn’t sound like any animal Charlene had ever heard and it definitely wasn’t human!

Next: Chap. Twenty-Three “UV 108”

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