"Raquel?" Alicia said to the microphone. "Raquel? I hope you can hear me well, we haven't talked for a while."
Lisbon turned pale and inhaled. She couldn't believe who she was listening to. Anger took over her. She didn't reply yet.
"Nice plan, truly brilliant. Sad that it's over now. I think it's getting a little out of your hands."
"What are you doing, where is...?" Lisbon didn't finish, trying to control her voice. Everyone was looking at her, shocked. Palermo had his hand on his face. He didn't like the situation at all. Bogota stepped closer towards Lisbon and placed his hand over her shoulder. He could sense her desperation and he wanted to support her, even though she was not the one in immediate danger. It was Professor.
"Oh. You mean your puppeteer? He's here, of course. I think he might want to talk to you in a second." As she was speaking, she placed a handful of fabric into Professor's mouth.
Professor was shocked, as he choked, lying tied to the pipe on the floor. His left eye seemed to have given up because it was constantly watering. Professor figured that a blood vessel probably broke in his eye. Nothing to be worried about too much. What bothered him more was the blood drifting from his nose. Despite all this, he hoped that his friends wouldn't do something stupid that would sabotage everything they have put in to bring them back together. They cannot let themselves get caught. After everything they've endured for Rio and now, for Nairobi. He tried to stay calm.
Lisbon was now breathing very fast. She was looking around at her friends, as if they were the ones who could stop Alicia from whatever she wanted to do. Palermo signaled her to keep her temper in line, showing his palm and then lowering it slowly down. This made her even more angry.
"You bitch! We will-" Palermo jumped at Lisbon, shutting her mouth with his hands. Lisbon tried to fight him off and continue talking. Palermo didn't want to make any unnecessary mistakes. He knew that every act they did from this point on could have one terrible consequence.
Alicia's laugh echoed in Lisbon's ears. They all froze again.
"You're losing your mind already? Well, wait until you hear what your beloved Professor here has to say."
Alicia pulled out a knife from her right pocket and a lighter from her left. Professor's eyes widened. What is this? She stepped towards him and only gently slid the knife across his cheek. Professor gasped as he felt the tip of the knife splitting his skin. But he knew that he could handle it. However, Alicia then lit up the lighter and lowered it down to the wound. This, he couldn't handle. His scream was muffled by the piece of fabric in his mouth, and partially, he was thankful for that. He shifted his body back and forth but this only made it worse, as the fire touched even more parts of his skin. Tears ran down his face, but not because of the pain, more because Alicia had now put the microphone close to him for everyone else to hear his screams.
Lisbon's heart sank, and everyone else's in the room as well. The sound was unbearable. "Sergio?" Lisbon managed to whisper, unable to believe that she was hearing her loved one's pain. Denver caught on to the situation and decided to snatch the earphone from Lisbon, trying to protect her from the pain. She let him and collapsed down to the floor. Helsinki, Palermo and Bogota all jumped to make sure she didn't hit herself, but she was perfectly fine. Except that the world has turned upside down for her.
Denver put the earset on. Stockholm and Rio were watching him in shock, waiting for what desperate line was going to come out of him.
"What do you want us to do?" he pleaded.
"Oh, I want you to listen, that's all." and Professor's heavy breathing continued.
"I guess there's nothing much you can do now. Just enjoy the rest of your visit of the bank with this feeling. I imagine it will be a pleasure. I'm sure you'll hear from me very soon. End call."
She stepped away from Professor and cut the connection with the bank.
Denver put down the microphone. "We need a plan."