The van even smelled like flowers.

Alex found himself in the back of one of the vans. He had been searched and his shoes had been removed. His hands and feet were bound and he was gagged.

"I'm not taking any chances," Markswong had told him, "The men you have previously defeated were defeated because of their stupidity. They underestimated you even when they knew about your history. I am not a stupid man, Mr. Rider. I will not underestimate you, and this time, you will not be getting away."

Every time the van turned a corner, Alex found himself sliding along with the van's momentum and crashing painfully into the walls. It was not a short ride and by the time the van came to a full stop for the last time, Alex was bruised and battered. He was dragged out of the van and his feet were unbound. It was dark, but Alex could make out that he was on the grounds of some sort of estate. He was joined by Yassen, who was unbound, and they were hurried into a small building that looked very much like a guest house. But Alex had a feeling that this guest house would not be very welcoming to its guests. The door to the guest house opened, and Alex found himself stumbling down a set of stairs in the dark. It was very cold and the stairs felt and sounded like they were made of stone. They were going steadily downwards, and Alex was unpleasantly reminded of the Tower of London. Torture chambers in the dungeons. The man in front of him suddenly stopped, and Alex crashed into him. As he stumbled backwards, a door was opened and Alex was shoved inside. The room was only dimly lit by a fire but even that small amount of light was blinding after the oppressive darkness of the tunnel. Alex Rider was not surprised to find Markswong in front him, sitting in an armchair. He was even smoking a cigar.

"Where's the cat?" Alex asked. He expected to be beaten for the comment, but the blow did not come.

"Mr. Tibbles is at the groomer's, Alex, thank you for asking." Replied Markswong, as he blew a smoke ring. "But let us not go off on a tangent."

Alex Rider was ran over by a bus. The End.