A/n: just a little something to tide you over while I work on Dear Diary. Don't worry, that is coming along nicely. promise .
Joe Hardy frowned as he poured over the map in his lap. He would glance occasionally up, searching for the elusive turn off he and his brother had been instructed to travel in order to retrieve the package.
'Package' was a euphemism. But the FBI tended to be fond of understating things. "It's got to be around here somewhere. Are you sure you didn't miss anything?" he asked Frank, who was driving slowly along the deserted road. Frank just shook his head and said "No way I could have missed anything. It would be faster if we got out and walked."
Joe chuckled at that before suddenly sitting straight up and yelping " THERE! That must be it!"
'It' was a so-overgrown-if-you-sneezed-you-missed-it driveway. It took a big stretch of the imagination to call it a road. Frank squealed the tires he took the turn so fast. The road was bumpy and rutted badly. Joe worried about the suspension in the SUV, declaring he was not going to waste a beautiful spring Saturday fiddling with car repairs. Frank just looked at him and said "Wanna turn around?"
Joe hastily assured his brother he was all in and his butt could stand a few bounces. Frank said nothing else but slowed down even more if such a thing were possible, as the road had all but disappeared by this point and he was driving by feel and the typewritten instructions that had been delivered anonymously which had stated that they were to drive 2.5 miles before reaching their destination. Shortly before that distance had been reached, Joe pointed ahead and said "Is that a fence? Here, in the middle of friggin' nowhere?"
It was indeed a fence, dilapidated and useless for keeping anything in.. or out. A small sign, faded and barely legible, proclaimed this to be the property of the Frisk Mining Group and trespassers would be prosecuted. "Bastard has one helluva sense of humor, dontya think?" the blond brother asked the darker one. "Let's just get what we came here for" the older man said grimly.
The siblings left the SUV and proceeded on foot. They could see the entrance to the old mine and knew without question that the 'package' was within. Just how far within, was uncertain. Frank swallowed uneasily. He had never been comfortable in caves. To his mind, a mine shaft was no different. Joe, sensing the subtle change in his brother's demeanor, put a hand on his shoulder, asking quietly "Want me to take this?"
Frank was about to say he could handle it when Joe said "Maybe you should wait out here. Could be a trap. I'd really prefer to not get ambushed. If you wait out here you can keep an eye out for things." Frank was not about to let a little claustrophobia interfere with the job, but Joe's suggestion had merit. Still he tried to demur but Joe said "Look, chances are I won't have to go very far in anyway and we will be within shouting distance of each other."
Frank allowed himself to be persuaded. "Got a flashlight?" he asked. "and the key?" referring to the small key that had accompanied the note that had brought them to this place. "In the car's emergency kit there should be a flashlight. I'll go get it."
Joe soon returned with a Mag light that could easily double as a truncheon if needed. Frank once again offered to accompany his brother but was again dissuaded. "I got it, Bro." and with that, he took off into the gloom.
The entrance to the mine was dark and spooky. Even Joe had to suppress a shudder and he fervently hoped no bats, bears or mountain lions had moved in. The Mag light cut a bright swath of light and he was able to easily follow the tunnel. It was a straight shot to what he figured was the main shaft entrance. It took him only a few minutes to get to the large opening, which was littered with abandoned mining equipment. A sudden noise in a shadowy corner grabbed his attention.
"Danny?" Joe called out softly, looking towards the shadows. "It's okay, buddy. I'm not here to hurt you. I'm here to take you home." There was no reply so Joe moved closer, slowly. He kept the flashlight beam angled towards the ground but began to sweep the light back and forth until he found a small figure huddled against the very back of the room. Joe stopped where he was, knowing the young boy was scared out of his mind and had no reason to trust his words. He knelt down and angled the flashlight so that it illuminated his own face. " Hey, Danny. My name is Joe. Your dad asked me and my brother Frank to come get you." still no reply, but the small figure looked steadily at him, eyes large and fearful.
Joe stood up and started towards the boy, who immediately scuttled as far away as he could, along the stone wall. Joe instantly stood stock still and waited for Danny to stop moving. By now he could see the long length of heavy duty chain that was securing the boy by one leg to a the wall. Well that explained the key that came with the note. (Weirdest kidnapping ever, I swear. What kind of kidnapper provides the keys to the restraints?)
Outside Frank was pacing nervously in front of the mine's entrance. He was second guessing his choice to stay out in the open and was debating the merits of following his brother when his cell phone rang. Caller ID proclaimed that his father was on the other end. "Hey Dad. Joe's in there now getting him. Would you believe it's a mine shaft that belongs to Frisk? Joe was most displeased at the irony." he listened a few moments while his father relayed the news to his client, Daniel Frisk Sr. Fenton came back with a tinge of alarm coloring his voice. "Son, be very careful. Frisk says the mine was shut down several years ago because it was unstable. You better get the boy out fast!"
Frank told his father he was on his way into the shaft now to hurry his brother along. "I'll call you back as soon as we have him outside." Frank stuffed his cell back into his jacket pocket and steeled himself for the journey. Frank did not consider himself a coward, but the added knowledge he has just acquired did nothing for his mental well being. Nevertheless he knew he had to get in there and warn his brother of the danger.
Frank's timing was, depending on how you looked at it, impeccable.. or lousy. He had no sooner gone a dozen steps into the shaft when a great rumbling sound shuddered through his bones, followed immediately by the ceiling caving in directly in front of him. Frank was thrown backward by the blast of falling debris and his last thought was of his brother as he cracked his head against the rock and was rendered unconscious.
A/n: I may prefer Joe whumping but that does not mean Frank will always get off scott free...