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Lucas stared at the phone as Tariq ran the number again. He felt sick. Ros had been sold to the Redbacks. It was the one thing that terrified even the most hardened of spies. The world seemed to stand still around him as he remembered their conversation at home. The children. He felt his gut twist. Ros would rather die than let either Amy or James be harmed. He felt the same.
"Adam." He looked towards his friend, knowing the rest of the team were in shock. "Call Carrie. Check that Ros got there. If she did there is a very good chance they followed her. And if they did Carrie and all the children are in trouble."
"I told Carrie not to answer the door to anyone who wasn't in Section D."
"Ros is Section D." Harry turned to him. "Adam, make the call."
Zaf felt Zoe's hand on his arm. For a moment he couldn't move. Ros was like a sister to him. The one person who had never given up on him. Even when he had made a pass at her on their first day in basic training at 6. Then he pushed himself away from the desk and marched out the Grid. Zoe swore under her breath before getting to her feet and following him.
"I can try to work out when the message was changed." Calum offered.
"Yeah. Put it through the modulator, maybe get us a rough location." Tariq tried to sound hopeful. "Maybe if we can work out where and when the message was changed?"
"Yeah." Calum began to warm to his task. Ruth smiled sadly, hoping whatever the boys came up with, it wouldn't be too late for the Section Chief.
"Zaf?" Zoe pushed the door to the men's toilets open. "Are you in here?"
"Yeah." Zaf rested his head back against the cool tile wall. "Had to get out of there. Sorry." Zoe took a deep breath and walked into the room. The tile floor cold even through the sole of her shoes. Zaf closed his eyes but Zoe could see he was shaking. "Boscard was part of the Redbacks."
"So was his brother. We stopped them."
"Not before Jo was broken. That's just it, Zo. It isn't what they do to your body. That's bad enough. It's your mind they break."
"You escaped. What's to say Ros can't?"
"They nearly killed Adam and Jo. They destroyed Jo mentally. From what Adam and Malcolm have told me, she was never really the same. In a way, it would be a blessing for Ros if she was murdered the moment they took her."
"Don't say that." Zoe touched his face, aware that he was shaking.
"It never leaves you. The things they are capable of. I know we've done some dubious things but Zo, these people. They aren't even human." He rubbed a hand over his eye. Zoe brushed a tear away with her thumb before holding his face in both of her hands.
"Listen to me, Zafar Younis."
He opened his eyes and looked at her. He remained silent as she watched him.
"I wasn't here then. But I saw you when you escaped. Adam told me it was Ros that wanted to keep looking for you. That it was her that refused to give up. So, now we can't give up on her. She's your friend and I know Ros and I don't exactly see eye to eye on just about anything I am not ready to give up on my Section Chief. We can find her and we can bring her home."
"Zo." Zaf held her gaze.
"I know you went through Hell itself but I am not accepting this defeatist crap from you. Lucas is in there and he doesn't need it. So come on, for Amy and James. We are bringing their mum home. Yeah?"
"Yeah." Zaf sniffed. "Yeah we are."
Ros knew she was cold. The concrete floor beneath her bit into her skin as she tried to feign unconsciousness. Her neck burned and her chest ached every time she tried to take a deep breath. She froze as she felt a rough hand pull her hair away from her face.
"Rosalind Myers." The distinctly male voice said her name. "Rosalind Sarah Myers. Such a small woman considering. I really thought you would be more of a challenge." Ros' blood ran cold. She remembered her time with Harrison at the school, the fear at being paralysed with a man that was intent on using her and then discarding her came back. She fought to regulate her breathing and ignore the man touching her hair. "Hope you don't mind but we changed your cell phone message." Ros opened her eyes and gave him her best death glare. The punch that hit the side of her face knocked her head against the concrete as the world went black once more.
Lucas stared out over the city. He felt sick. Even in Russia's most notorious prison he had heard of the Redbacks and stories of what they were capable of. He gripped the rail around the roof and tried to steady himself.
"Ruth, what do I tell the kids? Amy is going to want to know where her Mum is."
"Of course she is." Ruth tilted her head to look at him. "Zaf escaped. We will get Ros back."
"How can you be so sure?" Lucas turned to face her. "We have no idea where she is. We have no idea what the connection between Anderson, Spence and Harris have to do with the Redbacks. Why didn't they sell you when they had the chance? Harris knew what you did for a living."
"I think he messed the deal up. He didn't want me. It was our Catherine he wanted." Ruth explained. "I wish it was me. Grace is young enough not to ask questions and Nick is old enough to process what happened. Amy and James." Ruth shook her head. "And we do know why Anderson wanted to get involved with the Redbacks. Selling spooks is lucrative. I can't help but think Hannah was sent to meet me but was murdered when she backed out of the plan."
"Why did Anderson blow himself up?"
"Probably the better option." Ruth narrowed her eyes. Lucas watched her. It seemed she was just as hard as Ros when she needed to be. It wasn't a side of Ruth he was used to seeing. "Kill himself and hopefully take a few with him rather than let the Redbacks deal with him when they realised it had all gone wrong."
"Do you think she is still alive?" Lucas whispered. Ruth nodded.
"She's my friend. Despite our past. And she is Grace's godmother. I am not about to give up on her."
"Good. "Lucas smiled slightly. "Neither am I."
Ros became aware of another person in the room as she was rolled from her front on to her back. Blood trickled from the wound on her hairline and her neck burned from the burn the taser had left behind.
She fought not to react. Only her father had called her by her full name and he was dead. Instead she lay motionless in the man's arms knowing she didn't have the strength to fight him. Her arms were tied behind her and her ankles bound so that she couldn't fight back. "Do you think your friends will look for you? Don't worry. They'll never find you. We may have made a mistake with your friend but we learn from our mistakes. Accept the fact you aren't going home. There are plenty of people out there, colleagues if you will that will pay dearly for the Section Chief of a British anti terrorism. You wont be home again." He dropped her to the floor as Ros played dead. She hadn't said a word since she had regained consciousness and knew it was beginning to infuriate her captor. She smirked to herself, claiming that as a small victory. She knew the man who had dropped her on the floor was wrong. She was going home. And soon. Breathing heavily she tugged on the restraints on her wrists and swore under her breath. Her arm burned and her shoulders protested but Ros ignored them.
"Ros?" She stopped as she heard a distinctly familiar feminine voice say her name. "Is that you? Ros?"
"Catherine." Ros' eyes snapped to the left as she saw the younger woman hugging her knees to her chest. "How the Hell?"
"Long story." Catherine moved closer to her. "I don't think they've told Dad I'm missing yet. You're of more value to them than me."
"Catherine. You are a spy's daughter. You are an extremely valuable bargaining tool."
"Well, if you put it like that." Catherine glanced at the heavy steel door. "I think it's time we went home."
"Good plan." Ros smiled slightly as Catherine got to her knees. "How?"
"Like you said. I'm a spy's daughter. Lets see if anything of Dad has rubbed off in me." She began trying to break the bonds that held Ros' wrists together while Ros kept her eyes on the door hoping the man who had hit her would not return.
Harry marched out of his office as the Pod doors whooshed open to allow Graham and the children to enter. He frowned at his oldest son.
"Graham? What is it?"
"Mummy gone." Charlie announced from behind Graham's knee.
Harry nodded, taking into account the bruising around Graham's face and the way he held himself. His stomach filled with anger as he heard Ruth gasp.
"I didn't know what else to do. They came for Cath. I tried to fight them but." He shrugged. "They didn't touch the kids."
"Ok." Harry ushered them into his office as Ruth closed her eyes. A phone could be heard ringing in the background. "Ruth."
"We're bringing them home, Harry. If it is the last thing we do they are coming home."
He nodded once and picked up the phone, already knowing who the caller would be.
a/n not sure I like this chapter. please review.