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Kidnapping

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            While Diamonds Droog had kidnapped a great many people in his lifetime, he had never once been kidnapped himself. There was a procedure to it. There was, of course, the method of acquisition, which varied from mark to mark. For some, it was sufficient to sneak up behind and throw a burlap sack over their head. For others, it was necessary to drug them so that they would be unable to fight back while being bound and transported. Once the mark was in his possession and incapacitated in some way, they would be moved to a remote location, bound to a chair, and left in a dark room for a while before he, or another Crew member, would begin the process or torturing them or interrogating them—or both, depending on the situation.

            As Droog worked at the ropes binding him, he had to wonder which his kidnapper had in store for him.

            This was embarrassing. After all the attempts he's thwarted, how did someone manage to get him? He was in his own home. He hadn't heard anything, so there's no way anyone got him with something like chloroform. He had a glass of water. He didn't suppose anyone drugged his tap water. Maybe the glass? They would have had to drug every glass in the kitchen. He supposed that was possible, but who would be that thorough?

            He heard the click of the door unlocking and then opening. He squinted through the darkness. He couldn't see his captor yet, not in this light, but he could hear familiar shuffling footsteps. He grimaced. None other than Pickle Inspector stepped into view.

            “Are, ahh, a-are you c-comfortable?” He asked, not meeting Droog's eyes. “I h-hope the, the ropes don't umm. Aren't too tight?”

            Droog pulled at the ropes, more to demonstrate to him than to attempt escape. “Not at all. Just tight enough to keep me here, and no more.”

            “That. That's good,” the Inspector said. “I'm glad.”

            Droog stared at the Inspector, awaiting what came next, but the Inspector didn't act right away. He stood there, wringing his hands, ogling the floor as though it might reveal to him the secrets of the universe. Droog waited for a polite amount of time, then cleared his throat. The Inspector jumped as though he'd forgotten Droog entirely.

            “Oh! S-sorry I. I sort of ah, s-spaced out.”

            “I assume you have a reason for bringing me here?” Droog asked.

            Pickle Inspector wrung his hands, then pulled at his hair. “Y-ye-es. Yes. I do. Yes.”

            Droog waited again. When the Inspector fell silent again, Droog took the questioning into his own hands. “And that reason is...?”

            “I um.” The Inspector looked at Droog as though Droog were a predator and he was the prey. Considering the situation, Droog was not amused.

            “Is this about anything I've done in particular?” Droog suggested. “A recent heist, perhaps? Are you looking for information on my future plans?”

            Inspector nodded too quickly. “Oh, y-yes! Yes, that.”

            “Which?” Droog asked. “The first one or the second one?”

            Inspector faltered. He pulled at his hair again. “B—both...?”

            He was lying. Droog didn't need to be a master of observation to know that. He just sighed and shook his head. “What's the real reason I'm here, Inspector?”

            The Inspector didn't answer that. He whined quietly, pulled at his hair and looked away. Droog once again waited to give him time to respond, but Pickle Inspector made no attempt to answer.

            “Inspector.” Droog used his most commanding voice. The fact that he was bound to a chair and that the Inspector was in complete control of the situation did not seem to change the fact that the Inspector was terrified of him, so he hoped that he could use that to get some damn answers. “Why did you bring me here?”

            “I.” The Inspector stammered uselessly for a moment. He pulled at his sleeves. “I j-just. W-w-wanted to see you.”

            “You wanted to see me,” Droog repeated.

            The Inspector nodded. “S-sorry I. I just—I wasn't sure how t-to go about speaking to you, so...”

            “So kidnapping me was the best option?”

            The Inspector nodded. “Well um. L-last time I, I tried to t-talk to you, you—you broke my arm so I thought—“

            “Last time, you broke into my apartment.”

            “Y—you're. You're h-hard to find!” He insisted. “I k-knew you'd go home eventually.”

            Droog wondered what sort of lawman thinks it's acceptable to break into someone's apartment and drug them just to have a conversation.

            “Well,” Droog said, trying to keep the frustration out of his voice. “I'm not going to break your arm this time. Could you untie me?”

            Pickle Inspector looked apprehensive. “What, ahh. What about. M-my legs?”

            Droog had been considering his legs. “I won't break your legs either.”

            “Or m-my ribs?”

            “Or that.”

            “A-a—a-and. D-definitely not my spine.”

            “I won’t break any of your bones.” Droog was loath to make a promise like that, but if it freed him it would be worth it. “Please, Inspector, just untie me.”

            The Inspector chewed on his thumbnail. He looked Droog over, then looked away. He furrowed his brow as though deep in thought. Finally, he said, “All right.”

            Droog didn’t show any signs of his relief, but he was indeed relieved. He waited patiently as the Inspector carefully untied him. He rubbed at his wrists, where the rope had been, and inspected his skin for marks. The rope had not been tied tightly enough to leave much of a trace, although he had given himself some rope burn while he was struggling. It would fade soon enough. He had other things to concern himself with at the moment.

            Once he was completely untied, Droog stood, stretched, and then put the Inspector into a choke hold. The Inspector struggled against the hold, but he was far too weak to put up a fight against Droog. Droog took the rope from the Inspector’s hands and set about tying the detective up, binding him to the same chair he had just been in.

            “I—I’m s-sorry,” the Inspector said as Droog tightened the bonds on his ankles. “I—I d-didn’t mean to anger you, I j-just—“

            “Stop,” Droog said. He stood and straightened out his suit. It was, unfortunately, wrinkled. “Stop all of this.”

            “I j-j-just w-wanted to see you.” The Inspector’s voice cracked, and tears welled up in his eyes.

            “This is not the way to go about it,” Droog said.

            Pickle Inspector nodded and sniffled. He looked away. “W-w-w-would you umm. L-like to. To have tea, w-w-with me, s-sometime?”

            Droog rolled his eyes, then kicked the chair over. The Inspector fell backwards, landing with a pained yelp. Droog turned and walked to the door, ignoring the Inspector’s sniffles and sobs. He opened the door.

            “C-c-c-can I—“ Droog looked over his shoulder as the Inspector spoke again. “Can I h-have your number?”

            Diamonds Droog sighed and left the room, slamming the door behind him.