Dale opened the front door, seeing the officer standing there as he crossed his arms.
“I just wanted to tell you that we have officers searching across the country for any traces of Alyssa and Randy and haven’t found anything ye-” the officer states.
“Don’t come see me unless you have an answer or you have found her, got it?” Dale questions and the officer shakes his head yes. Dale then closes the door, leaning back against it with a sigh.
He wasn’t trying to let this get to him. He was trying to be the strong parent for Elsa and Robby, and keep his wits about him. However, he couldn’t help but feel the worry increasing more with each passing moment.
He then walks through the house to the kitchen, catching a glimpse of Robby texting his friend.
“Johnny wants to know if I can come for a sleep over,” Robby breaks the silence as Dale opens the fridge door. “I told him that I couldn’t do that due to Alyssa missing.” Dale grabs a can of pop, closing the fridge and turning around to look at his youngest.
“Was he okay with that?” Dale wonders and Robby shakes his head yes.
“Dad, when are they going to find Alyssa? Is she going to be okay?” Dale then walks over to the table, sitting down alongside his son. Despite feeling every bit of himself cracking inside, he knew he couldn’t let that show for the kids.
“They’re going find her soon, and no matter what, she is going to be okay. We’ll all help her, from us to Marie and Elsa and Chase, so that way everything is fine again. I know you’re worried, but you also know how strong your sister is right?” Robby shakes his head yes as Dale wraps an arm around his shoulders. “That’s good. Remember that. Believe in that. I wouldn’t tell you a lie. Tell you what – text Johnny back and ask him if he wants to sleep over here. I don’t have a problem with him coming here.” Robby then smiles as he texts his friend back.
Dale then stands up and makes his way back through the house, satisfied with how he had handled the discussion. He was able to calm the worries of Robby, and satisfy the nine-year-old’s needs for friendship within the security bounds. Now if they just could find Alyssa right away, it’d solve all the problems.
Meanwhile, Chase couldn’t stand sitting in the house any longer as he was getting stair crazy. All he found himself doing was continuing to run ideas through his mind about could possibly be happening to Alyssa. He didn’t want to suffer the reminders anymore, so he set out for another period of searching.
While it seemed like aimless driving at times, it was a way to keep his mind occupied in trying to think of where she could be. Knowing that it’d officially been 24 hours since he read the note at Hendrick, he knew there was no telling where she could’ve gotten too.
It was why he had made his way to the airport, boarding his small plane and choosing to fly rather than drive. Flying was always his way of escaping everything. Focused on flying the airplane, the controls, and view before him, his mind didn’t have much time to process other stuff. Besides, flying also allowed him to cover more ground in looking for suspicious activity around places.
He just kept remembering that whether driving or flying, he had to keep an eye on the fuel gauge as he didn’t want to repeat the run-out stunt for the first night.
“Given that you know it’s Randy, what is his manta for places?” The security officer who accompanied Chase on the trip for the day asked mid-flight.
“The first two attacks, he didn’t have a choice on place as he just came to me and it happened there,” Chase starts carefully, taking a deep breath as he recalls the last one. “The last one – it was perfectly planned. He had a set plan for it.”
“I can tell it’s bothering you emotionally, but care to elaborate?” Chase then takes another deep breath, eyes focused on the windshield ahead as he tries to block every other thought out of his mind.
“He had plans to take me out to the forest and lock me in a cage, slowly and painfully punishing me piece by piece till death as that’s how he felt when he was in jail.” The officer looks on surprised, having not read anything of that nature in the past reports that he had a chance to view. “However, I managed to escape mid-plan so he didn’t get a chance to try that option.”
“And now this may be his redemption.” The officer then takes out his phone, texting one of his associates of the latest details from Chase. It could possibly offer some new spots to look with the idea in mind. Chase felt as though his skin crawled at that comment from the officer, now wondering what all Randy had in mind for Alyssa. “Sir, are you okay? I didn’t mean to cree-”
“It’s fine, honestly.” Chase knew it wasn’t as there were new images to include in those empty mind of thoughts. However, for now, you could say he was fine as he had pushed them aside to continue to focus on the flight that they had chosen to take that day.
“So you escaped on the ice, fell in the hole during the confron-”
“I don’t need a reminder. You know the events – that’s it.” The officer stops talking suddenly as Chase takes a couple deep breathes, before turning the plane around. “I think we’ve done enough looking today. We should land soon, anyway. There’s a storm coming in.”
“Chase, I’m sorry. I truly am sorr-”
“You don’t need to apologize. You’re just trying to do your job.” Chase then takes a deep breath as he focuses on flying back to the airport. “It’s just there’s a lot of things on my mind about what’s happening – thoughts that I never thought I’d have again. I know you have questions to ask, but let’s keep details to a minimum as my mind don’t need someone to fuel it.”
“Yes sir.” Chase then focuses on the landing approach, bringing the plane down to the ground with precision and ease.
“You were going to ask me a question. Without the details, what is the question?” The officer was nervous to ask, given their recent interaction back and forth. After making progress the night before, he worried that he had lost everything here.
“Were there any spots that he took you before taking you out there?” Chase shook his head yes, remembering perfectly where he had stayed the night before the arctic dip.
“The basement of a cabin in a small room, just big enough for one person. There was nothing of comfort in the room. Imagine a jail cell in a cabin.”
“We’ll try and search for cabins that could be listed to Randy or any associates, and check those out. Thank you, sir.” Chase shakes his head yes as he climbs out of the plane.
He then stands there for a second, taking a couple deep breaths to find his bearings and erase the thoughts in his mind, before going forth with his normal post-flight checklist.
Given the recent emotion streak during the flight, he knew taking Regan up on the offer to talk some more may be a good idea if he was going to get through another night without his girl.
After tucking the plane in the hanger for the night, he walks out and locks the door before walking back to the camaro.
As he reaches the car, he freezes as he sees a box sitting beside the front driver’s door. He knew the box well, as it matched the exact same description of what Kevin Meendering had found at JR Motorsports that morning.
“Let me guess – nobody around to catch the person?” He questions as he looks over at the officer. “You guys are certainly doing a swell job at this investigation.” Chase then picks up the box and places it in the back of the car before climbing in.
“We should ope-” The officer starts as Chase gives him a piercing eye look.
“I’m not opening it till I am at home with Dale. He deserves to see the contents at the same time. Now get in, and hold on.” The officer listens, pulling out his phone as he does so.
The officer then calls his associate’s office, reporting the found box as well as the location. Though a quick glance around, and it seemed the airport hadn’t installed cameras in the private flyer’s parking lot.
As the officer speaks on the phone, Chase sends a quick text message to Dale reporting that they’d found another box. Once the text is sent, Chase puts the phone in the center console, before turning the key and roaring out of the parking lot, set to find every back road possible back to Dale’s.
The officer, meanwhile, was still on the phone explaining the happenings of the trip. As he focused on his associate’s words, his hand immediately grabbed the bar by his seat as the car ripped around the corner and down the dirt road.