The night was young. For some, it was a lonely one. For others, they celebrated it with joy. The night is far cooler compared to the day, especially in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia.
Traffic was busy as usual, because people were rushing off; some going home from work, while some just stroll around, or probably begin the night shift. The neon lights were shining brightly on several buildings. The lights on the lamp posts were bright, too, but not as much as the neon, possibly to reduce glare.
One of the many civilians returning home was Aisya. The short, but pretty, young girl was riding her motorcycle, easing through the long train of cars. Having to slalom through the traffic was bad enough; she started getting exhausted. Fortunately, she found a shortcut, which she believed would bring her home quickly.
The motorcycle pulled off into a narrow stretch of road, which led to the equally narrow, and moderately dark, alley. While she rushed off in the dark, she did not notice a large pothole. As the motorcycle hit the pothole, she fell helplessly to the ground. As for the bike, it remained stuck on the pothole.
Fortunately, she did not injure any vital organs. She only suffered a scratch on her right elbow. Not keen on wasting time, she got up and attempted to recover her motorcycle.
Behind her, two people, both wearing identical black trench coats and hats, started approaching the girl. Aisya heard the footsteps; it got louder and at a faster pace, so she left her motorcycle and tried to run.
While she was confident of running off easily, the two men in black had other plans. They appeared to know the alley well; they split, in the hope of catching the girl. Aisya was still running, but one of them was closing at a fast rate. As for the other, she had no idea where she went.
It was only a matter of seconds before the second man appeared in front of her. A shocked Aisya trembled to the ground, retreating slowly towards a brick wall. She had a look of fear as she saw the eyes of the two men.
“Wh…what do you want?” she asked.
“You,” replied one of the men.
He revealed a weapon identical to a pistol. The pistol pointed at Aisya, who quickly ducked. The trigger was pulled, but instead of a bullet, some sort of electrical beam was released, which caused the girl to faint from a shock. She lay motionless on the ground.
“We have captured another one,” said one of the men on his phone.
“Good,” replied the receiver. “Bring the civilian to me. I will handle them from here.”
“Affirmative, boss,” said the man in the trench coat before ending the call.
Kid woke up on a quiet Saturday. As usual, Saturday was a school holiday, and although he did wake up earlier on for prayers, he then continued to sleep. He eventually woke up again at around 10.00 a.m.
Kid looked at his antique wall clock and said, “Looks like I had a long sleep. Better head down for breakfast.”
Soon, he heard the voice of his mother telling him to descend to the dining room to eat.
“Your food is getting cold, dear,” said Kid’s mother, “so you better get down here now!”
“Okay, mom,” Kid replied and obediently walked down the stairs to have breakfast.
While enjoying two slices of bread with butter, Kid could not help but listen to his father’s moans. He eventually stopped eating for a while.
“Mom, what is with dad?” asked Kid.
“I am not sure,” his mother replied. “All of a sudden, he was moaning.”
Kid’s father later entered the house, having spent some time outside reading the newspaper. He had a rather disappointed look on his face.
“Five kidnaps,” he said.
“Can you be more specific?” asked Kid’s mother.
“Five kidnaps in two weeks,” he remarked. “All of them mysterious in nature, no clues as to who the captors are.”
“That is strange,” replied the mother. “I wonder why those sorts of things happened.”
“Many reasons,” the father continued. “But the captors are not captured yet. I wonder who are responsible.”
Kid was following the conversation. “This is not good,” he said. “Strange indeed.”
Time passed, and when Kid got a little bored, he decided to visit his good friend, Brown, at his house. Brown’s house is located just a few blocks away, so getting there by bicycle was not much of a problem. Besides, Kid knew his way around the neighborhood well.
The energetic Kid knocked on the door.
“Who is there?” a voice was heard coming from inside.
Footsteps grew stronger as it approached the door. The door was opened to reveal Brown, Kid’s companion, a boy with African ancestry, and also a collection of computer games that he loved playing.
“Hi there!” Kid exclaimed as he saw Brown.
“Oh, hello, my good friend!” replied Brown. “I was not really expecting anyone, but come in!”
“Okay,” Kid replied.
“So, what brings you here this Saturday? You want to play some Street Fighter?”
Kid shook his head. “I believe we did that last week.”
“How about Spider-Man and the Green Goblin?” asked Brown.
Instead of answering, Kid jumped to another topic.
“I heard about some kidnapping that happened yesterday in town,” he said.
“Yeah, and I wondered why. I mean, it is the fifth in two weeks. It surprises me more, that the kidnappers are unknown for all the five cases.”
“Oh, that is terrible!” exclaimed Brown. “People doing bad things to one another…”
“I know it is,” Kid said, “but it is just strange that no evidence was gathered to find the kidnappers. Still, I believe they must be brought to justice.”
“I agree, my friend,” Brown nodded. “But things like finding the victims, it is best left to the police to solve. I do not want to hurt myself to save them. Not that I do not care.”
“Why, you…” Kid was going to choke his friend.
“Hey, are you going to play any games or not?” Brown asked. “If not, why else would you come here?”
Kid changed his mind; he joined Brown for a Spider-Man game.
The police station was crowded. Police personnel were moving here and there. Some escorted criminals to their cells, while some were seen carrying papers, possibly tasks they were assigned to.
Meanwhile, the police chief was in his office, looking very tired, even though it was only close to the afternoon. However, he did stay up late yesterday; spent the previous night catching stubborn criminals with little backup from his friends.
“Yawn…what a day,” he said to a fellow police personnel.
“Indeed,” the personnel replied.
“Look, Adam,” the chief said, “I know you are working on the missing people’s case, but honestly speaking, I am growing restless. I mean, honestly speaking, five in 14 days? That is a huge number. Surprisingly, there are little clues as to where they are right now.”
“It is all right, sir,” the personnel known as Detective Calvin, or Adam Calvin, replied.
“How can it be all right?” asked the chief in a raised tone. “It is unfinished business for us, especially me as the chief. I am going to work overtime again!”
“Cheer up, sir,” Calvin replied. “I am sure we will find the kidnappers, and bring them to justice, once and for all.”
The chief looked at Calvin and said, “You better do that, or I will have to reconsider having you as a detective.”
The detective gulped.
“You know, your old man Melvin will surely have made us proud. He is not just one of the best detectives, but the best. Wonder why he quit.”
The detective nodded softly but said nothing before leaving the office. He returned to his desk and opened his computer, hoping to gather more information regarding the kidnapping.
“So, what is up?” Detective Junior asked his partner.
“Have you collected any information?” Adam asked Junior.
“So far,” Junior shook his head, “I have not.”
Calvin stopped typing and faced Junior. He said, “Aisya’s parents reported that she went missing. They tried calling her, but she would not answer. However, debris from her motorcycle was found.”
“If I am not mistaken,” the charismatic Junior said, “in the alley we found that debris.”
“Any traces of blood? Or anything relevant other than the motorcycle?”
“We found no signs of blood.”
“Have you tried calling her?”
“I tried, but got nothing. The line keeps getting down.”
Calvin shook his head, while Junior was curious as to his partner’s actions.
“Calvin, are you…?”
“I am fine, thank you,” Calvin replied.
“Look, if there is anything you want me to take care of, I am here.”
The detective put his hands under his jaw, and began to think. It took him a while to think of any significant action that might, in one way or another, aid the investigation. Still, he got an idea.
“Why not we go visit the alley right now?”
“In the afternoon?” asked Junior. “You know how I feel about sunburn…”
“You will be fine,” Calvin smiled. “I promise.”
Junior agreed to follow his good friend to the alley, even though he felt a little reluctant. It was only the two of them, and no one in the station was informed of their actions. Meanwhile, the chief looked on as Calvin and Junior started to walk out of the station. His eagle-like stare focused on both of them as they headed out.
Kid looked as if he enjoyed playing with Brown. However, he looked at his watch, and it was already 1.00 pm.
“The game was fun!” Kid exclaimed. “But I have to go home now.”
“Going home?” Brown asked. “Well, ride your bicycle carefully, or else you might hurt yourself.”
Brown waved his hands to the departing Kid from his room, which was located on the first floor of his two-story house.
Kid made his way back, when suddenly, he saw his parents talking to an aged person. The person was wearing a coat and black sunglasses, and he looked surprisingly familiar to Kid.
“What is Mr. Melvin doing here?” he thought. “He told me he would not expose himself, or interfere with my family.”
Kid’s father greeted his returning son. “There you are, Kid! Where have you been?”
“I was at Brown’s house,” Kid replied. “Played some video games.”
“No wonder your grades are terrible,” the father replied. “Come here, boy.”
Kid’s mother looked on but said nothing, but his father looked furious. As for Melvin, he did not say a word, but looked at Kid.
“You have a poor Science grade,” the father remarked. “This is not good enough. I thought you were going to score an A grade.”
Kid could not believe what he just saw. “Who brought the grades here?”
“Mr. Raju here did,” replied the father.
It seemed Melvin used a disguise, but to Kid, it was something that might make him annoyed than pleased.
Kid’s father was scolding his son, saying that he spent too long playing video games until he forgot about studying at times.
“But,” Kid replied, “I did study!”
“Not enough, it seems,” the father replied. “Boy, you really like to argue, eh?”
“Please stop…” Kid’s mother told the father.
Melvin a.k.a Mr. Raju soon opened his mouth, which was shut for some time.
“Pardon me to interrupt your family time,” he said, “but I am here, to recommend tuition sessions, for your child Kid.”
“What?” Kid exclaimed in disbelief.
“Really?” Kid’s parents’ faces lit up.
“Yes,” Melvin replied. “Based on his recent results, it seems that he really needs it.”
“Who is going to provide the tuition?” asked the father.
“Why, that will be me,” the elderly Melvin, slightly older than Kid’s parents, said with a smile. “I assure you, I will provide little Kid with the most efficient and effective methods of learning his school subjects.”
While Kid was not too pleased with that, his parents looked happy.
“But how much must we pay you?” Kid’s mother asked.
“Nothing,” Melvin replied. “I give tuition for free.”
“Fantastic!” Kid’s mother exclaimed. “Kid, I am sure you will enjoy it. After all, Mr. Raju here said that he knows you very well from school.”
“Yeah,” the father said, “and he might also teach you some discipline.”
“All I can teach him, I will, as much as I can,” Melvin insisted. “What do you say, Kid?”
“No!” Kid screamed. “No tuition for me, please! I will not have time to finish my homework.”
“Nonsense,” Melvin said as he attempted to touch Kid’s shoulder. “Now, can I have a word with you?”
Kid eventually settled down, and went outside the house to have a chat with his trainer. His parents waited patiently in the house, in the heat of the evening.
“Mr. Melvin, I know it is you,” Kid said.
“I know that you know,” Melvin replied.
“I do not need tuition. I will not be able to play with Brown if I go to tuition.”
“What you need is not just tuition, but also intuition. Your grades are really terrible, to say the least.”
“I did all I could!” Kid grumbled. “In fact, are those even my real grades? Or some sort of fake grades you used as a cover up to show my parents?”
“Those are your real grades.”
Kid was surprised. “Seriously? But I thought I had Science covered.”
“Well, you still have a lot of work to do, Kid,” Melvin insisted. “But enough about that now, for I have more important things to discuss with you.”
“You want to discuss it out here under the hot sun?”
“You really talk too much, but you are right in some ways. We will talk elsewhere.”
Melvin, as Mr. Raju, said that he wanted to bring Kid to his house to ‘instantly begin the free tuition’. The old but healthy-looking man was given the green light by the optimistic parents. Little did they know that it was a cover for bigger things that he, and probably Kid, needed to handle.
After a while, a shiny, black-colored Proton Perdana popped up in front of Kid’s family residence. The driver opened the window, revealing himself as ‘Mr. Raju’s chauffeur.’ He wore clothes similar to those worn by porters in a hotel, complete with a hat. Anyway, Melvin and Kid entered the car through the back. Kid waved his hands to say goodbye to his beloved parents. From a distance, Brown witnessed his companion’s departure, and the sight of the black Perdana was not very unusual for him, because he recalled seeing it while at school.
Wonder what Kid is doing in there, he thought before shifting focus back to his computer games.