Justice Across The DimensionsChapters List
Chapter 22: A Game of Prestige [19.2]
Old Mrs. Li’s little baby grandson Li Liang was everything to her, and losing him right under her nose could kill her.
“HELP! PLEASE, HELP! MY BABY!”
Her cries caught the attention of a passing police officer who stopped and rushed to her. He got what information he needed from her, notifying the department where the wheels of justice began to whirl into motion.
As for old Mrs. Li, she was so distraught that she could hardly speak aside from sobbing.
Meanwhile, the abductor, sitting at the rear passenger seat, was afraid that the little baby might wail, so he used a chloroform-laced handkerchief to knock him out. Only when the baby was unconscious, did he finally place him down.
“The baby’s good looking and he’s the right age. He’ll bring us a fat payout.”
The woman beside him giggled. The man peered at her and said, “And after that, I’ll buy you that Patriot Lite that you’ve been waiting so long for.”
The petite lady giggled and snuggled up to him.
“Is that a promise, Liang? I’d hold you up to it once we get paid.”
The man burst out with laughter and wrapped an arm around the woman, pulled her into him, and voraciously kissed her on the lips.
“Since when have I lied to you before?”
The third member of the band, the driver now busy at the wheel growled, “That’s enough, boys and girls. Let’s just focus on getting out of Yanjing for now. We’ve been operating too much here lately and it’s time for us to leave before anybody notices. We can never be too careful.”
All three of them were part of a human-trafficking ring and these people were very, very adept in planning, setting their pieces ready on the board, and preparing an escape plan before the actual abduction takes place.
Busy and crowded places such as entrances, exits of fresh markets, and shopping centers were their usual hunting grounds. Places like these are where people would usually be distracted by the hustle and bustle if not their shopping, thus diverting their attention from the children. This made the little tots vulnerable to predators like them to pounce with a high chance of success.
For three days, the wicked trio had followed and watched Mrs. Li, dissecting her usual habit of journeying on foot to the nearby fresh market to the most minute detail. After that, they analyzed what they found and looked for soft spots, plotted their trap, deciding on the spot and time to spring. All this to ensure that the deed would go on without any hitch nor interference from any members of the public.
Swift and sure as an eagle; that was their motto. That by the time the cops arrived, they were already long gone.
In most cases, children who have been abducted and sold were never again found nor reunited with their families.
The three villains thought that the police would never find them, but just to be safe, the driver sped towards the outskirts.
10 minutes had passed since the abduction happened.
The infant Li Liang laid unconscious on the backseat cushion when the silver-metallic button on his shirt flashed suddenly: Patriot Kids’ Intelligent Security System initiated.
The AI of the device first ascertained the data of the baby’s physical condition to make sure he was safe, before notifying the nearest police station.
It was the Shaoyang district police department and officers there quickly sprang into action.
At the same time, the Patriot One droid left on standby there began moving on its own. The officers had only just revved up their patrol car when it rocketed up into the sky.
“Quick! Quick! We need to keep up with the droid!”
All law enforcement officers knew that the Patriot Kids Intelligent Security System was linked to the mainframe AI that governed the operation of all Patriot One droids all over the country. This allowed any Patriot One droid to immediately commence rescue operation without passing through the usual bureaucratic red tape.
The deployment of a Patriot One droid greatly increased the chances of saving the baby.
The grey little van stopped at a traffic light and the three villains were humming to the tune of a sing, relaxed and casual as ever.
The baby would yield a profit of twenty thousand dollars. Minus the cut that they would pay to their syndicate, each of them would receive six thousand dollars each.
Heh heh heh… A fat payout indeed, they thought.
The traffic light turned green and the driver only just depressed the accelerator when something fell from the sky and crashed on the roof of the van. The van screeched to a sudden halt and the engine died immediately with all three villains inside utterly dumbfounded, not knowing what was going on at all.
As they reeled with shock and awe, the roof burst open and all three villains found themselves staring up into the shiny, metallic head of a Patriot One droid looking down at them.
“Targets identified. Firing weapons.”
Pylons sprang into view atop Patriot One’s shoulders and fired tranquilizer darts at the villains, rendering them unconscious even before they could utter so much as a swear word.
The Patriot One droid retrieved the unconscious baby Li Liang from the rear seat and scanned his vitals, ascertaining his condition that he was in no way hurt or injured. Then it stood beside the stranded vehicle, waiting for the squad cars which were only five minutes away to arrive.
But its crashing down from the sky and prompt neutralization of the villains caused quite a ruckus and many curious bystanders crowded around the droid to watch.
Since news of the Patriot One droids’ heroics during the evacuation of Huapatrians from Nation N broke out, every Tom, Dick, and Harry in the streets knew about the powerful and deadly droid army now in the government’s employment.
Yet this Patriot One looked nothing like the ones they saw on the news. Many vehicles stopped by the road with motorists and passengers whipping out their cell phones to snap photos of the infamous droid.
“Heavens, what’s going on!? Isn’t that a green light?! What’s causing the jam!?”
“Wow, is that the Patriot One droid we saw in the news?! Why is it here?”
“Did you see it? The droid’s holding a baby in its arms!”
“Look what happened to that grey van it’s standing beside! Is that ripped-open roof the handiwork of the Patriot One droid?!”
“Goddamn, these Patriot One droids really are incredible!”
The mob of inquisitive onlookers only seemed to swell by the minute, causing quite a congestion at the junction. It took the cops who arrived minutes later to take away both the droid and the baby to disperse the crowd and the junction went back to normal as everyone filed back to go about their business.
Old Mrs. Li was so upset that she nearly fainted. What would be the most arduous and painful half-hour of her life soon came to an end when she received a call from the Shaoyang police station, telling her that her baby grandson had been rescued.
She rushed to the police station like a madwoman. But she was not alone; she was promptly joined by her son and his wife and Li Yiyi.
“What’s happened, Mum!?”
“Mum, you need to stop crying. What’s going on?! Why is little Liang here in a police station!?”
Apparently, Li Yiyi and the baby Li Liang’s parents sped here when they received a notification from the Patriot Kids device, but without detailed information about what happened, they knew nothing about the abduction.
But old Mrs. Li was in such despair that she could barely speak.
In the end, a police officer told them what had transpired.
The baby Li Liang had been abducted earlier!
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