The ride to the abandoned warehouse was more than a little uncomfortable.

The effects of the taser began wearing off, but I was still sore from being thrown into the van and from the cuffs restricting the flow of blood to my hands. I didn’t know where I was going, but I knew that I was in serious trouble.

The van stopped after what seemed like half an hour. My captors pulled me out and led me blindly into an enclosed room inside the building. I was tied to a chair before the blindfold and gag were finally removed.

“What am I doing here?” I asked.

The leader, the largest of the three men, clenched his teeth in rage.

“Shut up!” he bellowed at me. “I’m the one who asks the questions here.”

I wasn’t in a position to argue with him, so I kept my mouth shut.

Looking around, my eyes became fixated on the far side of the room and a selection of items that were clearly intended to harm someone.  Pruning shears, a hammer, a saw, a sledge hammer, various types of knives, and a revolver were the toys on display. The thugs were serious, and I was terrified.

I’ve certainly seen movies and TV shows where people were tortured for information before, but I was having a hard time trying to figure out what information I could possibly have that would be of interest to men like this. What could they possibly want from me? I had no clue and that scared me even more because I had a feeling that whatever they wanted from me, I wasn’t going to be able to provide. This meant items on that table were going to be used on me and there was nothing I could do about it.

The big man who seemed to be in charge came over and moved within an inch of my face. Then he growled. Honest to God, he actually growled at me, and then he barked at the top of his lungs, his spittle splattering against my left eye. His breath was corrosive. 

When he was done intimidating me, he backed away, and he and his friends began to laugh.

“You’re in a shitload of trouble, Backe,” he exclaimed, “You’re about to see what I do to fuckers who stand in my way.”

My mind began to race. What the hell could I do? Beg for my life and hope to get out of there unscathed? Offer them money? Try to dazzle them with false bravado? I’m not one who would consider myself a coward – I usually stand up for what I believe in – but torture? I didn’t think I was built for that.

“What do you want from me?” I asked again. “Look, if I know what you’re after, maybe we can work something out.” 

It’s hard to sound tough and reasonable at the same time, but I felt like I’d pulled it off. I didn’t really expect my captors to negotiate, but what the hell did I have to lose?

The big man only laughed at me again. 

“I’m not here to extract information from you, Backe. I’m here to convey a warning. One that you’d better take seriously.” 

I swallowed hard enough that it was audible to everyone in the room. The leader’s voice was dire, his demeanor ominous and thoroughly convincing.  

“End your party now. No more running for office, and tell the ones in office now to cooperate with the rest of Congress. If they have a bill they want to pass, your people are to pass it. All the current legislation your party is trying to pass, drop it. If you don’t, the consequences will be severe.”

I froze for a minute, unsure of how to respond. For the first time since I was nabbed, though, I felt a bit of relief. Whoever my captors were, they didn’t plan to kill me. Quite the opposite; they needed me alive. They weren’t planning to kidnap or kill anyone in the party, either – they were sent to convince me to play along with someone else’s agenda. Though American, they were terrorists in every sense of the word. They were attempting to stifle liberty using scare tactics.

To my own surprise, I felt my fear abating. I was starting to get angry. No matter what, I resolved not to let them see my fear. They weren’t going to stop New Day, either. I wasn’t going to let them. 

Yeah, I was trapped in their little torture chamber. Pissing them off was a stupid move.

“No,” I said, defiantly.

The count down has begun! Check out the teaser of Terry’s new book, The Idealist, to be released on December 17th!  Pre-order begins on December 10th!  Cover art coming soon!