DISCLAIMER: The Sentinel and its characters are the property of Paramount Studios and Pet Fly Productions. These stories are offered for the enjoyment of the fans. No money has exchanged hands.

Donut Run by Captain Outrageous and Wildeskind


Act II

Willie and Jake breathed a sigh of relief when the cellphone stopped ringing.

"Willie, why don't we ditch the phone?"

"Because we can pawn it for a little extra traveling cash. That and the gun should bring us a tidy sum."

"But that ringing's gonna drive me crazy. Why can't we take the batteries out?"

"Because, stupid, whoever's calling will be suspicious if it goes dead. The more time they don't know he's missing, the more time we have to cover our tracks. Now shut up, I have to think."

All he'd wanted was to steal some wheels and get out of town. Now he had to ditch the car and the detective before someone noticed he was missing.

A train whistle sounded in the distance. The Volvo's tires squealed as he made a sharp turn.

"Willie, what are you doing?"

"We're going to the train station. I have an idea."

Simon and Jim pulled up in front of the shop. A plump gray-haired matron was standing guard over a white box across the street. She was engaged in a ferocious standoff with a flock of bold, determined pigeons. Simon grinned as he turned off the engine. The woman bore a striking resemblance to the birds she battled. They got out of the car and went to join her.

"Miss Dilly? I'm Captain Banks and this is Detective Ellison"

Dilly gave them a strained smile and shook their hands. "Call me Dilly. It's nice to meet y'all. I'm afraid the birds got to most of the donuts before I got out here. They were fresh, you know."

Simon bit back a grimace at the greasy, gritty feel of her hand. "Thanks, Dilly. I'm sure they were. Would you mind shooing these birds farther away? We'd like to take a look at the area."

He almost groaned at the sight of the ruptured Bavarian Cream donut oozing its rich creamy filling onto the pavement. All those beautiful donuts, gone. So was Sandburg. He watched Jim squat down and peer at the box. The top had been pecked off, but the sides were intact.

Simon crouched down beside him and whispered, "Do you see anything?"

Jim shook his head. "I'm not sure Simon. I see two sets of fingerprints. One set look like Sandburg's. A smaller one could be Dilly's."

He looked at Jim in disbelief. "Don't tell me you know Sandburg's prints on sight!"

Jim made an impatient sound. "Sandburg cut his finger shaving this morning. He had a Band-Aid on his left hand. The second set has different kinds of sugar and spices mixed in with it. Dilly has been making donuts all morning. They're obviously Sandburg's and Dilly's."

Simon rubbed the fingers of his right hand, remembering Dilly's greasy grip.

Jim looked around, his expression forlorn. "Dammit, Chief, why couldn't you leave me a clue? Something, anything to tell us who took you. Talk to me."

Simon looked around, feeling helpless. Blair would know how to get Jim back on track. He would say something, and then Jim would take one look and find the vital clue that would give them a solid lead. What would Blair say? He would say something like... "Come on Jim, try again. Take a deep breath, and let it out slowly. Concentrate."

He blinked when Jim took a breath and let it out slowly. He must have spoken that last part out loud. What would Sandburg say next? "Now focus, Jim. Is there anything here out of place?"

Jim breathed in again, his face a mask of concentration. He turned his head sharply as something caught his attention. "There's something here. It smells sweet, fruity."

Simon shivered as Jim's pupils dilated, the blue of his irises disappearing under the tide of the black. How did Sandburg get used to seeing that?

Jim held out his hand. "Simon, give me your handkerchief."

Pulling out a handkerchief, he handed it over. "Find something?"

Careful to avoid the bird droppings, Jim leaned down and carefully picked up a gum wrapper. "I think so. This smells pretty fresh. It's Chewy Fruit. There's a fingerprint. The oil is still fresh. Let's get it back to forensics."

Simon looked up at the sky. Thank you, God, for putting the words in my mouth.

Jake stood guard as Willie dumped the cop's unconscious body into the trunk of the Volvo. They were in the parking lot of the train station. Jake froze when he heard a moan. He turned around in time to see Willie punch the guy in the mouth.

"Jeez Willie, didja have to do that?"

"Yeah, I had to do that," Willie snarled back. "We don't want him to bang on the trunk lid or something. Lookie here. He musta been a Boy Scout or something. Plenty of rope and some rags. Here, tie him up while I keep lookout."

"Okay, but I still don't understand why we're at the train station. We don't have our stuff here. It's still at Lenny's."

Willie took a quick look at Jake's handy work. His partner might not be too swift, but his father had been in the merchant marine. He knew how to tie his knots. "Because the detective here is going on a little trip. We're going to buy a ticket with his credit card for his car and send them both far away. By the time he gets out, we'll be long gone."

"But Willie, if you buy the ticket with his credit card, won't the cops be able to trace it?"

Willie's head whipped around so fast he almost got whiplash. Jake finished tying the gag in their prisoner's mouth. Turning around he saw Willie staring at him. "What?"

The skinny man shook his head. "Jake, you said something intelligent. The world must be coming to an end or something. I can't believe it."

Jake stood up a little straighter. Willie had told him he'd said something smart. He pulled out another stick of gum and shoved it in his mouth.

Turning around again, he arranged the limp body more comfortably in the trunk, shoving the junk aside and putting a blanket he'd found under the cop's head. Satisfied, he closed the trunk lid. "All set, Willie. Boy, you'd think a cop would have a neater car or something. We almost didn't have enough room for him with all the stuff in there."

"Yeah, well, there's all sorts of cops. I guess this one's a messy cop. Did you get all the stuff off him?"

Jake nodded. "Uh-huh. Wallet, phone, gun, watch and pager. This guy sure likes gadgets."

"Okay, let's buy a ticket and get outta here. I'll lift us a wallet on the way in. Come on."

Jim paced in Simon's office. They had dropped off the candy wrapper in forensics and were waiting for a match. It had now been two hours since Blair had left to pick up donuts. Two hours ago his friend had been safe here in the precinct. Two hours was a long time.

"Dammit, Simon, he can't even go on a donut run without getting kidnapped. When we find him, I'm going to handcuff him to his desk."

"Jim, you can't handcuff him to his desk. He's a full detective now, with all the rights and risks that go along with it. I thought you were okay with this."

Jim gritted his teeth. "How can I be okay with him disappearing on his first day as a detective?" He stopped and looked out the window.

Simon stood up and came over behind him. He put a hand on his friend's shoulder. "I know, Jim. But if anyone can disappear and reappear with minimal damage, it's Blair. Hell, it's almost a universal law. Sandburg's Law. A hundred years from now professors will give lectures on it."

The phone rang. Simon picked up the receiver. He gave a "thumbs up" to Jim and jotted down some information on a notepad, then hung up with satisfaction. "Forensics made a match." Jim followed him around the desk to the computer. Simon brought up the criminal database.

"The prints matched one Jake Knapp. Let's see who Mr. Knapp is." Typing in the ID number, he brought up the man's criminal record.

Jim read the information off the screen. "Jake Knapp, AKA Jackie Natts, AKA Jake Knotts. Small time hood with a long list of priors in New York. Assault, robbery, battery. Known associate: William Pips." Simon helpfully double-clicked on William Pip's name.

"William Pips, AKA Willie Peters. Pick pocketing, B&E, robbery, grand theft auto. He spent a couple years at Riker's where he met Knapp. It looks like they got out around the same time. There's an active arrest warrant out on both of them, also from New York." The picture of Pips showed a skinny individual with buckteeth.

Jim tapped on the screen. "That's rat boy, I'll bet. Why did they kidnap Blair? Neither one of them have any connection to him. They're on the run."

Simon doodled on his notepad. "If they're on the run, they might need some money. This could be a case of a simple mugging gone bad. They took his wallet, and when they found out he was a cop, they panicked."

Jim nodded slowly. "It's possible. He had his ID on him." It galled him to think his partner was in trouble simply because he carried a badge. "So if they panicked, what would they do?"

"Neither one is a killer. They'd probably tie him up somewhere and lie low. I'm printing out a list of their known hangouts here in Cascade. If we're lucky, they'll be at one of them."

"Let's check 'em out."

They left the office. Waiting in the bullpen was the majority of the Major Crimes department. Taggart acted as spokesman. "Any news on Sandburg?"

"We think we know who took him. Two small time hoods, Willie Pips and Jake Knapp. We're going to check out their known hangouts."

"Well, what are we waiting for? Share the wealth and lets get cracking."

Jim smiled grimly. We're coming for you, Chief, we're coming.

Jim walked out of another bar. Dammit, they hadn't found a single person who had seen Pips or Knapp today. He could feel time slipping away. His phone rang.


Simon spoke. "Hey Jim, any luck?"

"No. You?"

"No. None of the other teams have had any luck either. It looks like Pips and Knapp have gone to ground. Dammit. We're so close. Sandburg has to be here somewhere. We should have at least found his car by now. Where could he be?"

Jim scowled in frustration. "I don't know. When we do find him, I'm going to tag him with a radio transmitter."

"Maybe we don't need a radio transmitter."

"What do you mean?"

"He had his cellphone on him, right?"

"Yeah, I called, but no one picked up."

"Yeah, but maybe we could track him through his phone. The tech boys should be able send a signal so it will pick up before it rings and we can trace the open signal. If the cellphone is still active."

"If it's still active."

"I'm going to call tech ops now and have them set it up. We're going to find him, Jim."

"I hope so. I have one more name on my list. Lenny Smith. He owns a pawnshop over on Oak and Rosewood. Let me know when the phone trace is ready."

"Will do."

Blair opened his eyes. Or at least he thought he did. It was pitch black and hot. Groaning, he tried to roll over only to discover his was tied up. Man, this sucks. My head feels like it's going to explode and my right side is numb. He moved his legs experimentally. And there's not a whole lot of room in here. Where am I? Where ever he was, the rocking motion was making his stomach churn. He felt his gorge rise as the rocking motion coupled with the heat and his dizziness to make him even more nauseous. He tried to swallow, but the gag in his mouth made it difficult. Closing his eyes again, he repeated a calming chant. The dizziness didn't go away completely, but it did get better. Satisfied that he wasn't going to asphyxiate on his own vomit, he tried to remember how he had gotten here. Wherever here was.

It was my first day at work and they sent me out for donuts. I went to pick them up. I picked them up. I know I picked them up. Then I went back to my car and there was a rat there. No, there was a guy that looked like a rat. Yeah, and he was talking about my car being his. Something happened. Someone hit me on the head!

Blair groaned. Do I have a psychic sign on the back of me that says 'hit me, born victim'? I can't even go out for donuts without being kidnapped. Jim is going to kill me. First day on the job and I get mugged buying donuts.

He tugged on the ropes holding his wrists. Damn, I think these are the best-tied knots that I've ever been tied up with. Well at least they didn't use duct tape. I hate how that stuff tears off your hair and skin. It's even worse on your face. He tongued the rag, trying to push out of his mouth. Yuck, what was it about criminals and gags. Why couldn't they spend a little extra money and buy something that didn't leave your mouth tasting like the bottom of someone's shoe?

Something hard and pointy dug into his back. And they never put you someplace comfortable. It's either too hot or too cold, too damp or too confining. Why can't they hold you in a three-star hotel or something? At least when Naomi was kidnapped, she wasn't tied up. And they put her in a private tent with Dr. Mesgar. Okay, you know you've been kidnapped too often when you start complaining about the treatment...

Blair listened to the sound of himself breathing. Come on Sandburg, you've been in worse situations than this. All they've done is tie you up and stick you somewhere. So far, anyway. Jim must be going out of his mind with worry by now. Time to see if he could get out here. Gathering his strength, he heaved himself upwards. Halfway up he ran into something hard. Ow!

He fell back, stunned. Something hot and wet trickled on his forehead. Great! Having the bad guys hit him over the head wasn't enough, he had to bust open his own head. He closed his eyes, letting the rocking motion soothe him. Gradually he noticed a rhythmic clicking sound. CLICK CLICK CLICK... CLICK CLICK CLICK...

I've heard that sound before. Another wave of dizziness swept over him. Biting back a curse, he tried to turn over. Wherever he was, there wasn't a lot of room. Something cold and slick hit his face. He wrinkled his nose. Ugh, I know that smell. Those are the duck boots I keep in my car. Man, I should have washed them better after that day in the park.

Okay, so he was in the trunk of his car. He chuckled. He knew he was in his car, but he didn't know where his car was. Suddenly, the car shook violently. The boot danced over his face. Oh man, oh man. He butted his head against the offending footwear until it slipped behind him. I'm cleaning out my trunk as soon as I get out of here.

His eyes drifted closed, the heat, the knocks on the head and the swaying of the car all working to make him sleepy. Jim was worried about him. He had to be. I just walked out the door and vanished. He doesn't know where I am, if I'm alive. Jim! I'm safe Jim. I'm safe. The darkness became even darker as he slipped into unconsciousness.

Continue on to Act III...

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This page last updated 2/2/01.