Shaggy picked up the receiver on his land-line ‘phone on the second ring. It was 18.30. The caller I.D. told him it was Mrs. Caldwell from the Boys and Girls club. He’d been home most of the day as Fruitmeir didn’t have any new products for “testing”. No matter, as it gave him time to work out more of the bugs in the new mapping programme. “Like, what’s up Mrs. C?” he answered as he leaned back in his beat-up old office chair.
“Shaggy, have you heard from Daphne or her friend...um...Velma?” inquired Mrs. Caldwell. “They haven’t returned from picking up party donations and I can’t reach either of them on their mobiles!” She sounded a bit frantic.
“Like, no Mrs. C.,” Shaggy returned. “It’s only 18.31 (as he glanced at the clock on his monitor screen). Why? Were they, like, supposed to be back by now?”
“That’s just it!” exclaimed the frantic Mrs. Caldwell. “Daphne told me they were sure to be done by 16.00. I figured an extra hour for an early Friday rush-hour so, that would put it at 17.00. To tell you the truth, I’m kind of worried.”
“Well, like, did you call Mrs. Blake,” began Shaggy, “or Mrs. Dinkley? Maybe they, like, went home to change out of their costumes?” Daphne had told Shaggy of her idea to go collecting in costume, on Thursday. He’d thought it a cool plan and had hoped to get a glimpse of Velma in costume. He missed her...a lot. But the bugs in his new programme had kept him from doing so.
“I did call both parents,” continued Mrs. Caldwell, “but they’ve haven’t see either girl since they left this morning,” she lamented.
Shaggy thought a moment, then added, “Like, maybe I can track the ‘phone signals or, like, better yet, the van’s GPS if it has one.” Shaggy had volunteered to clean the vans up for club usage, previously. But he had failed to notice if the vans had GPS systems.
“Oh!” exclaimed Mrs. Caldwell. “I’m afraid they don’t have those GP-whatchamacallits! But I remember my nephew saying something about a tracking device, in case they ever got stolen. I’ll give him a ring and call you right back!”
“Like, no problem Mrs. C.,” said Shaggy. “I’ll, like, try to get the girls’ ‘phone signals then.” And he rang off. Turning to his 40 inch computer monitor, Shaggy started tapping various icons on the screen with his left index finger. Soon, he was into the tracking programme. He input Velma’s mobile number. After four rings, the line went dead...the signal lost. Not one to be deterred by a problem such as this, Shaggy tapped a few more icons and brought up a different programme. “Like, let’s see where you are, Velma,” he muttered to himself.
The figure had returned upstairs after trussing up Daphne and Velma in an unused part of the cellar. The fall had knocked both girls out but...chloroform had been administered to their unconscious forms as an added precaution. Just as the unknown assailant crossed into the front hall, a mobile could be heard ringing. Quickly racing toward the sound of the ring-tone, the figure found Velma’s mobile, there on the floor where she had dropped it. With a sadistic looking smile, the figure stomped on the device with a heavy, black, steel-toed, combat boot...ending the call and signal. “Try tracing it now!” retorted a high-pitched but gravelly male voice. He then picked up the pieces of the phone and placed them in a small plastic bag he had pulled from his box of “gear”. The young man had been on his way back out to his old van, when Velma’s mobile had rung. The young man smiled, a bit sardonically, as he placed Velma’s mobile in the box. Checking his watch on his left wrist, he noted the time: 18.37. He continued on into the garage, opened up the left door then got into his old van. Backing the van out of the garage, he then turned into the street. Once in “drive” mode, he headed right toward town. “I’ll just go get a little something to eat,” he thought aloud. “Plenty of time to finish up.”
Mrs. Caldwell had finally gotten ahold of her nephew, Jake, via her mobile, and informed him of the possible missing blue van. Jake immediately engaged the tracking device on it, via his office computer. “Auntie dear,” he said, “did you call the police, yet?”
“No, not yet,” said Mrs. Caldwell. “I’m not really sure if the van is missing or not, just that no-one’s heard from either girl in the past few hours. The whole thing has me a bit un-nerved!” she exclaimed further.
“Well, the signal is working, so the police should be able to find it,” said Jake. “Don’t go getting yourself all in a tizzy, you’ll wreck your blood pressure.”
“You mean, you can’t track where the van is?” inquired Mrs. Caldwell.
“Afraid not,” said her nephew. “It’s linked into the police data-base though, as well as the insurance company’s computer. I just activate the homing device when one goes missing. And it wouldn’t be the first time, either. Don’t worry, it’ll get found.”
“I’m more worried about the girls!” she cried.
“Look, I’ll ring the police,” said Jake. “I’ll have them come over to the club. You’re still there, right?”
“Yes,” said Mrs. Caldwell somewhat calmer. “I’m here and I’ll stay here until the girls are back, safe and sound!” and she rang off. Then, remembering that Shaggy was into computers, Mrs. Caldwell then looked up her last call to him and hit the "call back" icon on her mobile. Shaggy picked up on the second ring. “Hello, Shaggy,” began Mrs. Caldwell, “can you track a homing device?”
“Like, hey Mrs. C,” said Shaggy. “Shouldn’t be a problem, I just, like, need to know what system it is and an access code.”
“Ooh I don’t know!” cried Mrs. Caldwell. “My nephew does, though. He just activated the...what’d he call it? Oh yes, the ‘homing signal thingy’. I can give you his number to call. He can explain it to you better than I can.”
“Like, not a a problem, Mrs.C.,” and Shaggy took down the number, promising to call right away. It was now 18.55. It had grown dark in the late autumn sky. The wind had picked up a little but it was still quite warm.
“Uuuunnnnn!” groaned Daphne as she slowly awoke. Slowly shaking her head in an attempt to clear the throbbing pain from her head hitting the floor and effects of the chloroform, she did not at first realise where she was. Licking her dry lips, she carefully opened her eyes...only to quickly shut them again...unbelieving at first. Her arms ached and she could feel the ropes around her ankles and lower thighs. More ropes were cutting into her wrists. Daphne opened her eyes again, taking in what she could in the dim light from a single, bare, forty-watt light-bulb. She found that she was in was a large, windowless room. It was damp and chilly and smelled of mildew and age. Packed earth served as a floor and what looked like old, field-stone walls, were sporadically covered in dead moss. What looked like a large cabinet, sat in front of her. It’s low top a sort of prep area. Daphne shuddered. When she turned her head to the left, she let out a gasp. There was Velma, right next to her. She was still unconscious. Her ankles were tightly tied and her arms tied above, like her own. And her glasses were missing. As Daphne looked up, she now realised and could see that their wrists were tied around some sort of hook that hung down from a beam in the ceiling. Velma’s hung a bit lower, given her shorter height. Both girls were suspended in such a way, that their toes were just barely touching the floor. Daphne shivered again but, this time more from fright than the chilly air.
But the real shock wasn’t that they were both tied up; they’d been in similar predicaments many times before. The real shock was, that Velma’s wings were missing from her costume! Even worse, as Daphne quickly realised, her own costume had been removed from her person! She was left only wearing her lilac satin slip and under-garments. Who would do such a thing...and why? Even her shoes were missing. And why were her thighs tied and not Velma’s? Then it hit her...of course. Who-ever did this had to have some knowledge of her martial-arts and dangerous leg moves. But who? Daphne was close enough to nudge Velma and did so. Velma stirred a bit. Daphne became worried, especially after seeing the bruise that had forming on Velma’s right temple. Fortunately, the wound wasn’t bleeding. She nudged Velma a second time. No response. This wasn’t good.
Daphne now wondered what time it was...how long had she been out? The last thing she remembered, was picking up that envelope from the hall table...and then the floor had disappeared! She recalled falling through the darkness and calling for Velma...then everything had gone black. She could still feel the pain in the back of her head where it had hit (just where her head hit, Daphne was still unsure of), and smell and taste traces of the chloroform in her mouth and nose. That was the odd part. She didn’t recall anyone grabbing her after she had fallen. She was pretty sure she had banged her head into something so, why the chloroform? To keep her out longer? Probably. It was all just too weird...
Shaggy had gotten ahold of Jake and he had explained to him the homing device. By now, the police had sent units to the the Boys and Girls club as well as the rental agency. Jake welcomed Shaggy to join him there, especially if he could be of any help in finding the van (and hopefully the girls), faster. Shag had readily agreed. Packing up his lap-top (which had the tracking programmed pre-loaded), he and Scooby had gotten into the Mystery Machine and sped out towards the marina area where the rental company was. Once inside the rental office, it hadn’t taking long for Shaggy to connect the homing programme with the programme in his laptop. Scooby had opted to stay in the van and hopefully get in a nap. Naturally.
“You can find this faster, huh?” questioned Jake.
“Like, should be no problem,” returned Shaggy. “I can, like, pinpoint a target to within, like, half a metre,” then whispering to Jake with a slight grin on his face, “Like, the police can only track to, like, a general area. This baby can, like, almost get me in the driver’s seat!”
Jake grinned, said, “If this works, I may want to hire you to upgrade all my systems!”
“Like, man that’d be no problem!” exclaimed Shaggy with a grin of his own. Within five minutes, Shaggy had a location. Relaying the info to the police sergeant in charge, he then brought up a map of that section of the city where the signal was emanating from.
“Are you positive?” questioned the sergeant. “Hardly anyone lives in that area of town, anymore.”
“Like, that’s the place, give or take a couple of metres,” said Shaggy.
The sergeant re-checked the map overlay and called in to CHQ (Command Head-Quarters), to verify the location’s address. Turning back to Shaggy and Jake, he said, “The address comes back as ’13 Parksdale Drive’. I think that’s one of the old Wyatt homes; used to be a butcher shop, round turn of the century, as I recall.”
“A butcher shop?!?” inquired Shaggy and Jake in unison.
“Oh yeah, sure,” said the sergeant. “That whole section of town was the old main street area about a hundred years ago. Weren’t any mega-stores back then, y’know. So, most businesses were run out of the home; usually the first floor or cellar. This home here (he indicated toward the map with his right fore-finger) probably had a shop above and stored the meats in the cool cellars. Might’ve even had a small smoke-house, out back.”
"Like, wow!” exclaimed Shaggy as he thought of having his own smoke-house, filled with meats of all kinds. But he quickly shifted back to the problem at hand. The name, Wyatt, seemed familiar but he couldn’t pin it down in his thoughts. “So, like, you can send out a cruiser to, like, check things out?” Shaggy asked the sergeant.
“At the moment...no, unfortunately,” said the police sergeant. “All our cruisers are tied up with extra duty. It’d be me and a couple other officers, basically...unless...?”
“You, like, don’t have to ask me twice!” exclaimed Shaggy as he packed up his lap-top and headed out to the Mystery Machine. The sergeant appointed a patrolman to ride along with Shaggy and he’d follow in the cruiser, along with another patrolman. Jake stayed behind with a third police officer and told Shaggy he’d give his auntie a call to report their progress. By now Mrs. Caldwell was completely frantic with worry. It was now 19.15. Even with no traffic, it would take at least ten minutes to cover the distance from the marina to Parksdale Drive. “You probably know the area better than me,” said the sergeant. “So take the lead and don’t worry about any speeding tickets,” he winked. “I’ll be right behind you. I just hope we’re not running into a serious situation.” Little did any of them know just what kind of a situation was...developing.
Daphne had tried, unsuccessfully, to pull herself up and off of the hook. The curve of the big hook was just too long and too high. Catching her breath in the damp chill of the cellar (which she had surmised it was, earlier), she suddenly froze as she heard footsteps above...walking across the floor. Soon, a door could be heard faintly creaking open. More footsteps on a set of stairs...now getting louder...closer...Velma let out a groan, which prompted Daphne to nudge her again. “Velma!” she hissed in a whisper. “Velma...wake up! Pleeeease wake up!” Again Velma groaned. Daphne saw her eyelids flutter as the footsteps were now at the door of their make-shift prison. As Velma shook the cobwebs from her mind, Daphne noticed the foot steps had stopped. She looked on in terror as the door was pulled open...
SCRRREEEEEEEECH!! went the tyres on the Mystery Machine as Shaggy took a hard right onto Larkspur Lane, almost rolling the van over. “Whoa!” exclaimed the patrol officer. “The Sarge said you could get there as fast as you could, but I’d like to arrive in one piece!”
"Reah, Raggy!” exclaimed Scooby. “Run reese!”
“Like, okay, okay,” returned Shaggy. “It’s just that, like, I finally remembered that name...I mean, like, the name ‘Wyatt’. Like, Scoob, remember that robot version of yourself, like, from a couple of years back?”
“Reah! Robot!” cried Scooby. “Re restroyed rit!”
“Hey yeah,” said the patrolman. “I remember that case too. I was just starting out at the sheriff’s department. What a way to break in a rookie like I was, then!”
“Like, that’s just it!” exclaimed Shaggy. “Mrs. Wyatt was, like, arrested and sent to that insane asylum for, like, criminals. And, like, her son Jason vowed revenge, from what, like, Velma had told me later.”
“But the Sheriff and F.B.I. seized her house and belongings as I recall,” said the patrolman. “Everything was auctioned off to help pay for all the damages, she and her son had caused. I think her son went to live with relatives over in Diamond Bay. I’ve since, never seen nor heard from him, in all that time.”
“Like, I got a bad feeling!” exclaimed Shaggy as he careened around another corner.
"Ruh-roh!” said Scooby.
“Hello, girls,” said their young captor. Velma couldn’t see who it was without her glasses but, something about his high-pitched and grating voice, jogged her memory. “I trust you’re comfy?” he asked a bit sarcastically as he set a large box on the floor...a corner of Daphne’s costume could be seen sticking out.
“WHO ARE YOU?” Daphne spat out. “What do you want with us? And where is my costume, you...you PERV, you!”
The man feigned astonishment. He was just slightly taller than Velma and looked to be about her age. Light-brown hair and dark-brown eyes blended in with his chiseled facial features. A muscular build but not too thin. He wore black, leather, combat boots, faded blue-jeans and a tattered, dark-green t-shirt. He wore no hat or glasses. Not too bad looking actually, Daphne had thought at first. She quickly rejected the thought. “You mean...you...you don’t recognise me?” asked the man. “Not even...a little bit?”
“NO!” yelled Daphne. “Why? Should I?”
“He sounds very...familiar,” said Velma. “I can’t see him without my glasses, though.”
“Oh, sorry about that!” exclaimed the man and he reached into the box and pulled Velma’s glasses out. He then carefully placed them upon her face and stood back a pace. “How’s that?” he asked.
“Better, of course,” retorted Velma as she looked at her captor. She had no clew who this was, other than that voice. Where had she heard that voice before? She shook her head.
“Then...you...really don’t...recognise me?” said the man somewhat hurt. “Well then...maybe you’ll recognise the name of...‘Wyatt’?” A light-bulb suddenly went off in Velma’s head. Daphne still had not made the connection. “No! It couldn’t be!” thought Velma to herself.
“Wyatt...Jason...Jason Wyatt,” said Velma.
“Jason...who?” asked a shivering Daphne. “Who’s he?”
“Yeah Velma...who am I?” inquired Jason gloatingly.
“But you can’t be!” exclaimed Velma. “I thought you moved away after police arrested your mother and sold the house!” Daphne was confused at first but then started to recall the night of the fake Scooby robot attacks. Soon, it all became clear...sort of. “And your lisp...you don’t have your lisp.”
“Oh, I did move,” started Jason. "After the trial, I went to live with my aunt Gertrude, my mother’s sister, over in Diamond Bay. And like I told you after the trial, I’d get my revenge and finish what my mother started! It’s taken me almost two years of planning. Two years of re-inventing myself. No more stupid retainer in my mouth! No more glasses; I wear contact lenses now. And no more damn lisp! I had an operation that corrected that problem. I lost weight and got into shape, changed my entire image. Then...I learned of this old house,” he said as he spread his arms out, indicating their present whereabouts. “My grandfather had owned it and it passed down to my aunt when he died a few years ago. She told me about it but had sold it to the city. She got a good price for it and the money went into a trust account for me. I got that when I turned eighteen. The city’ll eventually tear this house down, just like it’s done with the rest of the old neighbourhood. But I’m gonna save the town and taxpayers the cost of wrecking at least one house,” said Jason with an evil-looking grin.
“Wh-what are you going to do with us?!?” cried Daphne, now very nervous. Jason just ignored her.
“Jason...you need help,” started Velma. “Just let us go...we can get you help.”
“HA! In about five minutes, you’ll be the ones who’ll need help,” retorted Jason. He opened the large box all the way. Daphne and Velma could see the contents, now. Daphne’s costume, Velma’s wings for her Tinkerbell costume, what looked like some strips of a torn bed-sheet and, a few pieces of rope, much like the rope currently binding them. But it was the last item that sent chills racing up and down both girls’ spines...
“How much farther?” asked the patrolman as Shaggy made a left onto Cherry Street.
“Like, almost there!” exclaimed Shaggy. “Like, just a couple more minutes,” he said as he sent the Mystery Machine racing down the street, almost hitting a pedestrian. “Whoa!” said Shaggy as he brought the van to a screeching a halt, just missing a young girl by inches. The cruiser following, quickly stopped and the sergeant got out and came forward. The child had froze in place, in the middle of the street, terror-stricken at almost being run over. Shaggy and the patrolman got out of the van. “Like, I swear she came out of nowhere!” exclaimed Shaggy.
“I saw her at the last second,” said the patrolman. “Good reaction time on those brakes!” he told Shaggy. The girl’s mother had come out when she heard tyres screeching, to find her daughter frozen to the spot in the street. Apparently, the little girl and her friends were playing “tag”. Dressed in darker clothing and not paying attention to the traffic, the girl had darted out into the street to avoid being tagged. It took a few minutes to straighten everything out, before the police, Shag and Scooby were able to continue on. Everyone climbed back into their vehicles and set out again but...at a somewhat slower speed.
Jason placed the bomb on the top of the cabinet, which was directly in front of the girls. A simple timer wired up to a relay-switch, which was attached to ten sticks of dynamite, held together with black electrical tape. He made sure the timer faced away from the girls (“Why let them know exactly when the inevitable was coming?” he had thought). He then reached back into the box and grabbed a handful of the cloth strips with his right hand and, placed all but a couple of them next to the bomb. “This is gonna be great!” he exclaimed as he moved towards Daphne...two cloth strips dangling from his fingers.
“You can’t do this!” cried Daphne. “Stop this Jason! Now! Stop! You don’t know what you----uuunnnfff!” cried Daphne as Jason wadded up a big piece of the cloth and stuffed it deep into her mouth. Shaking her head while trying to dislodge the gag, Jason got behind her, and pulled on her hair with his left hand. “Oooowwwwmmm!” cried Daphne as Jason whipped another strip over her head. He pulled the second cloth strip tightly between her lips and then teeth as he tied it off behind her head. The tight top-gag forcing the packing towards the back of her throat. It was all Daphne could do to keep from choking on the gag. Jason then went back to the cabinet and got two more cloth strips for Velma as Daphne tried, in vain, to struggle free.
“Jason, you won’t get away with this,” said Velma, as she calmly tried to plead with him.
“Oh won’t I?” said Jason. “No-one knows where you are. Your van is hidden in the garage. And you forget...hardly anyone lives here anymore. The police won’t even bat an eye when this place goes up. Whoops! Almost forgot,” he said as he pulled a digi-cam out of the box. “Gotta get some pictures to remember this moment. I’ll add them in with my other ‘trophies’,” he said with an evil grin.
“What...what other...trophies?” inquired Velma, somewhat perplexed...hoping to stall for time. Of course, she was totally unaware that help was already on the way.
“Why, these trophies,” explained Jason as he waved his right hand toward the box. “I wanted something from each of you as a memento of my revenge. Once I take care of all of you, I can give my trophies to mother! Won’t she be proud of me! Her only child able to finish what she had started!”
“Jason, you’re a sick man,” said Velma. “If you think you ca----uummmphn!” said Velma as Jason shoved a wad of cloth in her mouth.
“Enough talk!” yelled Jason. He finished by tying another, wide piece of cloth over Velma’s mouth...tightly...holding the packing in. He then picked up his digi-cam and took several pictures of his prisoners. His mother would love seeing the look on their faces as they struggled in despair. Checking the viewer and satisfied with the results, Jason walked over to the bomb and set the timer for five minutes. “Have a happy Halloween, girls,” said Jason as he went to leave. “And don’t take any candy from strangers!” He laughed as he shut the door, leaving the light on. Daphne and Velma continued to struggle but it was no use...they just couldn’t get free. Jason’s footsteps had receded. Now, the only thing that could be heard...was the beeping of the timer as it counted down the remaining minutes and seconds...04:27..."BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!"
As Jason went to open the garage door, a small, flashing red light from the lower dashboard of the mini-van, caught his eye. “Oh crap!” yelled Jason as he now realised the van had a tracking device. With no time to disable it, he finished opening the garage door and got into his own van. He went to start the engine and froze. The engine wouldn’t turn over...
...03:35..."BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!"
Shaggy finally made it to Wylock Street, the next street down from Parksdale Drive. He sped down the block and turned left onto Parksdale...
...03:15..."BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!"
Panic filled Jason as he banged his head into the steering-wheel. Suddenly, the engine came to life. Jason had remembered to back the van in this time to allow for a fast escape, if need be. He put the van in “drive” and was in such a rush to get out of the garage and away from the old house, that he didn’t hear the approaching vehicles. As Jason gunned the van down the driveway, Shaggy swerved to miss him, as he ploughed into the street. Jason’s van just caught the right rear edge of the Mystery Machine as the two vehicles collided. The cruiser, sirens blaring, swerved to the right. The fish-tailing causing the left rear of the cruiser, to slam into the driver’s side of the old van. The front of the cruiser coming to rest on the side-walk...
...02:27..."BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!"
Shaggy, Scooby and the three officers quickly alit from their vehicles and surrounded the van, with one of the officers opening the van’s passenger door...his service automatic drawn. “Slowly get out of the van,” said the officer to Jason, in a calm but grim voice. Shaggy went to look in the garage. Finding the rental van, he went back over to where Jason’s was. A dazed and panicky Jason, realising he’d been caught, pleaded with the police. “Let me go! We gotta get away from here!”
“Like, where’s Velma and Daphne?” demanded Shaggy. “And, like, who are you?”
...01:57..."BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!"
“There’s not enough time left!” yelled Jason. “We have to get far away!”
Shaggy climbed up on the front of the wrecked cruiser and reached in through the driver’s-side door window of the van. Grabbing Jason by the front his t-shirt he said, with menace in his voice, “Where...are...Velma...and...Daphne?”
...01:48..."BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!"
“D-d-don’t hurt m-me!” cried Jason.
“Where...are...they?” repeated Shaggy through clenched teeth.
“Th-They’re in the basement! They're in the basement! B-But you’re too late!” screamed Jason. “There’s a bomb set to go off in less than two minutes!” Isn’t it amazing how one can keep track of something like that, despite what’s going on?
“Oh hell!” exclaimed one of the officers and got on the radio to CHQ for the bomb-squad. “It’s just a good thing we don’t have to evacuate the area!”
...01:21..."BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!"
In a flash, Shaggy and the officer that had ridden with him, dashed into the open garage. Not knowing the layout of the house (and the fact most of the lights no longer worked), the two made their way toward the entrance door to the main house. The officer had a torch in his left hand that lighted the way...his service revolver in his right...
“NO!” screamed Jason, again. “You’ll never make it!” he bellowed as he was pulled from the van via the passenger’s side, cuffed and placed in the back of the wrecked cruiser. One of the officers read him his rights as Jason continued screaming...
...01:07..."BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!"
Entering the kitchen, the two looked round for a door...any door. Scooby had followed them in. He soon caught Velma’s then Daphne’s scent as the trio by-passed the kitchen and entered the front hall. Suddenly Scooby’s acute hearing picked up faint noises. “Like, what is it Scoob old pal?” inquired Shaggy.
“Relma! Rafne!” said Scooby excitedly. “Rown rere!”
"Huh?” said the officer.
“Scooby says the girls are down there,” said Shaggy pointing to where the trap door was. As Scooby turned round he noticed a door just off the kitchen...and instantly went into “pointer” mode. Looking at where Scooby was “pointing”, Shaggy exclaimed, “Through that door!”
...00:44..."BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!"
Shaggy pulled open the door and took the lead down the dark stairs, two at a time...the officer's torch lighting the steps ahead of him...
...00:39..."BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!"
As the officer shined his torch in the inky darkness of the cellar, Shaggy called out to Velma and Daphne. Scooby heard their muffled cries, first. “Rin rere!” said Scooby as he stopped in front of a door just to the right. A dim light could be seen through the space under the door...
...00:29..."BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!"
Luckily, Jason had not locked the door. Shaggy opened it to the excited relief of Daphne and Velma. Both still frantic and struggling.
“Nuuhmma mmommm!” cried Daphne through her gag, as she nodded her head toward the cabinet. Shaggy caught the nod and looked over at the cabinet, immediately spying the bomb.
“Let me have a look at it, son,” said the officer. “I know a little bit about bombs of this sort.”
...00:21..."BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!"
“Like, man, I hope you know what you’re doin’!” exclaimed Shaggy as he bent to untied Velma’s ankles; his, now shaking fingers, fumbled with the knots on Velma’s bindings...
...00:17..."BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!"
The officer patiently went over the bomb with his torch for added light. It did not take him long to see the simplicity of the device. “Here goes nothing!” he exclaimed.
“Like, nothing is right!” exclaimed Shaggy as he finished untying Velma’s ankles. “Like, we’ll all be nothing if you’re, like, wrong, man!”
...00:11..."BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!"
The officer carefully pulled the wire from the front of the relay switch, breaking the circuit. The timer stopped...
...00:05..."BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!"
All five of them heaved a collective sigh. Scooby ran back upstairs, while Shaggy and the officer finished untying and ungagging Daphne and Velma. “Ooh, my aching arms!” exclaimed Daphne as she spat out her gag. Tears began streaming down her face. “Shaggy! I can’t believe you found us!” she exclaimed as she gave him a grateful hug.
“Like, it was no problem,” said Shaggy. “Like, I’ll explain it all later,” he added as he next embraced Velma. The officer smiled as the foursome headed out of the cellar and back up the stairs. The officer soon returned with the bomb-squad (which had been called in while he and Shaggy were searching for the girls), to show them where the bomb was located. By now there were two more cruisers as well as an ambulance and the bomb disposal truck, parked in front of the house. As Shaggy, Velma and Daphne walked towards the damaged Mystery Machine, they could hear Jason howling threats from the back of the cruiser, still vowing revenge.
“Like, who is that guy?” Shaggy asked the girls.
“Jason Wyatt,” said Velma flatly. “You remember him, don’t you?”
“Like...yeah,” said Shaggy, after a moment of thought. “Oh boy.”
Jason Wyatt had a complete mental break-down and was put under observation at the city’s asylum for the criminally insane for a period of two weeks. After-which, it was determined he was too insane to stand trial. He now permanently resides in said asylum, under a twenty-four hour suicide watch...on the next floor up, directly over his mother’s cell. Ironic? Perhaps.
Daphne and Velma recovered in time for the charity Halloween party. The Sheriff was kind enough to let them have their costume and wings back. He also released the van with all the supplies the girls had gathered, just in time to set up for the party.
Shaggy spent a week upgrading Jake’s computer system...for a small fee, of course. Jake could now track his rental vehicles anywhere, any-time. He hasn’t had a theft in months.
Shaggy, Scooby and Officer Lonnie Duggan (the officer that rode along with Shaggy and dis-armed the bomb), all were awarded the city’s “Medal for Heroism” for their actions in finding the girls and defusing the bomb. Officer Duggan has since transferred to the bomb-squad. Mrs. Caldwell continues to run the Boys and Girls club. She has vowed, that beginning with the upcoming Christmas party, she will require all donations to be brought in by the donours, themselves.