11:30 Monday, June 2nd
Just after Jake shot the cop, Sally McGovern was walking along a street in Oakland, not far from the university. She was thinking about how boring her last class on real estate law had been and her plans for lunch. She didn’t notice the two Middle Eastern men walking toward her. She almost bumped into them. Startled, she murmured an apology and felt a stinging sensation in her left arm. The world swirled and went black. It was easy for the two men to help her into the van that pulled up to the curb. No one noticed anything.
Sally didn’t know it yet, but she was on the first leg of a journey to a living hell. The end of the trip would be an uncertain, drug-fogged existence as a sex toy in a locked room in either the Middle East or Japan. This was a one-way ticket. There was no road back. Her owners had paid an extremely high price for her. She had been carefully studied and evaluated for months until her future owners made their selection. The kidnapped blonde western women went to the radical Islamic fundamentalists who had contracted for them. They, in turn, often sold the women to the highest bidder. The prices for each woman started at one million dollars. Sometimes an auction was involved to drive the prices up. The kidnappers received a pittance. The real money went to terrorists who used the money to fund operations in western nations, primarily the United States. It was much harder to track these funds than it was to follow the transfer of funds from known terrorist organizations. The payment was in cash or money transfers to fronts from Swiss bank accounts.