By crept up on the children slowly. Then he grabbed Olivia and threw her up into the air and caught her. "BOO!" he said loudly.
Jankowski smiled from ear to ear as the children jumped up in fright. He looked at Aral who looked up accusingly at him. "Now milord what have I told you about wandering off. You should no better. That could have been a stranger and then what would you do."
Aral wiped away a tear. "Well thas simple. If itd been a stranger Id a known it and woulda kicked 'im and screamed or at least left a trace or something."
Jankowski looked slightly taken aback by his answer but realizing who's kid this was regained his composure. "Your father has taught you well it seems my lord." He looked toward Prince Xav. "And you, my lord. Have a duty to keep your cousins safe. Letting them wonder off is not a good thing."
"Which doesn't mean we can't have fun while we're here. Just have fun with us." Byerly pointed to the bear pen where a mother bear was herding her cubs, "See how they stay together? That's what we do too, only with less growling."
One of the cubs got up and walked off just as Byerly finished his sentence and Jankowski muffled a chuckle. Aral looked at the cub and laughed.
"I don' think he heard you."
A rustle sounded in the shrubbery behind Jankowski and he turned swiftly around and stared into it but did not see anything he then turned to Byerly. "My lord, I think we should keep moving." It might have just been the wind but something was making his skin crawl. He turned back to Aral just in time to see him trying to challenge his sister to another race and when that didn't work he tried to challenge Olivia.
"Lord Aral, what do you think your mother will say when I take you home and she hears what you have been up to."
"Oh Janki...I was just havin fun..." Aral turned to Byerly for support. Another rustle sounded and again nothing was there. Jankowski turned to Byerly and gave him a 'lets move' look.
"Yes, let's rejoin the others. They'll be impatient." Byerly said, overly loudly, catching Jankowski's worried looks. He hadn't noticed anything amiss, but he'd learned well to trust the instincts of trained bodyguards, and from Jankowski's body language, Byerly sensed that he felt trouble in the air.
He picked up Olivia again and took Helen's hand. "Time to see the monkeys, monkeys," he said quickly before anyone could announce that there wasn't anyone waiting on them.
Jankowski reached down to grap Aral's hand and left Xav to walk on his own. Just as he reached down Aral reached over, pinched Helen and ran off. Jankowski narely missed his arm as he grabbed for it. Helen managed to wriggle free of By's hand and ran after him.
"Hey you two get back here." Xav ran after them trying to catch them. Jankowski swore under his breath and left the strollers where they were and ran as fast as he could after them. He looked behind him to see By on his heels trying with some difficulty to run with Olivia in his arms and Isabel's hand in his. As he turned the corner the children were no where to be found. Jankowski's heart felt as if it were going to explore as he ran around the next corner searching for them.
By saw Jankowski round a corner out of sight. He scurried behind him, hampered by the kids. When he did manage to peer around the corner Jankowski was out of sight. Byerly looked around nervously, trying to figure out if they were in any danger from what had originally spooked Jankowski. He hesitated, trying to decide if they should follow him or wait for him to return to where they were.
Jankowski returned to where By stood waiting breathless....and most terrifying of all....childless.
"They...I...Gone!" He took a deep breath and tried to regain control but was still too out of breath to make coherent sentences instead reached to his wrist and pressed the emergency call to alert Vorkosigan House that something was amiss and thinking it might be prudent reached over to Olivia and pressed hers to alert Vorbarra House. He turned back toward By drawing his stunner from his holster. "Follow...now...need...to look...."
[I've screwed up the names. I have Isabel in my arms, and Kareen by the hand. Just to clarify.]
He scooped up Kareen with his other arm so he was holding both girls and followed Jankowski. "Should we alert park security?" He knew they should stay low-key, but, Prince Xav.... He held Kareen even tighter.
"Yes, as they are about to get a lot of Impsec agents bursting through their gates." Jankowski ran around the corner to where he had been and his wrist comm beeped. "This is Captain Allegre. We've just received two alerts from Kareen and your comm Jankowski. What has happened?"
"Sir...Children...gone..." Jankowski although fit was beginning to feel the strain in his chest.
"GONE!!!" Allegre swore and Jankowski heard him yelling orders to get all of his men to the zoo. Another beep sounded and Ekatrin's voice sounded frantic over the comm.
"Jankowski what has happened? The alarm sounded."
"GONE?" Jankowski heard her in the distance as she hadn't cut the connection as she sped off. "Pym call Miles he needs to come home now."
Jankowski stopped dead in his tracks as he saw the trackers that Xav , Aral, and Helen were wearing lying on the ground smashed. Jankowski burst through the hedge and saw nobody. He turned around to look at Byerly and was very pale.
ooc: i noticed the names and was going to correct it but forgot.
By cursed succinctly under his breath. No accident then. Discretely, trying not to alarm the girls who had a death grip his on his neck, he pulled out his stunner. The debate. Defend the kids they had or locate and rescue the kids they didn't have with no time to decide. "Another day in the life..." he said to no one in particular. He turned away from Jankowski to scan the perimeter and defend from attack from the rear if that was what was coming. He moved his arms to cover as much of the girls as he could. He moved away from the damaged communicators. Keep the girls safe. Prince Xav, as the Emperor's heir was more valuable, but he'd get no thanks from Gregor for losing Kareen either, and Isabel was still a count's daughter, even if she was his niece. Did they know who they had? "If you're looking for ransom, we can probably arrange something. Security is already on its way. This doesn't have to end badly." By shouted. He didn't know if telling them that he could arrange a ransom would be better or worse. "The Count, my lord, would arrange for your safe passage away from the city and reward you well for not harming his children."
Jankowski turned and looked into the distance for any sign of movement. Seeing none he turned back toward Byerly. "I don't think there here...wait a second..." A sudden movement had caught his eye on Byerly's right. Jankowski walked forward slowly to find nothing there. He lowered his stunner but still gripped it firmly in his hand. "Impsec will be here any minute. I think we should stay together and wait." Jankowski's eyes still searched the background for movement.
A muffled thud behind Byerly caused him to swing around sharply. The girls giggled at the sudden wind in their hair and then gasped almost in unison. Jankowski lay crumbled on the ground. "Drop the stunner and you won't get hurt." a muffled voice called.
By shook his head. "What is it you want? I can get you money, safety. Whatever it is, we can work it out."
"It's already worked out Vorrutyer. You coming along quietly, or do you want what the servitor got?"
"I won't leave the kids and ImpSec is on their way. You're running out of time. We're at an impasse."
A momentary flash of pain danced up Byerly's spine and he collapsed in a heap, still holding the girls.
A few figures emerged from the bushes surrounding him. "Not exactly." said the voice that had spoken before. To the other figures, he said, "Take this one with the kids. Leave the other. We have no use for him."