September 25

“You said it yourself,” Chloe said. “We needed physical evidence of the abuse, as well as reason to believe that it would continue to escalate unless there was intervention. Now that we have this, we can contact the police without fear.”
“Perhaps the evidence is on our side,” Daniel said, “but we are not entirely immune to danger just yet. You fail to recall that, technically, I am guilty of kidnapping an adult and a minor.”
“The cops will realize that there was no alternative,” Phillip said.
“I doubt that,” Daniel shot back. “We have no evidence that Alex would not calm down once some time had passed. This was, after all, an unprecedented occurrence in the MacKenzie household. It is entirely possible that Alex could have shown remorse.”
“If that’s the case,” Chloe asked, “then why did you take them away from the house?”
“That’s a good question,” Katherine said. “Why– no, wait, how did you get them out of that hellhole?”
“I gave Mirielle an easily-concealed cellular transponder,” Daniel said. “It was a cellular phone configured as a panic button. She needed only press it to indicate that she was in immediate danger. I did not, however, expect it to be used so soon.”
Mirielle nodded, and produced a small device from her purse. It was identical to the penlights that sat in the basket on the receptionist’s desk. “The bulb,” she said, indicating the LED on the end of the light, “comes out, like this.” She twisted the LED and pulled the assembly out; instead of a series of batteries, the casing held a microscopic array of circuit boards and solder points. On the end opposite the bulb were three small switches.

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