"Alright guys, Dispatch wasn't able to get us a whole lot of information on this one, so we're going in blind. Be ready for anything, call out if you see anything, and don't be stupid," was the speech Captain Nash gave on the drive over to Woodland Park.
When they arrived, it was to find a seemingly fine park. There were plenty of families laughing and playing together, nobody seemed to be in distress.
"Uh, Cap, are you sure we're at the right place?" Chimney asked.
"Mm-hmm, this is where Dispatch was able to pinpoint the caller's cell phone. They should be around here somewhere," Bobby said.
They had a few curious families watching them, but nobody seemed to know what the problem was.
"Well, let's look for what doesn't fit this perfect picture. Let's spread out, search the bathrooms, the benches, the basketball court - whatever you can think of," Cap ordered before they all grabbed some basic gear and split up.
"Negative on the bathrooms," Hen announced.
"Nothing at the pool," Chimney said. "Or the pumphouse."
"None of the families I've talked to have seen anything, Cap," he said after finishing up with his fifth group.
"Alright, keep looking. They'll turn up soon enough."
He scanned the park again, trying to find anything that seemed out of place. Then, he took another look at the vehicles. Maybe someone saw a kidnapping? Or maybe they were kidnapped, and they got cut off when they were thrown into the trunk? Or maybe…
Next to the flower gardens was a landscaping truck. Which wouldn't be that unusual, except for the fact that there was nobody working on the grounds the whole time that they've been here. Surely they would be somewhere nearby? He made his way over to the truck and walked around it, hoping to find some answers.
Once he went around to the other side of the truck, he looked again at the gardens and he saw it - a man's foot was sticking out from the sunflowers.
"Guys, I think I found our guy," he alerted everyone.
He hurried over to the man, and began giving him a quick check over to look for any obvious injuries, only to jerk back in shock with a swear.
The man's face and hands were covered in a swarm of bees.
"Hen, you might want to hang back a bit on this one," he warned her after remembering her allergy.
"Why would I- oh my gosh. Yep, I'll hang back," she said after getting close enough to see the man. "You got this, Chim."
Chimney didn't look encouraged, even after the pat on the back from Hen.
"Alright, how are we going to get them off of him, without getting stung ourselves?" Chimney asked.
Bobby took off running across the park. They all stared after him in surprise.
"Um, did someone forget to tell me that Cap is afraid of bees?" he asked.
They just shook their heads in disbelief.
The mystery didn't go unsolved for too long though - he came back quickly, and he was carrying watermelons.
Cap brought the watermelons over to them and then grabbed a knife and cut them in half.
"Hopefully, this'll work. Bees are supposed to be attracted to the sweet scent of the sugar in these," Cap explained his madness.
It wasn't instant, but it worked. They began leaving the man's body to go drink from the pieces of fruit instead, leaving them able to safely check on the man.
"Alright, let's go ahead and give him a dose of epinephrine to counteract all of these stings. Eddie, go ahead and start checking his vitals."
He began doing his checks, noting that he didn't seem to be in the danger zone on anything at the moment. He also made a mental note to warn the hospital to check his head out further when they got there - the man had quite the shiner and likely hit something on his way down. That's probably why he was unconscious, actually.
They declared it safe to transport him and loaded him up in the back of the ambulance. He moved to get into the truck and leave Hen and Chimney to helping the man, but was stopped before he could leave.
The man had begun to wake back up and had immediately reached and grabbed his hand, preventing him from moving. Hen looked down and saw what was up when he didn't leave and started laughing at him.
"Looks like you're stuck with us on this round, Diaz," she teased.
"H-help," the man on the stretcher weazed.
They immediately turned to focus back on him.
"Hey, it's okay. We're paramedics, we're here to help you," Hen immediately started soothing him.
He shook his head in denial. "No-no, you don't understand. He's still out there!"
They immediately looked at each other in horror.
"Who's still out there? Were you with someone?" he asked the man.
He coughed a little, "Not willingly. He's the reason I'm in this mess. He set those stupid bees on me and covered me in nectar to bring them over."
He reached for his radio, "Captain Nash, it looks like we're going to need LAPD to jump on this case. Our patient here is saying that someone set the bees on him."
"Copy that, I'll call them down here. Can you get me a description of who we're looking out for?"
Hen grabbed a notebook and a pen for their guy to write out his description, and he called it out as it was written.
"Dispatch, requesting an LAPD unit down here at Woodland Park. Our patient was attacked by a man approximately in his mid-30's, short black hair in a buzz cut, Caucasian, wearing a black hoodie and jeans. He was last seen at the gardens," Cap called out on the radio.
Before the Bees:
"Evan, Evan, Evan. You should have known better, kid. Did you really think nobody would come for you?"
He spun around in surprise, not having expected anyone else to be around.
"Excuse me? Do I know you?" he asked.
"You don't remember me? Of course you don't. It's not like you ruined my life or anything," the man said bitterly.
He looked around, trying to find someone that could get some help. The man took advantage of his distraction, and walked up and punched him in the jaw, knocking him to the ground.
"Help!" He yelled, desperate for anyone to notice what was happening.
The man just laughed and squatted over him to cover his mouth with his hand.
"Come on now, Evan. Did you really think they would help you? You should've known better than to bother trying to yell. It'll be all over soon enough."
He used one hand to grab at the hand over his mouth. He was scratching him like crazy, but the man just laughed at his attempts. However, it kept him distracted, and the man missed that he was reaching for the garden shears he had laid down in the flower bed before this had happened.
"You fucker," the man cursed as he grabbed his head. "Very well then, let's get this show on the road."
Before he could react, the man kicked him in the stomach after standing up. He curled into a ball, trying to keep from getting kicked again.
When he was able to recover long enough to reopen his eyes, he saw the man's feet walking back to him. Now, he was holding a jug, and he was fairly sure that wasn't milk in there.
"If you wake up again, try to remember me. Got it Buckley?" he said as he unfastened the cap and began pouring it on him.
He tried crawling away from him, hoping to avoid getting anymore of the sludge on him. Who knows what was in that thing? The man just laughed at his attempts to escape.
"Oh, you're not going anywhere, Buckley."
Suddenly, bees that had been sipping around in the different flowers began landing on him. He broke out in a cold sweat. He tried to stay still enough to not aggravate them. Just like his dad, he was severely allergic to bees. Normally, it wasn't a problem that he really had to deal with. But he didn't think that mystery dude would be all too willing to call 9-1-1 for him if - Ouch! ...he got stung.
More and more bees began landing on him. They buzzed around on him and mixed in the occasional sting.
Mystery man sighed.
"This is taking too long. Well, nighty night, Evan. See you in the morning," he said cheerfully before hitting him over the head with a shovel.
"Did you find out who he is?" he asked Sergeant Grant.
She nodded, "Yeah, turns out that he was the one you replaced at the Wes' Landscaping. He didn't believe that he should've been fired, and then became irrational when he realized you were hired so soon afterwards. Looks like he blamed you and thought you were responsible for him getting fired."
He kept opening his mouth to reply, but found himself at a loss for words instead.
Finally he managed to reply, "Didn't he do something that was worth being fired over? How would that have been my fault?"
Sergeant Grant nodded her head. "Apparently, he was caught, let's say 'sleeping' on the job. It didn't help that it was also while he was doing a job at your apartment complex. He likely saw you coming or going from there and it could've helped trigger his rage when he recognized you. But you don't have to worry about him any longer. He was taken straight into custody and will be put away for a long time after this."
"Thanks, Sergeant Grant. I appreciate your help," he told her.
"Just doing my job, Mr. Buckley."