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The chronological order of my stories is as follows:
Todd & Melina series, Interludes 1-5, Sperm Wars series, Russian Roulette series, Case of the Murdered Lovers series, Case of the Murdered Chessplayer series, The Swap series, Interludes 6-10, The Murdered Football Player Series, Case of the Black Widow series, Teresa’s Christmas Story, Case of the Black Badge series.
A Case of Revenge, Ch. 1-6
Feedback and constructive criticism is very much appreciated, and I encourage feedback for ideas.
This story contains graphic scenes, extreme language, and actions that might be extremely offensive to some people. These scenes, words and actions are used only for the literary purposes of this story. The author does not condone murder, racial or racist language, violence, rape or violence against women, and any depictions of any of these in this story should not be construed as acceptance of the above.
Part 26 – Escape
“This is Bettina Wurtzburg, KXTC Channel Two News!” came the familiar voice of the beautiful redhead at 7:00am. It was the morning of June 23d. “Channel Two News has learned that there has been an escape from the State Asylum overnight. Three women are reported to be missing, and have not been found anywhere on the grounds of the facility. The names of the women are Gloria Cagle, Tammi Edmonds, and Eleanor Burke!”
Everyone in the room bolted upright as Eleanor’s name was mentioned. Bettina continued with her report: “Eleanor Burke was incarcerated in the Asylum just a few weeks ago, after her attempt to assassinate noted University professor Dr. Laura Fredricson. Gloria Cagle was committed to the Asylum six months ago, and Tammi Edmonds has been inside the facility for over three years. Authorities are trying to determine how the women escaped, and also if Cagle and Edmonds were women who were ‘disappeared’ into the Asylum and their records conveniently lost…”
At 10:00am the Chief called me into his office. “I just got off the phone with Tom Conlan.” he said. “The three women got out the same way your nephew did. This time it was a minivan that left just after midnight, supposedly taking several employees back to Buford after the evening shift. The three women were in the back of the van, as if they were employees. They weren’t in the prison garb they normally have to wear, but regular clothes.”
“Damn, you’d think the Asylum would figure it out after the Ned escape.” I said.
“Yeah, Conlan is pissed, and so is the Governor.” said the Chief. “Apparently the employees on the inside have no desire to change their ways, and it’s going to be a while before the mess can truly be cleaned up. They’ve got some new people that they’re working into the place, but it’s like Hercules and the Augean Stables and it’s moving slowly. But Conlan says the Governor has authorized him to post agents just outside the facility on the roads, and to check every single car going in or out.”
“Not that anyone wants to hear it, but I’ve got a better idea.” I said. “Send all of the women to State Women’s Prison, put them in the isolation ward until a hospital can be built for them. Then the Asylum can become a men’s prison and mental hospital.”
“I’ll tell the Governor your suggestion when he calls me back. But all that’s not why I called you in here, Crowbar.” said the Chief. “First, I wanted to tell you that the description of the driver of the minivan was that of a slender young man with wispy brown hair and glasses. Since there are new people there, they only recognized him after they were shown a picture of Ned. Secondly, I want to hear your views on these three women that just escaped and what’s going on with this thing.”
“Someone broke them out.” I said. “The question is, who broke them out and why these three? Here’s what I have on them so far:
“Gloria Cagle is 33 years old, white with brown-black hair. She’s been a prostitute and stripper in the Tenderloin District since she was eighteen, if not longer. She’s managed to hang around in that industry because she had a smoking hot body and is still popular at the strip club she works at, or worked at until she was committed to the Asylum. She does some drugs, and is known as the mistress of a black man named ‘T-Mac’, who is one of the lieutenants of the rapper and gang leader ‘T-Square’. The unofficial word is that ‘T-Mac’ likes Gloria because she gives great head, so he’s been keeping her, and she appears with him at the clubs he frequents.”
“I’m not even going to ask how you find out little tidbits like that,” said the Chief. “but I wonder about their relevance. So why is she in the Asylum?”
“There is relevance, and I will show it shortly, sir.” I said. “It’s not as unimportant as you might think. Anyway, she was in the Asylum because late last year Sergeant Sharples and Tim Geiger of Vice noticed she was attending a lot of high school and even junior high school basketball games, and she was meeting gaziantep bayan escort with the players. They thought she might be trying to sell drugs at the events or to the players for ‘T-Mac’, but then it was discovered that she was meeting the all-too-young players to entice them into bed, and apparently very successfully. That got her arrested and charged with several crimes, including contributing to the delinquency of minors, and it got her a psychological examination and a ticket to the Asylum.”
“Tammi Edmonds is white with dirty blonde hair that she dyes lighter, and she is in her late 30s to early 40s, we’re not exactly sure. She’s very short and slight. She was also a prostitute and was considered low-end and low-class, really really skank stuff. She finally got to where she’d hang out at fraternity parties and pull a train almost every night, just to get food, a shower and a little bit of money from the fraternity members.
“The interesting thing is that she was not known to use drugs, which is why her entry into the Asylum was strange: apparently three years ago she went on a bender, was picked up by police, and was mistakenly diagnosed to have psychological problems. She was sent to the Asylum, and she is one of those that might have been swallowed up by the broken system. Her family reported her missing about three months after she was committed to the Asylum, but the police never made the connection.”
“Or she was sent there by someone like Nathan Allen did Kearns.” said the Chief, astutely making the connection.
“Yes sir, that’s very possible.” I said. “It’s also possible some fraternity punk drugged her and left her to be found by the police, maybe even helped the police find her and take her away.”
I continued: “The relevance about Gloria, Chief, is that I’m trying to determine the reason that those three, and only those three, were broken out of the Asylum, and your information about Ned being the driver gave me an important clue. I think Gloria might have been sprung by ‘T-Mac’. He could have wanted her rescued, and saw the opportunity to pay someone to get her out. Again, she must have one hell of a mouth if that’s true.”
“Stop that.” said the Chief. “So you think Eleanor Burke’s husband paid to get her released? What about Tammi Edmonds?”
“No data at all yet on Tammi.” I said. “I was speculating that her family heard of the Asylum problems in the news, investigated and found her there, and paid to have her brought out. But that’s sheer speculation, I have no data to support it.
“As to Eleanor, what you might not know is that after bequeathing his company to Todd and Jeanine Burke, Michael Burke retired and went out of state to a home on Lake Avengi-Nunagan. Nice area up in the mountains, but what Todd told me was that Michael’s personal secretary resigned from the company and apparently is now living with Mr. Burke up there, and Mr. Burke asked Jeanine to start up divorce papers from Eleanor. So I don’t think he’s the one that wanted Eleanor out.”
“Your wife knows Eleanor has escaped?” the Chief asked.
“Yep. I called her when I heard Bettina’s news report.” I said. “The Campus Police are watching the Psychology Building and escorting her around on campus, which is irritating the shit out of her. She’s keeping the kids in the nursery room behind her office, and God have mercy on anyone that tries to get to them by going through their mother. By the way, Cindy called my mother, so she’s aware also.”
“So,” I finished, “I think Ned took money from ‘T-Mac’ and maybe from the Edmonds family… I suspect he needs some operating cash pretty badly right now.”
“Make sense.” said the Chief. “but why Eleanor, if Michael is not paying him? Surely your nephew Todd is not paying Ned to spring Eleanor?”
“Noooooooo, I think we can safely rule that out.” I said, wondering if the Chief was needling me or not. “As to why? I’m not really sure, though I think it’s for Ned’s purposes rather than Eleanor’s. I’m not convinced Eleanor broke out to take another shot at my wife, though it’s possible. As you said, she’s Todd’s stepmother, and Ned is the one who broke her out. Not too hard to connect some dots here. I think Ned is going to try some trick using Eleanor.”
“That’s all we fucking need.” the Chief said. “You’re not the only one that’s worried about what your bastard nephew might do, especially after he kidnapped three children just to get a shot at you, which fortunately failed. The Council is on pins and needles about Ned, especially with this being an Election year.”
“Yes sir,” I said, “and they have every right and reason to be scared.”
Part 26 -New Campus Police
“Well, Don, you can either resign or I’ll have to fire you.”
Those words were spoken to me by Campus Police Commissioner and Provost Marshal Dexter Robinson on the morning of June 25th. It wasn’t nearly as badly as it sounded.
“The official line is that our I.T. services are being brought into the overall University campus computers system, and that system is served by a private firm contracted to handle the job. So your position is being phased out.” said Commissioner Robinson.
“How’s the security on the new system?” I asked.
“Not as bad as I originally thought.” said Robinson. “These guys have had military contracts and done FBI work; they have security clearances as opposed to just background checks. Furthermore, the professors around here are more secretive about their work than the Government; if that system weren’t secure, they wouldn’t accept it.”
“Well, sounds like my usefulness is at an end.” I said, not really sorry about it. I’d done my job as I.T. chief of the Campus Police to the best of my (considerable) abilities, but it was getting tougher to find the time to do it. The Campus Police now had good equipment and good servers, they’d be in good hands, and I could concentrate on Town & County Police matters. The Council was also ‘allowing’ me to push for more County jurisdiction on campus, and while I legally could not be an SBI Reservist inside my own County, that didn’t stop me from playing one on TV, so to speak.
“So,” I said, “what’s the unofficial story?” I asked, knowing there was one.
“Political move by the SBI and by Professor Bartholomew Scott.” said Robinson. “Scott brought it up to some of the Regents, behind Dr. Wellman’s back, I might add. They agreed your position was superfluous. And SBI Director Jack Lewis was pushing hard with legislators in the State, saying that was an area we could save lots and lots of money by eliminating your position. I know you know there’s about to be a full-blown war in Midtown over the SBI; they gave Lewis this piece of candy to keep him in line until the next session of the Legislature.”
“So what helps you?” I asked. “Resignation?”
“That would keep it tidy for both of us.” Robinson said. I quickly wrote a note on my iPad and sent it though the ‘cloud’ to his printer, then signed the written copy.
“It is with the greatest reluctance that I accept this, but not until July 1st.” said Robinson. “Chief Griswold has agreed to make a couple of hours available to you every afternoon until then to transition with the new IT guys. Just between you, me and the lamppost, they know you’re an ex-military man that can be trusted, and you’ll be given a stipend by the University as a consultant to them. They will teach you what they’re doing so that you can… fill in and help out… on an ‘as needed’ basis, of course.”
Commissioner Robinson had just told me that he’d arranged for me to have ‘backdoor’ access to the University’s computers. For that, I was grateful.
“By the way, our new Lieutenant wants you to drop in before you leave.” said Robinson. That brought up a flashback of a memory…
“Thanks for coming, Don.” said University President Wellman as I entered his office on the morning of June 3d, just after I’d met Dr. P. Harvey Eckhart on Promontory Point. Also in the room was Commissioner Robinson, who robustly shook hands with me. He was wearing his ‘duty dress’ uniform, looking very sharp as always. I was actually in plainclothes on this day, though I’d gotten into the habit of wearing uniforms that showed off my Lieutenant rank… which saved time on questions when people saw the silver bars on such a young man’s shoulders.
“We’d like you to look over these candidates to fill Cpt. Maxwell’s spot. The candidate will be brought in as a Lieutenant.” said Commissioner Robinson. He handed me six folders and I began looking through them.
“Hmmm, no, that one’s an SBI mole.” I said, handing one folder back to Robinson, who looked as if it were a rattlesnake about to bite him. The person inside was just as insidious; in fact, I’d rather deal with a real rattlesnake than that person.
“Oh wow… Harlow? Lt. Harlow from Town & County PD?” I asked as I examined another file.
“Yes, she applied for the job.” said Wellman. “Of course you’re keeping it in confidence that she applied and is being considered, but she’s one of the choices we wanted your opinion on.” Wellman was saying he didn’t want any retaliation against Harlow for applying. I didn’t play those games, so they had nothing to worry about on that score.
“She’s in Personnel and Records.” I said. “Does a good job there, but not the slightest bit of field experience. Why does she want this job?”
“Maybe money, or a shot at Captain.” said Robinson. “We thought she was impressive in the interview, but as you said, no field experience. We’re concerned about that aspect of it, especially when it comes to teaching cadet officers.”
“What about these others?” asked Dr. Wellman.
“Hmm, I don’t know this guy, but his record doesn’t look impressive…. oh… now this one… oh yeah….” I realized that the men were staring at me; I’d been thinking internally for a moment. “Yes. Yes, I think this one is your choice, gentlemen.” I said, handing the Commissioner the folder.
“Why do you think he wants to give up his current slot?” asked Robinson, peering just a little too hard at me.
“Looks like he wants to teach, from what I’m reading here.” I said. “And he’d have to get a position like this one to do that. There’s also been some changes in the department he is in now; he may just feel it’s time to move on to new pastures. If it were my call, he’d be your man. I have a good feeling about it…”
Back to the present, I knocked on the door of the office that was once Britt Maxwell’s.
“Come in!” I heard, and entered the room. Campus Police Lieutenant Bill Hanson, formerly of the Town & County Police Internal Affairs Department, eased his bulky frame out of the chair behind the desk with surprising spryness to greet me.
“Hi, Bill.” I said. “How’s the new job?”
“Wonderful!” said Hanson. “I always wanted to teach, and it’s really fun watching these cadet police officers learn. I have to teach at the Police Academy also, but its a cross worth bearing.” He lowered his voice to a conspiratorial near-whisper. “Actually, I love teaching there, too, but don’t tell anybody.”
“I won’t.” I said, laughing as I sat down. “I’m hearing you’re doing well here in Captain Maxwell’s old job, also.”
“She ran a tight ship, really great, and it’s not hard at all to keep things going.” Lt. Hanson said, returning to his seat.
I said “I never did ask, but I was curious: why did you leave I.A. with us? You seemed happy there.”
“Oh, I was. That was a good job, but I always wanted to teach.” said Hanson. “I couldn’t come out of I.A. and take a Technical Sergeant teaching job; I.A. rules forbade me from taking another job in the TCPD unless it was the Chief or Deputy Chief job, so when this slot came open, I went for it.”
A Technical Sergeant rank in the TCPD was a three-chevron-two-rockers rank, like that of a Sergeant First Class in the Army. Such ranks were only given to Senior Sergeants nearing retirement or Police Academy teachers, and was pretty much ceremonial and a rank given in exchange for teaching younger officers from one’s vast amount of experience. We had no Technical Sergeants on the Force at this time.
“A little bird told me that you gave me a positive review; I appreciate that.” Hanson said.
“Oh, I think it’s a great fit for you.” I said. “Though Curly Goodwin is pissed off that he’s lost you.”
“Curly is a good man, but his sphincter is as tight as a Navy Petty Officer’s.” said Hanson. For some reason, I was reminded of Detective Sergeant Wes “Coldiron” Masters of the Midtown Police Department.
“So the Commissioner said you wanted me to drop in.” I said. “What can I help you with?”
“It seems that one SBI Agent Steven Ikea is trying to make trouble for us.” Hanson began. “Let me start at the beginning: The SBI sent a letter ‘requesting’ copies of the case files of the recent Vicki Oldeeds rape case. I brought it to Commissioner Robinson, who took it and me to see Dr. Wellman. They wrote a letter and jointly signed it, stating that the SBI’s intrusion into that case was unneeded, unwarranted, and unwelcome, and that they, the SBI were to stay out of it.”
“Well, that didn’t go over well at all, and the next thing I know, Agent Ikea is standing in front of my desk with a Court warrant, demanding all of our evidence, including the forensic data and semen samples found at the scene. Well, the warrant was legitimate, not that Asylum bullshit stuff, so we provided the materials for him.”
I felt a small knot in my stomach as I asked as nonchalantly as I could “So what happened?”
“A couple of days ago the SBI lab informed us that the forensic samples were spiked with clorox and were therefore destroyed.” said Lt. Hanson. “Ikea accused us of damaging the samples, which our lab and of course this Campus Police Department strongly denied. The Court got involved and demanded a full investigation and explanation, and the SBI was about to go public to the Media with their accusation.
“However, the University’s legal counsel, one of the lawyers at the University Law School, a Dr. John D. Clifford, wrote and filed a legal opinion with the Court that the evidence chain-of-custody was good… until the point in time that Ikea took it without signing for it or keeping controls over it. So it technically is all on him. The SBI backed off on the war of words, and of course they held back from going to the Press. But Ikea is still upset and is calling for an investigation of us.”
“To be led by the SBI’s new Inspector, one Britt Maxwell.” I said, mostly to myself, seeing the pattern. “Oh… that’s right, she was sitting at this desk just weeks ago, could hardly be fair and impartial, so Ikea can try to worm in here with someone else, and thus undermine Inspector Maxwell within the SBI, as well as gain ascendancy over you guys here on campus. Yes, I’m beginning to see the pattern, here…”
“You think Ikea spiked the samples, just to do that?” Hanson asked, astonished.
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