This story is part of an ongoing series. The chronological order of my stories is now listed in WifeWatchman’s biography.
Feedback and constructive criticism is very much appreciated, and I encourage feedback for ideas.
This story contains graphic scenes, 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 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 7 – Medical Affairs
7:15pm, still Monday, April 16th.
“Well, guys,” I said, “I hope you don’t have to do your taxes tonight.” They were due the next day, April 17th, as the 15th was a Sunday.
Jerome Davis and Teddy Parker were at their desks. They’d put out an APB on Paul Escandes. They and Myron Milton were gathering information on him, and Myron was also gathering more information on Susan Carrera.
“Yes sir,” said Joanne with her happy grin, “I filed my returns, reporting my many millions in Police salary already.” Everyone chuckled.
“You’ve been hanging around Rudistan too long.” I said. Just then the Duty Desk Sergeant came in and said that Susan Carrera was in I-A. “Warner, Washington, the sooner you get this wrapped up, the sooner we can go home.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
It came as no surprise to me that Mr. Gibson Stelling was in I-A with Susan Carrera. When he took Dennis Ridley to her place to get Ridley’s car, saw the redoubtable Sergeant Tango, our drug dog, happily sniffing through her place, and then saw that Sue not there, that was Stelling’s first clue that she might be visiting Police Headquarters. And he immediately rushed back to HQ to represent her. Billable hours those would be, I rather nastily thought to myself.
“Read her her rights.” I told Theo the minute I saw the legal eagle. Theo nodded. Once in I-A, he introduced himself and Joanne, then read Sue her considerable legal rights.
“Ma’am,” said Joanne Warner, “do you know a man named Dennis Ridley?”
“Yes.” said Susan.
“How do you know him?”
“Professionally or personally?” asked Susan.
“Both.” said Joanne, throwing Susan a cold look that suggested Susan not play games with Joanne.
“Professionally,” Susan said, “I’m in medical marketing and Dennis is in medical sales. Personally, we’re unofficially engaged to be married.”
“Even though he’s married now?” asked Joanne.
“He’s going to divorce his wife,” said Susan, “and marry me.”
“Has he filed for divorce?” asked Joanne.
“No, not yet.” said Susan. “He’s been in consultation with attorneys, and is getting some things in his life straightened away before filing the papers.”
“What things are he getting straight in his life?” asked Joanne.
“You’ll have to ask him that.” said Susan. “I don’t have the details, nor is it my place to say.”
“How long have you known him?” asked Joanne.
“Several years, now.” said Susan. “We’ve been seriously dating for the last two years.” Joanne turned to Theo.
“Ms. Carrera, or is it Mrs.?” asked Theo.
“Ms.” said Susan. “I’m not married.”
“Have you ever been married? Any children?” asked Theo.
“What does that matter?” asked Susan. “And what’s this about? I only heard from my attorney that it’s something to do with Dennis, and I have Police going through my house with a dog, and taking everything in my medicine cabinet.”
“Mr. Ridley is a person of interest in an investigation involving finding a bottle of Tylenol spiked with narcotics.” said the lawyer Stelling. “They’re talking to you about your relationship with him.” As I watched from the anteroom, I wondered why Stelling was telling her in this manner, rather than have a private conversation with her, to which they were entitled.
“Once again.” said Theo. “Have you ever been married? And do you have any children?”
“No, and no.” said Susan.
“We’re just hoping to clear this up as quickly as we can.” said Joanne. “Which is why we’re asking these particular questions. So you’re in medical marketing… do you sell pharmaceuticals?”
“Heavens, no.” said Susan. “I have my own business. I’m hired to make presentations for companies at big medical events and conferences. We create kiosks for them to use, help them prepare speeches and presentations, make follow-up contacts for them. Most of our clients are smaller companies that don’t yet have large marketing departments.”
“Sounds good.” said Theo. “And again, you don’t come into contact with actual chemicals, or drugs?”
“No.” said Susan.
“Do you know Dennis’s wife, Patricia?” asked Theo.
“Yes, I’ve met her. She’s in medical sales also… and she is in chemical and pharmaceutical sales.” said Patricia. “And she’s one mean, conniving bitch… oh, sorry for the language, but that’s what she is, so sorry to say.”
“What about Zack, bahis firmaları their son?”
“He’s a sweet boy.” said Susan. “Quiet, well-mannered whenever I’ve seen him.”
“Ma’am,” asked Theo, “who are your husband’s divorce attorneys?”
“I’m not sure.” said Susan. “I think the Men’s Law Firm of Effim, Goode & Hart.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
8:15pm. Susan Carrera had left, and was being taken home by the attorney Stelling. I suspected that they would be talking with Dennis Ridley at her apartment, and that Dennis would be staying with Susan overnight.
While the interrogation was going on, I was talking with Jerome Davis and Teddy Parker in MCD. “So,” I said to them, “y’all were about to close this case, did a little extra work to tie off the loose threads, and ‘Shazam!’ you’ve got a missing person and a connection to another case. That’s good work, guys.”
“Thank you, sir.” said Davis. “We’ve put out the APB on the guy. We’ll contact the FBI tomorrow if we don’t get any leads.”
“I halfway suspect the FBI will be calling us about it.” I replied. “In the meantime, share whatever you dig up on him with Warner and Washington. They’ll be asking Patricia Ridley about him in the morning.”
“Sir,” said Teddy Parker, “we’re getting a workup on Steve Coltrane, too. Should we look harder into him?”
“You can glance at whatever you dig up, and see if anything meets my definition of a ‘strangeness’.” I replied. “But from what you said, he wasn’t acting like a guy who knew much of anything, was he?” They agreed he was not.
“Okay, go home.” I said. “Nothing more you can do right now…”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Now I was in my office with Joanne, Theo, and Cindy. “So guys,” I said, “whaddya think?”
“Until Patricia’s boyfriend came up as the guy Jerome and Teddy found was missing,” said Joanne, “I was all ready to arrest Dennis Ridley on the spot.”
Theo spoke up: “I’m still not sure Dennis isn’t telling us the truth, that this whole thing could be a set-up. But I think we’ve got a ways to go to figure out which one of them did it.”
“Or if Zack did it.” said Cindy. “I’m saying this very seriously: I think that kid needs to be talked to by a psychologist. Something about him ain’t ri-ight.”
“But ma’am,” asked Joanne, “how could he access oxycodone?”
“And even more important,” I said, “the cyanate compound. I checked some of the old college chemistry textbooks. That compound was in vogue years ago for soil nutrition, but isn’t in favor any more. One reason is its strong odor… which is what alerted Mrs. Ridley to its presence… it’s presence…”
“Uh oh, his train of thought is boarding at the station.” said Cindy as I went into reverie-land. “Okay guys, head home. We’ll pick this up tomorrow.”
As Joanne and Theo left, I came out of my thoughts and looked at Cindy. “That goes for you too, o Captain of Detectives! Let’s go home and eat supper. Callie is at our house waiting for you, and I’m told Carole is supervising the cooking.”
“That means no stringbeans for Bowser tonight.” Cindy said as we headed to the door. I laughed out loud at that one.
Part 8 – The Next Day
“This is Bettina Wurtzburg, KXTC Fox Two News!” shouted the lovely redheaded Cougar reporterette at 7:00am, Tuesday, April 17th, from in front of the State Office Building on Courthouse Square. “It’s Tax Day in America, but more importantly, it could be the day of reckoning for Governor Val Jared!’
Bettina started: “As expected, Republican Attorney General Karl Handel appointed Robert Mullen as Independent State Counsel to investigate Governor Jared for Obstruction of Justice in two cases, those being the assassination of superstar singer Jasmine Nix, and the allegations of sexual impropriety against the Governor by Hillary Braselton.”
“Black activists, led by the Social Justice group ‘Black Voices Raised’ and State Senator Maxine Watts, have demanded a further investigation of the death of the black singer, citing a cover-up at the State and Federal levels.” said Bettina. “But more important are the allegations that Governor Jared asked SBI Reserve Inspector Donald Troy, who is also our Police Commander here, to bring pressure on Ms. Braselton by investigating her for specious crimes, and forcing her to recant her accusations against the Governor as part of a plea deal.”
“When asked if he would subpoena Commander Troy to answer questions regarding this issue, this is what Independent State Counsel Robert Mullen said. Roll tape.”
Tape rolled. “Yes, I absolutely will be subpoenaing Donald Troy and forcing him to answer questions under oath. If he does not comply with our subpoenas, or if he is untruthful in any way, then there could be a referral to the State Attorney General to prosecute Donald Troy, which would mean his suspension from his duties as a Police Officer and SBI Agent.” said Robert Mullen, whose face showed obvious enjoyment and relishing of his words, especially the last ones.
Next to Mullen kaçak iddaa on the tape was Lt. Governor Graham Collins, a man who was rarely seen to be smiling, but now just could not keep a grin off his face. When asked a question, Collins said “It is important to have this examination by the Independent State Counsel, of both the Governor and Commander Donald Troy. The People of the State must have confidence in the integrity of their elected officials as well as the law enforcement personnel that are expected to protect and serve them.”
Did he mean protect and serve the citizens? or protect those elected officials? I wondered to myself. I had my suspicions…
Back to Bettina live: “Governor Jared has until noon Thursday to formally oppose the nomination of the Independent State Counsel. If he does, the Legislature will be called into special session to vote to overturn the Governor’s objection, requiring 60% majorities in each Chamber of the Legislature to successfully overturn the objection and allow the Independent State Counsel to begin his important work. Both State Senator Maxine Watts and our State Senator, Katherine Woodburn, believe that there are well over the number of votes required to overrule the Governor’s objection should it happen.”
“And in other news,” said Bettina, “U.S. Senator Samuel Russell says he has evidence purporting that The Guardians of Justice are being helped by the Russian Government in collusion with traitors in the United States, for the purpose of embarrassing and undermining the United States Government. Senator Russell excoriated the FBI for not doing nearly enough to find and arrest the Guardians of Justice, and is threatening to hold up budget funds for the FBI until they show considerable progress in finding and stopping the GOJ.”
“U.S. Senator Bill Nunn,” continued Bettina, “who believes the accusations by the Guardians of Justice should be investigated, retaliated against Senator Russell by threatening to subpoena more BigAgraFoods executives to explain the program that he claims was designed to control the foodstuffs of the Nation, possibly in conjunction with martial law in the country. Senator Nunn’s committee has subpoenaed the documents the GOJ claims BigAgraFoods produced regarding the matter, but BigAgraFoods is denying the existence of the documents, and has so far refused to comply with Senator Nunn’s subpoena.”
“In a related story, Commander Donald Troy has sued the Citizens for Police Accountability! Troy’s lawyer, Mike G. Todd of the Madison & Ives Law Firm, has subpoenaed documents from the CFPA and Senator Maxine Watts’s office that the Guardians of Justice released days ago. Senator Watts’s office stated that they will not comply with the subpoena, and Maxine Watts herself issued a statement saying that, and I quote, ‘that Gestapo tool of the racist Val Jared will crash in his helicopter and burn in Hell before we give him a damn thing.’, close quote. Black activists applauded Senator Maxine Watts’s stand, calling it ‘a courageous act in the ongoing war against white tyranny and Police brutality’.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Bettina’s news was met in MCD with something bordering on indifference. The MCD Detectives were more interested in getting started with their continuation of the Ridley poisoning case and the disappearance of Paul Escandes, and the Vice Detectives just didn’t know what to say to me. They all knew that this was huge trouble for themselves as well as me.
“Well, at least the coffee is good.” said Teresa Croyle.
“At least Commander Troy is as strong as the coffee.” said Micah Rudistan, pretending joviality. “No way that puke Mullen is going to beat him.”
“I’m not worried about him.” I said. “I’m worried about the Grand Jury he’s going to try to trick into indicting me.” That pretty much ended the coffee klatch.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Joanne Warner was updating the whiteboards. She had DMV photos of Patricia Ridley and Dennis Ridley up, then put up DMV photos of Susan Carrera and the missing Paul Escandes.
“You need one more.” said Cindy Ross as she came into the room. She went up and put Zack Ridley’s school photo up. “We cannot rule out that this kid is part of the problem.” Joanne said nothing, but her face did not hide her unspoken disagreement with her boss on that issue.
“What’s your plan for today, Ms. Warner?” I asked as I sipped coffee and watched.
“Sir, Theo and I are going to concentrate on Dennis Ridley and Susan Carrera.” said Joanne. “We’re going to talk to people they know, co-workers, friends and such. I’ve asked Jerome and Teddy to help with Patricia Ridley and Paul Escandes, since they’re working on his disappearance.”
“And what else?” asked Cindy pointedly.
“Uh… I’m not sure, ma’am.” said Joanne. “We’ll have a meeting and more interrogations after we get more data.”
“What Captain Ross is trying to get you to realize,” I said to Joanne, “is that someone needs to talk to Zack’s teachers at school, other people who can kaçak bahis shed light on him.”
“Sir,” asked Joanne, “do you really think Zack had something to do with this?”
“What *I* think does not matter.” I replied. “What people can tell us about Zack, and therefore about that family situation, is far more important for us to understand. Even if Zack had nothing to do with the oxycodone in the Tylenol bottle, he is an extremely important cog in these gears, and should not be ignored.”
“Sir,” said Vice Detective Christopher Purvis, “Detective McGhillie has re-qualified with his weapon. He and I can help out by talking to Zack’s teachers and friends.”
“You good with that, Captain Ross?” I asked Cindy.
“Yes sir.” said Cindy. “And I’ll be going with them.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
After watching the Priya broadcast, which added nothing new to our knowledge of the world, Cindy, Teresa, and I turned to the business of our Angels meeting.
“Okay,” I said, “we go to the Council for the promotions and structural changes tonight. Anything new to add to that? Speak now or forever hold your peace.”
“I still want Irwin for Precinct Captain.” said Teresa.
“Ain’t gonna happen.” I said. “He hasn’t been a Lieutenant all that long, and he was promoted to that ‘below the zone’. Even my allies on the Council wouldn’t go for it, and I have to choose my battles on things like these, so I’m not going to push on Irwin.”
“I know.” conceded Teresa. “I just said it to hear myself bitch. Goodwin will have to do.”
“It is what it is.” I said. “Ross?”
“Just these two big cases that are now one big case.” said Cindy. “I am a bit ticked off that Warner seemed to pointedly not get my ‘hints’ about Zack until you spoke up and removed all doubt.”
“Yeah,” I said, “I’m not liking some of the stuff she’s done, either. There’s limits to how far we can mess with the lawyers and not tell people things, and she’s testing those limits. Refresher training will be coming… but not now. Let’s get these cases solved first.”
“Anything you can give us on that, sir?” asked Cindy.
“Not until we see some more data.” I said.
“Sir,” asked Cindy, “is there any way we can have a psychologist talk to Zack? Whether or not he has to do with this poison capsule case, there’s something not quite right about that kid.”
“Unfortunately,” I said, “there is not much we can do at all… unless and until we find something that he has done. It was stretching it that you got to talk to him as much as you did yesterday, since we didn’t have explicit parental permission to do so. We as Police are really, really hamstrung in what we can do about things in advance of those things happening.”
“I’ll say one thing.” said Teresa. “I saw it in Midtown, and I saw it here in a past era… some Police would not have been as fair and as scrupulous about the law as you are, Commander.”
“Butter me up, butter me up.” I said.
“No sir, this is serious.” said Teresa. “It needs to be said, and I’m not saying it to butter you up or kiss your ass. Our Police Force is demoralized because they see a good leader being attacked for being a good cop and a good man. But whatever happens, sir, please keep doing it, keep doing the right things. We all know our very lives depend on it.”
Wow, I thought to myself. What am I supposed to say to that?
“Thank you, Captain.” I said. “I needed that. And don’t worry… the Enemy has not won yet. Tell the Force to continue to perform their duties in a professional manner, as they’ve always done, and that I’m proud to be serving with them.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
At 9:00am, I looked through the open door of my office to see FBI Special Agent in Charge Jack Muscone come into the anteroom, followed by the Executive Assistant Director who was Jack’s boss. Also there were two FBI Agents in suits and sunglasses, who were the EAD’s protection. They stayed in the anteroom, which I suspect annoyed my assistant Helena.
“Come on in, gentlemen.” I said, rising from my chair. “Would you care to go to the Conference Room? It would be more comfortable.”
“No, this is fine.” said the EAD, closing the office door and then taking one of the hot chairs. I sat down and Jack sat down in the other hot chair in front of my desk.
“Our apologies for intruding upon you in a busy time,” said Muscone, “but this is important. It’s about that APB you put out on Paul Escandes.”
“Because he’s in Witness Protection?” I asked. The EAD and Muscone looked at each other.
“Four hundred years ago…” said Muscone, shaking his head. “How did you know? Someone tell you? You accessed the files and looked him up?”
“No.” I said. “No one told me, and I didn’t look it up. It just makes sense, based upon what I know… that he was busted for being a part of a gang, charges were greatly reduced, he essentially disappears, and now something happened that caused him to bolt on an instant’s notice, leaving his employer’s door unlocked and the alarm not set.”
The EAD chuckled. “Commander, I mean this as a compliment, but really… how do you do it? I know, I know… a magician does not like to tell his tricks. But please, indulge me here.”