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Sandstorm Ch. 03

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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 14 – Vengeance of the Damned

Melina was aiming at Mr. C., and ready to pull the trigger when she noticed a movement on the other end of the balcony from her and Joanne. A black-clad figure had come out of the door and was now aiming a crossbow down into the space below.

“Who is that?” whispered Joanne.

“Oh my God.” said Melina…

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

As I looked down the barrel of Mr. C.’s revolver, I noticed a movement out of the corner of my eye, to my upper right. I willed myself not to look up there.

*FWUP!*

Almost by magic, a razor-sharp arrowhead appeared, sticking out of the middle of the rogue cell leader’s chest, the shaft still attached, both now crimson in color. Mr. C. looked down, his eyes wide in shock, as Jonas Oldeeds had when the first bullet had struck him in the back and gone through his chest.

Looking back at me, Mr. C. tried to aim his gun, but he was already falling to his knees.

“You… will not… win… this day.” he gasped at me. Then he fell over, onto his chest and face.

I let my eyes glance upward, seeing the woman in black standing there. She had not nocked another arrow, so I did not move. Our eyes met and I nodded to her, and she nodded in return.

Then, as some of the laser dots swung around towards her, she threw small canisters down. Dark purple smoke soon engulfed her. When it cleared, she was gone.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“Who was that?” asked Joanne, seeing the woman throw smoke then disappear into it. She’d briefly seen another woman in the shadow of the doorway behind the archer.

“That…” said Melina, “was Agent ‘Darkwave’, one of my recruits who was disavowed by that bastard lying on the floor now. Come on, let’s get out of here.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I went up to Mr. C. and checked for a pulse, but there was none. He was dead, and rightfully so. I would have loved to have personally taken his life, but it had worked out for the best as it was. It was Mr. C. who had taken a promising CIA recruit and turned her to the wrong side, then disavowed her when she broke free of his corrupt influences.

And I knew she had been the one at the Baseball Fields in Nextdoor County when I’d confronted George Aurus to rescue Cindy and Becca, and why she’d taken out the electrical panel: she did not know I’d already turned off the power, and she short-circuited it… to save her sister.

Yes, Agent ‘Darkwave’ was Kathy Larrington, Becca’s sister, and the woman that would forever be known to me as ‘Goth Girl Kathy’.

Oh yeah… laser dots. What sniper in his or her right mind uses a laser sight? But someone had done so in State Senator Molinari’s office when we came under fire during that meeting. (Author’s note: ‘Frozen Mothballs’, Ch. 02) And I suspected it was Goth Girl Kathy that had fired into the window… and that she had missed on purpose after using a laser that had alerted us to her presence.

And that is how I knew to trust Goth Girl Kathy more than Karen Warner Harlan…

Part 15 – Chariots Advancing

“Nice ride.” Melina said as I picked up my trenchcoat and began putting my weapons in the helicopter.

“Speaking of that, how are we getting out of here?” Joanne asked.

“My car.” said Melina. “It’s hidden outside the gates.”

“You guys head back to Town.” I said. “Check up on Cindy and Callie. And Joanne… I think we can conveniently forget about the paperwork for this one.”

“Roger that, sir!” Joanne said happily.

The women left, walking down the path to the gate. I started up the Cobra and moments later I felt the thrill of flight as the chopper rose into the air at my command. I saw Melina and Joanne get into her Melina’s car and drive away.

I circled around, seeing two dead bodies on the roof. I had no idea what had happened to the others. The laser beams pointing upon Mr. C. had been laser pointers, like one could use in a boardroom presentation, not attached to any weapons. Maybe that’s what he had rigged up for me, as well.

I circled around again, then hovered. I armed the weapons… oh yes, this baby was armed to the teeth like any good Cobra would be. It was ‘point and click’ time. escort ataşehir I fired.

*BOOM!*

The missile went right into the hole that Cindy had blasted then hit something inside and exploded. A huge fireball erupted from inside, blasting out the windows. Then I took the chopper higher, and fired more missiles onto the roof. Soon the building was a pile of sheet metal engulfed in flames.

Taking one last look, I turned the chopper west, for home.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

3:00pm, still Friday, May 9th. I landed the chopper at the Fairgrounds, right behind Police Headquarters. As I was walking to the back gate, Captain Teresa Croyle came out to greet me.

She walked with me as she said “Good news and bad news, sir. The Press in Washington is catching on that the Deputy Director is not dead, and the Press in our State is demanding you make a statement.”

“Me?” I asked. “Why do they think I would know anything about any of this?”

“They seem to have come up with the idea that when something sneaky is going on, your name is usually attached to it.” Teresa said. “And not only do I agree, I think Todd inherited the same traits.” I laughed.

Patrolman Barker let us through the back gate. As we walked through the parking lot, I saw the Black Beauty parked in Cindy’s space. Good, she’s home, I thought to myself

Going inside, we made our way to MCD, where there was a crowd. I could sense that something was up. There was a tinge of excitement in the air.

“There he is!” said Theo Washington, seeing me come in with Teresa. “Commander, you have some ‘splainin’ to do.” I looked over and saw State Crime Lab Director Tanya Perlman in her wheelchair. Standing next to her was… FBI Special Agent in Charge Jack Muscone.

“Yes, so it would appear.” I said. “Lt. Perlman, you named me the Iron Crowbar. What would you name Mr. Muscone’s FBI team?”

“Team Lazarus, sir.!” said Tanya, her cheeks rosy and her eyes twinkling brightly. “Returned from the dead not once, but twice!”

Also present were Cindy and Callie. Needless to say, it was a much, much happier Headquarters than it had been this morning. And then I saw it, the reason for the anticipation.

Everyone was standing in a circle around an object. As they realized I was looking, they moved away to let me see what it was. In the dead middle of the MCD floor was a small pile of toothpicks, twigs and small wood shavings. Sticking up from it was an unsharpened pencil. A nail, bent to a curve at one end and painted red, was tied to the pencil with rubber bands. Despite the phallic nature of this piece of arts and crafts, I realized the intended meaning.

“Mr. Muscone asked us for some firewood and a stake, sir.” said Teddy Parker. “Best we could do on short notice.”

“You’re gonna need more wood than that, after what the Commander pulled this time.” Teresa said flatly. Everyone began laughing

“Red crowbar and all. I love it.” I said, beginning to laugh with the rest of them. “Gift from Team Lazarus, Jack?”

“And our boss. And Team Crowbar.” said Muscone. And my MCD Detectives would later glue all that together, and it would sit next to my Trojan Horse in my office…

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I went back to my office and called Laura. “Hi honey, I’m home.” I said.

“Thank God.” said Laura. “I don’t need to tell you that my phone has been ringing off the hook. We’ve put Operation Lint Trap into effect.” That was the codeword for the move to arrest people we’d discovered to be in the C-Cell, as we were calling the now leaderless group of subversives.

Laura continued: “By the way, Melina called. She’s bringing Joanne to my office, and Joanne will be signing a lot of paperwork. The good news for you is that by sheer coincidence, she had just been awarded her Top Secret clearance. Her being an Army Reservist made that a lot easier to accomplish.”

“Good.” I said, then teased my wife: “You’re not trying to recruit her, are you?”

“Oh no, I’m retired.” said Laura. “But who knows what Melina talked to her about on the way home.”

“True.” I said. “By the way, can you do me one favor? See if you can get Kathy Larrington’s name taken off the ‘Disavowed’ list? She never betrayed the country nor the Company; it was Mr. C. who put her on the list.”

“That may not be enough, but I’ll see what I can do.” Laura replied unenthusiastically.

“Well, how about this for ‘enough’…” I said. “She the one who saved our daughter’s life by kicking that sniper’s scope into his face then slitting his throat.”

“Okay… but why did she do that?” Laura asked. “She has no love lost for you.”

“True.” I said. “but the one to whom she is loyal… happens to love the little girls in her family.”

“Ohhh…” Laura said, catching on. “Okay, then, I’ll pull kadıköy escort bayan the strings..”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Jack Muscone followed me into my office, escorted by Cindy. Callie was being taken to Laura’s office by Teddy Parker, who’d looked a bit googley-eyed around the beautiful former porn star.

“My boss is at the Federal Building.” he said. “Sandra is at home and Lindy is with her. Your wife has been assessing Sandra, but thinks she’ll be okay. Sandra’s OPR will start Monday.” An FBI OPR was a review of the incident, similar to our Boards of Inquiry.

“Arrests are going on in Washington right now.” said Muscone. “The News Media is all over the place, like a bunch of disturbed hornets. Now they’re all over the explosion at the Federal facility. The Army is coming in to guard the place while they figure out what the hell Mr. C. was doing there.”

“The C-Cell sells sea shells by the sea shore.” I said. “Say that three times fast.”

“Geez, you’re already in the doghouse, Don.” said Cindy. “Now you’re trying to get me tongue-tied, too.” I just grinned.

“My boss is overseeing taking down Superior Bloodlines.” said Jack. “We went down to Valley Villages to arrest some of them that were there, but several planes had already taken off from the airfield down there. One plane was Conrad King’s; it’s headed to Florida. Another is on the way to New England.”

“Wallace Bedford is mine. You know that, right? Your boss knows that, right?” I asked.

“He knows.” said Jack. “And he says you can personally bring in Conrad King, too, if you want.”

“I don’t know if he’s healthy enough for that.” I said. “What about the rest of them?”

“We got Henry Boxman before he could take off for San Francisco.” said Muscone. “We also got Charles Franklin of City we really need to corral him.”

“What’s your boss doing about the Black Triumvirate in the City tomorrow night?” I asked.

“Nothing.” said Muscone, throwing his hands up as if in exasperation. “He tells me that they’ve got parties scheduled in the City, and those will go on to six a.m. if they’re standard Jasmine Nix parties. My boss thinks that if they’d start trouble tomorrow night, the big enchiladas would get out of there first.”

“We know different.” I said. “He just wants to concentrate on Superior Bloodlines at the expense of everything else.”

Just then, Jack got a phone call. “Okay, I’m being called in to the Federal Building.”

“Need a Police escort?” I asked. “And no, I’m not kidding.”

“I’ll be all right.” Jack said. “I have my car. Tanya rode here separately.” With handshakes all around, he left the office.

“How’s Callie?” I asked Cindy.

“She’s fine.” said Cindy. “In fact, I wish she were a little more upset about everything. She’s acting like it’s a big party or a movie script, and she’s having a blast.”

“Well, that’s what she was like when we first met her in the Porno Set case.” I said. “It’s her nature. And it’s one reason you love her.”

Cindy peered at me for a second, then said “Well, she seems to be okay, and of course your wife will be watching her. What I came to tell you was that Vice just informed me that they got some word that a couple of vans full of young blacks came in. The people in the vans have been talking loudly in restaurants about corrupt Police and Police brutality. Then a few of them have told people there’s going to be a rally in MLK Park tomorrow night.”

MLK Park was southwest of the Tenderloin District, and near the Southwestern Ghetto areas. It was not a bad park, and it did have a decent pitch-and-putt Disc Golf course; but it was in a bad area of Town, and only my Police Force or the foolhardy dared to go into it after dark.

“Interesting.” I said.

“And there’s more.” Cindy said. “We are not an Agency of the Weak Minded, as you like to say. We know these loudmouths are front guys, getting attention while something else is going on behind the scenes. Well, Grubby Paul got a tip that some other black men, six of them, wearing suits and ties, checked into the Sunrise Hotel last night, and are still there; they’re due to check out Sunday. It is possible, as you like to say, that one of our street cameras is now slightly angled to keep the hotel and those men’s rooms in view.”

I frowned. “Is Paulina in her office?” I asked.

“No, she’s at the Courthouse.” said Cindy.

“Damn.” I said. “Cindy, I’m going to be leaving within the hour. A plane is going to pick up me and Teresa, Todd, and maybe a few other friends. They will be back by noon tomorrow, Lord willin’ and the Creek don’t rise. I might take a little longer.”

“Hmmm… clan matter?” Cindy asked, and I understood her meaning.

“Yes… and a family matter, where Teresa is concerned.” I said. “Anyway, Molly and the boys will escort bostancı be at the Cabin, with Laura and Carole and Jim, my mother, and of course Bowser and Buddy. Feel free to bring Callie. Maybe even invite your mother.”

“Actually, we have another plan for that.” Cindy said. She would not elaborate further.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I called Paulina on the phone.

“Hi Don.” she said. “I’ll bet you’re calling about security for Tasha.”

“You are reading my mind.” I said. “Reassure me, please.”

“My brother, T-Square, is going to be in the City this weekend.” Paulina said. “He’s asked some people to watch over me and Tasha, and my condo complex has pretty good security. We should be fine, and I have you on speed-dial.”

“Do you have Cindy or Teresa on speed-dial also?” I asked.

“Yes.” said Paulina. “I have to call them all the time about Court matters.”

“Okay.” I said. “Call Cindy at the slightest sign of trouble. I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off over this FBI business.”

“Oh yeah, that was an awesome one!” Paulina said excitedly. “Everyone here thinks it was your doing. And the Media reporters are hating your guts for it; they think you used them like toilet paper, and now they’re being flushed, so to speak. You made them look bad, Don.”

“Heh!” I barked. “Good. Okay, I’ll check in with you tomorrow.”

After we disconnected, I felt foreboding in my soul. It wasn’t enough. And the Police would not be enough. I opened my safe, and got a burner phone from the very back, still in its box. I walked out to the parking lot, then to the Fairgrounds, past the Bell AH-1 chopper, and to the abutment that overlooked the River. I activated the phone, then sent a text. After it went through, I dropped the phone on the concrete, then proceeded to use my red crowbar to smash it to bits. Then I threw those pieces into the River.

I went to the helicopter and got in, revving it up. I did not go far… just into the employees parking lot at Police Headquarters, in the corner. The Chief had said I could park it there, but it needed to be gone by Monday morning.

Part 16 – Revenge For The Damned

The sleek jet came in for a landing at County Airport, the markings saying ‘Ichimoku Industries’. It ostensibly belonged to that company’s executives, but I knew who it really belonged to.

A small party of people were waiting for the plane. Me, Teresa, Todd, Teddy Franklin, and Todd’s assistant Mariko, as well as two young Japanese men that Todd said were Mariko’s ‘security escort’. She was the daughter of Takaki Misaki; her security was extremely important.

Our entire party was wearing black, except for Mariko, who was wearing a business suit and looked like a beautiful young Asian executive. I, of course, also had my trenchcoat, red crowbar, and my two swords. Mariko’s security people were looking at my swords unfavorably, but they knew I would have them with me at all times.

The plane landed and taxied over to us. As we boarded, I was scanning the perimeter as I was always wont to do, and I saw Cindy at the gate, watching, the Black Beauty right behind her. I waved to her and she waved back, then I boarded the plane, the last to do so.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

As we flew east, I gave the general outline of the plan. One of the Japanese men then gave the layout of the Wallace Bedford estate. He had cased it thoroughly, knowing where all the guards were, the cameras, the defendable locations… it was scary that he’d learned all this by going through the house undetected. I added what I knew from my previous visit to the Bedford compound.

“Okay, everyone.” I said. “Bedford’s young son is sick, maybe dying. We will allow any nurses and doctors to evacuate him to Boston. But no one else.”

“Sir,” Teresa would ask, later on when we were speaking privately, “why should we give his son any more consideration than he gave Amy?”

“Because we are better than he is.” I said. “We’ll give his son a chance to live, unlike what he did to Amy.”

I don’t know if that mollified Teresa’s feelings, but she nodded and took it in stride.

As we neared our destination, Teresa said “You’re drinking a lot of water, sir. You okay?”

“I’m fine.” I said. “Just need to hydrate. Part of the plan… part of the plan.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“I’m sorry, sir.” said the doctor. “There’s little more we can do. His transplanted liver is beginning to fail.”

“We’ll have to find another one.” said Bedford.

“Sir,” said the doctor, “it may not be enough. We bought him some time with the last transplant, but without a cure, which has still not been found, it’ll get to the point where even a transplanted organ will be useless for him.”

Bedford looked over at his son, lying in the special hospital-type bed, surrounded by the best medical equipment. All those years, childless, finally artificially inseminating a woman, but the boy born sickly, and now barely clinging to life, which would mean the end of the great Bedford line of white men.

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