tagNon-EroticA Tiny Slip Ch. 02

A Tiny Slip Ch. 02

byWifeWatchman©

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.



This story is dedicated to the memory of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes Canon, and creator of the greatest Detective Duo in all history, Mr. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Hamish Watson, M.D.

Part 8 - Flashback: Chain of Events

Saigon, South Viet Nam, early 1973.

Navy Corpsman Leonard R. Cordell walked into the office and stopped in front of the desk, rendering a crisp salute.

"At ease, Corpsman." said the four-star Army General behind the desk. "The report of every soldier is that you went back and got your Captain while under enemy fire, and evacuated him to safety. That's damn brave, son."

"Not as brave as he was, General." said Cordell. "Is he all right, sir?"

"He made it through the operation." said the General. "It looks like he's going to make it. But his war is over. He'll be shipped home. We're going to conveniently overlook his insubordination. None of you are going to be charged... unless you say so much as one fucking word about any of this, ever. Do you understand me?"

"Yes, General." said the Corpsman.

"So, son," said the General, "what do you want to do now?"

"I want to go to medical school, General." said the Corpsman. "I want to be able to help put these men back together again when they come out of the meat grinders."

The General nodded. "Well, you're on your way... Annapolis, then Medical School. We need doctors like you, Cordell. Okay, you'll get your orders within a day. Dismissed." Cordell saluted, and it was returned. As he walked to the door, he turned.

"Excuse me, General," he said, "but is it possible for me to see the Captain before I go?"

"No, son." said the General. "He's being shipped to Pearl Harbor, then the States to recover. It could be a long time, and you'll be in Maryland very soon." The General did not mention that none of the Captain's men were going to be allowed to see him again in Southeast Asia.

"General, I respectfully recommend he be put in for the Medal of Honor." said Cordell.

"I wish I could do that, son." said the General. "But you know how it is, where you guys went into."

"Sir, being on the wrong side of a politically drawn line should not prevent him------"

"Cordell." said the General, stopping him. "I understand. I'd like to put you in for a Navy Cross, too... but the politics are tying my hands. Now go, son. Go become the best damn doctor in the history of the United States Navy. But leave this behind. All of it."

Cordell left. Yes, he'd be the best doctor he could for those warriors who would need his services in the future.

But he would never forget what had happened here...

Part 9 - Knocking on Heaven's Door

Teresa Croyle opened her eyes. A bright light was above her. As she looked ahead of her, she saw a rushing stream, the water looking cool and inviting, going from her right to her left, cutting through a beautiful, grassy meadow. A bridge went over the stream, brightly colored, beckoning.

"Hello, Sister." said Alexis, who was sitting on a bench on this side of the bridge. Teresa looked and saw someone on the other side of the stream, standing by the bridge. It was Amy, looking brilliantly healthy and radiant, wearing a gossamer gown, smiling and happy, in no pain.

And further up the meadow, under a tree, a couple was sitting as if they were at a picnic. Even from here, Teresa could feel the love between the man and the woman. And then they looked at her.

The woman looked just like her, like Teresa. It was her mother, Teresa realized. And the young man with her, who looked like Alexis but with darker hair, was her father. He was wearing what looked like Army khakis from the Viet Nam era, the era that defined him, but he was happy... a happiness that Teresa had never seen. He seemed to be peering at her.

"All is forgiven here." said Alexis, reading Teresa's thoughts. "Here there is no pain, no regrets. Only love and peace. Are you ready to cross the bridge and be with us?"

Teresa knew the answer in her soul, even as she contemplated what was before her.

"No." she said. "I... I have work still to do. It... it's not my time."

Alexis smiled. "If you chose to stay here, it would be understood. But you are right: you will still make a difference if you go back."

"Then that's what I have to do." Teresa said. "It is my 'giri'."

"From this point on," Alexis said, "your duty is to yourself, and to no one else. Remember that... remember that... we'll be here waiting for you when your time comes..."

Teresa closed her eyes for a moment, seemingly just a blink of her eyes...

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

When she opened her eyes again, she saw a bright light overhead... and realized it was the lights of the operating table in the operating room.

"Doctor, the patient is awake." a nurse said.

"Yes, I see." said the old man. "More local anesthetic, but no more general. Hello, Ms. Croyle. My name is Leonard Cordell. I'm just fixing up this shoulder wound. The bullet got you just above where your armored vest ended. Unlucky ricochet. But you're going to be fine."

Dr. Cordell was continuing to fix up her shoulder wound as he talked. "Okay, we got the bullet where it hit your scapula. Fortunately it did not break it, nor hit anything else major. Just a bit of your lung. Take it easy... by they way, I knew your father in Viet Nam. When all this is done, I'll tell you about some of that. No, relax, take it easy... that's right, just relax..."

This man knew her father, and was now operating on her, Teresa thought to herself. An amazing coincidence? Or foreordained for nearly a half century? she wondered.

Teresa closed her eyes for a moment. She would not open them again until the next morning...

Part 10 - Loyalties

"'It has been a duel between you and me, Mr. Holmes. You hope to place me in the dock. I tell you that I will never stand in the dock. You hope to beat me. I tell you that you will never beat me. If you are clever enough to bring destruction upon me, rest assured that I shall do as much to you.'

"'You have paid me several compliments, Mr. Moriarty,' said I. 'Let me pay you one in return when I say that if I were assured of the former eventuality I would, in the interests of the public, cheerfully accept the latter.'

------ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 'The Final Problem'


Back in Dr. Fredricson's office, Phyllis Troy yelled "Stop it!" as the men kicked Melina viciously.

"Shut up, bitch!" yelled Dixon, "or you'll be next!"

Even though the men had guns, Phyllis prepared to launch into them, hoping to disarm them with her own Aikido skills. Even if she were shot, it'd give the other women time...

*FWUP!*

Dixon realized that he was seeing Griswold's head explode like a watermelon. As blood flew, he turned to the cabinet between the doors leading to the anteroom and the clinic. The last thing he might've seen was the .22 WMR bullet from the silenced auto-pistol coming at his head.

*FWUP!*

The bullet hit Dixon squarely in his left eye. He fell back, dead before he even hit the floor.

From out of the cabinet crawled Detective Joanne Cummings Warner. "Wow, that was really a cramped space!" she said. She rushed to Melina as Laura began examining her injured sister.

"Good shooting, Rogue 2." Melina whispered to Joanne.

"I had a good teacher." Joanne replied, trying to keep the tears out of her eyes.

"How did you ever get into there?" asked a stunned Phyllis.

"Never mind that. Let's get Melina to the hospital." said Laura. "We've got to check for internal injuries, and operate immediately if there's any bleeding." Gayle had already run into the clinic to get a gurney, and they soon had Melina on it and were rushing her to a vehicle...

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

Cindy began walking towards the front of the Sanctuary. The seats were almost completely full. Mrs. Veasley was in her wheelchair at the front right, where the wheelchair-bound always were.

"Hello, Child." Mrs. Veasley said affably.

"Hello, Mrs. Veasley." Cindy said. "What is going on here?"

"I am not sure, Child." said Mrs. Veasley. "It's past 7:00pm, and the Reverend Patterson was due here an hour ago. There has been no sign of him nor word from him."

Cindy got on her Police radio. "Captain Ross to Duty Desk." After getting acknowledgement, she said "Has the Reverend Patterson's plane arrived at County Airport?"

"No ma'am." said the Duty Desk. "The Tower says they have no expectation nor flight plan of any plane from Texas, where the Oldeeds Ministry is, nor from Kansas City, where the Reverend Patterson was last known to be."

Cindy and Mrs. Veasley looked at each other. "I would say that the Reverend had a change of plans, Child." said Mrs. Veasley. "Would you mind getting me a working microphone from the podium?"

As Cindy went to do so, the screens that were set up to give a good viewing of the speaker at the pulpit's podium lit up. It was a man in a suit, with a featureless white head, or a mask with no holes over his head. Horizontal lines cut across the screen like static, blurring the figure.

"Ladies and gentlemen," said the voice, the voice of Pastor Westboro, "do not try to leave the Sanctuary. If any of its doors are opened, bombs will go off, killing every person inside. All of you. If anyone tries to come in from outside, if any window or door is opened, the bombs will explode. This is being heard over KXTC and KSTD, as well as in the Sanctuary."

Indeed, the signals on KXTC and KSTD were being jammed and overwhelmed by another signal, both TV and radio signals being so affected. The entire Town and County would be witness to the Consultant of Crime's grand scheme...

"Everyone," boomed a voice over the loudspeaker, "please remain calm and in your seats." The voice was Mrs. Veasley's, having anticipated this and now moving to the front of the Sanctuary. Her reason for asking Cindy for the microphone was now understood. Cindy realized she was about to get a huge lesson in leadership...

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

"I heard you followed the advice to take helicopter flying lessons." said Pastor Raymond Westboro as I came up to him, next to the Bell 47-OH-13. "That's fortunate. I will now tell you the only way you can save the two thousand people inside the Church."

"And what is that?" I asked skeptically, tapping my red crowbar in my hand. It was the crowbar forged from the metal that had exterminated Jonas Oldeeds. Only this crowbar could be here for this day.

"You will take off in this helicopter and achieve an altitude of 500 feet." said Westboro. "If you do not do so within the next... eight minutes now... then the bombs inside the Church will explode. Once you reach 500 feet, if you come back below it, the bombs will go off."

I looked at the helicopter, and I could see the powerful bomb in the tail assembly. The picture, and a bleak picture it was, began coming into focus.

"Yes." said Westboro, seeing the understanding in my face. "You see that iPhone-like device on the front dash between the seats? The little circle button can read your fingerprint. Once you've attained 500 feet, you can place any finger on that button, and it will defuse the bombs in the church..."

"...but the bomb in the helicopter will explode." I finished.

"Not much gets by you, Iron Crowbar." Westboro said with no small amount of sarcasm. "So that's it. It's as I told you... you are going to kill yourself, or the bombs will go off. There is a timer on that device, so you only have a few minutes to stop the timer with your finger; otherwise, the bombs in the church will explode."

"Or I can kill you now, and find another way to get them all out." I said.

"I'm sooooo sorry, there's just not enough time." said Westboro. "This chopper must be airborne in minutes, and you are the only one here who knows how to fly it. And no one else's fingerprint can defuse the bombs; even my own will not work to set the bombs off without a special code first... a code you will never get.

Westboro continued: "The headphones in the helicopter are transmitting the police band frequency, so you can hear the agony of your Brothers in Blue as they die and watch others die. By the way, you have nothing else to lose; your family is all dead now. I told you last night this would happen."

I looked darkly at the man, the desire to kill him overwhelming me. "I can kill you before I take off. In fact, why don't I..." I advanced toward him. Two men suddenly sprang out behind him, guns aimed at me.

"No, I'm not going to play that game." said Westboro. "I'm so tired of you, Commander. I gave you every chance, I told you what to do last night. You didn't do it. Ergo, our time is done. I win. You lose. Period. Now get on that helicopter and get it up there, or watch a lot of people die------"

Suddenly, the guards fell on their faces on the ground as bullets slammed into the backs of their heads. As Westboro began to realize what was happening, a .38 Special revolver slid up his neck until the barrel was stuck into his right earhole. Looking down and behind him, I saw the holder of that weapon. It was...

...my sister Elizabeth.

"Troy Family Airlines will be taking off from Gate 'Number Four'." said Elizabeth. "You'll be aboard with my brother... Number Four. Gino, Marco, put the Pastor in the passenger seat, please."

"You treasonous bitch!" growled Westboro, whose face betrayed his total shock at this turn of events. I was equally shocked; I had not known Elizabeth had come back, much less that she was going to do this.

"You know all about betraying your friends, don't you?" said Elizabeth. "Roland and Newton in jail. And blowing up a building with me and Karen in it... next time, you better be more sure. But I suspect there won't be a next time, will there? Boys, take him away."

The two Italian men came up and grabbed Westboro, forcing him to the other side of the chopper. They put a chain around the base of the seat and handcuffed his hands to it between his legs so that he could not move his arms at all. A chain around the helicopter seat top held his neck in place so that he could not bend over. A headset with microphone was placed on his head.

As I prepared to climb aboard, I looked at my sister and said "Merci beaucoup, ma soeur."

"De rien. C'est moi qui vous remercie, mon petit frère." Elizabeth replied. I got in the chopper and started it up, putting the red crowbar on the floor to the left of my seat, near the door. A moment later, I took off, seeing her standing there, watching us.

"Godspeed to you, mon petit frère." Elizabeth said as the helicopter climbed into the air and turned east. Then she and her young men turned and disappeared under the oak trees at the back right of the Church grounds.

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

Thomas the courier's gun was leveled at Paulina Patterson's head. He did not see the shift in her eyes. As the gun was grabbed and his arm pulled up, she was ducking for cover... and to grab her baby.

Thomas was disarmed and held in seconds. He looked up to see the rapper T-Square in his face. Behind the rapper was his 'Regiment', all wearing suits and ties and shades, and all of them carrying crowbars. Black crowbars.

"How did you?...." Paulina asked.

"The I.C. said you were being a bit stubborn, Sister." said T-Square. "He asked me to check on my niece's safety. Good thing; not much gets by the I.C. Okay, men, you know what to do." They took Thomas away, and would in time get the full story of his employment with the Consultant of Crime. Then they would complete the job.

'The Regiment' would show the would-be killer no mercy.

Part 11 - Blue Crowbar Rising

The screens came back on in the Sanctuary. At first it was just audio, and was set off by the altimeter in the helicopter. The Iron Crowbar had taken the chopper to 550 feet as he flew southeast.

"I am so sorry, my friends and Flock," said Westboro's voice, "but I have had to make a little demonstration to you and to the Iron Crowbar about real power. Here is the story. Commander Troy is aboard a helicopter..."

The screens came on. A camera was behind the Iron Crowbar's right shoulder as he flew the plane. The right side of his head, the dash of instruments, and the iPhone-looking device were all visible. The passenger in the passenger seat was not visible.

"If Commander Troy simply presses the button on that iPhone-like pad, the bombs in the Church will be deactivated, you'll be allowed to walk right out of here. If he doesn't, or if he tries to land the helicopter... then every single one of you will die."

People began to chat nervously, some crying out, some beginning to sob. Mrs. Veasley got on the microphone and said "Stay strong, everyone. Be calm. We will find a way out of this..."

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

"Oh yes," said Pastor Westboro, with surprising and unnerving calm, "the answer I promised you. Jesus did not have to forgive Judas Iscariot... because Jesus asked Judas to 'betray' Him. It was all a final ruse."

"That's my thesis, as well." I said. I could hear him in my headset, but our voices were not being transmitted anywhere.

"And speaking of treason," said Pastor Westboro, "your sister is more treacherous than I gave her credit for. The way she talked about you, I never thought she'd have taken your side like that."

I smiled. "Funny thing about blood, wouldn't you say, Pastor? Like Selena Steele... and her blood. Particularly her blood mother's side of the family."

"I see." he said simply. "You know all about that. My whore of a wife betrayed me, left me, and was impregnated by another man. Well, the Black Widow did not get that whore's daughter Selena, thanks to you... so I'll have to settle for knowing that Officer Pete Feeley is dead... because you were just too slow to save him."

"Yes, so I sped up my game." I said. "Figured you out, I did." Our repartée, taking shots at each other, were verbal blows designed to deliver emotional pain.

I listened in on the Police radio in the headset. I couldn't talk to them, only listen. I heard that they were seeing me on the camera. I reached back and tore the camera out, heedless to whether it would set off the bomb on board. It didn't, and I opened the slit window and threw the camera out.

"What, you don't like being in Pictures, after all?" sneered Westboro.

"Not for what is about to happen." I said.

I headed for Cemetery Hill. As I'd presaged, it would be there that this final confrontation would be resolved. Reaching the spot where Roy Chen's body had been found, I turned the chopper to face the Town, seeing the sun hanging over the horizon in the west, the side of the mountain where the Cabin windows were sparkling in a strange gold color in the light...

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

Cindy Ross and the people in the Church saw the video cut out, and they groaned. The doors did not open; the bombs were still active.

"Every door has a bomb and a transmitter on it." said the police radio. "All doors and windows to the Chapel are also covered."

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