tagNon-EroticFire in the Embers Ch. 03

Fire in the Embers Ch. 03


The chronological order of my stories is now listed in WifeWatchman's biography.

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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 12 - Morning Coffee And Crowbars

"This is Bettina Wurtzburg, KXTC Channel Two News!" shouted my favorite redheaded reporterette at 7:00am, Thursday, November 12th. "Channel Two News has learned that Appellate Judge Leahy will give his ruling on the landmark KSTD v. Town & County Council case today at noon!"

Bettina continued as we all watched in MCD: "The State Supreme Court had sent the case back for further review, and Judge Leahy will deliver his new ruling at twelve o'clock noon. Experts believe that Judge Leahy will rule that the Jack Burke sex tapes must be released to not only our competitor KSTD, but be made publicly available to all the Media and the Public."

"Who are these 'experts' to whom she refers?" I asked out loud. Joanne Cummings giggled at that.

Bettina continued "It is not clear if the Town & County Council will comply with Judge Leahy's ruling if it goes against them. It is likely that they will appeal to the State Supreme Court again, but the ultimate question is whether they'll order Acting Chief Donald Troy of the TCPD to comply once the appeals are exhausted."

"And yes," Bettina said, her eyes beginning to sparkle, "I said 'Acting Chief' Troy. The Town & County Council formally accepted Chief Harold Bennett's resignation, but moved up the effective date... to yesterday. But Commander Troy's stint will only be for the rest of this month, as Midtown P.D. Captain Sean Moynahan will formally take over as Police Chief on November 1st, and is already working in the role in an 'advisory' capacity now."

Bettina was not finished. She said "In other news, the home of BigPharmaCorp executive Dr. Robin Grayson was invaded Tuesday night, and Police found Dr. Grayson and his wife unconscious and severely beaten yesterday morning. Fortunately, their two young children were staying with relatives and were not harmed. The Graysons are recovering from their injuries at University Hospital. Police have made no statements about the case, citing the ongoing investigation."

"Wow, she didn't say anything about what really happened to them." said Joanne Cummings.

"Yeah." I said. "She's experienced the same brutality herself. I'll bet Priya won't be nearly as discrete, and will give every detail that she can in her morning report."

"I'll take that bet." said Cindy.

"Oh, you're betting against me now?" I said in mock surprise. Cindy just shrugged her shoulders.

"Better call her on the phone now, then." I replied. "One hour to her broadcast."

"How are they going to get the information?" asked Martin Nash. "You've sealed the police report, citing the possibility of unnecessarily compromising BigPharmaCorp research."

"Observe and deduce." I said. "Bettina's broadcast has given you every clue." I looked around as everyone thought about it. It was Tanya Perlman who got it first.

"Ohhhh!" she said. "Acting Police Chief Troy. Waiting for new Chief Moynahan to arrive. That'll be enough to make the Good Humor Man, Deputy Chief Brownlee, very pissed off."

"Keep making accurate deductions like that," I said, "and I'll put you in charge of MCD."

"Don't you threaten me!" Tanya shot back. The room erupted in laughter.

Then it vanished as Theo Washington asked "Commander... what will you do if the Council orders you to turn over those tapes?" All eyes were on me in the silence of the room.

"That's why he makes the big bucks." said Cindy Ross. I knew her words were meant to rescue me.

"Not big enough, for damn sure." I said with a sigh. "I think I need to start taking these bets... in order to raise some cash for when I hit the unemployment line." With that, everyone knew exactly where I stood... and yes, it would be taking a stand.

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

"Priya in five." Cindy said as she came to my office. "Wanna watch in MCD with everyone else?"

"Sure, why not?" I said, though not really feeling it.

"You okay?" Cindy said, instantly noticing my internal feelings of agitation and foreboding.

"Yeah, I guess so." I said.

"You hate having something affect you which is beyond your control." Cindy said, knowing.

"If I need a psychiatrist, Cindy... I'll marry one." I replied. Cindy barked a little laugh and we headed to MCD. My foreboding was prescient.

"This is Priya Ajmani, Five Alive News In The Morning!" said the beautiful Indian reporterette from outside the gates of BigPharmaCorp across the River. "Five Alive News has learned that Judge Leahy of the Appellate Court will deliver his new ruling on the KSTD v. Town & County Council case at noon today! KSTD expects to win this case, and will bring you all the details of the Jack Burke sex tapes that you have the right to know!"

After finishing her gloating over the impending ruling, Priya said "Five Alive News is also bringing you the coverage that other stations won't. Five Alive News has learned more details of the home invasion of the residence of BigPharmaCorp Vice President Robin Grayson. Sources tell Five Alive News that Mrs. Grayson was raped multiple times in front of her husband, and that he was sodomized with a fireplace poker. The motive for this brutal crime is not yet known, and the Town & County Police have declined to answer our repeated inquiries about the case..."

"Three boxes of doughnuts tomorrow morning, Captain." I said to Cindy. "On you."

"Done." my partner replied. "I just wonder who in the hell leaked that to her--"

Cindy stopped talking and the MCD room became silent as Deputy Chief Robert Brownlee strode into the room, pretending to try to suppress a grin.

"Well, Chief Troy," Brownlee said sarcastically, "why are all your people sitting on their asses instead of solving cases like the Grayson rape?"

"Did you leak that information?" accused Joanne Cummings. Hoo boy...

"You work for the Public, Detective." snarled Brownlee. "And the Public has every right to know what we are doing with their tax dollars."

"You bastard..." growled Joanne. Brownlee's face went crimson, almost purple. He began striding towards Cummings, who was sitting at her desk.

"What did you call me, you little good-for-nothing--" His hand was raised as if he was about to hit her, but he happened to see over his shoulder. I was right behind him, and the Red Crowbar was actually raised and about to split his head open.

"Go ahead." I whispered. "Hit her. It'll be the last god-damned thing you ever do..."

Brownlee pulled back, but squared up to me. "What, are you going to assault me with that crowbar? Go ahead, hit me with it." I handed the crowbar to Joanne.

"I don't need it to kill you, asswipe." I growled, fronting Brownlee. And I intended to do just that. But as I advanced upon him, Brownlee backed away, almost tripping. If he'd fallen, he would've died, but by the grace of whatever demon was protecting him, he stumbled to the back doorway, through which he hastily exited.

"No one saw a thing." said Martin Nash.

"No." I said quietly. "I'll take responsibility for it. I would never ask any of you to lie for me for something like that."

Cindy's voice then cut through the room like shattering glass. "No, you wouldn't, Commander. But I want every one of you here to see that our Commander has our backs, and I want each and every one of you to follow that example and have each other's backs."

"Sound advice, Captain, sound advice!" said a gravelly voice from the side door. Into the room walked Chief-to-be Sean Moynahan. "A good Police Force has each other's backs, and goes to bat for each other. But I hardly need to tell any of you that." He stopped by Joanne's desk. "Ah, you must be Detective Cummings. I'm Sean Moynahan-- oh, is this the legendary object of our Commander's affection?"

He took the red crowbar from her, examining it, tapping it in his hand as we all watched. "Yes, I can see why you like to carry this, Commander." he said, handing it back to me.

"It's his Palladium, Chief." Cindy said.

"Hello, Chief." I said, having finally calmed down. "Allow me to introduce you to your Major Crimes Division..."

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

I thought I would just introduce the Detectives to Moynahan, but he had other ideas. He sat down and talked with all of them as a group, then to each of them for some minutes, getting to know them, asking about the routine and procedures and such. Then Cindy and I took him to Vice, where Teresa introduced him to her Vice Squad. Just then, Lt. Wes Masters came in.

"Ah, 'Coldiron'!" said Moynahan, his voice lighting up.

"Good to see you, Captain... er, Chief.." said Masters, who had worked for Moynahan in Midtown. It was like a family reunion for both as they shook hands warmly. "Er, what do I call you?"

"Whatever it is, just keep it clean." said Moynahan.

"You can call him 'Chief'." I said. "He just not getting paid the big bucks for it until the first of next month." Everyone chuckled, then I said "Chief, with your permission, I'll leave Lt. Masters to introduce you to our Uniformed squads and take you to the Precincts. Captain Ross and I have some work to do."

"By all means, by all means," said the new Chief, shaking my hand and then Cindy's. We made our way out of Vice and to my office.

"I think he's going to be great." said Cindy. "He's going to be like all our dads, watching us and teaching us."

"Yes." I said. "But he just missed finding a body, or more accurately a dog turd, on the MCD floor."

"I think he saw it from the doorway." said Cindy. "And I think he would've said what Nash did."

"True." I said. "Okay, let's get this bit of informality overwith. Go get Joanne." Cindy made an 'Oh shit!' face, but left the office and within seconds returned with the lovely young blonde Detective in tow.

"Sir, I'm sorry about that--" she began, but I held up my hand to cut her off.

"Detective... don't ever do that again, not even to Brownlee." I said. "Consider that your reprimand. But more importantly: if that bastard Brownlee gives you any problem at all, let Captain Ross or me know. You can come to me directly if he gives you so much as a dirty look. As you could see earlier, I am more than ready to finish what he started. And just don't ever talk to Lt. Perlman, Cpt. Ross, me, or Chief Moynahan like that."

"Oh, I never would, sir." Joanne gushed. "I'm sorry, but I was so mad that he leaked what happened to Mrs. Grayson to the Press like that, and the came in and boasted about it--" I had to hold up my hand again.

"I get it, Ms. Cummings. I really do." I said. Then, to change the subject, I asked "So, what do you think of your new Chief?"

"Oh, he's going to be great!" Joanne said. "I'll bet he can teach us a lot of things about police work and our jobs as Detectives."

"You're right about that." I said. "I look forward to learning from him, also."

"You, sir?" Joanne said.

"Contrary to the belief of your Captain, here," I said, "I still have a lot to learn about this job, also. Having an experienced police officer like Chief Moynahan will only make me better... like Chief Griswold made me better. Okay, what cases are you working on?"

"The drug bust you made at those apartments and the Grayson case." said Joanne. "Martin-- er, Detective Nash asked me if I could try to find any correlations based on that refined drug at the apartment."

"Cool beans." I said. "Okay, get back to it." After Joanne left, I said "You expected me to be more formal with her about talking back to Brownlee?"

"I don't know." said Cindy. "I was going to bring her into my office and rip her harder than you did, but nothing formal. With respect, Commander, you don't know how we women feel about rape cases."

"Try me." I said. "I was once told by a woman who led self-help seminars, similar to ones your father does, that men don't feel the fear every single day that women do, that women feel that fear at least once a day. No, I'm a man and I don't feel it the same way, but I understood what she was saying, I understand what you're saying, and I understand how Joanne felt about Brownlee leaking that."

"Why in the hell did he pull that stunt?" Cindy asked. "If you weren't in front of me, I was going to go after him. And you were more restrained that I was going to be."

"Which is why I stepped in. As to why he did it?" I asked, then sighed. "I have no frickin' clue. I usually suspect he's told to do things like that, but this one was... different. I think we'll find out the 'why' of it in the near future. Meanwhile, we have work to do. The officers guarding the Graysons at the Hospital will let me know when they wake up so we can try to interview them. Until then, I'll be glued to the computers."

Part 13 - Fourth And Goal

At 10:00am, three people entered my office at my 'invitation': Myron Milton, Mary Mahoney Milton, and David Krueger. I had the anti-bugging device full on, with the TV turned up some for background noise.

"Okay, David," I said, "I've vetted the hell out of you, and Myron and Mary have vouched for you also. So to all three of you, what I'm about to tell you and assign you is of the highest secrecy. I am not kidding when I say that any leak to any person outside this room could lead to the deaths of innocent people."

"David," I continued, "I'm going to give you some information. I want you to research it and find links between this stuff, as well as to any outside information the three of you find. You will be working with Mary more than Myron, as Myron still has MCD work to do while Mary is assigned to me personally."

I went on: "Anything that any of you find is to be brought to me personally and immediately. You cannot speak of any of this, not one word, to any other person, not even the Chief, the SBI or FBI. Only to me or Captain Ross, and I'd appreciate you not telling her unless I'm dead, incapacitated, or away on assignment and she really needs to know.

"Again, folks, people's lives are at stake. Not a word to any other police officer nor anyone else. Yes, most of them are good people, but there's that one or two moles that we can't trust, and the good people can't tell the moles from the other good people. If any of you have a problem with this, speak now and go in peace, and nothing will be held against you."

To my total lack of surprise, they all agreed. Mary then said "Commander, if you'll get on with it, we can get it solved faster." I knew she was needling me, so I let it go.

"You're not going to be able to, quote, 'solve', unquote, anything." I said. "You'll be finding and correlating data and financial links, and building a court case to take this bastard down."

I then began laying out what I had in the secret evidence servers. The only things I did not tell them were where various information pieces came from. I even told them that the Consultant's sex tapes with Emma Washburn was in there, but it was mighty poor porn. I also told them to not download anything from the servers but just look at it, and only from laptops that were secure and not connected to anything else.

"Some people do not believe that this criminal even exists." I said as David began looking at the data. "And they certainly would not believe it if they knew his identity. And what I need from you guys, is the proof linking him personally to his financial network and to his crimes."

"Holy... fuck!" gasped David Krueger as he began looking at the data. Myron and Mary were equally stunned...

As they looked at the data, I had Myron stand aside with me. I whispered "Myron, we're going to lose that Burke tapes case. I want you to go ahead and make one, and only one, copy of the files onto DVDs. I've already opened the encrypted files on my laptop behind my desk there. But we're going to exclude two women out of the thirty on the tapes. One of them will be the Sheriff's wife, of course. The other... well, the less you know about her, the most better off you will be...

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

At 11:30am, Town & County Sheriff Daniel Allgood came to my office. He looked distraught.

"Tell me you have a Plan 'B'." he said.

"Hell, Sheriff, I'm at Plans 'F' and 'G' right now." I said. "Which means (F)ourth and (G)oal." Daniel looked like he was about to have a heart attack.

"Okay, listen in while I make a very important phone call." I said. I got out my personal cellphone and called my wife.

"Hello, dear." I said. "Judge Leahy's ruling is at noon."

"Yes, darling, I know." said Laura. "What do you want to do?"

"It's fourth and goal, honey." I replied. "We're down to our last play on this one."

"I'll run with the ball from here." my wife said.

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

Just before noon, still Thursday, November 12th, Chief Sean Moynahan 'invited' me, Captain Ross, and Lieutenants Tanya Perlman and Teresa Croyle into the Chief's Conference Room for a meeting. The Chief was at the end of the table near the door, with me to his left (facing the door) and Tanya to my left. Across from me was Cindy, with Teresa to her right.

Sheriff Daniel Allgood was also in the room. He had been invited by the Chief when the Chief saw that Daniel was already at Headquarters. Daniel took the seat next to Tanya.

"First of all," said the new Chief in his gravelly, growl-like voice, "I have looked at all of your records, and I am truly impressed with each of you. You ladies are definitely Crowbar's Angels, and I say that not because of your gender, but because of your abilities in working with him, and probably keeping him out of trouble at times."

"Oh, we definitely don't get enough credit for that, sir." said Cindy Ross, deadpan flat. Everyone chuckled.

"You get more than you realize." said the Chief. "And I'll also tell you, Captain Ross, that I've heard a lot about you from your sister. And while she'll never admit this to you nor in public, she was constantly telling us in Midtown how proud she is of her sister and the things you have been doing up here."

"I can back that up, too." said Teresa.

"Me, three." I said. Indeed, Molly's praise of Cindy was always effusive... as long as Cindy wasn't actually able to hear it.

"Get it on tape." Cindy said. "No telling how much she'll pay you to keep it out of my hands."

"Heh heh heh heh." laughed Moynahan in his peculiar way. "Sheriff, I also must commend your Commander on his choices for his MCD and Vice Lieutenants. This is far and away the youngest Police Force of its size anywhere in the Nation, much less the State, but every appointment into every position, by you Commander, as well as Chief Griswold, has been correct in every way. Okay, so let's hear this Appellate Judge's ruling, and then we can talk about your de-part-ments."

With that, the Chief took the remote and turned the mute off. The TV was mounted on the wall behind the end of the table... behind where I used to sit when Chief Griswold was here.

"This is Bettina Wurtzburg, KXTC Channel Two News!" shouted the lovely MILF reporterette as she stood in front of the Courthouse Building, which also housed the Appellate Courts for the District and Region of the State. "Appellate Judge Leahy has just ruled that the Jack Burke tapes are no longer evidence, and that they must be turned over to our competitor KSTD at once!"

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