tagErotic CouplingsPink Panther Ch. 04

Pink Panther Ch. 04

byWifeWatchman©

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 19 - Ethical Dilemmas (continued)

"Oh... my... God..." whispered the Chief.

"If it comes out," I said, "the University will be made to suffer for the crimes of two men. The football program will likely get the death penalty for two to four years. They will never recover. The Conference might get ripped apart, like the Southwest Conference did when SMU got the death penalty."

"And it's not just about football." I continued. "It means a lot of kids in all theh sports lose athletic scholarships, and their chance to get out of poverty and get an education. It means the economy of the University, where my wife works, will suffer greatly. It means the economy of our Town and County will suffer greatly."

"And no matter how great you have been," said Griswold, "if you were the one to expose this, you will be hated like... you have no idea..."

"I'm not worried about me." I said. "Yes, I'd be hated. Laura and I would have to leave. She may or may not find another position in another college, maybe in California. But we'd survive... it's Quint Danielson I'm worried about... he may well not survive. He's the only real proof left, until I find Fulmer's safe deposit box, and the people who have already committed to killing four people know it."

Chief Griswold nodded. "And if it ever came out that you knew, and didn't say anything... that would end your career, too."

"It's not about me, Chief."

"It is, to me." said the Chief. "You are an icon in this Town, Don. I've watched kids look up to you like they used to look up to Police Officers, but no longer do. Adults look up to you, knowing you're the bulwark of that Thin Blue Line protecting them. Is exposing the truth for the sake of one man who is at least safe in prison worth all that?"

"That is what I could not live with. One man falsely deprived of his freedom because of the secrets of others,and me in a position to do something about it." I said.

After some moments of contemplative silence, I said "Well, let's go get some sleep, Chief. Your wife is staying with Mrs. Williams, so you can stay here."

But neither of us moved from the deck and the warmth of the fire. Some time later, I put a blanket over the sleeping Chief and a couple more logs on the fire. And I sat there, pondering what to do, considering the enormity of Harlan and Gonzales's crimes vs. the life of Quint Danielson vs. the future of this Town.

And by the time I figured it out, I was seeing the light of a train coming out of the western horizon... as the first light of dawn was growing on the other side of the mountain behind me...

Part 20 - Pardon Me

Wednesday, October 4th, 9:00am. The Bell 206 helicopter landed on the roof of the parking deck next to to the State Capitol in Midtown, the lettering and shield painted on the side saying 'TOWN & COUNTY POLICE'. Emerging from the helicopter was Chief Emeritus Griswold and me, Your Iron Crowbar.

We strode into the Capitol, our badges (and perhaps a red crowbar) overcoming the resistance of State Capitol security forces. We headed to the section that was the Governor's Offices, actually a complex of offices. I blasted right by the Governor's assistant, and into his small, private office. Needless to say, the Governor of the State was stunned.

"Yes, Commander?" he finally said, his voice icy. I put a folder of papers on his desk in front of him.

"That is a full pardon for Quint Danielson, and a commutation of the sentence of Al Rizzio." I said. Rizzio was the son-in-law of State Senator Jimmy 'Coffin' Cerone, and had been 'leaned on' by Les Craig and the Jack Lewis SBI to try to get to Cerone. This was a sop to Cerone, a favor to him in order to get a later favor from him.

"Even if I gave you Rizzio," said the Governor, "there is no way in hell I am pardoning Quint Danielson--- oh... shit."

"Yes." I said. "I've figured it out. And even without Danielson, I have enough proof to go to the Conference and the NCAA over what Harlan and Gonzales did to those boys... and what Gonzales also did to some girls, including Selena Martinez, who was subsequently murdered. And now, other people are coming over all dead as they try to bottle the secret up. But I am here to tell you, Governor... I'm about to blow it all up in their faces... and yours. Unless you sign that pardon."

Governor Jared looked over at Chief Griswold, whose face was set in stone. "I'd listen to the man if I were you, Val." said Griswold in his most authoritative voice. "You can trust the Iron Crowbar to either fix this problem... or to keep his word and tear the lid off Hell."

The Governor looked back up at me through his eyelashes. "Why shouldn't I call your bluff? Your own wife is a professor at the University. And if people have killed four persons already, why do you think they won't kill your whole family?"

"If you think I'm a badass, Governor," I said, "you ain't seen nuthin' yet, when it comes to my wife protecting our children. But enough of these little shit games, Governor. You sign that pardon, I get Danielson out of prison, and I'll bottle the bad genie and save you and this State from the absolute disaster it's about to get hit with. I'll also throw in a bone for you; I'll work it to save your job, and stop the shit-eaters from trying to impeach you. So... what will it be?"

The Governor looked back at Griswold, and saw he had no help coming from there. He then made an excellent political decision: he grabbed his pen, flipped open the folder, and signed the pardon.

"You better have a plan to get Danielson to safety." said Jared. "United States Senators have a lot of power, and when they unleash it against one man, it can be ugly."

"Unless that one man has the Power of the Crowbar with him." I replied as the Governor signed Rizzio's commutation. The Governor looked at me.

"Your boy is getting full of himself, Grizz." said the Governor, his voice cold and unfriendly.

"He's earned the right." said the old Chief.

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

The helicopter took off and headed downriver to Jacksonville State Prison. It landed on the helipad next to the parking lot to the side of the prison. Captain Cindy Ross and Chief Griswold emerged from the helicopter. The guards were watching the helicopter, and didn't really notice the green O65 Imperial Crown pulling into the parking lot.

Once inside, Captain Ross said "Do you have the pardoned prisoner for me?"

"Yes ma'am." said the Watch Captain, a tall man that looked younger than his age. "But just between you and me, ma'am, I'd be careful about being in his vicinity."

"I'll chance it." said Captain Ross. A moment later, Quint Danielson appeared in the doorway. He was not wearing International Prison Orange, but a blue shirt and darker blue pants. His bald head was shiny; he knew the risks that awaited him outside.

"Here, Quint, put this on." Cindy said, actually helping him into the bulletproof vest. She and Chief Griswold were also so armored.

They passed outside into the parking lot. The Chief took Quint to the helicopter and it took off. Cindy went to the green Black Beauty and drove out.

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

"He's in the helicopter." said the voice on the line, which Senator Samuel Russell knew was his mole inside Jacksonville State Prison.

The mole had been instructed to eliminate Quint Danielson the night before. But when he and his team of paid guards moved to strike, they found Danielson was surrounded by other inmates and other guards. It was possible that Jimmy 'Coffin' Cerone had made arrangements to secure Danielson inside hoops of steel to keep him alive, and Cerone's reward would be his son-in-law's freedom from prison. Nothing personal, just business.

"I'll handle it." said Russell. He hung up, then called another contact. "Take that helicopter down. Whatever it takes." The voice on the other end acknowledged the instructions.

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

Police Sergeant Andrew Prince was piloting the helicopter, guiding along the River to get back home. In the back were Chief Griswold and Quint Danielson. Sergeant Prince had been hired by the TCPD after leaving the Army after three tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. flying medical helicopters, transporting the wounded to lifesaving treatment. Chief Moynahan had kept in touch with other 'Air Cavalry' Officers, and one of them had sent Prince to the TCPD, whereupon Moynahan had wasted no time hiring him as a TCPD Sergeant to fly the TCPD's chopper.

"We're going west to divert around the nuclear power plant." said Sergeant Prince as he executed the maneuver. The straight line, instead of following the meandering River, would save some time, as well.

"What's that to our east?" asked Griswold as he looked out the window.

"Looks like two helicopters." said Prince. "They're flying too close to the power plant. I'm surprised I'm not hearing them being warned on the radio."

"They're coming right at us." said Griswold, very sure. "Are they from the power plant, checking us out?"

It soon became obvious that they were not...

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

The helicopters bore down on the TCPD chopper. Sergeant Prince had hailed them on the radio, but there had been no response. One of the helicopters bore in on them as the other broke over and began flying north.

"Hold on!" said Prince as he performed an evasive maneuver. The other helicopter, trying to ram him, just missed, and flew by. It began to circle around. Then Prince looked up and saw the other chopper circling around, coming at him head on.

"There's another one, four o'clock!" yelled Griswold.

Prince glanced over. "Oh my God, that's a Cobra!"

"TCPD Chopper, fly straight and level." came a voice over the radio. "I've got your back with these bogeys."

"Thank God!" said Griswold, knowing whose voice he was hearing, and who was flying the Cobra. It was Your Iron Crowbar at work.

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

I flew past the TCPD Bell 206 at a high rate of speed. The chopper bearing down on it tried to evade, but he did not have a chance. I locked on and engaged the machine gun.

*RATTA-TATTA-TATTA*

I raked the Enemy chopper, and it dropped like a stone out of the sky, crashing to the farm fields below.

The other chopper was now trying to run west for the State Line. He would not make it. I pursued rapidly and locked on. A missile was fired.

*BOOM!*

The chopper exploded in a ball of fire and greasy, oily smoke. The parts fell to the earth.

"Well, pardon me for intruding." I said into the radio. "See you at Uncle Harvey's house..."

Part 21 - Bottling the Genie

We landed at the World Headquarters of 'The Vision' in Coltrane County, where we were greeted enthusiastically by happy Vision acolytes. We were escorted into the main building and to the elevator that led to the office of Dr. P. Harvey Eckhart.

Cindy Ross had pulled up in the Black Beauty. I did not care to know the speeds at which she'd traveled if she'd gotten here at the same time the helicopters did. She was already in the office with her father.

"Ah, young Donald!" Dr. P. Harvey Eckhart, founder and great leader of 'The Vision' self-help empire, said as he greeted me. He came forward and gave me a warm hug, which I returned. "A splendid job, just splendid!"

"Thank you, Uncle Harvey." I said. "May I present Chief Griswold, Quint Danielson, and Sergeant Andrew Prince?"

"Ah, Chief Griswold, it is always good to see you." said Eckhart, shaking Chief Griswold's hand. "But I perceive that retirement is a bit... slow... for a man of your active disposition."

"Been talking to these young whippersnappers, I perceive." replied the Chief. Eckhart laughed, then greeted Sergeant Prince, then said "Ah, Mr. Danielson. I remember the excellent things said about you and your motivational skills. You must be starving after months of prison food. Let's have some brunch."

Eckhart led us to a table that was set out with mostly breakfast foods, but also had some items like chicken pot pie, ham, and macaroni and cheese. We all filled our plates, then sat down at the table that was set for us, with Dr. Eckhart at the head of it, Cindy to his right, me to his left, Griswold to my left, and Sergeant Prince to his left, and Quint to Cindy's right.

As we ate, Dr. Eckhart said "So what will the lovely Ms. Wurtzburg say to explain those downed helicopters, young Donald?"

"An unfortunate military training accident." I said. "Under investigation by the FAA and FBI, as it was just a wee bit too close to the nuclear power plant. That will be the official story, according to FBI Special Agent in Charge Muscone. He's one of the FBI good guys, by the way."

"Ye-es, I agree." said Eckhart. "Can't say that for all of them. But I'm glad you brought Mr. Danielson here. If you're interested, Quint, I have excellent uses for your motivational talents..."

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

We arrived back at Headquarters around 1:00pm, still Wednesday, October 4th. Sergeant Prince took the TCPD chopper to its hanger at County Airport, while Cindy, Chief Griswold, and I went to Chief Moynahan's office.

"Heh heh heh heh." said Moynahan. "I'm supposed to be the Air Cav Officer around here, Mr. Crowbar. But you're having all the fun flying the Cohhhhh-braaaa."

"I'm the one with the SBI badge, Chief." I said. "That was just me enforcing the law up there."

"Darn good thing, too." growled Griswold. "I am anything but an Air Cav Officer, and prefer to be on the ground, catching fish in placid waters."

"You're in the wrong County for placid waters, Chief." Cindy said. "And you wouldn't have it any other way." Griswold barked a laugh from under his mustaches as he and Cindy fist-bumped.

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

"He did what?" asked a stunned Lt. Governor Graham Collins. He was in the Governor's public office, the large room with the conference table in front of the desk, having been summoned by Governor Jared.

"He shot down two helicopters that were trying to down a Town & County Police helicopter." said Jared. "What I want to know, Collins, is who sent those two helicopters that were trying to shoot down a retired Police Chief and a man I'd just pardoned because he was framed for rape."

"I have no idea." said Collins. "Why do you think I'd have any idea?"

"Because you and Russell are butthole buddies." said the Governor. "And I'll tell you something else, Collins... even if your Establishment buddies impeach me, you won't be the next Governor. These are just a few copies..." He handed Collins the file folder. Inside were photos of Collins engaged in homosexual activities with different men.

Collins realized he'd been set up himself. "Is that how we're playing this?" he asked. "I'll still be Governor, once you're impeached and convicted... or shot dead."

"If that's a threat," said Jared, "then you'd better be careful. But beyond that... if you were a Democrat, you might get away with being Graham 'Light In The Loafers' Collins... but the Republicans, especially the Evangelicals, will roast you alive."

"All right." said Collins. "What do you want? I'm not going to resign as Lt. Governor, and I'm in position to succeed you when you're ousted."

"You'll come to the meeting in a couple of days." said Jared. "And you'll see what's going to happen."

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

Having missed the morning coffee klatch, Cindy and I were in MCD with the Detectives, watching the news. Special Agent in Charge Muscone was giving a press conference from in front of the Federal Building on Courthouse Square.

"The investigation has just started." Muscone said. "It appears that this is a training accident, that two helicopters collided----"

"Mr. Muscone!" called out John Hardwood, rudely interrupting, "eyewitnesses say the two helicopters went down separately and a distance apart from each other. How do you account for that?"

"It's still early in the investigation." said Muscone, having snared Hardwood into revealing what he knew about the incident. "I'm sure we'll have more as we investigate further. Right now we're trying to identify the deceased occupants of the aircraft."

"Mr. Muscone!" yelled Bettina Wurtzburg, "several Media drones flying over the area were shot down near the State Line! Can you comment on that?"

"I have not heard about that. Were they flying near the nuclear power plant?" asked Muscone. "If so, they'd be considered a threat, and might be taken down."

"No sir!" said Bettina. "They were flying much further west, near the State Line, near where the second helicopter went down."

"I don't have any information about that, then." said Muscone. "But I'm sure you guys know that the power plant is restricted airspace to all aircraft, including drones. So don't complicate our investigation by trying to fly drones through there..."

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

"That's interesting." I said.

"What's that, sir?" asked Joanne Warner.

"The drones being shot down." I said. "Yeah, around the power plant, they'd be waxed. And the Press knows to not fly drones around there, and that they could be arrested for it. But why knock down drones near the State Line? Nothing but farms out there." No one said anything for a moment.

"So the Governor pardoned Kendra Luskin's last victim?" asked Teddy Parker. I nodded, and Teddy said "Why was he set up?"

"For being in the wrong place at the wrong time." I said. "But he's free now."

"And he's my father's newest Trainer." said Cindy. "He's going to be doing seminars all over the country, maybe even in Canada and Malaysia."

"And your father is not training you to be a Trainer, Captain?" asked Joanne Warner. "You'd be great at it!" Cindy half-shrugged.

"Detective Warner, are you trying to get rid of my Chief of Detectives?" I asked, pretending severity. "Thinking of moving on up into that Captain's slot yourself?"

"She's going to have to learn how to kiss up to the bosses more, if she wants to do that." growled a voice behind me. It was Chief Griswold, who'd just come into the MCD room. Everyone laughed.

"Want some coffee, Chief?" I said, already pouring him a cup.

"See there, Ms. Warner?" growled the old Chief again. "This man knows how to kiss up. That's why he's where he is today... well, that and the Power of the Crowbar."

"I dunno, Chief." I said. "These Detectives are getting pretty good. They just might take that crowbar away from me..."

Part 22 - Secrets And Solutions

Green Crowbar followed Red Crowbar into my office a few minutes later. She sat in a hot chair while I practically collapsed into my Command Chair.

"Your back doing okay?" Cindy asked.

"Yeah, it's fine." I said. "It gets a little sore when the rest of me gets tired."

Just then, Chief Griswold knocked on the door and then came on in. I had him sit down next to Cindy. "How's your back, son? And have you gotten any sleep lately?"

"Sleep? Vat ees thees concept ov 'sleep' ov vich yoo speek?" I asked in my 'German' accent. "Seriously, I'll sleep well tonight."

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