tagNon-EroticSix Degrees Ch. 04

Six Degrees Ch. 04

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.



Part 18 - The Empty House (continued)

"I'm sorry." Teresa said as she looked at Cindy.

"It's okay." Cindy said, not feeling okay.

Teresa looked at the note, which read:

"Cindy,

I'm sorry to do this this way. You have been the best thing that every happened to me in my life, but I cannot give you the love nor the commitment you deserve right now. Call me when you get home if you want to talk.

Jenna"


Seeing the look on Cindy's face, Teresa said "Why don't you come home with me."

Cindy said "I... I don't want to... impose."

"Come on." Teresa said, taking charge. She guided Cindy back to the car, put the suitcase in the trunk, and drove to Todd's house. If he was surprised to see that Teresa had brought home company, he did not show it. After Teresa explained what had happened, she poured Cindy and herself some strong drinks while Todd prepared breakfast foods for them to eat.

Part 19 - More Hubs, More Nets

"Geez, I'm sore!"

The words came from Cindy Ross. She had gone to her gym and worked out, putting herself through an extremely rigorous set of exercises.

"It's been a week." I said. "You'll work back into it. By the way, you didn't have to come in today."

It was Friday, February 19th, and Cindy and I were in my office after watching Bettina's morning report on the MCD television screen, which covered the weather. It was a Winter Wonderland of white snow covering the ground in the Town and County, but it had not been as bad as the weather services had predicted. Traffic was not impacted, the University still had classes though the Public Schools in the County were closed, and the only real issue was my having to suppress a desire to go create snowmen worthy of 'Calvin & Hobbes'.

Teresa had made a point to come into the room a bit early and spread the word that Cindy and Jenna had broken up, so Detectives were circumspect in what they said to their Captain. Several boxes of doughnuts had been brought in, including two each from the Police Chief and Police Commander.

"So," said Cindy, "when are you going to get back into the ring with me? The Police Boxing Matches start in May, and you're going to be woefully out of training." I knew what she was doing with this, and I avoided the trap.

"I'll be okay." I said. "I'm not the one that took a week off from working out." Cindy rolled her eyes at that.

"Okay," I said, "let's stop avoiding the issue. If you need time to talk to Jenna, or otherwise deal with that situation, feel free to take today and do it."

"Thank you, sir." Cindy said. "So, what went on here in my absence?"

I started filling her in on the Linda Farris situation, not mentioning the adoptions, but was interrupted by a knock on my door. To my surprise, it was Jack Muscone of the FBI.

"Come on in, Jack." I said. "Have a seat. Early hours for the Salem Witch Trial Judge to be coming into my office, isn't it?"

"Yes, way too early." said Jack, sitting down. "Hi, Cindy. I heard about your father, and I'm sorry for your loss."

"Thank you." said Cindy. "So, help the Commander get me up to speed on what's going on."

Muscone said "We got some new information last night. I asked your Mouseketeers to double check for me, but it looks like Linda Farris's phone records show calls to and from Watch Captain Lockhart from the Bureau of Prisons."

"Ahhh," I said, "a Belfort Badge Gang member."

"And one high up in their food chain." said Muscone. "And here's something you may not know... guess who was very recently hired by Watch Captain Lockhart to be a guard at State Women's Prison?" I shook my head, causing Muscone to grin like he rarely has before.

"Wow!" he said, "I'm finally going to get one over on you. Your former TCPD dog-killer, Brett Bryce."

"No, I did not know that." I said. "But it makes a lot of sense."

"How so?" asked Muscone. "Your Consultant finding a new place for his minion?"

"Yes, that." I said. "But also some other stuff." I pointed at the light fixture, suggesting that we were possibly being listened in upon. Cindy nodded, but Jack look confused until she wrote a note to him on her pad that said 'we might be bugged'. Surprised, Jack nodded.

"There is one other thing I should tell you." said Muscone, his beady black eyes glowing. "It concerns records at the Asylum and now the Women's Prison. Inmates that give birth can't keep their babies, so either a relative has to take it, or it gets put into the Foster Care system. As we were looking into Farris, we found discrepancies in the birth records vs. what Child Protective Services had recorded. We got a Federal warrant that allows us to look into the adoption records, and there are some problems there."

"Oh really?" I asked, feigning surprise. "Well, update us on this, especially Captain Ross, who has been out of Town for a few days."

Muscone explained that some babies had completely fallen off the radar. He gave the numbers, which I already knew. I realized that I was now in the clear as to knowing this information.

Muscone said "We suspect they were put into the black market for adoptions. People will pay into the six figures for a newborn baby. Hard to trace, though, as we have to find the adopting parents, then go back and find the adoption records wherever they filed them, and then try to work it back to Farris or anyone else within the Prison System."

"You know..." I said, as if thinking about it, "you just said Bryce was hired by Lockhart. Now I understand that before our little raid on the Asylum and the can of worms we opened there, women that were found to be pregnant at State Women's Prison were transferred to the Asylum. Now, they're just held there, at State Women's Prison. I would not be totally shocked if the numbers you just told me, Jack, are not the real numbers, that some of the pregnancies were kept off the books, no live birth records, and those babies were sold into the black market."

It was Jack's turn to look surprised. "Only you would think of that, and within five minutes of being told my data." he said, not knowing that advanced secret knowledge made me look like a great observer and deducer, and in need of a Salem Witch Trial.

"Just think of this, Jack, Cindy." I said. "Six figures for a baby. Let's just call it $100,000 to keep the numbers tidy. Ten of those is one million dollars. And let's say a network is set up in not only this, but several States. Ten States, ten adoptions per... now we're in the tens of millions of dollars. That is tremendously lucrative... lucrative enough to interest a certain Master Criminal into being the Puppeteer behind these operations."

"Hubs and spokes." Cindy said. "Six degrees, or less, of separation."

"Yes, good thought." I said, then began musing, halfway in a reverie. "And let's take this further: let's say that a new operation is set up. We know Senator Richard Langdon takes women to be prostitutes at his parties. Maybe one or two of them get knocked up. Then maybe some women there are offered money to become pregnant by one or more of the guards, and they get paid to take the baby to term and give it up for adoption... type of surrogate motherhood, there."

"Wow." said Muscone. "Sometimes you scare me with the things you come up with."

"One way to solve crimes is to put myself in the place of the criminal," I said, "and ask what that criminal might do. If those women are held in isolation for their term, and there are no records at all of the birth, this thing could be something... big."

*BRING!* *BRING!* *BRING!* *BRING!*

It was Jack Muscone's cellphone. "Yes sir.... yes I'm here with him right now... yes sir, I will... yes sir, we'll be right there." As he disconnected, Muscone said "That was my boss. He's asked me to bring you to the Federal Building. Just you; your partner here was not invited. He said it's crucially important, which means it's something big."

"Well," I said, "my partner will be coming, and she can talk to you and your team about all this while I talk to your boss...

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

"I told you not to bring her." said the DepDirector, more than a bit rudely, when he saw Cindy come into the hidden FBI offices with Jack and myself.

"Sir," said Muscone, "trying to separate these two takes more than crowbars. My team is going to consult with Captain Ross while the Iron Crowbar talks with you." Perhaps it was my glare that caused the DepDirector to concede. I did not care if he was the President of the United States himself; he was not going to tell me to not bring my Crowbar 2, my 'Kato', along with me to watch my back.

"Good enough." he said. "Don, please come this way." I followed him into the small office with the plexiglass cube. Hmm, this was something 'hot shit'...

And what was more... at the far corner of the table in the room was my favorite CIA agent, my wife Laura. I smiled at her, but she just looked at me as if she'd never met me before, and she did not speak at all.

"I appreciate you coming so quickly, Commander." said the DepDirector. "We've had something come up, something very important, and troubling."

"How may I be of service, sir?" I asked.

The DepDirector slid some papers over to me. "Commander, please sign this document, which says that you are about to be told Top Secret information, and that you will not divulge that information to anyone at all without the express permission or upon the orders of superior officers." I looked at the sheet, seeing that it indeed was what the DepDirector said it was, and I signed it.

"Okay," said the DepDirector, relaxing just a bit. "Don, have you ever heard of 'Operation Beekeeper'?"

I shook my head. "No sir."

"Do you remember when that FBI lawyer, named James Bond, interrogated you? Tried to trap you into an indiscretion?"

"Yes sir."

He slid another piece of paper over to me. "As you can see, this email is a pretty rude order for me to make you available to be interrogated by him again, and also by his cohort Earnest Staffeld. Staffeld is one of the most brutal men I have ever met; he should've been born in the Nazi era. He works with our Special Agents rooting out spies and traitors. He also enjoys trying to trap people into a contradiction or a lie, so he can charge them with lying to a Federal agent and put them in prison. The 'Scooter Libby' treatment, as you know."

"And the bastard wants to talk to me?" I said, re-reading the email. "What did you tell the dipshit that sent this?"

"Here's the reply." he said, passing over another sheet of paper. In the email, the DepDirector stated that he would not cooperate, and that he intended to forewarn me, Your Iron Crowbar, of their intentions to interrogate me. "I got a call from the Director of the FBI over that, but after I explained, he's on my side again."

"But here's the situation." he continued. "Bond and Staffeld are working in cooperation with Dr. Casey B. Walker of the CIA, whom I believe you have met. Walker is the CIA's top Counterintelligence guy, and Bond and Staffeld are working for him under this project called 'Beekeeper'. Your wife cannot access 'Beekeeper', nor can I, nor can the Directors of our respective Agencies."

"Beekeeper..." I said, going into a reverie. It was not a long one. "Well, I have to commend Dr. Walker on his name selection."

"Why is that?" asked the DepDirector. Laura said nothing, but just peered at me.

"Well, sir," I said, "who do we know that retired to a hobby of beekeeping... on the Sussex downs?"

"Ohhhhh..." whispered Laura, understanding. The FBI DepDirector took longer.

"Oh." he said. "Sherlock Holmes."

"Yes. Sherlock Holmes." I said. "So we do not need to access the files to surmise that Dr. Walker is investigating me. And Bond and Staffeld are his opening salvo, or perhaps I should say his continuing salvo after that first interview that Bond fucked up so badly."

I turned to Laura and said "And now I think I know why two outstanding dogs have been so... concerned. They know someone has been worried about this." Laura just nodded, still not speaking, but conceding the point. A moment later she got up, nodded to us, and left the room. Of course I watched her magnificent ass in her tight business suit skirt as she went.

"So," said the DepDirector, "I will not facilitate nor help them in their witch hunt. What I will do is advise you to seek legal counsel, especially if they try to corner you into an interrogation."

"I can refuse that, of course." I said. "Unless they have a Court-issued warrant to arrest me, based upon probable cause that must be explained to the judge."

"Still, be careful." said the FBI Deputy Director. "With these secret FISA Courts and the flouting of the Constitution in the name of the so-called 'War on Terror', these guys can get away with a lot, if they want to. I know you're already watching your back, Don... but look out for these guys with those eyes in the back of your head, as well."

Part 20 - Continuance

"Well, Mouseketeers," I said, "the FBI has informed me that they secured warrants to look at adoption records pursuant to the Linda Farris case. Let me tell you what they found..."

"Sir," interrupted Mary Mahoney Milton, "with respect, the FBI told us, also. No need to cover old ground, sir." We all smiled... if I.A. was listening in, we now had 'plausible deniability' to discuss what we'd learned before the FBI did, and by most certainly extra-legal means.

It was Monday morning, February 22d. More weather had come through, dumping more snow. Fortunately, it had not come in such large amounts that it could not be handled.

Cindy had gone to see Jenna at Jenna's campaign office on Saturday. There were few people there, and Cindy and Jenna had not needed to say much. Cindy gave Jenna back the ring Cindy had been given, remaining composed and stoic, as had Jenna.

When Cindy left, she was met outside by her cousin. Of course I was not going to let her be alone at a time like this, so I took her to the Mountain Nest. Carole was happy to see Cindy, and vice versa, and two good dogs got a lot of skritchins. Dogs just make things better.

And Cindy braved the snow to travel down to 'The Vision' World Headquarters on Sunday, driving in her four-wheel-drive Police SUV. (Mine is also so equipped.) She'd come in today looking a lot better than she had been, and I was glad for that.

So now I was meeting with the Mouseketeers, who'd been helping the FBI compile a serious paper trail. The FBI was going to get a Federal arrest warrant for Farris, but I told the Mouseketeers to not get their hopes up.

"They're going to have to have a lot more than they do now, or they won't get an arrest warrant." I said.

"Why, sir?" asked Detective David Krueger, astutely listening to this important lesson.

"Six degrees of separation." I said. "Or even less. Their investigation touches something else: the State elections. If there is another prison scandal, then there's no way Governor Jared can be persuaded to run, because he'll lose badly. It won't hurt Lewis much, and it won't hurt Sean Stockton, who is a Legislator, but the current Administration will be shredded by the hate-filled, militant Media."

"I'm glad you don't have anything against them, sir." said Myron Milton. I just mock glared at him for a second, then grinned at the joke.

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

After my meeting with the Mouseketeers was over, Paulina asked me to come into her office. She was practically waddling, so heavy with child was she.

"Don, we need to go over this." she said. "It's the Jimmy Lawson case. I think this baby is going to come before the end of the week, and Krasney has already told me that he'd better not see me anywhere near the Courthouse for twelve weeks."

"Smart D.A., he is." I said. "Prudent advice, he gives."

"I'd agree," Paulina said, "but this case could become a bit iffy. I wanted to get a three month continuance, but Nance won't give Lawson bail, Lawson's attorney demands bail or a speedy trial, and Krasney has even come out against the continuance."

"This might tick you off," I said, "but I'm sort of on their side on this. The trial is scheduled to start March 3d, about a week and a half from now. I've already been served my subpoena for it. The sooner this gets done, the sooner the Fire Department/EMT tensions die down and we can move on."

"Don..." asked Paulina, staring hard at me, "do you think Jimmy Lawson murdered Jack Naples?"

"He's the most likely suspect." I replied. "But a good lawyer will create reasonable doubt."

"Not quite what I asked you, Don." Paulina said. "Do you think Lawson did it, or not?"

"That's why we have juries, Paulina." I said, avoiding the trap she was trying to put me in. "And I won't be on the one for Jimmy Lawson."

I could tell Paulina was getting miffed at me. She said "Well I think he did do it, or I wouldn't want this case to go forward. And I'm going to need you to help whoever Krasney assigns this to in order to get a conviction----"

*DING!*

It was my Police cellphone. I looked at it, then said "I expect Sergeant Rudistan to knock on that door in three... two... one..."

*KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK!*

The door opened, and Sergeant Micah Rudistan peered in, then stepped inside, his usually-jovial face almost glowing with happiness.

"I'm sorry to bother you, ma'am, sir," Rudistan said, "but there are two FBI Agents at the front desk that insist upon speaking to you, Commander Troy."

"You know what to do, Rudistan." I said, briefly smiling.

"Yes sir, I do." he said, and then retreated from the office.

Part 21 - Action Stations

"I am FBI Special Agent Bond, and this is FBI Special Agent Staffeld." said Bond, James Bond, to the Duty Desk Sergeant as both agents exhibited their FBI badges and ID cards. "Please call Commander Troy up here immediately. We need to speak with him."

"Yes sir," said the Duty Desk Sergeant. "If you'll just step into this room here, Commander Troy will join you in just a moment."

"No." said Bond. "Bring him up here to us. Immediately."

Neither agent had noticed the Patrol Officer at the Duty Desk press a button under the counter. That action had sent pre-planned texts to several cellphones, including the Commander's police cellphone. It also set in motion a set of events intended to show these FBI slugs the cohesion of the Thin Blue Line.

"Sir," said the Sergeant, "you will have to go into this room in order to speak with Commander Troy."

"No." said Staffeld. "Agent Bond, let's leave for now. We'll get a Federal arrest warrant and have Commander Troy brought in to our offices in handcuffs." His words were meant to threaten and intimidate.

But as the two FBI agents turned, they found themselves confronted by a full eight-man SWAT Team, in heavy armor and with shotguns and semi-automatic rifles.

"Sir," said the Sergeant, "you have two choices. You go into the room to my right, or you both will be arrested, taken through booking, and Commander Troy will speak to you at County Jail."

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