tagNon-EroticSting of the Scorpion Ch. 03

Sting of the Scorpion Ch. 03


The chronological order of my stories is as follows:

Todd & Melina series, Interludes 1-5, Sperm Wars series, Russian Roulette series, Case of the Murdered Lovers series, Case of the Murdered Chessplayer series, The Swap series, Interludes 6-10, The Murdered Football Player Series, Case of the Black Widow series, Teresa's Christmas Story, The Case of the Black Badge series, A Case of Revenge series, Teresa's Summer Race, The Trilogy series, Dark Side Of The Force series, Caught In The Act series, The Phyllis Files 1-2, Case of the Murdered Bride series, The Credit Card Caper series, The Phyllis Files 3, The Hot Wives Investment Club series, Seriously Inconvenienced series, Case of the Paper Trail series, Christmas Mystery Theater, The Porno Set Mystery series, The Medical Murder Mystery series, The Eightfold Fence series, The Phyllis Files 4, Pale Morning Light series, Silverfish series, Cold As Ice series, Secrets of Apple Grove series.

Sting of the Scorpion, Ch. 01-03.

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 10 - A Stinging Rebuke, Pt. 1

"Welcome back, Commander." said Detective Martin Nash as I entered MCD at 6:00am sharp on Friday, May 8th. V.E. Day, for those that remember such things. "How was Washington?"

"Needs a good housecleaning in November, as always." I said. "Unfortunately, I didn't get much time to do any sightseeing. Anything exciting happen while I was away?"

"Just a domestic shooting case that's been resolved already." Nash said. "Otherwise, the criminal elements apparently took some time off themselves." said Nash, pouring coffee into my mug, then a second cup for himself. "The University is going into final exams period, which means a quieter time for us and the Campus Police. Sandra was called into the City, which always means our FBI friends are about to go big with something."

"Thanks for that tip." I said. "People wonder how I figure things out, Martin. Just between you and me alone... I hear you say something like that, I hear someone else say something here and there, I put it together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. So when I ask what was going on between the Chief and Brownlee, you won't be utterly stunned."

Nope, didn't get so much as a chuckle out of the guy. "I guess you heard." Nash said. "Brownlee tried to force Lt. Peterson to give KSTD the Jack Burke files. The Chief squashed that like a bug. Brownlee went to the Union and to the Media. The Chief is pissed. Brownlee is pissed. The Union is pissed. The Media is pissed. I could make a lot of money selling crowbars, sir."

"And don't even go within the Sheriff's sight." said a female voice behind us. I turned to see Tanya Perlman bounce into the room as if walking on air. "Good morning guys! How was your trip, Commander?"

"Obviously not as good as your evening with Dr. Wellman last night." I said.

"How--?" Tanya asked, her face looking shocked before breaking out into a big grin. "Okay, you got me... and you're right."

"Jigsaw puzzle, Martin." I said, seeing Nash's look.

"Okay, fill us in." said Nash.

"Easy enough." I said. "When Laura and I got home last night, Mrs. Feeley had left earlier that day. Now it didn't have to be the case, but I thought it was possible that she had left a bit early to go home and prepare to babysit her grandson Pete. That would mean that you, Tanya, had plans for the evening. Martin just told me that Sandra is on a mission, which means Jack Muscone is on a mission, so he is eliminated as a suspect. And the way you walked into this room, Tanya... well, even Robert Brownlee could make that deduction, my friend."

Tanya laughed as Nash absorbed the lesson. He said "So it looks like you did something magical, but only you were able to know about Mrs. Feeley, and then me telling you about Sandra."

"Yes." I said. "I was in a unique position." Where had I said those words before?

"That reminds me of the Warner-Schelle murders." said Nash. "You were the only one to see both crime scenes, so you saw things we didn't. Ever since then, I've tried to read up on every case that comes in, even to Vice, to see if anything in common comes up."

"And one day you'll be rewarded for doing that." I said.

As Detectives Joanne Cummings and Theo Washington trickled in, I asked "Where is Torres?", referring to Detective Diana Torres.

"On loan to Vice." said Tanya. "She and Lorena Rose went undercover. Some young Hispanics have been seen in the western Tenderloin District, and Teresa wants to know if they're scouts for any gangs that might want to move in here. And Teresa didn't want to send in Lorena by herself."

"Smart." I said. "Okay, Lt. Perlman, you have a DVD to show me. Let's all watch it together before Bettina comes on."

Tanya did not show any surprise that I knew about the DVD; after this morning's lessons nothing was fazing her. She grabbed the remote and started playing it. I watched Priya interview Brownlee. At one point I said "Whoa! Stop the tape!" Tanya did.

"Go back and play that again." I said.

The tape played: "Commander Brownlee," said Priya, "as second-in-command of the Police Force, and as Deputy Chief, aren't you in custody of the evidence, and can't you do something to release those files as required by law?"

"Yeah, he's not second in command." said Cindy Ross, who had come in behind me. She missed her shot; I had not detected her presence, but she didn't take advantage of it.

"I heard that got to you." I said. "Roll that beautiful bean footage one more time, Tanya." Tanya replayed that segment.

"So guys," I said, then uttered the dreaded words: "teachable moment. Did all of you hear that?" No one got it.

"Was I not the only one that heard Priya say 'release those files'?" I asked.

"Ohhhh, I see." said Tanya.

"That makes one of us." said Martin Nash.

"Cummings!" I said, getting my youngest Detective's full attention. "When you hear about 'tapes', what do you think of?"

"Video tapes?" Joanne guessed.

"Exactly." I said. "And the Jack Burke tapes were videocassettes. But what most people don't know and should not know is that Myron transferred the data into digital servers in case the physical tapes got damaged."

"Ohhhhh." Cindy said. "Priya used the word 'files'. She knows they're digitally preserved on the servers... as files."

"Does that really tell us anything?" asked Theo.

"Maybe not." I said. "But there are some inferences from it. Anyone care to guess?"

"Commander," said Martin Nash, sitting up straight in his chair, "I'm not sure what you're getting at, but KSTD probably wants those tapes, or files, so they generate publicity for themselves. The stuff on the tapes are sexual, and involved prominent people in the County, from what I understand." The Burke-Arruzio case had been before Martin's time, I realized, but I also had just heard him tell me that he reviewed past cases to learn from them, which was a good thing.

Nash continued: "So they get wind of the tapes, ambush us with the O.R.A. request, try to goad the new Chief into releasing them, then get Brownlee to generate more drama. And on top of that, they get to take free shots at you, Commander, though I don't understand why."

"The Town & County Council members are already being inundated with calls from people about it." said Cindy Ross. "So KSTD has created chaos in the County, and at the same time boosted their ratings over 50%."

"And why is Priya taking the shots at me personally?" I asked.

"Sir," Joanne Cummings said, "you are a local celebrity here. Your name is well-known. Mentioning you just gets KSTD more attention, and ultimately more ratings points."

"That's good. Very good." I said. "Okay, I have to go get ready to talk to the Chief. You all did well, but I believe there's more to all this. What I had been driving at about the 'files' and Priya knowing about them... is that this entire story about the tapes has been planned and orchestrated, and not just by the Media. Someone knew about the Burke tapes and that they're in the servers as files, told Priya and KSTD to ask for the files... the computer files. It's all coordinated, and one has to wonder why..."

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

"Your people did very well." said Chief Bennett after we chit-chatted about Washington and the funeral. "I had a really good chance to observe them and talk to them without you here. The murders were solved quickly, and were pretty straightforward. This bullshit about the Burke tapes has been more of a problem."

"Yes sir." I said. "I haven't had a chance to review the murder case, though."

"Speaking of that," said the Chief, "Brownlee is pushing for a medal for Sharples. I'd like for you to give me an opinion on that after you review the case. And be open-minded about it; if Sharples did well, then he gets credit for it. By the way, Brownlee also thinks Sharples should be considered for MCD."

"No, sir!" I said strongly, shaking my head almost violently. "Not under any circumstances. Do that, and my resignation will appear on your desk and in your email box before you can blink twice." I think the Chief was taken aback at my passion in that statement more than the actual threat to resign.

"Is he that bad?" he asked.

"Yes sir." I said unflinchingly. "I'd fire him right now, but the God-damned Union is fighting me every step of the way when I try to. The guy is a dirtbag, he's poison."

"Brownlee thinks that swapping Torres for Sharples would be a great idea. Lt. Croyle agreed when I asked her about it."

"Sir, it's not..." I caught myself, then straightened up in my chair. "Sir, may I speak freely?" Bennett knew what I meant.

"Yes, please." he answered.

"Sir, it's not that god-damned paper-pusher Brownlee's job or business to be saying who is in Vice, MCD, or Precinct assignments. He is not the Police Commander, I am. And he's full of shit, sir. Sharples is a dirty cop, I'm working to get the goods on him and take his ass down, and until that happens, there is no way on God's green earth that he is coming to MCD. Lt. Croyle wants Sharples out of Vice, so of course she'd love that swap. But I'll bet my new house that Lt. Perlman would go ballistic if you or I did that to her."

"And finally sir, and this is why I had to ask to speak freely... why the hell are you going behind my back to my subordinates about this? That's dirty pool, Chief." It was a rebuke and a strong one. I wasn't taking that shit, even from my boss.

"Ah, yes. Yes, it was wrong to do that. My mistake, please accept my apology. So why is Brownlee so strongly for Sharples?" Bennett asked.

"Sir, again speaking freely, Brownlee is a piece of shit also. He relies on the Union to keep his job, just as Sharples does. He hired Sharples, and it's easy to see why: they're peas in a pod. I would suggest giving Sharples to Brownlee in some worthless Admin post, but in actuality I don't want to give Sharples up... I want to find a way to take Sharples down for keeps... without killing him, of course."

"All right, I hear you." said Bennett. "Just one other thing. I've noticed that Captain Ross, while an outstanding officer and deserving of every accolade she's received, has one weakness that is getting in her way: she is too loyal to you, Commander. I know you two are close, but she needs to not just be your follower. She needs to take the reins of leadership of the Detectives as the leader, not just as your proxy."

He has no idea how close we are, I thought to myself, but I answered properly: "Yes sir. Some of that has been my fault for putting her in places where she is a follower, but I'll make sure she leads as she should. I do think you'll be pleasantly surprised how she will grow into that Captain's chair."

"I do agree, and she did very well while you were gone." said Bennett. "Okay, you go take care of the murder case wrap-up, and I'll see what I can do with this KSTD lawsuit. It's been filed. I still don't understand what the hell this really is about..."

"We'll discuss that over a beer at the Cop Bar sometime, Chief." I said as I got up to go.

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

I had Captain Cindy Ross, Lt. Tanya Perlman, and Detectives Theo Washington and Martin Nash with me as we entered the condo where Jennifer Morris had been murdered. As I entered, I silently looked around.

"Commander," said Tanya, "I have the photographs of all the evidence so you can see what it looked like. Also, the murder weapon did have indications that a silencer had been attached to it when it was fired. It wasn't fired at McCombs, so that silencer evidence remained intact. And that explains why the neighbors heard nothing. Last but not least, there were no prints on the gun parts nor the magazine nor the cartridges. Totally clean."

"Which is shocking if it was the husband Morris." I said. "That's good information, though." I said as my eyes peered around the room. "Oh, thank you." I said as Tanya handed me a sheaf of photographs, and in color, no less! I rapidly looked through them.

"So how did the anonymous tipster hear the shots to make that call?" wondered Theo Washington aloud. No one else answered as they watched me.

"Good question, Theo... Hmmm, shell casings here..." I said, looking at where the circles had been drawn on the carpet. I examined the blood stains leading from the bedroom, then went inside the bedroom and stood at the foot of the bed. Of course the body had been removed and the bloodstained sheets taken into evidence, so I looked at the photos.

As I turned around and was about to say something, Tanya teased me. "Uh oh, you're about to say it, aren't you?"

"What's that?" I asked.

"What you say when you're about to test the hell out of us: 'Teachable moment'." she replied, grinning.

"Oh yes." I said. "And this truly is a good 'teachable moment'. Tell me, Theo, what's your conclusion about this?"

"There's a lot of problems with the scenario, sir." said Theo, who was dressed in a suit and tie, as was Nash. I think they were trying to out-GQ each other. "I can't think of anything that fits the evidence as we saw it at the time."

"That's exactly right..." I said. "... the evidence as you saw it. Think about that. Nash?"

"I hate it when you say things like that." said Nash. "By the way, this is my first time seeing it, too." I handed him the photos and he looked through them, walking around the rooms as I said "Perlman?"

"Theo's right." she said. "I can't twist a theory to suit these facts, nor the facts to suit any theories in this."

"Before I ask you, Captain Ross," I said, "I want to ask everyone: have you followed up on Mr. Morris's whereabouts in the timeframe of the murder?"

"No sir, and that's my bad." said Theo. "But the guy pulled a gun on McCombs and Sharples, and it was the gun used to kill his wife and her lover Konnichi. He has to be the guy, right?"

"Yes, it was the gun used to kill them." I said. I saw Cindy's eyes light up at at that, and it was time to unleash the power of the Blue Crowbar. "Okay, Miss Ross."

"Sharples." Cindy said simply. "Sharples is involved. His name is mentioned. Therefore, none of this can be taken for what it seems to be."

"Yes." I said. "Now tell me again guys, what exactly Sharples' role at the crime scene was? Who got here first, by the way?"

"Two uniformed officers responded to the anonymous call about gunfire." said Theo. "Patrolmen Phil Goodwright and Jeremy Hatch."

"Jesus H. Christ, who sent Hatch to a report of gunfire in the area?!" I asked, the explosion in my voice shocking everyone. "Captain Ross, remind me to find out just who the hell allowed that to happen." Hatch was a really inept officer, who should not be going on potentially dangerous calls. "Okay, Theo, please continue."

"When I got here," said Theo, "the Crime Lab people had just gotten here, and Sharples was here. Christina Cho told me that Sharples got there right after she did. He was looking around, but didn't touch anything, and he was annoying the Crime Lab people by asking about things like the angle of the bullets entering the wall by the window, how many shells were found and where, and such stuff. He'd then say something like 'Okay, he must've fired from here.', and he finally went away right after I got here."

"Sounds consistent." I said. "Nash, one more guess before we bring the crowbar down?"

"Captain Ross is right, sir." Nash said. "It's not as it seems to be, but I can't think of the word for it."

I said "How about the word... 'staged'?" Four pairs of eyes lit up.

"Of course." said Tanya. She whirled and went to the door. "So instead of Sharples's bogus theory, let's just say the perp comes in the door very quietly. Jennifer is getting banged by Kenny and neither hear him. The perp comes into the bedroom, shoots them both, kills her, but he gets away through the window. Perp runs towards the door to leave, but then sees lover trying to dive out the window, and fires at him but misses."

"Not bad," I said, "but why wouldn't Konnichi run for the door himself? And why wouldn't the perp blast him in the back as he tried to run away?" Tanya gave up.

"I'll add this." I said. "According to what I'm seeing, for the husband to have shot at the lover in the window, he would've literally had to be bringing in a silencer-equipped pistol from the outside hall into the doorway, and then find the lovers and all that. Now I don't know about you guys, but a silencer-equipped semi-auto .22 WMR pistol isn't something I carry around, and it's not something one just hides in one's pocket. So the Sharples theory is bullshit from the get-go."

"And finally, as Theo was figuring out," I added, "the anonymous phone call... claims to have heard gunfire no one else hears, and from a silencer-equipped weapon at that. Why the call? To make sure the scene was quickly found."

"All right." said Cindy in the thoughtful silence. "Red Crowbar wins again. You tell us what happened."

"Wildcats rule, as always." I said, teasing my partner about our respective School loyalties. "Seriously... I think the perp did enter the apartment with that silencer-equipped .22 WMR semi-auto pistol... with the intent to kill. He entered the condo while Konnichi was fucking Jennifer Morris, who is a real slut that would fuck anyone with a half-hard cock, from what I understand." My Detectives looked surprised at my language and vehemence, but I sailed on:

"He goes into the bedroom, surprises the lovers. Shoots Kenny, but Kenny staggers out. Perp shoots Jennifer, then goes after Kenny... but Kenny wisely went out the window instead of going for the door. At that point, he had a chance to live."

I continued: "And that's where Fat Boy... yes, I love that nickname, too, Tanya... or maybe a confederate hired on Sharples' behalf, got too cute by half. He fired at the window after Kenny had already left through it. Two bullets into the wall, two through the open window. All for theater, all for show."

"Oh, wow..." Theo said as my narrative sank in.

I said "Then he leaves, calls in the anonymous tip, then comes back to assist the Crime Lab in their inquiries. He makes sure to be seen, to have his theories heard, then gets out just before he'd get in trouble for interfering with an MCD investigation."

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