tagErotic CouplingsThe French Connection Ch. 02

The French Connection Ch. 02

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 6 - Broken Hearts

Melina looked up as Waddell aimed at her again...

*WHOOSH!*

The katana swung with blinding speed, and Waddell's hand fell to the floor, the gun still in it. Then I ran the bastard through, driving the sword into his gut just below the ribcage. It came out of his back, and I pulled it out of him before he even realized what had happened.

As he bent over in pain, I swung around and the katana slashed down, slicing through his neck. His head toppled to the floor next to his hand and the gun, then the rest of him followed.

"Don, she's hurt!" gasped Melina, who had not moved, and was still cradling Kathy. I knelt down beside Kathy, who was barely alive and fading fast.

"Give... my sister... this." Kathy whispered, touching the locket attached to the necklace around her neck, as our eyes locked together. "Tell.. my sister... and your sister... that I love them..." I nodded.

And with that, having sacrificed herself for a fellow CIA agent, Goth Girl Kathy transitioned into that Place where neither spies nor sacrifice were needed, and there were no secrets to be kept.

I unclasped the necklace and put it into my pocket. Melina and I looked at each other as I cleaned my sword and put it back into it's 'diplomatic bag'. Seconds later, French Police came onto the deck, led by a man that was to me a French version of the late Joe Smedley of my Town & County.

He introduced himself as the Superintendent of Police of the 8th Arrondissement. "And you are ze Iron Crowbar, ze nephew of my friend Dr. Eckhart, n'est pas?" he asked.

"Oui, mon Superintendent." I replied. Unlike the eight years of our previous marriage, Melina most very wisely kept her mouth shut.

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

6:00pm, Central European Time, Tuesday, March 20th. The French Police vehicle dropped me and Melina off at the Japanese Embassy after we were interviewed and processed. The contents of my 'diplomatic bag' were not examined. The body of Kathy Larrington was also delivered, and would fly home with us in the Japanese diplomatic plane that had come in to take some of the trade talks staffers back home.

"It has been my pleasure to work with the Iron Crowbar!" said the Superintendent as I profusely thanked him for his help. "Please give my very warmest regards to Dr. Eckhart. He is such a great man. And I hope to work with you again, as well."

"On his behalf, I thank you for your assistance in my time of need." I replied. "And I look forward to working with you, and perhaps visiting your great city again." I really did hope to come back to Paris, and really be a tourist of it. I also knew the chances of such a trip were on the slim side for a while.

It had been the Superintendent's Police that had rushed to Elizabeth's body, and gotten her and 'Paul Claisson' out of the Jardin des Champs-Élysées. The real Claisson's body had been found in a Paris sewer, and would be delivered to the U.S. Embassy after being exsanguinated and filled with formaldehyde, to destroy the residual neurotoxins in his bloodstream.

The Superintendent would also, in a couple of days, deliver to the U.S. Embassy a vial of blood, saying that they believed my sister Elizabeth had been murdered, and that the Embassy could use this blood to positively identify her. He also apologized and admitted the 'huge error' of accidentally cremating Elizabeth's body instead of another woman's. Elements of the French Government followed up with apologies to the American Embassy over that 'mix up'. The U.S. Ambassador to France graciously accepted the apologies, and said they would inform Elizabeth's family of her passing.

I thanked the Japanese staff at the Embassy with correct, formal words and many bows back and forth, and they replied that they were proud to be of assistance to my Clan and to the Chrysanthemum Throne, which is what we all knew they had been of real assistance to. Melina and I were then driven from the Japanese Embassy to the airport, where we boarded the diplomatic plane bound for New York City, with Kathy's body loaded into the back cargo hold.

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

"This is Bettina Wurtzburg, KXTC Fox Two News!" the lovely redhead said at 4:00pm local time, March 20th. "The closing arguments in the Jan Camp trial have ended, and legal experts say it was an absolute disaster for State Attorney Glenn Alberts! I have with me Mike Todd of the Madison & Ives Law Firm, and a Fox Two News contributor. Mike, what happened?"

"In his closing arguments, Bettina," said Mike G. Todd, "Mr. Alberts actually said out loud that Jan Camp had been, and I quote, 'a fine professor at the School'. Then he said, and I again am quoting, 'Does the University favor student-athletes? Yes, of course they do.'. He made no strong rebuttals of Jan Camp's case nor her attorney Gwen Munson's closing statements, which were purely a scathing indictment of favoritism towards student-athletes, especially football players."

Bettina said "Thank you, Mike! And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen! Mr. Alberts did not hit a home run, and experts believe he and his team have fallen well short of what was needed to win this case! The Jury will be released for the day, and will begin their deliberations tomorrow..."

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

Flying west is better than flying east, as far as jetlag is concerned, but it was still a very long trip. As the the tension of the past hours subsided, I felt a weariness come over me. Still, I was too keyed up, though I knew I needed to sleep.

When a lovely Japanese stewardess came up to us and asked us if she could get us anything, I asked for a flask of saké. Melina said "I need a shortwave radio, with a transmitter, please." The stewardess did not bat an eyelash, but bowed and said she would bring one. I had to admit surprise when my flask of saké arrived... along with a shortwave radio.

Melina plugged what looked like a earphone jack with a knob into the "MIC" port on the side, with a wire going to a small box with a silver button on it, and then another line that went to an iPhone. Then she plugged another jack into the earphone listening port, with more wires leading to earplugs. Melina put the earplugs on and the began fiddling with the knob. Seeing me watching, she handed one of the earplugs to me to listen in. There was mostly static, but then a hum could be heard. Melina fiddled with the gain and fine tuning, and the hum grew louder and clearer. Then it burst into words, mostly a man calling out the station ID and the hours in Universal Coordinated Time (UTC).

"If this jack is not plugged into the MIC," Melina said, "you wouldn't hear the call sign, just the hum." She then got out her iPhone and typed in a message. The iPhone coded it into blocks of five letters and numbers, and transmitted it over the short wave to CIA Headquarters, and anywhere else the CIA might have a listening station.

The message had read: "Mission blown. Target 'E' destroyed, but Claisson turned. Tried to kill me, but Agent Darkwave intercepted. I killed him, but Darkwave died. Say again: Darkwave made the ultimate sacrifice. Bringing her home with Japanese trade mission flight."

"Think that'll cover us?" she asked.

"Hopefully." I said. "They'll have a few questions for you."

"I've got that covered, and so will Laura." said Melina. "I'm not going to Washington; they'll have to come talk to me at home. And I'll be threatening to resign from the Company."

"A real threat?"

Melina shrugged her shoulders. "I don't know. But one thing is for damn sure... I will never go on an overseas mission for them again. Do you really think they were going to have me killed, too? Or was Waddell acting as a rogue agent?"

"Some of both, I would imagine." I said. "Kind of like Laura's last mission... for some, it was genuine; for others, they wanted her to not come home from it. I'd imagine the fallout of your mission will be the same."

"It's too bad Kathy had to die." said Melina. "Not that I and my children are ungrateful; she took a bullet for me." She then turned to peer at me. "Did you miscalculate on that? It was closer than I wanted it to be, for sure."

I thought about it for a moment, a long moment. "Yeah." I said. "Something didn't go right. Waddell should not have gotten a shot off at you. I messed up, somewhere..."

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

3:30am, Town & County Time, March 21st. The small plane landed at County Airport. A hearse met the plane on the tarmac, and the body of Goth Girl Kathy was transported to the Morgue for Martha's autopsy services. The M.E. was there and ready when the body arrived.

I called Laura and told her I was home. She came over to Headquarters and we talked in my office about everything that had happened. At 5:30am she left to go back home. I dozed for an hour and a half.

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

"This is Bettina Wurtzburg, KXTC Fox Two News!" shouted the lovely redheaded reporterette at 7:00am, Wednesday, March 21st, from in front of City Hall. "As we await the verdict in the Jan Camp/University trial, Public Policy Polling's state-wide teams have made a shocking discovery!"

Bettina: "Polls are showing that Governor Val Jared's popularity has climbed to 48%, his highest since his re-election. This follows one assassination attempt on him, after the alleged foiling of another by the Midtown Police some weeks ago."

More Bettina: "And that was not the only shock finding in these polls. They reveal that an increasing number of voters are angry with both political Parties and with the State Legislature. They are no longer blaming Val Jared for the gridlock in the Legislature, and they are not blaming only Val Jared's Republicans, but both parties. Additionally, many voters believe that it is Establishment Elitists of both Parties that are the cause of the problems, not the Governor nor so-called 'Grassroots Conservatives', which some call TEA-Partiers."

"And with time running out to the end of the Legislative session, and no progress on the Law Enforcement Bill" said Bettina, "the State Patrol Commander, Colonel Hartmann, says that his State Troopers are being used as pawns in what he calls 'political elitist's power games', and are being treated poorly by the Legislature. Colonel Hartmann says that if an LEO bill is not passed that fully funds the State Patrol, the Patrolmen will very likely go on strike in retaliatory response."

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

"Where's Joanne?" I asked, still feeling groggy on so little sleep. Jerome Davis's 'Navy' coffee was helping, but only so much.

"She asked to be excused until noon." Cindy said. "She said she had to meet with someone this morning, and I said it'd be fine."

"Who is she meeting with?" I asked casually. Cindy's answer shocked me awake:

"Melina Allgood."

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

At 8:30am, having forewarned the Chief, Cindy, and Teresa, I went and got Detective Roy McGhillie, having called him earlier and told him to wear his Duty Dress uniform. Also wearing my Duty Dress uniform, I stopped by and got Father Romano.

We piled into my Police SUV and drove to the Larrington home. I have said before that it is good to be the Police Commander. Times like this were where and when I paid for it. But I had my duty to do, and I did not shirk it.

Father Romano prayed for me as we arrived. I definitely needed the support of a Higher Power at this time. We got out of the vehicle and knocked on the door. Nora Larrington opened it. She was shocked to see us, and the presence of the good Father was probably her first clue that this was not a good social call.

She admitted us inside. Becca was at home, and was at first happy to see her fiancé Roy. Then it dawned on her that we were not very cheerful. I asked everyone to come into the main room, where everyone sat down, Becca next to Roy, and Father Romano next to Mrs. Larrington.

I sat down with them, facing them. And I proceeded to break this family's heart.

"I just got back from Paris, France." I said. "There was an attempt to murder a CIA Agent there. Kathy... your daughter... your sister... saved the CIA Agent's life... by sacrificing her own."

"She's..." Becca wailed, "Kathy's... dead?" The dam was welling, and I had no choice but to break it.

"Yes." I said. "I'm sorry. She's gone. She died saving her fellow Agent's life."

Becca broke down into wailing sobs as Roy tried to comfort her, holding her. Nora Larrington had realized that something like this could happen to her daughter, and now it had happened. She began crying, leaning on Father Romano for support.

I knew how painful this would be, but there would truly be no better time. I took the necklace with the locket out of my pocket. "Your sister's last words," I said to Becca, "were to ask me to give you this, and to tell you that she loved you." Becca was sobbing and her hands were shaking as I placed the necklace in them.

"You were there?" whispered Nora Larrington.

"Yes." I said quietly. "I arrived just before she... passed on."

Nora nodded and began crying for her firstborn child. Becca was inconsolable, wrapped in Roy McGhillie's arms as she clutched the necklace to her chest...

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

"I went over y'all's heads and assigned Roy McGhillie to help the family." I told Cindy and Teresa when I got back to Headquarters. "The TCPD has been asked by the U.S. State Department to conduct the funeral services. It was more like I told them we would do it, and they accepted letting us handle it."

"Wow, that's so sad." said Teresa. "Your vibe was right, Cindy."

"Yeah." said Cindy. She told me about the vibe she'd had, that I was in trouble somewhere.

"It wasn't me, so much." I said. "Okay, Croyle, get the funeral team ready. Full honors, American Flag on her casket, all that. She'll be buried on the west side of Cemetery Hill, in the northwest corner."

"The heroes side." said Cindy. "I remember when she was one of the bad guys. She really came a long way."

"You know," I said, "she made some poor choices regarding who she hung out with. But I don't think she was ever truly bad. Not like Ned." I then said "Teresa, Becca was not handling it very well this morning. There might be a time I might ask you to talk to her, if you're willing to do that."

"If it'll help, sir." said Teresa. "Losing an older sister at a young age... well, it's... you never had to find out that you never get over that."

"Glad I didn't have to find out, either." said Cindy.

Part 7 - The Blame Game

I was asked to attend a 10:00am meeting at the FBI offices of the Federal Building on Courthouse Square. When I got there, I was surprised to find that it was not just an FBI meeting. The EAD was there, as was Jack Muscone. But also there were Laura Fredricson, Melina Allgood, and... Joanne Warner. This could only mean one thing: that Melina had been successful in recruiting Joanne into the CIA. And we were in the room with the plexiglass cube, meaning we would be discussing sensitive stuff.

"I'm going to bring you up to speed on everything," said the EAD after we all signed the non-disclosure paperwork, "but we'll first discuss former FBI Special Agent Waddell. His ignominious death brings and end to the staining of the FBI badge by his treasonous actions. We now know that he had affiliations with Dana Fox, who had already told us as much. But even Fox did not know the whole story."

The EAD continued: "Waddell went to England, and was last seen at the Embassy of the Russian Federation. We thought he was defecting to Russia, or working with them in some other way. It turns out they only gave him passage to France, and set up meetings between him and a group known to be very hostile to Jews. I hesitate to call them neo-Nazis, because they are not really National Socialists in any way. They are simply Jew haters, and a group dedicated to the eradication of Jews from the face of this Earth. And Waddell was a virulent Jew-hater, as well, as we've discovered from digging up things about his past we didn't know before."

More EAD: "His connection to these groups got him noticed by the Mossad, Israel's Secret Service. They began watching him for links to Islamic groups working in France and maybe Germany. Mossad never found any connections, though. At least none they've told us about."

"The FBI, Homeland Security, and our Intelligence Services consider Waddell's death to be the death of a traitor, and a good thing. They consider the matter closed." said the EAD. "That's the good news."

"The bad news," said the EAD, "was that the CIA's mission to have a foreign subversive assassinated was blown up. A CIA Agent died in the line of duty, saving another CIA Agent. The top brass at Langley does not understand the timeline and the details of this---"

"Sir?" I asked. "Sorry to interrupt, but... who told you about Waddell?"

The EAD looked totally astonished, as did Laura and Jack. "This has trickled down from the information gathered over the last 24 hours or so."

"Let me ask more clearly, sir." I said. "How does anyone at all know about Waddell? How do they know he's dead? How do they know to tell you that he's dead?"

The EAD looked around at the others, then his eyes came back to me. "I don't think I understand, Commander. I was told that you sliced him up at the scene, at that theater near the garden. Was that not right?"

I was peering back at the EAD. "Noooo," I whispered. "It's not right." Then I caught myself. "Well, let me say this... stories are not matching, here..." I went into a reverie.

And then it hit me. I understood. Everything was falling into place.

"Commander?" asked the EAD as I came out of the reverie. "Are you okay?"

"Yes sir." I said firmly. "My apologies for interrupting your meeting."

"On the CIA side of things," said the EAD, glancing at me with uncertainty as he spoke, "I'm told that the mission was to eliminate a foreign subversive and to stop the flow of guns into some Paris regions. The CIA Director personally approved this mission, and is reported to be happy with the results."

That was met with an icy silence. Muscone didn't know what to say, nor did Joanne. Laura was peering at me, and I was peering at Melina.

"Tell you what." said the EAD, knowing that something wasn't right. "Why don't Jack and I go into the other room and get up to speed on some things, and these CIA ladies can brief you on their side of things..." With that, the EAD and Muscone got up and quickly left the room.

"Surprised Joanne is here?" Laura asked, to break the tense silence.

"No... considering that I was the one who asked for her to be invited." I replied. Yep, that stunned them. Please do not consider Your Iron Crowbar to be anything resembling an Agency of the Weak-Minded, I thought to myself.

"What's wrong, Don?" asked Laura, seeing the look on my face.

"You should ask your sister." I said. "How does the EAD know about Waddell?"

"I don't know." said Melina.

"Melina," I said, "the CIA Director is absolutely not satisfied. He wanted Elizabeth dead. Not neutralized. Dead. It was personal with him. And he didn't give a rat's patootie about Claisson or even Waddell. He had you sent to kill Elizabeth, and he had Claisson sent to assist you by making contacts with Elizabeth."

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