This week's 10-word challenge: budget, news, outer space, gargantuan, brass band, Purple Rose of Cairo, polar bears, insight, innovations, mute
And for the mini challenge: investments, purring, death penalty, mercury, convalescent home
Please stop by the Raven's Nest and check out the guidelines, the Mr. Linky with links to all the other stories and of course Raven's weekly offerings.
If you decide to stay here and read, well; I warned you. Oh, I haven't warned you yet have I? This blog carries the continuing story of Sgt Johnson an FBI profiler, Thomas McCool a modern day renaissance man and Claude Debaucherrie alleged eco-terrorists. There you've been warned.
This weeks episode: Evidence
Justine hung on to Claude's taut frame with delight as they cruised up Hwy 1. The smooth purring of the modified Harley's engine, the wind in her hair and the feeling of freedom that came with riding a motorcycle made her feel as good as she ever had about herself and the chances for her future.
The B & B they stopped at in Silver Springs, Maryland was an old Victorian that would have been far beyond her budget without Claude. Why the owners had named it the Purple Rose of Cairo was something she wanted to find out. After leading them past pictures of Polar Bears, gargantuan trees in the tropical rain forests of Brazil, photos of Mercury, Venus and Mars, the owner showed them their room. The juxtaposition of the Victorian home and photos of outer space was both charming and intriguing.
Justine was unable to ask about the name, but gained some insight into the personalities of the owners from the pictures on the walls, the decor (decidedly eclectic) and the hand printed information pamphlet in their room. At one time the house had been a convalescent home for civil war soldiers. There was a picture of bluecoats coming home and being greeted by a brass band.
Later the home had been purchased by a wealthy merchant whose investments included buying into the Edison Company in its infancy.
Claude told Justine he would be gone all day and some of the evening on business. He left her with money for shopping, directions to the bus stop (just at the corner) and directions to the Silver Springs mall. This new mall was famous for it's innovations in shopping luxury and convenience. Each store provided delivery in the local area, a shuttle back home if needed, and free refreshments and a complimentary lunch for shoppers who spent at least $250 in the mall. Claude gave Justine $500 and told her to have a ball. As he kissed her goodbye and got on the bike she wondered how she had gotten so lucky.
The operative was wondering just the opposite. She found herself bound, naked and hooked up to an IV. From the information obtained from Armistead Brewster Claude had set up a meeting by text message. This fatal flaw in the operative's tradecraft would cost her everything she held dear, including her life. Debaucherrie had no sympathy for those who opposed him and especially not these amateurs who sought to frame him for these ridiculous murders.
The operative's name was Glenda McGerring. She had worked in the DOJ as a political appointee during the first G W Bush administration. She had been noticed by an underling of "K" and found herself with the opportunity to do more for her party and country as a civilian than a public servant. In addition, the monetary rewards were many times more than her government pay.
It didn't really matter to her that she had subverted justice, caused innocent people to be imprisoned, injured or killed. She knew she was doing this for her country.
Claude was surprised at how easy the information was gotten from Glenda. She was truly a novice and barely competent. Still, she had overseen several murders, the theft of evidence from a DOJ warehouse, the planting of said evidence at a crime scene and handled underlings in 3 separate government departments. What her party lacked in expertise they made up in volume. Her network was extensive. It took Claude several hours to get it from her; not due to her resistance, but due to the sheer volume of information.
He had returned to her apartment in the Watergate towers, retrieved her laptop, blackberry, the contents of her wall safe and various other items before he completed the first days questioning. He left her that evening hooked up to an IV with fluid, some protein, and a sedative in a slow steady drip. It wouldn't do to have her in bad shape for the following day's interrogation. Secondly, he needed at least 24 hours for all drugs to clear her system before he put her behind the wheel of her Beemer. She would make the evening news with her spectacular accident on the Beltway. She would also remain mute concerning her revelations about "K"s operations.
While in the eyes of some her crimes may not have deserved a death penalty, it was the only way for Claude to assure himself that she would trouble him no more. At last he had enough evidence to present to McCool. It was imperative that he was successful in getting the FBI off his back. His plans could not move forward with them after him. The odds of being located were too great. Time was running out and he needed them looking at the real perpetrators and not thinking about him. Once his plan was in motion it would be too late for any of them to stop him.