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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 12 – Keys To The Kingdom (continued)

I typed it out:


“Oooh, I see some words!” Cindy said. “And that has to be ‘safe deposit box’, there.”

“I think you’re right.” I said. “So now, on to the second key. What I realized is that there are only a few punctuation marks, and if you look at your typewriter keyboard, you’ll see they are all on the right side. That led me to thinking about the ‘right to tight, left is loose’ hint. Now the word ‘safe’ appears to be whole and clean, and you can see some of the word ‘deposit’. Those letters are all typed with the left hand on the standard keyboard.”

“So what does that mean?” asked Paulina.

“If I leave my left hand in place,” I said, “that leaves the right hand. Now to code it, I’d move my fingers one key to the right. Instead of JKL; as the home keys, I would have KL;’ typed out. So, to decode, let’s go left, where the home keys are HJKL and see what happens…”

Doing so, and not looking at the keys but at the screen, I typed out:


“And with just a little re-spacing…” I said as I typed:


“Oh my God, you got it!” Cindy exclaimed.

“Heh heh heh heh.” said the Chief. “No wonder the CIA wanted you to join them.”

“That is amazing.” said Paulina as she massaged my shoulders with her strong hands. Mmmm, that felt good…

“Thank you.” I said. “So, let’s do this. Paulina, a warrant, if you please…”

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

We had some delay getting the warrant. Judge Rodney K. Watts was always patient with me when I explained why I needed a warrant, and in this case he was absolutely fascinated with my demonstration of cryptography in decoding the Sharples message, as well as the explanations behind it. He issued the warrant once I had explained.

J.P. Goldman Bank had just closed, but Selena Steele had been forewarned that we were coming. So we had the bank and the safe deposit box vault to ourselves.

“Tim here regularly drills out our boxes for us.” said Selena as we watched the young man prepare his powerful drill and a huge, diamond-tipped bit. “We can replace the lock or even the whole door from inside once it’s opened.”

“Cool beans.” I said. “So who did this box belong to?”

“It was under the name of ‘Cy Hart’.” said Selena. “He’s an attorney from Midtown. He rented the box on behalf of a Dr. Thomas Burris, and the yearly rent was paid from a trust that Mr. Hart maintained for his now-deceased client.”

“Cy Hart.” I said. “That name sounds familiar, but I’m not sure why.”

“My father has hired him several times for legal matters.” Cindy said. “That’s probably where you heard his name.”

I just nodded, saying no more: I had just realized that ‘Cy Hart’ had been part of my ‘dream’ while being tortured by Casey B. Walker. (Author’s Note: ‘Dream Weaver’) I had no intention of speaking of that out loud.

A few minutes later, the door was ready. Selena put the bank’s lock key into the slot and turned it, and with some tugging the door came open. Putting on latex gloves, I pulled out the box inside. Inside that box were three manila envelopes, stuffed chock-fill of papers and jump drives. I gave Selena a receipt for the contents, then Cindy and I made our goodbyes to Selena, Tim, and Paulina, and took the evidence to Headquarters under two-man control.

Once at Headquarters, I commandeered two of the copy machines that digitized papers from the Administration Department, and brought them to my office. Then Myron, Mary, and I began processing the papers, transferring the data to an encrypted server that had as much security on it as I could possibly put on it. Needless to say, the jump drives were also copied over.

When it was time for me to go to the Council meeting, Cindy took over helping, and she, Myron mobilbahis güvenilir mi and Mary completed the job. By the time midnight struck, fifteen hundred pages of data would be in my evidence servers.

Part 13 – Advice of Council

The public part of the Town I knew that was Kelly Carnes’s intent. “You don’t ‘order’ anyone in the Police Department to do anything.”

The Mayor began tapping his gavel. “Yes, you are right, Commander. And we do understand Captain Ross needing to be at her job. Let’s move forward. Mr. Cook?”

“Thank you, Mr. Mayor.” said Thomas P. Cook. “And the issue of Captain Ross’s absence is ironic in the light that if you had a Vice Lieutenant, Captain Ross could delegate to him or her and be here herself. It is the overall situation of the absence of leadership in the Detectives Division, which is leading to the breakdown of the Police Force’s ability to do their jobs, that we are here to discuss.”

“Chief, or Commander,” said the Mayor, why don’t you come to the head of the table and the podium, rather than sit behind half of us.”

“Consider this delegated to youuuuuu, Mr. Crowbar.” said the Chief, per our previous plan, but still making humor out of it. I got myself into a standing position, then went to the podium.

“My first comment in reply,” I said, “is that Mr. Cook has been listening to Bettina Wurtzburg too long, and believing the ‘False News’ that is being narrated. Our Police Force is running just fine, as some perps will find out tonight, Lord willin’ and the Creek don’t rise. My Detectives in both branches are very capable and do an outstanding job, in ways you and the Public don’t really get to see every day. And while we are looking to fill the vacant Lieutenant slots, I am extremely fortunate to have an excellent Captain of Detectives supervising them.”

“My question,” said Reginald B.F. Lewis, the representative of the majority-black districts of the County, “is why things have come to where you have no Lieutenants in the Detective Division, and haven’t prepared to fill those slots as they became vacant.”

“Mr. Lewis,” I said, “there is a difference between being an excellent Detective and being a leader of them. Lieutenant Masters was highly capable, and because of his abilities he has been offered opportunities for advancement that I don’t blame him for taking. The Detectives in Vice and MCD are good, but are young, and are still growing in the areas of leadership. We are evaluating them as well as looking throughout our Police Force for suitable candidates, and we may consider outside candidates, as well.”

I continued: “Folks, this is all normal. When I first came to the TCPD, there were no Lieutenants in MCD or Vice, but I heard no complaining then. Now we have even better people in places of leadership as well as the Detective Division, and you’re all of a sudden screaming it’s the end of the world. Y’all need to let us do our jobs.”

“That’s the point.” snarled Kelly Carnes. “You’re not doing your job, Commander Troy. You have not prepared your Police Force for things like resignations of key leaders, you’re not delegating a damn thing; you’re solving all the crimes yourself. Do you seriously mean to tell this Council that the Police Force can do its job just as well without you as with you?”

“You’ve been doing everything you can to kick me out of the Police Force, Mrs. Carnes.” I said. “Now you’re saying that they can’t do their jobs without me. Get over your hypocrisy and decide which way you want it.”

“I definitely want the Police Force capable of doing their jobs without you, Commander Troy.” snarled Carnes. “And the sooner you are gone, the better off we will be.”

“That is crap.” said Edward Steele. “We’re lucky to have Commander Troy’s abilities and his leadership—” He was interrupted by the Mayor tapping his gavel again.

“How many times have we gone back and forth about this?” said the Mayor. “Let’s cover new ground. Yes, the Police will fill their slots and move forward. We have a bigger issue to discuss. Mr. Cook?”

“Thank you, Mr. Mayor.” said Thomas P. Cook, looking at me as if he was about to pull some nasty joke on me. “Your abilities are not in doubt, Commander, and with the vacancies in key spots of your Police Force, the issue arises that you need to be personally present and attentive to the issues that come up within the TCPD. Some of us here are very concerned that your sojourns with the FBI and the SBI are taking you away from your duties with the TCPD. We believe that you should voluntarily mobilbahis give up being an FBI Consultant and SBI Reserve Inspector, especially in the next few weeks or months, until the empty slots are properly filled with good people.

“And if you won’t do that voluntarily, Commander,” said Loran T. Michaels, “we might have to consider compelling you to do that.”

I saw not only what Cook’s motive was, but wondered how he got Michaels to do his dirty work for him. Time to redirect the new guy’s suppositions, I thought to myself.

“I only have one answer to that, Mr. Michaels.” I said. “You are the only Council Member here that was not here when I became an FBI Consultant and SBI Reservist. And at the time, Chief Griswold and myself did come to this Council and advised them of my situation. The Council passed resolution allowing me to do all of these jobs, and in addition—“

“And we can pass a resolution to rescind those resolutions.” hissed Kelly Carnes. “And I think we should do so… tonight.”

“Go right ahead.” I said. “But if you’ll allow me to finish my statement… the Council also entered into a contract with me, signed by both sides, in which I agreed to forfeit TCPD pay for the time I was working with the SBI or FBI, and that I would notify the Chief or Sheriff in a timely manner that I was working with those entities. And in exchange, the Council agreed to allow me to do the dual duties at my discretion, with no further permissions needed. The point is that it’s not just a resolution, but a contract binding on both sides. I can’t ask for pay from the County while on SBI or FBI duty, but you cannot just rescind the agreement, either. You’re in breach of contract if you do. Even the Union will take my side on this, as would the Courts.”

“But we can fire you.” said Carnes. “Just like we did those filthy EMTs that you supported.”

“If that is meant to be a threat, Mrs. Carnes,” I said, “it is a meaningless one.”

“I hope you do realize, Mrs. Carnes,” said John Colby, speaking up for the first time, “that more than a few of us here support Commander Troy, as well as being supportive of his helping to solve crimes at the State and Federal levels. In addition—“

The Mayor began tapping his gavel. Colby was having none of it.

“I am going to finish, Mr. Mayor.” said Colby, with some strength in his baritone voice. “It seems you only tap that gavel when supporters of Commander Troy are trying to speak. But beyond that, I need to point out and will point out that if you think the Police Department has empty slots now and no one groomed for leadership, just try firing Commander Troy. I don’t want to speak for you, Commander, but I’m sure you’d have your pick of the FBI or high command of the SBI if you wished. Meanwhile, we’d be dealing with your loss, Captain Ross’s loss, possibly Captain Croyle’s loss, and who knows who else would leave.”

“And the Police Chief’s loss.” said Chief Moynahan. “I’m not hanging around for that.

“It would seem that you have a duty to your Peace Officers, Commander.” said Malinda Adams. “Captain Ross might go to the FBI, as she was offered previously. But what will Captain Croyle do? She has a blemish on her record, of beating up a helpless drunk man in her custody. She should have been fired for that; only you saved her. And I’ll give you credit for being enlightened enough to promote women, even though one is your cousin and the other is going to marry your nephew. But other Departments of Peace Officers are not as enlightened; they don’t put women in charge of their Special Operations. Where else could Captain Croyle go?

Is she for real? I thought to myself. But I replied calmly: “As much as you would hate it, Ms. Adams, she could choose to stay home and raise my nephew’s children. Yes, that’s ‘old school’, and feminists like yourself can’t stand to hear it, but some women choose the joy of motherhood over careers leading Police Officers into gunfire. Captain Croyle will be just fine in whatever she chooses to do.”

“We’ll have to get a legal opinion on that so-called contract.” said Thomas P. Cook. “What bothers me is your apparent failure to recognize that your first duty is to the People of this County, not the State or the Federal Government. Your failure to consider giving your complete attention to this County and its law enforcement is very disturbing to my constituents.”

“Mr. Cook,” I said, raising my voice just a bit, “I have only one truly sworn duty: to support and uphold the Constitution of the United States. That’s what even mobilbahis giriş the TCPD Policeman’s Oath says. And while I have not been negligent in my duty to this County… Mr. Michaels sitting here instead of the worst criminal this nation has seen in decades is proof of that… I will do my utmost to protect my County’s people at the State and Federal levels as well. So stop the attempts to induce guilt; those attempts are not working, and never will.”

I was met with some icy stares, but I did not flinch in the face of them…

Part 14 – Lack of Reverence

After the Council meeting, the Chief offered to buy me a beer at the Cop Bar, and I accepted. We sat down at the ‘command table’ reserved for high-ranking Fire Department and Police Force Officers.

“I don’t understand two things.” said Chief Moynahan. “The first is why some of those airheads continue to try to play poker with you… you call their bluff every time and you win every time.”

“They’re playing with a weak hand and they know it, but they still try.” I said. “What’s the other thing?”

“The same thing you’ve been wondering.” said Moynahan. “Why now. Why try to stop you from working with the FBI now. I can understand the SBI… that’s Katherine Woodburn trying to stop Governor Jared from succeeding. But why stop you from consulting with the FBI?… which you could unofficially do anyway. I don’t get that.”

“I think…” I said, halfway in a reverie, “that someone knows we’re in the endgame of the war against Superior Bloodlines, and that someone is trying to use the Council to stop me from helping them obliterate those bastards.”

Moynahan nodded. “Makes sense. I know you’ve kept me in the loop with what you generally know. Having said that, the FBI has a huge operation going with this, and you’re just a relatively small part of it. Even if you went to the Himalayas today and didn’t come back for a year, they’re going to break this organization a-parrrrt. So I don’t get why someone would want you personally out of it.”

“Chief, I’m not trying to give myself airs,” I said, “but I suspect I’m the lynchpin to getting all of them at once, and exposing and getting this rogue cell in Washington. All that, because I took Westboro down and because Jonas Oldeeds was shot dead right in front of me at the Fairgrounds. I’ve been in a unique position on all this since Day One, someone on their side knows it, and they think that putting me on the sidelines gives them a chance. What they don’t know, or what they fear, is that I’d choose the FBI over the TCPD, and I’ll bring them crashing down anyway.”

“I hope it won’t come to that.” said the Chief. “So, what’s next?”

“I’m going back to work.” I said. “We just found what may be the biggest treasure trove against Oldeeds since I connected him to Westboro. And the ironic thing is… we can thank Sharples, of all people, for it.”

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

12:05am, Wednesday, May 17th. I was sitting in my office, poring over the information. It had been gleaned over time by Dr. Thomas Burris, father of Tim Burris. Mrs. Burris had also contributed some things, including some political connections between the Reverend Jonas Oldeeds and politicians of both political Parties.

There was financial data from Jesse Keynes, the Silverfish and former Wargrave accountant, and parallel lines of money transfers that went in darker directions. There were connections to Julie Newton, who was Pastor Raymond Kyle Westboro’s financial guru and front person for all things money-related. And there was a good bit of organizational stuff, naming names of people Oldeeds had met with, even some notes on what had been discussed in their meetings.

As I said, Dr. Burris had gathered all this over time, and the material in that safe deposit box had accumulated slowly to what I now had in evidence. But in the last envelope, after the last of the submissions of the Burrises, there was some more. There were notes by Angela Harlan, who had followed the trail for a while. And there was everything Leonard Sharples had gleaned, which was not a lot… but what it lacked in quantity, it made up in devastating quality. Sharples had known Westboro was the Consultant of Crime, or at least had known how big Westboro really was, and he’d actually followed Julie Newton’s involvement to Westboro, then to Oldeeds.

Wow, I thought to myself. Sharples was sitting on the biggest bust in modern criminal history, but he chose to let it be, then went with the bad guys of the SBI. Why? I wondered to myself. I couldn’t understand at the moment.

“Hello, sir.” said Mary Milton, who’d just come in while I was entranced by the information and my thoughts. She put an external disc drive on my desk. “Extra copy of everything. Encrypted, needs the same passwords and program to decrypt, but it’s all there.”

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