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The order of my stories to read is:
Todd & Melina series, Interludes 1-5, Sperm Wars series, Russian Roulette series, Case of the Murdered Lovers series, Case of the Murdered Chessplayer series, Case of the Executed Evangelist series, The Swap series.
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.
This interlude is intended to bridge the gap to the next blockbuster set of police drama stories. Thank you for bearing with me, and I hope you enjoy the stories.– WW.
Part 1 – The Bigger Picture
It was going to be a warm Saturday afternoon, I thought, as Cindy Ross and I drove east out of town and past the finger of the mountain ridge upon which my home was built. The July 4th holiday wasn’t too far off either, but all the fireworks seemed to be happening today.
Driving further east along the main highway that ultimately led to the City, we saw Cemetery Hill to our south. Before reaching Nextdoor County, I turned north on a small, poorly paved road, County Road 1. After going a distance north, I turned right onto a dirt driveway that led to a modest brick ranch-style house.
“He’s at the dock.” Mrs. Griswold said as she came out to greet us. “You can just go on around back. Would you like something to drink before you go?”
Armed with bottled waters, we walked down the path to the dock. The Chief’s house was on a lot on a large lake, which straddled our County and Nextdoor County. It was on the other side of the lake where we had caught up to Joe Arruzio, who chose suicide over arrest for his wife and Jack Burke’s murders.
The lake had been built experimentally decades ago with the purpose of being a reservoir, but that had not worked out sufficiently, and both our County and Nextdoor County developed other water sources. The lake now had fish, and I knew it was the Chief’s favorite place to relax.
Cindy was wearing a white sleeveless blouse, blue slacks and high heel slides, and a baseball cap. I was wearing a white golf shirt and blue slacks and my full-brim Tilley hat as we approached the dock, where the Chief was sitting. He hailed us as we came up to him. After some small chatter, the Chief got started.
“First, Cindy, I need to tell you this.” said the Chief. “I told Don to bring along the one person he trusted the most, and here you are. I happen to agree with his choice.” Cindy looked back at me. I just nodded.
I said “You said you wanted to talk more about the Willoughby-Sommes situation. What were you thinking about?”
“They were up to something.” Cindy said. “So I did some digging. I was going to work with Sonali, but for some reason I’ve come to think that I don’t really trust her, and then Myron and his goth girlfriend Mary said they’d help me. Seems they were looking into the same things I wanted to.”
“Good. And very smart on Sonali.” I said. “She is definitely going to be with Vice and not MCD. So what did you find?”
Cindy continued. “While we were researching Willoughby and Sommes during the Warner murder investigation, we were able to get a thread that they wanted to buy Tim Olivet’s company. They’d formed a holding company, called DynaDynamics, to make the bid. Warner found out and tried to buy Olivet’s company himself, possibly to head them off. Jeanine Olivet went in an entirely different direction. But the DynaDynamics holding company’s name came up again when I began searching another direction.”
“Which is?” I asked as she paused.
“Mr. Ward, of Ward Harvester.” Cindy replied. “I started looking hard into him after he made it extremely clear that he hates your guts, and I couldn’t understand why. And then he got Robert Schelle fired just because we police came around asking about Schelle.”
Cindy went on, getting to her point: “I ran some computer searches after Teresa and I interviewed him, and while his main farming equipment business seems legit enough, it’s clear he’s been doing some stuff on the side.”
“The ammonium nitrate?” I asked.
“Yes.” Cindy said, nodding. “Since the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, that stuff is strongly regulated and kept track of. But it seems that his incoming materials have exceeded what he’s sold that has records. So then I begin to find out that Ward was not only into ammonium nitrate, he’s found it lucrative to get into other chemicals… chemicals that explode with big booms. They keep it under wraps, but Ward Harvester produces plastic explosives and even thermite. They sell to mining companies, mostly, and even to the guys who produce the Mythbusters television czech gangbang porno show. But once again, it looks like there’s a bit more being produced than sold.”
“That’s true. And some of it blew up just as I was walking into the building.” I said, somewhat drily. “So where did this lead you?”
Cindy continued. “Ward has a company called Ward Dynamics… and Ward Dynamics is listed as the majority partner of DynaDynamics.”
“So when you put this together, what does it mean to you?” I asked. Cindy was doing great, I thought to myself; it was now time to help her go from data acquisition to the imagination that would make her a great detective.
She said “Obviously Mr. Ward is in with Willoughby and Sommes to buy Olivet’s company. And while Willoughby and Sommes did some other crimes, I didn’t find a connection with any of that to Ward. So I’m not sure even if anything illegal has happened here, but it’s fishy.”
“Did you look into Olivet’s company at all?” I asked.
“Just the basic stuff.” Cindy replied. “Tim Olivet did some metallurgical manufacturing, but he also did some chemical production. Mostly acids that are used in metalwork, but also basic compounds that were then bought by major drug companies like BigPharmaCorp to make pharmaceuticals. He had several manufacturing patents and product patents, and Jeanine Olivet is auctioning off licenses on the patents to the highest bidder, one at a time. She’s going to make a fortune for her charity on that.”
“So that’s what I wanted to ask you about.” Cindy said. “I’ve got this little mudball of muck, but I’m not sure what to make of it, if anything.”
“Excellent work, Ross.” the Chief said. “Don, it’s time to fill her in on the details she doesn’t know.”
“Yes sir, I agree.” I said. “But first: I have to have your promise to never divulge what you are being told today. Not to anyone. Not to your best friends, not to Teresa Croyle, not to Britt Maxwell, not to your lovers, not to your sister, not even to Melina nor anywhere within hearing of my fiancee Laura. Even people you trust or think you can trust cannot be told even one word about this, or it could be fatal to all of us, okay?”
“Gotcha. I promise.” Cindy said.
“Thank you.” I said. “Do you remember a little over a year ago, when I first came to this Town?”
“I remember you coming for your interview.” Cindy said. “I know you were here before that, but that was something on the University side, and they made efforts not to share anything with us. To this day Britt won’t say anything about it.”
“That’s good of her, but let me fill you in on the details, beginning at the beginning.” I said. “My nephew Ned was one of those genius prodigies as a kid, especially in chemistry and biochemistry. He was admitted to the University early and began working with a professor named Heinz on research into experimental drugs. Ned then went rogue. At first no one realized that he was using his knowledge and genius to make some drugs on the side that he did not report nor make notes about. And his attempt to use some of both Heinz’s and his own drugs on Melina, Todd and myself during our camping trip last year was the first time he tried those drugs on other people.”
“When Melina, Todd and I first came here, it was to deliver the young criminal into State custody. Fortunately we were not harmed, but at the time I was totally unaware of what was going on with him and with Dr. Heinz, so we brought him here. If I knew then what I know now, Ned’s body would’ve been found floating in the lake where we were camping, but that’s spilt milk. I’m sure the Chief didn’t hear that.” I said in needling fashion.
“Didn’t hear what?” the Chief answered idly, not flinching a bit.
“Thank you, sir. Anyway, Ned later prepared the drugs that nearly killed Melina and made her lose her first baby. But he also was making a play for Olivet’s company, and by the twisted route of trying to murder Olivet’s wife and making himself heir to the company by later killing his brother Olivet. We know how that turned out.” I said with no small amount of asperity in my voice.
“So we now have Ned as well as Ward, Willoughby and Sommes interested in Olivet’s company… or more specifically, something that Olivet created or discovered that they want.”
“I’m with you so far.” Cindy said.
“What you also don’t know is the level of the Federal Government’s involvement.” I said. “The C.I.A. has been known to work with Universities and their professors on secret research projects. Sometimes it’s math professors and mathematical models, sometimes chemistry or pharmacy college professors on chemical or drug research. It’s likely that the project Dr. Heinz and Ned were working on was being funded by the Government.”
“Ohhhh, and Willoughby and Sommes were stealing military secrets from DynaCorp.” Cindy said.
“Yes, but don’t jump too far ahead. Yes, Willoughby and Sommes caused the CIA and czech harem porno FBI to begin investigating DynaCorp. But the bigger question is who was behind Ward and the DynaCorp boys going after Olivet’s company.”
“Cindy, at this point let me tell you this: if something happens to me and the Chief, which is why we’re telling you all this, there is one man you can trust that you should contact… if he does not contact you first. That man is Jack Muscone of the FBI.”
“Agent Muscone is investigating these issues at the Federal level, and cannot tell me everything he’s doing or finding out, but I occasionally get some info from him on the side. He’s been digging really deep into the Oldeeds Religious Empire since Oldeeds’ murder.
“They have found what I knew a little about already: that Jonas Oldeeds was running a human trafficking operation across national borders, importing young girls and some boys and selling them into sexual slavery and prostitution. He then began working with the CIA to smuggle drugs along his operational lines, ostensibly to help the CIA catch drug runners, but actually to help them raise money for black operations. The CIA has been doing things like that for decades, of course.”
“Human trafficking?” Cindy asked, astonished.
“The drugs.” I replied. “Oldeeds was doing the sex trafficking.”
“And Rev. Oldeeds was here just a few weeks ago.” Cindy said.
“And he didn’t leave alive.” I said. “But more on that later; the key point right now is that Oldeeds can be added to the list of those interested in Olivet’s company and whatever little secret Tim Olivet possessed. Muscone and I are pretty sure that Oldeeds was working with Willoughby and Sommes. I talked to Jack yesterday and he doesn’t see a link between Ward and Oldeeds… which means that it’s all the more likely they were working together, but through intermediaries.”
“So Anthony Warner learned about Willoughby and Sommes embezzling from him, investigated and found that Oldeeds was behind them, and that set Warner off. He’d been an Oldeeds disciple and felt betrayed… to the point that Warner went after his own wife and her children, who were fathered by Oldeeds years ago. Warner also went after his sister who was his wife’s lover. Then he went after Willoughby and Sommes by trying to buy out Olivet’s company and break them off. Yet he was murdered because some videophile watched an old Hitchcock movie, and by sheer coincidence.”
“Wow.” Cindy said. “And that opened all this up by accident?” I nodded.
“How do you keep all this stuff straight in your head?” Cindy asked.
“Oh, it gets better.” I said, then continued. “Warner did not do all his stuff by himself.” I continued. “He brought in the FBI immediately when he found out about Willoughby and Sommes. And whether the FBI wanted it to happen or not, the CIA came into the picture.”
“It was the CIA who was behind Warner’s attempt to purchase Olivet’s company, ostensibly to block Ward/Oldeeds from getting it. So we now have Ward/Oldeeds, we have Ned, and we have Warner & the CIA, all interested in poor Tim Olivet’s company, and the ‘why’ of it I don’t know but am glancing into it on the side… if perps would just give us a break and stop murdering people and give us time to look into it.”
The Chief laughed at that one.
“You have questions.” I said, observing Cindy’s face.
“God, do I ever.” Cindy said. “I don’t think I’m stupid, but I sure feel stupid right now.”
“Don’t.” I admonished. “Our profession is served by observation, deduction and the third key ingredient: knowledge. You could not possibly know some of this stuff. I’m still putting puzzle pieces together. So what are your questions?”
“Any connections to Sergei Molotov or that dead chess player Kurchikov?” she asked.
“Not that I know of.” I said. “Those were pretty straightforward drug cases.”
Cindy said “I remember Karla Warner wanting Robert Schelle to keep his company. Do you think they were going to use it to compete for Mr. Olivet’s business?”
“Hmmm,” I said. “I hadn’t really thought of that. It’s possible.”
“Looks like you got one over on the Iron Crowbar, Miss Ross.” the Chief said, not successfully hiding a smile under his mustaches.
“Hardly, sir.” Cindy replied, smiling at the compliment. “My next thought is… did the CIA assassinate Jonas Oldeeds?” Damn, she’s more astute than I’d hoped for, I thought happily.
I replied “Let’s just say this: their presence can be felt in that case, and that bullet that wandered in my direction may have been a present from one of their agents. But I doubt they wanted Oldeeds dead: some of them were working with him and some of his trafficking operations, ostensibly as a drug sting but in truth to raise money for black ops.
“Also, sometimes the CIA’s left hand does not know what its right hand is doing. But my suspicion is that the killing of Oldeeds was a rogue killing for personal reasons, czech sharking porno and not a professional hit desired or approved by anyone within the Company. That can wait, though, until we get through this other stuff.”
“Was it the CIA that got you out of Ward Harvester alive?” Cindy asked. Damn, she could indeed go at times where I did not care for her to go, I thought to myself.
“No, I don’t think so.” I said. “My memory of that night is hazy, though.”
“Harrumph.” said the Chief, keeping his gaze firmly fixed over the lake. Cindy just looked at him quizzically, then her eyes cut to me.
“There is one other thing.” I said. “And this is something you should forget unless and until somebody succeeds in taking me out: there is one man in this County who has long had an association with the CIA. He is far and away the most dangerous man in the country, much less our County, and I’m telling you this just so you can avoid him and not cross him.
“His name is Henry R. Wargrave, the billionaire who is a University Trustee. He made his billions in arms trades, much of it in association with the CIA. Whatever you do, do not fuck with him, cross him, or let him find out that you know anything at all.”
“Gotcha.” Cindy said. “Wow, I had no idea all this was going on in this little town. So Chief,” she said, turning to Chief Griswold as he picked up a fishing rod. “Is this why you brought Don into the Police Force here?” I knew by the question that there was an edge to Cindy, that she had long wondered why I had been brought in and was favored by the brass, and that her thoughts had not necessarily been in my favor.
“No.” said the Chief. “All that shit rolled in here despite Don, though he did bring Ned here to be placed under arrest. Don is here for another reason, which is why I wanted him to bring you out here today; you’re going to be helping him on this: There are some bad people in my Police Department, Miss Ross, and I want those bad seeds weeded out of my Department before I retire. Now that they’ve announced a Sheriff election next year, it becomes doubly important for you two to make this happen before the wrong person is elected sheriff.”
“Any ideas on who we’re looking for?” Cindy asked.
“Not quite yet.” I said. “But here’s one thing I’m willing to bet on now: whoever is the ringleader will run for Sheriff next year.”
“And you’ll run against him, or her?” the Chief asked, his voice giving away his desire for me to do just that.
“I have a much better idea than that.” I said. The Chief nearly broke his neck, so hard did he whirl to look at me, utter shock on his face. I did not elaborate further, despite entreaties for me to do so.
“That’ll come in due time, Chief. Okay Cindy, here’s the scoop on what we’re going to do within the Department.” I said. “No insult to Internal Affairs, but they can’t deal with it by themselves…”
After I told them my plan, Cindy said “Oh yeah, we need to talk to Tanya ASAP. About those drugs we found on Bounel.”
“Okay” I said. “Let’s go talk to Tanya. Chief?”
“I didn’t hear a word of that. Y’all go fishing for crooks while I go fishing for dinner.” Chief Griswold said, preparing to cast a line with the fishing pole he’d just picked up. We made our goodbyes and left.
“I don’t want him to retire.” Cindy said as we drove back to Town, meaning the Chief.
“I’d rather have him retired and alive than work and fret himself into his grave.” I replied.
“I hear you.” said Cindy. “By the way, what’s up with Melina?”
“What do you mean?” I asked.?
“She’s been walking on air this past week… she’s absolutely glowing. I don’t think it’s her pregnancy, either.” Cindy replied. “It’s like she met someone and fell head over heels in love with him. But Teresa told me that your nephew Todd hasn’t seen Melina for days, and he isn’t happy about it.”
“I know nothing of it.” I said. “And it’s not my business any more, either. I’ll leave you and Teresa to sleuthing in that department.”
“We’ll just have to call in your mom for that.” Cindy replied, barely hiding a grin. “It’s amazing how she can tell who is having affairs with whom.”
“That comes from living for years in a small town like Apple Grove.” I said. “There’s more ‘human nature’ happening in those friendly confines than bigger towns like ours here…”
Part 2 – Medical Studies
“Come in, Christina.” Tanya Perlman ordered.
We were in the Crime Lab building, which was on the lot next door to Police Headquarters, to the left as one faced the front entrance, just South as the crow flies. The building shared the secured parking lot with Headquarters. It was also the Coroner’s office and was where Medical Examiners performed autopsies and stored human bodies.
We were in what passed for a conference room, next to Tanya’s office which she tried to use as little as possible. Inside were myself and Cindy Ross.
Christina Cho was a gorgeous Asian woman. Her blue-black hair was extremely long and lustrous. She was very slender, a bit tall for an Asian woman, and her legs and feet were very shapely. Her face not only had the high cheekbones and slanted eyes of Asian women, but was full of sharp angular lines all over. Her lips were full, shapely and inviting.
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