[AC] Bush43 Daily Week Seven

Jason Kenney jasonkenney at gmail.com
Tue Jul 18 08:44:44 PDT 2006

Artifice Comics - http://www.artificecomics.com

BUSH43 #51
By Jason Kenney


"Good morning, Mister Carter."

Nancy Meyers was already at her desk as usual, grinding away at
whatever work she did when I wasn't asking favors of her.

"Morning, Nancy," I said, as I walked by and into my office.

Erlend Romanov turned from his view outside the window, as I opened the

"Good morning, Jeffery," he said with a grin, as I crossed my office.

"Is it?"

"You tell me."

"Is Frank Sign still in the ICU?"

Romanov nodded.

"Shit," I said, and I plopped down in my chair behind my desk.  "And,
we need to ask the feds for more than just Dean's drugs now."

"No need," said Romanov, as he walked around to the front of my desk
and stood there, hands clasped behind his back.  "They already rejected
our request."

"That was quick," I said, and Romanov just stared at me, smirking,
always smirking.  "Hell, I guess we're lucky they responded at all."

"So, what do you do now, Jeffery?"  Anna Romanova now stood before my
desk, the change so quick that it barely registered.

"I think about our options."

"Which are?"

"We again petition the Australian government for the drugs and
assistance in keeping these people incarcerated.  Or, we turn
elsewhere, like to America or maybe even Europe.  The stuff is
supposedly made in Japan; perhaps we could get it from them."

"You know what the quicker solution is, Jeffery," Romanova said, as she
leaned forward and pressed her hands on my desk.

"Thankfully, we have time to work with, Anna," I said.

"Double check with Officer Self on that," she said, and she pushed off
of my desk and turned around, heading for the door.

She knew something I didn't.  She knew a lot of things I didn't, to be
honest, but this was one thing I should have known.

"By the way," said Romanova, pausing as she opened the door, looking
back to me with a smile. "Whatever did become of Tracy Pine?"

"Your guess is as good as mine," I returned quick, maybe a little too

Romanova's smiled widened slightly, knowingly.

"And, how is Miss Trellis?"

"She's fine," I said, starting to shuffle through some papers on my

"And, how are you?"

That made me pause and look up.

"I'm tired," I said after a few moments.  "But okay.  Thank you."

She closed the door behind her, as she left.


"We can safely keep him doped up for three days," said Officer Michael
Self, as he adjusted himself in his seat across from my desk.  "I'm
sure we could try and water the stuff down, see about stretching it out
for a while longer, but they're hesitant to make what we have last more
than five days.  Even then, three days is how long we can keep him down
on what we know to be safe levels."

I leaned back and clenched my jaw, staring at the little bottle Self
had set on my desk, trying to think this one through.

Three days, and then Simon Cooper would have his powers back.

"If they tried to make it last for five days," I asked. "Are they
certain that it'd be strong enough to keep him down?"

"No," said Self, shaking his head.  "Like I said, we can pretty much
guarantee three days, but, if we lower his dose, we don't know what
that will do or whether it will be enough."

"What about a medically induced coma?"

"Entirely unethical," said Self. "And against the law."

"Well, the Mayor hasn't exactly shown a penchant for following the
letter of the law, has he?"

"The Mayor's not responsible for their containment."

"But, he is responsible for the protection of this city," I said, as I
stood. "And, so are you.  And, if we must put these people on ice until
another solution presents itself, we will."

Self opened his mouth to say something, probably to protest, but I cut
him off.

"The alternative is that we execute them."

Self shut his mouth, and I could see his cheeks tense, as he clenched
his jaw and mulled that one over.

"We must protect the people of this city," I said.  "And, with these
people posing an extraordinary threat, we must take extraordinary means
to prevent them from threatening the populace.  These are known
criminals, they all have rap sheets and priors, we know what they've
done, and we know what they're capable of.  And, the Mayor wants to
ensure that they aren't able to use those capabilities."

"Then, I suppose the decision is out of the hands of the department,"
said Self with a shrug.

"We're going to do what we can to get this stuff," I said, as I leaned
forward and picked up the bottle.  "So, hopefully it won't get out of
your hands, Officer."

"Then, you've got three days to do it," Self said.

"I'll keep you posted," I said, and Self nodded, taking that as the end
of the discussion and turning away to leave.

I sat back, as he closed the door behind him, and I looked at the
bottle, the miracle drug that made Simon Cooper powerless.

The label with Simon's name on it.

The label with a serial number on it.

I sat up quick and set the bottle on my desk, shifting, as I crammed my
hand in my pocket for the folded piece of paper from the night before.

Five twelve digits numbers.

And, one of them matched the number on Simon Cooper's bottle.

"Oh, shit," I said aloud in astonishment, jumping to my feet and
practically running across my office.

I opened the door and stepped out.

"Nancy, could you do me a favor?" I said, grabbing a pen and notepad
off her desk, writing the address off the slip of paper down. "And find
out what this address is to?"

I handed the notepad to her, and she read it.

"This is the Lawrence and Sun Pharmaceutical facility in Lorrington,"
she said, looking from the notepad to me.

"You're sure?"

She nodded.

"Mayor Jerrod corresponded with them frequently over the last year of
his term," she said, as she set the notepad down.

"Do you know what about?"

"I could locate the file for you if you would like, Mister Carter."

"Please," I said, stepping away from her desk and back into my office,
closing my door behind me.

I pulled my cell phone out and started dialing.

"Burke Estate," the proper voice stated on the other end.

"Hey, Alfonse," I said, as I sat in the chair behind my desk and spun
around to look out the window.

"Good morning, Jeffery.  Is everything okay?"

"Yes.  Thanks again for letting me use the apartment last night."

"Did everything go well for you?"

"Not quite, but I'll have to fill you in later," I said.  "Quick
question, though: you wouldn't happen to know how to get ahold of
Willie Richmond, would you?"

"Why would you want to speak with Professor Richmond?"

"Ran into him last night," I said.  "Another thing I'll have to fill
you in on later, but he gave me a note, and I'm trying to figure out
his intentions."

"Even if you were to find him, Jeffery, I doubt he would share anymore
than he already has."

"Granted, but, just the same, I'd like to find him, have a few words
with him, and all."

"I am afraid I do not know where to find the good doctor, Jeffery."

"Crap, okay," I said, leaning back.  "Didn't think so, but it doesn't
hurt to ask.  Are you free this evening, Alfonse?  I think I need to
let out a bit of stress."

"I am free most evenings, Jeffery.  Shall I expect you?"

"I'll keep you posted," I said.  "Thanks, man."

"Do take care of yourself, Jeffery."

"I rarely do, Alfonse."

We both hung up, and I again pulled out the slip of paper and stared at
it, the address, the numbers, the information.

"Shit," I said, as sunk in what Richmond was trying to do, where he was
trying to send me, and why.


"Shit," I said again.


I said a silent prayer, as the phone rang for a fourth time.  It was
halfway through the fifth by the time she answered.

"Hello, Jeffery," she said coolly.

"How are you feeling, Cass?" I asked.

"Do you mean to ask if I'm still upset with you?"

"I mean to ask how you are doing, Cassandra," I said, leaning back in
my chair and trying my best not to sigh.  "I'm more concerned with
whether or not you're okay than if we're okay."

"Other than spending all morning on the phone with the insurance
company, trying to determine if a science being fight in my living room
counts as an act of God, I'm all right."

"If you need any help, Cassandra..."

"Don't you think you've done enough?"

What the hell was that supposed to mean?

"I mean financially," I said. "With replacing anything that's broken.
Please, let me know."

"Is that supposed to fix things, Jeffery?"

"It's supposed to help make sure you have what you need.  Damn it,
Cass, I screwed up, all right?  I'm sorry.  Yes, we need to talk about

"What is there to talk about?"

"What I've done, where we stand, what needs to be done.  But, I'm just
trying to make sure you're okay and do what I can to fix things I've
messed up.  Christ, I'm sorry, all right?  If you don't want me to
call, if you don't want to deal with me right now, or if you want to
yell at me, bite my head off, tell me to go to hell, please, do that,
tell me, do something."

"Jeffery," she said with a heavy sigh. "There are things that we have
to do as individuals that are not going to make this work.  Things
that..."  She paused, took a deep breath, and it sounded like she was
trying hard not to cry.  "You are destined to be so much more, Jeffery.
 And, where I am, what we were doing, it's interfering."

"Cassandra, where is this coming from?"

"You know it too; you just haven't taken a step back to think about it
clearly.  There are things about me that you cannot change, that make
me something that you're striving to stop.  How can you be with that,

"You're not..."

"Jeffery," she interrupted, pausing, taking another deep breath.  "I'm

"For what?"

"For what I'm going to do."

"What are you..."

"I really think I could have grown to love you, Jeffery Carter.  And,
maybe you would have felt the same."


"Goodbye, Jeffery."

And, she hung up before I could say another word.

I held my phone out and stared at it, trying to figure out what the
hell just happened and what Cassandra was talking about.

That wasn't her talking.

That was Richmond talking.

I jumped to my feet and quickly moved across and out of my office.

"I'm gone for the afternoon, Nancy," I said, as I stepped past her

"You have a meeting at four with Commissioner Jordan," she reminded me.

"Call and reschedule," I said over my shoulder, as I reached the
elevators.  "I've gotta deal with something."

As soon as I was on the elevator, I wished I had taken the stairs.
Would have been much faster.

My phone rang, as I stepped off the elevator and made my way to the
outside world.


"Don't go looking for me now, Jeffery," Cassandra said on the other
end, and I froze.


"Tonight, there will be a party hosted Robert Saunders at the Pacific
City Fine Arts Museum.  I shall be making an appearance in the eight
o'clock hour."

"What are you doing, Cass?"

"I'll be wearing my mask, Jeffery.  I suggest you wear yours."

And, she hung up.

I stared at my phone, hesitated, waited, gave myself time to think, a
moment to breathe.

What the hell?

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