[AC] Bush43 Daily Week One

Jason Kenney jasonkenney at gmail.com
Wed Jun 7 10:35:45 PDT 2006

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

Greetings, everyone.  Hope you all survived yesterday's end of the
world, being 6/6/6 and all.  A day late birthday greetings to Megan
Curtis, our very own devil baby with a quarter century under her belt
on the most evilest of days yesterday.  And now to the daily Bush43


BUSH43 #22
By Jason S. Kenney


I stared at the oh-so familiar view of the roof to the caves under
Burke Manor while I tried to clear my head from the fall, and thoughts
that ran through it.

"You are off tonight, Jeffery," said Alfonse.

"Just outta practice, I guess," I said, laying there, taking deep
breaths, done for the night.

"Are you just out of practice, or is your mind elsewhere?"

"Bit of both, I suppose."

Alfonse didn't say anything else, waiting for me to continue, I guess.

"Do you know who Cassandra Trellis is?" I asked.

"Why do you ask?"

"Remember a while back I said I almost killed that girl at the shindig
I helped cater here?  That was her."

"Ah," said Alfonse, and I pushed myself up from where I was laying and
just sat up, crossed my legs, and started to stare at the floor of the
cave.  "Miss Trellis and Victoria go back quite a number of years.
Miss Trellis' father was good friends with Henry."

"Really?" I asked, looking to Alfonse who nodded.

"On your feet," he said.

"I'm done, Alfonse," I said, waiving him off.

"You are not going to get back in practice by quitting, Jeffery,"
Alfonse said.  "On your feet."

I sighed and pushed myself up to my feet.

"So, why is Miss Trellis on your mind again, Jeffery?" Alfonse asked,
as he stretched slightly and started to circle me.

"Ran into her earlier tonight," I said, matching his circle, though not
standing nearly as ready as he did.  "She wants me to go out with her
this weekend."

"To the Pacific City Commerce Association function this Saturday?"

"Is that at the Hilton?"  Alfonse nodded.  "Then, yeah, I guess that's
it.  You know of it?"

"Miss Burke was to attend but passed.  Are you ready?"

"I'm always ready."

Alfonse disappeared.

"Are you going to attend?" Alfonse asked from wherever he was, the
acoustics of the cave allowing his voice to bounce, move, not giving
away his placement.

"Hell no," I said, as I glanced around, trying to listen, trying to
place him.

A quick jab in my back, and I spun to find nothing.

"Why not?"

"Because," I said, knowing full well that he was trying to distract me.
"First, it'd be with a girl that I very nearly killed for being a bad
guy when we first met..."

Scrape to my left.  I turned, held up my arms and blocked a kick, tried
to grab for him and missed.


"Second, I don't want to deal with those people.  Talk about walking
into the lion's den..."

His punch came across my jaw hard, and I didn't even have time to grab
at him before he came with another punch and then swept my legs from
under me with a kick, sending me to the floor once again.

He appeared, standing over me, hands on his hips, barely sweating.

"And, both of those are reasons why you should go, Jeffery."

He turned away from me and started walking across the cave to the
towels he had stacked by the stairwell that led up into Burke Manor.

"Do you know who Cassandra Trellis is?" he asked, as he grabbed the
towels and turned back and came toward me.

"Only her night life," I said, as I sat up and Alfonse tossed a towel
to me.

"She is the daughter of Oliver Trellis."

"The developer?"

"The owner of nearly a quarter of Pacific City's commercial and office
properties, yes," said Alfonse, as he dabbed at the sweat on his face.
"He is a man you would most certainly want on your side were you, say,
associated with City Hall."

"So, you're saying I should use her?"

"I am not suggesting you use anyone, Jeffery," said Alfonse.  "I am
simply pointing out that her father is not someone you want as an

"It's just an invitation to a business get together, Alfonse."

"So, it should be no trouble for you to attend.  Besides, it could
prove to be a good opportunity for City Hall to rebuild bridges with
the business community."

"Yeah, yeah," I said, waiving him off and pushing myself to my feet.
"Some good those bridges are going to be when Romanov tears them up

"Nonetheless, it is an opportunity you should not pass up, Jeffery."

"I'll take that into consideration," I said, bringing the towel to my

Right when my eyes were covered I heard it, a shift, a slide, and I
stepped to the side and grabbed Alfonse's arm, as it passed where my
head had been.

"Nice try, Alf," I said with a grin.

Next thing I knew, I was once again on my back on the floor of the

"One of these days, Jeffery," Alfonse said, as he walked away. "You
will stop calling me that."

"I'll take that into consideration," I said again, smiling, as I heard
him go up the steps and out of the cave.


I didn't make eye contact with anyone, as I made my way down the hall.
I never made eye contact with anyone.  They didn't want me here.  I
didn't want to be here.  We had an understanding.

I opened my office door and paused, as Anna Romanova smiled at me from
my chair on the other side of my desk.

"Good morning, Jeffery," she said, rocking back and forth, smoke
leaking from her mouth as freely as it did from the tip of her

I had to avoid sighing, and it took a lot of effort to keep my
shoulders from slumping.

"Good morning," I said, as I stepped in and closed the door behind me.
"Something I can help you with?"

"What were you doing last night?"

Her tone said she already knew the answer.

"None of your damn business," I said, as I straightened myself, trying
to look stronger than I felt.

"We both know that is not exactly true," she said, rising to her feet
as she spoke, taking a drag off of her smoke.  She walked toward me, as
she exhaled, stopping a foot away from me, clearly violating my
personal space.

"Do you intend on turning her in, Jeffery?"

"Turning who in?"

"Hmmm..."  The cigarette once again went to her lips, tight inhale that
indented her cheeks, pull away, slow exhale through pursed lips, smoke
trailing to the ceiling where the pause hung above us.

"What are you doing Saturday night?" she asked, crisply turning and
walking toward the desk, stubbing out her cigarette in the ashtray I
kept there just for her.

Saturday night.

"I'm busy," I said.

"Of course you are," Anna said over her shoulder, a glint in her eye.
She turned and walked past me.

"Do me proud, Jeffery," she said, as she went by an opened the door,
stepping into the hall, leaving the door opened as she left.

I stood there for a few minutes, hanging my head, my eyes crammed shut,
as I tried not to shout out in frustration.  With a deep breath, I
straightened up and turned toward my open door and the prying eyes from
the hallway.

I walked to the doorway, gripped the door, and tried to look at as many
of them as I could at one time.

"Show's over, folks," I said, as I slowly closed the door.  "You'll
have to wait for the sequel."



Officer Michael Self sat across from me and did his best not to look
like he didn't want to be there.

"We don't have too much information that we can make public at this
point," said Self, as I leafed through a folder he had provided me.
"But, that should be enough to get you started."

I closed the folder and set it down.

"Where's the rest of it?"

"I'm afraid you can't have it," he said quickly, as if anticipating the

"Officer," I said, folding my hands and resting them on the folder on
my desk. "To be honest, I'm having to pull teeth here to get the Mayor
to cooperate with this.  Part of that is full disclosure."

Self interrupted me with a glare.

"And, I am trying my best to complete an investigation into the murder
of a fifteen year-old boy who may have been responsible for numerous
other crimes, and I am not going to have it compromised because the
Mayor's Office wants to be able to cover its ass when the shit hits the

He spoke calmly, straight forward, never raising his voice, just
stating a fact.

I unfolded my hands and leaned back.

"Officer, I want you to be frank with me here," I said, trying to
choose my words very carefully.  "Do you believe, from what you have
seen and what you currently know about the case, start to finish, that
the Mayor went overboard in his actions?"

Self cocked an eyebrow for a moment and then regained his composure, my
question seeming to catch him off guard.  He cleared his throat.

"I believe that we have a justice system for a reason, Mister Carter,"
Self said.  "And, that if the Mayor and his ilk are to continue to play
dress-up in this town, then they need to settle with merely
apprehending and leave the punishment phase to the courts."

"Aside from the philosophical stance, Officer Self," I said, leaning
forward. "Do you think what the Mayor had done to that boy was uncalled

"He was fifteen, Mister Carter," said Self quickly.  "Were he ten years
older, hell, five years older, I might be telling you something
different, but he was a child."

I nodded slowly, not entirely in agreement but understanding.

I don't care how old they are; I wouldn't have wished what Romanov did
to that kid on anyone.

"The Mayor's going to want more info than this," I said, raising a hand
as Self tried to interrupt.  "If you or somebody from the department
could provide me with something in writing stating how you can not
fully disclose this information, I'd appreciate it.  I don't know if it
will be enough, but I'll do my best to convince him that it's all he'll

Self didn't move for a moment but then nodded, probably not sure if he
could trust me.  Not that I could blame him.

"I'll get you something by the end of the day."

"Could you get it to me closer to two?  I've got a meeting with him at
two thirty and a press briefing at three."

"I'll do what I can," Self said, rising from his seat, as I did.

"The sooner you get that to me, the better it will be for all of us."

"I'll do what I can," he repeated, shaking my hand more out of
obligation than anything else.

"I'd appreciate it," I said, and he nodded, turned, and left.

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