AC: Bush43 Daily Week Four

Jason Kenney jasonkenney at
Thu Jun 29 06:27:00 PDT 2006

Artifice Comics -

Ahh, girl troubles. Yes, our hero is just a regular ladies man...


BUSH43 #38
By Jason S. Kenney


Commissioner Barry Jordan sat across from my desk, dabbing at his brow
with a handkerchief that he then struggled to put back into his pants

"We are pretty certain that these are the people responsible," said
Jordan, gesturing to the folder on my desk, as he struggled to put his
handkerchief back into his pants' pocket.

"How certain?" I asked, looking over to Officer Michael Self who sat in
the chair next to Jordan, arms crossed, as he leaned back in his seat
and stared at me, looking like he didn't want to be here but putting
forward a good effort.

"Certain enough to where we can say they are persons of interest," said

"So, what exactly do you want to do with this information,

"Well, we're going to be holding a noon press conference."

"To release these names?"

Jordan nodded.

"And photographs to enlist the public's assistance."

"In what? In getting killed?"

Self smirked, as Jordan looked aghast.

"All of these people are extremely dangerous," I said, leaning forward
and tapping a finger on the folder for emphasis. "Cooper and Williams
in particular. You make them feel threatened, you make them think that
any and everyone is an enemy, and, well, you're gonna have a hell of a
problem on your hands."

"They're already dangerous," Self finally spoke. "And capable. If the
people are aware, they can get themselves out of the way, call us, do

"The press is all over me for names," said Jordan. "They already have
Thompson's and know he was specifically targeted in connection with
these crimes."

"How do they know that?" I asked. "Has anyone on our end expressly
stated he was connected?"

"We said he was wanted for questioning in connection with the case,"
said Jordan.

"Shit." I leaned back, as I took a deep breath and resisted the urge to
rub my throbbing temples.

"The people want something," said Jordan.

"The people want results," I said. "And, a bunch of names is not
results. It's an invite to a bloodbath." I looked to Self. "What do you

"I'm sorry?"

"You're in this meeting for a reason, Officer Self," I said. "What do
you think should be done? What would best help your investigation?"

"Identities are good; this is information we need," said Self, nodding
to the folder. "And, tips from the public are a big help in
apprehension normally. But, in this case, I agree with you, Mister
Carter, that we should show a bit more hesitation in what we do with
these names."

"The press are going to know anyway," said Jordan. "There's always
someone willing to sell out this info. The public will find out. We
should let them know."

"It's not really my call to make," I said with a small shrug. "But, my
recommendation is to not release the names. Let every officer know
them, and, if they leak, well, they leak."

"And, when the press ask why we didn't release the info?"

"You tell them what I told you. You tell them that we made the call in
the public's best interest. Even better," I said, leaning forward and
grabbing the folder, flipping through its contents quickly and pulling
out one picture. "Leak this one."

I through the photograph of Frank Sign on my desk. Zoom Zoom.

"Why only one?" asked Jordan. "And, what do you mean leak this one?"

"Have someone give this to the press," I said. "Make the press think
that this is the leak and the only name we have to run on at the
moment. Ideally, once they get this one and are told that's it, they
won't think something else is up."

"Why this one?" asked Self.

"Because I think he's the weakest link," I said, leaning back again.
"Everyone who's evaluated him has said he's not quite right in the
head, less so than the others. He's very jumpy, and he's probably easy
to break. You lean on him, you make him public enemy number one, and
he'll get very nervous. And then, he'll make a mistake. And, someone
will see him.

"Also, he'll cause the least amount of damage," I said.

"What about one of the girls?" asked Jordan.

"This Teapot one looks too crazy to predict; I don't want the public to
deal with her in the open. Pine's too stable; I don't think she'll
react the way Sign will. We want someone to break, to come out in the
open and make a mistake. I think Sign's the most likely to do it.

"And, even if he doesn't, ideally, this will make the press happy and
make it easier for us to do our jobs."

Jordan sighed, struggling to get his handkerchief out of his pocket

"I still think the best route is full disclosure," he said.

"What's best for the investigation?" I asked, looking to Self.

"Full disclosure puts the public at risk, as Mister Carter said," Self
said, nodding towards me while looking to Jordan. "We'll give them
Sign; if that doesn't work, we'll talk about the ladies," he said, now
looking to me. "Or give them Cooper. Williams is the one I want to be
most careful with."

"You and me both," I said. "Your press conference is at noon?" Jordan
nodded. "Okay. I've got the typical press briefing at one-thirty; if
there's anything you want me to cover specifically, let me know sooner
rather than later.

"Anything else, gentlemen?" Both shook their heads.

I stood, as Jordan and Self got to their feet, Self turning to leave
without another word, Jordan seeming to stumble over himself to get his
hand out over my desk. I shook it, his grip thick, tight.

"I am glad to see that you are okay, Mister Carter," said Jordan. "Was
quite a weekend for you, I bet."

"It was quite the weekend for a good many people, Commissioner. I had
it fairly easy comparatively."

Jordan smiled and nodded, though the shift on his face told me I'd
probably confused him. He let go of my hand and turned to join Self who
stood holding the door open for Jordan.

"Officer Self," I said, catching him before he stepped out. "Could I
have a moment?"

Self looked at me confused for a moment before closing the door and
coming back to stand in front of my desk, hands behind his back as if
waiting for orders.

"Should the police happen to come across Williams or Cooper," I asked,
"how exactly would you go about apprehending them?"

"I'm sorry?" he asked.

"Do your people have what they need in order to safely capture either
of these people?"

"I'm afraid I'm not in any position to say how well equipped the
department is overall."

"Bullshit," I said. "Self, I know you know what's up with the
department. If anyone knows how well equipped the department is, it's

"If your officers were to come across Dean Williams or Simon Cooper, do
you have the means to apprehend them safely?"

"Cooper perhaps," said Self, clearing his throat and the pausing.

"And Williams?"

"The only way I am aware of for dealing with an exploder is from a
distance," said Self, the look in his eyes harsh and serious. "And, you
only get one shot."

"Shit," I said with a sigh, looking down at my desk, the folder and
papers spread across it.

"Lucky for you it's not your job to worry about," said Self, getting a
wry chuckle out of me.

"Yeah," I said, shaking my head and looking back to Self. "If there is
anything I can do on my end for your guys, you let me know. Especially
in respect for taking care of these guys," I said, tapping my desk for

"Short of one of your New Mages being able to make this guy magically
disappear," said Self, "I think there is little to be done on your

I nodded and looked back to my desk.

"Thank you, Officer Self."

He left without another word, leaving me to my thoughts.


My cell phone rang, as the elevator doors opened, and I stepped into
the lobby and to the front doors of City Hall.

"Jeffery Carter," I said, as I answered.

"Cassandra Trellis," I got back, and I couldn't help but smile.

"How are ya?" I asked, as I held the door for a couple people stepping
in, nodding to them, getting a nod in response from one of them. Good

"Good," Cassandra said on the other end. "How's your day going?"

"It's only gonna get worse before it gets any better," I said. "Expect
a leak sometime today with the name of one of the group's members."

"They only have one name?"

"That is going to be leaked."

"Why only one?"

"I'll have to explain it later," I said, as I crossed the street and
headed towards a deli shop a couple blocks from City Hall.

"And, did you talk to Tina Wilson about me Saturday night?"

"Sunday morning, yeah, after my first press conference."


"To check up on you."

"You could have called me first."

"I didn't know if you were even home. I'm sorry if it's causing any

"Just ribbing that I don't need."

"They're just jealous."

"Yeah, you tell yourself that," said Cass. "Still, you're quite the
buzz about the newsroom."


"Yes. It's not everyday a city official is publicly beaten up and still
goes out of his way to do his job."

"I wasn't that bad off."

"To hear some of these folks talk, it was a miracle you survived, let
alone walked away."

"Well, those folks obviously don't know what they're talking about.
But, I guess I'm flattered to be such a hot topic of conversation."

"Not just that, Jeffery, but I think you really went a long way to
showing the people something this weekend."

"If I catch the S.O.B.s that brought down Ferguson, then I'll be
showing them something. Until then, I'm scrambling," I said, as I
ducked into the deli.

"Listen, I have to run," I said. "I'm about to get lunch and then go
back to work. Are you free for dinner tonight?"

"Dinner?" said Cass with faux shock. "You mean an actual sit down
dinner? A date?"

"I might even be able to find a couple candles."

"Why, Jeffery, you are such a charmer."

"I do my best." I stopped by a table, nodded at the gentleman seated
there, and he merely raised an eyebrow to acknowledge my presence. "Can
I call you later then?"

"You better."

And, we ended our conversation.

"Cell phones are going to be the end of civil discourse," said Alfonse
Saint Libatique, shaking his head, as I sat down.

"Hey, until they can simulate sex, there will always been room for
civil discourse." I gave him the biggest grin I could muster.

"Such talk from a public official," he said, as he shook his head again
and clicked his tongue.

"What can I say? You bring out the best in me. Have you ordered yet?"

"I have," said Alfonse. "For the both of us."

"You didn't have to do that."

"No, I did not. So, what could possibly be so urgent that you would
call me on such short notice?"

I glanced around, making sure no one had focused on us, that no one was
listening in, and I was pretty sure we were in the good.

"Alfonse," I said, as I leaned over the table slightly to get closer,
lowering my voice. "What do you know about gun running?"

The look on Alfonse's face was priceless.


I headed back to City Hall and through the front doors, making a
beeline for the elevators, not noticing the woman approaching me until
she called out my name.

"Mister Carter?"

I stopped and turned. A familiar face framed by blonde hair that fell
over her shoulders and blue eyes that glanced around the room as if she
were nervous.

Oh, shit.

"Yes?" I said, as she stepped to me, as I started to look around the
lobby, to look for anything, anyone suspicious.

"Mister Carter," she said softly, pausing, taking a deep breath,
looking around again before looking back into my eyes. "My name is
Betty Ware," she said, holding out a hand for me to shake.

I took it gently and saw her tense, look to our hands for a moment, and
then relax. I brought my other hand around and cupped her's between

"Are you okay, Miss Ware?" I asked, taking another glance around.

She looked to me, a smile trying to come across her face, but she
fought it, her other hand joining the little hand party between us,
squeezing my hands slightly.

"Could I please have a couple moments of your time, Mister Carter?" she
asked. "It's very important."

"Well, Miss Ware," I said. "I'm afraid that today isn't exactly..."

"Mister Carter," she said, stepping closer to me, severely cutting the
distance between us, still holding my hands with hers, up now, chest
level. "Please, just five minutes of your time."

I resisted the urge to glare at her, to show any sign of recognizing

"Well, what can I help you with, Miss Ware?"

"In private, Mister Carter," she said, and I swallowed hard. "Please?"

In private then.

"Okay," I said with a nod, pulling my hands free and gesturing toward
the elevators. "My office then."

I walked with her to the elevators, stood there, as we waited, and went
into the car with her when it arrived, the two of us riding with a
short Asian lady I did not recognize. Neither of us said a word, as I
stood there with my hands behind my back, staring at the brass doors,
staring at the reflection of her glancing to me, away from me, back to


I gestured for her to step off first when the doors opened, and then I
walked out, past her, toward my office.

"Miss Meyers," I said, as I opened my door. "Please hold my calls for a
few minutes."

"Yes, Mister Carter," Meyers said, looking up briefly from her
computer, to me, to Miss Ware, back to me, and then to the computer.

I waited for Miss Ware to enter first and then followed her in, closing
the door behind me.

"So, why exactly are you...?" I started but got cut off, as she quickly
reached up and put her hands on both sides of my face.

"Do you feel anything?" she asked, leaning toward me, me leaning back.

"I feel a good many things right now, Miss Pine," I said. She jerked
her hands away and took a step back at the mention of her name. "But,
if you're trying to get a rise out of me, I'm afraid it doesn't quite
work on me."

And, she smiled.

"What do you want, Tracy?" I said, as I stepped toward her, thinking
she'd back off, thinking I'd be foreboding or threatening or something,
but she didn't move, just stared me right in the eyes, smiling the
whole time, seeming to want me to step to her.

"Do you have any idea how long it has been since I've been able to
touch someone, to truly feel someone without..." she started, stopped,
paused, her eyes tearing up. She reached up for my face again, but I
batted her hand away.

"Please?" she asked. "Just, please, let me..." She tried again, and
this time I grabbed her wrist.

"You're under fucking arrest," I hissed through clenched teeth.

"I want a deal," she said, her smile gone, a fire in her eyes, as she
tried to jerk her wrist free, tried and failed.

"You don't get to dictate shit," I said.

"I'll give you Simon Cooper."

"Fuck Simon," I said. "I want Dean."

"I thought Simon was your nemesis."

"Dean Williams killed over a hundred people. I want his ass nailed."

"Then, I want a deal."

"Then, talk to the police."

"No," Pine said, tugging again, as I let her wrist go. "I deal only
with you."

"I don't have any authority to..."

"That's bullshit, and you know it, Bush," she spat. "You've got plenty
of power, and, if you want Dean Williams, you better use it."

"What do you want?"

"I want a clean slate. For me and Mary," she said.


"Teapot. I want a clean slate for both of us."

"I can't do that," I said.

"You can..."

"I can't," I stated again. "Because a lot of shit that you did is
federal. And, any power I or City Hall has ends with the city limits."

"Then, you could at the very least make Pacific City a very safe place
for us to be."

"And, for this you deliver Dean."

"I'm not finished," Pine said. "I want clean slates for Mary and
myself, or at the very least I want us to be able to go about our
business in Pacific City without any police officers or science heroes
apprehending us."

"If your business is legit."

"Of course."

"What else do you want?"

"You," she said. She smiled, as I probably looked either very confused
or very pissed. Maybe a mix.

"You have no idea how long it has been since I've been able to touch
someone," she said, as she stepped towards me, tentatively reached up,
hesitated, and then touched my cheek. "To be touched by someone. I
can't have them touch me. I haven't been touched in so long."

"And if I say no?"

"Whole deal's off," she said, quickly pulling her hand away and taking
a step back. "But, if you say yes, I'll give you the rest of the crew."

"All three of them."

"I'll let you know when and where to find each one. How you apprehend
them is your business."

I glared at her while I thought, while I realized this was insane, this
was stupid, this was something I should not be making the call on.

"Two free tickets and one night, Bush," she said with a smirk. "And,
you get to save the day."

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