Sandstorm Ch. 04

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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 20 – Rage

“”they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind”

—— Hosea 8:7

“Oh, shit.” muttered Chief Moynahan as we watched the television coverage in MCD. “She’s dead. The shit is going to hit the fan for this. Are we ready, Commander?”

“Yes sir.” I said. Still, I speed-dialed Captain Croyle, who was at Precinct 2 Headquarters.

“What’s going on, Captain?” I asked when she answered.

“Someone at MLK Park started a chant just as soon as she went down.” said Teresa. “Now they’re all chanting and screaming, and some of them are starting to leave MLK Park and march north, towards the Tenderloin District. We’re massed near Weinstein’s club. They were going for it, but backed off when we got in the way.”

“Do you have Myron’s number?” I asked.

“I have him on Channel 5 encrypted radio.” said Teresa. “He’s feeding me info from the drones.”

“Good. Good job.” I said. Teresa and Myron were already doing what I was about to suggest. Good. Teresa was a damn good Captain, and Myron was pretty damn smart himself, already having drones up.

The television monitor in MCD suddenly came on. Myron was feeding us the drone camera’s coverage. The mass of black persons were finding riot police at intersections, well armed with armor, shields, helmets with face screens. But the marchers did not attack the Police; instead, they continued to take the path of least resistance, along main roads.

Teresa, you nasty bitch, I thought to myself as I saw the pattern. You’re funneling them into T-Square’s areas. Will they dare destroy property in the primarily black districts?

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

“Oh God, oh God, oh God.” muttered Big Ice as his security got him back to his hotel. “What the fuck? What happened?” he asked as his lieutenants came up to him.

“Bad news, Big.” said one of his men. “It was Jackson. Shot her from his hotel room.”

“No fucking way!” Big Ice gasped. “You shittin’ me, man?”

“No. It’s true.” said the man. “When our Security men went into the room, he swung the gun around at them, and they lit him up. FBI is already up there; they think the shot that killed Jasmine came from there.”

“Oh, Jesus.” said Big Ice, though he was not a religious man. “This is… oh God… listen, get with T-Square’s people and make damn sure they know I had no part of this. It’s gotta be a trick of some kind.”

Just then two City Police Detectives in plain clothes came up, with a protective entourage of uniformed City Police Officers. “Mr. Big Ice,” said the man, “I’m Detective Sapper Warren, and this is Detective Robin Ventura. Can we talk with you for a minute?”

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

“Looks like they’ve bypassed ‘Rhythms the threat diminishing as their numbers thinned out. The Police regrouped near the Cub Club, to protect the Firefighters.

The Fire Department did their best, but the Cub Club was engulfed in a massive blaze. I gave the order to let it go and to not risk injury trying to put it out. It was too late; and it would be easier to clean up and rebuild the club from a pile of ashes than a half-burnt-out structure…

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

Cindy came up to me. “The Governor is on Line 2. Yes, the Governor of the State.”

I went to my office to take the escort ataşehir call.

“How bad is it up there?” Jared asked.

“One building on fire.” I said. “But after they set it on fire, we moved in and they started dispersing. It seems to be winding down.”

“I’m getting word from the City that some people started ginning up riots, but they were shut down quickly.” said Jared. “We had some State Troopers and some National Guardsmen up there ready to go. Most people there seem to be in shock and mourning rather than marching.”

“Keep those State assets on alert, Governor.” I said. “The shock and pain will turn to anger over the next few days. That’s when they’ll be the most dangerous.”

After a few more words, the Governor hung up. Possible riots had been stopped in Southport and Midtown, as well. A possible disaster in the wake of the assassination of Jasmine Nix had been averted, and partly due to our readiness for trouble we’d expected her to gin up with her album and her message of hate.

Part 21 – The Morning After

“This is Bettina Wurtzburg, KXTC Channel Two News!” shouted the redheaded reporter at 7:00am, Sunday, June 11th, from in front of the Palladium Arena in the City. “We are bringing you continuing coverage of the assassination of superstar singer Jasmine Nix last night in the City!”

“The FBI has released stunning new details of the crime.” Bettina said. “Ms. Nix was shot in the left eye by a military-grade .308 caliber bullet, which traveled deep into her brain and caused massive injury and immediate death. The single shot was fired from the eighth floor of the Windham City Plaza Hotel, from a room that was checked out to the entourage of rapper Big Ice, by an associate of Big Ice known only as ‘Jackson’.”

“In what may be a related incident,” continued Bettina, “the City Police report that a window of a hotel suite rented by world-famous rapper T-Square was shattered by a bullet a short time before Ms. Nix was assassinated. No one was injured, and the Police are not commenting on reports that a helicopter was seen landing on the roof of the hotel.”

“The FBI will have a press conference at 9:00am.” said Bettina. “Meanwhile, Governor Jared, who is embattled by scandals of corruption and racism, has asked SBI Inspector Donald Troy to investigate the Nix assassination on behalf of the State. State Senator Katherine Woodburn issued a statement saying ‘Governor Jared is working hard, if not illegally, to gut the SBI, but when he is desperate he calls upon Commander Troy to act as an SBI agent for him. There would be no need for these shenanigans if we had a strong SBI leading the way in law enforcement in the State.’.”

“Meanwhile,” said Bettina, “the Governor’s speech to the State Sheriff’s Association on SBI realignment received mixed reviews yesterday. While the Sheriffs were generally receptive to the Governor’s ideas, many concerned citizens groups across the State were in open condemnation of the plan, which includes the formation of what the Governor called a ‘Special Investigations Service’, or ‘SIS’. This unit would help local law enforcement with major crimes, from violent crimes against other persons to financial and white-collar crimes that cross county lines. The SIS units would be regionalized, as the Narcotics Task Force is enduring already…”

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

I was at the FBI Building in the City, poring over the huge volumes of evidence the FBI and City Police had amassed over the last several hours. Cindy was working with Lindy Linares and Martin Nash in their area, which was a large room with semi-cubicles, a bit like MCD but more FBI-like.

I sat back in my chair and muttered “I have no idea why the Governor wants me to look at this. It’s cut and dried. Jackson had the rifle in his hands when they came into the room. He’s dead now, so he can’t tell us anything. The gun is the one used to shoot Jasmine kadıköy escort bayan Nix; the fired casing was found on the floor, matches the two unfired cartridges that were still in the rifle.”

“What was his motive?” asked Jack Muscone, who was sitting at the conference room table with me.

“I don’t know.” I said. “If you had people inside the Nix or Big Ice organizations, maybe we’d know.”

“As you know,” said Muscone, “my boss didn’t give a shit about anything but the white supremacists. He wasn’t going to waste assets on investigating potential black militants.”

“Yeah, I know.” I said. “Spilt milk. But it looks clear cut that Jackson did it. And the ‘why’ of it will go to his grave with him. My only speculation, with nothing upon which to base it, is that Big Ice told him to, or T-Square paid him to.”

“I agree.” said Muscone. “And to answer your question, I think the Governor has you looking at the case to cover his ass if anyone asks what he’s doing about it.”

Just then, the DepDirector came into the room. “Find anything out of the ordinary, Commander?”

“No sir.” I said.

“Jackson was not a very good marksman in the Army.” said the DepDirector.

“Neither was Lee Harvey Oswald in the Marines.” I said. “But we’re told he pulled off the biggest three sniper shots in American history.”

“Exactly my point, Commander.” said the DepDirector. “But I doubt we’ll ever be able to prove any other theory of this case, either. For me the problem is: how do we prevent massive riots? We were lucky last night, people were apparently too stunned to take action. But by tonight, their rage may have built up.”

“The Cub Club in my Town wasn’t so lucky.” I said. “But we handled it. Other Police Forces will have to show their mettle and stop any lawbreakers, as well.”

“True.” said the DepDirector. “But we’ve got to do more. Washington is already up in arms over the destruction of Superior Bloodlines, and now they’re scared shitless of riots. What do we do?”

“We’re going to have a press conference at 9:00am.” I replied. “The Public will be told that this was a black-on-black crime, fueled by rivalry between two black musical empires, and that the Public should remain calm and not draw race-based conclusions. On the podium at the press conference will be three black LEOs, including FBI Agent Julius Jefferson, and one guy with a red crowbar, so they won’t notice he’s a white man.”

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

T-Square was in his hotel suite, being briefed by his people, when he was told he had a visitor. A moment later, State Senator Katherine Woodburn was shown into the room.

She looks good for a white woman, thought T-Square, noticing the woman’s shapely legs and her large breasts under the blouse she was wearing. She was attired in a smart-looking business suit.

“Hello, Senator, how can I help you?” T-Square asked as he shook hands with Katherine.

“I came by to offer my condolences on the loss of your colleague,” said Katherine, “and to see for myself that you are all right. I heard of the window of your room being shot out.”

“Thank you, Senator.” said T-Square. “Let’s go into this side room where we can speak privately.” He led her into the second bedroom, which was set up as a makeshift office.

“I also want you to know,” said Katherine, “that my own people believe this attack on Ms. Nix was done by people associated with Big Ice, but it’s not just a lone wolf; we think Big Ice himself was behind it.”

“I dunno.” said T-Square. “A lot of white supremacists have been getting their nuts busted by our friendly neighborhood Iron Crowbar in the last few days. Sure this wasn’t their last gasp to cause trouble?”

“I have reason to doubt that.” said Katherine. “If anything, I’d think the Iron Crowbar himself was behind it. The FBI has been concentrating solely on the white supremacists, ever since some of them brought escort bostancı that nerve agent into our County in an attempt to kill you. The Iron Crowbar, however, was watching Jasmine… he seemed to think that she was going to act in a disloyal way towards you. And since your sister’s daughter is his daughter, maybe he acted for his own self-interests.”

“You know a lot about things, Senator.” said T-Square. “So why are you here?”

“I’d like your help.” said Katherine. “I want you to come out publicly and demand the Iron Crowbar be taken off the Nix investigation, saying he’s not impartial, and that he’s a racist. And then one day I’ll do a favor for you when you need it, and I’m in a position of real power, political or otherwise, to help you.”

T-Square chuckled derisively. “I wouldn’t get any delusions about taking over Pastor Westboro’s crime empire if I were you, Senator.” he said. “And I’m just going to give you four words of advice about the Iron Crowbar: Shut. The. Fuck. Up.”

Katherine controlled her face, not showing her anger. “Okay, then.” she said. “I hope we’ll be able to discuss other things, and soon. You have a nice day.” With that, she and her entourage (and security) left the suite, and the hotel.

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

I stood in the hotel room, seeing the little hole cut out of the window, seeing the bloodstains on the carpet. I’d been shown pictures of where Jackson had been lying after he’d been shot multiple times. I’d read the statements of everyone.

“No mention of any outsiders.” I said. “No one came up here at all.”

“No sir.” said FBI Special Agent Julius Jefferson. “The only strangers that were mentioned were City Police Officers. There were a number of them up here after the shooting, and of course Big Ice’s people didn’t know who they were.”

I got down on my knees, careful to not touch the bloodstains, and looked through the hole in the window. “Yep.” I said. “I’m sure ballistics will confirm it, but this is the perfect place to fire a shot at the Arena side.”

“Yes sir.” said Jefferson. “We had a bunch of lasers up here last night, testing out all the angles. It is beyond a reasonable doubt that the shot was fired from right here.”

“Anyone try to get videotape that shows this room?” I asked. “And anyone in the window?”

“Yes sir.” said Sapper Warren, who was standing in the doorway. “We collected all the street camera and traffic footage. We’ve got everything from the Palladium Arena that was looking back this way. The News Media had almost nothing; everything they had was pointed at Jasmine Nix.”

“The only oddity that’s come out,” said Jefferson, “is that the hole in the window was cut by a glass-cutter, but Jackson didn’t have a glass cutter on him, no one found one anywhere in the room, and there was no glass on the ground outside below the window, meaning no sign of the cut out piece of glass.”

“Hmm, interesting.” I said. “Maybe someone in cahoots with Jackson cleaned that up.” Jefferson shrugged his broad shoulders. Warren’s face showed nothing.

After one last look around, I said “Okay, then. There are no rabbits for me to pull out of a hat, here.”

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

9:00am. The Press Conference was being held inside the media room of the Palladium Arena, and it was full of reporters pressed together like sardines, who were pushing against each other for room and breathing space.

At the front were three men: FBI Special Agent Julius Jefferson, SBI Reserve Agent Theo Washington, and City Police Detective Thomas ‘Sapper’ Warren. It was no accident that they were all black men. Off to one side were FBI Special Agent in Charge Jack Muscone and SBI Inspector Donald Troy, a.k.a. Your Iron Crowbar.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” said Jefferson, “thank you for coming. As you know, Jasmine Nix was shot and killed as she was coming here to the Palladium Arena from her hotel. We have determined conclusively where the one shot came from, and who fired the shot.” Jefferson went on to show the evidence collected. Theo and Warren also spoke, carefully crafting the story to show that they’d found nothing racially biased to be involved.

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