Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Dark Winter; Chapter Four

Jerry Dee:  Jennifer Kent wasn’t brilliant she was just lucky.  It was a freaking accident that she got on the ballot in the first place.

Animal-Mutha: Look here’s what happened.  Ferris Johnson was an institution.  He’d been Michigan’s  Attorney General for so long he was both the oldest and youngest guy to ever hold that office.  He was also the only Democrat holding state office office at that time. The GOP had run the table for the last two cycles.  So anyway the Republicans couldn’t be bothered with an A-lister candidate to oppose Johnson.  They knew whoever ran against Johnson was gonna lose, so nobody good wanted the poison apple. Ya’ know. Why bother?  

Jerry Dee:  They picked Gil Rogers.  He was a good guy and a loyal soldier but he was a hopeless candidate. He always red faced and out breath. Could not open his mouth without saying, “um.”

Animal-Mutha: So everything is set in stone and then Ed Johnson freakin dies right after the nominations closed.  Gil still wanted the job and half the of the GOP old guard backed his play because he was a loyal soldier.  The other half wanted him out because they knew he would lose which naturally  he did.  Although that was mostly because the Michigan GOP tore itself to pieces because Rogers wouldn’t bail.  Kent only got elected because she became the AG when Johnson died.   That was it.  Luck is all she has ever had going for her but she thinks she’s freaking genius.

-- Michigan Right On The Left Coast Podcast.



Gregory Medina was more than a little disappointed in the Michigan National Guard Headquarters.  He had been expecting something very high tech.  Computers everywhere, huge monitors on all the walls.  A humming bee hive of military high technology everywhere.

Instead, it felt more like more like office space for a minor medical supply company.  Cheap faux wood paneling, very worn greyish tile flooring waxed and buffed to within an inch of its life.  What little natural light found its way in seemed to feel out of place and was easily bullied into submission by the overhead fluorescents.  The only thing that really was humming was an old and scary furnace.  There were a few computers but no more high tech than had been in his boss’ own office space as Attorney General.  He was really regretting the Attorney General of Michigan’s decision to relocate here.

It didn’t seem to be all that much safer than the much more luxurious offices they had just left.

“He’s not getting away this, Perry,”  Jennifer Kent said very quietly.  Her tone of voice was perfectly level and quite agreeable, but her chest was heaving in and out and her face was chalky white.

“Okay, okay.  You know the routine.  Insist that we have a case and demand that Cahn is to be taken into custody immediately.”  Jennifer’s voice crackled, “well, forgive me if I expected you to do your job. Good bye, Perry.”

Jennifer slammed down the receiver and began massaging her pulsing temples.  “Sergeant Major Cahn has changed his mind and is going to plead Not Guilty after all.  He is going to request a dismissal.”

Gregory Medina didn’t know what to tell her.  They knew this was going to happen the moment they got the news about poor little Kenzie Styles.  

The truth of the matter was that Gregory was more than a little relieved.  Jennifer was way too involved with this one.  It had affected her judgement.  Styles was a sad case but...

Jennifer had been taking a hell of a risk.  Yes, there was no question a high level conviction like this was necessary to send a message to the military.  Jennifer, (Gregory Medina never called her that to her face,) was right - they could never be trusted to convict one of their own.  Especially some celebrated killer like him.  Jennifer was right. But Jennifer had also been withholding exculpatory evidence.  Gregory had been worried sick about that.

Jennifer had first taken the case on board when the Lansing DA wouldn’t press charges. Naturally not, Gregory snorted in disgust, he was a Republican, a veteran and a Tea-bagger.  Still...Well, the man had a point.  Styles had changed her story three times. Each time new evidence came to light, some detail had to be altered or, let's face it,  invented entirely. There were those damned stupid texts she sent, when she claimed she was being raped.  GPS data had her in a different place than she said she was.  And she...she....Styles had been lying.  

Gregory knew it.

Everyone who took a real look at the case knew it.  

Thank God the real media hadn’t.

He hadn’t really been able to bring the subject up with Jennifer.  He couldn’t make himself do that. His mind whirred a little, considering all of the various possibilities, but it all came down to the fact that he didn’t want her to tell him that she knew it was true.  He didn’t want her to tell him she was destroying an innocent man as a political gesture.  He didn’t want to really know that truth about her.

He knew these things had to happen.  Progressives like Jennifer and himself needed to make them happen.  He knew that.  It was just better not to let the human cost affect his judgment.  It was necessary and that was all that really mattered.  Jennifer could see that so clearly.  She had given up so much for the progressive cause, it made him heart sick.

Jennifer had turned in her high backed leather chair and was staring out of the window, seething.  In profile.

She was so strong and so lovely, Gregory thought to himself.  So determined.
The light framed her face, her short blonde pixie cut hair, her long strong jawline with the smallest dimple cleft.  

Someday soon he would tell her how he really felt about her.  What she did to him. She deserved to know the truth.  They had been working together for years now.  But it had to be just right.  He would spend the rest of his life trying to make her happy, but the moment had to be just right.  I’m always there for her.  I always listen when she talks to me about the men in her life.  

Oh God, they aren’t worthy of her.  Why can’t she see that?

This is really going to fuck things up with Kristy Rutnick.”

Senator Rutnick was championing a bill that would take any felonious offense out of the hands of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and try them in civilian courts. The fact that this would likely destroy the entire basis of all military discipline was a delightful if unintended consequence, so far as both Rutnick and Jennifer Kent were concerned.

Rutnick and Kent now had a professional relationship.  Jennifer had been noticed.  Forget about being a lousy state AG.  Senator Aaron was retiring and there was nobody in her own party standing between her and his Senate seat at this point.

“Okay, Gregory what about Kenzie?”

He sighed with a dejection that came naturally to him.  “Her car was found pretty much behind her body’s position but of course was on the top floor of the garage.  Her purse was found on the cement railing half the contents poured out over the railing. A few on the ground in front of the car. Her wallet and keys were found on the ground by her body.”

“Alcohol?”

“Three times the legal limit,” Gregory affirmed.

“Scenario; Friday night Kenzie hits the clubs and gets tanked. Given her history, (sigh) not unlikely.  So when the evening is done, she staggers back to her car.  She can’t find her keys in the dark so she pours her purse out on the rail.  Her keys and wallet fly over and she tries to grab them and follows them over the railing, falling seven stories.  Death by young, drunk and stupid,” Attorney General Kent  clicked her nails.  “It fits. Unfortunately.”

“There was,” Gregory licked his lips in anticipation.  He knew he was about to offer her something she would love.  “the chalk outline.”

“The what-a wha?”

Detective Lieutenant Gabriel Mitchell, Pontiac PD nearly had a stroke when he saw the body.  

She had been a young woman in her early twenties.  Close cropped hair, badly dyed to an unrealistic shade of blonde. Approximately 5’4.  Apparent cause of death, fall from a dull grey, multi-story parking garage.

Mitchell was furious.  He saw plenty of dead bodies in his line of work.  After the first one you get used to it  But you never got used to seeing a body like this.

A young healthy woman’s body lying in an unnatural crumpled heap, surrounded by a chalk outline.

“Who the fuck contaminated my crime scene?!”  Mitchell roared.  

Chalk fairies had visited the body.  Goddamn, chalk fairies!   “Who was the first guy here?  Get him here! Get him now!”  

“Uh, detective,” one of the uniforms started to point to an older Japanese guy with a tired look on his face.

“No, I don’t mean who found the body. Who were the first uniforms on the scene?” Mitchell growled.  “Who is the new guy?”  You always took the bare bones, first day on the job rookie to a scene like this.  If they were going to barf, it was going to be for the first body they saw.  Just get it over and done with, then move on with your career.  Except this new guy wasn’t going to have a career. Oh my fucking God, no, he would not.

“It wasn’t the chalk fairies,”  the Japanese man said, with old authority.

It started with old movies.  When Hollywood first really took to censoring itself.  A strange little rule was handed down.  You could show someone getting murdered.  Sure, fine, no problem with that. But, for whatever weird ass reason, you could not actually show the cops examining the dead body afterwards.  It was just fine to show how a dead body got turned into a dead body but seeing the killer’s handiwork in the next scene was out.  So the chalk outline was created as a stand in for corpse.  Hilariously, it went on for so long that Hollywood became convinced it was standard police procedure.  So did everyone else.  Even when they were allowed to show bodies again, they still had to have a chalk outline.  It was Hollywood law.

The problem was that, due to a combination of enthusiasm and inexperience, life would occasionally imitate art. The resulting chalk outline around a body was crime scene contamination and would definitely be brought up in court.  It was usually the new guy and he usually didn’t own up to it.

Mitchell really looked at the Asian guy for the first time.  Older man, clearly had been fit for most of his life, still well muscled but his belly now bulged. Outline on his right hip that looked like a pistol. Knows police methods and slang.

“You on The Job?” Mitchell asked.

“I was for forty years,” old guy half smiled.  “Captain Charlie Yamada,” the retired cop, gave half a snort.  “Yeah, I know it sounds like I came out a 1970’s tv show.”

Mitchell granted that with a chuckle,  “I’d have never missed an episode.”

“So?” Mitchell invited.

“I found the body on my morning walk at 5:47 exact.  I came up to see if aid could be offered and noticed the chalk outline almost immediately.  I did not touch the body, as I had upon visual inspection determined that she was already deceased,”  former Captain Yamada reported.

No point in questioning that.  In Detroit, you knew a dead body when you saw one.

“And you stayed with the body until the uniforms arrived?” Mitchell inquired.

“I did,”  Yamada said, then added, “the new guy puked behind the dumpster,” .

Hmm, this is frankly beyond suspicious.  No question though, it was sharp.  Even with Yamada’s depo, the chalk outline will come up in court.  Assuming I can find someone to bring to court.  

He had just heard about a hell of mess on 8 Mile.  Even worse than just being 8 Mile.  Something about the military being run off by a pack of those damn things.  SOD was starting to scare the shit out of everyone.

Mitchell looked up at another set of flashing lights.  Tribal police car? Yeah, there is an overlapping jurisdiction here because of that shitty casino.  Probably State as well.  

This was getting complicated.  More hands on the crime scene, means more chances to screw things up.

“Detective Mitchell?” His partner was going through a wallet that was next to an evidence marker. “We’ve got a possible ID on the vic.  Driver’s licence and...uh oh...military ID.  Green.  It’s active duty.

This just got really complicated.

“Also a security camera in the garage was vandalized that night” Gregory added.  That happens, I mean like,  welcome to Detroit, but nothing in that garage was reported stolen.  No cars missing. No cars broken into.  So why knockout the camera?”

“The Chalk thing was a nice touch.  Too bad for somebody, an old cop found the body,” Kent said with a growing smile.  “I think I would very much like to know of the whereabouts of Sergeant Major Cahn on the night in question.”

Gregory’s joyous warm fuzzy feeling was immediately replaced by a sour lead ball in his stomach.  He wanted to give something better to Jennifer. “Sergeant Major Cahn’s movements are suspiciously easy to trace.  Very public that night.  He had a date with this very beautiful Russian woman.”

Gregory’s stomach clenched when he saw Jennifer’s brow scowl at the mention of the word ‘beautiful.’

“Well, in a very showy kind of way,” Gregory shrugged with a half smile.

Kent waved a dismissive hand.  A little annoyed with her own transparency.  “Was she being paid?”

“Oksana Kerensky is a doctoral candidate at MSU,” Gregory replied a little distracted.  “Actually, she already has one doctorate and is working on another in Veterinary medicine.  She is also an GA at one of the dorms.  I wonder what she sees in a militaristic, animal like Cahn?”

Jennifer chuckled and Gregory smiled, knowing in his heart she agreed with him completely.

Actually, what Kent was laughing about was the problem of jury selection.  If I can finally bring Cahn to trial I’ll need as many men like Gregory on the jury as possible.  White woman were absolutely out, the last thing I need is the sound of a dozen sopping wet panties hitting the floor of the jury box with a loud wet smack when that muscle bound Yul Brynner clone strides into court.

Then she decided, no, that won’t work.  Cahn had been fairly smart in his choice of defense counsel.  Janiya Roy, was in her late thirties and was a top flight criminal lawyer.  Emphasis on criminal.  That bitch always sailed close to the wind and she had really coached Cahn for the initial hearing.  The sad, bewildered man in a rumpled cheap suit and three days growth of beard resembled nothing of the snorting man beast Perry had tried to describe in court.  There Cahn had sat looking lost, confused and pathetic. A pitiable figure. A broken hero.  Perfect court theater.

On a professional level she admired the bullshit.

A man might let her pack the jury with other men hoping they would be sympathetic.  Janiya won’t fall for that. There are going to be at least six women moaning and cooing in the jury box.

If Judge Smith doesn’t dismiss outright.

That was the real problem.  He almost certainly will. What did she have at this point?  An accuser who couldn’t keep her story straight, when she had been alive.  No physical evidence. And, oh yes, Kenzie appears to have gotten herself killed in the most comically stupid, white trash way possible.  

Jennifer Kent was starting to feel trapped.  Politically, this was becoming both a rock and a hard place.  If she didn’t take him to trial, Senator Rutnick and the rest of the feminist progressives would turn on her.  If she took him to trial and couldn’t get a conviction she was going to look foolish and impotent.  

She had to get Cahn locked down for something.  A conviction for anything at all would feel like a win for the people she needed to impress.  So long as the feelz  were right she could move ahead with her career.

“Gregory, I want someone to go over Cahn’s financial statement.  If there is something fishy there, that will be enough to get him locked down in the county jail.  Maybe we can hit him with withholding.”

Gregory continued to stare at his iPhone.

Kent stared at Gregory.  He had never ignored her before. Ever.

“Gregory!”

Gregory reeled in horror.  “Sorry, Ms. Kent...I...I Just the news...It’s you see its...”

“Gregory focus,” she was only mildly disgusted with herself for doing this but men are men.  She placed one hand on his chest.  “I need my goto guy on the ball here.”  Her smile was warm and genuine, mostly because she could feel his heart suddenly pounding in his chest.  It was nice to be a woman with that kind of power over a man.

"Don’t worry, we’ll get him,” Gregory’s attention was suddenly pinpoint. “I’m getting on the state police.  The locals aren’t being much help at the moment,” Gregory smiled a little too widely.

“Thank you, Gregory,” she withdrew her hand and placed it behind her back before she started rubbing her fingers on her jacket.  He wasn’t really greasy at all it.  Touching him just felt that way.  “I know can alway count you.  That means a lot to me, you know.”

Gregory Medina nodded emphatically, picked up a phone, and attacked the keypad.

Gregory was going to have to go, she decided.

I’d be happy to reward loyalty.  I want to be known for rewarding loyalty.  But Gregory isn’t merely loyal.   Sooner or later he’s going to make a big play for me.  He’s going to pour his heart out and tell me how I look like this beautiful thing or that beautiful thing. Go on at epic length over all my qualities  And when that fails to melt my heart...

Well, I’m not certain what he’s going to do then but I am positive it won’t be to my benefit.

The real pity for Gregory is that I do need a husband.  America’s phallocentric patriarchy still demands it, she sighed in resignation. I need one soon if I’m running for the U.S. Senate.

Except for the age difference, he would fit the job description nicely.  A little young for me but enough to be generally acceptable. Obedient, for one thing.  At one quarter cuban, just the right bit of  unthreatening ethnic diversity, for another.  He’d be happy to stay at home and raise the kids for me. Medina-Kent doesn’t sound too bad either.

The problem was the idea of all his squishy liquid softness, puddling over the sides of my belly...The problem is picturing that puffy, wobbly face over me clenched up, getting ready to cum...  I’d vomit in his face, until nothing was coming up but intestinal bile.  

No. Definitely. Not. Gregory.

She idly flipped through the file while Gregory talked on the phone to someone named Sergeant Vasquez.  He laughed at something that was said and nodded his head vigorously.  Oh yes, the arresting officer.  Did a very thorough job as I remember.

That, in spite of the fact that Vasquez was clearly building a case against an innocent man.

Kent was briefly startled by the failure of her mental Crime-Stop.  But she instantly moved on.  She had after all been trained by her entire belief system never to question her belief system. And so she did not.

Gregory chuckled again.  Why is Vasquez working him? Kent wondered.  Admittedly, she could do worse.

Admittedly, she could also do better but Gregory did come from money. Was she Cubano?  Kent wondered briefly. That might matter to her family.

Please consider falling in love with her for a while Gregory, Kent thought to herself, just a little tiredly.   

She snapped her fingers and made a ‘hang-up.’ gesture.  Gregory’s head whipped around so fast the rest of his chin was still moving.  He made a quick excuse and hung up.

“Gregory, this is more than a little important...” She began.

“Absolutely,” Gregory interrupted.

Jennifer held her temper and pushed on, “I want you to get some face time with the detective sergeant.”  He’d need more detailed  instructions than that, she quickly decided.  “You are the one in charge but don’t go ordering her around.   She has mixed feelings about this. She,” how do I put this, she honestly thinks the guy is innocent is not the way to put it, “thinks pursuing this case is a questionable allocation of state resources.”

Gregory scowled a little. Ordering around little people was one of his great pleasures in life.

Jennifer caught it and scowled a little herself,  “You need to work on your management skills, Gregory. You can whip one hundred and ten percent out of someone but that takes one hundred twenty percent out of you.  Coax, encourage, and lead, Gregory.  That’s why it’s called leadership not pushership.”

Gregory blinked a bit.  Then smiled and frantically bobbed his head trying to encourage her.
Jennifer Kent realized what the fool was thinking. She has never spoken to me like this before. She is really taking an interest in me. She is finally coming around!  

Christ, Jennifer thought to herself. Men!

“You need to be both engaged and disengaged when dealing with Detective Sergeant Vasquez.  I admit, it is a highwire act.”  She paused, considering, “try watching a few Cary Grant movies.”

That confused Gregory a little bit.

“Bottom line.  I want you on top of her.”

“Absolutely!”

“Good,” Jennifer almost dismissed him, but then stopped herself.  

She had noticed that while she had been speaking to Gregory there was suddenly a lot of concerned activity around the command post. People talking to each other in low voices.  Phones getting picked up or texts getting sent.  Uniformed people were logging onto computers with worrying intensity.  A couple of the privates had taken to their heels running down the hall after receiving instructions.

“Uh, Gregory.  What was on the news?”

Gregory switched gears yet again.  “It’s about the new Speaker of the House.”

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