Authors Note: It appears that this is one of my stories which, for some unknown reason, I didn't ever get around to posting to Nifty. It was one of the stories that had been affected when I took a hiatus from writing several years ago, but is now once again underway. :)
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~ Chapter Ten ~
gripped the both of us as we looked at each other and realised just what
it was that may be happening here.
police guard missing from his post. A potential target missing from his
hospital bed. Surely Jarvis
couldn't have already found him? Could he?
way we looked at it, though, we just knew it couldn't be good.
simply can't be happening!' I heard Helen growl, as I stepped back out
into the corridor and looked up and down.
it!' I said out loud, which only earned a reproachful look from a
back around to face Shane's room I found Helen standing there in the
doorway, looking fit to burst.
now, hot shot?' she demanded.
off, we check with the nurse's station . . . maybe it's not what
we're thinking. Then, if that doesn't work, we find the security
tapes,' I replied.
way, we still need to review the tapes from yesterday, to try and find out
who our mystery coppers were who spoke with Shane before we did.'
we set off for the nurse's station, which was located further down the
corridor, where the next corridor joined this one. It didn't come as any
great surprise to find it empty of staff, but as I stood there, drumming
my fingers on the counter top and wondering what to do next, all my
anxiety soon turned to relief when I spotted Shane in a wheelchair, being
pushed back down the corridor towards where I was standing. He was smiling
and chatting with the female nurse in charge of him, but when he saw me
standing there he quickly clammed up, which only earned me a scowl from
didn't look any worse than he had on our previous visit. There were
still cuts and bruises all over him, some of which already seemed to be
healing up, but it was the inner damage that concerned me the most. Was he
mentally tough enough to be able to bounce back from this?
I had something in my pocket that might just help him with that task.
Shane. You had me worried there for a minute, when we couldn't find
you,' I said to him. `Everything okay?'
sorry. Just been for a scan. Doctor's orders,' he said.
wrong, is there?' I asked, directing my question more toward the nurse
than to Shane.
was complaining of chest pains and so his doctor ordered an MRI scan. It
showed he has a couple of cracked ribs, which didn't show up on the
original x-rays,' she replied. `He'll be fine though.'
great news,' I offered. `I know there's someone who has been missing
him and wants him back in one piece as soon as possible.'
looked at me sharply, and for a moment I thought I saw a flash of fear
cross his face, but it was quickly replaced with another expression, one
which told me he was confused, yet still curious about what I had said.
should I trust you?' he asked.
a very good question,' I answered, before I then fished the envelope
from my pocket and held it out for him, showing his name, which Jimmy had
scrawled across the front of it, so that he could easily see it for
the sight of Jimmy's hand writing his eyes lit up.
I have this, or know about you two if I wasn't in the loop as far as how
close you are?'
he reached out for the letter and I let him take it.
about I take you back to your room?' I said to him. `I think there's
a few things we need to talk about.'
he replied, while continuing to hold the envelope in front of him.
nurse stepped aside and I assumed the position behind the wheelchair, then
began to push him down the corridor, where up ahead I could see Helen
waiting, along with the police guard, who had obviously returned from
wherever he had been hiding.
really worried about you,' I quietly said to Shane as we trundled along.
he okay? Is he safe?' he anxiously asked.
mate, he's fine. We've got him safely tucked away. Some friends of
ours are looking after him. We'll have the two of you back together just
as soon as you've got the all clear to be released from here. Then after
that, we want to get the pair of you away from
bit we're still working on,' I answered truthfully, while making a
mental note that I still needed to make a couple of phone calls just as
soon as we left here.
reached his room a few minutes later, with Helen and Constable Plod
stepping aside to allow me to push him inside. I parked the wheelchair
beside his bed, but he made no effort to get out of it. He was still
staring at the envelope from Jimmy that he was holding.
about we give you a couple of minutes to have a read of that before we
talk?' I offered, placing a gentle hand on his shoulder as I did so. He
looked up at me and tried to smile, but the tears that I could see forming
at the corners of his eyes kept holding him back.
he eventually managed to say, before turning his attention back to the
letter and quickly ripping the end from the envelope. I stepped away from
him and joined Helen outside the doorway, glancing back just once and
seeing him wipe his eyes with the back of his hand.
was off having a scan. They found a couple of broken ribs which didn't
show up on the original x-rays.'
not wrong there,' I replied. Just then I felt my phone in my pocket
buzz, indicating I had a call, so I fished it out and checked the number.
It was Adam.
glanced at Helen, who had turned her attention back to the babysitter, so
I turned away from them and took the call.
going on?' Adam asked urgently. `Are you okay? Why did I have an
Inspector knocking on my door wanting to know if we were together the
was all I could say. `Shit is getting crazy around here.'
you seem to right in the middle of it! Please tell me what's
I will, I promise, but I . . . I can't . . . at least not right now.'
I promise. I'm sure that everything will be okay.'
call you later, okay! I've got to go.' I disconnected before he had a
chance to say anything more, only to find Helen staring at me.
number,' I said to her, as I slipped my phone back into my pocket.
shit!' she countered.
then . . . you've got me. It seems Adam just had a visit from the
inspector, wanting to know if we were together the other night.'
Well, we knew it would happen.'
did he tell him?'
much I didn't find out,' I replied.
then we heard a call from inside Shane's room. `Are you out there,
this? Already on first name terms?' Helen smirked.
simply grinned and said, `Yeah Shane, just give me a sec,' then to
Helen I added, `Whatever else is going on Hel, these kids have seen
enough. We can't let anything happen to them.'
couldn't agree more,' she replied.
we walked into Shane's room, where we found him still sitting in the
wheelchair, clutching the letter firmly in his hands. When he looked up at
us we could tell he had been crying, which was confirmed when he wiped his
face with the sleeve of his hospital gown.
said to trust no other cops but you two,' Shane said to us, once he had
settled down a bit.
that so?' Helen replied
He must reckon you're orright or something.'
we kind of think he's orright too,' Helen remarked. `And if what you
two have told us so far will help us get Jarvis out of the picture, then
we'll think the pair of you are more than orright. You'll be bloody
this the kid simply smiled at us. He knew that what had happened to him
was wrong, and what he was now doing was a good thing. He was not only
helping himself and Jimmy, but he was also helping every other kid who had
every crossed paths with Jarvis and every other scumbag just like him.
Right now, I just knew that we had to do everything we could to help him
and keep him safe.
Shane's expression changed, as he held up his letter from Jimmy.
said you were asking about Greg,' he said. `And that he told you he
saw Greg get hit, and carried out.'
that's right. Can you add anything more?' I asked him.
. . . I wasn't there that day. I was . . . working,' he offered.
`But I heard Jarvis's stand-over man, a guy called Gus, talkin' not
long after that. He was saying something about dumping someone. Is that
what they did? Dump him someplace? We all talked amongst ourselves and
kinda figured he must be dead. It scared the crap out of us when Greg
disappeared . . . but . . .' he trailed off.
where else would you go?' Helen suggested.
. . . something like that,' Shane answered softly, as he looked up at
us. His eyes were still red, and moist. This was dragging up a lot of
memories that Shane had probably thought he had been able to put to rest.
I reached out and placed a hand on his shoulder.
doing good, Shane,' I said quietly. `And, as sad as it is to say it,
you were right about Greg.'
glanced my way, then looked out through the window, his vacant stare
falling on the brick wall opposite. For a long while he said nothing, and
I didn't want to push him, as he gathered his thoughts and processed
he looked back at me and asked simply, `How?'
was found floating in
how do we find Gus? Do you know?' I asked, wanting to change the subject
quickly so that he wouldn't dwell on the loss of his friend any more
than need be.
easy. He's always hangin' around at Jarvis's place. He likes the
boys too . . . you know what I mean? He used to keep bragging about how it
was one of the perks of the job.'
about you? Did he like you, or Jimmy?' Helen asked.
That greasy lookin' bastard? No fuckin' way we'd do anything with
him . . . anyhow, we're not his type . . . too old, ya know?'
boys were his type, then?' I urged. `Can you give us a name? If one of
them will talk to us, that'll be another scumbag we can get off the
streets. And there are lots of other things we need to know as well . . .
is it okay if we talk about it now? Are you okay about talking about it
and dragging it all up again?'
looked away and thought for a moment. I couldn't tell what was going
through his head, but I would have given a mint to know.
. . . I'll tell you what I can. There were a couple of kids who Gus
liked to keep an eye on,' he eventually offered. `He used to buy `em
stuff too, you know, so that helped to keep `em interested in him, a
what about Jarvis? Did he ever sample the merchandise?'
. . . not that I know of. Pretty sure he's got a woman someplace . . .
he wears this gold ring, so he might even be married. All he was
interested in was how much we brought home every night. We got a bed. We
got fed. Sometimes we were given stuff . . . even some money sometimes . .
. and all we had to do was . . . well . . . you know.'
what about the Johns?' Helen enquired. `Were there many regulars? Did
they give you tips or anything? And did you know who any of them were?'
weren't s'posed to know
them . . . but there was a few who we knew about.'
was some we seen on the telly, so that's how we found out who they were.
There was one who played footy, I know that, and he used to bring his mate
along too. Another one was like, a TV news reader or sumpin'.'
this Shane grinned. It looked like he was saving the best for last.
there was some you will really like,' he smirked.
that?' I asked.
Helen exclaimed. `How the hell do you know that? Do you know who they
know their names, but I know their faces orright. One of `em is even on
the telly sometimes too. Like he's a real big-wig.'
let out a long, low whistle, as she sat herself down on the edge of
Shane's hospital bed.
wrong with you?' I asked Helen. `You look like you've seen a
tell you about it later,' she quietly said.
Did I hit the jackpot or something?' Shane teased, now looking quite
pleased with himself. `C'mon, you can tell me!'
later, mate,' I said.
them two cops that was here yesterday. They come back again too.'
did? When? Do you know who they are?' Helen asked.
They tried asking questions, like asking who else have I talked with, but
that was when the Doc came to see me this morning', so they just pissed
off. They said they might be back later on.'
what did you tell them?' I asked.
I didn't like the look of `em.'
does that mean you like the look of us then?' Helen chuckled.
`Oh, I like the look of him,' Shane smirked, while jerking his head in my direction. `But don't say nothin' to Jimmy about that . . . I might get in trouble!'
* * * * *
were all laughing when we left him, with the mood definitely lighter than
it had been for days, but both Helen and I knew that by the end of the day
things could be quite different, especially once we organised for the
picking up of Jarvis, which we both wanted to happen before nightfall.
better see if we can check the CCTV, before we go,' I said to her as we
reached the main administration centre, just inside the front doors of the
of course,' Helen replied.
walked over to the main desk and identified myself, then asked to be
pointed toward the security offices.
just call them for you,' the receptionist said. I waited for a few
moments as she rang through, then told whoever was on the other end that
there was a police officer here to see them, before eventually
disconnecting and saying to me, `There's someone on the way.'
you,' I replied, before joining Helen to wait.
you're making a bit of an impression on the lads,' Helen mused.
well, what can I say . . .'
don't think I need to remind you, but just be careful, that's all I
ask. We both know what these kids have been through, and the last thing
they need is more disappointments.'
I know,' I replied. `I've been thinking . . . you know, about where
they go from here. Firstly, to get them out of town while the whole affair
is sorted . . . then afterwards.'
that right?' she enquired, her eyebrows raised in query.
didn't want to say anything until I checked out if it was going to be
okay with them first, but seeing as we're almost at the point where
Jarvis could be picked up today, I figured I'd best set the wheels in
motion if it was going to work at all. I don't think we'll have much
time after Jarvis has been nabbed.'
on,' Helen urged.
I might have a spot where we can hide the boys for a while. It's out of
town, and if we can keep it from becoming known by everyone else, it'll
I replied. `After Marty died they took foster kids in from time to time
. . . they said the house was too empty without Marty around . . . so, I
just thought it might be a good way of keeping the boys safe and getting
them out of the city. And if they like it there, it might be a fresh place
for them to start over.'
do you think they'll go for it?'
Marty's folks, or the boys?'
of them,' Helen chuckled.
there's only one way to find out,' I answered.
was just then that a young man who looked to be no older than me, wearing
blue pants and a white shirt with the word SECURITY on both sleeves, came
hurrying into the room. I wasn't quite sure what I expected a security
staffer to look like, but still, this wasn't quite what I expected. He
was way more than that. With his tanned complexion and sun bleached hair,
the guy was hot.
looked questioningly toward the receptionist, who nodded in our direction.
I stood up and introduced myself and Helen, while flashing our badges at
him as we did so.
can I do for you folks?' he stammered.
you aware that we have a victim of crime admitted in here and under police
guard?' Helen asked.
of course. The kid in Ward 30,' the security man said.
believe that someone has tried to gain access to him without the proper
authorisation,' I added. `We were hoping we might be able to check out
your security tapes and files for the last couple of days, please.'
hesitated for a moment and looked me up and down, and while he was doing
so I glanced at the name badge on his chest.
not sure . . . Damien,' I said, `if you quite realise the situation
here. This kid is a key witness in a homicide and he is in real danger. If
someone is trying to get at him, then we need to know. And we need to be
able to stop them. We could really do with your co-operation.'
at Helen I could see she had a slightly bemused look on her face. I knew I
was laying it on a bit thick, but what I had said wasn't entirely
he said. `I understand that. Of course. Come with me and I'll show you
whatever you need.'
you so much,' I said.
were led down several corridors, each seemingly narrower and darker than
the previous one, until eventually we came to a plain looking door adorned
with a simple sign which read, Control.
Would I be forgiven, I wondered, if I'd asked to see Agent Maxwell
Damien must have read something in my expression, as when he swiped his
electronic card through the key lock and opened the door he smiled and
said, `KAOS is three floors
simply grinned back at him. I couldn't help but like the guy.
showed us inside and took us across to a bank of video monitors which
lined one wall. We could see views of many areas of the hospital and
grounds which were covered by the CCTV system. On many screens there were
staff and patients moving around, while others showed empty corridors or
sat down at a desk with a computer, then brought up a menu on the screen
directly in front of him.
then, what's your pleasure?' he asked us, and I had the distinct
impression he was looking me up and down as he did so.
any porn?' I asked, jokingly.
. . . not here,' he said in a quiet voice, obviously trying to make sure
that Helen didn't hear him. I glanced back at her as he said it and
noticed her roll her eyes.
you two horn-dogs are quite through flirting with each other, we've got
work to do!' she snapped.
grinned at her, but all Damien could do was blush, then he furiously typed
a command into the keyboard, which brought up what looked to be the
corridor outside Shane's room, complete with our resident police guard
sitting in a chair outside his room.
live,' Damien said. `See the date and time in the lower right corner
of the screen?'
far back do you want to go? I can set it to run through at speed from
there, and we can stop or slow whenever someone enters or leaves the room
if you like. Would he have had many visitors?'
any,' Helen replied. `Apart from the hospital staff there's only us,
and the other cops he told us had been by. Their last visit was this
morning some time . . . so if we can start with today, hopefully that will
give us what we need, without having to troll back through another days
worth of tape.'
tape . . . it's all digital and computer driven these days, so it's no
problem to go back as far as we need.'
just start with today,' I suggested. `Then if you have time later you
might be able to check out if anyone else has paid our young friend a
visit since he was admitted.'
hardly a challenge,' Damien replied. Before he had even finished
speaking he was typing into the keyboard, and within seconds the monitor
was showing us vision from that very morning, at just after nine a.m.
corridor was empty, but as Damien starting scrolling through the vision at
speed we were soon seeing people coming and going. Most of them appeared
to be staff, or a few visitors for some rooms, but no one appeared to have
entered Shane's room.
nine-thirty three we noticed a doctor and a nurse walk down the corridor,
directly past the camera. They stopped at Shane's room and spoke to the
police guard for a moment, before going inside.
That's Doc Marshall,' Damien said.
the vision play at normal speed we watched for a few minutes more, then
two men came into view from the far end. Both were wearing light coloured
shirts and dark ties, and had a familiar air of authority about them,
although they were still too far away to be able to identify them.
and I glanced at each other. Her forehead was etched with deep furrows.
they came closer to Shane's room it was still impossible to make out any
features, even when they stopped and talked to the guard. A moment later
they went into the room.
Can you give me a hard copy of them going into the room?' Helen
course. You said they were cops though, didn't you?'
ever heard of Good Cop, Bad Cop?' Helen asked. `We're the Good Cops
. . . those two we're not so sure about.'
was all Damien could say.
won't we also need a close up to see who they are?' I asked.
can give you a hard copy of them while at the other end of the
corridor,' Damien offered. `They would have walked right past at least
three cameras to get to that point, so I can actually track them from the
front door of the hospital if you want.'
you recognise them, even from that distance?' I asked.
got a pretty fair idea I've seen them around,' she confided.
a few key strokes Damien soon had a printer in the room warming up, with a
couple of copies of the screen shots being spat out. He then fiddled some
more and had soon changed the camera view, which was now showing us
another, much busier corridor. The time stamp was about two minutes before
that from the first camera, and right on time our two visitors were shown
walking directly toward the lens, as clear as day.
look well pleased with yourself,' I said to her.
sure if that's quite the right word, but this does kind of piece a few
things together,' she replied. `Thanks very much Damien. We really
problems,' our friendly helper replied.
Damien,' I said. `How many security staff does the hospital actually
a lot, but there are always a few on duty and doing the rounds . . . you
know, just in case.'
about this afternoon? Any change that young Shane's room can be added to
the rounds . . . especially if those two show up again?'
sure we'd be able to do a lot, but I can definitely get them to keep an
eye out. Have you got a number we can get you on if needed?'
quickly pulled a card from a pocket and handed it to him, then I gave him
my phone number also, which he wrote on the back of Helen's card.
I said to him. `We appreciate this.'
smile he gave us said it all.
afterwards, and armed with our prized images, we said our goodbyes and
headed for the front doors.
a minute or two I was beginning to wonder just how far you were prepared
to go in there, champ,' Helen remarked as we headed down the first
not the only one,' I chuckled. `Sometimes I even scare myself.'
Adam, I wonder if he knows what he's letting himself in for?'
My day wasn't over yet, was it?