Copyright Robert F. Sacco
Parts 2 & 5 are on this blog.
Part 8: Following up
Detective Tom Slovino was severely sleep deprived. He had been up until almost dawn coordinating emergency response to the explosion of the meth lab in Dunnbrick. Once the firefighters, paramedics and flatfoots had the scene under control and Tom had done as much interviewing and evidence collection as he thought would be useful, he headed to the office and got as many reports written as he could before his eyes started blurring. He managed to catch about an hour's sleep before his official shift started. A shower and a pot of coffee later and he was on his way back to his cube to finish up his reports and to start his search for the mystery lady who had been whisked away by the Tarantula. At least that was the plan. He was afraid that the day would actually be starting with a reprimand for not being at a donut shop in Dillbrook all night.
As expected, as soon as he entered the precinct house the desk sergeant had ordered him to report to Lieutenant Pearson's office. While not completely unexpected he was discouraged to see that the Captain was present as well. "Have a seat." The Lieutenant said. It was an order but his tone was surprisingly pleasant. "The Captain's brought down word from the Comish, through the Chief, that 'officially'", he made quotation marks with his fingers as he said "officially", "The hunt for the Tarantula and the fall of Charon are the department's top priorities, but, that the real game plan is to let the Tarantula do our job for us and then hope he just disappears the way he did back in forties." The Captain chimed in "We don't like it. We don't have to like it. It's not our job to like it." The Lieutenant resumed, "I know you've taken a personal interest in the case. Most of the scenes have been on your old beat. I know you've been through the old Tarantula case file… and then of course there's last night." "Look, sir.." Tom began, only to be interrupted by the Captain "Keep your yap shut and listen! You know that you should be on report right now, and, if it weren't for the union, you'd be out on your ass." Pearson cut in on the Captain, trying to be more pleasant "But… we think the way you do Tom." Tom knew something was wrong. The Lieutenant had never called him by his first name before, ever, and, if the Lieutenant really thought like he did, he wouldn't be so cheerful about the prospects of the department aiding and abetting a mass murderer."This guys a killer. He needs to be stopped. There isn't a lot we can do about him with the Chief and Commissioner holding together on this, but, if we can find out who he is, how he does what he does, well, then, just maybe, we'll find a way to make use of that information." The Captain resumed "The Chief's handpicked a couple of detectives from uptown to do the 'official' investigating. Really what they'll be doing is talking to the press at Tarantula scenes. You're gonna be our boy looking for the real leads. You get to keep your job, you get to keep your investigation, and you get to keep absolutely quiet and report only to the Lieutenant. Got it?" "Got it sir." Tom acknowledged. "Any leads yet Detective?" Pearson asked. "Yes sir. Red Honda Civic at the scene. Witnesses say the diver was taken off by the Tarantula. Gonna do a run down on it first thing." "Good work Tom, get back to me this afternoon."
As Tom made his way to his desk he was totally perplexed. He'd never really "gotten" departmental politics but this was just weird. Something was going on here but what? He remembered that the old file archivist had speculated that maybe the cops back in the forties had been working for organized crime and that the mob might have wanted to take down the Tarantula themselves. He considered that for a moment but, ultimately it didn't fit into any of the modern scenarios. Yeah, there were some dirty cops on the force who worked for Charon. Some of the guys thought the Captain or even the Chief might work for him. But, this wasn't Charon's style. It wouldn't bother Charon in the least if The Department brought down the Tarantula. He'd probably think it was funny. No, this was being played by the Commissioner and the Mayor, both of whom were as rich or richer than Charon. If anyone owned them it was the industrialist who funded the mayor's campaigns', Caleb Winthrop, but Winthrop backed anyone who looked like they were going to win so that he could get the big tax breaks he needed for his factories and such. This must be totally an election gambit so the Mayor and the Comish would, in two years, be able to point to the fall of Charon and claim some responsibility without actually having to go through the work of evidence and courts. As flamboyant as Charon was capable of being, he was really good at making sure that there was no evidence to link him to anything. The only evidence that they would need would be evidence against the Tarantula and getting that was his job. It pissed him off but there wasn't anything he could do about it, besides, he wanted to bring this lunatic down, so, he guessed that they had come to the right guy.
The best news about all of this was that, if he was reporting only to the Lieutenant, there were about a dozen reports that he had thought he needed to do this A.M. that were now off the table. Paperwork having evaporated, he was free to focus on the blond with the Domino Mask. He was glad that he had thought quickly and only mentioned her car. The car would be showing up in the flatfoots' reports anyway but no one but him knew that he had her picture. He figured, no matter what the real story going on here was, not a single player was being straight with him. That being the case, he thought it might be for the best if he kept his cards close to the vest. Not that it mattered. If she was dumb enough to have used her own car, the mob and the lieutenant would know who she was soon enough. Sitting at his computer, he plugged Delia's license plate number into the software that would look for it in the DMV's data base.
This Story has fifteen parts. I'll add links below as they are posted.