Sandstorm Ch. 01

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Brunette

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 1 – The Championship

Saturday, June 3d, 10:00am. The techno beat of Darude’s Sandstorm blasted through the gym. Some two hundred people, mostly Police Officers, surrounded the ring in the middle, waving thin, flat plastic ribbons of red or blue or white to the music, showing their preference for one or the other (or neither, in the case of the white strips) of the Finalists; red for Captain Croyle, blue for Captain Ross.

Standing alone in the middle of the ring was me, Your Iron Crowbar, wearing a red golf/polo shirt with an embroidered TCPD badge over the heart, khaki pants, black shoes, and my gunbelt; this was technically a uniform. As I surveyed the crowd, I saw the Finalists making their way through them to the ring, arriving at the same time. The music died down when they reached the ring. I pointed my left hand at Cindy Ross, attired in white with blue trim, and called out loudly:

“Would you like a shot… at the title?”

“Don’t mind if I do.” Cindy replied. Huge cheers erupted as she climbed up into the ring. I turned and pointed with my right hand at Teresa Croyle, in white with red trim, and said:

“Would you like a shot, at the title?”

“Don’t mind if I do.” Teresa said, to possibly even louder cheering. Referee Micah Rudistan came up and, using a microphone, made the most important of announcements:

“The Rule is suspended,” Rudistan called out, “to allow the combatants to use their own crowbars!” The gym erupted. Sandstorm started up again. As I was helped out of the ring, which was raised well above floor level, I noticed that Cindy was looking over at Teresa’s red crowbar, then she looked over at me with anger in her eyes. She had realized that it was not just any red crowbar… it was the red crowbar…

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

Some moments earlier…

As a past Champion and first seed, Cindy got dibs on the women’s locker room to dress in her plastic armor. Teresa was relegated to the ‘mat room’, a storage room along the side of the gym. Joanne Warner was inside the room with Teresa.

There was a knock on the door, and Teresa came out of her meditation to see me come in.

“Man on the floor.” I said.

“It’s okay, sir.” said Joanne.

Coming inside, I stepped up to Teresa, who was holding an international orange crowbar. Our eyes solidly locked as I took that crowbar from her hand with my left hand. Then I held out my right hand, which held my red crowbar at the middle, offering it like a scabbarded Japanese sword. Teresa was stunned, and Joanne’s eyes about popped out of her head.

“Maintain… its… honor.” I said quietly.

“Yes sir.” Teresa said solemnly, taking the crowbar with both hands, as if receiving a sword.

I nodded, then wordlessly turned and left. As I stepped outside, back into the gym, the music of Sandstorm was being turned up to blast pitch.

“Hey Parker!” I said to Teddy, who was waiting to lead Teresa to the ring. “What, did a University of South Carolina football game break out here?”

“SEC rules, sir!” shouted Parker, a graduate of the University of Mississippi.

I laughed and shook my head, then began making my way to the ring. Janice Holloway asked me what color strip I wanted, and I took a white one for neutrality. I waved it in time and rhythm with everyone else. Finally, I made it to the ring, climbed in, and waited for the Finalists.

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

In spite of the fever pitch, the two Finalists’ faces were masks of cold determination. It had been a long week of trash talk and back talk, of bets made and sides taken. While Teresa had long been one of the Detectives, she was now ‘adopted’ by the Uniformed Officers as their representative in the ring, against the leader of the Detectives, not unlike Army Enlisted v. Officers. And Teresa had not joined the coffee klatch all week, further enhancing the tension.

“Listen to my commands, and listen for the bell.” said Rudistan. “Do not intentionally hit the referee, and do not take open head shots nor any shots at the face of your opponent. Keep it clean, and show these people what good sportsmanship is. Okay, break and go to your corners.” The red and green crowbars clanged together once, then the Captains went to their corners… this was the first time the Police Boxing Matches Final had ever come down to Captain vs. Captain (I bursa escort never was a TCPD Captain)…

The bell rang and Rudistan called out “Box!” and the Championship match was on! Both fighters came out cautiously, circling, feeling each other out. Then Cindy darted in with a blow.

*CLANG!*

Teresa parried the blow. Cindy backed out, looking for another opening. Both fighters made feints, the crowbars clanged a few times.

Then Cindy went for a maneuver. She went for a blow to Teresa’s side, but it was a feint and she was suddenly swinging for Teresa’s upper back. The year before, I had ducked it. But Teresa was already swinging around to intercept it.

*CLANG!* *WHANG!*

After parrying the blow, Teresa got the first iron upon her opponent’s plastic armor, getting Cindy in the shoulder. Cindy backed off, having one of her pet moves actually defeated. She was trying to figure out what Teresa was doing, what forms she was practicing, but she could not: Teresa was disguising her moves, mixing and matching as she feinted one way then came in for a blow.

The timekeeper called out “30 seconds!”, meaning 30 seconds left to the bell. As the time wore down, Teresa did it again. She went to the edge of the ring and dropped the red crowbar down to the gym floor.

The crowd was going nuts, yelling and screaming. Cindy was about to attack when Teresa charged her, jumped over Cindy’s horizontal swing with a gymnastic flip, and as Cindy turned around she found her crowbar being removed from her hands as Teresa flung Cindy over her (Teresa’s) shoulder. The crowd roared as Teresa flung the green crowbar out of the ring.

*DING!* *DING!* *DING!* *DING!*

The round ended, and while Teresa had done that in the past long before the bell, she timed this one better. The crowbars were returned, and the contestants drank water. Sandstorm began playing again.

“This is amazing!” the Chief yelled, having to shout even though I was sitting next to him.

“Yes sir, it is.” I said.

“Who’s going to win?” the Chief asked. I just glanced over at him with a knowing smile.

“My predictions will be fulfilled, Chief.” I replied.

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

*DING!* *DING!* *DING!* *DING!*

Round Two. Teresa did not play games, but held on to the red crowbar, and began to use it with devastating effect. Cindy used her martial arts as expertly as she could, but Teresa seemed to be ready for everything. But Cindy was ready, too; she defended as well as Teresa did, and neither could press a big advantage.

*CLANG!* *WHANG!*

But as they battled, I could see one thing beginning to show: Cindy was the daughter of a great, great man… but he was ultimately a man of vision, a man of peace. Teresa… was the daughter of a Warrior. And that was her slight, so very slight edge.

*CLANG!* *WHANG!* *CLANG!*

Teresa began pressing a consistent attack, and while Cindy’s martial arts were designed for defense and she was able to parry the blows, Teresa was still getting a blow in here and there. She was clearly winning.

Then Cindy tried her ‘go to’ move. She swung the crowbar, then dropped and tried to use her legs to cut out Teresa’s legs. Teresa actually jumped up over it, landed on her feet, then acted like she was going for the kill. But Cindy was ready for that, too…

… but it had been a feint by Teresa. She stepped back, avoiding Cindy’s maneuver that would’ve allowed her to get in a judo-like throw. But Cindy was back on her feet. Teresa acted like she was going to lunge again, and Cindy moved to block it… and exposed a shoulder joint. I saw it, and so did Teresa…

… and she knows what to do with those.

*WHAM!*

Almost faster than the eye could see, Teresa slammed Cindy to the ground on her belly, then fell on top of her, holding Cindy’s arm behind her. It was over, and Cindy knew it.

“I yield.” the Green Crowbar said, conceding the inevitable.

The crowd erupted as Rudistan moved in. Teresa got up and went to the neutral corner. Cindy was slow to get up, but finally did. Rudistan went over, raised Teresa’s hand to end the match, then the two friends met in the center of the ring and their handshake became a hug. Then Cindy’s eyes flashed fire as she saw Teresa return the borrowed, victorious red crowbar to its owner…

Part 2 – Explanation Required

“And the winner of the Freestyle Division!” shouted Chief Moynahan, “is Captain Teresa Croyle!” There was much cheering… and, per tradition, changing hands of money… as Teresa accepted the Freestyle Division Championship trophy and held it up for all to see.

Afterwards, Cindy went to the infirmary room first, where Your Iron Crowbar’s favorite doctor examined her. I was told later that after being cleared, Cindy tore down the hall to my office.

“Tough fight.” I said, standing up as she came in without knocking and without invitation.

“You did not have to let her use that crowbar!” Cindy said, the bursa escort bayan ice blue eyes flashing cold fire as she pointed at the red crowbar lying on my desk.

“Yes I did.” I said, slowly coming around the desk, then sitting on the edge of it, holding the offending tool in my hand. “For two reasons.”

“And what are those?” Cindy asked darkly.

“First,” I said, trying not to grin, “I did tell you that this crowbar and Aikido would win the Police Boxing Matches… and I was right.”

Cindy gave me a look of smirking sarcasm that would’ve killed mere mortals. “And the other reason? Which had better be one hell of a lot better?”

“It is.” I said firmly, staring right back into my cousin’s eyes. “I told you about the mission to save my wife, and the assistance I had of Takaki Misaki and some of his people. What I might have forgotten to mention… is the name of one of those persons that was there, and helped me win the day.”

Cindy’s face turned to one of total shock. “She… she’s one of Misaki’s people?”

I nodded. “As is Todd, but you knew that. Anyway, I owed Teresa big-time for helping save Laura, and also for some other things she did to help while on that mission. And handing her the red crowbar was part payment for that.”

“Well, hell!” Cindy said, now thinking in a totally different direction. “No frickin’ wonder I got my ass beat down.”

Just then Teresa came in the door, followed by Laura. Cindy turned to front her, and pointed at her.

“I lose no face in being defeated by a disciple of Takaki Misaki, red crowbar notwithstanding.” Cindy declared.

“Nor should you.” Teresa said. She came up and hugged Cindy, a hug that was returned.

“Well,” said Laura, “another year of gladiatorial games ends with no serious injuries. Thank God.” I had the feeling that my wife was not a big fan of the Police Boxing Matches.

“Yes, indeed, Doctor. Thank God.” said Chief Moynahan, coming into the office. “But the example these young Cap-tnnnnns provided our Police Force in determination, skills needed, and sportsmanship was a good one, I believe. Congratulations to you both, ladies.”

“Having said that,” the Chief continued, “I can assure you that next year’s rules will disallow dropping one’s crowbar or billy stick out of the ring; the fight will be stopped and the defensive weapons returrrrrned.”

“So much for my giving my opponents a sporting chance, Commander.” said Teresa, which got a ‘glance’ from Cindy. It was already ‘Game On!’ for next year.

“As long as you don’t give the criminal perps any such sporting chances.” I replied. “But the Chief is right, we’re going to have to—“

My door was a popular one to enter without knocking today. Jack Muscone was the latest culprit. And his face looked grave as he said “Don, Laura, can I speak with you two for a moment?”

Part 3 – It Begins

Cindy, Laura and I were in the plexiglass cube room at the Federal Building. Also there was Jack Muscone and his team: Martin Nash, Lindy Linares, and Sandra Speer.

“Thanks for coming over.” said Muscone. “There’s no truly safe place to talk inside your Police Headquarters.”

“That big, huh?” I asked, knowing that I could’ve turned on the anti-bugging device.

“And more.” said Jack. “Okay, all this past week, we’ve been putting all of the Oldeeds people we arrested through the wringer. A lot, and I mean a lot of Vicki Oldeeds’s employees are turning at the drop of a hat. She had a core, inner group of very loyal people, but everyone else apparently hated her. We’ve been giving out immunity deals and plea deals almost like candy.”

Jack continued: “The same went for Robert Patterson, but to a lesser extent. Most people denied any knowledge of any wrongdoing, and we’re not going to be able to prosecute very many of them.”

“Typical, I daresay.” I said. “I’m sure many of the lower-level people had no idea they were working for Spawns of Satan.”

“That sums it up right nicely.” said Jack. “So we concentrated our efforts on the financial people that were close to the top, and on information we gathered concerning that human trafficking out of L.A. that Dr. Fredricson ripped apart. And that’s led us to Perry Richards, whom we arrested.”

“Perry Richards’s people talked a lot more than I think he expected.” said Jack. “We’ve got passwords to accounts, information on what they were trying to hide, all that good stuff. Perry wasn’t talking… and then we mentioned Mitt Baker. Perry and Mitt are not very good friends. We went back and talked with Mitt, and while he won’t talk… he’s holding out for immunity and we’ll only give him a plea deal that’s not all that good for him… his lawyer was directed to come forward with the goods on Richards.”

“Upon hearing that, and seeing that we were following these leads pretty good,” said Muscone, “Perry Richards had his lawyer give us all the dirt on Mitt Baker, and one of Richards’s bank vice presidents cut a plea deal with us and confirmed escort bursa it all. The U.S. Attorney says that the case we have on Baker is air-tight, and he will go to prison for the rest of his life.”

“So we’ve started weaving the threads together of the Baker and Richards cases that connect to Superior Bloodlines.” said Jack. “Lindy, you know more of the details, why don’t you bring these Crowbar clan people up to speed.”

“Welcome to the Crowbar clan, Dr. Fredricson.” said Lindy.

“Glad to be a part of it.” Laura said with a smile. They knew of my gift to my wife a few days before.

“So here’s what we’ve gotten, so far.” said Lindy. “It’s been discussed before that we’re really looking at two groups here. One is the Mitt Baker group. He was a lot higher up than we’ve realized, and was working with Pastor Westboro, to control Apple Grove and to expand from there. We believe that he believed that he would have control of the white supremacy aspects of Westboro’s ultimate dream syndicate, and that probably was going to be the case. Baker wanted an oligarchy, where he and his people controlled money through the Globalists’s financial institutions, and people were subjugated to his rule through money. Westboro might’ve been good with that, as long as Baker remembered who the true brains of that outfit was.

Lindy went on: “The second group is Wallace Bedford’s group. Bedford and Baker were not as close as we and everyone thought, as they were in reality competitors. Bedford wants to annihilate blacks, literally wipe them off the face of the earth. He and Sheriff Spaulding were close, and Ben Ellman was working for and with them. Their idea was of a ‘New South Rising’, a kingdom where those they considered to be the ‘deplorables’ were either to be slave labor or to be exterminated.”

“So…” Lindy finished, “some of these groups’ goals are the same, but by different paths; Baker and Richards and Conrad King through economic means; Bedford and Rutledge and Franklin Gray through violence and bloodshed.”

“What about the third group?” asked Sandra. “This ultra-cell Don and Laura have been pursuing, the BEEKEEPER people?”

“Bees in the trap. Bees in the trap.” I chanted, quoting the Nikki Minaj song. “And they are in the same trap. However, they’re not Superior Bloodlines. They’re more like the Corrigan Cell was, and Westboro was: they want control. They do think they are the superior people, especially those that were connected to Yarborough. But they’re also content to use black militants and white supremacists to kill each other, then come in and plant their standard on the remains and declare victory and their own rule.”

Lindy said “Exactly.”

“What about the Black Militants?” I asked. “What are they up to?”

“We don’t care.” said Nash. “And that’s a direct quote from the Deputy Director, and I am speaking for him on this one. Our mission is to crush Superior Bloodlines, and destroy as many of their friends as possible. Dr. Fredricson wanted to destroy Vicki Oldeeds and the Iron Crowbar wanted the Oldeeds Group taken down; we understand that. But even these financial sidelines like Mitt Baker and Perry Richards are just that: sidelines. The main target is Superior Bloodlines. Conrad King. Wallace Bedford. Franklin Gray.”

I could feel Laura looking at me, and I glanced over at her before turning back to Jack and Martin. “Well, I understand the Deputy Director’s passion,” I said, “but I’d prefer to take them all down in one fell swoop, fill our jails with bad, bad people, then wash our hands of it and turn to the next case, whatever it may be.”

My eyes took a lightning inventory of the FBI Agents. Jack Muscone was amenable to my words. Martin Nash was not happy with what he’d just heard. Lindy’s face showed neutrality. Sandra’s face showed a surprising inscrutability, as if she was both skeptical and dismissive.

“Commander,” said Martin Nash, showing stunning backbone and acting as if he were in charge, “the Deputy Director remembers your promise to help him take down Superior Bloodlines. Now he knows you intend to keep that promise, so why allow yourself to be distracted with other things?”

I fixed Nash with my ‘Iron Crowbar’ smile… one that most people don’t like to see. “Mr. Nash,” I said, “you may tell your uncle that I will keep my promise and I will take down Superior Bloodlines like laundry blowing in the breeze in the back yard. What I did not promise is that I would concentrate on Superior Bloodlines to the exclusion of all other things. I cannot speak for the Deputy Director nor any of you, but I prefer to not waste my time taking these tenpins down one by one. I’m going to take them all into one big net, then you guys can sort out the catch.”

“Okay, guys,” said Jack Muscone, “if we can get back to the original purpose of this meeting…” He took the silences as license to continue, and said: “What we also found out from our interrogations of all the Oldeeds and Richards people… is that they have an operation they call ‘Stormbringer’, in which they will move against Blacks by both financial and violent means. We have learned that the code word for the commencement of ‘Stormbringer’ is ‘White Fury’.”

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