Chapter Fourteen-Part One ~Travis~

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Sanders and I had just finished investigating a bogus tip from an individual claiming to have witnessed a runaway Breeder enter her parent's home in L.A. when we got the call. A military truck carrying supplies was driving through Colorado this morning when they came upon an unconscious male, lying in the road with a gunshot wound to his left thigh. Luckily for the man, it was a clean shot, hitting only muscle and no major artery or bone. He was able to stop the bleeding by using his shirt as a tourniquet. He's forty six years old, said to be in poor health, malnourished and dehydrated. He was taken by copter to L.A. General Hospital for treatment and is being held for observation.

Our unit was brought in to investigate because the man identified the shooter as a Caucasian female, approximately eighteen years of age. He said she was accompanied by a male and another female, both Caucasian and approximately eighteen years old as well. Due to the assumed age of the females and the fact that the incident occurred off grid, they are automatically considered Breeder runaways...guilty until proven otherwise.

L.A. General is within a mile of where we just completed our investigation, so I'm assuming that's why we got the call. Within minutes we reach the hospital, and as instructed by our unit secretary, we report directly to the security office which is located at basement level. Upon entering the office we're greeted by an older man, standing at a desk looking through some paperwork.

He steps towards us and reaches out to shake my hand. "Hello, I'm Jim Peters, head of hospital security. Please call me Jim."

I introduce myself, then Sanders shakes his hand and does the same. Jim has salt and pepper hair and a fairly large build. If I had to guess, I'd say he's in his early sixties, and physically he looks to be in excellent shape. Although his demeanor is calm, Jim has a very commanding presence and not just due to his size.

We follow him past his secretary's desk and into a rather large room that looks more like a command center than an office. Shutting the door behind him, Jim crosses the room, and rounds a u-shaped mahogany desk. He takes a seat while gesturing to the two chairs across from him, asking us to do the same.

The wall behind him is lined with twelve 25"monitors, each screen divided into nine quadrants. Although all the monitors are on, only two are providing visuals of what looks to be the outside parking lot, hospital entrances and exits. Sitting on the desk behind him are three separate multi-line office phones, two computer monitors and two keyboards. Across the room to our left is a two person workstation which faces a wall of even more monitors.

Hospitals have security, but I'm a bit taken back by what I'm seeing...it's such overkill. L.A. General would be considered a mid-sized hospital at best, yet there's enough equipment in this room to secure a fucking prison. Last I checked, hospitals care for the sick, which generally don't pose much of a security risk. I get the feeling that Jim's job entails much more than just securing this building.

"Let's get right to it gentleman," he begins. "The male you'll be questioning is Leroy Johnson.  As you know, he was brought in this morning by MedVac for a gunshot wound to his upper thigh. It was a clean shot, so he's in stable condition. He's been placed on minimal pain meds so he's clear for questioning, but be warned, he's not happy about it." He slides a closed manila folder in front of us and continues, "You should know, Mr. Johnson has a criminal history. He's been incarcerated multiple times. his convictions including robbery, petty theft, and sexual assault against two minors, both under the age of seventeen. "

Piece of shit.

"He's managed to stay out of jail the last four years, but if he's been living off the grid, let's not kid ourselves, that's probably the only reason why. The details of his charges and convictions are all in the folder. Do either of you have any questions?" he asks, leaning back in his chair.

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