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Pen Your Pride

Thirty-Three

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Lester prowled the parking structure looking for the DA's car. He started at the top and made it all the way down to ground level where he found the car in a reserved spot with a sign and everything. I should have thought of that.

He looked around to make sure no one was around then produced a GPS tracker from his pocket, bent down, and magnetically affixed it to the underside of the car. Once more he checked if anyone was watching then walked away trying to look inconspicuous. Once back on the street he pulled out his phone and double checked the GPS signal to be sure the device was online. With that done he made his way to the office to start his work day.

All throughout the day he couldn't help but check the app repeatedly for movement. Each time he did he found the same thing. The car had not left the parking structure. He wasn't sure what he expected. It wasn't like the DA was going to paint all the potential targets out for them. By the end of the day the only movement logged led to a fancy restaurant and to an expensive neighborhood outside the city.Hardly anything worth getting excited about. How long until this pans out.He wondered.

The next day he was a little less anxious about the GPS and only checked his phone a couple times during breaks and lunch. To his surprise at the end of the day it revealed some interesting movement. He sent a test to Jackie.


[Hey,I think I have something.]

[What do you have?]


He sent her an address.


[It's not much to go on but I see no reason why he'd go to the west side.]

[Agreed.]

[I'll check it out.]

[Be careful.]


Lester put away his phone and settled in for the night.

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Jackie followed her phones directions to the address Lester provided and found herself outside a boarded up old church. Through some of the windows not covered with plywood she could see light inside. She took a look at the surrounding buildings and concluded the old church was more likely hiding something than the burnt out houses and chained up liquor store. Were she not in a bulletproof car she would never come to this part of the city. Especially late at night. Even with the bulletproof car she felt uneasy.

From behind an overgrown hedge a pair of men emerged walking her way. She quickly slid down in her seat so they wouldn't see her. Once they passed she sat back up and kept watching. She sat there for a little over an hour as people came and went. After that she felt confident this place would be worth taking out. From there she returned to her hotel room to get some much needed sleep.

Sometime in the dead of night she was startled by a loud banging.Instinctively she reached for the gun in the nightstand. Red and blue lights flashed outside her window and she heard yelling outside.Carefully she slipped over to the window so she could peek out.Outside she saw four police cars with officers behind them and guns drawn on the door to the room next door. She sighed in relief that they weren't there for her but remained tense being in the room next to whoever they were there for.

She watched as an officer pulled out a bullhorn and could now clearly hear them demanding her neighbor come out with his arms up. The standoff continued for fifteen minutes when the gunfire rang out. Jackie threw herself on the ground instinctively. More gunfire followed and several shots tore through the wall at chest level from the next room. After what seemed like an eternity the firing stopped and she heard the police kick in neighboring door.

Jackie remained on the floor for several minutes before she felt it safe enough to get back up. She looked out the window and saw EMS workers loading a man into the back of an ambulance. The rest of the police had put away their weapons and were standing around talking and keeping a small crowd away from the scene. Someone knocked on her door and she quickly stashed away her weapon then answered.

"Excuse me ma'am." The officer began. "I'm just checking to be sure everyone is okay in here after those bullets came through the wall."

"I'm fine officer, thank you." Jackie said.

"Because of the bullets we're also going to need you to vacate this room so ballistics can removed slugs from your walls. If you need I can assist with packing or carrying bags to another room."

"That won't be necessary." Jackie said. "I can be out in about fifteen minutes."

"No rush take your time. Just try not to touch anything that we might need to have a look at."

Jackie closed the door and gathered up her things and walked out and over to the front desk to get a key to another room. By the time the clerk handed her the new key most of the police cars had taken off leaving one for crowd control and an unmarked car belonging to whoever had the job of digging bullets out of walls. She crossed the parking lot and got into the new room. She settled in on the bed and tried to get back to sleep.

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Emma had the morning news on while she got ready for work though she largely ignored it until she walked by the TV and could clearly see The Duchess in the playing helicopter footage. She stopped in her tracks and read the lower third which said 'shooter in stand off with police.'

Fuck.

She watched closely as the image switched to later in the stand off where the EMS wheeled a man out of a room on a stretcher. Relieved she went back to getting ready for work.

When she arrived at work the place was packed like a Sunday after church.The crowd kept her busy for the first half of the day until it thinned out after lunch. Toward the end of her shift Josh came in to visit her. She joined him after she clocked out.

"Saw the damnedest thing on the news the other day." Josh said. "Whole warehouse on fire and full of dead drug dealers."

"I wouldn't know anything about that." Emma replied.

"Right. Well I thought it was interesting. They said the whole thing was gang related. Can't complain about two rival gangs killing each other. Don't you think?"

"Nope, don't see a problem with that."

"Dangerous though."

"Not as much as you'd think."

"How so?" Josh asked.

"I heard someone was on the roof shooting in through a skylight."

"Interesting.I wonder how many people they picked off perched up there like that."Josh picked at the remains of his food.

"Three or four. From what I hear anyway."

"That's quite the body count. Do you think someone like that has a hard time sleeping at night?" He asked.

"I wouldn't be surprised if they had nightmares sometimes. Like, not every night, but, you know, sometimes."

"It's only been a few days since then. I bet something like that really sticks with you."

"I guess we'll find out won't we?" Emma replied dropping the act."Nothing to be done about it now."

"You could stop before it gets any worse." He suggested.

Emma leaned in closer to him. "Not until I put Henry behind bars or in the ground. I'm done living in fear." She said quietly so no one would overhear her.

"Then why not get it over with?" Do you really need to be involved with all this madness?"

"I want him to fear it. I want him to suffer." Emma admitted.

"That's dark Emm. You're in a real bad place. You know that right?"

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