Chapter 6: A media storm

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Pandemonium had hit. A simple story in the Washington times had lit up news bulletins in every newspaper, on every television station and the mouths of every local. Headlines reading, "Dover is a crook," Delinquent Attorney," "Thomas the trickster" and "Dover the Deceiver" had become household rhetoric. His transgressions were now out in the open and susceptible to every keen-eyed journalist or government antagonist who smelt blood and were quickly circling.

The story was broken by Ben Roberts, a young journalist who had found a folder on his desk mid-morning. By the time lunch had hit, his story was littering the Time's website, a front-page story worthy of a Pulitzer Prize. No one was to know how he had stumbled upon it. The letter to him was direct, detailed and rife with directions. This earth-shattering story was his, no one else's. The folder was to be discarded, never to be seen again, as soon as he had extracted all the necessary information. If quizzed, this story had manifested out of weeks of hard work by him, after a tip off from an informant. He had kept it quiet even from his editors, waiting for this morning to unleash it upon the masses for maximum effect. If any of these conditions were breached, he would never receive a tip off like this again, nor would he ever work in this city again. This story would make him a superstar, a household name, but he would have to keep his mouth shut. His celebrity came with strict conditions.

Max noticed bedlam at the newsstand when he wandered past. He had expected a storm to brew, but had not foreseen such a witch hunt. This story was front page news. Journalists dreamed of big scalps, government officials who had defrauded the system, but none came bigger than Dover. He had been entrusted with the top job to rid the city of unscrupulous, unsavoury criminals. To now learn that he was more dishonest and immoral than those that he had put away had caused almost an anarchy, worthy of Marshall Law on the streets.

People with huge signs were protesting out of the front of Max's office. A few were pleading for retrials while others were incensed by another government cover up. News editors had woken early, expecting a normal news day, but they had now been thrust into the conspiracy of the year. Every second person roaming the streets had a camera or Dictaphone and the police were finding it hard to quell the rebellion.

This hysteria felt like post super bowl when angry fans scoured the streets looking for trouble, after their team had suffered a massive defeat. Dissenters were everywhere, wanting to see their quarter back Dover hung from the city hall pillars. The looters and criminals would feast upon this atmosphere and if something was not done quickly the town would be rocked by mayhem. There could be mere seconds, before store windows were broken and cars were turned on their sides. The city could be layered in fire and smoke by the end of the day.

Max squeezed his way through the angry crowd, before he finally reached a barricade of officers. He raised his credentials and quickly ushered his way through, before the people realized his identity and bade for his blood as well.

The auditorium was alive with an eerie silence when he entered. He had expected raised voices and loud innuendo, but instead every person was solemn and reflective. Most of them were wandering the floor alone - silent, deliberate and layered in shock. They stood only yards apart, but none of them were conversing. This feeling was eerie, like everyone had taken on the burden of Dover's deception and felt unworthy of their own position. Was it possible the prosecution department was now tainted? Anyone who worked within this building was now under strict scrutiny. If their boss was a bad apple, his seeds could be as well.

A similar feeling of uneasiness existed when Max reached his office. People were wandering around aimlessly, not knowing where to look, who to converse with or what to do. They were waiting for a friendly nudge or a delicate whisper in their ear, letting them know that everything would be okay.

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