Jack Collier: Private Eye
A Jack Collier Story
By Brett N. Lashuay
Chapter Thirty: Cavalry and Cavalcades
I watched them coming towards us, wondering exactly how to get out of this one, and hearing the thump of a helicopter. I figured it was a police chopper and this being the sort of neighborhood this was, it would manage to pass us by without even looking in our direction. That would be my luck, to be completely missed, just when a little help from the local constabulary would be useful. It did keep getting louder though, and as I glanced around I saw a lot of headlights coming up the road toward the house.
“Fucking, goddamn motherfuckers.” I growled as they came close and wasted my last bullet firing in their direction.
It was more or less at that moment that all hell broke loose. The chopper came over the hill and shined a forty-two billion candle power spot light down on us, and the sirens and flashers started on the cars and trucks that had just picked that moment to decide to punch through the front gate of the property. I could see more coming every moment too. I felt like the last private deep in Indian country hearing the cavalry trumpets sound. Not a very sensitive portrayal perhaps, but an apt one I think so I’m keeping it.
“Drop your weapons and put your hands on your heads.” A voice called out from a megaphone as another two helicopters suddenly emerged and light the rest of the gathering up like it was day light and the sun had moved significantly closer than it had previously sat. I’m not exaggerating, those were some damn bright spot lights.
I threw the Marley down and did as I was told. Someone in the crowd brilliantly decided to open fire on the chopper and the response was quite sudden. Shots rang out from four different guns, one on the ground and three in the air. They guy wasn’t thrown back in any direction because the force of one of the other shots compensated for the one that would have sent him flying. Instead he just folded up like an old accordion and collapsed.
I had no desire to become a few pounds of ground chuck, or indeed ground Jack, so I shoved Jill and Shiri back against the tree and compressed myself into as small a package as I could while still watching the proceedings. The collection that ran from the house made me think that this is what the Appalachian meeting must have looked like when it was raided. Dozens of rich and fat men came running from the building. More than had been in the room when I started the fracas, a lot more. I’m guessing that they were planning on bringing them in by groups to really run the train on the girls.
They were starting towards the wooded area behind us, and I wanted to stand up and fire the last bullet form the Webley, but I also didn’t want anyone in the choppers to think I was shooting at them. It just seemed a shame that they might be able to get away, but I needn’t have worried.
“Get on your knees!” A strong female voice commanded. “Hands on your head!”
“Alice?” I asked as I stood up.
“What?” She turned her head to look at me as agents rushed around her in blue nylon blazers with three letter agency names on them. “Jack? What the hell are you doing here?”
“I could ask you the same thing cowgirl.” I said taking a few steps toward her.
“What happened to your face?”
“That’s a long story.” I said.
“Freeze!” An agent, who looked to be about four years younger than
“It’s okay Johnson.” She said. “He’s with us.”
“Ma’am?” he asked, lowering the portable canon.
“This is Mister Collier, he’s an inside man working from the outside.”
“Just… heel.” She said. “Go get those guys over there, they look like they want to think bad thoughts.”
“Yes ma’am!” He said and ran towards the group she had vaguely gestured towards.
“What the hell is going on?” I asked as a warm wind blew through and caused her hair to fly dramatically around her face.
“It’s a raid.” She said raising her hand to my face. “Look at your face. Are they okay?”
“Yeah.” I nodded. “I got here just in time.”
“We should get them away and start getting statements.” She looked at Jill and Shiri. “Come on, we’ll get you some clothes.”
Shiri handed me my gun as she walked past an I slipped it in it’s holster before picking the Marley up off the ground and holstering it as well. I then walked behind the three of them towards a helicopter that had landed. I got a good look around the grounds as we walked around the house to get to the field where the chopper had landed, and I got to observe the three bottoms of the girls walking together.
An hour later and we were all in the Jack Webb Federal building giving statements and talking about protective custody. Fortunately clothes had been found for Shiri and Jill, so they didn’t have to keep looking like court dancers or whores or whatever those costumes were meant to convey. I was sitting in a room talking to an agent from some group or other when
I had a bottle of water, so she didn’t offer to get me a cup of coffee, which she wouldn’t anyway. She knows that I only drink coffee under extreme provocation, which is sort of nice. It’s nice to be sitting in an interrogation room with someone who knows you. Of course, my new BFF Johnson and I were going over the story for only the second time, which meant we were still just making sure I didn’t forget anything. He wouldn’t start to get antagonistic until the seventh or eighth time when he tried to catch me in something. Still Jill knew me better than Johnson, and better than he’d ever know me. I wasn’t sure how many people knew about us, so I hadn’t done anything more than admit that I knew her so far. Sometimes, when you live in a less than normal situation you have to be careful about these things.
“I’ll take over Johnson.” She said as she sat down. “Go get yourself a cup of coffee or something.”
“Yes Ma’am.” He said getting up and leaving the room.
“You’ve got him trained pretty well.” I admired as she sat down across from me.
“Yeah.” She agreed. “I do pretty well with the field guys.”
“Yes you do.” I agreed, since she’d found me in a field that night. “What about the office guys?”
“I do okay with them too.” She said as she sat down and turned off the recorder on the table. “It’s judges I could do without.”
“They almost didn’t give us a warrant for the raid. We actually had some asshole of a judge saying what if we interrupted some innocent party?” She complained. “Like it was going to be some little sex party out in the hills. They hear Thinkonomics and their balls just retract into their stomachs. ”
“Well, clearly you won’t have trouble with that now though.” I said. “What with them deciding to try and run a train on both Jill and Shiri.”
“If we can make that stick.” She said. “They’ve got some pretty nasty lawyers.”
“They killed one man, tried to kill another, kidnapped two women, and were about to perform gang rape when I invaded their little love nest.” I said. “I don’t care how fucking good their lawyers are, they are fucked.”
“You’ve never gone up against The Church of Thinkonomics before.” She said. “We’ll have a good case on them, but frankly I’d rather be in the room watching one of them shooting at you or something. Half of them are trying to claim they were there for something else and had no idea what was going on in that room.”
“The video cameras know.” I said.
“Yes.” She said. “We got the tapes and things. Still though, you couldn’t get one of them to shoot at you could you? You’d take a bullet to watch my post case closing dance wouldn’t you?”
“If it comes to that,” I told her, “I’ll see if I can’t arrange it.”
“So what are you doing here?” She asked.
“What are you doing here?”
“I asked you first.”
“I asked you second.”
“Piper hired me to come get his daughter.” I told her.
“I was sent to help remove a problem with the Thinkonomics crowd.” She said. “There’s more, but I’m not sure about telling you.”
“Why not?” I asked.
She leaned across the table and made a gesture for me to come closer. I leaned across the table and moved right into the cloud of her scent, which made me not pay attention to anything for a second. She smelled like a young virgin who had been picking flowers all morning and now smelled of clean fresh sweat, wild flowers and the interest to remove virgin from her classification.
“I’m not sure that’s the only recorder in this room.” She whispered, only just loud enough for me to hear. “Now give me a kiss so they think we’re just having a moment.”
I leaned a little further in and gave her a kiss. It was a short peck, a sweet little thing, but I could tell she was worried because she didn’t smile and get that dumb look she gets when I kiss her. It doesn’t last long, but there is this little look she gets. Between smug, pleased and scared, that’s where the look lives. Except this time she didn’t smile, and that worried me a little.
“So where do Jill and Shiri spend the night?” I asked, leaning back.
“Well, it looks like Shiri was a crime of opportunity.” She told me. “We’ll have the locals drive by her place, but I think she’s going to be fine. Jill was kidnapped by professional kidnappers though, they’re going to try again until we stop them. We’re going to take her to a safe house for a couple of days.”
“So I can take her home after you’ve decided she’s in no danger?”
“I guess.” She agreed. “I’ll have to ask a couple of people, but it’ll probably be okay.”
“Okay then.” I said. “Shall we type up a statement so I can sign it?”
“Let’s do that.” She announced too loudly. “We’ll be able to keep them longer that way.”
I have no idea what time it was when I went to bed, but it was still dark. I’d slept for a while, but not long enough, when the banging on the door started. I got up, finding myself still in my suit, complete with coat and tie. How I managed that I don’t know, normally I wake up finding myself being strangled if I forget to take my tie off. I smoothed my hair out, and on a momentary whim I grabbed the persuader from the night stand where I’d left it when I left the day before and slipped it into my back pocket.
I opened the door and found
“Morning.” I said.
“Get your coat.” One of the men said.
“We’re going for a ride.” The other said.
“Oh?” I asked.
“Please Jack.” She looked up at me, and I think there were tears in her eyes. “Don’t make this any harder than it needs to be.”
“Oh.” I said looking at the two and noticing that they weren’t the sort that get to be agents. “It’s like that is it?”
“Yeah.” One of them said. “Get your coat.”
“Don’t try nothing.” The other said, triggering my mental alarm that technically he had requested me to try something.
“Wouldn’t dream of it.” I said and focused my eyes on my possible betrayer. “Would I Alice?”
“No.” She shook her head like a child who had been chided and I noticed she was holding her left hand in her right, like she was cradling a wounded paw.
“So how did you guys get
“Just get your coat on.” The one who had spoken before said. “You’re going to have enough time to worry about who did what to you after we get you to where we’re going.”
“Fun.” I said.
“It won’t be.” The one said.