By Cindy and Walt
The day six meeting began with a rehash of all they knew and all they needed to know.
Eddie: It’s time for a working hypothesis. We can’t prove it, but we think Rose Seabold was in that room. If she was then she killed our drug lord wannabe. Her motive was money. Most likely she was getting paid well for it. It is very likely that she stole a large amount of money from the victim.
Wes: So we start there and work out?
Eddie: Unlike a politician, before we ruin her life, we are going to be sure. We don’t need as high a threshold of proof as a cop, but we have a moral obligation to get it right. No wild accusations and no leaks to mama on this. If Lucille wants to know she needs to attend the meetings. No one outside this room gets our working theories, ever.
Mike: So how do we prove Rose and blonde body are the same.
Eddie: Good question. Salina make a few calls. See if the Island Court or prison has a blood sample or her fingerprints. If we can get her prints or DNA we can start to tie the fake names to her. One of those names will lead to a mistake. They always slip up.
Wes: Do you want to hold off on Alabama till we have more on her?
Eddie: No. Let’s go there and ask about Swamp Dog. We will just work her into the conversation and see what their story is.
Shit somebody get us a fucking storyboard. May you are close with Lucille. Tell her we need a white board down here. It’s the easiest way for us all to get on the same page.
Mike: I think I can prove that Rose Seabold had a loose connection with at least a domestic group working with Swamp Dog. I think I can also prove she was an asset of the State Police back when they were in charge of all law enforcement in the state. It was a black bag relationship, but I think there was one. They purged their files just before the Feds took over, but there might be some financial data. I found traces of a truck purchase. That truck was later registered to Rose Seabold. There was never any record of the purchase or of any sale in the official record. There was just some comment in a discretionary acquisition. The SBI bought a truck that they gave to Rose Seabold, maybe.
May: That tie is way too iffy to be of any use in a criminal case.
Eddie: True but we aren’t talking about a criminal case. Do I have to keep reminding you of that? If that is true, how did she get from the old SBI to the Swamp Dog?
Wes: And was she ever a part of the Federal Police Undercover Group. If she was part of their black bag operations, did they order the hit on Carlos? Are we looking at corruption in the Feds on a giant scale?
Eddie: Seabold, Martin, or whoever she is, may be the key to opening the lock on those operations. She could not have been the only one. The only thing we can prove is that she was in a bodyguard operation that may have been routed through Swamp Dog but everyone involved was a contractor. The Government did not get involved in covering anything up for them. That’s why she was in prison for almost a year.
Eddie: Michael, keep downloading information. There is going to be some tie in all those bits or bites whatever they are.
Wes: So what we going to do in Alabama, since we don’t know what to ask Rose.
Eddie: If she is there, we just have a chat. If she is not, we ask Bart, as he calls himself now, about the organization of Swamp Dog. You know who did what, that kind of things. We get some more names from him, then some names from those names. Pretty soon we have the whole organizational chart filled in.
Along the way we just might find out about Rose Seabold. Hey Michael what was the first address you have for the Rose Seabold ID?”
Mike: She lived in a place called Farmer’s Grove community. She lived there for several years. She kind of pulled up stakes and left for no reason. There doesn’t seem to have been any plan or reason for it. Next time we hear of her she is in Alabama.
Those were facts Mike had pulled from the digital soup during his weekend of tracking Rose.
Eddie: So she was Rose Seabold until a couple of years ago when she became Iris Martin in Mossberg Alabama. In that case we need to send someone to talk to the people in Farmer’s Grove. Some of them surely knew her. Mike, how about you and May go down there and nose around.
It’s a pretty good drive, so you are going to need a car. Come by here tomorrow and pick up the Ford. In the meantime get a copy of the Senator’s staff credit card. Put all your expenses on the card while you are gone. Be sure you talk to anyone who might have known her.
May: Where do we start?
She seemed to be lost. Eddie took a deep breath but he didn’t speak.
Mike: Did you know that the woman who was leading Swamp Dog, when all this American Foreign Legion shit came out, was once Sheriff of the County where Farmer’s Grove is located? It was back in the old days when they still had Sheriffs.
Maybe we could ask around about the Porter woman and just let it go to Rose Seabold. It’s a start anyway. It gives us a known person to connect to Swamp Dog and maybe then we can connect Rose Seabold to Sylvia Porter.
Eddie: Okay Mike you guide the direction of the investigation but let May ask the questions. You keep me advised and I’ll try to give you some direction but it’s going to be mostly on you.
Leave from here tomorrow morning, so come prepared for a few days on the road. May can interface with the Federals there. Your Ankle bracelet just might make them less than cooperative. Besides she still has her DOJ ID card.
Mike’s eyes were bright. He was thrilled with the assignment. May was less so, but she didn’t mind getting away from DC for a while. She could handle Mike for sure. She also felt she could use the break from Tommy and Edith. The sex was great but she didn’t want to give them time to get clingy. The road trip would allow for a cooling off period.
Salina: Bad news boss. There are no records on Rose Seabold on the island. According to the people I spoke to there was never a Rose Seabold on the island and certainly not in the prison there.
Eddie (More to himself than Salina): That is a little odd, but I guess there are lots of folks who would be willing to pay to keep her a secret. The billionaire for one, then of course it could be a political conspiracy if you believe in the dishonesty of politicians.
Don’t much matter what happened back then, the DNA and Prints are missing. So now we have to look for another source of DNA or Fingerprints.
Give May and Mike a quick lecture on where they might find her DNA. You never can tell since that shit last forever. Hell give us all a lecture after lunch.
Everyone settled into their research projects until lunch. Then after lunch the meeting with Salina went well enough. Everyone had a pretty good idea where people left their DNA. Eddie always had a pretty good idea, but the others were a little surprised that DNA was not as easy to pull up as they made it sound on TV.
Wes: A word boss?
Eddie: Sure. (They walked to the stairwell. Eddie kept going until they were outside.)
Wes: What’s that all about?
Eddie: Lucille had a camera installed on the stairwell. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t trust that I will keep her up to date.
Wes: Should she trust you.
Eddie: Of course not, she is a political operative. Those kids are trained to trust no one. I am a former cop, so I was taught to be suspicious of everyone. I guess we are just being who we are.
Wes: Okay… So I called a buddy in the CIA. He said about fifteen years ago Swamp Dog began taking jobs in the United States. One of them was bodyguard for some rap singer. Sylvia Porter was a contractor on the job. It might have been her first contact with the Dog. She would have had minimal contact with the real bad asses.
How she graduated from contractor babysitter for a rapper, to head the whole thing is beyond me. Nobody else understood it either. We are really going to need to talk to someone inside the organization back then to understand it.
Eddie: We don’t have to understand it to get the facts right. As a matter of fact we can probably do a better job investigating, if we don’t try to understand it at all.
Wes: Yeah understanding is the stuff nightmares are made of.
Mike was so excited he could hardly contain himself. He wanted to shout he was so thrilled. He forced himself to keep looking for more information to sift. He wanted to be on his way into the field, but he knew his true value wasn’t in talking to people, it was in finding out about people.
He was trying to find a former address when he checked the real estate records. It looked as though Rose might have dabbled in real estate development. There were buy and sales records for several items on file with the Country Registrar of Deeds. Mike copied the addresses and any other names involved in the purchases or sales. By the end of day he had ten names and their home addresses. He was proud of himself. He wanted to tell May about it, but it was too late. She had already gone for the day.
May had been summoned by Lucille. Her meeting with Lucille took place in Lucille’s very comfortable office in the Senate Office Building.
Lucille: So where are you?
May had struggled with her decision about her response all the way to the meeting. She knew that she would be asked the status of the investigation. She was struggling with how to answer.
May: I’m right here.
Lucille: I mean with the investigation.
May: It’s progressing which is why I’m here. Mr. Alexander wishes to have a staff credit card to use for travel expenses. Actually I think we need two of them. You knew that Alexander and Wes were going to Alabama sometime this week. What you didn’t know is that Michael and I are going to the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Lucille: The cards are no problem but why are you going to the mountains?
May: Our person of interest at one time lived in a small place called Farmer’s Grove. We are hoping to find someone who can remember her. It is possible there might even be a picture there. Mike also found some Real Estate transactions in which she was involved. We are hoping to find out more about her there.
Lucille: Sounds like you are making progress, keep up the good work. Check back with me after your trip down south.
May: I will and thanks for the credit cards. It makes me look more valuable to the team, and gives me a reason to come see you. I think Mr. Alexander is a little paranoid.
Lucille: Don’t you think he has reason to be.
May: I guess he does at that.
May left the Senate Office Building after 5 PM for her drive home. When she got out of the car in the parking area of her apartment building, she turned her phone on. There were two messages from Edith and one from Tommy.
May (Into the phone): What do you need Tommy?”
Tommy: You of course. Edith and I were wondering if you would like to have a drink tonight.
May: I think I need a day off, but I appreciate your offer.
Tommy: Oh okay.
He sounded disappointed. May went into her apartment to have a glass of wine and a sandwich. She made her sandwich from a fancy cheese and the last of the bacon. She had fried it so crispy that it was almost burned. She was intending to watch television news, then go to bed early and alone. If she was going to drive all the next day, she needed to get a good night’s sleep.
Mike walked into his mother’s house and found her sitting alone in the kitchen. She looked upset so he stopped to talk.
Mike: Is everything alright?
Mom: Sure honey it just times like this I miss your dad.
Mike: Mom he isn’t dead. He lives in a studio apartment downtown. You could go see him.
Mom: No honey, I can’t. He sent this today.
She handed Mike what turned out to be a wedding invitation. It was addressed to the both of them.
Mike: Well I’ll be fucked.
Mom: Mike that is a terrible thing to say. Besides I think I’m the one who feels like that. (she laughed.)
Mike: I have to go out of town for a day or two. Why don’t you invite your friend to stay over?
Mom: (She looked at Mike then shrugged) I don’t think his wife will let him out again so soon.
Mike stared until she laughed again. He smiled back then walked to the refrigerator. He chose a hard boiled egg, then walked through the door which led to the basement.
Mom: I’m going to have a glass of wine would you like one.
Mike: Start without me and I’ll come up later. I need to check a couple of things quickly.
Later, when Mike walked back into the kitchen his mom was sitting at the table with half the bottle of wine gone.
Mike: So what are we celebrating?
Mom: I guess we are celebrating freedom.
Mike: Mom you and dad have been divorced for five years why celebrate now?
Mom: I suppose that I finally believe it is over now. Enough about me and the prick you call dad. Tell me are you a virgin.
Mike was terribly embarrassed. He was most likely blushing he knew.
Mike: No mom I’m not a virgin. Of course living at home and wearing this monitor has put a real cramp in my style lately.
Mom: Yeah it hasn’t been easy on either of us. I like the new you by the way. You are almost sexy these last few days.
Mike: Thanks I guess. I have a new found respect for you.
He smiled at her as he emptied his wine glass.
When Wes dropped Salina outside her apartment building, he noticed how rough the neighborhood looked.
Wes: Would you like me to walk with you to your door?
Salina: Wes I walked alone yesterday and I will tomorrow. So no thanks unless you want to come in for a drink.
Wes: I never turn down a drink. In this neighborhood even my old piece of shit car might not be safe.
Salina: You car will be fine.
Wes: Then sure why not.
Word spread quickly through the projects that the angel had a man in her house. She and Wes shared a couple of beers before the first knock came at the door. It was a child with a splinter in her foot. Salina shrugged then set about taking the splinter out. She soon had it out and the wound clean and bandaged.
Wes: Why not send her to the free clinic?
Salina: Some of the mothers can’t afford the free clinic.
Salina: They are illegals. Some of the men have warrants, so they don’t want to give their names. If I can help them I do, if not I sent them to the clinic through a local priest.
Wes: Why do you do it?”
Salina: Pay back for all the evil shit I have done. Trying to balance the Karma scales.
Wes finished another beer dropped a five dollar bill on the table.
Wes: Use the money to buy some more beer or a pack of sewing needles, your choice.
It was 7 PM before Eddie got home that Monday night. He had stopped at Little Ceasar’s to buy whatever pizza they had ready. It was a combination of three meats that night, so that’s what he had for dinner.
When he arrived home he sat at the kitchen counter across from the range to eat his pizza and drink a beer. He actually would enjoy the left over pizza more the next night.
He watched his Internet TV news for a couple of hours then went to bed. He knew that he had to be awake at 6 AM to be able to get his morning shit done and make it into the office by 9 AM.
When he got into bed, the phone rang. He had no idea who would call him at 10 PM. Of course he had to answer it or he would never be able to sleep.
Mystery Voice: How you doing on the investigation. I haven’t heard from you so I was getting a little worried.
Eddie: I told you I would call when I learned anything. So far we are just checking background information. I’ll let you know if anything point toward you. I agreed to do that.