Our choices in life with the back drop of an FBI investigation. All comments welcome.
The next morning Agents David Thomas and Chris Miller are in position atop the Municipal building, looking through their binoculars at the Main Street Garden Park. They are casually dressed in jeans and t-shirts with blue wind breakers that have the customary FBI logo on the back in bright yellow letters. On each side of them, at the corners of the building, are two man sniper teams, also scanning the park. They can see Agent Garcia on the west side of the park sitting in the Chevy Malibu along with the Assistant Director of the Dallas office. Team one is inside the park at the North end, a two man team dressed in plain clothes playing chess. Team two is on the South end, a man and a woman on a date strolling through the park. Agent Russell sits on the West side of the park on the long wooden bench with a black briefcase at her feet, her back to the Municipal building.
“You think he will actually show?” says Chris.
“Not really but who knows, he might be arrogant enough to do it,” says Thomas. “He knows we will be watching.”
“I don’t think he will. I’m starting to think that he doesn’t answer to us anymore,” says Chris.
“I’m starting to think you are right about that part,” says Thomas.
Both men continue to scan the park and the surrounding streets. There is not much activity in the park compared to the last meeting, so it’s harder for the agents on the ground to blend in. Colder weather has settled in, keeping the dog walkers inside on a day the team needs them to be a distraction.
“Heads up everybody, we are two minutes out. Let’s not screw this up,” says Agent Garcia over the radio.
“Does Agent Garcia like me? I mean as an Agent?” says Chris.
“Why the hell are you asking that right now?”
“We have time to kill, until everyone decides that the depraved Father isn’t going to show. I just want to know, she treats me like a kid most of the time. Like I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.”
“You’re a rookie; you don’t know what you are doing. Once you realize you don’t know shit and start paying attention then you will know what the hell you’re doing.”
“I pay more attention than either of you realize, I pick up on things.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes, like I was paying attention in the safe house, when you said that Agent Barnes didn’t have anything to do with what happened to her that night.”
“That’s a subject I’m not going to discuss with you.”
“Why not, the whole Bureau already knows what happened.”
“They don’t know a damn thing about what happened that night, it’s all just a bunch of bullshit stories that people keep repeating, without all the facts.”
“What facts are you talking about?” says Chris. “You, Barnes, Garcia, and two other teams were following a lead on The Kings and her husband ended up getting killed.”
“Murdered, not just killed like in some freak accident.”
“What?” asks Chris as he stops scanning the park and looks directly at Thomas.
“He was murdered that night, by an assassin’s bullet that was aimed at Garcia.”
“Couldn’t y’all have seen the killer walking down the street in time to stop him?”
“We all saw him, in plenty of time.”
“So why didn’t anybody stop him?”
“This is just a theory of mine and only three other people know about it, so if you go running your mouth I’ll know exactly who leaked it, ok?”
“Yes, got it, understood.”
“Each one of us watching that night saw the man approaching them and we reported it to Barnes. He was head of the operation back then and he told all of us to stand down. He wanted to see how it played out. Garcia was supposed to be meeting with a friend of The Kings who said he had information for us. We were all shocked when she walked down the street with her husband. She was supposed to be alone. Why she brought him, I don’t know the answer to that, she won’t tell any of us.”
“Why didn’t Barnes call it off then?”
“Garcia has career killing information on Barnes and he doesn’t like that. I think that he saw what was going down and didn’t want to stop it because she was about to expose him to the Director. I think he wanted her dead.”
“You’re telling me that Agent Barnes wanted Agent Garcia killed?”
“I think that if he had an opportunity to put her in harm’s way he would have and I think he did that night. He couldn’t risk her telling his boss that he was dirty.”
“Dirty, like a rat or something?”
“No, like manipulating evidence, lying about witnesses, intimidating them, purposely not reporting things that he was doing, stuff along those lines.”
“How does she know all this about him?”
“She will not tell me that, so I don’t know how she found out.”
“There is a lot of bad blood between them? He thinks she was going to rat him out and she thinks he could have stopped her husband from getting murdered?” says Chris.
“That’s about right, yes. You do pay attention, hot damn.”
“I don’t understand? Why didn’t he get fired or brought up on charges after he let that happen?
“Because it wasn’t his fault that she brought her husband to a damn undercover meeting. The boss’ couldn’t really do anything to him about it. All the evidence showed that he didn’t have time to abort the meeting, even though I think he did. I’m just a Special Agent, what do I know? He is a Senior Special Agent and she is a Supervisory Special Agent, they both out rank me, so I gave my report and moved on.”
“They haven’t though, have they?”
“No, not at all, they will bring each other down if it’s the last thing either one does. Hatred is not a strong enough word for their feelings towards each other.”
Thomas looks at the large clock on top of The Merc building and down at his watch. He scans the park one more time as he picks up his radio.
“Agent Garcia, it’s eleven forty two, he’s not going to show.”
“Ten more minutes and we wrap it up,” she radios back.
“Who else have you told this theory to, you said that only three other people know about it?” says Miller.
“Agent Howard down there playing chess, Agent Russell sitting on the bench, she knows and Gonzalez in Admin back at the office. We all went through the academy together so we trust each other.”
“What do they think about your theory?” asks Chris.
“We all agree on it, they were there that night too. We know what we saw and we what we heard on the radio, which was stand down. Anyone of us could have pulled her and her husband out in time.”
“You think we could get some Starbucks after this, you know, on our way back?” says Miller.
“Shut up, you can’t live without that damn coffee can you? Maybe I should start calling you Agent blonde punk Starbucks.”
Father Kelly skips down the stairs to the Church basement; he is in a great mood because he knows the whole team is right now waiting for him at the park. He loves it when he can agitate her and her team; making her look like an idiot every chance he gets is one of the few things that bring him pure joy.
Seated at the table are The Kings. Carlos sits at the head of the long table and on either side are Richard and Mr. Wallace. Kelly sits at the opposite end from Carlos. This is his first face to face meeting with all three of The Kings, he has been chasing them for years but never been able to get this close. They seem older than he imagined, he knows their ages but he hasn’t seen the other two up close. His mortal enemy now sits feet away, and he desperately wants to join them. This is his judgment day, Mr. Wallace said he would smooth things over about him being an undercover agent but he doubts he can trust anyone at the table, including himself. Do they really want him to join or is this their way of putting an end to his investigation by killing him here, in a Church basement. Would they dump his body so the FBI could find it or just make him disappear never explaining to anyone what happened to him. He is nervous about this operation for the first time, how does he prove to them that he can be one of them? That he is willing to switch sides and protect them from the organization he works for. Do they know everything that Wallace knows or did he leave parts out, for his own leverage? Why did he meet with him, alone? What does he want out of this relationship?
“Father Kelly, it’s nice to meet you finally,” says Carlos. “You have been after us for a long time and yet we have never met.”
“It’s nice to finally meet you three as well,” says Kelly. “I have been after you for many years and this is the closest I’ve ever got, that must say a lot about my lack of detective skills.”
“You are a good detective Father, we have just been able to be a few steps ahead of you and stay out of sight of the FBI,” says Richard. “Things have changed and that’s not your problem anymore, its Agent Garcia’s.”
“Yes, she’s in charge now, not me.”
“You think she is doing a good job?” says Mr. Wallace.
“Well, she hasn’t caught you. She is no closer than I was.”
“Do you want her to catch us?” says Carlos.
“No, I don’t. She aggressively took over my investigation by lying and withholding information from the Director. I hope she never catches you, I want her to fail horrifically and publically.”
“I think we have that in common Father Kelly. That’s what you like to be called now, not by your real name?” says Carlos.
“Father Kelly is who I am now; I’m not that agent anymore. I do what is best for me not the Bureau.”
“That’s what we want to hear from you, as long as it’s not undercover agent speak,” says Wallace.
“How do we know that you have really changed and this is not just some tactic to get us caught?” says Carlos.
“I could sit here and calmly spell it out for you in some speech you may or may not believe. I would rather show you that I have changed and no longer hold allegiance to the FBI.”
“How would you do that?” says Richard.
“I know that a member of your team is passing information to a member of the FBI, I will eliminate that problem for you.”
“Who?” says Carlos.
“Let me handle the problem how I see fit then I will fill you in as to who it is. Would you allow me to do that? To show my loyalty and prove I want this organization to survive, as a member.”
“That is something that we would allow,” says Carlos.
“Good, I will start with the FBI thug first, to show them that I’m not on their side anymore.”
His hands tied behind his back and his feet tied to the legs of the chair, Gabriel Gonzalez can feel blood running down his head onto his face; his left eye is swollen shut. He rests his chin on his chest trying to bring some relief to his body. His hands and feet are numb from the tight ropes. His legs begin to cramp up again. The muscles are tired from the hours upon hours he has been attached to this chair. He thinks it has been days hes been locked in this room but he can’t be sure. Little bits of bread and water have been his only salvation from the brutal beatings he has endured. He hears footsteps on the dirty floor and he tries to pick up his head and see who will be beating him this time.
“Are you going to give me the name I want?” says Father Kelly. “My men will beat you to death if I let them. Trust me, we will enjoy every second of it. I need the information you are withholding it is very important to me and I will torture as many people as needed to get what I want. You can die for no reason or you can tell me and live to see your girlfriend Jennifer and Earl and Frieda, your parents, your choice Gabriel.”
“I told all of you I don’t know who you want.”
Father Kelly points to Liam and then points to Gabriel, “Persuade him please.”
Liam picks up a pair of needle nose pliers off the workbench and walks behind Gabriel. He kneels down, takes Gabriel’s right hand into his own left hand. With the pliers firmly gripped in his right hand he plucks off the fingernail of his index finger. Gabriel screams with the little breath he has left. Liam then steadily and slowly pulls of his thumb nail, without hesitation he recklessly pulls off his pinky nail. Gabriel continues to scream and moves his body back and forth as much as the ropes will let him, trying to make the pain escape him.
“One more,” commands Father Kelly.
Liam maliciously slides the finger nail off of Gabriel’s ring finger. All three men can here skin ripping and popping, he holds Gabriel’s hand tighter as he struggles to free his hand from the excruciating pain. Liam stands up, looks at the bloody finger nails on the floor and smiles at a job well done, very proud of himself. Finally a boss that will let him do exactly what he was born to do.
“Can you remember now,” asks Father Kelly.
“I don’t know his name.”
“Start with the other hand,” Kelly says nodding to Liam.
“Wait! I don’t know his name, just what he looks like.”
“Is he a short African-American man with gray hair and kind of stocky?”
“Is he an African-American man?”
“I don’t know who you’re talking about but my guy is white, tall, skinny and blonde. He looks like he is about seventeen years old. I drop off the package at different places around the city. We are supposed to meet face to face but he is always late, so I usually drop it off somewhere, bushes, garbage can, things like that. One day I dropped it off just like he said and went around the corner and waited on him to show. All I saw was a tall, skinny, blonde haired man in his early twenties. I didn’t want to know his name; I was already in enough trouble doing what he asked.”
“That’s Agent Chris Miller,” says Liam.
“Agent blonde punk teenager,” says Kelly. “He’s working for Wallace, not this idiot here.”
“I’ll find him and bring him to you, Father,” says Liam. “I’ll take Martin with me.”
“Go, I want him here by tonight!”
Liam drops the pliers on the ground, pats Gabriel on the head, “You did good kid, thank you very much for your cooperation.”
“Liam, there are no rules for you two on this one, just make sure he is alive when he gets here.”
Liam smirks, appreciative that his restraints have been lifted. He grabs his jacket and walks out the door.
“Are you going to let me go like you promised?” asks Gabriel.
Father Kelly leisurely walks over to the workbench and picks up a metal baseball bat. He holds the handle in his right hand and lets the barrel drag on the floor. The sound of metal scrapping the concrete fills the room. He circles around Gabriel starring at him, resurrecting all of his anger from deep within his soul. He stands behind his victim looking over to the corner and smiles. He sees Anthony standing silent with his hands in his pockets.
“I know you’ve been there this whole time, watching me and judging me. This is what I want and you can’t stop it. You’re not going to change my mind. I have made my choice about my path, like it or not.”
“I don’t,” says Anthony.
“I don’t care what you think, I’m my own man now, I answer to no one,” says Kelly.
“You can choose what you want, you have freewill but know that there are always consequences for your decisions,” says Anthony.
“Who are you talking to?” says Gabriel.
“Shut up, this is between me and him right now,” says Kelly looking down at Gabriel.
“Who are you talking about? There is no one else in the room,” says Gabriel.
“I can tell by the look in your eyes that I’m not going to be able to talk you out of this. You are a flawed man with anger and hate deep inside of you,” says Anthony.
“You are right about my anger and hate, but it’s on the outside now. I’m so sick of keeping it pushed deep down inside. It’s time for me to unleash it onto the people that have hurt me the most. The deserve it,” says Kelly.
“Do they? Is that what they deserve, to be tortured? Who are you to bring them pain? Who are you to pass judgment on them?” says Anthony.
“Yes! They deserve it, and stop trying to twist things around in my head. I will pass judgment on whoever I feel like. These people have hurt me and I swear to you that I will get my revenge on all of them. Starting right now with this one sitting right here.”
Father Kelly moves in front of Gabriel and looks down at his wounded prey. He grips the bat with both hands and rests it on his right shoulder.
“What are you doing? I gave you what you wanted, you said I could go and be with my family,” says Gabriel.
“Everyone at the Bureau thinks that I’ve lost it and gone insane. All of you disrespected me every chance you got. None of you took me serious after that night. The FBI was my whole life, I gave everything I had to them and disrespect and ridicule is what I was rewarded with. The FBI and the people that work for it have ruined my whole life. All of you that were on my team, it’s your fault, not mine. I saw what was happening that night and I chose not to stop it. I wanted that bitch dead, I still want her dead. I want all of you dead. I will do everything I can to hunt down everyone who was involved that night. I will get my revenge on all of you, that’s what I live for now.”
“You’re insane if you think that will happen. You can’t erase a mistake just by killing every one of us. It doesn’t work that way and besides, the FBI will never take you back after they find out you’re a killer.”
“I don’t want them to. I’m my own boss now, I’ll do what I want when I want and kill who I want and no one can stop me. After this night, they’ll know just how insane I am. Respect will be given to me, won’t it Gabriel?”
“Yes, I guess so, in your own messed up world,” Gabriel says mumbling to himself.
“What? I can’t understand you.”
“Yes! You will get respect.”
“Get respect, what? What’s my name?”
“No! I’m not that desperate fool anymore, who am I?”
“Father Kelly?” asks Gabriel.
“Yes! I am a man of God! You and everyone else on this earth will address me as such.”
“But you’re not a Priest.”
“Yes I am! I have been ordained in God’s Church! You will respect that!” says Kelly raising the bat up off his shoulder. His hands turn red as he tightens his grip on the bat, letting all of his anger to the surface.
“You can’t stop me, this is what I want!” says Kelly looking over his shoulder to the corner at Anthony.
Father Kelly swings the bat and hits Gabriel across the jaw; his teeth fly out and fall to the concrete floor like broken glass on the sidewalk. He swings back across and smashes Gabriel in his right shoulder. He pulls the bat back as far as he can over his own right shoulder and with all his strength; hits Gabriel across the side of his head. He slams the bat down onto Gabriel’s right knee, then his left. The blood soaked ropes hold up Gabriel’s lifeless body, his soul just left this world. Gone to a place with no pain, no misery and no bullshit the human race brings upon itself. The horrid sight of a bloody shell of a man tied down in his last moments doesn’t satisfy Father Kelly’s anger. He beats the dead man until his own hands are numb.
The bloody bat falls to the ground, Kelly looks at his hands covered in blood. He looks up at the body that seconds ago held a life on this earth and back down at his hands. He smiles as he wipes the warm blood off on to his familiar black suit with white collar that is now soaked in blood. Calm saturates his soul; he is now liberated to be who he wants in this messed up world; a killer of man.
“What do you think about that?” says Kelly looking to the empty corner. He looks around the room but it’s just him and the dead man. Anthony has disappeared from the room, no longer judging him, for now anyway.