Sunday, September 29, 2013

22: Pink Diamond Heist – Pt. 1

“What do we know?” Mason asked as he sat in on the debriefing. Mike lifted the clipboard from the table and began reading over the highlighted facts of the case. 

“At approximately 10pm on the night of September 27th, four armed men entered the Museum of Natural History through the rear service dock. There were two guards on duty in the southern quadrant, two in the northern and one at the main gates. Guards C and D at the dock entrance were subdued, gagged and bound using industrial strength duct tape while guards A and B were handcuffed to one another with their own set of restraints.”

“The perpetrators then moved to the display on loan from the National Museum of Ireland. Using a glass cutter, they gained access to the Eyes of Celt and the crown jewels of the old monarch. Once the display was opened, a silent alarm alerted the last remaining guard at the gate who then called the police before heading inside himself to see what was going on.”

“His presence alerted one of the gunmen who immediately fired upon the guard wounding him in the left shoulder. The guard was able to locate guards A and B and remove their cuffs. They entered the gunfight where guard B was shot twice, once in the neck and once in his right cheek. He died on the scene. Guard A believes he injured one of the perps and a trail of blood leading to the dock confirms it; the blood didn’t belong to a guard or the fallen perp.”

“What was the take?”

“The perps got away with a small fortune with just one item,” Victoria responded and slid a picture in front of her captain of the stolen jewel. “The Heart of Bríd, also known as Bríghid – the most famous female saint of Ireland. The 73-carat pink diamond is one of the world’s most illustrious and worth an estimated $13 million.”

“Do we have any information or possible leads on who these men were?”

“Not yet. But from the way they seemed organized we believe they were possibly hired by an outside benefactor who had interest in obtaining the jewel either for resale or a private collection. We’re looking into known jewel thieves as well as art collectors who would have interest in the gem.” Mike looked down at the clipboard clutched within his hands and ran his thumb over the top name on the piece of paper slipped into the holder. “Baker, Clive Baker.”

“The cat burglar?” Mason asked leaning forward. “He’s doing a dime at Rikers for the 2009 Bell’s Crossing home invasions. Why is his name on that list?”

“Because his daughter is in the game and seems to be taking pointers from dear old dad,” Victoria offered.

“Sounds like a promising lead,” Mason groaned and pulled up from his seat. “Get started on this. The Chief is already taking it from the Mayor by Ireland officials which means I’m not sleeping well these days. I like sleep. So I assured him I had my two best detectives on it and that you would have results promptly. Get this thing solved!”

“Great, sounds like a long night ahead of us,” Victoria grumbled and stretched against the table.


“Mmm Chicken Lo Mein please. Oh and get an order of the Wonton too!” Victoria started down to her desk to grab the remaining files and stopped as she saw her older sister Lynn approaching from the break room. 

With a smile in her direction she greeted her, cautiously accepting the hug she threw around her shoulders with a pat on her back. “Um, hey Lynn, this is a surprise.”

“I know! I should have called but this was something that needed a face-to-face.” Almost instantly Victoria tensed and drew in a sharp breath.

Her fingers slipped over the file in her hand as her thoughts turned to the worst as years as a homicide detective taught her. “What is it? What’s wrong? Is Mom…?”

“Oh, no, it’s nothing like that,” Lynn quickly waved her off casually. “Mom just called and told me you wanted some old photo albums or something and since I was passing through town heading to New York for a book signing, she asked that I drop them off to you.”

Victoria exhaled in aggravation as her sister dropped the books to the desk. “Geez Lynn! Next time start with that instead! I’m a homicide detective for crying out loud. You never visit here! And in the middle of the night, it scared the crap out of me!”

“I’m sorry, ok? Relax. Mom just wanted to make sure you got these and like I said I should have called. But anyway, you have them now and I gotta run. I have a late meeting with my publisher in an hour and I don’t want to miss the teleconference.” She gave her baby sister a quick kiss on the cheek and started for the exit. “I love you! See you later!”

“Yeah,” Victoria frowned and looked down at the stack of books. At Derrick’s constant hassling she’d called her Mom concerning the closed room at the cabin to ask her about their possible underworld connection. And although her mother hadn’t directly answered any of the thousands of questions she threw her way, Victoria got the idea she knew more than she was telling her. 

Thinking quickly Victoria redirected the conversation away from the cabin and the witchcraft to put her mother at ease again before starting a conversation about her grandmother; someone she hadn’t seen since she was ten. It had become her goal to find her.

Tucking the albums under her desk for now, she scooped up the files on the possible suspects and started up to meet Mike again. With a sigh she took her seat and dove into the paperwork. “10 minutes the food should be here,” Mike spoke as he joined her again. “Let’s see how much we can get through before then.”

Hours passed and they were no closer to narrowing down the suspect list than they were when the crime first started. With a clock looming over their heads they knew they would need to go balls to the wall if they wanted to have something tangible to take to the Captain. 

“I can’t watch this again,” Victoria sighed and rubbed her eyes wearily as Mike hit the rewind on the video of the robbery. “We’ve seen it over a dozen times now and nothing new has popped out at me.”

“Yeah, my eyes feel like they are ready to fall out of the socket and run away. The only thing I noticed is how precise these guys were. Every single event was synchronized and timed right down to the second. Step one, enter through docks and take out guards A and B, deploy gas – three minutes. Step two, round up the hostages into the ladies bathroom, third floor – four minutes. It took six minutes to get the glass cover removed from the display case on the second floor which alerted the front gate guard who came in guns blazing two minutes later. Fifteen minutes to perfect the heist and two people dead.”

“Well we know guard B was killed by one of the armed perpetrators in the shootout on the first floor. What I believe and what forensics is confirming now is that the gunman we found on the back docks was murdered by a member of his team. The question is why?”

“Greed; the less people left standing the more money the surviving members of the team can line their pockets with. It also reduces the chance of getting caught if one of them starts talking.”

“But then that begs the questions are they all going to kill one another now to increase that amount or was this particular team member shot for a reason beyond greed?”

“You mean a hit?”

Victoria nodded and slid a picture of the gunman’s body towards him to analyze. “He was shot point blank range in the back of the head once and two more rounds to the chest once his body hit the ground; that’s a professional double tap. IAFIS still has not been able to ID him through prints, his dental work is nowhere to be found and he has no unique identifiers on his body such as tattoos or childhood scars. Technically, this man doesn’t exist.”

“Normal means of identification are useless, you should call your buddy in on this one then.”


Mike nodded as he stood from his seat, rearranging the papers in the manila folder in front of him. “He has access to the FBI’s facial recognition software. Maybe he would be able to get a hit off the vic’s face and put a name to him. At this point that’s our only hope.”

“You’re right. I’ll give him a call…tomorrow morning,” Victoria groaned as she looked at the time on the clock above the door. It was ten minutes past one a.m. and her only thought was getting home and passing out. “See you bright and early partner.”

Dropping her bags and the books of pictures on her kitchen counter, Victoria poured herself a glass of water and removed her shoes allowing the cool tiled floor to bring her to life. The hot water of her shower was a nice welcomed experience and her eyes drifted closed as she let the soothing waters pour over her body. “Normal means of identification are useless,” she repeated Mike’s words. Something about the way he said it sparked a notion in her and she instantly turned off the shower and dried quickly.

Hastily dressing in her night garments, she took the stairs two at a time and hurried into her garage and the items she’d removed from her family’s cabin in Cedar Grove. “Come on I know you’re in here somewhere,” she growled tossing the books around the box before finally uncovering the one she browsed before. “Ah-ha!” 

She closed her garage down and started back to the house. A fast moving black object fluttered in front of her and she jumped back as he agitatedly flapped his wings in her face. “Vex, what’s your problem?” He floated over her for a moment before joining her in the den where she promptly turned to the page that had her attention on the drive back from the cabin.

“What do you think about testing something Vex? Just a little magic just to see if I have it in me.” She walked into the kitchen to gather the herbs the spell required and pulled a pot from beneath her sink.

Reading the list a few times she exhaled, turned the stove on to boil and started reading. “Here goes nothing.”

“Halls of Echoes, Halls of Light
make visible what’s hidden; bring them to sight
reveal secrets unveiled so that I may see
things as they truly should be.”

The pot boiled over, fizzled on the surface of the stove and evaporated quickly. Victoria backed away and with a disgruntled frown closed the book and turned towards Vex sitting on the counter behind her. “Well that was a bust. I guess I need to work on my magic to get these things right?”

Heading upstairs to finally get some shut eye, she placed the book on her dresser, opened her bedroom window for Vex and turned off the lights. The chilly gust of wind that blew through the glass hit her like a ton of bricks and she instantly dove into the bed beneath the covers. The temperature seemed to drop even lower and as she shivered, she could see her breath in front of her face. 

Preparing herself to get up and shut the window again, Victoria paused in her tracks as a shadowy visage appeared behind her in the mirror. She gasped and quickly turned to look behind her but found nothing. “Ok, that was not my imagination,” she spoke in a light tremble and back pedaled from the bed. Her body met with the cool wooden surface of the bedroom wall and shaky fingers fumbled around to find the light switch.

But before Victoria had a chance to flip them on, the ghostly form of a man reappeared again in front of her and her eyes widened in shock as she looked him over. “Ok this cannot be happening.” Vex flew over towards her and in a manner of protection, circled over her head waiting to see what the man’s intentions would be.

He opened his mouth to speak, and as he did a shrill and eerie sound escaped his lips. Victoria’s hands went over her ears quickly and she pressed herself deeper into the wall. When finally the noise ceased she looked up and the man, who now appeared corporeal, smiled warmly as he spoke two words. “Brad Devereux.” And just as smoothly as it had appeared, the apparition vanished and with it the cold that had overcome her.

Continue Reading: "22: Pink Diamond Heist – Pt. 1"

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

21: Bad Gets Worse – Pt. 4

“Blackmail,” Mike announced matter-of-factly and dropped a stack of papers in front of Victoria.

“What’s this?” she asked sifting through the first few pages as she took a seat at the conference table.

“Goldman’s financial records. It seems our boy was into some heavy gambling and owed a lot of dangerous people a helluvalot of money.”

“Money, of course. It never ceases to amaze me how petty people can be to kill for something so insignificant.”

“You still see him as the doer?”

“Absolutely. Why? You think maybe one of these guys came looking for payday and stabbed the family as a message? Come on Partner, you’ve been in this business long enough to know stabbings are personal. I doubt the people he owed…” she paused as she noticed the name of the bookie on the page beneath the one she was reading and her eyes immediately shot up to Mike’s.

“Don’t look at me like that Vik.”

“Well how should I look at you Mike? You aren’t seriously thinking about using this to get to Calabrese! You can’t! The evidence is all pointing us in the other direction. This bookie had NOTHING to do with that little boy’s death Mike.”

“I’m just covering all bases Victoria. You’re so quick to jump on the husband as our guy I just want to make sure that we’re not overlooking potential suspects because of it.”

“No. You were there Mike, right by my side when this guy tried to summon up tears and instead found pocket lint much more interesting than the death of his family! He’s guilty, I’d bet my next paycheck on that.”

Mike pushed off the table with a growl and slammed his fist into the wall before sinking to the ground doing his best to control his temper before he exploded. “I want this guy Vik! What he did…everyday he’s out there, walking around and breathing easy is another day I am tortured knowing he’s free because I failed to do my job!”

“Mike,” Victoria started before moving to the ground in front of her partner. Her hand gently moved his down and she peered into his eyes, concern dictating her actions. “This isn’t a failure. We’re still working Benny’s case. It’s a small setback which happens from time to time. It doesn’t mean that ‘The Breeze’ is going to get away with what he did to your brother and his wife. It only means we have to work harder to prove his involvement. It’s only a matter of time.” Victoria thought back to Derrick’s confession on the night he found her staking out Calabrese’s home. 

He had mentioned something about knowing that he was guilty but that she needed to be capable of understanding how. Her eyes closed and she inhaled a quick breath. He must have been there. The blood maybe? Making a mental note to ask him about it she took Mike’s hand and slowly helped him from the ground. “We’re going to get him Mike, I promise.”

“Yeah.” His body collided with a chair as he threw his weight down into the seat. Combing over another bank record he heaved a heavy breath and nodded. “When you called this morning I did some digging. Goldman’s wife used to work for his company as well, top level exec. It’s why she has a considerable amount of stock within the company. It seems that our boy was interested in downsizing a few of them in order to have money on hand, the wife wasn’t going for it.” 

“So when his wife refused to liquidate a few of her shares, Goldman took matters into his own hands. He needed money and he needed it quick so her death was the only way he could get out from under his blackmailer. Either through the stocks or the insurance he’s looking at a sizeable payment soon,” Victoria completed his thought.

Her phone buzzed in her pocket vibrating her thigh beneath the table and causing her to jump just a little. Mike gave her a quizzical stare before smiling a little at her frazzled look when she noticed the name on the caller ID. “Lemme guess, it’s Loverboy?”


“You know, dark and mysterious who seems to pop up out of nowhere to tell you how beautiful you look or stare at your ass when you’re not looking.”

“Derrick?” Mike nodded and turned his attention back to the papers in front of him. “He stares at my ass?” Mike chuckled as Victoria stood and answered her phone. “Hello?”

Hey! I have everything we’ll need. Are you going to be available soon?

“Uh I should be. Is this…will this be messy?” she asked in a whisper moving a little ways away from Mike’s ears.

If we do it right.” She couldn’t see it but she could tell he was smiling as he teased her mercilessly. Victoria wasn’t sure if she was ready to handle whatever magic Derrick believed was necessary in dispatching the succubus but she’d try for Cole’s sake. “I’m waiting outside, see you soon.

“Yeah ok, I’ll see you in a minute,” she sighed and placed her phone back into her pocket. 

“What?” she asked turning to find Mike staring at her with a cheesy grin on his face. “It’s not like that.”

“Uh huh.”

“It’s not!”

“And yet you gave him your personal cell phone number.” Victoria opened her mouth to say something but instead found a flaw in her logic as well and thought best to keep her mouth shut. “Alright answer me this one thing and I’ll drop it, has he ever been to your house?”

“What does that have to do with anything?”

“I’ll take that as a yes,” he grinned wider and pulled up from the table again. “I’ll get the arrest warrant for Goldman. We’ll have his ass incarcerated by tonight. And Vik,” he paused before exiting the door leading out towards interrogation. “Be careful with this Derrick guy, he seems to me like the player type.”

“It’s not like that Mike!”

“Yeah, I know. I heard you the first time.” Victoria exited after Mike after ensuring he’d be fine taking on Goldman’s arrest alone. 

She headed towards the parking lot and found Derrick waiting beside her jeep with his arms folded across his chest. He leaned up noticing her approaching him and nodded at the bag near his leg. “Everything we’ll need. The only thing I should warn you about is the magic. I know we haven’t explored that side of you yet…”

“Do you think we could talk about this in the car?” Victoria asked looking around behind her at Derrick’s mention of the supernatural. There was already talk around the water cooler about her and Derrick’s constant interludes and now her own partner was beginning to make assumptions that there was more to them than just a working relationship. She didn’t want them to overhear their conversations or see them speaking again to make the gossip hounds foam at the mouth. Victoria needed to keep her private life private. Not to mention the fact that talk of magic probably wouldn’t sit right with her higher ups. They’d most likely think she was a loon.

Derrick slid into the passenger seat of her jeep and Victoria pulled out of the lot heading back towards Cole’s condo. “I don’t know if I’m going to be able to handle it. I mean what do I do? Just say those words on the page there and just like that the demon goes poof? What if I hurt Cole in the process?”

“Well according to my source, when you incant this spell the succubus should be drained of her powers and whatever hold she has on Cole should be broken. Cole should revert back to his normal self.”

“That’s a lot of ‘shoulds’ Derrick. Do you know anything to any degree of certainty? I don’t want Cole to die!”

“The only thing I know for sure Victoria is that you are strong enough to do this you just have to have the confidence that you can pull it off. If you want Cole to come out of this unscathed then you need to focus and follow everything I’ve told you exactly; leave the rest to me.”

Victoria sighed and closed her eyes briefly as she pulled in front of the high rise. Repeating the words on the page a few times in her mind to memorize them, she glanced at Derrick and nodded, she was ready. 

The door to Cole’s condo was wide opened as the two made it back to his hallway. Derrick peeked inside first and saw no one. Listening closely he waited to ensure signs of life before motioning the go ahead to Victoria. “Be careful!” he cautioned and placed a crystal at the door once she was inside.

Victoria did the same at the window and made a circle around herself in white candles. The spell called for the witch to be grounded in order to prevent the Succubus from seizing her essence once she’d entered her magic trance. Being a novice at this whole thing, she relied heavily on Derrick to tell her whether or not she was on track. 

The door to the bedroom opened again and Tessa exited with an evil smirk on her face as she took in Victoria standing in the living room with Derrick just outside the door. “You again! I’d have thought you’d had enough this morning or was my message unclear? You really want to watch him die so badly you return with dime store gimmicks and a vampire? Clearly you’re outmatched child.”

“Cole?” Victoria called for her friend ignoring the woman’s taunts but received no response in return. 

“He’s not exactly interested in entertaining company at this time. Perhaps you should try him again tomorrow. No wait, tonight’s the last time anyone will ever see him again. Darn, I guess you’re just out of luck.”

“Cole please, it’s me! Come out of there!”

“Did you not hear me girl? I said he will not respond to you, he’s mine and only I have the power to command his actions. Would you like another example of that? I’m sure he’d be more than happy to wring your scrawny, little neck a second time! Cole!” 

At the sound of his name, Cole came rushing out into the living room to answer Tessa’s call. His eyes were angry and directed at Victoria and she gasped as he seemingly growled towards her.

“Now Victoria!” Derrick shouted and immediately she began chanting the words from the paper.

“Oh please! Your novice witch is still wearing her training wheels.”

“Well then consider this a crash course!”

“By the dragon’s light,
on this night,
I call to thee to give me your might,
by the power of three;
I conjure thee,
to protect all that surrounds me.”

A bright beam of light encased Victoria and Tessa turned to Derrick and hissed as the magic from the amethyst took effect, she was trapped within the room. “You bitch!” she yelled at Victoria and glanced at Cole just over her shoulder. “Kill him!”

“Derrick!” Victoria cried as Cole rushed headlong out into the hallway tackling him against the wall.

“I can handle him, keep going!”

“Spirits that destroy by flame
Banish this demon in thy name
Fight the fire with the same
Cure the havoc heal the pain.”

Tessa roared as the incantation seared beneath her flesh burning her from the inside out. Victoria’s eyes widened in shock and she watched the woman crumble to the floor the longer she chanted. 

“As darkness falls, remove her bind
her magic’s touch to unwind
What is dark be filled with light
remove this demon from my sight.
to never again roam free,
for such is my will, so mote it be!”

Losing her balance, Victoria dropped to the floor as the room shook with the last of the words that fell from her lips. Tessa’s body burst into white light. Her body drifted a few feet into the air and tiny crystallized particles shattered around her as she dropped with a crash. 

“Invite me inside,” Derrick commanded of Cole who lay dazed on the ground beside him and immediately responded to his request.

Derrick stepped over the threshold and roughly pulled the succubus from the floor. “Well now, let’s see if we can make good on that earlier threat,” he growled and bowed his head to her neck. Ripping the flesh away, he sank his fangs deep into her vein and drained her dry. Victoria was locked on the scene watching as the demon slowly faded beneath Derrick’s grip.

Tessa’s body fell to the floor and Derrick wiped a satisfied hand over his lip removing the excess blood from his mouth as he looked at Victoria and the surprised expression on her face. “What? She provoked me!”

“Is she dead?”

“Well…deadish. There’s still the matter of removing her limbs and burning her. You removed whatever magics bound her to this plane but as long as her body is around she could easily regain mortal essence and revive herself. Don’t worry though, I can take it from here. Do you mind if I borrow your jeep? You’re kinda my ride.” 

Tossing her keys towards him he smirked and pulled Tessa’s body from the ground. “So does this make you my accomplice?”


“It was just a question, Detective. But technically you’re assisting in the murder and disposal of…”

“A demon!”

“Well if you want to split hairs.” He chuckled and followed her gaze towards Cole who was stumbling back inside his apartment door. 

“What about him?”

“That’s easy.” Derrick moved towards Cole and gazed intently in his eyes as he spoke. “You have been home sick with a stomach virus but you’re better now, Victoria made you some soup,” he smiled over his shoulder. “You’ll get this place cleaned up and go back to your normal routine. Forget everything that you may have experienced while in Tessa’s company. Do you understand?”

“I understand.” Cole responded mechanically.

“And that works?” Victoria asked watching Cole shake his head as if clearing the cobwebs from a hard blow to the skull.

“Would you like to test it out?” Derrick asked taking Cole’s gaze again. “Cluck like a chicken.” The federal agent did exactly as commanded including barking like a dog and passing out against the wall and Victoria rolled her eyes at the vampire with an annoyed sigh. “Feel better now?”


“I’ll be back soon. Take care of lover boy. When he wakes he might not know what’s going on and that’s too bad. I’d have loved to hear you explain that busted nose to him,” he laughed and disappeared down the hall.

Continue Reading: "21: Bad Gets Worse – Pt. 4"