Posts tagged ‘crime fighting’

The Express Lane to Danger (pt. 3)

The following is third of four installments in the series. Stay tuned for part four, coming out in March!

Read Part 1: Dreams Come True

Read Part 2: Integrity International

 

“I had two dreams this weekend,” I said when my turn came. “First, Seymour found out about us.”

“Is Seymour the manager of Express?” A girl whispered to another.

“Yes, Seymour was my boss,” I replied. “I don’t know how he found out, but he did. His face was as red as an apple That dream was on Friday night. By now, he most likely knows we exist and that we’re are after him. Second dream was last night. There was this guy. Red shirt with the Express logo on it, blue jeans, and a Cubs baseball cap. He was walking out with a package…”

“A special delivery package? With a fatal message inside?” Someone interrupted.

I nodded. “The address label was printed in red ink, and I learned when I worked there that red denotes a special delivery. The guy had a widow’s peak, slicked back almost-black hair, and a freckle below his left eye. We need to find him.”

The room sat in wait. Finally the silence was broken.

“I’m so jealous,” cried one girl.

I could only stare in surprise.

“I’ve never had a dream so clear before,” she continued.

“Me either,” complained a man sitting across from me. “Do you know how many dreams I’ve had of special deliveries tacking place? Two hundred and six. I could never see the face. Never got an ID.” He shook his head and his frown deepened. “And I’ve worked here for 12 years.”

“Oh. Sorry.”

“Now Bob,” Skylar jumped in. “Give the girl a break. She may be new, but if she’s helped us get solid evidence on this case, then we all owe her one.”

Bob rolled his eyes. I swallowed. I wasn’t anticipating the hard feelings.

“You may want to know where the package was addressed to.”

Bob threw his hands in the air. “She can even see the writing on the package?”

“It was addressed here.” A solemn silence set in. “I’m only saying that because it ought to make us feel grateful. At least we know we can catch him before the package gets here.”

“Cammie’s right.” Skylar nodded and put a hand on my back. “We’ll catch this guy for sure. We have to.”

Things happened fast at Integrity International. I sat down with a sketch artist and we identified and found the man in my dream within minutes. By lunch time, the man in my dream was brought into custody.  We had some of our agents as well as FBI agents interrogating him as to where the package contents were. It took six hours, but our suspect broke. He told us where the package was, and he took a deal. A chance of probation if he pled guilty and told us everything he knew. He was looking at a hefty sentence, and we had enough to know he was guilty of conspiracy and attempted murder, so the odds were in his favor to spill the story.

Before the day was over, the FBI investigated the Express building and hundreds of unshipped poisons, explosives, and booby-trapped, knife-filled packages. Every case that had been suspected to be done by Express had never had solid evidence. They cleaned up their crime scenes well. At last we had more than heresy.

And so, Express Shipping – the worst shipping company in all of history – would be no more. I knew I should be ecstatic. I’d been there one week and already we’d cracked the biggest case our company had ever seen. Still, I could help but feel a sense of foreboding. We’d only solved one of the world’s problems.

That evening Adam called me into his office. My mind had cleared a bit and the dream from last week was on my mind. I had to be proactive about this. Just as I’d learned with the dreams of crimes that would take place, the dream didn’t mean the action would take place. If nothing changed, then the dream would happen. I needed to change this course of action. I took a deep breath and walked into his office.

“I’ve just bought this shirt, what do you think of it?”

“Excuse me?” The shirt was a striped button down; it was bright and blue and brought out his eyes perfectly.

“I’m the young one here, you know. I keep trying to look professional but can’t seem to get it right. What do you think?”

“It looks… fine. Professional, I guess.”

“But?”

“But I… I hate blue.” Maybe if I was mean to him, he wouldn’t want to flirt with me. I would change the current course of things and the dream of him flirting with me would mean nothing.

He frowned. “What? How can you hate blue?”

“Well, I do. It’s just not a very… pretty color at all. Sorry.” I wanted to punch myself. I’d always been terrible at being mean.

“Well. To each his own, right?” He sighed and shrugged. “I really called you in to say congratulations. You performed wonderfully today.”

“Thanks.”

Suddenly a thought came to me. When I first met Adam, he knew I was a dreamer, and he knew what I dreamt about. I leaned forward and looked him in the eyes. “So, do you still know what I’ve dreamt about?” I asked, looked him in the eye. “What did I dream about last night?”

“What?” He chuckled.

I eased back a bit. “Sorry. I just had a hunch that you could tell what my dreams are. I mean, when you met me, you told me everything I had dreamt about so far. If you can do that, you don’t need me here.”

He shook his head, still chuckling. “You’ve got it all wrong. When mentors are assigned to a budding dreamer, they discover their first couple dreams. It helps with credibility, you know, if a mentor can tell the dreamer that they know they have dreams.” He shrugs. “You’re no longer a mentor, so I’m no lover privy to that information. Does that clear things up?”

I nodded, slowly taking this in. “Thanks.”

He looked at me with an amused gleam in his eye. “Are you dreaming things you don’t want me to know about?”

“Not at all,” I said coolly.  “I better go. I need to regroup with… my group.” One question was answered. I still didn’t know why I had that dream in the first place. I certainly had no feelings for him now.  I had too many other things to worry about.

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Integrity International (pt. 2)

This is the second installment of a previously posted story, Dreams Come True. The third installment will be published in February.

—–

On my first day at my new job, I approached my company’s building. It was small portion of an strip mall with darkened windows and a sign smaller than the building’s address label announced the building was called “Integrity.” Squinting at the sign, I knew I was in the right place. Before I could reach the door, a guard in sunglasses appeared from around the corner. “Miss Camille Kenrick?”

“Yes. Call me Cammie.” I stuck out my hand, but he didn’t even bother shaking it.

“I will escort you inside to Mr. Adam and the rest of the team.” He ushered me through one set of darkened glass doors. “Finger, please.”

“What?”

“Your fingerprint is your key to get in. Press your index finger here.”

I did so, the keypad beeped and the door buzzed open. I opened the door to see another dimly lit foyer, with another set of doors in front of me. “You will need to create an eleven digit code. It will serve as your second pass code to get in.”

“Eleven?”

“Yes.”

“Right, of course. How am I to remember that?”

My escort rolled his eyes. “Find a way.”

After coming up with that code, and two more, I was finally able to get on an elevator and head to the right floor. The elevator’s doors dinged open. A sea of heads turned to stare at me. I picked out Adam’s face among them.

“You’re late,” he said with a wry grin.

“I would have been on time, but you failed to mention that security clearance takes almost half an hour,” I said sourly, yet with a smile on my face.

“I didn’t mention that?” Adam shrugged. “Remembering things like that isn’t my gift. You’re just in time for our meeting.” He turned to his room of employees. “Our newest member, Cammie Kenrick.”

The room erupted in vigorous, genuine applause. I made a little, anxious wave at all my new co-workers.

“She came to us from the inside – from Express itself. She’ll be a great asset here.”

The guard pointed me towards an empty chair and then disappeared into the elevator. I sat down slowly, next to a brunette girl with pin straight hair down to her waist. She smiled at me. I smiled too, but crossed my arms and gripped them tightly across my chest. I knew we were all supposed to be on the same side, but how was I really supposed to know who to trust?

“In the last few weeks, we’ve been focusing on mentoring the new dreamers and on any cases that might come up. With all that, Express went down, down in our priorities. Now it’s back up, right were it should be at number one. We need to shut that place down. Group 1, you will go undercover to Express, and pose as costumers shipping a package. Cammie will be available to answer any questions that she can about how they operate, and we want even more of us to know what it’s like inside that building. Group 2, contact the Integrity group in Korea and see if they have any hits on that bomb case. Groups 3, you’re our dreamers.  Be hypersensitive to your visions this week, alright? Write every dream down, tell each other what you know. We need all the information we can get.”

The room broke up into soft conversations. The blonde girl grabbed my elbow. “I’m Skylar. You’re with us, in group three.”

I frowned. “How’d you know?”

“That you’re a dreamer?” She grinned. “You act like you have something to hide and something to lose. I used to act like that too, but I learned to open up.”

“Oh. Right.”

Suddenly Adam was beside us. “Thanks for taking her under your wing, Skylar, but I need to steal her away.”

He pulled gently aside and into his office. “You find our place okay?” He asked, rearranging files on his desk.

“Sure. I was looking for a bigger sign, though.”

“Yeah, yeah that’s the thing. We don’t want to advertise that we’re Integrity International:  an Agency Dedicated to Stopping Hit Men and Hit Agencies.”

I shrugged. “Makes sense.”

“I just wanted to tell you how happy we are to have you.”

That was not what I expected. “Thank you.” Suddenly I noticed how beautiful blue his eyes were. I hadn’t noticed that the first two times I’d met him. He looked so young to be in such an important job like this.

“… if you ever need anything, know that we are all here to help.” He paused, thinking. “I’m  going to be double assigning you. You’re in Group 3, with the other dreamers, but you’ll also be on the special task force that I’m creating as we speak.”

I nodded. “And what will that entail?”

“We’ll have to see, won’t we?” He answered.

The day passed by in a blur, as first days often do. I returned home that evening and collapsed on the couch. My brain was overwhelmed with operation plans and confidentiality agreements and undercover protocol. I must have fallen asleep – not a restful kind of sleep, but sleep nonetheless. Just like I did during most sleep, I had a dream. This one was odd.

Adam was leaning closer to me. His beautiful sea blue eyes watching me with sincerity and care. “Cammie, you’re a novel in a sea of magazines.”

“Baby, you’re too kind,” I said, staring into his alluring eyes.

And I woke up with a start. That tiny snapshot of the future gave me reason to pace around my living room for the rest of the evening. The way his eyes looked. “No, no,” I yelled to the empty room. “This can’t happen.” Already my dreams were diverging. I was supposed to dream about what those on my side wanted. Those on my side. My eyes grew wide. Adam was on my side. He wanted that dream to happen? He wanted that? I shook my head. There had to be a margin of error when it came to a dreamer’s dreams. This one had to be a fluke.

I was lost in my thoughts and did not realize someone else had entered the room.

“Where’ve you been?” It was my mother.

“I fell asleep.”

A pouting child, my younger brother, trailed behind my mother. “You didn’t remember you had to help your brother with homework tonight?”

“Mom, I can’t…”

“Well, it’s his bed time now. See if you can take off work early tomorrow. He wants you to help him with his math.”

My mom shepherded Austin up the stairs to send him off to bed.

I exhaled slowly. I loved my second grade brother dearly, but I was eager to have my own life. Eager to rent my own apartment. Eager to earn my first paycheck so I could do just that.

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