Embracing Justice -chp 8

Embracing Justice


Can the love of another really help a person overcome the need for revenge or is the old saying true about digging two graves?

Dedicated to the men and women of the US Marshal Service.

Edited by my husband Paul, Honeysuckle, and djkuffman.


This is a work of fiction an any persons in this work are purely fictional.

“It’s a God damned good thing I carry a gun.”

Chapter 8

“Uncle Bat, what are you doing here?” in her shock Kristine did not realize she had called Deputy Masterson, her uncle outing herself to him.

“Kristine, if you think I am going to let my niece face off against all this on her own then you have lost your damned mind. Come over here and give me a hug.” the big man held his arms wide for his niece to show her he was not going to abandon her. If there was one thing US Deputy Marshal Wayne ‘Bat’ Masterson the fourth would do, it was go to war protecting his family. He may not like his brother the former CDM, but he would defend his brother if he was innocent to the death.

Kristine practically jumped into the arms of her uncle. The tears that run down her young face are those of joy. Until now Kristine had thought she would be rejected by all of her family. To know that at least one member of her family accepted her would go a long way in her fight against those who wanted her dead.

For Bat Masterson the fourth having his niece hugging him made his resolve to protect her harden beyond words. If the LOG wanted to hurt Kristine they would have to go through him first. He knew that there would be bad and good days ahead for her, but he would do his best to make them all as normal and happy as he possibly can.

Sam saw that Kristine was in good hands so she motioned for Dorothy and David to join her in the dining room. Once they were all there Sam sighed heavily as she didn’t want to ask what she was about of her boss. However this was something that had to be done if she was going to keep Kristine safe and healthy. “Dorothy, can you tell me if the service still has Doc. Gail on the payroll?”

“Ok, Samantha, why do you need to see Doc. Gail? You completed your transition years ago.” David was quick to pounce on this question. His reasons for this were simple. Doctor Gail Whitmore was one of the few Psychologists that the Marshal’s used for their Deputies who had problems of that nature. If one of his best Deputies was having problems then he wanted to know what they were.

“Not for me David, you big goofball! It’s Kristine that needs to see Gail. Her and Doc Tommy. The kid has been taking black market hormones for the past six months and she is starting to show signs of withdrawal. To be truthful I am also afraid that she is starting to suffer from PTSD.” At this last statement Dorothy and David look at Sam in a way she has not seen in over ten years. “She was raped by her cellmate in Columbus. And before you ask, yes the former CDM knew all about it. Along with a good number of the Deputies in the Columbus field office. To most of them down there Kristine brought it on herself and only got what she deserved.”

The looks that cross Dorothy’s and David’s faces are ones of pure rage. Yes they knew that rape happened in a lot of the jails across the nation. The Marshal Service worked long and hard to put a stop to these attacks, but it was like trying to hold back the rising tide. Unless one of the prisoners actually came forward there was nothing they could do. However to have a witness assaulted in this way while under their protection was unacceptable by any standards. The fact that there were Deputies in the Columbus field office turning a blind eye to something like this even going so far as to say Kristine deserved what happened to her was beyond what Dorothy or David could stomach.

“Tell me that the monster that attacked that girl is still in custody?” was all Dorothy wanted to know.

The smile that crossed Sam’s face was that of a predator ready to strike. “Yes, sis he is still in custody. The name you are going to need is Frances ‘Frankie the Nook’ Mitchum. The pig is supposed to be doing 35 to life, but was brought down to Columbus for a deposition against one of his old bosses. I would love for some of the pain that Kristine felt to be returned if you know what I mean?”

“Don’t worry little sister. I’ll be sure to have a discussion with his warden about Frankie’s night time activities. Now, as far as getting Kristine to go the doctors that will be a little tricky. Right now as it stands her father and step-mother are still her legal guardians, but we might be able to pull an end run around that if you can prove she has been the subject of abuse.” Dorothy saw that this was an important subject for Sam.

“Oh, I can do more than that, Marshal Rose.” At the use for her official title by Sam, Dorothy knew this wasn’t going to be a problem. “All we have to do is ask Kristine to pull up the back of her blouse. Dorothy, that poor girl’s back is covered in old and not so old scars from where her father beat her with what looks like a leather strap or belt. David, Dorothy that girl has suffered long term physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her step-mother and father. I have no way of proving this, but it is my belief that Carol Masterson tried to drive Kristine to suicide. She would have succeeded if she had not made the mistake of calling 911 too soon. Believe me when I say there is a shit ton more going on here than just what is on that flash drive of Kristine’s.”

“Alright Sam, tell me what your gut says.” Is all Dorothy says.

“Alright here goes nothing. If and this is a big if, I am right I would say that the LOG is using the drug cartels, street gangs, and corrupt police to manipulate the political power bases of those areas. Once they have one of their people in place they clamp down on their pawns or use the police to wipe them out. If you look at the elections for the last few years there are certain areas where the LOG party came out of nowhere to win the local election shortly after there was a rise in the local crime rate. Then there are the sudden influxes of cash into some areas where the poverty rate is the highest and all of a sudden the local LOG party hack gets elected to office. If someone tries to investigate the Party they get arrested on trumped up charges, have a deadly accident, or just flat out disappear. I will not even go into how those who stand in their way seem to always have sudden changes of heart or disappear into the back ground noise of the political landscape. David remember how I told you about having to investigate every election and political appointment for the past twelve years I wasn’t joking. Hell David you saw those files on that flash drive, and that was only half of what is there. I spent over half of last night going through that drive and only got a third of the way through the files on it.” both of her bosses could tell that Sam was running on fumes.

“Ok kiddo, this is what we are going to do. First I will take that flash drive off your hands after we make several copies of it. After that I will turn one copy over to the Computer Tech’s to go over. Secondly, I will setup a meeting between Gail, Tom and Kristine ASAP. If what you are saying is true then we need to get her seen to as fast as possible. Third I want you to go over anything with Kristine she has seen or heard in her family’s house for the past six years or longer. Once you have done that compile a report and send it straight to my email and my email only. Lastly I want you to spend some time with Gail as well.”

“Now wait one damned minute here Dorothy. I don’t need to spend any time on Gail’s couch.”

“Wrong! Samantha you have been running on the ragged edge for the past two years now. Ever since you and Bobby went after that serial pedophile you have been pushing the boundaries of police and social graces. That stunt you pulled with Agent Dale Cartwright is just the latest example of your transgressions. Damn it Sam there’s over fifteen complaints against you for excessive use of force by other officers. You can’t keep using the old hammer and anvil method of solving cases. It worked fine for going after escapees and other scumbags of that nature but you can’t use it to solve personal problems. You have to slow down or you’re going to either wind up in a cell next to those very scumbags or a straight jacket. God damn it Sam you are headed for a full blown burnout if you don’t get your shit together.” Sam could tell by the look on Dorothy’s face that she was dead set on her following her orders.

“Ok sis if it’ll keep you off my back I’ll sit down with Gail. If only to put your mind at ease. Now how soon can you setup the meetings?”

David just smiled at Dorothy. “See I told you she wouldn’t fight you over this. You always were able to get Sam to do something she would hate.”

Sam just looked at her boss and longtime friend. After a few seconds she stuck her tongue out and blew David a raspberry. Naturedly this made the two senior Marshals laugh at her antics. Sam just looks at her bosses and soon she too is laughing right along with them. After a few minutes they all regain their composer and return to the matter at hand.

“Tell me something Sam. Just how is it that you were able to get your hands on this place after all these years so easily?” Dorothy really wanted to know this answer and couldn’t wait to hear it.

“While, it seems that my father had it setup so that if anything were to happen to him and my mother that our old church would gain custody of the house to hold for either me or my sisters. The funny thing is while they have had it up for sale they actually couldn’t sell the house. Don’t ask me why they did it that way, but if I had to guess it was for some kind of tax write off.”

“Ok, but that doesn’t explain how you got your hands on the keys to the place. How did you pull that off? If I remember right there were no keys to be found for this place anywhere we looked. That includes the safety deposit box at the bank.”

“Dorothy, what do you know about the priests at St. Jadwiga?”

“Not a whole lot to tell the truth. Why? What do they have to do with all of this?”

Giggling Sam just looks at the woman she has come to love as her sister. “Let’s just say that they can give the alphabets lessons in keeping secrets and leave it at that. However I will tell you this much, they have helped more than one T-girl out in their times of need.”

“Wait a minute. Weren’t they the priests that helped hide you before you came to the Marshals twelve years ago?” David pointed out to Dorothy.

“They sure were David. Not only did they hide me out that time but, on more than one occasion, have kept me out of trouble with the law before I became a Deputy. Those men have more secrets than all of the Security Agencies combined. Anyway one of those secrets was a set of spare keys that go to this house. The only reason why I knew this is because I was the one to entrust them with the keys.” The smile Sam had was cocky with just a hint of mischievous. It was as if she was a little girl again hiding a secret from her parents.

“No wonder you always go to them when you have problems. You did that even back then didn’t you?” David accused her. “I can’t believe you have kept this a secret for so long.”

“David, they protected my secret back then and I will protect theirs till the day I go to my grave. Now, I suggest that the two of you get back to the office and take care of those appointments. By the way how are we going to explain to the neighborhood three grown men, a woman, and a teenage girl? Even in this day and age of enlightenment, people are going to ask questions.” This was a very real concern for Sam and the others.

“Why Sam I thought you would have figured it out already?” David said with a half way grin. “The lot of you are one big family, with you and Kristine being the baby sisters. Those three lug heads out there are close enough in appearance to be brothers just like you and Kristine look enough alike to be their sisters.”

When Sam stops and examines the three men in her head she can see the resemblance between them all. As she mentally compared herself to Kristine, Sam realized that they really could be sisters. There was only one fly in the ointment. “How do we explain the age deference between Kristine, me, and the others? sure the guys look like there are close enough in age to pull this off, but there is no way anyone will believe that Kristine and me are their baby sisters. I mean there has to be over twenty years between Bat and me and even more for Kristine.”

“Sam, answer me something. How many families do you know of that split up and the parents remarry?” Sam looked over at Dorothy for a minute as she thought about how often that happens in this day and age. Then Sam thinks about how often one or both parents remarry to a younger partner and have a second family with them. The age difference between the five of them could very easily be explained by a father remarrying but to a younger woman and the boys are their half-brothers. It was simple, it was easy to believe and verify, and in short it was the perfect cover story for the situation. “I see that you finally understand. As for where your parents are that is simple as well. Drunk driver killed them in an accident and you two girls have been placed in the care of your oldest brother.”

“Now wait one damn minute here Dorothy. I don’t have a problem with letting Kristine being the teenage baby sister to those three out there, but I am not going to let you railroad me into being a teenager as well.” Sam’s outrage over the prospect of having to play the part of a teenager was not high on her list of things to do. Sam had worked long and hard to overcome her extremely youthful appearance. Normally Sam didn’t mind looking a little on the young side but the fact that she was often considered being in her late teens was a source of embarrassment more often than not.

“Sam, think about it for a minute will you? Even after Kristine goes to trial and the LOG is put out business she is still going to have a price on her head. Do you really think that someone is going to stop at the doors of a school when it comes to colleting that bounty? She is going to need a heel-to-toe watch for the foreseeable future. If you go as her older but not too much older sister no one will think twice about it. You can also be there to help her out if she needs it.” there was a small note of worry in Dorothy’s voice that Sam quickly picked up on.

“What else is going on here Dorothy? This is about more than just protecting Kristine long enough to get her to trial. What has happened?”

Dorothy looked over at David who had a pained look on his face. “Sam, someone broke into the old WETSAC files for the Toledo office last night. Several files were stolen, one of which was yours. Now we don’t know who it was, but the break-in has all the ear marks of an inside job.”

“You have got to be shitting me?! God damn it David! Those files were supposed to be destroyed seven years ago. Who fucked the pooch on this? Why weren’t they destroyed like I was promised? Do you know how many people are in danger now because of what is in that file besides me? I do. I know exactly how many innocent people are in danger, some them are friends of mine who have no fucking clue as to who I was.” Sam runs out of steam as the sheer magnitude of what had happened fell on her.

“Sam I am so sorry, I know that file was supposed to be destroyed, but I was overruled by the US district attorney and Department of Justice.” David explained to Sam. Which did not go over well with her at all.

“David you were the senior Deputy on that detail, we both know that. Now you want to explain to me why you were overruled by the fuckhead who made my life a living hell twelve years ago?” demanded Sam of her friend and boss.
It was Dorothy who answered for David as she actually knew more about why he was overruled on this matter.

“Samantha, the DA Mallard overruled David because he felt that you were holding something back. The Justice Department still believes that to this day, despite everything to the contrary to this fact. Just like Kristine in there the Justice Department and the US DA will do the same thing with her. Look hon the Justice Department doesn’t trust most of the people we put into the WETSAC program, you know this and the reasons why. They sometimes forget that we actually do have some honest to god innocent people in the program as well.”

“Dorothy, I don’t give a flying rat fuck about what those shitheads in Justice want or believe. We had a deal and they broke that deal. I won’t let them do to Kristine what they did to me. The first sign I see of the DA getting out of hand and I go straight to the press and blow this mess wide the fuck open.” David and Dorothy could tell that Sam was not bluffing. They knew Sam had a hard time twelve years ago at the hands of DA Mallard.

The man had treated Sam as a criminal instead of the victim she was. If Dorothy and David hadn’t stepped in when they did Sam could very well be in prison right now instead of being a US Deputy Marshal. That man had pushed the bounds of his authority and almost lost the entire case against the Organization twelve years ago in his mishandling of Sam’s testimony. They both knew that he held a grudge against Sam for getting him reassigned to nowhere USA. That case may have been the biggest in the DA’s career, but it also almost ended it. There were so many mistakes in the handling of Sam’s case that it was unforgiveable.

“Damn it Sam will you calm down and think?” Dorothy snapped at her deputy and little sister. Once Sam had done what Dorothy wanted and calmed down she waited for Dorothy to point out what she maybe missing. “Tell me, who would have the most to gain by you being out of the way or dead right now?”

Sam stood there thinking about what Dorothy pointed out. Who would gain the most by her being removed from this detail? The list wasn’t short that was for sure, but only a very few would have the kind of pull or money to get something like this pulled off. Thirty five in total had the resources to pull something like this off. Those were just the criminals she and Bobby had put away or arrested in the past six years, but there were also quite a few agencies that Sam has pissed off over the years.

The more Sam thought about who would benefit the most from her being out of the way the more she realized that she wasn’t the direct target. In fact that target was sitting in the front living room with her uncle. Sam also knew who was behind the so called break in. Sam quickly started to eliminate the most likely suspects and within a few seconds knew who had broken into the records department.

“That no good son of a bitch, is back in Toledo isn’t he?” Sam’s fears were confirmed as both Dorothy and David nodded their heads yes. “What the fuck over?! That man is supposed to be still in BFE Montana trying cases, not here in Toledo working high profile cases. Tell me how this could happen, Dorothy? Damn it, for every one of those complaints against me, that man has at least five if not more. The only reason no one was able to pin anything on the fucker is because the man was a first circuit court golden boy. I bet if you go looking, every one of the files that are missing have to do with people who filed complaints against him.”

“Sam, you always knew that this might happen. Hell we all did. He is here now and there is nothing we can do about it. I will however make sure that Donald Mallard stays away from you and this case, which I can do. As for looking into the files that were stolen we are still going through the case numbers to verify which ones are missing. If as you say most of them are connected to Mallard then I will gladly hand him over to you for the ass kicking.” Dorothy could tell that Sam wanted to do more than just kick DA Mallard’s ass. The man had made her life a living hell twelve years ago, and Sam still suffered nightmares about that time in her life because of it.

What Sam didn’t know was that Dorothy had been the one to get her partnered with Bobby Everbrite or that Bobby was constantly sending Dorothy reports on his partner. Bobby knew that Sam was special to Dorothy; he just didn’t know how special. Dorothy knew that Sam has been on the razor’s edge for the past year and a half to two years now. If anything Sam was more in need of seeing Gail than she wanted to admit too.

“What I want to know is why did they break in to the old WETSAC files? Sure they could get info on a lot of people with bounties on their heads, sure. Why go after my file though or maybe some of the others? Let’s be honest, the price on my head has been worthless for six maybe seven years now. After the IRS and JD got done with the Organization they were broke, big time. Hell they can’t even get a stick of bubble gum on credit now. So why the break-in?”

“Wait, what did you just say Sam?” at Sam’s blank look David realized he might be the only one to have caught what she said about the bounties being worthless now. “You said that the bounty on your head is worthless. That the IRS and JD both wiped out all of the Organizations funds.”

“Well, hey. Everybody knows that after my testimony the Justice Department turned the IRS loose on all of their shell companies and seized everything they owned, even the safety deposit boxes. They got all of the money that they had hidden over the years. There is no way anyone can collect on the money as there is nothing to collect.” When Sam finished both Dorothy and David knew exactly what was going on with the files and why they were taken. The only problem was Sam didn’t know what was going on.

Seeing Sam’s confusion Dorothy quickly decided to explain. “Sam I hate to say this but the one thing that ties all of those files together and Kristine’s case is money. Money that was seized by the IRS and Justice Department, The LOG’s the number one target of our Government and Judicial System. Think about it, if they can prove that the IRS illegally seized those funds it would give them the firepower to force the Justice Department and IRS into court hearings that would take years if not decades to sort out. Then there is Kristine’s case, if they can tie up the Justice Department like that, it’ll give them more time to find and eliminate her.”

“Dorothy you missed one other little tid-bit.” Both Sam and Dorothy looked at David as if what had been said was bad enough. “If they can discredit enough of those old cases or worse have charges filed against the witness in those files they will destroy the Witness Protection Program. If what Sam suspects is the case there will be a shit load of innocent people going to jail. Some of whom were no more than teenagers and younger when those cases were closed. All they would need is one DA with an axe to grind to get the ball rolling.”

“Son of a bitch! I’ll be right back. I need to go check something.” Sam ran from the room headed for the front of the house. Both Dorothy and David knew that Sam had hit on something just not what that was. A few minutes later Sam returned with her laptop and the flash drive.

Setting down at the table Sam began to scroll through the files on the flash drive until she came to one file marked with the Greek letters of Delta and Alpha. Sam had seen the file the other night but hadn’t really paid it much attention until now. Once Sam had the file open and displayed on the screen; she knew she had the answer to more than just a few of their questions.

There in front of her, Dorothy, and David was a list of District Attorneys that were all members of the LOG Party. Halfway down the list was a name that Sam had hoped she would never see again in her life. One Donald Mallard, US assistant District Attorney, was a card carrying member of the LOG party, and the one person who would do anything to get back on top again.

“OH SHIT! David get me Director Malcovic with the Department of Justice now!” David was dialing the number on his phone before Dorothy had even finished her sentence. As Dorothy and Sam continued to look over the names of ADAs on the list they found that there were members all across the nation with at least one in every major city. It was as if the LOG party had targeted the DA for the Justice Department specifically.

“Sis, I think we might have a bigger problem on our hands than we thought. If this list is accurate then either we have a political party trying to make a grab at controlling our justice system or maneuvering themselves for a political takeover of the whole government in the next few years. I swear it looks just like what the Nazis pulled in nineteen thirty three with the takeover of Germany.” What Sam had just described to Dorothy was the nightmare of all law enforcement agencies around the world.

“As much as I hate to say it Sam you might be right. Alright we need to shut down the LOG party and do it now. And thanks to that flash drive Kristine was able to give us we have ten times what we need to pull the plug on those pigs.” Dorothy was definitely pissed off.

“Damn sis, just how big of a fucking mess has Kristine gotten herself, Bobby and me into?” until now Sam wasn’t too worried about guarding Kristine.

“To be honest with you Samantha I have absolutely no fucking idea of how bad it is going to get. In the past twenty years I have never seen such a total goat fuck in all my life. According to those files at least fifteen of our field offices have been compromised along with twenty five FBI, Home Land, NSA, and over eighty city and county local police agencies are just as bad. When this info comes out more than a few heads are going to roll.”

“Dorothy that is the understatement of the century. My question is what do you want me to do with the munchkin in there? You and I both know that if DA Mallard finds out how she got her hands on this info he’ll push for the maximum sentence he can get. We still don’t know how he was able to be reassigned back here in Toledo. I wouldn’t have put it past the weasel having blackmailed someone to get back here.”

David had walked away to hold his phone call with Director Malcovic. When he hung up David had a very confused look on his face. Turning to look at Sam and Dorothy. “Dorothy I just got done talking with Malcovic, and from what he just told me Mallard has not been reassigned to the Toledo office. He is here to give testimony against the LOG party. It seems that our favorite Dumb Ass turned States Witness against the LOG party. Now, normally I would question his motives but for some reason I think the man is actually trying to set things right.”

“What? Wait a minute, mister high and mighty; Donald Mallard is turning states witness? You’re right I don’t believe you, but if Malcovic is saying this then it has to be true. If that is the case then who would need those old files? He was the only one that I could think of being able to use those files. David we really need to know which files were stolen last night.” Dorothy didn’t like being in the dark like this not when she had a witness and four of her deputies in the line of fire.

“I should have that info for you by no later than six pm tonight, Dorothy. However I think I might know who else might be able to use Sam’s old files and some of the others. Now, before you go chewing my ass hear me out. If my guess is more in line with this case and a few others especially those that involved Organize Crime, I would say someone was doing research in how those cases were tried. Until we know which cases files were stolen we can only guess, but that is what I would be looking at, someone who is going to be defending the LOG party.”

“No sis, not someone who will defend the LOG but prosecute them. Damn it those assholes over in Homeland or the Bureau are the ones behind all this. Now that makes even more sense. If either of them can be proved they can take down the LOG; it will be a feather in their cap. This whole breaking into the old WETSAC files is a way for them to get enough info on all of the organized crime cases without tipping off the LOG party.” At the blank looks on Dorothy’s and David’s faces Sam realized she needed to explain a little more. “If we suffer a break in then they don’t have to put in the ‘I nineteen’ request form or get a supine for the files. Those clowns from Homeland at the hotel this morning was just the first step in them trying to get their hands on Kristine. Someone over at Homeland knows we have a witness that can take down the LOG party. The only question we have to figure out now is who leaked the information.”

“Well, if those files are any indication that could take a while to figure out.” David pointed out. “More than fifteen percent of the deputies in my office are on that list. What I want to know is how many of them are a part of the LOG party as just members like so many hoping to make a change through honest political process and how many are part of this outlaw group?”

“David, I would say that most only see the LOG party as an alternative political party and are not part of these criminals. In fact I would say that this list doesn’t show the real picture, but in fact a smoke screen of massive portions. What we need to do is sort the chaff from the wheat as it were.” At Dorothy’s comment Sam started to smile.
“Sis, I don’t think we need to go that far, in fact I bet our little Kristine has already done most of that work for us. We just need to ask her what is in all these files. I’ll be right back.” Sam got up and head out to find Kristine and the others. Leaving the two of them wondering what Sam was going on about.

When Sam returned she had everyone else with her and a smile on her face for the first time in the past half hour. Turning to Kristine, Sam asked her. “Kristine, we have need of your not so minor computer skills. It seems that there is an awful lot of information on this flash drive concerning the LOG party and its members. What we need to know is who the criminals are and who are just the smoke screen. Can you by chance sort that information out for us?”

“Oh is that all you want to know?” giggling Kristine reached over and opened a file named my friends. It was rather short only fifteen names were in the file, but those fifteen names were going to cause massive waves of trouble.

“These are the big boys in the LOG party. I have been able to link every last one of them to some kind of illegal activity. Everything from drug running and money laundering, to murder for hire, and that doesn’t include the twenty some elections they have manage to rig. The top five people on that list are Michael Moorcock, David Saint James, Lisa Van Pierce, Rebecca Holloway, and Tomas Carr. They may not be the leaders of the party but they are the ones that do all the dirty work for the party. It was these five that I am sure arranged for the death of my mama.”

“Excuse me Kristine but what do you mean by that?” Bat asked with a very concerned tone in his voice. “I saw the file on your mama’s death, but there was no mention of those people anywhere. Are you sure they were the ones to arrange for the accident, Kristine?”

“Uncle Bat, if there is one thing in this world I am sure of it is this. Those people wanted to get mama out of the way so they could put that bitch Carol in my father’s bed and in our home. Don’t you see? With my father in their pocket they had the perfect informant for letting them know who was investigating the party. He would also be in place put a stop to those investigations. Not to mention being able to cover up any misdoings, especially in the Columbus area.” Kristine was close to tears again when she finished laying out her theory and suspicions.

Sam and Bobby had heard all of this earlier and were not as shocked at the news as the rest. The looks on Dorothy’s and David’s faces were ones of total disbelief while Hunter only showed disinterest. It was the look on Bat’s face that worried Sam and Bobby. They had both known the man for a few years now, and knew that he was not someone to cross, especially when it came to his family.

“Bat; before you lose control here I need you to think. We have all the evidence to take them down legally. If you go off on a one man crusade to kill these people you’ll be no better than they are. Let the system handle this. We’ll get justice for your family, I promise you.” Dorothy pleaded the big man.

“Alright Dorothy, we do it your way, but if the courts fail to get my family justice then by all that is holy I will. Do we understand each other?”

“Yes Bat we understand each other. Now, I need you to do me a favor. When David and I leave here I need you to contact the desk officer for the Columbus field office. There is a prisoner that I want transferred to the Toledo office for questioning. Before you ask this is something that you don’t need to know about, however I will say this much. That justice you want for your family will start with this prisoner. I have a feeling that if I let you handle this interview we will have a suspicious death on our hands.” The smile on Dorothy’s face was one would see on a cat just before it pounced.

“Ok, Marshal I’ll be a good boy and follow orders. Now, my niece here has been a bad girl and been taking illegal hormones. That is not all either, Dorothy.”

“Bat, I have already discussed this with Dorothy and David. We just need Kristine to…” Sam ran out of words as she didn’t know how to tell the man about the abuse that Kristine had suffered at the hands of her father and stepmother.

“What aren’t you telling me here Samantha? Wait let me rephrase that. What are you afraid of telling me?” Bat growled out. Thankfully it was Kristine who answered her uncle.

“Uncle Bat I was abused by my father and Carol.” Kristine turned around and pulled down her leotard showing everyone her back. At the sight of the bruises and scars crisscrossing her back more than a few of them had to fight to keep from cussing. The level of physical abuse shown on Kristine’s back was bad but nowhere near some of the stories they have heard, but it was enough to make them, especially Bat, want to go out and beat the shit out of the former CDM and his wife. “The last batch was delivered the night I witnessed the murder of Mr. Wright.”

“Kristine, please pull your top back into place, you have made your point.” Dorothy told the young girl with some sadness. Looking over at Bat. “Bat, as her only family currently not under investigation I need your approval to open an investigation of child endangerment and abuse. Do I have it?”

“If you don’t Dorothy then I will do it on my own. Yes damn it you have my full support in this matter. Now, in the interest of keeping this all above board I want you to make Samantha here her legal guardian until such time as this mess is brought to a close. This way no one can say that I used family connections to influence Kristine when it comes time for her to take the stand against these people.”

Sam spoke up when she heard this. “Bat, you do realize that by making me Kristine’s guardian that you are in effect turning over all rights to how she is raised to me right?”

“Yes, Samantha I do. I trust you to make the right choices for my niece, both medically and legally.”

“Ok Bat when I get back to the office I’ll get the paper work done making Sam Kristine’s guardian. Now that has been decided I’ll get a hold of doctors Gail and Tommy for you Sam. Expect them to get ahold of you within the next twenty four hours if not sooner.” Dorothy was interrupted by David receiving a text message alert. Taking out his phone David quickly read the message and smiled.

“They’ll both be here by eight this evening, Dorothy. Before you ask I sent a text to Linda while you all were discussing who would be Kristine’s guardian. Also Debra and Lewis from legal aid will be here with correct paperwork to be filled out by Bat and Sam to cover the legal niceties of the situation. Now the only person we need to ask if they want this to happen is Kristine.” David looked over at the young t-girl. “Well, Kristine what do you say?”

“I have a few questions first.” The girl said. “I want to know who these doctors are. Why do I need a legal guardian? And lastly will I be able to transition?”

“I think I need to answer those questions.” Sam told everyone. When Kristine looked at Sam with great interest. “The doctors are a shrink and an endocrinologist both of whom you need to see before you can become the girl you’re meant to be. Yes, they were the same ones that helped me out when I transitioned. As for why I get to be your guardian the reason is simply to keep everything nice and legal while protecting you at the same time. Now does that answer your questions kiddo?”

Kristine stood there with a look of surprise on her young face. Here she was being offered her wildest and most want dream and they wanted to know if she would agree to their terms. Kristine almost jumped into Sam’s arms as she began to hug the young deputy. All anyone in the room could hear was Kristine saying the same thing over and over again.

“Yes! Oh Yes! Yes! I get to be a girl!”

------------------------- To be continued------------------

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