Educational Justice -chp13


Educational Justice

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Maria DeMarco never thought that she would find trouble amongst her many businesses. After all they were the public face of where her money came from. She was after all a retired Prima Ballerina and like most such women she invested her money wisely. But trouble she did find and in the one place she would never have thought to look. One of the schools she loves and sponsors. Can the Black Badge Deputies ferret out the people behind the troubles before Gemini has to deal with Gym Class?

by Snowfall and Jessie Wolf.

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

Edited by my husband Paul, and AJC Snowfall.

~o~O~o~

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


Chapter 13

Akin Equestrian Girls Academy 0945…

Kasey and Kristine floated across the studio floor in perfect harmony to the music. Their day had started much earlier than everyone else’s. Just after four that morning, the two teens woke to the sound of their laptops sounding incoming emails. It didn’t take the girls long to figure out that their parents and grandmother needed something fast. Kasey went in fast and hard, while Kristine took her time. They both knew that they had missed something, but not what.

After the ass-chewing by their grandfather last night both girls wanted, no, NEEDED to prove themselves. For more than an hour after the video conference the two teens went over how they could have handled the pizza blunder better. The fact that Krystel had to cover their mistakes really hit them hard. They had done everything right on this mission, up to then. They had promised that from then on, they would go by the book. They wouldn’t go off script again. No more winging it.

For the next hour, the teens worked their way through the data-bases of both schools. Between the two of them, they found what the older members of the team needed. Using backdoors, proxy servers, and bouncing the email through multiple nodes; Gemini sent the information to the email Bobby wanted. It didn’t take them long to forward the information, so they went digging into Lieutenant Johnson’s background. What they found upset both teenage operators. So much so, that they almost missed morning checking-in at breakfast. When they returned from breakfast they compiled and forwarded the new Intel to their parents and the email address over at SRMA then shutdown for the day.

They were still so pissed off over what they had found on Johnson that they needed to work it off. So they asked, and gained permission, to use one of the dance studios in the main building. Instead of their normal workout they were forced to dance to burn of their anger. They started out by stretching, followed quickly by bar work. When they reached the end of that, they were still pissed. Remembering the music that their grandmother used when she was angry at their grandfather, Kasey played it. The two girls quickly lost themselves in the music and dance.

That was how Cathy Boatwright found them. Of all the students under her care, none danced the way these two did. Cathy was truly amazed at the grace and skill of the two exchange students. She could see that they had been schooled in the Bolshoi method. And by someone who was close to Madam Maria and Prima Lyssa Kordenay's level of dedication and skill. These two girls were far ABOVE any of her current students’ level. Cathy’s next class wasn’t due to start for twenty minutes, so she just stood back and watched the young dancers. The more she watched, the more her amazement grew.

As her Beginner students entered the studio, Cathy directed them off to one side. So lost in the music and dance, neither Kasey nor Kristine realized they were gaining an audience. Their anger had left them long ago and all that was left was passion. The passion for the dance and the beauty it held for them. Cathy and her students could only stand there and watch as the teenage members of the Black Badge Deputies performed.
When the music ended Kasey and Kristine faced each other and curtsied. Cathy and her students showed their appreciation with resounding applause. The sudden clapping and cheering caused Kasey and Kristine to blush. They had been so lost in their dancing, they were caught off guard. Turning to the students they curtsied and smiled, moving to stand in the First position.

Cathy smiled as she walked up to the two teens. “Beautifully done girls. I have to ask who are your teachers, ladies?”

Kasey saw the trap the moment Cathy asked her question. “Sorry, Mistress Catherine we cannot give you their names. It is a matter of National Security.”

“Oh, I never thought of that. I take it that you girls studied in Moscow at one time?” Cathy asked the girls.

“Si. It was one of papa’s duty assignments. That is all we’re allowed to say. Please do not push for more information.” Kristine said.

“Very well, I will not push, but I can tell that you are both students of the Bolshoi school. Your teachers must have been Primas at one time. That means there a very few choices to pick from.” Cathy thought that she had the girls.

“Oh, the choices for Primas are few Señorita. Just remember though, there are more Principals than there are Primas. Principals that have gone on to teach when they have left the stage.” Kasey pointed out.

Cathy was forced to see the truth of Kasey’s answer. It was true that there were a great many more former principal ballerinas than there were ever Primas. It forced her to compare the number of Principals to the hand full of Primas, both active and retired. As she did the math, Cathy realized that it was more than likely that the Carmen girls were trained by a former Principal who had studied at Bolshoi. There was one thing though that bothered her about the girls’ answer.

“Excuse me, but did you say that the names of your teachers were a matter of National Security? Why in the world would the names of ballet teachers need to be protected? They would want their names out there to garner more students.”

“¡Dios Señor arriba! ¿Eres mujer estúpida?! ¿Qué parte de la seguridad nacional no entienden?!” The madder Kasey sounded the more uncomfortable Cathy became. Kasey stopped her rant and took a deep breath. “Senorita, please understand that our former teachers' lives are at risk. Don’t you see that they now live with a target upon their back. By helping us, they have made themselves enemies of the radical factions in our OWN nation.”

“OH MY! I never realized that being a teacher could be so dangerous.” Cathy said nervously.

“If you doubt us Mistress Boatwright, just ask Senora Everbrite and Senora Taugh. They spent time as teachers to military dependents overseas. I would wager that they have dealt with terrorist threats at their old schools.” Kristine said knowingly. She knew by the look in Cathy’s face that she finally understood where the girls were coming from.

“Thank you, girls. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a class to teach.” As Cathy was walking away she stopped and turned back to the teens. “Say; would you like to help me? I can always use the help.”

“We would like to Ma’am, but we have an appointment off campus in two hours. We need to go bathe and change then head out to be on time.” Kasey told her.

Cathy asked pointedly. “Did you contact your Guardian, ladies?”

“Si. She will be meeting us at the Twin Pines shopping center.” Kristine answered.

“It is called a mall, Angeles. If a shopping center is enclosed, it is a mall here in America. It is only a shopping center if it is open to the outside world.” Cathy informed them.

Kristine nodded in understanding. “Thank you, Senorita. I shall remember. Adiós y que tenga un buen día.”

With that both girls left the studio. As they walked the hallway, they never saw Marcy Stansfield return to the locker room. Once there; Marcy sent a fast text message to Chantel Henley. ‘Spicks on their way downtown. Heading for Twin Pines Mall. Should be there in two hours. M’.

As they entered their room, Kasey made sure the door was locked. Kristine grabbed her laptop and opened the secure section. Once open Kristine went straight to the bugs in Chantel’s room. After opening the live feed both teens were surprised. Chantel wasn’t in her room.

“Ange, she wouldn’t be there. We should have realized this. Her family lives here in town. She’ll go home over the weekend.” Kasey pointed out.

“Shit. You’re right.” Kristine thought for a moment then began typing away at her laptop. Within a few minutes, Kristine was into the cellphone data-base. It didn’t take her long to find Chantel’s cellphone number and no more than five minutes to get into her text files.

“Got her sis and you were right about the Stansfield girl. She sent a text to Chantel, letting her know we’re leaving the school grounds in two hours. Oh, look here. Chantel just sent her a reply.” Kristine pointed to the screen.

After reading the text Kristine smiled. “Yup, just like we thought. Chantel took the bait. Whoa; man, we must have REALLY pissed her off the other day. She just sent a text to some guys over at SRMA. Telling them to head out now and get into position downtown. Damn, she is one of the fastest texters I have seen. She just sent another one to one of the Lipizzan girls. This one is telling them to meet her, Adaline and Alex at Twin Pines.”

“Sis, I have a feeling that they’re going to come at us hard and heavy. If Chantel sent a text to someone over at SRMA I would lay even odds they are part of the Drill and Rifle Team. Sis, none of this is making any sense. Why is Chantel contacting someone on the Drill and Rifle team over at SRMA? Why is she texting the rest of the Lipizzan girls? Why is she telling one group to get into position and another to meet her at the mall?”

“Hold on, let me get Command on the line.” Once the window was open for the video chat the girls were greeted by Kimberly.

“What can we do for you Gemini?” Kimberly asked.

“Captain, we’ve got enemy traffic that we need some guidance on.” Kasey said from behind her sister.

Kimberly nodded. “Send us a copy, Gemini. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.”

“Negative ma’am. We need your input ASAP. Our WHOLE mission is riding on what these texts could mean.” Kristine had already sent the file to Krystel.

Kimberly was brought up short by Kasey’s reply. Walking over to Krystel’s station Kimberly could already tell the girls were right. After scanning the texts and the replies Kimberly knew that something was most definitely up.

“Have you contacted your Over-watch yet?” Kimberly asked.

Kasey shook her head. “No ma’am. We wanted to have something more than just a gut feeling to go on. I remember what you said last night. About there being a possible second attempt at us. Could this be that attempt?”

“It is a good possibility Gemini. But this doesn’t sound like our Hostiles' normal M.O. though. They’ve never taken direct action before. Well, not in the last fifty to sixty years. What do you have on this Cadet Robert Freemen?”

“That has been a problem Command. We have gained access to the server over at SRMA, but the student files all have a password, key fob, and pass-key measures in place. Without a key, and key fob, it is taking us longer than expected. We also believe that ALL student records are kept on hard-copy and in a secure location elsewhere on schoolgrounds.” Kristine explained.

Kimberly and Krystel both looked out at the girls in thought. After a few moments, Krystel nodded her head. “I believe they may be right Kimberly. It makes sense in more ways than one. SRMA is a military academy run by a retired Colonel after all. Colonel Boatwright would use those types of security preclusions when it comes to personnel records. Gemini, have you tried to find anything on the net about the members of the Drill and Rifle Teams?”

“Yes, ma’am. We’re going as fast as we can, but our efforts are being slowed down due to the current network here in the school.” Kasey answered.

“Wait a minute girls. I know that you ran a by-pass to the modem at the switch. You should be in front of everyone else on the network.”

Kasey and Kristine both sighed. “We are Miss Krystel. The problem is keeping OUR usage down so we don’t slow down everyone else. If we don’t, someone will bitch to the dorm mother and the next thing we know, we have some Network tech out here finding our by-pass.”

The minute Kristine finished her explanation Kimberly saw the problem. They were in a school full of lonely teenage girls. The Internet was one of their few escapes. If there was a drop in the network’s speed, someone would complain. Gemini was doing the right thing and protecting their cover.

“Backdown Krystel, they’re going about this in the right way. They’re doing everything right to keep their cover now, they have found a problem that we need to help them with.” Kimberly could see what Krystel hadn’t.

However, the Cyberwarfare Operative knew that Kimberly was talking about more than just the usage of network. “Give me a second Gemini. What can you tell about the cadet in question already?”

“We know he is a member of the Drill and Rifle team. Also, he was one of the first people contacted by Chantel Henley when we left the Dance Studio this morning.” Kasey was interrupted by Kimberly.

“Wait. Why were you girls in one of the Dance Studios Gemini?” Both girls blushed at the question from their mentor.

“We found something on one of the Unsubs over at SRMA that pissed us both off. You know how you go for a run or Miss Krystel goes for a swim? Well we needed to do something to help US regain OUR focus. The easiest way for us to do that was to dance.” Kristine explained.

“At least they didn’t go beating the dog piss out of someone, Kim. I also have the young man in question's background now. Girls, no matter you do; don’t turn you back on this little fucker. If what I just found is even half true, we have budding psychopath on our hands. That or the makings of a Hitter in the wings. He currently holds a black belt in three different martial arts. Not to mention besides being on the Drill and Rifle team, he is also a member of the Fencing club and Martial Arts clubs. In short girls; he knows hand-to-hand, knife work, swords and who knows what else.” The more Krystel laid out for the girls, the less they liked the guy.

“Question.” Kasey said. At Kimberly’s nod Kasey smiled. “We were able to track down where five of the text messages went. There were another four texts that went to people in SRMA. We’ve tried to crack the text files, but it is taking too long with what we have here.”

“Send me the numbers girls.” Krystel smiled at them from the screen. “Now, you’re starting to think LIKE the operatives we’re trying to teach you to be.”

“No ma’am. If we were acting like the operatives you have been training us to be, we wouldn’t have screwed the pooch the way we did. If we HAD been thinking and USING our training, the fiasco at the pizza parlor would never have happened. We should have had the Deputy Alpha team in over-watch from the minute we left the school grounds. We left a secure locale, without backup or proper Intel in a hostile environment. We failed to keep a low profile outside of school.” As Kasey laid out their mistakes Kimberly and Krystel smiled.

“I must say girls; that is a VERY mature attitude to have. You took your ass-chewing like pros and then broke down what you did wrong. I’ve seen seasoned field officers and NCO’s who couldn’t do what you’ve done.” Krystel smiled at her two protégées. They had made a mistake, owned up to it and learned.

“I agree girls. You made a mistake, took the ass-chewing, then analyzed where you needed to correct your mistake and now apply. Krystel is right about that being a very mature attitude. Now, let’s see if that new found analytical attitude of yours can shine some light on these text messages?” Kimberly smiled.

“That’s why we contacted you Command. We both tried looking at these texts from a profiler’s point of view. I guess we need more training or experience because neither of us can figure out our Hostiles’ next moves.” Kristine told the two seasoned Operatives honestly.

“When you get back girls, we’ll have you sit down with me and your grandmother to learn both sides. We’ll work on getting you the needed training. Now, from what I can tell by these texts, it does look like our darling little Chantel Henley is rounding up forces needed for a direct confrontation with you girls.” Kimberly told them honestly.

“Hold on Kim. I think we might have something else going here. Remember last night that Gemini pointed out that the attack on them outside the pizza joint was to be a beat down, not kidnapping. I’ve gotten the background on those other four phone numbers at SRMA and the five over at AEGS. And I really want you girls to pay attention to what I am going to say. Do Not Leave That Campus Without Informing the Alpha Team of Your Whereabouts. That is an ORDER, understand?” Krystel growled.

“Yes ma’am!” Both girls answered, then Kristine asked the question on both their minds. “Chantel went and got a pack of rich-ass thugs to back her play, didn’t she? They’re going to try for either the kidnapping or another beat down. That is all that makes any sense.”

“I think they may be going after something more here Gemini. Before you ask, I need to bring in the rest of the team.” Kasey and Kristine waited while Kimberly got ahold of the adults on their team. “Deputies, there has been a development in you mission. It seems that Chantel Henley is trying to set something up for Gemini. What that is exactly we don’t know, but we do know the assets.”

“What are we talking about, Command?” Maria asked from her location.

Kimberly quickly filled in the adult members of the Black Badges. “AS you can see we have two options here. One; we let Gemini go through with their planned excursion and trip the trap. Then move in an arrest the Hostiles, which I am not a fan of. Or option two; we go ahead and pull them now. We move them to an offsite location where they can continue to assist the team.”

Kasey and Kristine could tell that ALL the adults were in favor of the second option. Kristine decided to voice their opinion. “WE go with option one.”

“Negative Gemini. We will review our options before making any decision.” Kimberly began only to have Kasey interrupt her.

“No Ma'am, Captain. We need to go through with the first option. Before you go biting my head off, please hear me out Mrs. Kimberly.” Kimberly nodded her head yes. “If we don’t trip the trap; the Henleys and Gilroys will go after the former slaves. They or someone else. I believe I have figured out their whole angle on this.”

“Tell us what you believe they are trying to do, child?” Maria asked quickly.

“It’s all about perception for the two families.” When she saw the doubtful looks of the adults, Kasey hurried to finish explaining. “If AEGS is caught up in a scandal around the kidnaping of one or two of its students, they can claim Mrs. Boatwright doesn’t know what she is doing. This will call into question the security of the school and will cause the School Board to close AEGS’s doors. Then they can point at SRMA and say ‘if the security is that poor over at AEGS what about SRMA’. The only way to make it worse, is for the students to be diplomatic kids. That would bring in the State Department. Get it?”

“Now THAT is the way as TRUE DeMarco thinks. Well done Miss Kasey.” Anna smiled from behind Maria. “You only missed one thing.”

“What did she miss Anna?” Kimberly asked in confusion.

“The only way to make the scandal big enough, is for our targets to KILL Gemini. That would ramp up the scandal level and pressure from the State Department even higher than normal. Oh, a kidnapping would bring into question the security of the two schools, but not something that the State Department is unprepared for. In fact, the State Department has procedures’ in place for such happenings. No, to get the response from the State Department our Targets would need. They need a body, one that is cold and stiff.” Anna said firmly.

“Damn that is just cold Anna. Do you think that the Hostiles would go to such lengths?” Krystel asked.

“In more ways than one, Miss Krystel. The amount of money that these Hostiles, as you call them, are trying to wash-out is massive. If these accounting books in our procession are ANY indication, it is upwards of several hundred million dollars. And that doesn’t take into account the influence that they would be able to ply against the students. So, yes; I believe they would go to such lengths.” As Anna laid out her thoughts Maria was going over the books again.

“Anna is right, in more ways than one. I have seen something similar when gathering the evidence against the LOG Party. The difference is the Henleys and Gilroys are more interested in gaining financial power, over political power. There is one person though that political power IS a motive. Senator Sylvia Van Horn, of South Carolina. She is the only member of the Henleys that has ever stepped onto the political stage.” Maria said.

“I’ve that name before. Hold one.” Krystel was almost pounding away on her keyboard. “DAMN! I thought I knew that bitch’s name.”

“Okay Krystel, what has you so pissed off?” Bobby asked.

“Van Horn is part of the Senatorial Approbations Committee, for Law Enforcement. The cunt has gone out of her way to cut Federal spending and funding for law enforcement agencies across the board. Hell, she was one of the main backers for the that damn bill to privatize law enforcement. If we hadn’t shut it down she was looking at making a fortune in kickbacks and other less than legal means.” The more Krystel read off her screen the madder the Deputies became.

“Shit, I knew that whole mess went further than just Arthur Gavin and Terence Stanfield. If this Van Horn woman is trying to revive that bill, we could have more problems than just fixed elections and petty local politics.” Everyone was looking at Maria now. “This could very well have already reached Federal levels children. It has definitely reached State levels here, in South Carolina.”

“We have an even bigger problem Nonnina.” The adults turned their attention to Kristine now. “If the Hostiles are going after us, we might not be their only target.”

“How so, Kristine?” Kimberly quickly asked.

“There are more than just us here with ties to the International Community.” Kristine reminded.

Kimberly asked. “What do you mean Kristine?”

“If they miss us, they have more than thirty-two OTHER VIABLE TARGETS.” Kristine told them. At the looks of shock, Kristine went on to explain. “At present, there are thirty-two students enrolled at AEGS that have parents that are tied to either money or political power. All of them are viable prime targets for kidnapping and extortion.”

“I hate to say this, but she is right. Okay, Gemini can you give us a breakdown on those students?” Krystel wanted to see if the girls had been doing their homework.

“Yes, ma’am. Standby for download.” Kristine knew that her mentor would want the information to verify their suspicions. “As you can see, there are currently thirty-two students that fit the criteria as replacements for us. Of those, elven have ties to International Politics in one form or another. We’re talking about the daughters of Ambassadors, Prime Ministers and even one President. THOSE are the major players as far as political fallout is concerned. The remaining twenty-one are from families that do business Internationally and are among the Trump ‘friends of friends’ club.”

“Hold up a minute here Gemini. What do you mean by the Trump ‘friends of friends’ club? Just how wealthy are these girls’ parents?” Kimberly asked.

Kasey sighed then answered. “These girls have trust funds that start off at a hundred million and go up from there. When I said, their parents were friends of the Trumps, I mean they are friends with Donald Trump. Most of these families have fortunes in the billions, Mrs. Kimberly.”

“Whoa, talk about serious financial clout. If they get their hands on ANY of those other kids, we would have every Federal Agency coming down on those two schools like the hand of God. Nothing would be left unturned. Talk about the perfect setup. All they have to do is make sure those kids never turn up alive.” Bobby had outlined the situation perfectly.

“That still doesn’t explain why Grace Henley and Patricia Gilroy have such a hard-on for Scarlet Boatwright?” Krystel pointed out.

“We think we may have found the reason behind their hatred for Mrs. Scarlet.” Kasey said. “Word has it that it goes way back to their college days.”

“Wait a minute, their college days? How does something that happened in their college days have anything to do with what is going on now?” Krystel asked.

“Back before Scarlet ever had a chance to step foot on the professional stage, she was touted as the next great Prima. Scarlet was a fantastic dancer in her younger years. If she had gone on performing as she was expected, she would have rivaled me, Lyssa and just about every other Prima in the last seventy years. During her time as a Principal female lead for the New York Metropolitan Ballet company, there were two students at Julliard that were good, but nowhere near professional level. Their names were Patricia Hallowell and Grace Vandenmear.” Maria interrupted Kasey.

Kasey groaned. “GOOD LORD! Now I understand what this is ALL about; what happened between Patricia Gilroy, Grace Henley and Scarlet Boatwright. Their maiden names are Hallowell and Vandenmear. It all goes back to Henley and Gilroy’s junior year and the accident that ended Scarlet’s career.”

“What are you talking about Kasey?” Krystel asked.

“Krystel, if you’ll pull up a N.Y.P.D. traffic accident report on.” This time Maria was the one who was interrupted by Krystel and gave a date.

“Got it Madam Maria. Two vehicle accident; multiple injuries to both drivers and passengers. Driver of the vehicle in the wrong was found to be under the influence of both drugs and alcohol. The second vehicle’s driver was not at fault. The investigating officer cited that there were witnesses to an altercation earlier, between the passenger of the second vehicle and the driver of the first. Officer went on to report that there was possible road rage involvement. The investigating authorities were unable to prove this fact, due to the involvement of one driver being under the influence. The driver at fault was arrested along with their passenger. The driver and passenger of the second car were transported to the nearest hospital. That’s where the accident report ends. For some reason the names of the drivers and passengers have been redacted. This has been sanitized.”

“No need to go digging further Krystel. The driver at fault was one Grace Vandenmear, and her passenger was Patricia Hallowell. The passenger of the second car, which was a New York taxi by the way, was Scarlet Learman. She was taken to Mount Sinai Beth Israel hospital, where she underwent emergency surgery for a shattered left leg. The injury ended her career before it ever truly got started. That accident also resulted in the implosion of both Grace Vandenmear and Patricia Hallowell. That implosion effectively ended any chances they had at becoming professional dancers.”

“Excuse me, Madam Maria. What was the motive behind Grace and Patricia’s attack on Mrs. Scarlet?” Hunter asked.

“The oldest motive in the world, Hunter. Jealousy, pure and simple.” Of all those present only Maria and Anna knew how vicious the competition for Principal Dancer positions were, especially among the major companies. “I believe that if Grace and Patricia hadn’t married into the Henley and Gilroy families, they would have faded away into obscurity.”

“So, not only are they going after the schools to use for money laundering, blackmail and political power; this whole mess is about revenge. Does that about sum everything up Deputies?” Lyssa asked as she stepped into view.

“In a nutshell, Lyssa. Sadly, we also know who holds the greatest grudge.” Maria told her younger counterpart. “Even after all this time, they still blame Scarlet for their lack of talent and dedication.”

“I will admit that I never knew the three ladies personally, but I have heard the story in my travels. Was Scarlet really as good as they say?”

“Oh yes, Lyssa. Scarlet would have given you a real run for your money in her younger years. If she had not been offered the position as Dance Mistress for the New York Metropolitan Ballet company, I am sure she would have spiraled out of control following the accident. It was during her time as the Dance Mistress that she met her husband, Charles Boatwright. He was a young Marine Captain at the time. She left the stage for the life of a military wife.” Maria smiled.

“Wow. Talk about your love stories coming to life.” Kasey said.

Maria nodded. “Yes it is Kasey. Now, tell me about this Intel you found on Lieutenant Johnson. What made you girls look where you did?”

“I was about to ask that same question Madam. What I want to know is HOW they got into the server that Intel is on?” Krystel asked.

“We use the Armed Forces Personnel Locator. When we didn’t find anything for Johnson, Richard, E. social security number, seven-three-four-eight-two-six-zero-zero-nine; we knew something was wrong. The man is a total fake as far as the D.O.D. goes. However, he is known to the Department of Corrections in Georgia, as a corrections officer. Only he went by his REAL name then, Mark Farley. He was fired, with cause, when it came out that he was taking bribes to allow certain things through the mailroom.” Kasey said proudly.

“Perfect, just fucking PERFECT. No wonder Johnson has been covering for the Drill and Rifle teams. We’ve been trying to figure out what is in this for Johnson, and the whole time, it has been staring us in the face. Did you girls forward this new Intel to that address we gave you?” Hunter asked.

“Yes Sir. Along with everything else we could dig up on the man and Lieutenant Griswold. We were only able to get so far into the Military Personnel data base. We don’t have the resources here to go further, without tipping our hand to the authorities. Please remember that we’re working with a handicap.” Kristine pointed out to Hunter.

“We understand Gemini. So, does Command. We are extremely proud of what you have been able to gather so far with your limited resources. You’ve done everything right so far, with one exception. We will not go over that again. This time you hit a wall and then called for help.” Kimberly smiled out at the girls. “Now it is up to us to find you that needed Intel.”

“Well said Kimberly, well said. Now, what do we do about the current situation?” Maria asked of the group.

“I say we let Gemini go ahead with their planned meeting at the Twin Pines Mall.” Hunter said first.

“As much as I hate this, I agree with Hunter. We put the Swans in over-watch, along with Anna.” Bobby stated.

Samantha and Annette looked at each other then nodded, with Sam answering for them both. “We let things play-out the way they are. If we pull Gemini now, they would go after someone else. Someone more vulnerable. We can provide cover and backup for Gemini, while keeping a lid on things. If the Hostiles go after one of the other thirty-some high-profile children, we could have a real shit storm on our hands. As much as we hate to say this; their mission is a GO.”

“I am inclined to agree with the Deputies, Captain. With one provision, Gemini does not step foot out of their assigned corridor of operation. For some reason, I feel that these cadet assets that this Henley girl has called in, are for more than just muscle.” Both teens knew exactly what Lyssa was getting at.

“If you feel it, then it is already too late.” They chorused all together.

“Nice to see that you have been paying attention in your classes girls. The problem is, this is one time that you cannot react the way you’re trained to. We need for these people to take you. Don’t put up a real fight. Let them kidnap you, so we can come down hard and heavy. This may be the only way we’ll be able to pin the Henleys and Gilroys with a solid crime.” Maria told them. Then she addressed Lyssa. “And Lyssa, for this to happen, they may need to exit the assigned area of operation. Our Hostiles won’t go for a snatch in a public place.”

“Maria, we have more than enough evidence to convict their asses now as is. On more charges than any Organization in the history of Organized Crime.” Kimberly pointed out. “Why go through with this operation in the first place?”

“True Kimberly, but we are faced with a problem. If we remove Gemini from play, then the Henleys and Gilroys may very well go after one of the high-profile students.” Maria sighed. “There are just too many variables at play in this game now. Not to mention we have the fact that we still need the name of who blew the cover of the former slaves. Any progress on that Gemini?”

Kasey nodded. “Yes ma’am. It was not who we originally thought. While it did come from a teacher’s email account here at the school, the actual teacher was not. We have been able to cut down the number of suspects to two. Mary Sue or Savanah Gilroy. They have more reason than the Henley girls for exposing Kendra and the others.”

“Kasey how were you able to come by this information?” Krystel asked. “And what are their reasons for exposing the ex-slaves?”

“We were able to track back through the times that all five of our primary bully Hostiles should be online. They were the only two that were not online when they should be, but that teacher was signed on. Before you ask, the teacher in question has the prefect alibi; child birth.” When the adults heard this, they all laughed. The teacher in question really did have the prefect alibi.

“So, you went after the information by elimination. Not very time efficient and has all the finesse of a hammer blow, but it works. When you get back girls, I’ll show a few tricks to filter down massive data like that.” Krystel was still proud of the girls. They were doing a great job with limited resources.

“Of the two, which one would you place as being the leak?” Lyssa asked.

Kristine answered first. “My money is on Mary Sue, Prima.”

Lyssa nodded. “Kasey?”

“I have to go with Savanah.” Kasey replied.

“Reasons.” Lyssa prompted.

Both girls blushed and gave the same answer. “Gut feeling.”

“Okay, so no solid evidence. What does your gut tell you?” Lyssa asked.

“Savanah is more of a follower than Mary Sue. Savanah is also far more vindictive than Mary Sue. She has a real inferiority complex. She would out her mother, if it made her look good in the eyes of her father.” Kasey had valid reasons for her suspicions of Savanah Gilroy.

Lyssa nodded then pointed. “Well, Kristine?”

“I have to go with Mary Sue for three reasons. Adaline, Chantel and Alex Henley. She is a real suck-up when it comes to those three. If one of them even hinted at blowing the cover of the ex-slaves, she would do it. Mary Sue Gilroy is also just as vindictive as her sister. If not more so. The big difference between the two is; Mary Sue doesn’t have the daddy issues.” Kristine explained.

“Without having met these Hostiles in person, I am afraid that I would have to go with Kristine on this Kasey. For no other reason than the influence imparted by the Henleys. That could very well be the tipping point in your school.” Lyssa stated.

“Yes ma’am. I agree that the Henleys are a major influence among the student body. I can see Mary Sue doing what Chantel ordered her to do. The problem comes in when we look at SRMA. Over there it is the total opposite of what goes on here. It’s Stephen Gilroy that is calling the shots.” Kasey smiled at the three women who were her teachers and mentors.

“So, we have more than one shot caller at play here. I don’t like where this is going, but we don’t have a choice. Girls, keep your head on a swivel at all times. If they snatch you and get clear before we get to you, stay calm. Remember, you’re playing the part of the worm. Wiggle, but don’t get bit.” Maria told her granddaughters. “We’ll be there as fast as we can. When we hit them, keep your heads down and stay put.”

“Yes ma’am.” The teens called out.

“Now, other than your intuition and insights, can either of you think of a reason for the Gilroy girls blowing the cover on the ex-slaves?” Lyssa asked.

“Pull it up Kristine. They need to see this.” Kasey ordered Kristine. A few seconds later the file on a former slave appeared on all their screens. “This is the reason behind the Gilroy vendetta. Unlike the others, Kendra Wineman’s real family had a connection to the Gilroys. We only found it last night. It seems that the Gilroys wanted her father’s electronics company. She and her family was TARGETED by the Gilroys for a hostile take-over because of her father’s company. We’ve uncovered her mother’s whereabouts. Saint Xavier Mental Hospital for the Criminal Insane. It seems that the Gilroys had been after her father’s company for years. After Kendra was kidnapped and not recovered, the Gilroys were able to move in on the distraught parents. It is our belief that the Gilroy girls were under orders to expose the ex-slaves, especially Kendra, in an effort to keep their less than legal activities under wraps.”

“Wait! Are you telling me that Kendra had her cover blown by someone making the mistake of returning her to South Carolina?” Maria asked in shock.

“Si, Nonnina. That is what it looks like.” Kasey answered.

“How could this have happened? I want answers here people. I want to know who was in charge of vetting where ALL the slaves were or are to be sent.” Lyssa started giving orders to Kimberly and Krystel, only to have Bobby interrupt her.

“Sergeant-Major, I can give you that information on how this happened.” Bobby said.

“HOW?” Lyssa almost growled out.

Bobby sighed before he answered Lyssa. “The problem is with Wit-Sec and the requirements that were put in place for the safety those kids. The number one requirement was security. That factor cut down the number of schools they could use. Next is the medical needs of those kids. Wit-Sec needed schools that have a Medical Staff that can handle the type of mental and physical trauma they have suffered. That cuts the number down even further. Next is the need for living arrangements. In short, they needed boarding schools. That cuts the number of schools down to just a handful.”

“Basically, what you’re saying Sergeant, is that the situation was a case of limited resources. Not an intentional lack of due diligence or criminal activity. It was just bad luck that one of our protected was recognized.” Kimberly just shook her head in regret. “I should have doubled-checked where those kids where being sent to insure their safety.”

“This is not your fault Kimberly. None of us could have foreseen this situation.” Maria sighed and looked over at her granddaughters. “Girls, no matter what happens from now on, keep an eye on your surroundings. I have a feeling that even if our Hostiles don’t go for the snatch today, they will still come after you.”

“Yes Nonnina.” Kasey looked down at the clock on the laptop. “We need to get cleaned up and head for the Twin Pines Mall.”

“Go ahead and sign off girls. Your mothers and Anna will be in place by the time you get there.” Maria ordered and waited for the girls to do just that. Looking back over at Lyssa, and the gathered members of her team. “Lyssa, as much as I hate to ask this; I need you to move your possible deployment time up. How did Paul put it yesterday, no notice?”

“That’s the correct term Maria. Why?” Even Lyssa wondered at this turn in Maria’s attitude.

“If this goes sideways, I want you to get my granddaughters and the Black Badges out. No questions, just get them out of the area.” There was a cold icy tone to Maria’s voice. One that few had ever heard and lived. Lyssa picked up on her tone and mannerisms.

Lyssa knew she wasn’t going like the answer to her question, but asked anyway. “A Hot Extract. You’re going to wage war on the Henleys and Gilroys, Mafia style. Aren’t you?”

“The Contractors are already on their way. They hurt my grandchildren and I will leave nothing behind, but ash and dust.” Maria said firmly.

“You know what that means?” Lyssa's expression was a stone mask.

Maria nodded. “I will except nothing less from you, my dear.”

----- to be continued -----



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