Educational Justice -chp15


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 15

Gilroy Main Horse Stable…

Kasey and Kristine sat back as the side door of the van was yanked open.

“Get out sluts.” The boy that had opened the door wasn’t one of the Henleys or Gilroy. As the boy reached to grab Kasey by the hair she smiled and pulled back.

“No need to get rough, me amigo. We’ll come peacefully.” Kasey’s smile disarmed the young cadet. He stepped back out of the way as the teens exited the van. “We’ll be sure to tell our rescuers that you were a gentleman.”

“Don’t be so sure about that bitch. The Henleys have a hard-on hate for you two.” The cadet told them. “Besides, by the time someone realizes you two are even gone, it’ll be too late. You’ll both be dead and we’ll be long gone.”

Kasey looked at the boy’s face. She could tell that he was deadly serious. They were going to kill them and dump their bodies.

“You could have let us hope for a rescue or repatriation. Now, we have no need or reason to be cooperative. I suggest that if you wish to stay in this line of work, that you learn how to be less circumspect with your hostages.” Kristine said.

“Just what the fuck is that supposed to mean?” The boy snarled. “Once this is done, I’m set for life.”

“No, me amigo, you will always be under the thumb of the Henleys and the Gilroys. From now on; whenever they need someone to do their dirty work, they’ll be calling you. Not some nameless contractor, but you. They’ll hold this over your head, for the rest of your life. Oh, they may be the ones to kill us, but you were one of the kids that helped kidnap us. Oh, and by the way, that is a felony offense. I hear a minimum of twenty years in prison, not jail. What, for you, is the real kick in the ass is; we are the children of a Diplomat. That brings in the possibility of you being extradited to OUR homeland. Trust me, you DO NOT want to spend time in a Spanish prison. They are not the hotels that you have here in America. We do not coddle our criminals.” Kasey knew when to stop. She had placed the seeds of doubt in the boy’s mind. Now all she had to do was let it grow.

“Si, my sister is telling you the truth. And with your blue eyes and blond hair; you would be VERY welcomed by the older prisoners. Why, I bet that your pimp will be able to charge as much as ten euros for the hour with you. That is much money for prisoners.” Kristine knew that Kasey had stopped where she did for a reason. “Why I would even be willing to bet that he gets you hormones to grow long hair and your very OWN breasts.”

“No need to be so cruel Angeles. We do not know that for a fact. Why depending on the prison, he might be placed in isolation for the rest of his life. You know one of those four by eight concrete rooms with only a toilet, sink and slab for the bed all in one room. The ones that they never open the door to, once a prisoner has been placed inside, until they are released. If they are lucky to be released.” Kasey had seen where Kristine went and decided to have a little fun of her own with the boy now.

They saw the thoughts of going to prison were now firmly planted in the boy’s mind. With small smiles playing at their mouths, the girls walked over to where the Henley and Gilroy children were waiting. Even as they walked up to Chantel, they knew that their little ploy was already starting to work. They watched as the boy they had been talking too went over to the other cadets.

As the cadets and the rest of the Lipizzan Girls gathered around the Henley and Gilroy children, Kasey slipped her hand into her purse. Kristine had already used her phone to activate her earwig. Just as their parents had done, they too, had inserted earwigs before heading for the mall. The difference was, the girls had waited to activate their earwigs. It was Hunter who had suggested this tactic the night before, and now the girls were doing exactly as they were ordered. Keeping their voices low, both girls checked in with the Alpha team.

Just off the Gilroy farm…

Maria and Anna joined Bobby and Hunter in their truck after parking Maria’s car behind the truck. The two men smiled as the oldest members of their team joined them.

Maria wasted no time in asking about the teens. “Have they activated their earwigs yet, Robert?”

“Not yet Madam Maria.” Hunter answered as he lined up a parabolic mike on the main stable. “They just got done trash talking one of their captors.”

“Hunter, I have come to love you as one of my own, but if you don’t start making sense, I swear I’ll gut you myself.” Maria didn’t like not knowing what the girls were facing or what was going on.

“From the sounds of it Madam Maria, Kasey and Kristine are trying to sow confusion among their enemies. And from the sounds of things, they are succeeding. DAMN! I want those two to sit in on the next time I have to interrogate some perp. Talk about twisting a person’s emotions.” Hunter and Bobby had on headphones so they could hear what Kristine and Kasey were saying.

Anna and Maria had to control themselves as they both wanted to pound the boys at that time. Then, as if by magic, they heard Kristine’s earwig come online, followed shortly thereafter by Kasey’s. Both women sighed in relief.

“Gemini One here.” Kristine said quietly.

“Gemini Two here.” Kasey said while keeping the smile on her face. “I hope you’re out there Stalking horse.”

“We’re here kiddo, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Now, give us a sit-rep.”

“We have a total of seven Horses-asses and nine gun-bunnies in here with us.” Kristine said first. She had spent her time counting the number of students.

“We also have all of the minor players for our Hostiles in here with us.” Kasey never took her eyes of the Gilroy or Henley children. She knew that any moment they were going to be the only ones in the stable.

“Any signs of the major players, Gemini Two?” Hunter asked.

“Negative, Rumrunner. No sign of the major players, but THAT is subject to change at any time.” Kristine answered for them.

“Gut feeling or fact, Gemini One?” Bobby asked.

“Fact Stalking horse. Too much is at stake here. The Hostiles have gone out of their way with this snatch job to implicate as many people as they can. That is a metric shit-load of blame to spread around.” Kristine had figured out what the Henley and Gilroy children had done. “It also gives them permanent leverage on all their friends.”

“Very good Gemini One, Gemini Two have you picked up any type of dissention among the group that can be exploited?” Maria asked over her own earwig.

“Already working it Madam.” Kasey may have been caught by surprise hearing her grandmother’s voice, but she controlled it. “Been having fun with the lesser Hostiles. IN fact, hold one.” The two teens watched as a fight broke out between Stephen Gilroy and two of the other cadets. The fight was short and to the point. “And Gulf Mike One Hostile is down for the count. It seems that the Mike Foxtrot Papa pissed of the wrong minion.”

“Sounds like you’ve been doing more than just playing Gemini Two.” Annette giggled over the earwig. “Have you been up to your old tricks?”

“Why would you ask that, Black Swan?” Kasey giggled. “Stand by, we have incoming.”

Kristine and Kasey went silent on their comms as the group of hostile teens walked towards them. Adaline Henley was out in front. Kasey and Kristine could tell that she was the one calling the shots now.

Kasey smirked, “So, the snake has finally decided to slither out from under her rock.”

“Shut up bitch.” Adaline was beyond pissed. Nothing was going according to the plan, now. She wasn’t supposed to be taking a direct part in this little crime. “Do you have any FUCKING idea of how MUCH trouble you two have CAUSED us?”

“Oh really? Just how did we do that, princess? All we did was tell your puta of a sister to back off. We even went as far as to give her a friendly warning.” Kristine wasn’t about to let Kasey have all the fun.

“WHY YOU LITTLE CUNT!” Chantel screamed at the top of her lungs. “WE RUN THAT SCHOOL! DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND THAT?! WE’LL FUCKING KILL YOUR ASSES AND NO ONE WILL DO A DAMN THING TO US! DON’T YOU GET IT YET? WE RUN THIS STATE!” By this time Chantel was close to a full-out psychotic break. She was truly close to losing her hold on reality. Chantel had to be restrained by her two sisters.

Kristine just stood there smiling, waiting for Chantel to smack her. Kasey had to fight to keep from giggling at Kristine’s antics. Kasey had been giving her little sister tips in how to get under someone skin, and now Kristine was using those same tips to rile up Chantel. Not to be out done though, Kasey went in for the kill and was going to enjoy it to the fullest.

“OH? If you’re going to kill us, Henley, you better do it in the next twenty minutes.” Kasey really wanted to let the Alpha team know when to make their entry. “See, you all made one major mistake in kidnaping us. You didn’t kill our Guardian.” Pulling out her phone and waving it. “Or take away our phones.”

When the Alpha team heard, this Hunter reached into the glovebox of the truck and pulled out an envelope handing it to Maria. “Madam Maria, you’re going to need this if you’re going in with us. Miss Anna, I hope you remembered to bring your Diplomatic Credentials with you?”

Anna answered first. “I have them right here, Master Hunter. I’ve kept them with me, from the moment the girls left the island.”

“Damn Miss Anna, I’ve seen seasoned pros forget something like that the first time they went undercover.” The was a great amount of respect in Hunter’s voice and Anna picked up on it.

“You forget Master Hunter, I was an assassin long before I became Madam Maria’s maid.” Anna giggled at their stunned looks of realization. But it was Maria who brought them back to the task at hand.

“Pay attention, people. I think Gemini just gave us a clue to when we need to hit that stable.” Maria hadn’t really thought about the envelope as she pulled out a US Marshal’s badge, not a Deputies badge, but a full Marshal’s badge on a chain.

Back inside the stable…

True to form the girls had done just that. “That was a true AMATUER mistake. Oh, and by the way, those were your second and third mistakes. The first mistake, was in targeting the children of an Embassy Office. Personally, I hope that when the HRT unit arrives, they let us beat the piss out of you Chantel.” Kristine just smirked.

One of the cadets looked at Kristine hard then over at the Henleys and Gilroys.

“What are they talking about?” the young man growled out.

“None of your business. Just get the ropes ready.” Adaline ordered, only to have the boy turn to the others.

“It seems guys that our so-called leaders here, are trying to fuck us all over hard and heavy.” He turned and started to walk toward the first van. “Come on guys, we’re out of here before the heat shows up.” Looking over at the Lipizzan Girls. “If you were smart, you’ll bail right along with us.”

As the cadets and the few remaining Lipizzan Girls all turned to load up in the two vans, Adaline screamed. “GET YOUR ASSES BACK HERE!”

One of the girls walked up to Adaline and smacked her. “Fuck you Addie! If what they said is true, then you’re on your own. I’m not doing hard time for your happy ass. Especially in some foreign country’s prison.”

She then turned and joined her friends as they piled into the school van.

Outside at Bobby’s truck…

Bobby hearing where his daughters were going got out, then walked around to the back of the truck. A few minutes later he came back with two sets of body armor and M-4s. He handed one to Anna and then one to Maria. “You will wear those, no buts about it. I’m not going to explain to my wives why their mother and aunt got hit by a stray bullet.” Reaching behind them he pulled out two balaclavas. “You might as well put these on too.”

The two women did as Bobby requested. Then double-checked the magazines for the rifles. Both women smiled at seeing the rubber bullets. While they would knock a person on their ass, they were still non-lethal. Prefect for what they were about to face. Maria and Anna just hoped they would need their side-arms. After checking with Sam and Annette to insure they were in position, Bobby gave the signal to warn Gemini. “HEADS UP GEMINI! COMING IN HOT!” then gunned the big truck's engine, aiming it for the near end of the stable’s door.

Inside the stable…

Kasey and Kristine knew that they were about to have company in the form of their parents. Taking their cue from the warning, the teens dropped their purses and began to put the beat down on the nearest family member of either the Gilroys or the Henleys. Kasey was able to grab Stephen Gilroy by the shirt collar with her left hand, while she drove her right knee into his crotch. Kristine didn’t go for anything fancy either, as she drove her right palm into the low-center of Chad Henley’s chest, taking away his breath before punching him in the jaw. The boys hit the ground hard and fast.

None of the teens were expecting the sudden and violent appearance of the two Ford pickups. As the teens tried to escape they found their paths blocked by black clad men and women wearing body armor, carrying automatic rifles, with their faces hidden by black balaclavas. Around their necks hung the badges of U.S. Deputy Marshals, across the chests and backs of their armor in bright yellow block letters read U.S. MARSHALS.

Even as the two teams converged on the teenage criminals, Kasey and Kristine were having their way with the Gilroy and Henley children. Kristine had just dropped Brad Henley with a leg sweep and punch to the chest as Kasey decided to play Rocky Balbo with Adaline. The left, right, left combo put the older teen out like a candle in a high wind. When Mary Sue and Savanah Gilroy tried to double team Kristine as she came up out of her crouching attack on Bradly Henley, Kristine didn’t even bother with trying to hold back. Not this time anyway.

The palm strikes to the hip joins of Mary Sue and Savanah brought about loud popping sounds as the joints dislocated. Before the two girls could scream, Kristine continued with her assault on their joints. This time she went after their shoulder joints. Kristine grabbed each girl by the nearest wrist then twisted up and under the arms they were attached to. Once Kristine was standing behind the Gilroy sisters, she yanked upward with all her might. There was a sickening crunch as shoulder joints left sockets and major arm bones broke.

Only Chantel and Alexis Henley remained at this point. Like Kristine, Kasey never even thought about holding back when she confronted the two younger Henley sisters. The sweeping kick that dropped both Henley’s left behind dislocated knees in its passing. Neither Chantel nor Alexis would ever walk again without a limp or the use of a cane. Kasey wasn’t done with the two sisters, not by a long shot. Like Kristine, Kasey went after one of the shoulders. Only Kasey didn’t bother with trying to twist for the dislocation. Kasey just used the heel of her foot to smash the joint, leaving the two screeching in pain.

By the time, Kasey and Kristine were done with the Henleys and Gilroys, the Alpha Team had rounded up the other teenagers. It didn’t take them long to have all of them in speed cuffs, hog tied and waiting pickup by SLED. Sam and Annette walked over to their daughters with the eight teens laying at their feet.

Sam spoke first to the girls. “Can they travel or do the LEOs need to bring in the Medics first?”

“These eight are going to need medical attention first, Deputy.” Kasey answered.

Chantel looked up at the two women dressed as US Deputy Marshals and couldn’t believe her eyes. “Just wait until my daddy hears about this! You’ll all lose you damn badges, and those two sluts will be behind bars for assault and battery!”

“Hate to break this to you, little girl, but your daddy is going to have problems of his own. As for you and your little friends here, you’re in deep enough right now, that it will be a toss-up between who gets you first.” Annette answered Chantel then turned and looked over at Maria. “Marshal, we have eight that need medical attention before transport to the gray bar motel.”

It took Hunter nudging Maria’s elbow for her to realize that Annette was talking to her. “What was that Deputy?”

“I said, that we have eight over here who need medical attention before transport to holding, MARSHAL.”

“Copy that, I’ll inform Control of the need for the Band-aids.” Maria had been chased by enough law enforcement to know much of the lingo they used. “Do the Hostages need to see a band-aid, or can we turn them over to their guardian?”

“WE are fine Officer. Can we please go home with our Guardian, now?” Kristine asked with a smirk that matched her sister's.

“What about us? We’re the ones that need a doctor. Why are you just standing there doing nothing, you fat cow?” Adaline snapped.

“One more word out of that perp and you can gag her, Deputies.” Maria called out to Sam and Annette. “In fact, the same goes for ALL of them over there.”

“Yes, ma’am.” Both Sam and Annette called out as Maria turned to Hunter and Bobby.

“Keep an eye on this bunch, while I contact the locals.” Maria then pointed down at the hog-tied teens. “If they move, you’re cleared for deadly force gentlemen. I don’t care who their parents are, they conspired to kidnap Diplomatic Officials under the minimum age. In other words, they went after kids. I am pretty sure that the Spanish Consulate will be wanting a word or two with these little shits and I will not be the one to tell them that somebody escaped.”

Maria smiled under the balaclava as Anna and she walked outside to call Command.

Kimberly answered the call before the end of the first ring. “Command, go Madam.”

“I swear, you must sleep in that damn cave child.” Maria just chuckled as Kimberly laughed at the joke. “We need State Law Enforcement Division at the Gilroy estate, along with Medical for eight.”

“What happened?” Lyssa asked in the background.

“The operation went just like we planned it, until Gemini got a chance to vent their anger at certain high school bullies. It seems that all eight are in need of medical attention and possible hospitalization before going before a judge.”

“Holy shit! Gemini didn’t kill any of them, did they?” Krystel asked.

“No need for the coroner Command. Just send me those State LEOs and Band-aids.” Maria put Krystel at ease with this admission. “OH, and just WHOSE bright idea was it to issue me a MARSHAL'S badge?”

“Hate to tell you this Madam, but as the Head of the Black Badge Deputies, that makes you their BOSS. In SHORT, you get to be their U.S. Marshal, and they are your Deputies. Before you go biting my head off, Madam. You’re going to need that pull here shortly. You have incoming LEOs and none of them are SLED.” Kimberly explained. “Oh yeah, it was the Major’s idea. I just told Stalking horse to hold on to those until, or if, you would need them.”

“That man will be the death of me yet, with all his little surprises.” Maria sighed. “Thank you for that update Command. Can you tell me who to be expecting?”

“Yes Ma'am. You got three local boys in blue, rolling in hot. It seems that old man Gilroy called in a drunk driver running into his stable.” Kimberly told her. “Wait, what the hell? A drunk driver ramming into his stable? What the hell did you guys do?”

“We made use of our local assets to gain entry to a hardened position through the use of shock effect.” Maria said lightly. She waited for Lyssa’s next question.

“Okay, I’ll bite. What local assets?” In the background of Lyssa’s voice, she could hear Eddie and Carl laughing. They knew what Maria was talking about. Then she heard them both answer for her.

“THEIR TEAM TRUCKS!”

“I take it that the guys are in Command with you, girls?” Maria asked slyly.

“You could say that Madam.” Kimberly giggled. “They came down to listen in on your rescue of Gemini.”

Maria laughed. “I take it the pool has reached a good amount?”

“Let’s just say; that the boys won’t have to worry about paying for beer for a while. Are you secure in your current position?” Lyssa asked.

“Very much so, Command. Why?” Maria knew that Lyssa would not have asked that for no reason.

“I just intercepted a radio call between the Emergency Dispatch Center and the closest Blue Boy. It seems that Gray Gilroy had given them the all clear to shoot first, ask questions later. I suggest you make that SHIELD as big as possible before that place becomes a free-fire zone.” Krystel answered quickly.

“Thank you, Command. Any word on the ETA, for those assets I requested?” Maria asked.

“Inbound as we speak, Madam. ETA for SLED: ten mikes behind the Blue Boys. Your Band-aids are fifteen mikes behind SLED.” Kimberly told her.

“Thank you, Command, for that update.” Just then Maria spotted the three county Sheriff cruisers entering the Gilroy estate with lights flashing. “Our Boys in Blue just arrived. Looks like it is time for me to play Marshal.”

“Play nice Madam, they know not what they face. Just let the badge do the work for you. Remind the rest of the Black Badges to keep their faces covered.” Lyssa instructed Maria before disconnecting.

“DEPUTIES!” Maria called out as she returned to the inside of the stable. When they all turned to look at her, Maria smiled. “We have the local Sheriff’s Deputies arriving. Under no circumstances are you to reveal your identity to any of them. WE will not be turning these suspects over to them, am I understood?”

“YES Marshal.” The adults all called out, much to the dismay of the teens. They were all hoping that once the Sheriff’s deputies got here they would be turned over to them. All the kids knew that the Gilroys and Henleys controlled the Sheriff. A few phone calls from one of the two families and they would be out on bail at most or released to their parents. If these people were Deputy Marshals, then that wouldn’t be happening. They all knew that U.S. Deputy Marshals didn’t answer to the local Sheriff, anywhere.

“Mrs. Garcia. Would you and your charges, please step outside with me?” Maria called out.

“At once Marshal.” Anna rounded up Kasey and Kristine, she had them grab their purses and follow her outside with Maria.

Maria pulled the face up on her balaclava to show her face for the Sheriff’s Deputies. She knew that she had to play the part right. When the first deputy stepped from his curser Maria called out. “U.S. Marshal!” Maria had kept her hands away from her weapons and in plain sight.

“Deputy Mark Strasbourg, Marshal. Can I please see your credentials?”

Maria pulled off her credentials and tossed them to the young man. “U.S. Marshal Maria Dannigan, Deputy.” The young Deputy knew that the shield and ID were real just by looking at them.

“Care to explain why you have destroyed the stables, Marshal?” The Deputy asked

“That’s easy Deputy. Myself and my team were responding to an emergency kidnapping beacon.” Maria gestured for Anna, and the girls to step up beside her. “Mrs. Garcia, is the Guardian and Bodyguard for these two young ladies. Condesas, would you be so kind as to present your Diplomatic Credentials for the Officer please? You too Mrs. Garcia, we need to establish the reasons for the Sheriff’s department being dismissed from further investigation.”

“LIKE HELL WE ARE. Look Marshal I don’t know where you think you are, and I really don’t give a fuck! But you not throwing us out any crime scene. You got that? This is OUR jurisdiction.” Said the Lieutenant in charge of the Sheriff’s.

Maria smiled over at Anna. “Ma’am would you be so kind as to show the Lieutenant yours and the girls' Diplomatic Credentials?”

“I don’t give a rat-fuck what those wallets say! These girls are trespassing and will be arrested, along with the rest of you. There is no kidnapping and that is all there is to the matter. Now, either you come along quietly or we’ll use force. The choice is yours!” At this time, Maria got a good look at the Lieutenant’s name tag.

“You really don’t want to push this Lieutenant Farley. I know that you have most likely been talking with your aunt or uncle, but I can tell you here and now, that you’re in deep enough shit as it is. I suggest you stand down before you get in over your head. Those credentials are REAL. The only thing that is keeping the State Department and the rest of the alphabets out of your hair, is me and my team.” The air temperature dropped by twenty degrees as Maria gave the Sheriff his choices. "But That. CAN. CHANGE!"

“What do mean, by me talking with my aunt or uncle?” Lieutenant Farley knew that his aunt had been arrested, but not for what. In fact; he had been denied access to her, and warned to stay away from his uncle, by the Sheriff.

“Your aunt Alice has been connected to another attempted kidnapping of these very same children. There is an active investigation, in not only your aunt, but your uncle as well. I can tell that you’re an honest cop, but you and your men; need to just stand down and let SLED handle this, understand?” Once Maria had outlined the situation for the young Sheriff’s Deputy he turned white.

“You’re telling me that was not a screw-up or rumor about my aunt Alice being in on the kidnapping?” When Maria nodded her head 'yes' Lieutenant Farley began to cuss. “Fuck me to tears, that lying cocksucker! I knew I shouldn’t have trusted that motherfucking rat bastard!”

Maria waited for the young man to calm down and stop. “Are you finished Deputy?”

“Yes Ma’am, Marshal.” Lieutenant Farley had the good sense to blush. “Um, sorry about the language, Ma’am. My mother taught me better, but well, I just never thought that my family would be tied up with something like this.”

“Deputy, I hate to tell you this, but it is far WORSE than you think. I cannot give you more details at this time, but I will say that your uncle is involved just as deeply as your aunt.” As Maria laid out the facts to the young man in front of her, she knew she was right about him being an honest cop.

His next words only confirmed her suspensions. “How long until your SLED back-up arrives Marshal?”

“They should be here moment now. Why?” Maria asked.

Lieutenant Farley nodded. “What do you need from me and my men, right now?”

“Secure the area and do not let the owners anywhere NEAR here. Both me and my team are currently undercover. We only acted this time, due to the emergency call for help.” Maria didn't lie but did twist the truth just a little.

“Watkins, Walker; Secure the area and keep the Gilroys away from the stable. If they push; arrest their asses for interfering in an investigation.” He ordered the two.

Farley had definitely had his fill of the Gilroy and Henley families in the past. Not to mention more than one run-in with the current crop of spoiled rotten kids. If he had to let his aunt rote in prison, then he had no problem with letting the Gilroy’s and Henley’s go down with her. Those two families had been pushing his family around for decades and didn’t know why. He though, was tired of their shit.

“Yes sir, LT, but you know the Captain will be wanting your ass over this?”

“Watkins, if Captain Billings wants my badge for doing my fucking job; he can have it. Right, after he finds his ass in a sling with SLED, the FBI, the US Marshals, Homeland, and the State Department.” Lieutenant Farley had no sooner given his orders, than the sound of sirens could be heard again.

Both Maria and Farley looked toward the front entrance of the estate to see five State Police cruisers coming in, at high speed. In the lead was an unmarked sedan with flashing blue lights. Just behind them, came four ambulances and two EMS trucks of the Fire Department. Maria looked down at her wristwatch and smiled. Kimberly had been off on her ETA, by five minutes. In a way, this made Maria feel better about the young woman, as she wasn’t totally infallible.

The first SLED officer to reach them was Annie Shackle. As the young woman exited her car, the first person she spotted was the old woman wearing the US Marshal’s vest and badge. There was something about this old woman that made Annie’s hairs raise up on the back of her neck. Even at ten yards; Annie could tell that this woman was no regular Deputy. When she got closer and really looked at the badge, she had her answer. Annie had met Investigators, SDUSM’s, SDIC’s, even a few of the SOG teams in the field, but she never thought she would ever be face to face with a full Marshal in the field. Let alone, an active crime scene.

That was when she took in the smashed stable doors, the four heavily-armed Deputies, and the body armor the Marshal was wearing. Annie knew what she was looking at now and really, really didn’t like it. Then she got a good look at the badge hanging by the chain from Maria’s neck. Like all law officers Annie had heard the tales, rumors, myths and whispered conversations surrounding those badges. And like the rest of the newer generation, chalked it all up to just that; tall tales. Here in front of her was real honest to God proof, that the U.S. Marshal Black Badges were real. And she was facing their superior, not a Deputy, but their Marshal. The thought of ‘Oh shit, this ain’t good’ ran through her head.

“About time you showed up Shackle.” Farley called out.

“Great, just great. The peanut gallery is in town, and adding their two cents.” Annie sighed as she walked up to Farley and the Marshal. “I take it Marshal, that you were the one to call in the kidnapping?”

“That is correct Officer Shackle. Deputy Farley and the Sheriff’s Department were notified by nine-one-one. We were the first ones on the scene, due to the fact we were notified of an attempted kidnaping the other day of Diplomatic Dependents. We moved in to provide additional security for a group of witnesses that are in protective custody. We received an emergency kidnapping beacon belonging to two Spanish Diplomatic Dependents and their Guardian. We followed the beacon to this location after securing the Guardian, one Anna Garcia. After ascertaining the situation, I gave the order to move in, secure the victims and arrest the suspects involved.” Maria kept her face passive as she informed Annie of the situation. Maria, wasn’t going to let anyone know the truth just yet.

“Before I take over officially, Marshal, I need to know something.” Annie said quietly. “Are you and your team, operating in the black?”

“We were never here, your never hear of us. Do you both understand? There is to be absolutely NO mention of me or my team in your reports. Are we clear on this matter or do I need to file gag orders?” Maria knew enough about the way of law enforcement agencies to put the fear of God in any cop.

Both Farley and Shackle got the hint. They didn’t need a building dropped on them, to understand the ramifications of reporting the presence of the Black Badge Deputies or their Marshal. The very thought of the legal hellfire and brimstone that someone like this woman could bring down on their heads was terrifying. Besides, no one would believe them even if they did talk about there being a real unit of Black Badges out there working.

Maria let the threat hang in the air, as she turned to Anna and the girls. “Mrs. Garcia, please insure that your wards are safe and sound, then returned to their school. I need to get my team back on mission.”

“Of course, Marshal, and thank you for your help. I really would like to keep this matter out of the State Department's hands. The girls’ school has had enough problems with those vile paparazzi circling like the vultures they are. Why one young lady had one of them catch her coming out her bathroom naked. Thankfully, Mrs. Boatwright’s security team handled the matter. Hopefully, I won’t have to inform their Grandfather of this attempt on their lives.” Anna was really playing up the Guardian bit. “I would not want the Colonel to hear of another attempt on them so soon after the last one.”

“Wait. Are you saying that there has been another attempt on your wards?” Annie asked in total confusion.

“That is exactly what she is saying Annie. And we both know who is behind the first attempt.” Farley told her.

“Wait, please tell me that your wards are NOT the same ones that were almost kidnapped two days ago.” Annie almost pleaded. When Annie got a look at the two girls standing next to Anna she had her answer. “Oh, fuck me. Sideways.”

“Please Detective, language! I have a hard-enough time with correcting the girls’ bad habits, as it is. I don’t need them hearing such language from people in authority.” Anna chastised the younger woman, while Kasey and Kristine just giggled like the schoolgirls they were supposed to be.

“Sorry, Mrs. Garcia. It’s just that, I had their other incident land on my desk yesterday, along with ALL the paperwork that it entails. Can I spend a few minutes with your wards before letting them go?” Annie really wanted to figure out what was going on out here at the Gilroy estate.

“So long as I am there, si.” Anna agreed.

“Thank you, ma’am.” Turning to Kasey and Kristine, Annie smiled. “Okay, ladies can you tell me why you were brought out here?”

“Si, that is simple. Adaline, Chantel and Alexis Henley had us kidnapped so they could either kill us or ransom us back to our grandfather. They did it because we embarrassed them at school last week. We refused to, Cómo decir, besas sus traseros?” Kristine started off then looked to Kasey as Annie started to chuckle. “Hablas español Detective?”

“Yes, I took five years in school and spent two years with the U.S. Air Force at Morón Air Base in Spain before becoming a police officer.” Annie said smiling and in perfect Castilian Spanish. “I take it that you young ladies are from the Castilian area of Spain?”

“Yes Ma’am. Molina de Aragon, Spain is our home. Our grandfather brought us here after our mother and father were killed by terrorists a few months back.” Kasey told Annie with a sad smile, remembering their cover story.

“I thought I recognized the accent, but wasn’t sure. May I know who your grandfather is ladies, or is that a case of National Security?” Annie knew that if these two girls had Diplomatic Credentials, that also meant they had Diplomatic Immunity. Which meant even more paperwork for her if they hurt one of the suspects, not that it would make a difference in the long run. These girls could have killed someone in this situation and nothing would be done to them.

“Excuse me, Detective, but I am afraid that you are stepping into that very area with that question. Please refrain from those types of questions.” Anna felt that she needed to get Annie back on point.

“Of course, Mrs. Garcia. I should not have asked that. Now; you girls stated, that the Henley girls were the ones to bring you here?”

“They were not the only ones. The Gilroy children are also at fault. One of the other boys said that they only wanted to teach us a lesson on our place in life. That the Gilroys and Henleys only wanted to talk at first. Then once we were out of the sight of witnesses, they forced us into a small bus-like truck.” Kasey said waving her hands around as if trying to find the right words.

“You mean a van?” Annie asked.

“Si, a van.” Kasey smiled at the Detective. “Once inside the van, we were brought here where we saw the faces of the Gilroy and Henley children. That was when we found out that they wanted to kill us.”

“Who activated the emergency beacon?” Annie asked the girls. Kristine raised her hand and blushed. “Why did you activate the beacon, young lady?”

“I didn’t like the way they were treating us. Justine said not to worry, that they would let us go. but the one boy just, the Gilroy one, he just kept looking at me and cracking his knuckles. Like he would enjoy hurting me and mi hermana. So. I did what Señora Garcia always told me to do. I activated my beacon.” When Kristine finished with her explanation Annie turned to Anna.

“Mrs. Garcia, why did you contact the U.S. Marshals? Why didn’t you go to the police, Sheriff, or FBI when the beacon was activated?” Annie asked before she realized that Anna might have known about the Black Badges beforehand.

“I went to people that I can trust, Detective. I could have called in the OTHER bodyguards over at the AEGS to handle this, but there were Law Enforcement agents in the area that would not compromise the security of the school that are trustworthy. They are here to find the leak that exposed a witness in protective custody and bring the leak to justice. As for HOW I know of them, that is a matter of National Security for both MY nation and YOUR own. Understand?” Anna wanted to leave no doubt in the mind of Detective Annie Shackle that the Black Badge Marshal and her Deputies were off-limits.

“Yes ma’am. I wish things were different, but they're not. Please remember, that not all the local officers are on the take. By that I mean, they are not corrupted by money and influence. There are many good officers that are trying to clean up the mess in this county and other places.” Annie stopped when she heard a commotion as the two Deputy Marshal pickups backed out and turned to leave.

“It appears that you are needed over there, the young Sheriff’s Lieutenant is in need of your help.” Anna pointed out. As the voice of Gray Gilroy could be heard raised in anger. Then before Annie could reply, Gray Gilroy punched Lieutenant Farley in the face.

“Oh shit. Could this get any worse?” The moment the words left her mouth, Annie regretted saying them as her cell phone began to ring. Pulling it out, Annie immediately recognized the number for ADA Tease. “Shackle, here.”

“Shackle; where are you?” Tease demanded.

“I’m currently dealing with the kidnapping of those two Embassy kids from the other day. Why?” Annie didn’t think she needed to tell Tease she was at the Gilroy place.

Tease paused then asked. “Who do you have that can get over to the Gilroy and Henley estates? People that you can trust to do their jobs.”

“I’m at the Gilroy place now. Why?” Annie was confused as there hadn’t been time for word to spread to the DA’s Office yet about what was going on here.

“Arrest Grayson and Patricia Gilroy and send officers over the Henley place to arrest Malcom and Grace Henley. The charges are Racketeering, Money Laundering, Election Fraud, Extortion, Murder, conspiracy to commit Murder, Kidnapping, conspiracy to commit Kidnapping and a shit-load more.”

“Well, you can add assault on an officer of the law for Grayson Gilroy as we speak. The dumb-fuck just punched one of your Lieutenant Deputies.” Annie just hung up her phone and walked over to where Farley was currently cuffing and stuffing a very pissed off Grayson Gilroy. “You are one truly stupid-ass Gilroy. That little punch of yours, just earned you a Resisting Arrest and Assault on an Officer charges on top of everything else the D.A. wants to talk to you about.”

“I’ll have your fucking badges! You were supposed to arrest those drunk-ass drivers that destroyed my stable! Not let them go!” Grayson was beyond pissed off, he was close to crazed at the idea of those two trucks just driving away.

“News Flash, Gilroy. Those two trucks; belong to the U.S. Marshals and they just stopped your kids and the Henley kids from doing something very, very, illegal. As it stands right now, I could charge you and your whole family with the KIDNAPING of Diplomatic Dependents. I could hand all your ASSES over to HOMELAND and just walk away. Personally? I would LOVE to see the looks on your faces, as they pack your asses off to Gitmo, but I get the joy of dealing with you for now. Well, that is until the D.A., A.G., State Department and whoever else doesn't like you; get done sorting out who gets your happy little ass first. Don't you realize that kidnapping the children of Foreign Dignitaries is enough to get you Life without parole?” Annie just didn’t want to deal with this mess just then, but knew she must do her job.

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



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