I KILL RICH PEOPLE 2, page 12
“That is my family,” Jeffers growled at Bishop and Stephen after the attack on the Arcadia.
Bishop leaned in to catch Jeffers’ words. His voice sounded like the low rumbling of a volcano. “My family!”
His mother, his wife, son, and daughter-in-law carrying his five-month-old grandson all had been aboard the yacht.
“This isn’t theoretical,” Jeffers shouted. “It’s not polling numbers and surveys. My son pressed himself over our women as a human shield. My son! That’s a hero, not that maniac! I ought to put a bullet in that fucking Emerson Elliot myself!”
“At least no one was hurt, thank God,” Bishop offered lamely.
“No thanks to you.”
Carlton Jeffers was a lifelong member of the Twenty-Fives. It was through that membership that his role in Americans for Patriotic Action originated.
Jeffers was watching the green water from the top deck of the 120-foot yacht, the Arcadia, bathed in warm sunshine on a glorious bright day with four generations of his family within earshot when the bullets started to fly.
“I want an explanation as to precisely what the fuck are you two doing?” Jeffers demanded.
That word, “fuck,” was part of Bishop’s daily vernacular, but hearing it coming from Jeffers mouth was startling. Bishop had already billed enough to float him for months, but he had to impress APA, to not drop the ball his first time out. Here was his chance to come through for his daughter, to get her through any college she chose, to be a provider. No matter what poison his ex-wife had put into her head. This was his chance to show that he was a good father.
That was real. APA and Vision Partners meant educating his girl. It was that simple.
Bishop had had the name, photos, and addresses for weeks, but had found nothing.
“Its thirty miles up the Hudson,” Stephen argued. “I can’t highjack cameras that don’t exist. There’s only New York State Department of Environmental Conservation underwater fishery feeds up there. Not even the DOD monitors beyond the riverfront at West Point.”
“I have six men following active leads 24/7,” Bishop asserted. “We have a visual on the two NYPD detectives, every step they take, every move they make. I’m sending you a link to live video. You can monitor it day or night.”
“He escaped! Everything else coming out of your mouth is excuses,” Jeffers growled.
“Two weeks ago, 44 percent of respondents called these attacks ‘Somewhat Justified,’ ‘Justified,’ or ‘Highly Justified.’ Each time he attacks, those numbers rise. Those idiots are consumers. They are workers. They are voters, and many of them are swing voters. And they like this!”
Jeffers’ rage could not be tamed. “Every single day and every night, an entire floor inside this building is dedicated to one thing, just one thing. I have a dozen guys who think they’re the next Karl Rove and newsmen and television writers and advertising copywriters and two guys who just do jingles, little lyrical rhyming couplets, and they have a focus group audience of 200 more people, all of them working on that same one thing. Every morning I review and choose between two phrases, two simple phrases, seldom more than ten words, and one of these phrases is distributed across this nation to 1,200 politicians, 200 non-government lobby groups, 200 more radio and television producers, and 25,000 members of Americans for Political Action. One phrase, usually good just for that one day, drawn from all the news and all the events and all the goals and intentions nationwide. One.
“Five times, I have had to divert the focus of every resource to speak to a murdering psychopath to reinforce that he is ‘attacking American Institutions,’ ‘assaulting our freedom to achieve success,’ and ‘striving to kill the American Dream,” Jeffers fumed. “The goddamned White House won’t even commit to calling this ‘terrorism’, the mealy-mouthed pissants. This will not endure. I will not allow this traitor to become the poster boy for income inequality!”
Jeffers’ tone dropped into death-cold clarity, willing this to a final conclusion. “Get this man and get every person with him or supporting him. Every single one. Scorched earth.”
He handed a stark front facial photo across to Bishop who instantly caught the startling resemblance to Lee Harvey Oswald. Telling Bishop: “This is what the real shooter looks like.
Two days from now, this man, Dimitri Vosilych, is going to be introduced to my Executive Committee. Here is our killer.”
“I’ve got something,” Bishop explained, handing back the Vosilych photo. “These two NYPD detectives were thirty miles outside their jurisdiction. You may have seen them getting their boat shot out from under them.”
Jeffers scanned the printouts.
“Cullen is second-generation NYPD,” Stephen briefed from the NYPD files he had pulled. “Married, two children. Reached lieutenant six years ahead of median age for the grade. The partner, Sergeant Tremaine Bull, is single, seems to have peaked at detective-sergeant,” Stephen continued. “Lives alone, no indication that he has ever applied himself to further promotion.”
“They’re both working under Christiana Dansk, Intel Division, “Bishop added. Then he said, “The third guy is FBI. An analyst. We’re working on how he fits into this.”
Jeffers tapped rapidly across his keyboard. Christiana Dansk was an APA member. Fourteen years. He recognized her picture, tall blonde. Fourth-ranking woman on NYPD. He linked to another file. The Commissioner of Police and every Deputy Commissioner but one were all APA members.
“Sons of bitches had an operation underway that included Arcadia? Right under my nose? With my family aboard?!” Jeffers said.
“Cullen and Bull have a lead on Spencer,” Bishop continued. “His name has appeared in their communications.”
“Sixteen times,” Stephen interjected. “But it is unclear whether this moved up the chain of command. There’s nothing in any logs to say why they were even out there on the river.”
“Shadow them,” Jeffers ordered as he picked up the telephone, debating whether to dial Dansk or go directly to the Commissioner.
“Already done,” Bishop replied. “I have men watching them 24/7, camera and long-range audio surveillance-equipped. Stephen has phones, emails, and keystrokes monitored. We still don’t know how they got ahead of him to be there on the river, but we are going to find out. FBI has an ex-army sniper, a Major Gonzalez, coordinating with Cullen and Bull. That may be the connection for Hurwitz.”
Jeffers had come into the meeting with Bishop and Nussbaum fully prepared to fire them both. Now, they had earned themselves some time. “Get him,” he warned, “or I’ll find someone else who will.”
Jeffers finished dialing. Dansk answered her cell phone on the first ring after glancing at caller ID.
“What in the hell are two of your detectives doing on the Hudson?” he demanded.
“NYPD is adding security everywhere we can,” Dansk offered. She was trying for confident; she came off sounding lame.
“Me, my family…your people used us as bait!” Jeffers shouted at her.
“I did not authorize that assignment, “ Dansk protested.
“Then get your people under control! Get me everything you have on the shooter. Now! We’re working to manage this and your detective is getting over a million hits on YouTube,” Jeffers said. “You know what is at stake, Christiana, for you personally. I can block all your plans with one phone call.”
He moves on foot and on donkeys and is lucky to see a pickup truck. He uses light weaponry, mortars, and improvised explosive devices against jets, drones, and helicopter gunships. But he survives. This is his territory. Underestimate his determination, his capacity, let down your guard, and you will die.
Twice, Owen caught people looking at him and imagined that it was the price of his minor celebrity after the YouTube video went viral. He had no reason
Bishop’s men moved freely inside Citi-Field, the Home of the Mets, with the concessioners passes Stephen supplied to them. They observed and photographed Gonzalez’s sniper team training inside. The work was familiar; the sniper team was tightening tactical response techniques that every one of Bishop’s North Carolina men fully understood from years of doing the same work. But something was way off. Some of Bishop’s men weren’t sure that their pay was enough for whatever they were getting into. Their mission was to take down the shooter and secure the remains. How were they going to accomplish that with other capable squads right there competing?
Stephen was monitoring their keystrokes when the website Al Hurwitz was putting together emerged. When he grasped what they were doing, the audacity of the plan Cullen, Bull, Hurwitz, and Gonzalez were hatching left him clapping and cheering with excitement. “These dudes are setting a trap!” he announced.
Bishop was slow on the uptake. Stephen explained: “These guys are thinking like he thinks. You beautiful motherfuckers!” Bishop still didn’t catch on; he wanted to share the vision, but he had been chasing up so many blind alleys that he was feeling lost, even if he wouldn’t admit that to himself.
Stephen spun the laptop around to show Bishop what he had uncovered. “I fucking love this shit!” Stephen exclaimed.
“Human intelligence,” Stephen told him. “They’re doing your thing. That’s how they were on the river, too. They’re inside his head, anticipating where he can strike before he does it. The targets have been drying up. Now they’re steering him, baiting the trap for their chosen spot at their chosen time.”
“This is no good,” Bishop recognized. “How am I supposed to take this back to Jeffers? This is the opposite of ’low friction’. We’re in a Major League sports stadium. There is no way we can get Spencer out of there cleanly with dozens of cops around.”
Stephen smiled and tapped three keystrokes, then closed the application. “Problem solved,” Stephen announced. He shut the laptop and smugly grinned. “I just moved up their timetable, only NYPD will never know.”
The stadium felt too exposed; Spencer found a dozen locations from which he could fire on the luxury boxes, but not one of them offered a sufficient standard of cover ahead of the action or any viable means for escape. He was nearing the conclusion that Citi Field was a non-starter.
Nussbaum tapped his phone and zoomed in on the kneeling figure from the remote cameras and then opened Citi-Field’s security surveillance, switching the entire stadium security system over to a prepared loop sequence so that from inside the security office it would continue looking like an empty field on a regular travel day. The facial-recognition software had identified Master Sergeant Jonathan Spencer. A simple app he had written for this purpose sounded the alarm on Stephen’s smartphone.
Two three-man squads trailed behind him when Tremaine Bull into the baseball stadium. Through their binoculars, Bishop’s teams watched the detective enjoy himself inside the private suite.
“There’s not supposed to be any cops,” the squad leader radioed to Bishop. He hand-signaled Security 1 and Security 2 to follow and observe.
While Tremaine walked around the third deck out toward left field, two men moved around the concourse toward section 338.
Stephen sent the link to Bishop, plus texted him and phoned. More than minute passed with no answer. Tremaine Bull was just standing over Spencer when Bishop received the feed. The cop and Spencer were chatting!
“Move in!” Bishop shouted into their earpieces. “We have confirmation. I repeat. We have confirmation. Move in! Helicopter is en route.”
“Hold! What about the cop?”
Before Bishop could respond, suddenly the heavyset detective had cuffs out, fast, snapped them onto Spencer’s right wrist and twisted. Spencer cracked two sharp jabs into Tremaine’s face, dropping him to one knee. Spencer retreated, but the cop caught him with a powerful sweeping bear paw, spinning Spencer around.
The camera captured Spencer touching the Beretta 9mm at the small of his back inside his belt, but he didn’t draw. Spencer was obviously favoring one leg. He was trying to press himself away, but it was no good, the cop was too strong.
Stephen was glued to the action on screen.
Spencer put all of his strength into his good leg and leapt high. As he came down, he drove his entire force into the back of the cop’s head, slamming his face onto the edge of the concrete stair with a sickening crunch.
Spencer broke clear. He loped up the stairs, balancing on his weak leg and pushing his way forward. Bishop watched, momentarily forgetting to order his men to fire.
Stephen shifted the hijacked stadium security cam toward Bishop’s men. From inside the section tunnel, one of them wearing his black baseball cap turned backward held a rifle leveled straight at Spencer’s face.
“What’s the orders?” Bishop’s Team Leader demanded.
Bishop continued to hesitate. He knew better than to leave a witness, especially a cop, but he had no answer.
On his screen, Tremaine pressed himself up to his knees. He gripped the .38 revolver in one fist. His right eye was worthless. He squinted to aim through his left eye and cradled his revolver in the crook of his left elbow to stabilize his aim. When he fired, the camera caught the flame and smoke bursting from the snub-nosed barrel.
The first bullet hit like a rod of rebar ramming inside his right lung. Four more shots followed with each slug thudding home and jerking Spencer’s body in agony.
The last round slapped exactly onto the scar tissue where Afif’s blade had thrust.
A second rifle squared on the detective. “What about the cop?” Bishop’s team called out while Bishop froze. He knew that the detective wasn’t going to sit quietly and let him take away the biggest collar of his life. His orders were to get in and out fast with low friction. How was killing a cop consistent with that?
While Tremaine searched his pockets for his cell phone, two sets of eyes followed him with crosshairs aimed at him, center-chest and forehead.
“What are my orders?” Bishop’s man demanded. The shot was there, he had it, but not without clear orders, not shooting a cop.
Tremaine screamed “10-00”into his cell phone while Bishop’s team watched.
“Tremaine Bull DID. Shea. Citi-Field! Section 338. 10-12 on the sniper. Shooter down.”
Bishop’s man followed the cop through his rifle scope. The images relayed directly to Stephen’s screen.
Bright red blood poured out of Tremaine’s mouth like a running faucet, blood running through his broken teeth out over his chin as he straddled the man he had shot. The detective leaned down to get a closer look at the shooter. The first thing he saw was the Beretta inside Bigfoot’s waistband.
He paused, studying quizzically. Why, Tremaine wondered? Why didn’t draw the weapon?
Blood flowed over the body and onto the concrete. From above Spencer’s prone body, the cop’s head was twisted. Stephen recognized it on the monitor, too. He looked like he was confused, but he wasn’t able to identify the cause. He couldn’t know that the detective he was studying had just realized that the blood below him was draining out of his own mouth and not coming from Spencer at all.
Tremaine’s good eye fixed on the shining brass end of a bullet where it stuck out from one of the five holes in the back of Spencer’s shirt. Spencer snapped two quick testicular blows then sprang up on his one good leg.
Bull was already going down when Stephen completed the thought. Vest. He’s wearing a vest.
“Orders!” the commando demanded.
Spencer tried again to move beyond reach but the cop wouldn’t back off. Tremaine snagged him in a tight-fisted grip beneath the Kevlar vest and held on. Spencer drew the Baretta and pistol-
What do I have to do? Spencer wondered.
Whatever he did, the fool kept coming! With both eyes out of use, he couldn’t see, but the cop kept fighting!
Spencer twisted and swept both arms roundhouse to break the grip, but Tremaine’s hands grabbed again, both of his thick hands wrapping around Spencer’s Beretta. He jammed downward with such force that Spencer let go of the gun before his wrist snapped in two.
Spencer lifted his foot then he stamped his heel down onto the crown of the cop’s shoe. He felt the shattering bones caving into deep divot in the top of Tremaine’s foot, but the cop still held!
And then they were falling. Backwards. Each one of them waving his arms to regain balance as they both flipped over the railing.
“Whoa!” Stephen exclaimed, pressing his face closer to the monitor screen while the two looked like they were headed to an ugly death. He was relieved momentarily when the cop caught his arm around the metal railing pole. They dangled forty feet high above the concrete stairs and the brightly colored seats in the lower deck.
Spencer had one hand snagged onto the cop’s belt and held the other over the cop’s forehead. Then all was still and quiet as both of them concentrated on survival.
“I’m going to climb on you,” Spencer instructed. “Hang on. I’ll pull you up when I get to the top.”