Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Sunshine City Chronicles, The Freshmen- Part 9: The Admission

June 7, 2018,
21:24 local time,
Executive Residence, The White House,
Buffalo, Roman New York

Tom Kirkman wasted no time as soon as he got home. Before his wife Alex had started to say “hey honey” Tom grabbed her close and locked in on her lips. He kissed her with such a fierce but dedicated fashion, making Alex so overcome with arousal that her body melted into his, making Tom pick her up and carry her to the nearest couch, all while still kissing her.

Once he was on that couch, Tom could barely contain himself, wildly stripping away at Alex's clothes while she did the same to him. He then moved his lips and ran his hands all over her body, making Alex gasp and moan several times for joy. She clutched her husband as close to herself as she could, moving as Tom moved while so overcome with passion and emotion.

Things were so frenetic, Alex could hardly keep up with what Tom was doing. Before she knew it, they were having sex, with Tom ramming her so hard and so fast that her senses went into overdrive.

It was all such a blur. A tense, exhilarating blur...but very much a blur.

Then it was all over, over very quickly but Alex still emerged with one of the most mind-blowing orgasms she ever experienced. Both she and Tom needed several minutes to catch their breath afterwards, both of them very sweaty but very hot messes.

Once both of them had finished taking their showers and got into their actual bed, Alex couldn't help but reflect on the sex she just had.

“Wow,” she said, still beaming. “Where did that come from? I'm at a loss for words...”

All Tom could do was kiss her forehead and smile. It'd been a while since he made love to her quite as passionately as he did, and, being so overcome with emotions himself, he too was speechless, just wanting to enjoy the moment.

After several minutes of the two of them looking into each other's eyes and trading lip kisses and back rubs, Alex felt something was amiss.

“Is there something you need to tell me?” she said, first with a smile but it soon abated the longer Tom took to respond.

Tom then let out a sigh before tears began to form in his eyes. He then sat up on the bed and really let loose with his crying, causing Alex to get up herself and console him.

“Honey,” she said, rubbing his back. “What's wrong? I want to help you...but you gotta tell me what's up.”

Tom got up, having composed himself enough to speak, but he still couldn't bear the thought of actually looking Alex in the eye.

“This could be my final night with you,” he said, still overcome with emotion, “and it probably should.”

Alex could only look on with bewilderment.

“Tom!” she said. “What are you talking about?”

“That time I went to Sonora,” he said, “halfway through my freshman year...I...I...”
“Spit it out, Tom,” said Alex, getting restless.
“I wasn't truthful with you,” he said. “I went to Sunshine City...I had a night with my friends...I know I told you at the time I got into an argument over their partying habits and cut them out of my life because of it...but...”

Tom then let out another sigh before more tears came from him.

“...but that wasn't the truth,” he said. “We had a night on the resort and...and...they raped this poor, innocent woman. Gang-raped her behind my back after I had left to get some sleep...I tried to stop them...but...I couldn't. It was all over before I had a chance to get there and make things better. I checked out of the Resort that night and kicked them all out before driving and finding another resort where I could clear my mind. I was so upset and devastated...I...I just couldn't believe my friends- or people I thought were my friends- could do what they did.”

Alex was overcome with shock, just as disgusted at what happened as Tom was.

“Tom,” she said, getting up and wrapping Tom in a tight embrace. “That's awful...I can't believe you've carried that burden for so don't need to be ashamed of it...I'm always here for you...always. Never forget that. I'm proud of you for bringing it out.”

Tom didn't respond, deciding instead to let go and pace, crying some more.

“No,” he said. “I'm not courageous...I'm pathetic.”
“No, no, no, Tom!” said Alex, who tried to get closer to Tom but he kept pushing her away. “C''re not're not the first one to witness a traumatic event and keep it bottled up for so long...many people do, and they struggle to talk about it, just like you did. There's no need to be ashamed.”

Tom then collapsed back onto the bed.

“No,” said Tom, tears still in his eyes. “No Alex, you don't understand...”
“Then make me understand!” said Alex forcefully flailing her arms forward.

Tom lowered his head and cried some more, before a few deep breaths allowed him to say what he needed to say.

“Alex,” he started, still breathing heavily. “The woman they raped...earlier that night...I...I had sex with her. I didn't want to...but she tackled me on the bed, aroused me and my friends egged me on...I was too young and stupid to say 'no'...though I know I should have...”

Tom collapsed his head into his hands, sobbing uncontrollably as Alex could only look on in horror, unable to comprehend what she just heard.

“No,” she said, still shocked. “ didn't...I mean, you couldn't...tell me this is some kind of a joke...” Alex then let out a half-hearted laugh before souring again. “'Ha ha, fooled you'...please tell me that's it...please?”

“No joke Alex,” said Tom. “I really did...and I've found out that I gave her a daughter...a beautiful girl named 'Raven'. A girl I have never met and one I had no intention of ever meeting because I wanted to forget that night...I...I still do.”

“...and you kept this from me for twenty five years?” said Alex, now starting to cry herself. “When were you going to tell me that you cheated on me.”
“No Alex,” said Tom, “it wasn't like that.”
“Oh what was it then,” said Alex, “she tripped, fell and landed on your dick?”
“Not exactly,” said Tom. “I was young and stupid...I let my penis control me instead of my Jove Alex, I was 18...I didn't know the things I know now...I didn't have the control that I do now...I did a lot of stupid things then that I wouldn't do now. Every 18-year-old does that...I'm sure you have.”
“Of course,” said Alex, as if the answer was obvious, “but none of those involved whipping out my vagina and thrusting it onto some stranger's dick just because he got me wet...I had a lot more control than you did, and so do a lot of guys, so don't give this crap that you couldn't control could but you decided not to.”

Tom then got up and tried to place his hand on her shoulder before Alex skirted away.

Don't touch me,” she said, reacting as if he was a leper. She then walked into her closet and put on a T-Shirt and sweatpants before walking back out.

“Alex,” said Tom, confused. “Where are you going?”
“I'm going to stay in the Queen's Bedroom tonight,” said Alex. “Don't try to contact me...I'm going to come back to get Penny ready for school but I am not going to deal with you unless it's official business.”
“Alex, come on...” said Tom, pleading though he knew it was futile.
“Don't 'Alex' me,” snapped Alex. “You're lucky you're the President or else I'd be out that door for good.”
“...but what does that,” said Tom as Alex walked out of the bedroom and slammed the door, “mean?”

Tom then sat back down on his bed, dejected and forlorn. He knew Alex would react the way that she did, but it didn't make the pain any easier to bear.

He then decided to lie down in a vain attempt at getting sleep, since Tom could sense things were only going to get worse from there.

The Sunshine City Chronicles, The Freshmen- Part 8: The Pasquinade of Justice

June 7, 2018,
10:12 local time,
The Oval Office, The White House,
Buffalo, Roman New York

“Lieutenant Mayhew,” said President Tom Kirkman to Lieutenant Alfred Mayhew (U-Va), the House of Lieutenants Majority Leader, “thank you for taking the time for meeting with me.”
“You're welcome, Mr. President,” said Mayhew, getting comfortable in his chair.

Kirkman wasted no time getting down to business.

“Look I'm going to be brief,” said Kirkman. “There's no way I am going to restore the Behavioural Analysis Unit. Their crimes against the people are too egregious and for me to extend any kind of clemency to them would be to make a mockery of our justice system. I trust the analysis of the Department of Justice and their conclusions, so the decision is final.”
“I knew you would say that,” said Mayhew. “I'm just going to ask that you forget the technicalities and consider the results. The BAU acted in good faith...the reasons that Linda Barnes imposed on them for not investigating Kevin Peck were frivolous and frankly arbitrary.”

Kirkman could only chuckle and shake his head before responding.

“Yet the BAU knew they were violating her orders,” said Kirkman, “and the other former members that tagged along to the case also knew they were violating orders and protocol. As I understand, Penelope Garcia was strictly forbidden by her new boss to investigate Peck as far as she did, and David Rossi was technically retired yet he somehow gained clearance to interview a suspect in prison, of which only Federal agents are allowed to do. Emily Prentiss also knocked down the door of a dwelling of which she did not have a warrant to enter, and the BAU also gained access to Peck's apartment without a warrant as well. Not only that, but Luke Alvez intimidated a hotel clerk into divulging guest information by waving his badge in his face.”

His voice grew angrier and more forceful in tone as he continued.

“...and this is just one case,” Kirkman said. “Garcia herself has pulled countless records- especially medical records- as evidence in cases despite not obtaining warrants to gather such information, Jennifer Jareau once put an arrest at risk by refusing to see the obvious solution, Prentiss allowed a suicide to take place right in front of her, and Matt Simmons- when he led the International Response Team- allowed Zoe Hawkes to rot in a Jalisciense jail because he refused to challenge the assertions of the authorities in Jalisco and even suppressed evidence by deleting a cognitive interview he did with her. She suffered for three months getting regularly beaten and raped by the prison guards and needed a further six months off the job recovering from the trauma of her experience, mentally and physically. Zoe is all that is left of the BAU because she refused to assist Prentiss when the 'team' went rogue, and while I am open to giving her assistance, that assistance will not come from the ranks of the old BAU that Prentiss was so sloppily in charge of.”

Kirkman then leaned forward and looked Mayhew right in the eyes, his steely glare rattling the Lieutenant.

“Do I make myself clear, Lieutenant?” said Kirkman unrelentingly.

Mayhew sat in his chair and shuffled, stewing over what he had just heard. He took in a few deep breaths to gather his thoughts before he responded.

“Emily Prentiss has been in charge for hardly a year and a half,” said Mayhew. “She's still learning...truth is, if Lieutenant Milner didn't write the report that effectively ended Agent Hotchner's career, the BAU wouldn't be in this predicament.”
“...and you would be correct,” said Kirkman, “but that's not going to absolve the BAU of any of the wrongs they have committed.”
“Doesn't the fact that Hotch personally recommended Prentiss for BAU Chief mean anything?” said Mayhew. “Prentiss may have made a lot of mistakes and her leadership style is different than Hotch's...but she's a distinguished agent, she shouldn't be thrown under the bus like this.”
“No, she should,” said Kirkman, “because she regularly made mistakes no one in any police academy would ever make...we're talking about Hollywood levels of incompetence, the kind of mistakes lazy screenwriters make detectives do in order to add pointless 'drama' to their one should ever make those mistakes in real life, but here we are, with Prentiss have demonstrably made those inconceivable errors. Aaron Hotchner never once made those mistakes.”
“Elle Greenaway,” said Mayhew, folding his arms.
“Elle Greenaway went rogue,” said Kirkman. “She took actions into her own hands and put Hotchner in a tough spot. While I grant that Hotchner should have made a better choice with the security detail on Agent Greenaway's home, that's hardly the same level of mistake as kicking down a door without a warrant and allowing the seizure of scores of unauthorized evidence and subjecting her own teammate to months of torture because she could not be bothered to look for evidence that would exonerate her teammate. Hawkes was only released because a drug runner ran his mouth and forced Jalisciense authorities to investigate him- if it wasn't for that, Hawkes may still be rotting in a jail.”

Kirkman then decisively took off his glasses and again looked Mayhew straight in the eye.

“Don't even bother trying to make a response,” said Kirkman, “because I am tired of dealing with your nonsense. I do not care what excuses you have for the BAU- they have proven, time and again, that they have no interest in following the rules and regulations that so dearly help maintain and preserve a civilized society. I have to put my foot down and stamp out this maverick ridiculousness, because society cannot function if those who are paid to uphold order do not follow that order themselves.

“The BAU have made a pasquinade of the justice system...there is no further discussion on their continuance. Special Agent Ritter will see you out, Lieutenant. Good day!”

Mayhew left in a huff, offering a few choice words for the President who was unperturbed by the display. Kirkman was too busy dealing with the multitude of notes on his desk to be bothered by his belligerent Lieutenant.

Moments later Kirkman's Chief Legal Counsel, Aaron Shore, walked into the Oval Office alongside Kirkman's Chief of Staff, Emily Rhodes, both of whom were young and slender individuals.

“Aaron, Emily,” said Kirkman, noting his guests' demeanour. “What can I do for you?” It was odd for both Shore and Rhodes to enter his office at the same time, so Kirkman knew they had something important.

“Sir we've received a request for a paternity test from you,” said Shore in his usual sternly deadpanned delivery.
“A paternity test?” said Kirkman, scoffing at the suggestion. “No- I'm not going through with it. How many do I get in one week? A dozen? Fifty? Fifty thousand? No, absolutely not.”
“You had 4833 last week,” said Shore matter-of-factly, “including 9259 people who have claimed they are your cousin.”

Kirkman threw his hands up in the air and smiled with glee.

“See?” he said, “I rest my case.”

“Sir,” said Rhodes, unrelenting from her serious tone, “we've got reason to believe that this request may actually have some merit. There was a murder in Sunshine City sometime in the early morning hours of June 4, and he was a former friend of yours.”
“Who?” said Kirkman, confused.
“Martin Coleman,” said Shore, opening Kirkman's high school senior yearbook to the page with Coleman's picture, which Shore circled.

“Pfft,” said Kirkman, pushing the book away. “I haven't spoken to Coleman in 25 years...we graduated high school and lost touch. I'm sorry for his family but I have nothing to do with his murder...and what does this have to do with a paternity test anyway?”
“The records contradict your words,” said Shore. “Paradise Resort in Sunshine City has a record of you staying there on December 16, along with Coleman and two other men named Jim Zack and Cory Fellows. You checked out in the early morning hours of December 18, along with Zack, Fellows and Coleman.”
“That's very interesting,” said Kirkman, “I apologize that my memory isn't perfect, especially after twenty five years.”
“...but that's not all, Mr. President,” said Rhodes.

Kirkman reacted with mock surprise before chuckling hysterically.

“Oh, it gets better!” he said. “What is this, a bad soap opera?”
“We have a woman who claims you raped her mother that night in Sunshine City,” said Shore. “Based on her gestational period, the timeline actually fits that she was conceived when you were in Sunshine City.”
“OK,” said Kirkman, deciding to play along, “so there may be something- but, who is this woman I supposedly raped? How do I know this daughter that I have was even conceived in Sunshine City? It's not like a fetus has a marker indicating where she was born. What's her proof that she was born in Sunshine City?”
“Conceived,” said Shore with a frustrated sigh.
“Whatever,” said Kirkman. “You know what I mean.”
“Martin Coleman told her,” said Rhodes.
“The dead guy,” said Kirkman, “whom we can't ask for verification.”
“Yes,” said Shore, “but statements given by both Zack and Fellows to Sunshine City Police confirm Coleman's account...they even gave the mother a name, Nancy Simpson, who we can confirm also stayed at the Resort the same time you did.”
“Jim and Cory are both still alive,” said Rhodes, “so we can ask them to confirm their statements.”

Kirkman shook his head and laughed.

“This is all just poppycock,” he said. “Just some people looking for attention...we really have bigger problems to worry about than some blowhards who can't understand their best days have long since gone.”
“So I take it the answer is 'no',” said Shore matter-of-factly.
“Yes,” said Kirkman forcefully. “My answer is an emphatic 'no'. Is there anything else?”
“One thing,” said Rhodes. “Quebec Premier Justin Trudeau wants to know when you can come back to Montreal to formally commemorate the street he's naming after you in Kirkland.”

Kirkman hemmed and hawed, flailing his arms as he pondered a response. He'd been leaving Trudeau hanging on that matter for quite some time.

“You know what,” he said, “Tomorrow. “I'll fly up first thing in the morning.”
“All right,” said Rhodes, “I'll make the arrangements.”

With that, Rhodes and Shore left the Office, upon which Rhodes asked Shore to walk with her outside of the Office premises to a quiet alleyway, where their conversation could not be recorded.

“What's wrong Emily?” said Shore, grabbing Rhodes' shoulders and rubbing them. Now that he was outside of the Office he could more properly show affection to his girlfriend, a relationship both hid from Office workers.

“I don't believe Tom at all,” she said. “See how dismissive he was?”
“I saw it too,” said Shore. “He knows he did something wrong and he doesn't want to admit it to us.”
“So what are we going to do?” said Rhodes, clutching Shore's hand. “I don't want to think that he raped Nancy Simpson...but we can't let that go.”

Shore then brought Rhodes close to him in an embrace.

“I don't want to let it go,” said Shore. “The problem is, how can we investigate this without the President knowing?”
“I could take an emergency day,” said Rhodes. “Blame stress or something...then I could go talk to Jim and Cory myself.”
“I'll go,” said Shore. “You need to be with the would raise too many suspicions if you took a day off. Besides, you don't know where they are...I do. At least I have the capability of finding them.”
“I have a better idea,” said Rhodes.

Rhodes then pulled out her personal cell phone and sent a carefully coded text message. Within twenty minutes, Speaker of the House Rep. Kimble Hookstraten (F-Mis.) met the pair in the alleyway looking to get down to business.

“Hey Kim,” said Rhodes. “I'm sorry for doing this to you on such short notice.”
“It's no problem,” said Hookstraten. “As you know, I've been looking for something like this.”
“That's why we thought you were perfect,” said Shore. “If we investigate, we look like we're undermining our boss...if you investigate...”
“I do risk turning this into a partisan affair,” said Hookstraten pointedly.
“...but the difference,” said Rhodes, “is that if we sent Haylie Modine or another Unionist then when the story comes out it becomes easy to dismiss as 'part of their politics', since they're all about 'rape culture' and things like that. You're actually on record as being dismissive of the idea of 'rape culture' and you and many in your party have stood up for due process rights...if you come out and find Jim and Cory's story has credibility, then the wider public might believe you more than a Unionist who's 'pushing their narrative'.”
“Plus both Jim and Zack are constituents,” said Shore. “You'll just look like you're helping your district.”
“All right,” said Hookstraten, “I'll do it- but I won't be able to fly out until this weekend, when I'm supposed to go back to my District anyway.”
“Thank you Kim,” said Shore, bringing relief to both him and Rhodes.

Hookstraten then started to walk away before she turned around and addressed Shore and Rhodes one last time.

“I just have one question,” said Hookstraten pointedly.
“Shoot,” said Rhodes.
“Why are you so interested in bringing down the President?” Hookstraten asked. “You work for him...shouldn't you be loyal?”
“This is a serious allegation,” said Shore, “one that we think actually has truth in it. This could cost him his Presidency, upon which we won't be working for him anymore.”
“Besides,” said Rhodes. “How many times has Tom gone on one of his self-righteous rants to some poor soul and you just want to tell him, 'no, you're wrong' but you can't because Tom is right? He can't claim the moral high ground forever.”

Hookstraten laughed in acknowledgement.

“OK,” said Hookstraten. “Get me their contact info and I'll have the information to you by Monday.”

Friday, June 22, 2018

The Sunshine City Chronicles: The Freshmen, Part 7- Raven's Story

June 4, 2018,
17:02 local time,
Sunshine City Police Headquarters,
Sunshine City, Sonora

“Hey, Raven,” said Bullock, greeting Raven as he entered the interview room. “Thanks for coming down to the station.”
“No problem,” she said with a smile, looking on as the rest of the SWAT team- including Deadpool now- got comfortable in their chairs.
“Is there anything we can get you?” said Bullock. “Water? Coffee? A sandwich?”
“A water bottle would be nice,” said Raven. “It's getting hot out there.”
“Finally,” said Morgan. “I was wondering if it was ever going to show up.”

Raven gave Morgan a confused look.

“First day in Sunshine City,” said Morgan with a laugh. “Touched down and there was nothing but rain.”
“I see,” said Raven.

Bullock then came back with the water and the team was ready for the interview.

“So I'm not sure where to begin,” said Raven.
“Start wherever you feel like,” said Street. “This is just about information.”

Raven took in and let out a deep breath in a bid to calm her nerves, doing it a few times before while the team encouraged her before she actually began.

“I'm going to start with what I know,” said Raven. “I was born in an artificial womb in Arizona on September 24, 1994, and the only person who take care of me was the doctor, Julia Jimenez. Unfortunately for me, she was too swamped with work to really take care of me, so I had to bounce around foster homes in my youth. I had a few good experiences, but many more were bad, and by the time I was 14 I hitchhiked to Alberta, where I was promised riches in the oil industry.

“As you might expect, I didn't actually get a job in the oil industry- I was hired as an 'entertainer' for oil workers in Wood Buffalo, of which Fort McMurray is a part of. Sex and lap dancing were regular parts of my duties, and while my handlers were actually nice to me, took real good care of me and protected me from the more overzealous men, I couldn't help but feel degraded and deceived. I mean, I didn't flee home to have sex with random strangers.

“One day I learned about a professional wrestling circuit in Fort McMurray and I became interested in participating. One of my sexual clients became interested in training me, and I soon began to enjoy trading workouts for sex- at least I was getting something out of the arrangement. I worked with him for many years, and by the time I was 20, I quit the sex trade for good and became a fighter. I soon graduated to the wider Alberta circuit and even got to participate at the main event at the Calgary Stampede, a match I won handily.

“I was on top of the world- but then, somehow, Alberta found out about my prostitution days so I had to run- so I took on the name 'Becky Salisbury' in an attempt to evade the Albertan authorities. The same man who trained me as a fighter found me a job here, in Sunshine City, so I took it...I work as his executive assistant for his private investigation firm...or at least I did.”

“What happened to your employer?” said Alonso as the team's interest was piqued.

“You guys found him today,” Raven said. “Dead.”

“Martin Coleman was your trainer?” said Deadpool, his eyes wide with shock. “What an amazing coincidence...this must be a crime novel or something...”
“Life imitates art many times,” said Raven with a smile. “That's why I wanted to talk to you, Deadpool...because I saw Martin earlier and thought I could help. I also thought you weren't a cop then, so couldn't turn me in.”
“Well we can't turn you in now anyway,” said Bullock, looking on a database on his phone. “Your record is clean in Alberta, I can confirm that. It's clean everywhere, in fact.”

Raven smiled, acknowledging the news before continuing her story.

“Anyway,” said Raven. “Martin took an interest in me because he told me I reminded him of an erstwhile friend of his, Tom Kirkman. Martin says Tom blamed him for raping my mother, but Martin believes Tom did. One of the reasons Martin came here was that he wanted to investigate the circumstances of my mother's rape and understand what really happened...he wanted to write a book about it, implicating Tom if he was indeed involved.”
“There'd be a lot of money there,” said Thurman. “The President accused of rape? That's a story the public will eat up.”

A thought came to Street.

“Do you think the President had Coleman killed to keep him from exposing the truth?” said Street.
“I'd say right now it's a very good possibility,” said Morgan. “I can't think of anyone else with the manpower and the resources to be able to track down Coleman here and kill him, especially with such a highly specific M.O.”
“Don't you think, Derek,” said Bullock, “that perhaps Kirkman would cover his tracks a bit better? Why down him with Valium? That's going to arouse suspicion. Wouldn't it be better just to shoot him?”
“You do have a point,” said Morgan, “but, right now, we don't have any other leads.”

“Martin stayed in Sunshine City with people he named Jim and Cory,” said Raven. “I never learned their last names, unfortunately.”
“What do you know about the night your mother was raped?” said Morgan.
“Not much, unfortunately,” said Raven. “I just know someone in that quartet did it and likely gave birth to me...I'm willing to submit my DNA test to see if Tom Kirkman really is my father...might give some closure on that part of my life.

“You know,” said Deadpool, “I think the Toronto Maple Leafs have a better chance of winning the Stanley Cup than we'll ever have getting the President of North America to submit to a DNA test.”

The group chuckled sardonically.

“What about Martin?” asked Thurman. “Could he have produced you?”
“No,” said Raven. “We checked...believe me, we checked.”
“Which leaves the other three,” said Morgan, “and one of them will be one major pain in the rear.”

Bullock then took a look at his watch.

“Well,” he said, “it's 6:30...I think it's time we call it a day. Raven, thank you for your information.”
“That's it?” said Raven, shocked at the development.
“See this is the time where life doesn't imitate art,” said Bullock. “You've given us great information...but, as far as we can tell, there's no one in immediate danger and we're still not ready to make any additional moves...besides, rest is essential to reset the brain so it can focus on the task at hand at a later time.”
“Oh,” said Raven with a restrained smile. “I see.”

“Is something wrong Raven?” said Morgan.

Raven let out a sigh and struggled to respond.

“I'll be fine,” she said unconvincingly.
“That doesn't sound like someone who is going to be 'fine',” said Morgan pointedly.
“Are you sure you're fine or are you just telling yourself that?” said Thurman with a smirk.

“Look,” said Raven, still struggling. “When I saw Martin brain's been going through a whirlwind...I've been thinking so many thoughts that I have no idea how to keep any of them straight.”
“That's expected,” said Morgan. “You and Martin were close...I wouldn't expect you to not take his death hard.”
“It's not just that,” said Raven. “With him dead, I'm not just unemployed I'm homeless...part of his office was converted into an apartment space for me...I was hoping to tag along with the case so I didn't have to worry about this part of my least not yet.”

Raven then broke down and cried, burying her head in her arms to muffle the sound of her sobs, though they were still loud.

“Raven,” said Bullock, “there's a couch in one of our break rooms you can use for the time being. We've got food vending machines and coffee and milk that you can use. You can stay there for the night and tomorrow you can go back to Martin's business and claim your stuff.”
“...and then what?” said Raven.
“We'll figure something out for you,” said Morgan. “We're probably going to need you on this case still...and you've been through a lot. We don't want to leave you on a lurch.”

Raven was relieved, though still sombre.

“Thanks guys,” she said, sheepishly.

Alonso then left with Raven to show her where she would be staying as Morgan and Bullock retired to Bullock's office.

“Do you believe anything she's said,” said Morgan after closing the door.
“I've got no reason to doubt her right now,” said Bullock. “We've got no other credible crazy as it sounds, the President conspiring to murder Martin Coleman makes a lot of sense.”
“She certainly looked like someone who had a connection to Coleman,” said Morgan. “She pursued us, and there aren't any contradictions in her story.”
“We'll just need proof that Tom Kirkman was in Sunshine City around the time Raven would have been conceived,” said Bullock. “As much as our suppositions hold up, the President isn't going to submit to a DNA test unless we've got some ironclad evidence that links him to the scene of the crime.”
“True,” said Morgan. “I just want to know how we're going to find records from 25 years ago.”

Bullock smiled.

“You're in luck,” he said. “Paradise Resorts keeps a record of every patron that has stayed at the resort since it opened in 1969. They do this because they have a deal- stay there for nine trips of a similar length-”
“-get your tenth one for free,” said Morgan with a smile of his own.
“How'd you know that?” said Bullock.
“I've taken advantage of it,” said Morgan, “and my dad tried year, we stayed at Paradise for nine trips of a single night and then tried to book the tenth for a whole month...Paradise said 'no', pointing us to the part of their policy that states for the 'tenth' trip to count, it has to be a of a similar length to previous trips, judged at Paradise's sole discretion. My dad was mad...screamed they were being racist but my mama put him in his place...because it's a perfectly reasonable rule.”
“Anyway,” said Bullock, “for Paradise to know this, they need a record of everyone who has been there, because it's a lifetime policy. So we'll just need to get Paradise's records and then we can prove that President Kirkman was there- or not.”

Morgan nodded before getting a sullen look on his face.

“Unfortunately,” said Morgan, “I'd ask my friend Penelope for help...but she and the entire BAU- a new one created by Emily Prentiss- are under investigation by the Department of Justice for multiple abuses of the law, including illegal searches of which Penelope has done...”
“Many,” said Bullock with a sigh. “I know.”
“I guess we have to do it the old fashioned way,” said Morgan. “The good ol' fashioned search warrant...”
“Paradise is usually pretty good about helping us,” said Bullock. “They know how important it is to keep the crime we may not need a warrant.”
“OK,” said Morgan. “After dinner I'll go down and get the list. It should be small...we're looking at 1993 and 1994, and only for one name.”
“It still could be quite lengthy,” said Bullock. “Thousands stay at the resort daily.”
“At least we'll know what we're going to do tomorrow,” said Morgan with a grin.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

The Sunshine City Chronicles: The Freshman, Part 6- The Fateful Night

December 17, 1993,
22:49 local time,
Club EZ,
Sunshine City, Sonora

“My word,” said Tom Kirkman as he watched a svelte, bikini-clad blonde woman down yet another shot of alcohol at the beachside nightclub, a part of the Paradise Beach Resort. “You gotta pace yourself...otherwise you're going to make yourself sick.”
“Oh I don't care!” said the woman. “I'm on my Christmas break, I'm away from home, and IT'S MY BIRTHDAY, BABY!” She then hollered wildly in celebration as she downed two more shots as Kirkman looked on, astonished.

“Well,” said Kirkman, extending his hand to shake. “Happy birthday.” The woman responded by almost tackling him in a bear hug, where Kirkman only avoided falling because of his balance.

“So,” said Kirkman, trying to regain his composure. “How old are you?”
“I'm 18!” said the woman, still holding Kirkman close to her by his waist. “How old are you, baby?”
“I'm also 18,” said Kirkman politely.
“Wow,” said the woman. “Same age! What's your name, sweetie?”
“Um,” said Kirkman, getting uncomfortable with the situation. “My name is Tom. What about you?”
“Nancy,” said Nancy. “Nancy Simpson, actually.”
“Oh,” said Kirkman. “Are you related to the family in Springfield?” Kirkman then laughed nervously.
“No,” said Simpson, not hiding her annoyance. “They don't even exist!”
“Actually they do,” said Kirkman. “Springfield was a very dysfunctional city...drove Marge Simpson into a mad rage where she killed her own family and then went on a shooting spree. Tracy Ulman heard the story and wanted to imagine the family in 'happier' times...which spawned the series.”
“I always thought that story was an urban legend,” said Simpson, now clutching Kirkman with both arms. “Interesting...listen, you're you want a drink?”

Simpson then looked at Kirkman with puppy eyes that made her hard to resist, but Kirkman stood tall. He took her hands and removed them from his waist, but he still held on to them while he looked Simpson in the eye.

“Listen, Nancy,” said Kirkman. “You're a very nice woman. I'm sure you're going to find a nice guy...but, I have to tell you, it's not going to be me...I've been seeing the same woman for the past six years...we've been sweethearts since middle school. I didn't even want to come here to Sunshine City, but my friends wanted to get away to celebrate the end of our freshman year at McGill University and my girlfriend egged me to go. Plus, I'm the designated driver tonight...I can't have any drinks. So, can hang out with me as much as you like, but know it won't go any further than that.”

Simpson lowered her head, despondent at what she heard, before nodding in agreement. She then looked up and smiled, having a realization.

“You said you had friends here?” said Simpson, now happy again. “Can I meet them?”
“Sure,” said Kirkman. “We'll show you a good time. They're all single too.”
“Take me to them!” said Simpson, as she and Kirkman walked hand in hand to the dancefloor where Kirkman's three friends, Martin Coleman, Jim Zack and Cory Fellows, were dancing up a storm. Coleman was already grinding with another woman, but Zack and Fellows were by themselves, seeing an opportunity with Simpson.

Kirkman wanted to introduce Simpson to his friends, but none of them waited. Simpson slotted herself in between Zack and Fellows and danced seductively with both of them simultaneously, leading to Coleman to joke she was making a “Cory and Jack sandwich”. Meanwhile, Kirkman smiled, content to dance by himself as his friends enjoyed themselves.

Eventually, the group felt it was time to leave. Coleman got the phone number of the girl he danced with and promised to call her tomorrow for lunch, but Simpson was not content to end the night right there. The five remaining people piled into Kirkman's rental car- a Fiat Panda- and drove back to the resort motel.

The four male friends had two rooms, side by side, with Kirkman and Coleman in one room and Zack and Fellows in the other. They were the only ones with rooms at that section of the motel, which allowed the group to get as loud as they wanted. Since Zack and Fellows had stocked up on alcohol, the quintet piled themselves into their room, where they continued their revelling.

First up, Simpson offered to play a game of “spin the bottle”, which the boys readily accepted, except Kirkman who sat out. She managed to kiss Zack three times and Fellows twice, with Coleman getting a smooch.

Then, Simpson spun it wildly and the bottle pointed to Kirkman. Simpson then grinned devilishly, saying “this is the spin I wanted all night.” As Kirkman's friends all shouted words of encouragement to Simpson, Kirkman tried to protest, but Simpson was not going to be denied. She then took off her bikini top and dropped her bikini bottoms to the floor and purposefully approached Kirkman, who tried to move away from her but Simpson wasn't having it.

Finally, Zack piped up.

“C'mon, Tom,” said Zack. “Give Nancy what she wants...she's freaking hot, man! Just go for her...and she really digs you!”
“Alex is never going to find out,” said Fellows. “She's all the way back up in Montreal...she's probably partying herself, screwing some other guy right now as we speak. Women have needs! So do you! You can't tell me you don't want to bone this hot chick right now.”
“I mean, in a very hypothetical situation,” said Kirkman, beginning to stammer as Simpson drew nearer. “If I wasn't with Alex then, then...then, yeah, s-s-sure-”

He was stopped in his tracks by Simpson, who excitedly pulled down his shorts and began sucking on his penis with her mouth.

At this point, Kirkman- who thoroughly enjoyed the fellatio- decided it was time to give in, taking off his shirt, his socks and his shoe as well and climbing into bed with Simpson. They made out passionately for several minutes as Simpson eagerly stroked Kirkman's penis with her hands, before Kirkman began enjoying Simpson's breasts with his hands and his mouth. He especially enjoyed her nipples, which were so erect and perky, so great to suck on and play with via his tongue.

Through all this, Simpson moaned heavily, thoroughly enjoying the moment and getting deeply aroused in the process. Kirkman's friends then continued egging the two of them on, which resulted in the two of them having sex right there on the bed. It was Zack's bed, but Zack wasn't at all fazed by what was happening- it was filled with his sweat anyway.

After several heart-pounding, moan-inducing minutes involving many different positions, Kirkman and Simpson climaxed together, leading them both to collapse onto the bed and cuddle in each other's arms, too exhausted to do anything else.

They were then greeted by cheering from Zack.

“Attaboy, Tom,” said Zack with excitement. “You can't tell me you needed that.”
“Oh I did,” said Kirkman. “I really did. That was actually the best sex I've ever had.” He then planted another kiss on Simpson's lips, which caused her to draw herself nearer to Kirkman, especially her head as she kissed Kirkman deeply, the two of them practically devouring each other's mouths in the process.

When they were done kissing, Simpson and Kirkman then looked lovingly in each other's eyes. Simpson agreed with Kirkman that it was the best sex she's ever had, to which Kirkman smiled. Kirkman then looked on, wondering if all these years with Alex were a mistake. Nancy is so much more fun and energetic, thought Kirkman, I need that in my life...what am I doing with boring, staid Alex?

Kirkman then let out a sigh, realizing he thought wrongly. He then kissed Simpson on the forehead and bid her adieu, collecting his clothes and putting them back on so he could go to his own bed.

He then looked longingly at Simpson one last time, his heart heavy, as Simpson too locked her eyes on him, herself ready to cry. Both of them seemed to realize that they'd never have this moment ever again, and it pained both of them.

Such a connection those two had, but can be cruel.

As Kirkman descended upon his bed, he reflected on his night, melancholy over what he'd done. So many times his friends told him he was too young to commit to Alex, that he needed to “have fun” and see what other women were like...and now, arguably, he had his chance, and this “other woman” was so much more fulfilling than Alex had ever been. Or so he thought before he stopped himself.

C'mon, Tom, he thought, Alex has been your rock through thick and through thin...there's NO ONE who has done more for you. When you failed that physics test, who's the one who told you everything was going to be OK and did all she could to brighten your day up? Alex. So what if her breasts aren't as big as Nancy's, and so what if her idea of sex is simply laying there and letting me ram in her...she's so good as a person...what does Nancy have? She's just a party slut who jumps on the first guy who shows an interest in her...that's why she wanted me. That's why she didn't get up and leave with me...because she knows she can just have sex with my friends. I bet that's just what she's doing right now, because she has no self-worth.

Kirkman smiled and contented himself with a breath before rolling over so that he could try to get some sleep.

He was awakened- and troubled- by the sounds of shouting and screaming he heard in the room next to him. He then realized the screams were Simpson's, and that his friends were attacking her in some way.

Kirkman put his shorts back on and knocked on his friends' door, but they ignored him. He then continued to rap away at the door but it was futile, since his friends continued to ignore him. He then wept as he realized what was happening, as he could hear Simpson's muffled yells as his friends took turns holding her down on Fellows' bed and raping her. After an agonizing half an hour that felt like an eternity to Simpson, she emerged from the room, her clothes intact and her body physically fine except for some sexual pains (since Kirkman's friends were all virgins they didn't last long enough inside of her to cause much physical damage), but she walked out in tears, hunched over and curling herself over her torso, her soul destroyed forever.

“Nancy,” said Kirkman, shouting out to her and running after her. “Nancy!” He then put his hands on her shoulder before Simpson violently pushed him away.
Don't touch me!” she said, her eyes wide and her teeth as fearsome as a tiger's. “You're just like them! You don't care about me! You just wanted to get your rocks off, Mr. 'I have a girlfriend'. I bet she's made up...she's Canadian, after all.”
“Nancy, Nancy, no,” said Kirkman after sigh. “I didn't make her up.” He then pulled out his wallet and showed her a picture of Alex Booker, his girlfriend.

Simpson then quickly pushed it away.

I don't care if you've got a picture,” said Simpson. “You could have just taken that with some random girl to trick a girl like me that you're not 'a threat' because you're taken. Yet, you know, you clearly are because you decided to be in the same room as your animals of friends and you just let them egg you on and have sex with me...because that's what you wanted all along.”

Kirkman was flabbergasted, but his emotions were conflicted as he still ached for Simpson.

“No, no, not at all,” he said, pleading with his hands. “The sex...the sex was great, but I didn't want it. I mean, I pushed you away at the bar, I backed away when you tried to come after me in my friends' room...I resisted.”
...but then you gave in,” said Simpson, beginning to cry again, “but then you gave in!

Simpson then began bawling her eyes out again, causing Kirkman to instinctively wrap his arms around her before Simpson again pushed him away.

ENOUGH!” said Simpson. “Didn't I tell you once, 'don't touch me!' What are you, short of hearing or something? Or do you only care about your dick?”

Kirkman wiped his faced with his hands, himself beginning to cry.

“No, no, no,” he said through tears. “No, I don't. I care only about you. I'm sorry...I got carried away...I won't touch you again. I'm sorry, I'm word, I wish things were different.”
“...but they're not,” said Simpson with a scowl.

Kirkman let out another sigh.

I'm sorry for what my friends did,” said Kirkman. “I would not condone it in any way...I can't imagine the things you went through and the things they did...I really wanted to go in and stop them...I knocked on their door so many times...I'm guessing you never heard me.”
No,” said Simpson, “I didn't...but what good does it do now? They did what they wanted, it's all over and you didn't stop them. I don't care if you didn't do it.”
“...but what was I supposed to do?” said Kirkman.
I don't know,” said Simpson, “maybe go back to your hotel room and call the police? Call somebody?
“I thought my friends would answer the door,” said Kirkman. “Surely if they weren't going to answer for me they weren't going to answer for front reception or the police.”

Simpson continued to give Kirkman a cold stare.

Look,” said Kirkman, “let's go to the front office...together. You can explain to them what happened and the police will file a report. They're probably fast asleep right now, so we have time for the police to get here.”

No,” sneered Simpson. “I'm going to get out of here...I'd rather not see you or the people you think are your friends ever again.”

She began to walk away before her tears flowed again. She then turned to Kirkman and addressed him, tears flowing from her eyes.

“You know,” she said, “I really thought you were different. I really thought you were such a nice guy...that's why I trusted you at the bar, and trusted you and your friends. How could I be so wrong? Where did I go wrong? Does it even matter anymore?”

Simpson then walked away, her eyes bawling and her crying loud and clear, as all Kirkman could do is watch, stunned by the helplessness he was feeling at being unable to fix the broken soul that was running away from him.

Where did she go wrong? he thought to himself, where did I go wrong? How could I have been so wrong...Martin, Jim and Cory...I never thought they were capable of could they be capable of this? Why were they capable of this...this...none of this makes sense.

He then let out an angered sigh and burst into his room, rousing Coleman awake.

Get up,” he said forcefully before shouting. “GET UP!
“Woah, woah, woah,” said Coleman, getting up. “What's going on?”
I'm checking us out,” said Kirkman. “All of us! Gather up your things and go. I don't care where, just go.”
“Tom,” said Coleman, begging Kirkman, “Tom...but where are we going to go? You paid for this can't just cancel our rooms...we've still got another two weeks...we can't afford to leave. At least I know I can't afford to book another room here.”
Too bad,” snarled Kirkman. “Maybe you should have thought about that before you raped Nancy!”

Coleman looked at Kirkman with wide eyes.

Woah, buddy,” said Coleman. “I didn't rape Nancy...I tried to get them to stop but Cory socked me in the head...the entire time they were doing what they were doing, I was dazed and washing the blood off of me...Tom, I could never do's not in my nature.”

Kirkman gave Coleman a look.

“...and why should I believe you?” he said, folding his arms.
B-B-Because,” stammered Coleman, “we're friends...when did I ever lie to you? I've known you since kindergarten Tom! Maybe Jim, or Cory...the guys you met just this past semester...they would lie to you...but not me.” Coleman then began to cry. “Never me,” he said through his tears.

Kirkman was nonplussed.

I don't care,” he said, not hiding the anger in his voice. “You were there, you could have stopped it, and you could have done so better than I could have. Maybe one day I'll see it differently, but right now, you, Jim and Cory all have to leave.”

Coleman realized it was futile to protest further, so he gathered his things and prepared to leave. Where, he didn't know. Kirkman waited for Coleman to be out of the room and for Coleman to give him his keys before Kirkman went to Zack and Fellows to tell them to leave. Zack and Fellows were defiant, but Kirkman didn't care, telling them his intentions and then leaving. Resort security then had to come in and extricate the defiant attendants, since they were now in the room illegally.

As for Kirkman, after he gathered his things and checked out, he took a drive, first to Hermosillo and then further south, all to clear his head. He then found another motel in Los Melagos where he decided to check in for the rest of his vacation time. It was by a beach but it wasn't a busy one, the perfect place for Kirkman to clear his head.

 Meanwhile, Simpson went back to her room at the resort, a suite she shared with her parents. She tried to make the most of the rest of her vacation, but she was too shaken by what happened to really enjoy it. She began to start overeating, putting on weight in dramatic fashion, which had the added benefit of hiding her eventual baby bump- one she kept convincing herself wasn't actually a bump.

Despite her struggles, Nancy did meet another guy, a guy who would take her to her senior prom, held at a beautiful ballroom hall in her hometown of Arizona Springs. For one night, she felt like a queen and actually seemed to enjoy life again, until the inevitable happened and the guy tried to force himself on her, convinced that prom was where he was supposed to lose his virginity. Having too many flashbacks to her horrible night in Sunshine City, Nancy fought off her date and took a cab home, crying throughout the entire journey.

After Nancy got home, she found her parents sleeping on the couch by the entrance to their home, waiting there because Simpson was past her curfew. Many other nights, she would have been horrified at the thought of dealing with her parents, but tonight she wanted nothing more than to have a talk with them and be cradled in their arms for one last time.

Unfortunately, they both took their sleeping pills, extra-strength Valium, so neither could be roused from their slumber. Simpson began crying again, reaching into their medicine cabinet and taking six bottles of Valium, her parents' entire supply. She then put in a blender, hoping to rouse her parents but it still didn't work, grinding all those pills into a liquid she then downed completely in one go. Since it was so much, she fell instantly to the floor, which caused extensive brain damage. A few hours later, her mother did wake up from her slumber and noticed Simpson on the floor, paramedics came and took her to the hospital several minutes later.

After two hours at the hospital, the doctor, Julia Jimenez, emerged from the surgical centre and greeted the Simpsons- parents Carla and Doug along with her brother Joseph- in the waiting room.

“Mr. and Mrs. Simpson,” said Jimenez, with a sombre look on her face as the Simpsons looked on, anxiously. “I have good news and I have bad news.”
“Wha-what's the bad news?” said Doug, holding back tears as Carla already began to cry.
“We were not able to save Nancy,” said Jimenez. “She drank so much Valium that it sped up her heart, and the brain damage she suffered because of her fall meant we were unable to contain her heart rhythms. Eventually she suffered cardiac arrest and she died, albeit peacefully in her sleep.”

At this stage Doug and Carla collapsed into each other's arms, their tears flowing liberally. They were too distraught to realize that Jimenez had more to tell them, though Joseph fought back his tears enough to ask.

“You said there was good news?” he said before breaking down and crying momentarily.
“I did,” said Jimenez.
“I'm not sure how there is good news,” said Joseph, again crying. “My sister is dead.”
“We were able to save her baby,” said Jimenez. “We were able to keep Nancy alive long enough to preserve her fetus, where we were able to place her in our artificial womb. It's an experimental technology given to us from the Roman government, but I'm confident the fetus will develop into a fully-functioning, healthy baby.”

The Simpsons stopped their crying and looked at Jimenez with shock and confusion.

“OK, I'm sorry,” said Doug. “Did you say she had a baby? Did I hear you correctly?”

It was now Jimenez's turn to be confused.

“Yes,” said Jimenez. “You did hear me correctly. She had a baby. She had a baby. I thought you would have known...or at least have known that she was trying for one.”
Trying?” said Carla in shock. “She wasn't dating anyone, who could she possibly be 'trying' to have a baby with?”
“What if she got drunk and had sex with someone at prom?” said Doug, who then recoiled in horror.

Jimenez sighed, soured at what she thought was good news not being received so well.

“Listen,” said Jimenez. “I'm sorry I had to break all this right now...I wish things were different...but, they are what they are. I just want to know if you wish to-”
“Terminate that pregnancy!” said Doug forcefully, with Carla nodding in agreement. “I don't want anything to remind me of the beautiful daughter I just lost tonight...especially because that baby is only the result of the filth some creep did to her. Terminate it! Now!”
“OK,” Jimenez said, sheepishly.

After the Simpson family left, Jimenez went to Carlos Ruiz, the hospital's Chief of Staff.

“They want to terminate that pregnancy,” said Jimenez, “but I can't bring myself to do it. No...not after all the work we put into that machine.”
“I agree,” said Ruiz. “Nancy's baby is the first one you've put into the womb, correct?”
“Yes,” said Jimenez. “The very first...not that the distinction matters.”
“Very well then,” said Ruiz. “Since you want to keep it alive, you will take care of the baby.”
“You know I will,” said Jimenez firmly. “Through thick and thin I will.”
“Good,” said Ruiz with a smile.
“I will name the baby 'Raven',” said Jimenez, “because I know once the baby is born, he or she will fly, soar above the heights and achieve things no one thought would be possible...because no one thought our womb would work, when it will.”