“Let’s get out of here. Whoever did this is still around,” Mary said, taking Jo by the arm, “Don’t look back.”
As they walked back to Jo’s place, Jo began to ask questions.
“What is going on?” Jo said, “Are you running away from something too?”
“I’ve become stuck in the middle of something, something monstrous. I am afraid that you might become entangled in this as well,” Mary said, “Simply put, there are a group of men who have an interest in seeing that Sean and I are dead. It appears to be spiraling out of control.”
“Can you go to the police?” said Jo.
“No, we don’t have anything tangible to show them. The FBI is interested in Sean, but for different reasons. There have been too many things happening recently that aren’t coincidences, but can’t be explained rationally.”
“Could they be explained irrationally?” asked Jo, as they walked up to her duplex.
“You’ve grasped our dilemma. Listen, will you keep an eye out for any suspicious characters lurking around? Do you have a phone?”
“Yes, it isn’t a smartphone, but I can text you.”
“Good enough. If you think things are getting out of hand text me. Sign your text ‘Jo from Spo’, and I’ll answer you right away. Hopefully, there won’t be any fallout from this as far as you are concerned. These men are dangerous. It is becoming obvious that they have no qualms about committing ‘collateral damage.’ We could put you up for a while if you needed a place to stay.”
“I might take you up on that. I’m more worried about my ex than any conspiracy,” said Jo, “But I can protect myself, thank you.”
After she left Jo, Mary sent Sean a text message:
Bad things happening. Be home soon.
Sally O’Donnell left her condo to meet with a contact person regarding a project of her real estate consulting firm. Sally had been a consultant on the planning stages of a condominium in the Fremont District; one of the few remaining parcels of land in the area big enough for a building that size. It was in a prime location—just east of the famous ‘Fremont Troll’—and the owner of the final property to be acquired had told Sally over the phone that he was finally ready to talk.
As she drove to the site, Sally felt good. She was back in Seattle, doing what she liked, and free of Roger Ramsen and his creepy pals. She found a spot to park near the Troll where she saw a man standing with a clipboard, evidently waiting for her.
“Ms. O’Donnell, I assume?” said the man, speaking with a slight accent, “It is good to meet you at last.”
“The feeling is mutual, Mr. Devin,” said Sally, “What can I do for you?”
“Call me Frank,” he said, “I’d like to go over the property lines, and discuss a potential problem you might have with the northern border.”
“What do you mean?” asked Sally.
“If you will follow me (you can see it better from across the street), you will see that our neighbor to the North has been using part of my lot as his driveway. I had never noticed it before, but it may become a problem.”
They walked up a path between the trees on either side of the overpass which sheltered the giant sculpture. As they rounded a bush which cut off the view of the street, the man took what appeared to be an asthma inhaler out of his pocket.
“Excuse me,” he said as he removed the cap from the device. Suddenly, he collared Sally and shoved the inhaler into her mouth.
In a few seconds, Sally went limp.
Within a minute, she was dead.
The man dragged her body under the bushes and calmly walked away.
Sean was the bathroom of the old apartment, packing his toiletries into a box when Mary came in.
“Hi,” he said, “I’ve got the keys to the new apartment. I’m packing up my stuff. I got your text. What’s up?”
“I went to see ‘Madame Tara’, the fortune teller who was at the party last night,” Mary said, “She lived upstairs from where Jo, the woman we picked up in Spokane, was staying. Tara was supposed to meet me at the water tower. When she didn’t show, I went to Jo’s place to see if she was there. When I was talking to Jo, police and EMTs went to the water tower. We went to look at what was going on and we saw them take a body out of the tower. I assume it was Tara. There is something going on.”
“I found a story about the man who had been hit by lightning at Tina’s” said Sean, “And I also read about the trucker who died on the interstate, there was no word on the identity of the man who was hit by lightning, but a search of our Ramsen files revealed that the truck driver works for one of The Brotherhood members. The truck was full of bomb-making materials.”
“Have you been able to reach Tina?” asked Mary.
“Not yet. I was going to look up Edwin’s number and call him.”
“And warn him,” said Mary, “If they killed Tara, just because she was going to talk to me, and they are shipping bombs to Seattle, there’s no telling what The Brotherhood will do. I’m glad you got the new apartment, I won’t feel safe sleeping here.”
The apartment’s intercom buzzed. It was the super.
“You’ve got some visitors. FBI. Shall I send them up?”
“Do they have ID?” said Sean.
“It looks legit.”
“Don’t let them in. Wait for us. We’ll be right down.” said Sean. He turned off the intercom. “If we’re going to be murdered, I want witnesses.”
When Sean and Mary entered the foyer, Sean recognized one of the agents from Virginia, where he had worked on the ‘Billygate’ investigation. Mary recognized the other agent; he had been in contact with her when Molly had discovered that it was Billy’s, not Sean’s, body in the morgue.
“Gentlemen. No need for introductions, we’ve met before. Shall we go inside? We have a lot to discuss,” said Sean.