Mateo Lauersdorf

Mateo Lauersdorf

"Keep quiet until I give you the go ahead." A man dressed in all black was conversing with another person, also dressed in all black. His voice was hoarse and deep.

"If all goes as planned we'll be able to avoid attention, but if something goes wrong be ready to run."

"When is the plan goin' to happen?" this voice was higher pitched and more feminine. "I mean what if I'm not ready?"

"Be ready at all times." The hoarse voice called out. The man limped away.

The other man stayed put in the same spot the man left him in. The way he carried himself in a way that made him look confident. He walked away, towards his house, with a swagger. He was a bit nervous about what the limping man was planning to do because not only would it put him in danger, but his family. Aside from that he was completely ready and willing to follow it out.

It was Friday, May 13. Randy Empire awoke with a start. It was 4:30p.m. and he was tired from his previous shift at work. Randy was a sergeant detective with the Santa Barbara Police Department. He worked the graveyard shift last night finalizing paper work that put his latest case to rest.

Randy got out of bed and walked over to the mirror. He was a stocky man in his early 30's. His face was rough and covered in facial hair. He had a determined, confident look upon him. His hair was straight and black, but was starting to have a silver tint around it. He jumped into the shower and got on his Armani suit with a blue pinstriped collared shirt under it, he looked extremely professional-like he belonged in the White House.

Randy left the house, blueberry muffin in hand, and got into the squad car that was to take him to work. He got into the car. His brother-in-law was driving.

"How is it going?" asked his brother in law. He, like Randy, had straight black hair, but his face was smooth and unblemished.

"Same old, how's my sister John?" replied Randy.

"A bit knaggy, but she's great." John Para smiled then started the drive to the station. After they checked in they went to their patrol route for the day, which happened to be in a sub division of Santa Barbara near where John and Randy's sister Jamie lived. After they had been driving for at least a couple of hours, a call came in from the switch board came through on their radio. A witness called in a shooting in their subdivision. Since Randy and John were the only officers in the area, they flipped on their lights and sped to the address that spilled through the radio.

"8936 Lawrence Blvd. isn't that right next door to your house?" Randy quickly interjected.

"Oh…your right" said John extremely worried. John began to speed up a bit more then he normally would. After arriving at the scene, they exited the squad car. It was pitch black, and at least past 9 p.m. The house had no lights visible through the windows, but Randy had a sense about this kind of thing.

"John stay close it looks like the perp is still here." To keep the element of surprise they kept to the shadows. When they arrived at the door, they drew their guns. Randy gave John directions without talking. With standard army signals, he said "I'll go first, stay close and look right."

Thump. Randy kicked the door in while screaming "Police freeze!"

It was completely pitch black, but they heard nothing move. They continued through the long foyer, and arrived at a lighted up kitchen. There they heard two voices. Apparently, no one heard them bust the door in and yell. Randy, on one knee, crouch walked to the kitchen door with John behind him. The voices became audible.

"Why are you doing this?!" the voice sounded soft but frightened.

A man then replied "For the money". Randy cracked the door just a little. Peering through the crack, he realized who the girl was. His baby sister! Randy kicked the door in just as the man raised his gun. The man whirled around. Looking at the door he fired twice. Randy ducked just in time. One bullet lodged itself in the wall the other soaring over his shoulder and landing who knows where. Randy then shot three extremely accurate bullets, without realizing that another man was in the room. One bullet clipped the man in his shoulder and the other in the knee. The last shot came to rest in his neck. It severed the cerotic artery. He would bleed to death in minutes.

Randy dropped his gun and ran to his sister. Before he could reach her she coughed up blood. She was shot in the left breast. She was breathing fine so it missed the lungs. Randy just remembered that the man had fired only two shots, both towards Randy. Randy just remembered that there had been another man in the room.

"John" Randy said barely audible. "John, come here" Randy's voice cracked, but it was more audible. "John, get your ass in here." This time his voice returned to normal. John came running in through the door. "HE….got….away" panted John.

"Call a bus" Randy yelled. John looked at Randy. His faced was screwed up with what looked like rage.

Into his shoulder radio John said "we need a bus stat….." The rest off what he said was downed by Randy sobbing. He held his sister in his arms rocking back and forth. What happened next, Randy did not know. Time sped forward. The bus came and left, leaving Randy standing in front off the house. There were two other bodies in the house. One was the owner, Ms. Nitech, the other was the shooter. CSI was crawling all over the house now. The Captain and Internal Affairs were also there. It was regulation for all deaths by gun shot that the captain shows up. It was again necessary for Internal Affairs to show up because an officer committed the shooting. They had already cleared the shooting as necessary for survival. On their way to their car one said, "I hope you catch the bastard"

The Captain came over to where he was standing. "Are you gunna be ok?"

It took Randy a few seconds to register what he asked him. "I dunno Cap', but I can tell you I'm gunna kill the bastard."

"You already did."

"He wasn't the one who shot her"

"What the hell you mean?"

"There was another man in the room. John lost him in a chase."

The Captain had a confused look on his face. "John didn't tell me this." Randy disregarded this comment.

"Where is John?" Randy turned around expecting him to be there.

"He already went to hospital. He told me to tell you he'll meet you back at the station"

"Cap' I think I'll head to the hospital."

"All right. I'll have what ever CSI finds on your desk."

Randy was sitting in the waiting room with John. It was three hours before the Surgeon came out. Randy shot out of his seat.

"How is she?" Randy asked.

"I'm sorry she lost to much blood we couldn't save her." The surgeon had a sincerely sorry look on his face. He patted Randy on the shoulder and turned to walk away. Randy felt his heart drop into his stomach the burning pain and all. John was sitting next to him his head buried in his hands. Randy felt the cool tears roll down his checks. The last of his family was dead and now he was more determined to find out who shot and killed an innocent young girl. Randy sat there for hours. By the time he left John had gone and the captain had called him three times. He walked out to his car, a Ford Fusion. He got in and tried to start it up. His cell phone rang before he even sat down.. He answered it. It was the Captain.

"Randy" the Captain said "we need you to come in right away. We're sending a car so just leave yours there.

Randy arrived 30 minutes after the call from the Captain. He went straight to the Captain's office. The Captain was talking on the phone. Randy sat down across from the Captain. When he got off the phone he turned to Randy. "Well CSI found three latent prints that where neither the shooter's nor the owner's. They also ruled out your sister's. They found blood that didn't match any on record or again the shooter, your sister, or the owner. They are running DNA fingerprinting tests on those samples. They also found a match on one of the fingerprints in the database."

"Ex-con?" Randy asked.

"No ex-cop. You actually collared him back in '97 on a racketeering charge. Jason Ginobi was sentenced to 20 years in prison with possibility of parole in 10. He got out earlier this year. He appears to have been dating the owner of the house. That is all we got on him. That still leaves the other two fingerprints. We'll have results in two days if all goes well with techeis. Right now we need you to find where he is staying, because of course he isn't keeping up with the parole officer, and find his connection to the shooter when the coroner ids the man." The Captains phone rang. It was the coroner's office. "They identified the shooter. He was ex-con. As a matter a fact, I think you locked him up to." The Captain flipped on his computer and looked up Kedall Webster's name. "Yup back in '99 for reckless endangerment. Ahh. Look at this." The Captain said and Randy got up and walked around the desk.

"They shared a cell together." Randy put it all together. He had locked both Jason and Kedall up. They shared a cell up in L.A. They must have figured out that I had arrested both of them and came up with a plan to kill me."

"Yeah but what gets me is that they killed you sister first. And you heard Kedall say that he killed her for the money." This made Randy think. He sat there for a while. Rapidly he got up. He sprinted to the door. The Captain stood up and followed. Randy walked to his office and picked up his phone. He started to dial John's number. The Captain reached Randy.

"Who are you calling?" The Captain asked.

"John."

John picked up after seven or so rings." Hello"

"John it's me."

"Oh, Randy. What do you need?" his voice was high pitched and cracking. He had just got done crying.

"I need you to come in. We know who the other guy was. I think we can find him too."

"Okay just let me….." John stopped mid sentence.

"John are you still there?"

"Yeah, but someone is in here with me. Get over here quick. Oh…shit. It's the guy." Randy had missed the last part of the sentence. He had already dropped the phone and grabbed his squad car keys. He was running down the hallway. He yelled to the Captain before he ran out the door.

"Cap' he has John." With that he was gone.

"John I need you to calm down." John was in some warehouse in Santa Barbra. He was tied to a chair. He was struggling vigorously. There were five other people in the warehouse. He regonized two of them. One was a buddy he had in the academy. They had been roommates. The other was the guy who he had chased from Ms. Nitech's house. He was the one talking.

"I'm sorry we have to do this. Truly I am. But your brother in law has been truly hard to kill. We couldn't get him at the house. And his car is still sitting at the hospital ready to blow when someone starts it. So this is our last resort." John was gagged so he couldn't reply. He just kept wriggling around. John looked up. He stopped moving. "There that's better." He pointed at one of the other four men. "You ungag him." The man did so without talking.

"He'll kill you." John said as soon as he was ungagged.

"I'm sure you think so. But what you fail to notice is that there are more of us then of him."

"He'll bring the entire force with him" The man punched him in the jaw. John was knocked unconscious.

Randy arrived at John's apartment within 10 minutes of the phone call. He got out of his car and ran up to the apartment. He used the hidden key under the mat. After he got in, he could see the place was destroyed. On the door there was a note. Randy ripped it off. He walked in and picked up one of the overturned chairs. He sat down. He unfolded the note it read:

If you ever want to see you brother-in-law again you'll come to the old MCH warehouse in downtown Santa Barbra at noon tomorrow

Randy crumbled the note in his hand. He stood up and walked outside. When he got to his car he took out his cell phone and called the Captain. He told him what had happened and what the note said.

"I think it's a trick."

"Why?" asked the Captain.

"The note didn't say anything about coming alone. He knows that I will bring the entire force with me now. He must be planning something else."

"Yeah but we can't take a chance he may be bluffing to get you to go by yourself."

"I want to take that chance."

"Alright but I'm going to have a swat team on standby."

"Okay." Randy hung up. He drove home before going back to the station.

Randy slept at the station on his cot in his office. When it was about eight the Captain woke him up.

"Randy we need you to get outfitted now." Randy did and by the time he was done it was ten. He walked in to the room that they were being briefed in. The swat team was there and so was the Captain. On the table there was a blueprint of the warehouse. When Randy was at the table they started.

"Alright. I will need two teams. After Randy enters the warehouse, the two teams will station themselves at the two exits. If anyone hears shooting go in right away. Randy will be wearing a bug, so I'll be able to hear the entire conversation. Randy" The Captain turned to face him. "Don't hesitate to shot. I'll warn the team leaders if anything goes wrong. We'll be leaving in an hour so people gear up".

In exactly one hour they left the station. Randy, driving an unmarked car, left first. Then the two swat teams in unmarked vans and the Captain in a surveillance van. There was an old security booth right before the entrance. Randy got out and flipped the switch that allowed people through. Also, he saw that the security cameras were online. He shut them off. He gave the Captain the okay and got back into his car. He drove up to the building and got out. The door was about 15 feet in front of him. He recognized the place immediately. It was here those13 years ago that he arrested Jason. They had once been partners before Randy made detective.

"Hey Randy." Jason had said on night 13 years ago.

"Hey Jason, why'd you want me to come all the way down here?" Randy said as he opened the door.

"I just have to talk to you real quick." Jason looked hurried. "Umm, I don't know how to ask you this, but I need you to hold on to some money for me."

"What do you mean? How did you come across this money?"

"Well, you know me and the wife have been in a rough spot lately, so I've been shaking down local business owners for some extra cash."

"Jason I can't help you" Randy said. He looked appalled. "How can you be doing this? You're a cop for Christ's sake."

"So your not going to help me? Some friend you are."

Randy yelled at him as he left. "If I find out you keep doing this, I will turn you in."

Randy was standing in front of the warehouse again. He knocked then opened the door. Staring him in the face was Jason.

"My friend, long time no see." Jason said gloatingly. He turned and walked. When Randy didn't fallow he turned and gestured the he should follow. Randy did and soon they where in the warehouse office. There were four other men in there. He couldn't see the fifth because they were surrounding him. John was in the middle of the circle of men. He was struggling. His face was twisted in pain.

"Let him go. He has nothing to do with it." Randy shouted.

"Oh really? He brought you here didn't he?" there were sniggers from the men as he said this. He turned and as he did he saw everyone's face. They all had been ex-cops. All arrested for racketeering. All by Randy.

"Pay backs a bitch" one of the four said.

"Yes, yes it is. I'm here unarmed and alone, so what are you waiting for?" Randy said.

"You aren't alone. You think we would only have one camera at the security booth? No we aren't stupid. We saw your two swat teams. We also know that the other van must have a surveillance team in it. So let me guess, you're bugged. Let me give your team a little warning anyone comes in or out that door, we kill you and your brother-in-law."

The Captain, out in the van, was listening to the conversation. "Shit he knows. What the hell do we do now?" He asked to no one in specific.

"We hope to hell that Randy can figure something out."

Back inside Jason had sat down. "So you're probably thinking how the hell your going to get out alive right now. Well there is on way. You kill everyone on of us and become the very thing you hunt." Jason pulled out a gun and set it on the table in front of Randy. Randy of course didn't need it. He had his own gun in his holster. But if Randy could grab the gun…

"So what's it going to be? You going to give up or are you going to kill us?" asked Jason.

"I know I can't take five of you with one gun." Randy moved with sudden fury and drew his 9mm out of his holster. At the same time he grabbed the gun of the table. The men around him drew their weapons. Randy shot twice into Jason, killing him instantly. He flipped the table over throwing papers eschew. He used the overturned table as cover as he shot and killed two other men.

After a couple of minutes of firing the swat teams bum rushed the building capturing the other two men. Randy stood up and realized he was shot in the shoulder. He ignored the pain and looked for John. He was under a table. When Randy reached him, he realized John wasn't breathing. Jason had killed another one of his family. Randy fell to his knees. He let someone carry him away. He was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. The Captain and all the swat members had taken care of everything else.

After a few hours he was released from the hospital. Randy called the Captain. "Hey Cap', how's everything?"

"Everything is taken care of. John is at the morgue and his burial is next Monday. The two survivors told us everything. And Internal Affairs cleared you again."

"Thanks Cap'"

"No problem. You just go home and get some rest."

"Will do. See you tomorrow." Randy really was exhausted. He walked to his car and got in. He couldn't wait until he was in his own bed. He turned the car over. And he was sleeping with the angels.

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