LAW AND ORDER


A/N: The game in this story is a solitaire game I created myself. It's very similar to the game "Captive Queens," but the face cards have different roles, and the theme changes from medieval fortresses imprisoning four Queens for ransom to the police and the judicial system gathering testimony and evidence to convict and lock up four criminals, represented by Jacks.


It's a story of cops and robbers, judges and justice. Police officers are arresting deadly criminals who have defied the law. The crooks have powerful lawyers who want to bail them out or save them from conviction. And for the purpose of this game, I am playing two heroes: a police detective and a prosecuting attorney who have four criminals (four Jacks) in custody and are trying to make the cases against them stick.

I must lay foundations beginning with 5s and 6s. I must build down from the 5s all the way through Aces and Queens to sustain witness testimony against the suspects. And I must build up on the 6s all the way through the Kings to gather incriminating evidence for the crimes. If I can build up full testimony and sufficient evidence by completely filling all the foundations, the criminals are convicted, "No Bail" warrants are written, and I've won the case. If I can't do that successfully, the criminals will be released on bond, and the cases will be unsolved.


The Jacks are all within the circle of foundations. I am ready to play my first card.

My first card is an Ace of Diamonds. No good fortune here.

My second card is a 9 of Clubs. Still nothing to go on here.

Next, a 7 of Spades. Still no luck.

The suspects are starting to look hopeful. Better get this show on the road soon.

It takes eleven more cards to finally get my first piece of good news: the 6 of Clubs, my first piece of evidence against the Jack of Clubs, Don Drummer, drug dealer. It's a little black book with his drug dealing duties in it. It becomes Exhibit A at court.

Another eight cards later I find the 5 of Diamonds. My first witness, the cop who arrested the Jack of Diamonds, also known as Candy Hannah, a hooker, gives convincing testimony against her. But not convincing enough. I need more.

Another four cards and I get the 6 of Diamonds. Now my first piece of evidence is secured against the Jack of Diamonds, a wad of cash from one of her jobs. I'm on my way to putting her behind bars for keeps.

I continue to draw cards from the draw pile and put them in the discard pile when I can't presently use them. After a little while, I get the 6 of Hearts to use against the Jack of Hearts, Hans Ohn, an illegal gambling kingpin. The deck of poker cards is good evidence. Soon I also get the 5 of Clubs, testimony from one of Don's fellow drug dealers, and my grip on the Jack of Clubs tightens. I get the 4 of Clubs very soon, bringing me another witness, another fellow dealer who wants to try to get out of jail time.

I finally get the 6 of Spades, getting my first piece of evidence against Den Dehd, a murderer, and the Jack of Spades. It's a hit list. Then comes the 5 of Hearts, a valuable witness, the hustle man for the back room gambling. The draw pile is getting low. It will soon be time to turn it over for a re-deal. As soon as I play the 3 of Clubs, my third witness for the case against Don Drummer, one of his teenage victims, provides his own testimony, and the case builds against the Jack of Clubs again.

I come to the bottom of the draw pile, the 5 of Spades, bringing forth the father of the Jack of Spades' murder victim to tell about what he knew about his child's death. A rather slow start, I think. I turn over the discard pile and resume the game.

Pretty soon, I find the 7 of Spades. More evidence of Den's murders come to light. A few loose bullets and a rifle that they were found within are placed on the evidence table.

Next, the 7 of Diamonds shows itself. I have found a used condom to incriminate "Candy" further. Then, the 7 of Hearts. I have a pack of cigarettes found in the back room of the Jack of Hearts.

I start to smile to myself. Maybe this slow-starting case is going to work out for the better, after all.

The 4 of Diamonds. Another cop who was at Candy's arrest testifies against her.

For a while, I search and seek in vain. The 7 of Clubs appears. A fake license that Don was using has been displayed on the evidence table. Then I draw the 4 of Hearts. Another gambler who used to work for the Jack of Hearts testifies convincingly. A second later, I pick up the 8 of Spades. The police also located another gun similar to the one Den wielded. Could he be making guns, or shipping them?

The 8 of Hearts appears immediately. It wasn't easy getting this far, but now we also have some fingerprints from the tables and the cards in that back room.

What do you know? The 3 of Diamonds! Another witness has put in a bad word for Candy Hannah, the Jack of Diamonds.

The 2 of Clubs is in the proper foundation. We've got more witnesses for the prosecution against Don Drummer. Now I have the 8 of Clubs. We're beginning to find some real evidence of drug dealing now. Real, actual drugs! Cocaine and marijuana in plentiful supply. Now how about the 8 of Diamonds? Here we go! We have some fingerprints to use against our hooker, too.

Finally! I've got the 4 of Spades. Now the murder victim's mother is also testifying. The Jack of Spades shifts uneasily in his chair. I'm making progress now.

The draw pile runs out again. I can make one more re-deal. If I can get the remaining cards into the foundations and, in the process, close the case with these four Jacks, by the time it runs out, I've won the case. If not, those whose testimony and/or evidence is incomplete will be back on the streets, and I'll have to try again another time.

Soon enough, I draw the 9 of Clubs. I've got some more drugs to use as evidence in the case against Don. After a few more tries, the 9 of Diamonds is on its foundation. The lawyers have some cash from an illegal job that Candy did. What do you know? Now I have the 9 of Hearts! Now the police have found some poker chips in the back room, as well. I'm really stocking up on 9s.

The 3 of Hearts soon gives me one more witness against our gambling suspect, yet another gambler. Then I finally get my first Ace, the Ace of Clubs, which gives me a good witness in the form of a full-time drug lord who was the Jack of Clubs' partner in the drug business. The 2 of Diamonds shows up, and I get another witness. One of Candy's clients she hooked up with.

The 9 of Diamonds gives me evidence of a notebook outlining a gun smuggling ring. This Den character could be more dangerous than I thought. 3 of Spades. A friend of the victim who witnessed the actual shooting comes to the witness stand next.

Now I have the 10 of Spades. I have found photos of a warehouse where the gun smuggling is being controlled. A 2 of Hearts is in the foundation, too. A ripped-off gambler tells the court about how Hans cheated him out of his life savings. A 10 of Clubs is next. I'm almost done gathering evidence and testimony for the wretched Jack of Clubs. I'm going to have a go at trying to complete the case. I must admit, I'm a brave man.

The 10 of Hearts has been played. More things were found that point to the Jack of Hearts' illegal gambling.

The Ace of Hearts is next. Old Hans Ohn is almost ready to despair as one more person involved with his gambling lays testimony on him.

At last! I have the Queen of Clubs! The last witness, the Jack of Clubs himself, has been forced to confess to his crimes! But I still have to find that one last piece of evidence, or he'll be released on a technicality.

Hey! Two cards in a row! I played the 2 of Spades, and immediately afterward, the Ace of Spades. The Jack of Spades is in a pretty perilous situation now.

I come to the bottom of the pile. I can play the 10 of Diamonds, and then the King of Diamonds, completing the evidence against the Jack of Diamonds. Then I see that I can play the King of Clubs, and then the King of Hearts. But then I can see that the draw pile is gone for the third and last time, and the top card is the Queen of Diamonds, which I cannot play because I have to play the Ace of Diamonds first, and that's at the bottom of the pile.

I was unable to play my last Ace, my last King, or any of my three other Queens. And my case is only partly successful. I got all the testimony and evidence I needed to lock up Don Drummer, drug dealer, the Jack of Clubs, for keeps. But with incomplete testimony for the Jacks of Hearts, Spades, and Diamonds, and insufficient testimony or evidence for the Jack of Spades, only one out of four bad guys is staying behind bars. I'll just have to try another time to lay all the foundations and win the game, thus securing all the perpetrators.

It's a little frustrating sometimes, when you can't win a game. But, what can you do? That's one of the joys of a solitaire card game. You win some, you lose some. And I had one small victory here that's better than none at all. All in all, it was a satisfying time.

Tomorrow's another day.


A/N: Like "Captive Queens," my game, "Law and Order," is very simple and fun to play (it's not a strategy game), and the player can win at least sometimes, or more than that if they're lucky, or very talented with shuffling cards (I'm not good at shuffling). If the details of this little story are good enough for you to understand the game, it's all right with me if readers try it out themselves.