Title of Story: Sacrifices to a Worthy Cause
Author: Joel T. Kant
Date Written: August 2000, heavily modified March 2, 2019
Chapter Title: Warrant for Christine's Arrest
Chapter Number: Thirteen
Copyright: March 2, 2019
Joyce looked at her watch, "It's time to contact Tomlin. You're the only one who can do that, Karen."
Iris said, "I don't know where he is yet myself, but I have a number. I have to call from a random pay phone, and about the only ones around are near the airport. I don't like that, but there it is. Stop at one. Then, you two need to stay away while I talk."
Joyce said, "We're going to stand and listen to every word you say to make sure you don't say anything bad about us. Don't give me that baloney about it being his orders not to do that either."
Jason nodded in agreement.
Iris shrugged indifferently, although seething inside. She knew Fritz had lost the white car and worried her brother had been injured when his hot rod hit the cement barrier. Now that they were in this stolen large brown car, she felt untraceable and very alone. She wondered why she'd seen Fritz and not John. She found herself worrying that Fritz had survived the gas attack, but John had not. She had assumed John had survived once she saw Fritz, but now she was not sure.
Back in a seedy motel room, Dr. Ruby's cell phone rang. He answered. The others in the room could tell he was speaking to Chief Clymer. They were shocked to hear Dr. Ruby say, "Have Christine arrested immediately!"
"What's going on?" Fritz demanded.
Dr. Ruby hung up, then addressed all in the room, "A couple hours ago, a person matching Christine's description impersonated a nurse and went to the morgue. She checked for Fritz and John's bodies. Her determined search got various hospital staff involved. Nobody realized she wasn't really a nurse until she vanished. She catalyzed a search that is continuing. It's doomed to fail."
Conrad commented, "Christine mentioned as she sent me off to the airport that she was going to try tracking down the bodies, just to prove there were none. I didn't know she'd impersonate a nurse."
Dr. Ruby asked, "Conrad, what else was she doing?"
"She had Vicky trying to break into the Port City Police's computer system."
Fritz appealed to Dr. Ruby, "Christine's showing great initiative. She shouldn't be arrested for that!"
"She's causing major damage to this case. We'll drop the charges later, but she'll be kept out of the way for now! John, turn on the television and search the channels. Mr. Morrow, do the equivalent with the radio. Fritz, send e-mail to the system administrator at the Port City Police warning of a computer attack, then search for any exposure of your not being dead. The secret was supposed to last longer than this."
They got busy with their tasks.
Fritz lifted his head from the laptop, "The system administrator at the Port City computer system reports a hacker has gotten in. The administrator is doing a trace, Dr. Ruby."
Both John and Fritz suspected the trace would go to Vicky's computer, but kept that thought to themselves.
Meanwhile, at a pay phone in a parking lot by the airport, Iris dialed Tomlin's number.
A cultured male voice said, "Hello."
Iris said, "Hello, I'm with your credit card company. I have a question about an outstanding balance of twelve thousand, three hundred and twelve dollars."
Standing right behind Iris, Jason and Joyce exchanged a look of understanding. This was the same figure Karen had used to prove her identity to them at the door about gambling winnings.
"I've been waiting to hear from you, Karen. What have Jason and Joyce been up to?"
Karen glanced at Joyce, then said, "They're standing right here so can tell you themselves."
"What? Put Joyce on."
Iris handed the phone to Joyce. Joyce soon sounded like a motorboat as she said into it, "But...but...but...but."
Joyce then angrily shoved the receiver back into Iris's hands.
Joyce said, "Get in the car, Jason. We're going for a drive."
"Around the block," Joyce said as she headed to the car herself. "We'll keep circling the block until Karen is done with the phone."
Jason protested, "You mean she told the truth about what Tomlin said?"
Joyce replied, "Yes! Get in and drive!"
Jason began his drive.
With those two gone, Iris began her rundown of events to Tomlin. She didn't tell him everything, of course. She left out that Fritz Falkowsky, on a motorcycle, was following them earlier. She also maintained the illusion that it had been Gordon Fink in the hot rod. Like Joyce and Jason, Tomlin also concluded Fink was an Entangle agent. Iris did not disillusion him.
Tomlin asked, "How many times have Jason and Joyce circled the block?"
"See any cars or motorcyclists following them?"
"None," Iris replied.
"Good! I want you to steal a car with a large trunk."
"We already did that," Iris said.
Tomlin asked, "Did you leave the rental car in the same parking lot you stole that car from?"
Iris confirmed, "Yes."
Tomlin explained, "A computer file came to me that let me know the cops were given a description of the white rental car by Fritz Falkowsky, and found it already. The cops are currently looking for a car stolen from that same lot. You need to get rid of that car fast. I'd prefer to have another rental car so the cops wouldn't be on the alert, but from what you told me, Agent Gordon Fink seems wise to that. Therefore, steal another car. Remember, the biggest trunk you can fine. After that, have Jason drive around for the next hour using anti-tailing techniques. He took a course in that at training camp."
Iris said, "That makes good sense. Sorry I didn't think of having them switch cars again myself. It's good to learn from an expert like yourself."
Even though Iris couldn't see him, she could tell Tomlin was smiling by the tone of his voice, "After that hour, during which I want you to make sure Joyce has no access to a phone or other ways of communicating, come here. I have the poison gas device waiting."
Tomlin then gave Iris the address.
After Iris hung up the phone, she immediately picked it back up. She dialed Dr. Ruby's number. She smiled happily and waved at Jason and Joyce as they glared at her as they went around the block for the fifth time.
Conrad messed with the clock radio in the hotel room to hear the radio, then yelled he had found something important. He turned up the volume. The disk jockey reported as a humorous piece that the hospital had lost two dead bodies. He made a joke about how these must have been the bodies of vampires. The disk jockey did not any names. All in the crowded hotel room had heard that.
Dr. Ruby was about to comment on it when his cell phone rang. As he talked into it, John whispered to Fritz, "First your girlfriend gets in trouble, and now mine. Want to bet Dr. Ruby has Vicky arrested too when that trace goes to her?"
Dr. Ruby jotted down an address, then hung up his ceall phone.
He was smiling broadly as he said, "We're back in business!"
Before Dr. Ruby could say more, Fritz said in great surprise, "I've got the hacker's address for the Port City police department computer. It's certainly not Vicky or Christine. The address is in a suburb about fifteen miles out."
Dr. Ruby asked showing what he had wrote down, "Is this the address?"
Fritz nodded, dumbfounded.
Dr. Ruby explained, "I got that directly from Iris."
Conrad beamed as he heard what his sister had accomplished.
As Dr. Ruby started to tell them what else Iris had said, he was interrupted by his cell phone ringing again.
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