“Kenson, on your feet. Your bail has been posted unfortunately. You’re free to go.” The guard unlocked former officer Kenson’s cell.
The guard was fuming as he walked the former PPD officer to the front desk. “Here’s your stuff, ass-wipe.”
“Who are you calling ass-wipe, faggot.”
“I should…” Kenson balled up his fist and pulled his arm back.
“Go ahead. Take a swing. I’d love to lock your sorry ass back up.”
Kenson rethought his current course of action and instead of swinging, dropped his arm, grabbed the envelope that contained his personal effects and walked out. “Thanks for posting my bail Captain.”
“I’m no longer a captain.” Jenkins responded. “Fucking faggot Peters went crying to that faggot-loving Commissioner and got me fired.”
“Same here, only in my case, the little Mary went to that sorry excuse of a Deputy Mayor.”
“I know; which is why I posted your bail. I need your help with a little payback. Let’s go somewhere where we can talk in private. I have an idea that requires your particular expertise.”
“You got it” Kenson agreed emphatically. “Whatever it takes to teach that sorry-assed faggot a lesson he’ll never forget I’ll do.”
“Here’s my idea…”
The following week….
Greg nervously scanned the crowded room. The turnout was greater than he or Gwen had anticipated. He locked eyes with Dave briefly who sent him a reassuring smile. “Good evening everyone and welcome to the first meeting of the Fellowship of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Officers, or FOGLEBISTRO for short. It’s awesome to see so many people here. I am Greg Peters and this is Gwen Jordan. We have been asked by the Commissioner to form this fellowship group to provide a support network for GLBT officers in light of the Commissioner’s policy that all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered officers be able to serve openly without reprisals. Each of you were handed a copy of our charter and proposed bylaws, which we will go over shortly. But first, allow me to introduce our special guest speaker tonight, former Deputy Mayor and now Director of Public Policy here at the Center, Dave Barton.
Dave approached the podium and gave Greg a quick hug and kiss before Greg took his seat. “Thank you, Greg. Good evening, everyone. It’s an honor to be here with you this evening.” Whatever else he had to say was lost to the sound off a thunderous explosion. Greg’s last thought as he succumbed to unconsciousness was of getting to Dave.
The next morning, the phone rang. “Hate crimes, Williams. WHAT?” All color drained from his face and a lone tear flowed down his face. “When?” He asked in a barely audible whisper. “Thank you. We’ll be right there.”
Alerted to the sudden change in his partner’s demeanor, Erik asked “Jay, what’s wrong? What happened? Is it Kyle?”
“The LGBT Center was bombed last night. Over two-hundred people have been killed or severely injured, many of them police officers.”
“Holy shit! Let’s roll.” They quickly arrived at the scene and were shocked to see the devastation.
Scanning the list of victims he was given upon arriving at the scene, Jay’s eyes locked on two names. “I have to get to the hospital.”
“Why, what’s up?”
“Look at this.” He pointed to Dave’s name on the list.
“Dave Barton? Good God, no.” He turned to the police officer who greeted them. “Are you sure about this list? It’s accurate?”
“Yes sir. I verified most of the identities myself, Special Agent Hunter.”
“Thank you Officer Owens. Jay, you go on ahead. I’ll meet you there later. I’ll get started on the investigation.”
“Thanks, Erik.” Jay jumped into the car and sped to the hospital. He approached the receptionist and presented his ID. “I’m FBI Special Agent Williams. I’m investigating last night’s bombing of the LGBT Center and I need to speak with a couple of the victims, Dave Barton and Greg Peters.”
The receptionist tapped a couple of keys on her computer. “I’m sorry Agent Williams, but I can’t release any information to you at this time.”
Balked, but not defeated, Jay thanked the receptionist then went in search of Doctor Foster. He flashed his ID at Doctor Foster’s secretary. “Hi, I’m Special Agent Williams with the FBI. I need to speak with Doctor Foster, please. It’s important.”
“One moment please.” She picked up her phone. “Doctor Foster, there’s a Special Agent Williams from the FBI here to see you. Okay.” She hung up. “Please have a seat. He’ll be right with you.”
“Thank you.” Jay sat on the edge of the chair, his foot taping nervously. After about five minutes the door opened and Doctor Foster came out.
“Hi, Jayson, what can I do for you? Is Kyle okay?”
“He’s fine, Doc, thanks for asking. I’m investigating the bombing of the LGBT Center last night and I need some information on the survivors.”
“Come on in. I’m not sure what I can tell you, but let’s see what I can find out.” They entered his spacious office and sat down. Doctor Foster started typing on his computer, his face turning grim at what he read on the screen. “One hundred-eighty-nine were dead on arrival, twenty-three of which have not yet been identified. Another thirty-four were admitted for observation and minor injuries. Four are in intensive care in critical condition.”
“Can you give me the names of the four?”
“Ordinarily, no, not until the families have been notified, but since the FBI’s involved and I know I can count on your discretion, I will on the condition that the names do not get released to anyone outside of those absolutely essential to the investigation.
“On that you have my solemn word as an FBI agent.
“Okay.” Doctor Foster looked at the computer screen again. “Dave Barton, Greg Peters, Gwen Jordan and Kevin Jordan. He caught Jay’s pale, stricken look.
“Jay, what’s wrong?”
“Greg Peters was one of the investigating officers who helped Kyle so much when he was raped. He and Dave Barton are boyfriends. Greg was instrumental in getting his ex-partner fired from the police force and also his precinct commander, both of whom were extremely homophobic. It would not surprise me if this was some form of retaliation. As a matter of fact, Kyle was the one who brought the two of them together. Are they in the same room?”
Doctor Foster checked the computer again. “No, they’re not.”
“I would strongly recommend that they be put in the same room. I’ll have guards posted on all four of them. Besides, it will be easier on them if they’re together. We also need to keep their identities under wraps, especially Greg’s. If my initial suspicions are correct, his ex-partner is behind this and we don’t want to take the chance of someone coming after him here. As a matter of fact, it might not be a bad idea to list him among the dead.”
“What about his family?”
“As far as he’s concerned, he doesn’t have any. They haven’t had anything to do with him since he came out, but I’ll get in touch with them and let them know what has happened and to disregard any information they may hear or see about his death unless it comes directly from me.”
“Sounds like a plan. Let me know when you’ve made contact with his family and I’ll put him on the deceased list. Care to take a walk down to the ICU with me?”
“Sure thing, Doc. Lead the way.”
“Doctor Foster, please dial the operator. Doctor Foster, operator please,” came the overhead page.
Doctor Foster got out his cell phone and dialed the operator. “Becky, its Doctor Foster. What can I do for you?”
“The Police Commissioner is here asking for information about his officers and wants to talk to some of them.”
“Please have Security escort him to the ICU in a few minutes. I’ll meet him there shortly. Thanks, Becky.”
Upon entering the ICU, Doctor Foster went into the Nurse’s station and examined the room assignment board. “Jennifer,” he called to the nurse intently watching the monitors.
“We have a security situation and need to move some patients around. We need to move Greg Peters and Dave Barton into this room together, Gwen Jordan to this room and Kevin Jordan to this room.” He indicated the appropriate rooms. “Also, remove Greg Peters’ name from the board and list him as ‘John Doe.’ His name is not to be mentioned until further notice. This is FBI Special Agent Williams. He is to be notified immediately as soon as either Greg Peters or Dave Barton regain consciousness. Jayson, do you have one of your cards you can leave?”
“Of course, Doctor.” He handed over one of his business cards.
“I’m assuming you’re going to want to post guards.”
“Yes, but I think it would be best if they were not in uniform, and are stationed just inside the door. We don’t want to attract any attention, nor do we want to put any of your staff at risk.”
“A bit unorthodox, but I trust your judgment, Jayson. Who do you want posted, hospital security, FBI, PPD?”
The Commissioner arrived just then and introductions were made.
“All but twenty-three have been identified, Commissioner.” Doctor Foster went round the desk and tapped a few keys on the nearest computer. Moments later a printer sprang to life spitting out several sheets of paper which Doctor Foster retrieved. “Here is the list of confirmed dead.”
As the Commissioner scanned the list, his face grew more and more pale. “Fifty-four of these are police officers.” Amidst his sorrow, hope began to build when he finally reached the end of the list and hadn’t spotted the two names he was most interested in.
“Commissioner, why were there so many police officers at the LGBT Center. Did something happen to warrant it?”
“It was the inaugural meeting of a fellowship group for LGBT officers I had established to help them deal with problems associated with being gay and police officers, such as homophobic supervisors and the like. I was actually planning on being there, but got held up at my office.”
“That probably saved your life. Commissioner, perhaps you might want to sit down.” Jay offered.
Doctor Foster handed him another sheet of paper. “This is the list of the four survivors who are in critical condition.”