Foul deeds will rise, Though all the earth o'erwhelm them, to men's eyes ~ William Shakespeare (baptized 4/26/1564 to 4/23/1616) an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's preeminent dramatist. A quote from the 1602 (date estimated) tragedy Hamlet.
Liberal HQ division chief Laura Fawkes picked up her phone on the first ring. "Hello Dervish", she said, noting the name that appeared on her caller ID. "This isn't Dervish, it's Janeane Garner", the voice on the other end of the line said. "I'm an investigator who works with Dervish. The reason I'm calling is because Dervish is missing. Until a few days ago he was in his office every day, then he simply vanished". "He probably decided to shut his blog down", Laura replied. "Although he hasn't filed the appropriate paperwork".
"No, I'm positive he had determined to keep the blog up and running", Janeane insisted. "In fact, I know that he was supposed to meet with a representative of George Soros to obtain additional funding for Sleeping With The Devil". "The representative called yesterday and said that Dervish didn't show up". "That is strange", Laura agreed. "I'll look into it and let you know what I find out".
"I've already started asking around", Janeane retorted. "The doorman Frank said the last time he saw Dervish was when he left for the day on Monday. I also called his home and his cell, but all my calls go to voice mail". "That is troubling" said Laura, growing concerned. "I've know Dervish for several years, and, although there have been times when he stayed away from the office for days at a time, I've always been able to contact him by phone". "There is a specific reason, however", Janeane interjected, "why I'm concerned that something untoward may have occurred". "What are you talking about!", Laura exclaimed, obviously alarmed. "You're not suggesting foul play, are you?".
"That's it exactly", Janeane replied. "Frank got back to me right before I called you". "He said he went out to the parking lot and Dervish's car wasn't there, but he did find a small amount of blood near his reserved space. And, even more concerning is that Monday's video surveillance footage DVD of the parking lot can't be found. Frank said only our security man has access to the surveillance room". "This is looking worse and worse", Laura concluded. "I'm going to schedule a meeting with our head of security, Rusty Farber. Please meet me in his office 30 minutes from now". "I'll be there", Janeane replied, hanging up the phone.
A half hour later everyone gathered in Rusty Farber's office - the division chief Laura Fawkes, SWTD investigator Janeane Garner and concierge Frank Lukas. Rusty stepped to the front of the room. "First of all, I want everyone to know that I am on top of the situation", Rusty began. "Here is what we know as of now - one of our bloggers, a Mr. Dervish has been missing since Monday. A small amount of blood was found in the parking lot near Mr. Dervish's space. Also, and these are the two things that concern me most, the surveillance DVD from Monday is missing and the GPS on Mr. Dervish's company car is non-functional. In my opinion someone STOLE the DVD and DISABLED the GPS tracking".
"Now, as you know we cannot go to the police, so we're going to have to handle the situation ourselves". "Why is that?", a questioning voice interrupted. Everyone turned and starred at the young woman who had just entered the room carrying a box of donuts. "What, did you just fall off the turnip truck young lady", Rusty inquired, clearly flustered. "Please excuse my newly-hired intern", Laura replied, "She just moved here from out of state". "That explains it", said Rusty.
"For the benefit of the young lady I shall elaborate", Rusty continued, "As almost everyone here already knows, a couple of weeks ago our new Republican Governor rammed the standard union-busting corporate tax giveaway legislation through the state senate. Shortly after passage the Governor appointed an Emergency Financial Manager to seize control of our city. Immediately EFM Reginald Kingston fired the mayor, all the local judges, and the entire police department - which he replaced with a private security firm. The salaries and benefits of city workers were of course severely reduced". "That's terrible!", Laura's intern exclaimed.
Rusty's salt-and-pepper mustache bristled, his brow furrowed, and his demeanor became dead serious. "Indeed it is. Nobody ever expected it would be this easy for the Republicans to kill democracy". "Unless Washington is willing to do something drastic, like send in the national guard, our city is now essentially a dictatorship", Laura Fawkes concurred. "So far President Obama doesn't seem willing to step in and address the issue", Laura continued, expressing her concern.
"Maybe he's preoccupied with the situation in Libya?" Frank asked. "Or perhaps the Republican governors have some dirt on him?", someone who hadn't previously been a part of the conversation suggested. Suddenly Barry Sotomeyer barged into the room, pushing open the door that had been partially ajar. "I've heard that his Kenyan birth certificate was discovered and is being used as leverage against him", Barry chirped.
"That's bullsh*t", Rusty growled. "Barack Obama was born in Hawaii". Rusty paused, starring menacingly at the newcomer. Then he asked, in a more even-toned voice, "what the hell kind of Liberal are you?". "Also, what the eff are you doing here? You weren't invited to this meeting". "Please excuse my intrusion", Barry apologized, his face growing red. "I heard about the meeting from Janeane - or actually, I heard her talking on the phone about it. I didn't mean to listen in, but she's in the office right next to me and - voices carry through the air ducts!", Barry feebly explained. "Anyway, the reason I'm here is because I have some information that might help in locating Dervish".
"Go ahead and spit it out", Rusty replied suspiciously. "Well, it's one of those officers from Tannis Protection, the private security firm hired by EFM Kingston. I saw one of them talking to Dervish last week. Dervish said the officer has been harassing him for awhile; trying to intimidate him into shutting down his blog". "I know all about it", Rusty said, cutting him off.
"The detective's name is Smurf Jones. He introduced himself as a member of the Thought Police when I meet him last month. Then he shoved a badge in my face that had Tannis Protection printed on it. I had no choice but to allow him access to the building. Anyway, everyone already knows this, as it was covered in the mandatory meeting I called immediately afterward".
"Of course, I remember the meeting Rusty", Barry retorted. "But I think that this Smurf fellow had a personal grudge against Dervish. He never bothered me, in any case". "Well, not that I needed your help deducing this, but I agree with you about Smurf Jones", Rusty replied, noticeably annoyed.
"I was actually going in that direction when you made your unwelcome entrance". Rusty paused, then turned back to his original audience. "Smurf Jones is involved, I feel it in my gut". "If that is the case, and I agree that it is", Laura Fawkes concurred, "The course of action that needs to be taken is clear. I will contact the Washington division immediately".
"Actually", Rusty cautioned, "My Washington source said to expect no help from them. All identified Washington agents are currently prohibited from leaving the city. My brother Randall is in charge there, and he said the new House leadership is looking for an excuse to arrest Liberals. According to him everyone in the Washington division is on the verge of being labeled an enemy combatant and disappeared". "I guess we've on our own then", Laura whispered, her face suddenly ashen.