Tabula Rasa

Chapter 14

Tabula Rasa

Chapter Fourteen

Brady stepped out of the main squad room in order to quickly make a phone call after the news he had just heard being spread around the number of detectives in the building. Once he hung up, he was about to walk back in to rejoin his partner, but he was suddenly stopped by both Wes and Travis as they stood in his path. Both of them had the look of betrayal and disappointment on their faces.

Travis was the first to speak up as he said angrily, "I have to say this wasn't much of a surprise, but it still really hurts. What do you think, Wes?"

While he stood in front of Brady using only one of his crutches to keep himself up right, Wes nodded as he answered, "I agree. I know that the three of us, or the four of us if you include Nora, don't get along at all, but it's bad for your career to allow a rival to make you work to ruin another detective's reputation."

"I don't know what you're talking about," Brady responded.

"Yeah, actually I think that you do," Travis replied. "You've been leaking bad information to the reporters again, haven't you, Brady?"

Brady answered in frustration, "You're wrong. I don't know why you…"

Travis interrupted, "You don't know why we would suspect you, you mean? Let me think. Maybe it's because you did it once before and you were suspended because of it. But, it wasn't just that. You and Nora were angry with us for stealing yet another case from the two of you, you threatened to make us pay for it, and oh yeah, besides me, Wes, and the captain, you and your partner are the only others that know some of the detail of this case."

"It was Nora that threatened you the other day," Brady responded. "Not me. I was angry at you for taking the case away and I was angry that you threatened us yourself when you pointed your gun on us, but I wouldn't do this."

"Then, you won't mind handing us your phone and allowing us to take a look at the number you just dialed," Wes replied. "Or, if you prefer, we can have your phone records pulled and do it ourselves, but I think it might go better for you if you cooperate."

Brady answered, "You don't have the right."

Wes smiled and then said, "On the contrary. Captain Sutton's already cleared it. We have every right to check the last number on your cell phone."

"Fine, you're right," Brady responded angrily as he pulled up the last number and handed the phone to Travis, who quickly dialed the number, but then hung up as soon as the well known reporter picked up on the other end. "I just wanted to get a little recognition for once for doing my job and I wanted you to pay for humiliating me, time and time again."

"It wasn't me that you hurt," Travis replied. "It was Wes. You told your reporter friend that he was to blame for Jeremy Walker's death because he was incompetent and unsympathetic to his cause for being on that roof at the time. You were up there long enough to know that that wasn't true at all."

Wes continued, "On top of all that, you told the press lies about Jeremy being the killer of our victims, when we know now that he was innocent, just I said that he was all along."

Brady looked over at Wes with confusion on his face as he asked, "But I thought that you finally admitted that you were wrong about Jeremy. Nora said that she overheard Travis telling Kate and Amy that you were kicking yourself for spending so much time feeling guilty over a kid, who deceived you after all of that."

"It was all a deception to trick you into giving yourself away, which you did," Travis answered. "We didn't have the proof and so we lied in order to get it. It was a brilliant plan."

"And because you did all of this, you can go and clean off your desk, leave your badge and gun on top, then clear out of here as soon as you can," Mike said as he walked over and joined in on the conversation. "I won't have a weasel like you working for me and you certainly do not deserve to be a cop either. If someone hires you, that'll be their problem. But first, I want to know this; was your partner involved in this too?"

Brady shook his head and responded before walking away to do as the captain ordered, "No, she had no idea that I spoke to the reporter this time."

Mike nodded and then replied, "Good, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to transfer her out of robbery/ homicide. She doesn't fit in here. She should have realized it was you talking to the press and if she did, then she didn't come forward, which is wrong."

"I'm sorry, Cap," Wes spoke up again.

"What are you sorry for?" Captain Sutton asked. "It's not like you've done anything wrong and you haven't fought nearly as much since all of this happened. I'm grateful for that."

Wes answered, "I'm just sorry that you lost two of your detectives."

Mike nodded and then responded, "Thanks, but at least this way, I can finally hire some new blood around here. Good work on the acting there, Boys. Now, get out there and talk to the dean of that school, then head to that club. I want this case solved yesterday."

"You and me both," Wes mumbled to no one in particular.

"What'd you say?" Travis asked as he and Wes headed toward the elevator.

Wes replied, "Nothing. We've got a job to do."

Travis nodded and answered, "All right, but let's get dinner first, I'm starv… I'm hungry."

About an hour later, Wes and Travis were once again standing in the dean's office at UCLA, with the same two security officers standing beside them. The man wasn't happy to see them again and definitely not thrilled that he had to talk to them again, but he didn't refuse, as he knew they'd assume he was hiding something and make matters worse for him than they all ready were.

"Detectives, I thought we finished our conversation yesterday," the dean said with frustration in his voice.

"And I told you we'd be back if we had any more questions for you, which we do," Wes responded. "For example, do you know of any other students that have shown the same type of irritable manners and behaviors as both Ryan and Jeremy?"

Dean Wilkins glared up at Wes as he replied, "I believe I already told you that I had no idea if Ryan's recent behavior was because of drugs. We don't know what caused it, but I assure you, there is no one else around here showing anything like his or Jeremy's behaviors."

Wes spoke up again saying, "My instinct is telling me that you wouldn't tell me if you did know and it's usually right. I think you're lying. Despite what you may believe, Jeremy Walker wasn't guilty of killing his roommate. Someone else is. We don't think it was another one of your students, but we do have a feeling that more of your students go to the same club as Jeremy and Ryan, which means that most likely, whatever was causing their behaviors, it's happening to others too."

"Have you had to suspend or expel anyone else recently?" Travis quickly asked.

"Yes, he's had to suspend at least three other students that I know of for a few different reasons," one of the security guards answered when Dean Wilkins refused to answer himself. "Something bad is happening to these kids, but I didn't come forward before because I was asked to remain quiet to protect our prosperity. I'm sorry."

The dean was about to tell the man to shut up until Travis cut him off as he said, "I suggest that you be the one to remain silent like you've been toward us all along.

Wes spoke up again as he turned to the guard and asked, "Do you have any speculation of what's happening to these students?"

"I went to this club that Connie had mentioned when she confronted Dean Wilkins before in order to try to find out, but I didn't see anything suspicious," the guard responded. "I didn't stay long."

"Well, we're heading there now," Travis replied. "We'll let you know what we can when this case is over. Thank you for your help and Mr. Wilkins, I suggest you prepare to find a new job because I doubt the parents of these students and the board members will appreciate your work here when they discover that you've been keeping all this a secret, just to protect your own image."

Wilkins answered, "They won't fire me. I've done too much for them."

Wes headed toward the door and then turned back as he responded, "I think that they're bright enough to realize that your contributions mean nothing compared to the safety and the education of these kids."

"Did that make you feel better?" Travis asked his partner after they left the office.

"It did a little," Wes replied. "I just hope I was right about the right people being smart enough to do what needs to be done."

Travis said, "I'm sure they will. Oh, it looks like that guard just sent me the names, addresses, and pictures of the students, who were suspended. If we can't learn anything at the club tonight, we should go and have a chat with them. Maybe they can tell us what they're on."

Wes asked, "If you thought we wouldn't learn anything from Tony and Anna because of the place where they lived, do you honestly think we'll learn something from a group of drug junkies?"

"That's a good point," Travis answered. "You're probably right, but we may get lucky."

"You're right," Wes responded. "Now, we can stop for dinner."

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