Angelites - Body of Persons Empowered

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Chapter 63

Quietness plagued the Financial District. No action happening at the Federal Reserve Bank. Natalie paced along the rooftop across the street, eagerly waiting to throw a monkey wrench into John Hart’s diabolical plan. Swooshing onto the scene was a heartbroken Gina. Fast-stepping toward the building ledge, she bitterly said, “Sorry for wasting your time.”

“Guess they weren’t interested, huh?” Natalie asked.

Gina sighed. “I’ve been through the worst of times with that man. He taught me everything I know about surviving in the field. Never once had he ever accused me of lying. Until now.”

“Who are we talking about?” “My mentor.”

“Were those his exact words?” “Practically.”

The ladies sat down on the roof ledge, letting their legs dangle over like kids swinging in the playground. Gina started thinking that maybe her approach was wrong. She should’ve just asked for help and let Saxon see for himself

what a lowlife creature John Hart truly is. Perhaps if someone barged into her life after so many years and said that Alex had gone rogue, she wouldn’t believe

them either.

Natalie sympathized with her fellow Angelite, as she knows what it feels like to have people you trust stab you in the back. Aside from her former colleagues joining Hart’s regime, Natalie felt betrayed by her family over

a choice she made on the field five years ago. A relative turned out to be a figurehead of a major drug cartel in Queens. To their shock and disappointment, Natalie and Martha busted him one night during a raid. He was a beloved member of their family. Aunts, uncles, cousins, even her own mother asked

her not to testify. Use whatever reason necessary to set him free: tamper with evidence, mistaken identity, etc. Both ladies knew that arrest would tear their family apart. As Martha thought of complying to keep the peace, Natalie dug her heels to the ground and testified. Now he’s serving a life sentence and the family turned their backs on her. Truth be told, this was the main reason Martha joined Internal Affairs. Guilt weighed too much on her to bear.

“Hey, I know how it feels to not have many people you can count on,” said Natalie. “Martha and I used to have each other’s back for everything. Asked nothing from nobody. Many people turned their backs on us because of the choices we’ve made. Helping strangers seemed more important than satisfying my loved ones...people who I thought loved me unconditionally. Biggest disappointments usually come from the ones closest to you. Sucks. Now that Martha’s gone, I have nobody left to count on. Until I met you.” Gina looked

up and nodded, acknowledging her sentiment. “Your mentor might’ve turned his back on you, but at least he never said, ‘you’re dead to me.’ Maybe he’s

just scared. Stressed out. Give him some time. Hart’s duped a lot of people into thinking he’s someone special. And if your friend is as good as you believe he is, he’ll eventually learn the truth. Maybe this way is best. It’ll be hard for us to fight and keep him safe at the same time. He’s not like us after all.”

“You’re right,” Gina sprung her head up and realized. “I got enough to

worry about with Alex. Saxon is one of the best officers I’ve seen, but his mind’s not ready to handle Satan’s minions.” She gave the private eye a thankful smirk. Natalie answered with a nod, her way of saying you’re welcome. “So, you decided to become a private eye after Martha joined Internal Affairs?”

“Yes and no. Private investigating was always the endgame, but it was supposed to be the two of us. However, unreal events unfolded around me after the City Hall fiasco. Fellow officers had vanished without a trace, city officials going after cops, even a precinct bombing in Queens for Pete’s sake. That was my wake-up call. I was scared to think that the worst was yet to come. Imagine

fearing for your life out in these streets and inside the precinct? It wasn’t worth it to me.”

“I followed the City Hall rally when it happened. The papers said that a war was brewing between Goldberg and the police department, a war he could’ve prevented. I never heard that experience from a cop’s perspective. Mind telling me about it?”

“My department wasn’t always the cleanest, but at least we patrolled the streets with a sense of morality and dignity. After the protest got flushed down the toilet, dedicated officers I knew for years had turned into gangsters, pretty much. Thanks to Goldberg’s budgeting plan, department funding was cut in half, which meant less overtime pay, raises, and pensions. “Days later, I heard through the grapevine that policemen wanted to ally with other precincts. They eventually tried to recruit me. ‘I was one of the best,’ they said. Also, they mentioned it would be beneficial to secure your future rather than gamble with it so recklessly. That to me sounded like a threat, so I didn’t want any part of it.

That stuff may work in the movies, but no one survives when taking the law into their own hands. I bounced the next day and months down the line. My private eye business was open. I still wish I could’ve done something to stop that regime from forming instead of just quitting. But I was afraid it would’ve been me against the world. Who knew that five years later my worst fear would come to past?”

“Don’t carry that weight on your back,” said Gina. “You did the right thing. Even if you attempted to stop them back then, the regime would’ve happened regardless. At least now you’re fully equipped to fight them. Also, you got me fighting alongside you. Those lame ducks are as good as gone.”

“Can’t argue with the truth,” Natalie smirked. “Where were you during the rally? On a desert island?”

“You can say that. I was in prison.”

“You?!” the private eye doubted. “Get outta here!”

“It’s true. I was sentenced to a prison psych ward for five years. I wound up

getting out in eighteen months for good behavior.”

“What could you have possibly done to get yourself arrested?”

“Aggravated assault against my ex-husband, and his mistress.”

“Whoa! I’m...shocked. You don’t seem like...hey, where have I heard that story before?”

“Five years ago, perhaps? I was the wrongfully accused officer. The rally

was about getting justice for me.”

Natalie was baffled. “Are you kidding me?! Goldberg accessed every media outlet in the city to vilify you.”

“I know. I thought I deserved it back then. My family, however, didn’t share my beliefs. They went through every legal channel possible to have my sentence altered. The judge accepted my plea of insanity and thus I avoided general population.”

“What did you do when you got out?”

“I ran. Ran down the deepest rabbit hole that I could find. Maybe I was

being too hard on myself, but…”

“We all lose it, Gina. Men and women alike. The difference is men tend to blame outward - it’s everyone else’s fault except theirs. Us women choose to blame inward because we are naturally-gifted problem solvers.”

“What makes you say that?”

“Because God wouldn’t have made us Mothers.” Natalie giggled. “Got a point.” Gina giggled as well.

“I can see why you left, but you did your time. God forgives everyone, no matter how shameful they are, right? Now it’s time to forgive yourself.”

The conversation ended abruptly when shadowy figures ran toward the entrance to the bank. A security guard with flickering red eyes opened the doors and waved them inside. “You saw his eyes?” Gina noticed. “Every guard in this building might be a Clucifix soldier. And with an army of crazed cops stirred in the mix, we’re in for a taste of FUBAR sorbet.”

“Mmm. I’ve been craving that all day,” said Natalie while cracking her

knuckles. “Shall we?”

“Not yet. One piece of this puzzle is still missing.”

The Angelites raced across the rooftops, circling to get a view of the Unloading Facility in the back of the building. Shortly after, an armored truck drove up to the security gates. The gate guard walked up to the truck holding an M-16. “Let me see some I.D.” he demanded.

The driver showed his I.D. and magically the gates opened. Strangely, the guard never walked back to his post. Gina zoomed her vision closer and noticed trails of smoke curling up the guard’s nostrils. Wickedly smiling behind the wheel was the lunatic bomb expert, Rusty Pipes! “In there!” Gina pointed. “Hart’s in that truck. We’ll take them out first. Just pray that the normal bank guards can hold it down on their own in the meantime.”

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