Snyder dashed into the parking garage, panting heavily. Talking with Mama and thinking things over during the interstate Skyrail trip had given him a smarter plan than shooting Greywolf. Catch her getting revenge on Boulet, hit his newly acquired panic button, and hold her for the cops.
He looked at his watch: 14:50. He’d made it. He found the parking space with the sign, “Reserved for Base Psychologist” in front. Snyder dived underneath a car parked across from Dr. Boulet’s red Firebird hybrid, only two years old.
Snyder stared at the car much the way the Light Bird ogled his net babes. I’d like to get a closer look at that.
How could they have stopped making those, even for a few decades? The paint job was perfect, and the sleek design resembled a race car. Snyder mentally added the car to his wish list.
Footsteps echoed through the garage. Greywolf. She approached Dr. Boulet’s car and fetched a lock pick from her pants pocket. She got the door open, pulled the hood release, and strolled to the car’s hood.
Snyder tensed as he waited. He’d give her time to do her deed, otherwise it’d look like breaking and entering.
The hood slammed.
Snyder rolled out and to his feet, grab-bing his Colt and aiming. “Freeze! Take one step and you’re dead.”
She raised her hands.
She put them down and laughed. “Oh, it’s you, Snyder.”
“Get those hands up!”
Greywolf walked towards him. “You won’t shoot me, Snyder.”
Snyder fired above her head. “I said hands up!”
She raised her hands. “This is point-less. No one will believe you. You sabo-taged Dr. Boulet’s car. I confronted you, and you pulled a gun and tried to blame this on me. Who will they believe? A captain, or some hood from Boise with a hate crime rap hanging over his head?”
Good thing I forgot to hit the panic button.
“You figure I’ll get hung? How I fig-ure it, if I’m going, you’re going with me.” He aimed his Colt at her heart.
Greywolf howled. “You don’t have the guts.”
You’re about to learn otherwise.
The door safeguarding the pressurized airlift’s shaft hissed up, and Sergeant Cutler sprang out. “Snyder! Don’t do it.”
“Sarge, it’s her word against mine as to who sabotaged Boulet’s car.”
“Not quite, Snyder.”
Sarge walked over past Boulet’s car. Tiptoeing, he reached into the corner at the ceiling and detached a camera from the wall.
Greywolf stared. “There are no cam-eras down here.”
Cutler smiled. “I suspected you’d try this, so I installed one. We have you on video attempting to murder Dr. Boulet by fraying the break cable in her car. That video, along with a mile long file I have on you, has been sent to the Judge Advocate General’s office. We now have enough evidence to hang you.”
Just an expression. She’d languish on death row until she won an appeal. “She’ll find a way out. Her kind always does.”
“Snyder, put the gun down. You have to believe me that this will work out. Don’t waste your life on her. She’s not worth it.”
Snyder lowered his gun.
The shaft door flew up. Four MPs dashed over, wrestled Greywolf to the ground, and slapped handcuffs on her. She cursed. “I’ll have all your badges for this! I have rights!”
The lead MP laughed. “Guess again. You’ve been charged with terrorism.”
Greywolf showed her first sign of fear. “Terrorism?”
Sarge smiled. “Except Snyder, all your lovers have been Native American. And you chose Snyder on the basis that his biological father was part Native American.”
“It’s not terrorism to only date my own kind.”
“It is when you kill all your lovers. Using a racial criteria to select your victims is a hate crime, Captain, and hate crimes are charged as terrorism. You will be hanged from the neck until dead within forty-eight hours of your court martial.”
All right, Sarge! Hang her in the same noose she had planned for me.
Sarge turned to the MPs. “Take her away.”
The MPs hauled Greywolf up by the arm, hauled her to the shaft, and shoved her in feet first. The door shut behind them.
Snyder gulped. “Sarge, think Dread will make a disciplinary issue out of this?”
Cutler shook his head. “Dr. Boulet’s gratitude and the evidence would make any effort by Dread unsuccessful.”
“Gratitude, huh? You think she might let me drive her car?”
“After it gets repaired, perhaps.” Cutler paused. “Snyder, today’s my last day. I’m leaving.”
“Where are you going?”
Cutler grimaced. “That’s classified, I’m afraid.”
“You’ll stay in touch, though?”
Cutler’s eyes drifted upwards in that strange habit of his, but with more sadness than ever before. “Yes, sir.” He lowered his head. “Snyder, I can’t. I wish I could. The Most High sent me to you for this season. Now, I must go back to Him.”
“Sarge, what are you saying?”
Sarge said quietly, “I am Jirel. I min-ister before the throne Old Harry lusts for.”
This is crazy. “Come on, Sarge. You’re leaving and can’t keep in touch because you’re an Angel of the Lord and they don’t have e-mail in Heaven.”
Cutler laughed. “What we have is far superior, but a closed system, except in special circumstances.”
“Of course,” Snyder sneered.
“I do, however, promise that you’ll never be alone.”
“That’s a cop out. I’m an outsider. You’re the only one I know around here.”
A brilliant light flashed.
When Snyder’s vision cleared, Cutler was gone. “Sarge? Where’d you go?”
Snyder stared at his feet. There lay a book, wrapped in plastic. He picked it up. A Douay-Rheims, with a yellow sticky note protruding from its pages.
He removed the plastic and opened to the sticky note’s page. The note read, “Keep the Faith, friend, and we will meet again. —Jirel.”
Snyder removed the note and read the verse it had been stuck to. “Let your man-ners be without covetousness, contented with such things as you have; for he hath said: I will not leave thee, neither will I for-sake thee.”
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