Characters in the story are based off real people. Names have been changed to protect those individuals. Situations and events in the story are fictional, although some real events may be included. Some content may include violence and sexual depictions. Reader discretion is advised.
The on duty corrections officer, at the front gate of the regional facility, sees a pristine white Cadillac pulling up the long driveway being driven by a middle age black man. As the Cadillac got closer to his booth, he tried to see if anyone else was inside, but couldn’t see into the backseat. First, the driver pulls up next to him and rolls his window down, handing him his driver’s license. Once he answered the correctional officer’s questions, the middle age gentleman pulled a few feet so the correctional officer could see who is in the back. The driver side rear window rolled down and a strong aroma of beautiful mixed smells came pouring out of the car at the officer. Immediately he was given two driver’s license, both from New York, and started to examine them to make sure they were real. The officer started to ask them questions about who they were seeing and the nature of the visit. Mercedes answered every questioned confidently and without hesitation, which made the correctional officer feel at ease. A radio transmission was relayed to another officer, who controlled the main access entry into the facility, and the first gate opened up. While the car enters the property, and is motioned over to a designated spot for a vehicle search, Sapphire turns to speak to Mercedes about the visit with her brother.
SAPPHIRE CRUZ: How do you feel about seeing your brother for the first time since coming to prison?
MERCEDES JOHNSON: Strange. Weird. Awkward.
SAPPHIRE CRUZ: Do you think he will be pleased to see you?
MERCEDES JOHNSON: I don’t know what he might think about seeing me. I just know I need to see and speak to him about some business.
SAPPHIRE CRUZ: He may need some serious convincing to agree with your plan to expand into his territory.
MERCEDES JOHNSON: If he does I’m pretty sure you will help me with that notion.
Sapphire smiles at her boss, which was read by Mercedes as Sapphire is ready to do what is necessary to make this meeting successful. Their car pulls up at the vehicle search checkpoint and all occupants of the car are told to exit and stand to the side. As Mercedes is standing out in the morning sun, watching the vehicle search happen, her eyes catches one of the guards starring at her. Both of their eyes meet, and the guard standing near the front of the vehicle, begins to smile at her, looking at her up and down seductively. Sapphire sees that her boss is looking in a particular direction and notices that one of the guards are starring at them with a clear motive of his intentions. She looks at her boss, who glances at her without saying a word and just with that notion, Sapphire takes a few steps towards the glaring guard. As she stands a few feet away from the guard, Sapphire removes her sunglasses so he could get a good look at her light brown eyes, which have known to make men crazy. The guard and Sapphire lock eyes for several seconds before her gaze is interrupted by Mercedes telling her that they are cleared to proceed to the visitor parking. Sapphire puts her sunglasses back on and slowly walks back to the rear passenger of the car. Before getting back into the car, Sapphire looks at the guard one more time, takes her index finger and puts it in her mouth. She slowly moves it back and forth giving the motion of what he thinks she wants to do to him. Once back in the car, another gate opens up and allows them to proceed forward. As the car slowly passes by the guard still standing in the same spot, Mercedes peers out the window and glances at his package. “You better put that thing down before it gets you in trouble” she says to him while going through the gate.
The driver stays in the car as Sapphire and Mercedes enter through the front door of the facility to only see they have to get checked personally. They follow the instructions and cooperate and are allowed to finally enter the rest of the facility to visit her brother. Mercedes and Sapphire are escorted and pointed in the direction of where the visiting room is and are forced to wait. Several minutes later Mercedes’s brother, Rodney Cooper, comes walking through the door in his navy blue jumpsuit and shackled feet and hands. The guard that brought him in removed his hand chains, but kept his feet shackled together for the fear of him trying to flee. After the hand chains were removed, he rubbed his wrist as if they were on to tight and trying to get the blood flowing through them once again. He looks at Mercedes and Sapphire before slowly walking over to the table they were at and taking a seat across from them.
RODNEY COOPER: What is this? Jewelry and rings and shit. Looking all fancy. Got bodyguards and whatnot.
MERCEDES JOHNSON: Hi Rodney. How are you?
RODNEY COOPER: I can handle myself in here no problem. Don’t worry about me in here. I should be asking you the questions, you know.
MERCEDES JOHNSON: What do you want to know? How I’m doing?
RODNEY COOPER: What’s going on with you in the Big Apple? I’ve been hearing all kinds of shit happening. Dudes that did runs for you up and down the highway are locked up with me. Know what I’m saying? People getting knocked off and crippled just by saying your name fucked up. How do you explain that?
MERCEDES JOHNSON: The less you know about what I am doing, the less you have to worry about.
RODNEY COOPER: I worry about you because you are family. You’re my sister. We are supposed to look out for each other. Never leave each other behind and always support the other. Remember that? I haven’t seen or heard from you in months since being locked up in here. How about you explain that one?
MERCEDES JOHNSON: You mad at me Rodney? I think this communication thing is a two way street. You haven’t heard anything from me, may be because I haven’t heard shit from you. The day you got locked up you mentioned to me that you would reach out to me to let me know when it is okay to contact you. The last time I checked I’m a grown woman, and a mean bitch at that. I handle my business the way I see fit and deal with those that need to be dealt with. However, I didn’t come here to argue with you about how I’m running my business.
RODNEY COOPER: Then what did you come here for? Reminisce about the old times?
MERCEDES JOHNSON: I actually need you for a business proposal that I have. I will make sure you reap the benefits of such opportunity.
RODNEY COOPER: What’s the word?
MERCEDES JOHNSON: I’m looking to expand my business, and I want to do it in our hometown. I also want to include you in the operations of how the business is ran. Get you back out there sorta speak.
RODNEY COOPER: You talking about Baltimore? People here know of me and how I do things. I don’t bring heat on myself unnecessarily by acting like the mafia out here. Trying to run shit!
MERCEDES JOHNSON: How did you end up in here then?
RODNEY COOPER: I don’t know about this expansion you trying to do. Do you think it’s time for that to happen? Can you support that and have the people to handle shit for you? I’m afraid you gonna change things from how they are now. I need to think about this. I need time.
MERCEDES JOHNSON: How much time?
RODNEY COOPER: I don’t know. Another organization moving into my city trying to take pieces of what I’ve build and got going on. Plus, the competition that’s around here is fierce. That shouldn’t be a problem for you though, you’ll just start killing motherfuckers and release all kinds of heat from the law.
While Mercedes stares at her brother without saying a word, she sees that Rodney flinches and immediately sits up in his chair. He turns his attention towards Sapphire and reaches down between his legs and feels her foot lightly playing with his manhood under the table.
MERCEDES JOHNSON: See Rodney. You work with me on this opportunity, Sapphire here can be your reward. Although she knows what is going on underneath the table, she doesn’t want to think about her brother getting aroused from a simple foot play.
SAPPHIRE CRUZ: Removes her sunglasses to reveal her light brown eyes while her foot presses a little harder. I can never disappoint. I will always keep you aroused and I will satisfy your fantasies and dreams. Or, I can let you have fun by yourself and have a wet dream in your cell. We would really like for you to give us your blessing to move forward.
RODNEY COOPER: Feeling himself near climax and fought the urge to be reeled in. Okay, you got it. What do you need from me?
MERCEDES JOHNSON: I’ll let you know what I need. Just be ready for me when I ask for it.
RODNEY COOPER: Bet.
Feeling himself ready to explode in his jumpsuit, and Mercedes breaks her attention away from them two and pretends to play with her fingernails, Sapphire suddenly stops and quickly removes her foot. Oh, that sends all kinds of confusion with Rodney as he looks at Sapphire and wonders why she didn’t complete the job. She leans forward and winks at him before putting back on her sunglasses and leaving with Mercedes out the facility. Rodney was then placed back in hand chains and escorted back to his cell with an erection that he hoped was not seen by any guards or other prisoners.
The same morning that Mercedes and Sapphire just ended their visit with Rodney, Shelly arrives at work looking tired and almost in a zombie like state. As she walks through the emergency room, another nurse sees her and makes a comment of her facial appearance. Shelly breaks out a smile and a small chuckle after the comment was made. While she walks around with a small smile on her face, she is handed a patient’s chart in one of the emergency rooms. Taking the chart and reading it, she sees that the patient is to care for is named Christine Jones. Reading further into the patient’s chart, and flipping the page, Shelly realizes that the reason for her hospital visit is due to a DUI accident. After reading her injuries and what has been done to her the night before, she immediately goes to Christine’s room first and slowly swings open the privacy curtain. Shelly introduces herself to Christine once she realizes that her patient was awake for the moment. Unable to move her neck due to a brace, Christine responds to her new nurse in a pleasurable tone of voice. This response brings a big smile to Shelly’s face and makes her feel that this could be a good day after all. Once Shelly completed what she had to do in Christine’s room, she left through the privacy curtain and began to get an uneasy feeling about this DUI accident. It took Shelly only a few seconds to discover what room the DUI suspect was in when she saw a policeman stationed outside his room.
In acting like she was covering for another nurse for a few minutes, she approached the room and spoke to the officer. After speaking to the officer, she entered through the privacy curtain and finally saw who the DUI suspect was. Immediately, her heart began to pound and having fierce flashbacks through her mind of what happened to her best friend, who died in an accident involved with a DUI driver and that same suspect was now lying in bed in the same hospital. The emotional rollercoaster she felt for those few minutes was so overwhelming that she left the room without saying a word to the officer or anyone else. Her first stop was a private bathroom that was closed off to the public and patients in the hospital. Once she entered the bathroom and closed the door, tears began to run down her face as if she was reliving the incident that her best friend was killed. Pacing back and forth in the bathroom while her hands wildly run through her hair and flying through the air, she slams her closed fist against her thighs and lets out a hard cry for a few seconds. Shelly then sees herself in the bathroom mirror above the sink and studies her face and eyes very closely. As she stares into her own eyes through the mirror, her thoughts began to run into the dark side of seeking payback for losing her friend, but her heart was trying to counter-act that notion by informing her that her job and life could be lost.
Once again Shelly was faced with a dilemma of what she should do with this painful information she now knows. Then she started to debate with herself about how she could cast revenge on him like she did against Vincent, but fought with the strong urge that feeding this emotional response may backfire harshly. In a complete trance into her own mirrored eyes, Shelly is distracted by a knock on the bathroom door. This breaks her out of the trance and wipes her tears away from her face to keep others from knowing her emotional prison. As she opens the door to allow someone else to use it, she notices that no one is there waiting to use the bathroom. Shelly is baffled for a few minutes about this anomaly, but explains it to herself that may be she was hearing things during her self-trance. While walking back to the main part of the ER, she receives this very cold breeze that appears to go through her body. The cold breeze was so bone-chilling that it made her stop immediately. Shelly starts to look around to see where this sudden blast of cold breeze came from, and is nearly scared of what she saw standing at the other end of the hallway. Seeing a dark shadow figure standing at the end of the hallway, barely an outline of a human being, was very scary and shocked her body into a still figure. Her view of this mysterious shadow figure was only there in front of her for a few seconds, before the natural blinking of her eyes, made the shadow figure disappear. Shelly remained in the middle of the hallway, with others walking around her, overcome with fear and emotions, but did her best not to let anyone else notice. She knew that seeing that shadowy figure meant that she may have opened some kind of Wicca portal that she was not aware of, or something was after her for whatever reason. The moral line was now beginning to shrink for Shelly, and if not careful of her actions she could end up on the wrong side of the realm.
After Minister Cure did his reconnaissance of his upcoming rally on the Mall, he and his entourage are on their way to another meeting with a community leader in the Northern Virginia area. As they ride down the interstate coming out of the city, a black Chevy Suburban with limo tint windows is travelling behind them unnoticed. Once clearly out of the city, the Suburban slowly increases it speed to come up alongside Minister Cure’s vehicle. Still unnoticed to his security detail, Minister Cure continues to talk to his men inside the car with him. By the time one of the men finally noticed the Suburban next to them, one of the rear windows was rolled down halfway and a barrel of an automatic rifle was pointed at them outside the window. When this was spotted, one of the men loudly alerted of what he saw and shoved Minister Cure to the floor of the car. At this point, automatic fire erupted with high velocity rounds penetrating the windows and doors. Two of the men on that side received most of the rounds into their bodies trying to protect their package. The second vehicle in the convoy returned fire at the Suburban blowing out the back window and leaving rounds penetrating the tailgate. Minister Cure’s driver was struck in the back and shoulder, lost control of the car and slamming it into a noise barrier tossing all the occupants around.
In an instant, the SUV pulled off at a high rate of speed and took the next exit off the highway. Other vehicles that were on the road at the time of the assassination attempt, were not hit, but some careened off the road in fear and uncertainty. Minister Cure’s second vehicle didn’t give chase to the SUV and decided to check on the minister and other members of the security team. What they found in the car was bullet holes, two dead security members, shattered glass, and three severely injured men, including the minister. As they attempted to stop the bleeding from the minister’s wounds of his upper torso, emergency calls were coming into the local police of what just happened. Police received information that the suspect vehicle was last seen taking the first exit after the shooting with severe damage to the rear window and tailgate. Minister Cure was lying on the roadway, in and out of consciousness, being treated by his security detail while they wait for the emergency personnel to arrive. Other witnesses attempted to offer help and to see what is happening, but the security team pushes everyone back and gives the notion that they are willing to do what it takes to protect their powerful leader. Several minutes later emergency personnel arrived on scene, with police blocking off the roadway, gathering up witnesses and get statements. Minister Cure was still losing blood when he was being transported to the hospital, as two officers escort the ambulance to prevent any other attacks on the black militant leader. It didn’t take long for the news media to jump on this story as they were out on the scene of the drive-by shooting within the hour of it happening. As Minister Cure is being transported to the nearest hospital for life and death injuries, he lies on the gernie staring up at the ceiling of the ambulance. His thoughts begin to entertain the legacy of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. and how they lived their lives and died for the civil rights of the black society. Suddenly, of these thoughts going through his mind, he begins to take a turn for the worse just before arriving at the hospital, and is wheeled into the emergency room with paramedics working frantically to save his life.
[Somewhere in Ukraine]
Daniel Storm was captured by the Ukrainian and Russian authorities and held captive, but was not left untouched. Being captive for only a few hours, he was beaten and tortured by Ukrainian soldiers who are sympathetic to the cause of the Russian government. Suffering a bloody mouth, bruised cheeks and one black eye, he refuses to talk and give up any information to what he knows about the assassination attempt. As they see he is not giving in easy to the physical torture being stowed upon him, he is visited by the Russian president’s chief of staff. One of the Ukrainian soldiers grab Daniel’s hair yank up his head to force him to face the new authority figure that just walked in. Breathing heavy from the beating, you could see the sweat streaming down his face and open chest area where his shirt was ripped open. The temperature in the concrete room was over one hundred degrees, with a drop of water hitting Daniel on the top of the head every couple of seconds. Getting very close to his face, the chief of staff can smell the perspiration coming from captive’s body and stale hot breath. In a Russian accent, the chief of staff tells Daniel that he will be transferred to the custody of the Russians, who will question and break him of any information they want. With one good eye to look out of, Daniel stares the Russian in the eyes and suddenly spits in his face, which prompted a very fierce reaction.
The Russian immediately back handed him across the face and returns with a powerful closed fist across the other side of his face. Daniel nearly fell out of the chair because of the power behind the hits, but was kept from falling when he was grabbed by the neck. Angry at the reaction of being spat in the face, the Russian figure grabs a sharp knife from one of the soldiers behind him and slowly slices Daniel across the chest. Daniel started to rock in the chair, trying to get away from the cutting knife, but couldn’t with his hands and feet tied down. His pain threshold was being pushed to the limit as he could feel the deep penetration of the blade through his skin and the strong stream of blood running down his upper torso staining his underwear. He was slowly sliced across the upper body at least three times with the open wounds deep enough for someone to peel the skin right off. However, Daniel never released out a scream to satisfy his captures to send a message that no matter what you do, he will not talk. Seeing this from his point of view, the Russian saw that he might just have a lot of fun with this guy, who they believe could be an American spy or assassin. He explained to Daniel that limit information is being released to the American news media of what has happened after the attempt, and that this could strain relations even more between the United States and Russia. In trying to play the reverse-psychology and play Devil’s Advocate, Daniel doesn’t fall for his mental game and continues to resist their demands.
After refusing to cooperate with his captures, the Russian figure stood up and walked out of the concrete room. He spoke to another soldier, which appeared to be Russian, and gave the order to bring him to another location where their operatives will handle the interrogation. Just as the Russian continues to walk away, two soldiers quickly grab Daniel, who attempts to fight the best way he can even with his hands and feet bound together. In his strong resistance, he was thrown to the ground on his shoulder and booted in the face, which caused blood to fly out of his mouth, stomped in the chest and stomach. Daniel rolled over on his stomach, trying to fight from the ground, but was finally subdued when he was shot in the back putting him asleep. Ukrainian soldiers picked him up by his bounded legs and arms carrying him outside to a transport vehicle. Although the Russians want him for themselves and put him through the Red punishment factor, they may find out that this transfer could be more than what they bargained for.
END OF CHAPTER IV