Chief Stanton

Chief Stanton is one of the main characters in the crime thriller The Mantis Pact

It had been a day of meetings getting up to date with the latest status of all of the divisions as far as clearance stats were concerned.  It had been a good year so far, with crime generally down again across the board, plus clearance rates up as well for the third year running.

The trauma we had suffered three years earlier with all the associated media coverage may have been hell at the time, but it sure made decision-making and budget-setting easier downstream as all the politicians scrabbled to attach their name to any initiative that provided positive headlines to shore-up their election campaigns.  And with a Mayoral election that year, it was imperative to keep one of the major campaign contributors onside, at least until the cheque had cleared.

I travelled-up to Topeka late afternoon for an important charity event where I would be on the top table with the Governor and Junior Kendrick.  It was not usual for me to be given such an honour, so it was obvious that they wished to go over some details, but exactly which ones I wouldn’t know until they were asked for.  Hence the need for Morley, my IAD man, to accompany me to help me get as many facts loaded in my brain as I could.

Of course, he would not be in the dinner itself, but had been added to the security detail.  That would allow him to pick-up any gossip that had not yet filtered down to us in Wichita.  Capitol gossip was important, as we needed to always be aware which way the wind was blowing with regard to State funding, or special grant schemes that may be coming-up.  Being on the same table as the Governor made it possible to hear of any initiatives he had in mind to raise the profile of the State, which may also involve law-enforcement.

It had been a very good evening, and was about to get better, as it seemed I was going to be given a lift back in Junior’s helicopter.  As no police business had been discussed all evening, that was clearly where whatever I was expected to impart would take place.

Then some time after midnight that awful phone call had come through.  Morley had taken it from Emil Friedmann, Junior’s son-in-law.  He confirmed it with our dispatch back in Wichita, then came to the table to give me what details we had at that point.   It fell to me to tell Junior, although it didn’t seem to sink-in to him at first.  But once he’d had a brief chat with the Governor, I was instructed to return to Wichita immediately.

Unfortunately, not in the helicopter.

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