The Flop: Break In

“You fly very well.”  Was that a compliment?  She must be tired, of course, almost dying can change anyone.  “Thank you ma’am, it’s a passion of mine.”  “Where to now?”  “Honestly, this wasn’t supposed to happen.  I have three other sites, but they may be compromised.  Up here, we’re too easy to track.  I got us here to buy a little time to think.  Any suggestions?”

“Antartica.”  She was starting to act more like herself.  “Not a bad idea, but we wouldn’t have enough fuel.  How about Vancouver?”  I looked at her.  “Next.”  I have to admit, I was no longer polite.  It came out before I realized it.  She laughed.  “So you’re finally going to treat me like a person and not a politician, that’s good.  Look, we’re not safe here or in Canada, I’m not a runner.  I’d rather have the odds stacked against me in my own backyard.”

So we touched down, picked up a vehicle, and crossed back in to Canada.  We were in an American television news van.  My sister runs a tv station.  I figured that would be the easiest way to hide the Prime Minister of the country, by changing her nationality.  She hated the blonde wig and colored contact lenses.  Jean Luc hated being smuggled in a camera case, but liked being free to roam the van once we crossed the border.

Augustus set up straight in his seat.  “Of course.  I know who is behind this.  I know why, and I know what to do.”  I pulled over at a small cafe and we talked.  “It’s about time.  You’ve been quiet for three days.  I knew you were thinking.  Who is it?”

He frowned when he looked at us.  “This entire time, something has seemed off.  It didn’t make sense that this was political, yet you share no enemies with your Uncle.  From every angle, it was an attack of vengeance.  The question was, who hated you that much.”

“No one. I was always very careful not to make personal enemies.  Political enemies do sweeps, if you’re clean, they stop.”  She looked at me and continued.  “Personal enemies don’t stop in finding out you’re innocent, they find out every thread of your life. They don’t search out crimes, they search out ways to hurt you.  Family connections, old boyfriends, …” She stopped talking.

Augustus cleared his throat.  “It has to be someone connected to him.”  She stifled the physical signs of emotion, but her voice was filled with it.  “Maybe, but it can’t be him, he’s dead.  I saw him.”  Augustus nodded.  “I remember, I watched Harris shoot him.”  I never pushed, when something is this sensitive, you let them tell you.

Augustus finally did.  “His name was Leo Rhames, they were in college.  He surprised her when she went home for the summer.  He proposed to her, and then supposedly left to visit his family.  We all had gathered for her Grandmother’s birthday.  It was at Harris’ estate, supposedly secure.  That night there was a break in.  Harris shot in self defense.  The burglar was wearing a mask.  I removed it, the face was Leo Rhames.”