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Blackbird 1 – #youlikeit

By @MonicaPrelooker

16. just getting started

The warrants hadn’t arrived when they went back to the principal’s office, where Fred still guarded the door like he’d been there only a few minutes—go beat a sniper’s patience. Gillian strode out of the school and called Tanya for an update. Next she called her father, who didn’t take the call, what a surprise. So she called his secretary.

“Look, Fran, I know he’s ******, but I really need him to know about this,” she said, before the secretary could come up with any lame excuse. “So write this down and give it to him asap.”

Francine had been King Gillian’s secretary for ten years now, and his in-and-out mistress for the last six, and she knew when he or his daughter were serious. So she grabbed pen and paper and just said, “Shoot.”

* * *

King Gillian strode into the SCU office hardly a minute later. Sixty-five, tall and slim, his light hair specked with white, he always wore classy tailored suits. He didn’t knock. He never knocked on any door. And he didn’t ask questions: he commanded. There was a poise to him that made it impossible not to notice him wherever he was, and he always behaved as if he owned the place. He was used to people making way for him.

Tanya and Kurt looked up, startled, and felt a chill at the glare of his dark blue eyes in his hardened face. Everybody with a healthy self-preservation instinct felt a chill when he glared like that.

He was about to speak when he saw the two long boards at one of the side walls, resting on piles of old files from other departments. His glare moved over the pictures of girls, one after the next. Below them, there were names, dates, places, and another word: roofied, forced, con.

The other two heard him murmur, “So many…”

On a third board, there were pictures of boys and grown-ups: Johnson’s buddies and adults suspected of covering up for him—the principal, teachers, parents, doctors.

“Jesus Christ!” muttered King Gillian, and turned to Tanya. “The full list of names. Those too,” he added, pointing at the third board.

He stared at the boards for a long moment, then produced his phone, dialed and barked, “Get Cook to my office in five minutes.” He snatched the page Tanya handed him and strode out, back on the phone. “With Judge Stallard. It’s Gillian and it’s urgent.”

* * *

At the school, Jackson and his fancy attorney had to swallow their objections at the warrants, and watched in angry impotence as Fred strolled out of the office with a box full of folders. When he left, Gillian turned to them.

“Thanks for your cooperation, Mr. Jackson. I’d advise you to not leave the city until the case is solved. We may need to talk to you again.”

Several TV crews waited outside the school. All the cameras followed Fred taking the stuffed box to Gillian’s car, then turned to the gates to capture Aldana’s and Gillian’s exit.

A reporter got in Gillian’s way, the camera getting a close-up on her professional serious face.

“Lieutenant! Is there any development on Roger’s murder?” the reporter cried, sticking his microphone in her face.

* * *

At the FBI field office, a bunch of agents gathered before the TV at the fifth floor. One of them glanced back and spotted the door of the conference room opening, as the agents attending Brock’s seminar left for their lunch break.

“Hey, Henderson!” the agent called out. “Here’s your friend Gillian on TV!”

Brock came out last, but got to hear him. Henderson? The tall, fit agent in his thirties? He saw the young man hurry to join the others around the TV. That was Gillian’s friend? Well, Brock didn’t see that coming. The man behaved like a bored teenager at school, most of the time glancing out the window or doodling on his notebook, not listening to a single word Brock said. He’d expected a woman like Gillian would like some… brains.

Somebody turned another screen on for other agents to watch the report, and Brock paused to see Gillian shoot a, “No comment,” as she brushed her way past the reporters.

“Man, she’s got it.” The agent winked, elbowing fit, brainless Henderson. “How come she ever noticed you?”

“Hey, I got it too, you know,” Henderson replied.

Another reporter intercepted Gillian before she could reach her car. “Ma’am, please tell us, are you any closer to identifying Roger’s killers?”

She shot a death glare at the man, who quickly stepped back to let her get to her car, mumbling, “Sorry, Lieutenant.”

Another agent teased Henderson. “You should learn that glare, boy.”

Brock watched Gillian get in her car, nodded to himself and strode across the office to the elevators.

“Then you never saw me glaring,” said Henderson.

Several agents laughed as Brock walked into the booth.

* * *

“Hey, T, look at this.”

Tanya spun her chair around as Kurt turned his computer toward her.

“What is it?”

“I think this is the site where the viral picture was first posted.”

“Another secret group?”


The picture of Johnson’s body was there, and Kurt highlighted the hashtag. It was #youlikeit, and it had over fifty likes and comments along the line of ‘way to go’.

As they looked, a new post appeared on top of the site’s feed.

It was only three words.

Your turn, BB

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