April 17, 2025
Kansas State Capitol Building
Topeka, Kansas AU
His footsteps echoed around him as he ran down the tiled hallway of the Kansas State Capitol building. He slid to a stop and grasped the railing that looked over the first floor; he spared a glance up at the top of the dome three stories over his head. He then glanced around and tried to get his bearings. Where is the President’s office? He wondered, it had been a few weeks since he had been in the building and his memory of the layout was fuzzy. When he was here meeting with the President his office was on the second floor, but was it closer to the Senate or the House side? He looked across the open space towards the front of the building that faces Tenth Street; the sound of banging started to echo around the cavernous space, the sound coming from the first floor doors. He reached down towards his left hip and unsnapped the strap to the holster for his gun and was just about to draw it out when he heard footsteps right behind him. He froze as he felt the cold metal of a gun barrel pressed up against his neck.
“Nice to meet you again Mister Brian Thompson.” Said a cold steely voice, which made the hair on the back of Brian’s neck stand on end. “I’ve been waiting for this moment for a very long time.”
Three Weeks earlier.
March 27, 2025
Council Grove Police Station
Council Grove, Kansas AU
“The first president of Kansas Harrison Gordon was sworn in today in front of a crowd of 30,000 people on the steps of the Capitol Building in downtown Topeka. He replaces Governor Harry Keating, who was elected in 2009. He is the first President of the newly independent country, and the first to be elected in the recently formed American Union which encompasses all the land west of the Mississippi River.” The reporter turned towards a TV screen behind her and pointed at the text displayed on the screen. “Let me go over a few points that President Gordon made in his speech given shortly after…”
Brian Thompson Jr. turned the TV down and turned back to his desk and tapped the screen to his computer. He quickly typed his password and brought up his email program. He opened the first email on the list labeled Request.
To: Brian Thompson <email@example.com>
From: Arthur Lewis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Thursday, March 27, 2025 0701
Mr. Thompson I am writing you on the behalf of newly elected President Harrison Gordon. It has come to our attention that you have had previous experience and employment with the now defunct Naval Criminal Investigative Service based in Quantico, Virginia. As a previous employee of said agency and current Law Enforcement Officer for the City of Council Grove, we would like to hear from you. You can contact me directly at (785)555-0215 or reply directly to this email. This is a matter of utmost importance so earlier the better. We look forward to hearing from you.
Chief of Staff/ Admin. Assistant
Office of the President
Kansas Capitol Building
Topeka, Kansas AU
Brian reread the email several times. Well that’s awfully vague. He thought puzzled, it didn’t seem like that important of an issue if sent by email. He quickly forwarded the email to his lawyer husband and asked what he should do about it. He then turned back to the TV and turned it off with the remote. He was just about to log off his computer and head to the squad room when his desk phone rang. “Chief Thompson.” He said scooping up the receiver.
“Chief Thompson this is Arthur Lewis, Chief of Staff for President Gordon. I sent you an email a few hours ago and was just calling to make sure that you received it.” He said this all really fast.
“I just opened it actually; can I ask what it is about?” Brian asked. This guy needs to learn to slow down and take a breath I hardly heard any of that.
“We are setting up a taskforce for the state to help corruption and other issues around the country and we would like to meet you about it. The president was insistent that you meet.” Arthur said again still in rapid fire fashion.
“I thought Kansas had one of the lowest corruption rates in the Midwest region of the American Union, but I would be willing to meet with the president to see what this is about.” Brian said.
“Good, good the president has an opening in his schedule on Monday at ten in the morning would that time work for you?” Arthur reeled off.
“Yes that would be fine, where would I be meeting him at?” Brian asked bewildered.
“You would be meeting him here at his offices; I will email you the details and will see you then.” Arthur said and promptly hung up.
Brian hung up the phone and stared at it for a moment. Did I really just say that I would meet the president?
Rutledge and Associates
Council Grove, Kansas AU
Phillip Rutledge looked up from the case file that he was reading and noticed that his secretary was sitting in the chair across the desk from him. “Can I help you Alonso?” He asked. Alonso pulled his phone out of his pocket and placed it on the desk.
“I just received a call and I want to know if you can use some of your police contacts to have the number traced?”
“Why do you need the number traced?” Phillip asked concerned. Alonso grabbed his phone unlocked it and held it out for Phillip to look at. Phillip took the phone and read the text message displayed on the screen. “Beware of the one you work for.” Phillip read slowly. “What do you think that means?”
“It means that someone thinks that you are up to something. I have been getting text messages and voicemails for the same number for the past few months. The last week it has become almost constant, if I try to call the number no one answers.” Alonso explained. “I have known you for the past several years and wanted to bring this to your attention.”
“I don’t think that this is anything serious, if you will allow me I will forward your phone on to the CGPD crime lab and see what they come up with.” Phillip said as he opened one of his desk drawers and pulled out a plastic evidence bag. He slipped the phone in, sealed it and filled out the front. “This might take a couple weeks in the mean time I will issue you a phone you can use until we get this all straightened out.” He got up from his chair and went to the glass fronted cabinet behind him. He opened one of the doors and opened a small safe, inside were several smartphones plugged into chargers. He grabbed one and handed it to Alonso. “I will call you once I hear back from the crime lab; in the meantime don’t share the number for this phone with anyone if you don’t have to. If you receive more calls from the same number let me know immediately.”
“Thank you sir and I will.” Alonso slipped the phone into the pocket of his jacket. “One other thing your husband forwarded this email on to me and he wants you to look over it and see what he should do about it.” Alonso pulled a piece of paper out of his pocket and handed it over to Phillip. Phillip read it his eyes narrowing with every word.
“Send him an email back that this sounds highly fishy, something seems off about this email.” Phillip sat down back behind his desk.
“What seems off about it sir?” Alonso asked taking the paper back and reading it over again himself.
“Since it fails to address what the meeting will be about and the fact that the invitation was sent by email. Proper protocol would be to send it in the mail or ask in person.” Phillip explained as he gathered up files off his desk and put them into his briefcase. “Tell him also that I will be in court until later this afternoon and I will discuss this with him at that time.”
“I will take care of that sir.” Alonso said as he got up from his chair. “I didn’t see any court dates for today on your calendar; I make sure that it is up to date. Did I miss something?”
“No you didn’t I am just doing some pro-bono work and I forgot to tell you. I didn’t have any meetings today and it will be quick.” Phillip said closing his briefcase. “If anyone calls and asks, I am in a meeting and will contact them later.”
“Yes sir, good luck.”
Madison Street Apartments
Council Grove, Kansas AU
Brian parked his black Kia Sorento next to his lead detectives green mud splattered Dodge Durango, and surveyed the scene in the middle of the parking lot of the Madison Street Apartment complex. Two black and white Ford Explorers were parked facing out with crime scene tape stung between them and around them to form a half circle around the front porch of apartment 21. Brian climbed out of his Kia and headed over to a red Durango emblazoned with the words Morris County Sheriff, and underneath that in slightly smaller letters, Crime Scene Unit. His lead detective George Cards was leaning in the open rear hatch plugging a camera in to a laptop computer. “Hey George, I got your text, what do we have?” Brian asked watching over George shoulder as he downloaded photos of the crime scene to the computer.
“Looks like we have a double homicide, first one I believe in the city.” George unplugged the camera and closed the computer. “I thought you might find this interesting, follow me.” George slung the camera around his neck and pressed the button to close the back hatch of the Durango. “This is the most bizarre crime scene that I have seen in a long while. This beats that crime scene that I investigated in White City two years back.” He started towards apartment 21, Brian quickly followed after.
“Bizarre how?” Brian asked.
“Hard to describe, you more have to see it to get what I am talking about.” George ducked under the crime scene tape and nodded to the officer holding a clip board. Brian fished out his badge and showed it to the officer, who wrote his name down. Brian followed after George who handed the camera off to one of his CSIs and waited while Brian pulled on a pair of gloves.
“Who called it in?” Brian asked.
“Landlord, he is over there with Officer Charles.” George pointed towards a tall officer standing next to one of the Explorers who was talking to an elderly man in overalls who looked like he was about to start crying. “From what I was told when I got here the landlord arrived to talk to the current tenant about a plumbing issue they had called him about last night. He went in after not receiving an answer when he knocked, he assumed that they were at work which is the norm on a Friday morning and he found the bodies in the kitchen.” George stepped over the threshold and led Brian back towards the back of the apartment towards the kitchen. Brian took a second to look around the living room, it was spotless. All the furniture was high end, same with the TV and computer equipment in the corner. All this stuff looks a little expensive for an apartment in a building like this. Brian thought.
“Where did the tenant w..?” Brian started as he walked back into the kitchen, what he saw made his blood run cold.
“Chief, are you okay?” George asked looking concerned.
“Is that who I think it is?” Brian asked.
“Yes, according to his driver’s license this is former Governor Harry Keating.” George said pointing to the half-naked body tied to a chair, which sat in a small pool of blood in the middle of the kitchen, small bullet hole between the eyes. “And this according to his driver’s license is Governor Keating’s former chief of staff Michael Russell.” The second body that George pointed to was also bound to a chair in a similar state of undress, also with a bullet hole between the eyes. “Both were shot execution style, nothing of value was taken and there is no sign of forced entry, I’m thinking that they knew whoever did this.”
“Out of the way you halfwit!” Came a voice from the doorway, Brian turned to see the medical examiner berating a CSI who had accidentally walked in front of him as he tried to get a gurney through the kitchen door. “Damn those CSIs, they get nothing done and are always in the way.” The man huffed.
“Calm down there Gerald, let me help.” Brian said walking over and lifting up the end of the gurney to get it over the lip of the door frame.
“Thank you Brian what brings you here? Haven’t seen you at a crime scene in ages.” Gerald asked.
“This.” Brian said pointing behind him at the two bodies.
“Damn…” Gerald pushed the gurney out of the way and walked gingerly over to the bodies, avoiding stepping in the pool of blood around the chairs. “I’ll be damned it’s the governor and his aide. What the hell were they doing here in Council Grove?”
“That’s one thing we don’t know at this time.”
“Actually I think we do.” George said.
“How’s that?” Brian asked.
“Found two used rubbers and other things in the back bedroom.”
“Well I’ll be damned, would’ve never thought.” Gerald said as he busied himself examining the bodies.
“So you’re telling me…” Brian said slowly pieces slowly dropping into place.
“Yep, these two were having an affair.”
Topeka, Kansas AU
“Mr. President I’ve done what you have asked and contacted the people on your list to come and meet with you next week.” Arthur Lewis pulled a file out of his briefcase and placed it on the desk. “This is the file on Brian Thompson jr., now Chief of Police for Council Grove Police Department in Morris County.” The president picked it up and flipped through it.
“Graduated from Washburn University with degree in Criminal Justice and Forensics, retired United States Navy Lieutenant, serves in the Kansas Marine Corps. Reserves as a Colonel in the MP division. Also married to Phillip Rutledge lawyer for Rutledge and Associates in Council Grove, a retired United States Marine Corps. Major.” The President put the file down and took of his glasses. “I am also hearing chatter that they have formed a group called the American Reunification Front, I don’t see this mentioned in his file.”
“Well sir, we so far have no proof that this has actually happened, we are looking into it but haven’t found anything so far.” Arthur pulled another file out of his briefcase and handed it to the president. “This is the background we have run on Thompsons husband also like his husband no mention of the ARF, or any connection other than rumors. What job are you looking at giving Thompson?” Arthur asked.
“Director of the KBI, he has experience working with a federal law enforcement agency and I think he has the qualifications for the job. When did you say that he would be here for the meeting?”
“He agreed to meet on Monday morning; I have put it in your calendar.” Arthur stood up and grabbed his briefcase.
“Thank you Mr. Lewis, also did that task get completed yesterday?” The president said stacking the two files on the corner of his desk and opening his laptop.
“Yes sir the issue has been taken care of, you shouldn’t be hearing from either of them anymore.”
Council Grove, Kansas
Brian turned onto the gravel drive leading up the hill towards his house. He stopped and surveyed the dirt road in front of him a storm was building off to the southwest and a breeze was flowing over the Flint Hills. His house stood on a hill at the end of the long gravel drive, the two story farm house was over one hundred years old but had been thoroughly modernized by himself and his husband one room at a time.
He drove down the drive and went over the day in his head, so much had happened since the crime scene this morning that he was starting to lose track of all the details, it was a good thing that he had everything recorded on his tablet so he could review his notes before heading to the medical examiner's office in Manhattan in the morning.
He parked the Kia under a large cottonwood tree in front of the house next to his husband's Volvo V60. He got out of the SUV and glanced at the front porch, his husband Phillip was sitting in a lounge chair reading a book, a cup of tea sitting on the side table next to him. He leaned up against the SUV and just watched him for a few moments.
“See something you like?” Phillip asked not looking up from his book and reaching for his mug of tea.
“Of course as always.” Brian said smiling. “Want to head to the Hays House tonight?”
“I could eat.” Phillip said, he marked his place in his book with a bookmark and set it on the side table next to his mug of tea. He placed his reading glasses on top of his book and got up. “Busy day I take it?”
“You have not idea. How was your day?” Brian asked meeting his husband on the porch.
“Very busy, possibly have five new clients and had some interesting things happen in the office today.” They hugged each other and stood there for a few minutes in a tight embrace.
“Lets go get changed, they won’t let us in the Hays House dressed like this.” They kissed and turned and walked into the house. “Do you think we have time for a little fun?” Brian asked with a wink. Phillip shut the front door and locked the door.
“Oh, I think we have sometime.” Phillip said smiling. He pushed Brian up against the wall and kissed him deeply. “I’ve been waiting for this all day.”
A black Mercedes stopped at the gates of the President's mansion and waited a moment for the gates to open, a light rain had started to fall. In the back seat a man dressed in black opened a briefcase and pulled out a folder. He flipped it opened and started rereading the file to refamiliarize himself. He felt the car slow down, he replaced the file and looked up to see two men from the president's security team walk up to the car. His driver rolled down his window and spoke quietly with the man, the man waved them forward and when the car stopped he opened the back door. The man in black stepped out and nodded his thanks to the man.
The man was escorted in by another man into the mansion and up the stairs to the second floor study. The escort knocked on the office door stepped inside, and shut the door. A few seconds later he emerged and held the door open beckoning the man in black inside. When the man in black was inside the escort backed into the hall and shut the door.
President Gordon was sitting at the desk, his laptop open in front of him. He glanced up to the man and closed the laptop. “Take as seat.” He said waving his hand at a chair sitting in front of the desk. “Did you get the file that my assistant sent to you?”
“Yes I did, thank you for that.” The man sat down and placed the briefcase next to his chair. “Now what is it exactly that you want me to do?”
“I like you, straight to the point.” President Gordon leaned back in his chair and put his feet up on the desk. “What I want you to do is show me what you can do.” He snapped his fingers and one of his security detail entered the room. “Sorry Frank.” He said to the bodyguard.
The man in black stood up and walked over to the man. The man stiffened and started to speak. “Sir? Sorry abo…” The man in black with reflexes almost too fast to see grabbed the man by the throat and squeezed cutting off his air. He then with his free hand ripped open the man's button down shirt, buttons flying in all directions. The man started squirming and spluttering trying to break free using his hands to try and pry the man in black's hand off his neck. The man in black smile and placed his hand on Frank’s chest over his heart. “Im sorry Frank but this is going to hurt.” The man in black said slowly plunging his hand into the man's chest. Frank's eyes bulged as he tried to scream through the hand wrapped around his throat, his body tensing and squirming. The man in black grinned as he felt the man's hot blood run down his arm and the man's pulsing heart beat against the palm of his hand, with one quick motion he wrapped his hand around Frank's heart and pulled it straight out of his chest. Frank immediately went limp and the man in black released him letting the body crumple to the floor.
He looked down at the man's body on the floor the hole in his naked chest and then to the heart in his hand. “Satisfied?” He asked the heart dissolving into dust. He pulled a handkerchief out of his pocket and wiped the blood off his arm and hand.
“Oh yes, I think you’ll do nicely.”
The Hays House
Council Grove, Kansas
Brian parked the Volvo and got out, walking around to the passenger side and opening the door. Phillip got out and glanced down the street. “They must be busy.”
“Its a good thing I got a reservation.” Brian said with a grin. “May I take your hand my good sir?” He held his hand out, and Phillip took it.
“Why yes you can.” Phillip said giving Brian and quick kiss. They walked the half a block to the restaurant. A group of people were hanging out by the door talking and laughing, one of them looked up from their phone and started yelling. “Oh look it’s the faggots!”
Brian rolled his eyes and kept walking but the man stepped in front of them and blocked them from going through the door. “I don’t think you should be here, your kind isn’t welcome here.” The man said with a slight slur.
“I would suggest that you back up sir.” Brian said calmly letting go of Phillips hand.
“Fuck off faggot! I’ll tell you what you should be doing!”
“Can you move please?” Brian said. “I really just want to have dinner with my husband and then go home.” Brian took a step back as the man had stepped forward getting so close Brian could see that the man had what looked like a piece of lettuce in his teeth.
“Like hell you will!” The man yelled, he then took a step back and swung his fist at Brians face. Brian dodged the punch and took a few paces back, Phillip backed up also cell phone in hand. The group of people had disbursed and one was filming with his cell phone, another standing by their car speaking with 911. The man suddenly pulled out a knife and started waving it around.
“Bad idea.” Brian said reaching back to the waistband of his slacks and pulled his Glock out of its concealed holster. He then raised it and pointed it at the man with the knife. “I’m a police officer drop it or I shoot.” Out of the corner of his eye he saw Phillip pull out his gun, keeping in by his side, his phone pressed to his ear.
“Your fuckin not!” The man yelled.