THE BLACK LOBSTER

EVERYBODY’S OUT OF TOWN
When I arrive at the Augusta FBI Office it didn’t take me long to realize I had stepped into a warzone. Director Marie Bakke was there and was engaged in a shouting match with Carmichael. Bakke was a veteran from the old school. The fact that she was in Maine raised a troubling question. Why would Washington send a top Director to investigate Sex Trafficking?
The others in attendance were Cousin Vernon and his assistant Habiba, and much to my surprise a trio of Royal Canadian Mounties dressed in red uniforms right out of Sergeant Preston of the Yukon.
Marie saw me enter and gestured for Carmichael to stop talking. “McAllister, you’re late.”
“Sorry the flight was delayed, moose on the tarmac.”
Habiba laughed.
“Okay, why have they dragged you out of retirement?”
“Obviously, someone hates my guts.”
“Well I’m glad you’re with us.” The RCMP woman said walking quickly over to me. “Can I get you some coffee, how about a bagel or donut, they’re fresh.”
“Why thank you,” I eyed her insignia, “Captain?”
“It’s Leslie,”
“I knew there was a reason I liked Canadians.”
Director Bakke continued to stress her point, “the CIA has proof Sorokin is in the country,”
Carmichael was livid, “the CIA has stonewalled us for a long time. What do you think McAllister?”
“I just got here, can I at least take my coat off?
“Dammit McAllister you never side with me.”
“I take that personally you know.” I threw my coat on an empty desk. “Well, we’ve always combined U.S. agencies in investigations as far as I know.”
“And how has that worked?” He wanted to know.
Marie barged in. “Any joint operations must answer to the State Department, you know that.”
“Well, that’s a different story.”
“But why? Aren’t we all the same.” Habiba asked.
I could see Carmichael was steaming. For once I couldn’t blame him Bakke was pulling rank. “This is bullshit especially the way we’re treating our partners up north.”
Carmichael siding with the Canadian?
“The Americans wanted our help in Canada,” Leslie added.
“This should be their collar.”
“We have the conformation he’s here.” Bakke said. “That’s all we need from you.”
Leslie just rolled her eyes and gathered her things. “Typical of the U.S., they do not practice what they preach.”
Her deputy didn’t like the way his boss was being treated and he stood between them. He must have been 8 feet tall. Leslie patted the big guys stomach and answered the Director.
“Director Bakke,” Carmichael pleaded, “can’t we make an exception this one time. After all it was the Mounties who broke open the investigation.”
OMG is Carmichael shagging her?
Now Bakke turned to the desk picked up a folder opening it to a page. “From this point on the investigation will be run by our people. Is that understood?”
“Don’t we need to locate Sorokin before we argue about jurisdiction,” I asked. “There’s an issue no one is bringing up here, why would someone in General Sorokin’s league be involved in something like this. If it’s to make a quick buck why would he risk coming to America himself? It just doesn’t add up.”
Now Carmichael stepped back in Marie’s face. “We’ve come full circle back to my original argument. What are you guys hiding from us?”
“Is that the case?” Habiba wanted to know.
“Are you keeping things from us.” Vernon finally spoke.
“What exactly do you mean Tibbs?” Bakke challenged.
“So, there’s more to this.” Habiba said bluntly.
“That’s correct.” Bakke informed him, “Under these circumstances, I can’t reveal any more,”