NYPD 214th Precinct September 19, 10:16 AM
James Young jogged up the front steps and into the precinct doors. He made a left turn as soon as he crossed the threshold.
"Hey!" Serena called after him. "Where do you think you're going? Dad's waiting for us upstairs."
He turned back quickly. "Tell him I'll be just a minute. There's something I need to look at in the records." With that, he continued down the front hallway until he came to the door marked "ARCHIVES." He walked in and sat down at an open computer.
When the central search program came up he pulled out the list of names from his jacket pocket. His fingers typed in the top name. "Schiff, Martin."
The profile of Sgt. Marty Schiff filled the monitor. It was headed in red letters spelling the word DECEASED. He scrolled down the list of information until the heading of "extracurricular activities" caught his eye. Schiff had been an avid golfer, and he homebrewed his own ale. And there it was...a 16 year member of the League of Sentinels.
Young raised an eyebrow and typed in a new search. "Reid, Rodney." Another red-headered profile popped up, this one considerably shorter. Reid had only been on the force for four years. The department hadn't even recorded any of his personal life. But his academy picture said it all. Reid's right ring finger was adorned with the same dark stoned ring that had sat on display in Marla Seaver's living room. Young rubbed his lips in thought for a moment and the typed in "Bartowsky, Adam."
Another veteran cop, Detective Bartowsky had been an undercover narc during the crack epidemic of the 1980's. Moreover though, he had served as the League's Chief of Sentinels from 1990 to 1998 according to the profile. Young was all but convinced that this was no coincidence. But just to be sure, he typed in the final name. "Brubaker, Lawrence."
Larry Brubaker had been a cop on the Port Authority, one of the smaller units that guarded New York City's bus terminals and subway stations. Brubaker had met his demise in the World Trade Center Station the night that Young and his friends had been cooling their heels with Serena in the bleachers at Yankee Stadium. Whoever this flower obsessed killer was, apparently he had gotten to Brubaker with a garrote. And once again, as Young noted from the profile, the killer had sent another Sentinel to the morgue.
He went through all the profiles again and hit the print screen button on each one. He grabbed them off the printer on his hurried way out of the archive.
When he arrived at Antonacci's office he found the door already open. He walked inside, and there sat Jack Antonacci at his desk, Serena standing right behind him. Seated in the two chairs in front of Antonacci's desk were two men in suits that Young didn't recognize. But he had a feeling he was about to find out who they were soon enough.
Antonacci nodded at Young. "Close the door, will you James?"
Young swung the door closed and looked from the captain to the two in the chairs, and then back at Jack again.
"James this is Detective Hudson and his partner Detective Butterfield. They're here from Major Case."
Young's heart skipped a beat. Were they really going to do this already?
Hudson spoke up, his green eyes seemed like they were trying to size Young up. "Five cops dead, Detective. City Hall is already worried sick, and the DA isn't making matters any better. You'd better have something, right here, right now, or you're coming off the case. Commissioner Kelly has our full support on this."
Young looked hard at Hudson. He understood how the man felt and his concern with the situation, but he was still beginning to push a button with Young, and he didn't like the function that button served. He turned to Antonacci and handed him the print-offs. "There's a connection, Captain. I just came across it."
Butterfield scoffed. "What? The rose? What, did you sleep in late this morning, kid?"
Young rolled his eyes. "I'm not talking about the damn rose, Detective. What I found is that every single one of the guys that have bought it so far was a Sentinel."
Antonacci glanced up from the sheets. "How'd you come across this?"
"Charlie Seaver's widow has his ring on display in his shrine. Just keeping in mind the history of the League, I figured it might be worth looking into."
Hudson held his hands up in a bombastic gesture. "Oh come on, Jack. You can't honestly think those bums in the League have anything to do with this."
Young had finally had enough. "Hey, Hudson. Do you have your shield with you?"
Hudson looked at him askance. "What the hell kind of question is that?"
"Oh, well it's just that you sound like a fucking criminal defense attorney and not a cop."
Hudson shot out of his chair. "Why you snotty little bastard..."
"Knock it off, both of you!" Antonacci intoned. He looked at Hudson while pointing at James. "Sam, this is Vince Young's kid. Now I'd think that you'd understand why we have him here. He's got every bit of talent that his old man had. And if he says there may be something behind the Sentinels, then I'm going to treat it as a genuine lead, the same as I would if you presented it to me."
Hudson seemed to stew at that, and grabbed his coat from the chair. Butterfield followed suit as Hudson drilled a finger at Young. "Fine. But let's get something straight, I want every single piece of evidence cross examined by MCS. You find so much as a used Kleenex, I'd better hear about it." With that, the Major Case Detective turned and stalked out of the office, Butterfield slamming the door none too softly behind them.
Antonacci turned back to Young. "Sorry. Sometimes I think he might be Tanner's long lost father. So, what's your next step?"
Young thought for a second. "I think it's time we paid a visit to the Chief of Sentinels. Any idea who it is these days? Adam Bartowsky's file didn't say who succeeded him."
Antonacci stroked his mustache. "I don't know anymore. But I know a guy who probably does. He's a retired Inspector. Al Jenkins. He lives in Flushing. But he spends most of his time fishing on the Brooklyn Heights shore walks."
Young nodded and turned to Serena. "Let's go see him."
On the climb back down the outer precinct stairs, Young heard Brighton make a sound behind him. When he looked around he saw her trying to stifle a laugh.
James quirked an eyebrow. "What's so funny?"
She finally let out the laugh. "I've never seen anybody stick it to Sammy Hudson quite like that before!"
"Yeah, well, he pissed me off. This is my one shot, and I'm not gonna let a guy like that shut me down."