The “S” Word is on the Way & 028 Agent White’s Interview with Col. George Blackwell

Good Morning Ted and Jody:

The weather folks are using the “S” word to describe next week. You know, that time in the Great Pacific Northwest when the sun is out, the temperatures are in the 80s to god knows how hot and it is dry. They are positively doling at the prospects. Those kinds of climatic conditions drive people out to search for water in which to immerse themselves (I suspect it is because we have not quite shed our amphibian ancestry). Ironically, it is these same conditions that melt the snow pack that keep the flowing bodies of water at temperatures guaranteed to induce hyperthermia in minutes. The weather folks note this as well but still drool over the prospects of 80+ degrees.

What this all means, is that the flowers on trees are all by over. However, there is one holdout, the flowers in the water which should continue well into next week. I took time out from my busy day on the exercise bike (while the stationary bike is not helping me get rid of that pound that I am only four or five pounds away from shedding, it has seemed to lower my overall blood sugar by several points) to shoot the flowers and present them here. (I have not figured out how to get proper clouds in the shots that are directed downward, but I am working on it).20170518_1329 9 shot Panorama ns1 email.jpg20170516_084048 email.jpg

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The pestilence leaves for the Middle East today. Let us pray they like him and want to keep him.

I trust this finds you in good health, spirits, and happily not in hyperthermia inducing water.

Warmest regards, Ed

028 Agent White’s Interview with Col. George Blackwell
Fiction in 932 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017

“Col. Blackwell, thank you for agreeing to talk with me again,” said Agent White.

“It is my pleasure to assist the ATI in any way I can,” replied Col. Blackwell. “What precisely do you want to know.

“Normally I would be advised to mask what I am looking for,” said Agent White. “however, you are too smart for me to play games. I am looking for any way you could still travel in time.”

Col. Blackwell chuckled, “I gave that up for my health. I had the implant removed and had another ATI agent bring me here. Here I am not likely to encounter contemporary time travel in my lifetime. Sort of removed from all temptation, so to speak.”

“How is this for your health?” asked Agent White.

“I am what you might call a danger junkie,” replied Col. Blackwell. “I tend to go in where the ammunition is in the air, or bombs are going off. A person could get killed that way. At least that is what my lovely wife tells me. She used to get physically ill when I went on missions. 43% of my operational command over the years did not return alive. She explained that she loved me too much to want to have to get a folded flag. So, she was going to leave me. As much as I love danger, I love her more. She agreed to, shall we say, rough it and live in an earlier time where there was no civil or international warfare. Now, to be precise if I gave up my commission and implant. So, here I am and here I will stay.

“Is that your wife,” asked Agent White pointing to a woman seated on a bench some distance off.

“Yes, your presence makes her nervous,” replied Col, Blackwell. “We have been here five years now and I suspect she thinks I yearn for the old life. I suppose I could, but I don’t, I write instead. I write fantastic science fiction stories about military operations across time. I used the old high energy approach to time travel in my novels—fictional adaptations of actual events to come. I often wonder if I am influencing any people in the future to be more circumspect.

“So, you gave it up for her health and your continued marriage to her. Could you ask your wife to join us?” asked Agent White.

“Yes, certainly,” replied Col. Blackwell. He stood up and waved to his wife. Cupping his hands over his mouth he called out “Julia, come and join us please.”

When Julia rose to join them, Agent White could see the woman was pregnant. Agent White rose and walked toward Mrs. Blackwell and greeted her and said, “Mrs. Blackwell, I am Amanda White. I am here to clear your husband as a suspect in a series of time crimes.”

Julia Blackwell laughed, a laugh bordering on hysteria. “Thank God, I thought you were here to recruit him. And I thought we were doing so well, him not coming back from missions missing body parts. He seemed to enjoy the writing and his agent brings money. But still, it isn’t the same as being shot at is it?”

Agent White changed the topic, “When are you due.”

Julia Blackwell patted her stomach and said, “21 days.” Smiling broadly, she asked, “What crimes?”

Agent White shook her head and then replied, “We noticed when five bodies materialized in the 21st Century that were not contemporary to that period. We initially thought it was a dumping ground for a murder for hire or a scam on cryogenics. We subsequently found wine theft from a long time ago, baseball cards and we suspect this is just the tip of the iceberg. Quite frankly, someone who fits your husband’s taste for danger would not normally be a suspect as these crimes have all been rather sneaky. However, he is one of four former time travelers who are now off the grid I have to check out.”

“I trust my husband; but, I check on him,” replied Julia Blackwell.

Amanda White looked confused, “Check, how do you check?”

Julia Blackwell cocked her right index finger and said, “Come inside and I will show you.” As the two women entered the house, Julia said, “Everyone has favorite things, or habits or things they depend upon. You know the kinds of things you think you can’t live without. Back in real time, I call it real time as this is more like a dream. Back in real time, George was never without a cigar. It was not so much she smoked them as they were part of his attire. He liked a brand called South Pacific. When I check, I look for that particular cigar. In this dream world, he uses a different brand of cigar, a wholly different style or shape. I look for evidence of South Pacific cigars. I know George and if he were still moving around in time he would not be able to resist picking up a canister of South Pacific cigars and bringing them home. In five years, I have not seen one after the first week when he ran out and had to switch to a contemporary brand.”

“Thank you, Mrs. Blackwell,” said Agent White. “You don’t know how much you have helped my ability to check out the other three on my list. If I am reading you right, if they are staying where they are, they won’t have the thinks they used to not be able to live without.”

Julia Blackwell nodded.

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Good Morning Ted and Jody:
The sky managed to provide a bit of a show this morning. The early dawn’s light:

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This was followed by the later dawn’s light:

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All the while a pair of mallards feed on the shore not ten feet from me:

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The mallards’ presence was unusual as they usually swim or fly away when people are around. It was quite and peaceful out there this morning.

Warmest regards, Ed


Posted in photographs, Uncategorized | Tagged | 3 Comments

Chit Chat

Good Afternoon Ted and Jody:
The weather here is behaving like it is June. Clouds in the early morning after a night of clear skies, and then clear skies once the morning clouds clear. Hence, the nights get a mite bit chilly resulting in the heat coming on in the morning and then, we need to switch to the AC in the afternoons. I took the Hyundai in for an oil change to Fred, and he thinks the magnetic poles are moving and that is the cause of this ‘early June’ weather. I am more inclined to think the magnetic poles moving is the cause of the political insanity I see awash in the world. I hope he is right and I am wrong, for the magnetic poles are continuing to shift.
This arrangement with an early thick cloud cover and a late afternoon clear sky does not work well for sunrise and sunset images. I spoke of the clematis that I have in a pot by the back porch. Here is an image of the plant with all of its blooms.

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(It reminds me that it is time to clean the porch rails again.) Then I shot this single clematis from the back. It is the one blossom just under the other flower planted hanging on the back porch.

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I like the effect.
Sadly, I must report the twit is still in office. Nancy tells me she doesn’t think he will go quietly as Nixon did. What a pity. As far as I can tell, he openly does more to justify removal from office than Nixon ever thought of doing.
The Ultimate Traitor mirrors the twit’s malfeasance in office. It is a mistake for me to have written about this because it means I can’t even escape the twit in the fiction I write. Live and learn.
Warmest regards, Ed

Posted in blossoms, gardening in pots, political, Uncategorized, writing | 4 Comments

The Ultimate Traitor 34 Resignations

The Ultimate Traitor 34 Resignations
fiction in 1118 words by T. Edward Westen, 2018

As she had every morning for twelve years, Kelly Nadir, White House Correspondent for the Metropolitan Daily took the Metro into the center of government and walked the short distance to the White House. Kelly took a great deal of pride in being the first reporter there every morning. While she could not put her finger on it, she felt she got something from, Bill, the guard, Norm the doorkeeper and Alfonse the elevator operator if only Good Morning Miss. She didn’t know how but felt it helped her reporting. She knew the permanent staff and not just the political flashes in the pan that came and went in the blink of an eye.

As she turned the corner, she was surprised to see a large number of White House Staffers, both permanent and political filing past her, coming from the White House and others joining her as she walked to the gate. Bill who normally checked her bag and joked about not taking anything it that was proscribed walked toward her. Bill was watching the ground and looked glum. She reached out, touched his arm and asked, “Bill, what’s the matter.?”

“I can’t work there after I saw the video last night.” Pointing back to the White House, he said, “That man doesn’t need protection he needs, to be hung. Don’t go in there.” Bill continued walking away.

Kelly turned to a groundskeeper she recognized and asked, “What’s going on?”

The groundskeeper shook his head and said, “I’m going in to leave my letter of resignation effective immediately. I won’t work for that sex maniac.”

Kelly looked around, and to a person, everyone walking in their direction of the White House either held a piece of paper or an envelope in their hands.

Kelly finally arrived at the Gate to find it open and unguarded with people streaming in and out. ‘My God, they all reacted the same way. They all believed the video. I thought it would be a problem, but masses are quitting their jobs.’ She reached into her purse and grabbed her cell phone. Swiping the screen and hitting a speed dial number she spoke, “Bernice, this is Kelly. I have a live report from the White House. Let me know when you are ready to record.” She listened. “Yes, I saw the video, let me know when to start. She listened. “This is Kelly Nadir, reporting for the Metropolitan Daily, live from the West Gate at the White House. This morning the gate is wide open, unguarded, the man who usually guards this gate has resigned saying about the President ‘That man doesn’t need protection he needs to be hung.’ One employee who worked here for 20 some years said, ‘I won’t work for that sex maniac.’ Normally when I come to the White House this time of the morning, one or two other people are entering. This morning, hundreds are leaving and hundreds coming in. All those coming in are carrying pieces of paper or envelopes. This reporter assumes they are all resigning in protest. These are both permanent staff like groundskeepers, cooks, and guards as well as political appointees. With over 2500 staff members of the White House and Executive Offices, it would appear that almost all are reacting to the video shown on all national networks last night by resigning today. Kelly Nadir from the West Gate at the White House. I will file more later when I have been inside. Got that Bernice?” Kelly listened and then said, “Yes, by all means, farm it out to all media outlets. Later.”

Kelly swiped her phone and ran her finger down her list of contacts and hit the entry for her friend at CNN. Holding the phone to her ear, she said, “This is Kelly Nadar. You may want to get a crew down to the white house quickly.” She hung up and made similar calls to four other media outlets. Then she entered the White House grounds.

Stepping inside, she was struck by the pile of paper and envelopes on the one table in the room. To say it overflowed would be a crime against adequate description. Stepping off to the side staffers filed in tossed their envelops or pieces of paper on the pile and filed out.

Kelly headed toward the elevator and found the door closed. She pushed the bell to summons Alfonse, but the mechanism did not make their engagement sounds of a moving car. She shook her head and decided to explore the first floor. She found Every office closed, and every desk empty. While she had been down the various halls and into even the Oval Office, she had never seen the White House without any one in it. Everyone who came into the building with her had added to the pile of papers and envelopes and left. She had the West Wing to herself. She made her way to a waiting area just off the Oval Office. ‘I do believe I will sit here and see what the President’s reaction to being in the White House alone will be.’ Then she chuckled, ‘The President home alone.’

The Vice-President of the United States was on the telephone, “Yes. I have talked to all the other Members of the Cabinet. They all agree. I have the papers, and all I need is your agreement that the President is not fit to serve, and we can implement the 25th Amendment.” The Vice-President listened and then said, “I’ll start the rounds with the document and see you in the next couple of hours.”
When the Secretary of State arrived at his office in Foggy Bottom, he found both the Vice-president and the Russian Ambassador waiting for him. “Mr. Vice-President, I am ready to sign.” He turned to the Russian Ambassador and said, “If you do not mind, the Vice-President only needs my attention for a few moments. Can I have my assistant get you coffee or tea?”
The Russian Ambassador hand up his hand and demurred. When the Secretary of State and the Vice-President disappeared behind closed doors, he asked the woman at the desk, “Do they meet here often?”
The woman smiled and shrugged.
It was literally a minute when the Vice-President reemerged and said, “Mr. Ambassador, the Secretary will see you now.”
The Ambassador muttered under his breath, “No matter how long I am here, they are a very strange people.” Entering the Secretary’s office, he extended his hand and said, “Mr. Secretary, I come under most unusual circumstances.”
“You don’t know the half of it,” replied the Secretary of State. “Now what can the United States of American do for the Russian Federation.”


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My Memory (what’s left of it)


Good Morning Ted and Jody:


I am not very good with anniversaries and birthdays and the like.  Dates somehow escape me; my own anniversaries and the like are simply not in my memory back for immediate recall.  I got lucky with a birthday that is two days after D-Day for I can remember D-Day and that triggers, ‘Hey, Ed, you have a birthday the day after tomorrow.”  That also helps with remembering my age.  I simply subtract 1944 from the current date and that is how old I am (I am only off by one year for five months of the years, I call it rounding).  It is not that the events that one is supposed to remember aren’t important, no they are.  There are, however, just too many of them. Then too they happen every year.  So, I am sure I am missing something every day that I should be remembering.  Now, however, when I subtract 1944 from the current date, I can say, ‘it is old-timer’s disease.,” knowing full well, I have always had this affection of not remembering but now have a socially acceptable excuse.  So on this day in some year gone by someone was born, got married, divorced, graduated, fell off a cliff or the like; and, I do apologize to them (every day of the year) for not remembering.




What I do remember to do may or may not be important, but I do sit down and keyboard a bunch of nonsense, mess with photos, and take photos.  I try to remember to water pots and raised beds where stuff is growing (some I even remember planting) every other day in the summer.  And I always remember (actually I write it on a calendar on the refrigerator and put it on my smartphone calendar) appointments with Juli (had one yesterday).


I remember seeing some flowering trees at Olympia Way and 19th in Longview at the edge of Lower Columbia Community College’s campus.  I have been watching them for the blossoms to drop and carpet the ground.  I think they were close to an optimal arrangement of still on the trees and on the ground yesterday.


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Warmest regards, Ed


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The Ultimate Traitor 33 A Real Mess

The Ultimate Traitor 33 A Real Mess
fiction in 1095 words by T. Edward Westen, 2018

Mohamed looked up to see Detective Anderson from the Washington D.C. Police Department standing in front of his desk. “Karl, what brings you to Metropolitan?”

“Your tip on the Russian agent and the nerve gas device he was carrying. How in the hell did you know?”

“You could have handled that with a phone call.”

Detective Anderson rubbed his chin. “Yes, but telephones are not secure, and the Secret Service snapped the fellow up. Took him off our hands so to speak. They were terribly upset by the nerve gas he was carrying. You see he had White House Credentials and they were a bit vague on the validity of those credentials. But they sure wanted him. As you might guess, they are not big about sharing information with us; so, we are left in the dark about any remaining threats in the District. In short who the hell is running around in the District?”

“For starters, we are not sure who sent us the photo. But, the reason we suggested that the agent would have a device for nerve gas is the fellow you all arrested on a gun charge and we extradited on the murder charge went nuts when he saw a guard with an asthma inhaler in the jail. He has apparently been trained with their version of them and knew what they could do in close quarters. It was a guess on our part that the Russian agent in the White House would have one on him.”

“A good guess on your part. The arresting officers said he pulled it out when they approached him identifying themselves as police officers. Since your explanation of what to watch out for alerted them, they were able to get it away from him. They thank you for that. You say, he was in the White House, so his credentials were legitimate?”

Mohamed nodded. “Our source sent the photo with the information that the Russian agent is on the White House staff. we are not sure who sent the photo, but given that the man we extradited was arrested with a gun and following Mr. Kyle Alexander, we surmise that Mr. Alexander is our informant.”

“How is it you don’t know who your informant is?” asked a puzzled Detective Anderson.

“He is not a police informant. He has been supplying information to a woman who published a blog, The Ultimate Traitor. When this fellow who insists upon being called Steopa murdered her, a civilian employee of this department continued publication, and he continued to supply information. Since someone kept trying to take down the blog, and since a second agent died in her attempts, we figured that we would keep the blog up to unravel all involved. We knew the guy we had in custody was only a hired gun.” Mohamad paused. “A day ago, we published the video showing the president killing that woman. Since then, all attempts at taking down the blog have stopped.”


[MOCOW] “The video is the one we sent to the American President to get his attention. It has the marks we embedded in it.”

The Russian President looked at his security chief and asked, “Why would that fool release the video that shows him to be a murderer?” He thought for a moment. “The man is of no further use to us. Tell the Prosecutor General to stop by this afternoon.”


Commander Jamison stood nervously as the President played a video on his phone. As disgusting as it was, the Commander could not take his eyes off it. Finally, was the small man on the video bludgeoned the woman in the corner of the bathroom he asked, “And who sent this to you?”

“You tell me? I gave the original to your man.”

Commander Jamison frowned, and confusion flashed across his face. “What man?”

“That fellow, what is his name, I think it started with a G.”

“Grigori Globin?”

“Yes, that’s the fellow I gave the video to. He was supposed to alert you, and you all were to find out who sent it and got rid of it.

“Mr. President, he is not one of my men. He was seconded to us by the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service at your request. You wanted them to help with the blog you wanted to be taken down. The man was arrested by the D. C. police two days ago. He had a device for nerve gas with him when he was arrested. We fear he had the device when he was here in the White House. As soon as the D.C. Police contacted us about his status here; we took him into federal custody before the information about his, err, rather unusual status and choice of weapons could become public.”

“So, you let a man with nerve gas into the White House?”

Commander Jamison sighed and said, “Respectfully, Sir, you insisted that we needed their expertise in this matter and that we install one of their agents in-house.” Commander Jamison sighed again and added. “You will have my resignation within the hour.”

Before the President could reply, Commander Jamison had left the Oval Office.

The President yelled, “Get the Chief of Staff in here now.”


[CNN NEWS ROOM] “You look perplexed Frank.”

Frank shook his head. “I just found a blog that shows the President of the United States having sex with a woman and then killing her. How in the hell can we authenticate it? And then if it is authentic, how in the hell can we put this on the air. It amounts to snuff porn.”

ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and every major television outlet around the world replicated the scene in the CNN newsroom. Russian State Television was the first to broadcast the unedited video.


May Russel, along with millions of Americans, watched MSNBC every night before going to bed. She thought the anchor of the eleven o’clock program was cute and had a handle on what was going on in the world. Heaven knows the stuff out of the White House was confusing. The charges the President and that idiot lawyer he hired made about the Justice Department never made sense to her. As she watched tonight that nice anchor cautioned her that what she was about to see would be ‘to say the least, unsettling as it was graphic and unedited.’ As she watched her eyes got big and she sat up in bed. “HILL!” she shouted, “THEY ARE PLAYING YOUR VIDEO OF THE PRESIDENT KILLING THAT POOR WOMAN ON TELEVISION.”

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Good Morning Ted and Jody:
I have to report that Gracie didn’t make it. The day before yesterday, LJ, the kid next door, reported that she was wagging her tail off—happy and content. Yesterday, he reported that she passed. From all I can put together, Gracie had bone marrow cancer. It is the little things in life that we miss. A dog that did a happy dance when she saw a person she liked is already missed big time by me.
I did a close-up of one of the clematis blooms. This shot is a full frame shot with the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

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Then I got lucky with an almost sun break yesterday morning that shows off the yellow flowers in and around Silver Lake.

20150519_1020 23 h shot Panorama 58x82 inches 72 dpi 70pt5M

Warmest regards, Ed

Posted in dogs, photographs, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Just another political rant

Good morning Ted and Jody:
Here we are less than five months away from a mid-term election, and we barely know more than we did back in November of 2016 about the scope and impact of Russian meddling in that election. One can not know for sure, but our lack of knowledge about Russian efforts to divide us and play to our baser fears and beliefs seems to be a result of our duly elected chief executive seemingly convinced that his fortunes lie with the disruption. I conclude this as he continually adds to the confusion and distracts from any meaningful effort to take actions to foster a more American election the next time.
I call it an American election as it would be such if foreign actors did not play a meaningful role in the information flow surrounding the election
American can survive the petty attempts of this administration to impose a minority view on policy: environmental, health, business, and international trade and relations. All of those things can be fixed with time an when rational actors replace those currently in policy roles. However, I am not as optimistic that we as a people will survive the attacks on our faith and trust in the Government to provide law enforcement, protection, and justice for all by the ‘allies’ of the chief tweeter.
There is a difference between no collusion and meeting with a Russian operative and not liking the material she wanted to present: no collusion does not mean failed attempt at collusion. There is a difference between seeking dirt about an opponent from an American and a foreign source—the latter is illegal. Yet, these are minor matters in the overall picture of what this president is doing to the country—fostering racism, fostering distrust of government agencies (you can’t distrust the Justice Department without distrusting the other agencies in the long run). The stuff we can see is sufficient to make every American distrust the president and his minions. Yet, for a big chunk of us, there seems to be a need to have our fears of minorities stoked, to have our religious beliefs threatened and to just plain hate. The president does stoke our fears in all categories and gives us permission to hate.
The next stop is Singapore. God help us on what he gives away to make him feel good there.
Warmest regards, Ed

Posted in political, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The Bull Shit Artists are having another Field Day (The Thoughts and Prayers Group)

Dear Ted and Jody:
Nancy got up early and switched on the television to ABC to watch Good Morning America while she had breakfast and prepared to go to a sewing class. Good Moring America was broadcasting from England in preparation for the Royal Wedding tomorrow and had a slew of premade clips to keep the audience waiting with baited breath until the couple says, “I do.” There was a local news break which mentioned a school shooting in Texas. Then back to the preparation for the Royal Wedding. OK, what is going on, so I switched the channel to CNN and sure enough we have another mass shooting in a school. I hear that it is the 32nd school shooting in some period of time. 18 in 2019 alone!

Then the twit comes on and talks about how his administration is committed to the safety of our school children and of course, everyone is sending thoughts and prayers.
As I recall the twit thinks that arming school teachers is the way to stop this. I say, let’s do an experiment and arm the twit and drop his security detail and watch how he handles it. As I recall, the twit says this is a mental health issue, yet his administration has effectively cut the affordability of medical insurance coverage because the evil black president supported that. Then there is the small matter of looking at the statistics about the number of shootings that are committed by good people to stop bad people in comparison to the number of shootings by bad people in the ever lasting notion of we must keep guns out of the hands of bad people and that we do by having good people have them. I suppose the summary of all of this is the country is overwhelmed by bull shit from the NRA, the twit and their running dogs. Disarm America so American children stand a chance.
Warmest regards, Ed


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Political Rant or Political Reality?

Good Afternoon Ted and Jody:
I have heard Michael Avenatti predict several times, once yesterday, that the President will not survive his term in office over the past few months. He points to Michael Cohen as the vehicle for bringing down the twit. Yesterday I heard Rudy Giuliani, declare that Mueller will not indict the President because it is Justice Department policy not to indict sitting presidents. The Ethics Watch Dog sent the President’s financial for this and last year to the Justice Department. And, this was just yesterday. So, tell me, how is it that the twit is still president?
Of the three news items, the Giuliana glee that the president will not be indicted because of Justice Department policy is the most alarming. In effect, and I don’t think Giuliana realizes this, Giuliana is affirming that the president is guilty of something but can’t be indicted because he is a sitting US President. I say, get the president a wheelchair, for God help the president if he ever stands up.
Did you notice I ignored the thousands of pages that the Senate Intelligence Committee released yesterday about the Trump Tower Russia Meeting?
Warmest regards, Ed


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The Ultimate Traitor 32 Following Kyle

The Ultimate Traitor 32 Following Kyle
Fiction in 1004 words by T. Edward Westen, 2018

Andy Kellog entered the Detective Squad and waved at Eddie Philipson. Eddie hollered, “Come on over, Andy.”
As Andy headed for Detective Philipson’s desk, Mohamad emerged from the captain’s office. Both men got to Eddie’s desk at the same time.
“What’s up, Andy?” Mohamad asked.
“Andrea’s second cousin, Richard Wood got out of jail this morning, and I picked him up. He was in for causing his annual ruckus over at the Cowboy’s Saloon on Harrison. Every year on his birthday he ties one on and you all arrest him for drunk and disorderly. Every year he serves 30 days and claims it is the best vacation he has since his last stay. Dick likes the baloney sandwiches you all server in the hoosegow, and his wife won’t buy the stuff because she claims it ‘ain’t good for the body.’” Andy chuckled, “I reckon she has not taken a good look at Dick’s body in some years, for he has done so much damage that any more would only be an improvement. Anyway, Dick was in the next cell to this fellow you got for killing Bob and the bomb technician. Dick said the fellow insists upon being called Steopa, that’s Russian for Stevie. Anyway, the guy, this Steopa, was complaining about being kept in a facility, and that is the word he used, instead of a fortress. It seems he is worried about the SVBR getting to him. Dick said it was not until his kids came to visit that this Steopa would even talk to him. I guess an agent of their SVR would not have children in this country. Well, you guys did a great job in catching this Steopa. I knew he refused to identify himself; and, I knew he was pleading guilty; but, I didn’t know if you knew that he was connected with the Russian foreign intelligence service. Well, I figured since Bob’s blog is still up, Mary Canter keeps me posted on it, and since this Steopa guy killed Bob to take it down, they might still be after Hill.”
Mohamad held up his hand and asked, “Andy, what makes you think Hill is publishing Barbara’s blog?”
“Well, I Know Mary isn’t; and, I know Mattha can’t; and, I don’t know the front from the back of a computer, so if it isn’t Hill, who the hell is it?”
“We don’t know,” replied Mohamad. “If we did, we would not say. But, Hill is too busy downstairs to do it.”
Andy shrugged. “No matter, I thought I should pass on what Dick told me.” He paused, “There was one other thing. Dick said when a guard pulled out one of those things asthmatics use to get their breath back, he thought Steopa was going to die of a heart attack until the guard inhaled from it.”
“You mean one of those metered-dose inhalers?”
“Yes, that’s what it was.”
Kyle Alexander waked past Grigori’s cubical on his way out again. Grigori rose from his seat and watched Kyle leave the White House grounds. When Kyle cleared the gate, Grigori existed the West Wing and headed for the same gate. As Kyle was two blocks up 16th, Grigori cleared the White House Gate.
Maintaining a two-block distance from Kyle did not give Grigori a clear view of which store Kyle entered. Going slow as he was in the region of where Kyle entered a storefront, Grigori looked in each store as he went by, the library caught his attention. He went in and saw Kyle keyboarding. ‘Strange, he has a computer in his cubical, why would he come here to use a computer unless.’ Realization hit Grigori like a ton of bricks. ‘He is a leak. Of course, he is a leak.’
Approaching Kyle hunched over his keyboard, Grigori said, “Excuse me Mr. Alexander, but you may find this useful,” as he handed Kyle a thumb drive. Grigori immediately turned and exited the library. Once outside, two men approached him with badges extended and said, “Excuse me, sir, we need you to come with us.”
Puzzled, Kyle put the thumb drive the man he knew was an SVR agent into a USP port and clicked twice to open the video. He recognized immediately that it was a crystal-clear version of the grainy one that The Ultimate Traitor had. He stopped the video and switched to the email app and immediately sent it to the Ultimate Traitor.
After logging off, Kyle left the library, went to the drugstore next door where he purchased a bubble fille envelope and stamps. He fille out an address on the envelope put the flash drive in and sealed it. Fifty feet from the drug store he deposited the envelope into a mailbox.
“What is the problem, officers?”
“You were following a man whom we are surveilling,” one of the officers said, “We need to know your interest in Mr. Axexander.”
Grigori started to breathe irregularly. He put his hand to his chest and held up a finger as he retrieved a metered-dose inhaler form his pocket.
One of the police officers grasped Grigori’s hand that held the metered-dose inhaler and hit Grigori’s hand with his nightstick. Grigori’s hand opened, and the metered-dose inhaler fell to the sidewalk. “We were warned you might have one of these.” The officer picked up the metered-dose inhaler looked at it closely and commented to his partner, “No label.
The first officer looked at Grigori and asked, “Do you have a prescription for that?”
“It is over the counter, Officer.”
“No label says it isn’t over the counter, Mr. Globin.”
“How is it you know my name?”
“Here in the District, we pay pretty close attention to who is here, especially when they have White House clearance. Since you are in possession of a controlled substance, we are placing you under arrest. Put your hands behind your back.
“What controlled substance?”
The second officer smiled and tossed the metered-dose inhaler into the air and caught it.


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