Jesus Saves, Chapter Forty-Eight

Michael was getting aggravated. Torkelsen was becoming a royal pain. Two failed assassinations, one which he believed had been successful, had brought him to the attention of the department. He was the last thing New Orleans needed. It was bad enough that the department had an unsolved murder case with few leads. They didn’t need a mad bomber as well.

But Michael knew Torkelsen would strike again. It was only a matter of time. Michael shook his head. Who was next?

He found it strange that Torkelsen’s victims were unrelated. The first had been a defense lawyer. Sully was an ex-drug dealer. Neither knew the other.

He shook his head and grabbed the newspaper. There were so many possible targets. What if Torkelsen raised the ante? What if he decided to start adding more attacks to distract the police from his actual victim?

He lifted his phone and pushed the button that was for the demolitions department. “Yes. I would like to speak to Brownell at my desk. Yes. Yes. Thank you.” He hung up.

Brownell appeared moments later. “You wanted to talk?”

Michael smiled grimly. “Yes. I need to know everything you do about Torkelsen. His previous employment. Any connections to the government. Whatever you think I should know.”

Brownell nodded and laid a thick file before his friend. “Alright. This file has all we do know. The government didn’t release his service record to us, so we can only surmise that it was classified. They wouldn’t even give us a reason he had been released from duty.”

Michael looked at Brownell. “Did you personally work with him?”

Brownell nodded. “Yes. He was very proficient in bombs. Very able at disarming them as well. He knew the types of triggers and false triggers. Everything we are taught and then some.

“He was scary to work with. He could be reckless enough to drive the most jaded person to drink. Half the senior force retired out to get away from him. Only one officer enjoyed the fear factor as much as T.”

Michael looked down as he took notes. “Who?”

Brownell continued. “One Phineas Archer. I got the feeling that the two had served together when in the military. They both came to us at the same time from the same place. Archer quit after T was fired. Both swore to get those who’d complained about T’s carelessness and brazen disregard for the rules of conduct.

“It was as if they thought someone actually complained. No one had, but they were both paranoid and loose cannons. Brass had observed his misconduct. The assaults on the female officers, the disregard to the rules of the bomb squad, everything. I am amazed that he hasn’t begun attacking us.”

Michael turned away. “With any luck, we will be able to stop him before he does.”

***

Torkelsen decided that the paper had no possible targets. Instead, he had to get rid of anyone who could pin him to the attack on the lawyer. No one had guessed that the lawyer had been the one who’d defended him and failed to regain his position within the force. No, they just saw it as an attack on a defense lawyer.

He wasn’t worried about the attack on the drug dealer. No one had helped there. No one saw him go in or leave the house. He had no loose ends there. But the lawyer. He had two loose ends there.

Phineas Archer was one. He had served in Afghanistan with Phineas. Both had demolitions experience. Phineas had been his point man on missions. He had picked the first target.

It was odd. At first, this had been simply a joke. Something he would laugh off and fantasize about, but never do. Phineas had pushed him to do the lawyer during a three-day drunk. It had been what started this path.

Good ol’ Phineas. He wouldn’t know what happened until it was too late. He would see that Phin had no clue. He smiled.

And then there was Miles Riordan. He would deal with Miles as well. Maybe, he would set them both up at the same time. Yes. And use the warehouse.

It was full of explosives. High explosives. Very sensitive explosives. Old ordinance, not his C-4.

It was mostly caked gunpowder, nitro glycerin, and old dynamite that had started to do what demolitions called sweat. It was leeching out its nitro. And then there were all those old baseball and pineapple grenades. Some were the old phosphorus type, the others were newer types.

He would set it up. No timer. No warning. He would hook up a handful of phosphorus grenades to the door so that opening it would pull the pins. To make sure that they couldn’t escape, he would be close enough to toss a more stable grenade through the window into a pile of powder kegs and even light a fuse to some of the dynamite. That should give them a bang.

If they lived through that, He would wait nearby and shoot them with his sniper rifle. And if they happened to live through both, they were better men than he was. But he doubted that they could live through the first. The concussion alone would be enough to kill anyone. Especially anyone inside it.

He smiled. “Goodbye, Phin. Been nice knowin’ ya. Same to you, Miles. Ya old Irish bastard. You were a relic from the glory days of the IRA. Then the wars ended and you were cut free. Mercenaries are the dregs of society. Expendable. Without importance. Without true honor.”

He got up and went to his workroom. He needed solitude. He had his targets. Now he had to put the plans together. Nothing was going to stop him.

A couple hours later, he reemerged. He went to his phone and dialed. “Yes. I need a cab. My destination is the warehouse district. Dock B. One way. Yes, I have the fare. Thank you.”

In minutes, the cab pulled up outside and waited. He went to the door, looked around, then left. He had a date with destiny. He had to set up the scene of his next attack. He would be back before the fires died.

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