TATTERS – Reboot Issue 2
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A one-on-one between Director Jurat and Delaware at Branch 4’s Virginia campus the next morning ends with Delaware ordered to serve penance by joining DeWitt’s security detail in The Warrens “at the President’s request.” An agitated Delaware does as she is told as Jurat turns his attention to a news report about the abduction of two elderly women, Luella Eichhorn and Mabel Kronlage, from their rooms at the Eden Apartment Building in The Warrens around five that morning. Collinson simmers as he watches the journo report how the victims’ neighbors failed to call 9-1-1 even though the abduction evidently was loud and violent.
On Air Force One, DeWitt, press secretary Tom Rather, and chief speechwriter Pat Wilding discuss how best to exploit the abduction during the racial conference, ignoring Pierce’s counsel to do no more than release a sympathetic statement. On Hamilton Street, police prepare for a speech DeWitt will deliver in front of St. Lude’s as Angerer introduces Collinson to Mary Davis. Mary’s son Isaiah has been expelled and may be arrested for breaking into his school, P.S. 147, and spray-painting The Ten Commandments on a gym wall. “Another student tried to shoot the vice-principal last week, and that boy’s back in school!” Collinson ruffles Angerer by asking to speak with him alone and then ticks off the priest by asking if Angerer has heard anything “on the job” about Luella and Mabel. Collinson apologizes, explaining he is upset none of the women’s neighbors helped them. Angerer advises that the neighbors have to live with their inaction but probably had a reason for what they did, “And maybe you should find out what that is before condemning them.” In Suite 1715, what appears to be Saltev’s ghost is smoking $3 Turkish cigarettes in his Elsinore mole hole, but vanishes when Collinson enters. Collinson asks if they can talk and Saltev reappears.
Collinson asks if Saltev can locate Luella and Mabel as a memory of a murdered elderly Serbian woman runs through his mind. Saltev warns Collinson he can only help if the ladies are dead, then admits he knows where to find them and what happened to them. Elsewhere, Delaware exchanges unpleasantries with DeWitt as he deplanes while Rather’s assistant reports that an anonymous tip has led the police to the abducted women’s bodies in an abandoned rags factory. “They were beaten and strangled with an electrical cord.” Back at Eden Apartments, tenant Roe Denard barks at a young boy, Martez, to stop riding his tricycle in the halls. Martez’ mother, Maxine, warns Denard to back off. Denard starts to escalate when the doorbell to Luella and Mabel’s apartment buzzes. And keeps buzzing. Denard wails on their door, demanding to know who is inside.
Tatters hauls Denard inside and opens a can of whoop-ass before showing Denard an electrical cord. In the hall, Denard’s junkie girlfriend Camy Berkhoff begs someone to help, but the same neighbors who ignored Luella and Mabel walk away … except Maxine. Cut to St. Lude’s where DeWitt is giving his speech prior to the racial conference at P.S. 147. There appears to be heavy security everywhere, but Diablo’s lieutenant, D’Paul, plans on making the government pay for ignoring the Demon Posse’s demand for $10 million until a SWAT team interrupts. One SWAT member, Rose, compliments the gang’s arsenal. “All clean I s’pose.” D’Paul cracks that SWAT won’t find any serial numbers in their crib, and Rose and the other SWAT team use the gang-bangers’ own guns to execute them.
Angerer asks POTUS about the Isaiah Davis situation at P.S. 147, but DeWitt dismisses it is a local matter he cannot comment on and ignores Mary’s demands to know why her son may be prosecuted while nothing is happening to the boy who shot at the vice-principal. Meanwhile, police respond to Maxine’s 9-1-1 call and find Denard hogtied in a manner that will strangle him if he moves too much. Maxine tells the police she will testify that Denard killed Luella and Mabel, who were never shy about disapproving of his relationship with the underage Berkoff. Other neighbors step up, explaining they were afraid of Denard, an ex-con with a violent temper. Maxine later chastises herself for agreeing to testify, but a voice (Tatters) assures her that, “So long as you and your neighbors stick together, you have nothing to fear. And I’ll be around, too. Trust me.” Cut to P.S. 147, where DeWitt is addressing the racial conference, which is being televised. Suddenly, what appears to be masked members of the Demon Posse hijack the broadcast truck.
Rose confirms that P.S. 147 has been acquired and Jurat greenlights eliminating DeWitt. Collinson engages in his after-action ritual of recharging with pink lemonade and watching the news, and does not seem concerned that (apparently) the Demon Posse has captured DeWitt, but jumps in to rescue DeWitt when he sees Delaware is in the gym and has been wounded. That evening Angerer is visiting Delaware at a local hospital when two Secret Service agents arrive to arrest the priest for endangering the President’s life.