Just the facts
Teresa M Shafer - For books that kindle thought and ignite the imagination!
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Just the facts

I have decided that I am going to start another aspect of my business. I am going to start to write resume's for people. It will take me about a month to get up and running but it should prove to be a lucrative deal for me. If all goes well then I can become more independent from my job. I am looking at retirement in 2016, which seems like a long way off, but I assure you that it is not. I don't want to be one of those poor people that are stuck being a Walmart greeter. I want to write in my retirement, and I want it to pay for my life in a manner that I have yet to become accustomed to. I hate waking up everyday and knowing that I must go to work. I absolutely hate it. But my job pays the bills and I don't hate my job. I hate the idea of needing a job. I would rather write when I want to and get paid well to do so. That is my aim.
The first step is this piece in my business. Writing resume's is easy and people pay well for a nice resume. This will give me the funds to get a little more education so that I can add more things to my own resume. Recently I have received the information that I need to begin the first step. There are lots of ways to start, I have chosen to do so with resume writing and I will move on from there. Anyway, keep your eye out for that change in my web page.
For now, I am still writing Cali stories. I haven't gotten a reply yet from the last submittal, no news is good news. If they accept you, they send an invitation by snail mail. If I get an email then they rejected my proposal. So keep your fingers crossed.
Okay... I am really excited about where I'm taking Cali right now, but you need to catch up. So here's the next chapter.
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Just the facts
 
The first thing that she did was break them up. Bryce and Lyn were both really good with computers. She put them together analyzing pictures of the house and all of the physical evidence that they had. Mandi was a talker. She had a way of getting people to open up to her. Nathan was a marksman. His aim was sure and his eyes were keen. Cali sent them back to the woman’s house to talk to the husband again, and to just look around. She and Tao went to Linda’s place of work to talk to her co-workers.
 
Bryce and Lyn started out by building a virtual model of the Linda Sumner’s daily routine. Once that was completed they set up mock scenarios of the day that Mrs. Sumner disappeared. Of course, they had limited information, but they hoped that when the others got back they could fill in some gaps. As it looked now, Mrs. Sumner was there one minute, and simply not the next.
 
While they worked through the information and built their virtual model, they talked. “So, where did you attend College?” Bryce asked without looking up from his screen.
 
Lyn glanced over at his colleague. “What makes you think that I went to college?”
 
“Seriously?” Bryce stopped what he had been doing in mid keystroke and looked at Lyn. “Everything about you screams college boy. So which one did you attend?”
 
For a moment Lyn considered lying to him, just to see if Bryce would catch him at it. But, he thought better of the plan. “ITT”
 
Bryce smiled. “I knew it.” He looked back at the keyboard. “So, what do you think of our boss?”
 
Lyn had returned to his keyboard as well. “First you tell me why you requested her team.” He tried not to look up, he managed only a glance.
 
“Hmmm, I worked with her once. It wasn’t long ago. In fact it was the case that she worked just before leaving on vacation. The one where she hunted down Naastad.”
 
“I heard that he was a real piece of work.”
 
“Yeah? I saw him. He looked like a normal guy. But, he’s in the cracker factory now.”
 
Lyn nodded. Everyone had heard the story of how Detective Sergeant Calisto Casey had hunted down and captured Sam Naastad, a man that had raped and murdered almost a hundred children, at last count. Mandi had not worked with her on that case, so Lyn had not heard a first-hand account. “Can you tell me about the case? Clearly she impressed you enough to have not only requested her team, but convince the big guys that you should be here.”
 
“Truthfully, Sergeant Casey was a bit of a mess. She had been shot three times. Her left hand had undergone massive surgery and was in a giant bandage, and Lieutenant Little was always concerned that she would overstress herself and pass out from the holes in her chest. Honestly she shouldn’t have been on the job, but she wouldn’t let it go.” He was staring at his screen as if it held his memory. “She wasn’t on the job, not officially. She was on leave when she found a clue to one of her cold cases. She investigated it and well, one thing led to another, and the next thing you knew she’d found several bodies, each in a different jurisdiction. So the Feds were called in. Still she wouldn’t let it go. It was like those kids were her own children. She had to find the man that had killed them.” He finally looked over at Lyn. “I really think that had the FBI not closed in on the bastard, Casey would still be hunting Naastad today, or be dead in her own grave.” He shook his head. “You know she wasn’t there when they arrested him? She was too sick. The LT, Tao and her girlfriend finally put their feet down and kept her at home.” He sucked on his lower lip for a minute. “So, ask me again why I wanted to be on her squad.”
 
Lyn looked sufficiently wowed by the story. He had heard that Sergeant Casey was tenacious, but he had no idea. “After that, I’m not sure what to say.”
 
“One thing I learned working around her, it’s best to just spit it out. Don’t lie, cuz she’ll personally bite you if she finds out.”
 
“Well, everyone hears the stories right? To some she’s fucking superwoman. To others she’s full of herself and needs someone to take her down a peg or two. When they opened up the boards for Detective, I wanted the job, but I didn’t want to work with her. Frankly she intimidates the hell out of me. At the same time, I respect what she’s done if not how she’s done it. D’ya understand?” He knew that he might have said too much or said the wrong thing. He wasn’t a fan of their Sergeant, but he didn’t dislike her either. That made him an unknown, and in a team, unknowns are bad, in a team of cops, an unknown can be dangerous.
 
Bryce grunted and stretched his neck. He pointedly didn’t look at his junior partner. Instead, he collected his thoughts. I need to stay objective. He’s a kid and he’s never worked with her. All he knows is stories. Finally he opened his eyes and looked at Lyn. The kid looked pretty apprehensive. He knows he’s said something wrong. “I understand what you are saying, and I can even respect where you are getting your opinion. But, I have to tell you, I wouldn’t go repeating what you just said around here. You could cause World War III. Like you said, she has her fans and her haters. But, before you set your opinion, I suggest that you work with her and keep an open mind, because frankly you have no idea how she does things, all you have is rumors.”
 
Lyn watched Bryce haul his own emotions in. Damn, Sergeant Casey sure does cause people to have strong emotions, in both directions. He waited for Lyn to finish and thought about what he had said. “You’re right, I’m basing my opinion on someone else’s opinion.”
 
They worked in silence for about a half an hour until finally Bryce couldn’t take it anymore. “Did you tell Mandi what you just told me?” He couldn’t help it, his voice betrayed his anger.
 
“No, she never asked.” He could see the lava rising in Bryce’s face.
 
“Good… don’t. Cuz you know what, that’s bull shit! Those fuck tards have no idea how many lives she’s saved. Who the fuck cares how she gets the scum off the street, just so long as she does?” He fumed for a few more seconds then exploded a bit more. “She puts her life on the line… how do you think she got shot, standing in the shower?” He glared at Lyn, daring him to contest his words. “It’s a Goddamn honor to work with her, and don’t you ever fucking forget it!” He finally broke eye contact and tried to continue towork as if nothing had happened. His voice had carried a bit, but not enough to give anyone a clear picture of what had happened or even what had been said. Bryce could feel Lyn’s eyes on him still. “I’m not going to apologize for anything I said, so if you’re expecting it…”
 
“I’m not. You’re right. I heard stories and jumped to conclusions. Detectives aren’t supposed to do that, and I did it right out of the gate, against my own Sergeant no less. I’m sorry.” He stalled.
 
“Don’t apologize. Just don’t do it.”
 
Lyn swallowed hard. “Right, I won’t.”
 
“Okay, let’s get back to work. She’s gonna need this shit when she gets back.” Bryce tried to smile reassuringly and bent back to hiskey board.
 
****
 
Mandi and Nathan had been handed the keys to an old cruiser that had been stripped of the decals. It looked like shit. The air conditioner was broken, but the fan wouldn’t shut off. On top of that the fan motor sounded like it was trying to drop a load on their feet. They had ripped out the sirens and the radio system and not replaced any of the dash. Wires that had been joined together with electrical tape and a prayer hung out like porcupine quills.
 
Mandi turned the key over. The engine started on the first click. It purred like a kitten. She grunted in surprise. She eased it out ofits parking spot and pointed it in the direction they were going. The power steering squealed in protest.
 
There was no radio, of any kind, so they rode in silence for several blocks. “So Nathan, I’ve read your file… part of it anyway. You were a Marine. You served five tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thank you for your service.” She didn’t sound like a parrot, she meant what she said.
 
It always made him uncomfortable when people thanked him fordoing what he felt was right. But, it was better than what the Vietnam vets had gotten. “Your welcome.” He felt his face turn pink and took a deep breath to try and keep it from going to red.
 
“What, you’re not going to correct me?” She sounded insulted.
 
He truly looked confused, but had no words.
 
“I said you were a Marine… aren’t you going to say something like, once a Marine always a Marine?” Clearly she was goading him.
 
Nathan smiled. “Why should I, you seem to already know it. ”His eyes glowed with mischief.
 
Mandi glanced at him, and laughed. “So tell me Marine, how long did you wear camo?”
 
“Ten years, why?” He spoke with pride.
 
“Cuz boy, you sure don’t know how to dress civi.” She glanced sideways at him and started to laugh at his ridiculous look, both his clothing, and the look on his face.
 
Nathan looked down at his new suit, and sighed. I knew I shouldn’t have listened to mom. She has no fashion sense whatsoever. Now his face really did turn red, and without looking he could tell that Mandi had seen him turn crimson. She was laughing all the louder. But, he was a Marine, and Marines know how to dish it out too. “Keep laughing sweet cheeks, look what you’re driving.” His grin got a bit of devilish play in it. Just then the fan decided to screech a bit more, almost as an exclamation point on his comment.
 
She laughed some more. “Ass hole.” She replied playfully.
 
He had to laugh as well. The car squealed loudly going around another corner. “I may be an ass hole, but I think we’ve both been screwed with this car!”
 
“Man you aint just talking shit with that one. What the hell… really? We got to talk to the Sarge when we get back about this heap ofshit. It runs great, but everything else is broke!” She turned her final corner. Their destination was just ahead.
 
“You are assuming a lot. Are you sure this thing will get us back?” He wasn’t joking.
 
She barked out a laugh. “Hell, I aint walking, and if they make us call a tow, I’m still gonna be in the driver’s seat when they set it down on the lot!”
 
Nathan was nodding. “I’ll be right there with ya.”
 
They parked the car on the street and rang the doorbell. Nothing happened. They rang again. This time they heard some movement inside. They waited. Soon they heard the sound of pounding feet on the stairs and a moment later the door latch was thrown and the door opened. They stood facing a teenage girl. She was about 5 feet tall. She was wearing jeans that had a torn out knee and were badly faded. There was what looked like pink nail polish on one thigh and a red on the other. The pants were probably brand new. She had on a t-shirt that most certainly had seen better days, which meant of course that it was a perfect match. Grunge, it was the rage. 
 
In her hand she held a smart phone. She glared up at Mandi and Nathan as if they had just interrupted the most important event of her life. “Well, whatcha want?”
 
“Hi, I’m Detective Copeland this is…”
 
The teenager cut her off. “Dad, it’s for you!” She yelled at the top of her lungs as she threw open the door and backed away. The cell phone was now between her thumbs, and they were tapping away on the touch screen. The phone was making faint beeping noises, keeping time with her thumbs.
 
Nathan stepped in first, with Mandi close behind. They hesitated at the door. The girl kicked the door shut. It slammed with a rattle. “Dad!” She yelled again.
 
“What, dear.” A man that sounded browbeaten answered.
 
“There’s some cops here to see you!” She didn’t yell quite so loud this time. He didn’t respond. “Oh for Christ’s sake… he’s in there. ”She finally said, in a very exasperated tone. Her fingers never left her phone, for that matter neither did her eyes, even when she jerked her head to the side to indicate where her father could be located. She turned without another word and walked down the hallway.
 
Mandi looked a Nathan, shrugged her shoulders and proceeded in the direction that the teenager had indicated. They found Mark Sumner staring at a television. A football game was on. Mr. Sumner’s back was to them so they went around his chair to face him.
 
“Who the hell…” He blubbered to a stop when Mandi casually pulled her blazer aside far enough for him to see the badge that was clipped to her belt. “Oh” He fumbled with the remote and put the game on pause. He shrugged. “Don’t you just love being able to do that?”
 
Neither of the Detectives answered him. Nathan’s head was on a swivel. He was taking in everything. He noted the empty food wrappers from various fast food places, the empty and half eaten snack packages and the several dozen empty cans of beer as well as the two empty bottles of rotgut whiskey. Not all of it had been consumed today. Some packages showed signs of having been there for a while, and one whiskey bottle had a smear of brown go oat the bottom.
 
Mandi was studying Mr. Sumner. His eyes were puffy, his clothing was dirty, and he smelled of urine, sweat, old food and beer. He had a scruffy sand and white beard growing on his face, and he was trying very hard not to meet her gaze.
 
“Mr. Sumner, my name is Detective Copeland, this is Detective Trapp. We’re from the Windsor Locks Police Department. We would like to ask you a few questions concerning your wife Linda. If you’re up to it.” She had caught his attention when she had started to speak. She had found that Americans are enchanted with accents. So she thickened hers a bit, just to keep his attention sharp.
 
“Uhh, yeah I guess that’s fine. I don’t know what more I can tell you though.” He tried to kick down his foot rest so he could stand, but ended up nearly tripping over it instead. He plopped back into the chair with a thud and a grunt.
 
Neither Detective moved to help him. He was fine.
 
“God dad! Are you drunk again?” The teenager was watching from the kitchen doorway.
 
“Don’t sass me girl!” He snapped. Then he remembered that they were not alone. “Why don’t you go do your homework?” His voice changed to one of a concerned parent.
 
“Whatever…” She turned back into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator.
 
He deliberately looked back up at his guests. “Teenagers, whatcha gonna do?” His question got no response.
 
Mandi moved towards the couch. She moved some of the detritus onto a table and took a seat on the edge of the couch cushion. “Mr. Sumner, could you tell me how you got on with your wife?” She pulled his full  attention while Nathan headed for the kitchen.
 
“We were great she and me.” He nodded sluggishly. “Yeah, she was a good mother to the girl and she made a lot of money.”
 
Mandi jotted down a note, but didn’t speak. She just nodded at him. It silently encouraged him to continue.
 
“She was a business woman you know. Worked her way up from the bottom.” He sounded proud. But, it sounded forced. “She’d have gotten a raise again soon. If she wasn’t…” His words trailed off, and he broke eye contact.
 
“If she wasn’t… what Mr. Sumner?”
 
He stuttered a bit, and looked everywhere except at Mandi.“I don’t know… what do you want me to say… she’s gone… she’s left… she’s… not coming back!” The last three words were said with venom.
 
Mandi studied his body language. He was angry, that much was easy to read. But, was he angry that his wife was gone, or was he just an angry man? Mandi decided to poke the bear. “You sound angry Mr. Sumner. Are you angry at Linda for leaving?”
 
His head snapped up. He looked like he was chewing on some words that he really didn’t want to spit out. “What exactly are you saying Detective?” He managed to get his foot rest to drop so he could lean forward in his chair. “Do you think that Linda just left me? Is that what you think?” He was now projecting his anger onto Mandi.
 
It was interesting to her that he hand not answered the question, only asked one in return. It was also interesting that he focused on Linda leaving and not his anger. “Is that what you think happened Mr. Sumner? Is Linda that kind of person?”
 
Her questions seemed to confuse him. He dropped eye contact again. But, this time it was to focus on the floor, as if it held some kind of untapped wisdom. “No, Linda wouldn’t leave Kylea. She loves our daughter.”
 
“Tell me Mr. Sumner, what do you think happened to your wife?”
 
His face turned into a storm. “I think that someone took her. But, you people won’t believe me!” He practically spit the words out onto his all-knowing floor. “Instead of going out there and looking for her and whoever took her, you’re wasting time talking to me.”
 
Meanwhile in the kitchen Detective Trapp was having a nice chat with Kylea.
 
Kylea had put her phone down long enough to make a sandwich.“D’ya want one?”
 
He held up his hand. “No, thank you.” He was dividing his attention between Kylea and what he could see of the conversation in the other room. He could see Mr. Sumner, but Mandi was behind the television. This was the best that he could do under the circumstances. Nathan didn’t like to think that he was sexist, he was just protective. He was certain that Mandi was quite capable of handling herself, and he was only one room away. Still, Police Officers always protect their partners.
 
The teenager shrugged him off. “Whatever” She closed the sandwich and took a bite.
 
“Are you a vegetarian?” He had noted that she hadn’t put any lunch meat on the sandwich, but there had been some in the refrigerator. She had moved it to get to the cheese.
 
“Yeah, or vegan… whatever. Whichever one lets me eat cheese and egg products. I can never keep them straight.” She threw a glance at the other room. “He doesn’t get it. But, mom does… did. She would go to the local health food store and get the cheese and milk that comes from a free range dairy in New York.” She dug into the refrigerator and dug out a package of cheese. “See?” She handed it to him.
 
He took the cheese. It was from a farm in upstate New York. It had a picture of a Guernsey cow standing in front of a tree on the package. Apparently the farm also had fruit trees and vegetables. “Does your mom buy all of her fruit and produce from them as well?”
 
Kylea nodded while chewing. “And meat, for him.”
 
Nathan remembered seeing all of the fast food packages. If they normally ate this well then, Mr. Sumner’s body is probably in shock right now. “Does he normally drink a lot?”
 
She grunted. “Only on the weekends. But, since mom… well he took time off work and now all he does is watch rerun football, eat junk food and drink. He stinks! Did you smell him?” She wrinkled her nose and made a face.
 
Nathan nodded. “Yeah, kind of hard to miss.”
 
“Try living with it.” She took another bite of sandwich.
 
“Did your parents get along?”
 
She finished chewing before responding. It was unusual for a teenager to not talk with her mouth full. For a moment she looked embarrassed. “Not really. I mean they didn’t really fight… they didn’t really see much of each other. Mom worked days, dad works swings. Dad hangs out here on the weekends, mom was always out doing things.”
 
“Surely they slept in the same bed at night?” He wasn’t sure if this was an appropriate question for a teenager, but the file didn’t really have a lot of information on the family life, and if she was willing to answer some questions, he was going to ask.
 
“Do you mean did they have sex?” She didn’t wait for a response. “Not that I ever heard. If they did then they were super quiet. I think they slept in the same bed, and that’s all they did.” Mom was always up early to run before work. She was gone long before dad ever crawled out.”
 
“You don’t sound like you like your dad much.”
 
Now she did look embarrassed. “Look don’t get me wrong. I love my dad. But, ever since mom got that big raise and promotion… ever since she started raking in the dough… he’s just become a couch potato. We used to try and get him to do things with us. But… we just gave up after a while.”
 
“How long ago was that?”
 
“Almost two years now. I remember because I had just started High School.” She smiled. “They could finally afford to send me to a private school.”
 
“You wanted private school?”
 
She smiled. “Don’t sound so surprised. Yeah, I wanted private school. They have a better student to teacher ratio, and the chances of getting into a good college increases when you have a good private school on your app.” She wiped the counter and put her knife in the dishwasher. She turned to leave, but stopped short of the doorway, and looked back at Nathan. “Look, just because I’m a teenager, doesn’t mean I’m stupid. I want a life. I want a good life.” She glanced in the direction of where her father sat on the other side of the wall. “I don’t want to end up like that.” She let that be her final word.
 
Nathan couldn’t call her back in, she was under age and technically he hadn’t asked her parent’s permission to talk to her. As it turned out, it was probably a good thing that Kylea had ended the conversation as  Mandi was done with Mr. Sumner and she was heading in Nathan’s direction. Well, I guess it’s time to see if the car will actually get us back to the station.
 
*****
 
“So, where did you say we were going?” Tao asked as he was climbing into the passenger seat of Cali’s custom Challenger.
 
Cali fastened her seatbelt before answering. “I didn’t, but since you asked so nicely… we’re going to Mrs. Sumner’s place of business.” She turned the music down before starting the car. She had been blasting the speakers this morning.
 
“Why, this is a missing person case. She didn’t come up missing from work… did she?” He snapped his own seatbelt and settled into the custom leather seat.
 
“Not according to the reports that we have. But, the reports that we have are not very complete. They were done under the assumption that Mrs. Sumner left of her own accord. The Chief thinks otherwise.” She started the car. Music came from the speakers. She punched a button and switched from iPod to radio.
 
“Really, is that how we got this case, the Chief thinks it might be a homicide?” Great a political case.
 
“Yup, that’s the gist.”
 
“What makes him think that it’s a homicide?”
 
“Well I could say that it was because the Chief’s massive intellect has detected some inconsistency, or because the Chief has had some brilliant insight into the case that we have yet to see, or even that some bird has whispered sweet nothings into his ear, and now he wants to get to the bottom of it all.” Cali didn’t care much for the Chief. He had been a good cop, or so they say, when he was coming up through the ranks, but now he was a politician, and Cali really didn’t like politicians.
 
I wonder whose bread we’re buttering this time. “But, the truth is?” Tao didn’t like politicians either.
 
“The truth is that Mr. Sumner has called the precinct at every hour of the day, every day since it happened 10 days ago. They have logged an impressive 218 calls from the man.”
 
“Hmmm, that is impressive. But, it’s still just a nuisance.”
 
“Yes it is… both impressive and a nuisance. It’s also an election year and the Mayor doesn’t want any unnecessary noise. And that is why my dear Tao that we are left tracking down this woman.”
 
Politics, great… “So what is your gut feeling?”
 
“Are you asking for my actual gut feeling, or do you want to know if I’ve seen any helpful ghosts?” It was good to talk with him about her gift.
 
“Either or will be fine.”
 
“Humph, I’ve seen lots of ghosts, but none of them have anything to do with Mrs. Sumner. As for gut feelings… I don’t have one yet. There ports are inconclusive. How about you?”
 
“Well… I read what little we have… and I think that it could go either way.”
 
“Are you just saying that because I did?”
 
“When have I ever done that?”
 
“Never”
 
“Right” Tao watched the traffic from his window for a moment. “So, what do you think of your new team?”
 
“I like Mandi.”
 
“That’s it?”
 
“The jury’s still out on the rest of them.”
 
“Why do you like Mandi?”
 
“I don’t know… I like her accent.”
 
“Seriously?”
 
“No, not seriously. I read her file. She’s a good solid Detective.”
 
“What about Bryce? He’s got a good file as well.”
 
“Yeah, but he’s a tech head. I don’t know what to do with tech heads.”
 
“I disagree. You seem to know exactly what to do with them. You’ve got our two techies working together to give us all a better picture of this problem. I would say that you know exactly what to do with them.”
 
“Maybe… jury’s still out.”
 
“Fine”
 
The pulled into the underground parking garage. They managed to get through security and find a parking place. Within minutes they were on the right floor heading for the reception desk. They sat in the lobby and waited. A few minutes more and a very sharply dressed man emerged from behind two frosted glass doors. His hand was extended and he wore a big inviting smile.
 
“Welcome Detectives, welcome. My name is Oliver Polanski, I’m the Vice President of Global Trading. What can I do for you?”
 
Cali and Tao introduced themselves and shook Mr. Polanski’s hand.
 
“Mr. Polanski, do you know Mrs. Sumner?”
 
“I do, she’s a valued employee. We miss her. Have you found any clues yet as to what happened to her?”
 
“We just got handed the case Mr. Polanski, so we’re trying to get all of the facts. Reading reports is just not as… informative as actually talking to someone.”
 
He was nodding. “Yes, I can see how a personal interview would be much more telling. What can I do to help you?”
 
“Where exactly does Mrs. Sumner work, and what does she do?”
 
“Come I’ll show you her office. She was one of our more successful employees. She is in client acquisition and satisfaction.” He led them away from the reception area and down a long hallway. All of the offices had frosted glass doors. Some had single doors and others, the larger ones had double doors. The reception area had been in the center of the floor. The offices spread out on all sides of it. There was a lot of glass everywhere. Blinds were used to keep out the sun and provide privacy.
 
“Let me get this straight, Mrs. Sumner gets new clients for the firm and she then maintains that relationship, is that correct?”
 
“Yes, that’s it exactly.”
 
“Did she get paid on commission?”
 
“No, we are not a used car dealership, Detective. She was paid a salary. We do however offer our employees bonuses based on productivity. They are paid bonus checks once a quarter.” He turned yet another corner.
 
Cali sidestepped a ghost dressed in 17 century dress. How did he get here? She would probably never find out, it was nearly impossible to get information from a ghost that old. She yanked her mind back to the questions at hand. “And Mrs. Sumner is one of your better employees in acquisitions?”
 
“Yes, she is very successful.” He passed a secretary desk and unlocked frosted double glass door. “This is her office.” The lights came on as the door swung open.
 
Cali followed Mr. Polanski into the room. It was spacious. The back wall was covered in windows and it had a nice view of the city. By the furnishings it was clear that the company was doing well. “I suppose the real question here is, who gets her clients if Mrs. Sumner doesn’t come back?”
 
“They would be split up between our other associates.” He stopped at the doorway and let the Detectives have the room.
 
“Would I be correct in assuming that not all of these clients are created equal?” She and Tao both perused the room while Cali continued to ask questions.
 
“If I understand you correctly, the answer is, no. Some of them are worth more than others, because they invest more.”
 
“And because they invest more, then the bonuses for them would be higher.”
 
“Yes”
 
“Would her clients be split up equally?”
 
“We would make every attempt to make it so, yes.”
 
“But, who would get what Mrs. Sumner has already earned in bonuses… if she didn’t come back?”
 
He seemed stumped. “I’ve honestly never needed to ask that question. I suppose that the company would keep it.”
 
“Really? It seems like it is an earned income. Therefore it would be given to the next of kin. Much the same way that a last paycheck goes to the beneficiary.”
 
“But, that only happens if a person has made those arrangements. You must have designated an beneficiary you see.”
 
“Right, does your company offer those arrangements for bonus money?”
 
“I… I… I’m not sure. Please allow me to check on it and get back to you.”
 
“That would be fine. Thank you for your time Mr. Polanski. If you think of anything else, please give me a call, and do call when you get that answer for me.”
 
“Of course.”
 
As they were being escorted back to the reception area Cali did have one more question. “One last thing Mr. Polanski, if I may?”
 
“Please”
 
“Exactly how much are we talking about here, monetarily I mean.”
 
“Well, it’s not generally our policy to discuss these things, however in light of the circumstances…” He stopped and leaned in conspiratorially. “Mrs. Sumner’s salary was about $124,000, her last bonus check was half again that amount and she was going to get a corner office soon.” He glanced around to make sure that no-one had heard. “That would have effectively doubled her salary and her bonuses.” His face showed real concern.
 
Cali understood. “Thank you Mr. Polanski. Never fear, we’re not telling anyone.”
 
Once they reached the car and were driving out of the garage, Tao spoke what was on his mind. “Hmmm, well Mr. Polanski just gave us about 15 people with a very powerful motive for killing Mrs. Sumner.”
 
“Yeah, and those are just the associates in this office. I wonder just how global, Global Trading really is.”
 
////////////////////////////////////
 
Live well and be good to each other.
 

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