Chapter One Hundred and Two: Hotting Up
“It's so HOT!” Daniel waved a junk mail catalogue in front of his face to fan it.
“One of the hottest summers on record, and it's only beginning!” Petunia groaned, spraying herself with a water-bottle.
“I just hope that Demon gets his act together with those prisoners soon, because I know for a fact that the gaol isn't air-conditioned.” TJ growled.
“Belle's working on it! Give her some breathing room!” Charlie snapped.
They were sitting in front of the Masters and Begly residences, trying to keep cool under the tree. Unfortunately, it seemed both temper and temperature were up at that particular junction in time.
“BREATHING ROOM? Most of those prisoners don't even have enough room to blink let alone breathe!” TJ jumped up, angry. “Meanwhile Belle gets to sleep in her nice, comfortable room with plenty of air flow and an air conditioner!”
“What more do you want her to do!?” Charlie also got up and towered over TJ, who flinched slightly.
“ENOUGH!” Daniel got up. “We're all hot and bothered and things are tense. There's no need to make it worse. Teej, enough with trying to shift your guilt onto other people. Charlie, stop being so oversensitive about your girlfriend.”
“BELLE IS NOT MY GIRLFRIEND.” Charlie growled.
“Sensitive.” Daniel booped Charlies nose.
Just then, Belle pulled up in the Elantra, looking hot, sweaty and dejected.
“The air-con has gone in the car again.” She groaned. “And Demon is being a complete and total arse.”
“What happened?!” TJ had to be restrained by Petunia to stop him from grabbing the overworked lawyer.
“He says that it's a clerical error that got those people put in prison, not out and out racism. He's not going to do a thing to Dingbat.” Belle looked close to tears. “And he won't let Sammy out.”
“WHAT?!” Everyone cried in anger.
“How did you NOT get Sammy out of gaol?!” TJ nearly screamed at Belle.
“I tried!” Belle sobbed, the tears starting to fall.
“Clearly not hard enough!” TJ snapped.
“BACK. OFF. NOW.” Charlie looked ready to kill.
“I've got this.” Tammy suddenly appeared, making everyone jump.
“Where did YOU spring from?!” Daniel had to grin a little at his friends ability.
“TJ, be sure to stop around my place before you go to work tomorrow morning. I'll get all the dirt you need on Dingbat. Also, apologize to Belle.” Tammy said, with a small smirk.
“But-,” TJ started.
“Sammy is my TWIN BROTHER Theodore.” Tammy shot him a filthy look. TJ stepped back with a growl and muttered an apology.
And the heat still sat on Pleasantville.
TJ didn't know how Lady Silent did it, but she managed to spend the whole day in plain sight in the police office, yet no one noticed her recording everything they said about their work.
“Brilliant Lady Silent!” Giggles took the recordings from her at the end of the day when they met at the tip. “Once these are all over the city, Demon will have no choice but to put the pressure on Dingbat.
“And then they'll let Sammy go!” Lady Silent beamed.
“I'll distribute these, you get Sammys place ready for him to go back to.” Giggles said, preparing to take off.
“Just be careful and don't land in Lake Pleasant again.” Lady Silent grinned.
Giggles took off, making sure that the recordings got onto every radio station in the city.
Well, at least the pro-PRO ones.
“Not content with making this city unbearable to live in, now you're spreading slander too?!” One particular DJ screamed at Giggles when she tried to pass the recordings along.
“It's not SLANDER, it's plain facts! Demon is working with a racist police force!” Giggles snapped.
“You're nothing but trouble! Get out of my sight!” The DJ slammed his office door shut.
Giggles grimaced, enjoying the last of the air-conditioning before heading to City Hall.
Charlie was feeling extremely left out. He loathed how Demon had one over on him, especially as it was his dead grandfather.
Charlie had never forgiven himself for letting Charles Howzat get killed. He had never forgiven Demon either. He had tried, because he knew he was leaving himself wide open to get baited, but he couldn't. He was useless.
He sat in the tree by his window, trying to ignore the sweltering heat. He decided to put the radio on, and chill out to some music. That would take his mind off things.
“I can't believe our Mayor is actually allowing Wallace Dingbat to keep his position. This is untenable.” He heard one talk show saying. He groaned, and changed the channel.
“Chuckles and Giggles seem to be on a crusade against common-sense and law and order. Honestly, it doesn't surprise me that they sunk this low as to fabricate controversy against our law enforcement.” Another station blared out.
“Oh go AWAY!” Charlie groaned. He switched off the radio and rested his head on his favourite branch. Across the road however, trouble was brewing.
“How DARE you let that PRO rubbish litter MY lawn!” A young lady was yelling at the older lady who lived next door to her.
“You're not involved in that PCC stuff? Surely not! I thought you'd know better!” The old lady replied.
Charlie groaned again, and turned away. Then he heard a smash. He sat up, smacking his head on a higher branch, but that was nothing to what had happened to the young lady. The old lady had gotten her son involved, and he had bottled the younger lady across her head!
“Oh no, this is getting bad.” Charlie jumped out of the tree and bolted across the street to stop the young lady's husband from getting into a fistfight with the son.
“Easy everyone, let's just go inside and not inflame the situation further!” He tried to separate the two men.
“I'm calling the police!” The old lady declared.
“After you allowed them to be slandered?!” The young lady yelled back, blood pouring down her face.
“That woman attacked my mother first!” The son yelled.
“She wouldn't ever do such thing!” The husband yelled back.
“Please calm down!” Charlie tried to stop the two men from throwing fists.
This is bad, real bad. Charlie thought as he finally gave up and the two men attacked each other. I'm starting to think my great idea wasn't so great after all…
“What this evidence shows is that our Chief of Police, Wallace Dingbat, has allowed his racism to take over his work and honestly, I don't think I want that sort of person in charge of law and order in our city.” The radio blared. Wallace Dingbat reached over and turned it off. He turned to the room full of his officers, all of them tense.
“Well then.” Dingbat started. “Looks like we have someone in the force who isn't fond of my methods.”
All of the officers in front of him gulped.
“And instead of talking to me like an adult, they've gone crying to Chuckles and Giggles, our resident vigilantes who have zero respect for the law.” Dingbat continued. He began to pace in front of the group, enjoying their discomfort.
“Tell me, who is the one person in this room who is strongly suspected of having a connection to the allies of Chuckles and Giggles, those Knights of the Last Order?” Dingbat asked.
It was like a wave. Everyone made haste to move their chairs away from TJ, who sat in silent fury.
“Officer Jacobs. Anything you'd like to share with us?” Dingbat walked over to his prey.
“What did you expect to happen when you threw my best friend into the slammer? That we'd become bosom buddies and go out on double-dates? Get stuffed you racist, useless piece of bureaucratic trash.” TJ let the venom out. He was rewarded with a solid punch to the jaw. TJ hit the ground hard. He barely had a second to register what had happened when he was jerked back up again by two of his coworkers, who held him up while Dingbat got in a few more cheap shots.
“Lock him up.” Dingbat commanded once the torture was over. Bloodied and dazed, TJ was dragged to the cells.
“Hmm?” Sammy looked up as his cell door was unlocked. He had to quickly jump out of the way as TJ was thrown in next to him, looking extremely worse for wear.
“Teej!” Sammy cried as the cell door was slammed shut and locked.
“I'm fine.” TJ coughed and struggled to sit up. “At least they didn't take my protein bars, right?”
“True.” Sammy grinned.
The cell door unlocked again. TJ was hauled up, shaken down, the protein bars removed, and locked back in the cell again.
“Well that was rude.” Sammy was NOT impressed.