Chapter 196

I had a rough night. I hurt like hell; the EMT was right about that. I even went over to the gym, worked out and spent plenty of time in the hot tub and ice treatment to stop the swelling.

I was bruised from the top of my left shoulder across both boobs and my upper stomach and hip. The shoulder strap and seatbelt had done a number on me.

I drove one of the unmarked cars to KCC and was doubly cautious. I did stop and pick up several different papers at the new 7-11. The front page of all of them was about the accident. There were statements from Jeff’s family and friends and speculation from all directions. Duke was blaming everyone, including me.

Bob Jackson was in my office almost before I got the seat of my chair warm. “Are you OK? Looks like one heck of a crash?”

I unbuttoned the uniform shirt. I was not wearing a bra – not that I did that often – and I always wore the vest, but this morning I could not even stand having the bulletproof vest on.

As the black and blue shoulder and breast came into view he said, “Oh my God. Why don’t you go back home; things are slow, the day shift can handle it?”

“I have several meetings – when they are finished I will. I am also off tomorrow. The Suburban is back in the maintenance yard and the gate has a security lock on it, you have a key. There is a tarp over it to keep the media from having a field day. Call the insurance company; it is totaled. I want to order another one as soon as I can,” I said.

“I noticed the unmarked car. Is that what you are using at the other colleges?” he replied.

“Each college is going to have at least one unmarked in their fleet along with one Suburban for the director and marked cars as needed,” I replied.

“I will call the dealer and issue a P.O.” he replied. “Put that one there on lease to us until the new one comes in.”

At noon I made the trip home. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 1:30 – some of the interviews had been moved to later this afternoon and early evening – that would let us leave Saturday night.

Jason, Roseanne, Mark, Cindy, Jenny, Vicky and I were on the flight. An overnight bag was all that was required. We were all carrying concealed after yesterday. Who knows what might come out of the woodwork now?

We arrived at the Island Airport just in time to be in the middle of a channel 34 news team follow-up report. The feds were doing daily updates to keep the issue in the news cycle. This was their chance to strike a little fear into local governments about how DHS grants were intended to be used.

I knew of several cases where the guidelines were being stretched way past the limits to allow the funds to be used for other wish list purchases and not the intended security items. If they dug deeper than just the Airport authority they were going to have a field day.

Naturally channel 34 did not miss the opportunity for an interview. Friday was a busy day for Lorrie’s JBG flight group. A third of the Florida vacation rentals were swapped out on Friday, the rest on Sundays and Mondays. I was sure that there would be footage of JBG planes on the channel tonight.

Hanna Page was the reporter for channel 34; she had been at the accident scene last night along with several more.

“BJ, how are you today after such a horrific accident last night?” she asked.

“Plenty sore and bruised, but getting better I think,” I replied.

“Have you received any communication from the state police on last night’s accident?” she asked.

“No they haven’t called. Not a word,” I replied.

“I see you are leaving town, so they have not placed any travel restrictions on you?” she asked.

“No, no restrictions. We are going to do interviews for the new security team at Warrington College – part of the JBG security group,” I replied.

“Island Airport is getting fuel supplied this weekend. You have been supplying your own fuel this week. Is there going to be a conflict with the airport authority now?” she asked.

“The authority has been struggling to keep up with the needs of its customers for a while. We have been pushing for a while for the authority to make a decision on the runway extension with no success.

We have a jet coming that we are going to have to base at another airport because of the runway. This is no way to run an airport. If the money had been used for its intended purpose, there would not be these issues,” I replied.  “Our fuel truck is here to stay.”

“Won’t that be counter-productive to getting improvements to the airport?” Hanna asked.

“Repaying 20 million plus penalties to the feds is going to be counter-productive to the whole county,” I replied.

The pilot started the turbine on the right side creating enough noise to end the interview. The copilot was standing by the loading ladder pointing to his watch indicating that we needed to get in the air.

“We have to go. Nice chatting with you Hanna, we will have to do this again,” as I reached to shake her hand. I joined the others walking to the plane.

Two hours later we were walking into the meeting room at Warrington College for the first of the six interviews we were going to conduct tonight.

At 8 we finished with the last one for the night and made our way to supper and then the motel. Jason, Mark and Cindy each had their own room. Roseanne and Vicky were going to take one bed and Jenny and I the other.

As we readied for bed I told Jenny that I could not participate in any play tonight but if she wanted to, go ahead – I would sit and watch. She was disappointed but when I took my shirt off all of them understood why. The bruises were much worse looking tonight than they were this morning. They did not hurt any worse; they just looked that way.

Edit by Alfmeister

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