St. Timothy's Hospital, 9:23 p.m.
"How is he?" Adam asked gruffly, his face almost impassive.
"McCoy'll be all right, but the bullet near destroyed his arm," the doctor,
a short, thin man with a goatee, answered. He held up some X-rays. "See,
the bullet entered here, then slammed right into his bone. This used to be
two bones. Now it's seven.
"However, we patched him up pretty well. He's got a few screws in his arm
to hold it back together, but it's gonna heal nicely, from what I can tell.
McCoy was in good physical shape, and his body will do what we doctors
can't. Can't say that he'll be as good as new, though. He's almost
guaranteed to have a handicap - how bad, I don't know, but I doubt he'll
lose too much of his arm's abilities. Good thing the tip of that bullet
malfunctioned, or -"
"Huh? Malfunctioned?" inquired Briscoe. He was the only detective present
that night. Curtis had not shown up for work that day, but had stayed home
to care for his disabled wife.
"Yeah. It was a hollow point bullet. Usually they explode on impact.
Didn't I tell you that?"
"No. . ." Briscoe turned to Ross, who had dark circles under her eyes from
worry. "I don't think McCoy getting shot in that drive-by was an
accident," he remarked. "Exploding tips weren't in the other victim." The
other victim was dead. A plain automatic shot had gone right through her
Ross shook her head. "I - I think someone was aiming for us, and it
wouldn't surprise me if it had to do with Dawson." She told them about his
threat to McCoy in the office.
Adam frowned and rubbed his eyes. "You'd think that a guy like that would
learn. Thank you, doctor."
"Oh, one more thing," the doctor added. "You said McCoy was laying on top
of you, right?"
"The way the bullet entered his arm makes me think the shot passed through
a tightened muscle, like his arm was raised. This means it was probably
over his head - and yours, too. If his arm bone hadn't caught the bullet. .
.let's just say you have McCoy in there to thank for your life." The
doctor turned away, leaving Ross there with the two other men, startled
* * *
Briscoe sat back two hours later at the hospital. Ross had fallen asleep
on his arm. He was about to fall asleep himself when his cellular phone -
Curtis had insisted he buy one - rang, jerking him to wakefulness. Lennie
reached the phone with as little movement as possible, then answered it.
"Lennie, my place has been smashed up, destroyed!" Rey's voice was not
panicked, but rather horrified on the other end. "We went out shopping for
the day, and when we got back it was ruined. Somebody blew it bad. There
was a message on the machine to 'warn McCoy and his friends to stay away
from Dawson.' What does that mean?"
Briscoe was startled by the news, but he coherently informed Curtis about
the 'drive-by shooting' that had apparently aimed to kill McCoy and his
assistant. "Put two and two together and I don't think we're in Kansas
"Man, to think this began as one homicide in a hotel!"
"Get your family over here to the hospital, Rey. No one's gonna blow us up
here, I'm sure."
"I hope you're right."
* * *
The next morning Jamie woke up on the uncomfortable hospital couch to find
she had been sleeping on Briscoe's arm. He was fast asleep, too. The
whole Curtis family was on her left, the mother and children sleeping on
cots and Rey was sitting on another couch, rubbing his eyes, apparently
trying to wake up. Schiff was just entering the lobby.
"Did the whole team spend the night here?" he growled tiredly.
"You could say that," murmured Ross.
Rey nodded his agreement and told about the destruction of his home. Adam
shook his head and Jamie sat in apparent shock. Then a doctor stepped out
of the recovery room. "Folks, your friend Jack McCoy is awake now. Would
you like to talk with him?"
Ross leapt to her feet. "Yes!" In her hurry she accidentally woke up
Briscoe. Curtis stood slowly and followed her in along with Schiff and
In the room Jack was in a white bed with white sheets. In fact, the whole
room was white. McCoy was almost as white as the room, drained from blood
loss and the sedatives that were keeping him in a state of only semi-
wakefulness. His left arm was in cast that covered it completely.
At the sight of his friends he grinned a tired grin. "Hello. Everyone
"In the worst sense of the word, yes," sighed Jamie. She quickly told him
about what had happened to the Curtis family. "My daughter spent the night
at a friend's house, the Curtis family stayed here, and so did Briscoe and
I," she informed him. "How are you?"
Jack's eyes could tell everything about him when he let them, and now was
one of those times. "I'll survive," he said, but the dark, overshadowed
pupils of his eyes had a fierce spark in them that usually only appeared
when he was questioning a stubborn witness or making a dramatic closing
speech. An angry spark. Schiff's eyebrows raised when he saw it. He was
the only one that noticed.
"I'm glad, Jack." Ross was relieved.
"Wait. Did you say Curtis' home was destroyed? Sorry, I'm a little slow.
It's the sedatives."
Rey spoke up. "It's demolished, with the message to warn you to stay away
from Dawson." He winced. "I hate to think what examples the guys who did
this woulda made of my family if we'd been home. . ."
"Don't dwell on that, Detective. The notes of information from our victim
put Dawson as one of the top members of the Mob. Of course this would make
him mad that they are now permissible," Jack informed him. Rey's eyes read
Asurprise" at the news. The detectives hadn't been updated on the case
since the prosecutors had taken over it. Jack continued, "I'm sorry I
didn't mention this before. The notes were to be introduced in a week if
things had continued on schedule. I didn't think Dawson would go to such
extremes to be sure they never entered the court." He looked down at the
ground. "I want everyone involved to have some kind of protection in case
he tries another stunt. Dawson pulls more weight in the underground than I
"We're in the big leagues now," Lennie said dryly. He glanced at Schiff
and saw him looking rather intently at Jack. "Hey, let Jack get some
sleep," he suggested. "I'm hungry. Want something, Jack?" McCoy shook
his head. "Okay, your loss. C'mon guys, let's grab a donut down the
street." Briscoe herded Curtis and Ross out, leaving Adam alone with Jack.
"Jack, drop the case."
McCoy shook his head again in an emphatic no. "We're in too deep now,
Adam. We have to finish it."
Adam looked into Jack's eyes again, but they were guarded now. "You want
"They tried to kill Jamie and me. They ruined Curtis' house. Dawson is
about to be convicted for murder and he's pissed, so he's gonna destroy the
people running the case so the case falls apart!" Jack waved around his
good arm. "We can't just let that go!"
"Give the case to someone else, then," said Adam. "You've made it
personal. That's dangerous."
"No, Adam. I want this guy where he belongs: in jail for life, if not on
Death Row. He's a menace to society, he just proved that yesterday. Ross
and I know the case inside out. Let us finish it. We've got the best
Adam sighed. "Jack, if you let it become revenge, it'll destroy you. Be
careful," he warned.
Then Jack did something he didn't do often: he submitted. "I will, Adam."
Then he laid back again and fell asleep in two minutes flat.
* * *
Three hours later Jack was awakened again to find Jamie Ross in the room
with a bunch of flowers. "To add color to the room," she explained.
Jack grinned. "Thanks a bunch. It is a boring room."
Jamie put down the flowers and sat down by the bed. "Um, Jack, I also
wanted to say thank you. The doc said that you saved my life by dropping
on top of me during the shooting. The bullet that shattered your arm would
have been in my head. I owe you my life. . ." Jamie stared at the floor.
"I'm glad you're alive, Jack."
"I'm glad you are too, Jamie."
Trial Part 58, four weeks later, 1:17 p.m.
The trial was running smoothly again. The court had stopped meeting for
two weeks as Jack had recovered. It appeared that Dawson had not been
pleased to hear McCoy or Ross was still alive. According to one of his
secretaries he had actually sworn when he saw the news clip about the two
ADAs, saying, "How did they. . ." but he hadn't finished the sentence, and
no evidence could link him to the drive-by shooting or the Curtis home
destruction. However, Jack was not discouraged. The cast that had held
his arm since the accident would come off in one and a half weeks. He was
semi-sitting on the prosecution table as he asked, "Mr. Waters, how many
times did you shoot Mr. Schleissmann?"
Waters shifted in his seat. "Four times: once in the face, once in the
neck, and twice in the chest."
"Did you do anything else while you were in the room?"
"Yes. I searched Mr. Schleissmann's bags for anything that was damaging to
"Why did you do that?"
"Mr. Dawson had asked me to." In the defendant's chair Dawson gritted his
"Did you find anything?"
"I found several pages of hand-scribbled notes in the bags."
McCoy turned around and picked up a few papers off the table. He walked
over and handed them to Waters. "Are these the notes?"
"When you found them, what did you do with them?"
"I saved them. Dawson said to destroy them, but this way I could connect
Mr. Dawson to the crime if I went to trial."
"Mr. Waters, why did Mr. Dawson want the notes destroyed?"
Jackson stood quickly. "Objection! Calls for speculation."
"Withdrawn. Please read the notes, starting at the beginning."
"No, McCoy! Objection! Approach, your honor?"
The judge motioned them up and Jackson dug in. "What point does this have?
It is not directly relevant to the case."
"It goes to motive, your honor."
"For the case it should suffice to say that it was damaging, Mr. McCoy.
Sustained," said the judge.
Jack walked slowly back to the witness stand, then asked, "Did you do
"No. I walked out the door and went home."
Jack looked at the jury and walked back to his seat. Jackson stood and
buttoned his jacket. "Mr. Waters, please tell the court your occupation."
"I own a perfume shop on 32nd. I spend my time there."
"And on the weekends you do deadly favors?"
Waters sat back. "For a price."
"Really. And how many favors have you done?"
"Sounds like you have quite some time coming in Rikers." There was no
answer. "Maybe you don't, then? Isn't it true that you are testifying in
return for a deal with the district attorney's office, giving you only 15
years in jail along with witness protection!?"
"Yeah," Waters mumbled.
"How nice of Mr. McCoy to offer you that," Jackson smirked. "That's a
sweet deal. No further questions, your honor." Jackson sat back down.
Trial Part 78, two and a half weeks later, 10:05 a.m.
Jackson smiled at his client on the witness stand. "Mr. Dawson, what is
"I am the top aide of the governor of the state of New York. I manage most
of the work here in New York City."
"Really? So you are an important member of the community."
"Yes, I believe so."
"Aren't you prominent?"
"And that makes you a target."
"Certainly. Many people have accused me of wrongdoing. I have been
attacked with accusations of money scandals, of sexual attacks, and now,
murder." Dawson shook his head as though shocked. "What a horrible thing
to do to another human being!"
Jackson nodded. "Mr. Dawson, we have heard that you made a five-minute
phone call to Mr. Waters. Mr. Waters is a self-proclaimed hitman who says
he killed Mr. Schleissmann on your orders. Please tell the court what that
call was about."
"I looked up numbers to perfume shops in the yellow pages. I wanted to get
my mother a gift. If that's a sin, I confess," he exclaimed.
"Than Mr. Waters is lying about your conversation."
"Why shouldn't he, for nearly no time in jail?"
Jack jumped up. "Objection!"
"Sustained. The jury will disregard the witness' last statement.
Continue," said the judge.
Dawson amended his answer. "Yes, he's lying."
"Mr. Dawson, how would you describe yourself?"
"I am a careful, kind man. I am prudent about the City's money supply from
the state, and I do my best to be sure the most is done for the sovereign
state of New York."
"We have heard that you had an appointment with the deceased on the day of
his murder. Why was this meeting arranged?"
"Mr. Schleissmann said he wanted to talk to me about how I run the city -
an exclusive he could send home to Germany, he explained. I agreed."
"Did he ever tell you that he had damaging information about you?"
"No! I was surprised when the police told me that."
"We will now move on to the death of your former secretary. Did you ever
have an affair with her?" Jackson changed gears smoothly.
"Goodness, no! She was a wonderful secretary, though. I was horrified by
the news of her death."
"And did you ever speak with Mr. Arnold Smith?"
"I had no idea who he was until the day he was mentioned in this court."
"Did you ever receive e-mails about this false affair your secretary
"Yes, actually. I told her it was foolish, that making up lies wouldn't
help her career. She wanted money, she told me at work, to keep her quiet.
That's when I said she must be dreaming our affair up. She was found dead
the next day, a suicide, the police said. It was horrible."
"So, you knew what she was saying about you?"
"Yeah, but that's hardly a reason to kill someone! Some people are just
disturbed and don't know what they're talking about. I'm afraid my
secretary had a fantasy love life between us. I'm sorry she died.
"As to the German reporter, Mr. Schleissmann, I'm sorry about what happened
to him as well, but I can't explain why anyone would have that done. If
Mr. Waters did indeed kill him for hire, I don't know who hired him. I am
truly sorry about this." He looked at his hands. "That anyone would do
this to another human. . ."
"Thank you Mr. Dawson," said Jackson, sitting down.
Jack McCoy stood slowly, taking his time while stretching his newly
Auncasted" arm. The doctor had said he had lost 15% of its capabilities -
not enough to be much of a problem. "Yes, it is horrible for someone to do
anything like that to another human," he agreed. "It's terrible. So, how
come you do it?"
Jackson stood. "Objection."
"Withdrawn," Jack replied hastily. "Now, Mr. Dawson, you testified that
you were calling Mr. Waters about some perfume for your mother. That's
"Really? Why did Mr. Waters say you called about a 'hit for hire', then?"
"I don't know."
"Okay. Arnold Smith says you got together with him once and you asked him
to kill your secretary. He was not aware of our case involving Mr.
Schleissmann, Mr. Dawson. Why would he pick you as the man who wanted her
dead? Why not someone else, anyone she was close to?"
"I'm not sure, Mr. McCoy." Dawson was slightly irritated.
"If you are so clean, Mr. Dawson, then why would Mr. Schleissmann say he
has evidence you are a member of the Mob?"
"Objection!" Jackson shot out of his chair. "Approach, your honor?"
The judge nodded, and the two attorneys came forward. "Mr. McCoy is
mentioning things found in the notes, your honor!"
"Credibility," Jack protested. "I'm not using it as motive. I'm
contesting the odds he says are against him."
"But the jury will inevitably draw conclusions off of this!"
"We can't just let him lie on the stand!"
The judge gave Jack an annoyed look, but said, "Objection denied. You may
proceed, Mr. McCoy."
"Thank you, your honor." he turned back to Dawson. "So, why did Mr.
Schleissmann say that you were in the Mob?"
Dawson shrugged. "I have no idea, Mr. McCoy. He must have had bad
"From someone like Waters? Or Smith?"
Jack stood back for a moment, examining Dawson. Then he plunged back in
again. "Mr. Dawson, when you found out that your secretary thought she had
an affair with you, did that make you angry?"
"No. It confused me."
"If someone told me that, I'd be angry!" protested McCoy.
"Well, it didn't bother me."
"Come on! Today if a woman cries out 'affair!', everyone flocks to her and
leaves the man to cope. Surely it bothered you that she was trying to make
you look bad with this information."
"I dealt with it."
"With your anger? I thought you weren't angry!"
Dawson flushed slightly at his tongue slip. "No, I dealt with her!"
"I'm sure you did." The statement was cold. "When you found out about the
information that Mr. Schleissmann had, weren't you angry?"
"I heard about that after he died!"
"Oh really? Your first statement to the police, sir!" Jack slammed down
the paper in front of Dawson. "Please read it."
A'Mr. Dawson said he didn't want Mr. Schleissmann to think he had anything
to hide.'" Dawson read.
"Did you have something to hide, Mr. Dawson?" Jack's eyebrows raised.
"No!" Dawson gritted his teeth and took a deep breath. "I don't have
anything to hide, Mr. McCoy." However, a small hint of anger was glowing
behind his brown eyes. Jack saw it smoldering, and he leapt to fan the
"Mr. Dawson, you have said that Waters is lying, Smith is lying, your
secretary was lying, and Schleissmann was lying! Is the whole world out to
get you?" Jack gasped.
"Maybe." Dawson tried to stay calm.
"If it is, does that ever make you mad?!"
"I never thought about it!"
"Is this investigation making you mad?"
Dawson nearly snapped back, but he restrained himself visibly and replied,
"Yes. It is an injustice to me and the people I should be working for."
"You're not working for the people, only for yourself! You kill anyone who
gets any ideas about exposing the truth about you! Withdrawn," Jack spoke
quickly. "Mr. Dawson, does my case against you make you angry? You,
personally," he asked.
Dawson seethed, but he had to answer. "Yes," he finally said.
"Mad enough to try and have me and my friends killed?" Jack snapped.
Jackson fairly flew from his chair. "Objection!"
"I'm establishing pattern, your honor."
"I'll allow it, but lightly, McCoy. Objection denied."
"No! I don't know a thing about it, McCoy, and this is going too far!"
"Oh and killing isn't? Then why is it I've had this arm in a cast for six
"Someone shot you, McCoy, but I don't know who!" Dawson shouted.
"Just like you don't know who sent Detective Curtis a threat, warning us to
lay off, after destroying his home?"
"Mr. McCoy. . ."
Jack didn't take his eyes off Dawson. "Just like you don't know who sent
Waters and Smith to kill people even though they both came up with you as
their contractor? Just like you didn't know about the 'imagined' affair or
the damaging papers?" Jack waved around his hands as he slowly moved
towards Dawson. When he reached the stand he planted his hands on the
wooden wall between him and Dawson, whose eyes smoldered with hate now.
McCoy looked right into those eyes. "It seems you are quite ignorant of
everything around you, but you are the center of everyone else's universe;
everyone knows you, but you don't know anyone." Jack leaned closer. "Care
to explain, sir?"
There was a full ten seconds of silence as the two men stared each other
down. Dawson dropped his eyes, and Jack immediately stood up again. "You
don't have to answer that." He walked back to his seat.
Trial Part 80, 4:08 p.m.
Jackson was pacing in front of the jury, stopping every so often to look
one of them in the eye, as he gave his closing statement.
"It is a terrible thing when someone sinks to sending off other men to kill
people for hire. Mr. Schleissmann was not armed. He wasn't even awake
when he was shot. And that is horrible. However, Mr. Dawson had nothing
to do with it.
"Mr. McCoy would have you believe that my client is a cold-blooded murderer
that doesn't care a bit about anything around him. That is simply not
true. You have heard witness after witness tell you that he is a good man.
Mr. Dawson is a fundamentally good person. People like him do not kill
others in their spare time.
"Mr. Dawson has been through similar situations: people have accused him of
fraud, of embezzlement, of affairs, and now, of killing others. However,
he has never been convicted. The reason for that is he didn't commit those
crimes! He simply didn't do them, and the law functioned as it should,
keeping the innocent out of prison.
"In the world today it is so easy to finger those that are powerful and to
say, 'They took my money, they had an affair with me, they wanted me dead.'
With some of the recent conduct of the very President of our country, it
is sometimes almost expected that 'they all do that.' When Mr. Waters was
informed that he was under arrest for the murder of Mr. Schleissmann, he
fingered my client as his ticket out, and got only a few years in prison
for six murders. Six! They don't even fit on one hand. Waters figured he
could use my client as a scapegoat. He did indeed know about the papers
against my client. Mr. Dawson did not, but who was to say? Waters used
them as his ticket to freedom. Apparently Mr. Smith went the same way.
Both have killed before, and both merely pointed at Mr. Dawson and got away
"My client has been accused by the deceased to have done some very terrible
things. Mr. Schleissmann had information suggesting Mr. Dawson is a member
of the mob. Now, can you believe everything you hear? Of course not. As
for the affair allegedly held between my client and his secretary, it has
been revealed that he did not ever have a sexual relationship with her.
His secretary may have been imagining it, or maybe she just wanted some
money, but in any case she thought she had an affair with my client. Once
again this is a lie. He never had one. When the pressure got to her, she
killed herself: this is a true tragedy, but my client was not involved.
"Mr. Dawson may have been accused of many things, but he never has killed
anyone or had someone kill for him. He is just a decent man trying to make
a living, who happens to have found success in the area of politics."
Jackson sat back down.
McCoy stood slowly. Ross noticed that he made a slight show of trying to
fully stretch out his arm - it was something that he was not expected to do
again, ever. He walked out from behind the table and looked at the jury.
"Mr. Dawson is a powerful man. He's been one for several years now as the
right-hand-man of the governor. Dawson has worked hard to get there, I'm
sure - but his steps to the top have included murder.
"You have seen this whole case. I won't insult your intelligence. There
have been many good points for both sides. But what the defense is
suggesting is not logical. According to Jackson, Mr. Dawson is telling the
truth, and he didn't do anything. Give this some thought. That would mean
that everyone else you have seen these past weeks have been lying.
"Mr. Waters - he says Dawson told him to kill Schleissmann. So did Mr.
Smith. Did they consult with each other? No. But they came up with the
same basic story and with Dawson on their own. What about the notes from
the deceased Mr. Schleissmann? Did he make up the information about Mr.
Dawson being part of the Mob?" McCoy shook his head. "That would be a
stupid thing to joke about.
"If Mr. Dawson is telling the truth, then where is the evidence? We have
phone records that prove Mr. Dawson called Mr. Waters three days before the
murder. We know Mr. Waters took papers from Mr. Schleissmann's materials
that were damaging to Mr. Dawson! Why would he do that? For fun? It's
because Mr. Dawson asked him to.
"How about Mr. Dawson's secretary? What a tragedy - it was considered a
suicide. But you have seen that it was not a suicide, but a homicide,
inspired by Mr. Dawson! And why? To protect his love life. He didn't
want people to think he had an affair. Which he did, and to keep it quiet,
he stooped to murder!
"Mr. Dawson would have you believe that all these things are merely
coincidences. He was ordering perfume when he called Mr. Waters - what
incredible chance! It's just bad luck. Mr. Smith fingered him for fun!
He just pulled a random name out of a hat, and it happened to be Dawson!
How convenient he's on trial for another, similar murder. Don't let
yourself be fooled by Mr. Dawson's conspiracy theory! It makes for a
wonderful movie plot, but it does not make a case in this courtroom! The
fact is, ladies and gentlemen, that it is Mr. Dawson who is running the
only conspiracy in this room - and that conspiracy to murder those that try
and stand up to him. That is what you must convict him for." Jack
continued to stand in front of them for a minute, then he made his way back
to his seat.
Trial Part 81, 2:23 p.m.
The jury filed back into the courtroom and the foreman handed the paper
with the verdict on it to the bailiff. Jack and Jamie, Jackson and Dawson
all watched the paper on its way to the judge, who glanced at the paper and
handed it back to the bailiff, and they watched it all the way back.
"Mr. Foreman, have you reached a verdict?" the judge asked.
"Yes, we have, your honor."
"Would the defendant please stand." Mr. Dawson slowly rose to his feet
along with his lawyer. "On the first count, murder in the first degree,
how do you find?"
The foreman began to read the paper he held. "We find the defendant, Jim
Arnold Dawson, guilty." There was an instant feeling of relaxation in the
courtroom. Dawson turned from the jury in shock. The second announcement
was merely a formality.
"On the second count, murder in the first degree, how do you find?"
"We find the defendant guilty."
Jack's shoulders dropped in an admitted relief. Jamie smiled and began to
stand. Then there was a shout from the other end of the courtroom. "How
can this have happened!? You, McCoy. . ." Dawson snapped.
McCoy turned to Dawson, standing slowly. "Mr. Dawson?"
"You did this to me! How dare you!"
"No, Mr. Dawson. You did this to yourself. Let's go." Jack turned away
from the steaming defendant. Dawson turned his eyes on Ross accusingly.
Jamie returned the look, then walked out of the courtroom calmly, leaving
Dawson to stew in his own anger.
* * *
On their way out of the courthouse, Ross suddenly piped up, "I'm your
assistant again, Jack."
Jack glanced at her. "I thought you would get back with your old Executive
ADA after this case."
Jamie smiled. "I checked with Adam, and I'm sticking with you. I forgot
how much fun prosecuting important cases could be."
"What about your daughter?"
"Let's just say I'll be prosecuting important cases part-time."
"Yeah. I'm sure. Thanks for working the case with me. You make a
wonderful second chair."
"You're welcome." The two attorneys continued down the marble steps.
District Attorney Adam Schiff's Office, 8:45 p.m.
Jack poured some light whiskey into his cup and said, "Dawson will be going
to jail for a long time unless he's executed. We've got the family of Mr.
Schleissmann coming up all the way from Germany to testify at the
Jamie nodded. "He's gonna be gone for a while. As for the governor, he's
pleading out of the bribery charges, but his political career is over."
McCoy shrugged. "Too bad we're not prosecuting the case."
Schiff glanced at McCoy. "I kept you off that case on purpose. You would
have prosecuted him from here to kingdom come."
"And I would've done a good job too." Jack grinned over his scotch. Adam
shook his head.
Ross frowned. "Jack, one thing about that case: what about Waters and
Smith? They're both getting off easy!"
At that Jack looked down. "We lost those guys to get Dawson," he
rationalized, but it wasn't very convincing.
Adam shook his head again. "You lost two hit men for a corrupt politician;
Dawson used them to save his butt." He rubbed his temples. "What a case."
Slowly he rose to his feet. "Coming?"
Jack and Jamie stood and followed their boss out the door.
* * *
Author's final notes: What did you think? Please, please review; reviews
are always good.
In case you are wondering why I inflicted this fic on you, it is because
Apochrypha - the current master of all L&O fics - did not accept it.
Looking back on it (it was written about 3 years ago), I am not surprised.
However, I thought I'd throw this piece out for all to criticize and
comment on as they please.
Yes, McCoy is my favorite character.
Yes, I dislike Abbie, or at least liked Jamie better.
Yes, I'm crazy.
No, I can't write a good conspiracy theory.
Thanks for reading anyway.