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 Category:  Mystery and Crime Fiction
  Posted: May 24, 2014      Views: 572
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Chapter 36 of the book The Bard of Bel Air
The exchange is attempted and it all breaks loose!
"Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" by michaelcahill

Treason. Murder that isn't. Crazy people that might not be. A homeless veteran that spouts poetry. A great cast of players with billions of dollars to pursue!

The various players began arriving at San Pedro Harbor for the exchange. Winston's paranoia had turned out to have some merit as Doctor Khin indeed had plans to double cross him with the Chinese. Winston had plans to double cross the good doctor himself. Tenaya and the Bard were already in place when Winston and Khin arrivend accompanied by Lucy and Ruby. Two other vehicles with Winston's men arrived as well. We join the story now as the exchange is about to be made.

Winston and his party began gathering up their things and heading towards the freighter "Ming". It was large even for a freighter. There where at least a hundred Ford Escorts on deck and uncountable crates of undetermined goods. The parties involved slowly made their way to the gangplank where the exchange was to take place.
Khin suddenly was smiling as though greeting old friends. He waved and said, "Hey, Johnny. Good to see you". Then he spoke Chinese to them.
Ruby grabbed Lucy's arm and pulled her close. "We're made. He said take out the cops too".
Lucy reached up and grabbed her hat and suddenly everything went into slow motion from her perspective. She threw her hat towards the water. It spun like a Frisbee. A small facemask slipped out and slowly dropped to the ground about five feet away. It was a make-you-feel-better preventative tool in case any of the biological substance were to escape by accident. Her left hand reached into her jacket and pulled out her 38, which she pointed at Winston.
Winston had already reached in his jacket for a syringe and it was loaded and on its way to Dr. Khin's right shoulder blade.
Dr. Khin still smiled, but his eyes were turning in Winston's direction and taking in the sight of Winston's hand holding the syringe. His arm began to raise, but it was not in time. The syringe pierced the biceps that Khin had turned towards it and Winston pushed the plunger delivering the deadly payload inside.
Winston's smile turned to a grimace as a bullet tore through his left side grazing his ribs. He crumpled to the ground.
Lucy dropped to a crouching position to return fire and watched both of her targets collapse in a heap before she could fire. She felt a hard blow to her back and tumbled forward.
Tenaya and the Bard had taken off with weapons drawn in full sprint as soon as they saw Lucy's hat in the air. It wasn't a planned signal, but they got the idea.
One of the Chinese, a large man, had a knife drawn and prepared to deliver a strike to Lucy who was struggling to regain her footing. Ruby reached into the picnic basket she had sat on the ground and pulled out a hot dog. She let the bun fall to the ground and put the wiener to the neck of the man with the knife. He froze in place.
Everyone on the dock froze as the significance of the situation became clear. The deadly biological toxin was hidden inside the hotdog.
The Bard found it highly amusing. "Studies say that the nitrates in those things will kill you. Ohhhhh, I'm glad I'm not an Oscar Meyer Wiener… EVERYBODY! That is … what the hell is wrong with you people? That was the day that earth lost its sense of humor. Eich Bein Ein… well, you get the idea".
The knife dropped to the ground. Lucy picked it up and rose to her feet. Khin twitched on the ground as the poison took rapid effect. He reached in his vest pocket, pulled a small pistol out, and aimed it at Lucy. The Bard was the only one looking. He jumped in front of Lucy just as a shot rang out. It struck the Bard in the top of the head and spun him around and to the ground where he lay unmoving. Khin looked satisfied as he breathed his last breath.
The rest of the DEA agents and assigned officers and military personnel were already in action rounding up the rest of the parties involved. The paramedics were on standby and tending to the Bard within two minutes of the shooting. His head was covered in blood and he wasn't moving. He had steady vital signs and was on a stretcher in an ambulance and on his way to USC Medical Center five minutes after the shooting.
Winston's wound was not fatal and he followed close behind on his way to the same facility.
Ruby and Tenaya piled into Tenaya's car and headed to the hospital. Lucy insisted on riding along with the Bard. Ruby called and reassured her mom and filed Harpster and Q in on the events on the dock. Chief Sandoval had been returned to custody and the compound had been searched and taken over at the same time the business at the dock went down.
The only casualty had been Doctor Khin, killed with his own nasty weapon. The Bard's condition remained to be seen.
"I'm here with you. You're in the ambulance. You hold on dammit. We're almost there. You're going to be fine". Lucy realized the depth of her feelings riding along in that ambulance. The Bard hadn't regained consciousness or moved a muscle since the shooting. His vitals were steady but they were slowly dropping as the blood continued to flow from the terrible wound. "Why? Why did you do that, dammit? You really took a bullet for me. You saved my life. Don't you die on me now. I have a lot of pay back in store for you".
The ambulance pulled up to the emergency room doors and Lucy was brushed aside as the hospital staff rushed the Bard inside. She was escorted to the waiting room where Ruby and Tenaya already waited. There wasn't anything to say. The mood couldn't be more somber.
Everything had gone perfectly. Even what went wrong somehow went right. But, the man of the hour clung to life not more than fifty-feet away. Sgt. Slater, American hero. The Bard, homeless man that wandered the streets of Bel Air and somehow made a difference. He had sacrificed so much and never asked for a thing in return. The last thing he did was right in line with his character. He took a bullet for his woman.
Lucy sat there inconsolable. Tenaya had never seen her partner and best friend in this state before. "All we can do now is wait, Lucy. It's out of our hands. Damn it. You love that crazy fool, don't you?"
"Yep. I don't know what the hell is wrong with me. I must be as crazy as he is. There is such a soul inside of that crazy package. I can't resist it." Lucy realized now what she had suspected for a long time. She loved him. The how and why didn't matter. It never does when the heart decides. Logic and sense, well that is for the brain, the thinking part of a human. Love doesn't concern itself with that, not real love.
The news didn't look good as the doctor slowly walked towards them. They collectively braced for the worst news. Tenaya put her arm around Lucy ready to support her. All eyes were on the doctor who all too closely resembled the angel of death.
"Well, we managed to stop the bleeding. He is alive. But, I am afraid the brain sustained extensive damage due to oxygen deprivation. He has some abilities that might improve with therapy. He seems to be able to see some light. He says he sees diamonds sparkling everywhere. But, he's basically incoherent. He doesn't even know who he is. I asked him his name and he said he was the Bard of Bel Air… and then he…"
Lucy broke from Tenaya's grasp and ran down the hall towards the Bard's room. The doctor looked on in shock as Ruby jumped up on top of the table and sang, "There he was just a walkin' down the street singin… " It wasn't long before people driving by USC County General would swear they heard "Do Wah Diddy" being sung by everyone in it.

The epilogue of this book is also the prologue of the sequel, Bel Air: A Bard's Guide.


Author Notes
Okay! Now what? I obviously have a lot that needs to be written about. But, I wrote this like an ending. Should I just keep going and try to match this semi-ending? Go right to part two even though all of the questions would be from part one? Well, I guess I'll keep going unless someone has a good idea! Hahaha. The story just went this way. I know... I wrote it!! There's always editing. Don't be shy about suggestions, as you can see, I need them! Okay, this has to be the end. I'll write a sequel!! Thanks to all for their help. Mikey


Johnathon Blackwell Senior-Harpster, deceased former owner of a music conglomerate.

Johnathon Blackwell Junior- Senior's son and heir apparent to the family fortune.

Lilith Blackwell- Widow of Blackwell Senior and claimant to the estate.

The Bard-Stewart Slater, homeless, writer, musician, mentally ill. witness to the death of Harpster amongst other things.

Detective Tenaya Adrian- lead is there is a murder to investigate.

Detective Lucy Smaldino, Tenaya's partner

Lincoln- The Blackwell family butler.

Ruby Dancer- singer and Daughter of Harpster though she doesn't know anything about it.

Diamond Dancer- mother of Ruby and former mistress of Harpster. Refuses to tell Ruby anything about her father.

Dr. Khin- The Blackwell personal family physcian

"Q & A"-- Q Aubrey Langstan--"Q" The Blackwell family attorney.

Daniel- Blackwell Senior's Deaf brother.

Esmeralda "Emma" Blackwell- Blackwell Seniors Mother

Winston- Blackwell Senior's son. War hero turned mercenary. Kidnaped father and the Bard.

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