Day 5 cont’d.
By the time Rob got off the highway and stopped at a filling station, Jodie was soaking wet.
“Sorry, Jodie. I didn’t dare stop. I’ve got a track suit behind your seat, go on in and change.”
“And why did you tell me your FBI guy said to go to the capital. We were in the capital and we left it.”
“I was rattled. Meant to say the state police barracks.”
“Glad to see someone else was scared. Damn, it stinks in here.”
Jodie fled toward the station while Rob cleaned up the truck with his old gym clothes as well as he could. He was glad it wasn’t his own car.
Three huge black SUVs dwarfed his truck. After a few minutes the state police deputies left their vehicles and stood off to one side talking on cell phones and to one another. Rob glanced at them and they glanced or pointed at him but they didn’t approach.
When Jodie came back he let her sit in the driver’s seat and he approached the deputies. “Hey guys. Where should we go? Michael Sharpe told me to follow you into town.”
“We have transportation coming for you. It’ll be here in ten minutes. Just sit tight.” The deputy didn’t identify himself and barked his words at Rob.
“But what about the truck?”
Another deputy scolded, “Don’t worry about the damn truck!”
So they waited. Another huge black SUV drove up with two deputies. One got out and directed Jodie to a seat behind the driver and Rob to a seat in the back. They didn’t say a word.
Jodie tried to talk to them but they didn’t respond. She turned to Rob and whispered, “I feel like I’ve been caught spying in some foreign country. What’s their problem?”
The driver glanced in the rearview mirror. “Don’t talk. Our orders are that we don’t talk and you don’t talk.”
Jodie shrugged. Rob was confused.
Things didn’t improve when they reached the state police barracks. Two deputies led Jodie in one direction and two others led Rob to an interview room.
Rob could smell sweat in the room. The florescent lights hummed and flickered. The furniture was simple: 4 old metal chairs with no cushions, a metal table with scarred Formica top, and a metal wastebasket. No windows. No clocks. No art on the wall.
Jesus, don’t they know I’m one of the good guys?
After more than an hour, two grey-suited men came in. One dragged a chair into a far corner, the other sat opposite Rob at the table. “I’m agent Jones, FBI. Like to review some information with you.”
Jones ran through the information Rob had given Sharpe about the discs he’d collected.
“Do you know this Tom Thibodeau?”
“I arrested him Tuesday during a john sting.”
“And you didn’t know him before that?”
“No. At least I don’t think so. He lives in my hometown and I’ve lived there all the time except for college. So I may have seen him or met him and don’t remember. But he didn’t seem familiar when I arrested him.”
“We don’t have a record of the arrest.”
“I know. I was surprised but figured he had a good lawyer.”
“You know more than you’re telling me.” Jones had kept his face neutral up until then, now he scowled.
“He may have bribed someone.”
“And….?” Jones stood. “Are you trying to protect yourself or someone else?”
“Okay. Detective Fry gave me an envelope, said it was a bonus. It wasn’t until I saw in the paper the next day that Thibodeau hadn’t been arrested that I figured it was probably part of a bribe. But I didn’t know what to do. It’s my first week in vice… I don’t know who to trust.”
Jones smiled. Rob couldn’t tell if the smile was real. “There. That wasn’t so hard was it?”
Rob didn’t answer. “So what’s happening about the discs and everything?”
“Can’t say. The state is going to keep you here tonight and we’ll take you back to court in the morning.”
“Court? What for?”
“Can’t say. A young fellow will come and take you to a holding room. Don’t worry…it’s like any old motel room. Even has a mini fridge with beer, wine and nibbles. And a flat screen TV with good cable. Someone will call and take your supper order.” Jones left.
Rob put his head down on the table and tried to stop the questions scribbling all over his mind.