[First post of lost pictures. I used what I had.]
Flynn’s smuggling operation had a series of high-profile busts. Valuable contraband was confiscated. Smugglers went to jail. Flynn’s name turned up in interrogation after interrogation, but there was never enough evidence to indict.
Police Chief William Pierce’s stern, unsmiling picture was on the front page of the paper almost every day.
Flynn began mole-hunting. Minion after minion was called into his office for a “private interview.” Everyone left addled and unnerved, but Flynn took action against no one.
Forest entered his interview with almost too much confidence. Flynn sat him down and questioned him. Forest could feel the feathers of Flynn’s supernatural probing on the edges of his mind. But, as expected, Flynn found nothing. Forest was a good minion, after all. Flynn had already bound his obedience with blood.
Cops were really putting a squeeze on operations. Flynn ordered everyone to lie low for a while. Smuggling operations were to be placed on full stop. Nobody show up to work, everyone focus on being as normal as possible.
The very evening Flynn handed out those instructions, there was a full-scale raid on the Hideout.
Minions stepped out of Flynn’s offices in the graveyard catacombs straight into the arms of waiting police officers. Dozens were cuffed and taken in for questioning. Most were released. Several disappeared immediately afterward — the police might not have been able to make a charge stick, but they were certainly frightening enough to send the more timid minions packing their bags with plans to find legal employment elsewhere.
Forest was part of the haul.
He walked calmly into the cacophony. He didn’t resist when cops grabbed him, cuffed him, and shoved him into the back of a patrol car. What was the point in fighting anyway? It would just give the cops more grounds to indict him.
Everyone in the operation knew Forest was not to be trifled with. The crowd of nervous minions in the holding cell made way for him. He sat down on the most comfortable bench to wait.
About half an hour later, a uniformed cop unlocked the cell. “Forest Sample,” she said. “Chief wants to talk to you personally.”
Forest stood up. The harsh lights reflected off his glasses, making his face even more unreadable. He followed the cop out of the cell.
Chief Pierce’s office was dimly lit as always. Pierce looked up from his desk as Forest was escorted in. He silently looked Forest over as he waved the cop out of the room.
“I trust your ride wasn’t too uncomfortable,” Pierce said. “Please, take a seat. I took the liberty of setting up the chess board. It’s your move.”
Forest chuckled dryly. “Avalon police accommodations are first class,” he said. “At least I didn’t have to eat anything.” He slid into a cushioned seat in front of the chess table, which was laid out with the current game he and Pierce were playing. He scanned the board to take in Pierce’s most recent move. “Oh, that was clever.”
“Check,” Pierce said smugly as he stood up. “But I don’t think mate just yet.”
Forest nodded. “Not just yet.” He picked up one of Pierce’s rooks and replaced it with his knight. “But I think we are due to review our agreement.”
“Hmmmm?” Pierce took the seat across from Forest and saw what he had done. “Dammit. I guess I couldn’t keep that piece forever.” He slid a bishop across the board.
“I paid you the fee we agreed on,” Forest said. “Now you owe me.”
Pierce looked up and stared intently at Forest. His eyes were luminescent in the dim light. Forest didn’t flinch. He was used to it.
Then the police chief grinned broadly, the dangerous primal grin he would never show to the newspaper photographers. His long, sharp canines glinted. “All right then. This is your last chance to bail out.”
Forest advanced his knight again. “Check,” he said, “and, I think, mate.”
Pierce looked over the board and grunted. “You got me again,” he said. “I guess that just seals the deal.” He stood up. “Do you have someplace in mind?”
Forest also rose. Wordlessly, not trusting himself to speak, he took off his jacket and rolled up his sleeve. He offered his arm, palm up, to Pierce.
Pierce nodded. “You’ll want to brace yourself. This,” he said with a wicked smile, “is really going to hurt.” He took Forest’s arm in both hands, bared his teeth in an animal snarl, and sank them into the flesh of Forest’s wrist.
Forest gasped. Red and black fluttered across his vision. He felt himself falling into a dark pit. Falling… falling… until his knees gave out, and he collapsed to the floor of Pierce’s office.
Somehow I failed to get it in the narrative, but Pierce has been using his vampire wiles to give Forest limited protection from Flynn. That’s how Forest has been able to feed information to Pierce at all as well as why Flynn hasn’t detected it. Basically, Forest can’t exactly fight for himself, so he’s made himself a double-agent minion for one vampire against the other. For a price.
Sadly, all the pictures of Forest meeting with Pierce are gone. Too bad because William Pierce/Buffy’s Spike is always nice to look at. Even the blue-skinned version in Avalon.
I had a little interlude in mind where Pierce talks about his choice to go into law enforcement, plus being married (actually engaged — they never did get married) to a vampire slayer. But I have no pictures for that stuff, and it’s time to move along. I do find it entertaining that StoryProgression made Spike a cop. Talk about a corruptible cop.