Mortal Allies

Free Mortal Allies by Brian Haig

Book: Mortal Allies by Brian Haig Read Free Book Online
Authors: Brian Haig
well . . . grumpy. Not that I understood the first thing about gay relationships, but what the hell did they see in each other?
    Anyway, I said, “I wouldn’t worry about it.”
    “Why?” Katherine asked. “Do you think we scared them out of it?”
    “I think they’re on the phone to D.C. right now. They’re both pissing in their trousers. Brandewaite’s the ambitious type who’d like to be a real ambassador or an assistant muckety-muck someday. And that big-lipped colonel has dreams of general’s stars. The kind of public recognition you just offered isn’t likely to further their careers any.”
    “Turn up the heat then,” Katherine snapped. “Allie, call Carson from the
Times
, and Millgrew from the
Post
. Tell them I want to meet right away.”
    Allie took a step toward her office before I quickly said, “I wouldn’t do that.”
    “And why not?”
    “Because you don’t want to set a precedent of running to the press every time you don’t get your way.”
    “Bullshit,” tiny Maria said. “You just don’t get it, do you?”
    “Get what?” I asked derisively.
    “The press is our best weapon. The system’s against us, and using the press is the only way we can level the playing field.”
    “Look,” I said, as condescendingly as I could. “I know you all have this thing against the military, but I don’t. It happens to be where I make my living. The Army’s not perfect, but it’s a damned sight better than you give it credit for.”
    Katherine and her coterie all did hairy eye-rolls for a brief second.
    “Drummond,” Katherine said, like she was talking to somebody who’d just said something a few leagues below stupid. “You’re the one who doesn’t get it. You come from the other side of the line. You have no idea how your side plays.”
    “Wrong. I’m from the other side. I know exactly how we play.”
    Katherine started to say something and I cut her off. “Besides, like my mother always says, a good threat’s like a good steak: Let it marinate awhile. Give ’em three hours; then feel free to start babbling with your buddies in the fourth estate.”
    Katherine, Allie, Keith, and Maria all huddled together in a corner and began discussing it. I clearly was not welcome. I clearly was not part of the team. It took nearly two minutes before they reached some sort of consensus and Katherine walked back in my direction.
    “All right, we’ll wait,” she said. “In the meanwhile, it’s time for you to meet our client.”
    Like I couldn’t guess what was behind this. She and the others thought I was finding it too effortless to barter our client’s fate, since I’d never met him and therefore hadn’t developed the sympathetic bond that often forms between an attorney and his customer. In their view, this whole thing was too impersonal for me.
    They were making a big blunder, though. The truth is, I was probably more lenient on his behalf
because
I hadn’t met him. Given the crimes he was accused of, I dreaded how partial I’d be if I met him and became completely persuaded he’d actually done it.
    But anyhow, there was no way I could turn them down, so I followed along behind Katherine and Maria as they walked out the door and climbed into one of the sedans Imelda, the traitor, had commandeered.
    It took only ten minutes to reach the holding facility on base, an old, drab, one-floored building constructed of concrete blocks, very small, with your standard-issue black metal mesh on the windows. An Army captain with military police brass came into the front office and escorted us past a heavy iron door, then down a short hallway with about six cells on each side. Like most military facilities, the place was spotlessly clean. It reeked of disinfectant, but also cooked bacon. The captain informed us the prisoners had just finished lunch. It was BLT day.
    We went down to the end and stopped in front of the last cell on the right. The door was made of steel, and the captain

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