The Essence: Chapter 5: Shakedown to 1995

Updated: Nov 2, 2019


A man out of control and out of his mind, four men in fear of their lives with a job to do. A video camera to catch it all. A recipe for fear, a recipe for hate. Four on one isn't a fight though, it's a beating. They should have been above it, or maybe they thought they were above it. The four out of fear, had taken it too far, and had become what they had hated. Justice hadn't been swift enough though, and the streets had burned. Years later, and the culture war was on in Los Angeles. Maybe it had always been on. But not like this. The pale ones feasted.

Today was December 30, 1994. A month earlier a jury had been selected for the Juice trial. The streets had calmed a bit from the beating of 1991, but a month ago a jury had been selected for the Juice trial. The Juice trial was relighting the fuel. Tensions were high, like a flame on the rise. Anything thrown at it was fuel for the fire.

Tim was checking in to that fancy hotel downtown. Unlike the masses, his mind wasn't on the culture war taking place in the streets, or the Juice. His mind was on getting justice for Dr. Cain. He had a job to do, and had lots of questions for that coroner. There had been an autopsy done on Carol Cain, but no pictures of the body, no death certificate to be found. It had been ruled a homicide though. The whole thing smelled like a fish in the heat.

He had finally gotten that gym membership and was looking fit after two months of dedication. The beating he had gotten from those boys a few months ago was an inspiration. He had worked out like he was training for the fight of his life. He wanted answers, and he was going to get some answers, even if he had to be aggressive.


The hotel room was spacious, fit for a king, with leather furniture, modern art, and mirrors on the ceiling, just like in the song. The beds were long and the doorways were tall, he'd never seen anything like it before. It was like they were designed to accommodate a basketball star.

He made himself comfortable and flipped on the television. The news was the same old violence, same old depression. There had been a shooting at an abortion clinic and two women had been murdered. Disgusted, he changed the channel. The Lakers were playing the Suns. They were in a timeout discussing strategy. The faint music playing in the stadium, "Get Together" by the "Youngbloods." No opinions on the culture war, just good old fashion basketball game, and the Lakers were winning. "Come on people now... smile on your brother..." This was more like it.

A knock came at the door. He had a good idea who it would be. His date for tomorrow night, if he could really call her that. He hadn't really met her yet, maybe somewhere, but nothing that he had ever known of. It was more like a blind date. He was very curious as to what her connection to the case was. He looked through the peephole, and there she was, long brown hair, cute glasses, and thick lips. And those eyes. He thought she might be the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. He felt like he had known her before, like in a past life, yet he hadn't. Maybe he had when his soul was younger, or in a dream, like some kind of broken memory, that his mind couldn't quite grasp. It was some kind of deja vu. There was something magical about her presence.

"Are you going to let me in?" She said from the hall.

Does she know I'm watching her?

"I know you are there, I heard you walk up to the door."

He opened the door. "Hey, come on in... I'm Tim Gray."

"Gray huh? That's actually my favorite color. I'm Krissy. Nice to meet you." She then made her way inside, sat down on the leather couch and then pulled out some black and white photographs. "This is the coroner that supposedly did the fake ass autopsy for Carol Cain. Tomorrow night we are going to get close to him and get him to spill the beans. Capeesh?"

Tim nodded.

"Do you have a tape recorder?"

"Yes I do." Said Tim.

"Good because we need to get it all on tape." She then smiled the biggest smile Tim had ever seen. Her energy and light was very strong. He felt good just being in the same room as her. "We're going to pin this turd to the toilet seat and flush it all out of him."

Tim started laughing.

"You think I'm funny?" She said very seriously. "Like I'm here to entertain you?"

"Ah, no sorry." Tim crawled a little bit back into his shell, as he was very awkward around women. She was flirting with him though, and he hadn't the slightest clue.

"Tim! I'm just fucking with you bro."

He felt comfortable and at ease after that. No woman had ever called him bro before, but he liked it. She had a way of making him feel good just by looking at him. The light behind her eyes was heady. She had that energy about her, and he wanted to be in her presence forever.

"So what is it exactly you do for Mr. Shogun?"

"I don't know if I should tell you." She said a little embarrassed.

"Is it top secret... double top secret?" Tim asked with a smile.

"I guess I should tell you, since you are going to find out eventually anyway. I'm a psychic. I can feel things. I did a reading for Mr. Shogun a couple of months ago. Carol is still alive, I saw her, and her aurora is all over that murder."

"Really you're a psychic? If you're a psychic then what number am I thinking of right now?"

"Sixty-nine dude!" They both started to laugh loudly, the kind of laughs that are so hard that it hurts. "No Tim, that's not exactly how it works. I have to fast for days, sometimes weeks before I can get a vision."

"I want to believe, I really do." Said Tim. "How come you can't just get us a vision of where she is right now?"

"I'm working on it. A vision like that, I'd have to fast for like a month. I've only done that once and it almost killed me."

"Maybe you shouldn't do it then." The thought of her being hurt twisted at his insides. "We will find her eventually with good old fashioned police work. No need for you to do something that could harm you."

"No, I'm going to do it. I just have to train for it with smaller fasts first. Anywho, I'm in the room nextdoor if you need me homeslice. I'm really looking forward to our date tomorrow night handsome. 1995 is going to be a good year." She then blew him a kiss and left.

He immediately went into like a state of withdrawal when she left the room. She was so bubbly and he had never met anyone or anything like her before. He already missed her smell, and craved it like an obsession. How was this happening? He had just met her, and yet had never experienced these kinds of feeling towards anyone before. Not ever. She was so damn charming, and in every way.


New Year's Eve fell on a Saturday in 1994. The bar where the private party was, was on the roof of the hotel out in the open air, overlooking the city of Los Angeles. There was a heated pool that had people skinny dipping in it. There were canopies with waterbeds inside them. The bathrooms were unisex, which was something Tim had never seen before. Elites dressed to the nines, this was how they did New Year's. Tim was looking around soaking it all in; this was how some people lived.

"I'm gonna go get us some shots." Said Krissy. Tim gave her a look. "Just one to loosen up."

"Sure... it's New Year's, one won't hurt." Tim was mesmerized, he couldn't take his eyes off of her. He needed to focus on the plan, but she was not making it easy. She was wearing a tight black dress with a purse that matched. He regained his focus and started scanning the crowd, seeing if he could pick out the coroner from the photograph, but it was crowded. He was in a sea of tuxedos, it was like trying to find Waldo. He looked over by the restrooms and noticed a security guard who was also scanning the crowd. The guard had an earpiece in his ear and Tim swore for a moment his eyes had set off a spark of blue. Was he looking for me? For us? Tim turned back around and Krissy was there with the shots. He flinched a little as he was not expecting her back so soon.

"Did I scare you? Is it the dress? I never wear dresses."

"No." He laughed a little, at the absurdity of her statement. "You look good, and you know it."

"I got us some whiskey." She said as she handed him his shot and put her hand on his collar. "Damn you are looking good in this tux. Cheers!" They clinked their glasses, and downed the shots.

Tim blushed as he made a whiskey face, and gave pause for a moment. "I think we may have company."

"Where?" She asked.

"That security guard over by the restroom, but don't look."

She looked over anyway, and saw the guard. "Are you sure? How do you know?"

"Gut feeling... a strong gut feeling."

"I think you might be right I'm feeling something's off about him... oh shit."

"What... what is it?"

"There he is... the coroner. Don't look..." She winked. "He's in the line for the bathroom. Let's go get in line behind him. You can get him by surprise in there."

Tim couldn't help himself and looked over and spotted the coroner, he made sure not to make eye contact though. They headed over to the line of the restroom and got behind him.

Tim had never seen anything like this, much less experienced a unisex bathroom before.

"So how does this work? Do the guys just go right in front of all the women?"

"No silly, they're all stalls. We all just use the same sinks to wash up. Pretty cool huh?"

"Yeah I guess that works. Makes sense when you think about it."

They waited for a bit more, and as they got to the front of the line, they could see couples going into stalls together. Men and women, women and women, and sometimes men and men. Others were doing cocaine right out in the open in the washing area.

"You would never think that the richest people, would be into this kind of stuff." Tim whispered in Krissy's ear.

"Oh, you better believe it sweets." She whispered back. "When he gets into the stall, rush in there and corner him."

"Good plan."

Tim watched the coroner make his way into a stall, and at the last second he rushed in there behind him, then bolted the lock and cornered him.

"Hey..." Said the coroner. He was a small and timid man, trying to keep polite. "Sorry guy, but I don't swing that way. I'm straight."

"I'm not here for a love affair." Tim said firmly as he cornered him to the toilet. Tim had his recorder on too, taping it all from his inside pocket. "I'm here about Carol Cain. I know there was no autopsy and I want names asshole."

"Fuck that." Said the coroner. "If you don't get out of here I'm going to scream."

Tim opened up his coat, and pointed to the bulge that was his tape recorder. "See that? That's a gun asshole and if you don't start talking, I'm going to use it."

"Okay, okay..." He said timidly. He was a coward to the core and wanted this situation to be over. "Please don't shoot me, I'll tell you anything you want to know."

"Tell me about the autopsy."

"You're right there was no autopsy, there was no body, I never even saw a body."

"Who? Who made you say you did?"

"I'm not sure, I was told it was a CEO of a major health insurance group. The man that approached me was very pale, and he meant business. I could feel it, I felt like I was going to die if I didn't do it. He said I would be wired nine thousand dollars a month for life, so I could retire early and it would look like it was just a return, from an investment I made in the insurance group. He told me if I didn't do it I would be dead, and so would my whole family, my whole tree would be wiped from the earth." He was now trembling in fear. "I know it was wrong."

"What's the name of the insurance group?"

The coroner was too scared to say it out loud, so he leaned in and whispered it to Tim. "Please don't kill me."

Tim had him pinned down on the toilet seat now, and he couldn't help but think about Krissy's turd flushing comment from the night before. Had she already seen this in a vision? "I'm not going to kill you. I'm going to leave now and it would be best for you, if you don't make a scene about this."

The coroner was starting to have regrets. "No one is going to believe you. I will lie and say you made it up."

"Really?" Said Tim, as he pulled the tape recorder out of his inside pocket. The coroner flinched as he thought it was going to be a gun. "I've got it all on tape. Why don't you say hi to all the people that are never going to believe me."

When the coroner saw that it wasn't a gun, he immediately began to scream at the top of his lungs. "Help! Help!"

The security guard heard the screams from outside and came rushing in, as Tim made a beeline towards the washing area, where Krissy was waiting.

She approached him and gave him a big hug. "Did you get it sweets?" She whispered into his ear.


She then kissed him on the cheek and without him noticing, took the tape recorder out of his inside coat pocket and put it into her purse. "That's my boy."

"That's him over there!" Yelled the coroner.

Tim looked over his shoulder and saw the security guard rushing at him with blue eyes blazing. He came upon Tim quick and tackled him to the ground. He then zip tied Tim's hands together. Tim looked up and Krissy was nowhere to be found. He was glad that she had got out of there.

"He has a tape recorder." Said the Coroner. "He was pretending that it was a gun."

The security guard searched him but found nothing.

"Where is it?"

"I don't know what you're talking about." Said Tim.

The guard then conked him on the head and everything went black.


When Tim came to, he was in the back of a squad car. His immediate thoughts were about Krissy, he hoped she was safe. The police had him hogtied, with his arms cuffed to his ankles. Blue and red lights were flashing. He saw the coroner outside giving a police officer a statement. The police officer finished that up, then made his way back to the squad car and got inside.

"Well look here, sleeping beauty is awake." Said the police officer. "You're lucky I wasn't up there. I would have lit you up like a Christmas tree!"

"What's going? Who are you?" Asked Tim confused.

"I'm officer Gary Hatting. You've been arrested dipshit and on a variety of charges. That's what's going on. I know who you are Tim. You are that dipshit ex-sherif that fucked up the Cain investigation. The boss is going to love this." He then looked over his shoulder at Tim. Gary Hatting was a full fledged pale one just like Richard Labble. Paranoia began to set in. "We've been after you Tim Gray, and now we have you." He flipped on the sirens and began to accelerate. "Let's see how fast this baby can go!"

They were almost up to one hundred miles per hour, going through every stoplight, nearly other missing cars that were passing through the intersections. Tim who was without a seatbelt in the backseat, smacked from side to side with each lane change.

"What do you say Timmy? How about we just keep going till something stops us? Maybe a car, maybe a building? It will be fun to watch you fly out the window, to your dead, dead, death! Or maybe we fly off a cliff? My kind will surely live through it, your kind not so much." He then hissed at him. "Maybe we fly off road and into a river? What do you think Tim? Will you float, or will you drown? I think you will drown!" Tim then passed out, as the feeding was too much.


When he came to this time, he was at the L.A. County Jail, handcuffed to a bench. He wasn't sure how he lived through what had happened, he was alive though. The stench of sour whiskey came from his tuxedo which was soaked in vomit.

"Well, look who survived the feeding." Said the pale one, Gary Hatting. "Boss man wants you alive... you know... the one we call Richard Labble. He doesn't want your blood on our hands, he wants you to go down in prison like Mandela. You will surely be murdered tonight."

A Sheriff from the county jail came over to take Tim into custody. "What'd he do?"

"He's a special one." Said Gary Hatting, with his skin so pale and dry, like a cracker without the soup. "Boss man wants him celled up with Billy Bob."

"Billy Bob is off limits, no cell mates. Besides he's expected to be in federal custody soon."

Gary Hatting then hissed at him. "It's a holiday weekend, so I don't expect Billy Bob will be going anywhere till Monday. You will do as told."

The Sheriff then seemed to be in a trance, which was an easy trick done to men with hate in their heart. "I will do as I'm told."

"And expedite the process."


The L.A. County Jail was a who's who of criminals. From the lowly drug addict on a two day stay to the most hardened criminals awaiting trial for rape or murder. Even the Juice was there at this exact moment awaiting trial for double homicide.

Tim's processing was expedited as ordered. All of his belongings were taken from him. He was stripped out of his tuxedo, and had every crevice of his body searched, including those that were uncomfortable. Then he was given a blue jumpsuit and told to put it on.

"You must have really pissed someone off, to get celled up with Billy Bob."

"Who's Billy Bob?" Asked Tim.

"You'll soon find out. He's a white nationalist. Killed four federal agents during a no knock raid. Bare handed against four armed men. Rumor has it, he bit out one of their throats and drank the blood. He's awaiting transport to a federal institution, where he will be executed. Ah here we are"

They approached the cell, and there he was, standing with his back to the bars. He turned around to have a look at his visitors. Billy was a monster of a man standing nearly seven feet tall. He was bulky and muscular, a man with too much time on his hands, defined at every inch. The sides of his head were shaved down to the skin, with just a little bit of hair on top. He had a fat red swastika tattooed on the side of his right cheek, which crinkled as he eyeballed Tim up and down, in an intimidating fashion.

"I didn't think I would be getting a cellmate." Said Billy Bob. "Looks like Christmas came a little late... better late than never."

There's always that nagging thought. Sure it disappears from time to time, especially when consumed with a passion. But it always comes back around again. What will my last moment on earth be like? Tim was starting to think about that, and if this would be his last moment. Was it worth it? He then thought of Krissy, and the light behind her eyes. Totally worth it.

The bars slammed behind him.

"Your not a cop are you?"

"N-no." Said Tim.

"Good, now don't be scared. First off I'm not going to rape you."

Tim was relieved.

"First I'm going to murder you... then I'm going to rape you!"

Tim groveled, as he tried to back away, but there wasn't anywhere to go.

Billy Bob came in close, but slowly, like he wanted to romance him a little before he roughed him up. Tim's back hit the wall. There was nowhere to go and Billy grabbed him by the collar.

"Are you hard? I'm hard!" He leaned in close and began to sing softly into Tim's ear. Slowly and deep. "Close your eyes and I'll kiss you... tomorrow I'll miss you."

Tim tried to escape into his mind, and pretend he was someone else, that he wasn't himself. That he was someone else watching from afar. He focused on the bars, and that's when he noticed someone was standing outside the cell. Shined shoes, pressed slacks, a belt buckle shaped like a pyramid, with an eye in the middle. There were two more uniformed men standing beside him.

"Let him go Billy." Said the man.

"Who the fuck are you?" Asked Billy Bob.

Tim knew who it was. It was the man from the lodge.

"I'm here with the US Marshals to transport your ass to Club Fed. I got a bag full of cheeseburgers too. From Mickey D's, your favorite. It'd be a shame if I had to throw them away."

Billy Bob released his grasp from Tim. "Yeah, what's the catch?"

"No catch. You just have to make nice, and not harm that man, hell I'll even cuff you from the front so you can eat in style and enjoy the flight. That or we do you up like 'Silence of the Lambs' and the cheeseburgers go in the garbage. Either way, it's all the same to me."

Billy Bob nodded. "I'll take the cheeseburgers."

"Good call Billy. Now walk toward the bars so we can cuff you."

Billy Bob complied.

"You know, these cages won't hold me forever" He said as they slapped the cuffs on him from the hole inside the bars.

"You're a lovely man Mr. Bob." Said the man from the lodge sarcastically. "I plan to be there for your last supper. I'll bring the cheeseburgers, you bring your last breath."

Billy Bob then left with the two marshals. The cell was open and it was just Tim an the man from the lodge. He tossed Tim his wallet.

"Come on let's get out of here."

"But how?" Asked Tim.

"You want to stay?"


"Didn't think so. I told you the lodge would help you when we can. We got the tape from Krissy. She's worried about you. It won't be allowed in court, but it was enough to get a secret warrant. Start looking at some financial records, find out more about this health insurance group. Best we let him feel safe till find out more about this CEO. Some big heads are gonna roll. You did good."

They were walking down the corridor, when they were stopped by a deputy. "Where are you going with that inmate?"

"He's coming with me into my custody. He's an informant."

"No, that's not going to fly. I have strict orders." Said the deputy.

"Fuck your orders." Said the man from the lodge. "This is a matter of national security. Signed off by the POTUS himself." He then showed him a stack of papers. "Not only is he coming with me, but we were never here. Got it... Good. Now kindly fuck off."


They made their way outside of the county jail, it was dark out and the stars were out. Freedom and fresh air, it was almost the best feeling in the world.

"What about my clothes, my tux?" Asked Tim.

"You want to go back in and get them? Probably take them about an hour to find them." Said the man from the lodge.

"Uh, no."

"That's what I was thinking, probably best you eat it. Have a good evening Mr. Gray. I've got a plane to catch."

"How will I get home?"

The man from the lodge pointed for Tim to look behind himself, and there she was. Sitting in the driver seat of a white 1993, Mustang 5.0 convertible. She straightened her glasses to get a better look at him. It was a flirtatious look that said, I own you.

Tim turned back around to say goodbye to the man from the lodge, but he was already gone. He turned around again and got into the car with Krissy.

"Hey... need a ride jailbird?"

"I'm so glad to see you."

"You didn't drop the soap, did you?" She asked with a smile.

"No, but damn, I'm just glad you're here, that I'm here."

She looked over to the clock on her dashboard, it was 12am on the dot. "Well looky here... it's midnight."

"Happy New Year." Said Tim.

"Shut up and kiss me handsome." She grabbed him by his blue jumpsuit and pulled him in close. They embraced, mouth to mouth, in a long and passionate kiss."I like you! Happy 1995!"

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