Protocol Six: Episode Six
by Alan Augustson
03 March 2017

“You find Michael; I’ll call the police,” Lorelei called as they pulled up to the theater. They separated and David found the stage entrance. Michael’s troupe was going through an improv exercise before a sparse but receptive crowd, and David flailed to catch his friend’s eye from the wings.

“Hey, you made it!” Michael beamed. “I was sure–”

“Michael, you’ve been burglarized. The place is a wreck.”

“Shit!”

“I’m sorry, man,” David offered. “I tried to call but your line’s cut.”

“Shhhhh-itttttt…”

By the time they arrived back at his apartment, police were already on-scene. Michael flagged down the sergeant. “Hello? I’m Michael Downs? This is my apartment. Thanks for getting here so quickly.”

“We try, sir,” she said. “Were you the one who discovered the break-in?”

David raised a hand. “That would be me. Dave Solomon.”

The sergeant seemed startled. “Wait, David Solomon? Forty-two-twenty-six West Washington?”

“Yes, ma’am,” he answered, a bit startled himself. “Or that was my address til today.”

“Mr. Solomon, we just came from your place; there was a break-in there as well.”

“Christ!”

“Sir,” she asked with a slight tilt of the head, “can anyone vouch for your whereabouts at about six this evening?”

David nodded. “Sure, about twenty people can. I was giving a lecture at the University.”

“I see. Well, sir, about six-fifteen we received a report of glass breaking from your former neighbors. We arrived to find the place was completely cleaned out.”

“There wasn’t anything to take; I finished moving out just this morning,” David said, then added with a little annoyance, “Could we get back to this incident for the moment?”

“Yes, thank you,” smirked Michael. “How bad is it?”

“Well,” she answered, “it’s odd. There’s a lot of expensive stuff in there that didn’t get touched. Large-screen TV, computer, audio equipment, et cetera. We won’t know for sure until we do a walk-through with you, but it’s looking for now like they were after something very specific.”

David came in, “Do you suspect any relationship between the two break-ins?”

“We’ll know more when the techs finish up. I can tell you that there wasn’t a single useful print found at your old place. So, Mr. Solomon, for now, you are the ‘relationship’ between the two scenes.”

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Social scientist, public policy analyst, emergency management consultant and author. U.S. Marine Corps veteran and former firefighter. Former candidate for U.S. Congress.

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