The Alibi (A John Chance Mystery) – Chapter 6

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The Alibi – Chapter 6

Cranston stopped at the doors to the precinct’s central office when he saw John Rhinehold kneeling beside his desk. Too-thin, too-young, and with a dark black beard and thick brown hair tied in a ponytail half way down his back, Rhinehold was the latest edition to the BPD’s undercover cybersecurity squad. He reached for the screen on Cranston’s desk and pulled his hand back quickly as if shocked.

Cranston frowned and focused on his mobile. He TXTed back Leddy “K U?”

The precinct’s wall mounted blues flashed ON-ON-off ON-ON-off. Chairs screeched across the hardwood floor.

Leddy TXTed “C THIS?” and Cranston’s attention returned to his phone. Leddy sent her video through. “SIMON GOT IT ALL!”

SIMON. Situational Intelligent MONitor. Leddy’s MIT-Harvard sponsored drone. She had it working? He needed to pay more attention during dinners.

Its cameras moved through hazy clouds flecked with ash. He wasn’t sure what he was seeing until the drone cleared the clouds. It flew just above street level and revealed the clouds as billowing smoke.


“BPL Johnson w Pen.”

Cranston’s jaw tightened briefly. He didn’t like to interfere in Leddy’s friendships. Getting into that special high school MIT-Harvard thing really made her blossom. She hadn’t been able to focus on anything since her mother passed five years back. Cranston knew his daughter was special, used his connections to get her time with top grief counselors and therapists, but it wasn’t until Penny Lane and through her father, Briggs, that Leddy got into the program.

She didn’t make the cut but Briggs put forward the money, sponsored her, convinced MIT-Harvard to make room.

Cranston met the man once. Briggs arranged the meeting at his top floor, corner office in one of Boston’s largest law firms. They smiled at each other and sized each other up, one a professional skeptic the other a professional SOB in a three piece, bespoked suit.

When Cranston asked questions, Briggs Lane explained Leddy’s inquisitive mind was too good not to be nurtured, given a chance to thrive.

Cranston shook his hand, thanked him, and told Leddy to make sure she let him know whenever she saw Lane, whenever she was about to see Lane, and everything that happened when Briggs and her had their biweekly lunch meetings.

Penny Lane shadowed her father’s footsteps; suck whatever you can out of people then cast them aside and always do it with a winning smile.

Cranston wondered if Penny, like her father, would acquire a deep knowledge of the law and maintain deep enough pockets to enure her from anybody saying otherwise.

But that was just Cranston’s opinion. Leddy didn’t see it that way and Cranston wanted her to learn the world which meant two things; protecting her from it as little as possible and being there when she learned what the real world was like.

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