Horse Sense

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Horse Sense

Postby jwhouk » Mon Sep 05, 2016 6:38 pm

A little story that may or may not have been inspired by a bit-player in the original Centurion stories... and some personal experience. Enjoy!

---

"You've got an OJT staff with you tonight," Clarkson told me as he handed me my body camera in the foyer of the gatehouse.

"Oh, wonderful," I commented. I switched out the regular clip for the camera for a Z-clip – one that would slip easier into the button-down part of my polo shirt. "Just out of the Academy?"

Max nodded. "They only had three of them come up after this last group. They're doing shadowing on third this week."

I twirled my index finger in a somewhat mock indication of celebration. When your workplace has a vacancy rate of about one out of every five assigned positions, three new people don't really give you a warm, fuzzy feeling.

Despite getting a semi-promotion and additional duties as the MIB-DJC liaison at LHS, things hadn't improved much over the ensuing months since The Pillsbury Incident. In fact, things had gotten worse: the Wisconsin DOJ and FBI had done investigations into allegations of abuse in the facility, which resulted in the dismissal or "early retirement" of over a dozen staff – and our superintendent. I was cleared of any wrongdoing, but the number of staff leaving the institution on a regular basis was getting to be ridiculous.

As for new staff – well, they weren't trickling in fast enough, and the quality left much to be desired. It had gotten so bad that they'd actually begged agent Suzi McBride to come work for us, after she'd visited me one night regarding a mistaken juvenile para placement. She declined – but not until after she'd thought about it for a moment.

And, after I gave her the death stare.

I got up to the cottage, where the regular staff, Jayson Walabe and Matt Phelps, were waiting.

"Wait 'til you get a load of this new guy," Jayson told me as I entered the booth. "I think the guy was a farmer or something before he came here."

"That's not new," I replied. "Creske still is one."

"Yeah, but… well, you'll find out. See ya," he waved as he headed out. Just then, Matt emerged from the bathroom.

"Hey, quiet night, good luck with the new guy," he said, seemingly making the same rush out the door - but not before pointing that this new guy had emerged from the social worker's office where we kept our staff fridge.

The first thing I noticed about the man was his size. I mean, SIZE. Now, granted, I'm not all that tall, but this guy was a solid 6'10" and built like a linebacker. His shirt looked like he wore a quadruple-XL, and the pants… I'm not quite sure what size they were, but the effect was such that you thought a black hole was moving toward you.

He smiled at me, a toothy smile that contrasted his light-brown complexion – which was somewhat mismatched by a head of brown, sandy hair.

"Hey, you must be YC Houk," he said, seemingly taking only a few strides to go from the lower dayroom, up the three steps and the six yards over to the entrance to the booth. "I'm Dustin Alexander." He offered his hand, which I shook – noticing the sheer size of his palm in mine.

"Nice to meet you," I replied. "Uh, I need to go take count…"

And it suddenly hit me.

"Did you say Alexander?"

"Uh, yes," he looked at me with an unsure glance.

"No relation to the Alexander Harvester family?"

He hesitated. In that moment, I noticed that his forehead was sloped a bit, leading to his pronounced nose. And, I also noticed that his ear twitched.

"No, wrong family," he replied finally. "You said you needed to go take count?"
"Character is what you are in the dark." - D.L. Moody
"You should never run from the voices in your head. That's how you give them power." - Jin
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Re: Horse Sense

Postby jwhouk » Mon Sep 05, 2016 6:41 pm

---

Things went by rather quickly. I went over some of the things we do at the start of the shift – count, food order, testing alarms and such – and went through the post orders for third shift.

I also couldn't help but noticing that this guy was built like a brick wall.

I decided to ask a bit about where he was from.

"Oh, I'm from Cadott, over near Chippewa Falls," he explained "Lived there for pretty much my entire life. Graduated from Eau Claire in May, decided to apply as a CO, and I went off to the Academy."

"Nearly two months in the Academy?" I asked.

"Oh, I didn't get accepted until late June," he explained, still standing in the doorway. "It was funny; when they explained that there were staffing shortages up here at LHS, I hadn't planned on working up here. But, then I realized I wasn't going to get into any of the facilities near where I live."

"I thought Stanley was short-staffed?"

He shook his head in the negative.

"The scores I had on the pre-test weren't what they wanted. They either wanted me to go to Racine, or here. So, I chose here."

I chuckled a bit.

"I nearly had that happen to me, but RYOC called the day I was moving up here." I shrugged. "I could go into the tale, but I don't want to scare you off."

"Oh, that's all right, really." He continued to stand, a bit nervously.

"You know, you can sit down for a moment," I said.

"Uh, don't think that's a good idea," he replied. "Last time I tried one of these chairs, it snapped on me."

"Ehhh, yeah," I said with a little bit of a grimace. "This job's gonna wear you out if you can't sit down sometime. And we have had some rather big boys working here before."

I caught myself before I would add, but not one built like a horse. Literally.

He smiled tentatively, and decided to try the other desk chair. Before he could even sit, he noticed the chair was way too narrow for him.

"Don't think I'm gonna fit in these," he said with a sigh. Or was that a bray?

"Well, if you have to stand, I guess you have to." I motioned out into the dayroom. "There's always the bench table out there."

"That's pretty much where I've been sitting so far," he noted. We stepped out of the booth, and he had a seat on the bench of the picnic-style table in the upper dayroom. He was able to keep from tipping it over, but I did notice that the bench on the other side was slightly elevated.

"So – anything you want to know about this job?" I asked. "I haven't been up here for that long, but I've got war stories to tell, if you're interested."

"You been on third shift all that time?" I nodded in response. "Can't be all that much going on during that time."

"Not usually. Once in a while, though, things get… interesting." I told him briefly about the riot I had to deal with on New Year's Eve in 1994. He was a bit incredulous, but suitably impressed. "I've hated working on New Year's Eve ever since."

"Anything nearly as bad happen while you were here at LHS?"

"Well, there was this one time I had to deal with a psychotic youth," I began. "I told him he'd have to wait for a patrolman before he could come out and use the bathroom. He went into a rage, and I had to deal with it." I looked at him for a moment. "Damndest thing, though – I think he was trying to scare me. Fortunately, I saw right through it before he did any damage."

He looked a bit worried.

"What… what was the kid's name?"

"Foxglove. Cavin Foxglove. His dad is some big-time politico who moved to the Twin Cities a couple of years ago. I think he has an aunt that worked in the FBI."

He pondered this for a moment.

"Does… that sort of thing happen to you all the time?"

"No, thankfully," I said with a slight roll of my eyes. "He was only back here once after that – and the worst thing I had to do then was deal with a couple of vamp…" I caught myself. "I mean, FBI agents."

"I can see the similarities," he quipped with a smile.

"Look," I said finally. "I don't like dancing around the 800-pound centaur in the room." I looked at him, palms up. "I'm friends with Monica Villarreal and Katherine Gilchrist. The latter who happens to be married to one Buck Alexander. You wouldn't happen to be related, would you?"

He looked down for a moment.

"No. Not… directly." He sighed for a moment. "My… dad was kinda the black sheep of the family. Grandpa had him when he was already in his fifties, and dad was only about five or six when he died." He inhaled deeply for a moment.

"There was a falling out between my dad and uncle, in the late 80's. They got into a fight over the future of the company. Dad wanted no part of it, suggested they sell off to Tenneco. There were… words exchanged. The result was that dad was cut from the family fortune."

I suddenly felt very uncomfortable about asking about his background.

"Dad went off to school at Eau Claire – had to pay his own way, he always told me," he continued. "He met a girl whose family ran a farm in Cadott, and that was where I was born and raised." He looked right at me. "Away from the Alexander Harvester Company."

"I – I'm sorry I asked about…"

"Nah," he said with a wave. "I figured at some point I might run into you. Thing is, I'd heard you'd retired after all the Pillsbury crap and becoming essentially an MIB liaison. Didn't think you'd still be here."

"Well, I am. Not quite retired yet..."
"Character is what you are in the dark." - D.L. Moody
"You should never run from the voices in your head. That's how you give them power." - Jin
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Re: Horse Sense

Postby jwhouk » Mon Sep 05, 2016 6:46 pm

---

The days went on, and I didn't see much of Dusty. He ended up having to "post in" to one of our restrictive housing units (aka "seg units"). I hadn't heard much from him, but he sounded like he was doing okay.

And then...
"Character is what you are in the dark." - D.L. Moody
"You should never run from the voices in your head. That's how you give them power." - Jin
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Re: Horse Sense

Postby jwhouk » Mon Sep 05, 2016 6:52 pm

WARNING: A bit of language in this one...

---

SCENE: Freeze frame, wood-framed doorway looking out into a two-tiered dayroom. A metal railing separates the two levels.

VIDEO: No sound. Camera – which is located at a significant height - turns and walks toward the upper part of the dayroom, facing the door to what appears to be a small office. Glass windows are on the right – the counselor booth that the person with the camera just emerged from.

SOUND finally cuts in: noise of an overhead fan, and sounds of a toilet flushing.

VIDEO: Camera turns to look into the entrance of a spartan bathroom, of which only the sinks are visible from the POV of the camera. A blonde youth with an orange tunic and orange scrub pants is washing his hands half-heartedly at one of the sinks. The windows to the bathroom on the back wall are closed, and dark - indicating that it is night time.

VOICE: "Almost ready, Mr. Whipfeld?"

WHIPFELD (Blonde teenager, about 5'9", face pock-marked by acne, permanently angry look on his face): "Man, what the #### you sweatin' me for? Damn..."

VOICE: (deep sigh)

CAMERA pans back as WHIPFELD emerges from the bathroom. Youth is shaking his hands to get the excess water off - the paper towel dispenser located on the right of the screen against the booth wall is obviously broken)

WHIPFELD (with attitude) : "I didn't get my snack."

VOICE: "It's in your room. (Hands gesture to the left) After you?"

WHIPFELD sneers briefly as he begins to walk off to camera left. The view of the body camera turns as it follows him down the hallway.

NOISE increases in hallway, as there are multiple other youth who are singing, talking, yelling between rooms. Lighting indicates further that it is nighttime, as the end door hallway is dark.

Indistinct yelling, some which sounds like "POP SHACK", "MISTER ALEXANDER," and "STAFF STAFF", among others, are being screamed toward the camera.

The last door on the right is open – presumably Mr. WHIPFELD's room. There are chutes on the room doors in this hallway – with a single square window located about five feet above the floor. The door has a square-shaped handle recessed into it.

WHIPFELD takes one step into his room – then spins around to face the camera.


WHIPFELD: " #### that. That ain't my snack. I ain't going in."

WHIPFELD stands there, his door behind him, looking up defiantly at the camera. A voice from behind calls out "MISTER ALEXANDER! MISTER ALEXANDER!" as the camera turns toward WHIPFELD.

ALEXANDER (hands out in front, visible on both sides of camera): "Mister Whipfeld, that is your snack in the room. Mister Thompson put it in there while you were out to use the bathroom. Now, get on into your room, we have to finish…"

WHIPFELD suddenly moves toward the camera, his arm cocked back very quickly as a swinging motion is made below the camera. A minor grunt is heard from the voice of ALEXANDER.

ALEXANDER (not missing a beat): "…bathroom call… You really don't want to do that, you know…"

WHIPFELD shows a brief second of surprise as he realizes that ALEXANDER didn't even flinch. He then tries to throw a combination of punches below the camera – to the same result. The background noise in the hallway has suddenly dropped. After the fourth punch, WHIPFELD appears to reach up to try to grab the camera – and the hand on the right reaches up and takes his wrist, holding on to it.

ALEXANDER (bringing the arm up above the camera) "Hey, did you break your hand there?" The right arm of WHIPFELD is pressed against the camera briefly, then lowered. ALEXANDER's hand appears, holding on to WHIPFELD's wrist. WHIPFELD's hand has swollen to about twice normal size, and is severely bruised at the knuckles.

WHIPFELD (screaming somewhat genuinely) "AAAAHHHH I'M BEING ABUSED! ABUSE! ABUSE!"

ALEXANDER: "Now, hold on, it appears you may have broken your hand trying to hit the wall behind me. (WHIPFELD looks up at him, wild eyed, his arm still being held by ALEXANDER) Why don't you have a seat here on your bed, and I'll get back to the booth and call the nurse and supervisors to get that looked at."

ALEXANDER guides WHIPFELD back into his room, helping him to his bed. WHIPFELD has a panicked look on his face, as ALEXANDER's left hand reaches for the door, and steps back after releasing – and promptly closing the door before WHIPFELD can even get up.

A BEEP is heard, indicating that the CAMERA is still on.

CAMERA turns to return down the hallway, where at least one other staff stands at the far end. The noise from earlier has become a murmur. Another staff, female and with glasses, looks into the camera at ALEXANDER with surprise.


FEMALE STAFF (nametag reads JAMISON): "Did he hit you?"

ALEXANDER (one hand waving toward her): "Nah, he just tried to swing at me. We need to get the supes down here, he may have a broken hand from hitting the wall instead of me."

JAMISON (somewhat surprised as she looks at him in passing): "Are you sure you're okay? Supes are on their way over…"

CAMERA shows a bearded gentleman in a white shirt with a corded radio mic attached to his left epaulet appear from a vestibule to the left. The nametag on his shirt says "KLINTON".

KLINTON (to ALEXANDER): "Everything okay?"

ALEXANDER: "Yeah, just had some trouble getting Whipfeld in his room. He tried swinging at me, but hit the wall instead. I think he's got a broken hand. I had to help him sit down in his room."

Background noise increases, as a chant is heard along the lines of "POO-SAY!" down the hallway from where the staff had just emerged. SOUND of kicking and pounding on doors is heard.

KLINTON: "Uh, okay, I'll see if the nurse is still here…"

Fingers reach up toward the camera, and the scene freezes.
"Character is what you are in the dark." - D.L. Moody
"You should never run from the voices in your head. That's how you give them power." - Jin
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Re: Horse Sense

Postby lake_wrangler » Mon Sep 05, 2016 7:12 pm

Interesting... Me likey! :D
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Re: Horse Sense

Postby Just Old Al » Mon Sep 05, 2016 8:33 pm

Interesting as always - good, stuff, Joe!

'800-pound centaur' - That's a leeetle one... :)

Al
"The Empire was founded on cups of tea, mate, and if you think I am going to war without one you are sadly mistaken."
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Re: Horse Sense

Postby lake_wrangler » Mon Sep 05, 2016 8:45 pm

Just Old Al wrote:Interesting as always - good, stuff, Joe!

'800-pound centaur' - That's a leeetle one... :)

Al

Indeed... that's even little for regular horses...

From memory, a decent-sized horse will be close to 1000 lbs, and a draft horse will be around 1300-1400 lbs. (Sometimes more...)

A centaur would weigh more than a horse of the same height (at the withers - the shoulders, where the back meets the neck), because a human torso would weigh more than a horse's head...
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Re: Horse Sense

Postby Sgt. Howard » Mon Sep 05, 2016 11:04 pm

Whipfield, all acne and stubble,
went out one night looking for trouble,
But young Alexander
saw no need to pander,
now Whipfield's hand is no more than rubble!

The moral here's simple, of course-
I will quote it direct from the source;
"don't get rude and fusty
with my cousin Dusty-
'less you like getting thumped by a horse."

"It seldom pays to argue with a creature that can dismount a diesel engine with one kick,"- Uncle Ed 'Gimpy' Howard.
Rule 17 of the Bombay Golf Course- "You shall play the ball where the monkey drops it,"
I speak fluent Limrick-
the Old Sgt.
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Re: Horse Sense

Postby chicgeek » Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:07 am

Oh, I like!
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Re: Horse Sense

Postby jwhouk » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:40 pm

---

SCENE: Freeze frame, wood-framed doorway looking out into the dayroom. Movement, as camera turns to look back into booth, where gentleman with a white shirt (Supervisor KLINTON from previous video) is saying something, and hands the person wearing the camera (ALEXANDER) a black Velcro belt that has a pair of handcuffs attached to it by a metal loop. There is some discussion going on, and then the camera turns back toward the dayroom, with the camera operator stepping back to allow KLINTON to exit the booth.

A pair of fingers reach up to the bottom of the screen, and SOUND is heard.


KLINTON: "…and they'll see him at HSU. Alexander, why don't you, um, stay back here in the dayroom." (Camera briefly nods; hand reaches across to give the belt to another staff.)

Camera stops at the vestibule entrance. KLINTON and two other staff – both males – walk down the hallway to the end door. There is a brief pause at the door, then movement as the chute of the door is opened. A few minutes of this, with the sound of some talk coming down the hallway – mostly indistinct – suddenly picking up as WHIPFELD emerges from his room. His hands are cuffed to the belt and his ankles have shackles as he is escorted down the hallway. He sees ALEXANDER at the end of the hall and freezes for a moment. A hand – that of supervisor KLINTON – is seen waving off ALEXANDER from the hallway. ALEXANDER complies, turning to the left and walking down a small set of stairs to the lower dayroom. A single enclosed room with walls that only go halfway up to the ceiling is seen, with a staff standing at the door.


STAFF (Name badge says "WILSON"): "They taking him to HSU?"

ALEXANDER (nodding with camera): "Yeah, to check out his hand."

WILSON: "Are you all right?" (Camera picks up a wave of ALEXANDER's left hand)

ALEXANDER: "Eh, I'm fine."

Camera turns just as WHIPFELD, escorted by KLINTON and two other staff, appear in the upper dayroom. As he is escorted out the front door of the cottage, we see two fingers reach below the camera lens.

As soon as the sound of the front door being closed and locked is heard, the scene freezes.
"Character is what you are in the dark." - D.L. Moody
"You should never run from the voices in your head. That's how you give them power." - Jin
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Re: Horse Sense

Postby jwhouk » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:44 pm

---

SCENE: Once again, the booth door we have seen in the previous three videos is seen. A few seconds of silent operation, then a brief pause at the entrance to the vestibule. The camera turns to the left, then two fingers urgently tap just below the camera.

SOUND: The front door of the cottage slams shut as Supervisor KLINTON emerges with WHIPFELD and another staff beside him. The other staff (name badge says CARTMEN) has his arm in a proper escort hold on WHIPFELD's right arm, which is bandaged heavily.


KLINTON (to ALEXANDER): "Back to the same room?" (nodding view by camera)

ALEXANDER: "Jamison gave it a once-over, looked all right."

KLINTON nods as ALEXANDER motions with his hand down the hallway. WHIPFELD has a pained look on his face, even as he is being escorted back to his room.

ALEXANDER and the camera follow from the rear position as CARTMEN and KLINTON escort WHIPFELD down to the room, the two staff on each side of him. The chant of "POO-SAY!" begins again as the three walk down the hallway with ALEXANDER behind him.


WHIPFELD (looking to one side): "SHUT the #### UP!" (This has zero effect on the other youth in the hallway.)

CARTMEN opens the door chute with his keys, hand still on WHIPFELD's upper arm. ALEXANDER hands supervisor KLINTON a strap that he connects to a loop just above the chute. CARTMEN then opens the room door, taking the looped strap to the chain of the cuffs. CARTMEN is only partially visible as he is directing WHIPFELD out of sight of the camera. KLINTON makes a motion to ALEXANDER to back up.

KLINTON: "Nurse Stenson said they'd schedule you for a permanent cast when the doctor gets here on Tuesday. (ALEXANDER has stepped back, watching as KLINTON and CARTMEN are undoing the shackles from WHIPFELD's legs, and moving up to undo the lock and Velcro belt from his waist. KLINTON motions to ALEXANDER) Those your cuffs?"

A nod is seen along with a "yup" from off screen. The door to WHIPFELD's room is closed, with the chute open and his still-cuffed hands tethered to the loop above the chute.

ALEXANDER (to WHIPFELD, thru the door): "Okay, I'm going to take those cuffs off you, one hand at a time, and I want you to put them on your head after I do so, okay?"

An indiscernible grunt is heard. The camera pans down to the pair of hands sticking out of the chute. Two hands come from the side with keys, and the lock on the injured hand is opened a moment later.

WHIPFELD: "It hurts to move it."

ALEXANDER (camera still focusing on the hand): "I still need you to pull it in, Mister Whipfeld."

The hand is withdrawn into the room, and the camera briefly focuses on the door. Then, a moment later, the cuffs and restraints emerge from the chute. In the moment that the restraint belt comes out, so too do both of WHIPFELD's hands.

WHIPFELD: "HA! Not moving these, ####ers! Gonna have to gas me, B####es!"

Camera briefly pans up to the window, where the top of WHIPFELD's head is seen.

ALEXANDER (exasperated): "Really, Mister Whipfield?"

Camera suddenly focuses down at the pair of hands sticking out of the chute – one hand bandaged heavily. A clicking noise is heard, and a large hand appears. The cuffs from the restraints suddenly clamp back down on the wrists of the youth, and before WHIPFELD can retract them into his room, they are closed. He attempts to pull the restraints into the room with him, only to discover that they are still tethered to the door. He is lurched forward, and lets out a scream of pain – as he has hit his injured hand against the corner of the chute.

ALEXANDER: "I don't think that was a wise decision. (Camera turns to the right, at Supervisor KLINTON) Perhaps you can get these off of him?"

KLINTON tries but fails to suppress a grin as he moves around to the door, while ALEXANDER steps away, then turning back to WHIPFELD's door.

KLINTON (to WHIPFELD): "This time, pull your hands inside your room and keep them on your head, okay?"

WHIPFELD's reply is restrained as he is still whimpering in pain. The supervisor takes the cuffs off, with his good hand removed last. The restraints are completely out of the room, and the chute is closed quickly.

KLINTON: "Okay, try to get some sleep."

He steps away with CARTMEN, and ALEXANDER falls in behind them, even as the chanting begins yet again – with accentuated "SHUT the #### UP!" responses from WHIPFELD.

The two staff and ALEXANDER emerge from the hallway, and the two fingers at the bottom of the camera appear, freezing the scene.
"Character is what you are in the dark." - D.L. Moody
"You should never run from the voices in your head. That's how you give them power." - Jin
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Re: Horse Sense

Postby jwhouk » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:51 pm

---

A click and a tap closed the window on the screen. The superintendent, Lisa Paulsen, turned to look at her visitor.

"The youth's hand was broken in several places from the punch he threw at YC Alexander," she said, bringing up a window with several photos – all of the youth's hand, and all of them about the size of a large softball.

"And our end-door hallway cameras confirmed that he did, in fact, throw at least three punches at Mr. Alexander – before he attempted to grab at his body camera." She brought up a still from that camera, which clearly showed Whipfeld connecting with Alexander's midsection – and Alexander looking as concerned as if he had been told a bad joke.

"I understand that Mister Alexander was singled out for his… exceptional strength in the Academy," her visitor began slowly.

"He DIDN'T EVEN FLINCH," Paulsen stated, teeth nearly clenched as she stood up from her chair. "And that all he did was simply grab the youth's fist – and HELD IT – while 'escorting' him back into his room indicates to ME, at least, that there is something going on here." She lowered her head. "And I have absolutely no idea how I'm going to explain this to Madison..."

"That's our job, actually," her visitor said, quietly. "We deal with things like this all the time – and we tell your bosses what happened."

"But not what the video clearly says happened," Paulsen replied testily. She turned around and looked out her office window, overlooking the sally port of the institution towards the vast forest land to the south of Lincoln Hills. "How do you explain that a man, even one that large, didn't feel a single punch?"

Even as she was saying this, the woman was speaking quietly into her watch. A beep sounded back quietly.

"And it doesn't help that this kid has a history of claiming abuse after battering staff on a routine basis – and you HEARD him claiming it on the body camera video…"

She looked at her watch briefly, then smiled as Paulsen turned around.

"I don't know what you're talking about," she said quietly. "I think you need to look at the video again."

The superintendent, her blonde hair already messed up from nearly tearing it out in frustration and flopped over to one side, gazed at her visitor quizzically. She reached back for the mouse of her PC, and clicked the video back open.

The hallway video showed Whipfeld taking a swing – right into the wall of the hallway, next to Mr. Alexander. And then another, this time to the other side. Then another. Then the fourth swing – and Alexander grabbing Whipfeld's hand, which was already bulging out from the damage done by the punches.

"I don't see a single blow hitting Mr. Alexander," she replied succinctly. "And you can already tell that the youth's hand is swollen before Mr. Alexander even touched it." She smiled at the woman on the other side of the desk – whose blank stare was enough of a response.

"But… but…"

"Now, Miss Paulsen, I understand your nervousness about having the FBI nosing around your institution again," she stated, standing up. "But in this instance, I think it's a simple case of a youth attempting self-harm by way of a Youth Counselor." She smiled sweetly, handing her a business card that she drew out of her purse. "Please don't hesitate to call us if you have any problems like this in the future."

Paulsen sat back in her chair, dumbfounded, even as the FBI agent turned and left her office. She closed the door behind her and began walking down the hallway, back toward the stairwell that took her to the main entrance.

Quietly, she brought her watch up to her face again.

"Thank you, Glytch," Brandi said softly into the smartwatch.

A text message appeared on the face: No problem, but you might want to tell mister No-Sell there he needs to learn how to dodge.

"Will do," she said, emerging back in the corridor leading to the stairs.

Once downstairs, Brandi was buzzed through the main door into the entrance lobby, where Dustin Alexander stood next to Acacia Budur, who was seated on one of the chairs in the waiting area, opposite the communications center.

"Well?" Acacia asked, rising from her seat.

"It's been taken care of," Brandi replied. She gave Dustin a very cross glare. "I'll discuss things with you later."
"Character is what you are in the dark." - D.L. Moody
"You should never run from the voices in your head. That's how you give them power." - Jin
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Re: Horse Sense

Postby FreeFlier » Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:11 pm

Yeah, somebody needs lessons in subtlety . . .

Or at least plausible deniability.

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Re: Horse Sense

Postby lake_wrangler » Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:12 pm

The principal will see you, now... :twisted:
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Re: Horse Sense

Postby Dave » Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:06 pm

"When somebody hits you, say Ouch!!"
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Re: Horse Sense

Postby jwhouk » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:51 pm

There was a last piece I did for this story that I didn't post earlier. That epilogue is now presented here:

-----

I clicked off the last video shown me by Brandi, and sighed.

"Yeah, just what we need, another round of media types screaming how we abuse kids." I looked at her, seated next to Bud and Suzi. "And of course it was the toughest damn kid in the institution."

"I don't think the media will be crying about abuse in this case, Joseph," Brandi calmly told me. "That version of the video you saw is the unaltered version. The one that the DOC now has in its hands shows Whipfeld pounding the wall, not Dusty."

My eyebrows shot up. "A Glytch special?" She only nodded once.

"What Dusty probably didn't tell you," Bud interjected, "is that traditionally centaurs have not been involved in law enforcement – as much as you may have been led to believe elsewise." She shot Suzi a look at this. Suzi only put her hands up in a shrug.

"So Dusty is some sort of special case?"

"Sort of." Bud tapped lightly on the table of the conference room. "He's the first paranormal to have gone through the Wisconsin DOC's officer training academy."

"I thought there were vampires in the CO ranks?" I looked at Suzi for that one.

"Over in Minnesota, yeah," she replied with a nod. "And a lot down in Illinois and Iowa – but not Wisconsin, for some reason."

"Hmph. Madison probably doesn't like competition," I snarked. "So – he's a first in the ranks. MIB figured he should be put in an easy job assignment to start off, so we're the lucky testing grounds?"

"Well, we knew we had you up here," Brandi stated. "Which is why we sent him up here." She paused, pursing her lips for a moment. "And why we need you to be his mentor."

I gave her a blank stare.

"You mean babysitter," I replied.

"Not exactly," Bud explained quickly. "Just – well, we need to you kinda keep an eye on him. Make sure he's not resorting to physical means, nor is he put in a position where he'd have to resort to getting physical."

The blank stare became an eye roll.

"That pretty much eliminates all positions except communications – and I don't know how well he would do answering phones all day." My face soured. "Let alone the first image that a visitor would have of LHS – a man the size of a brick house let them in the front door."

"We could have him temporarily assigned to your cottage," Brandi suggested. "Have him work reception, get him in a teaching mode?"

"Have you seen how many kids they're not sending up here?" I retorted, a bit testy. "He'd be working with the SO's more than reception."

"Uh, well, that wouldn't be a problem, unless you have… well, you know, anyone with bestiality issues?" Suzi said.

The three of us just stared at her.

"What? That's a thing in a lot of the Minnesota system's facilities…"
"Character is what you are in the dark." - D.L. Moody
"You should never run from the voices in your head. That's how you give them power." - Jin
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