Friday, December 9, 2016

The Snake in the Glass.

This program contains graphic images and mature subject matter. Viewer discretion is advised.

(EXT: Near the side of the road. Uniformed cops walk and talk, talking into walkie-talkies. CSI folk in lab coats and gloves kneel, pointing at this and that. Detective Bacon, shaking his whiskers, approaches the lead investigator, Peter "PB" Barilotto. It's been a rough year for both of them.)

Detective Bacon: What's the riddle this time, PB? Why did the snake cross the road? 

PB: Or not quite cross it. 

Bacon: Ew.

PB: Pretty brutal. 

Bacon: Hit and run?

PB: No, nothing ran over this serpent, Bacon, but someone was all over him. Look at the marks. Someone throttled him to death, probably broke a few vertebrae. Someone did not like this snake. 

Bacon: Or snakes in general.

PB: Hate crime?

Bacon: That's why I became a cop.

PB: No, I mean, do you think it was a hate crime?

Bacon: Hard to say. Do we know who it was?

PB: Wallet was cleaned out of cards and cash, but the ID says Adam Devlin. That's all we have so far.

Bacon: Let me know if you find anything else. I'll see if I can determine who this Devlin was before he became a ruptured reptile.

(INT: Police HQ, in the office of Chief Corleggy. Photo of the deceased posted on the whiteboard, copy of the ID next to it. Bacon and the chief stare at it as they hold paper cups of coffee.)

Chief: Ew.

Bacon: Yeah.

Chief: Cause of death?

Bacon: Seems straightforward enough. Devlin was a high-end criminal lawyer, probably had a lot of cash on him. Some goon tries to mug him, he puts up a fight, gets mauled. 

Chief: You sound skeptical. 

Bacon: PB says that it probably didn't go down that way. The vic was probably grabbed from behind, judging by the marks. 

Chief: So someone meant to kill him. 

Bacon: Could be. I'm wondering what kind of clients this guy worked for. 

Chief: Big-money criminal attorney? Not handling nickel-and-dime smash-and-grab artists or your neighborhood smack peddler. The kind of punk that would get his paws dirty because he was mad at his mouthpiece.

Bacon: Definitely looks like dog work, though.  Soon as his law office opens we'll pay it a call. After that I think I need to talk to a buddy on the other side of the fence. 

Chief: Don't wind up like this snake.

Bacon: I'm not looking to fight anyone, chief. Just a friendly public servant.

Chief: Yeah, well, this guy looked pretty 'armless too.

Bacon: Already with the snake jokes?

(INT: The law offices of Slither, Coyle, & Devlin. Meeting room with attorneys Slither and Coyle, both older snakes.)

Coyle: Of course we're stunned, Detective Bacon.

Slither: Stunned and shocked.

Coyle: And amazed.

Bacon: Did Mr. Devlin have any family...?

Slither: No, he was single, parents gone, he once said. Very dedicated to his career. Made partner here at quite a young age.

Coyle: We got him right out of Harvard. He nearly went to Finn, Finn, Hammerhead, and White...

Slither. Damn jaws....

Coyle: Now, Slither!

Bacon: Gentlemen, what can you tell me about his clients? Any of them make any threats against him? Any of their victims contact him?

Slither: Victims?

Bacon: He was a criminal attorney, correct?

Coyle: Well, yes, and quite a successful one, too, but he focused on, eh, white collar crime. Not the sort of thing that would make tempers flare to the point of violence, I should say.

Bacon: Can we get a list of all his current clients?

Slither: Those are our clients, not his, detective. We'll be happy to make whatever information is appropriate available to you.

Bacon: Uh-huh. Er, one last thing: Will you gentlemen come down to the morgue to identify the body?

Coyle: Yes, of course.

Bacon: Good. Maybe you'll consider that whoever did that to him may not be a big fan of your law firm.

(INT: Sleazy dive called the Broken Bone. A grizzled mutt with an eyepatch tends the bar. He scowls at Bacon.)

Muddy: You can't hang around here, Bacon. You're bad for business.

Bacon: It's a simple request, Muddy. The more we look at this snake, the more it looks like a dog hit job, and you know every cujo in town.

Muddy: Even if I knew, I couldn't know. You know?

Bacon: I know.

Muddy: But I don't know.

Bacon: What about the snake?

Muddy: That's the other thing. Devlin was no ticket fixer. He was the behind-the-scenes legal adviser to Mulligan McGinty.

Bacon: That can't be right. Boss McGinty's always represented by that slick purebred with the Italian suits. Flea Bailey.

Muddy: He's for show. Devlin knew where all the bodies were buried.

Bacon: Hmm... Maybe he knew so much that he became one of them.

Muddy: Now skiddidly-dat, flatpaw.

Bacon: (pulling out his phone) You're in luck, Muddy. Just getting a call from HQ. See you around.

Muddy: Yeah, not if I see you first.

(INT: Police HQ. Detective Dormouse is at the computer array in the tech room. Bacon stands behind her.)

Dormouse: Glad you could make it so fast, Bacon. Got something interesting here on the... (yawns)... victim.

Bacon: I can tell it's interesting, Alice.

Dormouse: Cut me some slack, Bacon; I had a late night. Look.

Bacon: Why're you looking at Vital Stats records?

Dormouse: I was just compiling Devlin's data for the file and I looked up his birth certificate. Did you know that he had a twin brother from the same egg?

Bacon: The shysters he worked with said he had no family.

Dormouse: Supposedly not anymore. Seth Devlin is listed as deceased as of 2010.

Bacon: So?

Dormouse: That information was added just three days ago, Bacon. Before your vic popped up. Whoever entered the data tried to cover it up the alteration, but didn't do a good job.

Bacon: So this change was made what, forty-eight hours before Devlin got spiked?

Dormouse: Just about. (yawns)

Bacon: Thanks, Alice. That's great work. Go get some Z's.

Dormouse: Coffee'll have to do for now.

Bacon: Double espresso's on me.

(INT: The high-end town house of Mulligan McGinty. Polished maple and chrome everywhere. McGinty, polished to a shine himself, smiles at Bacon. Behind the dog stand two tough-looking curs, Bowser and Brutus.)

Bacon: You can see, Mr. McGinty, that we thought it was a little odd that an identical twin brother is listed as dead just before your attorney actually turns up dead.

McGinty: What can I say? The family must be cursed.

Bacon: So I placed a call to our good friends at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Seems that your attorney was being looked at... for his involvement with you.

McGinty: More persecution. And me, just an honest waste management executive.

Bacon: No doubt. One who owes a lot, however, to Mr. Adam Devlin.

McGinty: He was a very good snake.

Bacon: So we and the FBI started looking at airport security video, and guess who we found? (takes photo from inside pocket) Looks like a familiar face at Newark International last night, doesn't it?

McGinty: Bowser, you weren't at Newark last night, were you?

Bowser: No way, boss.

Bacon: And the fellow with him, in the hat?

McGinty: Never saw him before.

Bacon: Imagine the snake without the mustache. Remind you of anyone?

McGinty: I'm sure if that snake got on a plane, his passport would have been checked.

Bacon: It's easier to get a fake passport than a consigliere as good as Devlin, isn't it? So you had to fake his death for him and get him out of the country. We checked all the planes with snakes and found his flight, McGinty, and when we check the teeth on your boys I'm sure we'll find the one who killed Seth Devlin as well.

McGinty: You got nothing, rat!

Bacon: Oh, we have more than you think. Adam Devlin's in custody in Belize already, without the fake mustache. (tucks photo in his jacket) This time you're going down, McGinty.

McGinty: I want a lawyer.

Bacon: Of course. But not Slither or Coyle. They're about to be indicted too.

(INT: Chief Corleggy's office. Bacon sits on the edge of the chief's desk.)

Bacon: When Adam realized he hadn't escaped the law, he started hissing out his life story. McGinty's finished, chief.

Chief: And this Seth, what was his story?

Bacon: He was the family loser, never amounted to anything. Was always bugging Adam for money. I guess Adam finally thought he'd found a way for his brother to be useful.

Chief: Yeah, as a mirror image of his brother.

Bacon: That's right, chief... the snake in the glass.

(rueful chuckles)


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