Littler Brother 2
She talked in a hurried whisper. Her mom wasn't sure whether to punish her or not, but Ange didn't want to tempt fate.There were two state troopers in the corridor where Darryl was being held.
They were holding off a legion of reporters who stood on tiptoe to see around them and get pictures. The flashes popped in our eyes like strobes, and I shook my head to clear it.
My parents had brought me clean clothes and I'd changed in the back seat, but I still felt gross, even after scrubbing myself in the court-house bathrooms.Some of the reporters called my name.
Oh yeah, that's right, I was famous now. The state troopers gave me a look, too — either they'd recognized my face or my name when the reporters called it out.Darryl's father met us at the door of his hospital room, speaking in a whisper too low for the reporters to hear.
He was in civvies, the jeans and sweater I normally thought of him wearing, but he had his service ribbons pinned to his breast."He's sleeping," he said. "He woke up a little while ago and he started crying.
He couldn't stop. They gave him something to help him sleep."He led us in, and there was Darryl, his hair clean and combed, sleeping with his mouth open.
There was white stuff at the corners of his mouth. He had a semi-private room, and in the other bed there was an older Arab-looking guy, in his 40s.
I realized it was the guy I'd been chained to on the way off of Treasure Island. We exchanged embarrassed waves.Then I turned back to Darryl.
I took his hand. His nails had been chewed to the quick.
He'd been a nail-biter when he was a kid, but he'd kicked the habit when we got to high school. I think Van talked him out of it, telling him how gross it was for him to have his fingers in his mouth all the time.I heard my parents and Darryl's dad take a step away, drawing the curtains around us.
Superb infomrtaion here, ol'e chap; keep burning the midnight oil.
I put my face down next to his on the pillow. He had a straggly, patchy beard that reminded me of Zeb."Hey, D," I said.
"You made it. You're going to be OK."He snored a little.
I almost said, "I love you," a phrase I'd only said to one non-family-member ever, a phrase that was weird to say to another guy. In the end, I just gave his hand another squeeze.
Poor Darryl.EpilogueThis chapter is dedicated to Hudson Booksellers, the booksellers that are in practically every airport in the USA. Most of the Hudson stands have just a few titles (though those are often surprisingly diverse), but the big ones, like the one in the AA terminal at Chicago's O'Hare, are as good as any neighborhood store.
It takes something special to bring a personal touch to an airport, and Hudson's has saved my mind on more than one long Chicago layover.Hudson BooksellersBarbara called me at the office on July 4th weekend.
I wasn't the only one who'd come into work on the holiday weekend, but I was the only one whose excuse was that my day-release program wouldn't let me leave town.In the end, they convicted me of stealing Masha's phone.
Can you believe that? The prosecution had done a deal with my lawyer to drop all charges related to "Electronic terrorism" and "inciting riots" in exchange for my pleading guilty to the misdemeanor petty theft charge.
I got three months in a day-release program with a half-way house for juvenile offenders in the Mission. I slept at the halfway house, sharing a dorm with a bunch of actual criminals, gang kids and druggie kids, a couple of real nuts.
During the day, I was "free" to go out and work at my "job.""Marcus, they're letting her go," she said."Who?""Johnstone, Carrie Johnstone," she said.
"The closed military tribunal cleared her of any wrongdoing. The file is sealed.
She's being returned to active duty. They're sending her to Iraq."Carrie Johnstone was Severe Haircut Woman's name.
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It came out in the preliminary hearings at the California Superior Court, but that was just about all that came out. She wouldn't say a word about who she took orders from, what she'd done, who had been imprisoned and why.
She just sat, perfectly silent, day after day, in the courthouse.The Feds, meanwhile, had blustered and shouted about the Governor's "unilateral, illegal" shut-down of the Treasure Island facility, and the Mayor's eviction of fed cops from San Francisco.
You got to push it-this esesniatl info that is!
A lot of those cops had ended up in state prisons, along with the guards from Gitmo-by-the-Bay.Then, one day, there was no statement from the White House, nothing from the state capitol.
And the next day, there was a dry, tense press-conference held jointly on the steps of the Governor's mansion, where the head of the DHS and the governor announced their "understanding."The DHS would hold a closed, military tribunal to investigate "possible errors in judgment" committed after the attack on the Bay Bridge.
The tribunal would use every tool at its disposal to ensure that criminal acts were properly punished. In return, control over DHS operations in California would go through the State Senate, which would have the power to shut down, inspect, or re-prioritize all homeland security in the state.The roar of the reporters had been deafening and Barbara had gotten the first question in.
"Mr Governor, with all due respect: we have incontrovertible video evidence that Marcus Yallow, a citizen of this state, native born, was subjected to a simulated execution by DHS officers, apparently acting on orders from the White House.
Is the State really willing to abandon any pretense of justice for its citizens in the face of illegal, barbaric torture?" Her voice trembled, but didn't crack.The Governor spread his hands.
"The military tribunals will accomplish justice. If Mr Yallow — or any other person who has cause to fault the Department of Homeland Security — wants further justice, he is, of course, entitled to sue for such damages as may be owing to him from the federal government."That's what I was doing.
Over twenty thousand civil lawsuits were filed against the DHS in the week after the Governor's announcement. Mine was being handled by the ACLU, and they'd filed motions to get at the results of the closed military tribunals.
So far, the courts were pretty sympathetic to this.But I hadn't expected this."She got off totally Scot-free?""The press release doesn't say much. 'After a thorough examination of the events in San Francisco and in the special anti-terror detention center on Treasure Island, it is the finding of this tribunal that Ms Johnstone's actions do not warrant further discipline.' There's that word, 'further' — like they've already punished her."I snorted.
I'd dreamed of Carrie Johnstone nearly every night since I was released from Gitmo-by-the-Bay. I'd seen her face looming over mine, that little snarly smile as she told the man to give me a "drink.""Marcus —" Barbara said, but I cut her off."It's fine.
It's fine. I'm going to do a video about this.
Get it out over the weekend. Mondays are big days for viral video.
Everyone'll be coming back from the holiday weekend, looking for something funny to forward around school or the office."I saw a shrink twice a week as part of my deal at the halfway house.