For those of you who missed it, the first part of Stand Off can be found here so you can catch yourself up. Meanwhile, here's the second part of this story-that-reads-like-an-episode, featuring characters from seasons six and seven. Enjoy!



Stand Off, conclusion
By Kim Hood


Jack stood in Adam Schiff's office, leaning on his crutches. He'd managed to put on dress slacks and an oxford shirt over his bandages.
Adam was pleased to see him, but was worried. "Please, sit down, Jack."
Jack accepted the offer and eased himself into a chair. "I've been thinking about what you said, Adam." The two stared at each other a moment. "It's all or nothing with me, Adam. You know that. I focus on the job to be done and I do whatever it takes to get it done. You can either accept that or my resignation."
Schiff was surprised, although he shouldn't have been. Everything was black and white to McCoy, and he had responded according to his nature. Schiff poured them both a drink. As he handed the glass to McCoy, he mumbled, "Just try to be more careful, will you?"
The two smiled and treated it as a toast. Shortly afterward Adam ordered Jack to stay home a while longer.



Lt. Anita Van Buren stood in the observation room. In the interrogation room, Curtis and Briscoe were playing "Good Cop, Bad Cop." A thirteen-year-old Hispanic boy sat on the hard chair, almost on the verge of tears.
Briscoe was playing the bad guy. He said harshly, "You think we're stupid, Enrique? You told us you're a sharpshooter with a 9 mil. Now, you can tell us who put you up to it or we can throw you in the holding cell until you change your mind. You know what a holding cell is, don't you?"
The boy looked at Briscoe intently. There was no need for him to say "No."
Briscoe continued, "The holding cell is where we put everybody we arrest until we have time to finish their paperwork. There's rapists, and murderers, and drug dealers..."
Rey leaned in close to the boy and said, almost whispering, "We don't want you to get hurt, Enrique, we just want to find out what happened...Attempted murder is a very serious crime. Now, you didn't want to hurt anybody, did you?" The boy shook his head, still staring at Briscoe. "Who put you up to it, Enrique? Who told you to shoot McCoy?"
Enrique finally spoke, his whole body quivering. "I th-th-think I'm s'posed to get a lawyer or something?"
Briscoe spun around and paced toward the door. Curtis said, "Yeah sure, there's a lawyer already on the way over. If you tell us now, it'll help us catch the real bad guy quicker."
Enrique cried out, "But you already caught him! He's already in jail!"
Rey and Lennie exchanged a glance just as the door burst open and Enrique's court-appointed counselor walked in.
"I need a moment with my client, gentleman," he snapped. Lennie and Rey joined the Lieutenant outside.
Anita said matter-of-factly, "He's our boy."
Briscoe smiled, "Let's just hope the D.A.s can convince him to testify."



Ross and Keller, Juan Martinez' lawyer, sat in the judge's chambers. The judge was a slightly overweight woman in her mid fifties.
Keller was arguing, "In People v. Anderson, the defendant was being tried for exactly the same crime he had repeatedly committed as a juvenile. My client has never been indicted for murder before."
The judge looked at Ross, who replied, "Your honor, in People v. Anderson, the judge ruled that the juvenile criminal history would be admitted into evidence because the crimes revealed a pattern of criminal behavior. There is no clause that mandates the criminal behavior be of a specific type."
"I'll accept that. What else?" The judge seemed to be enjoying the debate among the lawyers.
"People v. Renkin," Ross spoke again. "Records from the juvenile detention center were deemed admissible because they established grounds that the juvenile justice system had been ineffective in rehabilitating the defendant."
Keller retorted, "Your honor, in People v. Renkin, the juvenile detention records were used to ensure that Renkin be tried as an adult. My client is no longer a juvenile. His records from the juvenile detention center cannot possibly have any bearing on this case."
The judge spoke just as Jamie was about to return the punch. "Juvenile criminal history is in, juvenile detention records are out. Does counsel have anything else for me?"
Both lawyers responded, "No, your honor." Keller left the room.
As Jamie was leaving, the judge said, "Ms. Ross. Please send my regards to Mr. McCoy. I'll look forward to seeing him in court."
Jamie smiled, "Yes ma'am, thank you, I will."



Anita Van Buren sat next to Jamie Ross in the interrogation room. Enrique and his lawyer faced them.
"He's a juvie, it's his first offense of any kind. No jail time," the boy's lawyer spoke.
"Let's hear what he's got to say first," said Ross.
"Off the record," the lawyer replied. Everyone nodded. The lawyer nudged the boy. "Go ahead," he said.
Enrique's face was scrunched up. He had never been in so much trouble before, and wanted to make everything come out exactly right. He wanted to be honest from now on. "I got the message from Juan. He said he wanted me to take care of McCoy for him."
"Juan Martinez?" Anita asked.
"Si. Yeah...Juan said he wanted me to do it smart and not screw up. He said to take my time planning it out...but I screwed up anyway. But I'm glad. I don't wanna kill people, you gotta believe me!" Enrique was on the verge of tears again.
Jamie spoke, her voice soothing, though her question was tough. "How did you do it?"
Enrique swallowed hard, took a deep breath. "I followed him. For two weeks I followed him around. He always goes to this bar after work, always drives the same way, even changes lanes at the same spot. So I decided to hit him on that ride. I found this alley, that had a dumpster in it. I stood between the dumpster and the wall. I practiced for two days, you know, bang!, climb out and run away...And then I did it. I had to pretend it was a video game, you know, 'cause he was moving and everything." Enrique stopped talking, looked around at the others for reassurance.
Jamie asked, "How did Juan get the message to you?"
Enrique explained, "Uhm, he came up with this code writing, you know, gang writing, before he got arrested. He wrote a letter and put the message on the back of a Santo card the priest gave him."
Anita asked, "Do you still have the letter? Or the card?"
Enrique thought hard. "I threw the letter away, but I kept the card. I didn't want to get the wrong guy, you know. But I lost it." He looked around at the adults again, licked his lips, and asked, "Can you keep Juan away from me? He's already mad because I screwed it up, and if he knows I ratted, well -"
"Don't worry. You'll be safe." It was the Lieutenant. How she wished her own son would take some responsibility for his mistakes, as this boy was doing.
The boy's lawyer asked, "Well?"
Jamie sat back. "If he testifies, we have a deal."
"Including protection for him and his mother and sister?"
Jamie turned to Anita, who said, "No problem."
The two lawyers shook hands. Anita went outside and spoke to a uniformed officer who was waiting. "I want that boy in a private cell." The officer nodded.
Jamie went to Curtis' desk and picked up the phone. She wondered how McCoy would take the news that she'd cut a deal with the boy who shot him. Briscoe walked up and handed her a file. He was smiling. Jamie's call connected and she said, "Hi. Hang on a minute, okay?" She directed her attention to Briscoe.
"Forensics found the victim's blood on Juan's tennis shoes. He's nailed."
Jamie returned the smile and went back to her phone conversation.



Briscoe knocked on the door of Rey Curtis' apartment. It was 7:00 p.m. He had to knock twice before Curtis opened the door, looking half-asleep.
"What is it, Lennie?"
"Well, you woke me up this morning, I thought I'd return the favor." He held up a bag. "I brought sandwiches." Rey took the bag and invited him in. They sat down and divvied up the sandwiches.
"What is it, really?" Rey asked.
Lennie wiped his mouth and sat up straight. "You did a stupid thing, Rey. That's how good cops get killed."
Rey had expected this. "You're right, Lennie. I don't know why I did it...it was late, I couldn't sleep, I had a lot on my mind, and then I was in the 'hood, talking to all the boys on the street corners. I'm sorry. It'll never happen again."



A young girl sat on the witness stand. Juan Martinez sat next to his lawyer, presenting the image of a wrongly accused man. Jamie was questioning the witness, and Jack sat at the prosecution's table, watching with interest.
"Did you see Juan Martinez on the night of the murder?"
"Yes I did."
"When did you see him?"
"It was about 10:30 p.m. He came into the basement -- it's kind of a clubhouse, we hang out there -- he cleaned his gun and then fell asleep."
"Was that unusual for Mr. Martinez?"
"Well, yeah. He usually came in around that time and..." She squirmed in her seat, not sure how to phrase it. "And we would get crazy together."
"What do you mean, 'get crazy?'" There was a pause. "Do you mean having sex?"
The girl blushed, but quietly replied, "Yes."
"Did you ask him about why he had behaved differently that night?"
"Yes. I asked him the next day, why we didn't," she paused again, "have sex. He got really mad and hit me. That's why I left him."
Jamie was pacing as she listened. She turned to face the witness again. "You said he cleaned his gun. Was the gun with him when he walked in or was it in the basement?"
"He had it with him. He always carried his gun, even into church."
"How did he clean it?"
"He wiped it off with a rag and then he took it apart and put it back together again."
"Thank you, Miss Jiron. No further questions, your honor." Jamie sat at the table next to Jack, who took a sip of water.
The defense lawyer, Jacob Keller, stood and slowly walked to the witness stand. "Miss Jiron, when you dated Mr. Martinez, he ran with a rough crowd, didn't he?"
The girl squirmed again. "Well, yeah, I guess so."
"Was Mr. Martinez the only one in the group with a gun?"
"No, most of them had guns."
"Did the boys ever exchange weapons?"
"Yeah, sometimes they did."
"How do you know that the gun your boyfriend was cleaning was his own? Did he tell you?"
"It was the same one he had carried for a couple of months."
"What kind of gun was it?"
"I don't know, a handgun. It took one of those sliding things of bullets."
"Are you aware of how many types of guns use those," he looked at the jury," 'sliding things of bullets?' "
"I don't know."
"And yet you're sure that he was carrying the same weapon for two months."
"Well, pretty sure."
"Thank you. No further questions, your honor." Keller returned to his seat as the witness stepped down from the stand. Jack gave her a reassuring smile as she walked by him.
The judge spoke with authority. "This court will adjourn until 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning." She banged her gavel.



It was a long trial. The firearms specialist explained that although the gun had been cleaned, it did leave a significant mark on the bullets that passed through it. Keller extracted an estimate of 80% accuracy from the ballistics test. Curtis described how they had arrested Martinez, pulling him out from a video arcade in the mall. The forensics expert explained the traces of blood that were found on Martinez' shoes. Mr. Keller got the forensics expert to admit that the blood could have come from any wound the victim may have had. Through the whole thing, Martinez sat with the face of an angel.
On a lunch recess, McCoy and Ross were discussing whether Martinez would testify. "He doesn't have much to counter us," Jamie said.
"Keller won't put him on the stand unless he feels he has to," stated McCoy.
Jamie sighed, "What if we bring in Enrique? As a character witness?"
Jack leaned forward, "That would pressure him. It would make waves, though."
"We basically used Jiron as a character witness. The man had lots of friends. Why should they object to one more saying a few words?"
"I like it. I'd like to take the lead from here, okay?" Jack asked.
Jamie smiled. "You're gonna talk about the accident, aren't you?"
Jack returned her grin. "We have to bring out the attitude, piss him off. Who better to do that than me?"
"It's your ball."



Enrique sat on the stand, nervously avoiding the stare of Juan Martinez. Jack McCoy stood in front of him. He was still using crutches, but rested most of his weight on his injured leg as he walked.
"Mr. Aragon, you have known Juan Martinez for a while, haven't you?"
Enrique licked his lips and said, "Yes. I've known Juan for t-t-two years."
"And would you say that you were friends?"
"We used to be friends."
"What kinds of things did you do together?"
"Uhm, well, we played video games, and we took things, candy and stuff, from the corner store...and we practiced shooting."
"What did you practice shooting? Marbles?"
Enrique laughed, "No, not marbles. We shot guns. At the quarry. Target shooting."
Jack slowly made his way toward the jury. "Where did you get the guns, Mr. Aragon?"
Enrique broke into a sweat. "Juan brought them to us. If we had money, we could buy them from him, but if not, he would loan them to us sometimes."
"Was target shooting the only thing you used the guns for?"
"No. One time, Juan got some of us together and we planned out a trip. We went to the Northeast side, and made a drive by on the...the gang that's up there. Nobody got hurt."
"Have you ever hurt anyone with a gun, Mr. Aragon?"
Keller was on his feet. "Objection!" he yelled. "Mr. McCoy is trying to bring a totally unrelated event into this trial, your honor."
The judge looked at McCoy, who explained, "Your honor, for all we know this gang may have shot people every week. If Juan Martinez led the gang, it shows Martinez had the character to commit murder."
"I'll allow the question."
"Have you ever hurt anyone with a gun, Mr. Aragon?" Jack wobbled a little bit as he stepped forward.
Enrique looked down. "Yes. I have. I shot you." There was a stir in the courtroom.
"Did Mr. Martinez influence your decision to shoot me, Mr. Aragon?"
Again, Keller objected. McCoy explained again that he was only trying to show that the defendant had the character to be capable of committing murder.
Again, the judge allowed the question, but with a warning to McCoy not to take it any farther.
"Did Mr. Martinez influence your decision to shoot me?" Jack asked again.
"Yes. He told me to do it."
"Do you think Juan Martinez is capable of murder?"
"Yes."
"No further questions, your honor." Jack sat down behind the table.
Keller slowly stood, formulating his plan of attack. "How old are you, Mr. Aragon?"
"Thirteen," came the answer.
"You like video games?"
"Yes."
"What kind of games do you like? Driving games? Sports? Or shooting games?"
"I don't know, I guess I like them all."
"Including shooting games?"
"Well, yeah. I like those kind."
"How do you feel after you play a good game of, say, Mortal Combat?"
"I feel good."
"You feel strong?"
"Yeah."
"Powerful?"
"Yeah."
"How did you feel the night you and your gang did the drive by?"
Enrique was embarrassed. "Good," he mumbled.
Keller was right next to him, his voice almost a whisper. "Did you feel powerful?"
"Yes," whispered the boy.
"I want you to listen to me, son. I'm not asking your opinion. I'm asking for fact. Do you know if Juan Martinez killed Rodney Gibson?"
"No. I don't know for sure."
"Thank you." Keller faced the judge. "No further questions." He sat down. Amazingly, Juan had continued with his look of innocence.
Jack McCoy stated, "The prosecution rests."



The counsel for the defense went through his list of witnesses, mostly character, saying, yes, Juan had a troubled past, but was moving on with his life and trying to straighten up. His mother testified, his sister, and the local priest. An expert said that there was no conclusive evidence that Juan's gun was the one used to murder the victim. Another expert explained that the splattered blood on his shoes could easily have come from a bloody nose the victim got during a basketball game.
Finally, Keller called Martinez to the stand. Ross and McCoy let out inward shouts of joy. Martinez sat, perfectly calm, sincerity written on his face.
Keller started off slowly. "Where were you the night of the murder?"
"I had gone walking."
"Were you with anyone?"
"No, I was by myself."
"Do you carry a gun?"
"Yeah. When I'm out, I carry a gun."
"Why?"
"I live in a tough neighborhood. Four of my neighbors have been killed in the last two years. Lots of my neighbors have been robbed. It's just not safe."
"Have you ever been convicted of a crime?"
"Yes. When I was a kid, I robbed a store. I went to juvie for that. And then I got into drugs, and I went back to juvie again. And then I robbed another store, and then I busted up this guy's car."
"How old were you the last time you were convicted of a crime?"
"The last time was the vandalism. I was 16 then."
"How old are you now, Juan?"
"I'm 19."
"How do you spend your time?"
"I go out, look for jobs...I go out, look for girls...I go to Church on Sunday. I hang out with my friends."
"What do you do with your friends?"
"Like I said, we look for girls sometimes. Play basketball. Sometimes we go target shooting. Play video games. Go to movies."
"Where do you get the money for video games, and movies?"
"Sometimes I get odd jobs, you know, do the grocery shopping for some of the old folks, work on somebody's car. With my friends, we just share. Whoever has money will pay so we can all have fun."
Keller scratched his forehead. "You said you were in the juvenile detention center. How long ago was that?"
Martinez looked at the jury. "Two years ago."
Keller also faced the jury. "Since you've been out of juvenile hall, have you been convicted of any crimes?"
Martinez looked several jurors in the eye before he said, "No."
"Did you kill Rodney Gibson?"
"No."
Keller smiled at the judge. "No further questions."



McCoy took his time gathering up his crutches and walking up to the witness stand. He stared at Juan Martinez before he asked his first question.
"You've been convicted, what," McCoy counted his fingers, "four times?"
Martinez took a long slow breath and said, "Yes."
"How many times have you been tried for a crime?"
"Six, not counting this."
"Well, counting this one, that's seven. That's a lot of time to be accused. Why do you think you get accused so often?"
"Because I'm Hispanic. And I'm poor. And because of where I live."
"Not because you commit crimes?"
"Well, when I was a kid."
McCoy began to pace on his crutches. "You said you've been out of the juvenile detention center for two years."
"That's right."
"How many times have you gone to trial in those two years?"
"Two times."
"Not counting this one?"
"Not counting it."
"Well, it seems to me that if you're wrongly accused so often, you might be upset. Are you upset, Mr. Martinez?"
"Why? There's no point to it. It's just like being mad at the President. Doesn't matter." Martinez slouched a little in his seat, rested his arm on the back of his chair.
"Who prosecuted your case that last time you were convicted...the vandalism case?"
"It was you."
"Who prosecuted you the last two times, when you were acquitted?"
"You did, M-Mister McCoy." Juan smiled for his lawyer, proud that he had remembered to be polite. Keller tried desperately to send mental messages to sit up straight, to no avail.
"What do you think of me, Mr. Martinez?"
"I guess you're just doing your job, I don't know."
"You have no ill will toward me because I put you in jail?"
Keller spoke up, "Relevance, your honor?"
"Withdrawn," Jack said. He went to the evidence table and picked up a piece of paper. He brought it to Martinez. "This is your handwriting?"
"Yes," Martinez replied.
"Would you care to read the highlighted portions?"
Martinez took a deep breath. He read, "I thought that I hated Ben Stone more than anyone else, but I was wrong. Stone put me away for real crimes, but Jack McCoy put me away for banging up a car." Martinez stopped and stared at McCoy.
"Objection, your honor!" Keller called. "Side bar?"
The judge nodded and the two men went to the desk.
"Your honor, you ruled that the juvenile detention records were inadmissible. This is obviously-"
"This is an essay written in sophomore English class by Mr. Martinez. It is a part of his education record, which is admissible in these proceedings." Jack beamed.
"Overruled, Mr. Keller." The two men went back to their places.
"Would you go on, please?" Martinez did not. "Permission to treat as hostile, Your Honor?" She nodded. Jack took the paper from the defendant. "Because of McCoy, I am missing out on real business. I am missing out on Sheila, and I am missing out on being in school with my friends."
Jack continued reading. "If I ever go up against McCoy again, I will win. I will win, no matter how." He leaned in close to Martinez. "Sounds like you held a grudge, Mr. Martinez. When did you go to juvie after the vandalism trial?"
"February, 96."
"Let the record show that this essay was written in May of 1996, one week before Mr. Martinez was released." Jack put the paper back on the evidence table. He turned and asked, "Have you ever been on a drive by shooting?"
"No."
"We heard earlier that you helped organize one."
"That was a lie."
"Why do you think Enrique would lie about you? After all, you've probably paid for a lot of his video games."
"I don't know. He's a kid."
"And kids do stupid things."
"Yeah."
"Like robbing stores, and doing drugs, and busting up cars, and killing people."
Jack was getting into his groove now. Martinez was losing it. He glared at McCoy.
"Stupid things, yes indeed. How do you feel about your prior...mistakes?"
Martinez squirmed slightly. "I don't know."
"You knew Rodney Gibson, didn't you?" Jack stared him down again.
"Yeah, I knew him."
"You didn't like each other, did you?"
"He ripped me off."
"Yes, we heard. You sold him a gun."
"He owed me..." Martinez caught himself getting riled again. He closed his eyes, took a breath, and began again. "He owed me money. When I asked him for it, he yelled at me, called me names."
"How did you feel when he called you names?"
"Mad. I don't like to be yelled at."
"You don't like to lose, either. That's why you went after Rodney that night, didn't you? And you followed him and you shot him. Then you went home, cleaned your gun, and passed it off to another one of your gang the next morning so you wouldn't get caught."
Juan's hatred for Jack McCoy was starting to show through. He glared.
McCoy continued, "Because that's what you always do. If you can't get somebody else to do your dirty work for you, you pass it off on somebody else. Isn't that right, Juan?" McCoy was virtually in his face.
"When you think you're trapped, you'll use any means to get out of it, right? Like having me shot when you think I'm sending you to prison! Right?"
Keller shouted and objection and requested a side bar. The judge went farther than that, asking the lawyers to meet in her chambers.
When she had been seated, Keller exploded with anger. "Your honor, my client is not on trial for anything to do with the shooting of Jack McCoy. This is irrelevant to the crime he is currently being tried for, and is an outrageous sideshow McCoy is putting on for sympathy!"
"What do you have to say for yourself, McCoy?" The judge demanded.
"I apologize, your honor." Jack knew he had to get back to Martinez before he calmed down.
The judge would not let him off that easy. "I've just about had it, Mr. McCoy. Get to a point out there."
"Yes ma'am."
The four returned to the courtroom. Upon seeing McCoy, Martinez began clenching his fists and releasing them.
McCoy returned to the witness area. "Where were we? Oh, yes...You were angry, so you killed a man and planted the evidence on a kid who was supposed to be your friend. Right?"
"I didn't kill him," hissed the young man.
"Then how did his blood get splattered on our tennis shoes, Mr. Martinez?"
"He had a bloody nose when we played basketball."
"Is that so? Of course we have no way to know, because you blew his face off!"
"You think you're something, don't you, McCoy?" Martinez could care less about his trial now.
"I think I'm a law abiding citizen, Mr. Martinez. I don't go around killing people and framing my friends!"
In one fluid motion, Juan Martinez leapt over the witness stand and knocked Jack McCoy to the floor. He began choking McCoy, shaking his head violently and yelling, "You son of a bitch! You got no business fucking up my life!"
Meanwhile, the judge banged her gavel for order and the bailiffs and counsel for the defense worked to remove Martinez from McCoy. Everyone else stood, watching, and waiting.
When Martinez was dragged from the room and McCoy rolled over, gasping, the judge called for a 30 minute recess and asked the lawyers to come to chambers as soon as possible. Jamie went to Jack's side.
"Are you all right?" She asked.
Jack was beginning to catch his breath. "Yeah, I think so." A bailiff came in and helped Jack up and out of the courtroom. Jamie followed them.



Once Martinez was shackled and locked into a cell, Keller leaned against the wall, shaking. He had to defend this man. He knew he was guilty, but he had to try to get him off. Sometimes he hated his job. If this guy was so fixated on killing the A.D.A., what would keep him from killing his own lawyer if he lost?! "I need to calm down," thought Keller. "I'll go see if McCoy's all right, and walk around a bit."
When Keller found McCoy, the man was sitting on a short bookshelf against the wall, holding an ice pack to his head while Jamie cleaned blood from the scratches on his face. "You okay?" Keller asked.
"Yeah, you?" McCoy replied.
"Yeah, I think so. I'm gonna walk around some. I'll see you in a few."
"Yeah. Hey, thanks." Keller walked out, a little zombie-like, leaving Jamie and Jack alone in the room.
Jack gently took Jamie's wrist, stopping her from cleaning his face. He stared at her a moment, and asked, "Did I push too hard?"
Jamie responded, "You got the job done. How's your head?"
"Hurts." The Bailiff came back in with Jack's crutches and a bottle of Tylenol. Jack took two and he and Jamie went to the judge's chambers.



The judge asked if he was all right and offered him a drink, which he declined. Keller came in.
"Well, the gang's all here, we may as well get started." The judge appeared to be quite tired.
"Your honor," Keller began, "I would like to evaluate the mental status of my client before we continue."
"Your honor, we offered the defense the opportunity to pursue this line of thinking from very early on in these proceedings, and the defense consistently refused."
"Jamie is on the ball today," thought McCoy. "It's a good thing," he chuckled to himself.
Keller was explaining that "the stress of the interrogation may have triggered a previously unknown mental condition that --"
"Save it for the appeal, Mr. Keller." The judge was most certainly tired. "We're going to finish this trial." She turned to McCoy. "Are you ready to proceed, Mr. McCoy?"
"Yes, your honor, I am."
"Let's go, then." The group returned to the courtroom.



Now Martinez wore shackles in the courtroom. The judge called the court to order and asked McCoy to resume his questioning.
McCoy stood from the State's table and announced, "No further questions, your honor."
The judge turned the defense. "Redirect, Mr. Keller?"
Keller looked at his client before answering. "No, your honor. The defense rests."



In their final statements, McCoy rehashed the brutality of the crime, and of the man while Keller tried to blame Martinez' difficulties rehabilitating on the injustices in society. McCoy, limping and with visible scars and bruises, got the sympathy vote. The jury came back in 30 minutes with a guilty verdict.



When Jack returned to his office, there was a large box on his desk. He opened it and laughed. He removed a Stetson hat, which he immediately put on, and a note. It was from Adam Schiff. It read, "Take a vacation." Jack gathered his things and left the office, chuckling.

end


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