New mystery/suspense thriller from the author Craig Alan Hartpence. EMS Chief Jason Holt returns to solve the mystery of the 1101 Club Murders.
In his last adventure Jason had accidentally uncovered evidence of 5500 murders committed by someone in his paramedical ranks. He was unable to complete his investigation due to being shot and then retiring.
One year later, Jason begins to have nightmares of being shot and not being able to complete his investigation.
Join him as he returns to the EMS world and the 1101 Club Murders.
THERE ARE ALWAYS NEW TWISTS IN YOUR LIFE
As I pulled into the driveway I saw my next door neighbor out watering his lawn. “Hey John, I have some yard work over here if you’re interested.”
John started walking towards me, “So now you know who I am.”
“What do you mean by that?”
John continued, “The other night you acted like you didn’t know who I was. You walk right by me and start running down the walkway.”
“What you talking about Willis…?”
John said, “You don’t remember coming down the driveway in your shorts and bare feet? I said hi and you kept going. You looked at me like you didn’t know who I was, then took off running down the sidewalk.”
I told him I didn’t know what he was taking about. I don’t remember being outside in my shorts nor do I remember running down the sidewalk barefooted. “John what day was this?”
John said, “It was on Tuesday around 2 AM, I was just coming home from work. I thought it was weird.”
“Sorry man, don’t remember doing that. I‘ll see you later, you have a good day.” I went inside the house still thinking about what John said. It sounded weird to me.
I started wandering the house taking off the monkey suit and jumping into my jeans. My M.O. is living in my own house, a D.P. (Diet Pepsi) in hand, wearing jean shorts occasionally, flip-flops, and no shirt. Not a real formal guy when I am off. I sat down on the couch after changing my clothes, grabbing the channel changer and started watching TV. It’s nice to be the king when the wife isn’t home. I started dozing and zoning. After a while my eyes, barely open, began focusing on a flickering light. I didn’t pay attention to it for a while then it caught my attention. It was the blinking light on the message line. Apparently I had messages. Once again I was zoning, thinking about what happened the day before. I really didn’t think there was anyone alive in that house of destruction. It was really a surprise when they found that little girl. Ok let’s see who called. There’s six messages probably all unknown name, unknown numbers.
The phone began to ring and I didn’t even look to see who it was just answered it, “Hello” in a deep voice.
The person on the other end said, “Hello, is this the man of the house?”
“Yes it is can you hang on for a second? I’m in the middle of something, just hold on. Ok guys you need to breathe for him. Does he have a pulse? Ok hook him up to the fryer. One and two and three and four…”
I started talking back into the phone, “Hey, are you still there?”
The person on the other end said, “Yes sir, I can call back later if you wish.”
“No man, I’ll just be a few more minutes. I don’t think she’s going to live just hang on another minute. Yea, 200 joules, hit her with the electricity. MAN, she flopped really high. Charge the machine again I have to answer this call.”
“Yea, can I help you?”
The person on the other end started to stutter, “Sir I can call you back later. I’m not sure exactly what you are doing, but it sounds like it’s a little more important than what I want to talk to you about.”
“Don’t worry man, it nothing. Yea, 300 joules, hit her again. Wow, you obviously had some moisture in between those pads. She’s sparking like a Christmas tree.”
Next thing I hear is a dial tone. Hopefully I didn’t scare him.
I hit the message button for the first message. “You are pre approved for a loan to purchase a home…” Delete. Next message…”You hear a dial tone…” Delete. Next message…”Dial tone…” I wonder why I have a message line, no one leaves a message. Next message….
“Mr. Holt, this is Mr. Walldecker. Mr. Bartlett would like to speak to you as soon as possible. He only wants to speak to you and no one else. If you could meet with him tomorrow, the 6th at 3PM, I’ll make the arrangements. Just contact me as soon as you get this message, 813-555-1212. Thank-you and have a nice day.”
It’s 10AM now, I have no idea why he’d want to meet with me, but I guess I will find out. All of a sudden I began to shake vigorously; this was an unknown and unexpected adrenaline rush. I began to dial the number.
It rang twice and you hear, “Mr. Walldecker’s office, how can I help you?”
“Mr. Walldecker please.”
Secretary said, “Hold please.”
The next thing you hear is, “This is Mr. Walldecker can I help you?”
“Mr. Walldecker, this is Jason Holt. You left me a message about meeting Mr. Bartlett. Do you happen to know what he’d like to talk to me about?”
Walldecker said, “No Sir, he wanted to talk to you alone, no one else. This is a private meeting between you and Mr. Bartlett; no one else can be present. You must remember that this is a privately scheduled meeting and no one else is to know about this meeting.”
“Ok, so what do I need to do?”
Walldecker continued, “Go to South prison administration building by 3PM. You’ll be listed on the visitor’s list to see Mr. Bartlett. You’ll then proceed to a restrictive area to meet with him, by yourself. A guard will be standing by. Against my advice to him, I’ll not be there. Apparently it has nothing to do with his present situation.”
I told Mr. Walldecker that I’d be there at 3PM. I told him to have a good day and I hung up. I had this strange feeling but just couldn’t put my finger on it, was it an adrenaline rush or fear?
Rule #113 “If you don’t take the shot, you’ll always have
unanswered questions. If you take the shot, you
will have consequences that may put your life in
After hanging up I went back to the couch, I needed a power nap. I set my alarm for 1PM just in case I don’t wake up in time. While lying on the couch I started thinking about the DVD of Undertaker pumping that patient full of air with the 20cc syringe. I still can’t believe he did that. He didn’t seem to be the type, but then again how can you tell?
As I began to doze again I began thinking back about the time Undertaker and I were riding together, he seemed more dedicated to patient care and peoples lives than killing them off. It was several years later after riding with him that this crime happened, but I would’ve never considered him as a murderer. He was the type that would actually risk his life to save others. There was this one time several units were called to a shooting, multiple injuries. Medic 215, 218, 106 and 103 responded to a multiple shooting with multiple injuries, we were to stage with SPD at 18th street and Dover Ave. apparently there was a gun battle happening between SPD and Drug lords in an apartment complex. In the middle of the courtyard were several gunshot victims who appeared to be still alive. SPD was in contact with several of the drug dealer’s by phone and in the yard area it sounded like a shooting gallery with a hundred people firing. SPD was attempting to call a truce to the shooting and allow the rescue personnel to enter the courtyard picking up the wounded.
This wasn’t a good situation. This was a time where the pay didn’t fit the job. At any time one of those yo-yos might get trigger-happy or because of their situation, something set them off to begin firing at anything that moved. Once again, we were not receiving high-risk pay for this job. But there were people dying out in the courtyard, someone had to do it.
Each one of us had to decide to either, go in and pick up the victims or have the police bring them out to us. It might be a while before the police could get in there to get anyone. So all of us decided to take the risk and go in. After the truce was confirmed, we began going in one by one. Undertaker and his partner were the first to go in. Very slowly and carefully they made their way to the first victim. They slowly got out of the unit and retrieved their stretcher. Slowly they ramped up their speed to a quickened pace over to the patient. Loading and going with the patient on the stretcher without the safety belts attached, they didn’t hang around for the assessment of the patient either.
When the patient was loaded, they came back out the same way they went in. Once the crew was out of harms way they unloaded the patient at an EMS staging area and immediately returned. Each of us knew the risk, but we had dealt with gangs and dealers before. Most of them respected the EMS personnel who were there to help them. Though sometimes, there are a few bad apples in the situation. They have convinced themselves that everyone was their enemy and kill them all.
Each unit received at least two patients, transporting a total of 8 to the staging area, except for # 106. Undertaker and Fancy had to retrieve the last victim, as they approached the victim, one bad apple with a gun appeared, firing several shots into the side of the ambulance. They continued and pulled the unit in front of the victim blocking the bad apple’s view. Undertaker got out of the passenger side, under fire, going over to the victim. In one swoop he picked up the victim in his arms, taking him to the side door of the van. He opened the door and quickly climbed into the unit. Just as Undertaker closed the door you hear a shot from the opposite side of the yard. Fancy looked over at the bad apple, falling. A sharp shooter shot the apple in the forehead between his eyebrows. In slow motion you see the gunman drop to his knees, and then face first into the dirt. Fancy took off, flooring it, returning back to the staging area.
I was the next unit to go in and pick up the victim that was just shot; I was in the driver’s seat. If someone were going to attempt to stop the unit by shooting at it before reaching the victim, they would be targeting the tires or the driver, ME!
As I pass by Fancy he stopped, “Pants, I don’t think you’ll need to pick that one up. The sniper caught him right between the eyebrows, permanently flipping his switch. He’s DRT (Dead Right There).”
I thought Undertaker went way beyond the call of duty. I don’t know how I would’ve handled that situation, with someone using me for target practice. I think I would’ve left the area. Let the rest of them fight it out. The bad thing was there were innocent people on the ground wounded, involved in this situation and someone needed to help them.
There had been other times he had risked his life to save others. One rescue story in particular, which I didn’t witness, but was told for a long time around the county. It was right after Undertaker was certified as a paramedic and was on the scene of an auto accident. There was a BLS fire department with two engines on the scene with him, manning the hose in case of a fire. They weren’t equipped for extrication and had to call for two heavy rescue units, both had extended ETA’s. A family of three in a small compact car was hit by an 18-wheel tractor-trailer with a full load of gas. The 18-wheeler was on its side, leaking fuel onto the ground and presented an immediate danger. The whole driver’s side of the small car was slightly underneath the fuel cell of the truck. The male driver was pinned quite heavily on the driver’s side. The passenger door was intruded about 6 inches with the roof caved inward, the mother appeared to be moving but pinned in. There was a baby crying somewhere in the vehicle.
Now Undertaker is a pretty big boy weighing in at 240 and about 6’ 4”. Upon arrival to the scene, he immediately started assessing the scene and his plan on how to access and extricate the victims. Undertaker needed to do something immediately. He entered the vehicle on the passenger side, going headfirst, into the rear passenger window. He grabbed the seat handle of the passenger and laid it backwards, unhooked the mother’s seat belt and pulled her out in one fluid motion. Everyone assisting him said it was amazing.
He then went back into the vehicle through the rear window, with his body almost completely in the vehicle. You could still hear the cry’s of what appear to be an infant, who appear to be trapped underneath the roof of the collapsed side.
A minute later you see a small bloody infant being pushed out through the window of the passenger side. One of the EMT’s took the child and ran back to the ambulance. Just after that you see Undertaker disappear completely into the vehicle; you then see the roof of the car bending upward. Undertaker was pushing the roof of the car up, attempting to get to the driver. The firemen were attempting to assist him by placing jacks, off the fire engine, in the vehicle to support the roof each time he pushed up on it. After a few moments he finally made enough room to weasel the driver out of the confined space, sliding him overtop of him into the passenger backseat where the firemen could reach him and pull him out.
The firemen then assisted Undertaker out of the vehicle and over to the ambulance, it appears that he had multiple cuts all over him from the broken glass inside the vehicle. Other units began to arrive and assisted in the treatment of the patients.
All of the firemen were amazed that he was able to do what he did in such a confined space. He was a hero for risking his life to save others.
You wouldn’t think that a person with his kind of dedication could commit such a crime that he was convicted for. I wonder what could’ve happened to turn him into such a person.
Again this horrible sound started to enter my head; it was the alarm going off. This was definitely a power nap, but I was really tired. I was more interested in what was about to happen. I hadn’t seen Undertaker since I testified and now I was about to face him alone for some kind of conversation. But it was too much of an adrenaline rush to turn him down.
I got up and jumped in the shower. South prison was about forty-five minutes away and I didn’t want to be late. While I was driving I went over things in my mind that he’d possibly want to speak to me about. I drew a blank. I guess I just needed to wait till I got there to find out.
I arrived at the prison administration building, I had never been to this facility before, had no reason too. I parked and walked looking at the building as I came up to it. I couldn’t imagine being in this facility or behind bars. It was creepy.
I went up to the receptionist and introduced myself, telling her I had an appointment to see Mr. Jason Bartlett. The woman told me to have a seat and a guard would be here soon to escort me to where he was located.
About 10 minutes went by and this gentleman, in a guard uniform, came up to me. His name was Frank and he was to escort me to a small conference room where Mr. Bartlett was located.
Frank asked, “Sir, are you carrying any weapons or contraband? I’ll need to search you prior to going to the conference room. Do you mind?”
I told him no that I wasn’t carrying anything but a lighter and a bottle of salad dressing in a brown paper bag, his favorite, a gift to Mr. Bartlett.
Frank asked me for the lighter since there was no smoking in the facility anyway. I gave it up immediately. He told me it would be returned upon leaving. Then he looked at me with a smile, he thought the salad dressing was funny.
Frank, smiling, said, “A gift, ha, that’s hilarious.”
As we walked down the hallway, many of the prisoners in the hallway backed up against the wall till we passed. It made me feel like I was some type of an inspector or something. It was again creepy. As we arrived at the conference room Frank told me there would be a window between Mr. Bartlett and myself and to use the phone, on the wall, to speak to him. This was a private meeting and no one else will be near, so I can speak freely. He’d be standing near the door. When I was ready to leave I was to signal him and he would escort me back to the main lobby.
As I sat down this cold shiver began to come through. I wasn’t afraid of him or anything he could do to me. It was the situation of the unknown, why did he want to talk to me? He tried to kill me once, killed others. What did he have in store for me? I don’t think he can reach me through the glass. I’m under the impression he hasn’t talk to anyone, but his lawyer, recently. I guess I need to stop and wait. I sat the dressing next to my right foot, took a deep breath. Through the door came Undertaker. He was bound in chains around his ankles and wrists, which were attached to a chain belt. He had shaved his mustache and beard and cut his hair real short. He didn’t look like himself, rode extremely hard and put up soaking wet. He sat down in front of me and looked at me for a minute.
I decided to pick up the phone. I held it for a minute; he then reached for his. As he put it to his ear, I blurted out, “Doesn’t look like you’ve been sleeping well, something on your mind?”
Undertaker smiled and said, “Sorry chief, at the time I shot you I didn’t have much to live for. Eliminating you, we thought, was necessary to keep our little secret. We knew you had discovered our little operation, but really didn’t know how until the DVD was shown. I should’ve realized that the one camera was a decoy and that another existed. There was no other options left when you suspended us, we received orders for your termination. We knew the medical director really well and knew the real truth, we were dead in the water.”
Undertaker continued, “I just wanted to know if you were interested in how our little system worked? No, let me rephrase that, if you would be interested in our little operation? It wasn’t until I was arrested did I realized what I had done and who was still at large.”
He continued, “I wish to tell you my story without witnesses. You can make your decision on what you want to do about it. I still remember when you rode with me when I was an EMT. You went back to your boss and told him nothing about what was going at #106. Believe it or not, you were set up. There was a club that you once participated in which was larger than you could ever imagine. I’ll give you some information now to satisfy my claim. I have an appeal coming up which will not go well. I can’t tell my lawyers or anyone else this story. I know no one knows about it because it didn’t come out in court. There is actual documentation of each transaction showing others involved. We were advised not to go against the advice of our attorneys.”
Undertaker asked me, “Did you hear the news about the attorney and Cronk? These weren’t natural deaths, but no one will know. NO TRACE OF NOTHING! That’s why I asked for solitary confinement, not many people can visit, each have to sign in and out. Everyone is escorted in and out. All meals are escorted in and out.
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