They are The Exchange Students, a corrupt band of cops moonlighting as hired vigilante assassins, backed by New York City's most powerful business and political figures.
He is Fear Meagher; blue and green to the core - cop blue and Irish green. He doesn't like minorities, women, gays, or any of the changes now happening in his beloved America.
When the woman Fear loves is murdered, the investigation leads to powerful men who are detroying anyone who gets in their way. Fear's only ally is his worst nightmare: Carlyle Taylor, black, female, and an ambitious journalist who's sworn to drive Fear from the police force.
Together, they are brought face to face with an immensely powerful, evil nemesis who draws them into a terrifying web of justice turned inside out.
On an icy Sunday in March shortly after 10:30 P.M., the black vagrant agreed to help the chubby white man unload his van, with whitey coming through when the job was done.
One hundred dollars for ten minutes' work.
"Dodge minivan at the entrance to the parking lot," the white man said. "Bitter cold out. If you don't want to do it, I'll understand."
"Cold won't bother me," Maurice said. "I'll be there."
"Like I said, ten minutes at the most."
They were in the steel-and-glass lobby of the International Arrivals Building at Kennedy Airport, in front of the main currency exchange, now closed for the night. Hotel-reservation desks, ticket counters, and baggage check-ins had short lines or no customers at all.
A hundred dollars for ten minutes' work. Maurice blew on fingers chilled by a hawkish north wind. For that kind of money, he would soak his drawers in gasoline and run through hell.
He was in his late thirties, a slim, dark-skinned man with fleshy lips, black mustache and goatee. His forehead was covered by dreadlocks that hid a scar he'd received when a cop had clubbed him with a police radio hard enough to break the batteries.
His top front teeth were missing. His remaining teeth were discolored or broken; his cheeks were bumpy with ingrown hairs. He was wrapped in a filthy green quilt and wore a seedy fur hat. Instead of shoes he wore several pairs of dirt-encrusted socks. For protection he carried a linoleum knife in the pocket of his sweatpants.
He said to the white man, "We best be getting over to the parking lot."
"You go ahead," the white man said. "I have to make a phone call. I'll meet you there. Remember: Dodge minivan near the entrance....."
Queens Homicide Task Force/Detective's Report (DD5 No. 238)
INTERVIEW WITH MAURICE ROBICHAUX AKA DWAYNE MUSTAFA, TYRELL CLIFFORD, TONY MONTANA
CASE: Schiafino Murder
Subject interviewed March 22, 0145 hours, at borough headquarters. Subject is male black, 38, 5'7", 140 pounds, with dreadlocks, black beard and mustache. He states he is homeless and lives at Kennedy Airport. Subject states that around 10:30 p.m. on 3/21 he walked from the International Arrivals Building to the parking lot opposite the terminal. He arrived minutes later, where he met a male white who had hired him to unload a Dodge minivan.
Subject states he and m/w were alone. He further states the m/w, whose name he never knew, handed him a bottle of wine. Subject drank from the bottle and immediately passed out. He states he awoke in the parking lot to find himself in the custody of homicide detectives, who arrested him at 0200 hours for the murder of Det. Schiafino. Airport security guards had summoned homicide detectives after discovering the subject lying beside Det. Schiafino's body.
Subject states he met the m/w described as thirtyish, chubby, bearded, and wearing dark glasses, a week ago in the International Arrivals Building. Subject states the m/w gave him a hundred-dollar bill every day during this time.
Subject stated he was set up, that he believes the m/w murdered Det. Schiafino and arranged for him to take the blame.
Maurice Robichaux's version
"Tonight I come to the terminal round 10:30. I was meeting this white man because every day he give me a new hundred-dollar bill. He do that for a week. He don't tell me his name, he just give me money. I didn't tell nobody because niggers at the airport always robbing people. At first I thought the hundreds were counterfeit, but they turned out to be real.
"Tonight we meet, and this white man say he like to help people down on their luck like me. He say he would give me another hundred if I help him unload a minivan in the parking lot. Hundred dollars for ten minutes' work. Since he always give me money, I say I help him out. I wait for him in the parking lot. He show up and he give me some wine. I drink it, and next thing I know I wake up in handcuffs, and cops say I killed some policewoman. I never kill nobody."
Subject is a known EDP with a history of drugs and violence. He has served time on Rikers Island for criminal trespass, criminal possession of stolen property, and possession of burglary tools. Subject was discovered 3/22, 0100 hours, drunk and unconscious in parking lot opposite International Arrivals Building at Kennedy.
He was lying beside Det. Lynda Schiafino who had been hacked to death with a linoleum knife found in subject's hand.
Copyright © 1996 by Marc Olden