Strange Bedfellows


Marcus Taggert held the impractical little cell phone to his ear with one shoulder and tried awkwardly to scribble the clerk’s name onto a crumpled-up napkin.  “L. E… Would you spell that last name for me?”  Carefully he wrote the name. Y-u-t-n-e-s-s.  “Okay, thanks,” Marcus said earnestly.  “I appreciate all the help you’ve given me.”

“What have you got?”  Detective Alejandro Garcia eagerly approached his partner.  He could see Taggert’s triumphant expression from all the way across the room.

“I reported Dara’s SUV as stolen.”

Alex could tell from the way his partner said the words that they were supposed to mean something of significance to him.  “That means we have an official report of it.  So what?”

Under other circumstances, Taggert’s smug smile would have provoked Alex to irritation.  “I didn’t report to the Port Charles Police Department that her car was stolen,” Marcus grinned broadly.  “I reported it stolen to the LoJac people.”

Instant understanding dawned on Detective Alex Garcia’s face.  “And since they track all their clients with a Global Positioning Satellite, they have to know exactly where her car is at this very moment!”

“Give the man a prize!” Taggert crowed.  He waved the napkin about in the air.  “Thanks to a little ingenuity and some cooperation from a loyal citizen who wants to help, I now have the exact location of Dara Jensen’s SUV.”

“I can’t believe he gave you that kinda privileged info with Dara’s password for confirmation,” Alex mused.  “Not that I’m complaining, mind you.”  He quickly slipped behind a nearby desk and keyed up one of the department’s computers.  “Give me the coordinates,” he ordered his partner impatiently.

Marcus read the numbers aloud and watched over Garcia’s shoulder as the computer began to hone in on the resulting location.  “You must have done something wrong,” a puzzled Taggert said when a location finally popped up onto the computer monitor.  “Try it again.”

“Are you sure this is what the guy told you?”  Alex Garcia watched the computer come up with the same result as before.  “Because according to this, Dara’s SUV should be right in the middle of our squad room.”

“I know what he said!”  Marcus pressed the redial button of his cell phone.  His call was answered almost immediately.  “This is Detective Marcus Taggert!” he barked into the phone.  “Let me speak to L.E. Yutness!”

“…There has to be,” Marcus argued with the party on the phone.  “I just spoke to him a few moments ago.  L. E. Yutness!

Despite the gravity of the situation, Alex Garcia could not prevent his smile.  “Marcus, hang up the phone.  You’ve been had.”  He shook his head.  “Listen to the guy’s name.”

Alex watched Taggert silently repeat the name.  “You got it,” the detective said when awareness dawned on his partner’s face.  “Our so-called ‘helpful’ employee seems to go by the name Eliot Ness.”