This is strange. I’m usually the one asking the questions.
Think of it as expanding your horizons a little, then.
Haha, I can deal with that! OK. I’m Cleve Issacs. Um… now what?
You’ve been around a lot. Army, police…
Yeah, and chief peon and CEO of C.I. Security.
That’s a little too brief. Let’s expand a bit.
Sure. I graduated from high school in 1999, as in “party like it’s.” I didn’t have any job prospects, and wasn’t really thinking much about college, so I joined the Army. I figured I could do a hitch or two, get some training, then get some college on Uncle Sam’s dime afterwards if I wanted.
Then 9/11 came along. I got sent to Afghanistan, re-up’ed, and got out in 2005. I was pretty well fed up with Army life by then, but I might have stayed on if they’d agreed to put me through MP training. By the middle of my second hitch, I know I wanted to be a cop when I got out. I figured having some MP experience would have given me a leg up. But it didn’t work out, so I walked. I got into police academy, graduated pretty close to the top, then came back home and joined the Atlanta force.
What about your family?
Not much to tell. I was part of a stereotypical urban black family: Dad was long gone, Mom on and off welfare and trying to raise three kids. One thing that broke the stereotype, though: she wasn’t having no excuses about us dropping out of school and “getting work.” My sister was a few years younger than me, and Mom made sure me and my brother watched out for her. Yeah, she had boyfriends, and she probably slept with at least some of them, but we chased off the creeps and users. So we all graduated from high school. My brother Carver was good with languages, and aced his Spanish classes all through school, and he ended up with a construction company because they needed someone who could tell the Mex— the work crews what to do. My sister ran off with some guy, and we all lost touch with her. She was about Sara’s age. I’m pretty sure they all drove off.
Why didn’t you?
Drive off? It just never occurred to me. My clients were dropping off the face of the earth, so I was really busy trying to keep an eye on everything — I guess I just didn’t have the time.
Then the looters came along.
Yeah. I was trying to tell everyone that we needed to watch for stuff like that — authority was pretty well gone by Friday afternoon, and the looters figured that out by Friday night. I was kinda surprised how many of my neighbors were armed, though — and that goes double for Sondra. It was touch and go for a while — I was pretty sure one of us were gonna get hurt, maybe even shoot each other — but then the looters got tired of getting shot at. I suggested we all move together onto one block, and that turned out to be a pretty good idea. We got lucky; I was organizing our defenses for another round of looters on Saturday afternoon when the bashers rolled up on their Harleys, so we were already outside, armed, and ready. It could have been a lot worse. As it was, that idiot Muldoon just walked out to them, hands out, peace and love dudes, and got hisself shot dead for his trouble. We all opened fire, and they ran for it. I shot the guy who killed Trey, and Lucado took down three more, one shot each — she shocked the hell out of me, lemme tell you.
What do you think happened?
No clue. This doesn’t really fit the standard investigative model — it had to be either God or the Devil who made all those trucks, and how do you go about arresting them?
Good point. What are you going to do now?
Keep harping about security, I guess. Everyone else — and I mean everyone — has let their guard down since we got up to Laurel. Even Tim. He’s a good guy, but half those bashers are still out there. Over half, if our friend Joseph rejoined ’em, but I don’t think he did. Even if they gave up and went back to their cave, there’s probably others just like ’em out there. Sure, there’s more of us, but we’re not as well-armed and we’re not out looking for trouble. We need to start looking for trouble, so it doesn’t just drop in and visit, you know?
Back to Episode 30…