Chapter 3

by CrossWriter last modified 2020-07-27T14:27:06-04:00 — Total 2.5 K words
first published on 2020-07-27T14:27:06-04:00

As he kept digging deeper into the case, Detective John was finding the evidence about Julie’s supposed misconduct harder to dismiss. The chief accountant had just left after a lengthy questioning. John had no reason to believe the accountant was lying. Also, the audit performed was a quarterly process and all the results were a matter of public record.

He was interrupted by one of the officers of the department.

“Detective, you might want to take a look at this.”, the officer said.

John followed the officer to the financial crimes unit of the department. He had shared the report and its findings with the financial crimes unit. When he arrived, the lieutenant was already present along with the financial techs.

“Good afternoon, Lieutenant. I did not expect you to be involved in this case.”, John said, frankly.

“I was just passing through. I am not used to seeing excitement in the department. When I heard whooping coming out from here, I came to investigate. Youngsters these days, I wish I had the energy like them.”, the Lieutenant said.

John had a good laugh with the lieutenant at that. Both himself and the lieutenant were veterans in the force. Nothing excited them after so many years in service. A little bit of excitement always felt good. He turned his attention to the financial tech.

“What did you find?”, he asked.

“We were able to trace the transfer of funds of around the same amount mentioned in the report to an offshore account. The account is located in one of the tax haven countries and we will need to liaise with them to get the details of the account.”, the financial tech replied.

“Who authorized the transfer?”, John asked.

“A senior accountant’s credentials were used to transfer the money. When we dug further, we found that he had completed his tenure at Mr. Prune’s firm a day before. Due to clearance processes, his account was still active. That was what allowed the suspect to make the transfer.”, the financial tech replied.

“What are you thinking, John?”, the Lieutenant asked.

“It just seems too convenient. Julie is fired from her firm and Mr. Prune breaks contract with the law firm which employed her. Julie disappears soon after and her initial allegations point to misbehaviour by Mr. Prune himself. Now we are handed this evidence pointing to embezzlement. I am not convinced whether the evidence is real or a cover up for something more serious.”, John said.

“Well, in my long career, I have always had these questions. The problem with them is that our instincts normally don’t match with the evidence at hand. Keep your thoughts to yourself until any evidence confirming them comes forth. Follow the trail that the evidence is currently pointing towards and see where it leads.”, the lieutenant said.

John nodded his approval towards this thought process. The lieutenant left John to his work. The lieutenant’s words were wise. He may not want to believe the evidence but it was still evidence. He had to see where the evidence led before he could allow his instincts to muddy his vision.

* * *

Julie was completely unaware of the web of lies that had been created around her disappearance. Her life was limited to the cage and the barn. The only people who interacted with her were her handlers. Unbeknownst to her, she was being conditioned to become dependent on whoever her handlers were.

Exercise had become a part of her daily routine. Every morning in the early hours, her handler led her on her leash and they walked rounds around the barn. The pace was slowly being increased and Julie found her body slowly adapting to the rigour of walking on her hands and knees. In fact, after spending an entire day in the cramped quarters of her cage, the exercise was both refreshing and gave her a taste of freedom.

After one of the intense rounds of exercising, Julie was feeling intense gratitude towards her handlers. Julie had come to realized that the activity of exercising was definitely exciting compared to the monotonous time she spent inside the cage. Julie surprised herself as well as the handlers by walking towards the female handler. Julie dipped her bald head and rubbed the side of her face to the female handler’s shoes to show her affection. The handlers smiled at each other. This meant that Julie’s personality that identified as a pet was slowly starting to become stronger. The female handler bent forward and rubbed Julie’s bald head in appreciation.

As she leaned into the touch, Julie heard the very first words out of the handlers mouth for her.

“You are such a good girl.”, the female handler said.

Julie was unprepared for the wave of emotion that simple sentence of praise brought in her mind. She started crying and the handler knelt besides her and just held her while she sobbed through her gag. All the while, the handler kept uttering sweet nothings to calm her down. When the handler was sure Julie was calmed down, she led her slowly towards the trees. Julie dutifully lifted her right leg and pissed herself.

Her clit bell tinkled as Julie let out a stream of piss. Julie did not find the sound of the clit bell humiliating now. She had become used to the sound of tinkling every time she moved. The sound of the bell had become a part of the pet’s existence.

During the bath, Julie enjoyed the loving sensations of the female handlers hands roaming all over her body. The handler was extra gentle this time and Julie liked it better than the rough rubbing she received during other times. Julie was dried and given a bowl of water.

Julie waited for her female handler to remove her ring gag and was surprised when the handler stood where she was. The handler made no move towards removing her gag and Julie understood it to be a new test. She kept her eyes on the handler and slowly lowered her head towards the bowl. Julie extended her tongue and dipped it into the water. The smile on her handler’s face was all the confirmation she needed.

Julie started licking the water through her open mouth. It was a difficult process and most of the water just dribbled back in the bowl. When she tried to move away, the handler pressed her hand on her bald head. The instructions were clear. Julie had to keep trying to drink through the ring gag. Julie had tears in her eyes once again as she thought she was failing to do as her handler wanted.

Julie kept trying to drink for the next ten minutes. The handler maintained her pressure at the back of Julie’s bald head. Eventually, Julie was allowed to move back on her haunches. There was no emotion on her handler’s face and Julie dreaded that more than anything. Julie was led back to her cage and locked inside. The handlers left without a backward glance at her.

When the feeding time arrived, Julie was let out of the cage. She noticed that this time she had the kibble without meat in it. Julie understood her behaviour was not up to the expectation and thus she had received no reward. Her ring gag was removed and Julie dipped her mouth into the kibble bowl and started munching the cold and hard meal. When she was done with her meal, Julie was allowed a trip for toilet and then she was secured back in the cage.

For the next few days, Julie’s life continued with the same pattern. Morning time exercise was followed by the test of drinking water through the ring gag. Julie slowly started to get a hang of trying to satiate her thirst even with the gag on. This was followed by a bath and then she was secured back in the cage. Food breaks were the only other times she was let out. Rest of the time, Julie spent daydreaming in her cage.

The mature voice of Julie the human was growing fainter day by day. The resistance was faltering and Julie the pet was taking over. The handlers knew that Julie’s human side might never completely be erased. They, however, wanted Julie’s animal instincts to become powerful enough to keep the human side suppressed always.

During the second week of Marcus and Melissa’s honeymoon, Julie was introduced to another activity. After her exercise and toilet, Julie was led by the leash to the open space in front of the barn. Julie waited with slight apprehension about the upcoming activity. The female handler removed the ring gag. She showed to Julie the small tennis ball she held. It was clear that they were going to play a game of fetch.

Julie the human decided to rear her head at this ultimate insult. Julie’s unused voice croaked a string of insults at the female handler. Julie the human had overcome her simpler side and become consumed with rage. She did not notice the cattle prod until it was too late. The jolt of electricity turned Julie’s words to a scream. Julie kept on screaming as she was repeatedly prodded. Silence reigned at last when Julie had passed out because of the pain.

The female handler left the ring gag out of Julie’s mouth. The male handler carried her unconscious form and deposited her into the cage. They locked the cage and left Julie to contemplate her actions. They had expected Julie’s human side to lead to outbursts from time to time. It was all part of the conditioning.

* * *

During that week itself, John got another lead in Julie’s disappearance. Julie was caught on the camera at one of the car rental company’s offices. He went in to meet the person in charge at the rental company.

“Hello, this woman come to your rental company few days ago. Can you tell me if she booked any rental from your office and if yes, where did she want to go.”, John asked.

“Yes, this woman was at our office a few days ago. She booked a rental for the mountainside. She gave this address and said it was her grandfather’s cabin.”, the desk attendant said, after checking in the system.

“Thank you, can you give me a copy of the receipt?”, John asked, trying to get his phone out of the pocket.

“Actually, there was another thing Detective. Miss Julie had booked our rental for a two day trip. We were expecting to pick our car up at the end of the time period. The car was never found.”, the attendant said.

That gave John a pause.

“Don’t you guys have a GPS device on the car?”, John asked.

“We tried to track the GPS and found it by the roadside. Someone had removed the GPS. We immediately registered a complaint for the stolen vehicle. We have had no luck so far.”, the attendant said.

The case was starting to become complicated now. Julie took out a rental car and vanished with it. John immediately called his lieutenant.

“Hello Lieutenant, this is John.”, John said.

“Yes, John. You seem concerned. What’s up?”, the lieutenant asked.

“I fear that Julie might be trying to escape the country by road. She has stolen a rental vehicle and removed its GPS. I am messaging you the plates. We need to find the car before Julie crosses the border.”, John said.

John gave the plate numbers to his lieutenant and started his journey back to the department. It was now a race against time for them. When John reached the department, his lieutenant pulled him into the war room.

“Everybody listen up. You guys know John. Our suspect is Julie Sinn and she is trying to escape the country after embezzling money from the Prune corporation. These are the plates of the rental she has stolen for the purpose. Get in touch of all your contacts and let me or John know if you have any update. Dismissed”, the lieutenant said.

Meanwhile, John went over the evidence once again to determine if he had missed anything. The stolen rental car increased the chances that Julie had indeed siphoned off the money and was now on the run. The rental was stolen almost a week ago now. She could be out of the country by now. He held his head in his hands.

“John, we have an update. Can you come to the war room?”, the lieutenant said as he popped around John’s desk.

When John arrived majority of the officers in the department were present. A man in a finely sewn coat was standing besides the lieutenant. The lieutenant pointed to the screen and pressed the play button.

The video was from the border checkpoint. The car with the same plates as the stolen rental was waiting at the checkpoint. A woman leaned out of the window and her hair and clothes matched the one Julie was seen wearing in the car rental office’s camera footage. She was wearing huge goggles and had the collar up to avoid getting recognized. The officer at the checkpoint checked the documents and then allowed Julie to pass through.

There was muttering from the officers present in the room. The lieutenant introduced the man in the coat.

“This is the border patrol liaison that works with our department. I reached out to him to see if he had any information. He asked his officers to scan the footage to check if the car matching our plates had passed through any border checkpoints.”, the lieutenant said.

“This is the report from the checkpoint scan that one of my men did when Julie Sinn passed through. Her passport and other documents were clear at that time. We had no reason to stop her passage. I am sorry, Detective.”, the liaison said.

John scanned the report and also the screenshot that was attached with the report. It showed the woman that clearly looked like Julie pass through the checkpoint unopposed.

“You were not aware that we were looking for her, Officer. Julie’s ploy to derail the investigation with sexual misconduct allegations really worked. While I was busy working on that angle, she was planning her escape.”, John said.

“I agree. Thank you, Officer. Your quick work helped us find out where our suspect disappeared at last. We can only hope to catch all the criminals in time.”, the lieutenant said.

John had to agree with the lieutenant’s words. Finding Julie was now going to be extra difficult as other nation’s governments would be involved now. The officers dispersed from the war room. John put the case file in a drawer with the other ongoing case files. There were many other cases that needed his time.

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