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Posted on 06 Apr 2022 @ 1:43am by Special Agent Mason Benoit & Special Agent Angelica Passolini

Episode: S1E2: The Conex Box of Horror
Location: CGIS Motor Pool - Fleet Services
Timeline: Date 2021-05-17 at 1100

Mason pulled his go bag from the rear seat of his Chevy Silverado and locked the truck. While he had been assigned a vehicle, he was not authorized to take it home. So he commuted in his truck and parked it in the designated area for personal vehicles within the secure motor pool. He had already checked out his assigned carbine from the armory, and it as encased int the rifle pack slung over one shoulder. He spotted Angelica and made his way over to her.

"Good to go here ma'am. Which vehicle would you like to take, yours or mine," he asked. As the junior partner, he would defer to her decision.

"We can take mine," She walked over to her car and checked that her gear was secured, "I got the seat just right." She had been making room in the trunk for his kit. "And Angie is fine, ma'am is either my mother or my last Platoon leader."

He followed her over to a nearly identical sedan to his own, aside from the color. He put his gear next to hers in the trunk. "Of course, Angie. I'll just warn you that it may slip back a few times. I had many a good slap from my mother for not calling a lady 'ma'am'," he said as he closed the trunk. He walked around to the passenger side and opened the door before settling in.

She settled in to her seat and checked something on her phone, a text from Uncle Paulie, Charlie would be taken care of. "I figure we rotate driving, makes things easier. "

"Works for me, still trying to figure out how to get around up here without my GPS," he said trying to break the ice as the car started up and he buckled his seat belt. "So, I take it based on everyone's reaction at the briefing this is the first case of this kind the team has handled," he asked.

"It's not normal, no, before this we cleared up some stuff in Cape May, poor dumb recruit bolting basic training, towards the end tried to hop a flight." She sighed, "I handled a human trafficking case back at Albuquerque PD, but that was Afghan women who tried to bail, and got dragged over. THey asked me to help because I spoke some Pashto."

"I heard about that around the office. A couple of love birds running away together, I just hope she was worth it," he said as they exited the parking lot. "How did that go in Albuquerque," he asked.

She paused, "turns out it was some local gang, we managed to get her out, she got refugee status, and last I heard, her family joined her last year. I got a card from them on Eid, this year. "

"Sounds like it had a good outcome then," he said as they navigated through traffic to get to the highway. "This will be my human trafficking case. I dealt with a few animal trafficking back in Wyoming when I was with USFWS. Poachers taking elk out of season to send the velvet back to China for use in illicit medications," he said remembering his work back in Cheyenne.

She shook her head people were stupid, and wasting perfectly good meat like that, "Hope they at least used the meat. My uncle taught us never to waste game, he runs a fishing charter in town."

"Nope, the were leaving the carcasses and just taking the heads. By the time us and Wyoming Game & Fish were finding the carcasses it was too late to save the meat," he said in agreement. The act of taking a game animal and not using the meat infuriated him. By the time they had busted the ring, the hunters had been sent to a federal prison where they would serve their time, then they would do time in The Wyoming State Penitentiary.

"He does, I may have to look him up. It's been a while since I've gone offshore fishing," Mason said perking up at hearing her uncle was a fishing guide.

"I'll get you a card, he's retired Coast Guard so he'll cut you a good deal."

Mason nodded as he looked out the front window. "So, seeing as how I'm new to the team and all, what's my role going to be in this. I mean I am the junior partner," he asked.

"We're going to work together," Angelica began, "I don't know everything about investigations, hell I was the junior until today. So I figure you got areas where you're strong, I got areas where I'm strong, we'll balance it off and figure it out."

"Well, I promise that I won't do anything stupid," he said as he looked over at her with a grin. He had to admit the first case with his new team was certainly a far cry from his previous work back in New Orleans.

"Please don't." Angelica grinned back, "The paperwork on that is brutal."

Mason grinned in response, "Don't tell me you've never had to endure some of that? I remember my first big case. New guy in the Cheyenne field office, we got called out to a possible poacher out on BLM land near Caspar. Me and my TO, who was not exactly a ray of sunshine, drive out and meet the RP. As we are walking the scene, I find myself further out from the others, and I'm looking around for evidence thinking everything is hunky dorry. Then my TO starts hollering and screaming for me to freeze, so I stop and look back at him. Thats when I realized I had walked right through the crime scene, gotten boot tracks all over it."

"Ouch." Angelica winced in sympathy.

"My TO torn me a new ass at that. Thank God the suspect stupidly took his bull elk to a local taxidermist to get it mounted, out of season. We picked him up a few days later. Definitely learned my lesson that day," Mason continued.

"Don't feel too bad, first day out of the Academy, first call, Walmart on San Mateo and Zuni back home, we get a call for an assault. Guy ran out, bleeding we get out of the car, I look at the guy first thing I say, "Call the police." My TO looks at me, takes his cigar out of his mouth and says "Rook, we are the damned police." 5 years with Albuquerque PD and I still got reminded of that shit."

Mason winced slightly but offered a reassuring smile, "I can imagine that was hard to shake." He laughed slightly at the decription of her TO, "I'm more impressed that your TO got away with having a cigar while on the job. He must've been close to retirement."

"He was, over 20 years so he just figured do his job." She chuckled, "When I went back after graduating from FLETC, he was working part time at a tobacco shop, Still had those cigars."

"And how'd he feel about you joining CGIS," he asked. He knew the usual ire between local cops and federal agents, having witnessed it several times himself.

"His exact words were, At least it's not the fucking FBI." She chuckled

"My TO retire after my probationary period in USFWS. Last thing he told me was 'Don't fuck it up out here.' Then he moved down to Florida," Mason said before slightly shaking his head. "Believe me, there was a lot of people ready to see that guy go in Cheyenne."

She nodded as the road unfolded ahead of them, They continued to swap stories of cases they've worked as they went on the way to Newark.

 

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