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"Black Jim"

By Kellyanne Lynch

* Please e-mail ScullySloan@juno.com with questions, comments, theories, complaints, or words of wisdom.

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Chapter 6:
Thursday, 4:25 P.M.



Jesse ventured into the police station. Chuck was nowhere in sight; Jesse went for the shiny bell.

DING!

Chuck stood up from where he was kneeling behind the desk. Before Jesse could run to Mark and Amanda, Chuck grabbed Jesse's shoulder.

"See this bell?" Chuck held it in front of Jesse's nose.

"Yeah?" Jesse squeaked.

"Does it look like lunch?"

"No."

"Well," Chuck growled, "it's going to be your lunch if you ever touch it again! Understood?"

"Chuck, be easy on Jesse," a soothing voice joined the conversation. "He's had a difficult morning."

Looking at the newcomer, he said, "Sure, Dr. Sloan!" and he let go of Jesse. The young doctor raced behind Mark. "So, what can I do for you?"

"I was wondering if you could look through the database for the name Black Jim."

"Black Jim?" Chuck raised an eyebrow and stood up to his full height. "Why do you want that information?"

Closing his eyes, Mark replied, "I'd like to keep that a secret for the time being, if you don't mind."

Chuck shrugged. "Sure, doctor." He turned from Mark. "Scamp!"

"Yo!" Scamp peeked out from behind a cubicle. His eyes met with Mark's. "Hey, doc!"

Scamp jogged to the front desk.

"Why don't you search the database for Black Jim."

"But, Chuck!" Scamp replied. "Who's Black Jim?"

Glaring at Scamp, Chuck sneered, "It doesn't matter." Scamp rushed to the nearest computer and began typing away.

"Black Jim, Black Jim," Scamp muttered to himself. "Nope, no Black Jim."

"No?" Mark furrowed his eyebrows. "Well, how about B L Jim?"

"You mean using B and L as initials? Okay, I'll try that." Scamp typed the new entry, paused, and then shook his head.

"No. No B L Jim either."

"Well maybe we'll have better luck just looking up the last name Jim," Amanda suggested.

Sighing, Scamp typed again and waited. "There's a Shan Jim and a Ytoko Jim. Nothing that starts with a B or an L."

"Can you bring up their files anyway?" Mark asked.

"Sure." Scamp pressed a few keys before a picture of an oriental man appeared on the screen. "Shan Jim. Date of birth is September fifteen, 1962. Diedů"

"Okay, it can't be him," Mark concluded. "What about the other one?"

"Ytoko Jim," Scamp read when the man's file loaded. "Date of birth is January fourth, 1984. He only has a record because he shoplifted a couple months ago."

"That's not a case that Steve would have handled," Jesse said.

"Oh, you're helping Steve?" Scamp asked.

Mark nodded. "You could say that."

Shrugging, Scamp motioned toward the screen. "I don't know what to tell you. I could try a keyword search."

"You know, that's a good idea," Amanda replied. "After all, Black Jim may not be a criminal."

"Or even a person!" Mark exclaimed.

"Whoa!" Scamp interjected. "You don't even know if Black Jim's a person? We probably should have checked on keyword first."

Scamp typed again and waited. "No, it's not coming up on keyword either. Sorry I couldn't help you, doc."

"That's okay, Mike. Thanks for trying."

Glancing at his watch, Jesse announced, "I go on duty in a few minutes; I gotta get going!"

Mark and Amanda followed Jesse toward the door.

"Hey doc!" Chuck called out. All three doctors turned around. "I mean, Dr. Sloan! We'll keep an eye out for this Black Jim. And I'll tell Steve you came by!"

Mark turned to the exit and saw that his friends were already outside, waiting for him. He paced toward the door and stopped when he saw a yellow, palm-sized sheet of paper lying on the floor. He picked it up and read it.


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