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HYDRA AMOK



HYDRA AMOK

Someone is murdering Asian prostitutes. It looks like a serial killer is on the loose, but things are not what they seem. When Detective Sergeant Dempsey Suter investigates, he uncovers information that points to a clandestine racist group in the Police Force. How widespread is this group, and is it protecting the killer?

When his partner Delia Nguyen is shot and wounded, Suter thinks he is getting close to the truth, but even he is not prepared for the shocking revelations that follow.

And who is ‘The Hydra’, who is apparently masterminding the group’s activities?

Suter must discover the identity of The Hydra before it’s too late…for everybody.

In Store Price: $26.00 
Online Price:   $25.00

ISBN:1-9210-0529-7
Format: A5 Paperback
Number of pages: 285
Genre: Crime Fiction


Author: Chris Kent 
Imprint: Poseidon
Publisher: Poseidon Books
Date Published:  2005
Language: English

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR   

Chris Kent lives in Sydney Australia and is currently writing full‑time. “Hydra Amok” is his third novel

PRECURSOR  

The raucous sounds coming from inside the hotel were augmented by a commotion close to the main entrance. A few moments later the doors flew open; two bouncers were wrestling a large man through them. The man was trying his best to struggle free but the bouncers were far too strong. They gave him one final shove and he was propelled onto the pavement, tripping over to land on his face.

            “You’ve had your last warning, Lewis,” yelled one of the bouncers. “Don’t bother trying to come back here. If you do, my mates and I will kick your fat arse from here to Brisbane. Now fuck off!”

Greg Lewis got up off the asphalt, wiping the grit off his face. He turned around to the retreating bouncers. “Just try to do that, you fucking cowards! I’ll come into your shit-hole anytime I want!”

He started to stagger down the main street of Nambour towards the boarding house he had called home for the last six months, ever since he had driven up from Sydney. He had liked the large Queensland country town at first, and had managed to get a job at a timber yard. He thought people would be receptive to his political ideas; after all, wasn’t country Queensland the most conservative, right wing region in Australia? Some people certainly were; they congratulated him on his ‘heroic stand against socialism’. However, his views did not go down well with others; his talk of starting a new Party got a lukewarm reception from most of them. It was one thing to stop Asian immigration, but to put all Asians living in Australia into concentration camps? Most people did not appreciate the Nazi swastika flag he used to proudly display at the rallies he organized. The police had warned him to ‘pull his head in’, or else he would be saying ‘hello’ to a prison cell. However, it did not stop a few officers agreeing with his philosophies.

He watched the patrol wagon pull up alongside him. He stopped as two uniformed constables got out and approached him. He recognized them as supporters who had secretly attended a ‘Special Rally’ at the farm of one of the towns’ most prominent citizens. He greeted the two officers with a grin.

“How are you two bastards doing?”

“Been spreading the ‘Good Word’ have we, Greg?” asked the older officer.

“You know me, Mick,” replied Lewis. “Gotta try to tell the people what’s happening to this great country. Australien Erwache!!” he yelled, giving a Nazi salute.

“Yeah well, they can stay asleep for now,” said Mick. “We want to have a friendly little chat with you, Greg old son. Why don’t you step into the back of our nice wagon?”

“Aw come on, Mick… you not going to arrest me? I only got chucked out of that filthy pub because there were too many do-gooders in there tonight.”

“Don’t worry, Greg. We just want a chat; some of our friends south of the border want you for a little job they have in mind. Worth a bit of money if you’re interested.”

“Oh fuck, does that mean going back to Sydney?” asked Lewis nervously. “You know that place is too hot for me now. The socialist chardonnay-set own it; good Australians like me are not welcome there any more.”

He climbed into the wagon; Mick followed him. The other officer, a young constable, with only a few years experience, got in the driver’s seat; the van drove off towards Lewis’s boarding house.

“You’ll be OK, old son,” said Mick. “Our friends want you for a job, which I know you will love; it involves Asian women. I can’t tell you any more now, but they want you down in Sydney as soon as possible. Go to work tomorrow, collect your pay and resign. Think your old wreck of a car will get you to Sydney?”

“Sure Mick,” replied Lewis, who was feeling excited at the prospect of doing things to Asian women. “I can leave tomorrow as soon as I get my pay. I can tell that arsehole of a manager to get fucked… that’s a good enough resignation letter for him.”

“Good,” said Mick. He handed Lewis an envelope. “Your instructions are in there. When you arrive in Sydney, give this envelope and everything in it to the guy you meet; he will destroy it. After this, just do what he says. I promise, you’re going to have fun!”

The van pulled up at the boarding house. Lewis, after promising to do as instructed, got out. The van drove off with Mick still in the back, which seemed strange; what Lewis didn’t know was that Mick was using his mobile phone to call the ‘prominent citizen’.

“It’s all set,” the policeman said. “Lewis is heading off tomorrow. Contact your friends in Sydney… Lewis should be there in a couple of days, as long as his car doesn’t blow up.”

He clicked off and banged on the metal partition. “OK Steve, pull over. I’ve had enough of being a prisoner for tonight.”     

CHAPTER ONE       

Detective Ian Bates looked again at the small slip of paper that had been given to him by a friend from his Academy days, Constable Phil Martens. He seemed to have the correct address, although the old fibro house seemed an unlikely place for a meeting of The Society. While Bates didn’t expect a mansion, he thought the venue would be slightly more up market. Shrugging, he walked up the short path and knocked tentatively on the front door. A few seconds later it opened; a short stocky man looked suspiciously at him. Bates showed him the slip of paper containing the address of the house and a picture of a flag; the man glanced at it and permitted Bates to enter. Martens had told him the flag, the design of which intrigued Bates, was a ‘password’, and that he must show it in order to be permitted access to the meeting.

Bates followed the man to the lounge room where four men sat in chairs. The Detective was directed to a metal chair and told to sit down. The room was dark and he strained to see the faces of the men. He was a little nervous; the scene reminded him of some strange initiation he had seen in a movie. He waited for somebody to speak.

“Welcome, Ian. Your presence indicates your desire to join our Society. We’ve heard good things about you from the late Inspector Shane Goodwin, may he rest in peace. We want you to tell us why you want to join The Society.” The voice was deep and guttural.

Bates took a deep breath and commenced his prepared answer.

“My friend Phil Martens has been telling me about the creation of The Society and what it stands for. He knew that I would be receptive to the objectives of The Society and the reason for its creation. I believe that the forces of multiculturalism have undermined the New South Wales Police Force; the refugee apologists, feminists and Affirmative Action do-gooders have polluted the force with their propaganda. If nothing is done about this, the cancer will spread to the entire area of law enforcement, including the Judiciary. Indeed, it has already started. This cancer is inhibiting proper policing. Something must be done to restore the status quo before it’s too late.”

The deep voice that had asked Bates the first question continued; Bates thought he had heard the voice before, but couldn’t place it for the moment.

“Very good, Ian. Tell me… what do you think about working alongside Asians?”

“I only just tolerate it,” he replied. “I’ve just finished working with a Viet bitch on the Hangman case. Snotty nosed cow named Delia Nguyen. She’s in Sergeant Suter’s pocket; they’re inseparable. I transferred to Northern Area to get away from Asian officers; they’ve almost taken over South West.”

“We are in complete agreement with you, Ian. The Society considers that Asians are the biggest potential threat to the stability and security of the Force. Of course, we never ignore the problems with other minorities, such as Blacks and Muslims. However, for the present The Society is concentrating its efforts on the influence of Asian officers. There is a very worrying trend occurring; Asian officers are being fast-tracked for promotion. We expect that there will be an Asian Area Commander within the next twelve months. We cannot allow that to happen. The Society will be using its resources to undermine this plan. Are you with us, Ian?”

Bates did not have to consider his answer for long. He had seen examples of this fast tracking himself at South West Area; he had become convinced that he must transfer to have any chance of becoming a Sergeant, but things at Northern had not been going too well recently. He had hardly distinguished himself in the Hangman case, being trumped by Delia Nguyen on more than one occasion. Sergeant Suter had been less than impressed with his work; even Commander McGovern had turned against him after the murder of Inspector Goodwin. He saw in The Society a chance to redeem himself. There was just one little matter…

“I promise that I will follow the ideal of The Society to the best of my ability. May I ask how many members belong to The Society, and are there any senior officers in it?”

In answer, the lounge room main light was switched on. Bates found himself gaping at the owner of the voice.

“Ian… you look like you’ve just seen the devil himself,” said Area Commander Walter Goodhall, currently in charge of South West. “Sorry to disguise my voice, but we couldn’t reveal ourselves until we were sure of your commitment.”

Bates couldn’t believe it. The Commander of the area most infected with Asian residents and Asian police was a member of The Society! He slowly shook his head as he looked at the other men, who were smiling at him. One of them asked him if he wanted a drink.

“Double bourbon… no, better make it a triple,” he replied, relaxing slightly on his chair.

Goodhall laughed. “I bet you’ve got a few questions, Ian. For instance, why am I at South West when I don’t want Asians in the Force? The answer is simple; I don’t attract suspicion, and where better to get a clear picture of how the Force is being undermined?”

Bates nodded and accepted the glass of bourbon. He sipped as Goodhall continued. “You must remember, Ian, that we in The Society must always give the impression that we fully support the initiatives of the multiculturalists. Why do you think I supported the promotions of three Asian Constables to Sergeant ahead of other, perhaps better-qualified people such as yourself? The main reason was pressure from the local community, who are mostly Asian. The local councils within my region are infested with them, as you know. I bowed to this pressure, but don’t think for a minute it will be permanent. I am creating a climate of false security… when it is time to strike, The Society will do so, with all its strength. Now listen carefully… you are now a fully-fledged member. You will be sent a full list of members (we have well over two hundred), with their postal addresses. The only form of communication between members is by ordinary mail, unless there is an emergency. I am the Leader of The Society… you can call me on my mobile in extreme circumstances. We are not like Freemasons or the Ku Klux Klan; I don’t have some grandiose title like Dragon Master or Grand Wizard. However, we do have a symbol; Doug, show Ian what we mean.”

One of the men got up and left the room. While he was gone, Goodhall introduced Bates to the other members. There were two Constables, an Inspector and a Sergeant; Doug, the man who had gone to fetch the flag, was a civilian. He was a public servant attached to the Police Department’s headquarters in the city; his grade indicated he was in a senior position. It was very useful, as Goodhall pointed out.

“We have spread our influence outside the Force. Not only to Public Sector employees, but also members of the Judiciary.” Bates was suitably impressed.

Doug returned with the flag and gave it to Bates. As the detective had seen, the design was simple but extremely powerful; the flag consisted of a black central strip flanked by two red strips. On the black strip was a white Christian cross.

“We considered placing a swastika in the top left hand corner, but it was considered to be too boring; after all, almost every right wing group uses it these days,” said Goodhall. “What do you think of it?”

“I like it,” answered Bates. “Can I get one to place in my bedroom?”

“Yes,” said Goodhall, “but remember, never show it in public. One thing The Society does have in common with Freemasonry is that we like to keep out of the limelight.”

“I understand,” replied Bates. “I will be faithful to the ideals.”

“Good,” said Goodhall. “Now I must also ask you not to be belligerent to Delia Nguyen or any other minority officers. I don’t mean you need to hug and kiss them; just bite your tongue when you want to argue with them, and tolerate their verbal jibes. I know that Nguyen tries to stir you, and most times you react. I ask you, for the good of The Society, to tolerate it for the time being.”

“OK sir, I will do that. I just hope it’s not forever,” said Bates hopefully.

“No Ian, not forever. Also remember that all members call each other by their Christian names at meetings or other Society activities. However, when we are working, we use normal protocol. So, here I am Walter; at South West I am ‘sir’. There are no ranks in The Society; we are a team of equals. I coordinate the activities, but I am not a dictator. ‘All for one and one for all’ as the Three Musketeers said. Is that clear?”

“Yes, sir… I mean Walter,” replied Bates.

“Excellent… now, how about some takeaway pizza?” asked Goodhall.

As Doug phoned the order, the others engaged in general discussion. Bates finished his bourbon and listened to the chatter, occasionally giving his opinion on some matter. He was just happy to be part of a team… a team where you truly belonged, and where nobody would stab you in the back. As he left the house shortly before midnight, he thought the only problem would be trying to get along with Delia Nguyen. It was going to be tough, but he wanted to impress Goodhall. Who knows, he thought, he may not need Suter or Commander McGovern’s help in securing a promotion any more. With someone like Walter Goodhall backing him up, the sky was the limit.                                                      

Bates received the letter a few days later. He was surprised to see the large number of names on the membership list, although it was probably not even half of the total. There were members in all areas of the state, but the majority was in Sydney. There were only a handful of female members, which didn’t really surprise him. He recognized some of the names; officers he had worked with, or met in his Academy days. There were a few names that surprised him. One name in particular made him shake his head; he never would have thought this person would be a member. Amazing how someone can fool everybody, including himself.

There were also some names of people who were not on the Force. Bates raised his eyebrows at one of them. Goodhall had said The Society was spreading its influence to the Judiciary. The name Bates was staring at was proof positive. Goodhall had provided a mobile phone, with the instruction that Bates must use it exclusively when contacting him about Society matters… nothing was left to chance.

    

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