Pete and Jones made it back to the station in quick time but things were already out of control. Captain McManus was up to his neck in calls from the higher ups in the city who wanted to know what was being done to take care of the Prophet. McManus tried to insist that his best people were on it, but there was no answer that was going to satisfy them. They wanted it handled yesterday, and their political clout made it hard for McManus to dismiss their concerns. The pressure was getting to the old man, but there was nothing he could do about it. Pete was in charge and would do whatever he could to resolve the matter, but things were only getting worse. With the firing of a rocket propelled grenade on the highway, many powerful people were calling for Homeland Security or even the National Guard to come in and help take care of the Prophet. A bit extreme, but it was clear that the group this madman was targeting were scared and rightly so. As Pete walked back into homicide by himself, McManus wasn't even in the mood to call him in and walked out to meet him.
"Tell me you have something on this guy," he captain begged, "Anything?"
"We got his RPG launcher," Pete replied. "Jones is taking it to forensics, but I'm not holding my breath. Our suspect got away in a black van. I wasn't able to get anything from the plates, but I'm going to access highway cams. Maybe we'll get lucky and get the whole plate and can trace the vehicle."
"How many were killed by the RPG?" McManus asked.
"Two were inside the limo when it was hit," Pete answered. "The guy he was after wasn't inside, and he left Dodge a long time ago. We were able to question him before he fled the nation, and he did receive a specific threat from the Prophet a while back."
"That might be his undoing," McManus said. "I've been on the phone all morning, and we've recovered quite a few letters that punk has been sending out to the upper crust of the city. Hopefully we'll see a pattern, and that might allow us to trace where this guy might be dumping his mail."
Pete could see where the captain was going, "If the mailroom or box has a camera on it, that might help us identify our man."
"Exactly," the captain said with a grin; he still had it. "Let me know when you get more on the launcher. I want to know how the hell that bastard got something like that into our city!"
"We're on it," Pete replied. He wanted to know as well, because there was no telling what else the Prophet had brought into the city. The last thing he wanted was his suspect to elevate to more dangerous weapons like bombs. That would scare people enough that the feds would have to come in and take over their case. Pete wasn't surprised people were scared, but right now he and his team were the best shot at getting this guy. It was their city, their stomping ground, and there was no way he was going to let some bureaucratic, pencil-pushing jack off from Washington pull the rug out from under him. He got back to his desk and several recovered letters from the Prophet were waiting for him to inspect. Each one was inside a zipped bag, and he put on some gloves to inspect them. Each letter was more or less the same; repeal your rotten ways or I will punish you for not respecting those who work under you. He inspected the envelopes. There was no return postage, but the stamp of what mail center processed it would be a start. They would have to trace it to see what mailbox this was put into and hopefully they'd get lucky.
Pete was hoping that the Prophet was dumb enough to mail them out from one mail center, pay the postage for everything at one time. He doubted that was the case but buying postage stamps for all these letters was quite risky because if just one had bad postage, his plan would fall to pieces. There was no way the Prophet would risk one letter not making it to its destination. That would ruin months of planning. He had to have personally sent them from a post office. Pete made a phone call to the post office and after being put on hold for several minutes by a few people, he was finally able to speak with someone, who quickly refused to divulge any information, citing right to privacy and other bullshit before hanging up.
"What?" Grozza asked from across their desks.
"He hung up on me," Pete said as he slammed the phone down. "Can you believe this shit?"
"Was that the post office?" his partner asked.
"Yeah." Pete rubbed his eyes.
"Let me handle that." Grozza picked up the phone. "I know someone there who might give us some inside help."
"Good idea." Pete said, sitting back and watching as Grozza work his magical charm on the first person who answered. It was his power of persuasion that made Grozza such an asset. He could charm his way into someone's house rather than wait hours for a warrant. It came in handy to have someone who could negotiate and save time, when lives were at stake.
Pete got up from his desk and grabbed himself a cup of coffee. After tossing in a few sugars and some cream, he walked into the lounge where a few officers on break were watching the news. It was all about the Prophet and his attacks on the city, which was now the top story of every national network. It was only a matter of time before Homeland wanted to get in on the action. Pete was honestly surprised he hadn't heard from the boys at Homeland Security already. The use of an RPG would put the Prophet on the verge of being called a terrorist and that would take the gloves off. Pete wanted to get this guy bad, but the Prophet was careful, meticulous and that was going to make it tough for anyone who was on the case, local or federal.