Tannion Stepping Out

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic

After spending five years in prison, Jim Tannion was more than happy to get out. He was only a little surprised when the FBI agent who had put him in prison in the first place met him at the gate. Tannion was even more surprised when he realized that he was looking forward to seeing him, and could almost call him a friend.

Mike Rallin was now the agent in charge of an elite FBI organized crime unit, but when Tannion’s old friends in Los Angeles become the target of Rallin’s team, Tannion couldn’t stay away. Could he stop his new friend from hurting his old friends, and did he know who his real friends were?

Tannion has his hands full setting things straight and keeping himself and his friends alive and out of jail, while trying to keep friendships intact on both sides of the law; a delicate balancing act that he might not survive.

Chapter 1 (v.1) - Tannion Stepping Out

Submitted: May 21, 2015

Reads: 193

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Submitted: May 21, 2015

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1

 

When Tannion walked into the room, there were six people already there. He only knew two of them. One of them was Watson, a guard he had gotten to know a little over the years. He was standing over next to the door doing his duty.

The other five were sitting behind a long table leaving the other side with a solitary chair. It was obvious which chair was his. Tannion had never been in this room before, but he knew what he had to do. He took the seat. At least he got to sit down.

The second person in the room Tannion recognized was the warden. He was sitting at the left end of the table, a little away from the other four. Tannion and the warden had gotten to know each other quite well over the last five years. He had turned out to be a strict but fair man. Although Tannion respected him and almost liked him, he didn’t owe him anything.

The other four were strangers, but they held his future in their hands. It was up to them to determine if Tannion would get out or not. Tannion had been there for five years; they could set him free, or they could make him stay for as many as fifteen more years. They were his parole board. His sentence had been twenty years, with possible parole after five. The charge was manslaughter.

Tannion found it hard to believe that five years had passed already. It wasn’t that the days sped by, but only that when the end of a long period of time was reached, it was easy to forget the daily drudgery. He remembered the day he got there five years earlier, and it seemed like only yesterday.

It had been an interesting five years, to which the warden would attest. Tannion had wanted to be there to find the men who he knew were in there, and to do what needed to be done. These men were difficult to find in the outside world, but in prison, they were a captive audience. It was a place where Tannion was happy to spend some time, but five years sounded like enough.

In the five years since his incarceration, more than a hundred men had been taken out of the warden’s prison in body bags. That sounded like a lot, but with a prison of that size and the type of hard cases it contained, it really wasn’t that large of a percentage. It might not have been that many more than the prison’s average for that time period.

Some died from an act of violence, some from illness, and a few from unknown causes. Tannion had a hand in almost all of them. Or maybe that might be a little too much to say. He at least had his hand in a large number of them. More than the warden would ever know.

It had started only about a week into his sentence when the local toughs thought they needed to soften him up and take what they wanted. They saw him as a potential threat and had decided to ensure that Tannion knew his place. He thought it best to become the head tough guy instead, and they gave him the opportunity. The boss’s name was Gus Balkin, but he went by the name of Big Gus. From his appearance it was immediately obvious why he got the nickname.

Big Gus came at Tannion with three of his men. Men who didn’t get to live much longer. The warden never did find out if Tannion had anything to do with their deaths. He didn’t need to know. Big Gus belonged to Tannion from that point on, as much as he didn’t like it.

Because of hits put on Tannion from his time in Los Angeles, there had been at least a dozen attempts on his life, and they all took place within the first year or so. Either the perpetrators gave up after the failures, or all his enemies were dead. All of them failed. Tannion was still standing. The warden knew about most of them and they had come to an understanding. Tannion was prepared to protect himself, and the warden was prepared to consider self-defense as a means of getting rid of a few inmates he didn’t like either. The warden was a very pragmatic man, and could occasionally see a good thing when it hit him on the head.

The rest of them died from various illnesses or an occasional busted head, but each was based on their situation. Tannion didn’t feel any remorse for ridding the place of guys the world didn’t need. The world was a better place when these guys couldn’t get out and repeat what had put them in prison in the first place.

Tannion’s parole board consisted of three men and one woman. They all looked to be in their late forties or maybe early fifties. The older looking man in the middle was obviously in charge, and he started the session.

“Mr. Jim Tannion. My name is Merle Adams. I will be chairing this session. On my left is Mr. Janson, and to my right are Ms. Williams and Mr. Chance, and of course you know Warden Saunders. Before we begin, do you have any questions?”

Tannion told him he didn’t and Adams went on. It took only a couple of minutes to explain the process, and it was pretty simple. They had reviewed Tannion’s file and had talked to the warden. As Tannion had waived council and refused to have anyone talk on his behalf, Tannion would either get out on his own merit or spend more time inside. It would be their decision to make.

As it got closer to the date of Tannion’s parole hearing he had decided that he wanted out, especially since knowing that this day was scheduled. He still felt there was a lot of work for him to do inside. It left him with mixed emotions. The decision he made was to go ahead with the parole hearing by himself, and if that wasn’t good enough then he would stay. If it were good enough then they would let him out.

If Louisa had still been in the picture then maybe it would have been different. They were supposed to get married, and it had been the application for the marriage license that had gotten him caught. Tannion needed to use his real name and somehow they had found them. Despite all she had told him about how much she loved him, after a year and a few months she had stopped visiting. It was almost impossible to keep that kind of long-distance relationship going for long.

The parole session lasted just over an hour. There were questions from all four of the panel members, and they asked the warden a few as well. He had submitted his written report and the questions were for clarification only. When there were no more questions, Tannion was told that they would take a few minutes for discussion and he was taken out into the hall. Watson went with him, and even though they were still well inside the prison walls, he kept an eye on Tannion.

When the time came, the warden stuck his head out of the door and motioned to Watson. Tannion saw the nod and stood up, ready to meet whatever they had decided. His chair was still waiting across the desk from the panel. Without asking, he sat down.

The chairman was the only person who spoke. He told Tannion that they had come to a decision, and that based on his record over the five years of incarceration, and with the input from the warden, they were granting his parole. They were well aware of what Tannion had done in Los Angeles and had taken that into account along with his behavior inside. The warden must have filled them in on the attempts on his life and the results, and they obviously had decided that they were self-defense and not to be held against him.

The warden had a very slight smile on his face, and Tannion wasn’t sure if it was because he was happy that Tannion was going to get out, or if the warden was happy that he was getting rid of him.

Other than the results of the attempted hits on Tannion, he was probably what the warden would call a model prisoner. Occasionally a few hard cases would end up dead in some corner, but the prison was relatively quiet once Tannion arrived, with one notable exception.

The warden might not know that Tannion had a big hand in that exception, but Tannion would not have been surprised if he had his suspicions. The warden had his people on the inside and they would have kept him informed. Tannion wondered what it might be like inside over the next few months.

Tannion was told the processing would take a couple of days, and by Friday he would be a free man. They also told him that he needed to decide where he would live. They needed to set up his parole officer, and although he would be out of jail, his life was still not completely his own, but they were letting him go. He was getting out.


© Copyright 2019 Wayne Elsner. All rights reserved.

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