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Copyright 1984, 2001 by Gerald Petievich


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For Emma


This is a work of fiction. Any similarity to persons living or dead is purely coincidental ... exists solely in the reader's mind.



A MELLOW VOICED WEATHERMAN on the car radio predicted rain.

Rick Masters changed the station as he steered carefully across the Vincent Thomas Bridge which spanned a portion of the murkiness known as the Port of Los Angeles. As he reached the tollbooth at the entrance to Terminal Island he realized that it was dark enough for headlights. He pulled the headlight switch on the polished wooden dashboard of the Rolls Royce, turned right onto Ferry Street and cruised along the industrial thoroughfare past canneries and marine salvage yards toward the water. Though he didn't need it to find his way, at the end of the street was an inconspicuous metal sign, the kind used to mark such places as insignificant historical landmarks. The sign read: Terminal Island Federal Prison. He swerved in the direction of the arrow on the sign and followed a narrow road which led to a parking lot in front of the dingy, brownstone administration building.

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