Episode 61: Beatific Vision

Peter comes to work early, and sees Toni’s truck by itself in the parking lot.  He goes over to her cubicle and finds her sleeping at her desk.  He picks up her notepad.

Jenny Kaufman signed out by Jon Boanerges and an attorney @10:28am on Saturday.   Attorney _____: partner at white shoe firm.  Bills out @ $1,200/hour.  No medical flights recorded out.  Tom thinks private Swiss facility is rabbit trail, as is 10EU ransom, that Rolf is bankrolling the procedure.  Rolf knows all the majors who could have pulled this off and he’s got the means.  Kostamo wouldn’t have needed the kidnap ruse to separate Lana from Bettina.  Rule him out.  Jon’s involvement makes NYC crew most likely.  Why am I chasing this?  To help Jax.  But Jon is right.  Let Jenny do this for Lana.

Where is the crime?  Channel 5 ran an interview with a man claiming to see Lana carried by a man, possibly Middle Eastern, from an ambulance into a limo in only her bra and panties in an underground parking garage.  He said she was wearing dark sunglasses.  It doesn’t make any sense.  The fake highway patrolman went out of his way not to alarm Bettina.  Why would they terrorize poor blind Lana?  Crimes: Abducting Lana.  Impersonating a police officer.  False imprisonment.  Lana won’t press charges if she lives.  She’ll settle the score herself, knowing her.  And if she dies, this is going to be even more of a shitstorm.  Simon siding with Rolf and Jon.  Bettina siding with Jax.  Bettina furious at Rolf, who has Lana’s durable power of attorney, for signing off on the procedure.  Rolf is really exposed legally and will take the heat.  But Jon is the hidden hand here, and likely knows all.  Just tell Peter that it was a pizza dream and call in sick tomorrow…it’ll be over one way or another within twenty four hours.

Peter goes into his office and calls Captain Howard.  Toni tracked this down; you’ve got one helluva fine officer there, Ron.  She spent the night here and is sleeping at her desk.  I’m reading her notes.  Ron, she called me late last night and told me this crazy story, and I blew her off.

It turns out that Jenniqua is one Jennifer Kaufman, I spell K-A…

Pete, I want to conference in the mayor, Captain Ron says.

At 8:35am, the mayor gives a press conference.  Jenniqua is one Jenny Kaufman, not a terrorist organization.  I’ve ordered the investigation to be suspended.  This isn’t what we thought it was.  He shows a picture of a bald girl and Rolf Asgaard from the Make-A-Wish Foundation website and launches into the story.


Jax gets dressed and heads downstairs, where Tom is drinking coffee and reading the USA today newspaper, with its ABDUCTED headline.  He fixes his amino acid boost and then sits with Tom.  Bettina couldn’t sleep, so she headed back to her apartment, Tom tells Jax.  She wants to sleep in Lana’s bed.


Please tell me we aren’t behind this, uncle.  He doesn’t say anything.  Sam groans into the phone.  Who ran it?  Genesis, Exodus…  Does Lana know about the procedure?  She said yes without hesitation, Sam.  Will the Torah pick up if I call it?  Only one way to find out, and he disconnects.

Start talking, Samantha says in Hebrew, when Levi picks up the phone.  She wanted to make a scene, Samantha.  She asked me what was your alma mater and then tore her dress and took it off before I could get to her.  I carried her to the limo and threw her in and she almost made it out the other door.  What did you do?  I pinned her until the vehicle started moving.  She tried headbutting me.  Then she just huddled into a ball against the door.  How can you torture a blind person?  Samantha exclaims.  It wasn’t like that, Samantha.  I made a dress out of a blanket and made her put it on before I carried her to the plane, where I had a change of clothes waiting.  She didn’t fight me anymore after that, and was very polite.  She came out of the lavatory after takeoff and got a little sleep.  She and your uncle talked for awhile in the car at the hangar.  Now she’s at the clinic being prepped.  Call me when you know, she tells him and hangs up.

Sam calls Ramon.  Yes, he says in a clipped voice.  I found out that we are behind this.  Ramon, I know the man who ran the op; he’s a pro.  He better not have touched her, Ramon snarls.  Lana tore her own dress to draw attention to herself when they switched vehicles.  She’s very, very smart.  She met with my uncle in the hangar.  She gave her consent to the surgery, Ramon.  I’ll let you know when I find out more.  I love you, Sam tells him and hangs up.

Ramon calls Tia.  The Jew is behind this.  Samantha just confirmed.  Why?  Tia asks.  I don’t have an answer.  Lana gave her consent, Tia.  It’s happening.

Sam calls Bettina.  Is this channel clear?  Yes, Bettina says in a clipped voice, suddenly sitting up on Lana’s bed, where she’s been laying.  Lana tore her own dress and took it off when they switched her from the ambulance to the limo.  She did it to draw attention to herself and distract her captors.  It worked.  Did they hurt her?  NO.  Samantha says firmly.  I had absolutely nothing to do with this, Bettina, but I know the man who ran the op.  He’s a pro.  He said that he had to pin Lana down so she couldn’t get out the other limo door, and she tried headbutting him.  But then she just curled into a ball against the door.  He said she didn’t fight him anymore after that, but was very polite and slept on the plane.  Bettina, Lana was told about the procedure and said yes without any hesitation.  She was told about Jenny?  I don’t know, but if I had to guess, I’d say almost certainly not.  Don’t call me, but I’ll let you know when I find out more.  Sam disconnects.

Bettina calls Jax.  Hi.  Are you still at daddy’s?  Yeah, but I’m getting ready to drive over to her parents.  Do you want me to pick you up?  I just found out that Lana said yes without any hesitation when she was told about the procedure.  From who?  Sam.  Jax disconnects.

Sam sees that Jax is calling and presses ignore.  He keeps calling, and she finally picks up. I don’t want to talk to you, Sam tells him.  What do you know?  I had nothing to do with this, Jax.  I didn’t know that Lana had been abducted until this morning.  What do you know?  Did you talk to Bettina?  She asks him.  Yes.  Then you know what I know.  And I’ll call her as soon as I learn more.  I need this line to stay clear.  Bye.

Jax calls Bettina back, but the phone goes straight to voicemail.

An hour later, he walks through the press assembled outside and goes upstairs and pounds on the apartment door.  Who is it?  He eventually hears Bettina ask through the door.  It’s me.  She opens the door a crack, and looks at him with sleepy eyes.  Will you go with me to Lana’s parents?  Later, she tells him.  I need to get some rest.  Can I come in?  He asks.  The press is outside. They’re going to want a statement if I head back out again.  Bettina opens the door and lets him in.  And he suddenly becomes aware that she’s not wearing a bra under her tank top.  Not meeting his eyes, she hands him her phone.  I’m going back to bed.  Wake me up when Sam calls.  And she leaves him alone as she goes back to Lana’s room and closes the door.


Portland, Oregon

Jillian watches the hosts of a morning show discuss the mayor’s press conference.  She scowls at the Bush daughter on the screen chattering on about the procedure.  It’s simply science fiction, she concludes.  Another host asks a medical expert about the probability of success of the procedure.  This surgery will euthanize two brave young women.  I know it sounds simple and minimally invasive, but it is anything but.  First they have to extract the donor eyes without damaging them. Then they have to attach each eye to the optic chiasm.  I don’t know of any surgeon in the world who would even consider this, let alone attempt it.  If she survives, Lana Radley will still wake up blind even with donor eyes from Jenny Kaufmann.  It’s not medically possible to just plug and play like these rockstars seem to think… tissue regeneration is the holy grail of modern biology.

Jillian shuts her laptop, and gets up from the dropcloth on the couch that she’s been sitting on, and goes back to painting the baby’s room.  If it’s a girl, I’m going to name her Lana Jennifer MacIntyre, she thinks.


The drive to Rolf’s house is blocked by a portable aluminum cookshack.  Cajun chiken reads a spray painted propped up car hood along the side of the road.  Police and the press show up, as Buck Neezy and his posse grill out in front of the stone wall - stereo blasting.  Customers only, Buck Neezy tells the cops as one of his posse films the interaction.  Move the vehicle, the cops tell him.  It be broke.  Cuz has gone fo parts.  Fif dolla, get yew some chiken, while we waits.

The highway soon goes down to one lane, between cops, media, and customers.


Simon watches Fox News cover the impromptu block party in the lobby of the university athletic facility, where he’s gone to swim laps.  He sees Jon appear, walking up the long drive wearing a black dress shirt and slacks with his head down.  The stereo turns off and a hush goes over the crowd.   Jon goes over to Cassidy Meadows and hands her a spiral bound notebook and stands with his head down as she reads.

Jenny Kaufman passed at 1:36pm local time while holding Lana’s hand.  Her final wish was fulfilled.  The operation was a complete success.

Simon sees Jon’s body rack with sobs, and Buck Neezy takes off his cooking apron and goes over and puts an arm around his shoulder.

Lana gave her verbal consent to the operation to restore her sight, knowing the risk to her own life, but without knowing about Jenny’s role or presence.  Her partner, Rolf Asgaard, has her durable power of attorney.  He signed off on the operation on her behalf, and accepts full responsibility: legal, financial, and moral.  As Jenny’s legal guardian, I, Jon Boanerges, signed off on her participation in this operation.  I accept full responsibility: legal, financial, and moral.

Jon turns around and walks back up the drive to Rolf’s house with his head down.

The press swarms the district attorney’s office.  The matter is under review, is the only comment he gives upon heading home.


Sam calls Bettina mid afternoon.  Jax wakes up from taking a nap on the couch. Bettina’s phone, he answers, suddenly wide awake.  Jax?  Sam questions.  She’s sleeping in Lana’s bed.  What do you know?  Jax, it worked! Sam exclaims.  Dr. Takeda was able to successfully attach Jenny’s eyes.  How is Lana?  Jax says after a long pause.  She’s being transported from the clinic to a safehouse now, while she’s still under sedation.  Are you okay?  Sam asks.  She hears Jax take a deep breath and let it out.  Yes.  I’ll let Bettina know.  Let her sleep, Sam orders.  Lana’s alive, but we won’t know if she’s regained her sight until she comes out of sedation.  And when will that be?  I don’t know.  Thanks for letting me know, Sam.




The press swarms them, as they step out on the sidewalk, Bettina clutching his arm.   How is Lana?  What’s the latest?  She’s been transferred to a secluded location.  Can you confirm that she can actually see out of Jenny’s eyes?  I only know that that transfer was successful.  My mother is a neurosurgeon, and she expects severe headaches from nerve pain to manifest.  She told me that there’s an eyedrop therapy where they formulate a serum out of the patient’s own blood to stimulate nerve growth.  That’s my operating assumption of what’s happening now.  So you don’t know whether she can actually see, or the quality of her vision, if any?  A reporter follows up.  That’s right.  I don’t know.  Jax confirms and stares down the reporter who asked the question.

Have you heard from her?  Another reporter asks Bettina.  I have not, Bettina says, so she must still be resting.  But hopefully, SEEING me with her fiance, will get her to call me.  Do you have anything that you’d like to say to Jenny’s parents? Bettina’s head drops, and she starts to choke up.  She enjoys beatific vision now, Bettina says teary-eyed into the camera.  That’s enough, Jax tells the press, putting his arm around Bettina’s shoulder.