Dreaming of a New York Conspiracy
New York. An evening with snow and lethal winds. My partner and I were convinced the men would arrive within the hour. We entered the apartment on the fourth floor and searched for evidence. The sniffers rummaged through the beds, the closet and bathrooms. The more perceptive of the two approached the hard drive and signaled our attention. I absorbed the information through my hands, but could not complete the entire download.
A car pulled up and half a dozen men were headed into the building. My partner covered the front entrance. The sniffers were crouched beside him.
“They’re not coming through the front,” I said. “I’ll check the side entrance.”
I reached an old staircase and counted the men climbing the steps. Six, seven, ten. A total of eighteen men. Broad shoulders, thick legs and square torsos. We’re outnumbered, again. The first man to reach the top of the steps fired as soon as he sensed my presence. His quick draw put a bullet in my neck.
I clutched at the wound, trying to apply as much pressure as possible to stop the bleeding. The pain was distinct. Immediately harsh and then a kind of slow fading that seemed to be a reminder of a childhood scrape on the knee. I wasn’t ready to wake up, so I kept still and focused on my breathing. The shooter stood over me and laughed.
“Bill’s on his way,” he said. “He’ll explain everything when he gets here.”
William Becker? The man we report to? Strangely, I understood this was the chief detective on the case, but I couldn’t remember ever meeting him.
I kept thinking I’d wake up, but instead I was dragged away by a wet nose. The perceptive sniffer managed to escape and dragged me to safety. He shook at his fur and sat next to me, forming a barrier between me and the rest of the place. I sat up and heard voices in the other room. It sounded like they were arguing, but when the door opened their laughter echoed into our ears.
“Get up, detective,” said William. “It only hurts if you allow it to.”
My partner helped me up and ordered me to keep my mouth shut. But I was growing aware of the set up. Bill sent us here, but didn’t intend to make any arrests.
“A large fine should make this look official,” said Bill.
“And we’ll expect easy access for the next shipment,” said the shooter.
I stopped applying pressure to the hole in my neck and let it bleed freely.
“Bill, are you kidding me?” I said. “That idiot just shot me.”
“It’s just a scratch,” said the shooter. “If I really wanted to hurt you, you would have woken up already.”
Although what I said next was quite unlike me it sounded like the appropriate follow up.
“I promise you…the next time we meet I’ll gut you like a pig.”
Although he tried to shake off the threat, I could see he knew I meant it. And I felt the intensity in my words, which in the early hours of this morning seemed crude and unladylike.
My partner had to drag me back to the car because I refused to quit threatening the shooter. The conspiracy finally had a face. We couldn’t trust William. Or anyone else who worked for him. My partner and I would need to devise a new strategy. The sniffers followed and slept in the backseat as we rode in silence back to the station.