Please Note: Though the places and locations referred in this story are real, this is a piece of Fiction and any resemblance to reality is purely coincidental. All characters appearing in this work are also fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is also coincidental.
Driving home after an uneventful day was something Detective Kurt Morgan disliked. Dull days at the Major Case Squad in New York City were rare. However, when they did come, the entire unit felt bored. It was almost nine when he reached his home in Chelsea. The house had belonged to his father, a not-so-well-known writer who did have a few published works. By ten, he was fast asleep on the couch with the television running. With the television’s volume turned down, his snoring and the water dripping from the kitchen faucet were the only noises in the house. Det. Morgan did not know that the next day would more than compensate for a dull today.
The sunlight was shining through the window when he woke up. He let out an audible sigh. He knew it was going to be another boring day at work. Damn! I need some coffee. – Where’s my phone? – He wondered. – There on the coffee table. – Blinking lights. – That’s weird. This early? Must be from Sara, he thought. – 10:30 AM! – 3 missed calls. From his partner, Det. Albert Williams. – He called him back. Albert answered almost immediately. “Morning Bro”! Albert’s voice was tense with excitement, “Kurt! Listen! There’s been a 10-20 at TD Bank on West 26th. Two guards are dead. But, get this…Nothing has been taken. The vault is lying open. However, the money and the bonds are intact.”
Kurt was wide-awake now. A 10-20 at TD Bank? That was just 3 minutes from his place. A robbery and nothing was missing. Weird. If there were no robbery and just two dead guards, it would be assigned to homicide and not Major Case Squad. Why was Albert so tensed over a double homicide? “Kurt! You there? Bro! Where are you? Get yourself down here. There’s something that you need to see.” What could be so strange about a double homicide that Albert wanted me to see, wondered Kurt.
Forgetting all about that coffee, Kurt rushed to his car and was outside the bank in five. Kurt knew there was something wrong the minute he walked onto the scene. Both the security guards had been shot in the head. Since when did bank robbers start taking headshots? Walking into the vault, he surveyed the damages, which was almost no damage at all. Albert was standing in the middle of the vault with a look on his face that Kurt had seen only once before. During his best friend and ex-partner, Wesley Thompson’s funeral, two years ago.
Wesley and Albert had been partners at homicide before he joined the Major Case Squad. Wesley had staged a bank robbery and Albert had shot him during the confrontation. Albert blamed himself for Wesley’s death. He had shot him, albeit in self-defense. Albert showed me a piece of paper. It was a parking ticket and on it was scribbled the words, “Ask Gavin Thompson. Address: Five Points Correctional Facility, Romulus, NY.”
“Who’s Gavin Thompson Bert?” asked Kurt. No reply. “Albert?” Silence. “ALBERT?” “Brother!” was the only word he uttered. Kurt understood immediately. Brother of his ex-partner Wesley. Albert had once told him that Wesley had a brother who was serving time for armed robbery and murder. Kurt made a decision immediately. “Let’s talk to Gavin Bert. The ticket says so.” Albert was in two minds. Talking to him was the next logical step. However, there was no evidence linking him to this and this was not their case. It was homicide.
It was a five-hour drive to Romulus. It was way past lunchtime when they reached Five Points correctional. Kurt had never seen Albert so silent. Requesting to see Gavin had been a simple one. All Kurt had to do was make a few calls. The only problem was thinking up a reason to see him. Neither Kurt nor Albert was part of the homicide investigation. They had to put it as Personal. Seeing Gavin, Albert let out an audible gasp. “Twin!” he muttered.
The minute we explained the situation to him and showed him the photographs of the vault, a faint smile crept across his lips. He knew something. “I will give you the people behind this provided I get a sentence commutation” was all he said. He had already served more than half of his sentence. Why ask for a commutation now? Kurt agreed to take his proposal to their seniors if his lead panned out. He gave them three names and an address in China Town.
The drive back was just as quite as it had been to Five Points correctional. It was when they neared the address that Albert broke the ice between them, “I am sorry for clamming up like that bro. I was reminded of that night again and the fact that Gavin was Wesley’s twin was something I could not digest. Wesley had told me he had a brother. I had not expected a twin”. “It’s ok Bert! I understand,” said Kurt.
The address was a run down building in China Town. Kurt took the front and Albert went in through the back. It was not exactly pitch-dark as there was a light on the first floor. Albert went up the stairs while Kurt checked out the ground floor. BAM! BAM! There were two gunshots. Kurt rushed up the stairs. Albert was hiding on the other side of the landing. He pointed two fingers downwards and raised one finger. Two Down! One to go. “Drop you weapon and walk out with your hands above your head” shouted Albert. A gun clattered to the floor. A swarthy, bald-headed guy came out the door.
Albert slapped cuffs on him as Kurt went into the room. Two men were lying on the ground. Dead! There was not much in the room. Three sleeping bags rolled over in a corner. Guns, Ammunition, two backpacks and a cell phone were in obvious sight. As Kurt was leaving the room, the phone started to ring. Unknown number. “Hello………Hello?” Kurt asked. “Albert Williams?”, asked the voice at the other end. It was Gavin Thompson. How was he calling on this line? Albert came into the room and motioned Kurt to put the phone on speaker.
“Ah Albert! Thank you for putting it on speaker for the benefit of Det. Morgan. Are my men alive? No matter. Even if they are, they won’t be so for long”. Albert was stunned for a while. “How the hell did you get this number?” he asked. “This is not a time for questions Albert. It is for revenge. You took from me. Now, I take from you. Det. Morgan. I am sorry you got involved in this. You are just collateral damage. There was a tone of mockery in his voice. Do not worry guys; I am not killing you… At least not yet. That’s why I am telling you this…”. “In exactly one minute the building you are in will blow up. I guess you can imagine what will happen after that! Ciao guys! Take care. RUN!!!”
It took a couple of seconds for the thought to sink in. Kurt and Albert rushed out with their prisoner. Within seconds of exiting the door, BOOM!!! The blast took them of their feet and slammed them into the cars nearby. Kurt felt his knee rupture when it hit the pavement and Albert knew that at least a couple of ribs would be broken after hitting the car. The last thing he saw was the burning house.
When Kurt came to, he was lying next to Albert who was still out cold. He looked around. The prisoner was nowhere to be seen. Had be been killed or had he escaped thought Kurt. Albert stirred. “Kurt.”, he called feebly. “Albert you ok?” Kurt could see Albert was hurt bad. Nevertheless, he was still talking. “Kurt. What happened to the third guy? Do we still have him?”. He looked around and knew immediately that they did not. He looked at their car. The paint had been scrapped away to make four words. It read, Dangerous Days Ahead Albert!
The blinking radio inside their car caught Kurt’s eye. He got up and took it. “Det. Morgan here!” The report that came in sent a chill down their spine. Gavin Thompson had broken out of prison 3 hours ago. Then it hit him, like a sack of stones. This was a setup all along. Gavin Thompson had been in charge of this from the inside. It was to set Albert up.
Kurt knew how this would look. A murder investigation where they had no authority. They took a piece of evidence and followed it to someone in prison. Visited him stating personal reasons and he escapes within hours of them meeting him. They follow up a lead he gives them. Lose the only witness they had in an explosion that would destroy any evidence at the scene. This was bad. He could hear Gavin Thompson’s words, “Do not worry guys, I am not killing you………the building will blow up………I guess you can imagine what will happen after that…” Both Albert and Kurt had been insubordinate. An Internal Affairs investigation was a certainty. They could be discredited by the NYPD.
He looked at Albert. He knew Albert was thinking the same things. They nodded at each other. This had been Gavin Thompson’s plan all along. Not to kill them. But, to humiliate them. They looked at the burning house, the people gathering on the street and heard the approaching sirens. They looked into the darkness beyond and knew the only way they could prove their innocence was by catching Gavin. They turned to look at each other and they could hear Gavin’s last laugh inside their heads. “I am sorry I dragged you into this Kurt”. Kurt helped Albert onto his feet and smiled, “Let’s nail this scumbag Bert!”
– To Be Continued
My other stories, Do read if you liked this one.