The Next Day Part 13

June 8th, 2012 by Wordsman

The slap had clearly been a ruse, designed to convince her that these two were no more in cahoots than any other two random subway passengers.  In fact, they were co-conspirators, locked deep in a plot to . . . okay, that part could come later.  But this, this was her man on the outside, her means of communication with the rest of the world.  Through him the entire scheme was orchestrated.  And Officer Tang knew what happened to an orchestra when you take away the conductor.  At least, she assumed she did.  I mean, a bunch of musicians without a clear authority figure?  Come on.

The old woman was—so far, at least—untouchable.  But no woman is an island.  Everyone has a link, a connection, a weak point.  And Officer Tang had just found it.  She knew her mission: get . . . whoever this guy was.

Note: acquire high-tech long-range listening equipment before next observation.

Fortunately, not long after she had this realization, the young man left.  This was it.  The perfect opportunity to catch him on his own.  She would start off casually, asking him a few questions about a completely unrelated topic (which, since she was a police officer, he would have no choice but to answer).  She would get some key information: his name, address, phone number.  And then she would DESTRO—

Before she could deal out any biblical wrath, however, she collided with a large, soft individual.

“Where the hell do you think you’re . . .?” she started to roar.  And then she looked up.  Officer Tang clearly had much sharper eyes than the average person he saw every day on duty.  “Escobar?  What are you doing here?”

Neither of them was supposed to be there, but only one had been specifically ordered by their boss not to be there.  The guilt scale shifted decidedly toward Tang.  “Good morning, Officer Tang,” he said.  Escobar had a low, slow voice that was easy to miss if you weren’t listening for it.  And since he rarely used it, few people ever were.  “I thought the Captain said you should take the day off.”

“I am.”  She had . . . almost no qualms with lying for the sake of the greater good (when she did it, that is).  “I’m off-duty.”

“You’re wearing your uniform.”

“I—I’m doing laundry.  Nothing else is clean.”

“And your gun—?”

“Listen, Officer Escobar, I’d love to stay and catch up, but I’m in the middle of something very important right now, so . . .”

She looked around.  The conspirator had disappeared.  DAMN! Oh well.  She knew he had to come back to the station eventually.  And when he did, she would be ready for him.

Escobar wondered why she was staring at the exit for so long, but he decided it was safer not to ask.  Actually, he realized that her distraction might be the ideal backdrop for his next question, which he was hoping could fly under the radar, at least for a while.  “Say, Officer Tang, do you happen to know if we still have any of the stuff impounded in the Neuberger case?”

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