Thursday, December 31, 2015

Chapter 4 - The Conundrum

Dent has a conundrum. The big guy in first class has a gun. For sure he’s an easy. The little guy in economy has two cauliflower ears. In Dent’s mind, people with guns aren’t very functional, people with cauliflower ears are. So the guy in in economy is the priority. However, Dent figured if they were going to make a move, the smartest place for them to do that would be halfway between Hawaii and Japan.  There’s no place to land and turning around the plane would be futile. The pilots could only continue. So Dent decided it was time to nap for a few hours. There’s no telling how long it would be before he slept again.
*****************

The man was thinking back almost a decade. He saw the slender dark-haired woman in the New Jersey wine bar. It was 2:00am on a rainy Sunday morning when she left. He thought it was strange that she was leaving, alone, walking down a dark street, so he altruistically followed. Less than a block away two large man grabbed the woman and dragged her to the alley. He sprinted after them and yelled. The two men turned and both had rather large knives. Instinctively, the man drew his 10mm and with two shots, dropped the two men. The woman was unharmed. That’s when the blow to the side of his head dropped him.

Unconscious, so unknown to the man, the dark-haired woman calmly reached in her purse and pulled out her burner flip-phone and pressed the one number speed dial. The called was answered without a greeting. The woman said,  “I think he’s a recruit.”

The voice on the other end said, “Our EMTs are on the way. ETA is less than 5 minutes. Go by JG and pick up The Doc, then to MS.”

She dropped the phone and smashed it with her heel, then kicked it into the street drain as the approaching red and blue flashing lights reflected off the buildings.   

The ambulance pulled to the New Jersey General emergency department entry and a man, The Doc, in a white coat with a full syringe jumped in the back. The ambulance sped away while The Doc injected the victim, the recruit.  The Doc quickly took fingerprints, a DNA swab and a small blood sample.

The woman pulled another burner phone, this one a smart phone, and sent the ePrints via email. She then called the same number programmed to the speed dial. It was the same no greeting answer.  She said, “ETA to MS is sixty minutes.”

The other end replied, “I’m about to board the bird now and will land in forty-five. Be there then. Go in hot.”
The phone dinged with an incoming email. The prints had a positive match. The woman gave the signal to the driver to go in hot. With that the red and blues were turned back on, the siren wailed as they accelerated up I-95, sometimes using the shoulder when it was available.

The Doc, experienced at riding steadily in his mobile lab, confirmed the blood type. So far everything matched. The third confirmation, DNA, would take a little longer.

“How long for part three?” the woman asked.
“About an hour.”
“The Commissioner will want it in forty-five.”
 “Roger that.” Was the reply as The Doc continued and worked more quickly.

Again she smashed the phone, this time dropping it into the vehicles biohazard incinerator.

They arrived at Mount Sinai Hospital’s emergency entrance. Just in time for The Doc to say, “ID 3 confirmed.”
The lanes had been cleared for them. A woman in a white coat, two nurses and four really big guys in scrubs were waiting. The second white coat asked, “How much did you give him?”
“Four mls.” said The Doc.
A nod was the only reply. She then reached in lab coat and pulled out another syringe and quickly injected 2mls in The Man’s IV.
“Up to the PH. No one but the commissioner or me allowed in the room until further orders.” Barked the Second White Coat.

She then turned to the dark-haired woman and said, “Saffron, the Commish wants you in the penthouse, too.”
“What did you give him?” asked Saffron.
“That info is above your pay grade.”
“I’m above your pay grade.” She informed.
“It has to do with blocking his memory. It’s experimental. We’ll see how it works. That’s all I know.”
*************

“Do you know what day it is?” Ask the Second White Coat with the Commish anxiously watching from the corner.
“No. I think I’ve been knocked out.” Said the man.
“Right. You were mugged and found in an alley. Your wallet and ID were stolen. Can you tell us your name?”
After a long pause the man’s left eye welled up with a tear and he said, “No.”
White Coat said, “Maybe if you had something to eat it would jar your memory. What’s your favorite food and I’ll have it sent up?”
Another long pause, “I don’t know.”
“Okay, I’ll send up something I’d like. In the meantime, my boss will be here to talk with you. If you think of anything you need, just ask him.”
The second white coat left the room with a slight nod to The Commish.

“How are you feeling?” ask the Commish
“Are you a doctor, too?”
“No. The doctors work for me. How are you feeling?”
“I feel like I got hit in the head with a bat.”
“Okay, I’ll make sure you get something strong for the pain. We found a gun registered to you with two bullets missing from the magazine. We found two cartridges that match the gun. We also found two dead guys. Each with one bullet. You might be in deep shit. Do you feel like answering a few questions? Off the record, of course.”
“I guess.” Was The Man’s reply.
“What’s the last thing you remember?”
“I remember following a woman. I thought she might be walking in a dangerous direction.”
“What did she look like?”
 “Maybe she had long dark hair, kinda skinny. It was dark outside, I think. That’s about all.”
After a long pause in the conversation, the Commish said, “We ran the prints from the gun registered to you. They matched yours. Your prints were also on the shell casings. It’s a matter of time before this information is released to the police.”

No response from the man.
“The vics were unarmed. You might be up for two counts of murder 2nd.“

The man still didn’t respond.
“I can help get you out of this, but you’d need to work for me.”
“Am I a doctor?” ask the man.
“No. But I need people with varied skills. I’ll be in touch. You heal up, that’s your focus.” With that, the Commish started to walk to the door.
“Wait, will you tell me my name?”
After a long pause the Commish said, “Brudenhoeffer, Dent Brudenhoeffer.


As the Commish walked out to the hall he looked at Saffron and said, “You have one more to handle. Cut and dye your hair before you introduce yourself. And eat a sandwich.

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