Next episode would be the last. For links to the other chapters, click on the respective highlights —» [Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter Four and Chapter 5]. Thanks
I arrived back into the office, bearing food packs of different sizes for the tech guys. They’ve been on the case so long that they might have ‘forgotten’ to eat. But I was not the only one bearing anything.
As soon as I stepped into my floor, Kate waved to me from the front of my office. I went to her and saw the usual smile of accomplishment she has on her face whenever she breaks a case. I started to search for my keys in my pocket while she fired away.
“I have good news, and bad news, sir” she began.
“What’s the bad news?” I asked, still looking for my key.
“There really is a terrorist attack. Chatter I picked up from agencies and some agents indicated that there’s been talks of the gas on the black market for about two months now, and the top terrorists on our watch list are contenders for it. It falls into their hand, we might not have enough morgues to hold the dead bodies, sir”.
“Any leads on who wants to buy it from who?”. By this time, I had found my keys and started opening the door.
“That’s the bad news sir. Reports gathered suggested that is has fallen into the hands of a terrorist unit about ____ days ago. Coincidentally, that’s when Dr. Hammond was killed, so we believe that’s what he was killed for”
I flung the door open but none of us entered.
“So there could be an attack any time soon?”
“No time soon, sir. They might have gathered word that we’re investigating the matter and are on a very high security alert. We might have a window of a week left to close this investigation or else —”
“Anything might happen”. I interrupted and completed the sentence for her. “Okay then, what’s the good news?”
“We pulled the first audio file from the memory drive. Its a conversation between Dr. Hammond and someone. He was threatened to create the compound for them, and his daughter was used as leverage against him. The save date was dated as back as two months”.
“That’s enough to work on then. Keep working , Kate. I need you now more than ever”
“Trust me sir. We’re burning the candle at both ends. I’ll notify you of any new developments”.
“Thanks. And oh, I brought these for you and other guys on the floor. Take a break and have lunch.” I handed her the meal packs I’ve been carrying around all along. With an appreciating smile, she collected all from me and walked back to her station.
I’ve been in my office for another twenty minutes now and haven’t heard of another update from the technical crew. The laptop and memory drive seemed to be our only leads for now. I paced around, occasionally glancing back at the board where photographs of everything was pinned – Dr. Hammond, all other persons that have been interviewed on this case and the few evidences acquired. None of it made sense. None at all. The simplest of patterns was not even there at all. This was the work of a professional. As I was out of options, I started to mentally review what I’ve done on the case and what not. Then an idea started coming to me gradually. A face from one of the pictures stood out. The time line of the face in the series of events that happened started to hit me as strange. I had a feeling that I was finally breaking the strongholds of this case, but I didn’t express my happiness immediately, so I wouldn’t jinx it.
I immediately asked for one of the tech guys to come up to my office with his personal computer and he was there in no time. I asked him to cross check the pictures of the people I’ve spoken to on the case against our database and check if they had any criminal records. In no time, the laptop started a frantic red beep, and a face stayed on it. My hunch was right.
“We did it!!!” Was all I could scream out of my ecstasy as I grabbed and shook the equally happy tech guy. I took the phone immediately and rang my partner, Kole.
“Kole, meet me downstairs now. Notify precinct to spare us some officers. I know who’s behind it all”. I spoke so fast into the mouthpiece and didn’t even allow Kole to respond. I took my gun and jacket and raced downstairs. Everyone stared at me as I looked like someone in a state of madness, but I didn’t care. I have a criminal to catch.