( A pastiche / homage to classic 1940s Hollywood Film Noir )
Dark Connections – Episode 4
(In which a plan goes off the rails at the Train Station & Everyone goes down the rabbit-hole.)
Sat in the Police headquarters basement wearing saucer shaped headphones listening to a bunch of reel to reel tapes, wasn’t what Sgt.Brannigan nor Inspector Ruyter had ever aspired to as law enforcement officers.
However, a fortnight earlier…
Mid-morning in the 5th floor Overseas Acquisitions office of Continental Development housed in the Hitchcock building,John Smith and his amanuensis Miss Roberts were leafing through a host of foreign daily papers when the call came in.
“Cousin John? It’s your ever lovin cousin Phil here in rainy Buenos Aires,put me on speakerphone will you,you’ll both need to hear this..”
“You got a development?”
“The intercept that we’re planning to run next week in your neighborhood..”
“Oh,all this procrastination sets me on edge,Cuz..”
“The word from the Big Man is still all systems go but I picked up some local intel,you know from those ‘Swiss’ financiers that hit town down here?”
“Uh,hu what kind of intel?”
“Kind of a last minute,you might say surprise”.
“Would I actually use the word surprise for what you’re about tell me sometime this morning?
“We’ve ID’d the Courier they’ll be using your end”.
“Great,marvellous news that’s as I recall the whole point of our mission is to intercept and if necessary neutralise their Courier once we get confirmation of time and location of their rendezvous”.
“Yeah still here Phil,so..?”
“Their Courier Johannes Schmidt..it’s Von Raubwitz”.
“But,but how? we were pretty damn certain we got them all,him and his squad”.
” I’m sorry to have to tell you that after all this time,its now clear that he managed to scarper during the firefight back then..”
At this point both Miss Roberts and John Smith are agog.Smith sinks back into his chair.After a seemingly interminable few moments ,”Cousin” Phil ends the call with,
” The Big Man has authorised me to let you know that it’s still your show your end and he tells me he’s confident you’ll come up with a way to handle it the best you can”…
Two weeks later,one week on from the brutal murder of a John Smith – Johannes Schmidt – at the railway station,Inspector Ruyter is busy putting the case file into deep freeze.
No witnesses,no leads just a hairball of misshapen coincidences and inexplicable loose ends coughed up right into his lap aka a homicide investigation.
“Sticks in the craw though”, mused Ruyter staring off into space.His sidekick the ever tenacious Brannigan was methodically poring over every scrap of information garnered from the off.
“A random series of events which taken on their own have no individual significance but when aligned take on a significance they would otherwise not have had”.
“Well you surprise me Brannigan,never knew you were a student of Jungian synchronicity”.
“We’d have a definite suspect;motive,opportunity etc.oozing out from somewhere by now, but all we got is co-incidence and not too much of that either”.
“And thirty some stab wounds” countered Ruyter starting to pay closer attention.
“Excessive by any standard,unless ,I don’t know why ,but if it was for show or ritualistic”.
“Middle of the god damn working day at a train station?”.
“Out by the freight platforms with a freight shortage due to the strikes,that suggests that whatever else might’ve been planned, such as bumping the guy off,out by the freight platforms with thirty strokes weren’t part of it”.
“Which leaves us where,Inspector?”
“Still stuck down a rabbit hole Alice!”
Rather than drown in ennui and capitulate to the inevitable Ruyter suggested they pay one final call on John Smith over at the Hitchcock.In any event they mutually concurred that it was too early for lunch so they might as well add to the homicide rates by killing some more time instead.