We drove down the road at top speed, kicking up dust as we sped along. The sirens blared, drowning out all other noises. Brock and I sat in the car saying nothing to each other.
Finally Brock looked over to me. “Can I ask you something?” His voice was uncertain, almost wavering.
I pressed the gas pedal down harder; the cruiser roared and picked up speed. “What is it, kid?”
Brock suddenly grew timid and shy, not the man I had become so used to. Finally he answered. “Why is it... that is, why do you think that it matters if a killer dies?”
A long moment of silence ensued, to my surprise, I could think of only one answer. “Life is sacred, kid. It doesn’t matter who the guy is, if he dies, his death will affect someone.” I paused for a moment and took a gulp, “I don’t want that to ever happen again.” I added at almost a mumble.
“Again?” Brock questioned.
I cursed myself under my breath. My stomach sank. I knew I should have thought before I spoke. Images of Sarah –who you don’t need to know about- flashed through my head. Finally I answered, “Nothing, never mind.”
“It happened to you, didn’t it?” Brock replied. “You lost someone you loved, didn’t you? That’s why you do what you do—.”
“SHUT UP, KID!” The car screeched to a halt. “We’re here. Get out.”
We drew our guns and badges out, brandishing them for everyone to see. We marched up the marble steps. Brock took care of Bruno while I searched the crowd for Nicolson. One by one I weaved through looking at identification.
Brock reached Bruno and pulled him aside, briskly walking toward the car. “What’s going on?” the old man said, his voice cracking, “What’s happening?"
“We believe someone is about to make an attempt on your life.” Brock told him swiftly, while shoving him into the car. I had never seen him this official.
Finally I had checked the entire crowd. “He's not here," I said, more to myself than anybody else. "Nicolson isn't here," I yelled.
“Get over here," Brock shouted. "Radio."
I rushed over and picked up the radio. Mason’s voice called out through the static. “Jack, we got a problem.” He told me.
“He’s not here, Mason.” I told him.
“I know.” Mason said through the radio. “It turns out Bruno Lombardi had nothing to do with the murders of Nicolson’s family…Roberto was the man who did the killing…” he paused. “It gets worse…security cameras picked up Chris in Roberto’s penthouse apartment.”
I was doing seventy miles by the time I hit the next block.
I could feel my heart race. It beat like a drum in my ears. I had to get there in time. I repeated to myself. I had to get there in time.
“What’s Chris doing?” I radioed to Mason.
“He hasn’t killed anyone…he’s not bothering with it. He’s going to kill Roberto and walk out.”
I floored it.
“He got in through interview, just like you said.”
Determination flashed through my eyes. Within minutes I had arrived there and screeched to a halt. “Stay in the car, Brock.” I warned.
“Do. As. I. Say!”
I brandished my badge and gun and I darted inside. I made my way to the elevator first. I must have pressed the button fifty times before I decided to take the stairs.
I climbed five flights in record time. With a thrust I broke Roberto’s door down. My gun was raised in seconds.
Blood stained tiles showed that Roberto put up a fight. His Glock lay on the floor, giving me the assumption the cops tipped him off. Chris stood over an unconscious Roberto with a hatchet in hand. He wore thick square glasses atop his head and had bushy brown hair. He wore a trenchcoat for what I assumed was to hide weapons.
“I saved this for you, you bastard.” He said.
With a bang lead flew through the air and pierced Chris’ flesh. He cried out in agony and clutched his bleeding hand. From underneath his trenchcoat he withdrew a knife and tossed it through the air. It sheared my flesh and made me drop my gun. A great pain spread throughout my hand. If he wanted a good fist fight, he’d get one!
I bowled him over, yet he flipped backwards and regained his balance. He was wiry yet strong and had age on his side…I only had size as an advantage.
“You can’t understand why I’m doing this!” Chris shouted. His fist scraped against my left cheek. I felt the wind knocked out of me from a blow to my ribs. “You can’t understand how long I’ve trained for this."
His blood spattered against the window from my blows. We traded punches for what seemed like hours. He was agile, too. He weaved his way in and out of my punches. BAM! He had me on my back. Another blow crushed my face and broke my nose. “Trust me, kid,” I told him, “I know all too well.” I rolled to the side and swiftly rose to my feet. Two blows connected to him. After what seemed like an eternity of beating I finally blocked a punch and threw a blow to his shoulder, knocking him to the ground. “I’ve trained for years! Don’t take this away from me!” he shouted. With the power of a metal baseball bat he swung his legs knocking me to the ground.
I felt dazed…dizzy. His words were drowned out by a throbbing pain in my head. I felt cold fingers squeeze around my throat. No air escaped my lungs, and none entered. Slowly the fingers tightened and the blackness threatened to envelope me.
It was then that I noticed it. Roberto’s Glock. Not my style but I’d take what I could get. I mustered up enough strength to send a blow to his face. It cracked his glasses and dazed him enough for me to grab the Glock and shoot him in the shoulder. I exploited the wound and took him down. I slammed him to the ground.
“Chris Nicolson….” I said between gasps of sweet air, “you have the right….to remain silent…..”