Hide and Seek Part I
Written By : Adri A Wisnu
Characters : Nauval M Kusumah
“Tap,Tap,Tap” the slow tapping noise echoing through the empty, square and humid room. The room is not completely empty though, there is a small chair in the center of the room, below the hanging lamp which is barely lit, makes the room really dark. Sitting on the old wood chair is a man whose face covered with a sack, making him hard to breath. His hands were tied in his back so he can’t do anything to set free. He making noises so maybe someone would hear it and hoping to be free.
He can hear the tapping noise which has been echoing throughout the room, and it didn’t take long until it stop right behind him. “Hello Mr. are you awake?” a man voice came from behind him.
He couldn’t talk because his mouth being sealed by a tape.
He heard someone dragging something and stop directly in front of him. The sack has been taken off from his head and in the first light, he saw a man with a dark brown and messy hair wearing a Jacket, sitting in front of him. Apparently he’s 28 years old. “Good evening Mr. Gregson.” Said the man.
But Mr. Gregson couldn’t say anything because of the tape, prevent him to say anything.
“Oops ! sorry, I forgot !” said the man as he remove the tape from Mr. Gregson’s mouth. “Okay you can talk now” The man continue as he sit with his body onward.
“Who are you !?” ask Mr. Gregson.
“I am ME. Names are for friends, so I don’t need one. But if you insist. .” The man paused for a second and continue. “Martin Forthwright, that’s my name. Marty for short, if you had problem memorizing. satisfied ?” he answered with an insulting tone
“You’re THE Martin Forthwright !? a serial killer that everyone was talking about ?” Ask Gregson terrified.
“Wow, I didn’t know that I am so famous. You talk like you just saw a legend!” Marty laughs. “So let’s get to the point then. I want some information from you.”
“About what? I’ll tell you anything but please let me go afterward!” ask Gregson
“I don’t know . just tell me anything you know and I’ll get my $5000 and I might as well let you go”
“Doesn’t have any idea what you’re talking about, any clue?” Gregson relieved after Marty said he would let him go
“Well then.” Marty search his pocket and took a piece of paper. “Richard Benningham. Ever heard that name before?”
“He’s my business partner. What of him?”
“Don’t ask me I said. Just tell me what you know about him, and then I’ll set you free and began your new life” Marty said as he leaned back on his chair.
Gregson tells Marty everything he knows about that person Marty mentioned. Marty listen to Mr. Gregson by putting his chin to his hand.
After Gregson finish talking, Marty stand from his chair and them yawning and stretch his body.
“Where am I by the way ?”
“Out of nowhere!” answered Marty and he laugh like a freak
“Look at the time Mr. Gregson its already past midnight! what a good conversation we had.” Said Marty by looking to his watch.
“So are you going to let me go now?” ask Gregson hoping for Marty to set him free
“Are you expect me to let go someone whose already seen my face?”
Gregson gasped. “What do you mean!?” Gregson shout
“Isn’t it obvious? And if I’m not mistaken. I said ‘Began a new life’. Did you get what I meant?”
“oh god. No, don’t do that! I swear I won’t tell anyone!” said Mr Gregson, trembling on his seat.
“You expect me to believe that Mr. Gregson ?” Marty said as he yawning. “Im tired, enough of this Mr. Gregson. Its time for you to get some sleep.”
Marty take out his fold knife and approach Gregson slowly with his evil and blood thirsty smile.
“And an eternal one” Marty continue as he drew his knife into the eye of Mr. Jonathan Gregson.
“Oh my god ! this is insane !” said a grown man with a harsh voice
The next day; Mr. Gregson’s body has been found hanging upside down at an abandoned warehouse near the dock. His eyes has been cut out along with his tongue. On his body where were scars cause by a knife, its everywhere on the body, causing Mr. Gregson’s blood keep drip down to the floor below him; his body too soaked in his own blood.
On a wall behind the corpse; there are a big words written, probably using the victim’s blood. It says :
“ BY : MARTIN FORTWRIGHT”
“ as I thought “ said the grown man.
“Commissioner Phillip !” a police officer called him from the distance, while running towards him. “we regret to inform you that—as always—we didn’t find any evidence regarding this murder”
“ Yes, our only clue is that blood written words.” Said Commissioner Craig Phillip disappointed. “What’s the status of the victim ?” ask him.
“Judging from the way it looks, Mr. Salome Gregson has been tortured before he died, and the cause of his death itself is blood loss and trauma.” Said the other police officer who examine the corpse
“yeah we can see his body full of wound that caused by a knife, he’s been slashed a couple of times. Then his eyes and tongue-“ Commissioner Phillip paused and closed his eyes. “ Any witnesses ?” ask him while took his eyes off the corpse.
“No sir.” A young officer replied. “it led to the assumption that the murder occur while everyone is on their bed, sir. And by dawn—around 0400 Hours, three drunken young man accidently discover the body.”
“Where are they now ?” ask Commissioner
“They’ve run away after report what they found, to the patrolling Officer.”
“I see—“ said Commissioner “I can’t let this one slide, this menace must be stopped ! Officer Tobey !” he called his officer. “send a word to Alex Fiskus to come to my office. We need his help.”
“Right away, sir !” and the officer walked away
On the next hot day of summer; Commissioner Phillip sat at his office by himself while reading files regarding the murder, he examine the photos, and every detail information he has. He takes his favorite cigar and lit it, then continue to read the files. He get carried away with this case and get disturbed by a knocking on the door.
“Come in !” he said with a high tone.
And the door opened and from behind it emerge a tall man, medium tan skin, light born hair which is short and kept semi-neatly, and judging from his well built body; he works out a lot. He closed the door behind him and walk slowly towards the Commissioner.
“Alex ! you heed my call.” Said Commissioner Phillip relieve to see Alex Fiskus came before him. He reach out to shake hands, but Alex just stood still and stare at commissioner’s hand with his Brown eyes.
“What purpose you call me here ?” ask Alex fiskus with a cold tone.
The Commissioner breath away and sat at his chair, and he let Alex to sit on chair opposing him. While Commissioner give Alex the detail of the case, Alex didn’t say anything and it seems Alex even don’t hear it; because his eyes like staring at emptiness, but he actually does paying attention. It’s his typical really; his face might be without expression and he doesn’t talk much; but his attitude attracts some ladies. Some of them calls him a “Cool Detective”. He used to be a cheerful boy; but a tragic tragedy that cause his parents commit suicide; makes him what he is now.
“Take a look at this” commissioner gives the files to Alex and he read it thoroughly.
After reading the files and heard more details from Commissioner Phillip’s mouth, Alex agreed to catch this notorious Criminal.
“thank you very much Alex, Im depending on you.” Said Phillip with a happy voice. “we will pay you dearly, for your effort.”
“Im doing this for the people, I don’t need your money. Money is poison” Said Alex, again with plain expression and cold tone.
Commissioner Phillip so confused when Alex said that he doesn’t need money. After all, everybody needs a money.
“Then I will take my leave.” Said Alex as he stood up and approach the door.
“we’ll call you later Alex.” Said Phillip. “ But before you go I want to introduce you to someone; he will work with you solving this case.
“I prefer working solo” Alex replied and continue walking
And suddenly the door burst and appears a young man; Probably 25, who has tan skin, spiky hair, big mouth and with slightly slanting eyes.
“Sorry, sir. I got here as fast as I could after receive a call from you” said the young man as he breathing heavily
“its okay boy. Now Alex, this is Ryan Haner. He will be your partner while solving this mission” said Commissioner Phillip proudly
“You’re the famous detective Alex Fiskus D’Antonio? Wow, im a big fan of yours !” Said Ryan as if he just saw a God, and he extends his right hand to shake hands.
And he done it again. Alex replied it with a cold stare and said “Alex should be enough” as he walked outside the room leaving Ryan chasing him with the case file.
Alex and Ryan is sitting on cafeteria while discussing about the case. Alex sitting on a plastic chair and Ryan sitting on other chair opposing him. Ryan is reading the files on the round table and talking to Alex.
“Scary isn’t he?” Ask Ryan. “I mean this Martin Forthwright guy.”
“Apparently” Said Alex, toneless.
“Apparently !?” Ryan said it out loud; making people around them to stare at him. Ryan back on his seat. “Alex he’s been torturing people, and do you know the condition of the recent victim when we found him ?”
“Nope” Again; toneless. Alex casually drinks his cappuccino as if he doesn’t paying attention
“you haven’t take a look at the files have you ?” Ask Ryan
“Not yet. You hold on to it ever since we get out from the office.”
“Here, then” Ryan gives the files to Alex. Alex read it for a while and stopped when Ryan continue talking. “ We didn’t find any evidence from the crime scene.”
“he got brain”
“what is his motives anyway ?” ask Ryan confuse
“Having fun.” Said Alex as he stood up, took the files and leave. “I’m going to figure out myself.” Said Alex leaving Ryan behind.
His cocky attitude makes him doesn’t have any close friends. He spent his younger days at an orphanage and while others are playing outside or talking to each other; Young Alex just sit alone at his room and reading Detective Novels. That’s why he doesn’t talk much and prefer alone.
By the evening; Alex sat on his cheap apartment room while reading those files he got from commissioner. He examine the picture of Mr. Gregson’s corpse. “Brutal.” He said as he put away the picture and took the files. He grab some drink from his old, trashy refrigerator and get back to his chair where he sits under the ceiling fan and continue reading. He put away those files after reading it for a while and leaned back to his chair; his eyes looking back and forth when he was thinking hard; then finish his drink, and fell asleep.
The next day elapse without any problems with Martin, but then the day after; when the sun set and the darkness came, Alex is watching news when the phone rings. He reluctantly picked up the phone which was from commissioner Phillip, demanding him to come as soon as he can to the mansion of Harrington family; and Commissioner gives Alex the address.
Alex wear his robe, get out from his room, lock the door, and goes downstairs. On the front door he met Gregory Damson, the owner of this apartment.
“Its time to pay your rent Mr. Fiskus ! just because you’re a great detective that doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay your rent !” Said he furious.
Without saying anything and by just smiling; Alex took his hat from the stand, goes outside and calls a cab.
He arrived at the Mansion and the first thing he see is a Police Line blocking the entrance door.
“Commissioner is waiting for you upstairs Detective Fiskus.” Said the police officer guarding the entrance door.
Alex walks on a corridor covered in red carpet and arrived in a Big room. Beautifully furnished, with so many expensive furniture from around the world decorate the room. There is a big branching lamp hanging on the ceiling right above the couch, makes the room so bright . Many polices are passing by, examining the mansion. He goes upstairs right away to meet commissioner Phillip. He enters an office room that was used by Harrington to work, inside there’s Commissioner Phillip, Ryan Haner, Harrington’s wife Alice, and his son James, and a bloody figure sat on an office chair with its eyes bug out but empty, and it lost its right ear.
“The victim is the head of Harrington family, Abraham Harrington.” Said Ryan Haner explaining the situation.
“The death is slow and painfully judging from its condition. He died immediately after being tortured. His right ear is gone.” Said Alex interrupted.
“We haven’t examine the corpse yet, we’ve waiting for you. But look!” Said commissioner as he pointing his finger to the corpse’s neck
There’s something coiled around Mr. Harrington’s neck. It’s a hand tape; Alex wear gloves to examine the tape. He open it and inside it he found a cassette labeled “PLAY ME !”. Alex Look at Ryan, and then to Commissioner.
“Play it.” The commissioner whisper
Alex pressed the play button and there’s a insulting voice came out from it. It says :
“Um—hello !” and the voice act like its preparing for a big speech. “Before I began babbling; I want to make sure that the one listening to this log is Alex Fiskus. So are you Alex Fiskus? Otherwise I’ll be embarrassed. First of all, congratulation you’ve been chosen by the police to help them find me, I mean there are so many detectives out there and yet they choose you. But without witnesses and Evidence, even a famous so-called First Class Detective couldn’t possibly find me. But don’t be down Alex. It’s worth trying.” The voice laughs hysterically and continues. “how about we played a little game of hide and seek. You know it’s boring to wait until you finally catch me. So by mean time, every 3 days I will kill someone randomly. Better hurry if you don’t want any bloodshed! good luck from your best friend Marty !” The voice laughs again and the cassette stopped leaving everyone to stare at each other.
Alex takes a deep breath and holds it for a second, and then he open his mouth and said something. “This could be a massacre.” He said but still he’s so calm.
“Yeah Alex. We should hurry. Or. . “Commissioner paused for a second.
“I know.” Alex interrupted as he looking towards Mrs. Harrington and her son. “Take them far away from here, it is not a good view for them. And ask them some questions about this murder.” Alex said and this time his expression is really serious; yes, this is a really serious situation.
Without saying anything, Commissioner Phillip immediately bring Mrs. and the young Harrington to a more secluded room downstairs. While Alex and Ryan still on the office try to find something that can give them a little clue.
Commissioner Phillip, with Mrs. Harrington and her 10 years old son enters the medium-sized room. It’s an Art room where Mr. Harrington usually do much of his time painting. He loves to paint according to Mrs. Harrington,
“So Mrs. Harrington, can you describe how can you find your husband died and his office?” Ask Commissioner Phillip as he took his note book and pencil.
“Yes.” Mrs. Harrington sobbing and hug her son. “I was in the kitchen preparing dinner with my butler and Maid when I heard something that came from upstairs. Then I went to check what is that commotion all about, and I went upstairs.” She stopped and wipes her tears from her face and continues explaining with a soft voice. “I knocking on my husband’s office to see what is he doing; because he’s the only one upstairs. A minute later I began to get worried because there’s no answer. And I ask my butler to get me a substitute key. We open the door and . . . and” Mrs. Harrington cried again.
“I’m sorry for your loss Mrs. Harrington.” Said Commissioner Phillip while he writes down the information from Mrs. Harrington. “Did you see someone suspicious?”
Mrs. Harrington open her mouth to answer but the word couldn’t come out as if something has holding it on her throat. He tried and finally gives a straight answer. “No.” She said.
On the other hand, Alex and Ryan are busy examining the crime scene. Alex is hoping to discover something that others won’t even though about it; But like what?
“Interesting.” Said Alex when he walks back and forth on the office and search thoroughly for any clue to give him a little help. He checked everything; The bookshelves, desk , then he came to the only window on that room. He open the curtain, then get his head out and examine his surroundings. He saw a tall tree right in front of the window, and his face.
“Martin could use this. But how can he get in without breaking the glass?” Alex thoughts. He get back inside and see Ryan standing behind him.
“Did you find anything Alex?” Ask Ryan, nervous.
“No. How things on your end?” This is the first time Alex talk nicely to Ryan.
“Didn’t find any evidence, as usual.”
“I see. Let’s do our best. I can’t rest easy as long Martin still at large.” Alex sad as he put his cigar into his mouth and lit it. “How’s Commissioner doing?” he continue
“I didn’t see around so maybe he is not finish with the interrogation yet.”
Soon after Ryan finish his sentence, Commissioner came to the office which is there’s only Alex and Ryan inside. The body has been taken to morgue. Commissioner walk slowly, his face didn’t show any passion at all. Alex strikes a question “How’s it going?”
But Commissioner Phillip answer with just closing his eyes and shake his head slowly as if his head is heavy.
“No luck, I see.” Said Alex.
Then Commissioner Phillip explains to Alex and Ryan about what he’s got from Mrs. Harrington.
“we can’t leave this case like this.” Said Ryan
“well. We already did what’s best. But without any leads . . . .” said Commissioner Phillip
“Yes, this voice log is the only thing we’ve got. And yet I’m sure he’s using a voice changer to hide his true voice.” Alex said as he looking at Ryan and Commissioner Phillip. “And I regret to inform you that you got a traitor among your ranks, Commissioner. Said Alex with confidence.
“Are you certain?” ask Commissioner Phillip curious
“who else knows I’m helping you in this case?” Ask Alex as he lift his eyebrow
“Only those who involved in this case. That includes the police officers.” Commissioner Phillip replied
“Precisely!” Alex smile. “Remember at his voice log, Martin said . . .” Then Alex play the log and Martin’s voice heard again. ’congratulation you’ve been chosen by the police to help them find me, I mean there’s so many detective out there and yet they choose you’. Then Alex press the stop button.
“Now that you mention it. How come he knows that you’re involved in this case?” ask Commissioner Phillip as he lowered his voice.
“As I said before Commissioner” Alex answers with confident, greater than before; he seems so sure.
“Um—Excuse me.” Ryan interrupted. “I got a call so I’ll be outside.”
Ryan opens the door and shut it behind him. But the way he talk makes Alex suspects him and goes to follow him.
Ryan goes downstairs without picking his phone yet and walks passes Police officers who still patrolling on the mansion. Ryan scan his surroundings to make sure no one follows him. That really makes Commissioner Phillip and Alex getting more and more suspicious. Ryan walk through dining room and he stops at the backyard and he picked his phone.
Commissioner and Alex try to eavesdropping while they’re hiding to see who’s Ryan having a phone call with. But they barely heard it because Ryan is lowered his voice as he talks, as if he’s already realize that someone has followed him.
“What do you think Commissioner?” Ask Alex smiling.
“Are you saying that Ryan might be the traitor?”
“We need more prove to get your answer.”
But the only thing they hear is when Ryan saying his last word to that person in the phone. “I’ll contact you later.” He said as he pressed the red button on his phone. He meant to get back upstairs and join the others, but he see Alex and Commissioner Phillip standing on the door that leads back to mansion and he gasped.
“It’s already midnight, so let’s call it a day.” Said Commissioner Phillip
“But. . .” said Ryan but he actually just spat a random word because he was really surprised seeing Alex And Commissioner suddenly stood behind him.
“Maybe we can find something when another murder occurs—Three days from now.” Said Alex; Then he put two of his hands into his pockets and walked away.
2 days have passed since that incident at Harrington’s. He can’t think of anything other than the case he’s on; he remember that tomorrow another murder will occur, he just have to wait. But he’s getting impatient. His time interrupted by a knocking noise.
“come in.” he said
Then a young man wear a black blues came in, its Ryan; He holds something on his right hand. he looks tired probably he’s running to the 3rd floor where Alex’s room is. He breathing hard making him hard to say a word.
“What happen Ryan?” Ask Alex seeing his partner looks like in a state of panic.
“i—someone send this to me, this morning.” Said Ryan. He still try to breath and clear his mind.
What he’s been hold is another Voice log labeled “PLAY ME !”. “Let’s hear what he has to say this time.” Said Alex calm. He put it on a tape and play it.
The log starts with a cartoon—like music and then Martin’s voice emerge from it. “Hello. Hello. Hello ! Remember me? Don’t you remember good old Martin?! Fine then. By the way, I just want to remind you that tomorrow.” He stopped and making noise is if he was thinking. “You DO know what will happen tomorrow right? So come to the Central Park by 21.00 o’clock, I don’t care with whom your coming with, just be there. Bye bye!” The log end as usual; with laughter.
“Central Park.” Alex said for a second. “Cute” he chuckled.
“This is getting more intense.” Ryan said; it looked like he’s worried but on the other hand he feels excited about this case.
In the next moment, Alex and Ryan visits Commissioner Phillip to talk about the log Alex just received. So they entered a medium sized office, tidy and well furnished. Commissioner Phillip sat on his chair by the window while Alex and Ryan on the other side of the work table. Ryan gives the log to Commissioner Phillip and listened to it together once again.
“so what do you think?” Commissioner Phillip asks.
“We came of course, but I need your men to stay alert.” Said Alex
“But this could be a trap.” Ryan said in so much worried. “He’s got brain.”
“We’ll take our chance!” said Commissioner Phillip as he stood up and went to gather his best men. “I’m going to gather some of my best men, and I’ll meet you at the park.”
“It’s best to stay out of sight.” Said Alex again.
“Let’s do this.” Ryan speaks with a trembling tone.
By the designated time, Alex and Ryan are walking on central park looking for something that seems to be suspicious. So many people there at the time, and it seems everything is fine.
“So . .” Ryan starts a conversation as they walk in the park passing through a dozen amount of people spending their time in the park. “Everything seems fine right?”
“SEEMS. We just arrived here.” Alex replied as he oversee his surroundings.
“I have a bad feeling about this Alex.
“Your feelings won’t get us anywhere, my friend.”
“At least can save our lives.” Ryan said. His sweat of fear keeps rolling down from his forehead.
“you DO knows that other people lives are in danger and yet you only care about your own live.” Alex continue as his face turns red in anger . “You’ve taken this job as a police but you scared to take all the risk?”
“well—I “ Ryan try to say something but he didn’t get a chance because Alex starts to talk again.
“You better go home now. I already knew you’ll only get in my way!”
“im sorry Alex. I didn’t mean to. . .” He gulped as he think of an excuse. “Because this is my first time to take on a big case like this. So . .”
“Forget it, just don’t say something like that again.” Alex continue to walk
It didn’t take long with the time they’re arguing and peoples start running and gather in a place, far away from Alex and Ryan’s sight. They decide to see what is that commotion is all about.
“Call the cop !!” a short young man shouted
“Im a cop !” Ryan shouted back as he shows his badge. “Make way please.” He said to the crowd.
Ryan and Alex pass through a dozen amounts of peoples whose gathering over something really terrifying. When they made it to the front they saw a bald man lying on the grass near the pond. No wound appear on his body; He’s holding something on his left hand.
“What is that? He’s holding something.” Ryan said as he move forward to take it. He take a small piece of paper and unfolded it to read what is written on it. It only takes a second to read because there is only 4 words written on it : “Run While You Can”.
The crowd starts to murmuring about it; Alex take the note and start to think.
“Run from what? Zombie?” He chuckled.
“Wait, I think I saw something.” Ryan get close to the corpse and rip its shirt.
Ryan found a time bomb under the corpse’s shirt; the time shows 30 seconds left until it explodes.
“EVERYBODY RUN!!” Shout Alex as he pulled Ryan
The panic has breakout among the peoples; they’re running to any direction as if they don’t have ideas where they at. Some peoples crashing at each other, some of them falls and being stomp in the ground.
A couple who’s making out under the tree doesn’t seem to notice the commotion; they get too carried away by satisfaction.
When trying to get far away as they can and avoiding the panicked crowd; Alex saw a kid on far away who seems lost and crying. Alex tries to help the kid but then Ryan hold his arm to stop him for going any further.
“Alex we don’t have much time!” Said Ryan while keep his grip on Alex’s arm.
“What are you saying?! Are you going to let that kid die?!” Alex replied; he’s trying to take off Ryan’s grip.
“But 30 seconds wasn’t enough!”
“WHY ARE YOU SO SELFISH, RYAN!!” Alex said it loudly and he able to free himself from Ryan’s grip. It is the first time Ryan saw Alex filled with such anger. “we’re going to talk about it later! You go on ahead and wait for me at the exit.” Alex’ continues to run towards the kid.
As soon as he arrives, Alex’s grab that kid whose keep calling his momma in his cry. He runs as fast as he could, but the high density of people make it difficult to get out on time.
Suddenly an explosion occur from the position of the corpse were, killing everyone around it; a once peaceful atmosphere turns into a gruesome one. Some of the peoples stop running to see a bloody sights of humans being burnt and torn into pieces. Alex himself has very shocked to see so many people lying on the grass. Some of them without legs, head, or even no longer form.
Alex can hear police sirens nearby, so he think the police can take care of it and he rush for the exit.
He reunite with Ryan and Commissioner Phillip there. He gave the kid to one of the police officers.
“Alex I though you’ve already dead! You should’ve listened to me.” Ryan said relieve.
But Alex didn’t say a single word as if he’s still angry with Ryan’s selfish attitude.
“Find anyone suspicious there Alex?” Ask commissioner Phillip with curiosity.
“No.” Alex replied; he still breath heavily
“That was tough.” Ryan said. Then he feels his Phone vibrating on his pocket and went away to pick it.
“Does he always like that in the office?” Alex ask as he getting more distrustful.
“yeah he does. But what do you expect? Maybe it’s from his girlfriend or something.” Commissioner Phillip start to laughs along with Alex. “Let’s get to the ambulance to patch you up.
The next afternoon while Alex is watching TV waiting for a news reporting the incident last night when Ryan came to visits him.
“Can I come in?” Ryan said,
“Sure Ryan, have a seat.” Alex replied suddenly act so nice.
“umm . about last night . .”Ryan said, nervous.
“Don’t mind. I know how you feel. I know you’re panic, knowing there’s a bomb that’s ready to blow.” Alex said as he chuckled. “So how you feel?”
“Great . . I think.”
“is there something bothering you my friend?”
“No . .no at all.” Ryan said as he droop his head
“Are you sure?” Alex stood up and goes to take Whiskey from refrigerator, then goes back to his chair, putting two glasses on his desk and pour the whiskey into it. “Here” He said as he gave Ryan the glass.
“Toast?” Alex said as he lift his glass in the air.
“Sure.” Ryan smile. “So Alex. Everyone in the HQ said you take this job without expecting payment?”
“yes they’re right.” Alex takes a sip of his whiskey. “I only get paid if I work as a private detective. But this case is an official one. The police department asked me directly. So . . .” Alex continue to drink.
“how often you get any private cases?”
“You solved them all?”
“Yes. My client always satisfied with my work.”
“You think you can solve this case?”
“I have to.” Alex replied with confidence.
“I’m glad you say that.”
“Look.” Alex said as he pointing his finger to a news shows on TV.
The news report about incident on the central park that just happen last night.
“at 21.45 last night, a bomb explode in the middle of Central Park, that cause approximately 50 death according to dead bodies and remains found by the police. The explosion causes a massive fire as well. The fire spread fast because of the wind and trees.. It took 2 hours to settle the fire.” Said the news reporter.
Alex immediately turns off the TV. Seeing that incident last night really bothering him. Knowing he’s supposed to able to save them before the time runs out.
“I’m really ashamed of myself.” Ryan sighted.
“Let’s change the topic then.” Alex said. “tell me about your past Ryan.”
“Nothing special really. I was born in a peasant family. My father is a drunken bastard. So my mom have to work to keep us alive. She’s selling cake. And one day someone gave her budget to make her own store, because they said her cake was great. She put me in school then. Time to time, my mother able to make more and more money through her business. While my father . . .” He paused for a second. “He’s shot by the police. Well he and my mom split up. He live in the street and selling drugs.”
“I would love to try your mother’s cake sometime.” Said Alex giving support
“She’s died. Hit and run.” Ryan replied.
“I’m sorry to hear that Ryan. Your mom would be proud seeing what you are now.”
“No . .she won’t.”
“No . .it’s nothing Alex.”
“Its okay if you don’t want to tell me. Then what are you doing after your mother died?”
“The store has been closed. And then I roam the street looking for a job, and rent an apartment.” He said
“And your house?”
“My father sold it, and after that he became a drug dealer.” Ryan sighted. “So tell me yours now.”
Then they talking to each other until Ryan got another call.
“I’ll be outside for a minutes.”Said Ryan and he goes out
Alex who’s getting distrustful, followed him outside. Alex saw Ryan walk through a narrow alleyway near Alex’s apartment. Alex hides behind a wall only to hear Ryan talking to someone
“I’ve had enough of your extreme jobs Martin!” Ryan yelling to someone stood right in front of him. They’re standing in the Alleyway, and there’re around 4 other men watching them talking to each other.
“Don’t stare at me with that face of yours.” A tall young man with messy light brown hair chuckled. “I promise you, this will be your last job.”
“NO, I don’t want to do this anymore!”
“Has that Alex guy brainwashed you Ryan? Or you simply fell in love with him huh?” Martin and 4 other men laugh at Ryan, making fun of him. “Remember that day when I help you? Without me, you won’t standing here tonight.” Said Martin in threatening voice.
“Okay. After this job done, I’ll get out of your life.” Ryan said
“Whatever.” Martin mocks. “He searched the pocket of his brown Jacket and take out a gun. “Kill Alex Fiskus.” As he hands the gun to Ryan. “kill him ONLY with this gun.”
“Why is that?” Ryan asked as he examine the gun.
“Just do as I say will you!”
“But Martin, this is a World War II pistol. This thing is old. What if it’s get jammed?”
“Don’t complaining. I’m short of fund recently! So I can only afford this” Martin replied. “Go now.”
Seeing that meeting is over, Alex hurried back to his apartment and sit on his chair. It didn’t take long until Ryan came back.
“From whom you got calls Ryan?” Alex asked.
“My friend.” Ryan replied
“You know what?” Alex stood up. “You don’t need to go to the alleyway just to prevent me from overhear your conversation.”
“Alleyway?” Ryan try to hide it from Alex
“You are denying it. I’ve always suspect you Ryan. You always go to a quite place just to pick up your phone, as if you really don’t want anyone to hear your conversation. Lowering your voice while on the phone is enough to prevent everyone to overhear you Ryan. So let me get this straight. . “ Alex starts to walk towards Ryan, and he just stood still with his sweat rolling down from his forehead.
“I followed you to the alleyway. And I saw you . . “
“ENOUGH!!” Ryan interrupted as he took the pistol Martin gave him and pointing it at Alex’s face.
“That thing is old” Alex said with a soft laugh.
“Im . . . I’m sorry Alex. You’re a true friend. But, I have to repay my debt. I have to do this.” Ryan said while keeping his gun pointing towards Alex. His hands are trembling.
In a blink of an eye, Alex grabs Ryan’s hand and punching him in the face 3 times to make him feels dizzy. He able to snatched Ryan’s gun, keeping it at his possession and then strike down Ryan making him fell to the wood floor. Now is Alex’s turn pointing that World War II pistol to Ryan whom lying on the floor.
“Give me a reason why I shouldn’t report this to Commissioner Phillip, Ryan! It’s hard for me to do this because I see you as my friend. And yet you betrayed me! or your involvement in this case is part of Martin’s scheme too?!”
“Yes . . .i was ordered to give him information. He insists me!”
“so that’s why he knew I’m on this case.”
“Yes I’ve told him! I will. .I will atone for my sins. I will tell you his whereabouts. But please, forgive me. I promise if you succeed in arresting him. I will get out of your life.”
“Right, but don’t do anything stupid. We should go to Commissioner Phillip to plan the assault.” Alex holsters the pistol and help Ryan to stand up. They immediately on their way to police headquarter.
Alex and Ryan rushes to see Commissioner Phillip at his office. The only thing that roaming around in Alex’s mind that this case is finally coming to end and. He couldn’t miss this opportunity. Ryan as well; Hoping that they can finally put Martin in jail, otherwise Martin will seek and surely kill him for his betrayal.
Alex’s slam the door to commissioner’s office and immediately enters the room along with Ryan who follows behind him.
“Alex? Ryan? You could at least knock the door.” Said Commissioner who looked like carried away by his work.
“We. .” Ryan paused as he trying to catch a breath. “We found him!”
“Who else?” Ryan said as he step forward and begin explaining. “Here’s what I got. Last night when I got a call I went somewhere to pick it up right? It’s from my girl; it’s embarrassing to talk to her in front of everyone.” He chuckled. “Then I saw someone suspicious going to the alleyway; Then I follow him. There I overhear that guy talking to the one and only Martin Forthwright. I’m sure he’s the one who was behind the bombing. Because I heard him said ‘it is done Martin’.” Ryan explains. But of course he’s lying because he IS the one who responsible. But he’s already promise to help Alex and Commissioner so he must have a convincing story.
“Then did you get his whereabouts?” Ask Commissioner Phillip as he lit his cigar.
“Of course!” Ryan replied with confidence
“You’re not totally useless Ryan.” Alex said with a soft laughter; though he knew the truth
“Hey; is that a compliment?” Ryan replied with a soft laughter as well. “Then I overheard Martin said something like ‘Our next job is to kill Alex. Then no one will get in my way! Meet me back at Headquarter.’”
“Do you know where it is?” Ask Commissioner as he blows smoke to the air
“Of course, as he walked away, he said ‘We should move you know. Making that old abandoned mansion as our Headquarter is a little creepy.’”
“Abandoned mansion huh?” Commissioner Phillip said
“201st Lexington. That’s the only place.” Alex said
“You mean that rural area?”
“The one and only.”
“Yeah it might be there!” Ryan suddenly yelled
“So what’s the plan?” Commissioner asks as he stood up from his seat
“Simple, Commissioner.” Alex replied with a calm voice as usual. “You and your men surround the building and kill Martin’s minion if necessary, I’m sure they’re armed. Me and Ryan are going to go inside from the back door.”
“Okay I’ll go organize the team.” The commissioner walked away and disappears before Alex and Ryan’s sight.
“Remember this Ryan. It is because you are our only lead so I play along with your lies. But if you do anything stupid during the operation. . .” Alex said with a threatening tone
“I won’t Alex. I’m sick of Martin myself. I’m helping not because you threatening me, but because I wanted to.”
“Then I might as well forgive you.” Alex replied. “Shall we then?”
Then Ryan and Alex go out from Commissioner’s office.
Commissioner Phillip along with Alex and Ryan filled the Officers with an operation Briefing. It takes only one hour because they want to end it as fast as they could before lost Martin’s trail again.
Meanwhile . . . .
Martin is sitting on his so—called throne and suddenly one of his minions came running from the door, and whispering something on his ear.
“As I thought.” Martin said calmly. Then he took a hand tape from the table beside him, press the red button and begin talking. It didn’t take long to finish his log, Then he stood up and gives order to his minions.
“We must give a proper welcome for our guest.” Martin said as he grabs a bottle of wine. “I’ll be playing with Alex and that coward Ryan inside, while you playing with the police outside. Don’t come out until I give the signal.” Martin said as he finishes his gulp on the bottle of wine. “This Mansion is big enough to play hide and seek with them. Especially in the night.”
On the other hands, Alex’s and the others are beginning their preparation to the final battle as well.
“This isn’t going to be easy, you know that Commissioner.” Alex said
“Of course I’m well aware of that.” Commissioner replied; He gave Alex and Ryan a headset to communicate to each other during the operation. “Use this, to keep in touch.”
Beside him, Alex could see Ryan looked so uptight and uncomfortable. He is sweating and murmuring something that he could catch any of the words. Alex gives a soft tap at his shoulder, and he’s back to his senses.
“Are you ready?” Ask Alex
“I think so.” Ryan replied with a trembling voice.
“Don’t worry too much. We’ll arrest him no matter what.”
At the strikes of dawn, they’re finished making their preparation.
“I have a bad feeling about this Alex.” Ryan said, but when Alex is about to talk; Commissioner Phillip came and inform them that they’re ready to begin.
5 police cars and one Van have been dispatched to the location of the assault. Commissioner Phillip is on the van up in the front, while Alex and Ryan are in the car behind it. While Alex is driving he suddenly strikes a question
“So what do you know about these guys?” Ask Alex, his expression is begging for explanation.
“Martin is a man who knows no boundaries. He kills anyone who he wants to kill, and it’s just for fun. While his minion’s job is to remove any evidence on the crime scene, giving false testimony, and sometimes robbing bank if Martin told them to.”
“Then what tempt you to work for him?”
“As I said, he insists me!”
Soon, the van that lead the party have stopped, and others behind it as well. Then Commissioner Phillip’s voice can be heard on the headset Alex and Ryan wear.
“We’re here. Get ready.” Commissioner said with a voice like robot.
Alex and Ryan ready their pistols and out of the car, Out in the street they saw the other police officers are taking weapons from trunks as well. Alex and Ryan saw Commissioner Phillip approach them.
“Ryan, is that mansion is what you meant?” Commissioner asks as he pointing an old mansion in the distance.
“I’m sure of it, sir!
“Not many pedestrians in this road, I see.” Alex added.
“What are you expect on THIS side of the city? Mall? Night club?” Commissioner Phillip smirk
“Sir we’re ready to move!” Said a Police officers that appear behind Commissioner Phillip
“Then let Alex and Ryan go first, we should wait here.” Commissioner Phillip said. Ryan and Alex immediately rush up to the mansion.
“Evacuate some people to avoid any causality if something bad happen!” Commissioner Phillip yelling to his officers. “And install some roadblocks as well!”
Alex and Ryan whom already arrived on the rusty backdoor of this mansion, readied their gun, and Alex slowly open the door. The door leads them to what used to be a kitchen.
“It sinks here!” Ryan complain as they proceed forward
They encounter another door that lead them to a corridor and then a big, yet empty hall with only a big chair that stands above a red carpet, and a small table beside the chair. Alex and Ryan can barely see because the only light in the room came from a candle that lit on the table. Alex and Ryan proceed with cautions past a stairs that lead to the second floor, and continue walks towards a small table in the centre of this room. They can see a black thing beside the candle.
“Another voice log.” Ryan exclaimed
Alex takes it and press the PLAY button.
The log begins with a horror-like theme song instead of cartoon like earlier. Martin’s voice came soon after, with a ghostly style talk and laughs.
“My friends, Alex and Ryan! Welcome to “Mansion of the dead!”.” Then he laughs. “Just kidding. So congratulation you made it this far. But, our game is not over yet. You still haven’t found me, Alex. And you Ryan, I already knew you would betray me. Because you’re a coward that afraid of sin. You’re not up for the task. So anyway, I’m here waiting for you Alex. find me if you can! This mansion is big, so take your time. Oh and by the way, sorry for the lack of brightness, this IS an old mansion after all.” Then the log ends with a click noise.
“Coward! Come here and face me like a man!” Alex shouts. Then suddenly, a laughter, and fast footsteps came from the second floor. Ryan gasped and he looks upwards to see where that noise is come from while pointing his gun.
Without saying anything, Alex rushes upstairs with Ryan. Ryan took out his cell phone for light; He turns it on and they can see a corridor with 5 rooms, with the door standing face to face to each other and the last one on the end of the corridor.
“Check every last one of them.” Alex said as he moved into the first door on the left side.
“Ryan, keep pointing that light.” He ordered. Then Ryan pointing his cell phone towards the door. “Odd. . .” Alex continue, “This door is covered with thick dust, and yet the knob doesn’t, so someone must’ve enter this room recently.”
Then Alex twist the knob and open the door, but what he see is just an empty bedroom, with just a dust, and Spider web on every corner.
“Say, Ryan. How can these guys live in a place like this?”
“Well . . . this place is so bright during the day, because there’s a hole in the ceiling, big enough for the sun to give its light to this place. Usually though; this place is used to be a place for drug party by a local gang but since Martin moved—you can figure that out. And usually at night, Martin came out from this place to live on the streets.” Ryan explained
“And that’s when he killed people.” Alex interrupted
“Precisely. And his minions going to rob some place or going to club or doing something they want.”
“You know much Ryan. How long do you work for him?”
“Three weeks. I’m so desperate that day when Martin offers me a job. I thought he’s just another gang banger. I don’t know that he is actually a psychopath.”
“You should be careful next time. So how can you join the police rank?” Ask Alex as he walked slowly to another door and opened it.
“Martin. He makes me join the police to give him information from inside.”
“And you met me in your first day.” Alex chuckled. “Bad luck for Martin.”
“Alex, you talked to me like there’s nothing happen.”
“Because I know that you are a good man Ryan.” Alex smiled. “And a good friend.”
“Ryan could you point that light to the floor?” then Ryan point the light from his cell phone to the floor, and they see a foot print that leading to the next room at the end of the corridor.
“As I thought.” Alex said. Then they run towards the last door, and Alex kicked the door with his boot and pointing his gun towards every corner of the room. But Martin isn’t here either, they just saw another room covered with a thick dust, there’s graffiti on the wall, and a barred window.
“Impossible, how can he go outside without leaving another trace?” Alex said
And suddenly Ryan’s phone began to beep, and a word “Battery Low” can be seen on the screen, then it didn’t take long until it finally turns off by itself.
“NO!” Ryan yelled as they now stood in the dark.
Then Alex and Ryan can hear gunshots from the streets, and a voice appears from the headset they wore.
“Alex, Ryan. We’ve been ambushed!” Commissioner said from the intercom. “They suddenly came out of nowhere, we’ve been surrounded.” He continues with those fire fights noises in the background.
“This is bad.” Ryan said
“We could be fallen into a trap ourselves.” Alex said as he cleared his throat. “Let’s go back downstairs.”
Alex and Ryan found themselves back at the big humid hall, with a mossy floor and wall. There’s a hole in the ceiling which Alex didn’t realize earlier. When they’re about to reach the front door and help Commissioner and polices whom struggle outside, a voice of Martin came out of nowhere.
“Leaving already? But the fun has just begun.” Martin said
Alex and Ryan halt their steps and scanning their dark surrounding find the source of the voice.
“What do you think Ryan?” ask Alex
“The voice came from the first floor.” Ryan replied with confidence
“More precisely, the sound was coming from the kitchen.” Ryan adds
“Magnificent.” Alex said proudly. “Martin! I’ve had enough of your game!” He yelled
“Give up already? C’mon that’s not fun.” Martin said as he laughs, and again—disappeared
“Let’s find this crazy guy.” Alex said as he tapped Ryan’s shoulder, indicating to follow him.
Alex and Ryan back into the kitchen that very dirty, smelly, and darker than the other room. Because there are no lights, Alex and Ryan have difficult times to searching any possibilities of hiding places.
“Alex, don’t you have a cell phone?” Ryan asks suddenly.
“I don’t need one.” Alex replied briefly. “Wait here.” Alex said as he going back to the main hall, after a few seconds he come back with a candle that was from the table, in his hand. The candle has become shorter than before
“We should hurry.” Said Alex as he began his searching
They are starting to check the kitchen, to find every detail there that can lead them to Martin. Ryan examines one side of the kitchen while Alex is on the other side. There’s an empty side of it which tempting Ryan to check it.
Suddenly Ryan stumbled across something on his feet. Like a protrusion. He called Alex to come and look at what he just found. Alex stamped his foot a few times, and then he held the candle closer towards the bulge.
“Open it.” Alex said
“Open what?” Ryan ask with a curiosity
“You don’t get it do you? This is a door to a basement.”
“What?” Ryan asks once again. Then he finally try to open the door Alex talking about. He held the bulge and pulls it with all of his strength. Then a secret door on the floor that initially covered in thick dust finally opens with its squeaky noises.
“I see the bulge didn’t cover with dust as if someone just touched it recently. He’s here.” Alex said
They proceed downstairs with cautions, Alex keep his candle to shows the way. The stairs leads them to an old abandoned cellar that filled with rat crawling on its floor, and spider webs hanging on its walls.
The cellar full of wooden barrels arranged vertically. It’s a big and dark room; make it even a big man can hide behind those barrels. Since Martin is medium size, he can easily hide behind those big barrel, and running around without being seen.
Alex and Ryan can hear a soft laughter around them, but couldn’t determined which direction it came from.
“I’m here.” Said Martin who hides in the shadow.
Alex suddenly take his pistols and shot point blank to all direction hoping one of the bullets could hit Martin.
“STOP IT!” Martin yelled, “That’s not fair! You shoot my money inside those barrels to lure me out!”
“Money?” Alex said as he put away his gun.
“Oops. I mean . . . oh well. I’ve already said it.” Martin said
Then in front of them, Ryan and Alex saw a good looking man holding a folded knife, that man none other is Martin himself. “You’re not fun.” He murmured. Alex put the candle he brought on the small table beside him and steadies his gun with both hands.
“Game over, Martin.” Alex said
“Oh, hello Alex.” Martin said. Then he switches his glare towards Ryan. “And Ryan. I’ll kill you later” Martin said except this time his face filled with disgust expression. “I wonder, did my men finished cleaning up the street?” he continue
Then Commissioner’s voice came out from their headset but this time the voice is breaking out, and they could only hear buzzing noises. “We . . . . Many . . . . . Can’t see them.” Commissioner said, but Alex and Ryan have a hard time to catch the words, while Martin just smiling with satisfaction knowing that his plan goes smoothly.
“This is basement. There’s no way you could get a decent signal here. Go outside.” Martin said as if there’s nothing between them.
“How many men do you have Martin?” Alex ask
“We have 20 polices here, you couldn’t possibly win.” Ryan said as he start to pint his gun towards Martin.
“That’s true that I’m heavily outnumbered, but you must know something. How come 20 men could win if they can’t even see what they’re up against?” Martin said with confidence and evil face.
“What?” Alex stare
“My men good at hiding you know. They can shoot, then hide, then switch position and then running around their enemies making it hard to know their position.” Again, Martin explains with confidence and cockiness.
“Sounds like a cowardly tactic for me.” Alex insult.
Then Martin began to laugh and Ryan still keeps steady his aim. In a blink of an eye, Martin runs towards Ryan grab his arm and hit Ryan’s throat with his hand, making him fell directly to the floor. Alex aims his gun but couldn’t fast enough to pull the trigger. Martin grab Alex’s hand snatched the gun, throw it, then he hit Alex’s head with his own; Alex’s right eye and nose began to swell.
“Is that all?” Martin said, rubbing his hands together while looking towards Alex and Ryan who’s lying on the floor. “Such weaklings!” he yelled.
Ryan trying to take the gun that dropped before, but Martin realize it and toss it far away.
“I don’t like to use guns. I prefer this.” Martin said as he shows them his folded knife.
“Ryan! Go get Commissioner Phillip, inform him about this place!” Alex yelled to Ryan. Then Ryan who’s got enough energy to stood, he rushes towards the stairs that leads back to the kitchen.
Martin who’s about to catch Ryan, prevented by Alex who grab Martin’s leg. “Get your dirty hands off me!” Martin yelled.
Alex as well finally got the energy back and back on his feet. He grabs Martin’s head, and crashing it to one of the wooden barrels beside them 2 times until Martin reverse Alex’s attack and run towards the end of the cellar. Alex immediately chased after Martin, along the way Martin drop several barrels to slow down Alex. Martin managed to hide behind a crate in the corner of the cellar.
“Give up Martin, you got nowhere else to run! You’re already cornered.” Alex said
“Do you think I get myself cornered, without any reason to do so?”
Then Martin took a crowbar that lying on the floor. “Look at these.” And he began to open the crate in front of him. Inside that crate Alex catch a glimpse of fire arms.
“Just as I needed!” Martin took one AK from the crate, and began shooting point blank, while Alex is crouching to dodge the bullets and seek for a hiding place.
“Come out . . . . Come out wherever you are.” Martin said and began to shooting again.
“As I said before, I hate to use guns. But this time, I’ll make an exception!” Martin said with laughter.
He roams the cellar until finally he found Alex already lying upside down on the floor. He walk towards Alex’s body to make sure that he’s already dead.
“Hey, I’m good. My bullet hit this guy!” Martin said with cockiness.
Alex makes a sudden move and he hits Martin’s crotch with his arm, making him paralyzed on fell to his knees. Martin drops his AK and his face didn’t show any expression, as he feels a great pain coming from his crotch. Alex back to his feet, and walks towards Martin.
“What’s your motive of killing peoples Martin?” Ask Alex
Martin who’s already regaining his consciousness answered “For fun Alex.” He smirked. “You know, crime is fun. But it takes brain to pull off a good one.”
“What!?” Alex suddenly moved his hands and began chocking Martin’s live out of him.
“You’re no different than me if you killed me.” Martin smirked
Alex tighten his grasp, makes Martin’s face to turns pale. Just in a nick of time before Alex managed to kill Martin, Commissioner Phillip along with Ryan and 3 police officers came to the cellar.
“That’s enough Alex!” Commissioner Phillip yelled.
“You’re alive Commissioner.” Alex said as he let go his grasp and stand up. Martin began coughing and tries to catch a breath.
“How can you?” Martin ask
“Your men aren’t hard to flank Martin. Thanks to Ryan who’s telling us their position.” Commissioner replied.
“I SWEAR I’LL KILL YOU RYAN!” Martin said in anger
Commissioner Phillip took a hand cuff, and he cuffed Martin, with a smile on his face. He didn’t believe that he finally catch Martin after all these years.
Alex, Ryan and Commissioner standing outside the mansion while other police are checking the mansion for any evidence, and some of them put Martin men’s body into a body bag and put them into an ambulance. Commissioner Phillip gave Alex a block of ice to reduce the swelling on his eye.
“So case closed yes?” Commissioner asks with a happy smile on his face.
“Thanks to Alex.” Ryan replied
“How about tonight we celebrate it on my house. The drink’s on me!” Commissioner said.
“I think I’ll pass.” Alex said, as he began to walk away.
“Where are you going?” Commissioner ask
“I’m tired. I’m going to straight to my room.” He said as he took a cigar from his pocket and lit it. He halted his steps and turns around. “Commissioner, if you don’t mind, I want to hire Ryan Haner as my assistance.” Alex said then he continues to walk.
Ryan and Commissioner Phillip just stare at each other and smiled.
A week has passed since Martin arrested. Alex and Ryan are on Alex’s apartment talking about a private detective agency business their going to make.
“So what’s the name of our agency?” Ryan asks
“Fiskus Detective Agency” Alex replied
“Hey Alex, now that I’m your partner you should put my name on it.” Ryan complain
“Batman gave name to his secret place as Bat cave. Not Batman and Robin’s cave.” Alex chuckled
“Well’ we’re not Batman and Robin!” Ryan said, and they laugh together.
They halted their laughs when they heard someone’s knocking the door. A woman appears from behind the door, and then slowly she walked towards Alex and Ryan. Alex let her to sit down on an available chair. The woman explains to Alex and Ryan about her problem, and asks Alex to help her finding her stolen Pearl.
“So it has been stolen?” Alex asks.
“Yes that’s true.” The woman replied while crying. Then continue to explain the situation.
“Okay, we’re going to help you, madam.” Alex said as he stood up from his chair and Ryan as well. Alex takes his robe and walk towards the door with his client. “C’mon Ryan. We got another case to taken care of.”
They embark on a quest to solve another case, and bring criminals into justice.
To Be Continued . . . . . .