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Saturday, February 26, 2011

("I hear a very gentle sound Very near yet very far Very soft yeah very clear Come today come today…")…The Doors…1967

Chapter Thirty-two

LVMPD…Evidence Room…Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009…9:00pm

The computer lab had been a colossal waste of my time. Apparently this precinct could not afford competent help? Rather shocking in a city of this size. However, Las Vegas was not exactly a metropolis, not by any standard. It was in fact an over grown amusement park for the adult sycophant population of the United States of America. Still, given the obscene amount of capital that is generated here, fleecing millions of easily entertained rubes out of their hard earned cash with false hope for their shallow dreams, one might have hoped for a better showing by the City Fathers and Civil Leadership, no? Perhaps not, after all why should one spend large sums preventing crimes when one is busy committing crimes? Par for the course I suppose for the New Age Empire, sadly headed for the same fate as the old Romans, extinction by proxy, courtesy their cancerous addiction to self absorption. America, I have no pity for her, not after what she did to my home, my beautiful country. Fuck them all, what do I care? They are what I feed upon now!

Ah, here we are; the fabled evidence room. I have often wondered what one of these looked like. I must admit, over the years, during my frequent stays in this hunting ground, I have fallen under the spell of the quaint television dramas depicting detectives working crime scenes or profiling serial killers. What rubbish these writers droll out with appalling regularity! They merely sensationalize the gore of so many murderous acts, concentrating mainly on who, what, and when, while they skim over the why, which is by far the most fascinating aspect. Then again, this is America after all, the Mecca for instant gratification. The attention span of the average viewer is limited by how much nonsense they can endure at the hand of network sponsors. There really isn't time enough in sixty minutes to challenge the mind with puzzle solving; cash is king in this country. Actually that's unfair, my apologies to the reader, this is true around the globe; the root of all evil and all that rot. Forgive my self centered pontificating, as I am as guilty of that addiction as any of you.

The door was unlocked and I walked in encountering a not so impressive room. It was what one might expect, a narrow three by twelve foot swatch of floor space separating the door and a chest high wooden counter topped by a caged barricade which looked like chicken wire on steroids. The officer behind the cage was equally unimpressive, a short dour looking gentleman (I'm being kind, he was no gentleman) with small thin lips topped with a wispy graying mustache. He wore a cheap pair of black horned rimmed spectacles and was busy writing on something when I walked in. It turned out to be a crossword he was concentrating on.

"What do ya need Mac," he asked without looking up at me.

How rude! It was all I could do to suppress my instant dislike for the man and keep myself from putting a small caliber round through one of the spectacle lenses. Instead, I gently placed my hands, palms down, on the top of the counter and smiled. I waited for him to look up and acknowledge me before I spoke; I required that much common courtesy from this beastly bloke. The blaggard finally looked up and pulled his reading specs down slightly, giving me the once over.

"You speakie English," he asked impatiently in a condescending monotone?

I felt the bile rise from my stomach to my esophagus and I swallowed the saliva my mouth produced in anticipation of the imminent irritation. There wasn't time to deal with this one right now and I took a deep breath through my nose before I replied, feeling my nostrils flare as I took in the soothing oxygen and held it in my lungs for a three count.

"Excuse me for interrupting your work Officer, but Detective Price sent me down here for a catalog item from the case he's working on," I said with a convincing smile masking the rage behind my eyes.

"Hey, you speak English just like a Limey," he replied sitting up all of a sudden and taking notice of me. He got up from the stool that he was seated on and removed his spectacles, giving me a closer look.

"I thought you was Chinese or something," he said with a big grin. I must have looked annoyed and I could see by his facial expression that he noticed it straight away.

"Hey, I didn't mean no disrespect or nothin, you just surprised me is all," the officer said with a believable amount of sincerity. He had no idea that he might have just saved his own life, and I smiled at him to put him at ease. I needed his help right now and didn't want to be delayed further.

"None taken, I'm sure," I said.

"I'm not Chinese by the way. Actually, I'm from Saigon originally, but was raised in Great Britain," I explained, not exactly sure why I had shared that bit of personal history with him, it was uncharacteristically impulsive of me? I would have to reconsider this bloke's fate now.

"No foolin? I was in Vietnam in 71', was you," he asked attempting to make small talk? It was a conversation I didn't want to have.

"I was a child in 1971, my family left after the fall of Saigon in 75' and we ended up in London with relatives," I answered. I felt more comfortable speaking with him about myself now, it was cathartic somehow. Not that it mattered what he heard anymore anyway, I was speaking to a dead man now.

"Is that right, that's terrific," he said in a jolly tone of voice. Apparently I had made a friend, how sad; I almost felt a twinge of regret.

"Yes, well if you don't mind I really must be getting back to Detective Price."

"Oh yeah, sorry, what was it he wanted again?"

"He said it would be in a small envelope with some kind of electronics inside."

"Was it from the Caesar's Palace shooting earlier today?"

"Yes, that's right."

The officer walked back to a desk behind him and sat down to access the computer system. He sat there mumbling for a couple of minutes then returned to the counter. He held up a finger and gestured for me to wait, reading the question that was on my face. He put on his specs back on and leafed through some sort of log book I reckoned. Ten seconds later he tapped his finger on a page and brought the book to where I stood waiting. He turned it so that I could read it through the cage wire.

"See right here, Detective Sgt. Price checked that item out at 7 o'clock this evening. We was still changing shifts when he came down so I wasn't here. Looks like an Officer Ngyuen signed it out for him. Hey, he's one of you guys ain't he," related the ill fated evidence room Officer, grinning for the last time in his miserable life.

"So it seems, thank you for your kindness," I replied, firing twice with the silenced Glock 19 that I had extracted from the uncomfortable holster around my waist while he spoke.

Two subsonic rounds entered the cheeky bloke's brain through his left eye. He slumped to the floor with a queer expression on his face, one of disbelief. I felt the twinge again, I was tiring of this adventure, and it was time for closure, perhaps a little vacation. Nha Trang would be nice this time of year. I do so enjoy the beaches and the mud baths. Yes, it is time for a short rest; I grow weary of the hunt. If fortune shines on me tonight, I will find all of my ducks swimming in the same barrel, inside this very building.

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