Here's a short story I wrote a while ago. It's about a cop and a hitman. It's actually the first part of a trilogy entitled: Perspectives. This is my first foray into the crime/action genre, so it's not particularly earth shattering. It has more impact if you read all three parts. Hopefully I'll post the rest soon. Read on!



Work Day

            By Rajeev Mishra

"Let's go! Let's go! Let's go! Come on people move!" We burst through the front door and into the lobby. There we were met by screams from old ladies and children.
"Quick, Joseph, take your team and cover all the ground exits and elevators. Ramirez, Sands and Donald, come with me!" I yelled, and my orders were immediately obeyed, after all, they are a crack team. We move into the stairwell and begin the run up to the eleventh floor. I keep a sharp look out as I climb the many flights of stairs. My automatic rifle pointed out in front of me, following the line of my vision directly, always ready to defend, and attack. Running up the stairs is extremely tiring work, especially since we're all in full assault gear. Heavy boots, flack jackets and fibre glass helmets are all in full use, not to mention Kevlar-like body amour and the extra weight of ammunition and weapons. We arrive at the fourth floor.
"Yes sir!"
"Take your team and split into smaller groups. Search all of these floors." 
"You got it captain."
"And keep it quiet. We don't want to upset the neighbors."
The rest of us carry on through the stair well. Sands is a good man. Came under my command last year. He fits in real nice here, he's a true professional. No time to reminisce, we've got work to do. Seven more floors to cover. He can't have gotten far. If I get this son of a bitch, I'm sure to get a commendation. We've been tracking him for two years now. We'll, not 'we' exactly, I should say they've been tracking him, that is to say, the big wig detectives have. I'm just a one of the 'guns' as they say, quite literally in fact. Eighth floor.
"Ramirez. Take your men and search floors four through eight."
"And Ramirez? Don't be an asshole, I'm not gonna cover your rear again, okay?"
"Huh, yeah. Understood. Come on guys."
Ramirez took his men and began to comb his floors.

  Last year we were at a takedown in a bank in downtown. The robbers had taken hostages and we were called in by the negotiators to handle things. Anyway, we took out all the instigators and rescued the hostages. Well, Ramirez was all fired up, because one of the hostage takers had gotten off a shot at his shoulder. And guess what he does to vent his anger? He shoots a round into this guys kneecap. I mean this guy was just lying on the floor, defenseless and Ramirez just took out his knee. Must've fired off around five caps! The crook was screaming so loud and blood was just pouring out of his leg. Jesus, Ramirez could have been in a real shit if I hadn't bailed him out on some minor technicality. I think I said some bull about the crim reaching for his gun or something. Doubt the chief believed me at all, but it didn't matter, because he probably would have let him go anyway. We just needed some sort of excuse to put on the report, so that Internal Affairs didn't get involved. Those punks are just bad news. Ramirez sure has one wild temper. I would hate to be on the opposing team if I had a row with him. But he's a good guy, a really good guy.

This is it. The eleventh floor. I've got to nail this guy, if he is the guy they say he is.
"Donald. Split your team. Half with me, half with you. You take nine through eleven. The rest with me on this floor."
"Yes sir. We'll take the current floor down and double back."
"Understood. Keep radio contact"
"Yes sir."
We carefully make our way through the stairwell door into the eleventh floor. Donald and his team branch off to the left and we carry on down to the end of the corridor, to where the subject is thought to be. We move quickly and stealthily, covering all doors and corridors. We get to the door. I silently signal to my colleagues. They know what to do. Two stay with me and the rest branch off to cover any other exits. This is it, we're at the door now, ready to make our move. I put my ear against it, but I can't hear anything, no rustling, nothing, just silence. He could still be in there. The other two officers are standing fast, ready to fire at any minute. Their guns' are held up to their faces' and fingers are ready to squeeze when I give the word. I tell them to hold back. Their gazes' don't move a centimetre from their fixed positions on the door. I move back a little from the door into the corridor, behind the two men.
"Hello? Sands? You got anything?" I tug a little on my radio.
"Negative Captain, still one floor to go."
"Keep going. What about you Joseph?"
"Again no. But there is an open gate, I'm investigating now."
"Good. Ramirez?"
"Nothing sir. Zilch."
"Okay. Everyone keep looking and be careful, this guy is dangerous. We haven't had time to evacuate the building, so there is a definite hostage potential. Okay people? Look sharp! Out."
They all follow with uniform conformations. My attention is back to the door. I stare at it intently. Behind it is my soul reason for being in this building. My weapon is pointed directly at head height, so if he does try to pull anything, he gets it right between the eyes. I figure on waiting another five minutes, getting a status report and bursting in if we need to.

This guy has really pissed  me off. He has put a year and a half of work in the toilet. We weren't even here to get this guy in the first place We were across the street at the Kobatu Corporation building. This guy, Mr. Yeun Kenchai, the head of Kobatu, had his fingers in every damn bowl there is. I mean everything, Triads, drugs, smuggling, illegal pornography and Kobatu was just some appliance making front. The suits upstairs had finally gotten enough evidence to convict this guy, so we were there to help out, in case things got rough. And trust me, they could have. This guy had an entourage of around fifty men, and they were all packing heat. Anyway, Kenchai was delivering his speech to an open audience, some crap about productivity being up this year, out in the front courtyard. The plan was to nab him straight after his speech, so as not to cause too much fuss and annoy his 'boys'. He's finally finishing his speech, you know, gathering up his cards and giving a few final words when, boom, he gets shot. And then shot a second time as he's falling down. One of my men says he saw the second shot definitely came from the apartment building across the road. So naturally we get going. Then I get this message from HQ over my radio, that this guy, the assassin is probably some guy they've been after for years. How they know for sure, I'll never know. I guess it's because of his style, or that we don't get many hitmen in this part of the world, I don't know. I have to take him alive. Damn. And now we're here. Waiting outside this guy's door. If I open this door, and nail the guy, it'll open a lot more doors for me in the future, if you get my drift. Last check.
"Everyone report back. Joseph, Sands, Ramirez, Donald."
"Negative sir."
"Okay." I make radio silence and turn back to the door. My gun is lifted up again and is aiming at head height. My hand goes up to signal the officer on my right. He goes for the door handle, slowly turning it. It's locked. He steps back. The signal goes for the other man to make his move. He relaxes his gun from his shoulder, steps back and takes a huge kick at the door. It smashes open, wood around the lock splintering off. I go through first, gun ready to fire. The others follow as we move cat-like through the apartment. I make my way to the window at the end, the one the sniper would most likely use to target the Kobatu building. I search the room. The windows open and the curtains are blowing in the wind.
"Sir. He's not here."
Damn. I look out the window. Yeah, this was the place alright, he would have got a really clear shot from here. I don't waste any more time. We move out, back into the corridor and continue searching. I give the word to my other team members.
"Sir, this is Ramirez. He's here! Just got on the stairwell at level five. Negative on capture. Repeat. Negative on capture. Am in pursuit."
By now all the other team members had heard and were on their way down the stairwell. I bolted through the door and was at level five like a lightning streak. I could see Ramirez further down the stairs in front of me. I follow him. Then there's a shot.
" I managed to hit him in the right shoulder sir."
Good boy Ramirez I thought as I heard the message over my speaker. That'll slow the lowlife down.
Level three. Wait. There's blood on a exit doorway.
"He's here."
"Level three. There's a blood trail." I open the door cautiously and the other men follow me out. The trail disappears. He must have dressed the wound.
"Split up." I go to the end of the corridor to  a fire escape, thinking it the most likely escape route.

"Unnghh!" I yell. The rifle but hits me sharply in the back. I swing around with my gun ready to fire and narrowly escape a close rang bullet with a precision duck. I raise my gun to face level and he does the same. His rifle is letting off a gentle smoke as I peer down the barrel and into my attacker's face. Mexican stand off time. I'm against a wall and he's against a view of the city.
"Just put the gun down. You're outnumbered. My men are already coming. They would have heard the shot."
"And then what? Huh? I'll go to prison for the rest of my life! What the hell kind of life is that? I'm not going out that way. Not today, not ever!"
This guy is determined. Funny, he doesn't look like the assassin-type. If there is such a thing. Not very tall at all, moderately built, clean shaven and dressed in a suit. Not like in the movies at all.
"Just be sensible. Why don't you-"
"Why don't you just shut your friggin' face!"
He's definitely agitated. There's no reasoning with him now. He's going to shoot me, no matter what. All I can do is wait for it. Wait for the second I can make a move. There's the twitch of the index finger now. I can see the sweat on his brow.
"Shit. You damn cops! This wasn't the plan!"
"What plan?"
"Shut up! Just shut the hell up!"
Bang! Bang! Bang!
He twitches nervously and gets a shot off. It goes into my armoured breast plate. Before I feel the impact, I squeeze off three shots of my own. Bullets explode from the tip of my gun barrel. As I fall to the floor, I can see his body being pushed back. Blood splatters out of the wound on his chest. He crashes through the plate glass window behind him. The glass shatters into a million pieces and the sound is deafening. I hit the ground. There's a scream, followed by a loud thud.
Back on my feet, I brush off  the shards just in time to meet my fellow law enforcers.
"Good job"
"Yeah, nice work"
"We saw what happened when we were coming down the corridor. It was self defense. Clear as day."
"Alright captain!"
Good job? I just killed a guy. He was a kid, for Petes' sake. Damn, killing a guy is never the ideal ending as some of the hotheads under my command would believe. I can see that he landed heavily on the concrete below. Probably broke his back. I can't see any blood around his head or any obvious broken limbs. At least his death would have been instant. Damn. It would have been better If I could have taken him alive. Too bad. He's dead. Plain and simple, he's dead. And I killed him. I killed the guy.

Oh well, time to go home. There'll be a debriefing and a list of questions from some pencil pusher, I think, as I make my way down the stairs, and also medical checks and reporters to talk to. Then home. Go to sleep and come to work tomorrow. More shooting and doing my job. After all, it is what I'm best at. Feels great. Just great. Real friggin' great. Oh well, life's like that. I open the ground level door and begin the long walk out through the lobby. Tomorrow's just another working day.


Rajeev Mishra  (1999)