"Showdown" - Part Six

Mouse and I were standing in front of Hiller when she came to in the Rover's cargo area half an hour later.

We were parked near the top floor of a garage five blocks east of the Marquis Hotel.

She sat up slowly in the cargo area, gagged with duct tape, wrists zip-tied behind her, ankles also zip-tied, took in her restraints, then fired a slit-eyed look at us.

"Hello, bitch," Mouse said. "You killed our friend. I'm gonna take it out on your hide."

"Hiller," I said.

Her nostrils flared.

"No use trying to deny it," I said. "We've done a background dump on you and your friends. Carter. Himura. Hudson and Crowe."

A muscle in her jaw twitched.

"You thought maybe Sikes gave you cover idents?"

Another jaw muscle twitched.

Mouse made a buzzer sound. "Wrong!"

"Maybe he did," I said. "But all biomets came back with your real names."

"The bastard sold you out," said Mouse.

Hiller's eyes darted between the two of us and her breathing quickened slightly.

"You've been giving me a bad name," I said. "First The 108. And now a cop killer."

She shifted uneasily and flicked her eyes past me.

Saw Steele out of the corner of my eye to my left.

Hiller's nostrils flared again.

"Here's what's going to happen," I said.

She fixed her eyes back on me.

"You're going to the police and confess to killing that cop."

Hiller's jaw clenched and her nostrils flared once more.

"We've already called and told them we had information about the shooting," I said. "We're going to drop you off at the nearest station and you're going to sing for them. If you decide not to, not a problem. We've identified you on video with an infodump on your entire background. You're no longer a ghost. You don't talk, we release that to the cops."

Hiller lunged at me, a muffled scream ripping from the gag.

I stepped back then cracked her across the face with a right cross and she flew back into the Rover's cargo area.

Mouse grabbed her dangling legs and shoved them inside then slammed the cargo door shut and gave me a quick nod.

"Let's go," I said to Steele.


* * *

Twenty minutes later, Mouse and I sat in the Land Rover across the street from the East Precinct building watching as Steele led Hiller up the short flight of concrete steps and into the station.

"She's gonna do some hard time," said Mouse.

I nodded. "Cops don't like copkillers."

"You think she believed they were gonna get away with it?"

"Probably. Her. Carter. The other three mooks."

"And Sikes," Mouse said.

"And Sikes," I said.

Five minutes later, Steele emerged, came down the steps, jogged across the street to the Rover, and got into the driver's seat.

"All good?" I said.

"All good for us," he said. "Not for Hiller. Lot of unhappy cops in there."

"No shit," said Mouse.

"No shit," said Steele. He reached for the ignition when we all heard a long, rolling burst of muffled gunshots coming from inside the station.

Spun in my seat to look.

Several cops who'd been outside the station bolted up the steps to the entrance, guns drawn. A few others took up crowd control positions, and started moving peds away from the front of the station.

After a few minutes, the cops who'd run in were filing back out, weapons holstered and talking amongst themselves.

"Holy shit," said Mouse. "You think she--"

I turned to her. "Suicide by cop."

She gave a low whistle.

"Back to my place?" said Steele.

"Yeah," I said.

He started the engine and we drove off.

"What next?" said Mouse.

"Gimme a sec," I said, sat back in my seat, and let my mind consider options.

Then a thought struck.

I took another phone out of my jacket pocket.

Hiller's phone.

I scrolled through the call log until I found what I knew had to be there.

Then I pulled out my phone and called Val.

"I have a number," I said.


* * *

We were back at Steele's safe house when Val called.

"What did you find out?" I said.

"New York City," said Val. "I'm pulling up info on Douglas now. I'll send you an infodump in a few."

"Thanks, Val," I said and hung up and told Mouse.

"Always wanted to see the Big Apple," she said.

"I know someone else who does, too," said Steele, pulling out his phone.

"So," Mouse said to me. "We're doing this. Sikes. Taking the fight to him."

"Only way to make sure it's over," I said.

She nodded. "Works for me."


* * *

I stared at the printouts spread on the kitchen table before me. Satellite photos of a stretch of land bordered on one side by water, a map of that same stretch of land and the surrounding area, a beachfront house surrounded by trees, and a highrise building across the street from a park.

"What am I looking at, Val?" I said.

"The house," Val said on speaker phone, "is Douglas's--I mean Sikes's weekend home."

Mouse gave a low whistle. "Must be nice."

"He owns a penthouse in the city," Val went on. "That's the highrise. 55 Central Park West. Nineteenth floor. Uses it mostly during the week. He's at the house on the weekends. Place called Bayville."

"This stretch of land," I said.

"Yep," said Val, and rattled off coordinates. "I also added them on the map. About thirty-five, forty miles outside of New York City, depending which freeway you take. Population, about sixty-seven hundred."

"Uses it on weekends," I said.

"Makes sense," said Val. "Omni's main office is in the city's financial district. At Seven World Trade Center. From the penthouse, it's about a half hour commute compared to an hour and a half from Bayville."

"Bet he has a chopper to commute in if he wanted," said Mouse.

"I wouldn't be surprised," said Val.

"Thanks, Val," I said. "This helps."

"Hit me up if you need more," said Val.

"Will do," I said and hung up.

"What's the plan?" said Mouse.

I scanned the printouts again, letting my mind sift through the details. "Need to study these."

"You've got fifteen minutes to get started before we leave," Steele said, coming over. "We're meeting Sam at 13:00."

(to be continued...)


"Showdown"
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5
Part 7

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