The Train: Episode 62

For someone with Nicole’s skill, getting past police officers and into the records room was a piece of cake.  She knew well enough that it was just a simple matter of patience, stealth, and memory. Every time she approached a target, she went over these three words in her mind. As she took in the scene, she thought,

“These cops are useless.”

The back door was propped open, and the officer on duty was fast asleep.

When she drew close to the duty officer, she stopped and stood over him. A small stream of drool ran down his bottom lip as he rested his hand on a half-eaten bag of chips.

“Useless,” she thought again.

Shaking off her disdain as she tried to clear her head and refocus, Nicole moved past the sleeping guard and into the hall beyond. Signs leading to the records room were clearly marked. The hall was empty except for one of the cleaning crew, slowly working the floor polisher from side to side. Moving slowly so as not to draw attention to herself, Nicole felt a small surge of excitement as she slipped down the hall behind the oblivious man.

“Almost as satisfying as eliminating a target,” she thought, a smile working its way across her face.

Within a few minutes, she had picked the lock on the records room door and was standing inside, her back against the wall as her chest heaved with each excited breath.

But when the face of little Kenneth Cooper slipped into her thoughts, she straightened up and began searching for any information related to Cynthia Cooper, Terry Herbert Wilson or Anthony Armstrong. Despite the unguarded nature and overall lack of discipline at the station, the records room was remarkably organized. In no time, Nicole had her hand on the case file for Terry Herbert Wilson.

Opening the folder, she began to scan its contents. Wilson had been the primary suspect in the murder of Adam Coffery.

“What a minute. I just saw that name somewhere,” Nicole remembered.

Once again she opened the file cabinet and searched until she found the file for Adam Coffery. When she slipped the folder out of the drawer and opened it, she saw that the case was closed. Assistant district attorney Adam Coffery had been found beaten to death at a private party celebrating the birthday of Anthony Armstrong. No witnesses were listed, but the file named two suspects—Anthony Armstrong and Terry Herbert Wilson. Armstrong’s name was marked through and alongside Wilson’s name, someone had noted the time he was added.

“Only a few hours ago. Convenient naming a dead guy as your suspect,” she thought.

Nicole found it odd that police had no witnesses, but when she discovered that the investigating detective was Morgan Lindsay, some things started to make sense.

“Armstrong had a temper. I’ll bet Coffery approached him in the wrong way or threatened him and Armstrong lost it. He attacked Coffery and killed him. But how could there be no witnesses?” she wondered.

Then it hit her.

“Stupid! Why didn’t you see it sooner?” she scolded.

Nicole remembered that night in the warehouse, and Armstrong’s words to Wilson came back to her.

“Fine, Wilson. My problem is not with you but with your girlfriend Cynthia. I want a guarantee that she’ll keep her mouth shut about what she saw that night she sang at my party.”

Cynthia Cooper had been there that night singing. She must have witnessed the murder and Armstrong was worried about her talking.

“That’s why her time of death changed. I’ll bet Wilson was going to kill her to keep her quiet,” Nicole whispered.

Suddenly Nicole heard a sound in the hallway and froze. She knew the cleaning staff had finished that section and wouldn’t be coming back through there. Perhaps one of the officers needed a file to finish some last minute paperwork.

She found an inconspicuous spot to hide and prepared herself for an encounter. If necessary, she could easily incapacitate the person. Sometimes ending someone was the only way. Before she became a part of the train, she had been a highly skilled assassin but she had always followed a code, and meaningless death was not part of it.

The door to the records room slowly opened and Nicole heard a low voice call softly,

“Nicole?”

Nicole let out a sigh of relief,

“Michael.”

She came out of her hiding place and approached him.

“Have you found anything?” he asked.

Nicole shared the information she had discovered along with her speculation.

“But none of that explains who kills her now or who kills Lindsey or you.”

“This might,” Michael said, removing a crumpled piece of paper from his pocket.

He passed the note to Nicole, and after she read it she said,

“Sounds like whoever wrote this note doesn’t want Lindsay to tell the truth.”

“I agree,” Michael said, “but if your ideas are correct and Armstrong murdered Coffery, why still hide what happened?”

“Whoever wrote that note was there that night and may have seen the murder. They say that Lindsay was involved. If that’s true, maybe he’s afraid he’ll go down for the murder as well,” Nicole said.

“Do this and we’re square,” Michael quoted from the note. “Is it me or does that sound more like what a bookie or debt collector would say?”

“It is possible Lindsay owed money,” Nicole said.

“And if he falsified the case report, Lindsay would have been afraid he’d get caught, especially with Cynthia Cooper still alive,” Michael added.

“Maybe they’re threatening Lindsay because they’re afraid he’s going to involve them if he’s discovered, so they’re using his debt to force him to kill the only other witness,” Michael said.

“We need to get back to Cynthia!” Nicole insisted.

 

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Published in: on July 18, 2016 at 3:10 pm  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I just want to say I have nothing but respect for the Police, for the great service they provide, and the fact that they put their lives on the line everyday.


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