The Train: Episode 66

Ever since they returned to the train, they had been filling up on quiet time, relaxing and recovering from the difficult rescue of Cynthia and Kenneth Cooper.

Dr. Ricer sat in the dining car, trying to get lost in a book he’d found in one of the empty rooms, but he struggled to concentrate. What Elliot had said outside Cooper’s apartment building kept coming back to him.

“The third will take the lives of possibly hundreds.”

Even though Cynthia and Kenneth were safe, each free to live a normal life, something wasn’t sitting right with Ricer.

“Something wrong, Doc?” Nicole asked as she walked over to him.

Ricer jumped at the sound of her voice. He had been so lost in thought that he hadn’t noticed her approach. On the other hand, Nicole was very good at moving by stealth.

“I-I-I’m not sure,” he stammered.

“Want to talk about it?” Nicole asked, taking the seat across from him.

“Will you promise me something?” Ricer asked.

“Of course,” Nicole replied.

“Should something happen to me. . . ,” Ricer paused, looking over at Lucy sound asleep on the couch, “promise me you will take care of her.”

“Sure, Doc, but nothing’s going to happen to you. I promise,” Nicole assured him. “I won’t allow it.”

“I know. I know. I’m just being foolish,” he smiled.

“Why don’t you tell me what’s on your mind?” Nicole suggested.

His brow furrowed, Ricer laced his fingers and brought them up to his lips.

“It’s just that something about that last mission is bothering me.”

“Do you think we missed something?” Nicole asked.

Before Ricer could answer, Michael entered the car with his bag slung over his shoulder.

“The train’s coming to a stop. It’s time.”

Ricer nodded and started to rise from his seat.

Nicole grabbed his arm, stopping him, and leaned in.

“We need to come back to this,” she insisted.

Ricer patted her arm and said,

“Just keep your promise.”

She released his arm and waited while he woke Lucy. Then she stood up and stepped behind him as they followed Michael off the train and into the station.

Heading for the train station door, Lucy yawned and rubbed her eyes, holding tightly to her grandfather’s hand. Once they reached the door, Ricer stopped and turned around. He saw Elliot watching from the train, a deep sadness in his eyes.

Nicole looked first at Ricer then Elliot.

“Would somebody tell me what’s going on?” she asked in exasperation.

“I don’t know. Just remember your promise,” Ricer said then stepped through the station doors.

“Ripples: The Wolf”

New York

July 1970

The train station door opened onto a busy New York City street. The rumble of the subway and blare of horns as cars rushed by made Michael feel alive, electrified. When Dr. Ricer and Lucy followed Michael, Ricer looked back and saw that they had come through the door of a brownstone apartment building. Nicole stepped out of the door and paused, letting the breeze lift her soft blonde hair.

“So what brings us here, Doc?” Michael asked.

Ricer looked up at the sky for a moment, watching the clouds drift across the pale blue. Then he turned to Michael and said,

“In the next week, five women will be killed. Then two days after that, Officer Ronald Gibson will be discovered in his apartment, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. When the cops break in, they’ll find evidence scattered all over his place, evidence that links him to the five murders.”

“So I’m going to say he’s innocent, and our job is to find the real murderer. Right?” Michael asked.

Ricer nodded.

“No problem,” Michael said.

Suddenly a scream came from down the street. When they turned, they saw a woman at a bus stop struggling to hold onto her purse as a man tried to tear it out of her hands. Finally, he ripped the purse free and started running down the street.

“He stole my purse!” she wailed.

Instantly, Michael gave chase to the thief. As he ran, he remembered his father’s teaching.

How to chase down someone:

Step 1: Determine if the person is armed.

When someone trying to escape is in possession of a gun, it is not unusual for them to fire back in an attempt to stop or slow the person in pursuit. Exercise extreme caution.

Step 2: Keep them in sight.

The main idea behind chasing a person is to wear them down. Keeping them in sight is key. The person will run as long as they think they are a target. Keeping the person in sight forces them to keep running and hopefully wear them down.

Step 3: Try to predict where the runner will go.

Successfully predicting which way a runner will turn allows you to take shortcuts or cut corners to get ahead of the runner.

Step 4: Tackle or corner the runner.

If you can maneuver the runner into a dead-end alley or some other contained space where they can’t escape without doubling back, you will be able to confront the target. Be warned! A cornered target is scared and may lash out violently.

Running as fast as he could, Michael kept his eyes on the thief. When the man headed towards a crowd, in hopes of blending in, Michael yelled out,

“Stop that thief!”

Not wanting to get involved, the bystanders turned and quickly moved out of the way, all except for one young man. At the last minute, he sidestepped, tripping the thief and sending him to the pavement. When Michael caught up, he struggled with the thief, grabbing him and knocking his head against the sidewalk until he released his hold on the woman’s purse.

Hurrying up to Michael, the woman said, “Thank you so much! I don’t know what I would have done. All my grocery money is in my purse!”

Returning the purse, Michael pointed to the man who had tripped the thief.

“Thank him,” he said.

The woman smiled at the young man and patted his arm. “Thank you, son.”

As the woman walked back to the bus stop, Michael said,

“That was very brave.”

“Oh I didn’t do anything. You chased the guy. I don’t think I could have done that. I was so scared my hands were shaking. Look,” he said, holding his hands out.

When he saw that his hands were steady, he laughed,

“Well it felt like they were shaking.”

“My name’s Michael, by the way,” Michael said, extending a hand.

The young man looked at Michael for a moment then took his hand.

“Lincoln. It’s a pleasure.”

“Michael,” Lucy called out.

Michael looked around and saw Nicole, Ricer and Lucy headed toward him, but when he turned back to the young man, he had disappeared.

As he explained what had happened, he noticed that Ricer wore a strange look.

“What is it, Doc?” he asked.

“Everything has changed,” Ricer said.

“I assume not for the better. Otherwise, we’d be leaving,” Michael sighed.

“No,” Ricer said, shaking his head as he looked down at the pavement. “Not good. Not good at all.”

“Okay. Give it to me straight, Doc. I can take it,” Michael wisecracked.

Ricer looked up at Michael and took a deep breath before saying,

“Now, instead of five women dying, it’s five men, and the killer is. . . you.”

Published in: on November 19, 2016 at 9:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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