I didn't dream that night, or at least if I did I didn't have remember it. My body still hadn't gotten used to the late nights at that time. I crashed when I got home and couldn't believe what I had gone through. Another thing that had gone through my mind was what Darry said, everything had always been laid out before me...how was I going to deal with a chessboard with the other half of the board covered in darkness?
The phone's ringing woke me up, “Hmm...hullow?” I asked slugishly,
“MARQUEZ!” I was up then.
“Chief?” I asked, “Wha-what's going on? Everything alright?”
“Good question Marquez.” He said, “Here's a better question though: WHY THE HELL AREN'T YOU AT WORK?!” I looked at my clock and cursed under my breath once I saw it was already the afternoon, “You better pull something out of your ass Marquez.” I was already working on several as I tried to push myself out of my bed.
“Well, I know you don't want to hear any excuses Chief but I was bustin' my ass to get some leads last night after I saw Nightmare holding up some guy over the building after the robbery attempt.”
“You catch that on film?” I got him hooked,
“I was able to catch a few pics of the guy being held over the street from the top of a building.” I said, “Even followed the guy to the slum district, we all know what goes on down there right?”
“Watch yourself Marquez.” Oliver said,
“I'm just saying boss the guy might not be as squeaky clean or as good at least.” I told him, “I've got more leads I'm following up on, I'll keep you posted good?” He grunted and I smirked,
“Alright Marquez, we'll try it your way but play it light okay?” He asked,
“No promises Chief.” I said with a light chuckle which I hid, he wanted to chastise me but I hung up before he got the chance.
I stopped by Dave's at the mall, he was waiting for me at a table with two drinks. One for him I imagined. “Yo Davey.” I said taking the seat across from him. He smiled that same friendly smile of his from when I first saw him and I took a sip of the drink in front of where I sat.
“Hey Chase,” He said eagerly, “What you got man?”
“Whoa boy,” I said, “Gettin' a little antsy in the pantsy ain't ya?”
“Antsy in the pantsy?”
“Old expression.” I said, “You look a bit frazzled though buddy.”
“Sorry man,” He told me, “You've just never asked me to help with anything you're working on. I'm a little excited.”
“Good, excitement is good Dave.” I said as I pulled the thumb drive Darry gave me last night and laid it in front of Dave. “I need you to blow up the image on this drive and send it to me in the best quality you can alright?” He nodded excitedly,
course.” He said, “It could take a while what with work and-.”
I held up my hand to stop him,
“It's fine Dave, time is of the essence but you have other things to do so make this second priority or something, good?” He nodded again, “Good, I'll hit you up later buddy. I got people I gotta talk to you know?”
“Oh, yeah of course.” He said as he looked down and grabbed the drive, “I'll see you...later?” I loved doing that trick where they looked away and I disappeared, it took years to do that and I had fun each time.
I drove down to the slums that night, it was weird but it felt warm and for the season that always meant something bad was about to happen. I never believed in bad omens or the like but there's never a bad time to start. I got off the bike once I got to Darry's and walked up to the front door where a new Doorman stood.
It made me smirk once I saw the look in his eyes. “They told you how the last one was taken care of correct?” He stepped to the side and opened the door for me I just walked in and thought, 'It's good to be back.'
“Tell me you found something for me Darry.” I said after I snuck into his office, I hadn't seen him jump in a while it was fun to see.
“Damnit Nightmare,” He said as he held his gun shaking, “I could've taken out you're eye you know that?”
“No you wouldn't have.” I said, “You're bullets are on the desk and you were cleaning the gun.” He grunted as he realized how true that was. “Now please tell me you have something for me.”
“Maybe?” I asked, “What's maybe?”
“Well,” He said before he sat down in the chair at his desk, “After you left I decided to do some digging about this Link guy, if Teflon is sold out of my place, cops would have me on a pike and you know that.” I nodded, “Knowing that I asked around to some of my regulars and...”
“And?” I asked,
“He doesn't exist.” I hadn't even asked when he continued, “There was nothing on this guy, even the favors I called from a few of my other “friends” at the precinct found nothing. No case files, no parking tickets, hell there's nothing on this guy.”
“He must have come from somewhere.” I said, “Someone has to have some juice to hook up a bunch of punks with cop-killers.” I looked to the side when something suddenly struck me, “Unless...”
“Unless Link is an alias for someone else.” He finished my thought,
“Would make sense seeing as there's nothing on the guy.” I said, “But I've never came across anyone with an alias like Link. And someone who can get a hookup within the police department would definitely be on my list.”
“Well you had been gone for a while Nightmare.” Darry stated, “Your list is no doubt out of date.”
I said nothing as I walked to the other side of Darry's office and let my mind go to work. I kept running everything through my mind, the guns, the bullets, the gunmen, a guy who used an alias called Link. 'None of this makes sense but it's a trail of breadcrumbs.' I thought to myself, 'What kind of person would-.?' I stood still.
“You look like you got something kid.” Darry said.
I opened my mouth when my phone went off. I took it out and saw it was a message from Dave with an attachment. I had hoped I was wrong, but there was one person I knew who could give people details about me that could end up like this...I didn't know how he did it though. The picture opened and I recognized him right away. I held the photo out for Darry to see. Darry wasn't stupid he knew what he saw even after the news plastered him everywhere. “It's can't be.” He said,
“I really wish it wasn't Darry.” I really wished it wasn't.