It was another drab and gloomy day, as was expected for Britain. The detectives trampled in for their morning briefing, cold coffee in hand, a hangover cure in the other. Not that different from the good old days glorified in the twentieth century cop movies.
Captain Brass waited for his subordinates to settle down, before beginning the days briefing session and distribution of cases. He looked grave and more severe than usual, his bushy brows a little more furrowed, lips pressed in a thin line underneath his glorious moustache, and with good reason. Brass had received the worst possible news from the deputy chief.
He brought the room to attention and began his briefing.
“I assume most of you will remember the Holborn Four. They had planned and executed a series of bank robberies in London a few years back. The gang was caught but the money was never found, a grand sum of twenty-one million pounds. All four of the guys were released in the first semester of their sentence, for good behaviour, and now one of them is dead. We believe that someone is still after the money.”
There was a murmur of excitement around the room. It had been a while since they had received such an exciting case; they immediately started to gamble on who would be assigned the case.
Brass waited for silence again, before he began.
“Of course, we cannot be absolutely sure that the four were connected to the money theft, and we need to be right about our suspicions. We must catch the remaining three before another one dies or escapes with that money.”
He paused for a moment, hoping he had made the right decision in assigning the case to Watson. The man was a complete tool, who lived and worked by his own rules; and yet he was the best in his department. Brass needed this to be taken care of as soon as possible, unfortunately, and Watson was his best bet.
Grudgingly he looked up at Watson, who was sat at the back staring into his coffee mug. The spaced out look on his face told Brass that it probably was not just coffee in that mug.
Great, he is drunk! Brass thought.
“Watson,” he called out.
Watson looked up startled. “Yes captain.”
“I need you to take the lead on this case. Get is done fast. The chief is breathing down my neck about this”
The group of detectives dispersed and headed to their respective seats. Watson swaggered to his desk with the Holborn files, pleased with himself.
His colleagues gathered around his desk, hoping to get a chance to work on the case. Watson flashed his signature cocky grin at them.
“All right guys, I know you are all eager to solve this case. So, Finn and Goldberg I need you to track down the whereabouts of the other three and trail them. James and Gregory try and predict where the money is likely to be. Locke come with me, let’s go and see if there is anything else we can find from the crime scene, CSI have probably cleaned the scene up.”
The group split up to go do their assignments. Watson and Locke grabbed their jackets and headed to the car.
The rain had started to spittle outside. It wasn’t heavy but the wind made it worse. Watson groaned; he could not wait for summer.
They headed to the crime scene which was just outside of London. The traffic was horrendous as per the usual. They had better chance of making it there in the thirty minutes if they walked.
“We will get there tomorrow at this rate,” commented Locke.
They both looked at each other conspiratorially; each knew what the other was thinking. Watson grinned and switched on the siren. Within seconds it was like the parting of the red sea, they soared past in less than ten minutes.
Watson had just pulled up outside the deceased’s house when Finn updated them to another member of the gang, Russoe’s whereabouts. It was no more than five minutes away from them. Watson swore under his breath and turned the car. The siren went on for real.
They reached a shabby looking apartment building that looked ready to crumble any day. Then two officers headed inside, guns drawn. The faint scent decay assaulted their nose and lingered in the air. The whole building seemed to be deserted.
The detectives carefully entered and searched the apartment for anything that gives them an idea as to who was killing the gang. The only conclusion that they came to was that one of the Holborn Four was trying to kill off the other three so that he could keep the money for himself.
Watson and Locke scoured the entire apartment, but there was nothing to point them towards the money or the killer.
They put their gun away and decided to get back to the station and discuss what to do with Brass.
The tiny shuffle was barely audible, but to their highly trained ears it was noticeable. Their hands flew to their holsters again. Locke gestured towards the bedroom they had just inspected.
They slowly retraced their steps through the worn-down apartment. Suddenly, a small figure like a bulldog came darting out. Russoe was there after all. The fear was evident in his eyes. Russoe’s eyes darted from Watson to Locke, as he looked for a way to escape like a trapped animal. But he was trapped.
“Get down, hands behind your back,” demanded Locke. Russoe obeyed.
“Where the hell were you hiding? We just checked that room,” inquired a puzzled Watson.
Turned out that Russoe had been hiding behind a fake wall, behind the closet, the entire time.
“Who are you hiding from Russoe?”
Russoe told them everything, with no further prompting. The money was hidden in a safe on Viper’s farm, a secured location, only the gang members knew about. Russoe was convinced that Viper and Grayson were there at that very moment, retrieving the twenty-one million. The place was approximately two hours away from their location.
“How do we know you are telling us the truth? For all we know you could be sending us on a wild goose chase.” Watson’s gut was telling him that Russoe was bad news. It was his excellent intuition that made him the best.
“Look, I don’t want to die man. I am willing to do anything if it means that they won’t come for me.”
Watson decided to go against his better judgement and work with the man to track down the remaining gang members and the money, even if he did not trust him.
The pair called for backup and handed Russoe off to their colleagues. The due, accompanied by the tactical squad, left for the farm owned by Viper.
It was not striking or memorable in any way; a weather-beaten barn seemed to be the only interesting feature on the entire piece of land; just another one of numerous desolate farms in the middle of nowhere. Then again, that worked in the gang’s favour; it was how they had managed to keep the money hidden for years.
The team surrounded the barn.
“On the count of three,” commanded Watson, “one… two… three! Go, go, go!”
The team forced through the rotten wooden doors and piled into the barn, fully expecting to catch Viper and Grayson in action. And they did find them, yet not as they expected them. Viper was lying face down in a pool of his own blood. A single gunshot to the forehead revealed the cause of death. Locke went over to Grayson and confirmed that he too had been shot.
Instantly realisation dawned on them that Russoe had played them. Watson phoned HQ without a second to spare.
Brass answered the other end. Before Watson could speak, Brass informed him, “Russoe is gone. Escaped on the way to the station. Put two of our men in hospital” Watson was not surprised.
“Any idea where he is headed?” Brass inquired.
“We may have a hunch…” Watson trailed off. Locke caught his eyes, and he knew what his partner had in mind, as always. He nodded.
Watson grinned at his partner conspiratorially.
“Boss, we are going to need a chopper.”