Lorenzo stopped the car so Embry could step out and try to calm the woman. A lot of women and men were crying and screaming for their abducted sons. The entire street was swarming with people running from one car to the other in efforts to calm one another down.
“Ma’am, I’m detective Embry Clark,” she said rubbing the sobbing woman’s arm. “Do you have a recent photo of your son? I promise you and everyone here that I will do everything in my power to put this gang to justice and bring your children back.”
The lady stopped crying and stared at Embry as if she was the one who kidnapped her child.
“A detective?” she said in a mocking manner. “The New York Police Department doesn’t have anything to do with this case let alone detectives!”
“I’m a detective from New Orleans, Louisiana,” Embry defended herself. “I was transferred here to work on a small case but I can see there is something much bigger happening here that needs to be dealt with.”
“You’re a brave young woman,” the lady said, wiping a tear. “But I don’t think you should be giving false hope to people who have lost so much.”
Embry clenched her teeth and looked around once more. The lady handed her a picture of her seven year old son with hope in her eyes.
“If you are able to do it, please,” she begged. “Bring back my son and put those thugs behind bars!”
Embry nodded with confidence. “I promise!”
After saying goodbye to the woman, Embry climbed back into the cab and continued to the Manhattan Police Station. Lorenzo kept stealing glances at her in his rear view mirror. After the fifth glance Embry set down her phone and stared at him.
“Is there something you have on your mind?” she asked, tapping her phone with her index finger.
“Why would you make a promise you can’t keep to a stranger?” he asked, bluntly.
Embry sighed. “I’m not going to break my promise to those people, Lorenzo. I will bring this gang to justice and put them behind bars and bring those kids home.”
Lorenzo chuckled. “You are either very brave or naive.”
Embry rolled her eyes and looked at her phone again. She had been researching large gangs in the area and so far nothing had come up.
“What’s the name of this gang anyway?” she decided to ask her cab driver.
“Generation Syndicate,” Lorenzo said after a long pause.
Embry took out a small note pad from her bag and jotted down the information she had gathered so far about the gang. She thought it would be a great idea to tell the police chief about this and bring it to his attention with as much detail as she could gather.
“I’m sure you’re thinking of telling the police about this,” Lorenzo said, noticing the look on her face. “It won’t do you any good, Miss Detective. The police don’t mess with the Generation Syndicate.”
“Why not? What makes them so bad that even the police don't want to settle this?” Embry asked, confused.
Lorenzo shrugged. “They have families, Miss. And the ring leader seems to know everyone on the police force. He’s probably threatened to harm families. And I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to put my family in danger by going after that gang.”
Embry huffed. “Good thing I don’t have family. Also a good thing I’m not from New York, so the ring leader won’t have any information on me.”
Lorenzo looked at her through his mirror, a sparkle of hope in his eyes. “Miss Detective, I must say, you are a brave young woman. And you surely know hope to put hope in the hearts of those who need it.”
“Like I’ve said before, Lorenzo,” Embry smiled. “My goal is to put this gang to justice and bring families back together.”
“Good luck to you then, Miss,” he said with a chuckle. “We have arrived to your destination”
“How much do I owe you?” Embry asked, digging in her bag.
Lorenzo shook his head. “Don’t worry about it. That nice man who hailed me paid for your trip.”
“But I’m sure he didn’t pay enough,” she argued, still searching for her wallet.
“Trust me, miss,” Lorenzo said, reaching behind him to place a hand on hers. “It’s been taken care of. Just promise me something?”
Embry’s eyes met his. “Okay?”
“Promise me you’ll be very careful. And promise me that you will bring these men down!” he said, with a trickle of hope in his voice.
“You have my word on the second part. I can’t promise I’ll be careful though,” she smiled and held his hand. “You’ve been a great help.”
“Here…” he added, reaching for something on his dashboard. “Take my card. Call me if you need a ride, or information.”
Embry smiled and nodded her thanks, then stepped out of the cab and waved as he drove off. She turned to face the police station and sighed. After what had seemed to have taken all day, she was finally at the station.
“I hope I don’t get into a lot of trouble for being an hour late,” she sighed and walked up the steps.
The station was very busy as police officers hustled from here and there trying to get their jobs done. Some officers had criminals handcuffed and walking them through the area while others had scared people at their desks giving a report.
A familiar voice rang through Embry’s ears as she drew closer to the chief’s office.
“I’m telling you, Officer,” the frantic woman was crying. “They took my son right from under my nose! They took a lot of young ones this time! When will you help the people of this city?”
“And I will tell you like I’ve told others with the same issue,” the Chief said. “I don’t have the power or information to put this gang away. We need proof.”
“Well you know it’s them! You’ve had video proof before. What did you do with it?” she asked, yelling this time.
Embry opened the door, causing the woman and chief to look her way. A hopeful gleam lit up in the sad woman’s eyes as she recognized her. She threw herself in her arms, sobbing.
“Thank goodness you’re here, Detective,” the woman cried. “You’ll keep your promise and help me?”
Embry looked at the curious police chief then back into the lady’s eyes and smiled softly. “I gave you my word, Ma’am.”
“Then I’ll take that and leave,” she said calmly.
The lady glanced over at the officer with a mean look and left without another word. Embry met the chief’s eyes and she smiled nervously. He stood there with his arms crossed and a stern look on his middle-aged face.
“Making promises you can’t keep already I see,” he said taking a seat. “Chief Detective Devon warned me about you.”
“And what exactly did he say, sir?” She asked, trying to lighten the mood.
“That you were stubborn and hardheaded. But an excellent detective,” he gave a small smile that quickly vanished. “Miss Clark, don’t be making promises to these people. Especially about this gang.”
“There has to be something we can do, sir,” she said, taking a seat. “They are abducting young boys here and no one is doing a thing to stop them. What about the video evidence the lady mentioned? Where’s it gone to?”
Chief sighed, leaned back in his chair, and rubbed his temple with his thumb and index finger. “It’s been destroyed, Clark.”
Embry felt anger boiling up. “Why would you do that?! The very evidence that could put them in jail and bring children back…”
“Remember who you’re talking to, Clark,” Chief raised his voice, slamming a fist on the desk.