Ever since those explosions went off and shook the city my name has been painted across every paper as the detective on the case or the bastard who could not catch the pyromaniac. Whoever this psycho was I knew that he was more professional than idiotic. He had planned for the cops with me to arrive on the scene and set off the triggers that blew our cars sky high. The bang was loud enough for anyone in the city to hear, including the maniac who set off the other bombs.
When I returned to the station it was chaos. There had been a total of twenty-seven bombs planted in the city according to the officials but more than likely there were more. The number of casualties were below a hundred despite the highly populated areas being main targets. It was lucky that so few died, but those lives were still valuable to their families.
I didn’t stand alone in this matter, but a sizeable chunk of the police force made up those casualties. We were a few bodies short of a national disaster. Now, that is enough tallying up the number of hits that we took, it was time to figure out how we can hit him back. Of course, the maniac was so professional that I didn’t even have a real lead until a week later. What is more, is he was the one who gave it to me.
“We have an unusual activity sighting,” one of the petty officers told me.
I stared at the map laid across the board in my office. On it was a map of the city with every bombing marked. Alongside each site was a pinned picture of what could have been the bomber, but his face was protected every time.
“Near one of the trouble sites or possible sites?” I asked.
“It was it the Downing street, market area,” the officer replied.
“Possible sight then...I will check it out now. I want two police cars ready nearby in the area, but don’t you dare let one park on that street.”
As the officer backed away I stopped him.
“On second thoughts, have a car drive down that street. Don’t tell them why, just get them passing the buildings and out of the area. I want this situation so casual and contained that if the bomber is there he thinks he’s on a school field trip.”
“Roger that, sir.”
A few minutes later I was climbing into my car embracing the adrenaline that began to take me over. As I drove towards Downing street I played the recording of the report in my car.
“New Haven Police Department, how can I help?” a woman asked receiving the call.
“Hello,” another woman replied. “I saw a man break into my neighbour’s store.”
“Can you please give an address?”
“The store’s address is 12 Downing, on the corner of Downing and Westworth.”
“Thanks, we will send a police car past soon. Stay indoors-”
I cut the recording off. It seemed normal enough, but after the possible leads I have received all had been trampled by prank calls from kids who thought the bombing was a joke. Still, something about this report seemed off to me. I picked up the receiver for my radio.
“This is Detective Yu, badge number 270. Put me through to patrol 362,” I spoke to the operator.
“Right away, detective,”
“Patrol 270, this is Detective Yu. What is your status on route to Downing street?”
“All good here, Yu. There doesn’t seem to be any trouble. Why are we doing this again?”
“Have you passed the market store on the corner of Downing and Westworth?” I asked ignoring their question.
“Not yet, coming up on it now.”
“Keep your eyes off the store and don’t turn onto Westoworth,” I ordered. My order held no weight, but they had to be warned. I didn’t like the idea that the bomber might actually be waiting to ambush the police.
“Uh, that’s a negative, detective,” one of the officers responded. “It seems there are a group of looters raiding the store now. Shall we respond?”
Looters? That couldn’t be right. According to the report there was a single individual breaking into the market. Perhaps it was legitimate and the first criminal was just moving ahead of the others as a scout.
“Respond, officer,” I told them. “Call in backup as well. We still don’t know for sure if this situation is worse than it appears.”
“Will do, over and out.”
The radio gave a sharp bleep as the connection was severed. I continued my drive towards Downing, but I could already hear police sirens as backup moved in towards the corner store. So much of this seemed like a waste of time and I was ready to drive back to the station until my radio bleeped once more and a woman spoke to me.
“Oh, Detective Yu?” the woman asked. “Do me a favour and pick up the receiver. I want to have a little chat, if you don’t mind.”
I recognised the voice as the one who made the report to 911. I did as she said immediately and picked up the receiver.
“Who is this? This is a police frequency,” I told her.
“I know, but I had to made a quick connection to ask you a quick question,” the woman replied.
I paused for a moment.
“Go ahead,” I told her.
“How is it you alone survived the explosions at the home where so many officers died?”
“Don’t play cat and mouse with me, detective,” the bomber hissed. “I work hard to do what I do. I calculate how many people die and I counted one more to the list of casualties that day.”
“I’m sorry to disappoint, but maybe we can settle this at the station in a cosy interrogation room?”
“Listen, detective, I am going to honour you with being my next primary target. Those that die along the way are meant to die and you should have died a long time ago.”
“Gotcha, so six o'clock in cell 17?”