Baker Street shakedown
|The Adventures of Opco Boone, Legal Ace™
Officer Cadet Lloyd T. Graeber, III, sat shotgun in the parked-up cruiser, drumming fingers on the dash. Hot damn, Melvin was taking his sweet time.
The two-way burbled, like it had been all afternoon, like it did every afternoon. and Graeber paid it little mind until this: “All units, this is an A.P.B. on a suspected cache of financial weapons in a late-model silver GMRA, headed northbound on Baker between Blandford and Dorset.”
For a moment, Graeber forgot about his coffee. He glanced up at the cross-sign — Dorset — then sat up like a ram-rod. He snatched the radio, juggled it, lost it, snagged it again and breathed, “copy that, dispatch,” into his CB. In the flinch of an eye, Officer Cadet Lloyd T. Graeber, III was fully present, clicked in and running all-sense hyperscan mode.
He didn’t have to scan long. At that moment the peaceable street-scene adjacent his squad car ruptured into commotion: screeches, squeals and squabbles of honks, slides and lock-ups culminating five wobbling sedans skew-whiff across the four-way. From their angry midst, a shark-grey coupe cruised through on the red, exiting the intersection with the same unruffled poise as it had entered it.
Graeber sure as shit wasn’t having that. He leapt out and waded into the road, waving his baton. The shark rolled up. It pulled over easy. The driver’s window lowered a crack. A burly face peered out through mirrored aviators and came on all nice as pie.
“Good morning officer.” A hint of gentility underlay a southern drawl.
Graeber placed it as Cornish. He pulled himself up. “Good morning, sir. Are you aware you ran a red light back there?”
The driver feigned shock. “A red light? Did I?”
Graeber narrowed his eyes. The shades made it hard to tell but the apology vibed greasy and insincere.
“Yes, you did.”
“Well, officer, I can only thank you, deeply, for being good enough to bring the matter to my attention. I assure you I shall be more vigilant in future.” There was that gentility again. The powered window raised. The driver gunned the engine. “Good day, officer,”
“Hold on, there, sir.”
The window dropped. “Are we okay, Officer?”
“We are just fine, sir.” Graeber glared. “May we see your KYC papers, please?”
“Is this really necessary?”
“It is just a routine inspection, sir. I promise you it won’t take a moment.”
“Now listen here, officer. My client is an important man. He is on his way to an important meeting. He is now late. While I would love to stop and chat, but today, alas, there just isn’t time. Now, if you—”
The driver sighed, ostentatiously apologised to his passenger, and fished his papers out from his visor. “I hope you know what you’re doing, Officer Cadet L. T. Graeber.”
“Just my job, sir. To protect and serve.” Graeber tapped his badge.
The driver read it off. “ES-2423. That’s Eagle Squad, isn’t it?”
“It is, sir. Academy, sir.”
Would you mind popping the trunk, sir?”
“The trunk, sir. Please open the trunk. Routine inspection.”
The rear window lowered six inches. A silver-haired man gave a celebrity smile, as if Graeber should know who he was. Graeber smiled back, as if to say he did not.
“Can I help, officer?”
“Certainly, sir. You can help by directing your driver to open the trunk. We are following up on a routine all points bulletin, sir.”
“But surely, you are not suggesting —”
“I am not suggesting anything sir. If you would kindly let me see what’s in your trunk, I am sure you can be on your way.”
The driver exited. “Now look, Officer. I am sure we are all very grateful for your assiduity, but —” and he extended a conciliatory arm towards Graeber’s shoulder in a well-intended gesture he did not complete. Graeber grabbed his wrist, pirouetted around him and slammed his body up against the sedan, his arm twisted awkwardly up behind his back. With a single fluid movement he cuffed the man and barked at the VIP to get out of the car.
The older man exited careful. “now officer, there is nothing —”
Graeber hauled him out of the car, shunted him across the bonnet, and cuffed him with the other brace, unholstering his piece and pressing its muzzle into the man’s neck. “I imagine you know how much damage an un-netted ISDA ’92 L.F.C. can do at this range, sir.”
The man said, “ you are not going to believe me, but I don't.”
“Take is as read you would not want to find out.”
Graeber frisked them both. KYC papers, reg licences. began to read him his rights.
he was only interrupted by the return of his partner.
“Lloyd, what’s going on? What the hell’s going on?”
Eagle Squad Cadet Roland Punchface LLB (2nd class) was standing on the pavement, clutching polystyrene cups and a paper bag of donuts, and regarding his partner with horror.
“APB. Suspected WMDs. We could be up for a commendation, punch.
Puncherello pulled him aside. “What?” he hissed. “Like, seriously, what the fuck? Do you know who these people are?”
Punch addressed the occupants, “I an sorry, ladies and gentlemen, my partner has made a mistake here, please accept —”
Graeber said “there is no error.”
“GRAEBER! DO NOT BE A FOOL!”
“ I want to see on that trunk. ” He relieved the driver of his keys chain and steroid to the rear of the sedan.
Graeber popped the trunk.
He peered inside.
It was empty.
“well,” said Graeber with a dating thread is regret. “that's very good news. I can let you get on with your day —”
The driver and passenger boarded the vehicle. no Next to the VIP was an androgynous, alien, but icily beautiful youth of indeterminate age.
Officer Graeber did not recognise the VIP. But he knew a vega hooker when he saw one.