SILHOUETTES - Thirty-second instalment - Chapter fifty-four and fifty-five. For more information on this novel, click Here.
The call came through when they were actually on their way to Sycamore Lane. On discovery of the dead Ben Frisk at Dave Stuart's recent place of employment, they had sent an officer to bring Dave Stuart in for protection until they had found this nutter, and on being told he wasn't at home, Hartless had instructed the plod sergeant to stay there till he did come home, hoping the officer wouldn't take this as a sign to cordon off the whole street. He was now wishing perhaps that is what he had done. The call was from control about a crime in progress, a series of 999 calls from Sycamore Lane about an injured policeman and a man running amok with a meat cleaver.
'Get every available car here now...' Oswalk was crying down the mike.
Hartless rolled down the window and put the magnetic blue on the roof and set it and the sirens off. He mounted the pavement overtaking a van, nearly mowing down an elderly pedestrian in passing.
'Within five minutes,' Oswalk ranted, 'I want men covering every junction in a half mile radius of Sycamore Lane.' Oswalk was screaming into the radio now. 'Don't tell me there's no fucking manpower. Get the fucking manpower,' she cried, and turned to Hartless.
'Chief Inspector Lang's at a fucking dinner party, not to be disturbed,' she groaned. Lang was needed to authorise more staff being pulled in at short notice.
'Get the fucking staff in,' she cried again at the controller, 'I'll take responsibility. I also want cars going up and down every street in a half mile radius, I want armed officers, I want teams of SO19 ready to mow this fucker down.'
Hartless turned into Sycamore Lane. They were first on the scene. A crowd had gathered in the middle of the road adjacent to the police car. Three more people were over the prone body of a uniformed policeman at the side of the car. As they drew up behind it, the crowd recognized they were police and surged towards them.
Within a minute, three other cars and an ambulance had arrived. The three hovering over the body of the policeman were a doctor who lived in the neighbourhood, and two others that were giving assistance.
'He ran that way,' an old woman was standing at the entrance to the tenement, 'out the back across the green.'
'There the now, a minute,' cried the woman.
Hartless didn't think, he followed the outstretched arm, ran through the close, and out the back into the yard. It was a drying green, no exits he could see, he ran to the boundary wall, shoulder height, saw a recent trail of trampled weeds on the other side leading away. He leapt over. He was in an adjacent green, no sign of the bastard. He kept going till at the next boundary, this time a wire fence. He stopped a second to catch his breath, and heard what sounded like a clatter of metal bins from somewhere up ahead. He leapt that fence and ran on.
Oswalk watched Hartless run off, silly bastard, she thought, how the fuck would he restrain a fucking axeman? She turned to look at the drama surrounding the police sergeant. It was probably in vain though, the doctor knew it, she could see it in his eyes, and the ambulance crew thought it, when they slid the figure into the back and took off for the hospital, sirens and lights blazing. They had pressure dressed the neck wounds to try and halt the bleeding, but so much blood had already been lost, it would be a miracle if the policeman wasn't DOA.
Oswalk was on the phone, the cordons had been set up, they had drafted in police from other areas till more of their own staff came in on their day off, or came on duty early, to boost the numbers. On every single street in a half mile radius there would be police on the lookout. There was no escape this time. It was impossible. Then the two constables she had sent to follow Hartless returned.
'No sign of him,' one of them stated.
The chip tingled, insistently. He tried to ignore it as he scoffed the last slice of the pizza. When Jo lifted his plate and cutlery to take to the sink, he rubbed a finger along his temple, instantly the room turned to shadowtype, a screen before him, laden with information appeared. He quickly read, scrolling as he did, the information that the Agency had picked up, put in the database, and when analysed and found relevant, was sent back down the airwaves to inform him. It wasn't good news at all.
'You're miles away,' said Jo again.
Dave realised she was speaking, reverted out of shadowtype, the screen disappeared and Jo was waving a hand before him.
'Daydreamer,' she said.
Accused of daydreaming when he had just been informed that a madman was running around Glasgow looking for him, to hack him to pieces with an axe, due to the fact he was thought to be an alien. He had just skip read a file on the Strathclyde Police database compiled by a DS Hartless. Dave almost laughed. He remembered now why the face of the mugger on the CCTV and the subsequent update regarding being under surveillance, had always niggled at him. The party he had attended after a concert featuring several up and coming Glasgow stand-up comedians, around four weeks ago now. The humour had infected him. He had been quite drunk, and this idiot had been pestering him. About what, he couldn't remember, until now. The person was even more inebriated than he was, and unwisely in hindsight, having realised the naivety of the individual, he had led on the pest that he was an alien on a secret mission, sending back details on how mankind would mount a defence against an invasion from outer space. He remembered being surprised that it wasn't taken as a joke, he was laughing himself at coming up with the theory. Everyone else in the vicinity at the gathering seemed to take it as a joke. Then he remembered he had introduced the humourous topic because the individual kept prattling on about their secret employment with the government. At the time, being drunk, he had wondered suspiciously, if this was a hint of a possible knowledge of his own connection to the Agency, and an attempt to pry into his own covert work.
The next day he dismissed it entirely, there was no way anyone in Scotland could know about his connection with the Agency. He had thought no more about it.
He had to decide what to do now though. Thoughts of a romantic adventure with Jo would have to be delayed. He couldn't put her at risk. Strathclyde Police were looking for him, to take him into protective custody, and a madman was looking for him, to dice him to death with an axe.
The police report downloaded to his chip stated his bedsit had been broken into by the man Simon Parker, wanted in connection with the murders of Suzi Tonner, Shamus Parker, Benjamin Frisk, and the violent assault of a police sergeant. Ben Frisk, thought Dave, Debbie's Ben. He lived here.
A knock at the door had him practically peeling himself off the ceiling.
'What's wrong?' asked Jo, staring at him. 'You've turned white.'
She moved to answer the door.
'Wait,' he cried. 'Hold on a minute,' he said quietly, he had alarmed her.
Another knock, this time more insistent. The light was on, whoever was there knew someone was at home.
'Wait,' he urged. He went over to the window and peered out towards the door, a woman in a police constable's uniform was standing, looking impatient. It wasn't the madman.
Jo was fed up with him by this time and was already on her way to the door. He heard her answer it and she returned a moment later with the police woman.
Jo's now going to find out one of her house mates is dead, he thought.
Next instalment coming soon...
To read this novel from the start go here.
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