Warning: This work has been rated 16+.
Viggo and Nyssa are together again but a manhunt is being organised to catch them.
To know more, read Chapter 4.2.
Russ left Mark's place around three and drove himself home. It was a joyous thing, having that place to himself – or it would have been, if not for the Iceberg’s ghost.
He went to sleep thinking about Peter Carlsen, he dreamed of the bastard and he woke up angry, itching to shove Carlsen’s rules and morals down his throat. Of course, the fucker wasn’t within choking distance. Russ had to comfort himself imagining everything that had no doubt gone down that same throat in jail. But, then, the fear and doubts would ambush him at odd moments in the day: Carlsen's sense of superiority, his condescension were doing that to him – still working their damn curse, even after everything.
Russ was in a rotten mood at six when a phone-call pulled him out of his shower.
The current bane of his professional existence, Captain Breen Cordello, summoned him to work. She sounded pretty pissed herself. Surly as he felt, there was no way he would risk incurring her wrath. He got dressed and drove downtown like a bat from hell. The radio was on, and he quickly understood why the old hag had barked like she had a broomstick stuck up her wrinkled ass: Mark's exclusive had lasted all of two hours. News of the escape were all over the airwaves.
He found Cordello shut in her office with Denis Reims, Helen Defoe's old partner, and Robbie Flores. Flores was an idiot – but occasionally useful. He had been the main investigator in the Defoe murders and he had allowed Russ to formally arrest Peter Carlsen. Cuffing his partner had been one of the highlights of Russ's career.
“Close the door behind you, Pierce.” Russ did. “We've got a problem.”
“I heard on the radio,” he replied.
Cordello nodded. “The media are playing it cool for now. They’re still busy with news of the earthquake.”
“It won't last,” Reims interjected.
He was a huge man in his fifties, strong as an ox, and his voice always sounded like it was coming out of a grave. Russ didn't really know him, except that Reims had a wife and a couple of girls, and didn't socialize with other cops.
“Sensationalism,” he dubbed it, shrugging a little.
“Last thing we need,” Cordello told them. “I've been fielding calls all morning – from everyone, the police commissioner, CNN, everyone. Whenever Carlsen's name comes up, people start casting aspersion on this department's probity. I won't stand for it. Maybe Carlsen was dirty but he was alone in this!”
If only she knew…
Flores said, “We’ve got to join in the search effort. Make it clear that we want Carlsen back behind bars.”
A gloating Russ wanted to say, “I told you so.”
He abstained. He didn't want to bear the brunt of Cordello’s simmering annoyance.
“Fact is,” she grumbled, “they don't want us there. It's already a zoo. The sheriff's people are running left and right, from the search effort to the rescue effort. The FBI joined in and even the Marshals sent someone. They don't need us.”
Russ thought about what Mark had told him early that morning before he left her place. She knew people in the sheriff office and, according to her, the search effort was chaotic indeed.
“What are they doing, exactly?” he asked.
“Well…They’ve searched every inch of the island. A small boat was stolen from a hangar. Not by Carlsen – we don’t think so. Looks like he swam. A search party found the place he likely landed, but they lost him again. Several times.” She turned toward Russ and nodded, acknowledging the soundness of his warnings. “He's a crafty one, everybody agrees on that. The FBI has deployed choppers, but they can’t use infrared cameras – the area isn't remote enough.”
“So that's it?” Russ growled.
“No, it's not. They've set up roadblocks. And since the medias have gotten wind of the escape, someone needs to hold a news conference. The FBI and the Marshals want to play down their involvement, and the sheriff office has more important things to organize right now. Considering the…circumstances, I've offered to take care of it.”
“When?” Reims asked.
“Later this morning. The FBI has set up a hotline. We’re going to appeal to the public for help.”
“Are they offering up a reward?”
“We all are. The FBI has offered a $20,000 reward for information and the Marshals are offering a $30,000 reward for the lot of them, or $10,000 each. We'll contribute – I'm waiting for the higher-ups to settle on an amount.”
“They should also search motels, bungalows, secondary residences and…”
“Thank you, Flores,” Cordello snapped. “I would never have thought about it by myself, especially considering that Carlsen's reported to be wounded.”
That, Russ hadn't heard yet, and he was delighted. The part of him that gloated at the idea of Carlsen's pain just had to ask, “Hurt in the earthquake, hm?”
“Who knows? But they found blood on his trail.” She shrugged. “They're scouring the area for potential shelters – focusing on empty houses and seedy motels. They've got too little manpower to move on to the classier places for now.”
“Why…?” Flores asked.
What a moron …
Russ answered for Cordello, “Let’s say he's got the cash. Where would he get a credit card to cover incidentals?”
The captain nodded once, sharply, in approval.
“So, what do we do, boss?” he inquired.
“Carlsen's got lots of enemies in this city. They need to know he's somewhere out there. The three of you are going to put together a list of possible targets and you're going to go through it. Police protection will be granted if they want it.”
Russ nodded. He knew from experience that she wouldn’t be talked out of it.
“As for the three of you, I'll have black and whites drive by your places.” She frowned, clearly worried. “He's got good reason to hate you all.”
“But, boss,” Russ started protesting.
Being under watch, even for his own good, would tie his hands. But she glared at him and he shut up.
“I don't want to hear it, Pierce. We're not giving him a crack at you.” Her expression softened somewhat with understanding. “I get it, I wouldn't like it either but it's not that bad. And if he goes after you, we won't have to give him chase, hm?”
To see more of Viggo and Nyssa, read Chapter 6.1.