Kaptain's Blog

The writings and musings of The Kaptain

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Through The Godless Hours (27)

“Captain Farid, I know this is probably a little inconvenient…” What the fuck was going on? Someone he had never seen before was calling him by his name? Interrupting his breakfast in an obscure out-of-town hotel? The Captain rose instantly from the table, only narrowly resisting his immediate instinct, which was to take the guy out there and then, to smash the fucker with whatever means he had at his disposal. The fact that his head was throbbing from inside, outside, front and back after the previous evening’s excess probably helped slow him down a little, as his genuine surprise also gradually, but assertively, made itself known. “Get out of my way, whoever the fuck you are,” was all he could muster in the shock of the moment. “…But there’s something I think we need to discuss. Rather urgently,” the other man added, this time flashing a warrant card. “Who the fuck are you? What do you want?” quizzed the Captain, for once knocked off balance.

But despite the uncertainty his line of questioning suggested, the Captain was in fact slowly beginning to focus, his mind processing the information relayed through the slits that were his eyes. Warrant card. Plain clothes. Smart appearance. His cold stare flicked back and forth between the badge and the man holding it up, quickly concluding the obvious. A Detective. A filthy, prying, bastard Detective. “I said get out of my way!” Then pushing roughly past the rude interloper, his swift movement announced considerable agility: the shoulder he rammed into his inquisitor conveying a frightening amount of force. The Detective was knocked sideways into another, vacant table – the violent announcement of the Captain’s considerable displeasure fortunate to attract little, if any, peripheral attention.

Making directly for the bank of lifts without turning to look back, the Captain was already denying the encounter had occurred, inwardly erasing it from his disciplined mind. I could not have scripted that better, Adi was meanwhile congratulating himself, if a little shakily. Pleased to have outsmarted the army man in this first round of their battle of wits – so clearly unsettling him with the audacity of his approach – he hoped that a further series of surprise moves would be all it took to claim his share of the booty. For whilst the young Detective remained super-confident – as befitting someone near the top of his game – in truth, the more he heard and saw of Captain Farid Azasti, the less able he was to connect with him. It’s as if the guy’s on a crash course in self-destruction… like he wants the fight brought to him, he had begun to figure. Almost as if he wants to bring it all to an abrupt and crashing end. Indeed, it appeared that whatever motive was driving the Captain, he needed to flush it out – to unveil it, in all its dark glory. And although Adi would not admit it, especially to himself, he was privately growing scared at the cold detachment of the man.

Later that afternoon, as he made his way down the aisle on boarding the return flight to Jakarta, Adi purposely caught the Captain’s eye. Despite the anxiety that had begun to seed in his mind – or perhaps because of it – the young Detective cast a hard, lingering stare held long enough to ensure that full eye contact could not be avoided. Here I am, it said. It’s me again. Still watching you. The Captain seethed inwardly, once more struggling to suppress his urge to confront the upstart, to offer an immediate response to Adi’s latest challenge. The forced inaction imposed by the circumstances of both their encounters seemed to the Captain like needlessly putting up with toothache. He’s going to wish his bitch of a mother had killed herself before he was born, he thought irritably, while shuffling in his seat.

Towards the rear of the aircraft, his breathing restored to its usual rhythm, Adi meanwhile exhaled while leaning back in his economy class seat, his eyes closed. Finally, he allowed himself a brief smile of relief. Knowing that he had maintained a psychological edge over the Captain during their second, arm’s length encounter, he urged himself not to let his advantage slip away. His upbeat mood, fuelled by adrenalin, was then further buoyed by the appearance of the pretty pramugari from the previous flight, who once more obliged his hungry leer by beaming her recognition. And after a few discreet exchanges, the success of his trip was cemented with the completion of arrangements that would see him through the night and, if everything went according to plan, pleasantly into the early light of the next morning.

posted by Kirk at 12:00 am  

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