Kaptain's Blog

The writings and musings of The Kaptain

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Through The Godless Hours (36)

Sitting in the lobby of the Hyatt, Detective Adi felt distinctly ill at ease. For this was a dangerous moment in what was already a risky strategy. Confronting the monster of a man his adversary represented was not something he took lightly: the fact that he had been unable to contact the driver served only to add to his disquiet. Adi knew that a further cash for guns transaction would soon take place – the most lucrative yet, if the snippets of information he had so far been given were accurate. But the location of the drop would be different this time, following his rude appearance at the coastal resort. The driver had been vigilant – piecing together, from half-conversations he overheard, information that would eventually provide the Detective with this vital piece of knowledge. For Adi believed that once he could demonstrate the extent to which he had infiltrated the Captain’s secret domain, the potential nuisance value alone would probably – hopefully – be sufficient for him to be cut in on the deal, if only to keep him quiet. But what had happened to his informant?

As he continued to fidget in the hotel lobby, Adi’s mood flitted between anxiety and false confidence. I’ve got him where I want, anyway, he asserted, trying to convince himself that even without the final piece of information he sought, he was close to crafting a winning strategy. But it was already ten minutes after twelve and the Captain had still not shown his face. He shivered at the thought. Where is the bastard? Consumed by his thoughts, Adi vaguely heard the light tinkle of a glockenspiel, as the bell-boy marched his message board through the lobby. Twelve-fifteen. Still no Captain. Twelve-sixteen. The bell-boy walked before Adi again, under the watchful eye of the Concierge desk assistant. The senior man’s arms seemed about to break free from his body, as he frantically gesticulated to his colleague, urging him to re-approach the only plausible candidate for the role of Detective F. Adi. Finally getting the point, the bell-boy – who looked barely old enough to attend high school, let alone be at work in a hotel after midnight – obliged.

“Sir…?” Adi looked up, almost jumping out of his seat as he saw the name on the message board. Alerted by this reaction, the desk assistant shuffled quickly from behind his counter, almost tripping in his effort to speed across the lobby and hand the envelope to its intended recipient. As he did, he glanced back in the direction of his counter and the clock above it. Twelve-seventeen. Damn it! He prayed that the delayed delivery would not result in a diminution of the lucrative payout he had been promised. By now, Adi was reeling – in a blind panic as he ripped open the envelope, unaware of anything around him. This is not part of the plan. He sensed that he had lost his advantage in the game, a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach reaffirming what he already knew. He could almost feel the situation slipping out of his control. A chill ran through him as he contemplated the confident manner by which his adversary had thrown back his vulgar taunt. Detective F. Adi. Detective Fucking Adi… Fuck!

He turned the scrap of paper over and over in his hands, in the hope that what was scribbled on it would somehow expand, would offer more clues. But still it imparted nothing more than what appeared to be a telephone number, and then ‘Room 414’. Pushing past the desk assistant without acknowledging his presence, Adi moved off, in order to find a quiet corner of the lobby. He felt for his cell-phone, finally managing to pull it from his jacket pocket. Almost in the same movement, he dialled the number: 2-8-3-9… 6-6-4-4. There were three rings, and then: “Veza Hotel.” “Where…? What… is this…?” asked the Detective, screwing up his eyes. “Veza Hotel,” replied the voice at the other end of the line. Veza Hotel, thought Adi. He had never heard of it. “Room 414, please.” There was a moment’s pause on the line. “Er, em… I’m sorry… sir… but I am unable to put you through to that room,” the operator’s reply finally came. “Is there… er… anything else I can do for you?” “Why not? I need to talk to someone. Urgently.” “I’m sorry, sir, but my instructions are that the person in room 414 may not be disturbed under any circumstances. It’s… it’s more than my job’s worth.” Adi paused in silence, for a few long moments. “Hello…? Hello…? Will that be all…?” The operator was about to ring off, when Adi cut back in on the line. “Where are you?” “Excuse me?” “Where is the Veda Hotel?” “Veza Hotel. In Jalan Pura, near the old masjid, downtown. Kota. Know the area?”But Adi had already rung off, and was on his way back through the lobby and down to the car park, to fire up his old Toyota. He’s waiting for me. Wants me to go there, he thought. And it was partly true. The tables had indeed turned and the Captain was now pulling his strings – had summoned him to bear witness to the macabre display his accomplice – the doctor – had arranged in room 414. To see what happened to those who dared cross him.

posted by Kirk at 4:14 am  

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