You have been served

You have been served
Chapter II: In the cold of the night


Chapter I : In the cold of the night


The road shone and glimmered under the starry sky at the aftermath of the rain. The air was cold yet refreshing. The time was 2210 hours. He still had over an hour to set everything in place. He got on his bike, drove to the destination, parked it a few blocks away beyond the eye of suspicion. He even took care of the security cameras in sight. He has been canvassing this neighborhood for the past few weeks now and more-soever he has to be extra careful. He has got a long list of people to deal with. If he gets caught, that would have to be in the act, otherwise, he is a nobody, literally. By the looks of it, it was a calm and a pleasant night and there was no one to even suspect a thing. I need to set things straight when I can before it’s too late,  he spoke to himself under his breath.

The Lawyer, his latest victim-to-be was on his way. But he had already made his way into the lawyer’s house on the 75th floor. The security camera on his apartment floor has been running on a continuous loop and the guard on the ground floor control room had no idea. Well, of course, it wasn’t his first rodeo, he had timed it well, like the first time. The lawyer’s apartment looked well, rich in every way. Though he had the blueprint of the house, the lawyer did a pretty good job in the interiors. Well, of course, his ex-wife was an interior designer and had helped him in setting this up. It was such a delight to look and it feels so much at home. But well, it is going to be such a waste, he thought.

He found the lawyer’s revolver, a 9mm Glock and a decent choice for a personal firearm. It has an engraving JM, the initials of the lawyer’s name. He scanned around the house, the AC was on. It was never off. Did he forget to switch off his AC before leaving? He assumed it was chilly due to the cold weather outside along with the aftermath of the rain. “Oh look, he has a beautiful scenery”, he said to himself, contrary to his apartment which was covered by bigger buildings. The city looks beautiful in the night and from the 75th floor penthouse. He could see endless lights shimmering in the lonely night almost touching the stars at the horizon. The car, his car was headed towards the apartment. It is almost time, he said to himself.

It was so easy getting to his apartment. A small jump from the adjoining building landed him on this apartment’s rooftop. And he just had to get into the penthouse. He knew the security codes. Two days of surveillance was enough to decode his security code. It was his wife death date and his daughter’s birth date, something he could never forget. I got in from the main entrance as if it was my own apartment. The cameras showed nothing suspicious as they were still on loop.

{The elevator makes a noise}
He had seen a Mercedes pull up round the corner a minute ago, making a light trail in a dimly lit street approaching the SkyHigh Apartment. He had enough time hide in the balcony behind the door. The lawyer entered the apartment and was completely unaware of the presence of someone else, an intruder, his possible killer, in his apartment. His ex-wife, the interior designer divorced him a few years ago and he got remarried but they were currently staying in another city.

The lawyer had no idea of what his future would be and how short his life would become in a few minutes. He opened the balcony to let the fresh cold wind replace the air conditioned room. At that moment, the intruder froze, as his heart skipped a beat and if discovered it would be a lot messier than he had anticipated it to be. But to his luck, the lawyer was too tired to come out, he was more thirsty for a hard drink and just doze off. He poured a glass of scotch, grabbed a few cubes from the fridge and settled in his chair with glass in one hand and a cigar in the other, facing the vast skyline gazing through the floor to roof glass. He took a long drag and let the lungs soak and washed it with the scotch. The smoke he exhaled disappeared under the fluorescent light that surrounded the entirety of the room. He must have been very tired because, a moment later his second drag, he almost dozed off to a slumber sleep. He left the glass of scotch on the handle of his chair and the cigar smoke danced around his fingers. The intruder walked slowly in the balcony door that the lawyer had opened earlier for the cold wind to circulate cautioning himself not to walk in front of him to create a shadow and spook him up. The curtains fluttered a little louder against the glass windows as the wind blew harder. He opened his eyes at the sudden commotion of cold wind under his chin.

He was taken aback when he saw a strange figure standing in front of him. The cigar had by then reached his fingers and he let out a cry as it made a small burn, increasing his heart beat and the adrenaline pumping through his whole body, he wanted to do something like grabbing the revolver from the cupboard by the chair. But the only thing he could do was knock the glass of scotch that was on the handle of his chair and he froze when he saw the gun, his revolver which had his initials engraved, in between his eyes. The scotch glass fell on the carpeted floor absorbing all the noise that it would have made otherwise.

Looking for this“, the intruder who was completely in black scoffed as the lawyer stumbled to look back at him. “I am just borrowing this piece for a little while. I promise to return back, but it might be a little warm“, the intruder’s voice still mocked at his frightened innocence.

What do you want?“, the lawyer asked the intruder as if he was there to rob him. Oh, he was there to rob him, but it was not his money.

There is nothing in this world you could pay me off with. It is time you accepted,
accepted your fate“.

What the hell are you talking about? Why are you doing this? Who the hell are you?“.

Don’t act so surprised. You knew that this was coming. Why else would need a revolver in the cupboard instead of keeping it the safe that in the bedroom?“.

How did you….What the hell do you even want from me? “.

Oh, don’t worry about it. It is all going to end tonight. You will have nothing more to worry about. I can promise you that“.

Who the hell are you? Why are you doing this to me?

The intruder in black placed a page in front of him, a page from a file he recently acquired from an unsuspecting acquaintance. He wanted the lawyer to realize why he won’t be able to see another day. As the lawyer picked up that piece of paper, his body became cold as if the life was already draining out. He knew what it was and he knew the consequences since the time the idea was even proposed to him. But that was a few years ago and he thought it was the thing of the past. He never expected to see it again as it was supposed to have been destroyed a long time ago. That is one of the reasons for not having a security detail like he used to have earlier.

The intruder was in complete control but a name on that piece of paper brought some memories back to him. The incident slowly played in front of his eyes. In that moment, when his words trailed off, the lawyer thought it was the only chance to hit the panic button, so he jumped for the button just at the edge of the cupboard. The intruder in black woke up from his temporary slumber only to realize that the lawyer was making his move, but a moment later the lawyer fell short by just by an inch from the button and tumbled down with two shots in his chest. There was silence afterward, like it was earlier when the intruder in black entered the lawyer’s house. He went out of the apartment from the front door through the service elevator, the one place the camera was old and wasn’t functioning. As he got onto my bike, he switched off the remote access to the security cameras. Everything was fine except that one camera that was playing static all of a sudden. The remote access might have faulted the camera which made the guard jump up in his seat. He clicked the buttons on his keyboard to reset the camera, but it still didn’t seem to budge. He called the cops and took the elevator to the floor. By the time, the intruder had long gone into the moonlight.


Mark reached his office later the next day just to be welcomed by storming press which was as more curious than he was agitated. They needed answers and so did he. They had questions, and well, so did he. It was getting a little out of hand, all this new business with the new killer targeting prominent people and he had no answers and no leads. He made a mental note to drop by the crime scene once the melodrama at the office was over. All this pressure was taking a toll on him. He had just completed a half year being sober and he couldn’t start that again. Never. Again. He told himself. Instead, he grabbed a coffee from the pantry, black and filled it in a takeaway cup and took a sip. He knew that this drama was going to continue as long as the mystery killer is found. Just as he was about to get out of the office to find out more about the lawyer who died the other night, he was called in by his chief. He inquired about his progress and mocked about his skill which wasn’t helping them in recent past. He also lay down a deadline failing which, he would be handing over the case to the State and then there would be nothing they could do, but they sure will be labeled as incompetent. It was a good case for the department and it needed to be solved yesterday. But they were still about to find the breadcrumbs before they could even proceed with any decision.

Are you capable of solving this?“, asked his chief with a disgruntled look as Mark was still wearing the same clothes as yesterday and his swollen eyes due to lack of sleep. What was he up to thought the chief. But whatever his inquisitions were, he had the faith in him despite all the odds they started piling against them. He was good at what he did and there was no doubt about it. But he started to wonder whether he was doing the right thing by giving the case to him? Has the past caught up with him? No. He brushed aside all those thoughts which could jeopardize his skill in the investigation and most importantly it would just mess with his morale.

Yes, I am well above my senses regarding this case. As a matter of fact, I was just heading back to the crime scene to find some clues. May be I could grab something that I might have missed yesterday.

Yeah, you do that. Meanwhile, I have this press to deal with. They just won’t believe when I say that we are making progress. They just keep hitting back with more questions. We have had no progress yet. So, just get me something. It is not just any people who are getting killed, but prominent people of the government are dropping down like used shell casings which are raising a few more questions from the superiors. They are scared, sure, but they will be up our asses until this is solved. We need to end this. But you keep up your best and hope to see some results at the earliest.

“I always do my best and you know it.”

“Yeah, you used to. So, don’t flatter yourself. Just get me something… anything”.

Mark left the office with a coffee in hand. He reared his car in reverse setting it straight to go ahead to the crime scene. He reached the scene only to find the yellow Do Not Cross police tape outside of the apartment. It was a penthouse, a luxury one indeed. He scanned the surroundings but started with the entrance. The door didn’t seem to have been fiddled with nor are there any signs of forced entry. The killer might have been inside the apartment before the lawyer had even come. Did he have a duplicate key? If he had, he also had to know the security lock code to disable the alarm. What about the cameras in the doorway? That should help a little. He picked up the report of the observations by the forensic and skimmed through the details. Nothing useful, he told himself. The cameras have been disabled. But what was the need for a stakeout? If he wanted to kill him, he might as well do it. Looks like he had an ulterior motive. If that is the case, what was it? The balcony door seems to be undisturbed, but that is not true. It was the only possible access to the penthouse. If he had made his way, it could be either from the roof or from the floor below. Mark looked for clues to find any clues that the killer might have left behind. He was very careful not to leave any. He looks like a professional at this as he knew the ins and outs out of this whole process and it sure as hell didn’t seem like the first time it was done. Not even one shred of a clue is left behind. “How can this be possible?“, thought Mark. A strand of hair or sweat or something should be here somewhere. What about the note? He went to the scene of the crime to find a chalk etched outline of half body of the lawyer, the remaining of which was on the carpet.

Besides the outline of the body was a note in a white paper on which it was printed ‘JUSTICE‘. It was printed and nothing more could be done except the kind of printer and paper. That won’t be of any help. If it was hand written, may be the hand writing analysis or the use of words could have indicated the state of mind of the killer. “State of mind!”, chuckled Mark. State of mind, my ass. He is a god damn psychopath and he needs to be put down. After scanning through the stuff, fridge, balcony, and everything that could possibly be linked to the killer which was around in the apartment as it was clear that the killer had been waiting for him for a long time, he tried to recreate the scene in his mind.

James McGuire was the name of the lawyer whose embodied outline lie in his apartment while his corpse is being investigated by the Forensic department back in the lab. He looks like a rich wealthy person judging by the interior of his house which was possibly designed by the best interior designed in the town. But what was he doing in an apartment on the 75th floor when he could easily have had a villa in the uptown. And also the Mercedes that was in the parking lot, a limited edition. Though it is practically impossible for a lawyer like himself to be owning such a priced possession. He drove his own car which meant that he wanted to be in control. Of course, he is a lawyer and the control over things comes with the territory. So, after a busy day at the court, he drops by for the dinner party at the Mayor’s house. He has a little too of Champagne but he feels he was still in control and drives himself home after the party which he shouldn’t have. It wasn’t a long drive from the Mayor’s house to his penthouse. As soon as he reached his home, he entered his house just like every day, casually. He didn’t suspect anything weird or anything out of place. If he had noticed something out of place, he would have known that something was wrong. This means that the killer was careful not to disturb anything in Lawyer’s apartment. May be the lawyer was too drunk to notice, which could be a possibility. But living in solitude does give the person a sense of caution towards his surroundings. So, he would have known. He looked at his ex-wife’s photo beside where he kept his keys safely. He looked at it and put it face down as he took the glass from the minibar beside and poured a hard scotch into it as took a sip. He might have walked back to his chair facing the balcony. He sat there as he lit up a cigar and took a sip of the scotch. He might have been thinking about his deceased wife as he looked at the bokeh of city lights that shimmered in front of him from his pent house balcony. He dozed off into blissful sleep only to woken up by the glass that fell on the velvety furry carpet. He might have seen the intruder in front of him and stood up to take action. The killer didn’t shoot then, but he waited as the lawyer searched for his revolver in the side cabinet only to find nothing there. The intruder looked deep into his eyes and might have said something before putting two bullets in his chest, the sound of which subsided by the silencer on the gun. The intruder made his way out from the front door itself and stayed unnoticed. The door had an automatic lock which could lock itself once the door is closed. But how did the intruder get inside in the first place? The balcony is the only possible explanation.

Mark wanted to examine the body and find whatever he could that the forensic experts might have missed. He made a mental note to check back once examining the body and could indicate any clues about the state of mind of the killer. He reached his car and as he threw the cigarette stubbed between his lips, stamped on it and looked up to open the door of his car. He found an envelope on the windshield of his car which had an inscription “YOU HAVE BEEN SERVED“, the same typewriter handwriting found beside the outlined body of the lawyer in his apartment. This sent a shiver down his spine as he looked at it even before he opened it. He quickly got out of his car to see if the person is still around, but there was no one.

To be continued ….