I drove back to town before really looking at the paper that Victor had given me. I grabbed my laptop and sat in my favorite coffee shop, using their wifi to see what I could find out about this Greg Patterson that Gregor wanted me to bring in.
Greg was a private detective in the area. He seemed to work on his own, as he wasn’t part of a firm. His website had a business address and a telephone number on it, but the address on the brief from Victor had a different address. A quick map search revealed that the address I was given was a home address, presumably Greg’s. I finished my coffee and packed up my stuff, making note of directions to the house.
The neighborhood Greg lived in was very nondescript, and there was nothing noteworthy about his apartment from the outside. There was no security to speak of, not even a gate around the building. He lived on the second floor, and there was a short 10 foot drop from his window to the alley behind it. From what I could tell, Greg wasn’t home. I waited a while, but patience was never my strong suit, and he didn’t show up during my very short round of surveillance.
Wanting to just get things over with, I crept up to his door and rapped on it. There was no answer. I looked around and didn’t see anybody in the area. I fished a set of lock-picks out of my bag and let myself in.
The inside of the apartment was just as dull as the outside. Patterson was clearly a single man and didn’t appear to have any interesting hobbies. I pulled up a chair and sat by the door, positioned so that I’d be behind the door as he came in. I pulled my phone out and waited.
Finally, about half an hour later, I heard footsteps that stopped at the door beside me. I put my phone back in my pocket while the person on the other side of the door unlocked the door. I stayed ducked behind the door as it opened, and saw the back of Greg’s head as he closed the door and put his bag down. He went a few feet into the room, then I made my move.
The ensuing scuffle was pretty mild, and it wasn’t long before I had him in handcuffs. I started to drag him out to the door, then realized that I really had no idea what to do with a conscious guy that I had no warrant for, and also that Gregor hadn’t told me where to take him.
There was also the fact that he was protesting rather loudly. Phrases such as “who the hell are you?” and “what the hell are you doing?!” were being aimed at me. My car was quite a ways away, and I wasn’t confidant that I could get him to my car without attracting far too much attention to the situation.
I looked around the room and didn’t spot anything that seemed useful. With one hand still keeping Greg in the room, I grabbed his bag and his keys, knowing fully well that nothing good could come of my plan. I stuck my foot out and knocked him to the ground, and ran out of the apartment, closing the door behind me. I was hoping that standing up and opening the door with his hands handcuffed behind his back would take him longer than it took me to get back.
I ran down to the parking lot and found what I assumed was his car, since it was the only new one in the lot from when I got there. I unlocked the door, threw the bag in, and turned to run back up to the apartment. I made it up the stairs just in time to see him vault over the rail, handcuffs still secured around one of his wrists.
“Nu chort. YA ne dumayu , shcho tse cherez duzhe dobre.1”
I hopped over the rail and started chasing after him. He had a head start, but after a few moments, it became evident that I could outrun him. Greg bolted across the complex and half way across the street. He turned, saw that I was gaining on him, and pulled out a gun, shooting in my general direction.
In a neighborhood like this, gunshots were the beginning of a short countdown timer to the end of the game, and I was running out of options. I put everything I had into a sprint, and tackled Patterson to the ground. I took the gun from him, and hit him over the head with it. His eyes fluttered as he went unconscious. I put the cuffs back around both wrists, picked him up, and dragged him back to the car. I popped the trunk and dropped him in, securing his feet with a zip tie from my pocket. I slammed it shut, got in the car, and took off. I made it off his street just as two police cars came screaming up, sirens blaring and lights flashing.
- Translation: Well damn. I didn’t think this through very well. [↩]