By partner 1 (GG)
It became sunrise when I was on my knees while searching for my hard disk--unfortunately, whomsoever broke into my apartment has gotten what they were looking for. My hard disk contains documents related to old cases--from second-degree manslaughter to mob killing, from kidnapping to molestation, and so on. It took me a while to search my apartment, anything of major importance that could have been stolen from a man--perhaps it was more than one?
I turned on my desktop computer even without the CPU, yet nothing but blank. Without the CPU there was no way I could confirm if there were other files I must've saved by accident pertaining to old court cases. I laid inertly on the living room's sofa, surveyed the untidy place--papers, books, clothes, glasswares, all of them spattered on the floor. I only had less than six hours left before heading to court for my current case. I stared as the sun gradually arose above the horizon--my heart was racing ever so violently.
All of a sudden, it startled me when the phone rang. It rang and rang until I was in total lethargy due to the ache in my shoulder. I thought about what could have possibly hurt me if it wasn't the bullet charged by the anonymous man I met at the park--the feeling had me wondered for too long, and I was still uncomfortable to check the part of my shoulder that was aching.
The phone continued to ring, but I let my mind brainstorming of a possible someone whom I know or a fellow colleague. It's been past fifteen minutes when I finally arose from the sofa, headed to the kitchen counter, and grabbed the receiver. The calling ID read "UNKNOWN NUMBER".
"Hello," I asked. "Who's this?" Silence came alive, but I could slightly hear the breathing of someone on the other end of the line. The person said nothing still. I continued. "Who isthis?"
"I was wondering when you would answer," came a woman's voice. "What took you so long to answer, Mr. Kenny Pollock?" Her mentioning my name put me in a more difficult position--the problem was that I don't know who this woman was. Could she be responsible for breaking into my apartment, I don't know.
"May I ask who's speaking?" I said. Silence came again between us. The woman began.
"Can you identify me by my voice?"
"No," I said, thinking the stupid reason behind her asking such.
"Good! That's good!" She said, as if expecting not a hint of her to be recognized. "I have what belongs to you, Mr. Pollock. Your hard disk and flash drive. I know all about you--Everything. I would like to speak to you about a--"
"Why did you break into my apartment? I will call the cops right n--"
"You didn't let me finnish, Mr. Pollock," the woman interrupted me after I did so to her. "It's rude to interrupt a lady. It's definitely something every man ought to learn to perfect--to respect women." I remained silent, running hastily to my bedroom for my cell phone, just as I intended to dial 911. "If you're calling the feds I will burn your resources, including the affidavit for your next court case, which I believe starts at 1:00pm today."
My heart had a weird beating rhythm after she mentioned about the court case. I remained shocked for a while, knowing I was in a vulnerable position, with my index finger halted from pressing the "9" button on my cell phone.
"I know you. You're not too stupid to risk everything for a case. You need the affidavit from your witness to win the case--it's the only way. But of course, there are also other important documents which are vital to few of your oldest unresolved cases. You'd have to start from scratch again, only if you don't do as I say." I felt the sweat running down my cheek. I knew I needed to shower after a night of running.
"What do you want?" I finally asked.
"As I was about to say earlier, I would like to make a trade."
"A trade? You mean blackmailing me," I said.
"A trade, Mr. Pollock, for your precious flash drive and hard disk. Think of it as a deal. Of course, the documents regarding the case will no longer be in existence if you agree upon the deal."
"Okay, what kind of trade?"
"You will attend the court case today. Then, before the judge could proceed on the allegation that Timothy Peck is accused of a kidnapping you will have to drop the case due to insufficient evidence."
"You want me to lie for a possible suspect in question of a kidnapping? That's more worse than murder. I will be stripped of my license to practice and--"
"That isn't my problem, Mr. Pollock. Either you allow Timothy Peck to be exempt from the allegations or you face a harsher problem in the criminal justice that will await you."
Silence returned, this time longer. The woman seemed to show a little decency as to give me all the time I need to make the right decision--her decision, that is.
"Okay. I will do as you ask. How do I know you will return the items?"
"I never go back on my words, Mr. Pollock. Remember, I will know everything that's going on in the courtroom, not to mention I have insiders." Thereafter she hang up. I tossed the phone on the bed, my cell phone still in hand. It was almost eight in the morning, so I took a shower and got dressed. I remained seated on the sofa until it would be thirty minutes before one in the afternoon, hoping an epiphany will come to my rescue.
While inside the courtroom the prosecutor went over the stuff he'd said few weeks ago. I looked around and searched for a possible insider who's working for the woman. I was already comfortable to accept the fact that the guy at the park is also working for her.
Before the prosecutor could go on about Timothy Peck being wrongly accused of kidnapping a teenager--which I believe he's responsible for--I stood up and said the words I knew would both betray the victim's family and witness as well as my oath as an attorney.
"Your honor, unfortunately due to the lack of ample evidence to further this case, and forgive me for having mentioned about presenting an affidavit from my witness, I believe Timothy Peck is to be free of accusations." A huge confusion filled the courtroom, as if my being no longer a good lawyer suddenly brought a stampede. The ones who were most surprised were the prosecutor and my witness. The witness looked me in the eyes before the judge could hit his gavel after finalizing the case, with the defendant free of accusations. I readily left the courtroom without saying a word to anyone inside, including my witness and the victim's family.
I walked aimlessly around the city, pondering whether I made the right or wrong choice. I always carry my flash drive everywhere I go, and would save documents before the ending of a case. The original documents are being kept inside a security vault, and were never to be reviewed again unless need be. Such occurrence is rare in most cases.
It was 8:24pm, according to my watch, so I headed to a nearby bar. After more than seven shots of tequila, I walked slowly toward my apartment, still conscious but drunk. Before I could reach the vicinity two men grabbed me by the arms, hauling me to some distant where I could at least make out a black limousine parked ahead. One of them opened the door and pushed me inside. Next to me is a lady dressed in black robe. Darkness covered her face that I couldn't make out her looks.
The woman finally spoke, followed by a shock to my spine, as the voice sounded familiar; the same voice from the anonymous woman whom I've spoken to earlier on the phone--she's the one behind my predicament. As she commanded the driver to turn the light on inside the vehicle, my eyes became wide enough with surprise that I felt my lungs were pausing from breathing. The woman--the one responsible for everything since yesterday at the park--was none other than my estranged older sister, Alex Pollock.
"Hello, little brother," said the devil.
Dialogue to be continued by partner 2 (Arun)