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Sometimes people would say, “It’s a new day!” Well, it was a new day for me, both literally and symbolically. I suddenly found myself with twenty-five grand in cash and my everyday routine didn’t seem such a pain anymore. In my head, everything was bright and shining, and even the weird games my two clients were trying to play couldn’t spoil that. What’s more, another thirty-five grand was coming my way shortly. I was already seeing them around the corner waving bill straps at me!

As for the symbolic aspect of the new day, it became obvious as soon as I took a shower, shaved, hopped into a new set of clothes, and went down the stairs and out of my apartment building. I looked around. The weather had magically transformed: it was a beautiful spring morning with a pleasant temperature, moderate wind from the south and even a little bit of sun in the sky. Although terribly dirty, streets had dried up almost completely. I was shocked.

“These Chinese bastards really messed it up after all!” I thought.

I couldn’t actually remember a good old-fashioned snowy winter here in Nuuk recently. For the last ten years, climate conditions had been increasingly unstable, wildly swaying in the summer from droughts to pouring rain, and in the winter, there was mostly rain but rarely snow. They said things were getting better though. Ever since China disintegrated, the air in Asia had slowly becoming breathable again. Eventually, the change was going to come here too and Greenland would be Greenland from my memories once again but for now, it was still not happening.

I went briskly to my car, which I had parked at the curb around the corner, and glanced at it. My old beauty was so dirty that if I squinted, she looked like she was made of clay. I liked her. She was a Ford Beijing XZ-130, and although a bit moody sometimes, she was doing her job well. Most importantly, she never complained about her appearance, and it had always saved me the effort of cleaning her. That’s why I just smeared the dirt on the front windshield and the side mirrors now, which effectively made them dirtier that before, and then hopped inside. I had a few things to do down at the police department and up into Chinatown.

About twenty-five minutes later, I pulled up to the curb near the Twelfth Regional Police Station, and my Beijing sharply stopped in a cloud of leaves and dust. I stepped out of the car, quickly brushed my jacket, and sneaked into the building, passing by the guy in the reception booth who was too busy with some game on his cellphone. Then I headed for the second floor. I had a girlfriend there.

Well, it was not clear how much of a girlfriend she was actually because most of the time she was mad at me, but she had resources to help me get the info I needed now. She was working as a secretary at the office where they filed criminals into the system. The moment she spotted my well-shaped figure and handsome face in the doorway, she jumped to her desk, grabbing a bunch of papers and pretending to be busy as hell. She was always in a state of being angry with me because I was always in a state of forgetting to call her.

“Hey, Jill!” I played dumb and innocent when I entered.

Jill didn’t say a word and instead started scratching wildly on the sheets with an obviously empty ballpoint pen, probably destroying official documents as she went.

“Are you okay, sweetie?” I went to sit on the edge of her desk and gently placed my right hand on her spine, moving my fingers as if counting the segments of her backbone. I knew she liked it. With my left hand, I secretly pinched her cellphone from the desktop.

She violently jerked her head. “Oh, Mellrow! Such a surprise, isn’t it? I didn’t even notice you were here! Why are you here, by the way? You out of money again?”

I forgot to mention that I usually owed her a few bucks, but I always paid her back. I was sure she wasn’t mad at me because of this.

“No, Mousie, you know I’m an honest man! I only ask for money when I really need it and now I have two cases, which make me pretty stable, in fact.” I quickly switched hands, moving the phone behind her back and then I went through the menu of the device. I knew it perfectly well because I had reinstalled the firmware a couple of times for her so it was easy work.

“Very well,” Jill said coldly, still pretending she was working. “You should go back to your cases then and get them moving instead of wasting time here with me.”

I quietly slipped the phone back to its usual place on the desk and gave her a charming smile. “What’s wrong, Mousie? I’ve tried to call you so many times but you put me on your black list. I haven’t been able to reach you. Why did you do that? I was so worried that I came here to see you!”

She turned her head to glare at me so suddenly that for a moment, I was afraid she would detach her neck from her shoulders! She was silly but not enough to believe my dumb story. Instead of withstanding the upcoming storm, I quickly took my newly resurrected cellphone out of my pocket and waved it before her eyes.

“You wanna see?” I asked and hit her account, showing her the display and putting the device close to her ear. She reluctantly listened for a few seconds until the line broke down.

All the while, her cell on the desk remained completely silent and dark. I took it and went through the menu again to show her the blocking list. There was a message in the log: “A phone call from Murphy M. successfully blocked.”

She looked at it dumbfounded. “I haven’t put you in any lists.” She shook her head, almost crying. Her anger had miraculously disappeared now. “I don’t even know what a black list is!”

“Never mind, baby. Stupid phones do that sometimes. Maybe it’s a virus or something!”

I moved my hand onto her right shoulder and then I smiled again. She was of the sort of person who almost religiously feared technologies and always thought they had a virus. She could easily check up on her black list that no other phone calls from Murphy M. had been “successfully blocked” except for this one, but I relied on that same fear of hers that she wouldn’t do it.

“Well, I’m glad you’re okay, Mousie. I had started to really worry about you!”

“I didn’t put you in a black list!”

She kept repeating her plead for innocence and it suddenly made me feel like a horrible person, which by the way, I probably am.

In her essence, Jill was a simple and naive creature—sometimes charmingly boring, sometimes boringly boring, and sometimes just boring—but she definitely didn’t deserve such treatment. To soothe my qualms a little bit, I pulled her up into my arms and kissed her face, while embracing her hips with my hands. I knew she liked that one too. I also knew she was insanely quick to be turned on! After just a couple of reassurances and a few more “it’s okay” kisses, she was already puffing in my arms like the first steamer cutting through the American prairie on the Pacific Railroad. Her body started to lean back down toward the desk and she was slowly dragging me with her. By the time her butt touched the desktop, she was already wailing like a foghorn on a foggy morning. I seriously began to worry that someone might come in and see us making out on the desk like horny teenagers.

“Okay; okay, sweetie,” I tried to pull back. “I’ll call you and we’ll finish this. This whole building here is surely crammed with too many cops with big guns and you wouldn’t want them to come here alarmed, right?”

“I don’t believe you!” Jill snapped, taking off her glasses and sharply pulling me toward her. “I’ve learned the hard way that I should take mine before you ditch me high and dry!”

“Don’t say that!” I pulled a wry face. “You know I’d never leave you high and dry. Well, dry maybe, sometimes, but I’d never do that when you feel high!”

She reached down and grabbed the buckle of my belt to make me topple over her. Her black skirt had twisted around her waist revealing an extravagant pair of panties. They were bright yellow and glowing, shining right into my eyes. Jill had always been weird about fashion. I think she was born to push limits in this field and she would have made a successful career showing the top designers how to make their clothes even less wearable!

For the record, I resisted her pulling for a little while, but I knew I would eventually give in. Soon I said to myself, “Well, if that’s what it takes, so be it! I need that info!” In the next moment, I grabbed Jill by her boobs and she howled like a she-wolf at a full moon, while digging her hands into my pants and poking her knees into my face. We rolled onto the desk, spreading the paper sheets all over it and…and that was actually as far as we went! The door suddenly opened with a loud bang and some fat guy burst in to see what was going on. He had his hand at the holster, and until this day, I still wonder how he stopped himself from shooting us at sight!

Both Jill and I jumped away from one another startled, and I knelt down behind the desk, pretending I was looking for something—maybe my common sense! Jill, for her part, found it more urgent to grab and throw her cellphone at the nuisance instead of pulling her skirt down. She eventually pulled it down but not before he had left with the memory of her ass in glowing, yellow panties forever planted in his brain!

“Fucking jerk!” she growled, looking at where her colleague had stood, and then she turned to me still mad. “Now you do have an excuse for not calling me!”

“I’ll definitely call you, sugar!” I tried to quiet her down. “But I urgently need three guys checked out with the GBI system. Then I’m calling you right away, I promise!”

Jill rolled her eyes.

“Here’re the people, baby!” I hurriedly scratched the names of Bobby, Sharon, and Li Jin Tao down on a piece of paper and gave her a brief kiss. To my delight, she responded, although a little reserved. I took that as a good sign.

“And here’s the money.” I put three thousand bucks next to the paper and winked at her. “Tomorrow I’m busy, working, but you keep your schedule empty for the day after tomorrow, okay? I may have some big plans for you!”

I gave her another kiss and turned around before some other cop with a holstered gun could burst in. In the doorway, I saw Jill out of the corner of my eye taking the piece of paper and the money. She knew a very corrupt guy in the Greenland Bureau of Investigation who I had used a couple of times before. I believed he was going to do the job again. The only weak point in my plan was actually Jill herself but I believed I had fixed that problem too; at least temporarily!

I quietly went out and closed the door, effectively doing to Jill what I had just said I would never do to her: leaving her high! Then I prepared to sneak along the corridor while turning my head anxiously in every possible direction in search of concealed cops with heavy weapons. I was so absorbed in the task that I actually failed to notice an open door right next to the one I started from. When I realized that, it was already too late.

I stopped, hypnotized like a dazzled cat on a highway. Through the open door on my right, inside the room, the same voyeur-cop from a minute ago was looking at me grimly. He was sitting on his desk with his feet on the counter. I turned around and gave him a crooked smile.

“So you came here to fuck Jill, huh?” he asked while cutting off my way of retreat.

I had to say something now. I slowly stepped closer to the doorway.

“Well, sometimes we do have some fun. You mind that, Dunkin?”

I knew this guy. His name was Richard Kathungattachek. He had mixed origin, and since Kathungattachek was a damn hard name to pronounce, everybody simply called him Dunkin—probably because he liked stuffing himself with donuts too much. He was an old school cop with a desk always full of food. Even now, there were a couple of pastries, a pack of snacks, and other junk food there!

“Boy! Why would I mind that? It’s none of my business!” the guy mumbled irritated. “You could do it quietly though. Why put other people in awkward situations?”

“Well, you know Jill!” I smiled again. “She gets too exited a bit too soon. You are wasting snacks, by the way!”

“What?” He didn’t get me.

“You’re wasting your snacks! You’ve put your shoe right on them!”

Dunkin didn’t make a single move. He didn’t even look to see if it was true—probably afraid I was trying to make fun of him. Somewhere in the depths of his mind, though, he knew I wouldn’t do it in such a childish way. Anyway, the heel of his right shoe had really landed right in the pack of snacks and crushed some of the pieces out of it.

“What are you doing here, Mellrow?” he suddenly growled with disdain. “You’re not supposed to come around!”

“I told you! I came to play around with Jill or maybe even do a little bit more, but you spoiled it, you know! Next time you should really listen at the door for a while before bursting in. Have a nice day, Dunkin!”

I turned around and slowly walked away, wondering if it was possible that the guy had a crush on Jill. He didn’t seem to react quite naturally to the situation and he looked a little bit hurt.

“But that’s life, you know!” I thought. “Everybody in this world has a crush on someone to some extent, and quite often that someone doesn’t care that much: Jill about Dunkin, I about Jill, and almost every woman that I want…about me. That’s why there are so many miserable people on this planet!”

I thoughtfully walked down the stairs and then passed by the guy in the reception booth who stared at me as if I were some kind of ghost who had the superpower to leave places he had never entered before. I didn’t even look at him. I walked to my car and hopped in. I started the engine and hurled the Beijing on our way to uptown, leaving a cloud of dust by the windows of Twelfth RPC.

An hour and a half and a couple of traffic jams later, I reached my final destination. Chinatown in Nuuk was a shitty place as it was in almost every other city in the world. There was garbage everywhere on the ground: plastic bags, organic waste, condoms, dog shit, and even fired cartridge cases. Fifth and Thirty-Sixth was relatively clean though. There wasn’t much dog shit here, although the cartridge cases were more abundant.

I stopped the car by the curb near the Red Dragon and looked out. The place was exactly as I had seen it in the picture. The photo was obviously recent. On the sidewalk in front of the restaurant, some Chins were fooling around and playing a weird game. They were ridiculously loud, which made me ask myself why these bastards were so incapable of talking quietly. I had never seen a quiet Asian guy in fact! Their shrill voices echoed throughout the entire neighborhood, Nuuk, Greenland, and Europe, all the way to Shanghai I guessed!

I slowly opened the car door and carefully stepped out, playing the part of an anonymous lunatic with an insane obsession with taking walks in deadly dangerous places. I sluggishly dragged myself to the red telephone booth and went into it. Two of the Chinese spotted me instantly and stared fixedly in my direction. I couldn’t blame them. They had probably never seen anybody going into that booth for ages. Well, they hadn’t seen my office obviously; they wouldn’t have been so surprised then!

I pretended to put a coin into the slit and then acted as though I was listening to someone on the other end of the receiver. All the while, I was furtively looking at the guys in front of the restaurant. It occurred to me that it would have been a far more successful disguise if I had pretended to be a technician, but it was too late for me to put on overalls now. Fortunately, the Chins got bored quite soon and they started recklessly swinging arms and legs in the air, shrieking not all the way to Shanghai now but to hell. I figured it was supposed to be some kind of Kung Fu but if I closed my eyes, it all sounded more like a flock of wild geese with serious mental issues in the middle of a fight for a nesting place.

I quickly checked up the booth then, assessing the perspective, the surroundings, and the potential ways for retreat if anything went wrong. In a few minutes, I grabbed my invisible coin back and ceased my imaginary conversation. Then I stepped out and looked theatrically at my nonexistent watch. In my movie, I was already too late so I hurried to the car and started the engine to drive down the Thirty-Sixth. When I passed the Kung Fu warriors, they looked at me again but this time absent-mindedly. I ducked a little to dig something that I didn’t need out of the glovebox, and slowly drove away. I felt perfectly safe in my Ford made of clay. That’s why I actually avoid cleaning it—so as no one could see my registration plate and remember the number when I need anonymity.

After fifty meters or so, I looked back in the side mirror but the Chinese were already absorbed in their weird game again. I stepped on the gas and hurried to my place, suddenly realizing that my mission wasn’t such a trouble-free thing as I had thought that morning. Unfortunately, it was too late now to back out. I just hoped both my clients had prepared really good technical equipment for me because the thugs of Greenspace tomorrow at noon were going to be much more intimidating and heavily armed than the ballet dancers I had seen just minutes ago. That was almost certain!

©2016 S.T. Fargo

Eurasian Gambit—Chapter 4 | a science-fiction crime novel by S.T. Fargo

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