Trouble in the Big Apple
It was a chilly Friday in New York City. The morning rush hour was just beginning, although the streets were already filled with taxis, tour buses, and unlucky commuters. Most people stuck in the city-wide traffic jam were already fifteen minutes late to work. However, Larry Daniels, rookie cop, was still sleeping.
“Bzzzz Bzzzz Bzzzz” went the alarm clock, as it had been doing for the past ten minutes. It still didn’t faze the sleeping Larry Daniels. The police office called, wondering what the heck happened to him. Larry didn’t pick up. Two hours later, Larry reluctantly woke up.
“What the hell!” He exclaimed. “What happened!” He turned off his alarm, and looked at his phone. It said 11:24 AM. Larry wiped his eyes, hoping it was a mistake. When he tried again, the clock had changed, but only to say 11:25.
He threw his phone on the ground in anger. When he got out of bed, and picked it up, he noticed the screen was cracked.
“What the hell!” Larry said for the second time.
Twenty minutes later, Larry was in the shower when he heard a loud bang in his apartment.
“Could this day get any worse?!” He quickly jumped out of the shower and dried himself off, getting his clothes on.
“Who’s there!” he screamed. “I have a gun!” He slowly opened the bathroom door, cautious of a potential intruder, and tip-toed over to his bed. Larry reached under the dusty mattress and pulled out a loaded pistol.
“Stop hiding!” Larry inched over to the door. “I will shoot!” He opened his bedroom door, and peeked around the corner. He saw a bunch of policemen searching the kitchen, only about fifteen feet away. Those people were from his office!
“Hey guys!” Larry came out from behind the bedroom door.
“Daniels!” yelled the police chief. “Where were you! You’ve been MIA for over 2 hours! We wondered if something had happened to you!”
“I’m sorry Chief Watson, but I slept through my alarm. I didn’t realize that I slept through it!”
“Well, Officer Daniels, you won’t be needing that alarm anymore.”
“Why is that, Chief Watson?” Larry asked.
“Because you’re fired! Give me your badge!” Solemnly, Larry went to his bedroom to retrieve his badge.
“Here you go, Chief,” Larry said.
“Sure you won’t change your mind?”
“I’m so sure that I want to fire you twice!” Watson said. “There’s no way that you can be late by over two hours and keep your job after all you’ve done,” Watson said. “We’ll be going now.”
Larry hung his head. He had just lost his job. His front door was now bust open as well. “Ya know what?” He asked himself. “I’ll take a walk, and hopefully figure something out.”
The walk didn’t help. Larry shivered in the cold as he walked down the surprisingly barren trail of Central Park. Suddenly, Larry heard voices up ahead. “Do you have the money?” one asked.
“Do you have the package?” the other asked.
“I do. Meet me at the Chinatown fountain in 30 minutes”, the first voice said.
“If you scam me, you will find a bullet through your head”, the second voice said. Larry decided to start walking again, just as the two men came out from behind a tree. Larry stared at the ground as he walked by, glancing at their faces. One of them had a scarred face, and was missing an eye. Larry even recognized one of the voices. He had heard it before. It was Greasy Sal, the notorious mafia boss.
To put it short, Larry had a predicament. He could go to the police, try to explain his story, and get laughed out of NYC, he could try to take down the crime lords himself (and possibly die), or he could do nothing about it and feel guilty. However, Larry had already made up his mind. It was the right thing to do.
Twenty-five minutes later, Larry was sitting on the side of the Chinatown fountain. “They should be here by now,” Larry said quietly. The wind nipped at his bare fingers. He started to shiver. Larry was thinking about leaving when he heard the sound of dress-shoes hitting the cobblestone path of the fountain square. “Speak of the devil,” he thought. A stocky man with a black suit and bowler hat came out of the alley to Larry’s right, and briskly strolled across the fountain square to another alley on Larry’s left, only to stop at the entrance of it. Larry was certain that he was the man talking to Greasy Sal, and that he had the money that Sal needed.
Suddenly, the man with the briefcase started moving. He walked into the alley, checking behind him frequently. Larry made no attempt to follow him. He figured that “briefcase man” was armed, and that he wouldn’t want anyone following him. After a minute, Larry decided it was safe to move on and carefully stepped towards the alley. He was halfway through it when he heard voices and dove behind a dumpster. “Follow me”, One voice said. Larry heard footsteps fading away, then nothing. The men were gone. One thing was for sure -- that voice belonged to Sal.
Larry slowly peeked around the corner of the dumpster. The alley, aside from some garbage, was empty. He came out of the alley and checked his surroundings. No sight of the criminals anywhere. He didn’t even know what the other man looked like. He could only recognize Sal’s face.
There weren’t many places that the men could’ve gone. Most places in the city were well-visited and the criminals would be smart enough not to make such an exchange in broad daylight. Larry had one chance to catch Sal red-handed. If he went to the wrong borough, he’d have no chance of catching them.
A little while later, Larry found himself under the Brooklyn Bridge. He was certain that Sal would come here. After all, the mafia themselves were stationed here.
Larry knew that the exchange would probably take place on a dock, as far away from the hustle and bustle of NYC as possible. It was really noisy under the bridge, but there were no people out. He would patrol the waterfront, watching for any suspicious activity. It should be pretty easy to spot, as there was plenty of sunlight poking through the dreary clouds. Then, as if right on queue, a huge semi came rolling down the street, turning into the loading area. “Here we go”, Larry thought to himself. His heart started to pump faster with adrenaline. Larry loved it. He loved it when his heart seemed to jump out of his chest with every beat, and his palms started to sweat with anxiety. However, Larry made no movement toward the truck. He had to wait for the other party to get there and begin the exchange before he could intervene. As Larry waited patiently, a crusty old civilian boat, about 30 feet in length, pulled into the dock. It had a huge metal container as its only cargo. Two men got out of the truck, and started walking toward the boat. Three men hopped out of the boat, each carrying a firearm. “We don’t want no funny business,” one of them said.
“We just wanna get the cash.”
“Don’t worry, my friends, Greasy Sal said. “I’ve got the money right here in the back of my truck.” The three men walked to the back of the truck to investigate.
“Let’s see if you are telling the truth this time,” one of the men said. He grabbed both the bars and swung the back of the semi open. Suddenly, three shots pierced the cold air. The three men slumped down to their knees, then softly sank to the ground. Two more men had been hiding inside the truck.
“There’s one thing about me I forgot to mention”, Sal said. “I never tell the truth.” His men grabbed the guns from the now dead smugglers. They then investigated the boat.
“Hey boss, I dunno if we can lift this thing,” one of Sal’s men said.
“God damn it, you’re right”, Sal said. “We’ll have to blow this popsicle stand, quite literally too!”
The men got a small explosive device from the truck and tied it around the bars of the crate. One of the men lit the fuse and ran, only to be knocked off his feet from the blast a few feet away. Sal strolled over to the crate, threw open the doors, and laid his eyes on his prize: heavy-duty military-grade weapons and explosives.
“Oops. I kinda forgot what was in this one,” Sal chuckled. “Grab what you can before the cops show up.” The five men began to grab assorted weapons and throw them into the back of the truck. “I have to do something!” Larry’s voice screamed inside him. Sal’s men were almost done loading the weapons into the back of the truck. With a sudden blast of courage, Larry started sneaking toward the truck. The dirty old pavement ripped at his jeans, but Larry didn’t care. He wanted to get revenge on Sal.
It all happened about 6 months ago. Larry and his partner Jorge were on a routine mission, investigating a domestic abuse complaint from an apartment building in Queens, when everything went bad. When they rang the doorbell, a pot dropped on the floor, and someone started running away. Instinctively, Jorge took his gun out and shot the locking mechanism of the door. He shoved the door open, gun raised. Larry, meanwhile, was frozen and in shock. When the sound of more gunshots broke through the air, Larry came back to his senses, only to find his partner dying on the ground. Jorge, dying on the ground, told Larry, “Get that son of a b*tch who shot me. Avenge me.” As Larry rose to his feet, he heard a window open in the bedroom of the apartment to the right, and ran to investigate. The killer had jumped out of the window onto the fire escape of the building. Larry wanted to pursue him, but his head was still swimming with shock. Then, something caught the corner of his eye. The killer had left a signed note. “My sincere apologies, Greasy Sal.” Even though he officially got fired for not coming to work, Larry knew that it was really because of this. After Jorge died, people seemed to ignore Larry. They treated him he wasn’t supposed to be there. To this day, Larry hated Sal. He certainly wasn’t going to let him get away this time.
As Larry came out of his flashback, the sound of guns against metal startled him. Sal was done loading the truck. The men getting in the semi. Larry got up and ran to the back of the truck. The back of the truck was shut, but it could be opened with effort. As the truck started to pull away, Larry hopped on the semi, grasping the two bars that would open the back. He tried to pull on one of them, but it wouldn’t budge. He tried harder. The door suddenly swung open, leaving Larry hanging onto a moving truck with one hand. Using all his strength, Larry pulled himself up, onto the floor of the semi. Reaching out, he grabbed the doors and swung them shut.
Larry then crawled over to the guns. He would have to pick one and shoot every single one of Sal’s men. It was a risky plan, but it could work if Larry executed it right. The guns were mostly AKs, M-16s, and pump-action shotguns. The pumps were out of the question because they had limited ammunition, and Sal’s crew was made up of 5 men. Larry felt that the M-16 would be more reliable than the AK, as it didn’t shoot in bursts. Larry picked out an M-16, and took three magazines of ammo from other guns and put them in his pocket. Larry suddenly realized that he was going to attempt to kill five people. He could be charged with murder! Larry quickly brainstormed any other possible escape out of this situation. As he was thinking, Larry set the M-16 down and set his hand down. However, he didn’t feel the flat floor of the truck. The cold object was smooth and rounded, with a little metal thing at one of the ends. Larry turned it over and realized he was looking at and holding a grenade.
Now, the plan had changed completely. Larry would let the mafia members take the truck to their hideout, and hopefully not look at their cargo. When the coast would be clear, Larry would break out, pull the pin of a grenade and throw it back into the truck. The truck and all the mafia’s precious cargo would explode, along with their truck. Larry then realized he was getting a little sleepy. “A day like this can really wear a person out,” he thought, before drifting away into a deep sleep.
When Larry woke up about an hour later, he realized the truck wasn’t moving. He listened carefully for about a minute, making sure that Sal was gone. When Larry decided that the coast was clear, he took a grenade, and kicked open the back of the truck. The truck was parked in a dark alleyway, ridden with garbage. He looked around, trying to see if there was an exit. There was an outlet to the alley about thirty meters away to Larry’s right. He remembered that the fuse time on a grenade was around five seconds. He’d have to run fast if he wanted to live. Suddenly, a door to Larry’s left opened. “It’s now or never,” he thought. As Larry pulled the pin, time seemed to slow down. He tossed the grenade into the back of the truck and began to run. Larry was counting in his head. “Five, four.” His legs were moving as fast as they ever had. “Three, two.” He was almost there! Suddenly, Larry slipped on an old magazine. “No!” He thought. “Not like this!” He scampered to his feet, stumbling, then jumped for the outlet. “One!” His voice screamed inside his head. The sound of something exploding, then a chain reaction of other explosions filled the air. Larry felt his body get shoved forward by a blast of pure force. He turned around and saw an explosion of fire fill the alley. He had lived! However, Larry’s excitement was interrupted by police sirens. Around ten patrol cars blocked off Larry’s exit.
“Put your hands up!” a megaphone boomed.
“Chief Watson, relax,” Larry said. “It’s me, Larry Daniels.” He put his hands up just in case.
“What the hell are you doing here!” the megaphone voice boomed.
“It’s a long story,” Larry said. “Let’s just say that I want my badge back.”