Sunday 6 – Monday 7 December 2015
‘Dad always said that you need a contingency plan. He said that most people have a back up, but the important thing was to have a contingency for the contingency. When the shit hits the fan, and things go bad, you need to have that second back up because it’s almost a guarantee that if you’re on plan B, you’re in trouble, and when you’re in trouble you don’t think straight, and that’s when the real trouble starts because you make mistakes. Mistakes lead to plan B failing, and that’s when most people get caught. Have plan C, and chances are that you’ll walk out of any situation alive. Make sure you have a plan C, Hugo. This guy’s real smart.’ Olga finished packing her duffle bags without saying another word. Hugo watched from outside her bedroom door.
‘Are you sure you want me to do this? I mean, yesterday you didn’t want me anywhere near the business because you didn’t think I could handle it, and today you’re all ‘make a plan C before you do anything’. What’s with the change of mind?’ He followed her to the front door, and out onto the stoop, watching her as she gave the bags to the cab driver. A few determined strides, and she was at the bottom of the stoop steps.
‘Just plan it before you do it, Hugo. That’s all I want. As to why I changed my mind . . . maybe you’re right. Maybe it’s time you stepped up to the plate, and joined the family business. Do this right, and you’re in. Consider it a test, but don’t buckle under the pressure. If you screw this up we’ll both end up behind bars.’ A stern look followed by a slight nod, and Olga returned to the cab. Hugo waited until the car was fully out of sight before he went back inside to plan his first job for the family business.
* * * * *
New York was just as Olga had left her five months ago. The world of the Big Apple had continued to revolve; it remained busy, people came and went, and live and died. It was home to the locals, and it was Nirvana to the tourists. To Olga, it was a sanctuary where few knew her, and she felt safe wrapped up in the city’s arms.
In her line of work, it paid for Olga to have a number of residences in a number of cities in a number of names that no one could associate with her. Her New York apartment was her favourite. Unlike the house in Steppingstone, the city apartment was immaculate, its modern interior design more reflective of Olga’s tastes. She loved the feel of Manhattan, and the drive from LaGuardia Airport to her apartment gave her an opportunity to take in parts of the city that she would ordinarily just pass by.
Olga noted that the cabbie had taken her on the tourist route to her apartment, and instead of arriving home a little under an hour after getting in the cab, she was unlocking her front door nearly an hour and a half later. It was not a fight that she was going to start, however, as she needed to remain anonymous now more than ever. She knew Hugo would fail miserably at getting rid of Steppingstone’s new detective, so she had taken her father’s advice, and set up her contingency plan. All the evidence that the police could possibly find would point firmly at Hugo being the mastermind behind the family business, and she would get away scot-free. Everything she needed to live her life in Manhattan was either already at her city apartment or in one of the two duffle bags she’d brought with her from Steppingstone. Hugo was now a part of her life that she was prepared to leave behind. She’d never really liked him anyway. It was something more than sibling rivalry that had fostered her dislike of him ever since he was a child.
* * * * *
‘I’m glad you could make it, Detective Smoker.’ Hugo gestured for the detective to sit opposite him.
‘I’m not exactly sure why I’m here, Mr. Weinmann.’
‘If it were up to my sister, I’d guaranteed you’d be dead, but I see a different sort of relationship in your future, detective.’
‘Go on,’ Smoker urged.
‘Olga’s finally decided that it’s the right time for me to join the family business. I, however, am not particularly keen on doing so, especially given that she was adamant that it was my time. You see, Detective Smoker, the plan was for me to kill you.’
Smoker shifted in his seat, and readied his hand on his service weapon. ‘So why haven’t you?’
‘As Olga was so eager to tell me, our father insisted upon any plan having a contingency, a back up, and I think I have a back up plan that might work well for the both of us.’
Smoker raised his right eyebrow, and nodded for Hugo to continue.
‘I’ve been wanting to get out of the family business, not jump further into it. I want to start a new life, a legitimate life, but I can’t do that with Olga breathing down my neck all the time. So, I propose a trade . . . I give you Olga, and all the evidence you’ll need to have her convicted of every single crime she’s been involved in, and you give me immunity from prosecution, and witness protection. A new life, a new identity, a new everything.’
‘She thinks I don’t know, but I do . . . she left for the last time. She’s expecting me to screw up, and be arrested for your attempted murder, so she’s taken all the cash she had here, everything that she needs to continue her life somewhere else, as someone else. The thing is, Detective Smoker, I know exactly where she’s gone. Are you interested in helping me?’
Smoker relaxed. ‘Why don’t you tell me what you’ve got?’
. . . To be continued . . .