Trying to trace the sports hopper from CCTV footage was a dead end. The cameras covering the side of the Hudson Heights apartments had been disabled. One of the benefits of being the man on the inside was the access to the city’s CCTV control systems. Very useful if there was a crime to commit – a person could literally get away with murder.
But there was no such control system governing a group of tourists who happened to be visiting the Statue of Liberty at the time of the incident. One such vacationer was taking long-range photos of the city when she saw a window smash in the apartment complex across the bay and a figure leaping into the hovering sports hopper. She managed to capture the whole thing in high-definition, including close-ups of Brogan and Haldane in their police uniforms as they watched the hopper escape.
It was more by chance than design that she walked into the 99th Precinct building to report what she’d seen just as Brogan and Haldane returned from the scene of the crime. If they hadn’t overheard her speaking to the desk sergeant, they might never have found the traitor they were searching for.
It was a week later. The citizens of New York went about their lives as usual.
But for Brogan and Haldane it was far from an ordinary day. The footage from the vacationer’s camera had given them the lead they needed to track down the hopper to a bay area rental agency. This started a series of leads that fell into place like a row of dominoes until finally the pair were more or less certain they had identified the perpetrator, the one who had killed Bickle, very nearly killed Donovan, and was apparently orchestrating a covert war against the NYPD.
Martin Hobbs – a Lieutenant at the 99th Precinct.
But so far everything they had discovered had been off the books. No one else at the Precinct knew exactly what they’d been investigating. It was time for that to change.
Ensuring they were easily overheard, Brogan told Haldane that he had been tracking down a suspected mole in the NYPD, the one who had targeted Donovan. He said that he was getting closer and that an informant had agreed to reveal the traitor’s identity for a hefty price. They would meet at midnight at the end of a disused wharf at the harbour.
Haldane pretended to be horrified, calling Brogan crazy and vowing to have nothing to do with such an unorthodox operation. Brogan came back at him hard, calling him a coward and saying that he didn’t need Haldane’s help. Haldane stormed off in an apparent fit of fury.
Hours later, the two men sat in their cruiser, which was concealed behind a stack of shipping containers near the wharf. Brogan was wearing his uniform. Haldane was dressed in worn and dirty clothing. His hair was a mess and he had grease smeared across his face.
“Think he’ll show?” Haldane asked.
“Yup. Can’t afford not to after that show we put on.” Brogan replied.
“Well, if you’re right, we’d better get moving. Just be careful out there. I don’t want to have to be the one to tell Sally you got yourself killed.”
“I don’t want to be the one to tell Castle you tried to be a hero.”
“Whadda ya mean tried?” Haldane retorted with a smirk.
With that, the pair slid out of the cruiser, keeping to the shadows until they were further from the vehicle’s hiding place.
Haldane walked out onto the wharf. He was hunched slightly and stared around warily, as if afraid he was being followed. He reached the halfway point and paused, leaning on a rusted railing.
Brogan waited a couple of minutes and then followed, striding towards the edge of the wharf.
He was five steps from Haldane when there was a sudden whoosh from somewhere above.
Brogan looked up quickly. It was the black sports hopper he’d seen at the Hudson Heights complex the previous week.
The vehicle dropped lower until it was only a few metres above the wharf.
The driver’s hatch opened and a figure clad in black leaned out into the night. A gun materialized in the gloved hand as if from nowhere and flicked towards Brogan like a striking snake.
But Haldane was faster on the draw and in an instant he fired a burst of stun shots directly at the masked individual.
The figure dropped the gun and pitched forward, already unconscious.
The hopper bucked crazily, out of control. It rolled over with a roar from its port thrusters and then dove into the shallow waters below.
The two Demeter Cops dove off the edge of the wharf and swam to the open hatchway, managing to haul the lone occupant free.
Brogan pulled off the mask. As they had expected, it was Hobbs.
“You know something, Brogan?” Haldane panted as they reached the water’s edge once more, “I think he’s sunk!”
Brogan couldn’t help but laugh, “Oh, I love this job!”