“Where is the money?!” Agent Lawson yells impatiently after an hour of interrogating Tony “The Brains” Capainello in one of the sound booths in the Marlowe movie theater on 16th Ave. and 9th street. Tony, a former career criminal with the Viscelli crime family, sits across the cold steal table, hands shaking, fingers tapping against it, repetitively, somewhat uncontrollably as he advances in MS. Shaken down by the Feds after a 2 year investigation, Tony makes a plea bargain to save himself from dying in prison. He hands them over a list of names stretching from the limo driver to the big boss himself, Vito “Gold Knuckles” Viscelli. And now, the money is the only physical evidence needed to keep them locked up.
“I-It’s in da- da- movie theater.” Tony says, looking like a child caught red handed, pleading for forgiveness.
“I know. You’ve been saying this for the last hour. That’s why we’re here. My men have combed through this place. Combed! Do you hear me!” Lawson uncharacteristically breaks through his calm, “good cop” demeanor. He takes a sip of water from his glass.
“I’m sorry Mr. Capainello, but if you’re sending us on a wild goose chase...the deal is off.”
“N-no-no goose ch-ch-chase.” Tony says, fingers knocking the table harder. “I-I loved g-g-going to th-the theater to see Red October.”
“Yes, Mr. Capainello. You liked Red October. We have established that.”
Det. Lawson looks behind Capainello to the tinted window of the booth where Agent Timbrook listens in with his headphones.
“I can’t deal with this.” Lawson says to him, raising and dropping his arms in defeat.
Just then, Timbrook gets a call from another agent.
“We need backup! Get Lawson and get back up, now!!!”
Timbrook closes the phone as coolly as he opened it. As if he never received the message, he adjusts his headphones and continues to listen in on the interrogation.
Viscelli and his men, whose lives hang on the discovery of the money, rush into the movie theater, guns smoking, picking off the Feds one by one.
“Where is back up?!” One agent inquires right before he’s shot in the back of the head. Viscelli and his men completely over power them and rush into the theater through all entrances like an army of ants.
One of them takes out his cell phone.
“Where’s da money?!” He yells to the person on the other line.
Agent Timbrook responds calmly. “Just give me one more minute.”
“I-I-I loved th-th-that movie. H-Hunt for R-Red October. Red October.
Agent Lawson, neck tie opened, wiping sweat beads off his forehead, leans over to Capainello.
“Why do you keep talking about that movie?” He asks, noticing Capainello’s hand ticks become more vigorous with every second. He feels a bit uneasy when he realizes Capainello is staring straight through his eyes as if to tell him something. Capainello desperately moves his eyes down to his shaking hands and Agent Lawson does the same. Everything is silent in the room as his hands continue to knock against the table in a continuous sequence. The tapping sounds seem to echo against everything, the white walls, the steel furniture, Agent Lawson’s mind. Everything slowed down and then stopped when Lawson realized, ‘It’s Morse Code.’ He says to himself.
Lawson releases two of his shirt buttons and stares intently at Capainello’s hands while he tries to figure out the code in his mind.
‘D-o- n- o- t – D-r-i-n-k – W-a-t-e-r.’
“Do not drink water!” He says triumphantly. “Don’t drink the water?”
Agent Lawson, feeling faintish picks up the glass he drank water from and drops it as his limbs weaken. As it crashes to the floor sending glass shards everywhere, Agent Lawson crashes to the floor as well, head bouncing against the cold tiles.
Timbrook takes off his headphones and enters the room with slow, confident steps and his gun cocked.
“Hello Mr. Capainello. Enough of the good cop routine.” Timbrook points his gun with silencer dead in Capainello’s mouth.
“You don’t need to speak since you’re so good with Morse Code. Now, where‘s the money?”
Capainello starts nervously tapping a code on the table. He tries to swallow a ball of saliva which has welled up in his throat but he can’t, since Timbrook is pushing the gun further in his mouth. It seems to bring him pleasure having Capainello in this position.
“Hurry up old man!”
Capainello continues rapping the code.
“B-e-h-i-n-d-u. Behind you?” Timbrook spins his head around where his eyes meet up with the shaft of Agent Lawson’s 9mm. In a split second his brains are blown out all over Capainello’s face and half the sound room.
“Sorry about that.” Lawson says to Capainello breathing hard, stumbling.
Capainello immediately pushes the steel table away and lifts up two squares of tiles out of the floor.
“What are you doing?” Lawson asks feebly.
Like a teenaged football player, Capainello lifts two black knap sacks out of the ground. He places one on his back and the other on Lawson’s back.
“What the…” Lawson can’t believe his eyes as he watches Capainello buckle the bag across his chest with ease, then lift the gun with silencer away from Timbrook’s lifeless shell. He helps Lawson up and throwing his arm around his back, he assists him through the door and down a red carpeted hallway. Two of Viscelli’s men by the stairwell exit raise their guns at them, but Capainello shoots them with perfect precision.
Down the stairwell they limp, three flights to the street below. Capainello drags Det. Lawson two blocks away and drops him on the corner of 16th Ave. and 7th. He pulls the detective’s cell phone out, dials 911 and places it back in his hand. Lawson helplessly watches Capainello walk away, upright and strong. He turns around for a moment and says,
“I love good cops.”
As he says this, the movie theater blows up in the distance with the entire Viscelli mob.
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