“Leave the package at the post office.”
Attorney Abad waited for someone to claim it. He had not seen Lefty in person and the face in the photo he remembered had a faded quality that it was impossible to detect if it was an original or a fake. It would be a bonus if he could talk to the man in private.
Unknown to him, the package was retrieved at the back door, surrendered by an accomplice who worked as a clerk. Lefty had his contacts way back; scare tactics held his informants tightly, to cooperate fully was their only option.
“He didn’t show up?” Don Ramon asked agitated, fearing he and the lawyer were hoodwinked. Perhaps, he had to say goodbye to the fifty thousand pesos downpayment he shelled out.
“The package is gone,” the lawyer added, “though the person I talked to intimated that Lefty always use this office as drop off point. He might not be a trickster after all.”
“You better be right,” Don Ramon warned, “or I’ll deduct the amount from your retainer.”
The lawyer sighed deeply, not only his commission a question mark but also his reputation was at stake.
– 0 –
Lefty was not a procrastinator. After he studied the footage carefully, one of the characters reminded him of an incident he witnessed two days ago. The teenager had a short talk with a beggar near an old church.
Of all his victims, the majority had traveled to the other dimension, his most favorite was alive, aging disgracefully among the gutter rats of society’s poor. His longevity made him a magnet for new bloods who idolized his capers in his prime.
That’s how Lefty identified criminals: observe the beggar and check out those who associated with him. More or less, they would not suspect that they were under scrutiny. The police force had no budget for long surveillance of a single character how useful he might be. He, on the other hand, had his resources given to him by people with special needs.
Don Ramon could be a future benefactor. The lawyer might have withheld the anonymous sponsor who contracted the job but Lefty was no amateur not to recognize the location where the CCTV footage was taken. That was something other people would not notice: his eye for details made him one of the best investigators there was.
Was was the operative word. The higher command in the law enforcement agency was too lame to assert their authority, lest they would be branded as protectors of vigilante cops. He was once the brightest; idealistic to the core, super strict to implement the law, an embarrassment with the worst human rights violations on record. The last of his attributes was the final straw to his fall from grace: he was dishonorably discharged, shamed not to wear the uniform ever again and became an outcast, in that order.
“I don’t need a badge,” he yelled at his superiors during his dismissal proceedings. “You’ll see why!”
A week had passed and the capital awoke to a sensational news. The most notorious pickpocket in the city was found dying in his lair, the gifted left hand missing, lopped off by an ax. The legend was no more.
Lefty did not seek credit for his accomplishment after he literally disarmed the perennial headache of the police. Everyone suspected that he did it but they would not touch him because he did them a great favor. He was now considered the invisible left arm of the law.
The teenager was the weakest link, he theorized, getting back to his assignment. Obviously, trailing the suspect to the group’s lair needed time and patience. Once found, he could finish the job with one go. A simple arson would do the trick.
He could not be considered a pro if he did not prepare backups. Once he identified the suspects’ routines, he’d create a final solution for each.
To catch a criminal was to think like a criminal. For him, acting like one to punish them was the secret of his success.
Yes, he was evil to many. But the majority of the good and innocent people needed him to live freely in peace. They might be against his methods but he could not care less.
He readied himself for a long day: thieves outnumbered him.
(to be continued)