Omega Plague: Collapse

Omega Plague: Collapse by P.R. Principe Read Free Book Online

Book: Omega Plague: Collapse by P.R. Principe Read Free Book Online
Authors: P.R. Principe
cursed to himself. On a silent count of three, the lead officers
swung the ram, powering through the door with the sound of rending wood and
metal.
    The team poured into the apartment one behind the other,
shouting “Police! On the ground!” Bruno felt his partner’s hand on his shoulder
as they stomped into the apartment. Scenes of upturned tables and men with
hands in the air flashed into Bruno’s vision, but he focused on his own part of
the mission, heading to the right, down a short hallway, and through an open
door.
    “On the ground!” Bruno shouted as he saw the bald-headed man
standing in the middle of the tiny bedroom. The man wore jeans, but no shirt.
Bruno entered the room, focusing on the man, while his partner followed right
behind him. “On the ground!” Bruno repeated. “Face down, hands behind your
back!” The man dropped to one knee upon Bruno’s second command, but Bruno
noticed the man’s head flick to the right. The dingy room had a cot, table, and
lamp as furnishings, but nothing more. Bruno noticed the large tattoo on the back
of the man’s head as he moved to cuff him. But as Gianluca called “Clear!”
Bruno realized the room had not truly been cleared. He looked to the man’s
right, realizing that what looked like a solid wall actually had a knob in the
middle.
    “Cuff this one!” shouted Bruno. “We’re not clear!”
    Gianluca moved to the stocky bald man, snapping handcuffs on
one wrist, while Bruno transitioned to his sidearm to gain more
maneuverability. The closet was the folding-door kind, spanning almost the
entire length of the right wall. Pistol in his right hand, Bruno yanked the
knob and the door folded open like an accordion.
    Something in the closet rustled, Bruno saw movement, and the
crack of a pistol—Bruno’s own pistol—rang out. A figure from the shadows fell
forward through hanging clothes into the room, almost at Bruno’s feet,
twitching as soon as it hit the floor. Bruno had shot the man in the head.
    Before Bruno could say anything, something bashed him into
the wall. The impact knocked the breath out of his body. Stunned for a moment,
Bruno watched while Gianluca wrestled the partially handcuffed man to the
ground and Veri stormed into the room.
    “He came at me!” shouted Bruno. “I saw him!”
    The bald man, now beneath Gianluca, began to wail.
    “He—he came at me!” said Bruno. “Trying to grab my pistol!”
Then he turned to Gianluca. “You saw, didn’t you?” Bruno heard a tremor of fear
in his own voice, the sound of a schoolboy caught starting a fight.
    As more officers poured into the room Veri stared at Bruno,
but said nothing.
    ***
    Bruno spent the rest of the night at the Naples Provincial
Command Headquarters answering questions from the investigators and filling out
forms. The questions were as predictable as the forms. When they finally let
Bruno leave just before dawn, Bruno saw Veri on the steps outside of
Headquarters, cigarette in hand. The streets were empty.
    “I fucked up, I . . .” said Bruno, his voice trailing.
    Veri gazed at Bruno, then took a long drag before
responding. “That garbage made a grab for your weapon. I saw it.”
    “But Gianluca, he saw—”
    “Gianluca didn’t see anything. He was busy with the brother.
I was first in the room. I told them what I saw. And that’s that.”
    Bruno didn’t know what to say.
    “That guy you shot— that guy deserved exactly what he
got. Anyway, we found weapons hidden all over that place. Who knows if that
piece of trash had one stashed near him.” Veri paused, dropped his cigarette,
and snuffed it out. “Of course, under normal circumstances, you’d be suspended
until the investigation is concluded. But things are already starting to get
bollocksed up. They need every available officer right now. So, they’ve
suspended the investigation, pending discovery of additional evidence, which
I’m happy to say is bloody unlikely.”
    “Look, I don’t know

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