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Gag Order – Installment 2 – The Arrest

Monday morning and, outside the downtown corporate building, darting vehicles played stop and go with sneaky traffic lights. News vendors sold anything but newspapers. People in office wear lounged along sidewalks, as they puffed on cigarettes and acted cool. Corporate types, some holding over-priced trendy coffee, strode past, as ties flew over shoulders and heels marked perfect catwalk time. And a sea of zombies, eyes glued to their handhelds, emerged from the underground train station and dispersed just as quickly, like mossy ants.

In one of the corporate offices, high up among the clouds, two pairs of feet, wearing loafers, shot out and went down the carpeted passageway. Two more pairs of feet, in black leather shoes peeping out of deep blue trousers, followed in step.

Work stations populated both sides of the passage and office workers popped their heads up, like meerkats taking in the excitement. As the confident steps cut through the bullpen and approached a small office, radio static crackled and interspersed with metallic voices.

An office staffer, coming in the opposite direction, hurriedly stepped aside and stared as the police officers—two in civvies and two in uniform—breezed past her.

The senior police officer, a stout man in his late forties, knocked on the opened door.

‘May we?’

The occupant looked startled but squeaked, ‘Yes?’

The policemen entered Bastien Tee’s office. Only thirty-five, over the weekend he had aged twenty years and the dark rings around his eyes made the spectacle rims look thicker.

‘Bastien Tee?’

‘What do you want?’ asked Bastien, and his voice betrayed fear.

‘I’m Inspector Peter Hong, CID,’ said the sun-tanned man. Under his loose shirt which hung over baggy trousers was the tell-tale bulge of a gun holster. The inspector gestured to his younger colleague and said,

‘This is Sergeant Wahab.’

And both men flashed plastic-encased warrant cards. A small crowd of office workers had already gathered outside the glass panes of the office.

“Bastien Tee, you’re under arrest for the rape of Lavinia Ying,’ said Wahab. The people outside gasped.

Peter frowned and one of the uniformed officers pulled the door shut, while the other closed the blinds. Meanwhile, Wahab produced a pair of handcuffs and moved towards Bastien.

‘Rape? No!’ Bastien backed around his table, but in the tight room, he had nowhere to go but the glass wall next to the door.

‘Don’t do anything stupid now, please,’ said Peter.

‘I didn’t—’

Moving swiftly, Peter and Wahab grabbed their man and shoved him against the glass. Bastien’s face pressed flat and his quick breaths misted the glass.

*** Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2017 ***

*** Join me on Saturday 17 June for the continuation ***