“Bruno, let me get this straight. You’ve been an Interpol chief detective for 15 years, an investigator for 10 years before that, and still you escorted a bogus lawyer into a district holding facility with an unidentified minor accompanying you. Then the pair of them overtook you and the jailer to spring an accused AI criminal. Oh, and they managed to wipe clean all the video telemetry. And the only thing you can say is, ‘Oops!’?"
Grinding his teeth in aggravation, Bruno protested. "Sir, let me go on record that I didn't say ‘Oops’. What I said was they got the drop on me, injected me with a strong sedative, and used my trench coat and hat to disguise the prisoner. Then they retraced our steps with my ID to get out. Let me point out that the jailer was also subdued. Doesn't that suggest this escape was well orchestrated?"
Chief Inspector Petit offered, "Is that how you want to play it? The jailer wouldn't know that you are friends of the family, but we do. If I open an inquiry, you will be suspended until your name is cleared. Is that what you want?"
Bruno snorted, "They already have my badge, so what am I going to surrender to you, an IOU?"
Petit clucked his tongue in annoyance. "As it turns out our department intercepted and consequently opened a package addressed to you this week."
The chief inspector pitched Bruno his badge. Then he pushed the package over so Bruno could see his beloved hat, along with the pinched trench coat. Smirking, Petit stated, "These are about the tidiest bandits I've ever seen. There is even a note of apologies to you for the subterfuge. I like the nice extra touches of the misspelled words to make us think they are illiterate criminals who felt bad about taking your stuff."
Without saying a word, Bruno gathered up his treasured fedora and checked it over with satisfaction before putting it on. He innocently asked, "Would you like me to start hunting for them?"
Petit barked, "No, I just want you out of my sight!"
Before Bruno could get out of the office, Petit admonished, "If anyone asks about this incident, you are to use the same stupidly naive routine to make people think you are hopelessly incompetent. Got it?"
"What routine would that be, sir?"
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