VIP19 mins 892 19 mins 892
"Okay! Listen up! It’s a rainy day and we have loads of work to do, because traffic is going to be killer!" shouted Chief Inspector / Superintendent of Traffic control Enrique Morales.
"As always, I have the names of the officers and the places/ stations where you will be going, any questions?"
"Keep it to yourself! This isn't a grocery store!"
As he read out, everyone in the room eagerly waited to know, who would be stationed at the Trident! In the traffic control room better known as Devil’s Trident.
It was a tri junction, with the sea lashing its waves on one side, it connected the north and south of the city; the new and developed to the old part of the city. The T that formed the other last part of the junction, was a route to get out of the city; a road connecting to the highway. So, in a way, the traffic not only included the regular travelers but also people looking for weekend getaways, causing major traffic jams for hours and add to that, the heavy rainfall. All in all a nightmare!
And as Enrique shouted, "Up next, the Trident! The Trident goes to ……. Nash Ramly!" Partnering him will be Robert Luis.
Everyone had a look of relief as well as surprise, as many did not even know of Nash Ramly.
"Who is this guy?" whispered one warden to another.
"No idea! He’s a newbie of sorts, mostly keeps to himself, God knows where they found him from? Well he’s got Robert for company, one weirdo for another!" as they laughed.
"Hi Nash! Robert, we've been assigned the Trident."
"Oh Hello! How’s it going?" Nash questioned.
"Fine, till now, but I guess, it won‘t be any more as we have been assigned the devil‘s Trident. Lucky, for us it’s our third time together, shouldn’t be a problem coordinating."
"Yes, surely! Aware of each other‘s working style to some extent shouldn't be a problem."
As they travelled in the fleet which were to drop them at the Trident, Robert enquired about Nash, "So, Nash! You seem to fit to be a traffic warden, what were you in your previous services? You are like a warrior man. Look at you."
"Well, thank you! I was a …"
"Unit of Devil‘s Trident! We are here," shouted the driver interrupting Nash.
Both of them got off on the busy junction and met up with the team they were going to replace. Details were explained, documents handed over.
"Lastly, you boys may want to be a bit EXTRA alert now, we have the V.I.P driving through with his convoy, they have mentioned that would be updating the traffic control. Well, we have them on one of the channels/frequencies of our walkie talkie, so shouldn't be a problem. Just secure a lane, let them go green. All else can wait," Roy briefed Robert and Nash.
"You look new? First time at the Devil’s Trident?" questioned Roy about Nash.
Nash replied affirmatively to which a concerned Roy said, "I guess it’s the mayor, so whatever happens, don’t look him in the eye or stare at his vehicle."
Nash did not react but Robert looked in awe about what he had just heard.
"Hey! It‘s a joke to spook you man! Take it easy. No, but on a serious note, let them pass, the guy is ….is …..is….dangerous. Stay away! As they say, better not be marked in the web of Mark Webster.
Anyway, Where you from?"
Nash replied, "Well! I was in …’‘ but was interrupted by a warden calling Roy "Sir, your transport is ready."
Roy said, "Oh boy! Out of time are we? Never mind, I‘ll catch you boys later." Take care and good day! Don’t worry if the traffic won‘t kill you, the damn air will. He walked off laughing.
Robert and Nash, got in position and were in their stations.
An hour had passed, traffic was getting worse but they managed it and Robert coughed up a few times and said, "God! Roy was right, if the traffic won‘t kill you, the damn air will."
Nash smiled and replied, "True! But then I've had and seen worse."
Robert laughed and joked, "So, Did you like to breathe down an exhaust pipe of a car?"
Nash smiled again and said, "Well, yeah! Something like that."
Robert got inquisitive and questioned, "Oh yeah! We could not complete our chat earlier, you were saying something about yourself."
Nash replied, "Yes, we never did complete, Well! I was in ….," before Nash could complete, the walkie talkie and wireless announced.
"Unit or units at the station of the Trident, Respond!"
"Unit or units at the station of the Trident, Respond!"
Nash was closer to the device, responded, "This is Nash Ramly from the Unit 527, accompanied by Robert Luis, we are at the station. Go ahead!"
The voice at the other end of the device stated, "OK! Unit 0210, you have a convoy of 5 cars having the V.I.P moving in your direction within the next 10 mins, travelling from north to south, give them a go. Take manual control of the signals and give them a green. Are we clear?"
Nash responded, "Yes ma'am, we are clear."
"Good, get going!"
Nash kept the receiver and addressed Robert, "Game time! They are moving in our direction, 10 mins."
Robert replied, "Okie dokie! Take manual control of the signals."
Meanwhile, a voice on the walkie talkie said, "This is a guard from the convoy, as you might have been informed the V.I.P is on his way, kindly confirm and do the necessary."
As Nash took manual controls of the system and signals, and as traffic halted, Nash saw within some distance, far out an ambulance with the siren and a red beacon trying to make way, while it had limited space to move as the signal was red and cars ahead didn't move as there was no space. Nash told Robert, "That ambulance has started the siren, I guess it‘s an emergency."
The voice on the walkie talkie, repeated the message and asked for confirmation.
Robert blankly looked at Nash and said, "Well! They’ll have to wait as the VIP is going to pass right now."
The voice on the walkie talkie, repeated the message and asked for confirmation, "Do you confirm? Who is in command?"
Nash paused for a few moments and replied, "Not today."
Robert surprised over the answer and said, "Wait! What? Are you nuts! If Roy is right and he is the mayor, the most powerful man in the city, you are going to get fried buddy! It‘s like they say around here. Better not be marked in the web of Mark Webster."
Nash nodded and replied, "I'm sorry! I can’t, I can‘t just standby while someone‘s life is at stake and haven‘t you ever heard of the saying 'You ram into Nash, you turn to Ash!'"
Robert, with his eyes wide open and totally surprised replied, "No! No! I’ve never heard of that saying and where do they say that line, in your village?"
Robert rebelliously replied, "Hey! Look this isn't the time to play Commissioner Gordon, Ok! I don't know where you come from, but out here you don’t mess with people like Mark Webster! Oh my God! I’m going down as well, we both are in this together."
"Look you can pin this on me, say I was in-charge and didn’t listen, OK! Now, let me do my job." Replied Nash as he took up the device to notify the convoy and the control room.
"This is Nash Ramly in-charge of the unit 0210, I would like to state an emergency, I have an ambulance on approach, I am halting and going RED for the convoy and GREEN for the ambulance."
After a brief pause, the lady on the other end of the device replied, "What? Can you repeat please?"
Nash repeated sternly this time, "I'm holding the convoy, letting the ambulance pass."
He wired the convoy, stating, "Convoy, you are RED, kindly wait, as we have an emergency to attend."
Convoy in a surprised voice, "Are you asking us to wait?"
Nash replied, "Correct, kindly wait for further instructions"
Convoy inquired, "What seems to be the emergency?"
Nash asked Robert to coordinate the traffic and make way for the ambulance, while he stayed interacting with the convoy.
"There is an ambulance on approach from the other end, we are letting it pass and hence, asked you to wait."
The convoy angrily, "Do you know, whom you are asking to wait?"
Nash replied, "No! But I do know that I can‘t make an ambulance with a patient in it wait, so please be patient."
Convoy angrily shouting, "This is rubbish, absolute nonsense, who are you and what is your rank?"
Nash, "At the moment that is not really important."
As the ambulance left, a young man inside waved at Robert and Nash in appreciation.
The convoy was then asked to leave, but was in no mood to leave without getting its revenge. It drove to the post/station that the unit were stationed at. 4 guards dressed in all black and sunglasses step out and walk over to the station where Nash was standing, Robert was still clearing up and navigating his way through the traffic.
After everything looked good, Mark Webster stepped out and walked up to Nash, "You got some nerve, stopping me and making me wait."
Nash responded, "Nerves of steel, they say, also I believe you didn't die when you waited but I believe the patient in the van would have died, if we would have made him wait."
Guard 1 – "You better mind what comes out of your mind or I‘ll knock it back down your throat with your teeth."
Nash – "Make sure, you try to do that with the arm you use, since, you won’t be able to use it after your try it."
Robert couldn’t and didn’t get a clear view of the face off at the station, since there were cars passing by, as much as he hated to admit it. He knew Nash was right and did the right thing, but now he was in really big trouble as the V.I.P turned out to be the dreaded monster Mark Webster.
As he waded through the traffic and returned to the post, he was surprised and watched in amazement, the four guards on the floor and Nash handcuffing Mark.
Robert – "What the …..
Nash interrupted – "Call it in! Tell them we need back up, 5 arrests have been made and we need a vehicle to transport them to jail."
Robert – "What happened? What did you do?"
Nash – "Don‘t you remember, you ram into Nash, turn to Ash! Now don’t just stand there, cuff all of them and if we don‘t have handcuffs, tie them up."
Mark – "What are you taking us in for? Huh? "
Nash – Twisting Marks arm and slamming him on the bonnet of 1 of the cars, "Well, for starters 1. Assault on a police officer. 2. Resisting arrest 3. Causing obstruction to carry out an officer’s duty. 4. Disrupting normal public life.
Mark – "You will regret this, probably have no idea who I am."
Nash – "Considering the charges against you, got an idea that you are pretty stupid. I let them hit me and hit me 1st, evidence my friend, evidence."
Mark – "Let‘s see, where it takes you, you are finished, destroyed, my friend! You have just been marked by……..aaahh!"
Nash – "I'm sorry I didn’t hear that," as Nash punched Mark in the gut before he could complete.
As the transport arrived to ferry the suspects to the police station, the driver asked Robert, So, who got arrested?"
Robert – "Mark Webster"
Driver – "Hahaha! Funny how people have the exact same name, imagine, if it really were him, the mayor!"
Robert – "Actually, you don‘t need to imagine, it is him- The Mark Webster, The mayor."
The driver was left in awe on the sight he saw and had to be brought out of the shock. The same shock waves were sent over the radio, when the control room was updated on the arrest.
As the vehicle moved into the police station, the entire police station froze on what they had been seeing. Mark Webster, the mayor, going to be locked up! News was out and spread like wild fire.
Media had a field day with it. Cameramen, reporters, vans and a furious Mark Webster, seemed like a topic for the entire week.
As he and his bodyguards were brought into the police station, a furious Mark announced, "Anybody, who participated in this sham of an arrest, can start counting the number of days for their end of service as these two would come to know."
Enrique Morales, stepped out of his office, rather annoyed with all the commotion, "What the hell is happening here?" On seeing Mark in cuffs, he joked, "Well, mayor, seems like you have your hands full? You see, the thing is you came in here, handcuffed in the back of a police van. I can’t just let you go, you’ll have to get it done legally, LOCK THEM UP!" he shouted and moved back in his office, pointing Nash and Robert to come with him.
As he took a seat and spoke, "Are you two high on something? You bring in the mayor like some common criminal and parade him through the streets, your episode is all over the news, net everything."
Nash, cool and calm as ever replied, "Sir, I would like to take responsibility, I was the lead in this, Robert was just following orders, as I see it, assaulting an officer on duty – 3 years, resisting arrest – 6 months, Causing obstruction to carry out an officer’s duty – 3 years, disrupting normal public life – 6 months, I see 7 years sir! Also, like you said, the episode is on TV, news, net, everywhere; we do not even have to submit proof."
Enrique – "You have it all figured out, don‘t you? I hope you do find a lawyer to go up against the mayor of the city. He‘ll come after you, your family, your neighbour, your pet, anything and everything. He‘ll even dig the graves of anyone you know and make it disappear. The guy got away with a hit and run case, you know why, because even the stray dogs in the area that night disappeared let alone the witnesses. Trust me! I know….. but I also like you to know, that I’m proud you stepped up to him, nobody is above the law. Time this city knew about it. Besides, I never got your details, your damn file was as fat as the Lord of the Rings novel, didn’t get time to read it."
Nash – "Well, Sir, I‘m a ……" before Nash could complete, Enrique’s phone rang. Gesturing him to stop, Enrique answered, "Yes Sir, I understand, but…… I don’t think we should be doing this sir, stranding one of own? I don’t think it’s a wise idea, Right! Ok!"
Enrique hung up and said, "I'm sorry, Nash, you have been suspended, apparently, this is from the top the governor. They want you to become a civilian, hence easy to target you."
Nash – "It’s OK! Do what you have to do, sir, I’m no stranger for suspension." This has blown out of propositions, so disappearing is not something he can afford to do as I‘ll be having news channel hovering around me 24*7, a man like has lived and grifted his way to the top, and would have dirty, dark secrets."
It was no secret that within hours, Mark would be out, but the fact that he would obviously try to get even, was what everyone was thinking about. Also, on everybody’s mind was the question, who were these brave men who stood up to Mark Webster.
Nash had pressed charges and needed a lawyer, but no lawyer wanted to touch his case.The court had decided the dates, and Nash desperately needed a lawyer. By the end of it, Nash had lost hope and decided to fight his case, himself. Being suspended has its own merits, it means Nash had a lot of time, lots of time to study law. While doing his late night study and grasped as much as he could, he also investigated further details about illegal land deals, extortion, murder against Mark. Late in the night when the cameras and the news crew was off his back. There was a knock on the door, He thought it would have been one of the news crew. However, he looked through the peephole to find a thin and frail young man. Though he didn't have his service revolver with him, he had an unlicensed piece with him.
As he opened the door, he looked at the young thin gentleman and thought where had he seen him?
"Hi! Can I come in please, before you wake the neighbours and the media up," he said smiling.
Nash let him in, still thinking where he had seen him, at the lawyers, a part of the media or was he part of the Mark Webster brigade.
The young man then introduced himself as, "I‘m Douglas, Douglas Lockbee, you can call me Doug!"
Nash, still thinking of where he had seen him, replied, "Ok! Doug! Who are you, what are you doing here and why are you here?"
As he walked around, Doug noticed the various books on law and being quite impressed said, "I see you are getting ready to fight your case, how good are you? What are your chances?"
Nash – "how good I am, I just started and frankly my chances are as good as…..say …. I guess dinosaurs can walk the earth again than me winning it."
Doug - "Oh then! I am your guardian angel of sorts! You need a lawyer, I am one, I just finished my degree in Law, but yeah, I will take your case."
Nash – "And why are you going to do it?"
Doug – "Ok! I’ll skip the suspense now, so, I‘m a lawyer, but as an associate I’ll have Edward Lockbee with me, my father. The man whose life you saved when you let that ambulance pass instead of the convoy. After that I got to know over the news, that no lawyer would touch your case, I wanted to help but dad’s health had kept me occupied. But now that he’s well, he wants to wear that coat and get into that court for his one last case. Yours!"
Nash – "Wow! That is great news, I believe because of his health, he asked you to take it up and become your associate rather than vice-versa?! But your fee?"
Doug – "Mr. Nash, you have already paid it. You gave a man his life, a son his father and a woman her husband, I guess you've paid more than you can imagine." As he replied with a smile and tears in his eyes. "Dad would want you to come over and meet him for the rest of the proceedings. Also, getting a team ready to put him down if necessary."
As they shook hands and acknowledged each other, Mark Webster had a team of lawyers not only for the charges against him to be dropped but also to bring Nash down terming it 'illegal and excessive use of force' also the fact that he put the life of a civil and prominent servants life at risk.
A stranger walked into the police station and asked for Nash Ramly. After a brief silence, someone said, "That guy, pissed on the wrong tree, he‘s doomed, finished. For starters he’s suspended among the other things that are about to hit him." As they started to get back to work.
The stranger smiled and replied, "I think you got it wrong! It‘s the other way round, You ram into Nash, you turn to ash! They probably are not aware of Nash the Ram!" After saying the line, the stranger starting walking away.
But these lines alarmed Robert and very curiously followed the stranger out of the police station and shouted out, "Hey! What did you say? What did you say about Nash?"
The stranger replied, "Yeah! Nash and me were in the Army, we were Rangers, the guy was a tough as a tank and yet agile as a fighter plane. That’s why we had a saying You ram into Nash you turn to ash!"
Robert – "Nash, was in the army?"
Stranger – "Yes sir! A decorated soldier only to be stripped off it later. Then he disappeared, covered his tracks well, but then guys like him are in the news for the right reasons with the wrong people."
Robert – "Decorated and then stripped off? How? Why?"
Stranger – "Go ask him, he’s your partner."
Robert stood there in surprise, thinking was Nash just a guy a maniac who used to love stirring up a storm or was he the person who would always stand up for justice and what’s right!
In the wee hours of the morning, Nash visited the Lockbees, coughing and still recovering, Edward reaffirmed Nash that he was happy to help and the fact that he did the right thing not because he was in the ambulance but because it was indeed the right thing to do.
"Son! When you do the right thing, then you have God on your side and that makes you dangerous, because God is with the righteous!"
Nash acknowledged and they started discussing the case.
The date arrived and as everyone took their seat, among the members present was Robert. He nodded in acknowledgement and waved at Nash, showing how he appreciated him to stand up for what’s right and that he stood with him, though reluctantly at first, when it mattered.
As the announcement was made-
"All rise for the honorable Judge!" And as everyone rose and sat again.
The judge inquired about any latecomers, before Doug could answer, a man in a wheelchair was being brought in and it was Edward Lockbee.
The judge and the defense attorneys were in shock and awe of the sight, the judge stood up and inquired, "Is that Edward Lockbee?"
To which Doug replied, "Yes, he's an associate consultant and will be addressing the case as well, because of his ill health he was not mentioned earlier but we asked for a case of special ….exemption because of his condition which was approved on the grounds of his health."
The judge while standing spoke, "As a token of respect, all rise for the honorable Edward Lockbee."
To everybody’s surprise, a judge saying this for a lawyer was something never seen in a courtroom. But they did.
As Edward was brought to the table, Mark Webster’s lawyers started to move out one after the other. A furious Mark, caught one of his lawyers by the elbow and inquired.
"I don’t believe you all are going to the washroom together."
Lawyer- "Listen, sir, look you can have your money back, OK! But then I’m not going against that man, he’s an anaconda! He doesn’t win cases, he ends careers. He is an institution in himself.’‘
Mark – "That old man? There! In a bloody wheelchair."
Lawyer – "Have you heard a word I’ve said? When was the last time you saw a judge, stand and ask the attendees to stand for a lawyer in the courtroom?" Do yourself a favour and accept the charges, cause the way I see it, there isn't going to be one lawyer in this city, who is going to go up against that guy in the wheelchair."
As Mark shouted and tried to pull his lawyers, the judge asks him to settle down and asks Doug to make the opening statement.
Doug – "Your honour, I would like to start by asking, who is a VIP? A man in an air-conditioned car with a convoy of bodyguards or a man on life support fighting for his life? Which vehicle with a siren and a red beacon is more important? One who was on a way to a ribbon cutting function or one whose life was being cut short? This case will be the defining moment and will lay the foundation of where our society will be heading. My client chose the latter, and if we punish him for that, then next time we would be burying and having blood on our hands. So as I stand here before you, I would like to ask the question, who is a VIP?”
Dedicated to all the hardworking, dedicated and honest armed personnel around the world.