The Most Crazy [Altra Mextli, pt. IV]


People have already begun scrambling out and in the left corner of her eye she can see a flake of motion moving against the reminder of the exit-bound tide. She sprints past four rows and follows it but at the end of the corridor she’s in now The Most Crazy One is already making a right and ducking away. As long as her colleague does not show up, there is no way to corner him…. So Officer Calderon decides to troop along this end of the aisles, which he will have to come through if he intends to leave the building. 

12 minutes later, without the arrival of the back-up officers the two of them make the arrest by using a classical pincer technique, which the Kingpin from Hell cannot escape. There was the fear that one of his heavily armed militia against which local police stood no chance, would show up to free their leader in a confrontation of massive bloodshed but thus far nothing had been reported. The national police chief her very self ordered them to take the Professor to the closest precinct and just try to by all means hold the position, no matter what, that the next prison escort helicopter and military gunships would be dispatched there at once and Nazario Gallardo be picked up for transfer to the capital’s maximum security prison facility. She then went on to declaim rather lengthily that they would be made national heroes, Officer Calderon and Officer LaPaz, decorated with all sorts of police honors, as well as promoted an undisclosed number of ranks.

Her colleague keeps repeating

–       I can’t believe this, can you believe this? I can’t believe this.

As they stand not very far from the simple, austere prison cell in which they are to hold The Most Crazy One for the next 56 minutes precisely. More than two dozen of their fellow officers are wheeling and milling about that floor of the precinct, each of them a human swamp thing given the temperatures, each of them either beaming or glowering at the two of them, depending on which cartel theory they believe in: Cyclops or hydra. Officer Calderon is afraid that neither applies.

Already it is time to go up on the roof to the heliport, which takes a while because the shackles have also been applied to the ankles of Professor Gallardo. The officer who had to apply them, insisted that he be allowed to wear a mask while doing so and one of the young police academy graduates scrambled out into town to get one.

From the rooftop one can see the line of mountains in the south, wavering in the heat. Outside of the city, the landscape quickly devolves into the flat, brown frying pan of the highlands in summer with the next two big cities in sight as ugly smears close to the horizon and some residual shimmer of ocean visible in the west. Next comes a low whir and four sharp black dots appear in the sky. The whir steadily increases and becomes a deafening drone as the dots descend from the sky to become a massive transport copter and three gunships that hover over the city in standby, causing a roar that seems likely to wipe out the entire 3-million-souls settlement. The Most Crazy One holds onto his hat and sticks his head into the rotor-fabricated wind, seeming to seek refreshment and utterly delighted by the display of concern/anxiety for his person.

Sitting in the chopper, Prof. Nazario Gallardo and Officer Calderon exchange a few brief words

–       You and I, we are almost the same.

–       Bullshit Professor. I don’t sever heads for a living, I serve justice.


About tmabona

writer, reader [bolano, DW, bellow, deLillo], runner, badmintoneer
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