"Maybe I'm Waiting for Your Mother" [Mr Martínez Sixteen]
A policia local vehicle crawled past. Martínez waved the hand holding his Ducados towards it. Just a bum smoking outside a closed business. Not casing anything. Not doing any harm. At the T a hundred yards further on, the cop car U-turned and crawled back. It stopped in front of Martínez. The cop in the shotgun seat wound down the window.
‘¿Que haces, coño?
‘I’m waiting for someone.’
The cop nodded, as if it was just the answer he’d been expecting.
‘Don’t wait too long, we’ll be back in half-an-hour, maybe less.’
Martínez watched the tail-lights until they were as small as two lit cigarettes.
He wondered who would come. Who they would send. Ten years was a long time at El Centro. It wouldn’t be anyone he knew. If they were just the duty spook it would be at least an hour, while they accessed the file and read it. If they could access it. The file would be in a vault. He doubted whether it had ever been digitised. The person on duty would put down their coffee and type in 'Escobar' followed by ‘There is no message’ into the CNI’s intranet and suddenly there’d be a protocol on the screen. The instructions would be clear. Go here. Get this file. Read. The first page would be enough. It would summarise the content. Under a tab marked ‘action’, it would tell them what to do. As long as it didn’t have written ‘with extreme prejudice’ anywhere, Martínez didn’t mind. They wouldn’t read the rest of it. They wouldn’t know who he used to be when he was The Deliverance Man – or who he was before that. And they wouldn’t care.
The protocol would tell them to come alone. That meant someone would have to be called in to man the desk. Someone whose turn it was to come in, in case of bereavement or sudden serious illness. Someone who wouldn’t be pleased, who would want to know the whys-and-wherefores and would be unhappy with the duty spook who wouldn’t give them. Martínez figured about an hour, before whoever had drawn the shortest of straws at El Centro arrived. So the cops would be back and he would have to deal with them.
Martínez was smoking his last Ducados when the patrol car returned. He’d seen them coming from a long way off. The cops had turned on the blue light, but left the siren off. They both got out of the car. Two guys around forty. One going to seed and one fighting it hard, though someone at his gym needed to give him a few more pointers. The guy with the paunch hitched up his trousers,
‘You are still waiting, Señor. I told you not to wait long.’
‘Yeah, he did tell you that, Cabron.’ The guy with the mirror-muscle body was chewing gum, most likely nicotine from the way he eyed Martínez’s cigarette.
‘Yeah, well, I’m still waiting. It’s complicated.’
Mirror muscles turned to his partner, ‘Nobody waits this long for a Puta.’
‘Who says I’m waiting for a prostitute, Agente? Maybe I’m waiting for your mother.’
Muscles lunged forward, but the other cop put a hand on his arm. ‘Your chest camera is on, Luiz.’ Luiz looked down at the chest-cam as though he’d never seen it before.
‘You’ll have to come with us, Señor.’
Martínez was about to take the sensible cop out when the throaty roar of Rita’s Yamaha drowned out the next thing he was going to say. The bike pulled up, Rita kicked down the stand.
‘¿Joder, Chica, no puedes llegar a tiempo?’ Martínez winked at the brains of the outfit, ‘She is always late.’
Rita took her helmet off, got off the bike and kissed Martínez, hard.
Muscles’ jaw almost dropped low enough to obscure his chest-cam. The other Agente let out a whistle,
‘Some things are just worth waiting for, Hombre.’ He winked at Martínez, before hustling his partner back into the patrol car.