* * *
He returned to the subway car in a happier disposition, with a warmer heart, but his revived spirits did not last. The forensic pathologist was crouched above the body with another crime scene officer hovering over him. It was he who asked the detective if he had seen the powder on the victim's face. He had not. He explained how he hadn't wanted to get too close to the stiff before they had their way with him. It was the pathologist's judgement that the powder was Scopolamine, also known as 'Devil's Breath' and ordinarily used in small quantities as a preventative of travel sickness but in larger volumes it was the most deadly poison on the planet.
"Do you think the train ride had made him a bit nauseous, doc, and as he went to take some Scopolamine a jolt splashed it all over his face?" he asked, hoping he could write it up as a death caused by a natural jerk of a subway train.
"I can't be sure, officer. All I can say is that with that amount on his face he'd be dead within seconds, so where did he hide the means of administration? All we found was this empty cellular phone wallet lying under his knee. There's no phone on the body to go with it." He held out an evidence bag of contents from what now seemed a murder victim's pockets. The detective groaned uncontrollably as he took it, then on hearing that the post-mortem could be performed in the morning, when toxicology had reported, he sat alternating his brooding stare from the body to the spread-out possessions in front of him.
He picked up the wallet. Isaac Johnson, 2358 Bay Avenue, Pelham Bay. A cryptologist working at IBM in Union Square. There was money inside and the usual array of credit cards. Then came the loose stuff. Car keys, house keys, change, an expensive looking pen, but no notebook. Unless that was the target he wasn't the victim of a robbery. The only suspicious thing came down to the empty cellular phone wallet that he kept twiddling in his fingers. He checked his watch, a little before noon. He used his own cellular to call the transit police. When patrolman Frank Tuey came on the line he asked why Miss Chance was travelling to Pelham Bay. On receiving the answer that Tuey had never asked her that, he next called the Walker Hotel in Greenwich Village.
"No, I'm sorry, officer. We have no Miss Chance Goneabegging staying here. Are you sure of the surname? Only it seems a little concocted, wouldn't you say?"
Detective Investigator first grade Peterson had wondered about that, yet in spite of his own curiosity he had relied on Officer Tuey to ask the relevant questions and authenticate her name, nationality and where in New York she was staying. Although all of that would have only taken a few telephone calls, he had sadly been overcome by her femininity.
"Sorry, Joe, I got carried away. Anyway, it's your case, not mine. I would have thought you would have done the questioning, but I'm seeing her tonight at her hotel for a drink. I'll ask her then if you like."
* * *
The Following Afternoon In Captain Jack Lemington's Office
"The post-mortem report states clearly that this a murder inquiry, Peterson. Poisoned by Devil's Breath. And the prime suspect is where? God knows where that's where. For all we know the broad could be on a train, a boat or plane and do not sing any song about that if you value your life. There was no third man with a dog. That took half an hour to discover by simple detective work. Peterson, you're now a traffic cop and lucky I don't ask for your badge. IBM do not have an office in Union Square and Isaac Johnson does not live in Pelham Bay. That took ten minutes to work out. It's my guess that the victim knew this Miss Chance Goneabegging and it was his phone she was after. You certainly let a chance go a begging." He looked at Peterson and shook his head in disappointment. "Your mother would be ashamed of you. What? You didn't know about her and me? Well, you do now. The file on this has been sent to the FBI. It includes your cock-ups. It's their case now, son. I can't help you from here on in. Pick a fast motorcycle in case they come after you. Yes, you heard right. I called you son, son."
* * *
That Evening In The Federal Office Building At 26 Federal Plaza on Foley Square, New York
"I have a photo and DNA match on that Isaac Johnson guy found on the subway this morning. According to the CIA he's a Russian army lieutenant, last seen leaving Kabul, September 1989. Here it says; aged twenty-seven which would make him fifty-four, which is precisely what it says on this autopsy report. It's him alright. I'll fax it through to Langley and give them the headache."
* * *
One Hour After The File Arrived At The CIA Headquarters
"That subway death in New York involving the Russian spymaster and the disappeared woman is kicking up a storm in the Director's office. It seems this Johnson guy, real name Kauli Kough, was caught up in a similar scam in Moscow two years ago and one in London, England seven months back. When we sent one of our agents to London he got confused between MI5 and a highway they have. He kept driving around and around the M25 waiting for someone to wave him down. He picked one guy up who he thought was his contact only to find out he wanted a ride to Birmingham. He thought he meant Birmingham, Alabama so he shot him for being stupid and dumped his body at a service station.
"Reports on both the Moscow and London incidents place Kough with a dame called Deva Station. She's with Mossad and would you believe listed as a friendly. The Director is on the phone to Tel Aviv now. Last I heard was- clear your mess off my doorstep, then he slammed the door closed and caught his little pinkie. Didn't you hear his screams? London went down the damage control route. The witness who saw Kough coughing into a handkerchief given to him by Deva Station is six feet below ground and the whole team of pathologists who worked the body are hiding in a snowdrift in Canada. The witness they popped off was a single guy but those lab people were all married. There's to be a government inquiry.
"The stiff in Moscow had the same powder on his face as on ours and the one in London. Apparently, the patrolman in Moscow was left to freeze to death, but they found a half-written note saying a dog had taken what he called a whatchamacallit. We'll never know what he saw and what the dog took. There was a dog split wide open found by the roadside about a mile from what we now know as the murder scene. He was Moscow's man posing as a fence painter but spying on Deva Station. He was due to meet his control, a police captain. Moscow Central thinks this Deva Station woman is a Columbian man, but they drink a lot of vodka over there and sometimes don't know the difference.
"Some parts of the intelligence community in London had a theory that she was French and thought she was spraying Chanel on everyone hoping to boost French exports; another part just want to go to war with Russia, or if there's no backing for that then they want to invade the Seychelles and occupy the islands for a couple of years whilst this all sorts itself out.
"When the Director took the call from Moscow I was still in his office and from what I could gather they want to go to Columbia and dig up all Borrachero trees we can find so that they can't make any more of the stuff. Said they want to plant them in Afghanistan and share the profits.
"The stolen phones are never likely to be recovered. All we can assume, according to our leader, is they held sensitive material and Deva Station killed Kauli Kough under Mossad's instructions. However, it turns out Israel wants Kauli Kough's body and to do away with the traffic cop. I heard he was worried about Christmas. We could bottle some Scopolamine and send it to him as an aftershave, or better still find Deva Station and send her."
* * *
There was a smudged tear on the fuel tank of traffic officer Peterson's motorbike as he wrote out his first speeding ticket on Christmas Eve morning. In the rear of the chauffeur driven car he had stopped, shielded by the blacked-out windows, sat the glamorous figure of Miss Deva Station aka Chance Goneabegging and Kat Astrophe, but the thought of his father being Jack Lemington was too much for Jack Peterson to care.
YOU ARE READING
The Deva Station And Kat Astrophe With a Chance Goneabegging By Daniel KempHumor
A comical story of one woman who by using three names either murders or has a hand in the demise of five people. There is a reason, but I've forgotten it now.