The Enemy (part three)

Digital drawing of woman in billed cap and scarf




The Enemy
(part three)



Weapon of choice, was Palma’s thought. What is small and quick?

A plummet, on the other hand, had virtues, quickness among them. The engineering of a plummet might be small…a distraction, a taped switch forcing an alarm to sound, a slippery floor. She saw the court building’s double staircase, its seating that circled a great trough of croton—

“You don’t like guns,” Sulya said.

“I’m weighing the help we’ll get. I don’t think smuggling guns will impress them. It insults their security. Besides, Jocelyn’s fat. A bullet or a knife wound may not carry home.”

“The stairs aren’t that high.”

“No. But the drop will knock him out. He can be hospitalized, and something in a syringe finish him.”

“Fishy, though, to the public eye.”

“The Anton story is tidy, true. Crazy man kills, crazy man gets killed.”

“How is Jocelyn walking along that hall? Isn’t he under guard in the jail suite, dungeon level?”

“He might be asked to have a private talk with one of the judges.”


“Well, the basement goes at least two floors down, and the jail area isn’t the lowest. I like Jocelyn laid out among the gaudy leaves, but I’m not married to it.”

“The elevator? Does a cable snap? How would we ever rig it?”

“No, we’ll fake the summons, simple as that. Not simple, but doable. A time when Jocelyn isn’t with a full team of security, when he’s in the shower, maybe. Someone who looks official and ranking arrives. And that…you can note this down…is our first piece of information Anton might be good for. Do Jocelyn’s guards hate him? Is it possible one or more support him?”

“Anton isn’t a great socializer.”

“But he should be awkward at this, wonderfully resentful, as we know he is. Move too abruptly on someone he never speaks to, ask over-bluntly, do you love Jocelyn? Doesn’t he always put it that way?”

“Ah,” said Sulya. “A Jocelynist would take alarm. No one else would go past, ‘sod off, Anton.’ So we flush our quail. That doesn’t get you Jocelyn pitching down an elevator shaft.”

“It suggests a role for Herward. He is an official.”

“Throw our teammate under the bus?”

“No. Give him heads-up to produce his alibi. He denies he has anything to do with it. They check, and it seems apparent. But Herward will know what ID the forger needs, his jargon, his code-phrases, if any. You see my point.”

“The ruse draws off the troublesome guard. The other will accept a wink. We’ve got Jocelyn under the control of…who, Palma?”

There we need a role-playing exercise. I could do it, pop out of the shadows…you could do it, but I wonder if either of us is strong enough to shift that weight? We’ve got to be certain of our logistics, whether there isn’t some elegant answer.”

“A martial arts, back-of-the-knee trick.”






The Enemy

Virtual cover for novel TourmalineThe Enemy (part one)
















(2022, Stephanie Foster)