Jordan rummaged through his bag. The Taser nightstick was right on top. Illegal in New York City, but Greyhound buses aren’t equipped with metal detectors. There was also the standard issue Seals knife. The other contents consisted of a small LED flashlight, toiletries, tightly rolled-up pants, shirts, underwear and socks, enough to get him by for a few days.
He made preparations, took a deep breath and retreated to the dining area, now full of chattering patrons. A couple of hard-faced waitresses in blue and white uniforms were working the tables. He kept going through the long narrow kitchen, past the cook and busboys. He knew there would be an exit in the back: deliveries in, garbage out. He turned the brass knob of a black door and pushed through, accompanied by a cloud of steam from the stoves and the heater exhaust. A hundred-watt bulb glowed above the door. The meager illumination, augmented by the street lamp and the headlights from taxis, was enough to reveal the man he was looking for. And who was looking for him. The goon wore a long overcoat and a narrow-brimmed pork pie hat. He was peering toward Eighth Avenue, but the snow was swirling and he couldn’t see much. When the door opened he turned toward Jordan with his hand in his pocket. Jordan aimed the Taser at his large pasty face.
The Taser shoots two thin metal probes attached to wires. The mechanism is accurate to fifteen feet. This was about half that distance. Jordan zapped the big man with fifty thousand volts of electric current directly to the forehead. The victim lost neuromuscular control and tumbled to the snow-covered sidewalk, unable to break his fall with his hands or arms. He hit with a loud thump as his hat rolled away. Jordan knelt beside him as if to give the downed person first aid. In the process, he reached in the man’s overcoat pocket, found a Stoeger 9 mm pistol with a silencer and crammed it into his windbreaker pocket. He also grabbed the pork pie, half-buried in a snowdrift. He looked up to see a circle of faces, passers-by leaning down to gawk. He got up, asked if there was a doctor among them, produced his cell, mimed dialing 911 and said he was going for help. By the time the heavy man struggled to consciousness, Jordan had melted into the night, the pork pie on his head.
Copyright © 2012 by Stefan Kanfer