© by Elsa
“Take a seat,” Dobey gestured, inviting Starsky and Hutch into his office. “You boys are done with that smuggling case?”
“Wrapping up the paper work,” Hutch nodded.
“And there’s a LOT of paper work,” Starsky added with a deep sigh. He wiggled his fingers. “I’m having typohermia.”
“Starsky…” Hutch flashed his partner a look, catching Dobey’s impatient eyes.
“What? If hypothermia exists, then why not typohermia? Huh? Sore fingers? Callus on my fingertips?”
“Starsk…” the blond tried again.
“I’m not cut out for that kind of work. I’ve got a delicate, sensitive skin and…”
“STARSKY!” Dobey’s bellow cut short whatever Starsky was going to say. Aggrieved, the dark haired man pressed his lips together. He muttered something but when Dobey shoved a photo over his desk towards them, instantly focussed on the job at hand.
“This is Steve Marriott. He was a witness to a triple homicide, during which he was gravely injured, but he survived. After his release he was shot when he left his apartment, in broad daylight.”
Hutch whistled. “By…? The assassin of the triple homicide?”
“Yes, at least – that’s what we think and what’s logical,” Dobey said. “Three men dead – and one alive, who saw it all happen. That would be a hell of witness, right?”
“Marriott was shot,” Starsky reminded Dobey to make him continue. The captain nodded.
“The man’s got a guardian angel. The bullet hit him a little above the eye and got stuck before it could kill him. It was removed, and even though Marriott balanced on the edge for a long time, he pulled through.
We need Marriott’s testimony, cos we’re pretty much in the dark about the who and they why. He’s seen it happen, he knows who were there.”
“I sense a ‘but’ coming…” Starsky said softly.
“A big ‘but’,” Dobey agreed. “Marriott doesn’t remember. At least, that’s what he says. And it’s very difficult to prove otherwise.”
“What do you mean by ‘he doesn’t remember’?”
“He’s suffering from amnesia.”
“Oh right. Another amnesia victim.” Sarcasm dripped from Hutch’s words.
“This is apparently the real thing,” Dobey said, shaking his head. “He hardly remembers anything. Didn’t know his name when he woke up, didn’t know anything about his family, his job, his background… and of course he doesn’t remember the homicide.” The captain paused and then added slowly, “That’s what he wants us to believe, anyway.”
“You’re doubting that?”
“The man’s crawled through the eye of the needle twice, Starsky. Is it too far fetched to think he’s faking it all? Trying to avoid having to testify in court? Making the assassins still at large believe that he’s harmless?”
“I see your point,” Starsky agreed.
“So where do we come in?” Hutch asked. “You want us to find out how much he does remember? If he’s faking or not?”
“Yes, although that’s not the main issue here. I want you to protect him while the murderer is still walking around. I’ve got a team on it, and we’re following leads and tips we’ve been able to gather so far. We’ll crack the case but I don’t know when. In the mean time, Marriott’s life is in danger, and I want you two to watch him around the clock. The hospital has signed his release papers and you’re to pick him up tomorrow morning.”
“Yum... Babysitting.” Starsky made a face.
“Starsky...” Dobey raised his voice warningly. “You’re going to protect this man and make sure he’ll live to see old age. Be his guard twenty four hours per day. Get friendly with him. Get him to agree to testify. Do whatever you can to see through this amnesia, fake or true. Assure him he’s going to be safe.”
Starsky was familiar with the tone. He knew his captain knew too that his men took their jobs seriously. “Sure. Will do. I’ll smooch up with him until he thinks I’m gay. Will that do?”
“If that’s what it takes, don’t let me stop you,” Dobey remarked wryly. He pushed a manila folder over the table top and Hutch picked it up and looked inside. Blue eyes quickly looked for the most important facts.
“Hey…” he said, tapping his finger on the paper, “the guy’s a cop!”
“Yes.” Dobey’s voice was grim. “And that’s exactly why I need two trusted cops to do this. If this is a inside job, we’ve got to be extra careful.”
Starsky’s eyebrows shot up. “You think it’s an inside job?”
“I’m not saying that. But not many people knew he’d survived the first attack and they knew where he lived. He’d only moved to Bay City recently – he was going to work at the 8th precinct. Take the folder with you, Hutchinson. Be careful with it.” Dobey stood up and calmly walked around his table to the window. Outside the world was a bit gloomy and rainy. Little drops ran rivulets on the windows.
“Take good care of him, Hutch, Starsky. His record’s been an impressive one so far. It’s a shame to see a good man go down like this.”
On to part two ->