‘We’re not looking for a crocodile. We’re looking for ten kilos of heroin, packed into a waterproof container,’ snapped Erika. John looked back at her and nodded.
She checked her watch. It was coming up to three thirty.
‘What’s that worth on the street, ten kilos?’ asked PC Barker, from his spot by the rudder.
‘Four million pounds.’
He whistled, ‘I take it, the container was dropped in deliberately?’
Erika nodded. ‘The guy we’ve got in custody was waiting for things to quieten down, before he came back for it…’
She didn’t add that they could only hold him in custody for another eight hours.
‘Did he really think he’d get it back? We’re an experienced dive team, and we’re going to find this a tough one to salvage,’ said Lorna.
‘With four million on the line, yes, I think he was going to come back for it,’ replied Erika. ‘We’re hoping to lift his prints off the plastic layers inside.’
‘Hang on. This could be something, kill the motor,’ said Lorna leaning closer into the tiny screen where a small shape glowed black amongst a swirl of purple hues. PC Barker switched off the outboard motor and the silence rang out, replaced by a swish of water as the boat slowed. He got up and joined her at the screen.
‘We’re scanning an area of four meters each side of the boat,’ said Lorna her small hand moving over a blob on the screen.
‘So the scale is correct,’ agreed Barker.
‘You think that’s it?’ asked Erika. Hope rising in her chest.
‘Could be,’ said Lorna. ‘Could be an old fridge. We won’t know for sure till we’re down there.’
‘Do you dive too?’ Erika asked her, trying to stay positive.
‘Yeah. We take it in turns. I was on a dive yesterday, and we have to have rest periods.’
‘Where were you yesterday?’ asked John.
‘Rotherhithe. We had to recover a body from the lake at the nature reserve. Suicide.’
‘Whoa. It must add a whole new level of freakiness, finding a body deep underwater?’
Lorna nodded, ‘I found him, stood up on the bottom. Ten feet down. I was searching in zero visibility and suddenly my hands close around a pair of ankles, and I feel up, and there’s the legs.’
‘Jeepers. Stood up, underwater?’ Said John.
‘It does happen, something to do with the composition of the gas in the body and the progress of decay.’
‘It must be fascinating. I’ve only been in the force for a couple of years, this is my first time with a dive team,’ said John.
‘We find tons of weird shit. The worst is when you find a bag of puppies,’ said PC Barker.
‘Bastards. I’ve been a copper for twenty-five years, and I still learn something new everyday about how sick people can be,’ said Erika
They turned to her for a moment, mentally working out how old she was.
‘So, what about this anomaly? How quick can you get down there and bring it up?’ asked Erika indicating the screen.
‘I think we’ll mark it up with a buoy, and take another pass on it,’ replied Lorna, moving to the side of the boat and preparing a small orange marker buoy with a weighted line. She dropped the weight over the edge, and it quickly vanished into the deep, dark water, the line following, rapidly spooling over the edge. They left the marker floating as PC Barker fired up the outboard motor, and they moved off across the water.
* * *
An hour later they had covered the surface of the quarry, and identified three possible anomalies. Erika and John had come ashore to warm up. The late October day was now fading fast as they huddled outside the dive lorry with Styrofoam cups of tea. On the bank, Lorna held one end of a weighted down rope, leading along the bed of the quarry toward the first marker buoy where an officer sat in the boat, holding the other end. Two divers were down on the bottom, searching along the line toward each other. Erika could hear the tinny sound of their voices as they communicated through the radios in their diving masks with the comms team by the shore.
Erika took a deep inhale on her e-cigarette, the LED light at the end glowing red, she exhaled a puff of white vapour.
It was three months since she’d been transferred to Bromley South Station, and she was still trying to find her place and fit in with her new team. It was only a few miles from her old borough of Lewisham in South London, but she was becoming used to the vast difference a few miles can make between the outskirts of London and the edge of the county of Kent. She looked over at McGorry who was twenty yards away, talking on his phone. It looked like a personal call, he was grinning as he chatted. He looked over and she looked away. A moment later he finished the call, and came over.
‘You think they’re going to find it?’
‘God I hope so. The thought of having to release that little bastard.’
The little bastard in question was Jason Tyler, who had risen rapidly to control a drug dealing network in South London and the Kent borders.
‘That was my girlfriend, Monica on the phone. She, we wanted me to invite you over for dinner.’
Erika turned to him, surprised.
’What?’ she said, a little too sharply.
‘You’re my new boss and I’ve told her lots about you… She’d love to make you her lasagna. It’s really good. And I’m not just saying that cos she’s my girlfriend. It really is…’ his voice tailed off as he looked eagerly up at Erika.
‘John, we’re right in the middle of a big case…’
‘I didn’t mean tonight. Some other day.’
‘You don’t have to do that, John.’
‘I’d like to. And if there were anyone else you’d like to invite, that’s cool. Is there a Mr Foster?’
Erika had spent the last couple of years hearing herself gossiped about in the force, so she was surprised that John didn’t know.
‘There’s no Mr Foster. There was, but he, my husband’s dead.’
John’s look of surprise was cut off by a shout that went up from the support team at the water’s edge. They hurried over to where Lorna was crouched down at the small comms unit, speaking to one of the divers on the bottom. The tinny voice cut through the cold air.
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