In the next three days, the conflicts became more and more intense with each meeting.
A chubby-bellied old man was in charge of the main work, like disturbing the cases, and monitoring the progress. Rene usually only added a few simple messages at the end, like the routine procedures, the distribution of equipments, or reports and forms. But people mostly targeted Rene. It gradually became that whenever Rene spoke, someone would interrupt him with some dirty jokes, and then people burst into laughter.
On the contrary, it was Anton and Harvey who usually ignored the rules who seldom did this.
Anton watched Rene’s awkward situation peacefully. He did not sympathize with him.
In the past, he did not suffer less from the administrative bureaucrats. They do not fight in the frontline themselves and they are impractical, but they always quibbled at the details and red tapes, which cost not only their time but also the lives of his peers from time to time.
Anton looked at Harvey who was sitting on the other side. He didn’t speak either. His lips were pressed into a firm line, as if he was provoking Rene who was on the stage. Anton couldn’t tell what Harvey was thinking.
Rene didn’t seem to care at all, or maybe he had gotten so used to it that he didn’t treat it as an embarrassment. He just smiled in good temper as usual. If there was laughter, then he waited till the laughter to die out, then continued his words. Even when the chubby-bellied bureaucrat glared at him in vexation, cursed and left the room, he was indifferent.
Except for the meetings, the directors seldom showed up. Rene never appeared outside of the meetings, not to mention interacting with Anton. But Anton was extremely busy. His case was a gunrunning and murder one.
A month ago, a major criminal gang local to New York smuggled a large amount of munitions. After the trade was done, the goods disappeared mysteriously. Three men died soon after that, all of them involved in the deal that day.
This case didn’t look like much more than a typical dog-eat-dog story, except that it was the second largest criminal gang that lost the goods, that the three deaths were big names, and that the weapons which disappeared were enough to arm a small-scaled army or to destroy a medium-sized city.
Anton and Roger were immediately enmeshed into the investigation. Time flew by. Three days had passed before Anton met Rene again.
That day, Anton and Roger were analyzing the data of the gangs, when a fierce quarrel broke out.
“Reports, reports! What the fúck do you know other than reports?”
Everyone looked in that direction. Someone was arguing with Rene.
“Do you know that by the time I finish writing that report, my man would have been dead?! You, sit in your fúcking office enjoying your AC, but I have a man out there fighting! No action? If I don’t act my man dies! That’s my man, my brother!”
Anton looked there too. He couldn’t remember this guy’s name, except that he was in Harvey’s team.
Anton knew that it happened yesterday. There was a turf fight triggered by drug dealing. This colleague was following the case. They acted immediately after they got news from the source, but the undercover cop was still badly injured and was still lying in the hospital. He must be holding that grudge and vented it all on Rene now.
Anton looked at Harvey, who sat there calmly, just watching the scene developing and his man to venting his anger on Rene.
But Rene still looked at the opposite side peacefully, “Matthew, you need to calm down a bit. I will find you again in half an hour.”
“Are you a fúcking cop?! What do you know about?” Matthew only got more furious. He poked a finger on Rene’s chest in rage, “That was my man. Do you fúcking understand what ‘my man’ means?!”
Rene stepped half a step back. Matthew wanted to go up, but someone held him from behind.
“Okay, let’s not be too harsh on a sucking child.” Harvey finally stood up.
People immediately started to laugh. Anton shook his head. He had experienced the pettiness of the administrative people. Such blatant ridiculing was not a good idea.
Surprisingly, Rene glanced at Harvey and nodded. Anton even felt there was an unnoticeable hint of amusement in Rene’s eyes. “Harvey, ask your man to stop writing that claptrap for Old Reynold. Give me a formal report by tomorrow.”
“You can get out now. Do you hear me?!” Harvey stared at Rene.
Rene nodded, “Oral report is fine.” Then he turned around and left.
Rene indeed did not look like a cop. During the daytime, there was a certain refinement in him, which could sometimes be viewed as arrogance, and other times cowardness. He was a completely different thing from his policeman colleagues, which was obvious to anyone with eyes. Therefore, they would not treat him as one of their own.
Or maybe, Anton recalled Jimmy’s look at night, those type of dressing also suited him well.