A Dish Best Served Cold

A Dish Best Served Cold

CRASH! A crackle of lightning hit the Mayfair Police Precinct, London City. On hearing the crackle, Commissioner John Smith, sitting in his office, remembered his dark childhood. The rain reminded him of his parents’ funeral- the worst day of his life- the day where he vowed never to be helpless again. A knock on his door brought him back to the present. “Come in,” he replied, whilst clearing his cluttered desk. A short, plump, and red-faced policeman came in. “It’s rainin’ Cats’n dogs ‘ere Commissioner,” he said, sounding exhausted. “Well, there’s nothing we can do about the weather, can we?” John replies. “Anyways, how’s the Ms. X case?” the policeman asked, wiping his sweaty brow.

Ms. X was an anonymous citizen who had been vandalizing property all over London for the past two months, using spray paint to show certain mysterious words consisting of a set of alphanumeric characters, her recent one being ‘L36I0N’, on the famous brachiosaurus skeleton in the Natural History Museum. No one saw this being enter, but the security cameras were mysteriously shut down for a brief 5 minutes- from 11:50 pm to 11:55 pm. The security guards did not see anything. The ones that did, only saw a noir hood for a split second before being knocked out. No one knew who was this person, but soon, policemen found a name called ‘Ms. X’ in one of the being’s graffiti. Due to this, this individual was now famously called ‘Ms. X’. John had been assigned a case to capture this ‘Ms. X’ a few weeks ago, but he had no luck so far.

“No luck, every time I get her, she always slips out of my hands” John replied. “How do you know it is a ‘she’? I mean it could be misdirection and the person could be a ‘he’?” the policeman questioned. “Just a feeling,” John told him. Anyway, it’s quarter past seven, time for me to go home. Good day,” John said. Holding his hat in one hand and wallet in the other, John leaves. “Good day,” replied the policeman, moving away from the door to let John leave. On reaching the entrance of the precinct. A policewoman also bade John goodbye to which he politely replied, “Goodbye, Officer Clare Hopkins.”

Walking towards his apartment, John remembered how his parents died- a humungous fire, smoke everywhere, an explosion had occurred on Christmas Eve,1992, John was twelve years old at that time. An MI6 agent with the name of Daniel Williams had been chasing a criminal throughout the streets of London, leading to an epic climax of this chase in an explosion in Hyde Park- where he and his parents were spending time with each other. He finally arrested the criminal. Although it was the criminal who had started the explosion, John still never forgave Daniel for not saving his parents in time. Enraged, he promised himself to always help people in need- but not as an agent, but as a friendly neighbourhood policeman.

He reached his apartment. As he was about to reach the door handle, he sensed something was behind him. He turned his head. Who was it? His enemy- Ms. X. She punched him in the head. John fell, his head throbbing, his heart beating faster than it ever did. He never saw it coming. Struggling, he picked himself up. He was backed against his door; he turned towards his gun- but where was it.? Ms. X held his gun in front of him, threatening to shoot it. He held his hands up, his fingers spread open, his face white as paper. He was scared for his life. He was ashamed, he was helpless, standing at gunpoint, being the opposite of the reason why he became a policeman. He was going to die the same way his parents did, but instead of an explosion, a gunshot, on the doorstep of his house.

Holding the gun towards John, Ms. X took out a can of spray paint and painted something on the floor. It was not a drawing, instead, it was a sentence. John was too scared to read it. Having finished her Graffiti, she crept back into the shadows. John was lucky to be alive but was still alert. He heard a loud punching noise followed by Ms. X falling in front of him. John was horrified, he checked the body for a pulse, luckily the so-called ‘Ms. X’ was only knocked out. “Sorry to disturb you, sir,” A voice came from the shadows. “If it is your house to the left then sorry for the mess, MI6 will clean it up,”. A man arose from the shadows. He was wearing a leather black jacket, blue jeans, and had jet-black hair. He helped John up. On further inspecting the man, John realized who he was- Daniel Williams!

“I see you are a policeman, were you assigned the task of finding this criminal, if you were then we are in the same boat, uh police officer … John Smith?” Daniel said, noticing John’s badge and police uniform. On seeing Daniel, John was boiling with anger but decided not to react. He kept his rage inside him. Hope the boat hasn’t exploded yet. “Yes, I was and since you have finished my so-called ‘task’ for me, I must go back to chasing shoplifters, I had her by the way,”, John replied angrily.” No need to react so angrily,” Daniel replied. John, ignoring Daniel, inspected the graffiti. He saw an unusual message. ‘TH3 L3610N, 34 AURUM ST.’. Aurum means Gold in Latin, she is talking about Gold street! But what is there on Gold street? A shemozzle of thoughts had been occurring in John’s head, wondering about Gold street. While John was engrossed in his thoughts, Daniel arrested Ms. X and took off her hoodie. John recognized her.

“Clare?” John gasped. She glared at John. She seemed to be thinking something. After a brief pause, she replied,” Hello John. I may be a criminal but this is bigger than you think. 34 Gold Street, 34 Gold Street,” She repeated this address until she was carried to the back of the police car.” What a crazy woman!” Daniel scoffed. “Maybe she is on to something,” John said. “Wanna team up?” Requested Daniel. John shrugged. The last thing he wanted was to team up with the man who brought him his misery. He had no choice. He agreed.

John and Daniel finally reached 34 Gold Street. It was an old abandoned warehouse. It must be Clare’s base of operations,” John said. Investigating the warehouse, Daniel found a huge bulletin board. Many newspapers were attached to it. These newspapers were connected using red tape. The newspapers showed the recent tragedies happening all over London, including the accidental fire in Oxford Street the week before. All the tapes were linked to a paper with a peculiar word written on it- THE LEGION. On his left, Daniel noticed a dusty book. He picked it up and inspected it. “How Cute!” He exclaimed,  “A diary!”.

This caught John’s attention. He came over to where Daniel was standing. Daniel opened the book and both of them read it. The book contained a vague description of Clare’s theory that all the crimes happening in London were a result of the manipulation of an underground organization known as The Legion. Clare traced all the recent events such as the fire on Oxford Street, the bomb blast in Trafalgar Square, all these recent events to this so-called ‘Legion’.

“Do you think this so-called ‘Legion’ exists?” Daniel asked. “Well, I am a policeman so I’m not allowed to believe in coincidences, what about you?” John replies. “Well then-Police officer John looks like we’ve got a case on our hands”.

Holding the book in his hands, John took one last look at the bulletin board. He glanced at the desk next to it and saw a minute, sleek black USB. John came over to the desk and picked it up. “What have you got there chief?” Daniel asked.” Just something that will help us later on,” John replied. Daniel and John rendezvoused back to John’s house. “What a nice comfy house John! Of course, my house is bigger, one of the benefits of MI6, but still, comfy” Daniel scoffed, relaxing on John’s sofa. Ignoring Daniel’s cockiness, John plugged the USB into his computer. “I think you need to see this,” John tells Daniel. Daniel headed over to John’s computer desk. What they saw shocked them.

“My name is Clare Hopkins; this is day 34, Saturday, 28th October. I have found some new evidence of the Legion. My sources have told me these people are about to execute their plan next week, on November 5th. I do not know what their plan is but I am darn sure it will create headlines in the newspapers; it might even destroy England as we know it! I need to convey this to the people, but how? No one seems to believe me. If they find out about me, they will kill me. The police won’t help. I just need to do this anonymously. This is bigger than me and any of us. I believe their base of operations to be in the unfinished mall on 14th Avenue. If anyone sees this message, it means you are in danger, but you are also our only hope. You know too much. They WILL come after you. TRUST NO-ONE. End Message.”

Both John and Daniel stood there. Frozen. Daniel gasped. “Well, I knew something was up, but this, this is deadly serious”. John replied, “I agree but we must do something,”. “Let’s call MI6 HQ, they ought to do something.” “No Daniel, we can’t trust anyone- not with this sensitive information. The Legion will come after us, but we do not want collateral damage,”. Daniel nodded. John held up his phone and contacted London Jail. He asked for Clare. After a few minutes, fear enveloped John’s face. On seeing John’s expression, Daniel felt uneasy, “What happened?”. “Clare Hopkins is dead,”.

“Wha- How?” Daniel was confused. “She was murdered on the way to the prison, police officers report seeing a sniper on one of the roofs of the buildings.” “Now we go to MI6!” Daniel was terrified. In all his years, he had never seen such a thing. All his cases were straightforward; this was new and more mysterious. A brief moment passed. “Don’t! We might be able to stop this before it gets worse. We need to go to 14th Avenue and stop this once and for all.”

The duo hopped into a taxi and traveled to the destination. Every minute, they checked their surroundings to see if they were being followed. It felt like a horrible game of cat and mouse. They reach 14th avenue.” Keep the change,” John said whilst tipping the driver. Daniel investigated the building from the outside. His face reflected a determined expression. John turned towards the gigantic mansion in front of him. It looked abandoned, a few cobwebs here and there, and a colossal sea of dust. “Should we enter quietly or go in guns blazing?” Daniel asked. John took out his gun. Daniel sees the action and replies.” Guns blazing it is,”. With a unanimous kick, they knock down the front door.


“Let’s split up, we can cover more ground, you see anything suspicious, you radio me alright?”. Daniel nodded. They walked around. Daniel walked around the corridors and checked the different rooms, each one of them sinister in its way. One of them was an armory, containing the heaviest weaponry you could imagine. Another, a laboratory, with different chemicals and explosives. Daniel walked towards a desk containing some blueprints. “They are going to blow up MI6’s base of operations!”.

Daniel gulped. He heard something. He took out his gun and aimed it towards a door. His hands trembling with fear. He turned around and gasped.

He woke up, his hands tied. He was surrounded by a group of masked people, with a control panel and a myriad of computers in a corner. He tried to identify who they were, but failed. One of the individuals walked up towards him and said in a deep voice. “I see you have found us. What a shame,”. He took out a gun and pointed it at Daniel. “Where is John? What did you do to him?!”, he screamed. “Oh! the other person?”. BOOM. Just as the individual tried to answer his question, he was cut off by the sound of a gunshot. Daniel looked towards his chest. He was bleeding. He closed his eyes and fell over. A person was behind him holding a gun. “Well, what were you waiting for?”, the individual asked him. The perpetrator replied, “Revenge”. “Now let’s get on with the rest of the mission!”. Saying this, the murderer walked towards the control panels. Daniel opened his eyes for the last time. “John?”.


About the Author

Pratyush is a proud student at Wisdom World School. A sincere student of class IX, he took fascination to books, sports, and music at a very early stage and which inculcated in his daily routine. Excelling in Piano grade exams (Trinity College London) and a Red Belt in Karate (Chi Combat System UK), he has been awarded ASA Swimming Stage 5 (UK) and RoboCHAMP Pro Engineer in Robotics. Having received several Head Teacher Awards while schooling in the UK, he has been a consistent performer in his current school in India where he was awarded for his academic excellence in the Annual Prize day. He likes spending hours slumped over a variety of books and which got him to pen down his thoughts in the form of stories as his creative outlet. Imbibing the joys of primary years, he likes playing football and cricket in his pass time.

About the Author

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