Cnr Stanley Street & Wellington Street
The squat facade of the building on the corner of Stanley Street and Wellington Street gives nothing away. Aged wooden doors, carved with strange symbols, hide its secrets. They creak open, and a crack of light illuminates the top of a maroon and gold sports cap.
You and Street peer in. “Is that—are you Alice?”
Hey grey eyes brim with fear. “Please, you both have to help me.”
“What’s going on?” You point to the bag at her feet. “Did you steal that?”
“No!” She kicks at it with her grubby running shoe. “Well, yes. But Feroso made me take it.”
“The guy with the scar?” Street asks.
She gives a quick nod. “He caught me one time, sneaking into the stadium. Threatened to turn me on to the cops unless I work for him. He makes me do deliveries.”
“Trafficking stolen goods?” Even you, a newbie, knows this is a serious crime; you’d hate to see this fresh-faced girl done for that. “What have you got in there?”
“It belongs to the club.” Tears darken her lashes. “I won’t do Ferosa’s dirty work anymore. I’m trying to give this back. But he’s after me—I can’t do it alone.”
Your mind races, piecing together a plan to catch the crook and put an end to his reign of terror over the ‘Gabba streets. “Street, we have to call for backup.”
He frowns. “But what if Adler is in on it?”
“Isn’t there anyone else you can call?”
Street thinks for a moment then takes the radio from your outstretched hand. “All available units, meet me at the Supporters carpark. But be discreet, and stay out of sight.”
A few voices chime in with affirmative replies, then Adler jumps in. “What are you up to, Street?”
At that moment, Feroso comes trundling around the corner from the school bell tower, his round face glowing red with rage. “No time, Adler. See you soon.”
“Bring the bag and follow us.” Street points towards the Supporters carpark.
“Where are we going?” Alice grabs the leather tote and runs alongside you and Street.
“Trust me.” Street starts moving. “Hurry!”
Feroso spots Alice with the bag, and forces his heavyset frame into a shuffling jog across the road towards you.
A deafening roar erupts from the stadium, spilling out on to the street and flowing over you both like a tide. Maroon and gold figures cascade across the road towards you—fans and officials all crowding around a cluster of game jerseys. Beyond the carpark, you see a few police uniforms hunkered behind the columns of a curved façade ahead. Adler steps onto the footpath and moves towards an official, shouting, but you can’t hear him over the crowd.
You and Street grab Alice and charge into the crush of bodies, trying to avoid Adler and reach the other police. But Feroso is hot on your heels, pushing his solid bulk through the crowd, gaining ground.
Beside you, Alice screams. Feroso has caught her by the shoulder, pulling her off to the edge of the crowd. You push your way through just as she raises the bag above her head in a wild roundhouse, slamming it down onto Feroso’s crown. There’s a sickening thud. Fereoso is brought to his knees. Street arrives just in time to grab him in an arm lock, pressing him face first onto the ground.
You look around, desperately trying to locate Alice. You think that’s her just ahead, standing next to Adler, holding a golden urn above her head. But there’s something blurring your vision. The air is full of falling leaves. One lands on the back of your hand. You blink hard to clear your sight.
It’s a hundred dollar note. The air is thick with swirls of money.
“She’s got the cup!” Well-muscled giants, dressed in team colours and glowing with pride, hold aloft a giant gold cup.
The police shoulder their way in to form a cordon around the cyclone of cash. Two of them put Feroso in handcuffs.
Adler clamps his hand on your shoulder. “Well done, Street, and congratulations to your Assistant, too. I see you’ve both met my young special agent.”
Beside Adler, Alice cracks a watermelon grin. “Thanks for your help, guys. Couldn’t have done it without you.”
Surrounded by the winning team, dazed, you shake hand after hand, your back aching from thumping congratulations. Street laughs, and turns to you. “You never know what’s going to happen in this job. Still interested?”