Vertgates Serial: Kato Umony Chapter 2

It was the next day and I woke up. The day started out like any other. Got up, showered, dressed myself in a suit and tie, got some breakfast, brushed my teeth, and then I went off to work. I thought about what new things I could do for this new business in my community. Maybe if I had enough money, I could offer new services to stay even more competitive with the bigger companies in the same field as me. Perhaps some upgraded account options or mortgages would be nice. I know I wouldn’t screw over my customers in any way. This was something that I could be proud of with my ethics and business sense.

Then, all my dreams came to a screeching halt much like how I treated my car once I saw what happened.

I was in the parking lot and I stood outside as I refused to believe what my eyes saw. The Freevale Urban Credit Union bank had been violated. There were several shards of broken glass as the windows and doors were nonexistent. The building itself was charred and I could see the interior which looked like it was the scene of an insurgent strike in a third world country. Just last night, people could still smell the new furniture and point, but now, everything was wrecked. Who could’ve done this to me? I took several pictures with my magitech smartphone as evidence. I had to report this. I wondered if the security footage caught anyone trifling with the Freevale Urban Credit Union would still be intact. This was a nightmare to everything I’ve worked for. I can’t support my wife and I can’t support Freevale right now. No one gets to rape my precious business and get away with it.

Without hesitation, I called the authorities.

“Freevale PD, what’s your emergency?”

“Yes, this is Kato Umony, the owner of the Freevale Urban Credit Union.” I began. “My business has been burnt down and vandalized. I’m in front of my establishment since I was about to open my bank, but I come to this and I’d like to file a report.”

“Okay, where is the credit union located?”

“It’s on 535 North XXXX Boulevard. It will be on your right side if you’re driving Northbound and it’s across the street from the Everett Pastry Shop.” I gave the location. “If possible, I’d like to see if any of the security footage caught any witnesses on the inside if it’s intact.”

“Alright, Mr. Umony. We’re sending over some officers in your direction.”

“Thank you.”

Click.

I sighed after making that call. I couldn’t just walk into my own business in this condition. Not only because of how damaged it was and I certainly wasn’t wearing the right kind of clothing for this situation, but the thing is that a good deal of policemen would assume I’m the bad guy if I just walked in the bank despite me owning it. It’s those things that made me very cautious, so I just waited outside. Part of me wanted to cry which I internalized, but most of me wanted to strangle whoever did this to the credit union let alone me. Two squad cars came along and they saw me outside next to my car.

“Excuse me, are you Kato Umony?” One officer asked me while another was getting out the yellow police tape.

“Yes, I am.” I had my ID already in my hand and I immediately showed the officers. Timing was everything when it came to dealing with enforcers like them. Just saying. They confirmed it was me.

“When did you hear about this?”

“Only until I got here. I closed the bank last night at 6:00 PM during our normal hours and that’s when it was last undamaged.” I explained to the officer. “I came here to open it for my customers and there this was.”

“I see. Do you know anyone who could’ve done this to you?” The cop continued asking me.

“I have no idea. I don’t have any enemies that I know of that would want to vandalize my store.” I then continued talking. “Although, I’d make sure they all suffer the consequences if they did try to pull this off with me by making sure they go to jail.” I had to correct myself mid-sentence around this officer. Deep down inside, I probably would have gone on some irate rant and giving it that kind of an adjective would be an understatement of the year. After being bullied for so long, I tend to have thoughts that would surely get me jail time if I actually did them.

What I really wanted to say to that cop was something like this which I kept in my head. “I’d make sure they’d suffer the consequences. I’d beat the tar out of whoever dared to destroy my business. Next, I would dump a gallon of gasoline on them and light a match to make them burn to death. Maybe for grins and giggles, I’d urinate all over their burning corpse to make sure they really feel horrible and..” Okay, I was spiraling and I had to end that train of thought.

“Are you alright, Mr. Umony?” The officer asked.

I cleared my throat before responding. “Yes, I’m fine. I was also wondering if and when I can check inside to retrieve the security footage.”

“It’s going to be a while.” The officer responded. I saw the rest of his crew moving in, taking pictures, and investigating the scene of the crime. “Just give us some time, so we can find any clues or anything that could give us some leads on different people around here.”

“Alright, sir.” I meekly replied. I was so defeated and I could imagine all those bullies from my past derogating me at every turn if they saw what had happened to my business endeavor. I could see them pelting rotting fruit at me or trying to restrain me as everyone got a free punch to my face as I couldn’t fight back. Vigilante justice would’ve been delicious, but I had to pick and choose my battles even though I didn’t know who the perpetrator was at that time. I waited to see what kind of new information that was there as that team checked the different angles of the store. Come to think of it, they were thorough, but I felt that the pace was deliberate. I didn’t want to judge any of them or question how competent they were at their jobs, but if my bank reached mega corporation status and it got burned or bombed, those police would certainly get there in a heartbeat. Since I was just small potatoes in the grand scheme of the financial industry, I can see why it would be a longer emergency response time. Well, there was that and the fact that I literally didn’t know about the condition of my baby until I got there this morning. This must have happened really late at night from what I can guess. Then, came some of my customers who eventually gasped at what they just saw.

“Kato, what happened?” One of them asked.

“As you can tell, someone destroyed the Freevale Urban Credit Union. I have no idea who did this, but we’re going to find out who ruined my business and your futures.” I told the customers who were about to do business when my store should’ve opened. “You all have my deepest condolences.” I had to make sure I kept a mental note to see what my business insurance covered, so I wouldn’t be screwed out of paying tons of money. I had people depending on me over here.

“We can’t believe they did this. Why would anyone want to destroy what you created?” Another customer added.

“Your guess is as good as mine.” I said as I kept all of my rage inside. I’m surprised I didn’t break something like a piece of my car after seeing the crime scene. This was all processing as my heart started to resemble my business. I saw my customers look down and mope when the reality set in for them. How could I make it up to them? It wasn’t my fault that my business was in shambles. After quite some time, the forensics team met up with me.

“Mr. Umony, we scoured through your business, and we haven’t found any DNA evidence or anything empirical. Would you like to come in to access the security–”

“Of course I will!” I interrupted the cop as I raised my voice. “I want to know the devil who ruined my livelihood.” I rushed in and went to find whatever used to be the back office. Things still smelled burned and it messed with my senses, but that didn’t stop me from trying to find out the man responsible for his crimes. I saw the hard drive was still intact. Good, at least it was usable. “Do you have a laptop available?” I asked one of the policemen on the forensics team. He nodded and went back outside. Within a minute later he came right back and I quickly linked the hard drive to that laptop to see what information I could get from the store’s cameras. It left off at late last night. I fast-forwarded through most of it from after the store closed. It was boring, but then there was a black car that pulled up in the parking lot. Someone wearing very dark clothing popped out of the vehicle. I’m sure he was in all black as he was camouflaged with the night itself. He had a hoodie on and was able to hack into the doors and security system. I check more angles from the cameras. The culprit wore a mask. Dang it. We can’t see who this person was. He also had gloves on his person. This devil had the audacity to set bombs at the Freevale Urban Credit Union before he just casually leaves. My fist was clenched and shaking while my breathing became loud.

“That stupid son of a–” I muttered until I saw the explosion happen on camera which erupted in a white light that lost the rest of the footage. I switched angles and saw the car speeding off. The footage was stopped, and I rewound it to see if I can get some information on his license plates. It was fuzzy, but I finally got some angles where I can legibly see this. X670ONY. The officer with the laptop wrote it down. “I hope to see this devil caught.”

“We’ll do our best Mr. Umony. You can go home now.”

“With all due respect, I won’t go back just yet, sir. I want to know everything as you all keep investigating this heinous crime.” I argued. “Please let me stay. The Freevale Urban Credit Union is my brainchild and I want to see this investigation through. I won’t let this injustice against the community and I go unchecked.”

“As you wish, Mr. Umony.” The officer responded.

I wanted as much information as possible as the world crumbled around me. I just wished that every one of them would just speed up while doing their jobs.

Next, I had to call my wife to let her know what was going down.

“Hello, darling. How’s work at the bank?” Mirembe cheerily greeted me over the phone.

“There is no bank right now after it was destroyed late last night.” I plainly stated the condition of this masterpiece ruined by criminal activity. “All of this hard work has been for naught.”

“Are you serious, Kato?” Mirembe’s voice peaked. “Who destroyed the credit union?”

“I don’t know yet. The police are still investigating things and we couldn’t get a face on who did this heinous act with the security footage.” I explained. “I can’t believe I let the community down and us.”

“It’s not your fault. There will be justice done to whoever destroyed your business.” She tried consoling me.

“Thanks for the kind words, but I don’t know when justice is going to come or if it will come. Sorry, I have to go now. Love you.” I ended the conversation right then and there as I couldn’t take anymore even though my wife needed to be in the loop.

“Love you, too.” She replied. I hung up my phone and sulked at the situation. I wish that I could hurt whoever did this to me. Now, I couldn’t be the breadwinner of the house nor could I provide financial security to anyone that I’ve worked with in setting up their accounts. Luckily, I copied the footage from that fateful night, so I can watch it wherever I want with my Magitech phone or computers. It was at that moment where I didn’t feel as powerless as I thought. 

When I was able to go home, I watched the footage ad nauseum to find out every possible angle and who this person was. This thug had to be savvy to not show his face and to attack without any forensic information going around. Mirembe came inside the house and she saw me staring at my laptop. I was in a T-shirt and sweatpants at the time which was certainly the opposite of how I carried myself in the business world even before I started the Freevale Urban Credit Union.

“Kato, what are you watching?” She asked me.

“The destruction of my baby over and over again.” I replied in a monotone voice. “I want to know this demon who ruined my life. I want nothing more than to make him suffer. He better pray that the cops find him before I do.”

She saw the footage and it got to the part where he started to plant the explosives. He walked out and then the razing of the credit union began post-haste. Even though my eyes were glued to the screen, I could tell that she was shaken as she saw the videos herself. Mirembe gasped and whimpered when she saw my baby get burned down while that culprit got away. “That’s horrible, Kato.” She whispered.

“You think? I’m ready to make his life miserable if I ever find out who he is.” I promised. “Who knows? If I have to get jail time for what I plan on doing to that monster, then so be it.”

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