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The Corsican and the Negotiation

When all else fails and you have nothing else to rely on, the best person for the job is also the riskiest

Jordan Mansfield

The man with the gun holding his hostage nervously shook his weapon at the negotiators, demanding loudly, again, a cash ransom and an escort to a helipad with an awaiting helicopter, presumably to take him to a destination unknown.

As they looked on to the proceedings in front of them, behind a row of shrubs, towards the negotiator who was a graying man in his 60's with a knack for classic European fashion, Lieutenants Ramsey and Wilshere each shot a glance at one another and slightly nodded their head. The decision was made. Lt. Wilshere turned his head away from the action and whispered something into his smartwatch.

"He said he'll be here in three minutes," Wilshere told Ramsey.

"Should we let the negotiator know?" Ramsey asked.

Wilshere shot back.

"No way, man. If he finds out what we've done, the entire negotiation will be compromised. Better to have him find out after the fact than to suggest a different tactic in mid-negotiation."

Ramsey shrugged his shoulders as if to say he understood his opinion was grounded in past events, and he dug himself in even tighter, and more prepared, for what was about to come.

As if on cue, right at three minutes, Wilshere felt a finger tap his shoulder. He looked back to find the person he summoned.

Before him stood an unshaven man with a cigarette dangling from his lips. Somehow, he managed to tear off the sleeves to both his suit jacket and shirt, with his undone belt buckle dangling in front of his very wrinkled suit pants. His hair suggested he'd just stumbled out of a slumber, but Wilshere and Ramsey knew by now he always carried a look to him like he'd just fallen out of bed. The Corsican shot a bleary-eyed stare at the two.

"Details, please," the Corsican asked.

"The man has three hostages including the one you see now," Ramsey stated. The negotiator has been talking to the man for four hours. We've got cover all around you - " Ramsey pointed to five positions where backup was secretly hidden at strategic points supporting the negotiator, " - and it was made known from the start, by the negotiator, that we're only to act if provoked by the man."

The Corsican nodded. "OK then, I'll move in."

Wilshere snapped. "No you fucking won't! You have value in this process, which is why we called for you, but you will not compromise what progress we've made. You're the muscle, but we're the brains. Follow our lead, goddammit!"

It was too late.

The Corsican shuffled around the bushes, hitting what felt like every single branch within 20 feet. The loud noises started the man holding the gun.

"Who is that? What's going on! You better tell me what's going on right now, or so help me God the hostage is getting it!"

"It's OK. Let me little bit help you reassure there is nothing to worry about," the negotiator calmly told the man while nervously assessing where the commotion came from.

Just then, the scruffy man with the tattered suit came leaping out of nowhere like a hopped-up circus clown whose paycheck bounced at the cash advance store. In one quick swoop, he two-foot tackled the man with the gun, rupturing tendons in both his feet and ankles, narrowly dodging a discharged bullet as the man fell to the ground firing at the assailant.

The Corsican then jabbed two fingers at the man's eyes, temporarily blinding him, as Wilshere, Ramsey, and the rest of the bewildered police officers descended on the impromptu charge by their fellow officer.

The negotiator shook his head, shot Wilshere and Ramsey a look as if he wanted to kill them both, but realized the situation was over thanks to their proactive effort to call upon their risky, barely-effective backup plan.