Posted 17 June 2005 - 12:59 AM
Well, here it is, in 4 posts. Read, discuss, enjoy, whatnot.
A friendly introduction
“Get on the ground! Get on the ground, now! Do as I say!”
“You there, behind the bushes; lower your weapon and come out with your hands raised.” I overheard Michael Stratons’ yell behind the protection of his patrol car, and got a little worried. “That’s it, nice and slow. No, just leave your weapon there. Put your weapon back on the ground sir. Sir, put your weapon down! Do it now, sir!”
I knew Mike needed my help, especially sense he’s a little trigger-phobic. But I had to deal with the other guy, the guy I had cuffed and on the pavement, first.
“Stay on the ground, Amigo. Your friend here seems to be causing us some trouble. Don’t go no where, you hear? You hear?!”
“’Whatever man’? Exactly what does that translate to? A yes, or a no?”
“Yo, dude, chill out. Can’t go nowhere anyway.”
I stood up, and headed over in my partners general direction. Across the street, about 20 yards in front of us, was a short Mexican in a flaring red pullover vest, half out of it, with a small pistol in his left hand. Moments earlier me and my partner rolled up to this infamous drug spot and I thought I saw a deal going down. I spotted the man I now have handcuffed and this Mexican swapping ‘info’ at this street corner. They seemed suspicious, and when we pulled to the side of the curb, they started sprinting. It was then that I knew it was another drug sale at the corner of Boulevard and 52nd street. This place was notorious for its heroin and crank.
Fortunately I caught up with one of them, which I had cuffed seconds earlier. This one, in the red vest, seemed like the one calling the shots.
“Mike, what the hell is going on over here?”
“This dude over here doesn’t know what day it is. I think he’s stoned, or something. He ain’t listening to a word I say.”
“Let me take care of this, then. Just cover me incase things get out of hand.” Mike gave me an odd look out of the corner of his eye, where fine beads of sweat where now forming in the shape of tears. I drew my weapon from my holster, gripped it firmly in my right hand, and made sure I was ready to do what was necessary. I took another quick glance over at Mike, to make sure he still had his pistol ready and his nerves at least somewhat intact.
“Don’t do anything stupid, Frank. Just stay calm, alright?”
“Hey you, in the red vest. Yeah, I’m talking to you. Come from behind the bush, lower your weapon, and proceed towards us with your hands behind your head. If you don’t do as we say, we will have to take proper action. You hear? Lower your weapon, immediately!”
“I don’t think he heard you Frank.”
He didn’t hear me? Oh he heard me fine alright. “He heard me Mike; he just thinks I’m here to play a little cute game of cat and mouse. Let’s see how cute he thinks this is.”
“FRANK, no. Just step aside, and call for backup, alright?”
“Backup? Yeah, right. Backup never backs us up. We are lucky if they show half the time we call them, especially in this stretch of town.” I began to become more agitated with not only the suspect in sight, but as well with my partner. He is always looking to take the scenic route in every situation, whether it’s necessary or not. And I could also tell he was quite nervous, based on the heaving sound of his labored breathing. “Mike, just let me handle this. It’s under control.”
I took aim at the bright, almost fluorescent, chest region of our suspect, and made sure my eyes never left his.
“Alright pal. I am giving you till the count of 3 to do as I say, and lower your weapon.”
I cocked my head slightly to the right and whispered out of the corner of my mouth. “You got my back, Mike?”
“Frank! Just relax, will you! He isn’t dangerous; he is just under the influence of something. Don’t shoot the guy!”
“I’ll take that as a no, then.”
“Alright sir, you have till the count of 3 to lower your weapon. Then it’s all over.”
“Frank, he is lowering his weapon. Don’t shoot!”
As I approached the heels of three, I noticed Mike was right. He was starting to set his weapon on the ground, but I had had enough of this guy. What’s one less drug dealer in Los Angeles worth?
“Too bad for him, Mike. He isn’t lowering it fast enough for my tastes.” I was tired of fooling around. I wanted to get this said and done.
“No, don’t shoot! Don’t do it Frank!”
The sound of my 9-millimeter popped frantically in-between the trashed up trailer parks lining every side of the street. The sound immediately struck an eerie tension in my stomach. Guys like this have forced me to pull the trigger in a countless many times, but something about this felt different. Something felt…off.
The impact of the bullet threw the suspect down on the ground like a Mastiff with a rag doll. He landed with a satisfactory thud, similar to that of a bag of 5 pound potatoes being thrown out a 3 story apartment window. The odd tension was still in my stomach, and was increasing now, but I refused to pay any attention to it.
The ringing in my ears never seemed to quit.
“Frank, what the…!”
I could barely hear Mike calling for paramedics on his collar radio. Why he worried so much was a puzzle to me. I tilted my eyes in his direction only to see his tall wiry frame storming towards me like a 5 year old girl who just got told by her mommy that she couldn’t have any ice cream from the nice man across the street.
As he came more into view, I noticed large sweat rings evolving in under his armpits. His skin complexion resembled week old cottage cheese. “I don’t believe you Frank. The guy was lowering his weapon! Why couldn’t you just of given him a few more seconds? Maybe we wouldn’t have a dead body on our hands!”
Mike, as usual, was complaining about the way I handled these types of situations. I ignored him an immediate response, and began to trek back to the patrol car after re-holstering my weapon.
“Just fill out the report, and get in the car. Paramedics will be here any minute. Backup has just arrived, as well.” As I slouched into the uncomfortable bucket seats, the flashing red and blue lights of a fellow patrol car blinked monotonously in my rear view mirror.
“Give the cheif the report when we get back to the station, tell him basically what happened. Say the guy was about to draw on me or something. Make it sound like self-defense. Just hurry it up, Mike.”
“Uh, Frank, what about the other dude?” I looked at him as he pointed to the man I had handcuffed merely moments ago but managed to forget completely.
“Let backup take care of him. I’m not in the mood to haul some two-bit druggie around town. Besides, he stinks. Literally.”
I glanced over at my partner while driving our patrol car back to the station. His report was in his lap, pen in hand, but eyes out the window staring at nothing in particular. His complexion was now more of a diaper rash red, and his sweating had stopped somewhat. I knew he was mad, and frustrated with me.
“Listen. This guy had a weapon, which we thought was loaded at the time. Based on the red in his eyes and incoherency, I’m guessing he was under the influence. We didn’t know what he was capable of doing, Mike. The guy probably had about 200 bucks worth of dope stuffed in his jeans.”
“Yeah, I know about the drugs. But he was about to follow procedure just as you told him to…”
I was sick and tired of his siding with the stink in our neighborhoods over his own partner. I wasn’t about to hear another one of his sappy ‘you didn’t have to shoot’ stories.
I gave him my eyes momentarily, which he didn’t return. “He was what Mike? He was what? He was about to follow procedure. What if he hadn’t? What if he had a change of heart, and decided to open up on us instead of ‘following procedure’? Where would we be then, Mike? In the meat wagon, that’s where. It’s not like his death is exactly a ‘tragedy’ in this God-forsaken neighborhood of ours. The more I think about it, the more I think I did this rat hole a favor; one less drug dealer on the streets. And that little buy boy that I cuffed is assuredly taking a trip downtown, maybe to provide us with some info later on down the road. Isn’t that why we were given this uniform, in the first place? To protect and serve?” As I talked I could feel a migraine start to set in, and I realized I haven’t had anything to eat in over half a day. I finally felt Mike glance in my direction.
“Yeah, Frank. ‘To protect and serve.’ Not to shoot at will or whenever you feel like. And that’s exactly what you did back there.”
I looked over at Mike, again, only to see him return his stare out the passenger side window like a kid who didn’t win the teddy bear at the local carnival. My stomach churned in disgust.
Posted 17 June 2005 - 12:59 AM
“Frank Stevens! Get in here this minute!”
Great. It was the Chief, and he wanted to crawl down my throat for the hundredth time. I looked to my right, at Mike, who was sitting in the lobby just outside the Chief’s office. As I got up and headed for the door, I looked into his eyes as he gave me a look of disapproval. He new what was about to happen; it wasn’t the first, or was it going to be the last time.
As I opened the door, I was surprised to see the Chief with his face in his hands, rather than his usual stare of anger and despise. He was really upset this time around. I just couldn’t wait to hear what he had to say.
“Sir, you wanted me…?” I said as if this was something new.
“Yeah, I want you. Take a seat, son.” I took a seat in the only chair in his office, a small, dark brown, leather Lay-Z-Boy. As I sat down I noticed just how much the sun reflected off of his brown and completely bald head. I shoved away the usually comical thought, and tried to situate myself in the uncomfortable seat. I felt my stomach turn as a precursor to nausea that swept over my skin, taking all the warmth from my body. I felt almost instantly as if my bones would crack from extreme cold, which accumulated from nowhere. I started to break out in cold sweats. I despised this man, Chief Williams, but I didn’t want to lose my job, either. I was born to be a cop. I didn’t want this opportunity to slip out of my hands, and start work as a garbage man in Detroit somewhere.
“Care to explain to me what this is?” Williams plopped down the police report Mike had written and turned in only minutes earlier.
I glanced at the report, but didn't bother opening it. I knew what was written, and was about to find out what Cheif Williams didn't like about it.
"According to this report, you had an unfortunate incident while attempting to apprehend suspects involved in a drug sale on 52'nd earlier today" Williams began. He loved playing cat and mouse with me on occasions such as this, and I wasn't exactly in the mood. "According to the report, shots were fired and a body was produced as a result. Your partner, Mike Straton, was the original officer apprehending the suspect. And yet you, according to this report, was the one who fired the shot." Williams bored a hole through my face with his aged and yet fiercly intense eyes.
I shifted my weight uncomfortably in his Lay-Z-Boy while rough and beaten leather crackled and snapped in the mid-90 degree heat that was today. It was obvious that Chief was trying to pin me for over reacting when I shot the suspect this morning. Williams was just trying to look for an excuse to bury me in the ground, and get me out of the precinct. The only reason I still wear an LAPD uniform is despite my “overreacting” I am still a good police officer. I successfully operated more stings last quarter then any one on the task force.
"Sir, Officer Michael Straton was attempting to apprehend the suspect when he, the suspect, produced a small black revolver from his waistline. After cuffing the first suspect, I continued toward my parter to offer my assistance with the second suspect, the armed one, sir."
"You planned on offering your 'assistance'? In what way, exactly?"
"We both know that my partner has never fired a weapon at a suspect before, sir, and I was hesitant that he would take the proper actions to..." I fumbled momentarily for the right wording, which was a mistake. Williams jumped in during the pause.
"...take the proper actions to shoot the suspect on whim, Frank? Is that it?" A slow and subtle smirk crept across Williams face, and I could tell he was thouroughly enjoying this by now.
"Sir, I was merely defending myself and my partne..."
"Oh get off it, Frank!" Chief exclaimed, which caught me off gaurd long enough to prevent me from retorting with a well thought answer.
"I'm not stupid, Frank. I do not believe for an instant that you shot the victim due to self defense. I, along with the rest of this precinct, is keen on your over irrational behavior, Stevens. It’s no surprise to anyone that things like this continue to happen time and time again. You have established quite the reputation around here.”
“Reputation, sir? I am not sure what you mean…” I began. I wanted him to think I did what I thought was right. All I needed to do is admit I did something against policy, and Williams would have liable reason to oust me out. But as long as I acted innocent, there was nothing he could do. Sure, he could oust me without conflict of interest within the precinct, but without any hard firm evidence, the media would be in an outrage. They loved me; as far as they knew, I was the best cop LAPD had to offer.
“Yes, ‘reputation’” Williams replied. “You have taken similar harsh actions in an uncountable number of cases. This one, to be specific.”
“Officer Marshall figured you shot the victim due to irrational force and quick judgement. There were 4 witnesses at the scene, and they all said you shot the man despite your partner pleading you not to. What in the world were you thinking, Frank? This was not a hostile situation in any shape or form; the men were cooperating with you. According to the police report, you and your partner, Mike Straton, chased these two men on foot for a short while, one of them giving up, whom you cuffed moments later.” Chief threw some pictures across his desk, intending that I should review them as if their faces would be a surprise to me.
“The police report also states your partner, Michael, had the second suspect under control, before you butted in without his consent…”
Now I had to defend myself. “No, Chief” I began, and whose name came out with slightly more punch than originally intended. “Mike did not have the situation under control. He didn’t know what to do, frankly. He practically wet his pants, this was his first situation where the suspect was armed and dangerous…”
“Armed and dangerous? Are you kidding me? That wasn’t the situation Frank, and you know it. You are just trying to save face because you know you acted in the wrong and took the wrong course of actions. What is the matter with you? Why won’t you just admit that what you did was not only of poor judgment, but against what we stand for?”
I knew what Williams was trying to do. He just wanted me to say I was wrong, and that I did the wrong thing. Except this time he was more persistent. I began to wonder why he wouldn’t let this go as in the times past; I mean it isn’t exactly like him to really care if another LA drug dealer goes down. Sure, he gives me flack about it simply because he feels like I’m a lose cannon, not someone he has under his thumb; which obviously bothers him. He’s a control freak, but this was unlike him. It was almost as if he was up to something. I smelt something fishy going on.
“Frank, answer my question!” Williams slammed his fist against his desk, and just as he did, I saw a small silver shape fall onto the floor. It was about the size of a pack of index cards. I immediately had an idea what it was. My hunch was right.
“What is that?” I pointed to the silver tape recorder that fell off of his desk.
“It’s nothing,” the Chief stammered. “It’s something I was using on a suspect a little while before I had you in here.” Chief Williams’ face got beat red, and he reached for the recorder.
I quickly reached down and snatched the recorder off the floor before he could get to it.
“Frank, put that on my desk! What do you think you’re doing? Give it to me now Frank. NOW!”
I took a couple steps backwards, towards his office door. After fumbling with the recorder for what seemed like forever, I finally managed to press rewind, then play. Chief knew exactly what I was doing. He stood up in protest, as a rather large vein in his forehead began to bulge and pulse with increasing repetitions.
“Deputy Frank Stevens, if you don’t hand that to me right now, I will have your badge. Give me the recorder!”
I ignored his requests, and let the recorder play. It revealed that Williams had been taping the entire conversation we just had. I was furious.
Forcing his eyes to meet mine, I gave him a look of disgust and dismay. I shook my head and flung the recorder in the air towards his general direction. Total defeat and disappointment overwhelmed by body and emotions.
“So that’s it, eh? I bust my butt on this force for 7 years, working my way slowly up the food chain, eventually becoming the best narcotics officer in this place, and what I get is this? You trying to get me to confess in that little silver piece of junk, just to get me outta here and off your back?” I was livid. I didn’t plan on holding anything back.
Williams tried to cut me off. “Frank, come on now, you have to look at it from my perspective. You bring a disgrace to this precinct because of the reputation you created for acting too quickly, and letting your emotions get in the way of your work. We can’t have that around here…”
“All you care about is pleasing the higher-ups by saving face. All you want is to try and avoid any confrontation or strife to make yourself look good, no matter what the cost. You don’t care about police work, or striving for justice. You completely ignore my accomplishments last year, banking in more separate sting operations and uncountable pounds of drugs than anyone on this force. All you care about is what your co-workers think of you, all that’s on your mind is what Uncle Sam will think of the people you let run this place.”
“Now you listen here buster. Who do you think you’re talking to? Eh? Who? I ain’t one of your druggie suspects’ pal, I’m your boss. And as of now, you’re indefinitely suspended from the force until further notice.”
I completely ignored his statements. I had more to say, and I was darn well planning on saying it.
“What do you think I am, some ignorant punk who doesn’t know north from south? Get real. I know exactly what’s going on. The higher ups don’t approve of my tactics and the way I handle things. They think I am too hot blooded. And they are afraid that my temper in crime solving will result in a wrong move, in creating the wrong enemies with the wrong people. They are afraid of even worse relations between us and the street gangs out there. Last year almost two dozen officers were killed in the line of fire just because of gang retalliation. But no, your boss’ don’t care about how many officers are lost, but rather what that statistic makes us look like. Your boss’ are afraid of us appearing weak and with no backbone to the media, and the people of Los Angeles. And they wouldn’t want that, now would they? Of course not. Because once we look weak to the people, and lose their approval, then we lose our pull, we lose our donations and respect. Then taxpayers complain about there “hard earned money” going to waste, and not putting forth any result in the crime rates and police enforcement. Then due to whining from the citizens, it puts pressure on the governor to provide an answer. And where does that pressure go, once it hits the governor? It goes to the government. It then becomes the government’s problem. It becomes a government issue. And your boss’ wouldn’t want to put more pressure or cause problems for the government, now would they? That’s what it all boils down to, Chief Williams, is pleasing the government. Isn’t that always the case? Remember the two dozen lost officer stat of last year? Yeah, well us “officers” ain’t stupid. We caught wind that only 4 of those lost officers made it out into media’s news cameras. Only 4! That’s only a minute fraction of the total story. The whole point was the keep the real losses “hush hush” to please the people, in turn pleasing the government. If the real statistics made it out onto the street, there would be an uproar. And that is why you want me out. To keep yourself intact from the punishment from above.”
After saying what I did, I stood there staring into the Chief’s eyes. He new I was right. Just having to call him Chief made me feel as if my skin was stretched like plastic wrap, and getting ready to pop right off my bones. I couldn’t wait to get out of that forsaken office. What I was about to do next wasn’t easy, but it was something I had to do. I finally realized that working so hard to stay on this force was really not only a waste of time but something that went against my way of thinking and the things I stood for.
I ripped off the shinny gold crusted emblem on my right breast pocket, something that signified dignity, honor, and respect. It was none of those now, and it was worthless to me at this point. It landed with a clatter and bounced several times across my Chief’s desk after I flung it out of my hand. William’s didn’t do as much as return my stare with a blank gaze.
I waited for him to leave my eyes, and then reached for the door. I opened it, only to be greeted by almost all the officers in the building, who were careening their ear to hear what was going on inside the Chief’s office. I felt Williams return his eyes to me as I was about to walk out the door.
“Don’t you leave, Stevens. I ain’t finished with you yet.”
I didn’t care whether he was finished or just getting started.
“Well, sorry Chief, but I am. There is nothing else for me to say. Hope you received what you wished and worked so hard for, John.” I made sure to stretch out his first name as long as it was worth. I then turned back around towards the door, stormed out into the hallway slamming Williams’ door behind me. Mike, who I almost forgot was even here with me, looked like a kid who was caught with his hand in the cookie jar. He was dumbfounded about what just took place. I grabbed my jacket that was in the seat next to him, and told him we should leave. He got up, met my gaze, and we both headed for the door. I could feel every single eye in that building on us as Mike and I walked down the long, narrow tile hallway, our shoes making a loud click-click-click against the newly waxed floors. My mind vaguely wondered when rumors would start about me and Chief Williams. As I pulled the front door open, I heard Williams fling open his office door behind us, and he started another one of his screaming fits.
“Deputy Frank Stevens, get back here! Who do you think you are? You think you can just storm into my office and tell me off? Well let me tell you something you conniving…”, was the last thing heard as his voice faded away into thin air. My partner and I finally stepped outside into the bright afternoon sun which was blinding at first, but soon transformed itself into it’s own kind of narcotic.
I shielded my eyes, and realized I missed my daughters’ soccer game by two hours. I felt like a miserable human being, and felt like an even worse parent to my kids. Mike stood next to me in an awkward silence as he fumbled for his keys. He glanced over at my face, and began to talk.
“I don’t know what to say, Frank. You sure put on one hell of a show in there, though. I guess you should be proud of yourself, saying what you did. It takes guts to do something like that.”
I was shocked at what he just said. I was expecting his usual sermon about how ‘I shouldn’t take matters into my own hands’, and how ‘I should have just kept quite’, so on and so forth. This time he really understood where I was coming from. I really respected that, because I knew how different we were, how our personalities and methods of operation oftentimes clashed.
I met his stare, both of us knowing exactly where the other guy was coming from. Mike and I had never shared such a moment, and I was beginning to realize our friendship was slowly evolving. I left his eyes and started to head for my car. The sun felt good on the back of my neck, and I slid on the shades I had in my pocket. I reached my car, fumbled with my keys, muscled the door open, and finally managed to plop into the drivers’ seat. To my surprise, the car started fine; no more welcoming sputs, spats, bangs, and pops. As I backed out of the Police Headquarters parking lot and hung a right turn onto the main street in town, I flipped the tuner knob. I thought about all the radio stations out there, and not one was playing anything worth listening to. I chuckled at its own stupidity, and rested my head against the back of my black leather seat. At least the main street traffic was somewhat light.
Posted 17 June 2005 - 01:00 AM
I approached the grotesque rectangular shaped rintin I call home after stopping by a local bar in-town en-route home. My eyes glanced at my watch as I did so. I realized it was much later then I thought and, as a result, the night was dead. There was not a sound to be heard on the roads, except for the throbbing of my head. It was almost as if I was driving along an empty and abandoned corridor, a place that was deserted and unwanted. Every time I drank more than 3 beers, a severe headache would set in and sometimes last for hours. Along with those headaches would oftentimes come weird illusions or odd thoughts which usually involved me comparing an empty road to abandoned corridors. I chalked my odd thoughts up to the alcohol.
I slowly maneuvered my Bronco into a driveway approximately the size of a Geo Metro; which was not an easy task, especially at 2 in the morning. I was beat, and could think no longer. Partially due to stress, partially due to the beer under my belt. But I didn’t care what the source was due to right now. I just wanted to climb into bed, and wake up without a job the next day.
After fiddling with my keys for a few moments, the bottom lock was freed, and I was surprised by the door’s sudden opening. It wasn’t dead-bolted. This was very peculiar considering Emily’s over cautious ways, especially when it comes to her own home and the safety of our youngest girl, Michelle. The floor creaked and popped with my weight as I entered house, the musty smell filling my nostrils, and I tried my best to latch the door behind me as quietly as possible. As I turned around to head towards the bedroom, I was stopped cold in my tracks to see Emily sitting on the couch, arms crossed in front of her chest. She wasn’t happy.
“So, why even bother coming home, Frank?” I loved the way she elongated the vowel in my name whenever she was angry. It was like fingers on a chalkboard, only over a megaphone of some sort. “You know you missed Michelle’s game, or has that not even hit you yet?”
“Emily, look, I can explain…” I tried, but I also knew it was useless. Fighting with Emily, especially when your out and out wrong, is like bringing a knife to a gunfight. Well, actually, it’s more like bringing a bulls-eye to a gunfight.
“Don’t ‘Emily’ me, Frank. It’s ridiculous that you’d even try to stand up for yourself. How can you live like this? How can you treat out family so? This isn’t the first time you’ve stumbled into our home half drunk and unremorseful at that.” I noticed that as she spoke, even in the dark of the unlit house, I could see her cheeks changing color from its usual snowy white to a Washington tomato red. “Is it ever going to end, Frank? Should I even try with you anymore?”
“Now Emily, come on. It’s not fair to give up on us because I’m late home from work a few nights…” Oops, bad mistake. Nothing is more fatal when arguing with a female than throwing a hyperbole into the mix. Not smart.
“Not fair? Only a few nights? How can you say that with a straight face? This has happened a countless many times Frank. And you know it. Besides, isn’t once enough?”
Before I could retort, Emily got out of her chair and stormed upstairs to our bedroom. I was about to follow, when I was greeted by sheets and pillows thrown in my face.
"Enjoy the couch, hunny" she snickered at the top of the stairway.
The next morning I was awakened by the loud ringing of the phone, rather than the usual ring of my alarm clock.
"Frank?" an all too recognizable voice asked on the other end of the line.
"Mke, what's up? It's 7 in the morning man, couldn't it wait?" I tried to avoid sounding impatient, usually when Mike called me this early it was for good reason.
"No, it can't wait Frank. Last night I got a fax from a fellow Deputy who informed me that the drug dealer you shot yesterday, well, turns out he was the son on a very influential gang lord around those parts."
"What? You must be kidding me." I couldn't believe it. Wasn't that my luck.
"I also think, Frank, that's why the Cheif was so adamant about what happened yesterday. This is bad publicity, and only worsens our already sore relationship with the local gangs."
Mike did have a point. This could be a very large problem, and only the beginning of more problems to come.
"Mike, where are you now?"
"I'm in my car, just getting ready to leave. Can we talk about this some more later, like at your house or something?"
"How about lunch? 12 o'clock?"
"Sounds fine. Where?"
"I don't care, you pick. Just give me a ring when you come up with a place, alright?"
"Sure thing. Take it easy Frank, and I'd watch your back if I were you. When this guy finds out what happened to his kid, if he hasn't found out already, he isn't going to be pleased."
"Don't worry about me Mike. Just pick a place and don't forget to call me first."
Roughly 4 hours later I was awakened again by another phone call. Good, Mike didn't forget the call.
"Yo, Mike, how is it you manage to call whenever I'm sleeping? I swear you have the worst timing of any..." I was interuppted by a much more baritone sounding voice which definately didn't belong to Mike.
"Listen. If you wish to see Mike, alive, again, show yourself at the pier, near the Waterfront. 2 am. Don't bring cops, don't bring heat, and don't be late."
Posted 17 June 2005 - 01:01 AM
I arrived at the pier roughly 5 minutes short of 2 am. It was pitch black except for the luminince brought by the full moon above my head. It was a cool night, settling in the mere mid 50's. But that didn't stop the sweat from beading across my brow and under my arms; I felt both physically and mentally as if I had just completed a triathalon.
I debated several minutes whether or not to leave my Bronco running or shut it off. After about 60 seconds of arguing with myself, I decided it best to appear as if I was not in any hurry. The people I were about to meet, members of the gang that Mike mentioned earlier, I imagined, where professionals. They knew the technique's of hostage situations, and how to get one to compromise in a situation much like this one. For the first time in my sucessful career, I felt both vulberable and intimidated. I wasn't sure what to do, and it drove me nuts. Here lying before me is the most critical situation I'll probably ever face, either as a police officer or as a civilian; and here I was, unprepared and even scared. I had a small pocket-pistol in the glove compartment, which was loaded in case of dire-straits. But I realised that if these guys were the guys that I thought they were, I wouldn't even get a chance to use my Glock.
After what seemed to be an eternity, three pairs of headlights appeared in the distance, to my right, where the road led. Soon after spotting them two headlights vanished, leaving nothing but the sound of their tires rumbling in my direction. If three cars were the only one's at this meeting of ours, that probably mean anywhere from 6 to 12 men, including Mike. I knew that this particular gang always traveled in groups of atleast 5 or more, and I also figured that there was a good chance there were more men somewhere beyond my eyes. Maybe on the ceiling of the neighboring businesses? Maybe hidden in a boat of somekind just offshore? I couldn't be sure.
The three cars pulled in front of my Ford in unison, spaced at about two carlengths between eachother. They parked, with the outer two killing the engine, and the remaining car in the middle killing the engine but leaving the headlights on. I couldn't see hardly anything, and that was more than likely the point.
In my peripheral vision I could see four doors on both the cars on the right and left open, quickly followed by four men in what looked like dark black attire, more than likely business suits and ties. All men were physically large and had sunglasses covering their eyes. How they managed to see anything in the dark with sunglasses was beyond me.
Finally the driver of the third car emerged, with what looked like an envelope in his hand. He casually walked infront of his own headlights, and stood before my Ford.
"Step out of the car", he said loud enough to hear but in a very calm and controlled tone.
As I opened my drivers side door, I debated what to do about the Glock in my glove compartment. In a split second decision, I decided it the wiser to leave it where it was, for I was expecting a body search of somesort.
I stepped outside of my Ford, shutting the door behind me. Two men emerged from behind the headlights and walked in my direction. They patted me down and decided I was clean. They gave a glance toward the man standing between the cars, whom by now I was guessing was in charge.
"Step forward, slowly" said the man, now facing towards me with hands clasped in front of him and the envelope under his arm. I obeyed, and stopped when he raised his hand palm up after he figured I was close enough. I was about eight feet from him now, and could see the well trimmed almost military haircut, and the mixed black-asain skin tone. The odd combination surprised me in itself. I still had no visual on Mike, and this made me anxious, although I tried to contain my nerves.
"Here." He handed me the envelope.
I ripped the envelope about half an inch from the top, and shook out the remains of what was inside. It was a single photograph, 8 by 10 glossy. I couldn't see the image due to the darkness.
"What is this?" I asked, confused and somewhat agitated.
"Here, step towards me and use the headlights to take a closer look."
I stepped closer, and as I shifted the photograph in front of the headlights I could clearly make out the image. It was a picture of the suspect I had shot merely the day before. It was what seemed to be a High School graduation picture. It was then that I pieced together that the man standing in front of me was more than likely the father, the supposed and infamous gang lord.
"Does he look familiar to you, Officer Frank Stevens?" He looked at me with incredulous eyes. "That was the young man you killed yesterday, while on duty. He was my son." The words came from his mouth with an intense ring to them. It was of both extreme anger and remorse. His demeanor seemed to shift without warning from well collected business man to that of an ice cold and heartless father hell-bent on revenge.
"Word spreds fast within our family, especially with something as tragic as this, Mr. Stevens. Unfortunately for you, you failed to foresee the magnitude of problems and sorrow that you have caused our family by taking the actions you took yesterday afternoon. Unfortunately for your partner, the consequences must now be delt with."
As he said those words, 2 additional dark and large figures emerged from the backseats of his car, slamming the doors loudly. They walked towards me, while it appeared that one man had another envelope in the right hand while the other figure carried an envelope in his left. They stepped behind the father, and handed him the two envelopes.
"Here, Mr. Stevens. Take a look, and make a decision."
I set the picture I had in my hands at the time on the hood of my Bronco, and took the two new envelopes. Not having any clue what was in the envelopes, and still not knowing where my partner was, I was somewhat fearful and very anxious. Whatever was in the evelopes, I feared it sealed both my partner and mine's fate.
I ripped open the envelopes, to find two additional pictures. But these were very different. As I stepped into the light cast by the headlights once more, I could see them clearly now. The picture in my left hand was that of a chainsaw, the picture in my left was a picture of the very bay we were located at.
"What exactly is this?"
"What is that, you ask?" The father turned to his two comrades, to his left and right, and shared a brief smirk. He returned his gaze to me.
"Mr. Stevens, that is one of the two methods you will have to choose for the fate of your friend here. Mike, is it?" He pointed, again with a smirk, to his vehicle. "He's inside, and patiently awaiting your decision. What will it be, Mr. Stevens?"
It was then that I snapped. I could not take this anymore. If these thugs and pushers thought they could fool around with the life of my best friend and partner in police work, they had another thing coming.
In a split second decision, I threw the photographs at the father, turned around and ran towards the driver seat of my Bronco in an attempt to find my Glock. The eight goons on which previously occupied the first two vehicles gave chase, and as I rounded the front left bumper of the Ford in the dark, I was rudely awakened and surprised by running square into a large and dense shape. I looked up to see it was one of the fathers goons who appeared out of nowhere. He must of been standing by my Bronco the entire time, just incase I decided to do the very thing I was trying to do. Before I could get up, I felt a swift kick to my right side and another to my back. Two of the goons picked me up by the arms from behind, and dragged me back to the front of my Bronco, and propped my lifeless body against the front bumper. The initial kick had broken atleast two of my ribs, I was sure, and the second only added insult to injury. I was frustrated, tired, angry, and now sore. But not scared; I had now surpassed the emotion of fear.
"Do you mistake us for fools? You will not escape your fate by merely running for cover. It seems to me that you have failed to realise just who you are dealing with, Mr. Stevens. Besides, the fate of your partner here is only just the beginning." The father glared at me now, almost with a twisted enjoyment on his lips as he spoke. To him, this was like stealing candy from a baby.
Just then two of the goons proceeded to the fathers vehicle and opened the passenger side door. They pulled out a somewhat smaller figure, tall but wiry, unlike the others. As he shuffled towards me, I could tell that it was Mike.
"Now, Mr. Stevens, since it seems that you have blown off the responsibility to make a decision for your friend here," he said as he glanced in the direction of my partner, "it appears I will have to make that decision for you. Garcia, Tom, get the chainsaw out of my trunk."
I had to do something, I couldn't simply let this happen.
"Now look guys, we don't have to go and..."
"...we don't have to go and do what, Mr. Stevens? Take rightful revenge for the slaying of my son? You seem sorely mistaken, for this is not a social visit or is anything here debateable or under negotiation. We gave you the choice of fate for your friend, and you failed to even handle that responsibility correctly. Your speaking role is finished, Frank." It was then that one of the goons approached the father and handed him the chainsaw. The second goon grabbed Mike and began to drag him between the fathers car and my Bronco. He was about to lay Mike on the ground horizontially, when we were all collectively distracted by a subtle rumbling noise coming from the bay.
"What the hell is that?" The father looked at his handymen. "Go check it out, now." As the goons turned around to check out the noise, a bright light shone in our direction and blinded us. The goons wearing sunglasses reacted fastest, and immediately drew handguns out of their waists and took aim at the light.
"FREEZE! Los Angeles Police Department, put away your weapons and back out into the open with your hands up!" I know identified the rumbling noise as one of our own police Speeder boatcrafts, used mainly by the local coast gaurd but some of which were occupied by my precinct. The goons took cover behind their cars and opened fire on the police boat. The immense sound of multiple gunshots was instantly deafening and took place of the ominious silence that once filled my ears only moments ago. I glanced in the direction of the father, who was no where to be seen. In a panic, I frantically ran to the passenger side of my Bronco and pulled the Glock out of my glove compartment. As I ducked behind the right front fender of my Ford, I then saw the father standing roughly 15 feet to the left of Mike, and was unholstering his weapon. In a frantic rush of adrenaline, I dove from behind the Ford and simotaneously dove ontop of Mike's motionless body while shooting aimlessly in the fathers direction. I unloaded all 6 shots of my Glock, and landed on top of Mike's body. It wasn't until I saw the father's lifeless body fall to the ground that I noticed I had been hit. I looked down at the bullet hole in the center of my chest. I was bleeding bad, and sound no longer filled my ears. Everything was silent, everything was now darkening. I reached for Mike's hand in an attempt to verify any signs of life coming from his listless body. To my great surprise and relief, Mike returned my grasp and squeezed my hand. Shortly thereafter the blackness came in like a sweeping tidal wave and covered my soul.
Posted 17 June 2005 - 01:01 AM
Roughly 72 hours later, I was awakened not by phone calls, but by the sweet sound of my wife's voice.
"Frank, Frank honey? Can you hear me sweety?" I slowly opened my eyes, letting the light of the reasurring image of my soul mate fill my mind, and refill my soul. She kissed me on the forehead and embraced me with her arms. We sat like this for what seemed like an enternity, and I wouldn't of minded one bit if it had lasted forever.
"Oh Lord Frank, what you've been through. You nearly got yourself killed!" She looked at me with an odd mix of frustration and complete happiness in her eyes.
"The key word is almost, Emily." I managed to smile, which was a first for quite a while. "Tell me Emily, tell me Mike is alright."
"He isn't alright." She looked at me almost with fear in her eyes. I began to feel hopeless and despair, when she replaced all those emotions with three simple words.
"He isn't alright. He's perfect." She said these words with the biggest smile I'd ever seen come across her face. "You saved his life, Frank!"
"Emily, can you answer me one question though? How did the cops show up, who alerted them?"
"Well, why don't you ask him yourself?" Just as she said these words, Mike staggered into my hospital room.
"Mike!" We shook hands, and the feeling of seeing him alright was the greatest reasurrence anyone could of given me at the time. "Frank, you saved my life. How can I ever repay you?"
"Well Mike, you can do me one favor. Explain to me where in the world the cops came from. I didn't call them and there is no way anyone could of known about the meeting..."
"Frank, I called them. Remember when you threw the photographs into the fathers face and ran to your truck? Well, that gave me the perfect diversion. Since I was sitting in the passenger side, and they only cuffed my feet, I was able to use the fathers phone in his car and dialed straight to our precincts private line. I had just enough time to tell them everything, where, when, all that. They reacted immediately."
"So, in the end, I guess it was you who saved my behind, Mike. I never thought I'd say those words to you of all people." I gave him a sarcastic smile. He laughed, and replied, "Well, you saved mine Frank, so I guess we can call it even."
Posted 17 June 2005 - 02:29 AM
There were a few spelling/grammatical errors but nothing too big.
Posted 17 June 2005 - 02:45 AM
|QUOTE (Kitteh @ Jun 16 2005, 21:29)|
| Nice story |
There were a few spelling/grammatical errors but nothing too big.
Yeah, forgot to tell you guys that this story hasn't been proofreaded for grammatical/spelling errors. I've only proofread for context/sentence structure so far. Obviously, I'll have to proofread it completely before turning it in.
But, keep the comments coming. Appreciate them.
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