Chapter 1: A Regular Night

Entering the police station, there’s always a chilled feeling from how literally cold it is in here, compared to how hot it is on the streets. One advantage of being in a freezing cold station is that it’s a safe haven from the near-relentless violence brewing outside; drug deals in back alleys, gangs doing us favors by killing each other, and an even more major issue of rising theft. It doesn’t bring any shame to me by saying: If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. This and other precincts around the city are bought out by some of the wealthiest heads in crime. Admittedly, I stake a claim over my fair share of the profit because there’s no reason not to.

My badge fell in the mud over a year ago and I don’t have the slightest intention of washing it off. Most nights we end up pulling in a good load of arrests from the small-time garbage with their small-time products; leaving room for the big fish that pays top dollar. My favorite time is coming back for paperwork during the night shift. A truly good reason to keep it cold in here is to show respect to the big-titted hookers and prostitutes we bust.

Half the bunch deserve to be kept in a cell; however, there are some great pieces of ass that pass through here and those are the ones that we treat with respect. Depending on who she belongs to, we either ship them out with a smack on the ass or let them fuck their way out. I’ll say I’m not the best looker in this precinct but I’ve even banged a few in interrogation myself. There’s no feeling greater than showing off my muddy badge by showing a hot hooker out of a room as she pulls up her panties; a job well done in my book. I slip past the reception area, giving a head nod to the guys beyond the counter as they return the greeting.

Around the right bend, I pass a couple of office doors that lead around to the heart of the precinct. Civilians and criminals alike are seated alongside each officer’s desk, pleading their cases. More visitors are cuffed to chairs and will likely be staying overnight. These are the slightly dangerous types that need to be out of the way of the more dangerous types who fatten our wallets. These perps don’t realize it but we’re doing them a favor. They can either stay in a cell for a night or two in expectance of a judge, or end up dead in a ditch from stepping on the wrong toes.

The other bad guys like the permanent solution; nevertheless, it’s a considerable amount more in paperwork for us to pretend an investigation. Passing toward the back where my desk is, I greet my fellow officers in dark blue uniform with their arrested companion. Keeping my cool, I admire tonight’s partially dressed female guests on the benches to the right. The big breasted girls with the missing bras catch my eye first, rather than the high-class broads with full length dresses; which should actually appear more attractive to me.

Every young and middle-aged man loves a good slut, thus the fully dressed must cater to the elderly wealth. Whichever senator they’re screwing will have them out within the hour. I reach my small desk, matched perfectly in a straight formation with the others. There’s a handful of paperwork next to my computer from last night. Before I get my ass yelled at by the captain again, I get to work while everyone else works around me.

In my zone, the station quiets down to near whispers and ringing landlines. Not a quarter of the way through my boring files, Richard hovers over me, examining my work. We worked a few arrests together and assist each other with “miscellaneous assignments” of our own. He watches my back a little more than I watch his; making me feel like I sometimes can’t trust him. His excitement level appears low, so there’s likely nothing of value on his personal docket.

I briefly peek back at my fair-skinned friend as I write, “A regular night huh?”

His sigh releases and the deep, New York tone collides with mine, “A regular night. I don’t fill enough of these out the correct way, but from my perspective, this looks late. Forgot your classwork?”

“Obviously. Don’t you have some work to do yourself?”

He leans against my desk, facing left of me as he answers, “when I’m done spending the extra cash from that bust last night. Captain can kiss my ass as much as you kiss his.”

“By doing my job?”

“Yep. Nice set of lips to reach his ass from way over here.”

I look up from my work to see he’s looking in the back left corner where Captain Terrell’s door rests every day. Terrell’s badge is permanently tainted black, though he has to keep the work flowing in to make it look as if we’re doing our jobs. In order for him to give any shit about someone not doing their job is for them to truly not do their job. He’s paid more than all of us, seeing as our orders to back off come from the people that pay him. The small-timers who want to be kingpins pay us, yet he gets the actual kingpins that pay kingpin money. He’s nice enough to let us keep what we find on the stings and turn in what little we want, making him a great boss.

I respond sarcastically, “Some of us understand that a job still has to be done around here. Without these reports, one of the scumbags from I.A. would be down here to fuck things up for us. I got a nice house to pay for and I’d rather not fuck that-”

He interrupts, “Yeah, yeah. So what do you think about Holly?”

I look over at the hardened red-head that carries a sparkling badge compared to ours, “I think she’s great. So far out of your league that she’s on another sport.”

“Ah, fuck off. I’m thinkin’ of askin’ her out.”

I start on my next file, focusing on and off the conversation as I ask, “Didn’t you ask her out already?”

“Yeah, but this time I’ll be a gentlemen about it. I think that’s what she likes.”

“My vote is that you already fucked that up. Good luck, though. I gotta finish my paperwork.”

He rises off of my desk and strolls away to another officer that he informally speaks with. Most of us have partners but most of which are incompatible with each other; the end result is us spending more time with other people’s partners rather than our own and vice-versa. My partner was recently killed in action during a sting and parties there would know it was my fault. I never liked the fucker anyway, so when I was instructed by the sergeant to instruct him to walk into an ambush, I did it.

His life was worth the amount of money I got paid for it and he paid the price for stepping on the wrong toes, on top of being a goodie-two-shoes. When I first started, my goal was in the same direction as my late partner; helping keep the streets clean, protect the innocent, stopping robberies, and all the other bullshit. I started opening my eyes to what was really going on around here and Richard gave me the insight on how to play along. In our world, it’s either swim with the pirañas or get eaten by them and I’m not down to be fish food so early in my life.

I’m only twenty-nine and plan to retire on my illegal collection by thirty. Fuck being sergeant, when I’m set as a millionaire, I’m quitting to get my picket fence and a boring wife. My path is still far from that reach but I’m patient enough to wait. I resume my paperwork, remaining alone in my vicinity for a good long while; long enough for me to get sleepy and call it quits for the night.

I’m almost done with my work, therefore I continue to stick it out. Remembering case file after case file makes me feel better about the scumbags I actually do bring to the precinct or vigilante justice. My bruised knuckles can attest to a few uncivil arrests and there’d be no way to deny it, based on my victims faces. It’s a brutal world out there, mainly thanks to cops like me who were tired of getting taken and started taking.

A loud voice from behind me shatters my concentration, “Who’s fuckin’ playing games with me?!”

I look back to see a very serious Captain Terrell storm out of the hallway and stop. His old face looks over everyone on the floor. He’s usually screaming at someone, especially inside of the briefing room but not all of us. He drags all of our attention, even the criminals, and we all sit in silence.

I quote a line from therapy, “Captain, people can only play games with you if you give them the controller.”

He immediately shouts, “Shut the fuck up, Harris!”

“You got it, Cap.”

I lightly resume my paperwork while listening to his question, “Who thought it would be funny to leave someone unattended in the interrogation room with a bag over their head?!” Silence is still cast over everyone so he adds, “Nobody gonna speak up for themselves?!”

A calmer voice chimes in some input, “Captain, check this out.”

I glance back to nose my way in on what’s going on behind me, noticing the tech with a laptop. He and the Captain are clearly watching something relevant, then I take notice to someone standing behind them; someone I’ve never seen before. He’s equipped with one of our standard issue glocks and bold enough to stand behind Terrell so he’s one of us. Is he I.A. or some rookie? We never know what side of the field these new faces try to be on so they’re not a welcomed party.

Terrell speaks to me, “You, get off your ass. Let’s go.”

Instead of challenging the Captain, I follow his orders and tag along behind the small crew. I guess my loud mouth created even more work for myself and I’ll still need to finish my paperwork. What a shit night this is turning into. Who would put a bag over someone’s head and leave them in interrogation. Is the perp even still alive? Terrell’s gonna have someone’s head for this.

Terrell speaks as we walk back through the hallway he came from, “You’re on point with the rookie.”

I ask, “On point with what? Just take the bag off his head and kick the fucker out or book ’em.”

“He or she is not a perp.” Terrell gives a head signal to the male tech with the laptop as he adds, “This may be a bigger situation.”

The tech shows the rookie and I surveillance footage that goes back to the time of just past eight o’clock; twenty minutes before my arrival. The black and white footage from the cameras up in the corners show someone with a hat entering the double doors of the station. The person’s head looks intentionally tucked away from the camera’s view. I can’t tell if the baggy clothed person is a skinny male or a female; every part of them is covered except their neck area, which only tells they’re African American.

The tech taps a button, switching the camera to a different angle and following the person past the greeter desk then on to another angle. The person strolls by the right side, following ahead of an obviously distracted officer to take appearance of a perp. The officer stops and the person continues right past my empty desk and through this very hallway. They make the same left turn we’re about to make then follow the hallway right and enters a broom closet; moment’s later, exiting with the black sack in hand, the person crosses the hall and enters the interrogation.

The camera inside shows the person take a seat then place the bag over their head with the hat still on their head; covering their bases too accurately to not be suspicious. Whoever this person is, they’ve been here before, to know their way around like that. My best guess is it’s some criminal but why brashly walk in here? Officers in this department have done a lot of fucked up things to a lot of good people and to some good folks as well. Anybody could be sitting in that room for a number of reasons.

I suggest, “From the look of things Captain, we should probably call in Marty from the bomb squad.”

The rookie speaks, “I don’t think so. If this person wanted to blow up the station, why wait for so long?”

I ask, “I’m sorry, what’s your name?”

“Jameson.”

I quickly respond, “Okay good, I just wanted to make sure it wasn’t Captain.”

Terrell interrupts, “That’s enough. You may be training your potential next partner so play nice in there and show him how things are done. Understood Harris?”

I answer with enthusiastic reluctance, “You got it Cap.”

We stop at the door for the viewing room, next door to where our mystery perp has been patiently waiting; hopefully dead from suffocation; I might not be so lucky.