El No, We Won't Go
Copyright© 2010 by Ol'Mac
Tuesday 6:02 A.M. W. Van Buren St. & Wabash Ave.
Police District 1, Beat 0132, was a plum assignment and every patrolman on the force knew it. Nothing much happened here. Well, maybe the occasional fender bender, but overall nada and certainly nothing life threatening. Stan Costanza and his partner Rick Fields knew they had it made.
Of course, they felt they'd earned this post with six, gritty and grueling years spent in Southside Chicago. That place had been an absolute hell and had cost Rick his first marriage. It had also gotten Stan the Department equivalent of 'The Purple Heart'; when a routine traffic stop with a carload of gang-bangers had gone seriously wrong.
There had been times without number when either partner's 'sixth sense' had saved their collective butts and it took both of them six months plus to start lightening up on those hair-trigger combat reflexes.
But, Beat 0132 was a completely different world though, they both always felt like they were protecting family, not citizens. They knew the names of every shopkeeper and the people that worked in the area. Strangers stood out like sore thumbs and usually turned out to be tourists. Norman Rockwell would have felt right at home here. Stan constantly joked that they might as well be social workers, because they sure weren't policemen any more.
Then to top everything off, there was Margarethe's coffee and Angelo's 'Bolos de Sol' pastries. Even if it was the 'Policemen and Donuts' cliché personified; Rick swore he could smell that coffee brewing from two blocks away. 'Transcendent' was the only descriptive term he had come up with, usually said with a sigh and a look of longing.
Then Stan, right on cue in their running joke would give him the hairy-eyeball while asking him how his pants were holding up so well.
They'd just pulled off Wabash onto W. Van Buren St. and stopped in front of the News Stand when a call for assistance came in from seven blocks north in Beat 0112. With a quick wave to Mike they took off and as they turned north on Dearborn St., Stan remarked, "You know you get six or seven blocks from here and it's a whole different world. It's just weird man."
"Yeah. But 0132 is all ours buddy. Just kick back and enjoy it," replied Rick.
Mike sent a quick scan north and found the young fairy Lannee on site. She hadn't been able to stop this burglary, but was keeping a close eye on the scene. Extending his senses further he found a fourteen year old girl with all the earmarks of a runaway. She was terrified, hungry and ready to bolt at the first sign of danger but something else about her was 'tickling' at his 'Mage sense'. Fortunately, Rick's cell number was on his speed dial and with a quick call he passed on the information. Making sure that Rick understood this 'perp' was a hungry, scared-to-death and unarmed juvenile female.
Beaming a charm that had worked well over the years, he sent hope to the girl, along with the sense that help was on the way.
As Rick and Stan pulled into the store parking lot they saw that Oscar and Alex were the officers on site. Walking over to their car Rick leaned down and said, "Hey guys. We got some updated Intel on the perp. Turns out she's a fourteen-year-old, unarmed female and scared out of her mind. You care if Stan and I coax her out while you guys can get hold of the owners? We'll still credit you guys with the collar, after all, you were the first on the scene."
Alex looked at Oscar and then shrugged, saying, "Sure Rick, have at it."
Rounding the back of the store Rick had an intense burst of that familiar 'Someone's Got my Back/ Golden Feeling' but turning around and expecting to see Stan, he did a double take because there was no one there. Shaking off the feeling, he reminded himself to focus on The Job'.
Lannee sat petrified in place on the fence and watched Rick's back recede around the rear of the building. The shock of almost being seen, still coursed through her like ice water in the veins. 'How could this happen? Mortals were normally, deaf, dumb and blind to Faery presence. Could this one be a possible Talent, or Lord?' she thought furiously. Then per SOP she passed this possibly valuable new Intel to the Defense Coordinator.
Searching the back of the store Rick found the 'point of entry'. The window hung out from the rear of the building about a half inch, but with no signs that it had been jimmied. "How stupid can people be?" Rick muttered, "Setup a silent alarm system and then leave a window unlocked ... duh? Well, at least it's not 'Breaking and Entering', just trespass."
As he neared the window he heard muffled sobs. Along with what sounded like incipient hiccups just beginning.
Lifting the window another inch or so with his nightstick, Rick whispered, "Please come out young lady. No one here will hurt you. I promise you'll be safe."
A few seconds later the edge of a dirty face with an eye the size of a harvest moon and brimming with unshed tears, slid into view.
"Please, don't make me go back there," came the pleading whisper.
"No one is going to make you go anywhere honey, until we figure out how and why you wound up here." Rick replied.
The "OK," that whispered back was so full of hope, it almost broke Rick's heart.
Lannee's new Intel hit Mike like a lightning strike out of a clear blue sky, 'Rick a Talent?' Mike mused, 'What the heck? What else could I have missed?'
Going on the old adage that 'where there's smoke, there's fire'. Mike ran a quick scan on Stan also. 'Holy Sh... ! What is this two-fer day?'
Mike fussed a bit more and then made a decision, 'What the heck am I going to do? Bring them over or not? Lord help me please, the darn command decisions keep piling up like cord wood. While more boots on the ground would be really sweet. I just don't want to blow these guys out of the water. Better hold off for now.'
After they got the girl in the patrol car and made sure Oscar and Alex had everything with the owners covered, Rick pulled out his cell and gave a callback to Mike.
Answering his cell Mike heard Rick, with half admiration and accusation, say, "How in heaven's name did you know man?"
"Hey, it's just that one hundred percent Irish charm Rick. What else?" quipped Mike
"Sure, I'll believe that, when a 'Daley' isn't the city mayor." Rick shot back.
"No seriously. It's just a knack I've always had. When you guys took off this stuff just flashed in my head. Doesn't happen all the time, but when it does, I've learned to pay attention. Do you and Stan have the girl in custody?" Mike asked.
"Yeah we do. God Mike, she's breaking my heart. But procedure says to run her down to the hall. Of course, all they'll do is return her to whatever misery-hole she took off from. Frigging desk jockeys." Rick said, with a tone of total disgust.
"How about this? Swing on by for ten minutes. You guys never did get your paper or coffee, and I'll bet she could pack away three of Angelo's Bolos without pausing for breath. Besides, what's ten minutes one way or another? Tell the social weenies you got stuck in traffic if they give you grief," suggested Mike.
"OK. See you in three." Rick clicked off.
'This magic stuff comes in really handy sometimes, ' Mike mused with a grin.
As the patrol car neared the News Stand the data he was reading from the girl became crystal clear. 'The Child's' name was Ella Lentworth. Since losing her parents in a traffic accident one and a half years ago, she'd been in foster care due to the lack of living relatives. Basically smart as a whip, but with a spirit that would only take one more straw to crush. The last 'foster home' she had been in had also housed a monster. She'd been repeatedly molested there. That 'tickling sense about her was also getting stronger by the second.