How Red Firefighters Cause Communism

10/09/2022

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The day starts out in normal fashion. I wake up, throw on some pants and my best shirt, grab my keys and make for the door. The air is cool, crisp but still a bit humid; I love this time of year. My feet hit pavement as I step off the curb and into the street, heading towards work. I’m usually not late for anything, especially if I don’t work a shift in the middle of the night, so I really should have been expecting today to be no different. However, after checking my phone, my first thought is, “Huh, it looks like that rain is supposed to hold off another few hours. Guess this isn’t such a bad day after all.” With that, I begin walking towards the precinct, my pace a little slower than usual. I walk down the stairs and cross through the front entrance into the building, smiling at the receptionist.
“Good morning, Lieutenant. How was your weekend?” She gives me a warm smile back.
“It went well. I spent most of Sunday in bed reading. Did you know that in 1832 there were thirty people killed during a shipwreck on Long Island Sound? It took twenty years to find their remains.” I reply. She nods her head slowly with an amused expression.
“Sounds like a pretty good way to spend your Sunday.” she remarks.
“Indeed.” I reply, stepping into the elevator. I press the button for the second floor and then lean against the wall, waiting patiently for it to arrive.
About five minutes later, when the elevator doors open, I notice something strange happening. The other cops standing around in the bullpen look like they are arguing about something and they don’t seem to notice me enter the bullpen. They all turn their heads to stare at me once I enter and it only takes one look at them for them to stop. In a panic, I begin searching the crowd for the person who seems to be doing the arguing. I can see someone moving through the sea of bodies near the back of the room. A tall man with his shoulders pulled back. His posture screams military and he has an unreadable expression on his face. Finally, my eyes land on him, and I freeze. He stops talking for a moment and turns to face me.
“Detective?” he asks. His tone doesn’t betray any emotion. He stands silently for a few moments before saying, “You’re a little early for your patrol shift.”
My mouth feels dry and I try to speak but I come up blank. ‘Are these guys high or what?’ I think to myself, trying desperately to clear my mind so that I can form actual sentences. I manage to choke out the following words. “Oh, uh, yeah. Didn’t sleep very well last night. So, uh, sorry if I’m being a pain in the ass today.” I give him my biggest grin yet, hoping he thinks that I’m joking. Unfortunately, he just narrows his eyes at me. “Sorry.” I mutter quietly.
I glance over to the squad I’m supposed to start my shift on and realize there isn’t anyone else in sight. Maybe I got here earlier than expected.
“I don’t have time to deal with your shit, Detective. I expect you to be here on time. Do you understand me?”
What the hell is going on here? “Uh, yup. That’ll happen. Right now though, I need to get started. I’ll, um, get started right away. You can go on your patrol now.” I stumble backwards slightly, trying to keep my distance from him and his group. As soon as I turn my back on him, his friends begin to chuckle softly.
Great. Just great. I think to myself, rolling my eyes as I make my way over to the desk that everyone is sitting at. I take a deep breath and let it out. This is gonna suck.
“Glad you could make it, Chief!” my co worker exclaims cheerfully. We’ve known each other for almost four years now, and although she isn’t much older than I am, she’s a cop just like me and we’ve shared many adventures together since she joined my precinct seven months ago.
“Hey, Sis. Good to be here. How goes the investigation?” She gives me a small shrug and glances at her screen.
“Not very exciting today. There have been a couple of robberies across town and a couple assaults in the past week. We got lucky that our suspect was caught last night, so there wasn’t much to do today. Not much traffic either, so that’s why we had to wait until tonight to close up shop.” I nod in acknowledgment, turning back to my own computer so I can begin logging onto my account while I wait for everyone else to get here. After a few more minutes of silence, the rest of my coworkers finally start filing in, greeting each other as they pass by. I stand up from my chair as they all file by the desk, greeting them briefly. They return the sentiment as well as I greet them.
“Well, I hope you had a good weekend, Chief!” One of the officers says with a friendly laugh.
“Yeah! You did great out there on Friday! We really enjoyed watching!” Another agrees.
“Thanks. I appreciate that, but really, I had fun too. If I didn’t have to work a double tomorrow, I wouldn’t hesitate to take another day. Thanks again though, guys!” I say, flashing them a sincere smile. As they leave, I sit back down in my chair and pull up the police reports on the computer. As I scan the page, I catch a glimpse of my own reflection in the glass of the window behind the desk. Something catches my eye and I stop reading. There’s a long scar running along the left side of my face. A few weeks ago, a drunk driver nearly ran me over coming in from the southbound freeway at fifty miles per hour. A car was swerving toward the road and I lost control, spinning the steering wheel wildly in an attempt to avoid the impact. But it didn’t work out that way.

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