Washington:Dark City

Jason methodically replaced each and every component of his Heckler & Koch P46 sidearm back together. It seemed such a simple thing, but he enjoyed such things in life. He tapped a button on the counter in front of him and the shooting target began to roll away. It stopped at twenty yards. Apparently, this range was the most frequent area-of-engagement in pistol shootouts. Jason didn't need the practice but he figured some people like to jog, others play squash. He liked to shoot. He picked up the clip and inserted a single round. It had space for nineteen more, but he only needed one. He only wanted one. Stretching his neck to release tension, he smoothly brought up the P46 and had the sights effortlessly trained on the head area of the target. He didn't fire, as he caught a commotion in his peripheral vision. Lowering his pistol and removing the clip for safety, he discreetly observed a group of men entering the firing range. Spiky hair styles in obnoxious colours, ridiculous bling, trousers slung around their knees... a punk and his posse, he mused. Sure enough, the leader of the pack dribbled street slang as only a scatman could. Man, he hated punks. Couldn't they go and do something illegal somewhere? Do themselves a favour and get arrested?

A flash of movement, and Jason's gut instantly tensed as the boss man pulled out a huge gold plated pistol. He recognised it quickly as a Desert Eagle. If it was loaded and went off, someone would have a hole the size of a watermelon in them. Luckily, the man stepped up to the adjoining booth and whacked the target retreat switch. It stopped at the same distance away his was. The posse were egging 'Big Zee' on, and one in particular hollered for him to 'blow that sucka' - Jason wondered if he'd just stepped out of an 80's TV show.

One thunderous discharge later, Big Zee's target did indeed have a watermelon sized hole in it. The posse cheered and whooped. "The Deagle is the shit!" he exclaimed. His physically animated proclamation just grated on Jason.

Unimpressed by the show of bravado, Jason inserted his clip back into his P46 and fired a shot at his own target. It was a short sharp crack, completely different to the hand cannon of Big Zee. A small hole the size of a quarter dollar appeared in the head area. "Nice and easy," he thought. He thumbed the clip release switch, and noticed that the room had gone quiet. He then heard a snigger and a chuckle.

"Man, what sort of peashooter is that?" challenged Big Zee, his spiky luminous red hair threatening to poke the eyes out of anyone who got near him. "Can it even stop a chicken?" Big Zee's posse rallied around him with equally unimaginative jibes. Jason smiled to himself and pressed two bullets into the clip before sliding it into place.

"Reckon you can do that at 50 yards?" Jason answered quietly. Big Zee snorted his contempt, and his posse threw brush off comments at Jason. They both reset their targets with fresh sheets and sent them out to the maximum range. Jason pointed for Big Zee to go first, and he watched him taking a little care this time, aiming with a bit more skill. The Deagle boomed, and everyone looked down the range.

The target was untouched.

The back wall, unfortunately, had a new impact crater.

Jason calmly brought his pistol up to bear at his target. Despite the number of opponents he had, it was not the most pressured shot he'd ever had to make. He squeezed twice. Everyone looked down at his target, trying to see how successful he'd been. Hitting the recall button, Jason watched their expressions drop as the target came back to the booth. Two bullet holes, in the head area, about three inches apart. Jason was quite pleased with the result. One of the posse swore, and Big Zee looked unimpressed. "Too much sidearm," Jason commented, "too much recoil. You may have to fire many times to hit your target. I, on the other hand, will always give value for money with your tax dollars paying for my ammo." Jason flipped out his police badge briefly in front of the whole posse before making a cocky exit. He could feel their eyes burning into the back of his jacket as he left.


Stepping out of the Obama Shooting Club into the midday sun, Sergeant Jason Tyler pulled out his shades. He felt bad ass. Nothing like showing the scum of Washington that he was the law. It was a good start to the day. He walked across the parking lot, feeling like he was the centre of attention in some slo-mo sequence at the start of a blockbuster movie. He looked to the ground and saw his shadow. In a spot of egotism he reckoned it looked bad ass too. Clicking the unlock switch on his keys, Jason pulled open the door of his Police cruiser just in time to hear his radio squawk. "Two William Sixteen, this is dispatch, over."

Sitting himself into the driver's seat, he picked up the handset, "This is Sixteen, go ahead Alice."

"The LT has requested you return to base. She seems mightily pissed off. Something about getting transfered?"

Jason felt his bad ass bubble burst; Lieutenant McCarthy in a bad mood. "Acknowledged," he sighed. He started the car without delay, pausing only to rev the engine a couple of times before manoeuvring out of the parking lot. District Two Headquarters was a short distance along Wisconsin Avenue. He had no reason to keep her waiting.

"Lieutenant McCarthy in a bad mood," Jason grieved to himself, "Crap."

"Sanchez! Get your butt in here!" bellowed Captain Brody. Detective Ella Sanchez felt the blood drain from her face. She looked up from her computer toward Sam Chandler, her partner. His eyes looked straight back at her, silently mouthing "What have you done?"

Standing slowly, Ella turned to face the Captain's office. He stood in the doorway, arms crossed in front of him. "I haven't got all day," he called out. Impatience lined his black face as he stepped backwards. The door to his office stayed open. By now, other officers were looking at her; some feeling sorry for her, some taking pleasure that it wasn't them about to get incinerated from Brody's legendary wrath. Ella took a breath. Brushing a stray lock of hair out of her face, she stepped into Brody's office and closed the door. The rest of the officers within 3rd Precinct heard a one-sided conversation launch from within the captain's office, muffled by the wood and glass.

"Chandler," hissed Turnbull from a few desks away, "What's your daughter done this time?" He pushed his wheelchair over to Sam's desk to get the lowdown. The age difference was a bit of a joke in the precinct. Sam was old enough to be Ella's father. He had been on the force for 26 years, and was a few weeks away from the big five-oh and retirement. Despite that, the energy of youth coupled with a career's worth of experience matchup had proved very successful; a dynamic duo, or so the Washington Post reported.

Sam shook his head at Turnbull and shrugged. They'd just closed a big murder case. In fact, Sanchez had aced the evidence gathering. She was Washington's golden detective. So what trouble had she caused? As the ferocity raged within the Captain's office, Sam massaged his head as he tried to recall something... anything that might have caused such a furor. A couple of other police officers moved a bit closer to Sam's desk, curious to hear any theories about what was going on.

The shouting stopped suddenly. Some craned their necks to look through the glass. Ella stepped out of the Captain's office, a look of shock on her face. Everyone suddenly had something more important to do and moved back to their desks. She sat back down, exhaled, and looked up at Sam. "Well?" he asked. Ella didn't respond straight away. A few moments passed, and then she simply held up a silver badge; a lieutenant's badge. She'd been promoted. "How the bloody hell?" puzzled Sam.

"The Commissioner, under request from the mayor," she explained, "has seconded me for special assignment. I'm due over at HQ in about an hour. Brody was so angry because I beat his promotion record by four days." Ella blushed slightly as the realisation set in. She had become the youngest lieutenant within the Police Department's history. Her face twitched into a smile, "He said he'd be stuck with your sorry face until I get back!" she teased. Ella turned to look back at Brody's office, and caught him watching her. For the briefest of seconds she thought she saw pride in his eyes. Whatever expression it was, it was quickly replaced with a sour scowl. He turned away.

"Bloody good job, El!" Sam congratulated her after everything started to make sense. "Lieutenant Sanchez, I should say. You're my bloody superior now!" he rolled his eyes. Ella knew he didn't really mind. Sam never had any aspirations to progress beyond Detective. He had been perfectly content being the man on the street. He was good man. No, make that a great man. She wondered if her assignment would be over in time to get back before he retired.

Ella had one thing to do before she headed out. One thing she'd get killed for if she didn't do immediately. Picking up the phone on her desk, she dialled a number. "Hola madre, es Ella," she spoke, "tengo buenas noticias..."