Another Day, Another Death

Following the work of the homicide detectives in an American city.

Tackling cases that they consider run of the mill as well as more complex cases, that requires involving the entire unit.

One such case will bring them all face to face with the dangers of being a police officer as members of the unit become targets of a gunman.

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7. The Order of Things

Sean and Lucy arrive at the meeting with Lieutenant Derek Hodges a Criminal Investigation Division supervisor to run the case for him as he requested. Hodges assistant Clara ushered them to the waiting area outside his office.

 

They were kept waiting as Hodges simultaneously finished writing up a report, part of the detective unit end of the financial year budget review, and had a phone conversation with his immediate supervisor Captain Ronald Westfield, who Hodges is keen to succeed when he retires in six months.

 

Something that further angered an already agitated Lucy, finally, after more than half an hour during which Lucy was constantly pacing ignoring Sean asking her to sit down and bugging Clara about how much longer they'd have to wait which was getting on her nerves, Hodges called them in.

 

"Good morning detectives, I'm sure you know by now that I want an update on the investigation into the Anthony Kelly murder.”

“Do you have any suspects are any arrests imminent, powerful people want to know the councillor had many friends eager to see justice done," Hodges said to them.

 

"What like the victims in our other cases don’t? I know they don’t usually have enough political influence to get you off your butt, but they do count." Lucy said not even attempting to hide her contempt.

 

Sean shot her an angry look, for shooting her mouth off within a minute of the meeting starting with a senior officer who could at a whim transfer them out of the homicide unit to wherever he wanted to stick them.

 

"Careful detective I don’t much care for your tone, if you don’t want to work this case, I can always have you back in the bag directing traffic." Hodges told her.

 

"No sir I’ll work the case she said through gritted teeth, I simply meant to say that all the victims deserve justice not just the ones who sat on some council committee and once shook hands with a guy who sat two rows behind the Governor at some pointless meeting or other." Lucy replied

 

"For instance, did you know me, I mean detective Williams and I have an open rape and murder case which for me takes precedence over that of some moron who died trying to stop his penis extension car being stolen." Lucy added

 

Sean interjected to stop Lucy before she angers Hodges so much she earns herself a suspension and maybe even him as well, which he knew she was capable of doing.

 

"What I think my partner means to say is what we know that Kelly was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

“We know from working with detectives in the Auto unit that a load of high end cars has been stolen from across the city including from where Kelly was killed."

 

"Like I said probably to avoid having to report having his car getting taken outside the home of the woman he was screwing a home he was paying for using, I might add taxpayer’s money. He decides to try to fight them and winds up losing the car and his life." Lucy said, seemingly oblivious to Sean trying to get her out of the hole she was digging for herself.

 

"That was an honorable city councillor you're talking about it might be nice if you could show a little bit of respect." Hodges said to Lucy his tone of voice clearly indicating he wasn't happy with how she'd been talking to him so far.

 

"Respected by whom, not me, I'd never even heard of him till he got dead.”

“Respected by you I doubt you'd ever met him or heard of him before his death either, and what is there to respect a low level bureaucrat who apparently had no problem cheating on his wife or stealing money to pay for his shag pad, so I think I'll spare my respect for those who deserve it."

 

"I'm going to go out on a limb and say I don't fall into that category, do I detective Carter." Hodges stated sarcastically.

 

She was about to answer his query honestly, until she saw the look Sean was giving her and decided to go for the diplomatic option instead.

 

"No comment," Lucy replied.

 

"Look anyway, having ruled out his wife, his mistress who he was visiting and anyone else put forward as a possible political rival or enemy.

 

“We’re back to focusing the investigation on the two as yet unidentified men certain that this is as simple as him interrupting them as they attempted to steal his car a pristine condition ‘68 Chevy Impala not a car theft used as cover for a murder."  Sean told him as he tried desperately to get back on topic and cut the tension in the room.

 

"So how are you going to refocus the investigation now, I want answers quickly and I want arrests made within the next few days, is that clear."

 

"Wait, Sean said, annoyed by Hodges comments.”

“Do you actually think ordering us or any detective to make arrests is going to make it happen.”

“Like we can just pull the perpetrators and the evidence needed to convict them out of thin air, do you think that a homicide case can work to your timetable and just get put down when it's convenient for you I can tell you it never has and never will work like that."

 

"Sorry lieutenant, but those are ridiculous demands, neither you nor any high ranking boss can dictate an investigation timeline Lucy and I as investigating detectives can't even do that."

 

"Like I said we've been cooperating with detectives from Auto they're scouring chop shops looking for stolen cars for signs of it.”

“We're not done re-questioning people who live in the area to see if any of them are connected to any kind of car crime.”

“The crime lab has done its best to blow up what C.C.TV we've got of the murder, but it isn't great other than that, we've not got a lot to go on and not many other angles to come at it from."

 

Sean added, hoping Hodges would gloss over his outburst and contemptuous tone of voice, knowing even without looking that Lucy would be smiling, trying to conceal her happiness over him losing his cool.

 

"Well detective I appreciate your candor, but I think you underestimate how a word or two from someone like me can give added motivation to hard workers like yourself, and that added pressure of wondering if you could be transferred out of the unit or put back into uniform." Hodges told him.

***************************************************************************
"No, I think you'll find that's why we have yearly performance reviews. for guys like you to decide who is and isn't cutting it, trying to tell us we'll be reviewed on a case by case basis is not incentive that's the kind of  extra weight that leads to detectives rushing through all the details that need to be covered in an investigation or worse deliberately cutting corners, it's especially galling coming from some stripe with no practical experience of what he's ordering others to do, no thanks I won't tell you how to do your job so kindly refrain from telling me how to do mine." Sean finished off then sank back into his chair hoping doubly he hadn't pissed him off more than Lucy already had.


"Right, well Detective Williams I've heard your points of view more than I expected to, I'll keep them in mind and I'm sure you'll do your best to ensure a positive outcome to this case I will relay that to those interested in this case. Now if you don't mind, I need a quiet word with detective Carter before I let you get back to it."


"Ok." Sean said, as he got up and walked out of the office, glancing back to snigger at Lucy like she was a kid being held back to be lectured by a school principal. He got outside and breathed a huge sigh of relief, I may have dodged a huge bullet there a career killing bullet Sean thought as he walked past his secretary's desk and to the elevator to wait for Lucy.


Back in Hodges office Lucy remained seated, as she said.


"Look, if this is about mine or Sean's attitude, leave him out of it, the whole time we were waiting to see you he was telling me I should keep quiet as he knew I was in a bad mood. Have been for a while now and I haven't been the easiest person to get along with recently, so his outburst was due to the strain of putting up with me."

 

"Well, I admire your loyalty to your partner but I'm not looking to bust anyone because of some back chat, do you all really think I'm that much of a bastard.  No detective. I appreciate yours and detective Williams honesty, if not your style of arguing your point,  the reason I'm only holding you back and not detective Willisms is to let you know that in future I want honesty from you, but without the combativeness of you expecting a fight before you've even walked into my office."

 

"I don't get that from detective Tyler or any of your other colleagues when I talk to them. It's only recently I seem to be getting this attitude from you, do you want to tell me why that is."

 

"No, Not really." Lucy said bluntly

 

"Well, fine that's your prerogative, but know that whatever it is I don't expect to see or hear it in my office again, clear. I want full cooperation and respect from you in the future."

 

"Fine, whatever you want, sir."

 

"No, not fine, not fine at all detective. I want civility and respect when you're in my presence. I expect it and if I don't get it there will be consequences for you the ultimate being removing you from homicide, a last resort I assure you but it's on the table."

 

"Err.. Ok sir, lieutenant Hodges, look I guess I could say sorry for being so aggressive, I'm just annoyed at all this outside interference, none of us in the unit need to be told what cases to take seriously."

 

"So try not to take it personally when I say I don't like you, I can count on one hand the Number of people I do actually like and I don't even need to use all my fingers."

 

"It's more the job you do, it seems to me Keel keeps us in line while you deal with the political bullshit and threats from rich people who think they can boss the police around or get overpaid lawyers to do it and you give them what they want whenever some alleged important citizen ends up inside the chalk lines." Lucy told him.

 

"Detective, I don't always like the bullshit as you call it, but it's necessary." Hodges said to her.

 

"It's not necessary at all, all that kowtowing to rich people and rich people's lawyers is crap if you or any high ranking cop had any balls you'd tell them to go fuck themselves."

 

"Detective, I hope if you do rise up the ranks you develop some tact and diplomacy."

 

"Come on Lieutenant I think you're confusing me with someone who has a future on the job Grace or Sean we both know I don't have the ability to play nice with people I don't like, I know I've gotten as high in this job as I'm ever going to get frankly, I'm amazed I got this far without ruining it even if I did want to climb further up the ladder, it won't happen." Lucy said to him before adding.

 

"If you didn't know it before Lieutenant, know now that my career will eventually go down in flames, either you or whoever is in your chair will fire me or I'll quit or end up arrested for doing something stupid."

 

"I appreciate your honesty, detective, I'm sorry, that's how you see your career how you see it ending, but if that is how you really feel, I may have to consider your position in homicide sooner rather than later. Now I have work to do, you're dismissed."

 

Lucy stood up and left the Lieutenants office without saying another word, walking out of his office to catch up with Sean.

 

While Hodges called through to his secretary to ask her to get him a copy of Lucy's personnel file, then called Harry with a view to discussing her attitude and her future.

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