Lightning flashes as Detective James Simica pulls into the patient drop-off of Rush University Medical Center. Flipping off the interceptor’s police lights, the detective ignores the pelting rain as he climbs out and heads towards the reception area’s sliding doors. A member of the Knight Errant campus security notes Simica’s look of consternation and moves to intercept the Eagle Security officer.
“Hey pal, you can’t park there. I don’t care if you’re Eagle Security.” The Knight Errant Security officer places a hand on his Colt Beretta 200 as a show of force, having heard the rumors of Eagle Security’s rent-a-cop force as being grossly unprofessional. He holds his other hand out to stop Simica from entering the facility. Simica slaps the hand away, causing the Knight Errant guard to grab his pistol butt.
“You draw that weapon and I am authorized to use deadly force by the Chicago Security Contract, Section 720-5. Whereas an officer of Eagle Security, while pursuing leads in an on-going investigation is threatened with a dangerous weapon, whether on public or privately held land, may use lethal force to defend himself against such threats. If you want, you can have the car towed, but I know you aren’t going to stay on this campus forever, and the rest of Chicago belongs to me.” With his bluster deflated, the Knight Errant guard raises his hands and backs away. It never fails to amaze Simica how little Security personnel know about actual laws of the places they are supposed to protect.
Simica stops at the information desk; an elderly lady looks up from her Universal Brotherhood pamphlet and smiles at the detective. “How may I assist you today?”
“I’m looking for a Kevin Tsujihara, he was brought in yesterday.” The lady frowns at Simica’s request, she appears torn between helping him and quoting the medical center’s policy. The detective notices her reluctance and flashes his Eagle Security badge. The receptionist demeanor changes to focused zeal as her hands start flying across the electronic key display. Despite her age, the receptionist is able to find the information quickly.
“He’s still in surgery. You’ll have to go down this hall on the left…”
“I know where it is.” James dashes away towards trauma center leaving the elderly receptionist to resume reading her pamphlet.
When James arrives at the trauma center, two beat cops are there drinking coffee, waiting for Kevin to get out of surgery. They have obviously already been waiting a while and their haggard faces seem to lesson at the sight of the detective.
“Hey guys, what do you know?” James looks to each one for information on their faces, trying not to let them discern to much from his own facial expression.
“Not much detective, some bounty hunter yahoo went into the Shattergraves to find that missing girl that the ghouls kidnapped. It looks like him and his team got more than they bargained for and this guy caught a grenade. Serves ‘em right though, the child was some Yak daughter or something, shoulda just let the ghouls have her.” Simica suppresses the urge to slam his fist into the beat cop’s face. “Why all the interest detective?”
“He’s a friend of mine. If he went into the Shattergraves to save that girl, it’s more than any of us would have done.”
“Shit detective, I’m sorry. I didn’t know.”
“Have the doctors said anything?”
“No, they’ve been in surgery the whole time. I heard he’s in critical condition.”
“OK, I’m going to sit down for a few, maybe catch some shut-eye. Wake me up if anyone comes out.“ The cop nods and walks back over to his partner. James lies down on a bank of waiting room chairs and closes his eyes. It does not take long before the night washes over him.
James awakes to the jostle of the cop he spoke with earlier. “Hey detective, the doc’s here.” He points to a man in bloody scrubs standing with a silver-haired woman with an adornment of tattoos and piercings. James sits up and shakes the sleep from his head before walking over to talk with the doctor. Flashing his badge, he grabs the surgeon’s attention.
“Hello officer, I was just informing Ms. Kendrick that Kevin has been stabilized and I think the worst is passed. He has sustained an excessive amount of trauma and it is by sheer luck that he is not dead.”
“How bad is it?” James rubs his eyes and motions for the beat cop to come over. Without talking, Simica takes the cop’s coffee and motions that he will buy him another cup. Siren, whom the doctor referred to as Ms. Kendrick, finds the exchange strangely efficient; as if policemen have a secret doughnut language only they know.
“Well, he has suffered severe trauma to much of his body. He has lacerations on 40 percent of his face and body. He has lost his right arm at the shoulder and left arm below the elbow will require extensive surgery. His larynx has severe lacerations and will need to be replaced. He has a collapsed lung and he may have permanent brain damage. In the next day, we can prep Kevin for surgery to try and correct the damage that has been done to him. If the surgeries go well, he can start rehabilitation and after 6 months we can look into cosmetic surgery to fix the scarring.”
“Please take whatever steps are necessary; I am authorized to inform you that the Browncoat’s Bail Bond Agency will pay for any procedure that is necessary.” Siren smiles at Detective Simica and adds. “We believe in taking care of our employees in these times of turmoil.”
“Thank you Ms. Kendrick, I need to get back so we can move Kevin for his next surgery.” The doctor nods to James before disappearing behind the translucent glass doors to the trauma center. James turns and introduces himself to Siren.
“Hi, my name is Detective James Simica, you work with Kevin?”
“Lisa, Lisa Kendrick.” Siren is not sure if giving this detective a fake name is particularly wise. He appears the type of person that will look you up in some national database after meeting you. “I was on his team in the Shattergraves. Perhaps you would like to go and get some coffee and we can discuss the night’s events. I know a great little coffee shop in the Elevated Core named Caffeine. You could call it my ‘official statement’ and it will save me from having to endure your Eagle cohort.” Siren motions at the two beat cops who are watching Siren intently, waiting for their turn to ’question the suspect’.
“Yeah, I wouldn’t mind some good coffee. I’ll drive and you can tell me about what happened.” Turning to the beat cops, James motions for them to wait there. “Hey guys, I got this. If she gives me any information that you may need, it’ll be in my report later.” Siren smiles at the look of disappoint on the beat cops’ faces.