"A Typical Day"
An Early Edition/Due South
By Cindy Brewer
If it was one thing Gary had learned in the past two years it was to think on his feet. His mind was scrambling for a way to keep this kid out of jail, but he kept coming up blank.
“Detective, you can’t arrest him.....”Gary protested as he moved to the front of the desk to stand next to the kid.
Ray walked around his desk coming to stand toe to toe with Gary,”Let’s do this one more time. Are you a lawyer?”
Gary shook his head,”No, but.....”
“I know my rights,”Brody spoke up as he stood,”I want my lawyer and my phone call.”
Ray glared at him,”You,shut up and sit down.”He turned back to Gary,”You a realitive that has legal custody?”
“No.”Gary replied as he glanced at the teen,”I’m sure he’s a good kid, who’s just gotten mixed up with the wrong crowd. What he needs is a sympathic.....”
“GUN!”An officer shouted from somewhere behind Gary catching everyone’s attention.
Instantly every single officer in the squad room had their guns drawn and cocked.
Gary swallowed hard and turned his attention back to the teen next to him,”Matthew, this isn’t helping your situation.”
“Shutup!”Brody shouted as he started backing toward Welsh’s office,”I’m walkin’ out of here!”
Ray cursed silently wondering how the hell he had let the kid steal his gun. He had to come up with a plan to disfuse this situation,quickly.
Fraser however had stepped forward sending Ray a warning look to stay back.
“Son,”The mountie began in a gentle voice,”They’re not going to let you walk out of here. Do the right thing and give me the gun, before anyone gets hurt.”
The teen’s eyes were wild with fear as he whirled to face the mountie,”Shutup! You don’t care about me,nobody does!”
“That’s not true,”Gary said softly as he stepped past Ray,”Your family cares.”
/Wrong thing to say./Gary thought wryily as the teen bolted past Fraser.
“That’s a shrink line if I ever heard one!”Brody shouted as he grabbed Welsh in a vicegrip forcing the lieutenant to drop his weapon.
“I ain’t talkin’ to no shrink!”The teen shouted as he dragged Welsh into the center of the squad room.
Benton tenatively moved toward the teen his right arm outstretched,”He isn’t a psychologist.”He said soothingly before turning to look at Hobson as almost an afterthought,”Are you?”
Gary shook his head,”No,”He replied softly,”No I’m not. I own a bar over on Illinois.”
Ray looked at him sharply as he walked toward Fraser,”If you own a bar what’s your interest in this kid?”
Gary’s gaze remained on the gun,”Well, I just.....”
“Shut up!”Brody shouted as he leveled the gun at Welsh’s forehead,”All of you just shut up! Nobody is putting me in a cage! Not no wanna be shrink or Santa look alike!”
Ray glared at the teen ignoring Welsh’s warning look,”Obviously you’re not very bright so let me do the math for you. You got one gun and one hostage. There’s twenty guns leveled at your head and more cops on the way. You’re not walking out of here let alone making it to your seventeenth birthday. So do the smart thing and let the Lieutenant go.”
“Marissa?”Erica Pagent asked with concern as she manuvered through the busy lunch crowd eight year old Henry in tow,”Are you here all by yourself?!”
Marissa smiled briefly as she showed an elderly couple to a table by the window,”Not entirely by myself, Sandi came in about ten minutes ago.”
Erica glanced at the red haired teen ager a few tables away,”Sandi just started here two days ago. Where’s Gary?”
Marissa made her way back toward the front door as more customers filed in,”Patrick’s still out with his broken leg.”
Erica absently brushed a blonde bang away from her eyes,”I didn’t ask about Patrick.”
Marissa sighed inwardly,sometimes she wished Gary would tell Erica about the paper,it’d be a lot easier on everyone,”Gary had some important....”
“Let me guess....important things to take care of.”Erica finished shaking her head slightly as she knelt next to her son,”Henry why don’t you take your homework and go sit in the office. I’ll bring you some lunch after I help Marrisa.”
The blond boy smiled,”I can help.”
Erica returned his smile,”I know,sweetie. Its just a little too busy for you right now.”She stood and took the boy’s hand,”Come on let’s go back to the office and I”ll get you some lunch.”
Fraser quickly stepped between Ray and the teen,”Son,if you let Lieutenant Welsh go unharmed I assure you, you won’t be hurt.”
Brody shook his head as he cocked the hammer of the gun,”No way,Santa. Bossguy is my ticket out of here.”
“Listen to him,”Welsh urged the teen in a strained voice,”Even if you do somehow get out of this room there will be a swat team surrounding the building.”
The teen backed up,”Nobody’s lockin’ me up!”
The phone on Ray’s desk rang startling everyone.
The teen whirled around and fired.
The phone died with a strangled ring as the bullet shattered it into a million pieces.
Gary jumped three feet backing away from the desk instinctively. He nearly tripped over Diefenbaker who was standing behind him.
“That wasn’t very smart,kid.”Ray said as he stepped forward taking a spare gun from Tony.
Gary blanched slightly as he saw the detective level the gun at Brody. He glanced at the teen and saw that he was about to snap. Gary stepped forward and shoved the barrel of Ray’s gun toward the floor.
“This isn’t the way to handle this!”Gary shouted,”There are too many guns here.”
Ray glared at him as he wrestled his arm away from Gary’s grip,”Are you trying to get yourself killed?! What are you thinkin’ grabbing a cop’s gun?!”
Gary gestured toward the teen,”You’re backing him into a corner!”
Ray did a doubletake,”*I’m* backing *him* into a corner?! He’s the one with a gun and a hostage!”
“You’re not going to get anywhere with twenty guns shoved in his face.”Gary replied.
“He has a point,Ray.”Fraser said softly his gaze never leaving the teen,”Tell them to put the guns down.”
Detective Paul Armstrong had just returned to his desk after enjoying an early lunch with his wife,Meridith.
The tall thin black man in his early thirties tossed his leather jacket onto the back of the chair. He absently picked up a file folder that held information on one of his current cases when a fellow officer poked his head into the room.
“Hi Chris.”Paul greeted the red haired younger man,”Heading to lunch?”
Detective Chris Tanner shook his head,”No,Cap sent me to get you actually. Something big’s going down over at the twenty-seventh precient.”
Armstrong grabbed his jacket,”How big?”
“Hostage situation.”Tanner replied as the two friends headed outside,”Some kid freaked out,grabbed a gun and is now holding a Lieutenant hostage.”
“Wonderful.”Paul muttered sarcasticly,”Just once I’d like a nice, calm, easy day.”
Ray knew he should trust Fraser’s instincts. In the two years he had known the Mountie, Fraser had never let him down.
But Fraser was sometimes too trustworthy.
Ray’s gut was telling him this situation was going to turn real nasty before it got any better.
Ray didn’t lower his gun as he held up his hand waving Fraser off,”Let me handle this,Fraser.”
Welsh closed his eyes briefly as he forced his breathing and heart beat to remain calm,”Vecchico,let the Mountie handle it.”
Ray glared at his commanding officer for a moment before slowly nodding to the other officers in the room to lower their weapons.
Gary felt his heart start beating again once the guns were put down. At least he wouldn’t get caught in the crossfire.
Hobson sighed as he glanced around the room,not yet anyway.
Paul Armstrong was among the five Detectives and fifteen uniformed officers that began to surround the building that housed the twenty-seventh precient.
“So what do we know?”Paul asked a uniformed officer standing by one of the police cars.
The young black haired woman shook her head,”Not much. The only thing we really know for sure is that the hostage situation is contained to the second floor and that there’s only one perp.”
Armstrong did a double take,”Only one? We’re sure on that?”
The woman nodded,”The same story was confirmed by six different witnesses. Kid was arrested,flipped out,grabbed a detective’s gun and is now holding Lieutenant Welsh hostage.”
Paul blinked recognizing the name,”Harding Welsh?”He asked as he double checked his amunition.
The officer nodded,”Yeah,you know him?”
“Served under him my first year on the force.”Armstrong replied as he stepped around the car,”Tell whoever’s in charge I’m going to see how close I can get.”
Gary cautiously moved around the teenager so he was standing next to Ray,”Matthew,”Hobson began before he realized what he was saying,”They’ll never let you out of here if you have a cop as a hostage. So why don’t you let the Lieutenant go and take me.”
Gary nearly choked as reality started to hit him,but he could tell his offer was having an effect.
The kid was no longer looking at the Mountie.
Hobson swallowed hard and took a step closer to the youth,”I know you’ve heard enough on the news about these kind of situations to know I’m right.”
For several long moments Gary could have literally cut the tension in the squad room with a knife.
Finally and very slowly Brody started to lower his arm from Welsh’s neck.
Then as if someone had hit the fastfoward button on a video tape everything seemed to happen at once for Gary.
Brody shoved Welsh toward the Mountie but Ray took that moment to try to disarm the teen.
As Vecchico grabbed the gun it went off the bullet hitting Ray in the left shoulder sending the Italian sprawling backwards several feet.
Just as Gary was about to move to the detective’s side he felt somebody behind him. Turning Hobson found himself literally staring down the barrel of a smoking gun.
Brody grabbed Hobson in a choke hold and dragged him back toward Welsh’s office.
Diefenbaker slid to a stop as the door slammed in his face.
As soon as the door closed the kid sprang away from Gary as if he was on fire.
Hobson instinctively backed against the desk. Trying to keep as far away from the gun as possible while still keeping an eye on it.
Out of the corner of his eye Gary saw something move. Turning caustiously Gary spotted an orange cat perched on the window sill.
Gary sighed as he looked out the half open window,”I know,I know.”He said to the cat.
He didn’t need the feline’s apperance to know things were quickly going from bad to worse.
Brody whirled on him,”Know what?!”He snapped one hand swiping sweaty bangs away from his eyes.
Gary held up his hands,”That letting the Lieutenant go was a good move on your part. It’ll make them more sympathic toward you.”
The teen’s hand tightened on the gun,”You are a damn shrink! I can smell ‘em a mile away!”
Hobson shook his head,”No,I’m not. I own a bar.”
Brody clasped his free hand over his left ear as he started to pace,”Shut up! Just shut up! I can’t hear myself think!”
It seemed like all the officers on duty had formed a protective circle around Ray Vecchico’s still form.
It took the Mountie a moment to push his way threw to his injured friend.
By the time Fraser manuvered his way through the circle of blue, he saw that Welsh was kneeling next to Ray.
“How is he?”Fraser asked anxiously as he knelt oppisite Welsh.
Harding didn’t meet Fraser’s gaze as he continued to put a makeshift bandage around the wound.
“I’m no doctor,Fraser,but I think the bullet went clean through.”Welsh replied motioning to Vecchico’s shoulder,”I think he hit his hard head on the desk which is why he’s unconcience. Not because of the bullet wound.”
Detective Paul Armstrong quickly climbed the stairs to the second floor of the twenty-seventh precient. As he opened the stairwell door Paul noted how errie it was to see the usually busy corridor deserted.
As he crept out into the hallway he heard voices coming from the bullpen.
The young black man flattened himself against the wall next to the door of the bullpen and cautiously peeked inside. He only got a quick glimpse of a Mountie trying to talk the kid down before he saw the kid pull the trigger.
Paul jerked his body back into the hallway and cocked the hammer on his gun.
Fraser nodded in agreement to Welsh’s assesment as he glanced over at the closed door of the Lieutenant’s office. They could all hear the kid’s raised voice. He was clearly scared and perhaps mentally unstable. Which caused Fraser to worry about Hobson’s safety.
“Take care of him,Lieutenant.”Benton said softly as he straightened and backed away from the cluster of officer’s.
“Where are you going?”Welsh demanded though he knew he really didn’t want to know.
Fraser glanced down at his friend’s still form,”To get this situation back under control.”
After making sure Brody wasn’t watching them Fraser quickly left the squad room.
Minutes after the Mountie left Vecchico started to regain conscienceness.
“Easy.”Welsh ordered as the Detective started to sit up.
Ray winced as a sharp line of fire raced through his shoulder,”Next time Fraser wants to chase a jaywalker he can do it all on his own.”
Vecchico glanced up at his commanding officer,”So what’d I miss?”
Harding shook his head,”Not much. After he shot you the kid grabbed the bartender and shut himself in my office.”
Ray nodded then winced as the movement caused pain to richocette through his skull,”Where’s Fraser?”
Welsh smiled grimly,”Where do you think?”
Vecchico glanced around the circle of officers and sighed inwardly,”Damn.”
When a hand snaked out and grabbed his elbow Fraser ducked and broke free of the person's grasp before looking to see who the hand belonged to. Once realizing who it was Benton sheepishly followed the young black man around the corner and into the stairwell.
“Where do you think you’re going?”Armstrong demanded. He had heard stories of the Mountie’s antics and didn’t want his career to be on the recieving end of one going bad.
Fraser looked at the younger man apoligeticly,”I’m sorry Detective I don’t really have time to explain it to you right now.”
“Make time.”Armstrong replied tersely.
Benton sighed,”I have a plan that will end this standoff, Detective....”
“Armstrong, Paul Armstrong.”Paul replied doing a doubletake as Fraser suddenly took to the stairs.
Paul caught up with the mountie on the third floor landing,”Look, Welsh is a friend of mine.”
Fraser nodded,”Then stay here and keep an eye on him. Make sure they and the swat team don’t corner Brody. It’ll only make him more fearful and make this situation all the more worse.”
Before Armstrong could reply Fraser turned and exited out the third floor door.
Paul sighed as he glanced down to the floor below then back at the door. He turned the door handle and quickly stepped into the hallway. He had a fair idea of what the Mountie’s plan was and the mountie was going to need help wether he liked it or not.