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Bear Of Con City - Excerpt Three

The coffee machine remained uncooperative and Detective Rhodes sat behind her desk staring daggers at the wretched device. More precisely, she stared daggers at it whenever she was able to keep her eyes open. She needed the caffeine badly. Or something else that would keep her awake.

There was the option to sneak into the evidence room and try to score some coke, but every fiber of her being screamed against it. She didn't know how much of the stuff would be safe to take, or how it might affect her sound judgment. More than anything she needed to be in control, at least until the day was over.

When she saw Detective Shepard walk into the office with a coffee in a sealed paper cup, she felt her hand move towards her gun. It took her a moment to start wondering what that hand wanted to accomplish. Shepard saw her staring at him and did his best to keep his distance while he pretended that he had not noticed anything. Detective Rhodes closed her eyes and tried to calm herself down. A couple of deep breaths later she decided that if Shepard could afford to leave his desk long enough to grab a coffee from a fast food joint, then so could she.

She was about to stand up when the phone on her desk rang. She fought down the urge to disconnect the device and picked up the receiver.

`Greenwell Police, Detective Rhodes speaking.'

`Rhodes, this is Chief Woods,' the response came.

She frowned. `What can I do for you, Chief?'

`Heard about Alvarez?' the Chief asked.

`Yeah. Bad shit, that.'

`Understatement, Rhodes. I just got off the phone with the Mayor's daughter. She was in Blueberry Park until a few minutes ago when she saw a psychopath in a bear costume eviscerate some bald guy in the park in front of two dozen witnesses, herself included.'

Detective Rhodes felt the sleepiness evaporate in an instant. `Are you saying the guy in the costume killed a man?'

`Officially we don't know. Our witness ran off as fast as she could. But she said she saw the guy gut the bald man like a fish and even rip his face off. It's a safe bet he's dead.'

A murder victim. Killed by a madman dressed like a bear, with a knife, or some other bladed weapon. In a park, in front of countless people, and a high profile witness. Detective Rhodes smiled.

`What do you want me to do, Chief?' she said, doing her best to keep her tone neutral.

`Have you spoken to the Fragcamper Unit about what we discussed yesterday?'

The smile on the face of Detective Rhodes widened into a broad grin. This was her lucky day. `No, I've not had the chance just yet.'

`Good. Summon them, and tell them to catch this guy. He's probably still in the park, or somewhere close by.'

`Yes, sir.'

`And Rhodes... They don't need to be gentle with this one.'

`Understood, sir.'

Chief Woods hung up, and Detective Rhodes put the receiver down. Ten seconds later she was out of the office, held her smartphone in hand, and was speed dialing Eckhart. It took fifteen seconds for her to get a response.

`What's up?' Eckhart said.

`Are Daly and Masters with you?'

`Yeah. Why?'

`Get my gear and take the APC to Blueberry Park. I'll meet you there. We have a psycho killer to catch.'

*

Much to her surprise, Detective Rhodes made it to Blueberry Park before the rest of the Unit did. She parked her car just outside the south entrance of the park and watched from behind the wheel. There was no sign of people, and she couldn't see any blood, either. If the killer escaped already, he had certainly not come this way.

Two minutes after her arrival the familiar armored van with the letters `FU' painted on the side turned the corner. The APC braked and came to a halt behind her car. She got out and sprinted to the back of the van. The door opened up for her and she jumped inside. Her friends had already geared up, wearing black unmarked body armor and balaclavas. She pulled the door closed and proceeded to change into the body armor Eckhart had brought for her.

`So, what's going on?' Detective Masters asked.

`We have a psychopath in a bear costume loose in the park,' she said.

`What, the guy that ripped out Alvarez' arm?'

`Most likely yes. Except this time he killed someone, in front of an assload of people, including the Mayor's daughter.'

Eckhart whistled. `I bet the Chief's having second thoughts about disbanding us now.'

`That's great!' Daly said. `So we don't have to do the bank heist after all.'

`Wrong,' Detective Rhodes said as she strapped on her vest. `Chief Woods will still disband us, no doubt about it. Two weeks and we'll be done, no matter how fast we deal with the bear suit psycho.'

`Are you sure?' Masters asked. `We'll get good press if the Mayor's daughter was a witness.'

`I'm sure. Woods wants to be the next Mayor, and he doesn't want to risk any future bad press we might get. Only way to stop him from shutting us down is by convincing him that he needs us. We need to do the heist, and we need to pin it on the General. It's the only way.'

`But surely we don't have to rush it any more, do we?' Daly asked. `You said we'll have two weeks after we catch this guy. We should spend more time planning.'

Detective Rhodes shook her head. `We can't wait. The bullfight's tonight, it's the best time to do it. And above all, we must put as much pressure on Woods as possible. Imagine how scared he'll be if he hears that our nation's most wanted terrorist robbed a bank in town on the same day that a psycho dressed as a bear killed a guy in the park and scared the shit out of the Mayor's daughter.'

`I love the way you think, boss,' Eckhart said.

Detective Rhodes inserted the wireless earpiece into her right ear and pulled a balaclava over her head. `Okay. Operation Blueberry Park is a go. Everyone ready to deploy?'

Eckhart picked up her grenade launcher from the weapon rack. `Gr3nad3at3r, ready.'

Masters grabbed his combat shotgun and loaded a shell into the barrel. `Sh0tgunFr3ak, ready.'

Daly sighed and reached for his assault rifle. He chambered a round and rested the weapon on his shoulder. `Gunn3rKill3r, ready.'

Detective Rhodes reached for her custom painted Hunterson .50 Brainsurgeon sniper rifle. She checked the clip and the scope, then held the rifle in her arms and nodded. `Sn!p3rB!tch, ready. Let's get this cocksucker!'


*

For more, please proceed to the novel Bear Of Con City.


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