Synopsis: Sergeant John Jablonski has been assigned a series of breakins of only homes of single women, all while they were sleeping. He's also been given a new detective trainee, one he knows as a street prostitute he's arrested twice with no conviction. She turns out to be the niece of his Police Chief. At the moment, a very angry policeman is escorting his new partner out of the office...
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The two didn't speak to each other as they left the cubicle, then the outer office where detectives and suspects both remained silent. A visitor in the foyer would have been astounded at the sudden silence as they left the precinct station, her following his lead. Even the normally vocal desk sergeant's -- an oriental inexplicably named Shamus MacEdwards -- normally slanted eyes widened as they followed the two out of the building.

It wasn't until Jablonski pulled into traffic that they both opened up at the same time.

"What the hell--"

"I want to--"

"Do you think--"

"Thank you for--"

"You're doing here?"

"Not telling on me."


"Shut the hell up. bitch," Jablonski screamed over the sounds of traffic, "while I'm talking," causing bystanders to stare at the undercover vehicle. "What the holy hell are you doing masquerading as a police officer? Hookers don't become cops. It's just not fucking done." He jammed on his brakes, the car squealing loudly as the tires locked, stopping within an inch of a car in front of them. "You're under arrest, you.... Cunt."

"And what the hell for, asshole? I am a cop. I went through the academy and spent my time on the street."

"You spent one hell of a lot longer than that on the street, selling your funky ass."

"That's beside the point, you stupid chauvinist bastard," she screamed back. "And it'll be your turn on the streets if I tell my uncle on you." She thrust her head within an inch of his face, spraying saliva in her rage. "He'll bounce you off the force so hard you'll.... You'll...." Doris gave him an evil grin and sat back in her seat, softening her voice, "I don't want to be here with you either, but we're stuck with each other. Uncle George told me the only way I could be a detective was to work with YOU. I guess all you male assholes stick together."

Silent again, Jablonski pulled over to the curb to pound his head on the steering wheel, fingers white from gripping the device. He was screwed and he knew it. It did explain why she had never been convicted in that politically run town. Chief of Police George Travers had worked his way up to the post, exchanging favors with other politicians like himself. A powerful man, Travers was said to be slated to run for mayor.

"Wait here. If you can do something so simple," he ordered. Getting out and going into a nearby alley, John looked around, seeing the filthy dark open space was empty except for a half-dozen trash cans. Growling loudly, he launched himself at them, throwing rubbish around the alley while screaming unprintable invectives in half a dozen languages.

Jablonski threw and stomped the cans almost flat in his rage, finally calming down to a dull ache. Leaning against the wall, with eyes closed, he stood still, breathing heavily. Eventually, John calmed down and went back to the parked car, where his new partner sat, looking like an innocent young schoolgirl.

As he walked around the vehicle to get in, she hurriedly swept confetti she had made out of a full box of tissues under the seat with her foot and one hand. Doris had also calmed down, taking out her anger in a more ladylike manner by pretending the tissues were her new partner and choice portions thereof. She had castrated him, symbolically, with every hankie.

Getting back in, he sighed. "We have to check out an apartment. A woman was assaulted early this morning. It's at the 80th but the captain said it was ours. This guy has been silent for years now, but Captain Brown thinks he's started up again," his voice sounded strained but calm.

"Why ours, Johnny?"

"Because of his trademark. You'll see when we get there. Try to be civil, will you? You just about gave me a heart attack back there," he chided her. "If you're nice I'll even let you bag the evidence." Jablonski gripped the wheel tightly. "And don't call me fucking Johnny. I ain't no kid no more."

***

The crime scene looked familiar, furniture twisted and out of place as if to let the resident know someone had been there. A television set sat turned to face the wall. Kitchen utensils were placed upside down. And, of course, the telltale pile of human feces on the kitchen table. This time it was in an expensive serving bowl, parsley sprinkled around it and a stalk of celery sticking out of the top. Sheesh, Jablonski thought, maybe the guy's been to art school since the last time.

Recognized as one of a series, in a few minutes it would get the full lab treatment. The guys from forensics had already gone over the place with their vacuum cleaners and plastic bags. Obviously, they had taken a feces sample already, since a teaspoon-sized hole was obvious in the side of the pile, a dirty spoon lying alongside the bowl. Either that or one of the technicians had very strange eating habits.

"First things first, uh ... Doris. Get out one of your larger evidence bags and take a good-sized sample of the crap on the table. A half-pound or so will do. We'll compare it with the last few jobs," he told his partner. "I gotta go talk to the victim." He didn't really need a sample, but why tell her that.

"What'll I do with it? Like where do I put it?"

"Damned if I know. In your purse or pocket, I guess. Just make sure you label it correctly, time and place. And use 'suspected human feces,' not any of your gutter talk. This is official evidence. Maybe later you'll get to shove a sterile stick up the perp's ass to compare." He couldn't help grinning to himself as he turned away to find and talk to the victim, a young woman of course. All the victims were.

"See, I'm a light sleeper." the victim looked around, still a little discombobulated, "I already told this twice. Do I really have to go over it again?" She had reddish bruises on her throat. Her hair was still mussed and Jablonski could see a black-eye taking shape. Otherwise she didn't seem hurt much.

"I think it's better if I hear it myself, Ms. Jackson. We're from different precincts, I'm all the way over in the 60th myself."

"How are you supposed to help me here, when you work clear across town?"

"See, I got all these cases and know more about the perpetrator than the other officers," he told her. "And I live about six blocks away, only work across town."

"Ha, efficiency uh? I gotta do the same thing. There's a Discount Mart two blocks away and I gotta run all the way to the East Side to work in another one. An extra hour every damned workday."

"You work at Discount Mart? Like I shop there all the time," Doris piped up from the doorway. "How good are those Imperial Toasters you got on sale? Sort of off-brand aren't they?"

The victim sat up straight and smiled.

"Yeah. Some of us girls tried them when they arrived. A couple of the boxes were already unsealed ... you know the drill?" The victim beamed at a chance to confide in another woman. She had enough of those big strong men lately, especially this rough-looking one. "We had to try four of the damned things to find one that worked, and that one smoked for ten minutes. Got hot all right but...."

"Ms. Jackson. Ms. Jackson," Jablonski interrupted, causing both women to glare at him, "we're taking about the intruder here. Can you please tell me about how he hurt you?"

"Well, I never...." the victim replied, glaring as his partner laughed. "Nothing much to tell, detective. I woke up to a noise in the kitchen. I got my gun out, the one I keep in that drawer over there," she said, nodding at a bedside table seen through a doorway, "and went to investigate. There was this figure crouched on the table. She saw me and jumped down, looking comical as hell with her pants down to her ankles.

"Anyway, I told her to put her hands up, but she ignored me. Like I wasn't even there." Ms. Jamison shook her head in wonder. "Then, after pulling her pants back up, she jumped right at me. It surprised the hell out of me. On television they always do what you say when you hold a gun."

"Yeah, on television," Doris said, with a grin, "but in real life they don't.”

"Wait a minute, you did say woman? Are you sure about that?" Jablonski broke in again to ask, the fact finally entering his mind.

"Of course I'm sure. You don't think I know the difference with her pants down? She wore a wig and glasses but ... they didn't hide everything."

He asked a few more questions, mostly for his report, but had already found out the most important fact -- a woman? Christ, but that made a hell of a difference.

"Thanks for talking to us, Ms. Jackson. We'll be in touch later. Right now we have to see if anybody noticed her coming in or out of the area," Jablonski told the victim. "And the sooner, the better."

End of section two of four. The next will be posted tomorrow. The first was posted yesterday.
Charlie