Chapter 6. Chief Whiting
The first of the units closest to the police department came down the main street with lights and sirens on, blowing through the red light in a large intersection, traveling over eighty miles-per-hour.
The patrol car broadside hit the back-end of a delivery truck as it crossed with its green light and spun the panel truck off the street where it crashed backwards into the oldest eatery in downtown, the “Mongolian BBQ” restaurant, overturning as it came to a rest and spilled the delivery destined for “Shannon’s Vip Lounge and Bar”— fifty-cases of scotch, vodka, rum and tequila.
Employees of the restaurant used every one of the fire extinguisher they could to prevent the spread of fire on the ethanol that spread over the floor and filled the old building with flammable vapor, even with the fixed extinguishers over the deep fryers in the kitchens that a panicked busboy triggered.
In the street, the patrol car careened across the sidewalk and into a glass wall of a Lawman’s Bank. Lawman’s was the first bank in town, founded by the first town sheriff for his deputies.
Chief of police Steven Whiting, heard the dispatch report that an accident involving a police unit occurred.
Swearing and beating on the steering wheel, he mashed down on the throttle redoubled his efforts to force his way through traffic. The lanes, packed with people heading to the coast for pleasure and the family breadwinners as they headed home from their jobs.
He pressed harder on the throttle of the hemi-engined SUV that served as his command vehicle. The powerful engine responded and surged forward while he guided the emergency command vehicle down the middle of the highway in the turning lane.
“Dammit!” The vibration came through his steering wheel as he pulled over to the right of the road, forcing people to move around him. He found the shoulder of the highway and cut his lights. Not sure what the problem could be, he took his hand-held mini-sun (”At full power guaranteed second only to a laser”) and looked at his tires.
There! On the left rear tire in the middle of the tread, a metallic hex-head of a bolt. Debris in the turning lane punctured through the tire and took him out of the race to headquarters.
Returning to the driver door, he opened it and grabbed the radio, cursing the earth, the miners of iron, smelters of steel and bolt-makers in general, he called to get roadside assistance and get any close units to pick him up.
Spinning the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) laptop around so he could see it, X-Adam-2 was behind him and headed the same route to the scene. A swat prepped car, it carried basic swat equipment in it with two trained officers. Designed to prevent the spread of a situation or back up Baker units until the arrival of more — if needed — equipment and personnel.
Swearing again. At least he would have someone left with the chief’s car until the road service came and replaced the tire.
More reports of multiple explosions inside the headquarters, a responding unit has been in a TC with a fire. The emergency beep on the radio sounded again. Once every twenty-seconds, a small tone beeped to let everyone know to keep the channel clear except for emergency traffic.
He read down the incident notes in the CAD display.
Administration channel was quiet and he asked for an update. The voice answered as if it could be quoting scores of a local ball game.
“We have fire and EMS en route to the accident scene, fire and EMS going to the incident at the station. Captain Sams has taken over from Sargeant Murrie and has established a triple perimeter and a remote area for the media. Air cover is not available for at least a half-hour. They are en route, from an inland response and will need to refuel before they can lift-off en route to the incident at the foyer.”
“Copy. Have Xray-Adam-2 to stop and pick me up. My unit has a flat tire.”
“Affirmative.” A pause. “ETA two-minutes.”
The Adam unit was closer than it showed on the computer display.
“Copy, thank you.”
All he could do is stand and grind his teeth in fury.