"Okay, run in pay for gas, grab a diet coke, and a pair of pantyhose. Iím in, Iím out in like 37 seconds and I wonít be late. I wonít be late!" Shea Archer told herself as she opened the door to the One Stop Convenience Shop. She was trying to transfer from her current unit to a new unit within the department; she had a meeting with the head of the unit she wanted to transfer to this morning. The only problem was when she was getting ready she had ripped a hole in the last pair of pantyhose she owned. This convenience store was her last hope.
There was only one other customer in the store, a young man with unruly dark hair pouring himself a cup of coffee in the back of the store. She brushed her hair away from her eyes and walked down the isle that carried the drug store items. As she was trying to decided wither or not to buy the black or the nude pantyhose, the door of the store slammed opened and an angry young blonde man came in the store. Shea looked up and knotted her brows in confusion. Something wasnít right about this situation.
It happened almost immediately. The young man pulled out a small handgun and pointed it at the elderly Italian man behind the counter. "Open the register," the young man said harshly and waved the gun.
Ducking behind the isle, Shea muttered under her breath, "You have got to be kidding me. I do not have time for this." Why did she always in up in the wrong place at the wrong time?
Tom Hanson had watched the woman walk in. He had tried to catch her eye and smile but she seemed too preoccupied. Too bad. She was kind of cute. Turning his attention back to his coffee, he was trying to get the perfect ratio of cream and sugar when the young man burst in and pulled out a gun. He pulled out his own gun and ducked down out of view of the man. A few isles away, he heard a soft voice mutter to itself, "I do not have time for this." Smiling at the womanís attitude he tried to figure out what to do in this situation. Tom tried to position himself so he could see the perp, but he accidentally bumped into a shelf and knocked some boxes of crackers to the ground. It wasnít a loud noise, but in the quiet store, it was deafening.
Quickly the man with the guy turned around and pointed his gun at the empty store. "Whoís there?" he asked. "I know somebodyís there, come out now."
While the manís attention wasnít on him, the storeís owner pushed the silent alarm that rested under the counter. It would only take a few minutes for the police to show up.
Both Shea and Tom winced when the boxes thudded to the ground. Tom cursed himself.
"Get out here. NOW!" the man shouted.
Shea glared at the where the young man sat on the other side of the isle. "Now what." She heard the man shouting for someone to show themselves. Obviously, she couldnít let the civilian give himself up, so it was up to her. Quickly she had to figure out a way to distract the guy so she could get the upper hand. She took off her jacket and left it on the ground, unbuttoned the first few buttons of her blouse and hiked her skirt up a little. Tucking her gun in the back of her skirt, she stood up.
Hanson could see that the young man with the gun was getting aggravated, and he was about to stand up and turn himself over when he noticed that the woman had already stood up. He admired her bravery and cursed her stupidity in the same breath. As she approached the man, Tom noticed that there was something different about her appearance. When she first walked into the store she had looked very tidy, her crisp white shirt had been tucked into a black skirt that stopped just a few inches above her knees, and a black suit jacket. Now the skirt was pulled up to her mid-thigh, the shirt was un-tucked and almost covered the skirt and the jacket was gone. It confused him. What was she doing?
As she walked toward the gunman she let her VICE experience take over. A slow hip-rolling gait replaced her normal brisk walk. Her face relaxed and she allowed her eyes to drop in a submissive countenance. The gunman watched her approach with rapt fixation. She didnít stop walking until she was standing next to the man with the gun. In a sweet voice she pleaded with the man, "Please donít hurt Mr. Jones. I come in here every day and heís like an uncle to me. Iím sure he will give you anything you want." She looked toward the store clerk who she named Mr. Jones and nodded at him.
The store clerk, who had never seen this woman before in his life, followed her head with his own and nodded. Shea turned her attention back toward the man and watched him as he slowly let down his guard. Some days the male gender revolted her. What, because she was a woman she wasnít a threat? "Archer," she chided herself, "you want him off guard."
"What the hell is this woman doing?" Tom asked himself. If he didnít know better he would think that she was hitting on the store robber. "Iíve heard of women having a thing for bad boys, but really, this is ridiculous." He rolled his eyes skyward. "I donít understand women." Suddenly he heard the cavalry in the distance as a siren approached. "The owner must have hit the silent alarm."
The robber turned his head and watched, as a blue cop car rolled into the parking lot. Before he had time to wonder what he was going to do he felt a sharp knee bang into his stomach.
Seeing her opportunity as the gunman looked out the window, she started her attack. A quick, sharp knee in solar plexus doubled him over in pain and made him drop his gun. Then she slammed her palm into his nose; blood immediately began pouring from it. Shea moved quickly behind him and kicked him in the back of the knees, and the man fell to the ground. She was on him in an instant, pinning his arms behind his back and attaching her handcuffs onto his wrists. "You selfish bastard," she scolded him. "I have plans and you pull some stupid stunt like this and make me late. What is with you? Get a job like normal people. Ughóyou make me sick."
Running his hands through his hair, Tom slowly walked toward the woman, as she finished cuffing the man. He was shocked. First, she attacked and disarmed the man, and then she began yelling at him for making her late to a meeting. She looked up and noticed him for the first time. Tom almost laughed when he heard the woman say, "Itís okay sir. Iím a cop." She flashed him her badge that had magically appeared from under her shirt. "Just stay there and everything will be all right." He was going to tell her that he was a cop also but was interrupted.
"This is the police," a voice from outside called. "Come out with your hands up."
"Itís okay," Shea yelled back, as she walked out the door with her hands up. "Iím a cop." She showed the uniformed officer the badge in her hand. "The perpís on the floor. Weaponís next to him. The only people in the store are customer in the back and the store clerk. Read him his Rights and take him downtown. I have a meeting to get to. Iíll come back and make an official statement."
The uniformed cop was nodding his head as his partner entered the building. He knew that the woman was talking to him, but he just couldnít follow her. She was talking too fast. Before he knew it, she ran back into the store.
Running back in, Shea grabbed her jacket and a pair of nude pantyhose and ran back up to the cash register. The man with the dark hair tried to stop her, but she turned to him told him, "Iím sorry sir. I have to go. The other officers will take care of you." Putting fifteen dollars down on the counter she ran out of the store and drove away.
* * *
The black í86 IROC-Z Camaro pulled up to the curb in front of Jump Street Chapel and Shea Archer jumped out with her jacket and package of pantyhose in her hands. Looking around, she saw a little alleyway between the chapel and the building next to it. With as much dignity as she could muster, she walked over and pulled on her pantyhose, while trying to remain as modest as possible. She tucked her shirt in and smoothed her skirt, then put on the jacket and walked in the front door.
Doug Penhall was perched on Judy Hoffsí desk, annoying the young woman. He had placed himself directly on the file that she needed and was refusing to move. Ď"Penhall," she said warningly, "if you donít move your oversized butt, Iím going to shove you on the ground."
"Jude, babe, I donít think you could push my oversized butt, as you so eloquently put it, anywhere," Doug said teasingly. Judy rolled up her sleeves and gave Doug a shove that used all her might, but he didnít move. He pretended not to notice that his teammate was trying to move him off of her desk. "Hey, whereís Hanson? Heís really late. Fullerís not going to be to happy with him."
Harry Ioki chuckled at his partnerís failing efforts and then turned to answer Doug, "Fuller probably hasnít notice that Tomís not here. Heís waiting for that new recruit to come in; word is that the new guyís like 20 minutes late. Strike one already."
Wrinkling his face in sympathy, Doug clucked his tongue. "Too bad." A woman who had just entered the building grabbed his attention. "Hello, who is that?" he asked, as he jumped off Hoffsí desk.
Judy was so grateful to have him off her desk that it took her a moment to figure out whom Penhall was talking about. A young woman was walking toward them. She looked about 16, so Judy figured that the woman was the new recruit. "Another girl. Wow, that could be cool," Judy thought to herself. "Oh poor girl," she thought, as she saw Penhall approaching the woman.
Shea looked around her as she entered the building. It was an old building, but it seemed rather homey. When she first walked in, she heard cheerful sounds coming from the people in the building. She was supposed to meet a Cpt. Adam Fuller. A tall man approached her and smiled warmly. She returned the smile with equal warmth.
"Hi," the man said and extended his hand. "Iím Doug Penhall."
"Hi, Doug Penhall," she said taking his hand. "Iím Shea Archer. Can you tell me where to find Cpt. Adam Fuller?"
"Sure, his office is right over there," Doug said, pointing toward Fullerís office.
"Donít mention it." He smiled, and she smiled at him again.
He watched as she walked toward Fullerís office. She stopped right before she got to the door and took a deep breath, then knocked. Doug watched until she disappeared in the office, then smiled to himself. She was defiantly going to make life here a little more interesting, that is if Fuller didn't go too hard on her on the first day. "Where the hell was Tom? He was missing everything."
"Come in," a deep voice said, when Shea knocked on the door. She winced before she opened the door. He didnít sound too happy. "Good luck, Archer," she told herself and walked in.
"Officer Archer?" Cpt. Fuller said.
"Youíre late," he said harshly. "Do you have an excuse?"
"Sorry, sir. No excuse," she said as she stood in front of him, her hands behind her back.
"No excuse?" Fuller said with a raised eyebrow. "How do you explain your tardiness?"
"I stopped to get gas at a gas station and someone tried to rob it. I have to go downtown after this and file an incident report," she told him frankly.
"Well thatís quiet a tale," he said after a moment of processing. Finally, he extended his hand to her. "Cpt. Adam Fuller."
She gave him an angelic smile, took his hand and shook it strongly. "Officer Shea Archer."
"Tell me Officer Archer. Why would you like to be a part of the Jump Street program?" He watched the young woman contemplate her answer. She already had the job, but he wanted to hear why she wanted to be part of the program. He studied her with an appraising eye as she began to speak. She had the same baby face that the other members of his team had. Probably a little shorter that Judy, long, light, brown hair, green eyes, and a congenial smile. He had a feeling that she would fit into the unit nicely. Suddenly something she said caught Fullerís ear. "Repeat that please."
Shea was caught off guard; she didnít think the man in front of her had been listening. "What? Oh, I said that I didnít think that it would ever get boring."
"What do you mean by that?"
"Well Iíve been working VICE for a while and itís just the same thing. Walking up and down the street, hearing the same cat calls everyday. Saying the same lines ĎHey babe, whatcha doing?í I just got tired of it."
"You donít think that Jump Street will be boring? Seeing the same kind of thing. Same kind of kids doing the same stupid stuff every day."
"I donít think that that is going to happen. At least here I get to try to figure out why they do something. You know that maybe something happened in their past that led them where they are today. Not that the past is an excuse. But sometimes itís just good to try to know why someone is doing something. Do you know what I mean?" Fuller nodded.
* * *
When Tom finally walked in the door, he was an hour late, and he knew that Cpt. Fuller wasnít going to be happy. Maybe if he went to his desk and pretended like he had always been there, the captain wouldnít notice. Making a beeline for his desk, Tomís plan was thwarted when his best friend Doug Penhall shouted, "Hey, Hanson, Where ya been?"
Giving Doug an evil glare, he looked toward Fullerís office expecting to see one very angry man standing in the doorway, but instead Fullerís door was shut. "Thank God," Tom said, as he slid into his chair. When Penhall walked up to the desk, Tom began to tell him about the convenience store experience. "Doug, I went to that little gas station that we always stop at by my apartment, and you wonít believe it, but it got held up. I mean really, what is this city coming to when a guy can't get a cup of coffee with out guns being involved? Anyway, Iím about to pull out my badge and gun and take care of the situation, when this girl comes out of nowhere and I swear, I thought she was hitting on the guy."
At the same time Tom started his story, Doug began recanting events that had happened this morning also. "Tom, you missed everything. Okay, so I was bugging Jude and talking to Iokage, you know everythingís normal. We were talking about that new recruit, Ďmember Fuller telling us about it. We were saying that this new recruit gonna be in some deep shit Ďcause being late isnít the greatest thing to do on the first day of a new job, ya know. Then she walks in."
"So Iím thinking this girl's obviously crazy. I mean, who tries to pick up and armed robber... "
"Iíd say sheís a little shorter that Judy, green eyes..."
"Then a cop car pulls up and the guy who seems to like this chick as much as sheís liking him, looks out the window to see just how screwed he is with the cops there..."
"Long brown hair, light colored, not dark like yoursÖ"
"When he looks out the window she turns on him. I mean she lays this guy outÖ"
"Nice smile. Real cute. Good legsÖ"
Harry and Judy watched their friends in amazement, as they told each other stories at the same time, each one trying to get the other's attention but not stopping his story. Harry leaned over to Judy and asked, "Do you think that one of them knows that the other one is talking?" Judy shook her head and continued trying to separate the stories.
"Turns out sheís a cop. What are the odds, right? When I try to help, she tells me to say out of it before I can tell her that Iím a cop too."
"Nameís Shawn or Sara, or something like thatÖ"
"Then she runs out and talks to the uniforms, runs back in, throws money on the counter, and leaves just like that."
"Sheís talking to Fuller right now. Do you think heís laying into her about being on time and how this job requires responsibility and all that stuff?"
Tom and Doug stopped talking at almost the exact same moment and stared at each other for a few seconds. Blinked, then at the same time they both asked the other, "You were in a hold-up?"
"The new recruitís a girl?"
* * *
Adam Fuller extended his hand to his new officer and said, "Welcome to the team, Officer Archer."
Sheaís face broke into a thousand-watt smile, and she grabbed her new captainís hand and shook it vigorously. "Thank you sir. You wonít be disappointed."
"I should hope not." Cpt. Fuller liked this woman. If first impressions counted for anything, he found her to be a sincere, friendly, light-hearted individual, despite her punctuality issues. Something in her eyes seemed a bit guarded, but all in all, he thought that she would fit in well on the team. "Are you ready to meet your new unit?"
She took a deep breath and looked him straight in the eyes and nodded. "Iím as ready as Iíll ever be."
"You make it sound like youíre facing a firing squad."
"Well, they all have guns donít they," Shea responded lightly.
He laughed and smiled reassuringly at her. "Donít worry. I donít think theyíll shoot to kill on the first day."
"Thatís good to know."
Doug and Tom retold their stories to one another, this time one at a time. After he told his story, Tom decided to take a trip to the little officerís room. Doug resumed bugging Judy, and Harry finished up some paperwork. All three heads popped up when the door to Fullerís office opened. Their captain walked toward them with the woman they had seen earlier behind him.
"Okay guys. I would like to introduce you toóHey whereís Hanson?" Fuller began
"He went to the head," Penhall answered.
Fuller rolled his eyes and started again. "I would like to introduce you to Officer Shea Archer. Shea will be joining us here at Jumpstreet. As you can see, Shea, we donít take formality too seriously here. Okay let me introduce you to the team. This is Judy Hoffs," he said, pointing to the only woman in the group.
Judy walked over and extended her hand to the new woman. "Hi," she said cheerfully. "Welcome to the chapel."
Shea returned the womanís friendly smile with one of her own and shook the hand firmly. There was a quiet intelligence behind the womanís warm brown eyes. Cpt. Fuller had moved to the Asian-American man that sat next to Judy. "This is Harry Ioki," she heard Fuller say. Shaking hands with Harry, she gave him the same friendly smile she gave to Judy and received one of her own. He was more guarded than Judy had been, Shea noticed, but friendly none the less. "They seem friendly so far," she thought to herself.
As the woman greeted Harry, Judy studied her. Shea Archer seemed to be a very amicable person. Judy wondered how long she had been on the force, because like the rest of them, she looked incredibly young, but Judy noticed that something about the woman seemed off. It took Judy a moment to figure it out, but then she noticed the way Shea studied Harry. And the way she sized up Doug, when she was introduced to him. It was the same way that she had seen many seasoned police officers eye strangers. She was trying to find out all that she could by what she could see. Judging them by what they portrayed to her. It wasnít very obvious and not really rude, but it was definitely a sign of distrust. Judy wasnít really offended but more intrigued. Where had the women been that caused her to be so wary? Or was it just simply good police instincts?
"And this is--" Cpt. Fuller started.
"No need Captain," Doug interrupted. "Miss Archer and I go all the way back to earlier this morning. How do you do Miss Archer," he said, as he took her hand. "Doug Penhall at you service."
"HaóMr. Penhall. I remember. Please call me Shea," she said laughingly.
"And you, Shea, may call me whatever you want," Doug said and gave her a Prince Charming smile. Harry, Judy and Cpt. Fuller rolled their eyes and groaned.
When he walked out of the restroom, Tom heard his three teammates groan. "Doug must have been introduced to the new girl," he thought, smiling. Unconsciously he ran his hand through is dark brown hair and strained to see the recruit, but Doug blocked his view.
"Hanson, so nice of you to join us," Fuller said when Tom walked up to the group. "Tom Hanson, I would like to introduce you to Shea Archer. She has joined the team."
Tom watched as the woman turned to face him. When he looked into the womanís eyes, he watched a flood of emotions pour through them. Recognition, surprise, confusion and finally understanding. He knew that the same emotions were mimicked in his own.
Shea looked at the man from the store from earlier that morning. She wondered if she looked as surprised as he did. After a few seconds, they both broke into huge smiles, and at the exact same time, they pointed to each other and exclaimed, "Hey itís you." And then they began to laugh, as everyone looked at them like they were crazy.
All Doug could think was, "Man, and I thought that I saw her first."