Hanson and Booker walked past the police car sitting outside of the Jump Street Chapel. The brisk early afternoon air was cutting through Dennis Booker’s tight muscular frame as he made his way to the steps outside of Jump Street Chapel. Today of all days was their annual training exercises. He and Tom Hanson were being forced to participate in the annual Metro Police Training Games. Booker loathed this day, it had been since his Academy days that he had been forced to participate in something so… stupid. Really, it wasn’t the fact that it was training, it was the scenarios. Seriously, who could get loose in an abandoned building and blow it up and live to blow up another… it seemed like they were out to create the most ludicrous exercises they wouldn’t even happen in a bad novel. The worst case scenarios were the most extreme cases they could possibly make up.
“Hanson, this is really pointless you know.” Booker stated abruptly.
“Yep.” Hanson replied. Hanson loathed this day for an additional reason. Penhall, Hoffs and Ioki didn’t have to participate because they were already assigned to a case. Because Hanson and Booker had a case that led to a bust yesterday, they had to participate. They were the only two Jump Streeter’s not assigned to a case today. To top it off, they were in uniform. Tom had felt like a kid playing dress up in the black Metro Police uniform since he had been assigned to Jump Street.
“It’s either that or the desk until you look old enough to be a cop!” The words still rang clear as a bell in his head. All because a bust had gone awry when he was fresh from the Academy, GOD he hated this uniform.
The overly dressed officers arrived at the Jump Street Chapel to check in with Captain Adam Fuller before departing to Metro for the start of their training. Cat calls and whistles filled the room as the two officers stepped in. They simultaneously removed their cover and stepped towards their desks.
“My, my, Hanson, Booker… lookin fine…” Hoffs walked by the two men. She flashed them a grin and continued on to her desk. Booker had a crooked smile running across his face. Hanson rolled his eyes as he moved past Hoffs desk to his own work space.
“Booker, Hanson… why are you still here?” Fuller’s voice made the two men jump.
“Just checking in, sir!” Hanson responded jumping out of his seat at attention and clicking his heals together and mock saluting his superior officer.
Booker had his feet propped up on his desk, chewing on a toothpick. “Sir, we don’t have to report of another two hours. Just killing an hour or eight before we have to report.”
“Both of you get your things and get downtown and report to Sgt. Mike Garrison. He is your commander for the day. I better get nothing but praise as to how wonderful and co-operative you both were today.” Fuller scolded his two officers. “Oh, and Hanson…” Fuller called after them.
“Yes sir.” He shouted back, still standing at attention. While Penhall sat at the desk next to him turning red as he stifled laughter.
“Try not to break any noses today.” Fuller reminded the younger officer. Hanson turned red as he recalled his record for breaking noses while in full uniform. Four partners… perhaps Booker… Nah.
“Yes Coach…” Hanson answered looking down at his feet. Fuller laughed to himself and walked back into his officer closing his office door.
“Welp partner… we best be a headin on to Sgt. Garrison’s Training Academy.” Booker stated adjusting his cover on his head. His dark eyes almost blending in with the uniform. He winked at Judy as he walked past her desk area and over to the door.
“Yeah…” Hanson was going over his mental check list, all the while complaining to himself about training. Of all the people to stick him with… Damn Booker!
The two officers walked across the street to the Metro PD Headquarters. It was early in the morning. Hanson grabbed a hold of his equipment belt and adjusted it at his waist. It had been nearly forever since he had put this uncomfortably heavy thing on. It felt almost strange, like it shouldn’t be there. He then reached up and adjusted his hat on the crown of his head. The days of appearing so neat and organized had been flushed down the toilet when Captain Jenko had handed him a bag of potato chips and a soda for breakfast a whole lifetime ago.
“Step it up Hanson, we have to report in forty-five minutes.” Booker began sarcastically. His handsome features were highlighted in the uniform. Booker placed his uniform hat on the top of his messy hair and pulled it down just above his dark eyes. He was a taller and more muscular man standing next to Hanson’s leaner frame. The normally leather jacket clad officer looked well disciplined in his badge and gun belt.
Hanson’s longer locks were pulled back neatly in a ponytail just above his shirt collar. He missed the bandanna which he comfortably donned on more than on occasion. The hat was warm, awkward and heavy on his head. He hadn’t wanted to cut his hair for the day as he was still an undercover officer at the end of the day. His brown eyes shimmered in the glint of the early morning sunlight. He shot his partner a shut up or I’ll kick your ass look as they entered the building. “If Booker doesn’t cool it soon I swear I will bust him in the nose!” Hanson muttered to himself.
The two together looked out of place in the entry way to the precinct. There eyes were drawn to the bustle of activity. Booker’s eyes were drawn to the people at the desks taking statements and typing reports. All around sat vagrants and criminals, prostitutes, and ordinary people just fighting to live their lives. Tom and Dennis looked so young next to the sea of aged faces. Upon entry Hanson’s eyes were drawn to a younger looking man filling out requisition forms. He looked to Hanson like he was no more than sixteen or seventeen. Good Lord, did I ever look that young?
“Thomas Hanson and Dennis Booker!” A voice boomed in their ears. Booker and Hanson both looked at each other. They weren’t late… were they?
“Hanson, Booker, front and center!” A slow smile spread across Hanson’s face as he realized who the voice belonged to.
“Sarge!” Hanson walked quickly to the grey haired officer holding a clipboard and papers.
“Good GOD little Tommy Hanson… look how you’ve grown! WOW! Your father would have been proud.” The older man clapped the younger officer on the shoulder and pulled him in for a hug. He looked over at Dennis Booker and winked. “This boy is one hundred percent his father, just look at him he’s gonna be a good cop, just like his old man.” The older man pushed the younger man arms length from him. He was a kind faced older man with graying hair and a round face. He was tall and looked like he could have been intimidating if he had wanted too. “Let me look at you, son.” Hanson blushed as the older man examined the younger man. “You got your mama in ya too. She always was quite a looker.” He smiled. “Anywho you must be Dennis Booker.” The older man reached over and eagerly shook Booker’s hand.
“Nice to meet you.” Dennis said in a polite manner. “So little Tommy, when were you going to tell me you knew Sergeant Garrison?” Dennis asked raising his eyebrow to the shorter officer. Hanson smirked back at the other officer.
“Boy’s your early. Well, I wouldn’t expect anything less than that from one of Adam Fuller’s boys. There are doughnuts and coffee in the break room, help yourselves. I will see you in the briefing room in… thirty-five minutes.” The older man smacked Booker on the back and walked in the direction of the Captain’s officer.
“How old is that man?” Booker asked as the two men headed to the break area.
“Fifty maybe, I don’t know.” Hanson answered. “Why?”
“Because he hit me on the back like my great Uncle Archie used to… Damn that hurt.” Booker complained. He reached up to his shoulder and tried to rub the area that was continuing to sting following the playful slap on his back from the older man.
“Shit Dennis, you really are a bigger baby than Penhall thought you were.” Hanson laughed at the expense of his partner. Booker glared over at his partner, his eyes burning with disgust over being called a baby.
“Have a seat ladies and gentlemen.” The Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department had entered the room and all officers had jumped to their feet. “I am glad to have you here today. My name is Chief Benjamin Daniels. I understand that some of you are visiting from other precincts and I know others are from right here. We are very honored and glad to have you with us. I understand that this is going to be a more intense training than we have had in the past. I myself am going to be monitoring your progress from the air. At this point I am going to turn you over to your training coordinator Sgt. Mike Garrison. Mike is a longtime veteran of this force and I expect your full cooperation for Sgt. Garrison from this point on.”
All hands applauded as the older man stepped up to the front of the room and behind the podium. Hanson and Booker sat side by side in the back row and watched the older man as he opened his manual and began laying out and explaining the days events.
Tom Hanson looked over at Dennis Booker. He sat slouched in the chair half listening to the Sergeant outline the procedures for the day. The tension in the room was palpable as the officers were divided into groups to move on with their training. They were assigned to a different part of a building to cover. Hanson, Booker and eight others were to negotiate a situation and deal with it as necessary. There was to be some participation from plain clothes officers who were acting as civilians. The day was going to be long days of doing what the boys always do. They were going to be going up the stairs and dealing with the situation on the second floor. They were not given any additional information than that.
“Great!” Dennis Booker walked out into the hallway. “You know I hate training. They throw you into a situation that you will either deal with everyday or you will never touch at all.”
“Hell Dennis, at least it is a negotiation. We don’t have to repel down the side of a building, or get shot at with dummy ammunition.” Tom was trying to see the good side, but he could use a chance to open up some dummy ammunition on Booker. He wanted to hit him with a high speed beanbag. Booker had a knack of getting under Hanson’s skin and Dennis knew it too. The absolute second this day was over he was hitting the bar with Penhall. He was going to have some serious venting to do.
“Okay folks, load up. No personal vehicles on scene. We have enough to contend with the civilians down there and Channel 10 News. Load and move out. Everyone is to have training munitions only. There are to be no live rounds on scene. There will be civilians on the scene. We don’t need any unnecessary publicity! Move it folks… let’s go!” The voice was a booming and loud older voice. It was not Sgt. Garrison’s but a loud voice none the less.
Booker and Hanson jumped into the back of the large box shaped van. Booker looked around and thought that it resembled a modernized bread truck. There were places for rifles, riot gear, blankets, chains, first aid kits, and so much more. Maybe he had missed his calling… should have been SWAT. Hanson settled into conversation with the officer next to him. Brian Anderson was the officer’s name. He was young, but still obviously older than Hanson and Booker. He wore a wedding band and had a picture of his pregnant wife taped inside of his hat.
Booker pulled his own hat off of his head and looked down at the insignia on the front of the standard issue cover. He ran his fingers along the metal shield that adorned the black material of the hat. The metal was cold under his fingertips. Booker had been in debate for a long time about the direction his life was going in. He had left Internal Affairs to join the Jump Street program. He had made enemies in both departments. He and Hanson had never gotten along, but he found himself growing fonder of Tom Hanson, but they were far from friends. He found Hanson to be stiff, sometimes almost too rigid in his dealings with the students. On the other hand the officer was exact; he was too good at his job sometimes. It was frightening how much he took the plight of the students to heart. It was difficult not to like Tom Hanson but easy for the two men to not get along.
The van came to a halt outside of an abandoned warehouse. There training would be held at this location. They would be sent in to disarm their situation and that would be it.
They waited as each group stepped up was presented their situation, they moved into the building and following completion they retreated back to the group. Not to difficult. The day was warming up and the sun beat down on the men and women awaiting their turn. The day had started out cool, but the sun was defiantly warming it up. Pizza and beer never left Hanson’s mind for too long as the sun continued to beat down on his shoulders. Whoever designed the uniform of a police officer never had to stand in the sun and wait. The sweat beaded and ran down the officers back. His face shimmered with perspiration as he squinted against the afternoon sun. Booker began to revert back to high school as he started to refer to the training as brainless monkey. Hanson gripped his night stick with thoughts of running it into the side of his skull. With each grating word Tom’s fingers slid tighter around the grip on the baton, until the officer had heard enough. Tom wrapped his fingers around the bigger man’s arm and dragged him behind the large van.
“Booker… shut the hell up before I run this very large baton in your right ear and out your left.” Hanson hissed. Booker stood in awe his jaw dropped and he looked on wide eyed at the normally even tempered officer. “I don’t want to be here anymore than you do, but were stuck and I am sick of you! I am sick of hearing about ‘how dumb this is and how much a monkey could do. You are NOT in high school right now, GOT IT! Now can it before I see if there is anything but hot air in that head of yours!”
“Damn Hanson… did you and Penhall have a lovers quarrel last night?” Booker jibed. A slow smile ran across the officer’s face.
“Hanson, Booker… we’re up!” Anderson shot around the trailer. Hanson released his grip on his partner.
“This may be a joke to you Booker, but this is our job, so don’t screw this up for us. I really don’t want threatened with ‘Officer Milk Carton’ again next time Judy is out of town.” Hanson pulled his hat off ran his fingers through his hair and walked back around the van. Booker bent over and picked his hat up off of the pavement. He dusted the top off and placed it back on his head. He watched Hanson as the slighter officer walked away. Through all the shouting he couldn’t help but notice how nervous the officer seemed around these other officers. He appeared like he had something to prove. The young undercover officer carried around the “your dad… he was a good cop… make him proud” weight on his shoulders. It was a lot for anyone to carry, let alone a young man of his age. Dennis could almost understand the officer’s frustration with the whole day. Tom needed to get away from his fathers shadow. Dennis gathered his whit’s and ran toward his partner for the day. Maybe he should ease up a little… Booker thought to himself. Tommy has a lot on his mind and they would get into a lot of trouble if Fuller heard about anything they possibly messed up. Come to think of it… white tights looked better on Hoffs…
Tom and Dennis made their way over to where their group of assembled officers stood waiting for instructions.
“Folks, inside you have a hostage situation. You are to defuse the situation. You have one perp, one vic… he is armed and dangerous. I want you each to choose an envelope. Inside you will find yours and your partners own scenario. If you do not have a partner, you will be paired with one. Some of you will be down, outside or around others will be going in” The officer in charge advised. Hanson gritted his teeth looking down at the ground. He was stuck with Booker… crap. He had hoped that there would be chance they would get to work with a different person. For him the idea of anyone but Booker was appealing. Maybe they would be lucky and get the ‘you and your partner have been hit’ card.
The officer continued speaking and then called them to the front one person at a time. “Booker…” the handsome defiant officer looked up from his own mental vacation. “get up here and choose and envelope for you and Hanson.” Booker blew out a deep breath and stepped forward. He reached out and fingered the outside of one of the thin white paper envelopes and then selected another. He walked over to Hanson as he ripped through the white paper envelope. Booker’s eyes narrowed as he focused on the paper in front of him. He looked at Hanson and then read the paper aloud…
“YOU WILL BE ADVANCING INTO THE SCENE. THE PERPETRATOR IS ARMED AND DANGEROUS. YOU WILL HAVE ONE OTHER TEAM WITH YOU.”
“Son of a bitch…” Booker looked up at Hanson.
“Damn it Booker, you had to draw the entry team…” Hanson growled at his partner.
“Beats gettin hit…” Booker tried to make light of the situation. Hanson rolled his eyes and glared back at him. Hanson knew that his partner was right. Any training was a bonus, but today… Why me?? He thought to himself
“Hanson, Booker… what did you guys draw?” Anderson asked.
“Were going in.” Hanson blurted out. He tried hard to cover up the disappointment in his tone.
“Great, you’ll be with Jones and me.” He smiled back. Shawn Anderson was a very nice man who seemed to have the perfect life. He had the life that Hanson had always so desperately wanted. No matter how he tried to avoid the conversation with his mother. He would even dodge the conversation with Penhall when he was dating Dorothy. There were so many times he had wished for someone to go home to. Nights got long from time to time as a bachelor. Things hadn’t worked out with Jackie; he lost Amy… there had to be someone out there for him… there had to be. He loved Penhall, Ioki and Hoffs… they were family to him; Brothers and sisters he had never had. He could even stomach Booker, most of the time. Fuller was the missing father figure in his life… but when did he get to find happiness. Someone warm to curl up next to when he was cold... someone to dream with…
“Set your radios to channel 4-3, report all fire and officers down. Now, move out! Anderson, your lead on this one.” The voice snapped Hanson back to the reality he didn’t want. “Folks… you will all be reversing roles later, so those of you who do not go in on this round… well… you know the rest!” With that said the eight officers moved forward to the building. Two officers remained behind to assume command.
The officers crept forward as a shot rang out from high above them in the building. Two officers dropped to the ground. Hanson looked back, man he hated this. It was creepy how they watched their own men drop and were not to go back for them… it was a drill. There were two officers assigned to stay with the downed officer’s.
“Command, Unit 15…” Hanson heard the mic on his shoulder connected to the radio on his equipment belt squawk to life.
“Unit 15 this is Command… Go ahead.” The voice responded.
“Command, we had officers down… shots fired.” The trained voice replied back.
“Copy Unit 15, medic units will be alerted. Command out.”
The group of four officers walked slowly into the building. They had their weapons drawn as if they were approaching an actual crime scene. The only difference is that had blanks instead of real ammunition. The building was a large very old abandoned three story warehouse. There was an elevator shaft in the middle of the building. The windows were broken in places. All around the smell of mildew and oil, this must have been a metal or iron works. There were bits and pieces of steel and left here and there. Occasionally a rodent of some sorts could be heard chattering in the distance. Hanson could smell the musty smell of animal urine in the air. The constant sound of chirping birds could be heard over the excitement outside. A large bird swooped down and landed on the remains of a large metal rod near the lower window. Anderson caught Hanson and Bookers attention and the four officers ducked behind a large pillar.
“We’ll go upstairs, single file and then we will see what we have. Jones is a fairly good negotiator so; I think maybe he should do the talking.” He looked at Hanson and Booker, both officers nodding in agreement. The two younger officers were not going to fight anyone who wanted to go in and just get the job done and get out. “Great, lets go get this done and go home! Booker, you’re on point.” He winked at the officers and the quartet headed in the direction of the stairs.
At the top there was nothing but silence. Booker looked around the corner and expected to see something… anything. There was supposed to be someone standing in the massive space, a person holding someone within some part of the open area but the area was vacant. All around there was wire, metal rods, wood chips, but there were no people. Where the hell is the vic? Confused, Booker looked back at Hanson, Anderson and Jones.
“There’s no one there.” He stated quietly. His eyes flickered with uncertainty.
“Dennis, there’s supposed to be a hostage situation up here; two people… one with a gun in his hand. What do you mean there is no one there?” Anderson questioned in a whisper.
“I mean there is NO ONE there.” Booker responded firmly in a louder tone.
“There’s only one way up here that I know of. This is the direction they told me to come.” Anderson responded. “Jones, maybe you could…” his voice growing more audible with concern.
“I got it.” Jones responded louder still. In full voice he stated, “Metro PD, we have you surrounded, please come out and let’s talk about this.” Jones had been negotiating releases for five years. The tambour of his voice was soothing yet commanding. He could make anyone his best friend. “Hello, if you can hear me, this is Derrick Jones with the Metro Police Department, please come out, or tell us what you want.” There was still no answer.
“Maybe we should go in.” Anderson commented softly. He looked over at Hanson and Booker who both looked back with a confused, curious expression on their faces.
“I’ll go.” Booker responded in hushed tones. Hanson looked up at the officer. He had not wanted to be the hero at all, Booker just changed his mind for him. He glanced at his partner. The conversation they had had at the van must have hit home… Damned asshole’s getting even… Shit! Hanson cursed his own actions. Why can’t he keep his stupid mouth shut! Hanson thought to himself.
“We’ll all go.” Anderson announced quietly.
Slowly they all inched towards to entrance to the room. Anderson stuck his weapon out and panned from side to side. He looked around and then motioned for Booker and Hanson to step inside.
“Were up, partner.” Booker announced quietly. Hanson nodded his head and then jumped up moving behind the undercover officer. Hanson and Booker were both filled with nervous energy and expectation. They all half expected the boogey man to jump right out and grab them. One at a time the duo slipped into the dimly lit room and then behind a pillar to wait for Anderson and Jones. Booker assumed his position and then motioned for Anderson and Jones. Hanson looked around and surveyed the scene and then he saw something that was out of place. A shoe… wait… there was a foot connected to it.
“Dennis they did say a hostage, right?” Hanson inquired never breaking eye contact with the foot.
“Yeah, why?” Booker responded.
“Oh GOD!” Hanson whispered to his partner.
“What!” Booker whispered loudly as Hanson grabbed his arm and pointed him in the direction of the body. Booker’s jaw dropped and he started to stand up while pocketing his weapon. Anderson started into the room and moved to the pillar.
“Dennis, what the hell, get down!” Anderson hissed.
“Anderson, there’s a body…” Booker stated. Shawn Anderson and Dennis Booker moved rapidly in the direction of the body. Hanson started to walk towards the body when a group of colorful wires caught his eye. They were placed a long ways away in the opposite direction of the other officers and the body. Hanson stood up and moved in direction of the wires snaking across the room. He continued to make his way to the wires as Jones started to step into the room. Hanson felt nausea bite at the back of his throat when he realized what was going on.
Hanson shouted desperately at the others “GET THE HELL OUTTA HERE; THERES A B…” it was then an explosion ripped through the afternoon air.
Something tore through Hanson’s uniform shirt searing the right side of his chest and arm and face. He was blown off of his feet and into a hard surface of some sort. There was an agonizing crunch and then his right shoulder was on fire. It hurt… the pain was the most unbearable that Tom Hanson could ever remember. He screamed in agony as he felt something penetrate his back and break through the surface of his skin and then shirt. Tom cried out in horror as he reached a blood soaked and shaking hand across his chest to discover what had penetrated his shoulder where he lay next to the wall. Whatever it was he was struggling to catch his breath through the misery of what had hit. He continued to slowly slide his hand across his chest catching his left hand on his badge and then on the raw corner of his shiny gold name plate attached to his tattered shirt. He winced in pain as he caught his thumb on the sharp edge of the name tag. He fumbled along feeling traces of metal and wood on his blood stained uniform. He was hardly able to open his eyes through the smoke and debris when his now crimson fingers struck something solid. His fingers had caught the splintering, jagged edge of a wood fragment. The wood had been driven through his shoulder as he hit the ground following the explosion.
He could hardly focus on the world around him as everything began to slip out of focus. He saw a shadow moving in his direction and then reaching towards him. His chin drooped towards his chest and he took an unforgiving breath of dust fowled air. His chest burned as beads of perspiration slid down his grimy face. He hoped it was Booker... Dennis had found him.
“D… Den…Dennis… h… help… me…” Hanson stuttered. The words hung in the air as the shadow pulled him to his feet. Tom groaned in misery as the slightest movement punished his already tortured body. The shadow person dragged Hanson towards a wall and then stopped. Tom had lost his sense of direction following the explosion. He wasn’t sure where he was. Confusion gave way to another round of agony as the shadow person dropped Hanson on the floor. This isn't Dennis... he would have said something by now... The already mangled officer cried out in pain as another sharp jolt jarred his damaged shoulder. His stomach tightened and constricted, knotting up preparing to lash out at Hanson.
“…gonna… be… sick…” Hanson wanted to stop himself, but his body wasn’t going to cooperate with him. He could hardly hold his face out of the bile. Perspiration dripped like raindrops off of the tips of his long bangs. He felt the contents of his stomach forced up and out of his body. The stench of the foul matter from his stomach hung in the air. The shadow man cursed and forced a door open. Once Hanson was finished he collapsed at the feet of the shadow man who dragged the nearly unconscious officer into the room and shut the door. Hanson was dropped on the floor next to the wall. He lay in a crumpled heap gasping for breath. He couldn’t begin to find the strength to lift himself off of the floor. He made a futile effort to lift himself off of the cold, hard floor again only to be shoved down by something standing over top of him. Hanson cried out as his body slammed into the concrete. The officer landed with a heavy thump, he groaned and then slipped into darkness.
“Anderson… Hanson… Jones…” Booker coughed as he pushed debris off of his chest. His left arm didn’t want to work as he tried to push through the concrete and wood. His mind wondered to the previous moments. He tried to remember the last moments before the blast. There was a foot… Hanson pointed it out to him. Hanson… where’s Hanson… Tom had noticed something else. He had walked towards the door. Jones had just stepped through the door when Tommy shouted something and then… Where the hell is Tommy…
“Tommy!” Booker shouted. The silence started to send chills up and down Booker’s spine. He was sure that he had heard Tommy call his name… but where did he go.
“Dennis…” The voice was soft almost a whisper. The officer registered the voice.
“Anderson? Where are you?” Booker searched wildly amongst the pieces of debris strewn across the room.
“Shawn… buddy… talk to me… help me out here.” Booker tried to lift a piece of beam only to drop it. His left wrist was sprained or worse. “Shit!” He cursed loudly.
“Dennis… here.” The diminished voice spoke up from under a pile of boards and beams.
“Oh hell!” Dennis saw the mess that surrounded Anderson. He knew that he was stuck under quite a pile.
“Shawn, are you hurt?” Booker asked.
”Hurts… to breath… ribs… think my leg is… broken” the officer labored as he tried to tell Booker what was wrong with him.
“Hey Shawn… I’m gonna get you outa here… you hear me?” The officer told his training partner. I’m not quite sure how. The officer mumbled under his breath. He knew he had to get Anderson out since he was the only one answering him. In his head he constantly thought that he had to help his partner. He had to find Tommy… WHERE THE HELL WAS HANSON!
After what felt like hours Dennis managed to dig out Shawn Anderson. His radio and Anderson’s radio was shot. They had been smashed by the explosion. Booker wasn’t sure what had triggered the explosion or who was behind it but he knew the situation wasn’t going to be good.
“GOD you look good” Anderson coughed as he spoke. The air was cloudy as the dust continued to swirl in the air. Booker tried to smile but his wrist was burning and he was having trouble breathing due to the unclean air around them. “What the hell happened?” Anderson asked.
“Don’t know.” Booker responded. “Who ever did this wasn’t trying to kill us, they just wanted to strand us.”
“What… what do you mean strand us?” Shawn asked. Booker leaned over in attempt to help the injured officer to his feet. Booker wanted to mover him away from the debris which cluttered most of the space around them. Anderson's face contorted as Booker tried to help him to his feet. The jolt that led to him standing caused a charge of electricity to flow through him creating a new influx of pain. Shawn cried out as his knee buckled on his good leg and he started to drop to the ground. Booker’s own injury prevented him from catching him or breaking his fall. Anderson landed with a loud thud and a groan. Shawn sucked a sharp breath through his clinched teeth. His eyes closed tightly he reached for Booker’s arm. Dennis suffered the pain of the hand clawing his arm in silence. Through the grip Shawn Anderson had on his arm he could feel the pain the other officer was in. Eventually the pain subsided and he could feel the vice like grip release.
“S-Sorry… Dennis… just hurts…” Anderson let out a heavy breath as he spoke.
“It’s okay.” Booker responded. He knew the officer wasn’t trying to hurt him, but it did hurt just the same.
“Dennis… we gotta… find Hanson and Jones.” Anderson stated.
Dennis glanced down at the officer and then his eye caught sight of a dark shadow at what was left of the door. “Holy…” Booker’s voice trailed off as he stood and rushed over the lifeless form. There was a lump forming in the back of his throat that he couldn’t seem to swallow. “Please GOD…” Anderson’s eyes followed Dennis Booker across the room to a pile of rubble. He too felt that same lump forming in his throat.
“Dennis… who is it?” Anderson’s words didn’t phase Booker as his worst fear was coming true…
“Oh GOD!” Tears were starting to stream down Bookers face. “His hair…” Booker ran his hand through the dark locks on the head of the man. The mans hair appeared grey from the concrete dust that had been stirred by the explosion. “Hanson… No… Please NO!” Booker could feel the biting nausea in his throat. Booker began to shift fallen rocks off of the body the anguish and fear of the loss of a partner tore at his heart. How could he tell Penhall... what would he tell Mrs. Hanson... Would Judy cry... What about Fuller and Ioki... would they understand... could they... "GOD Hanson... PLEASE NO!!"
Anderson lay his head against the rock behind him, the burning prick of tears stinging the backs of his eyes. He didn’t know Dennis Booker or Tom Hanson or even Derrick Jones before today, but the agonizing pain of loosing a fellow officer tore at his emotions. He began to picture his wife, Lilly; she was leaning against his chest. Her brunette hair pulled lightly up off of her soft face. Her soft features almost glowed in the moonlight. The swollen roundness of her stomach made him long to touch her. The life growing inside of her womb… it was his too. She had been awakened by the baby kicking. She always woke Shawn up to tell his that his baby was moving. He had reached his large hand out and felt the push of a limb at the swollen soft flesh of her belly. She was so beautiful with her faded cotton night gown in the pail moon light. This was their first baby; they were so excited to share every moment together. He couldn’t wait to hold the baby in his arms. Now he couldn’t wait to feel her body next to his again…
Anderson was drawn back to the world around him as he heard Booker drop to his knees by the body under the rubble. Then he heard the words…
“A wedding ring…” Anderson looked up at Booker. The words hung in the air like the swirls of dust from the fallen rock.
“What?” Shawn questioned.
“He’s wearing a wedding ring.” Booker stated again. “Hanson’s… s-single.” He turned and looked back at Shawn. Bookers face was streaked with tears and dirt. His dark eyes flickered with torment in the disrupted light. Anderson looked down at the floor. He was thankful he didn’t know the fallen officer better. He wondered who his wife was. Did they have kids? What was she going to fix for his dinner tonight? What did his mother give him for the last Christmas they shared? The loss was already eating at him… he was in charge… it was his fault. He was responsible for these men, there were three accounted for but where was Tom Hanson. For the sake of Dennis Booker and himself they had to find his body… soon.
Jump Street headquarters was a beehive of activity. The day had been busy but perfect. Hoffs, Penhall and Ioki had actually finished their case with minimal effort. Booker and Hanson were due back within the hour. He had known they were not looking forward to this training exercise, but it was going to be good experience for them. There was no reason for Adam Fuller to panic when his phone rang. He had been standing at his filing cabinet inserting the last of the week’s folders into their respective file. Fuller was preparing to depart for the evening. It was a bit early in the day for him to go but the daily reports were in and ready to be filed. Fuller turned and looked at the sun dancing through the stained glass window of the chapel. The purple and gold mixing with the fluid white was a site to behold at this time of the day. An early day, no kinks… nothing to indicate that today was going to be a bad day at all.
“Fuller here...” The man answered. He had a pleasant expression on his face when he picked up the phone. His bearded handsome face reflected an understanding and sternness that the Jump Street Officers could easily appreciate. There wasn’t much left now and he was gone… dinner with Dean and Angie at their place, and he had the weekend off. It was when the words coming from the officer on the other end of the phone sank in that his face dropped. The words were like nails scratching a chalk board. The officer sat up and winced as they registered.
“When?” A sense of urgency projected from his voice.
“What do you mean you don’t know if their okay or not. These are my men you’re talking about! I want a full update as soon as I get there! I’ll be there in fifteen!” The distinguished man slammed the phone down on the cradle and stood up from his desk. He grabbed his waist coat from the coat rack near his filing cabinets and switched the light off as he walked out the door. “Penhall, Ioki, Hoffs to my car now!” The three officers looked at each other and then at Fuller as they grabbed their belongings and moved quickly towards the door.
“Coach, you gonna tell us what’s going on?” Penhall asked
“In the car...” Fuller responded. Penhall shrugged his shoulder as he bit into the last of an apple and threw the core in the dumpster as he passed it. The four officers climbed into the car. The doors slammed shut in near unison as Fuller turned and faced the back seat. He looked at the officers who stared back in confusion. “There has been an explosion at the old Iron Works warehouse… Booker and Hanson were inside.”
Judy Hoffs gasped audibly as she covered her mouth with her hand. She shook her head and looked back at Ioki and Penhall who shared the same expression.
“Fuller… what…” Penhall tried to comment, to say anything. A look of terror blossomed in his eyes. He shook his head as he caught the Captain’s eye.
“Doug, I don’t know anything else, but were headed there now.” Fuller said as comforting as possible. He knew there was no bit of comforting he could offer at this point that would help until the quartet arrived on scene and could see for themselves what was going on.
Penhall sat back in his seat a knot forming in the pit of his stomach. He wanted to be there. They were always together in situations like this. He tried to remind himself that Hanson was strong. He had survived the death of his father, been slapped around by vigilantes, crooks, and students. He could survive a bomb… couldn’t he?
The smell was pungent; it was burning in his nostrils. What the hell was that smell. Hanson was jolted back to reality by something being shoved up under his nose. He gasped out loud and tried to sit up. He had opened his eyes but everything remained a blur. He couldn’t see… terror gripped him as the burning in his nostrils continued. He tried to reach out a hand as something stopped him. Someone pulled him into a sitting position leaning him against the wall. The sudden movement awakened the pain in his shoulder. Again he tried to reach his hand out in front of him but couldn’t lift it any higher than his waist. He heard the unmistakable jingle of chain between his legs. The rigid metal clanked against the icy concrete. The he could feel the pressure of frigid steel around his ankles. The shadow man had him in leg irons… shackles. Why, I can’t see to go anywhere… where the hell am I? The nausea was taking hold again as his head began to spin. He closed his eyes and realized how badly they were burning. They felt like they were on fire. What had happened to him? Maybe the explosion had done something to his sight too.
“You’re not allowed to pass out yet… Officer Hanson.” The words chilled the officer as the voice seemed to hiss at the young officer. He sounded older. The voice belonged to the same person who had dragged him to the wall after the explosion. He tried again to piece together what was going on, but he had to have an answer of some sort.
“Who… are you…” Hanson stuttered. His throat was parched and burned. The pain in his shoulder had blossomed back to life. Hanson closed his eyes tightly to the earth shattering pain sheering him apart from the inside. He could tell by the way the pain had intensified the peg of wood was still lodged in his shoulder. He wanted to pull the thing out, but couldn’t see to find it let alone lift his hands to get it. The shadow man fumbled around close to Hanson but would not answer the young officer. “Look…I-I don’t know who… you are… I can’t see you… please…” Hanson pleaded with the stranger. He hated feeling helpless. He was so low right now, but he couldn’t see anything more than a blur in front of him. He couldn’t move without help, and this man wasn’t going to be understanding at all.
“Officer Hanson… you don’t know me and I don’t know you. I do however; know Officer Dennis Booker... formally of Internal Affairs, currently assigned to the Jump Street division under Captain Adam Fuller. This is all his fault.” Fear gripped at Hanson’s when the man said it was all Booker’s fault. What the hell had he done while he was in Internal Affairs? Who the hell had he pissed off?
“Well Officer Hanson… You have a big stick in your shoulder and, I’m gonna have to push it out before you get sicker than you already are.” The shadowy figure made his way over to Hanson who had started to try and slide away from the figure. Hanson was terrified and couldn’t move any further than a few inches away. “Where do you think your going?” The man easily overpowered the injured officer. He shoved a balled up cloth gag into Hanson’s mouth and aggressively shoved the slighter officer against the wall. “This might sting…” The older voice stated almost making a mockery of the pain Tom was about to endure. Hanson fought back until the shadow man had himself positioned on top of the injured officer. Hanson’s muffled agonizing scream tore through the silence as the splintered wood was forcefully driven the rest of the way through his shoulder and out the other side with the help of another, larger piece of wooden plank. Tom’s world was then eclipsed by darkness.
Booker had pulled his dress shirt off and covered the head of Derrick Jones once he had figured out who the officer was. He then crawled back to Anderson who was still leaning against the pile of ruble. Anderson had his head down looking at his feet.
“Are you okay Shawn?” Booker asked.
“Getting a little cold… Dennis.” Anderson answered. He was visibly shaking as the younger officer got nearer to him. Booker reached up and felt the injured mans forehead.
“Damn Shawn… you’re burning up.” Booker responded pulling his hand away. He looked at the officer whose face was beginning to turn pale. “We gotta get you outta here before you go into shock. I’m just not sure how were going to.” Booker looked up. There were piece of ceiling all over the place and there was no real way out. There had been windows above them once and they were now covered with debris. The explosion had not been so strong that it would bring down the whole structure, just enough that they would be trapped for a while.
With each second that ticked away, Booker grew more concerned that Hanson was missing and fear began to course through his veins again. Where is Hanson?
Booker slowly stood up next to Anderson who was seated on the ground beside the officer. Anderson had leaned to the left holding his head in his hands. Booker’s joints were aching and his wrist and arm was throbbing. He thought that maybe he had sprained or broken his wrist in the blast but now he was sure that he had broken his wrist and his arm. It was swelling and he could no longer bend his elbow without knifelike pain. Minutes had ticked by giving way to hours since the explosion and Dennis Booker was getting very thirsty he knew that Shawn was probably worse. The feeling of dirt and dust coated the inside of his parched throat.
His thoughts were soon turned back to the injured officer next to him. There was no exit in site and he knew had to look for Tom; however, he couldn’t leave Anderson alone to fend for himself. The air was starting to get stagnate; there were beams of light penetrating through the mounds of plaster and concrete. It was starting to cool as the sun was probably drooping in the sky. A glance at his watch indicated 4:30. It had been well over four hours since the explosion. The time was continuing to slip away with Booker helpless to stop it. He wondered if Harry and Judy were going to get pizza right now with Doug. The plan was to go after work, but plans change from time to time. They may have decided to go early since Hanson and Booker were going to be at this training. The thought of pizza did nothing but reignite the tormented rumbling in his stomach. He didn’t feel good, but he was hungry.
“Shawn, can you… can you walk if I help you. We have to try and find Tom and I can’t leave you alone here.” His nerves were becoming as tangled a mess as the area they were trapped in. He looked around the room, or what was left of it… he knew they were on the second floor. The blast hadn’t been enough to topple the building, but enough to cave in some of the ceiling above them and the doorway. The doorway had been blown up… but there was an elevator shaft if he could get to the elevator shaft, maybe he could get Anderson out of here and then find Tommy.
“I’ll… try” Shawn said closing his eyes again to the grating pain at his knee. He was sure that he had broken at least one rib as breathing was starting to become difficult. He reached up to Booker who looked back at the suffering officer. Booker started to reach down for his hand when he stopped and took a step back cradling his arm. There was a strange look on his face as he glanced back at the other officer.
“W…What’s wrong?” Anderson asked. His words seemed to stumble and slur coming out of his mouth. Booker tried not to show concern over the way the officer sounded. He glanced at his arm and then back at the older man.
“It’s my arm… I think it’s broken.” Booker answered back looking back at Anderson.
“Were a fine… pair… aren’t we?” Shawn tried to laugh but only succeeded in coughing. The motion sent a blaze of pain up and down his side and into his leg. He sucked a deep breath through his teeth and clutched at his leg again. He started to cough again dropping his chin to his chest and then lifting his head up. He caught Booker gaze and then shook his head. “Dennis… I can… try to move… but… the pain… hurts… it’s too much to… move right now. I’m fine… here… you go and find Tom…”
“No. I’m not leaving you. I need to get you to the elevator shaft and try to get you out of here. Then I’ll find Tommy.” No matter how he thought about it, and how much he didn’t want to face it Tom Hanson was probably lying in a pool of his own blood and finding a dead body was not the top of his priorities right now. “You’re my priority right now.” The word sounded funny. Priority… it was like he was a top secrete spy and was out to get the bad guy. He had heard people talk about priorities since he was a small child. He thought the only priority in life was living fast and having a great time. He had taken the slap to the face more than once as police work had taught him a new line of priorities. Hanson had done a lot to help teach him that. Why did he have to keep contemplating Hanson like he was gone? He could just be unconscious less than ten feet away from them.
“It’s starting to get a little cold right now. We have to get you some help. Come on, we’ll do this together.” He bent down and gathered the officer’s arm around his undamaged shoulder and painfully helped him to his feet. Anderson groaned, stumbled and then sucked in another deep breath. Booker grimaced and thought to himself that he was going to buckle under pressure of both of their weight. Anderson was not a small man, he wasn’t huge, but not small… they were both worse for where then he first thought.
“Captain Fuller!” A voice called loudly to the officer arriving on the scene of the explosion. Adam Fuller turned sharply around and saw the older Sgt. Mike Garrison moving hastily to meet him.
“Mike… what happened.” Fuller held back anger as he looked into the face of the older man. The façade of its all okay was pushed aside by the look of terror in his weary eyes. Fuller had known Mike for years and he also knew that Mike had known Tom Hanson. He had watched Hanson grow up while working with his father. His was a name that Hanson had referred to frequently when he made the rare comment about his childhood. The older man had his hat off and his grey hair was a glow with perspiration. The kind faced man shook his head as he looked back at the senior officer.
“Fuller… I wish I knew…” His troubled eyes told the story over and over. “Adam, everything was fine. They were one of the last crews in. They were the only ones to come in contact with the upper floors. It was supposed to be in and out. A very easy disarm situation. I just don’t know.” He glanced at the young officers noting looks of concern and confusion on their faces. He had worked with the Jump Street kids before. They were all so young and young looking that he always referred to them as kids. They were a smart bunch, they didn’t need to be there but the Chief had wanted representation from all departments.
“Have you heard anything from someone claiming responsibility?” The young Asian boy asked. He thought his name was Harry, but he was to stressed to try and remember at this time.
“No, nothing. We can’t even get inside until we find out if the structure is going to drop on us.” He answered.
“Where’s the bomb squad?” Fuller interjected.
“Across town, there was a threat on Truman Middle School, Layton Primary and Beckley Elementary.” He responded.
“Interesting… three schools with bomb threats, that ties up all the units at one time. The Fire Department can’t go inside in case of another explosion and he wins. IT sounds to me like were dealing with a real madman and he’s got the winning ace right now.” Penhall looked back at the Captain in disbelief.
“Cap’n we have to find Hanson and Booker!” Penhall shouted back at Fuller.
“Penhall, we have to find all of them. There was more than just Hanson and Booker in that building. How many are we missing, Mike?”
“Six.” Mike answered back. “Derrick Jones, Shawn Anderson, Don Allen and Sheryl Young, they were acting the part of the perp and the vic, well your boys too.”
“Geeze Cap… Don and Sher… they helped us out with a case a while back. Judy shook her head. “This is like a bad nightmare that you can’t wake up from. Ioki wrapped his arms around his partner and looked out over the building. The roof was starting to sink in the middle and he knew that was not a good sign. Hanson and Booker were on borrowed time.
Hanson choked on his own breath as he jolted back to consciousness again. The same smell of ammonia burning his nostrils.
“Wake up Officer Hanson.” The Shadow man’s voice crept into his tormented thoughts. He winced at the pain in his shoulder. The pain was different now, it radiated across his chest and down his side. His face burned with a tenacity he could barely tolerate. He felt almost like there was something still within his body that didn’t belong in it. Hanson slowly opened his eyes to the constant burning blur that had become his world. He wanted to see something, anything. He had read stories of people having reactions to bombs and gun powder blowing up in their faces. He thought that maybe he had powder burns to his eyes. That would at least explain why he couldn’t see anything more than a blurred world around him. He wished he could put a face with the voice that was tormenting him. The man was right next to him. His hot breath reaching Tom’s now exposed shoulder. There wasn’t much left of the officer’s uniform where the peg had penetrated his shoulder. His white t-shirt was ripped at the top and was now fouled with blood. His uniform shirt had been torn apart at the shoulder and left hanging. A makeshift pressure dressing had been made with part of the sleeve. It had been secured win place with something that felt like twine where it rubbed his skin raw. Hanson could feel blood continue to escape the wound. Hanson could not make out what the man was doing; he assumed he was looking down at the officer surveying his work… or the damage he had inflicted.
Hanson licked his dried lips and swallowed hard. The burning reminder that he needed water roused him back to full consciousness again. He tried to sit up but could hardly hold his head up. Nausea continued to creep up into him, upsetting what was left of the delicate remainders of his sanity. “…thirsty…” He whispered to the man.
With little effort the man shifted down to the eyelevel with the injured cop. He scooped his head up off of the floor and assisted the man into a sitting position. He then poured a small amount of liquid into his parched mouth. The water tasted foul, like it had been sitting in a plastic bottle outside in the sun for a few days. Hanson knew he had made a strange face for the man to see, but he was appreciative of the man helping the small amount he had. Hanson’s eyes had started to droop again as his body was continuing to rebel against him. The pungent smell of ammonia tore through his senses again. He jumped and laid his head back against the wall.
“Please…so tired…” Hanson tried to piece his thoughts together but his mind was a jumbled mess. His body was fighting an infection and he was slowly dehydrating.
“Officer Hanson… we have a meeting… let’s go.” The words were bit off as he was pulled aggressively to his feet. The officer let out a yelp and was dragged onto a different location. The world began to spin and Hanson’s body lost the fight for consciousness again.
Booker had Anderson on his foot. He had tried to splint his broken leg, but with his arm being broken it hadn’t worked very well to get a splint in place at all. Anderson had helped him make something to cradle his damaged arm in. They had used Bookers belt as a sort of sling. The black leather material wasn’t comfortable against the exposed skin of his neck, but it was enough to remind him not to try and use his arm. Booker was beginning to struggle against the weight of the two men as they slowly struggled through the remains of the second floor of the warehouse. Booker was certain they were getting close to the elevator shaft. He was straining to pick out surrounding in the vast gradually darkening room. The light that was getting through at this point was starting to turn orange. This is not good… not at all. Booker thought to himself as he stumbled along.
“You still with me Shawn?” Booker asked. His breath was coming quickly as he labored to keep his footing along the jagged concrete and exposed wires of the remains of the building. The clutter of debris made the progress along the way slow and difficult.
“Y… yeah Dennis…” Shawn’s words were slow and slurred as it was starting to become more obvious he was in the early stages of shock.
“We’re… almost there…” Booker was drained but he could see outline the elevator shaft ahead of the two men. It looked like it could be in one piece. “Do you need… to stop?” Booker asked between gulps of air.
“No.” Shawn Anderson was fighting hard to continue on. He was exhausted. All he wanted to do was lay down and go to sleep.
Booker wasn’t sure how he was going to get the injured man down the elevator shaft, but he wasn’t going to worry about that now. He just had to get him to a safe spot and then find Hanson. The two men approached the elevator shaft and Booker saw something move in the shadows.
“What the hell…” Dennis’s thoughts came out of his mouth.
Something moved again followed by a bright light shining in his face. Anderson was brought back to coherency by the glare of light.
“Booker… what’s that?” Anderson lifted his hand to cover his eyes. Both of the men flinched at the light. It had been so long since they had seen something this bright. The sudden light caused them to both flinch and prevented them from moving forward towards the blinding light.
“Hello Officer Dennis Booker…” The voice was deep and cold. He knew who it was from the depth in the tambour. But it couldn’t be… he had been sent to prison for taking bribes in a case… it couldn’t be…
“Gordon Hughes?” Booker’s words were more like a question.
“Do you remember me? Maybe, you’ll remember him.” Gordon dropped the lantern to the side. The light shown vividly across the room as it revealed a viciously injured Officer Tom Hanson.
Booker’s jaw dropped. The shock of who was in front of him caused excitement and terror at the same time. Stunned, he continued to stare forward at the man holding his partner as a shield in front of him. Gordon had a hand gun trained at Hanson’s temple. The injured Hanson’s right eye was nearly swollen shut and his other eye was bloodshot with cuts and scratches at the sides most likely from powder burns caused by the explosion. His right cheek had a large abrasion running the length of his cheekbone. He had a bruise on his left cheek and his forehead was split open near his hair line. There was a long line of blood running down the left side of his battered face. His wrists were chained together and secured at the waist. Booker just stood shocked at the scene playing out in front of him. Hanson’s uniform was ripped at the shoulder. His white t-shirt was crimson with blood. Stains from the same red life supporting liquid shown against the flesh of Tom Hanson’s arm. A square of material covered a spot on Hanson’s shoulder. His uniform trousers were ripped on his left knee another scrape peeping through on his already abused body. All down the right side of his chest and stomach his shirt hung in ribbons. The exposed flesh revealed what looked like blood and glass glittering in the lantern light.
“Say hello to your partner, Officer Hanson.” Gordon tugged at Hanson’s left arm as if signaling him to say something. Tom flinched and groaned at the jerking motion yet he continued to stare forward. Playing submissive could often get a person out of peril, but this time it wasn’t just pretending, he was terrified… he couldn’t see anything.
There was no focus to Hanson’s expression he wasn’t even looking at Booker. There was something wrong with Tommy, but what?
“Dennis?” He stated loudly. His voice almost cracked as he said the words.
What was wrong with Hanson? He looked almost scared.
“Yeah Tommy… you alright.” Booker tried to keep the alarm out of his voice.
“I… think s-so… Booker… I…” Hanson looked nervous as he looked towards a pile of debris. He was acting unfocused and confused.
“That’s enough love chatter. Dennis, I owe you big my friend. You remember me from your IAD days don’t ya.” The man raised his bushy eyebrows as he asked with a cold grin on his withered face. He appeared to have not shaved in days. His expression was that of an insane man. Chills shot up Booker’s spine as he recalled the case involving the investigation and dismissal of Gordon Hughes. “Your investigation of me cost me my job, my wife, and my family. You should have left well enough alone. You were a cocky ass S.O.B when you were trying to warm up to me then, and you still haven’t lost your touch.” Gordon’s words lashed out at Booker.
His face was angry. He had his arm wrapped around Hanson’s neck squeezing it tighter and tighter. Hanson struggled to lift his hands to stop the man from crushing his windpipe. His wrists were chained at his waist with a regulation belly chain. He couldn’t raise his arms to stop the assault on his oxygen supply. He tugged wildly at the unrelenting chain as he felt his head getting lighter. Please GOD don’t let me die like this. Not at a training exercise with Dennis Booker staring back at me.
“Look, Gordy, buddy, let me get Hanson and Anderson out of here and you can have me. Do what ever you want just let Hanson go. He’s a good officer and you don’t want to hurt him. He’s never done anything to you and shit… Hanson doesn’t even like me!” Booker tried to step closer to the man holding Hanson. The weight of the injured Anderson stopped him from moving with out anymore effort.
“Dennis…” Anderson groaned out loud. The movement again was too much for Shawn to take. Pain was surging violently through his body as he watched the men in front of him. The one responsible for his injury and the one trying desperately to disarm the situation and find a way to get his partner out of harms way.
“One more step and he’ll die right now!” Gordon shouted. “And… well… I’m not sure I can live with knowing I killed him before I completely destroy you, buddy.” Gordon’s eyes glowed with hostility towards Booker. He had imagined this day for years. On the verge of obsession he thought about what he could and would do to Dennis Booker.
Booker breathed a sigh of relief as he noticed Hanson struggling less to take a breath. The man had relaxed his death grip on his friend. The wounded officer still looked pained as he closed his eyes and pursed his lips sucking in precious oxygen. He slowly opened his eye again and gritted his teeth.
“Gordy, let me get them out of here and I promise you can have me.” Booker again tried to plead for the release of Hanson and Anderson.
“You get one. That’s it. You can take that one on your shoulder out of here. Then you come back.” He looked angrily back at the officer as he raised his index finger at him. “But, you have ten minutes to get back in here or Officer Hanson here…” Gordon growled as he grabbed a handful of Tom Hanson’s hair and pulled his head back. He leaned forward, his cheek rubbing Hanson’s cheek as he ran the site of the weapon across Hanson’s exposed throat. “Well, were going to have a lot of fun together… he really is a pretty boy…” The words dripped hungrily from Gordon’s mouth as he released the young officer’s hair and ran the hand gun over Hanson’s bruised cheek.
The words were like sour milk to Hanson. He felt the sudden grip of nausea as the stench of Gordon’s stale breath wafted across his face and through his nostrils. He could feel the anger rising from the tips of his toes and coursing through his body. It raged like a fever, festered like a splinter, and then boiled over like a coffee pot. “Booker get Anderson… get the hell out… and don’t look back.” Hanson hissed through his teeth. He was fuming with anger. This man had put Hanson through enough. He was fed up with the game being played with him and the other two. He wasn’t sure what had happened to Derrick Jones, but he was certain that if he was alive, Booker would have drug him along somehow. Hanson yowled in a anguish as Gordon brought his weapon directly down on his aching shoulder. Hanson dropped to the floor raising his hands as much as he could to try and soothe the blistering pain in his shoulder. It was then Gordon slammed his leg forcefully into his already exacerbated side. Hanson tried not to cry out but it was too much he gasped and then cried out in total distress. He clutched at his side. He couldn’t focus on where anything was coming from as he felt a hand around his throat again. The powerful arm drug him back to his feet and held him there. He couldn’t make his knees hold him up and in place. There was no strength there at all. He felt the cold metal of the weapon and then the click of the hammer as it was being cocked.
“Go ahead Booker… take one more step.” Gordon seethed. Hanson’s head sank as he could hardly hear from the ringing in his ears. He was loosing all sense of reality.
“Booker… you have just about five more minutes and I will have my fun with Hanson here and then I will kill him but not before he suffers for you. Now this elevator will run on the generator I’ve hooked it up to and when you get back I’ll know because I can see things you can’t. Just so you know, the building is wired and there will be another explosion if I even suspect for one more second you have someone with you, got it? Good… now go your five starts now.”
Penhall stood leaning against the hood of Captain Fuller’s oversized sedan. He was chewing his fingernails watching the warehouse in front of him. They were still waiting on a bomb squad to arrive at the site before they could even begin to search for survivors. Penhall couldn’t help but worry as he watched the center of the building. The roof was sagging in towards the middle. His friend was up their. Hanson should not have been here today. He was supposed to be partnered with him the day that Tom and Booker had been sent into East Side to investigate a stolen car ring. He had called in sick. He had had the flu and just could not seem to make it into work that day. If he had just come into to work that day, it would have been him and Hanson, not Booker and Hanson. The thought of him trapped in this building was too much for him to contemplate. He observed Hoffs and Ioki to his right talking with the Red Cross unit sent in to bring food and drinks to the rescue workers just sitting around waiting. To his left Fuller was discussing the topic at hand with Mike Garrison and three other captains with officers inside. How could a bomb wielding lunatic get in and cause the havoc that he did and not get caught. HOW!
Doug looked down at his hand as he bit into the quick and started to bleed. He sighed deeply as he wiped the blood on the faded blue denim jeans he had been wearing all day. This was pizza night where was his best friend. Penhall glanced up to see Fuller dart across the grass in a full sprint with Garrison waddling behind. What the? Then he saw the person no persons hobbling out the door. Holy shit!
“Booker!” Doug took off blazing across the gravel to the blacktop and down the hill to the grass where he was caught by a firefighter.
“You can’t go any further.” The man tried to stop Penhall.
“Screw you, that’s one of my partners!” He shouted as he pulled his arm away from the larger man and continued on. He tore through the “CAUTION” tape and ran to Fuller and Booker.
“Where’s Hanson?” Penhall shouted as Fuller caught Booker before his legs gave way. Emergency crews were already carrying Anderson away as he lost consciousness just as Booker’s legs betrayed him.
“I… gotta… get… back…” Booker was out of breath as Fuller sat him down on the ground.
“Your not going anywhere but a hospital.” Fuller interjected.
“No! Hanson…” Booker tried to finish his statement as Penhall interrupted.
“Bookers, where’s Tommy!” Penhall shouted again. His patients worn thin by the lack of action from the group of rescue workers surrounding him. By this time Judy Hoffs and Harry Ioki had all grouped around Booker.
“I have to get back… in there Coach… he’s got Hanson…” Booker tried to finish his statement. He was out of breath and the other officers would not let him get a word in as they wanted answers of their own. Perspiration dripped like rain down the officer’s grimy face. His cheek was encrusted with blood from a rather deep cut. There was a bruise behind the blood contributing to swelling along the cheekbone. He had a gash above his right eye with dried blood smeared along his hairline. His lip had split along the bottom. His dark eyed pleaded with Fuller to be let go as no one seemed to listen.
Fuller noted the makeshift sling from a belt hanging from the officer’s neck indicating an arm injury. He took a knee pulling Doug to the ground with him. Penhall positioned himself behind Booker holding the officer in place as Fuller examined the injury. He looked at Hoffs and sent her to get some bandages and some water for the injured officer. Judy ran off in the direction of the nearest Ambulance.
“Please Cap’n, I don’t have time. He has Hanson and is going to hurt him if I’m not back in a couple minutes. I have to go.” Booker tried to stand up only to be pushed back down by Fuller who had taken the make shift sling from the officer and was looking at his arm. Hoffs had since returned with water and bandages. She had handed them to Fuller who told her to try and get some water into him.
“Wait, is Hanson ok?” Penhall asked.
“No, Hanson’s worse than I am and he’s gonna kill him if I don’t get back in there now!” Booker shouted back at Doug as he was fussing with getting him to release his vice like hold on his uninjured shoulder.
“Booker, your arm is broken, I think, and you are on the verge of dehydration and exhaustion. You’re not going back in there and that’s final!” Fuller advised in his best in charge voice. He could feel the fear as he too was desperate to know where Hanson was, but Booker was hurt. Too hurt to return to the warehouse possibly still wired with explosives.
Booker slapped the water bottle away from him and jerked his arm away from Captain Fuller causing him to wince in pain. He fought his way to his feet and glared back at Fuller. He tugged himself free of Penhall and could feel the pressure of the day boil in him. He was angry that no one was listening to him.
“GOD! Are you listening, I have about two minutes to get back in there and then Hanson’s toast! Get off of me and let me GO!” Booker exploded. He tore himself free of Ioki and Penhall again. The officers had stepped in again trying to calm Booker.
Judy stepped up and grabbed the officer’s arm. Trying to soothe him and remind him that they were worried about Hanson too. She looked at Fuller and then back at Booker. “Booker, the regulations say…”
“Fuck the rules, Judy!” He shouted. “Throw the damn rule book out the window for once… I have a minute and a half left.” Booker’s lash at Judy set Penhall and Ioki on edge. The two men looked at each other speechless. Booker was on his feet in front of them. Captain Fuller also shocked at the sudden verbal attack on Judy Hoffs, the only officer that really gave Booker a chance at the start. Something was defiantly wrong.
“Who is He?” Fuller asked as he stepped forward and continued to wrap Dennis Booker’s arm again.
“Gordon Hughes, I busted him taking bribes when I worked for IAD and now he’s back. I cost him his job and so he did this. The rest of the building is wired and he will blow it all after he anilities Hanson if I’m not back in there in a minute and fifteen. I have to go… alone…” His eyes radiated urgency as Fuller stared hard back at his young officer. This was a decision he didn’t want to make but he had too.
“Go… and be careful.” Fuller struggled to let his officer walk back into harms way. He knew something was wrong, dreadfully wrong and that he may have made a mistake letting Booker go back to the dungeon. Fortunately now he had something to work with as he could figure out what his next step should. There was no way Dennis Booker could handle this by himself, especially if Hanson was in the same shape he was in. Booker looked back at Fuller and then ran back into the building. His arm had been quickly bandaged by fuller and the belt replaced with another bandage wrapping it around his side so it wouldn’t move on him. Fuller had wrapped it in seconds. Booker stopped one more time at the door looking back at the people who were the closest things to sisters and brothers he had on earth. He couldn’t believe what he had said to Judy… he really hadn’t meant to loose it like that with her.
“Officer Hanson… your ten minutes was up a minute ago.” Gordon pulled Hanson off of the floor and slammed the officer against the outer wall of the elevator shaft. Hanson tried to fight back but his injuries were so bad that the jolt from just being pulled to his feet made him want to collapse. He gasped as the impact smashed the wind out of him. His cheek slammed into the wall. He winced closing his eyes to the impact. He then groaned despite himself. “I don’t think Officer Booker’s coming back and I’ve been hungry for this for a long time…”
Hanson wanted to shrink and disappear into the wall. When he felt the iron like grip of a hand on his shoulder and another one as it fondled along down the officers spine. No GOD, please… Booker… where are you. This can’t be happening right now… not to him. He never thought in a thousand years THIS would be happening to him. Hanson pushed with futile effort against the rusted steel wall but it refused to move. No amount of pain in the world could be felt through the terror that was coursing through him right now. It didn’t seem to matter how much he pushed and shoved he couldn’t get the larger man behind him to relent. Gordon’s body slammed against his own as the two large callused hands explored the tight body beneath them. Hanson’s hands shook as his fingers curled and scraped violently against the metal beneath him. Panic exploded through his body and perspiration escaped every pore in his body. Oh GOD! Booker…
Booker ran as fast as his legs would carry him back to the service elevator. Fear gripped him as he realized he had run out of time. Oh my GOD, Tommy! Hang on, I’m comin. Please let him be ok. Knowing that Hanson was already hurt, failing if you wanted to be straight, was killing him. But to know that his partner was having who knows what done to him at this moment was a torment almost too hard to handle. Tom and Dennis had been trying to get along together since they were working together more often.
His lungs burned. The torture of dragging a nearly unconscious man across a building the length of a couple of football fields was a lot for an already injured man. Now his already battered body wanted to collapse on the broken cement floor. The trickle of sweat as it ran down his back and chest set off all the nerves in his body. His legs felt rubbery. With each step he wanted to drop to his knees. He continued to remind himself of Tom Hanson being touched or abused by the sick bastard that was Gordon Hughes.
It was a shame that he had been called in to bust a cop for taking bribes. The tall balding man had been an enjoyment, almost a pleasure to talk too. He was witty, an almost dry humor about everyday life. He would smile and his eyebrows were something to behold when he would laugh. He knew how to enjoy life, well, maybe he enjoyed it too much which is why he had been called in to befriend and remove the man from his service to the Metro Police Department. He had known the prostitution ring existed for a long time. He had been accepting money and sexual favors to cover up the trail left by the men who “pimped” the young girls and even the boys out. They had been praying on their need for money, drugs, and family anything they could to get service out of them. Once Booker had figured out what was happening it became a little easier to take the man down. It had been out of carelessness on Gordon’s part that had allowed himself to be discovered by Dennis Booker. He had offered Booker everything from money to drugs to not say anything. Booker couldn’t turn his back, not on this.
Booker tripped over an exposed “I” beam from the floor which sent him tumbling face first to the ground. Booker sucked a breath through his teeth as the fall lit a biting pain in the knuckles of his left hand. Booker pushed himself painfully to his knees and then to his feet gritting his teeth through a gasp of pain. He regained his composure blowing out a couple deep breaths through pursed lips. Sweat running profusely along the side of his temples, he struggled along thinking to himself; Great! I just broke my other hand. How the hell am I going to be any use to Hanson now? Looking down, he flexed the fingers on his left hand and felt the stiffness in his knuckles. Shit! Swollen already right arm and hand, broken… left hand, possibly broken or… damn it hurts bad… GOD help me… Just hang on Hanson, I’m almost there…
Tom Hanson continued to feverishly fight the man behind him who relentlessly continued his attempt to violate Hanson while assaulting his already mangled body. The larger man spun Hanson around to face him. The smaller officer still handcuffed and secured to the unfaltering belly chain. The obstacle preventing him from defending himself, every tug at the chain brought on a feeling of excruciating pain as it gouged deeply into his shrapnel damaged side. The Gordon using his size to his advantage again slammed the smaller officer into metal side of the elevator shaft. Hanson yelped and slumped, falling to the ground as his breath was knocked out of him. The hit reverberated through his chest and down the elevator shaft.
Oh my GOD… He’s gonna kill me. Where the hell are you Booker? I can’t take much more before he wins. Please Booker… Hanson’s thoughts were centering on survival.
Gordon grabbed the officer by the shirt collar and hauled him back to his feet. His rancid breath whistling across the officer’s face causing the feeling of choking in Hanson’s throat. He turned his head to the side hoping to be absorbed somehow by the wall. The grinding sound of the service elevator just through the metal plated wall breathed a new life into Hanson as the sound revived him.
“Booker!” The words rushed past his parted lips as he let out a small sigh of relief and then quickly raised his knee into the unsuspecting mans sensitive anatomy. Gordon dropped the officer as he fell to the ground cursing the young officer who stumbled forward falling heavily into Dennis Bookers unsuspecting injured arms. Booker gritted his teeth as he stifled a groan.
“MOVE IT!” Hanson shouted. He caught his balance and shoved the other officer toward the elevator as Gordon appeared around the corner. Booker gritting his teeth through pain grabbed Hanson by the arm and pulled him along ducking behind sheet of metal along the wall.
Hanson slid like a ragdoll to the floor. “Got… a key… Booker?” He asked. The chains had been cutting into him and made it difficult to grab a hold of anything he could use to study himself with.
“Booker glanced around the metal and saw not sign of the madman anywhere. “Yeah in my pocket.” Booker answered.
“Well, could ya get give it too me please.” Hanson asked, his tone getting short.
“Hanson, my arms broken and my other hand is messed up too, I can’t get to it.” Booker responded. “Your gonna have to get it for me.” He added.
“Mother …” Hanson cursed under his breath.
“What’s wrong Hanson, just grab it.” Booker added.
“Booker… I have powder burns on my eyes… and I think I have flash blindness… it’s all a blur. I can’t see Booker.” Hanson looked pleadingly at Dennis. His eye didn’t move. The other swollen shut gave nothing away.
“Holy crap Hanson! Are you gonna be able to see again?” Booker asked with concern in his voice.
“Geeze Booker... I failed my medical test and… I’m not a doctor.” He responded bitterly.
Realizing the stupidity of the question Booker slid over to Hanson and straddled Hanson’s right leg. Clinching his teeth so as to not cry out, slowly he moved his possibly broken left hand to Hanson’s hand. He then lifted it to his stomach and helped to slide it as far as he could to his right pocket. “Can’t go any farther… hurts…” Booker gasped letting out a quiet breath. Slower still Hanson fumbled along the rest of the way to the pocket. Once there he reached his hand in and plucked out the treasure.
“Got it!” He gasped he clumsily tried to find the key hole when Booker realized what he was trying to do.
“Give me that.” Booker demanded.
“Your hand…” Hanson stated
“Small price to pay for your freedom, besides Steve Wonder, after you loose the key, what then?” He asked.
Booker gingerly took the key, gritted his teeth and within a few seconds had Hanson’s hands free. As the officer was pulling back he grazed Hanson’s side.
“Aghhhh!!” Hanson tried to stifle the scream, but the pain was mind boggling. He thought just that simple grazing of what ever was stuck in his side could send him out like a light.
“What the hell was that?” Booker snapped at Hanson. “You have something sticking out of your side!” He quietly yelled at the officer.
“Booker… I … don’t know… but please… don’t touch me… there again.” He panted. It was pain he had never felt before and never wanted to again. He gritted his teeth as Booker reached over with his lesser damaged left hand and pulled his partners shirt up. Even in the lessening light he could see light glinting off of something in Hanson’s side.
“Shrapnel...” Booker said slowly.
“What?” Hanson asked
“Hanson… you have a chunk, well several small chunks of shrapnel stuck in your side… you must have picked it up from the bomb. Good GOD… we gotta get you outa hear before blood poisoning sets in!” Booker couldn’t hide the urgency in his voice. “Hold onto my shirt tail and don’t let go!” Booker was handing out orders again. Hanson knew that he had no choice but to listen to him as he was in no position to get the two men out of their own private hell.
“Cap’n, I’m not gonna stand out here for another damned minute waiting for the OK from a bomb squad to go into a building that is about to come down with our friends trapped inside!” Penhall screamed as Ioki and Hoffs did their best to cool their friend down.
“Penhall, I know your upset… we’re all upset but there is nothing we can do right now.” The older responded. He watched and agonized with his undercover officers as they waited… and waited. The time was slowly taking its toll on the younger officers. The day had gone from afternoon to evening to dark in what felt like forever. Still there was no sign of a bomb squad to ok entrance into the building. It wrenched at his stomach to see all three falling apart. They had thought it was over when Booker had emerged from the building in one piece, but he had to return. Fuller had fought the instinct to follow his younger officer back in. What he had wanted to do was send Booker to the nearest hospital and go in and get Hanson out and tear Gordon Hughes apart limb from limb. It was too much knowing that Booker had taken this man down for betraying the city he had sworn to protect. He had betrayed young innocent children who had been preyed upon by depraved human beings. He had betrayed himself by seeking revenge on someone who was doing his job.
“Look Cap… there’s a back way into this building…”
“Ioki, please…” Fuller pinched the bridge of his nose as he closed his eyes to the nightmare that surrounded him. The more the officers pleaded with him the more he wanted to give in to them. Booker’s words continued to roll around in his head; “Throw the damn rule book out the window for once…” Booker had been right. He was always challenging the rules. Seeing how much he could get by with and then pushing one inch further. But for once Dennis Booker had been right. These were Adam Fuller’s officers and he was going to protect them no matter what it took to do so.
“Boo-ker!” The voice was loud and sing song like. Almost haunting to listen to the words were clear and tearing through the darkness. Dennis Booker poked his head around the corner of the piller and concrete pile and then turned again to look at Tom Hanson. There wasn’t to much left that the two men could do alone. They had ducked behind a large pile of concrete and fallen steel when they had heard movement ten foot from them. It had been Gordon. He was not happy with Hanson’s present for him as Booker had come up the elevator.
“Listen up Booker, your not getting out of here alive and neither is your friend.”
Gordon’s voice was starting to grate at Booker’s last nerve. He had threatened Hanson and what the hell was he doing to him when he got back up to the second floor after taking Anderson to safety. The man was a plague to society. He was nothing more than a monster.
“Hanson, you ok?” Booker whispered to the officer still attached to his waist band.
“Mm-hmm.” He returned. Hanson had been disturbingly silent as he stumbled along for a while. The two men were trying to get back to the elevator which they had had to abandon following Booker’s return. The madman nearly took Tom out before they ran. He hadn’t needed to touch Tom’s forehead to see he had a fever setting in, that was when he caught a glimpse of his left eye trying to close.
“Hanson, you’re not ok. What’s wrong?”
“Tired Dennis… eyes burning… I think I’m getting sick…” Hanson stared blankly back at his partner. He felt useless. He could no longer see anything. The blur from earlier was gone. He quietly hoped that it was because the little bit of light that was left was gone. It was now frighteningly dark in his world. He remembered how in grade school the teachers always said that if you loose one your others become heightened. He wondered how long it would be before he could hear a pin drop from across the room. When he heard a crunch and he was sent tumbling to the ground.
“Aggghhh! Hanson…” Booker shouted. Hanson could do nothing to help Booker. All he could here was the repeated kick of a larger man to Booker. Hanson stood unsteadily on his feet and tried to move in the direction of the clatter only to trip and fall in an untidy heap on the floor. Hanson groaned as he struggled to get to his knees again.
“Booker!” Hanson shouted. There was no answer just the continuous thumps and thuds of unforgiving punches and kicks.
Booker was struggling to keep up with Gordon Hughes devastating blows to his body. He felt a kick to his midsection as he was caught between a pile of rubble and Gordy. He wasn’t sure what to do next. He tried to roll but there was nowhere to go. Then Gordon’s torture of Booker ended as Gordon reached down grabbing the smaller man by the collar and pulling him to his feet.
“Booker… you were so easy to get, so easy to predict and your gonna be so easy to kill. Gordon seethed. His eyes were wide with maleficience. He mercilessly hurled Booker against a steel column and proceeded to assault the already injured officer again
“Gun… Hanson… use my gun!” Booker shouted as he took a swing at the larger man. Booker had been taking blow after blow to his body from the large man. He had little to no defense as he couldn’t grip anything to use it to gain the upper hand. He couldn’t draw his hand into a fist to return a blow. He was starting to feel run down as he attempted to take a swing at Gordon Hughes who had sidestepped and avoided the blow easily. In return he had grabbed Booker around the waist in a bear hug and squeezed. Booker was starting to feel hazy when he remembered he had handed Hanson his weapon when he realized he couldn’t squeeze the trigger if he needed too.
“You have to be kidding Booker… I can’t even see to aim the stupid thing and were supposed to only be carrying dummy rounds.” Hanson half shouted half whispered.
“Uhh yeah… well… when did I ever obey the rules?” Booker had answered Hanson.
Hanson fumbled around in the dark as he picked up the weighty metal weapon in his hand. It felt bulky in comparison with is standard issue service revolver. He cocked the hammer and lifted the weapon in the direction of the continued assault on Dennis Booker.
“Hanson, three o’clock, three o’clock.” Booker strained against the vice like grip squeezing the life out of him. He clenched his teeth together as he desperately tried to push and claw at the unrelenting arms bearing down on his waist. He continued to sacrifice himself to the pain in his arms and hands as he tried to use them to free himself. He lifted his left arm up and pounded at the hard as steel arm only to be rewarded with nauseating pain that skipped across his joints and danced into the muscles surrounding his hand. It hurt but the next thing he felt was unbearable. Fire… it was… it had to have been. It radiated across his midsection and down as he was dropped to the ground. He fell to the ground with a jolt. He curled up into a ball and gritted his teeth as the larger Gordon Hughes fell to the ground next to him. He looked puzzled at Booker as he collapsed the rest of the way to the floor.
“Dennis… where are…” Hanson tripped over something large and landed sprawled out on the ground next to Booker. He still had the smoking weapon in his hands.
“Holy shit… Hanson… you… nailed us both…” Booker strained. The words hardly cleared his lips when he felt Hanson’s hands on his stomach. He hit the injury with his hands and Booker groaned loudly. He sucked a sharp breath in through his teeth and cursed under his breath.
“Booker… I-I… I’m sorry…” Hanson was full of fear and remorse as he recognized the impact of the shot he had taken… the lucky shot. He had blindly hit his target with the use of his ears and Booker. It frightened him how accurate he had been. He could have killed Booker too.
“Hanson… help me up… I’ll be your eyes.” Booker was loosing blood, but the wound wasn’t bad as it had passed through Gordon and hit Booker in the right of his stomach. Hanson struggled to his knees clutching his own damaged side and clambering to get Booker to his feet.
The two continued to struggle as Hanson fought through pain and wrapped his arms around his unstable partner. Due to his own injury he wasn’t much help to Booker nor was Booker to him. The duo slipped and tripped along the littered floor until they made their way to the elevator shaft making their way to the first floor.
Penhall, Ioki and Hoffs gathered around Captain Adam Fuller and set up their game plan.
“Ioki, you said you could get in the back? We need to know how if were going to pull this off.” Ioki was ready to go over the layout of the building when a gunshot was heard.
Fuller looked around and caught the eye of Sgt. Garrison.
“Mike! What just happened?” Fuller shouted. Mike Garrison shook his head in terror at the sound and took off toward the building at the same time all four remaining Jump Street officers did too. Penhall exploded through the line up of firemen and barricade tape.
“Hanson!” He shouted. The feeling of dread filled him with thoughts of the worst. He shoved violently past the officers trying to block the door. He ran into the ink dark building. Which way do I go… Hanson was in here and he needed help… he didn’t know where to go to get to the next floors. “Hanson… Booker!” He shouted. Judy, Ioki and Fuller joined him followed by Mike Garrison. The five people all halted when they heard the service elevator creek to life and stop at the ground floor. Mike pulled out his flashlight and shown it in the direction of the elevator. The doors opened, first the outer door opened and then the inner screen slowly lifted. Penhall’s heart nearly pounded through his chest as he watched two men stumble off of the elevator and fall in a heap to the floor.
“Tommy…” Penhall took off in a sprint to the fallen men.
Hanson couldn’t help but cry out as so many hands fumbled across his body. Someone had smashed into his injured shoulder. GOD it hurt! The pain was unbearable sending shock waves all over his body. He heard voice but couldn’t make anything out. He still had a hold of Dennis until someone grabbed his hand and pulled the two men apart.
“N-No… Dennis… help…” He was a mess of cloudy thoughts as he continued to reach for Booker. He could feel someone messing with his eyes, a blur of bright light and a voice.
“Pupils are dilated and nearly unresponsive. He is not at all reactive to this light. Looks like some powder burns on his face. Get his eyes rinsed out and wrapped now! Fourteen liters of O2 non rebreather and I want fluids going now.” The voice sounded urgent as someone began to poor liquid over his eyes igniting a new fire. Hanson clinched his teeth and began to thrash about. The action ceased as he felt someone holding him down one person on each side.
“This is going to take a few minutes are you sure you can hold him down.” Her voice was calm and professional as the liquid began to poor again.
“Yeah we got him.” The voice… who was it.
“Doug…” Hanson stuttered.
“Yeah Tommy, it’s me and Ioki, you’re gonna be fine, but you gotta stop fighting her, she’s trying to help.” His voice was soothing. Hanson gripped both of the hands holding his own again clinching his teeth.
“It… burns.” He managed to speak as the gentle fingers held his eyes open while the liquid poured over his delicate eyes a second time.
“Tommy you have some powder burns on your eyes, that’s why you can’t see.” Ioki stated as calmly as possible. Within a few minutes the liquid had stopped and the young female medic began to wrap his eyes with cotton and gauze. Once finished she then began to toil over the hole in his right shoulder and prepared to load the injured officer into the back of an ambulance.
“Booker hang on buddy, you’re gonna be fine.” Judy Hoffs stated as she rolled Dennis onto his back. Dennis lay unconscious on the floor with Tom Hanson by his side. Fuller noted the discoloration of Bookers unwrapped hand. He also noted the blood pooling at his side. Medics scrambled and separated the two officers who had relied on each other to make it through their life threatening ordeal.
“He’s breathing, pulse is strong. Let’s get him out of here now.” The voice of the medic in charge of the scene barked loudly. Several hands grabbed and pulled at Dennis Booker’s unconscious body.
Hanson had tried to fight as the two were separated and sent in the direction of two separate transport vehicles. Booker was put immediately into an ambulance and sent to County for treatment. Hoffs watched intently as the officer was rushed out and the others continued to work feverishly on Hanson. Fuller placed an arm around her shoulder as she watched intently as they finished all they could do for the young officer. Ioki and Penhall both stood as they watched them load the officer into a separate ambulance and rush him off to County General.
The three officers gathered together around Adam Fuller and Mike Garrison as the two moved from the building to the outside. Several others were sent into the building as clean up began. The coroner was called in as the first body was found.
Tom Hanson struggled to sit up as the doctor came into the room to examine his eyes. He hurt all over. He groaned as the pain in his shoulder ignited every time he moved his right arm. As it turned out, Gordy had done a decent job cleaning and patching up where the wood had torn through his flesh. He was on a high dose of pain medication and antibiotics. Although he had cleaned the wound, there was still a large amount of infection in his body from the burns and the continued abuse he had sustained. Because he had gone without fluids for most of the day he had become extremely dehydrated which hadn’t helped in preventing any onset of infection.
“How are we feeling today Mr. Hanson?” The doctor asked. Hanson cringed at the words “mister.” It made him feel like he should be married with five kids. Or that he was behind on his rent and the building supervisor had called to collect on it.
“Sore.” Hanson replied. He still had a layer of gauze wrapped over his eyes preventing him from opening them as they healed.
“Are you having any pain or burning in your eyes at all?” The mature voice asked.
“Not really, they itch a lot.” He answered the doctor.
“That’s good.” The voice laughed.
“It is?” Hanson replied. He was caught off guard as the man answered him.
“Yes, means they’re healing.” The older man replied. “Now Tommy, were going to be taking the gauze off today. You will probably have some headaches for a couple of days, but that is normal for this. They will go away in a day or two.”
Tom could feel the man fumbling with the bandages and checking the side of his face. He lifted his chin as he looked at the officers yellowing face. It had been over a week since the incident at the warehouse and Hanson’s bruises were starting to fade to a green and yellow hue.
“Mr. Hanson, I need to cheek your shoulder. It’s probably going to hurt a little, but I promise I will go easy on you.” The man tried to reassure Tom as it seemed every time someone touched the tender wound it would nearly crumple the officer. An x-ray had revealed that Hanson had some chips of bone fragments in the area of the injury where the piece of timber had shaved some off of the bottom of his collar bone and the top of his rib cage. There was even damage done to the back of his shoulder blade.
The doctor had called for a nurse as he began to remove the dressing on his shoulder to examine the injury. Hanson flinched as the doctor touched the tender area around the stitches. He clinched his teeth and sucked air through his teeth as the doctor felt around the area under his armpit and around his ribs. He dug his hands into the sheets trying to hold onto a cry of pain. He knew that he was healing, but it hurt so badly and the process was so slow he just wished it would go more rapidly. He wished that he was in Booker’s shoes. He had two clean breaks on in each hand and a gun shot wound to the right of his abdomen. He was still in the hospital but he was told by Judy Booker would probably be home by Friday… lucky bastard.
“Mr. Hanson, you’re healing up nicely. I want you to take it easy for about the next half hour or so and I will be back to take off the bandage on those eyes.” The thought of seeing the television again was music to Hanson’s ears. He had had to listen to Penhall narrate episodes of any show he watched and it was getting old. He was sure the only thing Penhall ever thought about was “how good that burger looked,” and the “amazing rack on that chick.” Hanson was lost in his own thoughts as the nurse was rewrapping his injury when there was a knock at the door.
“Come in.” Hanson responded.
“Hey… damn Tommy, you’ve looked better.” Dennis Booker’s voice cut through the air. Hanson tried to offer a smile as the nurse bumped a stitch as she finished wrapping his injury. Hanson flinched and sucked in a breath.
“Booker...” Hanson responded.
“In the flesh.” Dennis responded. “Your eyes are they…”
“They take this off today; you wanna stick around for the freak show?” Hanson jibed.
“Sure thing.” Booker pulled up a chair as the two men conversed about the lousy food and the need for a long vacation when the door to the room opened again.
“Mr. Hanson, are you ready.” Tom recognized the voice of his doctor.
“Yeah… I’m… just get these things off me.” Hanson responded.
“Ok, we’ll have you set in a jiffy.” The doctor laughed. “Once I take the bandage off do not open your eyes until I say, ok.”
“Yeah.” Hanson answered nervously.
Tom heard a snipping of scissors next to his ear and then he felt the doctor rolling and rolling the endless coil of white gauze. Finally he felt a final give and felt the nurse assume the final roll of the gauze. He felt a pressure as the doctor was holding the small patches of gauze on his eyelids. Then all at once there was no pressure at all. He trembled as he waited for the doctor to allow him to open his eyes. He could feel the doctor examine his face, his touch as he noted the healing of the various degrees of burn on the young officer’s eyes.
“Alright Tom, on the count of three…” Tom… he just called me Tom. “One… two… three…”
Hanson slowly opened his eyes as the dark world that had become his habitat for a week started to dissolve away. There was a slight burn as his eyes had become accustomed to the darkness but soon they accepted the bright light. Hanson blinked as the world came into focus and he looked into the intent dark eyes of Dennis Booker, next to him stood an ever radiant Judy Hoffs leaning on Doug Penhall. Adam Fuller and Harry Ioki stood next to Blowfish as Tom’s mother teared up as she looked on. Hanson closed his eyes and opened them again. Booker was the only one in here…
“Where… I… I’ve never seen anything so beautiful in my life…” Hanson smiled as a cheer erupted from the crowd who had gathered and stood vigil at the young officer’s side. They had been at the hospital for days waiting for Booker to wake up and Hanson to see again.
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