Corruption

Jeremy Phuller stopped his black Toyota TRD Aurion in front of the Purgatory Bay police station in Victoria. He opened the door and stepped out onto the pavement.

He closed the door and looked around.

Wind carrying salt from the sea blew through his brown hair and ruffled his leather jacket of the same colour.

He scanned the area around him, and then nodded with a sort of satisfaction. He locked his car door and approached the entrance to the police station. He lifted the corner of his white shirt. He felt his 9mm Sig-Saucer pistol, resting in his hip-holster over his black trousers. He felt some kind of reassurance.

He was six feet tall with an average build. He had enough muscle to handle himself in a pub brawl, but a hardened criminal with a baseball bat may be a bit beyond him.

He entered the station and caught the eye of the desk clerk immediately.

“May I help you?” the clerk said.

Jeremy pulled his wallet out of his left hand pocket and showed the clerk his badge and I.D. “I’m Detective Sergeant Jeremy Phuller. I’m with the Ethical Standards Department.”

The look in the desk clerk’s eyes changed.

“Who’s the head honcho ‘round here?” said Jeremy.

“Where you from?” said the clerk.

“City.”

“Why are you here?”

“You’re not answering my question.”

“Why should I?”

“I out rank you.”

“Is that so?”

“Yes Constable. I’m a Detective.”

Silence filled the room. Florescent lights dimly lit the area. The floor was light blue lino whilst the walls were cream.

“Just get me your boss.” Jeremy said finally.

Right on cue a detective with pale red hair came through a door behind the desk clerk, leading to the main area.

“May I help you?” he said.

Not this again, Jeremy thought. He pulled out his badge and I.D. and repeated his name and rank. The detective was a tad more co-operative but not by much.

Jeremy finally got through to the main area and looked around. It was a large room with desks scattered around it and offices branching off it. All eyes were on him. He scanned the room and caught the eye of a nervous looking constable sitting on a desk in the corner.

The detective introduced him with slight disdain in his voice. He clearly wasn’t impressed to have Jeremy snooping around. Nor was anyone else.

As Jeremy left, he told them all he would be hanging around, whilst implying “Don’t leave town.”

He stepped out of the police station and made a mental note to watch his back.

 

The nervous Constable came out half an hour later with summonses in his hand.

“Isn’t that work for a junior?” said Jeremy. He was leaning against his car after having moved it into the car park.

The constable looked towards Jeremy and blushed slightly.

Jeremy walked over to the Constable from his car. “Well, we’d better deliver them.” He took the summons from the Constable and got into the Constable’s car.

The Constable shrugged and got in. He keyed the ignition and drove off.

As they drove off a pair of eyes watched through a curtain, and they saw everything that had happened.

 

Wind blew through Jeremy’s hair and beat against his thin sunglasses. He had his window down and was taking in the scenery whilst the Constable drove his car and delivered summons that sat on his lap.

“What’s your name?” Jeremy asked over the wind.

The constable’s eyes widened with surprise. “My name?”

Jeremy turned his head towards him. “You have one don’t you?” he said with an eyebrow raised and teasing in his voice.

“Yes, of course,” he said. “John, John Smith.”

This time both of Jeremy’s eyebrows rose. “You’re not messing around with me are you?”

“How do you mean?”

“With your name?”

“It is my name.”

Jeremy shrugged. “Alright. That’s a tad ordinary, but okay. How long’ve you been a cop for?”

“A While.”

“How long’ve you been posted here for?”

“Nearly a year.”

“Has there been corruption all that time?”

John was taken aback by the question. “What do you mean?”

“’Tis why I’m here, ain’t it?”

“I guess.”

“So how long?”

“I don’t know. It’s just a creeping suspicion.”

“Fair enough, you don’t want to get involved.”

John shrugged. “Not really. I prefer to mind my own business. I saw what they did to a kid that knew too much. I don’t want that to happen to me, or my family.”

Jeremy had seen the pictures and heard the details, so he understood that John would be scared.

“Why do they have you delivering summons?” said Jeremy.

“Keep me out of the way I s’pose.”

“Well then, let’s finish delivering papers, and then we can go rattle the cage.”

 

John and Jeremy came to the final destination. John got out of the car and walked up to the door of the house.

Jeremy watched from the car as John knocked on the door and started talking to the occupant. Jeremy was watching very closely when the radio in the car started crackling.

“Five-o-nine, come in five-o-nine,” it said.

Jeremy figured when no one responded that five-o-nine was John’s number. Jeremy wound down his window and yelled out to John. “Hey John! There’s a call on the radio for you!”

John finished up at the door and got back in the car. As soon as he got in the car, he picked up the receiver. “This is 509.”

“Yours is a Break ‘n’ Enter at the old warehouse on Anglesea drive.”

“Received that, on my way. E.T.A. five minutes.”

John put the radio back in its stand on the dash and keyed the ignition. It started after the second attempt.

Jeremy got a little excited. “Time for some action.”

They drove off with his siren on. It wailed down the street and could be heard from a block away.

 

John and Jeremy arrived at the warehouse a fraction later than five minutes.

They got out of the car and John drew his old Smith and Wesson Revolver, whilst Jeremy pulled out his 9mm.

They came in from the side of the warehouse. The building was white and rundown with a brick base out the front about as high as the back of a truck. Stairs up the base were on the left and right hand sides.

John and Jeremy were on the left. They had their back to the wall.

John peeked inside because the doors were left open. The whole interior of the warehouse was shelves upon shelves of stock.

“This will take forever,” John said.

“Well, let’s not stuff around then,” said Jeremy.

As Jeremy finished his sentence and got ready to move, a bullet ricocheted off of the wall beside them. They scrambled inside the warehouse.

 

John and Jeremy ducked around the corner and were inside just as the wall where they were standing got raked with gunfire. Jeremy took in deep breaths as John stood beside him with his eyes wide open. In front of them there was a passage between a couple of shelves.

A man dressed in black with a balaclava on stepped around the corner of a shelf on the right hand side of the warehouse. He held in his hand a Heckler and Koch MP5. He opened fire.

Jeremy swore and pushed John into the passage between the shelves and dived in after him.

The bullets smacked into the wall behind where he and John had just been standing.

The gunfire stopped as the shooter had stopped to reload.

Jeremy took the opportunity. He leaned around the corner and shot the shooter in the stomach.

The shooter doubled over and fell to the ground.

Jeremy heard footsteps coming towards the building. He turned and pushed John further down the passageway.

Two more men appeared in the entrance. They looked to their right and saw their fallen comrade. They were dressed the same way as the other man was, with the black outfit and balaclavas.

Jeremy had gone down to the end of the passage and was hiding behind a shelf looking around the corner. He saw the two men split up and start searching for him and John.

The first one never stood a chance. He appeared right in front of Jeremy and John. He turned and saw John cowering behind Jeremy. Then he saw Jeremy with his gun raised.

Jeremy pulled the trigger and the first man fell in a heap. John and Jeremy ducked back behind the shelves just as the second man came to look at the first.

He looked up the passage and saw them. He second man let off a round but missed.

Jeremy nailed his gun hand and put a second bullet in his chest. The second man fell next to the first.

“Who were they?” said John.

Jeremy quickly reloaded his gun. “Hit men. They were trying to shut us up.”

John’s eyes widened.

“We must have been watched as we left. We can’t let them know that we’re rattled,” Jeremy said.

“What’ll we do then?”

“We’ll go back to the station and act like nothing has happened, understood?”

“Alright, but when we get back to the station my shift is over though.”

Jeremy smiled.  “Well, I guess I’ll have to make them nervy on my own then.”

John rolled his eyes as he and Jeremy made for the car.

 

When they got back, they entered the station separately. John went to his desk, got his things and clocked off for the day, while Jeremy went and started talking to the detective with the red hair.

As soon as the detective saw him, he went into a bad mood. Whomever he had told to kill Jeremy and John was going to get into a lot of trouble.

Jeremy started to ask all sorts of questions, such as what were the crime rates, and when did drugs start to appear around town. He then started going through the crime records with the assistance of the detective and an annoyed sergeant. Jeremy loved every minute of it.

When he left for the day at 19:00, he felt for his gun again. By doing what he did today, he was hoping that he had made them nervous and jumpy. If they were jumpy they would stuff up, and it would be easier to catch them. There was a consequence however. They would most likely come after him again.

 

Jeremy pulled in out the front of the police station early the next day. Nothing had happened last night and he was disappointed, but there was still today.

He pulled open the door to the police station and walked right past an unmanned desk. He shrugged and entered the main area.

He saw John sitting behind a desk doing paper work. A few other police officers were dotted around the place, but the red-haired detective was nowhere to be found.

This made Jeremy wary. Not knowing where that detective was, was a problem. He had a quick look around and sat down at an unmanned desk.

A group of police officers turned around and looked at him from where they were making coffee.

“This desk yours?” Jeremy said.

The men looked at each other and went about what they were doing.

Jeremy shrugged. “I guess not.”

He put his feet up on the desk and got out his pistol. He pulled out the magazine, and cocked the gun to check if there was a round in the chamber. It was empty. He put the magazine back in, and cocked it again to put a round in the chamber.

A Senior Constable with a desk in front of Jeremy shot him a dirty look.

Jeremy smiled and put the safety lock on his pistol and put it in his holster. He then stretched and relaxed.

A radio over near the entrance to the main area came alive. A Constable went over to it and started to talk in to the microphone.

Jeremy looked over at John. He was still working, filling out paperwork about the ‘job’ at the warehouse.

Hopefully not the truth, Jeremy thought.

He snuffled a yawn just as the Constable put the microphone back on its hook.

The Constable turned and looked at Jeremy. “You mind doing us a favour?”

“Such as?” said Jeremy.

“Investigating a disturbance at the old town hall.”

Jeremy thought for a moment. It could be a set up, or it could be a way of getting me out of the way for a few minutes, or a legitimate crime. Either way, it could be interesting.

“Okay, Sure,” he said.

He got up from the desk and went to the door. He could feel everyone looking at him.

“I’ll be back later,” he called.

 

Jeremy arrived at the old town hall.

It was definitely old. The bricks were pale, and cobwebs hung from every corner.

Jeremy pushed open the old wooden doors and entered the decrepit building.

He was confronted by an empty hall. A staircase was on Jeremy’s left and it lead up to a storage area.

Jeremy drew his 9mm Sig-Saucer and climbed the stairs.

 

Jeremy saw the Detective with red hair sitting in the middle of the storage area tied up. He holstered his pistol and ran over to the Detective, untied him and helped him up.

“They took off,” the detective said.

“Come on, let’s go,” Jeremy said.

They flew down the stairs and out the wooden doors.

Jeremy helped the Detective into his car. Jeremy then got into the car and took off at top speed.

A man watched from a window in the storage area. He thumbed his radio and reported in. “He’s taken the bait.”

“Good, I don’t expect to see him again,” a voice on the other end said.

 

“Go to the Headland, I heard they were going there,” the red-haired detective said.

“You sure?” Jeremy said.

“Positive.”

Jeremy turned right to go down a street and headed for the Headland.

 

The Headland over looked most of the bay. The sky was overcast, and the sea below was choppy.

Jeremy hoped out of the car. He walked to the point of the Headland, and looked out at the bay.

The red-haired detective slammed the passenger side door and stood at the base of the Headland. He drew a .38 revolver, just as Jeremy turned to face him with his 9mm pistol up.

“Mr. Phuller, you have been a nuisance for far too long,” the red-haired detective said.

Jeremy just stared at him.

“Drop your gun Phuller.” the detective said.

“You drop yours, or I’ll drop you!”

“So it’s a stand-off then.”

“I guess so. So what are you going to do about it?”

“End it.”

Both guns fired at the same time but only one shooter fell.

The red-haired detective was a mess. The bullet had gone through his neck.

Jeremy lowered his gun and looked at his shoulder. The detective’s shot had nicked Jeremy’s right shoulder. He walked down from the Headland and got into his car. Time to finish this, he thought.

 

Jeremy got onto his radio as soon as he got into his car. He reported to his commanding officer and requested immediate backup. If he was to end this corruption, then he was going to need help.

 

Jeremy pulled up to the police station. His backup was an hour away. He sat in his car thinking. How was he going to get John out of there without them hurting him?

He pulled out the mag from his gun and put a couple more rounds in so that he had a full mag.

He opened his car door and approached the entrance to the police station.

The doors opened and there was still no one behind the desk.

Jeremy went behind the desk and opened the door leading into the main area a crack. They had John tied to a chair.

Just as Jeremy had suspected, all of them were corrupt. John was the only one who wasn’t. Shit, Jeremy thought.

He had to strategize. They wouldn’t be expecting him back, thinking that their leader had taken him out, but they might have someone standing behind the door, just in case.

He thought about the structure of the building and remembered a window in one of the interview rooms.

He exited the station and went around to the left hand side. He got down on his hands and knees and crawled along the base of the building. He got to the back and found the interview room window.

It took him ten minutes to unlock the window. He climbed in and waited by the door.

His backup was half an hour away.

 

He kicked down the door and entered with his gun up.

Everyone turned.

He was in the middle of the room, directly behind John. He took out a man standing in front of John, and then a man next to him. He looked over at the door and took out another standing over there.

The last three men to Jeremy’s left dived for cover and returned fire. They got him in the arm, and in the knee.

Jeremy swore and fell. He knew he was done.

The three men came out of cover, just as the main entrance door came crashing down.

A team from the Special Operations Group came in guns blazing. They had Colt M4s and knew how to use them.

The three men never stood a chance.

The S.O.Gs nailed them, one after the other.

Jeremy lay back on the floor and smiled, blood flowing from his wounds. “What took you guys so long?”

 

Jeremy lay back in his hospital bed.

The news said that a drug lab was found under the police station. Charges were laid on only four of the ten corrupt cops. All the rest were dead. The station was to be restaffed and reopened.

I hope the new guys there won’t be corrupt too, Jeremy thought to himself. He looked down at his leg and then his arm. He didn’t relish the idea of going back. The nurse came in to check on him. She was clearly over her 50’s, and had a wart on her cheek.

Jeremy cringed. Then again, I don’t think it would be so bad.

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2 thoughts on “Corruption

  1. Deb says:

    good story till the end…really? an over 50s nurse with a wart on her cheek…very in adequate ending…but good story otherwise (no, im not an over 50s nurse with a wart on my cheek) 😀

    Like

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