Captain Meade was a rotund, balding man whose unusually high-pitched voice would catch you completely off guard the first time you met him. His eyes were always squinting as if looking straight into the sun and his spectacles rested on ears, that with a gust of wind could possibly allow him to take flight should he get a running start.
He perspired heavily, always dabbing his forehead with a handkerchief and when he put his hands on his hips, his crisp white shirt betrayed the armpit stains that seemed to have taken up permanent residence.
He was a cigarette smoker who took frequent breaks, accompanied by his Bible. Nobody really understood the reasoning, as he was known to allow certain bending of the rules by his officers, if it meant getting a conviction.
He was also rumored to accept an occasional bribe and turn a blind eye to others who did the same. That being said, it was a well known fact that he protected his officers and would without hesitation, go to the mat to defend them with the ferocity of a raging bull.
His go-to team was Burke and Powell. He had groomed them from their days at the academy and trained them to be successful detectives, although the present rash of unsolved killings had left them, as well as him, stumped.
Burke was a tall, 6′ 4″ slender, middle-aged man with a full head of black hair and a well-groomed walrus mustache. He was classically handsome and looked like a throwback to a 1930s’ gangster, who might have been one of Al Capones’ soldiers. He had dark brown eyes and a cleft chin, which women apparently found sexy and he was often solicited by “women of the night.”
Powell was in his early thirties. His height of 5′ 6″ could be described as abbreviated and he sometimes seemed to suffer from short man syndrome. He bristled when somebody would sarcastically call him “son” and used his vast collection of well-honed put-down phrases like weapons. His sandy blonde hair, blue eyes and youthful face, certainly made him pretty but nobody was ever going to intentionally use that particular adjective within his earshot.
It irritated him that Captain Meade called him “kiddo.” Burke found it humorous and adopted it just to needle him but never used it publicly. Powell would call him “grandpa” in retaliation.
The briefing began on the anticipated arrival of detective Slaughter, who Captain Meade said “would lend fresh eyes to the case.” Defensively, Burke said “we don’t need some fucking outsider coming here, lending fresh eyes.”
Even with his sometimes questionable tactics, Captain Meade disliked curse words and discouraged his officers from using them in his presence.
With a scowl and a reprimand for swearing, he said “I know this is going to be an adjustment but I expect you to extend every courtesy and give detective Slaughter your full co-operation. We’re not talking about an amateur here. Word has it that detective Slaughter has never left a case unsolved.”
Powell sarcastically asked when they might expect to be graced with the presence of “the divine detective Slaughter.” Captain Meade said “within the hour, so I suggest you get all the case files together. You can use one of the interrogation rooms to get acquainted…and guys…it’s time for something to shake loose.”
Burke and Powell gathered up all the files and headed to the room. “This is such fucking bullshit,” said Burke. “Hey. Just because some dick-faced detective is being forced down our throat, doesn’t mean we have to like it,” said Powell. “We just have to do our jobs.”
A half hour later, the door opened and Captain Meade said “detective Burke, detective Powell, meet detective Murphy Slaughter.”
Burke and Powell, mouths agape, sat motionless as if they had been injected with a paralytic drug.
Detective Slaughter said “I gather from your reaction that you have never seen anyone from San Francisco?”
To be continued______________