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On the Beat
Alexandra Thorne, NYPD, read the shiny gold badge. Henry
Gabblier stared at it suspiciously. He wasn't sure it was
real. Who knew these day's with all those crazy assholes running
about. Henry gazed at her. A looker, though. Shoulder length
brown hair with a white streak running through it, and bright
emerald eyes. Henry's eyes narrowed. What would a looker like
this be doing on the force? Nah, she was probably a gangster
or something. He was about to shut the door on her, when she
stuck her foot in it.
"Suh! Ah need ta ask ya a few questions. It was you
who phoned the police about a disturbance, raht?"
Grudgingly, Henry opened the door for her. Detective Thorne
stepped into the dark apartment, and winced. The place was
a tip. The walls were covered by newspaper reports about conspiracy,
Elvis sightings, and aliens. Your average nutter. She turned,
hands on hips, to look at Henry.
"Mistuh Gabblier, raht?"
He nodded, eyes darting about shiftily. "Yeah. Yeah,
that was me. It's..."
A loud, godawful stream of what Alexandra guessed to be cello
music came pounding through the wall. Muttering to himself,
Henry got up and started to bang on the wall noisily.
"IT'S TEN AT NIGHT! SHUT THAT CRAP UP! KEEPING EVERYONE
AWAKE YOU CRAZY..."
Alexandra cleared her throat loudly. "Maybe ya wanna
be quiet, suh?"
Henry didn't even bother to turn around, he just continued
to yell, in an earsplitting way. "SHUT UP?! SHUT UP?!
I AIN'T GONNA SHUT UP TILL THAT FREAK'S PUT OUT OF HIS MISERY!
YOU HEAR ME?!" He then started to bang on the wall, which,
along with his fury, prompted cries from the other residents
of the building.
Oh, for the love a...
"MISTAH GABBLIER! KAHNDLY SHUT YOUR MOUTH!"
Astonished at her outburst, Henry turned to stare at her,
ignoring the additional furious shouting of the inhabitants.
"There's no need to shout." He cocked his head
to the side, listening. "See, you've woken everyone up,
Alexandra stared at him, her anger boiling just beneath the
"Ah'll apologise later. Ah'll inform the musician that
loud noises aftah 9pm are prohibited in residential areas.
How's that sound?"
Henry made a motion, more a twitch than a shrug. "Yeah...
yes, I guess it'll have to... SHUT THAT FRIGGIN' THING UP
OR I'LL RAM IT DOWN YOUR FREAKIN' THOAT!!!"
Alexandra backed off, heading for the door, completely freaked
out by the hysterical man in front of her. "Um, what
door number, suh?"
"17!!!! THAT'S WHERE THIS MISCREANT LIVES. YOU HEAR
THAT! I'VE GOT THE COPS! YOU'RE GOIN' DOWN YOU LITTLE..."
As Alexandra shut the door, the cries, thankfully were drowned
out a little. She shook her head in amazement. She had come
to New York for excitement, supposedly, and what did she get?
Freaky little men and cello players. Strolling down the stairs,
she went to do the exciting job of, in a polite way, telling
the musician to shut up.
The new Police HQ of New York City looked very impressive.
90 floors, all the windows mirrored, glass elevators, the
latest technology, it was like something off Blade Runner.
Although, mused Alexandra, These days, things ain't all that
much diff'rent than th' movies.
On the bottom floor, she stepped into one of the massive
glass elevators, smiling at the people she knew.
It's amazin'. When Ah was a li'l gal, we dint have none o'
this stuff. An now... She watched in amazement, as she always
did, as the world dropped away from her, and in less than
10 seconds they were on the 40th floor, where most of the
riders got off. Shuddering at the loneliness the elevator
brought on, she spoke to the bell-boy.
"Don't ya think it's so crazy? All this stuff, that's
only poss'ble cause of mutants, lahk Luitenant Forge, but
10 years ago, everyone was jus' crazy 'bout us, wanted ta
exterminate us, or somethin'?"
The bellboy only smiled brightly. He was used to the garbling
way many people spoke to him. "Got that off your chest,
Alexandra blushed, embarrassed. "Oh, yeah. Thanks, sugah."
The bellboy winked at her as the elevator reached the top
floor, Alexandra's stop. As she started to leave, the bellboy
called after her: "Remember, ya ever need a sounding
board, I'm here! Ask for Bobby Drake!" He grinned. He
sure wouldn't mind seeing her again, even if she did babble.
A beautiful black woman with long white hair was lead, handcuffed
by a cop, and suddenly, all thoughts of Alexandra were stricken
from his rather empty head.
Cody Robbins looked over at his girlfriend. He smiled when
he saw her, but she didn't smile back. When that happened,
he knew she was engrossed in her own thoughts. After a quick
check around for any superiors, he got up from his own station
at the phones, and walked over to her.
She jumped, and gazed at him, dazily. "Oh. It's you."
Stretching, Xandra leaned back in her chair. "What's
He frowned. There it was again. That cold, uninterested tone
she'd been using with him for the past few weeks whenever
she spoke to him.
She must be really stressed. Yeah, that's it.
"I was just wonderin' how ya were, sugah. Ya din't come
home last night, honey. I was worried."
She shrugged, nervously, avoiding his eyes. "Um, ya
know, Ah've been busy."
He stared at her incredulously. "Too busy to come home!?"
"Well, Ah was going ta 'phone ya, but excuse me if Ah
was too busy!"
He blinked. "Ah... Ah din't mean it like that! Ah..."
Xandra's head snapped up, and she pushed him away. "Scat,
Cody! Th' boss-man!"
Although confused about his Xandy's coldness to him, he scurried
back to work.
Xandra smiled politely at Lieutenant Forge. He was her superior,
and though they got on well together, he never let her forget
who was the senior officer.
"Enjoy your last case, Deputy?"
"Oh, yeah, barrel a laughs, suh."
Forge smiled, his dark eyes twinkling. "I knew you'd
like it. Henry is a regular of ours." He sobered. "I
have good news, though, unless you're allergic to hard work."
Xandra mock-glared at Forge. He knew very well she adored
hard work. It took her mind off things she was worried about
- like her failing relationship with Cody.
"Okay, okay. I guess you've heard about the current
spate of art and jewel thefts in the city?"
"Sure. Three Master paintings, an' $5 million of jewels
stolen from various museums. Same thief suspected for all
o 'em. No one knows who 'e is, but still..."
Forge nodded, impressed with the way Alexandra had obviously
been keeping up with the case. "Yes. Is this case of
particular interest to you?"
She shrugged. She had found it very interesting, but she
wasn't quite sure why - something had drawn her to it. In
fact, that was what had kept her away last night - she'd been
comparing the evidence - what little there was - with other
cases, and she'd come up an absolute blank. Whoever he - or
she - was, they were a master. Which brought up a whole new
list. She'd fell asleep contemplating it. "Ah just think
it's interestin'... the guy leaves so little behind, an' what
he takes is so select... ah think its weird."
"That it is. And," added Forge, a twinkle in his
dark eyes, "We need a good cop on it. What do you say,
Xandra's eyes widened, not believing what she was hearing.
"You... you mean it, suh!?"
Forge grinned, and took her hand in his own to shake it.
"Sure do... Detective."
Xandra smiled at him a few moments before it set in what
he meant. "Oh, mah..." She said, slack jawed.
"That's right. The chief just told me."
With a laugh, Xandra hugged him, and then grabbed her coat.
"Ah'll get raht on that case now, suh! Thank ya!! An'
thank th' chief fer me!" And with that, she was gone.
Continued in Chapter
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