Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Chapter 28: Fatalities

I’d never seen anything like this in my long time on the force. The tactical aid unit had burst the tyres of both vans using spike strips and then taken down three men in no time as they tried to make their escape. The man who shot up unit one-five-two was lying behind a car that was quickly turning into Swiss cheese by all the bullet holes that were puncturing the bodywork.

After the grenade exploded that was thrown from one of the vans, three policemen armed with machine guns had advanced on the van that had flipped onto its side. Everything looked under control until the biggest helicopter I had ever seen appeared overhead. I could see another man in a black suit on board, sitting behind the heaviest-looking machine gun I’d ever seen and began to unload it on everything and everyone that moved.

The tactical aid unit had been within touching distance of the doctor. Now they were dropping like flies. Bullets from the helicopter cannon crunched through their armour. One by one, they all fell to the ground, their blood pouring onto the tarmac. Just as I had frozen in Doctor Forrest’s kitchen only a matter of minutes earlier, I hid behind my car and kept completely still again.

When he was certain that there was no one left to shoot at him, the man who was crouched behind the car got up and walked towards the van. I didn’t know what to do.

If I stand up and take a shot at him, the soldier in the helicopter will surely take me out then leave with the doctor. If I do nothing, they’ll get away with the doctor.

Feeling completely helpless, I told myself there was nothing I could do.

The back doors of the second van opened and three men in black suits got out. They reached in and pulled out a man with glasses wearing a blue shirt and brown slacks who looked to me like he was in his fifties. He wasn’t hurt but looked dazed.

Doctor Owen.

The helicopter circled around the scene of devastation and landed on the road. The power from the massive rotor blades created a tornado of dirt and debris. The surviving members of the group ran over to the dead bodies of their colleagues and dragged them into the helicopter, which lifted off and flew far away from the city.

I got up and looked at the remains of my car. It was a complete mess, full of bullet holes from top to bottom. I picked up the radio, which had managed to avoid getting shot to pieces.

‘This is Detective Ryder. Come in Dispatch.’

‘This is Dispatch. Go ahead.’

‘A helicopter is heading south out of the city. Get the chopper to track it. I don’t care what it’s doing at the moment, get it on the case.’

‘The helicopter is currently being refuelled. It will not be ready for another twenty to thirty minutes.’

Goddamn it
. Typical penny pinching. We used to have three helicopters but someone sitting in an office cut us down to one so whenever we need it to help with a critical investigation, it’s either being refuelled or on the other side of the city looking for a purse snatcher.

‘Has the tactical aid unit arrived?’

‘Yes,’ I said as I surveyed their bloody remains, ‘we’re going to need about five ambulances at the Parkway-Freeway intersection. The tactical aid unit have suffered severe losses.’

‘Can you describe the situation sir? Are there any fatalities?’

‘Yes,’ I said matter-of-factly, ‘most of them.’

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