Novel 3: Act I, Chapter 7, Scene 2

TOC page here.

Diana has just got the call that Sergeant Brown and Officer Slaughter have spotted their quarry:

“Stay on the line.” Diana nodded at the men, got in the car, plugged the phone into the Jack. She put the car in neutral, let it drift backward down Pine, then spun the wheel and started the motor, doing a 180 and peeling down Pine and across Courtland into the more lightly-populated areas surrounding Renaissance Park. “Where are you?” She said to Slaughter.

“On our way down Renaissance Parkway. Turning the corner into the park, and—well, there’s the van, right here in front of us. There’s a couple of guys standing next to it.”

“Ease up on him–”

“Uh, Brown hit the blue lights. Homeless guys are scattering. Coming up behind… aaaand we got a runner. Subject is a small guy in coveralls, heading…”

Diana could hear the thump of the cruiser’s door and Brown’s shout, “In pursuit! APD! Stop!” His voice dopplered off as he ran after the subject.

Slaughter came back on. “Westbound, into the park.” Diana heard Slaughter’s door open. “Backing up my partner.”

Diana looked at the map on her phone. Running west from there had the guy heading straight toward her. She turned onto Piedmont, pulled over, drew her sidearm, got out with the door between her and the steep hill leading up into the side of the park, keeping low enough so if the guy came over the hill he’d see the car but not her.

She waited, in about as dark and quiet a place as was possible a mile from the center of a major city. Nothing. Maybe, on the edge of her hearing, a shout? Maybe something else. No, that was a guy shouting, the tone about right to be Brown. She held the phone to her ear. “Slaughter? Report.”

No reply at first, then a panting Slaughter: Diana could picture her keying her lapel mike while running. “Lost them in the brush—over there! Hey!” Then the mike went dead.

Diana looked up the hill at the trees on its summit. Her knee was going to love this. Then all of a sudden from beyond those trees came Brown’s clear shout, “APD! Stop!” Before Diana could think, she started up the hill, slipped in the wet grass, almost face-planted on the slope.

Then, clear as day, two gunshots in quick succession, then a third. Diana ignored the pain from her knee and charged up the hill, but she only got about halfway up before Brown shouted again “All clear! Subject down.”

Now you and I both know we’re in Act One, Chapter Seven: so the likelihood that this is the guy who killed Alex Dawson is pretty dang low. But we have willing suspension of disbelief, so maybe the rest of the book is going to be about the aftermath? Still, probably not. What we do have is Diana’s knee, which prevents her from getting right in the thick of the action. This is better from the standpoint of character development, but we have to sacrifice a little first-hand action in order to accomplish it.

Note how the consistent take on Brown is that he’s too bad-ass, too interested in being an action hero. Think on how more representative of urban police he is than someone like Diana.


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  1. Novel 3: Act I, Chapter 7, Scene 1 | Julian Cage

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