Full Medical (Chapter 4, page 1 of 7)


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Chapter 4

Chris Tanner struggled up the old stairs and into the homicide detectives' area of the precinct station. Like all rookies there, he shared a desk with another detective, a fellow from the third shift.

As he entered, some of the regulars were ushering out a prisoner who was bound in handcuffs and leg-irons. One of them bumped into him accidentally, making him wince with pain. His colleague looked at him strangely and then shook his head, an expression of disbelief on his face. Yeah, I know what you're thinking. Everyone knows I almost bought the flag and bagpipes dirge last night. You're wondering what the hell I'm doing here. Well, I can't afford to stay in a hospital, that's what. For years the Boston Police Department had deployed three shifts, instead of four, due to restricted budgets. The first ran from six a.m. to three p.m. The second, his shift, ran from two p.m. to eleven p.m. The third ran from ten p.m. to seven a.m. The rookies rotated shifts every month, while the veterans got their preferences, in order of seniority, along with their own desk. The system actually worked out well and there was a great deal of camaraderie among the officers, although the shifts always became much longer than the nominal duration because they never had enough time to write up their reports.

The days of having a partner were also long gone. Even with the reduction from four shifts to three, budget cuts had made it impossible to keep a double payroll. Having a partner wouldn't have worked well for Chris anyway. He was very much a loner. He was building a solid reputation with his superiors, though, as someone who got the whole job done - investigation, arrest, and conviction of perps. He had also won the respect of his peers, something not easy to do, since they were a tough bunch. He was especially admired for his ability to not get flustered in the court room. A lot of detectives got very nervous with a hostile defense lawyer coming at them. Chris had only lost his cool once; even then the judge was quick to defend him and jumped all over the defense lawyer.

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