Chapter One (Part Three?) Alannah Harrison

Late again!  Why does my alarm never seem to go off at the right time? I thought.  At least this time my gun was securely fastened to my belt.  I ran down the surprisingly quiet streets, hoping my new partner hadn't got into trouble before I arrived.

I was only a few moments away when I heard the gunshot.  S***, I thought, please say I'm not too late.  

I came crashing into the scene, the man who I assumed was my new partner lying on the ground, a puddle of blood beginning to pool around his shoulder, his face white and ghostlike, with our criminal standing over him, pointing a gun at my partner's head.  My immediate reaction would have been to shoot the gunman but I couldn't risk it, too much paperwork and there was the chance that he could still shoot my partner after I had hit him.

Unfortunately I didn't have a lot of time to make a decision, as my footsteps had alerted the criminal to my presence and he spun round, pointing the gun at me.  

The man was big, very big, with arms like tree trunks, no hair and a hard face.  He was your typical thug, not much brains and all the skin I could see was covered with tattoos.  OK so the one on his left forearm proudly said I love Mum, but it still gave him a hard edge.

'Not one more step.'  His voice was steady but I could see his hand was shaking slightly.  All the same, I stopped and raised my arms in the air to show I wasn't looking to attack him. 

'Please,' I croaked, 'put the gun down.'  I was very aware of the slowly growing puddle of blood near my partner.   He needed a doctor.  I couldn't have him die on me on our first day.  No-one would ever work with me ever again!

'You think just because you're a cop you have the authority to order me to do things?'

'Ummm... yes?'  The gunman let out a loud raucous laugh at that.

'At least I've got one with a sense of humour.'  Maybe he wasn't as thick as I'd first thought.

'I was telling the truth,' I mumbled to myself.

'Well,' he was suddenly serious again, 'a few jokes isn't going to get you out of this one.  You're both going to die.'

'What if I don't want to die?'

'I'm sorry, boss's orders, no witnesses.  You've got no choice.'  He took aim, hand still shaking slightly.

'Wait!'  I'd had a thought.  'Why're you here?'  The man's big face screwed up in confusion, the gun lowering slightly.

'I thought I'd made it clear, I'm going to kill you.'

'You're clearly an intelligent criminal,' I lied, 'why don't you have someone else to do your dirty work for you?'  Flattery seemed the best way to go.  I hoped he was stupid enough to buy it as I took a tiny step forward but the gun snapped back up.

'I said stay still!'

'Surely a fine specimen of a criminal, such as yourself, has all sorts of men running around, willing to do anything for you.'  If my hair had been down I would have been twirling it with my fingers.  My tactics were so stupid and I felt like an idiot but they seemed to be working.  'I'm sure there are all sorts of people who look up to you.'

'You really think so?'  A smile spread over his brutish face.  I was still walking slowly towards him, arms lowered now, but this time the gun stayed lowered.

'Of course.  'I'm sure you're a very important man.'

'Well,' the man said confidentially, like he was telling me a secret, 'the boss has just put me in charge of a group of men.  We're the ones who get rid of people, if you catch my meaning.'  As I had guessed he was just the muscle, the tool of a bigger organisation.  Very good at beating people up but couldn't do much else.

'Well,' I gushed, 'I should be honoured that you'll be the one to kill me.'  I was standing right in front of him now and had pushed his hand holding the gun down to his side.  I looked up at him from under my eyelashes.  'You're so strong, I don't know how I thought I would be able to tame you.'  He blushed and mumbled something I didn't hear as I trailed one hand up his chest towards his shoulder.

Once I was sure I would be able to get a good grip on his shoulder I brought my knee up fast and he doubled over.  Still keeping a hold on his shoulder, I brought my right arm back and hit him square in the jaw.  He fell to the ground, knees pulled up protectively to his chest and one hand clutching his jaw.

'You're under arrest for assaulting a police officer and whatever my partner caught you doing.'  I reached towards my belt so I could handcuff him before he recovered, but there was nothing there where my set of cuffs should've been.  'Oh c***!  I knew I'd forgotten something!'

I hurriedly turned to my new partner, who was still semi-concious and on the floor.  'Excuse me,' I said before searching him for his set of handcuffs.  'My name's Alannah by the way.  I'm your n-'

I didn't have time to finish because an arm wrapped itself around my waist and lifted me from the ground.  'Put me down right now!'  I was livid and looking very undignified with my arms and legs flailing around desperately, trying to make him lose his grip on me.

'No,' the man said, reminding me of a stubborn child, 'you weren't very nice to me.  I don't like you any more.'

'Well I didn't you much to start with.'  I didn't try to disguise my opinion of him, calling him every bad name I could think of.

Then my foot connected violently with something, I think it was his knee, and he yelled out in pain, dropping me.  I scrambled away from him towards my partner, still conscious and now groaning on the cold ground.  I made it to my feet and ran towards him before the gunman could stop me.  I reached the body lying on the ground and as I threw myself at him I heard the crack of the gun and felt the bullet fly over my head.

I knew I had to do something.  The thug had stopped to reload his gun but I couldn't see anywhere I would be able to reach with the body of my partner before he was able to fire again.  Nor could I run back the way I had just come and handcuff the guy.  I would be dead before I was halfway towards him. 

All these thoughts flashed through my head in a split second and I realised what my only option was.

Pulling my already loaded gun from my belt I took aim and fired.  I hadn't realised I'd closed my eyes until I heard, rather than saw, the the man fall.  To my great relief and surprise the bullet had hit its target in the fleshy bit of his shoulder.  I cuffed him with the cuffs from my partner's belt and left him where I could see him.  I wasn't going to make that mistake twice!

Using my new partner's radio I called for a police car and an ambulance.  When I'd finished I checked my partner to find he was still alive and just about conscious.

'Sorry about that,' I said apologetically.  'Now where was I?  Oh yes, I'm Alannah Harrison and I'm your new partner.  It's lovely to meet you.'

The End

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