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T.O. Yao
The Last Good Cop #6
Tragically, real news about anything to do with crime in Baltimore, Maryland, came from only one source; some crackpot, former amateur boxer and stick-fighter who referred in online posts to police as PIGs and seemed to be an anarcho-tyranny prophet of some sublime ill-repute—a complete fucking asshole! To make things worse, Juan would not even be able to set the record straight with this naddering nabob of negativity because the schlep had gotten too old to hang with the Baltimore criminal class any more—and he was three years younger than Juan—and was, at this very moment shacked up with stripper in some truck driver’s garage back in Portland—aggghhhh!!!
There truly is no justice on God’s green earth, Juan thought as the acting Mayor, who, when asked what he was going to do about the outrageous murder rate in his town, had said, “I haven’t killed anybody,” and who had just retired from a news conference podium after pleading with the gangsters who actually ran the city to stop shooting each other so that the hospitals would have room for Coronavirus patients, shook his hand as if he were Superman just flown in from Krypton to punish bad guys and set the world right on its axis.
The Mayor said something nigh incomprehensible in a Mid-Atlantic mumble and then pushed Juan into the hands of the Police Commissioner, who snarled something under his breath, directed him to a major who sneered at him and passed him off to a captain, who laughed in a jolly and somehow sinister way all at once, and ostentatiously directed him to a tall Nigerian man in a crisp uniform hung with what looked like the military decorations of some banana republic dictator and a short, Irish, beet-faced sergeant stepped up and said, “Juan Stabone, Portland’s finest, eh? Meet T.O. Yao, your training officer. You are to make no arrests, book no one and otherwise do nothing to piss off the hoodrats, without the express direction of Officer Yao. Officer Yao, carry on.”
With that, the hallway emptied and Juan was left standing before this musclebound Nigerian who grinned like some old racist caricature and slurred, already half drunk, “Officer Stallone, let us go lay down some law!”
Okay, he seems enthusiastic. It might be bad guy battling time after all.
“Yes, T.O. Yao, I’m ready and eager.”
They walked out across the courthouse garden, where trash was dripping in the misty rain and Juan immediately went into a crouch and put his hand to his service weapon as he heard a Glock empty three blocks to the left—shit, it’s only 11:00 A.M!
Yao seemed not to notice the gunfire, nor did anyone else for that matter among the scattering reporters and wandering homeless people.
They walked by some reasonably up-to-date cruisers on which various officers were leaning and sneering darkly at he and Yao.
The only police SUV was a canine unit, against which two fairly competent looking Caucasian officers leaned, with arms crossed, looking at Juan like they wanted to work him over for being an out-of-towner.
Yao, on the other hand was all smiles, waving to the various cops of various ethnicities, including a Japanese cop which was kind of hard to believe and otherwise conducting himself like he was the Last King of Scotland and had not yet gotten wind of the fact that his nation had been long ago conquered by England.
Then they began walking across a street, where two junkies were firing heroin into their arms while sitting cross-legged in the middle of the two lane-one-way street and stopped at—an antique.
The car was a 1972 Impala that looked like it should have been wrecked chasing the General Lee in the 1970s Dukes of Hazzard TV series. It did have an impeccable shine, an ancient Baltimore City Crest and Shield, a car antenna still attached to the exterior—no cage to keep the suspects from piling over the back of the seat, no computer…what the hell?
Then Yao stood grinning at him from besides the driver’s side door over the white top of the white and blue cruiser of yore and said, “Meet the African Queen, Officer Stallone. She is a beauty, is she not?”
“Yes, T.O., yes she is. I like what you’ve done with her.”
Nothing but polish it!
The tires are almost bald!
There was nothing to be gained by hesitating. When in Rome do as the Romans do!
Officer Juan Stabone opened the loudly creaking steel door and took his seat as he ignored the sinister smirks of the loitering cops, none of whom could suppress an ever-widening grin.
Okay, this is a hazing. I understand this goofball is going to put me through the ringer. But I’ll shine, I will. You can’t keep a Good Cop down!
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