Day 654: 5 Minute Freewrite: Monday - Prompt: key

in writing •  16 days ago  (edited)


In a rare act of sheer desperation, the police department of Big Loft, VA made Chief Winfred Scott its new acting commissioner, combining the offices into one indefinitely.

This desperation came because the aftermath of the Gilligan House Burning and all the corruption revealed had decimated the force. The new acting commissioner was sixth in office in just four weeks, but that role was still easier to fill than the dozens and dozens of rank-and-file that had been caught up.

Acting Commissioner Scott plunged into the necessary steps to fulfill his dual roles: setting in place aggressive plans to clean out the remaining corruption and repositioning the force to attract the new officers it needed.

Inevitably, however, bigwigs from Internal Affairs showed up in his new office to ask him what he intended to do about who they saw as the real problem: Captain H.F. Lee, who either directly or indirectly had been involved in the fall of the previous five commissioners and so much of the rank-and-file, using his vast investigative ability and his lack of fear of getting warrants, making arrests, and continuing to come to work even at the risk of his own job and life.

Acting Commissioner Scott smiled at his guests, and thanked his new secretary, Ms. Maggie Thornton, for serving them coffee and donuts before he said what he had to say.

“Well, you know I take my time on things, but I have discovered the key to deal with Lee.”

The men from IA leaned forward hungrily. They had tried their best to find cause, but Captain Lee had proceeded entirely in accord with the law and principles of proper policing. So, since they couldn't get him legally, they were hoping the new commissioner had found a subtler way.

“Yes, gentlemen, I know how to solve the problem,” the acting commissioner said. “Once I get finished cleaning up the department so there are no more corrupt officers terrified of being found out, then Lee won't scare them to death. Once I clean up the mess created by all that corruption, there won't be any need for Lee to be using that mind of his on us. Finally, remember: Lee solves a cold case every ten days. That means that once we learn how to do real police work instead of focusing on filling up prison quotas, Lee's cold cases will run out swiftly, and so will the purpose for him being here, by which time I'm sure he will have had quite enough of us. That's how I plan to contain him.

“Meanwhile, I expect all of you to get busy confirming the evidence brought out by the FOIA data about how our former superiors and rank-and-file have abused their authority. I'm going to be firing a bunch of people for all the miscarriages of justice we know have happened. Get your work done and cover me on that. I don't need to see any of you or hear from you again until you have that taken care of, because I am really too busy for business as usual, and you would be too if you were paying attention.”

The meeting broke up about there, and Ms. Thornton could hardly wait for her lunch break to start spreading the news.

“Scott isn't going to bother Lee!”

And so Acting Commissioner Scott survived the week, having contained Captain Lee just that easily.

(so, @whatisnew -- six times IS the charm!)

Photo Credit: CMDR Shane on Unsplash

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I gather this is a continuation? A sixth of a series. I have soooo much reading to do!
Nice work though. Really makes me want to go back to see the precursors to this.
Always a pleasure!

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Yep ... a whole bunch of prompts sort of lined up into a little mini series of the aftermath of a paperback-length tale... let me make it easy for you...

For the week: We start with "Manipulation" and "Opens A Lot of Doors," wherein we hear about the fourth commissioner in a row to die, trying to intimidate a captain who is really only trying to do his job and make it as easy as possible for others to do theirs ... but there WAS that special case of the original commissioner and his two deputies who got caught planning an act of domestic terrorism. Captain Lee was a huge part of their takedown, and the corrupt bigwigs left are terrified of him. For deep background, you'll have to read part 9, part 11, and especially epilogue 1 of Black, White, and RED All Over, but just know that at the point in which "Manipulation" starts, Acting Commissioner Tate starts out planning to follow his predecessor's track with Captain Lee ... and does, straight down, in "Creature."

Meanwhile, the mayor of Big Loft has to deal with a "Fake Video," and the outcome shows just how much corruption there is in not only Big Loft, but the whole county it is in ... and why the presence of just ONE honest man walking in authority can be too much to bear!

After that, everybody is "Spent and Tired" for the weekend, but we get the view of the three newspaper men that kicked it all off in Black, White, and RED All Over, looking back and looking forward (which will be the actual end of the paperback version of Black, White, and RED All Over.) Also over the weekend, department bigwigs realize that although they don't really want honest Chief Scott to become commissioner, they have no better options, and so use "Persuasion" on each other and settle to it -- leading to THIS post, where Chief Scott takes over as Acting Commissioner and puts everybody in their proper place.

I have not decided yet what to do from here ... this is a good place to call a halt for a week and let the new commissioner do his work for a while, BUT I kind of feel like since Captain Lee has seen three men die in confrontation with him in just four weeks, it is about time to get his viewpoint again lest the impression of him as merely the Angel of Death get too out of hand ... and then, eventually, he and Chief Scott will have to talk ... and then there is the question of whether he will stay or go from Big Loft's police force ... and what Chief Scott really wants as well, and why.

Stay tuned...

Oh thank you for that synopsis of your previous entries! I gathered that INS is unhappy with the captain because they themselves are corrupt. So if I am reading this right, there are now TWO good guys in positions of authority on the force?

Correct! Captain Lee is a deeply troubled good guy who has learned the correct lessons from his own family history and has decided to throw in all his genetic advantages in Virginia (where a certain great-great-great-uncle of his is still very famous) on the side of anti-racism and justice, rough though that be. If you read part 12 of Black, White, and RED All Over, you'll find out he has been walking in that commitment and perfectly willing to put a solid hurting on those who cross certain lines since high school, so, 30 YEARS. Nobody checked his record. They figured he could be corrupted. They didn't account for what he would do the FIRST time somebody tried it ... four weeks later, the last man standing is Scott!

Chief Scott is also kind of new to the force -- they didn't want him as chief for the same reason they didn't want him as commissioner, but the turnover was so bad they needed him to come in and find a strategy to keep good people around. He's not the investigator that Captain Lee or Captain Hamilton down in Tinyville are, but he's been gathering up facts and is ready to do what he was called in to do -- get the force RIGHT, or die trying.

There are other honest people on the force -- Lieutenant Longstreet and Captain Hayes from Epilogue 1 represent rank-and-file, and Ms. Thornton the support staff. The issue is, they need their jobs, and they want to live. Captain Lee can go back to the army and his higher rank -- colonel, Special Forces and JAG -- whenever he wants, and is unbothered by the thought of dying in performance of his duty since he is only living for duty anyway, a duty to God not to take his own life and to be useful wherever God puts him. Which is to say that the captain is an extremely high-functioning veteran suffering severe depression and PTSD, and so doesn't experience life such that fear of the people around him doing anything to him registers. That's why he could move FIRST, but the rest of them are going to move too, under Scott's leadership...

oh my goodness I have no idea if you are ever going to see a piece of a steem penny for my 100% vote, but there it is! Wowser of a comment that I just LOVE. The mind of a storyteller in freewrite! So thrilling to read. Thanks for that. I'll try to find the time to read the story! Or step in at this point at least. Hey, could you tag me when you publish a chapter or piece? That would be swell!

I appreciate your vote and your interest, and even your vote dust! Thank you!

Wow, you wrung a lot of story out of that prompt! I see it is part of a series, and I better get busy and do some reading.

Thank you so much... yes, it's sort of a long aftermath, turning into a bridge to maybe a new longer story...

Bravo! The ending was a perfect gift, wrapped with a nice bow. Just like you @deeanndmathews...full of exceptional writings that you continue to give to us; the perfect gifts for all of us to enjoy forever. : )

Thank you so much ... glad you're enjoying, and, I'm working on a way to make it just a little easier to catch up at least on the big stuff ... links are cumbersome, but a paperback, less so ...

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