Lead Us Not Pt. 2

S.W.A.T Headquarters – Morning –

The morning had started much like the last day had ended; poorly.  Hicks had learned that Hondo would be out for four weeks and then another four weeks on limited duty.  The men who had attacked him were still on the loose with no leads except for Hondo’s insistence that the two were employees of Herman Lauder.  To top it off the feds wanted a flash drive that held all the nasty details on a man that they were determined to protect.  He felt caught in the middle of a crazy conspiracy that seemed to get bigger and crazier by the minute. 

Chris was still preoccupied with the notion of Hondo getting involved with Lt. De Silva and his crew.  He was dirty, and he had been allowed to operate dirty for years. De Silva had assembled a band of officers eager and willing to please him by doing his bidding all in the name of ridding the city of criminals that had slipped through the cracks or who had won their freedom because of some bureaucratic screw up. He and his team had an impressive arrest record and it made the department’s numbers look good, but at what cost? After what had happened to Hondo, she feared he would get caught up in something that went totally against who and what he was as a man and as a cop.

Luca needed to see Hondo with his own eyes. He had spent months out of commission after an injury trying to get back to work and so he knew all too well what his boss was going through.  Like he had, Hondo was isolating himself from everyone and that wasn’t good. Luca knew that these were the times when you needed your family and your friends the most. With coffee and pastries in hand, Luca climbed the three steps to the front door and rang the doorbell.

LAPD – Metro Division – Homicide –

Lt. DelDotto slammed the case file on her desk.  Her gut was telling her that something wasn’t quite right.  She’d been a cop too long and she’d seen too much to be led on a wild goose chase.  She’d allowed Sgt. Krasinki to take the lead on last night’s homicide, but he seemed too eager to dismiss it as a drug deal gone bad.  She had to admit those cases always found a home at the bottom of the pile, often going cold before any arrests were made. 

“Hey boss…”

She looked up as Gina, her assistant walked through the door carrying yet another file.

“I don’t suppose you have some coffee hidden in that other hand, do you?”

 “No ma’am, but I’m about to run across the street and I’ll bring you some back.”

“You’re the best, thank you.” Then noticing the file. “What you got?”

“Here’s the information on last night’s victim. He was nineteen but it looks like he was involved with some pretty nasty people.”

The Lieutenant scanned the file while the younger woman waited.

“Richard Bolton; Pretty Ricky is his street name…known to be a very close associate of a Maurice Jamison…”

The latter name sounded familiar. DelDotto stood and began pacing the room as she thought. 

“Get me everything we have on this Maurice Jamison. His name has come up before recently, but I can’t put my finger on why.”

“Will do.”

Gina stood and headed for the door.

“Oh, and Gina will you…”

“I know a cheese danish with the coffee.”

“You’re the best, thanks!”

“No problem boss.”

Home of Hondo Harrelson – 

Hondo opened the door to see Luca standing there holding coffee and pastries as a bribe in hopes of being invited in; it worked.

“Aren’t you supposed to be at work?”

“Yeah but I wanted to see how you were first.”

“I’m fine, Luca.”

Luca watched as Hondo eased his body into the chair. The grimace of pain didn’t get past him either.  It took a moment before the air was comfortable enough to talk.  

“Look Hondo…”

“I don’t want to talk about it, okay Luca.”

“But you have to talk about it our it’ll eat you alive.”

“What am I supposed to say? I was lured into a trap, kidnapped and I got the hell beat out of me! Those men took me to some…place, I didn’t even know where I was and…”

“You’ll get past this!”

“They’re still walking the streets, Luca! I told the detectives who they were, who they work for, but they are still walking the streets! My word doesn’t mean a damn thing! I’ve given my whole life to the LAPD and my word doesn’t mean a thing!”

Hondo leaned his head against the wall and closed his eyes. He hadn’t taken his pain meds and he was paying for it.  Luca watched; he had no words; he couldn’t imagine how it would feel to be in Hondo’s place. 

“We’re going to catch these dudes, man.”

“No, no you won’t.”

“Yes, we will! They messed with one of us and they are not getting away with it!”

“No, I’m not letting you put your careers on the line for me. I’ll handle it in my own way.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

It took a few moments before Hondo responded.

“Hondo, you’re not thinking of doing something crazy are you?”

“Honestly Luca, the less you know the better.”

LAPD – Metro Division – Gym –

De Silva and a few members of his crew were busy working out.  It was an unwritten rule that when they entered the gym everyone else would clear a path for them, often it meant vacating the premises so the lieutenant and his team could have the gym to themselves. Such was the case today.

Sgt. Krasinski entered the gym and headed toward De Silva.  The older man paused his workout momentarily as the man approached.

“Sarge, how’s it going?”

“I thought I’d drop by to let you know that everything went as planned last night.”

“Good, very good Krazinski. Does your boss suspect anything?”

“No in fact, she’s asked me to take the lead on the case.”

“Impressive. So, what’s your initial theory?”

“Drug deal gone bad. She’s not quite ready to buy it but by the time I’m finished, I’ll have an airtight case.”

“You know how important it is that she never suspects us, right?”

“I get it and I’ve got it under control.”

“Good, that’s what I want to hear.”

“So, is Harrelson on board?” Krazinski asked.

“Not yet, but I think once he hears about last night, he will be.”

(photo credit: Parade)