An introduction into the main cast. Detective Ethan Brash investigates a strange car crash that is larger than it seems, while struggling P.I. Sandra Cobb searches for a new, exciting case herself. Elsewhere, social activist Maya Phillips helps the political campaign against industrialist Jacob Ryker, and Victoria Cummings finds herself uncomfortable at a family funeral.
The City of Brotherly Love, Part TwoEdit
It was a typical morning in the city of Philadelphia. The morning sun hid behind an array of clouds and buildings, leaving the city overlaid with light fog. It was never a bother to him, the detective found calmness in the dim early mornings. The sooth, quiet city made him relax in these daunting hours of the day.
Ethan Brash watched the silent streets pass him. Comfortable in the passenger seat, Ethan scrolled through the local newspaper and drank coffee from his travel mug. World’s Best Detective Dad. He is unsure about the latter part but for damn sure he was a good detective. For example, it was only nine in the morning and he had already solved one case: through peculiar clues Ethan realized the barista messed up his order. He liked his coffee with lots of cream and lots of sugar, easy on the tongue but not the heart. This cup only had some cream and some sugar, it didn’t go down the same way.
Ethan is an old-schooled kind of man, both on the job and off. He wore a dark, two-piece suit and a trench coat to work everyday. His tie is worn professionally in a full Windsor knot. A shoulder holster is hidden behind his jacket, always accompanied by a fully-loaded, personalized German SIG Sauer P226. He kept his hair short and never let his facial hair grow beyond a shadow, anything further is unprofessional. He always gets the job done, as there is no better thrill than taking down adversaries. Rules be damned, Ethan always gets answers.
“How's the family doing?” Detective Brian McPatrick was finishing up his routine of mourning pleasantries. Every morning it was the same routine with McPatrick. He talked about the morning briefings, the weather, the coffee and the family, exclusively in the order.
“Not making my life any easier.” Ethan’s answers were always the same. The Brash family was good, he loved them, although they certainly weren’t no stroll in the park. His wife Lynn is nagged and ranted, always going on about something. His daughter Nicole is spoiled, and he is too old to have to be dealing with middle schoolers. His eldest, Peter, is a whirlwind of mistakes that he doesn’t like dwelling on.
“Some things never change,” McPatrick laughed like always, “Same shit, different day.” McPatrick and him have been partners for almost a year. McPatrick is a good man, but not a good cop. A man in his sixties, who has seen a lifetime of bullshit, it’s understandable that McPatrick has gotten lazy in age. He liked talking, laughing and relaxing, not working. He was counting down the days until retirement.
“Amen.” Ethan finished their routine morning conversation. Despite their professional differences Ethan liked his partner. He was simple, easy to understand, and good to have a beer with. Both were from Irish families in South Philadelphia, so having a beer and watching a game were second nature to them.
After a few minutes of silence the pair arrived at their destination. They received a report about an abandoned, crashed car in the rail yard. The boss sent them to investigate and see what more there is to it.
Traffic cases were a waste to Ethan’s talent. For most of his career Ethan specialized in homicide, although he had a brief stint in the organized crime unit. Like usual Ethan pushed the wrong buttons, only he finally pushed the wrong person too far during a disastrous case. It could’ve ended his career: instead, a jaundiced captain decided to make Ethan’s life worse by transferring him to traffic. It was an insult. Sometimes he gets to work auto theft, otherwise he is trapped in mundane work.
After some navigating the pair approach the scene. Crashed into a now knocked over pole was a green Honda Civic, an older model from what Ethan could make. From the get-go he estimated this was a worn, passed down car. “Detectives”, a uniformed officer took note of their approaching, “I’m Officer Ealy, first responder.”
“Thank you, officer.” Ethan offers a handshake to the young man. “What can you tell me?”
The officer provided the basic rundown to them: Abandoned car. Dried blood was lightly splattered in the back interior, no match for it yet. No owner identified. The only objects in the car were a small handgun found under the seat and some bills scattered around. Interviews with the worker who called it in and the forensic investigator gave no other relevant information.
Sad cup of coffee in hand, Ethan investigated the car for himself. What immediately caught his eye was the flattened back left tire, which judging from the skid marks leading to the car popped just a moment or so prior. Going off the same skid marks Ethan imagines the tire is the cause of the crash, but there is more here. The tire marks were erratic prior to the popped tire.
“The driver was going fast,” McPatrick examines, “You think maybe it was one of those street races? Stupid kids were going fast, got a flat and ran off afterwards?”
It wasn’t implausible thinking. The city had plenty of street races that have made his life bothersome during his time in auto cases. “No, I don’t think this was a race.” Ethan looks inside the car. “That blood doesn’t look like it was from a car accident. They were trying to escape something.”
“Indeed, Brian. ‘Or someone’.” Ethan took note of the dents found on the car. It wasn’t unusual for an old car to have dents. However, they caught his eye here. A large dent was on the back, with enough impact to force the bumper loose. There were a handful of smaller dents scattered on the back and side, with the size no larger than coins.
“If I were to guess, I think they were being chased. This dent on the back suggests someone rammed them, and those other ones look like they could have been caused by bullets. They were being shot at. Whoever was pursuing might’ve shot out the tire. Could explain the blood too.”
“Don’t you think gunshots would’ve been reported?”
“This is an isolated area, no residential in the vicinity. Assuming this happened in the night, I doubt anyone would hear them.” Ethan picked up one of the scattered bills. A fifty, and all the others were high numbered too.
“The money was probably the driving factor here,” he continues, “These are big bills here. You know anyone strolling around with hundreds? It had to be some sort of robbery. We should get in touch with theft to see if there were any reports last night.” Ethan doubts there will be any reports worthwhile. His gut tells him this was done against the type who wouldn’t report it. “First things first we need to run that license plate number.”
“Sounds good. Anything else?”
Ethan looked to his partner with the slightest hint of a smile. “I think we found ourselves a good case, Brian.”
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