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The Dinosaurs of UCOS

Dinosaurs… I've been given command of a group of OAP's, in other words, dinosaurs. What an appropriate term for three old men, three old police officers who used to be important. Oh, who am I kidding, I shouldn't be saying that about Jack, but the others are fair game, Sandra thought to herself, going over the files in front of her in her chill white, utilitarian home, drinking a glass of wine.

Files on Jack Halford, Brian Lane, and Gerry Standing.

Sandra knew Jack of old, and she had heard of the other two men enough to know, if things were kept her way, she would never have them in the new UCOS department, but then again, if things were going her own way, Sandra would not even be heading such a department even though she didn't have any problems being in command of a group dedicated to uncovering unsolved cases. Sandra could understand the concept, and she could see the attraction, especially since many people would likely have questions and even theories about a case that everyone else had shrugged their shoulders at, deciding it couldn't be solved, so she could appreciate it.

But what Sandra didn't appreciate was being put in command of a trio of old men who were nearly dead, and clearly didn't give a damn about modern police procedural etiquette. A part of her wondered if it was down to spite, more than anything else, from Bevan. While she had to obey and listen to the Deputy Commissioner, Sandra had never truly liked Don Bevan.

She did not like how he cared for his own image so he could further his own career, and when she had first been told about the UCOS initiative he was already in a pointless meeting with some guy waving coloured boards around, talking about making a colour-coded police service, or something like that although Sandra hadn't bothered to pay much attention, she had known from the moment she heard of it, she knew where Bevan was going with it.

Bevan did not care about justice - she knew it from her own dealings, every proper copper knew it although she agreed with him the public needed to see the police were on their side, instead of a bunch of uniformed people who marched up and down a street all day - and he didn't care about 'putting old cases to bed,' he was just interested in looking good. And he knew if he was responsible for the department where old cases were solved, at last, then he would look good. So would she, especially since her career had been soaring high before she shot that dog, but she wanted justice for the people who were affected by the cases in question.

But Sandra could not get over the notion she was being put in command of this UCOS crap out of spite for making the police look bad for shooting that damn dog. For god's sake, she hadn't planned on killing the bloody thing, she had shot it out of reflex more than anything else. But now she was being punished for it by being given three old men to investigate a bunch of old cases.

Sandra didn't have a problem with working on their first case with Jack. He had been her old boss, he had given her her first break, and if he hadn't mentored and trained her up, then Sandra knew she might never have become a copper so she could follow her father's footsteps. But it was the other two she'd had problems with, however, they were the only retired coppers she could tolerate.

All the others had been either strange or incapable; that retired officer who'd stared at herself and at Jack like a shell-shocked rabbit which had crawled out of a traffic jam, and was incapable of remembering where the door was, or that retired officer who'd first come to the interviews and asked that racist question, well she wasn't going to allow racists into her unit. No chance. Fortunately, Jack agreed with her.

And then there were the insane ones or the criminal ones; that former police officer who'd smugly said the Police and Criminal evidence acts were a mistake and how being able to beat up and threaten a suspect was one of the chief weapons in a copper's arsenal was a definite no, and Sandra hadn't cared if Jack argued with her or not; she wasn't going to have a colleague who would risk their cases while beating up suspects.

Didn't the bloody idiot understand if they used such methods, a suspect would say anything to not get hurt, and it would cause problems for the case?

Apparently not.

There was no way she was going to allow him into the UCOS team. Any more than she was going to allow that insane Welsh woman who had shouted she didn't take bloody crap from anyone.

In comparison, Sandra had to admit to herself Gerry Standing and Brian Lane were both sane, even with Brian's reputation and the story behind his retirement, how he had gotten drunk which had brought down 'Memory Lane.' But looking back on the interview she'd had with Brian Lane, Sandra could honestly say for himself Lane wasn't that bad, although his ability to recall and recite her entire career had surprised her, she guessed with his reputation, it made sense for him to retain that information even though she wondered just how much he actually knew of her.

Actually now she thought about it, Jack hadn't really spoken or bothered to ask any questions of the other retired officer, and she had noticed some of them had looked at him in disbelief, or in some cases, dislike.

In the case of Gerry Standing, the two men had a very amicable discussion with her in the room, while for the interview with Lane, Jack had seemed to be genuinely interested in his wellbeing. That made sense too, they were old friends.

In the meantime, it was good to see him interact with others while he had kept silent, and he had glared with open distrust against some of the other retired officers, and they'd returned it.

Sandra wasn't surprised by how Jack had returned the dislike; while Jack Halford had retired a respected police officer, he likely had dozens of detractors, other police officers who were either jealous of him or who truly disliked him for reasons Sandra was incapable of working out on her own. But she had her own detractors, those who said she had risen through the ranks of the Force by being fast-tracked, and she had no ability.

Fortunately, those detractors were few and far between; there were enough people out there who knew her true worth, seen what she could do and knew of the cases she had solved. Sandra paid more attention to those, although she had also learnt from Jack to ignore what people said about her since a lot of it was old bollocks anyway. But she knew after the dog debacle and how Standing had known about it, virtually every copper from London to Glasgow would have heard about it by now, which she didn't need, but she would rise above it. If there was one thing her father had taught her about the police, it was to ignore everything people said and show them they were wrong.

But could she work with Lane and Standing? Halford she could deal with, but those two… Sandra had no idea, but she knew if they crossed her, then she would kick them out herself.