The Dinosaurs of UCOS.
Sandra had a bittersweet smile on her face as she watched Jack good-naturedly laugh at some of Gerry's raucous jokes; most of them weren't really funny, but everyone could tell Jack was only taking part so he left with happy memories of his friends.
"Oh, get off, Gerry!" Jack shoved Gerry away, making Sandra and Gerry, and Strickland laugh (idly she wondered why Brian seemed morose, despite his best efforts to be happy even though Jack was leaving).
Sandra giggled, taking a deep gulp of her drink. As she swallowed, Sandra had time to reflect.
The unexpected foisting of that Victorian case, Abigail Padua from Stephen Fisher had been a surprise, and one they simply hadn't expected since they had been busy investigating a more later case. Fisher had stopped Gerry and the others leaving, especially when they had pointed out they were retired, and as a result, they could not be fired (she had been annoyed by that, given how they had dealt with so much; various cases, that mess with Ricky Hanson which had very nearly closed UCOS down and had resulted in Jack going AWOL for a few weeks, Brian's drinking and the resurgence of his over the top obsessive behaviour, Gerry hiding the truth from Emily she was not his daughter, and so much else, and yet when some bigshot bastard from the Intelligence services appeared they were prepared to leave), but that hadn't stopped Fisher from blackmailing Gerry. She was disgusted with the behaviour and how he had used the knowledge of Gerry's financial mess against him, but it had worked and within a day they had solved not only the murder, but they had uncovered a very nasty scandal in the making.
It was the first time Sandra had ever met the man, but she could honestly admit to herself, Sandra had no desire to meet him ever again although she knew Fisher would likely be back, giving them a case or pointing them in a direction they were to take, manipulating them all for some private agenda of his own.
He had done it before.
He had done it during the McKenna case, not so long ago where that mad scientist working on Cold Fusion had gone missing and was tortured with images of his wife having sex with another man, a scientist who was so introverted he found it impossible to function out of his comfort zone. Fisher had pointed them in the direction of Simon Crane, and Japanese mythology, knowing both would lead to the results they'd need to solve the case, but he hadn't outright come out and told them anything concrete. It was also likely Fisher had pointed Alice Fox (if that was her real name) in Crane's direction, and she killed him.
Sandra, as a police officer, didn't approve of vigilantism. Gerry, however, had pointed out Crane wouldn't have stood trial, he would have pulled strings, likely gained through blackmail and Fox had known it. Hence, why she had killed him, that and getting revenge for McKenna's sake. But it had left a bad taste for manipulations, especially Fisher's brand.
Well, Sandra didn't like it, she didn't like being used, and she didn't like how Stephen Bloody Fisher had played with them for a whole day, taking her office, mocking her and her friends/colleagues while Strickland looked on, completely hopeless and completely useless - while she preferred Strickland to Bevan since Strickland was more compassionate and more help than Bevan who had only wanted to look good for his powerful friends, she still knew Strickland wanted to shine, and he was usually more assertive than he had been today, which made her wonder if Fisher had some hold over him as well. That made sense; Strickland and Fisher went back a long way, although how far back, she couldn't say.
She shook her head, and she gazed at her friends sadly.
This was going to be the last time she and her boys were going to be together; Gerry, Brian, and Jack, and herself. But why was it all so sudden? Yeah, Gerry thought Elizabeth Green was the reason, Jack had found a woman. However, Sandra wasn't entirely sure given how reluctant Jack was to find another romantic partner after losing Mary. In any case, she felt it didn't explain the sudden move to France, of all places?
Sandra looked over her boys. It was hard to believe that 9 years ago, she wouldn't have wanted to be seen with any of them, well except perhaps Jack, but over the years they'd grown on her. And now Jack was leaving.
Sandra would always remember how Brian had said they couldn't stay in UCOS forever, none of them could. Sooner or later, she, Gerry and Brian would leave, it was just a case of how, when and why. She herself had come close to leaving UCOS once her track record had more or less washed away that stupid dog killing from everyone's minds and she had helped solve crimes like the Dover St robbery, a murder nobody knew had taken place in conjunction with that rapist at the chocolate factory, the Ponzi scheme concocted which had resulted in the death of Ritchie Levine, and now this Victorian thing, even though Fisher had taken away the evidence for burning, of all things.
Sandra had been disgusted with the idea a member of the British government had planned on doing nothing while hundreds of pensions were put at risk - she had been around her boys long enough to understand the way older people worked, and even though Jack and the others sometimes drove her up the wall, Sandra had come to know what was important for them, and she knew if it was their own pensions, they would be up in arms and they wouldn't have cared about the consequences.
As Jack had said, "Bollocks!"
"Hey, Guv'nor, you getting the next round?" Gerry's question snapped her out of her thoughts, and she smirked at him. "Oh, alright!"
Everyone cheered, but as she staggered to her feet to get the drinks, Sandra felt a sinking feeling in her stomach, that this was the end of an era.