(c) 2008 Carolyn Gates.

"CHiPs" and "CHiPs '99" (c) 1977 and 1999 MGM Studios. All characters property of Rick Rosner and MGM, newly created characters (c) 2008 Carolyn Gates. No profit intended.

"Million Voices" written and performed by Barlow Girl and (c) 2007 Word Music, LLC, Barlow Family Music (ASCAP). (All rights adm. by Word Music, LLC) All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured. The story will be deleted immediately at any party's request.

Chapter 1

Captain Jon Baker of the California Highway Patrol, Central division, simply couldn't bear it any longer.

On the evening news, once again, was a controversy. Another rap artist, who called himself Righteous, had created a song truly atrocious, called "Kill Them". It spoke of inflicting violence against police officers in a truly unspeakable manner, some methods truly as graphic as a Quentin Tarantino movie. Police officers nationwide, including California Highway Patrol, held strikes at music shops, record companies and malls, demanding a ban of Righteous' album, "Let Justice Be Served At Last". Though the song had somehow reached number one on the Billboard charts and had stayed there for ten weeks, churches nationwide held rallies, burning and steamrolling piles of his compact discs. Jon sat reluctantly on his sofa, as the artist on television hurried by the throng of ravenous reporters, waiting and wondering what his feelings were about the whole ordeal. He simply spat, "No apologies!" and left abruptly.

Trying to control his anger as best he could, Jon found he only succeeded in giving himself a very upset stomach, as if he'd eaten chili laden with Tobasco sauce and jalapeno peppers and ingested vodka to boot. Yet he controlled himself still as he saw the clips of the video, displaying real-life shots of police officers getting into life-threatening car accidents (which was all, of course, the censorship board would allow this rap artist to show that provided a shock factor.) Where the artist obtained these clips, who knew? Jon assumed it was probably from such horrible television shows as "World's Wildest Police Chases". The strikes and rallies still went on to this particular night.

Officer Sandy Baker, Jon's wife, slipped in beside him and put her arms lovingly around him. "Why don't you turn that stuff off?" she suggested. "It's damaging to the soul sometimes if you take too much."

"I don't know..." sighed Jon. "If something isn't done about these people who call themselves artists, so many souls could be damaged, you know? As we speak, they're being damaged already. Youth younger than thirteen are going to have their minds, hearts and souls shaped and molded by this stuff, and then where will we be? It's going on the internet, downloaded by teens with MP3 players and iPods, I mean, I've heard other stories of cops lately being stalked, their families tormented, children of cops being assaulted at school repeatedly..."

"Honey," Sandy insisted, "You can't carry the whole world on your shoulders. You can't suffer other people's problems. Goodness knows, as a police officer and Captain, you take on problems enough."

"These people who crank out this stuff are such a burden. Whoever insisted that the media doesn't move and inspire us to follow in the footsteps of artists like these are either too young or too perpetually adolescent to realize differently, or are trying to peddle these songs. Artists say they're not responsible for what our kids listen to, but I'm a firm believer that, you know, it takes a village to raise a child, so to speak, people in music, television, video games and such, they inspire to no end, they're responsible, too. And it always gets out to children younger than teenagers!"

"I understand, sweetheart, but still, you can't let all this make you sick. Perhaps maybe we can get involved in the movement to stop this stuff... in a different way, you know?"

"I certainly hope we can, Sandy."

Later on, Jon took a healthy dose of Pepto-Bismol and prepared for, hopefully, a night of rest.

A siren, and then shots were heard just outside his house, somewhere down his street.

"What was that?" Sandy asked, suddenly rising from her bed, alert.

"I don't know," said Jon. "But I guess we have to let those police out there handle it for now."

But Jon had a horrible feeling he couldn't shake. A feeling connected to the madness he'd seen on television.