Windy City Beat

Ch. 1

The biting wind of February whips through the sun kissed buildings as the soft hum of pistons die off. The driver crawls out into the cold as his cheeks redden instantly, grinning at small diner nestled in the alley way. He rearranges the dark framed sunglasses as he makes his way up the short steps. He pushes on the door as it glides open with ease, welcoming him in with the scent of coffee and eggs. "Mr. Bennett?" A middle aged man with a black beard walks up to him, extending his hand. "Roy Coleman."

"Ah yes, Detective Coleman," He grips his hand firmly, "A pleasure to finally meet you."

Coleman smiles at the young man as he leads him back to a booth, scratching his black head of hair. He plops down on the torn booth as he resumes sipping on his coffee, looking up at the man. "So what made you come to Chicago, Mr. Bennet?"

The man removes the sunglasses as he looks back at the detective, "Please, call me Zach," he pulls out a cigarette and gently flick the flint of his lighter, "and as far as my transfer?" He takes a long drag from the cigarette and watches the waitress approach the table, "I just got sick of the suburbs."

Roy chuckled softly as he takes another sip of coffee, "I hear you on that one. You'll soon realize how different the city is compared to traffic stops and marital disputes."

"What are you having?" The old lady scratches her head with the end of the pencil as she stares down at the recruit. He pulls the cigarette away as he looks up at the waitress, "Ill just have a glass of tomato juice." She nods and leans towards Roy, "Still doing alright, hon'?" He nods as he lifts the mug in the air, "Another one, miss." She nods as she walks back to the counter, disappearing in the kitchen. Roy looks over to Zach, smirking. "You sure you can handle it here?"

"I know I can," he places the spent cigarette in the frosted ashtray, "Do you not think so?"

The waitress comes back as she places the drinks on the table, winking over at Roy. "There you are, boys." Roy takes a long sip as he looks back at Zach, "You have an impressive record, but things are different once your in the heart of a city."

The cold air shocks Zach's face as he exits the diner, staring over at Roy. "On to the station?"

Roy smiles over at him as he pulls the collar of his coat over his neck, "Not yet, we have one more stop." Zach lights up another cigarette as he takes a long drag, "Where is that?"

Roy crawls into the driver side of the cruiser, "We need to pick you out a gun."

Zach shrugs as he looks back at his car. Completely remodeled from the ground up, a 1973 Datsun 240Z. He crawls into the small cockpit, quickly releasing the e-brake. "Lead the way..." Roy pulls out of the parking lot, turning out into the cold morning street. Only seconds behind, the roar of the Datsun rumbles down the narrow streets as he tails Roy to wherever he is taking him, only to stop abruptly at a small building. He pulls his glasses down as he reads the sign out loud, "Gun Smith Cats... What the hell is this place?" He revs his engine at Roy, who only grins at him. "Come on, lets pick you out a gun."

The bell chimes as they walk into the wide room filled with all sorts of firearms and ammunition. "Its like a candy store, just more deadly." Zach chuckles as he removes his sunglasses. "Welcome! Anything I can help you gentlemen with?" The soft voice asks, as they both turn their heads. A girl, about 20, stands behind the counter. Her brown hair is pulled up in a ponytail, as she smiles warmly to them. "Oh Roy, what are you doing here?"

"Hey Misty, just bringing in a new recruit." Roy looks back at Zach, who is browsing the wall of 9mm's.

"Oh well I will let Rally know that you are here, I am sure she will be glad to help." She takes a quick look over the young cop as she walks to the back. Roy walks over to Zach as he places a hand on his shoulder, "Odd place, isn't it?" Zach chuckles as he glances over at him, "No, perfectly normal for a gun shop to be run by a 20 something girl."

"She isn't the owner," Roy says as he turns to look behind him. "No," a slender woman walks up to them as she extends her hand, "I'm the owner. Rally Vincent." Zach clasps her hand as he gives it a quick shake, "Zach Bennet," he looks over at Roy, "I'll be working in homicide."

"Roy, you didn't tell me you were getting a rookie! Who ended up leaving?" Rally smiles at Zach as she lets go, adjusting the ear muffs around her neck.

"Charles retired a month ago and we have been short handed ever since," He laughs as he looks over at Zach, "Now we just need to acclimate him to Chicago."

"Well you came to the right place!" Rally smiles at Roy as she glances over to Zach, "Now, what kind of gun were you wanting?"

"I really..." Roy cuts him off before he can answer, "Why don't you let him try a few out." Rally rubs her chin as she looks at them both. "I think I can line a few up." She leads them to the front counter as she crawls behind the glass case. "OK, first we have the Glock 19, standard semi automatic pistol. 15 round clip, lightweight and very trustworthy." She lays the matte black pistol on the counter, dipping back below the counter, "Or would you prefer the Beretta M9? A little more weight, with an extended 17 round clip." The polished gunmetal pistol lies in next as she dips one more time, "Or my personal favorite, the CZ-75. 15 round clip, just the right amount of weight and force." She pulls the third gun out, placing it next in line. "Well... which would you like to try first?"

They walk to the back as Rally carries all three weapons to the shooting range. "I bet having your own shooting range helps drive sales." Zach looks at the 10 booth range, complete with targets and movable tracks. "It is a great place for people to test their weapons before taking them home, that way we know if any extra work is needed." She stops abruptly at the center booth, placing the guns in a row. "Here you are, and also a box of rounds to load them with." She smiles as she steps back with Roy, watching the recruit load the first weapon. "Alright, lets try the Glock..." He ejects the clip and begins to load it up, the soft click of metal on metal fills the quiet range. Rally looks over at Roy as she leans closer to him, "He does know how to shoot a gun, right?"

"I would assume so," He looks over at Zach as he loads the clip, cocking the chamber back, "He looks young, but he has been stationed in Columbus for 5 years." They pull their earmuffs on as he gestures a warning. He pulls the gun up as he lines up his sights, aiming for the floating targets chest. With a few pulls of the trigger he plants the rounds in a circular pattern in the center of the target, moving his aim up towards the head. In a matter of seconds he expels the emptied clip and places the gun on the counter as he looks back at Roy and Rally, "That wasn't too bad."

"Well, I guess that answers that question," Roy chuckles at Rally.

"Impressive, now lets move up to the Beretta."

A new target slides out to the 50 yard mark as he loads the clip into the gun, smiling down at it. With a quick aim, he plants the first five rounds into the center of the head, planting the remainder of the rounds in circle around it.

"Now he is just playing around," Rally gawks at him as she walks up to him. He places the gun on the counter as he starts to pick up the CZ-75. "OK, how do you like them so far?" He pulls his muffs off as he looks over at her, "Good. So far I am leaning towards the Beretta."

"Great choice, now on this one, make sure to keep your right arm straight to absorb the recoil..." She lifts his arm up, locking his elbow, "And make sure your left hand wraps around the base of the gun. This will stabilize it and reduce draw." He smiles softly as he looks over to her, "Thanks... I'll remember that."

"Now fire."

He pulls the trigger as the gun bounces gently, sending a straight shot for the neck of the target. Rally smiles as she lets go of his arm, "Good job, now keep firing." He holds his posture as he empties the clip in the same spot. He places the gun on the counter as he turns around. "Did that answer your questions?" Roy grins as he looks over at Rally, "I thought you did well, as long as you can tell the good guys from the bad."

"You have potential to be a great shot," Rally smiles as she picks up the guns one at a time, ejecting clips and pulling on the chambers for any last shots. "The question is, which do you prefer?"

Zach looks at the row of them as he plants his fingers on the Beretta, "I have to go with this one."

Rally smiles as she leaves it on the counter. "Well, I am a little disappointed you didn't go with the CZ, but not everyone loves them like I do." She leads them back to the register as she places two empty magazines and a holster on the counter. "Is this going to do it Roy?"

"Yeah, how much is the damage?" He looks back at Zach as he places the gun on the counter.

"Lets see, the gun, two magazines, the holster... all together would be $650.00, BUT..." She glances over at Zach, "I'll give him a special and make it the price of the gun."

Zach's eyes widen, "Wow, you really..."

"I insist, and besides," Rally winks, "All of the officers are required to shop and gets repairs only from my store."

"Well, I really appreciate it." Zach smiles as he pulls out his wallet. "Now, how much do I owe you."

Rally follows them out as she looks over at the dark green car, smiling softly. "Nice car, recruit." Zach, still fiddling with his holster looks over at it, then at her. "You like cars?"

"I have been called an enthusiast more than once." She smiles as she looks at Roy. "What year, a 73?"

"Spot on, everything is stock except the engine." Zach grins as he walks over to it, "I'll have to show you sometime."

"I would like that, recruit." Rally smiles as she walks towards the door. "Let me know how the gun is and if it needs adjusting." The door slams behind her as Zach looks over at Roy. "Well, that was unexpected..."

"She may be a woman," Roy crawls back into the driver seat of his cruiser, "But she knows her firearms." Zach gets into the driver side of the Datsun as he watches Roy back up, quickly following him back to the police station.