Every day on the beat brought new challenges and new goals, but nothing Sun Hill police station wasn't prepared for, or hadn't seen before. This was because they were a group of highly trained officers, and had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that pretty much all the crimes they dealt with were drunken brawls or petty robberies nowadays. That didn't mean anything. Why on earth would it?
Everyone was bored. Jack had been doing his best to get hold of something, anything, for them to handle but there was nothing that couldn't be cleared up by a different station or handled in less than a day. Jo and the rest of C.I.D were, for the first time in their lives, paperwork free. This on its own is a rare, if not unheard of occurrence, but couple that with the fact that there was literally no one in their cells, and you know something's up.
You don't get to become a copper by sitting around at a desk all day reading case notes, or walking around all day twirling a baton between your fingers. No, you got there through guts, determination and the good old fashioned copper's instinct in the case of PC Sally Armstrong.
But she wasn't the only one expecting some kind of attack or a sudden riot to break out, or even something more sinister such as a load of killings, in fact most of the nick was expecting something to happen. It had to, didn't it? The entirety of the underworld could not just pack up and move to pastures new, could it?
These were the exact thoughts running through Sally's head as she headed through the cast iron gates on a nippy Monday morning.
As Sally walked slowly across the asphalt in her usual attire, she found herself wondering if she would even have a job in the coming weeks if this kept up. Nothing had happened in three months. Nothing apart from drunken brawls anyway. After separating the people in question, that was just a whole load of paperwork. Sally did not become a cop to sit on her ass and write out endless streams of paperwork. If she wanted to do that she could have stayed at the desk job she once had.
She sighed slightly as she came towards the automatic doors, which opened with a gentle hiss. As she crossed the threshold she nodded towards Millie, who was sitting at reception toying with her wedding ring. Millie smiled and nodded back.
Ever since she and Rachel had gotten hitched, she had been like another version of Sally, confident, and not afraid to go against a superior officer or use her rapidly developing copper's instinct. Sally smiled slightly as she thought back to the civil union she had watched along with the rest of the nick, everyone minus max for some unknown reason was happy for them, with most of the women crying and a couple of the men too.
Sally walked slowly into the locker room and trudged over to her locker, grinning at Rachel who was wearing a satisfied but tired expression on her face.
"What's up? Not enough sleep lately, Sarge?" Sally called and with an amused expression on her face added, "You and Millie have a good time last night?"
"Something like that…" Mumbled Rachel as she rubbed her eyes with her knuckles. "I'm missing the times were I got a full night's sleep."
"Well that's the fun of being newlyweds I guess. Cheer up, it's not like you need to be awake to do this job anymore." Sally sad pointedly.
"Fair point." Replied Rachel as she walked over to the door. "See you in the morning briefing slash pep talk."
"'k." Sally replied just as the door swung shut behind Rachel.
As Sally bundled her jacket into her locker and checked her makeup in the nearby mirror, she noted the footsteps coming up behind her. Sally jumped slightly at the shoulder on her hand, but smiled nonetheless at the person it belonged to.
"Hey. You think we're actually going to get something to do today?" Asked Beth, the bored tone in her voice reflecting exactly how Sally felt.
"Who knows?" Sally replied as she turned around to face the officer. "They night as well give us the next year off, or call us in when they need us to stop drunks from smashing windows."
Beth gave a hollow laugh. "Yeah…"
Sally turned around again and grabbed her bullet proof jacket, shrugging it up over her shoulders and zipping it up. As she checked her equipment she nodded at the door.
"You ready?" She asked Beth who was applying more lipstick.
"I guess. It's not like I have to be ready for anything in particular."
As Sally and Beth entered the meeting room they immediately noticed something was different. The room appeared to be charged with excitement, even Rachel was alert, though that might have had something to do with Millie sitting next to her. Several officers appeared to be bouncing on their chairs like children with excitement, while others stared opened mouthed at Gina and Jack, who were standing next to each other beside the projector at the front of the room.
Sally also noted that every single officer in the room appeared to be crammed into the room.
"What's going on?" Beth and Sally asked simultaneously.
"A group of officers are being attached to program we are running with the Californian police department." Gina said, motioning them both to chairs.
"How do you mean 'attached?'" Sally asked as she and Beth took a seat next to Tony. "And what program?"
"A group of officers is being sent over to California on an all expenses paid trip for a month, so that the Californian police department can learn how we do things over here." Jack replied.
"Why don't they come over here?" Beth asked pointedly.
"Because the other boroughs don't have room and taking officers from the CPD over to here would stretch them to breaking point, they are short staffed as it is." Replied Gina.
"So who's going?" Millie asked, staring at Gina and Jack with excitement.
"We are going to be sending Sally, Rachel, Beth, Millie, Max, Smithy, myself and Tony over." Gina replied. "But I must warn you, we will be required to carry a gun with you at all times. We are going to be taking shooting lessons when we get over there."
"Why?" Sally asked.
"It's the law. All officers must carry weapons." Jack replied.
"We set off to the airport in a coach at 7am tomorrow morning. You have today to get ready. Alright you lot, shift!"
There was a screeching of chair legs on the floor as everyone got up, and several disgruntled people muttering about how they should be the ones to go. Just as Sally made to leave Smithy grabbed her arm.
"PC Armstrong, I trust that you will keep yourself in check while you are over there?" Smithy muttered, staring at her with a piercing gaze.
"When do I not?" She replied, pulling out of his grip and running to catch up with Beth.