Disclaimer: I don't own the characters of Adam-12, but just appreciate the opportunity to create a new story using the men of the LAPD and even the brief use of two paramedics from Emergency. Hope you enjoy the ride.

Riding Solo

Chapter One

Buttoned-up collar, tie in place, gun belt cinched, and sharp shooting medal and badge pinned on ... Los Angeles Police Officer Badge Number 744 was dressed and ready for the day. He closed his locker and turned for the door.

Another officer stepped around the end row of lockers, "Hey, Pete, where's Jim this morning?" Jerry Woods asked.

"Morning, Jerry. He took Jean on a weekend trip down to San Diego."

"Nice. Any special occasion?" Jerry messed around with his tie.

"I believe they're celebrating their five-year anniversary."

"Sounds great. So, what are you gonna do for a partner?"

Pete gathered up his brief case and then the two men walked out right behind one another headed for roll call. "I guess I'll find out in a few minutes. Why, are you looking to escape your partner?"

"Who are you kidding? Brinkman can't live without me."

Both men hustled in and sat in two open seats in the second row. The room was filled with over twenty officers dressed in blue. Mac was up front shuffling through a stack of papers. The noise level was modest, but the Sergeant quickly quieted the place with a loud clearing of his throat.

"OK, men, let's get started. I just need to review what's been happening on our streets. We are still having a rash of 459's in the West Hollywood neighborhood. Most burglaries have occurred during the day when no one is home. The thefts seem to be focused on big-ticket items like stereos and televisions. It's a "crash and grab" scenario with back windows and doors being the common source of entry.

Next, we are dealing with a run of purse snatching incidents in Griffith Park. The common target seems to be young mothers who can't leave their children. I want to see some extra patrols through the park.

Last, but not least, we have some smaller wildfires still burning in the San Gabriel Mountains. We may have some areas with reduced visibility from the smoke blowing through. This could lead to some traffic issues. Ok, any questions?"

Ed Wells spoke up, "Do we have any leads on the burglars or the purse snatchers?"

"Good question. No line on the 459's, but they are suspicious of a possible gang connection with the purse snatching reports and wonder if it's an initiation thing."

Mac started rattling off the pairings for the day and ended with Brinkman and Woods. "Grant, you take this tour on the bike and Malloy, I have you signed up for an L-car today. Be careful out there."

Jerry looked at Pete and said, "Riding solo for the day, I see. That should make for a quiet day."

Pete glanced at Jerry and thought; Sometimes quiet is a good thing especially with you. Pete thought Jim was a talker, but he couldn't hold a candle to Jerry.

"Maybe we can meet up for lunch."

"Yeah, sure. Let's see how the day goes."

The men followed each other out of the meeting room with a quick stop at the arsenal to sign out their shotguns.

Pete loaded his cruiser with his gear and settled in L-10 for the day shift.

As he pulled out of the police garage he grabbed the mike and said, "This is L-10, clear for AM shift."

Pete started his patrol with a pass through Griffith Park. It was still a bit early in the morning to have much activity in the playground areas. All was quiet at this point. Pete continued west and made his first traffic stop a short while later on the entrance ramp to Ventura Freeway. It was there that a pickup truck lost a tire from his bed that landed in the middle of the roadway causing cars to swerve. First, he radioed in the road hazard stop. Then he parked with his flashers on just a few feet behind the tire to redirect the entering cars along the left shoulder to safety miss the object. The service station worker appreciated the help and got the wheel off the road and loaded it into the back of his vehicle.

After Pete started to patrol again, he thought; one crisis averted.

In the quiet of the squad Pete reflected on his partner. I wonder what Jim is up to with Jean. Maybe he took her deep-sea fishing. San Diego has a great reputation for that. He shook his head. I doubt she'd do it. That's something Jim and I should do.

I might just have to stop over at Jim's mother-in-law's house to see Jimmy while they're gone. Maybe I can get a hot meal and some time with my godson.

The radio sparked to life, "1-Adam-24, there is a possible purse-snatcher in Griffith Park near the merry-go-round, handle code 3." Brinkman voiced, "1-Adam-24, roger."

Pete responded, "This is L-10, I'll backup 1-Adam-24." He sped through the northeast corner of the park watching for any suspects possibly fleeing the area.

Woods radioed that Brinkman was in foot pursuit of one suspect running west at the Park Center playground. Woods gave a supplemental: One Caucasian male, 5'8" - 5'10", blonde hair, 170 lbs, wearing tan shorts and pale blue shirt. Jerry then turned his attention to the victim in the snatching incident. The woman was quite frantic, but Jerry had her and her toddler sit down on a close park bench. "Ma'am, take a deep breath. Now, when you're ready, go ahead and share your account of what happened." Jerry had his pen and pad ready to jot down the report.

In the meantime, Pete knew the suspect was headed in his direction. He positioned his squad to block the exit from the parking lot and road leaving the Park Center playground. He radioed in his location to dispatch, then propped open his driver's side door and stood up to scout out the area. Seconds later, the suspect darted out of the bushes, still carrying a brown purse. The young man spotted the black-and-white ahead closing off his exit route then rashly decided to toss the bag into some tall bushes. Then, he changed his escape plan by dashing into an open grassy area to the south of the lot. The less-than-athletic Brinkman struggled to close on the suspect and was just barely able to see him toss the purse into the greenery. With fresh legs, Pete took up the chase. He made up some ground rapidly, then as the suspect slowed going up a small hill, he closed the gap and dove for his legs. Pete just caught the suspect's ankles and brought him down. He quickly subdued him and snapped on the handcuffs. As he pulled the man to his feet, Brinkman arrived with the purse in hand, a torn sleeve, and a trickle of blood running down his right cheek.

Still slightly winded, Pete asked, "What happened to you, Brinkman?"

"The guy threw the bag into a THORN bush! It didn't want to give it up."

"Well, being that you're injured and all, I'll walk your prisoner back to your squad for you."

"You're such a pal, Pete." Bob shook his head feeling embarrassed.

Both officers marched back to Adam-24 with the suspect in tow. Jerry spotted them coming and radioed in a code four after reassuring the victim to sit tight for a few more minutes.

"Jerry, do you want to read him his rights?"

"I got it, Pete. Thanks for the backup." He helped load the man into the car and then proceeded with the Miranda rights as the door sat open.

Pete then handed Bob his handkerchief. "You might want to have that wound looked at," Pete stated with a smirk.

"Yeah, yeah!"

Jerry finished with the suspect and joined Pete and Bob at the rear of the squad. "What happened to you, Partner?" Brinkman stood there with the hanky pressed to his cheek.

Pete interjected, "He was mauled by a bush." Still with a big grin, "You better get him checked out."

"Brinkman, would you show the victim the bag to confirm it belongs to her?

"Ok, Jerry." He made his way over the bench where the mother and child waited.

Pete cruised some side streets on the west side of LA after a brief lunch with Woods and Brinkman at the station. The area was a collection of lower-income, single-family homes and clusters of two or three-story apartments. Though it was busy, the day seemed to be dragging on. After turning the corner at Vermont and 43rd, Pete caught a glimpse of a young boy possibly crying. He looked about eight years old, and appeared to be dragging a brown strap as he wandered down the sidewalk. With the radio quiet, Pete pulled over to the curb and parked, then stepped out to check on the boy. Pete heard the child sniffling as he came around the rear of the car and approached him. "Hi, I'm Officer Malloy. What's your name, son?"

Acting a bit shy he lowered his gaze to the ground as he answered, "My name is Tommy Olson."

"OK. Tommy, can I help you with something?" Pete kneeled down in front of the boy trying to be less intimidating.

The blue-eyed and brown-haired boy rubbed his fist across his damp cheek as he stood in front of Pete. He sadly gazed down at the empty brown leash he still held tight in his grasp. The boy wore a white plaid shirt and slightly tattered tan pants. He looked up at Pete and mumbled, "I lost Buster."

"When did you lose Buster?"

"Just a few minutes ago."

"Buster is your dog, right?"

"Yes. Sir."

Pete put a hand on Tommy's shoulder. "This is what we are going to do. I will radio in Buster's description so all the officers can keep a look out for him. Then, you and I can walk around the neighborhood together."

Tommy's eyes brightened up with a new hope of finding his lost buddy.

"Can you tell me a little more about Buster and what he looks like?"

"He's a beagle. He has big ears and a long tail. He's tan and white and this big." Tommy held his hand about a foot high off the ground showing Pete the size of the dog. "He has a red collar too."

Pete opened up the passenger side door and grabbed out the mike. "This is L-10, code 6 at the 1100 block of 43rd Street. Assisting in the search for one tan and white beagle named Buster wearing a red collar.

Pete locked up the squad and joined Tommy. "So, where was the last place you saw Buster?"

Tommy pointed back toward the alley. "That way."

"I guess that's where we should start looking then." The two walked past a small rail fence along the corner two-story home. They turned to travel down the alley between the buildings. Garbage cans and shrubs bordered the gravel-lined alley. The area was quiet with little activity for the early afternoon. "How did you lose Buster?" Pete asked trying to keep the boy talking.

"He got scared by a loud noise and the leash broke." He showed Pete the end of the leash where the snap tore away.

"How old are you, Tommy?"

"I'm nine years old, Sir."

"You can call me Pete." The boy glanced over at Pete and nodded his head.

Pete was impressed with how Tommy was handling the crisis. "Where were you when Buster broke free?"

"Just up here." Tommy pointed toward a black Pinto parked a few yards up the alley.

Pete wondered how far the dog really might have run. Maybe he found something to distract him, or he could be sniffing around nearby, or maybe he just ran home. Many of the backyards were fenced and limited the dog from even getting inside.

"Is your home close by?"

"Yep."

"Tommy, could Buster have run home?"

"I don't think so. He was running in the other direction when he got scared."

"Tommy, you should keep calling to Buster." The boy was walking on one side of the alley calling out to the dog while Pete walked on the other side of the alley looking for any openings in the fence or an open gate.

Pete spotted an open chain-linked gate to a two-story apartment. The white stucco with red-trimmed building was run-down and even looked vacant with some boarded-up windows on both levels. Pete walked through the gate into the backyard of the building calling to Buster. He noticed some fast food wrappers littered along the broken cement path to the building.

In the meantime, Tommy continued to peek around bushes in the alley near an overflowing dumpster.

As Malloy walked up to the building he saw a red-framed screen door propped open. Inside the building was a red metal stairwell to the second floor. At the bottom of the stairs was a door labeled Apt. 2B. He noticed the bottom panel in the door was broken and had enough space for a beagle to possibly slip through. He tried the knob, and it turned easily. Pete pushed open the door and called out, "Anyone home?" As he stepped into the main room of the apartment he heard a jingle. Could it be some dog tags? The room had plain off-white walls with only modest light breaking through the boarded up windows. A dilapidated brown couch and small coffee table sat in the center of a filthy tan carpet. He saw a closed-door straight ahead and a similar one to his left. Across the room was a narrow doorway to what looked like a kitchen.

"Buster?" Pete called again.

Up popped a beagle face from a small pile of garbage on the kitchen floor. The dog trotted over to the officer, and Malloy squatted down to pet the animal. He noted the red collar and the snap dangling from the buckle. "Hello Buster. Someone has been looking for you."

Just then the door to the right of the kitchen flung open. Two men came charging out. One guy was a shaggy blond with a dark mustache down to his chin and weighing around two hundred pounds dressed in a busy open-collar shirt buttoned only a few inches above his waist. A large silver belt buckle with a blue peace sign was at the top of the bell-bottom jeans he wore. The other man, about fifteen pounds lighter than the first, wore a white t-shirt, gray zippered jacket, and black jeans.

The blonde yelled as he came through the door first, "Who the hell is in here!" He spotted the man crouched over the dog, but still hadn't seen his Los Angeles police badge.

Pete's gut tightened as the situation unfolded. His left hand was on the dog, and his right was on his weapon. "Hey, I was just looking for this lost dog." Pete spoke cautiously, still not knowing the circumstances.

The second man shouted with the recognition of the uniform, "He's a cop!"

Feeling threatened, Pete stood and went to pull his weapon when a third man busted through the door to his left with a pistol in his outstretched hand pointed at his chest. "Go ahead, Pig. Draw!" The man garbled out between quick breaths. Pete froze as he looked past the gun into the taller man's bloodshot eyes.

He submitted and slowly raised his hands. "OK! OK!" Pete's next thought went to Tommy who was just outside in the alley. He couldn't have him walk in. He had to get the dog out of here. Just then, Pete heard the boy call out for Buster in the distance. "I don't know what's going on here. I just need to get this dog back home." Buster seemed startled as well and gazed up at Pete.

The third man acted agitated and under the influence of something. He waved the gun at the officer. "Sure, I'll send this dog home!" He hauled off and kicked the beagle and sent the squealing pup flying across the floor toward the door.

Pete bit his lip as he stared at the barrel of the gun. Under his breath he said, "That wasn't necessary." Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the dog scrambled to get up and darted out the door. Thank God. Go to Tommy. Go home.

"Jay, get his gun!" The guy in the t-shirt and jacket pulled Pete's weapon from the holster. Pete suddenly took notice of some drug paraphernalia in plain site. On the coffee table sat a pipe and matches.

As Jay stuffed the gun in his waistband, he asked, "Derrick, what are we going to do with him?" The blonde grabbed Pete's arm and yanked him toward the couch. "Have a seat, Cop! I got to think for a minute."

Hoping that these were stupid felons, Pete started to talk, "Hey guys, nothing illegal has happened yet. Let's just go our separate ways."

Jay, the nervous one, said, "Could it be that simple?"

The big man spoke up as he stood over Pete on the couch still with a twitchy gun in hand. "I'll take care of him."

"Hold your horses, Bert!" The blonde paced up and down the floor for a minute rubbing his chin as he thought.

Jay peered out between the boards in the window. He watched a young boy hug the small gimpy dog and tie on a strap to the collar. The boy paused and looked around as if waiting for someone. After a few moments he finally wandered down the alley. "The boy and dog are gone."

"Don't move, Cop!" Derrick pointed to Bert to watch over Pete then called over Jay, and the two went into the kitchen to talk. The blonde seemed to be the one in charge, and he suggested a way to dispose of their problem. "We won't be able to come back here to the apartment, but we will have time to clear it." Derrick looked at Jay and said, "Get the junk. I'll tell Bert."

Jay whispered to Derrick, "Are you sure about this?"

"Would you rather go to prison?"

Jay shook his head and quickly retreated to the bedroom.

Derrick walked around the couch and went to whisper into the big man's ear the plan while Jay collected what they needed.

Pete felt the pressure to move and made a break for the kitchen window, but Bert reached over with his long arms and yanked him back down roughly onto the couch. Pete felt trapped, but at least he was relieved Tommy and Buster were safe.

Jay returned to the room then he placed a combination of items on the coffee table, which included a rubber tourniquet, a large spoon, a small brown vial, syringes, needles, and a lighter.

Before the items registered in Pete's brain such that he knew their plan, Derrick demanded, "Hold'em Bert!" At that moment, the big man reached around Malloy with a bear hug hold that immobilized both of Pete's arms just below the shoulders. Jay tapped a fresh pile of white powder onto the large metal spoon, flicked his lighter open, ignited it, and then held the flame below the spoon.

Pete started to struggle as he wrapped his head around what was going on. "What the heck?"

Derrick spoke up, "Relax, Malloy! Enjoy the ride!" He roughly grabbed Pete's right hand and twisted it so his palm was up. With his other hand he took hold of Pete's cuff and yanked it till it tore and then pulled it above his elbow exposing his veins.

"No!" Pete blurted out. The realization of what the men planned to do to him brought about complete panic. Pete's breath quickened and his heart pounded. He tried with all his might to wrestle himself out of Bert's grasp, but the man outweighed him by at least fifty pounds.

"Don't fight it, Cop. This is a much better way to go."

Jay drew up the heated liquefied heroin into the syringe. "It's ready."

"Jay, help me put on the tourniquet." Derrick held tight to Malloy's wrist while the tourniquet was strapped above his elbow. "Wow, look at those veins, boys. Nice and clean!"

Jay then handed the syringe to Derrick.

"No! Don't!" Malloy cried out.

Pete continued to struggle and kicked over the coffee table sending everything on it flying.

Derrick cranked Pete's arm straight out then made a quick prick of the needle into the raised and pumped-up vein with the officer's blood pressure sky high.

He released the tourniquet then pushed the high dose into the vein and within seconds the drug started to take over. Pete felt the initial sting of the needle, then in less than a minute an overwhelming rush of warmth spread throughout his body. His mouth was almost instantly dry and his arms and legs felt like dead weight. His whole body relaxed, and he could barely hold his eyes open. Bert felt no fight left in the man and released him from his tight hold. Pete sank into the couch cushions in his drug-induced state. Derrick grabbed Malloy's chin and looked into his eyes and noted the constricting pupils, which were an obvious sign of the drug at work.

"Ok, let's get this place cleaned out. Don't leave anything that might point to us." The men divided up between the various rooms to clear the place. Pete lay like a limp doll on the couch with his heavy eyelids barely cracked open.

All three men had gathered up the remains of drug paraphernalia and were ready to leave. Jay looked to Derrick. "Are we just going to leave him here?"

"Yeah, that's the plan."

"Is he going die?"

"What do you think?" Derrick looked at Jay like he was an idiot.

Big Bert spoke up, "How much did you give him?"

"Maybe 30mg got shot. Too bad we had to waste so much on him." Derrick stated as the businessman among them.

The three split out the back and down the alley.

Left behind in the stripped down apartment was the semi-conscious officer. Malloy was zapped of any energy or strength. He wasn't feeling any pain, but the effort to breathe became more and more difficult. His body was telling him to sleep, but a loud voice in his head shouted, "Get up! Get out of here!" He fought to open his eyes, but it felt like bricks were weighing them down. Is it worth fighting? It seemed like someone began to shake him. A voice yelled... "Get up!" Pete battled to open them again and managed to crack them slightly. The room looked distorted... and blurry... and started to spin... then his stomach tightened and bile rose in his dry throat. Again, he heard someone scream at him, "Get out of here or you'll die!" He tried to cover his ears with his hands, but they just wouldn't move enough.

Pete slowly turned his head toward the door where he thought the voice came from. He slurred out, "Jim?" His mind was fighting with his body to respond. "Go," he said to himself. Sudden muscle spasms swept through his extremities this time. He leaned forward on the couch with the intention to stand, but his legs gave out, and he collapsed to his hands and knees. He struggled for a deep breath as his lips started to turn a bluish tinge. By pure willpower he managed to crawl to the damaged red door and grasped the knob to open it.

Again the voice rang out of his friend and partner, "Pete, get up!" With one last push, the fading Malloy dragged himself up; he staggered out through the opened screen door into the backyard before falling flat on the cement sidewalk.