The scream of tires, a silent beat, and then the unmistakeable sound of two cars colliding, metal folding and twisting. Officer Kopalski winced involuntarily before the training kicked in. He keyed his shoulder mike. Please let there be an officer on scene. "TC 59-3 reporting a collision, heard... about a block east. Please advise, over."
He released the transmit button, and furiously waved the uptown traffic on. It was hot underneath his protective gear. The white gloves seemed to add insult to injury. The first cool autumn day in New York, and everyone could feel it but him. The sweat trickling down his lower back made him antsy. "C'mahn!" he shouted at an airport limo, thumping the side panel as it eased past him. The professionals ought to know better.
The traffic smoothed out up 3rd Avenue, and he staunched the flow, letting 59th Street traffic trickle west. No response from Tak, which was a good sign. There was probably an officer on scene-- Kopalski thought Murray worked that grid-- and the collision was probably half cleared. He scanned the sidewalks, found only pedestrians bustling towards the subway, carrying their huge Bloomingdale bags. All's well.
Kopalski tallied the duty roster in his mind as a bus trundled by. Another twelve days pulling traffic duty, and he'd get his blue citation, the last citation he needed before he could apply for a rolling unit. Rookies and Disciplinaries always pulled the shit detail-- tunnel clearance, beat patrol and traffic, where casualties were the highest. The blue citation was your ticket out, and beyond the rolling units-- desk sergeant, admin, SWAT, detective...
"TC 59-3, report, over," his radio squawked. Shit. Kopalski briefly flirted with the notion of comm failure. "Sorry, Tak, I can't hear you, you're breaking up..." But it would go on his record, and count against the citation. A chill traced up the rivulet of sweat along his spine, but he dutifully keyed the mike.
"TC 59-3, please be advised, your contingent status upgrade to acting officer grid 60-2, confirm, over."
"Confirm upgrade, Tak." Upgrade. Like he was getting a promotion. Fucking Murray. "Please advise on relief for grid 59-3."
"59-3, relief inbound, no debrief, repeat, no debrief. Grid 60-2 at stage one, please confirm."
"Confirm, stage one," Kopalski replied, hating himself. He was stalling. "Request transpo to grid 60-2 at--"
"Transpo unavailable. Acting officer grid 60-2, we are confirmed. Grid 60-2 stage one, we are confirmed."
In other words, Kopalski mused, get your ass over there. Kopalski extricated himself from the traffic swirling around him, giving a last wave to the impatient horde heading uptown on 3rd Ave. They were on their own.