City in Fear

Written by Tiffany Ball

I snapped my pictures of the crime scene in Collington Square. One minute two people were alive, the next they were dead, stopped by a sniper's bullet.

"We've got something on the roof," a uniform told Bayliss. He and Pembleton started to go and motioned for us to follow.

We found a game of Hangman. I took my pics of it then let Brodie in so he could videotape it.

We came back to headquarters and I developed my shots. After giving them to Bayliss, I went to the coffee room and grabbed my bottle of juice from this morning.


At 4 pm, I was finishing off my sandwich in the coffee room, when another call came in. Two more people were shot down in Highland Town. I stopped by the AV den, grabbed my camera and ran after Brodie.

We found another game of Hangman. I took my shots of it. Same word, another letter added. Suddenly, Brodie said softly, "Giardello and Russert just showed up." Can you say RED BALL? Oh boy!

Back at the squadroom, Captain Russert gave everyone the skinny on this case. I noticed that even second shift is here. After I gave my pics to Bayliss, he tells me to find a place and rest. It's gonna be a long few days.

"Okay," I said. "I'll be in the den."

At 12:10 am, a rested Brodie and myself were in the coffee room for the umpteenth time when we heard Pembleton yell, "Brodie, McMahon! We need you!"

"Another shooting," we said together.

The scene was in Mt. Vernon, outside the Walters Art Gallery. I took pics of the victims then went up to the Washington Monument, with Brodie on my heels. There was another game of Hangman. I took my shots. I swear, I must be going through at least two rolls of film. Oh well, the department pays for it, so why am I bitching?

Back at the squadroom, I gave my pics to Bayliss and he said, "Why don't you go home for the night? Lewis can take you home."

A few minutes later, Meldrick drove me to the pier. When we got to the boat, he put his arms around me and whispered, "I've been wanting to do this all night." He kissed me then, his lips gentle and sweet. *You and me both* I thought. I went inside and, after locking up and closing the curtains, went to my bedroom and lay down on my bed. Putting my head down did it, I was out like a light.

The opening of the sliding glass door woke me up seven hours later. Mike walked in, looking utterly exhausted.

"Do I even want to know?" I asked.

"It was William Mariner," he told me. "Just an ordinary guy who went nuts over this game of Hangman and finally blew his brains out."

"Ouch," I muttered. I was about to put him to bed when the phone rang. Mike got to it. I heard him ask, "Is Moya needed?" Then, he said, "We'll be right there."

I dressed quickly as Mike explained that there was another sniper shooting. I grabbed my coat and we were out the door in seconds.

The scene was kinda gruesome. Three people were shot. I snapped my pictures, catching a glimpse of Meldrick and Mike questioning a guy in a jogging suit. I whipspered to Brodie, "There's something about that guy that gives me the creeps." He nodded and we kept working.

A half-hour after I developed my shots and gave them to Pembleton, I walked into the coffee room to find Meldrick looking displeased.

"What's up?" I asked.

"That Alex Roby," he ranted mildly. "I tell him not to talk to reporters and what do I see on the HQ steps."

*Alex Roby is the jogger from this morning* I thought. "Alex, talking to the press," I guessed.

"I told him that talking to reporters would interfere with the on- going investigation. I told him that at the crime scene." I watched him walk away, muttering angrily.

I walked back to the AV den with Brodie, when all of a sudden, I remembered. "Oh man! I gotta pick up Cat from the airport today. She's flying in for a visit."

"What time?" he asked.

"Her flight comes in at 3:00 pm."


At 2:30 pm, I drove to the airport. Gee, Mike and Meldrick insisted that I wear a vest and take one for Catriona.

At 3:05, Cat ran through the gate to greet me. We hugged and I filled her in on the case.

"A sniper!" she cried softly. "Oh man, my timing sucks!" I chuckled and gathered her stuff and we took off. After grabbing a quick lunch at a nearby restaurant, we drove back into town.

On our way to headquarters, I told her that Gee, Mike and Meldrick were insisting that she stay in the Homicide squad room until this case was closed.

"I hope there's a place where I can sleep," she said.

"Ye can sleep in the AV den," I told her. "Brodie keeps a sleeping bag in there."

As we drove through Highland Town, I heard gunshots. I instinctively pulled over and turned the car off. Cat and I ducked down just as my window was shattered. Cat screamed. I clutched her hand and prayed that we would make it through this alive.

I don't remember how much time passed, but the next thing I knew, Frank Pembleton pulled me out of the car and walked me over to a Cavalier. Bayliss did the same with Cat. She seemed in shock.

Gee came over to us and asked, "Are you girls all right?"

"Yeah," I whispered. Cat nodded shyly.

"Stay here. That's an order." I nodded and he was gone.

Later, back at the squad room, Cat slept in the den. Brodie and I had a late dinner. After a few hours, we saw Alex Roby being led out in handcuffs

. "He did it?" I asked Megan Russert. She nodded. "I knew there was something about him," I muttered.


Mike finally took Cat and me home to the boat. She collapsed on the sofa. Mike went to his room and I went to mine. We were all asleep in minutes. An atomic bomb could have gone off and we wouldn't have cared.