Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Work (07/27/06)
TITLE: The Rookie
By Ruth Neilson
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Our undercover operatives have pinpointed a location where foreign women are entering the country. The human trafficking has to stop, and it is my job to try to stop it.
I know everyone I am working with tonight, except for one--a young, fresh out of the academy, rookie. He has the makings of a good cop in this department, but I worry if he’s going to be able to stomach what we see. I have to know that he’s going to be okay tonight.
“Derek, we need to talk.”
He looks up, his blue eyes still innocent of everything this job entails. Sure, he has the book knowledge, but that does not mean he understands any of it. I smile faintly at the thought. I don’t want to ruin his innocence, but...right now, that didn’t matter.
I sit down in one of the hard plastic chairs that litter the room and motion for him to do the same. Uneasily, he does the same.
“You have the book knowledge of what is about today.” He nods once. And I lean forward, resting my elbows on my navy blue pants. “Are you nervous?” I ask. The answer to this question is important to me.
Nervousness is a good sign. It means that he’ll stay on his game.
“Not really. I know what is expected of me. All I have to do is watch your back and make sure that everyone gets out of there safely.”
I nod once. His answer bothers me. He’s cocky—with this line of work, that’s a dangerous thing. There’s no time to dwell on it ‘cause we have work to do. I hope Derek pays attention ‘cause his role is more than he thinks.
We are all silent on the ride to the warehouse district. Well, all but Derek. He is still cocky, still doesn’t understand the need for quiet in these few precious moments. I have changed out of my uniform into street clothes, so that I will be able to slip in among those that are being brought in. I don’t even realize that the van has come to a stop until Danny nudges me and I get out.
This is always the most dangerous part of the job. I sneak into the warehouse and spot the contact. He nods once to me as I blend into the crowd of women. This is my job.
A hand clamps down on my arm, with a bruising grip. The person drags me into a darkened room.
I scream...but no one comes for me.
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