In the Shadows of Dryden

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CHAPTER 3 - Working place

CHAPTER 3 - Working place

The Police Station was located right next to the Fire Station. The building had blue and black bricks with small windows up to the third floor. From there on, the bricks gave way to thick tinted blue glass all the way up to the sixth floor. A gold-rimmed “Police Department” was written vertically on the entire left side of the building.

Sean parked the car in one of the detective parking spaces and headed inside to the information desk.

“Good morning! I’m Sean Minett, the new Detective.” Sean showed his ID card to the information clerk lady.

“G’morning Sir! Just a second, please.” She quickly typed his ID information on her computer and after a few seconds, she picked up the phone and dialed a number. “Boss, your new Detective is here… Yes, of course. Will do.” She glanced up at Sean, giving his card back as she returned the phone back to its base. “Please, follow down to the end of this corridor. Sheriff Le’Blanc awaits you in his office.” The clerk gave him a smile, waiting for him to leave as she got a few papers to sort. Sean retrieved his card and headed to the sheriff’s office, knocking on the door.

“Come in!” Said a man with a heavy French accent.

After opening the door, he found that not only the sheriff but two other men were inside. One of them was munching on some gum and holding a black cowboy hat in his hand. He had a nice bronze tan and was definitely the shortest one of the three. The second man was a bit taller and about twenty years older. He had a bald head with a long salt and pepper beard and was sitting behind the desk with a coffee mug in hand. It seemed obvious which one of them was sheriff Le’Blanc. His tired light green orbs conveying his many years of experience ensured that he’d seen everything there was to be seen at his line of work. The third man was sitting cross-legged on a comfortable leather chair in front of the sheriff. He was easily the tallest one of the three. His business grey suit and strong features made him a very charismatic person.

The first person to come and greet Sean was the guy munching on a gum.

“Hola mi amigo! I’m detective Tobias Russo.”

The middle-aged man had gotten up and was standing right behind Russo.

“You must be Detective Minett. I’m sheriff Isaac Le’Blanc. Welcome to the team!” Said the old man extending his hand to Sean.

“Yes, I’m Sean Minett. Thank you! I’m glad to be part of the force, Sir.” The two men shook hands as the sheriff pointed his thumb at Russo.

“Russo here is gonna be your new partner.” Before Le’Blanc could say anything else, Russo started talking.

“Finally!! I was wondering when I would be paired with someone more my age than my last partner. Old man, Borgabon couldn’t keep up with me.”

“Be nice, Russo. Detective Borgabon is very sick but he still comes to work every day.” The sheriff frowned at him like a father educating his own child. The little interaction between them gave the impression that the sheriff was well accustomed to the younger detective’s ways of talking.

“Sorry boss, I didn’t mean to be mean.” Russo scratched his head with a disconcerted face looking down to his cowboy hat.

Le’Blanc waved Russo off and turned to the suited man in the room. He was standing by the desk with his hands inside his pockets waiting for his time to introduce himself. His dark green eyes watched the scene without showing any emotion.

“Hello! I’m Akilious Darkhorn, the Mayor of this adorable town. Glad to see one more face join our police department. Hope you like our ever-growing town.” The man, that had his full beard nicely trimmed shaping his strong chiseled face, gave him a perfect smile. It was much like those handsome actors on the tv-commercials. Sean thought it was very unusual that a guy that looked to be in his late twenties, or early thirties, would hold a position of so much power as a town’s Mayor. He placed that thought in the far back of his brain, shrugging it off.

“Hello, Mr. Mayor! My apologies if I look a bit surprised, I wasn’t expecting to meet you here in the department.”

“Oh, Mayor Akilious comes here often for a cup of coffee with me.” Said Le’Blanc with a proud smile. Darkhorn replied with a grin.

“Indeed! I like to come over every now and then to see how things are progressing. My office is right across the parking lot from here.” He went back to the chair he was sitting on before, grabbed a wooden cane, and came back toward them. “As always, Isaac, it was a pleasure to come over for a cup of coffee while we talked. Please, keep me posted and let me know if anything else is needed.”

“Thank you Mayor Akilious! Will do!” Akilious patted the sheriff on the shoulder with a light smile on his face, nodded to the two detectives, and went off the door.

Le’Blanc closed the door and looked at the detectives in front of him.

“Russo, you need to learn to hold your tongue in front of the Mayor. I know he’s a young lad like you but it doesn’t mean you can be disrespectful of a co-worker in front of him!”

“Lo siento, lo siento, boss! It’s not gonna happen again! I really didn’t know the old man was sick. I feel bad for him.” Russo pressed his cowboy hat to his chest in a mournful gesture.

“About that, I hope it’s nothing serious?” Sean interrupted the two with a worried face. The sheriff sighed, pressing his fingers over his forehead.

“He’s an old man in his 80s that refuses to retire. Right now, he’s only been working in the office but he will eventually have to retire. The poor man doesn’t want to worry about his lady so he hasn’t even mentioned to her that he’s got cancer.

“I understand his side. It must be a hard topic to talk about. Is he undergoing treatment?”

“Yeah... the treatment itself takes a lot out of him but, we will see.” Le’Blanc walked back to his desk. “Anyways… Russo, show your partner around and get him situated on the case.” He sat down, taking a file from the pile of files on his desk, and began taking notes on a small book. “Keep me posted on the case. Go!” The two detectives turned to head out of the sheriff’s office, letting the sheriff continue his work.

They both went down to the fifth floor and down the corridor to a room with two fully equipped desks inside.

“Hogar dulce hogar!” Said Russo when he opened the door.

“Russo, I can understand some Spanish but… what did you just say?”

“Oh, sorry amigo! I said ‘home sweet home’. This is our office.” He gestured to the room with his hand then suddenly checked his watch. “I hope you’re not a tea guy because… well, I guess it doesn’t really matter!” He shrugged. “It’s coffee time! Let’s go get a drink before we start going through those files.”

Sean couldn’t help to chuckle at his dork partner. He had a feeling that they would work really well together.

“Actually, I can drink both, but that rich flavored dark liquid is my favorite.” Sean gave a light pat on Russo’s shoulder and they both went down to the small kitchen of the building.

***

Dryden Town Hospital was located where the town bordered Needle’s forest and Witches’ forest, making it relatively close to Sean’s workplace. The hospital had been recently built and had a big area for the elderly patients to go exercise accompanied by the nurses. Its small parking lot was used exclusively for ambulances as they had two underground floors for visitors parking.

Diana went straight to the front desk of the hospital with her ID card in hand, ready to hand it to the information desk personnel.

“Good morning! What can I help you with today?” A joyful petite lady chirped behind the counter.

“Good morning! I’m Diana Minett, the new pathologist.” Diana motioned her ID card forward for the young lady to take with a smile. The petite girl took Diana’s ID as she kept on chirping while her slim fingers danced over the keyboard.

“Oh, hello! I’m Danielle Fisher. We were informed that you would be coming. I work here as a nurse. Pleasure to meet you!” By the time she was done talking, she already had the ID card back over the counter for Diana. “Please, follow me. I will take you to Dr. Carter, the head doctor of the hospital.”

“Sure. Thanks miss Fisher.”

“You can call me Danielle. It’s all good. Pleasantries have a tendency to get in the way of work.” She giggled, winking at Diana.

“They sure do! Don’t they?!” Diana flashed her a smile. “Please, call me Diana. That will make things easier.” They smiled at one another as they walked to take the elevator up to the second floor. Danielle stopped in front of a door with a name plaque written ‘Dr. Thiago Carter’ and knocked softly on the door. After hearing a “Come in!”, she pushed the door open.

“Dr. Carter, this is Diana Minett, the new pathologist you were waiting for.”

“Thank you, Danielle! Please, sit down Dr. Diana.” Danielle left closing the door behind her while Diana went to sit on a nice comfortable armchair placed on a beautiful red carpet, in front of Dr. Carter’s desk.

The room was simply decorated, with three different 3D anatomy puzzles on the shelf behind him, some pictures on the wall, and some pots of flowers by a big window. Next to the window, was a sofa with a small table in front. His office gave her a very cozy feel.

“I’m happy to welcome you to our team, Dr. Diana. I’m Dr. Richard Carter, the acting head doctor of the hospital. My father, Dr. Thiago Carter, is the actual head doctor as you might have noticed his name on the office door. He should be back in a month or two.” He gave a pause to let Diana assimilate everything. “We’ve been needing an experienced pathologist here.”

“Thank you! How many pathologists do we have here?”

“We had a pathologist until three months ago. Her name was Marie Markov. Unfortunately, she had a heart attack while she slept. She lived alone so when we found her, it was too late to help her. You’re the only one now.” Explained Dr. Carter with a sad voice.

“Oh my God! Poor woman!” Diana gasped sympathetically.

Dr. Carter nodded and with a sigh, opened his desk drawer to grab some keys.

“Anyhow, I will show you to your lab.” He stood up, ready to give his new employee a small tour but stopped in place for a couple of seconds, his eyes looking sideways as if thinking on something. “Ah, I almost forgot it!” He opened another drawer in his desk and removed a file to hand over to Diana. “I would like you to start on this case right away. The police have been waiting for it. To be honest, they pester me almost on a daily basis about it. I can’t really say I don’t understand their side but it gets old and tiresome after a while.”

“Sure thing!” She grabbed the file glancing down over its contents as Richard walked to the door, keeping it open for her.

“Thank you!”

“This way, please.” Dr. Carter started to walk towards the elevator with Diana following close behind him. The walls were painted white and decorated with a light floral pattern here and there. Every corner they went by seemed to have a pot of some kind of flower, giving the place a more comfortable feel to it. The elevator was enormous but that was to be expected in such a big hospital.

The walk to the laboratory didn’t take long. It was located on the first underground floor, right before the garage. It was quite spacious with several pieces of equipment around.

“This is your laboratory. We just upgraded it with top of the line equipment. Let me know if you need anything else.” He walked through the laboratory, stopping right before a double metallic door on the other end of it.

“It looks really nice! As far as I can tell, it doesn’t seem to be missing any equipment.” Diana’s gaze went over the entire place, contemplating her workspace. “For such a small town, this sure is a big hospital.”

“I wanted to make sure everything was in order and at your disposal. Dryden has some small clinics but it really needed a big hospital for surgery and operations now that the town is getting an influx of people. The clinics don’t have the equipment to handle it.”

“I understand and I’m sure the people appreciate that. It’s important to have a well-equipped hospital to secure the needs of a growing town.

Dr. Carter smiled with a nod and lifted his left hand toward the nearest door.

“This is the morgue or ‘The Freezer’ as Marie Markov called it.” He pushed the door open to let Diana have a peek inside.

“Excuse me, Dr. Carter.” Both Dr. Carter and Dr. Diana turned to look at an apologetic Danielle. “Sorry to interrupt but the sheriff is upstairs asking for you.”

Dr. Carter let out a *Sigh* turning to his new employee.

“I’m sorry to cut it short but I have to go talk with that old man. The file you got has all the details you will need for the bodies in the morgue. Danielle will stay to help you with anything you need.” He then turned to Danielle, making her involuntarily blush slightly. “Please show her around for me. Starting today, you’re her assistant.” Danielle nodded a quick “yes” to him as he walked away at a brisk pace. “Let me know if everything is in order. Will talk more later. Excuse me.” With that, he went through the lab door in a rush.

Both women watched him leave. Danielle had a silly smile plastered on her face and her cheeks were still reddish.

“Can you believe he’s only 26 years old?” She said excitedly. Diana had walked over to a table and pulled a chair to sit down. She gave a small smile to the excited petite nurse and opened the file to better check it out.

“I thought he looked young for a head doctor but I gotta admit, he’s quite business-like. Isn’t he?”

“Yeah… *sigh* To ‘business-like’, I’m afraid. His dad is the actual head doctor.”

“He mentioned it. His father must trust him a lot to leave someone that young in charge of the hospital during his absence.”

“Yes. His father is attending a Congress in a big city somewhere, I can’t remember the name of the city.” Danielle brought a hand up to her chin as she thought. “He should be back soon but it’s not the first time his son covers for him. He’s quite used to it actually.”

“I see.”

“He is sooooo handsome. Don’t you think? I’ve always liked tall guys.” Danielle leaned over the wall daydreaming as she kept on chirping. “I just love to look into his light blue eyes.” Diana glanced up to the nurse from time to time as she read through the file.

“I see you’re totally infatuated with him, Miss Fisher.” Danielle turned to look at Diana, her red cheeks going pale and her eyes widening as she saw the doctor’s serious face.

“I… you think… no, no, no. I just… I just…”

Diana couldn’t hold herself anymore and let out a laugh while waving to Danielle to calm down.

“Yes, I know. There is really nothing wrong with thinking that. He is indeed a handsome man and pleasant to talk to.” Danielle stared at her with a disconcerted face but nodding attentively. “You just have to be more careful since you two work in the same place.”

“Yeahh… but he doesn’t seem to have any interest in me.” Her assistant looked down at her shoes, embarrassed. ”You must think I’m so childish right now. I apologize.”

“Oh…” She laughed. “No Danielle, I just happen to have two daughters about your age and I know how that goes. I too was once as young as you.” Diana lifted Danielle’s chin up. “Don’t be sad. There are plenty of other guys out there. Just because he isn’t interested in you, doesn’t mean another guy won’t be.” A hopeful smile formed on Danielle’s face. “Now. Let’s start working on this file.”

Danielle nodded and pulled a chair to sit next to the doctor so they could start working.


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