John Rock stepped hesitantly into the station, the light so blindingly bright it pierced even the imposing wall of his truly massive aviator sunglasses. He approached the desk and gave his name. She looked like she’d bust your balls at the station and do something else to them entirely at home. And then bust them again when she was finished.
“You’re Rock, huh?” a voice called out behind him.
“I still say this is a mistake,” Rock muttered, removing his huge, casual aviators and slipping into his even larger, more imposing formal aviators, “I work best alone.”
“We all work best alone at this Air Jordan Fusion 4 station,” Cheesesteak replied, his mouth full of fatness and tongue, “but it’s procedure. Every straight man needs a wacky partner, and vice versa. And I tell you what: It was the best thing that ever happened to me. I can’t count how many times Sergeant Philly’s saved my ass.”
“Philly and Cheesesteak?” Rock balked.
“That’s right. I’m fat and he’s skinny. Classic odd couple. But through a series of extraordinary Air Jordan 14s circumstances and by solving the case of our lives, we came to grudgingly respect one another.”
“So you’re saying I should just get it over with and accept my new partner?” John sighed wistfully; he thought about being alone, and how best he would work that way.
“Oh good lord, no,” Cheesesteak stopped suddenly and swiveled on his hocks to face Rock. “A thousand times no. Your partner is. different.”
“Different is OK,” John replied warily.
“No, this isn’t ‘charmingly irreverent’ different. This is ‘he seemed so nice until the murders’ different. You ask me, you oughta watch your back with him; he threw his last partner to the wolves as soon as it became convenient,” Cheesesteak orbited back around and continued to trundle fatly down the hallway.
“Internal affairs,” John grunted, and spat contemptuously.
“Nope! Literal wolves. Classic zoo robbery gone wrong scenario,'” Cheesesteak finished his foreshadowing just in time to dramatically swing open the double doors to the squad room.
How many lives will be lost here?
John took in the room. It was a small, unassuming space. Two rows of cheap plastic chairs facing a large whiteboard and podium. Every seat was filled with straight laced men in severe suits seated next to disheveled, ruggedly handsome ne’er do wells in tropical shirts and torn jeans.
“John Rock, meet the Air Jordan 11s force. Detectives William Smith and Sam Wesson,” at each series of names, Cheesesteak gestured to various pairs of men, who nodded at Rock in turn, “Sergeants Robert Hammer and Andy Sickle, Lieutenants Jonas Goodcop and Henry Badcop ”
“Wait, your last names are seriously Goodcop and Badcop? Bullshit,” Rock interrupted.
“It’s true,” Replied Badcop, waxing a surfboard for no immediately apparent reason. “I didn’t even wanna to be on the force. I was just a bartender, but as soon as the Captain learned my name he funded my progress through the academy and here I am. Oh man, John Rock? That’s your name? That must mean your partner’s going to be.”
“Michael Hardplace,” finished the stranger, bursting through the window on a zip line.
He somersaulted Air Jordan 10s to a stop at Rock’s feet and high fived the out stretched hands that John had risen to protect himself from shards of errant glass. “So you’re my new partner, eh? Don’t look like much to me. No offense, buddy, but I don’t think you’ll last 10 minutes on the Timely Reference Force.”
“Timely what?” Everybody in the room was wearing mirrored aviators, endlessly reflecting into one another. John was starting to become disconcerted by the infinity of grim, be sunglassed men wherever he looked.
Are you not disconcerted?
“Jesus, don’t they tell you anything? The TRF: We take on cases that are just thinly veiled allusions to recent headlines. You know, like Law and Order but slightly less gay. I meant that as in ‘lame,’ not ‘homo.’ No offense Detectives Hetero and Gaylord,” Hardplace nodded in the direction of two officers one man in a somber blue three piece suit, the other in nothing but a yellow thong, a badge and a crown. They briefly returned his nod, before resuming their presumably witty repartee.
“Like what?” Rock asked, crossing his arms skeptically.
“He really is a fantastic straight man,” Sergeant Philly noted. There was a murmur of agreement throughout the room.
“Come on. I’ll show you,” Hardplace pushed past him, and began gliding rapidly down the hallway. For one panicked moment, Rock fought back the terrible thought that his partner might Jordan Pro Strong be a ghost, before realizing he just had those shoes with wheels in the bottom.
As they wound their way through the station proper, John noted dozens of increasingly unlikely pairs: a tribal African chieftain and an albino, a giant and a midget, a refined lady in a full evening gown and a savage grizzly in a police hat.