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Modern Crucible

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Modern Crucible

The police station, like an enraged mob, became chaotic as news of the robbery blasted the offices of every lieutenant and captain in Metropolis. Details of the crime still shuffle from detective to detective as rumors separated from the facts. The known facts showed that a professional, a very skilled thief, managed to penetrate the Tractford Mint's security system of lasers, motion detectors and cameras and steal 10 million dollars of unmarked currency. Assigned to the case was Detective Killcheck, a hardnosed officer that if not for his neglect of ethics would be a very young lieutenant. After finishing his coffee he decided he might as well take a drive down to the scene of the crime. As he drove down to the mint, he thought to himself that this was just another routine case where some idiot made an attempt at cracking the mint and only came out with his life. Still diluted with speculation, the truth was yet to be determined. Detective Killcheck thought nothing unusual about this cold Thursday morning. The low hanging fog added eeriness to Metropolis city streets. Through the thinning fog, the handsome detective with wavy hair came within site of the mint. With a sigh of reluctance, Killcheck placed the white, 1985, Chevy in park and stepped out on the smoky pavement. After walking a few steps he heard a familiar voice stifled by the foggy morning, 'Hey David, over here.' Holding up a hand was Lieutenant John Mell, a round man with thinning hair and a receding hairline. David slowly walked over to where Mell slouched, 'Fill me in, what do we have?' 'Nothing: No fingerprints, no camera footage, no forced entry.' ' John, are you serious? How much did they get away with?' 'Ten Million in unmarked bills, David, and a currency loom.' 'No Shit? Ho-how did they do it? Are there any suspects?' Looking away briefly, Lieutenant Mell answered, 'No, not yet.' With his arms crossed in his smoking jacket, Killcheck asked, 'So what do you want me to do, Lieutenant? Should I call in the usual suspects?' 'Sure, Detective, round 'em up and see what you can get out of 'em.' Three hours later, on the other side of town, the last suspect was apprehended. A knock came to Terrance Conner's door at about ten. Before getting up from the rusted aluminum table and his breakfast of cold cereal, Terrance, annoyed by the knock yelled, 'whose there?' 'MPD, open the door!' came a muffled voice from behind the thin wood door whose tan paint peeled in cracks and flakes.'Shit. Alright, hold on,' Getting up from his creaking chair, Terrance slumped over to the door, from the hallway the click of locks was heard and finally the door creped open. 'Can I help you guys?' Conner's, the previous day, was fired from his job and this was just the icing on the cake. 'Your under arrest'' said the officer with a stoic tone. 'For what?' asked Conner followed by a ridiculous laugh. ''You have the right to remain silent. If you refuse this right anything you say'' The long ride downtown frustrated him. Since his parole in '97, Terrance worked hard to start over and apparently he couldn't. In 1992, Conner was convicted on three counts of bank robbery and served seven years for his crimes. Terrance was no one's fool; he struck banks not with a gun but by systems of underground tunnels stemming from sewage canals. Of course he heard about the mint, by 10 o'clock who hadn't, and Conner knew that some how he was a suspect in the heist. Pulling up to the bleak police station sent shivers through Terrance Conner's body, this scene was all too familiar. As the police car softly stopped Terrance was overcome by a wave of depression. Thoughts of his years in solitary confinement turned his stomach nauseously. Caught up in his past, Terrance did not recognize the plump officer open the car vault. When he forgot his nightmarish memories of the cold, dripping cage that served as his home for fives years, Terrance noticed the stout policeman grip his arm and guide him from the vehicle. Gloom draped over the dreary station as Conner was lead up the long uneven steps. Finally, he reached the holding cell where the x-convict anticipated encountering the general occupants of the county jail. For the most part, the city holding cell consisted of prostitutes, pimps, brawlers, drunks and other two-bit criminals. The bolt to the dismal crypt slid to a thundering echo as the sickly stench of stale air seeped from the tomb. The holding cell, instead of festering with mindless bacteria, revealed many household names. To the right, slouching forward on the splintered bench was Cade Pheallene, a cunning archeological thief who prided himself on stealing artifacts and paintings from museums and galleries. When his crime spree first dawned, he attempted to filch 'The American Gothic', but instead he received eight years for grand larceny. Pheallene learned from his mistakes. Since his parole three years ago, he's ...

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