Electric Boogaloo, Chapter 3: Gordon Miller

Lt. Gordon Miller looked grimly at his new team.  Not because there was any reason to be grim—as far as he knew, there wasn’t—but because fifteen years of police work had beaten him down to the point where grim determination was the only facial expression he felt comfortable showing at the office.  Not a bad group, all things considered.

First and foremost was Paul Whitmire, his former partner.  Him he trusted implicitly, since they had known each other for more than a decade.  There were also Bluestone’s recommendations, Elisa Maza, Cedric Harris, and Tri Chung, of the 14th precinct, who had all worked a similar detail before as part of that anti-terrorism task force created after the 1996 attack on the 14th Precinct’s (then the 23rd precinct) headquarters.  Harris and Chung had solid records.  Maza was reportedly very good, despite a more-than-casual familiarity with the Internal Affairs department.

Next was Lin Koyobashi, who had been hoisted upon him by his superiors.  Gordon knew almost nothing about her, except that she had apparently been some hotshot Yakuza expert back in Japan, and had transferred to the N.Y.P.D. some three months ago; given the reports that the current bigwigs in the New York crime scene were an offshoot of a Japanese crew, the brass had thought it advisable to involve her.

Outside the N.Y.P.D. proper were Martin Hacker and Leo Burnett.  Hacker was F.B.I., and had previously worked with Maza, Harris, and Chung on the anti-terrorism thing; he had also been Matt Bluestone’s partner back when he had been part of the Bureau.  Burnett was the Assistant D.A. assigned to the group; Gordon knew nothing about him.

“So here’s the thing, boys,” he began, after they were all done with introductions.   “The boys upstairs have decided they can’t have criminals killing each other for turf any more, so they’ve asked us to do something about it.”  He picked out a series of file folders from a box beside him, and distributed them among the task force.

“Now, in case you hadn’t noticed, this department hasn’t had a proper organized crime investigation since The Five Families disappeared in 1999.  And since whatever replaced them afterwards wasn’t Cosa Nostra, after 9/11, the F.B.I. just couldn’t be bothered—no offense Hacker.”

“None taken.”

“Now, as a result of that, we have no idea what’s going on.  We know from some low-level arrests that the current violence is due to the death of the guy running things—this ‘Shredder’ person—but we don’t know who the players are, what their game is, or how we can deal with them.  And that’s our first bit of business.”

Maza raised her hand.  “What about the shootings over on Canal?”   She asked.

“Yeah, that.”  From prior experience, Gordon believed—and the brass apparently agreed—that that particular incident would remain unsolved.  However, he’d have to keep that opinion to himself.  “I want you all to check with any  C.I.’s you have and see what you can find out about that night, and if it matches up against we have on Organized Crime at HQ.  After that, we’ll see what we can do to establish some probable cause and get us up on some wires.  Oh, and we’ll need someone to go over those who were killed—we need to know who these people are.  Anything else?”

“Yeah,” Harris piped up.  “Do we really have to work in this dump?” he asked, eliciting several cheers from the peanut gallery.

“I know it’s not the best place”—an understatement: the only reasons rats had not taken over the place was because cockroaches had done so first—“but I’m doing what I can to get someone to clean it up and bring some equipment in.  Until then, this will be your home.  Learn to appreciate it.”

Shortly after dismissing them, Gordon received a call on his cell phone: Longer.

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