6:00AM. That’s the time the five, yes five, officers were due to meet their captain at Jump Street Chapel. Jump Street is a new programme in the police department, funded by the council, to keep their schools safe and stop kids from becoming criminals. Entering through the back of the chapel, they all slowly gathered on the second floor.
A large open-plan room, with scattered office desks, one for each of the undercover officers. The only closed off room is the Captain’s office up the back, to the left of a small balcony, which has all of their lockers for personal belongings. A narrow spiral staircase leads up to the balcony, as well as a fireman’s pole to come back down. In between the balcony and Captain’s office is the entrance into the room.
As for the open-plan room, if it weren’t for the desks and there were some beds instead, then this would look just like a teenager’s bedroom. Posters were tacked to the walls, a basketball hoop up on the vertical beam in the centre, and various stuffed animals and toys wearing strange garb and costume attire.
The ball hits the rim of the hoop, circles it, before rolling off and into William’s hands. He instantly starts to dribble the ball, weaving around Ethan and Blake, dodging their attempts at snagging the ball. As he makes his way back round, he jumps and dunks the ball.
“Righteous,” William called back to them excitedly while still mid-jump. Dropping back to the ground he turned to them. “That is how you play the game, man.”
“What if we didn’t want to play?”, Ethan replied, his tone neutral but William could tell he was teasing.
“Adamsen, why didn’t you ever play professionally?”, asked Blake.
The ball bounced a few times before rolling toward the entrance. A woman had just walked up the stairs and around the corner, stopping the ball under her foot. Though it went unnoticed. She bent down to pick it up, then threw it from where she stood. In the hoop it went. The three guys turned their heads, amazement and shock were their only expressions.
Finally breaking the silence, William spoke, “That’s why.” He looks over at her. “That’s quite an arm you have there. Name’s Adamsen, William Adamsen.”
Neil interrupted as he entered from behind her, “Ah, this must be our new receptionist that Cap’n has been asking for. You look lovely, by the way.”
The woman looked at him and rolled her eyes. Only did she answer when looking back at William. “Carmona, Keira Carmona, but call me Kit.”
Neil moved past her to enter the chapel. “Well, Kit,” he began. “Has the Cap’n shown you where your desk is yet? We’re going to need all of last night’s answer machine messages written down before the meeting.”
Keira stepped inside, walking well past Neil. “I’m not some new receptionist here to jot down notes for you,” she announced, crossing her arms. She looked at the three boys in the middle of the room, then back at Neil. This was typical. After working so hard to finally get here, to be an officer of the law, she still had to prove herself as something more than a receptionist. “I’m a police officer, just like you.” Though she was probably thinking she was better than the dude next to her.
“No fake?” Blake chimed in, showing a grin because he was happy to have another officer around.
Before anyone else could reply, the Captain’s office door was swung open. Robert Hughes exited, holding a few manila folders under his arm. “Take a seat,” he ordered, gesturing toward the table on the other side of the basketball hoop.
The five of them take their seats, normally, except for Ethan. He flips the chair around and sits on it backwards, legs astride.
Robert stands at the head of the table, placing his folders squarely in front of him. “As you can see, we have a new officer joining the team today. Everyone meet Officer Keira Carmona.” He nodded in Keira’s direction. “Carmona, this is Officer Neil Taube.” Robert gestured to his left, where Neil was sitting. He was getting out his notebook and didn’t look up to be formally introduced to Keira. “And Officer Ethan Kane,” the Captain continued. Ethan was sitting next to Neil. He flashed a quick smile to Keira. “These two have been here since we started the Jump Street program. You might have heard of 'Tyrell Thompson case, a.k.a Waxer'.”
Neil folded his arms and leaned back. “We caught Waxer and his friend playing with a firework and a car battery. We charged him and let the other one off.”
Ignoring Neil’s comment and smugness, Robert continued with his introductions. “Officer Blake Brown and Officer William Adamsen were our most recent recruits.” Robert nodded his head in their direction. Blake turned to face Keira who was sitting beside him. He held out his hand, offering her a welcoming handshake. She shook it and smiled, giving him a nod before returning her attention to the captain, who was talking to Ethan. “So Kane, how’s it going at Northside?”
Ethan cringed slightly but didn’t let it show too much on his face, he just kept tapping out a quiet beat in the table. That was his father’s name, and he didn’t want to be compared to him, much less replace him. “Sir, everything is real calm at the moment, everyone is cooling out and staying tight-lipped and closeted.”
“Keep on it, Kane,” Robert instructed, before shifting his head to Neil. “Taube, are you breaking ground at Wilcox?”
“Not really much to report on yet, Cap’n. You know, since I started there on Thursday and then it was the weekend and all. I find kids don’t like to be at school at the weekend,” Neil reflected casually and looking up from his notebook.
Robert pressed his hands firmly down on the table. “No, but they do like to hang out and harass their teachers. If I find out that it has happened again and you weren’t with them to make a bust-” He stops mid-sentence, letting his threat hang there and be more intimidating than if it were finished.
“Right. Sorry, Cap’n. I’m on it, won’t happen again.”
“And what’s the latest at Amherst?” Robert asked, turning to Blake.
Blake cleared his throat, flipping a page over in Taube's notebook that he'd just pulled away from him. “Well, Sir, on Tuesday at approximately 1430, Jack Williams was again called Jack Attack by one Isobel-Rose Davidson. It happened after-”
The captain let out a sigh. “Brown, remind me why are we spending so much attention on this Williams kid, again? I thought we’d established he wasn’t the dealer.”
Unhappily, Neil slid the notebook back across the table into his possession. “Sir, he admitted to me two weeks ago that he had bought drugs from a friend. If I can just get close enough, I’m sure he’ll tell me who the friend was. We already have it narrowed down to which two groups the dealer could have come from.”
“Is this Jack Williams guy the same loser you saved from being punched by a girl last week?”, William chimed in. “It doesn’t sound like he has many friends to start off with.”
“Because he’s punched by a girl?”, Kit queries with raised eyebrows.
Robert silences them again as he starts to speak. “Well, we need suspects, and the mayor is drilling us to get this done. So I’m putting two more in with you, Brown.” He picks up one of the manila folders in front of him and throws it to William. “Adamsen, I’m sending you in as William Andrews, a defective youth who likes to rebel. So try to get in with that crowd. Brown will give you more detail.” William nodded. “Carmona, time to get your feet wet. I’m sending you in too.” He slides the folder across the table to her. “You’re going in as Keira Carter, a cheerleader transferring in from across state. Everything you need to know is in that folder. They’re your transcripts, read them thoroughly. Taube will be your backup.”
“But Cap’n, Brown has been my partner recently,” Neil argued.
“Well, this time Carmona is. Will that be a problem?”, Robert said as he glared back, daring him to continue. “Very well, if that is all, then you’re dismissed. Get to school.” They all start to get up but stop when he adds, “Oh, and be careful not to blow your cover. My son, Christopher, attends Amherst. Don’t let him figure it out, I’ll never hear the end of it. Meaning that you’ll never hear the end of it.”