It's the End of the World Like We Know it
Maybe I should have stayed in bed today... no that wouldn't have been a good idea, seeing how I don't get to spend the day with my son all that often, but maybe I should have picked him up at Joan's and gone fishing from there. In stead I decided to go to the station --not to mention I had a last minute lunch meeting with the Major I just couldn't get out of-- so I asked Joan to drop him off there. It made sense at the time --seeing how I didn't want to have yet another run in with my soon-to-be-ex-wife in front of our son-- but in the end it backfired... badly. However the truth is that even before the Sunrise Patriots took over it was already shaping up to be a bad day.
To say that I was shocked when Jim called me last night to ask me about the possibility of getting some academic an observer's pass to be his ride-along would be an understatement. He is a loner, he's always been a loner. I've been trying to pair him up with someone ever since Jack Pendergrast disappeared years ago but so far no one has lasted more than two weeks working with him and then suddenly --out of nowhere-- he chooses a shiny new tag-along all by himself only it's not a cop... in fact he's anything but a cop. Anyway, I don't know what I was expecting this Sandburg character to be like but I certainly wasn't expecting him to be a neo-hippie flower child, I mean, we are talking Ellison's partner here.
When I first saw him I couldn't believe my eyes... and as soon as my ears got some action my disbelief grew even more. It wasn't so much the whole 'thin blue line' crap that bothered me --though that was a dead give away seeing how Jim would never go along with something like that-- but rather the fact that Ellison was willing to openly and glaringly lie to me that caught my attention. I was willing to ignore Sandburg but when Jim said that the kid was his cousin on his mother's side... well let's just say that that I wasn't expecting. I know for a fact that Jim has had no contact with his mother since he was a child so the whole idea that she would call him now to ask him to help a distant cousin is ridiculous... not to mention that this kid is Sandburg and Jim's family is as WASP as they come. Things may have changed in the past few years, those 'old blood' families may now be more receptive and open minded than they once were, but this kid is in his late twenties so the numbers just don't add up.
The thing is that after today's events I just don't know what to make of one Blair Sandburg. I've been a cop for over twenty years now... a good cop --if I may say so myself. I was a detective for years before I made captain and in that time I learned to read people, to trust my instincts, and in a sense that's my problem: I trust my instincts but right now my instincts appear to be overloaded by a barrage of seemingly contradictory information. The man is a puzzle, an enigma, and I don't like unsolved mysteries. My first impression is at odds with what I've learned of his actions and I don't know what to believe.
I must confess that the first thing I noticed about him were his looks --not fair, I know, I've been a victim of prejudice myself more times than I care to remember, but I'm not blind either and they are hard to miss-- and the fact is that as far as I could tell he seemed to be the last thing I wanted or needed attached to my unit. In addition to that there's the fact that having Ellison arrested for murder wasn't something I was particularly looking forward to and --at least at first glance-- that would have seemed to be the predictable outcome of any such partnership. At the time I was almost hoping that the kid would fail either the background check or the drug test... then things spiraled out of control and I got a quick reminder of just how misleading first impressions can be.
The fact is that he may well have saved my son's life... and whether I like it or not he did play a major role in saving my men's lives, and for that I'll always owe him. He kept his cool and he kept the Sunrise Patriots chasing their tails. The fact is that that neo-hippie flower child --that deadhead wannabe-- provided enough of a diversion for Jim and me to slip by unnoticed... and then there are the things I saw Jim do today.
I knew he had been having some weird problems with his senses since the switchman case, but I never would have imagined anything like that. If he can figure out how to use those senses consistently to his advantage he will be unstoppable, so I guess I'll have no choice but to learn to live with Sandburg, though I can't say I'm looking forward to it. The good news is that I won't be the one working with him.
Yes, I owe him a debt I can never repay but that doesn't change the fact that he is not someone I can see myself willingly spending any amount of time with. He is obviously smart and he can think on his feet but he talks too much and the concept of following orders seems to be alien to him. Jim may need him but he is not a cop, he doesn't want to be a cop and he certainly doesn't act like one. I fear that Jim will probably have his work cut out for him in keeping him alive --if what we saw today was anything to go by-- but still he helped save my men's lives, he may have saved my son's life and that means that that kid is not dying on my watch.
The Sunrise Patriots are behind bars --where they belong-- and things are back to what passes for normal around here except now I've got myself an 'observer' and a detective with a secret... one of those nifty little secrets that tend to draw out the men in black, to be accurate. I know I'm in way over my head and there's nothing I can do about it.
As I turn on the radio I get a tune that came out a few years ago --one I hadn't heard in a while-- and I can't help but realize that it is oddly fitting... it's the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine).
Author's Note: And the song is by REM, in case anyone is wondering about it.