Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Launch Party #5

I think it's time to get a closer look at Graham. I had a lot of fun "interviewing" some Orange County deputy sheriffs (translation: buying them beer and listening to them talk). Of course, I did ask a few specific questions if I knew what I needed for a scene. Then it was a matter of making sure all those tidbits would fit the story and not just sound like I'd stuck them in to fill space.

Graham parked his unit and raced across the station parking lot. Clarke passed him and gave him the usual smirk. What was Clarke doing at Central? Maybe Schaeffer really was pitting them against each other.

Schaeffer wasn't in his office, and Graham breathed a little easier. Maybe he'd been gone all afternoon and hadn't noticed the lack of Graham's paperwork. He hurried to the computer he'd used earlier, breathing a sigh of relief when it was available. Scrolling through the directories, he cursed, softly at first, then louder. "Shit!"

"What's the matter? It's Harrigan, right?"

He turned to the voice from a nearby desk. The man’s long, dark hair and three-day stubble told Graham he was working undercover.

"Crispin," the man said.

"Damn computer ate my file," Harrigan said.

"You remember to save it?"

"Of course." Or had he? "It's not here." He cursed again. He'd spent an hour making sure his first report was perfect and then forgot to e-mail it to Schaeffer or print it.

"Can't help you, but you can try the folks in IT. They might ferret it out," Crispin said.

Graham studied the man's expression. If this was a practical joke for the new guy, Crispin hid it well. "How long will that take?"

"Depends on the workload. Not more than a couple of days, usually."

"I don't have a couple of days." He fumbled through his notes and spent the next hour recreating his report, adding what he'd learned from Kimberly. Hearing Crispin's fingers clattering across the keyboard at breakneck speed, Graham swore he'd sign up for the next keyboarding class no matter what.

He hurried to the room housing the communal printer and picked up the pages, then started for Schaeffer's office. Crispin's voice stopped him.

"You left your files open."


"If you leave your desk, even for a pit stop, anyone can access your files. Make sure you're either logged out or lock your screen if you're not around. Requires your password to get back in."

"Thanks." Had he logged out before he'd left for Kimberly's? He couldn't be sure. He'd never needed to lock a program with his laptop in the cruiser.

Crispin glanced over his shoulder as if to make sure nobody was eavesdropping, and lowered his voice. "There are a lot of practical jokers around here. They'll send love letter e-mails in your name. One guy set up a macro so every time someone typed the word 'the', the computer added 'asshole.'"

From the man's tone, Graham had a good idea Crispin had been on the receiving end of that one. "Got it. Thanks again."

"No sweat. Welcome to CID, where paperwork is king and nothing is sacred."


Terry Stonecrop said...

Well done! It's got me curious and a bit suspicious of Crispin.

Andrea I said...

It sounds very interesting.

Stacey E said...

I love how you weave comedy in with the macro idea and CID motto. :)

Terry Odell said...

Stacey - if you're writing cops, it's impossible to leave humor out. (Although admittedly, they have a very off-beat sense of humor)