Saturday, June 9, 2018

The Sunshine City Chronicles: The Freshmen, Part 4- The Woman at the Beach


June 4, 2018,
14:15 local time,
Paradise Beach,
Sunshine City, Sonora

“Found anything else?” said Christina Alonso as she and Neena Thurman came back to the crime scene, still being combed- literally- for evidence by the City's two Crime Scene Investigators, Parnell Brown and Nicole Hewitt. Hewitt and Brown were in their official CSI gear, while Alonso and Thurman wore their regulation police shorts but with bikinis on top to better blend in with the locals.
“If you're after sea shells, discarded plastic or other waste,” said Brown, “we've got tons. Otherwise...not much of use.”
“I did find a receipt,” said Hewitt, taking out a bag from the evidence kit. “Dated for about five hours before the dead man was found...UnSub could have dropped it as he fled the scene.”
“Magnus Petroleum,” said Thurman, examining the sheet, “and it's the one that's just up the street here. This could be useful.”

Alonso then saw a woman in the distance.

“Who's the girl?” she said to Hewitt.
“Oh, the blonde?” said Hewitt, not hiding her consternation. “She keeps hanging around...never gets too close but she always seems to be looking our way. I tried to engage her but she never responded.”
“Maybe she's intimidated by the police,” said Alonso. “I'm going to try talking to her.”

Alonso then walked up to the woman, herself clad in a pink halter bikini top and string bikini bottom, which complemented her bronzed skin, sitting down next to her.

“Hey,” said Alonso as the woman seemingly didn't realize she was there. “My name's Christina, but some people call me Chris. What's your name?”

The woman continued staring into space, with Alonso noting she looked very forlorn.

“Is everything OK?” she said, hoping to coax a conversation. “I just want to make sure. I work with a lot of depressed people, so I know how you feel.”

The woman still disregarded Alonso, taking a look at her phone before letting out a sigh.

“Guy trouble?” said Alonso.

The woman finally gave Alonso a glance, even if was short.

“Yeah,” said the woman. “How'd you know?”
“Well,” said Alonso, “either you're waiting for a job interview...which you're not dressed for...unless it's a strip club, in which case, all the more power to you...or, more likely, you're looking at your phone because a guy you like hasn't written or called you back.”

The woman couldn't help but chuckle.

“At least you don't look down on strippers,” she said.
“It's a job,” said Alonso. “As long as they're doing it of their own free will who am I to tell them 'no'?”

The woman again chuckled before looking at her phone again, sighing.

“I met this guy,” she said. “No, not at the strip club, but at the bar just here...I gave him my number but I haven't heard from him at all and it's souring me.”
“Well,” said Alonso as the woman was starting to warm up to her, “you know guys...they have these funny ideas of how things work with us...his buddies...they're probably telling him, 'don't call her now, wait three days, you'll look too eager'.”
“...and then, you know,” said the woman, not hesitating to jump in, “society tells us girls, 'don't make the first move, you'll look desperate'...I mean, who comes up with this stuff?”
“Exactly,” said Alonso, smiling that she seemed to have connected with the woman. “I mean, I don't think I want a guy who calls me four hundred times a day, but a day later or, if it's early enough in the day, a few hours later isn't so bad.”
“You sound like you've had your fair share of heartache,” said the woman.
“It comes with my territory,” said Alonso. “I'm a strong woman...I intimidate a lot of guys. Plus...I'm a cop.”

The woman then recoiled before Alonso motioned for her to calm down.

“I'm not here to arrest you,” said Alonso. “I'm not even sure what I could arrest you for, actually.”
“I...I,” said the woman, struggling to regain her comfort, “I was once a stripper...not here...it was in Alberta.”
“Where it's illegal,” said Alonso. “Well, before the Romans took over.”
“Yeah,” said the woman, sheepishly.
“Don't worry,” said Alonso. “The Romans nullified anyone convicted of prostitution, wiping their records and any active investigation into their cases...it was a condition for Alberta to regain its autonomy and thus restore its old laws...so no one is coming after you.”
“How do I know you're just saying this to make me comfortable?” said the woman, who then realized she said too much anyway.
“I'm Sunshine City SWAT,” said Alonso confidently. “I'm high up there so I'm in the know...besides, I keep up with women's causes...unabashed feminist myself.”
“I thought feminists hate prostitution,” said the woman.
“No,” said Alonso assuredly, “Haylie Modine hates prostitution...I, and a lot of other feminists, don't.”

The woman smiled before offering her hand to shake.

“My name is Raven,” she said, shaking Alonso's hand. “I'm sorry I got scared...I feared cops because I thought they'd come after me...and you fooled me in your bikini top.”
“I have to do it,” said Alonso. “I have to get my information any way that I can.”
“It's also why I gave my number to Deadpool,” said Raven. “I know he's not a cop...but, I actually kind of need a cop...do you understand?”
“I do, Raven.” said Alonso. “I should tell you he's now a cop, as of today...he got pardoned for his crimes.”
“Oh,” said Raven.
“Works with us still,” said Alonso. “We like him...even though he can be a bit of a pain sometimes.”

Alonso then pulled out her phone.

“I can give you his phone number if you want,” said Alonso.
“I think I'd like that,” said Raven. “I have to talk to him.”
“Yeah I know,” said Alonso with a smile. “He's pretty likeable, I understand.”
“He is,” said Raven, “but I have something else to tell him...and, maybe the rest of your team.”