Only she didn’t arrive. Not any more. No she was probably somewhere over the rainbow with the Tin Man, Lion and Scarecrow. There was no sign of Ray, Chris, Shaz , or Viv. In fact Gene Hunt was all alone.
“All by my bloody self” he commented. It had been like this for weeks now, if not months. Day in, day out. There had been a brief spell where he had been run off his feet and in desparate need of professional backup but it had been hard work doing it alone, trying to teach all these newbies the rules of modern policing – according to Gene Hunt. None of them had lasted. None of them had shown potential – not like his old team.
That last one had been a real beauty, Gene reflected, barging into his office like some nonce, waffling on about something call an I-Phone. What the hell was that when it was at home? The nonce had proceeded to show him but he wasn’t impressed. You couldn’t beat a good old fashioned radio, to rely on for professional backup and to get the footie scores.
Gene gazed around at the empty desks. Another long day lay ahead. He really wanted, no needed,to see some action today.
He felt thirsty and desparate for a drink after that disgusting plastic breakfast earlier. Opening his desk drawer he was disappointed to see two empty bottles of scotch. That came as no surprise – there was little else to do these days other than drink to pass the time and forget the past.
It was then he noticed the silver square object and pulled it out. Ha – it was the nonce’s wonderous gadget. The I-phone, along with various leads and a set of small ear-phones. Putting them in his ears, he randomly pressed a button, not having the faintest idea what he was doing and was instantly deafened.
“Arrgh...what the Bastard Bollocks is that crap?” He yanked the ear-phones out thinking he would be permanently deaf, and started to fiddle with the I-Phone, which was highly sensitive to his fingers and it was flashing through applications quickly. Gene suddenly realised that when he touched the screen it changed. Genius! After a little play he found the volume control and put the ear-phones back in once more. That was better, some pleasant gentle music. He lay back in his seat and tried to relax. Surprisingly he recognised some of the tracks, and was rather pleased with himself. They were classical, not that he knew much about composers but he had heard these on adverts on the TV mainly for bread and cigars. He could murder a big one at that moment.
“Wonder if there’s any Herb Alpert?” Gene continued to press the screen. He found a list of what appeared to be more songs, and then the screen flicked quickly and before his very eyes he saw the word OASIS, and, as if by magic “This Guy’s in love with you” started playing.
“The dogs bollocks!”.
Gene leaned back again, listening to the song. This wasn’t entirely Herbie boy on his own – some other bastards where trying to ruin it, but the words of the song cut deep into the heart of him, and his mind started wandering, dreaming, wishing things had been so so different.
When the song finished, Gene brought his hands to his face, and held them there for a few seconds before laying his head on the desk. By coincidence the next track was the one he had slow-danced to, the night he had held Bolly so close and the memories came flooding back. At that moment it all got too much, and once more Gene ripped the ear-phones out and threw the gadget in temper across his office, where it came to a halt on the floor by the door.
It was no good. He couldn’t take any more. Enough was enough. It was time. Time for some action.
Standing up he walked to the door, “Take that, you bastard!” he said stamping on the I-phone once more, it’s screen already smashed through the earlier impact. “You’re messing with my head, and nobody messes with the Gene Genie!”.
Slamming his office door behind him, he suddenly felt a little peckish and wondered if there was anything lying around he could eat. First call was Shaz’s desk. Women’s fluctuating hormones always guaranteed a chocolate stash somewhere. Sure enough, in her top drawer were two Yorkie bars. Gene placed them in his pocket and noticed the piece of paper. He picked it up and looked at it. He had to admit he even missed the Plonk and her dreamy head in the cloud ways. He stuffed her doodles of stars in his pocket with the chocolate.
As he moved along he stopped at Chris Skelton’s desk. Bloody Chris Skelton and the Plonk were well suited, a pair together. Both dippy. What had that all been about with Chris, Gene wondered. Detective Constable Skelton daring to question the rules of policing of the Gene Genie. Who the hell did he think he was? Gene noticed something glistening on the desk next to an empty Harmony Hairspray can amongst the scattered paperwork. Bloody ponce with his girl’s haircut.
He picked it up – Shaz’s engagement ring. The one she had given back to Chris. Well no use in leaving it lying around for tea-leaves to nick, thought Gene slipping it into his pocket. He might just be able to pawn it in return for a new set of wheels. The thought of the dead Quattro brought him to tears.
And as for Carling’s desk. Untidy bastard. It was littered with empty fag packets, half eaten takeaways and something sticky in a plastic bag he didn’t even want to contemplate. He picked up a card for what appeared to be a Massage Parlour which read “The Black Cat Club” . It had a silouhette of a Black Cat on the front, with the name “Maggie” scrawled on the back with a blue bic biro, along with a local phone number.
“Hmm. Might come in handy one of these lonely nights” Gene thought putting the card in his inside pocket next to his shooter. Mind you, you couldn’t be too careful. He might pick up more than he bargained for at one of them places from some slapper. He considered the alternative, what was that thing they had all tried? “Speed Dating”. Some of the tarts had had more baggage than Heathrow. No. He wasn’t really interested at the moment. Not after Bolly.
He turned to the desk facing him. It was empty. Not a single piece of paper, or filing tray. All that remained was the telephone, and the name sign “DI Drake”. Gene ran his fingers slowly over it, almost caressing it, feeling that tug of raw emotion pulling deep within. He considered putting that in his pocket too although it was a bit big and he was in no mood for wisecracks from any more birds saying asking those immortal words “Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?”.
It was as though DI Drake had never existed. Or Ray, Chris and Shaz. Poor old Viv. And what about the bloody Boy Wonder? Sam Tyler. Bolly’s bloody fixation got on his nerves. He pulled out one of the drawers at her desk perishing the thought of what else she might have had stuffed away. Low and behold – another piece of jewellery – this time a St.Christopher necklace. Not the St. Christopher bloody Skelton variety. Gene thought it was his lucky day.
Placing that in his pocket along with the other treasures he had collected, he stood for a few moments at the main door, glancing back at his own office, deep in thought. This wasn’t an office any more. It was Hell with fluorescent lighting.
He was no longer Gary Cooper, Al Pacino, or Marlon Brando. . He was on his own and he needed to fit in. Where had all his cowboys gone?
Suddenly he knew what he had to do.
Walking back to his own room once more, he picked up a brochure from his desk. Slamming the door behind him, he strided through the main office one more time like John Wayne, without so much as a backward glance.
It was almost high noon and Gene Hunt needed to see a man about a motor.