Abuse of Power by Michael Savage

By Michael Savage

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Jack smiled. “You’re a newsperson covering news. ” * * * Jack got lucky. There was a rookie uniform watching the SFPD’s guest, as they called him. There’s a myth that rookies tend to follow regulations. What they follow is experience and authority. They don’t just give it up, though; most have to be wooed by guys who have been-there, seen-that. Jack walked up, read the rookie’s name tag, showed his credentials. “Sorry, Mr. Hatfield, but we’re not supposed to allow press near—” “I’m not press, Officer Beckman, I’m a friend of Tom’s,” he said.

There was nothing like it. * * * As Drabinsky pulled up to the nearest barricade, Jack raised the Steiner Marine Binoculars he’d brought. It was an ugly, surreal, yet strangely tranquil sight. Big flatbed-mounted spotlights towered twenty feet on either end of the street and illuminated the scene. The bread truck lay angled toward the sidewalk. It rested against a streetlight, half of one of its panels caved in. Bisecting it was an overturned Land Rover, its roof crumpled under its weight. The street was empty, the cops maintaining a by-the-book two-block radius from the site.

As Drabinsky maneuvered impatiently through traffic, Jack’s mind went back to the first time he had been rushing somewhere, that morning in Baghdad when everything went wrong. He was remembering Riley’s face. He saw that face in his sleep sometimes. The slack jaw, the glazed eyes, the dust-caked laugh lines around them. A dust that could neither be tamed nor conquered and had permeated every facet of their lives back then—two hotshot network news monkeys riding shotgun with the Second Marine Division, Riley always complaining that the desert was wreaking havoc on his video equipment.

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