The phone call came at a little after one in the morning. Violet had just slipped into an exquisite dream involving Hugh Jackman, handcuffs and a tub of whipped cream when the shrill chirp of the bedside telephone shattered the delicious delusion!
"Damn and bugger it!" Violet groaned, opting to try and block out the bloody irritating noise at first by pulling the pillow tight about her ears. When after ten seconds or so the ringing suddenly stopped, she thought that she had won. But as she plumped up the pillow and settled back down to try and recapture the naughty nocturnal vision, the phone started screaming at her once more.
"Yes?" she snapped after snatching the receiver from its cradle. She was neither able nor bothered to conceal her annoyance.
"Sergeant?" she heard the familiar rasping tone of her subordinate.
"What is it, Müller?" she answered, still riled. "You do realise what time it is?"
"Sorry, Sergeant," Müller apologised with not a hint of genuine contrition in his voice. "But we've had a development down here at the station and I thought you would want to be brought into the loop."
Violet sighed. "For God's sake, just speak English, Müller. What the hell do you want?"
"I really think you need to see for yourself," was all that Müller would say. "I'll pick you up outside your apartment in fifteen minutes."
There was crazy and there was downright bizarre. And the young brunette pacing the interview room like a caged animal gave Violet the firm impression that she definitely belonged to the latter category.
"How long's she been like this?" Violet asked, peering closely at the girl through the one way glass.
"Since they hauled her in three hours ago," Müller informed her.
"Three hours? That must be some hard shit she's taken."
"Uh-uh," Müller cut off her line of thinking before it had even gone anywhere. "Girl's clean."
Müller nodded. "Not as much as an alchopop in her system. Okay, it took four guys to hold her down while the doc took the sample, but it came back a big fat negative."
Violet snorted. "So just plain crazy then," she concluded. "You got an evaluation yet?"
"Shrink's on his way as we speak," said Müller. "But I've a feeling that will lead us nowhere too."
"Oh, you have a feeling do you, Müller?" Violet asked sardonically. "Please, do share your empathic insights with us lesser mortals."
Her partner appeared unperturbed by her sarcastic tone. "All her friends say that up until three hours ago she was a real wallflower. Would hardly say boo to a goose. So unless this is just some sudden and inexplicable psychotic episode, then we can rule out insanity."
Violet sighed heavily. How she wished that she was back in that dream smearing thick cream over Hugh Jackman's….
"Okay, what do we know about little Miss Dynamite here?"
Müller joined her by the observation window and shoved his huge hands deep into his trouser pockets.
"Name's Autumn Winters." He paused at Violet's incredulous stare. "I know, I know," he continued. "Makes her sound like an IKEA catalogue or something, but it's the God's honest. We have her driver's license and everything."
"Go on," Violet said sceptically.
"Twenty-one years of age, lives with her parents in the South Side district. Dad's an attorney, Mom's a college counselor."
"How ironic," Violet smirked. She couldn't help but take a secret delight in learning that this had happened to one of those goody-two-shoes types who sat in school lecturing wayward kids and parents on how to do things properly. If Violet had her way, then she would fire the whole fucking lot of them and use the money saved to shore up ailing law enforcement. Buy a couple more electric chairs at least so that they could fry more of the unrepentant bastards she had to deal with day in and day out!
She had sunk further into her reverie than she had realised so that a broad smile was etched onto her normally stoney features. She sensed Müller's quizzical look before she saw it, and cleared her throat self-consciously.
"Damn shame," she lied. "Okay. What about boyfriends?"
Müller shrugged. "No one steady, at least as far as her friends tell it. Prefers a good book to a decent shag. Makes her transformation into a raving Nympho all the more hard to believe."
"What?" Violet snapped. "There something you not telling me, Müller?"
Her partner smiled ruefully. "Something else you have to see for yourself, Sarge," he said, beckoning for her to follow him. "But you better brace yourself."
Müller had led her into the small room which everyone in the station had nicknamed The Hub, where the footage from every single one of the precinct's security cameras was routed and stored. A bank of screens filled one wall, and Müller sat down at the control panel and withdrew a minidisk from his jacket pocket which he slipped into a slot. He hesitated, casting Violet a glance which betrayed his reticence to play whatever it was he had invited her here to see. But she just glared back a silent demand until Müller jabbed the relevant button with a sigh.
The bank of screens blinked into blackness for a second as the contents of the minidisk overrode their separate feeds. When they brightened into life, a single image dominated the bank, each screen contributing a portion to the whole, like individual tiles comprising a mosaic.
And Violet could barely believe what she was seeing!
The picture was skewed slightly as a result of the camera's position close to the juncture of wall and ceiling, but what it showed was unmistakable! The figure of Autumn Winters was the centre of attention: the naked figure of Autumn Winters, draped forwards over the interview desk and being fucked for all she was worth by a uniformed cop while three of his colleagues looked on with their tongues as well as their dicks hanging out!
"Jesus Christ," Violet whispered in shocked disbelief. Her fury suddenly surged like Old Faithful and she rounded on Müller. "And just where the hell were you? You do realise that if this goes public, then the Mayor will want my ass and your Bavarian balls served up to him on a silver platter!"
"I'm only a quarter German, Sergeant," Müller answered her wearily. "My maternal grandfather. And he was from Frankfurt."
"I don't give a flying fuck if he was from the Moon!" Violet raved. She jerked a thumb towards the screens where Autumn Winters was taking it in the ass with a grin like a Cheshire Cat plastered on her face. "And where the hell are those idiots? I'll kill the lot of them!"
Müller sighed again. "Too late, Sergeant. They're already dead."