Destined to Fail: Part 08.
Sam hobbled down off the podium, and the room flashed with the cameras of the journalists. There was a hubbub of noise and movement. The policemen hurried him through the small door out of the conference room. Before he disappeared through the door, he took one last look at Dan Bridge's mother sitting silent in the front row. He turned away, and found himself in the silent corridor with the Officer. He let out a deep sigh.
"We're gonna miss you, Sammy," said Officer Leary.
"Well," said Sam, "I'll still be pushing paper downstairs. I'll still see everyone."
The two walked on, Sam leaning on his cane. He emerged through a door, and waved to Leary who turned off in the other direction. He found himself in the wide corridor near the shooting range. Standing by the big table with cigarettes and cups of coffee were Steele and Holden. McCoy was standing nearby.
"Good one, Sam," said Ray. "We were watching on the TV. That went well."
Sam smiled. "Thanks, Ray." The two shook hands and McCoy smiled back.
"I gotta run," he said. "I'll be seeing you."
"Bye," said Sam, and McCoy jogged down towards the lift. Sam turned to the silent Holden and Steele.
"So, what you think?" he said.
"Very touching, Sam," said Steele. "I was waiting for you to turn on the waterworks."
"Yeah, well…" Sam said. He couldn't wait to see the back of Steele. Few could.
"It went good, Sam," said Holden.
"Oh, shut up," Steele said, controlled and cold as ever. "He kills a human and all he has to do is say sorry. I knew what you'd be like as soon as you walked in the door, Sam. I told you about the magic, and I knew you'd never have it. You're like the reps that Davie killed for you. Doomed from the start. You shouldn't even be staying on the force."
Sam stood there and took it. He could take it. He'd taken enough these past few days. He looked at Holden.
"Well, bye then."
"Sam." Sam turned back. "Yeah?"
"I want you to know you did good. You got taken out, yeah, but you held it in that battle. She went out like a light, you got her despite the panic. That takes a lot. I knew you'd need the help that's why I was there. I want you to have this."
He tossed a small slug of metal in Sam's direction. Sam caught it and looked at it. It was a bullet.
"They dug that out of the big rep. That bullet hangs over your life. I want you to keep it. It'll remind you of these past few days."
"I've sure learned a lot," Sam said uncertainly. Was Holden joking? He pocketed the bullet. "I'm still around you know. I even get my own office," he let out a small laugh. Steele stared at him coldly.
"Go sit in it," she said.
Sam nodded, and turned away. He limped down towards the lift, gave a final wave and was gone.
Steele huffed. "Why'd you do that? Now that kid'll think he's something else. That year he spent here was wasted. Anyone could have popped the reps he did. He was just a kid in a man's world. He should never have been here." She stubbed out her Lucky Strike and walked off towards the lifts. Holden watched her go for a while; his eyes fixed on her backside.
"Yeah," he said quietly. He took a deep drag, drawing the smoke down into his lungs, and released. He smiled to himself, stubbed out the cigarette and followed her down the corridor and back to work.