J. J. Hanna © 2020
Five forty-five A.M. I was right on time. Of course, everyone else was perfectly punctual as well. And it seemed that all of us had 5:45 a.m. booked for our morning coffee. Well. I assume most of them got coffee.
Me? I didn’t need the caffeine, and I’d stopped drinking coffee for the taste years ago.
I pulled up to the speaker box as the cars ahead of me inched forward. “Good morning—is that you, Olivia? Are you doing your regular today?”
“Good morning Amanda. I am indeed. Busy morning!”
She laughed. “Indeed it is. We’re definitely hopping today. One medium extra extra hot hot cocoa with whipped cream and vanilla coming up at the window for ya.”
I glanced at the clock. Five forty-six. I came to this shop because they were fast and they were accurate. By five fifty I’d be back on the road and on my way to work, and by six a.m. I’d be receiving my mission briefing from my commissioner.
Just like clockwork.
Right on time.
The car ahead of me pulled forward and I inched up to the window. Amanda finished taking the order for the car at the box and slid the window open. Her long brown hair had purple ends today, and she had two little buns framing her face, almost making her look like a teddy bear. Back in my day, kids didn’t dye their hair like that and have a job at the same time. But, Amanda was still one of my favorite baristas, so it was hard to be mad at her for her choices with her hair.
However, if she came to work for me, I would never stand for her hair being that crazy.
“Good morning, Olivia. How are you?”
“I’m doing well. Can’t really complain.”
I held my phone toward her for her to scan for the rewards program. She scanned it and I leaned back against my chair.
“Did you do anything exciting over the weekend?”
I laughed. “No. I just rested. I’m going to see my grandkids soon though.”
“Really? How old are they?”
“Two and five,” I said, reaching for my phone to pull up photos.
She put the stopper in my hot coco and slid the sleeve on the cup while I held my phone out the window again.
“Awe, they’re so cute!”
I smiled and took the hot chocolate from her. “Yeah. Thanks! I’ll see you tomorrow?”
She nodded. “Yep! I’ll be here.”
I pulled away and set the hot chocolate in the cup holder. No. Amanda didn’t need to know that I was on my way to run point on criminal investigations. It was much better if she didn’t know. I didn’t look like a cop, and that was the point. It made people trust me who usually didn’t trust cops. And it gave me the edge I needed to think like a civilian—and more, to think like a criminal.
I got to the precinct and picked up my hot chocolate. By now, it was cool enough to drink without being too cold to enjoy. Those ten minutes on the road cooled it down just enough. I walked through the metal detectors and into my office. Screens lined the wall—news sources, social media live streams from public places, new video uploads, photos with people in the background—all flickering with new updates and other search algorithms.
I set my hot chocolate on the desk as I put my headset on and settled into my desk.
Six a.m., on the dot. The screen directly in front of my desk flickered on and I settled into my chair.
“Good morning, Olivia.”
“Good morning, Commissioner.”
“We’re still trying to track down the perpetrator in the Metgov robbery. You know as well as I do that most hackers worth their keyboards don’t get caught, but nailing this one could stop millions of dollars from vanishing in the future. Whoever they are, they’re good. Follow the money as far as you can. See what you can find. Any lead is better than what we have now.”
“I’ll check back in an hour.”
I took the stopper out of my hot chocolate and took another sip. I’d find him. I always did.
This story, segments of this story, and ideas from this story are not to be duplicated or replicated in anyway. This content belongs to J. J. Hanna alone.
Please note: This is a work of fiction. Any similarity to real life events is unintended by the author.
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J. J. Hanna is a writer and reader from Colorado. She loves suspense stories above all else, and is currently working on a debut novel of her own. When she's not writing, you can find her cuddling with a cat, drinking a caffeinated beverage, and watching one of her favorite shows. Go find her on social media @authorjjhanna to keep track of her most recent reads, current adventures, and to get the most up to date news on all things publishing.