General Fiction posted March 14, 2019 Chapters:  ...19 20 -21- 22 

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Max is given a syringe with a lethal dose of heroin.

A chapter in the book The Project

The Lethal Dose

by Rhonda Skinner

Major Addison ordered Sgt. Koern to administer a lethal amount of heroin to Max Brady.
Koern carefully replaced the cap on the loaded syringe, got some rubber tubing, and put both in a small, black case. He had reservations about administering the overdose to Brady. As a soldier I'll gladly follow Addison's orders to kill the enemy on the battlefield. But I won't kill a defenseless civilian for that windbag, he thought.

He ordered a Private to get Brady and take him to the parking area. Koern changed back into his jeans and t-shirt. The three men met at Koern's red Ford Escape. "You two get in the back seat," Koern said.

The sergeant drove to a deserted alley in the seedy part of town. He dragged Brady out of the car and sat him down with his back against a wall. Then he handed him the black case. "Here. A parting gift for you."

Koern got back in his SUV and drove away. He thought, when Brady overdoses himself, that's on him. Not me.

It took Max a while to get his bearings. Am I actually outside? No more cell? With shaking hands, he opened the case. Yes! He left me one more. Max took the tubing out and wrapped it around his left arm. He pulled the ends with his teeth to tighten the tubing. Then he realized the cap was covering the needle. He removed the cap, set the syringe down, and started over again with the tubing.

As he picked up the syringe, he heard a voice. "Stop right there. Put it down now!" Two beat patrol cops approached him. Max dropped the syringe. He didn't recognize either of the constables, but he was glad to see them.

"You're under arrest for possession of a narcotic," the policeman said, as he kicked the syringe away from Max.

"You don't understand. I'm Lt Max Brady of the Tucson Police."

"Right. And I'm Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. Get up."

Max struggled to get to his feet.

"You're in pretty bad shape, aren't you?" said the policewoman.

Her partner said, "Liz, are you thinking what I'm thinking?

"Community Bridges? "

"Yup. It's your lucky day, Max. You're going to detox instead of jail."

Liz carefully picked up the syringe. "Jesus. There's enough in this syringe to kill an elephant. You're lucky we came along."

Liz's partner radioed for a squad car to take Max to Community Bridges. When the car arrived, Liz put the syringe in a sharps container in the trunk. As her fellow officers loaded Max into the back seat, she said, "Good luck to ya."

Now that Max was free from Koern, he knew he had to get straightened out, but right then it was awfully difficult. He felt horrible, and he knew it would be at least a few more days before the withdrawal symptoms abated. He recognized the name 'Community Bridges' and knew he was in Phoenix. They think I'm a homeless drug addict. Somehow, I've got to reach my colleagues in Tucson, he thought. These Phoenix cops will never believe my story or that I am one of them.

The constables escorted Max into the detox centre and left him in their care. The nurse asked for his name and then an attendant took him for a delousing shower. Max knew it was standard procedure, so he didn't object to it. After the shower they gave him some hospital pajamas to put on and led him to his room. The nurse checked his blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen saturation. When she was done, she pointed out the drawer that had a toiletries kit in it.

"You're in for a rough few days, Max," the nurse said, "But it will get better. Try to get some rest now."

"Thank you, nurse." Max wrapped his arms around his waist. The abdominal pain was relentless. I'll get better, he thought. And then I'll get Addison.

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© Copyright 2019. Rhonda Skinner All rights reserved.
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