Well, the news story was forwarded on to me by a guy I work with, but Debbie (whom I met through this wonderful fandom, who lives across town from me and is one of the really terrific folks out there) suggested turning it into a Megan story. Sooooo... The names are, of course, changed to protect the guilty... and that's another question, isn't it?
The standard disclaimers are standardized, probably for a very good reason. The intellectual property of The Sentinel belongs to others, at least for a good many more years, unless they extend their copyright, but that probably won't affect any of us. I still make no money at this and am very grateful that the owners of the characters and venues we borrow don't come after us with cease and desist orders or lawsuits to take away our computers.
Yes, I know I'm supposed to be working on other things, but when the musae bash...
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It came as a fax. Unfortunately, none of the members of Major Crime was the first to read it. By the time it got to where it was supposed to, copies had been made and distributed throughout the entire department and had even spread throughout the internet, to many people's amusement. When Captain Simon Banks finally got the fax, it was the next day. When he read it, his annoyance was such that a great many people, who should have known better, were doing their best to disappear. Unfortunately for them, the memorandum that started out from the Captain's office ended by going up, and then crashing back down through the entire hierarchy of the Police Department.
"In future, when faxes arrive, they are to be handled in such a way that the person(s) for whom they are intended shall receive them with a minimum of delay.... Faxes are not for the amusement and dissemination by the rank and file.... Any faxes will be disseminated by the proper management authority..."
The memo went on for three pages, specifying what was and was not acceptable behavior when it came to handling information that might come into the department. Simon Banks was not mollified.
Megan Connor, however, was mortified.
Of course, the rest of the department didn't know. They were just laughing at the story that someone in Sydney had faxed to the department, with Megan's attention line and Major Crime for an address. Just about everyone loved the story, cheering for the little old lady; and passing the story on to all their friends and colleagues, even in other cities.
"Connor? Can I see you for a minute, please?" Captain Simon Banks wasn't often so polite, but Megan jumped when he spoke, startled from her perusal of the fax that had finally found its way to her desk. Every eye was on her as she rose and, with a sigh, sauntered across the room and into the captain's office.
"Have a seat," Simon offered as he closed the door behind them.
"Thank you, Sir." She could see a copy of her fax on his desk and a faint blush started up her neck, suffusing her face in a lovely shade of pink.
Seeing her reaction and that her eyes were focused on the copy on his desk, he sat down, deciding to put her out of her misery as quickly as possible.
"I know that you don't get a lot of contact with home, Connor, but I'd prefer it if you had your personal jokes either emailed or sent to you through the mail, in future..."
"It wasn't a joke, Sir."
Simon stared. She was staring at the floor and the blush on her cheeks had deepened.
"Oh?" The tone of the captain's voice asked volumes more than such a simple word could convey on its own.
"Then why did they send it to you?" From her expression and body language, he realized that there was more here than someone sending amusing anecdotes through the fax lines. "Connor?" His voice softened when he recognized her distress.
Forcing herself to look up and meet the concerned gaze of her superior, Megan tried to smile, but it fell horribly flat. Finally, taking in a deep breath and letting it out in a sigh, she stood and crossed over to the desk. Picking up the copy of the fax, she read through it, shaking her head.
"Bridget is my cousin," she explained.
Simon had picked up his cup and taken a sip of coffee. At her words, he gasped. Unfortunately, coffee is meant to be swallowed, not inhaled.
Megan saved the cup from spilling, and pounded her helpless and choking superior on the back to try and help clear his airway. The door abruptly opened to reveal their resident Sentinel, who came in and grasped his Captain's wrists and lifted his arms above his head to help the spasms. Right behind the Sentinel, of course, came his guide and partner, who was kind enough to close the blinds to keep prying eyes from watching. Of course, the rest of the crew crowded in, as well, worried and concerned for their colleagues.
When Simon was able to breathe again, he took off his glasses to wipe the pain tears from his face, then put his spectacles back on. Seeing that his entire crew was there, he sighed. "I'm fine. Don't you people have some crimes to solve?"
"Of course, Simon. But we figured it would be better for all of us to hear about the fax, instead of the speculation from other sources and besides," Joel said, as spokesman for the group, "Megan shouldn't have to tell it more than once, you know?"
Simon and Megan exchanged looks. With a resigned sigh, Megan sat back down, once again blushing furiously.
"You're right. I'm sure you've all seen the fax that was sent?" Seeing their nods, she continued. "The girl, Bridget, is my cousin." There were several seconds of pregnant silence as they digested the information.
"Then that would mean that Mrs. Fitzroy would be..." Blair began.
Megan nodded, "My grandmother." There was nearly a minute of silence as they wrapped their minds around what that meant.
"I thought you were from Sydney?" Rafe asked.
"I am, but Melbourne isn't all that far away, just a few hundred miles, is all."
"Soooo, the reason they sent you this was...?" Jim probed, rather delicately.
She sighed again, feeling that the embarrassment that flushed her cheeks was going to become permanent. "I suppose they figured that I'd like the full story straight from them, instead of whatever the media here might say. Of course, it didn't make the news here at all." And from her demeanor she wished that the fax hadn't, either.
"So, have you talked to your family?" Joel asked gently.
"Nah, it's covered. I'm sure that whatever happens, Granny's going to be just fine. Besides, at her age, what can they do to her? We don't have a death penalty. Which doesn't really come into play even if we did, since she didn't kill them."
"I'm amazed that the cops didn't find them, first," Blair murmured.
"Well, unfortunately, our police are still a bit behind in some areas. Oftentimes, Rape is still felt to be the woman's fault and they don't pursue rapists as hard as you do here. It's changing, but very slowly."
"It's still changing here, too," Simon pointed out. "Every year the courts get better, but some old-timers have a problem adjusting to the new realities, but as they retire, the younger officers are trained to the new laws and procedures."
"But you're a lot more diligent than some of our departments," Megan insisted.
"But not all police departments are as enlightened as ours is, Megan," Blair added, patting her shoulder.
"Well, that's true," she grinned.
"So, is your cousin all right?" Rafe asked worriedly.
Megan shrugged. "I haven't heard. I'm sure that when I call home this weekend, someone will be more than happy to inform me."
"So, what the fax said about your grandmother?" Brown asked.
Sighing, Megan looked around at her new friends, "Probably the precise truth, as far as it goes. What it says she said certainly sounds like her."
"What do you think will happen to her?" Simon asked, glancing at the fax again.
"I've no idea. Probably a suspended sentence or probation; maybe community service. Of course, she already does a lot of that last. At her age, I seriously doubt they'll send her to prison."
"You sound awfully callus about the whole thing," Blair commented.
Megan looked at him in surprise. "I can't honestly say I'm disappointed in Granny. I'm not sure I wouldn't have done the same thing, myself, given the opportunity."
"Kind of blood-thirsty, aren't you?" Brown asked.
Megan stiffened. "What if it were your sister? Or your wife?" she spat out, a challenge in her voice and posture.
"And you call us uncivilized because we still have the Death Penalty?" Jim rejoined, his voice calm and unassuming.
"I..." Megan's mouth snapped closed on her retort as her brow furrowed in angry confusion.
"Hey, guys, lighten up," Blair stood up and started talking, his hands waving in punctuation to his words. "Can any of us honestly say that we disagree with what Mrs. Fitzroy did? I mean, she hunted for them for a week, seven days, and when she thought she found them, she took a picture of them and got a positive ID from her granddaughter, so we know she didn't make a mistake. Of course, it would have been better if she'd taken her information to the police and let them handle it, but does any one of you really disagree with her handling of the crime against her granddaughter?"
"Yes," came several voices. Blair looked at his friends in surprise.
"Yes, Sandburg. What she did was premeditated. She admits that she 'went hunting for them' and when she found them, after making sure they were the right ones, she shot them both. Yes, she turned herself in, but that doesn't make what she did any less a crime," Simon's voice was, for once, in lecture mode. "Vigilantism is almost never an acceptable means of crime control. Too often it gets out of hand and becomes worse than the crime it's supposed to stop. Due to her age, they'll probably just give her a slap on the wrist, but if this is the start of something that will spread, either that police department is in some serious need of revamping, or there's something very wrong in that city, for her to be lauded as saint material."
There was a long silence as they thought about the ramifications of what had happened so very far away from their city... and they were all suddenly grateful to be so far removed from the problems that had led to such an action by the elderly woman.
"The worst part, I think," Joel began, "Is that the police agreed with her, that says a lot about their Judicial system, when even the cops are on the side of the vigilante..."
"And that's frightening," Blair agreed.
There were several minutes of silence, then: "All right, people, enough. Head on back to whatever you were doing before." Simon used his best 'Captain's' voice, which quickly had the office cleared, except for the still embarrassed Megan.
When the door closed behind the last of the detectives, Simon looked at his subdued exchange officer, "I suppose she's the one who made you decide you wanted to be a cop?"
"Yeah. Taught me how to shoot, as well." She raised weary eyes to her superior. Shaking her head, "I'm not quite sure what to think, or feel. On the one hand, I'm so proud of her for what she did, making the punishment fit the crime, but then I'm just so... I don't know, embarrassed isn't nearly strong enough, maybe horrified is a better word, that she could do such a thing... I'm sorry, Sir, but it's driving me to distraction, thinking about it."
"Call home and talk to her. I think that Joel may have hit it correctly, that the Judiciary has been falling down on the job to the point that even the cops are pleased for the help of a vigilante... I've seen it happen elsewhere. Often it turns into a public outcry for reform. And reform can be a very good thing."
"Thank you, Captain. That helps." She rose to return to her desk when Simon's parting words stopped her cold.
"You know, of course, that those officers who've been giving you a bad time about being from Australia are going to hear that Mrs. Fitzroy is your grandmother." Seeing her shocked expression, "Oh, come on, you don't really think those guys are going to keep quiet about it? Especially not your partner, who's tired of putting up with some of the comments. First one to say anything about you being less worthy, whether because you're from a country without a death penalty, or because you're a foreigner, or even just because you're a woman, is going to get an earful... In the long run, this may prove quite advantageous to your reputation."
"Oh, joy. Just what I need, to be known as 'GranBo's' granddaughter," she moaned.
"Not necessarily, how about being known as the woman whose 81-year-old grandmother used a 9mm pistol to castrate her cousin's rapists? And that she taught you everything she knows?" There was a smile on his face as she met his eyes. His words started her thinking.
"Good answer. Now, go on back out there and catch some bad guys. Just, please, don't go shooting them, if you can possibly help it?"
"Right, Sir. I'll do my best." She smiled as she stood. Looking out through the glass of the office door, she could see her colleagues, diligently working away. When Ellison raised his head and looked at her, meeting her eyes, she saw his smile; his expression showing acceptance and pride. Straightening to her full height and best posture, she smiled back, first at Jim and then at the Captain as she opened the door to return to work. Just before she closed the door behind her, she called back to her superior.
"Thank you, Sir." Simon looked up and smiled back at her, waving her out the door with one hand. As soon as she turned away, he perused the fax once more, shaking his head and thinking (but only to himself, he would never say his opinion out loud) that he had to agree that Mrs. Fitzroy's revenge was quite appropriate, under the circumstances. Of course, he was also grateful that it hadn't happened in his bailiwick...
Below is the email I received. I've *out any names, just because. On the one hand, I loved this article, but on the other, it's a very sad commentary that vigilantism should be necessary these days.
This is justice properly and effectively administered - 'GRANBO'
Gun-toting granny shoots 2 rapists' testicles off
MELBOURNE, Australia -- Gun-toting granny , 81, was so ticked-off when two thugs raped her 18-year-old granddaughter that she tracked the unsuspecting ex-cons down - - and shot their testicles off!
"The old lady spent a week hunting those bums down -- and when she found them, she took revenge on them in her own special way," said admiring Melbourne police investigator .
"Then she took a taxi to the nearest police station, laid the gun on the sergeant's desk and told him as calm as could be: 'Those bastards will never rape anybody again, by God.'
81-year-old **shows how she turned two rapists into sopranos. Cops say convicted rapist and robber , 33, lost both his penis and his testicles when outraged *opened fire with a 9-mm pistol in the seedy hotel room where he and former prison cellmate *, 29, were holed up.
The wrinkled avenger also blew 's testicles to kingdom come, but doctors managed to save his mangled penis, police said. "The one guy, , didn't lose his manhood, but the doctor I talked to said he won't be using it the way he used to," Detective **told reporters. "Both men are still in pretty bad shape, but I think they're just happy to be alive after what they've been through."
The Rambo Granny swung into action August 21 after her granddaughter **was carjacked and raped by two knife-wielding creeps in a section of town bordering on skid row.
"When I saw the look on my 's face that night in the hospital, I decided I was going to go out and get those bastards myself 'cause I figured the police would go easy on them," recalled the retired library worker. "And I wasn't scared of them, either -- because I've got me a gun and I've been shootin' it all my life."
So, using a police artist's sketch of the suspects and 's description of the sickos' car, tough-as-nails *spent seven days prowling the wino-infested neighborhood where the crime took place till she spotted the ill-fated rapists entering their flophouse hotel.
"I know it was them the minute I saw 'em, but I shot a picture of 'em anyway and took it back to **and she said sure as hell, it was them," the ornery oldster recalled.
"So I went back to that hotel and found their room and knocked on the door -- and the minute the big one, *, opened the door, I shot 'em right square between the legs, right where it would really hurt 'em most, you know. Then I went down to the police station and turned myself in."
Now, baffled lawmen are tying to figure out how to deal with the vigilante granny. "What she did was wrong, but you can't really throw an 81-year-old woman in prison." Det. **said, "especially when all 3 million people in the city want to nominate her for sainthood."
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