October 14th, 2004


How I slept through a hostage situation

So I'm really ready for some off time. It's been a long week. Very, very long. Thankfully, my shift is a quiet one. I pack myself in my car and trundle off home. There's a detour, so it takes me a little longer than I thought. When I reach the gate through which I usually reach my apartment, it's closed. A police car is parked in front of it.

Huh. Well, the gate *has* been staying open at night lately. It's a shortcut to my building, which is why I use it. Maybe management had a problem with trespassers. Or somebody got robbed. I pull around the front entrance. I can't find my key card -- been a while since I used it -- but somebody more impatient than I am buzzes me in. Other people are driving out at the same time. Lots of activity for after midnight. Usually when I come home the place is a tomb. Shrug. I start to drive back to my apartment. Then I realize that many of the cars I'm seeing have special paint jobs and light bars (off) on top. Wow, I think to myself, there sure are a lot of cops here. Then I think: this can't be good. A cop on foot motions for me to stop. I do. He walks up to my window.

"What's going on?" says Your Hero.

"What do you need, sir?" says the cop.

I show him my driver's license. "I live here. I just got off work at the medical examiner's office."

"Where do you live?" he says. "What building?"

"Building 1."

"Oh," he says, "you can't go there."

Not words anyone ever wants to hear. "What's up?"

"We've got a hostage situation," says the cop. "Guy's armed. We think with an AK-47."

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