CH 01: Detective Buck Dale
With his fur-felt, worn-in black cowboy hat hunkered down on his unruly dark brown hair and his scuffed up cowboy boots resting on top of his jumbled desk whose surface had never seen the light of day Detective Sergeant Buck Dale’s steely green eyes were as sharp today as they were when he first joined the Calgary Police Department only nine years ago.
Illustrated by: Jason Hendrickson
Calgary was located in southern Alberta and had just over a million people. In Canada you started as a Police Cadet then Police Constable 4th, 3rd, 2nd, 1st Class Detective, and Detective/Sergeant so Buck spent less than two years at each rank as he move up. It was because of his keen insight that Buck rose so quickly in the ranks despite his crudely redundant, cow-boy red-neck demeanor that Calgarians were so famous for but now-a-days politics and society favored a water-downed version of the cowboy and wanted to terminate the red-necks. Stroking his mustache and beard Buck pondered about how everyone was jumping on the “be tolerant of others” bandwagon, other lifestyles, other religions, he was tired of being force fed this shit. He wanted to remain a redneck, didn’t he have rights just like the newly reformed non-smokers, AA treated booze-hounds, and gender confused girly boys who all demanded their say. But Buck was quickly becoming a dinosaur as the current cowboys today looked more like clean shaven, chiseled models than the true slightly pot-bellied, thick armed, hairy ranchers of old. As often as he could Buck tested his boundaries but after he got caught rolling tobacco in the little boys’ room and smoking it in the stairwell he received strike one. When he had a few beers at the nearby bar at lunchtime and some sap complained he smelt of liquor it was strike two for him. What ever happen to the co-workers code of sticking up for each other? So Buck conformed on those two accounts he could be charming when he wanted to be and was an expert at defusing tension or potentially explosive situations so he managed to side-step unpleasant situations most of the time. Yet he still managed to get in hot water when he had an office romance with a younger officer and she cried wolf because he dumped the clingy bitch. In Calgary there were fifteen Police Stations and the recent brew-ha-ha caused Buck to be kicked out of Police Headquarters to District 4 Franklin in the north-east end of Calgary adjacent to the Marlborough neighborhood known as one of the worst regions in the city. As dangerous as the neighborhood was Buck found it exhilarating the seedy under-belly of Calgary. He found nothing worse than rich greedy bastards in their mansions who spitted on those below them, back-stabbing each other in a race for superiority. At least here what you saw was what you got…no surprises just the bare dirty truth and it wasn’t pretty. He knew the houses were over thirty years old and many in disrepair… some worse than others but the people lived the way they could afford. The area had a large box hardware store, pet store, and supermarket as well as two shopping malls. There was one designated public elementary school and one middle school also several religious schools in the Marlborough neighborhood. The high school was in the south-east.
Detective Buck Dale came from over five generations of cops and detectives so Buck’s fate was sealed but he didn’t mind because it was one of the few jobs that allowed him to be macho. His mother was a social worker which was how his parents met. She had called for a police escort to remove two children from an abusive household and afterwards the cop asked her on a date. With a year of marriage under their belt Buck’s parents had him and the next two years in the couples’ relation came two more boys. Tragedy struck their family when at age twelve his dad was killed during a bank robbery. That left his mother to raise three sons on a meager wage and despite the widow’s funds she got from the police, money was tight. Of the three boys Buck had been closest to his father and being the oldest he became the dad and lost his remaining childhood to the task. It’s not that Buck ever resented it but it quickly toughened him up. Despite the fact his dad died as a cop Buck became one too while his brothers became prison guards. Buck had several girlfriends over the years but whenever it became too serious he broke up with them. He didn’t want to leave a widow behind like in his parents’ case.