Human trafficking, prostitution rings or betting circles of any kind. She had faced most types of organised crime, often placing her and her partner's life at risk going under cover. One wrong move, her cover being discovered and they would be killed or worse.
It was part of her job for the last three years. Neither she nor her partner blinked an eye at most of the uncover work they were given. Whatever it was, they had faced worse and lived to tell the tale. All that, and now she was nervous?
It wasn't like she was going to face a tigger-happy master-mind, or even a gang member a little too cocky for his own good. No, Commenter Carter had asked her to come to his office... to talk. That was it, but she didn't know the reason. She hadn't done anything suspicious, nor had she broken any laws in her free time.
There were a few people who didn't like her, but she didn't think they hated her enough to be the reason she was fired. Or at least, she hoped they didn't hate her that much, since she was sure most of them would rather just want to see her in one of the most dangerous units in Vice.
Either way, her job was one of the things she was proud of. Her skill set was perfect for undercover work. Not only that, but both she and Karen were the youngest third-grade vice detectives in New York.
She was sure her appearance helped. She was generally looked over as weak and harmless, not that much of a threat. It generally meant she was brought into the main ring faster, since the 'pumps' thought they could make more money from her. Most learnt that wasn't the case the hard way.
Not that any of that would be useful in homicide. Taking a deep breath, she pushed open the door in front of her. Walking into Commenter Carters office, taking a seat in front of his desk.
"Miss Rumaysa Crystal," Carter said looking up from his work.
"May," she corrected. Her full name was odd, and it usually meant she was in some kind of trouble with her foster father. "Please. Just call me May."
"Of course," he told her, narrow green eyes looking at the file in his hands. "May, you have one of the most colourful character description I've compiled in the years I've worked on this force."
"I have some people say you're selfish and others swear you're the most self-effacing person they've met." Carter sighed as he pinched his nose, May wondering why he even asked about her, she was happy working in Vice. It kept her mind busy. "Some say you're a know-it-all and others say you know nothing at all. Crystal, I've seen crooked politicians with more consistent reputations then yours."
'That must be it,' May thought. He must have thought she was crooked, it was the only thing that made sense. At least she would be able to defend herself. "I'm not crooked sir."
"I know. Crystal, you're not in trouble. I've seen your record," he told her, placing a folder on the table. A familiar face looked up at her from the corner, she didn't have a good feeling about it. "You used to live at East End."
"Went to East Grammer Academy. Not a lot of trust fund baby on the force."
That made her blink, she rarely got called a 'trust fund baby'. "I'm not a trust fund baby, just a charity case." Not that her foster father was the bleeding heart type, but that wasn't here nor there.
"But you know them. Know what circles they run in."
"Then you're perfect for this investigation."
"What investigation sir?"
"Karl Chevell was murdered," Carter told her. May blinked before picking up his file, flicking through the information. She didn't know any one who'd want to kill Karl, he was a kind man. "Family and friends thought it was a heart attack, given his age, but his wife insisted on an autopsy. Tropane Alkaloids were found in his blood. Belladonna."
"Nightshade? Isn't that a little mediaeval?"
"Yes. You'll help Lieutenant Yoren find the killer."
"There's a conflict of interest." While May could hate herself for this later, she knew it was the right thing to do. While she was given a change to work with a legend in New York, the man had stopped a bombing during a Thanksgiving parade as a beat cop. Like she was going to be able to any help to someone like Isaac Yoren, besides she hadn't been back to East End since she left, almost ten years ago.
"You don't have family there. And you didn't know about Chevell's death, four days after he'd been found, then you don't keep in touch with anyone," Carter told her. Handing her the file, May didn't know how she was going to say 'no', not without explain things that were best left alone.
She didn't think she could handle being back around them, not after what happened. Not after she ran the moment she could.
"Besides," Carter continued. "Detectives investigate their childhood neighbours all the time."
May didn't know what to say. Going back meant seeing him, seeing them. She barely thought of them for the last ten years. Not since she threw herself into her studies and work, then her career.
"Perfect. Lieutenant Yoren will be waiting for at nine sharp. Tomorrow."
"Yes sir." She knew a dismissal when she heard one, taking Chevell's file with her. A kind face from her childhood, but that was as far as she was going to allow herself to think about it.
She could only hope that this case didn't end as badly as she thought it would, and May had a feeling that she would rather face the Iron-born Gang, then face this case.
May didn't know if she wanted to laugh or cry. But she was having seconds thoughts about asking her friend for a drink. Karen was starting to look too much like a proud cat that caught the mouse. Or gotten the milk.
She knew it was better to tell Karen what happened in Commenter Carter's office, since her friend wouldn't leave her alone otherwise. So Bailey's in hand, she almost finished the rest of her glass at the end of it. At least she wanted to treat the second half of her drink like a shot.
"I knew it," Karen told her, brown eyes shining in amusement. Before she sighed, taking a drunk of her beer and glaring at her. Like it was May's fault that this had happened. "I knew they would pull you out of Vice."
"So you're saying you knew this was going to happen?" May asked her, finishing the rest of her drink, staring at the ice that was left in her cup.
"Of course. Would've been a waste to leave you there."
May only sighed, a waitress taking her glass before asking if she wanted another one. Shaking her head, she kept an eye on Karen. If she knew how Vice worked that meant that Karen was going to be stuck on desk duty, until she got a new partner. Which could take anywhere from two weeks till four months. "You knew, Karen, it's going to be desk duty for a while."
"I know." Karen hated desk duty, and they both knew it. May felt sorry for anyone who would be in the office the same time as her friend. As much as she loved her, Karen was a giant pain when she was annoyed. "But it was soo worth it."
"Winning the bet of course."
"We made a bet about how long they'd let you stay in Vice."
"We've made many bets. That's just one of them, no one bets more then ten dollars at a time."
"Are you lot that bored with life?"
"Come on Crystal. Don't you that you wouldn't do the same."
"You're no fun."
"At least I'm not a lightweight. Drunk already?"
"I ain't. I've had only one beer."
"May, Karen," a voice shouted, drawing May's attention away from Karen's reddening face. They had too much fun making fun of each other. And as much as May wanted to scream at Sean for not telling her about Karl Chevell's death, she knew she wouldn't, since that would mean giving away details of her case.
And she had a feeling that this was going to be one case that they didn't need the media following them around on. More so, she was sure Chevell's son didn't need the attention, or he's wife.
"Sean, over here," Karen yell back, waving her hand. Before pushing May over and sitting next to her. Leaving the two seats in front of them free.
"I didn't know you were her," Sean told them, his cheeks going red as she sat in front of May. But she was sure that her friend wanted to avoid being teased by Karen, since even she would admit he made it a little too easy at times.
"We're always here," Karen told him.
"Not when you've got work the next day."
"Yes. But desk duty."
"Now you're going overboard," May told her. Rolling her eyes as Karen put her arm over her shoulder. "You knew this was going to happen."
"Yes, but May. Desk duty. It's worse then homework during high school, at least you couldn't be fired," Karen told her, almost dropping her bottle. Fake tears in her eyes, before pushing out her lip. "It drives even the strongest of willed to seek comfort in another body or the bottom of a bottle."
"I'm pretty sure, you're one of the few that feel that way," May replied. Yawning, before spotting a blonde haired female looking around the pub, before her gaze landed on Sean, at least could stop Karen's whining. "Now, Sean, who's your friend?"
"Amna?" Sean asked before looking up, a smile growing on his face.
"No," Sean told her, Amna sitting next to him a nervous smile on her face. Not that Karen would allow it to stay on her face for long. "Amna, these are my friends Rumaysa and Karen."
"Please call me May," May told her before Karen could say anything. While she wasn't going to change any time soon, it didn't mean she liked hearing people trying to pronounce her middle eastern name. "I, personally, think my parents were drunk when they picked my name."
"More likely Muslim," Karen added. "Muslim or drunk."
"One of the two."
"It's a pleasure to meet you, I haven't met any of his friends," Amna told them, her cheeks going slightly pink.
"That's cause you've just met all of them," Karen told her. "Sadly, this poor soul is stuck with the two of us."
"I do apologize," May told them pushing herself up. "I have to leave, I'm sure Yoren won't be impressed if I arrive late."
"A new case?" Sean asked, before blinking and tilting his head to the side. "Then is Karen on desk duty?"
"You know neither of us, can't talk about what case we're working on."
"Not without risking your life."
May's smile vanished when she left the pub, rain hitting her head before she pulled her hood over her hair. It was a popular spot with the police, but that just meant barely anyone was crazy or despite enough to try robbing them.
A red moon starting to raise over the horizon, and May was glad that she didn't believe in superstition, she really was.