If there was one thing Izir hated, all cops hated, it was forced psychiatric counseling. Detective Hamad Izir was truly grateful that he had never been in a position to shoot a suspect, and had only drawn his service weapon three times as a uniformed officer. Those moments of abject fear, uncertainty, and overpowering adrenaline surges had faded over time, as had the majority of cases he had worked as a violent crimes detective. Salt Lake City wasn’t a haven from crime by any means, but it wasn’t the south side of Chicago, the housing projects of Baltimore or New York city, or the wild west of border towns in southern Texas where the cartel wars sometimes spilled over onto American soil. But like any large city, it had its share of disturbingly inhumane crimes, and Izir had been front and center for enough of them to have a dim view of his fellow humans.
He had nearly come apart at the seams after working a case where a twelve year old girl had been brutalized with ruthless efficiency, almost as if the girl’s killer had lost a bet with Satan and had been forced to make even the devil quake in fright. Three months of counseling sessions with the department’s resident psychiatrist, Dr. Emile Hesh, had been extremely helpful in purging the burned-in images of that nightmare, but he had resented it as a mandatory step to keep his position within the VCD. Myra, his wife of twenty years, had threatened to leave him if he didn’t get help, which made his resentment burn even hotter. Izir hated that he knew he had become a detached, emotionless, angry shell of his former self, and for some unexplainable reason, hated even more than Dr. Hesh and his wife had been both right about his need for counseling, as well as the primary drivers of his emotional recovery. Continue reading