Frank enters the bar. The Marina Lounge is busy for a weeknight. All the stools at the bar are taken with drinkers standing deep to the opposite wall. He takes a position at the end of the opposite bar rail.
“What’s that smell?” a woman says standing at the end the bar.
“What,” the man sitting next to her turns his head towards her. He was talking to the woman on his other side. He test smells the air. “Oh shit, what is that?”
“It smells like burnt silicone like that baking sheet your mom gave me last Christmas.”
Frank sits at an empty stool at the end of the bar. His hood is down, but he is hidden behind a cloud of smoke from his burning coat. The patrons around him are coughing. The woman next him is rubbing her eyes. She bends down from the smoke and vomits violently.
“FIRE!” She yells as she lifts up too fast and collapses off the stool onto the woman sitting next to her. The physical therapist catches her, “thanks.”
Few in the bar turn and look. The smoke quickly disperses, but the smell of burning leather makes its way along the crowd.
“Oh,” a man in a blue button down covers his nose and mouth with his hand, “what is that smell?”
“Bad barbeque,” his friend in running shorts and sweaty t-shirt responds.
Sergeant Samson steps with both feet hard on the breaks, and the Ford squeals to a stop. The passengers are lifted into the air. A crowd has gathered across the street from the Marina Lounge with a few brave souls just outside. Another squad car in full alarm squeals to a stop facing the Ford. Two blues exit.
“I’m Lieutenant Cochran.” She pulls her badge out and hangs it around her neck. “Cordon off the street 30 yards from the entrance. Clear all the souls.”
“Yes Mam.” The eldest of the two answers, Gibson is a 20-year veteran and he walks to sidewalk on the west side of the entrance. Gibson pushes the spectators back. The other officer grabs barriers and tape out of the trunk of the squad and systematical lays a barrier to the crowd. “Help me out here.”
Cochran stands up out of the vinyl waiting room chair. She sighs and wipes her brow. She is tired and uncomfortable. She walks across the lobby of San Francisco General for the 100th time with the events at the Marina Lounge running over and over in her head. Could I have stopped it? He didn’t move, but he wouldn’t lie down. Did he raise both hands? Should I have waited for SWAT? Oh my god, Sams, Alan has lost his right hand. That thing wouldn’t stop. What can I say to him? I know I shot it five or six times to the chest and back. Why did I shoot out the door? I hit Seven. That man, that thing just wouldn’t stop. I couldn’t let it get to the public. “Alan, Alan I am so sorry,” she says to herself. What the hell was it? She wrings her hands. What the hell was that thing?
“Lieutenant Cochran,” Andrew Li, the Chief of Police walks up to her. He extends his hand, “this is Lieutenant Wong, he’s the head of Internal Affairs.