As the fans might already know, in SHH, Deputy Wheeler mentioned a policewoman from Brahms who had gone missing years before, only her bike being found on the roadside. This woman is strongly hinted to be Cybil Bennett, from SH1. So I thought: why not writing a fic depicting Wheeler and Cybil becoming acquainted with each other, before her disappearance in the town of Silent Hill?
Much of this story is based on Wheeler's Diary and the SH Wiki timeline.
This is the second of a series of short stories featuring some SH characters who might have crossed paths prior to the games events. The other stories may be found in my profile, as they are released.
I do not own Silent Hill. It belongs to Konami.
I will use the following typing standards:
Flashbacks, written passages
CHAPTER 01 – A ROOKIE IN BRAHMS
'7:30a.m.' rang the alarm clock. Shuffling inside the blankets, a young, dark-skinned man with crew-cut hair grunted in annoyance at the irritating noise. Reaching his hand out to the nightstand, James Wheeler shut off the device and reluctantly sat himself upon his bed, letting out a long yawn next. He knew, however, that tardiness was out of question today. This particular day was a special one. This was his first day in the police force.
He was told to present himself at 9:00a.m., punctually. That meant he still had forty-five minutes to eat breakfast, take a shower and get dressed before departure. Done with the uniform (which consisted of a light-blue shirt with badges sewn on, black trousers, cap and, of course, his personal handgun) at last, he pulled out his car and drove towards the nearest highway. It was other thirty-five minutes till his workplace, so if his calculations were right, he'd arrive there ten minutes earlier than scheduled. Given it was his first day, he was worried about giving a nice impression, so the alarm had been set a bit earlier than usual.
While driving, Wheeler wondered how this new job would be like. He couldn't help but feel lucky that he had managed to get a state job, not an easy thing for a dark-skinned man considering these days. It had been nearly twenty years since Luther King's march, but racism died hard, especially in small towns, where the people tended to be more conservative.
Brahms police, surprisingly, didn't seem to hold any prejudice against him serving in the force. On the contrary, they had been quite friendly to him. Wheeler liked to think these guys were more open-minded than the average, yet a small portion of his mind still thought it had more to do with the lack of police staff on that particular region than anything else. Brahms was a calm, nice little town. The type of place you'd choose to set roots in and form a family. Still, that position he had applied for had been vacant for a good couple of years. Why not many people wished to serve there, he didn't know. Rumors stated it was somehow related to the nearby towns, which could be pretty... troublesome.
Anyway, whatever the reason, it didn't matter for Wheeler. After all, he had just graduated from the police academy months ago and was already employed. He had nothing to complain about.
Brahms police station soon came into sight, right at the town's entrance. A two-floored structure with wide glass windows and a fenced parking at front. Since the lot showed no vacancies, he had to park his car outside. Not that it bothered him, so he stepped out and strode inside the building. Anticipation could barely be concealed.
Heading straight to the secretary at the reception desk, he stated his business there and got directed up to the chief's office on the second floor. It was now 8:52a.m., so his calculations had been fairly precise. A trace of pride crossed his mind on that instant.
Upon entering the office, Wheeler faced the man that would be his boss from this day forward, sat at his desk. He was middle-aged, with short black hair, his slightly wrinkled face displaying signals of both age and job weariness. As his presence was acknowledged by the older cop, the rookie stood upright.
"Officer James Wheeler presenting himself for work, sir." He snapped to attention and saluted, in a military way.
"Oh yes, the new guy," the chief stood up and walked up to the newcomer, holding out his hand. "You know it already, but let me introduce myself again: Sheriff Thomas Gucci. Welcome aboard, Wheeler."
"My pleasure, sir." He replied, as he shook hands with Thomas. The chief grinned at the younger man's strict attitude, aware that rookies usually behaved like that in order to impress their superiors. With time though, they would eventually loosen up and start acting more naturally.
"Come on, I'll introduce you to the others." The sheriff said, gesturing to the door and guiding the newbie downstairs. For now, the chief seemed quite nice. Wheeler had firstly met him in the interview weeks ago and the impression had been the same. Of course, at the time, he had presumed Gucci was acting cool only until the real work started, switching later to a bossy ass. Fortunately, it looked like he was mistaken.
As they made it into a large office with many desks spread around, Thomas approached the nearest teammate and gestured to the rookie.
"Tower, meet James Wheeler, the new guy I told you."
The tall, serious-faced man held out his hand. "Nice to meet you. Officer Robert Tower."
As both men shook hands, the chief elaborated the introduction. "Robert is one of our most experienced officers here. In fact, he's about to get retired in a few years."
Wheeler took notice of that. Indeed Robert looked quite aged, even more than the chief, with a handful of gray strings standing out in his dark hair. He turned to the next policeman in the row of desks.
"And this is Mayberry. Robert's future replacement." Sheriff Gucci presented. Wheeler gazed at the curly-haired man (obviously younger than Tower, but slightly older than himself) and shook hands with him too.
"Mayberry?" the rookie inquired, curious about his name. It looked rather a nick, not to mention more appropriate for a woman.
"Yep, just Mayberry. I prefer like that." Replied the man, with a half-serious smirk on his face. Wheeler simply shrugged; if he wanted to be addressed by that, who was he to deny it?
Wheeler would have proceeded to the next desks, if it wasn't for the fact they were all empty. Thomas realized the rookie's confusion and addressed his concern ahead. "The rest of our force is currently on vacation or on patrol. And even if they were here, you'd see we're a bit short-staffed lately. That's why it's great to have you here; we can always use another hand around."
Maybe he was being just paranoid, but Wheeler couldn't avoid having a strange sensation about this place. Despite the number of desks and the town's size, the chief still claimed they were short-staffed, which meant not all of these desks had an occupant. This led to the hypothesis that a good number of officers had either left the force or... else. Would those rumors about have any truth on them? Perhaps he was sticking his neck onto something nasty. But again, perhaps he was only overthinking and there was really nothing to fear.
As Sheriff Gucci showed the younger cop his desk, the door to the lockers room opened and someone strolled out of it. A young policewoman, with clear blue eyes and short blond hair, not appearing to be much older than Wheeler. Quite a beauty, he had to admit. She wore the same uniform as him, the only difference being the leather gloves and her skin-tight pants, which led to the assumption she rode a motorcycle often.
"Good morning, guys." She greeted out, while browsing every face inside. A puzzled expression came to her, as she perceived around both the boss and a dark-skinned man she didn't recognize.
"Ah, Bennett. Good timing," said Thomas, acknowledging her. "This is James Wheeler. He'll be working with us from now on."
She held out her hand, posing a polite smile. "Welcome to Brahms, Wheeler. The name's Cybil Bennett." He returned the smile and shook hands with her.
"You're leaving on patrol now, aren't you?" the older officer continued. "Take Wheeler with you. He needs to get familiar with the town."
"Sure. Come with me." Cybil answered, heading off to the parking. Normally she would rather patrol on her motorcycle, nevertheless she was always glad to show someone around. It was her hometown, after all.
"Just don't scare the shit out of him with your driving, Bennett!" shouted Mayberry, in a playful tone. It was widely spread in the station that Cybil loved to step (deep) on the gas, oblivious to the fact she was in a car rather than a bike.
"Very funny." The policewoman sarcastically snorted, before leaving.
'Well, so far, so good. The people here seem nice. Looks like I was just overthinking indeed.' He shrugged it off, following her shortly.
According to SH Wiki, Wheeler's first name, James, has been mentioned only in unused game files.
Thomas Gucci came mainly from the SH movie, but was mentioned in SH1 too. The other officers' names, Robert Tower and Mayberry hailed from the SH comics "The Grinning Man".
Sorry for the draggy chapter, but it was necessary to situate the timeline and the characters. Things will get interesting on the next chapter, I promise.