I drove us back to the parking garage and killed my truck. Ashley leaned over and gave me a peck on the cheek. I grinned like an idiot, but dang if it didn’t feel good.
“I’ll see you later, Thermopolis,” Ashley said as she climbed out of my truck. “Take care of yourself, and thanks for lunch.”
I watched as Ashley sashayed away, then drove to my home on the outskirts of Fredericksburg. After I showered and washed the day’s grime off of my body, I stretched out on the couch. I turned on cartoons and closed my eyes.
A deep sleep fell over me, but I dreamt of monsters. Some raced naked through the streets, others died strapped to five-gallon buckets and holes shot through their heads. As one lied dying it muttered, “who does such a thing?”
I woke up in the dark of my living room and listened. From outside of my trailer, I heard someone yelling my name.
“Thermopolis, get up! There’s been another murder.”
“What do you mean? You’re expected at the crime scene,” Rama shouted.
For not the first time, I considered walking away from my career in law enforcement. Where we once were all equal under the law, now, the law didn’t touch those who committed the most egregious crimes, so long as they had enough money to purchase their freedom.
Jail sentences and other penalties only applied to the lower caste, even if the rich or celebrated got caught with their hands in the cookie jar, the worst they’d suffer was a fine or a slap on the wrist.
It was enough to make a man sick.
The pollution of the justice system had corrupted every aspect of it. Even the highest institutions of the land had been tainted by the demoralization of the system and its caretakers.
“I don’t care, Rama. Go on without me. Text the directions to me.”
“I’m here now, Konan. Why are you being difficult?”
I opened my door and gave him a forced smile. He stepped back and glared at me.
“Because I don’t trust you, Rama. See you at the crime scene,” I said as I shut the door.