The Rainy Ripper…new writing…unedited and incomplete…

Lilly cocked her head and stared at Konan. “Why is he so angry,” she wondered. This case, their first, seemed to have evolved into a personal conquest. As if Konan would not be satisfied until someone paid for the crime in blood. 

“You’re target locked, Konan.”

“What do you mean, Lilly. I felt that Khalid was our guy from jump street.”

“That’s what I am talking about. You didn’t ‘feel’ this way about Rasheed, and he committed heinous acts just like the one perpetrated on Talia.”

“Rasheed was remorseful. Khalid is too smooth. I’m telling you…”

“Remorse is not a symptom of innocence, Konan. Why are you dead set that Rasheed is innocent? Where is your evidence that he is guiltless of this crime?”

Konan rubbed his forehead and temples. He shook his head in disgust. 

“I don’t have anything, just what I feel in my guts.”

“It’s entirely possible that both men are culpable of the deed. Sure, Rasheed seemed remorseful, but he also put a gun to my head. Don’t forget that small detail.”

“Yeah,” Konan said. This case was moving too fast, or he was moving too slow. Leads were few, and Konan was torn between his past and this case.

“Let’s get some coffee,” Lilly said. She drove them to a small café that was on the corner down from the station. Konan got out and sat at a table near the largest window in the building. 

“Here you go, partner. Some much needed brain juice to the rescue.”

Konan took the coffee and blew on it. Lilly sat across from him. She stared out the window at the puddles left by the storm. 

“I’m sorry, Lilly. It wasn’t professional of me to put all my eggs in Khalid’s basket.”

“It’s okay. I just haven’t grasped why you’re so angry. I’m sure you have your reasons, but we need to get the right guy for the crime.”

“Yeah, I know.”

“Why are you so angry?”

Konan rubbed his temples and stared out the window. Tears wetted his eyes. He blinked them away. 

“There was a third honor killing that I saw. Her name was Aida. She was born in the Middle East but grew up in America. When the war kicked off, she went back to her place of birth. She and her family moved back because they loved their country. They wanted to help.”

Konan sipped his coffee and stared at a puddle of muddy water. A car passed by and splashed water on the window. He wiped at the tear that stained his cheek. 

“They had two beautiful daughters. Aida was our interpreter. She went out on missions with us. One day, she didn’t show. Then, it was a week. Two weeks. We found their bodies in a drainage ditch on one of our patrols. “

Lilly covered her mouth and stayed quiet. “Poor guy…”

“Aida’s children were abused, tortured, and then killed. She and her husband were made to watch. Or that was what we assumed. The husband received the same treatment, he just lasted longer.”

“And Aida?”

“We only found her head. The rest of her body had disappeared. We figured they fed her to the wild dogs.”

“Oh my God…”

“Did no one investigate?”

“Investigate? Who had time to investigate? It was rumored that they were betrayed by our side, but horrors happened daily in that country. War was carried out. Evil happened so frequently no one could keep up. Sure, it was reported. People were assigned, but the backlog of tragedies were astronomical.”

“Maybe we should be reassigned to something less…”

“No, Lilly. I’ll keep my emotions in check. Let’s get this solved.”

“Can you do that? Can you keep your emotions balanced?”


“Did they ever find out who killed Aida and her family? Did they discover who sold them out to the insurgency?”

“I don’t know. The last I heard was they suspected a Non-Commissioned Officer named Blankenship in our unit. I don’t think anything ever came of it.”

“He was in your unit? Did you know him?”

“He was assigned to my unit to bolster our numbers. I knew of him, met him a time or two between missions. That was it.”

“Why was he suspected of betraying them?”

“Again, I don’t know. Something happened to his squad, I think. It was before he came over to us.”

“We need to find out what happened. We also need to see if he knew Rasheed or Khalid, and if they had any dealings with each other.”

“Yeah, I agree,” Konan said as he wiped at his eyes. “Maybe we can put both cases to bed with one swing of the bat.”

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