Konan and Lilly strode into the police station together. They now had a purpose and multiple leads to check out. Tia Mathers waited for them at the elevator.
“What do you have to say for yourselves?”
Lilly shrugged and stayed silent. Konan waited for the other shoe to drop. There’s always another shoe, he thought to himself.
“What part of your investigation led you to Khalid Mohammed? Do you know who he is,” Tia screeched.
“Yeah, we know who he is, “Konan said. “He is a person of interest in this murder we are investigating.”
Tia Mathers drew close to Konan, close enough he could smell the cheap vodka on her breath, and whispered, “I told you I would get you. You’re done.”
Lilly stepped to her partner’s side. She met Tia’s hateful glare with one of her own.
“He ain’t going nowhere, Tia. If you fire him, you fire me. Khalid is a person of interest; we will work to clear him as fast as we can. He answered our questions. We have leads that need following, if you’ll excuse us.”
Lilly pressed the button and motioned for Konan to come to her side. Tia licked her lips and glared at Lilly.
“I’d be careful who I hitched my wagon to, Lilly. If he goes down, so will you.”
The elevator dinged and the doors opened. Lilly turned to face Tia. She locked eyes with her.
“I’ll remember that boss. You should probably take your own advice.”
Lilly and Konan rode the elevator to the second floor. They walked into the murder room and sat down at their desk. Manson and Rankin came over.
“I heard y’all going over and bugging innocent people,” Manson said. She curled her lips at the sight of Konan.
“You have to understand, Manson. That’s the Thermopolis Konan method. Instead of looking for the killers, he goes off and looks for someone to blame for his inadequacies.”
Manson snorted. “Sounds about right.”
Konan smiled. Lilly never looked up.
“Speaking of inadequacies Rankin, how’s your wife and my kids,” Konan asked. Lilly giggled. Rankin flushed red.
“Why you piece of…”
Konan leaned back in his chair and waited for Rankin to finish his sentence, but it never came. Manson stepped between Rankin and Konan.
“You know, Mason. When you curl your lips up in scorn, you look like you’re prepared to kiss a hog’s rear end. Or maybe just Rankin. Either way, it’s a bad look for you. Now that you know, do better.”
Manson’s veins protruded from her forehead as she dragged her partner from Konan. Lilly laughed and looked up.
“Are you through antagonizing the children,” she asked. Konan smiled.
“Yeah. You know that Mason is so ugly you’d have to tie a pork chop bone around her neck to get the dogs to play with her.”
Lilly giggled and said, “she probably says the same thing about you.”
While Lilly dug into Khalid’s financial data and relationships, Konan placed a call to the Department of Defense. They answered on the third ring.
“Good afternoon, this is Tiffany. How may I direct your call?”
“Hi, Tiffany. I am Detective Sergeant Konan. Could you connect me with Personnel Records, please?”
Three rings later, Konan was transferred to Personnel Records. A grumpy voiced person answered the phone.
“I’m Detective Sergeant Konan. I am trying to get a copy of Staff Sergeant William Blankenship’s records.”
“For what end?”
“He is a person of interest in a murder investigation.”
“You need to fill out several forms before I hand over a copy of a soldier’s record. Do you have the forms?”
“This is the first I’ve heard of needing forms. What forms do I….”
“You need the forms, period. There’s no way around it. Get the forms filled out and notarized. Send them in and it will take up to five weeks before they are sent to you. IF your request is approved.”
“Maybe you miss…”
“GET THE FORMS FILLED…”
“STOP INTERRUPTING ME!”
Quiet filled the airwaves. Konan cleared his throat.
“You’re about the rudest idiot I’ve dealt with today. This is a murder investigation. I’m not waiting five weeks for you incompetent people to remove your head from your butts. Send the records to this email.”
Konan rattled off his email and hung up the phone. Lilly stifled a smile and continued her search. Konan leaned back and stretched. ‘No wonder the world is in the shape it’s in. Between the bureaucrats and red tape nothing gets done.’
“Have you found anything, Lilly?”
“Yeah, check this out.” She handed a slip of paper to him. Konan put his glasses on and began to read.
“Well, how about that,” he muttered.
“Wanna go see what Rasheed has to say now?”
“Yep. Let’s ride.”