Lilly drove them to the hospital. The hallway outside of Manson’s room was packed with officers. Many looked up as Konan and Lilly walked in. Many of the officers greeted Lilly, but they mostly ignored Konan. A few of the older officers greeted him. None of it mattered to Konan. He’d never been popular. He wouldn’t know how to act if he suddenly was to become a quasi-celebrity among his peers.
They’d been at the hospital for almost an hour when the doctor came out. She gave the group the good news.
“We’ve stopped the bleeding, and Detective Manson will make a full recovery. I’d be careful of getting in her way. I feel bad for the guy that did this to her.”
The group clapped and thanked the doctor for her hard work. Konan clapped along, but he knew that Blankenship hadn’t missed. This was a warning of things to come. He turned and walked down the hall.
“Hey,” Lilly called after him. “Where are you going?”
“To catch a bus. Thanks for the nice evening. I’ll see you tomorrow.” Lilly chased after him, she caught him in the foyer.
“What’s going on with you?”
Konan took her face in both hands and gazed deep into her eyes. “It would kill me if Blankenship had targeted Lilly.”
“Blankenship won’t stop, Lilly. He’s still here. Go home and get some rest. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”
Lilly watched as he walked out into the night. She wanted to chase after him. Lilly wanted to shake him and make Konan cough up the thoughts he kept to himself. They’d been partners long enough to know that he wouldn’t budge if she tried it. “It’s better to let him do his thing and be there when he falls, than it is to force him to follow the book.” All she needed to do was wait for Konan to make his move, she would interject herself into the situation when things got out of hand.
Konan caught the bus to his mobile home. His ‘library’ was the second bedroom. Most folk called it a ‘guest’ bedroom, but Konan never had ‘guests.’ So, he had converted the small room into a home for his books. Behind the tallest bookshelf, hidden from view, was the remnants of his past. He pulled out the black Pelican gun case.
He laid it on the floor and opened it. Inside was a Bushmaster AR-15, equipped with a low-light Leopold scope. Konan shoved eight 30-round magazines into his bugout bag. His 9mm sidearm was strapped to his waist. The last thing he took from the case was his K-Bar fighting knife.
If Blankenship thought he could target the police and get away with it, he was wrong. Konan had tried to reason with him, had offered to arrest him, and hadn’t reacted when Blankenship had threatened Lilly. Konan was done playing.
Sometimes, the law was inadequate in certain situations. Often, the law is a hinderance to the establishment of peace. “The old Scripture is that violence begats violence.” Blankenship had made the first move. Konan would make the last.
He stowed his gear in his truck and dialed the prison. A sleepy sounding guard answered the phone.
“Parchman Prison, how can I help you, sir or ma’am?”
“This is Detective Konan from the 117th. I need to speak to prisoner #4890653. Rouse him and put him in the room. I am ten minutes out.”
“It’s after midnight…”
“Get him in the room now. He has information pertinent to our investigation, so quit your backtalk and do what I said.”
Konan sped through town and pulled into the parking lot. He strode across the lot to the gate. He flashed his badge and made his way to the door. Chief Tia Mathers was waiting for him when he walked in.
“Crap,” Konan thought. Tia Mathers waved him to follow her. The guard gave her a nod, and she led Konan down the hall a piece. She turned and faced him. Tia looked tired, and for once, she was almost personable in her demeanor.
“I take it your dad may know something.”
“Yeah. It would figure he might.”
“I’m going home and going to bed. Get this resolved, Konan.”
“I’ll do my best, Chief.”
Tia nodded and walked away. She hadn’t asked where Lilly was, and Konan was glad that she hadn’t. He would stop Blankenship, even if it killed him in the process. This had gone on long enough. Michael watched him from the room. Konan walked in and sat across from him.
“Burning the midnight oil, aren’t you kid?”
“A couple of things, Michael. #1: Keep your grubby mitts off Paddy. If you hit him again, I am going to make a public announcement in this prison that you’re a kiddie rapist. #2: I want Blankenship. Give me his location. Now.
“You can’t handle Blankenship, Konan. You’re not mean enough.”
“Don’t make me ask you again, Michael.”
They locked eyes; no words were needed. The message in Konan’s eyes reflected in his father’s. Michael smirked and nodded.
“Okay, son. Before I give you his location, tell me one thing.”
“What’s the difference between you murdering Blankenship, and me killing that family?”
“I’m not murdering Blankenship. I’m enforcing the law. He ambushed a couple of officers tonight. He sealed his fate when he pressed the bang button.”
“Sure. Whatever helps you sleep at night. He’s at the abandoned chemical factory, not far from your home. Big B is arriving tomorrow morning. You could bag both at once if you play your cards right.”
“Alright, Michael. Thanks for the info.” Konan stood to leave, but Michael grabbed his hand. He looked in his son’s eyes for a long moment before he spoke.
“Kill him, Konan. If you are smart, you’ll kill his mother too. Both are stains on the world. End this and protect your city.”
Konan nodded and pulled his hand out from his father’s grip. He looked at his father. The mass murder was still there, but somehow, he seemed all to human.
“That’s the plan,” Konan said.