Aftermath…new writing, unedited, incomplete…

“This is about the truth, justice and…”

“…all those political catch phrases they taught you to screech when your neck is on the line,” said the well-dressed man that sat across from Chief of Police Tia Mathers. The man was thin. Thin applied to every aspect of the man. He had a thin face, thinning hair, and a narrow set of dead eyes. Even his attitude was slight.

“Thermopolis Konan killed William Blankenship in cold blood. His punishment should rattle the heavens,” Tia snarled. Those dead eyes bore into hers. Tia squirmed. It was an uncomfortable position for her to be in.

“Have you read Blankenship or Konan’s military records,” the man asked. He already knew the answer to his question. He laced his fingers together and waited.

“No. All I received was a heavily redacted copy. I know where they were stationed, when they entered the military, and the date of their first deployment. That’s it.”

“Do you know what a redacted record would suggest, Chief Mathers?”

“I could guess…”

“Let me save you some trouble. Every line in those records are missions that only the highest level of government has access to. Those are things that no one would understand. We asked those men to do the things that we couldn’t muster the strength to do ourselves. People like you should say thank you and get out of the way. He did you and your town a favor by killing Blankenship. Let it go. Put Konan back on the street.”

“I’d rather die,” Tia snarled. The man smiled a thin smile. His eyes showed no humor, and Tia’s breath caught in her throat.

“Careful, Chief. That could easily be arranged. My presence here is not accidental, nor was my remark a suggestion. Put him back on the street working cases, today.”

The thin man stood and smoothed his black suit coat. He gave Tia a nod and walked out the door. His work here was finished for now. Tia sat at her desk and trembled. “How dare that man come here and tell me to put Konan back to work. This is my town, my police department. By God, I do what I want-when I want.”

She reached for the phone and punched in Lilly Thompson’s phone number. While Tia struggled to contain her anger at being threatened by the unnamed man, she was smart enough to do what he said. His dead eyes suggested he had no issue with killing her. For now, Tia was content with playing along.

“But every dog has its day.”

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