Wild dogs. Who would’ve thought one of the largest threats in a warzone would be packs of scabby dogs? It had never crossed the mind of Konan, until he saw men taken down and killed by them. There were tales of children that were eaten by the beasts.
As he knelt beside Tiffany Watkins, a victim of being devoured by the blood-crazed rodents, he thought of the similarities between the dogs and rats.
Both were stirred to fury by blood, both ate their kills. Now, as then, Konan found himself investigating the death of a human being brought low by animals.
Animals that were brought to a blood craze by an unknown perp. The locations had changed, but the M.O. stayed the same.
“What are you thinking about, Konan?”
“Dogs and rodents,” Konan said to Lilly.
“Dogs? What about dogs?”
“It was a long time ago. Wild dogs would drag down men and kill them. They were stirred into a fury by the scent of blood.”
“Like what happened here?”
“Yeah. Both victims wore spiked collars, both were chained to the wall in the same manner, both died.”
“Same perp,” Lilly asked.
“I doubt it. One is here in the States, the other is on the other side of the planet.”
“Let’s get out of here, Konan.”
“Yeah. Did you talk to the forensic geeks?”
“No. I puked my guts up and came in here. I haven’t spoken to them.”
“Alright. Let’s go talk to them. and then we will leave.”
Tammy Bowen, the town of Fredericksburg’s Chief Medical Examiner, wiped her forehead with a rag. She looked up when Lilly and Konan drew close.
“Hey,” Lilly said. Tammy Bowen nodded. She was not a fan of Konan’s, so he stayed away. It would be best if Lilly handled this part.
“Can you tell us anything right now?”
“I can tell you this is the worst I’ve ever seen. If she hadn’t been chained to the wall, this wouldn’t be a murder.”
“What do you mean?”
“She died of a heart attack, Lilly.”
“A heart attack? She was chained to a wall for God’s sake.”
“Yeah. She probably had the cardiac arrest when rats started to eat her throat.”
“Sweet Jesus. I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Tammy nodded in Konan’s direction. “He’s not surprised. Ask him if he knows anything about it.”
“He’s, my partner. Konan wouldn’t do anything like this to his worst enemy.”
“I don’t trust him. Everyone else was shocked, your partner acted like it was nothing new.”
Lilly turned and looked at Konan. He was propped up against a tree studying the moon.
In the distance the coyotes howled.
Tia Mathers was going through various reports when her phone rang. It was failed politician Khalid Mohammed. Thrice he had ran for Alderman. Three times he failed. Khalid had the unfortunate luck of being recorded embracing the most extreme of his religious tenets.
“I’m busy, Khalid. What do you want?”
“I don’t want anything. Our sponsor wants to meet.”
“Underneath the main bridge overlooking the waterway.”
“In thirty minutes.”
“Alright.” Tia shut down her laptop and organized her desk. She stuck her head in her secretary’s cubicle and told her she was taking a late lunch.
She walked into the garage and signed out an unmarked sedan. The main waterway bridge was ten minutes away. Tia didn’t want to be late; Billy was a stickler for punctuality.
Having a meeting in broad daylight was unusual. It reeked of danger. Tia had never felt so alive.
Billy and Khalid were waiting at a picnic table at the far end of the bridge. Tia drove close and got out. She walked up to the two men and forced a smile. Billy looked at his watch.
“What’s going on,” she asked. Khalid shrugged and smirked. Billy forced a grin.
“Was there any issues with Phase One,” Billy asked.
“No. Everything is right on schedule. Um, Judge Traylor has set up a press conference for tomorrow morning. She is going to confess of abusing her power to pursue and punish pedophiles.”
“That’s great,” Khalid snickered. “It couldn’t happen to a nicer person.”
Billy stared at the scrawny, power-hungry politician until he shut up and looked away.
“Do you still want to go through with this,” Billy asked.
“I have no choice, Kingmaker. I want to be somebody in this town. We’ve already started, there’s no turning back now.”
“Alright. Commence Phase Two.”