At 0800, Konan walked into the police station. Lilly sat at their desk. She looked up when Konan walked in. A file was open in front of her, she tapped it with her forefinger.
“I started thinking about what you said this morning,” said Lilly. Konan raised his eyebrows.
“What part,” he asked.
“The part about FHC and the trinity. I began to dig into the three head honchos.”
“Have you discovered anything?”
“All three were juvenile delinquents. They all were together at the juvenile facility, and to boot, they all committed the same crime.”
“Murder, of course. They killed an elderly man. Guess who the officer was that picked them up was, Konan.”
“Well, let’s go roust the turkey.”
Lilly called down to Holding and had Tia Mathers brought to Interview Room #2. Lilly and Konan watched as she was escorted into the room. She glared at Konan, he winked at her.
“You keep winking at me, Konan, and I’m going to gouge your eyes out.”
“Wow. Good morning to you too, Former Chief of Police Mathers.”
“We have questions, Tia,” said Lilly.
“I’m sure you do. I have nothing to say until my lawyer shows up.”
“Awesome,” Konan said. “I’m going to grab some coffee. You want any partner?”
Konan walked out of the room leaving the two women alone in the room. Lilly looked at her former boss. Tia looked away.
“So, you picked up ‘the Trinity’ when they were 16. Then, what? You groomed them to be better criminals,” asked Lilly.
Tia said nothing. Lilly watched. Tia’s face was impenetrable.
“They grow up, and found the FHC. Then, what? You met Billy or Cartwright? All of you conspire to murder your way to the summit of wealth, fame, and political prosperity?”
Tia looked at the floor. Konan walked in, followed by Tia’s attorney. He handed Lilly her coffee. Konan motioned at the attorney.
“Look what I found wandering around in the foyer.”
Lilly grinned. The attorney glared at Konan. He winked at the attorney. She leaned over and conversed with Tia. Lilly and Konan sipped their coffee. The attorney looked at Konan and Lilly and took a deep breath.
“My client will tell you everything she knows, on the condition that she is granted immunity from prosecution.”
“What are you, stupid,” Konan asked. He pointed at his badge. “I’m not a lawyer. I’m a cop. If she wants guarantees, go talk to the DA.”
“Then, she has nothing to say.”
“Fine.” Konan leaned into Tia’s face. “I hope they throw you in the deepest, darkest, hole and leave you for the rats. You deserve nothing but pain for what you’ve done.”
Konan and Lilly left the interview room and went to get breakfast. He drove them through McDonald’s and then drove to the park. They walked to their table and sat on top. They ate their biscuit and looked out at the water. Lilly had heard what Konan said to Tia. They hadn’t said much since the interview. Lilly looked at her partner.
“Do you think the D.A. will go for it,” she asked.
“You can’t be serious.”
“Sure, I am. Tia was a top-level traitor. She knows all the people, she knows the plan. If she gives up all the secrets, then the D.A. is guaranteed a rapid ascent into the big game.”
“You can’t be serious.”
“We’ll see in a few hours.”
It didn’t take hours. Their phones rang before they finished their biscuit. Konan looked at his phone in disgust.
“This is District Attorney Emma Wilkerson. Chief Mathers request for immunity has been granted. Take her statement, her attorney has already been notified.”
Konan threw his garbage into a nearby trash can. Lilly shook her head and muttered, “unbelievable.” Konan nodded at his partner.
“Come on, let’s go get that statement,” he said.
She followed him silently to the car. “Justice,” Lilly thought. “What justice? Tia had no problem letting the rats eat a woman. Now, she is free to go as soon as she gives her statement?”
“Is it wrong that I want to kill, Tia,” Lilly asked.
“Nah, man. Just don’t act upon it.”
“What kind of world are we protecting, Konan? God knows what we are about to hear, and she was okay with it. Now, her butt’s in a pinch, and she wants out. Are we even the good guys anymore?”
“There are no good guys, Lilly.”
“Then, what are we?”
Konan and Lilly walked into the interview room half an hour later. Tia sat at the table with her attorney. A smug smile was plastered on her chunky face. Konan sat across from her.
“Let me know when to begin,” she said.
“The Trinity at FHC were juveniles I picked up. They went to school and became leaders in the community. I met Billy and Cartwright through them. They hatched a plan to remove certain pieces and put their own on the board.”
“You were one of the pieces,” Lilly asked. Tia nodded.
“Yes. I had aspirations outside of law enforcement. They told me that they could help me ascend my station. I went along with it.”
“Who set it up?”
“Billy and Cartwright are known as Kingmakers. They manipulate people and statistics. I don’t know who orchestrated the plan.”
“That’s not good enough,” Konan said.
“What else do you want to know, detective?”
“Who carried out the murder of Tiffany Watkins?”
“I did.” Lilly got up from the table and walked out. Her bottom lip trembled. Tia looked at the ground. “I had to prove I was committed to the cause. Once I did, Billy, Cartwright and the Trinity accepted me as their own.”
“Who killed Judge Traylor?”
“Where is he?”
“I don’t know. He moves around a lot. Last I knew, he was staying at the Super 8, Room 12.”
Konan stopped and checked his tape recorder. It was working perfectly. He knew it was, he needed to take a breath and find some composure.
“Alderman Winston’s suicide, tell me.”
“His brakes failed. I had nothing to do with it. As far as I know, neither did the rest. We grabbed his son, but the Alderman’s death was not us.”
“Where is the son?”
“At the bottom of the waterway. We chained him to an anvil and threw him over the bridge. There’s probably nothing left of him.”
“Jesus, Tia.” Lilly stood in the doorway. She had two cups of coffee in her hands. Her face was wet from her tears. “All this for power? You’re not even human. There’s no end to your depravity.”
Tia said nothing. Lilly handed Konan a cup of coffee, and sat beside Konan.
“Lilly, I’m still…”
“No. You’re a savage. A monster.”
“Is Billy and Cartwright operating at FHC?”
“Yes. Go to my house, detectives. There’s a floor safe under my bed. It’s covered by a rug. The combination to the safe is 01-86-05. Inside the safe is a manila envelope. It has emails, transactions, hideouts, and other information that will fill in the missing pieces.”
Konan slid out from the table. He grabbed his coffee and walked out. Lilly sat across from Tia. She said nothing. There was nothing to say. Her friend, mentor, and confidant for many years had betrayed everything she stood for in the name of more power. At this moment, Lilly recognized that human greed knew no bounds. She stood to her feet and walked out of the room. Konan waited in the hall.
“What’s next,” she asked. Konan shrugged.
“We should go get Ric Terrace.”
“What are you thinking about,” Lilly asked.
“What Cartwright told me the other night. You can’t stop human nature and greed. He was right, there’s no stopping it.”
“Maybe not, but we can stop them.”