Thermopolis Konan and The 112th Files…

Chief Rogers pressed the red button to end the call and walked slowly back to his vehicle. Of all the detectives he could afford to lose, Konan wasn’t one of them. 

“I’ve got to get to the bottom of whatever drama is between Rama and Konan. I need my best detectives working this case before more bodies get stacked.”

Rama and Rowell finished at the scene and drove back to the precinct. Rowell gave Rama a one-finger wave and pulled out of the parking garage.

I watched as Rowell started toward the outskirts, and after giving him three car lengths, I pulled out behind him. Rowell drove out to Gilly’s and stepped out. Gilly stood on the porch and waved for him to come up. 

The last I saw; Rowell had his arm around Gilly’s waist as they walked into the house. So much grieving the dead. From the looks of things; Gilly wasted no time in moving on.

And that made me curious how long she’d had her hooks in Rowell.

I waited two more days, and then returned to work. During those two days, I tailed Rowell. Every evening, he returned to Gilly.  On Thursday, I walked into the office and sat at my desk. Val Rankin glared at me from across the room.

“What are you doing back?”

“Chief Rogers asked me to come back. So, here I am.”

“They should’ve arrested you and thrown you under the jail, Thermopolis.”

“Oh yeah? On what charge, Rankin?”

“They have proof. You’ll see.”

“You’re truly stupid, Rankin. Dumber than the proverbial box of rocks. If they had proof, I’d be in jail.”

I suppose my retort caused him to go speechless, because all I got from Rankin was another glare. My phone beeped, and I picked it up.

“Detective Konan, how may I assist you?”

“Get in my office, Konan.”

“Roger, Chief. On my way.”

I stood and gave Rankin a smile. Then, I walked into Chief Rogers office. His office was at the back of the room, and it commanded an impressive of view of the town of Angie and the surrounding area.

“Have a seat, Konan.”

“Yes, sir.”

I sat down in the chair to my right and waited for Chief Rogers to start. He pulled out a cigar and sniffed it. 

“I can’t pair you up with anyone else. There aren’t enough detectives to do so. Rowell is the sheriff, what he’s doing hanging around Rama is beyond me.”

Rogers lit the cigar and inhaled smoke into his lungs. He blew out a ring and continued. 

“Thus, I’ve decided to allow you to operate separately on the case. You will investigate Hilda Gunderson. I expect you to call for back-up, do not be a hero. Rama will investigate Larry. At the end of the day, you will both brief me.”

“Understood, Chief.”

“Furthermore, I want to know what is going on with you and Rama.”

“I don’t know, Chief.”

“Do not lie to me, detective.”

“I’m not, Chief. It feels like Rama and Rowell are trying to frame me for something or another. I’d rather not get fitted for the hangman’s noose, if you know what I mean.”

“Do you want to transfer out, Konan?”

“Is that an option?”

“At the moment, no. There are a couple of officers that’s passed the exam, but they need training.”

“Understood.”

“As a matter of fact, take one of them with you. I’ll even let you choose. You can have either Watkins or Townley.”

“I don’t know either of them. Who are they?”

“Wilma Watkins has served as a patrol sergeant for six and a half years. Prior to that she served in the Coast Guard.”

“And the other?”

“Linda Sue Townley is a hard charger. She’s risen quickly through the ranks. She’s only been here for three years.”

“Three years to make detective,” I muttered. “What does she have, some magical formula to make the higher ups like you?”

“I don’t know, but someone wants her to rank up quickly.”

“I’ll take Watkins with me.”

“Alright. I’ll send Townley with Rama.”

“Thanks, Chief.”

Chief Rogers laughed and patted me on the back. “Don’t thank me just yet, Konan.”

Chief Rogers picked up his phone and barked, “send Watkins to my office. Time now.”

A few moments later, Wilma Watkins entered. She was tall, probably four inches taller than I was, and appeared to be underfed. She had black hair and eyes, and a soft, round face. Her eyes didn’t seem to miss anything.

“Yes, Chief?”

“This,” he said motioning to me, “is your training officer, Detective Thermopolis Konan. Go change out of that patrol uniform and into plain clothes. Here’s your new badge. Welcome to the big leagues, Detective Watkins.”

She gave me a nod, and I nodded back. Watkins held her badge and I swear a tear welled up in her eyes. 

“I’ll be right back, detective.”

“Sure. I’ll be at my desk.”

“Roger.”

Wilma Watkins must have been part Tasmanian Devil, The Looney Tunes version, because she was back at my desk in no time flat. She’d changed into khaki slacks, black pumps, and white tee. Her Sig Sauer P320 was strapped to her right hip. 

“Alright, Watkins. We’ve been assigned to investigate Hilda Gunderson’s murder. Let’s ride over and see what we see.”

“Okay,” she said, shifting from foot to foot. Watkins winced, and I grinned. 

“Watkins, I know you weren’t expecting to get promoted today, but from now on, wear sensible shoes. This isn’t fashion week in Milan. A perp doesn’t care that you look nice, understand?”

“Yeah.”

“Alright. Let’s go.”

We walked out to the parking garage. At least now, I didn’t have to worry about Rama shooting me in the back. It was time to find justice for the dead.


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