Faithless…new writing, unedited…incomplete…

Halfway across the town square, Jackson Titus fell to his knees and began to vomit blood. A sad, strange smile crossed his lips as he collapsed to the ground. People screamed. Some raced to help him. A couple sitting on a bench watched with disinterest as Jackson Titus died in front of them.
Michelle Karter watched from the van, and then put the vehicle in gear and drove away.
I have no use for faulty equipment. I’ll just have to complete my list on my own.
The sound of racing feet and shouted orders brought me from my slumber. These sounds came along with screams that echoed throughout the hospital. I tried to sit up in my bed, and somehow managed to stand. “What is going on,” I muttered, as I held onto the hospital bed to stabilize myself.
My door opened, and Janko along with Lilly walked in. Janko took a seat in an empty chair. Lilly sat on my bed.
“Look who’s up and about, chief.”
“I see that. What are you doing out of bed, Konan?”
“It sounded like screams,” I said, clutching my ribs.
“Sit down before you fall down,” Janko said, watching both Lilly and I.
“What’s going on out there?”
“Jackson Titus fell dead in the town square,” Janko said. “He spit his lungs out all over the place. Some say he had a heart attack. Ashley will have a full report here in a bit.”
“How?”
“She’ll do an autopsy.”
“No, how did Titus have a heart attack.”
Janko shrugged. “I don’t know, Konan. Bad diet? The bigger question is why was he near the hospital?”
“He came to see me,” Lilly said, avoiding our eyes. “Titus said that someone with the initials of MK was behind all the killings.”
“Jackson Titus came to see you?” Janko leaned forward in his chair, his hands cupped to his face. I waited for her to continue.
“Why would he want to see you, Lilly?”
“I don’t know, Konan. He walked into my room and said he wanted to talk.”
Janko stood and walked over to the bed. His face was beet red, his steel grey eyes narrowed, and for a moment, I wondered how much danger I was in given his silent, frothing demeanor.
“So, did he lay it out for you, Detective Thompson, all rhyme and reason, or was he just messing with your head?”
“He told me where to find the last missing member of the Trinity.”
“Where?”
Lilly’s green eyes met Janko’s gaze. She’d never seen him so livid before, neither had I.
“There’s a barn out past the Titus homestead. It’s down the road from it on the left. Inside the barn, last stall on the right, there’s a trapdoor behind some rotten bales of hay. The remaining member is kept inside.”
“Thanks,” Janko snapped, as he reached for his phone. I waved him off from calling. He scowled at me and snapped, “what?”
“Someone killed Jackson Titus. Right outside this hospital,” I rasped. “We’ve gotta assume they are watching our movements.”
“Fine. Point taken. We need a distraction.”
“Lilly and I should get released around noon. We’ll head in the opposite direction of the homestead. It should draw off any prying eyes.”
“I’ll send a team to the barn from the opposite direction.”
“Roger. Sounds like a plan. Now, get out of my room and let me get some rest.”
I watched as Lilly and Janko left. Then, I stretched out in my bed and prayed for relief from the pain that threatened to swallow me.
Lilly and I got released at noon. She walked ahead of me, dark shades covered her eyes and the bruising of her face. I limped behind her. As we walked down the sidewalk to our vehicle, she whispered, “did you see them?”
“The couple on the bench on the east side of the square?”
“Yeah.”
“I did. Let’s take them for a ride. You drive.”
The concussion didn’t improve Lilly’s driving. I sat in the passenger seat and prayed for a quick death. Each bump magnified the pain in my chest and ribs. It was a case of the concussed driving the dying.
Or so it seemed.

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