Faithless…new writing, unedited, incomplete…

Chief Janko sipped his coffee as he waited for one of us to respond to his question. Lilly sat across from him and scooted her chair to the side, so she could see past his size 14 feet.

“We just took a run at our attacker from yesterday. Her name is Carrie. That’s about all we got from her. She refused to answer any questions about MK.”

“Plus,” I added, “I called the morgue. Ashley needs to see us. A heart attack killed Jackson Titus, but Ashley says it’s uncanny. We need to dash over there while Carrie sits in the hotbox for a moment.”

“Okay. Sounds like you guys are on it. Let me know what I can do to help.”

“Will do, chief.”

I motioned for Lilly to follow me to the elevator. We boarded the lift and took it to the roof. 

“If it’s a heart attack, why are going to the morgue?”

“Because Lilly, there’s more to it than just a regular, run of the mill heart seizure. According to Ashley the heart exploded.”

“Hearts don’t explode,” Lilly said, as she climbed into the passenger seat. “They tear and sometimes the wall gets punctured but explode isn’t something it does.”

“This one did.”

I drove us to the morgue, artfully dodging the potholes thus taking it easy on my sore ribs and chest. Ashley was at the front desk talking to Al the security guard. She gave us a smile and waved us to follow.

“You guys have impeccable timing,” said she as we walked the long hall. “Al was telling me he knew Jackson Titus from high school. He was a bad egg even back then.”

“Mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be bad eggs,” I sang quietly. Lilly heard me and gave me a crooked grin. 

Inside Ashley’s office, hanging on a light box were several images of Titus’s chest cavity.

Ashley pointed at the image on the left. 

“This is Jackson Titus’s chest x-ray from his police record, his physical to be exact. Notice, he has a heart in this image. The one on the right is from yesterday.”

“Where did the heart go?”

“Lilly, that is the question. He had a heart, but something destroyed it. I have no idea what caused it, but it’s not natural for a heart to explode.”

“A shape charge, maybe?”

Both women looked at me and frowned. Lilly shook her head and whispered, ‘what?’

“Whomever Titus worked for could have inserted a nanomite with a shape charge into his system without him knowing it. He disobeys, and they kill him with it.”

Lilly and Ashley scoffed at my explanation, and Ashley nodded at me and said, “he’s your partner.”

“Konan, this isn’t some whack movie from Hollywood. How would they get something like into his body?”

“They could insert it into his blood stream via an needle. A nanomite is roughly 70-micron’s long and is the width of a human hair, Lilly.”

“This isn’t a science fiction novel, Konan.”

“No. It’s real life. Look, all I’m saying is it is possible.”

“Okay, fine. Deadly science fiction thingy blows up the heart eradicating the only person we were looking at for this crime. Now what?”

“Back to the drawing board. Who is MK?”

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