Public Service…today’s writing…unedited…

While Manson and Lilly tried to comfort Sasha Robideux, I took Rankin with me, and we headed out to Southern U. “I’m tired of the run around. Someone’s going to give me an answer about Chloe.”


Rankin sat in the passenger seat and stayed quiet. He and I had mended the gap between us when I first arrived to the 117th. Even at the 112th, everyone knew Rankin as a solid detective. He wasn’t scared to get his hands dirty, and he lived by the motto, “Get out there and make something happen.”


“What’s the big deal about this ‘Chloe’ person?”


“I don’t know, Rankin. For some reason, my thinking keeps returning to her. It might not have anything to do with the case, but I can’t let go until I know.”


“You know what I don’t get, Konan? What if Chloe only exists in the mind of Dr. Robbins, and that’s why you can’t find any record of her?”


I scratched my neck and kept my eyes on the road, but what Rankin said made sense. This revelation caused me to frown, the fact Rankin had hit upon it and not me, made my frown deepen.


“What do you know of their family life, Konan?”


“We haven’t found much. They’re not from Fredericksburg. Records suggest they lived in Biloxi, but only the parents and Wynette moved here. There’s no record of Chloe.”


“Sounds like you and Lilly need to go Biloxi. If you’re not having any luck here, you start at the beginning.”


I parked at the end of the row, a good half mile from the administrative building. Rankin and I stepped out of the vehicle and started for the large three-story building in search of answers, and I was driven to not leave until I spoke to someone who could tell me what I needed to know.

Scott Walters felt confident, and now he could move on to the second stage of his plan. He received the news of Cissy Robideux-Monat’s suicide as he walked into his office. He smiled and chuckled. “That’s even better,” he thought. “The dead tell no tales.”


Now, it was time for him to find a new secretary.


A stack of resumes was piled upon his desk. He would pursue them until he found the weakest woman he could find. Then, he would break her in and tame her.


Then, the game would go on.

Tia Mathers, now known as Rikki Smith, sat at a cafe with Cartwright and watched Scott Walters go into the building. In her previous life, she had long flowing hair, deep set blue eyes, and an air of haughtiness that led others to think she considered herself better than the common rabble.


She looked nothing like that now. Her hair was died black and styled in a short side-swept cut. Tia wore makeup and it covered up her flaws, and she wore black contacts. She wore modest clothing with no skin showing, and a pair of librarian glasses completed her look. Her whole appearance was designed to signal weakness, pliability, and submissiveness.


Cartwright had taken her in. Tia Mathers was sentenced to a lengthy prison term, but Cartwright had made her an offer. Just as he had done with Billy, with Konan, and now with her.


Now, all the pair had to do was wait for Walters to pick up Tia’s resume and call her. Then, they could facilitate an event and remove the threat to their plans.

Inside the administrative building, a round desk with two security guards watched monitors and kept an eye on the front entrance. Both guards looked up when the doors slid open. Rankin and I pulled out our badges and flashed them at the guards. One placed a clipboard on the countertop, and wrote down our badge numbers. Rankin signed us in.


“How can we help, detectives?”


“We’d like to speak to the president.”


“Um, may I ask why you’re calling on her?”


“Sure, you can. We’re investigating a string of murders,” I said. “I’ve reached out to the president about a former student, and she has ignored my calls. Now, we’re here, and I want my answers.”


“Okay, detective. I can take you to her.”


“Thanks, we won’t stay long.”


The guard led us to the second floor landing, and down to the end of a long hallway which opened into an expansive office that overlooked the campus.

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