I don’t have all the facts, she told herself, I should wait until I know what father found out. If they are related, I don’t want to act blindly, she reasoned. But she had also always thought that she should act a little more like Queenie, and the queen was everything but reasonable.
At the training camp, loosely disguised as a lavish manor, Carlson Ringly listened to his youngest daughter’s request a second time. And then once more.
“You will not tell me what this is for?”
He sighed, “Which of my contacts do you want to ask this favor of?”
“Why not Detective Yorkton?”
She tilted her head quizzically, “Did he not botch the Wesley assignment?”
Carlson nodded thoughtfully, “Well, yes, but there were other factors involved in that.”
Briar shook her head, “Regardless, Latimer has proved himself reliable where Wesley has not.”
“Can you tell me why I am not permitted to know the purpose of this?”
Briar just shook her head.
With a defeated sigh, Carlson wen to the phone on his desk and dialed a number, “Here-” he handed her the ringing phone, “-you can ask your favor, but, if you persuade him, you must explain to me exactly what you’re up to.”
“Hello, you’ve reached the Kroy City Police Department, please state your name and the purpose of your call,” said a man’s voice at the other end of the line.
“Hello, this is Marco Theseus’s secretary, I have a message for detective Latimer concerning one of his ongoing cases,” Briar said, citing one of her father’s aliases. He nodded his approval and left the room, likely to check on Queenie and her friend.
“Please hold for just a moment, I’ll redirect your call shortly.”
The tap-tap-tapping of Briar’s fingers on the wood punctuated the seconds as they ticked by on the grandfather clock that sat between two bookshelves in front of her.
“This is detective Latimer, did mister Theseus get those bank reports?” drawled the incredibly bored voice of a middle-aged man.
“No sir, I’m calling to cash in on a favor on the behalf of the Choir.”
There was a sound like wheels on wood a distance away from the phone’s reviver and a moment of shuffling before his voice came back, more alert than before, “What do you need?”
Briar circled around to her father’s computer and logged on, immediately switching to ‘convert mode’ as her father playfully called it when he made an occasional weak attempt at humor.
“I’m sending you a sketch. I need you to find the man in it and give me his name, address, and last known location.”
“Can I ask why the boss isn’t making this call?”
“No. I expect you to get back to me by Friday.” She hung up the phone just in time for a knock to sound on the door.
“Hey, get your stuff, we’ve got another job tonight!” Queenie called through the door.
Briar stared down at her fingernails for a moment. Then she got out of her father’s chair and followed her sister into the hall.
That night, Briar carefully peeled her blood-soaked shirt off and dropped it into the basket where a similar shirt had been just a few days before. Before she could get to the shower, her phone buzzed in her robe pocket.
“TheFactsOfLife has posted an update”
She tucked the phone back into the pocket.
Later, as she rung the water out of her thick black hair, Briar read over the new post.
If we are to look closer at the Wenton murder case, it would be logical to presume that one of the company’s rivals is involved. But every adult involved in the suspect companies (Dowton tech., Veri computers, Ringly Security, Kinlow electronics) has been nearly cleared of all suspicion due to the solid alabi’s every one of them were able to provide. Though it is worth noting that the likelihood of every one of them having such strong proof of their lack of involvement may be suspicious in itself, we are going to focus on a secondary theory that pertains to my previous speculation that the culprit may be a student.
As many of you may already be aware, Henry Dowton, CEO of Dowton tech and his associate Peter Calbel both have teenage children in peak physical condition who have reportedly been arrested for a crime involving the skills that would have been used in the Wenton murder. Of course, the fact that they were caught before may deter many people from believing that it was them, but I find that getting caught once will often ensure that a child won’t be caught again, given that the child is smart enough to know their own mistakes. Wesley and Jonathan Calbel and Marie Dowton will remain on my current list of potential suspects until they are proven doubtlessly to have not been involved.
The other children who would have been suspect using this theory have all been safely exempt save the two adopted daughters of Carlson Ringly, whose physical prowess and skill levels are impossible to determine from the scant information that is made public about them and the only child of Josh Fronan, current owner of Veri computers, with whom I faced the same problems as with the Ringly girls.
All of that said, I will continue to explore other avenues in this case, though I will only update frequently on this theory in particular due to the tentative state of the other paths.
Briar put away her phone and laid down on her bed, leaving her wet hair to dry however it pleased while she slept and resigning herself to the mess it would create in the morning. She intentionally kept the update from her mind. She had to keep her energy focused on finding Jackson’s assailant, after all.
That night, her dreams echoed with gunshots, screams, and red.