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August 16, 2005
A Story, Bit-by-Bit
Superego: Part 12 - Suspicion
Posted by Frank J. at 05:18 PM | View blog reactions | Comments (5)


"Not watching the news?" Detective Thompson was looking towards the TV where two lizard-like delpings were getting it on.

I turned the TV off; it would take my full concentration to pull off this act. "No. Too much speculation right after these things happens. I'd rather wait a while then find the facts."

"So you watch nature shows instead?" she smiled, either interested or feigning interest. She was pretty - that was for sure - though her clothing was pretty functional and only vaguely feminine. Only thing outwardly threatening about her was her blue eyes - I could tell they were hard at work assessing me. And I would guess she's killed in the line of duty - or at least been in numerous gunfights.

Yes, I can sorta tell that from someone's eyes. Hey, I'm an expert on killing.

I figured I might as well use the truth when I could to keep things less complicated. "Yeah, I love learning about new animals. So many different animals on so many different planets, yet each one has something unique to it." That seemed like some good banter, but something tragic happened and I needed to act concerned. "So... uh... how bad was it?"

"Eleven dead." I could see a little fire in her eyes. "About three times that many injured."

"At least they were using bullet weapons," I observed, "Could have been a lot worse."

She came a little closer, and I could now smell her perfume. Made me wonder if she put thought into what kinds and how much perfume you could wear and still be intimidating when interrogating a suspect. "Like with your firearm?" she asked. Okay, she was suspicious of me. Nothing to panic about.

"Don't think I'd be alive today if I didn't have that stopping power." That was the truth. "Never seen anyone take a bolt anywhere to the body and not drop." Expensive gun, if I were just a cop. "Any chance I'll be getting it back?" I only own eight others. I wondered what gun she preferred. It must have been small, because I couldn’t see any bulge in her coat. It was obviously under her right arm from the way she folded her arms. That made her left handed.


"We'll see. It was illegal for you have it here, Rico. That's your name, right?"

"Yeah, just Rico. Officer Rico of Rikar, to be precise." Used my affable smile, but a more subdued version. "Sorry about that, but I never pay attention to gun laws when going to new planets. Figure if I have to draw and reveal I'm armed, it's better to be arrested than dead." Common line I've heard from pro-gun sentients.

"Can't blame you - certainly under these circumstances. I can probably get your gun back when you’re leaving the city. How much longer are you going to be in the hospital?"

"Should just be an hour or two."

"You set up somewhere?"

"Yeah." Please don't ask me where.

"Where you staying?"

"The Lux." I didn't know I was going to pretend to be a cop when I got my hotel.

"That's a nice place," she chuckled, "You're really living it up."

I smiled wryly. "I treat myself every now and then. You invest your money wisely, you can save up a bit on a police officer's salary... even without being crooked." I laughed at my lame joke, and she did too. Good.

"I don't think you'll find this conference too worthwhile, though. These always end with a lot of bickering between all the different species."

"What would you want to happen, Detective?"

"Just some more treaties between planets," she said, looking like she felt quite strongly on the issue. "Someone commits a crime here and get off planet, that's it! We can't follow him. If someone wants justice, he has to go to a bounty hunter - and they certainly aren't the most honest type."

I shook my head. "Yeah, I dealt with more than a few of those types." I sorta am one - more of a bounty killer than a bounty hunter, though.

"Anyway, Officer Rico, sorry about your experience here on Nar Valdum so far; certainly doesn't make for a great vacation. I want to thank you again for what you did, though."

"Someone had to. You expect more attacks like that?"

"We weren't, but now we are. We initially thought the terrorists were plotting for the main event when Senator Gredler arrives, but it seems they're happy to do some killing beforehand to scare people away."

"Still expect an attack at the main event, though?"

She smiled. "They'd have to be pretty dumb to try. Security is so tight, I don't see how they could do anything. Everything has been increased to accommodate Senator Gredler, especially after we got some chatter about a possible assassination attempt."

It took some force of will to not look startled, and I could tell the Detective was looking for my reaction. I hope she was just this naturally suspicious of everyone. "Why assassinate that guy?"

She shrugged her shoulders. She was hiding something, though. Seemed like I should be finding out what.

"So what are your plans for the rest of the day?" she asked. More suspicion.

"Get something to eat. My face isn't all over the news, right?"

"A few people involved talked to reporters about what happened, but no one has identified you. By the way, if you want some good food, I know just the place. I get off in a couple hours, and it will be my treat. Least I can do for the hero."

I smiled, trying to not reveal how much was going on in my head right now. "Sounds good."

So my hit was starting to look like a suicide mission, and the best option I seemed to have was getting close to a Detective who was apparently suspecting me of being a hitman. This was going to be an interesting "vacation."


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