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At the same time Killian Del was being escorted from his home, a flurry of efficient activity had the desk sergeant of the Ninth Precinct looking up from a pile of briefs to be handed out at the next shift.
Immediately she came to full attention.
It wasn’t every day a general of the infantry, with full escort, walked in the front door. “Sir,” she greeted the incoming brass. “How may I—”
“General Kimo Satsuke, Corps Internal Operations. Where is Detective Sergeant Hama?” the general asked, overriding the greeting.
Sergeant Tyree blinked. “DS Hama left several hours ago,” she said. “Would you like me to take a mess—”
“Where did he go?”
“I believe he was following up on an active lead. I’m sure if you’ll—”
“Was this lead regarding the murder of General Jessup Rand?”
“If I may ask, how did you know—”
“General Rand is—was—the commanding officer of the Tactical Division,” Satsuke said. “As such, DS Hama forwarded his report to Tactical HQ, who forwarded it to CIOD, who forwarded it to me, as my airship was already en route to Nike.”
“General Rand’s death is a matter of Colonial security, as is this investigation,” Satsuke continued to answer the sergeant’s half-asked questions. “So, did DS Hama’s pressing lead have anything to do with General Rand?”
The sergeant decided this was above her pay grade. “He didn’t mention, specifically.”
Satsuke’s eyes narrowed. “Did he mention anything non-specific?”
“He said… he said he was following a wild draco.”
The general grunted, then looked at one of the other officers who’d entered with her, a captain who wore her long, black hair in a simple braid.
“It sounds like him,” the captain said.
The general turned back to the sergeant. “How do I get in touch with DS Hama?”
The sergeant turned, spied an officer at loose ends. “Arroyo! Please show General Satsuke to the radio room.”
Officer Arroyo snapped to attention. “This way, General.” He started for the double doors which led into the precinct operations rooms.
Satsuke grimaced her thanks—at least, Tyree chose to believe thanks were involved somewhere in the twist of scowl—and gestured for the captain at her side to follow, and for the two remaining officers to wait.
“Your man,” Satsuke told the captain as they passed through the doors, “has mucked this up properly.”
“He’s not my—yes, sir,” the captain agreed. “He does that. But if he remains true to form, the muck will fertilize a solid crop.”
“You know I hate metaphors,” Satsuke snapped.
As the doors swung closed, Tyree returned her attention to the common burglary, brawls, and blackmail to which she was accustomed, and which, thankfully, had naught to do with colonial security.