The captain’s office was smoky.  The man never opened a window, though she had to admit to herself that it wouldn’t have helped much; the outside air wasn’t any clearer.  She took a deep breath before opening the door.

He looked up only briefly from his desk.  “Did you get him?”


Now his gaze rose and stayed on her.  “What?”

Her dark coat was still zipped all the way up, the large collar covering the lower half of her face. But she knew he had heard her just fine.

When she didn’t respond, he spoke again.  “How have you still not found this guy? This is the sort of thing you excel at.”

“Oh, I found him.”

“But he’s not dead?”


The captain put down his pen, leaned back in his chair. “Why not?”

She tossed the folder containing the file onto the desk. “Because I’m done.”

He looked genuinely surprised. “What? Why?”

Glad her clenched teeth were hidden from view, she took out her freelancer license and threw that on the desk, too. “The gun is mine. I’ll be keeping that.”

Stammering, he tried to find a threat. “You can’t… What did you… If you walk out, I’ll have you… You’re going to be seen as an accomplice.”

She stabbed a finger at him to keep him in his seat. “This case is crap. You probably know it. And I’m not going to be a part of it.” Before he could say anything else, she turned, left his office, and escaped into smoke-filled night.

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