"When it comes to murder there isn't really a grey area. Murder is a versatile weapon. It can be used by a madman who loves to hunt, or even by a meek woman who has had enough. Sometimes a horror but also a necessary horror. However, one thing is always true about murder. It leaves a stain on your soul, one that no matter how much you scrub, you can never get out."
Kai will never forget the day until he dies, Evan's murder shook the slums. Almost cause a riot with the number of people calling- no screaming for justice. Father Walter's was practically just a shell of himself, he had lost his wife years back and to have his son, a boy who would never harm any, murdered in such a manner?
It was ugly, just as this city always has been.
The case however played out like Kai knew it would. Months of nothing, hitting dead ends that police would say. Lying straight to the people's faces, more than likely to save the skin of whoever killed Evan.
A feeling so disgusting and dark filled Kai on the first night after Evan's death. An emotion that he never truly felt until that moment. Even with all the shitty cards, he had been dealt in life.
The case was then marked a cold case after months of nothing but smoke. By that time everyone was just too tired, too upset. But Kai never forgot.
He never forgot.
He swore that no matter what it took he would solve Evan's murder. It took years, after going through the police training, and the academy. Smiling like a doll in front of the face of the filthy rich and pretending like he gave a crap about anything they said.
The moment finally happened after closing a small case.
A strange tip came to his desk, about an underground trafficking ring. Naturally, at first, he doubted it, in this city a gift like that could easily be a knife in the back.
But he never completely abandoned it. Slowly and meticulously he researched and learned what he knows was just the tip of all the corruption of this city. Back then he was young, and still a bit naive to this place. But slowly he pieced it together.
Like pieces in a puzzle.
The picture is revealed was just as revolting as he was expecting.
Tristan Gardner, a powerful and prosperous businessman had built his fortune not just through his shipping company but also from trafficking people in and out of Briagas.
For Kai, this moment was something close to a tipping point. Because he knew from his years in the station that Tristan Gardner wasn't only a well-known businessman but also was a doner for not only the police as also for numerous other well-connected businesses.
That night it felt like the air around him was poison and there were constant eyes on him. But that wasn't even the ending point for him.
It was during the last days of his research that he found out something that haunted him to his end of days.
That the trafficking has been heavily coming from the slums, people that most wouldn't really know much about just snatches off the streets. Never to be seen again.
Evan was to be one of them.
But unfortunately or fortunately, in this case, Evan put up a fight. They killed him as a result.
Kai let out a sigh as he shakes off the memories he long thought he buried deep down. Now wasn't the time to reminisce.
"...You are making a difference you know." Sarah said.
Kai almost laughs as he looks at her, he didn't feel like he was doing much of anything, to be honest.
"I doubt that."
Sarah turns fully to him, staring him directly in the eyes.
"You are. Don't ever doubt that."
Kai can't return her gaze, feel too frayed at the edges for whatever reason.
"You give these kids hope that they have something that they can strive for. A lot more than we had growing up for sure." She said almost in a bitter tone.
Kai couldn't help but agree with her. In the past, it was only Father Walter and a few others, and even then those people soon left when the money was too tight. Walter tried his best to be a father to as many of all of them but it just wasn't enough.
"I give them hope? For what, a lie?" Kai said with a bitter laugh.
"...Even if it's a lie, it's better than nothing." Sarah said in a tone just above a whisper.
"It may be a lie Kai, but to them, even a lie is worth it."
Silence fell over the pair after that. Kai wasn't quite sure what he was wanting when he came here originally. Someone, to tell him it was okay to stop? That his drive was misplaced or even just plain stupid?
"I know this wasn't what you came to hear." Sarah said with a sad smile as she turned to him.
It wasn't at all.
"But please... don't give up."
The expression on her face haunted Kai long after he left.
The next day however did bring about a change. A new case, one that seemed to shake the upper district to the core.
"This is all just a mess..." Rafeeqa said with a sigh.
Kai wordlessly agreed with Rafeeqa as he too took in the sight before him. He was in the large and expensive office of Mr. Richard Price, CEO of Price Banks. His office was a complete mess, papers spread everywhere, overturned chairs. And at the centerpiece was Mr. Price, throat slash, laid flat out on his desk like a sacrificially offering. The words "See my truth" were written in blood on the wall behind him.
The station has been in a frenzy since the news dropped mid-day. Kai remembers vividly Morris storming out of his office, a dark expression on his face as he practically yells at the whole department to get ready. Someone had managed to not only enter the building but also reach Price's floor, and his office and killed him.
And the kicker? No one knows a damn thing about how it happened.
No recording, no eyewitnesses, just nothing. It was reasonably a mess.
Kai's eyes scanned over everything he could. From the disarray of the office to the blood splatters on the wall.
"..So what do you think?"
Kai turns to Rafeeqa who appears a bit nervous, which given the circumstances was understandable.
"..Not really too sure what to make of this. Well.. except the obvious, whoever did this is upset."
Kai steps around the office, for once, he's feeling back in his element after the rough week that he's had. No one was staring at him, or giving him dirty looks, all too focused on the harrowing scene before them. Kai kneels down and his eyes scanned over a few of the papers that were on the ground, nothing really jumped out to him. A few legal docs, and some analytic forms. As his gaze drifts back to the desk, he could see the scuff marks on the wood. Obviously, a struggle between the attacker and Mr. Price, an angry red ring around Mr. Price's neck shows that he was choked. Mostly like before his throat was cut. Kai then stood and walked closer to the desk. There were a few papers near the body as well, possibly Mr. Price was working on them before his death? But it was something about the papers that caught his eye, something odd.
Some of the papers were highlighted.
When he stepped closer to the desk, he noticed that the papers that were highlighted were actually news clips, stacked under files. The papers that looked like files were from all different subjects, some were talking about a clinical trial of medicine. While others were talking about a drug bust that happened in the lower district a few years back. But what was on the news clipping is what got the hairs on the back of Kai's neck to rise. The clippings were arranged very messily, scatter from one end of the desk to another. And they were small, some were even crumpled to being almost unreadable. But on each and every one of them, the same words were highlighted.
Bloodhound of Briagas
"What's the hell is your problem Hamilton."
Kai's head snapped around and at the moment he wished he never even spoke. Everyone in the office was staring at him, Jonas was opening glaring at him. For a small second, Kai thought against bringing up what he found. It was probably nothing...just a coincidence.
But then he remembered, there is no such thing as coincidence.
He nodded over the desk.
"I-I think the murder left me a note."
The room was so quiet that you could hear a pin drop. Then all at once, the room spiraled into sounds, movement and words.
Jonas was still glaring at Kai the whole time, even as everything around seemed to be chaos. Suddenly the room felt too small and the air was stale. Kai quickly stumbled out into the hallway with haggard breathes. An ache in his head pulsed with that high pitch white noise yet again. Outside the office, he stood by a window, taking in slow breathes, trying desperately to will away the oncoming headache.
"Kai, are you alright?"
Kai almost jumped out of his skin at hearing a voice so close.
Rafeeqa's face was a comfort though, her worried eyes scanning over his face.
"Yeah right." She said as she reached out a hand to his face.
Her cooling touch made Kai let out a breath he didn't even know he was holding. He couldn't even help leaning into the touch ever so slightly. He could slowly feel his body returning back to him. When his breathing finally started to become normal, he leaned back and look back at Rafeeqa again.
She was smiling softly with an expecting look on her face.
He never quite understood what it was about Rafeeqa that made him ease. He could remember when he first met Rafeeqa, about a year and a half ago. Back then he was nothing short of rude to her, much too closed off after the Gardner case. He didn't trust anyone and felt that no one on the force would be above betraying him. However Rafeeqa was different, she was stubborn in a way the Kai always felt a police officer should be. She didn't care about the clear tension between Kai and the rest of the station. She reached out to him and somehow managed to make a bridge between him and other officers.
A bridge that he effectively burned by constantly brushing against those in power.