"Secrets are kind of like a puzzle. Many different pieces make up a whole tale. When you start to place the pieces into place, that tale slowly becomes clear. And the secret is revealed. But you know what they say, some secrets are like Pandora's box, once opened, everything changes."
The room was deadly silent after Roman's last statement. Kai's eyes were scanning the woman's face for any tells. A twitch, an eye aversion, something.
But nothing came, her face remained as stony as when she announced the death of her colleague. Kai gives Rafeeqa a look to which she just shrugs her shoulders.
"What about the other researchers? I assume you work in teams when developing drugs correct?" Kai said with narrowed eyes.
She returned his look.
"Obviously... look that drug was a bust, in a big way. A lot of resources went into it an-... It failed."
Kai caught the obvious sudden change in Roman's sentence, what she was about to say but chose not to however he was unsure of what it was.
"And the other researchers?"
"They were fired obviously! I don't know where they are and if you want to get further information, you'd better come back with a warrant then." Roman finished with a sneer.
Kai at the moment did agree with her that statement.
"...What was the drug speculated to do?"
She looks at him with a withering look as she answers.
"...It was for nerve damage. It was meant to stimulate the nerve and make the recovery process as smooth as possible. And in even some cases complete heal the damage."
"..And it failed? How?" Kai questions.
"As I said before, too unstable." Was all the respond he got back.
Both Roman and Kai seemed to have a stand-off fore a bit before suddenly Rafeeqa's voice piped in.
".....When did he die?" Rafeeqa asks.
Roman looks back at her in silence for a few seconds before answering.
"I believe it was a year after the failure of Truth. He was the lead scientist on it. From what I understand it was a bit of his life work." She said.
"Was he murdered? Or natural causes?" Rafeeqa continued on, not missing a beat.
Kai turns to her a bit curious as to where she was going with this. Rafeeqa appear casually though, her body tone was loose and comfortable. Roman however looks at her with a glare as well.
"...Suicide." Roman answered just a quick.
A pause fell over the room.
"...Well officers as nice as this is, I do have to get back to work." Roman said, looking between the two of them with that same blank look as before.
Kai wanted to ask more questions but was stopped by Rafeeqa's pointed look. Their conversation had already lasted a half hour.
Don't push it, Rafeeqa's eyes yelled.
Both Kai and her stood and were escorted out from her office. But before they left Rafeeqa turned to Professor Roman and handed out her card.
"Please feel free to call if you find any information."
Roman doesn't even give the card a passing look as she takes it and stuffs it away in her lab coat pocket. As they are walking back to the patrol car, Kai couldn't help being lost in thought.
"...Penny for your thought Kai?"
He turns to Rafeeqa who is giving him an amused look.
"What do you think?"
"...Well they are lying which is obvious. But about what is a bit more difficult."
"Hmm, you still think the drug has something to do with this?"
"...Not sure. She didn't seem to be really concerned about it? But I couldn't tell if she was lying or not. Her tells weren't easy to read. She reacted only once when I first mentioned it but after that nothing." Kai said as he gets into the driver's side of the patrol car.
"Hmm then maybe it's a different drug that's a problem?" Rafeeqa suggests with a thoughtful look as she gets into the passenger side.
"Hmm, it could be..."
They arrive quickly back at the station and went immediately to Morris's office.
"Did you get anything?" Morris asks as he hangs up his office phone as they enter.
"I believe that they are withholding information but I'm not sure if it is completely relevant to the case at hand." Kai admits a bit bitterly.
He could tell that there was something there, but he was unsure if it was something useful to his case currently or another can of worms altogether. He would prefer to handle 1 fire at a time at this point.
"The truth drug, from the professor we spoke with, was killed just before clinical trials. But the lead researcher commit suicide a year after that and the other research with him were fired." Kai said with a frown.
"Hmm, not surprising. They did make a big deal out of it when it was in development. Said it was going to be the revolutionary drug." Morris said.
"But that still seems odd right? Everyone who had anything to do with this drug is scattered to the wind or dead. And now someone is killing and using this drug to leave clues for us?"
"It's odd but this also happened ten years ago, Halimton. Why the hell would someone wait for so long to try something now?"
That was unfortunately the question Kai couldn't quite wrap his head around.
"What if they were still developing it?" He said.
Both Morris and Rafeeqa looked at him with equal looks of shock. Morris however quickly turn angry as he glared at Kai.
"No Kai, I get you have your...gut feeling or whatever but I will not stir up the hornet nest on a hunch."
"I said, drop it." Morris said.
Kai's mouth closed with a click as his eyes drop the floor for a bit. Morris glared at him for just a few more seconds just to make sure his order sunk in before looking at Rafeeqa who had been oddly quiet this whole time. She appears to be a bit lost in thought, a small frown on her face.
"Rafee, you with us?"
She looks up with a smile.
"Oh sorry about that, was just a bit lost in thought. But yeah, heard you loud and clear."
"...Now, we do have a lead however outside of your inquiry. I had Jaivon take a look at a few things. We found out that Honda was at a bar in the lower district just before his death. Not sure if it was a pleasure trip or whatever but I want you and your team to go down there and question the bar owner. Find out if he remembers Honda leaving with anyone or anything."
"Right." Both Kai and Rafeeqa responded.
After giving them the address to the bar, Morris waves them off. Kai manages to take a glance at the place and silently curses at seeing where they are going. He knows that place, been there quite a few times in his youth. He knew the barkeep well and unlike most people, he would absolutely recognize Kai.
"Rafee, I'm going go to the bathroom really quick before we leave okay?"
She looks at him and nods.
"I told you when we were waiting not to drink so much water."
"I'm a growing boy Rafee what can I say." He responds with a teasing smile.
She merely waves him away as she walks over to their team-designated section. Kai quickly disappears into the back halls of the precinct and after making sure to check that no one was around he made a quick call.
The phone answered on the 2nd ring.
"Hello? Who the hell is this?"
The voice who answered was rough and sounded a bit annoyed.
"Michael, it's me." Kai answers in a neutral tone.
His facial expression was a blank slate, a cold frown on his face. The other person, Michael didn't answer for a few seconds. Kai then hears a sharp intake and the same rough voice sounds once again.
"You got to be- Are you fucking high Kai? Why the fuck are you calling me?!"
Micheal's voice is a mixture of rage and annoyance which Kai well expecting from the man. They weren't friends, if anything Kai was surprised that he didn't hang up immediately.
"Just shut up and listen. I will be coming to the bar in about 20 or more minutes. I will be with my squadron, you will answer our questions truthfully." Kai said in an equally harsh tone putting extra emphasis on the 'truthfully'.
"Who the fuck do you-"
"I said, keep quiet." Kai hissed out interrupting the man.
Kai could practically visualize the look on Michael's face at the moment. But he needed the man to fully understand the situation before he left.
"I don't know you and you sure as fucking don't know me. If you try to fuck me over, trust me that things will get very difficult for you. Are we clear?" Kai said plainly but it sure sounded like a threat.
Kai could hear the deep and angry huffs of breathing Michael was taking as he was surely gripping the phone almost to the point of breaking it.
"Do you understand me, Michael?"
Click! The sound of the dial tone greets Kai's ear after the hostile response. He stares down at his phone for a few moments before letting out a sigh and putting it away. He wasn't wondering about Michael betraying him, Michael wasn't stupid by any means. He knew that the trouble wasn't worth it. Kai just needed him to fully understand the situation. Michael was the owner of a rather seedy bar in the lower district, a man that Kai had the misfortunate of knowing growing up. They weren't close by any means, occasionally customer/patron for when Kai need information while just starting on the force. Things however got significantly worst when Kai got his infamous title.
The reason one would ask?
Well, the arrest Kai made on Tristan, the case that had made him the 'Bloodhound of Briagas' happened in Michael's bar. It was a messy affair and Michael's business suffer greatly for it.
Something the gruff man never and will never forgive Kai for, that he was sure of.