Chapter 48: A Reunion of Sorts
Janet and Andrea were finishing their meals, when Officer Palin arrived. Due to law enforcement’s longstanding partnership with the Doorkeepers on all things magic, he was the officer in charge of any investigations involving the organization. In short order, Robert’s body was bagged, carted off to the medical examiner’s office and Palin commenced with witness interviews. Marko finished his interview and went down to the dining room to summon Andrea. She gazed up at him incredulously.
“What the hell does Palin need with me? I wasn’t in the room when that idiot shot Robert.”
“It’s just a formality. He’s talking to everyone that was in the hall,” said Marko placatingly.
“I didn’t see anything. So, he doesn’t need to talk to me,” she persisted.
“C’mon Andrea, just go on and get it over with. I don’t want to talk to him any more than you do and I’m going through with it,” prodded Janet.
“Janet, you of all people should understand why I don’t want to talk to that man. Our last encounter with him is what got us into this mess! He’ll probably find a way to pin Robert’s murder on me too. Don’t look at me like that…oh alright I’ll go, but if I go down for this then I’m taking the two of you down with me.”
Andrea stomped to the conference room, where Officer Palin had set himself up at the long table. She went in without knocking, plopped down, arms crossed and glared across the table at him. He took his time making notes on a pad, before acknowledging her presence.
“Now then Miss…wait a minute, where do I know you from?”
“That’s nice Officer Palin, you don’t recall ruining my life?”
“What are you talking…”
“Don’t tell me it slipped your mind that you and Jagathy blackmailed my sister and I into working for the Doorkeepers, like a couple of indentured servants. If you think you’re gonna pin this shooting on me…”
“Andrea Rhodes, you might want to write that down. I wouldn’t want you framing the wrong person.”
“As I was saying Miss. Rhodes. I just want to hear your account of the incident.”
“There’s really not much to tell, since I wasn’t in the room when that fool shot…”
“I’m sorry, who are you referring to?”
“The security guard.”
“I don’t know the man’s name. Is it Patrick? Okay, well I wasn’t in the room when Patrick shot Robert. When I opened the door, Robert had a hole in his head and Patrick was standing there with a smoking gun. I had nothing to do with it and if you try to make it seem like I did…”
“You know something Miss. Rhodes, you’re very angry.”
“You’re damn right I’m angry! My sister and I wouldn’t even be going through this, if you and Jagathy…”
“Angry enough to have helped Mukesh kidnap Jagathy?”
“What? No, I’ve been trying to help the others get him back!”
“By get him back, do you mean get even with him? As you said, you’re here because of him. Come to think of it, why are you here in the Doorkeeper compound today Miss. Rhodes? I thought you and your sister were supposed to be on a mission.”
“We had come back to get…”
“Interesting, so you and your sister managed to return in time for the attack on the Doorkeeper compound.”
“See, this is why I didn’t want to talk to you. Stop trying to make me out to be some kind of criminal!”
“But you are a criminal Miss. Rhodes. You might have everyone else fooled, but I’ve seen your rap sheet. Not to mention the fact that you stole that talisman and then murdered your accomplice, so that you could keep all of the proceeds from the sale of that talisman.”
“Steven attacked me. I was defending myself,” sputtered Andrea.
“Did anyone see this alleged attack?”
“Janet was in the closet. She heard everything.”
“Hearing is not the same as seeing. What did she hear…a struggle? That could have been Steve fighting for his life, trying to wrestle the gun out of your hand. We both know that you can say one thing while doing something completely different. Cut the crap Miss. Rhodes. Save the righteous indignation for someone who might actually believe it. Funny how the misfortune of those around you always seems to benefit you.
I took a look at the autopsy report. Would you like to know the gunshot would trajectory analysis showed? No? I didn’t think so. The troubling thing about you is, you always seem to know a lot more than you share. Is there something that you’re not telling me about what’s going on here at the compound? Now would be the time to come clean, because if I find any connection between you and Mukesh, then the deal you struck with Jagathy is off. You and your sister are going to jail for a very long time Miss. Rhodes.”
“Janet? Why would she go to jail? She had nothing to do with Steve’s death.”
“She was present when you murdered him. That makes her an accessory after the fact.”