A/N ~ Life just doesn't want me to be great. They're laying off people at my job, creating a backlog, and then Xfinity had a massive outage last week that lasted an eternity. Ugh.
Previously ~ K'un Lun
"Detective Knight? I'm Detective--"
"Colleen Hama-Wing." Mercedes Knight - better known as Misty - cocked her head of bouncy black curls and grinned at the freshman. Normally, she wasn't so chummy and open to rookies, but when the rookie in question was the niece of a billionaire willing to make a very, very generous donation to the precinct, it helped toplay nice.
"That's right," the rookie nodded. She was fresh-faced, sun-kissed, with jet black hair and a sparkle to her dark eyes. "Calm me, Colleen."
"Call me Misty," the senior detective smirked. She was of medium height, with smooth medium brown skin, and a head full bouncy, brown-black curls. "I hope you had your coffee this morning. Ever hear of a fancy dojo on the Upper West Side called the Hall of the Fourth Treasure?"
Colleen shook her head, brow furrowed as her eyes searched in hopes of recalling. "Can't I say have."
"Supposedly, wushu's their specialty," Misty explained. "Body turned up this morning in one of their sacred chambers or whatever." She pulled her keys from her right pants pocket. "Like, I said...hope you had your had your coffee this morning."
If she'd expected a slow, quiet, awkward ride to the crime scene, Misty was mistaken. Not only was Colleen comfortable and chatty, she was...well, interesting.
"You know, my cousin recently enrolled in one of those fancy dojos?" the rookie was saying. "In fact, enrolling in a dojo was one of the first things he did when he got back."
"Got back from where?"
"He won't say. He's been missing before fifteen years. Maybe you heard of him? Danny Rand? Everyone thought he died in a plane crash with my uncle."
"Riiiight," Misty nodded slowly. How had she missed that? "Your aunt is Heather Rand...Danny's mother."
"The one and only. She's been trying to get him settled into regular life ever since he got back, but I don't think it's taking."
"Any clue where he was?"
"Monastery in some remote part of the world, if I had to guess," Colleen shrugged. She suddenly chuckled. "Danny was such a skinny little kid when he left. He came back ripped. And the first thing he did after reuniting with his mom was to enroll in the nearest dojo."
After a decent amount of traffic they finally arrived at the Hall of the Fourth Treasure where the caution tape was already up, the swarm of patrol officers had sealed off the building, and a forensics team was inside meticulously gathering evidence. At the sight of Detective Knight, they parted like the Red Sea, wordlessly leading her to the body.
Misty never liked to ask questions before she inspected a crime scene. She preferred to make her own deductions first.
The detectives had to go through a few "chambers" to get to the deceased; each chamber was more horrifying than the last. The owner of the Hall had clearly watched way too many Zhang Yimou films; his obsession with Tang Dynasty China was apparent in everything, from the vases to the curtains to the engraved floors, numerous doors, incense shrines, and overly ornate imperial chairs.
Out of the corner of her eye, Misty saw Colleen visibly shudder. The rookie actually looked like she was going to be physically. "Um...okay...."
What was ironic was that the decor bothered her more than than actual corpse. The victim was a young man in his twenties, black hair and pale skin. He was lying on his back, wearing only a towel and blue flip flops. There were a few long, thin slashes across his chest.
Colleen's mouth fell open. "Holy shit....This is Holden Reinhardt III."
"You know him?"
Colleen nodded slowly, as if in a daze. "We went to school together for like a year. His dad's some Wall Street bigshot. When he divorced Holden's mom, we were still in middle school. Holden chose to move back with her to Thailand. I didn't know he was back."
"Looks like they caught him coming back from the showers," Misty murmured, kneeling down next the body.
"Don't you mean bath house?" the rookie snorted. She paused, tilting her head slightly. "It was quick," she noted. "And there was just one."
"How do you figure?"
"Those cuts were made by a katana, a samurai sword," Colleen told her.
Misty turned to look up at her. "Are you serious?"
The rookie nodded soberly. "I happen to practice." She gave a slight shrug. "My dad gave me a few."
Misty blinked repeatedly. Among other incidents, she had heard of a blind vigilante and had met a bulletproof man, but this took the cake.
"So what are we dealing with here?" Misty asked, slowly rising. "Yakuza?"
Colleen snorted. "Hardly. They'd just put a bullet in the guy. This...is something else. Somebody's been watching way too many old ninja flicks." She glanced around. "Kinda like the proprietor of this establishment, they've gone a little overboard with East Asian culture."
Misty mulled that over for a moment. In a weird way, Colleen's observation seemed to bring things back down to reality, regular reality. "So we're thinking it's another student? A rival?"
"Someone who thinks they're a rival," Colleen smirked. "Might not even be from this dojo. Don't get me wrong, though; whoever did this really does know their stuff. Judging by the precision of the cuts, this was a pro. Notice how nothing's been disturbed in here. There wasn't even a struggle. The killer entered - most likely without being seen or heard...waited for Holden to emerge from the shower, and then took him out."
"If Holden just returned from Thailand, he could have brought some friends back with him," Misty theorized.
Colleen mulled it over, head moving from side to side. "Guess our next move is to find out what he was up to in Thailand."
"Nothing. Absolutely nothing."
Irritable, Colleen slammed a file down on Misty's desk, and the fell into her own chair across from her partner's workstation. There were still some cold french fries on her desk, left over from a notably brief lunch. Colleen grabbed a few and stuffed them into her mouth while Misty reviewed the file with one hand, primly working not to spill her afternoon coffee with the other.
"Holden was a friggin' boy scout," Colleen growled, trying to ignore the renewed hunger in her belly. "I'm talking squeaky. After finishing school he became some sort of activist - blogs, charities, protests - the whole nine. He only came back to the States 'cause his dad offered him a job and threatened to cut him off if he said no." She rolled her yes. "Typical wealthy hipster bullshit."
Misty wasn't entirely convinced. "Could've had a habit. Maybe owed the wrong people."
"Toxicology won't have a report until tomorrow."
"Then we'll table that theory for now," the senior detective sighed. "In the meantime, we're gonna have keep digging. I want to know every single thing Holden Reinhardt was up to when he was in Asia."
Next ~ Atlas