Douglas was sitting on a comfy chair in the offices of Governor. It was the first time he was there but he found the aesthetics to be quite appealing to his minimalistic style sense. There were but couple of decorations and those were of personal nature to the Governor. A picture frame with an image which was out of his eyes but he knew it to be of the wife of the Governor. The other was the smithy hammer resting on the table. It was crusted with metal and was clearly used.
He rubbed his leg as the ache was still there after all the years. The cost of trying to be a man in a an empire ruled by crooks. Things had changed greatly since he received the injuries in hands of the people who he had thought were his companions in pursuit of law and order. It had left him quite jaded and resentful of empire. He tried to fight against such feelings but was certain it would follow him to grave.
He was starting to bald and it bothered him also. It did not make him look distinguished but rather messy and he was vain enough to be bothered by it. He blamed the hot sun of the Isles as the reason for his hair loss but it too was a thing he tried to avoid being mired in. He had been called to the offices for official business so he tried to find something else to think of than his personal failings.
The summons talked of reinstation or a new position depending of his willingness to rejoin the police forces of the Isles. He had already served there for more than ten years and was starting to think what to do on his retirement when the summons had suddenly arrived. It was not common for old copper to be called to meet the Governor out of the blue so he could not resist at least seeing what the issue was all about.
The door opened and the massive frame of Governor filled the doorway. He was probably the largest man on the Isles but he did not ever seem threathening so people did not react badly to him. Douglas was still suspicious of him though. He was not called the Cold stare Douglas for nothing. He did not take things for granted and was rarely swayed by emotions.
Douglas rose and saluted the Governor who just waved it off. Douglas returned back to his position and kept rubbing his leg. He though back for a while and wondered if he could have ever been as relaxed in the presence of rulers when in Leavesview as he felt in the Isles. Honorifics were used but it was as no one really cared about them. It had taken him some time to learn how to cope with the change as even if Leavesview was by the standard of the Empire a rowdy and informal place, it was in comparison to the Isles a place for stiff necks and easily offended people.
“Just an informal thing he in my offices. I get enough pomp and ceremony in official business to last me
It was clear that Governor knew the details already but wanted start easily with some chitchat but Douglas did not want any of that.
“I am fine sir, I am just curious of why I was called here?”
Governor was silent for the briefest moment before continuing. He took a thick folder from the table but in the eyes of Douglas it looked as if Governor had taken a small notebook,similar to the one most police and Guard officers had.
“Yes, I thought you would. That is why I chose you and also because of all the officers, you are the most experienced.”
“Lorden has been in the force much longer than I”
Douglas said without thinking and realised that to be what an Imperial officer would do. Not take credit from seniors in the force. He was about to continue but Governor took control of the pace.
“Nothing against Lorden but his crowning glory in his career was solving the theft of Old man Willises Sheeps. I am passingly familiar with your history and I do think you are best suited for what I am about to suggest to you.”
“Straight to the point, I like it. I have been wrestling with this for a long time now but I can no longer put it off. I would like you to solve a murder.”
Governor handed the folder to Douglas and slipped around the table with grace a man of his size seldom possessed. He sat down and leaned back while clearly evaluating the reactions of Douglas.
“A murder? I did not see anything like that on the tasks table in the morning?”
“It would not be there. I am talking about a murder, well a possible murder if I am honest that took place during the War. A woman was possibly murdered then and I want to have it solved. Maybe it was not a murder but I want to know that too as it has bothered me since last Governor died and I received all of his things.”
Douglas started to think back of the time he arrived to the Isles. He was all battered and broken. He could not recall much of that time but after getting better and after his wife arrived he spent a lot of time aloof. He had been feeling like a traitor but Governor Bertrand, a cousin of Lord Betonneren had convinced him out of his foolish thoughts. He had done more than enough for the Empire and he had no need to feel bad about not being there anymore.
“That long a time will make it near impossible to find out the facts. The murder scene alone is contaminated so far it is impossible to examine it.”
“Yes, I understand the limitations but I also have materials which might surprise you in regards of the issue. Old Governor was very methodical man and he invested a great deal of time, effort and money on solving this issue. HE was adamant that it was a murder and frankly, I am rather leaning to his side.”
“So, you are asking me to solve years old murder just to satisfy your curiosity?”
Now Governor took a long pause and was clearly wrestling with himself over how much he could reveal to Douglas. The murder was apparently important issue even to this day and it lit a fire in the mind of Douglas. He wanted to know more. Being a police officer in the Isles was honest work but it was really boring. Sheep theft being the biggest crimes normally with occasional crime of passion. Murders, those were easily solved as people on the Isles were not too well versed in subterfuge.
“Yes and no. I wish to know the truth but the answer would also have impact today. It would matter to me in regards of an issue which I rather not reveal as it could influence your mind. Lets just say that it is an issue with far reaching consequences depending on the answer, murder or not, it will affect the Isles.”
“Very well, I am intrigued enough to want to know more but I also say it now that it is very possible it will be impossible to determine it in either way.”
Douglas was nonchalantly leafing through the file and tried to keep his eyes on the Governor but the information in the files was making his mind racing. It was clearly referenced file with succinct abstracts of issues. Governor Bernard had been a scholar of great skill it seemed and that would help if his obsession had not coloured his thoughts.
“I understand and I just ask you to do your best. If I must remain uncertain of the issue, so be it. I can live with that.”
“So who was the victim?”
“Isebel Kanh, a tax manager of the Empire.”
Old cat appeared from somewhere and jumped on the table. Governor scrathed its head and said.
“Not you, you silly old girl. Your namesake.”
Douglas did not even notice the exchange as he had lost his battle between trying to be a respectful to the governor and reading the information. There would be lots of reading to be done and then verifying the information in the files but he was enjoying the task already. A real crime, a very troublesome issue to solve.
“I shall leave you here with the files. Seems you have accepted the task?”
“What? Oh, yes. I accept it. I take it this file is to remain here?”
“It is but you are free to come for it when ever you need a refresher.”
“Thank you Governor Favre.”