“By the way, have you heard anything about all the Illusion Spell in the city being bought up? Might be someone planning a terrorist attack.”
“Sorry, can’t help you there,” Erik shook his head.
“No problem. Now, you did a great job with the zombie case, but I know after three years on the frontline of the Troll Wars, you’re probably looking for a case with a little more action. A little excitement,” Greer continued, reaching for his files.
Normally, that would be true, but Erik had other matters on his mind. “Actually, do you have anything in the Graveyard?”
Greer frowned. “The Graveyard? I mean, your usual garden variety dirtbag murders and whatnot, but who really cares about what happens in the Graveyard?”
Erik arched his eyebrow disapprovingly, and fixed his boss with a cold stare. “I imagine that the men, women and children who live and work there care, for starters.”
“Well, yes, that’s true, but….” Greer stammered, at a loss. “This is an election year. There are several council seats up for grabs. There are a number of more prominent districts filled with very prominent families, who fund our department, and –“
“The Graveyard pays taxes just like the rest of the city,” Erik said. “And they are under our charge and our protection just like every other district. When I took an oath, I took an oath to defend all the citizens of our realm, not just the wealthy ones who take up the society pages. Cases. What do you have for me?” He folded his muscular arms across his broad chest and stared at Greer unblinkingly.
There weren’t many warlocks who could get away with speaking to their superiors like that, but Erik wasn’t just any warlock. He came from an ancient, prominent family, and he was a war hero, having racked up one of the highest number of kills in the Troll Wars that had devastated the Northern Provences.
Which was why Greer hated to waste him on a bunch of dirt-poor nobodies with no political pull and no chance of getting more funding for his department…but Erik was notoriously stubborn. Maybe if he tossed Erik a case or two in the warehouse district, Erik’s do-gooder impulses would be satisfied, and he’d grow tired of working those filthy, lawless streets.
A handsome, politically connected warlock like Erik was much more useful in, say, the Garden District, where the matrons and their daughters would titter with delight at his presence, and then be inspired to donate generously at the Enforcer’s Ball.
He reached into his bottom drawer, pulled out a thick stack of file folders, and thumbed through them. Then his face lit up.
“Here!” he said. “You know where the warehouse district is, on First Street? Southernmost portion of the Graveyard? There’s been a series of warehouse thefts, and the merchants who own those warehouses are quite unhappy about it. We’d get some major political capital out of solving these cases.”
Considerably cheered, he handed the file folder to Erik, who flipped it open and then glanced up at Greer. “What’s our budget for special consultants?” he asked.
“For this case?” Greer leaned back in his seat, lacing his fingers behind his head. “This could be quite a prominent case. If we can save those merchants and their insurance companies some money, we can really make some friends. If you want a paid consultant on this case, go for it. Stop by the budget department, tell them I authorized it.”
A smile spread across Erik’s face. He knew exactly which consultant he’d be hiring.
“My palms are itchy,” Rosalind announced. “That means something bad’s going to happen before the day is out.”