Emery sighed as he realized that the supervising investigator left them to deal with expected results of the governor’s arrest. “The elections coming up anyway,” he whispered to Miles. “What’s it matter?”

“The other party doesn’t have a viable candidate now,” Miles hissed back.

“That’s fine by me,” Emery said. “I like the other guy anyway.” Then he looked at the crowd of people and raised his voice to be heard over their murmurs. “If everyone would please give their names and where they can be reached for an interview if need be to the wardens just outside the door and then proceed home so we can begin our investigation properly, it would be greatly appreciated.”

“It’s a conspiracy,” one man shouted. “The democrats wanted to discredit our candidate so their guy looks better.”

“The only conspiracy here is the one the governor is allegedly involved in,” Emery replied. “It involves murder, imprisonment and slavery. Please exit the premises and leave your name with the wardens, sir.”

“You can’t make us leave,” another man said. “You’re a child. On what authority are you doing this?”

Emery held up his badge and said, softly but firmly, “I’m with the wardens, sir. If you do not leave and thereby hinder our investigation, you may be arrested for obstruction of justice.”

“Come along now,” a familiar voice called from the doorway. Emery smiled as he caught Hassett’s eye. “No need to start something you don’t want to finish.” He waved a hand at several constables behind him and said, “They really just want names and contact information. There doesn’t need to be any more arrests tonight.”

“You’ve ruined everything!” The cry had erupted from somewhere to Emery’s left, then Emery felt someone catch him around the waist. He had enough time to realize that the governor’s aide was holding him before the man began trying to drag him out of the room. The glint of a blade drew his attention for a moment then instinct born of training kicked in.

His left hand shot up to hold the blade firmly away from them both as his left foot snaked around the man’s heel, causing him to trip. Once they were on the ground, Emery rolled away and glared at the man. “I wouldn’t,” he growled as the knife was once more brandished in a threatening manner.

“Check yourself, sir,” Hassett said softly. Emery could see that he held a pistol aimed at the governor’s aide.

With a moan of, “No,” the knife clattered to the floor and the man slumped over, face buried in his arms.

“You’re under arrest, sir, for attempting harm to an officer of the law and threatening physical harm to a minor,” Hassett said as he drew the man to his feet. “Alright, Em?”

“Fine, Hassett,” Emery assured the warden. He looked around at the crowd. “Anyone else have a problem,” he challenged. With murmurs, the crowd turned and left, finally willing to cooperate.

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