Chinatown 6:31 PM Two car convoy rolling through Chinatown. Flass drove the unmarked cop car in the lead. Two-Gun Jack Grogan rode shotgun. Burke and Harris sat in the back. Simpson drove the car filled with mob squad goons. They were headed to a Tong summit to act as muscle. One Tong family swore vengeance on another Tong family. A Chinatown war loomed on the horizon. It defied Grogan's mandate for the mobster squad. They kept the peace at all costs. Flass' thoughts drifted during the ride. Grogan spent all day in confabs with Commissioner Loeb and other brass. HE was the topic of said confabs. Porter promised payback for Scotty Lees' dive. Grogan contracted to make it copacetic. He said hard-on Whiskey Jim Gordon had the case. The hush-hush huddles made Flass nervous. A sellout could be in store. The convoy pulled up to a fish factory. They got out with pump-action shotguns and automatic pistols. Flass had his big .45 on his hand. Grogan stuck a plug of tobacco in his mouth and strutted into the factory with a bullhorn in his hands. The factory floor: Wall to wall to Chinese men yelling in their heathen language. Six Nation Tong on one side in red, the Yellow Dragon Tong on one side in yellow. They jabbered at each other, flashed knives and guns and threatened to go to war right then and there. Two-Gun Jack held the bullhorn to his mouth. His voice amplified across the din. The bullhorn made it screech weird. Grogan's voice sounded inhuman. Flass realized he was speaking Chinese. He gave the ****s the spiel in fluent Mandarin. The speech: Calm down right now or we will send in the riot squad and bash all your heathen brains in. The panic subsided. Grogan grinned. He motioned the rest of the squad to flank out. They covered exits and corners with their guns. Grogan and Flass walked towards a card table in the middle of the mob. Fat Ricky Fat of the Six Nation sat on an opposite side from Hau Song and the Yellow Dragons. A third chair for Grogan sat between them. Two-Gun Jack sprawled into the chair. Flass stood behind him as muscle. Hundreds of eyes fell on Flass. He winked en masse to the crowd. The negotiations began. The two old men spoke through Grogan. They talked to him and he talked to the other. All eyes fell on the negotiations. No noise from the crowd. You could hear a pin drop. Ricky Fat said something in his gobbledygook. He pounded the card table. A buzz filtered through the crowd. Ricky Fat made the throat slash sign. Hau Song shook his head and rattled off gibberish. Grogan held both hands up. He talked, talked, talked in their heathen tongue. He pointed to both men. He expounded on some theory that made both men's heads nod. He finished. They both agreed. The crowd clapped. Wolf-whistles broke out. Grogan got up smiling. He pulled Flass close and whispered in his ear. "I give you peace. Peace for our time, son. Go find Burke. We've got some more work to do." -- Burke drove and Flass rode shotgun. Grogan and the head of Six Nation Tong sat in the back. Fat Ricky Fat spoke in Chinese to Grogan, Grogan gave it right back. They laughed. Flass looked in the rearview mirror. He saw a pistol and hatchet in Ricky Fat's lap. Grogan switched to English. He said, "GCPD caught a dead body two days ago. A Chinese girl stabbed to death in a Chinatown motel room. The victim was Ricky Fat's niece. Her murderer is Yellow Dragon. Some punk she was ****ing is the fiend. He saw her with some Six Nation boys and got jealous and stabbed her sixteen times. A real Romeo and Juliet story. I learned all this at our summit just a few moments earlier. Knowing Homicide like I do, they will give the killing a cursory investigation and drop it. If it's not white, they don't care. This degenerate who killed Ricky Fat's niece has tarnished his family honor. Old world customs dictate that he must regain that honor with vigorous bloodletting." Flass saw the hatchet blade glint in the sparse light. Ricky Fat held it up swung it around the backseat gracefully. Grogan laughed. "To advert full on war, Yellow Dragon has agreed that this heinous crime must be avenged. Take a left here, Thomas." Burke pulled up to an apartment. They got out. Flass and Burke walked point, Grogan and Ricky Fat behind them. They hit the fourth floor. Apartment six. Flass had his .45 out, Burke gripped his nine mil. Grogan pulled his six-shooters. Ricky Fat had a hatchet in one hand, his pistol in the other. Grogan said, "Go!" Burke kicked the door. Once, twice, three times. It snapped on the third kick. It fell to the floor. They walked over it. They walked in on five Chinese junkies geezing up on Big H. Flass and Burke aimed at the same man. They blew holes through his chest. Two-Gun Jack opened fire with both six-shooters. He turned two men into swiss cheese. Six shots a piece center mass. Ricky Fat charged the one man left alive. He screeched something in Chinese and hacked at the man with his hatchet. The man screamed and fell to the floor. Ricky Fat kept hacking. Grogan nodded, he spun his guns like a cowboy and holstered them. Burke went green. Flass holstered his piece. Grogan put a hand on his shoulder and lead him and Burke out. "Let Ricky Fat have his fun. We need to talk since we have a moment." Grogan spat tobacco on the floor and shook his head. He talked over Ricky Fat's screams/the killer's moans. "Tonight's your last night working with me for some time, boys. I did what I could, but you both gotta pay something for that mess with the boxer. Thomas, you're going to the Eastern District flexsquad to work drugs. Arnold, they're packing you to Homicide. It's supposed to be temporary. How long it'll last, we'll see." More screaming inside. Choked and phlegm filled death rattle. Blood ran out the door and pooled at their shoes. Burke dry-heaved. Flass saw a severed eyeball float by. ***** Gotham Central 1:12 AM Jim sucked on his flask and paced in the conference room. On the wall, the Scotty Lees case tacked to a corkboard. Form and void. Thought and theory. Implication and assumption. It was there. It was sketchy. It was enough. Crime scene pix laid out his findings. It was threadbare. The crack in the wall and the angles of height. The ME did not check Scotty's interior muscles and skull for signs of head trauma. His face got cut up by the fall. No obvious bruising on the skin. Threadbare, but enough for extortion. They were meeting in a half hour for Flass' interview. Grogan called and said they were on the way. He walked through the Homicide pen towards his desk. The office was a ghost town. The rest of the squad hauled ass to Chinatown. Multiple 187's. He begged off, using his meeting with Flass as an excuse. Slam called him from the scene. A ****ing quintuple homicide. Five Chinese men were shot and hacked to death. Brutal stuff. That mass snuff and a stabbing from a two days ago made it six opened murders in Chinatown. He saw crime scene pix of the dead girl. She reminded him of Barbara. Barbara. He did what he had to do at the crime scene and picked her up from school. They exchanged pleasantries, talked about their day without saying really saying anything. They ate greasy fast food for dinner. She had a milkshake. He drank cut-rate bourbon. She excused herself and went to do homework. He passed out on the couch. Barabra woke him up two hours before he had to be at work. He saw the sadness in her eyes. Those eyes said, what the **** are you doing? Why do you do this to yourself? Why do you do it to me? He ignored all of it and downed a pot of coffee to wake up. The babysitter showed up to stay with her through the night and Jim came to work. The door to Homicide opened. Jim saw Grogan's stetson above cubicle walls. He killed what was left in his flask. Liquid courage steadied him. Grogan and Flass stopped by his cubicle. Grogan snagged a GCPD mug off Slam's desk and spat tobacco in it. Two-Gun Jack said, "Sergeant Gordon. Sorry if we're late. We were on a case and it got a little rough. Someone was eyeballing me." A look passed between the two cops. Private joke. Jim ignored it. Flass stifled his giggles and held his hand out. "Jimbo." Jim stood. He looked at the hand. He let it linger there in front of him. "Call me James, Jim, or just Gordon. We are both sergeants, so there is no need for establishing rank or hierarchy." Flass prickled. He withdrew his hand. Grogan narrowed his eyes. Jim motioned towards the conference room. "Shall we?" -- "It was getting late. We were watching TV and Scotty was sleeping and I started to nod off." Flass sat at the conference room table. Gordon up close. Grogan halfway down from him and watching everything. Flass smoked. Gordon smoked. Two-Gun Jack chewed chaw. Gordon's eyes were distorted behind thick-framed glasses, they looked huge and all encompassing. He wrote down notes while Flass told the story. Grogan spat into a coffee mug and kept watching. Gordon said, "The television was off when police arrived. Did you turn it off before or after Scotty jumped?" No hesitation. "After. It seemed so loud and with everything going on, I turned it off." "The sound of Scotty jumping is what woke you up?" "Yes." Gordon nodded. He held up a crime scene photo of the room. Two cheap, saggy beds. One on the left was unmade. The one on the right was immaculate. "Sleep above the covers, sergeant?" "I did." Flass felt Grogan stir. He could feel Two-Gun Jack's eyes on him. He heard another loud spit into the coffee mug. Gordon nodded. He reached across the table and got the recorder. "I think I have enough here." He killed the recording. Flass felt relief. Gordon rummaged through a pile of files. He pulled out a photo and laid it front of Flass. "You left an indent in the wall when you bashed Scotty Lees head into it." Flass looked down. It was small. But sure as ****, it was there. Flass' head snapped up. Grogan's face was frozen. Gordon looked at Flass then at Two-Gun Jack, then back to him. "The medical examiner's report missed any kind of exterior bruising due to all the lacerations on Scotty's head, but I bet a search underneath the skin will reveal a contusion he suffered moments before he died. I got a DNA swabbing of that indent this afternoon. Skin flakes in the dent were a perfect match for Scotty's DNA. You smashed his head into a wall and you threw him out the window, you goddamn thug." Flass saw red. He raised up and went over the table. He grabbed at Gordon. Gordon backed up faaast. He dodged Flass' mitts. Grogan's big hands pulled him back to the chair. He got him back down and steady. Gordon looked white. His hands were shaking. Grogan put his hands on Flass' shoulder. He fumed at Gordon. He said, "Boy, I bet you are just talking bull****. I bet you hadn't even raised that issue with Eckhart or anybody else you work with. I bet you're waiting on a ****ing payoff." Gordon straightened his glasses. His fixed his tie. He took deep breaths to calm himself. He beaded sweat. Flass fantasized about ringing his goddamn neck. Gordon said, "I want a promotion to lieutenant. I consistently get passed over for promotion despite attaining the highest scores on all tests and exams. Furthermore, I want my promotion to come within the detective bureau. I want to run either Robbery or Homicide. You have juice with Commissioner Loeb, Captain. Make it happen and I will write a final summation that pushes Flass' narrative that Scotty Lees committed suicide. Failure to comply with my wishes and I send my findings to Porter. She's already riled at you, Captain. All she needs is proof that your men and squad are dirty and she will not hesitate to burn both you and Flass." Flass felt Grogan's hands tighten on his shoulders. Grogan breathed heavily. Flass couldn't see his face, but the man irradiated anger. Murderous anger. He saw Grogan's hands turning white from the grip on Flass' shoulders. Two-Gun Jack said, "You have a deal, you mother****er. I'll talk to Loeb and have you set up to take over for Hughes when he retires, or Eckhart when he finally kicks the bucket." Gordon lit a fresh cig. He inhaled deeply and nodded. He blew out smoke when he said, "That sounds reasonable to me, Captain. I'll file my final report tonight, but I will hold on to the evidence I've suppressed. Insurance, you see? I need to protect myself." Grogan walked out without another word. Flass stood. He stared down at Gordon. Gordon stared back. He saw sweat rolling down Gordon's face. Flass laughed and walked out after Grogan. He caught up to him by the elevator. Two-Gun Jack fumed. He spat his wad out in a trash can by the elevator and looked at Flass. The goofy cowboy shtick was gone. All Flass saw was raw anger and hate. "If you want to make it out of your new Homicide assignment and come back to the mob squad, I have but one simple request: Kill James Gordon."