Sunday. The day when one is supposed to rest. No working, no thinking. Blowing off the steam. Frankly, the days of having it easy were long gone for Detective Yardland of Chicago Police Department. As he sat in that windowless, stuffy room with a suspect in front of him, Edgar Yardland couldn’t care less what weekday it happened to be.
“Full name” he asked the baby in front of him: an intimidating mountain of a man, not any less so for his wild eye and dark meat.
" Michael Lister " the bruno answered.
Unfazed by his appearance, Yardland continued with the grilling. He had a job to do and the man was a very important clue to the origin of the so-called Dannerjack. The Demon Rum.
“Mr. Lister, please walk me through the events of yesterday. After you and myself separated at the museum.”
“Well,” The brute began, “We were driving us to the professor Compton’s house. Then the wise head started blabberin’ ‘bout somethin’ ‘bout science. An’ magnets. ‘onestly, I followed none of it. Parker must’ve, though, ‘cause he missed a couple of turns while the teach was runnin’ his mouth off!”
“I see,” replied the gumshoe, “Did you notice anything unsual during the drive, or at the house?”
“Lemme think fer a while, copper. Uh, yeah, I did actually! There was a suspicious boiler in an alley! Not too far from the house. It was one of those real glad irons, all white and silver. I betcha it hits on all eight! Didn’t look like the rest of the neighbourhood. And before you ask, no, it didn’t look bent.
“And when you went inside the house?”
“Well, first of all, the door was open.”
“And you proceeded?”
“Of course! Parker took the lead, I watched the rear. Real smooth operation. We saw that the doc’s lab was in ruins, and there was a fellow waiting for us. Didn’t recognize him, but he dressed fancy. Wouldn’t be surprised if he were one of those johnson brothers. He made an offer to the doc, to work for the southside. For Capone. Then he left.”
“He wrecks the place, says a word and vanishes?”
“Pretty much. Using the front door.”
“Apparently the situation escalated from there?”
“Yeah, that crazy bastard, Parker, he started threatening the prof! Said that he should blow his head clean off, and waved that gun of his around like a maniac!”
“You probably didn’t appreciate that too much?”
“Aww, Hell naw I didn’t! When I defended the guy, the goofy dick pointed his gat at me! Lemme tell you, there was murder in his eyes. A bloodlust. Like he needed it. I was scared as hell for my life, and the doc’s, so I threw some punches.”
“And professor Compton?”
“He used some chems and science and stuff, and escaped. The shamus started shootin’ his irons like an automaton who wanted attention, so I drank my juice to get even. Then you guys appeared.
“And what happened then?”
“I told you, you were th…”
“Please tell your side of the story, Mr. Lister.”
“Well, there was some shots fired, some kind of gas and… I kinda dropped. The next thing, I’m here in the clubhouse.”
“Very well. Mr. Lister, you are in a trouble. I can help you, but you have to help me. Lead me to the source of that juice you drink.”
“It won’t be easy.”
“Didn’t expect it to be. Now, if it comes to a trial, are you willing to give your testimony in the court against Mr. Parker?”
After the interview, Detective Yardland enjoyed a cup of coffee, going over his notes. He only had a glimpse of Michael Lister and detective McFly, who watched over the smoke, in the corner of his eye, but he saw what kind of a number Lister was. He wasn’t a monster. He wouldn’t have to be put down, as long as he’ll get off the Demon Rum. Yardland looked at the cell at the end of the hallway, where Raymond Parker laid bound and gagged.
“I really hope I can say the same for the grifter.” he thought to himself as he finished his cup of joe, made sure his Colt M1191 was loaded and took his first steps toward the cell.
After a brief questioning, the supernatural shamus agreed to drop the booze and help Yardland in purifying Blackline. Yardland knew better than to trust the drunkard, and decided to keep an eye on him.