Companion Trilogy: Companion
by Mike Buckley
Tarifa's office was so hot that as I was sitting opposite her, listening to her complain about Ott's disappearance, I couldn't help but imagine him laid out on her desk, roasting.
"He's your partner. Find him," she said finally.
Tarifa's companion stepped gently over the crown of her skull, its long black legs picking through the strands of her hair. It worked its needle back and forth in the small wound on her forehead, fixing its single, shiny eye on me (and my own companion).
"I'll get him, Tarifa," I said.
Her companion removed the needle from her forehead and clear fluid dripped from the tip of it.
"You damn well better, Marlon. Detectives don't disappear from my station."
Which, knowing Tarifa, was clear enough to me: If I didn't find Ott, they'd be looking to kill him.
"A day," I said. "No problem."
I found Ott just where I expected to. It wasn't so much a neighborhood as a study in decay, building after building tumbledown and empty of everything except trash and shadows.
And Ott, on the third floor of a tenement, sitting bareheaded on a filthy mattress. His pistol was five feet away on the carpet.
"Tarifa's wondering where you are," I said.