You try to focus on the crossword puzzle, but it makes no sense at all. Frustration builds, you shove the puzzle into your pocket, and begin shouting out and kicking at the dumpster. The sound of clanging metal reverberates through the narrow alley. You stare back into the harsh eyes of Director Kline, who silently stares back, standing with her arms crossed. “That guy,” you begin, but Kline interrupts you.
“That guy is no one. Probably a bottom feeder who was paid off to make you look like a fool.” She holsters her sidearm and approaches, confidently, but you suspect she is more shaken than she looks. Though she puts on a tough exterior, you get the feeling she’s softer on the inside.
She turns her hand and checks the time, “Listen, I’ve got a meeting to get to.” You follow her gaze to the watch and notice that hint of a tattoo again, peeking out from beneath the leather band. She abruptly pivots and heads down the alley, her black flats stomping along the concrete in her hurried, aggressive manner. Just before she turns the corner she calls out to you, “Figure out that crossword, agent. It’s all you’ve got.”
It’s hard to focus in the dim light provided by the cheap hotel room lamp and the noise coming from the street below. Your thoughts are sluggish, but now that you’ve cooled off, you’re determined to get this. You’ve got work to do. Examining the scrawled letters along the top, the solution hits you almost immediately and you begin noting down all of the numbered letters, revealing a message:
YOU GOT THIS FAR NOW ITS TIME TO ASK NICE DIR KLINE Y LOWELL WAS TRANSFERRED INSTEAD OF INCARCERATED THERES SOMETHING FISHY THERE DONT U THINK
Immediately you grab the phone and have the desk connect you to Kline’s precinct. You want answers now. While you wait for an answer, you ponder over some quirks of the note. It’s written like a child with a cell phone. And who is “NN”, is that meant to be you? Before you can continue the line of thinking the phone is answered by an officer. You demand to talk to Director Kline, but are denied. Apparently, she’s still in a meeting and can’t be disturbed.
Changing tact, you introduce yourself and ask for case files regarding Agent Thomas Lowell. The officer acknowledges that Kline mentioned your assistance in a case and transfers you to the NYPD Archives Department. After another introduction and a little negotiating, you end up with a promise that the files will be delivered to your hotel in the morning.
Unsatisfied, you begin to pace your dingy hotel room. The walls are too cramped to go far though, and you decide to step out and clear your mind with some fresh air. On a whim you call the Archives Department back and ask where the girl killed in Lowell’s case was buried. Finding that it’s not far from your hotel, you head off in that direction.
Wandering around the huge cemetery for what feels like hours, you are cool headed and bone weary but you finally found the girl’s tombstone. It has a fresh bouquet of flowers with a note. Thinking of the kind gesture, you finger the note to see what friend or family member remembered her recently.
"I'll be here with you as always, K.
Peonies, Lillies, Daffodils, Morning Glories"
It’s sweet, but you get a tingle that there’s more to the note and flowers than it seems. Maybe it’s a coincidence, but you decide to spend some time thinking about that note to see what you can come up with.