from Force of Habit by Marian Allen
Allow me to introduce Pel Darzin of the Meadow of Flowers District constabulary in Council City, the capital city of the planet Llannonn. Council City is the Central City of the Meadow of Flowers District. Down these mean streets--well, a bit mean, but not too mean, because the Llannonninn are courteous people--walks this man. Darzin came up through the ranks from constable and knows his city and his district inside and out.
District Criminal Investigator Darzin, tell us about this case. What made it so special?
The special thing about this case was how convoluted it appeared, and how simple it actually was, once I saw through to the one, all-important fact at the heart of it. There were these aliens from outer space, you see, and then there were these other aliens from outer space. And the second aliens saved one of our people from the first aliens, although first one of the second aliens put her in greater jeopardy. Bookkeeper Freldt Saymak of
Jok'rel's Traveler's Rest Inn, called to report that Gord Pron, an enforcer for a well-known Stokk criminal, was extorting her to cook her boss' books. I arranged to meet her and listen in while she maneuvered him into repeating his plot. But, before I got there, a party of Terrans -- well, mostly Terrans -- came to Jok'rel's for shore leave, and the rest is history. Some say Professor Isobel Schuster changed places with Freldt Saymak by chance, but I know better.
What made the case hard to solve?
All the aliens. And, of course, all the criminals. There was the Stokk Gord Pron and boss and his henchman, there was a member of our own Grand Council working with Pron's boss, there was a Terran con man named Connell Morgan and, technically, myself. Frankly, Communications Commissioner Darlla Bute didn't make matters any easier. We joke about that now.
Did anyone outside of the police department help you solve this case?
Oh, yes. Oh, my, yes. The Irregulars were invaluable, as always. I understand your own Sherlock Holmes had his own Irregulars, is that right? I'd like to compare notes with him some day. The crew and teaching staff of the Space Academy training ship St. Gregory the Wonderworker were invaluable allies; we were all very impressed. And, of course, the
mysterious Bel. This is Bel's story, really, you know. I'm humbled and proud to have played my part.
Has this case affected your personal life in any way?
Professionally, which is closely related to my personal life, I feel much more comfortable dealing with Terrans, which has boosted my career. Although we have a variety of aliens from outer space on Llannonn, the Terran mind is the most difficult for us to fathom. Terrans are much more complex than we give them credit for being. Too many of us give up and simply treat them as if they were insane, which is a mistake. An understandable
mistake, but a mistake. When I get what you would call my twenty years' service in, I plan to retire to the rural part of the Meadow of Flowers District and raise pratties. I couldn't afford that, if it hadn't been for the salary advancement and Terran/Llannonninn liaison fees this case instigated for me.
Thank you for being with us today, District Criminal Investigator Darzin. I wish you the best as you fight crime in outer space.
Marian Allen lives in rural Indiana. For as long as she can remember, she has loved telling and being told stories. Allen has had stories in on-line and print publications, on
coffee cans and the wall of an Indian restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky. Force of Habit is her second book. For more information on her or any of her books visit her website at Marian Allen - Fantasies, Mysteries, Comedies, Recipes or her Facebook Author page Marian Allen Author. A short story also featuring Pel Darzin is free atSmashwords.