Returning by train from the jungle, Cala noticed a gunman observing the train from the far end of the platform, together with a number of other suspicious-looking folk crowding around the doors as it pulled in.
As the team left the train, they were attacked by those closest to them. Suspecting another attempt on Walker’s life by Lorcan Kell, Cala attacked the gunman, only to find that he had been assigned to the team by King Aodhan himself!
The Commissars are a new army unit set up by the King to give him better control over the armies defending the border against Danor. Each Commissar has the power of life and death over those in their command, and the right to bring the King’s political authority to bear when necessary.
The Commissar Act was signed by the King just a month ago, and Commissar Ciaphas Shae has been attached to the Serious Crimes Unit in order to observe how they deal with crime, both criminal and political. Their recent takedown of Reed Macbannin makes them the ideal place for Shay to learn those lessons, and then take them back to the King, where he can recommend how to apply them.
Shay commuted the prisoner’s death sentence to a spell in one of the military units on the Northern Front, and he was shipped off.
The assassins had freshly-inked Kell Gang tattoos, and earching the pockets of the attackers, the team find a note purporting to be from Kell, ordering Walker’s elimination. Wanting to force a confrontation with Kell, Cala and Sorvad pretended to take Walker prisoner, and the team marched to Kell’s Theatre, pretending to be a new gang in town who had captured Walker and brought him to Kell for torture and murder. Once there, it became obvious that not only did Kell not write the orders, but had told all of his gang to make no more attacks on Walker, finding the heat too problematic.
Visiting a tattoo parlour, the team met the tattooist who had inked the Kell tattoos – but not for Kell. His assistant, Stacy Sullivan, a heavily tattooed and pierced young woman, caught the eye of both Walker and Christian – and Walker arranged a date with her for 7pm the next night in La Restaurant.
The team tracked down the assassins to a hotel room, where it seemed that most of the assassins had been dosed with a slow-acting poison, so that they would be unable to talk if captured. One would-be assassin realised what was about to happen and removed himself from the attack before drinking. The Colonel, he said, was behind the attack, and gave an address where he could be found the next morning.