It could be Philippe, but he was far too much of a French Nationaliste, unless he could be persuaded that the ambassador was an existential thread to La Belle France. There were a couple of groups of Navy Seals, but motives were difficult to find there, too. All the other options were less likely. They were all retired, or would never get involved in something political like this.

But then again, he was, wasn’t he?

Rollick knelt down by the outline of where the body used to be, and saw the parsnip rose next to it. The petals looked somehow sharper than you would expect for a vegetable, and there was some kind of bluish tinge to it. As Rollick was looking closer to investigate, he heard a ‘crunch’ behind him.

“So, found anything yet?”

It was her again. Rollick turned to face her, seeing the smile she always seemed to have, that said that she knew far more than you about what was going on, and that she would take great pleasure in rubbing that in your face whenever you thought you had just figured it out. Wheels within wheels indeed. Rollick decided not to rise to the bait.

“I’m curious to know what the path report will say.”

“Probably that he died of a gunshot wound. What else could it possibly be?” she said with a smile.

“Well, I’m curious to know what the parsnip was doing here, right beside the body.”

“What? That? That’s just a calling card. I need to fill you in on why the ambassador was here. She was negotiating a large construction contract with the Japanese government.”


“What? You’re surprised that the French Government would send a female ambassador to Japan?”

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