Truth. Justice. Minesweeper.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Saturday evening Greyghost and Cassie were in the blue room putting together their plan of attack for that night. Informants' reports were scattered all over the place. I wasn't in there; I was out at my desk working. Some of the information they were kicking around had gone through me, though, so I knew that it was going to be a busy night.

Bob came in. I was expecting him; there was enough stuff going on that night that I figured Greyghost'd call for help. He had a weird expression on his face, though. "Is he in?" Bob asked in a low voice. I nodded at the blue room. He nodded thanks back and went in. I followed.

"Hey," Bob said. "I've got good news that you're going to hate."

Greyghost and Cassie looked up at him.

"Jessie's having a baby. She told me that, starting today, she's going to be away from the game for about a year and a half," Bob said. It took me a couple of seconds flipping mental file cards to figure out that Jessie = Ms. Moxie.

"Oh, great for her!" Cassie said. And then, realizing the implications, "Oh."

"Mm," Greyghost said. "I see."

Cassie looked at Greyghost. "So who can we call now?"

He shook his head. "Jack's out of town. We haven't heard from Surefire since the story came out. We'll just have to handle it."

"Whatever it is, you'll have to handle it without me," Bob said. "Lucas has some kind of deal going on tonight and I may be able finally to staple his ass to the wall." Lucas, a supervillain of brutal and elusive nature, is Bob's particular nemesis.

"If it's just us, we'd better go now," Cassie said. "You get set up at the docks and I'll try to catch Ratbastard in his car on the way to the meet. I can go right from there to the jewelry store."

Greyghost nodded. "We'll coordinate through Dennis. I can handle things at the docks, and we'll decide later if I need you to cover the prisoner transfer with me at 3:00, but that still leaves nobody to apprehend XBadX and his gang at the hotel."

They were silent.

"Don't look at me," I said. "I'm no match for anybody with two X's in his name."

Cassie ventured, "I could try to..." but couldn't find an ending to the sentence.

"We'll have to let it go," Greyghost said. "There are only two of us, and we can't be in three places at once."

So that's what they did. Final score for the evening: Lucas got away from Bob again, Cassie never saw Ratbastard but did foil a jewelry store burglary, Greyghost busted up a drug deal at the docks, and the Professionals' middle-of-the-night transfer to a different jail went off without a hitch. XBadX and his guys, uninterfered with at one of the airport hotels, killed two guys and got away with a briefcase of money.

So, today, Greyghost comes up to me and says, "I'd like you to compile a list of all auxiliaries who are or might be active in the Empire City area. If it's not someone we know well, include as much information as you have about his or her habits and capabilities, or anything else useful." 'Auxiliary' is his word for 'superhero'.

"Sure. What for?"

"Increasing your workload," he said. Like I didn't know that already.
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