| Asymmetry | Role-Playing | Villains & Vigilantes | The Revolution | Story So Far | Aside |





Scott swung by K. Robeson in the morning to see if the silent alarm had been triggered from the computers there. If it had been, there was no evidence of it.
    Larry walked in. "Hello, sir!"
    "How are you doing today?"
    The Muse heaved a happy sigh. "Finished. The show's over, at least."
    "Ah. Do you read Greek?"
    "Not fluently. Why don't you ask Felix, he does."
    "Well, because he took off outta here the other day."
    "Who broke in?" Larry asked suddenly, looking around with a frown.
    "Somebody broke in?"
    "The set has been rearranged."
    Scott looked around; nothing seemed amiss. "How, where, when?"
    "After I left last evening, I knew where everything was."
    "What's moved?"
    "Someone's been at Felix's desk." He strode intently across the room. The monitor was shut off; Scott turned it on.
    "He got a letter from someplace in Greece, priority express." He found the envelope on Stephanie's desk. "Here. He took the contents with him."
    "I don't know," Larry admitted, his brows flexed. "Have you talked to his daughter?"
    "No. I haven't had a chance."
    "Might be your next step."
    "He had something he was working on, bunch of notes on the dig items, in shorthand Greek."
    Larry sat down, tapped at the keyboard with far more expertise than one might expect of someone his age. "Someone's erased everything that's been used recently on this machine. Whatever he was working on is probably gone; let me see how the backups are." Those, too, had been erased. "Not everything that he's been working on recently. This—did you have him working on Fairlawn Construction Company?"
    "That file's still here. Fairlawn Construction, owned by Wilson Associated Land Management, tracking down a Mr. O. R. Bouros... orobouros?" he repeated with an arch look.
    "Do you remember the name the Resurrectionist?"
    "Yes, you mentioned him at the poker game."
    "Well, Fairlawn Construction Company bought the land that the Resurrectionist's castle was on, and a number of items that were still in storage underneath the castle after the castle had gone down the side of the mountain into the river were carted out about the same time that Fairlawn Construction began putting together the project."
    "Really. You think this Bouros is...? Probably a fake name," he added.
    "I kinda hope so, actually."
    Larry chuckled and printed a copy of the file out for Scott to look at. Mr. Bouros appeared quite elusive. There was an electronic birth certificate on file but no paper copy that Felix could find. According to Fairlawn Construction's papers, there was no such person working there, but he had turned up in some of their more obscure computer files as well. The dates didn't mesh. According to the birth certificate, he would have been fourteen at the time he was working for Fairlawn. He'd apparently been involved in some fashion with a minor supervillain called The Black Whip, who'd gone straight during the second world war and made himself rich selling antiballistic cloth to the U.S. Navy.
    "Oh, I remember him... very second string," Larry recalled.
    "So, how was Mr. Bouros involved with the Black Whip?"
    "Whip... Clark, that was his name, Clark. After the war, when he had started making all that money... I met him once at a reunion party," he explained. "Let me see if I can call the scene to mind... yes. Several of us were getting together. He was very jumpy, drinking a lot of malted whiskey, and stating that he needed to defend himself. Naturally we asked why, or I asked why, anyway, because he had gone legitimate. Thanks to the great strides he had made in the defense of the country, they had wiped his record clean. He claimed that he was being hunted by 'crimes that would not die.' That sounds ominous now, doesn't it? Anyway, he went the Howard Hughes route."
    "Drug-addicted, a little unstable, and ended up living in a motel?"
    "Except for the motel part. He had—" Larry snapped his fingers as the memory came clear. "He had a house built for himself. A mansion. Almost on the border with New York, I remember that now. Apparently so did Felix. And the architect for the mansion: Mr. Bouros."
    "Both of them, or just Clark's?" That would be a very strange connection indeed, but Larry was shaking his head.
    "Clark's mansion, the one that he constructed, it's almost in Vermont, almost in New York."
    Not far from where Scott had just spent his interesting weekend, then.
    "The place was presumably impregnable," Larry continued. "At least, Clark claimed so."
    "It's a lot easier to break in if somebody actually hires you to build their defenses for them."
    "Once he sank his fortune into the house, no one saw him again. According to Felix's notes, he died penniless and insane. The house was apparently taken over by creditors."
    "Do we have a list of the creditors?"
    "Apparently it ended up being sold to the son of the architect. According to paperwork Felix has found, either the purchase never took place, or it occurred two years ago."
    "It's possible, entirely possible, that someone's attempting to wipe out their history. That would account for these discrepancies, if this Bouros is now trying to make it look as if he doesn't exist, or never existed, which is why he's in some places and not others."
    "What was the Black Whip doing, that he would have had contact with somebody like what we're assuming is the Resurrectionist?"
    The Muse shrugged. "He was a minor villain. He had a bullet-proof cloak and a whip that he was an expert with, you would assume as much from the name. Robbed a few banks, did a couple of very short stints in jail, fought Colt once. Never really hit the big time. He could have encountered the Resurrectionist at some point, but when, why?"
    "Hired himself out as muscle, maybe?"
    "Reduce himself to a mere henchmen?"
    "We're not exactly talking an A-list player."
    "He managed to run his business well enough to become a millionaire after the war," the actor pointed out. "And why would anyone sink that low? Nonetheless, the mansion bears looking at."
    Scott approximated a nod and changed the subject to the other matter weighing on his artificial mind. "What do you know about Felix? Other than the fact that it's the most fake name I've ever heard; admittedly I'm only four months old."
    "Felix Catt? Not very much, I'm afraid. We don't really discuss our pasts. He had a, ah, wandering youth. I know he was active in Europe during the war."
    "Do you know where?"
    "Italy, Greece, somewhere around there."
    "He was in Greece. Okay. Oh, dear," Scott remarked as two ideas connected. "Fiddlesticks."
    "We should get moving if we're going to make it to the party," Larry reminded him.
    Larry gave a patient sigh. "If Felix is all right, he's all right. If he's in jeopardy, he'll contact us. The man's been doing this for sixty years."
    "If he's doing what I think he's doing, he's about to walk into the middle of the League of Nations."
    That gave him a moment's pause. "We may as well discuss this with your teammates. They may have some light they can shed on the situation."

| Top | Back to Main Narrative


© 2001 Rebecca J. Stevenson