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    Down the in Blobcave:
    "I really like what you've done with the place," Larry commented.
    "Thank you."
    "Stevie told me you had plumbing set up?"
    "An excellent decision on your part. I'll be right back."
    Scott got to work. First task: shut down the computer feeds to the office. According to NPR, the base had just blown up, so he shut down that connection as well.
    "I have to say, in a moment of sobriety, it's time for us to start planning our counter-attack," Larry suggested upon his return.
    "Yes. Unfortunately, I need to figure out where the blazes they are. Not particularly considered in our purview to go trash every abandoned and nonabandoned building in Chinatown."
    "Hm. True," he nodded reluctantly.
    Needle called. While they were talking, Stephanie asked, "Do you mind if I let Harvey out down here?"
    "Go ahead."
    When he'd hung up, Scott spent a moment in thought, trying to figure out where he'd set up shop if he was Yen Chu-Hsia.
    "This would be easier if it were just the League of Nations, we know where the League of Nations are located," Larry mused.
    "We do?"
    "Well, we have a list of their bases. You told us to look into it."
    "Well let's put them up, what the heck." Five spots on the map lit.
    "One of those is Mort's house, one of them is the weapons facility we already knew about. The other three are two storehouses and a weapons facility. One of the storehouses probably doubles as a safe house. None of them are located in Chinatown, which means that either they and the Wuxia aren't working together, which is good, or that the League of Nations is not suddenly going to decide that the Wuxia represent a threat to their activities and will destroy them. Would have been nice if that had happened, but at least we can rest assured in the fact that there's only the second stringers here right now."
    "Are we sure about that?"
    "Rue Morgue is tough enough," he allowed, "but so far the only ones that we know of that are in town are Rue Morgue, Ley Lady, and Gallows Ghost. And while Jack Ketch is dangerous in his own way...."
    "He's not exactly the brightest crayon in the box."
    "No," Larry agreed with feeling.
    "Oh." He realized he had forgotten to pass on some information. "Mort's dead."
    "Mort's dead?" His eyebrows climbed slightly. "Who would kill Mort?"
    "Found dead in the morning, eyes pitch black, same as the other one."
    "Hold on a moment," Felix said, and began tapping. A bio of the previous victim popped up. "Let's look at Mr. Mort. He's an expert—or at least was an expert—on the collection, maintenance, and history of Middle European artwork. This is the most bizarre art collector I've come across yet," he remarked.
    "He's apparently collecting dead art critics," Scott shrugged.
    "Collecting knowledge. Killing people who knew something. So who else do we know who would know something? I'm sorry," he added, "but this is a riddle that we can actually try and solve." There was a short silence while he worked. "Okay, this is probably it. Here's our next target. If we're going for experts on various sorts of European history and artwork, what we have...." Patricia Hoagland's picture appeared. "She is an expert on European archaeology and pottery."
    "Take a look at this list, it's ridiculous. She's a former archaeologist/anthropologist, operated for several years in Europe. Left doing that, moved into writing, some work in art criticism... she's definitely considered an expert in European history and the artwork of the Germanic countries."
    "Okay, so we're drifting up through Europe."
    "She's our best guess for next target, though, and she's only going to be in town a little while longer. What do you want to do?" Felix asked.
    "We'd best keep an eye on her."
    "One of us? One of you?"
    "Good question. We can start with one of you guys. I think unfortunately the rest of us are gonna be busy in Chinatown," he understated.
    "Not to worry, I'll take care of it," Larry announced. "She undoubtedly needs some kind of butler... maybe an art critic... somebody who wants to interview her... I'll come up with a personality on the way. Nothing to worry about."
    "She might recognize you, by the way."
    "Weirder things have happened."
    "She might grow wings and fly, too," Larry shrugged.
    "With that background, I'm surprised she hasn't," Scott retorted. "She's screaming for an origin story."
    "I'll keep that in mind," the Muse allowed. "She was an archaeologist. Fourth most common origin story for the 1930s through 70s. But we know all about that, don't we Felix?"
    "I finished with the coffee," Stephanie appeared. "Harvey's checked around, where are you going?"
    "I'm off to go become someone inconsequential," he bowed with a flourish.
    "Not a long walk," Felix murmured.

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© 2001 Rebecca J. Stevenson