Spacer Aside 204a
  | Asymmetry | Role-Playing | Villains & Vigilantes | The Revolution | Story So Far | Aside |





Larry returned from his investigations into 1-800-HENCHMEN's recruiting efforts.
    "They're doing a remarkable job of making themselves conspicuously inconspicuous," he reported, removing his makeup as soon as he returned to the K. Robeson office. "Whoever these people are, they have experience with dealing with the less than intelligent, less than savory aspect. I went through a variety of different bars under a variety of different identities, looking for things, and they know exactly where they're targeting to. Whoever it is definitely knows this city, far more so than someone who had just come in."
    That led to a short train of thought. "Franchises?" he guessed.
    "I think that might be the case."
    "It's like Primerica gone horribly wrong," the robot mused.
    "It could be worse; could be Amway. In any case, I managed to lay my hands on four or five more of their fliers, a couple of their business cards. Judging from what you said in the encounter you had with them in Seattle, I don't think calling the numbers on the business cards will help; they seem to have some sophisticated phone-tracing technology for knowing who's calling, and there's probably also a voice stress analyzer on the line."
    "That's what I was able to turn up, aside from the fact that they're probably doing a fairly brisk recruiting business. If it is possible, I suggest we do a search for 'disgruntled' people." At Scott's inquiring look he continued, "Villains have to come from somewhere. Not all of us are driven by the genius that runs, say, myself or Felix. I wouldn't be surprised if you started see more people like Count... Bastard." He winced a bit as he said it.
    "That's really a very terrible name, isn't it?"
    "Not the best I've ever heard." He resumed his previous train of thought, "Those who are disgruntled something. Musicians, scientists, chemists, postal employees, anything, who want to be given their one shot at revenge, power, strange costumes and dumb names."
    "Make the world regret that it never recognized their hidden genius?"
    He nodded. "I think you're beginning to understand. Unfortunately, I don't know how they would go about recruiting someone of that sort. It's entirely possible that they have advertisements hanging up in AA meetings, or perhaps merely business cards tacked up onto walls. Looking to Show Them All?"
    "Call this number, receive good pay to rain terror on city?"
    "The theme villains are no doubt paying them," Muse corrected. "They wouldn't be able to run this organization if there weren't people who were interested in hiring their services. They are probably attempting to cultivate people who would be interested in hiring their services. The average run of the mill person who wouldn't normally consider a life... in the Game. You have to admire their thoroughness, though—it's an innovative business plan." He appeared lost in thought for a moment, then returned his attention to his employer. "In any case, that's what I was able to find."
    "Thank you."
    "Claudius is calling," he excused himself.
    "Have fun."
    "I'll be sure to stay in touch. You and Felix keep an eye on things."
    A bit later, Scott talked to Sphinx. If he promised to be good, the robot told him, he'd see if he could arrange an early peek at the Egyptian artifacts the Windjammers had uncovered. Sphinx promised, so Scott called the Mariner Corporation.
    "Let me see if I have this right," JT said, leaning on his desk. "You have in your employ a reformed supercriminal. You're asking to have—he wants access to our base?"
    "Well actually he wants to see the stuff you found in the Indian Ocean."
    "This is your staff Egyptologist, isn't it?"
    JT sighed and got on the horn. "Sparky, rewire the alarm systems, and then we're going to have to change them back to this configuration after Mr. Sphinx has left. No reason to give him too much temptation," he added to Scott
    "Cool," the robot chirped. "I'll tell Felix."

| Top | Back to Main Narrative


© 2001 Rebecca J. Stevenson