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[Aside: Scott]

    We spent a completely fruitless while attempting to question our captive, who refused to say anything until his lawyer got there, or afterwards for that matter. Well, mostly it was Phoenix Talon; I'm usually content to leave these things up to the professionals when we have them on hand.
    "We might remind you, before said lawyer gets here, that we have a myriad of witnesses, and it's hard to tell what crimes you haven't committed this evening. I guess rape is out, but everything else is pretty much in there," Phoenix Talon informed him. "High treason may be off the list, depending on what you stole."
    "He broke no agricultural quarantine laws," Scott remarked via phone.
    "So I guess what I'm trying to say here is that helping us find your friends might be the best course of interest here. But I would like to thank you for giving us the opportunity to subpoena Holly Shapiro," he added.
    No go. His lawyer showed up soon (guess what firm?). Short, annoying man.
    "What are you charging him with?"
    "What aren't we charging him with?"
    "Alphabetically or in order of appearance?" Thunderbolt wanted to know.
    I looked at Reilly, who sighed and said, "Ah, let's see. We could conceivably charge him with breaking these various traffic laws."
    "Criminal parking, operation of a flying vehicle within city limits without a proper license, unauthorized use of a heat ray on a city employee...." Scott chimed in.
    "Illegal parking...."
    "Illegal dumping in Boston Harbor, I was right there, I watched it! Breaking and entering on a grand scale...."
    "Why'd you steal the gene sequencer?" Phoenix Talon asked the prisoner outright.
    "I didn't steal anything," he replied, unruffled.
    "I don't think that questioning's really going to amount to anything," the lawyer sniffed. "You seem to be operating under the impression that my client was involved in some sort of criminal enterprise this evening."
    "Why yes, we are," I replied drily.
    Reilly just looked disbelieving. "Yeah, you know, we caught him leaving the scene of a crime, after having attempted to bludgeon into unconsciousness...."
    "Strangely enough, we have videotape of the incident," Thunderbolt pointed out.
    "So you're saying that the main claim that you have on him is that he attempted to leave an area once one of the heroes made it abundantly clear that he was about to start shooting at him, because someone had handed him this mask such before he showed up?"
    I cut off Phoenix Talon's attempt at a retort. "It's not worth it. Let the professionals handle it." I scanned the lawyer's aura, just to have him in the mental files. Nothing odd that I could see. Reilly told us that they'd be able to hold him for a couple of days, at least until tomorrow before the bail could go through, and that they certainly had plenty to charge him with.
    "I think he's wanted in Seattle," Scott informed us.
    "We can do a check on that, thank's Scott."
    "He was dressed up in a bark costume, I think he called himself Poplar. He was working for Phil Chlora during the whole Sequoia, the Redwood That Walks Like a Man incident a couple months ago."
    "Oh. Okay, I'll let the DA know about the whole Sequoia, the Redwood That Walks Like a... Man," he finished bemusedly.
    That more or less finished off the night. Quite a day.

[Aside: Scott]

    "Honey, you're home early. Was everything okay?" Talon asked when she showed up with Scott, soon after the rest of us had dragged ourselves back to the base. Thunderbolt called dibs on the shower.
    "Everything was fine, Rick just wanted to make sure that we beat the midnight deadline, with time to spare."
    "That was nice of him. Watch the news?"
    She nodded at Scott. "He was telling me about your evening."
    "We got the crap beat out of us," Phoenix Talon summed up.
    "Rick was worried that you might have been following us all night, but I let him know that you wouldn't do that."
    "No, and it's on the news, we got proof."
    "So there was a big fight there? Interrupting your date? That's too bad."
    "We got another one for next week," he informed her blithely
    This, at least, is not my problem, I decided, looking from one to the other. We discussed the night's adventure for a bit, and Scott shared his theory that it was an old-time villain behind 1-800-HENCHMEN's operation. We'll see what Felix can dig up on that, I guess. Scott's ambivalence on the topic worries me. God knows I'd rather have the Postman to deal with than giant spider-bots, but they aren't all harmless, and I don't want them around if we can put a stop to it.
    Getting them out in the open is going to be the hard part. We might just have to put a watch on their offices and see where they go after work.

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© 2001 Rebecca J. Stevenson