Yowuzupman stared at the woman standing before him, wondering where he'd seen her before. It had taken him a moment to get over his initial shock at realizing that his captor was a woman, but then again, kidnapping was an equal-opportunity job market these days.
'You don't know who I am, do you?'
Yo considered trying to bluff, but he knew all too well that with women, lying inevitably got a man into worse trouble than he'd been in originally.
'Obviously not Saturn Girl.'
The woman smiled slightly.
'ShazzPRME. You might remember me as the bartender at the bar you visited your first night in England.'
Yo's eyes widened. He should have known that there would be much more to this whole Quest business than he had originally thought. He groaned, resting his forehead on his knee and wondering if the rewards he would receive after this fiasco was over - some top-of-the-line weapons, infamy and a woman that drove him crazy - were worth all the trouble.
Gw7en was so startled that she dropped the bags she was holding. Nothing broke, but a dark brown bottle rolled out of the bag and across the floor, stopping at Red Dog's feet.
Everyone was startled by the noise, but no one moved.
Red Dog stared at Marv and Gw7en. He briefly entertained the idea of dropping to the floor and covering his head with his hands, but decided that a sudden movement was likely to cause the two well-armed individuals before him to get trigger-happy.
Marv and Gw7en stared at Red Dog. Marv weighed the pros and cons of suddenly adoping a 'Shoot first, ask questions later' policy. Gw7en wondered if the bugger was going to drink her good booze.
They continued to stare at one another. Marv's hand crept toward his gun.
Afgncaap5 sighed. He looked at the computer screen one more time, then turned away. The translation of the writing on the archway made no sense, but it made too much sense to simply have been an improper translation.
What the zark were the 'little dongly things'?!
sea ran a simple program on her laptop, which showed a list of all the phone numbers from which she'd received calls. She highlighted the last one, then ran a check to find the address that the number belonged to.
Fifteen seconds later, she grabbed her coat and headed for the door, but on her way she caught sight of her reflection in the mirror on the wall. She froze, then moved closer to the mirror. She had a small but very nasty-looking bruise on her forehead, and for a nerve-racking moment, couldn't recall how she had gotten it. Then the phone rang, jarring her memory. She let the answering machine get it.
sea turned the doorknob and found Marv, Gw7en and Red Dog in the den, all standing frozen, staring at one another.
'Hello, what's this?'
'Your girlfriend denied that you two are dating, you know.'
Yo sighed. This was how it was going to be, then? Crude psychological warfare? He shook his head, disappointed in Shazz's methods.
'Yes, well, she would. sea's a complicated woman.'
Shazz clucked her tongue.
'But surely she could, at the very least, admit that the man she loves is what he is, and not just an employee?'
She was trying to hurt him. It wasn't working. Yo grinned at her.
'You obviously know nothing about sea.
The sly smile disappeared from Shazz's face and Yo realized he had probably just made things harder on himself.
'I know more about sea than you think,'
Shazz replied, her voice cold.
'You see, she killed my fiance.'
sea looked from Marv and Gw7en to Red Dog.
'Where did he come from? Didn't we just... chase him... out the window?'
She frowned, confused.
Red Dog and Gw7en looked confused as well, but Marv moved to take sea by the arm.
'sea, Gw7en needs to speak to you in your office. I'll keep an eye on this ruffian here,'
he jerked a thumb toward Red Dog, who looked insulted.
'Now wait just a minute,'
Red Dog growled, drawing his pistol.
In a flash, Gw7en and Marv both had their guns drawn and pointed at Red Dog. The tension in the air was palpable.
'Whoa, there, kids.'
sea said, holding her hands up.
'Let's put the guns away and do this like civilized people, okay?'
Three heads turned to stare at sea in shock.
'sea, honey? I think I need to have a look at that bruise on your head...'
Gw7en sounded worried.
sea would hear none of it.
'No, no, it's just a little bump, that's all. I'm fine, really. You guys obviously have important business at hand, and I've got to go save Yo. None of us have time to look at a little bump on my head.'
Even Red Dog looked mildly worried. He lowered his gun, and the other two followed suit.
'What the heck happened to her? Why isn't she trying to kill me? She's playing mind games, isn't she? Oh, I can't take this. I wasn't trained for it... Torture I can stand, but this?'
Red Dog muttered to himself.
Marv reached over and smacked Red Dog on the arm. Red Dog scowled at him, but said nothing.
'You stay here,'
'We'll deal with you later. First, we need to see to sea's concussion.'
Red Dog sat back down on the sofa in the den. Marv and Gw7en led sea back into her office, protesting all the way:
'No, really, I'm fine! It's just a little bump on the head, playing funny buggers with my mind. I'll be just fine, you're being silly!'
Gw7en was more concerned by sea's assurances that she was fine than if she had looked gravely ill. She could only hope that sea only had a concussion, and not anything more serious. She examined sea carefully, hoping for the best, but bracing herself for the worst.
When she finished, she pulled Marv aside.
'It doesn't look good...'
Okay, so sea's brain is scrambled and Red Dog knows. Will he tell Uncle Heavy to exploit sea's weakness? What sinister purpose does Shazz have for the kidnapped Yo? Who was Shazz's fiance and why did sea kill him? Find out next week!!!