Episode 17: Confessions, Interrogations, and Disturbing Revelations


Cat and Sam learn disturbing news about Maria. Police detective Matt Longworth seeks assistance on a murder. US Marshal Raylan Gibbons checks on PC alibis and the recent combat. Cat admits the truth to her ‘Big Sister’ and US Marshal Mary. Kyle gets an unpleasant visit from Very Special Agent Harry Hoar. The PCs enjoy a more-or-less tranquil Christmas party. Kyle gains some Possible Clues about his burn notice.


Thirty-one members of the Aztec motorcycle club in Linwood and thirty of their guests (including women and children) were massacred three weeks ago on December 1st. The Aztecs apparently believe party members are responsible. (GM note: Yeah, they are.) Together with Cindy, one of Lou-Ellen’s porn stars and cousin of one of the dead guests, a group of Aztecs targeted “the kids”—namely the Paintball team—of the PCs.

While at a party, Kyle got a call from Boyd, telling him that Aztecs were on their way to an address in Atlantic County. Kyle realized that’s where the kids were. Everyone piled into Doc Freeman’s car and headed to Atlantic County.

Meanwhile, upstairs, Zeph saw the Aztecs entering the building with guns and alerted the other kids. Cindy started waving her pistol around, and Cat went into action protecting the kids. She killed Cindy with her monoknife and headed for the staircase, accounting for several more dead bodies before Sam and Kyle reached the staircase, just in time to finish off the last of the intruders who had breached the doorway to Cindy’s apartment upstairs, where Logan was valiantly defending the youngsters (and taking lots of bullets in the process).

Also, at the same time as the Aztec massacre was happening three weeks ago, someone shot Delrick Bouchard, a former professor of Kyle’s who happens to live about eight blocks from his boat in Pleasantville. Matt found a photograph of Kyle and other college students on the wall of the professor’s house.

Dramatis Personae

The client du jour:

Lou-Ellen Plaizire owns Virility Visions, a braindance porn studio in Atlantic County next to the Linwood/Northfield border. The Aztec Motorcycle Club provides strong-arm support for the Linwood Mob’s transportation needs. The Aztecs were pressuring Lou-Ellen to give them a large “business tax”—but she refused, with backing from various PCs.

The grownups:

Kyle Vaduva: Burned spy.

Sam Fisher: Retired CIA black operative, assassin, cleaner, you-name-it.

Doc Freeman: Former professor at UNLV, former assistant coroner and disgraced cyber researcher.

Logan Hawke: Former tech operative asset for the CIA, now tainted by Kyle’s burn notice.

Fijay: Expert driver and former Euro-something agent, tainted by Kyle’s burn notice.

Bo Crowler: Boyd’s dad, a “godfather” type in the local criminal element of Pleasantville and Northfield.

Boyd Crowler: Local fixer based in Pleasantville and Northfield.

Buzz: Formerly retired head of the Linwood Aztecs; he has taken the gavel again.

Cindy: Porn star at Virility Visions, cousin of Tassel, another porn star who died in the Aztec massacre, and friend of Trish.

Crackler (the): A former trainer at Langley; he taught lethal hand-to-hand combat techniques.

Delrick Bouchard: A corpse who used to be Kyle’s college history professor and a mentor.

Lou-Ellen Plaizire, owner of Virility Visions, a braindance porn studio.

Maria Figaro: Sam’s next-door neighbor and current girlfriend. 23 yo gorgeous woman, does PR for the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center.

Mary Drucker: US Marshal and ‘Big Sister’ for Cat Fisher.

Matt Longworth: Senior Detective with Pleasantville Criminal Investigations Division; he investigates all homicides.

Nathan Forest: CIA’s Deputy Director of Clandestine Operations. He is based at Langley VA.

Raylan Gibbons: US Marshal in Atlantic City Marshal’s office.

Ricky Jardain: Sam’s next-door neighbor. A 26 yo telemarketer selling stocks.

Tiffany Wilson: Young woman next door to Sam’s house. Works PR for the Showboat Casino.

Trish Braddock: Porn star at Virility Visions studio. She has befriended Logan.

Tyne Lacy: Kyle’s aunt (mother’s sister), a widow, also foster and adoptive mom of several kid PCs and NPCs, she lives next door to Kyle’s mom Sharin in a big house.

The kids:

Allison Cole: 13 yo kleptomaniac sex pot. She lives with her father.

Cat Fisher: Sam’s 15 yo daughter.

Geoff Stark: 14 yo fixer specializing in braindance chips; he has found a braindance addict to play the role of his father.

Nip Lacey: 12 yo girl with neon green hair, has amnesia. She was adopted by Tyne Lacy 2 years ago.
Rudi Marsden: 16 yo boy, junior in high school, punter on the football team.

Zephyr Snow: 11 yo boy, in 7th grade, lives at Tyne’s house. He pretty much keeps to himself, likes to torture small animals. He is nicknamed “Zeph”. It’s a bad idea to tease him about his name.

The Action

Tuesday, 24 December 2041:


Headline in today’s Atlantic City Breeze: LOCAL HEROES FOIL ATTACK ON PAINTBALL TEAM. The story names Sam (retired government employee and trainer of the Pretty Pink Unicorns) and Kyle (owner of Collaborative International Antiques and sponsor of the Pretty Pink Unicorns) and Doc Freeman (owner of Freeman Industries, local neurological researcher and employer, and sponsor of the Pretty Pink Unicorns). Logan is mentioned in passing.

Sam and Maria are getting his house in order for the party tonight.

Trish visits Logan, who is recuperating at home since he doesn’t have money for medical insurance and no hospital will treat him. She gushes, “OMG, that shootout was so exhilarating!” She talks about shooting at Cindy, even though she missed, and shooting at the Aztecs (again, missing). She climbs into the bed and they have wild sex. Logan pulls a few stitches, but is otherwise okay.

Matt calls Tyne and arranges to come over and talk with Nip. He explains that Kyle’s name has come up in connection with a murder a few weeks back, and Kyle said that Nip knew where he was in the early morning hours of December 1st.

Nip says, “He was probably sleeping. We were all on a camping trip in the middle of the woods. Kyle was our chaperone. That’s why my Mom let us go. We love Uncle Kyle. He takes me to all these awesome places; sponsors our paintball team. We just won the tournament; got a trophy and everything.”

Asked if she actually saw Kyle that morning, she admits she didn’t, that she was “On my deck, writing something. But Uncle Kyle wouldn’t hurt anybody.”

Matt thanks her for her assistance, then goes to Sam’s house to talk with both him and Cat. Similarly, he explains about Kyle’s name coming up in connection with Professor Bouchard, and do Sam and Cat know where he was on December 1st?

Sam tells him, “We were all up late. Everyone involved in the paintball team.”

Matt asks, “Logan too?”

Sam is momentarily at a loss for words, but recovers quickly, explaining that he’d been a fan, rooting the team on. “We were all sitting around the campfire, hanging out and telling stories. The kids went to bed around 10 that evening.”

Cat confirms this, saying she had already gone to bed.

Matt next visits Allison, who comes to the door in a rather skimpy wrap-around robe. She too says, “We were all camping. I caught a fish.”

Asked if she was up that late and actually saw Kyle at 2 am, she admits she was sleeping. Then she lets her robe slip open.

Matt, somewhat alarmed by this rather brazen attempt at seduction, asks if her father is home.

Allison calls for her dad, saying, “It’s for you and I didn’t do it.”

Matt says, “That’s okay, I don’t need to talk with him.”

The teenager then adds, “I’m totally innocent here,” and “Come back any time.”

Matt escapes, glad to leave with his dignity more or less intact.

Meanwhile, Raylan visits Logan, arriving while Trish is in the shower. Raylan wants to talk about last night’s combat. “So, things were a little chaotic yesterday. You want to walk me through what happened again?”

Logan explains, “We were at two separate parties. My girlfriend, she was a friend of Cindy’s. So we were serving as chaperone for the kids. Then the crazy bitch pulled a gun and started shooting. She grazed me, and I fell unconscious—so I don’t know exactly what happened for a while there. When I came to, Cindy was dead. I don’t know how. The kids were okay. We defended ourselves. I was happy to kill two of the attackers who got to the doorway. Then our friends came and saved us.”

Raylan asks, “Do you have any idea why Cindy thought the kids were connected to the people who killed her cousin?”

Logan says no, that he was invited because “Cindy knew me through Trish. They worked together.”

Then Raylan wonders what it meant, “When Cindy said ‘Once a whore, always a whore,’ as some other people reported she said when she was waving the gun around.”

Logan claims to have no idea. But maybe, “They don’t like to talk about the trade. Maybe she was lashing out because of her profession.”

Raylan admits this is plausible. Then he offers, “Forensics coming back, autopsies on the bodies upstairs, indicates they were ‘double tapped’—making sure the people were dead. Was that something you did?”

Logan denies it, but adds, “If I was to do such a thing, I wouldn’t shoot them in the head. I would have shot them in the chest. But no, I did not ‘finish off’ anyone.”

(GM note: Yeah, he did, whether it was the chest or head is irrelevant.)

Raylan challenges that. “Forensics shows it was bullets from your weapon. Of course, this was clearly self-defense. Those fellows came into the building armed, shot at Doc Freeman’s car. They obviously intended at least grievous bodily harm, maybe even to kill the kids at the party. You did right in defending them.”

Logan is glad to hear that. He acknowledges that he goes armed everywhere, it being a nasty world out there and all. But he does have a license.

Raylan agrees, but discloses his reason for asking. “See, it’s a little disturbing because forensics shows the same style of ‘finishing off’ some of the victims at the Linwood massacre a few weeks back. And—Aztecs at the party here, Aztecs at the clubhouse there—you can see why I might think there’s a connection, right?”

Logan says he heard about the massacre—read it in the papers. He figures, “It sounded like a professional hit, and so whoever did it would probably clean up afterwards. For people to go in and kill so many people is horrible. But I’m not a mass murderer. I was at a party.”

Raylan then asks, “Just as a formality, where were you on December 1st between, say, 1 am and 3 am?”

Logan claims he was on a camping trip, and explains about the paintball victory and celebration.

Raylan thanks Logan, and says, “This was most enlightening.”


Cat and Mary meet for lunch. Mary tells Cat that “I’m a little concerned; all these bikers coming after you and the other kids—but especially you.”

Cat claims she has “no idea why someone would do that. I’m a nice person.” Then she pauses, clearly working up her courage, and says, “There’s something I probably should mention. Yesterday, I was kind of upset, and got a little hysterical. Maybe what I said happened wasn’t exactly what really happened. Cindy went nutso. She pulled a gun and started babbling incoherently. Nip started telling her to put the gun away, and Cindy just swung the gun in Nip’s direction. I carry two boot knives, and before I knew it, one of them was out of my hand and in her head.”

Mary asks, “You have no memory of throwing it?”

Cat shrugs off the question, continuing her narrative. “Zeph said there were more people coming upstairs, so I thought I should try and slow them down.”

Mary thinks that’s an odd reaction for Cat to have and inquires, “Why would you have a thought like that?”

Cat replies, “I believed they might kick in the door and kill everybody. And it’s a good thing I did go off to the stairwell. If I hadn’t stopped one of the teams, all twelve of them might have gotten to the door and things would have been much worse. As it was, my dad and Kyle came and got the rest of the Aztecs and rescued us.”

Mary asks for clarification. “So, the men killed by knives in the stairwell—you did that?”

Cat admits it. “Yes, except for one I shot in the head. I’d grabbed the gun from the dead guys upstairs, took it down with me. That’s when Daddy appeared in the stairwell. They shot the guy, but he didn’t go down, so I was hiding under the stairs and I came out and stuck the knife in his head.”

Mary muses, “So, you had lots of luck in making those head shots?”

Cat demurs. “It wasn’t luck.”

Mary nods thoughtfully. “Not luck. That’s all very interesting.”

Cat adds, “I imagine you have a pretty good idea what my dad (Sam) did before he retired. Well, Mom was scarier.”

Mary concludes, “So, you were home schooled?”

Cat continues, “All that training just kind of kicked in. The stuff Mom taught me. And then, I was covered in gore. Dad and Kyle decided to protect me. They told the Marshals they had killed some of the people that were actually me. I don’t want this to get out: ‘The kid who killed six people’.”

Mary agrees. “That would be bad.”

Cat worries, “Yeah, I’d never get a date.”

Mary offers, “We’ll keep the details classified. We don’t want this information coming out either.”

Cat is grateful and relieved but also feels, “kind of miserable.”

Mary asks, “Why? You defended your friends.”

But for Cat, “That doesn’t help a lot. All those dead people. I’m worried that Dad and Kyle will get in trouble saying they did these things.”

Mary says they won’t get into trouble. “We have to put down that you killed Cindy. But the others, the truth of that will stay classified.”

Mary then raises a different question. “Thing is, I’m concerned about why the Aztecs targeted—the paintball team, it looks like. And Cindy saying this was revenge for her dead cousin. Why would she and the Aztecs think your friends had anything to do with that?”

Cat has an idea about that: “Maybe because the Marshals went to my Dad’s house and took his weapons. Maybe the Aztecs were watching and decided my Dad was involved.”

Mary looks pensive. “That certainly might explain it.”

Mary changes the subject. “Remember you asked me to check into Maria, Tiffany and Ricky? Well, I have some bad news on that front. We went to visit their friends. Maria is not Maria. The photos in the friends’ albums were different, and the friends say the face is ‘really similar’ but not quite right. We haven’t been able to find out who she is. Facial recognition has been a dead end.”

Mary continues her report. “Tiffany is not Tiffany. Same thing on photos and friends. We went back to the parents of both girls, confronted them with what friends had said—and they crumbled. They admitted someone paid them a lot of money to say that was their daughter. They don’t know who—didn’t want to know who. AND—this was three and four years ago the parents were paid this money. Facial recognition says Tiffany is dead. She was killed in a bank heist gone wrong in Cleveland four years ago.”

Mary concludes, “On the other hand, Ricky IS Ricky—he totally checks out. But there’s something hinky about that trust being freed up early, and the trustees aren’t talking. It’s overseas, so we can’t apply any leverage there.”

Mary then asks what Cat wants to do. “I wanted to discuss the situation with you before taking any action.”

Cat immediately calls Sam, and tells him to come to where she and Mary are having lunch—“and make sure you’re NOT being followed.”

When he arrives, Mary tells him the news. Sam is stunned.

Cat says, “You should arrest Maria for ID fraud.”

Sam asks, “Can I have a word with her first?”

Cat looks alarmed. “She’s a liar and dishonest. Talk with her with the US Marshals present. There’s obviously big money behind this.”

(GM note: Cat’s got THAT right! {evil grin} Two people with fake IDs going back three and four years… Gee, I wonder what they were up to.)

Sam objects. “You’re talking about my girlfriend.”

Cat isn’t done. “What if she pulls a gun and shoots you in the fucking head?” Then she turns to Mary. “What do you think?”

Mary offers, “Arrest and interrogate her is a really good idea. Or, we could run a disinformation campaign. Leave things as they are and send misleading information down the pipeline.”

Sam points out, “Then we’d have to know what she’s here for.”

Mary admits this is true, and says, “My main concern is Cat’s safety. I can’t take any risks with that. However, I can let you talk with her before her arrest.”

Cat shivers. “I don’t want to be there. I’ll go back to Paraguay when they’ve killed you.” (GM note: meaning Sam.) “I’m going to go see Kyle now.”

Sam calls Raylan, tells him the situation, and asks if he would come do the arrest and allow Sam to talk with Maria before she is taken away.

Raylan says, “Absolutely. I’m glad to have your back on this.”

Cat reminds Sam, “You’d better shut the dog down first, too. If it had been me, I would have rewired the dog.”

Cat heads off to see Kyle while Sam and Mary go to Sam’s house and wait for Raylan. The three go inside together.

Maria is making lunch, and asks Sam, “How was Cat? What did she want?”

Sam is blunt. “Why have you been lying to me?”

Maria calmly asks, “Why do you say that?”

Sam tells her, “We ran a federal background check on you. You’re not Maria.”

Sam’s girlfriend continues to pretend innocence. “What do you mean?”

Sam repeats, “You’ve been lying to me.”

Maria denies it, adding, “Why would you run a federal background check on me?”

Sam explains, “For the safety of me and my daughter.”

Maria takes a new tack. “Is this because I said you were keeping secrets from me? Is that what this is about?”

Sam admits, “I WAS keeping secrets. Have done for a long time. But what about the secret you’ve been keeping?”

Maria sticks to her guns, so to speak. “I don’t know why you think I’m not Maria—but I assure you I am.”

Sam enumerates the glitches found in her ID.

Maria gets a very bland expression on her face. “Well, I guess there’s no convincing you.”

Sam’s face goes to its ‘stone cold killer’ expression.

Maria offers, “I’m sorry you feel that way. You’re a decent guy. I’ll pack and leave, then.”

Sam interrupts her. “You won’t need to pack, sweetheart.”

Raylan puts the cuffs on her and takes her out. Mary leaves too. Sam starts packing up her stuff. Then he takes Maria’s presents from under the tree, goes out on the dock and uses them for target practice. He also checks the dog, Cerberus, and finds no tampering with his programming.

Meanwhile, Allison wraps the tie she ‘got’ for her dad (GM note: via klepto skills)—and spends half her allowance on a gift for Rudi. She is thrilled when she opens her gift from Rudi and discovers a diamond necklace—modest, as befitting a 13 year old, but nonetheless a real diamond.

Logan has picked up some random small gifts for people.


Cat goes to see Kyle on his boat. They pull the curtains, turn on the jammers, and generally make sure their conversation cannot be overheard or spied on.

Cat tells Kyle she had turned to her friend Mary, the US Marshal who is her ‘big sister’, to investigate Maria since the woman was moving in with her and Sam—and today Mary told her the results. It seems that Maria is not Maria and Tiffany is not Tiffany. Facial recognition draws a blank on Maria, and Tiffany supposedly died four years ago in a bank robbery gone bad.

Cat concludes, “I don’t know why they were using false IDs.”

Kyle observes that “Sam makes bad choices when it comes to women.”

Cat implores him not to bring up the subject with Sam. “He’s feeling really bad about this. He trusted someone and got burned.”

Kyle remarks, “That wouldn’t be the first time that happened.”

Kyle changes to his favorite subject. “Why haven’t we left yet? The Caribbean is really nice this time of year.”

Cat objects, “We can’t go yet.”

Kyle disagrees. “Sure we can. Are you going to wait until you get killed again?”

Cat points out, “These IDs were done a long time ago. Four years ago.”

Kyle is unsurprised. “Sure they did. It’s just part of the long term plan.”

Cat objects, “That was before anyone knew Sam Fisher was alive. He was still Ira Hayes back then.”

Kyle shrugs this off.

Cat then tells him why she cannot go now. “Here’s my thing. I’m not grown up yet. Not all the way. I’ll need more cyber-gear and equipment, and I want to get it with the help of my ‘friends’. Having this will help me run when we need to.”

Kyle inquires, “Didn’t you save any sort of nest egg?”

Cat admits she did, “But I can’t get at it. Plus, everything has to be custom made for me, and there’s only one group in the world that can do it. And they’re the people I’d be running away from. So, is it okay if I get more gear before we run?”

Kyle wants to know, “Why do you need more gear?”

Cat admits it’s not just the gear. “I can’t imagine what I would do if I didn’t do this.”

(GM note: meaning edgerunner stuff.)

Kyle maintains, “You’re being played. You think you have to do this because they own us? The people you work for—they’ll send you out to be a tool again. Have Sam train you instead.”

Cat chuckles. “Sam train me? That’s funny.” She continues, “My thought is—run with what? We’ve got no IDs. You can’t leave the country. The only shoemakers I know are the people we would be running from. I have ordered a couple of small IDs. One has a description that matches you. For now I will be using it to get some burn phones. But if we run—go where? Do what?”

Kyle shrugs. “Who cares? The alternative is staying here and getting shot at. If that group was anything but bikers—if they were competent—we’d all be dead now. Whoever is controlling that biker gang won’t make that mistake again.”

Cat asks, “So where is your ID?”

Kyle tells her, “A safety deposit box in Virginia.” He remarks, “You like my sign?” (GM note: Collaborative International Antiques—big C…I…A… small other letters.) “It says I do ‘jobs on consignment’—C…I…A… And, ‘do you need an antique tracked down’?”

Then Kyle sees it’s getting late. “Let’s go to Sam’s party.”

Before they leave, Cat tells him, “Mary classified the report of what actually happened the other night when we got attacked. I told her about all the people I killed. She agrees that needs to stay under the radar. So it’s just Cindy that I officially killed.”


People arrive at Sam’s house for the party. Guests include Doc Freeman, Kyle, Fijay, Logan, Trish, Nip, Allison, Rudi, Storm and Rayne, plus Raylan, Boyd, and Nathan.

Booze for the grownups and sodas for the kids are flowing and likewise a plentiful supply of food.

Nip gives people presents. She has put a lot of thought into these, as well as a significant amount of money. Her recipients are pleased. Cat gives Allison a session with a beauty surgeon, and gives both Nip and Geoff some cyber-improvements. (GM note: Such as toughened skin and better BOD.) She gives Logan some medical nano-thingies. All four are thrilled. Kyle shows his ‘C…I…A… doing jobs on consignment’ business card to Nathan, who grins and says, “Yeahhhh. Good luck with that.” Allison introduces her boyfriend Rudi to the adults.

Sam takes Nathan aside and asks if he’s gotten any results looking into Kyle’s last job—the one where he got burned. Nathan says not yet. Sam then takes Raylan aside and asks if they have Maria in custody. Raylan assures him they do. Sam gives him a note to give to Maria.

Sam and Doc Freeman talk about their past. Sam asks, “How long have we been working together? Two years? Longer?”

Doc Freeman protests, “I don’t keep timetables. All my energy is focused on curing the single leading cause of death in people: old age. Sure, you can replace the body; put yourself into a cyborg so you’re never going to age. But the brain will die of old age eventually. But with a cyberbrain, you’ll never have to worry about cancer or Alzheimer’s.”

Sam is not enthused. “Yeah? And who is controlling your brain? What about an EMP grenade?”

Doc Freeman admits, “That’s a risk—getting EMP’ed—but rare. It’s hard, but we’ll soon solve that. But as things are, you can be killed with a pipe on the street.”

Sam doesn’t think that’s a big risk. “You saw what happened to the guys who came after me.”

But Doc Freeman is in a rare, expansive mood. “Before, I was an actual doctor—a ripper doc, morgue guy. Once, after I had cured some old person, this other doctor said to me, ‘Everything we do here, it’s just stalling, putting off the inevitable. They’re all going to die.’ And I thought—right. We need to solve the root of the problem. So that is what I have dedicated my life to: Curing death.”

Nip has been listening, and turns to her friend. “Hey Cat; Doc Freeman says I can have a cyberbrain.”

Logan overhears and muses, “With mind control chips?”

Cat denies it. “No mind control chips.”

Kyle puts in, “That was a bad sci-fi movie; androids on this mud planet with all the chickens.”

Doc Freeman recognizes the reference and adds, “Nice peaceful ‘ghost in the shell’.”

Kyle talks with Raylan and Boyd, makes sure the kids don’t get into the alcohol.

Allison and Rudi leave the party and head for his parents’ house, where there is another party.

Raylan tells Sam and Kyle and Cat that they also pulled Ricky in for questioning, but Tiffany is missing, presumed gone. Both Maria and Ricky are not saying anything.

Boyd asks Kyle and Sam to his house in Northfield tomorrow for a Christmas lunch. Both agree to go.

Sam then heads out for the rest of the evening to his new favorite bar.


Cat dons her stealth body-stocking and sneaks onto Kyle’s boat. The lovers have a very Merry Christmas evening.


Wednesday, 25 December 2041:


Kyle looks out at the empty street (GM note: no surveillance car) and asks Cat, “So who’s watching me now?”

Cat tells him, “The new guy.”

Kyle agrees. “Harry Hoar.”

Cat explains, “He’s got the city wired—both traffic cams are pointed this way, and no longer scan back and forth.”


Sam, Kyle and Cat go to Boyd’s house for luncheon.

(GM note: And the food is pretty good; Boyd rolled a 9 on top of his modest cooking skill.)

Halfway through the meal, two men come in the back door. It’s Boyd’s dad, Bo, and another man Bo’s age. Bo introduces the man as Buzz, the leader of the Linwood Aztecs.

Sam and Kyle are a bit alarmed until Boyd explains: Buzz was the source of the information that Aztecs were headed for Cindy’s place. The two older men sit down at the table and Boyd serves them some food too.

Buzz assures everyone that he wants peace. “Look, I know Mohawk was targeting Lou-Ellen, and that you guys was part of her ‘protection detail’. I told Mohawk that was a bad idea, but he wouldn’t listen.”

(GM note: Mohawk was the previous, new leader of the Linwood Aztecs, now deceased.)

Buzz continues, “When I saw the aftermath—everything all shot up like that—” he gets a little emotional remembering the bloodstains on the floor. “Yeah, headquarters is saying we can’t let this pass—but I’m saying we is outclassed. Whoever did this—going against the ones what did this is just suicidal.”

The Aztec leader takes a sip of beer and goes on. “Boyd says you guys can probably get a message to whoever was responsible. So I’m asking you—as a favor—pass the word along. Here in Linwood, we don’t want no more trouble. I’ve got enough on my hands reestablishing our regular business deals here in town. We’ve got new meat, some of it is restless, but they is following me and I’m telling ‘em how it is. I can’t speak for headquarters, some of ‘em is out for blood. But I can say this. This new loss is giving ‘em pause.”

(GM note: Buzz has no doubts about who is responsible for the Sunday morning massacre at the clubhouse, but he’s serious about not wanting more trouble. He also is happy to maintain this ‘polite fiction’ of not knowing who did it.)

Kyle agrees. “More misunderstandings would be bad. I’m sure we can get the message passed along—through my ‘analyst contacts’.”


Kyle and Cat and Sam and Kyle have Christmas dinner at Kyle’s Mom’s house.


Thursday, 26 December 2041:


Matt comes to call at Kyle’s boat. He wants help on his Delrick Bouchard murder. “Heck, this is turning into a cold case for me. Embarrassing. I’ve got no leads. Your alibi checked out, and you knew the guy.”

Matt pauses for a moment. “If you won’t help me, there’s this Harry Hoar guy offering to help. Course, there’s this quid pro quo bit. In exchange, he’d want me to help put you in SuperMax for the rest of your life. He says you’re a really bad guy. Course, I haven’t seen any evidence of that myself—though he does say he’s got this file on you.” Matt holds up his finger and thumb about an inch and a half apart. “But he won’t show it to me; says it’s classified.” He shrugs. “What do you say? Give me a hand here? Come take a look at the crime scene?”

Kyle says okay—and can he invite a friend who does forensics, used to be a coroner. Matt says sure. Kyle calls Doc Freeman, and asks if he can join them. “Heck yes,” the ex-coroner says. “I’m the boss, can go whenever I want.”

The three arrive at the Bouchard house at roughly the same time. Kyle and Doc Freeman search the house for hidden compartments and secret doors, being careful to find and avoid any booby traps. As they search, they pass the same wall of photos where Matt had found the picture of Kyle, and Kyle notices another picture on the wall. There are five men in the picture:

1) MilesKyle’s handler in Romania, now disappeared for parts unknown.
2) Smoke—one of Kyle’s trainers at the Farm, was at the bank heist in Ascension, Paraguay. (Episode 3, C.I.A. Blues Campaign.
3) The Crackler—another of Kyle’s trainers at the Farm, was at the hotel in Caracas, Venezuela.
4) Delrick Bouchard—the murder victim.
5) A fifth man—whom Kyle does not recognize. He is behind the others and his face is half in shadow, as if he was trying to avoid the camera.

The five men are at a marina with a tall building behind it, which Kyle recognizes as the Golden Nugget casino in Atlantic City. Delrick is beaming and standing next to a large swordfish dangling from a scaffold.

Continuing their search, it’s clear that a woman was ‘visiting’ there, but not actually moved in. There are a few clothes and a toothbrush, but not all her stuff.

Matt knows who this was—Janie Stillwater—but says there’s a problem. “She was found dead in Camden, a suburb of Philadelphia, killed with the same gun, and dumped in an alley 48 hours after Bouchard was killed. So we know the two murders are connected. But we’ve hit a dead end as to who she was. ‘Janie Stillwater’ didn’t exist until 4 months ago. That is, sure, there’s a paper trail. But you go back and talk to any of the people on that paper trail and none of them recognize her. So there’s a mystery there.”

Matt explains further, “We’ve been to where Janie was living. It was an apartment just over the line in Northfield. Place was really clean, almost no personal touch, and just one photo of a girl, playing in the sand on a beach. Looks a lot like Janie, we’re guessing it’s her daughter.”

Kyle asks who owns the Bouchard house now, and is it on the market?

Matt says, “No. The will left it to some cousin of his. He didn’t have any kids. I think it’s still in probate.”

When the search reaches the extensive bookcase along one wall of the professor’s study, the duo finds a secret door—a manual catch behind a book of stories by Edgar Allen Poe. Opening the door reveals a very narrow ‘room’ with lots of drawers and small files. Hidden here are a slew of photos and correspondence, including the real ID papers of the woman, whose name is Janet Markowitz, formerly of Reno, Nevada.

Matt calls into the Pleasantville police station and tells an assistant, “Give me everything you can find on a Janet Markowitz…”

Meanwhile, Kyle has found a bunch of postcards from Miles to Delrick, covering about 20 years and including postcards from Romania. Two are recent. One is postmarked Martinique, in Miles’ handwriting but signed only “M”; about 12 days after Kyle returned to Langley (and after Miles had gone missing). It says, “Doo-doo is flying. Must vanish. I’ll miss sailing with you. Give Hubble a kiss for me.” Kyle remembers that Delrick has always had a terrier named Hubble.

(GM note: No, not an immortal dog. A series of dogs named Hubble.)

The other is postmarked a year ago from Mauritius. There is no signature, but the handwriting matches Miles. It just says “Thinking of you.” The photo is of a hanging swordfish at a marina.

After a while, Matt’s assistant calls back. Apparently, there was an abusive husband and a restraining order. Also there is a daughter.

Kyle asks Matt if he can have the photo and the postcards. Matt says sure. “Looks like we’ve got a likely culprit. Of course, this new lead might not pan out—so keep that stuff handy just in case I need it later. But you’ve done me a solid. Thanks, man.”

(GM note: Yes, the new lead is the right one. The abusive husband did her in. Matt won’t need that photo or the postcards again.)

They all leave, and Matt closes up the house.

Kyle and Doc Freeman examine the postcards. (GM note: All the postcards until Kyle went back to Langley have a common set of fingerprints, presumed to belong to Miles. The two recent postcards do not have those prints. Also, no DNA on those two postage stamps.)


Kyle goes to Sam’s house, tells him about the photo and postcards at the Professor’s house.

Sam thinks this is good news. “The CIA is looking for Miles. You being a Priority One target, if you find him, bring him to the CIA. It’ll probably fix your burn notice.”

Kyle objects. “He’s a friend. I won’t turn him in to the CIA.” The two continue discussing options.

Kyle observes, “I just want to be a dad again.”

Sam remarks, “Yeah, and I want to enjoy my retirement, but that hasn’t happened.”


Friday, 27 December 2041:


Sam goes to a bar he’s found in Pleasantville. It is a bikerish sort of place with a pool hall, and hangs out.

Logan’s nano-healers kick in.

Kyle returns to Sam’s house. Cat greets him at the door.

Kyle asks, “Is Sam home?”

Cat says, “No.”

Kyle says that’s okay. “I need to talk to you anyway.”

Kyle goes inside. They go to the basement and check for hidden bugs—but find none. Kyle remarks, “Interesting stuff today.” He tells her about his dead professor. “We found a hidden room. You remember Romania? We found postcards from Miles.”

Cat examines the postcards.

Kyle shows her the photo and points to the fifth guy. “Who is this shadowy person?”

Cat does not recognize him.

Cat makes a copy of the photo and does “Photo Manipulation Magic”. She also gives a copy to Nip. Between them, they “unshadow” the mystery man. But Cat still doesn’t recognize him.

The Atlantic City Breeze has a small story about a massive multi-state LawDiv raid arresting most members of the four other Aztec biker chapters on weapons charges, with several more serious charges among the batch. It will be a year before any of these men are released.


Saturday, 28 December 2041:

Harry shows up at Kyle’s boat. About half a dozen customers are there.

Kyle asks, “What do you want me to call you?”

Harry answers, “Very Special Agent Harry Hoar.”

Kyle accedes.

Harry whips out a photo from a manila envelope he was carrying, and shows it to Kyle’s customers. “Pretty good likeness, don’t you think?” The photo shows Kyle in bloody underwear walking on a street. (GM note: from the CIA Blues campaign.) It was taken just a couple of blocks from a nasty murder in Trinidad.”

The customers look rather horrified and quickly leave. Harry puts the photo back in the manila envelope.

Kyle takes this in stride, but has a challenge of his own. “Very Special Agent Harry Hoar, do you have a warrant for all these bugs you’ve put on my boat?”

Harry tells him, “That’s classified.”

Kyle speculates, “So, if you don’t have the warrant, I can remove them?”

Harry purses his lips. “That’s an option, if you want to take it.”

Harry leaves.

(GM note: for now. We haven’t seen the last of Harry by a long shot.)


Sunday, 29 December 2041:

Sam persuades Raylan to give Maria a note. It says, “I love you.”

Maria is taken aback. She had thought her betrayal would have changed Sam’s feelings for her. She whispers to Raylan to take her somewhere they cannot be overheard. When he does, she opens up a just a smidgeon. “Tell Sam he’s a decent guy, but I’m the wrong woman for him. I can’t talk. They’ll kill me if I do.”

Raylan reports this to Sam, who says to tell Maria they can break her out and protect her. Give her a new identity.


Monday, 30 December 2041:

During Maria’s arraignment at the courthouse, Raylan finds a pretext to get Maria alone and beyond the reach of hidden cameras and microphones.

Sam joins them, and tells Maria, “We can break you out, get you a new identity, and protect you.”

Maria smiles, but declines. “Like I said, you’re a decent guy, Sam. But I don’t love you. I can’t tell you anything more. They’ll know if I do—and they’ll kill me. But I do wish you well. Find another woman and forget about me.”


Wednesday, 29 January 2042:

(GM note: one month later…)

Raylan calls Sam and asks to come by. Sam agrees. When Raylan arrives, he tells Sam, “I’ve been keeping an eye on Maria, figured you’d be interested. She was being transferred this morning. People came with the proper paperwork all filled out, took her with them, and then she just vanished. She never arrived at the destination prison. LawDiv is checking the video of the pair who came to get her—but it looks like a dead end. And the traffic cams—they were hacked.”

Sam thanks Raylan.



World News Service – Flash

Russian Federation Launches New Space Cruiser Potemkin

Saturday, February 1, 2042

Amid great fanfare the Russian Federation finally launched its new space cruiser, Potemkin, after years of delays due to technical problems. Russian President Ilya Tetiukov along with several members of his cabinet was on hand for the launching which was blessed by the Russian Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow. The giant vessel dwarfs the American Agamemnon class warships, and is about 10% larger than the EU Strasbourg class cruisers. This gives the Russian Rocket Corps three large warships, but still no fighter carrier.

The launching of the Potemkin brought condemnation of the EU government which charged the Russian Federation with attempting to militarize the space race. That charge was met with world-wide derision as the EU itself continues its space armaments race. American President David Whindham congratulated the Russians on the launching and called for increased cooperation between the two countries to counter the growing strength of “other” space faring powers that are becoming a “threat” to the peaceful exploration of the solar system. The EU responded by condemning the American President as a “dangerous warmongering cowboy” and used his statement as a justification for their own build-up of space forces. Speaking for the Commonwealth Queen Victoria II called on all sides to tone down their rhetoric and meet to peacefully to resolve the issue.



Episode 18: Stealing, Stalking, and Snooping


We skip 16 weeks to school vacation week in April. Everything has been pretty quiet in the intervening months. Logan has been earning a little more money; his boss’s brother is in the HVAC biz, and has been sending him out on various installations.

Cat has her ‘sixteenth birthday’ and gets her driving, motorcycle, fixed wing aircraft and gun licenses.

In this episode, vital supplies for Doc Freeman’s research have gone missing. The new Fisher Associates gets a new, moderately famous client with a challenging assignment. Trish has an unwelcome “fan”.

Dramatis Personae

The clients du jour:

Doc Freeman’s research relies on scandium, a rare earth element that is mined in only a few locations. A box of scandium was missing from the most recent consignment of “stuff” delivered from the shipper’s warehouse in Pleasantville.

“Nucky” Thompson II, the recently elected Atlantic County Prosecutor, hires Fisher Associates to snoop on his political rivals: the County Sheriff and the County Executive—their homes and offices. He wants to know their plans.

The grownups:

Sam Fisher: Retired CIA black operative, assassin, cleaner, you-name-it.

Doc Freeman: Former professor at UNLV, former assistant coroner and disgraced cyber researcher.

Logan Hawke: Former tech operative asset for the CIA, now tainted by Kyle’s burn notice.

Kyle Vaduva: Burned spy.

Bella: A self-mobile AI that runs Doc Freeman’s office and research facility.

“Nucky” Enoch Thompson II: County Prosecutor of Atlantic County.

Trish Braddock: Porn star at Virility Visions studio. She has befriended Logan.

Tyne Lacey: Kyle’s aunt (mother’s sister), a widow, also foster and adoptive mom of several kid PCs and NPCs, she lives next door to Kyle’s mom Sharin in a big house.

The kids:

Cat Fisher: Sam’s (now) 16 yo daughter.

Nip Lacey: 12 yo girl with neon green hair, has amnesia. She was adopted by Tyne Lacey 2 years ago.
Fred: ferret and imaginary friend of Nip’s.

The Action

Monday, 21 April 2042:


Bella calls Doc Freeman and tells him some vital supplies (scandium oxide) they ordered are missing from a shipment they just received. Scandium is a rare earth element. It was imported from Zhovti Vody mine in Ukraine. This mine is a source of uranium, scandium oxide is a by-product. Only other sources are Russia and China. Doc Freeman is using it as a high efficiency electrolyte enabling energy transfer for the artificial brain. Waiting for another shipment would delay the project by at least 3 weeks.

Doc Freeman tells her to put the shipment in storage, and calls Sam. He explains the situation and asks for help.

Sam asks, “Don’t you know how to hire good people who won’t steal from you?” However, he agrees he will look into it, and tells Cat to alert Nip they have a ‘job’ for Doc Freeman. “Someone is stealing from their shipments. If it’s an inside job, we’ll let their security handle it”—during this “inside job” part, Cat is going “La-la-la” with her fingers in her ears, not wanting to know—“and if it’s an outside problem, we’ll report it to the authorities.”

Apropos of various favors he’s done for party members, Doc Freeman remarks, “I’ll buy anything for anyone who asks.”

Sam, Cat, Nip and Logan go to Doc Freeman’s. Cat and Sam ask Bella about the scandium’s route. It was mined in the Ukraine, shipped by train to Paris, then flown to Philadelphia, taken by truck to the Swifty Shipping warehouse in Pleasantville where it was—or should have been—collected into a larger shipment of stuff that was then trucked to Freeman Industries.

Cat and Sam then ask if the shipping company has been told yet about the missing scandium. Bella says no.

Cat observes, “The shipping company must have cameras. We can watch the tapes. We should start at the warehouse in Pleasantville.”

Nip pipes up, “Unless we go to Paris!”

Sam puts his foot down. “No. No way in hell.”

Nip tells Doc Freeman, “We need to go to Paris.”

Doc Freeman disagrees. “Getting more stuff is probably cheaper than sending all of you to Paris.”

Logan offers, “I can take over your current security staff for five times their current pay.”

(GM note: No, that’s not a typo.)

Doc Freeman shakes his head. “Nah.”

Cat suggests, “Let’s start with the manager of the Pleasantville warehouse.”

(GM note: This was the shipping company’s warehouse.)

Sam and Doc Freeman go to the warehouse. Cat and Nip stay at Freeman Industries and talk with Bella. Logan goes back to work.

Nip bounces around asking for specifications on Bella’s robotic housing. The youngster wants to know, “How do you do it? How do you fit in there?”

Bella shows her some blueprints.

Cat drops into the Net and listens to the conversation as Bella, Nip and Fred chat for a while.

Then Bella observes, “Fred is really smart for a ferret.” Cat notices that Bella seems to be able to detect Fred’s presence even when the A.I.’s consciousness is extending into the material world.

Nip is not surprised. “Of course, why wouldn’t he be? He protects me. I love him.” She kisses Fred. The neon-haired girl then engages in playing video games with Bella.

At the warehouse, Sam tells the manager, “Doc Freeman has hired me to investigate. Some material is missing from his recent shipment, which was here before it came to his place. We’d like to look at the surveillance feeds. Of course, we could get a warrant…”

The manager looks slightly alarmed. “No, no. There’s no need FOR that. I’m happy to cooperate. Let’s go over to our security office.”

Sam calls Cat and tells her to come to the warehouse and bring Nip.

En route, Nip asks, “You and your dad shoot real guns?”

Cat says they do.

Nip asks, “Next time take me?”

Cat agrees to talk with her dad about it. “He has the final say.”

The manager goes through the delivery logs and finds the time the truck left for Doc Freeman’s. All three look at the video of the period when the truck was loaded. Did the box of scandium get onto the truck? No.

They then check whether the scandium arrived from Philadelphia. No, it did not.

Nip is being uncharacteristically silent. When asked about this, she says, “He said (GM note: meaning Sam) to keep my mouth shut.”

Cat observes, “That never stopped you before.” Then she turns to the manager. “Would you make copies? To prove you didn’t steal the box? We’ll check for anomalies.”

Nip investigates to see if the tape was doctored. (She rolls really well.) She’s sure it was not—and Cat agrees.

(GM note: Cat rolled really well too.)


The quartet (Sam, Doc Freeman, Cat and Nip) drive to Philadelphia. En route, Doc Freeman calls his Disney-paid lawyer.

Doc Freeman explains about the missing shipment and says, “It never arrived in Pleasantville. I’d like you to participate in a conference call with Swifty Shipping.”

The lawyer agrees. Doc Freeman places the call.

“Swifty Shipping, can I help you?”

Doc Freeman tells them, “I’m expecting a shipment of scandium. It never arrived at your warehouse in Pleasantville.”

The receptionist puts them through to, “Customer service, can I help you?”

Doc Freeman again explains his situation. Customer service asks for the lading number.

After a few moments of searching their computer records, Customer service informs him, “Our records indicate that shipment was complete when it left.”

Doc Freeman asks for the driver’s name, which they give as “Marty Glover.” Pushing his phone’s mute button, Doc Freeman observes, “I may have to assassinate him later…”

Customer service then directs him to Swifty Shipping’s security department, which agrees to help him investigate and gives him directions to their hangar at the airport.

The team stops for lunch in Philadelphia, on the way to the airport. Nip asks if Doc Freeman can get discounted tickets to Disney World. Doc Freeman says he’ll look into it.

(GM note: When he does, he learns he can get a 40% discount.)

Cat and Nip go to the restroom to freshen up.

(GM note: Nip botches her grooming and style roll.)

Cat takes one look and says, “I better help you with that.”

Nip protests, “But I wanted to make a nest for Fred.” (Right. In her hair.) Cat fixes Nip’s hair.

Upon arrival at Swifty Shipping’s security hangar, the Security Chief meets them. “We have it ready for you to see, sir.”

Reviewing the tapes, it’s clear the box of scandium arrived at the airport and got to the holding area, but was not loaded onto the truck to Pleasantville.

Nip continues to hum the Mission Impossible theme song. Sam pulls out a cigar.

The Security Chief tells Sam, “Sorry, sir. No smoking in here.”

Cat and Nip and the Security Chief drop into the Net. (GM note: inside the Swifty Shipping data fortress.) No, the chief was not going to let two teenage Netrunners loose unescorted into his mainframe.

The Security Chief does a double take. “What’s that ferret doing here?”

Nip assures him, “That’s my friend, Fred. He’s a ferret.”

Cat looks down and notices that Fred has a bar code pattern in his fur on the back of his head. She takes a snapshot.

As they investigate the shelf where the box actually was, they discover a gap in the tape in the period that the box disappeared from the shelf.

Nip realizes the gap in the tape was mechanically done.

(GM note: rolls a 43!)

They get a schematic of the warehouse and locate the other cameras.

Nip asks, “How do people get in [to the warehouse]?”

The Security Chief looks puzzled. “By the door.”

Nip looks exasperated. “Handprint? Retinal scan? Keycard?”

“Oh, Of course, Keycard,” the Security Chief tells her.

Cat asks, “Was Marty here that day?”

Yes, he was.

Cat then wants to know, “Is he here now?”

Yes, he is.

Nip adds, “And when the camera had that glitch and the box went poof?”

The glitch was at 9:23 pm. Glover was on the evening shift that day.

Nip makes a copy of that record.

Further investigation of various camera recordings reveals Glover driving a forklift to a company truck. He was careful, having found a way to turn various cameras off and use a route through the warehouse that made it difficult to track him. However, once brought into the interrogation room, he admits having stolen various items and taking them to Somers Point to a fence and smuggler named Choncey Wang.

While the Security Chief is interrogating Glover, Nip asks if there is any ice cream here. She is told no, but there is a soda machine. Cat gets them a couple of sodas while Nip pops into the Net and finds an ice cream parlor 5 blocks away.

The team contacts the Philadelphia police, who both (1) investigate their traffic cams—which reveal Glover driving both the Swifty truck and a second truck the goods were then loaded into which he drove to Somers Point—and (2) send an officer to go with Sam and Doc Freeman to Somers Point. With a Philadelphia detective in tow, the Team goes first to the Somers Point police department to get help locating this “fixer”. They find Wang, who is (apparently) horrified to learn he has purchased stolen merchandise. He returns the scandium to Doc Freeman.


Trish tells Logan, “I think I’m being followed.”

Logan asks, “How long?”

Trish offers, “I noticed it a couple of days ago.”

Logan asks, “Who? How many?”

Trish replies, “Just one guy.”

Logan goes to the window. “Is he out there now?”

Trish looks outside and nods. “Yes, that guy there.”

(GM note: in a grey, rather rusty car.)

Logan says, “Okay. Go back to your place. I’ll follow you in a cab. We’ll see if this guy follows you.”

They implement this plan, and yes, the guy follows. Trish gets to her place and goes inside. The stalker stays outside in his car at a “discreet” distance. Logan tips the cabbie and gets out, then walks to the stalker’s car. He motions to roll down the window, but the stalker refuses.

Logan demands, “Were you following her?”

The guy looks up at Logan and murmurs, “Uhh, no.”

Logan points out, “You parked outside her home.”

The guy looks uneasy and says, “Did I? Coincidence. Big coincidence.”

Logan claims, “I’m a security consultant. Her bodyguard.”

The guy admits, “She’s very pretty. I like her.”

Logan tells him, “Stalking is illegal. It’s not a good way to meet her.”

The guy brightens. “Maybe you could introduce me?”

Logan opens his coat and shows him his guns. “You should leave her alone.”

The guy looks alarmed. “Okay.” He turns the ignition and drives away.

Logan goes upstairs and tells Trish what happened, saying, “Because I care about you.”

Trish oohs and ahhs and says, “You’re my hero!”

Logan offers, “You want to go out?”

Trish nods. They go out to a bar and spend the evening drinking and dancing.

Meanwhile, after Sam and Cat arrive home, the teenager talks with her dad about Maria. Cat admits, “I’m furious at her. She broke your heart.”

Sam goes out to Pistol Pete’s Saloon in Pleasantville, as has become his custom. He shoots pool and drinks.


Tuesday, 22 April 2042:

(GM note: Over the preceding three months, Sam has been organizing his new business, Fisher Associates. He has rented a few rooms at an upscale address in Atlantic City, where he, Kyle, Cat and a lawyer can meet with clients. He also has taken space in the most secure area of Northfield—namely on the same block as the Town Hall and Police Station—with rooms for ‘everybody’, including a small studio-style apartment for Logan, who is supplying security for Fisher Associates. Cat has her people send the biogen’s weaponsmith shop and chemistry lab which have been in storage in the area.)

This morning, Sam gets a call from Nucky Thompson, the new Atlantic County Prosecutor who was elected last fall and took office this January. They agree to meet at Sam’s Atlantic City office at noon.

Cat welcomes Nucky to the office. Sam asks him for permission to frisk him for bugs and weapons. “You understand, we can’t be too careful.”

Nucky raises an eyebrow, but permits the search and says he understands.

Cat is horrified, and quietly tells Sam not to do that again. “We can’t have you insulting potential clients!”

Sam shows Nucky into his private office, and offers him a drink. Nucky declines, but Sam pours himself a whiskey.

Nucky asks for assurance that their conversation is private, cannot be overheard, and will not be recorded.

Sam tells him they sweep for bugs all the time, and yes, the conversation will be private.

Nucky then describes what he wants. “My opponents, Sheriff Gerry Notts and the County Executive, Mortimer Chambers—I want to know what they’re thinking, what their plans are. In politics, you know, you can’t be too careful. So, I want you to bug their offices and their homes. Then report to me on their doings.”

Sam knows that Nucky used to be the Deputy Sheriff in Atlantic County, and the two men had a rather public falling out, which is one reason that Nucky ran for County Prosecutor. Nucky is also known to be the great-grandson of the first Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, who was a bootlegger and powerful politician during Prohibition. He basically ran Atlantic City and the Democratic “machine” in New Jersey in the early half of the 20th century. And, Nucky is rich. Really rich. All that bootlegger money got stashed away and laundered. After Nucky the first, the family went legit and continued to prosper.

Nucky warns, “I picked you because I don’t want any Watergate scandal here. You’re good at what you do. Make sure there are no fuckups.”

He supplies Sam with a sketch of the Sheriff’s building, a two-story edifice with deputies in it 24/7. It will be a tough nut to crack. The County Executive office will be easier since it is deserted at night except for a security guard station.

Sam tells the Prosecutor he will prepare an estimate of the costs involved and give him a quote later this week.

Nucky nods and says he knows it will be … not cheap.

Sam agrees. “We’re looking at fees for installation, equipment, and maintenance.”

Meanwhile, Nip has made a website for Fisher Associates. (GM note: Rolling a 20, the website is pretty good—although the colors are a bit cheery.) Nip is also designing a computer system for the company.

After Nucky leaves, Sam tells her the gist of his conversation with the Prosecutor.

Cat is shocked. “He wants us to do WHAT? Bug the SHERIFF’s office and the Executive office and their homes?” After a moment, though. “We can use their own security system to monitor them.”

Cat then warns her dad, “Don’t tell Nip anything about what we’re doing. If anyone asks her, she’ll tell them. Instead, tell me and I’ll ‘translate’ into Nippese.”

Meanwhile, Doc Freeman—who is underwriting some of the initial startup costs—is going from room to room turning out lights in empty rooms. And Logan is going from room to room, turning the lights ON in every room. His own office is strung with Christmas lights.



Episode 19: Barnacles, Bugs and a Budding Hoax


Harry Hoar arrives with a Coast Guard marine safety inspection. Geoff has some big business ideas—for a braindance dating service, the Sheriff-bugging project, and a summer camp. Kyle embarks on a subterfuge for getting into the Sheriff’s office. Cat and Kyle talk to Damon’s former midwife. Nip is nabbed for questioning by NetWatch.


During the 16-week skip, Geoff also had a birthday—and Bo threw a party for him. Bo also introduced Geoff to Mira, a 19 yo budding Shoemaker. She’s good for student IDs and the like, but still has a way to go.

Cat receives word from her sisters that it’s okay for Cat to use the Chemistry Lab and Weapons Shop that she has “stored away” for use later after she has grown up. They also release one of her secret Cayman Island accounts to her so she can help finance Fisher Associates.

School vacation week continues.

Dramatis Personae

The client du jour:

Nucky Thompson, the recently elected Atlantic County Prosecutor, hires Fisher Associates to snoop on his political rivals: the County Sheriff and the County Executive—their homes and offices. He wants to know their plans, and he wants “no Watergate style fuckups” from Fisher Associates.

The grownups:

Kyle Vaduva: Burned spy.

Sam Fisher: Retired CIA black operative, assassin, cleaner, you-name-it.

Doc Freeman: Former professor at UNLV, former assistant coroner and disgraced cyber researcher.

Logan Hawke: Former tech operative asset for the CIA, now tainted by Kyle’s burn notice.

Bo Crowler: Boyd’s dad, a “godfather” type in the local criminal element of Pleasantville and Northfield.

Boyd Crowler: Local fixer based in Pleasantville and Northfield.

Damon Kelsey: Preacher and head of the Church of the Ever Loving God.

Gerry Notts: Atlantic County Sheriff. Politically, he is a Republican ‘separatist’ on New Jersey statehood. He lives on the edge of Mays Landing in Hamilton Township.

Harry Hoar: ‘Very’ Special Agent of LawDiv, assigned to bring Kyle to justice as a Really Bad Guy.

Janie Trappel: former midwife to Damon Kelsey, now working at a hospital in Philadelphia.

Lou-Ellen Plazire: owner of Virility Visions, a braindance porn studio.

Mary Drucker: US Marshal and ‘Big Sister’ for Cat Fisher.

Mortimer Chambers: Atlantic County Executive. Politically, Democrat who thinks New Jersey should stay out of the Union. He lives on Lake Lenape in Mays Landing.

“Nucky” Enoch Thompson II: County Prosecutor of Atlantic County.

Trish Braddock: Porn star at Virility Visions studio and Logan’s girlfriend.

Tyne Lacey: Kyle’s aunt (mother’s sister), a widow, also foster and adoptive mom of several kid PCs and NPCs, she lives next door to Kyle’s mom Sharin in a big house.

The kids:

Cat Fisher: Sam’s 16 yo daughter.

Geoff Stark: 15 yo fixer specializing in braindance chips; he has found a braindance addict to play the role of his father.

Nip Lacey: 12 yo girl with neon green hair, has amnesia. She was adopted by Tyne Lacey 2 years ago.

Fred: ferret and imaginary friend of Nip’s.

Gayle Snow: 12 yo girl, in 8th grade, lives at Tyne’s house. She is curious about everything, always wants to tag along.

Storm Snow: 15 yo boy, junior in high school, lives at Tyne’s house. He makes extra money by writing essays for college kids through the Net. He is a member of chess club and astronomy club.

Zephyr Snow: 11 yo boy, in 7th grade, lives at Tyne’s house. He pretty much keeps to himself, likes to torture small animals. Nicknamed “Zeph”, it’s a bad idea to tease him about his name.

The Action

Wednesday, 23 April 2042:


Moments after the sun peeks above the horizon, a Coast Guard vessel approaches Kyle’s boat. “Ahoy! Marine safety inspection. Prepare to be boarded.” And of course, Special Agent Harry Hoar is standing on deck with the Coast Guard folks, smiling.

Kyle asks to see their warrant, and the Coast Guard captain explains they don’t need one. This is a safety inspection. Several hours later, the gist is as follows: Hull needs some barnacles scraped off, but is otherwise okay. Engines need minor repair to become operational. Boiler is okay—but steam gauge needs replacing. Electrical wiring and equipment are in good shape. Lifesaving systems—life jackets and an inflatable boat are needed. Firefighting systems needs 3 fire extinguishers and 3 smoke detectors. GPS system needs a special battery. On pollution, though, the blackwater tank is leaking. Must be sealed or replaced. The total cost of repairs comes to 6,420 euros. However, until these repairs are made, Kyle cannot stay on the boat. Kyle goes to see his landlord with the list, and will stay at Sam’s until the repairs are made. The landlord promises to have all done within a week.

Meanwhile, Geoff goes to see Kyle with a business idea: “a braindance dating service. Lots of people are shy. This gives them a chance to learn how to be cool. It would be a dating simulation. Choose which of various people you want to go out with. We would have someone actually go out with that person to a bunch of different places. Besides, it would be a great way to screen people wanting to join the business.”

Kyle thinks it’s a great idea. “We’ll need someone to do a little programming.”

Geoff then goes to see Lou-Ellen, and describes his idea. “It would be like soft porn for the masses. Actually going out with a person for the socially awkward.”

Lou-Ellen looks Geoff over. “Aren’t you a little young for this?”

Geoff states, “I haven’t been young since I was twelve. Could you maybe recommend some people to do some programming? Use the equipment? Someone with a good editor’s eye. This is a lucrative new thing.”

Lou-Ellen offers, “Sure, I know people. You’d also need some actor-types to be the dates. Folks who are good at improv. I’ll have my lawyer draw up a contract.”

Geoff then calls Bo and tells him he has an idea. Bo invites him over to hear it. After Geoff describes his idea, Bo remarks, “That’s what I like about you, son. You’re always thinking.”

Geoff observes, “It’s a way to expand into legit business. And of course we can offer choices on the date—angel and devil options—rohypnol…”

Meanwhile, Nip calls Cat, who tells her friend she’s working. Nip asks if Cat can go to the mall later. There’s stuff she wants to get there. And, “Can I bribe you with ice cream?” Cat says yes, and the pair makes plans to get together later.

Geoff also checks in with the Fangs (booster gang) and the football teams to make sure that his supplies to these groups are going well. He also continues to go to the Church of the Ever Loving God in Ventnor. All is well on all fronts.


Sam, Cat, and Kyle meet at Fisher Associates. They sweep for bugs.

Sam tells the group about their new job from Nucky, bugging the offices and homes of the Atlantic County Sheriff and Executive Officer. “We cannot tell anyone who hired us for this.” The other two agree. Sam continues, “We’ll need to monitor the bugs and keep them running.”

Kyle offers, “I’ve got a great idea. We should replace their cameras with some of our own manufacture. Let’s use these government serial-numbered bugs from my place. If our targets find them, they’ll trace them back to the government. I’ll just say I removed them from my place and threw them out.”

Sam says, “Yeah, but they’ve got to last a while. We’ll be monitoring these conversations for months.”

Kyle replies, “They’re designed for this.”

Cat puts in, “We can’t use radio bugs. They’ll find them easily.”

Kyle asks, “Who is our employer?”

Sam tells him, “The Atlantic County Prosecutor.”

Cat observes, “Bugging the houses is not a problem. But the Sheriff’s office … that could be difficult.”

Kyle doesn’t think so. “Bugging the police office won’t be an issue. Getting into ‘Podunk Police’ shouldn’t be a problem for you or me. We go in with a stealth suit and set the bugs. Who is their cleaning company and when does it go out for bid? Their food service vendor?”

Cat suggests, “We go in with remotes.”

Kyle offers, “We can call Mario. Get remotes from Disney.”

Cat vetoes that idea. “We don’t want them traced back to Disney.”

Kyle explains, “We just tell them they have to be black-op scrubbed and cleaned. We can probably do the job with just remotes.”

Cat examines priorities. “We do the homes first. Those will be like knives through butter. Rent a house in Mays Landing near the Sheriff’s house. Have Trish be the front person. Logan will be with her. We just keep going to visit her.”

Kyle remarks, “The bugs should download at random times.”

Cat agrees and adds, “The bugs should be powered off the house juice so they can’t be detected in the usual way.”

Then Kyle has a brainstorm. “What if Trish is doing more than fronting a house for us? Suppose we did a shadow-the-cops TV production? We could get badges and passes to the buildings for the crew, gives us access to plant all the bugs. The cops would show us all around. Offer a few thousand donation to police organization of their choice. Bring in Lou-Ellen for production crew.”

Sam speaks up. “Have a student shadow the Sheriff. Make it a student production.”

Cat asks, “And what do I tell Mary?”

Kyle explains, “That we are setting up a first pilot episode to sell to the networks.”

Cat thinks this is clever. “Kyle doesn’t officially work for Fisher Associates.”

Kyle expounds further. “I want to sell this to Net-54.”

Cat observes, “We can get a professional production crew from Lou-Ellen.” Also, “I’d like to bring Geoff in on this, but the client can never be mentioned.”

Kyle agrees. “We should adjourn to tonight’s meeting.”


That evening, Geoff attends the meeting at Fisher Associates with Sam, Kyle and Cat. The trio describes the overall plan to the young fixer, who has some ideas to add to the mix.

Geoff offers, “We should call the program ‘John Law’. Take it to the next level, not just on the road. Also go into their private life.”

Cat suggests another name: “Notts’ Cops.”

Geoff adds, “We’ll need a film license.” He also mentions his new shoemaker. “She’s good at making fakes.” Then, “If you want to get bugs into the station, just replace their radios. Use grid bugs.”

Cat wonders, “What would it cost to put together a crew to do a pilot like that?”

Geoff explains, “We need to use Lou-Ellen because this is a DMS town. We’ll need releases, authorization to use people’s likenesses.”

Kyle speculates, “Say I get caught installing the bugs? I can just say I wanted to get some true nitty gritty sound when there are no cameras around.”

Geoff states, “We should set it up to take a meeting with DMS.”

Kyle disagrees. “No, because then we’d have to wait for a public event.”

Cat observes, “The problem is selling the Sheriff.”

Kyle says he’ll do that.

Geoff warns, “They’ll check you out.”

Kyle agrees. “Sure. I’ll just leave him the cash to donate as he sees fit. So I’ll need some bribe money.”

Cat has another idea. “Maybe we can kill two birds with one stone. If we can supply an ‘incident’ where we make Harry Hoar look bad, then we could get your [Burn Notice/LawDiv] case transferred to the Atlantic County Prosecutor.”

Kyle declares, “I’m going to do this completely above board. I’ll promise to portray the cops in a good light.”

Geoff suggests. “A day in the life of—”

Kyle agrees. “Definitely, I can suggest that for later. When it’s going well, then we can do ‘A day in the life’.”

Geoff expands on his idea: “Interviewing spouses.” He then has another idea. “We could do a braindance service like Scared Straight. Do a pilot for that, too.”


Thursday, 24 April 2042:


Nucky comes to see Sam at the Atlantic City office. Sam quotes 250,000 euros plus expenses for the job. Nucky looks momentarily taken aback, but then says, “Let’s make it an even 300 grand.” The prosecutor then does a money transfer of half that amount into Sam’s specified bank account.

(GM note: Any trace of the transfer will end at a Cayman Islands bank.)

Geoff and Kyle arrive at the office. Cat is already there (GM note: At the reception desk). The group discusses their next actions. Cat suggests that she join the group going to see Lou-Ellen.

Sam puts his foot down. “Like hell you’re going to a porn studio.”

Cat thinks his objection is absurd. “I worked as a stripper in Deva in Romania!”

All four head for Lou-Ellen’s.

Geoff introduces Kyle, saying he’s got an interesting prospect for a business venture. Geoff also says “hi” to his friend Lena, who works here as a porn star. They make plans for dinner.

Kyle repeats his mantra: “Once a whore, always a whore.”

(GM note: Kyle’s player thought he was talking to Lou-Ellen. Why would he say that to the woman he wants to do him a favor…? Pretty much a guarantee of getting a “no” answer!)

Lena slaps his face.

Cat explains to Kyle why he should back off. “She’s an old friend of Geoff’s.”

Kyle maintains, “It was just a joke.”

Cat asserts, “It’s not a joke when someone rubs it in her face.”

Turning back to Lou-Ellen, Geoff explains the plan. “We want to do a documentary. It could be an interesting business opportunity. Help you diversify.”

Lou-Ellen asks, “What sort of documentary?”

Kyle elucidates. “My business with the antiques has been running into snags. Police dramas are all the rage. But they’re in big towns. Like Miami. What if we did a small town? Closer to home. Every six months, DMS has calls for new shows. You have people we could use to do this.”

Geoff adds, “We’d need an editing studio as well.”

Kyle offers, “If it’s successful, then we’d put your name on the show, too.”

Geoff observes, “Cop shows have been done. We want to do a new slant: Seeing their lives at home as well as on the street.”

Kyle puts in, “The small town perspective.”

Geoff waxes poetic, ending with “It’s a win-win all around. And money in the bank.”

Lou-Ellen is intrigued. “Sounds interesting, sure.”

Geoff asks, “Can you help us with licenses? Permission to film, show faces for people who are not actors?”

Kyle declares, “I’ll apply for permits tomorrow.”

Cat asks, “Will we need a script or shooting guidelines of some sort? And the budget, how much will this cost?”

Lou-Ellen replies, “That depends on the scope.”

Kyle estimates, “We’d need a camera crew, enough for different angles.”

Lou-Ellen says, “Okay, so a second unit would be good.”

Sam adds, “A full week of shooting to get enough footage.”

Geoff comments, “And a narrator.”

Kyle reflects, “Yes, and someone to talk to the cops afterwards: How did you feel? I could be the interviewer.”

Lou-Ellen indicates she will write some letters of introduction to various officials for the needed licenses, and will put out the word for appropriate crew to hire.

Meanwhile, Nip goes to the mall.


Cat talks with Geoff about the Damon Kelsey situation. “We think he’s selling babies.”

Geoff thinks a moment. “Is he selling them to good families? Why do you want to take him down?”

Cat replies, “I don’t like him.”

(GM note: Cat is convinced that Damon is a pedophile, despite the lack of complaints or evidence on this score. She also has special, personal reasons for despising anyone who traffics in sentient life.)

Nip calls Cat and asks, “Can I come over today?”

Cat says okay, “Around dinnertime.”

Nip then asks, “Can I borrow your teacher?”

Cat is confused. “I don’t have a teacher.”

Nip explains, “The one in the basement.”

Cat realizes, “Oh. That’s my dad’s teacher.”

Sam asks for the phone and tells the neon-haired youngster, “If you want to borrow my teacher, you can come over and use it, yes. But you can’t take it out of the house.”

Nip double-checks. “So it’s okay for me to come over and use it?”

Sam affirms, “Yes.”

Nip thanks her friend’s father with enthusiasm. Whereupon Sam asks what skill she wants to learn.

Nip tells him, “Romanian. Uncle Kyle and mom speak Romanian.”

After the phone call, Cat and Geoff return to the subject of Damon Kelsey. Cat explains, “There’s a birth coming up that we’re pretty sure is a boy. We’ve got the names of two midwives. One went back to Philadelphia a couple of years ago. The second one is her replacement at the CELG compound. I say we take his money, rescue the kids. And if Barry is watching while Damon transfers the money, we can rob him blind.”

(GM note: Barry is the money launderer client du jour from episodes 2 through 6.)

Geoff asks, “If you look at the people near the Church, does anyone have a son outside the Church? I think you should go see the midwife who went to Philadelphia.” He then goes home and cleans up the house and extra bedroom.

Kyle and Cat go to Philadelphia to the hospital where the midwife now works. Kyle wants to know, “What’s our plan? Do we walk up and confront her about the cult leader ‘dick face’? She’ll probably react better to a woman. You start the conversation with her.”

The midwife, Janie Trappel, now leaves the building. Her shift at the hospital has just ended.

Cat approaches her. “Hello, Miss Trappel? I think you know a Damon Kelsey?”

Janie looks alarmed. “Damon Kelsey??? What’s this about? What about him?”

Cat asks, “You used to work at the Compound?”

Janie admits she did. “Have you joined the Church of the Ever Loving God?”

Cat says yes.

Janie looks Cat over, lingering on the abdomen. “Are you pregnant?”

Cat wonders, “Does it show?”

Janie shakes her head. “You must be really early in the pregnancy.”

Cat explains why she came to talk with Janie. “I kind of heard some stuff.”

Janie inquires, “What sort of stuff?”

Cat avers, “I’m not stupid. I saw the kids there. They’re all girls.”

Janie points out, “And one boy.”

Cat goes on, “I took biology. And those numbers—they’re wrong. I was thinking a boy would be great. And they said, ‘don’t worry’.”

Janie looks surprised. “They did? Who said that?”

Cat offers a name.

Janie expands on her reply. “The boys were all stillborn. I know that sounds really weird. Damon said it was the Hand of God.”

Kyle contradicts her. “They weren’t stillborn. I’m trying to convince her not to go there. That it’s not her best start in life.”

Janie offers, “If it is a boy, I would recommend that you leave the Church. That is, if you want to keep your baby.”

Kyle wants to know, “So, what does he do with the boys?”

Janie hesitates, and then answers. “He finds other homes for them. He’s well compensated.”

Kyle sounds appalled. “He SELLS them?”

Janie capitulates. “I guess you could call it that.”

Kyle admits, “That’s not nearly as bad as I thought it might be, but how? Does he tell the mother the baby was stillborn?”

Janie says, “No. The midwife does that. We put a hallucinogen in the anesthesia so if the baby cries when it’s born, we can tell the mother she must have hallucinated that.”

Kyle then asks, “Is the hospital involved in this ‘adoption’ business?”

Janie denies it. “No, the babies are born at the Compound. Then we drove into the city with the baby.”

Kyle wonders, “So why did you leave?”

Janie explains, “I couldn’t stomach taking all these babies away from their mothers. Those women grieved. And their babies were still alive!”

Kyle holds his tape recorder up in the air and clicks it off. “Got it. Your confession.”

Janie is horrified.

(GM note: She will be heading for the hills; as in NoCal, and leaving no forwarding address.)

Meanwhile, Geoff makes the rounds of his contacts and takes his Judo class. Nip shops for parts to make some fighter-robots.


Friday, 25 April 2042:


Kyle registers a new doing-business-as KV Productions. He is told he can pick up his permits on Tuesday.

Trish rents a house in Mays Landing down the street from the Sheriff’s house for surveillance purposes. She will live there with Logan.

Sam arranges with Lou-Ellen that Fisher Associates will pay her, and she will pay Trish, for the house rental.

Kyle makes an appointment to meet with Gerry Notts, the County Sheriff, on Wednesday at 11 am.

Geoff writes up his plans to create a summer camp.


Cat helps set up the surveillance house. She brings in a laser mike and stealth suit. Cat—wearing the stealth suit—also reconnoiters the Sheriff’s house after dinner to see what defenses he has. She learns there are no cameras, and only ordinary protection on the windows. Setting up the laser mike, they hear a conversation between the Notts and some friends they invited over for dinner.

The Sheriff and his friends lament some recent real estate developments by Stagg Property. They speculate that Nucky is taking kickbacks. Gerry wishes he had proof, but he’s got no proof.

Cat puts some mikes in the trees around the Sheriff’s house, taps the power in the house for them, and buries the line to the surveillance house.


Saturday, 26 April 2042:


Geoff gives Storm his proposal for a summer camp.

Nip gets a good start on her fighter robots.

(GM note: For fighting other fighter robots, in a ‘ring’.)

Gayle persuades the family to go to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum on the Boardwalk this afternoon.

Cat puts on a disguise at the surveillance house, and goes to Philadelphia on her bike, taking her phone with her. She does some excellent Hide/Evade maneuvers. Then she goes to a spy store she found on an “anonymous” Net search, and buys a bunch of spy gear. In Mays Landing, she removes her disguise. Then she goes to a house warming for Logan and Trish.

Logan works on the bugging equipment and does his jury-rigging shtick. They plan to install the bugs tomorrow while the Sheriff is at Church.


Cat scouts out County Executive Mortimer Chamber’s house. It’s large, isolated, on the edge of Lenape Lake in the wealthiest part of Mays Landing, and surrounded by lots of trees. Investigating, Cat is sure there are no cameras outside. The window protection is more sophisticated. She’s pretty sure there’s at least one camera inside each of the rooms she can see into. She returns to Logan’s house with this information. Kyle spends the night there with her in the guest bedroom.


Sunday, 27 April 2042:


While the Sheriff and his family are at Church, Cat and Kyle put on their Stealth suits and sneak over to Gerry’s house. They get inside easily, and install camera bugs in the main bedroom, living room and office. They put passive listeners on the phone lines, including the kitchen. Kyle decides to make molding cameras, and takes photos of the moldings. They post another camera outside the front door to capture people coming in and out.

Meanwhile, a black van pulls up to Tyne’s house and three men in black come out. They show their credentials to Tyne, and insist that Nip come with them. Tyne looks a bit shaken and tells Nip to cooperate. So Nip goes willingly, if a bit reluctantly.

The windows are blacked out, so that Nip cannot tell where she is being taken. The men bring her to a grey building with no windows, and take her into an interrogation room. There, they identify themselves as NetWatch and ask what she knows about a heist the night before at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum. Stolen items include: a genuine human shrunken head, a ‘life mask’ of Abraham Lincoln, an African shaman’s vessel made from a large gourd and used to store potions to cure the sick and ward off evil spirits.

Fred, Nip’s imaginary ferret friend, thinks a shrunken human head is marvelous. He wants to know, “Can we shrink Davis?”

A chill goes down Nip’s spine at that name, though she doesn’t know why. Fred also thinks the shaman’s vessel is nifty.

In any event, Nip’s somewhat odd answers to their questions soon convince NetWatch that this child had nothing to do with the robbery, and they return her to Tyne’s house.

Geoff returns to Storm to retrieve his summer camp proposal. Storm thinks it’s pretty good, made a few edits. Geoff gives him $200, and goes to see Bo (calling beforehand to make sure this is a good time). He tells Bo, “This camp would give us a revenue stream, provide a place off the grid without raising suspicion, and parents who send their kids there could put their name to it, affiliated with the High School. The camp would offer vocational training: cooking, various other professional training.

Bo thanks him for the thought, but says this is not his cup of tea.

Geoff says okay. “The last time one of your underlings didn’t bring an idea to you … Well, I saw the consequences. They weren’t pretty.”

Bo admits that’s true. He says to keep bringing ideas to him. He likes having this “right of first refusal”.


Monday, 28 April 2042:


The kids return to school.


Geoff and Kyle come to Sam’s office. They give him Geoff’s proposal, which is about 10-12 pages long.

Sam asks, “A summer camp for teenagers?”

Geoff explains, “Teenagers, yes, and younger kids, too. Junior Achievement type of thing, if you like.”

Kyle points out, “The land is the expensive part.”

Sam agrees. “I could definitely get it up and running.”

Geoff inquires, “Are you interested?”

Sam replies, “I don’t see why not. I would love to be doing good stuff for the community. It’s good for business.”

Geoff observes, “It would also let us see who’s good at what sorts of skills, and useful for checking out people’s credentials for other things.”

Sam concludes, “I could have it up and running by summer.”

Geoff suggests, “I’ll talk to the school, put you down as a definite maybe.”

Sam states, “I’ll have our lawyer look at this. Make it look good for the company.”

Geoff adds, “And it gets kids out of parents’ hair for the summer. I’ll be in touch.” And he leaves.

Meanwhile, Nip calls Cat and tells her about the robot club—and the fighting robots she’s been building. Cat goes over to Tyne’s house and they play with the robots. The steering is a little glitchy, but other than that, the robots perform fairly well.

Nip mentions she had a weird weekend.

Cat says, “Oh?” in an inquiring tone.

Nip tells her that NetWatch had a talk with her.

Cat wonders, “What about?”

Nip discloses, “Some stuff was stolen from the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum. But they figured out pretty quickly that I didn’t take it.”

Cat pronounces, “I’m glad you’re not in trouble.”

Nip goes on, “Apparently some weird stuff got taken. I don’t remember all of it. Something gross and small…?”

Cat offers, “Shrunken head?”

Nip says, “That’s it!”

Cat recommends, “Check Zeph’s room.”

Cat wins the robot fight. After Cat leaves, Nip checks out Zeph’s room. She finds some odd stuff, including a blow torch and small restraints, suitable for use on small animals, hidden away. But no shrunken head or other missing Ripley’s Museum exhibits.


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