“Totally believable.” Dave nodded to Izzo. “When the time comes, can I help?”
“Very funny. Come along now, we can still catch the PC at home.”
They caught him at breakfast, just getting a morning briefing from a younger man in a business suit.
Prime Councilor Igsu sat back and interlaced his fingers. His frown deepened as Rael pulled out a chair. “Rael. How nice to see you this morning.”
Neither of them gave the faintest sign of noticing Dave.
“The pleasure is all mine. I just dropped by to mention that I’m quite dubious of a report that someone, who probably wasn’t even in a meeting with you recently, could possibly have heard you say something about not needing to worry about Izzo for much longer.”
She eyed him. He looked back, impassive.
“Because . . . if someone was to deescalate and disband, and please, none of those unexplained sudden deaths . . . three children and a nice old bus driver are enough deaths for one campaign season, don’t you think? If nothing happens, then any of those silly rumors that never fail to float around can be ignored, rather than investigated.”
The Prime Councilor turned his head toward the flunky. “Peeve, show the lady out. She seems to be badly confused and hallucinating.”
Rael grinned. “Have a nice day, Igsu.”
Dave eased back as she walked out the door, Peeve closed up on her . . .
:: Don’t block him! ::
Peeve’s hand shot out toward her neck. She twirled, his fist barely brushing the side of her neck as her right hand whipped up and swooped down . . . and then she was closing two metal bars . . .
She smiled innocently and turned for the front door. Dave followed her out, feeling like he was about to explode.
Once he’d closed her in the car, Dave hustled into the driver’s seat. Turned to glare. “You have a bag!”
“Several.” She pulled out another rod, split it and dug through the contents. Pulled out a red and white medical kit. She fumbled out a packet, ripped it open, pulled out a small white sheet, and ran it across her neck. “He had something on his ring.” She eyed the sheet as it developed a green smear. “Huh. I’m glad I just got a little scratch of that.” She dug back into the bag and pulled out a plastic bag. Dropped the sheet in. “Evidence. Attempted drugging of a Presidential Agent. Not that I expect him to ever appear in court. Silly fellow, I really though he had potential.”
Dave hissed and turned to start the car. “So . . . what are you going to do with him?”
“Don’t you mean to him?”
“Uhhhh . . . yeah. And . . . where are we going to do it to him?”
A rundown storage facility in a poor part of town. Rael hopped out and opened one of the larger units. Dave drove in, and she shut the door behind him.
“Now Dave, there are two things I need you to do. One of course, is to restrain him, the other is to not let him kill himself.” She waved at the gloomy room. “It’s caged, so no one ought to be able to trigger anything from outside, but a top agent might kill himself. So we’ll deal with that problem first, no, second. First that ring is going, then any suicide pills or devices. Then we’ll have a little chat.”
He eyed the crazy woman as she bounced out in front of the car, where there was fair amount of free space. A work table, and several closed plastic tubs. She rummaged happily, producing several pliers of various shapes. Sturdy gloves. A larger medical kit that in turn disgorged scalpels, forceps, and bandages.
Lucky Dave winced. I really do prefer the more straightforward bodyguarding. And torture rarely provides reliable information . . .
Rael giggled. “Oh Dave, the expression on your face. Here, put on some gloves, just in case he’s got more nasty little poisons.”
She pulled out little plastic bags opened them and lined them up along the table. “Evidence bags. Not, as I said, that this is going to go to court. Now if you’ll get behind him and immobilize his arms—oh, and shield your legs in case he kicks. Poisoners are just so . . . well. Here we go.”
She pulled on her own gloves, then held the bars out a meter off the floor and pulled them open, and whipped them up as Peeve fell out. Feet first . . . Dave reached and had his arms under Peeve’s, and up and around to lock his hands behind Peeve’s neck.
Real grabbed his left wrist and stripped off the ring. Stepped away to put it in a bag. Walked back and grabbed Peeve’s foot as he kicked . . . stripped off the shoe . . . the ankle holster. Then the other shoe and the ceramic knife strapped to that ankle.
“Honestly Peeve! I thought you were such a solid professional security analyst . . . obviously I misjudged the breadth of your skills.”
Her hand snaked out quickly and he went limp in Dave grasp.
“Hold him up for just a second, this will be easier . . .” She reached back and grabbed a pair of small slip jaw pliers. She peeled Peeve’s lips back. “Now which tooth was he thinking of . . . ah yes, a hollow tooth. Right out of the movies. Let’s see if I can get it out without releasing the poison. It must be fairly thin to . . .” she maneuvered the pliers around, jerked.
Dave winced at the faint crack. “Be openable with his tongue.” Rael pulled the pliers out, a bloody molar in their jaws. “Personally, I’d be afraid to eat, with something like that in my mouth.” The tooth went in another evidence bag.
“Now, let’s see . . .” she swabbed down both of Peeve’s hands, digging under the nails, but the little sheets stayed white. “That’s better.”
“No poison under the fingernails?” Dave shook his head as she ran her hands over the limp body. “So what else are you looking for?”
“Anything with power in it, dense matter where there ought not be any . . . This is probably his Council ID . . . and this is right where those assholes injected a kill switch in my arm . . . and, eww, Peeve! Is that a place to carry things around all day?” She ran her hands down the man’s legs, then straightened. “Right. I need him face down on the ground, and I’ll just make sure he isn’t tracked or killed.”
Peeve whimpered a bit. Dave, laid him out and knelt with his weight on the man.
A quick slice with the scalpel, and probe with the forceps and she pulled out a small cylinder out of his upper arm. A healing spell, and bandage. Then the same to Peeve’s shoulder to remove a flat square.
“Probably just his ID. But really this is an impressive display of paranoia.”
She got up to bag her whatevers, and returned, pulling on latex gloves. “Don’t watch if you’re squeamish.” She hauled Peeves pants down, and Dave looked away. “Eww. Gross. At least it’s well wrapped.”
Peeve wheezed out a curse, and Dave eased his weight off the man’s chest so he could breathe a bit better.
“Right. Hopefully that’s everything. Sorry about the tooth, Peeve, but you know how it is . . .”
Rael knelt down and laid her hand on the man’s head. “Feeling better? Nope, no physical shields allowed . . . oh nice mental shield. Not good enough, but . . . so what do you have planned for Izzo . . . come on . . . which building . . . Oh, Madrid, as he gets out of the limo? I see and the back up? Huh, confident aren’t you.”
She glanced at Dave. “No back up—that he knows of. So Peeve . . . What are you going to do to Ovli? Nothing? Goodness, now there’s confidence for you. How about the Crow . . . Oh, my. You’re really looking forward to that, aren’t you? Blow him up with his own bomb? Fitting. Funny, isn’t it, Ycrw’s so cold. He just doesn’t seem like the type to do something that messy. And he’s going to go take a look at progress in two days?”
Rael grimaced. “And you snuck in and rigged a charge that your man will trigger when Ycrw’s on the premises.” She looked down at Peeve. “I do hope you are not going after the small fry . . . good.”
She got up and grabbed her bag, split the bars, swooped as Dave rocked back and hauled him up enough for clearance.
Dave looked from that bag to her other one. “How many of those do you have?”
“Umm . . . fourteen, at the moment.”
Dave grabbed a roll of tape off the wall and wrapped it around the bars in her hands. Left a long tag, and wrote “Peeve” on it.
Rael giggled, and swooped around the room picking things up and sticking them in a larger plastic bag. Borrowed his pen to label it, and dropped it in another bag. “Hope we don’t run out.” She glanced at her watch. “Let’s head for Italy. We can take out the bomb makers, then double back and deal with the sniper in Madrid.”
She put everything back where it belonged . . . hesitated, then took the tape. “Could be a busy day.”