Uh, Harry? Hold on a minute. We -- we may not need that tape…

Oh brother.

"Mr. Malevolent."

There was an icy tone to the voice, a tone that spoke of mausoleums, shadows darker than

starless nights. A voice that rung like cold steel on marble.

Bob envied that voice, or would have, if it were not being used upon him.

"I'm very disappointed in you, Mr. Malevolent." Dean Incectus stated as calmly if he were

casually discussing the proper methods to fillet a puppy in front of a small child. Bob felt

the hairs on the back of his head stand on end.

"Dean, I know I've been falling behind on my studies lately, but I assure you that.."

"Your studies, Mr. Malevolent, are the very least of your concerns."

Bob was caught short. He had prepared himself for any number of academic arguments, but

this was unexpected.

Incectus leafed through the folder on his desk slowly. Letting the sound of paper sliding

against paper linger in the parts of the office that weren't filled with dread.

"I've been reviewing your... accomplishments… as of late. I suppose that there are those

that would be quite proud of these sorts of actions. Rescued a lost boy; saved the planet

from an invasion, by one of you professors, mind you; hmm… twice? And you still haven't

managed to find a use for that robot, have you?" He closed the file and leaned back into his


"Mr. Malevolent, it would appear that you may not be chaos advocate material. Perhaps I

could interest you in a set of spandex?"

Bob saw red.

In a blur Bob arm had flashed across the desk and pulled the Dean to within microns of his

own face. His eyes burned with pure hatred and anger at the mere suggestion that he might

be in the same ranks as a "hero".

Insectivus remained unfazed by his student's reaction. "You see, Mr. Malevolent, this is

exactly what I was talking about. There are other members of your class that would have

tried to kill me, not simply haul me up in some sort of dramatic flourish."

"Kill you?" Bob said, equally calmly. "No, I know full well that you've got this place wired


with dampeners and sensors. You know full well that I am unarmed, per your own request.

If I were to kill you I would simply have to do it the old fashioned way and snap your neck

like the ancient twig it is."

Bob relaxed his grip and began to smile. "But really, what fun would killing you be?

Particularly when there would be easy witnesses. No Dean, I have no intention of harming

you here."

"Is that a threat Mr. Malevolent?"

"Why yes, yes it is. And don't worry about your recording devices. The jamming circuit I

have in my backpack is providing them with enough to worry about right now."

Insectivus smiled, much as he had continued to do during the entire meeting. "Mr.

Malevolent, there may be hope for you still. However, I am still going to have to place you

under academic probation."

Bob shoved the Dean backwards into his chair and reached for his backpack.

He hefted it, reached inside and turned off the jammer. "I understand." Bob left without

another word.

"Ah dear Bob, why can't you be like some of our other students?"

"I said, give me your money." The head thug said as he pressed the point of his knife closer

to his victims throat. She was shaking and sobbing nearly uncontrollably, her eyes closed

wishing she could be anywhere else.

"I've got a better idea," a strange voice said from down the alley. "How about you give her

all of yours?"

The thug snapped his head around to stare at the idiot that suggested it. All he saw was a

guy standing in a trench coat with a hat. The thug looked up to his companion, "Kill that

motherf.." The thug cut short his command as his associate disappeared down the alleyway

in a pink blur. He heard the scaffolding ring as the ball of pink slammed into it hard. The

pink material began to quickly constrict. There was a sickening pop as the material

wrenched both shoulders out of it's prey. They were followed by his screams of agony.

The head thug looked to his other companion who was now several shades whiter than he

had ever been. "What are you waiting for, fool! Get that fu.." there was a burst of grey as

the small figure landed both feet against the second thug's chest and drove him hard into the

wall. The thug's chest sounded like a drum as the hit resounded through him. He dropped to

his knees. The gray figure quickly drove his staff against the second thug's head in a series

of harsh cracks. A trickle of blood flowed from the fallen thug's thugs eye as he slumped

over against the crates.


The head thug pulled his victim up against himself, using her as a shield. He held his knife

to her throat, "Back off! I'll cut her, dammit!".

The gray figure said nothing, but slowly held out his staff horizontal to the ground. The

thug couldn't see the gray guy's eyes, but could feel them burning into his. "That's it. Now

drop it or she bleeds!"

The Gray figure dropped the staff, but kept his arm out straight. "That's it, motherfu.."

Twin spikes of pain laced through his face and neck as he felt his muscles seize. He heard

his knife clatter to the ground. He thought his head was on fire. He wanted to scream, but

his voice wouldn't let the sound escape. He remembered seeing his victim being swept out

of his arms as he fell, and then, with unblinking eyes he remembered seeing a boot headed

toward his skull.

There had been a series of high profile robberies in Portland. The police were baffled, The

Detective was intrigued.

The unconscious body was the first clue, but not the one that The Detective needed. The

most important clue was the one that was the most overlooked. One of the security guards

had signed with his right hand, but had included an odd flourish with his "R"s. Normally

this was not something that would indicate anything unless you happened to notice that at

the four prior incidents where he had managed to find individuals and get writing samples

from them, he had noticed that there was the same odd flourish.

He followed her, playing on a hunch. Something still didn't make sense though, none of the

people were the same. The first person was a heavy-set man in his late fifties, the second

was a woman of 21 who was under 100 lbs., the third was a man who had lost his leg and

now he was following a tall middle aged woman. If this was the same person, he or she

wouldn't be just a Master of disguise, they would be the very epitome of disguise.

As she entered the main square, The Detective called out. The woman turned and looked at

him with unfocused eyes. Something was wrong, very, very wrong. He reached for the

empty holster and quickly swore at the Seattle police department. Instead he pulled his bolo

and launched it at the woman.

The bolo quickly wrapped around her chest. She stood, frozen in place for a second before

unleashing an unearthly scream. The other people in the square turned in shock as a thin fog

enveloped the woman. The fog spread out, growing into a larger form, before solidifying

into a rakish horror best left for nightmares.

The woman shook herself as if coming out of a deep sleep, she looked up above her to see

the terror that had been her master and screamed again, this time a more earthy shriek.

There was a panic as the other occupants of the square realized that it would be far safer to

watch the events from a distance, say, New York.


The creature shot out a ropy arm that shattered the planter The Detective had been standing

in front of. A few stray shards of concrete skittered against his shoe. The Detective longed

for the early days when thugs were more normal and the only thing supernatural about them

was their propensity for painfully obvious nicknames. Now adays it seemed like every

villain he would come across would be either be a screaming sociopath, or capable of

flipping battleships at him like playing cards.

"Halt Felon"

The voice was mechanical, alien in nature. The Detective determined that it more than

likely did not come from the creature that was turning Portland Square into more of a circle.

The Detective leaned around the corner to behold a man, floating with what appeared to be

a large glowing codpiece. The man appeared to stand.. err.. float with authority, but also

appeared to be either embarrassed or annoyed.

The creature did not appear to suffer from either of those conditions and with another hair

curling shriek, it whipped an arm toward the levitating figure. The Detective took full

advantage of the distraction by racing out toward the still trembling woman locked in his

bolo. He caught her square in the stomach and felt her double over his shoulder. He heard a

sound that told him she had the wind knocked out of her. He kept running.

In a way it was a shame, he missed a good show.

The Codpiece easily deflected the blow with an energy shield. Then the dance began with

the Detective's first footfall.

When someone has super speed, a fight tends to take an entirely new form, one that is more

fitting a zero-gravity dance. When one of the figures is several times the size of the other, it

just requires more blows. The Codpiece swung his leg hard at the side of the creature

landing a stunning blow to the creature's head, he folded at the hip bringing both fists hard

to the opposite side before the creature's skull had time to react to the first blow. This

stabilized his forward momentum, which he then centered by bringing his knee up against

the creatures nose, shattering the bone beneath it. The Codpiece caught his foot against the

creature's nostril and used the toehold to reorient himself toward the creatures chest. He

landed the first blow down near the sternum then brought around both feet toward the

creature's solar plexus.

The Detective made his second footfall. The Codpiece focused his yellow force toward the

middle of the creature's chest. He watched the flesh ripple from the impact and his

heightened reflexes showed him the slow motion of the ribs being compressed. The force

drove the creature backwards lifting him off of his feet.

All The Detective saw was the creature slam into one of the remaining buildings and then

collapse into a very large pile before he had taken his third step.

The Detective took only a few more before stopping himself to stare at the results of the

battle. The Codpiece drifted down to survey the situation.


"I will go restrain the creature" The Codpiece said.

"Ok go get 'em." The man stated as the yellow… unit… detached itself and drifted toward

the unconscious creature.

The Detective's jaw hung wide open.

"Is she ok?" The man asked.

"Who?" The Detective said, completely forgetting about the bound, wheezing woman he

was carrying on his shoulder. "Oh, uh, yes I think." He gently lifted her off of his shoulder

and began removing his bolo. She was dazed, and breathing heavily, but appeared to be


"That.. " The Detective stammered, ".. that was amazing."

"Yeah, whatever." The man said in an exceedingly annoyed manner as he looked toward the

floating device. "actually, that thing's got me really ticked off."

"What? How? That device is fantastic."

The man simply folded his arms and looked at The Detective with a raised eyebrow.

"Fantastic, huh? Let me tell you something. Ten years ago I set out to become Portland's

Superhero. I carefully set up a lab and spent millions on research and development for how

to reach my goals. I spent every day and night working on how to attain powers to help me

to protect and bring justice to this city. No detail was too small, I calculated everything

including allowing for weaknesses so that if I were ever corrupted by my own power, I

could be stopped. Finally, everything was ready. I went home the night before I was to

receive the final sequences that would grant me the powers I needed. I was exhausted to the

point where I could barely see, but I knew that I couldn't sleep because of what I'd soon be

able to accomplish."

"That's when I saw it happen, a streak of light in the early morning sky that crashed hard

into a field. Because of my training, I instinctively raced over to make sure that no one was

hurt. Lying in the wreckage was a stupid freaking alien who begged that I take on the role

of 'The Yellow Codpiece; Gardian of Truth, Justice and Liberty'"

The man stood fuming for a few seconds.

"TEN YEARS, TEN FREAKING YEARS I'd been working on the project and this moron

shows up and hands it to me. Do you have any idea just how insanely annoying that can


"Couldn't you have just said , 'No Thanks'?"

The man laughed, "Oh yeah, right, I'm going to tell some dying interplanetary emissary


bearing omnipotent underwear, 'Sorry Buddy, Got my own deal in the works. Give what's

left of you a lift into town?' No-siree. Not me, Not 'Wayne the Recovering Boy-Scout'.

Nope, like a freaking idiot, I agreed. Worse thing is that that stupid Dynamic Diaper has

some sort of pre-cognitive power which gets me to places where trouble is about to happen.

We would have been here sooner except for the fact that there were two robberies and a

stolen car to take care of first."

He continued to fume until the Alien Undergarment returned.

"We are needed elsewhere." The alien voice stated flatly.

Wayne sighed and refitted the alien codpiece to his costume. "Right-o. Well, I'm off. Oh,

nice works on figuring out that the people behind those attacks were being controlled by a

mind-wraith. I would have never figured it out if the Boxers from Beyond hadn't told me on

the way over. I've-got-to-think-of-something-to-yell-before-I-fly AWAAAAY!!!" And with

that the Codpiece disappeared into the sky. The mind-wraith was nowhere to be seen.

Perfect. Just perfect. So unless The Detective wanted to solve nothing more complicated

than missing pet cases or divorce settlements, Portland was now out too.

The Detective was beginning to identify with Wayne.

Carnival music filled Becky Sue's dreams.

She was walking the fairway once again, waving to friends she'd not seen in years. She

smiled at the kids shooting B-B guns trying to pop balloons and shook her head at Roy.

Even with her skill she could barely ever hit a balloon because of the screwy things he'd

done to the guns. Still Roy was more honest than most of the Carnies that followed the

Rodeo and was always there whenever anyone needed a hand.

The air was filled with the sweet smells of fresh hay, cotton candy and bar-be-que. She

turned and headed down to where the smokey pits were.

"That's why I like hanging out in your dreams. The food's a lot better." JB said between

mouthfuls of slow cooked beef.

"JB?" Becky Sue said in disbelief as she spun around to face the figure seated on a wooden


"That and there aren't as many Neptunian Pengui--" JB never finished his sentence as Becky

Sue tackled him off of the fencepost. They landed together in soft hay, suddenly alone in

the crowded carnival.

Becky Sue frowned. "How do I know you're fer real", she asked?


"There's wasabi on this sandwich." JB stated matter-of-factly.

"Oh JB!" Becky Sue said not quite believing that he was still alive. And with her eyes

starting to well up, she decked JB.


"Why in Tarnation didn't y'all let me know you were still livin' you no good worthless son

of a polecat!" She screamed at JB. "I've been worried darn near to death thinkin' you were a

goner you stinking pile of cow-chips. You're lower than an earthworm in China!"

"Ow! Ow! Ow! HEY!!" JB protested before finally managing to catch Becky Sue's hands.

"Look, I couldn't at first and then I figured it would be better if I didn't make everyone

aware of the fact. In case you hadn't noticed Myron wasn't too up on sticking around."

Becky Sue stopped struggling. "Myron? He ain't dead neither?"

"No, he's not. He's quite alive, just like you, Karl and Roger are, but not really up on being a

team player. If he knew that I could read his mind he'd have figured out some way to block


"You.. you can read minds?" Becky Sue said, growing confused.

"Not everyone, look, remember how everyone was in my head before?"


"Well, now I'm in everyone else's head. I know that Myron doesn't want to be part of the

Furlong anymore and burned a trail out of town as fast as he could. Fortunately, for me at

least, the tricks I learned to keep some of you out of my head seem to work both ways."

Becky Sue started struggling again. "You mean to tell me you've been ignorin' me?"

JB held fast. "Yes. Look I told you about your snoring problem."

"And when I'm not snorin'?"

"You're the first thing on my mind."

"I am?"

"Yep. You're an early riser. OW!" JB didn't bother blocking the last hit, he knew he had

earned it.

"So now what?" Becky Sue said as she sat next to JB.


"I'm not sure. The good news is: I'm not dead. That means that like you guys, I'm probably

stuck in some sort of weird limbo. I also get the feeling that I'm going to need all four of

you in order to get back to where I belong."

"So what am I supposed to do?"

"I don't know, but I need you to not tell the others about this yet. I'll approach them myself,

oh, and I need you to be careful not to think too hard about Myron."

"You mean like dragin' the weasel through a cactus patch a coupl'a hun'erd times?"

"Yes, exactly like that. I don't know if he might hear any really strong thoughts you might

project. That's why I've got to talk to each of you alone. If all three of you started in I don't

know if he might pick that up and then he'll start blocking and we'll lose what advantage I

have. Think nasty thoughts about anyone else you like, just not about him directly. I can tell

you that he's not having a fun time either, and whatever karma he might have had is pure

crap right now."

"If karma is luck, I hope he's got a whole mess'a bad."

"To put it mildly, hell yes. Oops, I gotta go." JB gave her a small kiss, "I'll be back as soon

as I can" He winked and smiled as he said, "you owe me a sandwich." And with that he was

gone again.


Becky Sue was once again on the fairway holding something soft and fuzzy. It was a stuffed

bear from the shooting gallery.

What otherworldly horror have

the suburban satanists released?

What will Bob do to get

off of academic probation?

Will this episode still get a PG-13

rating even with the violence?

Tune in next time for:

Undead Decor


Tomb by Tomb



Chapter 48

Tomb by Tomb

Bill looked on with horrible disbelief. The smell of sulfur flavored with burning flesh and

hair dissolved along with the inky, flame-licked smoke. At the center of the pentagram, the

demon stretched his leather wings first, followed by clawed hands. Glowing eyes carefully

examined the room it had entered. The corners of its mouth drew upwards spreading a grim

mockery of a smile, and then it spoke, "Well, it's not bad, but there's lots and lots of work to

do. First we've simply got to do something about these colors. Beige is just so out."

"Is that supposed to happen?" Lou asked. "I thought that there'd be more curses of

unfathomable discourse or at least some evil cackling."

"And this couch! Tacky, tacky, tacky."

Bill raised an unsure finger. "Uhm, excuse me... but some of us were wondering..."

The demon looked surprised then quickly extended his hand and smiled with possibly too

many teeth. "Dear, where are my manners. I'm Fred. And you would be?"

Bill looked at the claw suspiciously, then carefully accepted it and shook the creatures hand.

"Zelbaug, Bill Zelbaug. This here's Lou Siefer. Fred, is that short for anything particularly


"No." Fred replied matter of factly, "So, what's the deal with the cute little fez things?"

Bill removed the item in question and examined it. It was red, festooned with a leather

tassel and featured a black pitchfork on the front. "This? Oh, we're Shriners."

"Shriners?" the demon said with more than a hint of disbelief? "You mean like riding

around in little cars and helping kids?"

"Well, more like kicking kids," Lou corrected, "but you're right about the little cars. We got

a great deal on a bunch of those."

"Plus chicks dig 'em." Another voice offered helpfully.

"All that is well and good, BAD I mean bad" Bill spoke up, trying to regain control of the

situation, and not wanting to give this demon too much information. "But what about you?"

"Moi?" Fred replied, "Oh well, here's my card, and here's some examples of my work." Fred

split the temporal realm and withdrew an artist's portfolio. His talons expertly unzipped the

case and he began laying out a series of photographs and cloth samples.


Bill read the card, "Interiors by Fred. Designer of the Damned"

"Damned Finest!" Fred said with a chipper tone. "In fact, I hate to brag, but I'm responsible

for most of the netherworld's more memorable aspects. Here's a picture of Nezertoth's

Palace. He wanted just white hot stone, but I got him to really spruce things up with a

walkway of living flesh bordered by some nice obsidian spikes. In fact, I even got a job for

'The Big Guy'. Let me tell you, that guy has absolutely horrid taste. It's just ice, ice, ice.

Well, that and tortured souls of the infernal, but mostly it's ice. Now, I know I like it brisk

myself, but near absolute zero every single day is just dull, dull, dull!"

"Number eighty-nine? Eighty Nine?" The nurse called out as she loosened some earwax

with the duller end of the pencil she held.

One of the multitude seated in the clinic's waiting room struggled to push himself away

from the wall he had been leaning against, then slowly hobbled behind the nurse. As he

departed it was more obvious why he had problems walking. None of the wounded thugs

that filled the room even so much as smiled at the brightly colored object still vibrating,

since at least half of them were jealous that he'd gotten off with such an easy injury.

Fast Phil, the previously freelance auto parts salvager, looked at his ticket number and

groaned. He'd been sitting there for an hour and it looked like he'd be there at least another

two. "Is it just me or have things gotten way out of hand?" he asked no one in particular.

Julio "The Mark", his hands wrapped up in some sort of soft gauzy pink fabric that had so

far proved far more durable than any of the fire department's arsenal of cutters, simply

replied, "No, it's not you."

"I mean, yeah, I know that there's some sort of spandex wearin' goofball that's decided to set

up camp here..."

"Oh, that would be the Graybrown.." Julio looked confused, "or Gay Pound, or.." He

paused, "aw heck, whoever it is that dude Puppyboy used to hang with."

"So like what happened to that dude anyway?" Fast Phil asked.

"Dunno. Haven't seen him around for a while. Sure have seen his buddy though."

"Tell me about it. The guy's a raving psycho."

"It's as if a guy can't make a living anymore, you know?"

A new arrival entered through the sliding doors. He hopped to the front desk where he

attempted to provide his name and pertinent information to the nurse at the counter.

Unfortunately the teal wrap he was currently engulfed made his speech completely

indecipherable. The nurse simply pulled a number from the ticket dispenser and slapped it


to the newcomer's forehead.

The newcomer finally made a sound that was understandable to the rest of the room. "ow."

He hopped over to the main waiting area mumbling curses with each landing.

"ow, shffp, ow shffp"

He tried to find a place to sit down, or even lean against, failed, and simply fell over onto

the floor.

"You know what really bugs me, man?" Phil told his erstwhile companion. "I turned down

the opportunity to be a henchman because I didn't want to deal with the whole death and

dismemberment part."

Julio smirked, "Should have gone wit' it."

"Tell me about it. At least they get a dental plan."

Becky Sue paused before she opened the door. The same guy was sitting there, or more

accurately sleeping there. The pointed felt horns on his helmet drooped from the morning

rain and he draped himself with his now dingy cape to fend off the cold winter air. He'd

been there every day for nearly two weeks now and was a kindly enough cowboy. Always

giving a nice smile and a wave, not like the other bums on the road. She slid her hand into

her pocket and pulled out a bill, carefully tucking it into the bum's pocket.

Just because a cowboy's too proud t'ask for help ain't no reason not t' offer some anyway.

She reached the top of the stairs just in time to be nearly flattened by the burst of sound

emanating from the Audiotron 3000.

Chris was pounding on the panel with one of the instruction binders trying desperately to

shut off the contraption. Becky Sue covered both ears as well as she could and made a dash

toward the device before the windows gave out. She moved a slider down several inches

and the screaming car deals offered by Smilin' Jack no longer menaced the suburbs more

than normal.

The two stood trying to clear the ringing in their ears before realizing that the steady

thumping vibrations were coming from below them.

"Sorry Annie!" Becky Sue yelled at the floor.

Chris continued to mutter curses, occasionally spiked by slapping the binder at the huge


"Other than sterilizing the pigeons, y'all mind telling me what the heck you were doin'?"

Becky Sue griped.


Chris slid one of the volume controls up a notch. The speakers steadily droned "Message

Box Full. Message Box Full" with a thick Japanese accent, accompanied by a pleasant

jingly techno beat. The end result was beyond annoying and Becky Sue grimaced properly.

"It was doing that for five hours before I figured out what control was the volume for it."

Chris grumbled.

"Well, look, it's durn simple. All y'all have to do is press this here button, select option 9

from the menu, turn this dail over t'here, enter Alt-Ctrl-X-5, slide this to position four, Just

like is says here, then select Tools, System, Disks, Mailboxes, Reports, Mailboxes,

Personal, go to the Preferences tab, select English, click on Ok twice and hit this little Dog

picture to play. Crimany any dad-burned idiot could'a figured that one out."

Chris' jaw hung open as a synthesized female voice stated "Playing-a Message-su" and the

collected news reports began to play back. Becky Sue plopped onto the futon and began

flipping through a magazine.

About the only buttons that Chris did know how to use were the ones for rewind, forward,

pause and resume. As the messages played out, there was a slow trend taking shape.

Reports went from talking about usual topics, then talking about the drop in crime rate.

Chris smiled as those played out.

When the reports started talking about the hospitals filling up with "victims of blind

vigilante justice", Becky Sue started flipping the pages in a far more annoyed fashion.

Chris continued to smile however, folding his hands behind his head and leaning back as

the angry comments continued from the accused, the families and the commentators.

He stopped smiling when Becky Sue whacked the back of his head with her magazine.

"Dammit Chris!" She yelled without a hint of her normal Texas twang. "You're supposed to

be a good guy! That means stopping the crime and saving the day, not maiming every

jaywalker you come up against! Crepes on a Pony!" She dropped back down onto the sofa

and held on to her head. Her leg started bouncing.

"Wow", Chris said still in mild shock from the outburst. "You really did hang around JB

too long."

Becky Sue stared at Chris with a look of complete disbelief. The twang returned "You

really are dumber than a lifetime supply of horse apples, ain't you? Oh, Shut Up, JB! If he

couldn't figure out y'all were here when y'all had me futz the doo-dads, then 'e's got less

brains than an armadillo two weeks after the wagon-train went through!"

Chris' eyes went wide.

"Well, I see we don't need to buy any horse apples anytime soon." JB exerted.


"Look, I'm just doing my job.", Chris snapped back, "Would you rather I let the rapists,

murders and felons just wander around killing and destroying?"

"I'd much rather people didn't start using you to scare their kids into behaving. Being a good

guy means stopping the crime, but being in contr.." JB/Becky Sue stopped and looked

away. "Perfect, just perfect!" she snapped angrily, turned and sprinted down the stairs

toward the front door.

Chris sat down, suddenly realizing that his brother was alive, sort of. The announcer spoke

of the "Grayhound Menace that strikes without mercy". He thought about what he'd done,

and his shoulders slumped. He was about to turn it off when he heard the report and knew

why Becky Sue had run off.

He picked his hat up off the floor and jogged down the back stairs.

The back door swung open and Chris came face to face with a reoccurring nightmare.

"What do you think you are doing?" The heavy set woman from the Division of

Superheroes stood hands firmly on hips, still holding the clipboard and looking much like

she had over a year ago, her lilting Caribbean accent only driving the point of her

annoyance further into Chris' head. "I leave you alone for a year and you turn into Mister


"Oh, not you too." Chris moaned.

"Yes you had better believe me too!" The woman shouted, "and don't go rolling your eyes at

me mister. I know you've t'ink you've gone t'rou some bad times and need to take it out on

someone, but you better be prepared for t' consequences."

"Like the unrelenting guilt of putting felons out of commission?"

The woman shot Chris a withering stare. "Rogues fight according to t'eir own rules." She

poked a hard finger into Chris' chest. Even behind the armor, it hurt. "Don't say I didn't

warn you." She walked past Chris. He tried to turn to continue the conversation but the

armor hadn't reliquified yet. She must have hit harder than he thought. By the time the

though had crossed his mind he was able to turn and see he was alone in the alley once