Chapter 18

Tiffany sobbed to her sister, "I was just down there minding my own business, two o'clock."

Sandra turned and unleashed a blast of grit toward the Grayhound as he tried to sneak up.

"Tiffany, are you sure that you didn't do anything?" Sandra said a bit suspiciously as Alexis released a torrent of water knocking Puppyboy off of an overhead fire escape.

"Yeah." Tiffany said without a tremendous amount of enthusiasm. She always felt bad about lying to Sandra, and could never bring herself to be very good at it. She hid her worried look behind a blinding flash of light that stunned the Grayhound as he hid behind a dumpster. A blast of sand ricocheting off a wall sent him back down the alleyway.

Sandra didn't have to see her sister to know she was lying. "Tiffany, I'm not a dope you know. What did you and Alexis do?" Sandra said in her grown up voice. "Oh, and get that will you?" she added casually.

Tiffany spotted Alexis being tied up by a lariat and focused a beam of light on a length of the rope. It burst into flames and Alexis quickly freed herself and blasted Puppyboy with a jet of water.

"Well, the last time we came up here we, duck." Tiffany and Sandra both ducked a low flying bolo snare that Sandra swore had a fur lining. Tiffany continued without a second's hesitation "we maybe did a bit of freelance work."

"Tell me that means you did a layout for some magazine."

"Uhm, no, not really." Tiffany replied meekly.

"Alexis! Get over here." Sandra called out to the third sister.

"Is this a good time?" Sandra replied as she sent a filled dumpster rolling after a Gray figure who was fully aware of which Newtonian laws were being applied at that moment.

"I said get over here!" Sandra demanded. Alexis complied, knowing full well she was in trouble.

"Where are the jewels?" Sandra said, barely keeping control of the anger she felt.

"Uhm, well, you see." Alexis stuttered.

Sandra put her hand up to her head. "You didn't sell them already did you?"

"Well, sort of." Tiffany replied.

"Well that's just perfect!" Sandra turned around and grabbed the Grayhound out of the shadow he was hiding behind. "Do you mind?" She spat, "I'm trying to work out something here." She cold cocked Chris, and his world lit up in stars and blurs of color. He fell backwards onto a flowing river of sand that sped him back down the alley.

"You two couldn't wait two months could you? You're parole was almost up, and you know it! Dammit, I trusted you two to behave and look what you do?" Sandra was irate.

"I'm sorry, Sandra." Tiffany whimpered.

"Sorry? SORRY!?" Sandra exploded. A multicolored flash raced toward the group carrying a gray figure holding a net of some sort. In a blink of an eye Alexis and Tiffany were loosely entangled in the unbreakable netting.

Sandra reacted faster, "I" she swung a heavy fist that sprayed bits of concrete as it impacted against JB's diaphragm stopping him dead in his tracks, "SAID" her elbow raced up and connected with Chris' groin, "BACK" she jammed her free hand against JB's back and blasted both of the heroes with as course a grit as she could summon "OFF!" The alley echoed with a combination of her yell and the crackling grit rebounding off of the walls. After the dust settled a bit, all that was seen of the Boise's Heroes were various limbs protruded from the pile of schist.

"That's It!" Sandra yelled. "I'm tired of being your Nanny! You two want to go to jail so damn bad, who am I to stop you."

Alexis and Tiffany's faces filled with horror! "Sandra, no! You wouldn't!"

"Oh yes I would! One day maybe you'll even thank me." She stormed over to the still settling pile of stones. She thrust her hand into it and pulled Chris out.

"Can't I sleep just a few more minutes, Mommy?" Chris said in a half daze.

"Snap outta it." Sandra commanded as Chris' head instantly cleared. "Let me guess. You're the local tight right?"

"Err, yeah, I am?" Chris responded more than a bit confused by the two, no wait, one woman who was yelling at him.

"Well, dig yer buddy out and take 'em in. They're all yours." She dropped Chris back onto the pile. She turned to look at her whimpering sisters, "And they're not going to give you any problems"

Chris looked at her suspiciously as he pulled JB free of the pile and checked to see that he was still breathing. Still, he placed a call on his cell phone, and within seconds the alley was filled with flashing lights and sirens.

The universe, we are told, is not an orderly place. The formation of galaxies, the placement of stars, even the very elements that formed life are governed by chance and entropy possibly guided by an unseen hand, but ruled by forces that strive to break down even the smallest of bonds.

In this turmoil of chaos, order and synchronicity are rare events that should be celebrated. Unfortunately these rare moments of victory in the endless battle are often lost to the noise of life and existence.

"So would someone please explain to me exactly why the heck I am I being arrested?"

Of course sometimes, forgetting about the damn thing is exactly what you want to do.

Detective Wallace was one of the sole witnesses of such a miraculous event of synchronicity. Sadly, he had more intent on ensuring that the cream and sugar were properly stirred into his coffee then remarking on the wonder of the moment.

The dual reflective mirrors showed the originators of the previous comment, one was a woman named Sandra McCovey, freelance photographer and sister to two women who had confessed to robbing the Ruby Exchange the week before. The other was Boise's own "superhero" the Grayhound.

Wallace turned to the recording sergeant, "Well, might as well get the easy one done first."

He grabbed a manila folder and walked into one of the rooms. "Do you have any idea what all that dust is going to do to Sgt. Marshall's sinuses?"

"Do you have any idea what it feels like to be in a litter box?" the Grayhound responded, significantly more gray than normal.

"Fortunately, no, and I have little interest in doing so. Out of curiosity, what part of 'Don't do anything stupid' didn't you understand?" Detective Wallace asked.

Chris sighed heavily. "Look, I had no idea. I just saw this model standing around and figured she might know something about the women that robbed the jewelry store. I ask JB and he agreed that it might be a good idea. I go after her to ask her a few questions and next thing I know I'm getting a face full of double A grade grit."

"That's your story."

"Of course that's my story. It's what happened!" Chris said back annoyed.

"I believe you."

"So why am I being held?"

"I'll let you figure that one out. Guess who owned the glass shop you and your partner got blasted through the front window of?"

Chris winced, "Thorton Hammermill?" The man who had made it his mission to rid Boise of the Superhero menace.

"It was impressive. He managed to file the grievance before the alarm company notified us there was a problem. I'm pretty sure he had a bunch of these prefilled." He held up the carefully preprinted grievance form with a small portion of it quickly written out. "It clearly states you, but not your partner. Fortunately, well, for you at least, I knew I needed to contact USHA."


"Don't thank me yet, they haven't responded yet. Which means you get to spend some time downstairs. Sorry, but until there's a judgment, that's the rule. I'll try to put in a good word with Sweetie, although, I'd recommend keeping a tight grip on the soap."


Wallace laughed as he opened the door, "God, you're just too easy.."

"Oh, one last thing?"


"Do you want to press charges?"

Chris looked at Detective Wallace in total confusion, "Against who?"

Chris sat somewhat uncomfortably in his cell. Fortunately, it must have been a slow night since he had the place to himself. The longest part of the ordeal was checking in his possessions and doing his best to explain what they were in a calm voice. Still, he had to admire the clerk as he accepted the items for storage, he really didn't loose it until Chris tried to explain that the item in question really was a two stroke, two hundred horsepower, diamond tipped, handheld oscillating saw, and not the flesh tone, S&M vibrator it quite obviously looked like.

In some respects Chris was a bit glad about that because he no longer had to try and explain any other item. He had absolutely no idea how he would justify the Kryptonite core ball gag he used as a throwing weight or the deluxe pack of super stretch condoms.

He sat in the cell, coat, belt and shoelace-less. Out of general respect they let him keep his mask, not that it could do anything. Chris simply assumed that it was another USHA bylaw they managed to get in.

The cell door next door opened, Chris looked up not quite sure what to expect, and certainly assured that this was not the way to garner a winning reputation against Boise's burgeoning criminal element.

He heard a woman stomp in with an air about as miserable as he felt. She dropped herself heavily onto the cot, which creaked in a thoroughly annoyed manner. The cell door clanged shut, leaving the two separated by a concrete wall.

And one's ignorance of a quieter other.

"Could this day go absolutely any worse?" The familiar woman's voice said to the empty cell she sat in.

"Don't say that, it tempts fate." Chris said mostly to himself.

"Buddy," the woman said realizing she was not alone, "you have no idea what I went through today."

"Try me."

"You expect me to spill my guts to some random stranger in a jail cell?"

"Well, it's either listen to each other or listen to the rats chew through the cement. Frankly, I find you much more appealing to listen to. Besides, my day has been pretty rough as well. If nothing else, we can swap notes about it. Besides, it's cheaper than therapy. No names, no addresses, nothing that will lead to finding each other lurking in the bushes, ok?"

The woman laughed a bit at the last one. "Ok, I guess. Geez, I feel like I'm at confession."

"With the difference being you won't have Sister Margaret staring you down when you leave."

"I guess you're right. I just need to talk to someone and see if I'm making a mistake."

Chris said nothing, he just listened.

The woman sighed heavily, then carefully chose her words, "I run a small photography business, strictly legit, mind you, and we were up here shooting pictures for a calendar. One for the local fuzz, if you can believe it. They were going to sell it as part of a charity thing to raise money for the Red Cross. I think it was for the recovery efforts in Melbourne or something. Anyway, we're late getting to the airport the lines at the ticket desk and the gate were horrendous."

The woman began relating the events of the day, Chris occasionally mumbled words to let her know that he was listening. She told him about a lot of things, more than she probably should have, but she felt like she desperately needed to talk, even if it was to some stranger in a basement jail. After a bit, things settled down to Boise.

"So when my sister came running down the alleyway chased by this weirdo, I naturally figured he was after her. I did what I could to stop him, we're not really defenseless and it was just kind of a natural reaction, well anyway my sister tells me that she's been up to yet another one of her little shopping sprees, and I kinda lost it. I mean I know that he was just doing his job and we were kind of in automatic mode and all, but still I had to turn my sisters in right?"

"Right" she repeated.

"Huh? Oh, yeah, go on." Chris said as he snapped awake.

"You JERK!" the woman yelled, suddenly Chris found her voice to be extremely familiar. "You lousy no-good bastard, you fell asleep didn't you."

"Hey, give me a break." Chris snapped back, "I've had a really long day too you know."

"Here I was thinking that you were actually interested in listening to me and you fall asleep! Dammit! You're no better than the miserable tight that got me thrown into the slammer."

"Ms. McCovey?" The guard asked.

"What?" she spat back angrily.

"You're free to go. Charges have been dropped against you."

"What!? By who?"

"Me", Chris said angrily. "The duly deputized and utterly miserable 'tight', who frankly would be less miserable if I could get the sand and broken glass out of the aforementioned item."

Sandra went from being angry to violently confused she stood dazed and embarrassed.

Chris continued, "Wallace told me some of the details, I put the rest together. You weren't part of the jewel heist and turning in your sisters was something that had to be done, but I don't think I'd have the guts to do what you did. The attacks on me were a misunderstanding that I was willing to overlook because you were only trying to protect your sister. So I dropped charges because I figured the last thing I needed to do was have you go through any more grief."

"Then… then why did I have to sit down here…", Sandra asked.

"Because we had to wait for a judge to review the case and decide if there were any additional counts that you might be held on. I pushed hard to ensure that there weren't."

Sandra felt like she was three inches tall, the shock kinda settling in. She took a few steps out into the hallway and peeked into the cell where Chris sat against the wall. He was still dusty and gritty from her handy work and looked like he had spent the afternoon in a cement truck

He turned his head slightly to look at her from the dark corner of the cell. "Go home, Ms. McCovey. Go home and get some sleep and then find a good lawyer for your sisters."

"Thank.. thank you." Sandra said meekly.

Chris waved weakly in acceptance then closed his eyes and leaned his head back against the wall.

Sandra decided not to say anything more, mostly because she hated the taste of more shoe leather. She simply walked out of the cell area and toward the main desk.

Ten minutes later the guard reappeared. "Grayhound?"

"Yep" Chris answered, still deeply depressed.

"USHA called, you're free to go."

Chris sat up, collected himself and walked wordlessly past the guard. He collected up his equipment from the still snickering clerk, and looked forward to a nice long shower.

"Honey, when are you coming to bed?"

"In a few more minutes dear" Bob replied, "I just need to finish off a few more little things."

Bob sat back in his chair and studied the device. It had taken him weeks to build it, but there it was. He checked the running diagnostics and they were all firmly in the positive. Now all he'd have to do is test it.

But where?

He wasn't fool enough to want to test it himself. And it would be a shame to lose Tony and Lenny, so they were out. He also needed to keep it quiet until he could sell it off.

It would make him an instant billionaire, heck why settle for small potatoes, he'd be able to get Bill Gates as his sauna boy.

But he still needed to test it somehow.

That's when the idea hit him. A slow evil grin spread over Bob's face. There was much deviltry to do, but first he'd need a good distraction. The more sinister wheels of Bob's mind spun as he dialed the phone.

"Hello Lenny? How are you and Tony this fine evening? Good, good to hear. All is well I trust? Oh, sorry to hear that, I hope he feels better? Well, then, he certainly couldn't get much worse, could he? Fine, fine. Out of curiosity are you two otherwise unengaged at the moment? Excellent. No, nothing that needs immediate attention, I merely need you two to do me a favor and spread a bit of news around…"

The patrol car skidded to a stop outside of City Hall. Two officers emerged and quickly opened the rear doors. Chris and JB got out of the back and started jogging up the stairs.

"I still think they could have waited." Chris mumbled.

"Oh would you forget about the leftover Chicken Gao Pang?" JB said as he held open the door.

"There was still some left, and I paid for it."

"You mean to tell me you'd sacrifice the well being of Boise for three scoops of deep fried chicken and some stale rice?"

"No of course not."

"I should hope not."

"But since there was also Won-Ton Soup involved…"


"Joke, JB, joke."

"Ah, good of you two to join us." Detective Wallace said as the Canine Crusaders entered his office. Several other officers and Detectives were also in attendance. "Now if we might finally begin. This afternoon several of our best informants got word to us what our good friend Bob has up his sleeve. Apparently continuing his wildlife themes, this time he plans on going after these."

Wallace held up a picture of a large Canadian goose. "It's autumn which means that thousands of these will be passing through Boise en route to their happy winter holiday. Bob is apparently planning on diverting hundreds of these to infest Boise. We're not exactly sure what the final motive is, but we believe that he plans on employing a robotic goose to control the flock. Our informants state that this robotic goose has already been unleashed."

"He's planning on doing what?" JB whispered.

"Goosing Boise, I can only guess." Chris whispered in reply.

"So that what? People's shoes get ruined?"

"Beats me. Maybe he's planning on creating an army of evil shoe shine boys or something."

"If I might continue? I've asked you all here for one reason." Wallace continued. "I want you to provide whatever advice you can to our esteemed superheroes so that they can go and disable the robotic goose."

"What!?" Chris and JB said in perfect unison.

Chris continued the thought. "We're supposed to find a robotic goose somewhere in a flock of thousands? How do we know that this is legit and not some cockamamie story?"

"Well, we have this video." Wallace said as he hit a button on a remote. The TV flickered to life and displayed several geese loitering by a pond. Suddenly one goose stopped, looked around suspiciously, leaned toward a neighboring goose and said quite clearly, "We're staying in Boise, pass it on."

The second goose looked at the first, blinked twice and then waddled over to another goose and apparently whispered something to it. The third goose did the same.

Wallace stopped the tape.

"You can't tell me that was for real." Chris said.

"C'mon, geese don't talk" JB refuted.

"It's obviously a fake" said the goose standing next to them.

Chris and JB slowly turned to look at the goose, which waved back and then tore out of the room before launching itself out an open window.

What fowl plan does Bob have in mind?

Will Chris and JB succeed or quack up trying?

And will Chris ever loose that rash from
having sand in his shorts for eight hours?

ooh, bit too much information on that last one.

Tune in next time for

Steamed Cabbage
Meet your Vegetables

Wait a minute! What the heck do those titles have to do with anything that's happened?

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