Episode Four - Returning a Treasure
The radio blared into the tense silence. Alanna reacted with a start. What now? It was bad enough being cooped up in a car with Masked Wizard sulking without being micro managed over the mission’s every detail.
“Caped Blade to Lasered Lash.”
“Lasered Lash here. Go ahead, Commander.”
“Why is my panel showing you en route to Riverside?”
“All evidence suggests it’s the best place to find Mr. Manners, Commander.”
“And what about the trinket you’re supposed to be returning?”
Alanna leaned her head against the door window. Damn! She had let herself get so caught up with Masked Wizard she had completely forgotten about returning the earrings Caped Blade had accidentally taken from the crime scene.
“Sorry, Commander. We’re on our way,” said Alanna.
“You know it won’t be easy?”
“Yes, Commander. Lasered Lash out. “Dee, we have to get to MacRoodies Jewelry Store right away.”
“What for?” snapped Dee.
Alanna pulled the small earring box from her utility belt.
“To return these.”
“Oooh. Let me see.”
Not wanting to go through another round of sniping, Alanna complied. She held the box so Dee could easily see the jewelry and drive at the same time.
“Wow! Where’d those come from”
“Mr. Manners gave them to Caped Blade.”
“Wish someone would give me a pair like that.”
“Don’t worry. You’ll be getting these.”
Dee’s eyes went wide. “Really?”
“But not to keep. You’re the only one who can get them back to the store without problems with the police.”
When they neared the crime scene Alanna activated the car’s invisibility mode. They parked three blocks away in a little used alley and set standard security measures. Hopefully nobody would walk into it while they were away.
Alanna removed her whip from her belt. She pressed a button on the handle, releasing the lockout. Then she turned one of the rings which looped the handle. Immediately the whip portion went stiff, like a sword. Concentrating, Alanna held it over her head, pointing it at the clouds.
A cold wind began to blow, and with it came fog. Thick, dense fog. It fell heavily from the sky and wrapped itself around buildings, vehicles, and people. Alanna turned to Masked Wizard.
“Okay, Dee. You’ve got about ten minutes before this blows through. Get this back to the crime scene and leave it where the police can find it. They should accept that Mr. Manners dropped it during his getaway. And even if he learns of it, since it’s going to be found at the crime scene he should think the woman he gave it to just left it. No link back to us. Do you know what you’re going to do?”
Dee smiled mischievously. “Meow.” Then she took the earring case and put it in her mouth.
Alanna stood and watched as the 5’4”, black-haired, South African shrank within her suit until she couldn’t be seen. Her clothes lay on the sidewalk, moving about like something had crawled inside and was now trying to get out. Soon, a black furry head popped out. It was a cat, and it was carrying the earring case in its mouth.
Alanna picked up the now empty suit.
“I’ll monitor from above.”
She opened her wings and flapped into the fog. The heavier air gave her lift, and she was able to control the wind currents with her whip. Soon she was soaring about sixty feet above the ground. Drawing on her keen senses she was able to penetrate the fog with both sight and hearing. She followed Masked Wizard, now a shiny black cat, as she made her way to the crime scene. When they got close one of the officers saw the cat and called out to her comrades.
“What is it?” they asked.
“It’s a cat. And I think it’s got some evidence in it’s mouth.”
“Get it, someone!”
Alanna shook her head as she watched Masked Wizard lead the officers on a merry chase. Why couldn’t she just drop the damned thing and be done with it? Finally, she seemed to weary of her game and let the officers have the ring case. Then she headed back to the car. Alanna flew ahead and was waiting.
She lay Masked Wizard’s costume on the sidewalk and the cat crawled inside. Steadily, the lump inside grew and became a humanoid person again. But she lay gasping for breath.
Alanna was prepared. She knew changing shape exhausted Masked Wizard, but the Staff of Renewal helped her recover her strength. Alanna handed her the staff and immediately saw strength return to her partner.
Dee looked up and smiled.
“That was fun.”
“You had to take your time, didn’t you?”
“Oh, don’t be so sour. They enjoyed it. Now we can go.”
“No, not really.”
“Your suit is on backwards.”
Dee looked at herself. “Oh, damn! Not again.”