Episode Five - Batted Down
The Tesla Roadster turned off the main road and down toward the warehouse district. The engine purred like a contented kitten when Dee down-shifted to second.
“Stealth mode,” said Alanna.
Immediately the car went silent. There was a feeling of lift as the propulsion shifted from combustion engine to magnetic air, leaving a slight gap between the tires and the roadbed. Colors faded as the vehicle – and its occupants – went invisible.
“Never driven in stealth mode before?” asked Alanna.
“No,” said Dee. She looked to her right. “I can barely see you.”
“That’s because we’re invisible, too. At least to anyone outside the car. Inside the car we get faint images. It take a little to get used to. Keep your speed slow. The directional finder is difficult to read in stealth mode, and if we pick anything up it might take me a second or two to figure out where it’s coming from.”
It didn’t take long. After just a half dozen blocks the directional finder began flashing with a soft beep.
Alanna leaned forward to view the city map which was displayed over the flashing light. “He’s ahead and to the right.”
“You mean his car is.”
“If his car is there, I’m betting he is there. We’ll know for certain once we park this thing and get out.”
“I thought you had super hearing and stuff?”
“It doesn’t work so well under invisibility. Stop the car.” Alanna looked down the alley to the right and back to the display. “He’s in that building down closest to the river. Park over there. Keep it off the road. We don’t want some chance passerby to crash into it.”
Dee parked the car and the two women got out. Alanna stood and listened intently, focusing her concentration toward the warehouse in question. She was certain she could hear voices.
“He isn’t alone,” she said.
“Probably has a fence or two with him,” said Dee. “Knowing Mr. Manners they were already here waiting for him. What are they talking about?”
“I think they’re having a disagreement.”
“Haggling about price,” said Dee. “We need to get closer.”
“Okay. But we need to be careful.”
“You need to be careful. I just need to change shape.”
But it was too late. Before Alanna’s eyes Dee shrank within her suit and emerged a tiny bat. She flew off, ignoring Alanna’s whispered cries to stop.
Alanna watched hopelessly as the bat flew toward the warehouse. The building was apparently abandoned, for many of its windows were broken. That was how Masked Wizard entered. She flew through an open window.
Alanna reached down to her utility belt and retrieved a communication badge.
“Lasered Lash to Command Post. Come in, Please.”
“This is Command Post,” came the buzzed reply. “Go ahead Lasered Lash.”
“We have found what we’re looking for. Masked Wizard has gone ahead alone.”
“I don’t mean to question you, Lasered Lash, but are you sure that was wise?”
“No. I’m certain it wasn’t, but I wasn’t given any say in it.”
At that moment Alanna’s sensitive eyes picked up a flash from inside the building. Her ears heard Masked Wizard’s cry of pain and the laughter and shouts of jubilation from the men around her.
“Oh, my God!”
“What is it, Lasered Lash? What is happening?”
“I think Mr. Manners just blasted Masked Wizard with his light.”
“Get her out of there!”
“I’ll do what I can. Lasered Lash out.”