The Spider’s limo pulled over to the side of the road, and after it stopped a man in a black suit stepped out. He scrunched his nose up at the smell that seemed to linger in this part of the city. If the Spider hadn’t ordered him to come here and deliver his message for him, he would have avoided this part of town all together. He walked toward an opening that had been cut into the side of a chain link fence that surrounded a cracked and faded basketball court. Four young men took turns trying to get a basketball through a hoop that was hanging half broken from its backboard.
The man in the suit frowned and started to make his way to a man sitting under the other hoop with a green bandana tied around his head. He was focused on cleaning a pistol and never looked up at the man in the suit’s approach. He didn’t make it too far before two other young men had made their way to the man in the suit’s side, and he felt the barrels of pistols press against his ribs. One of them smiled and said, “I think you’re lost, mister. I suggest you turn around before something unfortunate happens.”
The man in the suit grimaced in disgust and said arrogantly, “I only wish I was lost, punk. I’ve been sent here with orders for your boss.”
The youth’s smile turned to a grimace and pulled the hammer back on his pistol. “No one gives us orders, especially not Mandzel.”
The man wearing the green bandana looked up from cleaning his gun. “Put up your guns, boys. He’s just a messenger, and I have a few choice words for the one that sent him.” The youths looked at the man in the suit questioningly, but backed away from him. They didn’t put their guns away however. Mandzel stood up and walked over to the man in the suit. “Your boss has some nerve sending you down here after last night, Mekenzie. Half of my boys are in prison because of his plans.”
Mekenzie, the man in the suit, shrugged. “You were given orders to pass on to your followers, Mandzel. They weren’t supposed to do any looting until after they were finished with their job. If they had been able to follow orders and focus on the task they were assigned, things would have turned out differently.”
Mandzel frowned and shook his head. “That’s not the reason that the plan failed, and your boss knows it. The police were ready for us, someone must have tipped them off. If it wasn’t for that and the Super Morpher’s involvement, it wouldn’t have mattered if some of them did a little looting.”
Mekenzie’s face turned stern. “I wasn’t sent here to talk to you about your past failures. Our boss is moving on to a different plan for dealing with the Super Morpher, and he’s requested that each gang provide a volunteer for some experiments.”
Mandzel snorted. “First he sends my boys out in a fight they couldn’t win, and now he want’s to experiment on us? Let him pull some random fool off of the street for him to run his tests on.”
Mekenzie frowned. “I think that we both know that when the boss ‘requests’ something, that it’s really an order. Besides, the experiments that he has in mind will empower the test subjects, and that’s not the type of thing he would want to do to strangers; he wants someone that he can trust.”
Mandzel looked at Mekenzie consideringly. “How much will the subjects of these tests be empowered? What kind of powers?”
Mekenzie shrugged. “I don’t know the specifics, but I know that these tests are meant to create people that will be able to fight against the Super Morpher as equals.”
Mandzel looked at the remnants of his gang, which had gathered around him. “If anyone in my gang is going to receive that kind of power, it’s going to be me. Tony, look after things while I’m gone.”
Lieutenant Jacob trudged into the lobby of the Zimmdaran Accounting Experts building with twelve police officers following behind him. The receptionist looked up from her computer and her smile quickly turned into a frown. “Is there anything I can do for you, officer?”
The lieutenant looked at her resolutely. ‘Yes, we’d like to speak with Daryll Hehir. Is he in the office today?”
The receptionist nodded her hair. “He is, in fact I believe he’s in his office right now. Should I see if he has time to meet with you right now Mr. …?”
“Jacob, Lieutenant Jacob. If you could inform him that I’ll be up to his office shortly, I would appreciate it. Now, how do I get to his office?”
The receptionist pointed at a set of elevators. “The eightieth floor is his office, just take the elevator up to it.”
Lieutenant Jacob smiled at the receptionist. “Thank you for your assistance.” He turned and trudged over to the elevators and hit the arrow to go up. He turned and looked at the officers gathered behind him. He pointed at a group of them and said, “You six take that elevator up and stop at the seventy-fifth, seventy-seventh, and seventy-ninth floors. Two of you get out at each floor and look around for any evidence that would support Mr. Godard’s story. Broken windows, armed men, police style interview rooms, anything that would seem out of the ordinary.” He turned to face the remaining police officers. “You six will do the same on the seventy-fourth, seventy-sixth, and seventy-eighth floors from my elevator. If my hunch is right, this man is behind the attacks from last night, so stay sharp. We want to take this guy down before he can hurt anyone else.”
The doors of the elevator opened up and a resolute group of police officers filed into the elevator, and hit the buttons for their various floors.
The light above the doors of the elevator lit up a circle with the number eighty on it, and the doors slid open and revealed the eightieth floor. Lieutenant Jacob looked around in amazement and had a difficult time believing it was an office he was looking at. The elevator opened out into a waiting room with fluffy white couches, a mini bar, and a waterfall that cascaded down one wall.
Lieutenant Jacob made his way through the waiting room toward a man in a black suit waiting next to a door. The man bowed his head to Lieutenant Jacob and opened the door. “Good day, officer. Mr. Hehir is expecting you. Right this way, please.”
Lieutenant Jacob walked through the door and the man followed him. Daryll Hehir, the man seated behind the desk wearing a white suit stood up with a jovial smile on his face. “Ah, you must be Lieutenant Jacob. I was told that you had more officers with you. Did you leave them all in the elevator?”
Lieutenant Jacob shook his head. “No, we’ve received reports that a young man named Jordan Godard had been held hostage here recently, and we’re here to investigate those claims.” He pulled a folded piece of paper out of his pocket. “This warrant gives us the authority to search this building for evidence, and my men are doing just that.”
Shock filled Daryll’s face. “Mr. Godard says that he was held here? That is quite impossible, I know about everything that goes on in this building and I can assure you that you won’t find anything that suggests otherwise.”
“If you have nothing to hide, then our search shouldn’t be a problem, correct?”
Daryll shook his head. “Of course not. Will you be joining your men in their investigation, or could Saul interest you in something to drink? A soda perhaps, since you are on duty.”
Lieutenant Jacob studied Daryll’s face and frowned. “I think that I’ll pass for now. There is a lot of building to cover, and my men are going to need as much help going over it as they can get. I justed wanted to stop in and let you know what we were here for.” Lieutenant Jacob walked out of the office.
Lieutenant Jacob crossed the waiting area and called for the elevator. Daryll Hehir took all of that far too calmly. He definitely had something to hide, but the question was would he be able to find it? The doors to the elevator slid open and Lieutenant Jacob stepped in. This was going to be a very long search.
Daryll stood in the lobby of the Zimmdaran Accounting Offices watching a group of tired and sore looking police officers walk past. Lieutenant Jacob approached Daryll. Daryll looked anxiously at Lieutenant Jacob and said, “Well, did you find anything?”
Lieutenant Jacob shook his head. “No, we didn’t find anything out of the ordinary. It would appear that we may have been given some bad information.”
Daryll wiped his brow in relief. “I’m glad to hear that. I’ll keep my eyes and ears open for anything that might suggest that someone in my organization is responsible for Mr. Godard’s kidnapping, and promise to alert you if I find anything.”
Lieutenant Jacob nodded his head weakly. “I’d appreciate it. Sorry for disrupting your office, Mr. Hehir.” Lieutenant Jacob turned and walked out the doors to join his officers on the sidewalk outside of the building.
Daryll watched the police through the windows until the last one climbed into his squad car and drove away. He smiled and walked back into the elevator. Once the doors closed, Daryll pushed a red button on the elevator and said, “The seventy-nine and a half floor please, Janice.”
A feminine voice responded over the intercom, “Of course, Mr. Hehir.” The elevator started to rise. It would seem that his precautions of having his crews work through the night to repair the windows of the building hadn’t been wasted. He knew that the police would come here after him, but he hadn’t expected them to arrive so soon!
The elevator stopped and the doors slid open, and Daryll stepped out and made his way to the interrogation room that he had held Jordan just the day before. He frowned at the group of armed men laughing and drinking around the room. “I asked you to lay low and you had to throw a party? If it wasn’t for the waterfall in my waiting room, the police would have been sure to have heard you.”
One of the men shrugged and said, “Relax, Mr. Spider. We finished replacing the last of the windows a little early, so we decided to enjoy ourselves until we got the okay to come out.”
The Spider stared at the man until he swallowed and flinched. “Relax? The Super Morpher knows what building we work out of, and the police were crawling around looking for a way to throw us all in prison. You want me to relax? Then stop doing things that puts my empire in danger! Out, all of you! I have a lot of planning to do to figure out how to proceed with the next phase of my plan.”
The armed men quickly moved toward the door and were careful not to look the Spider in the eye as they walked past him. Saul walked into the room once the last of the men had walked out and he looked at the Spider inquisitively. “That went well. I don’t think they suspect anything.”
The Spider shook his head. “No, they suspect more than enough, they just don’t have the evidence to prove it yet. We need to keep it that way for as long as possible, and have a plan for what to do once they do find some.”
Saul looked appraisingly at the Spider. “Did you have something in mind, sir?”
The Spider sighed. “We’re going to have to plant some false evidence to make someone appear to be me. If the police come snooping around again we’ll hand him and the evidence over and hope that it satisfies them.”
Saul nodded his head. “I’ll begin working on a list of possible candidates for you, sir.”
Saul turned and started to walk out of the room, but stopped when the Spider said, “Wait. Get me one of those drinks the men left behind. Lord knows I need something to calm my nerves after that.”