Naninami, Lizbet and Taimi have finally left Gord’s hideout for the rest of the day. He goes into his lab to find Kirsten hidden in the refrigerator.
She peeks out from the fridge, sees Grem, and ducks back down.
Gord mutters: It’s always kids. Lousy kids…. sigh
Gord: Come on out, Kirsten. No one’s mad at you.
Gord: I’m sure. Are you still hungry after everything you ate?
Kirsten: No hungry.
Kirsten pokes her head out.
Gord: There you go. Now come on the rest of the way out.
Kirsten pulls herself out and walks out, wobbles a bit, but steadies.
Kirsten: Gord… Where am I?
Gord: You’re in my lair under Borderline City. This is my workshop.
Kirsten: Who am I?
Gord: You’re Kirsten. We’ll have to work to figure out any more than that.
Kirsten: Kirsten… You… Gord… Taimi… Na…mi…Lizbet… Bad men…Nega…eats every…thing…
Gord: Don’t worry, we took you away from the bad men. We’ll keep you safe from them.
Gord: The collar we gave you should keep it at bay as long as you always wear it.
Kirsten shrinks down to cat size and looks up and Gord with big gooey eyes.
Gord sits in the nearest chair and holds out his arms: Do you still dissolve everything when you’re in control like this?
Gord: Well, let’s see.
Gord leans down and carefully tries petting Kirsten. Her gelatin body is flimsy, but somewhat solid if he touches her gently. His skin tingles slightly, but it doesn’t hurt. Gord gently attempts to pick her up. His hands tingle as he lifts her up. She holds firm, like picking up a water balloon. She’s fairly light in this form, as if the extra weight is not there at all.
Gord sits down with Kirsten in his lap: So, you don’t automatically eat everything you contact when you’re like this. That will make it even easier to get along with you.Kirsten: Nega eats. I’m…good.
Gord scratches her behind the ears like she was a real cat
Gord: So… anything you want to do?
Kirsten: Dunno… Is there…more rooms?
Kirsten seems unfamiliar with the concept. She might not have seen much other than the fridge and Gord’s couple sewer rooms.
Gord shows her around the house, both upstairs and down.
Kirsten holds Gord’s arm as he shows her around, oo’ing and ah’ing with every new room she visits. Goblins flee when seeing her.
Gord: How do you like my home, Kirsten?
She looks inquisitive, slushing around the place, peering in things, pushing buttons on a keyboard, opening the other fridge to find food in it, cupboards with cans and and sauces.
Kirsten: Is there…more?
Gord: We can look in the sewers some. After the sun goes down we can go look around outside.
Gord: We can’t go outside just yet, Kirsten. People would see you and might want to take you away.
Kirsten: No… go… I… show… you…
She suddenly starts gaining mass rapidly, and becomes quite large, filling half the room.
Kirsten: They…not…make me…
Gord: Whoa, calm down. No one’s trying to take you away right now, but it’s better not to tempt fate, ok?
Kirsten shrinks down to normal size.
Kirsten: See? I…won’t…let them.
Gord: I know. But it’s better to avoid fights when you can even if you know you can win. Got that?
Kirsten: ’Kay. Bad..man…says…eat them…Nega hungry, always wants more.
Gord: You can’t eat everyone, or else you start eating people you shouldn’t. The bad man wouldn’t have cared about that, and Nega wouldn’t, but we’re better than that.Kirsten nods.
Gord flips through a news database, filtering through articles and pictures, when he begins to notice something odd in each photograph. There’s a bit of a shine, like a reflection of a flash in a mirror in at least three-fourths of them, as if someone had held a little pocket mirror in that spot, but nothing is nearby.
There isn’t anything in any of the photos, except the shine, almost like a visual effect or error in the photo.
Gord: Does this mean anything to you, Kirsten?
Gord: Me either.
Gord emails the pictures to Taimi and Lizbet, pointing out the flash and asking if they can make anything of it. “I found this same flash in most of the pictures from the recent villain riots. I can’t find anything that could be making or reflecting it in the pictures themselves, but maybe you tech girls can spot something.”
Gord sends the pictures: Now, if only we had a magician on the team….
Taimi texts: I’m at work. Can’t really take a look at it until I get off and back to the lab.
Gord suddenly feels a bit of a shake and hears a loud thud shake his sewer base, like an earthquake but more centralized up above.
Unless it was big enough to think it was in his house, Gord just sighs and gets into costume
Gord: I guess we can go outside today, Kirsten.
Once he’s suited up, Gord says: Alright, let’s go see what the explosion was.
Kirsten shrinks to kitty form and rides on Gord’s shoulder.
Gord exits through the sewer. He ambles off in the direction of the cosplay café. He pops by the cafe and bumps into Taimi.
Gord: Well, well, well. Imagine bumping into you here.
Gremliminator, in full regalia climbs out of the sewer hole.Taimi: At the place I work? Taimi sees this in front of the Cosplay Cafe… Torturess is suddenly…there? Torturess: Hey, you got the marshmallow girl to not eat people.
Taimi notices the small gooey red cat on Grem’s shoulder.Taimi: Maybe we can chat, and I can ask about the gooey cat on your shoulder, after we find out what’s going on.
Taimi: Maybe we can chat, and I can ask about the gooey cat on your shoulder, after we find out what’s going on.
Gord: Eh, she’s just a cat.
He scratches Kirsten behind the ear.
Gord: Besides, does your master know you’re running around like that right now?
Kirsten: Momma Tee…
Torturess: Hey, she remembers the nickname I gave myself for her…
Gord chuckles: Good girl.
Taimi sighs, “We really should go find out what’s happening.”
Bilious volumes of smoke fill the air two blocks down the street.
Taimi heads there in her maid outfit, because it would take too long to change, followed by the others.
Gord: I can’t imagine what it’s going to do to my image to be seen investigating crimes with a maid.
Taimi whispers: I’m not even in costume right now, I’m just a humble citizen with medical skills going to see if anyone needs medical attention.
Gord: Exactly my point.
Torturess: Hey, can you keep this costume on for later? I might need some service.
Gord: People might think the Gremliminator is slumming it.
Taimi sighs, “It’s not my uniform, it’s the cafe’s.”
Torturess: Uh-huh, what about when you entertain private parties?
As the quartet nears the scene of the crime, they realize the news has made it into real life. A group of men dressed as girl scouts, and a group of thugs dressed as… well..thugs… are fighting in the streets. A fire has taken over a small unattached deli.
Gord goes to the deli to see if anyone’s in need of rescuing. He has to sneak through the rioting villains.
Taimi looks to see if there’s anyone not thug-like in need of immediate medical attention; though, it appears that most bystanders have fled the scene by now.
One of the girl scout gang member picks up a deli chair and throws it at a thug, who dodges, causing it to tumble near Taimi’s feet. Gord grabs it before it can hit her.
Gord keeps an eye for a flash like in the photos, and tells Kirsten to do the same
Gord notices a bit of shine in the reflection in a store window, aside from the flames. Gord goes to investigate! Along the way he tries to remember if he ever got the ponygirl’s phone number or anything. Getting closer to the window, he notices a small point of reflection near a power cable on the sidewalk, across the street from the riot.
Gord goes to investigate! while also calling Nani. It begins to ring.
A voice answers the phone: Heeeellllloooo Gord!
Gord hears in the background faintly, “Hi, Mr. Gord!”
Gord: Hey Nani. Don’t suppose you heard the big explosion or can see the smoke over near the cosplay cafe?
Lizbet: It’s Lizbet, Nani is busy driving right now! Oh hey, go through that newstand, it’ll make a shower of newspapers as we go down that staircase onto the main parkway!
Gord: Uh… sounds like you’re busy.
Lizbet: Yeaaaaa…uh.uh.uh.uh! Hahaha awesome!
Lizbet: Hey, so, what was that? Fire?
Gord: I, uh, I think we can handle it. Don’t kill anyone.
Lizbet: Okay, if you’re sure. Okay, go across that bridge and jump over the side, and we’ll be on the street that goes right to my building.
Lizbet: Bye Gord!
She hangs up.
Gord: I’m sure I’ll read about that in the papers soon enough.
Gord goes concentrates fully on finding the shiny
Taimi: I’m almost afraid to ask.
Taimi notices the reflection when Gord points it out.
They both turn to look where it’s coming from, but there’s nothing there.
Torturess: I dunno, shoot at it?
Kirsten: Boom, boom.
Gord: Shoot at what? It only seems to show up in glass.
Gord: …Anyone have a pair of glasses on them?
Taimi: Like the ones I’m wearing?
The fight seems to be breaking up as sirens begin to fill the air.
Gord: We probably shouldn’t stay here much longer. Can’t run into the cops.
Taimi: You still haven’t registered? I could have sworn I told you guys to do that…Torturess whistles. Kirsten mimics her. Gord: You were drunk, I wasn’t sure if you were serious. Besides, there’s things about that. Gord checks out Torturess and/or what she’s found Taimi: Things like ‘not having to run from the cops’?
Torturess: Hey, there’s a few downed thugs over here. Gonna question one.
Gord: Where’s the fun in life if you don’t have to run from the cops?
Taimi: Because fighting bad guys isn’t enough?
Torturess crouches over a thug and puts a smelling salt under his nose. He comes to quickly. Taimi looks to see if there’s any injured civilians.
Thug: Gah!!! You’ll die, Scoutgirls! Huh? Where am I?
There don’t seem to be any.
Torturess: So, what gives? Why torch the deli and fight with a bunch of loons?
The thug looks confused: They offend me?
Taimi: I can’t imagine what would be offensive about a bunch of male thugs dressed in girl scout uniforms…
Torturess: Hm, yeah, I was going to agree with you, but she makes a valid point. Don’t discriminate for people’s clothing! Now what’s the real reason!
Kirsten’s tentacle reaches out suddenly, extra long swiping at something, invisible, in the air.
Taimi: What is it?
Gord: She must be able to see something. T, watch the punk.
Gord: Kirsten, where is it?
She suddenly recoils her tentacle.
Kirsten: Zapped me.
Gord pulls out his stun gun.
Gord: Maybe we can zap it back.
Kirsten: It sped away.
Gord sighs and puts the stun gun back
Gord: T, you getting anything else out of the punk?
T: He doesn’t know his asshole from that burnt deli over there. I don’t think he knew anything about this fight. Said they started, but he’s not sure how.
Gord: Forget it then. We should go before the cops finally show.(Na nanananana nana GREMLIN!) Back at the Grem Cave. Taimi: Susana is going to kill me if I can’t get this cleaned…
Torturess: Give it to me. I have tons of stain remover at my place.
Suddenly everyone gets the impression she buys it in bulk.
Taimi: Maybe once I get a chance to change…
Gord: Feel to use any clothes you find lying around.
Gord expects Taimi to be far too shy to take him up on that. Gord would be right.
Torturess: I can lend you a nightgown.
Taimi: No, I’ll be fine for now
Torturess: As long as you don’t have work tomorrow. It’s not maid week, or anything.Gord: Wait, you have a nightgown? Like, a nightgown nightgown, not a teddy or…. huh. Taimi: You’d know that?
Torturess: One at a time… yes, I own a few night gowns. And yes, I’ve been in a few times this week. It’s hilarious. I like the themed weeks. Tell them to make the food better though.
Taimi: So, putting those revelations aside, we apparently have a cloaked, or otherwise invisible, zappy thing. Presumably at the location of all these riots where this visual anomaly occured.
Gord: One that can be seen by Kirsten, and apparently in reflections. Like a reverse vampire.
T: So someone’s watching… or just plain up creating these riots? I don’t get it. Who cares?
Gord: I’d say it’s someone who wants to cause chaos in Borderline, but who just can’t wait for Friday like that?
T: New player.
Taimi: Maybe someone that wants to distract heroes?
Gord: This is starting to sound more and more like a long night of collating police reports and trying to match up data sets without knowing which ones have the match.
T: Uh, I’ll brew coffee. And maybe shower. Then maybe I’ll watch you do that.
Gord: Well, as long as you shower with the door open, that’ll be at least as good as the coffee.
Taimi: I’m going to go home and get changed, then I’ll bring these back for T to wash for me, I guess…
Torturess: Leave’em here. Here’s a pair of overalls and a oversized shirt.
She tosses them to Taimi.
Taimi has a thought: While you’re digging around in police reports, could you look into girls disappearing?
Jennifer from the cafe has apparently vanished, along with several others. Another name I heard was ‘Alia’.
Taimi: I’ll, uh… change at home, and try to get them washed myself first.
Gord: Which one was Jennifer again?
Taimi: The red-head you like so much.T: I can’t believe you forgot her. Kristen: I’m red too.
Gord: Look, their nametags are in the perfect place for me to get distracted while reading them.
Gord: It’s hard when I’m in there, ok?
Gord: Anyway, the redhead, yeah, I like… the redhead. Who was that guy she was talking to that one time, again?
Taimi: That was her boyfriend. He’s named Uriel… I don’t think I caught if that was his first or last name.
Gord: Jennifer, Uriel, Alia… do the girls have last names?
Taimi: I heard the name “Alia” from Uriel, Jennifer’s last name is Alinovsky.
Gord: You were talking to Uriel?
Taimi: Well, yeah. Jennifer is my friend, but I’ve only met Uriel twice really.
Gord: So Jennifer’s missing, Uriel’s still around, and Alia’s missing?
Gord: Huh, ok. All right around the villain riots started?
Taimi: In the last couple days, yeah.
Gord: Alright, I’ll check it out. to himself Shit, not the redhead….
Taimi: Alright, I’ll be back later most likely. But let me know if you find anything before then.Gord: Will do.
She points to one of the pictures.
It’s a picture of one of the riots before it starts, an amateur photo submitted by a civilian. It appears to be a snapshot from a video.
Gord: What about it?
Kirsten points at the picture as if it’s obvious.
Kirsten: That man…
Gord takes a closer look. The photo is too small for him to recognize him.
Kirsten: Bad man.
Gord: The man who wanted you to eat everything?
Gord: What can you tell me about the bad man, Kirsten?
Zooming in reveals… it’s the man from the warehouse. The scientist that the woman in the red dress rescued and escaped with.
Kirsten: He calls out Nega… says… do damage, eat everything.
Kirsten: He…says sorry a lot. Says… soon… done soon.
Gord: Huh, haven’t had to think about that guy in a long time.
Kirsten: He’s bad.
Gord: Did you ever see a woman with red hair with him?
Kirsten: She brings candy.
Kirsten: Says (deeper voice) It’ll be okay.
Gord: Do you know her name?
Gord: Rose, ok. Good work, Kirsten.
Kirsten: Rose and…Gee…ohh.
Gord: Geo? Was she a woman in green?
Kirsten: Uh huh.
Kirsten: And the quiet girl…she was nice. And Gwyn… and Lily.
Gord: Was there a black man with them ever?
Kirsten: Then they… move me, and… hurt me in the dark place. Then… Nega… talks, says I’m back…time to kill… eat everything…
Gord: Nega talks to you?
Kirsten: When bad man let’s…nega…go out…
Gord: Well, that shouldn’t happen again.
Gord keeps slogging through police reports, searching for each of the names he’s collected
Kirsten: See new things?
Gord: I’m trying. I might need to just program a bot to go through these and pull out relevant reports.
Gord: No. Just a little computer program to automate the search.
Kirsten: Good, killbots are mean.
Gord: Yes, yes they are.Grem’s phone begins to ring.
Gord: Oh yeah. picks up the phone Hello?
Naniami: Hey, Mr. Grem. Sorry I couldn’t talk earlier. Lizbet was giving me a driving lesson.
Gord: A… driving lesson. Seriously?
Kirsten: Teach me too?
Gord: Uh, maybe some day, Kirsten.
Naninami: Yeah. She showed me how to drive in the city. It’s really exciting.
Kirsten: Yay, tomorrow?
Gord: We’ll see. I’m not sure I have a car.
Gord turns back to the phone: It sounded exciting. I was just calling earlier to see if you wanted to help investigate the latest villain riot.
Naninami: Oh. Did you figure out what’s going on?
Gord: Something invisible that can only be seen in reflections or by Kirsten seems to be making people go berserk.Naninami: That’s creepy.
Gord: Tell me about it.
Naninami: Lizbet said something about a fire. It wouldn’t be the big cloud of smoke downtown?
Gord: Yeah, they burned a deli for some reason.
Naninami: They might have run out of liverwurst. That’s the kind of icky thing a villain would want from a deli.
Gord: Liverwurst is delicious and you’re insane.
Kirsten: In the brain?
Gord: Yes, Kirsten, that’s where people are usually insane.
Gord: Sometimes in the liver, though.
Naninami: I don’t know about my sanity. Things are kind of odd when you grow up in a lab.
Naninami: Oh! Lizbet thinks she knows one of the guys who helped me escape.
Gord: Who’s that?
Naninami: Don Ronaldo. He’s a smuggler. Lizbet calls him Don the Don. They’re meeting tomorrow at eleven.
Gord: What for?
Naninami: I think she’s going to see if he knows why I wound up in Dr. What?’s lab and stuff.Gord: Huh. Well, I’m just sitting here with Kirsten going through police reports right now, looking for anything useful.
Gord: And Torturess is showering with the door closed.
Gord: If either of you knows anything about programming and could help me write a search bot, I’d be appreciative.
Naninami: I’m afraid I’m not much good with computers. Asks Lizbet You know how to write a search bot?
Lizbet hands Nani a flash drive.
Lizbet: Use that.
Naninami into phone: She just gave me a storage device that has one.
Gord: Once again Lizbet amazes and kind of confounds me.
Naninami: Let’s meet tomorrow and I’ll give it to you.
Gord: Sounds good. Guess I’ll get some sleep then.