The hangar doors open slowly, revealing the silhouettes of our heroes. As their eyes adjust to the light, they are surprised at the sleek, black, bat-like jet being prepared for take-off.
Squeaks: You say that a lot, you know.
Ferdie: So I'm not original. So sue me.
Iiwi: [to Ivan] Nice. I especially like the bat tails. Custom job?
Ivan: Yeah, but not mine. I got her from her first owner as payment.
Ferdia: [from behind them] Payment for what?
Ivan: I don't see how that pertains to your present case.
Squeaks: In other words, he's not going to tell us.
The pilot's voice comes in over Ivan's wrist communicator, informing them that the pre-flight preparations are complete. The group boards the jet and begins seating themselves in its plush interior.
Ferdia: [leaning back and lounging on a couch, tilting her head back towards the ceiling and closing her eyes, hands behind head] Not bad. We should travel first class more often.
Squeaks: [joining her on the couch] I don't think the Chief is gonna let us travel much at all after he hears about the prowler.
Ferdia: [opening eyes] Oh, yeah. Shoot. And we'd just about paid off the last one, too. Maybe we could convince the Chief that when the stolen valuables we recover are worth a lot more than our squad cars, so we shouldn't have to pay for damages.
Squeaks: Yeah, and maybe he'll give us a raise.
Ferdia: Wishful thinking, huh?
Ivan: Ever been on a supersonic jet before, Bob?
Bob: Supersonic? Like the hedgehog?
Ivan: Not exactly...
Ferdie: So, uh, Ivan, just exactly how fast can this plane go?
Ivan: A bit over Mach 2.
Bob: Mach what? What's that mean?
Ferdie: It means this plane flies just a little faster than my sister drives.
Bob: Oooohhhh…..[backing for the door, smiling nervously] I think I'll just wait for the next flight… [door closes and pressure locks] …or I could just stay on the plane like a brave kiwi...
[The plane's engines rev up and it rolls out the hangar. It taxis down the runway a bit, then begins to pick up speed as the pilot releases the throttle. It clears the group of squad cars by the crime scene by little more than 20 feet.]
Casey: [taking into radio] What's that, Chief?....Naw, that wasn't the sound of an airplane taking off....[looks at Trevor] We closed the airport, remember? No planes in, no planes out….[smiles bemusedly] Actually, yes we did see those two, they came by a little while ago....No, they didn't say where they were going, they never do....Alright, we'll let you know if we hear anything...
Trevor: They're in deep, huh?
Casey: Haven't heard him that angry since they wiped out town square.
Trevor: Ouch. Hope they solve this case, then.
Rookie: Yeah. Otherwise, they'd be smart to stay over there.
Cop: Five bucks says they wind up meter-maiding for a month for this.
Trevor: Let's up it to $20 and put it in the kitty.
Cop: Heh heh, good idea. What's it up to?
Casey: Probably enough to bail them out of this one. Maybe.
Rookie: When exactly are we gonna give them that money, anyway?
Casey: [laughing] What, no one told you that? They get it when our original bet is settled, or when they get a case they can't crack.
Cop: Translation: They don't.
Rookie: Ah. So what was the original bet, anyway? That they'd level the city? Headquarters? Bankrupt the county? Well?
Casey: [pats rookie on back] Not even close, kid. But, hey, you're a detective, you figure it out.
[back on the plane]
Bob: [in background, to Ferdie] This isn't so fast...
Ferdie: [hyperventilating into a paper bag] Mmm-hmm...
Ivan: [to a nervous-looking Iiwi] Hey, Iiwi, c'mon, relax. Thought you liked flying.
Iiwi: I do. Just not in planes.
Ivan: [smirking] Didn't know you were claustrophobic.
Iiwi: I'm not claustrophobic. Claustrophobes are afraid of closed spaces. I just don't like them.
Ivan: Not happy unless you've room to flap your wings, eh? Don't worry. My pilots are the best money can buy, and so are my mechanics. And they wouldn't make even half as much working for anyone else. So we're safe.
Iiwi: [changing subject] So, what's with the bat motif?
Ivan: [shrugging] Like I said, the jet's secondhand. Previous owner had this thing for bats...but he'd built a better bat-shaped one and was looking to get rid of this one. All I did was soup up the engines and add some defenses.
Ferdia: [looking out window] This is so cool! I've never been in a supersonic jet before!
Squeaks: [dozing] If you think this is cool, you ought to try warp speeds.
[Evening. The sun sets slowly through the palm trees to the west. Ivan's plane lands on one of the hotel's private landing strips, deploying a drag chute. Group disembarks and heads toward the hotel.]
Bob: [looking at drag chute] Hey, why did the plane need a parachute?
Ferdie: Never mind that, Bob. Why does the hotel have a big gaping hole in one side?
[All look at Ivan….and Iiwi]
Ivan: Hey, don't look at me, it's not part of their regular décor!
Iiwi: Looks relatively new.
Ferdia: Any idea what section that was?
Ivan: Um...Looks kinda like it was the presidential suites.
Iiwi: [surveying damage] Whoa. Hope he was out.
Squeaks: Hope who was out?
Iiwi: The Artist. Deals mostly in the sale of art and artifacts on the black market.
Ivan: Hey, wasn't he supposed to be meeting with Rodney Roader this afternoon?
Bob: Wait a minute! Who's the other guy?
Ferdia: Roader? Local boss-man trying to carve out a section of eastern downtown for his "organization."
Squeaks: We think he's into everything...gambling, drugs, "protection," etc. Doesn't mind doing things violently...he's started several gang wars, ordered a bunch of local hits, including some high-ranking businessmen that turned down bribes.
Ferdia: Yep, one nasty little piece of scum. Especially because we don't have enough evidence to arrest him, let alone enough proof to convict him.
Bob: So you think he might have been responsible for one of last night's murders?
Ferdie: Probably. However, if he was in that room, whether or not he ordered the hits may be a moot point.
Group enters hotel. Ferdia and Squeaks' presence causes most of the lobby occupants to either scurry away or draw their weapons. The cops do the same, going back-to-back.
Ivan: [stepping in between some of the lobby occupants and the two cops] Relax, they're with me. [Some lower their guns slightly. Most narrow their eyes in suspicion.]
Iiwi: And me. [More lower weapons, mob begins to disperse. Ivan raises an eyebrow at Iiwi.]
Ivan: Tell me again you don't come here often.
Clerk: Ah! Sir, madam! Nice to see you both! Your usual rooms?
[Iiwi suddenly becomes engrossed in preening her wing]
Ivan: How 'bout four adjoining rooms, instead?
Clerk: [somewhat confused] Okay...[as Ivan takes the keys] What are they doing here?! [nods at Ferdia and Squeaks]
Ivan: Giving us a hand with something.
Clerk: Since when do you associate with cops?
Ivan: [ignoring comment] When'd the pres. suite get its panoramic view? [hands clerk a bill]
Clerk: [pocketing bill] About an hour or so ago. [Ivan waves another bill] During their meeting. [Another bill. Clerk shakes his head sadly] Dunno who.
Ivan: [lays small stack of bills on counter] Keep me posted. [to group] C'mon, guys.
Ferdie: Anybody interested in getting something to eat? I'm starving.
Bob: Yeah, we haven't eaten all day!
Ferdia: You had a sandwich at Joe's.
Bob: Okay, so we haven't eaten since lunch. I'm still hungry!
Ivan: Eh, why not? Food here's usually decent.
[Group enters adjoining diner, sits at table. A waiter cautiously approaches them.]
Waiter: Can I get you anything?
Ivan: Yeah, one of everything.
Waiter: Anything to drink with that?
Waiter: Sorry, we're out. [departs]
Bob: No coffee?! But I need coffee!
Iiwi: [pushes small pitcher towards Bob] How about some de-coffenated coffee, Bob?
Bob: Okay. [takes pitcher, starts drinking]
Ivan: [to Iiwi] Did you just give him creamer?
Iiwi: Yeah. So?
[The food arrives and the group begins to eat. After dinner, they depart to their rooms. As they'd brought no bags, they disperse to do some quick investigating. In the morning they regroup in one of the rooms.]
Ferdia: [frowning] Ceiling's caved in near the suite. We can't get near it.
Squeaks: [also not happy] The rooms beneath it are sealed off, and guarded.
Bob: [smiling] There was a mint on my pillow.
Ferdie: How come we got four rooms if each room has two beds?
[The two get LOOKs from the rest of the group. Then attention turns to Iiwi.]
Iiwi: [shrugs] I took a nap.
[Squeaks mutters something under his breath.]
Iiwi: Well I was tired! Besides, now that you're all here, and the sun's up, let's go outside. You can be my lookouts while I fly up to the suite.
Group exits hotel, once again getting vicious looks from other occupants.
Ivan: [to Ferdia and Squeaks] You know, we're gonna need to get you two some plainclothes before you get shot.
Squeaks: Whatever. [sweeps area with infrared binoculars] All clear.
[Iiwi flies up to the suite, perches on edge of floor, looks around, goes inside.]
Ferdie: Hey, Squeaks, don't those things only work at night?
Squeaks: Not these. They measure the strength of sunlight in the area, then automatically subtract it from their readings and filter it out.
Ivan: Pretty neat toy.
Ferdia: Tough, too. We've had them a week and haven't broken them yet.
Iiwi: [over radio] Well, I think I've found the Artist and Roader. And somebody else. I think. But I'm just counting arms here...
Ferdie: [turning green] Thank you so much for that pleasant mental picture.
Iiwi: I don't want to alarm anyone here, but it doesn't look like this explosion came from inside the suite...
Ferdia: Agreed. There's very little debris down here, and most of it's directly below the suite.
Ferdie: So, you're saying something hit it? Like what?
Bob: A missile!
Squeaks: Exactly. Glad you picked up on that, Bob.
Bob: No, that's not what I meant! [points] It's a MISSILE!!!
Group turns to see a missile streaking towards the hotel. Screeching, Iiwi dives out of the suite. The hotel is hit two floors below and to the left of the first hole and starts a structural collapse of the top four floors. It loses the rest of its floors to the fireball and shockwave following the missile's detonation. The group is thrown to the ground by the shockwave; Iiwi, still in the air, is tossed head-over-heels and knocked to the ground.
Ferdie: Yeah, THIS was a great idea! I've always wanted to get blown away by a cruise missile!
Bob: Weep! They're trying to kill us!
Ivan: Oh shut up. It didn't hit anywhere near where our rooms were. You okay, Iiwi?
Iiwi: [lying face-up in the field near the runway] Sure, just gimme a minute for my bones to knit...
Ferdia: I'm getting this sinking feeling that this wasn't just your typical hit.
Squeaks: So am I. That was definitely NOT the type of hardware crime bosses usually have access to. THAT was a military missile.
Ivan: How do you know?
Squeaks: [shrugs] I know military when I see it. These binoculars are also a camera, so we can trace its serial number.
Bob: So why is the military shooting at a civilian hotel?
Iiwi: [landing limply near the group] They're not. It looked like an old missile someone bought off the international market.
Ferdia: Okay, so who else was at the hotel?
Iiwi: We'd have to check the registry.
Ferdie: Yeah, well, not to rain on the parade, but wouldn't the registry be inside that burning pile of rubble up there?
Bob: [looking at burning building] I am NOT going in there.
Ivan: You might not have to. [tackles staggering clerk] Hello again. Mind telling me who else was staying here?
Clerk: Nobody! At least, nobody that stayed after the first explosion and the arrival of your two badges!
Iiwi: This one hit three floors down and on the left. Who was staying there?
Clerk: Some guy named Pyro...I think. [Ivan lets him up; clerk runs away]
Squeaks: And just who is Pyro?
Ivan: Works for Ozzie Oswald.
Iiwi: Ozzie's a...businessman...of sorts.
Ivan: Ha! He's a pirate!
Ferdia: A pirate of what?
Ivan: Anything. Especially if it's expensive or traveling over water.
Ferdie: THIS HOTEL IS FIVE MILES INLAND!! IT'S NOT OVER WATER!!!
Bob: Isn't there a pirate code saying pirates can't steal from each other?
Iiwi: [shrugs, shaking her head] Used to be.
Ferdia: What are you getting at?
Bob: If he worked for a pirate, he was also a pirate. Maybe he stole something from his boss.
Ferdie: Yeah! That first missile! And it took this Oz guy a couple of hours to realize it and launch the second at this Pyro guy!
Squeaks: That's probably the best bit of detective work you two have ever done. But can you prove it?
Iiwi: Well...I suppose we could go talk to Ozzie...
Ivan: Hmmm...he does live on one of the islands around here...
Squeaks: Oh, no. We're not going anywhere else without more evidence than that to go on.
Bob: I'll ask my friend if he can track where they came from. [into wrist communicator] XYZPDQ, this is Danger Kiwi. Do you copy?
Ferdia: [to Ferdie, who shrugs] I'm not even going to ASK...
Newt appears on the screen of the communicator, seated in front of a computer screen. "as you can see, the trajectory of the missile, as observed by you, coupled with its operating range, indicate that it originated at approximately here [points to a small island], Pika Island. Given its optimal cruising speed, the missile was probably launched approximately fifteen minutes ago. This type of missile, while old and outdated, is fairly accurate, with a margin of error of approximately 15 square feet. Its usual payload is..."
Bob: [interrupting Newt] Okay, copy. Danger Kiwi out.
Ferdie: I am NOT flying to an island with a missile-packin', trigger-happy pirate on it!
Ivan: Neither am I. Ozzie and I aren't exactly on friendly terms.
Iiwi: Oh? What'd he steal from you?
Ivan: I'd...rather not say...
Bob: We can take the Danger Boat! I just so happen to have lent it to someone here!
Group walks along pier in a run-down part of the town. They approach a leaky, battered rowboat.
Bob: Behold, the mighty Danger Boat!
Ivan: That?! That's a dingy!
Bob: Ooooooooooh! You are gonna get yours!
Ferdie: Give it up, Bob, we all know Bobetta sank her yacht last month.
Bob: The Danger Boat is NOT a yacht! It is a speedboat!....It's just not here, that's all.
Squeaks: We could always rent a boat...
Iiwi: [sighing] Yeah, but Ozzie'd probably blow us out of the water just for fun...
Ivan: [coughs] Ahem! [All turn to him] I, uh, happen to have a, uh...ship...we could use...
Ferdia: Yeah? And what's to stop this pirate form blowing it up?
Ivan: It's not a, er, surface ship...
A giant great white shark darts though the ocean, 2000 feet below the surface, zipping past naval submarine and fish school alike. Upon closer inspection, the shark is really not a shark; it is a submarine in the shape of a shark.
Ferdia: Ivan, where did you get ahold of a submarine?!
Ivan: ...I picked it up at an auction. [cut to picture of Ivan holding a sled marked "Rosebud"] I also got this, but I don't really know why...
Ferdie: Yeah, You never know when you'll need to pillage a sunken city...
Bob: Or happen upon a really great sledding slope...
Squeaks: Okay, let's just make sure this case still sounds coherent, okay?
Iiwi: Okay. First, the kid with the silver cross kills Rhett.
Bob: Then he goes to a bar, gets matches with the payment drop from somebody there, goes to the airport, and gets blown up by a letter bomb.
Ferdie: After which the guy that gave him the bomb hops a flight we THINK came to this hotel-
Ivan: I had my pilots check the hangars and do a background search on any planes there. There's an aircraft strongly resembling Hangar 14's in one of the hotel's hangars.
Ferdie: Okay, so the killer of the killer comes here, and is maybe blown up with the Artist and Roader when the first missile hits.
Ferdia: That's a weak spot. We don't really know what our killer looked like-
Iiwi: -not that that'd help identify anything up there...even if it wasn't just incinerated...
Ferdia: ...So we can't be sure our killer was hit by - or was even the target of - the first missile.
Iiwi: I asked around, and a lot of people agreed that he'd retired shortly after arriving, and nobody saw him leave.
Squeaks: Thought you took a nap.
Iiwi: I did. I just talked to some people first. Anyway, if he was still in the hotel, it's not gonna matter much now. But we need to figure out why Roader was killed.
Ivan: I think Roader was one of the guys Rhett was talking to.
Squeaks: But since we don't know who the killer's killer was, it's gonna be difficult to determine whether Roader hired him. We're just assuming Roader was killed for the same reason Rhett was.
Bob: We're also assuming the Artist guy wasn't the target.
Iiwi: [shrugging] All the Artist dealt in was art. Stolen, copied, old, new, good, bad, whatever. But that was it. He didn't deal with anything violent. The guy'd get mugged in his own neighborhood!
Ferdia: So we're assuming Roader was the target and that Pyro launched the first missile, which was one of his employer's missiles. And we're assuming this employer fired the second missile.
Squeaks: That's an awful lot of assumptions.
Bob: XYZPDQ traced the flight path! It came from Ozzie's island!
Ferdia: I'm not arguing that, I'm just saying anyone on that island could have fired the missile.
Ivan: Well, we can figure out who fired it later. First we ask Ozzie if he has any idea what's going on.
Ferdie: Yeah, that's right, we don't really have a motive for any of these murders that we can prove.
Iiwi: We also don't have a live suspect that we need to worry about finding enough evidence on to convict!
Bob: You have a point.
Ivan: Coming up on the island! Anyone here mind if I dock in that cove over there? It's hard to hit with a missile from this island, and it's only about a mile or two away from Ozzie's bungalow.
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