“Got another one for you,” Kisya D’Amico reported with an amused sneer as she watched the odd two dozen windows floating around her in the Curiosity Kilz control center. She magnified one window and studied it. “The ‘Red Cross Emergency Action Fund’ out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. At least, that’s their registered physical location. They’re actually operating out of Cameroon and Malaysia.”
“Fraudulent charity action?” Kartanian asked.
“Yep. A good five thousand victims already. Average donation of two-hundred and fifty-three dollars, U.S. And it's a mirror organization with seven... no, nine... copycats. And counting. They all funnel to the same accounts. Suckers.” She snickered.
“Good. I love bleeding those parasites. Suck, suck, suck, suck, suck! Siphoning cash out of them like they do to their victims.” The spymaster chuckle-purred. “Makes me feel like a vampire. I'll get right on that. More operating cash for us!”
“Oh, and this just came in, too. A private inquiry.” She flicked him the virtual mail. He opened it on his retinal display.
“Ooh! A real job!”
“Real pay, you mean? Not just a do-gooder opportunity?”
“Exactly!” He read further and then listened to the pitch on the voice message. “Somebody wants to build a new lair. Seems that the Memorial Day thing with the villain war blew their cover. Now, they need a ‘deniable resource’ to help clear out some candidate sites and make arrangements so that no one will know who’s doing the action, or where they are ending up.”
“High risk of employer betrayal in that kind of work.”
“Yep. Goes with the territory.”
“And did they really say ‘lair?’”
Kartanian grinned broadly. “No shit, he did!” He adjusted his voice to imitate the man on the voice recording. “Ah, Mister Kartanian, we would, ah, like to engage your services in finding and building another, ah, ‘secret lair’ from which to base our operations. Compensation to be negotiated. Secrecy absolutely required. Let’s, ah, talk through terms, at your earliest convenience.”
The hostile secretary laughed despite herself. “All right! I know you’re going to take that one. Need any help to set up the meeting?”
“Not at the moment, but put the tracers back on this data. See if we can find out more about our potential employers. And see if you can project availability of assets. I’ve got a feeling that this is going to be much bigger than a one-cat job.”
“You got it, boss.”
A Wing and a Prayer, A Strong, Strong Wind, All Forests are One, Power Struggles - Venture City metahuman novels in the spirit of City of Heroes and other comic book superhero fiction. (http://bit.ly/sdpbooks)