Hotspur managed to wrestle free from his captors. He threw a punch and knocked one, twice his size, down to the ground. Another ran up behind him and threw his arms around him, trying to subdue him. Hotspur managed to break free from the grip, spun around, and punched the man. He picked up a chair and smashed it on yet another.
"Gentlemen, this has been fun, but you picked the wrong day to be messin' with Mrs. O'Toole's favorite son." Hotspur said, his fists up ready to punch the next guy.
The response was a sting in the neck. Hotspur reached to the spot and pulled out a dart. He looked over to see an old Chinese man with a blow gun.
"Now see here, my good man," Hotspur said, pointing at the elder man, "that is not fair play."
Hotspur's eyes crossed, and he fell backwards, hitting the floor. The ne'er do wells walked up to his body.
"He dead?" one asked the Chinese man
"No, merely sleeping." was the reply, "The Dark Ocean Society use a very special potion on their enemies. He will be asleep for some time. Lord Lieng wishes to exact his revenge on this one, himself. Lord Lieng also wishes to know if your master needs our assistance in his matter?"
"Nah," the henchman replied "seems everyone's runnin' after all these other suspects, Mr. Barthelmess hadn't even been brought in for questioning. I don't even think anyone was aware he's been in Steelhead."
Two younger Chinese men walked into the room, the elder one pointed at Hotspur's sleeping body and the young ones bowed and picked him up.
Sheriff's Office, Steelhead City
"Thought he was a messenger?" Fuzz asked Darien, as he shifted through paperwork
"Well, he did all sorts of stuff in court, but he was a Sommelier for the most part." Darien replied
Fuzz looked at the paper, "Why does she want.....on second thought, I don't want to know, I'll just notarize it." he looked at Darien, "This brings a very important question."
"What was he doing in Steelhead?" Darien replied, "That I'm not sure, but...."
"NO, the question is, what's a Sommelier?"
"OH....well.....it's a wine taster. They taste the wines before it gets poured for the kings to make sure they weren't poisoned."
"Guess asking about benefits is out of the question?" Fuzz asked, then looked at the next paper "Ok, I have enough trouble trying to understand the Jager's when they talk....."
"ANYWAY," Darien continued, "This demon was Bloodwing's personal wine taster. He carried with him a tastevin at all times."
Fuzz looked up from the papers, "How about saving you the trouble of me being my typical smartass self, and do a Webster on me. Give me the definition"
Darien smiled, "It's a small cup on a chain that Sommlier's wear around their neck. In this case, it would look like an amulet. Bloodwing was really flashy, remember."
Fuzz threw the papers on the desk. "Ooooooooooooooookay. And this means, what?"
"It's magic. It was charmed to protect it's wearer from being poisoned." Darien said, smiling
Fuzz scratched his chin, "Poison? So, if something was poison to someone, it would protect them from that?"
"Like silver." Darien replied
Fuzz picked back up the paperwork and continued working, "There was nothing on this demon, and Sushi had been all over the bay, nothing was found. Whoever killed the demon, took all it's possessions with him."
Darien leaned back in his chair, "And Bloodwing's dying wish, was to save us all."
"If he wanted to save me, he could've sent someone to do all this paperwork for me." Fuzz looked up from his paperwork, "This solves the mystery of who the demon was, and possibly why he was in Steelhead. But, we're no closer to ending the tension caused by the attempt on my life."
"What are you going to do?"
"Wait. All I can do."
Lunar walked into the office, holding an official looking document. He placed it on Fuzz's desk.
"What's this?" Fuzz asked
"A 'Non-Agression Pact' signed by Malegatto Alter." Lunar answered. "During this investigation, neither she nor her minions will attack Steelhead City. Also, Tensai has studied Miss Alter's silver bullets....yes, she carries silver bullets.....they were not the same type bullets that were fired at your house. We've ruled her out as a suspect in the shootings."
Fuzz simply stared at Lunar.
"What?" Lunar asked, "We're trying to help."
"Malegatto Alter and Doctor Obolensky weren't really suspects," Fuzz replied "I said they were suspects just to see if the one I've always suspected would take advantage of the situation."
"How do you know it wasn't them?" Darien asked
"I wasn't home during the shootings," Fuzz explained "it was dark, and the scarecrow was shot. Malegatto Alter is a cat. Dogg Food'll tell you, a cat's eyesight is exceptional in the dark. Malegatto would've seen the scarecrow and not fired. She would've hit her target. Also the angle was wrong if it was fired by her.....Tiny and all that."
"And Obolensky?" Lunar asked
Fuzz chuckled, "Regular silver tipped bullets fired from a regular gun? Not Obolensky's style. No, gentlemen, I'm afraid that the true culprit....the one I've suspected all along, has been coming and going out of Steelhead for some time, and due to the fact that we don't check the ambassadorial airships of those that have embassy's and consulates here in Steelhead, he's been coming and going as he pleases without anyone noticing. But it's ok, this will soon be resolved. Trust me."
Fuzz looked behind Lunar and quickly stood up. Darien and Lunar turned to see Lady Eva Bellambi, The Duchess of Loch Avie, walk into the room.
"Your Grace." Fuzz said, giving a slight bow
"Sheriff Ortega," Lady Eva replied, "Lord Lunar, Doctor Mason."
"A pleasure to see you, Your Grace." Lunar said, "What brings you to Steelhead."
"I've been looking for Hotspur O'Toole," she replied "have you seen him?"
"Not as of late." Fuzz replied "The dock master just contacted me, his iron clad is still docked. Hotspur claimed he wasn't going to be in Steelhead for long." Fuzz then shrugged, "But hey, you know Hotspur, always out and about for Lord knows how long, and when he returns, he'll have a big smile, and a black eye with a few bruises, and a story to tell at The Anvil."
"Yes....I'm sure that's it. Well, if you see him, please inform him to see me and Lord Edward in Caledon. Good afternoon, gentlemen."
After the Duchess left the room, Darien turned towards Fuzz
"Why is she so interested in Hotspur's whereabouts?"
Fuzz shrugged, "Must be MI-5 business"
"MI-5 doesn't exist." Darien said, "Oh come one. That's just an old rumor."
"Riiiiiight," Fuzz replied, "At anyrate. I need to see Purdie. I'll finish the paperwork later, Lunar. And I'll have the Sisters keep an eye on Malegatto and her minions when they come to Steelhead. She may've signed the pact, but I'm sure she's searching for a loophole. She's a smart one."
Koen sat and watched as Purdie made the final touches to Fuzz's pocketwatch.
"So.....what is this going to do?" Koen asked
Purdie didn't reply, but just smiled.
Koen smiled in return, "Must be good"
"Not perfect," Purdie said, "but as close as we're going to get in this particular situation."
The two looked over at the doors as they came open and Fuzz walked in.
"Ok," Fuzz said "whatcha got?"
Purdie handed Fuzz his pocketwatch, "Put this back on."
Fuzz put his pocketwatch where he always wore it, then looked at Purdie as if to say, "Well?"
Purdie looked at Koen, "Now, Koen, will you be so kind as to point to Fuzzball's nose?"
Koen shrugged, then pointed.
"There" Koen said, pointing slightly to the left of Fuzzball's nose
Purdie nodded, "Very good. And if someone was to shoot Fuzzball with a silver bullet, they'd have to hit him directly in the heart, which is where?"
Koen pointed slightly to the left of Fuzzball's heart, "There."
Fuzz looked at Koen pointing, then looked at Purdie, "The hell's wrong with him?"
"Nothing," Purdie replied "I added a small bit of TARDIS technology to your pocketwatch."
Fuzz looked at his watch, then looked at Purdie, "It's bigger on the inside?"
Purdie chuckled, "No, when it materializes somewhere, it has a sort of perception filter. People would walk by it, and not even notice it. I've done a slightly different modification of that bit of technology for you. People will notice you, but they're perception will be off slightly."
"Ahhh," Fuzz said, "so they'll be looking slightly to the left when talking to me."
Purdie nodded, "I can look at you directly in the face, because I know to look. So, once he fires at you, again, he'll think he's firing at your heart, and without the perception filter, he will be. But, thankfully, he'll be hitting just to the left."
"But," Koen asked as he was staring at Fuzz trying to see if he could see where Fuzz was really standing, "the silver bullet will still hit Fuzz. It'll still be poison to him."
"That will be the tricky part." Purdie said "IF we can get to Fuzz in time, there's a chance that with the right medical attention, Fuzz can fight the poison and live."
"My dad could help" Koen suggested
Purdie looked at Fuzz, "He is your friend, I'm sure he'd be willing to help you. There is the other alternative I mentioned, though."
Fuzz walked closer to the TARDIS console, "If I hide in Steelhead, he'll find me. For that matter, anywhere you take me, he'll send his thugs out to search for me. He's not aware of Time Lords, so we'll need to use that to our advantage." Fuzz looked at Koen, "I'm sorry, Koen, I wish your father'd be able to help us, but we need to take a different route."
The three were startled by a loud "HEY", the turned to see Old boB Ballyhoo standing in the doorway.
"This is a helluva outhouse" he said
"It's a police box, not an outhouse." Purdie muttered
"Sorry, boB," Fuzz said "it's occupied."
boB held up his hand and started out, "I 'pologize. I'll go somewhere else to do my bidness."
After boB left, Purdie pulled the lever to close the doors to the TARDIS. He then stared at the console, then looked at Fuzz.
"I think...." he said "I've got the perfect hiding place."
Outside The Steelhead Ballroom And Hotel, Later That Night
Lunar walked out of the hotel, writing on a notepad. He was always thinking of ways of improving the integrity and overall look of the buildings in Steelhead. His train of thought was stopped by the sound of a gunshot.
"Fuzz" he whispered
He ran towards Fuzz's house and found Fuzz laying face down on the porch. He turned Fuzz over and found the bullet hole in the left side of his chest.
"Fuzz," he asked "Fuzz can you hear me? Say something"
The alien, yet familiar sound of a Time Lord's TARDIS came out of no where, and a grandfather clock materialized in front of Lunar. The clock opened and Purdie ran out and picked Fuzz up.
"GIVE ME A HAND" Purdie shouted
Lunar helped Purdie pick Fuzz's body up and the two brought him into the TARDIS. There was a cot in the console room, and they placed him on it. Purdie then turned to Lunar and motioned to the doors.
"I'm sorry, Lunar, you have to leave." he said "And don't argue. The more time we waste, the more dangerous it becomes to Fuzz."
Lunar looked at Fuzz, then at Purdie
"Please," Purdie said, "you have to trust me."
Lunar stepped out of the TARDIS and watched as it disappeared. He turned to see Tensai's cat, Dogg Food, sitting on the railing of Fuzz's porch.
"What's going on?" Dogg asked through the synthesis collar.
"Get Tensai," Lunar replied "Emergency town meeting."
To Be Continued
(As Soon As The Typist Has Regained Internet Access).
(As Soon As The Typist Has Regained Internet Access).