Chronicles of a Caped Crusader: Confliction - Part Two
Lynette tracked Judge Hog and Super Lupe to an abandoned building in the Plaza of Neopia Central's business area. The building was dilapidated and ancient; it looked as though it ought to be condemned. She noticed a sold sign in front of it. She carefully made her way inside, being careful to make no sound on the precarious floor. She heard voices and looked around the corner.
"Well, I don't think we can fix this up. You'll have to tear it down and we'll build a new one. That is, if I can find away to free the others. With my escape, it's likely that Dr. Sloth will tighten his security."
Lynette realized that the speaker was the Grundo scientist she had been sent to recapture. A dark grin spread across her lips as she pulled out her blaster and set it on the highest setting.
"Don't move," she announced, stepping out of the shadows, her blaster aimed at the Grundo.
"Lynette!" the scientist shrieked.
"Ah, good, so I don't have to introduce myself. Come along quietly, back to the good Doctor, and we'll forget your little escapade ever happened. Make me drag you back and you will live to regret it, and the superheroes might too," Lynette threatened darkly.
"But, you're the lady who helped us take down Nefarious' robot. Why are you doing this?" Super Lupe asked, alarmed.
"If you think I helped you because I'm some goody-goody superhero wannabe, you've got another thing coming. I just helped you because that nut job made it personal. Really, you're all so ridiculous, with your stupid costumes and the 'truth, justice, and the Neopian way' stuff," Lynette spat.
The Grundo slowly walked over to her and she cuffed him. Super Lupe started forward, but stopped when Lynette pointed the blaster back at the Grundo.
"Don't think I won't. Dr. Sloth would rather no one had him," Lynette threatened.
"Why?" Super Lupe seemed confused, which made Lynette feel confused.
"Because that's what I'm paid to do, same as everyone."
"No one pays me to do this." Judge Hog spoke for the first time.
"In that case, you're a fool." She hardly felt the conviction she spoke with.
"Maybe I am, but when all is said and done, I can live with myself. Can you say the same thing?" Judge Hog challenged.
"I'll think about it."
It was mocking, but Judge nodded and said, "You will."
Lynette was now in a bit of a tizzy. She decided it was high time to leave, lest she might slip up and give them an opening. She called her ship and slowly backed out of the building with the Grundo. She was mildly surprised that they didn't make any other efforts to stop her as she got on her ship.
She tossed the Grundo into a seat in the back, then got into the pilot's seat and took off. For a long while there was silence, then, about three-quarters of the way back to the station, the Grundo suddenly spoke up.
"Are you able to live with yourself?" he asked.
"That's my concern," Lynette replied unemotionally.
"Yes, it is, but that doesn't mean other people can't be concerned for you," he protested.
"I just recaptured you and I'm taking you back. You're in a great deal of trouble now. Why do you care?" Lynette demanded.
"I don't, really, but Judge Hog certainly seemed to, and he knows who you are. He does because I warned him that Dr. Sloth would send someone, and gave him a list of people who it was possible he might send. We were expecting Ylana Skyfire, though."
"Then he is more of a fool than I realized. He led me right to you; I tailed him to your location. Some protector of the weak!" Lynette laughed harshly.
The Grundo grew silent and Lynette was glad for that.
"He knew me! Knew me and saved me anyway, even knowing what I was there for. Why would he do that?" Lynette's mind reeled.
She tried pushing the thoughts away, but only succeeded in pushing them to the back of her mind. The Space Station appeared in the distance and she smiled in relief. She was home now, away from the strange world below. Things would go back to normal now.
Lynette walked into the lounge that doubled as her and Buzz's office, and sat down on a sofa with her cup of coffee. Buzz was sitting at his desk reading the Neopian Times.
"Morning, Buzz." Lynette yawned.
"You need to get to sleep earlier, Lynette. You have dark circles under your eyes," Buzz grunted.
"Since when did you become my nanny?" Lynette replied, settling into the cushions.
"Says here, an Ixi with a blaster assisted Judge Hog and Super Lupe take down Captain Nefarious' robot. You wouldn't know anything about that, would you?" His tone was teasing; he didn't really think that the Ixi of the article was Lynette.
"That was me. I happened to land in a hot zone, apparently," Lynette said casually.
"And you helped the superheroes?" Buzz was incredulous.
"I was mad, Nefarious tried to squish me, he knew me and he said he owed you. I'd have been a pancake if it hadn't been for Judge Hog. So, now I've confessed, your turn. Why does a nut from Neopia Central hate you enough to want to kill me to hurt you?"
Buzz looked startled. "Lynette, I honestly don't know. No, really, I don't know. No one even knows who Captain Nefarious is, and I've never crossed paths with him. I'm just thankful you're unhurt."
"It was weird then, Buzz. I mean, it wasn't a mistaken identity, he talked about our duo," Lynette pointed out.
"I don't know, but if I ever cross paths with him, you can bet he'll end up with a real reason to hate our names," Buzz said darkly.
Lynette grinned darkly at him. He went back to reading the paper and Lynette stared at the picture on the front, scenes from the day before playing in her mind. She couldn't push away the question of why. Why had Judge Hog saved her? Super Lupe clearly hadn't known who she was, but Judge Hog had, so why?
"Hey, Buzz," Lynette spoke up.
"Do we have any missions today?"
"Doesn't look like it," Buzz replied.
"Do you think it is okay if I go down to Neopia Central?" Lynette asked hesitantly.
"Getting a taste for blue skies, open fields, and less technology?" Buzz teased.
Lynette frowned at him. "It was certainly very different from here. I'm just a little curious. I obviously didn't have time to look around yesterday."
"Yeah, sure, the better you like it down there, the easier it'll be to twist your arm later," Buzz replied.
"Idiot," Lynette laughed affectionately, as she playfully swatted his head.
She went back to her room and took out some civilian clothes, jeans and a long sleeved T-shirt. She let her deep blue hair out of the bun it was twisted in, and put on a headband. She put her blaster in a shoulder holster and put on a jacket to cover it.
She took an ordinary shuttle down to Neopia Central.
She wasn't really sure why she had decided to come down there, or what she was going to do, so she started walking. She didn't look around at the city, she wasn't even sure of what she saw. However, Lynette wasn't particularly surprised when she found herself standing in front of the dilapidated building in which she had recaptured the scientist the day before. She entered cautiously, pulling out her blaster.
No one was there. She felt disappointed and she didn't even know why. Cursing herself for being so ridiculous, she kicked a rock and sent it sailing into a wall, dropping a cloud of plaster dust from the ceiling.
"It's no wonder this building was condemned," a voice commented.
Lynette spun, her blaster pointed at Judge Hog.
"So, you're back. I don't have any more scientists for you to take," Judge Hog told her.
"I only came back to have you answer a question," Lynette replied.
"Fire away. Your question that is. I'd rather you not use that thing on me," Judge Hog chuckled.
Lynette actually found herself smiling, though she did not relax. "You saved me from Nefarious yesterday, and yet you knew who I was and what I was doing there. Why?"
"Because a hero doesn't discriminate between good guys and bad guys when someone is in trouble, they just save them. I would save Nefarious if he were in need of it. Even if it would let him get away again; I wouldn't turn a blind eye. I certainly didn't want you to take the scientist, but I was not going to let you come to harm to prevent that from happening." Judge Hog explained, then said, "Now, I have question for you, how did you figure out our connection to the scientist?"
"That's for me to know," Lynette snapped.
"So, you didn't know. You just followed us," Judge Hog guessed.
Lynette stayed silent.
"Go on." Judge Hog made a gesture towards the exit.
"What kind of trick is this?" Lynette demanded.
"No trick, on my honor," Judge Hog promised.
Lynette walked out unhindered, but greatly disturbed.
To be continued...