Author: Kezstar24

Chapter Eighty-Six: The Truth if You Will

“Something's not right.” Belle packed her bag as fast as she could. “If they're after the Ruby Suit they might decide to get rid of Dad or Lara too!”
“There's no sense killing yourself trying to get there, otherwise who will protect Peter? Relax!” Charlie carefully folded his underwear.
“Dad's put himself in danger. I can't believe he blabbed about the Ruby Suit!” Belle shoved her clothes into the bag. “I mean, what was he thinking? Driving out to Fallsville wasn't going to save him at…CHARLIE NO I DON'T NEED THE CLAUSE RIGHT NOW!” Belle cried as a familiar expression crossed her best friends face.
Suddenly, Charlie started packing faster than Belle!
“Okay fine, Clause me.” Belle grumbled.
“Belle, think about what's out at Fallsville. Your father didn't make that call.” Charlie shoved as much as he could into his suitcase.
“There's nothing out at Fallsville, it's a dump. A rural town with only one landmark and that's March Hill…oh NO!” Belle began packing faster, getting her clothes messed up with Charlies.
“That's right. It looks like Crusader Roger is getting his revenge on Revolver by trying to oust the DVM from the Council.” Charlie groaned. “And he thought he could use the government to do his dirty work for him.”
“And instead all he's done is make my father a target!” Belle cried. “Demon's gonna come after my Dad, I just KNOW it! And that's if Dickson doesn't get to him first!”
“I can NOT believe I let you guys talk me into this.” Sunny sighed as she walked up the Masters driveway.
“Hey, Belle herself said the more we know the better.” Sammy pointed out. “Actually, her last message sounded quite panicked…”
“The point is, if we're to protect Peter, we need to know the full story.” Daniel strode forward.
“No, we don't.” Sunny glared at him.
“Trust me, it's better this way.” Petunia put a hand on Sunnys shoulder.
Sunny groaned, and knocked on the door.
“We don't want any…Sunny? Since when did YOU guys start knocking?” Lara opened the door.
“We need to talk to you and Peter. About the Ruby Suit and why Dickson is here.” Daniel pushed himself forward and looked Lara dead in the eye.
Sunny facepalmed.
“I'll get Pete. You guys can wrangle Ozzie and Madeleine.” Lara said.
Inside, the two younger Masters were chasing each other around with pillows.
“PILLOW FIGHT!” Sammy cried, and joined the frockling children.
“I swear, he's only 15 minutes younger than me.” Tammy rolled her eyes at her brother.
“He's good with children though, you have to admit.” Sunny looked impressed as Sammy had the two little Masters laughing.
Tammy and Petunia shared a look, before giggling.
Lara returned with Peter. While Sammy took care of Ozzy and Madeleine the others all headed into the dining room to talk.
“We need to know what you did.” Daniel got straight to the point. “Why is the government after the Ruby Suit?”
Peter sighed. “It was after Giggles debuted the Backpack with it's carbon technology.” He began to explain. “The government sent Lara to find out about it.”
“Government? I thought Lara was in family law!” TJ looked confused.
“I am, for the most part.” Lara told them. “But on the side, I'm a government agent. They use my family law employment as a good cover for what they need me to do.”
“So Lara got in touch with me and we reconnected. At the same time, she got me in touch with a government lab and they got me to work.” Peter continued. “I did a lot of work on the Carbon Power project, also known as Project 40.
“It took me a while but eventually I came up with a prototype suit, the Carbon Suit, which wasn't very good at all and flooded whomever wore it with Carbon Power. I deemed it a failure, but the government decided they wanted to continue with human experiments. I think they called it Project 42.”
“Daryl said something about Dicksons two goons wearing a Project 42 shirt.” Sunny said.
“I'll have to follow up on that.” Peter grimaced. “Anyway, when they scrapped Project 40 I stole the Carbon Suit and fixed it up into the Ruby Suit. Then I gave it to Beauty so she could be Ruby Giggles. I never thought that anyone would think to stab her with a Ruby Weapon but Johannas did so…”
“You STOLE the Ruby Suit from the government?!” Lara cried. “You told me that they were fine with you taking it! No wonder Dickson is here now!”
“Belle told us you might become a target.” Tammy said quietly. “She was right, you're in big trouble for sure.”
“It also explains how you had the Ruby Suit made at all.” Daniel mused.
“I HAD always wondered about that.” Sunny nodded.
“I made sure never to let the government know I had it, so I don't know why they're after it now. They rarely pay attention to anything that happens in Pleasantville.” Peter groaned, burying his head in his hands.
“How'd they know about the Backpack then?” TJ asked.
“Oh that's easy, I put in a patent for that when Beauty was fifteen.” Peter told them. “It was about a year after that when they started looking into it.”
“Which is when Belle became Giggles.” Sunny breathed out. “Oh boy, what a mess.”
“You're telling me.” Peter rubbed his face. Then his phone went off.

Chapter Eighty-Five: Ruby vs Presidents Entrusted National Intelligence Service

“Look, I know that Ruby beat you up, but didn't Sidewinder come and help you out in the end anyway?” Charlie tried to calm Daniel down over the phone. “Yes, I KNOW your new tattoo nearly got ruined, but it didn't, so it's all…Dan, please, we're doing our best here!” He held the phone away from his ear as Daniel went on a very loud, very unpublishable tirade. “Mate, seriously! We'll be home as soon as we can. Okay, 'bye!” He quickly hung up the phone before Daniel could start raving and ranting again.
“Of course it just HAD to happen while we were at the Leos game.” Belle sighed. “Although it's nice that the Leos are starting to win again.”
“It is, it is.” Charlie agreed. “Webster should be back soon, hopefully he can get us what we need.”
“Fingers crossed.” Belle lay back on her bed. “Do you ever wonder if our ancestors ever saw this happening when they first dammed up Pleasant Lake?”
“How could they have?” Charlie asked.
“Well, that stupid Improbability Clause for one thing.” Belle said slyly.
It took three hours before Charlie would talk to her again.
Richard Dickson walked slowly through the streets of Pleasantville under the cover of the moonless night. Behind him were Testy and Ball, sticking close together.
“I can't BELIEVE we got stuck with this.” Testy ejaculated. “I bet they're all back at base having a good laugh at us.”
“They're laughing at YOU.” Ball grabbed him tightly. “Now shut up, this is a stealth mission.”
“We haven't arrived YET Mr. Ball, you can relax.” Dickson chuckled. “Now come on, faster!”
They were headed towards the Mayors mansion.
“What have you got for us?” Belle and Charlie dragged Webster into the hotel room that night when he finally arrived with news.
“Two communications. One made just after the protest, one made a month ago.” Webster handed the pair a folder.
The first one was simple:
“I'm sure you've seen the latest from Pleasantville. Now would be a good time to make good on our deal. Much love!”
The second one was a bit more threatening.
“The Mayor and his son only have power due to the machinations of the Death Valley Gang and the Mobsters of Misneach, plus that Ruby Suit. I suggest you do something about this. Now.”
“Both of them sound like Dad.” Belle scanned the two communications carefully. Charlie blinked.
“Oh…oh no…I know what Dickson is after.” He gulped.
Ruby Daryl was about to go out and terrorize the local school disco, when he heard someone behind him.
He stopped in the middle of the school oval. He saw three figures walking towards him. He flicked his hand, releasing a Ruby Shard, which he threw at the approaching figures.
One of the figures laughed and brushed the Shard out of the air! Ruby stepped back, shocked.
“Didn't expect THAT did ya, brat?” Testy snickered. He then formed his own Shard, a deep blue one, and threw it at Ruby, who flew up into the air out of the way.
“Looks like this is your show, I can't fly.” Ball grinned at Testy.
“With pleasure.” Testy suddenly launched himself into the air and chased after Ruby! Ruby began to freak out. The closest anyone had come to being his equal before was Giggles, and that was only because of her immunity to the Ruby Power. Now, these two appeared, and they seemed to be able to use that power without a suit?!
Ruby formed Ruby Blasts in two hands, and fired them at both Testy and Ball.
Ball chuckled, before grabbing the Blast and crushing it. He then returned his own purple Blast! Testy just swatted his away.
Ruby put up a Ruby shield, but it wasn't enough to absorb the power of the Amethyst Blast. He went flying, barely stopping himself from hitting the ground hard. Testy followed after him, firing another Sapphire Shard. Ruby tried a Ruby Shield again, but the Sapphire Shard pierced it easily, soaring into Rubys shoulder!
Ruby began to scream in agony as the Ruby and Sapphire power began to flood his body.
“Perfect. Now to extract it.” Dickson grinned. Ball and Testy walked over and began to strip Daryl of his prized Suit.
From the light that the Ruby Suit was emitting Daryl could see that the two men were wearing grey shirts with “Project 42” on the sleeve. They ungraciously ripped the Suit from the young man, causing him even more agony.
“Mission completed. Let's get out of here.” Dickson waved the two men back to him.
“About time. I'm never gonna live down the code name “Testy”!” Testy groaned as the trio walked back to their lodgings, ready to leave Pleasantville forever.
“You guys are NEVER going to believe what happened!” Sunny looked almost gleeful as she and Melody walked into Bills restaurant.
“You won lotto?” Tammy looked hopeful.
“Alas, no.” Sunny sat down with Melody squirming into her lap.
“You bought a house!” Sammy guessed.
“Wait, what? NO, I already have a house!” Sunny rolled her eyes.
“You're pregnant again!” Petunia looked thrilled.
“NO!” Sunny was getting annoyed.
“You got a job?” TJ asked.
“WILL YOU LOT LISTEN?!” Sunny roared.
“Thank you. Now, some Mobsters found Daryl butt-naked and passed out at the high school – apparently Dickson stole the Ruby Suit off him!” Sunny told them. “We're free of that tyrant!”
The cheers startled passersby.

Chapter Eighty-Four: Reasons

“Dickson wasn't given a mission to investigate Pleasantville, I can tell you that right now. The government doesn't give two figs about that city, no matter what the uproar is.” Webster told them. “There must be another reason that they went, and the investigation is just a cover.”
“What on earth are they after then?” Belle asked.
“We know about as much as you do.” Webster sighed.
“Peter Masters is the reason you're here? HE called you?” Lady Luck raised an eyebrow.
“Yes. He has a few deals with the government, and so he called it and we're here.” Dickson told the Knights of the Last Order.
“Then why weren't you here earlier? The protest was well over a year ago.” Sir Dark asked. Something wasn't adding up.
“The wheels of progress aren't very fast in the great City Hall of Ostraya.” Dickson smiled.
Sir Lionheart closed his eyes. This was going south badly. “I'm going to call an end to this meeting. We're getting no where fast.”
“Very well. I'll send my messages through your friend Theodore?” Dickson got up to leave.
“Constable Jacobs to you.” Sir Hyper snapped.
Dickson nodded, before walking away with Testy and Ball.
“I hope like crazy Chuckles and Giggles have found something, because this is getting hairy.” Lady Courage groaned when the Presidents Entrusted National Intelligence Service was gone.
“I'm worried about what they said about Peter.” Sir Lionheart folded his arms. “We'd better get on to Giggles and let her know.”
“Right.” The others except Lady Courage agreed. Inside, Sunny worried about her friend. How would Belle react to the news that her father sold the power of the Ruby Suit?
Belle woke up drowsily the next morning (barely) as her phone beeped, alerting her to an email from Sunny. She read the contents before groaning.
“What's up?” Charlie didn't even open his eyes.
“Apparently last night Dickson confirmed that my father sent for the Presidents Entrusted National Intelligence Service.” Belle sighed. “Apparently it took them a while to get to Pleasantville.”
“Huh.” Charlie opened his eyes.
“That's that. Dad sold the Ruby Suit to the government for a favour, which he called after the protest and they've just taken their sweet time getting to it.” Belle leaned back on her bed.
“Hmm.” Charlie stared at the ceiling. “It's taken them over a year to get to it, even with the public outcry?”
Belle sat up and rubbed her chin. “You're right. Why wait until the public outcry died out only to restart it again?”
She flipped through her notes again, looking for anything she could find. There was a knock at the door, and Charlie answered it. It was Webster, holding a pair of coffees and a cardboard box filled with hot toast.
“Yes please!” Belle and Charlie reached for the coffees. Webster chuckled as they ate and drank.
“You certainly haven't improved your study habits Belle.” Webster said when they'd calmed down.
“Yours aren't much better thank you.” Belle snapped back. “By the way, we need some information.”
“All ears.” Webster perked up.
“We need to know when the Presidents Entrusted National Intelligence Service was requested to go to Pleasantville. I want to see my fathers communication with them.” Belle told him. Her voice quivered slightly.
“Your father isn't a traitor Belle. He did what he had to.” Charlie said quietly.
“I'll see what I can dig up.” Webster told them. “Why don't you go to a Leos game? I'll be a few hours.”
“You can get the information we need?” Charlie perked up.
“I'll get it, just you watch.” Webster grinned. “Or my name isn't Sir Hedgehog!”
“Confront him…wait until Belle gets home…confront him…wait until Belle gets home…” Sammy said to himself, trying to weigh up the options.
“We're waiting until Belle-Belle gets home and that's final.” Sunny snapped.
They were sitting in TJ and Petunias lounge room, and that outburst from Sunny had Sammy hiding in a corner.
“Easy Sunny!” Daniel tried to calm her down. “We might not have time to do that. Dingbat, Dickson and Demon are all out there and we don't know what Dickson has in mind.”
“Well, from Belle's email, we can safely say he's lying about his reason for being here.” TJ read the email again. “I wonder what-,”
Suddenly, a news bulletin appeared on the television, that had been left on as background noise. “RUBY IS OUT OF CONTROL AGAIN, AND SO ARE THE HAUNTED MAZE TROUPE!”
“Why, why, WHY did they have to act up while Chuckles and Giggles were out of town?!” Petunia groaned as everyone rushed to the tip to suit up.
They couldn't get there soon enough, as Ruby Daryl was destroying everything in sight in order to get even with some slight he had with the Haunted Maze Troupe.
“Why doesn't it surprise me that my brother is dabbling in drugs?” Lady Courage muttered under her breath as the Knights arrived at the scene. “Thanks Sir Motor!”
“You owe me.” Sir Motor grumbled (he and his beloved daughter had been watching their favourite show before his fiance had called him to take them to battle).
“You'll live!” Lady Courage chided him before rushing out to calm the farm.
“GET. OUT. OF. MY. WAY!” Ruby was already trying to get through Sir Hyper and Sir Dark.
"What the heck are you doing Ruby?!" Sir Dark dodged a Ruby Dagger.
"Are you kidding? I'm making a FORTUNE selling this stuff!" Ruby held up a packet of white powder. The two Troupers giggled.
"You sick, twisted, spoiled BRAT! Ladies and gentlemen please stand back." Lady Luck yelled as she quickly ushered people away.
"Aww, you're just jealous you didn't think of it first." Ruby sneered, shaking the bag of white powder. Suddenly he screamed in pain and dropped the bag into the outstretched hand of Lady Courage, who had taken the opportunity to smack the bag out of his hand with her faithful old baseball bat!
"You… give that back or I …" Ruby readied a Ruby Shard. The two Troupers continued giggling, until Lady Luck glared at them.
"I'd be careful with that." Lady Courage opened the bag and held a bottle of water over it.
"You wouldn't DARE!" Ruby looked ready to kill. "There's nearly $6000 in that bag!"
"You're making this so much sweeter for me." Lady Courage looked quite pleased with herself.
Meanwhile, watching the carnage on the television in his hotel, Richard Dickson of the Presidents Entrusted National Intelligence Service grinned.
"So there it is." He watched as the white powder ended up drenched and on the ground as the Troupers turned on Ruby. “Our mission is going to be a success after all.”

Chapter Eighty-Three: The Business Card

TJ knew what he had to do.
It was Monday morning, and it was time for his interview with Richard Dickson, the leader of the Presidents Entrusted National Intelligence Service. He had to be careful. If Wallace Dingbat suspected a thing, then it was all over.
He walked through the entrance of the room that had been set aside for the interviews and looked around, inspecting everything. He wished he was Belle, who could take in a lot of information quickly and scope out a situation before anyone else, which allowed Charlie to form the best plan of action. Of course, they were in Brisvegas for the week, so they were no help.
His eyes scoped the small window to the main office, the only window in the room. There was a single desk with two chairs. Dickson sat on the other side of the desk.
“Please, take a seat Mr. Jacobs.” Dickson smiled at him.
TJ closed the door and sat down. “My name is TJ.” He said.
“TJ?” Dickson asked.
“So I don't get confused with my Dad. He's Theodore Jacobs Snr, I'm Theodore Jacobs Jr.” TJ told him. “Only my wife gets away with calling me Theodore.”
“Yes, I see you're married to a nurse. Petunia, am I right?” Dickson looked through his paperwork.
“Yup, my 'Tuney.” TJ smiled.
“You've been married for a while. Judging from the fact that your face could light up the dark side of the moon, I say things are going well?” Dickson smiled back. “I recently got married myself.”
“Congratulations.” TJ nodded.
“Thank you.” Dickson shuffled his papers again. “Now, before we start, is there anything you want to tell me?”
“Not here, no. I mostly keep to myself and don't bother anyone.” TJ replied.
Dickson looked at him, confused but not showing it. “Very well.” He sighed with disappointment. “I see you're not going to talk.”
“Not here, no.” TJ said again. “I don't have any knowledge that you might want.”
“Very well.” Dickson sighed with defeat. He handed TJ his card. “Let me know when you want to talk.”
TJ looked at the card. “I don't think I'll be needing it.” He handed it back and left the room.
“I don't get it.” Belle stared at the page for the millionth time as they pored over the files in the hotel. “Why did Dad sell the specs for the Ruby Suit?”
“Maybe he was hoping for a favour from the government? Maybe that's why the…them…are here?” Charlie had to suppress a giggle.
“But why would Dad wait so long after the protest to cash in?” Belle wondered.
Charlie thought hard, but ended up shaking his head.
“It's no good. I need more information before I can use the Clause.” He said. “Let's get back to work.”
“Yeah.” Belle nodded, before the pair of them dove into the paperwork in front of them.
“Why MIDNIGHT of all things?! And on a Monday night too?!” Sir Hyper grumbled.
The Noble Knights of the Last Order was standing on the walkway of Pleasantville Dam
“Because that's the way they do it in the movies.” Sir Dark replied.
“I gotta admit, that was a good idea, handing back the note with his card.” Sir Lionheart said approvingly.
“You learn quickly. I couldn't risk Dingbat seeing anything.” Sir Dark told him. “I'm already in a enough hot water there.”
“Ssshhhh, I hear something.” Lady Silent piped up.
The group stood silently as they listened. Soon, they could all hear the sound of multiple sets of footsteps heading towards them. They soon saw Richard Dickson and two of his men in the moonlight.
“Mr. Dickson. I'm glad you accepted the Constables message. I'm Sir Lionheart, I believe we have met.” Sir Lionheart introduced himself.
“Interesting.” Dickson replied. “These are my men, the two I trust more than anyone else, Mr. Ball and Mr. Testy.”
Sir Lionheart had to swallow his laughter. He then introduced the rest of the Knights.
“Now, to business. We want to know exactly why you're here and what you plan to do next.” Sir Hyper sat on a nearby rock.
“That's a difficult question. You see, what we've been sent to do and what we actually plan to do are two completely different things.” Testy sighed. In the dark all the Knights could see was a weaselly-shaped man who looked completely untrustworthy.
“The government sent us here as a cover. We're just here for show.” Ball said. He was bigger than Testy, and looked more like someone military.
“But we don't believe that's right. We actually want to make a difference.” Testy said.
“No offence, but how do we believe you?” Lady Courage asked.
“None taken. We know our story seems far-fetched.” Ball said. “It's up to you what you do with it.”
“So you're not even prepared to try?” Lady Courage narrowed her eyes.
“Easy Courage.” Sir Lionheart said warningly.
“I don't trust them. They're on OUR territory, we don't know where they've come from or who they're working for or why. Everything they've said so far just sounds way too convenient.” Lady Courage pointed out. “Especially as it seems the government wants the status quo to stay as it is.”
Dickson stared hard at her. Sir Lionheart grimaced beneath his mask briefly, before turning to Dickson.
“My associate has a point. Until we can fully verify your story and your intentions, we won't be able to trust you or work with you properly.” He conceded. “What can you give us?”
“I can give you information about Peter Masters.” Dickson told them
Belle and Charlie were deep in their files, when there was a knock on the door. The pair looked at each other, stricken.
“Does anyone know we're here?” Belle mouthed.
“They shouldn't.” Charlie mouthed back.
The knocking started again. Belle reached into her bag and pulled out the Lucky Seven Gun. Charlie pulled out the Lions Claw Blade and walked to the door. Belle positioned herself behind the bed and nodded.
Charlie opened the door.
“Webster! Maddy! Tate!” Belle put the Lucky Seven Gun down. “What are you guys doing here?”
“Hopefully not getting shot.” Webster chuckled. He looked a lot healthier than he had when he lived in Pleasantville, which just went to show what that city did to people. “Your Dad let us know you were here, so we thought we'd help out. We can unlock doors that you can't.”
“Nice!” Charlie grinned. “We need more information for me to process the Improbability Clause.”
“And we've got some. We just need to know about who they sent to Pleasantville.” Maddy sat down and set Tate on the bed.
Belle and Charlie looked at each other and giggled. Then they saw that Webster and Maddy looked deathly serious.
“If it's the Presidents Entrusted National Intelligence Service, we're in big trouble.” Webster said. “You can NOT trust Richard Dickson!”

Chapter Eighty-Two: My Fallen Idol, Part Two

TJ might have agreed with Petunia and had a path going forward, but the fact that his father, the father he had looked up to and idolized, the father he wanted to emulate had turned a blind eye to the corruption of the Pleasantville Police Force just to further his own career made him feel sick. It was all he could think about that weekend, when he SHOULD have been thinking about how he was going to tackle Dickson.
Also, he probably should have had his mind on the game of cricket he was playing at the tip.
“TEEJ! Are you okay?!” Daniel cried as the bouncer he bowled hit TJ in the ear.
“Owch.” TJ fell to the ground, clutching the side of his head.
“You've been distracted all day, what's up?” Sammy asked as Petunia tended to the wound.
“Of course, if SOMEONE would avoid bowling bouncers, that would be nice!” Petunia rounded on Daniel.
“There is nothing wrong with my bowling!” Daniel retorted.
Ten minutes later, when the argument had finished, TJ told his fellow Knights about the conversation he'd had with his Dad.
“Wow. I can't believe your Dad just turned a blind eye to everything!” Tammy gasped. “I mean, we all know your Dad!”
“I just…” TJ couldn't bring himself to say it. Sunny put her hand on his arm.
“Your Dad loves you. He did what he thought was best to protect you and give you the best he could. Try not to hold it too much against him.” She said quietly.
“Not all Dads can be heroes.” Daniel added.
TJ sighed. “I just…what if I go against him and he finds out? What if he finds out I'm a Knight of the Last Order?”
“Then you have us. We'll wear it if it happens.” Sammy said quickly and firmly.
“Exactly.” Tammy agreed with her brother.
TJ sighed again. Petunia finished fixing up his ear and put her arm around him.
“You can't do any worse with Dickson and your father than your strike rate I guess.” She said slyly.
Instantly, TJs father was forgotten in yet another cricket argument. Stay classy Knights.
“What's up Dorkster?” Charlie poked his head out of his window. Belle was sitting in the tree, looking up through the new leaves.
“Something doesn't add up. The protest was AGES ago. The government had plenty of time to organize a raid, and something much more substantial then sending the p- Dickson.” Belle had a small giggle to herself before frowning again.
“Shouldn't we just be grateful someone is here?” Charlie asked.
“Yes…and no. Sometimes it pays to look a gift horse in the mouth. Not all gifts are given with the best intentions.” Belle mused.
Charlie looked at his best friend. “I don't think the answers will be in Pleasantville.” He said slowly. “We'll need to go to Brisvegas.”
“Yeah.” Belle nodded. “Wanna come with me?”
“And help you sift through boring information on a dumb research project? Heck yeah!” Charlie grinned. “We might need the Improbability Clause!”
“You're the worst best friend ever you know that?” Belle scowled at him.
All being said, it wasn't a bad car trip to Brisvegas.
“You are NEVER driving my car again.” Belle snapped at Charlie as they pulled into their hotel.
“You know it's a good idea to change drivers every two hours.” Charlie lectured her as he handed the key to the concierge.
They checked in with no problems (except Belle pouting) and they headed to their room. Almost immediately, Belle began to arrange the desk and Charlie closed the curtains.
“We could have been followed! You're pretty hot property at the moment!” Charlie pointed out.
“Good point.” Belle agreed. She pulled out her laptop and set it up on the desk, with her pen and notepad. She grabbed another pen and notepad and shoved it into her handbag.
“We've got two hours until the Brisvegas Council Library closes.” Belle said. “Let's get out some information and bring it back here to analyse.”
“How are we supposed to get said information? Most of it would be top secret wouldn't it?” Charlie asked as they walked out of the hotel room.
“A name is quite a lot.” Belle smirked. “And my name tends to get me into a lot of places others would fear to tread.”
They headed to the library, and got a hold of all the unclassified government records that they were allowed. They got everything they could relating to Pleasantville, and headed back to the hotel (with the all-important detour for snacks).
“So, what do we do first?” Charlie looked at the huge pile of binders on the desk.
“We procrastinate and watch the cricket, duh.” Belle told him, jumping on a bed and flicking through the channels.
“Now that sounds like a plan!” Charlie grinned.
They watched an awful game of Ostraya versus the Golden Isle. Towards the innings break, they ordered room service (charged to the account of Peter Masters) and continued watching the drivel before Belle got irritated and started reading one of the binders. Charlie snickered behind his hand, while watching the Golden Isle lose another wicket.
Suddenly, the binder was down and Belle was trying to breathe normally.
“Belle? BELLE!” Charlie jumped to her side. “What is it, what did you find?”
Belle turned to him, pale. She shakily pointed to a page in the binder.
Charlie picked up the binder and looked at it. He gulped. What he read could only mean one thing, and one thing only.
Either Lara or Peter Masters had sold the government the secrets of the Ruby Suit, long before Belle had ever worn it.

Chapter Eighty-One: My Fallen Idol, Part One

Richard Dickson walked into the police station, looking around suspiciously. The suspicion was returned wholeheartedly, except for Constable TJ who had his head down and buried in paperwork.
“You look hard at work for once.” TJ heard his boss, the stupid Inspector Dingbat, standing over him. TJ groaned inwardly. He wished like crazy Dingbat would just leave him alone.
“Just taking after you Sir.” He suddenly heard slip from his mouth. Uh-oh…
Dingbat narrowed his eyes at the younger man and was about to start a triade when Dickson walked over.
“I'll deal with you after work Jacobs.” Dingbat sneered at TJ, who groaned. Now there'd be trouble, and he probably wouldn't get home until well after dinner-time!
“Good Morning Mister Dickson, glad you've decided to visit our little establishment.” Dingbat said in his most wheedly, suck-up voice.
“I want to speak to your men. Individually. Privately.” Dickson narrowed his eyes and got straight to the point.
“Oh really?” Dingbat narrowed his eyes back.
“You've been told to cooperate with the Presidents Entrusted National Intelligence Service on this exercise Inspector, I suggest you do.” Dickson looked intimidating. TJ knew though that Dingbat was too stupid to be intimidated by anyone, and too ambitious to let anyone get in his way. Everyone else was trying not to giggle.
“I think I should join my men. For emotional support. They need to know they have their leader with them.” Dingbat stated. TJ tried not to snort. He knew full well that Dingbat wanted to make sure nothing was said against him!
“I want them to know that anything they say won't be used against them. I can't assure them of that if their boss is breathing down their neck.” Dickson fired back. TJ allowed himself a small smile. “Now if you'll excuse me, I'll start with your lowest-ranking officers, so you have less time to threaten them.”
The giggling stopped.
Dingbat looked beyond ropeable. Dickson motioned to the newest young recruit to the force, a pimply little weasel of a kid who reminded TJ of a school snitch. The little weasel quickly looked at Dingbat, terrified, not sure what he should do, before looking at the much more intimidating Dickson and bolting out of the room.
TJ quaked a little himself. This was going to get very, VERY ugly.
Petunia was stirring a beef casserole in her kitchen when TJ finally trudged home.
“Again?” She asked sympathetically.
“Again.” TJ groaned.
“Your father called earlier, he asked for you to call him back after dinner.” Petunia said, checking the rice.
“Swell. He probably heard about Dingbat and Dickson.” TJ slumped onto the couch, feeling defeated.
“Dingbat and Dickson?” Petunia began to dish up the dinner. TJ sighed, and got up to set the table.
“Dickson wants to interview all the cops privately without Dingbat involved, and Dingbat wants to make sure the truth doesn't get out. There was a huge blowup, Dingbat was screaming at Dickson and Dickson didn't even break a sweat.” He told her as he set out the cutlery.
“Damn. Sounds like Dickson is one cool customer.” Petunia said.
“You should have seen him. He totally had Dingbat scouted. Although I'm worried about what this means for the force.” TJ sighed.
“You really should talk to your Dad.” Petunia brought out two big bowls of steaming casserole and rice. TJ was beginning to feel better already.
The pair happily talked during dinner (TJ nearly spitting his out laughing when Petunia told him about a rather disgusting mess she had to clean up in the childrens ward). Afterwards, they cleaned up together before Petunia settled down to her jigsaw puzzle and TJ called his father.
“Heya Teej.” Theodore Jacobs Sr. greeted his son.
“Heya Dad. I guess you heard about the big blow up today.” TJ chuckled as he settled down in his favourite easy chair to talk.
“You bet. I've heard a few different versions, including one involving a gunfight and Chuckles and Giggles getting involved.” Theodore chuckled along with his son. “So the government is running an inquiry eh?”
“Yeah, Dickson wants to talk to us all privately.” TJ pulled up his footrest and leaned back.
“Teej, let me give you some advice. Don't say anything. Plead ignorance.” Theodore warned his son. “It's for your own safety, and a good career move too.”
“Dad…what?!” TJ suddenly felt uncomfortable.
“You're at a stage of your career where you can't afford to be making waves, and believe me, when this is all over there'll be a tsunami. Minimise the damage to yourself.” Theodore continued.
“But what about Pleasantville?!” TJ sat up. “If I have a chance to do something I have to do it!”
“You've been listening to those Knights of the Last Order.” Theodore groaned. “TJ, let them take care of Pleasantville, you need to take care of yourself and Petunia. How do you think I got so far?”
TJ felt himself boil inside. His father would never know that he was in fact a Knight of the Last Order, otherwise there would be no end of trouble. Theodore Jacobs Sr. was a career man, and he had hoped his son would be the same.
“Dad, I can't. I joined to serve and protect, and I can't do that by clamming up and letting morons like Dingbat get away with murder!” TJ cried. Petunia looked up from her puzzle.
“TJ you start blabbing and it's gonna get ugly!” Theodore also raised his voice. “Don't think for a second that those private talks are actually private, you talk and you're going to find yourself so deep in trouble you won't be able to breathe. Especially if it goes up the City Hall and the Mayor gets involved.”
TJ growled.
“I'm telling you this to protect you. There are dangerous people in Pleasantville who will easily destroy you if you make trouble, and for added pain they'll take down your whole family too.” Theodore pleaded. “Think about it. Do you really want to risk your Mother and I? Petunia? Could you honestly live with yourself if anything happened to her?”
“I'll think about it.” TJ groaned.
“I only say this because I care about you kid. Look, your mother is having a fit, she needs to call a friend to organise their next Bridge game. Catch ya later.” Theodore said.
“Love you too Dad. Catch ya.” TJ hung up.
“That sounded controversial.” Petunia sat down next to her husband.
“He wants me to put my head down, bum up and shut up.” TJ sighed. “He worries if I talk and cause waves it will get back to me and put me in danger.”
Petunia said nothing.
“But I have to say something! If I don't, nothing will change!” TJ cried. “Dickson HAS to know where the problems are, and I have to tell him, I'm the only one on the force who actually cares about the people of Pleasantville! Everyone else just cares about their pay packet and half of them are under the employ of the Mob!”
“Yes. Dickson needs to know, but you're not going to tell him.” Petunia said.
“If I don't, who will?!” TJ cried.
“Sir Dark and the Noble Knights of the Last Order.” Petunia grinned.

Chapter Eighty: Sneaky

“The LIBRARY?!” TJ groaned loudly as he sat with Tammy at the Pleasantville Library.
“Shhhhhhh!!!!” Hissed the Librarian.
“Sorry!' TJ ducked his head.
“Trust me, the Pleasantville Library is the one place where everyone comes for a bit of privacy.” Tammy whispered. “Judith is here all the time, Demon shows up on occasion with Daryl, and when Mark was alive he used to love the Aquatics section.” Tammy took TJ through the History section. “We won't talk about how Belle spends all her free time here.”
“When she's not stepping on her wicket.” TJ pouted.
“SHHHHHH!!!!” The Librarian hissed again.
“Geezus…is he always that vicious?” TJ hissed as Tammy picked a book from the Contemporary Arts section.
“Mr. Bookley is the sweetest man ever thank you.” Tammy glared at her friend.
“I was just saying…” TJ started.
“SHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!” The Librarian looked ready to kill.
“I'm not going to speak for the rest of the day.” TJ grumbled under his breath.
“Good, because Richard Dickson just arrived, and we need to scope him out today.” Tammy took her book down to a table and opened her bag, pulling out her laptop. “We're gonna find out why the Service is in Pleasantville.”
TJ immediately grabbed the nearest book and threw himself into the seat next to her, earning a filthy look from Mr. Bookley.
Dickson looked at the the library catalogue, then went to the Adult Fiction section. He grabbed a mystery and sat down near a window. He began to read quietly.
TJ looked at his book, “Self-Care after Pregnancy”. He groaned inwardly. Tammy shot him a Look, before continuing with her studies.
Dickson read quietly for a while, before another man walked in. He picked up a mystery of his own and sat by his commander. TJ noticed that Tammy sat back and appeared to relax a bit while reading her book. He sighed, and tried to enjoy the book he'd picked up.
“This is stupid.” The lackey said to Dickson. “Why'd they give us such crap supplies for?”
“Because you KNOW they don't want us to fix anything.” Dickson replied bitterly. TJ and Tammy nearly fell off their chairs when they heard the feminine voice of the big, strapping Dickson! “Pleasantville is where they take care of their shady business, and they don't want to lose it. It's disgusting.”
“You're gonna try anyway aren't you Sir?” The other man asked.
“Of course. I didn't sign up to be a whitewasher.” Dickson snapped.
“SHHHHHHHHH!” The Librarian looked ready to burst.
“I want to get a hold of the main two. Chuckles and Giggles. I hear they have ties to the Masters and Begly families who hold a bit of weight around here.” Dickson said quietly.
“I'll see what I can do Sir.” The lackey nodded, before returning to his mystery. “No good, I've read this one a million times, it's lost it's charm.”
TJ looked at Tammy, who looked deep in thought.
“What was THAT all about?” He asked her.
“SHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!” Both the Librarian AND Tammy shushed TJ this time.
“What?!” TJ asked. Tammy groaned, and dragged TJ out of there.
“The whole point of the library is that it's QUIET and people DON'T KNOW THAT YOU'RE EAVESDROPPING!” Tammy scolded him. “This is why I'm Lady Silent and you're a chump.”
“Hey, give me a break!” TJ groaned.
She ripped into him all the way back to the tip.
“This goes deeper than anything I could have imagined. Oh the drama!” Belle listened intently to what Tammy and TJ reported back at the tip.
“A global conspiracy? Awesome.” Charlie drawled, sitting on a pile of old mattresses. “I'm sure you'll find some way to make it boring.”
“So, how do we help them?” Sammy asked as Charlie went flying to the ground, the pile of mattresses destroyed.
“This is where TJ gets involved. Be sure to say hi from Chuckles and Giggles for us!” Daniel thumped TJ's back.
“Hopefully he does better than he did at spying.” Tammy frowned.
Suddenly, TJ's phone began to buzz.
“Constable Jacobs reporting…yes Sir, will be there soon Sir.” TJ hung up. “Bad news, Demon has called the police to make sure the Noble Knights of the Last Order are caught!”
“Not good.” Petunia moaned.
“It isn't.” Daniel rubbed his chin. “Okay. Lady Silent and Sir Dark will remain on…well, THAT detail.” He couldn't help giggling. “Lady Luck will remain here and keep things running. Lady Courage, Sir Hyper and myself will help Chuckles and Giggles fight crime, should it pop up.”
“Right.” The Knights nodded.
“Teej, it's up to you.” Daniel looked at one of his two best friends. “You have to get to Dickson.”
“I'll try.” TJ sighed.
“You're distracted love.” Petunia rinsed off plates and handed them to TJ, who loaded the dishwasher.
“How am I supposed to talk to Dickson? This is a job for Belle or Dan or even Tammy.” TJ sighed. “I'm just a cop.”
“You know how to talk to people.” Petunia pointed out.
“Yeah…but…” TJ sighed.
“But what?” Petunia looked up at him.
“I can't change anything. None of my coworkers ever listen to me when I try to steer them towards not being corrupt, and bloody Dingbat is the worst Inspector I've ever heard of. He won't promote me to Senior Constable because he's got his favourites.” TJ told her. “I wanted to do my Dad proud, but I can't do anything.”
“Maybe you should talk to your Dad.” Petunia suggested, finishing the rinsing.
“I guess.” TJ put the last dish in the washer.
“Don't I guess me.” Petunia smiled at him with a giggle.
TJ smiled back, and hugged her tightly. “What would I do without you to keep me straight?”
“You'd probably be married to Dan and cheating with Sam right now.” Petunia poked him.
They laughed. As long as they had each other, nothing else mattered.

Chapter Seventy-Nine: Good Enough for Government Work

Sir Lionheart felt a bit foolish. Here was this huge beast of a man with a feminine voice who had just called him “Knight” with a level of respect.
“Sir, um, you might want to watch the knives. They're hollow and full of drugs that can knock you out.” Sir Lionheart warned.
Richard Dickson walked towards the Haunted Maze Troupers, pulling out his gun.
“Now I don't want to have to use this, but I will in order to subdue you.” He told the Troupers, who stared back blankly. Sir Lionheart squinted. No way…
One of the Troupers let out a high-pitched giggle and threw a knife towards Dickson. It missed, but Sir Lionheart hissed. It had come dangerously close to Dicksons face, which meant-,
“As a member of the Presidents Entrusted National Intelligence Service, I'm immune to petty drugs like yours.” Dickson scowled. He pointed the gun at the Trouper who had thrown the knife.
Sir Lionheart swallowed. It WAS! That gun was a cousin of the Lucky Seven Gun and the Mystic Eight Gun! Did that mean that a cousin of the Lions Claw Blade and the Dragon Scale Scythe was nearby?
Dickon held the gun steady. “Are you going to cooperate?”
Another Trouper threw their knife too, missing Dickson by inches.
“So be it.”
Dickson pulled the trigger twice. Nothing happened.
“Why did they give me this stupid thing…?” Dickson pointed the gun downwards and inspected the chamber. Suddenly, the gun went off twice, right in Dicksons foot!
Sir Lionheart groaned. Loudly. Bloody government employees…
“Fine, let's try this!” Dickson pulled a dagger out of his belt. Sir Lionheart grimaced. Sure enough, there was the talisman attached to the hilt, a hedgehog. Sir Lionheart debated whether or not it was worth the three hours it would take for Belle to explain it to him.
Dickson threw the knife at the Troupers…unfortunately the talisman got caught in his fingers, and the knife quickly turned around and stabbed its owner in the hand.
“Hmm. Unfortunate. Oh well, as you were Knight, I think you can handle this. I'm going to continue my investigation.” Dickson looked at his wounded hand, before walking away.
Sir Lionheart blinked. He looked at the Troupers, who were shrugging to each other.
“I, um…I'll take these kids to Peter Masters, maybe he can analyze what they were given and see if we can't get them some treatment.” Sir Hyper rubbed the back of his neck.
“Good idea.” Sir Lionheart sighed. He noticed one of the Troupers about to hand another little girl a stash of drugs. “NO.” He snatched the drugs away and bopped the Trouper on the head with the butt of his replica Scythe.
“Okay, hands up, who actually expected a group with the name Presidents Entrusted National Intelligence Service to actually be competent? Actually?!” TJ groaned at the restaurant after Daniel had told them everything that had happened.
“I don't think it was him per se, but his weapons.” Belle piped up, her nose (where else) in a book.
“Apart from exposition, do you DO anything?!” Charlie groaned.
“Don't make me reverse Clause you.” Belle threatened.
“What about his weapons?” Daniel asked.
“I'm just looking at it now, it seems -,” Belle started, only to be interrupted by Charlie.
“I called my friends over in Awesomica recently, and they said they'd been looking further into the lore behind our weapons. If Dan is correct, then we're looking at the Speedy Two gun and the Hedgehog's Quill Dagger.” Charlie said.
There was silence.
“Awesome! Do you know about any of the others?” Belle dropped the book and focused all her attention on her best friend.
The others nearly fainted.
“No one seems to have the full story, but it seems these weapons can be traced back to a war 150 years ago. Somehow in this war the weapons were created and made their way around the world.” Charlie tried to recount what he'd learned. “There's seven pairs in total.”
“I've only heard of the Lucky Seven and the Lions Claw, the Mystic Eight and the Dragons Scale, the Palatable Six and the Stingrays Tail, the Quadroon Four and the Elephants Tusk, and now the Speedy Two and the Hedgehog's Quill. There's nothing I can find about the other two.” Belle mused.
Charlie pulled out his smartphone and checked his emails. “Here it is. The other two are the Trinity Three and the Tigers Tooth Scimitar, and the Dangerous Five Gun and the Wolf's Fang Gauntlet.” He said.
“This is all interesting, but how does that help us now?” Sunny asked, again trying to feed her daughter with limited success. “Bloody kids…”
“It's weird.” Belle looked at Charlie. “I've never been able to use the Lions Claw Blade, it's too heavy for me, and Charlie can't make the Lucky Seven Gun fire.”
“None of us can, and none of us are able to use the Lions Claw very well either.” Sammy added. “Except Dan, but he's just talented.”
“I think you need to have a certain level of skill to use these weapons.” Belle folded her hands in front of her mouth and focused. “Or maybe it's a certain bloodline.”
“Neither apply to me.” Daniel said quickly.
“Hmm.” Charlie and Belle continued to think.
“The point is, how are we supposed to keep the Service from hurting themselves? More importantly, how are we supposed to show them that the problem is with the Pleasantville Council?” Tammy banged her hand on the table, making everyone jump.
“Especially as Demon is doing everything he can to keep Dad and I away from them.” Belle sighed.
“Maybe…maybe this calls for something a little bit…covert…” Daniel rubbed his chin, before grinning at Tammy.
“Me?!” She squeaked.
“Of course! The Shadow of the Last Order! The Ghost of the Last Order! Our own invisible informant!” TJ cheered.
“Of course…she'll need some help from the OTHER Knight who just so happens to work for the Pleasantville Council…even if it IS their police force.” Daniel smirked at TJ, who faltered.
“Of course! Demon wouldn't DREAM that one of his cops is part of the Last Order! He might have the reins tight on Belle and Peter, but he knows NOTHING about TJ!” Petunia laughed. “Dan, you're a genius!”
“I know. That's why I'm the leader.” Daniel stretched nonchalantly. Just then, Melody spat up a mouthful of carrots all over his shirt.
“Sorry! She's being difficult!” Sunny tried to clean up the mess as everyone laughed.

Chapter Seventy-Eight: The Presidents Entrusted National Intelligence Service

Peter Masters was old enough to know better than to eavesdrop. He certainly should have been professional enough.
The interesting stranger who walked into Demons office was too enticing however. So Peter decided today was the day to get all of his shredding done. Nothing to do with the shredder being close to a vent that was right next to Demon Jones office.
"Mr Dickson. It's nice to meet you." Peter heard Demon say. The sound of clinking alerted Peter to the fact that Demon was trying to ply his guest with alcohol. Which meant this was either a good friend or Demon was trying to intoxicate them to cover himself.
"I won't be needing any of that." An almost female voice replied. Peter did a double-take. When Mr. Dickson had walked into Demons office, he'd looked HUGE.
"As you wish." Demon replied, Peter heard the note of disappointment in his voice and grinned.
"Now as you know, I'm here from the Presidents Entrusted National Intelligence Service to investigate reports of unrest in Pleasantville." Mr. Dickson continued.
Peter nearly died trying to keep his poker face. Across the room, Belle noticed her fathers behaviour and raised an eyebrow. A MASTERS sinking so low as to EAVESDROP?!
"I appreciate you coming in. We seem to have a strong vigilante problem here in Pleasantville." Demon said. Peter gritted his teeth. This was bad if Demon was turning the Government against chuckles and Giggles!
"If there's vigilantes, that usually paints to a bigger problem." Mr. Dickson replied.
'BURNNN!' Peter thought with a smirk.
"I'm sure with your help we can get to the bottom of it." Peter could hear Demon gritting his teeth.
'Looks like life in Pleasantville is about to get veeery interesting.' Peter thought with a smirk as he returned to his desk.
"Obvious eavesdroping is obvious." Belle said dryly as he sat down. Sure enough, everyone on their team was looking at Peter expectantly.
"The Government is coming down on Demons head!" Belle laughed at the tip with her friends after work.
"Ooooh, so the Law Enforcement Division is here?" Sunny perked up.
"Not quite…" Belle could barely keep her face straight.
"The Ostraylan Police Department?" Daniel looked suspicious.
"The International Law Association?" Sammy piped up.
"NO!" Belle groaned. She told them who had come to their rescue.
"You're telling us that the saviors of Pleasantville are the…" Charlie snorted.
"Presidents…" TJ giggled.
"Entrusted…" Petunia burst out laughing.
"National…" Tammy was grinning ear to ear.
"Intelligence…" Sunny looked fit to burst.
"Shut up guys!" Belle was laughing too.
"At least the Government is looking into it now." Daniel popped a barley sugar into his mouth and followed it up with a swig of ginger beer. "Who knows WHAT they'll come up with."
"Anyway, don't we have patrolling to do?" Sammy looked at his watch.
"Sure, although I doubt we'll need to do much if everyone's going to behave while the…the…" Tammy started giggling again.
"Hey, if Judith is right about the March Hill Crusaders trying to take power, this could be the perfect time to act up." Belle pointed out. "Especially as no one has seen Roger since Mark was slaughtered."
"Great choice of words there." Charlie groaned.
"Well, from what I heard, it WAS a slaughter." Belle began.
"We don't need to hear it. Thank you." Tammy looked pale.
The group suited up and shipped out.
"No crime over here." Sir Hyper walked past a jewelry store.
"None here." Sir Lionheart checked Pleasantville First Bank.
"No crime to be seen here, except my heart being stolen." Lady Courage giggled as she played marbles with some children.
"I think we can say that crime is taking a break." Lady Luck walked with Sir Dark.
"Absolutely." Sir Dark agreed.
Suddenly, they heard a loud screaming.
"Stand down, it's just Giggles trying to kill Chuckles." Lady Silent advised them over their radios.
"Wonder what Chuckles said this time." Lady Courage wondered.
They continued to patrol in various parts of the city, stopping briefly to watch Giggles hang Chuckles upside down in midair. ("I'M NOT SORRY!") before they both fell into the duck pond at the park.
"Any moment now, and the peace will be broken." Sir Lionheart stretched.
"Can't you just enjoy our good fortune?" Sir Hyper deadpanned.
Suddenly they heard a loud giggling. They rushed around the corner and found a Haunted Maze Trouper counting money.
"What the hell?!" Sir Lionheart readied his replica Dragon Scale Scythe.
"Sir Lionheart! Look!" Sir Hyper ran to come children who were all glassy-eyed and swaying dangerously.
"Too late! They're hooked!" The Trouper in her pink baby mask giggled. "They'll just want more and more and more and…"
"You MONSTER!" Sir Lionheart cried.
"Monster? HAHAHAHA!" The Trouper laughed. Suddenly, ten more Troupers, each with different coloured baby masks appeared.
Sir Lionheart slapped his watch and prepared to defend Sir Hyper, who was trying to round up the addicted children.
"You won't beat us. You can't survive until they get here. Why don't you just give in?" The Troupers pulled out their knives, all of them smoking with burning drugs just waiting to be inhaled.
Sir Lionheart stepped back. Even though he had added breathing protection now, he was still wary of those knives and the drugs they held.
"Give in Sir Knight, this will feel so good, I promise you." The Trouper said softly.
"I'll take it from here, thank you Knight."
Sir Lionheart turned around expecting to see a woman, and instead came face-to-face with Richard Dickson.

Chapter Seventy-Seven: Lies and the Truth

“You were WRONG.” Daryl smirked.
“Shut. Up.” Judith Jofrey seethed.
They were sitting in the Mayors office, where Demon Jones had called a meeting.
“Both of you, enough.” Demon growled.
“C'mon Dad. Let me just have this.” Daryl grinned. “I mean, unless that baby brat Masters has grown into a teenager in the past twelve months, there's no way Belle Masters could be Giggles, because she doesn't have a sister old enough to fight!”
“Get OVER it!” Judith hissed.
“ENOUGH!” Demon raised his voice. “Now, if you don't stop Daryl, I will have you removed.”
Daryl settled back into his seat, satisfied.
“Now, we have a problem. Mark is dead, thanks to Master Revolver. Roger has vanished for the time being, which is annoying because I had plans with the March Hill Crusaders.” Demon glared at Judith.
“You were going to betray the Mobsters of Misneach.” She said evenly.
“They're idiots who have only kept their power by the sheer virtue that no one else could be bothered.” Demon muttered.
“They're the reason you got in as Mayor, remember?” Judith replied.
Demon bristled.
“I don't think we have anything further to discuss. Good day, Arnold.” Judith got up and left.
“Is this going to be another chapter of exposition?” Charlie groaned as Belle jotted down some notes.
“I'm just going say this is totally the fault of the Mob. The last time we had so many crime syndicates in Pleasantville was when the March Hill Crusaders ran the Mayors office. Now the Mob are in with Demon, it's history repeating.” Belle collated her notes, neatened them up, and put them in a folder. “Now, we need to deal with the fact that it's lunchtime.”
“Definitely exposition.” Charlie sighed as he climbed in through Belles bedroom window and followed her downstairs for lunch.
“So I heard that Demon is REALLY pissed at Master Revolver, and they had a huge blow up after Mark died.” Tammy was telling them what her snooping had discovered. “They haven't spoken since.”
“Maybe murdering Mark wasn't such a good idea for the Mob after all.” Peter mused. “It's just driven a further wedge between them and City Hall.”
“Which leaves the door wide open for the Haunted Maze Troupe, or anyone else to come in.” Belle sat down.
“No Belle.” Charlie shushed her.
“I just sat down!” Belle looked insulted.
“You had your lecture face on. We don't need random facts about Pleasantville history.” Charlie told her.
“Sounds like someone's being attacked outside!” Next door, Patrick began to panic.
“Calm down. Charlie just insulted Belle and is paying for it is all.” Sunny rolled her eyes, and went back to reading Melody her book.
“I don't think the Troupe want power though. They just want to sell their drugs.” Tammy said as Belle tore after Charlie.
“It makes things interesting though. Demon can't act until he has another legitimate name to throw his weight behind.” Peter mused. “Will you two sit down and eat?”
Belle and Charlie sat down, Belle pouting and Charlie grinning.
“Of course, we never exactly know WHO is getting themselves ready underground.” Peter continued.
Demon Jones sat at his desk typing up a letter to some rich snob or other that he needed to appease. Keeping all his connections happy was a difficult task, especially when those connections had needs that could only be serviced by drawing the ire of Chuckles and Giggles.
Those two pests and their friends the Noble Knights of the Last Order were making life extremely difficult. Especially when they had the backing of that goody-two-shoes Peter Masters. The criminal element, while still quite profitable, was running into huge problems because of them.
Demon sighed and finished off the letter. Suddenly, there was a knock at the door, and his son entered.
“What now?” Demon glared at Daryl.
“Well, my sister is finally getting married.” Daryl sat down. “Interestingly enough, to someone you might know.”
“I really don't care about that little trollop. She chose not to be a part of this family.” Demon grumbled.
“Also, we're going to have a visit from some government officials. They're going to do a full investigation.” Daryl added.
“WHAT?!” Demon roared.
“Thanks to Chuckles and Giggles and that stupid protest they had. Of course news of it got out and now we're under pressure.” Daryl told his father.
“Those two little morons have been a thorn in my side for too long!” Demon growled. “First they invade MY home, now they've got the government onto us. Well, never matter. Pleasantville has gotten through things like this before. We'll just have to keep things relatively clean while they're doing their little investigation.”
“How about putting Masters on leave? Both of them?” Daryl asked. “If the investigators get a hold of them, it could spell trouble.”
“No, that will just draw attention. We'll just give them light duties. Nothing where they can get involved in any investigation.” Demon rubbed his chin. “We'll need to do something about the Mob.”
“They don't want to get arrested any more than we do.” Daryl pointed out.
“I hope you're right. They might just decide to act up out of spite.” Demon mused. “Especially with how unstable Mobster Marion has become.”
“Losing the Lions Claw Blade twice has unhinged her completely.” Daryl agreed.
“I'm trusting you to keep an eye on the Mob.” Demon told his son.
“Count on me.” Daryl grinned.
“Not sure what we're going to do about the Troupe, and the Crusaders could want revenge at any moment. DAMN Revolver!” Demon growled as Daryl walked out to lord over his two associates.
He only hoped that he could keep things under control until he could have his revenge on Chuckles and Giggles…and their number one fan, the number one lawyer in the city, Peter Masters.
The man and his coworkers stood on the edge of Pleasant Gorge, looking out over the city of Pleasantville.
“It's time to find out exactly what's going on in this city, or my name isn't Richard Dickson!” He said in a high-pitched voice while he narrowed his eyes.

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