On patrol tonight I decide to go down to the waterfront and check out the Pomeranian warship. (see post Fog, 2/25/05) I'm naturally suspicious and think the Pomeranians might be up to something - who's going to trust any country with a head of state named "Diabolik?" -- but I also think their ship is damn cool and want to take a closer look.
I lurk behind some vents on a seagull-shit splattered building on Pier 52 and take a look at the ship through the binocular setting on my goggles. It's a sleek French designed frigate (those guys will sell weapons to anybody) that has been built for stealth. The hull has been coated with radar absorbent paint, all outer surfaces are sloped at ten degrees to minimize its radar signature, and all the little bits and bobs common to a ship its size have been internalized or smoothed out.
The few Pomeranian sailors that aren't out drinking prowl the decks with AKs. I'll bet the crew is psyched to get out on a blue water cruise; international sanctions have until late kept the Pomeranian Navy bottled up in the Baltic where they got their kicks by intimidating Estonian fishermen with their high-tech warships. Now that Diabolik (pronounced Dee-ah-bo-leek) has renounced his country's plans to develop anti-matter weaponry, relations have thawed a little and their navy finally gets to come out and play.
Am I boring you? You probably know all this shit already.
While I'm checking out their ship, a black Lincoln Town Car pulls up at the base of the Pier. This catches my interest, so I zoom in with the goggles.
A Pomeranian officer steps out of the back of the Town Car, straightens his overcoat, and dons his hat. He's carrying a briefcase. Climbing out of the car behind him is Ingrid Vanderwaal, the Ice Queen from Interbionics. She's wearing a low-cut black cocktail dress - I zoom in on her chest. Ingrid says something to the officer, strokes his cheek, then gives him a soft kiss on the lips. With a smile she climbs back into the Town Car and is gone.
Okay, what the hell is going?
The officer salutes a couple guards and strolls down the Pier towards the vessel with the briefcase.
You'll recall (or not) that the Interbionics company is run by a cabal of supervillain-types and has some sinister agenda. (see post The Interbionics Thing, 12/24/04) Ingrid is the hot second-in-command of their new West Coast office here in the E.C.. I have no idea what they're up to but it's nothing good. The fact that they're in bed with the Pomeranians is a cause for concern. Or is it? I mean, are they doing anything illegal?
What do I do? Should I mug the officer before he gets to the ship and take the briefcase? Or do I let him go? I mean, he hasn't done anything wrong, right? I can't just ambush everybody I don't like. Or can I? Shit, I don't know what to do...
Too late. The officer makes it to the gangplank and walks up on to the frigate, returning the salute of the guards on board.
I slump back amongst the seagull shit, confused and discouraged. I am really no damn good at this detective shit. Seriously, I don't know why I even bother. I should just focus on what I'm good at: beating people up. All this other stuff - I don't think I'm bright enough, frankly. I feel like there are two or three big conspiracies swirling around - Interbionics, the Quantum Project - and I'm just not smart enough to put the pieces together. Every time I try, like with the KOMA probes, I fuck up and just end up more confused than when I started.
Shit like this would never happen to the Midnight Rambler.