I’m in the parking garage, sitting in the Saab eating a sub sandwich from Gino’s, this great little mom and pop sandwich joint on Atlantic not far from the office. If you’re ever in Evergreen City, check it out. Anyway, I’m sitting in my car eating and listening to Science Friday on NPR. They have an interesting program today about the origins of that evil death rock zombie-making meteor that the Storm Riders destroyed last November. Remember, when a fragment of the death rock landed up in the Yukon and turned everything Bad? Anyway, the theory is –
There’s a loud knock on the passenger window that scares the hell out of me.
Margo leans down and waves through the glass. I unlock the door and she slips in. Man, good thing I’m anal about keeping my car clean.
“This where you eat your lunch, Mackenzie?”
“Not a lot. I was just in the mood for some privacy today.”
“You want me to go?” she asks, putting her hand on the door handle.
“No!” I say too quickly. “No, no you’re cool. It’s all right.”
Today Margo is wearing a crisp white fitted blouse and a long black and white poplin skirt in a floral print, and cute little black bangle earrings. Trust me, she looks good. She smells good, too. That uniquely Margo scent fills the car, overwhelming the smell of raw onions in my sub.
“Hey, have you heard from our, um, mutual friend?” She means the Velvet Marauder.
“God damn it, I knew this was going to happen,” she says ruefully.
“I risk my ass and my job getting him this information, and then he just cuts me out of the loop. Typical male bullshit.”
“He’s probably just concerned about your safety,” I say, which is true.
“I’m not asking to fight supervillains and stuff, I just want to know what’s going on. It’s not fair; I mean, I brought the whole thing to his attention in the first place, I’m the whistle blower here.”
“Exactly,” I say. “This is why you should have as little to do with what comes next as possible.”
Her eyes narrow suspiciously. “What comes next? What’s coming next, Mackenzie?”
“Nothing good, presumably. Violence, destruction.”
“You sound like you know what’s going on,” she says. “Have you talked to him? To Velvet Marauder?”
“No…” I say lamely. Even I don’t believe me.
“Oh come ON, Mackenzie!” She punches my shoulder. Hard. “What’s going on? You’re hiding something! You talked to him, didn’t you?”
“Really, Margo –“
“Liar! What’s going on? Why is he talking to you and not me? Is it because I’m a girl?”
“No! Come on, I don’t know anything.” I’m whining now.
“You are like, the worst liar ever,” she says.
“Fine. Fine! I’ll tell you what: I’ll have him call you tonight. He can explain everything.”
“What do you know? Give me a hint at least.”
I take a deep breath. “Well, I think he’s going to take some sort of action this weekend, when the building is empty.”
“What sort of action?” she says, eagerly.
“I don’t know, man.”
“Mackenzie…” she groans, frustrated.
“Really. Really. I’ll have him call you tonight, okay?”
“Okay.” She’s calming down a little. “Okay.”
Margo looks over at my sandwich. “That looks good. Can I have a bite of that?”
I almost tell her to get her own damn sandwich, but I end up giving her half of it. I'm a sucker.