The Mystery 2

The Mystery

Two more hours of searching for Trixshot turned up not a single clue and eventually the throbbing pain in his shoulder was enough to send Scott home. The Mystery wasn’t doing anymore good and Scott had stupidly agreed to cover an early shift at the library. He sat at the reference desk and hoped that his bandages would not show through his shirt somehow. He silently declared coffee to be his lord and master if it could get him through the day and to an afternoon nap. Right now it didn’t look promising as his eyes already felt pretty heavy and full of sand. Still, a paycheck is a paycheck and the bills had to be paid relatively on time.

The phone rang at seven thirty and Scott thought about just letting it ring but Tambers would probably skin him alive. Bosses were hard to please sometimes, especially dark goth creatures like Emma Tambers. Tambers was pretty much a mix between your standard goth and that sexy librarian that guys always talked about. Of course. she was nice to customers and bitter to the rest of us but deep down I bet she had a soul. This was when Scott realized he had been thinking of Tambers so much that he almost missed the phone call. He picked it up.

“Westcott Library, how can I help you?” Scott said with almost robotic precision that came from saying the same phrase over and over.

“Good morning, Scott. How are you feeling?” It was Heather. Nothing like an over the phone doctor’s visit early in the morning. At least she had good bedside manner.

“I hate the world but how is that different from other times I was conscious at this hour?”

“How’s your shoulder?” She asked while laughing.

“It hurts but probably a lot less than if you hadn’t helped. Thanks, Heather.”

“Oh, you were right. The tox screen was clear so you don’t have to worry about being drugged.”

“Color me relieved. Though she still could have drugged me and you could be an auditory hallucination.”

“Wow. You really do need more sleep, don’t you? Listen, no more breaking into my office. I have other employees and I can cover up missing supplies a lot easier than you can. OK?”

“Sure. I was just trying to give you a little plausible deniability.”

She laughed again. “Don’t do me any favors. I forgave you after the first time and decided then that I want to help you.”

“Heather… really …thanks.”

“You should probably get some rest before you get anymore delirious. I could have sworn you just thanked me.”

“Bye Heather.” Scott said with an roll of his tired eyes.

“Bye Scott.” And she hung up on him.

He sat and let that thought settle in. Usually he was the one who left her, not the other way around. It didn’t feel all that good but he really was trying to distance himself from her. He didn’t want her to get too involved and then get hurt. He was the one who had decided to take on crime and he had intended it to be a solo mission. Three of his neighbors had been killed by The Butcher and he had first suited up to make sure he was not number four. The police had ended up catching The Butcher but by then Scott had caught three muggers and had developed a taste for crimefighting. He had also discovered strange superhuman abilities he hadn’t been aware of before.

Scott healed faster than normal people, he knew which was how he took so much punishment from the people he apprehended. Still, he much preferred the body armor to take that punishment. Trixshot had found a weakpoint in that body armor and that meant she was a much better archer than he had thought. The fact that she hadn’t pressed her advantage by dosing him might mean that she wanted to play. She certainly acted playful as she shot him and she had purposefully missed before that. There was a distinct possibility that she had snapped mentally but then they were both running around in costumes so maybe she wasn’t alone.

A couple hours later and Lisa came and relieved him from duty and he fought the urge to bound out of the library to avoid a run in with Tambers. She was a frightening person for somebody 5 foot 2 inches. Besides, Scott’s shoulder felt a lot better and he couldn’t wait to get home so he could tear off the bandage and get to work finding Trixshot. She was probably out there rolling in a pile of money after fencing her goods but it was worth a shot. She tended to work in sprees as if she couldn’t help herself once she had gotten started. He had tried to figure that out using the psychology books in the reference section but it was too complicated and there were too many assumptions that he would have to make.

He got home and immediately took off his shirt and tossed it on the back of the sofa where it hung on for a moment before tumbling to the floor. He grabbed one edge of the bandage and pulled hard and winced as it peeled away. He gave himself bonus points for not screaming. The wound actually looked ok and he was thankfull to Heather that there was no infection. He didn’t know the full extent of his healing power when it came to disease or infection and he was not in the mood to test it out. He was satisfied enough with the wound and the range of motion in his shoulder. He could go out afterall.

An insistant meowing came from the kitchen which meant that Timma was hungry and he decided to feed her before she got on his nerves. Of course, this was a major part of their relationship. He filled her bowl and then leaned down to stroke her back as she started to eat which earned him a momentary scowl. He never knew exactly what the cat wanted but it was a cat so that was probably normal. An ex-girlfriend had left Timma when she moved across the country. Timma was Scott’s problem and he was just fine with that. It was nice to have company that wasn’t too upset at the hours he kept.

He grabbed his shirt and tossed it and the rest of his clothes into an already overflowing hamper. There was a washer and drier in the basement of the complex but it always seemed so far away. He slid a trunk from under his bed and carefully put in the combination on the very touchy lock. If he didn’t do it perfectly, it would not open and he would have to try again which was a pain in the ass. He managed to pull of the lock perfectly the first time and mused on the fact that the identity of The Mystery might remain secret because of a faulty lock someday.

He pulled out his costume and armor and started to get dressed. He dressed mostly in blacks and grays mostly because they were stealthy and that was the only color the seller had for the body armor. Thankfully it hadn’t been pink. That would be silly. He clipped his tazer, collapsable bo staff and stun baton onto his belt. He checked the supplies of smoke pellets and pyrotechnics he had gotten from a theatrical supplier and slipped some into a pouch on his belt. Finally, he flipped on the police scanner and sat in his armchair to wait a bit and adjust to the costume.

Any minute now he would be on the streets and hunting his prey.

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