Disclaimer: I do not own Megamind nor am I affiliated with Dreamworks in anyway. I'm just borrowing the characters. This is a (slightly) revised version of a story posted to other sites that I'm moving here to AO3.

Warnings: Some strong language

Journey to Evil Queen

Chapter 1

Roxanne entered the elevator in her office building. She took the time to brush off some bomb residue from what used to be her favorite pencil skirt. She was a little too close to the explosion this time. Metro Man saved her, of course, but she was going to have to bring out the spare set of clothes she kept in her office. This set was ruined. Bomb stains never came out. And the fact that she knew that offhand rankled her when she allowed herself to think about it.

She ran her fingers through her windblown hair in an attempt to tame it. With her luck, she would get sent out to report on something else before the day was done. Work, kidnapping, and back to work.

The elevator dinged and the doors opened. She headed to her office so she could change into something with less bomb stains. Why did no one else seem to have these problems? Megamind, the resident blue alien supervillain with an oversized head, always seemed to target her for his kidnapping schemes. He was under the same impression as most of the city: believing that she and Metro Man were an item. Merely because she ended up with most of the Metro Man exclusives. She only got those because he rescued her from Megamind all the time. It was a twisted cycle that kept her stuck as a victim. If she was honest though, it was exciting and broke up the daily monotony that everyone else fell victim to.

"Ritchi!" a harsh voice interrupted her thoughts. It belonged to her new boss, George Woodley. He was brought in from the network affiliate in New York and he resented being sent to a 'back-water market' like Metro City. She hadn't had any pleasant dealings with the man and suspected that he had something against her.

"Yes, Mr. Woodley?" she asked trying to stay professional. She was tired and grimy. Why couldn't he have caught her after she changed and washed up a bit?

"My office. Now!" he commanded angrily. What in the world could he be angry about? Her work performance was still the high quality journalism she had been delivering for years.

"Yes, sir," she said followed him to his office. Before stepping inside, she gave her disheveled outfit a final brush down, took a deep breath to regain her composure, and entered the foreboding office.

"Roxanne," her boss said she entered. She noticed that he quickly looked over her clothes and sneered. "Close the door and have a seat." She closed the door as instructed and sat in one of the stiff-backed guest chairs in front of her boss's desk. She felt a bit self-conscious sitting in her ruined outfit, awaiting her boss's scrutiny. He shuffled some papers on his desk then looked back up at her.

"Roxanne, I'm afraid we're going to have to talk about your attendance issues," he started.

"Attendance issues? I don't have any attendance issues," Roxanne interrupted with some confusion. "I'm always here on time, and I haven't even called in sick over the last year. I've lost vacation time because I didn't take it."

"I'll admit that you do report to work on time, but you routinely take unscheduled leaves in the middle of the work day. Honestly, Roxanne, you should use some of that vacation time to take care of your errands instead of using work time."

"I… wha… Unscheduled leaves?!" she asked in disbelief. "The only time I'm not actively working is when I've been kidnapped by Megamind! And then I usually get an interview with Metro Man afterward. Exclusive!"

"Ritchi, you may have the rest of the city fooled, but I can't honestly believe that an intelligent person like yourself can let herself get kidnapped on an average of twice a month. Just because you think you need a mani-pedi in the middle of the workday doesn't give you permission to up and leave," he berated her with a sneer.

Roxanne looked down at her explosion-stained clothes and looked back up at her boss, flabbergasted. "Mr. Woodley, I assure you that I haven't been sneaking off to run errands and am legitimately kidnapped by Megamind that often. He's tenacious and has always managed to grab me whenever he wants no matter where I am or even who's around. He kidnapped me from a busy grocery store once!"

"Sounds like you two have a pretty good system worked out," he said condescendingly.

"System?!" she spluttered, "Me being a victim is not a 'system!' Megamind broadcasts live all the time and I'm always there and tied up as he threatens my life! Check the footage, we have people that record it every time he pirates the airwaves," she protested. Ok, so she knew that her life was never actually in danger, but Megamind took great efforts to make it appear so. And if one of his safety systems ever fail, then she really could get killed.

"I run a nationally recognized network television station, Miss Ritchi. I think I know exactly how difficult it is to actually 'pirate' the airwaves. I think that you have an even more elaborate setup than I initially suspected. Who's your inside guy? You and this Megamind fellow obviously pre-record everything and then when you decide you need a break you have your associates play the tape. You know what? I don't think we need your services any longer, Ritchi. Pack your things and be out of the building in fifteen minutes. Joselyn James will be taking over for you. Give her any research you've been working on."

"You… you're firing me?!" she asked in shock. "On…on what grounds?!"

"I believe we've just discussed this. Your rampant absenteeism, conspiracy to pirate the airwaves, and your unprofessional wardrobe," he said as he looked her up and down again.

"But…but none of that is my fault, Mr. Woodley! Ask anyone! Ask Metro Man! He'll vouch for me that everything is on the up and up," she protested.

"And as shown in those tapes you oh-so-casually mentioned, he is tied up in this as much as you are. That ruins any credibility he might have had with me. Get your stuff, get out of my sight and out of my building," he retorted.

"But-" she tried but was cut off.

"Now, Ritchi or I will have security escort you out and have your things shipped to you. Good day," he said with finality.

In shock, Roxanne left and headed to her office. When she entered she saw that the ever-circulating rumor mill had run ahead of her today because there was an empty box inside waiting for her. She stoically packed all her personal items into the box and avoided the curious gazes of her coworkers. Due to her early ambitions she never had many coworkers that were also friends. And she just knew that the other reporters were waiting for her to crack so they could talk about how Roxanne was fired and then cried like a bitch. She wouldn't give the vultures the satisfaction.

She came to the files she was instructed to give to her replacement and spitefully shoved them in her personal belongings box too. Let the little whore do her own fucking research. She had been attempting to undermine Roxanne from the moment she walked into the news room. Joselyn was a no-talent newbie reporter who just finished her internship and she had a reputation for sleeping around. That was probably why they decided to keep her after her abysmal performance during her internship and got rid of Jeremy who actually had talent. Roxanne knew she was getting older and on-camera ages for women were a lot narrower than the ones for men. But she was still pulling in ratings! Had she gotten too 'gimicky' with the kidnappings that weren't her fault?! The next time she saw Megamind, she would give him a piece of her mind.

Or… would she see him again? Joselyn would probably take over the Metro Man interviews and then everyone would think they were going out and then Megamind would start kidnapping her instead. That ought to make him happy. She looks like the vapid airhead type that would actually scream for him.

She was a big name; she was bound to get a job with another local station. Then they would get all the exclusives! Let's see how popular KMCP stays with her undercutting their stories! She'd show them. And that big-shot from New York. Thinks he's so smart. What the hell did he know about local politics? And that is exactly what the public fight between the hero and villain was. Local politics. How could he not see that? But then, you would have almost had to have lived in Metro City for years to truly understand.

She finished packing everything up, including some office supplies she decided to steal. She sat back and was a little disappointed that twelve years' worth of her career could fit in a box that reams of copy paper originally came in. She grabbed the box with the convenient handles and made her way to the elevator while looking straight ahead. She willed herself to keep up the poker face that Megamind was the most familiar with.

The elevator doors closed behind her and she let out a sigh. Then a sob escaped her with a couple tears leaking out. She quickly pulled herself together and wiped her eyes. There was no telling when the elevator would stop and let someone else on. She was determined not to let anyone see her show any weakness. On the outside, the journalism industry appeared to support equal rights, but any insider could tell you that it was still a 'man's profession'. If you showed weakness and were a woman, they'd eat you alive and spit you out again. There is a reason behind the 'hard-nosed woman reporter' stereotype. If you were anything else, you ended up serving coffee and typing up other people's work. She smiled viciously as she imagined that fate befalling her young, bottle-blonde replacement.

She was fully composed when the elevator doors opened and she stepped out on the ground floor. She hefted her box and walked out the door. She decided that she would walk a couple blocks before hailing a cab so she wouldn't be seen right outside the building.

Eventually, she made it back to her apartment without having to talk to anyone besides giving the cabbie her address. She was worried if she actually spoke she would break down in tears. She set the box down on the coffee table then sank down onto her couch with her head in her hands.

Fired. Roxanne Ritchi, star reporter of Channel 8 KMCP News, fired. For absenteeism! A few hot tears ran down her cheeks. This is ridiculous! Even without the whole hero/villain thing, she was the best investigative reporter they had! She had gotten the scoop several times over, won awards, and was always closest to the action. It's not fair! Just because there was a hot young thing coming up through the ranks. Shouldn't Joselyn be assigned human interest stories and festivals until she got some experience under her belt? That's the way the rest of the journalists worked their way up. Roxanne's next stop, if she wanted to give up field reporting, should have been sports, weather, or even anchor assuming she stayed on camera.

And there wasn't even a warning! You would think if he had a problem, he would have let her know before now. She might have been able to work something out with Megamind. Or maybe Minion at least. Especially with her job on the line! They could have found a work-around.

She sighed. Either that or she would have gotten fired sooner. Megamind always seemed to try to grab her when it was the most inconvenient.

She wanted to yell and just vent to someone, but as her mind ran down the list of people she knew, she realized that she didn't have anyone like that. She had slowly lost contact with her friends over the years and never really cultivated a social life. Most of that was due, once again, to her role as reluctant damsel. After unexpectedly breaking plans, and several people getting hit with Knock-out Spray just to kidnap her, all her old friends moved on. She then concentrated on her career and didn't bother to make new friends. And heaven forbid she try to have a boyfriend. Ever since the hero/villain thing, again, no guy ever approached her. And any she decided to approach backed away slowly with his hands clearly in sight, looking around nervously. So once again, she concentrated on her career.

She should be able to get another job on camera. Unless she had been branded as KMCP's reporter and no one would touch her because of that. Or the other stations thought she was too old. Not that they would come right out and say that of course. They would find some other excuse not to hire her. She could always relocate, but she didn't really want to leave Metro City. She grew up here. She understood her fellow citizens and she might lose that if she transferred cities. Another downside would be if that city got caught up in a struggle between good and evil, she would be a prime target. She obviously has a reputation for being an easy mark. And she wouldn't know anything about that villain or if he would actually hurt her or not.

She finally roused herself from the couch and made her way to the kitchen. She opened her freezer and pulled out the cold bottle of vodka she kept inside. It was left over from a dinner party she had once upon a time and was just taking up room. Today seemed like as good a day as any to finish it off. She opened the fridge and took out a jug of orange juice and mixed the two. At least that way she wouldn't be drinking straight from the bottle. She wasn't that far gone yet.

She returned to the couch with her liquid lunch. Even though it was late in the afternoon, she hadn't had a chance to eat. Today's kidnapping occurred right before her lunch break and she was in a hurry to get back to the office afterward. She looked down at her stained and slightly smelly clothes and decided to change into something more comfortable. If she was going to get drunk, there was no reason to be uncomfortable doing so.

She changed into a pair of loose pajama pants and a comfy over-sized T-shirt before returning and pouring herself a glass. She briefly thought about calling her mother, but quickly pushed that thought away. That phone call would only end in tears. Her mother was emotionally distant and was always putting down Roxanne's choice of a career. Roxanne suspected that was because she reminded her mother too much of her late dad. That was the person she would call if she could. He was a reporter too and he always seemed to just understand his little girl.

"Oh, Daddy," she whispered to the air, "I wish you were still here. I tried, Dad. I was good, just like you! I don't know what happened… It's probably because I won't open my legs at the drop of a hat for every Tom, Dick, and Harry. Fucking chauvinistic pigs," a few bitter tears leaked out. She took a long drink of her screwdriver and stared straight ahead.

After a minute or so, she took her phone and started scrolling through her contacts. But besides her mother, that's all it was. Simply contacts. Most had to do with work in one way or another. Why did she have to be an only child? A brother or a sister would be great to talk to right now. Someone like Minion would be a great brother. Always supportive, no matter how much you screw up or what the world throws at you. That's why he's so good for Megamind…

That's who she wanted to talk to. Her serial kidnappers. How twisted was that? She just knew Minion would be supportive and keep her spirits up and Megamind would argue with her and let her get her aggression out. He might even let her shoot one of his ray guns because she could so shoot something right now. Unfortunately, she didn't know how to contact them. At least Megamind wasn't hauled off to prison this morning. That blast she was almost caught up in allowed him to slip away. That means another plot should be going down soon. Sadly, she was hoping that she would still be their bait of choice by then.

She quickly reached out and grabbed a plastic vase from the end table beside her and threw it roughly against the wall. She wasn't quite ready to start throwing glassware, although she imagined the sounds of breaking glass would be comforting. Well… until she got to the cleanup anyway. It did seem to help her anger though. She chugged another screwdriver and turned the TV on. Maybe she could find some mindless marathon to lose herself in.

Tomorrow. Tomorrow she would start calling her competitors and see if she could get a job with them. She might call Channel 8's HR department and make sure her firing was on the up and up. She knew it wasn't, but she doubted that her sleaze-ball ex-boss would let himself be caught in a legality like that. She was sure that if they looked, all sorts of stuff would be in her personnel file.

She sighed as she felt her face begin to warm from the alcohol. It was affecting her quickly because of the lack of food in her stomach, but the thought of eating now was repellent. The orange juice in her screwdrivers would have to do. It had vitamins in it, right? She took another drink as she found a hospital drama on TV. Since it was pretty far removed from what she normally dealt with, she settled down to watch the eccentric jerk of a doctor and his staff.

/\/\ - /\/\ - /\/\ - /\/\ - /\/\ - /\/\ - /\/\

Roxanne slowly woke up and groaned in discomfort. Why was the TV so loud? Did she fall asleep on the couch? She blindly felt around her for the remote. When her hands located the rectangular object, she hit buttons on it until the TV quieted. That was better. She kept her eyes closed in the hopes that she would fall back asleep, but now it seemed like her stomach was waking up and it wasn't very happy with her.

With another groan she opened her eyes in preparation of relocating to the bathroom. When they opened, however, the early morning light decided to stab right into her brain for an instant headache. She hissed in pain and closed her eyes again. She slowly righted herself and, squinting, finally managed to walk over and close the blinds. When the light dimmed, she chanced opening her eyes again. Still painful, but better. She stumbled to the bathroom to take care of her upset stomach.

When everything seemed to calm down and she cleaned up, she headed to the kitchen for some bread and water. The bread didn't sound appealing, but she thought she might need something to settle her stomach. Once in the kitchen, she saw the empty bottle of vodka and recalled why she had been drinking in the first place. She sighed sadly, but resolved that today she would find another job. Some station out there had to want her. She was Roxanne Ritchi after all. She took some aspirin to help her hangover and went to start her computer. Hopefully she could find her resume somewhere… it would need updating…

/\/\ - /\/\ - /\/\ - /\/\ - /\/\ - /\/\ - /\/\ - /\/\ - /\/\

Two days later and Roxanne hung up her phone with a frustrated sigh. That was it. That was the last local television station and every single one told her not to bother sending in her resume. They all stated something along the lines of her being a liability or her noted work habits. She had tried to convince all of them to just give her a chance, but they all seemed to have their mind made up already. She had to have been blacklisted… She didn't think she pissed off her old boss that bad. They barely had contact with each other and now he was sabotaging her livelihood! She had enough in savings for a couple months, but after that… She picked up the plastic vase she had restored to the end table at some point during the tortuous phone calls and threw it against the wall again with a yell.

Ok, so the job hunt will take longer than anticipated. That means expenses need to be cut… Cancel the barely used gym membership, cut the cable package, downgrade to a cell phone that doesn't need a monthly data plan, be more aware of the thermostat settings, stop eating out…

She sighed and decided to start by making a run down the road to the cell phone store. Ironically, it was easier to talk to them about her phone service in person. She grabbed her keys and headed out.

After a frustratingly long conversation with a dense cell phone company employee and a quick stop for sandwich supplies, Roxanne was finally on the way home. She had purchased an old-school flip phone and was fiddling with it one-handed trying to find all the functions while walking back. When she entered the lobby of her building, she looked up and gave her doorman, Carlos, a slight nod.

"We'll be sad to see you leave us, Miss Ritchi," he said enigmatically. "When is your last day here?"

She looked at him and felt the confusion on her face. "What are you talking about, Carlos? I'm not moving out."

"Oh, I'm sorry, ma'am. I just assumed with the movers and all," he started.

"Movers?! What movers?" she quickly interrupted.

"The…the ones you hired, Miss Ritchi. All their paperwork was in order," he told her.

"Oh no…" she moaned and ran to the elevator, dreading to see what was, or was not, behind her apartment door. When the elevator let her off on her floor, she ran down to her apartment and saw that her door was still ajar. She slowed and let common sense weigh in. She crouched down just outside the door and peeked inside after setting her grocery bag down. Her place was in shambles from what she could see. She couldn't spot anyone still inside, but she wasn't going to risk it. She walked down the hall so anyone still in her apartment wouldn't overhear and called the police. She told them her place had been broken into and she was unsure if they were still there or not. They told her someone was on the way and she hung up.

First her job and now this. It was a good thing she didn't cancel her renter's insurance, not that she expected to get much out of them. She pushed her emotions down and made sure Reporter Roxanne was being presented to the world. She could break down later; right now she had to be strong and sure of herself.

Ten minutes later and the elevator doors opened to reveal two police officers. She approached them, gave an update, and pointed towards her door. They gently pushed her back and drew their weapons, one on either side of her door. They looked at each other and one gave an imperceptible nod. After that, they edged the door open the rest of the way and entered her apartment quickly. She nervously waited for either gunfire or for them to come back out again.

After a few tense minutes of silence, the police duo came out again and declared her apartment clear. She gave them her statement and took down the information she needed to file a police report. All too quickly, they left and she finally entered.

It was a wreck. All her electronics were missing along with her couch and some of her fancier decorations. The furniture that was left had been overturned and ripped open. She slowly made her way to the bedroom and saw the same thing in there with the addition of her clothes strewn everywhere. She walked around in shock while still trying to take inventory like the police asked.

As she made slow laps around her apartment, the shock slowly started giving way to rage. How dare they? She was already struggling with being fired and they had the gall to come and rob her. Didn't they know who she was? Roxanne Ritchi, supposed girlfriend to Metro Man for Pete's sake. Roxanne Ritchi, favorite kidnappee of the extremely possessive supervillain, Megamind. With a snap of her fingers she could have either of those two super-beings make them sorry they ever thought to mess with Roxanne Ritchi. Although Wayne would just haul them off to jail. No, for a real sense of vindication, she would need to sic Megamind on them. If he can routinely almost win against an invulnerable superhero, just imagine what he could do against everyday low-life criminals. Maybe he'd let her watch. And hold a ray gun.

She needed to talk to Megamind. Now. She had always sort of respected his privacy so never attempted to track down his secret hideout. But now she needed him instead of the other way around. She couldn't just sit back and wait until he decided to kidnap her. Not anymore. That and she couldn't stay here any longer. The place was giving her the heebie-jeebies.

He had to be somewhere in the old industrial district. There were several abandoned factories and warehouses and most of the time that was where he carried out his schemes. For all she knew, he could have held her at his actual lair at some point in time. He never mentioned it though. Unfortunately she was always unconscious when she was conveyed anywhere so she couldn't draw upon memories of a street view. It was as good a guess as any. Maybe she would get lucky and see a brainbot or two. At least she still had a few hours of daylight left. She wouldn't feel safe in that area after dark.

Unless she found the city's supervillain by then…

Why was her life weird?...

She turned to pack, but looking at her clothes strewn about, she didn't want to touch them after some stranger had pawed through everything. She'd just sleep in what she was wearing and come back to do laundry later. She stuffed her groceries quickly in the fridge, grabbed her keys and purse and headed to the parking garage to get her rarely driven car. She couldn't use the news van anymore, after all. She determinedly left to find Megamind's secret hideout.

A little while later and she was in the industrial district. She was just as determined to find the criminal genius as when she left, but she was starting to have doubts about her ability to do so. She started by just driving around trying to get a feel for the area. She was able to determine which buildings were abandoned and which were still going strong by glimpsing the parking lots. Certainly Megamind would have surveillance out the yin-yang and would spot her trespassing. If there was nothing obvious, then she could always try parking in an empty lot and checking out the buildings.

As she drove she realized how futile that task would be as she saw exactly how many empty buildings were around. There was no way she would stumble across his lair like this, and she didn't even have a guarantee that he was in this area. It's just where a stereotypical supervillain would be and he always liked to play to type.

A few angry tears slipped past her determined mask forcing her to pull over into one of the many empty parking lots in the area. She roughly wiped the tears away and yelled in frustration. Her head fell back on the headrest and she just stared ahead at the abandoned warehouse in front of her while taking deep breathes. She knew this was a long shot before she left. It wasn't as though she was just going to stumble upon his secret hideout. It was a fact that he had an invisible car! Who knew how well his secret hideout would be hidden.

After a few calming breaths, she put the car in gear again. It was getting late and it wasn't safe for her to be here after dark without backup. She would need to get a hotel room until her apartment was livable again. Like that wasn't going to eat into her expenses. She gave a resigned sigh and pulled out into traffic.

She was just about to leave the district when she spotted a mom and pop coffee shop. A latte would do wonders right about now. She pulled in to treat herself. At least one thing could go right today. The store was empty except for the friendly gentleman behind the counter. She ordered her latte and sat in a comfy chair in their lounge area to enjoy her drink.

About halfway through her latte, two guys in blue coveralls opened the door to the shop. They were laughing exuberantly over something and the dark haired one even twirled as he entered. She smirked a little wistfully at them, wishing she could be that happy over something right about now. The guy with the lighter hair spotted her and she saw the smile fade from his face as he tapped Twinkle Toes on the shoulder.

"Yes, m…my friend?" Twinkle Toes said as he stopped laughing. Friend said something softly and gestured in her direction. Twinkle Toes turned quickly with wide, startled eyes and stared at her. Fans? She smirked a little wider and held up her coffee cup like a toast. She brought it down and took another sip. Twinkle Toes and Friend were sort of cute in an everyday guy kind of way. Maybe she could get lucky. It'd been too long after all. She'd let them order and then ask them to join her. Who knows? They might be interesting.

Twinkle Toes finally stopped staring at her and said something softly to Friend. They then walked stiffly past her to the counter to place their order. She shamelessly eavesdropped as she watched them order and figured that Twinkle Toes had a sweet tooth after asking for extra caramel and chocolate in his drink. Friend only ordered a pastry. And that was only after Twinkle Toes cajoled him into it.

When they got their order and started heading for the door, she waved them over, "Hey guys, come join me?" she asked.

They both stopped and Friend turned towards her, "Of course, Miss- ow!" he said as Twinkle Toes elbowed him for some reason. "Say… aren't you Roxanne Ritchi? From the news?" Friend asked carefully, giving Twinkle Toes a quick look as he made his way over to sit down. Friend eyed the chair warily before taking a cautious seat, staying towards the edge. She noticed that Friend's eyes matched his light brown hair. Twinkle Toes rolled his eyes, sighed, and followed suit.

"Yeah, that's me," Roxanne softly agreed with a sad smile. Twinkle Toes looked at her questioningly with his unusually bright green eyes.

"So are you down here covering a story?" Twinkle Toes finally broke his silence. "I didn't see a news van." He took a long drink of his coffee. Roxanne noticed that Friend set down his pastry bag near Twinkle Toes and then unobtrusively moved away slightly.

"Oh no," she replied. "I was looking for a couple friends of mine. I think they work in the area but I don't know where. Turns out, this district is bigger than I thought."

"So… what? You were just hoping to bump into them?" Twinkle Toes asked a little surprised.

"Hey, stranger things have happened," she shrugged. "Besides, I need to talk to them but don't really have their contact information. They usually come see me and take me out." She laughed in her head. She was almost making Megamind and Minion sound normal.

Twinkle Toes and Friend exchanged glances then Friend said slowly, "Sounds like an odd friendship…"

She smirked, "You have no idea. So do you two work in the area?"

"Well, we have a little workshop," Twinkle Toes answered carefully. Figures. They're probably up to something illegal. Why can't she ever meet any nice guys? Guys that aren't threatened by potentially dating the hero's girlfriend. Or guys that don't mind her getting kidnapped frequently by the local supervillain.

Never mind…

She just answered her own question.

"And here I thought you were factory workers," she replied back.

"Oh no," Friend told her easily. "Ssssam here doesn't take orders very well and prefers to be his own boss."

"Sam, huh?" she looked at Twinkle Toes. "I was wondering if we were going to get to the introductions part of the conversation," she said playfully and tucked a strand of her short brown hair behind an ear.

Twinkle Toes looked startled and said, "Oh! Yes…yes, I'm… Sam," he shot a quick glare at Friend for some reason. Friend shrugged helplessly and gave a sheepish smile. "And this is Max," Twinkle Toes gestured to Friend.

She couldn't help but laugh. "Sam and Max? Really?" she asked chuckling. "Like that old computer game? My dad and I played it when I was little." She continued to snicker as she saw the two look at each other and shrug. Obviously they never played that game growing up. She would have to dig out that old game and… oh, that's right…

Her spirits plummeted and she bowed her head as she remembered her situation. Not to mention one additional link to her father gone with the robbery. She suddenly felt a little slimy for wanting to lure one of these guys to her hotel bed just for a little false comfort.

"Miss Ritchi, are you alright?" Friend-Max asked quietly and gently touched her hand.

She took a shuddering breath and replied enigmatically, "Not really." She stood up quickly and grabbed her purse, "I'm sorry for taking up your time. It was nice meeting you, Max. Sam. Excuse me," she said as she hurried out the door and to her car.

She started the car as she was berating herself. This was a stupid idea. 'Let's just march down to the industrial district and find the genius supervillain that doesn't want to be found. That'll be easy!' God, what an idiot. Time to find a hotel and contact her insurance. Back to reality. She didn't have time for wild goose chases.