Disclaimer: I recommend against eating things of uncertain provenance that you find in the refrigerator.
A Bit of Information
Note: Information part 04, Meh #14 and #16-17.
Emily glared at the phone for several seconds, letting it ring three times before she answered it.
"Per another contract, I am calling to recommend that you cancel all leave for the next three days and that you call in as much outside help as you can, director," Information's voice buzzed.
"Why?" Piggot demanded.
"That information is not part of the contract, director. I am able to disseminate it to you after the event takes place, director. I will call whichever phone is nearest to you as soon as I am able to after the event or events take place if you like, director."
Emily's teeth ground together. "What do you want this time?"
"Nothing much, director. Have PRT Intelligence contact me to work out the details of my remuneration, director."
Emily hung up the phone and dialed the number to her switch board. What a pain in the ass.
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PHO: Announcements: General Announcements: The Slaughterhouse Nine Has Been Eliminated
We are pleased to announce that the kill order on the Slaughterhouse Nine has been executed in a joint operation by the Guild, the PRT, the Protectorate, and the United States Air Force. All member are confirmed dead. More details to follow. None of it would have been possible without the services of the Rogue Demolition Woman who constructed the devices used by the task force.
Demolition Woman is a Tinker specializing in explosive devices and was able to construct devices that overcame both the Siberian and Crawler's powers and which rendered any of Bonesaw's contingency plans moot. The PRT would like to officially commend Demolition Woman for her exceptional abilities and would like to once again express our admiration for her impressive intellect.
AngryBeaver (Verified Unshaven)
I can't believe it. Someone pinch me!
BrickFrog (Verified Cape)
CaptainHammer (Protectorate) (Verified Cape)
This truly is a day for celebration!
DrHorrible (Verified Cape)
Loath as I am to agree with the simpleton, I agree with the simpleton.
Am I the only one that wants to hear more about Demolition Woman? Starting a thread to discuss it here.
Max felt like he was a spectator floating above his own body as the handcuffs ratcheted shut around his wrists. Intellectually, he'd always know that there was a chance that he might some day be taken into custody but he'd always expected that he'd have been in his villainous alter-ego when it happened.
"I want a lawyer," he choked out. Max had to grit his teeth to keep the bile down. This couldn't be happening, how could this be happening?
"You'll have to wait until after you're processed," the arresting agent stated calmly. "Give us a name and a number and we can contact them now for you."
"Howard Shaw," Max forced himself to say. "I have him on retainer, he'll arrange for representation for all my people."
"Do you have a phone number for him?"
"There should be one in the rolodex on my secretary's desk," Max said. He had to grit his teeth again to keep the bile down.
"We'll take care of it," the arresting agent assured him.
DM: Information (Unverified Cape) → Geobukseon : Your best chance is at noon today followed by eighteen hundred tonight. Your odds go down precipitously after that. I would suggest not wasting this chance. As agreed upon, I will attempt to contact you through your cellular phone in fifteen minutes if you do not acknowledge receipt through this site.
Howard didn't say a word until after the door to the interview room had swung closed. He'd always expected that this day would happen, he'd also expected that they'd be in the PRT building when it did.
"You have a choice, Max," Howard began. "You all do. You can go to regular prison, or you can break out and get kill orders or the Birdcage if you're lucky. I'm sorry, Max."
"Can't you do something?"
"I doubt it. Being the focus of a multi agency investigation generally means that you're screwed, best I can promise is to do my best to get you a good deal but even that's pushing it."
"What do you mean by that?"
"I don't know how you got on their radar, Max, but you've got at least half a dozen agencies gunning for you. IRS and SEC are normal, as is DEA since you run a drug company. I also saw BATF, FBI, and I'm pretty sure I saw a representative from the US Marshal's Service. Damn it, Max, I told you to keep your regular life clean. These guys aren't the PRT, I could have gotten you out if it was the PRT, but these guys play for keeps."
"What are my options?"
"Like I said before. You can keep a low profile and do regular time, or you can break out and get a kill order."
"Damn it!" Max's fist hit the table. "This is all Kayden's fault! She must have tipped them off."
"Let me caution you against making any statements indicating that you may be considering commiting a crime in the future," Howard said quickly.
"Tell the others to keep a low profile," Max ordered. "Tell them I have a plan."
DM: Geobukseon → Information (Unverified Cape) : Acknowledged.
Cassie's hands went up defensively when she realized that she had been surrounded by several large strangers.
"Phone," one of them grunted, thrusting the item into her hands.
"Hello?" she said cautiously.
"Cassie?" Kayden's voice said. "Is that you?"
"What do you want?" she spat. "K-Mr. Anders said how you betrayed us."
"Cassie, listen to me very carefully. Melody and Brad are dead, Max and the others are in custody. You're the only one free. Do you understand?"
"What?" That couldn't be true. "You're lying!"
"I'm not, Cassie. I made a deal to get myself and my children safe. I can include you and your parents if you're willing."
"You betrayed Mr. Anders?"
"No!" Kayden's replied quickly. "That wasn't part of the deal, I didn't have to say anything about anyone. I agreed to use my special abilities on someone else's behalf."
"Oh." Cassie allowed herself to relax. "Is that what they want from me?"
"I've already paid for you and your family," Kayden replied. "All you have to say is yes and we'll get all of you somewhere safe."
"Who are you working for?"
"Information and the Guild."
"Not the clans?"
"Not the clans," Kayden assured her.
"How do I know I can trust you? How do I know you're you?"
"I don't know," Kayden admitted. "I can prove that I work for Information."
"How?" Cassie asked.
Kayden's sigh was audible. "Let me begin by saying that you have nothing to be ashamed of."
"You peed yourself at Brownie camp and then pretended to slip and fall in the lake to cover it up," Kayden stated.
"How did you know that?"
"I work for Information, he seems to know everything. You've heard his reputation, right? He's a rogue who follows his deals to the letter."
"Okay. What do I have to do?"
DM: Information (Unverified Cape) → Expanded-Space : Do not hit send. Do not reply. This site is not a secure method of communication. Standby.
Piggot was contemplating a mid-afternoon workout session when her phone rang and she immediately snatched up the headset.
"Just a courtesy call, director. The expected call would almost certainly occur during your visit to the gym and I did not wish you to think that I would be rude enough to intentionally and unnecessarily disturb you during your personal time."
Emily slammed the headset down and thumbed her intercom switch. "Call everyone to the conference room, it's about to happen."
"Yes, Director Piggot," her secretary replied.
Her Chief of Intelligence was waiting for her when she arrived. "What did you offer?" Piggot demanded.
"We agreed not to kick up too much fuss if a cape with shockingly similar powers to Rune appeared."
"In this town or somewhere else?"
"I believe she'll be moved to the same Canadian town as the cape with shockingly similar powers to Purity," Intel stated. "Though I was told that there was a chance that Narwhal would be getting a ward that had the same body type and powers as Rune instead."
"Not for this call, director."
They didn't have long to wait until the other department heads began trickling in along with Assault and Battery.
"Where's Armsmaster?" Piggot demanded.
"Waiting to greet the transports bringing in the capes we borrowed from Boston and New York," Battery replied. "Dragon's already here."
Piggot's eyebrows went up. "How'd he manage to get so much support in so little time?"
"He told them that it was a strong suggestion from Information and Dragon backed him up," Battery explained. "It helped that Information was instrumental in the operation that took down the Nine."
"Fine," Piggot snapped, conceding the man's absence. "What-"
Assault's phone rang. "My personal phone again," he reported. "Hello?" His shoulders sagged. "Oh." He glanced up. "The wire connecting the conference room phone to the jack is loose. He suggests tightening it in the next thirty seconds."
Battery fixed the issue.
"Will it work now? Oh . . . oh, thanks."
"Why did you thank him?" Battery asked.
"Unrelated issue," Assault sighed. "He reminded me about our anniversary next week."
The conference room phone range and Intel put the phone on speaker.
"Good afternoon," Information's voice buzzed. "As of fifteen seconds ago, both Lung and Oni Lee are dead. As of earlier today, every parahuman in the Empire 88 save two are occupied with business that will prevent them from conducting any other business for the foreseeable future. The two that are not occupied are dead."
"What business?" Emily demanded. "Where are they?"
"I am afraid that information is unavailable, director."
"Which two are dead?" Intel piped up.
"Hookwolf and Cricket. Their bodies were wrapped in chicken wire, weighted down, and dumped into the Bay. The information on the locations of the corpses are available separately. Though I will warn you that there is unlikely enough of the corpses to make a reliable determination as to the cause of death, the crabs have eaten most of the soft tissues."
"Who did it?" Piggot barked.
"That information is not available," Information stated.
"What, when, where, why, and how?" Intel spoke up.
"Why is available as part of your payment. Cricket offended someone that had the power and connections to respond. Hookwolf was mostly collateral."
"Who killed Lung and Oni Lee?" Piggot asked, switching tracks.
"That information is unavailable, director."
"Cape or non-cape?" Intel asked. "Along with what, when, where, why, and how."
"Non-cape using a cocktail of poisons including three made by Tinkers. I do not believe either of them knew that they were in any danger to the moment they expired."
Emily smiled. It was not a nice smile. "How much for the current locations of the Merchant's capes?"
There was a long pause. "One of my employees is a fan of yours, director. They would like a signed photo. To cover for them and to explain how they were able to get it, I will also require that at least one thousand more be made available for sale in the gift shop."
"What?" Emily did not expect that.
"I would much rather charge you money for this, director. I will not be offended if you refuse in fact I encourage you to do so. We can save the signed photos for another day if you like."
DM: Information (Unverified Cape) → Dragon (Guild) (Verified Cape) : As I am sure you have already heard, I was able to secure the second special package. It will be wrapped and ready for pickup in twenty four hours. I would suggest you transport the two special packages and the four regular packages together regardless of their final destinations.
Dragon (Guild) (Verified Cape) → DM: Information (Unverified Cape) : I will follow your suggestions. Transports will be entering your airspace in approximately twenty six hours.
Missy's eyebrows came together when she found a thick envelope in her backpack. How in the world had Information gotten it to her while she was in school? Maybe Shadow Stalker's rantings about a cape that could teleport small objects weren't as crazy as she'd thought they'd been?
The girl shrugged her shoulders and tore open the package to find a compass and a note.
Go to the furthest south window in your room. Use the compass to sight two hundred and ten degrees south-southwest. You will see a seven story building with a clear line of sight to your window approximately six miles from your present location. From the top left, count down three windows and right two. Reduce the space between you and the window until you can read the computer monitor through the window. I will send my responses through the monitor, you may ask your questions aloud.
AN: Typos by Dark King, Jonn Wolfe, drswoc, Icemanau, nzaman
"Ms. Hebert finally showed interest in one of our non-Panacea products," Swede announced as she walked into the director's office.
"Oh?" Emily prompted.
"Per my orders, the clerk asked her why. She confessed that she thought that most of the costumes worn by heroes, including Panacea, were stupid and that she couldn't figure out how they could show themselves in public in such ridiculous outfits."
"You don't mean-"
"So when we finally got someone that wasn't dressed in some clown costume, well, you understand."
"What'd she buy?" Emily sighed.
"One roll of Emily Piggot action stickers."
AN: A point made by nzaman
Unrelated Loud House Omake: Memories
Lincoln had a bright smile on his face as he walked through the entrance to the retirement home.
"There's my little lookalike," Albert greeted him. "What's say we go paint balling today? I got an urge to move these old bones."
"Sure," Lincoln agreed. "But can you help me with an assignment first?"
"Sure! What is it? English? Math? Biology?" He shot a wink over the boy's head at his main squeeze, evoking a giggle from the woman.
"History," Lincoln said brightly. "You were in the Navy, right, Pop-Pop?"
"Right after college," Albert agreed.
"Did you ever fight in a war?"
"I flew A-1s in Vietnam my first tour and Broncos my second," Pop-Pop replied. "Why?"
"Cause I gotta do a report and I thought I could ask you some questions," Lincoln explained.
He old man considered his grandson's words for a few moments. "Alright. But I warn you, it's hard to explain to anyone who wasn't there."
"That's okay, I know you'll do your best," Lincoln stated happily. "So what was it like?"
"Boring most of the time," Albert replied. "The plane I flew my first tour was an old design from WWII, so old that it had propellers. The one I flew the second tour was newer but not much better."
"Did you dog fight with other airplanes, like in Ace of the Skies?" Lincoln asked eagerly.
"No, that did happen once or twice with other pilots in my first plane, but it wasn't our job. My job was to help the people on the ground."
"Oh. How did you do that?"
"They'd radio us for help and we'd shoot any targets they pointed out to us," Pop-Pop explained. "Or we'd use our radios to direct fire from the ships or bombing runs from other planes."
"Were you ever afraid?"
"Before and after every mission," Albert answered immediately. "I was usually too busy to worry about it during the mission, but I always had to force myself to get into the cockpit and I always had trouble walking for a few minutes after I got out."
Lincoln made some notes. "What were you most afraid of?"
"Getting shot down and getting captured," Pop-Pop replied. "I'll explain why when you're a lot older than you are now."
The dead seriousness in his grandfather's tone convinced the boy to drop the subject. "Were you ever proud of anything you did? If so, what were you the most proud of?"
"I was proud of a lot of it," Pop-Pop reminisced. "My first landing, the day I got my wings, my first salute. But the thing I'm most proud of is easy, I'm most proud of a mission I that I didn't even fly. I helped plan it."
"What was the mission?"
"Saving some people from a prison camp. Every service was involved and every service sent their best to participate. I still don't know why the Navy picked me, but I'm glad they did."
"Was the mission a success?"
"Sure was. The day we got word that the choppers returned with rescued prisoners was one of the happiest of my life along with the days each of you kids and your mother were born. War's a pretty terrible thing, kiddo, I always liked it when I got the chance to make it a little less terrible for someone." He let the fact that he usually accomplished that by making it a whole lot more terrible for the enemy. That was another lesson best left until the boy was a lot older and hopefully one the kid wouldn't get a chance to learn personally.
AN: This takes place in the same universe as Shaggy the Dog Handler. The story about the prison camp raid was supposed to be the hook. This is all I was able to get out before I lost motivation and inspiration.