"Damn you Sophia!" - Speech

'Why, Emma?' - Thought

Beta'd by BigCC

Droplet 3.4

+++Riptide+++

Mayor's Office, City Hall, Brockton Bay

The mayor's office was…nice. That was my first real impression of the place. Not ostentatious or overblown, just nice. In all honestly, it was starting to look a bit worn down around the edges, showing small signs of wear and tear as well as bits of recent work. Still overall it was fairly nice office.

The desk and the man who was currently sitting behind it had both obviously seen better days. The desk was in dire need of some beautification and maintenance work, while the man sitting behind it simply looked…tired.

Mayor Roy Christner was a tallish man with neatly coifed dirty blonde hair and a fairly respectable physique showing both the remnants of an active, sports-filled youth and that he was doggedly trying to keep that frame intact despite his age and change of positions. If memory served, the man had been a bit of a star on the minor league baseball scene before he'd gotten into politics. His blue eyes were tired, and a pair of slight bags were noticeable beneath them, but they were still alert and wary as he watched me walk in, even as his right hand gently lowered a coffee mug back to the desk. He was dressed in a fairly nice-looking navy-blue suit with a red tie and only seemed to be wearing two pieces of jewelry on his person, a plain gold wedding ring on his left ring finger and a more ornate ring on his right.

"Mayor Christner, I am sorry that our first meeting has to be under such…inopportune circumstance, but I can assure you it is for a good reason." I offered politely as I shut the door behind me.

"Riptide." he returned flatly. "My sister has been driving herself into an absolute frenzy, and she has been sharing that displeasure with me, ever since you took my niece into your custody. I hope this involves her, and that you have some good answers."

"Completely understandable, but first." I agreed with a slight inclination of my head before pulling the jammer device out of one of the pouches resting on my belt. The final version was a fairly simple looking thing, a small rectangular box just over three inches long and an inch wide, with three buttons going down the spine of it. I held up my free hand up in the universal hushing gesture when the mayor eyed the object warily, before pressing the top button.

Immediately several areas in the room started to glow with a slightly golden radiance. Ever single luminous spot indicated the location of some form of hidden listening device; either a recorder designed to pick up whatever was said in the office and be periodically picked up and replaced or a transmitter that directly sent any audio it overheard back to whoever had planted it. One was located in the tabletop light on the desk, another was in the light hanging from the ceiling, and there were a couple that looked like they were hidden inside at least two of the books that were decorating the bookcase resting against one of the room's walls.

"So, four of them. Less than I expected, honestly." I muttered before pressing the middle button, making all of the lights shimmer briefly before shifting from gold to silver.

"What…just what are those lights?" the mayor asked carefully, side-eyeing the one on his desk warily.

"Each light indicates the location of at least one concealed listening or recording device." I informed him bluntly as I re-pocketed the jammer. "My little invention has just temporarily disabled them via a combination of conventional white-noise generation and broad-spectrum jamming. Unfortunately, the device is rather power-intensive and my current transportable model only has enough power to keep the jamming up for roughly ten minutes on the outside. So, I am afraid that we will need to keep this meeting short by necessity. Augury, if you would?"

Roy Christner's face, already frowning indignantly at the thought that his office had been so thoroughly compromised, went completely flat in shock as my diminutive associate stepped forward from where she had been partially hidden behind me, clutching at her staff tightly with one hand and the other raised in a slight, hesitant wave.

"H-Hi Uncle Roy…" she offered out meekly.

Watching a fully grown man abruptly rise up to his feet before, quite literally, vaulting over his desk was honestly quite an experience. It also showed that, politician or not, the mayor was still keeping himself in very respectable shape. I stepped back slightly as he reached his niece and quickly pulled her in a strong, if gentle, hug. Dinah/Augury kept herself under control for a brief moment before she let her staff drop from her hand and clutched at her uncle with both hands, tears quickly starting to fall from her eyes.

A few moments later, Roy Christner looked up at me. "Thank you for saving Dinah, I really cannot express my gratitude for that sufficiently, but…why wait so long to return to us, and why to me rather than her parents?"

"The answer to both of those questions is tied to why someone tried to kidnap Dinah in the first place." I answered gravely. "Dinah, or Augury as she is called while in costume, is a Parahuman. She was kidnapped because someone managed to discover that fact and were after her for her power."

He looked at me as if I'd just delivered the opening line to a joke and now he was just desperately waiting for the punchline. "But…but she's just twelve." he tried to protest when it became evident that I wasn't going to deliver one.

"I believe Vista of the local Wards is roughly the same age. That also means that her powers are far more potent than average as a result." I informed him, keeping my voice calm and bland. Honestly, I kind of felt bad for him, at least a little bit. This could not have been what he'd been expecting when he'd come in to work today. "It is a verified fact that people can become Parahumans at nearly any age, and that the younger you are whenever that happens, the stronger your powers will likely be as a result."

"…Dinah?" the mayor quietly asked his niece. "Is this true?"

She nodded against where she'd tucked her head against his chest. "I-I tried to tell someone, but…Mommy just kept telling me to stop having 'such silly flights of fancy,' and Daddy just went along with her lead."

"From what I've been able to piece together, your sister seems to have developed quite a potent distaste for Parahumans after a friend of hers was killed during in a villain fight while she was off attending college." I interjected gently.

"Ah…Louise-Anne Smythe." Mayor Christner supplied with a grimace at the memory. "Those two practically grew up together, they treated each other like sisters, so losing her like that…yes, I can easily see my sister holding that kind of grudge…but why would Arthur just follow along with her without a word of argument?"

"I cannot say, I have never met them in person after all. Perhaps he was simply trying to not raise waves or cause issues on something that is likely still a tender subject for his wife, or perhaps he didn't want to even consider that something bad enough to cause a Trigger Event happening to his daughter." I offered politely with a slight, eloquent shrug. "And remember, Dinah is still a kid. If her parents did have arguments about this subject, it is very likely that they kept them away from her so she wouldn't see them butting heads."

"That last part at least I can very much agree with, my sister and brother-in-law have both always been careful to keep Dinah carefully inoculated from any rough patches they've gone through." the man agreed, still hugging his niece. He quietly decided that he'd be asking his brother-in-law some very sharp questions the next time he could get him alone. "So, just what kind of powers does my niece have that someone would risk outright kidnapping her for them, Riptide?"

"She is a Thinker-type Parahuman, a Precog." I answered immediately. "To explain her powers as simply and precisely as possible, she has the ability to make predictions, evaluating in exact percentages the likelihood of any event occurring. Anything that can be calculated in terms of odds or probabilities, she is capable of predicting with precise accuracy. She is limited that she can only answer four, perhaps, five, questions a day before she begins to suffer from tremendously powerful Thinker Headaches and cannot use her powers any longer."

"…my God…!" the mayor breathed out. Evidently, he had some idea of just how powerful and dangerous Thinker powers could get and my description of Dinah's ability was ringing some form of alarm bell in his head.

"Augury does seem to have at least some limitations, the majority of which we have only been able to discover via spending the past few days doing some rough power testing in my lab." I continued, keeping my posture at ease. "In order to make a prediction regarding a specific person, she has to have some knowledge of their physical appearance, or at least have a general image of them. Without some form of image or idea to associate her question with, her power does not seem to activate. General things like sports results, weather forecasts, and even the availability of food in the city at any given time are all possible without any form of prerequisite. Another factor that she was aware of before the kidnapping and that I am fairly certain that her kidnapper is also aware of, is that she seems to have a strong compulsion to answer any question that she hears that her power can possibly answer."

The testing had been something that Salacia, Amphitrite and I had managed to put together using select parts of the PRT's own Power Testing Protocols regarding Precognitive Thinkers, with a few adjustments to try and maximize the amount we could learn from each of her limited number of questions. Fortunately, the little bits and pieces that Dinah had already been able to figure out about her powers had allowed us to fine-tune the tests enough that we were able to get some solid insights.

"That means the PRT would likely classify her as at least a Thinker 8…any gang leader on the East Coast would give up an arm to get their hands on a Thinker with that kind of ability." Roy breathed out, gently releasing Dinah and standing up before walking around his desk to drop himself into his (very nice) chair, placing one hand thoughtfully on his chin as he stared out into space. "But the way Dinah's kidnapping was handled, it doesn't match the general methodology of any of the gangs active in Brockton. The Merchants, if they could organize themselves to pull something like this off, would simply do it themselves, all openly to boot. Lung would have taken her himself and relied on intimidation and threats to keep anyone from interfering. The Empire has the resources to have hired the mercenaries, but they wouldn't have trusted 'outsiders' to handle this kind of thing. At least one of the men involved would have had some form of Empire connection, but none of them did; hell, several of them weren't even white, which would preclude the E88 from hiring them unless there were no better options."

I nodded, actually rather impressed with the man's deductive reasoning. "I went through a rather similar train of thoughts after I figured out just what was going on. There has to be someone else pulling the strings here, someone that has managed to keep himself under the radar so far, someone who has managed to keep their presence hidden or at least overlooked. The worst part is that this isn't over yet."

That pulled Mayor Christner from his own musings, causing him to turn a sharp look towards me. "What do you mean?"

"Mr. Mayor, the mastermind behind this hasn't given up or I wouldn't have waited so long to explain everything that had happened to you." I stated frankly. "Unfortunately, one of the first things Dinah and I did was use her power to look into her current situation. Every prediction Dinah has made shows that not even joining the Wards or being assigned to any Watchdog base across America will guarantee her safety. Ever hiring the mercenary teleporter Strider to provide transport for her will only delay their next attempt at kidnapping or otherwise gaining control over your niece's powers. The point of the matter is, Augury has determined that the safest place for her at the moment is in my lab where she can remain hidden and unknown to the world for the time being."

Augury, still brushing tears from her eyes, bent down slightly, and picked up her staff before looking up at her uncle. "It's true, Uncle Roy, Riptide and I have tested out a ton of different ways to protect me via my power, but the highest any of them have gotten is just over 45%, and things with my power are only really certain if they get higher than a 75%."

"Has your power ever been wrong about anything before, Dinah?" the mayor's voice was taut with stress and an almost pained helplessness. It was one thing to know that someone had attempted to kidnap his niece, but to know that the kidnapper was so focused on it, so obsessed with obtaining her…that whoever was responsible for this was not going to give up no matter what he attempted to do to stop them.

"Never." the small girl answered with a stark certainty. "If a prediction gets over a 75% from my power, it is almost guaranteed to happen. The more specifics I feed into my predictions, the more accurate the answers I get become. Every single option that we have tried has a 78% to a 95% chance of ending with me being kidnapped again within a year's time. The only good option so far is me staying with Riptide's base, which produced a 5% chance of me being kidnapped last time we checked it."

"…well that is some rather conclusive evidence." Mayor Christner let out a tired sigh, pinching the bridge of his nose for a moment before looking at me. "And just what do you get out of this arrangement? I'm no expert on Tinkertech, but everything that my niece is currently wearing certainly looks like it was made with Tinker-made materials, and that staff of hers is definitely Tinkertech as well. She's wearing a small fortune in equipment, that you likely made specifically for her. Just why are you putting so much effort into helping her, into helping my family, like this?"

I paused slightly; it was a very reasonable question given the circumstances. "I will be bluntly honest with you sir; I don't agree with your policies. It almost seems like you are ignoring any and all attempts to try and improve Brockton Bay's current situation." I stated slowly. "I don't like how you just seem to be going through the motions until your time in office is over, and I certainly don't like how the gangs seem to be slowly strangling the life out of my home without your or anyone else trying to stop them. But none of that matters right now. Dinah Alcott isn't the mayor's niece to me, or the daughter of one of Brockton's prominent families. She is simply a young girl who needs help, and I wouldn't be able to look myself in the mirror and call myself a hero if I didn't try and do just that."

A moment of stunned silence hung between the two of us at that, with the Mayor staring at me with a look that seemed to alternate between indignation, stupefaction, and skepticism every few seconds. I could guess why; politics was not a place where good Samaritans thrive. Every instinct had to be insisting that no one did anything for free or without expecting anything in return. And Parahumans were very much not an exception to that rule. While I am willing to admit that the man was likely powerless to do anything properly against the gangs themselves, there was still the fact that he had done precious little in recent years to try and arrest the Bay's fall into rot and decay. That was not something I was willing to overlook or ignore.

Still, that had absolutely no influence on my determination to help Dinah in any way I could. Not in the slightest.

Finally, Mayor Christner let out a tired sigh. "You're quite young, aren't you Riptide? That suit may hide your appearance quite splendidly, but youthful naïveté is not something that can be so easily concealed. Brockton Bay is simply too far gone; it can't be saved by normal means anymore. I know that might sound like simply a defeatist's viewpoint, but there is simply no hope left in saving this city. Inside of the next twenty years, thirty at the outside, this entire city will likely be abandoned in-situ, and everyone willing to leave will likely be evacuated elsewhere. I have no intentions of running in the next Mayoral Elections in a few years' time, and I fully intend to see myself and my family moved elsewhere after as I step down from office."

Letting out another sigh after he finished speaking, the man managed to offer me a wry smile. "Still, I can only thank you for saving Dinah…Augury…and for telling me about the dangers that are currently threatening my niece's safety. I assume that you plan to return with her to your lab…wherever it is hidden…and to keep her safe there until a better solution can be found?"

"Yes. Arthur Alcott is far too likely to try and force her into the Wards no matter what arguments are presented to him, and Diana Alcott will likely refuse to believe her daughter even has powers even if the proof is practically shoved into her face. Even if she is forced to accept that, I am afraid that her prejudice against parahumans may force her to…not take actions in Dinah's best interests." I elaborated with a nod, trying to be gentle about Diana reaction to her daughter having powers for both Dinah and the Mayor's sake. Mayor Christner actually flinched at the idea but didn't seem able to offer any argument while Dinah seemed to be more resigned than upset. I think she had already used her power to find out what her mother's reactions to her having powers would be like, and I could already tell it wasn't good. That was honestly saddening in my opinion. "You're the only figure of authority in her life who I believe is likely to both listen to her and act in a way that follows her best interests rather than your personal ideals; that is why I came to meet with you today. Unfortunately, even you can't provide her with adequate security around the clock, so the best option is to keep Augury out of sight until I can find out who is behind all this and we can figure out how to put a stop to them once and for all."

"…Diana is going to be absolutely furious with me…" Mayor Christner let out a bone-rattling breath of resignation. "But so far everything you've told me has matched up with what I already knew or suspected, and what I can't confirm makes too much damn sense to just ignore it outright. Add that in with a van filled with heavily armed foreign mercenaries with gear that included Tinkertech lasers that no one seems to be able to trace and I can't really argue with the idea of some shadowy mastermind pulling all these strings. Do you know what kind of cape they are, a Tinker maybe given the gear their mercs were outfitted with?"

"My personal suspicions are currently pointed strongly towards either a Thinker or a Tinker, with a stronger preference to the former rather than the later. The laser attachments were actually purchased from Toybox, the rogue Tinker group." I elaborated. "I have had a few dealings with them in the past and recognized one of their Tinker's work. I contacted the group shortly after I rescued Dinah to see if I could get any information out of them on the buyer. Unfortunately, their own confidentially bylaws prevented them from revealing anything regarding the buyer, other than a casual mention that they were sold 'nearby.' They did, however, mention that the client involved was going to be blacklisted once they confirmed the information I provided; Toybox apparently does not work with anyone who would so unambiguously violate the Unwritten Rules."

"Well, I suppose that is something to start with at least, thank you." the mayor offered, blinking slightly in surprise.

"Not a problem." I responded, smirking slightly under my helmet. "Now I'm afraid that our time is starting to run short. Augury, if you would give your uncle the items that you have in your carry all."

Nodding, my young friend pulled open the bag she'd been carrying on her shoulder and started to place several thumb drives, stapled-together reports, and a few letters in envelopes on her uncle's desks.

"These include copies of everything that I saw and/or heard during Dinah's rescue, as well as Dinah's own statement written in her own hand." I explained gesturing to the documents. "The thumb drives contain electronic copies of everything, with the red one being the one I am recommending you give to the PRT and Protectorate when they eventually arrive to question you about this meeting. The other, I'd recommend you keep in a personal, secure location, just in case anything in the original documentation 'mysteriously' goes missing."

"You believe that the ENE PRT and Protectorate might be compromised?" the mayor asked, just slightly incredulously.

"Given all the tricks that this mastermind has already managed to show, I am not throwing any possibility out of the window just yet." I answered bluntly. "And really, everyone and their grandmother knows that at least the major gangs like the E88 and ABB, have their moles in the PRT. There is no such thing as an incorruptible branch of bureaucracy, Your Honor. If the mastermind is as thorough as everything seems to being pointing them to be, then they will have some way of getting data out of the PRT. Ensuring we have backups of these reports and statements on file is simply exerting common sense and basic caution when we are dealing with circumstances like these."

"…you are quite paranoid, aren't you Riptide?" Mayor Christner asked rhetorically, even as he pocketed the blue drive.

"I am an independent Tinker trying to live in a world where those like me are regularly targeted and more-or-less hunted by organizations that wish to exploit us against our will." I offered with an eloquent shrug. "I think a healthy amount of paranoia is an absolute and perfectly reasonable necessity in those circumstances. If you wish to argue, then would you be willing to accept a hundred-dollar wager that neither the ABB or the Empire are trying to figure out some way to track me down and capture me?"

"Hah, no bet there." The man snorted as he sat himself back into his chair. "Though, kindly keep yourself safe for the time being. Dinah is depending on you."

"I have no intention of either dying or letting anyone force their yoke around my neck." I responded with a firm nod. "Speaking of, there was a slight…incident in the entrance hall when we arrived…"

Suffice it to say that, after a brief explanation, Mayor Christner was very clearly Not Happy with a pair of glorified mall cops nominally under his employ pulling their guns and shooting at his niece, particularly when the action was entirely unprovoked. He was going to personally fire the two morons involved himself as soon as he got a moment, and then ensure that neither of them would be able to get a job flipping burgers on the Northeast Coast if he had his way. Pleased with that reaction, I took out my jammer again and permanently fried all of the illegal bugs that were decorating his office before recommending that he point them out to Armsmaster when/if the Protectorate Leader showed up.

Actually leaving took a moment, due to the heartfelt goodbye hug that Dinah shared with her uncle, but it was a simple affair after that. I just opened the office's rather large wind, picked up Augury, and carefully flew out before gaining some altitude. I only reengaged my stealth systems once we were fully out of sight of the window.

"Tethys, anything to report?" I called over my radio.

"Negative Mistress Riptide." my gynoid companion replied promptly. "As a related side-note, the incident that was drawing the PRT, Protectorate, and police's attention seems to have escalated further. Both Squealer of the Merchants and Hookwolf of the Empire 88 have joined the confrontation in addition to all previously mentioned combatants."

Hmm, well that certainly wasn't good for the city overall, but for me and Augury it was definitely a lucky break. Time for us to quickly evac back to the Nevermore and start work on today's Tinkering session. I wanted to get as much work done on my current commission as I possibly could before Dad got home.

"Alright, form up on my wing and then RTB." I ordered simply. "Maintain all stealth systems. Riptide to base, prepare for our return."

"By your command, Mistress Riptide."

"Base is ready and awaiting you, Mistress Riptide."

As Tethys formed up on my left, and we both soared back to base, I had to grin. I loved it when a plan came together like this.

+++Mayor Roy Christner+++

An Hour Later

Mayor's Office, Brockton Bay City Hall

It had been a great many years since Roy Christner had felt as utterly helpless as he was now. Not since back during his college days when his dear sister had lost her best friend to a stupid thug with powers had he felt so utterly and completely incapable of doing a damn thing. And yet, with the visit of Riptide to his office, accompanied by his missing niece Dinah, and the tale the two of them had spun, Roy was now feeling that painfully familiar sense of impotency that had accompanied those dark days.

He had not, of course, believed everything that the young Tinker accompanying his niece had said, nor had he fully believed Dinah's own accounts. Politics, even at the rather low tier that he normally got involved with on a day-to-day basis, had taught him long ago that no one ever truly told the whole truth. Everyone put their own spin, their own embellishments, onto it, spinning and framing it to suit their own needs.

And yet, nearly everything that he had learned from Riptide made a very grim kind of sense. It certainly answered the biggest question that had been on his mind; just why someone would try and kidnap Dinah in the first place; particularly while using such exorbitant methods for what would normally be a fairly low-value prize. The realization that she hadn't been kidnapped for a ransom or some form of political gain but rather so that whoever was responsible for this could force her to act as their personal fortune teller, had struck him like a thunderbolt, connecting a great many dots that he hadn't even known existed before now.

Even someone with as little interests in Capes as him could see just how valuable a Precognitive like Dinah could be for any kind of organization. The fact that her powers all but forced her to cooperate with whoever had control of her due to the auto-answering compulsion she suffered from likely made her that much more of a prize.

The points of questionable providence were the grounds that Riptide was using to not immediately return Dinah to her home and family, but unfortunately, after all due consideration, Roy couldn't disagree with them.

Looking back at his sister's actions and wordings ever since that incident so many years ago with the benefit of hindsight, it quickly became glaringly obvious that Diana had nursing some kind of grudge ever since Louise-Anne's death and it had developed into a rather potent, if well-concealed, animosity towards Capes in general. The fact that she had barely been in the same room as Rory, her own nephew, for more than a few minutes at a time since he'd joined the Wards should have clued him into that years ago, but he supposed he'd done what he could to ignore it out of some unconscious sense of familial loyalty. Knowing his sister as he did, her likely reaction to finding out that her daughter was in fact what she had grown to hate would…not be satisfactory for Dinah's safety or well-being.

Arthur was the less problematic of the pair, but he was a staunch believer that the Wards and Protectorate existed for a very good reason and he was of the firm opinion that any right-minded cape should be involved with the PRT on at least some level. With both Dinah and Riptide confirming that even involving his niece with them would offer her no protection from another kidnapping attempt, and he was willing to give them both the benefit of the doubt regarding his niece's powers' predictions, Roy had decided that Dinah's best option at the moment was to remain with Riptide.

'Riptide…' he mused as his thoughts turned to the young cape. Now there was one particularly paranoid individual. He was no expert, but it was blatantly obvious that that suit they were wearing was built for more than just protection. It completely concealed any form of discerning features that could be noticed and even managed to conceal Riptide's gender. Even their voice had been disguised by some kind of scrambler hidden in that helmet of theirs. That sharp and cynical paranoia had actually clashed quite noticeably the youthful naïveté the young cape had shown regarding Brockton Bay. The sheer, honest outrage they had felt when they discussed his 'inaction' had even managed to leak through the voice scrambler enough for Roy to notice.

He was honestly not sure if found the entire thing more insulting or pitiable.

Insulting, because that young upstart obviously didn't have the slightest clue how much of a colossal balancing act it was just to keep Brockton Bay running on its declining status quo. The three major gangs, not to mention the dozens of smaller ones that nipped and scavenged on their edges, were constantly ripping chunks out of the city each day. Taking action against any one of the major gangs would likely provoke the other two into a gang war that could very easily burn the entire city down, and they simply didn't have the manpower or resources to even think of tackling all three at the same time. Then there was Piggot; that woman might have had an obvious disinclination towards parahumans, but she also kept very much to a soldier's mindset when it came to engaging the gangs; which included not allowing 'civilian' law enforcement to involve themselves and any attempts on their part to jump the buck was strictly on their own heads.

Pitiable, because it seemed that every Cape thought that their powers would let them completely change the world, but the truth was far different. Parahumans were just as powerless as everyone else when it came to trying to face down the world at large.

He'd paid a large sum of money and several promised favors, now thankfully long fulfilled, to purchase a single vial of powers to give to his son Rory Christner so that his boy could fulfill both of their dreams of seeing a Christner play in the Major Leagues…only for the MLB to announce just a couple months later that they were now requiring all athletes to have periodic MRI scans to weed out any parahumans trying to cheat the game. Bitter and with his dreams broken before they could even start to be realized, Rory had joined the Wards and had recently graduated to the Protectorate itself.

No, despite whatever amazing abilities they now possessed, the inevitable was still inevitable for even Parahumans. The house would always find some way to win in the end, and the world would just keep on turning in whatever direction it damned well pleased. He and his son had both thankfully been able to learn that particularly painful lesson in a way that didn't put their lives in any danger. He could only hope that Riptide would accept that lesson before their idealism drove them into a situation that they wouldn't be able to get out of; at least for as long as Dinah was relying on them for her own safety.

Shaking his head slightly, Roy instead pushed those worrying thoughts to the side for now to focus on what he could control. Namely, the firing and prosecution of the two hot-headed morons that had tried to shoot his niece in the lobby. Both had recklessly discharged their weapons in a public place without provocation (despite being handled with what amounted to trivial ease) and put civilian lives in serious danger. More annoyingly, both seemed to honestly expect to be praised for 'confronting a pair of dangerous Parahumans' while on duty. These two idiots obviously did not understand that their job was to act as security, not live out some teenage action hero fantasy.

Now those two morons were currently enjoying the hospitality of BBPD Downtown Police Station's holding cells while he was pushing for the both of them to be charged to the full measure of the laws they had recklessly violated. He had absolutely no patience or pity for a pair of reckless loose cannons that could have easily gotten several innocent people (including his niece!) hurt or killed with their little display of bravado. He was also going to have a quick word with his Head of Security to both ensure that there were no other idiots or bigots lurking in his office's security team and to have him find out what agency had been in charge of recruiting those two and ensure that it was removed from contention as a source of future manpower. If they had already provided a pair of prejudiced glory hounds then he honestly doubted that anyone else they could provide would be of any value.

A rather harried looking squad of PRT Troopers had finally shown up about ten minutes after Riptide had left, leaving him to once more be forced to admit that the young Cape's paranoia wasn't exactly inaccurate. He'd offered the group a rather unimpressed frown before requesting that they have Armsmaster or Miss Militia make a visit to his office at their soonest convenience, with Armsmaster being the preference.

Neither had shown up just yet, which was honestly unsurprising given that yet another pointless and costly clash between the major gangs had been going on in the Commercial District until just recently, so both were likely still busy wrapping up the aftermath at that site. He'd be handing over both the physical reports and the red thumb drive to whoever showed up. Hopefully it would be Armsmaster so he could request that he have a look at the locations where the listening devices were supposedly located. He doubted that even a Tinker could get much information from a bug that had already been fried, but perhaps he could at least suggest some way to counter future attempts at the same.

As Riptide had suggested, he had already secured the other thumb drive in his office's safe for now, and would be moving it to the more secure safe he kept in his private office at home when he left for the day. The young cape had made a fair point after all, and if whoever was behind this thought they could just sweep it under the rug and get away with it, they were most definitely barking up the wrong tree. Though right now, he was honestly just dreading having to speak with Diana and Arthur about what he'd heard today.

"Mr. Mayor? Armsmaster of the Protectorate is here to see you." Cindy's voice came in over the intercom, breaking him out of his thoughts. Roy adjusted his suit one last time, fixed a confident smile on his face, and readied himself for another interesting conversation before answering her.

"Please send him right in, Cindy." he ordered, leaning back slightly into his seat.