Monotony was a curse. Each day was tedious and predictable. Wake up, get dressed, brush teeth, call the detective at the police station, get no encouraging response, punch a punching bag in anger, have lunch, drive around, go home, have dinner, shower, sleep and repeat. It had been his life for nearly a year.
It was so routine, people knew exactly who he was and just about where he would be. People even asked where he disappeared to when he had gotten sick and couldn't leave home for a few days. He was touched, but it didn't mean much in the long run.
Not when his life was such a wreck.
He tried not to think negatively about it. Someday, things would work out.
Maybe that's why he stayed out later than normal.
He let out a soft yawn and put his car in drive. Just about to lift his foot off the break, his passenger door flew open. His head whipped to the seat next to him.
"No time. Follow that van!" the red haired girl demanded as she pointed. Perhaps it was his boredom, perhaps it was her tone of urgency, but he followed her order without hesitation.
With long buried instincts, he manuvered effortlessly through traffic as the strange red hatted miss required. He felt his heart beat with adrenaline and a grin creep to his face.
"So, you wanna tell me where exactly we need to go? Or why you jumped in my car instead of calling a taxi? Or why we're following a van?"
"I need to see where it goes," she commented. The driver watched as the vehicle in question they had caught up with took exit ninty three.
"Oh, that exit leads to the harbor. Must not be from around here if they're taking that way."
"You know a faster way?"
The driver listened and drove straight past the exit and drove to the harbor, shaving off minutes he would have wasted on the freway otherwise. Upon arrival, the lady in red stepped out of the car. Slightly curious as he saw her pull out a pair of binoculars, he rolled his window down slitly to see if he could hear what she was saying.
"Player, I'm in position," she spoke clearly to someone not there. He hoped it was some kind of bluetooth device and not some imaginary friend. Sure the world had all kinds, but he wouldn't feel comfortable leaving a girl alone in the Boston Harbor. Nor would he really like a crazy person in his car with no means to defend himself back into the heart of Boston.
"Looks like they're waiting for the Cleaners to arrive to tell me just what I need to know about Boston Harbor."
The driver snorted and rolled down his window.
"Listen red, I can tell you all you would ever need to know about Boston," he said surprising the girl. She didn't look back at him though. But her shoulders did a little tense thing his sister used to do when he surprised her.
"In the early-early days of our fair country's history, when America was still a handful of colonies under British control," he said dramatically, "Colonists snuck aboard some British ships and dumped hundreds of boxes of tea into the harbor. They were protesting the British government who made everyone pay high taxes on the stuff. Called the whole thing the Boston Tea Party. It was one of the key incidents that led to the Revolutionary War."
"Really?" the girl said dryly.
"But Boston ain't just about our history. It has the best ball park in the world," he exclaimed, "That would be Fenway," he added as an after thought. Who didn't know the park? "Home of the best team ever Let's go Red Sox! Let's go!"
"Sounds... interesting," she stated nuetrally.
"My sis always said that we also had the best clam chowder, but you couldn't pay me to eat fish slop. Give me Boston beans, or give me death!"
"All that for beans?"
"Yeah. But don't you dare call Boston Bean town!"
She lowered her binoculars and looked back at the driver. There was silence and a look of acceptance came to her face.
"Wow. You know a lot about Boston."
"Born and raised. Say, ain't that the white van you were looking for?" he gestured to a white van that had just pulled up, no doubt just now. He watched her refocus back on whatever she was doing.
"So, you gonna tell me what's going on here?"
The girl turned and gave a smirk that felt too much like his sister's.
"I don't think that's a good idea."
"Whoa. Hey, don't you think it's a bad idea to do... well whatever you're doing, alone?"
"I'll be fine. I'd appriciate it if you stayed here."
The driver opened his door and made slid out of his vehicle, standing up and slightly favoring his right leg. The girl glanced to her side and smirked, noticing a long piece of rope.
"I ain't staying- what are you doing with that ro-aaaahhhhh!"
Fully humiliated, he found himself sitting, and tied tightly to a pole.
"It's for your own safety," she said sternly before running off towards the boat. The driver turned captive groaned. He wiggled his arms and could feel no give. He shrugged his shoulders a bit to see how smooth the pole was. Thankfully, metal and smooth. With a grunt, he began to fold his right leg under his body, and unbent it to lift himself up, quickly making sure the left leg was steadily in place before putting any weight on it as the rope came over the pole. With the pole gone, the rope was slightly looser. but still a hassle to get off and he had no time to waste. He wasn't sure what was going on. But he was familiar with trouble. And the little red miss was practically a beacon for it. Carefully and quietly, he made his way down the harbor to the boat she had been focused on before.
He wasn't as fast as he would like and his gate clearly had a bit of a stiff movement, but it worked. He easily made his way onto the boat, looking around for well, anyone.
He didn't say anything but walked the deck, passing a window with a man on the otherside. He paused at the larger and stockier build. His longer hair atop and the shaved undercut style.
It was then he heard a voice.
"Vile needs another presence in the good ol' US of A. So you fellas just keep printing that funny money so we can buy up some prime Bean Town real estate," a deep voiced texan sounding woman said. Anger coiled in the man's body. No one called his home town... Bean Town.
"Never. Ever," he began in a quickly escalating growl, "Call Boston. Bean Town!" he screamed. His eyes widened, the thought occuring to him that perhaps maybe, that might not have been the smartest thing to do. Faster than he could have imagined, he found himself pinned to the ground by the very man he had seen through the window.
"Lo-Look sir! It's not what you think!" he squeaked as his legs were tied together with additional rope, and was being dragged by the husky man. "I was just out on a night time lobster run when I got tripped up in this stupid rope. I mean, what are the odds? Total freak accident."
"You gotta be kidding me," a tired, done with the world and familiar voice spoke.
"Black Sheep?" the man dragging the bound and so confused man said, "But, I thought you did not graduate?"
"She didn't!" a new voice broke in. Sounded foriegn. Maybe french. "Ah, a friend of yours? Good work tying him up."
"All I did was his feet. He was already tied up when I found him."
"Ze plates," said the french man, "Or mon ami, el Topo throws your little friend overboard."
Yup. Everyone was crazy and he should have just been a good little captive and stayed put. He felt himself getting lifted off the ground and caught a glimpse of the African-French man before being dangled over the side of the boat.
"Wait!" red wearing Black Sheep called out. "Take them."
Something metal hit the deck, followed by something sliding and metal clanking on metal. It was hard to know what was going on when he was focused on the water. He was pulled back and dropped on the deck rather roughly. He saw the dark skinned man use his foot to kick what sounded like metal and what looked like a bag into his hand. Then in possibly the most dramatic fashion possible, he declared, pointing his finger at Black Sheep, "Throw her over board."
The man identified as El Topo walked over towards Black Sheep, leaving the confused driver on the ground. "I'm sorry Black Sheep."
His movements were steady, but slow. The driver turned hostage sat up quick as he could and using the same type of movement he used earlier to get off the pole, got to his feet. The boat swaying didn't help matters, but he was not dead weight. Seeing the two men flank Black Sheep, he did his best to run forward, his movements betrayed by an awkward gate. He ran with all his might, letting out a battle cry. El Topo turned and narrowly stumbled out of the way. Black Sheep siezed the oppertunity and jump kicked El Topo's turned back, forcing him forward, stumbling until he had fallen over the balcony and into the water below. The driver raised a brow as he saw her grab a floatation ring and casually toss it down for the larger man.
The skinny french man looked slightly worried with his partner gone. And stepped back, not once taking his eyes off Black Sheep. At least, until she approached him. With unbelievable grace, the man scaled up to the higher decks. Her head turned back to the tied man. With the same grace and ferocity of a jungle cat, she walked over. The driver's heart picked up a bit. He hoped he wasn't the next to be thrown overboard.
To his surprise, he was untied.
"Hey. Thanks for untying me."
"Eh, I need the rope."
"For what?" he asked, not sure if he wanted to know. She didn't answer. Instead, she grabbed an anchor from the side of the boat and tied the rope to it.
"A little help here muscles?"
His eyes widened as he was handed the anchor. It was heavy. Much like the equipment used in a car. The stuff his sister worked on. He hadn't been the strongest guy, but with his monotounous routine, he had built decent arm strength. He looked up to where the acrobatic french man had gone and figured she wanted it, up there. In a two handed swing, he flung the anchor to the top of the ship. His shoulders weren't thanking him for the strain, but he was impressed it made it up there.
"Here ya go."
He watched her climb to the top with ease. He was not going to follow her. He should just leave.
He turned his head and paused seeing large crates filled to the brim with money. Was that the funny money they had been talking about buying up boston with. Oh hell no. He made his way over to the crates and ever so casually, began to dump the contents, snagging a few wads himself.
"Huh. My very own Boston Tea Party. I'm gonna have to tell sis about this when I find her," he said with a smile on his face. He can imagine how hard she would laugh hearing about this.
"Hey. Need a hand?"
"Oh. Sure. Got your thing all covered?"
"Yep," she answered, showing a small black bag.
"Money plates. Wait, did those make all of this?"
"Yes. They did."
"I wouldn't spend it though. It's stolen. Get caught using it, and you could go away for a long time."
"You seem to know a lot. You with the government?"
"Look, the people on that boat are from a criminal organization called VILE. They are master criminals and thieves. I was among them until I found out what they did."
"That sounds rough. But why don't you go to the police? It's what they're there for."
"Can't go after what you don't know."
"Mind getting me a lift to the airport?"
"Sure. Hop in Black Sheep."
"It's Carmen. Carmen Sandiego."
"You can call me Zack."
He turned the car on and was about to leave when something or rather someone landed on the roof of the car. A stocky but clearly female build stood on the hood. Decked in a black outfit with a deep maroon short coat with a hood, a full face mask depicting some kind of bird-clown hybrid faced them.
The woman said nothing, just stared at Carmen, then at Zack. Mockingnird tensed seeing Zack and punched the windshield, breaking a hole in glass. Zack yelled in shock as something was deposited inside the vehicle.
"Get out of the car!" Carmen yelled. Zack didn't hesitate as a gas began to rapidly leave the tossed in devices. He swung his door open and jumped out. Before he could get too far, a hand shot out and grabbed the back of his shirt. He gagged as he was pulled back, prevented from leaving the ever exapanding cloud. The gas tickled his throat and he started to feel drowsy.
He heard a smack and felt the hand let go of his shirt, letting him collapse to the ground. His vision began to blur as his conscious fled and his mind give up in favor of dark unknown.
"Hey. Zack. You with me?" a muted voice asked. Zack groaned, trying to open his heavy eyelids. He lifted his arm slugishly to rub his eyes.
"Oh man. What happened?" he asked as he slowly opened his eyes. They were in some kind of warehouse. No doubt still near the docks.
"We were attacked by one of VILE's agents. She seemed to be trying to snatch you."
"Me? What did I do?"
"You tell me. Do you work for the government? Are you a criminal?"
Zack laughed at the accusations.
"Oh man. Nah. My sis was always the brains. And we did what we could to avoid doing crime. Heck, we joined a racing unit to try and stay legal. Man those were the days. Why'd you ask?"
"Because she seemed focused on you. Why would VILE focus on you?"
Zack shrugged his shoulders.
"Couldn't tell you. The whole thing still has me confused. Maybe she saw me and didn't want loose ends?"
"Oh... That means I'm in danger aren't I?"
"Regrettably, I think so."
"Great. First Ivy and now me."
"My sister. She went missing almost a year ago now," he explained with melancholy in his voice.
"I'm sorry to hear that."
"Thanks. But I'm sure she's alive out there somewhere. And-and we'll see each other again."
Carmen gave an encouraging smile.
"I'm sure you will."
"So what now?"
"Now, I get you a taxi home and head to my next caper."
"Take me with you," he blurted out.
"I'm going mad staying here. As much as I love Boston, I can't just stay at the apartment hoping to hear something. Let me come with you. I can help. You could use a driver right?"
Carmen raised a brow at the eager guy in front of her.
"You know this is serious. It will be dangerous and not a vacation. And what about your sister."
"My sister, well, the world is a big place. Maybe, just staying in Boston won't help. And besides, I always thought it would be fun to be a getaway driver. How different could it be from being a racer?"
"You raced cars?"
"I did. Had an accident a year ago, before Ivy went missing," he said. He grabbed the left leg of his pants and pilled upward. Below the fabric was a metal rod, rather than flesh.
"You lost your leg."
"Yeah. I can still drive with the best of them, but it ain't the same without Ivy. And the guys on the track don't want me racing in case another accident happens."
She paused, giving it some thought.
"Alright. Player, can you get a passport for Zack?"
"Um... who's player?"
"Player," she commented, pulling a bluetooth from her ear and showing Zack, then placing it back in. "He's our tech specialist."
"Whoa. So that makes us like a spy team?!"
"Something like that. Now let's go."
El Topo and Le Chèvre sat across from the silent Mockingbird, sailing to their next job to compensate for the surprised failure.
"So, erm... thanks for getting us out of the water," El Topo attempted to break the silence. The eery mask stared back at the two. Her hands were relaxed but her body appeared slightly tense.
"It um... must have been surprising for you to see Black Sheep too."
"Please stop mon ami."
"But she is a year below us. And she had classes with Black Sheep too."
Le Chèvre just shook his head. There were certain infamous students and faculty that were a cut above the other thieves. Black Sheep, now calling herself Carmen Sandiego, the wild Paper Star, and the silent students turned thieves, Mime Bomb and Mockingbird. All exceptional in thier own skills. Le Chèvre knew it was no use trying to get an answer from Mockingbird. She acted far too much like the cleaners. Her only standout quality was the outfit she wore in the field, making sure that nothing identifiable was visible. Only the fact she was a woman.
She had been seen quite a bit with Coach Brunt and Dr. Saira Bellum. Given her strength she'd shown by pulling them out of the water, and the small "toys" she had, it wasn't too much of a stretch to imagine she had been a focus of the two.
"So... what do we do about the boy on the boat? He saw us didn't he?"
"No worries," the voice of Coach Brunt came from Mockingbird's mask, "He was... taken care of."
The voice had jumped from the coach to Countess Cleo and ended with Professor Maelstrom. Never did the Mockingbird use her own voice. Only recordings she had taken from others. No doubt she had a computer somewhere on her person that would compile what she wanted to say and match the words to audio clips. El Topo looked a touch relieved as did Le Chèvre. As embarrassing as it was to have someone clean up their mess, it was good to know it had beentaken care of, and that they could forget about the pasty red haired pain.
So, a story idea where Zach has an accident in his driving and well... things took a different turn.
Did quote quite a bit from the boston tea caper, but to make the story kind of work, I had to. Not too sure how often I'll update this one, as I seem to have other stories that need my attention as well.