Part III: Old Friends Turn Up
Written 1 November, 2012
Not long afterward I got an IM from an old acquaintance-- Sleezy Spinoza.
I'd been following Sleezy's career. Her coverage during Sweetie's trial brought her to the attention of network moguls, and her performance during the kidnapping of our giant drinking bird Bob got her a nighttime news magazine.She's become almost a virtual Oprah.
"It's Sleezy, Chey. I'm sure you remember me."
"I'm sure I do," I said.
"Ordinarily my assistant Neelix Nesslerode makes these calls, but he's been missing these past few weeks. It's mysterious; no one knows what's up with him, but it seems to involve a lot of prim gnomes being shipped to his house. His neighbors have been complaining, so I'm picking them up for him. Creepy little things. They're all on my mantel, staring at me..."
After a few minutes waiting to see if Sleezy would pick up the trail of her lost thoughts I gave up and said, "And so..."
"Oh, yes! I know it's terribly last minute, but Chey, really! As long as we're known each other, you have to give me the exclusive. I'm not as young as I used to be and I have to start acting like a serious anchorwoman before my looks go."
"Sleezy, what are you talking about? What exclusive?"
I was sure she was talking about our new SOAR build. It was spectacular, but how in the world had she heard about it? Or maybe it had something to do with Sweetie. But no, Sweetie hadn't blown anything up for days, so that couldn't be it.
"Oh, I see," said Sleezy. "Maybe you've given the story to someone else already? It's that damn Neelix, isn't it? Isn't it?"
"Sleezy, seriously, I have no idea what you want. Why don't we just start this conversation over again?"
"I'm calling to ask you to be on my show tonight."
"But why?" I asked.
"Okay, I get it. You're bound by a confidentiality agreement. You don't want an IM record. Sent me a teleport request or drop a landmark on my profile and we can talk in person."
"Just a second," I said.
While I was fishing around for a landmark I got another IM.
"This is JusticeUnlimited."
"I know it's you, Judge Camper," I said. "I have display names turned off."
"Cheyenne, It's urgent I talk to you in private. Is there somewhere we can chat?"
"Of course there is," I said. "Whimsy is a big place."
And then I sent the same landmark to Judge Camper and Sleezy.
While I awaited their arrival, I IMed Sweetie.
"What have you been up to? Practically the whole cast from your trial is calling me!"
Sweetie responded as I'd known she would. "What? You mean they want to talk to you and not to me? That doesn't sound right. Not at all. Something's wrong, I know it. They want to separate us, don't they?"
Oh-oh. Sweetie was in full-blown paranoia mode. I guess that's part and parcel of being a secret agent.
"Somebody's plotting against us, Chey, my super senses tell me. I'm coming to protect you. You need someone with my skill set in this time of danger."