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You're beginning to suspect that the mayor might've been right--you're in over your head, and you need help.

...But also that help's not going to be the mayor. As reasonable as she's been in trying to negotiate, it doesn't change how secretive she's been about what she plans to do with access to your magic dream house. She may not be a cackling villain in a volcano lair, but she could still be full blown evil when no one's looking. She's holding office under a fake name, for shit's sake.

"How much pull DO you have around the police station?," you finally ask Cici. "I don't want to pressure you, but uh--" You wince. And shrug. "You are way, way better equipped to get Franklin help than I am."

"There might be some people I can talk to," Cici replies. "I dunno, though--depends on what he did! If Franklin WAS breaking into somewhere serious, then--"


"Folks," Kate announces as she bursts through the door, "strap in 'cuz we're being taken for a fucking ride. Breaking and entering with intent to commit a felony."

"We don't have felony breaking and entering in Misuschaqua," Cici insists.

"Hell no we don't," Kate replies.

You shake your head. "What felony are they saying he intended to commit?"

"Nobody knows!," Kate declares, throwing her hands in the air. "Pigs can't decide. Allegedly the place was abandoned--"

"--Which means it oughta be intended theft, not burglary," Cici interjects. "Or trespassing, but none of those are felonies. Five hundred dollars is too much."

"...Unless the place wasn't really abandoned," you mutter.

"The concert!," Cici realizes. "Remember? Half the police in town showed up for a noise complaint and some trespassing charges."

"Mondol owns a bunch of places off the books, including that one," comments Kate. "Franklin might've hit one of those secret Mondol joints on accident--so now the cops are being pressured by Mondol to bring the hammer down WHILE hiding Mondol's involvement. ...There was a lot of weird shit about how the concert played out, though--like, I don't want to say it was a trap 'cuz that's crazy, but--"

"--Maybe it was. Maybe it was this time." You adjust your glasses, taking a breath. "Did you find out how he was caught? Who reported him?"

Kate shakes her head. "No clue."

"None of this makes any sense," Cici states. "They can't just do all this, it's against the law! The city police don't work for Mondol--Mondol has their own force. Hold on, I'm making some calls."

Cici steps away, taking the cell phone out of her pocket and frantically dialing.

...And then redialing, because she's in a hurry and has big fingers.

"I don't look forward to her learning the truth about cops," Kate says under her breath. "Harv, the fire, Franklin--shit's happening fast."

You turn to Kate. "Any chance they're letting visitors see Franklin in a camera-free environment...?"

Kate withdraws a cigarette and begins to light it. "It was chaos when I left--dunno if they're gonna let visitors in or not. ...It's gonna be more chaos if Franklin's still in jail when Tuck gets back in town tomorrow."

Chaos might be the point. Kate's right--shit IS happening fast, and all of it can be traced one way or another back to Mondol.

From the other side of the living room, you can hear Cici getting increasingly agitated with her phone conversation. "But that's not how it works!," she insists. "That's not how any of it works! They know they can't just DO that, right?!"

Maybe the bus would like the name Cherry.

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Morgenstern

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