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Previous Chapter: Not yet written.

(A/N)

Ray had had a long day of moving furniture for a fellow high-ranking Brigadier by the name of Cole. Unfortunately, his amazing "scheme" to take down the Caliosteo Cup had been a bust. Ray wasn't all that surprised, but it nonetheless bothered him greatly that Cole had wasted Ray's precious time. Ray called for a meeting of his Brigade troop an hour afterwards to announce a change in plans. Only seven of his nine members showed up. One had a legitimate reason to be absent; he was restocking supplies. The other, a critical member of the assault team, was AWOL. Teed off, Ray returned to the BB Brigade Grotto to think and possibly find some clues to shed some light on said member's disappearance.

He quit. He must've. He's deserted his post and he hasn't reported back to headquarters.

He fiercely paced the dark cavern. The tropical screen behind him blocked out nearly all the light coming from the lamps closer to the entrance.

Ray cursed under his breath and threw a rock conveniently located by his feet. It disturbed a Paleopager someone had left in the room earlier. The glow of the screen caught Ray's attention. He picked it up. Probably belongs to one of the goons. he thought. Careless punks. They shouldn't leave traceable evidence like this lying around around. I should smash it.

Wait.

No.

He smirked, as a despicable thought started taking shape in his head. The more he thought on it, the more details fell into place around it. Yes. Yesss. THAT oughta teach him. He'll never mess with ME again.

He picked up the device, lifted the screen lid, flicked to the "Call" feature, and dialed in a number he hadn't thought of in years. Such a shame that this will officially mark the end of my original plan. It's a good thing I like this new one better.

The ringer buzzed twice, then a voice answered.

"Howdy pardner! You've reached Joe Wildwest. What can I do ya for?"

Ray kept his voice low, quiet, and intense. "I have information regarding the BB Brigade."

"Information ya say? Well by all means, spill it!"

"I witnessed the fias- er, the kidnappings today at Rainbow Canyon. I recognized one of the henchmen as a participant in the Cup. His name is Alistair Silber. I strongly urge you to take him in for questioning."

"Alistair Silber? Are ya sure there, pard?"

"Absolutely. His silver eyes are unmistakable. You'll see what I mean."

"Alright then. I'll get right on this. Thank ya for the tip."

Joe hung up. Ray's smirk returned, even broader this time. He didn't even ask for my name. The fool. Now I'm gonna have that miserable wretch locked up until I so mercifully decide to post bail. And when he gets out he will be so grateful to me he will serve me faithfully 'til the end of his days. Or until I decide to kill him. Whichever comes first.

Serendipitously, a band of musicians decided then to check out the grotto's acoustics. An electric guitar lead off with a sprightly swing pattern, coupled with a sweet drumbeat. It only took a couple measures of playing before Ray got his second big idea of the night.

He emerged from behind the tropical curtain. "Mind if I sing?"

The guitarist smiled and replied, "Not at all, be my guest!"

Ray cleared his throat and let loose his inspiration in a booming baritone voice:


I found a way, to hit that sucker where it hurts

And I know, woah-ohh, that it's gonna hurt for a while

He don't play, by my terms

So I'm gonna sit back and watch 'im squirm


Because I made the call

Now he'll take the fall and-

By golly gonna get 'im good!


The trumpet player threw in a few kooky slides during this transition, but he kept it fairly simple.


No mistakes are allowed here

That minor human trait has got to go

As for me, and my authority

I've got a right to be judge, can't you see


I found a way, to hit that sucker where it hurts

And I know, woah-ohh, that it's gonna hurt for a while

He don't play, by my terms

So I'm just gonna sit back and watch 'im squirm


Because I made the call

Now he'll take the fall and-

By golly gonna get 'im good!


Ray upped the ante here by whistling a verse's notes perfectly, throwing in a few diddlies for good measure.


I don't give a darn about his future

Forgive and forget? It's for the birds! (Heh heh heh)

I wanna see a perrrfect gooon like meeee-eeeeee!

Then the world would be so happy


I found a way, to hit that sucker where it hurts

And I know, woah-ohh, that it's gonna hurt for a while

He don't play, by my terms

So I'm gonna sit back and watch 'im squirm


Because I made the call

Now he'll take the fall and-

By golly gonna get 'im good!


I found a way, to hit that sucker where it hurts

And I know, woah-ohh, that it's gonna hurt for a while

He don't play, by my terms

So I'm gonna sit back and watch 'im squirm


Because I made the call

Now he'll take the fall and-

By golly gonna get 'im good!


The guitarist gave one final riff. Ray smiled, thanked the band, and left the grotto to walk back to base. On his way out he failed to notice a certain gray-clad individual pressed against the canyon wall.

End of Act Two.

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