I rummaged around behind the bar looking for the bottle of vodka “You are giving me such a headache.”
Blue put down the gun he was examining “You always have a headache.”
“We can’t rob a bank, we’re the good guys!”
Martialla and Blue glanced at each other and then spoke simultaneously “We are?”
“Of course we are! Why would you think that we weren’t?”
Martialla frowned slightly “I sank a whaling ship the other day.”
I grabbed another caffeine (or some other stimulant) berry to add to the vodka “Whaling is immoral, so that’s fine.”
“Most of the people on board probably died. I certainly didn’t rescue any of them and I didn’t see any other water people in the area.”
I waved my hand as if I could wave away her point “Sure that’s more of a grey area but collateral damage and so forth. . .”
Blue snorted “Don’t you watch movies? People like me are always villains.”
“What movie has someone like you in it? Creature from the Black Lagoon?”
Martialla raised her hand “Wouldn’t I be the one from the Black Lagoon? Because of the gills you see.”
I pressed my palms to my eyes “You two are giving me such a headache.”
Martialla looked at Blue “I heard somewhere that you always have a headache.”
“Why would you even want to rob a bank?” I pointed furiously “And don’t you even say ‘because that’s where the money is’ or I swear to god I will throw someone into the ocean.”
Martialla looked like she was going to crack wise again but Blue put a restraining paw on her shoulder. Do lizards have paws? What do they have? Hands? That doesn’t sound right. Claws? He has claws but what is the whole thing called? It can’t be a hand right?
“Ela take a breath, you’re getting all worked up over nothing. Serenity now. After you disappeared we paid a visit to the harbor ourselves and found out that the Shadow Lords have Martialla’s niece. So we need to get her. That means we need to go to war with the Shadow Lords. That means we need guns.”
I gestured to the pile on the table “You have guns.”
Martialla grinned with her sick fish lips “More guns.”
Blue flicked his tongue sideways “Yes, more guns. What we have here is a good start but if we’re going to take on the Shadow Lords, we need a lot more. And not just guns, also grenades, body armor, communications equipment, the whole nine yards. We need to put together an operation, like in the old days.”
Is it possible for a lizard to be wistful? He sounded wistful.
“Well where did you get the money for these guns?”
Martialla jerked her thumb over her shoulder “There’s like a million shipwrecks out there. I found one that had a waterproof safe in it and Lucien ripped it open once I brought it up. Inside there were a bunch of papers – insurance documents, Alojzy’s friend said. Someone wanted them really bad and they paid us, and then we got the guns. And now we use those guns to get money for more guns.”
“Why do you need to rob a bank? Just dive back down for more treasure, there’s probably gold down there!”
Martialla snickered “Gold? Why would there be gold? Those aren’t 16th century Spanish galleons down there, they’re container ships. There’s not a lot of resale value for boots with seaweed growing on them and crates of potatoes infested with eels.”
“You found a safe though, there has to be other valuable stuff down there.”
Martialla shook her head resolutely “It would take too long to check them all, I got lucky with that safe. I need to get my niece now.”
“Okay.” I thought for a moment “But why a bank? I’ve never even seen a bank around here.”
Blue piped up “They’re all downtown.”
I gestured “Exactly. Downtown is where all the police are. And by police I mean dudes with machine guns who have no compunctions about shooting anyone they don’t like. This isn’t the RCMP we’re dealing with here, these guys are serious.”
Martialla cocked her head “Machine guns? You mean sub-machine guns. I doubt very much anyone down there is lugging around an RPK.” She and Blue laughed like that was the height of wit.
“Whatever! Men with guns is the point. You want to go downtown and start a firefight? How do you think that’s going to work out? Even if you get away with it, you’re not going to get away with it. How many other eight-foot blue lizards do you think are in town?”
Blue set down a handgun he had been fiddling with “That’s a good point actually.”
I scowled “Actually? What do you mean? I’m always making good points. Look, I’m not saying that we couldn’t use some cash to fund our league of heroes, but we need a more palatable target. Why not go after one of the Shadow Lords operations? We get the funds we need and we hurt our enemy was well. It’s a two for one deal. They must have casinos or drug-holes or slave auctions on creepy yachts or something. We make one of those the target.”
Martialla set down another weapon and glanced at Blue “That actually is a good point. My only concern would be tipping off the Shadow people that we’re after them.”
“They’re already after me, and they already took your niece, I feel like the cat is out of the bag on that score.”
After some consideration, they agreed that robbing a bank was not the best first step. Martialla went to scout some potential non-bank targets while Blue stashed and organized the small arsenal they had acquired. Not sure that the owner, who is totally not laundering money for some other criminal syndicate, is going to be okay with that, but one problem at a time.
Blue tossed over his shoulder “By the way, we talked to some other people from the ship. The word is the people that experimented on you and then sold you to the Shadow Lords are a group called the New Founding Fathers.
“Who the fuck are the New Founding Fathers?”