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Date Posted: 17:54:02 05/25/04 Tue
Author: Lark
Subject: Part IV The tale is re-told -- and the gauntlet is thrown again...
In reply to: Lark 's message, "The tale is re-told -- and the gauntlet is thrown again..." on 17:38:46 05/25/04 Tue

“…reached the HQ for Parricide. If you think we’ve got the money to pay someone to sit around and answer the phone, then you’re shelling out more for your comics than you should. Leave a message if you’re not a stalker and someone might call you back this year after they finish coloring a month’s-worth of issues, solving their own existential crisis, and scoring enough smack to get them through the week.” The digital recorder spat Sly’s voice out into Gabriel’s ear from the cordless receiver at Talismaniac.

Sly clicked in, seeing Talismaniac’s digits on the Caller ID. “Gabe?”

“’Sup, Sly?”

“Didn’t think you’d be,” his friend snickered, “yet.”

Gabriel let it slide. He’d have the last laugh on that account soon enough. “How ‘bout lunch later?”

“Can’t,” Sly said, and Gabriel could hear the receiver against his shoulder, as Sly sketched and spoke simultaneously. “Feng-Wa’s dad’s down at Sacred Heart.”

“How’s that?” Gabriel knew Mr. Han was not a young man, but still.

“Remember that old piece of—“

“That she asked me to appraise for her dad? Sure,” Gabriel cut him off.

“Well, last night seems like someone broke into the shop and stole it. Han tried to stop him—big guy, he said, all in black. Han got the bad end of the deal. I’m going down later—you should come, too. Mr. Han really likes you.”

“Dunno,” Gabriel said, feeling bad about not really wanting to hang out at the hospital, no matter what had happened to Feng-Wa’s dad. Besides, if she had Sly there, she’d be doing good. Sly was good at that kind of thing, even if Mr. Han would have preferred Gabriel be involved with his daughter. The door creaked open, just beyond the shelves that separated him from the rest of the space, and he stepped around the towering shelves to see who his visitor was.

“That’s some seriously messed up stuff, Sly,” he commented into the phone. “That old thing wasn’t even valuable—just some generic old Chinese puzzle box.” As the last words fell from his lips, Gabe rounded the corner and came face to face with Pezzini, just as he had predicted; picking up the last two words of his sentence, Sara cocked an eyebrow and inclined her head, like his words had stirred some distant memory inside her.

“Customer just arrived,” Gabriel quipped in the phone, “later.” And he hung up before Sly had a chance to ‘later’ him as well.

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  • Part V The tale is re-told -- and the gauntlet is thrown again... -- Lark, 17:55:55 05/25/04 Tue

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