Day and Night
Eliza Maza was working hard, frowning intently as she studied the supplies list that Sevarius would probably need. It was a LONG list, and a very exotic one. That was good, in theory, since it narrowed the number of people who could possibly have the stuff. Annoyingly, there were more people than she expected to be asking for this stuff.
Matt Bluestone was looking over his shoulder, the other officer rather intrigued. "There's how many companies who order this stuff?"
"Yup," Eliza sighed.
There was Xanatos' company, Cyberbiotics, Canmore Enterprises, and several other science houses were working with some of the same technology. The cybernetics were alsi apparently a dead end, considering the booming trade in illegal enhancements.
"I knew cybernetics smuggling was increasing, but not this much," Matt noted.
"The FBI has marked it as their number one priority," Eliza noted. "Aparently gangsters are starting to get this sort of boost to take on their rivals."
"Think the Gargoyles might be a factor?" Matt asked calmly, no trace of judgement in his voice.
"Probably," Eliza admitted reluctantly. Say what you will, having superhumanly strong Gargoyles swooping down on you is going to make you want to upgrade. And that would probably mean they'd have to upgrade the police's gear too.
"Well," Matt said, "we're going to have to try to cut off the supplies some how."
"I know you hate going to him, but see if you can hit up your FBI guy Hacker," Eliza noted, "maybe we can get some new leads."
"Will do," Matt agreed, though he didn't sound happy about it.
With that Eliza sighed and dialed a number she didn't want to dial. On the other hand, she HAD promised to keep her informed. The phone rang, then was almost immediately picked up, "Nightstone Enterprises, Demonique Destine's office. This is Alicia Sevarius, how can I help you?"
"Alicia, this is Officer Eliza Maza, NYPD," she introduced herself briskly, not sure if the woman remembered their earlier meeting, "could I speak with Mrs Destine?"
"Officer Maza, she left instructions for you to be put right through," Alicia said, the tome of her voice implying this was a great honor.
Eliza had to fight back a smile as she was transferred. Clearly the kid held Demona in pretty high esteem. And who knows, maybe it was justified. Certainly Demona seemed to be changing from how she had once been.
"Maza," Dominique replied briskly, then softened a bit as she asked, "Is this a emergency? Does... he need my help?"
'Is she really worried about the clan?' Eliza noted mentally. Aloud she said, "No, everything is fine. So far, anyway."
"Good," Dominique said with a sigh. Somewhat more briskly she asked, "What can I do for you?"
"I've got a list of major and minor companies that could have created those mutates," Eliza told her, "but I can't seem to narrow it down much. You mentioned you might have some resources to offer?"
"I can make a few suggestions," Dominique admitted, "and I have access to some rather exotic databases, over the years. Email me what you have, I'll crunch the numbers then bounce it back to you in a day or so."
Eliza hesitated, but frankly most of what she had was public information anyway. "Will do," she agreed, got her mail address then sent it off.
"I would also suggest contacting Macbeth," Dominique said a bit reluctantly, "he's more plugged into the mercenary side than I am, and might have leads as well."
"You think Sevarius used mercenaries?" Eliza asked, quietly hoping that the creatures hadn't once been men.
"I hope not," Dominique admitted, "but the mercenaries are buying cybernetics and bio augmentations. So they might, in turn, turn to someone like Sevarius, or at least give information on the possible sources."
"Sounds like a lead," Eliza brightened, "thank you."
"You're welcome," Dominique said dryly. "Good luck," she added.
Hanging up Eliza sat back, then nodded to herself. Yup, Demona seemed to have changed over time. Or at least she seemed more helpful. What that meant for her was harder to say, since she expected Demona still hated her guts.
Eliza picked up the phone, dialing again. This time she didn't reach Macbeth, instead leaving a message for him to call her back. With that she got up, walking over to the chief's door and tapping on the doorframe.
"Maza," Maria Chavez nodded politely. "Any progress on the mutate attack?"
"So far I'm eliminating possibilities," Eliza admitted. "I've asked Matt to call his FBI contact, will that be a problem?"
"As long as they don't rush in and try to steal the case," Maria shrugged.
The daylight meant that the gargoyles slept, but there were always other things going on in the city. The news coverage of the attack on Xanatos' part continued, with reporters drooling over security footage that had been leaked mysteriously.
(Not that mysteriously, really. Fox and David had leaked the footage themselves. You couldn't GET better public relations than the hosts and two of their friends, at a party, fighting off a invasion of beast men. The publically owned stock in the company soared immediately after the film was released, and looked to stay there awhile.)
There were a few reporters who even thought Xanatos had stages it all himself. Which was perceptive of them, since at least at one time he might have actually done that. Still, there was no way he'd pull something this clumsy. It lacked... style.
Still, most of the news coverage had been very positive. Dominique Destine was also getting fans, which rather amused him. Considering her long time hatred of humanity, being beloved by humans was pleasantly ironic. There was even fan-art cropping up, with her dressed as various action heroines.
"David, stop trolling the fan sites," Fox noted as she walked in, carrying Alexander.
"But it's so fun," David laughed as he took his son in his arms and cradled him gently. It felt so good, holding the baby... how had he ever managed without this?
Fox snickered s she watched her husband coo at the baby. He was so cute... both of them. She leaned on the edge of his desk as she noted, "Looks like one of my ghosts is back to haunt us."
David looked up, frowning slightly. "Oh?" he asked.
"Looks like Hyena and Jackal are reforming the Pack, this time as a mercenary squad," Fox said, shaking her head in annoyance.
David grunted in annoyance. "I rather wish I had taken steps with them earlier," he admitted, "but they've been annoyingly useful at times."
"True, and they were friends of mine... of a sort," Fox agreed. "I can pass some information onto Maza, but I don't have much more specific than rumours."
"I can't say I like them running around with my augmentations in them still, too," David sighed.
A few years back David had, via a Coyote robot, helped to upgrade the Pack via biotech and cyborg augmentations. While on the surface the plan had failed, he had gotten what he wanted out of it. Still, it was now looking more like a bad call.
"They've had some black market work done too, including pulling the tracking devices," Fox added apologetically.
"Pretty much what I expected," David agreed. Still cradling his child he looked out the window at the city. "Could we help track them down?"
"Infiltrate the group?" Fox guessed. "We'd need a agent that they absolutely would not recognize or suspect. Not a easy task."
"The robotics department has finished the latest Coyote upgrade," David suggested. "Urban infiltrator, combat programming and other traits. With a false background it might be worth a shot."
"Why not?" Fox agreed.
Finding new Pack members was both easier and harder than Jackal had expected. Easier because New York had a fairly large mercenary community, harder because they also had to be willing to go with the whole animal theme thing.
Still, they already had found a new Wolf, a big bruiser who would serve as muscle pretty well. He also was a surprisingly cool customer, which might pay off later. Jackal knew he and his sister were excitable types, after all.
A woman had also volunteered to be Fox, but Jackal wasn't sure it was such a good idea to replace her. The original Fox was NOT someone he wanted to piss off, after all.
Coyote was also someone he worried about. The new Coyote was a thief, VERY well known in NYPD circles. He'd make a valuable addition, but Jackal wasn't sure if he was really the Coyote Robot in disguise. Especially since he knew the robot could change shape, now.
"I still think we need at least five members," Hyena laughed as she added, "as it is we'll be outnumbered. I don't want it any worse."
"True enough, sister dear," Jackal agreed.
She came in a hour later, and there was something about her that drew the eye. She was tal, nearly six foot, and while curvy had plenty of muscle. She moved gracefully, like a jungle cat, and her long brown hair flowed smoothly down her back.
"Who do you think you are?" Hyena challenged.
"I was thinking Panther," the newcomer smirked.
"We don't do cats," Hyena scoffed.
"You don't do victory much either," Panther shot back.\\
"Why you," Hyena growled, lunging at her. But Panther was damn quick, deflecting a claw strike and then hammering a punch into the other woman's breadbasket. When she staggered back Panther followed up with a thrust to the face, drawing blood and stunning her.
"Nice," Jackal noted as he helped up and restrained Hyena. "You want a job?"
"Thought you'd never ask," Panther smirked.
To be continued...