And we’re back.
*dramatic swishing about*
So, when we last saw our
hero villain… he was pulled over by his own gang while running away with aforementioned hit-man and good guy and has made the decision to keep his memory loss a secret.
More brilliant plans to come…
Catch up if you’re new, and the previous episodes are below:
Aaaand… welcome back to Blank Mastermind!
Meet The Gang
There was a crunch of gravel and a car door slammed in back of us.
I looked between News and Dallas with what I hoped was a reassuring glance, then arched around in my seat to see who was getting out.
More car doors slammed.
Okay, apparently everyone was getting out.
Roy was the first to get to my side of the car, with the little bit of fluff named Cardboard skipping along at his heels.
Plucking the toothpick out of his mouth, Roy boosted himself up and sat on the edge of the car door. “Man, where were you going?”
I squinted against the sun and up at him, “Just . . . going for a drive. Maybe hit an ice cream place.”
He looked down the road, “Pretty slow drive.”
I was going at least five miles over the speed limit by the time these guys showed up. What counted as a fast drive with this speedball?
Cardboard poked her dark little head over the edge of the window. “I like this song.”
Bad News grinned at her. Roy frowned at her. I guessed that Schoolhouse Rock was a point of contention in this group.
By that time, the other two passengers, Liza and Chris, had arrived at the side of the car.
Liza leaned an arm on the side of the car and raised an eyebrow, “Cutting it a little close for tomorrow’s events, aren’t we?” her slow words drawled with an accent that sounded British.
“Yes . . .” I nodded and licked my lips, “Yes, we are.” I glanced over at News. He was turning up the music, which was pretty much the opposite of helping at the moment.
I turned back to Liza, “I just thought I might pick something up beforehand that might be useful.”
She raised an eyebrow, “Hey?”
“A certain . . . Dallas Knight, perhaps?” My stomach turned as I said it and I swallowed.
There was a sliding of fabric on leather in the back seat and the top of Dallas’s head disappeared from my view. I wasn’t sure if he was trying to hide or if he’d passed out again. I didn’t blame him either way.
That story seemed to gain me back my position as head hoodlum, and after a few more minutes of me making frantic inferences about what our plan from here was, we got Bad News back his News-mobile and headed off.
To town called Logan, a place called “The Den” and apparently my home sweet home.
The Den actually didn’t have heads on spikes all around it. No paintings of my hideous name in blood. No crocodiles in the moat. In fact, no moat at all. All it ended up being was just an old grocery store off in the corner of town with graffiti on the walls and faded shadows of sign letters torn off the front.
Didn’t make much difference to Dallas, though. He shivered like we’d driven into an arctic fortress instead of a ratty old parking lot.
“Well,” I coasted up and put the car into park, “We’re here, I guess. Everyone else looks like they’re inside already.” I turned my head to look at him, “Ever been here before?”
Dallas swallowed, “Yes sir.” He looked down at his shoes, “And in the same car, too.”
I’d pretty much gotten used to the ice-water bursts through my veins by now, but I still flinched a little. “Well . . .” I coughed in the back of my throat and tried to think of something to say. I’m sorry? Did the car run smoother back then? Should I take my shoes off inside my lair?
I settled on just opening my door and getting out. Dallas clicked open his own door a few seconds behind me, swung his feet out and rocketed up into a standing position.
Not the best idea with a hole through your middle.
He wavered for a second and then crumpled to the pavement. Just what I needed. We couldn’t even walk to a building that was a stupid twenty feet away without me hauling him.
Mustering up my pathetic lack of strength, I leaned over and pulled him up with me, throwing his arm over my shoulders. Nope, that wasn’t working.
I glared at the top of Dallas’s head, “You did this on purpose, didn’t you?” Biting my lip, I swung him around so I could get my arms under his legs and back.
Nursemaid Dankworth, at your service.
I limped us both towards the door, lecturing Dallas under my breath on how passing out was no way to face life’s problems.
“It would have been easier for me to just conk myself on the head back there instead of talking to my minions and sounding knowledgeable about my own dang life . . .” I propped his legs up on one of mine as I pushed open the door. “ . . . but did I cop out like that? No, I bucked up and stayed conscious . . .”
My voice trailed off into a low growl as I pushed inside to the noises of people talking. I just about fell over as I tried to get my arm back under my protégé’s legs.
“You knock him out?” Roy’s voice came from somewhere nearby.
Yeah, like I’d put myself through this on purpose. “No,” I grunted, “He just stood up a little too fast out of the car.”
I looked over to where Roy sat on a stack of shipping pallets, swinging his legs and still chewing his toothpick. He pushed off with his hands and landed next to me, “Want me to put him somewhere?”
“That would be great, yeah,” I handed Dallas off to him and resisted my own urge to collapse right there.
Roy somehow got Dallas into a piggyback position and turned, giving a little whistle. Cardboard came popping out from around the corner of what used to be a grocery aisle and saluted both of us.
“Cardy, take Wolf over to the other guys,” Roy adjusted his grip on Dallas and walked off towards a corner of the building that was sectioned off with red curtains.
“Yup.” Cardboard looked over at me briefly, then bolted off back down the aisle she came from, not bothering to wait for me.
I took a couple of deep breaths to try and clear my head a little and walked slowly down the same aisle, following the sound of voices. Sound bounced off the empty shelves and echoed through the dimly lit building. What a way to make creepy work on a budget.
I peeked around the end of the row and saw Bad News, Liza and Chris all sitting in different chairs by a shabby old lamp. Liza and News were passing a tub of chocolate ice cream back and forth while they talked. Chris sat frowning from under his hat. I wasn’t sure if he disapproved of the ice cream’s presence or the fact that he wasn’t getting any. Cardboard was just jumping into an old, flower patterned camp chair.
I stepped out and walked towards the small circle. Bad News somehow spotted me in the dark with sunglasses on and waved with his spoon, gesturing towards the biggest chair.
I took the directed seat: a giant, leather, wing backed chair. Very mastermind-esque. News handed me a spoon and I got myself a scoop of ice cream out of the tub.
“Despite all hindrances,” Chris tugged at his scarf and shot me a look, “Are we still on for tomorrow?”
I swallowed my bite, “We should be . . .” I stopped and thought of something ambiguous, “ . . . that is, if everything is ready.” The bickering and chatter around the group stopped and I hoped they’d say something that would clue me in to my evil schemes.
Liza licked daintily at the ice cream on her enormous spoon, “So, I did get the bomb finished earlier . . .” Her tone of voice was what any other girl would have used to say she got her hair cut. I choked on my ice cream but coughed into my elbow and managed not to draw a lot of attention.
“Finally got that one circuit worked out?” asked Roy as he walked up and boosted onto an old barstool.
Liza sucked the rest of the chocolate off the spoon and then spun it around her fingers. “Yep. Finally. It’s a big old thing now that everything’s hooked up, but Baddy’s truck should hold it alright.”
“That thing takes forever to get moving.” Roy groaned, “What about my ride?”
Liza snorted, “If ‘your ride’ had more than a square foot of trunk space, I’d consider it.”
She dug out another spoonful of chocolate ice cream and resumed her dainty licking, “After all, no pillbox is gonna blow up a baseball stadium.”
*the crowd gasps*
Tune in next time for more!
Favorite gang member? What would you like to see more of?