Alone with the city’s superhero, Sheperd surveyed the half-demolished room. “You know,” he said, “this reminds me of the midtown diamond heist back in twenty-ten. You remember that one?”
Blue Lightning stood with his hands on his hips, his cape rippling in the cold draught spilling in through the shattered entrance. “Midtown… Ah yes, the Walrus was behind that one. The beginning of his downfall. Within a month he was locked up in Weyland Asylum.”
“Yeah, that’s the one.”
The corner of Blue Lightning’s mouth curled in a steely grin. “The Walrus learned a hard lesson that day. Whoever preys upon the good people of this city will face retribution like a thunderbolt.” He slammed his right fist into his left palm, and his hi-tech gloves zapped and snapped with a surge of electricity.
Sheperd smiled and wagged his finger in agreement. “You’re damn right. I bet the Walrus is sorry he ever showed his face in this city.” He nodded, and then his smile faded. He rubbed the back of his neck. “But the reason I bring up the diamond robbery is… well, this heist looks kinda similar, don’t you think? Middle of the night, small crew, smash and grab…”
“Hmm,” said Blue Lightning, hand to his granite chin in thought. “Are you suggesting… the Walrus was behind this?”
“No, no,” said Sheperd. “What I mean is—”
“Good grief, perhaps you’re right. Who would have thought? The Walrus, from his cell in Weyland, joining forces with the Ringmaster. What a diabolical duo! Surely the Mayor’s life is in danger.”
“No, look,” pleaded Sheperd, “that’s not what I’m saying.”
Blue Lightning turned to him. His eyes narrowed behind his mask.
“I’m just saying this is a similar situation—you, foiling a robbery in the middle of the night.”
Blue Lightning looked around the room. “I suppose so. But I’d still like to pay a visit to the Walrus and see what he knows.”
“Sure,” said Sheperd. He paced back and forth then cleared his throat. “You know, that diamond robbery all those years ago—I was on duty that night. I remember getting the call. I’d been around a few years by then, but I tell ya, I was scared. Racing there, siren blaring, I didn’t know what was gonna greet us when we showed up. I had my bullet-proof vest on, pistol drawn—we knew it was the Walrus’s gang, and they weren’t gonna give up without a fight. But then we got there, and… nothing. I thought we must have been too late. No getaway car, no gunfire. Not a sound. I remember walking into that place… and I couldn’t believe it. Five crooks, bound and gagged, sitting on the floor, and you, towering behind them like a giant. In the time it took us to speed across town in the squad car, you had taken out all those guys on your own. The diamonds were recovered. Apart from some broken glass, you would never have known anyone had been there that night. And now…” He turned and gestured toward the carnage.
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