Dragnet 2365: Madame Del'Mar

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

The Men of RXI Division lend a hand to the Vice squad for a night and fight departmental corruption, sort of.

Submitted: June 06, 2018

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Submitted: June 06, 2018



Dragnet 2365: Madame Del’mar

Capital City,

a place where some come to chase their dream, and some come to finish everything up. It’s a vibrant place where inspiration can become a reality, but it’s also a place where some come to take advantage of those dreams. The confidence man, can there be a greater fiend than the one that offers everything and delivers nothing but dread? When it comes time to stop them, that’s where I fit in. The name is Moog. I carry an official certificate in detection and security management and this is my city.


25 April 2365, 0800 Cosmic Force HQ

- My partner and I had been on loan to Vice again for some reason I don’t understand. Somehow we keep getting volunteered for it. We’d been working the prime time shift 2300 to 0700 working to find unlicensed alien sex workers when I was approached by some thug. We were in the Captain’s office to report on the situation.

The Capt. was thinking about it all while playing with the ends of his bushy moustache. He was reviewing our report and said, “So you didn’t start anything at all?”

“That’s right Cap,” I said, “The perp said his name was Luthor Quick and he had a deal for me and my girl.” I ended by pointing to Delmar while he was still in costume.

“He didn’t realize you guys were the law?”

“That’s right, but we’d had enough for the night so I identified myself immediately. That’s when it happened.”

Delmar jumped in saying, “I thought he was going to run, but he was glad were were cops.”

I had to jump back in and said, “Well he was glad I was one and he wanted help.”

The Captain looked confused, and more than usual so I had to lay it all out for him. “This Quick fellow runs a big scam using a flock of fortune tellers to take old folks and the like for all they can. His problem was the competition. That’s where he thought we, or I could come in handy. His idea was that he would deliver the competition to us and I would keep him informed of all our raids so they could stay a step ahead.”

I could tell the Captain was giving it a lot of thought. “So, how much did he offer you?” he asked.

“A couple hundred credits a week, maybe more if it gets busier.”

The Captain scanned us over and said, “Each? Or do we have to split it up?”

I knew I had to step in before Delmar got too excited. “That doesn’t matter Cap since it is all hypothetical, but if it helps you sell the case, we can tell them it’s a 3 way split.”

You could see the Captain was running it through his head and said, “Would that be an even 3 way split?”

“That’s right and we-,” I said when he cut me off.

“Do you think that’s a good ideal? We could wind up in a situation with a fraction?”

“Yup. I hate those,” added Delmar.

I decided to ignore them and carry on. I can’t be sure how deep he was into this so I decided he was just getting caught up in his character. “Anyway Cap, Delmar and I will meet with Quick and get the goods on the competition.”

“Then we get out there and put the squeeze on them,” added Delmar.

The Captain nodded his agreement to send us on our way saying, “I’ll stay here and keep working on the math.”

Delmar and I made our way to the surveillance equipment division where Lt. Coro Taco equipped us with the latest body adaptor to record my conversation with Quick. Taco set me up with something that looked like a goofy beach hat designed to record all audio and video from our meeting. Of course, Delmar laughed at me, or his version. His laugh resembled something between a fat kid on a summer camp distance hike, and a painful mouth breather in the worst interspecies porn vid you can imagine. I got even by making him drive us to the meet while I grabbed a nap.


13:00 Hours, Madame Zorba’s Mystery Deli and Sandwich Shop

- Delmar dropped me off a couple of streets over for Madame Zorba’s, which seemed a bit further than needed, but he swore it wasn’t to get even with me. He used the notion that the gypsies were a mysterious group and we couldn’t take any chances. I agreed with him and did my best to assure him none of this would come up on his annual review.

I entered Madame Zorba’s and spotted Quick right away. Zorba’s Mystery Delis was a small place with six or seven booths and looked like it was converted from some old sandwich chain place. Quick was in the back corner booth doing some serious damage to a 1 metre long sandwich. He had his back to the entrance so I came up to the table and stopped at the side. “Do you two want to be alone?” I asked looking down at the mess he was making.

“Oh, you’re here,” he said only half looking up as he kept working at the meal. “Have a seat detective. Can I order one of these for you?”

I couldn’t resist the chance to take a shot at the whole gypsy thing and said, “Doesn’t Madame Zorba know what I want before I do?”

He didn’t look like he got it and continued to beckon me with his hand to sit across from him. “Sit, please,” he said, “I’m so glad you decided to meet with us.”

“Us?” I asked wondering if we were waiting for someone else to join in. I wanted to stress that since Delmar was supposed to be listing in and not sleeping in the parking lot.

That seemed to set him back a  bit and he said, “Oh. So sorry Boss. I meant my organization not extra gypsies.”

I was starting to wonder if I was too tired when we first met, but now I was detecting a strange accent. He was definitely an off-worlder. I just couldn’t place it. I didn’t want him to recover so I pushed on saying, “Look friend. I’m here for business, so let’s get down to it.”

We spent the next half hour with him giving me the dirt on all of his competition while I pretended to be both interested and to take notes. I knew I could catch up on the rest when we played back the recordings. When he was done he paused and seemed reluctant to go on. He needed some prodding so I said, “All right Quick, I’ve got it all. What gives? You look like you want something else.”

He continued to hesitate making me think this was going to be something big. He stammered a little before finally saying, “Sorry Boss, but I was hoping you be meeting with uh, well that hot little number you was had with you when we met.”

I almost spit my coffee across the table at him when I realized he was talking about Delmar. All I could manage to do was clear my throat. He took my reaction the completely wrong way. He said, “Oh, hey Boss, I didn’t know she was your squeak.”

There it was again, he sure wasn’t from around here. “I think you meant squeeze buddy, and no she isn’t.”

I don’t know what was wrong with this guy, but he should’ve known something was up with the way I said Delmar wasn’t my squeeze. I don’t think I could’ve looked any more creeped out, but I wasn’t taking account on how desperate Quick was. He gave me a solid wink, or a badly coordinated blink and said, “Perhaps you could make a little magic happen for you new friend Luthor Huh?”

I had to set him straight right away and said, “Get this down! We’re not friends Quick.” But I didn’t want to miss out on a chance to stick it to Delmar and said, “But in the interest of business, consider it done.” He was too excited about that, so I had to get out of there while I could still keep a straight face.

I made my way back to where Delmar had dropped me off, and It started to rain. It took a long time for him to pick me up, in fact  just long enough to make sure I was sufficiently soaked. It was a very quiet and uncomfortable ride back to H.Q. and I was certain he thought he had gotten even with me. I didn’t let any of it spoil my mood. I knew the recording of Delmar’s new love interest would be heard by the Captain and a large number of analysts. It might not even stop there. I would find a way to get the Captain to send him out on a dream date. Just a Quick one.


27 Apr 2018, 08:00 Hours, Zorbo’s Space Gypsy Grill and Emporium

- It took us a couple of days to arrange the raids. Normally we would conduct them simultaneously, but the Captain wouldn’t authorize the overtime. It seemed like he was still concerned about how to split up our graft. So it was up to Delmar and me with a handful of uniforms to conduct the raids.

Zorba was not very helpful and turned out to be one Phil Joestick from Altiers 7 according to his very poorly faked space-passport. We took him and few of his workers into the main portion of the so called Emporium.

“Look guys,” pleaded a very nervous Joestick, “I don’t know what all this is about but I’m sure we can work something out.”

This was one of those occasions where I was glad the Captain wasn’t out with us. We didn’t need any more deals made. “All of your scams are over as of right now!”

“Scams? What do you mean Sir? This is just a humble gypsy grill,” said Joestick. “We simply make miracles out of humble food and provide mild entrainment,”

“Not according to Mrs. Coots,” shouted Delmar as he came into the room with a short elderly woman.

Joestick looked surprised while turning away from Mrs Coots and Delmar as they came towards him. “No one here knows what you are speaking of.”

I went up to her and introduced myself and then asked, “Mrs. Coots, can you tell me what happened to you.”

“Well Sir,” she began and I was sure I heard a sigh in the room, “My good fried Olivia told me that she heard a fellow here named Zorbo could help cure my arthritis and help me find a good man. See it’s been near 20 years since Gerald passed on and I thought since I was seeking some help from the dark arts, I might as well go all the way. 20 Years is plenty of time to morn right?” She got several nodes from Delmar and I along with some of Zorbo’s staff.

“So this Zorbo asks me if I got any money after the passing of Gerald and I told him about the settlement from his terrible industrial accident. Poor Gerald had fallen into the automatic fish deboning machine and was picked clean from head to toe.”

Me and a few of the uniformed guys grimaced at the thought wile Delmar seemed to lick his chops.

“When I told him how large the settlement was, he said that money was cursed by the way my Gerald died. He said it was stained from beyond the grave and Gerald’s and me would never find peace, and make my arthritis get worse.

“That’s terrible ma’am,” I said, “How much did they take you for?”

She looked puzzled and suddenly not so helpless. “Take what?”

“I mean how much money did the take from you?”

“I didn’t give him one damned dime for that load of crap,” she said, “I’m old but I’m not stupid!”

I didn’t know what to say to that and looked over at Delmar for some Help. He was busy looking through his notebook trying to avoid eye contact with me. Eventually she gave us all the details of their scam. She was supposed to bring all of her credits and vouchers to Zorbo for spiritual cleansing. We knew that it was going to be a lot more like money laundering and she wouldn’t be getting any of it back.

None of Zorbo’s band of gypsies seemed to be able to answer any of our questions. No matter what we said, they claimed they couldn’t understand even though between us, Delmar and I could work in about 6 languages. The only thing they did seem to understand was the mention of Interplanetary Immigration Services, and then boom, they all understood and couldn’t wait to get in line to sell out Zorbo as fast as possible. We rounded them all up to sort it out downtown.


10:45 Hours, Zolato’s Den of the Supernatural and Fish & Chips Stand

- While HQ was busy processing all of Zorbo’s crew, we were in a race to Zolato’s before it was overwhelmed by the large lunch crowd. We rolled up and they didn’t seem to have any idea we were the law as they were a lot more interested in what we wanted to order than look at our IDs and badges.

Zolato’s Den was basically an extra large food hover truck that couldn’t hover anymore and now was in a fixed spot. He had a couple of shack like additions, but it was not something special. I wanted to talk to Zolato directly, but I was greeted by the mystic madame in charge of all things supernatural in the the den.

“What can I do for you Detectives,” she said far stronger than needed.

I took a moment to look her over. She was quite a large woman and that would be to say, if they were wondering where all the fish and chips were going, there was nothing supernatural about that. Other than that, she seemed to be human, but I’ve been wrong before.  Beyond that, she had a lot of long flowing robes with an abundance of charm bracelets hanging from everywhere. Plus she had so much makeup on, it looked like she was stock piling the stuff.

“We’re looking for Zolato, “ I said trying to look official.

“Zolato is not present. I am The all knowing, all seeing mystic Madame Tar de Tar!” she ended by throwing he arms wide open like she’d done something special.

“That’s great,” said Delmar jumping in, “then you should have no trouble letting us know where he is.”

She was doing her best to appear mystical with lots of waving her hands in the air, shaking her beads and stuff. It was quite a show, but we still weren’t getting anywhere. I was having trouble not snickering at the spectacle.

She raised her arms again shouting to the other workers, “I must have an item that belonged to Zolato!”

One of the cooks grabbed something that looked like a towel to bring to her, but Delmar stopped him to check it over first and then approved it to go forward.

She grabbed onto it like it would solve all the problems in anyones life. Holding it close she almost savoured it and then dropped into a low humming trance.

I was getting impatient and said, “This doesn’t seem like all-knowing if you know what I mean?”

“There doesn’t seem to be a lot of seeing here either,” added Delmar.

She broke out of her trance in frustration saying, “I can’t focus the powers with all of this negativity around me. It is preventing the energy from getting to me!”

“Look lady, if you know where he is tell us, or we’ll run the whole lot of you downtown.” Said Delmar walking towards her with his cuffs out.

He must have struck a nerve with her, because she went right back into a trance saying, “Wait, I’m getting something.”

Delmar got a bit closer and suddenly paused just a few steps from her. He took a couple of deep breaths and then let out his forked tongue to taste the air. He turned towards me to flash a toothy grin and said, “It’s him. She is him!”


“Zolato,” said Delmar, “That’s him dressed up as Madame Tar de Tar!”

I took a look at the lot of them all trying to avoid eye contact with me. It was becoming obvious they were all in on it. “Grab your purse and whatever else you need. We’re all going downtown.”

Tar de Tar morphed into Zolato and said, “What for? What’s the beef cop?”

“We can start with impersonating an ugly woman and take it from there,” I said. “Now let’s move.”

“You never had a chance with that outfit,” said Delmar.

“Oh yeah! It takes one to know one!”

I wasn’t sure what that meant, but I made a mental note to follow up on it another day.


13:00 Hours, Maphesto’s Gypsy Land and Eatery

- We came into Maphesto’s just as the lunch rush was in full gear. It was a popular joint judging by the size of the crowd. We were having a lot of trouble getting everyone to realize this was a raid since most of our uniform guys got caught up in it all and started placing orders. We tried to get organized again, but it almost evolved into a work to rule campaign. Delmar joining in with them just made matters worse.

Once he was done eating whatever he had, he joined back up with me and we got the squad organized again. I got them covering all the exits and then I blew on my whistle and shouted, “All right! This is a raid! No one is going anywhere! I want Maphesto out here front and centre right now!”

It took a few minutes for some of the crowd to settle down while some of the men settled up their bills. A couple of them asked me if giving a tip while we were making a raid could be considered some sort of bribe or otherwise improper conduct. I told them 15% was standard and that they were cheap bastards.

I tried to connect up with Delmar again, but he was engaged with one of the serving girls.

“Hey babe, any other time and it would be no problem, but we have to stay on the good side of the law here,” he said.

“Don’t give me any of that crap Deli. You’re as cheap as they come!” she yelled at him before storming away. His waitress seemed to know him a lot better than I would have expected, but I made another mental note to check up on it.

A moment later there was a large commotion at the back of the room as a large tentacled creature began to slime its way towards us. It was a cross between an octopus that didn’t need to be in water to function, and long necked bird like an ostrich. It slid forward by propelling its tentacles along the floor while its head at the end of its long neck bobbed up and down like it was keeping time with a real crappy pop song.

“I am the Great Maphesto,” it said waving a couple of tentacles in the air.

“You’re the Great Maphesto?” I said sharing a doubtful look with my partner. The head scarf and long earrings wasn’t doing it for me. I know a Velorite when I see one and so did anyone else that ever saw one.

“That’s right my friends. Perhaps you have seen me before in a vision or dream?”

“Nightmare maybe,” saw Delmar quietly.

“So, you’re Maphesto, the gypsy chef and mystic?” I asked doing my best to look like I needed some convincing. “I don’t want to seem rude but, - uh scratch that. Rude it is. Buddy, the scarf and earrings are not doing it. There’s no way you’re a gypsy.”

“No kidding. We know a Velorite when we see one. Holly crap, even a two year old can see that genetic catastrophe,” added Delmar. “No offence.”

It’s front left tentacle rubbed under its chin, or gizzard, take your pick, while another tentacle that came from a place I couldn’t spot, scratched at the side of its head thoughtfully.

We both stood there looking at him waiting for a response or at least a good lie which is what we’re used to. I turned to Delmar and asked, “Do we have enough cuffs for a Velorite?”

That got his attention and he threw up some more tentacles saying, “I should have mentioned I’m the reincarnation of the great Maphesto.”

“Reincarnation? Are you sure that’s what you want to go with here?” I said.

Maphesto slithered in a small circle with a bunch of tentacles in the air playing to the crowd. “I see we are visited by a few non believers.”

It had been a busy day already, so I was in the mood to make a stand. I said, “Listen here friend. I’ve seen a lot of strange and crazy things over my years of investigating all over this galaxy. But there is nothing strange or unusual about the game of the confidence man, or creature if you prefer in this case. It will be our pleasure to put your mystic skills to the test.

“Right now downtown at our Headquarters, our team is taking statements from a large number of innocent old ladies that have been bilked out of their savings and nest eggs. If it was up to me, I hang you up by more than two or three of those tentacles, and beat you with a stick to see if any of their money falls out like a great big octo-bird pinnate!”

I could see my speech was having an effect of him, as well as all the others watching including Delmar. He looked nervous for a moment, but then gave me another one of his confirming reassuring winks from his diagonal slit of an eye. I was sure Maphesto was getting it, but not too much, other wise we would all be covered in ink by now.

He was wearing some sort of octopus cargo shorts like thing, with enough pockets for all his tentacles. In an attempt to show his innocence, he turned out all the pockets at once to show how empty they were. “Look Officers, I have nothing here, and nothing to hide,” he said while spinning around on the spot.

His display didn’t phase me once bit. In fact when dealing these sorts, theatrics are always expected, and I’d be disappointed by anything less.

Delmar decided to get involved and came forward. He pulled out his communicator holding it out to make sure Maphesto got a good look at it. Before I could stop him he said, “Let’s see what space immigration has to say about this!”

That’s when the ink started to flow.


16:00 Hours, CF Headquarters

- It had been a long day for us, and we were lucky enough to get our latest collar downtown before rush hour started. The only real threat from all of it would be us stuck spending any more time than absolutely necessary with these gypsy food workers. I’d already spent too much time with the fish shack crew. I wanted to get done with them as soon as possible, grab a shower and get all this horrible smelling ink off my body. I should consider myself lucky that Delmar took the brunt of it, but nothing ever sticks to his scaly skin.

It was a nightmare in booking. We had brought in close to 60 perps in our first two raids of the day and now were had Maphesto and 30 or 40 from his shop. Every single one of them was just as degenerate as the last. A lot of the men processing the perps gave me the equivalent of an unsubstantiated dirty look. Like they thought I did something bad, but they weren’t quite sure what it was.

One little degenerate pawed at me to get my attention for a moment, and when I stopped I spotted the Captain across the room. He signalled me like he was impressed and wanted to see us soon. I managed to scrape off the punk bugging me and quickened by pace towards the Captain. I paused for a moment to get Delmar to come along but he held up a hand to me.

“You have to watch this,” he said pointing to a corner.

I tried to follow his line of sight, but seeing he didn’t have a single speck of that damned smelling ink on him really pissed me off. However, it didn’t last long once I saw what he was trying to show me. Off in the corner I saw the most frustrated desk Sgt fighting like hell to print Maphesto. Every time he tried to ink up a tentacle, Maphesto managed to smear the print and then made it worse by using a different tentacle. That scene alone almost made up for Delmar being a lucky lizard.


17:00 Hours, Captain’s Office

- Delmar and I caught up with the Captain in his office. He looked strange to us. I could see it in Delmar’s slits that he was confused by it as well. He looked like he wanted to ask the Captain about it, but I signalled him against it. I tried to study the clues we had before us and I came to the conclusion based on the enormity of take out food containers all over his desk this elusive emotional state must be something we’ve never seen before; happiness.

He stood up and turned away from us like he couldn’t face us. It had been so long since I’d seen him stand I’d forgotten how tall and imposing he could be. “Men, this is big,” he said and turned back to us, “this is one of the biggest busts our division has ever been involved in.”

Delmar and I took a moment to share a look of pride, but I knew something else was about to be dropped on us.

The Captain went on saying, “You see boys, these big cases can get to become even bigger problems.”

“We can handle it Cap. Just lay it on us,” said Delmar.

The captain looked at me and I nodded my agreement. “It looks like Joestick is trying to make a deal. He’s filed a claim that you wanted a bribe.”

“Huh, I see,” I said, “and I guess IA is on the way here right now to make a deal with him.”

“That’s right.”

“Those guys at Internal are more crooked than any gypsy,” said Delmar. “We’ve got to find a way to stop him form talking to them.”

“Don’t worry Boss,” I said, “I can take of that. Now what’s the other problem?”

“How did you know?”

I must have looked pretty indignant about it and said, “There’s always more.”

The Captain went on to explain how Maphesto was claiming he was the victim of mistaken identity, and we would have to kick him lose without a positive ID by a witness. Once again I told him I would handle it. The Captain looked happy again, or at least thats what we thought this new look was.

I said, “Come on Delmar, I need to see an old lady about a creature thing.”


17:20 Hours, Central Booking

- It was still a mess in there as the men tried to sort them all out for processing. We went right to the officer booking Joestick and took control of him taking him to a separate holding cell area. Once we were away from all the bustle Joestick got a little less confrontational with us. We shoved him into a cell and then I left to get phase two of the operation going.

I didn’t have to go far. There was another holding cell right next door with a very unsavoury lot in for numerous violent offences. I grabbed one of the bigger ones and dragged him back to the cells where Delmar was waiting. In a moment I arrived with my goon in tow, and oddly enough his name was Blake the Goon.

“What the hell Is going one here?” he demanded while I pushed him into Joestick’s cell.

“Blake, do you remember when you told me that you’d love to get your hands on the guy that made a deal to put you away?”

He took a moment to look Joestick over and then turned back to me while cracking his knuckles. “Yeah! So what?” he said.

I came closer to the bars saying, “I thought you might like to meet Zorbo the Magnificent. He’s all knowing and all seeing, often providing the police with amazing detailed accounts of criminals including all of the goon like things they do.”

I don’t think Joestick had any grasp of what was going on when he said, “Hey, I don’t have time for this crap. I’ve got a deal to make in ten minutes.” He was caught off guard completely when Blake the Goon started beating the crap out of him.

That was all it took. We had to let Blake get far along enough to make sure he’d done a thorough enough job and still leave us enough time to clean Joestick up before the boys from IA arrived. There was no way he was making any deals with a busted jaw. The bandages and gauze alone was enough to keep him shut up. IA would have to get rich some other way today.

Our next job turned out to be even easier. We grabbed Maphesto from booking and took him to one of the lineup rooms so he could be identified by a witness. We were a bit short on horrible looking creature subjects and had to make do with using the oncoming patrol shift to lend us five of their patrol guys for the lineup.

Delmar left to get our eye witness while I continued getting everything ready.

“This is an outrage!” shouted Maphesto. “I am the great Maphesto, the one and only. There are no others like me!”

“Yeah. We’re counting on it,” I said.

A few moments later Delmar returned with Mrs. Coots and we took her to a spot where she could see the lineup.

“Hi Mrs. Coots, it’s good to see you again,” I said, “I hope you are feeling OK.”

“Oh thank you,” she said with a slight shiver in her voice. “I’m always glad to help the police.”

“That’s great to hear ma’am. Now could you take a good look at this lineup and tell me if you recognize any unholy aquatic slash avian genetic abominations please?”

“Oh dear,” she said as her eyes scanned the lineup until coming to the end. “Is it the hideous one with the feathers and tentacles?”

I was sure my smile was as big and broad as Delmar’s. Maphesto wasn’t happy, but we had been smart enough to diaper his ass up earlier, and I was sure I could see it filling up with ink.


29 Apr 2365, 20:30 Hours, Happy Joe’s Simian and Rodent BBQ Palace

- I was sitting in our division’s number one surveillance van outside Happy Joe’s on our big sting to take down Luthor Quick. The Captain was with me watching the video and audio feed from our man on the inside dressed up like a woman. We had two main monitors giving us an almost 270 degree view of the space in front of Delmar. The Captain was proud about suggesting the two fisheye cameras be put in each of Delmar’s breast forms. We were now at the point in the sting where they meet again and Delmar was sitting at the table. The fact that quick had leapt up to hold his chair meant things were working, or he was incredibly desperate.

“I hope this guy admits to something. He’s very attentive starring into the cameras so intensely, he’d be easy pickings for any jury,” said the Captain.

“Attentive?” I said. “You realize those cameras bumped Delmar up at least one cup size?”

“Oh, I didn’t notice that.” he said blushing.

Having watched 15 minutes of the Boss checking out Delmar’s fake rack said differently. “It’s certainly keeping Quick interested,” I said.

We had a very limited view of them at the table with Quick the centre of our view and a good angle of what was around Delmar. On a different monitor we could see a wider shot of their table from a camera we had put in ahead of time.

On the main screen we saw a drooling Quick saying, “You look simply ravishing tonight my dear.”

Then Delmar responded with, “Uh, yeah. Right.”

“You were stunning in that very early morning light when I first saw you. My dear, it didn’t do you any justice.”

I couldn’t believe how stupid this guy was, but I noticed the Captain was into this like a romance film. There was a moment when I wondered if Quick was in on it now and just playing along, but he looked at my partner with more than just mild interest.

Delmar was trying to steer the conversation more to what we wanted, but quick couldn’t get off  of trying to sweet talk him. “I can’t believe we’ve never crossed paths before. The spiritual community isn’t all that large and I assure you, I would have remembered you,” he said.

Delmar just brushed off all the advances preferring to focus on what he was going to order. Quick went on saying, “My dear, if your powers of prediction and telling of fortunes are as powerful as your beauty, there is no telling how far we could go.”

From our angle camera we could see Delmar put his menu to the side and said, “I feel confident on predicting how the evening will end.”

The Captain and I snickered at the inside joke from our undercover man until Quick replied with, “My, you are little saucy number. But let us focus on the meal and save dessert for later.”

We got it, but from what I saw on the screen, Delmar didn’t. He didn’t even bat a false eyelash and went right back to the menu.

The diner went on for some time and the Captain and I took turns paying attention to their mildly sexual implied conversation. No matter what Delmar said, Quick managed to find a way to sexualize it. I was finding it hard to pay attention to it, but the Captain was glued to it like the movie of the week. Once in a while Delmar was able to get him focused on his scams and talk about paying us off. So those were the only parts I considered paying attention to. Everything we needed was coming through in a slow trickle, but it was all there and I was checking off all the parts as they were revealed.

I was starting to get concerned the Captain might call everyone in to make the bust. The more it went on the more interested he got to the point where he missed where Delmar got Quick to confess on camera. We just kept watching them getting to the end of their meal and then  Quick picked up the check and they started to leave.

“Do you think Delmar has got more for him to confess to?” said the Captain.

I shrugged my shoulders knowing full well that Delmar had given his code word for us to swoop in and make the bust several times. But now that I thought about it, there was the possibility I may have given him the wrong code word.

The Captain made a low slow whistle as he watched Delmar get into Quicks vehicle. He said, “I guess he’ll let us know how it went in the morning.”

“Or not, if we’re lucky,” I said and started to pack up.


30 April 2365, 08:00 Hours, Captain’s Office

- We were in early for a weekend, but we needed to put some overtime in to get caught up with all the busts we’d made. I was going over my notes with the Captain when Delmar crawled in, and he was looking rough. Even the Captain noticed making sure to give him the once over.

“You look like hell,” I said unapologetically. He was still dressed up as Madame Del’Mar, and dressed for a night on the town; well the morning after at least.

The Captain’s head followed him as he slumped down in a chair. “Good God! You look like crap,” he said. “Fix your lipstick and show some pride man!”

I started laughing thinking the Captain had delivered a solid blow until I watched him, watching Delmar, pull out his little silver compact and a tube of bright red lipstick. Some battles you just don’t want to be a part of, so I shook it off and said, “Where’s your perp, or is there something you want to tell us.”

He continued checking his makeup like nothing else mattered and said, “He’s being precessed right now. Poor bastard never saw it coming.”

I watched waiting for a punch line but it never came.

“No way to let him down easy eh,” said the Captain.

“No Sir! He just had a sort of confused, passive look of confusion. I felt sorry for him, like I get when I play with a hamster before eating it.”

The Captain looked at the wall like he was staring of into the distance and said, “Sometimes the odds are against you and somethings are just not meant to be.”

“Damned right!,” I said and left as fast as I could.

The End

© Copyright 2018 Brian P Baldwin. All rights reserved.

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