You Take The Hostage You Can, Not The Hostage You Want.

Slyyy…

“Sh!”

But we been followin ‘im fer like all day!

“And we’ll keep following him until we figure out what he’s up to.”

Chuck Taylors Are The mark Of Villainy.

It had started innocently enough. At least, as innocently as anything ever is in this city. Standard procedure says that a speed trap is to be manned by two officers at all times, but I aint never met the officer that cared a cup of compost about that. So when this officer was sitting in one car with one radar gun, when a car pulls up. The driver, surfer-looking skunk in his twenties, gets out with a dazed expression, lifts up the hood, looks confused. The officer decides he’s gonna be all helpful, and gets out to see what the problem is.

This is why I’m the detective, and he was looking for speeders.

When he wakes up, the car is gone, his clothes reek, and the software company he’d parked in front of has long been robbed blind.

Frankly, that’d be the end of the story, except that Harry Ape is stupid enough to leave his secret conspiracy messages at the top of his garbage can.

So, why’d da theif, hooevah da hell dat is, decide dey’s gotta give dis state-o-der-art video game tech ta Donkey Kong ‘ere?

“The only way I’m gonna be able to answer that is if we catch the thief. So I need you to do something.”

Wazzat?

“Stop making noise!”

I think he’ll find that easy enough.

I’m seriously hoping that Max had somehow dropped his voice an octive and lost his accent.

Do not turn around, Detective, if you in any way value the health of your assistant.

“Well, let me think about that for a minute here.” Try stalling for time. “You stole the software, you lured me here… but why Harry Ape? I’ve got the crime, and the criminal, but I can’t see the clue. So unless you’re actually a paradoxically insightful priest-”

Don’t be ridiculous, detective. Mr. Ape was merely the most convenient tool to hand. Now that you are here, he has served his purpose. I see no need to turn over anything to him whatsoever.

I guess he’s gonna take care of stalling for time himself, then.

I hope you haven’t forgotten me, detective. I worked so hard on our last little game. I have to admit it was most difficult to think of something to top myself.

“I imagine a hat would do the trick.”

But then I recalled a charming stunt I once saw, in which a lawn gnome was stolen from a charming old lady’s front yard. The perpetrator proceeded to send his victim a series of photographs of the figurine at various tourist attractions around the world. So I propose to send Mr. Mouse on a little vacation. Your task is to deduce his location from the photographs, before he reaches what I hope we can agree to call the end of his journey.

“Just out of curiosity, why doesn’t he have anything to say for himself?”

Come, detective, you must think I am a child. Mr. Mouse is gagged and handcuffed.

“Huh. I hope you used something pretty durable for the gag.”

Pardon? What do you mean by dur-aaAAAAWH!

“Cause, see, he’s got pretty sharp teeth.”

I’ve got my gun out, and I’m ducking around the end of the shelf just in time to see a flash of black and white disappearing past the corner. Max is flopped on the floor, making spitting noises.

“Skunk, huh?”

Gawd dat tasted frickin ‘orrible! Didja get ‘im at least?

I shake my head heavily. “He’s slippery. C’mon, let’s get outa here before the librarian glares us to death.”

Ain’t we gonna nab Harry? he gripes as I spring the cheap cuffs.

“No point. He ain’t done anything illegal, and he’s just a pawn anyway, he doesn’t know anything. We’ve got bigger fish to fry.”

Long as I can get a drink first.

“Make it two.”

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