You Can Go Home Again.
I was planning on going straight back to the office. Figured I’d swing by quick, check in with the cheif, then head back to the house and get started on trying to ignore the cockroaches that moved in during my enforced absence. I hope they haven’t appointed delegates. They never leave you alone if they’ve got delegates.
Didn’t quite work out like that, though. By the time we were far enough into the city that the evening clouds were starinting to go that familiar orange-pink from the streelights, I’d already headed off onto the maze of sidestreets and warrenlike alleys.
Watcha doin, Sly? Max says, Fought we wuz goin back ta da station!
I pretend I can’t hear him over the sound of the bike, because there’s something up ahead. Something important. I can smell it.
It smells familiar.
We pull up amid the chatter of Walkie Talkies and the flicker of lights. I always thought red and blue looked good together.
Weeeellll jes look what tha Cat dragged in.
“Nope, haven’t seen her since I left. So what’s the story?”
Mutt shrugs, Pretty well wrapped up, man. Bringin whotsisface dere in, again, jes like da las fifty times. Where you been, dough?
“F’I told you, I’d have ta kill you.” I let that one sit for a minute, then chuckle, “Seriously, no. I got called for something for the Bureau.”
That gets a slow whistle. Aslan. Heavy stuff, huh? I just shrug.
“Not really. Mostly desk work, not much excitement. Good catering, though. But I do suppose you’re wondering-”
“When I’m gonna ask why you left the door open when you pulled up to arrest Harry Ape.”
Uhh, cause he mighta heard de car door slam and got away? Standard procedure, Fox. Or don’ dey have dat in da Byooreau?
“Don’t try to gimme that. If you were worried about him runnin, you wouldn’a come alone. ‘Standard’ procedure is to surround the house.” He stares at me. Cops really aren’t very good at lying, at least not to other cops. “So, you wanna maybe tell me what’s really goin on here?”
Fine! Got a tip dat his Momma was gon’ make some kinda move when we took him, try to bust him out on da way back to da station. She been givin the desks a lotta headaches lately, figgerred this’d be a good chance to get her off da streets, so I make it easy for the ol’ bat an stay ready to grab her when she tries sumfin.
You gonna try to stop me?
“Why would I do that?” I grin, “Sounds like fun. You oughta have backup, though.”
He snorts. Tell dat to dispatch.
“Will do. See ya around.”
See ya, Fox. Hey Max.
So after we’re almost back to the station, Max says, Whut was da point a dat, Sly? You di’n tink Mutt wuz gone dirty, didja? I mean, him? He’s like… he’s untangibible, or sumfin!
“I suppose he might have, but that wasn’t what I was lookin to learn.”
Den why’d we make da detour?
“Just wanted to see if this city’d changed while we were away.”
Oh. Did it?