Silver Scorpion continued to cut at Jason with her silver knife, still hoping that she could disarm him, but Jason just pushed her knife-arm away.
Dice had heard the sound of combat and barreled into the room like a house on fire. "Somebody hold his gun down!" he yelled as he charged at Jason. He wanted to get his brass knuckles within punching range of the cultist's jaw, but instead he wound up jostling Captain Liberty so much to get past him that neither of them managed to land a blow on the motel caretaker.
Looking forward to when he was as good at this as The Shadow, The Mountain Man brought his fist around in a brutal uppercut swing at Jason's mid-section. Luckily, Jason must have felt how much strength was behind that punch, even though it had been pulled.
"Okay, I surrender," Jason said, dropping his weapon. “I don't have enough bullets left for all four of you and your pet lion there. Maybe you'll at least tell me who you people are. You sure don't look like the cops."
The Mountain Man kicked Jason's gun over for one of the others to pick up. "Someone make sure his wife hasn't run off," The Mountain Man said while he put Jason down in a chair, hard. "Tell us what you know about the temple."
Silver Scorpion snatched up the gun, unloading it of its remaining rounds before tossing it back to the ground. She then took up the search for the wife and the radio. The Daoist, as well, took the Mountain Man's suggestion and trotted off stalking after the wife.
Before Silver Scorpion and the Daoist could get very far, though, Jason shouted, "Wait! I'll tell you what you want to know," The Scandinavian accent common to Minnesotans melted away and he sounded like a Chicagoan now. Dice had to wonder if he had ever worked with this thug, though the face was not ringing a bell. "Just...just leave my wife alone, okay? Leave her out of this."
Silver Scorpion paused, but The Mountain Man and The Daoist were quicker to see through his charade. Since Captain Liberty burst through the front door, Jason had bought his wife three minutes of time for radioing the temple and alerting them. The Daoist, still as a mountain lion, came into the next room of the house and found the wife, scrambling dials on a radio transmitter.
Silver Scorpion lunged into the room after the Daoist, clapped her hand over the wife's mouth, and pulled her away from the radio. She then handed the wife over to one of the other heroes and turned her attention back to the radio.
Silver picked up the microphone, hoping that the static would be enough that they no one would be able to distinguish two female voices apart. "Oh, good. Yeah, everything is clear here now. Jason took care of those meddlers, they weren't so tough after all. Now we've just got to find someplace to bury them." She mentally crosses her fingers as she awaited a reply.
While they awaited the reply, Captain Liberty, his arm bleeding from where the bullet winged him, found a bathroom and some bandages.
Outside, Sewer Rat was still lurking about when he was approached by Gandor the Great, smoking another cigarette. "How are things going in there?" Gandor asked him.
Back inside, Captain Liberty decided to look around the place, after tending to his wounds, to try and get any clue about what this cult was about. He figured that it is something definitely un-American, whatever it was! He searched through the office and behind every book shelf, searching for secret doors and hidden passages.
Silver Scorpion found that no reply was forthcoming on the radio, since it was transmitting to no one. It took her a minute to realize that Mrs. Tenner was not still trying to contact the temple after three minutes; she was scrambling the dials so they would not be able to easily find the frequency she had just used to contact...someone.
Dice Morgan shook his head, silently regretting that the fight between the two women did not involve clothes-tearing and rolling around on the floor. Getting antsy again now that the action is over, Dice looked for something to do. While the others were keeping busy, he went outside and checked around the perimeter. He also looked for any lights in the distance that might indicate vehicles coming their way. Then, once outside, he stopped in mid-stride and said out loud, “Hey, where did that dang lion come from anyway?"
Dice was able to confirm from Sewer Rat and Gandor the Great that neither of them had seen any sign of reinforcements coming. When Dice asked what they had been up to all this time, Sewer Rat just shrugged and Gandor said, "But, my dear friends, I was involved, in my own way. I barricaded the back door of the house so no one would be able to escape that way."
Back inside, the lion vanished, or at least turned into something else. With no one else around to take charge of the wife, the Daoist transformed from the mountain lion to a giant panda, startling Silver Scorpion and Captain Liberty who had yet to witness the Daoist transform and assumed the mountain lion had been someone’s pet. Mrs. Tenner shrieked in surprise and tried to dodge, resisting one try, but then falling victim to a second bear hug that kept her restrained.
The Mountain Man continued to lean on Jason, getting little more than Jason Tenner’s full name out of him. It was clear that Jason was not really scared of any of them, though he did glance nervously to the other room after hearing his wife scream. Jason kept verbally dodging and talking in circles to stall.
Captain Liberty did not find much in the house, other than a rooster figurine, whittled from wood, in a shoebox in a closet. The lack of clues might itself be a clue, as this pair did not seem to be enthusiastic cultists. He also found $62 in loot stashed about the house.
Silver Scorpion attempted to calm herself when the Daoist transformed into a Panda and thought she did rather a good job of not leaping six feet up and striking her head on the ceiling. She eyed the panda carefully as she made her way out of the office/radio room.
Back in the front room, Silver found the Mountain Man and Captain Liberty together. "Well, it seems the cat's out of the bag,” she told them. “The temple is going to know we're coming now. We'd best leave the area right away; they are sure to send reinforcements. I suggest we head back to Duluth with Jason and his wife and turn them over to the authorities, as Alpha-Woman did with the others. Then we can decide how we want to tackle the temple."
Dice Morgan had returned to the front doorway in time to hear half of that. He stood there, rubbing his chin. "How far does this Rooster thing go? What if the cops are in on...” his voice trailed off. Through the doorway to the office, he could see a giant panda bear. "Hey, why is there a pan-- Nevermind. Don't wanna know."
Hardboiled Space Detectives!
19 hours ago