Shego left Dexter on the hovercraft to change when she landed outside Go Tower. He emerged a few minutes later, his bulky gray hooded robe over the blue tights.
“You know, we always figured you had a lot of potions with you inside the robe. Or have you always had a little weight problem?”
He glared at her, “Let's just go in. I'm here as your prisoner, I didn't know that included insults.”
“Lighten up, Dex. I think of you as here as a guest. Didn't you have a bag of elixirs and salves in that duffle with you.”
“Yeah, but I left it on whatever kind of vehicle this is.”
“Bring it in. We're all friends and family here, you're allowed. Maybe you even have something that will help.”
The Wegos stiffened as Shego entered the Tower with the Alchemist. “Why is he here? Why didn't you call the police?”
“He came in as a guest for questioning. He hasn't given anyone any problems in years and I promised him I wouldn't call the police or tell you squat if he cooperated. At the moment he is giving me less crap than Kim, Ron, and my own brothers. Any of you got a problem with that?”
“Good. Now my old room here is a mess. I'm taking the Alchemist into the kitchenette for a little conference.”
Shego gestured to a chair opposite her own and the Alchemist sat down.
“Look, I have a number of questions, but I need to get downtown and get that redhead you saw me fighting out of jail. I think you really don't know a thing, but as a former member of the Gang of Evil I had to bring you in. Tank suits, Obtinus, Hellpike, Hydraulic Woman… Can you tell me anything?”
“I'm not sure what you mean. Was someone wearing a Tank suit when Hego was grabbed? I've been out of this stuff for years. Do you suspect Hellpike? I hear Obtinus is dead. Hydraulic Woman… I think I met her once. That must have been six years ago. I really can't believe I know anything of value.”
“You're probably telling me the truth. But that's also exactly what you'd tell me if you're lying. I want you to stay here -- I don't want you giving Hellpike any warning. And I want to know if there is anything in your bag of tricks that could help us.”
“God, you'd be welcome to anything I have in here. But I'm not even sure what would be good after all these years. We can look through if you want.”
“After I get back, okay? Looks like a couple Wegos are monitoring local TV stations for any news. Why don't you watch with them? Give your wife a call if you think you should -- I'll ask the Wegos to let you do what you want.
Mego, a large red hand print still glowing on his face from his questioning of the former Hydraulic Woman arrived at Go Tower shortly after Shego left for the trip downtown. “Well, I'll bet anything that Christine Marshall had nothing to do with this… What in the hell is he doing here?”
“Shego brought him in,” a Will told him.
“Why here? And why is he handcuffed to my chair?”
“She wants to question him, but says she needs to run downtown for something. She was going to give him the run of the place but we didn't trust him and he can see the television monitors better from your chair.”
Mego stared with distaste at the Alchemist, he nose wrinkled at an unpleasant odor.
“Mothballs,” Dexter explained. “I haven't had this suit on in years. Say, I know a skin salve that would be great for that skin irritation on your cheek.”
“Really,” Mego replied dryly.
“Really. All organic. The basic salve moisturizes and protects skin, but it comes in varieties for sunburn, antiseptic, and anti-itch. They all contain an aloe emollient with rose, apple, or citrus scent.”
“What's the brand name?”
“No brand name, I… I mean my cousin manufactures them in his drugstore. They're better than any commercially produced product you can buy.”
“Really,” Mego asked, now interested. “Your cousin you say?”
“Er, yeah. I was Al the chemist growing up. He was always Dexter the druggist.”
“All organic ingredients? There should be a big market for those.”
“That's what they say, but if you don't know someone in marketing it's hard to get it out there -- even if you have a great product.”
“Other products besides the skin salves?”
“Oh, yeah -- a full range of natural health products.”
“God, I… I mean I have a cousin who is interested in that. His company works in marketing and product distribution. There are a ton of stores where consumers would pay a premium for organic health care products.”
“Really? I, uh, think I have one of Dexter's cards on me -- can you pass it on to your cousin?”
“Sure… I probably have one of my cousin's cards on me. Can I leave it with you?”
“You're really serious?”
“I'm serious. There is a huge market out there for stuff like that.”
“Look, I can call his drug store if you'd like to see a sampling of what he makes.”
“Yeah, if it runs in the family and he's as good as you are I want to see his stuff… I mean, I'll look it over and pass it on to my cousin if I think it looks interesting.”
“Where's a phone?”
“Here, use mine,” Mego said handing him a cell phone.
Al the Chemist moved to a side of the room where he would not be heard.
“Dexter's Drug, how can we help you?”
“Theo? It's dad. Tell your mom I've found someone interested in giving my products a look. Gather some samples -- skin cream, tooth paste, and whatever else sells well and bring them to Go Tower. … Yeah, the Go Tower. … No, I don't know when I'll get home. … Okay, see you soon, bye.”
The morning newscasts had brought in eight individuals who confessed to kidnapping Hego, eleven demands for ransom, and one hundred and twenty-eight reported eye-witness sightings in every part of the city -- including two which had him eating with Elvis at a Perkins on the north side of town and with JFK at a McDonalds in a southern suburb. Three street corner evangelists proclaimed it represented a fulfillment of the book of Daniel and proof that the End times were at hand.
Other than the evangelists the police felt it necessary to check out every one of the other reports. Ed was spread out very thinly throughout the city.
Shego made it downtown to free Kim from lock up. Since the police had welcomed her with open arms she had her happy face on for them.
“… There was just a misunderstanding between us. I shouldn't have let her be brought here, but I was in a hurry to try and get some information on Hego.”
“Are you sure, Shego? The officer said she was terribly uncooperative.”
“You have to understand, she's even younger than the Wegos and terribly immature. But her heart is in the right place.”
The desk sergeant called back and had a female officer release Kim from her holding cell. Kim's mood appeared even worse than Shego had feared, and the desk sergeant didn't help matters.
“Shego has said you two actually know each other.”
“Oh, yeah, we're lovers -- can't you tell?” Kim snapped, “I'm the mother of her children.”
“Are you sure you don't want to press charges?” the desk sergeant asked Shego
“Let me think about that. She's just a little distraught, but I don't want her interfering with me while I'm looking for Hego.”
“We can hold her up to twenty-four hours,” he offered.
Kim simply glared at Shego.
“It is tempting, thank you. But if she can get her redhead temper under control she could be of help in the rescue.”