Walking quickly down the hall, he tried to remember how long it had been since he’d talked to her. Hopefully she’d wait five minutes—if he’d only talked to Cannon for five minutes. It might have gone longer.
All that really mattered was that she hadn’t spent enough time waiting for him to get bored and leave.
He passed through the suites, and into the arena’s halls. It wasn’t like it had been the day before. The arena’s halls were crowded with people talking, some of them carrying food and drink.
Larry considered grabbing a beer, but didn’t. The lines were too long.
He walked out the front gate with a small crowd, pushing his way past another crowd that was walking in. With all the people passing through, he didn’t see her until he walked off to the left. She stood next to the arena’s wall, waiting next to a park bench in the shade of palm trees.
She wore the most normal clothes he’d yet seen her in—jeans and a red and white striped shirt.
As he stepped out of the crowd, she took off her sunglasses, and said, “Glad you made it, but I’ve got to admit, I was wondering if you’d come.”
“Yeah, sorry about that. A guy knocked on my door, and I couldn’t get away from him very quickly.”
She laughed. “A fan? Some people won’t leave you alone unless you call security. You’ve got their number. You can call them. No one expects you to handle fans alone.”
Larry shook his head. “He’s not a fan. I know the guy. I can’t tell you who he is, but calling security on him would make a big mess.”
She met his eyes. “I’ll take your word for that for now. So, you wanted to know where to find the man who designed security’s armor?”
“Right.” Larry tried to say it like he was just curious, and not like it mattered.
She glanced toward the people entering and leaving the arena, and asked, “Do you mind if we walk this way?” She pointed down the sidewalk next to the building. With all the people walking toward the hotels or restaurants, almost no one seemed to be using it.
“Good,” she said, and started walking calmly away. Larry moved quickly to keep up.
“I’m going to tell you what you want either way, but I need to know something before I do. How much trouble am I going to get in if anyone finds out I told you? And before you answer, imagine that some of my bosses have connections with organized crime.”
“Ah, hell. I don’t know your bosses, but it depends on how it goes. I just want to talk to the guy. If he takes it well, no big deal.”
“Do you think that’s likely?”
He knew she might be trying to play him, but if she wasn’t, could he lie to her?
He said, “I don’t know. Maybe we’ll both get into our suits and start fighting.”
“That’s the kind of thing I was worried about. I don’t want to stay here if that happens.”
Larry nodded. “I can see that. We’ve got a plane.”
“If they let you take off.”
“It’ll work out. I’ve got a backup plan.”
She looked up at him. “You’ve got another way off the island? Good. I want to go with you.”
“I’m surprised you’d leave your job.”
“This job? Where I’m eye candy for supervillains and carry a can of mace for protection? I’m not.”
“Got it. Look, I can’t tell you much more, and I need to hurry. So—“
“His name is Len Jones, and he’s got his own suite in the arena. It’s right next to security’s suite.”
Larry stopped walking. “Ok. If you’re coming with us, we’ve got to get back to the suite. I don’t know if you need to pack, but if things go badly, you’re not going to get the chance.”
Cheryl held up her purse. “I’ve got everything that matters already. The rest is just stuff.”
“Ok, then let’s go to my suite. I’ve got to introduce you to a couple guys.”
* * *
Half an hour later, Larry had taken the Frog all the way around the arena through one of the big tunnels meant for powered armor. It was just like the others—dark, with a metal floor, and without decoration except for support beams.
Len Jones’ suite had a workshop next to it. The workshop’s double doors were completely open. Larry didn’t even see that there had been doors until he drove the Frog inside, and noticed the gap where they’d slid into the walls.
Once inside, he parked the Frog next to another set of powered armor. He guessed he could see at least twenty recognizable security suits, and even more scattered sections. Better, he saw Armory’s own suit.
It sat there with the rest—bronze colored with a green chestplate, and a sword on its back. Larry knew it contained many more weapons than that.
He clicked, and the Frog suit opened. He stepped out, and walked to the nearest door—the one that went into Len’s personal suite.
Then Larry knocked.