Our story begins with an American lawyer named Kate Walker. Her life was on the rise and as she would tell you she had worked hard in her professional and personal life. This had paid off in both business and personal with an equally successful handsome fiancé Daniel Foster. And had also landed herself a job at a prestigious law firm run by Edward Marson CEO of Marson & Lormont Associate Law Practice in New York City. She had been sent by her law firm to the French village of Valadilene to oversee the corporate takeover of a family-owned clockwork toy factory. This unexpectedly led to her learning that the brother of the factory owner; Anna Voralberg was not dead. Anna had passed away but before her death, she had alerted the town notary that her brother Hans Voralberg was still alive. This caused Kate against her better judgment to go looking for him. And this decision led her across Europe to the outer territories of Russia.
Along the way, she came across many obstacles and people who needed her help in one way or another. As she was trying to track down Hans she met Special Automaton Man: Oscar and with his help they had managed to get the Clockwork Locomotive on its way through Eastern Europe. She wondered whether she should be doing this but one thing had led to another and Kate was led down an ever-increasing series of events. Then she had to use her wits to figure out what to do next whether that involved dealing with stubborn people who had to be convinced to assist her, or various roadblocks. These had to be moved or gotten around but no matter what she came up against Kate always managed to think up a way to push forward with her new friends Oscar and Hans. No puzzle or mystery she had encountered had managed to trip her up so far and she was feeling quite confident in her abilities. Though she knew there were harder challenges out there, she was happy to have been successful up to this point.
The two objects Oscar required to operate the train for Kate were a doll of a man riding a mammoth and a clockwork music box. Everything was going great, she had a few obstacles along the way but had managed to get by and help a few people too. But now early in the morning Kate awoke in her room on the train and wondered why they had not left Aralbad Spa. The sooner they could leave Komkolzgrad, the better. Kate had uneasy feelings about this caustic Industrial mining facility ever since they arrived. Its heyday was in the Cold War era and it had sputtered on ever since till now. At first, the only bad thing upon exiting the train was the sickening levels of air pollution being spewed out. But then she met Sergei Borodin, and he was not a nice man, to say the least.
He ran Komkolzgrad like his personal country and didn’t like not getting his way. He was the Czar in this place and if he wanted something he did not hesitate to simply take it for himself. This is what led to Kate’s problems at the mining facility. Since the workers or anyone else, there were not about to challenge Sergei’s authority he didn’t see the harm in taking joy in picking on the vulnerable. And new arrivals at the facility were just the perfect targets for him.
Kate had to deal with his thievery twice in fact, Oscar's hands and Helena Romanski; a famous opera singer were both considered his property all of a sudden. Returning the first gained Sergei’s wrath against her, and the latter cost Sergei his life when he tried to keep them from leaving. A little dynamite goes a long way it turned out, but now that Sergei was dead Kate would like to get as far from the facility as possible. Ministry of State Security spies tends to not care about the small details of self-defense or preventing kidnappings when loyal members of the state turn up dead. The fact that Kate was American only increased her chances of being labeled a “foreign spy”.
To not give the “KGB reborn” spy agency any reason to suspect her merry group of friends; she went to see Oscar in the engine room and spoke to him saying, “Oscar why haven’t we left? Hans is going to be upset if we don’t get going. We should have left last night.” Oscar in a panicked voice said, “It's terrible Ms, Walker! Someone has stolen the music box! I already told my creator Hans and he would like it returned post haste! Until then we have to stay and find out where it is gotten to!” Kate more collected than the robot she was speaking to replied, “It's okay Oscar someone stole the music box but we can find out who it was and get it back easily enough.” However, on inspecting where the music box had been Kate found a clue; a message was written on rolled up paper designed to let the reader know a game was afoot.
Kate thought to herself, “Was this done by someone loyal to Sergei? No, it couldn’t have been the train’s security system would have detected them. This was a professional job I bet, and they even had the gall to leave a message behind.” And Kate now understanding the thief wanted to be pursued felt this was going to be the beginning of another grand adventure. Though she couldn’t ask any of the local authorities for help, she did know a certain impartial agency to call when things looked dire. And while taking out her trusty cellphone she thought to herself, hopefully, they could get to Aralbad Spa fast.
Over in America, two ace detectives were going through their normal motions that are of the argumentative kind. One of them was Tenchi Masaki who was explaining the aerial ins and outs to the jr. detectives while being countered by his aeronautical sometimes rival Kylie Griffin. They were in classic form as Tenchi explained his reasoning for replacing the piston aircraft of choice the P-51 Mustang, with the newer Diamond DA62. Of course, Kylie was leaning toward the DA50. Their differences hinged on a simple factor safety vs affordability. Tenchi told Kylie, “You understand the DA62 is safer since it has two engines, and can maintain takeoff speed if one of them fails right? And since it’s a seven-seater a whole five-man ACME task force can go along in one plane. The DA50 has one engine and that’s no good for TransAtlantic flight case closed.”
Kylie unfazed by Tenchi, easily countered, “Do you know how much the DA62 costs? Oh wait of course you do, you just don’t care. Not everyone has a million dollars to throw around you know. Then there are the obvious maintenance costs on a two-engine plane that last time I checked, was not required in order for ACME agents to travel the globe. You just want them cause they look cool as winter. The DA50 is a four-seater and more optimized for one to three detectives which is the norm on the majority of our missions. We don’t assemble a task force unless it's serious, but you however think what if this happened, and that happened, and now is really not the time.”
Tenchi finished the debate by adding, “Well it's settled then the DA62 is cool as winter so it wins! And in summation, If you mean a seven-seater is bad because the rear seats fold down enabling larger cargo carrying capacity for detectives. As well as a larger space for various loot stolen by VILE that is recovered by us to be stored in. Oh and all of that with the first and second row for up to five detectives if need be available for use as well.” Kylie hated when Tenchi hid behind technical facts, sure the DA62 was roomier and could carry more stuff but that came at a steep price; over a million dollars. The budget would not sustain the purchase, let alone the upkeep of these planes. Justifying their use to the board of directors would be even more of a challenge as they would have to explain why this plane is better than a cheaper one.
But Tenchi would just do what he always did: Go around the opposition. He would make his case and if he got a no in response, he would simply build it independently at Home 01. At which point he would do as he pleased handing it out to detectives who wanted it. Diamond would be more than happy to go along with Tenchi as an aviation company would, their planes would be used by the famous ACME Detective Agency. It made it that much harder for Kylie to compete with Tenchi when it mattered; like now. If the board agreed to fund the purchase of DA50s Tenchi would just build DA62s on license from Diamond at Home 01. The merits Tenchi listed about the plane were all correct but the context of someone who knew him for years was not. Kylie understood Tenchi wanted to help people but if you offered solutions outside his “parameters” he would casually push you out of the conversation.
He already solved the problem so to speak but talking to others as part of informing them of that solution and knowing there would be different views he prepared in advance. So if you suggested different ways of doing something he would say no, and it was so annoying. The DA50 had the most spacious cabin in its class but Tenchi demanded more than one engine for positive redundancy. Every single-engine plane was off the list as a result. But if the DA50 had- “Gasp, that was it!” Kylie readied herself for a surprise attack; while Tenchi was lowering his internal anger levels thinking to himself, “Why must she question every decision I put forward?” Tenchi knew Kylie was very direct and expected people to match the professional level of their job. Her cynical, dry commentary didn’t help much, but if you knew her you realized it was just a shield she used when among “normal people”.
Though Tenchi was more measured in his assessment of Kylie; she expected results and had to work within a budget at her other job in Manhattan. As a result, Kylie thought of affordability over safety. Not that her employers cared exactly about high levels of safety anyway, they did use unlicensed nuclear accelerators on a regular basis. But Kylie whether she wanted to admit it or not was spoiled by her job experience. She ended up working for Dr. Spengler simply because she enrolled in his class and stole his property, after which her co-workers had to save her. Ever since she was a model employee mostly because she idolized her boss he was a genius and made safe experimental devices for use in the field. So Kylie never had to experience mechanical failures or faulty equipment and when a situation required new equipment Dr. Spengler simply made it or at least drew up the blueprints for the team to build off of.
So Kylie saw no problem with cheap hardware and thought he did because he had to fund his inventions which led to cheaply made though functional inventions. They were experimental and constantly improved upon and this made Tenchi the genius engineer that he was. Tenchi had realized on seeing how professional design processes worked in companies or well-funded independent teams that it was streamlined and focused on making the end product as fast as possible. Certainly not incremental upgrades and tweaks to the design. This led the engineers to not being able to independently see problems with hardware or software and be allowed to do anything about it. That had to come from team leaders who were only allowed to do what their supervisors told them. This led to products that had to be changed after they were released for sale and got negative customer feedback, or in short, money was the only motivator.
Tenchi had learned as a result to get the basics of the device first then build on that. Constant application of that philosophy meant he could design and build highly advanced complex gadgets on a whim; while others such as Walter Wiley for instance were lucky to get something just to work as intended. Tenchi had divided himself from the scientific community because of this issue. What Kylie saw as “annoying” Tenchi saw as necessary, other engineers on a team aside from ego and envy playing a factor would make recommendations based on bloated financial budgets and trying to advance their careers in the “Go along to get along” formulaic process. So Tenchi was glad he could just go around the chart-based process whenever he felt like it, however, his friends arguing made it look bad he already had enough problems with his “unconventional” methods and critics saw any dissent as agreement with their side. There was no “us vs them” with Tenchi, he knew the best way to do something was all that mattered and chose to judge people on a case by case basis while the industry loyalists made it clear; “Do it our way or not at all.“
As they made the rounds at the agency Kylie unleashed her attack and suggested twin-engine single prop planes they would have the redundancy and be cheaper adding only the cost of an extra engine. Tenchi said, “ DA50s, as trainers would be a great addition to the fleet, and the extra engine, would be a welcome safety addition.” Kylie was shocked not only did Tenchi indicate he was agreeing with her but that there was going to be more than one kind of plane purchased. It seemed Tenchi had made Kylie recommend other aircraft to embarrass his detractors. It was clear by this point that the two were known for getting the job done and the worst thing critics could see Tenchi doing was making it publicly known that he valued someone else’s opinion as much as his own. They would quickly rush to do damage control as suddenly Kylie’s opinion didn’t matter to them as much. Suddenly her opinion was to be expected, she trained and hung out at Home 01 after all and her arguing was now “playful banter between colleagues”.
Kylie could care less what they thought, she was never with them and made it clear to Tenchi SHE was his competition in the sky and on missions. Their plane issues now solved, the board approved of Tenchi’s selection of the DA62 the safety features alone would give them clout in diplomatic arguments concerning policy approach. The public relations department wouldn’t mind either, having to do public relations was easy when you could say ACME chose to value safety and performance as the Diamond line of planes had both. The agency was buzzing as usual things still hadn’t fully wound down from SIN trying to take over the world. Politicians were dragging things on for as long as they could, and this led to all kinds of uneasiness around the world. Knowing they couldn’t fully trust government organizations to handle problems and fearing it might be the start of something bigger; governments and corporations were calling ACME more and more. The civilian front was no different other than calling in just to sing the Carmen Sandiego theme song they were asking for all kinds of help, most of which was not very important. But no problem was too big or small for ACME, whether stopping Maelstrom’s plans or rescuing kittens from trees ACME was there on the ground to get the job done.
The daily briefing from Delores Edmund over at Home 01 was slightly different today however apparently a lawyer was stranded in Aralbad Spa and needed EVAC. Tenchi going through the daily motions of the briefing asked, “Why does a lawyer need EVAC, D? Diplomacy issues I figure.” And now Delores was able to do what she loved best, info dump! She started by highlighting this particular distress call by saying, “Well there Tenchirino, apparently, this lawyer is one Kate Walker and she was supposed to oversee a corporate takeover of a toy factory in Valadilene, France but now she’s in between let’s see… Komkolzgrad and Aralbad Spa near Russia. She gave a detailed list of places she’s been most were remote and out of the way and now she’s stuck in Aralbad. Her situation likely means she ran afoul of Russian authorities.”
“This is complicated by the fact that after contacting her family they said they want her home immediately. Her law firm buckled to that pressure and hired a detective named Nick Cantin to track her down and now he’s on his way to the region starting with France.” Tenchi said back, “She’s supposed to be in France, why is she in outer Russia? And don’t call me that.” Delores replied, “Well it doesn’t matter Tenchikins she’s there so you can ask her when you get to the location. I ran the information through the Agency and they have agreed to assist pending two volunteers of course.” Tenchi and Kylie figured why not it would be nice to get out of the daily grind and accepted the case. The Walker family would have it no other way, they demanded the best in everything, and two ace ACME detectives would satisfy that quite nicely.
Normally it would take a while to fly there and they could expect about a day or two travel time but they didn’t have that kind of time given the situation. So Tenchi figured he would just use a larger hypersonic jet to get them across the Atlantic then about eighty percent of the way, deploy the DA62 from the internal hanger to make the rest of the trip. Preparations were made and the standard diagnostic checks were run. Once they were ready, off they went into the wild blue yonder and in only a few hours they were clearing the majority of the Atlantic Ocean. Tenchi and Kylie entered the DA62 and were lowered down as the plane slowed to subsonic speeds. Tenchi started the engines on the DA62 and waited for the clamps to release. He loved flying and loved cool launch sequences even more.
Kylie sat with arms folded looking at Tenchi with an expression that clearly said “You’re too old to be having this kind of childish glee”, as they readied for launch. But honestly ever since she started flying she couldn’t get enough of the exhilaration and could understand how Tenchi felt, though why show it when you can be gloomy instead. They would be flying over Europe and rendezvousing with Russian Detective Tatyana Erzin then the detectives three would then make their way to Aralbad spa with support on the ground from trigger happy American soldiers. Tatyana radioed Kylie in the copilot seat and said the news no one wanted to hear; this had become a political intervention. While that was unfortunate to know they would plan accordingly once they met up. In the meantime, the soldiers would go over their mission plan to prevent the Russian capture of Kate walker by locating her and evacuating her out of the hostile territory. Tenchi and Kylie were in charge of this mission and were to extract Kate walker in a professional manner.
Of course, neither of them was stupid, this was only happening because the Walker family had pulled strings in order to arrange this “help”. So knowing what waited ahead for them they flew on towards the region and several hours later landed at Wick John O’Groats airport in Scotland. The relaxed ambiance of the place was popular with pilots. Unexpectedly many who came here found it had a strange charm to it whether they were just starting their journey from Europe, or coming in from the western nations. Memories were in the cold morning air as they both knew this airport well, as it was a regular stopover for pilots crossing the Atlantic. Kylie was a little upset the Hypersonic jet blasted them past all the scenery of Greenland and Iceland and she almost wished they landed at Reykjavik. But the mission came first and this was a nice place to be as well.
They both greeted the flight staff who came to service and refuel the plane and then the operators in the tower. While there, Tenchi and Kylie spoke to ACME liaisons William McCready and Samuel Magruder while they were on duty. William saw two familiar faces and smiled while greeting them with a customary, “Top o’ the Mornin ter yer two! Yer married yet?”. Tenchi and Kylie blushed while quickly changing the subject to other things namely, the weather. Tenchi started by saying, “Yeah it’s a great morning very cold and foggy reminds me of Dublin, Ireland actually! Kylie likes cold and foggy weather right Kylie!” Kylie noticeably nervous and caught off guard quickly added, “Yes I love cold, frigid, and otherwise misty anything! Like fog and mist, but not the black water variety of course! Speaking of which its really misty outside so I’m happy about that! Hahaha!”
After this exchange, the two worked on catching up on current goings-on with their friends at the famed Scottish airport. William, curious about his kin across the pond asked, “So ‘ows me kin doin? Especially me wee niece Mindy.” Tenchi told William in a happy voice, “Oh she’s doing great Willie! Her dad Damon just started the next phase of her combat training and soon she’ll be operating in the field! It seems like just yesterday when she held her first gun!” Kylie would normally eye roll these kinds of small talks but she like Tenchi, was personally invested in the upbringing of Mindy and another child close to her age; Timothy.
Based on what the four of them had been through together, they hoped they had changed things enough so that the two would not come back into their care. But that was up to the state of the world and the people living in it. If they were good enough then there would be nothing to worry about, they hoped. Damon Mindy’s father was a police officer and very dedicated to his job. Some would say too much but he took that as a compliment. The only thing more important to him than protecting the innocent and enforcing the law was his daughter Mindy. And so in a bid to keep her safe from the mob he had begrudgingly agreed to work with Tenchi to train her.
It wasn’t that he didn’t like Tenchi, he just didn’t think all the precautions were necessary at first. But slowly over time, he saw how corrupt the world was and swore to fight against it. He was all in on Tenchi’s help at that point and he and his wife Kathleen had even made Tenchi and Kylie Mindys Godparents; as had Timothy's parents Jack and Janet Drake has done for him as well. As a result, Tenchi and Kylie were suddenly a part of the McCready and Magruder family business. They had slowly folded into ACME over the years after immigrating to America though it was more mutually beneficial to do so. The families that came to America as a result of The Great Potato Famine were accompanied by their rival family; the McMahons. They were, to say the least, not very reputable and had a blood feud going with primarily the McCready’s with the Magruder’s playing a sidekick role so to speak. This would lead to two different paths as the McCready’s and Magruder’s respectively went down the road of law enforcement and firefighting.
The McMahons chose the criminal path and had ended up in the mob. This meant their family rivalry continued in America, but over time it died down as the choices the families had made caused them to focus on other endeavors legal or illegal. But recently current generations were acknowledging that past on the McMahon side. It had become akin to a local legend of a family feud that spanned generations of cops and mobsters. The McMahons suddenly had notoriety to help them rise in the criminal rankings. And one man, in particular, had managed to rise quite highly to the highest board one could rise in the mob world: The Golden Lords. They were the true leaders of the Mafia and from the first and second tier of their organization, had been controlling the third tier down.
This was the tier the world knew as organized crime mobs such as the Mafia, the Yakuza, and the Triads to name a few. The global criminal organization was known by the certain government and corporate officials while others regarded them as a conspiracy theory. But this did not stop government factions from working with them and giving them legal immunity in certain crimes committed in exchange for their services. This is where ACME came in they knew full well of this secret group of crime lords and were strategically going after their operations. But mostly the policing of this organization had been left up to various law enforcement agencies of world governments. Things had gotten steadily worse as a result as the Golden Lords consolidated their power across the globe over the decades. However nothing was stopping the world from acting on them, they were at the end of the day just a crime syndicate.
It was the bureaucracy and the corruption of governments that kept justice from acting but some individuals were scoring victories when it mattered, such as Tenchi though he wasn’t going out of his way looking for encounters with them. He would be wandering randomly as he so often did and come across a situation that was directly or indirectly tied to their evil schemes. A bunch of well-trained martial arts moves later and the unfortunate thugs would find themselves out cold and another operation of theirs would be out of commission. Many people would be helped by these acts of heroism and Tenchi and kylie’s reputation were lifted as a result. Simply by the association in Kylie’s case as she hardly ever was a part of these gangland escapades. But she was always right there as Tenchi’s partner on their regular cases, not his “gangster side thing”.
Those had caused them to rise in popularity as “ACME’s star cops” in the public eye by word of mouth from eyewitnesses. It built up over time leading to genuine hero status without the annoying pop culture gossip from tv and social media. The networks felt it wasn’t news worth reporting and chose sensationalist stories instead, as per the norm. The McCready’s and Magruder’s in ACME had risen to respectable levels within the organization and had kept their membership secret as was customary from family members not in ACME. Damon McCready knew his sister Noreen McCready was an agent at ACME but she never discussed case details since that wasn’t her style. And that’s what made her a trusted confidant of Tenchi, he would just give her cases that people sent in from Home 01 and she would solve them no questions asked. That is what the Britannia side of the families was interested in, keeping tabs on the American side.
Tenchi and Kylie were however more than happy to give up-to-date information whenever they traveled to Europe. But they were on assignment and as everyone there knew the mission came first. Samuel with a face as happy as could be commented, “Aye Willie yisser so concerned aboyt dee wee bairn lass! Yer knew she’s doin gran’ loike de last ton times yer asked!” Willie jubilantly replied, “Aye that’s true so tis alwus nice ter ‘ear aboyt ‘er whaen oi can Sam.” The gathering of friends dispersed as the plane was rolled onto the runway for takeoff. Willie and Sam waved Tenchi and Kylie off as they walked out to the plane and took off for the rendezvous with Tatyana and the entourage of soldiers. Kylie had to admit while taking control of piloting that the plane was great. Though she didn’t mind flying aggressively just to make Tenchi nervous.
Tenchi a bit concerned about crashing turned his head toward his partner and asked Kylie, “Kylie can you be more careful please?” Kylie pretending not to know what Tenchi was talking about removed her hands from the flight stick and asked in an aloof manner, “You don’t like my flying?” Tenchi responding to his partner's obvious coyness returned, “I love your flying, it's just too lovable sometimes.” Kylie responded, “Oh so you love when I do this kind of flying huh?” Tenchi not interested in crashing into the city buildings said, “Your flying is fine now fly a little less lovable please!” Kylie straightened out their approach as the AI came on to inform them of their imminent arrival near Komkolzgrad. They came down at the safest and the closest point possible. Tenchi and Kylie exited the plane and were greeted by Tatyana in her classic formal fashion.
While shaking hands with Tatyana they were greeted by her signature “Privyet” and start going over relevant information. The soldiers saluted the two as they had played an integral role in saving the world from General Morden, and though they really felt like asking for autographs and selfies they made their way towards Aralbad quickly instead. They filed into a transport APC and took their seats. While riding along, Captain Tristan started to tell the detectives why they were there and of the mission given to them. Kylie, wanting to get to the point said, “Yeah yeah we have to find Kate Walker before she’s arrested by Russian authorities.” Captain Tristan looking at Tenchi replied, “And that’s not all. Our real mission is to find what is believed to be a long-lost converter from an ancient civilization. Our mission is to retrieve it intact, you’ll team up with Sgt. Cooper.”
Tenchi in a professional tone responded, “I only work with my partner; we're a team.” Captain Tristan quickly asked in a procedural manner, “So you know the transfer point then?” To which Tenchi and Kylie nodded while indicating to each other they clearly did not. Leading Kylie to quietly ask Tenchi, ”Maybe we should look over the details again.” And while they were doing that, Tatyana being aware of Russian government procedure was going over the possibilities for Ms. Walker. She knew what the situation likely entailed and it was more probable Kate feared getting in a diplomatic situation with the Russian authorities but hadn’t… yet. When they reached Komkolzgrad however, they saw the damage that had been done and realized Kate could get in some serious trouble over it. Especially the dead official. Tatyana while staring at the body said, “This could be a problem to say the least we have to find leads and the people will be happier to speak with us than MSS.”
The local police were scarce, to say the least and from their rambling skittish nature it was obvious they were loyal to Sergei and hiding facts and details. Kylie suggested that they could tie up the authorities by playing to their secretive nature and focusing on the possible homicide. With their limited resources they would have enough trouble with the locals and choose to hand the case on over to ACME and be done with it. Tenchi added, “Plus they’re more concerned with saving their own skins. They know what happened and with their boss gone all the illegal things he did will come to light as they sell each other out to avoid the gulag.” Tatyana felt it right to object to that term by saying, “The gulag ended in the 1960s when are you Yankees going to stop using that term?” Thus prompting a famous ACME educational exchange between the three.
The soldiers hoped this would happen and listened intently. Kylie stated, “The current Russian prison system is no different than the gulag system that ended under Khrushchev officially in 1960 after the Gulag administration was dissolved!” Tenchi commented, “Of course this meant over a million political prisoners had to be released and a whole new incarceration system successfully implemented to imprison criminals!” It was ACME random education at its best and the soldiers made sure to take notes on the trip. The local police were more than happy to give ACME the case since it meant holding off the MSS and their… methods of finding out what happened. So with the evidence properly gathered and the crime scene marked, the detectives headed off to Aralbad spa and on arriving asked about Kate Walker. They were told she arrived on the train and was still here as it refused to leave for some reason. Tenchi reveled in the implication the train was broken and already thought of ways to fix it on their way to the train's location.
Captain Tristan confirmed that it was believed the Voralburg music box was the converter in question but they needed a positive confirmation first before securing it. Wanting to get that part over with as fast as possible they made their way to the Clockwork train. As they inspected the outside of the silver train they saw it was done by a very talented designer. Tenchi thought of asking if he could make a replica for Home 01’s train yard and model trains for the kids to buy there. He also hoped the train was incorporating innovative gear systems to analyze and repair.
His hopes were dashed however when they found the train operator Oscar who upon greeting them; told them the train was fine but the music box had been stolen. Tenchi studying Oscars design intently asked, “Do you have any leads or clues for us to go on? We’ll try to find the music box as fast as we can.” Oscar replied, “Why yes we do in fact have a lead the thief left something and Ms. Kate Walker has been trying to figure it out.” Oscar then led them to the Parlour car, where the detectives admired how well designed the interior of the Clockwork train was very warm and inviting. The entire interior was adorned with Dalbergia rosewood, plush dark carpeting motif throughout, and premium metalworking. Various mechanisms and inventions made by Hans were either on display or were necessary to operate numerous systems on the train.
Oscar would, given his nature; love to explain everything and give a tour of the train and its functions. But he was driven only by the issue at hand and immediately led the detectives to where Kate was sitting lost in thought. Tenchi noting her expression said, “It’s a pleasure to finally meet you, Ms. Walker.” Kate was sitting slightly upset that she was unable to figure out what to do next, and had no idea where the thief had gone since they couldn’t leave. Though his outward appearance did not show it, Tristan was upset. What was supposed to be an easy mission, turned into a hard one just like that. Now he was telling Sgt. Cooper to inform the men they would be on standby for new orders. Having located Kate Walker half the job was done, but now they needed to pursue a riddle-dropping thief.
Kate, on seeing ACME detectives coming in, saw her mood lifted quite quickly. She welcomed them to the Parlor and told them about the series of events that led to Sergei Borodine’s demise. Next was all about Hans and how he was holding up the train until the music box was returned. Kylie asked Kate, “Why doesn’t he let you drive the train? Oscar can stand there if he wants to.” Kate returned, “I wish it were that easy, but he insists on being the driver plus it's not my train.” Just then an eccentric old man came into the room and insisted the music box be returned. He wore glasses and had a head full of white hair and a warm winter coat with tufts of white fur around the neckline and cuffs. He had mammoths to find and the person who took it obviously wasn’t coming back.
Kate told Hans that ACME detectives were here to help them and the sooner they knew where the thief went the better. Hans realizing staying wasn’t going to bring the box back, agreed to leave Aralbad but first, they had to figure out where the thief got off to. Kate taking out the letter said, “The thief left this on the table where the music box had been it reads: When I learned ol’ Nicholas had Witte I decidedI’ll be where the square is red, Pushkin around the grounds for fun. Looking to spot the Czar's favorite eagle.” Tatyana rolled her eyes and sighed knowing what this meant then said, “That’s a very bad attempt at a Carmen clue.”
Tenchi and Kylie agreed it wasn’t very good since it was so obvious, however, Kate wearing a puzzled expression found it to be rather difficult to discern not being versed in “Carmen-ology”. This was fine, however, as ACME Detectives were more than happy to deduce on a whim. Starting things off Kylie surmised, “The first line has to refer to Czar Nicholas the second and Sergei Witte the builder of the Trans-Siberian railroad!” Tatyana merrily joining in deduced, “And the second line must mean the Café Pushkin in the famous Red Square!” Finishing up the ace job Tenchi figured, “The final line, of course, must mean The Golden Eagle train which runs along the famous Trans-Siberian railway stretching over 9.289km!” Kate saw how excited the three became when dispensing random facts, and wanted to know how they learned so much. They told her besides tons of studying; ACME Academy taught them the way of the detective.
Kate decided to read up on ACME Academy courses and the Gardens which Tenchi set aside for teaching and training ACME Jr. detectives as well. Hans at the moment couldn’t be bothered with ACME this, and ACME that he was most focused on telling Oscar to pursue the thief posthaste. Oscar informed Hans however that the Trans-Siberian railway was on a different route than the one they were on. Hans undeterred said, “It matters not Oscar we shall simply go to where the railway starts and head along the route.” Tenchi figured they could use a machine to build temporary tracks so that the Clockwork Train could switch over that way. Hans was impressed with this young engineer's idea and they immediately started talking about solutions to the problem of transporting the train to the railway.
Cooper seeing the dream of an easy mission slip away stated, “Sir, we gotta go into Russia now I don’t think I have enough bullets for this.” Tristan assured the men that they would be fine if Hans and Tenchi could use a track building machine then they could slip past the Russian border proper and just have to deal with train stations along the way. The ACME detectives would have no problem getting into Russia however American soldiers would have a slightly tougher time and would obviously draw suspicion. Mentioning their mission was also an obvious impossibility and secrecy was paramount. Tristan informed the group with his usual disciplined tone, “The Russian military must not find out about the converter mission otherwise they’ll get involved.” Kylie told the soldiers not to worry they would just go undercover at the transfer point which they had learned was going to be at a place called Mid Market.
Hans told them he would very much like to see if any quality Mammoth merchandise was there while Kate informed the group that Hans's dream was to find Wooly Mammoths on an island called Syberia. Everyone, there were pretty sure mammoths were extinct except Hans. He believed that they were still alive and wanted to see them so he could fulfill his lifelong dream. Tatyana felt they should be more focused on the case not chasing fairytales, but Kate said she decided to help Hans find Syberia no matter what. Kylie wanted to get Hans settled down and replied, ”We’ll look for Syberia as well okay Hans? And I’m sure Mid Market has a bunch of mammoth merchandise too.” It would otherwise be strange to see Kylie be the understanding one in these kinds of conversations. But since she got her other job in New York she had seen things that would turn others white with fear. It was decided the best course of action was to pursue the thief along the Trans-Siberian railway after they traveled to Moscow, and asked the people about town for clues.
Oscar loaded the coal and started up the engine as the train roared to life on its way to Moscow. The soldiers would assume the identities of tourists and be counting the hours until they got to Mid Market. When the train arrived in Moscow they all disembarked and started to track down the thief. As it turned out that wasn’t going to be too difficult as they were stealing for the leader of the Peaky Blinders. The gang reached Red Square and split up to find any information they could. Upon asking people in and around at Café Pushkin Tenchi and Kylie learned the Peaky Blinders were inquiring about a music box. Tatyana realized they were a group she had been hearing more about as of late. She told Tenchi and Kylie, “The Peaky Blinders are a gang that existed and operated back before World War One, but a descendant of the family; Steven Tommy Shelby restarted the gang a few years ago. They were mostly small-time thugs trying to relive their glory days but they’ve been trying to up their game as of late.”
Tenchi thinking strategically said, “Well they’re not really off to a good start are they? Reports indicate they keep drawing attention to themselves and failing to deliver. Their leader must be frustrated at this point and decided to acquire something powerful, but we have to figure out why he chose the converter.” Kylie surmised they were up to no good and wanted to sell it. Her thinking was they probably didn’t even know if it was what others were saying it was. They concluded that this must mean the thief had given the converter to the Peaky Blinders already and was fleeing into Siberia to probably steal more things. Kylie commented that “If they are a member of VILE this had to be a personal theft as Carmen most likely wouldn’t allow selling of stolen goods to third parties.” Everyone agreed to a line of thought except for Kate and the soldiers who didn’t fully understand VILE operations.
Tenchi said, “Basically Carmen has a certain style and way of doing things. She doesn’t authorize theft for profit especially with other gangs, she steals things to prove they can be stolen. Other loot is stored away in VILE’s secret vaults hidden around the globe as keepsakes. However, if a thief is on their own time they can steal whatever they want.” Tristan annoyed said, “That’s just stupid why would she not see the value in profiting off stolen goods even if it was just to support VILE itself and not for personal gain? She must have one hell of an ego.” Kate was finding herself becoming more and more interested in ACME detectives and their work as she enthusiastically took notes which by this point, had become second nature to her. With this information, the others could see why the thief was most likely moving on further into Siberia. But the good news was the converter was most likely still on its way to the transfer point at Mid Market; just by different people.
The Clockwork Train would have passed the Mid Market area but from a different rail route. Hans planned on stopping there to find information on Syberia island as well as quality mammoth merchandise to buy. Tenchi said that could wait until they get there, while in the meantime they had preparations to do. ACME would arrange for the Clockwork Train to travel along with The Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian train which would be departing at Kazansky Railway Station. Tenchi would use his connections to make the arrangements as upon learning a VILE thief was in the area they would be more than happy to have ACME along for the journey. They would even provide amenities free of charge. While this was being set up, The detectives traveled to Bolshoi theatre in the cultural heart of Red Square, where they asked the theatergoers and performers if they knew any pertinent information regarding the case.
Svetlana Zakharova Prima Ballerina of Russia was there and Tatyana ran over to her as she was an acquaintance of hers. She mused customers were always telling the performers all kinds of information just to have conversations with them. One, in particular, said they had heard a thief was meeting members of some gang at Manezhnaya Square underground near the Kremlin. Tatyana figured they must have set the meeting place somewhere In Okhotny Ryad Shopping Center, a shopping mall that sprawled down four stories underground. They exchanged the converter there and now the Peaky Blinders have it. Kylie huffed realizing that now they had to gather information on their gang as well as what VILE was up to in the area. Kylie, narrowing her eyes and sinking into her trademark cynical mood said, “They aren’t even B-grade villains, can’t we just report them to the Russian authorities? I wouldn’t mind if MSS had a crack at them either.”
Tenchi reassured her it would be easier to just deal with them as they came along. So far their shortsighted schemes were aligning with their mission and they should take advantage of that. So off they went to Okhotny Ryad Shopping Center where the people there told them some suspicious people were skulking around at Swarovski’s. Tenchi activated his glasses scanning functions and started taking fingerprints of the store. When that was done his glasses would detect any matching prints narrowing down the list until they were able to match prints with the Peaky Blinders and continue to track them down. Alcohol and pipe smoke was also detected and Tenchi sensing a lead focused on them. “Hmm. It seems we have a regular Scotch and Scottish Arbikie Highland Rye Single Grain Scotch Whisky; along with tobacco ash from Opus x Premium and another type still being narrowed down. Kylie curious asked Tenchi, “And this matters because?”
Tenchi answered, “It matters because both alcohol trace samples are made in Scotland. The Peaky Blinders got their start there almost one hundred years ago, which is the last time Scottish rye was produced until recently. Since Scotch is overpowering you need strong tobacco to go along with it, and hold on… Yes! Highland Park Scotch and McClelland’s tobacco verified! Anyway, the new leader is trying to relive the past so the Scotch rye is what got my attention, it seems he’s using things from the past to convince people they are the same as back then.” Tatyana impressed by this show of deduction exclaimed, “Tenchi you’re a genius! Now we can track them by their prints and their booze, though I think it is pathetic that they believe hiding behind history will work. Your actions in the present are what make you who you are.”
Tristan commented, “This after-school PSA is touching; but can we go now?” Suddenly Sgt. Cooper came walking up to the group as fast as he could, his arms fully loaded with merchandise. Tristan shouted at the happy shopper he saw before him saying, “Cooper what are you doing!? How are we supposed to carry all that crap!” Cooper replied, “Sorry sir! I saw deals I couldn’t pass up, and our job is to pretend to be tourists correct?” Tristan ordered Cooper to put the shopping on hold and stay vigilant. Kylie slightly upset she didn’t get to shop 'til she dropped said, “We can drop the stuff off at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. The staff will put it on the train before we depart.”
Kate almost wondered since they were so close to the Kremlin if they could explain what happened to make sure the Russian authorities weren’t going to press charges. But the lawyer in her knew better than that, still, it was a nice idea to speak to the Russian premier and imagine it all working itself out. Besides after seeing ACME in action, she was becoming less concerned with being wrongfully charged and more determined to measure up to the problem-solving standard on display. Her worries were further lessened when she discovered that her 90’s cell phone could download a 90’s app from ACME on detective tips and tricks; quite handy indeed. Kate then armed with the power of the text-heavy app, tried to see what she missed in the letter left behind by the thief.
The crew met back up at the Moscow Room and discussed the likely possibility that the thief was one of the guests on the Golden Eagle. The consensus was that the thief would be going off to steal on VILE’s behalf at various locales in Siberia. Knowing this the detectives could alert authorities to an incoming VILE thief and be aware of suspicious activity. Since Kate did not want to return to America as of yet and help Hans find his music box, and then Syberia island they chose to stay with ACME on their mission. Technically, Tenchi, Kylie, and Tatyana were working for them anyway so what was the harm in tagging along with them to unexpected places. The Golden Eagle would be departing tomorrow so they decided to get sleep as they would be heading straight for Mid Market and trying to secure the converter.
The next morning the trains were ready to go and all the guests boarded at Kazansky Station for what was to be a two-week trip. Tenchi and Kylie had radioed to ACME to send support to the Siberian region. Various detectives would be inserted to provide intelligence ahead of their arrival to the different stops on the Trans-Siberian route. One Jr. detective, in particular, was more than eager to help out and couldn’t help but use the opportunity to call in for a quick hello. Tenchi’s phone rang and he answered almost certain he knew who was calling. He answered the phone saying, “Hello Eddie, you need something?” Eddie excitedly replied, “Yes sir! I need to be an integral part of this case, and can organize the intel-gathering efforts from Home 01 as you know.”
Tenchi responded, “Yeah I do know, but we are going with a mobile base of operations since we’ll be deep in the Siberian territory. That’s why were positioning an airship outside the region to monitor activity and maintain communications. It’s a shame you want to stay at Home 01 we could have used you on that ship.” The joking tone of that last line was not lost on Eddie as he quickly adapted to the situation blurting out, “Exactly sir! I feel the need to get out more and joining the mobile ops team is just the thing for me!” With Eddie being secured a spot other volunteers joined up along with individuals contacted directly by Delores. Eddie would be handling video surveillance intel being sent in, analysis of optical data, and coordinating communications primarily. Or put simply, make sure the phones keep working and monitor video feeds sent in by field operatives.
Though he preferred the more technical terms since it made anything sound more important than it actually was. Eddie was however well versed in video monitoring and remote operation of defense systems. And as such was slowly rising on VILE’s list of annoying detectives to deal with. It was one thing to run from ACME on sight, but if pre-arranged traps had been set up all VILE henchmen could do was run around in circles hoping not to get caught in one of them. More trained henchmen such as the lieutenants could avoid them, but your average VILE lackeys were no match and as a result, it could ruin heists that required certain numbers of thieves to pull off. The Crime Council was none too amused, to say the least, it was bad enough ACME had risen to challenge their thievery as in times past but now it was too much to bear. Hearing of failed heists, not because of direct intervention by ACME, but booby traps forced their hand, and before long Eddie had unintentionally ended up on their “Not Wanted List”.
As an outreach to younger pickpockets updated language had started to be used to “Appeal to the youth” as Patty Larceny put it. Old funky terms like “Transgressors” were so not cool anymore. As such decrees from the council would be translated into more modern terms. The council could stay as stuffy and old worded as they wanted and the kids got to hear orders in more kid-friendly terms a win-win for all involved. This could not have gone ahead without Carmens say so and on her approval it was done. Therefore any law enforcement on the “Not Wanted List” were simply to be taken into consideration when planning a heist. If encountered they were not to be underestimated, though that was easier said than done. The usual downfalls caused by egos and overconfidence were the norm, unfortunately, but VILE did their best to cope with comrades being arrested.
Of course, there were some in VILE others wouldn’t mind seeing locked up such as Dirk Rigible; and Led Zeddelin. Normally they would be tolerated like everyone else but their petty rivalry had gotten on everyone’s nerves in a bad way. This was mostly Dirk’s fault as he couldn’t stand that Led had better airships than him. Carmen always used his ships on heists and not his, they instead were secondary support ships for carrying cargo needed for missions. “Dirk Delivery” was what thieves started calling him and he hated it. What was worse is ACME had no concern for him either as Tenchi assessed his airships as “Overhyped blimps”, which they were but it still hurt nonetheless.
Dirk thought to himself, “What does he know!? That punk kid is a fake genius and even more incompetent at airship design! He can't even make up his mind about the kind of ships to build! Pathetic really, I mean who needs various “Ship classes” and “High altitude capability”? Give me a break! And that Zeddelin is even worse where does he get off thinking he knows more about ships than ME! I’m the one who joined VILE first, and I don’t need fancy-schmancy airships with “Armor plating”, “advanced avionics”, or all that other CRAP! Simple is best I say.”
Sure Dirk couldn’t design more advanced ships since he could care less about paying attention in class but he did know how to use what he had. While Led got the glamour, Dirk got the supplies where they needed to be… eventually; the weather had to be more friendly in his ship's case. But it didn’t matter Planning was underway to deploy to the Siberian region and that meant possible airship deployment. His hopes were rewarded as the council asked what air options were at their disposal? Of course, they were referring to Led, not Dirk as he, already there rose from his seat. Dirk did wonder about Led’s fashion sense as no one expected an airship maker to dress like they came straight out of Saturday Night Fever.
His light brown hair styled in an Afro with glitter for theatric effect, his purple aviator sunglasses that devilishly charming smile, gold disco chain medallion, Angels flight pants (a disco staple), a collared shirt with the collar worn outside the coat lapels, unbuttoned to reveal gold chains and chest hair, a coat, and some heeled dance shoes. This guy could start a disco inferno on a whim, and Dirk couldn’t stand it one bit. Led started off by acknowledging the present members of the Crime Council and then said, “Esteemed members, I have several ships ready to deploy as we speak but my crew's intelligence reports ACME is converging on the area.” Dirk used this opportunity to interject adding, “MY airships are ready to depart command ACME or no!” Led gritted his teeth not believing he would be interrupted, but then again it was Dirk trying to one-up him and he wasn’t going to let that happen.
Led happily regained control of the situation by being competent; something Dirk always had an issue with. Led replied, “Dirk can feel free to provide support in the rear where his ships are most useful while my ships operate on the frontline assisting our lady Carmen where she needs them. Though I would never think to underestimate our foes at ACME as others do to their folly.”
Dirk getting more upset decided as always letting his insecurities show was a good idea. Which, in the real world it never was but Dirk was in his own world at this point. Taking a defensive tone he shot back, “My airships will be where I SAY not you Zeddelin! You think someone could learn to mind their own fleet. Carmen would prefer my ships at her disposal, while yours could serve as a distraction! The last thing I need is you getting in my way.” Led was waiting for this moment when he could use his intelligence network to his advantage. They were few and far between but what they lacked in numbers they made up for in their ability.
They used Vic the Slicks black market connections to find useful information gatherers and picked up intelligence through second and third parties that could be relied upon. As a result Led had a heads up on situations with basic recon intel and possible detectives on the “Not Wanted List”. This is one of the reasons other VILE henchmen found him so useful, if they needed evacuation he had transportation in the general area. Whether land, sea and especially air Led was there. His stealth ships had tech gifted by Sarah Bellum for assisting her on a heist installed. Since then he became a major thorn in ACME’s side crooks that would have otherwise been caught were able to escape thanks to him; especially Carmen Sandiego. And when a VILE thief needed heavy lifting to steal a particularly large object like the Sphinx for example; Led’s airships would get it done.
So simply continuing his address to the council, Led would once again put Dirk in his place. “As I was saying before being interrupted we have reason to believe genius class detectives are among them.” The attention of all council members was piqued at the mention of this news. Led then continued by stating, “We don’t know why ACME is coming to the region in force but we do know that they will have airship support lingering around, therefore we must exercise caution in our approach. Fortunately, I have just the ship for this job; The Hinderburg.” Led showed a holographic display of his anti-ACME class vessel and noncouncil thieves began applauding. Led finished by stating that, “As we speak a thief in the area is already pursuing Carmen’s plan and we need not worry about strong winds blowing my ships off course.”
The council was satisfied with Led’s proposal authorized airship deployment to counter ACME. Normally any loot stolen would be transported to airships and taken out but the priority purpose now was to hinder ACME by any means necessary. Dirk was now his usual disgruntled self, having been rebutted by Led he had his one regular recourse going in as support and trying to make Led look bad. But suddenly a woman wearing a red trench coat entered the room and the den of thieves instantly fell silent. She acknowledged her former master and leader of the council; Grandmaster Shibumi with a respectful bow. She then made a graceful turn to Led and Dirk’s direction and began to speak, “As your leader, it falls upon me once again to remind you in a graceful manner; to focus on your part you will play in this game. If a decision of mine confuses you then tell me so and I will happily explain my reasoning to you. But as always… What I decide; is what will be done.”
The thieves in attendance saluted their great leader with a fist over their heart saying, “By your command!” It was now clear to the two air rivals that there would be no infighting this time with Carmen involved. They would have to play nice or risk angering the boss and neither of them was that stupid. The council members present were proud of how far she had come. It is one thing to have potential and another to live up to it. When she returned to VILE as a teen they happily took her in and showed her the ways of thievery. Now she was the Queen of Crime and VILE had gotten its reputation as the greatest thieves ever known back.
VILE is as it always was two houses in one; The House of Vilan in which dwelled the Crime Council were the Master thieves who had perfected the art of thievery, stealth, and combat skills. They were promoted only after passing their trials and years of experience would they then be recommended to join by a master thief and only after they met certain criteria would they be granted the rank of master. The council was composed of masters of the highest order and competed to achieve the coveted “Grandmaster” title. It was a mark of extreme skill and distinction more than anything else among other masters. But the three grandmasters had their reasons for lauding Carmen's success. The other house was what law enforcement had to deal with the majority of the time. It had been a den of the thieves since before the Crime Council existed.
They had changed through the centuries to adapt to security but had lagged at the industrial revolution. Their methods had become formulaic and it was the previous leader of VILE who started to change that. He foresaw the increasing threat security technology had brought and he knew VILE must adapt in ways it had not before. This was met with opposition as many thieves saw no need to care about security systems that did not exist yet. Everything was pure theory and the pushback was to be expected. Admittedly to this point low-brow morons could be great thieves and steal what VILE needed, however, new technology meant smarter thieves would be required to steal valuable loot. Planning for the heist, and the escape was now paramount as law enforcement could pursue criminals further than before. As was to be expected The Leader's predictions came true.
Those without plans found themselves suddenly caught by the elaborate use of new technologies by clever detectives. This made VILE look like fools who were not to be taken seriously anymore. In the past, ACME was seen as their sole rivals but now the illusion of VILE being uncatchable by normal law enforcement had started to grow in the minds of overconfident law enforcement. Even street cops were saying that VILE was no big deal anymore as a result of unprepared thieves were captured by security systems. The Crime Council was furious and new training methods pioneered by The Leader became mandatory. But then Carmen appeared to take The Leader's place after he retired. She was a godsend so to speak, and further advanced VILE through a complete reorganization of the House of Vilan.
She personally trained her lieutenants and henchmen to prepare for her tenure as leader of VILE. They were not only training to elude surveillance systems of the present and future but to steal things that were thought to be unstealable. This is where VILE not only recaptured its reputation but also went beyond what it had been in the past. World governments were caught completely off guard and had to send personnel to confirm that things such as monuments, buildings, and even mountains were suddenly gone. Eyewitness accounts were ignored at first as panicked witnesses said that such massive objects were lifted off the ground, or carried away in some cases. But when the horrifying truth was learned; nations had no choice but to turn to ACME who for years prior had already been warning of VILE possibly stealing on such a scale. Fortunately, ACME's reputation had remained intact ever since they first met VILE and defeated them during the time of the Roman Empire.
Since then world leaders spoke of ACME’s achievements to the point where they achieved near-mythical status in the geopolitical world. An organization that could stop VILE were no law enforcement or military for that matter could. Inspired by their impartiality and way of pursuing crimes committed the governments were inspired to create judicial systems that emulated ACME to the best of their ability. Over time these evolved into the modern legal system of trial by jury and ACME being consulted over this period also became known as judges. The world's elite went to them to resolve disputes or political situations between sovereign nations. The only reason ACME tolerated this level of advisement is because nation-states were refusing to follow their own rules when it did not benefit them.
Since they were sovereign nations they would say why follow the laws of other nations? Aren’t we the highest law-making bodies respectively? Therefore why can’t we refuse to accept punishment under the law? ACME had as a simple result of time passing became sought more and more to resolve legal issues between nation-states. The rule of law had to be maintained or there would be a legal breakdown over petty geopolitical issues. As a result, ACME became the final word on judicial rulings in this respect so if two or more nations refused to accept the highest court's ruling they would call on an ACME Crimenet. A Master Detective would be sent to issue a judgment on the dispute and that would end the argument. Some people felt this reputation was not deserved and new people who entered into government would eventually find out about this situation and protest it.
They would however see the wheels of government turn and grow frustrated with the lack of resolutions made by nation-states. Then they would see how ACME was put in this position; as opposed to wanting to be in this position. But nation-states did rely on ACME to solve their “unexpected diplomatic stalls” to the point of ridiculousness. I modern times governments and corporations now ran to ACME as part of the formulaic procedure but ACME handled these many situations with experience and professionalism. The war prevention role played during wartime also didn’t help ACME shake their status as “world stabilizers” and “defenders of world peace”. And as VILE was aware of ACME’s world status they had always been wary of their intentions. As far as VILE was concerned they practically ran the world and it became a side goal of VILE to expose ACME’s relationship with governments to the world.
But that all changed with The Leader since VILE didn’t know the details of this ACME/World arrangement when The Leader started adjusting to the changing security technologies being implemented when he accidentally uncovered information. Instead of giving VILE an edge, it caused the opposite to happen as they were able to infer the implications of ACME essentially “Holding the world together”. One of the main advantages VILE had was knowing the laws of various countries and using it against them. But if nations could just ignore the law they could ignore the statute of limitations as well as the jurisdiction and chase VILE around the world forever. VILE ironically had to embrace equality under the law for their own sake. The rule of law had to be maintained and if ACME was enabling that to happen it had to continue. Begrudgingly The Leader made it crystal clear if there were any plans to destroy ACME they had to be ended.
This set the stage for Carmen Sandiego to take her place as a leader without question. The leadership of VILE up till this point included anyone capable of handling the job whether they wanted to end ACME or not. But suddenly VILE could no longer risk the destruction of ACME Crimenet if it meant judicial chaos around the globe. Thus they required leaders that would adhere to the ideology of VILE: Steal first, last, and always. Then Carmen made clear her agenda; stealing is a game and ACME are the pawns. Her goal was to prove to the world what she already knew; she was the greatest thief in history. She had no violent plans against ACME and decided the world's dependence on ACME spoke of the incompetence of the governments by and large.
These people would be no match for her when she learned of the situation with nations. Law enforcement would not be any real threat to her though she would never underestimate them, her mentor Shibumi made sure of that. But having been a jr detective at ACME she was livid they did not share this information with her. It was bad enough she didn’t find being a detective challenging, but to learn after the fact that she left ACME proper had their level of influence was too much to bear. She saw ACME as bad because they did not give her the acknowledgment she deserved. Lynne Thigpen made it worse, Carmen was clearly better than she was but no one cared. Lynne was older and had more experience so they deferred to her on cases that were “special”, which meant the person requesting help wanted a specific ACME detective.
It had nothing to do with their skill level and Carmen couldn’t stand it at all. Cases that were important but listed as “Special” went to a detective based on notoriety not who was best. Carmen saw that since Lynne was so popular many cases requested her and no one else. When Carmen finally decided to leave and join VILE where she upon entering was told of the influence they had. Carmen felt Lynne wanted all the glory for herself and orchestrated for Carmen to leave ACME. There would be no competition for the best detective in the world of public opinion then. Carmen while sure being a detective would have remained boring, would have to deal with global advisement and that would have been more difficult.
And now, she would have her revenge she left to create her own team of thieves to steal from around the world. They would all pay for their disrespect as they saw one target after another suddenly gone. They would be forced to see her as someone to fear and take seriously. And would curse themselves for overlooking her and her ability in the name of popularity. But instead of wanting to do physical harm, Carmen was more emotionally involved. She wanted them to feel angry and know there was nothing they could do to stop her. The other detectives as she had seen; could not keep up with her and they were all divided focusing on their own part of the world in general.
Traveling around the world was not that common for most ACME detectives. Only if the suspect led them around the world would their pursuit become a global one. Few could evade ACME detectives for that long however and that was another fact Carmen would use to her advantage. ACME would suddenly be forced to unite and work together to go after someone they could not catch. The mass psychological warfare she had in store wasn’t as bad as she hoped though. While ACME was suddenly forced to deal with her evil schemes it caused them to unite and use what they had, which by this point wasn’t a lot. It was mostly stuff held over from the past and anything that still worked was utilized. But luckily for ACME, they were getting major tech assistance from resident geniuses.
A boy named Ivan Idea overhauled their systems and set up a global database using ACME’s paper files. Transferring all the information would take a while and Ivan would not be around long enough for it to finish. A scandal erupted implicating a major cybercriminal and though Ivan was not aware of his true identity he resigned from ACME nonetheless. Then came Tenchi he set up The Gardens; facilities to help train jr. detectives and assist ACME detectives in the field. They were technological fortresses utilizing the latest in defense in times of war or terrorist attack. Suddenly ACME’s meager means didn’t matter, they were able to compensate by simply using tech made by Home 01 or ACME Labs. This caused them to be able to take on all criminal elements while handling VILE as well. Though half of ACME’s resources were reserved for any actions taken by VILE and especially Carmen Sandiego.
Carmen of course could care less about ACME’s other responsibilities and initially believed ACME would rely too much on technology and lose its edge. But Tenchi would not allow that to happen his belief was technology should extend your abilities not cover for them. All original training ACME detectives went through remained and tech training was the only addition made. This caused the new class of detectives to keep up with Carmens newly trained lieutenants. That made Carmen happy, the game would be no fun if ACME couldn’t keep up. ACME detectives it seemed got better as the way they were instructed to handle missions with the new technology made them see weaknesses in their approach. They focused on improving their weak areas and became more well-rounded as a result.
The field detectives and the researchers were sent in two-person teams usually and the only major gripe was with the researchers who complained that Tenchi’s training suggestions interfered with their studying. It was thought by some that this was an intentional move by Tenchi to do suspect things, but it was quickly realized that researchers weren’t exactly good in a combat situation. So more focus in those areas meant that they could at least dodge punches thrown and strategically stay out of the way if a major fight broke out. Some even realized they liked fighting and would train more to better defend themselves. But everyone knew the shining star of their ranks was China O’Brian who had discovered she was a martial arts prodigy. She managed to hold her own along with her reluctant ace partner Andy in a case that escalated into a major series of battles between the two ACME detectives and the VILE henchmen they were pursuing.
Whenever ACME and VILE did exchange blows it was quite rare and when it happened it was all either side could talk about for months and the kids would keep it going for years. “The Case of The Magic Crystal” became an important talking point as a result and Andy and China got famous in the detective world quite quickly. This was another sticking point for Carmen however, she felt teamwork was fine and expected everyone to get along on a job. But what she didn’t understand was the avoidance of personal credit. The team could be credited as well as the individuals that showed their skills, but ACME wouldn’t give her the credit she deserved. Then to almost make up for their failure they lauded a wannabe named Lee Jordan. He was good but she had moved on to a life of crime and had no time for his ego. But suddenly she found herself apprehended by him due to his sheer tenacity, but she easily escaped after she was turned over to local authorities. He didn’t take that so well but his name had become known as a result of catching her.
Carmen didn’t care, her plans would be realized and no one from ACME was going to stop her. The detective organization even assigned two detectives to bring her down; Zack and Ivy Monaghan and though she did enjoy their meet and greets she quickly spotted two problem detectives from her opinion. Those two being Tenchi and Tatyana the latter was unexpected but a welcome find Tatyana had demonstrated her capability on a case file called “Rules of The Game” and Carmen looked forward to facing her again. But what was not in the plan was the constant losing in personal battles, in short it made VILE look bad and Carmen didn’t like that. Carmen thought on her reorganization and found it accidentally lined VILE up more with ACME’s hierarchy. Was that coincidence or their brainwashing? Regardless she would never let VILE become the procedural nightmare that is ACME rules and regulations. Who were they to tell her what she could and could not do? She had proven herself time and again and could finally stand it no longer the fake smile the complete loss of respect for her peers and the utter frustration she felt just being around them.
Anything she would have said would have been ignored as they ran and hid behind their “rules”. But Carmens henchmen were more than what they had been in the past, the thugs of the world clamored to get into VILE, but only the best of the average stood a chance. They had been divided into two groups: The original henchmen group, trained in infiltration and combative cohorts to assist on heists. And the new group: Henchmen specializing in technology to bypass security systems, hack computer networks, and otherwise trip up pursuing law enforcement on their tail. They had become front and center in Carmens drive to prove her worth as a thief and Sarah Bellum suddenly found her technology being mass produced to equip tech savvy crooks. ACME’s sad set up as she called it was more obvious and that ironically made it so difficult to understand to the general public. Most didn’t know the difference between ACME Crimenet and ACME Detective Agency; or that ACME even existed for that matter.
Carmen felt it was just as well she had grown tired of the plebeians and their incompetence. But then something unexpected happened Carmen Sandiego was a series of hit pc games. From there two game shows and cartoon further increased her fame yet everyone outside of VILE, ACME, and governments thought it was just made up. But it was part of Tenchi’s plan to force the masses to pay attention to important things. The reasoning was entertainment media would be used to spread information about things that would be ignored otherwise, and when necessary tell the people it was real. Carmen did wonder to herself, “Does he get it? After all if he is feeding information to the masses in such an amusing way he must be up to something.” “ACME” was just a crummy orphanage, then the Accolade Tower, and that annoying C-5 system.
Why did all this happen after she left? these Gardens were worrisome enough but they taught a “Genius class” of detectives and they would at least be able to track her movements. More skilled detectives meant more fun on her side, but what was ACME’s true motive behind the increase in training? Carmen made her way to her room and prepared for what lay ahead; recruiting personnel. It was harder than most would think as she needed to match skill sets for the roles needed on a heist. As she selected her various gadgets she was also deciding the various crooks that would be deployed according to the meticulous plan in her head. Then with her usual confidence headed toward the preparation room.
You would think it was a royal throne from how it was laid out in there, but Carmen did like all eyes on her. She strode into the room walking past the silhouetted figures lurking in the shadows walked up a slightly raised platform and took her seat in her throne-inspired chair. The thieves in the room really had no problem with the theatrical approach it boosted morale and made them feel cool. The ones who would otherwise find it annoying had come to tolerate it as one of the things VILE did. The only way you could be in this room, was if Carmen felt you deserved to be. The only other seats were for the lieutenants and the VILE rank and file could crowd the room if allowed. This was mostly so Carmen could address people en masse on occasion, but now it was the usual assembly.
The highest-ranking lieutenants were seated with lower-ranked members in the background. All the tables were positioned to focus on Carmens chair in the center of the room near the back wall. A detailed holographic display appeared as Carmen began telling the villainous crew that was present her plan, which was to steal The Church of All Saints in Yekaterinburg, Russia. As Carmen covered the basics, she called on those selected to be part of this heist. Carmen said, “As I’m sure you’re all aware this will require the use of airships to lift it away, and therefore Led Zeddelin will enable the acquisition and transportation of the loot in question. If we have to separate the church into sections to make lifting it easier then it will be done on the standard timeframe for a dissection operation. Various lieutenants will be deployed on separate heists to distract ACME from the primary target as always. To that end I’m calling on you Eartha, there is a tower in Kazan you need to lift… literally; Soyembika tower to be precise. And when you start to make your getaway, do not head north as that will lead you into the North Pole. Go south along the steppe to make the rendezvous with Zeddelin.”
Eartha cracked her knuckles and relished the idea of flexing her muscles on the job while saying, “It would be my pleasure to take that tower, Carmen! I’ll use it in weightlifting class for warm-ups!” Carmen not missing a step continued explaining her plan, “The next theft will force the authorities to focus on the only thing they really care about, war machines. So I’m asking Double Trouble to steal the exhibitions there, and when you do, don’t head east to Novosibirsk. Instead, go west that will lure the authorities after you and away from the primary target.” Double and Trouble smiled sinisterly and said, “It’s our job to slip up those ACME fools, boys and girls. Don’t be too jealous cause we're just the two who can be twice! We are too ready, too steady, and way too petty!”
Double was especially excited for this job he would get to show off to Patty whether she was going along or not. And if he ran into Tenchi all the better he’d love to smash him through the street if he got the chance. Though Trouble didn’t see why the animosity Double had gone beyond the simple excuse we’re VILE and he’s ACME. Of course, he didn’t have a crush on Patty to give him extra reasons to single out specific detectives. Carmen along with the rest of the room ignored the sad playboys and their puns involving two and moved on.
Carmen kept up the pace of her briefing saying, “As the region is already known for strange phenomena I feel they need a little more encouragement to accept the existence of alien life. So Kneemoi you’ll be dropping in via UFO to steal the Chelyabinsk Meteor from the Institute of Geology in the Science center Akademgorodok in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. Please try to get it right this time I know you try your best but try your best-est okay? After you take the meteor bring it back to me okay?” Kneemoi rose out of the water cup on Vic the Slick’s desk and morphed back into her normal form. She then happily stated to the earthlings present, “I’ll be happy to help you Carmen as always! Query, what do you mean by get it right? Is that any different from getting it left? But don’t worry Carmen I won’t leave it behind like I did last time! I’ll leave it in front so everyone can see it isn’t behind anything!”
After a silent pause to attempt to process Kneemoi’s response; Carmen carried on, “Ahem, next on the steal list is State Academy Opera and Ballet Theatre. It was built to bring culture to Novosibirsk City and now it will be mine. I need your best work on this one Sarah and feel free to sing as you ride the rails away from the scene. Dr. Bellum has modified her rail tracks to better move the opera house to its pick up destination, which is 486 miles away in the Ob Sea.” Sarah Nade never missing an opportunity to announce herself leaped onto the table microphone in hand and yelled, “This theft’s gonna rock! I’m goin' on a punk heist! And you all get backstage passes; Yeah!!!” Just as Sarah was starting to rock the house Carmen had to pull the plug as she wasn’t done yet.
She finished her briefing saying, “The last loot on the list but certainly not the least is Glass Bay Beach near Vladivostok. Patty. I need you to take the sparkly beach to the boats Zeddelin is going to leave for you. Try not to get distracted by the sights, and especially the shops in Vladivostok are we clear?” Patty charming as always smiled and waved to the onlookers present while saying to Carmen, “If it's sparkly I’ll get it gone, Ms. Boss! Sigh, sparkly tee-hee.” As Patty started daydreaming of sparkly things the rest of the room moved on to the tasks at hand.
Double felt the need to attempt to travel with patty if he could though Trouble wasn’t having any of it they needed to focus on the job they were given. And while Trouble did hate being the more serious one in these instances he was very serious about grand larceny. One of the major concerns was if patty was caught her mood lifted the entire organization at times. And it was painful to think of her crying behind jail bars, to the point where VILE boys would take the rap for Patty just to have bragging rights. While other VILE members especially girls found that display sickening as opposed to sweet; Patty never complained about it. This did grind on the nerves of members such as the Contessa however, Patty would be caught and go to jail just to have a Vile henchman confess to the crime. The authorities didn’t care as long as they arrested a member of VILE it would look good for the Press.
But this meant Patty would just walk out of jail scot-free and happily skip back to VILE. Of course, the other girls in VILE didn’t get such a luxury gesture. And when it came to luxury no one demanded it more than The Contessa, so much so that it angered her just thinking about it. Contessa not being directly selected knew she was free to vent on Patty regarding her as not a true VILE. Contessa would remind people that she just walked in and joined she gets everything she wants and given her station that should not be allowed. Of course by this Contessa meant Patty was not an aristocrat as she was, Patty’s family's money meant nothing in the face of titles of nobility. Contessa would regularly sum it up by stating, “It’s a disgrace!”
Patty however was happy to be well, happy. And couldn’t wait to run over to Carmen as the henchmen were filing out of the room. They walked toward the door and to the elevator and once they got inside Carmen asked Patty, “So what do you think about Tenchi?” Patty off guard said, “Ummm he’s well not a meanie, oh! And he’s really good at math!” Carmen replied, “Drop the dumb blonde act and be serious.“ Patty's aloof expression changed to one conveying far more intelligence than others believed to be possible from her. She happily returned, “It is not easy getting into that mode you know and I need to focus to switch back into it. Tenchi is really cool, though I didn’t think so at first. We hung out one summer in Gravity Falls with… Kylie. She’s okay too I guess.”
Carmen surprised responded, “You know him already? And I’m guessing the issues surrounding that place prevent you from talking about it? VILE is forbidden from setting foot in that area unless they come from there, and even then stealing is strictly prohibited. But you know ACME is releasing the footage about what happened there as part of their media education strategy. It's more for the jr. detectives to analyze and figure out what's going on, but the rest of the world is talking about it online… endlessly. I guess it's another one of his hits.” Patty was only concerned with the episodes featuring her, or rather her true self.
Patty told Carmen, “That was years ago! I hope they portray me well and nothing about me is out of context! This is so weird why is he releasing it now! But it doesn’t contain anything personal about me people don’t already know anyway, except my first name isn’t what people assumed it is. I don’t care if people figure it out though, it's not a big deal to me!” Patty took a breath, closed her eyes for a second, and collected herself before continuing, “Anyway it was nice to become friends with them and deal with the… strange events that happened there. What can I say its home.” And this is where Carmen injected her thoughts on the issue saying, “And that is the problem at hand, you are the only one with knowledge of him and Kylie but they were even then acting undercover. Tenchi is too much of an unknown to trust we don’t know what he is up to with his technology at ACME, or if he wants to use or distract them to gain power for himself. If he changes ACME it could be their undoing and then ours. The world balance would collapse and we would be on the back foot trying to escape various legal authorities no longer bound by the rules. And they would be willing to do whatever it takes to stop us.
If we have to use… violence to stop him then so be it, he will not ruin my fun. So be ready to strike if ordered Patty.” Patty bewildered by Carmen's sudden focus responded, “Oh so apparently the detective in you is still there, and you want to save the world so you can keep stealing from it? I’m so weirded out right now Tenchi was undercover but they were investigating the area which proved to be a good move on their part they were concerned about criminal forces and corrupt government officials keeping an eye on them. And when it came to helping me he didn’t hesitate to; okay maybe he did and slammed the door in my face but that was sorta my fault for being the way I was. But he still helped me in the end anyway and that was sweet of him and um, it’ll be okay Carmen you just gotta get to know him that’s all.” Carmen sighed at the naivety Patty had. Though she was far more competent than she normally let on, she was still a kid at heart and believed in seeing the best in people. This is why Carmen wanted her out of the way during the primary heist Patty might get hurt and that would drop morale at VILE big time. The elevator arrived at the hangar floor where Carmen and her trusted team readied to disembark to Siberia.
Back in Siberia the Clockwork Train and the Golden Eagle were humming along and were nearing Mid Market. Some soldiers had to drive the troop carrier and couldn’t stay on the train once it had left. Though they didn’t get the first-class luxury it would all be over soon they told themselves. As they arrived at Mid Market the tourists quickly filed out and gathered in the meeting area of the shopping complex. Tenchi and Kylie came out of the train looking like trendy tourists and were greeted by the soldiers. Captain Tristan brought everyone up to speed and wished the two had dressed more tactically.
However, they reminded him they were on an undercover assignment and needed to look like tourists. Tristan said the rest of the soldiers would be taking perimeter while Sgt. Cooper went in with them to assist if needed. With final planning done Tenchi and Kylie headed to the meeting area and were welcomed by the tour guide. The overly enthusiastic greeter tipped off Kylie and Tenchi’s detective instincts instantly they could tell he’d been doing this to the point of routine behind that gaping smile and bright-eyed expression was a man who couldn’t wait until break time. But first many wayward tourists had to be shuffled through the doors of the biggest market on the planet. As they received their identification gear from the help staff at a table on the left, they went over to the area in front of the doors where the tour guide was standing. Therewith most of them save a few stragglers still getting their identification gear the tour guide started to speak.
“Welcome ladies and gentlemen to Mid Market home of over 500,000 shops! I’m your guide Yazid Hofer, and I’ll be here to make sure you enjoy yourselves and don’t get lost! Now as you know Mid Market has more than 500,000 stores selling wares from all over the world and not just China! To that end, there are a few simple rules you have to follow! Who’s here for the first time, raise your hands, please? Ah! I see well you’ll have to remember that your Identification gear serves to help sellers know where your from, and more importantly what currency you have on you. So make sure you fill out your ID forms as accurately as possible and do not try to buy things that are forbidden due to trade restrictions or embargoes! The sellers won't do it and they will report you immediately I’m afraid! Also, there is the land, sea, and air vehicles zooming about all around so mind your locations and don’t stand in any of the landing zones unless of course, you want to get squished!”
The tour guide's jokes were hitting with the tourists mostly because of mob mentality and nervousness. But the tour guide did have a genuinely likable personality to go along with easing tensions. Tenchi and Kylie had all their undercover papers ready and proceeded to walk forward when Yazid gave the go-ahead. And like clockwork, the mechanical doors opened to reveal Mid Market and what a sight it was. The tourists saw much, hovering flight craft zipping above the market and a huge sprawling area of stores and shops spanning out before them on multiple levels. Robotic crane arms and various creative elevator designs lifted and lowered platforms to help customers get to shops more quickly and the streets were bustling with shoppers going to and fro following their tour guides from tourist spots to trendy shops.
Hans of course was quite thrilled to be there Kate could hardly keep up with him as he scoured the shops looking for mammoth merchandise. He would keep asking random shoppers where the best mammoth wares were located. Kate would apologize on his behalf and suggest they simply check the directory. Hans feeling the inner shopaholic take charge replied, “Kate my dear, asking is far more fun than looking at a map! You young people want everything over with as soon as possible. Oh! A mammoth-themed skateboard, gimme!” Kate worried Hans was already getting around too fast as it was said, “Hans you don’t need a mammoth skateboard, we're going to find the real thing remember?” But it was to no avail Hans would have his fill of mammoth products of all types.
A mammoth suit, in particular, caught his attention and when anything like that was inspected, Hans felt the need to ask, “Is this real mammoth fur? And do you know where Syberia Island is?” Kate would attempt to explain to the confused sellers that Hans was simply joking and suggested they go to the food court to try the Mammoth Burger special. They decided all the running around was making them hungry and gimmicky fast food was the perfect remedy. Tatyana was keeping them company as Tenchi and Kylie would be getting their converter mission over with already. Tatyana hated when Acme had to do violent missions but knew it came with the territory of being in law enforcement. When ACME dealt with VILE there was an “understanding” between the two groups not to take things to that level and certainly not lethal.
But of course, when dealing with the regular criminal elements it was just a routine part of the job. The Peaky Blinders weren’t expected to be that much of an issue, but they were leaving nothing to chance. Tatyana did however receive a message forwarded from Acme to Tenchi on his behalf and she couldn’t help but find it interesting. She told Kate, Hans, and Oscar, “Tenchi will love this news after he gets back with your music box Hans.” Hans was all but certain Acme would get the music box back, which is why he could enjoy himself so much in Mid Market. Hans was imagining all kinds of various prison sentences handed down on the thief responsible, while Kate suddenly bumped into a girl who ended up sitting at the table next to her. After Kate apologized the girl said, “Oh It’s okay, and hello my name is Sachi Karin, Can you pass the sugar please?”
Kate was starting to get used to the friendly nature of the tourists on the train and happily gave the girl sugar while striking up a conversation. everyone was excited to be on this trip, especially Kate not only had she took a chance to help Hans but also was studying to be a detective to “expand her skillset” as she put it. Kate told Sachi, “It's nice to meet you as well, I am Kate Walker, and this is Hans Voralberg and Tatyana Erzin.” The three made small talk with the tourists from the Golden Eagle and Tatyana learned more about Sachi while they were there. After eating they were off to more shopping trying to buy more than just mammoth merchandise to Hans’s dismay. Hans protested, “All the space used for that stuff could go to mammoth apparel, just so you know.” But everyone assured him that there would be plenty of room on the train.
Tatyana and Kate were becoming more curious about the mission going on and hoped it would go smoothly. The last thing they needed was for the music box to be damaged and Hans to get upset. As the time to go drew near the group kept up their act like normal tourists and boarded the Golden Eagle. They could transfer to the Clockwork train when things got up and running as Tatyana didn’t want people to know they were on that train since it could tip off the thief to their identities. Therefore the train was kept far back out of sight until the trains were moving then it didn’t matter If the Clockwork train got closer. So they would simply be able to come and go between trains on the move and Oscar could handle things on his end by himself if need be. Once the trains were up and running and they made sure to be seen by people they went to the rear and transferred to the Clockwork Train to wait on a mission report.
It was almost unreal but Tenchi and Kylie had been unintentionally prepared for the spectacle. Having been around Home 01 they were used to seeing massive machines and the like enabling work or transportation to be more efficient but were impressed that this level of operation was done outside of Home 01. The order of the day was however tracking down the converter, and later the thief who stole it. Tenchi’s glasses zeroed in on the tobacco and alcohol samples making navigating the area the only issue left at hand. Tenchi and Kylie would split up with Tenchi following the trail to the Peaky Blinders while Kylie kept an eye out for trouble. Their arrival couldn’t have come sooner as they were about to be witness to quite the adventure as in another section close by two hooded figures were entering into a location to meet with someone. That person being none other than Steven “Tommy” Shelby himself. He was already seated surrounded by his gang waiting for the two mysterious people to show up.
As they entered and sat down in the two chairs opposite Tommy’s desk as he chose to speak more general English he started talking saying, “Well it's good to see you again and you brought a friend as well!” One of the men began to speak as they both removed their hoods revealing their faces. Getting to the point of their visit he said, “Do you have what we came for?” Tommy replied, “Yeah I have it, and I lost a lot of people to have it. But this is priceless after all, so what can you give me for it hm?” The two figures looked at each other for a moment before one of them took out a small pouch. Upon opening it he revealed a glowing red orb-shaped jewel and placed it on the table.
Tommy on inspecting it saw for the first time that they did truly exist as the stories said. The Peaky blinders were small time in the grand scheme of things but had stumbled onto a very serious path. Pursuing the converter had caused them to become aware of bigger things far more important than gold or even diamonds. But their blunt approach hadn’t changed and now that they knew of things they still didn’t fully comprehend they figured why not attempt to take charge and get more than they were promised. To that end, Tommy decided that his gang could use the converter for their own ends saying, “I really do want to give you the converter, but why take this as payment when I can have as many as I want to be made instead?” This caused the two individuals to immediately take out their spear guns and point them at Tommy, prompting a similar response from the Peaky Blinders and their guns in kind.
Then one of the two figures proclaimed, “We need the converter for our noble cause!” Causing Tommy to respond “I have the best noble cause to fight for… Mine!” This standoff would have been enough tension for most people, but luckily Tenchi isn’t most people. He entered the room without being noticed and calmly drew his gun, placing it to the back of Tommy’s head. Tenchi then announced himself saying, “Acme agent Tenchi, I’m here for a noble cause as well; it's called the law. Steven Shelby, you stand accused of stealing property belonging to the Voralberg Family. And before I drag your ass in I need to recover that stolen property.”
At this point, Kylie was making her way towards Tenchi coming from the rear as she told him, “Alright Tenchi I’ll be to your left at three o’clock three meters behind.” She was carrying a special armored box for transporting the music box safely out of the area and upon reaching Tenchi positioned it next to Tommy from behind him. Tenchi then still with an authoritative tone ordered, “Now take it nice and easy, and place it into the box.” Tommy was infuriated, to say the least, but if it was one thing he had learned in the crime business is to not lose your cool in these situations. He containing his anger did as he was told and placed the music box into the armored box Kylie was holding upon which Tenchi confirmed was secured and Kylie then pressed a button closing and locking the box for transport. Tristan then got a signal indicating successful acquisition of the converter and radioed to his men to prepare for EVAC. Kylie turned around and walked off with the armored box to rendezvous with the team while Tenchi kept the gang from following them by pressing his gun to Tommy’s temple and taking the red jewel on the table as evidence.
This was the last straw for Tommy who seeing his dreams of finally hitting the big time fade away flatly stated, “I’ll find you Acme agent Tenchi. Wherever you are on this planet. I’ll find you… and I will kill you.” Tenchi almost amused at this leaned in to aggressively whisper to Tommy, “Good luck.” At this point, formalities were out the window as the Peaky Blinders had nothing to lose anymore while the two hooded figures were willing to die to get the converter as well. So all it took was one nervous gangster's trigger finger predictably slipping and quickly everyone was shooting. Tenchi fell backward to the floor outside the room and proceeded to make his escape. The two mysterious men ducked down in the confusion and also managed to get away without injury. The two men vanished as mysteriously as they arrived, and Tenchi was now on his own which was fine by him.
Tommy immediately ordered his men to go after Tenchi and get the music box back. Kylie seeing the scene erupt into violence quickly radioed to Tristan that Tenchi was in trouble. Tristan responded saying, “Keep going Kylie the mission takes priority, Cooper, cover him.” Cooper on receiving orders to engage replied, “Copy that sir.” And casually reached into his bag pulling out two SMG and letting loose a hail of gunfire on the pursuing gangsters as they came around the corner. Tenchi continued to run through the streets past Cooper to gain further ground and was soon joined by Cooper who had run out of ammo.
They having lost the initial pursuers, played it cool but walked hurriedly through the streets to get lost in the crowds. Unfortunately among the shoppers present, there were always unscrupulous individuals waiting for an easy payday. Assassins, mercenaries, bounty hunters, and the like frequented the streets of Mid Market; and when a target was posted they were quick to respond. Tommy sent a price out for Tenchi wanted dead or alive and every freelancer wanting some quick cash converged on the section of Mid Market where Tommy was. One of them was first on the scene and looking for anyone suspicious; like an undercover cop for example. As Tenchi and Cooper walked through the area being bombarded by endless advertisers for the various stores they passed, Tenchi was being kept up to date on Kylie’s location relative to his. Tenchi between being harassed by storefront sellers and radio comm chatter decided to pull out his badge to ward off the ever-growing number of advertisers.
This was spotted immediately by the bounty hunter who pointed his gun at Tenchi. Tenchi and Cooper began to run away through the crowd and got separated by the panicked shoppers fleeing from a bad guy with a gun. Tenchi ran towards a manhole cover and proceeded to use one of his guns many modes which were quite versatile in these combat situations. It had multiple functions since various kinds of problems could arise on a mission. Wasting no time Tenchi stood on top of the manhole and started to charge an energy shot. The bounty hunter was confused as to what he was up to but started running toward Tenchi with his mind on the huge payday.
Tommy wasn’t done by a long shot either he headed over to a robot pet shop nearby and ordered a very vicious dog bot. Not caring about the price he set it to go after Tenchi and off it ran with eyes glowing red. Tenchi fired his gun and the energy shot made the molecules of the manhole cover fracture due to the weak points of the material causing him to fall through as it shattered like glass. Again and again, he fired falling through the floors of Mid Market until he was able to make his escape. Cooper met back up at the wall to Mid Market all they had to do now was go through the service door and get on the transport on the other side. Tenchi came running up to the meeting spot and started walking along with Kylie towards the exit point.
Tristan however was monitoring the situation online and saw that not only were they’re bounty hunters and assassins, but now a robot dog. Tristan contacted them by radio saying, “You’re being tracked by a robot keep moving and don’t change position. Oh, and you might want to run.” On hearing this Tenchi and Kylie began running towards transport APC. They swiftly ran through the door and leaped into the transport APC, while Cooper tried to hold off the robot dog on spotting it. Unfortunately, the bullets were having no effect and a now panicked Cooper was hurriedly backing into the truck where the door closed and they quickly drove away.
The dog however was not giving up easily and burst through the wall to continue pursuing them. The soldiers began firing away at the mechanized mutt only to have their bullets bounce off its armor plating. The transport APC changed into its armored mode as the soldiers and detectives returned fire. A hail of energy and ballistic bullets pelted the dog who was gaining on their truck fast as they drove over the ground trying to evade it. The dog leaped and rammed the back of the truck knocking the soldiers back and onto the floor. Tenchi and Kylie unloaded on the dog at close range sending it back and out of the line of fire. Then they set their guns to grenade mode and simultaneously fired off grenade rounds which hit the dog directly causing it to explode.
The soldiers started cheering and dealing with the injured while the transport APC Tenchi and Kylie were in, pulled alongside the Clockwork train as they jumped on board. Oscar greeted them on landing and said, “Doing that was highly dangerous mind you, and quite ill-advised! Also currently the others are in the Parlor room awaiting news of your mission. Tenchi and Kylie went to the Parlor room and presented Hans with the music box. Though they had to tread carefully over all the things that were bought at Mid Market mammoth or otherwise. An overjoyed Hans took the music box and held it dearly in his hands. He exclaimed, “Finally you have been returned to me, may you never be stolen again!”
Hans then explained the converter was placed inside the music box a long time ago by his ancestor Herman Voralberg, and Hans never really cared about that part since it couldn’t make a living mammoth without a sample from a living mammoth. “Sigh, Quite unfortunate really but that is the truth of this converter it only gives you what you already have,” Hans said while breathing out in disappointment at the lack of understanding most had for the converter. Now Hans would disassemble the box and remove the converter to have it studied by scientists and then put it in a secured location. Hans then said, “The idiots of the world will always continue to see the converter as something that creates instead of copies and no amount of reasoning will change their minds. But the converter can only make one copy of a sample it is given without its primary power source. We can take heart knowing that the true power of the converter can’t be unleashed without it.”
Kylie who was happy to log another successful mission replied, “Well that’s a relief, can we tell Acme now? I want to enjoy the rest of our trip.” Kylie wasn’t the only one who wanted to give a progress report, Tenchi prided himself on his service record and couldn’t wait to open a channel to Headquarters. Kylie said while noting Tenchi’s upbeat mood, “You are really reckless sometimes and then you get happy about it, when are you going to learn your limits?” Tenchi closed his eyes and smiled while responding, “I learned my limits when I got a perfect two-hundred score on my last memory test.” Kylie unexpectedly getting her answer said, “Impressive.” Delores phoned in and told them she established a secure connection through Mobile Command with Eddie.
Eddie came on to test the audiovisual feed and started going through the comm diagnostics while Delores said, “We're reading you Eddie and Tenchi secure link is online all encryption is passing through Home 01 command and Mobile Command. Putting you through to Crimenet now.” The screen switched over to Chief Justice Magruder who was quick to berate the two detectives while giving their new orders. “Agents Tenchi and Kylie I trust you studied the assignment so as soon as you arrive turn over the converter to Captain Tristan and his men. They will then be extracted and sent back to America for a top-secret operation. The converter is the only one found that works and we are counting on you to succeed.” Tenchi responded to the Chief Justice saying, “we're aware of that ma’am which is why we're coming to the rendezvous point as fast as we can.”
The Chief Justice returning to her classical berating form returned, “Which is why you are running nearly twenty minutes late correct Tenchi?” Tenchi quickly countered, “Well time flies when you're having fun.” Kylie also added, “What agent Tenchi means is we have the converter en route to the extraction point.” Chief Magruder then asked, “Then why are you 17 miles away from the rendezvous point instead of having arrived already?” Tenchi optimistically said, “Well it sounds bad when you say it like that so how about we're nine minutes away instead?” Chief Magruder not having any plans to lose this war of words ended things by stating, “I’ll inform Chief Quincy your behind schedule and pass on your apology.” Tenchi then finished saying, “Thank you for being so kind ma’am.” And with that, the war of words was won by kindness.
When the call was done, Tatyana then took the time to inform Tenchi of the message that was sent for him by his Uncle and to pick up the “package” at the Kazan post office. Tatyana couldn’t stop giggling about this news for some reason, and Tenchi decided to go pick up his Uncle's package at the post office. Tenchi had his smart glasses make a map leading to the location and upon arriving introduced himself in Russian and stood in the dusty office waiting for the delivery. But all he saw was a little girl just standing there. She had very red shoulder-length hair, blue eyes, a black leather bomber jacket that proudly said “Law Abiding Citizen”, an American flag-themed shirt, black fingerless gloves, blue shorts, and black sneakers. She stared at Tenchi as he was the only one in the room, like a cat. Tenchi wanting to be friendly spoke to the girl saying, “Hello and who are you?”
Of course, he did this without thinking in English and decided since he got no response to try again in Russian, “Privet a ty to?” Still, he got nothing, and then his phone rang. When he answered, he saw a video of his Uncle and heard his Uncle's voice saying, “Hello Tenchi, meet your new Acme Jr. Detective student Polly Tix. She’s from America and needs to get experience in the field.”
Tenchi highly shocked by this news yelled at the holo-screen, “What! But no one asked me!” Tenchi’s uncle responded back saying in an understanding tone, “We did not want to trouble you.” So with that Tenchi suddenly found himself with a new mini partner as he couldn’t send her back in their current situation. The perky student did start to follow Tenchi wherever he went in the room and using that knowledge to his advantage made his way back to the tour group. On the way, he registered her identity in his smart glasses and reviewed her file from the academy. “So she’s advanced for her age in the field and application of American law. Maybe I can keep her out of the way with a very thick book about George Washington?”
As Tenchi tried to no avail to figure out a way to keep Polly out of the way he did feel the need to tell her though they were now on vacation technically, it was still dangerous to wander about. Polly still saying not even a peep followed and observed Tenchi, like a duckling following its mother. This would have been cute on its own but Tenchi had to get back to the others where he hoped he could put her in a room on the train for the rest of the trip. But as usual, fate sends Tenchi wandering into a bad situation. Near a park, he heard all too familiar voices, who were semi-arguing with each other. Upon getting a better look Tenchi’s fears were confirmed, they were enforcers for the Dark Hand; Finn, Ratso, and Chow.
Finn had an Irish background. His main outfit consisted of a 70's white disco suit over a pink long-sleeved button-up shirt, and blue-black shoes. He had pale greyish skin and red hair, which he wears with old-fashioned sideburns. He wears a gold pendant around his neck. Being of Chinese descent, Chow had black spiky hair and dark brown eyes and is the shortest of the Enforces. His trademark is a pair of orange sunglasses. His sunglasses also functioned as eyeglasses; as he was near-sighted without them. Ratso was above average in height and had greyish-green skin and short spiky black hair. His most iconic feature is the bandage that he wore over his nose as a fashion statement. His main outfit consisted of a long-sleeved collared white shirt under a black dress coat, with a light red tie. He also wears black slacks and black dress shoes.
Tenchi figured he could record their babbling for any possible tip-off to crimes about to be committed and then be on his way. But his little associate had other plans. Finn could be heard yelling, “You know why Valmont sent us here! Now get the plan going already. We gotta look for this converter whatever and what the boss wants he gets!” Chow was basically the only one arguing back with Ratso giving small comments here and there and trying his best to keep up with the speed of the conversation. Chow snarked back, “Oh yeah Finn it's just so easy now let's go find the converter!
Oh, wait it isn’t easy we're going off crappy intel brought to us by spies in the American government! We don’t know what it looks like, or where even to start! Other than Shendu hissing, “GO TO SIBERIA YOU FOOLS!” We wouldn’t have even gotten this far!” And what do we find out when we get here? ALL the Golden Lords know about it now not just our boss Valmont! They all sent teams to find out more information all over the Siberian region! Now it’s a race between our gang different divisions for something that is a MYTH!”
Finn retorted, “Myths are based on TRUTH you moron! And if we're lucky the other teams sent think that way! And if so they aren’t even going to be trying that hard to find it like we are!” The three decided at the least it would be a good vacation, after all since they didn’t know where to look how could they be blamed for not finding it before it was transferred to the American government? They would just leisurely stroll around seeing the sights and “investigating” the various tourist hotspots. And if they found a lead they would simply follow it, but what they found instead was Polly.
She had decided now was a great time to wander off and caught the eye of the trio. They figured what's the harm of asking the little brat what she knew. Finn said, “Hey red know anything about a converter?” Chow added, “Yeah kid the Golden Lords pay informants well, heh heh.” Polly still wasn’t speaking and Tenchi decided to make his presence known. Hearing what they were saying and forwarding it back to Kylie Tatyana and Mobile Command Acme now knew the Dark Hand was looking for the converter and at the behest of collaborators in the American government. But Tenchi knew this organization well having all but diplomatic immunity courtesy of corrupt government officials willing to look the other way; they were a little sloppy in their approach.
Where normal criminals would keep a low profile; the Golden Lords escalated things drastically when confronted or accused since they knew there would be almost no chance of jail time for any important criminal members. This was to their advantage most of the time, but not against Tenchi who had foiled their plans more times than they could count. As a result Tenchi directly confronted the three enforcers as he had done numerous times before. Tenchi staring directly at them stated in an authorities tone, “Leave her alone you goons. You can ask me what I know the converter, however.” The three enforcers were shocked and Finn quickly and nervously shouted, “Masaki! How did you get here!?” The enforces quickly took attack positions and lunged at Tenchi.
Tenchi easily avoided their attacks and used the surrounding environment to his advantage as usual. The enforcers would quickly rely on their technology such as their tried and true electric batons. Unfortunately, they weren’t very effective as Tenchi evaded and countered their attacks knocking them down and tripping them up. Having had enough of being made fools of Finn angrily shouted, “We’ll let you go this time Masaki! We got way more important deals going down! Count yourself lucky our busy schedules don’t give us the time to drop you like a bad disco track!” Chow rubbing some bruises screamed, “Yeah Tenchi, you know I’m better at martial arts than you! Your form was so weak! Better practice for the next time, cause I’m not holding back!”
Ratso gritting his teeth added, “Yeah Tenchi I’ll still you into dust next time! You win this round but the next will be ours!” Causing Finn to yell, “You idiot! I had us going out on a sore winner note and you admit we lost!” Ratso said back, “But… we did lose.” Having enough of Ratso’s stupidity Finn ordered, “Just turn around and run away, now!” And off they went back to their boss Valmont who would not be happy to hear of their defeat. They ran and hopped into a van with the telltale signs of another boss that was not Valmont; then the thugs closed the door and then sped off.
Tenchi noting this small detail courtesy of prior experience with the Golden Lords chose to focus on Polly. She of course after running under a bear-shaped playground dome, had witnessed the whole fight scene. She excitedly ran out from under the bear and over to Tenchi. She darted right up to Tenchi and said, “Oh my god that was so cool! You were flipping, and kicking, and punching! Then you did a one-armed handstand after flipping over two of them, Ahhh!” Needless to say, Polly was impressed with the martial performance and now unlike before could not stop talking.
Tenchi commented, “You speak English why didn’t you say anything?” Polly answered, “You didn’t ask me to. Now, let's go beat up more bad guys!” Tenchi decided lectures were in order and more discipline wouldn’t hurt either. Tenchi told Polly Acme doesn’t attack they defend the law and the people who obey it. Polly heard, “Blah, blah, blah,… moral values… blah, blah,… patience… blah, blah… think before you… blah.” In short in one ear and out the other, but Polly had no problem asking Tenchi questions one after the other. Of course, Tenchi was focused on processing the possible reasons for the Golden Lords converging on the area and figured he should wait to brainstorm with Tatyana and Kylie. Meanwhile, on the way back to the train Polly was asking questions and excitedly jumping up and down to try to get Tenchi’s attention.
Tenchi was informing Delores and Eddie of the situation while Polly kept asking away, “Are you a good cop!? Can you arrest that guy for jaywalking!? Where’s Ivy!? What’s Pocky!? Why does Zack have a rubber chicken!? Where in Siberia is Carmen Sandiego!? Where are we going!? Can I have a sword!? Does your train get good gas mileage!?” Tenchi and Polly had reached the train and Polly was placed into a room much to her protest. “Now stay here in your room you hear me? I have to go meet Kylie and Tatyana.” After meeting them Tenchi asked Tatyana, “This was not funny to me, why is this happening?” Tenchi as well as Tatyana and Kylie knew the reason all too well, younger detectives needed mentoring. And the older detectives would assess their abilities to see if they qualified for special training.
If so they would be presented to the masters to determine whether they would receive gun kata, iron body, or energy training. But from what he had seen, Polly needed training just to behave. And on that note knew why they sent her to him, to learn focus and patience. Whether she would be deemed worthy of higher training was up to her. Now it was back to taking advantage of their situation mission-wise as they had found the converter already they just needed to have it turned over to the American government. What that meant was free time concerning the mission to find Kate since she was accompanying Hans to look for Syberia Island. They would have to follow them since they were still in her employ until she decided to return to America.
So off to see the sights they went, The arrival at Kazan was the first official city stop on the Trans-Siberian trip and one of the sights the tourists hoped to see was Soyembika Tower. It was therefore a real shame the tower had been stolen by Eartha Brute. The authorities raced to the scene and saw an empty lot where the tower once had been. They knew what to do in these situations, on confirming VILE activity call ACME. When it was a monumental structure their involvement was all but a certainty and if it was by chance someone else ACME would bring them to justice anyway. Luckily for the police, ACME was already there, and upon Tenchi, Kylie, and Tatyana showing up with the tour group they made their presence known.
They inspected the scene and confirmed what they feared, this was the work of VILE. Tatyana was keeping the ever-growing authorities busy and telling them to set up a perimeter, while Tenchi and Kylie looked for clues. What was painfully obvious were the enormous footprints the detectives noticed where the tower wall would have been, there were tracks outside of it. They were deeper than the rest except for the tracks indicating an escape path. This told Tenchi and Kylie the suspect had lifted the tower and ran off with it. Kylie looked at Tenchi and said, “Well this narrows the list of possible suspects big time, but we still need more clues to be certain.” Tenchi agreed there weren’t that many people who could do this in VILE.
They wanted to say Eartha but that was not confirmed and knew they had to get more clues first. Polly agreed with them while taking pictures of the footprints she said, “Yeah I have to agree with Kylie’s opinion, can we go get the bad guy now?” Tenchi surprised yelled, “Ahh! What are you doing here!? I told you to wait in your room on the Clockwork train!” Polly simply responded that she was bored because there was no tv in there and decided to follow Tenchi instead. As she was there it was easier to refocus on the crime scene instead of scolding Polly.
The detectives asked the first cops to arrive on the scene what they had found, they said they found a folded muscle magazine “Barbells and You” which was the feature story on the cover. Taking the clue from the police they moved on to asking witnesses about any suspicious things they might have seen. Most of the people who showed up first to the scene however had left since it was boring and they had things to do. Since they lived in Kazan Soyembika Tower was just another building, but it suddenly being stolen in its entirety did make for an unusual morning for them. Tenchi Kylie and Tatyana would simply go about town asking these individuals what they had seen or heard. Tenchi heard a man saying I saw what happened trying to get attention drawn to himself.
Tenchi asked the man what he knew about the robbery while muffling Polly’s mouth as she yelled, “Spill the beans!”. The first witness he asked said, “Oh, well I didn’t see it directly, but I heard from someone who did that It was a woman.” Tenchi thanked the man and went on his way Polly in tow. Kylie asked a lady speaking with some people outside a bakery. Kylie asked the woman about the events at Soyembika tower and she said in response, “All I know is the person had green hair in a beehive style.” Well that was two bits of information about the crook they still needed to narrow it down, however.
Tatyana asked a number of people at a bar but they were more interested in drinking than talking about unsolved mysteries. This didn’t matter too much as the bartender had come from the back room and to the bar. Tatyana asked him if anyone had told him anything about the robbery that occurred. The bartender said, “She loves to exercise and lift weights.” Tenchi, Kylie, and Tatyana had remained in contact the whole time, and decided now was a good time to return to the train and wait. Kate was wondering why they were going back to the train but understood they knew what they were doing. On getting back they greeted Oscar and Hans and waited in the parlor room while going over the criminal situation.
As a heavy rain started to fall outside Kate was of course quite curious as to how someone could carry a building away. Polly said, “Oh, I know that! VILE has superpowers.” Tenchi, Kylie, and Tatyana all seated near each other in comfy chairs started to go over everything that had been discovered. Oscar brought in Brunch and Kate saw this was going to take a while. Hans was eager to hear from Acme detectives firsthand he had heard much of their exploits since he was young. Tenchi decided to mention the Golden Lords saying, “The Golden Lords are in town and not just one boss’s group several, I saw Finn, Chow, and Ratso from the Dark Hand but after I beat them they ran into a van owned by Koga Shuko.” Kylie annoyed said, “Great your golden friends are slinking around Siberia. May I ask why?” Tenchi answered, “Well I overheard their conversation and they were sent to find the converter, however, they don’t know if it's real or where to even start looking.”
Hans laughing at hearing this said, “Oh so the chase is on again it seems, haha!” Kate asked Hans, “Well now what does that mean Hans?” Hans replied, “Oh there are many groups that come looking for the converters once they heard about them. If they believe the stories they send men on expeditions to find one. They all fail because all of them were found already and none of them work anymore save one; mine.” They’ll snoop around going here and there and if they have great connections and information, they’ll go to places the converters WERE and find nothing. Until finally they will give up like all the rest.”
Hans resting back in his chair closed his eyes while rubbing his hands to warm them he was truly relishing the inevitable failure of the crime syndicate. He finished by saying, “And since they know about them they will become consumed by their own greed. There is no way a bunch of gangsters will share something so powerful. They will fight amongst themselves to have sole control so they are in the end only looking for it to then have one of them with the most muscle to keep it for themselves. Their leader will not allow them to have it and will demand it go to his possession. I don’t think they will risk fracturing their tenuous organization and whoever were to get it would turn it over, or risk every mob boss on that disreputable board coming after them. Once they realize this they will find any excuses to leave Europe and Siberia.
Tenchi you seem to have dealt with them on more than one occasion so what are your thoughts on this?” Tenchi had to agree with Hans's assessment of the Crime syndicate bosses. While they were united in a structured hierarchy they were also in competition, but they knew to keep things civil and would even work together on mutually beneficial endeavors. Tenchi readied to give his knowledge of the Golden Lords and Kylie rolling her eyes braced herself for what was incoming. It wasn’t that she hated hearing about them but Tenchi told it in a competitive way, meaning this was him showing how he was able to deal with their enforcers. Which led to major fights against one or more mob thugs at various locations around the world.
Tenchi had managed to meet many allies as a result of fighting the Golden Lords. Most cops either refused to courtesy of bribes or political intervention, or they couldn’t keep up with the plans the Golden Lords were carrying out. Tenchi began by saying, “Well they are a headache but I’ve learned to deal with them when I’m out minding my own business I would come across situations and not knowing if it was related to the Golden Lords I would just help. But as this kept happening I saw a pattern and was able to figure out it was all connected to their organization. At which point I just kept stopping them if and when I came across a scheme of theirs. I became a major thorn in their side so quickly because I ended up dealing with the bosses directly those being; White Tiger, Jean Carlo, Koga Shuko, and Valmont mostly; but other bosses and high ranking lieutenants were stopped by me whenever and wherever.
But as a result of the corruption going on the bosses could literally just walk out of jail whenever they wanted. So it was a constant back and forth between us and I can gladly say they don’t like me. Hans is correct about their competitiveness and when they realize the converter would just go to their leader they’ll leave him to get it himself claiming it's not a credible story. But they won’t scatter over it sadly, that level of infighting is pretty much not gonna happen because of why they are called the Golden Lords. It’s a huge conspiracy they own the Diamond cartels and after switching over from trying to control all gold under their original leader they became quite wealthy. The board they sit on is actually controlling legal businesses in the diamond industry, it is the secret umbrella company called; The Golden Lords Corporation. Having amassed a huge amount of wealth and power they continued their illegal operations around the world and are easily able to keep independent criminal competition from popping up for long.
They have sweeper teams and extermination squads that deal with criminals who gain too much power if they don’t agree to cooperate with them. Certain corrupt officials decided to see them as a necessary evil since they keep crime unified in a sense and choose to work with them rather than throw them in jail.” Kate was quite rare in her field, a just lawyer, and was disgusted by what she was hearing. She didn’t want to believe it. But it was all making sense she chimed in saying, “There were stories I heard and even my bosses had told me that there were some people who could get out of any legal situation even open and shut cases. The lawyers would know that certain individuals would be found guilty but they would hear from the prison grapevines these people had left. The other prisoners had heard from cellmates that these people would brag sometimes they were leaving. And when they did sometimes the prisoners would yell at lawyers as they went to meet their clients in prison about it.
“Over time lawyers gathered all these stories and knew they were true as knowing who to look for, such as high ranking criminals they would see they were no longer in jail.” They knew there was no legal process that got them out, as would be the normal assumption. And in certain situations, military officials would even show up to order releases of people who would otherwise be guaranteed a life sentence soon after being arrested. Therefore law firms would only place experienced lawyers on cases since they didn’t need rookies running their mouths. But this too in the public eye does make sense, why wouldn’t you put good lawyers on these cases? But the real reason it seems was to just go through the motions either they would walk right out of the jail they were brought to, or if they were found guilty they would leave prison at their leisure; usually when a limo showed up. I didn’t want to believe it, I mean what's the point of trial by jury if the guilty avoid punishment because of their status? Why is the world not a crime-ridden cesspool by now? Is it the governments and their militaries keeping them in line?”
Oscar commented, “This is all quite silly if you humans would simply follow logical programming you would not break the law in the first place.” Tenchi reassured Kate that everything was fine. He explained, “Well you see it a self-made prophecy to put it simply. The world doesn’t want to follow its own rules so that causes all these problems such as the Golden Lords but there are more serious groups out there the Golden Lords are just an overhyped global crime ring.” Hearing this caused Kates eyes to widen and she sat forward in her chair shouting, “What!? There are more dangerous groups!? How does that make it better!?” Tenchi continued, “Well the government doesn’t want to follow the rules if it negatively affects them, but they understand they need to.”
“Therefore they chose a group that could keep them honest, that being ACME Crimenet. As a result, the government is given final judgments by the Master Detectives that oversee a judicial case their ruling is final and all countries abide by that 95% of the time anyway. The 5% that don’t have to have law enforcement enforce the rule s on them they don’t like it but they can't stop us from bringing them to justice.” Kate wondered how that could be and said, “Don’t countries have their own militaries how do you fight through all of them to get the rogue nations to agree to your rulings?” At this, the detectives looked at each other in the eye. They knew what they said next had to be properly understood by the uninitiated or it would be pointless to say anything. But anyone civilian, soldier or bureaucrat came to the final unsettling realization that ACME and by extension VILE must have abilities others do not possess. Which enables them to bring even nations to the bargaining table.