Anyway, 11 pages done since my last update, 80 pages or so done so far. Our unnamed hero persuades Misty to ride back with him to the rez instead of riding one of the few non-ferrous, fay-friendly buses in Las Vegas (which would hit almost every stop between the Ranch House strip club and the Bureau of Fay Affairs, a ride of several hours). As she climbs into our hero’s truck, he notices that she’s armed herself with a can of Mace and a snowflake obsidian knife – just in case he tries anything funny, he guesses.
Misty suggests that they stop at a hospital on the way back to the BFA. Our hero takes a look at his face in the rear view mirror and sees the reason for her suggestion. The bouncer had turned his face into dog meat. He resets his broken nose – which he claims to have learned how to do after a wall of death at a Slayer concert – and they’re off.
They stop briefly in front of the Ranch House, where two men are haggling over a pixie. The pixie is a dead ringer for Tinkerbell if Tink had let herself go and become a leathery crack whore in fishnets and hooker heels. Our hero blows his horn to break up the transaction, and they run off.
On the way back to the BFA, Misty tells our hero a bit of her story. Her name, Gaa-Miskwaawaaokaag, is the Ojibwe place name for Cass Lake in Wisconsin, which used to be her hunting grounds. She left after the St. Regis Paper Company started dumping PCBs into the aquifer in the 1960s, and the federal government relocated her to the Southern Nevada Fay Reserve after the war.
Misty then asks our hero what his plans are for her former boss at the Ranch House. Her boos apparently was a real bastard, and our hero’s threatened investigation into the Ranch House could lead to trouble for her. Our hero just starts chuckling and shows her the big red Button o’ Death that would have summoned the righteous wrath of the federal government down upon the Ranch House.
It was just the phone’s off button.
With some smugness at bluffing Misty’s former boss, our hero tells her exactly what he can do – virtually nothing. He’s just a diplomat. He holds no rank. He can’t arrest people. He can’t summon federal agents or soldiers for help, and he can’t order them around if they deign to show up. All he can do is talk.
But he can do that very well.
Our hero drops off Misty at the BFA at Kyle Canyon Road, which is pretty much the edge of civilization in Clark County, Nevada. He swears that he’ll get her a job at the Spearmint Rhino, and she softens a bit. She even smiles, a genuine smile.
Then our hero finds himself hanging halfway out his truck window, with Misty’s hand wrapped like a steel trap around his lapels and her knife at his throat. She proceeds to tell him, in no uncertain terms, what she’ll do to him if he costs her another job.
Before he or the guard at the gate can do anything, she lets go of our hero and enters the reserve. The scavengers on the reserve – the same type of scavengers that followed Thornapple the troll around - start singing their cicada song for her. Our hero watches her go for maybe a bit too long and then heads out himself.
Our hero hears a story, interspersed between the coverage of the kelpie’s antics that day, about a skinned cat being found up in the French Hills neighborhood. There’s the usual breathless speculation about Satanists and such. Our hero knows better. It means that the skinwalker has shapeshifted into a cat and is wandering around French Hills, free to do whatever it wants, and that he’s too beat up and tired to do anything about it.
He stops off briefly at the Four Kegs at the 95 and Jones for some stromboli. While there, he imagines himself on a date there with Misty – him buying the beers, her smoking whatever it is the fay smoke. That’s not going to happen, of course, so he heads to his favorite bar to commiserate with the bartender before going to bed.