Mostly satisfied that Pinky was not playing ping pong with King Kong in Hong Kong, Kitty moved rigt along,” When and where are we meeting Gotcha?”

“He doesn’t know we’re here. I’ll call him, but we always meet at the same time and place; midnight, on the sidewalk, directly in front of the Peace Tower. We walk the grounds. There are statues of former Prime Ministers. He gives me a Canadian history lesson, as we walk and talk.”

Pointing out the window at the Peace Tower, Kitty said, “I assume that’s the Peace Tower.”

“Yes, you do, and yes, it is.”

“Does he know about the tunnel?”

“Not from me, he doesn’t. But he, or someone in Gotcha, must have read Riff n Raff, so… maybe.”

“They keep tabs on Salmi?”

“I don’t know how closely, but yes.”

“They’re not gonna think the tunnel is real based on Riff n Raff.”

“Not likely, but if they started asking around Thunder about it, they may have heard the stories.”

Kitty dismissed that quickly, “By that logic, they’d be more likely to believe that Nanibijou is real.”

“By that logic,” Pinky retorted, “you’d think VoV was not.”

“Two points for Pinky! We are not telling him about the tunnel.”

“You don’t trust him?”

“I’ve never met him, never heard of him, until you brought him up.”

“You’d never met me, ‘til a couple days ago.”

“Here’s where you lose those two points, Pinky: I certainly had heard of you, long before you contacted me; I knew you were going to contact me, before you did; and who says I trust you?”

“Fair enough, Kitty Kaboodle. Fair enough. I’ll call him rigt now.”

“What are you gonna say if he asks how we got here?”

“We flew.”

“He can’t check the flight manifests?”

“We drove.”

“Where’s our car?”

“We wanted to get high, and relax, so we got someone to drive us.”

“You smoke weed?”

“No. You?”

“No, but he’s not gonna drug test us, so it’s good enough.”

“I think he smokes. What if he fires up, and passes the joint?”

“If smoking weed is the biggest risk we’re gonna have to take between now and whenever, we’ll be very fortunate. If you can’t stand smoking weed, make like Bill Clinton.” Pinky was gonna crack that he’d be happy to do so, if she’d make like Monica Lewinsky, but thought better of it, and simply smiled, and picked up the land line, instead.

“He’s gonna ask why you’re not calling from your cell.”

“Because we wanted to surprise him, so we left them in Thunder.”

“Wait. If he doesn’t know about the tunnel, why does he think you were in Thunder?”

“I told him we were going to meet the Staals. That I had a hunch they would be inclined to join this conspiracy of ours.”

“So, you don’t trust him, either?”

“Not as much as I trust you.”

“Fair enough. Tell him I am looking forward to making his acquaintance.”

The call was placed, the meet was set, no questions were asked. “Time for my old man nap, young lady. I’m sure you can find a way to entertain yourself.

“Sweet dreams, Pinky.”

Kitty loitered for a few minutes, checking the view of Parliament Hill, then checking it against the Google map of the grounds. As soon as she heard Pinky sawing logs, she disappeared into the tunnel.




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