Meanwhile... Back at Ace Mansion....

Well, well, well.... I'm not sure how it happened or, more importantly, WHY... But when my good friend G.R. told me Lucky Pet had a caged tiger in his possession, curiosity got the best of me. (What do you want? I'm genetically inclined that way.)

So I grabbed my overcoat and fedora and the keys to the Tiger Lotus and sauntered over to Lucky's Hideaway to see for myself. Sure enough, there was a delicious little Tigress/Human crossbreed locked up in a little cage for all to see.

Suddenly, I knew something was up... I could smell, with my highly tuned sniffer, the scent of a blue bear... There was Billy! Hmmm... I've never know LP to instigate problems, but BB... That's another story. I decided to keep quiet and feel out the situation a bit more.

"It's Ace! Or as we now refer to her, ggrrrrACE!" I thought they'd caught me, but BB was pointing to the feminine feline. Apparently, Billy believed he'd transmogrified his cat Mittens and I into one hell of a kitty cat.

I was flabbergasted, but then I noticed my friend and confidante, jem, chiming in as well. "Wonder if I could rent this cat for awhile? I have some problem vermin I'd like to get rid of..."
What a little bitchass!

Lucky's expression drooped. "Oh, shit! I have a hard on for ace!"

I couldn't take it any more... I was speechless, but I just had to correct them. All I could manage was a weak, "" They turned toward me, not recognizing me in my coat and hat, and I just looked up and the sky and whistled until they looked away again.

How could they have made such a glaring error? I've been running around the country all month opening up new cookie factories in economically desperate regions, but somehow they think they'd captured me and...

Then I noticed something about the captive cat.

A cigar! Well, that explains a lot. I hate the things... Can't stand them... But my sometimes doppelganger not-ace swears by them! (Figuratively and literally.) It appears poor old not-ace was in the wrong place at the wrong time. not-ace looked at me, pleadingly, but I couldn't come to his/her rescue now... I needed to find out more.

I backed away slowly, returned to my car, and drove home. True, not-ace/mittens made quite the combo. My tiger blood boils hottest for Ms Kate, but this creature was nothing to sneeze at. I flipped open my cell and IM'd Ms Kate, letting her know that I was safe and sound.

I was concerned that the wastelands have taken their toll on the gang. Surely this attempted hazing didn't have anything to do with the fact that I didn't join them on their crusade! Maybe I hadn't been the friend to them that I should have been... Maybe in my haste to open more cookie factories I had negleted some posting and comments that I should have taken more care of.

I called my secretary and asked her to ship two crates of cookies each to Ms Kate, Princess Grace, Miz Ava, Ms Veronica, Ms Tara, billybear, jem, lucky pet, bankyboo, and pantysue. However this situation had unfolded, I wanted them to know how much I cared about them. Thinking for a moment, I had Gladys add two more boxes of my experimental tiger-creme shortbreads to billy and lucky's shipments. It seemed they needed a bit of extra TLC.

Now I sit here in my overstuffed chair, reading over the latest numbers from my Anchorage factory, wondering what will become of this latest adventure into insanity. Surely most of the recipients of those cookies will assume foul play at work, we shall see. And as for not-ace/mittens.... As much as I hate to lose both an expensive clone and a close personal friend (mittens is the latter), a cost/benefit analysis of the situation tells me there will be other opportunities. I must patiently await them. In the interim, Mittens is safely locked away in that cage, no longer readily available as a, um, therapeutic distraction, to billy's anger. And something tells me he's gonna be awful sore soon.

Enjoy the cookies, my friends!