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The crew is investigating the master thief Nightsmoke with Detective Rick, but she slips away when they find her. A few days later, (Captain) spots the thief disguised as a waitress at Rick's favorite cafe. In response, the thief, whose real name is Catherine, forces (Captain) to let her join the crew.
The crew is racing desperately through the dark night.
They are trying to flee someone—or something—attacking them from the cover of the darkness.
Detective Rick: Ah, just my luck! Come on, skyfarers! You're seasoned fighters! Can't you do something about this?
Vyrn: Don't count on it! (Captain) might be the toughest captain to ever sail, but we can't fight what we can't see!
The man fleeing with the party is Rick, a detective from the S.B.I, the Skydom Bureau of Investigation. They first met a few hours earlier...
Sierokarte introduces Detective Rick to the crew after they accept a certain mission at the Knickknack Shack.
Detective Rick: I'm Detective Rick. My job's to track down and capture criminals.
Detective Rick: It's like being an Enforcer, but not quite... No, actually I guess we're pretty similar. Yeah, basically the same.
Once Rick finishes introducing himself, he asks the crew to help him capture the infamous master thief Nightsmoke.
Detective Rick: The evidence, the stolen goods, and the thief all vanish into the night like smoke. Hence the name.
Vyrn: Sounds pretty awesome! But how are we gonna to catch a thief like that?
Detective Rick: Well, I'm a pretty good gumshoe, so I already figured out the time and place of the next crime. All we have to do is catch the crook.
Reassured by Rick's confidence, the crew sets out into the dark streets and does indeed encounter Nightsmoke.
But the instant they cross paths, the master thief starts firing at them without a moment's hesitation.
Caught completely off guard, the crew members have no choice but to run, but soon they find themselves at a dead end.
Lyria: Please! Protect us!
Proto Bahamut: ...!
A black dragon appears in a flash of dazzling light. For just an instant, (Captain) can make out the silhouette of the thief.
(Captain) turns to the figure and launches an all-out attack.
???: Eek! Ah!
The figure collapses, dropping the gun and something else with it. (Captain) snatches it up without thinking.
It is a beautiful pink jewel, with the name Catherine carved faintly into the surface.
Vyrn: Now's our chance!
(Captain) nods, and the group hightails it out of there.
The figure mutters ruefully before slowly fading into the darkness.
A few days later Rick visits a certain cafe, where a waitress strokes his head consolingly as he tells her all about his botched job.
Detective Rick: Oh, Cathy, we were this close to catching Nightsmoke. I have all the rotten luck...
Cathy: You're doing your best, Rick. I know you are.
Cathy: Besides, you actually saw Nightsmoke for the first time. That's something, isn't it?
Detective Rick: Yeah, but it was dark. All we really saw was a silhouette. Barely.
Detective Rick: I'm a failure as a detective. I'm cursed, I tell you.
Detective Rick: And that P.I. Barawa is getting honors for his work on the Chat Noir case...
Cathy: You just do your thing. Don't go comparing yourself to others.
Cathy: Besides, if you keep talking about bad luck, it'll find you. Stay positive, okay?
Detective Rick: Ohh, Cathy...
As she continues to stroke the teary-eyed detective's hair, the cafe door opens and (Captain) walks in with the crew.
Cathy: Oh... um... Welcome. Please come in.
Cathy: I don't usually get such young customers. Startled me there for a moment. What I can get you?
Vyrn: No, we're not customers. We came here to see Mr. Lovey Dovey over there.
Lyria: So... Rick, are we going after Nightsmoke again today?
Detective Rick: No. I haven't even pegged down where the next crime's gonna take place... Today's the day when Cathy makes me feel better.
Vyrn: Huh? So why did you call us here? We don't need anyone to make us feel better!
Detective Rick: Come on, don't say that. Cathy's a good cook, and she makes a swell cup of coffee—
Detective Rick: Cathy, what happened to your pendant? You know, the one with a jewel in it?
Cathy: I dropped it somewhere. Maybe someone found it lying around and took it.
For a split second, (Captain) senses a cold, stinging hatred hidden behind Cathy's words.
With a start, (Captain) pulls out the jewel Nightsmoke dropped and looks at the waitress.
Suddenly it all makes sense. She's none other than the master thief herself.
Lyria: What's wrong, (Captain)?
Before (Captain) can speak, Cathy trips and drops a tray laden with drinks.
As the tray clatters to the floor, Cathy clings to (Captain) for support.
Detective Rick: A-are you okay, Cathy?
Rick frantically jumps to his feet, when suddenly the door opens and a man walks in.
Rick's Colleague: I knew I'd find you here! Quit sitting around and get your keister back to the office to make a report!
Detective Rick: Okay, okay. I'm going, so get your hands off of me! Of all the rotten luck...
Detective Rick: No! Gotta be more positive... but how am I supposed to do that? I'll be back later, Cathy!
Vyrn: What's his deal? Some detective he is...
Vyrn: Anyway... Are you okay, miss?
Cathy: Oh, I'm fine. I just can't believe I was so stupid.
Cathy smiles, but (Captain)'s blood runs cold. The woman is holding a gun, and it's aimed right at the captain's throat.
Catherine: I really did botch this one. You figured it out, didn't you? Who I am... my real name.
Catherine: Why don't we go somewhere a little more private. Somewhere we won't have so many eyes on us. Somewhere... darker.
She whispers the sweet words into (Captain)'s ears, but her animosity is clear. The captain can only nod.
Cathy: Oh... I seem to have hurt my leg. I could use some help. Mind if I borrow your friend?
Lyria: Um... All right. We'll see about cleaning up this mess on the floor!
Cathy: You're too kind. Thank you. Now then, the first-aid kit is in that room over there.
The master thief locks the door and removes her disguise, revealing her true appearance at last. She then levels her gun at (Captain).
Catherine: When I steal something, I make it a point never to leave a scrap of evidence.
Catherine: No one knows what I look like or my real name... I take pride in my work, you see.
Catherine: But I wasn't so smart in my younger days. I even carved my name into the first treasure I ever stole.
Catherine: I always thought Rick would be the one to find me out, but there's clearly more to you than meets the eye.
Catherine slowly cocks her weapon. (Captain) swallows hard.
Catherine: Aww... you're cute. You're in luck, because I happen to like that.
Catherine: I know. Why don't you hire me?
(Captain) frowns, suspicious of this sudden proposal.
Catherine: I don't want word getting out about me. Which means I have to keep an eye on you.
Catherine: And I could use a more convenient way to get around. So how about it? Of course, I don't have to tell you the other way this can go, do I?
- Only if you pull your own weight.
Catherine: That's my smart cookie. Good answer.
Catherine: Relax. I'll be a model crew member... at least as far as everyone else knows.Choose: Only if you pull your own weight.
Catherine: You've got some nerve. I could turn you and your friends into smoke right here and now, you know.
(Captain) glares intensely at Catherine, ready for anything.
Catherine: Ooh, you're tougher than I thought. I like that too.
Catherine: Fine. We'll make it a win-win. I'll help out here and there.Continue 1
Catherine: And that's the end of our little chat. Now be a good little captain and give me back my jewel.
(Captain) takes out the jewel and hands it to Catherine.
At that moment, (Captain)'s fingertips briefly touch Catherine's.
Catherine: You could have just thrown it to me...
Catherine leaves the room somewhat ruffled. (Captain) follows, wondering what could have caused her reaction.
(Captain) returns to Lyria and the others, unsure how to explain to them that Nightsmoke will be joining the crew.
Where There's Smoke
When asked about a bundle of letters she has, Catherine boasts that they're all requests for her to steal things. She soon decides which request to take, and the crew sets a course for their destination.
It's been several days since Nightsmoke has joined the crew.
Catherine boards the airship carrying a bundle of letters addressed to various people.
Vyrn: Where'd you get all those letters?
Catherine: My little secret.
With that, Catherine begins to skim the letters.
Vyrn: They're all addressed to different people... I guess a thief like you has to maintain a lot of identities, eh?
Catherine: Well, I don't want anyone else to know who I am. Especially my name.
Catherine: Everyone else who found out has been turned into smoke. I hate it when people call me that name, so don't you dare say it.
Vyrn: Okay, okay... No need to glare at me like that!
Catherine: You're a smart cookie.
With that, she starts tearing up all of her letters.
Lyria: Wh-what are you doing? Your letters...
Catherine: They're requests for work. Dirty, vulgar work.
Vyrn: Requests? I thought you were a thief.
Catherine: I am. A professional thief. That's why I don't steal things for myself; I do it on request.
Lyria: I see... But in that case, why would you rip up all the letters?
Catherine: Look, I'm not that easy. I don't just go around accepting any old job.
Catherine: I won't steal for a corrupt party, even if they pay me a fortune.
Vyrn: Wow... You're making this whole thief thing sound really cool.
Catherine: Don't be ridiculous. Thieves are trash, no matter how lofty their morals are.
Catherine: Crime is crime, after all. That's why it's done in secret, so no one finds out.
Catherine: And yet that Chat Noir goes and... Oh, it makes me absolutely sick.
Lyria: Um... Cath—Sorry! What should we call you?
Catherine: Good question. Today you can call me Alice.
Lyria: Okay... Alice. So why do you keep working as a thief?
Lyria: I mean... if you think thieves are such bad people?
Alice: That's a secret. Anyway, I've decided which job to take. Would you bring me there, (Captain)?
Alice stands up, and a letter falls to the floor.
Lyria: Um... Alice, you dropped this.
Lyria picks it up and hands it back to Alice. For a moment their hands touch.
Lyria: What! Um... Is something the matter?
Alice: Forget it. Let's just get going!
(Captain) doesn't understand why Alice would be blushing, but the captain sets the ship on its new course nevertheless.
Where There's Smoke: Scene 2
The crew visits a town with a mansion that Catherine identifies as one of her hideouts. However, the second they set foot on the mansion's grounds, security guards come rushing out. Catherine disappears in a blink, and the crew members realize she was using them.
The crew arrives at a large mansion in an ordinary town.
Alice: This is one of my secret hideouts.
Vyrn: Whoa, that's awesome! But why are we here? Aren't you supposed to go steal something?
Alice: I thought it would be nice to take a little break before work. Come on in, everyone.
Vyrn: Oh... okay. Then I'll just make myself right at home!
But the moment Vyrn and the others step onto the mansion's grounds, they get a nasty surprise.
Guard 1: Who goes there! What are you doing here in the middle of the night?
Vyrn: Oh, we're just friends of... Huh?
Vyrn: Where'd she go? Don't tell me...
Guard 2: They're obviously trespassing! Seize them!
Vyrn: Aaahh! We've been had!
Lyria: Oh no! What are we supposed to do now, (Captain)?
Vyrn: Let's not do anything hasty, you guys! We were tricked into coming here, and—
Guard 1: Take that!
Vyrn: This is getting dangerous! These ones take their jobs way too seriously!
Vyrn: We can't run—they have us surrounded! And I don't think we can talk our way out... We're gonna have to fight!
Where There's Smoke: Scene 3
While (Captain) and the crew fight the guards, the mansion owner appears and demands that they give back what they took. Then Rick shows up with evidence that the owner illegally seized an orphanage. When he tries to arrest the owner, the owner sets his guards on the crew.
Self-Important Man: That's enough! What's all this commotion?
Vyrn: Who are you?
Self-Important Man: Who do I look like? I'm the owner of this mansion.
Vyrn: Then that little thief did trick us. So much for loyalty to the crew!
Self-Important Man: What are you blabbering about? Now give it back, thieves!
???: By it, do you mean... this?
The crew turns around to see Detective Rick holding a stack of paperwork. Some children peer out from behind him.
Vyrn: It's you! Detective Bungler!
Detective Rick: Bungler? My name is Rick...
Detective Rick: Ahem, anyway. I came here to nab Nightsmoke, but it seems that we have ourselves a bigger problem...
Detective Rick: According to these documents, you are illegally purchasing houses and other property. Isn't that right?
Detective Rick: Even these kids' orphanage! Don't you think that's going a little too far?
Self-Important Man: So? Even if I were, it wouldn't be any of your business!
Detective Rick: I'm afraid it would be, pal! I'm a detective from the S.B.I.!
Self-Important Man: The S.B.I.? You mean... like the Crew of Enforcers?
Detective Rick: Hmm, kind of like that, but not quite... Nah, I guess we're basically the same. Anyway, you're under arrest.
Self-Important Man: Damn it! Can't believe this! I get all the worst luck!
Detective Rick: You and me both, pal. You and me both.
Detective Rick: Heh. But I never thought a kid of all people would hire Nightsmoke.
Detective Rick: How'd the little nipper get in contact with Nightsmoke anyway?
Self-Important Man: Screw this! Guards! Ice the gumshoe and those filthy skyfarers!
Guard: Yes, sir!
Detective Rick: I knew this would happen, and I'm terrible at fights! Just my luck...
A blade is thrust straight at Rick, but (Captain) knocks it away.
Vyrn: Wow! I really underestimated you, you cigar-loving bungler!
Detective Rick: Didn't I tell you I'm a super sleuth?
Self-Important Man: Now's my chance...
Once he sees that the party is busy fighting, the self-important man tries to make his escape.
Self-Important Man: Who the hell are you?
Catherine: You'll never know.
Self-Important Man: Erg! I... I'm done for...
Catherine: That was just a blank. Too bad blanks don't cure stupid.
Catherine: People who act out of self-interest truly are ugly. In the end, they only care about themselves.
Catherine: I've caused the crew quite some trouble, I suppose it's time I helped fight.
Where There's Smoke: Scene 4
Rick arrests the mansion owner and seems to have figured out that Catherine is with (Captain)'s crew. But when he presses them for information, they cover for her and send him away. Impressed by this show of loyalty, Catherine finally accepts the crew as her friends.
After the battle, Rick finds the man unconscious on the ground and arrests him.
The crew returns to the airship and finds "Alice" already there.
Alice: What's with the stupid grin?
Vyrn: Nothing. Just thinking about how nice you are even if you do talk a big game.
Alice: Don't be ridiculous. There's no such thing as kindness when it comes to stealing. I just do what they pay me for.
Vyrn: What they pay you for? That job came from a kid! How's a kid supposed to pay you?
Alice: With this.
She slowly sticks out her tongue to reveal the candy in her mouth.
Vyrn: Candy? That's how you got paid?
Alice: Well... I like sweets. I really do.
Lyria: I always knew you were a nice person, Cathe—I mean, Alice!
(Captain) starts to nod, but Alice suddenly vanishes.
Confused, the crew members look behind them and discover Detective Rick.
Detective Rick: This sure is a big ship! I had a heck of a time just climbing aboard.
Detective Rick: I just wanted to thank you. The man I captured today is a big-time crook responsible for all kinds of crime.
Detective Rick: This might just lead to a promotion for me! Maybe my luck's starting to change!
Lyria: Oh, ha-ha... That would be wonderful, Rick.
Vyrn: Well, how about a toast? But for starters let's get off the ship...
Detective Rick: No, no, that's all right.
Detective Rick: I came here to ask you kids something.
Detective Rick: I don't want to beat around the bush or anything. I do have my reasons for saying this, so...
Detective Rick: Okay, let me just cut to the chase. Nightsmoke is here, am I right? On this ship I mean.
Detective Rick: Aha! Bull's-eye! I told you I was a super sleuth!
Detective Rick: So can you send the master thief out here?
Choose: The only people here are our crew.
- The only people here are our crew.
- What are you talking about?
Lyria: That's right! There's no one on this ship but members of our crew!
Detective Rick: Your crew, eh? I gotcha...Choose: What are you talking about?
Detective Rick: Aha! Playing dumb, eh? The oldest trick in the book! You really think I'd fall for that?
Lyria: There's no one here! I swear! I'd know if a scary thief was on our ship.
Vyrn: She's telling the truth! Now get on out of here!
Detective Rick: I think I see what's going on.Continue 1
Detective Rick: I know when I'm beat. I can tell from the look in your eye that you mean business.
Detective Rick: And I'm sorry about the leading question. It was worth a shot.
Vyrn: Seriously? So you suspected us without any proof?
Detective Rick: I'm sorry! Really I am! I'll just head on home now!
After Rick leaves, Alice slowly emerges from the darkness.
Alice: How can you be so stupid? That was your chance to finally be rid of me.
Alice: You could have just sold me out.
Vyrn: The only stupid one here is you! We don't betray our friends!
Alice: Honestly... you really are stupid.
Alice: It's because it's all I have...
Vyrn: Huh? What are you talking about?
Alice: You asked me this morning, remember? Why I steal things.
Alice: I steal because it's all I have. It's the only thing that's helped me survive. Stealing... is how I've lived my whole life.
Alice: But I have no regrets. I'd even go so far as to say I'm proud of what I've done. It's kept me alive until now, after all.
Alice: But thieves are trash. We're villains. And yet...
Alice: Did you really mean it when you called me your friend? You'd let me stay here with you?
Lyria, touched by Alice's uncharacteristic show of vulnerability, gently clasps the thief's hand in hers.
Lyria: We're your friends! Why wouldn't we be?
Lyria: I mean, sure you bullied us and lied to us... but still!
Lyria: You're still our friend, Catherine!
Vyrn: Besides, you must be the nicest thief lady ever. You can't hide that from us!
Lyria: I mean it, Catherine! We really do—
Alice: I... I get it. So just let go of my hand, okay?
Vyrn: Ah, ahh! Don't tell me you're embarrassed! A little late for that, don't you think?
Vyrn: I mean, you've always got your hands all over everybody!
Alice: Yes... But when I touch someone, I can prepare myself beforehand...
Alice: And I'm always hiding myself.
Lyria: Oh... I get it now! You're so cute, Catherine! I just love that about you!
Lyria: Oh no! I'm sorry! I said your real name, didn't I?
Catherine: That's all right. You can call me Catherine.
Catherine: But only when we're together in private, okay?
Catherine blushes as she forces out the words.
Having finally gotten to know the real Catherine, everyone smiles warmly and accepts her as a friend.
When Catherine returns to Kitten Cafe for a spell, Detective Barawa shows up. Without a clue as to her true identity, he grumbles on, spilling a few secrets along the way. Upon Barawa's departure shortly after, his voice—along with fellow investigator Rick's—can be heard outside. Sensing their approach, Catherine gladly prepares two glasses for them.
Catherine: Hee hee... Nothing quite as relaxing as getting to run your own store once in a spell.
Catherine has changed into uniform and is preparing to open Kitten Cafe.
She's doing so after requesting some well-deserved time off from (Captain).
True to form, Catherine finishes getting ready, waits a bit, and then opens the door to customers.
She greets her first guest with a smile. Or tries to, anyway, grimacing after realizing who it is.
Barawa: Hm, nobody else seems to be here. You don't happen to be closed today, do you?
This is Detective Barawa, a familiar face aboard (Captain)'s ship.
Barawa: I don't suppose we've met somewhere before, Miss?
Cathy: Er, well... (He doesn't recognize me?)
Barawa: Bwahaha! No, I suppose not. I wouldn't have forgotten such a pretty face, after all.
Cathy: (Wow... He really doesn't recognize me. I suppose the outfit's a far cry from what I usually wear, but still...)
Forcing a smile, Cathy decides to accept the burden of treating this like a first encounter.
Cathy: Hee hee, you certainly know what to say, don't you? You're quite the looker yourself. But looking's all you get to do, I'm afraid.
Barawa: Hahaha! You have a way with words yourself, Miss!
Cathy: Hee hee... Here by yourself? Have a seat by the counter.
Barawa follows Cathy to the counter as instructed.
Barawa: Hm... One of your finest drinks, please. Something sweet, if you have it.
Cathy: Coming right up, but it won't come cheap!
Barawa: Haha! You can't have too much of a good thing. Especially at a fine establishment like this.
Cathy: Wow, you really know just what to say... Got it. I'll have it right up.
Cathy pours amber liquid into a glass, dropping a few spherical chunks of ice in afterwards.
Cathy: I just know you're going to enjoy this one.
Barawa: Would you look at that...
Barawa takes the glass in hand, savoring the sweet aroma a moment. He takes a sip.
Barawa: Oh, this is good! You're right, I've taken a liking to it. It smells wonderful, too.
Barawa: Heh, I heard this place is run by a woman willing to listen to her customers.
Barawa: Seems the rumors were right! This place is a little slice of heaven.
Cathy: So someone told you about me? Wouldn't happen to be Rick, would it?
Enjoying the drink, Barawa nods as he lets out a single, satisfied breath.
Cathy: I see. Which means you must be Barawa, the famous detective.
Cathy: (I mean... I know you, so...)
Barawa: Heh, precisely. I am the one... the only... Detective Barawa.
Barawa: Rick and I have something of an... antagonistic business relationship, but I run into him from time to time, yes.
Cathy: Ah, that's right. Rick works for the authorities after all.
Barawa: Can you believe it? We're both after the same thing, but something about me just rubs them the wrong way.
Cathy: That wouldn't have anything to do with you declining that offer to join the Bureau of Investigation, would it?
Barawa: Haha... Well, how about that. Rick, you never know when to keep your mouth shut, do you?
Barawa: I used to be part of a big organization way back when—the military, you might say. I quit that life and became a detective.
Cathy: So basically, you freed yourself from a big organization, and hate the idea of being dragged back in?
Barawa: No, actually. I just want to see how far this brain of mine can take me by its lonesome.
Cathy: Wow, that's... simply wonderful! Just the kind of noble goal you'd expect from a master detective!
Barawa: Hahaha! I just do what comes naturally to me!
Barawa: Heh heh, I think I get why he came here to bleat about his silly little problems.
Barawa: It really feels good to open up to you, Miss. Feels like I might end up spilling all sorts of secrets in here.
Cathy puts a hand to her lips, chuckling softly to herself as she places a glass of water on the counter.
Cathy: This one's on the house. I appreciate the compliments, but that's all you get.
Barawa takes a swig from the glass with a smile.
Cathy: So? I don't suppose you came here to... How did you put it? Bleat about your silly little problems?
Barawa: That's right. We're both after thieves. His is named Nightsmoke. Mine, Chat Noir.
Barawa: Blasted thieves... They always get away at the last possible moment.
Cathy: Oh, don't be so down! You can keep up with them, right?
Cathy: Rick and the rest of the rest of his crew don't seem to have any idea what's going on!
Barawa: Hahaha! It's because of my brains and brawn that I'm always on their trail.
Barawa: But it all feels a little meaningless when they get away. There one minute and gone the next. Poof! Gone, like smoke! A mastermind, proud and true!
Cathy: Hm, that sounds more like that Nightsmoke fellow, doesn't it?
Cathy: Chat Noir doesn't seem to have any pride in being a thief, by comparison.
Cathy says this with a thoroughly unsatisfied look on her face. Barawa tilts his head.
Barawa: No, I think you may be mistaken, Miss.
Barawa: Nightsmoke's identity is a true mystery, and possesses remarkable thieving skills, to be sure.
Barawa: But to claim Chat Noir has no pride? I disagree. In fact, I think he may be the very definition of pride.
Barawa: Ugh... He drives me mad just thinking about it!
Cathy: Hee hee... You've made your case, Detective! He's as proud as thieves come!
Barawa: Yeah. And it makes me sick.
Cathy: Hee hee, I have to thank you. This has been very educational.
Cathy: You believe in him, don't you? In Chat Noir. In the strange bond you share.
Barawa: Oh, please. I'm not friends with the guy.
Barawa: And if you want to talk about strange bonds, that's Rick and Nightsmoke, not me.
Cathy: Hee hee... You may be right. They're both connected to each other, whether they want to or not.
Barawa downs the rest of his drink, leaves cash on the counter and prepares to depart.
Barawa: It's about time for me to go. Thanks. Coming here really helped get my head out of the clouds.
Barawa: I try telling my assistant Sarya about this stuff, and she just yells at me.
Barawa: I swear I heard her tell me to get my act together 25 times today. No wonder I needed a drink!
Cathy: Haha, feel free to drop by any time. I'll listen to anything you need to get off your chest.
Barawa: Thanks. I'll be back.
Cathy: See you next time. And good luck catching Chat Noir!
Barawa: Hahaha! Just leave it to me! There's no mystery I can't solve, and no thief I can't catch!
Barawa: Heh, why, I bet I could even catch Nightsmoke if I tried! He may have thrown Rick for a loop, but not me!
With a hearty laugh, Barawa exits the cafe.
Catherine waves to him on the way out, exhaling a sigh of relief once the door shuts.
Cathy: Sigh. The phantom thief Nightsmoke. That's me...
Cathy: And based on how he talked about it, he doesn't even realize I'm on the same ship as him.
Cathy: A bumbling detective, eh? Fun to talk to, at least.
Cathy begins to clean up the counter with a smile.
She stops when she sees the next guest enter her cafe, however.
Detective Rick: Just my luck. And right when I think about how nice it is to finally pay a visit to Kitten Cafe for a change.
Barawa: Hahaha! An unexpected reunion like this is the very definition of lucky, my friend!
Detective Rick: Ngh... I just wanted to have a drink with Cathy. Alone!
Barawa: Now, now! Enough of the bitterness, old friend! When was the last time we saw each other?
Cathy: Hee hee, I have a feeling today's going to be a busy day.
Grinning ear to ear, Cathy prepares two glasses for her customers.
Suffice it to say, the bumbling detective and hard luck gumshoe provided plenty of stimulating conversation that evening.
Catherine sets out to avenge a group of conned women by stealing from the con man who wronged them. Serendipity has it that Metera is also aiming to teach the con man a lesson. The two avengers team up, with Catherine going to retrieve the swindled money from the charlatan's home, and Metera showing him what a woman can do with a bow, an arrow, and a whole lot of anger.
As evening turns to night and the sun begins to set, girl meets boy.
Metera: Why hello, hello. I've been searching all over for you, good looking.
Spotting the man, Metera tracks her prey down and proceeds to lure him in.
Metera: Hey there, suave stuff. I'm going out tonight—care to keep a girl company?
Mr. Suave: Whoa, never dreamed I'd be asked out by a knock-out like you.
The man gives a wide, sparkling smile.
Metera: Ooh! Aren't you a smooth player! I'll take that as a yes!
As Metera succeeds in picking up the man, another story unfolds at the cafe Kitten.
After closing up shop for the night, Catherine sits down in front of a mountain of letters.
Catherine: You poor things. Conned by the oldest trick in the book—money for his mother's medicine.
Catherine: Take a girl's heart, take her money, then leave her high and dry. Scum. I hate these types as much as I hate dealing with them.
Letter after letter, cries of women swindled by similar cons are divulged. Each case different, but the perpetrator always of the same description.
Catherine: Well, hope you had your fun, chum...
Catherine: Cause tonight's your unlucky night.
Transforming from a modest cafe waitress into the debonair thief Nightsmoke, she slips out into the dark streets.
Catherine: (Finding out his address should be a piece of cake.)
Catherine: (Let's see how the swindler likes being swindled for a change!)
Just then Catherine spots Metera strolling by with her freshly-caught man in arm.
(Was that... Metera?)
Catherine: Could she be... on a date! Well, nothing new about that, though.
Catherine: What are the odds, seeing her right when I'm—
Hm? Wait. That man...
Catherine: Gasp! That's the con artist! He fits the letters' descriptions exactly!
Metera: Hunny Buns! Just look at that dress—isn't it divine! Let's go in and try it on me!
Mr. Suave: Of course. Can't say no to you, babe.
Catherine watches as the two enter the boutique.
Catherine: Hmm, I'm sure she'll be fine... It's Metera, after all. But...
With a mix of concern and curiosity, Catherine begins to follow the couple.
Metera: Oh, it's fabulous! What do you think?
Mr. Suave: ...!
Wow, I almost had a heart attack from how beautiful you are. You look amazing.
Metera: Mmm... Not quite what I wanted to hear, but I'll take it. Maybe.
Mr. Suave: Hey, it's tough pleasing someone used to getting compliments all the time.
Metera: Say. Wanna know what'll make me really happy?
Mr. Suave: You bet I do.
He takes her hand, looks into her eyes, and whispers.
Mr. Suave: I'll do anything for you, Metera. I feel like I could give you my whole life right now.
Metera: Oh? Then tell me you'll buy me this dress.
Mr. Suave: Huh?
Ah... Ahahaha! Metera, babe! Sure there isn't something else you'd like more?
Metera: Don't try to change the subject. I thought you'd do anything for me.
Metera: I'm sure we both want to have an enjoyable night, don't we?
Mr. Suave: Eep! An en-en-enjoyable... night?
Gulp goes the con man.
Con Man: Metera... I... I, uhh... D-do you really mean—
Metera: Naughty, naughty! Get your mind out of the gutter—it's still too soon for that! Thanks for the dress though!
Catherine giggles as she watches them from the shadows.
Catherine: You go, Metera. Make that con man pay.
Catherine: Now where are we off to next...
Oh, look at me, I'm actually enjoying myself here.
The couple visits a general store and a jewelry store, where Metera continues to toy with the con man.
Now at a restaurant, the con man excuses himself for a moment, perhaps in an attempt to devise an escape from all this.
Catherine: (Heh-heh. She's got you wrapped around her little finger. Let's see how you get out of this one.)
Metera: I spy with my fluffy ears... a cat spying on me. Come out, Catherine.
Turning around to look at the hiding Catherine, Metera grins.
Catherine: Ahaha! Guess I'm out of the bag!
Metera: Felines and curiosity—you know what they say. Also, stop grinning like that when you follow people; you look like a stalker.
Catherine: Gasp! I... I was not grinning! I think...
Metera: Well, whatever your face was doing it was creepy. Is this how you spend all your free time?
Catherine: Actually, I was about to ask you the same question.
Metera: Oh come now, Kitty-Cathy, what do you take me for? I only do this when I'm teaching scum like him a lesson.
Catherine: Wait... So you—
Metera cuts Catherine off before she has a chance to ask.
Metera: Let's keep this between us, shall we?
Metera: We don't need to bother the crew with details like this. Wouldn't you agree?
Catherine: Hehe. True. Whether we tell them or not, it doesn't change what we do.
Metera: My thoughts exactly. Y'know, we might make a good team. What do you say we both show this guy a real hustle?
Catherine: I like the way you think. But I think I'll let you handle the... physical side.
Metera: I'll leave the rest to you then.
Catherine: My pleasure.
Exchanging a high-five with her fellow conspirator, Catherine disappears into the night with a look of cunning in her eyes.
Catherine: Humph. With locks like those you might as well leave the door open. Now if I were a crooked rat, where would I keep my hoard...
Catherine infiltrates the con man's home and gets straight to searching its rooms.
Catherine: Tsk. You've scammed a lot of people to have gotten this much.
On the shelf she finds a box full of money. She stuffs the contents into a pouch on her waist.
Catherine: That does it for my end. I wonder how my partner in justice is doing on hers.
Metera: Gross! You've got some gall spitting out a line like that!
Metera: Money for your mother's medicine? A baby could come up with a better lie than that.
Con Man: Wha—
Metera: Thought you could fool me? Liar, liar, I'll set you on fire.
Con Man: Eep!
Metera: The only thing I hate more than a liar is a professional liar! This is for all the women you swindled, dirtbag!
Con Man: Aaaiiieee!
Faraway echoes of the con man's screams reach the ears of Catherine, who skips a light step despite the weight of the gold in her pouch.
Catherine: Ahahaha! The perfect end to a perfect night.
Thus it was that several days later, the con artist's victims were returned their swindled money, and they all lived happily ever after.