Xanatos, Owen, and Hudson waited for them in the main tower room. Elisa pounced on the opportunity to speak before anyone else could say anything about their delay.
"OK, you said you hadn't heard anything the last time we talked. How about now? Have any of your places been hit?" She fired her questions at Xanatos. He raised an eyebrow at Goliath, standing so close behind her she could feel his body heat, before he answered.
"Hello, Elisa. Nice to see you again. And yes, we've had our share of losses as well. However, not weapons or explosives as the others were, but biomedical supplies."
"Huh? Why didn't you tell me about this before? What kind of biomedical supplies are we talking about?" She paused a heartbeat, making the connection. "The stuff left over from Sevarius' sick experiments." She couldn't keep the loathing out of her voice.
"My dear Detective Maza--," he began. Back to her title, eh?
With an impatient wave of her hand, she cut him off. "Oh, stuff the innocent act. We both know what you paid him for and the results. Derek and the others are living proof of it." She clenched her teeth until her jaw hurt, but it helped get her anger under control. "Can't change that, but I'd have thought you'd have gotten rid of it after the last disaster."
"You pain me with your distrust. Sevarius went above and beyond what I asked." Xanatos frowned. "But back to the point. Yes, some of the equipment and supplies were left-overs from those failed experiments and they were among the pilfered items."
Elisa groaned. "Well, it may be that more than one sneaky operation is taking place, then. I can't see the Quarrymen having any use for such stuff, but I'm afraid I can believe Demona might."
Goliath put his hand on her shoulder. "She continues to want to reconstruct another, separate clan. When your brother offered sanctuary to the clones after Thailog's fall, Demona no longer had access to them. Perhaps she seeks to repeat the effort."
"Hmm." Xanatos peered at Goliath thoughtfully. "Could be. What do you say to a 'sting' operation, Detective? I have an idea on how we might flush out the criminal or criminals."
"I may regret this," Elisa grumbled, then looked back at Goliath for a moment and made up her mind. "All right, what do you have in mind?" She didn't like the smug look on Xanatos' face, but what did she have to lose? All her other leads had dried up.
"Well, I happen to have a few high-powered weapons and a limited supply of the previously mentioned genetic material that I hide away, just in case you might say." He raised his hands at her outraged look. "I never said I was going to use them, just being cautious. Anyway, if you want to catch these people you need my help."
Elisa did a good gargoyle imitation, barely hearing Goliath's own growl behind her.
Xanatos scowled for a moment, then sighed. "Calm down you two. I don't intend any harm come to either one of you, which should be obvious by now. My plan consists of making an announcement that I am destroying the lot because of a change of heart and to ensure no unscrupulous parties have access to them." He grinned devilishly. "Of course, there'll be a security leak about the time and place of the aforementioned event. Then all we have to do is sit back and wait for the fish to take the bait."
"Sounds too simple to be good, but it might work." Elisa sniffed and tapped her chin thoughtfully. "What about the possibility of both parties spooking if they see each other?"
"Possible, but then again it could get very interesting if it turns out to be the two groups you're thinking are involved." Xanatos continued to grin, making her stomach knot.
"Interesting to say the least. Demona and Canmore hate each other's guts. We could have a war on our hands." Already she was regretting her agreement to this demented plan.
"Is it a deal, Detective?" He stuck his hand out. Reluctantly, Elisa took it.
"We'll see how it works out, but no funny stuff, Xanatos. And I have to let my boss know what's going down. I want back up available just in case." At his shocked look, she shook her head. "Yeah, I know. I'm not going to tell her everything, just your part in it. She doesn't need to know about Goliath and the others. But I want her to be in on it in case something goes bad."
"Very well," he conceded. "We will see what we will see about who's behind this. It's in all our best interests that we succeed." He nodded to Goliath, then motioned to Owen to follow him back to his office.
Hudson scowled at the men's retreating backs. "Och, I dinna trust him in spite of everything he's done recently. Too much bad history." He turned back to Elisa and Goliath. "Well, do you want to talk now?"
Elisa, her mind still on the proposed plan agreed. "Of course, but shouldn't we have the others here to get their input."
Hudson laughed softly. "I dinna mean about that."
Her face flamed and beside her Goliath made a choking noise.
"Hudson! We need to concentrate on the work at hand," he protested.
The older gargoyle smiled speculatively. "Somehow I feel you'll not get much work done until this other is settled. It's like a boiling pot, ready to bubble over at a moment's notice. Best to get the lid off before things get out of hand." He scratched his beard. "Now. Will ye speak of it together or with me or what? 'Tis yer decision."
Elisa groaned. She had so many questions, but she wasn't sure she felt comfortable talking to Hudson about it. Too bad there weren't any older female gargoyles around besides Demona. That'd be the last creature on earth she tell about what was happening between her and Goliath.