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WHERE ON EARTH IS CARMEN SANDIEGO?

"The Sex-Crime of the Century!"

PART ONE

by Garrett Faulkner
20 July 1995

WARNING AND DISCLAIMER: The following story is an erotic,
moderately pornographic take-off on the Saturday morning Fox TV
cartoon, "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?", which is in turn
based on the popular series of educational computer games. The
title, concept, and characters thus are copyrighted material, used
here without permission, for the sake of non-profit amusement.
Obviously, any resemblance of characters in the story to real
persons is purely coincidental. Be warned: this is *not* a story
for children or prudes. If you are either a minor or someone who
is offended by sexually explicit themes, please read no further.
The author also must emphasize that he does not condone either non-
consentual sex or sex between adults and minors, both of which
figure somewhat in the present story. Finally, readers are also
advised that this is relatively soft-core erotica. The ratio of
actual sex scenes to other types is very low, so if you prefer non-
stop narration of jack-hammer copulation and intricate anatomical
details, you may as well skip this one. However, if you've ever
watched the cartoon and found yourself lusting after Ivy, or
perhaps wondering why Zack is so obsessed with capturing Carmen,
then you may get a kick out of this.

And now, on with the show ...

* * *

PROLOGUE: KENYAN NATIONAL WILDLIFE PRESERVE, EAST-CENTRAL AFRICA

The poachers stood around swilling warm, cheap beer as they
loaded their grisly harvest into the back of a land-rover. In
three days of illegal hunting, they had gathered a veritable
mountain of elephant tusks and rhinoceros horns, enough to bring a
small fortune on the lucrative black market in Asia. The poachers
were not altogether certain why people there were so keen to get
their hands on the stuff, but what did it matter? The money was
good, and that was the bottom line.
"Hey!" shouted the leader suddenly. "Where's all the rhino
horns?" The other men stopped laughing. Incredible as it seemed,
the large pile of horns had vanished as if into thin air. Alarmed,
the poachers dropped their bottles and reached for their rifles.
Clutching their weapons, the men heard a woman's laughter carried
across the savannah on the hot wind.
"Naughty-naughty, boys," said the voice. "Don't you know
these poor animals are on the endangered species list?"
"There she is!" yelled one of the men, pointing almost
straight overhead. The others looked up to find a strange, high-
tech aircraft hovering above them, held aloft by amazingly silent
rotor-blades. Hanging from the 'copter's belly was the great
bundle of rhino horns, slung in a fine-mesh cargo net; and in the
cockpit they could make out the shadowy, elegant profile of a woman
wearing a large, rakishly slouched red hat.
"That's Carmen Sandiego!" cried the head-poacher. "She's got
our rhino horns!"
"That's right, boys," laughed the legendary thief. "I'll
leave the elephant tusks for you, but you really ought to find
another line of work. At the rate you're killing them off, those
animals are a non-renewable resource." With that, she gave a
jaunty wave and tilted her aircraft into a steep climb.
"Get her!" ordered the leader, and the men blazed away wildly
with their hunting-rifles. Carmen, however, was already speeding
away; and the few stray bullets that struck their mark glanced
harmlessly off the gleaming metal skin of her craft.
"You idiots!" ranted the leader at his men. "How could you
let her get away like that?" The question suddenly became
irrelevant, however, as they found themselves surrounded by Kenyan
game wardens and police. Not only had Carmen stolen the loot, she
had tipped off the authorities as well!
As the police led the poachers away in handcuffs, the leader
asked himself what the world's greatest thief could possibly want
with a bunch of rhino horns. Sure, they were valuable; but didn't
a big-time criminal in her league have better things to do? It
would take far greater minds than his, however, to solve the
mystery of what Carmen was up to this time.

* * *

HEADQUARTERS, ACME DETECTIVE AGENCY

"Check-mate," Zack announced, smiling smugly at his sister
across the chess-board, his blue eyes glittering with triumph.
"Beat ya again, Ivy; that's *six* cases of beer you owe me now."
As always, he wore a faded old army shirt that was about two sizes
too large for him, with sergeant's chevrons on the sleeves. He ran
a hand carelessly through his unruly mop of blond hair.
"Yeah, right," said Ivy, obviously irritated. "Like you'll
*ever* be old enough to drink." For all his prodigious intellect,
Zack was still only fifteen, and Ivy did consider herself somewhat
responsible for keeping him out of trouble. Not that she could
have gone out to buy him beer anyway, at least not legally in the
United States, since she was only eighteen herself. Unlike Zack's,
her hair was reddish-brown, cut square in a long sort of page boy.
Her face was angular, with prominent cheek-bones and green almond-
eyes that suggested little resemblance to her brother. The two
siblings shared a similar disregard for variety of wardrobe,
however; and as usual Ivy wore a purely functional pair of rubber-
soled high-tops, baggy utility pants, and an aviator-style jacket
over a white tank-top.
"Well, little bro," she told him, "you may be grandmaster of
the chessboard, but now you'd better get ready to step onto *my*
turf. Come on; it's time for our workout." With that, she stood
up and executed a sudden, graceful handspring over the back of her
chair with amazing, cat-like agility, landing on her feet by the
door. She might not be quite in her brother's league at game-
strategy, technical problems, or languages, Ivy admitted to
herself; but she was a world-class gymnast and martial artist.
Given a choice of talents, she would gladly keep what she had.
"Awww, jeez, Ivy," Zack moaned. "Again? You just dragged me to
the gym the other day, and I'm *still* sore."
"Maybe if you'd start exercising a little more often, get more
sleep, and start eating some healthy food, you'd feel better; and
I'll bet you'd be a better detective, too," she chided. Just then,
the giant computer-display screen above their heads came to life,
showing the narrow, weird-looking face of "the Chief", the
artificially-generated computer persona who assigned them to cases
and provided them with clues and reference information.
"Heads up, campers, this just in from East Africa: Carmen
Sandiego was recently sighted flying away with a load of stolen
rhinoceros horns."
"Rhinoceros horns?!" the two teen-agers echoed in unison.
"What the heck can she be up to now?" Zack blurted out.
"Beats me," said the Chief; "But it's *your* job to find out.
That's right: the management has decided to give you one more
chance, and you're back on the Sandiego case ..."
"All *right*!" the siblings cried, giving each other the high-
five.
"... With one little difference," the computer continued.
"Oh?" prompted Ivy, raising an eyebrow. "And what might *that*
be?" She was already feeling cocky, certain that *this* time they
were finally going to nab the elusive arch-criminal. "You've
got help this time. Meet your new partner ..." "Bruce
Bronson, at your service," announced a voice from the doorway,
causing the pair to wheel in surprise. They found themselves
facing a tall, almost absurdly handsome and powerful-looking man of
perhaps twenty-five, dressed in the gray and green coveralls of the
Acme Security Agency. Although they had never worked with it
directly, the two young sleuths knew that this was another branch
of the huge, many-faceted Acme Corporation that employed them.
Where the Detective Agency specialized in logic and problem-solving
to apprehend criminals after the fact, the security agency dealt
more in brute force, albeit supposedly well-applied. "What are
you doing here?" Zack asked as Bronson strode into the room,
exuding an air of confidence and authority. "Did you take a wrong
turn on your way home from boot-camp?"
The security man wore his jet-black hair short, with just
enough length in the front to form a single little curl that
reminded Ivy of Superman. She suppressed a snicker with some
difficulty.
"Management has assigned me to back you up on this case,"
announced the newcomer. "Apparently it finally dawned on someone
upstairs that a teen-aged whiz kid and a young girl might not have
quite the muscle to take on Sandiego and her army of goons."
"We've gotten along fine on our own for a long time before you
showed up," Ivy shot back indignantly.
"Maybe you've had some lucky breaks, but then, you haven't
*caught* her yet, either. Care to count how many times you've
`cornered' her by some brilliant feat of deduction, only to find
that her men had you out-numbered by about ten-to-one?" The two
teen-agers merely grumbled in reply.
"Anyway, it's official," the computer resumed in his pedantic,
nasal voice. "The three of you are on this case together. Now,
what's your first move?"
"Well," Zack replied, "even if we didn't have this storm-
trooper to drag around with us like a ball and chain, we still
don't have much to go on. Rhinoceros horns. What could she want
with them?"
"Huh-huh, maybe she's just *horny*," suggested Bronson with an
insipid chuckle.
"Brilliant," sneered Ivy, rolling her eyes. "I can tell
you're going to be a *big* help. Computer, what can you tell us
about rhinoceroses?"
"You mean, `rhinoceri'," Zack corrected, earning a dirty look
from his sister.
"Actually, either way is correct," the computer told them.
"Now, here's the scoop: your average rhinoceros is a large mammal
with thick, armor-like hide, one or two horns on the snout, and
three toes on each foot. The horns differ from those of other
mammals in that these are actually masses of modified hair fibers,
rather than bone connected to the skull. Boy, talk about a bad
hair day!"
"Chief ..." Ivy groaned impatiently.
"Okay, okay. There are five species, three in South Asia and
two in Africa. The white rhino of Africa and the one-horned Indian
variety are the third-largest of all land mammals, after the
elephant and the hippopotamus. Oh, and don't forget, our friend
the rhino is way up there on the endangered species list, protected
by law in almost every country."
"Hmmm," mused Zack, fingering his chin as his mind went to
work. "They're protected by law, so those horns must be pretty
hard to come by. I wonder ..."
Just then a buzzer rang, signalling someone else at the door.
Bronson strode over immediately to answer it, shoulders squared
with self-important determination. While his back was turned, the
other two exchanged a look that said, "Can you believe this jerk?"
He returned a moment later with a package.
"Special delivery, addressed to both of you."
"Huh?" Zack looked up in surprise. "We weren't expecting
anything. Lemme see that." Grabbing the package, he tore open the
plain brown wrapping and lifted the lid. Inside were an envelope,
a large metal screw, and another small object wrapped in tissue
paper. Zack tore open the envelope first, and his eyes went wide.
"Holy cow! It's a note from Carmen!"
"Eh?" Bronson grunted. "You mean Carmen Sandiego?"
"Very good, Bruce," said Ivy, her voice dripping with sarcasm.
"You're getting the hang of this logic-thing really fast."
"Then that delivery man must have been ..."
"One of her henchmen," she nodded.
"Then I'm going after him!" the security man announced,
dashing for the door.
"Don't bother," Zack called after him. "She never tells them
anything worthwhile anyway."
"Sssshhhh!" his sister hissed, finger to her lips. "Maybe we
can get out of here before he comes back."
"Right on! Now, check this out." He handed her the note,
which read,

Greetings, Detectives;
If you've heard of my recent little caper in Africa,
then you're probably wondering where I'll turn up next. If
you can interpret these clues, and if you're feeling like I
am, then you'll soon be *hot* on my trail.
Yours truly,
--Carmen

"Boy, she always talks in riddles, but this takes the cake,"
Zack observed, shaking his head.
"Let's see what this other object is," said Ivy, reaching into
the box. Unwrapping it, she discovered a small, hand-carved ivory
statue of an elephant. As the two of them pondered it, Bruce
Bronson returned empty-handed.
"Too late," muttered Zack.
"So, have you got it all figured out yet?" asked the security
man. "I thought you detectives were supposed to be able to analyze
clues like this in your sleep."
"We're working on it, bozo," Ivy glared at him.
"Well, looks like you can use some help." He reached into the
box and picked up the metal screw. "Hay, I've got it!" he
announced. "Carmen wants to screw! Hawhaw!"
"I can't *believe* this," Zack groaned. "Just ignore him,
Ivy."
"Okay, I'm trying," she agreed. "Now, what's with the
elephant? First she stole rhineceros horns, and now she's
interested in elephants and ivory? Maybe now she's going to steal
some elephant tusks."
"Maybe ... hay, wait!" Zack said suddenly. "Lemme see that!"
Taking the statue, he examined it closely for a moment before
setting it down on the table with a decisive thump. "I thought I
recognized this," he beamed. "It's a miniature replica of a
famous, Mughal-era statue in India, on display at the national
museum in New Delhi; and the original is *priceless*."
"Oh!" responded Ivy, suddenly seeing another connection.
"That fits with what she wrote about us being `hot' on her trail,
because in the middle of the summer like right now, it's going to
be about a *million* degrees over there."
"One hundred eight degrees Farenheit in downtown New Delhi at
the moment," the computer informed them.
"Well, at least one of us is definitely *hot* all right,"
Bronson agreed, leering wolfishly at Ivy's slender, well-toned
body. "But where does the screw fit into the picture?"
"Look, why don't you just stay here and shake it around with
all the rest of the loose nuts in your head?" Zack snapped, wanting
to strangle whatever manager had assigned this over-sexed dolt to
the case. "Computer, C-5 us to New Delhi."

NEW DELHI, INDIA

The trio found themselves standing in a crowded marketplace,
transported almost instantly by the Acme Corporation's astounding
C-5 matter-transmission technology.
"Whoa! That was bizarre!" exclaimed Bruce, trying to regain
his bearings. "How come we never get to use that gizmo in the
Security Agency?" The others ignored him, however, and began
shouldering their way through the crowd.
"Pardon me, sir," asked Zack, stopping to address an elderly
man in the most common local Hindi dialect. "Can you tell us the
way to the national art museum?"
"With pleasure," the man replied, amazed to hear a blond-
haired western tourist speaking his language. Zack thanked him,
and they moved on.
It was extremely hot, and all three of them began sweating
immediately. Before they had gone more than a hundred meters, Zack
had stripped off his army shirt to reveal a black Soundgarden T-
shirt, and Ivy shed her aviator's jacket.
"Hey, wait up!" called Bruce, desperately eager to get a look
at her breasts in the revealing tank-top, yet unable to bear
another moment in his coveralls. Hobbling along and tugging at
various clasps and zippers, he eventually struggled his way free of
the garment, folded it into a fanny-pack on his utility belt, and
ran to rejoin them.
Just as Bruce had anticipated, he now received an excellent
view of Ivy's bosom, her bra showing clearly through the thin,
sweat-soaked shirt. Her breasts were by no means large, but they
jiggled enticingly as she strode along, intent on business.
Feeling his eyes all over her as he fell into step alongside, Ivy
turned to glare back at him; but as she did so, her scowl faded.
He now wore a pair of tight, black spandex shorts, and above them
a white tank-top similar to her own. The low-cut shirt revealed a
thick mass of curly black chest-hair, and he appeared to be tan all
over, his body like chiseled granite. With his field-boots and
utility belt, he looked every bit like a delicious caricature of
some Chippendale's beefcake dancer at a bachelorette party.
Suddenly realizing that Bruce was staring back at her with a broad,
unabashedly lecherous grin on his face, Ivy quickly averted her
gaze, blushing fiercely. "Mighty hot here, all right," he
observed, settling a pair of sun-glasses on his nose. "Better
watch out for this tropical sun," he warned. "A gal with fair skin
like yours could get burned mighty quick. Luckily, as it happens,
I've got some sun-block right here in my trusty field kit. Here,
hold still for a minute, and I'll ..."
That was as far as he got, because Ivy tripped him, causing
him to fall flat on a large, fresh pile of animal dung. "No
*thank* you, Bruce," she said in an icy tone that belied the heat.
"I'd rather end up a *lobster* than have *your* paws on me."
"Way to go, Ive," Zack snickered. They arrived at the museum
moments later and made a beeline for the famous Moghul elephant
statue. When they found it, everything appeared perfectly normal;
and Zack quickly confirmed that the piece was indeed the original.
"Well," he announced, "it looks like this time we beat ol'
Carmen to the punch. No way she's gonna make off with this thing
under our noses."
"I'm not so sure, Zack," Ivy said uneasily, looking around at
the great halls of the museum, full of other rare objects. "What
if she came here to steal something else? That clue was awfully
obvious if this thing is exactly what she's after."
At that moment, four of the costumed henchmen who were
Carmen's trademark appeared suddenly around a corner. Catching
sight of the trio from Acme, they seemed to panic and scattered in
different directions. Noting that they all seemed to be carrying
smaller art objects of one kind or another, Ivy realized they could
not afford to let the four henchmen escape.
"Zack, stay and guard the elephant!" she shouted, sprinting
after the goons. "Bruce, help me catch these creeps!"
"You got it, baby!"
"And don't call me that!" her voice echoed down the hall. In
moments they had cornered all four of the would-be thieves and
turned them over to the museum security guards. Meanwhile,
however, Zack caught sight of a familiar figure rising past a
window across the hallway. Dashing out on a nearby balcony, he saw
Carmen Sandiego on a rope-ladder, ascending rapidly skyward as a
winch hauled her up toward the gondola of a blimp hovering
overhead. She carried a package under one arm.
"You won't get away with this, Carmen!" he shouted, thinking
how ridiculous it sounded even as the words left his mouth.
"I'd say I already have, Zack," the mistress of thievery laughed.
For once, he noted, she was not wearing her usual red trench-coat
and hat, but instead a flowing, diaphonous red sari and a veil that
partially hid her face. He caught a brief, enticing glimpse of her
long, shapely legs as she stepped off the ladder into the doorway
of the gondola.
"Don't pout," she called down to him, seeing the look of utter
frustration on his face. "I've got what I came for, but this is
only round one. I'm sure we'll be seeing each other around,
provided you can figure out my next little clue. It's ...
*sadistically* obvious." With a final laugh, she released a large
load of ballast-water, causing the blimp to soar away, engines
droning as it disappeared into the distant haze over the city.

HEADQUARTERS, ACME DETECTIVE AGENCY

"So she never meant to steal the elephant at all," Ivy
concluded. "It was a clue to get us to the scene of the crime, but
it was also a kind of decoy."
"Right," Zack agreed, shaking his head at his own stupidity.
As usual, Carmen seemed to be merely toying with them.
"Well, at least we caught those four guys," Bruce pointed out.
"So? They don't matter one bit to whatever it is she's really
up to," Zack said irritably. "And *don't* even *think* about
mentioning that screw, because no, I still don't know what it
means. Probably just another red herring."
"Okay, let's be cool and think this through," Ivy said calmly,
knowing how her brother tended to regard setbacks as casting doubt
on his intellect, and thus on his entire self-image. "What did she
actually steal from the museum?"
"This is where it gets really weird," Zack replied. "I found
out from the head curator that she snuck into their rare manuscript
collection and made off with an ancient, hand-written copy of the
Kama-Sutra."
"The Kama-what?" asked Bruce.
"Computer, give us what you have on the `Kama-Sutra'," Ivy
commanded.
"Roger-dokey," the machine responded promptly. "The Kama-
Sutra is named for Kama, the Hindu god of love and fertility. This
ancient book is one of the world's oldest and most famous guides to
human sexuality, listing a veritable plethora of positions and
variations of intercourse, such as the legendary ..."
"Okay, okay, Chief, I think we've got the gist of it," Ivy cut
him off, blushing again. Bruce had another indecent smirk on his
face. "So," she said, clearing her throat matter-of-factly,
"Carmen's stolen the world's original sex manual. You said it,
Zack: this case is really getting weird."
"Makes sense to me," said Bruce, still smiling. "She steals
the rhino horns to give us a clue that she's horny, and she sends
us a screw 'cause she wants to screw. Then she steals this Kama-
thing, whatever it's called, this old book, so she can *bone* up on
the subject. Hawhaw! Get it?"
"Oh, that's *very* funny, Bruce," Ivy said coldly. "But while
we're standing around here playing innuendo games, Carmen's
probably already well on her way to her next crime; and we're
totally clueless."
"Hay! Wait a minute!" Zack exclaimed. "Maybe we *do* have
another clue. As she was getting away, she yelled something at me.
It didn't make any sense at the time, but she said, `I'm sure we'll
be seeing each other around, provided you can figure out my next
little clue. It's *sadistically* obvious.'"
"Sadistically obvious?" Bruce echoed, his face again blank
with incomprehension. Ivy drew a deep breath.
"I have a feeling I'm going to regret this," she said. "But
computer: let's analyze the word `sadistically'."
"You betcha. `Sadistically' is an adverb derived from the
adjective `sadistic', which in turn comes from the noun `sadist'.
The root word comes from Count Donatien Alphonse Francois, the
Marquis de Sade, a French nobleman and soldier who lived from 1740
to 1814. He became so notorious for his perversions that his name
is now synonymous with people who derive sexual gratification from
the domination, humiliation, and physical punishment of others."
"I was afraid you were going to say something like that," Ivy
sighed; "but I didn't think it was going to be quite *that* bad."
"Well, it still fits with my theory," Bruce maintained, his
twisted grin returning. "Like Carmen said, it's `obvious': she
wants to be caught, tied-up, and disciplined."
"You know," Zack mused, "you may actually be onto something
there."
"What?!" Ivy fairly shrieked.
"No, seriously; except I think Bruce has it backwards. If you
think about it, isn't manipulation and humiliation what Carmen is
all about? I mean, she's always playing these crazy mind-games
with us and trying to make us look like fools. The fact is, for
all her brilliance, she's got major problems in the head; and maybe
they're sort-of evolving, or degenerating or whatever, into
something ... well, I don't know. Chief, what else can you tell us
about de Sade? If Carmen's suddenly so interested in sex and
perversion, she may be planning to steal something related to de
Sade."
"Well," the computer replied, "one place to start looking
might be the Chateau de Sade in France, the Count's ancestral
estate where all of his original diaries, letters, pictures, and
various tools and inventions are on exhibit, as a shrine to
alternative lifestyles."
"I *can't* believe I'm hearing this," Ivy muttered.
"That's gotta be where she's headed next," Zack reasoned with
growing certainty. "And if we don't stop her this time, who knows
*where* this might lead? Computer, C-5 us to France!"

CHATEAU DE SADE, FRANCE

In contrast to New Delhi, the weather at this destination was
cool and pleasant, with a mild summer breeze blowing across the
green fields and orchards of the surrounding countryside. As the
trio entered the chateau grounds, they found themselves in a
sprawling, meticulously-kept garden full of labyrinthine hedges and
flowerbeds of all descriptions.
"Ah, now this is more like it," Bruce decided, breathing in
the perfumed air. "The scent of tulips and fresh-cut grass; it
reminds me of spring ... it smells like *love*!" Reaching down
beside the gravel path, he plucked a red rose and offered it to Ivy
with an exaggerated bow. Before she could stop him, he kissed the
back of her hand and placed the rose in it. Somehow, she found
herself slightly charmed despite herself. Bruce was, after all,
quite a hunk. If only he would quit being so obnoxious.
"Puh-leeze," Zack groaned in disgust. "Can we get on with the
case? And don't pick the flowers, bone-head, or you'll get us
thrown out of here."
Arriving at the mansion, the trio decided to split up to
search the building more quickly. Apart from a few caretakers, the
place seemed deserted. Looking for the kitchen where he hoped to
find a snack, Bruce accidentally bumped into a maid who was making
her way upstairs, dressed in an eighteenth-century costume.
"Excusez-moi, monsieur," she said, bowing slightly.
"Er, sorry, miss. Can you tell me where's the kitchen?"
"Pardon, mais je ne parle pas anglais."
"Uh, right; never mind." He turned away, having no idea what
she had said; and he failed to notice the devious grin on the
maid's face as she continued up the staircase.
Ivy meanwhile found herself alone in a high-ceilinged corridor
lined with medieval suits of armor and great, brooding portraits of
long-dead noblemen. Trying a gilded door, she found it unlocked
and ducked inside. The room turned out to be a salon full of
Baroque furniture, and a series of smaller pictures decorated the
walls.
Moving closer, Ivy discovered that the pictures were
eighteenth-century woodcut prints with highly erotic themes, many
of them apparently commissioned by de Sade himself. Her eyes
widened as she inspected them, and each picture seemed more
explicit than the last. Presently she came to one that depicted a
young woman clad only in a corset, bound to an elaborate wooden
rack, and a masked tormenter menacing her exposed buttocks with a
riding crop. Ivy gulped involuntarily and felt herself shiver with
a strange combination of revulsion and arousal. Suddenly she heard
someone at the door, and she immediately ducked behind an
upholstered partition.
"Okay, the coast is clear," came a muted voice. "These are
the prints the boss is lookin' for. Hey! Get a load of these!"
There were low whistles of appreciation. Risking a stealthy glance
around the edge of the partition, Ivy found three of Carmen's
henchmen stuffing the rare pictures into carrying-cases. She
decided she had seen enough and sprang from her hiding place to
confront them.
"Hold it right there, you creeps!" she shouted, assuming a
martial-arts stance.
"Eh? Hey! It's one of those Acme detectives," grunted the
leader. "Just you, gonna stop us all by your lonesome, honey?
Hah! I don't think so. Grab her, boys!"
With that, the three costumed thugs lunged toward her.
Unprepared for her remarkable speed, however, they failed to co-
ordinate their attacks. Executing another dazzling handspring, Ivy
leaped among them and delivered a stunning series of kicks that
knocked two of the men senseless almost immediately. Realizing he
was out-matched by the deceptively waifish girl, the third henchman
ducked out the door and fled.
"Well," Ivy said to herself with a satisfied smile, dusting
off her hands. "Looks like Carmen wanted to view this little smut-
collection in private; but she's going to have to visit the gallery
just like everybody else." But then another question presented
itself: where *was* Carmen Sandiego, anyway?

Elsewhere in the mansion, Zack wandered down a long, spiral
staircase into the basement, reasoning that if the notorious
Marquis had really set up some kind of perverted torture chamber,
it must be in a dungeon. After investigating the wine cellar
without result, the teen-aged sleuth noticed muffled sounds coming
from behind a heavy, iron-bound door. Fortunately, the gigantic
skeleton key was still in the lock, and he turned the mechanism as
quietly as possible until the door swung open just far enough for
him to peer inside.
The chamber was only dimly-lit by a few torches and
flashlights, yet the scene was clear: two more of Carmen Sandiego's
henchmen were busily engaged in dismantling and packing a variety
of strange items into crates. Staring intently, Zack realized that
the objects included manacles, leather belts and cuffs, whips, and
wooden racks designed to restrain prisoners--a veritable arsenal of
torturer's implements.
"Jeez, what a nightmare!" Zack thought to himself, wondering
what to do. Suddenly the issue was decided for him, when he felt
a large, heavy hand on his shoulder. "Wha ..."
"Caught ya, ya little twerp," gloated a third henchman,
shoving the young detective through the door. Struggling
desperately, Zack tried to break free; but it was no use. The
three thugs ganged up and quickly subdued him.
"Whatta we do with him now?" one of them asked. Another one
merely laughed and pointed to one of the dungeon-items, a heavy
chair, bolted to the floor, with leather cuffs on the ends of the
arms and legs.
"We can't take this thing with us anyway, so we might as well
use it on this little pest." The others agreed, and in a moment
Zack was fully restrained, trapped in the torture-seat.
"Wh- what are you going to do now?" he asked, trying with
little success to hide his nervousness.
"Nothing at all," announced a new voice from the doorway.
"Eh?" The three thugs turned in unison to find Bruce Bronson
blocking their escape with arms crossed and a serious look on his
face.
"Might as well throw in the towel, fellas," the Acme agent
declared. "You're not going anywhere." Although he cut an
imposing figure, the henchmen figured they still out-numbered him
three-to-one; and they decided to make a break for it. They soon
regretted the decision as he pummelled them into submission, one
after another in short order.
"Holy mackerel!" Zack exclaimed. "Those are some serious
moves you've got there, Bruce, ol' buddy. Er, how 'bout letting me
loose now, huh?"
"In a minute, kid," replied Bronson, preoccupied with
shackling the crooks to the dungeon wall. He then picked up a
ferocious-looking rawhide whip and turned to face the helpless men.
"Now, if you losers know what's good for you, you'll spill the
beans right now and save yourself some serious pain. Otherwise
..." he paused, cracking the whip against the wall between them for
emphasis. The three helpless men exchanged nervous glances.
"Hay!" Zack yelled. "You can't be serious, can you? That's
not how we do things at Acme!"
"Nyahhh," Bruce grinned, dropping the whip. "Just kidding."
"Now get me outta this thing, willya? We've gotta find Carmen
before she gets away with whatever it is she *really* came for.
These guys are obviously just another diversion!"
"Okay, I'm on it, kid," Bruce assured him and dashed out the
door.
"Hay, wait! What about me? Come back here, you jerk!"
Arriving back in the main hallway, Bruce almost ran headlong
into the same maid he had encountered before. This time she was
heading for the door with a package under her arm.
"Au revoir, monsieur," she smiled.
"Uh, yeah, see ya ... Hay! Wait a minute! You're no maid;
you're Carmen Sandiego!"
"Why, Mister Bronson, I'm so flattered that you've finally
recognized me," she said cooly, backing toward the door. "I was
beginning to worry that my reputation had faded."
"Not a chance, lady; but it will after I've put you behind
bars."
Bruce advanced on her menacingly; but as he did, she reached
down and drew up the hem of her long skirt to reveal a smooth,
sensuous length of well-curved, stocking-clad ankle and calf.
Bruce's eyes were drawn irresistably downward, fairly bugging out
at the sight; and Carmen suddenly whirled to seize an antique
rapier from a wooden display-rack on the wall. With the tip of the
long, thin blade poised below his chin, he took an involuntary step
backward. His eyes fell upon a second rapier in the rack, but
Carmen remained between him and the weapon.
"Come on, Carmen," he goaded her. "You like a fair contest;
let me have that weapon, and then we'll see who's the better
fencer."
"Sorry, Bruce," she replied. "Perhaps some other time, but
this caper is about love, not war. Since you're so eager to catch
me, though, I wouldn't want to leave you completely broken-hearted.
Here's a little ... *prescription* from Doctor Sandiego." She
tossed him a small, folded sheet of paper. "If you can solve this
little puzzle," she said, "then perhaps we'll be seeing each other
again soon. Bon chance!"
With that, the thief disappeared through the door. Bruce
dashed after her immediately; but by the time he reached the
courtyard, she had mounted a horse and was galloping away, skirts
billowing behind her, laughter ringing in his ears.
"Boy, would I ever like to get my hands on her!" the
frustrated Acme agent muttered, scratching his head and readjusting
his crotch.

HEADQUARTERS, ACME DETECTIVE AGENCY

"I can't *believe* you left me in that dungeon with those
three goons," Zack complained. "If you'd taken just *two seconds*
to let me loose, we'd have nabbed Carmen for sure!"
"And *I* can't believe you didn't recognize her sooner," said
Ivy, shaking her head. "What were you doing, ogling her body or
something?"
"Well, she *is* pretty hot, at least for an older gal," Bruce
answered. "You should have seen her in that French maid's outfit,
with those stockings ... oh, *man*!"
Although "man" was perhaps not the most appropriate expletive
to underline Carmen's attributes, Bruce's musings nevertheless
evoked a vivid image in Zack's mind. For a moment he was
completely tuned-out, a vague, dreamy grin on his face.
"Earth to Zack," called Ivy, rapping her knuckles on his head.
"Anybody home in there? If you two are finished fantasizing about
Carmen, we still have a case to solve. She must have left us at
least one more clue. Think!"
"What did she steal this time, anyway?" asked Zack.
"She got away with de Sade's original, hand-written journals,"
Ivy answered, "which supposedly contain not only detailed
descriptions of all the sick-o stuff he did, but also a bunch of
plans and drawings for the bizarre bondage and torture gadgets he
used on his victims."
"So she didn't even need that stuff from the dungeon," Zack
groaned, shaking his head. "That's just great."
"Well, we do have one more clue," Bruce announced, taking out
the note Carmen had given him. "She called this a `prescription',
but darned if I know what it means. It's Greek to me."
"Let me see that," said both teen-agers at the same instant,
grabbing for the paper. Zack was slightly closer, however, and got
it first.
"You're right," he said. "It *is* Greek."
"This is too much," Ivy lamented.
"Hay," said Bruce, smiling broadly, "I'm not as dumb as I
look! Er, I mean ... well anyway, what's it say?"
"It's just one word: Aphrodite."
"Um, wasn't she some kind of goddess?" Ivy recalled.
"Give yourself a gold star!" Interjected the computer,
suddenly filling the display-screen with images of ancient Greek
temples and ruins. "Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love and
beauty, and whoa! Did she know her business." The screen showed
a close-up of a marble statue that was missing an arm but still
undeniably voluptuous.
"Well, that fits the pattern," Bruce observed. "Non-stop sex
through the ages. Carmen must be one randy old felon. Maybe I
would have done better in school if they'd taught us more of *this*
part of history."
"But then what did Carmen mean about a prescription?" Ivy
asked. "What does Aphrodite have to do with medicine or drugs?"
Wheels began turning rapidly in Zack's head, and his eyes took
on a faraway look. Recognizing this expression and not wanting to
interrupt his train of thought, Ivy clamped her hand over Bruce's
mouth, cutting off what she was sure would have been another lewd
comment or crude joke.
"Hot dog!" Zack said finally, eyes re-focusing. "I think I've
got it! Remember those rhino horns she stole? Well, I remember
reading that the main market for those is in Asia, where a lot of
people will pay an arm and a leg for 'em because they supposedly
are the key ingredient in a drug that increases sexual potency.
And guess what the word is for a substance that does that?"
"An aphrodisiac!" Ivy exclaimed, seeing the connection at
last. Her joy of discovery was short-lived, however; and again she
rolled her eyes. "I don't think I want to know where this is
leading, but I have to ask. What's she going to do next?"
"Well," said Bruce, "Aphrodite's from Greece, right? So maybe
Carmen's going there. Besides, she's interested in all kinds of
perversion now, and you know what they say about the Greeks ...
hawhaw!"
"Will you puh-leeze knock it off?" growled Ivy.
"Uh, Ive?"
"What, Zack?"
"I hate to say it, but I think he's right again. I just
remembered something else: an archaeological team just recently
uncovered a previously-unknown temple of Aphrodite near Corinth.
It's supposed to have all kinds of inscriptions on the walls, but
they haven't translated them all or released them to the public
yet. Whatever it is Carmen has in mind, that's *gotta* be where
she's headed. Chief?"
"C-5 time?" the computer guessed.
"You got it!"

ARCHAEOLOGICAL DIG NEAR CORINTH, GREECE

The trio from Acme arrived to find that night had fallen, and
the Greek countryside was silent but for the chirping of insects.
Making their way carefully over the rocky, broken terrain toward
their objective, they found the dig apparently deserted, the
archaeological crew presumably having gone home for the day. A
chain-link fence surrounded the site, but this proved little
obstacle to the resourceful trio. Moments later, they were
standing at the mouth of an underground passageway, which appeared
to be the door of the ancient temple now buried under centuries of
earth and rubble.
"I think maybe we actually beat her this time," Zack
whispered, hearing nothing and seeing no lights inside.
"Maybe," Ivy agreed. "But I think we'd better have a good
look around. Zack, you stay here and keep an eye out while Bruce
and I search the inside. If Carmen or any of her goons show up
before we're back, then run for it and bring the police."
"How come *I* have to sit up here? Why don't ..."
"Hay, kid, do what your sister tells ya," Bruce added, liking
the plan just fine.
"It could be dangerous down there," Ivy explained, "and I
don't want anything to happen to you. Carmen's henchmen have been
playing rough lately. Besides, if somebody has to go for help,
you're the only one who can talk to them."
Zack had to admit this was true, but he still didn't like it.
After watching the other two disappear down the passageway with
their flashlights, he pulled his collar up around his ears and
settled down to wait.
A few minutes later down below, Ivy and Bruce came to a `Y'-
shaped branch in the tunnel. "You take the right, I'll go left,"
she told him.
"I don't know; don't you think we oughtta stick together?"
"Look, Bruce, we're just making sure Carmen isn't already down
here stealing anything. Just go take a look around, and we'll meet
back here in a minute."
"Well ... okay, but wait a second. Uh, look, I just wanted to
say I'm sorry I've been acting like such a jerk. I know I've
probably seemed like a real pain. We just have kind of a rougher
sense of humor over in security, you know?"
"Yeah, well, that's okay."
"And, uh, I also just wanted to say, I think you're extremely
gorgeous. I know I'm not much in the brains department by your
standards, but would you be interested in, uh, maybe going out on
a date or something, after this case is finished?"
"Oh, wow, Bruce ... ummm, I don't know. This is kind of
sudden, but ... I'll think about it, okay?"
"Cool."
"Now go on; we've got to check this place out." It was all
Ivy could do to maintain her businesslike demeanor, because she
suddenly was feeling much more charitable toward Bruce Bronson.
All of her earlier annoyance at him seemed to have evaporated, and
all she seemed to remember about him now was his fantastic body and
the nice, almost shy way he had just asked her out.
"Cut it out, you dweeb!" she told herself, remembering that
they still had to catch Carmen Sandiego. Unfortunately, Ivy's
distraction already had caused her to miss a glimmer of light from
a doorway ahead, while her own flashlight announced her approach
clearly. The light ahead quickly went out, and she walked into the
room unprepared.
"Gotcha!" growled a voice in her ear as a pair of powerful
arms encircled her shoulders.
"Huh?" she grunted, dropping her flashlight in surprise. The
other light came on again, and she found herself in the grip of two
of Carmen's ubiquitous henchmen, one from behind, the other seizing
her legs. "Hands off, you creeps!" she shouted, elbowing the one
behind her in the ribs and trying to kick the other one.
Unfortunately she could not gain proper leverage, and they were
large, powerful men. In moments, they had bound her hand and foot
to a large, `X'-shaped wooden frame, securing her wrists and ankles
with stiff leather cuffs. Panting from the struggle, the two
crooks stood in front of her to examine their prisoner more
closely.
"Phew," whistled the leader. "If all the detectives at Acme
look like you, then maybe I'm in the wrong line of work!"
"Blow it out your ear, you jerk!" she snarled. "When I get
loose, I'm gonna teach you a serious lesson ..."
"Oh, I don't know about that. Looks to me like you ain't so
dangerous. Hmmm, what're you hiding under that jacket there,
anyway?" He reached toward her heaving chest and pushed the edges
of her jacket aside. "Nice!" he commented with a lewd, twisted
grin.
"Hay," objected the other man, "Carmen didn't say anything
about gettin' cozy here; we were just s'posed to put together all
this goofy torture-furniture, remember? If she comes back and
finds you gettin' it on with this detective, she ain't gonna like
it."
"Never mind about her," said the leader. "She probably won't
be back for hours. Besides, I ain't gonna pass up a sweet little
cupcake like this one. Now, c'mere, honey."
"Keep your hands *off* me, buster," Ivy warned. "So help me,
if you touch me, you're gonna be mighty sorry!"
"Aw, shaddup." He began fondling her breasts, squeezing them
slowly and firmly, flexing his fingers. Ivy grimaced and turned
her face away in disgust. It didn't hurt, but she was extremely
angry. Never before had she felt so helpless and exposed, and she
hoped Bruce would show up soon. She was just about to utter a
deliberate, resounding scream for help when the henchman suddenly
slapped a wide leather gag over her mouth and buckled it tightly
behind her head.
"This stuff really comes in handy," the man observed to his
companion, who now had a large erection but apparently still did
not intend to get directly involved. "Okay," said the leader.
"Are you ready for some fun, little miss detective? I sure am!"
Moving quickly, he tugged the bottom of her tank-top from her pants
and pushed it up to reveal her brassiere.
"I'm tellin' ya, I think you'd better quit it," the other man
repeated.
"Oh, buzz off, ya pansie. If you don't like it, go stand
guard outside or something. Oooh, I just looove little teen-aged
hooters!" Reaching behind her, he fumbled with the clasp of her
brassiere until it sprang loose. Pushing up that garment as well,
he finally had an unimpeded view of her modest but firm and
delightfully-shaped little breasts. He began fondling one and
licking the other, alternating between them every few moments and
causing her nipples to swell involuntarily. Damn it, she thought;
if only she could get loose. She told herself to stay calm. As
long as he didn't really hurt her, she figured she would eventually
get over the humiliation; but no matter what he did, she was not
about to let herself enjoy it. Just then she saw a shadowy figure
looming behind her tormenter.
"Eh?" he grunted. "I thought I told you to get lost ...
AAAAGGGHHH!" He seemed to leap into the air, then crashed to the
ground, writhing in uncontrollable spasms.
"Tsk-tsk," said Carmen Sandiego, brandishing a long, thick
electrical cattle-prod. Once again she wore her usual costume, the
long red trenchcoat and broad-brimmed hat. "You've been a very,
very bad boy, Bruno." She gave the groaning thug another powerful
jolt for good measure.
"I'm awfully sorry about that, Ivy," said Carmen as she
dragged the helpless man across the chamber to another of the
wooden frames, this one a lower structure like a vaulting-horse.
"Good help is so hard to find these days."
"Mmmm-MMMPPHH!" Ivy tried to shout, but the gag muffled her
words. She could only watch as the thief bent her disobedient
underling over the device, shackled him firmly, and yanked down his
trousers. The other man stood by the door gaping, as if paralyzed
by fear.
"Now, Bruno," Carmen continued, picking up a long, stiff
riding-crop. "You know I told you not to do *anything* to Acme
detectives except capture them for me. Isn't that true?"
"Y- yeah, boss," he admitted. "I'm really sorry."
"Well, perhaps you are; but Ivy's the one to whom you really
owe an apology. I'm not so sure of your sincerity yet, Bruno, and
in any case you have a good, firm punishment coming to you." With
that, she began thrashing the helpless thug's back-side, causing
him to whimper and plead for mercy. Even in the dim light, Ivy
could see pink welts appearing across his naked buttocks, and she
could not deny a certain sense of satisfaction at the sight. She
didn't think she would have the nerve to do such a thing herself;
but if Carmen wanted to give the guy a good whipping, well, then
more power to her. The dirty rat deserved every swat.
Finally Carmen decided he had had enough, and she pivoted the
rack around for Bruno to face his former victim. "Now, are you
ready to offer Ivy a sincere apology?" she prompted.
"Oh, *yes*, boss! Miss Ivy, I'm *awfully* sorry I bothered
you like that. I'm really, *really* sorry!"
"That was pretty lame," Carmen sighed, "but I suppose it will
have to do. Larry," she called to the other henchman. "Take Bruno
here and make yourselves scarce."
"You got it, boss!" He leaped to unfasten Bruno from the
rack, and the two of them disappeared into the labyrinth.
"Now, Ivy," said Carmen when they had gone. "Once again I'm
very sorry about all that, but I hope we can put that behind us.
You know I've always been rather fond of you and your brother;
after all, how many times have I had to save you when you've gotten
into trouble while pursuing me? More than I can count. In any
case, I'm glad to have this chance for a little chat. Otherwise,
I'm afraid no one would appreciate the true brilliance of my
scheme. It's the sex-crime of the century!"
"Mmm-MMPH!"
"Since you're here," Carmen continued, ignoring Ivy's muffled
interjections, "I suppose you have put most of the clues together;
but I doubt you realize where it's all leading. You see, I've been
looking for the ultimate aphrodisiac. The rhinoceros horn, ground
to a very fine powder, is a key ingredient; but that's not enough.
People nowadays seem to forget that making love is more than just
biology. It's magic!
"That's why I've assembled these things, symbols of the human
obsession with sex throughout the ages, the endless quest for the
ultimate erotic experience." The thief reached into her coat and
withdrew a small glass vial filled with gray powder. "I suppose I
could have compounded this little recipe in a more convenient
place," she mused. "But what could be more appropriate than here?
Can't you feel the power, the sheer erotic energy vibrating around
us? This is the temple of Aphrodite, Ivy, the greatest symbol of
female power in western history. It's sad but true: beauty is our
greatest virtue in the eyes of men. Fortunately, I'm happy to say,
you and I are both quite well-endowed in that respect; and it can
be very useful indeed."
Ivy listened to Carmen's discourse in helpless silence,
wondering whether the mistress of crime had completely lost her
mind. It was beginning to sound that way. What was the point?
What was she going to do with that bizarre-o powder of hers? And
where were Bruce and Zack, anyway?
"So you see, Ivy," the thief concluded with a smile, "I now
hold in my hand the most potent, magical, magnificent aphrodisiac
in all of creation. "The fact is, I haven't even decided what to
do with it yet. There are so *many* possibilities. Why, just one
pinch in a metropolitan water-supply would be enough to drive the
population mad with lust! Of course I wouldn't do anything quite
that dangerous with it, you know; I wouldn't want anyone to get
seriously hurt. But I do have some very interesting ideas in mind.
Perhaps first a small but impressive demonstration, to gain the
attention of interested parties. Then perhaps I'll sell half of it
in small increments, say one million dollars per gram. But as for
the rest ..."
"Hold it right there, Carmen!" shouted Bruce from the doorway,
with Zack close behind him. For once, Carmen Sandiego was truly
startled, having been so totally enchanted by the erotic
possibilities of her super-aphrodisiac. As she turned to face
them, mouth agape, the precious vial slipped from her fingers, fell
to the stone floor, and shattered, causing the powder to billow
around her in a thick cloud of dust.
"Oh, NO!" she cried, momentarily horrified at the loss. Bruce
and Zack began closing in to grab her, and as she backed away, they
walked directly through the dust.
"That really was cruel timing, detectives," said Carmen,
shaking her head sadly. "But I suppose all's fair in love and war.
And who knows? Maybe we'll all still get a little something from
the experience." She paused to inhale a final whiff of the dust,
then whirled and dashed into a concealed side-passage. "Catch me
if you can!" she taunted.
Ivy struggled desperately at the leather cuffs holding her
wrists and ankles, trying at the same time to hold her breath as
the dust floated around her; but it was no use. Inevitably, she
drew a deep, shuddering breath through her nostrils, half-choking
and suffocated by the gag. Unaware of the hazard, the others had
also gotten a heavy dose.
"Bruce, stay here and help Ivy!" yelled Zack. "I'm going
after Carmen!"
"Wait, let me ..." Bruce began, until he noticed how Ivy was
bound to the rack and struggling for breath. "Okay, okay, go on,"
he relented. "I'll take care of her." Zack vanished into the dark
passage down which Carmen had fled.
"Hey, Ivy, are you okay?" Bruce asked, fumbling with the
buckles behind her head. He noticed her shirt and brassiere
bunched up around her chest. "Oh, no," he groaned. "What did that
sadistic nut-case do to you?" At last the gag came loose.
"It's about *time* you morons got here," she gasped, giving up
the impossible attempt not to breathe the dust. "But I'm okay.
Carmen never touched me; it was one of her hench-creeps. She
taught him a pretty good lesson, though. Hay, um, do you think you
could, maybe, let me loose from this thing?"
Bruce just stood there staring at her, and Ivy was about to
snap at him impatiently when she began to feel a strange, erotic
tension building somewhere deep inside her. Cut it out, she told
herself; there was no time for that kind of nonsense, not with
Carmen making her getaway. Bruce licked his lips, and Ivy noticed
a prominent bulge in his pants.
"Bruce, please! Carmen's getting away. Come on, let me
loose!" Twisting helplessly in the leather cuffs, Ivy felt her
bare, strangely sensitive nipples brushing against the inside of
her jacket. The sensation caused her to shudder, and she closed
her eyes.
"Zack will catch her," Bruce mumbled, unconsciously fondling
himself. "I ... I don't know what's happening, Ivy, but I suddenly
feel absolutely nuts about you. I can't ..." He took a step
toward her.
Watching him through heavy-lidded eyes, Ivy was about to try
to explain about Carmen's super-aphrodesiac; but suddenly it didn't
seem to matter. Her loins were full of molten heat, and she felt
as though her mind were dissolving in sheer, irresistable lust.
Somehow, Bruce seemed to master his urges for the moment and
crouched down to free her legs. Fingers trembling, he fumbled with
the buckles on the cuffs holding her ankles and finally managed to
free them both. As he slowly stood up, however, she felt his hands
running slowly up her calves and thighs, gently squeezing her
muscles.
"It's ... it's too much," she whispered to herself. Again she
felt the hot, slippery touch of a tongue on her nipples, and this
time she gave herself over to the seductive stimulation. Arms
still pinned above her, she raised first one leg, then the other,
and curled them around his hips. He straightened up and nuzzled
her ear.
"Ivy," Bruce groaned. "I'm sorry, I just can't stop myself.
Do you ..."
"You'd *better* not stop! Oh, GOD! Hurry up!" Reservations
cast to the wind, Bruce frantically stripped off his coveralls and
tugged down her pants.
"Yes! *Yes*!" she panted. His brawny, throbbing presence
seemed to fill her senses completely as he lifted her legs under
the knees and moved between them. Her strong, smooth thighs
clamped hard around his hips. With an animalistic grunt, he took
her then ...

Elsewhere, Zack scrambled up a narrow shaft that seemed to be
leading toward the surface, his mind empty but for a single,
overpowering thought: he *had* to nab Carmen this time! Catching
sight of a faint shaft of moonlight ahead, he gave a final burst of
speed and shot from the end of the tunnel like a bullet. He found
himself standing on a semi-circular stone terrace cut into the side
of a hill, overlooking the Gulf of Corinth. The ruins of a dozen
great stone pillars ringed the terrace, and in the center stood a
massive altar. Hearing a footstep behind him, he spun around with
a start.
"So, Zack," said Carmen Sandiego in a strange, languorous
voice. "You've been chasing me for an awfully long time now." She
leaned against one of the pillars and made no move to escape as he
took a step toward her.
"You're not getting away from me this time, Carmen," Zack
panted. What was wrong with him? he wondered. He couldn't seem to
catch his breath, and he had a fierce, raging boner.
"What makes you think I *want* to get away this time?" the
thief teased. Grabbing her hat, she tossed it aside with a flick
her her wrist and shook out her long, raven hair. The teen-ager
took another uncertain step toward her as he watched her fingers
slowly, methodically start to unbutton her long coat. What was she
doing?
"Can you feel it, Zack?" she asked.
"Uh ... feel what?" He took another hesitant step, fingers
closing around a pair of handcuffs in his pocket.
"Why, the magic of Aphrodite, of course," she laughed. "*I*
certainly can. In case you haven't noticed, Zack, I'm *highly*
aroused at the moment. *Your* hormones must be *boiling*, young
man. What do you intend to do about it?"
"This!" he exclaimed, suddenly whipping out the cuffs and
lunging toward her. This time he was sure he had her, but at the
last moment she twisted aside with surprising agility. Her long,
powerful fingers closed around his wrist.
"You won't be needing these to get what you really want
tonight," she laughed, twisting the handcuffs from his grasp. "But
*I* may need them to help overcome that stubborn conscience of
yours." Before he realized what was happening, she had slapped the
cuffs on him, securing him to one of the smaller decorative posts
at the four corners of the altar. "I hope you'll realize someday
how much fun you're missing, being such a good boy and working for
Acme. But for now, I suggest you just relax and enjoy this. See
how it feels to be an accomplice in the greatest sex-crime of the
century."
"S- sex crime? Wh- what are you doing?" he stammered.
"Just watch, detective. I'm sure that with your great powers
of observation and deduction, you'll eventually figure it out."
Zack's jaw dropped as the mistress of crime finished unbuttoning
her coat, turned her back to him, and shrugged it off her
shoulders. Letting it slide off her slowly, she revealed the bare
expanse of her back, gleaming in the bright moonlight. At last the
coat fell to the ground, and she turned back to face him, clad only
in spike-heels, stockings, and a garter belt. Slowly, sensually,
she cupped her breasts and massaged them before his eyes, licking
her lips.
"Oh, *jeez*!" Zack muttered.
"Are the pieces of this little puzzle finally falling into
place, Zack?" she teased. "How do you like the solution you've
found?"
"Y- you're *gorgeous*! B- but ..."
"Ssssshhhh," Carmen shushed him, kneeling beside him and
bringing their lips together. Zack was practically out of his mind
with desire, and his heart leaped when he felt her fingers tugging
at his trousers.
"You know, Zack," she said, "I really don't know what I would
do without you two on my trail all the time. My little games just
wouldn't be much fun without someone capable of appreciating subtle
clues. So I've decided it's time to show my appreciation."
"Wh- what do you mean?" he gasped, feeling the cool night air
on his exposed parts. Her fingers grasped him then, tugging
gently, and he moaned.
"This crime's all for you, Zack," she smiled as she lowered
her head. "Enjoy!"

* * *

EPILOGUE: HEADQUARTERS, ACME DETECTIVE AGENCY

"So you're saying she out-ran you?" Ivy insisted, arching an
eyebrow and regarding her brother suspiciously. With the case
closed, Bruce had gone back to his normal post in the Security
Agency.
"Uh ... well, yeah," Zack replied. "I mean, she just got
away. I almost had her, but then she handcuffed me to that stupid
altar and ... uh, yeah, and she got away." He tried to maintain a
neutral expression, struggling to suppress the evil, satisfied grin
that kept trying to creep across his face. Ivy obviously suspected
something, but he certainly wasn't about to admit what really had
happened. Thank goodness Carmen had been nice enough to put his
clothes back in order after they had finished, or else it would
have been obvious when the others had shown up. His mind drifted,
replaying those incredible sensations for the thousandth time
already, even as Ivy continued glaring at him.
"Ah-hem," she cleared her throat to recall his attention.
"Well, what's the big deal?" he said defensively. "At least
we got all the stolen artifacts back, except for the rhino horns."
"But we almost had her!" Ivy persisted.
"Well, if you wanted to catch her so bad, where the heck were
*you* guys when I had her cornered? How long could it have taken
for him to get you loose from that rack, anyway?"
Ivy suddenly blushed, her ears turning an especially radiant
shade of pink. "Um, well ... we, uh, sort of got lost in the
catacombs before we could find which way you had gone." Zack
looked sceptical but said nothing. "Anyway," she concluded, eager
to change the subject, "I guess you're right. We recovered all the
rare objects, and we'll get Carmen next time."
"Darn right we will! Let's get started. Chief, give us any
clues you've got on ..."
"Whoa, hold on, little bro'," Ivy objected, holding up her
hand. "I've got tonight off, remember?"
"So what? Like, you've got anything better to do than find
Carmen Sandiego?"
"Well, actually ... yes." There was no *way* Ivy was going to
tell Zack she was going out with Bruce, but she was not about to be
late, either. For once, she had decided to ditch her usual outfit
for something a little more feminine, and she had to hurry home to
change. "See you later," she called over her shoulder from the
doorway. "Don't get eyestrain staring at that computer all night."
"Yeah, right," Zack muttered, turning back to the console.
"Now, Chief. What have you got for me?"
"Well, Sherlock," the computer replied in his typically snotty
voice, "since you asked, this just came in from the world-wide
crime-watch service: the all-time greatest collections of nude and
naughty digitized photos and perverted stories have begun
disappearing from the Internet. The authorities are baffled, but
all the clues so far seem to point in one direction ..."

THE END

    

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