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SECRET BAR HIDES ALIENS, INVISIBLE MAN

Knox stared at the headline he had just typed. Okay, it wasn’t like people didn’t accept that Superman was real, or that he and the three thugs who tried to take over the US weren’t aliens. But this was not the same. Who would believe him that he met a talking stone from a television series? Or that there was a man who could turn invisible, and was from the year 2000?

There was a story here. Well, several stories. Some of which, he know, required a science writer. Or a religion expert. Not that Globe even has such people. And it wasn’t like he could call the high and mighty Gotham Tribune and ask for Avi Goldstein or John Willingham Newton’s help. (Like they had even earned their reputations.) So he shoved aside some of the more interesting questions about the nature of the universe, and focused on the rock and the invisible spy.

And knew he had nothing.

He looked up from his typewriter and saw Vale. His heart still raced every time she entered the place. He really wished it wouldn’t. He didn’t like to admit it, but he didn’t stand a chance with her. Not with Wayne around.

“Good morning, Allie.” She smiled at him with warmth and friendship. It was a smile that lit up the room, and almost kept him from noticing her legs. Yup, he had it bad.

“Hey, Vale. You ready to ditch Wayne and run away with me to the Riveria?” His tone was jaunty, almost mocking. A safety valve.

“I could ask him if he’ll take you. He owns three planes, you know.” Even her smirk was a delight.

“Nah. He’d bet them on one roll of the dice, and we’d be stranded.” He smirks back, glad that she didn’t mind his shameless appeals.

“Working on anything interesting, Allie?” She tried to look at the typewriter.

“Oh. This.” He moved to hide the paper, and she acted accordingly. “Let me ask you, Vale. You ever stumble onto a story so big you have to write about it.? But you have no proof, and so you don’t?”

“Allie, I get my proof, remember?” And she held up her camera. “Picture’s worth a thousand words.”

“Easy for you to say.” Knox pondered for a second. “Maybe I could take a camera.”

“Where?”

“Ah, just this place I know. You’d hate it.” He wasn’t going to share this one. As much as he wanted her, he wanted that Pulitzer more. “And you would stick out. No one there knows how to dress.”

“If you say so.” She never pressed him. Knox respected that. He respected her. Which shocked him. He wondered just what she was doing to him. And how, and why. “Any plans for lunch?”

“Now that we’re not going to the Riveria, nope.”

“Then I’ll swing back then. I hear there’s a new Thai place down the way.”

“Thai. Didn’t know you sell that in Gotham.”

“See you later.” And off went the woman of his dreams. It was going to be that kind of day.

Fortunately, the phone rang. “Knox, it’s Cage. Got a few.”

“For my favorite stoolie? Always…” And before long, Knox turned from the strange bar at the end of time to the latest buzz from gangland.

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November 2011

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