Ms. Madison gasped, covering her little red mouth with both hands. She looked at her father with utter incredulity. He returned her gaze.
"The top brass at Scotland Yard are in crisis talks with the Government," the Superintendent told his daughter. "I walked out when they started talking about surrender. Sometimes, I think your path works better than mine. Even if they give in, I don't think it'll stop there until those devices are recovered."
Ms. Madison nodded soberly, looking full into the awed face of his daughter.
In the mighty penthouse of the Grey Tabby, the super-villain looked out over London. He smiled in quiet satisfaction at the view below him. Beside him, a petty, if slightly hard-boiled young woman in a business suit held a file.
"Dudley got killed at the Natural History Museum, sir," she reported with cool efficiency.
"At least he had the decency to do that," the Grey Tabby replied coldly. "And there are more where he came from."
"Yes, sir," she nodded. "And your conference call is ready."
"Good," the Grey Tabby pressed a button on his desk. At once, four television screens rose from it. Four faces appeared, three european, one asian. The Grey Tabby settled back in his chair.
"Welcome, gentlemen," the supervillian glared into the screen. "It's glad to see you replied to my letters."
"But of course," the asian nodded. "We were fascinated by your offer. A safe haven for crime in Europe. Which Eastern European country had you in mind?"
"None." The Grey Tabby replied bluntly. "Gentlemen," he pressed a button on his desk, "I give you a new world - the Republic of London!"
A huge diorama rose out of the office floor. It was a scale model of London - a devasted London with many buildings in ruins and whole areas sealed off, but London nevertheless.