by Henry Wyckoff

Standard Disclaimers Apply

Amanda and Duncan looked at the smouldering corpse of Black Tiger.

"And so goes one of the most evil immortals," observed Joe. "I almost thought he'd get you for sure!" He looked away, "God, Mac! He looks like he -- Well, I don't know what he looks like! Even with the head gone, I think that any Fed would have a hard time figuring out what the hell happened."

Duncan smiled grimly, "So did I, but curiosity killed this cat." He didn't add, //But I bet someone from Chemical Warfare would know!//

"So tell me, Mac, what was your secret?"

He was silent for a moment, looking at the chemical burns extending from the armpits. But it wasn't just that: the man had becomed totally grotesque. It was a lucky thing that Duncan didn't test the secret on himself first. Otherwise, he might have been in worse shape than the Black Tiger. "Secret."

Joe protested, "You can trust me--"

"I told you!" snapped Duncan. "It's secret!"

"OK..." he muttered, hurt in his voice, as he walked slowly away, dragging his feet.

Amanda got on Duncan's case, "You didn't have to be like that. You could have told him!"

"I did!"

"'It's secret!' doesn't cut it for an answer!"

Duncan decided it would be very smart if he didn't tell her the answer until after they got back home. It would be very smart. "Come on, let's go home. The cops will be here any moment."

She nodded. They could always discuss things as they went.

Amanda drove. Duncan snuck a peek in his trenchcoat pocket where he saw the weapon. He'd had no idea it was a weapon for all these years. Perhaps nobody knew it was, but deep down, they had to know! How else could he explain his own revulsion, even with his immortality? Even knowing that he could come back, he couldn't try it. He had to test it out on someone he was going to kill anyway.

However, what this object would do to him was nothing compared to what Amanda would have done if she discovered she'd have to trudge out to the store again and buy some more Secret.

In Duncan's mind, he heard the advertisement; "Strong enough for a man, but pH-balanced for a woman!"

The End

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