- Robert Frazer - Script.
- Jonathan Lock - Pencils & Inks.
- Iain Stewart - Colours.
- Charles Ellis - Lettering.
Duke Biriud, the Hill Top Zone's Zone Leader, was making a presentation at the High Academy, the Zone's principal university. Dunzi and a contingent of Household Keepers were also present to run security for the event, when their observers noticed someone who could pose quite a severe threat indeed - Rouge the Bat is entering the grounds of the High Academy.
Dunzi immediately ordered that Rouge be detained - her long-standing reputation as a general hellraiser, never mind her recent past as a member of the Syndicate, preceded her. However, Rouge successfully confounded all attempts to capture her and reached the hall where the Duke was delivering his speech (in support of a restoration team who had worked to preserve and repair a historic art mural), where she teleported in a series of bombs.
These bombs detonated, but a massacre did not result - they were smoke devices which incapacitated, but did not seriously harm, everyone in the audience (Rouge's in it for the money - real explosives are too expensive). Duke Biriud and the civilian audience were immediately evacuated while Marquess Telentu remained behind to confront Rouge, with Dunzi, the Keepers and the Bounders at his back.
Confronted by a company of very heavily armed and really quite irate men, Rouge seemed to have no method of escape as Dunzi delivered an ultimatum demanding her surrender. However, her seemingly suicidal response was to draw a pistol and shoot at Marquess Telentu - Dunzi loyally threw himself into the line of fire to protect one of his lords.Keepers and Bounders immediately retaliated with extreme force, drenching Rouge with gunfire... which was totally ineffective. This revealed that "Rouge" was actually no more than an insubstantial, holographic projection emitted from a hovering light-bee (which also explained her ability to evade the Keepers, as the bee deactivated the projection and so reduced itself to a compartively tiny floating ball to move about covertly). This also meant that no actual shot was fired by her pistol, and that Dunzi was physically unharmed for his brave act.
The damage, however, was done - even though the hologram could not phyiscally have achieved anything itself, the Keepers and Bounders had done its work for it; the ancient and valuable mural had been completely destroyed in the crossfire during their attempt to shoot down Rouge.
In an epilogue Rouge reviewed footage of the operation while conversing with her employer, the Master Scholar, via video-link. The Master Scholar had recruited Rouge to engineer a series of calamities so as to sow distress and confusion ahead of the Drakon invasion of Mobius, although Rouge also made it clear that she would only remain the executor of the Master Scholar's will as long as the money kept coming in.
- This story was originally intended to be a vehicle for Nack the Weasel rather than Rouge the Bat, and early drafts of the script were titled A Nack For It.
- The Hill Top Zone folk, or at least the Keepers, are dismissive of democracy. The zone does not appear to have an oppressive regime.
This story is the opening episode in the Sealed With A Loathing Kill story arc. The next story is Death, Taxes, and Leaky Sandbags