House of Mars. Max calls Veronica to tell her that the judge dropped off the money. He asks if she wants to come with him to pick it up. "The pick-up is the best part," Veronica replies.
At the bus station, Max and Veronica find no money -- just a note that tells them, "GO OUTSIDE. GET IN THE LIMO. OR WENDY GETS HURT." Well, he didn't get elected for his punctuation, did he? Also, unlike when you are trying to handwrite an untraceable note, caps aren't really needed if you're typing it out. Also, I am fairly tickled by the heavy, cream-colored paper. It's like the judge shops at Paper Source. Veronica and Max trade scared looks...
...and book outside to see a huge, square man standing bodyguard-style in front of a long black limo. He sees them and gallantly opens the car door. Max walks over and gets into the car. Veronica hesitates until SpongeBob SquareFace grunts, "Get in!" Veronica gets in, and the limo screeches off. Do bad guys ever get that, when they do their macho screech-off, they draw attention to themselves? It's the universal sound of "I'm trying to get away with something not good; please note my license plate and call it in at your earliest convenience."
The limo slides into an empty, wet parking lot by some commuter train tracks. (I giggle when the limo takes care to park within the painted lines of an actual spot.) Veronica is talking fast and reasonably. She admits that blackmail might not have been the way to go: "But one of your girls ripped off my friend, and we were just trying to get his money back." Inside the car, we see Veronica and Max squished on either side of SpongeBob SquareFace, whose enormous hands are hysterically shot to look as though they are taking up one third of the back seat. It puts me in mind of how they shot Lord Of The Rings to make the hobbits look so much smaller than Legolas and Gandalf. "So, could you let us out of the car now?" Veronica asks squeakily. "Uh, lesson learned!" She smiles hopefully up at SpongeBob SquareFace, who glares down at her. "Not me," a big black guy with a fat gold chain grunts. "Her." He turns to the skinny lady next to him. Nice, Veronica. Real nice. Just assume the big black guy with the fat gold chain is the pimp. Just because!
Veronica looks at the madam as though seeing her for the first time. Seriously, Veronica? Why did you think the chick was in the car? "Her?" Veronica boggles. "Me," says Skinny Lady. "I'm the one who gets called when one of my girls does something dumb." Veronica: "You mean, you're the --" "I'm Wendy's agent," Mayflower Madam confirms. At first, I thought we were going to get ANOTHER twist and learn the Cheliondy was an actress, which of course doesn't make sense, but I was sort of panting to catch up with everything here. The Un-Pimp paws through Veronica's bag and pulls out her taser. He turns it on and comments, "I don't think this is street legal. What's the voltage on this?" Hee -- he sounds so disapproving. Like he's going to give her a talking-to for carrying illegal tasers that might hurt people. Mayflower Madam rolls her eyes and tells "Happy" to put it down. Happy regretfully puts the taser away. Veronica realizes that there really is a "Mr. Happy Fists," and that it wasn't just "colorful language." Max speaks up to say that Cheliondy didn't call the judge; he did. Mayflower Madam isn't inclined to believe him, since the judge said the voice was a chick's, and Cheliondy has done several other dumb things: "She fell for a client." Max bugs. "She tried to leave me without saying goodbye." She makes it sound like it was simply a matter of bad manners. "She told a client about the judge." Of course, the only things Max has latched onto is the whole falling-for-a-client thing. Mayflower Madam nods that Cheliondy "asked out," but that Cheliondy is deep in debt to Mayflower Madam for braces, tattoo removal, clothes, and housing. Happy gives Mayflower Madam a sympathetic look. Well, when you put it like that, it sounds like the minx was simply ungrateful! Mayflower Madam suggests, "Now, she could work it off --" Max interrupts to say that he'll pay. Mayflower Madam compliments his negotiation skills (or lack thereof), and names Cheliondy's price: ten grand and a promise that Max never talks to one of Madam's clients again. Mayflower Madam also notes that, next time, she won't use stage bruises; they're gonna be the real thing. I don't know; Happy seems too nice to beat up a girl, you know? Veronica implores Max to think about what he's agreeing to. Max ignores her and suggests that they stop by his bank.