Subsubsection: 2 March 2016 (to Acapulco, investigating murders) Up Subsection: Night of Masks Subsection: Operation Hard Sell 

16 March 2016 (in Acapulco, dealing with the murders)

Stephen would happily volunteer to try the mask, but the others dissuade him. The group goes out to clubs again in the evening, this time in commercial masks of their own – though Stephen remains bare-faced. Being unable to detect magic, he’s looking for people behaving oddly, particularly those who seem a bit twitchy and easily enraged; he finds one such, arranges to spill his drink, and gets into a fight with him. Stephen certainly gives better than he gets, smashing the other man’s nose among other damage, but his opponent barely seems to feel the pain – until the bouncers show up. Stephen doesn’t resist the man restraining him; the other fellow does, and it takes three of them to bring him down, at which point he loses consciousness. He’s thrown out of the back, and Stephen’s thrown out of the front. Diamond’s able to grab the enemy’s mask from where it’s discarded on the dance floor.
Stephen works his way round to the back of the club and gives some basic first aid to his enemy. Even unconscious, his pupils go to pinpoints, and it seems likely that he’s chemically assisted in some way. Diamond finds the others; Thorfin determines that the mask has no magical trace, and nor (when everyone gets back together) does the aggressor.
They head back to the hotel. The mask is missing, though the bicycle locks haven’t been visibly moved or unlocked.
They go out again briefly; Stephen gets into a more recreational fight, but nobody finds any magic.
In the morning they head back to the Mask Museum: there’s no strong magic there. Another murder happened overnight: it seems very much like the others, with the victim beaten then knifed.
Stephen talks to the hotel receptionist, who has a friend who claimed to see a masked figure running away from one of the murder sites. Diamond gets her hair done and gathers gossip, which turns out not to be worth much. Stephen and Thorfin go out to talk to food vendors, and find one who seems to have been an actual witness: he describes two people leaving a club, with one of them wearing a Blue Demon mask. An argument escalated quickly into a fight, and the masked man ran off after the other had gone down.
The team drops by the museum shop again… and now there’s a magical Blue Demon mask in the stack. They buy it (again?). While examining it at the hotel in hopes of tracking down where it was made, they cut the washing instruction label… and a clear fluid seeps out. Thorfin immediately starts to cut it with the troll-claw knife, but it does a reasonable job of flowing out of the way. Eventually the team wrestles it into a wastebasket, then Diamond sets fire to it; after it stops moving, they back this up with a small barbecue on the balcony.
They tell the police, in a distinctly self-doubting manner, but there don’t seem to be any more mysterious killings…
 Subsubsection: 2 March 2016 (to Acapulco, investigating murders) Up Subsection: Night of Masks Subsection: Operation Hard Sell