[June 18, 2072, after Dark, ‘Personas non Gratis,’ Seattle]
Emerald had talked with Acey and agreed to gather The Gem at her place where Acey could explain her situation in detail. The Usual Suspects showed up, sans Ferret. It dawned on Emerald that she hadn’t seen him since . . . well . . . since they had left him in the hotel in Lagos. Oooops.
Acey related her dilemma. On three occasions over the past few weeks a group of Troll Killers had hit one of her spots along the Tacoma/Downtown border. In each case the gang her surprised her guys, driven them off and then torched the place. Nothing was taken that she could tell, her stuff was destroyed, however, and the building was lost. So, knowing gangs as she knew gangs, this was unusual behavior. This did not seem to be a real move on her territory.
Researching the Troll Killers they were found to be a group on the rebound, led by and former marine MP going by the name of T-Ray. Their headquarters were way off in the Redmond Barrens, nowhere near where these hits had taken place.
‘Maybe it’s not you or your stuff. Maybe it’s what was there before you set up shop?’ A check of public records showed that these three buildings had been an air conditioner joint, an off shore shipping place and a computer storage warehouse. No real connection of things of value in that.
It was decided to visit the crimes scenes the next day.
[June 19, 2072, 11AM, docks area Tacoma/Downtown]
Emerald and her Gems spent the morning and early afternoon checking out the first two crime scenes. The surveillance tapes at both showed the same story. A couple of sedans with skinheaded TK’s getting out and shooting up the place. Then a fancy car showed up with a weasel-suited guy and a big cowboy type going inside. When they were ‘done’ the place got torched. About half an hour later Knight Errant showed up, too little, too late. Questioning the locals gained nothing cept Emerald lost some money at the OTB. Facial recognition told a bit more of the story. The cowboy turned out to be one Clarence who was wanted for murder in Atlanta. The other guy remained unknown for now. The one odd thing about each scene was that the perps had blown a hole in the floor both times. Not that these holes seemed to lead anywhere, but . . . something must be down there somewhere? Or they were looking for the correct entrance.
As they were exiting the second scene, Clarence was waiting for them. In his own subtle way he told them to leave this one alone and take a hike. Yeah, like that was gonna work. Doc and Clarence played Mexican standoff, and each went a separate way.
At the third crime scene, via the cameras, once again a hole. One other constant, besides the late arrival of Knight Errant, the lead detective was a red haired female named Elizabeth Hawthorne of Knight Errant. So, what was down there? Sewers. But for what purpose?
[June 19, 2072, 3PM, sewers beneath the docks area Tacoma/Downtown]
Wren used one of his contacts to get the plans to the sewer system in this area. These revealed an older system and an old station, XC72, closed in the 2050’s. This system could be accessed via some storm drains. Emerald, the old seaman, got an inflatable raft to carry them down the river and in they went. Somewhere within they found a relatively new doc, a collapsed wall and a well traveled passage to the old Substation XC72. Wren used his astral ability to enter and see seven happy and well armed orcs just chilling. Rather than play invasion, the Team knocked. The door was opened suspiciously by an orc named Darius. It turned out that this station and a few others like it were being used by the orcs as an air purification system for the orc underground. Maybe the holes were to gain access to this somehow so that whoever could gas the orcs? Seemed plausible. But, where was the gas now?
Acey was informed of what they had learned and was happy with that so paid up. Now the orcs were keen on finding and locating the gas. They hired the Team to do this.
Doc hacked Cowboy’s comlink. He was in a motel in the downtown core. It became a choice. Go and see him, maybe tell him what was going on, and he’d help. Or, head to ‘Glow Town’ and start searching for gas.
‘Going to go to Glow City and light up like the sun
Going to go to glow City and feel some plutonium
Going to glow in glow City and burn cause it’s fun
Going to head to Glow City and really cook my buns.’
-‘Glow Town Blues,’ Dan and Jean, 2064
The old lyrics suggested that the motel would be the safer choice, at least for now.
[June 19, 2072, 6PM, Hotel in Renton]
A brief talk with the Cowboy in a useless attempt to turn him to the Team’s side led to a gunfight at the OK Corral after all. During the shootout it became apparent that Cowboy was not alone. It turned out that he was accompanied by Franklin who was the purveyor of the gas. With Cowboy now ‘ploughing the back 40,’ Franklin’s comlink showed that the gas had been delivered here, but then had been moved to Glow City and the headquarters of the Troll Killers, hidden on the second floor of their apartment complex.
[June 19, 2072, 10PM, Redmond Barrens]
Off to Glow City after all.
‘I got a bright car and they call it a shiney
Glow City, light up the sun.
It’s like it’s highly polished and it reflects my hiney.
-‘Glow Town Blues,’ Dan and Jean, 2064
But, rather than invade the place, a more devious, insidious even, plan was hatched. With a trussed up and unconscious Franklin ‘in the bag,’ Emerald and one of Wren’s summoned spirits invisibly snuck into the apartment complex. How each knew where the other was, since both were invisible, was left up to chance. But, they did manage to get to the second floor, dump the body bag and get out of Dodge. Meanwhile Doc arranged that the media and authorities would know about the alleged existence of the dangerous gas. Having set the Troll Killers up for public infamy, Emerald and her Gems were able to watch from a safe distance and Knight Errant showed up, . . . . . half an hour later. . . . .