[August 31, 2072, Seattle]
Emerald, Doc and Jinx met up in the early morning to decide what to do on this dull, rainy Seattle day. Doc had got a new set of old, hot tires, so the truck was ready to rock and roll, literally. Following the lead given by Elizabeth Hawthorne, they set and order of investigation. First, they’d visit the house in Tacoma to which the gunmen for the club shooting fled. Then they’d check out where the helicopter came from in Puyallup on Mount Rainer. They would save the house on Vachon Island for last.
[August 31, 2072, 10AM, 120 Victoria, Tacoma]
The house was rather non-descript two story job with a garage supposedly owned by a ‘J. Smith.’ No sign of life around. Doc decided on some bug size drone surveillance, but apparently the gardeners around here were very protective of their roses as some lasers took out his pest. The back yard was found to house a mechanical guard dog. ‘Guess they don’t like cats either.’ It was up to Emerald who made herself scarce and approached for a peek inside. Naturally the blinds were down, but she could always make them go up just enough to see what—what!? Rather than nice relaxing furnishings, what would likely have been the living room was effectively an army barracks. Hmmm . . . Another room seemed a command center and another a munitions supply. ‘Well, that’s all we needed to see,’ so they moved on.
[August 31, 2072, Noon, Puyallup Barren, and Mount Rainer]
Through other checkpoints and on to the lovely small town charm of Luvland.
The border men were all my friends
They couldn’t find a dime.
All is well
—Mountains and Marianne, Gordon Lightfoot, 1966
Part of Luvland’s charm was the show they put on for tourists. As the Team drove through they were treated to the sight of some Asian chaps taking some Italian chaps out for a stroll, a last stroll. The Italians were given presents, bullets to the back of the head. ‘Remind me to keep my birthday a secret.’
Up the mountain until they neared the coordinates. Reconnoitering, they found a fenced in compound of sorts, one that went right into the side of a cliff. What was once a research facility was now the home of the South-western Survivalists, whose knowledge of geography left something to be desired. In any case, the place was patrolled and guarded such that entry seemed impossible. As they watched they heard some motors approaching. It turned out to be a convoy of TPK vehicles. Emerald momentarily debated hitching a ride to get inside, but then realized there would likely be no way out, no easy way out, no way our alive, so she abandoned the idea. They were able to get a glimpse inside the huge sliding metal doors, however, as the convoy entered. Inside were some other TPK trucks being painted black, and an American flag.
‘OK, so we got a barracks and a playground for lunatics. What next?’
[August 31, 2072, 2PM, Vachion Island
Next turned out to be the piece des resistance. The address on Vachon Island was a lakeside cottage which once belonged to Dr. Caldwell, now owned by ‘R. MacDonald.’ ‘Guess he got the deed signed by Mayor MacCheese.’ From a vantage point overlooking the cottage they observed for a time contemplating how to get a closer look. As they did so a familiar person arrived. Detective Patricia Conner drove up and went to the door. Low and behold, Dr. Caldwell opened it and let her in. ‘Guess we know who’s been sleeping in whose bed, now don’t we?’ Goldilocks aside, it seemed they had learned a great deal just by watching.
And, just as they thought school was out for the day, all hell broke loose. A team of four shadow runners came in by boat and began an assault on the house and those inside. Two of them broke through the front door and began firing. Eventually, Connor and Caldwell fled out a side door along with a soon to be dead security guy. Emerald saw this as her chance. Invisibly, as the Hamburguler, she slipped down the hillside, and entered the house through one of the shot out windows. In the bedroom she rifled the safe and the safe door to find some ‘stuff,’ including 6, er, 4- FOUR bottles of Tempo. While the shooting still ran wild outside she made her way out and back up the hill. Though both Connor and Caldwell were wounded in the shoot out at the OK corral, Connor managed to drag him into her car and get out of dodge.
As things calmed down, Doc drove the team away, across the ferry and back to the mainland. Emerald handed over the 6, er, 4- FOUR bottles of Tempo along with the papers, no, the PAPER, the one sheet of paper that was in the safe and the map that she found in the secret compartment in the safe door. The map turned out to be a battle plan for, get this, the battle of Seattle. It showed all the important government sites and how they would be attacked. And one area in particular, one guarded by the Secret Service seemed to be highlighted. Doc concluded that perhaps a hit on the President was part of the plan. It seemed that this group was bent on reuniting the good old USA!
Some things are bigger than any team can handle and this certainly was one of them. They decided to turn the whole thing over to Hawthorne and let her deal with it. She set up a meet at Dr. Bob’s Quick Stitch Clinic.
[August 31, 2072, 6PM, Dr. Bob’s Quick Stitch Clinic, Seattle]
They arrived at Dr. Bob’s Quick Stitch Clinic only to find a rather sad sight. Hawthorne was there alright, sitting, sort of, in her car, quite dead. No sooner did they make this gruesome discovery that they, too, came under fire, from a ridiculous distance away. Doc got the truck under a bridge for cover while Emerald snuck back, got whatever she could out of the car –Hawthorne’s bag, ID, Shield, comlink (erased),- and got semi blown up for her efforts. Not quite Swiss cheese, she got back to the truck, made it less visible, and they took off.
[August 31, 2072, later and safer, Seattle]
Once they were safe and settled down, the Team discussed what to do now, or, if they should/could do anything. As a working plan they decided on a twofold approach. Doc would continue to try to find out when the President was coming to town, while Emerald and Jinx would use the 6, er, 4-FOUR, bottle of Tempo to ‘tempt’ the gangs of Seattle to a meet at which time they would be show the evidence of this potential military threat to their territory, and more importantly, their business.
Till then . . . . .