The Morning After
SPU36, nursing a combat hangover from the epic brawl at the 12 Factols, begins their day entirely too early, at the Clerk’s Wards’ Silver Spire Inn, over pastries, coffee, and discussion of prisoner interrogation. It seems that there were two groups of mercenaries – those hired by Snowblind, and those hired by the now-deceased Fated Factor Carver Redforce involved in the brawl at the 12 Factols in Episode: Stung.
On to the City Barracks, Faraday & The Hat discuss Vance’s conversation, overheard by Lord V, referencing some large-scale operation. The Hat agrees to keep his men on watch for anything related, though does mention that they don’t have much else to go on. Anything intelligence turns up will be relayed to SPU36.
Another Interrogation from Nexus
Commander Osbourne Nash, Factor of the Accordant and consort of Vala, is running the interrogation, and making everyone’s lives particularly unpleasant is Lt. Nexus, last seen in Episode: Flames of Disaster, where he imprisoned Faraday and spent agonizing hours questioning each individual member of SPU36 regarding the Savior Drive Train Robbery. The info gathered on the prisoners is as follows:
- 13 captives, all of whom were employed by Vance/Snowblind
- Two of the men seem to be leaders.
- Mercenaries were hired outside of Tradegate at a known mercenary hiring hall.
- Part of a larger mercenary unit.
- They believe Vance contracted with their commander for their two units.
- They were told they might be working with the Crimson Wrath Ninjas.
- Talk that after the bodyguard detail they were on, that there would be an op the next night.
- Operated out of a warehouse. In a district of warehouses that are mainly rented for short term. Either in the Market or Guildhall ward.
- Played it safe. They personally were responsible for 0 fatalities
- Given the limited nature of their ‘crimes’, it’s assumed that the combatants from the 12 Factols brawl will quickly have their day in court, be fined, and released.
SPU36, sleep-deprived and exhausted, takes a breather of several hours.
Faraday’s Auspicious Encounter
After a much-needed break for a few hours of rest, SPU36 reconvenes that afternoon at Lord V’s flat in the Market Ward at 112 Butcher Street, for a recap of what the Consulting Detective learned from overhearing Vance’s half of a conversation with some unknown remote individual. On the way in, Faraday has a run-in with the landlady of the house. Pleasantries quickly degrade into harsh words, and the end result is the righteously indignant Doctor is left with no choice but put the lady in her place with a series of timely slaps to the face.
Overheard While Bleeding Profusely
The lady is not amused. That being said, Lord V begins a retelling of his incident with Vance Vincent at the end of the gigantic brawl in Episode: Stung. As Vance teleported away, Lord V grabbed him & hitched a ride, disappearing along with the surly, hulking magic user. Vance beat Lord V very badly, but the Detective, through charisma, perseverance and determination, is able to not only convince Vance to not end him in a terminal fashion, but is able to follow the Iron Ring Lieutenant at a distance, and overhear Vance’s conversation, held through some sort of applied science communication device. The high points of this conversation are as follows:
- Vance is none too pleased at being severely injured by Azgard (particularly after Vance’s brutal fight against the Esteemed’s Torus Anthony)
- Has a plan For tonight – possibly involving rich ladies?
- A female operative is meeting for a drop at Fat Cat’s Deli in the Hive.
- possibly Titties McUmbrella?
- Mentions The Steel Fist as someone of import.
- Maybe shadowing tonights meeting. possibly meeting at Mr. The Fist’s residence, or maybe a martial arts school?
- Believed to be the same person as “Fu-Lan The Fist”, a person of interest mentioned by The Hat(?), and investigated by SPU36 at the beginning of Episode: Night of a Million, Million Ninjas
- Place of Interest: A civic rec center in the Hive up the street from The PIt (again, see Episode: Night of a Million, Million Ninjas) near the corner of Radaghast St. and HiveRunner’s Rd. Mr The Fist most likely teaches here.
- Mentions “other plans” for the more-than-slightly-creepy “Coyote”.
- Calls “Top Hat” (later revealed to be none other than Harcourt Ravenswing) a fancy lad, implies a connection to Serpent’s Teeth.
- Vance then mentions he has to move on to oversee troop movements.
A Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy
That evening, SPU36 heads to the Hive to gather information about Fat Cat’s Deli. They gather information in the general area, while Azgard watches their backs from above, and Carredyn & Vala really just hide out in an alley while Azgard keeps watch from a rooftop nearby, and Faraday & Lord V hit the streets for info, discovering that the Deli is a focus of the drug trade in this part of the Hive, and that people know about the Fist – he has a fearsome reputation.
The plan goes as hoped: The Steel Fist leaves the rec center and, with a number of monks – presumably his students – takes up a watchful position near Fat Cat’s. Azgard follows at a distance and ducks into an alleyway, and Faraday and Lord V are in the street nearby, disguised, while Carredyn & Vala yet again find themselves waiting in an alley.
Vala catches a glimpse of a young, high class woman – very out of place in the hive – who passes the alley, approaching the corner. Both Lord V & Vala recognize her as Helena Highwater, a peer of Vala and member of a prominent family in the New City. They boys are not recognized by Lord V, Faraday, or Azgard. The woman and the boys exchange something – possibly money – for a box, which Helena takes and walks briskly out of the Hive. A number of the monks follow her on the rooftops, ensuring her safety, but once she reaches the bridge over the ditch, they seem satisfied with her safety.
Silly monks. That gives the group just the opening they’ve been waiting for, and as Helena crosses the Seafarer’s arch that leads to the Shattered Temple District, Lord V sneaks into her carriage, while Faraday clings to it’s undercarriage. Carredyn, Azgard and Vala hail an auto-carriage of their own, and, after Lord V succesfully enchants the lady with his bardic tricks, Carredyn pulls the lady’s vehicle over and makes his unofficial arrests – unofficial in order to avert possible exposure to any elements within the Accordant that might be unfriendly.
The episode ends as SPU36 hustles, with their captives, to Azgard’s home in the Market Ward, where the lady’s footman and driver are restrained in a study, and Ms. Highwater is subject to a large number of questions.