Still working to acquire the shipment from the Brain Eaters, the Mad Hatters that comprise the Prophets of Payne crew split up and worked their own angles.
Ol' Jack hung around the park hopin' to catch the Brain Eaters in the act of grabbin' people. It turns out that Ol' Jack's nose for trouble was spot on because a few of those wastes of space from the Brain Eaters showed up a short while later. Ol' Jack being the good boy that he is, shadowed those maggots all the way to Jake's Farm. I wasn't about to go in there so I set up shop on the roof of an empty warehouse within viewing distance of the farm and watched.
The Brain Eaters hung out near the fruit stand, like it was some sort of damn mini-mart. Must have been about thirty minutes they waited till some fancy car screeches to a halt in front of them. Ol' Jack got a look at the lady. Couldn't tell if she was tall or short because she never got out of the car, but she had dark hair, an ugly ass scar on her face, and she wore mirror shades. Kinda reminds me of one of those Golden Age torrents Vic sometimes runs, Men in Black, I think it was called. I couldn't hear what they said, but ol' Jack kept his eyes on the car until it disappeared turning onto Tandum Street. I'll recognize the lady if I see her again. She's probably the rich Burbie Bitch I found out about from that big-mouthed Braineater yesterday.
Richard went to visit the Tandum Gang and tried to get them to join in on the action. It sounded like they weren't convinced Ricky wasn't trying to set them up, but at least he left in one piece and left it up to them whether or not they'd join us.
Meanwhile back at the Top Hat....
We filled Doc Flint in on what had happened the last few days while he was away. It involved telling Doc someone had hacked his email, and sent several disturbing emails to Cleaver, the leader of the Brain Eaters that included various doctored pictures of him in compromising positions with squirrels. I'm tellin' ya, Vic ain't right in the head. We also had to explain the necessity and merits of a 50-gallon drum of acid. Doc wasn't keen on what we intended to do with it, and when he heard our plan to roofie the Blue Sun Guards with a doctored pizza, he took the tranqs and ensured the dose was enough to incapacitate them, but not kill them.
The next order of business was to transport all our gear and stuff to the empty warehouse we were going to use as a staging area. Lemme tell ya somethin' ... ol' Jack has hauled a lot of shady stuff in his time, but between that barrel of acid, and Vic's mad science experiments, I was feelin' a mite nervous. With that out of the way, yours truly went back to the Top Hat to prepare the buffet.
Ol' Jack cooked up a couple of pizzas with the works, administered the special sauce, and delivered them to the Blue Sun Guard Shack. It didn't take too much persuasion on the part of Ol' Jack to get the guards to take the pizzas. Ol' Jack hasn't met the person yet who would turn down free pizza.
Ol' Jack stashed the car outside the district and high tailed it back to the warehouse, just in time for the fun to begin. Ferde, Doc, and I ventured over to the other warehouse once Vic killed the live cameras and made us invisible. Entering the building was a snap.
It was too easy.
It's been ol' Jack's experience that nothing is ever that easy. Inside the warehouse we found some sort of hospital, Doc's wet dream. There were cots, a clean room, and the entire thing smelled of disinfectant. It didn't even look like it had been used yet. So what was it going to be used for? Ol' Jack couldn't help but think of what we'd learned that people who'd fallen ill were disappearing. Was this supposed to be where they were to be taken. Something didn't sit right.
Back across the alley, Vic had uninvited guests. A pair of goons wandered in to the warehouse, apparently to check that it was secure. I guess Vic didn't expect that the warehouse we intended to use to stage our raid from was actually the warehouse where everything was going to be going down.
Yep. You guessed it. We were on the wrong side of the damn street.
Vic tried to bullshit the goons, but they were having none of it. The warehouse was supposed to be empty. He claimed to be a Coalition Food Inspector. The goons tried to grab him. We heard all this on the comms. Ferde and I rushed back across the street leaving Doc behind.
Ol' Jack took up a position behind some crates and watched as some sort of personnel transport entered the warehouse. It was followed by a combat truck with a laser turret. Following Vic's lead, Ol' Jack yelled out "Special Operations, Freeze!" It worked on a couple of the goons. Apparently, they were expecting the Coalition to be tied up near the hotel investigating the cyber-snatching that had occurred there, and not conducting a sting operation in the warehouse district. Needless to say a firefight broke out.
Most of the goons that were part of the group ended up with the wind whistling through the hole in their heads. Ricky was down right deadly with his shots. Ol' Jack heard he even flung his vibro-sword at one of them. Remind me not to get on his bad side.
Realizing they were going down, the leader ordered the trooper behind the transport to open fire on the cargo. Ferde dropped him, but not before he managed to waste two people. One of them was a kid. A rotten situation.
While Doc checked out the people in the transport, and I fixed the tire on it, Rick, Vic, and Ferde interrogated the leader. The leader was apparently more afraid of his boss than he was of us, because he wouldn't talk. Will was more forth coming but didn't know much. We learned the Burbie Bitch was from one of the Old Towns, but he didn't know which one. We let Will live.
We looked for a place to stash the transport, and Ferde began running down her contacts to fence the stuff we took off the gangers that we didn't want. We told Will to get out of town because the Brain Eaters would kill him, and so would we if we ever saw his ass again. We're not the kind of assholes to turn someone loose with no gear. We gave him a knife, a pistol, some provisions, a few credits, and told him to hit the bricks. That done, we started disposing of the remains of the gangers in the vat of "Mega Hot Sauce" which bore a biohazard label and a sticker indicating it belonged to the Firebelly Soup Kitchen.
Word of advice. Don't get any of it on ya. Ol' Jack is gonna have to buy a new shirt now since, a bit of it dribbled on him. That shit burns.