Episode 01: A Squirrely Situation

Published on March 5, 2018

Lemme tell ya somethin' ol' Jack Russell works some late nights runnin' pizzas and other stuff for the Top Hat, so when it comes time for some shut eye, once ol' Jack has turned around three times and laid down on his bed, ol' Jack doesn't want to be woken up until the damn alarm clock goes off.

Magpie thought it was funny as hell when she woke up ol' Jack. Ol' Jack threatened to bite her when he saw her. To be fair, it wasn't just me she woke up, but the rest of the Hatters as well. Apparently, Payne had another gig for us, and didn't care he was cuttin' into our rack time. So ol' Jack did what he did back when Sisco used to wake up the pack for a mission. He splashed some water on himself and then shook it off. Yeah, ol' Jack smelled like wet dog. I'm a dog. I was wet. Bite me!

Payne had found out those brain-dead idiots in the D-Bee Braineaters had somethin' big goin' on and had cruised through Payne's turf to do it. Magpie told us that they had somethin' valuable and Payne wanted us to make whatever it was to disappear and for us to send the Braineaters a message about trespassin'. Naturally, Magpie had no idea what it was that was so valuable, just that we were to make it disappear and deliver Payne's message.

We knocked our heads together and came up with a plan of action. Not having anything from Magpie to go on other than what she'd told us, we broke into three groups. Victor stayed at the Top Hat and played on his computer while Richard, Fer, and Sage paid a visit to Joseph Tower to do a little recon. Victor did discover that the Braineaters had been abducting people from the park, which is where yours truly went. After getting woke up early ol' Jack needed a bit of exercise and hoped maybe he would dig up some information via word on the street.

My buddies were greeted at the entrance of Joseph Tower by a literal ogre of a doorman, a slab of green eggs and ham named Sloan. Ol' Jack was surprised to hear that one. What went down was hilarious though. Sage shot off her mouth and attracted the attention of Sloan which was good because it gave Richard and Fer the chance to sneak past Sloan. Sage later told ol' Jack how Sloan tried to insult her intelligence and she agreed with him, catching the ogre completely off guard. If you ask ol' Jack, Sloan is a bit short in the grey matter himself and has no room to be insulting anyone's intelligence. They squared up but didn't throw down.

Fer ran into a little d-bee kid named Sliver who told her that the Braineaters had been beating people up in the towers and sometimes people he knew disappeared and didn't come back. That jibed with what we'd found out about them abducting people from the park. Sliver agreed to show them where he saw some trucks going. Richard got a lay of the land, but not much else by climbing on top of the building. Then Fer (with Sliver in tow) and Richard walked right past Sloan and told Sage it was time to go. Sloan just looked dumbfounded at them. Like I said, hilarious.

Ol' Jack had a bit of sport at the park. It felt good to work off some of my energy because I had been a bundle of nerves. A few of the regulars were there. They tossed the frisbee for ol' Jack until their arms got tired. Told ol' Jack the same thing he already knew. A double handful of the Braineaters were at the park, so I told Carl to throw the frisbee toward the Braineaters. They suggested I should play frisbee somewhere else, and I suggested they should go chase cars. One of them who fashioned himself a comedian I'd wager, decided to play along, started talkin' down to me, and then gave the frisbee a good toss. He had a good arm, but he was dense as a stump. Ol' Jack made like he was going to go after the frisbee like a good doggie, then turned toward the nearest four and started messing with their heads. I don't think they appreciated bein' called jag-offs, but ol' Jack wasn't tryin' to make friends there. I hit them with a confusion inducing whammy (psionic power) and managed to cause one of them to loosen his tongue a bit. The Braineaters were kidnappin' people and sending them to “the rich Burbie bitch”. Having gotten what I wanted, I played the part of the dutiful hound and got the hell out of there. I found it satisfyin' that Mr. Big Mouth got the shit kicked out of him by his own buddies.

Sliver led the others to the warehouse district and a place where he said he saw some of the Braineaters members loading stuff on a truck. He hadn't gotten too close but was able to direct Fer and Co. where to go. He took off, and they returned to the Top Hat.

We all shared what we'd learned. Victor had been busy as well. Turns out the fella ain't all there upstairs. He went on and on about squirrels. He fabricated a message from Doc Flint to the Braineaters Head Tool, Cleaver. Somethin' about not using squirrels during his sexcapades. I don't even want to know. Then he talked about creating a squirrel suicide vest and started inquiring about procuring a shipment of squirrels. Don't get me wrong, ol' Jack loves nothin' more than chasin' those fuzzy tailed devils, but blowin' ‘em up by remote control… that ain't right.

We still had a bit before the bar opened for the night, so we took a trip to the Warehouse District and checked out the warehouse. Typical block warehouse, this one protected by electronic lock and surveillance cameras recording all coming and going. We ran afoul of the Blue Sun Rent-A-Cops that patrolled the district but were able to talk our way out of any trouble.

We opened the bar and did what we normally do, serve the good people of the neighborhood booze, pizza, and whatever else they might desire. Ol' Jack tried to get in touch with a couple of contacts. The first, a fence by the name of Jax. Ol' Jack wanted him to use his contacts to help ol' Jack get in on a piece of the Braineaters' action, but Jax wouldn't give up the goods. Dick. Next, he called a drug dealer he knew to get a small supply of perks. Ol' Jack claimed they were for his bad back and to help calm him down so he could sleep. Cost me 700 credits for fourteen measly pills. Still they'd come in handy when it came time to deliver pizza to the bad guys.

Victor cussed up a blue streak in back, while the rest of us worked. Apparently, Richard is close to completin' his Victor Bingo card. Come to find out, whoever is rentin' that warehouse got wise to Victor's snoopin' and nearly nuked his system in retaliation. Fortunately for us, he was able to fix it, managed to get back into the security footage, snagged a few hours of it, and then erased our earlier visit.

We found out some more information through the grapevine. Rumor has it that bastard Colonel Lyboc has been seen in the Burbs. These same rumors talk of potential bio-weapons, and something called the Shroud. Victor once again brought squirrels into the mix by posting a request for natural remedies for Squirrel Pox on a bulletin board and signed the name of “Nanny Palpatine”. If you ask me, Victor's fascination with squirrels just proves he's nuts.

If Lyboc is involved in this mess, then things just went from bad to worse.