Episode 09: What a Gas!

Published on July 22, 2018

Like I said in my last entry, we barely made it back to the hotel before curfew. Charlotte was in a bad way. Doc told us in no uncertain terms that if we didn't find out what was causing people to get sick, she would die, and this time no scavenged cybernetic parts would bring her back. Being it was after curfew, there wasn't a lot we could do at the moment.

Vic busied himself with hacking into the drones that were spraying that nasty crap down on people. He sends most of them to various locations, but lands one on top of the parking structure next door. Ol' Jack should have his head examined for volunteering to go with him to check it out. Meanwhile, Doc did his best to stabilize Charlotte. All Fer could do was watch.

Vic hacked into the drone, this time literally, and located the payload of gas it was carrying. He clipped the drone's radio off before he started to work on slicing into its brain with his hacker mumbo jumbo. If you ask ol' Jack, Vic needs a few lessons on flying drones, because to hack the thing he had to dangle over the wall like some bizarro spider monkey. He must have made for an interesting conversation piece because he was noticed by a Coalition patrol walking a beat.


Vic goes off on some spiel about how the drone hit his brand new Mercedes and he wanted to assess the damage. Don't ask me what he was tripping on, because God only knows. Whatever if was ol'Jack must have gotten a good whiff because I got in on his Vaudeville act and started acting like I was a Coalition Patrol on the roof. The Deadheads almost bought it, but the squad leader told his squadies to shoot. 

A few of them managed to clip Vic, but he must lead a charmed life because he didn't get a scratch. Finally, he gets what he wants from the drone and commands it to fly straight up. I start firing wide at it and yelling that he launched some sort of weapon. We hightail it back downstairs. Ol' Jack left a telekinetic doorstop for the unlucky son-of-a-bitch who decided to investigate after we were gone. Judging by the sounds, it was one of the parking garage rent-a-cops.

Wouldn't ya know it. The canister of crud Vic recovered turned out to be empty. We'd been hoping for a full payload. As it was, between Doc & Fer they were able to scrape together enough residue for a single sample. They would only get one shot at manufacturing an antidote. Fortunately for us, Doc didn't let us down.

He wasn't 100% sure about the cure. Velya was livid that Doc was going to test a cure that was only "pretty sure" on Charlotte, but she wasn't mollified by Doc's "absolutely sure" diagnosis that she would die without it. As usual, if any thing happened we'd get the blame for it. Truth be told, ol' Jack would rather Charlotte wake up and tear into us verbally than not wake up all all.

When the sun came up, all of us were antsy. This waiting around to die by either being shot or poisoned didn't set well with any of us. Doc stayed behind to monitor Velia, but asked Fer to seek out some colleagues of his and pass along his notes for synthesizing the antidote. Vic examined the information he recovered from the drone, and ol' Jack went hunting.

I must have spent hours running down every crummy contact I could find. I wanted to know what Disgenix was. I wanted to know where the trucks were coming from, and I wanted to know who was behind the crap being sprayed on us. One palooka named Benny didn't know anything about the trucks, but he peaked ol' Jack's interest when he brought up the reason for the communication blackout last night. Turns out Overwatch wasn't kidding when he said he was going to lay the smackdown on the Fortress. I don't know how the crumb did it, but he smacked the shit out of it with some kind of sky-based weapon.

Needless to say Vic was interested when ol' Jack radioed back to Vic and told him about it. I think he had delusions of hacking Overwatch and getting that little toy for himself. He told us that he had figured out where the drones went. Trouble is one of those locations was damn close to where Fer had gone to check up one of Doc's buddies.

And that location was the warehouse where this caper all started. Fer's curiosity had been stronger than her sense and she went to check out the warehouse. She was feeding us intel about what she saw, but then she got bird-dogged and was hauled off. Smart girl leaving her commlink open. Ol' Jack radioed back and told Vic and Doc to meet him in the warehouse district, and to bring something of Fer's so he could track her. 

Velya wasn't happy to be left alone with Charlotte. Vic and Doc showed up with one of Fer's hats and ol' Jack's nose was easily able to follow her right to the back door. Of course, before we could spring a surprise party on a bunch of idiots, a pack of slathering, meat-eating anorexics poured into the alley. Once we saw them pick off a rent-a-cop, and then one of their own, we had no choice but to turn tail, and run inside along with the guys who were supposed to be standing guard and keeping people like us out. 

We had to do some pretty fast talking to keep the bozos inside from turning us into gourmet strainers. Vic slipped over by Fer and cut her loose. Ol' Jack just smiled and put a TK-Dome over the them, to keep any stray rounds from tagging them. Doc hugged one of the guys for saving him. Clearly the man was uncomfortable. What happened next was almost classic.

A woman exited out the back of the truck, noticed us, and wondered why her guards weren't liquidating us. We told her about her uninvited guests outside and she opened the door of the truck and told "Marcus" to "launch one". One of the drones flew out and I guess gassed the ravaging cannibals just outside. Then she rudely told us to leave. 

Vic slipped inside the truck, shut the door behind him, and shot Marcus. The lady was our mysterious "Burbie-Bitch". She told us how she was developing a new weapon that killed d-bees. When confronted with the fact it was killing humans too, she didn't really care. She was one of those "you can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs" kind of people, just like that psychopath Dr. Bradford. 

It was around this time we heard the thud in the trailer, and ol' Jack informed our Lady of Misfortune that Marcus was probably dead. Doc and Fer took out two of her rent-a-thugs, but they did it nicely. They just drained them for a quick snack and put them to sleep. Her other thug decided he wasn't making enough and tossed down his weapon.

What happened next was a series of massive thuds, Kind of like the one that happened around midnight the previous night. Turned out Vic had messaged Overwatch and told her the coordinates for the drone bays, but asked her to leave the one we were in for a bit. We decided it was time to go, so Jack fired up the truck, and we got the hell out of the there. Burbie Bitch got the prime accommodations in the cage in the truck which had recently held three d-bees. As we pulled away, Vic gave the okay to slam it. 

He should have waited about another minute because we were almost too close to the blast wave generated by the beam from above. It rocked the truck and it took all ol' Jack's driving skills to keep it on the road. As we pulled away, ol' Jack noticed we were being followed by some of those drones. Mama don't like tattletales.

So we finally figured out who Burbie Bitch was, where the Disgenix trucks were going, and put a severe dent in the Coalition's crop dusting business. But now we have a whole new set of questions. Where did Overwatch get access to that kind of firepower? I don't know, but a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach tells me that Fer and I might have helped her get it. With many of the drones taken out, what's to stop the zombies from devouring everyone in Firetown? And the big question still on ol' Jack's mind is "Where the hell is the exit door in this damn prison?"