"If you expect the wise man to be as angry as the baseness of crimes requires, then he must not only be angry but go insane."-- Seneca, On Anger
Joe Lee hears about the shooting incident, having occurred as it did near the park. He tells Omi about it, that the sword is probably still on Regina, and that yes, it may be recoverable. Omi stands up to go, wavering. He's obviously still suffering from his wounds,but is more concerned about properly arming himself - with a ranged weapon this time. Joe: "Behrel will know who can construct you a proper bow." Omi: "How do I find him?" Joe: "I have his number. First we need to get you well enough." He takes Omi to Regina Trauma, to "the healers". Omi is okay with this - it's just magic. While Omi is being tended to, Joe Lee uses the card Behrel gave him and calls.
Behrel: "Hello!" Joe: "I believe the sword has surfaced." Behrel: "I think you're right." Joe: "You have heard about the attack then." Behrel: "You and Omi want to help me get it back, kick some black and white ass?" Joe: "Yes." Behrel: "Maybe reduce the number of scum on UpPort." Joe asks if Behrel knows where to acquire a bow for Omi, and Behrel thinks he knows of a place. Joe thinks Omi will want to pick it out himself, as it's a personal thing, so Behrel will find a location, and Joe will call him after Omi is released from Regina Trauma. Meanwhile Behrel will go shake a Weasel. Duane only hears the one side of the phone conversation - Behrel's. Duane: "So you takin' off?" Behrel: "Yeah. I may give you a call later, if you're not busy." Duane: "Like I said before, I'm only not busy until I'm hired." Behrel: "Would you go for a cut of the take? I'm sure the bad guys may have some stuff." Duane: "Okay." He gears up (i.e., puts on lots of knives, etc.), and they leave. They go to find a Weasel , as Behrel figures the posse won't be terribly welcome wherever they are. They're off to Old Port to do some recce'ing. Duane points out that Behrel is not exactly stealthy, which Behrel knows.
Elsewhere, separately, Jimi Ray and Meredith are sleeping. Some time after noon, they both wake up. Meredith goes to the job board again, but the only jobs are high tech - pilots, ship's engineers, etc. There are way too many simple mercs in the area. Well, there's always that reception job with the lingerie king. Behrel calls Jimi Ray to find out if he's available to "help rid the UpPort of scum and villainy, and maybe act as medic." Jimi Ray: "Okay, I'll go for that." Behrel: "Did you happen to get a phone number for that girl who was working security last night?" Jimi Ray: "Meredith? I got the impression that she'd just landed on planet and didn't have one." Behrel: "Well, she seemed to be pretty calm last night, and nothing bad happened, and she was looking for work." Jimi Ray: "You might check the job boards." Behrel: "Good idea. If you run into her, let her know what's going on, and I'll see you at the Cadaver around six. And gear up." Jimi Ray: "Okay. If I'm going to be acting as medic, any allergies or anything I should know about?" Behrel: "No, no special needs."
Joe Lee treats the bullet-damaged trees with his high tech horticultural spackle. He finds a length of leather with a feather and a few beads on it. He picks it up, along with a sort of cigarette stub that smells of Borloi. He takes that too. Then he returns to Regina Trauma to pick up Omi, who's a bit unsteady what with all the drugs they've pumped into him. And now, the bill. Omi: <to Joe Lee> "Where does one go to find these money changers?" Joe will take him, but they have to hurry. Omi agrees that it's more important to avenge his master, and Joe Lee will pay for the medical bill ($800) and Omi can pay him back later. Joe calls Behrel to let him know they're done at RT. Behrel answers the call and tells Joe to meet him at Curmudgeon's to look for a bow for Omi.
The group meets at Curmudgeon's. Clerk: "A bow, hmmm. Let me see, I think I have something like that here. Let's see. Will the gentleman be firing from horseback, or..?" Joe: "Standing." There's some rustling. Clerk: "Well, how about this?" He pulls out a Welsh longbow. That might work - the pull is good, but the shape is a bit different. It's $500 for the bow. Behrel gives Omi the money in exchange for two gold pieces, then they go to OmniMart for arrows. They'll have to extrude the shafts so they'll be long enough, but that's not a problem. OmniMart clerk: "What kind of points you want on them? Bodkins, razor blade broadheads..?" Behrel: "Fifty-fifty." Omi really does like the arrowheads.
Now it's time to practice with the bow. It's decided to go to the Japanese garden and use a sandbag. People think it's part of Regina Days, and kind of cool. It takes Omi a while, but he's able to get it all "sighted in". Behrel: "Right! Now let's go shake a Weasel." Omi: "What is this weasel you speak of?" Behrel: "Someone who has information. I'll explain later." They hit the usual haunts, ask a few questions, and are able to find a Weseli who isn't Jimmy. They find him at the Panda, sitting with an offworld mark. Mark: "Well, how did you end up being the broker?" Joey Weseli: "Well, the man who owns it has been ill, and he asked me..." Duane: "The guy we're looking for is in there." Omi: "Ah, the house of joy? I have been to many such places." Not like this. Omi walks in, goes to the bar, and orders saki. The bartender sets up a small bowl and pours something into it. Omi takes a sip and nods approvingly. Duane sits down right next to the Weasel, and Behrel sits across from him. Joey Weseli: "Ah, could you excuse me a minute?" He escorts the man to the bar, then returns (all under Duane's watchful eye). Joey Weseli: "Hey, I'm in the middle of some delicate negotiations here." Duane: "I know. You're trying to sell Aguilon Park. Again." Joey: "I'll be done here in a few minutes." Duane: "Then I will deduct however long it takes you to deal with that man from the time it takes us to do our business." Joey goes over and arranges to call the man at his hotel later, then returns to Duane and Behrel. Duane: "Moving up in the world, huh Joey?" He's doing okay, he's wearing a checked suit, a paisley tie, and a striped shirt. Ick. Duane: "Here's the deal. there's a mess going on in UpPort..." Joey Weseli: "Wait a sec, I'm having a hard time concentrating what with this thirst." Duane buys the man an expensive (but not too expensive) Gin and Tonic. Joey Weseli: <to waitress> "Thanks hon." Duane: "So there's this group of guys out here driving around spraying bullets everywhere." Joey Weseli: "Yeah, it's getting so it's not safe to go out on the street any more." Duane: "Where are they?" Joey Weseli: "I heard a couple of them has been hanging in Old Port." He doesn't know exactly where they are, and is a bit reluctant, as they're bad trouble. On the other hand, Duane and Behrel aren't exactly candystripers either. And they won't go away until Joey promises to dig up some info and get back to them later. Behrel: "I'll be at the Cadaver at six." Duane: "And Weseli, it would be really bad for anyone to find out we were looking for these guys." Joey Weseli: "Well, that's a bit more expensive you know. I have a confidentiality fee." Duane: "So we'll pay your confidential fee." Joey takes the couple hundred credits, checks to make sure they're real, then puts them in his pocket. Behrel: "I would be careful, if I were you, about suggesting some one may not be honest." Joey Weseli: "Hey, nothing personal. There are some bogus bills out there." Joey takes off. Behrel: "Time for some food." Duane: "They serve food here," Behrel: "Yes, but sometimes the patrons die here but don't leave." Duane: "Only if they're stupid." Behrel: "I know, we'll go to Demonslayer's Up!" Good thought.
Jimi Ray is in search of Meredith. She doesn't know Regina - how far could she go? Actually, she's near the job boards. Man: "Hey, you looking for work? I know where you could earn a couple hundred credits a day, tax free. Good looking girl like you..." Meredith: "Thanks a lot, but I'm not that desperate yet. So no." Jimi Ray sees Meredith talking to the man wearing ultra-suede clothing, and a slouch hat with an ostrich feather in it. He gives her his card, which she takes just to make him go away. The card is slick plastic and purple. Jimi Ray walks up. Jimi Ray: "Hey Meredith, how's it going?" Pimp: "Meredith! I'll call you." He takes off. Jimi Ray: "Oh, jeeze, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to give him your name!" Meredith: "That's okay." Jimi Ray: "Any way, I've got an offer for you, from Behrel. If you're interested?" Meredith: "It's bound to be better than what I've been offered so far." Jimi Ray: "It sounds like he needs some company while he goes off to do something dangerous. I'm going along as a medic. Have you eaten yet?" Meredith: "No." Jimi Ray: "Why don't we go get something to eat, since Behrel doesn't need us until six?" Meredith: "Sounds good." Jimi Ray acts as native guide on the way to the Escargot d'Or (reasonably priced, good food), pointing out things like places to not go. Like the Warrens. Jimi Ray: "Definitely don't go there." If nothing else, she'd probably get hopelessly lost. Lunch is good, and hearty. General chit-chat, when did she get to Regina? Meredith: "Yesterday." Jimi Ray: "Oh. If you only got here yesterday I won't ask what your impression is yet." Meredith: "Noisy, bright, crowded."
At Demonslayers Up, food is found. Behrel decides to call Jimi Ray and check on his progress. <brrrriiing!> Jimi Ray: "Hello." Behrel: "Hi. Did you find Meredith?" Jimi Ray: "Yes." Behrel: "Is she geared up?" Jimi Ray: "As much as she was last night." Behrel: "That's not good when we're going up against people with promiscuous weapons." Jimi Ray: "Oh, you're expecting a firefight. We'll stop somewhere." Behrel: "If she uses it today, I can right it off." Jimi Ray: "All right." <click> Jimi Ray explains to Meredith that they'll get her some equipment, and Behrel will cover the cost for now. To MilTech, where a bulletproof vest, and a standard military model 9mm auto are purchased. A few minutes are taken to sight it in. Clerk: "So, you want me to wrap it up, or will you wear it out?" Meredith: "You don't need to wrap it."
At the appointed time, to the Laughing Cadaver. It's newer and bigger, to the people who've actually seen it before. Behrel admires the brand new mono-cycle out front. Major chrome-age! Behrel needs to get himself one of those. No, he needs to get ten of them and nine friends who can ride. Jimi Ray and Meredith arrive at about the same time as Behrel and Duane, and Joe Lee and Omi. Everyone goes inside, where there's now a bend to the entrance so no one is backlit. There's a place to check your coat or gun, but only if you want. Nope.
Inside, to the smoky interior. Behrel: "Hey Shiv." Shiv: "Looking good. You working out?" Behrel: "Every day. Got to keep in shape for my fans." Shiv: "You want a table or a room?" Behrel: "That depends. Is Joseph Weseli here?" Shiv "Yeah. Hey Joey!" Behrel: "I'll take a room then. I won't need it for long, and I don't think I'll need any cleaning." Downstairs to the Crypt. Behrel: <to Duane> "Keep an eye on anyone who's watching us." Duane: "Who isn't watching us??" Joe Lee goes outside to make a call on the public terminal. Punk: "Hey grampa, you need a hand with that new-fangled phone thing?" Joe Lee: "No." Punk: "Loan me five credits?" Joe Lee: "No." Punk: "You don't understand, I need five credits and I think you've got it." Joe Lee takes his staff and punches it down hard (in a chamberlain-like way) on the punk's foot. Punk: "Ow!" He steps back. Punk: "Looks like I'll have to teach you a lesson." Second punk: "Yeah, Bobby, teach him a lesson!"
Back inside. Omi: "Where is Joe-san?" Duane: "I'll go take a look." He emerges outside as Bobby lunges with his knife and Joe Lee hits him in the other foot with the staff. Duane just goes over to make sure the friend doesn't intervene. Bobby doesn't back off, and Joe Lee hits him in the head, knocking him out cold. The second punk looks down at his fallen companion, then at Joe Lee, and takes a martial arts stance. Duane decides to not let Joe Lee have all the fun, hauls back and kicks him in the knee just as the punk (thanks to his spider-sense) hits Duane in the neck, hard. Joe Lee jabs the punk in the small of the back. The punk goes down. It's now safe for Joe Lee to make his phone call. He calls the Pharmacopia shop, looking for raw Borloi. Joe Lee Can you deliver, or?" Clerk: "Raw Borloi? Let me think about that....Okay....I think I've got some....you can come down here....I don't remember for sure..." Joe Lee I don't want to come down if you don't have any." Clerk "Well we must have some, the guy with the hair's been coming in every day." Ah-ha! Duane checks the downed punks' wallets, taking half of their money. But just half. Joe Lee bows to Duane. Joe Lee: "Thank you. But it was not necessary." Duane: "No kidding."
Meanwhile, in the Crypt. Behrel: "Mr. Weseli was about to share the information he's garnered, in a calm and rational manner. Isn't that right?" Joey: "Uh, yeah. Sure. I did some checking around.Like you wanted. There are a couple of groups of these guys who've come in over the last few weeks. They don't usually stay in the same place twice. They're moving between abandoned buildings in Old Port. Word is they've been hitting some people. And they're getting some intel, because they hit a store just before it made a deposit, another guy who was delivering some jewels, and they ripped off some antique dealer of a sword and some other stuff. They've brought in a lot of weapons, and they've bought more here. And it looks like they've brought in a whole lot of raw Borloi - I mean really raw, toxic stuff. They've been selling it, really cheap." Behrel: "Sounds like they could be stepping on some toes." Joey: "Yeah, some of the other gangs aren't real happy. But those guys are nut cases." Behrel: "So who do I talk to?" Joey: "They've been in Diablo territory lately." Behrel: "Again, who do I talk to?" Joey: "Hector, man." Behrel: "Where do I find Hector?" Joey: "If you're planning on going after these guys, you're insane!" Joe Lee: "What is sane is relative." Ah, Joe Lee and Duane have returned. Behrel: "Maybe we can get some of the local gangs to do some of our work for us." Duane: "Maybe we need to find out where these guys are holed up and toss in a few grenades while they're sleeping." Joe Lee: "That would be an overly violent response." Duane: "I don't think so. We're dealing with guys who use machineguns in drive-by's." Meredith: "Excuse me, but what guys with machineguns?" The posse thing is explained, briefly, and introductions are made. Omi: "It is a good plan. It is written that the rabbit hides while the python sleeps by night." What? It's decided to lay a trap for the man who comes to the Pharmacopia. Jimi Ray: "What about sleep gas?" Behrel: "Not a bad idea." Joe Lee: "If they are regular drug users, that might not work." Behrel: "Okay, then I want enough tranq to put down a Virushi during mating season." There's an image you don't want to dwell on. Joe Lee: "I believe that since they frequently travel by van, one of the things we should plan for is disabling the driver of the van so they cannot escape." Behrel: "I like that idea." Joe Lee: "The other possibility, if we can keep them in one place perhaps we could grab just one man when he's in the Pharmacopia and take him out the back." Behrel: "Good idea. The owner probably wouldn't notice. Okay, Joe Lee and Omi will go check out the Pharmacopia. Jimi Ray and Meredith will go pick up assorted tranq weapons, then go to the Pharmacopia. Duane and I will make a stop at my place, then go there." He's going to pick up his Barrett 50.
Joe and Omi go to the Pharmacopia. They're to scope the place out and call Behrel if their man shows up first. Jimi Ray and Meredith go to MilTech. Jimi Ray: "I need some tranq guns." Clerk: "What, have the animals escaped again?" Jimi Ray: "Something like that." Clerk: "Okay, I'll give you my tranq lecture." Jimi Ray: "It doesn't work right away." Clerk: "It doesn't work right away, it doesn't work the same way on everyone, it doesn't work through body armor, and be careful using this around anyone with a respiratory illness or heart trouble. It's pretty safe stuff, but it's still a good idea to be cautious." Jimi Ray buys both tranq guns, and aerosol tranq - just in case. Joe Lee and Omi go in to the shop. It's a girl behind the counter at the moment, and she describes the various types of borloi available, including sap. Joe Lee thinks he wants some sap, but the girl recommends he not try that, as it's not processed at all. Joe Lee: "Like this?" He shows her the butt he found in the park. Sunshine: "No, that's raw, processed sap. It's clean enough to be used, but still pretty nasty. It's too rough and too strong for most people." Joe Lee: "What quantity do you sell this in?" Sunshine: "Up to a kilo." Joe Lee: "What's the smallest size?" Sunshine: "Fifty grams." Joe Lee: "How much is that?" Sunshine: "Twenty credits." Joe Lee: "I'll take 50 grams." He buys a small bag containing what looks like horse droppings. Yech! Joe Lee: "If I wanted to be a large quantity for trade, how would I acquire it?" Sunshine: "Well, you'd have to find someone who was bringing it in in bulk. Look, this form, it's not for beginners. We only have one customer who buys stuff this intense." Joe Lee: "I understand." He and Omi hang out there for a while, looking at the capsules and stuff. If it's smoked, inhaled, absorbed, injected, or whatevered then it's here. Some odd medicinal herbs too, just nothing that's classified as officially medicinal, as that is regulated.
The other four arrive at Pharmacopia. Duane will stay outside, the others go in. It's very herbal-smelling in here. As a matter of fact, after a few minutes inside, Jimi Ray and Meredith's lips and fingers are getting numb. They'll just wait outside. There are a lot of New Age places in the neighborhood - a hemp shop, a massage/aromatherapy shop, and the like.
Behrel asks about some of his favorite recreationals. They're getting some really good neo-coke in, and he picks up some samples for later. He chats with Sunshine for a while, after finding out the man they're looking for usually comes in once a day, and he hasn't come in yet, then he leaves. The group is all outside - minus Joe Lee and Omi, window-shopping nearby when a van with an out of tune electric engine pulls up and stops. A man with a Krinkhov and dreadlocks steps out. Smoke comes curling out of the van to loud reggae music. The driver has some sort of striped cap of knitted yarn and is smoking a big fat Churchill. With the side door opens Behrel and friends can see several men inside and a lot of guns, including something with a belt. (Oh, great.) Then the door is closed. The man with the dreads and very red eyes glides into Pharmacopia.
A few moments later, an STA cop pulls up behind the van. He sits in his car for a few minutes, talking on the radio and doing something on the car computer. Then he gets out and approaches the driver's window. Everyone tenses up, prepared for unpleasantness. The driver opens his window, smoke billows out, and a fat envelope is passed to the cop, who nods and departs. Everyone breathe now.
Duane decides to go for high ground, and gets up into the superstructure above the van. When the dreadlocked man returns, Duane hangs down and drops onto the top. The passengers don't seem to notice, and the van drives off. It's at this point that Duane starts to wonder if there's anything to hang on to. Nope. He doesn't have to worry about that for long, as Behrel fires a round from his Barrett into the van, hitting the differential, causing the rear wheels to seize up, the van to suddenly screech to a halt, and Duane to rocket through the air, over the van, and onto the road. He rolls, not taking too much real damage, just some scrapes on his chin, elbows, and knees, and bruises on his chest. Ow.
The windows on the vans all open, as do the rear doors, and many weapons are fired full-auto in the general direction of the shop. Dive for cover time! Jimi Ray crouches perfectly behind cover, and is unscathed. Duane is fine because he's in the wrong direction. Behrel is hit in the hip, and Meredith is hit in the left shoulder as rounds explode around them. The van starts to pull away, slowly, making hideous squealing noises. Behrel fires on the van again, hitting some one inside (although he doesn't know it). The van makes it up onto the sidewalk and about two thirds of the way into a furniture warehouse store up the street (and much closer to Duane than he would have liked, but he was not run over).
There's a brief lull. Mel has staggered out of Pharmacopia, smoking his pipe. Mel "Whoa..." Behrel heads for the van, then Jimi Ray moves up as well, Meredith behind him. There's a single dead body in the van. The rest must be inside the shop. That would explain the number of rounds fired out of the front of the shop. Amazingly enough, none of the rounds actually hit Meredith, just around her. The building goes all the way up into the rafters (so to speak). Meredith goes up the fire escape to the "roof". The access door's locked, but she can see another van full of posse members heading this way. She lets Jimi Ray know. Behrel goes around the back, towards the roll-up doors. Suddenly there's the sound of breaking glass and two metallic things hit the ground to his side. He runs. The grenades go off as he's running around the corner very quickly.
Duane goes to check out the van, which turns out to have a backpack full of explosives in the back, and the fuse is burning! Run! After his brief flight through the air, Duane lands about 20' away, on his hip. Ow. He's smoldering slightly, and he'll just lay there a while. Jimi Ray is hit in the right foot by a large chunk of van. Ow. Up on the roof, Meredith is hit in the upper leg by something metal when the landing she's standing on falls away under her. She's now hanging from the handle of the emergency door, three stories up. It seemed like such a good idea at the time.
Some of the bad guys stagger out smoking, and one has had his dreads almost blown straight. It was a very, very loud bang. The new bad guys stop for a few minutes and take a toke before continuing. One of the gang opens the door Meredith's hanging from and starts firing down at Jimi Ray. Meredith kicks off from the opposite wall and bounces the door back closed, hitting the gunman. She hears swearing from inside, then gunfire through the door that fortunately doesn't hit her. The man inside swears as his gun jams, then he shoves the door open, hard. Meredith doesn't react quickly enough and slams into the wall, head first. Then the door swings back but doesn't latch.
Jimi Ray is carefully moving towards Duane, who's surrounded by flaming van chunks. Behrel heads for the back of the building to find the bad guys. Behrel: "Hey mon, you in there?" Gunfire. "Hey man, that wasn't nice! It's Jimmy." The response sounds vaguely galanglic, partially. Jimi Ray makes a run for Duane, using a large car chunk for cover.
Joe Lee and Omi were inside Pharmacopia when all the gunfire took place. They're good, but they're not bulletproof. They reach outside just after the van explodes. They see the new men heading their way, debris everywhere, Duane lying on the ground, and Meredith hanging precipitously from the third floor door above the pointy fire escape debris. Joe Lee gets Omi to help push a nearby dumpster across the street (it's cover and concealment) and under the door. Well, nearly under the door, as the fire escape debris is in the way directly under. They place the dumpster while being fired on, then Joe Lee yells up to Meredith to jump. She looks down. Hmm. Then she peeks through the holes in the door and sees the man reloading his machinegun, so she drops. Meredith kind of hits the sides on the way down, in the ribs. The debris is herbal-scented, and very dusty. A few seconds after discovering that a deep breath is way too painful, she realizes that her eyes have gone numb, followed by her lips and the tip of her tongue. Ick! She rolls out the far side, away from the gunfire, mostly.
The good thing is the dumpster run has provided a distraction for Jimi Ray to get to Duane. Jimi Ray medics him after making sure he's not dead (nope). Duane isn't even actually unconscious, just almost. He opens one eye. Omi provides a lesson in primitvie ranged weapons and how bulletproof vests are not arrowproof. Two men down, one running for cover while sprouting an arrow, and the others taking cover. Joe Lee runs out to help Jimi Ray drag Duane over near the dumpster. Everyone is together except for the missing Behrel. Speaking of Behrel, he's climbed up the conduit on the outside of the building, to the second floor. He kicks open the windows on either side of the conduit. No gunfire. He goes into the showroom floor.
Duane looks around and sees an access panel on the road nearby. Joe Lee's keys are on his belt at home. Damn. Duane uses his pry bar to break into it, barking his knuckles among other things. Duane: "Keep 'em busy while I scout this out. If I'm not back in five minutes assume I'm dead." Jimi Ray:"Right." Down he goes.
Upstairs, Behrel hears the sound of someone flopping down onto a chair or something, behind one of the false (display) walls. Then it sounds like a recliner being flipped back. Behrel is sneaking forward when the beaded curtain behind him rattles. He turns and fires his whippet gun, taking down a bad guy. He's laying there on the floor, none of the buckshot has penetrated his vest but he's out cold for a while. Then his friend, with a macheté-like thing, attacks Behrel, hitting him in the right shoulder. Ow. Bugger. The armor stops it, mostly, then Behrel fires the other barrel. He shoots low, but the man doesn't have any armor on his shin. Blood all over the place, but not really red in the dark. Then the bad guy with the chainsaw shows up. Chainsaw? Behrel draws his sword and strikes, impaling him through the stomach. He falls, the saw stops as it hits the ground. (Safety first!)
Omi: "Some of them are in the building, and it appears to have no lights. I believe their weapons of a promiscuous nature would be of little use." Joe Lee: "Let's go." Omi: "You first, I will cover. <to the others> In, quickly." Meredith: What about...?" She gestures where Duane went. Omi: "I will wait." The others go into the darkened room. Joe Lee: "Cover the light." Omi shifts the dumpster so it blocks out more of the light.
While Behrel is stalking the second floor, the others are on the first, having moved obliquely off to the side. They hear a door being kicked in, then "Come on, mon. This way." Joe Lee sets up an ambush. The bad guys are proceeded by the scent of Borloi. Meredith sees a shadow and fires on it. She's not sure if she hit him, but he doesn't go down and turns her way. Jimi Ray fires his 12mm on another target (one that was moving earlier). The shadow falls over. That's good, even though Jimi Ray isn't sure where he hit the guy. A glass coffee table shatters. Joe Lee takes out the last man, using unarmed combat. A solid kick to the chest, but it's simultaneous with the bad guy. Something swishes past Joe Lee, but doesn't hit. Now it's the bad guys' turn. The one who turned towards Meredith hits her in the head with the machete. She sinks down to her knees, probably not screaming due to shock.
Upstairs, Behrel is trying to sneak up behind a man. The floor suddenly feels sort of soft, then gives way entirely. Behrel falls onto the first floor, doing a PLF. He's followed by another man and a loveseat. The loveseat only grazes Behrel's back.
Elsewhere, Duane is crawling through the accessway. Up ahead there's suddenly a bright light as someone lights up their ganjastick. He's got a hatchet at his feet, and when he sees Duane he drops the lighter. It gets dark. Duane gets the throwing dart off his thigh, not wanting to close with the man who has a small axe. The dart scrapes briefly on the wall, then Duane throws and hears a satisfying "Ah! Damn you!!" Then there's the unmistakable mercaptin smell, a frantic scramble away, and a big woof! Duane comes scampering out of the accessway opening, rolling off to one side. Duane: "Down one. Let's not go that way." He can hear the screaming from below, briefly. Duane shuts the cover. Duane: "Where are the others?" Omi: "Inside." Duane: "Right. let's go." He draws his axe.
Inside, Joe Lee breaks the arm of the man he was struggling with, then moves the weapon out of reach. Jimi Ray has a man brush in front of him close enough to touch him with his dreads. Jimi Ray rocks back and fires, hitting the man in the spine. He's dead. As Meredith wasn't moving, the man with the macheté just jerks it out and turns towards Jimi Ray. Behrel has the man who fell to earth with him to deal with. The bad guy swings on Behrel, hitting the loveseat's back. Behrel swings, splitting the loveseat cleanly in half. Now the bad guy can get his machete out. Meredith manages to shoot and hit the man who passed her, hitting him in the neck. He falls beside Jimi Ray.
Voice: "Come on, mon! Let's get out of here!!" A door on the far side opens. Behrel slices his opponent neatly in half, on the diagonal. Blood splatters over Behrel. Behrel: "Next." A couple of other people head out the back door, more stagger than leap, so they're easier targets. Behrel goes outside, sheaths his sword, and fires his military gauss pistol at the van and the bad guys as they run for their vehicle. Omi: "They flee!" Something small is thrown out of the window of the van as they tear off. In a few minutes, Behrel checks and it's a small doll with pins in it. He leaves it there.
Sirens in the distance, finally. Behrel suggests Jimi Ray medic people as much as possible, then they'll walk to where they can get a cab. Well, okay, the ones who are able to walk, walk and help the others. They manage to make it all the way to Regina Trauma without sustaining any additional injuries.
Behrel is given something to put him under. At some point when he's still groggy he sees someone in a white coat. Man: "I know who you are, I know where you live, mon. I put the hex on you." He tosses a doll onto Behrel's chest. Behrel tosses it into the bed pan. Behrel: "That's what I think of your hex." Man: "We'll see, mon. We'll see." Behrel: "Yeah, your buddies saw." Man: "We'll see, mon. We'll see. I have the magic." He leaves. Well, Behrel can definitely recognize the man now. Dreadlocks, three scarlines under each eye (ritual scarring).
The party is all together, at least the ones who were injured. Joe Lee and Omi emerged unscathed. The news story states the fight was between two of the posses. The police assumption, based on the evidence, is that two gangs were fighting over territory. Close enough!