Tuesday, November 6, 2012

First Nations

January 15th 2071, Thursday

It seems we're about to get caught in the middle of a turf war. This morning, about thirty gangers on bikes drove up to the bridge and three of them came into the Nets under a white flag, with the message that their leader wished to speak to Growler. I recognized their colors as that of the First Nations.

Growler agreed and called Monkeywrench, Ningbo and me to join the conversation, as well as two people as guards. The First Nations brought two guards and their leader Blood of the Buffalo was joined by their shaman Walks With Spirits. It was absolutely clear that they could just have taken what they wanted, the First Nations have, as far as I know, over a hundred members and they are heavily armed. The Scrappers with their crossbows and Streetsweepers are no match for them.

Blood of the Buffalo told us that the First Nations would be waging war on the Crimson Crush over the territory of The Verge. They wanted the Nest as their base of operations, as well as support in form of Matrix and technical help as well as medical care. We bickered a bit about the price and, after declining an offer to be paid in drugs, we came to an agreement. This will last for two weeks and then the First Nations expect the war to be over. I'm not so convinced. But we'll re-negotiate then, at least that's what we agreed on.

For now we're having guests and I don't plan on getting much free time once the real fighting has begun. Plus, there's also the question what will happen once (if) the First Nations have their new territory - pretty much the only way to get there is through the Nest. The fact that the First Nations are big in the drug business doesn't help to ease my mind one bit, but on the other hand, if it's not them, it's someone else. And Flipside will become a problem whoever is dealing with it, I don't care how harmless it's supposed to be.

Simon Says

January 4th 2071, Sunday

We have a new med tech, an ork named Simon. Glitzy met him when she was out for a drink at the Bawdy Lass. He was looking for a job and since he has been in jail, he had no luck finding one, at least not as a med tech. I remember how that feels.

So we agreed to meet for lunch at Yoshiro's to talk it over. Glitzy had already send me his resume and I have to say, I was ready to do pretty much anything it took to get him to work at the Nest.

Simon was obviously nervous, not just because this was a job interview, but because he was going into the Barrens and the Rat's Nest. He had read all the media reports about us and frankly, those are less than flattering. I probably would have been terrified as well. But after we were done talking about the basics like work hours and salary, I could tell that he wanted the job. So I suggested we go and take a look at the Nest.

The Nest still doesn't look its best and it's something of a cultural shock at the best of times for someone who has been a more or less lawabiding citizen until now. But I think that Simon was surprised by what he saw and I know the clinic impressed him. When we came in, Whistler had just taken in some kid with a gunshot wound and we let Simon deal with it. Which he did very well.

We agreed that he will start on Monday and after a month, he will decide if he is going to stay. I hope he will.

Consequences

December 31st 2070 Wednesday

Yesterday, I was just talking to Liz when Ella almost kicked down the door to the clinic. She had been to the Bargain Basements with Kerry to sell stuf for Monkeywrench and the Kabuki Ronin had recognized the colours of the Scrappers. The Ronin were on the lookout for whoever had stolen one of their bikes and a katana from them and since Rusty did wear his colours during the run, they blamed the Scrappers.

They took pretty much everything Monkeywrench had brought to the market, a loss of about 35k. And they smashed Kerry's hand, she's going to lose it and I'm still trying to figure out what to do, although the final decision will be hers.

Anyway, Growler, Monkeywrench and I talked to Rusty and he swore that neither Maggie nor he had stolen anything during that run. I already knew form Glitzy that Ray had taken the katana and Monkeywrench remembered that Ray sold him a bike. So we decided to talk to Ray because if he planned to keep this up, he'd be a danger for the Nest and we certainly would not appreciate him on our turf. Rusty mentioned that Ray did have a reason for stealing, that he didn't do it out of greed, but said that it was not his place to tell us more about this.

So I called Ray and he agreed to come to the Nest. Growler told him what happened, in the back room of the Rusty Barrel, and Ray told us that he needed money to buy drugs for his sister, who is suffering from Bowden's Malady. We argued back and forth for a bit whether the whole thing could have been avoided, getting nowhere fast.

It dawned on me that Ray was probably expecting to be taken out to the back and shot or something - if he did, he was hiding it extremely well, but the situation cannot have been very pleasant. So we agreed that in future Ray would adhere to any rules for the runs the group would be doing or bow out if the rules were not to his liking. That we could all live with.

I talked to Ray about his sister Ember. I don't have any experience with Bowden's Malady, although I've read about it. The street doc who's clinic we raided after he had been killed had been treating Ember and I still have his files, so at least I don't need to start from scratch.

Oh, and speaking of the clinic run, Eric has become something of an oddity at the Nest. People know what happened of course, there was no way we could go on hiding that. So far no-one has been giving him any trouble, but anyone who did that to his face would have to be near-suicidal anyway. I wish I could write an article about the whole thing, but that would bring so much trouble for the Nest, it's really not worth it. At the very least Eric would disappear into some lab and I would probably go along with him. I think we can both do without that experience.