Just an hour into Grim and Jie’s shift and there is another shift change at the warehouse – again more pick ups arrive bringing 12 people back, while the other shift leaves – so the staff must all work 12 hours on/12 hours off. They continue watching anyway until their shift ends at 07.00.
There’s another six hours of daylight left and so they decide to go in at 10.00, a good two hours before the next shift change is due and all assemble a safe distance away from the building, with the air/rafts a little further off, but close at hand in case the party members need to make a quick getaway.
Taeva has spotted a blindspot to the west of the building – hidden from the two security cameras that are above the entrances to the two doors north and south. Once it gets to 10.00, everyone gets into position. All of the party members approach from the west, apart from Grim who is out of sight behind an empty building to the south.
Taeva scurries under the cameras and heads for the main entrance. It’s locked. It takes her a couple of attempts before she is finally able to pick it and slide the door open. Unfortunately, the door squeals on its rollers as she does so and send a shaft of bright sunlight illuminating the interior.
All eyes in the warehouse are upon Taeva. She doesn’t look too hostile though.
One of the rednecks inside grins as he sees her silhouetted against the light.
“Well, hello, l’il darlin’,” he says. “So are you here looking for a large implement?”
This sets his workmates guffawing.
Max, who has grown very protective of Taeva can hear this. “No, but if she was looking for a complete tool, she’s in the right place.”
“Glad you’re here, baby,” the redneck continues. “I’ve been looking for a good furrow to plow.”
More laughter as the workers inside stop what they are doing and come to enjoy the show.
“Sure looks like there’s some fertile ground for planting my seed in.”
“Right!” says a very pissed off Max drawing his gauss pistol. “That’s enough.”
Grim is quicker than him though. He rounds the corner of the building he has been hiding around, quickly aims and sends a RAM grenade through the entrance of the door. The grenade lands just behind the redneck, splattering Taeva with gore.
Taeva ducks to the side of the door and takes down one of the shocked workers before he can even figure out what’s going on. Jie, Arvor, Max and William all rush up to the entrance. Taeva and Grim each take out another of the workers before they have all managed to dive for cover.
Jie and Taeva both run into the warehouse, searching for cover, attracting most of the fire from the workers, now hiding behind the harvesters and grav/vans inside. Jie gets shot in the side as she runs forward, but her armor absorbs most of the damage from the autopistol. Arvor takes Taeva’s spot at the side of the door and brings down another one, as does Grim with a burst from his gauss rifle.
Max opens the door wider and sprays the area with shots from his gauss pistol, managing to catch another of them. Unfortunately, by opening the door, he’s taken William’s cover away and he gets hit in the arm by a shot from one of those inside.
“Sorry, mate,” Max says sheepishly.
“It’s OK,” William grunts. “It’s only a flesh wound.”
Taeva and Jie, both safely in cover now manage to take down another one each and Arvor takes down another. There are just two left now. Both realizing that the they have little chance against the much better armed and armored group they both throw down their guns and surrender.
The rest of the party enters the warehouse. They can still hear shooting from inside a small office in the far corner though. Taeva rushes to investigates to find another of the workers emptying a magazine into the computer. He throws his hands up as soon as he sees Taeva entering the office.
It’s question time again. Again the captives are quite tight-lipped until Taeva shoots one of them in the knee. This gets his talking.
Unfortunately though, again, none of them seem to have a great deal of information to give them. Jimmy-Joe, the boss, is currently out – in Newland on business. They don’t know where exactly and they don’t know when he is due back. They don’t have much other information of interest either – having been told to destroy the computer in case anyone came around asking questions.
Taeva is getting frustrated through not getting any answers and threatens to take out the guy’s other kneecap. He tells them that there is a box of moss due for shipment in one of the grav/vans. The others go to investigate. The information is correct. The box contains around 100 kilos of Tarsuline and there is an address on it:
Newland Freight Services
137 Arndale way
Southdown Industrial Estate
“Let’s take it wiv us,” Max suggests.
He calls the drivers to bring the air/rafts over.
Taeva notices a safe in the corner of the office.
“Douse the place with gasoline while I try and crack this,” she says.
The others use the large barrels of gas to start dousing the place while Taeva sets to work on the safe. Her attempts to pick it just ends up with her breaking the mechanism though. Her acid lockpick melts it through though and she is able to open it.
There is little inside of interest though other than three bundles of Cr.100 notes.
“Cr.30,000,” she says and hands it to Max.
His skilled fingers quickly counts and divides up the notes, handing 5k to everyone.
“So what are we going to do with the survivors then?”
Of the 12 workers, 4 are dead, 4 seriously wounded, 2 unconscious and 2 unwounded, but all are tied up.
“Drag them outside the warehouse and make sure they are well bound,”says Taeva. The others all check that the workers are tightly bound and then dry fire to the gas which the warehouse is now
doused in. The building goes up quickly, black smoke belching through the roof and explosions from inside as more gas tanks go up.
“There’s a lot of activity close by,” Max says. “There’s a TDF base here an’ I don’t think they they can afford getting involved. And chances are that some of the militiamen will be friends of these guys and from the little I learned in Law School, these guys ain’t done nothing to us, whereas we’ve stolen property and have case a lot of criminal damage, not to mention four murders.”
“I think that it’s time to make a swift departure.”
They finish loading the box of Tarsuline into the trunk of the air/raft and then get in.
“Let’s take one of the captives with us,” suggests Arvor. “I’d like to see what effect Tarsuline has on someone.”
The others agree and so they take the one with the busted knee. William gives him a sedative to knock him out for a while. They then bundle him into the trunk of the second air/raft.
Once everyone is onboard, the two drivers take the rafts up high and then give it full speed. The start to head east towards Newland, However, two hours into the journey and Taeva gets a call from Hrym.
“They’ve announced the date of our nobble harvest,” he says, “It’s in four days’ time. It will take us a day to get all of the machinery and a day of travelling to get to the point for the harvesting, so we don’t have a lot of time.”
She passes the message on.
“We’re not going to have time to go to Newland before the nobble harvest now,” she says. “We’ll have to take care of than and then head straight to Newland afterwards.”
The others are disappointed that this means that they will give Jimmy-Joe time to find out about the events at his warehouse and to take appropriate action, but they are committed to the nobble harvest now.
The drivers change course, heading due south now back to the Traske Ranch.
After a couple more hours of travel, the air/rafts cross the Ouiloss River again and the air/rafts put down for lunch. They let the captive out of the trunk – he’s conscious again now.
Arvor tells him to eat some of the Tarsuline. The captive just shrugs and says, “OK then.”
Everyone watches on as he eats. He screws his face up as he chews. “It’s horribly bitter,” he says. “Could do with some kind of vinaigrette, maybe. A little olive oil and pepper, perhaps?”
Everyone sighs and then they bundle him back into the trunk. They finish their own lunches and then return to the air/rafts for the final leg back to the ranch.
They continue southwards as the sun sets and it’s completely dark by the time they return back to the ranch at 21.00. Things there are as they left them. Shania immediately starts to prepare dinner for everyone. Hyrm is not so happy at the party having brought a captive back with them.
“What are we supposed to do with him from now on?” he asks.
It’s been another long day for the party members and so they head off to bed after making sure that the captive is well locked up in one of the barns.