Autumn is up first at 06.00, booking a couple of ground cars to use in the take down of the Professor. By the time that the others are up and ready at 07.00, the two cars are waiting for them outside the ship.
The party divides into two groups with Autumn driving one of them and Jie the other. Jie’s car containing Taeva and Arvor heads back to Singh’s compound, while Autumn, Will and Grim head for the SuSAG building to look out for his arrival.
At 08.20, Jie, Arvor and Taeva spot Singh leaving the compound in an executive-class ground car. They follow him as he makes his way towards the SuSAG building, with both Arvor and Taeva looking for potential ambush spots along the route. Fortunately, although the journey is only a short one, it takes him through some semi-deserted back streets where they are unlikely to be bothered by the cops.
At 08.40, Singh’s car arrives at the fortress-like structure of the SuSAG HQ and the car disappears into the building’s underground parking garage. The party members meet up to discuss the takedown. Realizing that they have plenty of time to organize the details of the kidnapping, they leave the vicinity of the HQ and retrace the route until they have found a suitable place for taking Singh down.
Once the details have been taken care of, Jie’s car heads back to keep an eye on the SuSAG HQ while Autumn, Will and Grim park up alongside the route.
The two teams then have a long wait as it is 19.40 by the time that they see Singh’s car exiting the garage. Jie slips out from where she is parked and follows Singh’s car at a safe distance. Arvor keeps in touch with Autumn via the commos. As Singh’s car approaches the ambush site, Arvor shouts out, Now!’ and Autumn drives out of the side street she has been patiently waiting in and completely blocks the road just in front of Singh’s car, forcing him to slam on the breaks. Immediately behind him, Jie performs a very neat handbrake turn, blocking his escape route completely.
Panic-stricken, Singh is trying to get out of the car. His reflexes are no match for Taeva’s, however, and before he has managed to undo his seat belt, Taeva is sat in the passenger seat with a gauss pistol pointed at his head.
“Let’s all go for a drive,” she says coldly.
Before they have been seen by anyone, the three cars set off into the dusk as they look around for a deserted part of the town. They soon find an area of wasteland, occupied by the remnants of shanties plus several smouldering bonfires of garbage.
The party members all get out of their cars and surround Singh’s. Arvor starts questioning him, but Singh is obviously more scared of his superiors than he is of the party members right now. After more than half an hour of questioning, he still hasn’t gotten anything useful from him.
Taeva lets out a deep sigh of impatience, draws her gauss pistol and shoots Singh in the leg.
He starts screaming. “OK, OK, I’ll spill the beans,” he cries.
“You can start off by giving the password to your handcomp,” Taeva says.
Singh complies, providing the password plus necessary fingerprint and retina scans. Taeva passes the unlocked comp to Will who immediately proceeds to dump the entire contents of the comp onto his own handcomp, before he starts to go through all of the information.
Meanwhile, Singh starts to sing like a canary.
“We don’t need bird impressions right now,” Jie says angrily. “We need information.”
Singh starts spilling the beans.
“Trying to distract us with vegetables isn’t going to work either,” Jie adds now sounding even more angry. “Just tell us all you know.”
Singh finally starts to reveal all of the information. He is working directly for SuSAG’s CEO on Egypt, Julian Clarke. The whole operation is a little private enterprise on Clarke and Singh’s behalf – it is being done behind SuSAG’s back. Grim is getting the full information on video.
Once he has revealed the information, Singh begs the party members to get him off-world, saying that Clarke is sure to make him disappear if it is found out that he has grassed on his employers. The party members agree to this and tell him that they will take him back to the ship and arrange passage offworld. He willingly gets back into the car and the three vehicles head back to the Princess.
Once back at the ship, Will sees to Singh’s wounds and then puts him into one of the free cold berths. He then goes back to the data for an antidote and starts to create it using contents from the Med Bay.
Meanwhile, Arvor gives Keebles a call, telling him that they ‘have a passenger onboard that they would like him to meet’. Keebles says that he will be straight over.
Half an hour later, Keebles arrives. He sits in the passenger lounge as Grim shows him the footage. Keeebles seems very pleased with the party members’ findings.
“That’s good news that Clarke is doing this behind SuSAG’s back,” he says with a wry smile. “I wouldn’t like to be in his shoes when his superiors on Glisten get to hear about this. SuSAG’s reputation is bad enough without any of their senior staff getting up to illegal activities and profiting behind their backs.”
“I’m going to need Singh here to speak with SuSAG’s Internal Affairs Division when they arrive to clear this mess up,” he adds. “It will be up to them what happens to Singh. I’m not getting involved – I just want this situation to stop on my patch.”
The party members agree. They don’t want any additional problems either.
“Can you help me to smuggle him back to the jail?” he asks. “We need to keep it a secret that I’ve got him and he’s talked until SuSAG’s people have arrived.”
The party members agree and so Will resuscitates Singh. Immediately that has he thawed out though, Taeva shoots him with a tranq round and he falls unconscious again. They help Keebles to bundle the unconscious form of Singh into the trunk of his car and then, while Will finished mixing up the antidote, the others tail Keeble’s car in one of the rented ground cars to make sure that there are no problems in getting him to the station.
The journey is without incident, however, and they manage to get him inside the jail without being seen.
With Singh now safely in detention, Keebles thanks the party members once again for all their help and shakes each of them by the hand. They return the ground car back to the starport and return to the ship.
By the time they get back to the ship, Will has finished mixing the antidote and everyone crowds into the Med Bay to watch him inject it into Max’s still slumbering form. For several minutes, nothing happen but then Max’s eyes open. Everyone looks relieved and delighted until Max vomits all over Autumn, who is standing next to him. Now she doesn’t look quite as delighted.
“Wh-wh-what am I doin’ ’ere?” he asks confused. “Why you all lookin’ at me? Why’s my ‘ead ’urtin’ so bad?”
Taeva fills him in on what has been going on, finishing with a firm rebuke on the dangers of accepting narcotic from dodgy Jonkeereen.
Max looks a little sheepish:
“You sure it was the gear? I ’ad a kebab an hour or so before I took the gear – maybe it was just that. It tasted a bit iffy.”
Autumn is not amused.
“You’ve wasted enough of our time already. You better get back on your feet again and take care of the trading so that we can get off this miserable planet and get to Mertactor a.s.a.p.”
The thought of Mertactor is enough to get Max’s interest.
“All right, all right. I’ll get on it,” he mumbles. “I found a buyer for all the food before I took the gak … I mean ate the kebab anyway so it should be a piece of piss to get it all sorted.”
“So we can go for a noon departure on 145?” Autumn replies.
“If you reckon that gives you enough time to fill all the staterooms, that will be fine.”
With departure date now planned, everyone has a quiet evening in, not wanting to venture out of the starport in case Clarke has found out what happened.