Chapter 21: Rain


Mach nodded and her visor shifted again; a monochrome filter came over her eyes. She scanned the doors of the warehouse and found a pool of greenish blue near the main exit.

“This way,” she said. The rest of the group followed her out of the warehouse and onto the street. “There are three trucks, They are heading east from here.”

“You couldn’t have told us that before we went in?” Allspades growled.

Mach turned towards him, her glare hidden behind the visor of her mask. “All cars are equipped with an ion trail generator, but unless you can guarantee a unique signature before it mixes with any others, it’s impossible to identify,” she snapped.

Hawthorne whistled. “No time for this. Red, do you have any idea where they’re going from here?”

Red Racer’s face scrunched up in thought. “Almost everything’s east of here-re. I don’t think I can help much-ch.”

Hawthorne sighed. “Then we need to get moving, Allspades, Unimportant let’s get the truck. Mach, do you have anything to help us keep in touch.”

“If you have your phones, I can dial them into a private frequency. I have some spare headsets that should help.”

“Good let’s get going then.”

Mach and Burnout took off, and Red Racer kept with the others until they got in the car. All of them heard a ringing.

“Everyone here?” Hawthorne waited a moment. “Mach, how well can you trace them? Any chance we can follow them the whole way?”

“I can trace them if they stay together, but if they split up then their trail will as well and I will not be able to recognize them after that.”

Burnout ‘s harsh voice came over the line. “So we’re fucked then? If they split up, we got nothing?”

Everyone looked away, each trying to find a way to prove him wrong.

“We’re looking at this the wrong way,” Allspades said. “We need to figure out why they’re being ordered to do this. What’s the point?”

“We don’t have time for that!” Burnout said.

“It’s the only chance we got!” Allspades turned to Unimportant. “You know these people better than anyone of us!  What is Asclepios planning? Why bother with this?”

“It’s not like him….He’s never shown interest beyond the drug trade….His normal clients would come crawling back if they heard he had something new.”

“Maybe he’s not trying to get new clients-ts,” Red Racer said. “Maybe he’s just gone nuts-ts.”

“That’s not like him.…He is far more logical than that.”

“Nothing we have seen tonight is logical,” Mach said. “Perhaps it is not him in control of this shipment, or he has come to the conclusion that he is not being taken seriously enough and has chosen to rectify that.”

“Then let’s stop looking at this from his perspective,” Hawthorne said. “Let’s look at this as a bomb, and we’re trying to figure out where it will draw the most attention and do the most damage.”

“They did not turn onto the highway,” Mach said. “I do not believe they intend to split up until they get closer to their destination.”

“That helps, anyone have an idea?”

“They’re not bombers,” Burnout said in a quiet voice.

“What’s that mean?” Allspades asked.

“They don’t have a bomb; they can’t guarantee anything will be destroyed for sure. Any impact they have will be because of the people they hit, not the location.”

“Okay then,” Hawthorne said. “They’re taking the slow route, but they’re heading towards the center of the city. If we had to guess who would cause the most chaos if they were hit, who would it be?”

“Activist group?” Mach suggested. “And they’ve split up, but I can track at least one of the trucks, it moved a few blocks south and turned back east.”

Hawthorne nodded. “Keep an eye on it.”

“Activists are unlikely…” Unimportant said. “The drug causes anger…people who are already angry and haven’t done anything…aren’t going to do anything because of the drug.”

“The university,” Allspades said.

“It would draw attention,” Hawthorne said. “But it’s summer, hardly anyone would even be there.”

“There’s a game tonight-ight.”

“That would be a lot of people,” Burnout said. “But you’ve all seen what can happen after a bad game, and with who we’re playing against…would anybody even guess it was a drug?”

“Maybe that’s the point,” Hawthorne said. “Maybe he doesn’t want anyone to know it was him. Instant riot, and the whole city gets tied up for hours. Who know what you could get done with that going on?”

“That is significantly more like him…” Unimportant said. “Especially if he was being paid.”

“Okay then, let’s go with that. Mach, tell us if that last truck goes somewhere else. Does anyone have a way of getting in touch with Will?”

“My sister might be able to-to. But, she won’t be happy about me doing this-is.”

“Call her anyway. If we’re right, someone needs to figure out what else they’re planning.”


The stadium was always crowded during game days. Allspades had to leave his truck half a dozen blocks away and they had to run the rest of the way.

“Mach, where did that truck go?” Hawthorne shouted into the headset.

“It appears to have entered a tunnel under the stadium.”

“They use it for deliveries,” Burnout said. “All they’d have to do is convince a guard they were delivering an emergency beer shipment and they’d be in. There are enough entrances that all the trucks could get in without too much trouble.”

“Want me to check-ck?” Red asked. “Getting in there should be easier than the warehouse-se.”

Hawthorne looked to Unimportant.

“We don’t have time for me to check…” he said. “He can be done before we even get there.”

“Hurry then.”

Red Racer zipped off to the stadium.

“How are they distributing it?”

“Central cooling unit is in the basement,” Burnout said.

“How do you know all this?” Allspades asked.

“I know a guy.”

“Not important!” Hawthorne snapped. “Mach, if they have a way to pump it in there can you stop it.”

“It is possible, but I fear I would need more time than they would provide us.”

“I can get there…” Unimportant said. “If I can’t disable it, could you guide me..?”

“With any luck. If a smart enough mecher built it then it will be difficult.”

“Good enough,” Hawthorne said. “But if we’re lucky we won’t have to worry about guards.”

“Nope-pe.” Red Racer was within range again. “There are at least thirty of them there-re, and they all have gas masks-sks.”

“Crap. Everyone but Unimportant and Mach are on distraction. Mach, make it look like your busy but don’t get distracted got it? Worst comes to worst, we need to keep the gas out of the vents. We’ll contain it in the basement if we have to. Try to grab a mask everyone.”

“Got it.” The group answered as one.


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One comment

  1. So I wonder how often these support groups turn into hero groups. They bond at an emotional level and it goes from there.

    Things are starting to heat up for our heroes. Will they be able to foil Asclepios’ dastardly plan to create a stadium full of hooligans? Stay tuned for next week’s exciting episode!

    Thanks for the chapter! ^_^

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