Will was pacing. He’d started as soon as Unimportant mentioned going into Beck Industries, and he’d been getting a little faster with each turn.
“What was he looking for?”
“I only caught a glimpse of the document; he-” He nodded at the once-again unconscious man they’d dragged from the car “-locked it back up before I could get to the computer. He woke up on the way over and we managed to get him to tell us where it was before passing back out. He called it Power Nectar.”
Will’s fist slammed into the wall. “He was supposed to destroy it. He promised us that no one would ever get another chance to touch the stuff.”
“You know what it is?”
Will nodded, his voice grew quiet.“Ambrosia. If you believe the stuff mages say about it, then it’s all that’s left from when gods spent more time wandering around earth. The Council got their hands on it about the time they took over from the first generation. It can give certain walkers a massive power boost, but it kills most of the people who drink it. It was used once, and then it was supposed to be destroyed. Beck must have decided to try and improve it instead. If Trump really found some on one of Beck’s zeppelins, then we don’t have time to think of a plan. Let’s go. Put him in the trunk.”
Will headed out the door and straight for Allspades’ and Unimportant’s stolen car. The group quickly followed behind him. Unimportant’s masking grew a bit thicker as he ran alongside the others.
“So he’s trying to get stronger?” Burnout asked. “That’s why he took over the city?”
“He wouldn’t be the first,” Will said. “The last time someone was after it, they barely stopped him from blowing up half the country. It’s as close to infinite power as a normal walker can get. Trump might just consider the city worth it.”
“No,” Allspades said. “If he just wanted the drug, then putting on a show like this isn’t making it any easier for him. Trump could have gone after it directly and he probably would have been able to drink it before anyone realized he needed to be stopped. He said he wanted to make the city an example, that stuff is just phase one.”
They reached the car and Will hopped into the driver’s seat. He glanced at Allspades sliding into the seat in the back. “You talked to him.”
“He came to talk to be before he blew up the library. He said that he want to show people that walkers weren’t tools to be thrown at problems and forgotten.”
“Normally that’s the kind of speech they save for the end. He’s from you’re old crew isn’t he? King?”
Allspades paused, but quickly nodded. “He’s holding onto a grudge from the old days. King was always an asshole, but we never doubted that he was one of the good guys. I don’t know what could’ve driven him this far, but I need to stop him.”
“No you don’t,” Hawthorne said. It was the first time she’d spoken since she’d seen Will stopping Adamant. “The last time you tried to take on something from your past you ended up running off to kill them. I am not chasing you down again. When we catch up to him, we’re going to take him down together.” She turned to Will. “If he drinks the Ambrosia, what’s going to happen?”
“He’ll…probably die,” Will said slowly. “The last time there were a couple dozen walkers drinking it, and only three of them made it through alive. Half of them died right away; the rest managed to use their boosted powers for a few hours before they died; one of them lasted two days.”
Trump’s men had abandoned the streets, but craters and cars, abandoned or with sleeping drivers, still littered the roads. Will had to stop talking while he snaked his way past the remains of rush hour on Main Street.
“…he won’t die,” Allspades said. “King was always an arrogant prick, but he earned it. The only reason I’ve seen one of his plans fail is if he didn’t have all the information before he started. If he really plans on drinking that stuff, then he’s sure he’ll survive.”
“Even if he survives drinking it, it takes a few minutes to build up, so you have a window to take him out. After that, the only thing you can do is run; even the weakest of the walkers who drank it could have taken out a city block in an instant. Someone who can shoot metal like he can could probably level the city in one go. It’ll cool down to about half that level after a day or two, but until then, he’ll be unstoppable, and the effects never wear off for good.”
“One in eight; almost 90% chance we don’t even have to do anything,” Hawthorne said. “In some jobs, that’d be enough to ignore the problem.”
“A job where the city isn’t at stake,” Burnout said. “You get to sleep at normal hours, have a consistent schedule, and you get paid too. It’d almost be like winning the lottery.”
“I’d be dead or back on the streets in a week,” Allspades said. “I could barely stand working at the library and I could literally disappear for hours without anyone noticing. Sitting at an actual desk might kill me.”
“you’d have to wear a nice shirt too.” Unimportant said.
Allspades shivered. “Don’t remind me. I only have one shirt that even has a collar; having to wear one every day might actually kill me.”
Will coughed, but he was hiding a smile behind the clenched fist he used to cover his mouth. The group’s attention shifted back towards him. “Anyway; most of Beck’s zeppelins have labs on them, but only one of them has the kind of security he would need for Ambrosia. The best way to get there is to get a lift from one of his supercopters.”
“Supercopter?” Allspades asked.
“I didn’t name it. Unfortunately, everyone who knows how to pilot one is probably asleep right now.”
“So how are we supposed to get there?”
“…have you ever watched Star Trek?”