Never a dull moment in Mid-World.
Just when I thought I might get two uneventful days in a row, Taki gets a text from the still-missing HC: “Kidnapped. On train?” Taki magically located him – he was N and slightly W, ~12 miles away. That put him roughly in the middle of Lake Pontchartrain, probably on the Causeway Bridge.
So, we decide to go get the little bastard. HC apparently had the foresight to disconnect the battery on the van, so that EMP that took most things out didn’t take it out too. Taki reconnected it, it started right up, and we were on our way. I-10 was closed, so we headed down Vets to Causeway. And damn, Lakeside Mall’s still on fire. I figured someone would’ve put that out by now.
The digital sign on the Causeway entrance flashed WARNING, but the rest of sign was burned out – nothing to worry about, right? Well, about 10mi in, I noticed a lot small arms fire that pockmarked the road. This was a bit of a heads-up for a bigger problem shortly after that: a big hole in bridge. I’m guessing line two of the sign was supposed to say BRIDGE OUT. A bunch of ships are moored to each other below. Taki gets another text from HC updating us that he’s probably not on a train, but on a moored boat. Bingo. Taki does that magical locator trick thing again and learns that HC is on a boat called the “Mary Celeste“.
We sneak to the edge of the bridge, and see 5 or 6 tough guys. Crap. Things just got trickier. More fun, sure, but trickier. One of them though, looks like he could be the younger brother of my old partner, Malcolm. We approach slowly, and sure enough it is him – Hyleas Ecks. They all seem to have uniforms, and serve as a sort of border patrol – charging 1000 nuyencash to cross.
I reconnected with Hyleas, ratcheting the tension level a few steps down. I told him that we were looking for a friend on the Mary Celeste, and if they new where it was. Hyleas checked in and informed us that it hadn’t gotten permission to join flotilla, and was moored on the edge. I convince Hyleas that the boat we’re looking for may be up to no good, and that we may be able to help each other out – we get our friend back, they deal with a problem before it gets bad. Hyleas and another come with us as an escort and as extra muscle, avoiding the crossing fee. While traveling and chatting w/ Hyleas, I find they’re opposed to the Lord Mayor, which isn’t really surprising but could be helpful down the road.
When we get closer, we see a sargo container on top of the Mary Celeste. We climb up, and of course the crew asks who we are. In an authroitative voice, I bellow INSPECTIONS!, which they don’t really buy. Four of them attack us. I run ahead and just about cleave one of them with my greatsword. He manages to hit me with a spiked club with his remaining working arm. Ow. I tried to pull my greatsword out of his shoulder, but ended up pulling him toward me, so I made the best of it and punched him in the face, crumpling him. He slumped unconscious and I freed my greatsword, allowing him to bleed out at his leisure.
In short order, the 4 attackers are all either unconscious, dead, or on their way to various stages of deadness. Before the last one slips into unconsciousness, the newly freed HC manages to learn that his younger brother, Funyn, is tied up in the hold.
We clear the boat, finding Funyn tied up, and one of HC’s older brothers holding him hostage. HC cuts his big brother pretty badly and frees Funyn. Apparently it was HC’s brothers that kidnapped him. I guess they don’t get along so well.
We start interrogating the older brother (can’t remember if his name was Jim or Jack). All HC really wants is to for Funyn to be kept out of it, but the older bro can’t promise. Seems like a bigger dick than HC.
As much as I dislike HC, this really pisses me off, so I take a swing at him. I just barely connect with his forehead, cutting his bangs and leaving a neat red line across his forehead.
Heading back to the van, I say goodbye to Hyleas, giving him my card and offering my services should he be in need. I hope he keeps in touch.
We head back to the bar w/HC and Funyn. And as much as HC has gained some points in my book for standing up for him, we decide to split his 10,000 nuyencash share three ways from the last job for Anoosheh between ourselves as a sort of rescuing fee.
I’m thinking I’ll get me a new gun. And whiskey.