Knee Deep (Part 2 - Making a meal of it)

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Date Event
26.03.05  

070.100

(Still one week later) Tomlinson visits the party again. The embassy of Aquitaine has demanded that Luca (officially still an Aquitainian citizen) not be handed over to Hanover. The Aquitaine delegation in the GEO assembly has flexed made this into a political issue, and has managed that Luca is shipped to earth instead to serve her 20 years in an Aquitaine prison.
Tomlinson asks if there are things they want him to arrange before they are handed over to Hanover:
  • Alex turns his pimping duties over to Freya
  • Frank has Tomlinson call a number and speak a code word; this will prevent all the dirt he has amassed on other people over the years not to be broadcasted on the public nets for another 30 days.
  • Frank also has Tomlinson sent the following message to Silvana Black at LavOrg: "In one months time everybody will know who Junior is"
  • Running Orchard Enterprises will be left to Vicky and Bernard.

072.100

The group is handcuffed and escorted to the courtyard of the prison, where a Hanover Security assault jumpcraft is parked. They are seated and strapped into a restraining harness (which doubles as seatbelts).
The flight is long, very, very long. Without windows the group doesn't know where they are taken. They are cramped still handcuffed, and to add to their misery the pilot takes them through 2 hurricanes, taking its toll on their already aching muscles.

073.100

Finally, after roughly 25 hours the party is unloaded. They are on top of what resembles most closely a drilling platform, except that there’s no drilling tower. There are numerous landing pads and plenty armament though. Scanning their surrounding, Rave sees the outline of an island some 3 kilometers to the east.
A large, butt-ugly bald negro is waiting for them. "So, this is the new batch of pathetic scum? Bring them inside". The group is led deep into the structure to a darkened room. They are told to sit down facing a holoscreen. A guard takes position behind each one of them.
The holoscreen comes to live and shows the face of a stern looking woman with cold eyes, and dark hair tied in a bun behind her head. Alex recognizes her as Gertrude Baum, PR manager of Hanover Industries on Poseidon. Wasting no time, she starts interrogating the group.
Alex tells her everything he has already told the GEO. She is not convinced that he has told everything, and at her signal the guard behind Alex shocks him with a taser. When Alex is not forth coming with more information, the others are questioned; getting shocked when their answers are deemed unsatisfactory.
After some time, Baum tells that the interrogation is over for now. "Prepare them and dump them at the beach" she orders.
The groupmembers are ‘prepared’, which embodies a very painful injection of something in the lower back. The big negro who received them clearly dislikes hybrids & doctors as he is sure to be extra careless with the needle with Frank & Rave. After their treatment the group is herded back in the jumpcraft.
The craft takes off. When after a short flight its door opens again they see it hovers 5 meter above the courtyard of some biocrete buildings. Rave is taken first. He is positioned in front of the door, facing out. Just when his hands are uncuffed he suddenly receives a kick in the back as he is booted out of the jumpcraft. Expecting this, he lands neatly on his feet.
Next, Alex and Frank are kicked out. Not possessing Rave’s cat reflexes their landing is much less comfortable and Alex seriously injures his ankle. A small foodpack is thrown after them, and the jumpcraft leaves.
Just as they are recovering a group of three men carrying some kind of crude knives approaches them. They demand the food. Feeling bold, Rave challenges them : "You think the 3 of you can take us on?". The men answer that the 68 of them certainly will be able to. They claim they are with Kaiser’s Gang and that they are the ruling class. So the party has a choice: their food or their lives. Grumbling, they hand over the food.
After Frank has patched himself and his friends as good as he can, they go look for less unfriendly folk. Using his instinct, Alex suggests they go talk to an elderly man sitting in front of the smaller buildings.
The elderly man sizes them up: "They usually use a rope to lower new arrivals? You pissed them off, eh?". Alex starts negations, he wants to know how things are regulated here. The man tells them that any information has to be paid for. Rave goes foraging and returns with a handful of shellfish which seems to satisfy the man. He introduces himself as Julio.
Julio explains the situation. Böse Strand is controlled by prison gangs. Kaiser’s Gang is the most powerful; there’s a gang that controls the forest on the east of the island, and a recent arrival of 6 young men who call themselves the red rifles. Rave wants to know how Kaiser’s men got by their knives. Chuckling, Julio says that that is valuable information, worth way more than a handful of shellfish.
Frank and Rave go out to search for more food. Wading out into sea, Rave gets stuck in some kind of sticky translucent net. Concerned he returns to Julio to ask if it’s dangerous. Julio seems interested: he claims it is not dangerous, and will accept the net as payment, so Rave & Frank return to fetch the net.
Julio stores the net inside the building he was sitting in front of. He tells Rave that the knives are made of a special kind of coral, called ‘Glass Coral’. The knives are sharp but fragile, and he explains how to make them.
After a bit more negotiation, Alex strikes a deal with Julio: under Julio’s directions, they will build a hut for four, and they'll offer him food & lodging for the next 2 years. In return, Julio will teach them tricks when they ask for it. He warns them that he’ll be not offering information himself, except when they are ‘jeopardizing his investment’ (i.e. are doing something that will get them killed.)
Wood for the hut is easy to come by, (just go to the forest 5 km to the east). Julio tells them that thatching for the roof can be made from water hemp. He knows of a batch just behind the rocks on the south beach. The patch will be more than enough for their needs, but is difficult to reach.
As Rave wades in to get some water hemp he steps on something. The creature, whatever it is, is clearly annoyed. Rave quickly retreats, but the critter manages to nip him in the calves.
From Rave’s vague description, Julio thinks it must have been a nightcrawler or a gladiator crab. Either one is edible, but has tough armor. Since the group hasn't eaten for over a day, they decide to kill it. Frank (armed with a stick) and Rave (armed with his claws) seek it out. After a frantic battle in which the thing nearly takes Rave’s arm off they manage to kill it. Julio identifies it as a nightcrawler, shows them how to open its shell and clean it. Famished, the four of them stuff themselves. The meat turns out to be tender and delicious.
The nightcrawler was quite large (1.2 meters across), so even after their feast a lot of meat is left. Alex realizes that they probably won’t be able to hide the fact that they have food and start to ponder on a way that they can hold on to it ...
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