It took 7 days 6 hours 57 minutes and 34 seconds for LIBERATION to find her way back to port at Eavesdown Docks from the Rim’s Dream. It was rainy that day, dark and gloomy. The streets were full of mud, and most of the open air shops were closed. It was normal during the rainy season for business to either head indoors or go underground. Rodents don’t like water.
The Crew went their separate ways. By late afternoon, they rendezvoused as planned at the HobNob Saloon. It was nestled in the Maze of Eavesdown, only a few blocks from the Docks. It had become their usual haunt, a relatively safe spot to get some drinks, fill their bellies, and relax.
Unknown to the Crew, there was activity in the streets surrounding the HobNob. Hard eyed men in slickers made their way through the sloppy alleyways, pointing rifles and growling orders to disperse and scatter. Those who refused were awarded with either a sharp knife across the throat or a silenced blast to the back of the head. Either way, it left more than a few bodies lying in the rain.
Once the streets around the HobNob had been cleared by Asante’s Blue Sun Cleaning Crew, the attack began. One agent kicked in door to the HobNob, and started firing on the Crew.However, seconds before the shooting started, both Randa and Quinn got a wave from Badger. It simply said “RUN!”
Believing in the old saying, “If someone tries to kill you, you try to kill them right back,” the Crew returned fire. Within seconds, the assassin was down. Abel finished the job, putting a double tap into the man’s head with his Glock-17.
“Ya’ll better clear out before the City Watch shows up,” said the Owner. “Or worse yet, the Alliance.” He nodded towards the dead man on the floor. “I’ll clean up the mess.”
With that, the Crew was on the move. It was time to get the Hell out of Dodge. Once they were out on the street, standing in the cold rain, they noticed the lack of folk within the Maze. That was odd. Even in the rain a few people would be wandering around or selling wares. It was not a good sign.
They moved as quickly as they could down the alleyway, heading in the general direction of the Docks. Turning the corner, they noticed that the next alleyway was deserted, as well. Bodies littered the ground. Abel approached the first body and confirmed that the man was dead. He looked back to the others and shook his head.
Benjamin led the group through side alleys, trying to stay off the main walkways of the Maze, always heading in the direction of the Docks. He knew they needed to get to LIBERATION and clear out for now. He needed some time to figure out what was going on and who was targeting them.
They turned a corner and headed towards an intersection in the alleys. They saw a man rush past, slipping and sliding in the muddy walkway. They glanced after him, and then started to follow him down the alley. They watched as two men appeared at the end of the alleyway maybe fifty feet ahead of them. The two pulled pistols, and gunned the man ahead of them down in cold blood. No questions asked. Then they turned their attention towards the Crew, leveling their firearms to open fire.
The firefight lasted only a few seconds. The Crew managed to drop both men, but not before Doctor Edwards managed to misfire and shoot himself in the leg with his own Tranq-Gun. Abel looked around, assessing the area for more threats. He managed to spot a man on the rooftop nearby watching them through the scope of a sniper rifle. Before Abel could react, the man moved out of view. All he saw was a brown duster and a wide brimmed hat.
Running now, they made their way to the Docks. Approaching LIBERATION, they saw that the ship was up and running already. Fearing the worst, Benjamin cursed. However, seconds later, he noticed two people on the dock near the ship. There in the pouring rain stood Mack and Badger. Mack was grinning from ear to ear, and shouted out that the ship was prepped and ready to go. Badger was drenched, shivering in the cold.
Badger shouted to Benjamin over the noise of the ship. “You got to get off planet! Some bitch named Asante is tryin’ to off you. I don’t like it when people come into my gorram town and tell me what to do — so I’m here to help you out.” He gestured to where Mack had been standing. “Luckily that git showed up on my doorstep and got your ship ready to go.”
Benjamin waited for the Crew to make their way on board. He nodded to Badger in thanks. Badger tipped his hat, causing water to pill from its brim.
“There’s a package inside, Captain. I think you’ll find it interestin’. Arrived shortly after you and I finished up business today.” He paused for a beat. “Might help you flip the script on this Asante.” Before Benjamin could reply, Badger turned and starting walking away.
Rodents don’t like the rain.