Since we didn’t have a great way of scouting out the location of Camila’s rival drug gang, I floated the idea of stiffing her to Martialla and Blue, but they weren’t into it. “Don’t you have enough enemies already?” was the gist of their argument. I suppose, to be fair, Camila didn’t do anything to me really, she doesn’t deserve to be ripped off. Although I didn’t deserve to be blown up and turned into a remorseless eating machine either and no one is apologizing to me about that.
Blowing up notwithstanding, I caved in to their demands, as I always do, because I’m a people pleaser at heart. I’m the leader, but I’m what’s known as a servant leader – I’m here for my people, not myself. Empathy, listening, conceptualizing, I’m great at all that bullshit. Martialla and Blue are probably taking advantage of my easy-going nature somewhat, but what can you do you know?
When she was telling us who to attack, Camila spent a lot of time explaining to me about how the drugs she and her boys grow are natural and organic from plants and therefore are superior to the garbage that her rival, Gwai the Butcher, mixes up in his labs. She’s awfully morally superior for a drug dealer. Sorry, I mean drug manufacturer. I guess she was trying to get me on her side beyond the part where I’m indebted to her. I don’t understand why people think natural things are good. Arsenic is natural. So is getting eaten by a python. And on the other hand, lots of unnatural things are great. Cheese. Music. Condoms. Vodka.
I turned to News Dan as a source of information but he was offended by the very notion. He said that he was a reporter, not an informant. He was also very high and mighty about not getting involved in my “criminal dealings”. This from a man who claims that alien reptile psi-vampires control the United Nations. The good news is his assistant Yiyang blabbed the whole thing after a couple of beers, or some kind of alcohol in a can anyway, it’s hard to know sometimes around here. It may have been paint thinner. Hmm, is there paint thickener? I’ll have to check on that.
Y tattled to me about the warehouse where (heh warehouse where) Gwai stashes his fishgut drugs and I told Martialla and Blue. They began planning the assault with Canadian military precision. It’s too bad our broom closet isn’t big enough for maps and little miniature tanks – military people love that stuff. I interrupted their warmongering with a practical concern.
“And then what?” They both looked at me with their dull inhuman eyeballs “After you commando murder all these guys guarding the place, what do we do then? How do we destroy all the drugs?”
Blue glanced at Martialla “How about a fire?”
“Sounds like a good way to burn the entire city down. Somehow I have a feeling that the Madripoor fire department isn’t a crack squad. If there even is one. In the poor part of town anyway, the rich areas would probably be fine.”
Martialla shrugged her weird skinny fish-shoulders “We can just toss the drugs in the bay.”
“How are we going to do that? We don’t even have a car. Aren’t we talking about a warehouse full of drugs? How can we carry all that down to the shore?”
She fish-snorted “You’re always bragging about how strong you are, can’t you lift it all?”
“How would I do that? Are you going to wrap it all up like a Christmas present with a bow?”
Martialla looked confused and Blue piped up “She means Boxing Day.”
“What? No I don’t. Boxing Day is the day after Christmas, if you know what Boxing Day is, how can you not know what Christmas is?”
Martialla’s gross fish-lips frowned further “I thought that Boxing Day was when the Boxer Rebellion happened. I think you meant to say Saint Swithin’s Day.”
“I don’t even know what Saint Swilling’s Day is!”
Blue flicked his tongue pedantically (I’ve been around him long enough to know) “Swith-IN.”
“Shut up you.”
They suggested that we could blow the place up, but we can’t because we don’t have any explosives or the money to buy them. Which is an important component in blowing things up. They proposed in the alternative that we could steal some money. The whole thing unraveled quickly. Why does being a superhero always end up with robbing something to get money for bombs to blow up drugs? It’s uncanny how often you need to commit seven or eight crimes to stop one. Is there a lesson in there somewhere about something? No.
Since we were going nowhere with that line of questioning, I asked them if they had any leads on the kind of people that I thought might have grabbed Martialla’s niece. All they could find out is that if you want a gene splicer, you head to the Shipyard (which remember, is not a shipyard, but a soccer stadium turned into criminal bazaar – uhg, I hate this place) because that’s where you can find anything. So that’s where we’re going. After we have some kind of deadly confrontation with a drug gang. You know how it is.