The week had stretched out since the funeral. By this point I wasn’t allowed to go anywhere unescorted and it was starting to drive me crazy. When Rite Aid didn’t have a member watching me they would assign a Shark from Shark City to do so. It was the Sharks who were on duty when Terry Fox received visitors from The Colony. Alex Asgard rode up on the same bike that I had seen her earlier this week only this time she had a side car and riding within was a woman I had only seen from a distance, SamCopperpot, first lady of The Colony. She had a tightly pressed expression on her face as if the ride had not been to her comfort level, but her reasons for such were made clear when she exited the side car. Alex escorted her into our building and explained, “We took some fire a few miles back. She was shot in the shoulder, you do have a clinic?”
I nodded my head and assisted, informing the Sharks, “stay outside, and watch the perimeter.” They weren’t pleased with my instructions, but if it was because I would be out of their sight, or if it was because of the smell of blood from the wound I couldn’t be certain. I started to prepare the bandages within the clinic when SamCopperpot spoke, her tone genteel reflecting her position, “I regret the subterfuge we needed to use to get past your guardians, but this information can only be heard by your ears.” Startled I looked up to see Alex Asgard looking less than comfortable. “When I realized you were being guarded so closely it seemed best that I have Alex wound me in order that we can have a private conversation.”
The idea was so crazy that – well that it worked. I had ordered the Sharks out rather than have them circling in the clinic. SamCopperpot nodded her head towards Alex Asgard who left the room in a solemn state. I started to work on digging out the bullet, silently noting the woman’s ability to refrain from tears or crying out. She may appear weaker, as if being Mattyyy’s lady had given her benefits, but beneath that soft appearance was a steel core. I made a mental note to watch my tone around her and to not under estimate her in the future. “That is lot of effort to speak with me. I hope it was worth it.” I was nervous, my gun out of reach. If she was a cult agent, I had likely opened myself up for an attack.
“Recently we uncovered criminal activity within The Colony.”
“I know, madam. I was there when it happened.” I was referring to the cult attack on the food supply lines.
“No not cult activity, criminal activity, which is a group of thieves who have infiltrated our Colony and set up a home for themselves with ties to the outside world. At first Mattyyy was going to expel them however it turns out that they have information that is vital to your search for this cult. He’s allowing them asylum in exchange for their cooperation. Of course they are supposed to give up their thieving ways.” SamCopperpot’s tone suggested that she had doubts that this would occur.
The bullet made a soft clink into the pan as I removed it from her arm. I had grown accustom to the copper scent of blood and my familiarity didn’t strike me as odd anymore. I started to bandage the wound, “so where do I need to go in order to get in touch with them?”
“They have a safe house, currently located in a place called Den of Thieves. If you go there tell them that The Colony sends its regards. You’ll be allowed inside to make an offer on the information.”
“An offer, I thought that they were exchanging information for asylum?”
“Well yes, but it’s more of the chance of information. Their safe house has been compromised and it seems that relocation costs are dragging out their operation and they will attempt to extort supplies from you. I recommend you take care with these folks. These are after all,” her eyes flickered down to the bandage critically examining my work, “desperate times.” Desperate indeed, at least desperate enough to get oneself shot on purpose!
When my visitors left I had a map, and sharks circling my building. Sharks I needed to somehow escape to make this trip on my own. I looked over at the pan with the bullet still red from the fresh blood of SamCopperpot. The Sharks senses were so hyper sensitive at this point in their genetic manipulation it was my best wild card. Carrying the pan to a window at the far side of the building, I dropped it outside. At that point I was in a race for time. I ran for my bike, Malkoris meeting me at the door. I knew he would have monitored the conversation in the clinic from a secret camera but The Colony didn’t need to know that part. He already had a day pack for me to hand as I passed him. The man knew me well enough to know I’d make a break for it and likely observed what I did with the bullet. As expected when I exited the Sharks had converged upon the trace smell of blood outside the building. By the time they realized they had been duped by the last person they expected to try fooling them I was on the road and heading off.
The day pack wasn’t going to give me a lot of supplies, but it would be enough if I rationed myself to reach the Den of Thieves. I dodged around Rite Aid’s territory on my way out so as not to run into more escorts. SamCopperpot’s words had been clear enough that I would need to arrive alone if I wanted information. Yet when I arrived outside the building I felt I must have been too late and that I missed all the thieves in their rush to move. From the creak of the door when I entered the building I expected to see cobwebs. Instead there was a tidy and clean room with a counter and behind the counter sat an old man smoking. He looked up at me with a tired expression, “miss, we don’t have much left to sell, what can I getcha?”
“I ahh,” I paused feeling foolish even saying the pass phrase, “the Colony sends its regards.”
The man’s head turned and he spit into a pot near his feet. It was unreal watching him, like observing a bad actor in a second rate western. From the back a little girl came forward with ruffled hair and a pouty expression. “So you’re the one who wants to know about those killers hey?” The man’s hand comes down on the shoulder of the little girl. “Well you get something for me, and I’ll give you the information on where to go to get your information.”
So it wasn’t direct information I was getting from these people but I was grasping at straws. “What do you need?”
The old man leaned back a touch, “green card. The fancy ID badges that the rich folk use to get passed the border and cross into the Green Zone.”
My eyes widen, “you honestly think I’d even be here if I could get my hands on one of those?”
He smirked and nodded his head, “yeah you would. You’re all hot on saving the world, and nobody behind that wall gives a fuck about us. You aren’t going anywhere. Neither am I, cancer is going to get me, but my granddaughter; she’s getting behind that wall where she can grow up safe.” My eyes flickered to the little girl. “So you get me the card and I’ll give you more than enough about your cult to pay for it.”
“And just where am I suppose to go to get one of these?” I was bewildered and frustrated. If the little girl wasn’t there I’d be ready to strangle him for the information.
“ATCO’s markets, that much I can tell you. I don’t know the specific source but I do know that ATCO’s got an inside man who has been faking IDs and smuggling people across the border. That’s where you’ll get the card. I only need one. No picture ID assigned. Make sure it has the hologram though.” His smile displayed the missing teeth in his mouth and I found myself a bit too close as the scent of his breath mixed with the smells of his clove cigarette. Turning my face away I caught a glimpse of someone slipping up the stairs. Their pants were styled in a fashion I would have called Steampunk but I couldn’t be certain, as I did not get a good look.
“She’ll be fine. She’s a survivor, just like her grandpa, just like all of us.” The old man leaned back a bit, “You better get moving then, longer it takes the staler my information gets.” I sneered a little, disliking the rush. Something here was off. Something big, but I couldn’t put my finger on what!
I was off for ATCO to find a mystery vender in the market. If anyone knew what was going on within ATCO’s it was going to be wiredl0ve, or maybe k1. I was going to have to see advice when I got there. Leaving I glanced up at the second floor. There were eyes on me, I couldn’t see them but I could feel them. The feeling that this whole thing had been staged wouldn’t leave me, but the Den of Thieves had made their demand. One access card for information, and that was what I would get for them. It better be worth the cost!
- Safe House: Den of Thieves
- CVC Level: 6
- Current Recorded Members: 22
- Overall Opinion:Den of Thieves is a house divided. A good number of their membership have moved to The Colony, while others yet remain within Den of Thieves. They remain united still within their specific PAL room, and I’ve been delighted to interact with them there. This is a fun bunch of people, a group that will bring benefit to any other safe house they join. Ultimately the fate of Den of Thieves is still a bit up in the air. I believe the majority will continue to make the move, an open secret I’m told as it’s been discussed in Global Chat. Therefore I cannot recommend this as a house to move towards. However to my delight (as I have a weakness for thieves within stories) this group is seeking to join The Colony but remain connected through their Safe House symbol. They want to hold onto their past and their game heritage if you will. One of their members has created a few icons to attempt this. As a moving gift and encouragement I’m including two versions I created that they can use if they desire to. If you join The Colony I would recommend getting to know this group of people as they are both helpful, cheerful and friendly.
- Communication: Palringo Room (Contact within CVC or Forums for exact locations), Safe House Chat, CVC Global Chat for Safe House invites (1/2 fees when invited), Please Stay Calm Forums