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Watertown Debt Collections

Can we get off this planet?

As the tube pulled away from the platform, Cleopatra, Randall, and Joseph looked behind them as their pursuers in black hoodies were left behind. Viktor groaned — his head was so badly damaged he could hardly see or speak (fortunately, Vrusk brains are in their abdomens). Star Protector didn’t say anything: it was apparently too damaged to function. Cleopatra got a better first aid kit from a conductor on the train and treated Viktor, then they all waited nearly 4 hours to travel under the sea to the next stop in the city of Darkaf.

They exited the tube and were heading away when they realized they were being surrounded by a group of 2 humans and 2 Vrusk. The leader (a human) demanded that they surrender, while others reached for what looked like weapons. Since they were in plain sight in the middle of the crowded terminal, the characters demanded to know why they were being accosted.

The leader pulled out some sort of ID (Randall thought it looked reasonably genuine) and said they were with Watertown Debt Collections and everyone was under arrest for an outstanding debt. “What debt?” they demanded. The Watertown folks claimed that “Eagletown Corporation” had called them no more than 15 minutes earlier, with Joseph Armitage’s name and descriptions of the rest (including of Star Protector, who was not in evidence, being still sealed in his shipping crate). When it became clear that they would use force to detain them, Viktor grabbed a nearby vendor’s table and clobbered the debt collector with it.

Viktor, Joseph, and the four debt collectors all began exchanging blows. Cleopatra melted into a puddle on the floor. Randall sprinted away, trying to find a Tube security officer. One of the Vrusk tried to pull out a stunner, but Viktor broke his arm and the stunner dropped to the ground. Joseph and Viktor managed to injure one of the attackers, and Cleopatra was just growing a new hand to grab the stunner beside her when Randall returned with a security officer.

Everyone stopped fighting for the officer, who checked the Watertown IDs and declared them to be legitimate. He then put the characters (except for Randall) in cuffs. There was talk of charging them with something (assault? The characters demanded to be taken into custody by law enforcement instead of the Watertowns, so the Tube officers called the police.

Cleopatra had the presence of mind to grab the ship communicator and call Ziggy and Chez. They told them to expect the delivery of the crates of microfilm, and asked Chez to come down to take possession of the last crate and the container with Star Protector in it.

Before the police got there, Viktor insisted on being taken to the hospital. Since only about half of his head was still attached, he got his wish. Cleopatra accompanied him, along with the injured debt collector and another Watertowner to keep her company. Thus, when the police arrived it was just Joseph and Randall that they hauled off to jail. “Just like old times.”

Over at the hospital, Cleopatra saw Viktor into the operating room, then found a place to wait. After some time it happened to notice some suspicious-looking characters in black hoodies who showed up and started looking around. One of them slipped into a “staff and patients only” door and Cleopatra followed him to see what he would do. Unfortunately, he must have noticed it tailing him because he waited around a corner and grabbed Cleopatra when it stepped past. He drew a gun on it and demanded to know where the Vrusk was. Cleopatra played dumb, and managed to wander down the halls for some time (with a gun held in his pocket pointed at it) before talking with a Wookie nurse who sent them back to the lobby. At no point did Cleopatra give away anything about Viktor.

By the time they returned to the lobby, Chez had returned. She realized that the humans in hoodies were armed, and she intervened, rapidly and violently. In a few moments, the miscreants had been captured and the police summoned.

Viktor’s surgery was completed, but he had elected to have new eyes vat-grown, so until the next day when the eyes were complete, he was completely blind. (It would have been 3 days, but he somehow managed to persuade the doctor to work over the weekend.) So Chez and Cleopatra headed off to the police station to bail out Randall and Joseph. They headed to the station quickly and paid the bail; the trial was to be the next day at 5:00 PM. Before leaving, Chez slipped out quietly and and did some scouting. She noticed that there was a group of men in black hoodies waiting in an alley near the station and often peeking out as if to monitor who was there. Circling around, she slipped in the back of the same alley and left a listening device. Then they all managed to slip out through the back of the police station and hightailed it out of the area.

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mcherm

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