How much is that sotong in the window,
The one with the waggely arms?
How much is that sotong in the window,
I do hope we save him from harm!
Qing Long, the O’Neill colony located at the Martian Greek Lagrange Point. This was the site of the Fastball Express’ latest escapades. Bishop Six and Quill were just recovering from some neural modifications when Billy Cable called them to inform them that Hokusai had gone missing. He’d been gone for three hours and had yet to return to the ship. Together with Kay, the teammates began throwing out calls to various criminal and autonomist contacts in the colony, hoping to hear something about octopoid kidnappings. After all, Hokusai had mentioned having some enemies with the Nine Lives.
The investigation hit a dead end, it seemed, until Quill miraculously managed to open doors that nobody else could. Funny how that seems to happen when she gets involved.
She used her ego hunter contacts to get in touch with a soul market trader named Diego, who seemed to be in the market for just the right kind of mollusc.
Billy came up with a horrifically convoluted cover for himself as his own father inside the body of a child prostitute, and went to the trouble to film a video of himself being beaten up and tied up by his teammates. “Obadiah Stane, you did not tell us that you wanted us to capture the famous Tony Stark -” oh wait wrong show. “Gandalf, oh where are you?!? -” oh wait wrong show.
Anyway Quill managed to pique Diego’s interest in buying Billy’s ass. Somehow. They set up a meeting at the Skyride stadium in the center section of the colony cylinder, where Diego had his office. Billy got the blueprints for the stadium from some terrorist contacts he’d met in a fanfic forum at some point, so they had an easy way in. While Kay and Bishop infiltrated via air ducts (which were NOT trapped with lasers) Quill played Mjolnir with Billy on a leash, tossing him ahead of her and following along on his momentum, all the way to the meeting with Diego.
Which Quill promptly aced by hacking Diego’s brain using leet mental powers. Once again, miraculous and quite creepy to her teammates who didn’t know how she did it. He just talked, blabbed everything about Sally Slick, majordomo of the Nine Lives organization, putting a price
out on Hokusai’s head and about to collect him, too. He even conveniently forgot about everything that had just happened, moments later. Odd, that!
Hokusai was being held at Extra Super Tanker, a floating supertanker restaurant located in the Hong Kong Harbour-like body of water located hundreds of meters below the Skyrise, on the main inner surface of the cylinder. Only 15 minutes until Sally arrived to buy Hokusai. No time to waste – the entire team exfiltrated the Skyrise by JUMPING DOWN!
Bishop rode Kay, who could fly. Quill and Billy used their smart clothes to form Combat Pterodactyl Suits. They chewed their Lizard Boom Sticks and glided down silently to the supertanker. Meanwhile, Bishop, who had gotten there first, quizzed the restaurant staff in suspicious detail about any sapient octopi they might have in stock.
Then Quill waltzed in and had a quick word with the management at the restaurant, who suddenly became very cooperative and became willing to sell Hokusai over to us. Billy found the octopus stunned or drugged in a fish tank and got him the frak out of there and over the side of the
ship just minutes before Sally was due to arrive, and the others made themselves scarce too. Sure, they’d been seen on camera, but Billy had a plan to deal with that, if he could just get a little time to plan an intimidating call to Sally.
He didn’t get that chance. After everyone swam clear of the restaurant, they regrouped back on dry land just in time to hear of the latest live AR game fad sweeping the colony: Hunt The Fastball Express Crew, 10,000 creds per head!
Obviously to be continued.