After talking to Hodgekins, Dr. Jones called a colleague in the Vault, a six story underground catacomb vault Downtown that handled morgue duties for much of the city. Doctor Tannersly said she had some children with burns from a school fire, and had not noticed any OD patients connected to Gangplank. But, if any showed up, she would let him know.
Pink Spot Consultation
They headed over to Truc’s contact Pink Spot. Terry, Truc, and Dr. Jones crossed the city to the nondescript warehouse behind the Strip, and found that the inside was a fantastic luxury apartment for the pimp and underworld figure Pink Spot, who was signing affadavits (and having his employees sign affidavits) propping up the alibis of various legally troubled clients of Lawrence “Limbo” Howe, a defense lawyer who had seen better days.
Since they were new to Pink Spot and not yet trusted, Terry and Dr. Jones had to strip down and sit in the hot tub to assure they weren’t wired or armed. To start the conversation in a congenial way and assure Pink Spot’s time wasn’t wasted, Truc agreed to sign an affidavit that he was hanging out with Reggie Aright at the same time in a different place as some maniac stabbed a cop with a kitchen knife and ran away into the night.
As for Gangplank, it was tightly controlled by the Shambles Crossroaders, led and controlled by the Carson family. Their base was the Savnitz Mall, a massive building full of stores that lies between three of the Six Pack population pockets.Gwen, the mother, is in charge overall. Her brother Rob handles the muscle.
Gangplank is so lucrative, it’s only a matter of time before the Network or the Underground take it away from them. That’s probably already in process. The money is too big for the Shambles Crossroaders to keep control.
The Kelsen Estates flow is managed by Irwin Carson and his crew, operating out of a strip mall attached to the Estates.
In return, Terry described the symptoms of Gangplank abuse. Nurse Bambi dutifully wrote down the symptoms and long-term consequences of the drug, as well as noting food helped bring people down from it.
The investigators invited Limbo along, as his contacts in the criminal underworld and mighty litigious powers could be very useful. He agreed, smelling lawsuits in the wind. After climbing out and towelling off, they headed back to Kelsen Estates after going to a coffee shop for a tactical consultation.
The Strip Mall
They reached the strip mall. They observed an RV in a Sonic parking lot that did some brisk trade, as well as an ice cream truck where you could get Gangplank with your popsicle. The Shambles Crossroaders had colorful coats, expensive shoes, and poorly concealed automatic weapons. Limbo saw a number of his clients come and go.
Limbo followed one of his clients into the mall, and saw him go into a mattress store and slip a bribe to an employee. Dr. Jones joined him, and while Limbo made a scene, Jones infiltrated the employee only area. He saw beds set up, so Gangplank dreamers could crash. He was chased off by the conscious bodyguard of a wealthy young user.
They realized that the mall was 1/3 abandoned storefronts, and that other shops had crash space in the back too. Patrons could go into the mall, through it, out to Sonic, and back into the mall for a cheap and relatively safe crash spot.
Dr. Jones had to get to work, leaving surveillance to the others. The clinic was fairly quiet, low level traffic, so he had time to look into Gangplank cases further.
Irwin Carson, Admiral Hook
Limbo figured he’d make friends with Irwin, the Carson in charge of drug distribution here. He found Irwin to be a kid, drunk on a tiny dose of power, proud of his influence in the food court (specifically Orange Julius, but his reach extended all the way to the girl who sold the frosted pretzels.) Limbo successfully won the young criminal’s affection.
Irwin was using Twitter polling to suss out the best nickname. One was Captain Hook, because he was like a pirate, and extended the Gangplank. Limbo talked him into upgrading to Admiral Hook, and the Twitter feed liked the suggestion. That way people who worked for Irwin could be captains.
Meanwhile, outside, Terry and Truc noticed another person watching the operation: Mr. Swan, a tough Englishman offering his services to the highest bidder among the criminal organizations of the city. Truc knew him from illegal boxing, where he would sometimes show up (possibly out of boredom) and pulp an opponent.
Truc strolled in and introduced himself to Irwin, enjoying his microfame as an underground fighter and collecting his free smoothie. Irwin gave him some Gangplank, but Truc refused to take it until he knew where it came from. Irwin assured him it was safe enough to give his mother (“I got it from mine!”) and it was a made-in-America home-grown Grifton product.
Truc also mentioned Mr. Swan, and Irwin had to involve Uncle Theseus, who turned out to be a gray-haired limping hitter with a glass eye and a handful of thugs. Theseus went out and had a chat with Mr. Swan, who then drove away; no violence ensued. Theseus returned to his bar in the strip mall, apparently somewhat resentful of having to work with Irwin.
Terry recognized Theseus as a cleaner who worked for the Crossroaders, and went to jail for 20 years for a few of his crimes. Apparently he was back in circulation.
As darkness fell, Truc and Limbo withdrew from the mall, and Terry made his move.
Terry went to the Oasis, the tiny and threadbare bar in the strip mall. He passed two tough guys at the bar, who fell in step behind him as he stood before the sad little booth where Uncle Theseus drank what appeared to be a prodigious amount of alcohol. Theseus waved off the guards, agreeing to talk to the detective.
He examined Terry’s badge, noting he was not Downtown or dealing with his specialty. The battered old man seemed grim and dark, asking if Terry was looking for work or a shake down or a source for recreational Gangplank or what. Terry pointed out the side effects, he was checking into that.
Theseus got a little creepy, observing that there was a door that was always meant to open, and there was no one in the world he cared about, and there was great danger coming and he didn’t expect to survive. Since he apparently felt something positive towards Terry, he told him to look into Jim Gunderson. He agreed he would see Terry again, and kept his card. Terry left, a bit shaken by the intensity of the gloom.
As he left, one of Theseus’ guards caught up. His name was Dumphy, and he wanted to know what happened; Theseus didn’t talk to anyone these days. He told of Jacobson, a guard working with Theseus, who had a 3 hour conversation with him then left white as a sheet and never came back. Dumphy gave Terry his number, and they parted ways.
They headed to a nearby coffee shop and discussed their next moves.