While Fog was talking to the witch at the Green Nymph, the bounty Glitzy had promised for catching the thief made people about as crazy as we had thought. The Vietnamese brought in Lou Wong, badly beaten – he has bought a mobile soup kitchen a while ago and he didn’t have a really good explanation where the money came from. While we were trying (and failing) to keep the peace, a couple of kids had grabbed Zach. They didn’t really think that one through, he’s just one of the new guys and that was all the reason they needed. I think Rusty almost punched the kid who tried to sell Zach out, at least I could hear him yelling at them even over the noise in the san container before he brought Zach inside, out cold from being tasered.
Fog called at around that time and said that he didn’t think Kiki was involved. We let her look at some photos of the folks at the san station to see if she maybe recognized someone. She did. Me. Apparently I had bought some stuff at the Green Nymph, which was total news to me. But when Fog watched the surveillance she had, he didn’t see me, he saw Gen Wong, Lou Wong’s uncle. Lou had told us that he had gotten the money for his soup kitchen from Gen, but Gen couldn’t remember giving it to him. As far as I could see, both were telling what they thought was true. With the news from Fog, I decided to knock Gen out with a tranq patch because he suddenly was our number one suspect. Worked beautifully, too, until we realized that I hadn’t drugged Gen but one of the Vietnamese.
At that moment, we all got a message from Zach: someone was trying to slip out of the door, not that we could see anyone. Rusty had been put under a spell to step aside, but he was still close enough to try and hit Gen with pepper spray. I called Meredith to help me find Gen – he clearly had learned to evade cameras and without a spirit to help us, we didn’t stand a chance of finding him. Jet and Rusty had both been hit by some kind of acid, the container wall started to melt and a fucking rat spirit popped up in the middle of the san container. It was complete chaos in a matter of seconds.
I was already at the door and got out before people started to panic. Meredith had found Gen and had grabbed him, so I followed as quickly as I could, wading through the mud and the knee high water. Gen had already made his way to the back of the san container. I aimed a bit below Meredith and fired, hoping like hell I’d actually hit something.
I didn’t even see the rat spirit on top of the container before I was splattered with acid. Eating its way quickly through my coat and then through my skin. Didn’t feel much pain, though, not at the time. I was too focused on killing Gen because if he got away, he’d play hell with the Nest. I don’t even know how many shots I fired, but just when he had called two more spirits, I finally killed him. The two spirits disappeared again, but the rat spirit freed itself. I felt Gen leave his body – he was fucking determined, I give him that. Meredith followed him, but the rat spirit was quicker and killed what was left of Gen, doing us all a favor.
I put a last bullet into Gen, just to make sure. Murder, maybe, but to protect the Nest I’d do it again. And now I really felt the pain from the burns, like someone had doused me in gasoline and lit it with a match. The rat spirit had almost finished me – I hadn’t even realized how badly I was hurt until now. I didn’t have any strength left and I fought to stay conscious. I’m not too clear on what happened next, but I think Growler carried me into the Barrel. I know I screamed.
The san station is pretty wrecked after the rat spirit dissolved the ceiling (and Stanley’s containers on top…it seems that we really shouldn’t live above the clinic). Stanley, Liz and Glitzy had their hands full treating the people hurt by the spirit and during the panic. Glitzy patched me up and I think she did a fine job, although my back still feels like someone has skinned me alive. Oh, wait. Someone did.
Ningbo has been put under a permanent spell by Gen, one that stays in effect even after Gen’s dead. Zach noticed him hacking into the san container door to let Gen out and told the Scrappers (through my commlink) to arrest him. They did, but he put up a fight, screaming that the Nest belongs to the rats, not the dogs and that he was done with having me in charge. We’re keeping him unconscious for now, Glitzy says she can do something about the spell. But first we had to take care of the rat spirit and wherever Gen has been holed up. I’m also fairly sure that Ningbo’s not the only sleeper agent Gen has created.