“Send them in.”
Mei was sitting in a simple steel chair, high up in the former Toenail stronghold. The room was otherwise empty, save the dust that was illuminated by the setting sun shining in through the window on the west side of the room. An elevator dinged and two young men – both 14 or 15 years old, entered the room. They dragged behind them a local zoner – their quarry.
For weeks the remaining Black Toenails have been laying low, staying out of Candyman and his children’s sight….when it was unsafe. They’ve been using guerilla tactics against the group, striking only when they outnumber, only when they can get away safely.
They slipped up, and now their man was here.
Mei stood and pointed at the chair, which the children filled with the booster. After securing him firmly in place with razortape, she dismissed the children. “No one is to disturb us.”
“I won’t tell you anything!” The look of desperation in the man’s eye was already evident. He would be easy to break.
Mei responds, without scoff, her accent noticeably weaker. “Would you like a hit?”. She produces a small inhaler – stimulant that his gang is known for using.
“YES! Please! I haven’t had any all day!”
Addiction can be a powerful tool to use against someone, but Mei had other plans.
“Sure, here you are.”
After inhaling the drug, the mans eyes dialated. At first, he sighed. His addiction has been sated and endorphines are relaxing him. Then the effect hits. The man starts to shake violently, trying to pry himself from his restraints – but to no avail. Instead, the razortape tears his clothing and his skin.
“The adrenaline makes you confident. It is foolish to rely so heavily on this. Your greatest strength is also your greatest weakness.”
The man settles as he realizes that this was just for her amusement. Mei tosses aside the inhaler and moves closer to the man, placing her right hand in front of his face. A small needle with an unknown liquid producing from its exit slides to visibility from beneath her fingernail.
“You will talk. But this….this is for business.”
She then retracts the needle and slides her thumb over her left wrist. A section of her skin pops open, revealing a container beneath. She pulls a thin piece of wire from her wrist and holds it to the mans throat, mock choking him.
“This one, this is for business…when I have a little more time.”
She then retracts the wire and pulls a small finely crafted switchblade from the flesh pocket, sealing it after. A click is heard as the blade springs from within the handle.
“But this one. This one is for fun. We are going to have some fun tonight, you and I.”
Outside, the screams could be heard for hours…
The silence breaks in the room, now lit artificially as the sun set hours ago. The sound that breaks it is again, the ding of the elevator. The same two young men from before enter the room.
“Clean this up. Don’t speak of it to anybody, if you can avoid it.” As Mei finishes cleaning off her blade, she comms the Candyman.
“Candy, I’ve learned the location of the Black Toenail’s new hideout. Shall we enact the plan we discussed earlier?”
A simple “Yes” intones over the closed comm – Candyman knows better than to ask questions.
The operation went into the first phase only hours after that very phone call. Pacoy’s talents were put to use running drone surveillance on the Toe’s relocated base of operations – the few members that remained had their every movement recorded. The remaining members only amounted to twenty ill equipt thugs with no face of leadership to speak of. It was a simple matter to keep tabs on them and monitor their movements – being prepared for them whenever they made their feeble act of vandalism to Desiderium interests. It took only a little investment to bring low cost electricity to Toenail tower, and share it with the surrounding community – the first step in gaining the admiration and trust of the locals.
The second phase began with open bounties on the remaining members of the Toenail gang – full physical workups collected and posted on them thanks to Pacoy’s tireless efforts. Flooding the Shambles with cheap guns gave the zoners the means to collect the bounties. It only took 2 deaths before the Toenail remnants picked up on the local hostility. Without Dream Corps’ support or orders – it was a simple decision to relocate. Retaining the Toenails as a resource to Dreamcorp, a gesture of goodwill towards the potent Megacorp, peace is retained. Perhaps in the future Dream Corp will come to Desiderium to solve their problems – with a little more class.