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Content warning: graphic gore.
Last session, we got a crew advancement which we hadn't used yet. After some discussion between the players, we decide that our crew's priority should be to get a steady supply of product. We need someone to cook up new batches regularly. Crate the Slide finds the shop of Riven, whom was hired to synthesize the drug, Nightmarket Black. Crate hires him as an expert, much against the wishes of Boss the Spider, who low-key hates him. But she was, after all, the person who brought us into contact with him!
Then it's time for the operation: an ambush on Erin, the boss of the Billhooks. All preparations pay off and the Crew starts from a controlled position. Molesley the Cutter takes up a position behind the door. Boss is wearing a factory uniform and working to gut and clean fish with the rest of the workers. Spook the Lurk is squatting on a beam near the ceiling, and Crate is in the office, near the owner.
Towards the end of the afternoon, when the workers are ready to pack up, a pack of eight Billhooks rolls up. It's Erin with two of her men on either side. There are four more behind them, two of which are carrying fairly heavy duffelbags. The bags are probably for the extorted money, and as this is towards the end of their round, they've already collected quite a bit. They are obviously armed with cudgels and knives. Crate recognizes Erin as the butcher, from that time he went on recon and bought some overpriced meat from her. Erin comes over to the owner of the fish processing factory, while her two bodyguards wander the floor, posturing a bit with their weapons out. Boss collides with one of them and spills fish bits all over him. The guy cusses her out and hits her with a backhanded slap. Boss falls over and starts crying, making a scene.
As Erin has her back to Crate as she addresses the owner, he takes out one of his pistols and gets ready to shoot her in the back of the head, but the commotion on the factory floor makes her turn around. She sees Molesley making his presence known, and two additional Billhooks outside come in, one with a bag. Crate falters from Erin's sudden movement, but Boss draws attention to herself again with a pleading wail. Crate re-takes the shot, and Erin's head explodes. Boss makes a scene as if she is the one under fire. The Billhook with the bag legs it, leaving the cash near the door.
Of course, Crate now has the undivided attention of all the Billhooks in attendance. Theatrically, he drops his pistol and taunts them, instigating a charge from a large guy with a massive club, and the other guard comes running up to him as well. Boss takes out her concealed pistol and shoots one of them. Spook drops from the rafters, on top of the guy with the cash, killing him with a blow to the back of the head with a lead pipe. Molesley intercepts the guy charging Crate, hurts him and gets into a fight with him. Boss tries to dodge the attack with a machete by kicking a box of fish guts into her attacker's face, he falls on top of her, they wrestle.
There is a flashback from when Boss is cutting the hair of the Crew's Rooks. While they are seated in the chair, Boss takes out a razor and holds it at their throat. She orders them to make sure to follow the bags of loot when the Billhooks holding them flee. Outside, the other Billhook with a bag runs away, escorted by another one. Two make ready to go inside. Ox (one of the Rooks) is on the rooftops and, sighing, follows them. Wainscott (the other Rook) is nowhere to be found.
The charging guy gets a shot to the shoulder from Crate as he raises his club in the backswing. The downswing still breaks Crate's arm, throwing him to the ground. Molesley does his dance and dispatches his guy with a slice across the throat. He comes over to Crate. Meanwhile, Spook stares into the scarred face of a giant Billhook, who seems to like the sight of this slight girl who just killed one of his mates. Spook runs away and the guy gives chase. Boss' gun is kicked away by her attacker who moves his hands towards her throat, leaving her hands free. She tries to stab him in the throat with cutting shears but he sees it coming, knocking it out of her hand. He bashes her into the face, knocking her out. Spook's pursuer is distracted by Boss. The factory workers and the owner scatter: they are not interested in this and make their way towards the back exit. Spook climbs up a stack of crates. Back on the rafters, she regains her bearings. Another Billhook is coming in, bearing a cutlass, and rushes towards Molesley & Crate.
Crate stands behind Molesley, who takes down the club-swinger with a kick to the knees and looks straight to the coming guy, who falters. Molesley smiles at him and says: "It seems I have your attention." Crate shouts: "Erin is dead, there's nothing for you here, just leave!" The guy drops out of agressive stance, weary, and starts backing off. But the two guys who were at Boss don't care and are on their way over.
Molesley expertly slits his captive's throat and makes sure of maximum bloodshed. He shouts (first time that anyone from the Crew has heard him shout!): "Am I going to have to paint the floor red with your blood too?" That makes an appropriate impression and the Billhooks decide not to engage. Molesley walks towards them: "There, that's better. Let's talk like civilised men." He starts circling them, but they keep their distance. "As you can see, your boss lies dead at our feet. Your organization won't be long for this world. The vultures are circling. but it doesn't have to be that way..." The large-bodied brawler says: "This isn't over, old man. You've cut off the head of one snake, there's another. We'll find you." Molesley shrugs. "One head, two heads, three heads. All the same to me. How would you like to run this place? Or you?" He points at them in order.
They are standing below a crane that's been rigged to fall down with only a single pin. Boss pushes herself to remove it, as the man who bashed her in the face is standing below it. But it catches and only two fish fall out and slap the guy in the face. Molesley asks Crate to fetch the bag that's still on the floor near the entrance.
Spook looks at the crane that got caught. She doesn't want to get to the bag because it's now the center of attention. She jumps on the crane in an attempt to make it fall down. It crushes Boss' assailant. The other two jump out of the way as Spook dashes away. Molesley shrugs: "Maybe not him then."
The two remaining Billhooks demand that Molesley tells them what he wants. He slices a hole in the bag and grabs a hand of coins, and flicks one coin to them. "You are going to work for us." They look at each other to decide what they are going to do: the intimidation has worn off. Molesley turns his back to them and hangs Erin by the head from a chain that's used to process larger fish. He proceeds to gut her as they watch and try to work out what to do.
One of the Billhooks takes out a hidden dagger and stabs his comrade in the gut, killing him quietly. He walks up to Molesley and asks for his orders. Molesley tasks him with finding a sack. Molesley cuts off Erin's head and stuffs it in the sack. His new friend calls himself "Doors", because he's good at bashing in doors.
While this is going on, Crate makes his escape, dragging the bag with him. Spook meets up with him and they carry the bag back to the hotel. After his gruesome business is done, Molesley takes Boss along, letting his new friend do the carrying.
We go into downtime activities.
- Ox returns to the hotel and reports that she followed the bag part of the way, until she was stopped by some Red Sashes. They want in on whatever the crew did, but it is decided to not pay them. Ox is angry that Wainscott wasn't there. Boss tasks her with finding him and bringing him in for... a haircut.
- There's 6 coin in the bag. The Crew gains enough rep to gain a tier and everyone chips in with their own Coin to get enough money to do so. The war with the Billhooks is over, and their hold is strong again -- at the cost of attracting increased interest of the Bluecoats.
- Molesley starts a Long Term Project (named 'Install new doors') to make Doors the leader of the "Real Billhooks". It is a 10-segment clock.
- Boss acquires the services of a physician for the group. Crate fills up his healing clock at the costs of a coin. Boss does this too, and spends 2 coin.
- Spook drinks & studies ghosts.
- Crate indulges in his vice: reads volumes of pre-apocalypse poetry and then writes a monograph with his critique.
- Molesley trains his stabbing, but the straw dummy he set up has become deflated a bit, which upsets him. He uses Erin's head for his training. Every strike makes a squelching sound...
This session is the culmination of the war against the Billhooks, that basically started at the first session.