The team take a little time out in the mansion of Omar Chavez. They give Omar the details they have of the people they clashed with at Jet Black’s grave, with their identifying features edited out (and those of Zhazz). Omar listens with great interest at all of the information they can give about Jet Black’s associates and says that in return for leads on this, he will help them smooth over the problems they have in Seattle.
The team decides that they want to take down the Scorpions, the biker gang they’d avoided near the end of their last mission but who had gone on to kill a passing motorist instead as part of their initiation rite. Whiskey broke into the DMV database to discover the driver had been a family man working for Renraku, which reinforced their determination.
They discover via research that the gang’s known haunt is a bar called The Dirty Gutter in the Aurora Barrens, a section of the UCAS part of Denver that has been scheduled for demolition for years it no-one has figured out quite how to start it, given that it’s a lawless slum and hive of gang activity. They steal an extra car to make the journey down there in the early evening.
The first drive-past shows a fairly large bar with a neon sign above it and a large number of low-rider bikes (many of which are Harley Scorpions) parked outside. A few rough-looking men are playing cards outside, and from inside the sound of loud thrash metal and lots of voices can be heard, although the windows are too dirty to see anything but basic shapes.
They park up a few metres away, and walk up to the bar. The toughs outside get up and clock their approach, but make no move to interfere. Whiskey asks them if they serve food inside, which elicits a snort and a laugh, then they head inside.
The doorway is guarded by 2 trolls who spot their most obvious weapons (Tor’s Joe and Whiskey’s katana) and ask them to give them up. They don’t check very thoroughly for anything smaller though, suggesting plenty of other people could be packing here. The place is large, with a central bar and is about 50% full, with every 3rd person or so having a Scorpions insignia on their clothing or tattoos, meaning about 20 people. The team head to be bar, where a burly bartender serves them.
After ordering drinks, he comments that they’re new and asks whether they’re looking to join the Scorpions, since they look like they can handle themselves (initially he can just see Whiskey, Lightning and Tor). Then he notices Mouse, and comments that if they’re runner types, they’d better not be here for a ‘mission or some shit’, because Drax will tear their arms off if they cross the Scorpions.
The team move to a table to enjoy their drinks, and a little while later a large man, obviously Drax, is seen making his way through the now heaving crowd. He seems very popular, but many of his friends appear to be on the receiving end of some painful-looking slaps on the shoulder from what the team know to be full cyber arms (they’re still natural looking, apart from being massive). He eventually gets to the bar, where the barman talks to him and points over at the team. At this point Tor and Mouse have separated from the others and gone outside to check out bikes.
Drax walks over and ask Whiskey and Lightning why they want to join the Scorpions. They say that they’re ex-military and have been drifting a bit and want to do something interesting because they’ve never been in a biker gang. Drax is a bit skeptical, but reveals that he used to be military too, with Ares (which Lightning takes note of!). He says if they want to join, they have to go through initiation, which means some test of driving skill, and then taking out a random person they find on the road – extra points for fatalities. When they accept, Drax signals to a couple of other bikers and tells them they’re coming along, and they all go outside. Drax collects a large assault rifle on the way out. At this point, Tor and Mouse are watching from the car.
Drax assigns a couple of the gang’s bikes to Whiskey and Lightning, and tells them to follow him. He tells the other 2 bikers to bring up the rear – presumably to keep an eye on them. They’re obviously not as senior as Drax, but they’re not youngsters either. Mouse and Tor scan them in astral and find that they’re cybernetically enhanced too, both have cranial implants and one has an artificial nervous system, the other has bone lacing of some kind. Both have dual SMGs in holsters under their jackets.
Whiskey and Lightning pass the first test of getting on the bikes and getting rolling, behind Drax and followed by the other 2 bikers. But when do they make their move?