LOADING CLOSE

Cabbages

Tuesday October 5th, 2049 at 6:28 a.m.

Jet Brody’s pad.

As Brody’s cybernetics detect him awakening, they notify him that he has a waiting voice mail from Sgt Freddy Ogden.

Jet listens to the voice mail and a someone confused Ogden stumbles over the fact that it’s way early a.m. and apologizes if he awakened Brody. Odgen orders that “they be sent to the hospital” to someone else then, returns to his call to Jet and informs Brody that he has a case and would like Brody to call him when he’s available.

Brody sets to his morning routine of cleaning up and eating breakfast before returning the Sgt’s phone call.

Frank Stella’s rental.

Slightly later.

It’s a very cold early October but it’s going to be a very clear sunny day.

Stella doesn’t have much on the calendar today.

However just after breakfast at about 9:00 a.m. Alderman James Pettersen’s office calls and invite Stella to a meeting for Thursday at 11:45 a.m. Would Frank be available?

Back to Brody

Jet Brody calls Ogden and the Sergeant invites Brody to join him at a local donut show as he has a case that he would like help with.

A fifteen minute walk later and Brody wanders into the shop, where he finds the Sergeant packing away a baker’s dozen while nursing a cup of coffee.

Brody: “Lean into that stereotype, why don’t you!”
Ogden: “You try working a twelve hour straight and keeping your eyes open!”

Brody settles into a booth and Ogden explains that a truck got hijacked from a gas station out in West New Haven at about 3:00 this morning.

Half a dozen goons jumped the two drivers and made off with the whole truck, a reefer 10 wheeler that’s allegedly carrying a load of cabbages.

Brody asks who the truck belongs to and it’s owned by McDonnegal’s Trucking (a local provider).

As follow up Brody asks about the on board tracking device, but that’s a dead end too. McDonnegal’s disable their trackers as they don’t want the Feds knowing where their trucks are.

The two drivers, Elijah Nolan and Jamie MacMorrow, aren’t saying much to the police and with their injuries, they were sent to the Yale New Haven Hospital. One of the guys took a club to the head and the other one looks like his left arm may have been broken during the attack.

However, one of the perps was being called “Pyjama” according to one of the vics.

Ogden asks Brody to check with his contacts and if Brody can provide info leading to an arrest, Ogden can send 200 credits in his direction.

Brody gets the address of the gas station from Ogden.

Finished with their conversation, Ogden slides the box of donuts to Brody and lets him know that he doesn’t need the other half dozen donuts and that he’s going to clock off and get some shut eye.

New West Haven and the Hospital are both pretty long hikes, so Brody calls his buddy Frank Stella and offers to split the 200 credits. (They keep the van at Stella’s place).

After picking Brody up, the two head out to the Hospital first.

At the visitor check in desk, they hit their first snag.

When asked what room Nolan and MacMorrow are assigned to, Heather, The young lady manning the desk, reports that Nolan and MacMorrow have already checked out.

Brody is incredulous. They arrived at about 4:00 a.m. and per Heather, they checked out at about 8:00 a.m. (four hours later).

When asked about what they were treated for, Heather cites HIPAA restrictions. Plus she doesn’t even have access to that information.

Frank starts asking Heather about her background and she’s happy to share that she’s a freshman at Yale in the nursing program and her job here is a part of her course curriculum. She lays out details about her course load.

With Heather distracted, Frank nudges Jet to sneak a peek at Heather’s terminal.

Brody can’t read the terminal, but he is able to port into the terminal (without being detected by the security guards or Heather) and learns that Heather doesn’t actually have access to any useful data about Nolan nor MacMorrow.

Brody undocks and shakes his head letting Stella know that he doesn’t have anything useful.

Stella asks Heather if she remembers Nolan and MacMorrow checking out and she affirms that she does.

Heather describes the two kids and describes an older gentleman with salt and pepper hair. She assumed that the older guy was an uncle of some sort. Heather explains that having family pick up patients who aren’t able to drive themselves is normal.

Frank lets Heather know that he’s a mechanic and offers the young nurse his business card and Heather eagerly accepts it.

Another visitor butts in and angrily demands that Brody and Stella move along! He want’s to check in as a visitor.

Brody and Stella wrap up with Heather and step out of the hospital.

They don’t know much more but McDonnegal’s Trucking is an Irish firm and Nolan and MacMorrow look like they might be associated.

The two decide to check in with Laura O’Hennessy to see if she can help track down Nolan and MacMorrow.

O’Hennessy Irish Bar

Stella lets the bar tender know that the two are there to ask Laura about Nolan and MacMorrow. The two don’t wait long before being ushered into Laura’s office.

She is familiar with the two and has heard about the hijacking. While it’s not an area of her responsibility, the family is very interested in the recovery of their truck and still need to make delivery of the cargo namely 50 crates of cabbages.

It’s very important that this cargo be found. If the two can let Laura know who boosted the truck she would be highly appreciative. As a not-to-subtle hint, Laura places her pistol on the desk. Rumors that Laura has eliminated opposition in the past come to mind. Laura makes it clear that an example needs to be made.

O’Hennessy, knows that Nolan and MacMorrow are convalescing at another local Irish bar. Laura will make a call and make sure the two talk to Brody and Stella.

One short trip later

Nolan and MacMorrow are working on their third pint when Brody and Stella walk in. Besides the bartender, the locale is empty.

Nolan and MacMorrow apologize profusely and are nervous. They know that they screwed up but didn’t think that Auntie Laura would need to be involved. They ask Brody if he wants to take care of business out back or if they’re going to be taken for a ride.

Stella explains that the two aren’t there to kill Nolan and MacMorrow, but were hired to try to locate the stolen truck and cargo.

The two relax a bit.

Their story is in line with what Ogden already reported. The crew jumped them and referred to the ring leader by the name “Pyjama.” The six seemed to be younger scrawny kids and they attacked with clubs. One of the kids had a chain and one was waving an axe around. All of them were wearing dark clothes but had arm bands and headbands with a white triangle symbol.

MacMorrow insists that the triangle was a curvy sided triangle, but Nolan points out that the triangle was NOT the Star Trek triangle emblem. Nolan and MacMorrow get into an argument about the symbol and that Star Trek show.

Stella reigns the two in and asks about the direction of travel. The ‘cabbages’ were originally picked up in Atlanta, GA. The two pulled into the station in West New Haven and the gang turned right headed East towards New Haven.

The attack was over quickly and the gang took off with the reefer truck and cargo in little time. The attacking gang were also riding scooters.

The intended destination for the cabbages was one of the mansions located out east of New Haven (along the coast).

The two don’t have too much more to contribute so Brody and Stella decide to check out the scene of the crime.

As they arrive at the gas station at lunch time, the two head over to the restaurant side. There is a local beat cop who is cleaning up the last of the crime scene tape but he doesn’t know anything about the crime.

In talking to the other patrons getting lunch, there’s some rumors that something happened, but no one was here at the time and no one really knows anything useful.

Brody receives a phone call from Padre Lopez, but Brody let’s the message go to voice mail, as he’s ‘busy.’

After lunch, Brody and Stella strike up a conversation with the station attendant and learn that Steven Jeffries was the overnight on duty clerk who was working at the time of the crime. Steven has gone home already, but he’ll be back on the clock later that evening.

Stella asks about the local gangs, who favor motor scooters, the current clerks are unfamiliar with any gangs that sport a white triangle as their symbol.

The current active gang uses a green bio-hazard symbol and they’re called “Bio-hazard.”

Stella asks about security footage, and the clerks inform the duo that the New Haven Police Department took the footage.

New Haven Police Department.

Sgt Ogden is off duty still, but the two ask to talk to someone about the McDonnegal truck hijacking. YES Sgt Ogden is likely to still be asleep.

But they meet with Detective Welch who is in charge of the case.

They don’t get much from Detective Welch, but Welch has teams reviewing the security footage and confirms that the truck was driven East toward New Haven.

Welch doesn’t know anything about the gang affiliation but he’ll be happy to talk to the gang unit about this white triangle and a possible connection to the Bio-hazard gang.

Checking in with Padre Lopez.

After wrapping up with Detective Welch, Brody decides to check his voice mail. Padre Lopez needs some help and if he could stop by St Mary’s to discuss the situation, that would be most appreciated.

St Mary’s isn’t too far away and the duo head over there with the truck.

They arrive at the tail end of lunch. Padre Lopez hosts a free lunch out of St Mary’s for the poor and needy.

There are a lot of people milling about as they exit the Church.

There are a handful of Yale students who are volunteering to help out Padre Lopez clean up, but Lopez is pleased to see Brody and invites the two into his office.

Padre Lopez’ request is simple enough. One of the newer priests was given a ‘donation’ note earlier this morning but it only contained a note from an individual calling themselves “Pyjama” who wants to offer to sell some cabbages to the Church at a discount.

Padre Lopez is ‘interested’ and his soup kitchen could use an influx of real vegetables.

However, due to the suspicious nature of this kind of transaction, Padre Lopez would like to use Brody as a broker. The Church is willing to offer 10 credits per crate and Lopez will pay Brody a 25% brokerage payment.

The note indicates that someone will be sent to the front of St Mary’s at midnight this evening, just as Midnight Mass is beginning. (Another reason that the cleric won’t be available for a meeting).

Stella accepts the offer. They’re willing to meet up at midnight and to act on behalf of the Padre.

The two get excited at the prospect of a solid lead to the truck and race over to the O’Hennessy Pub to talk to Laura.

They report to Laura that they have a lead on the truck.

Laura asks for the location and lead. She’ll be happy to take it from here.

Hold on! Frank Stella explains that this is just an initial meeting with a contact. However, Frank would like two guys to help during the meet, in case they need extra muscle for the meeting.

Laura relents, and explains that she’ll have two kids show up to help. She just needs to know when and where.

Pleased with the possibility of getting the truck back, Laura has Brody and Stella served a dinner at the bar (fish and chips).

The two hang out until 11:00 p.m. Two kids show up, one Austin Caroll and Ned Keaty show up. Austin has an aluminum baseball bat handy and Ned looks ready for fisticuffs.

The four head out to St Mary’s to set up. Stella and Brody have to help the two Irish kids ‘hide’ (as they’re completely incapable of hiding) with the instruction to just wait in case there is any trouble.

Brody and Stella are expecting six people to show up in less than an hour.

Meanwhile Father Steve is greeting parishioners and inviting people to come in and attend the mass.

Just after the Mass starts at Midnight, a young scrawny kid matching the description of the hijackers rolls up to the front of the Church.

Stella, approaches the kid and asks if he is “Pyjama.”

The kid indicates that he is not, but he knows “Pyjama.” The two compare notes and Stella indicates that he’s there to make an offer on behalf of Padre Lopez.

The kid indicates that they have 42 crates available and Stella makes an offer for $10 per crate.

Before Stella lets the kid leave, he notices the armband and wanting to get a look at this ‘white triangle’ he moves in front of the scooter and checks out the symbol and instantly recognizes the light blue image of a shark’s fin.

And now that they’re in close proximity, they can smell the hint of boiled cabbages on this messenger.

This kid is a part of the Crown Street Sharks!

This makes things a bit more complicated.

Frank Stella then lets the kid drive off and informs Brody of the identity of the hijackers.

The two need to talk to their contact with the Sharks, Hammerhead.

The two Irish kids acting as additional muscle, come out from hiding and want to know what’s next.

Time to drive them home.

It’s late and it’s turned into a long day. Time to pack it in.

They decide to have Brody crash on Frank’s couch so that they can hit the road running the next morning. Fortunately, they already have half a dozen donuts on hand for breakfast.

Wednesday October 6th.

Having made the connection to the Crown Street Sharks, as the culprits of the McDonnegals Trucking hijack, the two head over to the Crown Street Apartments to meet with their contact, Hammerhead.

There are gang members acting as guards to the complex who bar the two entry to the apartments, but once the guards radio to Hammerhead, Brody and Stella are led to meet with their contact.

Once inside the building, the aroma of boiled cabbages is unmistakable.

Hammerhead isn’t associated with Pyjama’s crew but Hammerhead leads the duo to meet with the leader, Great White to discuss Padre Lopez’ offer.

Being the gang leader, Great White is all too happy to negotiate. He has 42 cartons of cabbages left and since this product is perishable, he’s happy to help the Church out and to offer a ‘discount’ and accept the 10 credit per carton offer. So if the Church can pony up 420 credits, the cabbages are all his.

Stella then explains that there is a problem with this deal as the Irish Mob is determined to reclaim their truck and cargo. Violently so.

Great White, “Yeah, but they don’t know who pulled off this heist.”

Oh but they will. Even the NHPD is digging deep on this heist, Stella points out.

Great White demands to know if Stells is going to be a snitch about this!

Stella assures Great White that he has no intention, but he is there to get his hands on the truck and that the Irish are looking to get back fifty crates of cabbages.

Great White points out that obviously the Irish won’t be getting 50 crates back. There are only 42 crates left and ‘on the market.’

The gang leader points out that he flunked out of law school so that he knows that possession is nine tenths of the law. And as Great White has product for sale, he expects to make some cheddar for his cabbages. 420 credits in clips would be a good fair price for the lot that’s available.

Stella counters that getting money for the cabbages isn’t a deal that may be possible, without there being repercussions.

Great White points out that while the cabbages are not going to last forever but . . .

Great White: “It’s not like you can just go out to a field somewhere and pick cabbages off the ground!”

Stella reaserts that the Irish will probably ultimately get their cabbages and their truck back and the Shark’s won’t likely get any money in the end.

Stella, “Perhaps there’s something else that the Sharks can sell?

Given the openning, Great White points out that he has a handful of copies of the new braindance “Rampage.” He has 25 copies in original packaging and with their original shrink wrap with a street value of 50 credits each. If Brody and Stella can get Great White 500 in clips, then he’s willing to hand over the 25 copies and the cabbages (plus the location of the truck).

Stella thinks that he can make this deal work, but he’ll need the cabbages first.

Great White refuses. He needs 500 in clips before he delivers his product.

HOWEVER, he has his copy of Rampage and is willing to let Brody take a ride and check out the merchandise (as Brody obviously has the hardware necessary to run a braindance).

Brody accepts and is able to verify (23 minutes later) that Rampage is a working product. A brutally violent product, featuring a viking rampage through a defenseless medieval village. Brody gives his thumbs up.

Brody and Stella depart and now they have to figure out how to get their hands on 500 credits worth of clips.

Not wanting to rile up Laura O’Hennessy, Stella heads out to see if they can talk to Nolan and MacMorrow. They find the two hanging out at their favorite pub and have a quick conversation. Stella wants to know if they can deliver the truck (and cargo) directly to Nolan and MacMorrow. The two kids have no objection and seem eager to save face. Nolan gives Stella his phone number.

Brody and Stella head back to their van to try to figure out where to find 500 clips!

They go down their list of contacts and cross prospects off of their list. Laura O’Hennessy is too blood thirsty and they don’t want to approach her for cash.

Stella has a cousin who might have the cash and the contacts to purchase the brain dance hardware.

Stephano Marchetti welcomes Frank and his friend into his home and the two catch up for a bit. Tilly is still single and out on the hunt. “Hey, is Brody single?”

Why not come down to mom’s home for Sunday dinner (after church) for weekly lasagna dinner?

Finally circling back to business, Stella explains the deal that he has for the Rampage software (not mentioning cabbages) and asks if Stephano can front Frank 500 in clips to facilitate this purchase. Provided that Stephano knows someone who can fence 25 copies.

Brody confirms that he has tested the software and has seen the shrink wrapped copies all ready to roll.

Stephano needs to make some calls to see if this is a good deal or not and after about an hour, he returns to Frank and Brody with a box filled with 500 in gold clips.

Stephano indicates that Frank owes him a favor and wishes him luck with his deal.

Back to the Sharks

Great White receives Brody and Stella and the two swap the clips for the 25 boxes of Rampage.

Great White hands the location of the McDonnegal’s missing truck and lets him know that Leopard and his guys are watching the truck and cargo at this abandoned warehouse. He’ll call ahead and let Leopard know that the two are on the way to pick up the product.

Deserted Warehouse

The two drive out to a deserted warehouse located across the Quinnipiac in East Shore.

The chain that was locking the front gate has been broken so getting into the warehouse is easy enough.

The various Sharks hanging out in the abandoned warehouse show Brody and Stella the layout.

There is an on site refrigerator and the Sharks have attached a generator to the walk-in refrigerators. The truck is parked inside the warehouse (with the tail next to the refrigerators), with the keys in the ignition.

Once satisfied, the Sharks hop on their motor scooters and depart the area.

Brody and Stella check the cabbages and find that there are 42 crates and a quick inspection of the products show that these crates have only cabbages (nothing illegal to worry about here).

They stash two of the crates into their van and load the rest of the 40 crates into the back of the reefer van.

Fortunately no one messes with the duo while they load up.

Stella calls Nolan and reports that they have found the abandoned truck. He and Brody are planning on driving the truck to their favorite Pub.

Nolan stops him and coordinates another meeting place away from the eyes of anyone else in the Irish Mob. They agree upon a close by service station.

Nolan and MacMorrow meet the two. They discuss the fact that there are only 40 cases left, but Nolan and MacMorrow are happy to be able to recover this truck. They may need to make another trip down South to pick up the missing vegetables . . .

That done, Brody and Stella stop by St Mary’s. They deliver two crates of cabbages, free of charge, to Padre Lopez.

The Priest is very grateful for the gift and he’ll be able to use these to help supplement the stew that he serves every noon.

Lastly, now that everything has been returned to its rightful place, and everyone is ‘happy’ (we haven’t talked to Laura yet) it’s time to get paid!

Jet Brody calls Sgt Ogden and fills him in on the fact that the truck was found and returned to the drivers. Brody insists that Ogden pay him 400 credits for the work done!

Ogden rebuts;

Ogden: “For what? Where’s my collar? You went to the Academy and I shouldn’t have to explain that 200 credits for info leading to an arrest means I get to perp walk someone to the station!”

No arrest.
No reward.

Two days and nothing to show for it . . .