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The Underbelly of Dixwell

October 7th a.m. VERY a.m!

Sydney Morrison has finished her surgery and is taken by the woman of the house to get cleaned up after her surgery.

The brunette points out that the two girls are going to have some issues being out beyond curfew from their dorm mom. She ask’s Brody and Stella if they have any good ideas that will keep them out of trouble!

Brody has a friend in the NHPD. He’ll ask Ogden to cover for Morrision and her friend with the simple story that they were cooperating with a police investigation and further comment is not appropriate due to the “ongoing investigation.”

That seems to work for the two young ladies. The brunette and Brody exchange phone contact info so that Brody can talk to Ogden then forward that contact info to Morrison.

Morrison is concerned that Deacon Watson needs some antibiotics to fight off infection. She hopes that Brody and Stella can secure some pain meds and antibiotics for the patient.

The four depart the home and Brody drives the two young women to the Whitehall Apts.

Brody and Stella still need to stop by St Mary’s to touch base with Padre Lopez.

The Priest has been waiting for the two and is grateful for the report. Lopez pays them the remaining $250 in clips.

Brody points out that Deacon Watson needs some pain relievers and antibiotics. According to Padre Lopes, that’s not a problem for the Church. The Priest will make the necessary arrangements to provide the needed medications.

Their business concluded, the two friends depart St Mary’s and return to their respective homes in preparation for Stella’s meeting with Alderman James Pattersen, the following morning.

James Pattersen’s Community Office. 11:45 a.m.

Brody and Stella show up a bit early and are greeted by the receptionist. She confirms their appointment but because Brody wasn’t on the schedule, she requests his ID so that she can ‘log him in.’

Patterson greets the two warmly and invites them into his office.

Stella dismisses the general opening pleasantries so the two get down to business.

Patterson points out to Frank that the politician had spent quite a bit of political capital and monetary means to help the engineer land his position at DARPA.

Patterson is expecting some sort of quid-pro-quo from Stella.

Not necessarily in a monetary form and not necessarily immediately . . .

Patterson has a job opportunity along the lines of private investigation.

There is a new Brain Dance being introduced to the kids in his district called “Rampage” and worse there’s a cheat code that permits the user to rape three village girls!

Pattersen has received complaints from parents in his community and wants this stopped!

The Alderman is willing to hire the two to track down and to create a case that can be prosecuted.

Unfortunately the NHPD is unable to respond to these complaints as they need to direct their resources to more serious crimes.

Pattersen also indicates that a local gang going by the name the “Big Dix Boys” may be associated. (Colloquially, they are known as the ‘BDB’ gang).

Ultimately, Patterson would like this Brain Dance to not be introduced into his community! He’d like Stella and Brody to track down the source and stop this incursion into his schools!

Stella and Brody let Pattersen know that they’ll consider the offer and check back the next day.

They conclude the meeting and are politely ushered out, mainly because Pattersen has a very important meeting he needs to attend to.

Brody and Stella head to the parking lot and discuss their options in the van, while a delivery guy shows up and delivers Chinese take out.

Both Brody and Stella are uncomfortable accepting Pattersen’s offer as the two of them just recently helped distribute several copies of Rampage to Frank’s cousin! (Yikes)!

Phone call with Svetlana

Stella calls Svetlana and puts the call on speaker so Brody can hear the discussion.

The two catch up and Svetlana is pleasantly surprised to hear from Frank. She asks about Stella’s version of his termination from DARPA and Frank gives her an abbreviated story.

Frank asks Svetlana if she’s familiar with brain dance programs and she indicates that she has quite a bit of experience. Even with some of the more ‘aggressive’ versions out there. (There’s even a hint that she may be more familiar with Rampage content, despite her protestations to the contrary).

Frank explains the situation with the brain dance and want’s to know how to destroy the more explicit portions of content.

Being on a hard format, the only way to destroy the content is to destroy the disk.

Svetlana is familiar with the company that manufactures Rampage and they’re a company operating out of Singapore.

Svetlana also points out that Rampage hasn’t been released to the public yet.

Since Frank doesn’t have the hardware to understand how brain dances work, the conversation with Svetlana is quite informative for him.

Svetlana also encourages Frank to ‘get the upgrade’ and she would be happy to help Frank select the appropriate hardware, if he has the cash.

Frank takes a rain check on that offer.

Dixwell

The two decide to do some leg work, especially since the ward covering Dixwell isn’t too big.

After about an hour the two find two BDB tags, one at the high school, and another at a corner convenience store.

Brody heads into the convenience store to try to see if he can learn anything about ‘under the counter’ purchases of brain dance software.

Karl, the store clerk, clams up and claims that the only merchandise available is what’s on the shelves. (Karl is wigged out at the stranger stopping into his local convenience store with obvious cybernetic eyes that could record the conversation).

Karl recommends that Brody look in the George and Crown section of downtown for illicit brain dance content, ’cause they don’t have that kind of stuff on the shelves.

Brody doesn’t notice any members of the BDB.

Wanting to stake out the convenience store, Stella parks his truck within line of site of the convenience store and sets up safety markers (cones and men at work signage) and pretends to do repair work while Brody watches from inside the van.

The two don’t notice anything unusual for a couple of hours until the high school kids get out of school and several groups of students. There are three of the high school kids wearing BDB symbols.

In short order, most of the kids purchase after school snacks and head out. The BDB trio do not depart with the rest of their fellow high school students.

Brody and Stella grow impatient and decide to enter the convenience store (separately) with Stella entering first.

Both pose as shoppers and Stella finds that the BDB trio are hanging out with Karl at the register.

But when Brody enters the shop, Karl gets nervous and silently signals to the three kids to disperse. The three move away from the counter and keep their distance from Brody.

Everyone ignores Stella and that allows Frank to sneak up to the trio. He catches snippets that the trio are afraid of Brody because they think he’s a cop!

Stella joins the conversation, acting sympathetic and worried (too) that Brody is a cop. Stella has no desire (either) to have a tangle with the cops. He’s got a van, and would be willing to help the kids ‘shake the fuzz.’

The trio respond favorably to the offer and the four meet up out back and Stella takes off with the three in the van!

Brody was abandoned!

Brody figures out Stella’s play and calls for a cab.

Back in the van.

Stella points out to the kids that he’s got a perfectly serviceable van and that Stella is willing to pick up some extra pay on the side, if they’re interested.

One of the kids mentions that they primarily traffic in two drugs “Glitter” and “Booster.”

Stella inquires about the purchase of some “Glitter” and the kids mention that they can get ahold of some product with delivery tomorrow if Stella can pay $500 in clips.

Contact information is exchanged and Stella says that he’ll check and see if he can make the arrangements necessary. (Stella has $250 in clips and knows that Brody has $250. Together they might be able to put this deal together).

The kids direct Stella to drop them off at the High School.

Stella calls Brody and they coordinate a reunion location far from the school and the corner store.

Back together again.

Stella gets Brody up to speed on what he learned about the kids dealing drugs.

Let’s see if we can get the NHPD involved, the two decide.

Brody calls the PD to see if Sgt Ogden is on the clock. Luckily, Brody’s contact is available.

After a quick call, Ogden invites the two to stop by the station to discuss options.

NHPD

Ogden has some interest in the case and perks up a little when the Sergeant learns about the deal for “Glitter.” If Brody and Stella can set up the buy for the following day at 17:00 hrs, then Ogden can assemble the Drug Squad to make an arrest.

The NHPD is even willing to secure the $500 in clips for the purchase.

Brody and Stella will need to show up tomorrow at 14:00 hrs to get prepared. Ogden wants to set up Stella’s van with surveillance equipment and even wants to put a wire on Stella.

However Frank is uncomfortable with a wire, but otherwise agrees to meet up the following day to get the vehicle ready.

Their business concluded, Brody and Stella head out. It’s late afternoon and with not much else to do, the two head to St Mary’s to see how Deacon Watson is doing.

St Mary’s

Padre Lopez is grateful for their help, but the surgery was hard on the Deacon and according to his latest update, Watson hasn’t awakened yet.

Safe house

The family recognize Brody and Stella and the Senora invites the two in.

As it turns out Deacon Watson is awake and eating a light meal. Come on up and say hello to the convalescing cleric.

The house smells amazing with the aroma of cooking Hispanic cuisine.

Watson is still in bed and bandaged from the previous surgery. He’s got a bowl of some variety of chicken stew that he’s nursing.

Watson remembers the two from the previous evening. He reports that he’s waiting to recover his strength until he can travel. He expects that Padre Lopez, no doubt, already asked Brody and Stella to help with the transportation to the New Haven airport, when that time comes.

No? Well there are still a couple of days, before that will happen.

Brody asks about Watson’s cryptic inquiry regarding something essential.

Essential, it turns out is the name of a young lady who works down in the George and Crown district (as a prostitute).

Watson and Essential met when Watson was downtown doing street preaching.

Essential had a change of heart about her line of work and wanted out. She sought help from Deacon Watson, but her pimp, had taken exception to the loss of one of his girls. When Watson had shown up to help extricate Essential, the pimp instead shot the Deacon.

Watson implores the two to help rescue Essential.

(Stella seems quite disinclined to get involved).

Watson is still quite weak and after finishing his dinner, lets the two know that he needs more rest.

But as Brody and Stella walk down the stairs, Senora invites the two to sit down and have some supper! She’s just pulled out a fresh dish of enchiladas!

It’s dinner time, and it’s a tasty treat for the two bachelors.

The two head home for the evening to their separate rentals.

After settling down for the evening, someone calls Brody identifying themselves only as “The Voice.”

He asks if Brody is available the following evening.

Brody quickly, curtly, and strongly responds “No!”

The voice, replies, “Perhaps another time then,” and disconnects the phone connection.

And so the evening of October 7th comes to a quiet conclusion with temperatures dropping down into the 40’s, with rain forecast for the following day.