Ro links up with the team, using another Evan Parris-provided visa. She picked up some rumors in Seattle that Horizon is looking for them. They all head to a meet with Parris, and catch the tail end of some sort of Tir Prince pep rally in a park, which is rudely interrupted by a driveby. Although it was targeted at some rival gang members in the park, the Prince’s don’t hesitate to obliterate the attacker’s vehicle with a fireball. Parris tells the team that his other errand can wait, and that he wants them to deal with this gang war immediately, as he is sick of it affecting his business. He sends them to a meet with Alexander Horn, a local Crime Corp boss/fixer, who has the intel required. Parris’ driver, who goes by “Johnson”, chaffeurs them around in a lux SUV, but tells them that his job is to get them from place to place and protect the car, not them.
The meeting with Horn is somewhat confusing, as he insists on using corporate lingo and metaphor, exclusively, to describe the situation. Ro manages to piece it together but fumbles the social interaction, and TY and Ortega just can’t keep up, leaving it to Aemon to assure the anxious Horn that they are capable of completing the task at hand. They get the name of 4 gangs, and the likely locations of their 4 leaders: Enyo: leader of an all-female gang called The Shooters, The Duke: leader of an all-ork gang called The Spans, Red Feather: chief of a Native American crime family called the Dog Soldiers, and Stump: leader of the all-dwarf Sons of Gimli.
They head out to meet Stump first, and find a bar converted entirely to dwarf-size (including the awkward-height door). They find out that the hostilities started because Stump and Red Feather’s sister, Smiles Like the Sun, have run off together. This is a problem, as RF is a racial purist, and is refusing to believe that his sister is acting of her own free will- he thinks she has been magically induced or kidnapped. Smiles assures the team this isn’t so, and Aemon confirms via assesning that she isn’t being controlled (although Stump is a decently powerful mage of some sort). The Sons are allied with The Shooters, so they jumped in the fight too, using it as an excuse to hit back at The Spans, who are allied with the Dog Soldiers, and are longtime competitors for the same slice of dockside turf. They get Stump to agree to participate in a challenge fight on RF’s terms, if RF will agree to allow Stump and Smiles to go about their lives if he loses. The team also convinces them to get married soon if Stump wins, to try and tie the warring gangs together.
They head out to the Spans base next, a rundown warehouse called The Duchy. There are some armed orks outside on alert, due to the current situation, but they talk their way in, and cross through a filty hall filled with drug-addled gangers lounging around watching trids and porn. The Duke himself is seated atop a trash-pile throne, with an obviously underage ork girl on his lap (angering Ortega). He speaks coarsely of the Shooters and the Sons, and seems pretty interested in continuing the violence, a prospect that he and the gangers present seem to relish. However, he agrees to stand by the outcome of a challenge fight between the Sons and the DS’, as long as the team can also get him in the ring with Enyo, (who he seems to have personal beef with), to settle their turf dispute. They agree, and leave, somewhat disgusted.
Being nearby, they hit up The Shooters next, in the Meat Rack, the dockside redlight district that they control. The stylish red and black knock-off Actioneer suits that the women wear mark them out pretty easily from the johns and working girls, and they manage to talk their way into a meet with Enyo, who seems to have been expecting them. She seems interested in peace, as this ongoing spat is bad for business (and bad for longterm prospects if that state cracks down), but she can’t afford to not hit back if the Spans attack her girls, or her allies. They convince her to come to the challenge fight, although she talks Ortega into fighting as her champion for some bonus pay, perhaps correctly worried about her chances one-on-one with The Duke, who she seems to despise. Aemon tries to flirt with her but is rebuffed.
They roll out to the urban wilds, to meet Red Feather. Johnson has to park a ways off and leave them to walk up, and they are intercepted by 2 well-camoflagued Dog Soldiers armed with compound bows. They manage to talk their way into a meet, and are escorted deeper in. RF is an elf, but the gang seems mixed between elves and humans. They seem to be pushing for a return to NAN-affiliation, rather than being and Elven nation, from the team can pick up. RF is pretty short with them, and they have to do some fairly intense convincing to get him to hear them out. He eventually agrees that if his sister can be produced unharmed and will allow herself to be examined magically to prove that she is acting of her own free will, he will participate in the challenge fight to settle this, although he says that he plans to kill Stump in the ring. RF also seems to have some magic ability, and although not especially charismatic, has the devotion of his followers, though his sister is also popular.
The night comes, and the team rolls up on the abandoned, collapsed warehouse that is used as a neutral meeting place. Ortega asks Ro to buy him some cram to boost his abilities a bit, remembering how poorly he fared against Jimmy The Chin in Seattle. Ro makes a cocktail of cram, jazz, nitro, and kamikaze, to really power him up, but doesn’t tell him about the bonuses in the inhaler. Aemon coats Ortega’s axe blade in narcoject, and tells him he better connect of the first hit. The rest of the gangs show up: Stump and Smiles on a chopper with 4 more Sons in a van behind, Red Feather and 6 Dogs on bikes and atv’s, Enyo and 6 Shooters in red and white convertibles, and The Duke and 4 Spans on foot. They head in, and after some formal invocations, the Duke agrees to Ortega as Enyo’s champion, and agrees to a blades fight to the death, and the first fight begins.
Ortega is tripping something fierce, but is inhumanly fast and strong, and manages to strike the first blow, staggering his opponent. The Duke gets a few decent hits in, but it unable to recover from this initial volley and Ortega fells him. However, in a combat rage, he keeps pulverizing the corpse with his axe, angering some of the spectators, until Aemon shoots it out of his hand, and Ro manages to use imitiation military commands to lure him outside. However, even after getting him to run around a bunch, he is still in a frenzy, so Ro and Aemon incapacitate him, while TY tries to make sure no-one inside sees what it happening. Ro leaves, taking Ortega to a nearby street doc. By the time Aemon and TY return, the Duke’s body has been torn apart, apparently by the other Spans, in order to salvage his ’ware, and the 2nd fight has begun. Enyo messages Aemon to praise his trick shot and invites him to meet her later. She also pays Ortega a bit extra.
Meanwhile, Red Feather seems to have the definitive speed advantage, although he is dealing mostly light blows, seemingly unable to fully penetrate Stump’s mystical armor. When Stump finally swings, it is a mighty hit, seriously wounding RF. This goes on for a bit, but Stump prevails in the end as his 2nd swing fells RF, who lies dazed and bleeding on the ground. Although there are some shouts of “finish it!”, Stump looks to Smiles, who nods “no”, and he calls it a win and exits the ring, leaving the Dogs free to collect their grievously wounded chief. Their is a little more ceremony, and everyone goes their seperate ways, the Spans already having declared a new Duke. They apparently wanted to recruit Ortega but he was nowhere to be found….
The team gets paid, and Parris tells them that he has another job lined up in a few days: a reagent hunt in a High Prince’s private preserve.