After UB!‘s arrest, he is detained for a while in a room. He is bound to a chair with hand and foot manacles and chains. His ’ware is all still deactivated. There is a window in the room. Jaro is in a similar looking setup on the other side. She appears injured and somewhat dazed, but doesnt look to be in active danger. He stares at her, but it seems like she can’t see him (1-way glass, perhaps?). He tries to get her attention by shouting, but it seems the room is soundproofed as well.
After a few hours, a man and a woman in Knight Errant uniforms enter. They tell UB! that their operation has been a great success; not only have they swept the streets of many of the low-level gangers, they have picked up a number of the big players as well, including One Shot Wade. They direct UB!‘s attention toward Wade’s driver, Jaro, as proof. They tell UB! that he can’t do anything for Wade now, but he can certainly help yourself, and he can help Jaro too if he cooperates.
They tell UB! that they appreciate the initiative he showed in going on the news show, and they know that he is a respected figure in the undercity, as well as a capable leader, as evidenced by the loyalty of the Ultradudes. They tell him that they want to put together a high level black-ops squad, similar to the Prime Runners, but minus the media circus. They’ll be working for KE, in secret, to take out high value targets in and around Mars City. They tell UB!: “you’ll be respected. You’ll be well-payed. You’ll be helping people. And, if you prove yourself in the field (which they have every feeling that you will), you’ll get your own team. Keep collateral damage to a minimum, and don’t let anyone know who you work for, and you could go a long way.”
Of course, if he fails to cooperate, things will go very differently for him. For Jaro, too.
But if he works with them, they see no reason they couldn’t eventually help set him up with his own undercity turf: he could be a real unifying factor for the remaining streetgang elements, something to attract all the various individuals missed in the sweep. And it would help KE out to have a friend in a position of authority down there- keeping everything in line. And, of course, if he keeps cooperating, things could go very well for Jaro too. KE has it’s own judges of course, and they can make sure that those judges take a lenient view of her activities. One suit says: “She’ll probably be real grateful to you when you get her out, right?”
They tell him that they’ll let him think on it for a while, and leave.
What’s his answer going to be when they come back?
This is UB!’s dream come true.
When the KE reps return UB! says:
“I’ll do it… but I want all the merchandising rights!”
Then he notices that little nagging feeling in his brain, the one that starts squirming when he finds himself securely inside someone’s pocket… and there’s still the skin-note-people to worry about.
The KE suits accept UB!’s conditions, although they will insist on final editorial control to prevent the leak of any sensitive info. But UB! has full merch rights & incomes. A bright future awaits, no doubt….
It’s about to get all kinds of fucked up in the Undercity.
“Keep collateral damage to a minimum, and don’t let anyone know who you work for, and you could go a long way.”
Is an entire building considered “collateral damage”?