Episode 521: Toy Story 2

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Air Date: 28 Jul 2011
Present: Andy, Bobby, Kim, Maer, and Terri

Tuesday, 11 Aug 2522

Di Lan Jeun shows up unexpectedly in the picture and we quickly enlist him to help us with our plans. He’s gunning for Ah Toy just as we are and he’s working on his own time: he’s on official leave and actually has no authority as a Federal Marshal. He accompanies us back to our ship and helps us fill in the 3D plans of the opera house based on his observations. He also arranges staff uniforms for all of us, the better to get us inside the opera house for the op. As to the people inside the opera house, he has two important details to tell us.

  1. The Head of Security is a particularly hard individual by the name of Rosher. We will have to keep an eye out for him.
  2. There are about a dozen physically deformed/mutilated victims imprisoned in the basement of the opera house. They are called troglodytes by the staff and they are guarded by another deformed/mutilated individual everyone calls the Troll.

We decide to rescue the Troglodytes as well the other victims at Toys. We will have to neutralize the Troll to get them out of the basement. We need the troglodytes free and in the theatre during the projection as proof of Ah Toy’s crimes. We will need to split our team up further to divert them to the basement for the rescue.

We spend some time debating whether to go in armed or unarmed, but finally pull a plan together.

  1. Free the troglodytes to show as proof of Ah Toy’s crimes.
  2. We will try to convince Giselle to come along and give her testimonial of her victimization by Ah Toy.
  3. We will get Rina and Joshua to play the wave.
  4. Giselle, Nika, and Di Lan will go onstage to guide and contain the spectators.
  5. Kiera and Arden will rescue the troglodytes from the basement.
  6. Beglan will stand by as our getaway driver in Lagniappe.

We gin up and send out the invitations to all the big wigs we’ve found might be Ah Toy’s supporters and patrons, and get ready for the event two nights hence.

Thursday, 13 Aug 2522

Rina and Joshua both go in the service entrance as waiters. They’re there to help with the catering. Rina’s held back for a few more questions and she manages to squeak through with a convincing show of a sullen willingness to work. Duh, guys. Once through the kitchens they head up to the projection booth.

Nika and Giselle go backstage and explain they are readying for a performance. The guards let them through.

Kiera, her hair dyed a flaming red, takes dirty dishes to the troglodytes for washing. The troglodytes are given the messiest, nastiest jobs in the place to do—basically all the jobs no one wants. Scullery duties are apparently one of them.

Arden makes himself useful at one of the bars as a runner, standing by to run booze up from the basement as it is depleted upstairs.

Di Lan Jeun melts into the crowd.

Arden notices some of the managerial and security staff are having to deal with non-member guests of invited people. There’s a lot of chatter between the two departments.

Kiera finds the way down to the troglodytes, drops off the dishes and takes up the clean ones.

Nika and Giselle duck backstage. Giselle slides right into the chaos backstage and Nika starts helping the showgirls with their hair and costuming and make-up.

Rina and Joshua get to the upper levels and wait before taking over the booth.

Arden’s sent down to get liquor and he goes down with Kiera to the subbasement where the troglodytes are. They see the Troll perched witchlike on some cleaning equipment. She notices them and Arden ignores her. The Troll has a cattle prod and it’s fairly obvious that she uses it to keep the others in line. Kiera murmurs to Arden that they should tell the Troglodytes to go upstairs once everyone’s in place and ready to go.

Nika gives us the go signal.

Joshua and Rina go to the booth. Joshua rushes in under the guise of the mayor’s video aide: We gotta play this tape—chop, chop! You didn’t know? He did the ten-minute pick-up from Rina while they were waiting and faced with all the buttons and sliders and dials of the sound equipment, Joshua slide right in behind them and takes over. Rina follows in right behind him.

The show room/auditorium starts filling up with guests.

Joshua announces the reason for the party. He plugs in the chip and hits play. The balloon goes up, things start happening fast.

  1. Guards rush the projection booth.
  2. Joshua delays them at the door, keeping it closed and then throwing it wide open.
  3. A guard tumbles in and Rina is ready with her gun. She shoots and hits. The guard takes the damage from the bullet. He starts to complain and whine. Rina drags him inside and tells him to shut up.
  4. Li Shen is on the stairs behind the guard. Joshua tells him to come in and then Reads him.
  5. Li Shen looks like he’s going to fight and Joshua says: It’s time. It’s time. Joshua Reads Li Shen’s intent to feint with a trick knee and Joshua’s ready for it when Li Shen tries pulling it.
  6. Li Shen, realizing his ruse didn’t work, yells at the guard: Get up you fool!
  7. Rina tells the guard, her accent heavy: Stay down if you want to live.

Joshua tells Li Shen: She’s not getting out of this one. If you don’t help me now, she’s not getting out not-dead.

Li Shen actually steps inside and fouls his leg for-real on some cabling and his momentarily botched in it. Joshua offers him a peaceful hand to help him up and Reads: Li Shen is going to shoot him with a hidden weapon.

Joshua Reads Li Shen some more: He’s protecting Ah Toy and a footlocker.

Joshua dodges Li Shen’s shot—a projectile weapon—and it misses him.

Kiera draws her gun and aims for the Troll. Arden provides Kiera cover for the action.

Kiera: (to Arden) Go left.

Kiera aims.

Troll: What are you doing? Put that down.

Kiera says she’s come to fix their deformities, that she’s a top notch plastic surgeon. The Troll isn’t buying it and tries to taser Arden with her cattle prod. Arden tries to shoot the cattle prod out of her hands; the bullet bounces off it and the prod misses Arden. Kiera shoots the Troll in the leg and the Troll goes down.

Arden herds the Troglodytes up the stairs. Kiera joins in the herding. Together they convince them to leave, that it’s okay, it’s not some kind of elaborate trick to punish them. Arden drags the Troll to the side to bandage her leg. She’s having something like an asthma attack. She points to her inhaler and Arden helps her with it.

Onstage upstairs, Nika takes Giselle forward and grabs the mike. Giselle gets nervous and Nika puts the woman behind her when she sees a big guy coming through the crowd for them. Seizing the opportunity, Nika starts talking, telling everyone about the Devil of Dashan.

Upstairs in the projection booth, Rina lets the wave recording end so it won’t drown out Nika’s voice over the mike. Rina turns around and covers the guard, who’s still whining and bitching and bleeding.

Joshua is still engaged with Li Shen, who is still fouled in the wiring underfoot. Li Shen shoots a flechette round into Joshua. It’s nasty, delivering wound and stun (1 s/4w). Joshua feels a burning sensation at the wound site—the round might have been poisoned or coated with something—but he manages to keep it together.

Joshua Reads Li Shen again and gains the contents of the footlocker and a prison scene from Dashan.

Joshua: We know about the locker. If you get killed, no one is going to speak for her.

Li Shen pulls free of the wiring. He shoots and Joshua takes another flechette round. It might be magnesium or sodium in that flechette round—God, it burns.

Li Shen runs out the door and runs to the railing over the casino side of the house. Rina tries to catch him and fails. The man dives over the railing to his death, striking the hard cold marble a story and a half below.


Nika continues talking onstage. The big guy makes it up there and says:

Big Guy: Okay, lady. You’ve said your piece.

Nika doesn’t stop but points to the man as further evidence of the lengths Ah Toy would go to smother the truth. Ah Toy has fooled everyone she’s nothing more than a businessman …

Up in the projection booth, Joshua pushes the play button to show the recording again. His untreated wounds exact more stun and damage on him.

Kiera leads the Troglodytes into the upper level. They cause quite a stir when others see them. She goes back down to the subbasement when she realizes Arden isn’t with her.

Down in the subbasement, the Troll sprays Arden full in the face with her inhaler—TRICK!—it’s filled with acid and Arden screams as his face starts melting off him.

Kiera arrives to see this and shouts to the Troll:

Kiera: Oh, I missed before. This time I’m not.


Scratch one Troll off the employee roster. Kiera gets down to feverishly saving Arden.

Onstage, Nika’s being chased around by the big guy. She’s still got the mike and she’s still talking and dodging the big bruiser. Rina sees this going on and runs to a box seat off to the side on the upper level, intending to cover her Captain with her pistol.

Meanwhile, Joshua knows where the footlocker is in the opera house. Wounded and bleeding he runs to get it. But before he goes, he locks the projection room doors—no one will be able to get inside while he’s gone to stop the replay of their recording.

Onstage, the bruiser threatens Nika with a taser. Nika dances out of the way, protecting Giselle.

Kiera saves Arden.

A portly older middle aged man shoots a monitor out and says we should hear what the lady [Nika] has to say. Ah Toy starts to spin the situation, trying to gain an advantage.

Joshua announces over our ear comms that Li Shen is dead and that he’s going after the locker.

Ah Toy’s spin is looking good and the crowd assembled in the room starts looking doubtful at Nika’s accusations.

Giselle takes the mike from Nika when our finely crafted plan starts to stumble. She’s scared but she tells everyone her story, of what happened to her in Ah Toy’s hands.

Joshua finds the locker and inside is a cigar box filled with photos of Ah Toy as the Devil of Dashan. He runs for the auditorium with it. He puts one of the more damning photos in Nika’s hands.

Rina leaves the box to return to the projection booth and zooms the camera feed in on the photo Nika holds up. It’s unmistakably Ah Toy in that photo. Equally unmistakable is who she is in it.

There’s writing on the back: Col. Li Ho Mei.

Joshua hands her more things from the cigar box, among them receipts labeled: Intelligence Containment Facility 783.

Nika exhorts the crowd and the good people of Beaumonde to mete justice, to do the right thing.

Joshua walks through the crowd, showing them the contents of the box.

Ah Toy asks: May I say something?

She threatens the crowd that she will expose their peccadilloes. They are all powerful and influential people. They have a lot to hide and a lot to lose if word ever gets out as to what they get up to in her establishment. She’s doing them a favor and a service by running her place and they’re all in this together. They’re as dirty as she is.


Then a voice in the back says he’ll speak against her. Then another speaks up. And another. And another.

Knowing she’s played her last card and lost, Ah Toy bolts from the room. In the projection booth, Rina shoots for the woman and misses. Damn.

Ah Toy doesn’t make it far. She’s escorted back into the auditorium by the Chief of Police and several cops.


It’s all over now but for the mopping up.

  1. Kiera has called an ambulance for Arden.
  2. We tell Beglan to fly Lagniappe back to Equinox. We won’t need a quick getaway.
  3. We give the evidence we’ve found over to the authorities.
  4. The local Diocese will take over retrieving the victims on the JJB list, liquidating Ah Toy’s assets to fund their rescue and to recompense the victims.

The Trial of Ah Toy is somewhat spectacular. Giselle goes home to reunite with her family, and then returns to help the Diocese with the JJB list.

We spend at least a month on Beaumonde healing up. Two of our crewmates need significant downtime to recover from their wounds.

  1. Joshua was indeed wounded with magnesium flechette rounds. They are nasty wounds/burns.
  2. Arden undergoes reconstructive surgery for his face. Kiera does the work, using every skill she has to make him functional and handsome again.

Di Lan Jeun decides to go to Blue Sun system and sign up with The Rangers. There’s no going back to being a Marshal, not after what he’s pulled. Rina gives him her contact info, hoping to keep in touch with him and the events in that system.

And so the time passes on Beaumonde and The Devil of Dashan finally pays her dues.

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