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Tuesday, November 11

An Outbreak of Alchemy: Part 4 – Going Up

Hammer checked Archive's pulse. He was alive but delirious. "Great. One man down and no leads."

Jim-Bean was staring up at the sky past him. "I wouldn't say that."

The alley opened up onto a main street that was in front of the Equitech Building. Hammer tapped a few keys.

"Interesting. Dawn Biozyme leases five floors of the Equitech Building, but Blacknet's missing the plans for the top three floors. Somebody's hiding something important up there."

"Ko?" asked Jim-Bean.

"Must be."

They dragged Archive back into the vehicle. Hammer gave him a shot of anti-venom while Jim-Bean brought the car around to the front of the building.

"Is that going to work?" asked Jim-Bean.

Hammer shrugged. "If Bhzang is one of the major poisons it'll keep him from asphyxiating. But we're running out of time. Ko's going to be warned in a few minutes…"

"Wait," gasped Archive. "Give me your hands." Archive reached into his pocket with his good arm with considerably effort.

"Uh, now is really not the time—" began Jim-Bean.

Archive grabbed Jim-Bean's hand and pressed something cold against it. He lifted the back of his hand to look at it.

It was an ink stamp of a tiny scarab.

"We're not going into a club," said Hammer. "I don't see how…"

Jim-Bean shushed him. "If he wants to stamp your hand, let 'im."

Hammer dutifully offered his hand and Archived stamped it as well.

Jim-Bean took Archive's pistol out of his shoulder holster and placed it in Archive's good hand. "If anyone besides us tries to get in the car, shoot them."

Archive looked past him and muttered something. Hoping for the best, Jim-Bean closed the door to the car. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 6:59 AM


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