This is a change, a fix, and a huge expansion over previous content. This is the section I referred too with a small hole. Previously…
For comparison, this is the original:
One day ago…
Nothing about this case made any sense. A search and several vid-conversations later, Puddles learned much to her amusement, Doctor Dan was a doctor. Not a doctor doctor, instead working for Titan Industries, part of their pharmacology division. Other than a parking ticket, there was nothing about him. If he had any children neither Puddles nor Whiskers had been able to discover information about them.
Together with the paid assistance of Eth, a cymean fence, they confirmed that the location was home to the Black Myst a gang with connections. What connections, Eth could not say for sure, but for a few more isstas, hinted that the gang had access to newer weapons and one of the better drug packages.
Here is the revision
One day ago…Over Noodles
“Pass me the chili oil,” Puddles said to Chuck.
“Not hot enough?” he asked passing the bowl of chili oil.
Around a mouthful of noodles, “Not even close.”
Whiskers shook his head then resumed reading his tablet, “Are you sure this is the right Doctor Marlowe?”
“I pulled the CIS data for all registered Marlowes in the city,” Chuck replied, “Why?”
“Something wrong?” Puddles asked.
“Not sure. This Marlowe seems most likely,” holding up a paw he ticked off his points, “does work for Titan Industries, research and development of pharmaceuticals. Not married, which does not mean anything. No registered children. There are other Marlowes who could fit our client.”
“But,” Puddles began.
“There’s always a butt,” Chuck finished, flashing a smile at Puddles and Whiskers.
Puddles stifled a chuckle with a mouthful of noodles. Whiskers, right ear briefly twitched before smiling, “This Doctor Marlowe is the closest to the person who wants to hire us. The rest either lack the resources, the job, have too many children, or some other detail removing them from consideration. Do we have a connection who knows Tumbledown?”
They stared at each other for a moment, “Scar. I know Scar, she may talk to us,” Chuck broke the silence.
Puddles set her chopsticks down, “Scar?”
“Yeah, she lives in Tumbledown. I have gotten information from her before. She’s…”
“Did you date her?” Puddles interrupted with a grin.
Whiskers sip of tea filled the silence.
“I’ll set up a meet tonight,” ignoring the question.
“You dated her, didn’t you?” Puddles pestered.
A little while later, standing outside between their cars, “Did she break up with you?”
“I’ll hit you up with the meeting details,” Chuck said to Whiskers ignoring Puddles while getting into his car.
“What did you do?” Puddles shouted as Chuck’s car pulled out of NiHo’s parking lot.
“Why do you do that to him?” Whiskers asked knowing the answer.
“What?” Puddles replied holding her paws up, eyes wide, ears relaxed in her “Who me” pose.
“Here,” he said handing her his tablet, “you review the data. I will drive.”
Six Hours Later…
Standing next to their car lights from surrounding buildings, holos, vids, and other advertisements normally bright appeared to intentionally miss Torkal’s, a bar across from the South-West corner of Tumbledown. The squat black building with no windows, only a front door contrasted with the towering neighboring buildings. The only light from two working streetlights and the ambient light from the city. Music from Torka’s competed vehicles driving or flying by, the barker’s call from drug dealers and the occasional gunshot from Tumbledown. Unlike other parts of Stroud, everyone kept their heads down, except those people looking for trouble. Puddles checked her holster three times in the last five minutes. Whiskers, calm as always, remained alert.
“What a shit hole,” Puddles reiterated for the millionth time, “Do they pay extra for darkness?”
“It is odd, the lack of city environment here.”
“Looks like the rest of the city decided to move on from here,” Puddles pointed to Tumbledown, “Seriously, why hasn’t the city done anything about that mess?”
Whiskers shrugged, “Ready?”
“Yep, let’s go.”
Opening the door, bright-multicolored lights nearly blinded both of them. Music assaulted their ears and bodies. Despite the lights and music, only five people occupied the bar; a gromathi bartender, two humans sat at the bar, Chuck and his companion, hopefully Scar, Whiskers thought. Other than Chuck waving them over, nobody paid them any attention.
“You found the place,” he said. Leaning close to Puddles, “Don’t start any of your shit.”
Puddles took a step back, ears back, tail lashed twice, before she regained her composure, “You got it.”
Sitting at the table an illietheril woman, neon green spiked hair with motes of white moving along the spikes. She unabashedly starred at both of them; Whiskers noted the three gold studs along her right ear, her left ear missing the tip, and the large scar running across the left side of her face. He sat down across from her, Puddles remained standing behind his right shoulder.
“Scar, this is Whiskers and Puddles,” Chuck introduced, “Whiskers and Puddles this is Scar.”
When the front door opened, Scar cast a quick glance to see who entered or left, “Numb says you want information and can pay?”
“Numb,” Puddles smile creeping across her face, started as Chuck gave his “not right now face;” eyes pinched, canine teeth slightly bared, and both ears leaning back, “Never mind. We can pay.”
Whiskers slid his tablet across the table, “What do you know about this location?”
Scar quickly glanced down, “Black Myst territory. You gonna tangle with them?”
“Only if we have too,” he replied non-committally.
“They were small time until they got backing. Now they making moves. Causing waves.”
“Someone or some company is providing them with isstas and tech,” Chuck answered, “usually using the gang to test new tech.”
“Oh great, a test gang,” Puddles muttered.
“Good to know,” Whiskers said, “Do you know who is backing them?”
Scar shook her head. She glanced at her skin watch and gave an irritated glance at Chuck.
“I can see your time is important, what does Black Myst do?”
“Do?” she replied, irritation obvious.
“What are they…” Whiskers question foundered.
“Drugs, guns, isstas, what is Black Myst’s favorite fun time activity,” Puddles blurted out, irritated with the slow pace. “Should we pay them a visit, what can we expect?”
Scar smiled, her namesake scar pinching her face into an angry countenance, “Vapeheads. Lots of vapeheads and guns to protect their territory. Unless you got something specified you need to know, I’m bouncing.”
“Three girls, recent arrivals, who don’t look like they belong,” Puddles pushed on, “Our interest is in finding these girls. Look at the tablet,” she demanded pointing at the tablet, “those three.”
Scar looked at the tablet, closer than before. She glared at Puddles, “These three won’t be there, at least not looking like this. Too…pretty, too city. Tumbledown ate them.”
Scar stood up, whispered something to Chuck before leaving without a second glance at Puddles or Whiskers.
“We need to do some recon and fast,” Puddles urgently said to Whiskers.