Harg and Garth talk about DragonAge. Reggie uses the Xbox mostly for music games. (AC/DC, baby.) The group wants to meet at a steakhouse with peanut shells on the floor. Garth and Harg chose this only to force Christopher to walk through the shells. But they meet at Harg’s instead. Garth tries to order a pizza with free-range pepperoni, fails, and gets regular. Reggie keeps fixings for her strawberry-bean sprout salads in Harg’s fridge. Shep is not present—he has classes.
The group gets a call from one of the operatives of The Vegas Resistance. There’s a grocery store in the Vegas area which is run by a pair of half-elves. Ocarina’s Organic Grocery. Reggie knows it. They sell foods for people with unique dietary needs, ie, from Greyhawk. Some specialized food supplies have been stolen from shipments by people using guns and wearing masks. Celia and Trina, the owners, are pretty well-known in the community, and it’s known that they would help someone who was hungry, so these foods aren’t being stolen from desperation.
They go to the store. It’s very bright and well-lit, lots of fliers for community events like feminist book club and a poetry jam at The Grindhouse. Garth asks the butcher about the odd-shaped and opaquely-wrapped packages in the meat market. The butcher, Mike, says that they’re ethnic items that make some Americans uncomfortable, which is why they’re wrapped that way. Hearts, internal organs, animals that aren’t usually eaten here, so on. Garth then asks after Celia or Trina, and Mike calls the office to talk to them, then sends them to the office.
Christopher greets Celia and Trina with a traditional elven greeting. They are very impressed. A few months ago they started having a little more trouble with shoplifting. It wasn’t all specialty items, so they’re not sure it’s connected, but it’s suspicious, and then the deliveries started getting held up. Five thefts. The deliveries included rat, iguana, game meats like rabbit and venison. The game is from a farm in Montana. The iguana are from Arizona. The rat meat is from California. Trucks are disappearing en route, on the highway but not far from Vegas. They have records of the routes. They pay in advance. The truckers are a third party they hire, a company made of a group of people that they know. The drivers were dragged out of the truck and knocked out and the entire truck stolen. The original truck was owned by Celia and Trina, then they borrowed a friend’s, and the third time they rented one. The trucks would later turn up abandoned somewhere. Another delivery next week, from Arizona.
Garth wants to hang out in the back of the truck, then jump out and attack when the truck is stolen .Christopher wants to just RFID it all again. So they’re driving to Arizona to RFID iguana meat, in Christopher’s Cadilac CTSV.
At the Nasafar Ranch, they meet Rancher Joe, the Iguana Rancher. Christopher plans to take Joe on a walk and distract him while Garth, Harg, and Reggie place the trackers. Garth is kind of weird about it, as usual, insisting on being over the top in pretending to inspect the meat and using a pen to push it around, but they manage to escape suspicion. Christopher asks Joe about any threats, competition, etc.
They watch to make sure that the meat they tagged makes it onto the truck. Christopher is suspicious of the truck drivers as well as the rancher. They’ll give the truck a few minutes, then hop on the road and keep it in range of the tracker. The two dudes who drive the trucks load up the iguana meat. Neither looks particularly shady. Reggie notices nothing magical about the truck or the drivers. Harg and Garth notice that they’re carrying guns. One has a handgun in a shoulder holster and there’s a .22 gopher-shooting rifle in the truck. Rancher Joe exhorts them to be extra careful.
So they begin a meandering tour of the American Southwest. The drivers’ plan to avoid being hijacked appears to be to defy all logic. They pay with cash at gas stations and park far away from buildings and keep their stops short. About ten hours in they finally start heading more in the direction of Las Vegas. Christopher drinks five-hour energy to keep up. Reggie is severely disgusted. The others are pulling their usual antics of discussing/arguing about everything under the sun.
The truck eventually stops in the middle of the road. The troubleshooters, three miles back, don’t know what’s going on, but it certainly seems like another hijacking. They let the hijacking continue and then plan to follow the trackers, Quarter mile away, Christopher slows down below thirty miles per hour so the car is nearly silent. They approach to a point where they can see what’s going on—the truck is stopped in the middle of the road, with two human-shaped lumps on the ground off to the side of the road. Another car is parked in front of the truck, figures moving between truck to car. Two jackers take the truck and two other take the car, going in different directions. Christopher follows the truck, first slowing long enough to toss a first aid kit and some food at the guys, telling them they’ll be back.
Eventually the jackers park the truck in the outskirts of a town. On approach, the group finds a building that looks mostly unused. About twenty minutes later a different truck pulls out with our locators in it. So they follow the second truck as it wanders through Las Vegas. Eventually they come to an industrial section where the truck stops. They approach, find a warehouse-sized building with truck doors. Sign says TN Distributors and there are other trucks parked in front of the building. Garth and Reggie look up TN Distributors on the web but don’t find a site. They find a phone number in the yellow pages but that’s about it. Assume it’s a shell company.
They split up. Harg watches warehouse. Reggie takes a taxi, paid for by Christopher, to go pick up the truck drivers. The taxi driver is uncomfortable about driving into the desert in the middle of the night, but they pick up the guys, and one of them manages to sweet talk the driver. They get back to Trina and Celia’s. The guy who got hit on the head is convinced that Reggie is Barbara Gordon and that black car that threw first aid at them was Batman’s car.
Trina lets them in and listens to the fanboy, Nathan, tell her his idea of what happened. She gets him to make some coffee and has the drivers sit down and relax. Reggie tells her everything that happened, and Trina asks if she needs a ride somewhere, since she came in cab. Reggie calls Garth to see what’s going on.
Meanwhile, Harg took first watch. Christopher slept while Garth walked who knows how far for coffee and donuts. Eventually, a few hours later, the employees for the parking lot where they are staking out start showing up and are confused by the fancy car in their lot. A while later, workers show up at the place they’re watching. Seven enter the warehouse. They never saw anyone leave, so there are probably nine people in there, and there might be assault rifles. Garth tells Reggie not to come. Reggie has Trina take her back to the detetective office, where her car is parked.
The boys plan to just kick the door down, as per usual. Maybe they’ll call Shep.