LSD8: The Cost of Living
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- Andrew attacks General Gronds but takes a bullet to the chest as soon as he moves; John speaks to the General, who is now aware that John is a Soviet and attempts to blackmail him into providing the general with select black market goods. He also states that he'll answer John's questions if John arranges for him to meet Hunger. He drives John and the unconscious Andrew back into London, but then abandons them to take care of other business. John takes Andrew to the SSG for treatment, as the hospitals in London are stretched to breaking point by the irradiated victims of 'the Fire'.
- John seeks out Jake Stoner and makes an upfront deal with him: kill Robert Clay to regain his farm! Jake is horrified but is eventually coerced by a persistent John, who gives him some grenades to do the job with. Meanwhile, John seeks out Angus MacDonald in order to establish his alibi for the murder, but blunders into the personal relationship between Angus and Alice Hinds, though he does succeed in convincing Angus that EDEs are involved in his little deal with Clay and Prendergast.
- Recovering slowly from his gunshot wound (see discussion), Andrew is visited in an emergency field hospital by Dr. Blenkinsop, who takes a blood sample and listens intently to his story of EDEs, the Farm and other matters. He leaves to analyse the sample for clues as to the nature of the 'radiation sponge' and also to investigate Andrew's claims for himself.
- Off camera, Jake uses the grenades to kill Clay and 3 bystanders, but is injured in the process...
- John and Andrew arrive at the club where Clay was due to meet with some business associates, only to find it burned out and cordoned off, with police holding back a crowd of sickly on-lookers. Hugo is there when John slips up by asking if anyone other than Clay has been killed, but a diplomatic Andrew calms the situation by suggesting they go to the the hospital where the injured have been taken. Hugo is fixated on finding Mr. Clay, it is Jake they find, who in his dazed state reveals all that happened that night. Hugo goes berserk and changes, his mouth growing larger as he dives at Jake and swallows his head! In moments, Hugo's flesh has melted away and only Jake is left... Jake's injuries heal themselves and he gets out of bed to claim the 5 ID cards from Hugo's pockets, adding them to his own. With all the knowledge of Hugo and Jake in him now, Jake turns on Andrew, who he sees as an immediate threat, but Andrew escapes after shoving Fiona Poulson into Jake's path.
- John now has confirmation that Hugo is/was Hunger, so he talks to Jake to offer him a deal; Jake seems more interested in getting back his farm though, but eventually agrees to go with John to meet General Gronds.
- Andrew has gone straight to the general, who has started hoarding military provisions at home; Gronds tries to overwhelm the weakened Andrew with mental domination, but Andrew narrowly avoids being forced to steal for Gronds. Not long after, Jake arrives with John, but they use the situation to learn more about their situation:
- Info dump:
- Gronds is Greed, aka Avarice, and Jake is Hunger, aka Gluttony. They were made at Croydon: the Pure removed all the mortal needs and drives from their bodies, using the technology provided by the green creatures, aka the Mechanics. The impurities extracted were distilled into human bodies, such as the soldiers fighting at Croydon, but the process created dozens of casualties. There are five other 'impures' out there, one for each of the deadly sins (lust, pride, envy, sloth and wrath still to come...)
- Gronds/Greed seems happy with the ways things are, as he is immortal: if this host dies, he will simply take another one in his 'black smoke' form. Jake/Hunger seems to be suffering from amnesia about his origins, but recalls more with the help of Gronds; John then uses his understanding of the nature of Greed to tempt him to the Farm, which is clearly a valuable property. Jake wants his farm back anyway and is keen to reclaim it, but John and Andrew are still undecided about what to do: will bringing the Pure and Impure make things better or worse? What would happen if all seven of the Impure were reunited?
- With their suspicions aroused, Andrew goes to check on the possibility that Alice Hinds is Lust, while John worries that Rev. Poulson or Aqua may also be Impure, but they are all satisfied that these suspicons are unfounded... for now.
- The next day, with the radiation sickness in the East End peaking and bodies being piled up on street corners for collection, John and Andrew decide to ask Dr. Blenkinsop some questions, but no-one has seem him for the last 12 hours; at his house, they discover a secret stash of black market goods and notes in his journal suggesting that he intended to confront Gordon Prendergast directly with what he knew.
- John and Andrew go with Gronds and Jake to the Farm: upon arrival, Gronds calls Prendergast outside, shoots him and then puts the whole farm under martial law! Jake's only concern is for his crops, so John and Andrew take the injured Prendergast into the barn, where white-coated technicians check maintain the machinery. Andrew tries to convince Prendergast that the Pure have been lying to him and that Gronds isn't just staging a coup, but is host to an alien life-form. Prendergast almost calls forth the Pure, but Andrew advises caution... until one of the white coated figures turns and speaks... "I will call them and they will pay; vengeance! Vengeance!" It is Andrew's wife! He realises two things:
- She has been undercover at the Farm all along.
- She is Wrath...