01/20/2020 Snippet, FROZEN DREAMS.

They’re in the Brute Squad! And, yes, it’s an official name. Much about New California becomes clear when you realize the influence a movie like THE PRINCESS BRIDE would have on their culture.

Icemold makes people do dumb things. The stuff rots the brain, okay? Anybody on the stuff for too long starts taking knocks to the old noggin, only from the inside where you can’t wear a helmet. Old moldies are — well, dead; but before then they can get pretty stupid.

And so can moldmakers; gloves and masks only do so much, and anybody who works in a moldworks for long enough is gonna get a taste for their own supply. When that happens, the poor dumbass usually gets the chop quick and they bring in some other poor dumbass who can do the work and disappear easily. The turnaround time is usually maybe four, five months? So there’s a lot of turnover in moldworks, is what I’m saying. And they ain’t well trained. And none of them are what you’d call buddy-buddy with their coworkers.

You can imagine what happened to the first two or three that ran into the Brute Squad. Sorry: the Brute Squad ran into them, and it wasn’t the Brute Squad that bounced. Because we were, after all, getting in before the cops did and wanted to leave them people to interview, the Squad was using clubs and knuckles.

Only, these were all kens from up north, so the ‘brass knuckles’ were one-handed dumbbells and the ‘clubs’ were barbells with one half knocked off. I didn’t even see the first guard except as a blur in the air as he smacked into the wall, still dropping teeth behind him. His buddy got enough time to look shocked before he folded over the club to his gut, but the blow knocked all the air out of him, not to mention his breakfast. Two down, no hue and cry sounded. These were clearly ken ninja.

I didn’t even bother to hope that we could keep the streak going, because of course things started getting hairy right after that.