“Johnny Be Good” (Because Everyone Else Is Being Totally Evil)
Break out the premium rations, the party’s just getting started in Old Town—except for Pawter and Johnny, who partied themselves down the aisle and now need a solid blast from Dutch’s stun gun to zap them back to reality.
They were right about the rations, of course. They’re killing all of Old Town’s weak and elderly. Anyone not fit for Delle Seyah Kendry’s army of Sixes.
That’s right, underneath Spring Hill is a Six-making factory equipped with the kind of tech D’avin came across on Arkyn. Seyah is planning to use it on Old Town’s strongest residents, but Dutch and her team discover it first while trying to track down Jelco and take down the wall.
Lucky (maybe) for him, they get to the Company man just before an angry mob of Westerlians do. But while D’Avin and Jelco make a break for it (with Jelco promising to hand over the Qreshi master code needed to take down the wall) Dutch is left behind and at the mercy of the mob. It they don’t get to hang the guy responsible for poisoning their grannies, they’ll hang the woman who let him escape.
Dutch stalls, but she’s been drugged so every lie that buys D’av wall-takedown time cost her a mouthful of blood. And all that suffering is for nothing because Pawter, impatient and scared that the Company is closing in on enslaving all of Westerley, uses the wall’s power against itself, ultimately destroying it… and killing a pile of Old Towners in the process.
What happened in Old Town is broadcast across Westerley and for a second it looks like Delle Seyah’s hand has been forced. To quell an all-out riot, she shows up at Pree’s bar alone and unarmed with a treaty that grants the moon independence from the Company and the rest of the Quad. Pawter agrees to give up all of her Qreshi perks so that Westerley can be free. It’s a sacrifice, sure, but it also seems way too good to be true. And it is. Seyah stabs Pawter with a ceremonial knife and fake monks attack Dutch and everyone else at Pree’s.
Dutch and D’avin have to knock Johnny unconscious so that he doesn’t die on the bar floor beside his girlfriend (wife?). He’ll probably be furious once he comes to, but the Killjoys have other problems staring them down: Fancy Lee broke into Lucy and is commandeering Dutch’s ship for a surprise visit with Khlyen.