Knights of Albion

Issue 1 (Volume II)

Night of the Ninja

The China Star restaurant, Monday afternoon.

It is mostly empty, just the staff clearing up after the lunchtime rush, and three older chinese gentlemen leisurely drinking tea. The door opens, and a motley trio enter and take seats at a table. They are in civilian guise, but you may recognise them as Catseye, the Blue Bolt and the Serpentine Spectre, while Paul T. Geist accompanies them invisibly.

As they order tea, Catseye makes enquiries about the ninja battle the previous night. The waitress claims that nothing happened, and the customer she talks to next makes excuses and leaves hastily. Eddie Wong, the proprietor, leaves the kitchen and asks Catseye to leave the other guests in peace, and quietly hints that such things are best not discussed in public. Catseye returns to her table and enjoys her tea, then heads to the kitchen to compliment the chef.

In the kitchen, Eddie is somewhat more informative, but is interrupted by some banging on the window. Catseye remains with Eddie to get the story, while Paul investigates. Outside, a group of thugs are standing guard while one of their number tries to smash in the kitchen window of the restaurant. After an attempt at fisticuffs Paul chases them of, save for one whom he interrogates under hypnosis.

The thugs story lines up withthat being told by Eddie Wong: The Dragons, a local gang including the thugs who attacked just now, run protection in the local area. They were asking Eddie for his regular contribution last night, when a rival group, the Si Fan, showed up with the same intent. This rapidly devolved into a brawl, with the Green-clad ninjas of the Si Fan against the street thugs of the Dragons. The Tigers, the scum of the Earth according to the thug, a group of concerned citizens who help the locals according to Eddie, intervened to break up the fight. They brought ninjas in white, and street toughs in black coats. A lone ninja in red, presumably from the Hand, appeared just to watch.

The thug is released to meet up with his associates, shadowed by Paul, Catseye and the Serpentine Spectre. He had a motorbike stashed nearby, giving Catseye a chance to use the 3-D Manouevre gear designed by the Engineer, and the Serpentine Spectre demonstrated the tracking abilities of the Komodo Dragon.

The chase led them to the borders of the London Docklands, where a break in the fence has been arranged in a blind spot from the CCTV. Catseye and the Spectre head in, while Paul heads back to the Shard.

In the docks, they hear cries for help. Following them,they find a shipping container that has been broken into, a black van driving off and a man tied up. As they go to rescue the man they are attacked by half a dozen thugs and as many ninjas in green, one of whom gets the drop on the Serpentine Spectre and nearly decapitates her. Catseye picks up her fallen comrade and carries her off over the nearby buildings, gaining enough of a head start over the ninja pursuers that she can tend to the Spectre’s injury and radio for assistance. There is a tense minute as Catseye battles the ninjas, knocking one out and wounding a second but suffering several good hits herself, before the Blue Bolt flies onto the scene at full speed. The Serpentine Spectre returns to the fray as well, and the remaining ninja are no match for the three combined.

The Engineer arrives shortly afterwards on the airship, and they see to the rescue of the man, who turns out to be from the Docklands security force. He tells the heroes how he was attacked, and helps them check the container against the manifest to discover that the only thing missing is a box of religious statuettes addressed to a Mr Li Min. He then reports in to his superiors, and suggests to our heroes that they make themselves scarce before the paperwork arrives.

The team reconvenes at the Shard, where Lady Britannia is brought up to speed on the events of the day. The rest of the afternoon is spent making inquiries to trace the ninjas, the gangs, the statuettes and everything in between: Mr Li Min runs an antique shop in Chinatown. The statuettes came from the ship Celestial China, which has a long history of owners over the years but is currently owned by a Hong Kong plastics corporation. The White Tigers are a traditional triad, but have not been known to operate in London.

That evening, in Chinatown

The Engineer has set up a tea table on the roof of a cinema, along with the Blue Bolt, Lady Britannia and Paul T. Geist. There are a couple of empty seats set up in the expectation that some of the local colour, probably the Tigers, will stop by for a chat.
Nearby, The Serpentine Spectre and Catseye head into the shop of Li Min. Inside, a disfigured young man is sweeping up. From behind a curtain a voice says “I have been expecting you, though you bring evil news. Please, come into the back.”

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