the Maestro d' - William H. Esquire Esquire owns the Arcade, a bar and brothel with a few working video game cabinets. The town it's a part of has also come to be referred to as Arcade.
The Cast of Characters
the Tribal - Gau is a member of the Good Deal tribe, a hardy and pragmatic people who reside in an isolated grotto.
the Hoarder - Snail lives inside of a giant spherical suit of advanced technological origin called The House.
the Kid - Kidboy is an orphan who has been taken in by William H. Esquire Esq. as a protege.
the Savvyhead - Spector has set up a garage in the middle of Arcade
the Marmot - Marlowe has been in Arcade long enough to solve one murder, and realize that nobody is really in charge.
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Gau returned to Arcade with some members of the Good Deal tribe. He has been selected by Blind Blue, the leader of their tribe, to decide whether the tribe should fortify where they live or look for a new place to move on to.
Kidboy manages to steal his lucky charm, a safety pin, back from Snail while he's sleeping. Betty's Sister begins to mother Kidboy and tries to encourage him to toughen up, assigning him to guard the door to the Arcade with Tango.
Happy ran into the Arcade missing two of his fingers and bleeding profusely. They stopped the bleeding and Happy was reticent about what happened but managed to reveal he had a confrontation with the Fisher Family, one of them had very sharp teeth.
Some of the Fisher Family showed up just as Ritchie returned to town. Ritchie explained that he worked for Sweet, and she wanted to offer William H. Esquire Esq. free food in exchange for free passage to Sweet's Army. Sweet is the leader of some group from the north and they were going to move through the Big 90 and Montana, but nobody in Montana will even talk to them and Ritchie reveals that this is where he lost his eye. The Arcade is an alternative for them where they feel they wouldn't have to fight anybody to travel through. William H. Esquire Esq. decides to hold a feast for everybody in Arcade and declares he won't make a deal unless he can talk to Sweet face to face.
There are rumors of a talking rat in town.
William H. Esquire Esq. asks Spector to start work on a secret portable tunnel so that he'll always be able to escape the Arcade if it gets attacked. Spector goes back to her garage to work on the project and sends out her crew to scavenge for tech and finds out that Silver is in Arcade and trying to finish his Meno Moon Array. She helps him finish it and as it turns on she makes the thing speak and has a vision of what the Meno Moon Array does; it sends a laser signal to a base on the Moon so that the inhabitants there, sentient uplifted dolphins, can pinpoint coordinates for landing back on the Earth.
William H. Esquire Esq. then goes to confront Braille whose been moving in on his business. Rather than convince her that they should work together, he hypnotizes her and she begins to follow him around. He discovers that she's being supplied by Gams, somebody who wants in on William H. Esquire Esq.'s business.
The next day Ritchie and his gang leave town. They offer William H. Esquire Esq. the opportunity to punish one of their own, who had previously tried to kill one of the Arcade's regulars Lamprey, but William H. Esquire Esq. lets them go.
Gau prays to his ancestors for guidance and they reveal that a key component for Spector's project, the secret portable tunnel, is in Montana. William H. Esquire Esq. begins making plans for a trip to Montana when Betty's Sister is killed, apparently by Kidboy's safety pin. A few people witness it, but any who are told what happened remain skeptical. Kidboy insists he only punched Betty's Sister and didn't kill her.
William H. Esquire Esq. orders his crew to clean up the bar and fetch the undertaker, then goes back to Braille's place, the Stax, to work out what she'll do for him while he travels to Montana. He gets ambushed on the way by a few disgruntled Ballers.
Marlowe walks into the bar while people are still debating whether Kidboy's safety pin could have killed Betty's Sister and a long investigation of Kidboy's safety pin ensues. At one point Kidboy swallows the safety pin to make sure nobody can get it, but he begins to feel ill and is convinced to vomit it up. Gau has a vision of pools of blood around the Arcade all circling toward the tree on the edge of town and funneling down into the safety pin from the trees' roots.
Snail finally gets Gau's hat, apparently just by asking for it.
There is a shootout just outside of the Arcade. Marlowe and Gau's tribal gang makes short work of the six bikers. They are all wearing a similar kind of leather fatigue outfit that Marlowe has seen on the road coming to Arcade from Cellar Town. When the fighting is done, somebody discovers William H. Esquire Esq.'s body. He's alive but unconscious.
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