Warning: Contains spoilers for Baptism of Fire
It was a quiet lunchtime in the Eating Counter noodle house on Temple Street in Kowloon. The restaurant was fairly busy, and the food from Shen Kar-Wai and service from Carina Shen were both excellent. Shamus, Olaf Mikkelson and Dai Nanhai were all quietly minding their own business and eating their food.
There was a ruckus as Happy Cheung and the Poison Thorns burst into the restaurant and started causing trouble. Carina went over, looking very nervous and offers them cash, but the big guy just smashed it out of her hand, as the rest of the Thorns spread out around the restaurant. Kar-Wai comes out from the kitchen and started yelling at them, but Cheung just pushed him to the floor.
Incensed by the poor treatment of the restaurant staff, our heroes jump to their feet and stand up to the bullies.
At this point, chaos ensues. Fists and kicks go flying, plates are smashed, feet are nailed to the floor with chopsticks and in the end, the Thorns beat a speedy retreat, with Happy Cheug vowing vengeance.
Once things calm down, the heroes help clean up the place. Kar-Wei is livid, saying that he already pays protection money to Fast Eddie Lo, but the Poisons Thorns have been around twice already demanding protection money paid to them instead. Other local businesses have been threatened as well, but this is the first time that the Thorns have actually taken action.
Carina is worried about her uncle’s health: he has a heart condition and she is a afraid the stress will kill him.
The heroes offer to help and after learning more about Fast Eddie, they decide to go visit him.
The head to The Bun Festival, a nasty topless strip club two blocks south of the Eating Counter. Shamus feels right at home, and enjoys the floor show, while Dai is entranced by the near naked women just walking around.
After asking about a bit, the heroes talk to the bartender, Bri Davis, about a meeting with Fast Eddie. After a bit of negotiation, the characters are shown into an opulent backroom, after first surrendering all their weapons.
Fast Eddie comes in a few minutes later, surrounded by burly enforcers. After offering the heroes drinks and cigars, he asks them what they are here for.
They explain about the Thorns attack on the Eating Counter, and ask if Fast Eddie knows any more. Fast Eddie explains that the Thorns have started muscling in on his turf recently, but until now, haven’t done any more than make threats. Their leader is a little guy named Sneezy Teng, and that the Poison Thorns have been hanging around a construction site in the Mongkok district. Fast Eddie also says that if someone was willing and able to deal with the Thorns, he’s be very grateful.