As they reached the exit, they all shivered as they realised the fires in the red-light clubs had all miraculously gone out. Cass figured it out first.

"Oh, fuck." she said, as she looked at Jamie, who had just selflessly walked into a zone of devastation to save people. Jamie looked back at her, and his mouth began to form the word "what?" as his legs were pulled out from under him, dragging him back towards the fires and carnivorous plants. Talon fell rather unceremoniously to the floor.

Cass turned to Jade. "If I'm right, you should kick him while he's down, or this Karma thing is going to kill you."

“What?” Jade looked aghast

“Look around you.” Cass gestured around them “The Karma Field has reversed – The fires have all gone out in the strip joints; those killer tomatoes have just evolved into more efficient killers; and Jamie’s been hauled off by a load of carnivorous plants for rescuing us”

“Yeah, about that” Jamie yelled from the midst of a load of vines, surrounded by a few tomatoes with large teeth “A little help here? - Oh, piss off” he slapped the slavering maw of one of the carnivorous plants away.

Cass considered his request for a moment before shaking her head “Nope”


“Oh, alright. Here: Catch!”

Reaching inside her jacket, she pulled out her knife and tossed it his general direction.

“Jones...” Jamie sighed as it clattered to the floor, just out of his reach “Tell me you didn’t just do that on purpose”

Cass grinned at him and turned back to Jade “You just saved this guy’s life” she nodded down at the slowly recovering Talon “Karma’s going to kick your arse for it, so kick him while he’s down”

“I... I can’t” Jade protested “He’s done nothing wrong”

“You – Whoa!” Cass pushed Jade, hard, forcing her away from her, just in time to avoid the gnome that shot through the air in the space she had just occupied. Several others thumped down on the ground around them and began busying themselves, trying to attack Talon who was woozily trying to sit up again.

“Fly – Fly my beauties!” Iris, the botanist, screeched as another volley of gnomes were sling-shotted through the air, propelled by a springy garden hammock.

“What the actual...” Jade gawped, open mouthed

“Fuck” Cass finished for her, as she swung a boot at one of the little gnomes, which was trying to reel Talon in with a tiny fishing rod.

“Kill them!” Iris shouted “Kill them all!”

“What’s got into her?” Jade asked, pushing a couple of gnomes aside and stooping to try and help Talon.

“I reckon she’s the reason we had an explosion in the garden centre” Cass booted another gnome “She must have engineered all these little critters and the dangerous flora”

“Unbelievable” Jade grunted as she hauled Talon up onto his feet “C’mon flyboy – You’ll be feeling fine again in a few minutes; we just need to get you away from these gnomes”

“Oh for...” Cass rolled her eyes “Jade, stop helping him – Karma!?”

“Phankff for noffin” Talon lisped through his still-swollen lips.

“We need to do something about Iris,” Cass stomped on another gnome, smashing it to pieces “but first we need to charge up on bad karma; otherwise we’ve no chance”

“I dunno...” Jade frowned “What’s the most morally reprehensible thing you can think of ?”

“I’m a member of the clergy, there’s not much...” Cass paused and narrowed her eyes “Jamie, Tanaka: Stop fucking about with those tomatoes!

“We’ll be with you in a minute”

“Twy the thtwip joinph” Talon pointed away, across the Promenade, as another airborne detachment of gnomes clattered down around them.

“Good call” Cass nodded “C’mon Jade, let’s go and be bad; your life depends on it”

Supporting the still-wobbly Talon between them, the three hurried away from the gnome and tomato carnage, towards the ‘Gaslamp Cabaret’, one of the red light clubs, nearby.

“Can’t we go to Parrotts instead?” Jade wrinkled her nose at the smell of drug smoke wafting out of the darkened interior, as they neared.


“I don’t -”


Clattering down a set of metal stairs, a pair of twitchy-looking bouncers held the doors open for them at the bottom, admitting them into the red light and pulsing music beyond.

“Man” Cass shook her head as she took in scene before them “It’s been a long time since I was in one of these places”

Talon just grinned. The day so far had been entirely worth it – How it had happened, he wasn’t entirely sure, but here he was, in the infamous Gaslamp Cabaret, with a woman on each arm. This was the stuff dreams were made of.

Evil Iris needs taking down, but before we can do that, we need to get some bad karma in the bank.

What makes the Gaslamp so infamous?

What is Jade going to do to save her life before karma kills her?

What sort of mischief will Talon get up to now he’s starting to feel better?

Jamie and Talon – come and join us, but let us know what’s going on with the gnomes and killer tomatoes first. What’s Iris up to and why?

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