There’s been a cold war going on between the Blues and the Greens for the last month, but so far it hasn’t really trickled out to the wider city. There’s a few more bodies floating in the canals, a few warehouse fires, but for the most part there hasn’t been much in the way of crossfire. Not much fashion for the types of splashy murders that make headlines, and it’s all reprisal killings, targeted assassinations, a knife in the crowd and grave dirt and coffin nails left under a doormat. Vicious enough, but not indiscriminate; business rolls on undeterred.

The first Jillian hears about it in the U District is from Rusty Nail, one of her regulars, a freelance hoddie who’s been hauling brick on the rebuild. Work’s been good, he says, too good, and when she makes a vague noise gives her the lowdown, or anyway his version of it. Sounds like the Blue leader has disappeared, or been killed, or maybe just run off with the boodle, and the Greens took the opportunity to start pushing, and between the internal power struggle and the external pressure the Blues are starting to boil over.

Next night Boilermaker, another regular, gives her a wildly different story: the Greens had an outbreak of pox and when it started to cross the river the Blues started enforcing a street quarantine and things are just barely this side of contained. “All the fires,” she says, “are plague houses. You watch, in a year the whole city’ll be a hotzone.”