The Tale of Red Joy
"Red Joy" was a new drink that was showing up everywhere in the sprawl. For every person, the drink had a different taste. Some, said it tasted like strawberries, raspberries, cranberry, some even pomegranate. The single stall at the junk market that sold the product simply said:
"It's a carton of red, sweet bliss!"
Red Joy was simply a side product that was supplied to the stall by a mystery company that offloaded their product through a delivery boy. Many things were said about the courier. Some said they smelled of blood, others said that if you followed them, armed guards would carry you off to a strange shack not that far away from the sprawl. One man even said he saw the courier at ZomZom's fighting a robot.
That was the first time anyone had ever seen someone win a fight there.
Red Joy continued to sell without delay, the legends of its taste spreading further, even among DMC guards. It was like the corn-a-cola of long ago. Except, nobody knew where Red Joy came from. Any that tried to find out were lost soon before their investigations could even take place. After the first four disappearances, the first bottles were sold in the DMC. Many people rushed to c-stores and stalls to get their daily fix of Joy. This then led to the TV and billboard advertising of Red Joy, as well as merchandise being spread throughout the city and sprawl alike.
This was when the murders started. It began among beggars in the sprawl. Dead bodies in dark alleyways that were spotted by guards on patrol. Then it moved to random civilians. The people that were insignificant. All of them found dead in their tents, all of them drinkers of Red Joy, all of them with a loss of organs. More and more bodies piled up alongside the empty Red Joy bottles and torn Red Joy t-shirts. Some people nicknamed these Red Joy trash items "blood lakes", in reference to the most evident colour of both bottles and bodies. More blood lakes came with time.
In one month, the lower sprawl was named "The Second Red Sea". More and more people began to get suspicious of where Red Joy came from. Most of them were deemed insane by the pristinely-not-murdered population of the DMC. Red Joy continued to sell well, even with a quarter of its consumers dead by the hands of an unidentified killer. Some buildings in the DMC were labelled as "Red Joy Production Factories" in an attempt to lower suspicion of the origin of the drink. This tactic worked spectacularly.
Until someone entered one. He was an average DMC citizen. Paid his taxes, followed trends, worked at minimum wage. He went to work one day to be told
"Hey Nate! You've been moved to the Red Joy factory 'cross the road! Get a mop and get moving!"
With a sigh, Nate picked up the mop and bucket and made his way across the road. Little did he know, the address of the building he was supposed to go to was next door to the factory. His boss had just misread the work order. Nate took out his "worker key" that allowed him access to any industrial building in the DMC and entered the building to find... nothing. No machines, no workers just silence.
The courier crept around the corner, seeing pray in her forests. She raised her club and knocked Nate unconscious before dragging him to the Red Joy hovertruck behind the factory. The pile was now complete. The courier entered the hovertruck and drove west. After the journey, the courier drove the truck into the back of ZomZom's and signalled to the guard that she had acquired some new stock.
"You've been busy recently, haven't you?" laughed the guard
"Let's get this done and over with" replied the courier
The courier walked by powerfully, every guard knowing who she was. She wiped fresh blood from her face before entering the stairwell to meet her boss.
"Ah! My girl! So good to see you!" Stoat said as he finished his whiskey.
"C'mon Sarah, don't be so miserable! We've created the best drink in all of Detroit, maybe even the world, forgetting that it may not exist as far as we know!" Laughed the Stoat as he made his way to a display case.
"I'm not proud-" began Sarah
"This is business! We're supposed to make money not "pride". Besides, it's not like anyone has a clue thanks to YOUR handiwork!" interrupted The Stoat in an effort to console the courier.
"Should I prepare the stock?"
"If you must, but afterwards, I want you to come back here. I have something to show you."
The arena at ZomZom's has drains to allow both blood and giblets to leave the arena so the next contestant wont die from slipping on someone's macerated intestines. The courier entered the only true Red Joy production facility. She picked up a "bundle of laughs" and put them in a large blender found underneath the arena. She then picked up the "knowledge canisters" and added it to the mixture. Finally, the sugar. She blended the mixture further and then, after it was finished, put it into bottles.
She put the bottles in a box, sealed it, and wrote "Red Joy" on the side before loading it into the van.