ART JOB: This chapter needs color for it's upcoming release in Oakwood Anthology Volume 1: Special Edition.
“Ms. Butler” begins in Alpine, 2035 dropping in midway through a conversation between Aome and Etsuko. It’s implied Aome has proposed some sort of plan to Etsuko, who expresses nervousness about the idea which she says will take them well outside of civilization into the wasteland. Aome says she’s ready to go that far and Etsuko supposes that Aome will be needing Liz for this particular outing. Aome resents Etsuko’s tone, reassuring her that it’s in fact Liz who needs them. Etsuko is incredulous, reminding Aome to take care in the heat.
Aome departs for Liz’s residence, on the way passing a woman who is suffering heat stroke. When a bystander tries to help by offering water, they are told not to waste it as she’s “already done for.” It is a brutal scene from a harsh world. The climate in 2035 is sweltering. Heat stroke and dehydration are everywhere.
Aome reaches Liz’s house and finds the inventor engaged in battle with a particularly troublesome piece of coil. Aome informs her that “we’ve got a job,” to which Liz replies she’s not going on any sort of adventure till the temperature drops at least a little bit during the fall. Aome buddies up to Liz, sitting down next to her and asking to “tell a story.” Although the rest of the conversation is not shown, it is clear that Aome convinces Liz to join her on her mission. In the next scene, Char is irritated with Aome for “conning” Liz yet again to go along for “another crazy trip.” Aome promises a huge payoff and repeats that she’s been planning this score for 20 months, albeit quietly.
The next scene depicts the four cruising through the wasteland in the Cartwright. Char and Etsuko ride lookout and Char asks Etsuko if she thinks Aome takes advantage of other people. Before the conversation is finished, a coaler drone appears and engages them, completely blowing off the Cartwright’s sidecar with a single-ion-dispersion cannon (sipdee). Despite taking a direct hit, the Cartwright wins the battle when Char shoots out the tires of the remote-controlled humvee.
Although the big score is delayed and Liz is upset about the damage to the Cartwright, the others consider the day a success as they can now strip the sipdee from the coalers and install it on the Cartwright.
“Ms. Butler” introduces several major characters, including Etsuko, Char, the Cartwright and the titular Liz Butler. The Coal Syndicate makes its second appearance via the drone unit which attacks the crew. “Ms. Butler” is a prelude to “The Paper Score.”