Joking around at their expense was funny for a bit. Mason seemed to be enjoying himself. Then I realized we were going to need to get them to the lab at some point. It was at the edge of town. That was not going to be so fun for us. I was not that thirsty so I could only get a glass down of each. It was a bit too sweet for me this time. The drinks were fine, but I was more into tart lemonade than sweet. Mason was fine with it, but he did not like watermelon. That meant we had half a pitcher of strawberry lemonade and 3 glasses out of the full gallon of liquid. That was not good. Money was not an object, but I did not want to look bad in front of the restaurant. I looked at a content Mason. "I think we went way over our heads on this." He just shrugged and said "Call some of the other members. They would probably love it." I just looked at him. "And have more drunk members to take care of?" I asked. His eyes widened in understanding. "Looks like we'll have to drink our way out of this hole." he said looking at the pitchers. "I'll take the watermelon. You handle the strawberry." I said.
Killing the pitchers would be a battle. We got through 3 glasses each before the others were able to take on another one. That was a small blessing. Every one that I did not have to take was a godsend. Greta and Caleb took from my pitcher. That left Chad with Mason. That was another 9 glasses down. The watermelon pitcher was half gone and there were only a few glasses left of the strawberry. It was the late morning, so there were not a lot of other patrons. Even still, the ones that were there and the staff about to pour myself another glass of the dark pink lemonade to drink when I was approached by someone. It was an AEP unit that was wearing a gaudy leopard print hooded jacket. His pink hair was parted in such a way that his bangs covered one eye entirely. The other was the recognizable silver color. He had a goofy grin as he said "Hey handsome. Do you want to play with me? I'm a nice guy." I just looked at him blankly. He could be any AEP unit from the next phase. Luckily, we had a use for him. "Not unless you help us finish all this lemonade." I told him. He just frowned.
Lemonade was not as potent, but it was still an intoxicant for them. He reached down and done and took the pitcher of watermelon lemonade. He was smaller than me. I was happy to not be the shorty anymore. Probably it was due to the large backpack with the studded strap on his back. He had to be about 5 foot 7. He said "I will take this one off your hands then." He finished it off and set it down on the table. I gave him the other pitcher. I did not trust him, so getting him as close to wasted as possible would be better for me. I might be able to get him to reveal his true intentions. He downed it as well. "Are we done now. It's time to go." he said as he grabbed me by the arm. He lifted me out of my seat with ease. That was new. I said "Let me just talk to my friend here." Turning to Mason, I said "Here's the money to pay for it. You're going to have to get them all to the lab on your own. Don't feel too proud to call for backup if you need it." He just nodded. "Thanks. I will do my best." I then turned to the AEP unit and walked with him out of the restaurant. He was smiling. I just followed him.