Friday, December 19, 2008

Enemies and Lovers, both hurt.

I’m glad Kain didn’t ask any questions about where I was going. His discretion is one of the only things that make him bearable at times.

Well I guess that’s unfair but I don’t feel like being fair: some Barnaby-dung eating fool shot me today.

I just don’t get it! We came into this oasis tower unannounced, we found a quiet card game to pass time and wouldn’t you know it, someone calls us out by name and threatens us. It’s just getting real old! I wish they were more original, actually I wish I was less sloppy but maybe we could make a pact to be both:

‘To all polar intelligence agencies, would-bea ssassins, corporate spies and Keff sympathizers: please collectively endeavour not to piss me off with your threats, and I will promise for my part to try and make it as hard as possible to give you the opportunity.’

There, that should work: a silent promise to the sands. The problem is I keep messing up, making mistakes faster than I can learn from them. Apropos, I'm in the bazaar staking out that hotel, I don’t think I'm in much danger of being found; hiding my face with my scarf, wearing desert clothing and sipping root tea like half a dozen other quiet patrons in this stall. She doesn’t see me or she makes a convincing act of ignoring me when she emerges with her small companion. She does look around quickly. I guess nothing looks out of the ordinary because she moves on.

She showed up out of the desert blue today, at the exact same time as that anonymous and now-deceased assailant. Coincidence? I don’t know, it does seem a little too convenient. Am I being cautious or paranoid? Too damned much time with Kain, or too much time in the mid-day sun, same difference.

I drop a coin for the tea and move to follow them. I keep a good distance, I can see her clearly enough, I feel I could find her with my eyes shut. Great, now I’m getting romantic, am I tracking this woman because I’m suspicious or am I stalking her because I’m desperate?

Too many questions with ambiguous answers. I am traveling through a universe of gray where no clean lines exist. She has doubled back, is she lost or checking for a tail? I duck into an open door and make it up to the roof in under 30 seconds. I pull out my scope and pick her up almost immediately.

When we spoke a few hours ago I was un-composed. I was still angry. I asked her to partner-up on the Duelist Casino deal while belying my apprehensions, making it clear I didn’t trust her and yet...

I’m back on street level, she almost gave me the slip a block back, she’s good. That's hardly surprising. She’ll be an invaluable asset. I change my cloak over, rearranged my scarf into a turban and put on goggles, just a Badlander mixed-in with the others.

I trust her, I always have though I don’t want her to know that just yet, she might see that my fears are personal rather than professional. I walked out on her, I walked out on her and her daughter for this mission and I am all torn up inside. I miss her but we can’t be together, not right now and maybe not ever, I’m afraid I’ll lose her so I may as well just keep her at arms length. Wait, am I commenting on how I'm tracking her or how I’m involved with her?

Julie and Lita eventually made their way to a Longrunner and they rolled out of Kolmar Station without incident. I did my due diligence, the local water feeder said they had all come in together that same morning. He remembered Julie, how could he not? The fuel log I hacked on a nearby station pump confirmed the story.

I never really doubted her. I don’t have enough doubt to go around. I barely have enough to keep up with my own insecurities. I guess that makes me a trusting person. Trusting people get shot. Now I just sound like Sam.

Now that she’s gone I hope I’ll be able to concentrate. There’s work to be done. Someone is looking for us and I want to find them first so I can take out a healthy mix of misplaced and justified aggression on them. Introspection sucks.


Hermes 72 - Heavy Gear RPG - Most artwork Copyright 2002 Dream Pod 9, Inc.