Sunday, March 15, 2009

Power meeting

"Gentlemen," Kim Bistrotta sat back in her comfortable executive chair as Dr. Chambers and Gade Vonyran entered her office in Khayr-ad Din's Core Tower, "thank you for coming on such short notice," she motioned to the two comfortable chairs facing her desk.

"I am sorry to interrupt your busy schedules," she gave Dr. Chambers a pointed look, "but my employer insisted that I sit you down and have a little chat."

Both men shifted slightly in their seats. Kim Bistrotta did not make time for 'chats.' She made time for threats, of varying levels, naturally. Her icy gaze indicated that she was to be taken seriously, especially since she had mentioned her employer. The Spider ruled Khayr-ad Din. The Badlands Caravan Guild operated in the crime lord's territory due to his benevolence. Bistrotta's demeanour hardened.

"This came in on the Hermes 72 last night," she said coldly, her finger pressing a button on her desktop console. A trideo image popped up in the room. It was grainy, but clearly depicted two gears, locked in a close-range duel.

"Is that..." Gade spoke up suddenly.

"Yes Mr. Vonyran, that is Black-Eye," Kim nodded quietly. Black-Eye was a Razorback Heavy Gear, piloted by Arnold "Axe" Black, one of Gade's opponents in the first Khayr-ad Din Dueling League Tournament. Black-Eye was a monster of a machine, with a large vibro-axe, a fragmentation cannon, and a thick layer of armour. "Axe" was an aggressive and brutal opponent.

"Ok, but who's in the Spitting Cobra?" Gade looked at the other gear in the trideo image and frowned. He didn't recognize it, though it was clearly a duelist's machine.

"Just watch," was Bistrotta's reply. She hit the 'play' button.

The two massive machines were engaged in a brutal duel. Black-Eye got in some good hits, but the Spitting Cobra just took everything and dished it back out in spades. Both men watched as the Razorback was pounded into the ground, the footage shaky and harrowingly up-close and personal.

"Aww, c'mon Axe, don't let him..." Gade winced as the Spitting Cobra skidded behind the Razorback, and then gutted the gear with a well-placed vibroknife slash. Black-Eye toppled and fell sideways in a cloud of dust.

"Yikes," the Doc said as the disabled gear twitched noisily.

Kim Bistrotta said nothing. The Spitting Cobra wasn't done yet. Instead of backing off, the massive machine straddled Black-Eye and began pounding the gear with its metal fists. The office was filled with the sounds of wrenching and tearing metal, over which the cheers of the camera man could be heard.

"Sweet merciful Prophet," Gade intoned quietly. Arnold Black was a tough man, but when the Spitting Cobra ripped open the crew compartment in a horrifying shriek of metal, he knew that Black would be lucky to be alive. The cameraman ran over, as the Spitting Cobra stood. The camera focused in on the Razorback's cockpit, completely gutted. Arnold Black sat there, bleeding and broken in a gratuitous display of gore. His dueling career was over.

Kim Bistrotta turned off the trideo.

"They're called the Indy Gear League. They've been finding Khayr-ad Din League duelists and fighting them. It's not so bad when our guys win, but when they lose, they're usually maimed or killed. We've lost six promising duelists so far. What's worse, they're uploading the footage to the Hermes network," she swallowed hard, clearly upset. Though it would have been difficult to discern if Kim Bistrotta cared about the loss of pilots, or threat of competition, "and they're popular. We've already had two sponsors pull out of next cycle's tournament."

"Well, I can offer my personal assurance that the Guild will stand by the Khayr-ad Din League, Miss Bistrotta," the Doc declared.

"That is most kind, Doctor," Kim nodded, smiling coldly, "but that is not my major concern right now. I'm letting you know about this organization because they've been careful to only brutalize our duelists, and I expect that they'll be talking to you soon, Mr. Vonyran."

"Well, I'll just have to beat them," Gade smiled.

Kim paused, her eyes narrowing, "No Mr. Vonyran. Don't just beat them. Do anything within your power to shut these punks down. Agree to the terms of their challenge, face them down, and destroy them. The sooner, the better. Understood?"

"Yes'm," Gade shrugged.


Certain Betrayal said...

I don't think anyone except Jughead uses that word Josh.

Heavy Josh said...

What would you suggest:

A. "Egads!"

B. "Heavens to Murgatroid!"

C. "Great Scott!"

D. Firefly style Mekonges expletive

Choose wisely.

Heavy Josh said...

I will also accept "ZOUNDS!"

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