Sunday, March 29, 2009

Trouble in Tulsa

32 Winter, TN1920:

Basil Paleologus was a busy man. One did not rule the TerraNovan TransRail compound in Khayr-ad Din like a private holding without being busy. There were mundane, daily things to look after, long term plans to nurture, and then there were the sudden crises on which one always could count to liven up the routine.

Basil had a great deal on his plate. Today was an auspicious day. The middle-aged man looked out over Khayr-ad Din from his massive office bay window and smiled with satisfaction. The view was still Khayr-ad Din: the haze of garbage coming off the heaps was thick enough to obscure the Western Desert beyond the city. The haphazard, sprawling city of trash was no different now than any other day. There was, however, one major exception: the Core Tower’s refurbishment and expansion had been started today.

Basil watched with some smug satisfaction as the gantries and the scaffolding were erected before his very eyes. Though the tower itself was in no better or worse shape than it had ever been, its exterior was only one minor aspect of the upcoming renovations. It was inside that mattered. The Core Tower was to be home to the Web Arena. The railroad man nodded to himself. The Spider might make a fortune off of the Khayr-ad Din Dueling League matches that would soon be broadcast worldwide from the Arena. Basil let himself bask in the moment: as long as someone was making Khayr-ad Din a place to be, his own fortunes would rise.

A knock at the office door brought Basil back from his reverie. He sighed as his instincts told him that a crisis of some kind was about to break.

“Come in,” he called darkly, but did not turn to face the door.

“Sir,” a voice called tentatively from the door. It was followed by a few footsteps. There was a shuffle and a slap of plastic onto the granite tabletop, “the latest intelligence briefings from the Westridge Range.”

“Thank you. You may go.”

“They are urgent, sir.”

“You may go,” Basil’s tone was icy. He knew he wouldn’t have a moment’s peace for the next day or so, at least. After the door closed and he was alone again, Basil walked to the encrypted datapad. He picked it up and punched in his code while his thumb was pressed on the biometric reader.

The railway man’s eyes widened and then narrowed after a few moments of reading. He pressed a button on his data glove.

“Shelly, what resources do we have near the central Westridge mountains?” he asked calmly into a microphone which had extended itself from an earpiece he was wearing discretely.

“Checking sir,” came the calm reply. Moments later, Shelly spoke again, “Mr. Paleologus sir, there’s the Badlands Caravan Guild. Currently in Lance Point. A Doctor Chambers is the contact.”

Basil smiled. The Fort James Special Whiskey was a luxury he had indeed appreciated over the last two seasons.

“Shelly, contact the good Doctor,” Basil began, his instincts taking over, “tell him to go to the mining town of Tulsa in the Westridge Range. Tell him to investigate the town, and that his compatriots should proceed with the utmost caution. Whatever is happening in Tulsa is problematic, and I think the Doctor and his friends are just the people we need to stop things from getting out of hand.”


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