Friday, May 29, 2009

29 May 2009 Some loose ends

"Every time we come down into this hole, it looks completely different." Hands on hips, Kain Delacroix stood on the observation level of the brand-new oasis tower/maglev spur station. Looking down over the water of Grotte deValmont, he could see the gleaming row of corporate enclaves, aligned in perfect geometric form. A new pier ran far out into the water; even now, a submersible was taking on cargo from a large truck.

He and Gade were both in mufti. No Regulator coat or poncho for this little job. It wouldn't do to get noticed. Kain had gambled that security would be considerably loosened under the new sovereigntist Baja regime; Lenny Green had indeed chased the SRID out of the underground city, and the MILICIA were contained in a small base near the entrance. Getting in had required a quick medical scan (you don't want any nasty bugs in a semi-hermetic environment!) and a cursory glance over their (fake) documentation.


Shelly Crawford had been enjoying a quiet evening in when he got the call. The fire marshal declared that the cause of the warehouse blaze was arson. It wasn't a big deal at first, what with the warehouse being out in the abandoned part of New Baja, dating from the initial migration and settlement underground. But then three bodies were found in the charred rubble. Three badly burned and charred bodies meant it was potentially a homicide.

Shelly frowned, datapad in one hand, cawfee cup in the other, as he hunched over his desk at the New Baja Police Grotte Precinct. The coronor's report was grisly. The men had been tortured, shot and stabbed before their bodies were burned, still tied to the chairs. The polymer ropes had melted into their skin.

"Lenny has got to see this," he declared.

Moments later, Shelly was in the office of the Chief of Police. Lenny and Shelly went back to the days of the anti-Earth Resistance and then they both signed up as Kain Delacroix's Regulators. They were two of the three men who stayed behind when Marshals Delacroix and Tarmalin took the rest of the Regulators on as caravaneers. The two men were united in the same vision that they had when they joined the Regulators: freedom, security and stability for Baja. It wasn't working out according to plan, but it was, Lenny was fond to say, "a work in progress."

Lenny looked down at the datapad Shelly handed him.

"Prophet wept, Shelly, this couldn't wait until after I had my breakfast?" Lenny grunted and pushed his plate of eggs and johar grass to the other side of his desk. The datapad contained grisly pictures of the warehouse and the bodies found within.

"Sorry boss, but we got the IDs on the three victims. Igasawa, Rodriguez and Bertrand. All of them from the Mekong Development Company."

"Shit. I suppse I should be hearing from our friends at the MDC soon enough," Lenny sighed. Whatever appetite he might have still had was now completely drained.

Shelly gave a sympathetic nod, but then continued, "those names ring any bells?"

"Huh?" Lenny was as sharp as ever, but he wasn't a detective anymore. He was preoccupied with the minutia of keeping a city running safely, "hmmm...Mekong suits. A fire. A warehouse. I'm not following."

"The Karin Hassan 'kidnapping'?" Shelly concluded, sitting down across from his boss. The door to Lenny's office was already closed.

"Well, I hope that next time he'll be able to come say hello," Lenny nodded.

The two men shared a silent smile.


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