Saturday, June 13, 2009

Tulsa, TNTR and you.

The Khayr-ad Din Terranovan TransRail office was immaculate and pristine, as usual. The air conditioning was the perfect relief from the dirty trash city. Outside, but within earshot, Basil Paleologus was being courteous and diplomatic towards his next meal, a WestRail executive he had summoned. Inside, Tomohiro Chambers waited quietly. He read the datapad readout in his hands, summarizing its contents in his mind:

WestRail was the largest railroad company in the Protectorate. It had a very important rail line which ran south along the western slopes of the Westridge Mountains, and the Westridge Line's spurs were a prime mover of raw materials and goods in and out of the Badlands. Because the Westridge Line crossed the Gamma Maglev, Westrail's rolling stock were often seen on TNTR cargo pallets, which meant that the goods coming in and out of the Westridge communities were destined for global distribution. This was big business. Doc Chambers looked over the intel report from Tulsa. Kain had done good work.

The door opened and Paleologus entered, preceded by the willowy, elegant WestRail employee.

"-and this is my associate, Dr. Chambers," Basil nodded as the the Doc stood and shook hands, "CEO of the Badlands Caravan Guild. I've asked him to be here for this meeting."

"Doctor," the woman nodded, all business, "Perer Jenn, WestRail Liason to TerraNovan TransRail."

For a moment, Chambers felt a twinge of pity for the young woman. It was, however, soon overtaken by righteous greed, a satisfying compound emotion if there ever was one.

"Please, Ms. Perer, sit," Basil's oily smile was noticed only by Chambers, "a drink perhaps?"

The Doc took the cue and walked over to the small bar. He poured three glasses of Fort James Special, neat, and placed the bottle back on the counter with a clunk. Perer smiled to the Doc quizzically as she took the drink.

"Very well," Paleologus nodded, his hands clasped behind his back. He had yet to sit down, "Ms. Perer, I want you to offer the Badlands Caravan Guild preferential shipping rates on all WestRail lines from Wounded Knee to the Saragossan mountains."

"Excuse me?" Perer's eyes narrowed as she put her drink down. She began to suspect an ambush, "as much as TNTR can afford to provide such services to a small organization such as the Guild, WestRail is not a multinational with such leeway in its bottom line!"

"No, but WestRail is acting in conjunction with a Polar intelligence agency, Ms. Perer." Paleologus never hesitated in going for blood, "and that contravenes the agreement you signed with TNTR in order to operate in conjunction with us." He handed a datapad to the woman. His manner was very casual, but his eyes betrayed anger, "here, read it if you like."

Doc Chambers smirked.

"No, thank you, Mr. Paleologus, I am intimately familiar with our agreement, " she replied icily, "and your claim is outrageous."

"The town of Tulsa?" the Doc chimed in, "Mining operation? The Caseback Company, out of Fort William? I've treated three cases of radiation sickness among TNTR employees who have handled rolling stock going to the Gamma Maglev from your lines."

"There have been two more cases of radioactive contamination at the Fort James Gamma Maglev station," Paleologus was non-plussed.

"I see, and you are accusing me and my company?"



"Because the Caseback Mining Company is wholly owned by WestRail," the Doc shot in, "madam, you have colluded with Western Intelligence assets to smuggle Lithium-7, a means of generating tritium, out of the Tulsa diamond mine and into the Protectorate."

"All the while, using TNTR and WestRail rail stock," said Paleologus.

"So in exchange for ceasing operations, you want the Badlands Caravan Guild to get preferential treatment?" Perer shrugged, "done."

"Oh no, Ms. Perer," Paleologus' face betrayed his predatory nature, "the mining and smuggling of lithium-7 out of Tulsa has already ceased. You will do this favour for me and the Doctor in order for this information to be buried. Otherwise, I will personally see to it that WestRail will be reduced to a single garbage train running a circular track in Fort Henry's weapon testing range."


"Well, that went well," Doc Chambers smiled, sipping a second glass of Fort James Special.

"Quite," Basil nodded, "well Doctor, your guild now has unfettered access to the Westridge Range for at least the next five cycles. I hope your plans are suitably ambitious."

"They are, thank you Basil."

"Oh, don't thank me Tom. Not yet."


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