Thursday, July 8, 2010

Meanwhile, Back in Khayr-ad Din

24 Winter, TN1935

Badlands Caravan Guild Compound, Khayr-ad Din

Avatanya put the bottle down and looked out over the junkyard. It was early evening, and the hazy sunset was pouring over the compound. If she were in a better mood, she knew that she'd appreciate it. But she was drunk, and she hated everything right now.

"You gonna tell him?" Carmichael lit up a cigar. Even in this dire time, he wouldn't fall off the wagon.

"Can't.  I just can't, Car," Avatanya leaned against the balcony railing. She took a deep breath in through her nose, sniffed loudly, and wiped her eyes. "Goddamn it!"

"You have to."

"Fuck you, I know!" she turned on Carmichael, who was sitting in his wheelchair, puffing on his cigar, a funny look in his eye, "I know I have to do it." Avatanya had imbibed enough moonshine to kill a barnaby, and yet, in this painful moment, she didn't slur her words.

"Tess," Avatanya keyed her personal communicator, "bring the boy to the office."

She left Carmichael outside to finish the cigar.

From the Diary of Bartholomew Vonyran:

24 Winter, TN1935.

Pa's dead.

Tessa swears she didn't know when she brought me into the caravan office, and I believe her. Avatanya just sat me down in the fancy chair. I knew something was up, because my work clothes were just disgusting, but she didn't say anything. She just sat me down in the chair, looked me in the eyes and said "Boy, your pa's dead."

Avatanya said that they didn't know how he died, but it was in Raleigh, in the Humanist Alliance, in the South, and that their friend Bill Pearce, the one who met me and Pa at that maglev oasis tower a few weeks ago, was the one who told Avatanya.

She said that I could stay with the Caravan crew, and that there'd never be a problem, and that I was like family to the whole crew, on account of them having known Pa so well. And I smiled and thanked her and Tessa, and Carmichael, who was just outside, smoking on those cigars of his. Avatanya was trying her best, but I know she was crying before. And Tessa just broke down.

I don't know what to do. Pa said that we couldn't go home. I know he's got family in the Western Frontier Protectorate. I wonder if Mom has any family. I can stay here, I guess, but I know that it was bad enough when everyone was looking at me funny when I showed up. It's only gonna get worse now.


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