Friday, October 15, 2010

Raising the dead

Rowan Ng was not a name oft spoken off, but in some circles its utterance provoked knowing whispers. He had had a long and largely nebulous career, but in that small circle of people who watched, pursued or hired capable assassins, the name had a solid reputation.

Doctor Chambers was making some discreet inquiries about Rowan Ng. He had some caravaners keep they’re ears to the ground for word of him, he tried to get hold of the Forzi cartel to find out what they knew about the independent killer for hire.

When these resources came up empty or unwilling to help, the Doc went to more official sources of information. He met with Lt Escobar of the POC and asked him if he would mind looking into the name of Rowan Ng. He only told Escobar that he was a sort of remora, one who was drawn to places in turmoil like Peace River because they could hope for business prospects. “Like you then Dr Chambers” came Escobar’s somewhat ungrateful response. Unaffected by the remark the Doc gave Lt Escobar the only clue he had to go on: Ng advertised his services under various guises as an independent or freelance for hire without any specifics.

“So I’m supposed to look for someone who’s looking for work who’s name is Rowan Ng but who won’t give his name?” Lt Escobar asked, more than a little ironically.

“Thanks for the clue Doc, I’ll be sure to give this special attention.” Dr Chambers doubted it would be of much use but he had one other contact to try.

A little later that same day, he crossed paths with Colonel Lenaris of PaxSec. The Doc slipped him a data chip in the palm in passing. The encrypted content was on two lines:

Freelance assassin en route to or already in Peace River.
He may have a target or be for hire.

The name was out, the Doc had done what he could to alert people discreetly to the assassin, which left one more detail to attend to. In the shopping district of the third terrace he found a group of kids playing, and with the help of some monetary incentive, he had three of them go and buy him two disposable pay-as-you-go phones each in the local stalls.

His next step was to change into worker overalls and apply some dirt to his face. His disguise would not hold up to close scrutiny, but he hoped it might afford him the time he needed to go unnoticed in the troubles streets of the fourth terrace. After a short hunt he found the man he was looking for. The perspective employee was scrounging local heaps for recyclable metals. It was not a very profitable endeavour, but for those in need and equipped with a work ethic to match, it was just barely a living.

The scrounger was understandably apprehensive when the Doc approached him, but the promise of easier money was too much for him to refuse. The scrounger listened to the instructions, took the numbers the Doc gave him and went on his errand

Two hours later, in a diner with half decent cawfee - which meant in was half indecent- the Doc met up again with his footman.

“I did as you asked sir. I put them ads in 6 local papers, just like you said to.”

The Doc gave him 100 dollars in exchange for the 6 receipts from local papers, career journals and political rags, proof the job was done

By the next day, half a dozen outlets for information in the fourth terrace were advertising for “No Master 444-4585”, “Independent 444-8452”, “freelance 444-7411” and so on. All six phones the Doc had obtained were related to six ads he has anonymously placed. Rowan Ng was now available to take messages and potentially contracts.

Rowan Ng had a reputation and reason to believe there might be business for an independent assassin in Peace River and rumours of his presence would spread in small but significant circles. The one thing no one knew was that Rowan Ng had been dead for four cycles.

No one that is except the man who had killed him. The Doc waited to see who would come calling.


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