Monday, December 6, 2010

Enjoy your victory Sundra Gabriel

The screen shows the smoke billowing high into the sky, ash grey against the cement background of the second terrace wall rising above. The view jerks and pans. There are still flames, constant fires up high but also rivulets pouring down in spurts. Papers fall like confetti, a ticker-tape parade, a celebration of pandemonium.

Enjoy your victory Sundra Gabriel, enjoy what is left of your short life because I am coming for you.

Vemeer was cut off during our conversation, he was in the Chapter building. He was at his post. He might still be alive. I look at the destruction, stamped with an SNS watermark, that seal which is supposed to tell you to accept these scenes of destruction with dispassionate interest because it is news. This is not news, this is my fault. I was arrogant and careless. I knew the BRF would come after us, I made no efforts to hide who we were, I took every opportunity to exploit the publicity. The anonymous can’t cash political gains. This is the cost of my opportunities.

In a second I’m going to regain my composure, I’ll pull my way towards Kain and tell him the BCG headquarters was hit, that Vemeer is probably dead and that we need to think about the next move. He’s dead or he’s alive and we can’t do a damned thing about it so we have to press on. Kain won’t say a word; he knows this just as well as I do. I wonder if he will feel the way I do? Or think the way I do? Will he feel guilt or see me as guilty?

Tomorrow the Norlights meet the Free Emirates and Paxton. Tomorrow the world changes. There is no time for guilt, no time for regrets. My mind is already planning a sequence of actions set by priority, cross referenced against windows of opportunity. We need to deal with the SRID, not because they are foremost on my mind but because they pose the most important imminent threat.

Kain sees my face as I approach him. He knows something is wrong, he see the twisted metal, soot and rubble reflected in my eyes. I explain, he internalizes. I tell him we ignore the BRF for now because they are not the pre-imminent problem, the SRID and tomorrow’s talks are. I explain, he grudgingly agrees. I see the embers lit anew in his eyes, the pyres of vengeance which stoke his heart.

I tell him what I think we need to do and when we need to do it, he agrees. He’s worried that the BRF have crippled our operations both on a tactical level and in terms of morale. I’ve already got the outlines of a speech in my mind, one where the Guild unites under this assault, were we are not pressured or intimidated. The Guild will unite and come out stronger. I am ready to spin this, I’m ready to exploit it. Hell, I couldn’t have planned this better!

We are terse, there are no arguments. We will carry on because we have to. Decisions are made based on value, time and resources. Emotion has no place here.

1. Find Xiphos
2. Find Simba
3. Defuse the SRID
4. Safeguard the negotiations with the Norlights
5. Deal with the BRF

I stagger away from Kain, I tell Sam and Strauss, both their reactions are enigmatic. Maybe it’s my delivery. Sam wants to know who is responsible, I refrain from naming myself. I tell him it doesn’t mater right now, it doesn’t change what needs to be done. He gives me a look I can’t unravel. I push on, I need to talk to Hiro, we need to plan more about tomorrow’s meeting.

She smiles weakly as I approach, I can see she reflexively grew anxious in my absence. He entire security team is long spent. Two days ago I threatened to leave, to let her die on her own and then I really got mean. Since then we saved her life a few more times, it appears that I am forgiven as she huddles close in the hopper. Lines traced in the grime on her face show the tailings of tears. She’s afraid, terrorised in fact. She has probably never been so vulnerable in her life. I sympathise with her, but I cannot empathise.

I would trade ten Victorya Hiro’s for one Trevin Vemeer.

He was my employee, my comic relief and my colleague. Another brother in arms fallen, someone else I’ve failed. I see the images of the Chapter building trembling in the camera’s eye. I see flames and smoke and strewn fragments of my pride. I am reassuring Hiro, I think I even comfort her. But I draw comfort from only one point: No 5, Deal with the BRF.

Enjoy your victory Sundra Gabriel, enjoy what is left of your short life because I am coming for you.


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