Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sharpening the Edge

She hated it here. She hated it here, and it made her mad to think that her ten-cycle stay in this honourless, greedy, dystopic city-state had made her sloppy. She scowled as she skulked down the dirty alleyway in the Prospects, looking for the little warehouse.

Yolanda cursed silently to herself -- at herself. It was her own fault that her operation in Peace River had gotten away from her. Between the loneliness and the grief, she had lost sight of her mission. Her agents were either dead or gone. The financial operation at the Electric Nipple was busted wide open. Hunt had the good sense to leave town, but Yolanda knew she didn't have the same luxury. Her last transfer request, just after Robert was killed on Lake Esperance, was denied. Her superiors deemed her too valuable an asset in play to allow her a transfer back South.

No, she would have to stay in Peace River. Even recalling the message made Yolanda recoil from a wave of bitterness. Doubling back around, she only barely avoided a group of Prospectors drunk on moonshine. Easy for a professional like her, but as she leaned against the ferrocrete wall to compose herself, she shook her head: she hadn't been very professional lately. If one allowed them, the comforts of the first and second tier were too tempting to decline -- especially for anyone desperate for the civilization of the Southern Republic. It had all dulled her edge: the careful discussions with Shan, the dalliance with Henri. Yolanda felt
her cheeks redden as the shame washed over her.

No more. It shocked her to think that it took her so long to realize that the best way to get out of Peace River was by getting results in service of the Republic. Especially since things in the Emirates had gotten so out of hand. She was a professional. She wouldn't ask for favours from diplomats or attaches. No. Yolanda would present her handlers with the intel they needed, wrapped up in a bow, in exchange for a transfer out of here.

Yolanda found the place, a delapidated warehouse tucked in between the Industrial Sector and the Storm Wall. It was dark and gloomy, a perfect bolt-hole. She picked the lock, and slid herself in quietly. She could hear some music playing. As she approached, Yolanda could also make out the heavy breathing and grunting of a male lifting weights. She stepped halfway into the dim light.


"Whu? How'd you-"

"It's ok. It's Xiphos. Relax." Yolanda stepped out into the light.

"You're Xiphos?"

Yolanda smiled wryly. Tall, lovely and delicate, she did not look the part.

"I'm Xiphos."

"Shit's going down. Nubia's dead. I think Anizev is too."

"I know. But I've got us some backup, so don't you worry. Nothing's changed."

"Oh? Backup? You mean-"

"Yeah, them."

"What do they want in return?"

"Well, that's a little complicated. But that's where you come in. You're ready to go?"

"Yeah. What's the job?"

"Don't know just yet, but I'm sure you'll like it. I'm told it's just your thing."

"Oh, we're doing things the old-fashioned way now? Excellent!" Simba kept lifting weights.

Yolanda turned away and looked down the gloomy corridor. She hated the old-fashioned way.


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