Monday, January 10, 2011

Work Ethics

"How the hell does he always know where to find us, Hel?"

Jane Sanchez, the long-time camara operator on Helen Luka's Satellite News Service team turned angrily towards her boss, hands on her hips. Doctor Tom Chambers had left the little room in the tenement block a few minutes ago. Outside, the streets of the Prospects were echoing with gunfire and revolution.

"Jane, I don't think..." Xavier Kennedy, the SNS team's soundman was crouched next to the window, peering out onto the street below.

"Shut up Xav, I want to know if Miss Luka over here is passing info on to the Basalites!"

"What?" Helen had moved to the door to watch the Doc disappear up the stairwell, back towards the hopper she heard land on the roof. She had been wondering the same thing. She turned now, mouth tight in a frown, "Jane, you're way out of line. I don't tell him anything! The Doc's very well connected, you know that! Half of Prince Gable--"

"Watch out!" Xavier bellowed and dove at Jane, driving her to the ground just as a burst of gunfire tore up the window sill and the ceiling. Concrete shards and dust filled the air.

"Ugh..." Jane groaned.

"Jane, you're bleeding!" Helen rushed towards her crew, taking out a well-worn first aid kit. Xavier checked himself and cleared his head, crawling to the window sill to see if the gunman was still out there.

"S'nothing, just a scratch, is all," Jane grimaced as blood trickled down her cheek.

"Xav, get the camera," Helen applied a self-sticking bandage and looked over Jane's head, "you're right Jane, just a bit of concrete fragments. Nothing serious." She nodded quietly, "and I don't know how Chambers always knows where we are. But I sure as shit don't tell him anything. Not after Lance Point. You know that."

"Fine...fine...sorry Hel," Jane waved her boss off, "just getting frustrated is all."

"Me too," Helen smiled, "c'mon, let's get--"

"Rig's trashed," Xavier said, holding up Jane's camera, "but the tape's ok."

Helen sighed, "fine fine. Take the tape. We've got a back-up, right Jane?"

"Right." Jane lifted up a small camera.

"Good," Helen smiled over her shoulder at her team, as she strode out the door, "that's why we're the best."


The shooting had died down in the neighbourhood after the BRF supply cache was bombed. No sense in holding onto territory that was no longer valuable. Jan Augusta carefully moved down the street towards the tenement building. He knew that Jane Sanchez' camera rig was there. He had been using it as a channel to talk to Doctor Chambers and Kain Delacroix, after he had passed Helen Luka some tips that the Chambers and Kain acted on. It was simple to deduce that they had hacked her and her crew's email and camera. And that meant that they had put a tracer on the camera too. One good turn deserved another, after all.

It didn't bode well that the camera hadn't moved in several hours.

With well-practiced ease, Augusta snuck into the abandoned apartment block, noting the bullet holes and the blackened patches of concrete. There had been a little gunplay here. The BRF probably took some shots to drive out whoever was sticking around in the building, and then moved to occupy it, until the order to withdraw and regroup was given. They were well-organized, he'd give them that. But their main strengths were their home-field advantage and their ideological commitment. There was no beating the BRF in the Prospects; but after discovering the latest bit of intel he had just gathered, he knew that there was no choice but to deliver a powerful blow against them. They had crossed over from violent workers' activism into irrational, destructive terrorism.

Augusta smiled to himself as he climbed the stairs, pistol at the ready. He had known that the SRID and PaxSec would be busy chasing after the Basalites and the BRF leadership. This allowed Augusta to send his small MILICIA Special Intervention Unit team into Peace River under deep cover. They did their jobs quietly, carefully, and with his coordination, pretty efficiently. The Basal-NLC talks were the perfect setting for Sundra Gabriel's revolution. That wasn't his concern until he found out that whatever the BRF in Peace River wanted, it wasn't a revolution. Augusta was quite pleased with himself and his operatives, despite this new intel.

The hands-free trideo-camera rig was sitting in the corner of the room, its main lens shattered, the power-pack peppered with small shrapnel holes. Augusta hunched over it. The tape was gone. He opened up the electronics bay and found the tiny tracker bug. He shut it off and pocketed it. There was some blood spatter on the floor, but not enough to draw a second glance. Augusta sat down at the small, worn table in the dark room. He chuckled. This was a hell of a way to end a career.


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