Thursday, June 9, 2011

Everyone's got a story to tell.

Ennik spat. The afternoon sun was hanging low in the valley, and things were cooling down. He watched the daks circle overhead for a second, and then looked back down at his handiwork. The Elan buggy that he and the three kids had stolen in Lance Point was not starting. He crossed his arms and frowned at the machine, mentally willing it to reveal its secret ailment.

"That dumbass Toby sure did a number," he scratched the back of his head, and lay back down on the dolly. Ennik slid under the car and looked over the left rear tire. The Elan had four independently driven wheels, each with its own electrical engine, each needing scrutiny. Deep down, Ennik knew that Toby probably hadn't sabotaged the wiring of each engine. But deep down, Ennik was not coping well. Hiding under the buggy at least gave him time to think.

Toby had asked the wonderkids-plus-Ennik to go north into the Westridge Range to explore another mine that reportedly might have another cache of Legion Noire gears. It was rumoured that the mine was used by the CEF during the War.

Ennik knew it was no rumour.

He stared up at the wheel's engine and silently punched the buggy's tire. Its engine was fine. He slid out from under the car, patted down his pockets for a cigarette and stuffed one in his mouth. He lit it and slid back under, desperately seeking something to take his mind off the voyage north.

"Damn kids. Why the hell are they chasing after gears? Just to get themselves back into the Desert Wolves? Shit, that first plan was less of a shot in the dark than this one is, and they turned that one down." He mumbled around the cigarette, half-wishing Lyta were here to feel around in the dark for a fused wire or anything that could cause an electrical short. But then the girl hadn't been much for talking after that last fight. The three Sandriders had withdrawn into their room, and tended to their wounds. He envied them their little family.

Ennik had drank himself into a stupor after that fight in the factory. Frau and Toby were generous with their whiskey, he had to admit. Ennik hated fighting in the dark, underground. The gunfight in the factory hit a little too close to home. He remembered the tunnels and the tunnel fighters. His stomach turned when he thought about how young they were, and how they died.

The smoke from Ennik's cigarette wafted up and collected in little clouds in the nooks and crannies of the undercarriage of the buggy. Ennik stared. Something else was banging around in his mind, flickering and teasing him as he attempted to focus on the task at hand. He watched the smoke dissipate. Some dust fell on his arm from a little hole. He smirked. He grabbed the needle-nose pliers from his tool rig and gently pushed them into the hole. A moment later, he pulled out a White Sand pebble that had eaten its way into the transmission. After a week of being completely stationary, the pebble had a chance to slowly corrode its way through the main power line. It was a simple thing to fix. The smoke touching the pebble had created the dust.

Ennik looked at the little pebble. It was already beginning to smoulder slightly in the needle-nose pliers. White Sand pebbles weren't common this far from the Great White Desert, but they weren't exactly rare either. He smiled.

You're far, far away from home, little pebble. I wonder how you got here.

Heavy Gear Roleplaying Game


Heavy Josh said...

Hmm...I preserved the jump...weird.

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