Thursday, June 9, 2011

Koreshi Chronicles: Chapter III - Surveying the Options

The sun blazed low over the foothills of the Westridge Range as dusk settled over the valley. Lukas stared out from the roof of Frau's homestead. Now that the Gears were gone, there was no need to rush, and Frau had offered them his hospitality for the night. No doubt he expected to pump the three Koreshi for information about what life was really like among the Sand Riders, as so many had done before, and no doubt he would be disappointed come morning. Still, a bed -- or even a climate-controlled floor -- was a welcome change after a week of sleeping in the mountains.

Lukas heard a scrape behind him and didn't even bother to turn around. "Your sneaking needs work," he said, as the smaller figure straightened up from a crouch at the edge of the roof.

"If I was sneaking, you wouldn't have heard me," came the voice from behind him. Lyta moved forward and settled down next to her brother, staring out at the setting sun.

"If Todd were sneaking, I wouldn't have heard him. You, I would have heard anyway."

Lyta swatted her brother's arm lightly, then turned her attention back to the vista in front of them. The siblings sat quietly for some time.

Finally, Lukas broke the silence. "What's the matter?" Years in close contact had made him acutely aware of Lyta's moods, of those signs that were invisible to anyone else, even Torgath.

She turned away from the view and faced her brother. "This is a stupid plan."

"You always say that."

"Only when they're stupid."

"It's a good plan."

The ritual exchange completed, Lukas sighed. "Fine. What is it about this plan in particular you think is stupid?"

Lyta stood up and uncharacteristically began to pace. "It's complicated and chancy, even for us. I mean, we got kicked out of the Wolves. Fine. Then we decide to come along with Ennik on the off-chance we can find the stupid Gears and Antoni and Davood will take us back in. We don't find them. So instead we're going to throw in our lot with the Caravan Guild, find other Gears to steal, probably get shot in the process, all so that maybe, just maybe, the Wolves will see how committed we are to their cause and let us come back and -- if we're lucky -- find out about the Bear? Why not just go back to Prince Gable and find other Peace River Army people? There's gotta be some still left. And I'm tired of getting shot." She looked pointedly at Lukas' gut wound, the tight bandages still stained, the unvoiced concern clear on her face.

Lukas pulled his feet off the edge of the roof and turned around so that he could give his full attention to his sister. "We know the Wolves had contact with Kaspar. It might be chancy, but it's still the best lead we've got."

Lyta paused, struggling to voice her suggestion. "What about Ennik, then?"

Lukas' brow furrowed. "What about him?"

"He's part of the Wolves. Maybe he knows where Kaspar is."

Lukas rolled his eyes. "Please. He's a drunken fool who's lucky if he can find the flask he's drinking from. Even if he was at Prince Gable like he implies, he was probably fixing Gears on the sidelines. What business could he possibly have had with a CEF turncoat?"

Lyta shrugged. "Can it hurt to ask?"

Lukas considered for a moment. "You're right. It can't hurt to ask him. So go do it."

That wasn't the answer Lyta had expected. "I'm not good at talking to people. That's your job."

Now it was Lukas' turn to shrug. "It doesn't matter. If he knows and you ask him, I figure he'll tell you. If I ask him--well, we don't exactly see eye to eye." As he spoke, Lukas turned the masked side of his face towards her and then winked. They both laughed. It felt good to laugh.

The sat in silence for awhile, staring into the Badlands. The stars were out now, and for a moment, Lukas could imagine that they were on the roof of their own home.

"I want something more for us, Lyta. Something better than scraping along on the back of an Armadillo. I'm trying my best to get it."

Heavy Gear Roleplaying Game


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