Friday, January 6, 2012

Koreshi Chronicles – Chapter IV : The Turn

The air was cooling down as the rays of Helios wained. The empty hangar in the industrial quarter was large and open but sufficiently isolated. Ti stood over the rotund form of Harry Bonds, bound and unconscious on the sandy floor. Lukas, Lyta and Torgath were about 10 meters away, Ti could feel their eyes on him. Lukas was probably already judging, Torgath looked mildly curious and Lyta, Lyta just looked pissed. Ti decided it was futile to try to figure her out, futile and far too distracting. He concentrated on the task at hand and slapped Bonds hard on the cheek.

The negotiations in the truck had gone badly. Ti had wanted to know if Lukas could be trusted? The question that had plagued him since he had found the Lassanders to still be alive. Lukas had no moral code that Ti could discern, which was not the same thing as amoral or immoral. Lukas protected his own, that was his driving motivation and his personal code. No amount of haggling over money or professional contracts could give Ti the thing he was looking for; the conviction that Lukas could be trusted with what Ti really though was going on.

That made interrogating Bonds a bit harder, but not much because Ti didn’t expect Bonds to know what was going on either. Ti knelt down by the bound man, removing his gag but leaving the tape over his eyes. “Hello Harry, listen carefully because I won’t repeat myself. My name is Titan Corovan and I’m going to save your life.” What followed was a seamless list of Bonds offenses, from weapons trafficking to conspiracy to commit kidnapping and acts of terrorism. They had Bonds on tape in the WestEx warehouse, they had Perry’s statement and Bonds’ own phone and call log. They had footage from the taxi service, video feeds at the Can’t club and incriminating recordings. These bits of circumstantial evidence mixed with just enough intuitive fabrication and threats sold the less than honest bits about Perry and managed to overcome the absence of truly tangible evidence. Ti didn’t give Bonds long enough to think about it all lest doubt creep in, he moved right past prosecuting his case and into passing judgement. The diamonds mines of Port Arthur were known the world over as the worst place to die. “So you see Harry, there’s only one way out of the pits for you, and...” Ti looked at his watch as he paused “you have 58 seconds to take it or I hand you and all the evidence over to SecBuro. seventy-two hours from now you will be buried alive in the most expensive hell on Terra Nova. 49 seconds.”

Bonds was perspiring despite the cool breeze flowing through the hangar. “I can tell you where Kohl is, please, just let me go.”

“You know very well he’s moved by now. 36 seconds. No, this isn’t about Kohl anymore, you need to tell me where Summers is?”

“I...I don’t know who?” Bonds started to stammer. “ 29 seconds Harry, oh my this isn’t going to work out for you is it?” Ti stood up, disappointment in his tone.

“Wait! He’s in the officer quarter on the corner of...”

“No he isn’t Bonds. We’ve had his house under surveillance. Excuse me, I need to call Major Beria.” Ti started to walk off, making sure his foot falls conspicuously echoed his departure.

“Corovan, please I know he has another place!” Bonds wailed and Ti stopped, the sound of his heels spinning on the sand. “5 seconds Harry, 4, 3...” Bonds could hear the sound of phone keys being dialed.

“Corel! He has a place near Corel homestead, I went once 2 cycles ago. I was blindfolded for the trip but I remember the fruit. There were apricot trees in the yard, you can only find those in Corel. He doesn’t even know I know, Oh Prophet save me he’s going to kill me, my kids...oh prophet save me...” Bonds broke down into a pitiful whimper.

Ti put away his phone and let out a small sigh. He took a knife form his boot and cut Bonds hands free. “No Harry, not the Gentle Prophet, Ti Corovan. I saved you.”

Ti walked over his childhood friends. The hangar was almost completely dark by now so he could barely see they’re expressions. Lukas’ mask reflected what little light there was, his half face smirked. “Corel. Looks like we may get paid yet.” Torgath’s face lit up in the glow of his data pad’s screen as he queried a search. “Actually Apricots grow in a few places but, well not locally, so he’s probably right. Uhm Ti, what did you say to him? Because In Tyrant’s Fortune, by E. Joy Prantak, the hero uses theses psychotropic drugs and...” “Todd not now.” Lyta’s face seemed to contort somewhat as she spoke, the half-light made it hard to tell if she was disgusted or amused.

Ti forced himself not to stare at her and put thoughts of understanding her out of his mind again. “Okay Lukas, what next?”

Heavy Gear Roleplaying Game


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