Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Koreshi Chronicles: Titan's Tale - TN 1919, 22 Autumn

"Are you looking to sell the place?" The broad man in his fifties asked the slender gentlemen who was a little too finely dressed to be packing boxes in the half emptied apartment. The younger man turned to confirm what his ears identified as a friendly voice and found a friendly smile as well. Tom put down the books and crossed the large living room to take Lenny's hand.

"Why, are you looking to buy?" came Tom's response as he gave Lenny a good handshake.

"I couldn't afford it. Besides, Doc, Julie already asked me when she let me in." Tom gave him a knowing grin.

The apartment was nominally in Tom's name, one of the first of the more luxurious places to go up in the DeValmont cave of New Baja when he had set up the Baja Development Corporation a few cycles before with the help of his uncle and a prefect from the NHA. But since he had left to join Kain Delacroix and the caravan and more recently had set up shop in Kayr-ad-Din, Julie Pajola, his girlfriend and now his casino manager, had been living here with her daughter. She had become the de facto owner, and Tom was trying hard to make things work between them.

"Can I help?" Lenny asked, even as he started putting books into boxes. "I guess this is it, then? She's taken the job in KAD and we won't see you three this way again?"

Lenny was keenly aware that Julie had made the decision to move to the trash city, though her relationship with Tom was still recovering from the long absence and a perceived betrayal by the Doc -- a perception of the Doc’s which Lenny was keenly aware extended to, if not stemmed directly from, him. Julie was pursuing a career and Lenny was losing a valuable intelligence asset. And now, he was going to lose another.

"Doc, I've got someone I want you to meet. He’s a local kid, bright, resourceful. I think you could really use someone like him." Tom Chambers deposited whatever sentimental object he had in hand that Julie felt needed to be moved back to Kayr-ad Din. It was her moving that had brought him back to New Baja sooner than he would have liked; it had only been a season since he and Sam had assassinated the mayor. The fact that he was speaking with the city marshal had not escaped him either, and despite their shared past and a feeling Lenny could be trusted, Tom reflected on the whole situation before signaling to Lenny Green that he would listen further. Tom tucked a long strand of dark hair behind his ear and gave Marshall Green his full attention.

"This kid lost his parents during the war. He was a tunnel rat, one of the resistance fighters during the siege here and spent two seasons being interrogated after a Parakommando took him prisoner, breaking his back in the process, I might add."

Tom listened attentively as Lenny continued the biography. "He was eventually freed when the Alliance forces routed the Kef. He was stuck in an orphanage camp south of here. I knew him during the resistance. He was a good kid, strong, cheery and damned reliable."

Tom's face darkened involuntarily as he remembered Baja and the fighting. Lenny had been in the resistance, Tom a field surgeon with the Southern Legion Noire Second Battalion. They only met after the war, but he might have treated this kid Lenny was talking about. He’d treated and lost too many to remember.

"Anyway, skip forward a couple of cycles and we have our present situation. A mayoral race, the AST planting its hooks into New Baja and...Well, anyway, this ain't the place for him."

Tom pulled up a box, sat and indicated to Lenny that he should do the same. "Go on, Lenny. You haven't told me the whole story yet."

"He's in trouble, Doc. Deep trouble. He went and got it into his head that New Baja should be for Bajans and dug some stuff up on a Southern construction company in town and then followed the stink to the root, as it were. He managed to find some incriminating evidence on an AST official…" Tom smiled. "You're right, Lenny, sounds like my kind of kid."

Marshal Green shook his head in mock exasperation, "Yeah, except that didn't matter 'cause what this dirtbag was doing, which was illegal, was for the AST, so they covered it up, quashed the news, paid off the witness… Did a good job about it."

Tom nodded. He understood the situation and how the Marshal had to pick his battles, so it was out of understanding not condemnation that he spoke. "And you let them do it. So now the AST want him shut up, the last loose end."

"If only it was that simple, Doc. The kid didn't let it go. When wised up to the fact that the AST didn't care about immoral stuff, he managed to dig up treasonous evidence. I expect our AST sous-adminstrator to be quietly gone by week's end."

Tom Chambers was taken aback. This orphan not only had heart, he had brains, resolve and perseverance to match. And now, he was marked for death. The AST would not take having one of their mandarins exposed lightly.

"They're going to find him and kill him," Tom summarized.

"I doubt it. He covered his tracks pretty good. He used a couple of proxies, he got some other kids to help him out and there's next to nothing to trace it back to him." The Marshal countered.

"But you figured it out, Lenny. No disrespect intended, they may not know New Baja like you do or have your raw talent, but they have resources."

"The only reason I know about this is because he told me. And I ain't worried about them finding him this time. I'm worried about the next. Doc, this kid ain't gonna stop. He's got that look in his eye, the look of a man with a mission and determined to carry it out."

"I like him already. Sounds like I could use him." Tom said slyly. "So what's his name?"

"He's a good kid, Doc, nice-like and real polite, not the kind you'd figure to make the amount of trouble he's done or to have been through the things he's been through. But what I'm getting at, Doc, is that he ain't one to be used. He sticks by his principles and he doesn't let go, ever. He's the stubbornest man I've ever met, and his name is Ti Corovan."

Heavy Gear Roleplaying Game


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