Thursday, March 15, 2012

Koreshi Chronicles - Chapter V: More than he bargained for

Rahel Bashakian was younger than he expected. Somehow Ti had envisaged someone in her 40’s or 50’s but the head of the Forzi cartel in Prince Gable was at most 34 or 35 cycles old. There was also a look of surprise in her eyes as her dark eyelashes fluttered under coloured eyelids like some exotic butterfly. Ti considered that she may might be thinking the same thing he was, that she had been expecting someone older.

“May I offer you a cawfe or tea, I have a selection?” she said while she stood, adjusting her very short but remarkably elegant dress and waved him to a chair in her artfully decorated office. Her demeanour was pleasant, even friendly, wholly unlike most of the organised criminals Ti had come across.

“Thank you, some tea would be much appreciated ma’am.” Ti smiled his best pearly display and took a seat a fraction of a second after she rejoined her leather chair.

“I’m sure you’re quite busy and I don’t want to take any more of your time than I have to....”

“Nonsense Mr Corovan, I’m here to help you, and my time is yours. I am entirely at your disposal.” She leaned forward, lacing her fingers together and placing her elbows on her desk in a gesture of attention to his every word. Ti had used his contacts and some of the BCG’s to arrange this meet under the pretense of a business proposition. He knew that most people who came to the Forzi were in need, they would end up exploited, fleeced and generally taken advantage of. He wasn’t expecting to be treated like a valued customer. It made him more than a little suspicious.

“I’m looking for someone.”

“Lucky someone,” she said before he could elaborate. Ti had to take a full second to recover from that. Her almond eyes and full lips were made more voluptuous still by the contrasting angular features of her cheek bones, thin aquiline nose and sharp chin. ‘She’s good’ he thought to himself and decided to match tactics with his best rakish smile.

“I’m really hoping that you can help me.” He said, registering a slight flush in her skin. ‘Take that’. “I’m looking for a man named Bradwick, Melvin Bradwick, and I have learned that he visited you yesterday”. She recovered quickly, as her smile went from alluring to threatening.

“I’m afraid I can’t help you with that matter.”

“I think you can and what’s more, I think you’re going to want to. I know something which is of little value to me but enormously valuable to you. While you’re in the same situation with regards to me. I think it was meant to be.” An assistant who was about twice Ti’s size came in with a tray and set the tea on the table. Bashakian gave him a nod and he took the signal to leave. She hesitated a moment as she watched Ti and having come to a conclusion, indicated for him to continue as she poured.

“A few days ago the Kolsons took something from a prominent Granis. I can provide you with the means to help one or the other as you see fit. If you think such leverage could be of use to you, that is.” Ti collected his cup and sat back in his seat, waiting for it to cool and for Bashakian to make her decision.

“I’d need some assurances that you can truly provide what you claim to have.” She said at last in a casual manner, as though she was asking for the milk.

“I know where Mr Bellows’ prized collectible is. The Kolsons don’t want that information leaked and Mr Bellows wants it back so I propose a trade. You get to choose who gets it, in exchange you tell me where Bradwick is.”

She bit her lip, at first nervously but suddenly self conscious of her display she turned it into a sultry gesture that could have easily weakened one at the knees. ‘Oh she is good’ Ti thought again, reminding himself to play this one close to the chest.

She got up out of her chair and came around to the narrow space separating Ti from his side of the table. From his vantage, she had legs that went half way up his chest and were clearly meant to go to his head. She put them to full advantage, sitting as she did on the edge of the minimalist glass desk.

“I’d love to help you Mr Corovan, I really would” she started plaintively, leaning in to take his tea cup. “but there are certain matters of confidentiality which I am loath to breach, if word of my” she paused, looking back at him -- she was refilling his tea cup -- “indiscretion were to come out, well I wouldn’t be in any position to take advantage of this most enticing offer you're bringing to me.” She handed him his cup with a plaintive shrug of her bare shoulders.

“I’d hate” Ti said, leaning forward until he was nearly in her lap in order to set his cup down. “to put you in an uncomfortable position.” He continued as he rose up, never more than a breath away from her until he was looking down at her, “but I think that both you and I could be very discreet.” He brought his hand up to her face and it took her a few seconds to let go of his gaze before she realised he had a phone with an image of a partially damaged safe and a small doll in it. She bit her lip again looking at the image, her eyes darted back and forth between the picture of Bellow’s prized collectible and Ti’s eyes and each time her smile grew wider.

“I can’t tell you where he is now, even I don’t know that. The smugglers have several routes and they change them according to weather and patrols. But I know where he’ll be for the hand-off.” She whispered the words into his ear.

“Hand-off?” he said, removing her hand from his tie which she had used to draw him near.

“The second leg of his trip to Mainz, another branch of the Forzi will meet him for that and if you should come across him then, well that would be after my boys were done shepherding him.”

“Where?” he said, running the phone down her shoulder and arm.

“I want the item, then I’ll tell you.” She took his hand and sunk nails in as she squeezed the phone loose. Ti reversed her grip, taking her wrist and twisting her arm around her back, lifted her off the table and pressing her up against him. As he pinned her she took a sharp intake of air through clenched teeth which quickly flourished into a sultry smile . The way their bodies pressed together, his arm around her body, it looked like a dance.

Ti smoothly disengaged and side stepped around the corner of the desk. He put the phone down and collected the cup of tea which he took a sip from. “Hit redial on that phone to reach me. We’ll meet tonight and I’ll give you the item. I’ll send people in the direction of the hand-off and once you’re in possession of the item, I expect specific coordinates to relay to my team.”

Keeping clear of her, Ti went to the door. Before exiting he gave her one last smile and a mimed tip of the hat. “Ma’am”

Heavy Gear Roleplaying Game


Julie said...

Has Ti told his team (i.e. the PCs) about this plan of his to trade our 750,000-dinar artefact for this one piece of information? Or his he going in on this solo so that we can find out later that it's missing?

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