Saturday, March 17, 2012

Koreshi Chronicles - Chapter V : The Webs We Weave pt 1

“Hiya, Ellen, I’ve got a favour to ask.” Ti said with little hesitation as soon as Ellen Cranby answered the phone.

“You could try and sweet talk me a bit before you hit me up for a favour, Ti. We country girls like that.” She put on a thicker drawl for effect and Ti had to laugh.

“Sorry, Ellen, but I’m in a bit of a pinch. I’ve got a lot to do and little time to do it in. Do you know anyone in Prince Gable that I can use for a bit of creative jigging and electronic fiddling?”

“You know, you act just like him sometimes, always going off half-cocked, spit-balling ideas and making your way on pure force of will.” Ellen said, seemingly carrying on another conversation, as far as Ti could tell.

“What, Ellen? Who?”

“The Doc, Chambers!"

“He practically jumped out of a closet on me this morning, armed with a litany of requests and questions and some such. He’s here in Prince Gable. Didn’t he talk to you? Are you doing something with him?” Ellen was being a bit of a mother hen, but she also didn’t have a mean bone in her body, so she fussed and fought with the Doc, put her foot down, but never picked a fight. That was her way; she was patient to a fault. Ti hadn’t known Tom was in town, and for some reason he suddenly felt exposed.

“Listen, Ellen, this hasn’t got anything to do with Tom. I don’t mean to be rude, but I need to know if you’ve got someone.” Ti’s tone caught Ellen off guard and she was glad they were only speaking over the phone because she was a little flustered.

“Yeah, sure I know someone. Come to think of it, you two will get along just fine. He don’t want to see the Doc either. I’ll forward you his number. His name’s Gade. Ti?”

“Yes, Ellen?”

“Are you okay?”

“Yes, Ellen...Thanks, Ellen.”


“That’ll just about do it.” Vonyran screwed the panel back onto the servo. He put it next to the other 5 on the table and tucked his tools back into his kit.

“That’s it? You’re done? I thought it would take you longer.” Ti said with genuine disbelief. Ti knew a little bit about how things worked, but watching Gade at work was like watching a crazy genius put a puzzle together image side down.

“Nothin’ to it. The servos you had are made to be programmed, I just had to reinforce ‘em a bit for what you want and tie ‘em into the relay. Try ‘er out.” The wiz pointed to the little designator that he had set into the top of a pen.

Ti picked it up, put it in his chest pocket, and walked halfway across the room. Looking back, Gade provided a final nod and switched the lights off. Ti activated the pen/designator and pointed his chest towards the wall. The six servos on the table whirred to life and directed harmless lasers right at the point Ti was aiming at.

“Brilliant!” Ti said. “Nah, but I’ll take genius.” Gade responded without missing a beat. “You should see me under fire, then I really shine.”

“How ‘bout it, if you’re up for it? I read your file. I know you’re great in a fight and I could use you tonight.” Ti said as he turned off the lasers and Gade flicked the lights back on.

“figures he’d keep a file on me...” Gade said under his breath. When Ti looked like he was about to ask a question, Gade just waived it away.

“Never mind. I don’t do that no more. I got a boy to think of and he ain’t got no one left but his Pa.”

Ti hadn’t meant to pressure Vonyran, and he felt he had gone too far and been insensitive, but before he could say anything, his phone rang. He held up a pleading finger asking for one more minute of Vonyran’s time while Ti answered the call distractedly.

“Hello, Ti. Want to get a drink?” Ti felt a slight clenching in his stomach.

“Hi, Tom. I guess Ellen told you I was around.”

“Nonsense. I have spies, Ti. I have intelligence networks and assets across the Badlands. And I’ve got Ellen. Hey? Julie tells me you were in Khayr ad-Din a couple weeks ago and didn’t come see me...” Doctor Chambers was in a good mood. Why shouldn’t he be? According to some investigation Ti had done since that morning, the Doc was in town raising campaign money for the mayor of Fort Neil and having a jolly good time of it.

“Listen, Tom, I’m operational, I can’t.” Ti was still trying to get Vonyran to wait, but Dr. Chambers was insistent.

“Well then, maybe I can help you. I can be pretty handy, you know.”

“I know. Listen, Tom, I’ll get in touch with you tomorrow, maybe pick your brain. ‘Night.”

Ti hung up before Chambers could get another word in. Ti had had more than a season to figure out how to deal with his new relationship with his patron, but it wasn’t until this call that he realised he had no idea how to tell him he didn’t trust him. Didn’t trust his fluid sense of morality, his autocratic manner, and his new associates.

“Yeah, I can’t stand the guy anymore either.” Ti looked up and Gade was at the door with his things. Ti couldn’t believe how transparent he was and only hoped that his face gave it away and not the tone of his voice.

“Listen, thanks for all this. I know you won’t accept my money, but I appreciate what you’ve done for me here and what you’ve done for the Badlands. But I’m in a unique position to also appreciate what it means to a kid to have someone there for them. Your kid’s lucky he has you.” Ti put his hand out. Gade Vonyran returned a solid shake and seemed about to say something when Ti’s phone rang again. Vonyran gave a knowing wink and let himself out, Ti answered the call.

“Hi Tom, yeah, I know. OK, Let’s have that drink and I’ll fill you in.”

Heavy Gear Roleplaying Game


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