Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Koreshi Chronicles - Chapter V: Falling

The wind was loud, up here. Almost louder than the elans and Gears ten floors down. It rushed in from the Great Trench, down the streets, between the buildings, up and off.

Lyta stood perched on the windowsill, looking down. It was a long way down. She swallowed, glanced behind her into her room of the hotel suite. Still alone. At least for a little while longer.

The wind rustled the stray hairs that had escaped her braid, pulled at her shirt, tugged at her pant hems. Lyta held the sides of the window-frame as the wind danced between her fingers.

"I love you," Ti had said. "Bye."

There was nothing more to say.

She took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and jumped.

Twenty minutes earlier…

Lyta held the datapad cradled in her lap. Ti's face looked up at her. She mouthed the words as he spoke them: "I have my family and you have yours and we both have to do what we have to to protect them. Take care.  I love you too. Bye."

The image fizzled away into static. She thumbed it off, again. She'd watched it a half-dozen times since it had entered her system with a soft chime. Every time, she'd hoped that she would see something else, something new, something that could make Ti not really mean what he was saying. Lukas had said that Ti had fired them, but Lyta didn't really believe it, not for real, not until she'd found Ti's message to her.

Lukas had been angry when he'd found out. At least, he had been until Lyta explained that she didn't blame him. Ti might have blamed him for the lies and the omissions, but Lyta didn't. Lyta blamed Ti for being too stubborn to see beyond his all-encompassing idea of unconditional trust, for deciding that if there was any doubt at all, it tainted everything. That because they couldn't work together, they couldn't even see each other anymore.

She squeezed back tears.

Lukas had gone off, mollified, to change Todd's bandages, leaving her alone in her room. Her hand hovered over the record button on her datapad for a long time before she finally pressed it.

"Hi Ellen," she said softly, recording a message just as Ti had recorded for her. "It's me, Lyta. I guess I promised you an update when I got back into town. I guess… this isn't quite the update I had in mind when I promised you that."

She shifted in her seat and adjusted the datapad. "Ti told us we're not working for him anymore. I didn't even get to see him. He told Lukas. He doesn't want to see us at all anymore. He can't put his Kin or his mission at risk anymore because of us, even if he loves us… loves me.

"I guess I didn't get to use any of those feminine wiles we talked about last time. I don't even know where he is. I guess he's somewhere with his Kin. So we're not staying here anymore. There's nothing for us in Prince Gable right now, so we're going.

"You always gave me really good advice. Maybe when I'm gone you'll find someone else you can give good advice to. Maybe Nadya. Maybe she'll listen better than I did.

"Anyway, I guess I just want to say thanks. And bye. Take care, Ellen."

She turned off the recording and sent it. It was the middle of the day; Ellen was probably at work. She wouldn't see it for hours.

She slipped off her shoes and walked to the window. It was locked, but a mid-rate hotel's locked window was barely a challenge anymore. She clicked open the lock and pulled back the glass, letting the wind rush into room. She breathed it in.

"I love you too," Ti had said, but he still didn't want to see her. He couldn't trust her, not even after all this time, not even after she'd defied Lukas and pushed harder against her brother than she ever had in her life. He wanted more than she could give, and he wouldn't accept anything less. The tears landed heavy on her cheeks.

She keyed in another message, this one for Lukas, text only. She set it up on a delay, so that he'd only get it after she was gone. He couldn't rush in to stop her.

She was so tired of other people making her decisions for her: Lukas and Ti and the arguments between them when they disagreed. Well, they wouldn't be arguing anymore, and she wouldn't have to listen to them. No one would stop her this time. Not Lukas, not Ti, not anyone.

She brushed aside the tears and stepped up onto the windowsill. The wind dried the dampness on her cheeks. "I love you, Ti," she whispered, and the wind whipped her words up and off. "Bye."


The wind rushed past her, roaring in her ears.

She landed like a cat on the neighbouring roof, rolled and stood and sprinted without breaking rhythm. She grabbed a guard-rail, swung over an open air vent, and touched down on the other side. In a single fluid motion, she grabbed her staff and clicked it open, vaulting away from the rooftop to the next building, rolling and spinning and flying.

Prince Gable wasn't Junira Loresh, but she could still run, alone and free, with no thought except the next handhold and the next footfall.

Lukas' phone beeped at the hotel, far behind her. The text glowed softly on the screen: "Off running. Back soon. Don't worry."

Heavy Gear Roleplaying Game


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