Thursday, November 22, 2012

Koreshi Chronicles - Chapter VI: Point Of View

“I’m fine” Todd was repeating as Lyta looked over his wounds. He let her work,because it kept her busy and he was afraid that if she kept fidgeting over Lukas’ bandages she would reopen something. Lukas’ legs were in a bad way and Todd wondered if he would be left with a permanent limp. Feeling the sand blow across his bare arms and legs, he realised Lukas had taken those bullets to save his unprotected skin.

He collected Lukas’ assault rifle and was going to collect his drevis from where Dawn had thrown it out of her escape vehicle. He spotted Ennick a couple of klicks out, approaching in the remaining functional Antelope. Todd considered their options and, even if he forgot about the three wounded northerners still bound at the homestead, there was no way to safely transport Lukas the hundreds of kilometres back to Port Arthur in the back of an open jeep across country, given the severity of his wounds.

“Grimm, Grimm are you still there?” Dawn’s voice came over his comm unit. Todd dropped to one knee and assumed a tactical position, tracking the distant cloud of dust he knew to be her in the Wagoneer. He turned and found Lyta wasn’t reacting and remembered this was a closed channel; she had a direct line with him.

“I just wanted to let you know I’ve called in a medevac from Port Arthur. They’re 30 or 40 mikes out and they’re Arthurians, not my people, so don’t shoot them, OK? They’re coming to help.” Dawn’s voice was conciliatory, but he still couldn’t quite reconcile the Northern accent and grave tone with the ebullient if laconic Dawn he’d spent the last 50 plus hours with.

“Grimm, I’m sorry about Quinn. I’m sorry about...about all of this. It wasn’t supposed to go this way. I just wanted Vulpei.” Her voice was breaking up or she was just hesitant, he couldn’t tell, but there was growing interference as her retreating vehicle tested the limited range of the radio.

“Vulpei is a murderer; he killed someone...important to me. I know it was just your job to protect him. It was just my job to catch him. I hope you’ll understand?” Her voice came in and out.

“Why are you telling me this?” he said at last.

“I wanted to ask you know those books you...talking about? Tell me who I remind you of about....”

Todd looked back at Lyta, hunched and looking particularly dejected, Ennick was almost upon her, and he had some kind of stretcher. He thought about Dawn's question.

“Why?” Gabrielle barely made out through the static. It was a good question, and she wasn’t quite sure how to answer him. Why had she cared, why had she let Vulpei go, why had she killed Katz but not Dirk?

“Because I want to know how it ends for me. I want to look it up in a book and find out how I go forward from this. Because I need a little hope, I guess,” she answered at last. She waited, but there was no response and she realised from the red signal on her comm unit that she had passed out of range.


“I’m fine” Todd was repeating as Lyta looked over his wounds. She didn’t listen to him; she needed some kind of distraction from her incessant re-checking of Lukas’ bandages. Todd was in fact stable, if not quite fine. He had three notable wounds, the first pair from the day before and a new one. All three had been recently dressed by Dawn. Lyta flinched as she thought of her and her hands involuntarily clenched. Still, the Northerner had done a good job on Todd and he was going to be fine, as long as he rested a while.

In her disjointed state it took her a moment to realise the ringing wasn’t in her head. She fumbled around and found Lukas’ phone between rings. “Hello?” she said a little apprehensively. They had already ordered Ennick to get over here ASAP over her radio and she wasn’t sure who else had this number or if she wanted to talk to them right now?

“Allo Kes, are you alright?” His voice hit her like a punch to the gut. “Listen Kes, I know you are angry and worried right now.  I want you to know whatever happens, I don’t blame you.”

“Don’t blame me?” she said furiously. She looked around, as incredulous of this situation as of Vulpei’s words. Todd had walked off a little distance, and she was suddenly glad she was alone because she somehow felt ashamed to be talking to Vulpei. As though simply speaking with him somehow was a betrayal of Lukas, whose unconscious and battered body lay next to her.

“You had to do what you did. You were willing to betray me, and your brother was willing to betray me or at the very least lie to me. But your intentions and priorities are clear: You will always choose your brother over anyone else, you lied and betrayed my faith in you. I just wanted you to know it was OK because I love you.”

Lyta felt a lead weight in her stomach and a growing pressure in her throat and head. Her already red eyes welled up with fresh tears. She was suddenly overwhelmed with grief. She had heard Ti’s voice, Ti’s words. She looked down at Lukas and for some reason saw Ti sprawled out on the Nazarene plateau. Then it all came crashing back in and reality and anger swept away her illusion; the voice on the phone was Vulpei’s.

“You what?” She whispered in disgust.

“I fell in love with you Kes. It was a surprise to me too. But we are not masters of our fate or whom we love. And so, I hold out hope that as long as you are alive and I am alive that perhaps this day which started so badly will one day end well for us....” Lyta wasn’t sure if he said anything more after that because she threw the phone into the desert. She saw Ennick’s back pulling a stretcher from the Antelope she hadn’t heard arrive.

Ti was dead and Lukas was dying. She looked at Todd returning to her, his face sullen. Then she saw Amaraa and Bestha and her mother’s face and finally her father’s and she realised she didn’t know what any of it was for? She had lost hope and no longer cared how any of it ended.

Heavy Gear Roleplaying Game


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