Friday, November 16, 2012

Fools rush in

Lukas was tired. He had barely slept in--what was it? 48 hours? 60? It felt like days, but another hour should see the job done.

He knew his edge was slipping. Jumping Vulpei may have been a fatal miscalculation. Sending him to help Todd may have been. Double-crossing Dawn may have been.

Self-doubt? Lukas mentally chided himself. Self-indulgence.

There was gritty sand in the corner of his eye, and he rubbed at it absently. Still, it seemed like nothing had gone right. The straight-forward escort job had devolved into a bloodbath. It was like karmic punishment for sparing lives--the fembots, the Northeners, first in the shed, then in the house.

On the other hand, maybe it was for the lives taken....

Vulpei was cutting Todd free. Lukas put the car in gear, called out "Break!" to Lyta over the radio, and then everything went to Hell.


The sand was in his mouth now. Face down, Lukas could feel agony from his right calf but only a strange coldness spreading through his chest.

He knew Dawn was straight ahead of him; Todd and Vulpei were huddled a hundred yards to his right. Lukas could visualize the sniper turning her sights towards the bus, taking aim at Todd's unarmoured body.

That same image had driven him as he madly sprinted from the immobilized jeep, knowing it could only end one way, knowing too that this was his fault, the product of a long chain of increasingly poor decisions.  This was the right one, though.  Every second Dawn faced him bought Todd another second.

150 yards. A shot. Miss.


80. Two shots. Miss, miss.

40. Lukas fired.

Pain. Sand.

Lukas pushed himself up, first to his knees, then, drunkenly, to his feet. Another second. A wave of nausea threatened to drag him down into a warm, comfortable darkness, but Lukas bit down hard on his tongue, tasted blood, and hobbled on towards Dawn. Another second.

Another second.

She called out: "This doesn't have to go any further! Drop your gun, Quinn! Surrender!"

Another second.

He grinned, spat blood. Another second.

"What's in it for me?"

Another second.

He pushed forward another step. Another second. She tensed. Another second.

Lukas raised his rifle.


Heavy Gear Roleplaying Game


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