Monday, December 31, 2012

Koreshi Chronicles - Chapter VI : The Long Days Of Summer Pt 1

“Where was I?” Minnie said after releasing her straw and swallowing half her glass worth of lemonade. Although she has shared a great deal of her life’s story to Lukas over the last week , he noted very little of it was compromising. Not that that was all he was after; but in the three afternoons she had spent with him since abducting him, albeit a pleasant kidnaping, he had expected more salacious material then her first kiss, the story of her first pet and  what it was like to grow up in the Western Basin as a prosperous prospector’s daughter.

He’d shared a number of anecdotes as well, she had particularly enjoyed the school trip to the stone head. Lukas had been forced to edit Ti’s name out of that one. and quite a few others too. He realised he was growing impatient and it wasn’t with her so much as with the fact that he had to lie to her every time he shared some of his past.

Well, not every time. When she spoke of the death of her mother and being left alone with a father who never really had time for her he could sympathise with half of the story. In fact, for all his evasions, half truths and lies Lukas realised he had never shared as much about himself or his history with anyone. He noted with some interest that some of his disappointment in these talks they shared while she pushed him in a wheelchair through the parks of the Officer Quarter or the Atrium of the carvansery, was born of his own regret,  regret at not being  able to be more open with her.

If she hadn’t shared any information yet that pointed to her goals, interests or connections he had still learned plenty about her. She loved good food and enjoyed cooking, though not as much as having someone cook for her. She had a quirky almost silly sense of humour which he was growing fond of and she was smart. At times uncomfortably so which kept him on constant guard not to say too much about any particular place he had been to or job taken.

Minnie had confirmed that Lyta, Todd, Ennick and Jimmy had made it out of the gulag a few days before along with their two ‘packages’. She had arranged for him to meet them in Lance Point when he was fully recovered to travel. That was only a few days away now and  though Lukas rejoiced at the idea of being fully healed, the idea of leaving Port Arthur panged him. The Summer had come and Minnie had showed him a side of the city which was charming and even romantic.  With that thought, he suddenly and uncomfortably realised it was time to go.

“That’s when the CEF came. I was just 21 cycles old and my dad, my dear old dad well he finally found a use for me” Lukas snapped too, realizing he had been caught up in his own thoughts and feelings. Minnie’s eye were red, her lower lip quivering. She looked at him pleadingly, though he couldn’t guess why. “You see, he had his prospects, his digs and he figured that the CEF were just as likely to buy what he found as the Polars were. He wasn’t an evil man, just not a very good one. He did whatever they told him to do, they were an occupying force and we were at ground zero.” She took a small sip from her lemonade, just to give her a moment to collect herself. “He helped them, at first by sharing what other people were saying and then other things. They thanked him, they called him a ‘liberator’ helping the CEF liberate the colony for the glory of the New Earth Commonwealth. You have to understand he wasn’t ideological, just practical.” she said bitterly. “ Eminently practical. And just like practical men since the dawn of time he made a trade with the Captain in charge of our area, an intelligence officer. My dad gave him something of little use to him in exchange for protection and the luxury to carry on doing his business while the rest of the world burned. And Captain Bartok gladly accepted the deal.” Minnie fell quiet, her head held low.

“He gave you away in marriage, to a CEF captain.” Lukas said gently. “No” she spat, her red rimmed eyes on Lukas now, “he didn’t ‘give’ anything away, he sold me. He bought Bartok off and it only cost him a daughter he didn’t know what to do with anyway, an unpleasant reminder of a dead wife he resented for leaving him alone.” Minnie’s rage was controlled but burned fiercely below the surface of her tears and raspy voice. Lukas knew that kind of anger, it burned deep in Lyta too. “I’m sorry” was all he said.

After a while she laughed, it was short and strained. She wiped away the streaks on her cheeks with the palms of her hands. She took another sip and cleared her voice, and Minnie was back, if a bit worse for wear. “But it wasn’t all bad. I traded in a father who couldn’t stand me for a soldier who didn’t know anything about girls. I learned everything I know about manipulating people practicing on him. I became close with his superior and when the good captain died his CO watched out for me and even found a use for me. Nothing unsavory, he was never like that.  No he just saw where my talents lay and honed my skills.” Lukas hazarded a guess, “So you owe Major Stone.” Minnie smiled dangerously at Lukas, the way she used to before she started to visit him in hospital and take him out for these conversational constitutionals. “I don’t owe Stone anything, he’s just like every other man who’s ever exploited me, he got his money’s worth. I work for myself now Lukas.”

Heavy Gear Roleplaying Game


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