Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Koreshi Chronicles - Chapter VI : The Long Days Of Summer pt 2

Minnie slipped out of bed quietly and put on a brocade gown. Her light feet made no sound as she descended her spiralling staircase to the first floor of her apartment. Throwing a furtive glance in the direction she had just come from, she glided into her office, where she delicately closed the door. Activating the sweeper, she made a quick pass and found what she had expected: nothing. She then activated her signal jammer and finally keyed in the call on the trideo.

Smith’s face resolved itself in front of her, lighting the room. “I’ve just had confirmation that the Libs can’t deliver anymore and that Kable is getting nervous.”

Smith’s disembodied head nodded. “Then they did better than expected. With Bakov out of there, the threat of him revealing what he knows should prompt the Bear to move the package.”

Minnie smirked. “As long as your people are ready. It would be a shame to have gone to all this trouble only to have the package slip through your fingers. He wouldn’t have wanted that.”

The trideo image flickered gently as the person it was projecting shifted uncomfortably half-way across the planet. “We’re on the same time now, Bartok, and we’re counting on you to keep a watchful eye at your end as well. You have received your payment; Katchelli will be in my custody in a few days and your secret will be safe.”

Minnie was ruffled but didn’t let it show through her smile. She was not, however, going to let that veiled threat go unchecked. “You are far less diplomatic than your predecessor,” she began, enjoying the reaction this invariably provoked. “Katchelli is not payment, she’s part of a promise, and you know very well that if I had my way she’d be dead instead of in your hands.”

Smith twitched again, the nearly imperceptible scars on his face folding unnaturally. “What of Stone? Surely he’ll suspect?” the trideo image said changing the subject.

“He’ll more than suspect, he’ll bloody well know. And that’s the point. Blackmail isn’t an effective leverage unless your opponent knows you have the goods.” Minnie said casually, but leaned slightly forward after a pause. ”I’m more concerned about the NGIS.”

“Gerti is far too concentrated on the narrow scope of her brief to notice anything going on in Port Arthur, especially from her vantage in Timmins,” he said with a dismissive wave of his hand.

Minnie shook her head. “You forget about her new protégé. She was Katchelli’s handler, and she and Petit got very close to figuring out what the Colonel and the Ambassador have been doing. She and the SRID pest got close, as unlikely as that should have been.” Minnie rolled her eyes for emphasis. “And Petit isn’t her only personal motivation. If she connects anything to Tantalus, well...”

“Well, she’s in your backyard, so you’ll just have to keep and eye on her, won’t you? Let me know as soon as you hear anything new about the package,” Smith said, and Minnie was reaching for the terminal to end the transmission when he interjected.

“Bartok, what about the Lassanders?”

Minnie’s expression was neutral, if mildly inquisitive. “What about them? They’re your assets.”

“Good, as long as we’re clear on that. You know that they’re.... important,” Smith said rhetorically.

Minnie feigned bored impatience and ended the communication. Then she let out a sigh. Bakov was under wraps, and a cycle later than promised Katchelli was finally out of her hair. She moved silently out of her office, filled a glass with water, and crept back upstairs.

“Minnie?” his voice croaked quietly in the darkness as she settled back under the sheets.

“Got a glass of water babe, go back to sleep.” Minnie curled her body up against his, placing her arm over him. His hand pulled hers to his lips for a kiss. “G’night,” he mumbled.

She nestled in a little closer and kissed him between his shoulder blades. “Good night, Lukas.”

Heavy Gear Roleplaying Game


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