Thursday, May 16, 2013

Koreshi Chronicles - Chapter VI: Ignorance Ain't Bliss

“With all due respect, I don’t much like that they know I’m associated with you. What if they get it in their heads to use that information as leverage with the Doc?” Bill was shaking his head, his phone pressed hard to his ear. Just beyond his soundproof door, the Nexus was full of analysts trying to follow up leads and piece together what had happened and why.

“Would he believe them? It doesn’t matter. Lukas wouldn’t do anything so foolish. Besides, you’re now their handler. Bill. I can’t continue managing them; they’ve become too involved. Better you collate their data and send me what’s pertinent.” Renault’s voice was calm, as usual.

“And what about trust? Lukas seems pretty much on the level with me, but he’s also hiding things.” Bill was tired. Not knowing what was going on exhausted him. He hatted running after data; he preferred having it given to him succinctly. “Damn. I’ve got to brief the Doc in a minute or two.”

“Bill, Lukas will be all right.” Renault’s calm voice reassured him again. She had been doing this for a very long time and he had to trust that she knew what she was doing. “I’ve retained a lawyer in Peace River who’s begun the appeal process to exonerate their father. You can give Lukas his name to show him we’re grateful for everything he’s doing for us. I’m also trying to follow his father’s Paxton stock, but unfortunately a great deal of the paperwork disappeared with Ti Corovan. That was a terrible waste.”

“Ti was one of the most honest, insightful, and inspiring people I’ve ever met. An amazing agent, a powerful force for good, and a damned good guy. Losing his information is nothing compared to losing the man.” He hated that people had died tonight. With everything the Doc had put together, every contact and asset Bill had nurtured and his direct line to the most powerful spy on the planet, he hated getting caught with his pants down and watching as people got hurt. Again. Just like with Ti.

“Bill, that’s what I meant. You're exhausted. Talk to Chambers, tell him only what we’ve agreed upon, and make sure to let the Lassanders go. Then get some sleep.”

“Yeah, I’m not sure I want to let them go, but I’ll see what I can do to convince the Doc.”

Bill knew Renault wasn’t telling him everything. He wished he could trust Lukas like she did. He also wished he could get some sleep like she had suggested. He did answer to Renault, but he worked for the Doc and didn’t expect his next conversation to go smoothly, and he saw no rest on the horizon.


“Bill?” An emphatic voice asked over his phone before he could even utter a hello.

“Ellen? Sorry, I thought you were the Doc. I may need to take a call from him any second now.”

“Well, I just want to know why you’ve got Lyta and her brothers locked up. Again.”

Bill sighed. “Ellen, seriously, I can’t get into this right now.”

“Well, I guess I can just talk to the Doc, then, if you don’t have time for me.” Ellen’s voice was resolute. Bill always admired her when she set her mind to something. He didn’t like being on the receiving end of it, though.

“Well? Are you going to talk to me or am I going to talk to him?”

Bill sighed again. “Ellen, I appreciate that Lyta is your friend, but you aren’t aware of all the facts. I suggest you keep your distance from her until we know what her part in this is.”

The console in front of Bill chimed and he knew this was the Doc being patched through by the com. He moved his phone away from his ear and gave the com officer a node to patch the Doc through.

“All right, Bill, this line is secure. Give me the sit rep.” Chambers’ voice came over the com in the Nexus center. Bill took a breath.

Bill look at the phone in his hand for a second and shrugged. “We have two dead and a dozen or so injured, three critically. The south quad is pretty banged up, but repair crews think it will be fine within seventy-two hours. The Nexus was never breached and has now resumed normal operations. Preliminary reports indicate that the fancy multiphasic binary explosive was used, that’s how it made it past our security. We have a picture of the bomber and a name: Geddy Jay Gordon. He’s a convicted serial killer. He was sentenced to the diamonds mines of Port Arthur some cycles back.”

“The diamond mines. Really?”

Bill was still holding his phone connected to Ellen while speaking to Chambers through the mic on the terminal. He considered just hanging up on her but decided that she would end up having access to all this information sooner or later and figured if she heard it all, it might shake some of her faith in Lyta Lassander.

“Yup, Lyta knew who he was, like straight away, just by looking at the first victims at the Lucky Shot. Doc, they gave us the faces of the Deathwatch terrorists and told us there would be hollowed out columns and then led us right to the same damned columns with the terrorists inside.”

“I know.”

Bill looked back and forth from his open line to Ellen and the console and decided to continue. “They told us they could meet with Gustafson and led us to the offices where we found the labels for the champagne which were filled with Gustafson’s super explosives.”


“They helped Kazzov secure his neural nets, twice, and even suggested that he sell them to us to keep ‘em from the Kolsons. But just a few days ago they gave Katchelli over to the Kolsons. Then those same neural nets are stolen by a fellow convict who was down in the mines with Katchelli a few weeks ago.”


“...Is that all you’re gonna say?” This wasn’t going to script. The more he talked, the more suspicious Bill got and the calmer the Doc responded. “What about the Borodin package and this fellow Croyden?”

“Fellows -- there are two Croydens -- and it’s a well in hand, Bill. Listen, I know this looks bad for the Koreshi, but do you really think they’re playing for the Bear?”

“No,” he said emphatically. “At least not knowingly,” he continued with less assurance, “but I also know they know more than they’re telling us, so I’ve had them detained.”

“But they’ve been making sure to tell us as much as they could to avoid collateral damage, right? I’m not too worried about what they know, Bill. I want them to find out what they don’t know. Let them go and we’ll see what comes of it.”

“You want to let them go?” ‘Definitely not according to script,’ Bill thought to himself with confused indignation. The Doc was doing exactly what Renault wanted, and then it occurred to him: “You know something; you’re not telling me everything.”

“No, Bill, I’m not. Not yet, anyway. You know how I like surprises.” The Doc said rather lightheartedly considering the circumstances.

“Boss, seriously, what’s going on? What aren’t you telling me?” Bill knew the Doc liked to play things close to the chest, but with dead and wounded bodies at Hotel Bravo and Renault and Lukas keeping secrets from him, Bill was losing his usual cool.

“In due course, Bill. Do you trust Lukas?”

“Ah hell, Boss, I don’t know. I guess?”

“Well, then, do you trust me?”


“Bill, I’m playing against the house, but I’ve calculated the odds and I’m counting the cards. I have every reason to believe this will pay in the long run. Let them go.” The terminal chimed again and the communication was cut off.

“Bill?” Ellen’s voice came as though from a great distance. He looked at the phone set still in his hand.

“Yeah, I’m here. Did you get all that?”

“Yup, Bill, I know it’s frustrating, but the Doc knows what he’s doing.”

Bill laughed with no humour. “You know what he’s thinking, don’t you? You know something about Lyta or the rest of them that I don’t.”

“You know the Doc never tells us everything. He thinks it makes him look omniscient when he’s right and he hopes it hides his mistakes when he’s wrong. But to answer your question, yeah, I do. When it comes down to it, we can count on these kids to do what’s right.”

Bill was shaking his head again, a motion lost to Ellen over the phone. “I’ll let them go. I sure wish I knew what was going on and why everyone trusts these self-interested, self-assured sandriders so damned much.”

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