Friday, January 31, 2014

Koreshi Chronicles - Chapter VII: The Art of Negotiation

The hostile environment seal on the longrunner’s rear hatch hissed shut and the pressure inside leveled.

“That went well.”

Benelice smiled. She loved it when Riley tried being sarcastic because he never quite managed to overcome his inherently cheery disposition.

“It could have have gone worse,” Benelice reminded him as she turned from the sealed door and patted a few of her crew on the shoulders as they stood down and took off their heavy flak and gas masks. After Riley’s long talk with the Doc on the drive back to Gropius and before setting a meeting point with Jax, she had made sure that her eight best fighters were loaded for bear.

“I guess. The man sure don’t make it easy to be friendly. Lucky for us, we don’t need friends like him.” Riley swung her around and she let herself fall into his arms.

“He just doesn’t like Chambers,” Benelice said. “I can relate”  She sunk her head into Riley’s chest, muffling her words.

The longrunner lurched forward, starting back to meet with the rest of the caravan. Her people shuffled out of the hold to stow their gear, leaving them alone.

“You don’t know the Doc. You just don’t like him because your father doesn’t like him. Funny thing is the Doc told me that Jax, or Lukas, or whatever his real name is, actually doesn’t have anything personal against him either, he’s just plum mad at the world.”

“Well, then your Doc doesn’t know everything. Jax doesn’t like him. Whatever his other motivations. I can tell.” Benelice concluded, squeezing him a little tighter.

“Well, the Doc pretty much called how this would go down, but you’re the one who reads people, so I’ll take your word for it, darlin’. Now, are you going to use that against me in our negotiations? Because that would be un-sportsman like.” He brushed the side of her cheek delicately with his fingers, as though her were caressing something incredibly fragile.

“In case you haven’t noticed, Mr. Markus, I’m not a sports-man,” she said, putting the emphasis on the last word.

“Oh, I noticed. I figured you’d be using your womanly wiles on me, too. At least, I was hoping you would.” He paused, taking in her beauty. “Heck, you’re gonna rob me blind.”

“Make me an offer,” she whispered into his ear, her arms coiling around his head. “But not here. Later.” She said with a wink.


Benelice’s caravan wasted no time getting out of Gropius. Riley had already collapsed again, weary from the darts, the swim, and the negotiations. Benelice, on the other hand, was wired. She was trying to figure out how to extract the most from the Doc while helping her lover and making her father proud. He eyes darted to the crate in her hold. ‘It was a good day,’ she told herself.

As she mentally congratulated herself, her phone rang. She didn’t recognise the number, but that wasn’t unusual. Probably Jax trying to make another deal.

“Hello?” she answered in a friendly tone.

“Hiya, Miss Matoux,” came back the unfamiliar voice.

“May I help you?” she answered cautiously, unsure of who she was speaking to.

“We haven’t formally met, but I was present at a negotiation earlier tonight.”

“Ah, the fifth man,” she said, conjuring the vision of the largely built stranger in the motorcycle helmet that Jax hadn’t introduced. Benelice has assumed he was extra muscle because she couldn’t understand why he didn’t have a matching outfit. “I’m listening.”

“I’d like to make you an offer,” he said invitingly.

Heavy Gear Roleplaying Game


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