Friday, August 8, 2014

Koreshi Chronicles - Chapter VII : Useful Deviants

“What’s the matter?” she asked coolly.

Okran wasn't pleased and he didn't feel like explaining what should have been self-evident to his handler of all people. He had been told he would have cycles to build trust with Quinn or Mr. Lassander, whatever his name was.

He was supposed to be enlisting a partner for Operation Longnight, now he was saddled with a coerced asset. One of the reasons she had picked him to coordinate this part of the operation was his ability to understand the mind of ‘useful deviants’ and he was quite sure he knew how Quinn felt about this: this was man who didn't like being threatened.

She was waiting for an answer. What about self-preservation? Okran was vaguely worried about dealing with Quinn from here on out. Their ongoing business were supposed to be the “carrot” Quinn had asked for. He could just as likely be a retaliatory target.

How in all of Hades was he supposed to manage a successful smuggling ring for HIRA with a dangerous and vengeful asset? Not to mention with Mentor, the SIRD, Lt. Gorash, and the Comptroller watching!

“Okran? I asked if something was the matter,” Lorelei asked from behind her antique wood desk, her grey calculating eyes staring at him expectantly.

“How did you know they wouldn't try to kill you?” he asked in lieu of an answer.

“I didn't, but I estimated that once I'd committed to using these people for the operation I was taking a far greater risk for the Alliance than any risk to my safety.”

“So if they killed you just now at least Longnight wouldn’t be compromised? I mean beyond losing your contribution.”

“Okran, no matter our past, I refuse to accept that you’re this upset over my safety. If it relates to the operation, I need your feedback. You’re the one that told me we could count on Quinn. Are you now having second thoughts?”

“I said we could count on his greed, but even that can be superseded.” Quinn had made that clear with Morris and with his threats to Matoux.

“I'm not worried about Quinn.”

‘Well, you should be,’ Okran thought to himself but limited his words to something less dire. “I just wished he had more time.”

“I’m afraid that`s no longer an option, but rest assured my dear Okran, we have Quinn right where we want him. Or rather, we have Mr. Lassander right where I want him.“

There was a threat or an opportunity in the way she said Quinn’s real name, maybe both. She had something more than she had let on at the meeting. He could tell because he had been in exactly the same position that Quinn was in now. The trideo of Morris’ murder wasn't her trump card. It was on the
table, but she still had a hidden pair of cards that she hadn't told him about. Leverage she hadn’t shared with Quinn or with Okran.

‘Why was he so upset?’ she had wondered, because after 10 cycles and everything they had been through, she was still keeping things from him and still putting his life at risk. He was still just an asset to her,  another ‘useful deviant.’

Heavy Gear Roleplaying Game


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