Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Koreshi Chronicles - Chapter VIII: There’s Something That I Know...

23 Summer 1927

Lyta huddled under layers of blankets, as bundled as Todd sometimes was in his pillow forts. Her breath steamed in the cold mountain air. Her hands wrapped protectively around a thermos of cawfee that Ennik had brewed. It was late, but her eyes had adjusted to the dark, and she still had several hours before Fennec relieved her for the next watch.

She was exhausted but happy. Her muscles ached from climbing and carrying, shimmying her way up huge pylons and coaxing the disused machinery within to working order. She felt useful. It was the first time she’d felt that way in a while, she realized.

She admitted to herself that she’d been off her game in New Baja. Nothing she’d done had seemed to go right. She’d failed to stop Pigeon as he fled his hotel room. She’d failed to reach the SRID agent on the roof, arriving mere seconds too late to be of any help. She’d failed to take down the security guard at the warehouse fast enough. She’d even let a bar fight go to a stalemate instead of handily winning.

It was because of Lukas, she thought. Because he hadn’t told her about his face. He’d lied to her. And even though she’d promised herself she wouldn’t dwell on the issue, even though she knew she could trust him just like she always had, she couldn’t shake the feeling of doubt. That maybe her trust was misplaced.

She shook her head. She was starting to sound like Ti.

“There’s something that I know that I can’t tell you.” Lukas had told her that sometime during their trip along the Pacificas. She’d dismissed it at the time. Of course there were things Lukas knew that she didn’t – lots of things. He kept details from her all the time. But his insistence on stressing this one, on letting her know she’d be pissed if and when she found out, on stressing it was not his place to tell her… The thought rattled around in her head, in the darkness of the night, and she didn’t like the implications it was shaking loose.

It could be anything. Something about the Doc or the BCG. Something about Riley. Or Ellen. He might have contacted Port Arthur already to arrange for the last leg of their trip. Maybe he’d spoken to Minnie. Maybe they were dating. Lyta wasn’t sure she’d be more pissed about that than any of the other things Luaks had told her, but he didn’t understand why him hiding his face was an issue, so maybe he thought any of his private personal affairs would make her mad.

Maybe he knew something about Jonas. Lyta couldn’t imagine how he’d have found out anything from Junira Loresh before she did, but Jonas hadn’t been in Junira Loresh the last time she was there. Maybe he’d been near Lukas one of the times Lukas had been near the desert. Or maybe a passing band of Ratir had told him someone.

Maybe he’d gotten something out of Pigeon, something about the Bear. Lyta had chosen not to watch the interrogation, preferring to let Lukas tell her what he thought she needed to know. Fennec and Todd had watched… but Fennec didn’t know their history, and Todd, for all his book smarts, often failed to see the real-world implications of what was happening right in front of him. Maybe Pigeon had told him something that would change the way they were chasing the boogey-man they’d been after since leaving Baja the first time.

She sighed. It was pointless trying to figure out what Lukas might be hiding from her. She’d have to find out, or maybe she never would. Whatever it was, Lukas expected her to be mad about it, so no doubt she would be. Sooner or later.

Lyta shifted, trying to keep her legs from going numb. She tucked in the corners of the blankets from where they had pulled free. The cawfee was still hot, even as the wind froze her cheeks and nose.

Whatever it was, she probably wouldn’t find it out tomorrow. Tomorrow they had to repair the lower pylon and start the long process of hauling their crates over the mountains, one small step closer to Port Arthur. She could be useful tomorrow. She could forget about her doubts and her misgivings. Anything beyond that, she’d have to deal with as it came.

Heavy Gear Roleplaying Game


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