Thursday, June 25, 2015

Koreshi Chronicles - Chapter IX: Who Watches the Watchers

She snaked her way through the labyrinthine corridors of HIRA’s HQ on the Acropolis, the echo of her footfalls resonating loudly, as her path lead her closer and closer to the main entrance and further and further from the center of power.

Her heels made a reassuring click as they stuck the marble floors and the effect was amplified as she entered the great southern waiting hall. It was a function of her position that she rarely was noticed so she relished the rare occasions she could make an entrance.

“My dear Holly, it’s been too long,” she gushed before giving the waiting woman a quick hug.

The castanet canter continued until the two woman entered a plush, medium-sized conference room. The walls were wood paneled and the floor was plushly carpeted. When the door shut, one could feel a rush of air as a tight seal encasing the room.

“You enjoyed that way too much, Lorelei,”  Holly said with a mischievous smile as she threw herself into a deep chair with exquisitely upholstered armrests.

“Just enough, I should think,” the well-heeled HIRA preceptor responded slyly as she too took one of the oversized chairs.

“How are things going with Ambassador Hypolite?”

“I could just as easily ask you, Lorelei.”

“I take your point. Well, things with Doctor Chambers seem to be proceeding apace.”

“Yes, but according to whose agenda, his or yours?” Holly asked, cocking her head for emphasis.

“You really were made to work for HIRA, Holly.”

“But who would you come to when you were out of your depth, then?”

“You make a very good point. To wit, I need to ask a favour. I need DEFTA to look into a number of foreign trades, mostly in technology. I also need to know about exchanges, diplomatic and academic, between certain people or relating to specific topics.” Lorelei rose from her chair and supplied her guest with a datapad.

Holly immediately began analysing the criteria. “Humanists and outsiders. There's bound to be a trail of money in and out of the Alliance too. I can help you with some of this, but you’ll need someone with the ability to get some information through more forceful means at some point. What about the aforementioned Doctor Chambers?”

“Maybe, but he’s already quite occupied with his current tasks for us and the expansion of his bank. I have a decent new asset working the Comptroller's business. I had him watching Jacobi's operation and I had another operative watching him. Now my first mole has died and I’ve had to burn him to save the second. This just ensures that Jacobi won’t kill him outright; it doesn’t mean he has earned their trust. It may be prudent to pull him off that assignment for a little while and let things settle. He also has the benefit of being able to tap doctor Chambers’ ressources if needed.”

“Sounds about right,” Holly said, her attention never leaving the datapad. Suddenly her eyes shot up in astonishment. “You're investigating Preceptors?”

Lorelei has been expecting this. She had been pacing while Holly read the intel she had given her. She took a deep sigh and sat down again.

“The Comptroller knew about my mole. If my new asset wasn't contracted and not exactly on HIRA’s books, he'd probably be compromised too. The research being done, the security being circumvented, the intel leaked, the death of Caspari, it all points at a Preceptor.”

“Do you think the SRID could've been right?” Holly asked, her voice hushed even though no one could be listening in.

“That’s what I’m afraid of, Holly.”  Lorelei sat up abruptly again and walked a few steps, but pacing brought no relief. She suddenly resented the thick carpet. She wanted to hear the reassuring sound of her shoes striking the ground, so she stopped and stood very still.

“In fact, I’m terrified.”

Heavy Gear Roleplaying Game


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